I spent close to an hour searching through my available photos, looking for one that would "fit" the Monday morning sunrise image that I wanted to use at the top of today's entry. I looked at the time and date stamps on each file I found that fit the visual profile of the image I wanted to use for today's entry.
Didn't have one.
Apparently, I've lived in the Twin Cities for over a year, and traveled here frequently (about once every five or six weeks) since September of 2006, and not ONCE have I ventured outside early on a Monday morning for the purpose of recording the sunrise.
Instead, today's image is of a sunrise recorded nearly a year ago, in November 2008.
On a Tuesday.
Not that it's really important, but I was mildly amused by the fact that in the last three years, I have hauled myself out of bed before sunrise for the purpose of taking sunrise photos every day of the week except Monday.
I wonder if that means anything, or it's just an odd coincidence?
It was a better than average weekend for Misplaced In The Midwest, a neighbor and recent acquaintance was holding a housewarming party in their new digs around the corner from me on Saturday, and on Friday night enlisted my help with some of the food preparation. That's always a good thing, since you get to sample things before everyone else does, and if you're lucky, you can even pick up a new recipe or two, as I did.
I chopped celery, removed the bones from a couple of chickens (a few pieces of chicken "accidentally" fell on the floor near the neighbors dogs of course), assisted in the tasting of a dip made with crab, and one with smoked oysters, and of course sampled a few glasses of wine, a Cabernet, and a Malbec... both garnered my approval... the dips I mean... I always approve of red wine.
As I wended my slightly buzzed way the couple of blocks back to my house I realized that I still got to attend the party the following evening.
I got up later than normal on Saturday morning, I actually slept until a little after nine, and didn't actually put my feet on the floor until a quarter to ten. Considering that I've been out of bed no later than eight on Saturdays for the last year or so, I felt decadent, and more than a little guilty, since Victor and Roxie waited patiently to go outside nearly three hours later than normal.
Have I mentioned lately what good dogs they are?
I spent the rest of my Saturday morning and afternoon involved with my normal tasks, vacuum the bedroom and living room, sweep and mop my tiny kitchen floor, throw in a couple of loads of laundry and squeeze in an extra late afternoon walk for Victor and Roxie.
After their walk, I showered, gave the dogs a handful of cookies each and headed off to the party.
Even though I attempted to be fashionably late, I still ended up being the first guest to arrive... not a big deal though, as my neighbor is quite cool, and it gave me the chance to have a glass of wine, and graze a little before the other guests arrived, which they did after awhile. It was a nice, low-key affair, there were a few other dog people in attendance, which led to cell phones being pulled out and photos shared, accompanied by the requisite complements of course. For awhile, I even had the added bonus of being the only man present in a room full of intelligent, educated women capable of carrying on a good conversation. The owner of the house made a brief appearance, and turned out to be a quite friendly and gregarious individual, sharing some stories about the place in Mexico he spends his winters in that's slightly off the beaten path.
All too soon, it was after 1AM, and time for me to go home.
I know... some of you back home are saying 1AM??? Who leaves a party at 1AM??? It's different here. The bars close at 2AM as opposed to the 4AM we're used to, bands play their first set as early as 7PM, and it's often difficult to find an open restaurant after 10PM, or an open gas station after midnight. When I explain to people here that where I'm from many restaurants offer seatings in their dining room until midnight, offer a late-night menu in their bar until 1 or 2AM, bands never start before 11:30PM or midnight, and we don't even go out until 11, I get one of two reactions... they either think I'm pulling their leg, or they are dumbfounded that such a place exists. The reaction I get when I further explain that even though the bars close at 4AM, it's usually closer to five AM before the last patrons leave, and then we go out out for breakfast and get home around six is priceless.
The average Minnesotan wouldn't be able to survive a weekend bar-hopping in Buffalo.
I couldn't remember the last time that I went out and enjoyed myself two nights in a row, and it dawned on me as I drifted off to sleep on my couch Saturday night that I haven't since I left Western New York to embark on this adventure.
In thirteen months, I had somehow allowed myself to be reprogrammed into someone that I wouldn't even give the time of day to, much less hang out with. Before I fell asleep, I promised myself that I wouldn't ever let that happen again. My new purpose is to shake things up a little in Minnesota. The neighborhood group I have joined that is working to add an off-leash dog area to King Park looks like it's going to be my door into Minnesota politics. The two politicians I encountered at last weeks meeting proved my suspicions that a New Yorker could quite easily rise very quickly in the political machine here. I'm going to take a shot at an at-large seat on the park board next year, and from what I've seen, I could easily take the legs out from under the city councilwoman for my district when HER seat is up for election the year after next. The low-level politicians here don't have any desire to rise any higher than they have, and they've become soft and complacent in the meantime. Minneapolis city politics are ripe for a Jesse Ventura-type takeover, and I just happened to be looking for a way into that machine when this opportunity was literally laid at my feet.
Yep. These folks aren't gonna know what hit 'em.
Sunday was fairly laid-back. Got my coffee... got my paper... got bored... and wandered over to Lake Calhoun with my camera where I spent most of the day in psycho photographer mode. Don't know what kind of results I got, because I'm staying true to my "artiste" thing of waiting a few days before I look at them so I can be at my most critical, and also because I find more pleasant surprises that way. I think that there might be one or two good ones in there, if so, I'll use them here later this week. It was a good ending to the weekend though, the Bills finally got another win, and the Yankees are going to the World Series, which I admit, I am enjoying rubbing in the faces of the Twins fans here... all the crap I took for wearing my Yankees jersey, all the comments about "the best team money can buy"... was worth it... especially since my boys SWEPT the Twins to get to the ALCS. I said it on facebook, and I'll say it here: All you Twins fans can BITE ME.
I'm still Misplaced In The Midwest, but now it's a good thing.
See you tomorrow.