Thursday, December 28, 2006

Round Robin

Last Saturday, seven-eighths of the sister cousins assembled for our Little House/Sex and the City pre-Christmas flirtini party. After some eating, drinking, catching up and viewing of videos on Tiffany’s laptop, we all hunkered down on the living room floor and began a long-overdue project--sorting and doling out Grandma’s jewelry.

Grandma had a lot of jewelry. Some of it has monetary value, some has sentimental value, and a whole lot has neither. Everything was all jumbled together in trays and Ziploc bags and little boxes—earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pins and rings, as well as a pair of cufflinks, two fancy pens in velvety cases, and a pair of somethings that Tiffany identified as shoe buckles.

We sifted through piles of pieces that nobody recognized until, every once in a while, someone would gasp and say, “Oh…” Then they’d hold up the coral ring, or the Christmas tree pin, and we’d reminisce about the dress she always wore with that one, or how she’d wear that pin to church every Christmas Eve. A lot of the things we'd forgotten that we remembered.

The whole collection had been in my uncle’s basement since we cleaned out Grandma’s condo six years ago. My sister Meghan told us that when she picked up the boxes last week, she opened the biggest one, and when she met with the unexpected scent of Grandma’s perfume inside that box, she burst into tears. I knew what she meant. I have a little quilted coin purse that I carried around for months after Grandma died for exactly that reason. It’s in a drawer now, but it still smells like her, faintly.

We started by passing around the bangle bracelets. They took several trips around the room, and everyone ended up with a few. Then we did the same with the rings. If something looked particularly valuable, or if more than one person wanted it, we set it aside for later. But because we all have different tastes and different sized fingers and wrists, for the most part, if somebody found something they thought they’d wear and that fit, it was theirs.

Hours later, we had only divided up about half of the collection, but by then it was nearly 1:00 a.m. and everyone was tired. We put the valuable and contested items back into the box, along with the pieces that nobody was particularly interested in. We’ll have to come back to those the next time everyone is in town. Maybe next Christmas.

And even though we hadn’t planned it, the following night at my parents' house on Christmas Eve, the DemiGoddesses and I each had on one of Grandma’s rings. Molly and Betsy jangled with her bangle bracelets. And both Meghan and Shanna were wearing her earrings.

And we all looked fabulous.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

All I Want For Christmas is a Humping Dog USB

Yeah, scratch the TiVo and the Wii. Just tuck this under the tree for me, please:

Humpy Holidays Everybody!

Friday, December 22, 2006

I’d Do Much Better on the Amazing Race

My Dad’s birthday was last weekend, and my sisters all pitched in to buy him an “American Girl” Barnes & Noble gift card, because darned if they weren't all out of the ones with the assault rifles and the NRA logo on them. But I went my own way and gave him a Watersmeet Nimrods T-shirt to wear the next time he visits Upper Michigan. Because I am by far the coolest.

While we were at my parents’ house for the birthday festivities, somebody found a drawer full of old photos of the DemiGoddesses from back when they were all little and cuddly and adorable (sniffle), and from the family trip we all took to England and France in the spring of 1999. I found one of those so particularly horrifying that I had to ask out loud, “Who’s the cow on the left? MOOOOOOOO!”

Of course, the cow was ME.

And that photo was taken three years before my Great Weight Loss of ’03, when one of the inspiration tools I relied on to keep me motivated was another photo, a black and white shot taken by my cousin Tiffany at Christmas 2002, of me sitting on a couch with some other family members. Or, more accurately, me taking up waaaaaaaay more than my fair share of the real estate on that couch. Ouch.

Remembering that photo reminded me that it’s Christmas time once again, and how nice it is to be so very toned and HEALTHY these days. Except for, um, those cookies with the pound and a half of butter in them that are all over my dining room table. The ones that I nibble on every time I pass through that room (many, many times a day). And except that my exercise bike has pretty much served as a coat rack for the past several weeks, and my hand weights are buried somewhere behind the gifts under the Christmas tree.

If I don’t get my act together, by next year I’ll be right back in bovine-land, so I resolved that as soon as the holidays are over, I will consume nothing but water and the occasional cup of hot tea for the entire month of January.

Later that night, we all gathered ‘round the TV to watch the Survivor finale, which reminded me that there is no way I will ever hold to my resolution, because unlike Yul and Ozzie and Becky, I am not a Goddess who can function for any length of time without food. And while Yul without a shirt makes excellent eye candy:

(Yummy.) cannot live on washboard abs alone. In fact, as my children will tell you, when my blood sugar starts to get low, I become one ornery Goddess.

My sister Meghan is exactly the same way, and we agreed that neither one of us would ever last a day on Survivor, unless they changed the ultimate goal of the game from being the last one voted out to being the first person to hack all the other contestants to bits with a machete. Then we would totally win.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I've Shaken Them All

A bunch of gifts mysteriously appeared under my tree today. A happy surprise, yes, but not a single one of those packages is TiVo or Wii or Johan Santana shaped, which means that there had damn well better be a pony hidden in the garage somewhere.

Just sayin'.

My gifts have all been bought and wrapped, the cookies are baked, and snow is finally in the forecast. Enough with the prep work already. Bring on the Christmas.

The first of the sister-cousins, Shanna, arrived home yesterday. Tiffany, who thankfully was not blown away or crushed by falling trees during the recent killer windstorm in Seattle (she also assures me that Cupcake Royale is safe, and thank heaven for that), is due in on Saturday, and preparations for the second-annual flirtini party are well underway. This year's theme is "Little House on the Prairie Meets Sex and the City."

The invitation pointed out that there were four Ingalls daughters, there were four girlfriends who regularly met at that coffee shop in Manhattan, and there are four sister cousins in each of our two families. And that cannot be mere concidence.

We have been instructed to wear our best sunbonnets and Manolos, and I'm told the menu will include salt pork, corn bread, and Chinese takeout.

I'm sure it will all make perfect sense once we've had a flirtini or two.

P.S. For those of you who have been up nights wondering if the Goddess is a real or artificial tree person, please note the needles on the carpet.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And Yet, They Look So Cheerful

It's been a very sad few days in the Goddess household.

For months, the DemiGoddesses have been looking forward to the arrival in March of their new baby brother (I am not pregnant. The Ex's wife is.). But now it's looking like this baby was not meant to be.

In spite of all the animosity there has been between the Ex and I, my heart is breaking for him. And for the Demis.

When we got the news on Saturday morning, there wasn't much to be done except pray and wait for someone to call with updates from the hospital. So we went ahead with the baking we had planned, and it helped, a little. Something in the purposeful creaming of butter and sugar, in the application of colored frosting and sprinkles, was a comfort.

We kept on baking, right through Sunday, when it seemed like there might still be hope. And just this afternoon, after the latest news was about as bad as it could have been, the Demis finally finished decorating the last of the cutout sugar cookies.

That photo shows only a portion. The dining room table is full, and there are more in the freezer.

And still, we're really, really sad.

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day

I’m wearing red today, and so is DemiGoddess the Elder. When she reminded me this morning that today is World Aids Day, and informed me that she and all her friends had made plans to wear red to school, I was already wearing a red sweater simply by coincidence. I was simultaneously proud and embarassed to have been educated by Ms. Elder's clearly superior social conscience. But I think my red sweater still counts.

The magnitude of this epidemic seems overwhelming, but there are lots of ways we all can take action to help alleviate some of the suffering caused by HIV/AIDS in the world. Below are a few links to some of my personal favorite non-profits that already working to make a difference:

Mother Bear Project

Make a bear. Make a donation. Or, for the holidays, sponsor a bear for $10 in someone else’s name, and receive a thank-you letter that you can present to that person as a gift. The website also has knitting kits for sale for $15, which make great gifts—the kit includes yarn, handmade needles, a pattern, a tag, and a brochure about the Mother Bear Project. One knitter gave them to her whole family, even the fellas, last year, and wrote a great story about what happened afterwards, which is posted on the website here.

Open Arms

Open Arms delivers meals to people living with HIV/AIDS, both locally in Minneapolis/St. Paul and in South Africa. Their website includes volunteer opportunities, information on the World AIDS Day Beaded Artwork sale that is happening in downtown Minneapolis tomorrow, and links to make donations. They help distribute Mother Bear Project bears in South Africa.

Arm in Arm in Africa

This is another Minnesota-based group that works to alleviate suffering, improve conditions and create opportunities for changing the cycle of poverty and disease in South Africa. They also partner with the Mother Bear Project in distributing bears to HIV/AIDS impacted children.

World Camps

World Camps provide fun and educational camp experiences for HIV/AIDS affected children in developing nations. They distribute Mother Bear Project bears to the children in these camps, and the thank-you notes I received a few months ago were from kids who had received my bears there.

