Breakfast of Champions: 12/24

Dear Santa,

It's been a memorable year here at the Pages even though my year only had two months in it. Besides wrapping up the new content on the site (since I know you're going to hit us up during your trek via sled-based WiFi), I thought I would use this post to complete my list of gift requests for City Pages staff.

Some of these you have, in your wisdom, delivered already. Others I'm certain are coming. The rest -- well, ganbatte, as we say at home in Okinawa.

Just last week, I asked for your friend and mine Jeff Severns Guntzel to receive an official new name for the band he plays in. Rumors held that -- I am not making this up -- the group had narrowed possible choices down to 200 names. Yes, two of the things called hundreds. But I asked for your providence, and Santa, did you deliver. I thank you, and The Dynamiters thank you.

For Paul Demko: this. I would also like him to play at least one game next year where the crowd is chanting, "There's only one Paul Demko." If liquor has to be involved, so be it.

Jonathan Kaminsky is a good guy. He gave me these weird fish things that swell up when you put them in water. For him, I would like a few more Timberwolves wins like this one, so that he and Benjamin Polk can experience the thrill of victory in addition to the soul-crushing shwack of defeat. For Vikings blogger Eric Refsland, I want more of the second halftime picture, and less of the first.

For A-list editor Jessica Armbruster and assistant Ben Palosaari, whose efforts power our things-to-do arm, I would like more time to enjoy the fruits of their labor, to get out and enjoy the events they write about. No, this does not mean I will let them exploit my soon-to-be-hired Super Web Intern for data entry purposes. Okay, it probably does. You know I'm a softie, Santa.

For Kevin Hoffman, I would like some more haters.

For music editor Sarah Askari, I would like a new appreciation for the podcast, and how Internet technology can advance the cause of local music. For Nate Patrin, I'd love it if you could help him find a buyer for his Japanese PlayStation 3 -- or maybe you could just deliver the thing to some underprivileged Ainu kid on Hokkaido. For copy chief Bridgette Reinsmoen; how bout if her "Web" editor's would no how, to use the english language good.

For Quinton Skinner, more shows like "The Deception," fewer shows like the Ordway's "Sound of Music." For our crack art staff, Nick Vlcek and Mike Kooiman, more models willing to dress up in devil costumes or police uniforms. For Matt Snyders, I would only request that his next week-long feature research project take place outside. Someplace with natural light, where the most nutritious sustenance was not an Orange Julius.

For Matt Smith, I would like more interview opportunities like the one he just concluded with Diablo Cody. It's coming out in the next issue, and Santa, you have got to read this. Honest. You know I wouldn't lie and risk the "naughty" list. As for Ward Rubrecht, I would like you to deliver unto him a feature story that will grant him national recognition. Within the next few weeks, if you could. And I have a good feeling that you can.

Don't I want anything for myself? Sure. I want peace on Earth, and goodwill toward men. Also, a new starter for my car. But if you can only do one of those, definitely peace on earth.

Your pal,



Over the Weekend details the Soul Asylum show, a few Minnesota Wild games and outdoor recreation during a snow emergency. If you want some more snow emergency photos, I took a few in the Kingfield neighborhood while the white stuff was falling Sunday evening. If you want more Soul Asylum photos, you know Daniel Corrigan has you covered.

Eric Refsland's from-a-sports-bar report on the Vikings game yesterday is so awesome, it almost makes the loss worthwhile. Almost. Benjamin Polk was more fortunate in his choice of sporting pursuits, as the Telfair-led T-wolves pulled off an improbable comeback reminiscent of NBA Live.

Van Morrison fans: if you missed our post with rare MP3s and Emily Utne's photos from the show, fret not: they're still here. On a more local note, I interviewed Eyedea. I thought about writing that "Eye interviewed Eyedea," but I respect you too much for that.

Ben Palosaari interviews a dude who likes to dance with fire. I root for said dude to somehow catch Ben on fire, in the least painful and most entertaining way possible. I enjoy the interview, but am sorely disappointed in Palosaari's inflammability. Nothing personal, Ben.

Also, I am starting a band called "Palosaari's Inflammability." It's almost as good a name as The Dynamiters, and uses more marquee letters.

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