MPLSzine - The Social Issue

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LETTER FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Social has a twofold meaning these days: It describes interpersonal interaction, community, connections, conversation and exchange. But it’s also shorthand for media that brings those things online. For some people, those two meanings are extensions of each other; for others, social media is a direct threat to in-person engagement. We’d like to think that the first approach to “social” is more accurate when it comes to MPLSzine. We necessarily use social media as a central part of this project, sharing our issues and connecting with our contributors via Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. But we’re also working to bring those connections into “real life.” On July 11, we held a Summer Social at the Paper Darts Pop-Up with ice cream, face painting, caricature drawing, foursquare (the game, not the app), a lesson on soul trains and dance circles, and an overall chance to have a good time and meet other people who are part of MPLSzine. We want to keep having these gatherings, meeting our contributors and people who want to learn more about us in person. And between events, we want to make sure people feel that they can interact directly with us: sharing feedback on stuff we publish, suggesting ways we can be better, and also just spreading the word about Minneapolis goings-on that we should care about. We’re hoping to publish short sound-offs from local people each issue, in addition to the longer written pieces and artwork that make up the magazine. Let us get to know you: email

Sincerely, Colleen

SUBMIT TO MPLSZINE We are accepting submissions for our next issue,

PLEASURE Publishing in September If you can’t conrtibute right away but want to learn more, email us anyway - We’d love to have you join us.

Party Songs Are Proof That We Will Live Forever by Ross Hernandez Since “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang covers all the bases for all party songs—the lyrics are: “Celebrate good times… It’s time to come together. It’s up to you. What’s your pleasure? Everyone around the world, come on!”— presumably, when we party, we should never be in need of another party song. If songs were simply the distilled data of a feeling in a moment, every wedding, birthday party, bar mitzvah and anniversary would feature this song and the makers of songs would have quit making party songs in the year 1980. But they didn’t.

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Today I heard a song by Miley Cyrus. It’s about dancing and owning the night and not stopping and running things and how the party is our party and we can kiss who we want. It’s new and great and true. But I doubt that the way we party has changed very much—we still stand and drink or sit and drink or stand and dance or stand and dance and drink or watch just like Kool and the Gang. And yet we still haven’t fully articulated what it’s like to party and to comment on the party and to dance to the commentary while the party is happening around us. No matter how specific or reductive the lyrics become, we will always write a new party song and we will always get them so close to the truth about the experience of partying that they will sometimes last us a whole summer until the next party song comes out and moves its predecessor down one slot on the playlist that is named a specific date somewhere in the near future.

Photo by: Jason Swenson SOCIAL // MPLSzine 7

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Meat Raffle By Jennifer Sandquist 9 SOCIAL // MPLSzine



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By: Eric Eric D. Johnson Johnson

You likely know an introvert. And you likely think he hates you. He might. If he does, odds are that he is more likely to tell you that he hates you than an extrovert or neutravert (some sort of neutral monster that has no discernible personality). It’s rational to think we are in the golden age of the introvert. With digital communication (which introverts love) supposedly replacing faceto-face interaction (which introverts detest), you would think we have reached an introvert Mecca. We haven’t. Although introverts control the world like silent assassins, the path to the top is long and treacherous and most introverts elect instead for a life in the fetal position, and many naps.

Imagine your daily communication. How much is done via email? Or Twitter? Or text message? Or, God forbid, Facebook? Most of it. Perfect for the introvert, right? Wrong. Introversion isn’t about speaking to people faceto-face. It’s about gaining strength from inside. Introversion is being energized by your own thoughts rather than your interactions with others. The introvert can have more interesting conversations with himself in an hour, than extroverts can have with others in a week. Introverts are driven by self-discovery and natural inclination to ask “why?” To



seek and discover answers. Why? Why? Why? The Internet is a cold, lonely, Hoth-like place for those who need to know why. Certainly, you can find the answer to nearly anything on the Internet, but the answer the introvert is trying to discover himself— “Why am I doing this?”—can only be found within. Why am I tweeting this? Why am I blogging this? What am I doing here? An introvert with the goal of reaching as many people as possible through his thoughts or his art or his song or his words is going to stumble even in a virtual universe. He is going to question every move he makes before he makes it. He is going to cower at connecting with people online, because connecting

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with people online means connecting with people. He hates networking. He hates that moment where he has to connect one-on-one with the person in front of him virtually or otherwise. Extroverts do. Introverts don’t do. Introverts pause, and on the Internet, pausing is a death sentence. By the time you’ve answered your questions, someone else has already posted it. Or tweeted it. Or Instagrammed it. They’ve connected. They’ve used their great thought to meet someone new. They’ve catapulted to the top while the introvert is left to wonder what he could have done differently. Networking is everything the modern world. And in a world of networking, the introvert will always be left behind.

