Big Funny Stolen?!

Police Report Case Number: BF S8008

Incident: Breaking and Entering, Stolen Property, Unauthorized use of Munition

Reporting Officer: A. Mutt

At about 0100 hours on 3rd August 2009, Northeast Resident Jamie Schumacher returned to her workplace (one Altered Esthetics) to retrieve a forgotten purse. As she entered the premises, she noticed the west window had been smashed.

Ms. Schumacher dialed for aid immediately, at which point she was approached by the purported culprit. Witness reports a thin, odd-looking man of moderate height with an articulated beard, a black hat, and otherwise "arduous dress." The culprit retrieved a large stack of papers from atop a counter display case and "with a small bang and a cloud of smoke, he disappeared."

In corroboration with the witness account, gunpowder residue was found at the scene. No vehicle was seen. Due to the nature of the residue, the nefarious description of the culprit and the implications involved, detective D. Tracy has been assigned to the case.

Reported Missing: 1,973 copies of publication "Big Funny" 50+ works of original art 1 calendar 1 box matches 1 comb

Artist depiction:

Residents of Northeast Minneapolis are advised to be on the lookout for unscrupulous characters. Altered Esthetics is offering a reward to anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the persons responsible for this henious crime.

Setting up the story

There I was getting ready to write about my trip to Glacier when I realized I hadn't written much about the first trip I made this summer, or mostly the decisions that preceded it and the turbulence that ensued. So before I write about my more recent trip, I probably need to do a little bit of explaining. My last day of work at Bicycle Theory was June 10th, 2009. Long story short: As many of you know, I'm in graduate school full time (in addition to running the gallery.) Things have been going really well, but time was getting tighter and tighter. Though most of my classes up until this point took place on evenings and weekends, several of the classes I need to take this fall are right in the middle of the workday. On top of that, I'm also planning/hoping to take a double load and begin the application process for PhD programs. In order to make all of that feasible, I need(ed) the work/school/gallery balance to shift in favor of school's direction pretty tremendously. So I made the difficult decision to give up a good job with people I love and focus on school. Not necessarily the most "responsible" decision in this economy, but I felt as though it was the right one. Little did I realize that decision was going to give me the time to focus on even more than school as the summer progressed.

With all of this, (and partially because of all this) there were still a few things I still needed to figure out next. Traveling has always been really helpful for me both creatively and philosophically speaking. The second leg of Nick's tour was taking him eastward, the first stop was in Boston. After playing in Boston the band would tour additional cities along the east coast. Not having seen my Boston cousins in five years, I decided to take my own trip while he was gone. I planned to tag along for the first part of the tour until they hit Boston and spend a week with my cousins while he finished out the remainder of the tour.

Preparations for the trip were not seamless. On Monday afternoon we had a little hiccup, car accident style. As we turned left to enter the freeway, a car ran a red light, racing straight towards us. As Nick speed up and tried to avoid the collision, the car in question accelerated towards us, and I was fairly certain it was going to smash right into my side of the car. But every second counts in an accident, and instead of smashing into me the car swerved, smashed past the back of the car and raced away - only to run yet another red light and speed off onto the freeway, headed in the opposite direction.

Nick, with a surprising amount of calm, pulled over to the side of the onramp and began a discussion with a few witnesses to the accident. A little shook-up, I came outside a few minutes later. Bumpers working as they should, there was only a little damage to the car. A report needed to be filed and somebody had already called the police, so we waited. While we waited, I thought.

I think more or less sometimes the inhabitants of the world shake themselves out into many "kinds" of people... and we probably shift categories from time to time. Sometimes after an accident, tragedy, or significant event people show some of their "categories" with a bit more color.

The helpers: A woman who witnessed the accident immediately pulled to our section of the road, gave us what information she recollected of the other car. She gave us her information as well, in case we needed witnesses. Here's what else she did, which for some reason stands out to me more than the rest. As I exited the car and stood by the side of the road, clearly dazed, she looked at me, looked me in the eyes and with complete sincerity asked me "are you okay, sweetie?"

