Monday, June 21, 2010

Book And A Movie

Lonesome Dove, Pulitzer prize-winning western novel by Larry McMurty and one of the best books I've ever read.

Brief synopsis: a group of cowboys herding cows from Texas to Montana. A journey that will matter-of-factly destroy any reader's small, cherished delusion of a romantic wild, wild west. Life threatening, and ending, situations are concisely described in less than a paragraph, leaving you with a punched in the stomach feeling.

They make it. Sort of.

Of course the book is better but I won't waste time comparing it to the movie, which is, on its own, excellent. Robert Duvall steals the show as the philosophizing Gus. Tommy Lee Jones is alright as Call, but -ok one comparison- he's a little doofy and not quite the stoic, competent leader of the book.
I'd suggest read then watch. Or you can watch than read. Whatever, it's your life.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Times in the hood

Grand Old Day- Grand Ave St. Paul Minnesota. A state fair teaser, but since it's Grand Old DAY (singular) you have with comfort of knowing you're not getting food fried in week old grease. Fresh-grease fried mini donuts.

Since I live a block away from Grand I decided to go for it and do everything, starting with the 5K. I discovered running with a big group of people is fun, and cheering spectators are a helpful feature that should be installed along all the cities' running paths. Also helpful when running races: training. I left that part out... but, whatever. Formal registration ensured I was up and going at the unthinkable weekend hour of 8AM.

The other wonderful part about Grand Old Day is the collection of music tents that allows you to stage-hop down the street and check out tons of bands. Outdoor music is great because it's always super fun, regardless of quality.

One band was some kind of rap group that tried to establish gansta' street cred by taking the stage and immediately shouting, 'We're from mother f---in St. Paul!' This attempt failed because they pointed out they were from St. Paul. They probably rode their bikes to the concert venue, stopping for lunch at the local food co-op. Another band, 'Iron City', was better despite a tendency to convert 5 minute songs into 15 minute self-indulgent ballads. Rain, unfortunately, put an end to their iPod shuffle playlist of Prince, Bob Marley and Johnny Cash, so we had to buy some cheese curds and make a quick exit.

This type of thing always makes me excited for the State Fair. Last year, probably due to misguided ideas about wise usage of time and money, I didn't go. This year, I've recovered and will go twice.