A MPLSzine Interview with Annie D’Souza, Yelp Community Manager. Interview By Bethany Hall

Tell me about your role with Yelp? I am the local community manager for Yelp and I do general marketing, events, local PR, writing the weekly Yelp newsletter, and managing all the social stuff. It’s a bit of a broader job with Yelp, and I’m the only employee locally. Yelp is sort of a new means of being social in regards to the places you go and the things you do. Can you tell me about this social community? Yelp started in 2004, in San Francisco. Our CEO was looking for a new doctor, he had no idea aside from the Yellow Pages where to go, and a lot of the online search sites were not where they are today. So he decided that it would be cool to create this community of people that actually are real people reviewing their local businesses--everything from doctors to restaurants. I think that that’s what makes Yelp really useful, too, is that there is a community of people behind it. What I do locally is work to bring that community together offline with big events like Yelp du Nord at the Swedish Institute, as well as smaller events. For example, I’m doing a luau tomorrow at United Noodles and there will be authentic Hawaiian food--I have a ukulele ready.

I have a terrible “Minnesota Nice” guilt about leaving a negative review because I feel like it would ruin someone’s livelihood. A lot of people think that Yelp is negative rants, but it’s something like 80% of the reviews on the site are positive. Mostly people are going and reviewing places they love. By and large, if you’re doing a great job in your business and customer service, then generally that should reflect in your reviews, but negative reviews do happen. As a “Minnesota Nice” user, it can be kind of challenging, but it’s nice to be polite and helpful and constructive about any sort of criticism whether it’s online or off. I actually think about that whenever I’m writing a less than positive review--that this is a business owner’s livelihood, so you do want to make it constructive. What if you’re a business owner and you get a bad review? There are business owner accounts on Yelp so you can claim your page, which is free, and then it opens up all these free tools. The tools allow you to respond to reviews either publicly or privately, you can post pictures, you can add a bio for the business. If you’re feeling very social and want to post a check-in offer for people who check in with their phones--there are a lot of things offered to you as a business owner, totally free.

Best part of your job? This is warm and fuzzy, but when a business owner is like, “I use Yelp all the time and we couldn’t have made it without it!” That word of mouth is so important to them, that’s probably one of the reasons. It’s also great when people say, “I read your review, and that’s why I came here.” It really has the power for business owners to use it as a positive tool. The events are also pretty fun, too. What is a Yelp Elite? Anyone can sign up for an account on Yelp. Say you’re writing tons of reviews consistently, wellwritten reviews, you’re using your real photo and real name--that might qualify you to join the Elite Squad. It’s a nomination process, so you can apply or just be nominated by another person. Elites are chosen at headquarters and they get really cool, special offers occasionally. They are invited to exclusive parties that are invite-only-I’ve done everything from really fun tastings to Zombie Apocalypse at Hell’s Kitchen to events at Sea Change or Corner Table . There was one with the Chef Shack that I did in a parking lot. They are a ton of fun and they’re free. It’s a great way to get to know local businesses and it brings the community closer offline. What is the motivating factor for people to write reviews?

If all this is free, how does Yelp exist? We sell advertising on the site, which I don’t have to deal with locally. That takes place out of headquarters.

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People are sharers. Everybody is their own local expert so you naturally want to share, which is how I think a lot of people come to it, sort of like blogging.

Are there any Yelpers that cause problems? Stir the pot? Every website has trolls but they aren’t the basis of the community. Yelp seems to be this hybrid of Rotten Tomatoes and Facebook/Twitter type of social engagement... It works in plenty of cities, it’s not all local, but in Minnesota everybody has such local business pride--at least I feel that--and they are really excited to have an outlet to drive that. Even I find out about stuff through Yelp. I see something pop up in the feed and it’s a review for someplace that I’ve never been. It’s kind of my job to know about everything that’s going on, and I still learn new things that way, too.

How much of your day, then, is spent consuming? I do a lot of research, but it’s all fun stuff. I try to keep really up to date on event calendars because we send out a newsletter, and in researching that I’ll get distracted by another awesome thing that I want to check out. I also get lost in Twitter sometimes, but it’s also how I keep up with what’s going on. Yelp isn’t just for food, and I feel like people think it’s mostly restaurants. Something like only 25% is restaurant reviews. It’s anything--movie theaters, laundromats, dentists, nail salons--I’ve even reviewed my acupuncturist. Any local business, with shopping being the biggest category.



