MSP, Litchfield, Bar Camp

Bar Camp Pahtee: Zeitgeist
So working in reverse chronologically, met up with some Bar Campers at Zeitgeist yesterday. Got to work my local mojo by getting this Viennese guy without a passport or ID by the doorman. I used the old: nonchalance, confidence, distraction and acknowledgement method. First, guy walks behind me. Second, I’m far too old to card. Third, there is a distraction right in front of us taking bar door guy’s attention. Fourth, I wave and say “remember me?” in honest query (not being too chummy) and he waves me on. Viennese passes muster. Whoo-wee! I got a free drink out of the interaction. Lots of interesting folks there- discussing BLOMIT, the 43things site, how to really tell if someone is reading your blog (heather, no idea what you meant by siteminder fyi), political campaigning software, etc. Good times, good times.

MSP, the airport code I can’t remember
Now onto Minneapolis St. Paul airport fiasco! I had a ticket for 12:40AM Thursday, sent it around to folks to pick me up from airport, to sister to catch same flight, etc. and none ofus realized it was the early morning of Thursday, not the late night of Thursday. SO Amy and I get to the airport and the ticketing agnt informs us we missed our flight. That’s the second time I’ve missed a funeral! I quickly got into tears of frustration. The clerk was nice and waved a change fee, and we got on standby for the flight we thought we were taking originally. They merged flights so it was super crowded, and the Northwest strike was starting that day at 11pm so we were on tenderhooks. We stayed there until 1am, drinking wine and reading Oprah, and finally got on. Amy cried w/ tears of joy when we found out. I really couldn’t stand missing out on two funerals (post where I missed flight by 3 seconds last winter).

Third part: the tiny-ass town of Litchfield, which, by other Minnesotans, is actually considered large. No Starbucks. Glee and fear surrounded me as the espresso machine was also broken down in the only cafe in the town. The first good coffee was got about 3 days later at Cafe Divine! Glorious. So head out to Nicola’s (she has a site! excellent!) if you’re ever on Highway 12 and need a good eggle (bagel/egg sandwich). Other events of note (despite sad occasion). The father saying “the church ladies will serve dinner” in the hall. So, dinner is lunch, and “church ladies” !!! Sigh. Beautiful weather in the 80s, and not as many mosquitos as you might expect. Compared to Baltimore the humidity wasn’t unmanageable. Just like Cousin Vinny, the train thundered past the hotel about three times during the night. My nephew lept out of bed exclaiming, “How cool! A train!” haha.

Swedish Institute
So even though we’re the California cousins, my parents spent their first year of marital bliss as caretakers of Minnesota’s Swedish heritage, the Swedish Institute. Fascinating building, and we got a tour of the other offices that were formerly my parents residence. Despite my Dad having the permission to shoot pigeons off the roofs, there was a large clear sign at the entrance that no arms were permitted on the premesis!

Wyatt McDill, Sundance Director’s Circle
I caught up with a local MPLS friend who has some new claim to fame- got chosen as the director’s circle at Sundance for his film, SnowBirds, after the people and the song by Ann Murray (hack, cough, vomit). In 98 he went to Slamdance with a short, “Shortwave”. I haven’t seen either! Have to organize some kind of screening out here.

Back Home: Take Home Patisserie from Cafe Divine
Travel partner & sister Amy and I recovered Sunday afternoon and walked through the village to get some pastries from Brioche Bakery. Amy is my connection to the wonderful world of food blogs. Chocolate & Zucchini, 101 cookbooks, Delicious! Delicious!, etc. I wanted to show off some of the local food places but they were all closed. The tops, of course, are Brioche Cafe and XOX Truffles, but we suffered Cafe Divine and were rewarded for an excellent cafe au lait and cortado, with a not-super-sweet cinnamon roll, fluffy and great croissant, and lemon scone. SF is so crowded compared to all points midwest. Construction in front of Cafe Roma didn’t help with the culture shock. The intense crowd at Zeitgeist was extreme too.