Saturday, June 30, 2007


I've been intrigued by Elizabeth Huey's paintings ever since some random MySpace browsing led me to her website. I love the combo of architecture and woods and catastrophe and human iconography--kind of reminds me of my friend Aaron Spangler's incredible rural-apocalypse-themed wood carvings, back when they were colorful (now he paints them all black.)

And now she has a show in Portland, up through July 28 at Quality Pictures. I am dying to see it.

This is how it looks:

Here is her website, and here is the Mercury review.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

This is what happens when you let people name their own roads

A couple of years ago, Minnesota decided it was time to name all the roads up north that previously were just "second left after the Vacationaire sign" or "three miles past Two Inlets, when the road makes a big S-curve, look for the sign that says Minimum Maintenance Road" (Amy and Aaron's) or "HC 05" (my parents'.) So they did this thing where they let the residents of each road name it themselves. In Hubbard County it was alphabetical--you got assigned a letter, everyone submitted ideas that started with that letter, and then the top three went to a vote. Thus did HC05 become Far Portage Drive, and the sequence was born of Flaming Pine Road followed by Flamingo Drive (?).

Driving through Beltrami County tonight, in the woods north of Cass Lake, Tove and I saw these roads. Not alphabetical, but clearly resident-determined, these are their real official names.

Honest to god.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

"Woman, the New Social Problem"

My far-flung friend Gail O'Hara linked to this piece by Meghan Falvey called "Woman, the New Social Program" on her Chickfactor site. It starts out plenty satisfying, tearing up some of the most prominent and irritating new arguments about what women are supposed to do with their lives (see: Maureen Dowd, Caitlin Flanagan), but then it really takes off when she connects the issue not only to gender but to class, and to all people, not only women. Love and work are unstable; love and care become commodified.
In our private lives, the transformation is just as profound. Our default serial monogamy, our noncommitment and obsession with self-refashioning—these resemble nothing so much as casualized employment. Economic and romantic life converge, in a register of profound insecurity defined by constant movement—in and out of capital markets, jobs, relationships.
Here's the rest.