What are three benefits for someone to join Yelp as a Yelper and as a business? For a Yelper, join if you want to learn more about the Twin Cities, but also it’s a good way to support the places you love by sharing that review of your favorite coffee shop that might bring somebody else in. In that way, I think it’s kind of important. On the business side, it’s just word of mouth amplified. If you’re doing a great job at providing great service and great products and all that, organically Yelp should be really helpful for you because it gives your customers a place to talk about you. In addition to that, I think businesses can kind of misunderstand the site, so actually taking the time to use the resources and tools we

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provide can help a ton. We post webinars and a lot of awesome tips and tricks for what to do and what not to do, like don’t ask all your friends to write reviews BUT do let people know you’re on the site. Fully taking advantage of all those tools gives your business a much better profile on the site so people can find all the information they want. People will find you through Yelp anyway, so you might as well join the conversation and get on board. Also, don’t be scared of negative reviews. Even the best business in town, Michelin Star-rated restaurant--eventually a bad review is going to come in and you have to take it with a grain of salt. Take what you can from it that’s constructive and move on.

ANNIE’S TOP 10 HAUNTS Eat Street Social (Whittier) I adore their cocktails and their burger more than words can express. Indeed Brewing (Northeast) Hard not to love them when they are so inventive with their beers. Not too many other breweries in town are making chipotle pepper smoked porters or a brew with lavender, honey and dates. Brasa (Summit Hill) The pulled pork is a once-a-week habit that I can’t shake. HUGE Improv Theater (Lyn-Lake) Cheap and hilarious entertainment nearly every night of the week. Hot Indian Foods (Truck) I am constantly geeking out over the masala-chickpea battered fries and the tandoori chicken Indurrito. Grand Central (Mac-Groveland) This cafe is like St. Paul’s answer to Common Roots. It’s really accessible for eats, drinks, coffee and laptopping. 1029 Bar (Northeast) Smack Shack lobster rolls and the best. karaoke. ever. Parc Boutique (Northeast) A shop so stylish isn’t always affordable, but Parc is both. Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine (Whittier) Three dishes that will change your life: nyonya laksa, spicy golden tofu and roti canai Forage Modern Workshop (Longfellow) The most gorgeous selection of home decor and gifts made by local designers. SOCIAL // MPLSzine


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By Jennifer Sandquist “I’d like to think all of these desks are chatting over the summer.” SOCIAL // MPLSzine 19

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Comic By Blaine Garrett

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Stranger Chess by Jacqueline Schiappa

In an effort to demystify my urban surroundings, to know my neighbors and engage my local community, I began the ‘Stranger Chess’ project. With humble-though-hopeful expectations and a penchant for banter, I pick a public space, assemble my chess set, and display an [admittedly, pathetically] plain paper sign: “STRANGER CHESS. For ladies, gents, kids & pups. Play 1 move -OR- full match (or whatev).” Not once have I sat alone for long, and the company is relentlessly surprising, humbling, challenging and mutually social. Here, I offer a handful of snapportraits of those who chose to play along.

“I am convinced, the way one plays chess always reflects the player’s personality. If something defines his character, then it will also define his way of playing.” - Vladimir Kramnik (Grandmaster)

Stranger [2 moves]

Julian Assistant piece-mover for a handful of turns.

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David Took my queen early on, made one last-minute slip & got checkmated.

Stranger [2 moves]

Stranger [2 moves] SOCIAL // MPLSzine

Souliyahn [father]

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Sou Silo [son]

Dante Approximately 17 years old, Dante waited for quite a while to play, observing silently from the sidelines. During our first game he didn’t speak much, nor did I. Before long I’d lost the match. Later in the day Dante returned to play again, and upon twice-witnessing his aggressive opening strategy, I finally asked who had taught him. Where before he was quiet, he now eagerly shared with me that he’d initially learned in 5th grade and played through to high school where he was further taught by his “social-father” or “baba-hooker”, a teacher/mentor from school and In-School-Suspension. He remains one of the strongest players I’ve ever competed against.

Kevin Most crowdwatched game of the project.

Timothy Libra, taught by his father.

Dan Laziest player of the project, doesn’t remember who taught him.

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An older gentleman wandered by my table early on during the Stone Arch Bridge festival, smiling generously at my sign and commenting that he would play if he only knew how. “But today you don’t need to already know how to play,” I insisted, and so he sat across from me and we began. I learned that this stranger’s name was Richard and that this was the first time he’d attempted to play chess, ever. Through mutual patience and inquisitive conversation, Richard familiarized himself with the pieces, frequently asking me to clarify what-moved-how and who to aim for. Turn by turn, question by question, we played a full slow-motion match - and Richard prevailed. He remains my favorite stranger.



Stranger Hadn’t played since childhood, once she re-learned the pieces, she showed no mercy. 30 MPLSzine // SOCIAL



A single matched turned ongoing chess rivalry. Taught in a Juvenile Detention center



Phillip (otherwise known as ‘pops’ to Doomtree‘rs such as Sims) Saw my sign, smiled & slapped his hands together, told me to put my sign away because we were gonna PLAY.

