Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘downtown Minneapolis

Opening Night

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After an afternoon of monkeying around to install a new replacement storm door over our front door –of which I only got halfway– we hustled to feed animals early and get cleaned up for a night out on the town with our friends Barb and Mike Wilkus. First stop, we met in Northeast Minneapolis for some Southeast Asian food at Hai Hai restaurant, a culinary departure for all of us. It was great!

From there, we drove downtown for the local opening night performance of “Ain’t Too Proud,” the story of the Temptations, at the Orpheum Theater.

Quite a performance that tells the story of ups and downs the group went through in their somewhat complicated history.

It made for a very late night. Driving for an hour to get home after the show brought us in long after our usual bedtime. We are not usually on the road when it starts to get foggy and young raccoons might be trying to make their way across the pavement.

I fear there is one less raccoon alive this morning because I chose not to make any evasive maneuvers that might put ourselves and our vehicle at risk.



Cosmic Evening

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Our experience last night was indeed cosmic in the colossal sense. Joined by our friends, Mike and Barb, we dined at the ever so fine Capital Grille before catching Neil deGrasse Tyson presenting his “Cosmic Perspective” at the State Theater.

Typically, I was rather lukewarm to the idea when Cyndie purchased tickets last fall. April seemed so forever away and why would I want to drive to downtown Minneapolis to sit and listen to an astrophysicist talk? Now I know why. Neil deGrasse Tyson is hilariously entertaining while expounding on mind-expanding perspectives from an astrophysicist perspective.

The icing on our cake of an evening was the fact that Cyndie included Barb and Mike in our plan and selected a fine dining establishment that shares a wall with the theater. We feasted like royalty and were lucky to be served by a sublime professional who guided our selections and timed our meal with impressive expertise, right down to slipping in a delectable coconut cream pie serving for dessert with just enough time to allow me to run a doggy bag of leftovers to the car in the parking ramp down the block.

Then, it was time for the show. From the moment Neil kicked off his shoes by the podium and addressed the crowd with his good-natured, approachable delivery, I felt myself becoming an instant fan, along with seemingly everyone else in the audience, if they weren’t already.

Almost every detail or relationship of the universe he highlighted was affirming in its scientific simplicity, even when it was equally mind-boggling in complexity. The molecules in the air we breathe and the water we drink have been on this planet for centuries upon centuries and passed through others for eons.

We are built out of the same elements as the stars of the universe. It isn’t our uniqueness that makes us special, it’s our ‘sameness’.

The hubris of thinking we are anything more than we actually are is laid bare by the multitude of examples presented from a cosmic perspective. For me, it resonates with my understanding that the more we come to know, the more we realize how little we actually know.

Neil’s sharp wit provided non-stop chuckles and frequent bursts of laughter throughout the delivery of interesting scientific details about our world and its place in the universe.

When the talk appeared to be going long, he put up a universal permission slip for us all to use, especially kids for whom it was a school night. He said to take out our phones and take a picture, so Cyndie did.

We just fill in our names and we have a ready made excuse for staying out too late.

I’m not sure it will hold much influence for our horses and Delilah if we don’t serve their morning meals at the expected hour, but it helps in our minds to feel justified in our exceptional evening.

It was truly cosmic.



Celebration Dinner

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It was a small gathering last night, in terms of usual for a birthday event celebrated by Cyndie’s family. Our two kids and Cyndie’s parents met downtown in Minneapolis for a royal feast at the Melting Pot restaurant for Julian’s birthday dinner.

The fact that it was also Cyndie’s and my 38th wedding anniversary helped to bolster the celebration a couple of notches.

The multiple courses of fondue made for a long meal. I didn’t get around to snapping photos until we were working on dessert because I had been so focused on cooking my own food.

Fred had the best line of the night when he said to the waiter, “My compliments to the chef!”

There were so many flavors being mixed and mingled it was dizzying. Most of the time, I didn’t know what I was eating, but it all tasted mighty good. My entree was a combination of meats that included shrimp, pork, chicken, and beef with a variety of spices. Add in six versions of dipping sauces and the two different flavored cooking oils and I had a good excuse for struggling to identify each bite.

It felt wonderfully celebratory!