Category Archives: Tales of the Neighborhood

Art Journaling Monday (now with bonus flamingo-themed Little Free Library)

Welcome back to Art Journaling Monday! 🙂

Plus some photos from my walk around Lake of the Isles yesterday – it was 85F and gloriously sunny. (The high today is supposed to be at least 20F cooler.)

The flamingo house has added a flamingo-themed Little Free Library and flamingo chair.

Chess, anyone?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust this trash bin. At all.

“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Chaos (completely not dead, not matter how this picture looks)

The Codex Leicester instead of the Misadventures

Once again got busy doing stuff today and ran out of time for the Misadventures. Whoops. 🙂 (And also once again forgot to schedule the post before publishing. D’oh!)

So, instead I’ll show you the pages from one of my art journals about seeing Leonardo da Vinci, The Codex Leicester, and the Creative Mind at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on August 14. Collaged my ephemera from the event, the article in my neighborhood newspaper (without which I would never have heard about the exhibit), and some relevant images from an old encyclopedia and an old dictionary. I wrote a bit about seeing the exhibit with the tiny amount of space I had left, then used a gold colored pencil throughout to unify everything.

If you are anywhere near Minneapolis, I highly recommend that you visit this exhibit before it closes on August 30!

Click to embiggen any of the photos.

*still enthralled* *doesn’t believe it’s just a branch* -Chaos

Open Streets Minneapolis 2015: Lyndale Avenue

Congrats to laurie, who won Enforcing Emory by Mickie B Ashling!

Congrats to Luci, who won Love Found on Lindisfarne by JL Merrow! Love Found on Lindisfarne was released June 7 by JMS Books.

No Misadventure today! Instead, some pictures from my neighborhood. On Sunday, I went to Open Streets on Lyndale Avenue. It’s very cool – for six hours, they closed Lyndale to cars from 22nd Street down to 42nd Street. People were walking, biking, and skateboarding down Lyndale without worrying about getting hit by a car. The first picture is from just as things were getting started – there weren’t a lot of people out and about yet. (Looking north up Lyndale from between 25th and 26th Streets.)

This was a couple of hours later, looking north up Lyndale at 33rd. I picked a quiet spot because stopping and taking a picture in one of the busy areas (with booths, food trucks, yoga in the street, etc) was likely to get me run down by a cyclist. 🙂

Yes. Yes, it does.

The historic Lyndale Theater is now a brew pub with a rooftop deck.

I love the giant stainless steel bull’s head over the door at Bull Run Coffee at 34th and Lyndale.

*glaring* -Mayhem

*smug* -Chaos

Linkity’s jammin’ with Paul Bunyan

Congrats to Monica, who won Owner of My Heart (Mending the Rift #2) (2nd ed) by Valentina Heart!



Think, Make, Learn, Do


Gluten Free



Cool or Wha…?



Teh Cute

Reading Update
Ideas & Inspirations for Art Journals & Sketchbooks by Suzanne McNeill. Ok short collection of examples from McNeill’s own “Sketch-Journals”, along with some tips for starting your own such journal and a list of basic supplies.
Painting Nature in Watercolor with Cathy Johnson: 37 Step-By-Step Demonstrations Using Watercolor Pencil and Paint by Cathy Johnson. Very good book about using watercolors (primarily watercolor pencils) to capture scenes from nature, ranging from forests to mountains to water to desert. Lots of great detail about technique and materials, too. (In the conclusion, Johnson mentions her friend Hannah Hinchman – I can definitely see similarities in their styles and subject matter!)
I am AspienGirl: The Unique Characteristics, Traits and Gifts of Females on the Autism Spectrum by Tania A Marshall. This was an odd book. Each page had a quote from an “AspienGirl”, another from some sort of adult caregiver (parents, teachers, grandparents, psychologists, etc), and a photo. The appendices had additional detail about typical characteristics/symptoms of females with Aspergers/high functioning autism and how female characteristics differ from those of males. The overall effect was chaotic and shallow. Plus the whole “AspienGirl”(r) annoyed me…

“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Chaos

“…zzzzzzzzzzzzzz…” -Mayhem

I am not sure how May can breathe whilst sleeping on her face like that…

Linkity is done and ready to be scheduled and it still doesn’t have a title



Do, Think, Learn, Make


Gluten Free





Teh Cute

Reading Update
Basic Colored Pencil Techniques by Bet Borgeson. Very good book that’s exactly what’s on the tin. 🙂 I think I saw this used in Uptown a couple weeks ago – I’m going to check to see if it’s still there. It’ll be easier to use as a reference if I have a physical copy on hand, instead of repeatedly borrowing the ebook from the library. (Found it used at Magers & Quinn – yay!)
Journal It! Perspective in Creative Journaling by Jenny Doh. Gorgeous and inspiring words and images on keeping an art journal from 19 artists. Since I had to take a break in the middle of reading it to go art, I’d definitely recommend it for those looking for inspiration.