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope.”
--Robert F. Kennedy

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Black Friday

The doorbuster deals at Toys R Us used to have me shivering in a parking lot at 5:00 a.m. every year on the morning after Thanksgiving, back when $5 Furbys and buy-one-get-one-free Polly Pocket sets could still make the Demis' Christmas dreams come true. I still get a special thrill from combing through the stacks of glossy Thanksgiving day newspaper ads while I watch the Macy’s parade TV. But for the past couple of years, I’ve opted to skip the Black Friday insanity and just sleep in.

I was planning to do just that last week, but then my friend Daniel, the one who so kindly brought my PC into the 21st century for me, found out from an advance online advertisement that Micro Center stores would be offering 160 GB hard drives for a deep, deep discount on Friday morning. He was very excited until he realized that the discounted hard drives would only be available to the first 25 customers through the door when it opened at 6:00 a.m., and the only Micro Center location in the state is a good 45-minute drive from his house.

As it happens, that very same Micro Center location is about 2.5 minutes from my house. So, since I have some experience with day after Thanksgiving shopping, and since I have a lot more time than money with which to repay the kindness he bestowed on my home computer, I told him I’d go to Micro Center for him.

When my alarm went off at 5:00 a.m. that morning, I threw on the clothes I had laid out the night before, grabbed the Micro Center ad and a protein bar and ran out the door, thinking that I would wait in my car if no other customers had arrived yet. Moments later I found the entrance to the parking lot blocked by a police car with its lights flashing. It appeared to be preventing a block-long line of people from extending into the street.

Alrighty then.

Since I was up already, I decided to try my luck at a couple of other stores instead, which actually went pretty well except that somebody stole my shopping cart in Menard’s. The mass of bargain-hungry humanity that stood between me and the $3 hand-crank LED flashlights forced me to temporarily abandon it, along with the throw rug, the slippers and the various other items it contained. When I returned, my cart had disappeared and there was no trace of my hard-won merchandise. Whoever you are, I hope you enjoy eternity in your special place in HELL, you cart-stealing bastard.

The checkout line at Kohl’s was freaking ridiculous, but it moved along pretty steadily, and was worth enduring because I picked up skirts and sweaters for both the DemiGoddesses to wear on Christmas, as well as a new pair of gloves for a certain Goddess who seems to have a terminal case of glove/mitten dropsy, all for less than I spend on an average trip to Trader Joe's.

I found out later that my sister Meghan had been out shopping that morning, too. She did Herberger’s, immediately earning my respect because another customer in line at Menard's had told me she had tried to go there but left after being unable to find a parking spot, and then had to fight her way out of the lot. And Meghan was there with a toddler in tow, no less.

Now that’s plain crazy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


In putting together my annual Excel spreadsheet of the gifts I will be purchasing between now and Christmas (What? What??), I was super excited over the prospect of ordering two of the cutest little items ever. Tiny, shiny iPods! With engraving, no less!

I had visions of the DemiGoddesses opening their bitty packages on Christmas morning, gasping with joy, and then leaping over piles of discarded wrapping paper to fling their arms in ecstatic gratitude around their uber cool Goddess of a mother, who so clearly has her thumb on the pulse of everything that is cutting-edge and hip with the youngsters.

The next day, I began laying the groundwork...

“Have you seen those new baby iPod Shuffles? They’re sooooo cuuuuuute!”

…and was quickly shot down.

“I don’t want a Shuffle. I want a 30 GB video iPod.”

“Me neither. I want a Nano. A red one.”

Yeah. Not so much. Even if I were not morally opposed to the idea of buying teenagers expensive (as in, costing more than $79) high-tech electronic gadgets that they will probably break or lose or that will very likely be stolen from their lockers at school within a matter of days (which I am), no amount of Excel spreadsheet wrangling is going to work either of those items into my holiday budget.

After some negotiations, the three of us worked out an arrangement in which I will simply give to each of them the cash I would have spent on their Shuffles (no engraving for ME, sniffle), which they will then add to their respective iPod funds so that they can eventually purchase for themselves the items that they really want.

Gone are the days when I could work some clearance-aisle wizardry and produce a glee-inducing Christmas haul for $50. This year the Demis will be getting cash in a box, which may yet be glee-inducing, but is considerably less fun for ME.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Things That Are Neither People Nor Items, But That I Am Thankful For Nevertheless

I am thankful that even though the holidays will soon make it disappear, this year, I actually have money in a savings account earmarked for Christmas. And damn, does that feel good. My goal for next year is to have a little money still in my savings account on December 26. Dare to dream, ESG.

I am thankful that yesterday, for the first time since I can’t remember when, my ex and I had a phone conversation that was very nearly affable. I’m not 100% ready to make a habit of that, but it is definitely progress.

I’m thankful that this year, everybody in my inner circle is healthy, nobody is under indictment, nobody is being audited by the IRS, and everyone is employed. With benefits, even. (Well, except for Dad, who is “retired,” but he does volunteer work, and he is covered under Mom’s insurance).

And I’m thankful that the only items I am responsible for cooking tomorrow are the creamed onions and the sweet potatoes. And everybody who will be having dinner at my parents’ house should be thankful for that as well. Trust me on that one.

Enough with the gratitude. Let’s eat.

(Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Items I Am Thankful For

The new roof on my house, which appears to have fixed my leaky sunroom problem.

Palm’s Bakery. May it never, ever close its doors again.

Flogging Molly’s “Drunken Lullabies” CD.

The third lane on Highway 100 that opened a few months ago, reducing my daily commute from 25 minutes to 12.

My new digital camera, the awesomest of birthday gifts, which took fantastic photos of DemiGoddess the Elder during her final performance of the school musical last weekend.

Justin Morneau’s bat. (Congratulations to the new American League MVP! )


CO Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint, Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar hand cream, Mac Fluidline eyeliner, and Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil. Also the hair dye that I do not need yet, but am nevertheless comforted by the existence of. And, for the time being, tweezers.

The Caribou Coffee that finally opened a few weeks ago, three blocks from my house.

My Honda Civic, which just passed the 100,000 mile mark and still runs like a champ.

The lunch buffet at Surabhi Indian Cuisine.

Circular knitting needles.

The wreath my dad brought me back from his trip to the lake last week.

12-Hour Sudafed.

Alpaca wool mittens.

Lilacs, apple blossoms, pansies, and the roses that appear on my dining room table on every fifth of the month.

And, last but far from least, I am thankful for the hand written notes I received a couple of months ago from two little girls in South Africa, thanking me for the bears I made. (Even though they made me cry.)

Monday, November 20, 2006

People I Am Thankful For

I am thankful for my daughters, for the things they teach me every day and for giving me a reason to keep on keepin’ on, even when I really, really don’t want to at all.

I am thankful for my niece, Madge, for being my excuse to shop for toys this Christmas, which she is going to get lots and lots of because she now knows my name and runs to give me hugs and kisses whenever I come over. What color pony would you like, my little munchkin?

For my smart, funny, gorgeous sisters and sister-cousins, whose e-mails make me laugh out loud, and who are not afraid to dance entirely without inhibitions whenever Neil Diamond is on. Even when they have not been drinking alcoholic beverages beforehand.

For my parents, and my aunts and uncles and second cousins and first-cousins-once-removed and all the rest of my giant, noisy, often dysfunctional extended family. For my Aunt Linda, who remembered to call me on my birthday, even though she and my Uncle Dave divorced when I was eight years old and she now lives in Louisiana. And for my brother-in-law, Jim, who will soon be helping me hang drywall in my sunroom, although he doesn’t know it yet.

I am thankful for the family members who will attend Thanksgiving dinner in spirit. My Grandma Devoy through her creamed onions recipe, which I wrote down shortly before she celebrated her 90th birthday, and my Grandma Townsend by way of her Fire King casserole dish with the fruit painted on the side, which I will be serving the creamed onions in on Thursday.

I am thankful for My Ho, who is kind and thoughtful and loving and trustworthy, even when I don’t feel very deserving of any of those things. And patient. I am thankful that he is very, very patient. And also that he is bringing pie.

I am thankful for the babies on the way—Batgirl’s Baby Boof, and my cousin Kerry’s new little girl, because it will certainly not be a boy THIS time around.

I am thankful for my friend Liz, who keeps me sane. For my friend Dr. Dave, who makes my brain hurt (but in a good way). For my friend Batgirl, who continues to prove that baseball, good writing and sass make an awesome combination. For Mother Bear Amy, who provides an ongoing example that one person with an idea and a little passion can make a big difference in the world. For Leah, who doesn't care that my dog jumps over the fence to poop in her yard (I seriously am going to clean that up). And for my friend Daniel, who souped up my PC so DemiGoddess the Younger can watch Degrassi episodes online, and so I can now play the latest Age of Empires games, and he did it all for only the price of the hardware and a sandwich from Jimmy John's.

