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Wildlife geocaching

Today I went geocaching in a park in the southern suburbs. One of my friends planned to have her birthday party there so I arrived early to do some caching. While on the trail I had some miraculous encounters. First I watched a hummingbird do a 90° dive and crash into some weeds. When it tried to fly, it could not get lift and flew along the ground in circles. I picked it up and held it to my chest while I called the rehab center for advice. I planned to take it in but first carried it over to some nearby flowers so it could eat some nectar. (The birds tiny tongue darting in and out of its beak was adorable!) I felt that I should try to let it fly again, so I held my hands up, opened them, and watched the bird fly away.

Later, I saw a baby bunny sitting on the side of the trail munching on some grass. Unlike other bunnies this one did not bounce away when I got near. I sat down next to it and it hopped toward me so close that I was able to pet it, something else that wild bunnies generally do not tolerate. I then took its picture (an extreme close-up) and then watched it bound into the brush.

My final weird wildlife encounter today happened when I picked up a large hollow geocaching container and dumped either a mouse or a vole who was hanging out in there onto my lap. The critter then scampered off into the woods.

Moments like these are one of the reasons I love going geocaching.

Tags:

Memetime

pyrites_gold tagged me in a meme, so I thought I'd play along

1. When was the last time you ate or drank something you hadn't tried before, and what was it like?
Last Friday - I tried goat. It was savory and lean. I enjoyed it and will likely have it again.

2. Which book and film have you read and watched the most times?
Book: Class - A Guide Through the American Status System by Paul Fussell
Movie: Koyaanisqatsi

3. How old were you when you learnt to swim and ride a bike?
Sometime between the ages of 5 and 8 for both.

4. Where you raised in a particular religion and do you still follow it?
I was raised and have subsequently rejected Lutheranism.

5. What's your favourite song lyric?
From "War Pigs" - Politicians hide themselves away / they only started the war / Why should they go out to fight? / They leave that role to the poor.

6. What film/theatre/performance has moved you the most?
The live performance of Einstein on the Beach that I saw in January.

7. If you could be a fictional character, who would you be?
Carrot Ironfoundersson

8. What was the first album you bought?
The first time I bought records, I purchased two so I'll list them both.
Abba - Arrival and Led Zeppelin IV

9. If you could pick three people to rule the world with you, who would they be?
Dennis Kucinich, Warren Buffett & Hillary Clinton

10. What is your favourite type of bread?
I like crusty artisinal bread and also Lithuanian rye.

11. If you could close your eyes and magically be somewhere else when you open them, where would you go?
Munich, Germany

Tags:

planes, trains, and buses

In January I went to Ann Arbor Michigan to see Einstein on the Beach. This is something I had been planning for nearly a year. As soon as tickets went on sale I bought mine then proceeded to make plans on how to get there. I decided to spend a couple days in Chicago to visit my parents and take the train between Chicago and Ann Arbor. This was far cheaper than flying directly to Ann Arbor (although in retrospect I could have flown into Detroit) and this allowed me to knock off another one of the items on my 101 list.

I was to have arrived in Ann Arbor at 1:30 PM which would have given me plenty of time to explore the city, have lunch, and get to the theater by 7 PM. The train left Chicago promptly at 7 AM. About 15 min. into the ride, not even out of this Chicago switch yard, the train stopped right there on the tracks. We were told that there was a problem with the engine that would be resolved in 15 min. Two hours later we get going again, losing our right of way because of the delay.

We made it to Indiana albeit slowly (my GPS indicated speeds of around 40 to 50 mph.) Just before we were to cross the border into Michigan the train stopped again. More engine problems. By this time I was laughing at this comedy of errors. All my planning seemed for naught because I had absolutely no control over my means of transportation. We were stalled on the track for about another hour during which time I mused about leaving the train to look for a nearby geocache. Of course I couldn't do this because with my luck the train would have left while I was outside.

