Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Twins Fest 2006

Misery began descending even before I reached the end of the line. I had waited too long, and now it was already so long that it would surely be cut off before I could make it to the front. Before I reached the sole reason I had gone to the Metrodome on Sunday. Before I got to have my photo taken with Torii Hunter.

The photo wasn’t really even the point. This was my opportunity to get up close enough to the Twins’ Gold Glove-winning center fielder to say what I had to say to him. I had the words all worked out in my head. There was something I wanted Torii to know.

But so many people had lined up before me, by the time I reached the last of them, I was convinced I was too late. The disappointment was impossible to hide. My Ho, who had planned to take a walk around the other exhibits while I waited, stayed beside me and tried to be consoling. It didn’t help.

The line continued growing behind us, but otherwise didn’t move. We waited. I pouted.

A Twins Fest worker in a red polo shirt stopped just ahead of us and announced that anyone beyond that point would most likely not make it to the front of the line in time for a photo. Torii was only available for 30 minutes, and they’d try to move everyone through as quickly as possible, but it might be a long wait for nothing.

I made up my mind not to waste my time. There were lots of other things to do, and no point in standing around for half an hour to end up empty handed. Torii would be back for Twins Fest again next January. I could get my photo with him next year.

But I couldn’t leave.

I apologized to My Ho for being such a dork. The line inched forward. Twenty minutes left.

He held my spot while I stepped a few feet away, just long enough to enter a drawing for free spring training tickets, and then stepped back into place. Fifteen minutes.

The Demigoddesses, who had gone off to listen to a few National Anthem auditions, found us and reported that they were WAY worse than American Idol. Ten minutes.

The line ran alongside the cordoned-off photo area before looping back around into a zig-zagging partitioned queue. We crept forward until he was right there, five feet to my left, wearing a black shirt in place of his number 48 jersey. Torii mugged for the camera with Twins fan after Twins fan, shaking hands, accepting hugs, making faces, sticking out his tongue, grinning. His smile was even more dazzling than the diamond stud that glittered from his earlobe. I took a picture. Seven minutes left.

I knew if I could just get inside that partitioned queue, I’d be golden. With five minutes to go, we stood poised at the entrance. And then we were in. My Ho waited at the exit while the Demis and I zig-zagged through the last of the line until, with mere moments to spare, it was finally our turn. My moment had arrived.

“Torii,” I said, “when they drove you out of Fenway Park on the back of that cart last summer, the look on your face broke my heart. I sat on my couch and
cried. I hope you’re feeling much better.”

“Aw, man," he said, "I was cryin’ too. I really was.”

We smiled for the photo. Demigoddess the Elder gave him a hug. Demi the Younger did the same. My Ho made a joke from the exit and Torii laughed. And then it was over.

Security guards escorted him through the swarms of people. He paused for one more quick photo with a bunch of little kids, and was gone.

After that, the Demis, My Ho and I went to play Twingo. Which was fine with me, because I needed to sit down for a minute.

I was all wobbly.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Glimpse of My Monday

One phone call from Demigoddess the Younger, who forgot to bring her swimsuit for gym class to school this morning. When I said I wouldn't be able to take an hour out of my day to bring it to her at the junior high, she was most eloquently incensed.

Two phone calls from the contractor who started work on my house this morning. The second was to tell me that the needed repairs may be more extensive than he first anticipated, and that insurance may or may not cover all of them. He’ll let me know.

Three e-mails from my lawyer regarding ongoing wrangling with my ex, including a stipulation for me to read and comment on.

Four of the seven PowerPoint presentations for various executives that I have been assigned to make presentable by Thursday morning.

Five phone calls and two desk visits from our CEO’s tech-clueless assistant who would like for me to teach her how to use PowerPoint on this, the head of our company’s first venture into PowerPoint presentations.

One phone call from the school nurse’s office asking me to come fetch Demigoddess the Elder, who was apparently in the throes of an immobilizing stomach ache, followed by a trip to the junior high, to my house, and back to work again.

And all of that?

Was before noon.

Favorite Quote of the Day:

"I can't help you today. I'll tell you that one time nicely. The second time, there will be bludgeoning."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Life, the Universe, and “Project Jay”

Part of the reason for the piranhas is that lately my job has required that I actually work, and has not left a lot of time for my usual soul-restoring activities like blogging and shopping for handbags on eBay.