I am thankful for that handful of blog browsers who kept coming here when I was silent for an entire month with no explanation. I don't know who most of who you are, and I don't know why you stuck around, but because of the miracle of StatCounter, I know you were here, and I thank you.

I am thankful for all the Demis’ terrific teachers and Girl Scouts troop leaders and the other adults who are helping them become amazing young women.

I am thankful for doctors and nurses, for police officers and sanitation workers, and all those people who do the jobs that I would never in a million years want to do.

I am thankful for Nancy Pelosi and all the new blue congresspeople. (Please, please don’t f*ck it up in the next two years. PLEASE.)

I am thankful for my dog, who is not a person, exactly, but she still counts as a family member.

And, of course, I am thankful for the Minnesota Twins. All of them. But especially Johan Santana.

Friday, November 17, 2006

How Do I Love Thee?

Let me count the ways.

I love thee to the depth…

and breadth…

and height…

My soul can reach…

It's unanimous (again)!

Congratulations to two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Alcohol and Kitchen Appliances Do Not Mix

From: EverydaySuperGoddess
To: The Sister Cousins

Can we have another flirtini party this Christmas?

From: Sister Betsy
To: The Sister Cousins

Molly and I have briefly discussed another flirtini party at our house this year, though we may do something besides flirtinis (but equally as delicious).

From: Cousin Tiffany
To: The Sister Cousins

I read this great financial planning tip last year--put away a bit of money away every month to spend at the end of the year on Christmas presents. I thought it was a good idea but was more inclined to put $ away for the family's Christmas liquor store bill.

I like champagne drinks best!

From: Sister Betsy
To: The Sister Cousins

I think we can safely assume that the drinks at our party will include champagne in some form. I got the impression that a few people had enough vodka last time to last them quite a while, so vodka will probably be off the menu.

From: EverydaySuperGoddess
To: The Sister Cousins

No no no no no! I LIKE the vodka!!!

From: Cousin Tiffany
To: EverydaySuperGoddess

Sylvia Plath has a lovely description of vodka in The Bell Jar. It made me love vodka forever.

Of course, she ended with her head in the oven.

From: EverydaySuperGoddess
To: Cousin Tiffany

Maybe she was looking for the vodka.

In the FREEZER, Sylvia! The FREEZER!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Sleep Deprived DemiGoddess

DemiGoddess the Younger was born slightly prematurely, so she had to spend the first week of her life in the intensive care unit. Her lungs hadn’t quite finished cooking yet, and the doctors put her on a respirator to help her breathe. After her first night of intubation, one of the nurses in the NICU told me they’d had to give my newborn daughter sedatives during the night because she wouldn’t stop trying to yank out her respirator tube.

“She’s a feisty one,” the nurse said with a knowing nod.

Thirteen years later, my girl has grown into a young woman who is capable of deep compassion and genuine kindness. But there have been many moments since that morning in the hospital when I’ve thought to myself, that child was born pissed off, and it’s been downhill ever since. When she is out of sorts, the only appropriate response is to duck and cover. Because Ms. Younger never, ever, suffers alone.

Mornings are a particularly touchy time, and since school started last fall, the alarm clock has been a recurring point of contention. The DemiGoddesses share a bedroom, and the only clock radio in it technically belongs to Demi the Elder. She sets the alarm at night and, when it goes off in the morning, Ms. Elder gets up, crosses the room, hits the snooze button and then goes back to bed for a few more minutes. This happens multiple times before she turns on the bedroom light and gets dressed.

Meanwhile, Demi the Younger, who leaves for school half an hour earlier than her sister, has slept right on through the whole thing, and when the lights come on, more often than not, she is already running late. And someone must pay.

Day after day Ms. Younger would berate her older sister for not waking her up sooner, as she stomped around, slamming doors, hissing and spraying venom from her eyeballs. And if she happened to have stayed up past her bedtime the night before? Heaven help us all.

I know from experience that trying to engage my child in any sort of debate at this point will only escalate the foulness, but yesterday she was at it again, and I interrupted her rant to point out, in a slightly less than entirely patient tone of voice, that an important part of learning to behave like an adult person includes taking responsibility for getting one’s own arse out of bed in the mornings.

Clearly, something was going to have to change. So last night I bought her her own clock radio. One with big green numbers on the display, so she’ll be able to read it without her glasses. She gratefully kissed me when she saw it, and merrily took it to her room to set it up.

Both the radio and the beeper alarms went off on schedule this morning, but instead of getting up immediately, DemiGoddess the Younger played her own round of snooze tag. By the time she left her bed, she was even more late than usual. This time, though, she had no one to blame but herself, and the quiet at the breakfast table was almost eerie. Which is good. Because I was about ready to look into getting her some more of those sedatives.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Further Evidence of My Traumatic Adolescence

DemiGoddess the Younger: Tomorrow is “Mix-it-Up” day. They’re making everyone sit at different tables at lunch.

EverydaySuperGoddess: How will they know everyone is at a different table?

DGY: They’re giving us all colored stickers, and we have to sit at the table with the people who have the same color.

ESG: What if somebody ends up having to sit a table full of people who hate them and put food in their hair?

DGY: Nobody ever put food in my hair. But Cailin put Fritos in my milk once.

ESG: Bitch.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I Don’t Recall Buying a Ticket for this Ride and I Would Like to Get Off Now, Please

When DemiGoddess the Elder told me that she wanted to go to the homecoming dance with a group of girlfriends, I thought, okay. She’s in high school now. That sounds like fun, and it's nice that girls nowadays don't find it necessary to have a date in order to attend the dance.

When she told me she’d need a dress to wear to the dance, I thought, ack, not in the budget, and anyway, why does she need a dress-up dress if she’s just going with girlfriends?

Then I was ashamed of myself for assuming that the only reason for her to dress up would be to go somewhere with a boy. So we went dress shopping, and luckily found a gorgeous, perfectly age-appropriate little number (at a deep, deep discount, no less), that we both loved. Score one for Mom. She looked beautiful she had a wonderful time at the dance.

A few weeks later Ms. Elder announced that the Sadie Hawkins dance was coming up in November. Apparently, at school they had collected requests of music to play at the dance, and she mostly just wanted to go and see if they'd play the They Might Be Giants song she had requested. Really. Most of her friends had boys in mind to ask, and well, yeah, there was a boy she was thinking about asking too.

(Cue the screaming in my head.)

As casually as I could manage, I asked her to tell me about this potential date rapist young man. He plays football and hockey (oh, dear…), is in advanced math (hopeful...), and he watches Project Runway (how soon can he move in?).

So, I wondered, what is the next appropriate parenting move here? Do I Google him and his parents and his next door neighbors? Check to make sure none of his immediate family members are listed in the national sex offender registry? Stake out his house and sift through his trash to check for drug paraphernalia and/or "Thank you for your generous contribution to the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign!" letters?

I just barely started letting my daughter ride her bicycle out of my eyesight, and I'm supposed to just let her go off with some hockey-playing hormone with legs? I think not.

Then I remembered to inquire about his name.


Last name?


The Goddess is going to need more mixer.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I’m Not Dead

But I did attend a Dio de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) party last weekend at the Fabulous Miss Amy’s beautiful (and, in spite of what she says, very CLEAN) home last weekend. Attendees had two assignments: 1) To knit up one of these:

and 2) to bring a food to share that would honor a loved one who has died.

I didn’t knit a day of the dead doll, because all I ever knit any more is Mother Bear Project bears, but my Grandma used to knit for charity all the time, so I figured my latest bear could represent her efforts. And anyway, I never could have topped Connie's creation:

The food would pose an even greater challenge. My Grandma was a legendary cook. She was a home economics teacher for many years, and loved nothing more than to get in the kitchen and get her hands dirty (and pretty much everything else in the room while she was at it).

When I thought about what dishes reminded me most of her, the first thing that came to mind was one that I won’t be making until Thanksgiving—creamed onions. The foundation of most of my Grandma’s signature recipes are butter and/or heavy cream, you see. The next thing was twice-baked potatoes, a fairly involved recipe that I only make for Christmas Eve dinner. Because, apparently, I only cook when required to by a holiday.

Then I thought of a little item my family calls simply “Grandma Cake.” It’s a devil’s food layer cake, with each layer split in two so there are really four layers. Freshly whipped cream (sweetened with a smidge of powdered sugar and vanilla) goes between each of the layers, and then the whole thing is covered in chocolate frosting. It’s like a giant Ho-Ho, only way, way better. But I had already asked my sister Betsy to make me one for my birthday, and two Grandma Cakes in the same week would be more decadence than even I could handle.