*trying to decide if Mayhem is being annoying enough by existing that he needs to go find somewhere else to nap* -Chaos

*vaguely annoyed by the giant catlick cowlick Chaos left behind her right ear* -Mayhem

One of those times linkity doesn’t really have a title because I couldn’t think of one

Congrats to Yvette, who won Tempting the Stars (Red Dragon #3) by Becky Black!

Congrats to Alder, who won Axel’s Pup (Werewolves & Dragons #1) by Kim Dare!

Photos from My Neighborhood



Make, Do, Think, Learn


Gluten Free



Cool or Wha…?



Teh Cute

Reading Update
Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway. Ok paranormal romance about a woman who moves to Pierre, South Dakota, to get away from an “unhealthy influence” who’d encouraged her “delusions” that magic was real. After she gets elected as coroner, she discovers maybe she isn’t quite as delusional as she thought… This book seemed to be trying to cram in an awful lot of plot and subsequently felt like it was all over the place.
Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. Very good, very thoughtful book about becoming more aware of our place in nature, starting with the tiny bits of nature available in the cities in which so many of us live. Haupt uses the example of crows throughout the book to illustrate both that our environmental balance is dangerously out of whack (allowing a few dominant species such as crows to thrive as more sensitive species decline) and that nature, even if it’s “just” crows, persists wherever we are.
Chasing the Light: The Cloud Cult Story by Mark Allister. I really have no idea what to say about the book, just because I love this band so much. And I knew that their music and shows have affected me deeply, but until I read this book, I had no idea how profoundly they’ve affected others. The transformative, healing power of music? This is it. You can actually listen to the entirety of my favorite album of theirs, Light Chasers on YouTube. If 16 songs is too much, please at least try “There’s So Much Energy in Us” and “Room Full of People in My Head”.
A Life in Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal by Hannah Hinchman. I picked this up at a used bookstore over the weekend and am well pleased that I did. It’s a delightful read about both using words and sketches in one’s journal, as tools to provide insight and aid observation. I jotted down a number of quotes from it and can see myself revisiting its exercises when I need journaling inspiration. If you read this book, make sure you do so in a format that allows you to see all the author’s drawings integrated with the text throughout.

*intent pose of intentness* -Mayhem

Just another Misadventureless Monday

Congrats to Carolyn, who won Trick or Treat by JL Merrow!

I just needed a little Misadventures break this week – tune in next week when we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming! 🙂

Meanwhile, check out the view from my chaise lounge when I look up from working on my laptop (click to embiggen for the full effect):

Here’s a lovely maple in front of the Linden Hills Library last weekend:

“See how nice and quiet it is without any naughty boys, Mom?!” -Mayhem

Misadventures vacation, Week 3 – Now with more storm pictures than you’d expect from that title!

Congrats to Maya, who won The Match Before Christmas (2nd ed) by Eden Winters!

Congrats to Susan A, Karl, Samantha, Cynthia, and bheds, who won Reach for the Moon (Alejo & Bobby) by Val Kovalin!

Congrats to batchelorboy55, who won Damned If You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow! Damned If You Do will be released on June 24 by Riptide Publishing.

The Misadventures vacation continues!

Friday night at around 7:45 pm, I noticed that it was nearly completely black outside – not normal when the sun doesn’t set until 9 pm. And then the severe thunderstorm hit, with winds gusting to nearly 70 mph in some places. At 8 pm, I lost power for the next 30 hours.

More about the storm from the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio.

Some scenes from my neighborhood on Saturday – click to embiggen.

“The storm was very, very scary!! I hid under the couch for safety.” -Mayhem

In which I share some photos from TCPride and give away *gasp* PAPER books [CONTEST CLOSED]

This was the 40th year of TCPride. Hundreds of thousands of people turn out every year to support GLTBTQ Minnesotans and it usually restores my faith in humanity for a while. 🙂 The big issue this year is the Anti-Marriage Amendment that will be on the ballot in November. Voting “No” means that you oppose defining, in the Minnesota State Constitution, marriage as being between one man and one woman. (One of my memorable Pride moments was trying to explain the Anti-Marriage Amendment to two Japanese tourists whilst having an asthma attack sans inhaler. Oy.)

First the pictures, then the contest. Onward!

From the Pride Parade comes this fascinating melange – the Chipotle float in the upper left, Obama reelection supporters in the upper right, and the “Mayor Rybak Says Just Vote No” crowd in front. Kudos to all the politicians who are taking a stand on this! (Remember, you can click on the pictures to embiggen them.)

Marriage was a theme throughout the Parade.

Why, yes, those are guys dressed as slices of cake riding on Segways.

And it wouldn’t be Pride without a little skin…

Here’s the drag queen who hugged me after I took her picture.

