Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Nudity garners a lot of attention. A good friend of mine during college, DeWayne, had been a “background actor” for several productions at a theater in the Twin Cities. He would walk into a scene and fill in space, no spoken lines since DeWayne didn’t belong to the actor’s union. He was a good-looking 21 year-old with a very nice physique. In one production he was on stage as an artist’s model. Even though he was wearing a small g-string, it was dyed to his flesh tone so the illusion of naked was complete. I had known him for years and even gone swimming together but it was a gasp and “Oh, my” moment when he dropped his robe.

He was stunningly beautiful. Ooh-la-la. He received notes, flowers, and gifts from strangers who wanted to meet him. Some were polite and others rather frank about wanting to shag. Single people of both genders and couples. DeWayne who is a bit introverted was flattered and amused. He liked the attention until he left the theater one night and was accosted in the parking lot. The man blatantly offered money for sex, which repulsed DeWayne. He managed to get back into the building unscathed but was rattled. DeWayne’s a romantic; he wanted a nice man to woo him.

Someone sent him flowers at his day job and other people began calling him on his home phone. Cell phone were too expensive for a poor college student. Creepy. Near the end of the production run, a couple followed him home and approached him as he went into his apartment. The woman grabbed his arm and he had to yell. His neighbor called the police but the couple left before the officers arrived. He was frightened enough to move out of the apartment. He had to quit his day job due to the harassment. After the show was finished, DeWayne moved out of Minnesota. He had encountered the dark side of celebrity. It triggered an anxiety disorder, which still haunts him today. He’s afraid of being recognized.

Anti-stalking laws have greatly improved since DeWayne’s experience. No one should be frightened by someone’s attention. I recently attended a fancy fundraiser, I volunteered so I that didn’t have to pay. I ended up talking with a handsome man and sat next to him while we listened to music. No physical attraction but interesting banter. Unknown to me, he was a well known retired professional athlete. People came up to him like a monarch in court. They blubbered and babbled how it was an honor to meet him. They wanted a photo to show their friends. Oddly, no one asked for an autograph.

Women would slink by and give him the come hither look and his eyes would sweep up and down their body. I was rather stunned by the frank sexual overtures at a black-tie and gown event. One drunken fool tottered over to him and demanded that she be invited to his hotel room. He politely said, “No thank you.” She escalated to a minor threat but he wasn’t intimidated because he was physically larger than her. The rest of us were aghast with her behavior. However, she would have hit any female who came near her because she was so focused upon the object of her desire. Her friend managed to draw her away but it was disturbing. I apologized to him for her behavior. He nonchalantly stated, “It happens all the time.” He had been a professional athlete for many years and had dealt with celebrity status since high school. He said that it was annoying but usually didn’t bother him.

I came for the music but enjoyed the show except for the drunken fool. Fame extracts a horrible price. I am way too shy to ever get up on stage. Perhaps that is why I write. I don’t ever expect to become legendary. I certainly do not want to be pounced upon by paparazzi. I’m just an average boring person. I hope that what I share in this blog brings a few moments of joy or reflection to the reader. I do like flowers and gifts, though (just joking, kind of, monetary donations can be directed to account).

Infamy is futile.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, April 23, 2012


Latest review was posted on March 26th

Life of Pi by Yann Martel Four worms
First half of the book is outstanding in its examination of religion. Chapter 25 excels as it scrutinizes the self-righteous morality of the devoutly faithful. “To me, religion is about our dignity, not our depravity,” stated Pi. Time in the boat becomes arduous and fantastical. Should have kept a chronological order instead telling of the conclusion before the story was finished.

Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson-Bennett Three and a half worms
Clever examination of feline behavior. Especially good for people who are thinking about procuring a cat companion, dealing with behavior issues, adding a child to the family, or just want to learn more about the felix in your home. Good stories but some needed a conclusion, as did the book. What happened to mourning Sophie?

Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin Three and a half worms
Well written but bewildering when the biographies were mixed together. I frequently became confused as to who was whom and what they were doing. It would have been better to write each biography independently and then blend them together when they met. Story became much more compelling after the President Lincoln’s election, about one third into the book. Well worth the effort to read though you may need to take notes to remember all the persons involved. Look at the photos, first, so that you can more easily visualize the people mentioned.

Red Earth, White Earth by Will Weaver Three worms
Harsh exploration of farming on a reservation. Lots of swearing and uncomfortable situations. Horridly prejudicial against Native Americans and Ojibwe Nation. Difficult to sympathize with the main character, his mother was much more interesting. The last few pages of Chapter 18 are fantastic.

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson Three worms
Three compelling profiles of courageous people who journeyed from the South to the North during Jim Crow. Extensive historical research and interviews with a lot of notations. Unfortunately, the affectionate biographies were mixed together. It was very perplexing to determine who was being discussed because so many extra names were included in each story. Chronological exploration of each person would have been easier to read.

