Sunday, July 02, 2006

THE GREAT NORTHERN EXPEDITION OF 2006, PT. 2:
Persian Riot Grrls, Corpse Art, and Nurse-Induced Binge Drinking

MINNEAPOLIS (ZP) -- It's obvious I've spent way too much time in Oxford Fucking Ohio.

For one, I'm easily amused these days by the simple pleasures offered by "Big City Living." I spent much of my Minnesota trip feeling a bit like an educated version of Jethro from the Beverly Hillbillies.

As I wandered the streets of Minneapolis's Dinkytown neighborhood, near the University of Minnesota campus, I was mesmerized by the sheer diversity Urban America has to offer in terms of lifestyle.

I also realized how much I miss living in a diverse area.

In Dinkytown, there were street artists and homeless gutter punks wandering Bob Dylan's one-time home, gay college students holding hands while working-class guys stared from barroom windows, pretty girls with pixie haircuts shopping at music stores and patchouli-scented stoners perched near the local head shop.

Baton Rouge had places like that, as did San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and even Greeley, Colorado.

Oxford? Please.

Oxford is about as diverse, culturally and economically, as a Klan Rally in the Hamptons.

One night in Dinkytown, a Persian-American goth/punker/Riot Grrl stopped me on 4th Street and asked me if I could spare a couple of cigarettes. A simple conversation was sparked by a comment I made about the 21-year-old's vintage TSOL tee-shirt.

We talked for about half and hour about politics, the woes of the local music scene ("becoming too mainstream" was the big complaint), her ever-changing hair color, and me being a librarian (Goth kids LOVE libraries) before she invited me back to her apartment.

We sat in her apartment for a couple of hours chatting. At one point I suggested that I leave because it was getting late, and I didn't want to keep her from whatever she had planned.

I guess she invited me back for something more than an argument over the cultural significance of the Beats and the worthlessness of most infotainment technologies.

Um...yeah.

Cute girl. Very intelligent. And she fit the physical and intellectual profile of the kind of women I usually get involved with. But I just wasn't interested in a fling.

Been there, done that, and I've already sent those fucking tee shirts to the Salvation Army.

I may not know how to read some signals, but, well, some women are relatively easy to read. And I'm starting to realize that I tend to give off a vibe that I'm some sort of sexual free-spirit, the kind of guy who just likes fucking-and-leaving. Nobody really enjoys that, at the end of it all, because one eventually realizes, on some level, that one-night-stands are nothing more than masturbation with company.

A friend called and left a voicemail, so I had an out. Goth girl asked if it was my girlfriend...

Okay, so I lied and said the person calling was indeed my significant other. A lousy thing to do, but, hey, it simplified things a bit.


NOTE - There is someone reading this post who will soooo get a kick out of this, because she was my excuse.


* * * *

Two days into the trip, mom and I hit St. Paul, the other half of Minnesota's famed Twin Cities.

The highlight? The Science Museum of Minnesota, which managed to become one of my all-time favorite museums in just under five hours.

The museum is currently hosting Gunther von Hagens' Body Worlds exhibit, through Sept. 4.

Composed of more than 200 actual human cadavers, carefully contorted and preserved through the Plastination (a technique that replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive plastics), the exhibit is one of the most controversial in the world. In Scotland, police were set to stop a showing if they received complaints over the inclusion of a dead child as part of the exhibit.

It's also been reported that the exhibit is actually banned in several cities, and rumors continue to circulate that von Hagens has been using the remains of human beings acquired through less than official channels.

Sickening and yet fascinating.

Did I actually learn something from seeing skinned corpses posed as archers and yoga instructors? Probably. Did it bother me a bit to see actual human remains posed as archers and yoga instructors? Certainly.

Versions of the exhibit are also on display in Houston, through Sept. 4, and Denver, through July 23.


* * * *

Nurses.

I have a rather sordid history with women who work in the healthcare industry, a history I rarely discuss on this blog.

Put the ZenFo Pro in one of America's most popular collegetown watering holes with a group of said health workers, and somebody's getting completely shitfaced.

Err...

Four words.

