Tuesday, July 31, 2012

IMA’S NOSH REVIEW: KRUNGTHEP THAI

Glorious Eat Street features an impressive array of restaurants. I have dined several times at Krugthep Thai (Bangkok Thai Deli #2) and always consumed tasty entrees. The restaurant is located at 2523 Nicollet Avenue, Minneapolis, 55404 with phone number (612) 874-7721. Street parking is difficult so we usually park on a side street and walk over to the venue.

The space is simple and not crowded. Sometimes music is playing softly in the background. The waiters are knowledgeable but rather aloof. They quickly refill water glasses but you have to call them over for other attention. The food is prepared quickly and from fresh ingredients. Portion size is very good.

We started with the chicken satay. It was a bit bland but the meat was tender. Papaya Salad is absolutely fabulous. Crunchy, savory, and spicy, yum! Spicy Noodle was a wonderful combination of flavors and heat. I like three chilies of heat, equivalent to medium. Makes my nose run and a little extra sweat. I usually order a sweet coconut Thai Ice Tea, which helps to squelch the oil from the Thai chili peppers. Stir-Fried Rama and Red Curry are nice but the flavor is a bit flat. Masamun Curry is perfection. It has zest, texture, and looks too beautiful to eat. Larb is good but I would pass on the tripe (shredded intestines), they remind me of worms. Special Pho soup is complicated with a lot of flavor but also contains tripe. I’m certain that you can ask for tripe-free dishes.

The restroom is tiny and clean. Entryway is a good double door but the newspaper stands make it rather crowded. I wish that they had an outdoor patio. A solid four forks out of five for this very good restaurant!

Spice is Nice.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, July 29, 2012

BETWEEN DIAMONDS

Rock and a Hard Place is outmoded so I choose the hardest natural substance on earth, diamond. I have been crushed between diamonds during three years of underemployment and unemployment. I sent out 587 applications and failed 34 interviews (not including telephone conversations and online questionnaires). My savings are dwindling and I am feeling panicked. Wish that I had some diamonds to sell.

Reluctantly, I accepted a part time job with no benefits. It does not pay my bills so I must continue to search for a better compensation full time position with benefits. I know how to do the job but lack enthusiasm. The previous person in the position didn’t leave a good trail of what to do so I’m struggling with crumbs. The files are a mess as well as the computer. She never deleted one email while she was working, full time. Of course, there are urgent tasks to do but I don’t know how to do them because no hints were left. Heck, she didn’t even let me know the code for the telephone. I had to wait for her to email it to me so that I could retrieve the messages.

I share the tiny office with another person and there is no window. The only office in the building with no window. The worst element is that the boss isn’t very communicative. He seems nice but just doesn’t talk. He’s gone most of the time and I feel lost. Plus, it is more than ten miles from home with lousing parking. My car gets bad mileage so the driving eats up part of my meager paycheck. I will have to continue to visit the food-shelf just to eat since the garden is only now starting to bloom.

I’m frustrated and a bit angry with myself that I was desperate enough to accept this post. I struggle to maintain a positive attitude. My co-worker has praised me but I haven’t had any feedback from my supervisor. I view it as a temporary occupation until I find a better position though I am officially underemployed again. It’s easier to find a job when you have a job, yeah-yeah-yeah. Just hire me damn it. I’d be profoundly happy making $75,000 per year but would be thrilled with half that amount. Meanwhile, if you’d be so kind to help me survive financially please send your gift to http://www.gofundme.com/i4ix0 Thank you ever so much!!

Hire me.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, July 27, 2012

ARCHING FOR ART

Ventured to the Stone Arch Bridge Festival in Minneapolis. Learned about it on tv since there was very little advertising. Arrived an hour early to procure parking and read the newspaper while I waited for the booths to open. Beautiful June summer day, until it rained. I lived in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood for four years during and after college. I apologize for this much belated review; I’ve had a hectic summer!