I was very impressed by all the churches and religious organizations showing their support and inclusiveness.

An idyllic scene from Loring Park after the Parade: statue, drag queen, same-sex couple.

One of my favorite parts of Pride is the QLibrary tent, where used books are sold. (This is not a picture of the tent. This is a picture of the QLibraryMobile from the Pride Parade. In case you were confused.)

And guess what? The QLibrary tent is where I got the paperback books that I’m going to give away. 🙂 (Please note that in some cases, I have listed an ebook edition in my Goodreads link. That’s just so you can see what the correct cover looks like!)

  1. Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. A guy puts everything on the line to find the love of his life – who got away 20 years ago – in this funny, touching, fast-paced novel. This is one of those books that just doesn’t work as an ebook.
  2. Willow Bend by Ally Blue. Can two men from different worlds cut the ties binding them to heartaches past and present, and make a life together?
  3. Stress Relief by BA Tortuga. Amos thinks he’s gotten away from it all, heading off to the wilderness after the wild life in the city leads him right into an early retirement. Dave thinks he’s gotten over Amos, moving on with his life and driving himself to success at all costs. They’ve gone their separate ways, and think they’re happy with what they’ve made of their lives. So what happens when these two meet up on Dave’s long overdue vacation, forced on him by his personal assistant?
  4. The Painted House by Drew Zachary. Gabriel Nash looks for a beach house in Nova Scotia, hoping to find something perfect for the new movie he’s working on. When he sees Marc’s house, he knows it’s just right. Marc doesn’t want to deal with the movie people, but he wouldn’t mind having Gabriel around.
  5. Center by Sean Michael. This edition combines two previous novels by Sean Michael, The Center of Earth and Sky and Painting the Desert.
  6. Nothing Personal and Nick of Time by Scott & Scott. (Yup, given away as a set.) Nothing Personal: The gay marriage ban is nothing personal, unless you’re a Cuban-American gay man in the heart of red-state America. Carlo Batista takes on longtime conservative Tall Tony Scipione in a race for state representative. And he takes on mystery man Brian Gallagher in the race for his heart. Nick of Time: Nick is a savagely handsome stonemason who has given up on gay men and has agreed to marry an Irishwoman who needs him for a green card. Brent is dancer from the city in town for his sister’s wedding. To Nick, Brent’s a bitchy slut who would think nothing of breaking his heart. To Brent, Nick’s just another dumb strong closet case stuck a thousand miles from the city beat.

Contest Rules

  • To enter, leave a comment listing the books in which you are interested. (This is what is known as a Very Important Step.)
  • Contest closes 7 pm CDT, Monday, July 9.
  • By entering the contest, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • If you haven’t commented before, your comment will not be visible until after I moderate it. Please do not leave a second comment because your first doesn’t show up! The blog gnomes will decide your comments are spam and then only ritual dust bunny sacrifice will salvage your entry…
  • If your comment is actually an advertisement or if your CommentLuv link turns it into an advertisement, your comment will be deleted. (Most of you do not need to worry – this refers to some pretty clever comment spam.)
  • Winners will be selected by random number.
  • You must leave a valid email address in the “Email” portion of the comment form.
  • Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from!
  • I am not able to reliably contact people with and email addresses – please use a different email address if at all possible!
  • If a winner doesn’t respond to my congratulations email within 48 hours, I will select another winner.
  • This contest is open worldwide!

“I know you’re all jealous of my fabulously furry abs.” -Chaos

In which we finally meet the long anticipated Unapologetic Pole

Congrats to Brian Holliday, who won Driftwood by Harper Fox! Driftwood will be released today by Samhain Publishing.

And congrats to Kelly, who won Infected: Prey by Andrea Speed!

Recently it was brought to my attention *coughmargenecough* that it’s been ages since I posted any pictures from my rambles around my neighborhood. While I haven’t been out and about that much this summer (curse you, stoopid autoimmune stuff!), I do have a few photos to share. Shall we?

If you don’t remember the story of the Apologetic Pole from last year, I’ll wait for you to refresh your memories. Back? Ok.

While the City didn’t make its promised “on or before Spring 2009” deadline, it did make “after spring 2010”. 🙂 Meet the Unapologetic Pole, which I believe is actually the same pole that was next to the Apologetic Pole, but with a pole extender stuck on it for the City wifi antenna.

Lake of the Isles continues to be its usual lovely self, with downtown Minneapolis in the distance.

From the shores of Lake Calhoun, a plaque commemorating the first dwelling in Minneapolis (1834). Some settling may have occurred.

We now have several Nice Ride bike stations in the neighborhood.

Isn’t this scooter great?

This garage makes me happy every time I see it.

These shoes were a little more interesting than the shoes one usually sees dangling from power lines… (Make sure you click on the picture to embiggen it if you can’t read the soles.)

“Yo, woman, I need me a beer and the remote.” -Chaos