Monday, July 14, 2008

Our weekend of Gogol, zines, bagels,
bikes, and Brits

If you've read much nineteenth-century Russian literature, you understand me when I say that I had certain expectations of the Nikolai Gogol play Ben and I saw on Saturday night. Suffering, loss, absolution, individuals crushed by bureaucracy, failed love affairs, imprisonment in Siberia... these are some of the themes and events I expected from the author of The Overcoat. Instead, we enjoyed a genuinely funny comedy of errors. Literature: it's always full of surprises!

Earlier that day, Ben and I had wandered over to the the Twin Cities Zinefest, where I had the opportunity to put a couple of faces to names. Turns out Sparky at Microcosm is a girl, and Tuesday B. and her t-shirts are totally adorable.

The next day, Ben and I spent Sunday afternoon monopolizing a tiny table at a neighborhood coffee shop. The place has a pretty square/yuppie/corporate vibe, and there are nineteen-year-olds everywhere, but they have vegan food and they compost and they use organic ingredients and they pay their employees a living wage, so evidently the place isn't as square as it seems. Plus, it's hard to complain with a hummus onion bagel in one's mouth.

After that, we transacted some Craigslist business that resulted in me acquiring a ridiculously cute pink bicycle to replace my stolen Green Machine. Huzzah for Craigslist! You may be sure I will tell you more about my new-ish two-wheeler in posts to come.

Finally, Sunday night, we made some dinner and finished watching the British "Office" on DVD, a series Ben and I had both been wanting to see for a while now because the U.S. version is probably the funniest, most original thing on American TV right now. (Of course, we don't have cable, so my perspective is limited. And, now that I've seen the British series, I have to qualify my use of the word "original.") Anyway, both versions are brilliant! Of course, I didn't understand half the jokes in the British original (about trifles and such) and about a quarter of the actual words, so I have to prefer the U.S. version.

That's my weekend in review. I'd like to thank Professor Gary R. Jahn, professor of Russian literature at the University of Minnesota, for unknowingly supplying the image of Gogol.


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