Event was well attended. Amenable that there is a kid area but it could have been designated as such on the map. Variety of booths and entertainment. Could add more street entertainers to fill in the gaps between stages. Only one accordion player was at the west end of the booths. It was cool to have the car show on Father’s Day. Autos can be art but it would have been nice to have a few low riders with etched chrome and art cars on display.

Information booths are needed at the East and West entrances as well as next to the stairwells that lead from the parking ramp to the street. The booths were tucked away and difficult to notice. I was so busy looking at the display booths that I didn’t watch the roadway and tripped. Parts of the cobblestone road were in shambles. Perhaps they could fill the potholes with sand to reduce liability or at least place traffic cones over the worst spots. Nasty sewer stench lingered over the east end, ugh.

Nice to chat with previous honorees such as Rabi Sanfo and Melvin McGee. Felt sorry for the booths on the walkway to the Water Power Park. I don’t think that many attendees realized that it was open. Took advantage of a real bathroom at Wilde Roast and relaxed with a cool glass of iced tea before returning to the heat. Interestingly, lots of couples are highlighted in this review. Biggest complaint is the small type size on the business cards distributed by artists. Please, nothing below 8 points!

Please check out these terrific artisans. Honorable Mentions are not in any particular order.

Best in Show:
Jude R. Labuszewski playfully illustrates bug and critters. Delightful urban paintings and aquatint prints bring a smile to the viewer. http://www.judy-labuszewski.artistwebsites.com/

Honorable Mentions:
* Cynthia Anderson has beautiful glassworks and stone pieces. www.steelstoneglass.com

* Jeffery Gauss dabbles in eccentrically original magnets and paintings. The tattoo-style painting is mercurial with vibrant details of blue and purple. www.magnetdude.com

* Jerry & Marian Spitzack create silly and fun kitchen art. Who knew that forks and knives could be chimes? Email them at gmspitz1@aol.com

* Mark Lamm personifies the art of wood. Glued and appliqu├ęd wood becomes sculpture-like bowls, vases, and other forms. www.theartofwood.biz

* Susan & Eric Anderson’s pottery is organically stunning. The vessels look like beautiful pitcher plants and will be featured on Antique Roadshow someday. www.susanandersonceramics.com

* Bill Brown handcrafts furnishings into funky country furniture utilizing raw branches and polished surfaces. www.billbrownrusticfurniture@blogspot.com

* Wayne A. Kolstad has an interesting array of custom wood sculptures. The fish look real enough to be jumping into the nearby Mississippi River. www.carvingsbywako.com

* Bill & Linda Sumner make fun paperwork and fiber pieces. www.bearpaw-paperworks.com

* Nick Ringelstetter makes loud bright and bold other worldly graphic illustrations. Good humor and complicated images. http://www.atomic7studio.com/
Again, I express regret for this tardy posting. Summer is flying by too fast, as always.

Earth without “art” is “eh.”
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

RATTLING BONES

Skeleton in the closet is how my maternal grandmother, Daisy, phrased it. I didn’t understand the significance of what she said until thirty some years later. I was watching a slide show about the first immigrants to America at our family reunion. I looked at the photos and surnames and grandma’s words came back to me, the proverbial light bulb. “Our family were Jews in Prussia and converted to Christianity just before they came to America,” the family secret.

After the presentation was over, I asked the other audience members if they had heard that oral history. Well respected cousin Virgil responded with “Yes, but nobody talks about it.” Why not? Most of the group looked at me like I was insane. I may be odd, but I’m not unhinged. Virgil said that I should ask more of the relatives so I worked my way around the main reunion room inquiring if anyone else had heard that story. Cousin Sula stated that one of the cousin-historians had seen an odd architectural detail so I sought him out.

