Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Uptown Girl

My old pal Nicole had an unveiling of her latest Barbie photograph Tuesday night at the Lyn-Lake Brewery in South Minneapolis:

A lot of the gang from my old workplace were there:

Don and Scott

Sheila and Nicole

As well as some of Nicole’s buddies:

60s Ken, 80s Ken, 60s Barbie

But the highlight was the unveiling:

This image will be on the featured poster for the Uptown Art Fair in Minneapolis, the oldest and most prestigious event of its kind in the upper Midwest.

Way to go Nicole!

By Professor Batty

Comments: 3 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Diminishing Returns

It was Art-A-Whirl weekend, I was back from Wisconsin to catch it on Sunday afternoon. I wanted  to like it, but I only managed made it through one building.

With the exception of Caitlin Karolczak (right), the art I did see seemed to be worse than in previous years. I think it’s a trend.

The absolutely dismal weather (it had been raining the whole weekend; it was warmer in Reykjavík Sunday than it was in Minneapolis!) didn’t help any. When I tried to go to the Northrup King Building it was way too crowded, with no parking spaces for miles around.

I just can’t muster up an interest in this event any more: there are too many people, and too much bad art.

I found the hallways to be more interesting than the studios:

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Wisconsin in the springtime.

What could be finer, even if the weather was a bit chilly and overcast?

Friday found me marooned in a chain hotel in suburban Madison. After an impulsive email to my favorite artist/shepherd/free spirit Shoshanah,  a window of opportunity opened when she invited me to visit her and her vet as they ministered to an ailing ewe:

The ewe in question had been feeling poorly and, as she was expecting, warranted a visit from the kindly and wise sheep-doctor:

He explained what he was looking for (“If you can see the lambs feet, you know that delivery will be soon.”) and what the exam would entail:

Shoshanah held the ornery ovine’s horns while the doc worked on the other end:

Nearby, another ewe (with her day old lamb) watched the examination impassively:

No lamb yet, just a respiratory infection. After being probed, prodded and poked, the ewe took a little breather before rejoining the herd:

After the vet had left, Shoshanah and I talked over coffee while I admired her horse of a different color:

Finally, no trip to Mount Horeb would be complete without a stop in at The Cat and Crow, where co-owner Melissa styled her fabulous new leggings:

Thanks for the wonderful afternoon, Jojiba!

By Professor Batty

Comments: 3 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Reader - Week 20


“Confessions of an unwed teen mother, by yours truly,” said Jennifer, “You would think that by the eighties its stigma would have been gone, but it wasn’t, at least in the small town where I grew up. I had been seeing a guy—he was a misfit—a really good speed-skater in a town of puck-heads. We found ourselves home alone at his house one Saturday; his folks were out of town for a funeral. His lovemaking technique wasn’t very polished, but it was effective. I got pregnant. First try. After a meeting with all of our parents, I was decided that I go to a place in the big city, a place where I could have my child and get a high school diploma without causing to much of a stir. I thought it would be great, not my pregnancy that is, but the fact I could go to Minneapolis. Anything to get out of town. The place I stayed at was run by nuns and not only didn’t I get my diploma, I was held prisoner, the only experiences I had were in religious instruction of a cruel and debasing kind. I had the baby, and then came back to town and graduated a year later than the rest of my classmates. I was shunned, but actually it was a good thing. The skate-boy still wanted me, but I knew there was more to life than making the same mistake over and over. I went to the U, where my life really began, especially after I started taking ‘The Pill.’ My flings were generally fun, excepting the one I told you about, but they got old after a while. I met a nice guy, we moved in together and established some sort of relationship. He was my age, but had graduated a year ahead of me, of course, so when we compared yearbooks he brought it up and I just said that I had some ‘issues’ around that time and that I didn’t want to go into it. He was such a sap that he never asked further questions. I don’t think that he ever realized that I had had a baby. So, that is the story of that picture.”

“Have you ever met her?” asked Andy.

“No, I haven’t,” she answered, “… Someday…”

The Reader is serial fiction, published every Friday

By Professor Batty

Comments: 3 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Joan, Dan, Joe, Seeburg, Max (obscured), Joi

Another barely remembered slice of my past. Winter of 1978, taken in a diner in Pine City, Minnesota. A mix of friends, a winter road trip, ice fishing and poker playing was involved. This image brings up more questions than answers.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 2 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Happenings Forty Years Time Ago

Richard and Diane, Minneapolis, 1975

Another Friday Night, another party. When Halloween fell on a weekend the magic was doubled. Despite the costumes, or even if you weren’t wearing one, there always seemed to be revelations at these affairs: moments when people would let their guard down. Now, over forty years later, I made a connection to this moment and I FINALLY KNEW what it meant.

And then I forgot.

By Professor Batty

Comments: 1 

Friday, May 12, 2017

The Reader - Week 19

Moving Day

Andy got Jennifer’s car from the pub’s parking lot and went to her apartment building. There wasn’t anyone around when he went in, nobody was in the hallway either. Jenifer had given him a list of things to pick up. She had done her laundry just before going to the pub and her clean clothes were still in the laundry baskets. She had a list of things to get from the bathroom, as well as her cosmetics case from her bedroom. Andy was struck by how neat her place was. Not counting the laundry, it was as if she was going to show the place for rental. Andy wondered if she would be able to tolerate the “bachelor pad” housekeeping at his place. Another aspect of Jennifer’s apartment was the lack of personal effects—no pictures except for one, of an infant, on her bed stand. Impulsively, he put The picture in with her clothes. He looked out the window at the apartment building’s parking lot: there was still no one there, at least as far as he was able to determine. The two baskets of laundry and Jennifer’s other effects made for an unwieldy load, but Andy thought it better to move it all in one trip.

As he was leaving, the phone began to ring. Putting down the clothes, he looked at the caller ID and wrote down the number, thinking that Jennifer might want to know who it was that had called. The trip to the car went without incident, and Andy drove back to his house. He parked the car in the garage and shut the door. The garage had a window. Andy pulled its blind down. He went into the house with Jennifer’s things.

The kitchen had been cleaned, and he could hear the sound of the vacuum cleaner coming from the bathroom. Things would definitely be different from now on, he thought.

“Hi, I’m just doing a little picking up, I hope you don’t mind?” said Jennifer, “I’m a little OCD, but not completely over the top.”

“I’ve been a little lax with the dusting,” said Andy, “I’m more of a spring-cleaning type.”

“It wasn’t too gross—no food in the bedroom, at least—that’s a big plus in my book.”

“I got everything on your list,” he said, “And I didn’t see anyone in the parking lot, or in the building for that matter. The phone rang when I was there, I didn’t pickup, but I did write down the number.”

“Thanks,” Jennifer said, glancing at the number, “It was him. I’ll call my answering machine and see if there is any message.”

“There is an empty closet in the bedroom. There are hangers. You can use the white dresser as well. I’ll move the brown dresser into the study, I can use the hall closet to hang the rest of my things.”

After Andy moved the dresser, they began to put their clothes away.

“Why did you bring this back?” Jennifer said, when she discovered the photo.

“I just saw it, I though it might be something you’d want,” Andy said, “Is it a niece or nephew?”

“It’s my daughter.” There was a long pause. “It’s the only picture I have of her.”

“I didn’t know.”

“That’s alright, there’s no way that you could have. It’s another long story,” Jennifer continued, “Would you like to hear it?”

“I guess so, now that its come up.”

“I was fifteen.”

The Reader is serial fiction, published every Friday

By Professor Batty

Comments: 0