Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Refugee Redux. Also, Fuck Shit Damn

As many of you know, I grew up in rural Southwestern Minnesota. When I visit my parents, I fly to Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls, South Dakota: airport code FSD. The other option is Sioux City, Iowa. And while booking a ticket to SUX is poetic in so many ways, Sioux Falls is almost always the airport of choice.

I don't go back very often; it's easier and cheaper to bring my parents to DC than it is to fly to them with three monkeys and their corresponding crap. The last time I visited Sioux Falls my father was having emergency bypass surgery. I boarded a plane with no luggage – I bought clothes when I landed – and abandoned Bump with two small children and plans to move heavy furniture the next day, in the midst of an expansive home renovation.

My mother called me yesterday afternoon because my father has been hospitalized. I have once again made a last-minute trip to FSD, although on this occasion I took the time to pack several pairs of my own (clean!) underpants, among other items.

Highlights thus far (other than the underpants thing)
  • I had two beers and a decent crab cake at National Airport. No, really.
  • Dad looks better than I expected. He's not ready to pitch the softball season opener or anything, but I had braced myself for a shriveled old man lying in a hospital bed, connected to various wires and beeping machines. He's . . . oddly random. One minute he's awake and asking about Bump's fantasy football team, the next he's half asleep and snoring or muttering or giggling and grinning like a newborn with wicked gas. I dunno.
  • The airline is a complete and total asspimple. I feel nickel-and-dimed to death, and am the victim of several small-scale extortion plots, of that I am certain. ("You want to see your father? That will be $1200. Oh, it's a medical emergency? Well, in that case, it will be $700. To go to South FUCKING Dakota. We have cheap flights to Paris and Tokyo, and your kids could fly free to Turks & Caicos or Bermuda, but since you want to go to exotic South Dakota, chaCHING. Pay up, sucker. Oh, you want to use frequent flier miles? Then it will be $150, because you want to leave today. Next time please plan your medical emergencies 21 days in advance.") Fuckers.
  • I was saved once again from my own glorious stupidity by -- well, more stupidity. I decided to take Nathan Jr to FSD with me. It would provide my mother with some happy distraction and relieve Bump a bit from several solid days of solo child care. Bump and I dithered about whether or not it was a good idea to take the baby, but my aunt offered to provide backup babysitting if Nathan Jr proved too taxing for my mother or the hospital setting was too stressful for him. Plus, he could still fly for free. Take that, airline. While I was furiously packing my things Bump packed for Nathan Jr. On the way to the airport I realized we forgot his passport/birth certificate/proof of age, which the reservations agent assured me was necessary for him to fly as a lap infant. He stayed home with Bump.
  • Dad's IV drip sounds like a mewing kitten, which is either cute or makes me want to drown it in a burlap sack. It depends on when you ask me.
  • There were some amazing lightning flashes at the Minneapolis airport (one cannot fly directly to FSD), along with heavy rain. While beautiful, it created some seriously rough flying conditions. I was pleased not to have a toddler-sized projectile on my lap.
  • As I settled into my seat with the in-flight magazine, I had a flash to a different timeline. Bump and I still had two incomes and no children, and could leave at a moment's notice for a weekend excursion. After at least one drink in the terminal bar/restaurant, we would jet off to somewhere fun, where massages and art museums awaited. (Okay, we never went to art museums or got massages. More likely, our schedule included a tee time, dinner reservations, and at least one incident of drunk puking by yours truly.)
  • Then I flashed to another alternate timeline, one where I brought Nathan Jr with me as planned. Instead of my seatmate exchanging gracious pleasantries with me, he was scowling at a squirmy squealy sweaty fat toddler who kicked and flailed and yelped before crying and sinking out of my lap to the floor between my knees by arching his back wildly and turning his arm and shoulder bones to jelly.
  • I blame all the flashing on that damn Lost finale.
  • My brother will arrive in Sioux Falls this morning, and I have warned him that if he doesn't show up with a cooler and plenty of beer I am going to punch him in the throat.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Huh. Turns Out the Substitution Property is the Answer.