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Sophistication, passion and a plume of foolishness. That’s what it was, really. You know, just another “boy-meets-girl-on-dance-floor-sort-of-but-then-formally-meets-her-via-Facebook” story. One of those. I’m not even joking. When people ask me how I met Tom, this is generally what follows: Me: I met Tom on Facebook. Tom: That’s not true. Don’t say that. Me: Okay, well the real story is that we “met” by having a dance-off at Sneaky Pete’s. I won. Duh. Tom: That sounds even worse. Me: Yeah it does - you’re right. Haven’t been back to Sneaky Pete’s since. Fine. So we had a mutual friend who shared a mutual friend with Tom. It was said friend’s birthday. We went to Sneaky Pete’s. We danced. Didn’t meet. Tom found me on Facebook. We wrote to each other for two weeks before we actually formally met. Shared dreams. Our passions in and for life. Favorite sock color. Love for the gym (dorky jocks, as we are). He was a beautiful writer who could convey himself through words better than any man I had ever met. Brilliant. Witty. He made me want to know more... (Tom and Meg look at each other) Me: So like I said, we “met” on Facebook. Tom and I wrote back and forth for two weeks before officially meeting for our first date which entailed a game of H.O.R.S.E., tator tots, and me telling him I was moving oversees somewhere for an extended period of time - location TBD. Seriously. (And I did. To Prague, 8 months after our first Facebook interaction. For 18 months we relied on Skype to keep us connected.). Nothing about our relationship has been conventional. To be quite honest, I hope it never is. We’re different. Too often it is the case that ‘different’ is not celebrated...we celebrate it every day in the Suszynski household. By Megan & Tom Suszynski

Thomas Suszynski January 7, 2008 at 9:07pm

Megan Harrod January 8, 2008 at 10:53pm

Who would of thought stalking somebody on facebook-space would ever become a rule and less of an exception? Just so you know, Maiken made me do it, ...sort of. HA!

Since when did facebook stalking become a rule and less of an exception? Stop being a liar - Maiken did NOT make you do it! :)

I just thought you were pretty fly the other night. Was going to ask for your number, but was dragged kicking and screaming out of the bar by my dear friends (who were also my ride, coincidently).

Here’s the deal...I AM indeed one “pretty fly” gal. I am a taurus, enjoy long walks on the beach, sweating profusely in spin class and on the dance floor, an occasional hearty helping of Sebastian Joe’s Oreo ice cream (I just got hungry...grrrr) and laughing a lot. That’s what’s up.

Let a guy know what’s up.

What’s up with you, “T”?

HAPPY 2008!

Wishes for a delightful ‘08 to you as well,




T Thomas Suszynski January 11, 2008 at 10:54am

too...ambitions to write a novel someday about my crazy adventures. I love writing (as you can tell).

MHTop 5 travel destinations, you ask? Hmmm...that’s hard. I already like your style! You’re right indeed, Maiken didn’t make me do anything. This one was all on me. But, I have to say, I probably wouldn’t have found you had she not told me who you were. As far as space-book stalking goes, I get chills thinking about it. It’s like that bird flu pandemic, anyone is at risk to succumb to it, either as perpetrator or victim. In this case, I guess you were the victim! So, about me. I am a sagitarrius (spell-check here) and, funny enough, I too enjoy long walks on the beach. I don’t like to sweat that much, but I love doing things that make me sweat. You’ll either find me buried in the books and entertaining patients or running full speed on basketball hardwood. I really enjoy ice cream, you can’t even imagine, honestly. I might sell my soul to Ben & Jerry’s some day. Maybe because I end up sweating so much, I happen to love beverages. Twinings of London (tea), Glaceau and the makers of Red Bull should pay me or, at least, send me free stuff of sorts. There’s plenty else too. Oh, and one more thing. I keep a journal. That’s because I am sensitive. Alright, so because I swear I will never look at your profile, answer me this. What are the top 5 places in the world that you would love to travel to? They can be in no particular order. Looking forward to it. -T M Megan Harrod January 12, 2008 at 2:09pm Of course you like my’s hard not to like my style! ha ha. I can honestly say that’s the first time I’ve ever heard anyone equate space-book stalking to the bird flu pandemic, and I found that analogy somewhat intriguing. I don’t usually like being victimized, but this is kind of funny. I don’t actually get a chance to take many long walks on the beach - I wish we had more than south beach at lake calhoun here. I too don’t enjoy sweating, but I love love love a good hard workout. You’ll either find me in my cube figuring out ways in which to manipulate the masses to spend more money at hotels (I work on an account team at Carlson Marketing), or shakin’ my booty at the firm...undoubtedly the best gym in the world. I am passionate about the silliest things...and Glaceau Vitamin Water and sugar free Red Bull are two such things! If I like something, I’ll spread the word like wildfire. There’s plenty more...that’s just the beginning. I am a crazy lunatic. “That’s because I’m sensitive”. Hilarious. I keep a journal of sorts