Peter, local historian and cousin, had visited a newly renovated farmhouse that had been built by one of our ancestors. The latest owner wanted to show off the improvements and had a question. They were a bit perplexed by a Star of David built into the house. Peter thought it was funny but was rather skeptical when I spoke with him about the conversion story. About an hour later he retorted, “Well, maybe the story is true. The people who built the house were excellent carpenters. They would not put in a Star without a good reason.” As “Christians” they should have installed a Crucifixion Cross, not a Star of David. Until recently, Southern Minnesota was openly hostile to people of Jewish decent; it would have been dangerous for them to display their Judaic roots. The Star was eventually covered, no one knows why but it is a very strong indicator. Another cousin knows the new owner of the house and said that she would take a photo and email it to us. We can determine if it was a design detail, not an architectural quirk.

The most enthusiastic relative was Carla. She was recently diagnosed with Factor V Leiden thrombophilia that my mom, sister, and nephew also have (I need to get tested). I located found two other branches of our family, which have this genetic quirk (DNA error). It makes your blood clot faster than it ought to, thus more susceptible to strokes and heart attacks. Carla had done a lot of research regarding Factor V and learned that it is almost exclusive to Ashkenazi Jews; the disorder is extremely rare and profoundly uncommon for non-Jewish people. She threw her arms around me when I asked if she had heard the story and exclaimed, “I knew I was a Jew!” because her doctor had inquired when she was diagnosed. I was a bit startled by her enthusiasm (she’s from the East Coast) but I checked it out and she was right.

Another cousin, Donald, mentioned that his mom told him we were Jewish. Since no one else in the family spoke about it he had not brought up the subject. He had recently already started a DNA test and will share the results if any Jewish ancestry shows up on his mom’s side (our family). He visited Prussia last year and could not find any hint of our ancestors or their family who stayed in the area. Granted, wars and conflict decimated the region but no traces of their names remain in the local churches or cemeteries. Our family outreach was stymied by the Cold War but perhaps we should have been researching synagogue records. Donald offered to check in Jewish databases for the names of the immigrant’s parents and any information about the family that remained behind. Unfortunately, the Holocaust probably obliterated much of our Jewish kin but we can still honor them and connect with any living blood relatives.

This is a solvable mystery. DNA tests will prove definitively yes or no. If no, I’ll be a little disappointed (humiliated and embarrassed). If yes, I hope that we can make contact with the Jewish family left behind. My grandmother’s favorite musical was “Fiddler On The Roof” it was romanticized but perhaps it made her feel closer to our possible Jewish roots. The story of conversion isn’t something that would be stated in jest, especially if several parts of the family heard the same story. It explains some of the gaps of data. I know that I offended a few people by asking, but it don’t question their faith now. If our ancestors were Jewish, it just means that they had to deal with another layer of change along with immigrating to another land. Gotta admire their hardiness (though as a person with Native American heritage I’m sad that one part of my family was annihilated by the other part). Ironic, eh?

Wake up your skeletons.

© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Friday, July 20, 2012

MOBBING SOMETHING NEW

Cash Mob St Paul MN’s first event occurred on Thursday, July 19th. We met at Something New in the Park a delightful artist cooperative gift shop. Alas, we were a mini-mob but very dedicated. Our east metro version of the Mob For Good’s mission to support locally-owned businesses. Sorry, no chain stores or franchises qualify even if a local person owns them. We focus on the places where new customers really have a positive impact. We want to help them survive during the prolonged economic difficulties.

Something New is a enchanting store. It offers an array of jewelry, funky craft items, clothing, and charming what-nots. Perfect place to procure a gift or a fun item for yourself. Friendly workers and options to customize the merchandise (since the artist is local). Something New is located at 2301 Como Avenue, Suite 101, St Paul, MN 55108. It is at the corner of Como and Doswell Avenues in the St. Anthony Park area of St. Paul, near the State Fairgrounds and University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus. It is downstairs in the Healy Building, kitty corner from Speedy Market. Street parking is available and on the bus-line. Contact http://www.somethingnewinthepark.wordpress.com/ or call 651-646-2423 for details.

Please visit Something New soon and let the cashier know that you were referred by Cash Mob St Paul MN. Join our Facebook page and get notified of future events. Tell your friends and family and we will increase the positive impact upon the businesses we patronize.

