Twins win, ‘Overburden’ metro jaunt wins too

Thanks to all who attended my Twin Cities events this week for “Overburden: Modern Life on the Iron Range.” We had a fine crowd at the Har-Mar Mall Barnes and Noble Thursday evening and an equally fine assortment of visitors at Common Good Books in St. Paul on Friday. Both locations now feature a limited amount of signed copies in case you missed these events. I won’t be back to the Cities for a while so don’t wait to pick up your signed copy. Readers up north can always find signed copies at Howard Street Booksellers in Hibbing and Village Books in Grand Rapids. There may be a few left at the Duluth Barnes and Noble, too.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the trip but I do have some observations listed in Q/A format. Some of this may find its way into a future column.

  • How many beers does it take two co-workers sitting in front of us at the Twins game to start sweating a stinky 3.2 solution and bragging about who’s better at whatever vague corporate thing they do? Answer: Five Bud Light Limes a piece (at $6.75 a pop!)
  • Which gubernatorial candidates attended my events? Answer: Matt Entenza. And he paid retail. But Paul Thissen sent his regrets personally and Susan Gaertner’s A-team attended my Thursday night reading. Not too shabby.
  • Where is Asia’s Finest Restaurant? Answer: Until now I’d have said probably in Asia, but it’s actually in a strip mall in White Bear Lake. That’s right, it’s real name is “Asia’s Finest Restaurant.” That’s a specificity fail wrapped in a location fail.
  • Do they allow rummage sales on Summit Avenue? Answer: Apparently yes, but only if the goods are placed on by-God doilies. Our biggest regret on the trip was not stopping to see the prices. I wonder if the Pawlentys will have a sale of the mansion furniture as part of next year’s unallotment solution?
  • Who was the most famous person to attend your Thursday night reading? Answer: Franni Franken.
  • Did anyone show up thinking I was the Aaron Brown who used to be on CNN? Answer: Funny you should ask, premise-of-this-post, but YES. Two kind older ladies who grew up on the Range DID show up in St. Paul thinking that CNN’s Aaron Brown had written a book about the Iron Range. After some initial disappointment they later agreed that I was better looking than the other Aaron Brown and each bought a copy. I had to work, though. I had to work hard.
  • Is Roseville a fine suburb? Answer: Yes, Roseville is a fine suburb.
  • Is Common Good Books a nice place? Answer: Yes, and quirky, too. My wife observed that there is NO technology section and that Stephen Colbert’s book is stocked in the “philosophy” section. (Addendum: I now learn that it is a philosophy book ABOUT Stephen Colbert … either way it’s awesome).
  • Is Cities 97 still a good station to listen to? Answer: It’s OK, but they now take their name very seriously. Most of what we heard on Cities 97 was also played in 1997. This was one of the first times we’ve ever gone FROM the Range TO the Cities and thought that we were going back in time. Clothes shopping yielded a similar sensation.

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