A gentleman on a bike managed to get the license number of the car. An Awesome Dude in a beat-up pickup truck pulled over to ask if "ya'll need any help?" A woman in a responsible car pulled carefully over to the side and, clearly nervous to walk out in a somewhat traffic-y area, asked us if she could help in any way. A young lady and her friend saw the accident as they entered the freeway, exited, and drove all the way back around to give us their information - "just in case."

This may sound like an overstatement, but I want to say it anyway: The Helpers help redeem my faith in the human race. Sometimes the world is so crazy that you can start to think everybody is selfish and in their own little world, oblivious to the others around them. Then something happens and The Helpers emerge, reminding you that there are enough people out there that random acts of good and kindness do still happen, often when you least expect it and most need it.

The Important Person: Then there are the Important People. The world revolves around them, you know. We encountered Important People on both legs of our trip, pretty much everywhere we went. Texting while going 90 on the NY interstate (no, seriously.) Speeding past construction workers on the side of the road (70 in a 40.) The list could go on. During our accident the Important People made themselves known by: honking at us and telling us to "get off the road" (we were off the road, pulled over to the side until the cops came), speeding past us and burning rubber once past to get in the freeway, and I suppose I should also include our Hit and Run friends in this category too. Important People are everywhere.

The Extras: While our world stopped, theirs didn't. That's okay - they are our extras, and we are theirs. The Other People on the freeway, the Other People on the road, the People walking on the other side... "We each play a starring role in the story of our life..." Sometimes we have smaller and larger roles in the cast of Another Person's Life... and sometimes we are just an extra.

Sometimes hours go by quickly, sometimes they take forever to pass. While we waited for the cops to arrive, I contemplated these things, the accident, my situation, the upcoming trip. When the cops arrived (over an hour after the accident) they gathered information quickly and sent us on our way.

As we left the scene of the accident, I couldn't help but feel a little bit anxious. Driving had all of a sudden become a little bit scarier and less-fun, and I was about to take the longest road trip I've taken since the move to Minneapolis itself.

Long days, car accidents, record stores.

Today felt like one of the longest days ever, and it started last night. At about 7pm Nick and I heard the neighbor's dogs going crazy - not our immediate neighbor but an unidentifiable neighbor down the street.  The dogs would chill out anytime somebody approached the house, but would bark like crazy otherwise. You may know what kind of barking I'm talking about - that frantic, stressed and anxious bark.  It kept on until about 2am. I still have no idea what was going on - my best guess is they left the dogs out and were out until bar time, but who knows.

I woke up late but got to work on time, though I had hoped to arrive early as I planned to take a longer lunch. Nick was leaving today for tour again, and I had plans to drop him off at the studio space. Lunch wound up being longer than I expected though, for largely the wrong reasons. I came home from work about 12:45 and we left the house shortly after. As we approached the 94, turning left off of Broadway, a car sped past a red light, screaming toward us and clipping the back of our car, smashing the front right side of theirs.  They didn't stop. Instead, they ran another red light and raced onto the 94 going in the other direction. (The other direction we were headed, not the opposite direction of traffic.) Several witnesses identified the car and a guy on a bike got the license plate number.  It took over an hour for the cops to arrive, but we waited for them so we could file a report and get on our way. My back is a little bit sore but other than that, we're okay and uninjured. The car itself is a bit banged up - who knows how expensive that will be to fix. Thankfully we are INSURED and LICENSED so aside from our deductible, I think we'll be okay. (And I've yet to hear a good reason for anybody regularly driving while uninsured or unlicensed, so I'll go ahead and remain judgmental about that one.)


Wait - come back - don't you need these pieces of your light?


I dropped Nick off at the studio space and we were a bit surprised not to see the R.V., as we were over an hour late ourselves. (Thank you, Mrs. Hit-And-Run.) Apparently Daryl and Melanie were a bit delayed as well, so we unloaded Nick's gear to the studio and then I had to get back to work. It seemed (understandably) as though this departure was a lot less dramatic for the band. My goodbye to Nick was heartfelt, but my standard message to "drive safe" was a bit more meaningful.

Bicycle Theory was super understanding about me being late from the car accident, they've been pretty understanding about everything and super awesome and supportive in general. Crazy to think that my last day is Wednesday. (More on that later, I haven't announced that here I suppose.)

