Sunday, December 30, 2012


Dark Currents by Jacqueline Carey Three and a half worms
Refreshing approach to a reluctant main character’s evolution into a heroine. Humor injected into a modern day small town, which co-exists with a magical community. Of course, the main characters are nauseatingly attractive but at least they have personality flaws. The beginning of a science fiction fantasy genre series, undoubtedly.

The Woman Who Died A Lot by Jasper Fforde Three and a half worms
Clever with horrendously silly puns. Paramilitary training for librarians is a nice touch. Sections of the books become discombobulated and disconcerting until the situation is explained. Good humor and provides enough background for readers who are new to the chain of Thursday Next adventures.

Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis Three and a half worms
Complicated folktale with rich descriptions. The female lead isn’t a wimp, despite her circumstances. Some of the trials and tribulations are a bit egregious, though. Quick reading and suitable for teenagers.

Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith Three worms
Read the four Tolkien novels before this book. Author clearly adores Hobbits. Halfling-related Tolkien writings and the latest movie version are extensively referenced. The wisdom is dispensed in a convoluted fashion and present-day politics mires the advice.

The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr Two worms
Veins of a good tale were suffocated by insufferableness. Serious editing needed to reduce unnecessary thoughts. Character development was scattered and difficult to care about anyone since no one was given proper attention. Abrupt ending did not complete the story. Perhaps part two will be better.

Looking for the fifth worm.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, December 27, 2012


January 2013 will highlight “virtual” online-based businesses, no storefronts allowed, only entrepreneurs who reside in the East Metro area. Please submit your nominations before January 5th posting on the Event # 7 Page at!/events/118262118341178/

Sorry, but no independent distributors of corporations are permitted. The majority of their profit does not stay local. Non-durable goods are also ineligible. The business must offer physically portable products. We prefer businesses that sell locally manufactured goods or procure supplies within fifty miles of the metro area. East Metro area of the Twin Cities Minnesota is delineated within the geographical boundaries of Ramsey, Washington, and Dakota (northern half) counties.

Shop anytime during January, from inside your warm home or anywhere in the world! We will do a regular meet in person event in February, weather permitting.

Every mob counts!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Cash Mob St Paul MN (CMSPM) was formed in July 2012 because of my personal commitment to where I choose to reside (Twin Cities East Metro). Inspired by Cash Mob Minneapolis (which is currently on hiatus until a new coordinator is located), I wanted to rally kindred spirits to assist East Metro entrepreneurs. No agenda, neither hidden plans nor political bent (that is relegated to my blog). Just plain and simple: civic duty. We are not a marketing tool of a for-profit public relations firm. Spending money at a local merchant is more likely to have a positive financial impact on the community rather than having the profit sent to some faraway place. Please join us at!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966

Cash Mobs define local businesses as independently owned with fewer than three storefronts and not affiliated with a franchise, chain store, or serve as a distributor for a larger corporation. The business must either be a brick & mortar storefront or else an online entrepreneur who resides in the East Metro. Non-durable goods are disqualified. The business must offer physically portable products. We prefer businesses that sell locally manufactured goods or procure supplies within fifty miles of the metro area. East Metro area of the Twin Cities Minnesota is delineated within the geographical boundaries of Ramsey, Washington, and Dakota (northern half) counties.

Honored to be highlighted by the media for our efforts. The St. Paul Pioneer Press article by Frederick Melo (Section A, Page 4, Above the Fold!!) brought a lot of new members. The online site, The Line Media, published Anna Pratt’s article and increased membership. If you have seen us mentioned anywhere else, please let me know. Thrilled that our efforts have motivated other Cash Mob-esq groups to be formed. The more the merrier!!

It is encouraging that our group is growing in number. I’ve noticed that many people will RSVP for an event but not officially “Like” our mob. That is fine but it’s nice when people join because Facebook will advertise our group more frequently when we are considered to be popular. What is discouraging is when people RSVP and then don’t show up for an event. That is impolite behavior. I’d prefer it if the person would mark “Maybe” on their RSVP and then visit the store on another occasion. Due to the large number of no-shows we will no longer be highlighting eating establishments. I don’t like sitting at a table alone.

Overall, the businesses have had a positive response. It is important for our members to self-identify as Cash Mob participants when they make their purchase. That way the entrepreneur can keep track of our impact on their establishment. Sadly, our efforts were not enough to keep Something New in the Park open. It closed its doors at the end of December and will be missed.

It takes a lot of time to maintain an online-based group. I research every business before an event is scheduled. I have to check our Facebook page several times per week and respond to messages. I write updates for the blog and spend an inordinate amount of time advertising the group and events. The Worldwide Web is immense and it’s difficult to get noticed. I am not prepared to strip off my clothes, paint on my body the words “Join Cash Mob St Paul MN” and film myself to post on You Tube. I’ll do a lot but I do have boundaries…

Please be so kind as to join our group, attend our events, and share us with your connections. I am seeking a co-coordinator for the group. Please send me a message via the Cash Mob St Paul MN page and we can meet for coffee.

Looking forward to a mob-filled 2013!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Okay folks, time to get armed. Let’s all get a Permit To Carry, buy a gun for your holster/purse, another one for your car, one for desk at work, and several for your home. Don’t forget the ammunition. Buy the kind that pierces flack jackets. Kill, kill, kill. It’s the ol’west once again. Be careful how you look at a person, let alone what you say or do, they just might shoot you down.

Of course, I am being glib. How utterly ridiculous for the NRA (National Rifle Association) to publicly announce that the only way to “stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” That wouldn't of helped in Sandy Hook Elementary school. Oh yeah, let’s all strap on a holster and shoot at will. No prosecution since all shootings will be determined to be self-defense. We’ll be popular with the morticians and those involved in the death industry. What absolute bullshit!

I am a small town kid. I was taught to use firearms at a young age and attended gun safety class. Guns serve a purpose. A very limited purpose. They should only be used for hunting for food, to kill a domesticated animal that is suffering (such as a horse with a broken leg), or self-defense. Self-defense is a gray zone. Most people will run away after a warning shot. I was taught to wound a person instead of killing them. Rarely, and I mean extremely rarely, does the aggressor have the intention to kill you and then and only then do you have the right to defend yourself.

It is wiser to run away or hide because by the time you realize that you are a target your adrenaline is pumping and your aim would be horrible. That is why only trained personnel should be allowed to have weapons. I’ve assisted with Live Shooter Training of law enforcement. Even with years of experience, they need training to maintain skills. I volunteered as a pretend victim, screamed a lot, and got pelted with plastic bullets, which do sting and leave bruises. It was a rather jarring day but I know that it will help to keep the officer safe as they deal with the worst-case-scenario. I hope that they never have to use that instruction in reality.

I was at my grandmother’s farm when she fired warning shots out the window at people who drove into her driveway a couple days before Christmas. The visitors didn’t have a phone so they weren’t able to call and tell her that they were coming over to sing Christmas carols. After she found out that it was the Mennonite neighbors, they were invited in for cookies and coffee. It was all very surreal for me to switch from handing my Grandma bullets for her shotgun to serving up refreshments.

Violent people are cowards. As I stated before, any type of negative behavior only proves that the perpetrator has a weak personality. They aren’t able to resolve their dispute in with a dialogue but want to pummel their victim(s) with words, fists, bullets or other types of harm. Fools. They only prove how stupid they are when they hurt others.

Everyone is capable of violence. I choose not to be mean and nasty like some members of my family. I stay away from negative people because they make me more prone to pessimism. It is difficult to remain optimistic or at least neutral. Some days it requires all my strength not to slide into the pit of cynicism. I refuse to let other humans or life’s situation to pull me into the dark. I choose to walk in the light. I’m no Pollyanna, I don’t ignore that the negative is there and that life can stink at times. I just make the choice every single day to be positive and help others.

Volunteer, donate to nonprofits, teach your kids to care about others, and get to know your neighbors. Build a positive world; it’s our only hope.

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, December 20, 2012


It’s bad enough when adults harm each other but utterly despicable when an adult targets the vulnerable, which may be a child, at-risk adult, or animal. Absolute coward. They don’t have the chutzpah enough to settle their dispute verbally. They hide behind a gun or other means of destruction. Do we really want mass murder to become the norm?

I am so sick of hearing about men*, many of whom are young, that use guns to shoot other humans. Do they think that they will die in a blaze of glory? Sorry, but that is reserved for heroines-heroes who willingly sacrifice themselves to help others. All the perpetrator will be remembered for is their complete and profound spinelessness. Their dispute is buried by the chaos. (Note: *women are also violent, but do not harm or kill others as often as men.)

I was busy all day Friday, December 7th and didn’t hear about the Sandy Hook School tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut until the evening news. I was stunned and hurt. As a teacher, I was always protective of my students. I have a responsibility to help them. We never had safety instruction when I was teaching. The Minnesota communities of Red Lake and Rocori are still recovering from their school shootings. A mass casualty catastrophe occurred this summer at Accent Signage in Minneapolis, another heartbreaking statistic in our sadistic society. Why does it happen more in America than elsewhere?