So, once again, Trader Joe’s came to my rescue in the form of Artichoke Antipasto and a jar of Olive Tapenade. Because, you know, Grandma also loved artichokes. And she always put olives on the relish trays at family dinners.

My favorite Trader fella must have appreciated the gesture, because yesterday he left me a very special voicemail, wishing me a happy birthday, and asking me to marry him! It’s true! And even though his voice sounded suspiciously like a slightly deeper version of DemiGoddess the Elder’s, I am totally going to say YES!

Just as soon as I figure out how to call him back, because my intended forgot to leave his number.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's not quite world peace, but it's a pretty damn good birthday present!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Well, That Was Disappointing

This morning a co-worker asked me if I’d heard the rumors about Joe Torre possibly being fired as the Yankees’ manager. I hadn’t.

Really, it’s not as bad as it was in 2004. That year, when the Twins were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, I spent the entire rest of the weekend on the couch in my pajamas watching Sex and the City reruns with my good friends Ben & Jerry. It was much the same heartbreak as having been dumped by a boyfriend.

But this past weekend, even though my darling beloveds were swept by the As in game three on Friday, I managed to remain mostly functional. I cleaned my house, I played with my sister’s new puppy, I spent time with my niece.

Maybe it would be different if it seemed like my team had actually shown up for those three games against Oakland, but I don't know who those guys were out there. Johan Santana doesn't lose at the Dome. Joe Nathan does not throw wild pitches. Joe Mauer is NOT a .182 hitter. And Torii Hunter MAKES THAT PLAY. None of it made any sense. So I'm choosing to think of the whole thing the same way I think of The Godfather, Part III--so bad that it doesn't even really count.

Still, I know I haven’t grown completely cynical because I have not been able to look at anything remotely baseball related in days. Which means that I didn’t learn until after it was over that the Tigers had knocked the Yankees out as well.

So, you know. There’s that.


Friday, October 06, 2006


In October of 2002, after the Twins beat the A’s in game five of the ALDS, WCCO radio announced that the team would be arriving at the Minneapolis airport from Oakland later that night. Maybe I was still a little woozy from all of Eddie Guardado’s ninth-inning drama (frankly, I still haven’t totally recovered), but all of a sudden I got it into my head that I wanted to be there to welcome the team when they arrived.

I’d never done anything like that before, so I didn’t realize until I arrived at the airport, about an hour before the plane was due, that they’d be flying into a small charter terminal separate from the main airport. I had assumed I’d be waiting inside the main terminal, but when I got there, the group of fans that had already gathered had to wait outside a chain link fence that bordered the charter terminal’s parking lot. At 11:30 p.m., the temperature outside was about 40 degrees and dropping, and I was not dressed for standing outside.

The plane was delayed, and as we waited, the crowd grew steadily larger. I chatted with two 13-year old girls standing near me, twin sisters who were big fans of A.J. Pierzynski. As we waited, one of them wrote, “I (Heart) A.J.” on a piece of notebook paper to use as a sign. I had brought along my Homer Hanky and a Sharpie pen in the hopes of maybe getting an autograph or two (again, not something I had ever done before), and I loaned the girl my pen so she could make the lettering on her sign stand out better. The girls were also under dressed, but they, like me, had no intention of leaving.

Finally, a little after 1:00 a.m., Ron Gardenhire emerged from the building. He walked across the parking lot and thanked us all (there were about 300 of us by that time) for coming out. Because I had arrived early, I had a prime spot, right up against the fence, so when Torii Hunter appeared, and then Doug Mientkiewicz (in a remarkably ugly sweater), and one by one the rest of the team, I saw it all. The players moved up and down the fence signing autographs and greeting fans, and the girls next to me started screaming when they saw A.J. cross the parking lot. A little after that, Brad Radke was standing on the other side of the chain link from me.

Radke had been the starting pitcher in Oakland that day, and had given up only one run and six hits, with four strikeouts and not a single walk. It had been a huge game for him, sending the team to the next round of postseason play, but you’d never have known it by his demeanor that night. He signed my Homer Hanky, and then looked at the two girls next to me. In unison, the two of them cried, "We're TWINS!" Radke laughed and said, "Oh yeah?" Then he asked us, “Aren’t you guys cold?” He was the only player we talked to that night who seemed genuinely concerned about our well-being.

Which is why, a few days later, when I bought my very first authentic Twins jersey to wear to the playoffs, I chose #22. A Radke jersey.

This past season was Brad Radke’s 12th with the Twins. They were the only Major League team he’s ever played for, even though other teams offered him lots more money. Since early 2006, Radke has said that he will probably retire after this year. Today he’ll take the mound in Oakland again, to face the A’s in another do-or-die playoff game. But this time, it might very well be his last. And he’ll be pitching with the same stress fracture in his shoulder that had him on the disabled list for most of August.

After a Twins season that has had far more than its share of astonishing turnarounds and improbable comebacks, and after he has pitched solidly through the pain in so many games already, it really doesn’t seem fair to lay this one on Radke’s injured shoulders. But there it is.

Whatever happens today, these last few months have been nothing short of amazing. Thank you Bradke. And GO TWINS!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Holy Shit!

First, before the game, the Twins awarded Brad Radke a new jet ski, and the Metrodome full of fans gave #22 a standing ovation in honor of his 12 seasons with the team, and in gratitude for all those games he pitched really well in even though his arm was about to fall off.

Then, while the 45,000+ crowd watched the Twins on the field, we also watched events unfolding in Detroit on the scoreboard. The Royals tied, and everybody went crazy. Detroit pulled ahead, the Royals tied again, the game went to extra innings and the Twins fans cheered every time there was a Royal on base or Detroit got an out, chanting "Let's Go Royals! Let's Go Royals!"

Somewhere in there the Yankees game ended, and the scoreboard announced that Joe Mauer had won the AL batting title. The crowd went crazy again as Joe poked his head out of the dugout and tipped his cap to the stands.

The Twins beat the Sox 5-1, but most of the fans stayed in their seats as the Detroit/Royals game, now in its 12th inning, appeared on the jumbotron.

We watched from the seats, the Twins players watched from the dugout, and a half-hour after the last out of the Twins' last regular season game, the Royals beat Detroit 10-8. My darling beloveds were the AL Central champions, and the whole team streamed back onto the field to celebrate in front of me, My Ho, and the rest of the hometown crowd.

We were at the Metrodome last spring for the first pitch of the Twins' home opener, we were there for the last out of this crazy season, and we were right there, yelling our heads off, when the Twins won the division.

What a team.

What freakin' season.

I love you guys.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Well done, fellas.

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Have to Keep Them, They Crack Me Up

Because they are so very helpful, the DemiGoddesses have been keeping a running list of items for me to pick up the next time I’m at the grocery store:

It reads:

Bread (?)
Head On Apply Directly to the Forehead!*
Spaghetti! (Smiley Face)
Mild Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Malt Vinegar**

*Clearly there was a little too much TV watching this summer.
**Items added by me before I noticed #5, which, somehow, made it even funnier.

And, In Other News from My Refrigerator Door…

One of Demi the Elder’s drawings from art class made the 2007 School District calendar!

(Hers is the third from the left.)

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Remember this?

Well, the Twins returned to Fenway Park last night. Circumstances were a tiny bit different—as in, a game out of first place, five games up in the wild card race, and simultaneous possible MVP, batting title and Cy Young awards—this time around. My Ho had just secured our post season tickets that very morning, and I had begun to allow myself to believe that maybe, MAYBE, we might actually get to use them.

But even so, when Torii Hunter took the field in Boston last night, I had a funny feeling of dread.

The rain poured down, and I thought, that grass looks awfully slippery… I hope Torii is being careful…

And then, in the seventh inning, this happened:

And I very nearly lost my sh*t. Again.

But this time there was no cart--Torii managed to walk, er, limp, off the field unassisted. And then the Twins won, and Detroit lost, which means that now my darling beloveds are half a game out of first in the AL Central (while still 4.5 games up in the wild card race), and when that happens, it's very hard to succumb completely to post-traumatic stress syndrome.

Although, for some reason, every time I think of possibly facing the Yankees in the playoffs, my hands start to shake and I have trouble breathing. I wonder what that could be about...

