Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fun Season While It Lasted

I should go to a bar and find some Michigan fans. The only thing worse than losing one's season opener is losing it to a school which advertises its library's stock car collection.

northwestern all over again at:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Good Times

There are some days when I really... don't miss The Swamp. Like when I read news pieces like this concerning a gas station that's about five feet away from the Blonde Bachelorette Pad, Central Edition.

Every local near the airport knows about this place, legendary, in a town of tourist soaking, for its tourist soaking. It doesn't advertise its prices, which, for a location within mouse-hurling distance of the airport and across the street from two rental car posts, might tip people off. But consider the genius of this: The need to get to the airport five hours in advance for the privilege of registering your one-ounce container of Purell with the TSA, two small sweaty children in the backseat screeching about having been torn from the bosom of Buzz Lightyear, and a spiritually deep desire to escape the oncoming hurricane. You won't care that you're paying the equivalent of the GNP of Bulgaria to drop off the keys at the Thrifty counter.

fondly at:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Terminological Inexactitude

Jim The Small Child Nephew is under the impression that the family car is unable to move once it goes to sleep in the garage at night, highly obnoxious videos his Aunt Beth showed him on her computer don't work on the one at his house, and school is a wonderful place where nothing but fun is to be had.

He'll recover, someday.

Or not. I was twenty-nine years old when Julie The Nephews Mama and I had the following conversation as we drove past a convenience store that was once our father's major supplier of Miller Lite:

"Oh, the Pony Keg is still in business! I wonder if they still have that weird rule."

She looked at me. "What rule?"

"You know. The one where little kids aren't allowed in there."


"Yeah, remember? We used to want to go in with Dad, and he told us that they didn't allow little kids inside the store, so we had to stay in the car."

After six years of college and university instructorship, it had never occurred to me that said rule suddenly came into effect immediately after we'd trailed after him into the store and began clutching at and whining for various forms of candy.

It's an act of desperate self-preservation, I think, the lying. After fourteen million consecutive high-pitched "But why?"s, it makes perfect sense to tell a child that one cannot have the overhead light on in the car after dark because then the driver is completely unable to see out the windshield. (Jim's paternal grandfather, many congratulations. Your eldest son believed this well into college.) And children buy it: These are the people with the allowance money and the access to the snack pantry. You're going to believe them.

At least the deception never seeped into our careers. Josh The Pilot once gazed trustingly at his father when he announced that IFR stands for "I Follow Roads," so named because it was a procedure in which pilots simply look at the ground and track along highways in order to navigate.

Oh, and as it happens? The truth is in the opposite direction.

"It would be funny," Josh says darkly when he discusses that he accepted this with great seriousness until shortly before his flight training began, "if it weren't so sinister."

Will The Baby Nephew was administered his final bottle feeding the other night. He is highly displeased with its replacement, the evil non-comforting sippy cup. Someone forgot to inform him, as my grandparents did my uncle when his pacifiers vanished, that the Easter Bunny took them.

oh, and Santa was asking after you just the other day at:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


With my vast experience of seven weeks of marriage, I have concluded that the key to a successful union is all about pulling your spouse back into the boat. When Josh The Pilot and I took our forty-eight hour honeymoon, we decided that the most romantic and intimate way to celebrate our lives together was to chance drowning and major head trauma in the close company of total strangers while undergoing intense manual labor. Everybody should transfer directly from the altar to a four-person whitewater raft.

I am a clenched fist these days, coiled in anger and disappointment, and less than two months into our marriage I must remind myself that my husband always pulled me back into the boat. When the rest of my fellow passengers learned that I had been rafting twice and suicidally elected me captain based solely upon this information, he did not tell them that I once fell out of a shower.

The river wasn't always the loud splash of rapids; there were drifting moments, and we would rest, float. The rafting staff darted between the boats on kayaks. At one point near the end of the trip I rested my blue and white paddle across my knees and cast newlywed eyes around at the gentle mountain slopes, when a sudden bump at the back of the raft flipped me backwards into the water. I surfaced in time to see our troupe leader paddling away, cackling, "I love my kayak." And my husband, who had silently watched him approach, hauled me back in.

There was a person named Scary Jerry on the rafting staff, who lit up mid-river and pronounced marriage an expensive mistake. He knew we were forty-eight hours married; everyone knew we were forty-eight hours married. I'd announced it at lunch, when I raised my voice and told the troupe over peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that that was the first meal I'd ever made as a married woman.

"And," Scary Jerry said, "the last." I do not understand how anyone could possibly divorce Scary Jerry.

We rafted without our rings; my father-in-law's original wedding ring is playing eternal submarine somewhere in Canada, the product of water skiing on a very cold lake. We learned from his mistake.

Now we have to learn from our own. We can't keep one another in the boat at all times, forcing arms and legs to the rubbery deck. We can't paddle trussed like that, and the mountains would glide past unseen. But we can plunge our own hands into the roaring, freezing river when the other falls overboard. Even if we're the ones who did the pushing in the first place.

don't even ask about the bus ride back to base camp; it's like this whole other analogy at:

Monday, August 27, 2007

The world is back in order

Tink and I could endure only a few days of Nigerian television, so I recently called the Cable Overlords to see what it would cost us to get WE, style, NFL, and Speed back into The Castle. After heavily sighing "I can't wait until your competitor-who's-name-starts-with-a-V begins service on my street" into the phone about three times, I managed to score the "Expanded Digital" package for an extra 15 bucks a month, with the first month free. I figure the extra 15 singles are worth spending to keep MB and me from strangling each other. She's gotta have her Bridezillas and I've gotta have my race cars and football.
All is well on the home front!

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