Congress must permanently reinstate the assault weapons ban, conduct a buy and melt program for guns, legally require gun owners to lock their weapons and ammunition, and States should enact laws to strip the Second Amendment to the minimum. Culturally, we must demand that violence is never acceptable. Don’t glamorize the Culture of Violence. Bullying, harassment, assault, abuse, neglect, et cetera are all forms of violence. I never purchased any toys or books that celebrated brutality as gifts for the children in my life. I repeatedly told my nieces and nephews that if they used aggression, the courts would be the least of their worries.

Parents must take the responsibility to teach their children appropriate methods to work out stress, anxiety, fear and anger. All adults serve as role models. Be careful what you say and do, the young ones are watching and learning from you. Enroll in stress reduction classes, practice meditation, yoga or use regular exercise to reduce tension. Parents also need to connect the child to the community by volunteering on a regular basis. One-time events are nice but kids need to form relationships and care about others outside their family and friends circle. Youth need to know that every person in a community is connected in a web of inner-dependency.

There is a direct correlation between exposure to violence in entertainment and media and the rise in aggression. I have complained before how the news media has been twisted into reading the police reports instead of providing real journalism. I miss hearing/reading local stories. I don’t want a law enforcement blotter. Don’t they realize that they are feeding the Culture of Violence?

Mental illness makes a person more VULNERABLE to be a victim or to harm themselves. Even if a person has a SPMI (serious and persistent mental illness) diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that the mental illness caused them to be violent. Does a person with diabetes get blamed when their insulin level drops and they become angry before passing out? No! Why should a person with mental illness be blamed when their emotions surge? Stigma is a vicious circle, it causes people to deny their problems and not seek help. When they do need help, it must be available. There must be adequate funding to pay for mental health services instead of waiting for a crisis. An ounce of prevention is worth thousands of pounds of cure.

Visit for the facts.

Stay safe.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Homage to a classic holiday ballad, though I do have $350 worth of dental work on hold as well as three teeth who need crowns, including my front ones. To the tune of “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.”

All I want for 2013 is a full-time job
With ben-e-fits
In the East Metro*

All I want for 2013 is a full-time job
I can be self-suffi-cient!

* anywhere in the Twin Cities...

Santa, are you listening?
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, December 14, 2012


Buy buy buy
The merchants cry
Impress the hoard
With what you can afford
This time every year
The debt fills us with fear
We should be spending time with those we hold dear
You never know when death draws near
Cherish the hours
Before you are buried beneath the flowers.

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Snowflakes are beautiful. I love to be sitting in a warm home watching them fall from the sky. They cover up the ugliness of the earth below. I despise being away from my abode and having to trek in their wake. I’ve been in winter auto accidents and my anxiety level raises whenever I consider traveling on treacherous roads.

Snow deluged the Twin Cities during this past weekend. I spent early Sunday afternoon using my wimpy snow-thrower to push off about eight inches of accumulation. It was exhausting and then frustrating when four more inches fell after I completed my task. I began to fear the commute. Late Sunday afternoon I logged online and went to the Metro Transit website to determine the best route. While in college I rode the bus exclusively and mostly enjoyed the commute. I didn’t purchase an auto until I was out of grad school.

Monday morning I decided to take the bus to work after clearing off the sidewalk since there are many pedestrians in my neighborhood. I gathered my bus-fare of $2.25 in quarters and waited at the corner. I lingered and hung around as my feet became cold. I figured the bus would be late but didn’t think it would be so terribly delayed. Finally, it arrived.

Riding the bus can be enjoyable. If you seek passage on a regular basis, you get to know your neighbors while waiting for the huge vehicle and meet people who ride on the same schedule. It can be a very jovial experience. I was surprised that the atmosphere has changed. The people on my bus were not friendly. They pulled out their smart-phones or stared into space with their headsets humming into their ears. Naively, I got off at the stop the online scheduler suggested to transfer and loitered as the crowds rushed by. Eventually, the bus appeared and ferried me to my destination. I was an hour late for work, but my boss wasn’t upset.

After completing a day of labor, I had to reverse my trip. I had logged online again and learned some alternative routes. The MTC website should show an array of options from starting point to destination all on one page. I decided that I only wanted to relocate once. The more transfers, the higher the chance that there will be a delay. I caught a bus and went to a busy bus-stop in downtown Minneapolis. I felt envious of the people with a smart-phone application that could tell them about the whereabouts of their bus using GPS. I had to keep glancing down the street hoping to see my mode of transport approaching. The bus-stop should have a ticker tape stating when the busses are coming in, just like an airport.

I didn’t have to dally for too long and the second leg of my route went well until we got stuck. Actually, a vehicle in front of the bus became wedged in the snow-ice and we couldn’t move. It was too far for me to walk home. The bus driver never got on the speaker to tell us what was going on. He spoke with the people in the front rows but I couldn’t hear him. I eventually got off and strode to another bus-stop to catch a different bus. I still had to trudge three blocks to get home in the cold. It had taken me two hours from leaving work to getting to my house. I was chilly, tired, hungry, and crabby. What a wretched re-introduction to public transport. I will ride again, but I just hope it won’t be such grueling experience.

Ride da bus!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, December 9, 2012


My parents would indulge us kids with a visit to a restaurant for our birthday. I usually requested the Lavender Inn, situated in Faribault even though it was a long drive. We would walk into an airy entryway and be warmly welcomed by the proprietors. They would take us to either a dark-paneled beautifully decorated room or upstairs to a dining hall with windows. I preferred the bright upstairs room but sometimes it was closed for a private party. The waitresses wore rather ridiculous lavender uniforms but the service and food were exceptional. Sadly, Lavender Inn has closed but it set a high standard for fine dining. Their garlic toast was perfection.

Recently, my friends and I ventured to Jensen’s Supper Club located at 3840 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Eagan (651) 688-7969, on the frontage road just off the Hwy 13 & 77-Cedar Avenue interchange. We were greeted by friendly hosts and escorted to our table. The waiter was attentive (except for forgetting one person’s drink) despite the busy night. While we waited for the rest of the group to arrive we received small trays of raw vegetables to nibble upon.

We split appetizers of crab cakes, which were rather bland. The warm popover served with the salad was terrific; I only wish that they had brought more popovers for consumption. The menu is a carnivore’s delight. My friends treated me to prime rib. It was tender, juicy and flavorful. The accompanying beef au jus was excellent. Rather surprised that sides were not included with the entrée but the price was appropriate for the portion.

We shared several desserts. Crème Brule was wonderful and served cold; I prefer it to be room temperature or slightly warmed. It would be nice if the waiter asked what temperature was ideal. The raspberry sorbet was refreshingly light. The chocolate mousse was disappointing flat in tone; it could use a couple types of chocolate to add layers of flavor. Turtle cheesecake was the clear winner. It was thick and creamy. One slice was enough for three people.

Our group departed with full tummies and smiles. The building is modern but the interior decorations are rather garish, simplification would be a benefit. It is awkward to pass through a crowded entryway while making way to the bathroom. It would have been nice to have piano music playing in the background to make the place a bit classier.

FOUR FORKS = Very Good

I love leftovers!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, December 7, 2012


Belch. American Lipton was my first introduction to tea. It is hideous. The British mother of my sister’s boyfriend introduced me to proper tea. Her sister sent tea to Minnesota and Mrs. B brewed it correctly. I was smitten. Unfortunately, her son broke my sister’s heart and I was stuck with Lipton. During college in the Twin Cities I discovered a store that sold imported tea and my taste-buds rejoiced.

A few years ago my fellow tea-connoisseur, Allie, took me to Mrs. Kelly’s Tea Tasting extravaganza. The event is a tea-enthusiast delight to sample their extensive selection. Mrs. Kelly’s opens their spartan warehouse; provides hot water, and bistro tables. I have attended on several occasions and it is becoming more popular every year. I gathered a bunch of samples to sip at home since its rather crowded and loud. Mrs. Kelly’s Tea sells its creations on-line and opens its Minneapolis warehouse once per month.

Reviews of their flavors:
Russian Smoky is extremely robust, complexly flavored, and my favorite tea. The best way to brew extra-strong tea is to dump hot water on the tea and then pour it off immediately (first wash). Then, gently pour hot water on the leaves and let it steep. The resulting essence is fantastic. You can discard the first wash or else douse it with a lot of sugar, milk and/or mint.

Jasmine Pearl is an exquisite green tea. There is neither bitterness nor grassiness in its flavor. The tone is gentle and calming. The best green tea that I have ever experienced.

China Rose smells like my aunt’s favorite hand lotion but tastes scrumptious. It brightens the palate and would be fabulous with dessert.

Darjeeling Organic is smooth and mellow. A tiny touch of sweetener helps a bit.