Our next mob is scheduled for Wednesday, August 22nd at 6pm. Location TBD…

Keep on Mobbing!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CASH MOB ST PAUL MN JULY 19TH EVENT


You are cordially invited to attend the premiere event on Thursday, July 19th sponsored by Cash Mob St Paul MN! We will be meeting at 6pm before venturing into Something New In The Park, located at 2301 Como Avenue, Suite 101, St Paul, MN 55108. It is at the corner of Como and Doswell Avenues in the St. Anthony Park area of St. Paul, near the State Fairgrounds and University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus.

Street parking is available and on the bus-line. We’ll meet outside the Speedy Market, kitty corner from the shop. Please meet us at 6pm outside the market (weather permitting), bring $20 cash, and wear green (optional). We’ll walk together as a group to Something New, which is situated in the basement of their building. If you arrive late, just join us at the shop.

Something New In The Park features all types of arts, crafts, and clothing created by nearly 100 local artisans. There is a large price range but you will easily locate nifty item(s) for $20. Please bring cash but its okay to charge if you obtain a larger priced item. Sue Rohricht, proprietor, is enthused about being selected for the first mob of good. Please join our Facebook page, bring friends and family along, the more the merrier!

http://www.somethingnewinthepark.wordpress.com/ or call 651-646-2423 for information about the local artists gift shoppe. Our venture is coinciding with special activities in the neighborhood, Park B4 Dark in St. Anthony Park including Something New Sidewalk Demos:
* Make your own Necklace with Cindy Sprieter and Marilyn Isaacson
* Calligraphy demo with Gloria Cooper
* Collage demo with Ann Sisel



Artists Displaying at Something New:

