Saturday, October 19, 2013

10.19.13. 10:47 AM

It was an investigation of epic proportions. Charlie Parker PI was actively working the highest profile case in Minnesota state history right alongside the real police. It was like he was real police. He hadn't felt this rush since the first time he set eyes on Kathy. He was infatuated with the chase. If only it were going better. If only he could know what they know before they knew it. He was twisted in his own thoughts as he reached for the small investigative journal stashed in the glove box of his 1994 Buick Le Sabre. The first rule of being a top class private investigator is documentation. Even the smallest details that first appear insignificant should be documented thoroughly. He detached the Bic ballpoint from the ringed journal and started writing.

Tuesday, March 4th, 2007.

Older. Age 55-65. Medium Height. Slick gray Hair. Large Ears. Tropical button-down shirt. Smoking. Seen leaving Graves hotel at 4:25 PM. Minutes after receiving call from Andrea. Pulled away in 2005 Cadillac with red exterior. Minnesota plates. License #: 351-FUG. 

Charlie stuck the clip of the pen back in the rings of the journal and shoved it back in the glove box, failing on his first attempt to shut it, he readjusted a small pack of Kleenex and shut until he heard it click. He was hungry. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

10.12.13. 2:10 PM

Andrea Koran walked sullenly to the 5th floor of the Graves Hotel. Her decision to walk came from her lifelong fear of elevators more deeply rooted in a claustrophobia passed down from her mother. 

She opened the heavy hallway door, first grabbing the handle with her right hand, pulling down and in, and then lunging her shoulder in the space between the door and the frame as soon as she could fit it. She used her right shoulder to keep the door propped open while her left arm swung a bag of groceries through. The plastic grocery bags, too bulky, swished like a windbreaker as they bounced off her left leg and then the door frame like a makeshift pendulum.

There were exactly 28 hotel rooms on the 5th floor and her's was on the opposite end of her entry point into the hallway. She counted up from 501 as slowly as she moved. She took the moment to regret her diet as she knew some fresh greens would have been lighter than the assortment of meats and produce she took from the Rainbow food mart across the street. She arrived in front of her door and displayed a bit of versatility as she switched the grocery bags from her left hand to her right, swung her purse from her side to her back, and bobbed her left hand in the pocket of her jeans. She groaned as the fit of her jeans reminded her again of the diet she didn't have. Why couldn't she do it? She was noticing the effects of microwave dinners. She had all of the motivation. Was this stress? She felt plastic, and pulled out the keycard from her pocket with the same force and excitement as when Eric caught a bass barehanded at the family cabin in Rhinelander. Her hand moved involuntarily towards the reader and she swiped in one quick motion. Green light. She stood on her tippy toes and moved her waist on top of the door handle then dropped her weight back on her heels. The door cracked and she pushed it the remaining way open with her right shoulder. She stepped in and her heart pulsed fiercely causing her chest to feel like it was caving in on itself. Her breaths grew in rapidity and her eyes widened. She felt the pulsing in the ends of her toes and the tips of her fingers. The grocery bags dropped, spilling apples and eggs and poultry on the hotel room floor. She stared at the blood splattered mirror. CALL OFF YOUR WATCHDOG. Finally, the emotion-- the fear-- caught up with her and she screamed. She reached into her back pocket and dialed the last number that called her. 

She gasped for breath as the other end answered, "PI Charlie Parker." 

10.12.13. 2:06 PM

Radcliffe is his handsome young assistant who gained most of his experience from John Grisham novels. He's not exactly stacking Gouda in the friend department. 

10.12.13. 1:52 PM

PI Charlie Parker is dressed in his normal attire, a white, collared, button-down dress shirt with black suspenders and creaseless black Dockers pants his wife bought him 5 years earlier. Whatever one would think the appropriate amount of button holes to have undone on the front of a dress shirt is, Charlie Parker has one more undone, as if he's trying to show the white undershirt that can only partially contain his chest hair. The way his hair emerges from beneath his shirt reminds Radcliffe of taco toppings or the way his mom used to curl ribbons with a pair of scissors or when he won a game of solitaire on his computer and decks of cards flew every which direction. Parker always wears black, brand-less sneakers and often claims they're more supportive than his wife. Parker's 14k gold ring holding a green gem on his left pointer finger is the most distinct article of clothing he has and draws the eyes of criminals and counterparts alike, but in almost all corners of the world, PI Charlie Parker could be described as unkempt. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

10.08.13. 3:19 PM

Private Investigator Charlie Parker at the grocery store.