French Vanilla with milk is like drinking delicious warm ice-cream.

Strawberry Swirl is disappointing. The strawberry flavor is weak and swirl is rather bland.

More reviews to come, as I taste them! I hope Mrs. Kelly’s Tea adds a spring Tea Party event, which could be expanded to the parking lot with tents and feature speakers. I’d love to learn how to make tea-liqueur.

Tea is served.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Sleep sleep
Oh, tranquil slumber
Why do you elude me so?
Use the loo and dreamland swirls away
Yearning for rejuvenation
Instead, yawn before stumbling out of bed
Walk through the day like the living dead.

Insomnia sucks
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, December 2, 2012


A gleam would enter his eyes and a smile would spread across his face as he bore down to drill on my rotting cavity. The more I sniffled, the more he grinned. He was an evil Grinch who stole my trust in dental professionals. I was a child but I knew it was wrong for anyone to procure joy from causing pain.

I inherited my mother’s genetics for weak teeth. Despite frequent brushing and only a passing interest in sweets, I am cavity prone. My apprehension of the dentist is beyond normal. Little Shop of Horrors was not an exaggeration regarding a masochistic practitioner. I complained but my mother was not permitted to sit with me in the examination room and my father touted that our dentist never caused him problems. My father also has only had one cavity in his entire life.

Panic would ensue in the office. My heart would pound, feel nauseated, hands become cold and sweaty, and have an overproduction of saliva. I sometimes held my breath (not on purpose) and became woozy. My father forbade “laughing gas.” Dr. Nasty (not his real name) would push around the heavy gauge needle when administering Novocain and cause a lot of bleeding. I always left with the coppery taste of blood in my sore mouth and puffy red eyes from crying.

One time, the pain was so severe that I bit Dr. Nasty. I didn’t draw blood but he flew into a rage. After that incidence he placed a metal grid to keep my mouth open, forcing holders into my gums until they bled. Nasty didn’t want to get chomped on again. My gums would throb for days afterwards and my jaw would hurt from being opened for so long. My dad said that I deserved it for being disrespectful. My mom wasn’t allowed an opinion.

A few months after my milk teeth fell out and beautiful gleaming front teeth came in, an older student tripped me in the hallway after lunch. Instinctually, I threw my hands out to break the fall but didn’t drop my Flintstones lunch box. My perfect front teeth made contact with the metal and shattered. He laughed as I cried. Not only was I stunned and bruised but my teeth would never heal. When I got home I refused to see Nasty and demanded to visit a different tooth expert. We lived in a small town with few options.

The new dentist was kind and gentle. Dr. Nice (not his real name) knew I was scared and traumatized. My father was livid about the cost of replacing my teeth (even though he knocked out his front teeth as a child). I was too young for crowns so temporary caps of the 1970’s new-fangled resin were installed. Once in a while the cap would split or just drop off and be remounted or a new cap put in place. It has been over three decades and I still wear awkward looking caps. Someday, I’ll be able to display pretty permanent crowns (cost is about $1,200 each).

About a year after my accident, Dr. Nasty was accused by a former client for abusing children with pain. The Minnesota State Board of Dentistry had enough complaints that they barred him from treating clients under the age of eighteen. Within a year his license was completely revoked. He moved from town in disgrace. My father finally admitted that I might have been right.

I still encounter trepidation when I visit the dentist. My current dentist has an open office layout so I don’t feel trapped. Cleanings and examinations aren’t too traumatic. My anxiety does rise when I have to get a filling or crown work completed. Dr. Humor (not his real name) had to stop the procedure to remind me to breathe. He’s a pleasant and funny person but the suffering still exists in my memory. Unfortunately, during my last dental visit (I buy my own insurance) a couple cavities were discovered under an old metal filling. I now fear the bill more than the procedure.

Brush, floss, spit!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, November 30, 2012


Popular Music from Vittala by Mikel Niemi Three Worms
Bombastic description of listening to rock-n-roll was hilarious. Funny bits about growing up in a far north town. Silly, sad, and gross bodily fluid fixation. Creative insights into the main character’s developing soul. Some similarities to rural small town life in Minnesota.

The Darling Dahlias and the Confederate Rose by Susan Wittig Albert Three Worms
Light prose but the characters are well developed and connected to each other. Took a while for the main plotline to bloom. It could have been fleshed out more since the resolution was hasty. Recipes a nice touch as the appendix.

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson Two and a Half Worms
Story never fully came to fruition. Timeline wandered aimlessly and it needed a concluding chapter. Some beautiful sections marred by uncertainty.

The Bad Miss Bennet by Jean Burnett Two Worms
Poor continuation of the Pride and Prejudice novel. Characters too shallow to care about their fate. Prose lacks sparkle and acerbic wit.

Nick & Jake by Jonathan and Tad Richards Two Worms
Epistolary novel, which is deficient in continuity and connection with the characters. Very few environmental descriptions and the story-line grew weak.

Still looking for a perfect book!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


You are cordially invited to be involved with our sixth event! This occasion is not formal so you can go as your schedule permits during December. Visit each of these businesses and inform the proprietor that you are with the Cash Mob St Paul group. Please log a report on Event #6 page the places that you have perused. Thank ho-ho-ho You!!/events/223211541146125/223213454479267/

Business listed alphabetically:
Beirut Restaurant at 1385 Robert Street S, West St Paul 55118, phone number is 651-457-4886. Website is NOTE: Located in the city of West St. Paul, about a mile south of downtown St. Paul.

Everest On Grand Restaurant situated at 1278 Grand Avenue, St. Paul 55108, phone number 651- 696-1666. Their website is

Homi Mexican Restaurant at 864 University Avenue West, St. Paul 55104, phone number 651-222-0655. Their website is

Midway Used and Rare Books, location is 1579 University Avenue West, St. Paul 55104. Their website is or phone at 651-644-7605.

On’s Kitchen Thai Cuisine Restaurant at 1613 University Avenue West, St. Paul 55104. Their website is or call 651-644-1444.

Something New In The Park, gift shop, is located at 2301 Como Avenue, Suite 101, St Paul 55108. or call 651-646-2423. NOTE: Sadly, this delightful store will be permanently closing as of December 24th.

St. Paul Pet Supply. They are at 1752 Grand Avenue, St. Paul 55105, phone number 651-696-1817. Their website

Trung Nam French Bakery, at 739 University Avenue West, St. Paul 55104, phone number is 651-229-0887. Their Facebook page is

Join our group at!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966
January 2013 event is to be determined…

Happy Holidays and New Year!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Sore nose, aching abdominal muscles, half-used Kleenexes laying about the house. Four weeks of suffering from malingering allergies is tedious. I have regular coughing fits and blow cloudy mucus from my nose. I know I don’t have a cold because the snot would be yellow or green if it were a virus.

Due to a dreadfully limited income (part-time work with no benefits), which drains my savings account each month despite a Scrooge-like budget, I keep the house cool. 54 degrees Fahrenheit cool. The cats are puffed up most of the time and huddle against me for warmth when I sit on the couch. However, it lowers my heating bill. I qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program but it only helps with the bill for one month of the winter. Minnesota winters are considerably longer than one month. I delayed turning on the boiler until two weeks ago. Anyway, the cool air seems to aggravate my coughing.

I only take decongestants when I arrive at work. The non-drowsy version still makes me a bit loopy and tired but at least I don’t have to blow my nose all the time and it wears off before I have to drive home. I continue to seek full-time work so that I can afford to see a doctor for the first time in over three years, increase the temperature of my home, and heal my chapped nose. Unfortunately, few jobs are offered or placed from now until mid-January. I hope my budget lasts that long. If you wish to help, please send your gift to Thank you ever so much!!

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, November 23, 2012


Life offers unending challenges but it is imperative to be thankful for the positive aspects of existence. Here are my top eleven thanks for 2012.

You: Blog Readers (viewing my odd opinions)
Cash Mob St Paul MN Members (shopping local is smart)
Friends: My Logical Family (loving relationships of choice)
Felines: ZoZo and Tillie (furballs of love)
Part time Job (hope funds hold out until full-time employment procured)
Food Shelf (fills the tummy)
Heatshare: Energy Assistance Program (warms the home)
Faith Community (soul food)
My Old House and Auto (though both need repairs)
Garden Growth (flora, fauna, edibles, and critters)
Library & Art Crawls/Fairs (brain food)

Happy Holidays to all!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, November 19, 2012


You are cordially invited to join our Cash Mob St Paul MN group on Saturday, November 24th! We will patronize two more businesses near the Macalester College Campus in St. Paul, intersection of Grand & Snelling Avenues. Since many students will be gone for the holiday, the area should be easier to access. Celebrate part of your Small Business Saturday 2012 with us!

