worth the wait

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and a doodle a day brings creativity your way.  The poem’s my own, and while I’m no sage, I’d be willing to bet a five or ten spot that it holds some truth.  
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To inspire creativity in Minneapolis, I covered a bus stop with butcher paper and colored pencils.  Made me think of changing the ‘whistle while you work’ song to something like ‘doodle while you wait.’
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The random act of happiness was inspired by the League of Creative Interventionist‘s March mission to make bus stops more playful.  Pretty cool idea for a creative intervention, right?  You can see how they come up with project ideas by watching conversational videos on their blog.
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I had barely finished hanging paper when people wandered past and asked what I was up to.  After providing some background info, I found myself doodling with 3 awesome strangers.  One of them happened to be a Minneapolis artist.
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Does it surprise you that the three of us are getting together next week?  Proof that we never know what the day holds for us, right?
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The strangers asked about other projects I’ve done in the city, and it reminded me of a ‘poetry takeover’ I staged in bus stops last year.  If you didn’t get to read about it, you can see the post here:
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Have you ever made friends in an interesting way?  Any ideas for making bus stops more fun?

poetic distraction

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We had a wonderful weekend of, well, not much, and it could not have been more wonderful.  I made breakfast-in-bed on Sunday, and then used my good deed to convince Jon to do a rah rah rah project with me.  Of course he didn’t need much convincing, but he asked if I’d take a new work picture of him first, and if we could see Gravity in 3D after. Yes and yes, check check check.

I got a little playful with his work request, and drove us to a hotel downtown known for luxurious work spaces.  Jon got new photos for the company directory and LinkedIn, and I had fun pretending I needed a new company photo too.  Would either of these work?
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After Jon got the most serious pictures possible (and I got the most silly, of course) we did a rah rah rah project that I’ve been looking forward to for a while: decorating bus-stops with poetry packets.

I did the gratitude experiment last Friday, and my list of things to be grateful for looks something like this:
1. Family
2. Friends
3. Literature
4. Comedy
5.  Art
6. Poetry
7. Chocolate
8. Sunny days
(The order gets confusing after #2)

I wanted to incorporate poems into my random acts of happiness, and I figured that people waiting for the bus (especially on a cold day) might appreciate a poetic distraction.

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I put 5-6 poems in each of the packets, but all of them included my  favorite:

Marriage
By Lawrence Raab

Years later they find themselves talking
about chances, moments when their lives
might have swerved off
for the smallest reason.

   What if
I hadn’t phoned, he says, that morning?
What if you’d been out,
as you were when I tried three times
the night before?

                          Then she tells him a secret.
She’d been there all evening, and she knew
he was the one calling, which was why
she hadn’t answered.

                               Because she felt—
because she was certain—her life would change
if she picked up the phone, said hello,
said, I was just thinking
of you.

            I was afraid,
she tells him. And in the morning
I also knew it was you, but I just
answered the phone

                          the way anyone
answers a phone when it starts to ring,
not thinking you have a choice.

instant tradition

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The best part about being an adult is making your childhood dreams come true on a grand scale.  I’ve been hula-hooping since I could walk (truth: I started ballet when I was 3.. and.. well.. it’s kind of the same thing, right? I mean, balance and movement and what not. Nevermind, just go with it), and I always wished.wished.wished I could hula hoop somewhere besides my garage.  I mean, who likes huling around all the junk that didn’t fit in the house? Not me.  I shook it left and right and promised myself I would hula in coola places when I was older.

Since I figure that most people have dreams just like mine, I decided to host a hula hoop competition on the streets of Minneapolis.  The pictures tell the story:

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turnip the beet

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Weird is wonderful and the silliest people are my favorite.  That’s the mentality that makes a fanny-pack-attack a typical Sunday night adventure.

I told Lauren that fanny packs were making a comeback, and rather than question my line of reasoning, she simply replied that fanny packs could hold large quantities of chalk.  Smart girl, right?