Anyway, even you non-baseball-fans will get a kick out of the Twins rookie hazing recap that young relief pitcher Pat Neshek (who, at my house, is known fondly as “Spazzy McDancypants") wrote up on his blog. I especially love the bit about the security at Jacobs Field not wanting to let them into the stadium until they saw Johan Santana. Check it out here:
You have to scroll down a bit, but trust me, you’ll know which post I'm talking about.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Friend in Mom's Clothing

-----Original Message-----
From: CombatGirl
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:23 AM
To: EverydaySuperGoddess
Subject: Thought for the Day

No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. - Alice Walker (1944 - )

-----Original Message-----
From: EverydaySuperGoddess
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:26 AM
To: CombatGirl
Subject: RE: Thought for the Day

Mmmmmm... not even if that person is your mother? And she has a headache? And you have been talking non-stop for the past 45 minutes?

-----Original Message-----
From: CombatGirl
Sent: Thursday, September 14, 2006 9:33 AM
To: EverydaySuperGoddess
Subject: RE: RE: Thought for the Day

It's more of a figurative silence... But no, when Johnny Rotten has "just one more thing" to tell me and it's 10:15 at night, demanding silence is the friendliest thing I can do for/to her.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Photo by my fabulous cousin Catherine and her spiffy new Canon EOS 30D.

Monday, September 11, 2006


This morning over breakfast, DemiGoddess the Younger announced that I must take her to Target tonight, to purchase some special pencils that she is required to bring to 8th grade art class tomorrow.

But tonight I have a class of my own that I have to attend, and my mind had already been whirring with plans for coming home over my lunch hour to put something in the crock pot for the Demis to have for dinner. An hour out of bed, I was already feeling pinched for time.

I told her there would be no Target trip tonight, and I reminded her that I had told her last night about my class. She said I knew she needed the pencils. I said that if I had known she needed them by tomorrow, I would have bought them over the weekend. She pouted. I got defensive. Things deteriorated from there.

As she left for the bus, I told her I’d go to an art supply store over my lunch hour today to buy her pencils. But my tone made it clear that I resented having to rearrange my day on her behalf. And the kiss goodbye that I gave her as she went out the door was an insincere peck on the cheek.

Later, in the car on the way to work, NPR reminded me what day today is.

I wish I had given her a real hug.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Biggles! Put her in the Comfy Chair!

A new Pilates studio just opened up the street from my house. It’s right next door to the bakery, and don’t think for a moment that I don’t appreciate the irony of that. The DemiGoddesses suggested that we go up there, buy some doughnuts, and then stand outside the Pilates studio and eat them while we watch people work out through the window. Clearly, I have raised them well.

When my neighbor, Leah, invited me to attend a Pilates class at the new studio with her, I thought, I find Pilates utterly humiliating at home in my living room, when I’m completely alone. With an audience? Oh, ho, ho… I think NOT.

But she reassured me that it’s no problem! They have equipment there that makes the exercises seem so easy! It’s amazing! It doesn’t seem like a workout at ALL! And then she promised to e-mail me the link to the studio’s website, so I could see for myself.

So this morning, I checked out the link, where I found this:

And this:

And this:


And as you can see, she’s totally right. It doesn’t seem like a workout because it's not a workout... It's the Spanish freaking Inquisition.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Johan Santana Bear

Already on his way to Africa, he is almost as cuddly as the real thing.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Three Gray Hairs

New ones. Right there on my right temple this morning. The tweezer is never far from my bathroom mirror these days.

I’ve promised the woman who cuts my hair that soon, very soon, I will visit her and ask her to do The Coloring. I have never done The Coloring before, ever. There are precious few aspects of my physical appearance that I genuinely kind of like, but the color of my hair is near the top of the list. I’d like it to stay the way it is.

My neighbor Leah has a lot of friends who live in lakeside homes in the more affluent Minneapolis suburbs, friends who sail competitively on the weekends, wear designer fashions, and have dazzlingly white teeth and perfect manicures. They’re all married and have small children, and are not (SO not) my usual crowd.

So last weekend at Leah's birthday party, I spent most of the night outside on the deck with the smokers and Tammy, who is also from our neighborhood. Tammy sails on the weekends, too, and she drives a BMW, but she, like me, is a single mom with older children, and after hearing about her Home Depot adventures, I knew she was one person at that party I could hang with.

Well into the evening, out on the deck, the topic of conversation turned to botox. One party guest confessed to getting regular injections around her eyes (“I get them every three months. They only cost about $300 each!). Another said she gets them in her chest (!). My favorite, though, was the woman who said she was going to have collagen put in her heels because her feet are ugly. Tammy and I exchanged a look before she said out loud what I had been thinking. “You pay someone $300 every three months to inject poison into your face? I really don’t get that.”

At first, didn’t get it, either. But then I remembered an evening a couple of weeks before, when Tammy had mentioned some kind of magic lotion that she’d picked up on a recent trip to New York. “It’s like botox in a lotion!” She had exclaimed, applying it to the skin around the corners of her eyes. “See? My face doesn’t even MOVE!” And then I remembered my own tweezers. I’m pretty sure that botox isn’t for me, not even in lotion form, but really, isn’t paying a colorist to hide my gray more or less the same thing? Aren’t we all, in our own way, dreading something, whether it’s the wrinkles or the ugly feet or the gray hairs? In the end, the unfortunate truth is that I’m no less superficial than any of those botox babes.

I haven’t decided yet how many gray hairs I will tolerate before I make the appointment for The Coloring. I guess it will be when I can no longer keep them at bay with the tweezers. Until this morning there were only four gray strands I was keeping a regular eye on. Every time one of them grew long enough to be visible, I’d yank it out again. But today there were three more, all at once. They, like the others, have been temporarily banished. And I know exactly where these new three came from:

#1—Parent orientation night. And probably the post-orientation heavy drinking.

#2—Two days’ worth of family drama involving my sisters, my sister-cousins, a couple of second cousins (one of whom is a convicted felon, and the other of whom is an overbearing ass) and the cabin that we all jointly own.

#3—Yesterday’s visit from the contractor and the insurance adjustor, who decided that the outside wall of my sunroom, the one with the water damage, will need to be completely knocked out and rebuilt. Look! Carpenter ants! Oh, and, by the way? Insurance isn’t going to pay for most of this. Sorry!

So at work this morning, fully tweezed but still teetering on the brink of completely losing my sh*t, I couldn’t help but be impressed by my own super-human powers of self control when the Marketing Deity plopped his generously-kissed seat down into the chair in my cubicle and tried to entice me into a wager on this weekend’s Twins/Yankees series.

I said to him, “Did you come here just to torment me? Because the Yankees are already in first place, Silva is pitching tonight, and I am in NO MOOD.”

He took me at my word.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Huh. Maybe I Should Have That Checked.

The rocket ship lunchbox was really only the tip of the iceberg.

Last Tuesday was parent orientation night at the high school. The principal welcomed all of us freshman parents, and congratulated us on having done such a great job of raising the class of 2010. As soon as he said that, I nearly started to bawl, right there in the auditorium.

The entire time the chemical guidance counselor was speaking, about the occasional school-wide sweeps with drug sniffing dogs, and about how we, as parents, must model responsible behavior, all I could think about was how much I wanted to get home and consume uncharacteristically large amounts of vodka.

When it was over, I went to the grocery store (for limes and club soda to mix with my vodka) and I saw a man walking in the parking lot, holding the hand of a little girl. And I nearly started weeping again.

In the checkout line I ran into DemiGoddess the Elder’s Girl Scout troop leader, who had also just come from the parent orientation. She, unlike me, seemed to have been completely unscathed by the experience, and was surprised that I had found the whole thing so distressing. She reassured me that Ms. Elder is a terrific kid, and I have nothing to worry about with her. Which was comforting, but really, I already knew that.

Clearly, something is going on here that is deeper than your run-of-the mill parental angst, and it has very little to do with Demi the Elder herself. I’m not sure what my issue is exactly, but I do know it’s mine. And yeah, I’m taking it to someone who can help me name it.

Friday, August 11, 2006

We're All Still In High School On The Inside

Shopping for school supplies for the DemiGoddesses has evolved beyond markers and crayons, school glue, tape, and safety scissors. The scientific calculators I bought them for school last year still work fine, so during our shopping trip to Target last night, all we put into our cart was a pile of composition books, some loose leaf paper, a supply of pens and binders.

DemiGoddess the Younger’s binder is one of those elaborate canvas-covered, multi-zippered and pocketed organizer systems, complete with accordion-style colored plastic dividers and a clip-on shoulder strap for portability. (Yeah. It’s THAT big). DemiGoddess the Elder, on the other hand, opted for your standard 2-inch, heavy-duty, vinyl three-ring binder. It opens. It closes. It's white. Her binder is utilitarian and, most imporantly, customizable. She'll embellish it herself later with Sharpie markers.

