Thursday, August 16, 2007

Welcome Aboard, Mr. Macri

The arrival of the Twins' newest infielder has presented me with an unexpected opportunity to recall just how I came to love baseball in the first place.

My Darling Beloveds may have lost their mojo, and the pieces may be refusing to fall into place the way they’re supposed to this season. There may be injuries and ass-bats and shutouts. But as hope for Twins postseason action grows thinner and thinner, I'm suddenly reminded that, really, none of it matters.

Because I will always have cute guys in baseball pants.



I am SO liking this trade.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


The DemiGoddesses and I tried to walk over to the bridge after the Twins game on Friday night, but were met with police tape for blocks and blocks. The closest we could get was well upriver, below the Guthrie Theater, and all we could see from that vantage point above the locks was the very north end of the wreckage. The top of that slab that sticks straight up was illuminated by the floodlights, a glimpse of twisted green girders that was enough to me cry.

I can't understand why there hasn't been a place designated for us to go, a place where we can see what happened to our city. All of us who live here have had our sense of place violently altered. Even the people who weren't directly impacted need to grieve. The Stone Arch Bridge has opened, at least, but the police tape still blocks off a huge radius around the site.

I didn't know until it was happening that our fine president was scheduled visit Minneapolis on Sunday morning. I wish I were a person who could simply accept without question another person’s attempt at kindness, but W's statements from the site just made me angry. I wanted to march down there and tell him to go back to Washington DC, because we are not interested in his brand of bad-grammar, staged-sympathy bullsh*t here. He said he was speaking "on behalf of the American people," but I'm pretty sure the American people can speak for themselves, thanks.

For example, there was this, a letter that arrived, along with a big box packed full of Moon Pies, pork rinds and other goodies, in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newsroom. It seems to me a much more genuine gesture, a gift from strangers in one part of the country to strangers in another part of the country, who suddenly find they have something in common:

“To Star Tribune Journalists:

A few days after the Virginia Tech shootings, a large box arrived in our newsroom. Inside was a note and lots of stress-relieving junk food like you'll find in this box. The note was from Joe Haight, managing editor of
The Oklahoman of Oklahoma City. Joe wrote that similar boxes arrived in his newsroom after the McVeigh bombings. He recalled what that gesture meant to his staff, which had been worn down to a nub covering the catastrophic community event.

We were so moved that we vowed to pass it on when we next sensed a newsroom could use a little pick-me-up. So please consider this a journalistic chain letter of sorts, one that you'll pass on when the next bulletin breaks in a newsroom somewhere in America.

Enjoy the snacks. Sorry we couldn't send beer (company policy, ya know). And most of all, take care of yourselves.

Roanoke Times Newsroom”

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Forgive the Random, I'm Trying to Wrap My Brain Around It

“I’ve driven across this bridge every few days for thirty years. There are bridges, and there are bridges; this one had the most magnificent view of downtown available, and it’s a miracle I never rear-ended anyone while gawking at the skyline, the old Stone Bridge, the Mississippi. You always felt proud to be here when you crossed that bridge, pleased to live in such a beautiful place. Didn’t matter if it was summer twilight or hard cold winter noon - Minneapolis always seemed to be standing at attention, posing for a formal portrait . We’ll have that view again – but it’ll take a generation before it’s no longer tinged with regret and remembrance.”
--James Lileks

Around 5:45 p.m. last night, I drove DemiGoddess the Elder to a library one suburb over from ours, where she met up with a couple of friends to do some volunteer work. Ms. Elder has been very vocal about the fact that she is boycotting McDonald’s because of their contributions to rainforest deforestation, so last night, while she was otherwise occupied with her friends, I took the opportunity to stop at our neighborhood McDonald’s to pick up some dinner for Demi the Younger and myself. We two still enjoy our junk food.

Sitting in my car outside the drive thru window, I was deep in my head about some incredibly important thing or other, when I looked up and noticed the sunshine on the trees across the street. Really saw the late summer lushness of the leaves, and the gold tinge of the light.

I thought of all the days, of all the dates that disappear from memory while we are so occupied by life that they slip past without notice. I thought of the dates, like September 11, that we never forget because of some awful tragedy that marks them. I said to myself, “Today is Wednesday, August 1.”

That was at about 6:20 p.m. The bridge collapsed at 6:05, although I didn’t know that until I was home and My Ho called to see if I was okay. I didn't understand the reason for the concern in his voice. He told me to turn on the TV.

A number of Twins fans were on and near that bridge last night, headed for the baseball game that started an hour later. During the live news coverage, my breath caught when a hovering news helicopter captured the image of a woman wearing a Kirby Puckett jersey, the number 34 clearly visible on her back, standing near her crumpled car on one of the fallen slabs. In video clips of people helping survivors reach safety, I saw Twins jerseys, T-shirts or hats on both the rescuers and the rescued.

I saw the lot where I parked before the games during the playoffs last October.

The fact that so many of the people who survived the fall, banged up but mostly okay, immediately ran back onto the rubble to help other people, that they went back to help carry those children off that school bus, says so much about the people who live in these Twin Cities. It makes me so proud to have been born and raised here.

I keep thinking of Governor Tim Pawlenty’s oft-repeated no-new-taxes policy.

Somehow, I am not taking a lot of comfort from our president's statement that he is praying for us.

I was on the phone last night with my sister Betsy when a journalist from a Montreal, Canada, CNN affiliate called on her other line. Apparently he had called the French restaurant where she works, hoping to find someone there who could speak French, and the restaurant manager gave the journalist my sister’s phone number. She can, in fact, speak French, but she had just heard the news herself and wasn’t able to provide him with much information.

I talked to many friends and family members on the phone last night, brief conversations mostly consisting of, “Are you okay? Good. Yeah, we’re fine. I know. I can't believe it, either. I’ll call you later.” This morning I had e-mails from people in town, as well as from family members in Boston and even London. Such tiny gestures of concern that speak volumes. Thank you to everybody who has checked in.

I love you, too.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

We're Okay

And, as far as I know, everyone in my inner circle is okay.

I have driven over that bridge hundreds of times over the years--it spanned the Mississippi right between the University of Minnesota and the Metrodome--and all evening I have watched the news coverage, unable to believe what I'm seeing.

My prayers go out to everyone who was involved, including the rescue workers, and all of their families.