Monday, June 25, 2007

Examine My What?

I did not see Justin Morneau get his lung bruised on Friday night because sister-cousin Tiffany was in town from Seattle, and that is cause for much hoopla and celebration, as well as lots and lots of sangria.

Tiffany and the rest of the sister-cousins all attended parochial school back in the day, while my parents opted to send my sisters and me to public school. I always considered my 1970s Catholic upbringing to be very “Catholic Lite.” For us, CCD class was heavy on the touchy-feely, peace-and-love. We never once darkened the door of a confessional, and I couldn’t say a rosary to save my life. So we did not know until Friday night that in parochial school health classes, my sister-cousins and their little Catholic-school girlfriends learned some very interesting methods of birth control family planning. I won’t go into the gory details, but the phrase “examine your mucus” became the punchline at more than one point in the evening.

Gross, yes, but still arguably less traumatizing than seeing the American League MVP coughing up blood on TV.

DemiGoddess the Younger spent the weekend up north with my former mother-in-law, while Demi the Elder chose to stay home due to her numerous and pressing social obligations. Well, really, due to just one social obligation, which involved a certain sophomore boy from the cast of “The Visit,” with whom she shared a couple of spectacularly John Hughes-esque moments backstage during rehearsals. So this particular social obligation came in just a smidge higher on her priority list than spending the weekend in Brainerd with grandma. She had little heart bubbles bursting over her head all weekend.

I also took Ms. Elder out to practice driving on Saturday morning. The first time I let her drive my car was over Christmas vacation, and the fact that it took me six months to do it again is absolutely not a reflection on the quality of her driving. It simply took me that long to recover from the cramp in my right wrist, incurred as a result of an extended death grip on the passenger-side door handle during our first lesson.

For our second lesson, I chose the parkway around Lake Harriet, where the traffic is one way and the speed limit is 25 mph. She circled the lake three times, did not hit anything and was only honked at once. And I can still grip a pencil, so I’m calling it a success.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Signs that the School Year is Winding Down

DemiGoddess the Elder’s Girl Scout troop had a bridging ceremony the other night. She and the other girls in her troop, most of whom she’s been chums with since kindergarten, went from being “Cadettes” to “Seniors,” which is the last stop before adults. Looking at the little Brownies who were bridging to "Junior" Girl Scouts, it seemed like Ms. Elder was that little just a couple of days ago. I didn't bawl, though. I think that's progress.

During the ceremony, Ms. Elder paused mid-bridge, in front of all the parents of all the Scouts who were bridging that night, and did a hammy QEII-style wrist wave before crossing over to accept her new sash. I couldn't have been more proud.

Demi the Younger spent today at the pool with the rest of her eighth-grade class. She left for the bus this morning wearing flip-flops and her swimming suit under her clothes, even though it’s only about 70 degrees out today.

The kids got to eat pizza at the pool for lunch, which is just as well. She tells me that the offerings in the school cafeteria get progressively weirder as the last day of school approaches, as the lunch ladies attempt to use up and sell whatever food is left. Last week’s menu included something called “sub sandwich hot dish.” I don’t even want to know.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Damn West Coast Road Trips

Last night My Ho and I were on the phone until way past our regular bedtimes because the Twins were playing in Anaheim, and in spite of our better judgement, we just couldn’t look away.

My Ho watched from his bed at his house, I watched from my bed at my house, and as the game progressed, things started to get a little punchy.

Inning Six—10:45 p.m. CST, Twins 1, Angels 6

ESG: “So, I’ve been watching ‘Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School,’ and flipping to the game during the commercials. It’s a very bad sign when ‘Flavor of Love Girls: Charm School’ is less of a train wreck than the baseball game.”

Ho: “Yes.”

Inning Seven—Twins 1, Angels 8

(A shot of Ron Gardenhire in the dugout, looking toward the field and twirling his index fingers around each other.)

ESG: “What was that?”

Ho: “It was a sign.”

“I know that. What did it MEAN??”

“I don’t know.”

“Maybe it was the sign for, ‘Can we please get this wrapped up so I can go back to the hotel and drink a lot of vodka?’”

“Could be.”

“Actually, no. I think it was the sign for, ‘Does anyone have a sharp object handy? I need something to jam into my eye.’”

Inning Eight—Twins 1, Angels 8

ESG: “Who’s that guy?”

Ho: “Jason Miller, one of the new relief pitchers. We saw him during the game against Toronto last weekend.”

“Oh, right. But we were at the Dome for that game, so we were too far away to see that he looks like a turkey.”

Inning Eight—Twins 1, Angels 12

(A shot of the lineup card posted on the wall of the Twins’ dugout.)

ESG: “Did you see that? Right under where Boof’s name was crossed out, Gardy just wrote ‘HELP ME.’”

Inning Eight—Twins 1, Angels 14

ESG: “This is cruel. Why is he still in there?”

Ho: “No reason to burn up somebody else’s arm in this game.”

“If he gives up two more runs, he’ll have doubled the score in a single inning. That would be impressive.”

Inning Eight—Twins 1, Angels 16

ESG: “Called it.”

(Gardy summons Pat Neshek from the bullpen, and then, mercifully, visits the mound to dismiss Jason Miller.)

Inning Nine—Twins 1, Angels 16

ESG: “Did you just see him picking his nose on TV?”

Ho: “It was a double pick, even.”

“Who gives up eight runs in an inning and then sits on the bench and picks his nose??”

“I totally agree.”

“Maybe he was looking for his fastball. I don’t think you’re going to find it up there, Jason.”

Final Score—Angels 16, Twins 3

(For the more intelligent end of the conversation, see here.)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Almost, But Not Quite, Entirely Unlike Chipotlé

Halfway through her burrito last night, DemiGoddess the Younger said, "We're eating Aztec food. I'm doing a report on the Aztecs for school."

"The Aztecs ate rice and black beans and tortillas?" I asked.

"No, they ate dogs and turkeys and humans and tortillas."

"Aah. Sounds tasty."

Friday, June 01, 2007

You Can’t Miss Her

Last night I lost DemiGoddess the Elder in Super Target. One moment she was right there, then she said, “I’m going to look for some eyeshadow,” and she was gone.

In our usual (regular, average, non-super) Target store, this isn’t a big deal. It’s a smallish store, and we always run across each other eventually as we’re shopping. But Super Target is, as the name implies, super big. All the departments where I usually find her are in different places than they are in our Target, and they are    very        far             apart.

On my third loop through the store, I called her name in the women’s dressing room and even checked the bathrooms with no luck. Demi the Elder is well past the age of easy abduction. It’s hard to snatch and run with a 5'5" high-school freshman without drawing a considerable amount of attention. But even so, I started to freak out.

In desperation, I went to the guest services desk and asked the two women working there if they’d page her. They said they only do pages for children under age 11, but they could send a call out to the store's employees over their walkie-talkies. They asked me what she looks like.

I said, “She has dark, wavy hair. And she’s wearing a bright pink T-shirt that says ‘You Have Died of Dysentery.’

I found Ms. Elder a few minutes later in the shoe department.