A Wedding©

Nov. 6th, 2009 02:58 pm
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Godzilla poses with a guest

You are cordially invited
to witness the union of
Marta Stuyvesant-Brown
To Godzilla, King of the Monsters
3 O'Clock P.M.
Saturday, June 18

The ceremony took place on the exclusive island resort where Mr. Godzilla and several of his sometime co-stars have taken up residence. It was fine weather, clear and warm, with a pleasing breeze which carried the scent of sandalwood and sulphur. The night before had been an unbroken torrent of wind, rain, and lightning, but by dawn all that remained of this was a light fog which burned off quickly under the sun's gentle insistence.

The ceremony took place on Godzilla's private beach, where a tasteful arrangement of massive flowers framed the altar. I was informed that the blossoms came from Madame Mothra's own garden. How she manages to act, produce, direct, raise hundreds of larvae and keep a garden, I can't imagine. She was in attendance, of course, wearing a stunning Bob Mackie gown that served to assure the skeptics that yes, she has indeed taken off the lingering weight of her last pregnancy. Others in attendance included Rodan, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Gigan and Megalon (their own union having been made official earlier this year in Massachussetts), and David and Courtney Cox-Arquette. Godzilla's ex-wife Madame White Snake was noticeably absent, though their sons served as ushers. I have it on good authority that King Kong had been invited but was unable to attend as he is back at Hazelden after a relapse.

Matthew Broderick served as best man; he and Godzilla have been good friends since they toured together on The Producers. (During the toast later, Broderick garnered big laughs by saying that he had been certain that he and Godzilla had worked on a film together in the late nineties, but the stage lights were far more forgiving than the camera.)

The bride wore Vera Wang, and looked positively stunning for a woman who survived a massive dose of radiation as an infant. This is her first marriage, but if she was concerned by the fact that Godzilla has been twice divorced she gave no sign. Her father walked her down the aisle, waved rather nervously up at Godzilla, and scurried back to his seat.

King Ghidorah performed the service; it seems that back in the seventies he answered an ad in the back of Rolling Stone and became a minister in the Church of the Cosmic Lotus. He appeared to have begun celebrating a bit early, as his second head snored throughout the ceremony and the third ogled all the eligible women in the congregation. The bride and groom had written their own vows, and they were so heartfelt and elegant that Gigan sobbed openly, inadvertently igniting the hair-piece of the man in front of him with his eye-beams.

Following the brief ceremony, the guests adjourned to the valley where the couple will be making their home. Conversation was a challenge, as the photographers kept the bridal party moving from one picturesque spot to another, and the groom's footfalls dislodged many a stray boulder from the canyons above the footpaths. Nonetheless, I had an engaging chat with several of my fellow guests, including Mrs. Rodan, a distressingly small woman with a rather ribald sense of humor. Drinks in hand, we discussed pesto recipes, the decline of Radiohead, and the resurgence of tokusatsu kaiju until Mr. and Mrs. Godzilla rejoined us.

After a dinner of light pasta salad and heavy quiche--the couple are both vegetarian--the music began. The most recent lineup of Blue Öyster Cult played the reception, though they were at times difficult to hear over the stomping of the guests. For the first dance they played "Return to Me," a favorite of the bride, and from there the music got faster and louder, with a break every third or fourth song for a slow dance. I briefly tripped the lights fantastic with King Ghidorah, but fled the dance floor when he tried to rest one of his heads on my shoulder.

The evening was marred only by the sudden and unexpected appearance of Gamera, who was both drunk and uninvited. He made some comments about the bride (it seems they used to date) which sent Godzilla into a rage. Rodan and Gorosaurus were drawn into the dispute, and a number of guests were killed in the ensuing melee, despite the efforts of Madame Mothra and her brood. But for the survivors, as well as for the happy couple, it was a day not to be forgotten.

(Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Anguirus, Gorosaurus, Minya, Gigan, Megalon, Madame White Snake, and King Ghidorah are all property of Toho Studios. King Kong is property of Universal Pictures. Gamera is property of Daiei Motion Picture Company. Matthew Broderick is property of Sarah Jessica Parker.)

(Reprinted from here; reposting inspired by the photo above.)
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I want this bear to follow me wherever I go.
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7th Street Bridge
Originally uploaded by Snurri
I'd heard about Swede Hollow for years before I ever knew what it was, and I'd never been there until yesterday, when I rode my bike through downtown to where Payne Avenue runs into 7th Street. It's a wooded ravine on the East Side, cut through the bluffs by Phalen Creek. Back in the 1850's it was settled by Swedish immigrants, hence the name. (Originally it was "Svenska Dalen.") They built shacks along the creek and lived in what I suppose could be called congenial squalor. The name stuck even after the population there became largely Italian, and later Mexican.

What's striking about the hollow is how secluded it is, even now; the sounds of traffic from nearby 7th Street and I-94 are largely muffled by the depth and vegetation. It would be easy to live there and believe the outside world didn't exist--almost as easy as it would be for the rest of the world (well, St. Paul, and specifically the then-prosperous neighborhood of Dayton's Bluff nearby) to pretend that there weren't desperately poor people living down in the Hollow.

There's not a single historical marker in the "Historic Forest"--even the sign I photographed was hidden at a side entrance to the trail. I saw no signs of the homes that were burned away in the 1950's, only an egret and a few ducks, and a tiny congregation having some sort of service up near the Hamm's Brewery. But there was a moment, as I stood near the Creek taking pictures, when I got chills. As I've been studying the history of my city I've begun seeing parts of it in four dimensions; the streets and buildings and neighborhoods that used to be, superimposed on what is now. And while I couldn't see the shacks that used to line the creek (or the outhouses that used to sit suspended above it), the reality struck me hard that people really lived here, and not only are they gone, but so is any trace that they were ever here. I suppose that will be the fate of all of us, but it's rarely been driven home to me in such a way.

