What you’ll need: flannel, hair binders (NOT hair ties)

Songlist: Duluth by Mason Jennings, Rock ‘n’ Roll Is Alive (and It Lives In Minneapolis) by Prince

Further reading: Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor, The St. Paul Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Proud Minnesotan Paul Bunyan and his giant blue ox, Babe

It’s been a long 8 weeks since I last posted. I wanted to write about Paris. I failed. There were too many things to say. And then, like that poor duck Ping who gets off the duck boat and decides it’s better to stay in the scary world than be the last one back on the boat, thereby getting whacked on the bum, I didn’t get back to posting (seriously, that childhood story has had a serious impact on my psyche). But you know what? Ping was wrong, and so was I. It’s better to get on the duck boat where everything makes sense and you’re warm and fed even if it hurts a little to admit that you failed.

There’s only one problem: I’ve pretty much run out of topics. Almost every Monday I think of a job that somehow relates to my current situation and realize I’ve already written about it. Everything except pirates (which, for the record, I did once think would be pretty cool). And so, though I thought I’d coast through to the end of 2012 with careers galore, I’m announcing the premature end of this blog. But don’t despair! I’ve got one topic left, and it’s a doozy.

Okay, so being Minnesotan isn’t exactly a job, but it is pretty awesome. I’ve been exceedingly proud of my home state recently, and over the next week or so I’ll tell you a few reasons why. With the state and the Twin Cities consistently ranking in the top 10 for whatever top-10 poll you could think of (literacy, hipsterism, livability, prettiness), I won’t be able to cover all the ways in which Minnesota totally rocks, but I’ll do my best.

We do things a little differently in Minnesota. We play Duck, Duck, Gray Duck here. We wear hair binders. Some people think we talk funny. Dang it if we don’t make the meanest hot-dishes and jello salads this side of the Mississippi. (Trick statement: since the Mississippi starts in the smack-dab center of Minnesota, we’re every side of the Mississippi! Boom!) And we’ve got the nicest state motto around. No, seriously. It’s “Minnesota Nice.”

So, just because I’m so nice, I’ll end today’s post with a little joke. A yoke, if you will:

Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole.

Lena replied, “You yust put ‘Ole died.'”

The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, “That’s it? Just ‘Ole died?’ Surely, there must be something more you’d like to say about Ole. If its money you’re concerned about, the first five words are free. We must say something more.”

So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, “O.K. You put ‘Ole died. Boat for sale.'”

Good ol’ Ole

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