We finally continued the journey into Michigan. The train stops yet again just outside of Battle Creek. This time it was due to a problem with a switch or so they claimed. By now it was 4 PM Michigan time - the show started in only three hours and I was just over two hours away from Ann Arbor by train. We were told that the switch would be fixed in about a half an hour. I was beginning to get nervous.

The train was out of food and drinks so even if I wanted to pay exorbitant prices for crappy food I could not. I had eaten a decent breakfast (a banana and a glass of milk) at 6 AM which was nine hours prior. We pull into Battle Creek and all the conductors get off the train. There are buses waiting for us in the parking lot. After 20 min. or so of confusion and uncertainty we are loaded into the buses to finish the trip.

I called the bed and breakfast where I was to be staying to inform them of my delay. My original plans had me getting to them around 3:30. It was now five. Good thing I called because the woman there was going to leave at 6:30. The trip from Battle Creek via road was going to get me there just under the wire. Thankfully we didn't crash or get a flat tire either of which I had fully expected to happen.

Just as we get into Ann Arbor the bus driver makes a wrong turn. It is now 6:25 PM. The show's 7pm start time was looming. We make it to the stop and the driver he cannot pull fully into the parking lot. I bolt off the bus and run to a waiting cab. I jumped in but of course the driver is boxed in because of traffic due to the bus sticking out in the street! We get going and luckily it's a short trip to the bed and breakfast. I run inside, get my room, change out of the clothes I had been in for 12 hours then dash outside and run down the block to the theater. I arrive 10 min. before the show starts.

Recall that I had not eaten for 12 hours and the show about to see is 4 1/2 hours long. I found a water fountain and took several drinks before going to my seat. I wasn't worried about having to pee during the show because I was darn near dehydrated.

This ordeal forced me to scrap my plans for taking a cross-country train ride on Amtrak this summer. I anticipated moderate delays but nothing like this.

Einstein on the Beach was easily the most incredible show I have ever seen in my life. It will be the subject of a subsequent post.

After the show I had the pleasure of trying to find someplace to eat that wasn't infested with drunk college students. Unable to do so, I found a little Mexican place and grabbed a burrito. Afterward I walked through the streets of Ann Arbor and picked up a couple geocaches-caches. I rather enjoyed doing so at 3 AM. I had needed to walk around because I had been sitting for most of the day.

The trip back to Chicago was completely uneventful.

Purple Squirrel!

Despite the news report, I assure you that I am still in Minnesota, not in Pennsylvania.

Squirrel!

Happy Squirrel Appreciation Day everyone! My pockets are full of hazelnuts and I plan to appreciate every squirrel I see today, just like I do every day.

Performances Attended in 2011

I saw a total of 264 performances in 2011 broken down as follows:

TheaterDanceOtherTotal
Fringe Shows4115056
Rest of Year1741222208
Totals2152722264

("other" includes opera, music cabarets, concerts, etc.)

I saw shows in 79 different venues (82 when I include the Fringe and count Rarig and Augsburg as 1 each.)

Here's a link to a map showing where I saw shows in 2011: Performing Arts Attendance 2011, excluding the 56 Fringe shows.
Those break down as follows:

  • Bryant-Lake Bowl, Playwright's Center, Mill City Museum: 1
  • Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis Theater Garage: 2
  • Mixed Blood: 3
  • Gremlin, Theatre in the Round: 6
  • Lab Theater, Augsburg: 7
  • Rarig: 20


Performances Attended in 2011


  • January

    • Show Your Face - Betontanc/ Umka.Lv
    • Tandem - April Sellers & Rachel Damon
    • 24 Hour Play Project - Theatre Unbound
    • Raucous Caucus - Box Wine Theater
    • Gob Squad's Kitchen - Gob Squad
    • The Art of Seduction - Kimberly Richardson & Sara Richardson
    • The Bear - Genevieve Bennett
    • Igloo Glue - Sarah Agnew, Jim Lichtscheidl & Eriq Nelson
    • [Something Clever Goes Here] - Joanna Harmon & Ally Carey
    • Bonanza: A Documentary for Five Screens - Berlin
    • Compound / Complex - The New Theater Group
    • MacBeth... Rehearsing - Nightpath Theatre
    • Being Harold Pinter - Upright Egg & Commedia Beauregard
    • L'effet de Serge - Philippe Quesne / Vivarium Studio
    • Glengarry Glen Ross - Torch Theater
    • Helen - 20% Theater Company