Lauren skipped the fashion debate and suggested a sidewalk art project.  A couple texts later we decided that I would sew two fanny packs, fill them with chalk, and meet her outside our apartment at 7pm.   By nightfall, we had covered the sidewalks outside our building with a dozen happy messages. Rah rah rah, y’all. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage1-IMG_93191-IMG_93241-IMG_9327

let’s play tattoo shop

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I like calling my friends to see if they can play.  I started making the formal request in the 6th grade, and I never quite broke the habit.  Friends tell me that it’s not ‘play’ if you’re running errands or going to music festivals or baking a cake, but I persist. Maybe I just like the question.  Strangers try and tell me I’m too old for play, but I can’t hear them because I’m busy on the swings.

I wanted to incorporate play into my RAH RAH RAH series, and so, quite naturally, I decided tattoo parlor would be a fun game.  I designed temporary tattoos on my computer, printed them out, and then called my friends to see if they would play with me.  Lauren agreed under the condition that she could pick out tattoos for strangers.  Chrissy, being difficult, said she would only play if she could place the tattoos on strange body parts.

And so, our trio headed into the streets of Minneapolis to give temporary tattoos to strangers.  We figured that 50% of people would find us annoying and 50% would get a tattoo for kicks. We were very, very wrong. 90% of people wanted tattoos, and our shop closed down from lack of supply within an hour:
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I was typing this post and thinking about how awesome Chrissy and Lauren are.  Top notch, really.   Here is your  chance to get to know them:
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If you want to download the tattoos I made, you can find them here : tattoo.

rolling around in ice cream

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People often ask how life changed when I got married.  The question fills my head with pictures of me&Jon pulling the car over to run through sprinklers, getting in trouble for popcorn fights at the movies, and staying up all night (on a Tuesday) to watch every episode of Breaking Bad. 

It seems that people expect me to lament over all the cooking and cleaning, but the apartment only takes 30 minutes to clean (it’s as tiny as a treehouse), and I love cooking meals and hosting dinner parties.

There seems to be a stigma that being married makes you grown-up.  Dear reader, I’m here to upend that nonsense.  I may have a ring on my finger, but my childhood definitely isn’t over. No way, no how. I decided long ago that I would prolong childhood as long as possible, and I’m still reaping the benefits of that glorious decision.  So bring on the puddle stomping, the pillow fights, and the opportunities to play with my food.
ImageYayLabs! supported my love for playing with food by sending me an ice cream ball.  If you know me, then you’re realizing that not many things would make me much happier. I love ice cream (and cookies, brownies, fudge, candy – I have very sweet teeth), games, and any excuse try something new.

The ice cream ball only works when shared with others. Literally. After you pour in the 3 or 4 ingredients needed for your dream concoction (flavors range from chocolate covered cherry to toasted coconut fudge), you need to roll the ball around for approximately 20 minutes.  Perfect for a rah rah rah experiment, right?

You’re already probably guessing what came next, and you’re right: I took the gadget to the lake and made ice cream with strangers:
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ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageIf you’re thinking that the pictures in this post look better than usual, that’s because Justina Louise spent the day with me again.  It’s somewhat like heaven to have a friend that works as a wedding photographer but enjoys photographing goofy experiments.  It’s also awesome that Apricot Lane keeps making me look so fly in all the photographs.  Thanks for making playtime so much fun y’all 🙂

rock-a-shaying in the bathtub

ImageWhat would it be like to blow bubbles in a bubble bath while chewing bubble gum?  Is that even possible?  Should I try it, dear readers? I mean, come on, I would have a bathing suit on (duh) so it’s not like you would see nudie pics or anything.

You know what, the whole image of me rock-a-shaying in a bathtub filled head-to-toe with bubbles makes me so excited that I am going to actually do this.  Jon is out of town for the weekend, and so there isn’t anyone to tell me that I’m making a mess in the bathroom. Or that bubbles are for kids.  Silly rabbit! Trix are for kids. Or something like that. (That’s a cereal reference if you weren’t born in the 80’s).

To add a rah rah rah factor to the experiment, I’m also going to incorporate some strangers into the fun (no, I am not inviting strangers into the bathtub).  I’m taking some bubbalicious, bumbazooka, and ballpark bubbles to the park for a bubblegum blowing competition.  I might even get that gum with animal tattoos – that would be a fun after project, right?

