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So we just finished yet another Twin Ports festival that brought joy to many and parking to few. I'm talking about the Bridge Festival, held earlier this month at Bayfront Park. The Bridge Festival came on the heels of the Tribute Fest, which was preceded by the Rhubarb Festival, the Blues Festival, Dylan Fest, Fourth Fest, Fifth Fest, a Fifth of Dylan's Rhubarb Fest and every other festive festival under the sun, except for summer festivals which are not held under the sun, but smothered in fog. We seem to have a Twin Ports festival for everything.
So last week was super-busy and I'm afraid I didn't get my column done. Every time I sat down to work on it, another fire popped up that I had to put out. Finally, I had to admit that relocating my writing desk into the fireplace was probably not my best idea. (My best idea would be Brian's Bacon Britches.) Luckily, I had a few random thoughts tucked away for just such an occasion, so please enjoy these while I search for another place to keep my ballpoint pens warm. Hey, wait a minute ...
So how'd you do in your fantasy draft? Did you find your man? Were you able to get your hands on all the tight ends you had your eyes on? Did it just get hot in here? HEY! Get your minds out of the gutter! I'm talking about NFL fantasy football drafts, where fans all across the country gear up for another exciting season of professional football. Unless they live in Minnesota. These drafts are always a good time as friends get together and, armed with stats, projections, files and cheese that squirts out of a can, pretend they can actually afford to own a team.
So, it's that time of year. The end-of-summer-beginning-of-fall-Halloween-is-coming-we'll-zoom-through-Thanksgiving-then-Christmas-will-be-falling-down-the-chimney-faster-than-you-can-scream-WHERE-THE-#$@!$-DID-MY-YEAR-GO?! time of year, which can only mean one thing: Time to stock up on those run-on sentence dashes. OK, it means two things. The sentence-dash thing, and, if you had any Northland summer plans, you'd better quit talking about them yesterday and get cracking on them today. Because, like a bad case of Chinese food, you're not getting any Egg Foo Younger. Let me help.
So, when we last convened for our weekly writer/reader get-together, I was recounting the joys of traveling, of which there are exactly two: getting home, and, uh ... I forget the other one.
So I have a question for Sam Cook, the Duluth News Tribune columnist who travels more than an NBA point guard, dragging his canoe all over Minnesota as well as strange, weird, foreign lands like Wisconsin and Canada. I just want to know one thing, Sam: How the heck do you take all those trips without dissolving into a drooling monkey who rolls around in the mud while muttering “mestayhomemestayhome” over and over again? My wife and I are not travelers. Never have been. A lovely weekend jaunt to the Twin Cities, for us, is a colon-clencher.
So we all sort of lurch through life like monkeys on muscle relaxants, paying little attention to the signs that are continually mashed into our faces by a higher authority like God or Oprah. Or maybe that’s just me. Admittedly, my mind is often preoccupied with Very Important Things, such as how to corner Bill Murray at a Huskies game and pitch him my idea for “Ghostbusters 3” (a Giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Venkman!), so I tend to be a bit slow to notice my surroundings.
So it’s finally hot enough around here to cause all our drool-covered faces in the Chipotle line at the mall to get even wetter as the scalp sweat comes gushing down. And we couldn’t be happier. That’s how badly we were wounded by that Winter That Wouldn’t Leave. Or how much we lo-o-o-ve our out-of-town guacamole. Either way, I can’t concentrate on a column today; I’ve got a line to go stand in! So it’s time to dip back into the Random Thoughts vault which I keep hidden deep within the bowels of my mind.
So you know how you look forward to doing a thing because the last time you did the thing it was awesome but then when you start doing the thing not only is it not awesome anymore but the thing is actually the opposite-of-awesome thing? Sort of like when you started reading this week’s column? Well, the Matuszak clan recently experienced one of these days and while it was a pain in the hoo-hah* at the time, we ended up learning an important lesson about summer plans and spending time together as a family. Don’t worry. This isn’t an After-School-Special-kinda column.
So there’s a super-huge collaboration coming up soon that’s going to make Duluthians sob harder than Provoidians who lost that Best Outdoor City thing because they were actually outdoors and not sitting inside clicking a billion times on the basement computer. This upcoming partnership to which I’m referring is between the Duluth Playhouse (Slogan: “Printing theater money since 1914”), the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra (“If it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it”) and the Minnesota Ballet (“Hey, at least it’s not the Nutcracker”).