PI Charlie Parker: Where do you keep your pancake mix?

Clerk: It should be in aisle 5.

PI Charlie Parker: Just as I suspected.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

04.07.13 12:23 PM

Then, on the bathroom stall door, he saw the most beautiful combination of letters and words his eyes had ever seen. 

Start Where You Are! 
Use What You Have!
Do What You Can!

In the moment, no words seemed so applicable. He gaped in amazement at how profound bathroom stall literature could be. He unrolled a piece of toilet paper four squares long and folded it in half. He reached back and wiped his own ass as he thanked the Phoenicians for creating the versatile 26 letter alphabet that allowed bathroom prophets to express themselves in such brilliant ways. The toilet flushed, and his optimism for the day nearly overflowed. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A night in Rapid City.

My pops and I left Janesville, Wisconsin, around 8:30am on Saturday morning and our 2012 Prius quickly became a mobile man cave permeating with hunger grunts and the smell of A1 Steak Sauce. From the start, our father and son expedition seemed more like a voyage of bonafide outlaws. It felt like the famed story of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but instead of migrating from the West to Bolivia to escape the clutches of the law, we moved from the Upper Midwest to the Pacific Northwest to escape the clutches of monotony. My dad, dressed to the nines in his father jeans and 'retired' cap, began the trip holding the reigns. I resigned to the passenger seat, shuffling between a 2012 Road Atlas and a comprehensive book of America's highways and byways. 

The fist leg of the trip proved futile in keeping our eyes' curiosity. In Wisconsin, we came across the usual suspects. Signs for the Tommy Bartlett Ski & Sky Show. Rick Wilcox's silent plea to take the nearest exit for Magic! Comedy! and Illusions! And a trail of adult superstores catering to the pleasure hungry truck drivers that spend more time on the road than at home. The stretch of I90W came and went to Jenny Steklin's narration of the Anatomy of Murder, an audiobook of the British variety handpicked by my dad. Although it helped pass the time, after committing five hours, we agreed it wasn't fit to our taste. For those interested, my summary is below: 

Mrs. Westerman is a renowned British murder investigator with a knack for detail. Her Dr. Watson is a man named Crawford. Crawford is a homely character that sort of lurks around crime scenes and loves doing autopsies. Little does Mrs. Westerman know, Crawford has only performed autopsies on cats before. The city of London calls on these two to investigate the murder of a violinist named Mr. Fitzraven. In the process of interviewing Mr. Fitzraven's acquaintances, Mrs. Westerman and Crawford find that most considered him a prick. Investigation continues. 

We split from I94W around Tomah, Wisconsin, and continued onto I90W, which crossed the Mississippi and guided us through southern Minnesota. The speed limit soon changed to 70mph and we worried it would take all of the Prius just to get there, but it saddled up on the left lane and made most semi's seem like they were standing still. The back tires even kicked up dirt and sand; leaving a cloud of dust that spelled out "eco-friendly" for the gas guzzlers that chased us. There wasn't anything particularly notable in southern Minnesota, besides a few serious farming communities like Hayward or Fairmont. These areas are so desolate, the inhabitants either do a lot of thinkin' or a lot of drinkin'.

We attempted to stop in Sioux Falls on the Minnesota/S.D. border to grab lunch at a restaurant my friend Angela (an SD native) recommended, but failed impeccably. It was one of those situations where there are multiple exits into the city, and you keep thinking the next one is your exit, until eventually you've passed them all and end up stopping in a backward place like Hartford, South Dakota, where casinos are in gas stations, family photos are in bars, and burgers are inedible. 