I can’t help but attribute the present state of things to the Kate Spade Georgetown Carlyle bag that I scored last week. Although I acquired it for an astonishingly good price, it wasn’t exactly in the budget, so there’s been anxiety and there’s been guilt, and karmic forces must be causing my high-end accessory remorse to draw this work craziness to me. Fortunately, the handbag is exceptionally delicious, so it and Wednesday night’s Lost/Project Runway lineup continue to make my life worth living.

The only thing is, after last night’s Lost episode, all through Project Runway I kept hearing Claire’s voice in my head screeching for her baby. Of course, in Australian, that sounds more like “Moy Buy-Bee! Somebody saaaaave Moy Buy-Beeeeee!” She may be a tiny, helpless blonde who has survived a plane crash and childbirth in the jungle and yet manages to look perpetually angelic, but enough with the high-pitched hysteria, already.

And speaking of universal justice, the ever-abrasive, model-stealing Zulema got hers in the end, didn’t she? I also found it highly gratifying to see Santino finally humbled into submission (An also-ran behind Austin Scarlett! Oh, the humanity!).

But I’m thinking that Mr. Jay McCarroll has drunk just a smidge too much of his own Kool Aid since last season’s Project Runway win. Karma may be a bee-yatch, but the new Jay-Who’s-Getting-His-Very-Own-Special seems to have become a even bigger one…

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Some Days

Some days, the details are like a hungry school of piranhas.

The names and the dates and the deadlines, the phone calls and the e-mails, the bills and the laundry and the dishes and the orthodontist’s appointments... each and every one of them rips away a little chunk of me until there’s not much left but tired, tired bones.

Not all the time. But some days.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I Am So Damn Smart

Normally, I am verrrrrrrry suspicious of extended warranties. As a rule, I am outwardly contemptuous in the faces of comission-grubbing salespeople who mention extended warranties to me.

With one notable exception.

Three years ago I purchased a washer and dryer. Extended warranty for the dryer? No thanks. If it breaks and I'm broke, I'll hang the wash to drip-dry.

Extended warranty for the washer? A vision of mountains of unwashed laundry appeared to me, as the commission-grubbing salesperson noted that, on average, washers break down much more often than dryers do.
Okay, I think. Maybe, this once, it's not such a bad idea.

Guess which appliance has never once broken down?

And guess which appliance needed its second-in-three-years $300 repair this morning?




Friday, January 20, 2006

Straight Up Mommyblogging

I've posted over at Mommybloggers today. Check it out here, and don't forget to leave lots and lots of comments!

Thursday, January 19, 2006

If The High School Counselor Speaks In A Forest…

Several years ago, when Demigoddess the Elder was about nine, I brought her to the pediatrician's office because I suspected she had a urinary tract infection. I helped her do the peeing-in-the-cup thing, and a little while later the doctor confirmed that she in fact had a UTI, based on the presence of blood cells in her urine. Just before writing out a prescription for antibiotics, the doctor asked me, "She hasn't started her period yet, has she?"

Her what now?

"Because some girls start as young as eight."

Who? Huh?

English had suddenly become a foreign language. My baby and menstruation did not compute.

I did eventually come to grips with the fact that my child would inevitably hit puberty, and even managed to do it before the puberty actually happened (although, granted, not by much). I figured I had weathered one of parenting's more traumatic transitions fairly gracefully.

Then last night I attended an orientation meeting for the parents of kids who will begin their high school careers next fall. I sat at a lunchroom table with the parents of a couple of Ms. Elder's friends, whom I have known since way back when our children were still seriously into Barney. We had registration forms, class booklets and a variety of other handouts. As I looked around the room, I remembered my own high school lunch room, and thought about how Demi the Elder is entering into some of the most exciting, most memorable years of her young life.

A school counselor presented an overview of the high school experience, and explained the registration process. She talked about graduation requirements, available elective classes, and the honors program.

At least, I think that’s what she was taking about.

I can’t say for sure, because five minutes into the presentation the words “Driver’s Ed” sent my fingers immediately into my ears.

After that, all I heard was my own voice chanting, "BLAH-DEE-BLAH-DEE-BLAH-DEE-BLAH-DEE-BLAH-DEE-BLAH-DEE-BLAAAAAAAAAAAAA…”

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I Totally Woulda Done The Same Thing

My hands-down favorite moment from last night’s Golden Globes:

Scarlett Johansson is so hot, she makes even Isaac Mizrahi incapable of preventing himself from grabbing her boob on national television.

