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Showing posts from October, 2010

Baby wants a new pair of boots, mom!

They cost more than a day's wages for most of us. Still - if your kid wants them, you'll go in the hole for UGG boots this winter. Boots are a big deal to a kid.  Trust me.  I'm old enough to remember the "Kickerenno" boots of the 1950's.  This ground-breaking, earth-shaking style was radical for one reason only.  A girl had to take off her shoes before she put on her boot. That's right. Prior to the Kickerenno, we were life-sentenced to galoshes. Those of you too young to remember the boots that slid over your shoes are too young to remember Kennedy and have no business voting against my Social Security benefits. When the Kickerenno came along, the galoshes were  tacky, tacky, tacky. I remember begging my mother for a pair. "Have you lost your mind?" she asked. "If anyone's getting a pair of fifteen dollar boots in this family, it sure isn't going to be the eight-year-old." So much for child-centered parenting

Just when you thought no one was watching. . .

Get over yourself! I know you've thought about it. You knew last year what you were going to do.  You promised yourself that this year you would not make a damned fool of yourself trick-or-treating throughout the neighborhood with human beings half you size and one decimal your age. But here you are, sneaking through the costumes at the Halloween Super Store, hoping no one notices the Baby Boomer trying on the Hilary Clinton mask. It's okay, bunky.  No one will turn you in. Remember when your mom and dad dressed up as ghouls on October 31st and handed out caramel apples to their favorite little kids?  You weren't embarrassed.  Okay  - maybe that's not a good example. How about this - remember when your big brother kept carousing for candy, long after his beard came in and his voice changed?  No one made fun of him, did they? I know - I know.  You're sixty three years old.  And yes, I agree - there is a difference. But lighten up, toots.  When all el

Elementary, my dear Watson

In his latest incarnation, Holmes inhabits the 21st Century An exhibition is on display in St. Paul - a new PBS program begins this Sunday and Sherlock Holmes, the totally cool Robert Downey Junior film is now available on DVD. So - what's the deal? Think about our economy.  Think about our relationship to law and order.  Do you see any similarities with  these early days of the 21st Century and the 19th? And why this fictional character now? As you consider the above, think of this as well.  The popularizing of the vampire myths and the elevation of ghouls to glamor.  What do you think?  Is there a relationship between our love of Sherlock and our love of pure schlock? If you're a Holmes fan, tell us why.  If you're a vampire lover, share your opinions. Something's happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear.

Write, write, and when you're finished, write some more

<p>W</p> Like the fool I am and I'll always be, I once taught a class at the Loft titled, "Free the Horses; Overcoming Writer's Block." I hate to brag, but I've never been "blocked" as a writer in my life.  So, what the Sam Hill was I was thinking when I offered that damn class? You can imagine the folks who enrolled. Okay - now before I go any further, if you are one of the unfortunates who took this class from me, my sincere apologies for what I am about to reveal about your sorry-self. But come on now - - I mean. . . There was the earnest, middle aged banker who never had time to write the novel that was screaming to escape his sad, vacant life. He sat beside the young woman so filled with rage over her husband's infidelity that her cramped soul yearned to break loose and slam all men in one glorious sashay through creative non-fiction. And then there was the one woman in the class who said she couldn't

Why I will not run for public office

There are many reasons why I would enjoy a run at the school board, a county commissioner seat or city council. Most days I'm certain I would be a better Governor than Pawlenty, especially concerning decisions affecting the poor, civil rights, the critical separation of church and state and of course, reproductive freedom. And I've been asked. When I lived in Rice County, the local DFL leadership frequently sought me as a candidate against the notorious John Tuma, anti-choice, pro-gun legislator turned lobbyist . But I had a real life in those days. I had children to raise, sermons to write, a man who was always in the way. There was no time for political posturing. Now, my children are grown, my church turned Republican, and my former husband is working on his fourth marriage. My real life disappeared long ago. Even so, I cannot run. The reasons are simple. After almost sixty years of speaking, writing, working for the poor and advocating for women, I have something m

PAPER DADDY based on truth

What role does a father have in this new, devastated economy? Kristine Holmgren set about to answer that question by writing her new stage play, PAPER DADDY. When it was complete, PAPER DADDY enjoyed a successful staged reading at THEATRE IN THE ROUND PLAYERS (TRP) on Saturday, September 26, 2009. According to the Executive Director of TRP, the audience was largest stage reading ever hosted at the theatre (more than 120 participants). Within days following, PAPER DADDY is under consideration for production on several stages in Minnesota. The Northfield Arts Guild will host the premier of Holmgren's first play in the spring of 2012. What is it about this play that causes an audience to resonate? The connection is simple; Kristine Holmgren has always been able to tell a good story, and tell it well. In PAPER DADDY, she brings us tells a narrative that exposes the real-life consequences of our current economic downturn. She tags these times, "The Great Recession of the

Dancing in the Dark

The frame of the story is clear.  The beginning flows like long-learned choreography. An exquisite tango of dialogue and action, tension and comedy, your play moves from scene to scene, driven by imagination and magnificent plot. Then, like a flash of brilliance on a darkened stage, the great notion vanishes. Without warning, the generous idea is gone and the writer feels like a naked fool, dancing in the dark. Nothing exposes a fraud more than a poorly constructed stage play. Flopping in the middle of Act II is punishment, stepping onto the hardwood floor in great tap shoes with no dance step in our repertoire.  How to avoid pain and failure?  Three things - prepare, proceed and pray. Prepare As with any other form of writing, every good play is first inspired.  The first blush of art is always a brilliant flash, an insight to an eternal truth. My best ideas come when I'm swimming.  Half-way through my twenty-minute routine, I feel my new story unfold.  I feel it