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1) basking in the south african sun in cape town 2) surfing in sydney 3) shopping in milan 4) skiing in austria (actually i have ambitions to ski all of the major mountain ranges in the world, but I want to ski Kitzbuhel in particular) 5) exploring south america in its entirety - peru (hike machu picchu!), argentina (climb in the andes), chile (ski portillo, check out easter island, etc), brazil (beaches and rain forest!), etc etc. Those are just a few of many. Lahinch, Ireland (went there this fall, but would love to live over there - the west coast is gorgeous. I want to go to northern ireland too.) I am passionate about traveling. I want to work abroad within the year. My brother lives in Prague. Now it’s your turn...what are your top 5 destinations? looking forward to it, mh TThomas Suszynski January 13, 2008 at 11:36am I wake-up to the fresh scent of hot Earl Grey and a lemon slice! Some people enjoy the water-soluble, coffee crystals, but I prefer tea leaves in a bag. You are indeed the writer, but I like to write very much too, so this is enjoyable. So, you like to manipulate the masses. You’ll have to tell me more about how exactly you do this. Such a conversation would be invaluably important for me, as I someday plan on taking over the world. Where is the Firm, by the way? If it’s undoubtedly the best, I am surprised I have never heard of it. I am an avid Lifetime Fitnessgoer, Minneapolis downtown club member since 2005. I am excited to see if you can convince me that your club is better than my club. Vitamin Water! No way! I thought I was the only person that enthusiastic to spend an extra 40 cents on bottled, flavored water. My thought is that its brilliant marketing. Quick question. Why sugar-free Red Bull? Is the reason why you prefer the light blue can all the time the same as why I prefer the light blue can some of the time? Never-mind, I guess you would have to know my tendencies to be able to answer that question (silly, silly!) It also seems that I am a little like you, in that, I get excited about

the little things. I am extremely in-tune with my senses. Love the texture of a soft t-shirt. Big fan of subtly scented candles. And, I have a basket of socks and its full of amazingly bright colours. I really do have a journal, but you caught me again. You’re right, I am totally not that sensitive. I am not that religious about writing in it either. But, I do try to keep it within hands reach at most times (just like my digital camera). It is more like a ‘book of ideas and sketches’ than a ‘daily diary’. I am also very excited to be expecting a new set of colored pencils in the mail. Now some of my gray-scale graphite compositions can turn technicolor! Finally, to the matter at hand. The top 5: 1. Mt. Everest; I have this vision of traveling to Nepal and climbing to base camp 10-15k up. But, before I am embark, I want to distribute snickers bars and bottles of coca-cola (classic) to the native pre-adolescents. I have to say, this was not completely my idea. My cousin Beata did this and also bought out a local store of $3-apiece snickers bars only to witness an unforgettable glee seen only in their eyes. These kids have never ever dreamed of having a snickers. 2. Machu Picchu; No worries, I really do have my own dream destinations, but I have never been here and it looks beautiful. I guess there are two ways to get there, by bus and by hike. One is a day-trip and the other takes a week. I say, let’s sneak up on it, who’s in a rush? 3. Safari in Tanzania/Kenya; I have always wanted to hang off the side of a rusty land-rover with a huge camera. I also always have wanted to take out one of those vintage canteens, uncork and tip ‘em back, only to find out that the only bit of water I have left is dried out in sand and that an elephant is charging us because we got too close to its calf. 4. Fjords of Norway; I have to take that Scandinavian cruise someday. If not, I will buy a dog and name it Fjord. 5. Oktoberfest in Munchen; I have friends in ol’ Deutschland and open invites to join them for beer-drinking and brats that start at 7AM, daily. Oktoberfest, what a great idea. Let’s shut down the entire country for a week of getting hammered and increasing our risk of heart disease. Other notables; GREECE, Japan, New Zealand, Rio de Janiero HOLY SHIT! Don’t feel obligated to send me a novel too. In fact, please don’t. It’s almost embarrassing! Well, I guess it’s too late! Anyway, I leave you with a question. What is your favorite color and why? Simple enough, huh? -T