Gay guys get to have ALL the fun.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Cookies Have Landed

Well, not the cookies just yet, but the order forms are here. “Go Day” was Saturday, and Demigoddess the Younger has already been on the phone pitching overpriced-and-really-not-even-all-that-tasty Girl Scout Cookies to every relative in our area code. And to a couple who are long-distance.

My little capitalist is practically frothing at the mouth to get outside and work the neighborhood, but, in yet another move that is sure to secure my place of honor in the Bad Parent Hall of Fame, I have actively discouraged her ambitions because, yes, I am lazy. And poor. And every time I let them sell cookies door-to-door, I end up having to cover the cost of about six boxes that don’t get delivered because the people who ordered them are never home to take delivery. Not to mention the fact that dragging cookies all over the blessed neighborhood again and again is a giant pain in my arse.

As usual, the likely root of the problem can be traced to residual resentment from my childhood. Back when I was a Girl Scout, I clomped along in my Moon Boots for blocks and blocks, taking cookie orders all by my unsupervised self. Later, I alone delivered the goods, still without any adult supervision, from the back of my little red Radio Flyer. One wonders whether my weary parents weren’t maybe hoping I’d get abducted and thereby reduce the number of mouths they were legally required to feed from four to three. Maybe even to two, if they got really lucky and Meghan, who was also a Girl Scout, could find a way to get herself picked up as well.

Then again, maybe my Mom and Dad were on to something. Maybe they understood that the secret to keeping young girls safe from abduction is to dress them in Moon Boots and give them bad haircuts before releasing them to wander the streets alone. Certainly, no kidnapper would be interested in such homely-looking urchins.

Nah. It was probably the numbers thing.

Friday, January 13, 2006

See If You Can Guess Which One Is ME

My cousin Shanna took some photos while she was home over the holidays.

This one is from Molly and Betsy's flirtini party:

And here we have the whole family enjoying Christmas dinner:

I'm thinking a certain somebody needs to get back into a workout regimen.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ungrateful AND Hearing-Impaired

ESG: I’ll need you to take this pizza out of the oven in a few minutes because "Lost" is about to start, and once it’s on I’m not moving from the couch.

Demigoddess the Younger: Are you going to give me a tip?

ESG: I gave you life. There will be no tipping.

DY: You gave me lice?

ESG: LIFE! I gave you LIFE! You managed the LICE all on your own!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

“I Think I Have A Mental Disorder!”

Those were the words of Demigoddess the Elder this morning. She was rushing around the house trying to locate a very, very important (per her troop leader) registration form for Girl Scouts that she needed me complete so she could bring it to school today. She had the form in her hand when I picked her up from play rehearsal late last evening, but by this morning had absolutely no recollection of what happened to it.

Sadly, this is not the first time this week that she has misplaced an important something.

On Saturday, she lost track of her winter coat. I don’t know how it happened, or exactly when, but she had it when we were out running errands in the afternoon, and by Sunday morning it was gone. Fortunately, the weather has been unseasonably mild, so the backup, not-exactly-winter-weight jacket she has been wearing all week will suffice in the short term.

Monday night I took her (in her backup jacket) to the library so she could finish a project for science class—-something about Jupiter, with writing and pictures of the planet. She worked hard on it, finished, and then, on the way to class yesterday, dropped it somewhere in the hallways at school. The teacher said she’d still get full credit if she re-created the project and brought a note, testifying that she had truly completed the first version on time, from me.

So this morning, I wrote her the note, and then waited for her to produce the very important form so I could complete that, too, but it was nowhere to be found. She ran from room to room, loudly lamenting her inability to keep track of anything, before finally rushing out the door late for the bus.

A few minutes after that it occurred to me to check the refrigerator, and there, as I suspected, was her forgotten lunch.

I just barely managed to get it to her at her stop before the bus arrived. And I was halfway to work before I noticed the registration form on the dashboard of my car, right where she left it last night.

Her father occasionally gets on her case about her absent-mindedness, but she is by far the hardest on herself. I usually try to offer helpful suggestions—“Just calm down and try to remember where you were the last time you had it…”—but that is really only an attempt to ease my guilt at having passed on what is apparently a genetic affliction.

I have never forgotten what I was doing in the middle of drinking chai, a-la Fluid Pudding, but I can totally understand it happening. The number of times I have walked into a room with absolutely no memory of why I was there is beyond counting. And then there was that thing with the car key.

Sorry, sweetie. I’m afraid you inherited that particular mental disorder from me. But you have lots of other, very endearing qualities, too.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Deal Breaker

ESG: I’m sorry, Ho. I’m going to have to break up with you now.

