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