All posts by elijahclements

Owamni: A meal to remember

What is Owamni?

Owamni is an full service, indigenous restaurant located in Minneapolis in the Stone Arch Bridge area. I just went there for the first time last night for my sister’s birthday, and want to share my experience because this meal was absolutely unforgettable. I ordered a beer that was mushroom and chai flavored, which was surprisingly delicious with delicate flavors. We also got the red cliff lake trout and white bean spread. Another interesting thing our group of four tried was a cricket seed mix, with crickets and pumpkin seeds. One of our group members was a little grossed out by this, but most of us really enjoyed it! The blue corn mush was almost like a breakfast dish, very sweet and I could see myself eating it every morning. The roast sweet potato with chili crisps was sweet and spicy at the same time.

There were also two types of tacos that were very flavorful, one was cedar braised bison and the other was grilled forest mushroom. The dish that I personally ordered (although we shared everything of course) was the Elk corn sandwich. This was one of my favorite dishes of the entire night, it was sweet and savory at the same time. And of course we had to try all three desserts, my personal favorite and the most unique was the wild rice sorbet.

The restaurant also does a great job of paying homage to Native American culture, for instance they have traditional music playing and they have signs reminding us that we are on stolen land. I loved the message, the food, and the atmosphere. There was also a wonderful view overlooking Minneapolis! If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend trying it and enjoying the wonderful and unique dishes on display.

Why I love Tattoos

Tattoos have traditionally been considered “Taboo”, associated with things like violence, drugs, or those on the outskirts of society. But tattoos are becoming more mainstream nowadays, according to a 2019 poll by Ipsos, 30% of all Americans have tattoos. I wanted to share the story of my tattoos, and maybe inspire you to consider getting one yourself!

My Tattoo Stories

The very first tattoo I ever got was from a tattoo shop called “Holy Mackerel” in Saint Paul. It was an idea I had for a long time, the quote “Let it Be” from the Beatles. The reason I chose this particular tattoo as my first tattoo was because that song has had a deep meaning to me for a long time, I can still remember my first time listening to it and being absolutely blown away by the song writing and the beautiful singing. It is truly an incredible song by an even better band. I feel that this tattoo was meant to be because this tattoo shop does not usually take walk ins but I was able to get in because one of the tattoo artists had a cancellation. After this I received many other tattoos that all have unique stories, a bird in tribute to my grandfather who passed, Milo from one of my favorite books “The Phantom Tollbooth”, “The Beast” from “Over the Garden Wall” which is one of the greatest shows I have ever seen. And most recently, pictured below, a dragon.

The reason I got this dragon is because I have always had a slight obsession with dragons, ever since I was little I collected dragon figurines (I got rid of most of them but still have a few) and I remember reading the book “Dragonology” constantly as a kid. Dragons hold a special place in my heart, and I think the artist did a great rendition of what I had in mind.

As you can tell from my own experience, tattoos can be beautiful works of art and can help represent stories in your life. I encourage you to consider getting one (or multiple!)

Should downloading music for free be illegal? (Blog Post 4)

As a kid, I remember my mother asking me to attend a work party. As a child, this sounded like a situation where I would rather be doing almost anything else than this. However, I reluctantly hopped in the car and joined my mom at the party. As we were all sitting around the bonfire, a friend of my mom’s named Dean was drumming on a conga drum. He offered me to join him and handed me a pair of bongos. I began rhythmically tapping and Dean seemed impressed with my performance, and before I knew it I was taking drum lessons with him! This eventually led to my parents purchasing me a beginner Drum Set, and I began participating in band class in elementary school and this lead me to also participating in jazz band, drumline, concert band, and this continued through junior high, high school and college! In college I even joined a band called “Ointment Appointment” both of our albums are up on Spotify if you feel inclined to check them out!

I have not actually received any money from this, but think about larger artists whose entire job and career is simply to produce music and tour their music. If people are constantly downloading music for free, this leads to artists or bands not making as much profit for the music they put so much effort into. I am not neccesarilly saying we should never download music for free or listen to music on sites like YouTube, but maybe consider also purchasing from merchandise from bands you like such as a shirt, hat or even a sticker. Another suggestion if you enjoy live music would be to purchase concert tickets! It has been said that most artists make most of their money from touring nowadays, because with apps like Spotify they do not make as much money from record or CD sales. So supporting a tour could be mutually beneficial, the attendee gets to experience the thrills of live music while the artist makes a bit of extra cash through concert tickets to help continue to support themselves and continue making music.

Another fun way to support artists could be to purchase a vinyl record from a band you enjoy. I recently purchased three records for myself, two of which were record store day releases. The albums were; “Kauai” by Childish Gambino, “Sunshine on Leith” by The Proclaimers, and “Modal Soul” by Nujabes. Record store day happens twice a year across the globe, I even remember showing up at around 2am last year with my brother and waiting in line to get some records. In conclusion, I do not think downloading music for free should be illegal, but is important to support artists that you enjoy!

