friends of a feather (disapprove of katy perry together)

This post is for my good chum Julene. I may or may not be writing at her request. We are like birds.

Despite the majestic permanence of our birds-of-prey appearance, we didn’t always look like this – although I have been much taller for many moons now. Julene, for instance, used to look like an animal. For my part, I looked innocent, friendly, and somewhat boyish. And strangely eager to show off my legs.

It was thanks to Julene that I had my first email account (I was teaspout to her coffeecup; what up, gurlmail?), and my first website (I ate html for breakfast!). Thanks to her I did a lot more ice skating than I otherwise would have, and a lot more perusing of teen fashions in my dELiA*s and Alloy catalogs. Going further back in time, we see where it all started. Cake. Carrot cake, I believe.

Things to notice here: my father has a mustache, Julene is wearing a bracelet to accentuate her arm muscles, and my hair is blond. Oh, the days.

Growing up together, I found that the ratio of my height to Julene’s calibrated my ratio of bossiness. I’m sure there are plenty of other photos out there with expressions similar to hers here, showing mild amounts of disdain, incredulity, and distrust, amidst loads of love (I hope):

Still, she knew that I was a leading expert on cutting-edge makeup application techniques, using a medium known as “crayons” to achieve my desired effects. As I clearly had a steady hand (see my rendition of Asia for insight into my motivations as a child art prodigy), she trusted me to gussy her up nice for double-bride weddings.

On my recent trip home to Minnesota, I had the great fortune to meet up with Julene. This is a difficult feat to accomplish, as many of my attempts have been to no avail. I believe this is because in pursuing her career as a giant bald eagle, she often returns home to her over-sized nest in a large wolfy white pine tree, only to feel too tired to fly down to the mainland. Happy to gnaw on old fish bones, she rests and nests, content in the knowledge that her species is now of the least concern on America’s conservation status list.

And by old fish bones, I mean chocolate. A fan of Endangered Species and Chocolove chocolate, she rips a small tear in my owl-y breast by confidently stating that chocolate with ginger is “the best.” Here is where we differ, pal: I, normally a ginger-averse individual, hereby crown you as Keeper of Keys and Grounds of all things ginger/chocolate based.

I respect her interest in Endangered Species chocolate – a brand that really seemed to be at the forefront of craft chocolate, at least in our neck of the woods, way back before chocolate became a hip, fashionable accessory. An accessory that one may now dangle from thick, unnecessary glasses, or stuff into a pocket of skinnier-than-Kate-Moss jeans, or place in the basket of a fixed-gear bicycle. Yeah, I know what hip kids like. It’s no big deal.

Having moved near the downtown St. Paul area within the past two months, Julene has spent recent weeks riding about the city limits on her new pink bike, getting to know her neighborhood. Her neighborhood is home to several eateries that I fancy, including ice cream at the Grand Ole Creamery, “turn-of-the-century” culinary extravagance at W.A. Frost & Company, and “ideal upscale neighborhood Italian” at La Grolla.  Don’t those last two places sound snooty? They are, but they are as delicious as they are pretentious – and they have great service, which I sadly can’t say about most places here in Bangor.

Our meet-up led us to seek out a Cajun Music Dance Spectacular happening somewhere in the city. It was not at the Landmark Center, originally the city’s post office, court house and custom house, and now keeper of flag and chairs and dusty old instruments. It was not at the Xcel Energy Center, which was home that night to a Katy Perry concert, complete with riotous little girls hopped up on sugar and maturity. It was at the Minnesota History Center, a lovely large building that I haven’t been inside of in years.

When I was younger, I would visit the Minnesota History Center for their weekend programs, of which my favorite was learning to make Sweet Potato Pie. It was delicious, and I find myself wondering why I haven’t made it since. I will soon have to remedy that. Last year, the MHC hosted an exhibit very dear to my heart. Alas, this heart was stuck in Maine, and although I made it to Minnesota at the very end of its tenure, I did not have the delight of making it to Chocolate: The Exhibition, on loan from Chicago’s Field Museum.

This August 23rd, however, we arrived for the free outdoor concert by the New Riverside Ramblers, as part of St. Paul’s summer music series. It was a relatively hot evening, and we enjoyed ice cream sandwiches (an Orange Creamsicle for Julene) while watching the city’s finest dance their cares away to infectious Cajun tunes. Near the evening’s end a snazzy woman in cowboy boots, and her short compatriate in jeans clearly from the 80s, began a line dance that attracted others in a fashion similar to me and ice cream sandwiches. Enjoying the music, the people, and the sunset on my town, I was at home.

