Steve was talking about the future of poetry at the Twin Cities Book Fest this weekend, so CJ and I hopped up for the weekend to see him and his family. A few notes:
- Priceline works! I’ve never used them before, I suppose because it’s rare I’m traveling not for work and not staying with relatives. I worried there’d be no free rooms Saturday night with a Twins-Yankees playoff game the next day; but in fact Priceline found us a $60 room at the Holiday Inn Metrodome. Why were there still rooms available next door to the stadium? Because, as Steve explained, the Twins reserve most playoff tickets for locals, with only 3,000 seats available to New York fans. I both approve of this practice (on grounds that it sticks it to New York fans) and disapprove (on grounds that stadium owners extract all kinds of concessions from cities and states with the promises of massive hotel, bar, and restaurant sales to visiting fans, and surely the city of Minneapolis forwent a pile of revenue from Yankee fans who would have been staying in CJ’s and my hotel room, had they been able to get tickets for the game.)
- The crowd in the lobby Saturday night was about equally mixed between belogoed Gopher fans, the afterparty from a hotel wedding, and ravenous zombies. Lots of aggression between the beeriest groomsmen and the most in-character zombies, which looked like it might get physical; rather than witness this CJ and I tucked ourselves into our big comfy bed and watched the Discovery Channel until we fell asleep. We learned a lot about walnuts.
- You probably already know this, but if you’re driving from Madison to Minneapolis you should stop at Norske Nook in Osseo and get pie. They sell other food but it’s little more than an unneccesary delay of pie.
- I never found out what the future of poetry was, but if it has one it will surely involve Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press, which, per the chatter at the book people party Saturday night, is one of the few literary entries everybody in po-biz endorses and admires. Buy some books!
- We made it back to Madison about 15 minutes before the start of yesterday’s all-ages They Might Be Giants show at the Barrymore. It’s twenty years, to the month I think, since I first saw them play. I thought there would be a lot of eight-year-olds there but the crowd actually skewed younger than CJ. Maybe the eight-year-olds were up in the mosh pit. Spirited short set, almost all drawn from the kids’ records — very nice, though, to hear a bit of “The Famous Polka.” Assertion: the songs from the standard TMBG catalogue that read as kids’ songs (“Istanbul not Constantinople,” “Particle Man,” “Why Does the Sun Shine?” “Dr. Worm,” “Older”) are better kids’ songs than the official kids’ songs. Discuss in comments.