Goodbye 28, Hello Minnesota State Fair

August 30, 2011



For my birthday, all that I wanted was a trip to the Minnesota State Fair.  We found buddies with similar aspirations, took the day off work, and kicked the Fair in the pants.  My quote of fried food was sufficiently met: deep-fried snickers bar, donuts, french fries, cheese curds.

I snuck in corn (slathered in butter) to be healthy, drank a Surly for good measure, and ate some kind of chicken veggie wrap that shouldn't be considered REAL Fair food (far too good for me).  You know what's gorgeous?  The Midway all lit up at night.

You know what's amazing?  Fair fashion.  We took note of a number of memorable combinations of denim and sequins.  WHO LET YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE WEARING THAT?

The best part of the Fair for me is easily the Miracle of Birth center, where you can watch brand new baby goats find their legs, and observe a pile of piglets tackle their mother in search of food.

We found the talent show (lots of musical theatre numbers, with a couple of Joplin piano solos), the cloggers, the equestrian events, and the evangelists, attempting to get us to a Christian-centered meditation group.  I saw seed art, a prize pumpkin, and  a row of potato varietals.



We won mustaches!  We rode in water bumper cars.  And, I was reminded that some rides do nothing more than give me high blood pressure.  Best birthday ever, and best way of honoring six years of Twin Cities living.

[caption id="attachment_379" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Dance Film Project"][/caption]

So: birthdays.  Mine always has the New Years feeling to me: a time for resolutions, to make plans, to reflect.  It forever feels like back-to-school time in August- a time to get things done.  This time last year, Ben and I decided to Get Things Done.  For starters, we decided to get married (totally not fully knowing what a can of worms we were opening by planning a wedding), and commit to building a life together (Fun!  Yay!).

[caption id="attachment_411" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Making I Like You"][/caption]

I finalized my graduate school decision, and we debated a move to California.  We made some dance films, a full-length production, a wedding, a move, and a decision that Ben should quit his job and become self-employed.  We touched the Pacific and the Atlantic (a couple of weeks apart).  We rolled with things that took us by surprise (the loss of health insurance, bad health news, the loss of my job...a car accident).

[caption id="attachment_384" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Pacific"][/caption]

The bottom line is, when you start to make choices, things shift.  This is good.  A stagnant life is boring.  But, sometimes these shifts happen quickly, and they are hard to keep up with.  Advice for that?  I don't really know, because I didn't really handle all of this change well.  Looking back I wish that I would have taken more deep breaths, known that things would eventually work themselves out, and had a little more faith & a lot more confidence.  Fake it 'til you make it, right?

Birthday wishes?  More confidence.  More breathing.  More deliberate attention, and less multi-tasking.  More risks.  As always, it seems that in risking, we find where the juicy stuff resides.

[caption id="attachment_399" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Wedding Morning, Lady Friends (Photo by Steve Cohen)"][/caption]

I'm so grateful for these 30 days of making time for the fun stuff.  It's great to get things done.  It's also great to sit and contemplate the universe while drinking a beer on a porch swing.  It's good to balance rehearsals and Making Things Happen with journaling and serial television.  It's ok to be completely uncertain as to what is going to happen next.

[caption id="attachment_405" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Marriage, photo by Emma Freeman"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_416" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Post-show, photo by Megan Mayer"][/caption]

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