I’ve been surprised to find myself far more daunted by the idea of Demi the Elder entering high school than I ever was by kindergarten or even junior high. And my worries go far beyond the obvious perils of her upcoming entry into driver's ed class. High school is when life starts to get real. Her high school experience, for better or worse, can have major fallout well into her future. For the next four years, doing or not doing her homework will directly impact her grades, which will impact her eligibility for scholarship money and her college options, which will, in turn, impact the career path she’ll be on for the REST OF HER LIFE. We're about to enter the parenting home stretch, the time for making any last-minute corrections is running out, and the overwhelming prospect of doing it wrong—of ME allowing HER to do it wrong—has me practically paralyzed with anxiety.

And, obviously, I would very much like the social aspects of her high school experience to be an improvement over my own (not that that would be difficult). Like any parent, I'm trying to learn how to walk that precarious line between allowing her live her own life, and doing everything in my power to prevent her from making mistakes that she might look back on, twenty years from now, and regret.

I do realize that all of these issues are more about me than they are about her. And I’ve tried to keep them mostly to myself. So far, I think I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping a lid on my insanity. But last night at Target, the lunch box aisle completely blew my cover.

DemiGoddess the Younger had already selected a sassy pink two-handled tote style insulated lunch bag, complete with it's own mini freezer pack. But when it came to Demi the Elder, I wondered out loud, “What do high school kids carry their lunches in? One of these insulated things? Brown bags? Do the cool kids just take hot lunch?”

Demi the Younger looked at me skeptically. “The ‘cool’ kids?”

“I don’t want hot lunch,” Demi the Elder said. “The cafeteria food is gross.” Then she took a colorful rocket ship-shaped lunch box off the shelf. “This one is cool,” she laughed. And it was. But the ninth-grader that I apparently still am, somewhere, deep down, was having none of it.

“You’d bring your lunch to high school in a rocket ship lunch box? Won't the older kids make fun of you?"

"They do that at the high school?" asked Demi the Younger.

"Sure they do," I said. "'Hey there little freshman, what did your mom pack in your rocket ship lunch box for you, little freshman?'”

Demi the Younger’s look changed from skepticism to sympathy. “You were really traumatized in high school, weren’t you?”

It’s going to be a long four years.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Waiting to Exhale

I’ve been anxious lately. I’ve turned to every one of my worst nervous habits—nibbling on cookies, shopping for things I don’t really need, spending way too much time online—to no avail.

My fate has been in the hands of the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. And that? Is not a happy place to be.

But today, finally, I can almost breathe again…

P.S. Today my anxious nibbling will be on a Blizzard® treat, because that way I'll be helping out my local children's hospital at the same time. Would you like one too? More info is here. Find the location of your nearest participating DQ® location here.

Mmmmmm... Blizzards...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

These Are The People In My Neighborhood

Last night I got a call from Leah, the neighbor next door, inviting me over to have a glass of wine with her and a couple of her women friends from the neighborhood.

Leah is the former neighbor I wrote about last summer. When she and her husband moved a few years ago, they kept the house next door to mine and rented it out until last spring, when they finally kicked out the Boy Toys (much to my relief) and put the house on the market.

For months, Leah has spent time at the house, getting it cleaned up and re-painted and ready to sell. Potential buyers have come and gone, but the house has remained empty. I'm sure our torn-up street didn't help matters.

Then last Thursday, she left me a voicemail saying, “Hey, guess what, I’m your neighbor next door again. Come on over when you’re home.” My former neighbor and her kids had moved back into their freshly-painted former house, minus one alcoholic husband.

She's remarkably composed about it all, hopeful that they might reconcile, but also very clear that she can no longer live the way she has been. Her family and friends have been around a lot, offering support and whatever household items she forgot to bring with her.

One thing I had forgotten about Leah is that she is such a friendly, outgoing person, she has no problem stopping passersby in front of her house, introducing herself, asking where they live, and taking a moment to get to know them. I watched her do it on her first day back. My own operating style in the neighborhood has always been to keep to myself, nod and say hello when people pass by on the sidewalk, and then pretty much leave it at that. It turns out that she has several neighborhood friends from her three-year stint next door, while I, in my nine years on the block, have gotten to know the people who live on either side of my house, and that's about it.

Last night when she called, I had just returned from having dinner with My Ho and Batgirl and Jeb (Mr. Batgirl). It was the second goodbye dinner of the summer for me--the first was just before Dr. Dave moved to Maryland, and next week Batgirl and Jeb are moving to Massachusetts--and with that on top of moping about missing BlogHer, my plan was to spend a quiet evening nursing my abandonment issues in front of "Sex and the City" reruns. But some wine and socializing with people who live close by suddenly seemed like an excellent alternative, especially since the Demis are up north with The Ex's parents this week, and I had a bottle of Two Buck Chuck already chilled in the refrigerator.

At one point during the evening, Leah proudly showed the four of us who were there the array of tools, picture hooks and nails she had picked up in the Dollar Spot at Target earlier in the day (“My very own screwdrivers!”). This prompted her friend Tammy, who lives around the corner from us and is also a single mom, to observe that Home Depot can be a very sexy place, if one knows how to work it.

“I just walk up to one of the employees and tell him I need a good screw," she said. "He’ll go on and on about the long screws, the short screws, the hardwood screws, even the self drilling screws. The electrical department can be really fun, too.”

Certainly, the circumstances of Leah's return to the house next door are unfortunate, and there’s no knowing how long her stay will last. But I have to admit, it's fun hanging out with the neighbors.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Did Someone Say Ennant-pay Ace-ray?

This afternoon I stumbled from day three of yet another agonizing three-day meeting to find that while I had been locked away in the depths of a hotel meeting room, lulled to a stupor by the soothing glow of PowerPoint, the outside world had moved on without me.

The street in front of my house is no longer a muddy trough, it has honest to goodness black top on it now.

Everyone in the blogosphere appears to have left for BlogHer except for me, because I am poor, and the boy bloggers, because of that whole lacking-a-uterus thing.

DemiGoddess the Elder has acquired her very own case number with the city police, although not because she did anything naughty. Some bad, bad boys stole her bike from the park, and she, all by herself, filed a police report. And then she found her bike in some nearby bushes a short time later.

And then there’s the baseball.

Like Ozzie Guillen, I am speechless. There are simply no words. And even if there were, I wouldn’t write them or say them out loud because I am a deeply superstitious Goddess and have no doubt that if I did speak or write the words I would jinx the whole thing. And until the matter of this pesky little half game gets resolved, you'll get nothing out of me on the subject.

But oh.

Oh my goodness…

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Beyond Codependency

To: Little Nicky Punto, Tiny Superhero
From: EverydaySuperGoddess
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 11:33 p.m.

Dear Nick:

Tonight our friends at Fox Sports had a microphone on you during the game. How thrilling it was to hear firsthand what really goes on on the field every night. I so enjoyed your pre-game conversation with Gardy, when you assured him that you were, in fact, well enough to play. Your willingness to push on through your pain for the sake of the team was, well, inspiring.

And then, when you went to the mound and made it look like you and Francisco were having a conference, all so that he could have a little bit of a breather after running to make that out at first base... even after he told you he was okay, you insisted that he take a couple of extra seconds, just to be sure. It was so good of you to take care of our sizzling young starter that way.

And when Luis Castillo made that fantastic diving catch, you were right there with the positive reinforcement. You told him, “Suave para ti,” which means “smooth for you” (according to DemiGoddess the elder, who speaks fluent Spanish). Translating your encouragement into Luis' native tongue was an especially nice touch, even if it doesn't really make sense.

Later, you made certain that Mike Redmond fetched the ball after Josh Rabe got his very first major league hit, which was so thoughtful of you, because I’m sure Josh will want that later.

You were there for everyone tonight, making sacrifices and putting the needs of others before your own. It was most endearing. But, the thing is, I’m a tiny bit concerned about you.

So I’m sending along my Melody Beattie book collection for you to read. I think you’ll find “Codependent No More,” particularly useful. And the daily readings in “The Language of Letting Go” will make excellent pre-game meditations. Because you can't take care of anyone else without first taking care of yourself.

Remember Nick, you didn’t cause it, you can’t cure it, and you can’t control it. Not even with a head-first slide into third.



P.S. How do you tell all those Jasons apart? They all look the same to me!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

This is What My Heart Looks Like

(Photographic evidence that my family is capable of producing a male child.)

(And THAT, my friends, is the view from the outhouse...)

Photo credit goes to my sister Meghan, who took all of these...

