I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Art and Sports and Tigers, Oh, My! - Part 1

Daily Kup (My Life between Stops)
Gasoline prices hit the highest level in recent local history.  In the winking irony that is life, this means that we spent most of the day on the the road.  Our first stop was the Walker Art Center, a contemporary museum in Minneapolis that offers free admission to families on the first Saturday of each month.  From there, we zipped over to St. Paul where Kollege Kid had a lacrosse game at the University of St. Thomas.  Defeated but unbowed, we took our goalie to the Blue Door Pub for a famous Juicy Blucy and then rounded out the excursion by ending the day at the Como Zoo.

Kollege Kid went on to her active social life.  And I took a nap.

The two little ones complained that we never do anything fun.

I Know It When I See It;  Art, I Mean
For all the years that I have lived in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, I've never been in the Walker Art Center before.  We once considered having our wedding at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden which is basically the front lawn of the Walker, but had not ventured inside.  The Sculpture Garden is best known to the locals as the place with the big cherry on a spoon.  The iconic sculpture is really called Spoonbridge and Cherry and makes one feel a little more comfortable about contemporary art because you can look at it and know what it is.  And it sprays water in the summer so it's not only art but the biggest aluminum lawn sprinkler that you can imagine.

Spoonbridge and Cherry
Photo courtesy of Tim Wilson
 We plunged into the sea of contemporary art.  I appreciate contemporary art in the same way that I do opera singing and yodeling — two sides of the same coin in my book — because I understand that they are hard to do;  I have to give props to something that requires effort and commitment.

That being said, there are some contemporary art pieces that are easier to approach than others.  For example, the Sol LeWitt geometric sculptures would make the coolest playground imaginable.  An Andy Warhol is more impressive than I thought it would be, perhaps because I expected so little.

Here, the kids get "into" art — literally — in the form of a climbable wooden structure.  The small gentleman is Flat Stanley, a paper cutout sentenced by a school assignment to accompany us on our journeys.  More about him later.

In one gallery with a suitable warning sign was a piece of recorded performance art that consisted of a film loop of a topless woman vigorously rubbing her breasts to the sound of crickets.  Mr. T later admitted that he couldn't remember a single one of the other art objects in that gallery.  I wanted to send him back in there to have his picture taken in front of it with Flat Stanley.

We saw a wonderful short animated film by German director Verena Fels called "Mobile.".  It was so engaging that we watched it twice.  Here is a 37 second promo:

Our trip to the Walker would not be complete without a photo of Attila the Son (and Flat Stanley) in front of the piece of art that he identified as his favorite of the hundreds of contemporary pieces at the Walker.

I don't have the heart to tell him it's where they keep the fire hose.

Good to the Last Drop
Every once in a while, I check my website analytics to see if people are reading and what people are reading and how they arrive at my door.  One recent visitor wandered into the site from a search engine by querying "grossly incompetent boss."  Oh, I think I remember that post.

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