Mighty Life List
Aug 6 2014

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Maggie Shipstead is a friend, she came to one of our Mighty Summits. I know someone at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop probably already told you this Maggie, but hell you can write.

A few of my favorite parts of Astonish Me:

He kissed her once, just before he left for college. it had been the kind of kiss that asks for something enormous.

For the first time she can remember, she is not afraid of failing, and the relief feels like joy.

One of Jacob’s greatest fears was that his life will not appear intentional.

She fears the slow, corrosive trickle of reality into his adulation.

She feels his love grow less dense around her, like a fog lifting.

She prefers Elaine to remain fixed in her old life like an obsolete weather instrument gathering data no one ever sees.

He felt like a sparkling silver parachute had opened around him, delicate as the billow of a jellyfish.

“I hate the city in the summer,” she said. “It’s like living inside a dog’s mouth.”

Aug 4 2014

Joe Brouchu’s Sprinkles Art

Joe Brouchu made a dog portrait using sprinkles, 221,184 rainbow nonpareils in six colors. It took him about eight months. (via Artstomer)

Jul 25 2014

Something Blue

Nerdy brides, heed Nathaniel Russell’s Space Hanky.

Wait, you already have that Tardis decal on your shoes? Ok, nevermind.

Jul 22 2014

Strategies for Changing Habits


Comic by Nathaniel Russell, who sells cool stuff here.

Gretchen Rubin outlined her upcoming book on habit formation, Better Than Before, in 21 sentences, and I’ve been mulling a few of the concepts.

Adopting new habits, making choices automatic, is theoretically the simplest way to improve your life. I know this. But theory is so much more straightforward than practice. Theoretically all of us are lean, patient, well-rested people with flossing habits that would shame Sofia Vergara. (That woman flosses. Look at her.)

A few of the concepts I found appealing:

Monitoring, “You manage what you monitor, so find a way to monitor whatever matters.”
Identity, “Your habits reflect your identity, so if you struggle to change a particular habit, re-think your identity.”
Scheduling, “If it’s on the calendar, it happens.”

Are you trying to change any habits? Or do you think you are who you are, and fighting it is just chugging uphill Sisyphus-style?

Jul 21 2014

Shinji Nakaba, Contemporary Jewelry Designer

Yesterday, I came across a ring by Shinji Nakaba on Pinterest. He designs sculptural jewelry that deals in classical subjects, like the body, decay, botanicals. He’s based in Tokyo and specializes in glyptic art, which is carving of precious materials, particularly gemstones.

His tiny sculptures often read as detail shots of works from antiquity, and sometimes find direct reference points, like the David Ring above, which is the ideal gift for your inner 14-year-old boy.

He’s drawn to unusual materials as well.

He does lots of work with aluminum, and fashioned this hydrangea brooch from beer cans.

There’s not much information about Nakaba online in English, but it looks like this site featured him as a street-fashion subject. Unsurprisingly, the man is a hell of a dresser.

If you want something he’s made, his work is available for purchase here, and the prices don’t seem crazed given his talent. Go have a look.

Jul 18 2014

Rock to Never Never Land

I like it when real life reads like an Onion headline.

Jul 14 2014

Piccolo in Minneapolis


Bay scallop crudo with coconut, golden raisins, hot pepper and citron vinegar

Thanks so much for the Minneapolis tips, everyone! I’m exploring like crazy and the food and cocktails here are so good. I made a reservation at Piccolo to celebrate our first night in town, and it was a huge treat.


Rabbit liver tart with caramelized onions, compressed strawberries, olive oil and sorrel

I bit into this before I thought to take a photo, but that snowy dust is olive oil, which they powdered presumably using magics.


Monterey Bay squid with fresh dragon beans, manila clams, smoked pork shank and fresh okra

They have a 5-course tasting menu for only $55, and our waiter Xan made great suggestions for wine to pair with the courses.


Hanger steak with butter poached radishes, tomato and Calabrian pepper jam, white anchovies and horseradish

The room was so sunny and happy. One of the nicest meals I’ve had.


Rabbit loin with summer truffles, artichokes, tortellini, turnips and parmigiano-reggiano

Also, and maybe this sounds odd, but the bathroom was charming. Navy blue walls with a gold peacock feather wallpaper on one wall and lots of attention to detail. I liked it so much that I asked the waiter who designed it, and apparently it was the proprietor of a local boutique called Honeyshine. So if you go, make sure to stop into the loo.


Sweet corn panna cotta and bourbon corn cake with blackberries and caramel

Piccolo
4300 Bryant Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN

Sun-Mon 5:30-9pm
Weds-Thurs 5:30-9pm
Fri-Sat 5:30-10pm
Closed Tuesday

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Dinner at the French Laundry? Check.
Trying the Snow Egg at Quay
Consult the Tea Sommelier at Vue de Monde? Check