Wisdom of MY Words

Random Musings & Book Reviews

Archive for the 'Minnesota' Category

06 August
0Comments

Brown & Greene Floral

I have brain mets from breast cancer and yesterday my husband and I were walking around the Sidewalk Sale in Linden Hills. I’ve had an infection on the back of my head for months, and I’m blind in one eye since neurosurgery. When they operate on your brain you have to recover and you do not come out the same. I picked up some stuff, bowls and a measured ceramic pitcher, and then went inside.
There were glass domes over the candles. Diptyque, in Paris, does the same thing. So does the mall tea store. I am 52, and I have money for nice things. I’m terminally ill, I only want to shop at pleasant nice stores that do not cause me grief. That is NOT Brown & Green Floral.
Because of neurosurgery and the changes to my brain if I smell using the dome I will ONLY smell the first candle, I will sneeze, and I won’t be able to get the smell out of my nose for hours.
To avoid that problem I smelled the candles. Lisa decided to come over and criticize the way I was doing things. She decided to tell me her tip. You could feel the air get sucked into her wide body, crackling with energy. Lisa’s unattended anger shoved out into the air and I was frightened. The air was so oogey my husband of 23 years shifted and started to come over. He felt the energy and was concerned for me. He said later that he thought I was holding my own, so he did not interject.
Lisa stood with her arms across her prodigious girth and said, Oh, tell me how your sense of smell changed? I tensed up, and she became more aggressive, clearly thinking I’m a liar. She was behaving like she wanted to fight me because her way was the right way and there was no way brain surgery, if I had even really HAD brain surgery, changed the way I smell.
I was clearly trying to be difficult Lisa’s puffy Iowa farm girl face said.
Because she stood staring at me, gawp-eyed, I started to babble a bit, saying that neurosurgery changes everything, hot flashes, bowel movements.
Oh does int, she said, leaning in and sneering. Tell me more, she said and stared and stared and stared me down. I was uncomfortable and embarrassed and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about my terminal cancer with an angry stranger. Or my Bfs. Or my menopause. (SMH)
But I hesitated being a Mean Girl because I am thin and pretty and Lisa is not. So I chose to take the high road, leaving the store while my husband checked out because I was shaking and close to tears. We purchased an over priced $40 candle because I was tense and stressed by Lisa’s aggressive attitude. I felt ASHAMED that I am sick. I don’t need shame. I’m busy dealing with sorrow.
We will not be back.
I will be writing up an even bigger and longer blog post about it because I am sick of being treated like garbage. By a sales clerk! Oy! Insecure much? My husband told me that she was rude to me because I am beautiful. Oh whatever, she was aggressive, shaming, and nasty because she has a whole lot of seething anger underneath her skin. The shop down the way from Brown & Greene was super friendly, handing out over sweet Prosecco and totally chill. Quite unlike the experience I just had.
I dislike that I have to air my personal business to give this retail experience a thorough and fair review. It’s wrong.
As an author and small business owner I love small businesses and I have never shopped at Wal-Mart and very rarely at Target, not since my 30s. I practice what I preach. I do not go back to restaurants or stores that treat me badly. Life is, honestly, too short to be treated poorly when you are spending money. My husband said to me in the car, if I hadn’t been there I wouldn’t have believed you. The way Lisa treated you was absolutely awful.
Lisa?
Brown & Greene?
Why you gotta make life so hard?
–Michele Davis, PhD

05 August
0Comments

Gabby’s

Sitting at a high top table in the NW corner of the bar were two girls about my age. Both blonde with straight, short noses, high cheekbones, skin so pale it could be translucent, and thin, bird-like lips. I was slamming Diet Cokes, tense, jittery, just wanting to blow off steam, alone, at a bar, on the dance floor. I’m not dressed for the club. Adrienne is not with me. It’s an impromptu stop on the way home from the Broadway Avenue Y after swimming precisely 82 laps, which, in that particular pool, was a mile.