Anyway, you can tell that I wrote the post before the experiment, but here are the photos that followed:
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the sunset on the way home was so gorgeous that i pulled over and watched it from the roof of the jeep:
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Be on the lookout for the bubble party in the tub – that is step 2 of this project.  In the meantime, try and tell me that I wouldn’t be best-friends with np in this movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBopFmu3yAg

Oh, and check out this song—it’s van-task-ick: 

And one last, very important thing – if you’re thinking I’m looking better than normal, it’s all because of Kristine at Apricot Lane in St. Louis Park. She styled me up so I wouldn’t be wearing the same outfit two days in a row (see the last two posts).  Thanks Kristine!!

candy from a stranger

ImageWould you take candy from a stranger?  No?  Well, what about on Halloween?  Then I bet you would.  Even the parental warning to ‘never take candy from a stranger’ has an exception to the rule.

I made edible street art out of candy the other day, and I’m hoping that my neighbors ate the entire wall over the past 48 hours.  The project made me wonder if my neighbors would hesitate before taking candy from a stranger.  Maybe you think they should refrain altogether, but, dear reader, I don’t.  If you’ll take candy from a stranger on Halloween, you can eat a street mural made of gumdrops and starbursts.

Today, I’m setting out to dispel the notion that we shouldn’t accept candy from a stranger.  Why, you ask?  It’s all about possibility.  I believe that a stranger is more likely to give you a sweet treat than something deadly.  Don’t you agree? I suppose there is no guarantee, but isn’t that just indicative of life itself?
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I believe we need to seek out the unexpected. Make room for whimsy, if you will.  We take a chance each time we interact with a stranger (we can’t be sure of their motives or temperament ), but we also open ourselves up to the possibility that they make us laugh, share a great story, or, potentially, become a friend.

“I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stunned by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word.” — Augusten Burroughs

I believe that taking risks and making experiments allow you to life a creative life.  Risks backfire, best intentions fail, and we don’t always achieve what we strive for.  But the negative outcomes make the best stories.   And as for me, I would rather be a dazzling failure than sitting in my rocking chair wishing I had taken chances.  For me, the hope or possibility that the risks are worth the reward is enough to take the leap of faith.

When the stakes are high, the challenge is great, and it’s easy to shy away from the opportunity.  But what then? All is lost.  You might seek and fail, but if you don’t seek, you will fail without doubt. And so, dear reader, I advise you take a risk today.  Perhaps start by taking candy from a stranger.  If strangers aren’t handing out candy, then find another risk – something closer to your heart, and see where it leads you.
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The best part of this random act of happiness wasn’t the candy or the laugher, it was working with Justina Louise.  Justina is an ah-may-zing wedding photographer in the Twin Cities, and she took the day off work to be silly with me.  Check out her work, and say hello — she’s lovely!

naked cake party in the streets

A gathering without cake is just a meeting.  Cake transforms events into parties, and the sweet treat has been the honorary centerpiece of birthdays and weddings for centuries.  Last night I threw a party in the streets, and i brought … Continue reading

it’s not what you look at, it’s what you see

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hubs and i decided to escape the city and spend the day romping the backroads in the jeep.  we didn’t make plans for the day, just decided to go where the roads took us.  with jon driving, that usually means we end up somewhere incredibly gorgeous, rural, and surprisingly fun.  this time, we ended up at woodland hill winery.
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we chatted with the owners about minnesota grapes while we sipped their wine (i’m a fan of the summer breeze), and then we trekked out of doors to check out the corvette show on the lawn (corvette shows at vineyards? apparently so…)  I wanted to play the license plate game (we’re not really car people), and so i made jon jaunt around with me to find the neatest one.  we had two contenders:
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i got excited about the swthrts, and i asked a woman to take a photo of us with the plate:
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after the picture, the woman turned to me and asked “what’s so special about sweatshirts?” oh lordy, i giggled, and told her it was a license plate for sweethearts.  it’s not what you look at, but what you see, right?  we left the show and ventured into the woods to do what we do best, play:
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after, we decided to head somehow we’ve never been: the canterburry racetrack.  45 minutes of windblown hair later, we arrived to find out it was extreme race day — a celebration of racing that includes horses, camels, ostriches, and zebras.
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