Sunday, April 17, 2016

Out and About – Winter 2015-2016

Regular readers of The Wild Reed will be familiar with my "Out and About" series, one that I began in April 2007 as a way of documenting my life as an “out” gay Catholic man, seeking to be all “about” the Spirit-inspired work of embodying God’s justice and compassion in the Church and the world. I've continued the series in one form or another every year since – in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 . . . and now into 2016.

So let's get started with this latest installment . . .

Above: With my friend Marie Braun -- March 19, 2016. We're at the rally and march in south Minneapolis (left) that commemorated and mourned the thirteenth anniversary of the "shock and awe" start of the U.S. war in Iraq – a war both illegal and illegitimate, and which has claimed the lives of at least 165,000 civilians.

It's a war that actually continues to this day. The Obama administration, for instance, has sent over 4,000 troops to Iraq and is carrying out daily bombing missions both there and in Syria. The U.S. war in Afghanistan also continues, and the U.S. military has launched ongoing strikes in Libya, Yemen and Somalia. With all this in mind, the key message of Saturday's rally, one initiated by the Minnesota Peace Action Coalition, was "Say No to Endless War."

For more images and commentary on this event, click here.

Right: With my friend Kathleen in Palmer's Bar, an establishment on Minneapolis' West Bank which in 2014 was named by Esquire magazine "one of the best bars in the U.S."

I had long wanted to check out this revered dive, and that's exactly what Kathleen and I did . . . after I convinced her to cut short our participation in the March 19 peace march!

I know, I can be a bad protester!

But enough of that. Here's a little of what Keane Amdahl of City Pages says about Palmer's Bar:

Palmer's is probably best known as the premier dive bar of the Seven Corners area of Minneapolis, offering heavy-handed pours, a dark atmosphere, and an outdoor patio where on a good night, you can gather round the fire to swap stories with a rag-tag group of diehard regulars. Palmer's was originally founded in 1906 and has been a Twin Cities West Bank institution ever since. Owners have come and gone, but the bar's colorful presence has held strong, surviving Prohibition and later transforming into a hippie stronghold in the 1960s.

Above: Dinner with friends (from left) Geoege, John, Joan, Kathleen, and Brent – January, 23, 2016. We're at Joan's lovely home in Robbinsdale, a city in the Twin Cities metro area.

Above: With Brent (and Sadie, my friend Joan's beautiful golden retriever) – January 23, 2016.

Left: Brent in March of 2016. Isn't he one handsome guy?!

Right: With Joan – January 23, 2016. We're drinking a toast to my sister-in-law Cathie as it was her birthday in Australia. We sent her the picture via Facebook. Joan met Cathie and other members of my family when she accompanied me on a visit to Australia in March of 2015.

Above: With my good friend and housemate Tim and his girlfriend Colleen – December 16, 2015.

Left: Friends (from left) Katie, Alfredo, Beth, and Cathleen – December 16, 2016.

For more images of both the December 16 holiday gathering and the December 18 Winter Solstice/Christmas party that Tim and I hosted, click here.

Above and right: On the evening of Friday, February 13, 2016, I enjoyed a lovely evening with my friend Mai and her family. I hadn't seen Mai in years, so it was great to reconnect with her and meet her family.

I first met Mai way back in the mid 1990s, during my early days in the U.S. In the summer of 1996, we traveled with her brother Moa to New York City. It was a very memorable trip.

Above: Breakfast with the boys! From left: Bob, Brian, me, and Rick – January 2, 2016. We're at The Egg and I restaurant in Minneapolis.

Left: With my friend Eduard – March 2016.

Above: Hello, kitty!

Above: On Monday, January 18, 2016 I hosted an Australian tea party at my home in south Minneapolis!

For more images and commentary, click here.

Above: My friend Raul – March 2016.

Right: Raul with Sadie, my friend Joan' golden retriever – January 30, 2016.

Above: My friend Pete took this photo of me on Minneapolis' Stone Arch Bridge – Saturday, February 6, 2015.

When Pete sent this image to my phone, the caption he added said: "Michael, standing all Poldarkian," a reference to the wind blown hair of Ross Poldark as played by Aidan Turner in the TV series Poldark. Both Pete and I are BIG Poldark fans! In fact, I introduced Pete to the Poldark novels by Winston Graham. He's read all twelve!

For a good introduction to all things Poldark, click here.

Above: Pete on the Stone Arch Bridge – Saturday, February 6, 2016. That's Mill City in the immediate background and downtown Minneapolis in the far background.

Since the beginning of 2015 Pete and I have been meeting every Thursday morning for breakfast. We thought it would be fun to get a photograph of us at every new restaurant we visited (along with some of our regular ones).

In the photo above we're at Eggy's on March 24, 2016, while at left we're pictured at The Bad Waitress on February 11, 2016.

Above: Breakfast with Pete at the Highland Cafe and Bakery – Thursday, December 10, 2015.

Above: My friend Brigid's annual St. Patrick's Day party – March 17, 2016.

Pictured from left: Darlene, Kathleen, Brigid, Tom, and Kate.

Above: Kathleen, Marguerite, and Bill.

Left: Sitting at right with (from left) Bill, Rita, Brigid, and Gaius.

For images and commentary on Brigid's 2010 St. Patrick's Day celebration, click here.

Above: With my dear friend Joan – January 2016.

Above: My friend Karam beside Minnehaha Creek – March 2016.

Above: My friends Curtis and Liana – March 12, 2016.

Above: Amelia!

Birthday celebrations for Curtis – March 12 (above) and March 6, 2016 (left).

Above: With Brent – March 12, 2016.

Above: Phil and Brittany – March 12, 2016.

Above: Noelle and John – March 12, 2016.

Above: Celebrating Easter – Sunday, March 27, 2016.

From left: John, Brent, Fred, Carmen, Mark, Phil, Madeline, Noelle, and Benjamin.

Winter 2015-2016 Wild Reed posts of note:
An Update on #Justice4Jamar and the 4th Precinct Occupation
Happy Birthday, Mum!
Actually, There's No Question About It
Thoughts on Christian Meditation
Hans the Man
Celebrating the Coming of the Sun and the Son
Christmas 2015: Reflections and Celebrations
Winter Light
What a Man! – Andrew Ference
Gull Lake
Glenda Jackson on the Oscars, Acting, and Politics
David Bowie: Queer Messiah
In Wintry Minnesota, An Australian Afternoon Tea
Integrating Cernunnos, "Archetype of Sensuality and the Instinctual World"
Israeli Policy, Not Anti-Semitism, at the Root of Disruption at Creating Change 2016 Conference
Winter Storm
Nijinsky's "Crown of Thorns"
Lent: A Season Set Apart
Rock of Ages
Happy Birthday, Buffy!
Maxwell in the House
A Record High
Super Tuesday Thoughts on Bernie Sanders
Progressive Perspectives on the Rise of Donald Trump
Remembering a Daring Cinematic Exploration
Saying "No" to Endless U.S. Wars
Jesus and Social Revolution (Part 1)
Jesus and Social Revolution (Part 2)
Jesus and Social Revolution (Part 3)
The Risen Jesus: Our Integral Ground

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Out and About – Autumn 2015
Out and About – Summer 2015 (Part I)
Out and About – Summer 2015 (Part II)
Out and About – Spring 2015 (Part I)
Out and About – Spring 2015 (Part II)
Australian Sojourn – March 2015
Out and About – Winter 2014-2015

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