how IS it out there?
That's what people ask me. People from back in Seattle, anyway. It's odd, I still think of this blog as being read by Seattleites and I'm sure that's still the majority of the readership. But it stands to reason that there must be some Twin Cities folks reading it as well. The idea in my mind of a mostly Seattle audience kind of reveals that I still feel like I'm a visitor here. Perhaps it's an extended visit, like college or something, but it does not yet feel permanent.
Anyway, it's been nearly 10 months now. Here's how it is out here:
1. Weather is a huge topic of conversation.
2. People will talk about the weather wherever you go. Especially about extreme cold. The novelty has not worn off for them even if they're 90 and have never left Minnesota. Weather = fascinating!
3. The fact that people constantly talk about the weather means they constantly talk. It's a social place.
4. I think that's because it's based on farming and settlers. These people had to be social in order to NOT DIE. And it stuck.
5. I slipped into being a Vikings fan quite easily. This is probably because they are good and the Seahawks are not. The shallowness of my football fandom is now clear.
6. Still a Mariners fan. No wavering at all.
7. Trying to become a Timberwolves fan but the suckiness of their play and their dopey name makes that difficult.
8. I still can't get past the idea of Minnesota being funny, somehow. Like the entire state seems inherently whimsical, somehow. It's just a funny state. That perception on my part has made it harder to feel like this is home. I still feel like I'm living in a skit.
9. The accents. My god, the accents.
10. Humans are adaptable, it turns out. We had a few days there of minus 11 degrees or worse. We went out in it anyway, kids went to school, life continued. Then it heated up to 4 degrees and I couldn't believe how warm it was. Humans are adaptable.
11. There's this band out here called Cloud Cult. They're from Minneapolis. People talk about them constantly.
12. But they don't talk about Prince as much as you would think.
13. Great coffee was easy to find. So was great beer. Good Thai food took a while but was found eventually. Great pizza? The search continues.
14. Did that #8 thing make me sound like I didn't like it here? Sorry. No, I like it here. I like it a lot. It feels like a home. But I think it still feels like I'm looking into someone else's home. Will it be more like MY home, maybe after a year or two? Yeah probably.
15. I must admit, though, that the cancellation of Weekend America was a bummer. Did you hear about that? Our last show is 1/31/09. Crappy economy, big expensive show, you do the math.
16. I'm staying with the company, though. Future projects to be announced in due time.
17. I have developed a snow shoveling technique that works for me.
18. I have bought sidewalk salt.
19. I used to go entire winters without wearing a hat or gloves. Now, I have many pairs of gloves and many hats. I have a hat that makes me look like a ninja.
20. Minnesota, and especially St. Paul, feels like a place that is uniquely my own. I grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, went off to various places for short term things, but then returned to the city where I lived for years. We stay in our hometowns by default, it's what we know. St. Paul is not what I know, which makes it all feel very fresh and exciting. It's my Midwest crisis, as my sister said.
21. Everyone in Seattle was from somewhere else.
22. Everyone here is from here.
23. People here don't consider themselves from here if they're from a suburb. "So did you grow up in St Paul?" "Oh geez no, I grew up way out in Mendota Heights!" Mendota Heights is on the other side of the bridge.
24. I thought I would miss the trees and the mountains but I don't. Not at all. Not even a little.
25. I miss my friends, though.
26. And I really, REEEEEEALLY, miss being in a rock band, especially the world's most important rock band. Tentative reunion concert in the works for next summer.