My Ho: Why?

ESG: Because of this. (Hands him a CD case.)

My Ho: Where did you find this?

ESG: Downstairs. Right on top of the CD pile.

My Ho: For the record, I got it for free with my first CD player. And it was before the lip-synching scandal.

ESG: That is no excuse. It’s still Milli Vanilli. Would you like your ring back?

(He breaks the CD in half.)


My Ho: There. It’s dead now.

ESG: Make sure you dispose of that responsibly. And if I ever find an Ashlee Simpson CD, it's seriously over.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My Eyes! My Eyes!

After over two weeks of consecutive overcast days here in the northland, everything in town had taken on a dirty-snow uniformity. The relentless grayness had slowly eaten away at my soul until I forgot there had ever been a world that didn’t look like a Morrissey song.

Then, on Saturday, Demi the Elder and I were out running errands, and for a while I couldn’t understand this weird pain in my eyes. I squinted and blinked and then finally realized that this stabbing brightness was the SUN! And blue sky! And I was like an animal that had been dragged into the light after living its entire life in the depths of a cave, because it was blinding! I was BLIND!

How am I supposed to drive the Demigoddesses to play rehearsal in all this sunshine, now that my eyes have been rendered useless?

Friday, January 06, 2006

You Have To Stand It

I went to see the Gay Cowboy Movie right before Christmas with two of my sisters and two of my sister cousins. The only guy among us was my sister Molly’s boyfriend, Shane, who is obviously very secure in his masculinity if he's willing to go see Brokeback Mountain with a gaggle of babes in broad daylight where people might actually SEE him.

I went into the theater making jokes about the fact that I could say to people, “I’m going to see the Gay Cowboy Movie,” and everyone knew exactly which film I was talking about. But when I came out again, I wasn’t laughing any more.

As we waited in the theater lobby for the last of us to finish up in the restroom, even my cousin Tiffany, who is rarely silent for more than 14 consecutive seconds, was speechless. Finally, she said simply, “That was so sad.”

And all I could do was nod agreement. “Really sad.”

Shane had disappeared, and I wondered aloud if he had gone to the car to have a quiet moment and cry a little.

All I know for sure is that if Heath Ledger can make every one of us chicks want to have a mad hot affair with a gay cowboy, he must certainly win the best actor Oscar.

Because... damn.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Head Lice 2: Electric Boogaloo

The pestilence has returned.

Well, okay, it’s possible that it never completely went away in the first place. But because a) we had a couple of clean comb-throughs after the first round, and several good weeks without any head itchiness whatsoever, and; b) Demigoddess the Younger claims that the Junior High is pretty much crawling with bloodsucking vermin (and headlice); I am choosing to believe that this second round was re-introduced and certainly not any kind of parental failure on my part. Certainly not.

I asked Demi the Younger if her friend G., whom we determined to have been the original source of our infestation, was still a carrier. Ms. Younger didn’t know, but did say that G. is a “hugger.”

“Gack!” I said. “No hugging! Tell her you’ll be happy to shake hands but that there will be NOOOO HUGGING. For cripe's sake, keep your head the HELL away from that girl!”

Again with the poison shampoo, again with the combing. How am I expected to enjoy Project Runway when I have to watch the entire episode over her shoulder while I pick nastiness off of her head?

Totally. Unacceptable.

The Demis are SO both getting haircuts this weekend. I vowed to do it after our first trip down the parasite trail, but in the end didn’t bother because I naively thought I had conquered the problem for good. Apparently it’s time to play hardball.

I wonder how they’ll look with crew cuts.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Goddesses Step Out

The Demigoddesses are on break from school this week, so I’m working half days and spending the afternoons with them. Yesterday we had lunch at our favorite Indian restaurant and then, because all three of us had Christmas gift cards that were in serious danger of melting in our hands, hit the malls with a vengeance and a vow to take no prisoners.

How can I express the joy that is after Christmas sales? How can I convey the soul trembling brought on by those magical words, “Take An Additional 30% Off The Clearance Prices”?

My girls, they KNOW how to work a clearance rack. Demi the Younger found an adorable beaded skirt for $2.99 at Herberger’s, and the Elder came out of Old Navy with a sack full of new clothes--and half of her gift cards still untouched.

You have learned your lessons well, grasshoppers.

What could be more fun than tandoori chicken followed by the discovery of $5 hoodies AND being able to buy six of them without subtracting a cent from my own bank balance?

Why, doing it with my best gals, that’s what.