Megan Harrod January 14, 2008 at 11:33pm M ouch ouch ouch, I just burnt my finger on my rubber oxo spatula because I left it sitting on the stove top and hastily grabbed for it in a mad fit of hungry rage. I tried to wash my hands, but I seem to have burnt black rubber into my skin - i hope this isn’t permanent. grrr. Anyhoo, I like tea tea. Coincidentally, green also happens to be my favorite color. Not so much olive green or mint green...nor is it lime green or even forest green. I love dublin’s a rich and beautiful kelly green. I like it because it reminds me of leprechauns, who make me want to giggle...not just a little, but a lot. I also enjoy mint chocolate chip ice cream, shamrocks, green rolling hills (with lots o’ pretty purple wild flowers), broccoli and asparagus, rescue vitamin water, the smell of freshly cut grass (I guess the smell is not really green, but whatever...), my blanky (which accompanies me every night to bed) and ireland, of course. I bet you didn’t expect that kind of an answer. And you thought it was simple. Nothing is simple in life - my words of wisdom for the day. I’m unpredictable and a little eccentric. :). I too plan on taking over the world - so I do not wish to divulge, as I may jeopardize my future if I do so. Hmmm. The Firm. Yes. It is the best. One of a kind...a “boutique” gym if you will. The Lifetime is a distant, distant second (we’re talking from cali to nyc distance). :) Everyone who is anyone works out there. Okay, I am lying a little bit...this may be the case, but not among the heterosexual mpls population. No, I am not gay - silly! But, about 95.7% of the men that go there are (the remaining 4.3% are either married, dating someone or single and trying to mack on all of the ladies), so I am not actually that surprised you haven’t heard of it. It’s a good thing. I am half-kidding when I say all of this. Check it out - it’s a great gym. Ahhh, Vitamin Water - yes, it is brilliance in liquid form. And, the marketing is brilliant as well - have you ever thought about the cool individual behind the statements on the labels? I so wish that was my career. I dream about it sometimes (okay, not really). Sugar free red bull = my savior. Yes, the reason I prefer the light blue can all of the time is indeed the reason you prefer the light blue can some of the time. 0 calories, same great taste my friend. Yes, the little things...I got excited today because I found an efrutti gummi burger in my purse. Yep, that’s another passion of mine gummi food. Is that weird? I love soft t-shirts too! Junk Food (sold at Urban) makes a mean t-shirt and I have about 26 graphic tees from in those outside of work! Love it! “Subtly scented candles”?! Maybe you should work out at the firm;). hee hee. What color is your favorite pair of socks? By the way, I like that you spelled it, “colour”. The europeans are so much cooler than us. I think it’s cool that you have a journal. I have a blog. Welcome to the 21st century. I think it’s a little weird, and I don’t write as often as SOCIAL // MPLSzine


I’d like...but have to stay on it if I want to get it published someday. I am toying around with titles, but at the moment I am considering, “Hi. My name is Megan the department store in London.” Are you an artist too, or do you just like to draw corner suns and stick people. I can draw a mean corner sun. Love your top 5 destinations 1) I too want to climb Everest! The notion of giving the children snickers and coca-cola classic (has to be classic, full of sugary goodness) is great - such an American treat, I bet they loved it. 2) I would rather hike machu picchu than bus it as well. This approach offers endless possibility...which leads to lots of good stories for my novel someday. I bet I’d meet lots of friends on the way. I am not a shy individual, in case you couldn’t tell. 3) Elephants are big and menacing. I’d like to ride one someday, though, so I have ambitions to travel to Africa as well. My madre went there this summer for a medical mission trip...not quite safaristyle, more giving people malaria shots and kneeling in feces-style. I’d be elated to join her in the coming year. 4) Fjord would be a great name for a dog. My mom and dad hit up Norge on a cruise a couple of years ago and loved it. I hit up the bars in Norge and marched with the soldiers during the 100 years celebration. They didn’t appreciate that too much. 5) I am in love with Germany. Too many places I’d like to go - how about surf and ski in NZ?! Love that notion. Crap!! look at what you have made me do - I just wrote a novel of my own. Honestly, it’s difficult for me not to respond with a book when you write such a lengthy message. It’s like a competition at this point. I think I am winning (I am kind of competitive). :)

Actually, I do love Europe. Been there enough to justify the statement and would move to Rome if I could find a viable opportunity there. We can talk about some of my adventures later. Oh, almost forgot to tell you what my favorite colour is; Blue. I know this only because all of my favorite Banana Republic, collared, french-cuffed shirts are blue and, more specifically, light blue. It’s funny how this happens. Checked out the website for the FIRM. I say, LAME! Kidding, of course. If the website is any reflection, then the club you go to seems like a pretty cool place to work-out. Lifetime is still better though, because it is! We have basketball league- play twice-aweek, which matches one full-grown man talent up against the next. Does your club have serious man talent? From the sounds of it, how could it. I am also half-kidding here. We have serious athletes playing at our club and I love it. Not only has my game been forced to improve tremendously, but I have become a more complete trash-talker. I will crush any argument you fabricate about my club being a distant second to yours. But, I will save it for right after we conclude a one-on-one staring contest, no face-making either. The labels on Vitamin water are amazingly funny. I have thought about how cool it would be to write for their marketing team. Just ask Mike in Queens. Red bull keeps me alive too. 0 calories and, you’re right, light blue can tastes exactly the same as dark blue can. How do they do that? It must be magic or an amazing constellation of artificial flavorings. To have a passion for gummi-food is probably fine, but wouldn’t quite equate it with a passion for, let’s say, fine wine or something. It’s kind of a funny genre of food, not only because it’s called gummi. It is not quite solid (eventhough I think it technically is, but it’s squishy), but doesn’t run like a liquid either. Swedish-anything is cool, but especially swedish fish. I also enjoy Haribo gummi-bears. So, I guess I maybe have a passion for gummi-animals.

