Sunday, May 21, 2006

Cottonwood Seeds in Your Teeth

Bleeding HeartsWell, it’s Ridley Scott weather in Minnesota, where the air is full of pollen, seedlings, cottonwood fluff, blossom petals, and whatever else can be found to blow around decoratively. I’m thinking this post may be a lot like that…

So, first of all, I notice that Minneapolitans have been named the city with the most polite drivers. I must take issue with this. Minnesotans are not polite, they are passive-aggressive. It’s a fine distinction, but just because someone isn’t honking at you doesn’t mean they aren’t plotting your death. And with drivers as abstract and random as those in Minneapolis and St Paul, there is lots of death plotting going on, I assure you. It recently occurred to me (while riding to work, naturally) that all street signs in Minneapolis should be appended with the phrase “Is that so fucking difficult?” As in:

  • STOP – Is that so fucking difficult?
  • SIGNAL YOUR TURN – Is that so fucking difficult?
  • YIELD – Is that so fucking difficult?
  • PEDESTRIAN RIGHT OF WAY – Is that so fucking difficult?

Because, apparently, it is.

In my last post, I mentioned the imminent arrival of family – the family visit went very nicely. Which means Boo and I did not kill each other. We both get so stressed about cleaning the house, keeping it clean, fixing nice meals, planning fun entertainments, scheduling this that and the other thing, that my family must think we fight and snark at each other constantly. I’m convinced they go home after every visit thinking we’re on the verge of divorce. Which, at times during the visit, we probably are, but once the stress lifts we seem to recover nicely. Then we only snark and fight with each other frequently instead of constantly.

It was a very nice visit. My nieces from London are absolutely adorable. The youngest, who her father calls “Destructo,” is very active. She’s just a year old, and has recently discovered bipedal locomotion. She goes everywhere at top speed, and likes rearranging furnishings, books, name it. If it’s not nailed down, she’ll shift it for you. The cats took to slinking through rooms as rapidly and discreetly as they could, but they were often pursued.

About a month before the visit, she was in hospital being treated for a nasty eye infection. The constant attention paid to her became very wearying for her older sister, who is now four. So it was very nice for her to visit, since she adores her uncle Boo, and he dotes on her. She has a thoroughly charming accent, and I love hearing her call my sister “Mummy”. She also has an alarmingly precocious grasp of language and a certain devotion to brutal honesty that is breathtaking to behold. My sister takes delight in passing along these little anecdotes:

  • At a little play date at home to which my sister had invited a couple of my niece’s classmates, my niece suddenly turned to my sister and said “When are they leaving? I’m bored.”
  • Home from the Church of England-affiliated preschool she attends, my niece mentioned that they had held a prayer for Destructo during her illness. “Oh, that’s nice” said my sister, “did you pray as well?” “No...I just closed my eyes and smiled.”
  • Visiting my other sister and nephews in California, my niece was asked when she’s going to stop sucking her thumb (this has been an ongoing discussion since she was about two). This time, her answer was “I suck my thumb because it keeps me from saying bad ‘bottom’ and ‘poo’.”

She’s also quite fond of drawing and crafts, and we now have refrigerator door covered with some lovely drawings, including an illuminated text that reads “Uncle Boo.” Awwww. (technically, it’s Uncle Boo’s real name, but we’ll preserve this illusion of anonymity for now.)

Finally, May is one of Boo and my anniversaries. Fifteen years ago this month, we met for the first time. Boo was casually dating my ex Michael, and coming along to a few friendly group activities with him. Michael and I had a group of about 10 friends that we did things with in various permutations, from brunches with the whole group, movie nights with two or three people, whoever wants to go for cocktails, and so forth. As Michael and I parted on good terms, this was still a pretty typical way to socialize. Once Boo showed up, I kept trying to get the group smaller and smaller, until it was just us. By November, we were living together, and we’ve been together ever since. In September 1996 we got married, so this year will be that 10th anniversary as well. Happy anniversary, Boo – I’m glad we met!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, and too many of my posts are nearly a thousand or more, we’ll keep this short and put up a few pics from the week. Mom’s camera is always fun to run around with for a few days. Some day soon I hope I’ll have one of my own (Hint, hint!).

Ethan is unaware of impending invasion...

Eloise hears something...

Destructo on the march

Picking dandelions at the park with Uncle Randy

At the Minnesota Zoo...

Animals get the last laugh...

Mexican Wolf

Monday, May 01, 2006

Domestic Blitz

Domestic BlitzWell, the house is clean. The garden is weeded. The guest account is activated. The porn is stashed.

My mother arrives on Wednesday. She will be followed briskly, on Thursday, by my jet-lagged sister and two nieces from London. On Sunday, Dad will appear. Mom and Dad are staying with us; my sister and the girls are staying with one of her college friends. Mom and Dad will be with us until May 11.


Why is it that parents always make you feel like a kid, no matter how old you are?

I know that by Randy Wylde standards, this is practically a haiku. Something tells me I’ll have more to say next week.

Ooooh! Postscript! (My brain is like a sieve, I tell you. A colander. With big holes.) I forgot that I was named City Pages Blog of the Day in "The Blotter" on April 24. Which is cool. If you followed the link to get here, it is usually better than this. A little better.