Book suggestions appreciated. Seeking a five-worm winner!

Read with a cat (or dog) on your lap.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Enlightened kindred spirits who know that being inclusive and accepting every type of diversity strengthens the entire society gathered in Minneapolis, MN in March. The Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity was well attended. Over six hundred people from around the United States and world increased knowledge and raised their enthusiasm. It is so nice to be around people who “get it” and are united for a logical reason.

Humans are nearly identical. A minuscule amount of DNA provides differing characteristics. The social context of “race” is a rather recent development. Our bodies adapt to the surrounding physical environment, which causes the different physical characteristics or “race.” These different physical characteristics add genetic variety, which makes us stronger as a species.

Diversity fits into several categories. Physical characteristics of skin, hair, and eyes; it extends to body shape (size), abilities (strength, dexterity, endurance), and other traits. Add in age and gender and that covers the body. I think that gender and sexuality are on a genetic continuum. It is a bit different for each person and comes from within but is often defined by cultural norms.

Psychological characteristics include infinite variety ranging from aptitude, ability to learn new information, et al, is another area. Culture is a completely different category. It is a social construct to guide actions within a geographic location where people reside, though now it can be expanded to Internet web-based groups. Religion is a facet of culture. Educate yourself with reliable unbiased sources or better yet, meet and talk with people from a culture or form of diversity that you don’t know. Most people are flattered when someone wants to learn.

It’s all well and good to purport that you aren’t a racist or discriminate against anyone in any way. But really, is that your reality? You may not wear a white sheet and march in Klu Klux Klan parades but you may be practicing low-level discrimination, which is harmful. Treat others as you wish to be treated. Be aware of what you think, say, and do, especially around children. They learn from you. People make assumptions about me because I am plump and have white hair (used to be blonde). Their assumptions are harmful. I am neither lazy nor elderly (or dumb).

Don’t make assumptions about anyone. Assumptions make an ass out of the person who is doing the assuming. Don’t spread discriminatory jokes or humor. Get to know every person as an individual because there are many variations within every “group.” Even identical twins are different despite being raised in the same circumstance and sharing genetics. Smile at everybody. That is a universal signal of friendliness. It will open some wondrous doors of opportunity.

United We Stand.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, April 16, 2012


Dynamic pieces by Alison Price and Richard Simonsen are displayed in their newly renovated space, Carbon/Chroma Gallery. A multitude of people gathered on a lovely spring evening to celebrate the Grand Opening. Wood torches blazed outside providing the former loading dock locale with the incense of a cozy campfire.

Industrial built work is Richard’s mode, top right is an example. He incorporates a lot of metal and wood with painting in dark and metallic tones. Some of the wood has been burned for extra texture. Alison’s artwork is evolving beyond her classic brightly hued paintings (see below) to include pumice and tiny glass bead overlays. They had been in a shared room with several other artists before deciding to venture into a two-person space. It will be interesting to see how these old friends influence each other.

The soiree’s nosh offered a wide array of Chow Girl Catering treats and desserts as well as a nicely stocked refreshment stand. Comfortable furniture was available for seating while viewing the terrific artwork. The well-attended opening was filled with happy people and background music.

A few days after their opening, Alison and Richard graciously hosted the Abide By It show featuring current Minnesota College of Art and Design students. MCAD’s Alexandra Worre, Sean Roth, Olivia Rodriguez, Arthur Nelson, Chelsea LaPorta, Chalres Knight, and Schuyler Huber filled the gallery with interesting furniture pieces. It is always exciting to watch an emerging artist develop his or her own unique style. The First Thursday at the Northrup King Building is a relaxed method of viewing artwork without the pell-mell of Art-A-Whirl. The artists are more inclined to chat since they are not being inundated with patrons.

Carbon/Chroma Gallery is open by appointment, first Thursday evening of every month, and during the Art-A-Whirl Art Crawl. Located at Dock 7 (Gallery 192) of the Northrup King Building situated at 1500 Jackson Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Richard Simonsen can be reached at 952-933-6911 or Contact Alison Price at 612-805-1886 or Alison has been highlighted in blog postings on January 9th & 11th, and February 16th.

Be creative every day.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Dividing a hosta plant I felt a small twinge in my left buttock as I stomped on the shovel a couple weeks ago. Mmm, I’ll have a sore muscle for a few days. Wrong! I somehow irritated or pinched my sciatic nerve. It is the most intense pain that I have ever encountered besides back pain after an automobile accident and being bitten by a dog. The excruciating ache starts in my left bum and radiates down through my thigh to end at the midpoint of my calf.