Angie Renee – Pottery

Ann Sisel – Painting, tiles

Audrey Henningson – Wearable Art, clothing

Becky Warn – Copper and polymer clay leaf jewelry

Beverly Golberg – Katherine is Wired Earrings

Bonnie Stockhaus – Jewelry

Candy Kuehn – Dyed Textiles, clothing, hats, scarves

Carisa Andersen – Crochet and Knit, headbands, chokers, bags

Carole Crandall – Mixed Media Jewelry

Cherie Burke – Mixed Media Mosaics, Painting, Drawing

Christy Lovelie – Budha Statues on Silk Framed Photography

Cindy Spreiter – Beaded Jewelry

Claire O’Connor – Pottery

Claire Thoen – Scandinavian Cards and Paintings

Courtney Oleen – Pottery and Prints

Cyndi Caughron – Mosaics and Spinscape Interactive Art

Deb Ripp – Collage

Don Bendickson – Water Color Painting

Donna Miliotis – Pottery

Doug Carlson – Oil Painting

Elizabeth J. Kennedy – Jewelry, Jasper

Elizabeth Kirby – Jewelry, Youth Artist

Eve Brown – Origami, Cards

Gerie Thelen – Functional Glass Art

Gloria Cooper – Calligraphy

Haley Smith – Textiles, Purses

Helen Subialka – Mixed Media, Textile Sun Prints, Mobiles

Holly Jordan – Mosaic Jewelry

Jacinda Shields – Textiles, Bags, Bibs, Stuffed Animals

Jan Geisen – Polymer Clay Jewelry

Jane Fiala – Digital Photo Painting

Jane Strauss – Photography

Jean Manns – Photography, Cards

Jean Sassor – Crochet and Knit, bags, scarves

Jenny von Reuter – Felting

Jeramy Jensen – Painting

Jim Holmes – Photography

Joan Laux – Photo Cards

John Hanson – Wood Turning

John Thompson – Wood Turning and Carving

Joseph Giannetti – Painting

Judy Payne – Textiles, Weaving and Felting

Julie Gottesleben – Jewelry

Julie Dent – Collage

Karen Hanna – Glass Art, Frames, Angels, Ornaments

Kathleen Hartzler – Seamstress, Embellished Girl’s Dresses

Kathy Kilian – Jewlery

Kathy Powers Copper Bird Feeders

Kris MacDonald – Mixed Media, Calligraphy, Triptychs

Laura Soetebie – Textile, Hats, Scarves, Pins

Laurel Gregorian – Painting and Photography

Lois Ann Helgeson – Porcelain Pottery

Lori Harris – Dichroic Glass, Jewelry, Night Lights

Lynn Soetebie – Jewelry, Hand worked Silver

Marc Lamm – Wood Turning

Marilyn Isaacson – Jewelry

Marlys Brovald – Aroma Therapy Pillows

Mary Azzouzi – Repurposed Wearable Cashmere Creations

Meg Erke – Coptic and Belgian Book Binding

Megan Moore – Painting

Merrali Benson – All Natural Solid Fragrance Art, Balms, Air Fresheners, Soaps

Miriah E Van Duuren – Pen and Ink, Cards

Nikki Butcher – Pen and Ink, Framed Art

Pam Ziegenhagen-Shefland – Dyed and Embellished Clothing, Found Bits Jewelry

Patricia Rosenberg - All Natural Soaps

Paul Winger – Photography

Paulette Salo – Acrylic Painting

Philip Cordes – Free Air Painted Fleece Clothing

Rachel Koski– Native American Dream Catchers

Rebecca Kirby – Jewelry,Youth Artist

Robin Edgerton – Mixed Media,Transformed Functional Art

Roxanne Rutter – Heart-focused Healing/Transformation Theme Cards

Russ Scott – Wood Carver

Ruth Weleczki – Mixed Media, Collage

Shelley Sloan – Beaded Jewelry, Light Catchers

Shilpa Gokaldas – Acrylic Painting

Shirley K. Doyle – Photography, Cards

Sonia Ellis –Knitting, Hats, Scarves

Sue Rohricht – Mixed Media

Sue Swanson – Prayer Beads, Jewelry

Susan Day – Textiles, Wearable Art

Susan Kosharek – Whimsical repurposed furniture, bird houses, mixed media

TSE (Multimple Artists)– Fire Starters and Garden Stones, non-profit

Xan Laurence – Chain Mail and other jewelry



Like our “Cash Mob St Paul MN” Facebook page and vote on the next event!



Mob you on Thursday!

© 2012 Ima B. Musing



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

GHOST IN THE FLESH

Alzheimer’s is stealing my mother’s soul away
Day by day her personality evaporates
Her soul is stifled by plaque
Zombie with blank eyes
Her quirks are disappearing but her body goes on
I miss her antics, always looking for a reason to laugh
Twinkle in the eye
A heart attack would have been easier, sadly
Boom. She would make the transition
Instead, she has had to suffer through fear and anger of a minuscule enemy
No army can win a war against it
Its tiny prongs twist away her memories
At least she can still smile
But it makes me cry

Increase Alzheimer Research Money!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Sunday, July 8, 2012

IMA'S BOOKWORM REVIEW, VOLUME II, ISSUE TEN


Strindberg’s Star by Jan Walletin Four worms
Unique blend of myth, mystery, and mayhem. Unappealing main character with some science fiction thrown in to the mix. Unsettling descriptions of the horrors of armed conflict upon civilians. Perhaps a bit was lost in translation to English but overall a very strong book.

Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris Three and a half worms
Peek into the secretive society of Saudi Arabia. Lifting the veil of crime and punishment. Well written mystery with some wit. Unnecessary to repeatedly remind reader of weekend days. Good to have a glossary of terminology. Hope for more of Katya’s adventures.

Master and God by Lindsey Davis Two and a half worms
Mixed bag of a book with both good and bad elements. Flawed main characters is a positive. Star-crossed to the point of pain. Side stories about minor characters and hints about their future is a negative. Need a map and succession/genealogy chart because so many names are similar. Irritating at times and well done at others. Uneven overall.

