Open E-mail to Lisa Goodman

Might do a weekend recap tomorrow or Thursday. For now, an e-mail I sent to Minneapolis Ward 7 Council Member Lisa Goodman regarding 18+ shows.

Dear Council Member Lisa Goodman,

I've become aware of an initiative by your office relating to 18+ music shows and the availability of alcohol at those shows. I read an article in the City Pages (link below), which I recognize is most likely biased, but as a resident of the Twin Cities and a frequent concert-goer, I feel the need to inform you of my concerns, and make a humble suggestion for future action.

Firstly, the main concern of your office seems to be the potential hazards of having underage youth in such close contact with alcohol while at concerts. One of the dangers, in particular, is that of individuals aged 21+ passing alcohol off to minors. I agree that this is a major problem. The issue is that the minors who get drunk and attend concerts aren't getting their alcohol at the show itself. Most of them are actually pre-gaming the show - that is, procuring alcohol through a legal adult before the event, and then going to the event after they're already drunk. This is the logical source of alcohol for the minors - if their alcohol consumption were restricted to the show itself, they would not be able to preform the binge drinking that has been observed, due to the restrictive cost of drinks at venues and the suspiciousness of a patron continually purchasing a large volume of alcohol. I don't know of any venue that wouldn't investigate such behavior.

Secondly, 18+ shows represent a unique niche in the world of bookings. The main issue at hand is a matter of ambiance. All Ages shows have a very particular feel - the average age is much lower, the performances less serious, the crowd more rowdy. 18+ shows on the other hand, allow young adults to attend concerts with people not closer to their physical age, but closer to the age and maturity level that young adults wish to have. This, along with the general increase in maturity, makes for a more intimate atmosphere, less rowdy crowds (particularly at punk and metal shows) and better performances. There have been many times when my friends and I have forgone seeing great bands, simply because the show is All Ages, and we'd rather wait for a better atmosphere in which to appreciate the music.

I'm sure that your office will weigh all the positives and negatives of any restriction, and make a well-thought out decision. Also, if I may, I would like to make a couple small suggestions. The primary problem with this initiative at the moment is that it appears to the public as an instinctual, puritanical strike at underage drinking. To help you learn about the source of the problems, as well as give the public an impression of consideration and deliberation on the part of your office, I would suggest you conduct some research about the source of underage alcohol consumption, the strength of venue underage drinking policies, etc. Along with this, you might also consider other solutions to this problem besides a booking restriction on venues.

Here's the City Pages link: http://www.citypages.com/2009-07-22/news/proposal-to-ban-18-shows-could-kill-minneapolis-s-music-scene/

Thank you for your concern in public health and safety, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I would be willing to discuss this matter further with you, and I trust you will make a well-informed decision.


Colin Welch


I saw taillights last night in a dream about my whole life

Weekend! I've got evening plans, but not day plans, which will be nice. I like it that way. I've got a couple of ideas for things to do this weekend, but I'm not sure what it'll end up being. Anyways, here's some:

  • Practicing stuff for open mic on Saturday. This should probably happen...
  • Cruising around MPLS on bike and photographing good graffiti. :D
  • Sitting in a coffeeshop writing. :D :D
  • Uploading all the pictures I'll be taking this weekend. I'm taking on the role of historian.
  • Grocery shopping. Checking out the Dale/Selby coop. Randolph is closing. :(
  • Rolling down to the central library to get my card renewed and pay my $15.00 fine from senior year of highschool. :p THINK OF THE BOOKS
In other news, I'm 9.5 hours back into Resident Evil 4. I'd forgotten how awesome that game is, and I'm remembering now. I just unlocked the area leading to the second boss, so I'll be done with the Castle soon, and then I can move onto killing zombie commandos. No, I'm not kidding. I sort of wish I was... at least to save myself from their fucking stun batons. -.-

As for night plans, I'm going to Highland Fest for a little bit tonight, mostly just to take pictures of friends, Saturday evening is an open mic and Sunday there's a little get together at a friend's apartment for board games and beers.

I should probably glance at work as well... but I really don't want to. I'll talk about it later in the weekend, but it's just a frustrating bug I have to deal with because no one else will.

EDIT: Things I did


here's to the

Lots of smaller ideas today. :)

First, I finished what I was working on for the last couple of days, specifically, getting references working in conversations. Basically, if you make a post in a conversation on our site, the system will scan your post for possible references and suggest them to you. This is totally up to you, so you can select which ones you want.... which is great, except for one thing: the system can pass the reference (which has more fields than just "text") to the website, but the website can only pass back strings. It passes them back in a standard data communication object called a hash map, which works by specifying every value as a key-value pair; you type in the key, you get the value back. The solution we chose was to put the "text" of the reference (for example, "Timothy Pawelenty") in the value, and make the key into a standard pattern.

Parsing this pattern took several days to code. And now its done. And works. Finally. I spent all day on the test alone. Or rather, I spent all day fixing the bugs that the test helped jiggle out of the framework.

Meat Tape 2 is growing on me. It's most definitely not Meat Tape, but it doesn't really have to be... I'm unsure what to think of it, but individual portions of it are growing on me. It's much less of a local roundup and much more of a "P.O.S Presents" type thing. Still good, just different.