I had heard complaints about this pain before but didn’t understand its depth of agony. I cannot sit for very long but standing and walking is even more painful. Lying down is the only comfortable position for my leg but not for the rest of my body or brain while awake. The pain has even woken me up at night. Aspirin dulls the discomfort. I don’t want to overload my body on painkillers because it can cause other problems. My kidneys don’t like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen anymore.

I began to feel better and helped at a faith-community event, silly me. I was nearly immobile the next day. I have many tasks to do but they are on hold until I heal. I really need to add mulch to my native perennial flower garden. Rake the lawn, mow, clean up the raspberry patch, and prepare the vegetable garden raised bed for plants. Now that it is getting warmer I can complete the closet floor and patch the basement walls. Heavy sigh, so many chores to finish before summer arrives.

Consulted for information since it is a reliable website. There isn’t much that can be done for this type of injury except inactivity and pain blockers. I’d like to try acupuncture because that worked very well on my back injury. However, I do not have the funds for several sessions due to a feline emergency.

Anxiety heightened because Zozo developed an eye irritation. Her right eye was teary for two days and then it turned pink with a mucus discharge. I called several places but I could not locate low-cost or sliding-fee scale veterinary care. Distressing to watch her suffer but worried about the money for a check-up and medication. However, I could not risk the infection becoming worse and had to pay. Her health and happiness is my responsibility. The antibiotic-drops worked because her eye is no longer infected. I know that cats are a luxury but they are very helpful for my emotional well-being. Argh, it sucks being poor and in pain.

Enjoy good health.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Dodged around Central Corridor Light Rail construction to the St. Paul location of Little Szechuan Restaurant. I always judge the authenticity of an eatery based upon the referral of people who grew up with the food as home cooking. If the venue is as good as “grandma” used to make, then it is good for everybody. Little Szechuan always has people of Chinese decent dining there. Their vote counts much more than mine.

Went with a group so I was able to try several dishes. Dan Dan Noodle is a spicy appetizer. The Bamboo Tips are rather bland. Deep-fried Crabmeat Delight doesn’t contain much crab but is a tasty crispy cream cheese wonton served with sweet sour sauce. Spicy Belt Fish is bony and doesn’t look like the photo in the menu. Milky Crispy Shrimp is a perfect combination of crunch and sweet. However, the broccoli garnish was cold. Spicy Crispy Chicken is like eating chicken turned into potato chips, but it tastes excellent. Chung King Chili Shrimp has got a lot of kick. Spicy Beef Short Ribs are succulent and finger-licking good. Cumin Lamb is exceptionally wonderful. Tea Smoked Duck is passable. Crispy Rice with Triple Delight has a flavorful sauce that will make you want to lick the plate. My kind friends treated me to a wonderful meal.

There are probably one hundred dishes available. The restaurant is decorated in simple red and black with two koi-pond fish tanks. Fake bamboo shoots provide an odd screen from the larger dining area to the booths. The breeze can be rather cold from the front door on chilly days despite the screen behind the host table. The servers are friendly and helpful. They were kind enough to replace a friend’s meal that was too spicy for him because the waitron forgot to ask how hot to make the dish. Oddly, there is no scent to the room or music.

They have a spacious parking lot, which is accessible from Western Avenue via the alley behind the Mai Village Restaurant on the SW corner of University Avenue and Western Avenue. Don’t let construction keep you from this delicious experience on “Little Mekong.” Otherwise, you can try their St. Louis Park location or order takeout and pick up the meal to consume at home.

Four and a half forks! The menu is difficult to navigate and some of the dishes were mediocre.

Near perfection.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Unblinking orange eye of Pele stares from the throbbing glory-hole waiting to envelop pure silicone crystals to return them to a liquid state. Her hot roaring breath brightly heats the building as plain sand is transformed into objects of splendor. Glass freezes light and movement into permanent design by emerging artist Nicole Fierce.

Ms. Fierce grew up in Connecticut and moved to Minnesota with her family at the age of twelve. She studied Theater and Psychology at Hamline University before embarking on a career of lighting design for opera, theater, and special events. After twelve years she decided to depart from the male-dominated field of production.

“Artwork is a passion, it becomes you, it isn’t a choice,” declared Nicole. She began working at The Bead Monkey store and discovered the joy of making charms. She has developed a unique line of delicate earrings, jewelry, and continues to teach classes. She also worked at a hardware store and pottery studio, which lead to hand blown glass.

Intense volcanic heat used to mold beauty from the mundane has beckoned Ms. Fierce for the past sixteen months. It is a science as well as an art. Her technical skills improve every time she works in the studio. She is comfortable in the community of glass artisans. It is a collaborative process because a glass artist cannot safely work alone. She is developing physical strength and dexterity from the demands of this art form as she explores her own distinct style. The male glass blowers are friendly and helpful.