  • February

    • The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - SPCPA
    • Penner vs. the Hydra - Maximum Verbosity
    • The Kirsten & Dean Show - Kirsten & Dean
    • Mary Stuart - MN Opera
    • Adrift on the Mississippi - MN History Theatre
    • Chocolates & Shame - Joking Envelope
    • Mean - Youth Performance Company
    • Brechtacle - a Brecht Cabaret - Bedlam, Novi Most, Four Humors, Mixed Precipitation, et. al.
    • Drakul - Walking Shadow
    • Mother Courage and Her Children - The Bricklayers
    • Masquerade fundraiser - Theatre Unbound
    • Vampire Lesbians of Sodom - Brazen Theater
    • The Balcony - Nimbus
    • Nest - Table Salt Productions
    • Vampire Lesbians of Sodom - Brazen Theater
    • 7-Shot Symphony - Live Action Set

  • March

    • Guys on Ice - Actors Theater of MN
    • Dido, Queen of Carthage - Theatre Pro Rata
    • Kevin Kling's Tales of Twin Cities - MN History Theatre
    • Hello Dolly - St. Kate's
    • Saved by the Bell Show - Dana's Boys
    • Basement Porn Party - Purplesquirrel Productions
    • La Traviata - MN Opera
    • Fargo - Sandbox Theatre
    • American as Curry Pie - MN History Theatre
    • Hamlet - Theatre in the Round
    • Age of Wordsworth - Four Humors
    • Murderess - Theatre Unbound
    • Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) - Swandive Theater
    • Woyzeck in the Highveld - William Kentridge/Handspring Puppet Co.
    • Cabaret - Frank Theatre
    • Michael Bay's Super Mario Armageddon - Comedy Suitcase
    • Bare - Minneapolis Musical Theater
    • Heaven - Flying Foot Forum
    • Little Shop of Horrors - Theatre Mu

  • April

    • April Fools - Four Humors
    • Feminine Venom - Lamb Lays With Lion
    • Frankenstein - National Theatre
    • Philip Glass
    • Avenue Q - Mixed Blood
    • 3 Awesome Performances - Tera, George, Paige & Carly
    • The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • The Seagull - Pioneer Place
    • bloodymerryjammyparty - Blank Slate
    • Uncle Vanya - Gremlin
    • Bridge and Tunnel - Or Die Trying - Martina's Cabaret
    • Blast Theory - A Machine To See With
    • Jaws: The Musical - The Monday Night Comedy Show
    • Wuthering Heights - MN Opera
    • The Small - Red Eye
    • Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story - MN History Theatre
    • The HMS Pacific Princess Boat - Theatre Arlo
    • Now Eye See You, Now Eye Don't - Off-Leash Area
    • Further Fidgety Fairy Tales - Matt Jensen & Marya Hart


  • May

    • 1, 2, Buckle My Shoe - St. Catherine University
    • All's Well That Ends Well - Classical Actors Ensemble
    • Spring Concert - Zenon Dance Zone
    • Desperation Panties - Freshwater Theatre
    • Danger! Will/Robinson - Table Salt Productions
    • Splendid Things - HUGE Theater
    • 10x10 Fest - Set A - Bedlam Theatre
    • 10x10 Fest - Set B - Bedlam Theatre
    • Come Hell and High Water - The MovingCompany
    • After the Quake - Walking Shadow
    • 10x10 Fest - Set C - Bedlam Theatre
    • Year of Magical Thinking - Nimbus
    • 5/5 of the Sound of Music - Dead Composers Society, Casebolt & Smith, Courney McLean, Sandbox Theatre, Theatre Arlo
    • Origins and Destinations - Young Dance
    • Festival of Awkward Moments - Freshwater Theatre
    • Sexy Librarian: File Under Rock Musical - Joking Envelope
    • Tommy Stinson / 4 On The Floor
    • Uptown: The Musical - Box Wine Theater
    • The Debate Over Courtney O'Connell of Columbus, Nebraska - New Theatre Group
    • One for the Road - Killing Joke
    • Even If We Never Look Forward - Sam Johns & George McConnell

  • June

    • The Beautiful Mind - Level Up Improv
    • Refreshments - Open Eye Figure Theatre
    • Force/Matter - Orchestra
    • That Face - 20% Theatre Company
    • Northern Spark Festival - various
    • The Rabbit Show - Third Rabbit
    • Afterlife - Candy Simmons
    • Beyond Therapy - Theatre in the Round
    • Julius Caesar - Cromulent Shakespeare Company
    • Tommy - Chameleon Theater Circle
    • Songbird - Upright Egg
    • The RMS Duchess of York - Savannah Reich
    • The Maids - Gonzo Theatre Group
    • Yes And Food improv
    • Runaways - Young Artists Council of YPC

  • July

    • Star Trek: The Next Improvisation / Splendid Things / Bearded Gentlemen & The Bennetts - HUGE Theater
    • Much Ado About Nothing - Theatre Terra Firma
    • A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum - Jungle Theater
    • Britney Spears / Nicki Minaj
    • Employee of the Year - The Producing House
    • The Rise of General Arthur - Maximum Verbosity
    • Buttercream & Scotch - Paige & Tatiana
    • Waiting for Godot - Theatre Pro Rata
    • Oh The Humanity and Other Good Intentions - Peanut Butter Factory
    • Fringe-for-All #1
    • Momentum: New Dance Works - Mad King Thomas & Kenna Cottman
    • Street Scene - Girl Friday Productions
    • Love Song - Buoyant Theater Collective
    • Fringe-for-All #2
    • The Happy Cafe - Four Humors
    • Ku Soo Dawadaa Xafadeena: Welcome to Our Neighborhood - Bedlam C.R.A.Z.Y. / Mixed Blood
    • Ex-Gays - Savage Umbrella

  • August

    • Grim Walks Tonight - Rainy Day Cabaret
    • Grimm: Happily Ever After - Circus Juventas
    • 56 shows in the MN Fringe Festival
    • The 612 - Rogues Gallery Arts
    • Groovers & Makers - Rhythmically Speaking
    • An Evening With JonBenet Ramsey
    • Life, Death & Everything in Between - Pommelhorse

  • September

    • Come Back, Egg Lady
    • A Don't Hug Me County Fair - CAMP Cabaret
    • Noir(ish) (staged reading) - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • Cat's Paw - Theatre Pro Rata
    • A Short Play about 9/11 - Workhaus Collective
    • The Book of Liz - Freshwater Theater
    • The Pride - Pillsbury House
    • Leonce & Lena - Dovetail Theater
    • Zafira the Olive Oil Warrior - Pangea World Theater
    • Yarrrh! The Lusty, Busty Pirate Musical - Fortune's Fool
    • The Good Body - Gadfly Theater
    • Swans / Sir Richard Bishop
    • Extraordinary Terms of Ordinary Life - Four Humors
    • Reasons to be Pretty - Walking Shadow
    • Style Not Sincerity - Hardcover Theatre

  • October

    • Cosi fan Tutte - MN Opera
    • Young Bridge - Young Dance
    • Neighbors - Mixed Blood
    • Beyond the Rainbow - MN History Theatre
    • Trojan Women - Green T Productions
    • Tommy - Pioneer Place
    • The Birth of Venus - 20% Theatre Co
    • The Reluctant Debutante - TRP
    • The K of D, An Urban Legend - Illusion Theater
    • Pinocchio - Jon Ferguson Theatre
    • Medea & Jason: A Rubicon Waltz - Flower Shop Project
    • Scarlet Woman - Sunsetgun Productions
    • How to Date a Werewolf (reading) - Matthew Everett
    • The Accidental Death of an Anarchist - Nimbus
    • Anna Bella Eema - Theatre Unbound
    • The Woman in Black - Chameleon Theatre Circle
    • The Picnic - Off-Leash Area
    • A Celebration of the Life of Tom Poole
    • Poetry Reading - Bob Grunst
    • Fallout: Haunted Theater - Loring Theater
    • Scooby Doo - Dana's Boys
    • Il Campiello - 10,000 Things
    • Fever/Dream (reading) - Theatre Pro Rata

  • November

    • Firsty Thursday - Four Humors
    • Private Eyes - Phoenix Theater Project
    • The Learning Fairy - Open Eye Figure Theater
    • Farewell Legacy Tour - Merce Cunningham Dance Company
    • The Mad Trapper of Rat River - Sandbox Theatre
    • Crimes of the Heart - St. Kate's
    • After Miss Julie - Gremlin Theater
    • The Ravagers - Savage Umbrella
    • Going to the Soiree - Kinetic Evolutions
    • Dial M for Murder - Shadowplay Theater
    • Supernatural Wife - Big Dance Theater
    • 'Tis A Gift - Black Dirt Theater
    • Bang Bang Miss American Pie - The Ghost Light Group
    • Satyagraha (HD Broadcast) - Metropolitan Opera
    • Silent Night - MN Opera
    • Ajax in Iraq - Frank Theatre
    • You Only Live Forever Once - Four Humors
    • Skinner Box - Four Humors
    • Tellabration 2011 - Northstar Storytelling League

  • December

    • All Wrapped Up - MN Performdance
    • Spiked, Too - Table Salt Productions
    • Ducklings, Rocks & Squad Cars - Nick Ochs / I Am Hopsack - Jeff Shockley
    • The Harty Boys Save Christmas - Comedy Suitcase
    • Naked Stages: Don't Cry for Me - Paulino Brener & In and Out of the Body - Moe Lionel
    • How to Cheat - Alan Berks & Co.
    • Winter Concert - Zenon Dance Zone
    • Woyzeck - Nimbus
    • Fezziwig's Feast - Actors Theatre of MN
    • Bob's Holiday Office Party - Actors Theatre of MN
    • The Comedy Roast of Mr. Scrooge - Actors Theatre of MN
    • The Eight: The Reindeer Monologues - Workhouse Theater
    • Present Project: Surviving the Wrapture - Upright Egg
    • A Klingon Christmas Carol - Commedia Beauregard
    • Hot Corn - Bedlam
    • Inspecting Carol - St. Croix Festival Theater
    • Man Saved by Condiments - Theatre Arlo
    • Winter Dreams Cabaret - Heart of the Beast
    • Hot Corn - Bedlam
    • Happy Crazy New Year - Dangerous Productions
    • Baby New Year's Time Traveling Diaper Party - Comedy Suitcase



Key:
red = dance
blue = other

Writer's Block: Thank You Month

When was the last time you said thank you?


I say it so often that I don't remember the last time I said it. I thank servers in restaurants, people who hold open doors, my cast for their excellent work, and all sorts of other people throughout the day. My parents taught me courtesy.

Writer's Block: Don’t look back in anger

Do you have any regrets from this year?

Only one - I regret staying in a relationship for about a month or so longer than I should have. I did so only because she was stressed at work due to various snafus in the process of going from temp to full-time and I didn't want to compound her stress.

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

If you could solve one problem in the world, what would it be? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]

Poverty. It is a root cause of so many other problems - educational inequity, hunger, homelessness, crime.

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays

What is your must-see holiday movie? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]


Die Hard.

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