Speaking of growing on me, I'm definitely starting to dig the Bruce feel of The Gaslight Anthem's second LP, The '59 Sound. Worth a listen if you want "if Bruce Springsteen grew up listening to punk." Solid writing, solid guitar lines, solid percussion. I think one of my favorite moment on the album is at 0:48 on the title track -- the 'chuckas' are absolutely wonderful.

Oh hey, it's James, the guy I used to work with at Borders. Nice.

Would anyone be interested in doing a one-shot Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition game this summer? I miss dm-ing, and I sort of want an excuse to learn the system. Let me know.


Open mic pressure pops -- 1.99 at your local gas station

Sounds like it's open mic this weekend. I'd prefer it being somewhere with better acoustics than my apartment (which isn't hard to do at all), and there's a real possibility of a good spot, but... I feel that elements of our group would resent the highly likely parental prescence. I don't really care, personally. The echo in my apartment is a real annoyance, and I feel that we'd be better served in a different environment.

But what open mic does mean is a review of what I can preform this time around. I've got some coversongs I've been idly working on that I could ramp up productivity on, and I could sit down with my own work sometime soon, which is something I've been meaning to do anyways, so this could be a good excuse to get started.

On the poetry end of things, I have some fresh slam poetry I could practice up, or I could do a reading of more traditional page poetry. I could read my sonnet crown (ahahahahahaha) (<-- not a laugh track).

So, in short, I'm not sure. I guess it depends on how many people will be there, and how long we have, and where it is, and ... well, pretty much anything else. That's longhand for "I dunno yet."

Redundant statements are redundant.


like a walnut, in your guts.

I'm working on another postscript session for the Serenity campaign that was conducted last school year. The majority of the game was played second semester of sophomore year, and the players really bonded over it. Since then, we've revisited the game twice; only twice because one player moved back home, 1000 miles away, and one player moved to a new home, about 60 miles away. Regardless, it's been a while.

The plot of the game was a small crew of morally solid Firefly/Serenity universe denizens attempting to survive on a whole lot of not much. It occurred in the months leading up to the Message featured in the movie Serenity. While the crew of Serenity was on Miranda being scared by dead people, the crew of the Mick was on board an Alliance cruiser, aiding in a mutiny against one of the scariest Admirals in the fleet, who also happened to have bought one of the PCs when she was a small child. The PC, Evie, escaped when she was about 17, but had been haunted by memories of her childhood and her surrogate "father" ever since. The campaign culminated in the captain of the Mick, Ian O'Malley, shooting his childhood rival in the halls of the cruiser, sparking the mutiny, and finally a showdown between Evie and the Admiral which ended with Ian putting a bullet into the Admiral's head.

The additional two "postscript" sessions occurred both before and after the climax of the "first season", so to speak. Due to me losing the character sheets, they were light on combat and heavy on the talking. Now that I've found them, expect more skills tests, ridiculous combat mechanics and blood. I chose to not deal with the direct results of the climax because I felt that I wasn't ready to narrate and resolve the issues that came up in it in the most dramatic, but also mature way possible.

The reason I'm telling you all this is because, in working on a session for this weekend (all the players will again be in town), I've realized quite exactly how much I miss this.

bad posturing

Do you ever get the feeling that you're too big, or too small, for normal, everyday objects and situations? I often experience this, even with very common things, or things you wouldn't think would be difficult. Many of my common mishaps include:
  • Sinks and mirrors. They're always too low. I like being able to see what my hair is doing, but sometimes that's not allowed, apparently. Washing your hands should also not hurt your back.
  • Cups. I've got a big nose, and sometimes cups don't line up right, and I just can't seem to drink out of them. It's too bad.
  • Small-necked string instruments, like violins and mandos. I've got big fingers, and big callouses. Not as big as mando players, but still. Makes me wonder how Ricky Scaggs manages to play, because, man, does that guy have sausage-fingers.
  • Urinals. Sometimes it's so bad that "splashback" occurs, and that's not even with the floorlength ones.
  • Toilets. Believe it or not, sometimes they're too high. I know, right? Turns out my thighs are just huge, both in length and in girth, which means all my height is there and in my abdomen.
  • Ellipticals. These are the bane of my workout existence. It's not fair. Everyone looks so graceful, loping along, watching TV, listening to Single Ladies; me? Nope, turns out my legs are too long, and I don't bend in the right places. I end up bouncing along, the gait not long enough, the machine trying to bend my knees somewhere around the thick portion of my shin...
  • Keyboards. this comes back to the whole big fingers problem, and is a big reason I'm waiting on getting a netbook (the other two big reasons being money and impending hardware advances).
Well, that's all I can think of at the moment. Thanks for tuning into another pretty awkward blog post.


full of steel wool, safety glass, and loosed teeth.

Well. It's now July. I haven't posted since the middle of June. Like, c'mon Colin, what's been keeping you? Well, you know... life.

There's not a whole lot of extra amidst the helterskelter of everyday, between dollar and drumond work and play. !time == being busy. Makes for a lack of energy, any kind, but still...

Ajoyous playing, a feeling of completeness in the singularity of a group, the relentless feeling of outsidership amidst friends, the constant tension of closeness and distance, all in one night, Dancing, always foot tapping and twostepping, we are, in thought, ascending (alabaster), making love, in companionship, In silence after speech I'm losing thought

and creativity is being kept in. This is not the thing that bursts out when the container is full...it is a tide. It follows the pull of some other body, but, like the water of the metahpor, still seeks to fill in all cracks and me, sprawled out in the way of the sun,

sinking or singing.