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December 30, 2009

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It's always edifying visiting my sister and her family in Minnesota. With sub-zero temps, we don't go outside much but we do pile into the minivan and venture out to any number of plays, movies, and museums. This morning we went to Minneapolis Institute of Arts where we saw a local children's theater production of Cinderella which was truly excellent and blew the doors off the travelling Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast which we saw three nights ago when I first arrived. Everyone agreed the latter corporate cash cow lacked the charm, wit, and stagemagic of the homegrown product. After the show we had lunch at the attached bistro where we questioned the overabundance of plastic dessert packaging. Minneapolis doesn't recycle that type of plastic. "So it ends up in the ocean?" I asked. "Oh no, we incinerate our garbage." Ocean or atmosphere--I kind of doubt it makes much of a difference, and even though I'm skeptical about how much recycling actually gets recycled I held on to the flip-top plastic boxes to bring back to Seattle where they at least claim to recycle that particular flavor of petrochemical overkill. We moved on to the galleries where as luck would have it there was a new exhibit of Czech photography. This touched my and my sister's ethnic vanity but the work wasn't exceptionally good. I was more impressed and intrigued by the cunningly retouched landscape photos by Noriko Furunishi.