Tag Archives: st paul

Books and Bars Video

13 Dec

So this video has to do with something called Books and Bars that runs here in Minneapolis and St. Paul. It is typically held at the Aster Cafe in Northeast Minneapolis once a month and is a lively discussion about books in a relaxed bar atmosphere. I enjoy the outing, as it is a way to get out and do something and share opinions about a book that others either have the same opinion about or they may counter your argument and totally hate your guts. I am in this video at some point and I ramble on incoherently about the book. Truthfully, I didn’t watch the whole thing as I couldn’t take my incoherence and I hate watching myself on video. Check it out anyway, and if you are in the MSP area, try to get on board with this great book club.

Sioux Yeah Yeah!

22 Mar

Went to some see some WCHA hockey this past weekend at the Xcel Energy Center. Not only were my UND Fighting Sioux in the tourney (as they always are) they won! Yes, these pictures are not that great, but who cares? THEY WON! And now they are on to the NCAA tournament as the #2 seed overall and the #1 seed in their bracket. I can’t wait to see how they keep this season going. It seems like they are heading for great things and are poised to take it all.

Sunset over St. Paul

The sun sets on the cathedral as the Sioux prepare for battle against Colorado College

Warmups

The preparation for battle begins with warmups

Puck drop imminent

The teams square off for the death match that is WCHA HOCKEY

The puck is dropped

The puck is dropped and the gauntlet has been thrown down

Roger Waters The Wall: Live

28 Oct

I have to say, this was certainly the summer/fall of big name, stadium concerts for me. First there was Weezer headlining the Basilica Block Party, then Rush at the State Fair, followed by Gorillaz and NERD at the Target Center and last night, I witnessed Roger Waters perform The Wall at the Xcel Energy Center. As far as spectacles go, this was the best concert I have seen. It’s pretty much a performance piece. A giant 40 foot wall, video projections, fireworks, lasers, crashing planes, breakdancing kids, huge puppets and a flying pig! I didn’t have the greatest seat in the house (as that would have cost over $250) but for last minute tickets, it wasn’t that bad. And on the plus side, the Xcel probably has the best sound system in the Twin Cities for big concerts so the acoustics were great. However, the one spoiler to this concert – and I have to assume this goes for most Pink Floyd concerts – are the potheads. I’m pretty sure that if Cheech and Chong could conceive, their man-love child was sitting next to me. Dude was stoned and drunk out his mind! Not only did he try to talk to me throughout the first half of the show, he was crooning along to the songs before they were even out of Roger’s mouth. Sorry dude, but you don’t get any pot brownie points for knowing the lyrics before they are sung. Also, I can hear my own crappy voice at home, so I don’t need to hear yours at the show.

As the concert progressed toward the intermission, the wall continued to be built and the pothead continued to toke up and take swigs of whiskey. But his buzz was about to be harshed by me at intermission. As the lights came up and people streamed out to piss, he began to frantically search around under the seats and in his jacket pockets. What he was looking for was his glass pipe that looked exactly like a cigarette. How do I know this? Because it was under my foot. I hid it from him and eventually, when he began to play with his phone, bent over and cunningly (or probably clumsily, but it all looked the same to him so who the fuck cares) picked the pipe up off the ground and proceeded to head for the nearest trash bin. I walked around a bit with it in my pocket and saw the bin in question, but when I got there, thought better of it. That’s right, I ended up recycling it. I saved the environment, and also my concert experience because dude left during intermission and I didn’t see him again. If he did show up again, I didn’t know about it because I was way too deep into Comfortably Numb to care… and also because we slid over and totally jacked his seat for the better view. Yes, I am ruthless like that.

As with the album, the second half of the show was better than the first half. But overall, this show was something that I won’t soon forget and was the most visually over-the-top concert that I saw this year. If this concert is coming through your town and you haven’t gotten tickets yet, be sure to grab some up. Also, be sure to not do drugs for 40+ years of your life. That shit will mess you up.