Monday, July 17, 2006

It’s Too Hot For Baking, We’re Eating ‘Em Straight Out The Box

I gave up any gardening ambitions a long time ago, partly because I have no green thumb, and partly because I’d much rather visit the Farmers’ Market in downtown Minneapolis for fresh produce. You have to get up early, and parking is a nightmare, but it’s one of my very favorite places to be on a sunny Saturday morning.

The market is made up of six or seven covered walkways, each one the length of a city block and lined on both sides with vendors’ tables. A few stands sell things that were obviously shipped in (last I heard, pineapples and mangoes don’t grow in Minnesota), but most of the tables are covered with cardboard boats that overflow with locally grown, seasonal produce. This time of year, the variety is amazing—summer squash, potatoes, fresh herbs, cucumbers, snow and sugar snap peas, onions, sweet corn, watermelon... even strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Plastic buckets of water are crammed full of bunches of every kind of flower, and a few potted garden plants are still for sale, many marked down, since planting season has been over for a while now. You can buy real maple syrup, honey, home-made salsas and jams, olives, cheese, fresh bread, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef and organic eggs. At the south end of the market, artists sell hand-crafted jewelry, wooden birdhouses, and children’s dresses made from flour sacks. For the person who has everything, you can buy a tie-dyed T-shirt, a knockoff Kate Spade handbag, or alpaca-wool mittens imported from South America. Some booths are there every weekend, others come and go.

The aromas of roasted corn, fresh herbs, smoked sausage and coffee mingle deliciously. Here and there, musicians play for dollar bills thrown into their instrument cases. Vendors and shoppers of every ethnicity speak an array of languages. There’s no haggling, and please don’t squeeze the tomatoes.

Saturday morning, the DemiGoddesses and I arrived at the market at about 8:00 a.m., which is a little later than I usually prefer. By 9:00 on weekends, the place is so crammed with bodies that it’s hard to move. My usual strategy is to start at the south end, where the artists are, and then walk through the produce stands, looking everything over once before going back to buy what I need at the stalls where the merchandise and prices seem the best. But since the crowd was growing, and also because it was already close to 80 degrees (on its way to hitting 100 later that day), in the interest of speed I picked things up here and there as we went along the first time through.

I tried to spread my purchases out among several different sellers. $1 for lettuce here, $2 for green beans there, $2 for zucchini from a man who spoke English to me, but asked for change for my $5 bill from an older woman behind the table (his mother?) in Hmong. The tote bag over my shoulder grew heavier with each purchase.

An extra-squeaky taste sample enticed me into buying a bag of cheese curds (fresh from Wisconsin). We resisted the giant cinnamon rolls, but eventually succumbed to cherry turnovers, and the three of us dribbled a trail of pastry crumbs as we walked along. We also bought fresh-squeezed limeade, which tasted especially good in the heat. By the time we had seen everything, my tote bag was full and all three of us were sweating. But before heading for the car, I had to go back for one more thing.

It was a splurge, and I may live to regret it, but given my passion for fresh cherries, a 20 lb. box doesn’t seem completely outrageous. And at $1 a pound, even if the Demis and I only eat half of them, they’ll still cost half what they do at the grocery store.

Anybody got cherry pitter I can borrow?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The End of an Era

In August of 2002, on the night we first met, Dr. Dave and I went to a Twins game. We arrived at the Metrodome late, so we missed most of one of Johan Santana’s few starts of the season, but we did see Torii Hunter’s sixth-inning home run, which also scored Corie Koskie to put the Twins ahead of the Mariners 2-1. David Ortiz and Everyday Eddie Guardado made appearances, I was as yet undecided as to which player I harbored fonder feelings for—AJ Pierzynski or Doug Mientkiewicz (it would later prove to be enthusiastically Doug)—and their win that night brought the Twins' magic number to clinch the American League Central division down to 13. It was an exciting time to be a Twins fan.

That turned out to be the first of many regular and post-season games that Dr. Dave and I attended together. He was very much a stats-head while I, on the other hand, was all about the sass, so we made a yin-and-yang sort of baseball-watching team. He understood my appreciation for the aesthetic aspects of the game, at one point offering the brilliant suggestion that I design my own line of baseball cards featuring photographs of the players from the back. (He’s for sure getting a cut of the first million I make on those.)

Having grown up in Chicago as a Cubs fan, Dr. Dave’s playoff excitement in 2002 was understandable and contagious. He ordered the tickets for us both. I gave him a Cubs Fan Barbie for Christmas.

In 2003, when Hideki Matsui tried to kill me by hitting his first post-season home run directly at my face, Dr. Dave ducked right along with me.

In 2004, during a 14-strikeout Santana start (on the day I first met Batgirl in PERSON), Dr. Dave helped hold the “Santana/Nathan ‘04” campaign sign that got us on TV.

By then, he had become known in Batgirl’s comments section as“TwinsProf.”

When the Twins three-peated that same year, Dr. Dave and I were at the Dome, Homer Hankies in hand. And when, after they incomprehensibly surrendered a four-run lead to be eliminated by the Yankees (AGAIN) in game four of the ALDS… as I found myself standing on Washington Avenue trying very, very hard not to be one of those people who cries actual tears over something so stupid as BASEBALL… Dr. Dave was there, graciously pretending not to notice.

Even after My Ho had become my primary baseball buddy, Dr. Dave and I continued to attend occasional games together. Last May, on cap night, we were at the Dome once again, and although I knew he had accepted a new job in Maryland, it didn’t register at the time that an era was coming to an end. Not until a few weeks ago, when we met for dinner and he presented me with his bobblehead collection as a parting gift, did I realize it will likely be a long time before he and I go to another Twins game.

We’ll keep in touch. He e-mailed me just the other day to say that he arrived safely and is slowly getting his bearings. Always a true friend, I wrote back and said that if he decides he hates Maryland and comes back to Minneapolis, he’s totally not getting his Doug Mientkiewicz bobblehead back.

Thanks, Dr. Dave. It was an exciting run. And if the Twins ever see post-season play again, rest assured, I'll have a ticket for you.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I’d Invite You Over, But You’d Have to Park in Duluth

The street in front of my house has been torn up for a couple of weeks now. What used to be blacktop is now a wide muddy trough full of bulldozers and blinky hazard markers and large men in orange vests. The trough is a good three feet below where the street used to be, and the curbs and driveway aprons are completely gone, so a steep gravel ramp temporarily allows me to get in and out of my driveway. Assuming that an earth mover hasn’t parked in front of my house, that is.

The work is scheduled to continue through the summer, and the thought of that is exhausting, because I never know from one day to the next what I’ll find when I arrive at my street. Some days one end is open, some days that same end has a huge hole full of workers in the middle of it, and I have to circle the block and try the other end. Sometimes that end turns out to have a giant pile of gravel blocking the way, and I have to circle back around and try the other end again. A more evolved individual might find this recurring challenge exciting, but I am not a person who likes having my routine f*cked with. At the end of the day, I just want to get my sorry self home, I don’t want to have to strategize new ways to get into my own blessed driveway on a daily basis.

To make matters worse, the parking lot of the building where I work is also being re-surfaced. Half of the lot looks eerily like the street in front of my house, which means that the number of available parking spaces has been cut in half. Yeah. You do the math. I’ve been arriving early enough in the mornings to find a spot without too much trouble, but on the one day when I made the mistake of leaving for lunch, the only available parking space when I returned was next to a dumpster. In Winnipeg.

Last Friday, after dodging a steamroller and weaving my way through the orange cones, I arrived home from work to find a bright pink notice attached to my front door informing me that, due to some utility work, the water would be turned off for most of the day on Monday. The notice included instructions for filling the bathtub with water, which could then be used to keep the toilet tank flushing until the water was turned back on.

The DemiGoddesses are astonishingly capable young women, but I really didn’t want them to have to deal with that all day. Knowing that one of The Ex’s sisters was in town with her new baby and would be staying at The Ex’s parents’ house, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, and called The Ex’s mother to see if the Demis could spend Sunday night and Monday at her house as well. That way they could visit with their aunt and the baby, and be away from our house until the water was back on.

It seemed like a reasonable plan, except that making the arrangements turned out to involve much more hemming and hawing, taking of votes and general drama than I had anticipated, for reasons that rest entirely on shoulders of The Ex and the Universally Hated Step Psycho. Though the details are highly entertaining and I would very much love to share them, it seems that The Ex has been reading this blog for some time now and has taken issue with a few of the things I have written here. In spite of that, relations of late have been cordial (sort of), and for the sake of the children and my own serenity, I am trying to play nice. So I’m not going to post the specifics of what transpired. If you want the dirt, you’ll have to e-mail me.