We will meet on Saturday with the starting time of 11am at St. Paul Pet Supply. Load up on paraphernalia for your favorite pet. They are located at 1752 Grand Avenue, St. Paul 55105 (a few blocks west of Snelling Avenue), phone number 651-696-1817. There is a lot of parking available on the street and it’s on the bus-line. Their Facebook page is!/pages/St-Paul-Pet-Supply/464237503598162?sk and website You can easily drive or walk over to the next destination.

At NOON we will be gathering at the Everest On Grand Restaurant situated at 1278 Grand Avenue, St. Paul 55108 (east of Snelling Avenue), phone number 651- 696-1666. Ask for the Cash Mob table. Featuring homemade Nepali, North Indian and Tibetan dishes including curries, Tandoor dishes, noodles and dumplings. Their website is and Facebook page is!/pages/Everest-on-Grand/153474458018991?fref=ts

RSVP at!/events/299196923518470/ and invite your friends to congregate with us. The more the merrier! While you are at our Facebook page, be so kind as to “Like” our group and get notified of upcoming gatherings. If you aren’t able to join us for this soiree, please support the establishments listed in this note soon. Let them know that you were sent by “Cash Mob St Paul.”

Please join us for either or both of these mob-ulous events. Mindfully spending your cash at a local retail venue has a positive impact on the entire community since local entrepreneurs are more likely to spend their income locally and that stimulates other businesses. Franchises and chain-stores have a huge advantage over small shops, that is why we focus on locally owned independent brick & mortar stores.

Small businesses are stars.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, November 16, 2012


Scamper across the kitchen floor
Rush so fast that you slide into the cupboard door
Kitty’s on the run
She’s having fun
Chasing an invisible foe
Fur between the toes
What a silly fo-fo-lu
I love her so!

Need a smile, get a cat.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, November 12, 2012


* Advocating for others
* Loyal, dependable and hard working
* Gardening - sharing produce and flowers with others
* Giving gifts and cards – when I have funds
* Writing – thanks for reading this blog!
* Volunteering and helping others
* Training and writing curriculum
* Noticing problems and how to correct them
* Innovating – prodigious ideas are always springing forth
* Organizing my work office
* Happy, healthy, affectionate feline companions
* Cooking (though I hate cleaning up afterwards)
* Providing opinions and advice – so hire me!

Maybe some parts of me are kiln-fired, too.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


* Organizing my home office – I despite piles of paperwork
* Plumbing, electrical, and automotive repair – afraid to make a mistake
* Painting walls – too difficult to stay inside the lines
* Shopping for myself – I’d rather purchase gifts for others
* Cleaning up hairballs and litter box – yuck
* Criticism – frightens me
* Interpersonal relationships (family & romance) – I’m oft lost
* Micromanaged at work – terrifies me
* Driving – boring
* Vacuuming – where did all the hair come from?
* Weight control – exercise is torture
* Finding and keeping employment – what is a good job for a high-functioning mild-Asperger adult?
* Busy mind, see too much, and respond too fast - people accuse me of being an intimidating “know it all” but I really don’t feel that way. Thus, I have to stay silent even though I’m burning to speak out loud which is why I blog…

My entire being is clay.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, November 4, 2012


A huge invasion of aliens from another planet are marching from east to west and destroying all living creatures in their pathway. Would you run up to meet them? No, of course not. Logically, you would move out of harm’s way and let them pass by. The same principal applies to hurricanes and tropical storms. The National Weather Service has vastly improved its ability to predict storms and their paths. When the NWS provides information, you should take heed. They aren’t randomly or rashly indicating potential trouble. Thus, when you are instructed to evacuate – go. Do not stop to dawdle, just go. The old adage of better safe than sorry is appropriate. Period. End of discussion.

In America, we have the delightful right to live our lives the way that we want to as long as it doesn’t adversely affect others. As an adult over the age of 18, we have to take responsibility for ourselves and our dependents. I am horrified and angered by the decision of adults to stay in a Hurricane Sandy mandated evacuation zone with their children. They endangered no only their own life but the youth and vulnerable adults in their care. Unfortunately, several children were harmed or died as the result of their parent/guardian’s foolish choice. That is unconscionable. There ought to be a law that forces all children out of mandated evacuation zones. If their stupid parents want to remain, they can but at least make certain that the kids will be okay.

A friend of mine, Tracy, departed to volunteer with the Red Cross before Sandy came ashore. Tracy was placed with an ERV (Emergency Response Vehicle) crew outside the expected pathway of Sandy. If they had journeyed closer to the coast they could have become a victim and unable to help anyone. That is why emergency response always waits outside the storm zone and roads must be cleared before they can get to the hardest hit areas. I was irritated that the media did not explain why it takes a couple days for responders to enter the disaster zone. I am certain that Tracy will have lots of interesting stories when she gets home in a couple weeks. Alas, I am too busy to volunteer at this time.

Please prepare your disaster kit , become an emergency response volunteer , and/or donate .

Stay safe.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, November 1, 2012


VOTE on Tuesday, November 6th.
If you are not sure where your polling place is located, visit this nonpartisan website for information. Mid-day is the best time to vote.

In Minnesota, there are two Constitutional Amendment issues:
Marriage Definition = discrimination so vote NO
Voter ID = exclusion so vote NO

Yes for Obama-Biden because they are better than the alternative.

Proudly wear your “I voted” sticker on Tuesday!

See ya at the poll!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, October 28, 2012


Our fifth Cash Mob St Paul MN (CMSPM) get-together is heralded!! Help support a local business by spending at least $20 cash at this event (okay to spend less).

CMSPM Event #5
Date: Saturday, November 24th, 2012
Times: 11am-Business AND Noon-Restaurant (okay to arrive late or shop on another date)
Location: TO BE ANNOUNCED a day or two before the event, please check back for details.

NOMINATE A BUSINESS WITH A NEARBY RESTAURANT before Saturday, November 10th. Location can be anywhere in Ramsey, Dakota or Washington Counties. Please post the establishments name (with website, if possible) on the Event page. (Sorry, no chain stores or franchises qualify.) We’ll shop at the business at 11am and then eat at the restaurant (must be within walking distance of the business).!/events/299196923518470

The cash mob rules are simple:
1. Spend $20 cash (more or less but cash does speed up the check out process),
2. Chat with three people that you don’t know but please bring along a friend or two, and
3. Enjoy yourself! We want this to be a fun experience for everyone.

On the CMSPM Facebook (FB) page:
* Please RSVP with “Join” if you can make it; invite your FB Friends; and SHARE THIS INVITATION WITH OTHERS via FB by posting on your personal page. Help spread the word to non-FB folks (see next paragraph for details).
* If you can’t attend, you can temporarily indicate a “Maybe” to invite your FB friends and then decline at a later date.
* Please decline before the event if you have to cancel. It’s rude to be a no-show.
* “Like” our FB community page at “Cash Mob St Paul MN” to receive notification of future events and invite your FB Friends to join us, too!!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966

We welcome other methods of advertising our efforts, if you would like to co-host or publicize this event in another way, such as MeetUp or another FB group. Please send a message via our FB page and keep us informed as to the numbers of people attending. The more the merrier!

Optional: Wear something green to the occasion to indicate that you are a member of the Cash Mob…just an idea, not a requirement.

Thank you ever so much!

PS If you can’t join us for this happening, please patronize the business another time and let them know that you heard about their entrepreneurial efforts from Cash Mob St Paul MN.

Mobfully Yours!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, October 26, 2012


Crunchy leaves
Falling from trees
Bare limbs reaching for the sky
The birds fly
South to the warmth
Wish that I could follow
Instead, I rake.

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Its so difficult to find parking, oh the line is so long, whine whine, moan moan. Enough already! Voting is your civic duty. You owe it to your ancestors and every single person who has suffered, sacrificed or died to obtain or maintain American democracy. My ancestors (with the exception of my Native American heritage) journeyed to the United States hoping for a better life. When a citizen chooses not to vote, they are disrespecting their elders as well as mine.

What is most disturbing is that people who are politically moderate or liberal don’t vote at the same rate as people who are politically conservative. Why? Is it because moderates and liberals are optimists and assume that their candidates and causes will win due to logic? What utter nonsense. The Presidential contest as well as both amendment issues in Minnesota are neck-and-neck this year. What will matter is the actual vote. Don’t do absentee balloting unless you absolutely have to because if you mess up the outer envelope, it will be rejected.

Grab a cup of coffee and a neighbor/roomie and venture to your polling place on Tuesday, November 6th. Due to redistricting, make certain that you are going to the correct location. The polls are open for thirteen hours, 7am to 8pm. The lines tend to be longest in the morning so visit during lunchtime or after work. Consider it as entertaining as the State Fair, terrific for people watching. Bring leftover Halloween candy to share with people waiting in line. Make it a little party. Maybe you’ll procure new friends or meet someone cute. Smile, laugh and celebrate wearing the “I Voted” sticker. It would be terrific if business owners would give away a free dessert or cup of coffee/tea to people wearing the sticker on Election Day. I’ll be working as an Election Judge. for polling location finder, do it before you go to vote!