 

Link to close up pictures of first half of show.

St. Paul Landmark Center

St. Paul Landmark Center

The Wall

The Wall

My Seat

My Seat. Not great, but whatcha gonna do?

In the Flesh?

In the Flesh?

Right after plane crash

Right after plane crash

The Wall Intermission

The Wall Intermission

In the Flesh

In the Flesh

Run Like Hell

Run Like Hell

Outside the Wall

Outside the Wall

So, Uh… The Saturday That Was

5 Oct

This past Saturday was different from the typical, boring, monotonous, routine, humdrum, lonely long weekend day that I usually wallow through. I was actually fairly busy throughout the entire day although some of that busyness was spent in a place I never want to visit ever again.

Waking up at eight on a Saturday may seem like a waste to most. However, I was on a mission. For you see, I live in Minneapolis, but work out on Saturday mornings in St. Paul. Normally, this isn’t that big of a deal since I own a car and there is little traffic to deal with on these brisk mornings. Also, the class starts at 10, so normally I can sleep in a little as it only takes but 15 minutes to drive there. Today, however, I got it in my head that I would bike to the workout class. Thankfully, Minneapolis has a bevy of biking trails and getting from where I live to where I work out is actually a pretty straight shot without the need to deal with too many busy streets (or if they are busy, they include a bike lane). The only problem with this is that it takes time, and was about 45 degrees outside that day. True, it was bright and sunny, but it was also windy. All in all, it took me 45 minutes to get to my destination – Angel’s Life Solutions, which was about 7.5 miles away, just off Marshall Ave (according to Google maps). This workout class I attend is all about stretching and kettlebells. It’s a fairly strenuous workout from which I am still sore right now (it being Tuesday). After working out, I biked home, though at a much more leisurely pace as I had only eaten two bananas before setting out.

I knew at some point during the day that I would have to go to the hospital. On Monday, my grandmother had had a stroke. She has had them before, and it really sucks to have to see someone who is already so frail become even more delicate. After driving to the wrong hospital in Woodbury – which is where my grandparents live and the hospital she normally has been at, but somehow, the info of where she was actually at was not relayed to me – I eventually drove back to St. Paul and St. Joseph’s. Suffice it to say that it was the most depressing part of my day and I don’t want to keep going through it every few months. Hospitals are not places that I tend to come out of feeling better about things based on past history with them. So to try and get my mind off of that, I went to an art gallery on the way home.

St. Joseph's Hospital room

St. Joseph's Hospital room

I had been wanting to see the Spinal Tap “Smell the Glove” exhibit since I heard about it, and this was the last day of the show. The motive behind the show was that, in the classic movie, the band Spinal Tap has a record coming out called “Smell the Glove” but the label decides at the last moment that the cover art would be too racy and obscene. Since the cover is never actually shown and merely described, the art gallery enlisted a bunch of local artists to come up with their idea of what that cover would actually look like, had it been seen in the film. Thus, we get a ton of weird ass looking art – including actual semen on a sock (under glass thank god) – that is both terrifyingly close to the description in the film and outlandishly ridiculous at the same time. Also, that screen is there because, for the final night of the exhibit, they were going to show the film as a final send off.

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

Spinal Tap "Smell the Glove"

The rest of my day was spent making supper and playing video games, neither of which need to be seen as they are pretty boring. Oh yeah, I also have television now, so I watched SNL just to see Abby Elliott. She is the best thing about that show right now… because she is hot.

Turn Down The Lights (Where Applicable)

5 Aug

Turf Club

Turf Club - MST3K Night (Screen way up in front of those ladies there. Just FYI)

Look, I know the picture sucks, but what do you want from a camera phone in a darkened, underground, prohibition-era drinks emporium? Anyway, maybe the better question would be, why was I there? The answer to that lies in the fact that I love Mystery Science Theater 3000 and watching the episodes never gets old, and is a completely new experience with a dedicated crowd of Msties. Never heard of MST3K you say? Well then get the hell out of here! Or click this link.

