Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thursdays on First was created by Rochester's planning committee as a way to make people come out of their offices each summer for one day a week, and into actual sunlight.

As Midwesterners, we don't see a lot of sun, so we are more apt to miss the cues (ie, sunshine).

But more importantly, we have a proud tradition of appearing as if we're not enjoying ourselves very much. Thus, we need the proper stimuli to coax us from our fluorescently lit environs and emerge en masse. (Self pity is less effective if people are seen in large groups, purposefully enjoying something tangible.)

The methodology is simple: flood the immediate downtown area with local vendors selling everything from homemade jewelry to homemade scarves. Then add music, sugar, and meat, and you've got 2 blocks of a full-blown, unadulterated nice time.

I don't go often myself, but when I do, it's mostly to take in the smoky aromas of sizzling food, get some vitamin D, and practice my weaving skills.

Unless it's raining.

Monday, July 26, 2010

An observance of trees

I just read an article on the Web site Science Daily about the healing power of forests. They mentioned the cleansing properties of the outdoors, the color green, and how nature has an ability to calm that urban settings can't provide.

And that's all true, but they didn't mention the simple mystery of trees, which I've always been drawn to.

Trees are full of knowledge. We can see it in their rings, what they've been through, how long they've lived.

They soak in nutrients from the sun, rain, and soil, grow without seeming to move, and still provide shade and oxygen, and sap for pancakes. Food and shelter for birds and bugs. Books and beds for people. Just by quietly standing in one place for years.

The older ones are stiff and silent, their bark etched in wrinkles. They are sacred. Saplings are softer, eager, untempered by time but easily bent in the wind.

Where the autumn years bring gray to humans, trees unleash colors like fire, then dim like embers against a setting sun that yawns for winter.

I really don't know where I'm going with this. It just seems like the ancient poetry of trees has been diminished by the duller shade of green it lends to the drooping faces of dead presidents.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


When I joined Facebook two years ago, I couldn't wait to reconnect with people. But the Web site wouldn't get out of my way, so I wrote down a few of my friends' emails and left.

If Facebook was a real person, he would tell you who your other friends should be. What "gifts" to send. Who you should talk to.
He would try to sell you things based on what he heard you talking about. He might tell others about it.
And he would give you a 2-week grace period to come back to him if you left.
I miss chatting with my friends. But I'm not going to do it while the Man looks over my shoulder. The value I put on my interpersonal relationships can't be bought by some nosy, lonely brat who thinks he knows what I should do with my social life.

Plus, who would name their kid "Facebook"?

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Makeup Specialist of the Gods

A few years ago I had a small role as a non-speaking, out-of-focus extra in the background of a video being shot at Mayo Clinic. There was a makeup lady there. She didn't put too much on me, because I'm already so dashing, and also because I was an extra. Anyway we talked, and she was nice, and then the video shoot was over and we parted ways.

Yesterday I saw her picture on the home page of Mystery Science Theater 3000. She was the makeup specialist for my favorite TV show.

Can you believe it never came up in conversation? Her standard greeting to everyone should be, "Hi, I'm Andrea DuCane, and I worked on Mystery Science Theater 3000! Can you believe that?!"

I can now say that I had the honor of getting my face caked by the same person who did Joel Robinson, Mike Nelson, Dr. Forrester and his mother Pearl, TV's Frank, the Observers, Professor Bobo, and every incidental character who stepped into the laboratory of Deep 13 or boarded the Satellite of Love.

Thank you, Andrea DuCane, for making me feel a little closer to my dream, in a bittersweet way that also involves makeup. I can now die happy. And with a bit more eye liner.