It was 1985 and Ami strutted her stuff across the street from that Y. I’d given her a ride and some cash. I’d stopped at Gabby’s because I desperately wanted a drink but hated alcohol. Standing at the bar wearing blood red Swatch capri leggings, Joan & David black skimmers — just black leather flats with a sole that allowed me to skim on the wood dance floor, feeling weightless, an oversized Ralph Lauren white button down with a blank tank top underneath, big gold hoop earrings, and a giant loose curl bob that stuck out five inches on either side of my head.

In private to my friends and boyfriend, I called it my Jewfro. When I turned around there were now four blonde girls at the high top. These Minnesota girls were worse than Nicolet girls. Their blondness intimidated me. All four were staring at me. They’d occasionally lean towards another blonde head, hand a wall between

30 July
0Comments

Books & Ferrets – Worse Name Ever

A decade ago I registered for a French Classe that met by Lunds Uptown. It was inexpensive, but the instructor, Fawn, was super disorganized. I’ve a low tolerance for air headed disorganization. I attended twice, and at the second classe Fawn said something shaming to me. I don’t remember what, but I do remember the feeling, as I captured it in writing in a notebook. I remember that it was based on my opinion and that she shot me down about my own, personal study-abroad experience in France. The luxury of being slightly literal and elucidating facts in an Asbergery, detailed, precise manner in a journal every day of my life since Nana Wolski taught me how to read. “Felt dirty and hot. Shame seeped through me. Fawn is insecure. Needs to be center of attention. As a black woman she believes her experience is more valid than a white woman being raised by a divorced, single abusive lesbian.  Juan Carlo convinced me to give the classe another chance, even though it was filled with women I didn’t like who were sycophantly sucking up to Fawn.

17 March
0Comments

Say Hello Wave Goodbye

d. Sad to the core of me. I’m beyond devastated that I stopped cheating and he was unable to open up to me. These men from Minnesota are so broken it makes me weep. My mouth, mucus heavy at the back of my throat, tears streaming down my face, I am simply emotion. I am nothing but feelings. Tragedy. Sorrow. Pain. I want to be a damsel from 1820 and throw myself off a cliff. The great dilemma of the start of the twenty-first century; romantic love is elevated to such a degree that a love of the minds is discouraged. I remember the moment I decided to get pregnant with Zack. I remember the moment I gave my will up to “the spirit,” as my beloved cousin Dawn calls it.

My daughter is twenty-two and owns a dog, or he owns her, giggle, giggle. She’s wanted a dog since she was tiny. The Wolski-Davis’ didn’t own dogs. “We weren’t animal people” Nana Wolski would say, in that voice reserved for low-tone. Now in my fifties, I know that is a shaming tone. It is rude, judgemental, belittling, demeaning. It’s the tone my husband uses when he talks to myself or our son. It’s the same dismissive way his own father spoke to him. Dirty is how I feel after Jon gives me a verbal lashing. Most of the time it’s the nonverbal that are the hardest though.

Because Jon doesn’t speak. I don’t know if I’m loved, hated, desired. I don’t know what he expects of me, and since he’s mostly stopped speaking I can only seem to attack him. I can’t get my tongue to say, “Please let’s go to Walkin Counseling. You keep saying we have all these years behind us, a child, raising children together, but I don’t see you doing a damn thing. You aren’t suggesting counseling. You aren’t making appointments with therapists covered by our shitty insurance. As you can see, I start out and then I attack. I can see where my language changes. I can feel the words and their colours, but I can’t stop myself from being angry. I’m tired of being the only person that wants to solve our problems. I’m tired of being told I’m worth nothing by this technique called stonewalling.