The venue was the Turf Club on University Ave in St. Paul, and the movie was The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. It is notable for being the first episode in which Mike takes over from Joel. It is also a really bad movie that makes for decent riffing. I like how there is no real explanation of why Mike is there. Sure, if you watched the previous episode and listen to the theme song, it sort of explains things, but really, its never brought up and is just accepted. And that is what makes this whole thing work. Mike is a whole different personality from Joel, and I stand by my assertion that he was the better of the two hosts. But anyway, on to these other pictures.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die

The Brain That Wouldn't Die

Like I said, the movie was The Brain That Wouldn’t Die. This movie is near and dear to my heart and I will tell you why. As you can see, I have it on DVD already. This means I have seen it a bunch of times before. However, watching it with a live audience brought out a whole new version of the film. Because there are so many riffs, not everyone gets them all, but certain people will laugh at other certain things and this means that pretty much all of the riffs get some sort of response. This is the opposite of what happens to me when I watch most of the time, because many of the jokes or references go right over my head. Another reason this movie is so loved by myself is that it was the very first MST3K DVD I ever bought. I saw it on the shelf at Best Buy a long time ago and had to have it. Thus began my obsessional collecting of the series, which resulted in me acquiring every episode there has ever been TV – minus the KTMA episodes that never saw the light of day of course.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die

The Brain That Wouldn't Die - Mike Nelson Autograph

And as you can see from the above photo, there is a signature in the bottom right-hand corner of the chapter list. That there is Michael J. Nelson’s John Hancock itself! I have seen him speak a few times and got this movie autographed (among other MST3K related merch) because it was his first host appearance, and because it was my first MST3K DVD.

The Brain That Wouldn't Die

The Brain That Wouldn't Die - DVD Case

I don’t know if they have a set schedule for showing episodes, but the next showing is on September 1, at 10 p.m. So if you are in the St Paul area and want to see the film Sidehackers, head on down to the Turf Club on University. Its a tad bit warm in there (ok so it was fucking scorching hot and I sweated the entire time) but its a pretty good time and the price of free is right on the money! Also, they give you these sweet Gizmonics Institute pins and even make some Playbills of the movie with interesting trivia facts. I’ll be sure to go back again one of these days and rundown the movie… maybe… possibly. I can’t not end this without saying, keep circulating the tapes!

Gizmonics Institute Pins

Gizmonics Institute Pins

Oh Geeze, Sorry. Flugtag.

4 Aug

So anyway, um, seems I totally forgot about this, but I did in fact attend the Flugtag at Harriet Island in St. Paul a few weeks ago. For those who still don’t know what this is, it boils down to a bunch of teams of people (or idiots depending on your outlook) who try to build contraptions to break the bonds of this mortal earth and soar into the lofty heights of the great blue sky. Like that? Yeah, it was pretty sweet to write. Anyway, I have a ton of pictures of the event, but won’t be putting all of them up here simply because there are so many. I will put some of them up and you can judge for yourself – what are you judging? I have no idea, decide that for yourself as well I guess.

Overall, the event was free and the weather was perfect. I have probably contracted skin cancer of some sort from not wearing sunscreen or a hat, but it was worth it (if, in fact, skin cancer can be worth it I suppose). Also, a new world record was set. Did you read that! A WORLD FREAKING RECORD! The world record smashing flight went for 207 feet, beating the old record of 195 feet.

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities - World Record Setter

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

Red Bull Flugtag Twin Cities

As a bonus, here is the tape whale I made on Friday as well. Enjoy.

Tape Whale

Tape Whale

Tape Whale

Tape Whale

Target Field and Twins Game

10 Jun

Last night, I ventured into the wilds of Minneapolis to experience outdoor big league baseball in Minnesota. Let me start off by saying this isn’t the first time I’ve been to an outdoor game in MN, but the St. Paul Saints are not quite the same thing. Anyway, for the first time visitor, Target Field is really something spectacular. I now believe that the Twin Cities have two of the finest major league sporting venues in the country, with the Twins stadium joining the Xcel Energy Center where the Wild play. As you can see from this picture, the place was packed. I had to get tickets off of Craigslist the day of the game. However, I chose pretty much the perfect seats for the perfect price, as you will see in a bit.

