Sunday, November 30, 2008


Here they are, folks. A few early bootleg images from the Capecchi / Stillwell throw-down last weekend.

It took place at St. Mathew's church in West St. Paul, where we Urologist's kids got a laugh out of the cornerstone, noticed by none other than...

...the Doc himself.

Inside, it was a beautiful ceremony.

We smiled a lot...

...and partied afterwards.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Juan in a Million

My sisters and I are often mistaken for each other. Varying shades of red hair, varying shades of brown eyes, my mom's curves. Our brother John, on the other hand, stands alone.

First let me first put all doubts out of your mind: he is a dead ringer for my dad in his 20s. But with his jet-black thick hair, long nose, and olive skin, he's something of an international man of mystery.

In his 27 years, he's been mistaken for half-black, Puerto Rican, Arabic, Greek, half-Mexican, and the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. He's an actor, so this is often to his advantage; he recently toured around the state of Minnesota with Teatro del Pueblo, a job I can guarantee you my sisters and I would've been type-casted out of.

It's something of a Stillwell sibling tradition to stage little skits for each other on big occasions. We've been doing it for years, you see. Dressing up for our parents, putting on our own shows. Now that we're all grown up....wait a minute, doesn't that kind of describe my current job? Ahem. As I was saying, now that we're all grown up, we save this special hidden talent for events like weddings.

My brother's chameleon good looks were the idea behind our skit at his rehearsal dinner, where the 3 sisters had help from brothers-in-law Fred and Frank. After questioning our brother's real identity, we solved the case by posing John in a sombrero and unveiling a poster-sized version of this gem from his childhood. (Big props to Dad for the poster idea and for making the Kinko's run)

Now you can understand how he got his nickname, Juan in a Million.

Not that being married is gonna stop John from a little costume fun of his own. I caught him messing around with the flower girls' wings pre-wedding...

...and everyone got to see just how smashingly handsome he looked in his first appearance at his new real-life role: Husband.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

4080 Minnesota Lane

I went home last weekend for the first time in 2 years. That is, my parent's home: 4080 Minnesota Lane. It was quick, it was sleepless, there was a poetry reading and a wedding and a Holiday Compression Celebration. Most importantly, I was with my family.

It's too much to tell in one posting, so let's start off with the cast of characters.

The Bride and Groom, Maria and John

Maddy, Rising Art Star, in from Berlin

Soon to be Proud Parents, Kate and Frank

Let's look at that happy momma once more

The Poet

The Matriarch-Slash-Cowgirl

The Benevolent Poppa and 81 Years And Going Strong Nana

The Jet-lag Defying Expats

Waking up together in Mom's kitchen

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spot Art reading

A couple poems from last Thursday night's reading in Minneapolis. Great fun on a cold night.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Get thee to Spot Art at 1828 Marshall St. NE in Minneapolis at 7:00 p.m. Thursday 20 November to hear me and Juliet Patterson swap poems over dollar beers. Lily will also be joining us just in time.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My hosts here in Nordeast Mpls, Sarah and John, really know how to make a guy feel welcome. Yesterday, for instance, they ordered this sunrise out the back window...

Trust me, these snaps come nowhere near capturing the sky-filling beauty of this cold morning.

We've also been eating dinner like champs here (veggie lasagna, broiled porkchops with roasted sweet potatoes, etc.). But since they're both off teaching our nation's youth during the day, I'm on my own... or at least I'm out with Brian touring some of our favorite cheap eats in twin town.

Monday we took the adorable Felix for some E. Lake St. taco love, washed down with a cool horchata.

Tuesday all-day thrifting so we ate those Jasmine Deli Vietnamese sandwiches in the car...

I'm all for a good bratwurst, but these things are next level.

Before this is over, a walleye sandwich is gonna get hurt.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Twelve Bucks

Yesterday, after my 24-hour door-to-door Kassel to Minneapolis Saturday, I didn't want to move much, so after fluffy buttermilk pancakes, John and I headed to a warehouse in the neighborhood that was having a "book lovers sale." The story behind it was that the owners of the building rented space to a guy who thought he was going to start the next Well, suffice to say he had no idea what he was doing, and after a year collecting tens of thousands of books, and never getting his business off the ground (or paying his rent), he was kicked out of the warehouse. But the owners, in lieu of all that back rent, kept the books. What to do? They're selling off the stock to Twin Cities book lovers - fifty cents for paperbacks, one dollar for hardbacks. Gold mine. I spent four hours and twelve dollars and will need a new suitcase to get this haul back to Germany...

So, let's chop through this in a little more detail, shall we? Take it from the top:

Stein with groovy cover
DFW British paperback edition
Collected Mandelstam prose (nice score)
Second book by "Motherless Brooklyn" author Lethem (Gun with occasional Music) - for Lily
Czech novelist Grisa
Gaddis is a tough read, but my friend Brian swears by him
Vonnegut short stories "Welcome to the Monkey House"
"The experience of nothingness" whoa, also with groovy cover
Didion "Salvador"

"The natural history of the mind" for lily, who's all into brains
"Love and Garbage" says it all - another E. European author
C. Hein is an (East) German novelist
G. Grass is a famous German
Sontag hardbound first edition SCORE!
Daumal's "A night of Serious Drinking" hardbound english first SCORE!
Rick Moody short stories
Didion hardbound niceness
Adam Gopnik on expat living... a lily fave
Hardbound Murakami - Kafka on the beach

Nice way to spend a sunday. Anything I missed?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


At Newark Liberty Airport, a ten day old local newspaper...

This morning in Northeast Minneapolis, a welcoming dust of snow...

Good to be back in america.