My turn: what’s your favorite word? - me Thomas Suszynski January 17, 2008 at 7:06pm T Exhausted today. Actually, exhausting week. But, thank goodness for stress relief. I don’t have one of those blue, malleable stress balloons, but I do enjoying sweating profusely (see, sweating keeps coming up) in the steam room. Ouch! How is the burn mark? Has your body re-sorbed all of the black, rubber material that melted into your skin? Colour is totally a more cool way to spell color. Europeans are definitely cool. ‘Rents are from Poland, so I need to say that.

38 MPLSzine // SOCIAL

Tough question about the socks. Favorite colour. Let’s see. Should my favorite sock colour be the same as my favorite colour, blue? I hope not, because I actually enjoy wearing a pair of bright orange, running socks. They are indeed a screamingtype of bright. Not quite blaze orange, but getting there. I like them, perhaps, because they are designed not to match anything most people wear. I just like socks. Argyle socks rock. Who needs long-johns during the winter when you can just roll up a pair of soccer socks to the knees. I like to think of myself as a trend-setter sometimes, but I am going to stop just short of calling myself that. But, I will call myself an artist of sorts. I love to sketch and I don’t do enough of it (inspiration for journaling). I have aspirations to learn how to paint, acrylic or oil. Hurray for the corner sun!

Favorite word? Interesting question and I like it. This is where, I think, I need to separate my favorite English word from my favorite medical term. In my mind, there are too many awesome words in medicine that need not go unnoticed. There are days where I feel like I trumped my last favorite word with a new one. Now that I think about it, there are so many. I love the medical terms that sound sophisticated, but describe seemingly simple findings. Like ascites (uh-site-tees), which means fluid accumulation in the gut or hirsutism (her-sue-tism), which means abnormal female hair-growth, like girls with mustaches suffer from hirsutism. There is also a lot of redundancy is medicine. A mole (like on your skin) is a nevus. Tearing is called lacrimation. Then, there are the millions of acronyms. My favorite is BOOP (it’s really hard not to laugh at case presentations), or Bronchiolitis Obliterans Organizing Pneumonia, or something that you don’t want to get. Other favorite words include dysdiadochokinesis, glomerulonephritis and thrombocytopenia. I could come up with many more, but you would probably kick me in the groin and deservingly so. As far as my favorite “English” word, I am not sure. I like the sound of aromatic. I like very much funny, made-up words like hobophobic, which, naturally, means fear of homeless people. I also like random words, like electioneering (title of radiohead song, meaning the process of engineering an election). Language is beautiful, for sure. I just can’t commit to just one word, sound or syllable. Language has the potential to be precise and personal. Question for you. If you were stuck on an exotic, desert island, but could have an unlimited supply of 4 different staple foods/ drinks, what would they be? For example, I think I would have beef jerky, pistachios, pineapple and some kind of - ade, probably gatorade, or even vitamin water. Oh, one more thing. Ski/surf in NZ is an awesome idea. I really enjoy alpine skiing and would love to learn how to surf someday. I am really competitive too. I also think we should hang sometime. -T Megan Harrod January 20, 2008 at 3:23pm M I wish I were stuck on an exotic desert island right now. I would bring filet mignon (love the jerky idea too, though - but come on... why do jerky when you can have a filet?!), Revive Vitamin Water, watermelon and lots o’ baguettes (with butter, of course!). Or, maybe corn on the cob. And darnit...gummi burgers too! I like food too much to pick just four, silly! Speaking of gummi food, you are right - I never looked at it that way, but it is a very strange consistency and I don’t quite get it. I am glad that you share in my passion for gummi food, and I am equally glad that I helped you to realize this passion. Oh, and Haribo gold bears are my absolute fav! I tell ya what, you write a great’s hard to compete with that

one...especially since I am not in the best state at the moment - had a couple too many beverages last night, and thought it a good idea to wake up and go to spin class at 9am today. Ugggh. That’s what I get for being over-ambitious. Yes, burn mark has healed, thank goodness. I had a mini heart attack when I thought about black rubber stained hands. I used to work at Banana - totally love the light blue frenchcuffed shirts! Normally artists despise the corner sun...but I like that you sort of dig it. I love what you say about language, totally agree that it is a beautiful thing. Words amaze me...they can be so powerful. I like the word “ascites” - for some reason it reminds me of a greek goddess or something. Maybe I like it because it reminds me of “aphrodite”. Weird the way my mind works sometimes. “Onomatopoeia” is my favorite word. I think it’s funny. I also like, “spork” because it makes me giggle (not just the word, but the object itself as well). I think I’ll move to NZ someday. I ski raced for 16 years. Now I just coach, which - I’m not going to lie - sucks in this weather. Yes, let’s hang.