Crowded Target Field

Crowded Target Field

Simply walking around this place is a bunch of fun. Here is the team from FSN North. As you can see, Marney Gellner and Roy Smalley were on point to give a great Twins pregame show. Or, at least, I assume they did. I did not stick around. Too much other stuff to do.

Twins Pre Game show

Marney and Roy

Here are some pics of the field. As you can see. It is a gorgeous thing.

Twins - Target Field

Twins - Target Field

Twins - Target Field

Twins - Target Field

Minneapolis Skyline From Target Field

Minneapolis Skyline From Target Field

Minneapolis Skyline From Target Field

Minneapolis Skyline From Target Field

Target Field – The Big Scoreboard

Target Field – The Big Scoreboard

Twins - Target Field

Twins - Target Field

Target Field – The Bullpen

Target Field – The Bullpen

And here is the view from my seat. I got these off Craigslist for $20. It was one of the better purchases I have made in the last few weeks. Not only are they great seats, they were less than face value for the tickets!… by a dollar. They only bad thing about sitting in this spot is that you cannot see the gigantic video board as it is directly above you, and blocked by the underside of the upper deck. Here are some pics from throughout the game as the light changed to night. Also, with these seats, anytime someone hit the ball to left field – like when Punto hit it over Podsednik’s head, I’m pretty sure I was on TV for about a quarter of a second. However, I understand why he may have been thinking about other things, for Christ’s sake, have you seen his wife ?!!?

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

Target Field – Left Field View

And now, onto the food and drinks. Let’s face it, ballpark food is spendy. It becomes even more spendy when you throw in getting something to drink (which is why I never, ever get anything to drink). I went with the Twins big dog and chips ($5.25). I think its a quarter pound beef hot dog and it comes with a bag of chips. Its not a bad deal really, but the next time I go back, I’m getting the regular Twins dog, as it comes with chili and cheese for only $3.75.

Twins Big Dog with Chips

Twins Big Dog with Chips

The new ballpark also features vendors that sell all sorts of different items, like this giant leg of beef where you can get a beef sandwich that is fresh shaved. There were also stir-fry places and nachos and walleye and pork chops on a stick. One of the draws that I went for – in preparation for the State Fair – were some cheese curds ($4.75). They are not cheap, but anytime you deep fry cheese, the results speak for themselves. Plus, they come in this cute little Leinenkugel’s canoe.

Target Field – Hunk o Beef

Target Field – Hunk o Beef

State Fair Cheese Curds

State Fair Cheese Curds

As always, beer is off the charts. Here is one of the many vendors hawking his wares. Regardless of whether you want your beer in a cup or in the bottle, its going to cost you $7. However, the one thing that I did notice was that they did sell some local brews (like Summit and Leinenkugels) for $6.50. I don’t know about you, but I would take a 50 cent savings to get a better beer any day. If you plan on getting your buzz on at the game, be prepared to spend some serious cash. Or, simply get a buzz before you come to the game, or invest in a handy flask, because they only search you if you have a bag on you; i.e. wear shorts with cargo pockets!

Target Field – Beer Vendor

Target Field – Beer Vendor

Lastly, this was the dude I was sitting next to. As usual, he was loud and berating for a bit but they quieted down. It was especially odd to hear him “lovingly” berate our own player in the outfield, until he hit a home run and was then very cordial to him.

Target Field – Typical Fan

Target Field – Typical Fan

At the end of the night though, the Twins won the game 6-2 and it was a perfect end to a great game and a spectacular night for baseball. Are we going to get spoiled up here in Minnesota now that we have outdoor baseball? Well, we probably will, until September and October show up, then who knows.

Target Field – Twins Win

Target Field – Twins Win