I saw a dead dog on the side of the road this morning.

I grew up in a rural area, where fallen creatures on the shoulder are very common. But I honestly don't recall the last time I saw roadkill. In 2007 we drove to the beach and I saw some smashed watermelons on the highway, but if I have to remember a specific incident before then - or one including an actual dead animal - I've got nuthin.

It was terribly sad.

Also? Really confusing.

How does a dog end up on the northbound express lanes of 395? (Those lanes are sandwiched between several lanes of traffic on both sides.) The poor thing must have fallen out of the car it was riding in, right? In which case: HOW DO YOU FAIL TO NOTICE THAT YOUR PET HAS EXITED THE VEHICLE?

Sorry about the shouting, but, damn.

Perhaps the crazy mutt jumped out of an open window? You think, maybe? In which case: WHY WOULD YOU OPEN A WINDOW FAR ENOUGH FOR YOUR SQUIRREL/HUMMER-CHASING MONGREL TO LEAP THROUGH?

Jesus. That's like handing the baby a blowtorch and being all "caramelize the top of that creme brulee for me, would ya Drools?"

Speaking of religion (What? Blasphemy counts), maybe that's where I should look for help in understanding this troubling manner.

I'll start with this nugget of wisdom I've picked up during my commute:
Great. So DOG = GOD.
To which I'll add a little philosophy:
And TA DA!

Dog is dead. There you go.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Sharpen a Number Two Pencil (Heh, I said "number two")

1. Where the fuck are my keys?

Lula and I went to the Farmers Market yesterday, and I set my keys down in the kitchen because my hands were full. Later I saw Lula playing with them, and I thought I took them away from her, but this morning I spent at least 15 minutes hunting.

Bump dropped what he was doing (the time-sensitive morning deadline stuff like packing lunches and fixing breakfast and stuffing wriggling feet into clean matching socks) to help search and to interrogate the children. "Have you seen Mama's keys? What about you? Lula, what did you do with them yesterday? What do you mean you don't know? Try to remember."


Either Aunt Bob is wrong, or Pete is wrong. I know who I think is right, but you are going to settle this once and for all.

2. If I showed up at your house and said, "Wow, I hit every light between my place and here" you would think:
a) Every light was green; I didn't have to stop at all.
b) Every light was red; I had to stop every time.
c) "I have no idea what the hell Lumpyhead's Mom is talking about. Again."
d) "Uh, I live in New Zealand."

3. What if I said "I made every light"? (same choices as above)

4. If "I caught every light"?


By the way, the answer to 1 is: In my purse.

(But! But! Not in the pocket where I normally keep them. In a different one.)

Also? I'm pretty sure if you contact us in six years, and mention this, Bump will STILL be annoyed.

Friday, May 21, 2010


I've had a shitty week at work, but I just went out to lunch at a golf course.  I ate a great burger, drank many beers, and forced two of my colleagues to work the words "nougat" and "marzipan" into ordinary office-related sentences.

If only I had brought my clubs, I could have spent a little time at the driving range.

It almost makes up for the shitty week.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010



I don't mean he's squealing all the time. I mean when he's talking HE'S ALWAYS SHOUTING AT US.  Bump is constantly sighing "Buddy, I'm right here. Why are you yelling?"

Sometimes he's excited, but usually he's just casually mentioning that he cleared Level Whatever on his Gameboy but HE'S MENTIONING IT SO LOUDLY I CAN HEAR HIM IN THE ATTIC. It's like sitting across the dinner table from a guy with a bullhorn. Or Aunt Bob when she's drunk.

If I had a dollar for every time I've reminded him "Use your inside voice, Billy Mays" I'd be a very wealthy woman.

Please tell me this is just a phase.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Back on the Horse

When I haven't written in a long time it's hard to get back into the swing of things. Everything I consider posting seems too trivial and boring. So I'm taking the pressure off and just jumping back in.

Here's Nathan Jr drinking tea with his pinky in the air, because it cracks me up.