QOTD: "Anyone who does not respect his own wife cannot be a revolutionary." - Chris Hani
Reading: Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Listening to: Huun-Huur-Tu, The Orphan's Lament
Decluttering accomplishments: nothing, but I've been away for the weekend
I decided it was easier to just write a long entry than to backfill the couple of days. First, I have a quick follow-up on the last entry though. I know full well that some of the examples I cited were not necessarily standard usage. One of the great things about the English language is that it is adaptable enough to have developed regional peculiarities. As opposed to, say, French, which is far more prescriptive. But I will continue to believe that the way things were when I was growing up is the way they should always be.
Anyway, I haven't written the last couple of days because I was in Minneapolis. My excuse for going was adding to my ballpark collection. In this case, I got to cheer for my second favorite team, as the Twins qualified as "whoever is playing the Yankees." But a baseball game is just a few hours and so there's more to the story.
First, I had to get there. Minneapolis is one of those cities that is essentially served by a single airline. Northwest is an airline I try to avoid, but that was too hard to do, and at least I do get Alaska Air miles for flying on them. All of the other airlines are advertising that they're taking rows out to add leg room. They are apparently selling the extra seats to Northwest. In addition to the cramped accomodation, they're generally chintzy. Lunch consisted of a small sandwich, a bag of corn chips, and an apple. And they don't show movies on domestic flights. In fact, they don't even have audio entertainment on domestic flights. At least the ticket was cheap.
The flight was actually slightly early and I took a bus to downtown Minneapolis, where I checked into the Embasssy Suites (chosen for its proximity to the Metrodome). I took a brief walk around downtown, mostly because I needed to stretch my legs after the flight. Then I did the boring thing and had dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was decidedly mediocre, and watched TV.
In the morning I did a Volksmarch in downtown Minneapolis. The walk included Boom Island, which has the only lighthouse on the Mississippi River, as well as large stretches of the Heritage Trail along the river. There were excellent views of downtown from both Boom Island and Nicollet Island. The skyline is a modern but attractive one, with lots of curvy glass buildings. I was less impressed with the falls of Saint Anthony. These are alleged to be the only real falls on the Mississippi, but they're no Niagara. Still it was a pleasant walk and as good a way to spend a morning as any, although it started raining fairly hard near the end of the walk. One of the things I really like about the Volksmarch year round events is that they're always a good way to find somewhere to walk in a city I'm unfamiliar with. And this one filled the bill nicely. (I should note that I'd been to Minneapolis once before, but stayed with a friend in the suburbs. Our sole tourist venture then was to the zoo, which is one of the best I've ever been to.)
I had lunch, then browsed in a used bookshop for a bit, before going back to the hotel for a rest. Then I walked over to the Metrodome for the baseball game. I realized I'd never been in a domed stadium before and I can't say I really recommend it. The Metrodome is entirely lacking in character. In fact, the atmosphere is somewhat akin to a high school auditorium. I can certainly understand why the Twins want a new stadium. Though, given the weather, being inside was the only way I was going to see a game Saturday night. The stadium was fairly full. I think official attendance was something like 43,000. I chatted with the man sitting next to me and his son. The boy, who I'd guess was about 9 or 10, filled me in on his favorite players, while I explained my goal of seeing a game at each major league stadium. They were pleased that I was on their side for that game. Alas, my good wishes were for naught, as the Source of All Evil in the Universe won.
Today's excursion was to the Mall of America. Five years ago, I would have really enjoyed going there. But I've developed an impatience with shopping malls in the past few years. There are 520 stores at the Mall of America. Maybe 100 of them sell things that people actually need. How did we end up with a culture which has so many scented candles and so few spicy conversations? Do we really want a world where our children can extoll the joys of ionic toothbrushes, but know nothing of Ionic columns? Perhaps the single most bizarre thing at the Mall is Cereal Adventure, a new "attraction" that features General Mills cereals. I wasn't about to pay $3.95 to go in, but the advertised attractions include making a Wheaties box with your own picture on it and mixing your very own breakfast cereal. As I understand it, the latter involves paying seven bucks for the privilege of combining up to three types of cereal. I can buy cereal for about four dollars a box (less if it's on sale) and nothing stops me from mixing my own at home. So I suppose you're really paying to give your mix a cutesy name and get a personalized box. There's an associated gift shop where you can buy Count Chocula or Lucky the Leprechaun dolls and the like.
I flew home (again, cramped and chintzy, but more or less on time) and stopped at the supermarket. Where I bought cheaper and healthier cereal (Kashi, which I buy primarily because it is healthy and costs half what the major brands do). And I found myself wondering if the Boo Berry ghost died of malnutrition.
Copyright 2002 Miriam H. Nadel