After work I met with Kristin and some of the curators for our fall shows. The meeting was long but incredibly productive, and I'm super excited about our shows for the rest of the year. A big concern of mine has been the quality of our exhibitions: I want to make sure we're keeping up the quality of our shows as we go through this next transition as an organization, developing our board and growing together. I have no doubt that the shows from August onward are going to be some of the best we've ever had.

On my way home, excited from the meeting but tired from a long day, I noticed what looked like a new record store on 13th. To my delight, it was - and a super awesome record store at that. Like, the kind of record store I would spend hours in throughout high school and college. They had the work of my artist-friend on the wall and that sparked a conversation; I talked to the owner and one of the store's designer's for about an hour. Super nice people, super awesome records, and they support artists too. Woot! There website is just a coming soon page for now, but in the meantime you can find them on facebook.

Shuga Records

This is Adam, one of the owners. He had an 18 hour day and was super tired, just like me... You can see John's work on the wall - freaking fantastically talented, that guy is. If I wasn't going to be out of a job come Wednesday, I would totally buy some of his work. :) Until then, I'll just have to support artists the best I can through Ae... and my new friends in the district too. That's all for now. Time to cuddle with Molly and read a book.

Is it November already?

Since we returned from Tacoma things have been moving at an increasingly rapid pace.  I should be hitting the books pretty hard right now but I thought it would be fun to just take a moment and reflect on the past few weeks... and also to start downloading the images I've been taking with my google phone (woohoo!)... There will be time for more studying tonight. Plus, I'm proud of everything we've done in the past few weeks at the gallery and want to post a few pics! So here goes: Friday October 24th, we had a closing reception for the Tales from the Black Lodge show featuring Mouth Babies. (yes, that's their name.)

Tales Closing Reception

Sometimes the gallery is definitely more play than work. :)


I juggled a few meetings around so we could attend a Wild game with Nick's cousins. I like spending time with family, but I'm starting to think hockey just isn't my game. (This was my second hockey game, ever...)

The Wild


At work on Halloween we took the afternoon off to carve pumpkins together. We also watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and Shaun of the Dead. Guess which pumpkin is mine?

Work Pumpkins


Halloween at home was pretty mellow. Nick had a guitar he wanted to try and I had a paper to write, so we stayed home, watched another movie (Wallace and Gromit) and carved pumpkins.

Now there's really no guessing which one is mine!



In between working at Bicycle Theory and writing papers, things have been very busy at Ae. We were getting ready for the fastest turnaround in our wee history. Saturday morning Nov 1st, we took down the Black Lodge show (one of our largest shows ever) and hung the Día De Los Muertos exhibit and celebration. The festivities took place on Sunday, culminating with a candlelight procession around Logan Park.

We took down the show on Sunday night, and on Monday we began hanging the 3rd installment of our biennial video game art show, Level_13.

--- Tuesday was of course the election. After voting, work, and class - we got to see Bob Dylan play at the University!

Bob Dylan

The show was incredible and it made for a pretty incredible election night experience as well.  Many folks were on their various cell phones/iPhones/etc throughout the night, and about halfway through the set a murmur started to filter through the crowd "they're calling it for Obama, they're calling it for Obama." Dylan and the band stepped off stage before the encore and when the returned, Bob Dylan said "looks like things are gonna be changing" and the crowd pretty much freaked out.  After he was done, everybody gave him a standing ovation... and shortly afterward the crowd was chanting "Obama! Obama!" As we were seated on the balcony, we chatted waited for the masses to disperse rather than struggle with the crowds. Once we finally emerged, we saw a scene outside the auditorium... A drum circle surrounded by hundreds of people, girls running around shrieking "OBAMA! OBAMA!" like it was a greco-roman festival.


Somebody got a pretty good video from the center of the crowd: YouTube.

We went to Stub and Herb's to get some food and watch the election speech, returning home after that.


Last but not least: on Wednesday, a bat flew into the office. He was super cute and wanted to stay, but the boys moved him outside. (and were able to do so thanks to Jeremy's awesome ninja bat catching skillz.)

This is the best picture I could get:


Friday night was the Level_13 opening... and I'll post some pictures of that later. Meanwhile, time to study... I just got scolded.