There was a glimmer of adventure as we passed over the Missouri River before sunset, but it faded quickly. The sun dropped before our eyes and we ended up driving through the Badlands in darkness. Our final destination for the first day was Rapid City because it was only a 25 minute drive from Mt. Rushmore, which we planned to visit in the morning.   Rapid City is home to only 65, 000 people, but appeared like Las Vegas amidst the vast South Dakota night. Countless billboards advertising hotels lined both sides of the highway like giant hurdles for the 20 miles leading into the city. We grabbed a room at the Comfort Inn along with, what seemed like, every girls basketball team on the planet, and then scanned the town for a place to eat. The city reminded me a lot of the Wisconsin Dells, but with even more hotels dotting the landscape. And where there wasn't a hotel, there was a steakhouse. Dakotah Steakhouse. LongHorn Steakhouse. Outback Steakhouse. As we passed Delmonico Steakhouse my dad said, "You can't be a vegetarian here. This is cattle country." 


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Devendra Banhart

I've always admired Devendra Banhart's unique style and personality. Below are a couple of videos that make me think his lifestyle is almost illusory. The first is Banhart's cover of Townes Van Zandt's "Colorado Girl" and the other is a commercial shot by Lisa Eisner for Oliver Peoples optics of Banhart and his girlfriend, Rebecca Schwartz. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

11.13.12 2:08PM

Harper's uncle reached for the glass of whiskey and water he had prepared for him. He took a sip and all you could hear were the ice cubes tumbling into each other and against the walls of the glass. Harper followed the drink from his mouth, down his throat, and into his stomach. He noticed the day's work was still on his clothes. His shirt and pants were speckled with sawdust and concrete mix. 

"Life is hard." He paused and looked into his glass as if he was searching for the words to continue. 

"Marriage is hard," he said. He looked at Harper who was brushing the awkwardness of a serious conversation off by taking a sip of his beer. 

"It's like taking a bath. You turn on the faucet. You hop in. Everything is nice at first. The water is warm. Everything is new. But slowly you adapt to the water and it starts to get old. It's no longer refreshing as it use to be so you turn the faucet back on and try to find the feeling you had before. It works for a while, but again, the water gets cold. You can't stand to be in it. But this time the hot water has stopped coming out of the faucet and the tub is full. Almost ready to overflow. You've been in it so long your skin is wrinkled and pruned. There is nothing left. So what do you do?" 

Harper pointed to the cards on the table, "It's your deal." 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Future Islands, Balance

Future Islands is a synth-pop band based in Baltimore, Maryland. Their latest record "On the Water" makes you feel like you're in a vampire's dancehall. It is a seriously eerie and unforgettable sound. Below is their video for "Balance."

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Typhoon, Common Sentiment

Typhoon is an up and coming band based in Portland, Oregon. Trick or Treat. 

10.31.12 11:24PM

Woman: Have a nice rest of the day! 

Harper: You too, I'll see you later.

Woman: Yes! Maybe we can grab a drink or something.

Harper: That would be great. See you! 

Woman: Ehhhh. This always happens to me.

Harper: Are you going this way, too? 

Woman: I am.


Harper: Winter is coming quickly, isn't it? 

Woman: It appears that way. 


Harper: I hope it's as mild as last winter.

Woman: Me too. 


Woman: Where are you headed?

Harper: A few blocks up. 8th and 13th.


Harper: What about you?

Woman: 8th and 14th. 


Woman: Maybe I'll stop and get a coffee here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Darkness Day

Spend Saturday afternoon at Surly Brewery for Darkness Day. Enjoy a tour of the brewery, $4 beers, food trucks, and local bands. The event starts at 11:00am and ends at 6:00pm. One great thing about Surly Nation is that, rain or shine, they will be in full force. 

Bands Set To Play:
God Came From Space
We Are Legion

Brigitte Bardot

St. Vincent, Cruel

St. Vincent's "Cruel" took me to class this morning with an extra wiggle in my step. I hope you all enjoy your Friday night. Soon enough, we'll all be sitting at home reading microwave instruction manuals and worrying about the garbage in our neighbor's lawn. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Read 'Em and Weep, Minneapolis

My friend Sky and I recently took on the task of setting up a book talk club. We meet once a month at different bars, restaurants and coffee shops around Minneapolis. It is a great way to bring people together to socialize over a wide variety of literature and genres. Come and join us for a preliminary meeting on November 5th, where we will be laying the foundation for the club! See details here: Read 'Em and Weep

Thursday, October 18, 2012