Unfortunately, all things must come to an end (including the Katy Perry concert – – so sad!), and eagle Julene had to fly back to her nest. She is a lady of many disguises, however; if you see her dressed as an eager-to-be-taller Dalmatian, don’t worry. It’s just who she is.

Love you girrrrrrl – stay in touch.

Minnesota History Center

345 W Kellogg Blvd
St Paul, MN 55102

$10 adults
$8 seniors
$8 college students
$5 children 6-17
Free to the public Tuesdays 17h00-20h00

Tuesday 10h00-20h00
Wednesday-Saturday 10h00-17h00
Sunday 12h00-17h00
Closed Monday (open Monday holidays year round)


18 thoughts on “friends of a feather (disapprove of katy perry together)

  1. Aww, sweet post! I was (and am) always the Julene in my friendships over the years – as in, bossed around! And then whenever I would complain, I would be given the chance to do what I wanted, but then just wanted to be told what to do. haha. You two were cute kiddos!

    1. Jessica, I’ll never be allowed to forget my bossiness, and I think that’s a good thing. I feel horrible about it, but know there’s no way to change what happened. I like to think that not having any siblings kept me feeling invincible for a little too long….

  2. This post fills my heart with gladness. And I swear, Julene with the floofy brown hair and you with the gorgeous blonde locks, growing up together, could be easily switched for me and my brown frizz and my primary->high school best friend and her spectacular blondeness. Which pretty much means that you and I could play musical chairs and be each other’s brown-blonde compadres too ;)

    Which we are already. Duh.

    1. Hannah, it’s always good to have friends in the floofy hair business. Looking at these old pictures, I’m amazed that my hair wasn’t floofier. Because it sure is now! And it’s no longer blond, either. It’s in some sort of color nether region, or something.

      Musical chairs always made me really stressed, but if it was hair/friend-based, I’d be in for a round or two:) Duh.

  3. Emma, I LOVED this post. The photos of you and Julene were hilarious and sweet at the same time. I was especially fond of the “wild animal” look. I was cracking up. Great writing too!
    Have a great weekend,

    1. Erin, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this – I wasn’t sure if my regular audience would approve of this memoir style or not. I wouldn’t have been able to keep these photos to myself, though; they were just begging to be shown to others:)

      Have a great weekend yourself!

  4. Fabulous, sweet post!!! I hope that Deb gets to see this…I think that she would really enjoy it. I remember her saying to me one time:”I hope that they(you and Julene)get to be good friends!” An honest ode to childhood friends everywhere…

    1. Mum: Very nice to hear you say these things, and so glad to see you commenting again, I have missed you!

      You know me, I’m chatty, and I like to write odes:) Guess all those memoir classes paid off – I just can’t stop writing!

  5. I smiled, laughed and giggled at this post. Reminded of a great friendship I have had for (gulp!) nearly 35 years with my best friend, Jude. Though I don’t have fantastic photos like this to show for it. Just a few fashion greats from the 70s!

    1. Julia Glad to bring wonderful memories to mind of a close friend of yours! And I’m even more glad to have brought a smile and laughter to you as you read this:)

      I would LOVE to see those fashions of yours from the 70s!!

    1. Adrian, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a weak spot for ice cream sammies:) Between enjoying the ice cream and watching people dance silly / silly people dance, I did have a blast!

  6. Emma, I think this is one of my favorite posts of yours!!! I loved the memory trip back, and omg, you two gals were soooo adorable!!! I love your friend’s expressions and those spunky mannerisms. I would have loved to have both of you as my friends. :-)
    This makes me nostalgic, too. I wish I had my old pics with me…

    1. Sophia: I am so incredibly pleased that you enjoyed this post! Honestly:) When I found those cake photos, I knew I had to use them here somehow. And when I met up with my spunky friend, I hoped our shared memories could be showcased here nicely. I’m so glad it worked!

      I wish you had old pictures, too – there’s something magical about a before and after …. no, a before and now!

And now I'd like to pass the mic / So you c'mon and do anything you like ...aka, Leave your reply.

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