In the Year of Trump, lalalalalalala, she comes out of the sun in a silk dress, in the year of the Trump, mumble mumble because Trump takes more space than cat in the song and changes the pacing. Sniffle sniffle. Don’t bother asking for explanations, She’ll just tell you that she came
In the year of the Trump.
She doesn’t give you time for questions
As she locks up your arm in hers
And you follow ’till your sense of which direction
Completely disappears
By the blue tiled walls near the market stalls
There’s a hidden door she leads you to
These days, she says, I feel my life
Just like a river running through
The year of the cat
While she looks at you so cooly

By my husband’s own admission, he waits for me to take action. What I call “waiting me out.” And I’m sure I’m going to come across as a callous bitch here, but I can see why women can’t handle lagabout husbands that don’t even pull their frair share. Like Sunny bitching about Scott. My own husband has expected me to find him work for 18 years! I’ve navigated two careers, been treated like shite by recruiters, internal HR, the local IT community, neighbors, and friends for the bizarre way Jon has decided to handle his career. Jean Fox-Pearson said to me once, “You need to make him responsible for his career, he’s getting a reputation for being difficult.” Guffaw! No shite Jean, I wanted to say. I remember asking Jon if I could speak with him and I told him that recruiters were talking about us and he said, “Fuck them. Just keep sending out my resume.”

Then my own IT career started taking on water. I was generally disliked by women, in or out of IT, and while men treated me better, they all wanted to fuck me. It was easier to tell myself that I could lose the weight on the back end since guys left me alone for the seven years I was fat. It was a relief. As I tipped the scales at 200 I could see my appeal wearing off. Recruiters who’d been happy to flirt with me before started to actively avoid my calls. That was a bitter pill to swallow.

Before I started writing this, whatever this may end up being, I’d been looking for my voice. Month after dreary month driving through Nebraska and Iowa, long brown landscape damp and sinister. I realized one day, while lying in bed in pain, that I couldn’t find my voice because I was trying to mask it with teenage narratives, IT narratives, things I was not passionate about because I am frantic to make money. Every day we spend more than we bring in. We are not in retirement. I didn’t plan for this liquidation of assets at only 52. I’m having constant panic attacks because we will run out of money at the rate this is going. I don’t want to go back to sex work. I cannot go into an office for $35/hour. I earned more with less education and hands on experience than I did a decade ago, yet cannot earn enough to pay the bills.

Jon’s trained me not to spend money on computer equipment. That it runs through him. My computer and my phone don’t work right, I can’t drive because of the pain and headache due to an antibiotic resistant middle ear infection, ottis media. I can understand how Jon doesn’t know where to start with the job search. Just like he doesn’t know how to invest because he expects me to do it all. I’m currently struggling to make sense of iPhone and Apple laptop reviews. I dreaded doing this myself because he’s done the research. He’s more deal savvy. He hates to talk to recruiters. That the interview is hard enough for him. The interview itself is soul sucking to him. He gets upset that Simon questions me whether Jon is working or not when he calls from jail. Zack said us arguing and Jon’s chronic unemployment is difficult to live with. He told me it was too late, even though I’m only 52, for me to find happiness. I gave him a dirty look and he replied, “Not that you shouldn’t try to achieve it, or get divorced because it’s the better than the alternative. What I heard was, “You’re doing the alternative. You’re settling.” I can’t seem to explain that I feel like I am in quicksand all the time. The bullying of my youngest son in Minneapolis, Jon’s constant need for my attention, Miriam’s wishy washy texts. We plan on her bringing the dog over today because she’s going drinking like a good Wagner/Meyer/Davis/ Wolski alcoholic on St Paddy’s Day. My daughter’s drinking will wind up costing her much during her life. Writing those words feels so final. I’ve prayed and begged for my daughter to go to therapy, or read up on addiction and get help. My daughter and I have a precarious relationship that perplexes me. She’s part of this chick squad, the smaller one First Communion kids from Annunciation, and the wider one includes gals from college that grew up in St Paul with exotic names like Lily and Vanessa. She went to Michigan to work at the Eileen Fisher store in Sterling.

01 February
0Comments

When Lawsuits Happen

Every one of your friends writes a character reference/ Usually for your lawyer.

25 September 2002

To whom it may concern:

I have been Michele Davis’ friend for approximately 18 years and have been through several ‘stages’ of her life with her. I have known her through college, her marriage to David Meyer, the raising of their children Simon and Miriam, and their ensuing separation and divorce. This was followed by Michele’s marriage to Jon and the birth of their child, Zachery, for whom I am a Godparent. Throughout these stages, arranging her life for her kids has always been her first priority. Michele has always impressed me with how she is such an intelligent, energetic, and capable mother.

Professionally, Michele is an accomplished writer, and has developed a recognized expertise in the Technical Writing and Consulting field. I have known Michele as she advanced her career by obtaining her Master’s degree, working consistently as an independent consultant. This progression allowed her to expand her career while at the same time providing independence with her schedule and allowing her to work from home. Michele made these choices and purposefully designed her life so that she could be available as a mother for Simon, Miriam, and Zachery.

Michele’s actions have always demonstrated her attention and focus on her parenting role, ever since Simon was born. For example, although David was out of town on Simon’s second birthday, Michele celebrated it with a party for Simon to which I and several of Michele’s close friends attended. That is the way Michele is; a woman of principle, she would not allow Simon’s birthday to go uncelebrated, even though he was only two and David was not there. Consistently, she has adapted her career and work schedule to be available for Simon and Miriam.

Today, the family environment Michele and Jon provide for Simon, Miriam, and Zachery centers around the kids. Their home is a learning environment where Michele is always teaching and challenging them to grow intellectually and emotionally. She works hard to instill family, religious, and social values. I attended a Christmas celebration at Michele and Jon’s home with my fiancée at the time, although Simon and Miriam would be at David’s for the actual holiday. Michele made a great effort to make sure they all had a Christmas together as a family with her and Jon. I can personally attest that Simon and Miriam enjoyed it and a nurturing family environment was very obvious.

This May 2002, Simon and Miriam were confirmed at their parish, Annunciation. Michele’s father and step-mother drove in from Wisconsin, Jon’s parents flew up from Florida, and many friends were invited to celebrate this rite of passage for Simon and Miriam. Michele puts enormous energy in to making a family, not only with her own parents and Jon’s, but an extended family that includes good friends, such as myself, Anne Heike and Shelby Kingman along with their two children, Dirk Koenig, as well as Todd Schmidt and his wife Rebecca Miner. She is a devoted mother and appreciates how important events are for the children. I have been to many a birthday party for Simon, Miriam and Zachery over the past four years. I find it commendable that Michele reaches out to her friends and makes us a part of her family.

She is very aware of Simon and Miriam’s abilities – she knows and understands them as only a mother can, even when they test their limits as every young child does. In fact, I believe Michele has an exceptional understanding of Simon and his intelligence and grasp of the world. When necessary, she disciplines while providing guidance and maintaining respect. Her discipline is always appropriate, and never mistreating; and both Simon and Miriam listen to her. Michele is very fair, and she lets them know her expectations. Her nature is to be forthright with her opinion with whomever she speaks, and she is the same way with her kids, although she is very careful of her language with them.

I have never seen Michele or Jon discipline any of the kids inappropriately, in fact quite the opposite. A recent example of discipline I witnessed when at their home was when Simon rode Miriam’s bicycle down the street without asking Miriam’s permission. This upset Miriam; Michele and Jon handled the situation appropriately, asking Simon to apologize to Miriam and to then take a ‘time-out’ in his bedroom for 10 minutes.

Zachery’s introduction into Michele, Jon, Simon and Miriam’s lives has been very positive. Simon and Miriam are both very excited to have a ‘baby brother’, seeing all of them in the room together makes it obvious that they have developed a close bond. Michele, Jon, Simon and Miriam all work together as a team to take care of Zachery. Simon and Miriam both visibly show their affection for Zachery and their eagerness to care for him and play with him. In some ways, Zachery has brought a common focus to the ‘team’ that they all rally around. This has resulted in even more of a family environment, which I always enjoy seeing when I visit. Michele continues to impress me with her abilities to be a mother for the three kids, she does a great job – all of them benefit and none of them suffer. Both Michele and Jon help the kids with their homework and are encouraging of school activities, ranging from music to sports and academics. Michele is very concerned about getting a proper education for them, and is very thorough in her selection of schools, with only what is best for the kids’ education as her intent.

I have thus personally witnessed Michele as a mother for Simon and Miriam and Zachery. Despite the additional challenges of going through a divorce and helping the kids through the associated strains, Michele has always been there for her kids, first and foremost. She never loses sight of her priorities, despite the many challenges she has had from David. She strives to protect and shelter Simon and Miriam from any discord as much as possible, and I can attest to the many times she has been frustrated by the exposure to issues (e.g. custody and financial support) that David has caused to the kids, despite her attempts to shield them from it.

31 January
0Comments

Response 22 September 2006

STATE OF MINNESOTA DISTRICT COURT
COUNTY OF HENNEPIN FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT
FAMILY COURT DIVISION

Court File No. DC 27-FA-246637
________________________
In Re the Marriage of:
M Davis, AFFIDAVIT
Petitioner,

and

D Meyer,
Respondent.

This is a responsive motion in reference to Respondents Motion to Reconsider Judge Mary DuFresne order issued on September 22nd, 2006 of which Respondent brought to the court on October 10th, 2006.

1. I, the Petitioner, . Davis, have three biological children: S. Meyer March 1991 and M. Davis August 1994 from my marriage to Respondent. I also have Z. Phillips 11/2/99 from my current marriage to Mr. Jon Phillips who lives with Mr. Phillips and I full time. Simon, since August 29th 2006, has resided with my husband and I 100% of the time. Miriam resides with us 84.2% of the time.
2. Since Simon is living with me exclusively child support should be adjusted.
3. Respondent contradicts himself. In his October 10, 2006 Motion he states that Hortis-Valento should not applied to our case, yet in his January 03, 2007 Motion he states that it should. We should be using the 30% guideline, which we have always used in determining child support.
4. On October 10th, 2001 child support was determined to be $600.00 per month. On July 18th, 2002 the Respondent voluntarily agreed to an increase in child support to $760.00 per month. Several COLA increases have been applied by the State of Minnesota since then. Respondent and I determined that the $760.00 amount to be inline with the state mandated amount of 30% of Respondent’s income for two children, however Respondent and I agreed that it was slightly less than 30% since he contributed 15% to his Company-sponsored Retirement Account. Although it appears that he currently contributes 7%. Respondent contributes $390.00 per month to retirement, while I contribute $200.00 per month to my Roth IRA.
5. Simon & Miriam are now in puberty and various stages of adolescence thus my costs to care for them have sufficiently increased. Simon uses $100.00 per month on school lunches at Southwest High School and has a monthly grocery bill of $250-300.00 per month. Additionally, since Simon moved in with me with fulltime my Electric bill has gone from $68.00 per month to $128.00 per month. Expenses for Simon on a day-to-day basis are debilitating.
6. Both children being in puberty have incurred a variety of expenses such as adult-sized shoes, and all the necessary accoutrements that go with adolescence. At their respective ages they are more concerned about their bodies than ever before. My clothing and personal hygiene budgets have increased due to the new and different needs of each child. Miriam has other needs that are specific only to women thus this increases her monthly expenses.
7. In our Modification of Divorce decree it states that I will pay for extra curricular activities, tutoring, and all necessary sporting equipment. Respondent states that I am no longer paying for extracurricular events. I must save for summer activities throughout the year due to their extreme expense. These expenses are listed below.
8. The Respondent states that neither child is in extra-curricular activities, this is incorrect. Simon is at an age where the Park Board no longer offers sports to his age bracket. During the summer of 2006, Simon was enrolled in Minneapolis United Soccer camp for $300.00. Simon elected to not participate in any other extra-curricular activities during the summer of 2006 since he was working part-time at Kowalski’s Market and hanging out with friends. Simon did not have enough credits to participate in High School soccer this school year. Instead, Simon is Snowboarding with the goal of joining a league and getting sponsorship. I purchased Simon a new snowboard, boots, bindings, snow pants, gloves, coat, hat, and goggles that totaled $1100.00. I also purchased a $300.00 season pass to HyLand Hills snowboarding park. On December 28, 2006 Simon participated in The Hyland Kickoff Rail Jam sponsored by REI. He scored fourth out of sixteen children in the 15-18 age bracket. When Simon started high school in 2004 he joined B’nai B’rith Youth Organization (BBYO) at the Jewish Community Center. Simon went to dances where he needed tuxedos, tickets, dinner, etc. He also went on weekend retreats, which cost me $250.00 per weekend plus BBYO dues. During the school year of 2004-2005 Simon played Soccer for Southwest, which cost $60.00, and joined the Minneapolis Lacrosse League for $150.00.
9. During the summer of 2006 Miriam joined Annunciation Youth Ministry. I spent $850.00 for her Summer Youth Group activities. Miriam loves horses and has been going to horse camp for four years. I spent $1200.00 for Miriam to attend two weeks of summer horse camp. She also went on a two-day bike trip that cost $90.00 and was tutored at Annunciation in Math and English for $240.00. She played soccer for Annunciation during September and October 2006 that cost $60.00. She is enrolled in a weekly soccer boot camp that begins in February 2007, which cost $185.00. We also acquired a piano this year with lessons starting this winter. During the summer of 2005 Miriam attended horse camp for $550.00, St. Paul Academy Summer Arts Program for $1200.00 and was tutored in Math at St. Paul Academy for $140.00. She was also involved in Minneapolis United soccer for $120.00 and Annunciation Math & English tutoring for $240.00. She played soccer for Annunciation in September-October 2005, which cost $60.00 and played basketball in November-January 2006, which also cost $60.00. These expenses, as those with Simon do not include all the gear needed for them, for example, soccer cleats, shin guards, bicycle, etc.
10. Child support has been insufficient to cover the expenses incurred by Respondent’s and my children beginning January 1st, 2004. Until April 15th, 2005 my husband was working full-time and his salary absorbed the deficit created by the insufficient child support. However, he did not become employed again until June 1st, 2006 at a lower income level. Therefore, I can no longer absorb the monthly child support deficit.
11. Miriam has a mobile phone that I pay for. Simon had a mobile through the Respondent, but when Simon moved out of his house on August 29, 2006 the Respondent refused to give me Simon’s mobile phone and subsequently cancelled Simon’s mobile plan. I absorbed the cost of purchasing a mobile phone and adding Simon to our cellular family plan.
12. Simon and Miriam were determined to be my tax exceptions in our Modification of Divorce Decree because I have primary physical custody. While the Respondent states that he gets 43% of the time, this figure varies year-by-year because of how our custodial time fluctuates. Our calculations indicate that he gets 0% of time with Simon and 26% of time with Miriam. Miriam only goes to the Respondents home two Wednesday evenings per month and alternating weekends. Miriam also misses a considerable amount of the Respondent’s custodial time in the summer due to sleep-away camp and year round for Annunciation Youth Ministry activities for which I bear the cost. Since both children reside with me the majority of the time, they should continue to be my tax deductions.
13. While our income decreased Respondents increased by 51%. This follows Minnesota Statue regarding substantially increased or decreased earnings of a party.
14. As stated above the expenses of the minor children have substantially increased or decreased need of a party of the child or children that are the subject of these proceedings due to them getting older. Additionally, as Respondent states in his motion, Simon lives with me full time yet I am not being reimbursed for the additional expenses. Respondent has no other children.
15. In 2003 Respondent switched insurance plans to the least expensive, lowest level of coverage available shifting more cost to me in the form of co-pays and co-insurance. I pay the $20.00 co-pay for Simon’s weekly therapy. Simon also doesn’t have a spleen and requires a series of shots every year that is not fully covered by Respondent’s insurance. I also pay dental bills for regular cleanings.
16. In order to get reduced tuition at Annunciation School I tithe $800.00 per year to the Church. Without tithing tuition would be almost twice as much. Respondent should be contributing towards tithing because he reaps the benefits of the lowered tuition.
17. Simon and Miriam both felt strongly about the allegations the Respondent made in his Motion and have written their own affidavits’; these are notarized and attached as Exhibit A and Exhibit B.
18. In reference to Respondents statement that Simon is no longer coming to his because of an altercation with me, that is incorrect. Simon stopped going to Respondent’s home two months before our altercation and continues to reside solely with me.
19. Simon’s probation has no bearing on child support issues. Simon is currently getting help for his substance abuse. I found him a Psychologist, Ken Stewart, whom he meets with weekly. I bear the expense of his therapy. He also attends a twice-weekly drug meeting called Rainbow Bridge. I enrolled him in an Early Chemical Dependency Treatment Program at the University of Minnesota, where he meets with a Chemical Dependency Counselor and a Child & Family therapist. Simon is getting the appropriate help he needs. Regardless of Simon’s issues, he still refuses to go to Respondent’s house, even though I encourage him to do so.
20. Since the Respondent’s divorce occurred in 2006, he potentially may have gotten a cash plus material settlement from his ex-wife. During our divorce I paid the Respondent his share of our home, which prompted him to sign a Quit Claim Deed. My owning a home and getting a deduction for it has no bearing on child support. He owned a home after our divorce, but choose to sell it when he remarried. Per his real estate agent, also my agent at the time, he sold his home at considerable profit when the market was high. His ex-wife sold her home in Chanhassen and moved to a smaller home in Excelsior in 2005, during which time Respondent and his ex-wife were separated, which would indicate that he received a portion of that home sale. I should not be penalized for owning a home. I encourage Respondent to own his own home. His income is sufficient and consistent enough for him to qualify for a mortgage.
21. The Respondent has chosen to live a particular lifestyle. His monthly rent is $100.00 less than my mortgage, property taxes, property insurance and security alarm payment. He also spends $275.00 per month on automobile gas. He elects to drive a Suburban, which is expensive. Whereas my husband and I drive sedans and our monthly automobile gas is $240.00 per month for two cars. Respondent has a loan through the Postal Service that he pays $122.00 on per month and credit card bills of $210.00 per month. Respondent’s lack of financial planning in not owning a home and his debts should not take priority over his children’s expenses. Respondent also shows an Orthodontia loan for Simon’s braces of $210.00 per month however; he emailed me on August 16, 2006 saying that he was “blessed” to be able to pay for his portion of Simon’s Orthodontist bill. Being blessed does not indicate a loan. See Exhibit C. I additionally had the same expense for Simon’s braces.
22. I am not self-employed; I work for Kraut Companies, a Minnesota Sub-S Corporation. If I were self-employed I would not have a W2, I would have a Schedule C on my taxes.
23. While it is true I have another dependent, I also support that dependent.
24. My husband’s income has no bearing on child support.
25. I respectfully request that the Court increase my child support to 30% of Respondent’s income due to the culminating factors presented in this Responsive Motion.