Hospitality is true kindness according to Nicole. She wants her space to be where people want to go. She desires guests to feel welcome and comfortable. It goes beyond offering a variety of snacks and refreshments. She emphatically stated, “Everyone I meet is for a reason, I can learn from every person so it’s best to never be unfriendly.” She encourages one and all to have good manners and smile. Be self-aware enough to offer benevolence to strangers at all times. You never know where it will lead.

Recently, Ms. Fierce opened a shared space with design partner Marlo Cronquist ( The Green Machine Gallery opening event served scrumptious gluten-free nosh by Glorious Nibbles ( The talented Craig J. Campbell demonstrated the complexity of creating a simple glass bowl to an enraptured audience. He used wit and wisdom to explain the process and its science. We were able to sit within a few feet of where he worked on the molten glass, besieged by the fiery furnace ( The gallery is located on the third level of the Foci – Minnesota Center for Glass Arts Building (#10). Enter on the south end of the building complex at 2010 East Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis ( Beware the speed bump in the driveway next to the coffee shop; it will scrape the bottom of your auto even at a low speed.

Green Machine Gallery is open by appointment and during the Art-A-Whirl Art Crawl. Ms. Fierce can be contacted at or She won the “Ima Best Hospitality” award for 2011 Art Crawls. Read the review posted on September 21st, 2011 and summary on January 23rd, 2012. Included in this article are photos of her work, apology for the gray strip at the bottom of the jewelry photo - technical difficulties.

Light Your Fire.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Monday, April 2, 2012


“[sic] There are always those who take it upon themselves to defend God, as if Ultimate Reality, as if the sustaining frame of existence, were something weak and helpless. These people walk by a widow deformed by leprosy begging for a few paise*, walk by children dressed in rags living in the street, and they think, “Business as usual.” But if they perceive a slight against God, it is a different story. There faces go red, their chests heave mightily, they sputter angry words. The degree of their indignation is astonishing. Their resolve is frightening.

These people fail to realize that it is on the inside that God must be defended, not on the outside. They should direct their anger at themselves. For evil in the open is but evil from within that has been let out. The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart. Meanwhile, the lot of widows and homeless children is very hard, and it is to their defense, not God’s, that the self-righteous should rush.” Yann Martel, Life of Pi, (Random House, 2001), excerpts from Chapter 25. paise = money or cash

Mr. Martel wisely describes the nature of religious zealotry, ironically published just before 9-11. Zealots of any religious faith (which includes agnostics and atheists) should realize that they are accountable for the world. They chose to condemn people for faults or bad luck instead of helping the “widows and homeless children” et al. Zealots are personally responsible for not assisting those in need. They would rather shout, cause trouble, be violent, and waste their energy in negative activities. Don’t they realize that someday they may be in need of a “good deed”? Who will help them if they don’t help others while they are able to?

I could expound with self-righteous indignation at recent stories of people using religion as a weapon to harm others physically, mentally, or emotionally. Sadly, there are examples in the news every day. However, I have to examine my spiritual and personal efforts to defend those who are less fortunate. My journey of finding faith is detailed in January 1st & 4th entries. I am an Animist & Unitarian-Universalist (UU). More details at

Ok, so what am I doing to rush to the defense of the “widows and homeless children” or any person who is in need? How can I put faith into action? First, I have to accept that I am a single human being. I cannot do everything. I must do what I can. I have chosen to work with 501(c)3 nonprofit non-governmental organizations or educational institutions for 98% of my working life after brief dalliances into for-profit settings and retail sales. I may not make much money in nonprofit but I know that my efforts are helpful. Unfortunately, agency funding has been consistently unstable so that has lead to periods of unemployment including right now.

Making donations to other nonprofit groups is second method of support. I donate funds, in-kind gifts, and volunteer time. I regularly volunteer for disaster response, community building, and mentor college students. I also pitch in for special events, fundraisers, and conferences. It matters how I spend my time just as much as how I spend my money. Each minute of time or dollar spent is a vote for something. Every moment is precious because it will never return. and are good resources.

Lifestyle choice is a third dimension. I live a simple life with two feline companions. I drive a thirteen-year-old car in need of repair. My nearly hundred-year-old home requires lots of repairs but all that is on hold until I procure employment. I don’t have cable/satellite television or a smart phone. The Internet is dial-up because it is cheaper. I try to spread a little joy through this blog. I have never been interested in acquiring “stuff.” Any object that isn’t a basic necessity (food, clothing, shelter) is a luxury. I know that I am fortunate to have a house, auto, and cats. I maintain an attitude of gratitude.

Every human is connected to every other human. I have a duty to aid. I have felt that way since I was a small child. Perhaps it is due to the Higgs Boson Particle but we are all in this experience called life together. Period. End of discussion. What are you willing to do? How will you use the small clearing of your heart to rush to the defense of people in need?

Help others every day.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing