Minneapolis is a great city

I’ve been in a funny gray mood lately. 

It’s not anything you would notice if you saw me; it’s just an increase in the underlying noise or static – one of those little funks that everyone seems to have now and then. 

For the most part I feel great – my daily mood is happy and forward-looking.  This grayness really only strikes me when I’m by myself and undistracted by some pursuit or another.  Maybe it’s a seasonal biochemical change or just some issue or combination of issues with which I’m not satisfied. 

I’m a very optimistic person, and I really believe in the effect that forcing a smile and positive thinking can have in making me feel good about myself and the world around me.  It’s really been an odd week; between feeling down and trying to make myself feel up I’ve been having these odd jumps between elation – real, true joy – and meh-ness.

I went for a bicycle ride after work yesterday because I find that physical exercise is a good way to get the endorphins going and to clear my mind.  I went biking around Lake Calhoun and was once again amazed that I live in such a beautiful area of town.  I live less than a mile away from this gorgeous lake that offers bike and walking trails and canoe/kayak/paddleboat rentals.  Awesome!

My view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from Lake Calhoun at dusk last night.

I wasn’t as enamored of Minneapolis when I first saw it as I am now.  First, I remember being shocked that downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul were about 10 miles away from each other.  I was bummed out because I had this image in my head of one large metro area, not two smaller cities with a bunch of residential and suburb-like areas between the two.

Second, I was taken aback by how small Minneapolis was.  I grew up near Chicago; you could see the city from all the way out in Tinley Park – the suburb in which I grew up –  and that was 30 miles away from downtown!  When I was little and we drove on the highway toward Chicago, I would watch from the backseat as the skyline would grow to fill more and more of the windshield until we arrived in the city and I had to start craning my neck up to see the tops of the buildings.

I was reminded again of how small Minneapolis is when I visited New York City.  When we got off the plane at JFK I was struck by how buildings filled the horizon.  I didn’t just have to crane my neck up in NYC, I had to crane my head from left-to-right just to see the entire skyline.

From a distance I can stretch out my arm, hold my thumb up and close one eye to “hide” Minneapolis.  In Chicago, I have to hold up both hands, and in New York I couldn’t hide the skyline at all.

Minneapolis skyline

Chicago skyline

New York skyline

But being in a smaller urban city definitely has its advantages:  Rent is affordable – even right downtown, parking is reasonable, and traffic is tame.  Most events and festivals aren’t exorbitantly priced or over-crowded.  It’s pretty easy to get involved in community planning and local politics.  I have the culture and variety that inevitably pops up when you cram a lot of very different people together in a small space.  If I want to get away to the country all I have to do is drive 20 miles in any direction and I’m in prime motorcyle riding land, pumpkin patches, state parks, etc. 

There’s a lot to love in Minneapolis. 

At least for another month or so until the blizzards start. 

Photo source 

I found this photo at Nokohaha – it looks like an awesome Minneapolis blog with a lot of other Minneapolis sites in it’s blogroll!

Minneapolis is a great city

Different, just like everyone else!

I never went through a punk or goth phase, but I have worn outfits that could be considered punk or goth “style”.   

Me in 2007 all dressed up for a night at an alt dance club. 

I like different styles and I wear what I want to wear.  Clothing is one of the areas in life where we really have a lot of control.  Even in places where clothing has been standardized (uniforms), people show their individuality by adding highlights – colorful socks, headbands, jewelry, shoes, etc.  

Clothing is such a superficial thing – it’s so easily changed!  But it can very much affect how people see us, how we see ourselves, and even how we act.  I’m fascinated that we can seem like different people when we change our clothes.  When I went out wearing my nose ring and this punk-ish hoodie, people definitely treated me differently than when I am in more “normal” (normal – WTF, mate?) clothing.

That’s no big discovery, though – we all know and have experienced that clothing makes the (wo)man.  But I was surprised when I discovered that I could actually regard and treat people differently depending on what I’m wearing.  When I’m being slobbish and lazy and I wear PJ bottoms and an old t-shirt to the grocery store, I tend to have less patience for people – I’m annoyed that they see me dressed like an idiot, and I’m annoyed that they’ve probably thinking that I’m an idiot for dressing like one.

How do you feel about your clothing and style?  Does it affect your attitude?

PS – Don’t I look badass in these photos?  You can’t see it here, but in the bottom photo my Shakespeare magnetic poetry kit is plastered all over the refrigerator to my left.  Verily, a nerd no matter what clothing I wear.

Well, today’s introspection is inspired by NCBI ROFL’s blog post Personalities of punks and perils of their pointy parkas.  I mentioned in an earlier post that NCBI ROFL takes serious studies and presents them humorous ways.  This post was about the uniqueness of punk juvies and non-punk juvies:

“The purpose of this study was to provide some understanding of punk rockers. Although they have received media attention in the depiction of their unusual hair and clothing styles, there is limited information about their personalities. In this study a delinquent group of punk rockers was compared with a delinquent group of nonpunk rockers on self-image, a personality factor related to teenagers’ mental health and adjustment. Each group consisted of 20 subjects, 15 males and 5 females, aged 14 to 17. Subjects were administered a Screening Questionnaire, the Offer Self-Image Questionnaire (OSIQ), and the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) while detained at a Southern California juvenile hall… No significant differences were found between the groups. The importance of these findings is that even though punk rockers may look and act unusual, they may actually be similar to other groups.”

What – you mean we’re all human beings with similar human emotions underneath all of that leather, the hair dye, the spikes and patches?  Ha!  I don’t believe it!  I’m surprised that punks and non-punks can still produce viable offspring!  *shaking head*  Wow.  I make fun, but the larger study is interesting and may help correction professionals have more positive interactions with the youth with whom they’re working.

Photo source

There is a second journal article associated with this NCBI ROFL blog post recounting the dangers of spiky punk jackets:

“Stab wounds to the thorax are seen in the emergency department (ED) and can be caused by a variety of mechanisms. This case highlights an unusual cause of injury: a leather jacket with spikes on the back of it. This type of jacket is often worn by “punks” as a fashion statement. We report that falling onto such a jacket may result in accidental thoracic injury leading to subcutaneous emphysema. A thorough clinical assessment is mandatory to exclude underlying lung injury or pneumothorax.”


Stay away from this punk mouse.  He’ll pneumothorax your ass!  Well, your lung…you know what I mean.

Different, just like everyone else!