Last year, we stopped at The Lexington for drinks after a family Christmas gathering.
I’ll never forget the incarnation several years ago. I had live-tweeted an extreme white elephant gift exchange. Each year our aunts coordinate a game with rules, regulations, props, and, sometimes, even a set. It’s fantastic.
During this particular year’s party, the prizes included white elephant prizes (supplied by hosts and guests )+ real prizes. I forgot the exact details of the game, but were no consolation “good prizes” and one of the rules allowed stealing. It became very competitive. Households divided against households. Children may have cried.
During the three decades I’ve lived in the Twin Cities, I’ve never seen A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie.
I’ve always heard about it, though, for it’s the 44th season.
This year my folks took us. It’s no surprise that the acting, sets, and sound were stunning.
What struck me the most was the diversity of the cast. Growing-up, I rarely saw people that looked like me cast in television shows or movies, unless they were a “bit” or the show was themed.
For example, Tiny Tim’s family included people of many races (and Tiny Tim was played by a girl). This wasn’t discussed or alluded to, the family just simply was.
It makes me excited that people get to see more and more actors who look like them in stories, new and old.
You should totally drink at the Rainforest Cafe.
The Rainforest Cafe inside the Mall of America is always a place I’ve wanted to go. I’ve walked by it countless times but have never ventured inside.
There’s always a crowd of people waiting outside. It’s tacky and loud. Animatronic animals shriek. The food is expensive and I’ve never heard anyone say it’s good.
The very first Rainforest Cafe opened in the Mall of America two years after the mall opened.
Back in 1994, Nickelodeon Universe was Camp Snoopy. Snoopy’s big, red dog bowl was an easy place to meet your friends. Sometimes my folks would take us to the Knott’s Berry Farm restaurant where I remember eating the best fried chicken ever. And inside the Rainforest Cafe, it didn’t just thunder and lightning, it also rained.
Sometimes spicy won’t do. Extra hot won’t be good enough, either.
You don’t just want your food to make you sweat, you want a cathartic, painful, out-of-body experience due fueled by spice, chilis and serotonin.
I think this is how you heal a broken heart.
Once in a while discussion threads appear on Twitter and Reddit; Someone will ask where to find the spiciest food in the Twin Cities and people respond.
They often suggest Marla’s, On’s, Bangkok Thai Deli, Gandi Mahal, Grand Szechuan, Grand Catch, D-Spot, and Revival’s Poultrygeist sauce.
This isn’t Instagram. I’m not going pretend like everything’s OK.
It’s been a tough couple of weeks.
My recent egg retrieval cycle concluded and, so far, the outcome isn’t what I was hoping for. There’s so much to juggle financially, physically, and emotionally; all while working a full-time job and fielding things like baby showers and toxic positivity (“Just relax!” or “It’ll happen when you stop trying”).
It all feels so raw and I’ll share more when I’m ready. Perhaps. The kind words people have offered have gone a long way, so thank you for those.