3 weekend events to help you beat the heat in the Twin Cities



I was on KSTP-TV with three events either taking place at night or inside to help you beat the heat in Minnesota this weekend!

Thanks to Chris Egert for surprising me with the cover of Lavender Magazine! Click here for links to the cover, the Editor’s note about the cover and my article featuring Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Bauhaus Brew Labs

Where you can present a PowerPoint about your single friends


Do you have a friend who is quite the catch but doesn’t have good luck with online dating? Enter The Singles Exchange. Once you get that single friend’s blessing, you can head to the event, hosted by the Grown-Up Club, and work your magic on their behalf.

At each event, 10 people will present PowerPoint presentations about their friends. They’ll have five-minutes to tell attendees (who are also shopping for their friends) about who their subject is looking for and why they’d be great in a relationship.

After the PowerPoint sessions: networking. Attendees are asked to have photos of their friends ready on their phones.

And this is where it gets good: the subject of the PowerPoint (or the single person you’re trying to find a date for) cannot attend the event to make things less awkward. Hopefully you’ll leave the event with a lead or two to pass along to them and be proud of your new matchmaker role.

The next Singles Exchange is on Monday, June 19 at a brewery I love, Bauhaus Brew Labs, in Northeast Minneapolis. If you want the chance to present a PowerPoint, you need to act fast. Organizers need those no later than June 12. And again, you can attend if you don’t present. Tickets are available here.

The Grown-Up Club hosts monthly events, whether you’re single or in a relationship. See what they’re planning on their website.


The event where adults read their childhood diaries in front of strangers…and it’s amazing

Mortified is the podcast you need in your life. Photo credit: Mortified.

In the last few months, I was introduced to “Mortified,” a weekly podcast relying on chapters around the world. The concept is ingenious: adults dust off their childhood journals, diaries and recordings and walk up on a stage to read them aloud…in front of strangers. Those readings are recorded and then pieced together in themed episodes, which range from confessions of celebrity crushes (common and not so common) and awkward relationships to first kisses and forced family togetherness.

“Mortified” has producers in cities around the world — from Los Angeles to Dublin. And fortunately, there’s one here in the Twin Cities. The Minnesota “Mortified” producer notified me that tickets are still available for their next show, coming up on Saturday, June 17 at Como Dockside in Saint Paul. You can order those here. I’ll be there and I cannot wait to laugh.


Curiosity killed the cat: my trip to the Rainbow Outlet in Maplewood

Supervalu tacked the word ‘Outlet’ to their Rainbow in Maplewood. It sucked me in.

So I was driving from an oil change and did a double take when I noticed the Rainbow on White Bear Avenue in Maplewood was still open. There was an ‘outlet’ sign tacked on the windows. My immediate reaction: confusion. What is an outlet grocery store? Do they send all the bruised bananas to this location?

Only 24 hours after my original drive by, I found myself back on White Bear Avenue due to my curiosity about what was inside. Here’s what I found, along with a theory as to why this Rainbow is still open.

  • The store is more depressing than anything. The bank which once greeted shoppers at the entrance has a faux wall in front of it with a display of toilet paper. The bulk nuts section is gone, too; in it’s place, a wall stocked with paper towels. The coolers in the meat department are well stocked with Super Chill soda. The bakery looked like a scene from The Walking Dead with no hours posted on the sign still on the wall. They didn’t bother to rip it down.
  • I did find a couple deals, but nothing to qualify it as an outlet. Bananas are $.57/pound, so nothing outrageous. There were some non-perishables on sale, but it wasn’t anything worth a drive out of the way. There is an elaborate dollar section with plenty of knock-off brand items. It’s bigger than the entire produce section.
  • It’s quiet. Beyond the registers, I saw maybe one other employee in the entire store. The bakery lights were off. The deli looked like it still functions, but I didn’t see anyone working back there. There were maybe 10 shoppers in the store.
  • The aisles are huge. It was obvious they don’t want a ton of merchandise in the store, so they just took out shelves. However, I did find it as a refreshing change from visits to Aldi and Target that have carts and people everywhere.
  • The Outlet doubles manufacturer’s coupons on Thursdays (a Rainbow tradition) if you’re an avid coupon cutter.
The bulk nuts section at the Rainbow Outlet is now just a wall of paper products.

The Rainbow ‘Outlet’ is open from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. seven days a week. Set your GPS if you’re curious, too: 2501 White Bear Avenue North, Maplewood 55109.

Is there a reason to go there? Um…no. Damn my curiosity.

But here’s the interesting part. Recall back to when many Rainbows were purchased by Supervalu and turned into Cub Foods. Well, there’s a Cub literally across the street. When I posted my adventure on Facebook, a friend mentioned that Supervalu didn’t close the Rainbow in fear of Hy-Vee buying it and in turn, running Cub to the ground. Supervalu would rather operate the Rainbow at a loss than to lose the Cub in a high traffic area.

Those who will love the Rainbow Outlet: small children who only have a $1 left of their allowance.