Sunday, September 9, 2012


My favorite park in Minneapolis so far.
Minneapolis is a three-hour drive away. With practically no traffic on the same highway most of the way, it seems shorter than it is. So two weekends ago, I headed up to The Cities with Lauren, Jess, and Laura for a girl-weekend adventure.

Lauren's favorite band, Murder by Death, was playing at a club in Minneapolis, so we got a hotel for the night and went to the show. The music was fantastic, the club crowded, and the experience not what I expected. The lead singer voiced my thoughts by explaining that the city is full of Norwegians, and because of this everyone was so quiet and attentive between songs and throughout the set. Everyone just watched the band in a stoic appreciation for the music. I couldn't help but dance around, and swoon at the percussionist (who I'd marry in a heartbeat). It was great.

Laura and I walked from the hotel to the show and back, and I really liked experiencing Minneapolis in that way. Lightening threatened in the background of skyscrapers, the winds were powerful and cool, and the city was a city - something to experience differently than rural Decorah.

The next morning Laura and I went to the Aveda Institute to get our hair cuts by students. A cheap haircut by a fairly talented, passionate and young persons gave me the bangs I've been missing and the haircut Laura can't find in Decorah. So with that we found lunch with our ladies, and headed to the big adventure of the day - getting tattoos.

Now it's apparently rude to ask what a tattoo means to a person, but I'll explain it here so you don't have to worry about asking. My leaf can mean many things, and the idea first came when I was in graduate school. The last year of my Masters was really quite awful, and I struggled with academic and personal life things. I felt I needed something to commemorate finishing, and to always remind myself that I have a Masters, and it does mean something and I should be proud of it. At the time, I wasn't that good at actually feeling that I was worth it or that it was meaningful. However, when I graduated I didn't have money or a job, so I sort of forgot about it for a while.

Well, Lauren wanted to get another tattoo, and the idea was for us all to go to Minneapolis post-Yawping and get tattoos. Lauren draws up an artistic impression of the elm leaf I was thinking of, and it's prettier than I imagined it could be. So I pay my deposit to Saint Sabrinas a week before, and soon enough find myself there. Getting a tattoo.

It didn't hurt all that much, and I absolutely love it. Yes, the placement is weird - but I didn't want anything on my legs or back. I want to see it so that I can actively remember what it means to me. And I don't wear a whole lot of sleeveless things so it's mostly hidden - which I like. And now that I have it, it serves to be a mark of what I went through, how I grew from the experience, and how that melds into where I am now and what I'm doing. A leaf comes with the changing of the seasons, always growing new each season - always dealing with change. This one will stay with me, marking changes in my life, reminding me that some things with always be with me and that I'm still me through all of the changes, but that change will be inevitable and I can weather future changes too.

Sometimes it makes me feel pretty badass too.

Laura got two tattoos that look spectacular. Her placements were harder, so after finishing we distracted her with embarrassing and hilarious stories. Now happily tattooed, we wandered toward ice cream and stopped at The Lowery instead to enjoy oysters and beer ... they had Deschutes and Lagunitas, which I haven't had since California.

With that, Laura and I came back to town freshly tatted, drank whiskey until late with Tor, and I began my weekend on a happily upbeat note.


  1. oh how fun! thank you for taking the time to explain, I love your reason for getting an elm leaf and think your reason is as beautiful as the thing itself. :) Miss you Christy! and I'm so glad you're doing so well!