In the end, the Demis did spend the night at their grandparents’ house. They had some quality time with their aunt and the baby, and enjoyed a lovely day with their grandmother on Monday, including going out for lunch. So I was feeling pretty good about having handled that mini-crisis until I arrived home from work on Monday to find another notice on my door, informing me that the water was going to be turned off again on Tuesday.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

A Porch Full O' Patriots

Highlights of the Smackdown included this creation, by Tiffany for Betsy:

Amazing what one can find on Cafe Press when one performs a search using the words "USA" + "Jesus." All Tiff had to add was the lamp fringe around the hem, and a little marabou boa for flair. Tim Gunn would be so proud.

In the "Best Use of Iron-On Transfers" category, we have this piece by Kerry, created for Meghan:

That is a picture of Neil Diamond, in all his sequined, long-haired and sweaty mid-70s glory. The lyrics to his anthem to immigration, "America," are written in glitter ("Freedom's Light Burning Warm..."). Note the silk flower detail around the hem. This ensemble came complete with glow-in-the-dark earrings, a visor, and stars-and-stripes flip flops, winning Kerry an additional nod for "best accessorized."

From the back:

The bottom ribbon is obscuring the signature lyric, "TODAY!"

And then there is my own magnum opus, as modeled by Kerry:

It features two strategically placed, fully functional spangly pinwheels (how long can she keep them spinning?), accented with metallic red, white and blue streamers. Each sleeve sports its own authentic American flag like a proud wing, poised to take flight on the slightest Fourth of July breeze.

And on the back:
Kerry Back 2
...a cape of flag fringe completes the look.

We really did wear them to the Marenisco fireworks. It was about 55 degrees out that night, so we all ended up wearing jackets over our T-shirts which, while disappointing, was probably for the best.

Had they been able to see our patriot wear in its full glory, the rest of the town would have felt really self-conscious about their own conspicuous lack of pinwheels, lamp fringe and Neil Diamond lyrics. And we certainly wouldn't have wanted to make other people feel bad about themselves on the anniversary of our great nation's birth. That would have been downright un-American.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Happy Birthday America

Let the Bedazzler Smackdown commence!

(Have a safe and joyous Fourth of July, everybody.)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Totally Not Dead and Feeling Much Better Now

The masses are beginning to move in preparation for our annual Fourth of July cabin trip (a.k.a. Beastie’s Bedazzler Smackdown).

Just last night I put the finishing touches on the patriotic T-shirt for my sister-cousin Kerry, and I must admit, it is a masterpiece. I did not end up having to use power tools as I anticipated. No Bedazzlers were employed, either, because the video of Tana from The Apprentice drove me screaming away from the Official Bedazzler website before I could order one. Nevertheless, through ingenuity and the creative application of industrial-strength Velcro®, I have constructed a T-shirt that I am convinced Kerry will would rather die a slow, painful death than wear in public on the Fourth of July. And that is exactly how I know it is perfect.

It is tacky. It is sparkly. It has attachments and moving parts. I can’t say any more than that at this point, but you have my most solemn promise, there WILL be photos.

This year, for the first time, the sisters and sister-cousins have planned a menu, delegated shopping duties and assigned cleanup detail, in an attempt to keep everything as fair and stress-free as possible. This is no small feat, considering that there will be about 15 people to feed and clean up after. Sister-cousin Tiffany, who, like me, is much more an enjoyer of food than a cooker of it, just e-mailed me the following from Seattle:

From: Tiffany
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 10:07 AM
To: EverydaySuperGoddess
Subject: Cabin Menu

I have never before made a grocery list that starts out "32 eggs."

Tiffany will arrive in Minneapolis tonight, and I’ve been so preoccupied by being sick and trying to get everything wrapped up at work and organized at home that I completely forgot until just now that she will come bearing a very special box of very special somethings, just for ME.

Because a few weeks ago, when she wrote and asked if there was anything I’d like from Pike Place Market (she is kind and good and generous and thoughtful like that), I wrote back and said, “Never mind the Pike Place Market. I want CUPCAKES.”

Cupcake Royale is a Seattle institution that I did not have a chance to visit in person when My Ho and I were in Seattle last summer, but I did sample several of their little nuggets of buttercream heaven. Since then, it seems like I’ve been reading about Cupcake Royale all over the place, and for months, I’ve been pining for cupcakes. We may have finally rated a Trader Joe’s, but to date there is no such thing as a gourmet cupcake bakery in Minneapolis. It’s tragic, really.

Suddenly, I’ve forgotten about being sick, and about all the packing I have to do. None of that matters any more, because tonight, I will have a Ballerina and a Dance Party with Holly Hobby, I’ll have the Classic and the Kate and the Lavender, and I’ll have the Ultra Violet and the Barbie and both flavors of the Mo Fro. Maybe I will share. Maybe I won’t.

Cupcakes make EVERYTHING better.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Note to Self:

Next summer? At the Pride festival?

Stay the HELL away from the chicken gyro stand, you idiot.

I so do not have time to be sick, but apparently my lower intestine did not get the memo.

Oh, that's okay. Don't worry about me. I'll just be right over here, wishing for death.

Monday, June 26, 2006

It's just... that I've been so very busy...

So, okay, it’s been a tiny bit more than "a few days," and I apologize for that. A number of blog-worthy things have been going on, which I’ll get to later (really). But today I am sunburned and little bit weary after my second Pride festival in the Mother Bear Project booth.

The DemiGoddesses were with their dad over the weekend, so I was on my own this time, much to Mother Bear Amy's disappointment. We managed without them, but the event was simply not the same without the mad bear-sponsoring skillz the Demis have demonstrated on many an occasion.

Fellow Batling Infield (of Third Base Line), along with her mom, stopped by our booth for a lovely visit on Saturday.

And I owe a special shout of thanks to my most excellent knitting/blogging/writing friend Amy (of Knit Think), who stepped up and spent much of yesterday workin’ it alongside me and the bears.

You, my friend? Are AWESOME.

I was also priveleged to meet Amy’s delightful knitting/blogging friend Chris (of Stumbling Over Chaos), who graced us with her presence, and also with her camera. I have shamelessly stolen Chris's pictures from her site so you can see for yourselves the photographic evidence that these days I have been neglecting you, my small but inexplicably loyal posse of peeps, have not been entirely wasted:

Friday, June 09, 2006

Vacation All I Ever Wanted

A long, painful work week has finally come to an end, and Justin Morneau was good enough to give the Goddesses a two-run walk-off homer to send us off to the north woods with happy hearts. As I listen to the next few games on My Ho's satellite radio (no elecricity at the lake), I will recall fondly the image of my darlings en masse, jumping up and down on home plate in the bottom of the 12th inning.

How I do enjoy the celebratory man love.

(Disappointing, though, that it denied us The Return of The Lohse. Er, not.)

The Goddess is on vacation. I'll be back in a few days.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


It appears that I’ve been tagged by Mr. BergBlog (who is not Mr. Bonser , although that would have been okay, too…). And because I’m still reeling from the shocking jump in hits I received from Batgirl’s site yesterday, and, also, in honor of Mr. Bonser (who is not Mr. Bergblog) starting against the Mariners this evening, I’m going to go ahead and bore you all with a list of five things about EverydaySuperGoddess:

5 Items in My Fridge
A Brita Water Filter Pitcher
Two Bottles of Harp Lager (The remains of the six-pack I bought for St. Patrick’s day. The Goddess is not much of a drinker.)
Chile Morita Fire Roasted Salsa
Leftover Macaroni and Cheese (Made last night by DemiGoddess the Younger)
Four Pounds of Butter (Costco rules!)

5 Items in My Closet
A Radke Jersey (Very Dusty and Possibly Still Cursed)
A Santana Jersey (Defnintely not touching the Radke Jersey)
A “Ron Gardenhire is my Boyfriend” Shirt
Many, Many Dairy Queen Cap Night Twins Caps
Two Cartons of Chocolate-Covered Marshmallow Eggs (What’s left of my carefully rationed Easter stash)

5 Items in My Car
Walking Shoes
A Whole Foods Re-Usable Grocery Bag
Two 40 lb. Bags of Water Softener Salt (That I haven’t had the will to haul down to the basement yet)
A Blue Mynci Stuffed Neopet (From a Long-Ago McDonald's Happy Meal)
My Earbud Radio (For use while running, walking, or when the DemiGoddessess have choir concerts while the game is on.)

5 Items in My Purse
Bigelow Mentha Lip Tint No 1136
12-Hour Sudafed Tablets
Lots of Receipts from Trader Joe’s

There. Now you know ALL my secrets.

And, because no one likes to suffer alone, I’m tagging Amy, Meghan, Melissa, Angelica and Joe.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Somebody, Please, Get the Woman a Fork

Happy Birthday, Batgirl!


(a.k.a. TwinsGoddess)