Are videogames addictive? (Blog Post 3)

Above, I have linked an article entitled “6 Negative Effects for Children Playing Video Games” written by Cheryl Macquire in 2017. One of the problems I have with this article is that it takes a very specific instance (one child who developed physical tics due to playing videogames), and applies it to children and video games as a whole. I would connsider this a “hasty generalization” fallacy, a logical fallacy which already puts a bad taste in my mouth from the start of the article. She also wrote “The doctor told me that video games cause overstimulation of the brain” without citing any evidence, and she did not say what doctor or which hospital this was said to her.

She also claims that videogames are “psychologically addictive. and that dopamine is released when playing. The following quote from psychology today offers a good refute: “The research that Kardaris referred to demonstrates that certain pathways in the forebrain, where dopamine is the neurotransmitter, become active when people are playing video games, and drugs like heroin activate some of these same pathways. What Kardaris’s and similar articles leave out, however, is the fact that everything that is pleasurable activates these pathways. These are the brain’s pleasure pathways. If video gaming didn’t increase activity in these dopaminergic pathways, we would have to conclude that video gaming is no fun. The only way to avoid producing this kind of effect on the brain would be to avoid everything that is pleasurable.” Essentially, everything pleasurable releases dopamine and it is not in our best interest to completely avoid everything that would cause dopamine to be released.

She also lists “impaired social interaction” as a problem with videogames, but videogames can also cause people to come together. Those who play videogames (myself included) often play with others while chatting via headsets either within the game itself or with another source such as Discord.

Archery : Benefits to Health (Blog Post 2)

As opposed to disc golf which I wrote about in my first post, archery is something I have taken up relatively recently. A bunch of my friends and I have a group discord where we post various events, chat while playing videogames or just talk about anything and everything, or even just share funny things about our days. I love this discord because it has helped me stay connected with my friends due to various events, but also to be able to try new activities. I had never tried karaoke for instance, until I joined the discord. Another thing that this discord server got me interested in is archery! There is a great place where we like to meet known as “Archer Park” in Burnsville, Minnesota. It has separate lanes, and has varying distances ranging from 10 to 80 yards. As a beginner I like to stick to 20 yards, but some of my friends will go up farther. We all use recurve bows, which essentially means there is no mechanical assistance when you are shooting, just a string and your hand! That is one of the things I love about archery is you really feel connected to the bow and you now any mistakes are due to your own errors. This can seem daunting, but is also a great source of improvement over time.

According to the website worldarchery, “On their way to topping the Olympic podium, a male archer burns an estimated 1,084 calories”. Exercise has also been proven to be a benefit to mental health! I have personally struggled with mental health, I remember at my previous institution Saint Olaf College I spent a lot of time alone and cooped up in my room, which ended up making my mental health worse over time. Nowadays I try to spend more time outside and with friends, because these things are extremely beneficial to one’s mental health.

Links:
https://healthtalk.unchealthcare.org/mental-health-benefits-of-getting-outside/
https://worldarchery.sport/news/147916/8-health-benefits-archery

Disc Golf: Why you should throw plastic in the woods (Blog Post 1)

I remember the first time I heard about disc golf, my uncle Jeremy introduced me to it and gave me a couple of discs to borrow. At first I could not get a grip on what I was supposed to be doing, but as with most activities, the more I worked at it and practiced, the better I got. The main thing that made a difference to me was switching from a “backhand” throw (a traditional frisbee throw) to a “forehand” throw (more of a wrist flick). Everyone has their own preference on how they throw, for instance James Conrad, a professional disc golfer is known for throwing almost exclusively backhand. For those who aren’t familiar with disc golf (also known as frisbee golf or “frolf”) I will give a quick synopsis. Essentially you find a course near you, an easy way to look this up is with an app known as UDisc, it will show you courses near you with ratings associated with them and distance. Once you get there, you will start on hole 1 and use the tee pad to throw your first shot. Each consecutive shot will start from where the previous shot landed, and you will continue with this until you are able to successfully get the disc in the basket. You count the number of shots it took, and move on to the next hole! Some courses are as short as 9 holes, and some like Blue Ribbon Pines here in Minnesota, are 27 holes.

According to humnutrition, there are five benefits to spending time outside or in nature. One is that it helps relieve stress, and lower tension or anger. It can also help boost immune function, boosts mental health, and even makes you feel good! Another beneficial part of disc golf is to spend time with friends, although you can also do it by yourself and just listen to music and get into “zen mode”.

Here are links to some info about disc golf and benefits to spending time outside:
https://www.humnutrition.com/blog/benefits-of-spending-time-in-nature/
https://discgolfnow.com/best-health-benefits-of-disc-golf/