Dated: _____________________, 2006 _________________________________

12 December
0Comments

Tullibee is Not the Bee’s Knees

Tullibee:
Saving the Tullibee Narrowly defined, Tullibee aka Coregonus Artedi is known variously with the common names Cisco, Northern Cisco, Lake Herring, and Chub. It is a pelagic fish that can be found in the middle of cold water lakes in North America. In the northern and western parts of its range it is also found in large rivers. Diet is the tasty and nutritious zooplankton and insect larvae. Small fish, including some minnow species, are also known to be consumed at times.
Northern cisco are hunted by predatory villagers that love to eat them. Rainbow Trout, Lake Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Northern Pike, Burbot, thinks they are very tasty, as they are huge part of the other fishies diet.

21 October
0Comments

The Tale of Halcyon Crane by Wendy Webb

Besides the tedium of reading independently published books to see what the landscape is like, since I reside in the frozen hinterland of Minnesota, I also read MN-based authors to see the landscape. Webb is a MN-based author, so I picked up the book.

Hallie James/Halcyon Crane picks up and leaves Seattle/Puget Sound for Grand Manitou Island, an island much like any other island in the US situated in the waters of Lake Superior. Now, as a gal who grew up with Lake Michigan shimmering it’s grey-blue glassy water on an overcast day, viewed from her dormer window, I have never understood the fans of Lake Superior. That being said Crane is so grandiose and naive that her character became quite grating.

No one ever moves to an isolated small island town and is automatically befriended (except perhaps by a gentleman who wants to get in her knickers.) Moving to small isolated, inbred towns is what makes horror stories and movies great. It is also what creates despondency in new residents. They aren’t welcomed!

Minneapolis, that big city down from Duluth that can’t support a Neiman-Marcus, happens to be just as icy. If you are not an indigenous Minnesotan, you are not welcomed. Minnesotans go away for college and come back to their high school friends and extended family. New comers, even those of us who come here for University, are unwelcomed.

Crane believes she’s owed explanations from the residents of this insular island because she moved there after her father died, and after being notified that she was left millions and a gorgeous mansion by her renowned-photographer mother.

There are malevolent ghosts, there is a weird guy who runs the coffee shop, and a local lawyer, who is in charge of her mother’s estate. The attorney and Crane dine together, taking a carriage to dinner, since no cars are allowed on the island (oh! That sounds like Mackinac to me!) Then, suddenly they are in love!

Most of the Crane story is told by a witch, Iris, who had to be over 105 years old. I liked the book overall, I just thought there were major flaws in Crane’s personality. She just isn’t believable. My daughter went to Duluth for college last year and could not stop telling me how much she absolutely despised Duluth. The weather, the cold rude people, the complete abandonment of anything close to society, the abundance of snow and trees and nothing to do but drink because it was so bloody awful there. She’s a MN girl, my daughter, and she only made friends with people from St. Paul and some Twin Cities suburban kids, she made no friends from Duluth or other rural towns; she said they were all ass-backwards and closed down. That made me laugh, and made me pick up this book.

I honestly WANT to like Webb and her writing, but I can’t get there. We tweeted and she’s one of those women who thinks her perspective on everything, especially Minnesota, is right and there is no room for any one else’s opinion. Her tweet to me also said “casserole,” which is NOT a Minnesota word, these people call it a “hot dish.” The whole concept of hot dish has eluded me for years until I did some research.

The annoying book, “How to Talk Minnesotan,” states, “A traditional main course, hot dish is cooked and served hot in a single baking dish and commonly appears at family reunions and church suppers.” In short, a hot dish is a casserole, and the name is purely Minnesotan.

The origins of the casserole/hot dish are shady. Wikipedia says it evolved from budget farmers needing to feed their large Midwestern families. Another theory is that it originated from the Norwegian word “varmrett”, meaning “warm dish”. Both make sense, as there are both a lot of farmers and a lot of Norwegians in this region. In turn, casserole comes from the French word for “saucepan”, in reference to the baking dish.

Minnesota is mostly Scando, not much French, so as someone who is French (and a fluent speaker), I’m going with the whole Scando thing.

But, I digress. The Tale of Halcyon Crane was an easy read, but don’t be surprised if you find the book hard to swallow, like a starchy, tator-tot hot dish.