October 18, 2005

First impressions

The noodle is fallible, but here's how I remember my first introduction to Bruce Pavalon. Its a Friday night and we go to the basement of a house on St. Claire Avenue in St. Paul to hear a Macalester band called Intestinal Scrape. Plastic cups of beer, wooden stairs down to the cinderblock cellar lit by a single bulb hanging from a wire. Bruce is the drummer, keeping the beat on the door from a Zippy's Pizza delivery car.

In the next great introduction I will change a name to protect overzealous youth. Late some fall night, walking along the street in St. Paul with Kate and Molly Hobberly (and Tim I think) and we're talking about cats. Molly gets upset when she hears we had declawed Muffin, my cat when I was a kid. I explained it was to protect the furniture and wildlife but that wasn't good enough. 'How would you like it if we castrated you!?' she said. It's good that she said that or I am sure I never would have remembered her from Adam.

It didn't seem the right time to explain that the big thing to do when I was a kid was to collect beer cans. All us 11 year olds would bike around town all summer collecting strange and unique cans from softball fields and hedges. One time we found a place that I can only describe as beer can collector heaven-- an old barn on the north side of town-- the floor was a foot deep in beer cans. And what cans! Cone tops! Virtually rust-free steel cans! Antique treasures. But back to the main story-- one day Pete Lawmann and Jon Hanson and I went to the fairgrounds looking for cans and one of us pulled a grocery sack full of kittens out of a steel garbage drum. They were near death, four little kittens, white with black spots. We took them to the vet's and the kindly nurse helped us give a little liquid to the semiconscious dehydrated small things. Pete's mom let us keep them in their garage and we nursed them back to life, feeding them milk from a baby bottle. Tiny fuzzy little kittens who liked nothing better than to follow us around in the tall grass of a newly mowed lawn. After the kittens were a little older each uf us in the beer can syndicate got one-- we had matching cats. Muffin was the runt of the litter and never grew larger than a kitten but she wouldn't let anyone push her around. I remember her chasing squirrels up trees and chasing dogs off our yard. Even without front claws Muffin could take care of herself. Molly should have known that claws are a state of mind.


At October 20, 2005 5:35 PM , Blogger Kate said...

Tim was not there. It was just us 3 walking down to RC Dicks.

And Matt, could any straight man from mid 80s Macalester not remember Molly from Adam?

At October 21, 2005 12:01 AM , Anonymous dave ploeg said...

As a straight man from mid-80's Macalester, I should probably be insulted, or at least embarrassed by not remembering Molly. I'll have to look at my old spotlights.

Matt, love the blog. The new entryway looks great. A clear improvement from the big coat rack and the low lighting. Cool magnetic blackboard. I want to make one. Was the paint nasty oil-base?

At October 21, 2005 11:38 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I'm afraid all I remember is her name because it seemed like a name only a character in a play or a poem would have. I can only remember meeting her that once, and it was dark...

The magnetic paint was the thickest paint I have ever seen, thick like spackle. Maybe all the tiny magnets made it stick to itself? It smelled funky, but was water based. Left magnetic iron filings in the sink. The chalkboard paint was cool, black like tar, oil based. But you only need a small can of each so I don't think it's so bad? The magnetic chalkboard is great, we use it every day for school papers, shopping lists, appointments, etc.

Dave, today at a seminar I got to talk about Julian Simon and his (obvious!) influence on Bjoern Lomborg.

At October 23, 2005 10:02 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Kate, I went to High School with a guy named Aaron Canny. Not any relation?
Dave, you will have to exchange the first letters of M. H.'s first and last names to be able to look her up in a spotlight. I could only find her in the 86-87. Thanks, and glad you like the hall! We like it too.

At October 24, 2005 10:41 PM , Anonymous daveploeg said...

So glad you're using Julian Simon.

At October 25, 2005 5:42 AM , Blogger Kate said...

How does daveploeg get to leave comments without having a blog? I thought that was verboten by Blogger.com.

I guess I don't know the mind of the mid 80s straight Macalester man like I thought I did...or perhaps the ones that I hung out with were less high minded than you two?

I don't have any Canny connections in MN, as far as I know. But my my grandpa did have 7 brothers, so who knows. I have a cousin ALAN Canny, but he lives in Illinois.

At October 25, 2005 11:41 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

It is uncanny.

Regarding Holly, as Tim can confirm, I never had much luck with women from Arizona. Now to really kickstart this conversation Dave and Kate we should write the name Rebecca Fee.

As an ubermensch Dave has special priveleges. (So Dave, why don't you have a blog?)

Nationalbaums became RC Dicks.

At October 26, 2005 1:00 AM , Blogger Kate said...

new mexico

At October 26, 2005 4:39 PM , Anonymous dave ploeg said...

The question is not "why don't I have a blog?", the question is "how do you and Tim have the time to blog?" Baby #2 is 4 weeks away and I'm swamped at work. I don't have time to do it justice.

I don't know why I can leave a message without having a blog. I couldn't earlier in the year, but now I can. I thought everyone could.

Haven't had time to find my old spotlights, so still don't know about Holly. I do, however, remember Rebecca Fee.

Kate, I can't speak for Matt, but I'm not sure 'high-minded' is quite right. 'Intimidated' might be better.

Nationalbaums? Applebaums?

At October 26, 2005 8:22 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Dave is right.
And Kate you are right too, add NM to the list that begins with AZ.
I can't remember ever talking with RF, but I knew who she was. A nice surprise to meet her at your wedding Kate!
Before Dick's was Applebaums it was 'National Food' or something, hence the name Nationalbaums from my sister's day (Mac '82).

At October 27, 2005 11:09 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

And Dave, congratulations to you and Jessica!!!


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