The Divining by Barbara Wood Two and a half worms
Romantic journey of a young woman’s self-discovery. Hopefully, the author actually based some of the story on fact. Veiled proselytizing. Of course, the two main characters were nauseatingly beautiful.

Nanjing Requiem by Ha Jin Two worms
Cold account of the horrors of WWII inflicted upon Chinese civilians. Lacked emotional insight of the characters and the relationships didn’t connect authentically. Proselytizing was very evident.

Read previous review on June 18th.

Cup of tea or glass of wine, both go fine with a book.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ICE HOUSE COMETH


Only rarely do I wish for cooler weather. This is one of those days. At 8am it was already 80 degrees Fahrenheit with a forecast of 100+. Add in humidity and the heat index will be at least 113+. Ugh. My body prefers to be under 80 degrees but I really don’t like it under 0 degree Fahrenheit either.

No air conditioning in this old house. I procured a window unit when I moved in but it isn’t strong enough to keep even the first floor cool so I don’t bother to install it anymore. I am usually content with a fan but that fails when the heat index gets over 90 in the house. I venture to the library to cool down because it is generally quiet and I can use the computer. Alas, all libraries are closed for the Independence Day Holiday. I will sometimes hang out at the mall but nary a comfie chair can be found, its loud, bad lighting, and I don’t think they like it that I don’t have money to spend. I even bring my own water bottle to sip.

I will retreat to the basement to read a book. I can drag down the tv and dvd player to watch movies that I check out from the library. Unfortunately the tv-dvd is about fifty pounds and I worry that I will fall and we both will break. If I am fortunate, a friend will take pity upon me and invite me into their coolness for a few hours. Someday I’ll install an air conditioning unit but right now I have to concentrate on paying the bills. Unemployment still sucks.

Nighttime is tricky. I open a window on one side of the house and have an outward facing box fan in the window of my bedroom. I turn it on and it sucks air from the other side of the house to create a breeze. My bed is about six feet from the door so I partially shut it to direct the breeze across the bed as it travels to the outward blowing exhaust fan. I haul up ice packs from my freezer and place them on the side of the bed near the door. As the wind blows over the cold packs it creates a small area of cool to flow over my body. I use one bendable ice pack under my neck and this mini-ice age works well enough for me to get to sleep.

I really need to slumber in my bedroom because that is where my CPAP machine is located. I need the CPAP to waft air into my nose at night or else I stop breathing. The machine is too cumbersome to haul around. Rock and hard hot place, indeed. It only becomes uncomfortable when the ice packs warm up to room temperature. If the ambient temp has not fallen below 80 then I will wake up. I go into the bathroom and wet myself down in the shower to create a temporary swamp cooler effect. Plus, drink several glasses of water.

Stay cool and have a terrific 4th of July!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing


Monday, July 2, 2012

ICE YOUR MOBILE

The weather is bloody blasted hot but I’m not talking about tossing your phone into a bucket of frozen water cubes. If you should collapse or get in an accident and a good samaritan grabbed your cell phone, whom would they call? You may have dozens of names stored in the phone’s memory but which people would know what you wanted during a medical emergency?

Hence, 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency) Your Phone!

The concept of 'ICE' is a method of contact during emergency situations. All you need to do is store the number of a contact person or persons under the name 'ICE' (In Case of Emergency). During an emergency situation, Emergency Service personnel, Hospital Staff, and Good Samaritans would be able to quickly contact the right person by simply dialing the number you have stored as 'ICE.'

For more than one contact name simply enter ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3 etc. Make certain that you let the iced people know that they are listed as your ICE contact and what you want during a medical emergency. It’s always good to have a written medical directive on file with your will.

Let's spread the concept of ICE today! Please forward this blog. It won't take too many 'forwards' before everybody will know about this idea, which I learned from an emergency responder. It really could save your life, or put a loved one's mind at rest. ICE will speak for you when you are not able to.

Get ICED!
© 2012 Ima B. Musing