VOTE November 6th!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Barack Obama and Joseph Biden will be procuring my vote on November 6th, 2012. They are the better choice. Granted, I’ve been disappointed. The sluggish economy is reliant upon global issues so only a part of the system hinges upon the Presidential Administration. The President needs the cooperation of the US Congress to alter laws to protect the investor and rev up the economy. Unfortunately, the current Congress has been profoundly obstinate and refuses to compromise in a mature manner. If they behave that irresponsibly at home, no Members of Congress will remain in a long-term relationship.

At least Obama did get the Health Care Reform bill passed, aka Obamacare. It will have a positive impact as it gets implemented. My part-time employer doesn’t offer me health insurance. I am terrified if something bad would happen. I haven’t been to a medical doctor for over three years. The French health care system is the most logical model so hopefully the US will tweak our system to match their success.

Executive Orders have accomplished a lot. Ending the ridiculous “Don’t Ask: Don’t Tell” policy in the military is an achievement. Expanding open job positions for women in the military is tremendously powerful. Implementing the auto buy-back program to encourage people to dispose of their gas-guzzlers was terrific (wish I would have had the funds to participate). Lots of good work, despite the childish Congress. I do hope they bring in more “out of the Beltway” people into the Administration. Washington, DC has morphed into a nasty conceited zone. The Beltway strangles the rest of the country because it’s arrogance and blindness to reality. The real United States exists outside of the Beltway and coastal minions.

Unaffiliated is my political choice. I have been a member of the Democrats, Independents, and flirted with the Socialist Greens. I’m a social liberal and fiscal moderate. I don’t really fit into any major political group. I have served as the Head Election Judge, volunteered for numerous political campaigns, and been the State Chairperson of a couple large political groups. When the partisan bickering became poisonous about ten years ago I quit. I didn’t want my personal life bandied about and the advent of the Internet has its drawbacks regarding rumors and hatemongering. I still vote, though.

Vote for Obama-Biden
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


My family has been active in the military since at least the Civil War. They fought, were battered and bruised or died for the United States of America. They sought to uphold the freedoms that we enjoy as citizens of a democratic nation. One of those rights and privileges is a “free and fair” election process. Women and people of ethnic diversity were only awarded those rights during the past 100 years and now there is a proposed Minnesota Constitutional Amendment that would disproportionately affect these people. Our ancestors would be appalled.

Yes, it is a nice concept to have every voter display photographic identification when they cast a ballot. However, a photo ID is difficult to attain for many people. My parents were born on the farm and didn’t obtain birth certificates until they needed a passport to travel. Many elders are in that situation; it would be nearly impossible to prove that they were born in the US. An estimated 140,000 Minnesotans who are completely qualified to vote would not have access to the polls. The blood of my ancestors would have been shed in vain.

Also troubling are the additional provisions of the amendment. As a Head Election Judge for several years, I observed how important same-day registration was for voters. First, many people move after the pre-registration date (October 15th of this year) and would be disqualified if this amendment passes. Second, members of the military (which includes my family) would be forced to do a two-step ballot and there is a high probability that their vote would never be counted. What a terrible irony. Third, county governments would be forced to locate money to pay for items required by the amendment. Not exactly fiscally prudent, now is it?

Finally, it is very uncommon to have a contested campaign conclusion. Very few campaigns end with a close vote. Technically, the opportunity for an “illegal” vote to sway the result of an election is miniscule. I’m willing to take that risk to ensure access for all the people who would have trouble attaining a photo ID and for multitude that would be barred by the other provisions of the amendment. That is why I will mark NO on the Anti-Voting Amendment in Minnesota on November 6th, 2012.

Two NOs make a Right!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Saturday, October 13, 2012


He was taught it was evil and unnatural. It was dangerous to explore in rural Minnesota. He believes that that God condemns it. More than seven decades of self-loathing, over fifty years of marriage, and numerous prodigy did not heal him. Prayer only brought more pain. He hates the fact that his soul desires the companionship of another man. He has had numerous affairs with men and continues to view online pornography. He is my father.

I kinda realized that my dear old dad was at least bi-sexual in grade school. He had issues of Playgirl tucked away in the basement. Though I thought it was strange, he couldn’t be gay if he was married, right? I was naive and decided that someone must have sent him the magazines as a joke. During high school he and my mom had a huge fight about his ongoing affair. He said it didn’t count since no children could be born, again, I didn’t comprehend the insinuation.

Once I entered college, my best friend came out to me as gay. He was concerned that I would reject him because of my conservative faith. I had already separated myself from organized religion and we remained friends. We became closer because he could be completely honest with me. However, he gently pointed out to me that my dad was probably gay. HIV/AIDS was a new diagnosis and it frightened me. I gathered up prevention brochures and discreetly placed them in my dad’s office. I didn’t want him to contract the disease and give it to my mom. He never acknowledged their presence.

During the ensuing years, my dad has developed a fascination with my gay friends. He constantly asks how the couples are doing. My heart breaks for him. He hasn’t been able to be truthful about his sexuality and has suffered greatly. I think that he loved my mom but that faded long ago. Decades of misery together. They should have divorced and each located a good man for companionship.

I’ve made it clear to my father that homosexuality is a gift from the Creator (however it is defined, if it exists at all). He has never discussed his sexuality with me. I just wonder what would have happened if he could have been candid from the beginning. I know that I would not of been born but at least he and my mother would have had a better chance of being happy separately. He is now taking care of her since her dementia is getting worse every day.

I will vote NO to the Anti-Marriage Amendment ballot question in Minnesota on November 6th, 2012. I will vote NO in honor of my father and all the self-homophobic people like him. The Minnesota State Constitution should never limit rights or mandate morality. My dad deserves to love himself and be loved by a terrific man.

P.S. This is not “outing” my father, even if you read all my blogs you would not know the community where my family resides. If I were writing under my real name I would never discuss this topic openly, I would not risk causing him more discomfort.

UPDATE: Minnesotans wisely voted to defeat this amendment, the first state to stop this type of horrendous amendment. YEAH!

Love is Love.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Worm ranking: Four = Very Good; Three and a half = Good; Three worms = Fair, but readable; Two and a half worms = So-So (don’t bother). The worms are very pernickety.

Objects of My Affection by Jill Somolinski Four worms
Surprisingly delightful examination of complicated issues. Strong character development and interesting storyline. Makes the reader want to clean out a closet. Romantic elements didn’t become tedious until near the end. Perfect for a book club.

Devine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells Three and a half worms
Humorous strong storyline became confusing when the narrative leapt through time and changed voices. May have been better to write as multiple book epic with more development of all the Ya-Ya members.

Murder Most Austen by Tracy Kiely Three worms
Clever alliterations to Jane Austen novels. Author ruined the suspense by stating who would die in the first chapter. Likeable main character with witty humor and detailed descriptions of the venue. Some logic errors didn’t add up.

The Turtle-Girl from East PukaPuka by Cole Alpaugh Two and a half worms
Beautiful brilliant descriptions ruined by author’s fixation on physical pleasure. Sections of the book qualify as soft porn. Could have used another chapter to wrap up the story.

The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay Two and a half worms
Characters needed more development. Interesting to learn more about the beginning of communist movement in China. Good description of travel through the luscious jungle. You could almost smell and taste the portrayal of portage.

Seeking suggestions for a dazzling book, please leave a note.

Worms rule!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Saturday, October 6, 2012


Arthritis is rampant on both sides of my family. I experienced pangs in my shoulders during high school. My left knee began to indicate forthcoming rain/snow in my 20s, it is sensitive to air pressure change. During my 30s my hips, ankles and right knee would occasionally hurt. No big deal a pain murderer would block the discomfort.

When I turned 40 my body began to deteriorate. Eyesight worsened, fatigue, insomnia, and the joints in my hands began to swell and ache. It probably doesn’t help that I am overweight. The strain only places more pressure on my joints. Naughty me.

I watched my paternal grandmother bow over with a dowagers hump as her osteoporosis destroyed her spine. Her hands shriveled into stumps as the arthritis twisted the bone, muscle and tendons into claws. My dad has some arthritis but his sisters and niece are badly affected. My maternal grandmother Daisy had aches but died before they wrecked her body. My mom’s back hurts so much that she was immobilized for most of last winter. Her arthritis is made worse because she was born premature and her body didn’t quite develop correctly. I suspect that it is spina bifida but I don’t know if she’s been diagnosed.

I have a very mild case of spina bifida. One of my spinal bones is not fully formed and it slightly exposes the tender bits. It wasn’t diagnosed until six years ago. I was in a car accident (not my fault) and I had to see a chiropractor. The doctor took x-rays and it showed the slight abnormality. That explains why an old beau would hurt me when he would sweetly offer to massage my back and press in that area – the pain was excruciating. Unwittingly, he could have caused me great harm if he’d pressed too hard on the spinal nerve. I don’t blame my mom if my condition is due to lack of folic acid. The research wasn’t available at that time. I just have to be careful not to press that area of my back since it will always be vulnerable.

Back to the joints. Lots of research but little progress to stop or reduce arthritis. You can only block the pain. I have found that taking a glucosamine supplement does help to reduce the swelling. It is sad to watch my fingers start to twist. The joints are slightly swollen most of the time and hurt some of the time. This year my left elbow began to constantly ache. The pain is most apparent while trying to sleep because I can maintain some type of distraction during the day. I need to lose weight and join a Hatha Yoga class as soon as I can afford it. The stretching and breathing has always been helpful.

Getting older sucks.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Our fourth Cash Mob St Paul MN (CMSPM) gathering is announced!! Help support a local business by spending at least $20 cash at this event (okay to spend less). We cover the entire East Metro area (Dakota, Ramsey, and Washington counties).

CMSPM Event #4
Date: Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
Time: 6pm (okay to arrive late or shop on another date)
Location: West St. Paul (the city) TO BE ANNOUNCED a day or two before the event, please check back for details.!/events/383460261724863/

We are seeking nominations for our October event, in the city of West St. Paul (geographically located south of downtown St. Paul). Please post the establishment’s name (with website, if possible) on our Facebook page before noon on October 14th. (Sorry, no chain stores or franchises qualify.)

The cash mob rules are simple:
1. Spend $20 cash (more or less but cash does speed up the check out process),
2. Chat with three people that you don’t know but please bring along a friend or two, and
3. Enjoy yourself! We want this to be a fun experience for everyone.

On the CMSPM Facebook (FB) page:
* Please RSVP with “Join” if you can make it; invite your FB Friends; and SHARE THIS INVITATION WITH OTHERS via FB by posting on your personal page. Help spread the word to non-FB folks (see next paragraph for details).
* If you can’t attend, you can temporarily indicate a “Maybe” to invite your FB friends and then decline at a later date.
* Please decline before the event if you have to cancel.
* “Like” our FB community page at “Cash Mob St Paul MN” to receive notification of future events and invite your FB Friends to join us, too!

We welcome other methods of advertising our efforts, if you would like to co-host or publicize this event in another way, such as MeetUp or another FB group. Please send a message via our FB page and keep us informed as to the numbers of people attending. The more the merrier!

Optional: Wear something green to the occasion to indicate that you are a member of the Cash Mob…just an idea, not a requirement.

Thank you ever so much!

PS If you can’t join us for this happening, please patronize the business another time and let them know that you heard about their entrepreneurial efforts from Cash Mob St Paul MN.

Come Mob with Me!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, September 30, 2012


Friendly, imaginative, community-minded attendees were not a surprise. Neither was the high caliber plenary sessions nor fabulous workshops a bolt from the blue. The after-hour soirees and luncheon were lovely. A revelation was the joyous environment of the “Hacker Space” room guarded by a funky Spoon & Cherry catapult. Populated by affable TC Makers, it was clearly the most dynamic space of the NAMAC 2012 Conference. People giggled, smiled, and were proud of their creative efforts. Experimental rhythms and beats surrounded Beatrix*Jar’s music table. The relaxed atmosphere provided the opportunity to fool around, which is sorely needed by adults. I strongly recommend that all future NAMAC gatherings include a creative space component.

Life is sequential, however its not always clear where the path will lead so sometime you just have to go with the proverbial flow… my path to NAMAC was searching employment listings on the Springboard for the Arts website. I happened upon a posting seeking 2012 Conference volunteers.

The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture was a mystery to me. I was intrigued by the nonprofit organization, especially since they were seeking documentarians to help record the event. I rearranged my schedule, signed up to donate my time, and ventured to the Conference. The most common questions from attendees were “Where to eat” and “What to do” so I posted helpful hints on my personal blog.

I greatly enjoyed attending part of the Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) Producer Workshop. Moving-image makers participated to develop relationships and discuss a variety of topics. Gulgun Kayim permitted me to interview her for the NAMAC blog. I then viewed the transmedia Prison Dancer with commentary by Ana Serrano of the Canadian Film Centre. It’s original material was divided into a series posted on YouTube with an interactive website to build critical mass. The “Pak Yow” rap video has become a mainstream viral hit.

After attending meetings, I was moved to tears by the documentary, The Power of Two. “Why We Do This” installation by Andy DuCett was a proper finale for the Conference. The exhibit at The Soap Factory site and was wild & wacky. It was fun to charge through the line of football players with a long-stemmed rose clutched in my teeth. The only challenge now is how to stay connected to such a vibrant group of people…

Go forth and create!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, September 27, 2012


This article was written for the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture blog, and published on September 19th, 2012. Thank you Ms. Kayim for sharing her wisdom and NAMAC for permission to repost this interview.

Q & A with Gulgun Kayim:
Gülgün Kayim has always been acutely aware of place. War erupted four days after her birth on the island of Cypress and her hometown is now located in the demilitarized zone. Her family fled as refugees to England. The deeply resonating theme of mapping spectral places has motivated her to create site-specific performance art. She focuses on telling the stories of a physical location as it intersections with memory and emotion.

Gülgün is currently working on a piece for the Cypress Demilitarized Zone to promote community healing and build peace by providing a narrative of people who lost the war. She has been drawn to dealing with traumatized communities, including the coordination of a five-year anniversary event for the 35W Bridge Collapse.

Gülgün began her position as the Director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy with the City of Minneapolis in July 2011. She coordinates arts and creative economy activities within the complexities of a governmental organization; works with Minneapolis Arts Commission; and, develops arts, culture and creative industry policies around economic development and programs for the city. In October 2012 her department will be releasing a Creative Vitality Index.

Gülgün has an extensive background and professional experience in performance, public art and art installation, producing and creating large-scale public art works and theatrical performances in dance and theater. She has been awarded a number of prestigious honors. She also enjoys hanging out with her growing family, running, gardening, and canine companionship.

Define “creative place-making." Why is creative place-making of relevance to the media arts community?

I think of creative place-making as place specific. It is arts driven, cross-sector, urban development based on the idea that arts activities when engaged with the neighborhoods are attractors for other activities.

Creative place-making is of relevance to anyone in the arts community only in so far as that community is interested in engaging with the world around them. Arts organizations and artists can choose to work in their own communities without intersecting with the greater world. But when they go beyond the confines of the studio or the stage, they can have broader and more profound impacts.

How does your artistic background assist you while working within government public-policy development?

Space is subjective; the same physical location co-exists with different meanings based upon the experiences of each person. My job is to get the conversation going and discuss how to partner to value-add to the project. It is important to find allies, have specific goals, and talk with people. It is a complicated process, don’t get discouraged, and just keep trying. The end goal is to show how arts influence every part of the community. Artists are change makers in society.

What can an individual person do to help one's community’s economy benefit from the arts, beyond being a consumer?

People can support the arts economically by sending their kids to art classes and insisting that their school provides arts education. They can also volunteer, vote arts supporters into office, donate (to an artist or arts organization), get informed about the debates in the arts disciplines they care about and participate on a citizen board, advocacy group committee or commission.

Arts are vital!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Eyes grow heavy
Hide my yawn
Limbs weary
Fidget to keep my blood circulating
Curse my full stomach

‘Tis time for a siesta
Oh, what a sweet luxury

droop and stoop
Brain drifting into the fog
I am losing the struggle of consciousness
Another boring meeting

No access to caffeine
Not appropriate to do jumping jacks
I want to be like my cat and nap before I get tired

Better not snore or drool
Like the guy at the next table

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, September 21, 2012


No drag queens but lots of artwork fit for royalty. Leapt around Longfellow neighborhood for the 2012 LOLA art crawl. Lovely weather with light traffic. This year’s map is much more accurate, which made the journey a lot easier. Multitude of artists to visit but alas I wasn’t able to stop at every location.

Despaired that several creators did not have a clear safe outside pathway for the patrons to walk or a profoundly cluttered area inside in which to view the artwork. I just hope that no potential benefactor was injured in these areas and that the homeowner has extensive insurance. It would be positive to indicate on the map the locations that are wheelchair accessible.

Kathryn Clayton and Nicole Fierce continue their development as profoundly talented artists. Both have sustained high levels of creativity after being highlighted in last year’s review. Plus, profiled via Ima’s Artist Illumination, just search their names in this blog. Please check out their websites at and Listed below are some amazing artists from this year’s crawl.

Jessica Zeglin draws sweet little critters, plants, and insects. Who knew that vermin could be so darn cute?

* Lois Jonet designs atmospheric windows, sun-catchers, stepping stones, and fabulous layered glass garden flowers. Truly delightful at
* Mimosa Greer is a talented potter of great proportion at
* Nancy Schultz offers a hand tye-dyed extravaganza of clothing.
* Jack Rumpel forms calm functional stoneware with soft textures. Terrific urns, nice yard, and hospitable host.
* Chris Miller creates whimsical glass on glass mosaics, and terrific cityscapes.
* Benito Medina carves kitchen implements and impish jewelry.
* Alice Delaney sculpts colorful concrete garden art.
* Teresa Harsma crafts delicate paper & wire earrings and decorative books. 507-455-3677

LOLA information is posted at I apologize for the much belated issuance of this review, it has been a busy late summer.

