I went to work at 6:30am Friday so I could leave early. I'm not sure this was a good or bad thing, ultimately, because this means I got home in time for the big drug raid on the next-door duplex that is twin to mine. That building has had a somewhat checkered history since I moved in, going through several owners and a foreclosure and periods of vacancy. The latest tenant was very bad news, but he's gone now. The raid itself was only a couple of hours beginning to end, but there was lots of noise and lots of police cars and lots of gunshots, which a neighbor told me at the time were the result of the police shooting the pit bulls but I later found out that the shooting was likely done with tranquilizer darts. Oddly enough, it had only been for the three or four days previous to the raid that anything had happened next door that worried me at all -- the neighbor may have been bad news, but he kept to himself. So it's not as if I've just gone through any sort of worrisome ordeal. By the time I learned just what had really been going on next door everything was very much over. But boy, that was an exciting beginning to the weekend.
Then, off and on throughout the weekend, I went and hung out at the Eagle because it's my local pub and on Pride weekend there are many many guests. The monthly bear bar night happened to be last weekend as well. Basically anybody who hangs out at the Eagle or used to hang out at the Eagle shows up at some point over the weekend, so it was definitely Old Home Week at the local.
Besides all that?
Saturday I checked out all the booths at the two-day Pride Festival, which in Minneapolis is just enormous. The politicians were out in full force this year. And lots of people selling stuff. And many organizations. And churches. And corporations. You all know the drill. I think even the people who used to put a lot of energy into getting outraged over the commercialization of Pride have lost the will to take it as anything other than a big festival. Like the Eagle, it had the air of a big general reunion of lots of people you know.
I couldn't stay long at the festival on Saturday, though, because I wanted to head off to St. Paul for the high school graduation party of my friend Maddie. Both Maddie and her mother are Morris dancers, plus there are about a thousand other direct and close connections because that's how things work around here. There was a lot more dancing than I thought there would be. Here's a great picture of Maddie and her Morris team dancing in the street on a very hot afternoon to celebrate Maddie's graduation:
Note that for all of these pictures you can click a couple of times to get larger displays. I particularly recommend enlarging this one, because it's a great Morris picture even with the dancers out of kit. That's Maddie's mother Tera in the long dress in the front of the picture. Maddie herself is nearly completely hidden. As for some other characters I sometimes mention in this journal, that's Deb in the green shirt to Tera's left, and Denise in the white shirt next to her. The girl in the blue shirt is Jim's daughter Anna Kate, back from her freshman year of college.
Here's another picture from the party, with Maddie in the foreground and me in the background. I include it because at the time it seemed the most natural thing in the world for me to be wearing bells, but wearing bells when I'm out of kit is probably a somewhat eccentric thing. Although it's not as eccentric as wearing bell pads on only one leg, as Maddie (holding a balloon) is doing here. I think Anna Bean was wearing the other bell pad from the pair, so they could both dance with at least some bells.
Sunday of Pride weekend is always an early morning for me, as I have to get up and ready to march which means a big breakfast and finding my parking by 8am and walking the parade route backwards. This photo comes from quietdanmn, of me on the march with some of my rainbowed bandmates.
And for the last picture I must thank Karen, the wife of the handsome man I'm standing with. There is a story here, regarding the bared chests, but I think I'll leave the picture to tell its thousand words all on its own. I love this picture, and I actually think it's surprisingly flattering. This one I've left unshrunk. Do you like my new glasses?
With that, I wish happy pride to all.