To see more (not that there is much to see besides water and trees) check out my set at Flickr.

May Day

May. 4th, 2009 08:43 pm
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Originally uploaded by Snurri
Yesterday was my first-ever (not THE first-ever, just mine) Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre May Day Parade over in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis. I rode my bike over (pant, pant) and hung out with Haddayr and Jan and their boys to watch the festivities. They tell me this year was not as great as previous years, but I enjoyed it nonetheless, and I took so many pictures that I ran out of disk space halfway through. Not all of them turned out, but you can see the ones that did over here.


Feb. 8th, 2009 05:20 pm
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Originally uploaded by Snurri
Today the sun made a cameo appearance in our little northern epic. The people of the Twin Cities left their homes with their dogs and their children and their dog's children's robot servants and walked hand in hand. Then they promptly slipped on a sheet of ice and slid into a slush puddle.

I met my parents for brunch and then we all went to the Book Sale at the Animal Humane Society where my brother works. I restrained myself to spending less than ten dollars and then we went to look at the dogs, which was painful because I wanted to take them all home, especially the 7-year-old Beagle with the housesoiling problem. I JUST FEEL SO BAD FOR HER. Dogs without homes make me so very sad. My brother is a saint.
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Didja ever notice that the question in itself is creepifying?

I'm a little freaked out by how well my face maps onto that one. Sadly, in addition to the receding hairline, my ears are nowhere near so glorious as these.

What's freaky about this one is how close it comes to some of my actual high school photos. Well, except for the facial hair.
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An Announcement
Originally uploaded by Snurri
My first reaction on seeing this sign was relief, but there are a million ways to interpret this message . . .
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Branch Maze
Originally uploaded by Snurri
The other morning we woke up to snow, which quickly melted into a soggy, shoe-destroying mess. But if you were out early enough, it was beautiful. I took some pics in case you missed it.

Snow covers many sins.
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If you're not reading FreakAngels, Warren Ellis and Paul Duffield's new weekly webcomic, you should start. The first installment was too sketchy to make any sort of judgment by, the second felt a little too familiar, but today's has managed to hook me in a very quiet sort of way. See if you feel the same.

This is kind of cool: my photograph of the Hideout, that most beloved of Chicago music clubs, has been selected for use in something called Schmap!, an online guide to the city. Since I've been on Flickr I've had people ask to use photos for open-source journalism stuff, and now this. No, I'm not making money off of any of it, but then my photographs aren't that good. I just think it's cool, living in the future.

Today is Leap Day, and yet we are not all out on the streets, having the biggest party since the last Leap Day four years ago. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE. We ought to be having a bissextus festival!

[Poll #1146550]
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Giant Mosquito
Originally uploaded by Snurri
A few Winter Carnival pics, belatedly. Most of them didn't turn out, being as it was night and I am a suck photographer. HOWEVER I did get a shot of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District's latest capture.
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Originally uploaded by Snurri
Picture taken by Heidi Ehalt. I rarely like pictures of myself, but this one may end up being the author photo for all the book stuff.

Side View

Apr. 19th, 2007 06:37 pm
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Side View
Originally uploaded by Snurri.
I drove back and forth between Chicago and the Twin Cities over the past few days. (More on that later.) On the way there I revisited the Citgo station outside De Forest, Wisconsin where a giant pink elephant stands, wearing sunglasses.
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The highlight of my holiday weekend had to be seeing Exene at the Hideout. Knuckel Drager opened; I'd not heard them before, but they were pretty entertaining for a surf metal band. Had to be the monster masks. But Exene rocked the house and got me off my ass. Some X tunes in the mix, a lot of solo stuff, and some covers. ("Ghost On the Highway"!!! Awesome!) I may have to start wearing earplugs, but I hope I never get too old to go to shows.
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Mountains! In the Desert!
Originally uploaded by Snurri.
I spent last week in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park with four very talented and lovely people. We did lots of writing and spent lots of time in the hot tub and saw lots of stars and drank . . . some. I took some pictures. Here they are.
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Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Lethem
Originally uploaded by Snurri.
Yesterday I finished my work early so I could go to the downtown library and watch Jonathan Lethem and Salman Rushdie talk about writing and stuff in spite of the very annoying head of the Columbia fiction department and a couple of not-so-bright audience questions. They were both very articulate and smart and I enjoyed the talk even though I think it would have been more fun if we had just gone to a bar.
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Last night an old guy yelled at me to zip up my jacket. He sounded angry. "Zip your jacket!" he said as he walked past. "What?" I asked him. "Zip up, it's cold!" he said. He was right. It's finally cold here, which sucks but we all knew it would happen eventually. Except for a couple of weeks right away in November this has been the wimpiest winter I can recall. My attitude is, you had your chance, now just get back in the corner until Spring gets here. Too bad the weather never listens to me.

This baby sloth video is mostly for Richard, but it's OK for the rest of you to watch it.

These Swedish librarians, on the other hand, are for me and me alone.

Steve Gerber--creator of Howard the Duck, Thundarr the Barbarian, and many weird/awesome comics stories of the '70s (including some in the Essential Defenders Volume 2, which I just finished), and writer of the upcoming Dr. Fate series for DC, has a blog.

In case you missed it, there's a new excerpt up at the Secret City set.

That's it. Stay warm.

*Title has nothing to do with anything other than work annoyance.
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Originally uploaded by Snurri.
Took this one while killing time between movies downtown. It turned out pretty well, I think.


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