TThomas Suszynski January 22, 2008 at 4:23am Whew! It’s nice not to have to compete anymore. On second thought, I was actually thinking that maybe we could still compete to see who can write the shortest email message. I can’t even imagine what we could come up with. I am up late, again. This time I am up because I have a midterm exam at 8 AM and have been studying since the crack of yesterday’s dawn. I am not telling you this so that you feel bad for me or impressed by my stamina, but only so that you can giggle about just how near comatose I am likely getting to be right now. Oh, the all-nighter! I mentioned this before, but I think I like your style. This is kind of a funny way to get to know someone, so I am glad you agree that we should hang sometime. But, for me to be able to call you, I might need your number. So, let me know how you are going to get it to me. If you’re thinking that you’re going to write it on a piece of paper, fold it into a paper airplane, and send it my way, think again. Someone else might just intercept it or it might get stuck in a high-up vent that I can’t reach. Just so you don’t think I am tip-toeing, I AM asking for your digits. Peace! -T SOCIAL // MPLSzine


Three Black Girls By Leslie Barlow

Tough Mudder By Dick Ott

St. Paul Pee Wee football By Dick Ott

Horse and Girl at State Fair By Dick Ott

CONTRIBUTORS Publication Director Chris Cloud

Layout Director Bethany Hall

Illustration Director Kyle Coughlin

Editorial Intern Ashley Wolfgang

Editorial Director Colleen Powers

Visual Director Andrew Casey

Social Outreach Director Matthew Jacobs

Layout Intern Amanda Reeder

Leslie Barlow graduated from University of Wisconsin-Stout with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art. Originally from South Minneapolis, she moved back to Minnesota in 2011 and has continued creating and exhibiting works in the area. During the school year she works at Anoka-Ramsey Community College in the art department. See more at and Annie D’Souza is the Twin Cities Yelp Community Manager. Among other things, she can typically be found shaking hands, kissing babies, planning rad events, writing the Weekly Yelp, providing social media education for business owners and/or camping out at a coffee shop with a cold press and a laptop. Blaine Garrett is a mixed media artist living in Seward ‘hood. He just got married and on his honeymoon he saw a duck standing on another duck floating in a pond. It was magical. See more of his work at http:// and Ross Hernandez studied English Literature at the University of Minnesota,Twin Cities where he wrote plays and DJ’d keg parties and read books in the grass. He works in an office where he listens to podcasts and sometimes laughs out loud. His poems have appeared in Middle Western Magazine: www. Eric D. Johnson is a freelance writer in Minneapolis. He’s attempting to distinguish himself from the other Eric Johnsons of the universe by using his middle initial, but it mostly just makes him look pretentious. Follow him on Twitter at @ejoh24 and see his website at Jason Swenson: I am currently a student at the U of M, who has a strong passion for art, exploring, and photography. My works tend to look at people and their surroundings. You can find my work at Dick Ott is a photographer with more than twenty years of experience photographing in the Twin Cities. His training in Social Anthropology allows him to ask visual questions that have ambiguous answers.

He recently completed work for a grant from OverExposureMN to document neighborhoods in the Twin Cities and has a show up at Augsburg College in Minneapolis. See more of his work at com/photos/dickottphoto/sets and Evan Palmer is a comic artist living in Minneapolis. You can see more of his work at Jennifer Sandquist is a Minneapolis artist specializing in acrylic painting, photography and collage. You may have seen her work at various locations around the Twin Cities as she shows frequently here and in neighboring states. When she isn’t painting or snapping photographs she is head of Art, Marketing and Social Media at Harrelson Trumpets, a custom trumpet maker based here in Minneapolis. She keeps a regular blog for both her art and the trumpet company. You can read more from her here: http://www. and http:// Jacqueline Schiappa is a graduate instructor and doctoral candidate in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Her research is grounded in feminist theory and her dissertation explores the relationship(s) between social movements, public sphere theory and social media activism. These scholarly interests animate various public interaction projects such as Stranger Chess. Megan Shisler Harrod Suszynski is a dreamer. A lover. A wanderlust. Her favorite word is a Czech word: změna. It means “change”. She strongly believes that authentic connection is right up there with water, oxygen and food on list of must-haves in life. Megan and Tom have been married for almost three years and have traveled around the world exploring together from Warmiwañusca (“Dead Woman’s Pass”) on the Inca Trail to the Swiss Alps. Tom is nearing completion of an MD/PhD program and has aspirations to be a reconstructive plastic surgeon (and hopes to wear his silver Prada dancing shoes and orange socks in the OR someday). Megan wants to be a surfer when she grows up. Pipe dreams. SOCIAL // MPLSzine


A huge Thank You to all who made MPLSzine Summer Social so much fun. We loved hanging out with you, we loved dancing with you, we loved getting our faces painted with you. You make MPLSzine, literally. Love,

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