Last time I posted, I was going to the MN Music Fest. It was really fun! When I work the Irish Fair, I always work in the ticket/id booth, usually carding people and giving them the id wristbands. At the Music Fest, I was actually in a beer tent, serving beer. People only get ided once, but they come back for beer over and over, so I felt like I had all these friends coming to see me again! Some of them were funny, some would give me a hard time, some were just nice. I even made a couple of dollars in tips, which was nice, since the food smelled great and I was happy to take a break and have a bite to eat. I was at the beer tent next to the main stage, so I was able to hear and see Soul Asylum really well and we closed down before the show was done, so I was able to catch the end of the show "in the crowd". Dave Pirner seemed to be in great spirits and they sounded really good. They played a great mix of old favorites and a few songs off their latest album. I'm really glad I volunteered for this event and I think I'll do it again next year.
What else have I been up to? I saw this movie:
It was pretty funny. I'd say I liked it, but I didn't love it. It's co-written by Seth Rogen, who was the lead actor in "Knocked Up" and produced by the director of that movie, Judd Apatow. So, it has a very similar sensibility. It's about one day and night in the life of two guys who are best friends. They are graduating from high school in a couple of weeks and going to different colleges, so when they are invited to a party, they decide they better make the most of it. The plan is to get two girls that they have crushes on drunk so that they might agree to sleep with them. Yeah, we're not talking high levels of intellectualism in this film. It starts out very, very vulgar and gradually becomes more sweet and sincere, like the other Apatow films. I liked "Knocked Up" and "40 Year Old Virgin" better, but I still laughed hard in some parts and by the end I was really pulling for these guys.
Sunday of course was football day and the Vikings once again embarrassed themselves in losing to the Chiefs. Enough said about that. At least my fantasy football team won!
Last night I went to Talking Volumes at the Fitzgerald Theater. It's sort of a book club that is co-sponsored by Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune newspaper and The Loft Literary Center. The author this time was Sherman Alexie, a Native American author who is also a poet and screenwriter. You may have seen a film he wrote a few years ago, Smoke Signals. He was there discussing his two latest books, one a Young Adult title called, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" and the other a novel called "Flight". He was opinionated, funny and so intelligent and quick-witted. He certainly didn't stick to the topic for any length of time, going off on tangents about politics, race, writing and just about anything else you can think of. It was a highly interesting discussion and I'll definitely be picking up some of his books soon.
Speaking of books, I finished this one:
It's the third in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. If you read this series, I don't need to say more and if you don't read it, I don't want to ruin anything. I'll just say that if you haven't read this series, I highly recommend it. It is much loved and pretty much everyone who picks it up, grows to love it. It's hard to explain what the series is about and sound coherent. The main characters are Claire, a nurse just back from WWII who goes on a second honeymoon with her husband to Scotland and is suddenly transported back 200 years to 18th century Scotland. There she finds her true love, James Fraser. I know it sounds weird, with time travel and romance and historical fiction all rolled up together, but the books are really well written and you get so caught up in the lives of the characters. Especially Claire and Jamie, who are just about ideal. I enjoyed this third book, although there was some really, really weird voodoo stuff toward the end that felt a little out of place to me. Nevertheless, I'm really looking forward to the next episode in this series. The books are all really long and since I'm such a slow reader, it takes me a while to read them, so I won't be picking it up right away. I haven't read a nice mystery for a while, so I'm definitely going to pick up one of those next.
And speaking of WWII, I've been watching The War on PBS. If you haven't been watching, it's a Ken Burns documentary mini-series about WWII, sort of organized around the citizens of 4 towns in America. The Northern town he chose to highlight is Luverne, MN, a small town on the Southwestern border with Iowa and South Dakota, where I just happen to have come from. Both my mother and father graduated from Luverne High School and so both of grandparents lived in Rock County. My parents moved to Sioux Falls shortly after I was born, but until I got a job in 8th grade, I would spend pretty much all of my summers in between my grandparents homes, so I spent lots and lots of time in Luverne. It's been really fun to see the town and its people in such a well-done series. It really makes me miss my grandparents, though. I will have to call my surviving grandfather who now is living near my auntie in Wisconsin and see what he thinks of it. I'm sure he remembers the newspaper editorials they've been featuring in the series and all of the people being interviewed.
I've also been trying to catch some of the new fall shows. This year they seem to have returned to the old style of having a big "fall premiere week". Not every show is premiering this week, but the majority of them are. Last year they tried to spread it out over about 6 weeks. It's kind of nice to have new episodes of your old shows back again.
I've also been knitting a bit - I have one FO and two new projects I haven't posted about yet, but I'll save that for next time.