Untethered Dog

An Online Notebook by Tom Swift

Outings

BYOB: Bring Your Own Ball

Given all that is going on in the world — we’re six months into a pandemic that our country doesn’t have the political will or direction to control, California is on fire, the rest of the Earth is also warming, we’re overrun by lawlessness and reckless ambivalence in Washington, D.C., and that’s just for starters — and from that standpoint this bowling ball bag seemed to be not just from another century but from another country.

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

What is the story with the beetles we encounter on our walks who manage to go belly up on the sidewalk with no apparent ability to right themselves? They move their myriad legs as if they are running in the park yet they are not moving. They are going nowhere. Maybe not ever again. Unless […]

Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Squirrel

This morning’s walk began with a first: I was touched by a squirrel. No — not in that way (you sickie). The little buddy and I were stroking along the southbound sidewalk, approaching a young woman waiting for her early-a.m. bus. To maintain distance, I steered us slightly onto the edge of the lawn of […]

Let It Rain

Give me the smell of wet dog. And the sound of pitter-patter on my helmet. Let us walk, little buddy, until water squishes between my toes. I checked my go-to weather app this morning and, as I thumbed across the hours, and saw the rain showers icon appear, hour after hour, uninterrupted, I said go-baby-go-baby-go. […]

Corona Jujitsu — Not

Turns out, I was wearing it upside down. My mask. My N-95. My first one. As I stood in line to get into the grocery store, I snapped a selfie to send to my friend as I thanked him again for the gratis covering. He politely pointed out my error. I didn’t receive his gentle […]

Harrowing Hours

It takes so long — and yet the time goes by in a flash. First, you have to put on your protective gear — head to toe, with face mask in place. (In my case, the mask is a scarf. It is plaid.) You have to make sure you have made your game-plan, and that […]

Near-Death Experience

It was Squirrel Day today during the morning walk. On the way out, we saw albinos on two different blocks. Whiter than Mike Pence, these two were. On the way in, a pair of youngins were in no hurry crossing the street precisely when a Bronco — was it a Bronco? Do they still make […]

Frogger-It If You Have To

Just back, I am so grateful for first long evening walk of the year, in comfortable weather, the sun still lighting the way. We zig-zagged about the neighborhood for an hour-plus, keeping our distance from all the two-leggeds, greeting a few of the fours, choosing our adventure based on the smells of the shrubbery and […]

The Weather Outside is Frightful

The sign says, “Walk-Ins Welcome” — not Drive-ins. Can’t you read, Bub? At least there is medical care not far from here. I kid because I can. I wish no one harm. Icy streets are no fun — except for those wearing skates. I made it to the gym, across town to meet the Saturday […]

Notes from the Observation Deck

I like that you can see the St. Paul skyline to the east. I like that you can see the Minneapolis skyline to the west. One spot, two cities. Below are Highland Park, Highland National Golf Course, and the Charles M. Schulz Highland Arena. And green. So much green. A green cloth on which sits […]

Hello and Goodbye

We were at the Minnesota Museum of American Art viewing an Arab-inspired exhibit — a geographic mishmash of a description if ever there was one — and the gallery guide was telling us about the painting before us. A man walked into the gallery. The MMAA is small. The man had pushed hard on the […]

The Search Continues

From our side of the river you can see a pedestrian bridge that runs parallel to the current. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to walk it. Today was the day were going to find that bridge. After driving up and down the river parkway, we pulled over. I figured we […]

Perfect

  We got out of the car. A boy ran up. He asked my little buddy’s name. After I responded, he said, “nice to meet you, Barry.” The boy ran away. He went say hello next to some buddies. That is how we were greeted on our first visit to Powderhorn Park. The weather was […]

Mood (De-)Enhancer

There are places in America that are downright depressing. You might be perfectly content. You may otherwise be in a pleasing part of town. It could well be a beautiful day. Then you step in the door and your mood immediately sinks. I think we can all agree that Applebee’s is one of these places. […]

Shattered Glass

They killed pregnant women at Wounded Knee. Four of the women — four of the 150 to three hundred (estimated) people slaughtered by the United States on December 29, 1890 in southwestern South Dakota — were women with child. Driving to the All My Relations Gallery yesterday afternoon, with the Minneapolis skyline on the horizon, […]

Cold Calls

Impressions from my first visit to Acme comedy club: – Nice venue. We had good seats with a small table for drinks and there didn’t appear to be many bad ones. No bad seats, I mean — I can’t vouch for the drinks. Nice crowd on a Wednesday night. Strangely, it was sauna-warm in the […]

Get Lost

I didn’t want to go down that path. I thought this would be a shorter walk. The little buddy led us there. Not for the first time he showed me the way to wisdom.

Amateur Hour

When the idea arouse to go to Sisyphus Brewing for a taste of their weekly open-mic comedy hour, I imagined our small group being among a smattering who had ventured out on a Thursday night for overpriced microbrews and free guffaws. I pictured a makeshift stage, one that no doubt otherwise hosted try-hard no-name cover […]

Can I Get Fries With That?

Impressions on my first visit to Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy at the Mall of America: – Rick Bronson’s House of Comedy at the Mall of America is the comedy house equivalent of fast food. It’s McComedy. It’s slick. It’s get in, get out, the next show starts in a half hour … and, besides, […]