Monday, June 19, 2006
Minneapolis/St. Paul: Saturday
I woke up and got out of bed an hour or two earlier than I should have. Ate breakfast in silence with Jeremy after fighting about me taking his photo for my blog. It was then that I found out that he only likes having photos taken from far away. I asked him if he was vain. Affirmative.
Normally, the way he yelled and cursed at me would not have gone unpunished - my first instinct is to fight back or retaliate in some way (ego) - but I wanted to stay at his house for the weekend and I wanted us to get along. So I stopped taking photos and brushed off the altercation, though I knew this wasn't a good start to my Saturday and the weekend. After breakfast and dressing, we went to the Mall of America. I normally don't like malls, and I REALLY didn't like the Mall of America with its specialty store for everything under the sun including gold teeth - yes, gold teeth - and its stupid rollercoasters.
Had I felt like I had more money to spend, I would have bought more than a refrigerator magnet, though, that says "We're Making Enemies Faster Than We Can Kill Them!" with a drawing of Uncle Sam gleefully running off to battle with his rifle and bayonet. I saw tons of cool shoes at other stores but kept my head - and my wallet - relatively intact. Jeremy returned some shoes.
After we were done at the mall, we took the train to downtown Minneapolis where we walked around, had fun with Mary Tyler Moore, watched a blues band and had encounters with a couple of somewhat hostile people.
On one corner in downtown, there is a statue of one of my television heroes, Mary Tyler Moore - one of the first women on television to live on her own, make her own living, live her own life and be happy - gasp! - without a man. How dare she!
It's funny how two people can have the same experience and have very different stories to tell afterward. On his blog, Jeremy claims that he felt like he needed to protect me during our encounters with a couple of aggressive indigent people we encountered on the downtown streets, but I recall things much differently. I feel like he was the one who needed protecting and that I had to keep an eye on him to make sure and get his back if anyone started a fight. One of the guys who bothered us walked in front of my camera when I was taking a photo, and, as a joke, I said, "You ruined my shot, man!" He came up to us wanting money. We said no. He said he was going to do something bad. I tensed up with a fight or flight response in case punches were thrown. He waved his arm in front of my camera. That was the bad thing, trying to ruin another shot. I grimaced at him. He made some dumb joke. The end.
The other guy who gave us problems was Ali from Somalia. We were outside the First Avenue nightclub. I was trying to figure out what kind of photos I wanted to take of the place that has hosted music greats such as Tricky, the Beastie Boys, the Pixies, Rage Against the Machine, Radiohead and PJ Harvey when I saw a guy walk up to Jeremy as seen in Jeremy's post about the weekend. I walked the other way when the guy approached Jeremy, but I kept an eye on him for a while in case something happened. It didn't look like any kind of fight was going to start, so I kept taking photos of the club. That's when Jeremy walked my way followed by the guy who came over to me talking trash about Jeremy. He wasn't too happy, so, to defuse the situation, I told the guy he had an interesting face and asked to take his photo. Old reporter's trick in action. When someone is pissed, flattery can fix everything. I also had a strange desire to reach out to this guy in some way for some reason.
As planned, Ali was flattered, forgot all about Jeremy and let me photograph him. Then, he made me promise I wouldn't post his photo on the Internet, asked to see the photos, told me to take new ones (he didn't like the ones I had already taken) and wanted to give me his phone number so I could connect with him to mail him some photos. I told him that I wouldn't be sending him any photos and tried to signal that our little exchange had come to an end, but he kept hanging around like we had all day to spend with him. Jeremy gave him a couple of dollars, he gave me a hard high five and gave Jeremy a close encounter of the creepy kind and wandered off.
We took the train back to the Mall of America to fetch Jeremy's car and went back to his house for lunch and a nap. Here's us on the train:
Jeremy's lunch consisted of slices of low-fat turkey Spam on bread with cheese, mustard and ketchup. I was just fine with grapes and some kind of flat tortilla-like bread with butter and sugar sprinkled on it - lefse - a dessert from the old country introduced to Jeremy by one of his relatives.
After the nap, I got ready for dinner. I was going to be meeting Jeremy's friend, Mary, and we were going to eat at the ultra-trendy Chino Latino where the young urban hipsters go to see and be seen. Before dinner, we checked out shops near the restaurant. I bought two CDs at a record store (Yeah Yeah Yeahs and local songstress Venus DeMars) and checked out some couches at a shop where you can get a huge gourmet bar of soap for $12 and a cool digital watch/bracelet for $90. Here's Jeremy relaxing on one of the couches:
Chino Latino lived up to the raves Jeremy has always given it. The food was fabulous. We had a coconut curry shrimp and paella that were out of this world. I have had dreams about the paella. Good ones. Not nightmares. Pinky swear. The food comes in troughs big enough for everyone at the table to get full on each dish twice over. It was an expensive meal but not too bad considering the quality and the quantity of the food.
Mary agreed to be the designated driver, so Jeremy and I each ordered a Crack Ho Mojito ($13) and mixed in our vials of fruit puree. I sucked it down and ordered a cheaper ($10) drink after that - a raspberry martini. I was determined to relax and have fun. If that meant getting drunk, so be it. After dinner, we went for drinks at some laid-back punky kinda bar that had bands playing in the next room. It was there that I had a few too many midori sours and said some embarrassing things that I probably shouldn't have said. On his blog, Jeremy described my comments as "ribald." I would categorize them as downright smutty. Give me a break, though, OK? I was drunk. For the first time in a long time. But not as drunk as I wanted to be. And the night ended too soon. Because I wanted to get MORE drunk. I wanted to party. I wanted to break out. Jeremy and Mary wanted to go home.
We went back to Jeremy's house. He was half asleep on his overstuffed chair. I was lying on the sofa. I had had a good night. I was almost giddy. I wanted to make out. I asked Jeremy for a kiss. He turned me down. I was mortified. I went to bed.
Next: Minneapolis/St. Paul: Sunday