Swarmed by art.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


You are cordially invited to join our Cash Mob St Paul MN group on Saturday, September 22nd! We will patronize two more businesses affected by Green Line – Central Corridor Light Rail construction in St. Paul. They are located a few blocks west of the intersection with Dale Street. Several of the streets are still blocked in this area so you may have to drive around a bit to gain access to these businesses. Thank you in advance for your patience and persistence.

We will meet on Saturday starting time of 11am at Trung Nam French Bakery. Load up on baguettes, croissants and yummy baked goods. They are located at 739 University Avenue West, 55104 on the north side of the road. Their phone number is 651-229-0887. There is a small parking lot but you may want to park on a side street. Their Facebook page is You can easily walk over to the next destination.

At NOON we will be gathering at Homi Mexican Restaurant situated at 864 University Avenue West, and phone number is 651-222-0655. Fresh meals made from scratch and Grandma’s recipes. They are on the south side of the road in a yellow building. Homi’s parking lot is tiny so it might be easiest to park on Victoria or a side street. Their website is

RSVP at!/events/306542059453757/ and invite your friends to congregate with us. The more the merrier! While you are at our Facebook page, be so kind as to “Like” our group and get notified of upcoming gatherings. If you aren’t able to join us for this soiree, please support the establishments listed in this note soon. Let them know that you were sent by “Cash Mob St Paul.”

Please join us for either or both of these mobful events. Construction has been arduous for all businesses along University Avenue. Mindfully spending your cash at a local retail venue has a positive impact on the entire community since local entrepreneurs are more likely to spend their income locally and that stimulates other businesses. Franchises and chain-stores have a huge advantage over small shops, that is why we focus on locally owned independent stores.

Other nominations to visit include:
Hampton Park Co-op at
Everest on Grand Restaurant at
Treadle Yard Goods at
Sonnen Pet Shop (651) 222-2425 in downtown St. Paul

Local is as local does.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, September 14, 2012


Excited about a second interview with a nonprofit. .75 FTE but enough pay to just cover my monthly bills. I was optimistic. First interview went really well. Received a call the next day to schedule number two. Arranged to meet at their other office.

I departed from my current part-time job a little early to prep for the interview and drive to their office (15 miles from my job). Arrived early which gave me time to prepare. Waited, waited, and no one arrived at the time of the interview. I called the Human Resources person’s office, no answered so I called her cell. She said that the location was switched back to the first office and since I hadn’t confirmed the people were on their way. Waited, waited, no one arrived. Finally, the person who would be the supervisor called a co-worker who was holding a class at the site where I was abandoned. She was angry with me for not getting the message. What? Excuse me, but it was she or the HR person’s responsibility to confirm the location change. They left a message for me at home and sent an email; I don’t do personal stuff at work so I never received the information. Why did they contact me only a few hours before the interview? If anything, they should have left a message at the second office in case I arrived there.

I was so irritated that I didn’t call them the next morning because I would have been rude. I did leave a voicemail for the HR person in the afternoon about rescheduling. I had to go out of town so I left her another voicemail with my cell number the next day, just to be courteous. I come home to find a message that they decided to go with another candidate and cancel with me. What bastards! Unprofessional to mess with a candidate. I will never apply there again or donate and warn other people to avoid that place.

The economy is getting better but it’s been profoundly difficult to procure gainful employment. My savings are quickly dwindling after three+ years of under & unemployment. I have started going through my stuff to see what I can sell for cash. I choose to be financially self-reliant. I don’t expect anyone to take care of me. It isn’t pride; it’s about being responsible for myself. Dang nab it, I just want to work and pay my bills without stress. Is that too much to ask??

Will work full-time for money.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig Four worms
Delightful reminiscence a saloon owner’s son. Charming innocent humor and layers of meaning add texture to a much-documented subject. Several surprises made the novel compelling. Ending was rather abrupt; perhaps the author could continue the story in another novel.

XO by Jeffery Deaver Three and a half worms
Well written but author’s note should have been as an epilogue. Perhaps he is hankering to change careers and become a lyricist. Expected one narrative twist and surprised by more. Good pacing and insights into obsessive behavior. However, the author made disparaging remarks about plump people.

Cats Behaving Badly by Celia Haddon Three worms
Explanations why felines do the naughty things that they do. Common sense tips and insights offered with a bit of humor. A few too many stories that don’t clearly relate to the topic. Author clearly distains indoor-only cats.

Beautiful Sacrifice by Elizabeth Lowell Three worms
Turning of the Wheel and the changing of the gods to begin the Fourteenth Baktun. The world as we know it ends on December 21st, 2012. Flirting smothered an otherwise interesting storyline. Main characters were distracted by burning desire. Interesting view into archeology and cultural anthropology efforts, could have used further explanation of terminology.

The Wurst is Yet to Come by Mary Daheim Two worms
Beginning is convoluted and choppy. Relationship between the two main characters needed to only be mentioned occasionally, not in every paragraph. One of the main actors was rude, crude, and unlikable. Author clearly revolted by overweight people. Intermittent good writing with humor. Sauerkraut ending was abrupt and didn’t follow through with the story at home.

Whole Lot’O Reading
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, September 7, 2012


You are cordially invited to indulge in the rich arts culture of the St. Paul & Minneapolis area (aka the conjoined-Twin Cities) during the NAMAC 2012 Conference. Venture out of the hotel to meet the plethora of creative folks in the region. Actually, the entire state is filled with talented residents.

There are a number of museums and galleries to visit as well as individual artists or collective activities. Constellation Minneapolis is a neighborhood-generated multi-site arts experience occurring on both Saturday (11am – Midnight) and Sunday (11am – 7:38pm). View their itinerary at for details. Most sites are accessible by bus but its best to take a taxi after nightfall.

After the Soap Factory soiree travel a short distance to the Northrup King Building (NKB) for the Artfall10 opening at Studio 391, 1500 Jackson Street NE, 55413 for information (7pm-11). The NKB is located in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis arts district. The springtime Art-A-Whirl opens hundreds of studios for a three-day extravaganza of creativity ( St. Paul’s Art Crawl is presented in both the spring and the fall of each year (www.

Many more arts events are listed at and you can do a web search. If you don’t have time during this visit, please return to our vicinity to explore. The summer is jam-packed with free outdoor concerts and events, and the cold season offers the St. Paul Winter Carnival and intellectual pursuits. My personal theory is that winter increases both the intensity of creation as well as the appreciation of the arts in our community. After you shovel, there isn’t a heck of a lot to do when the temperatures are mind-numbingly cold (below 0 Fahrenheit). You can either sit home and mope or get out to enjoy dance, music, theater, or visual arts.

Featured is a painting by the talented Alison Price. Contact her at 612-805-1886 or view her website at

Yah, sure you betcha, please return to Minnesota soon, ya know…
© 2012 Ima B. Musing


It has been terrific to meet the people attending the NAMAC Conference taking place in downtown Minneapolis. The most frequent question that I’ve heard is, “Where is a good place to eat?” There are many wonderful restaurants near the hotel, like Bachelor Farmer and Hell’s Kitchen. If you wish to venture a little further south on Nicollet Avenue, you will enter “Eat Street” which has a variety of flavorful venues ranging from Thai, American, German, Greek, East Indian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and many others. You can take a bus or pedal a bike to any of these terrific places.

Another hotspot for eateries is along Lake Street. You can travel south upon Nicollet Avenue and make a right turn onto Lake. Minneapolis has a large Spanish speaking and Somali population so there are several great eateries. A concentration of restaurants is at the intersection of Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue. You can travel further west on Lake Street to the Uptown area for a more upscale experience, at the intersection of Lake and Hennepin. Swing back north (right turn) onto Hennepin Avenue to access other terrific gastronomic experiences and you’ll return to downtown Minneapolis.

Of course, we are the Twin Cities and St. Paul has fabulous restaurants, too. There is a terrific Hmong fleaW-market at the intersection of Como Avenue with Marion Street. Don’t let light rail construction deter you from visiting the University Avenue plethora of eateries. Ask a “local” person for advise regarding a good restaurant and you’ll encounter the Minnesota Nice experience.

As for after-hour activities, we offer an impressive array of entertainment. Peruse the website for art specific activities or just ask a volunteer at the event for ideas. Most bars stay open until 2am so you’ll find lots of music to enjoy.