Grain Belt Premium, cheap.

Um...

Has anybody seen the stash of business cards I keep in my wallet? Or my lucky steel bracelet?

Seriously.

Err...

Really need to learn how to not flirt so much...

Nurses are too much fun.

;)

7 comments:

Smurf said...

I still have never seen your business card. You should send me a letter just so I can have one... lol... that would be kinda cool. I have had business cards in the past, but currently... the Smurf... umm... is... out of employment for the summer... long story... will have to discuss some other time...

Remember my buddy from Greeley who wore the dress? (the guy) Or the time Tally, Jane and I flooded their dorm when we were attempting to dye our hair pink? That was the day we met Kfigment. Umm... Yea... one of them clogged up the bathtub... another story for another time...

Glad to hear it seems like you are having a somewhat decent time. I am not convinced its a great time though. I hope something really extraordinary and COOL happens before its over. *hugs*

cooper said...

yay for diversity. lol

I currently am living in a small central Maryland city but it is fairly diverse as the areas in the burbs of DC tend to have a lot of diversity. People move in and out a lot though.

It would be way to hard to live in an area where everything and everyone was the same.

Watch that grain stuff I hear it can kill.

shayna said...

LOL! I live in a small town in TN... but I long to live closer or in Nashville again... I miss it. Not that it is a "BIG" city... but it's as big of a city I want to live in. There are advantages of small towns... but I think I am more of a "Southern City" girl. :)

I don't think I could go to that museum... seriously would lose my lunch.

Have a Great Fourth, Jason! :)

pia said...

Live in the biggest of cities and sometimes like today it feels like the smallest of towns--and not in a great way

Miz BoheMia said...

Hola amigo! I see I had quite some catching up to do! With regards to the post below, the European equivalent of that is France's Charles de Gaulle airport. AVOID it like the plague. the French are assholes, well, the Parisians at least, and that airport is shit! Take it from me, LIKE THE PLAGUE! Let's just say that I was so glad I am fluent in French, especially in the swearwords... it left those assholes there quite speechless when they saw the stuff that came out of my mouth!

... on some level, that one-night-stands are nothing more than masturbation with company....

Brilliant.

As for nurses? Wouldn't know...

This is small time compared to US cities, where I live in Spain, but it is pretty diverse although it could use more diversity "race" wise... you will find many Europeans, resident British, German and Scandinavians are normal here and yeah, so is the Russian mafia and the like. Some "famous" drug dealer owns a house close to us and one of our neighbors looks quite the part of a Russian mafioso and judging by the latest Mercedes he owns I wouldn't be surprised!

Cowgirl said...

There is someone reading this post who will soooo get a kick out of this, because she was my excuse.

Wonder who that is....

The ZenFo Pro said...

Smurf:
Hey, I remember PAul. Paul was badass - awesome poet and artist who did what he felt. And if I ever run into those assholes who gaybashed him, I'm cracking skulls.

Cooper:
Lol...there's very few places as diverse as DC Metro...one of my big criticisms of the DC 'burbs, however, has been the dwindling lack of economic diversity (like, say N. Virginia...whoa, talk about a culture shock...have they suceded from my part of Virginia yet?), but, well any port in a storm, chica.

Oh, Grain Belt is heaven in a pint. Awesome stuff. Like my taste for PBR, PGB now has a place in my heart :)


Shayna:
Southern Cities rock! I'd actually take a NAshville, Atlanta, Raleigh, Richmond or my beloved Baton Rouge (high murder rates and all) over most "Yankee" cities.

Nothing like city life at a slower pace than places like NYC, Boston, and DC. (Hell, I hit Louisville's rush hour a few months ago and was annoyed that it took me 20 minutes to get out of downtown...in Los Angeles, that's a 10 block trip ;)

Pia:
Yeah, city living has it's advantages, but there are indeed disadvantages as well.


MizB:
Ugh...I've heard horror stories about de Gaulle.

Do the French have any friends left? Lol...

Famous drug dealers? Damn girl! Watch out for those lil ones...


Cowgirl:
Hmmm...

I dunno ;)