Monday, January 29, 2001

I Used to Care...

Last Sunday I picked up the newspaper and began reading an article about Minnesotans who opened their latest energy bills and nearly had a heart attack- bills totaling two and three times as much as last year, $800 heating bills. I immediately walked over to the thermostat and turned it down two notches from 60 degrees. The other occupant of the house didn't seem too pleased with the unilateral decision even though he is fortunate enough to wear a fur coat. He has however taken to sitting on my lap a lot these days.

The next day I picked up my favorite newspaper of the Twin Cities, the Pioneer Press and was surprised to see on page one a prominent box including a picture featuring the news that Minnesotan Bob Dylan had won a "Golden Glove" award. There's a story from a few years back that made the talk show circles about actress Gina Gershon's sparring session with our state's most famous bard. After hitting Bob harder than she intended, Gershon said he looked at her and said something to the effect that he needed a good woman to kick his ass every now and then. So I knew the man boxed but I had no idea he was good enough to pick up an award.

He seemed to be award happy this weekend. Coincidentally the previous night I had watched the television event of the century that Dylan happened to attend. Oh yes it would have been a fine night to be in Beverly Hills, California for the Golden Globe awards. Towards the front of the auditorium sat Sandra Bullock, nominated for "Best Lead Actress in a Motion Picture" (Ms. Congeniality- which tells you all you need to know about an award show based on picks from the Hollywood Foreign Press- guess she wowed them in Botswana). Not far from her sat Sarah Michelle Gellar, nominated for "Best Lead Actress in a Television Program (again how credible is a show that makes that nomination but fails to nominate the best show on the air today, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for an award?).

Bob's terrific song, Things Have Changed, from the motion picture Wonder Boys, was nominated for "Best Song from a Motion Picture." You had to figure he had a good chance of winning since he was actually in attendance. He isn't exactly the type to hang out at award shows hobnobbing with the celebrity crowd. His acceptance speech was short and sweet- and the after he left the stage, the next presenter, Julia Roberts, gushed about how she never thought she'd be following Bob Dylan.

While Bob clears off space on his mantelpiece (condolences to Sandy and Sarah for not winning their categories) I myself was honored with something even more rewarding than some nickel and dime award. I picked up the Star Tribune on Tuesday morning to see that they had "borrowed" from a story of mine. Someone once said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well I'm doggone flattered.

I had an article published in Session Weekly the preceding week about a chapter in our state statutes regulating butter and oleomargarine. I found it amusing that we would have such a statute, so I traced back the history of the law. A few days later the Star Tribune article appeared about obsolete laws still on the books. They mentioned the butter law, and quoted the exact part of the statute I used in my story. Hmmmm. At least someone is reading my stuff.

Now I'm the first to admit that after the events of the past couple of years I have not exactly escaped things unscathed. You might say I'm a tad bit shell shocked and the last bastion of a healthy personality, my self confidence, has taken more than a bit of a nose dive. So this past week played a part in fighting back the flood of broken hearts, promises, fenders and garage doors. With a blossoming new friendship and an ear that is listening, and with the honoring of the work of the artists I admire most, a devil may care attitude welled up inside. The hats are back on top of the head and the words ring a little more sure. And I'd love to tell y'all more but my hands are getting too numb to type.

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