Have a great time!
(c) 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Honored to be interviewing Gulgun Kayim, Director of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy with the City of Minneapolis, during the NAMAC Conference. Look for the posting at and other posts about this fascinating event! Exact publishing date & time to be determined…

Imagine Everyday
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, August 31, 2012


The National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture’s 2012 Conference is being held in the Twin Cities from September 6th – 8th. I have been selected as an official “Documenter” for the conference! I will be interviewing participants and posting the discussions on the NAMAC website: I am not certain of the date of my first posting, but just watch their site for my contributions. Thus, I’ll be taking a brief hiatus from my personal blog to volunteer in this capacity.

As you know, I am both a consumer and creator of the ubiquitous “media.” I read a lot, watch a lot, and think too much. I really enjoy writing my observations and self-publishing in this online virtual world of the Blog-o-sphere. Haven’t made a dime, but that is okay. I’m just honored that people actually read my odd and arcane views.

Blogging has provided some interesting opportunities. I really enjoy promoting artists, writers, and local businesses. It’s been delightful meeting folks and making new friends. As an adult, it can be a challenge to do the precious metal thing – “make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.” All positive relationships are dear to me.

As for NAMAC qualifications, I was raised in a creative family. My parents had an arts-n-crafts business and we displayed their creations at county fairs and art shows throughout southern Minnesota. I’ve always puttered with drawing, painting, and montages. As a teenager, I participated in the 4-H Arts-In show (featured at the Minnesota State Fair). I was a Studio Arts major for a while in college before I switched over to Communications. I have worked at both the Guthrie Theater and Walker Art Center.

Once I learned how to read, a challenge due to my mild dyslexia, I have been a consumer of words. My favorite distraction is to fall into a book. A good story is the best stress reliever. I love to write but spelling is a weakness so I am forever grateful to the inventor of spell-check. I was the news editor of my high school paper and dreamt of becoming a professional journalist. However, the 1980s was still a very male-dominated era and I didn’t want to have to play games to be permitted to write an article. Sadly, I switched to another major but twenty-some years later I have returned to my first avocation, writing. Middle-aged crisis, No, because I didn’t feel stressed about it and I am only 40-something. I just wanted to fulfill this yearning since my youth. I guess it was a positive impulse because I’ve been very pleased with the results.

Please check the NAMAC website for my postings. I’ll return to my personal blog as soon as I find something interesting to say… probably September 9th.

See Ya at the NAMAC Conference!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Proclaiming our third Cash Mob St Paul MN (CMSPM) gathering!! Help support a local business by spending at least $20 cash at this event (okay to spend less).

CMSPM Event #3
Date: Saturday, September 22nd
Time: 11am – Business visit AND Noon – Restaurant for lunch (okay to arrive late or participate in only one segment of the event)
Locations: TO BE ANNOUNCED a day or two before the event, please check back for details. Somewhere along the St. Paul end of the Green Line, light rail Central Corridor.

We are seeking nominations for our September event; business and restaurant must be within one block of each other AND physically located on the Green Line - Central Corridor construction zone in St. Paul. Please post the establishment’s name (with website, if possible) on our Facebook page!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966 before noon on Sept 8th. (Sorry, no chain stores or franchises qualify.)

The cash mob rules are simple:
1. Spend $20 cash (more or less but cash does speed up the check out process),
2. Chat with three people that you don’t know but please bring along a friend or two, and
3. Enjoy yourself! We want this to be a fun experience for everyone.

On the CMSPM Facebook (FB) page:
* Please RSVP with “Going” if you can make it; invite your FB Friends; and SHARE THIS INVITATION WITH OTHERS via FB by posting on your personal page. Help spread the word to non-FB folks (see next paragraph for details).
* If you can’t attend, you can temporarily indicate a “Maybe” to invite your FB friends and then decline at a later date.
* Please decline before the event if you have to cancel.
* “Like” our FB community page at “Cash Mob St Paul MN” to receive notification of future events and invite your FB Friends to join us, too!

We welcome other methods of advertising our efforts, if you would like to co-host or publicize this event in another way, such as MeetUp or another FB group. Please send a message via our FB page and keep us informed as to the numbers of people attending. The more the merrier!

Optional: Wear something green to the occasion to indicate that you are a member of the Cash Mob…just an idea, not a requirement.

Thank you ever so much!

PS If you can’t join us for this happening, please patronize the business another time and let them know that you heard about their entrepreneurial efforts from Cash Mob St Paul MN.

Goodie Mob Shoes!!/pages/Cash-Mob-St-Paul-MN/297499490345966
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, August 26, 2012


“You’re jumping from the frying pan and into the fire,” a friend warned. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity; I knew that the Republican National Convention (RNC) caravan wouldn’t be returning to the Twin Cities in my lifetime. I had carpe diem and volunteer. Yes, I assisted with the 2008 RNC. I thought it would be good to observe from within rather than being told or shown what to think from the perspectives of others.

Originally, I was going to be a background helper. I was planning to assist with behind the scenes stuff. A few days before the event began I received call from a RNC staff member. They wanted me for a special assignment because I had security clearance (I’d met President G.W. Bush the year before due to the 35W Bridge Collapse and didn’t punch him). I checked with my employer and used vacation time. I cancelled my support-work volunteering shifts and leapt into the center of the action.

Monday was Labor Day and the convention was on hiatus due to a hurricane striking Louisiana (Mmm, wrath of a higher power?) There was a whirlwind of gossip swirling around Bristol Palin’s teenage pregnancy. Bristol had the proverbial “baby bump” so there was no way that they could have disguised the expecting life form. I had the opportunity to just sit and watch. I met most of the people who were highlighted on television. Professional politicians have to be cordial; it’s a part of their charm.

Tuesday and Wednesday were busier. We assisted with events but spent a lot of time waiting. I was dissatisfied in how the RNC treated its volunteers. Most of the time we were served cheap food and no beverages. They didn’t invite us to any event outside of our shift or even keep us informed as to our schedule. We received very little training as to what we were to do or not do besides not drinking alcohol during our shift. They really could have used a professional Manager of Volunteer Resources to tend to the inner-ring of unpaid staff (us).

Thursday, endorsement day, was the most exciting. Lots of energy and action. Stress level was high because some members of the media were aggressively seeking stories and a photo of Bristol. Security was impressive. I will not provide details about this but suffice it to say that only a fool would attack a national convention. They were concerned about anarchists and people who meant us harm. I experienced a few minutes of panic when there was a riot on a bridge in St. Paul. I didn’t want to get hurt or die while volunteering.

We ventured to the St. Paul Rivercentre for the Convention and were permitted to go inside. Unfortunately, we didn’t get passes to visit the convention itself, which was second-rate. I would have liked to been in the epicenter of the action and why we were there. I observed a lot of celebrities and media folks rushing around. The media was especially exhausted after covering the Democratic National Convention the week before. I too was fatigued by the end of the four days. I had to take Friday off from work to recover. It was definitely an out of the ordinary experience.

A few weeks later we were invited to a volunteer appreciation night. Not impressed. Too many people in a small space. It would have been nice to have a special party for the inner-circle folks. I met some fascinating people but didn’t procure their contact information. The Democratic National Convention will roll into the Twin Cities, hopefully in 2016 or 2020. I want to volunteer for them too. I’d be cool to be in the inner-circle and compare notes.

A national political convention has two parallel organizers, the central party committee and the candidate’s campaign. The Committee is the “river” it flows through time. The candidate is the “boat” it jumps in for a while and either gets empowered by a win or beached by a loss. When the candidate wins they gain a larger boat but the Committee Leadership is the ultimate authority as to where the political river flows.

The Committee staffers were professional. They had been through large events before and weren’t flummoxed by challenges. Whereas, the Convention-Candidate McCain staffers were mostly young and inexperienced. They were vitriolic and negative towards every action by the Obama team. They even mocked Obama’s compassion for Bristol. That was profoundly inappropriate. I presume the democrats can be just as vicious but it caustic, unprofessional, and destroys the memory of such greats as Hubert H. Humphrey. He would be ashamed of that behavior.

It was apparent by Wednesday of the RNC that the Committee was unhappy with McCain’s choice for Vice President. They were grumbling about Sarah Palin and I even overheard someone whisper, “We’ve lost it already.” I don’t blame Palin, she and her entourage were overwhelmed by the glamour of the RNC. McCain and his advisors just chose someone who wasn’t ready. Her post-campaign behavior proves that she may have never been a good fit. It was extremely immature to resign from her responsibilities as Alaska’s Governor to grab money in the national spotlight. I’d like to view the movie made about the campaign and see if it matches what I observed.

I am a social liberal and fiscal moderate; thus, politically unaffiliated. I am disgusted by the polarizing elements of both parties. They used to welcome moderates but now the zealots persecute the middle of the road (aka the majority of Americans). My hopes for a viable moderate third-option party have been thwarted. Our society suffers due to the Committees who strangle progress. They can’t see that the proverbial forest for the trees as they strangle us with their political kudzu that favors the wealthiest 1% and big corporations.

Note: Kudzu is a beautiful plant but it tends to destroy all surrounding plants as it seeks the light.

Vote November 6th!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing