Location: Minnesota, United States
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Monday, August 29, 2005

Three Years at the Fair

Monday, August 22, 2005

In Other News

Dad blogged.

Road Rage

I was driving on 35E southbound and stumbled into unexpected construction (though I suppose none should ever be unexpected here, now) yesterday afternoon. There were clear signs warning drivers that the left lane was closed ahead, for at least two miles before the lane actually ended. Right, that means nothing, and while if in the car alone I would move over slightly to block the cretins from zooming past the line of socialized, polite, responsible drivers, I won't do that when Eryn is in the car with me. Instead, it was with some amusement that I watched a man driving a station wagon pulling a speed boat go past me in the left lane (long after it was obvious the lane was closed), become apparently confused, pull partly onto the shoulder, go ahead again, wander into the left lane, back onto the shoulder, into the left lane, and so forth. I wasn't moving, so his .12 mph didn't get him very far ahead of me. He was still doing this when another car - WI license plates - came barreling up behind him and then stopped sharply. The twenty-something behind the wheel and the woman with him were gesturing wildly and seemed to be yelling. Okay, they are cretins and they want the confused person in front of them to get out of their way so they can continue to their More Important Than Everyone Else destination in their own private lane, then cut in at the last moment and slow traffic down longer. But their gesturing quickly took on a truly desperate look, and I wondered whether something was wrong, instead of wrong with them. The person in front of them was acting still stranger, and I said "What is that guy doing?" TO ERYN. Then this happened:

Guy: [Absolutely frantic hand waving, lots of yelling in my direction]
Woman: [Same behavior]
Me: "I can't hear you, your window is up" gesture.
Guy: [Rolls down window, shrieks] "What did you say to me? WHAT DID YOU FUCKING SAY TO ME?!"
Me: I said "What is THAT guy doing?" [I actually pointed to the car in front of the shrieking guy]
Woman: Fuck!
Me: [Stunned smile.] Fine, whatever.
Me: You're frightening. [roll up window]

What was I going to do? I talked to him because I thought something was going on. I mean, other than his having a huge tantrum. I can't imagine it would have done any good to explain more completely that I hadn't even been talking about him or that, furthermore, I had been talking to my two-year-old, because I'm pretty sure this guy was looking for someone on whom to unleash his The-World-Is-Inconveniencing-Me wrath.


Got home from the Japanese Lantern Lighting festival at Como (crowded, not fascinating, though Eryn liked it because she got a balloon yoyo and a snow cone) last night at about 9:45 to find this.

Not sure what that is? Here you go:

Scooter got our bat-catching kit, captured it, and let it go outside:

Later realization: I was wondering how the bat got into the house, and then it came to me: three nights ago, I took some trash outside, and when I came back in through the front door, something sideswiped my face, also on its way in. I thought "Wow, that was a big moth!" but didn't see a moth fluttering around anywhere. Ew.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

August J. Pollak

Maybe other people already know him, but I just saw his stuff for the first time tonight, and this is just funny:

Copyright 2005, August J. Pollak. Here's his blog.

Well Qualified

Doesn't this guy have just two years of experience on the bench?!

1700 Miles, 1 Two-Year-Old

Scooter has posted pieces of our ND/MT/WY/SD trip, and I think intends to do yet more of it, so I am presenting the six-day trip from Eryn's perspective. Her grandparents are sure to like it, if no one else. All the images (and there are a lot of them) are clickable to a larger version.

[Leaving MN] We are driving in Mom's silver car. Hey, Dad is driving in Mom's silver car, too. Roar, roar! Wanna listen to "'Markable Cows!" Please! Want a sip of your pop, Mom. Go back to the start! Hey, black cows! Go back to the start! OH YES WE ARE COWS! EVER WE GO IT'S A FABUWOUS SHOW! OH YES WE ARE COWS! "Nobody Understands Me" is next! Want a sip of your pop, Dad.

Wow, that's a big buffalo!

Roar, roar! Big Bird is dancing. Now he is tired, he is going to rest. Hey, there's a tunnel! Roar!

[Jamestown, ND] Wanna ride the horsie! Want a sip of your pop, Mom. No, Eryn's diaper is fine.

[scream,stomp,scream] Wow, that's a big cow! Hey, it's windy up here! We are gonna go waaaay over there in our car. Wow, that's a big cow! [New Salem, ND]

[Sidney, MT] Hey, there's Allison! Hey, there's Oliver! Want to jump on Eryn's bed in our room. Want to jump on your bed too, Mom. No, Eryn's not sleepy.

Want some peanuts! Hey, there are mints! Want some mints! Want some juice! Hey, that's really good juice.

Want some cake. No, want her own! Hey, that's really good frosting. Throw Eryn up in the air, Dad! Throw Eryn up in the air! Throw
Eryn up in the air!...Boppa John, throw Eryn in the air! Hey, Oliver not give Eryn his motorcycle.

[Everywhere in South Dakota and Wyoming] Hey, motorcycles! That one looks kinda like Boppa John's. Those motorcycles are very loud! Want a sip of your pop, Mom. Want to listen to "Rhinocerous Tap!" No, go back to the start! Want to listen to "Pajama Time!" Want to listen to the one the name we can't remember! No, go back to the start!

Roar! Roar! The dinosaurs are kissing. Want a sip of your pop, Dad. Want to listen to "Rhinocerous Tap." No, go back to the start! Go back to the start again! Want to listen to the iPod! Please? Want to...hmmmm...want to listen to "Pickin' Wildflowers" on the iPod!

[Medora, SD] Want the pony! PLEASE! Want the big pony, Dad! Hey, there's a motorcycle! Want the blue one. Hm...want the motorcycle, like Boppa John's and Ollie's. Hey, that's a nice motorcycle.

Vroom, vroom, the dinosaur is riding Eryn's motorcycle. Oliver has a motorcycle and Eryn has a motorcycle. Want a sip of your pop, Dad. Want to listen to the iPod!

Hey, this is a big hill! We are climbing Debil's Tower. Want to climb on a big rock. Hey, there are snakes up here. Want to climb on a big rock. Hey, there are snakes up here. We are climbing Debil's Tower! Want to look over the edge. Wow, this is a big hill! Dad, carry Eryn.

No, Eryn just not want to go to sleep! [snore] Hey, a motorcycle woke Eryn up. Motorcycles are very loud. Want to swim in the swimming pool!

Vroom! Roar! Want to listen to "'Markable Cows!" Want a sip of your pop, Dad.

Hey, there are the four faces! Want to see the four faces! Want to go up there! Hey, that's a lot of steps! Hey, there are the four faces! That one is sad. Those ones are happy, and that one is sad.

Hey, there's a buffalo! Want to stand in line with Mom. Hey, that's really good ice cream. Dad not eat all of Eryn's chocolate ice cream! Hey, that's good ice cream. Dad not eat it all! Where are the four faces?

Hey, there's a teepee!

Hey, where is the tunnel? [snore]

We are going to our hotel. Want to swim in the swimming pool. [I don't think this hotel has a swimming pool, Honey.] Yes, they do! Yes they do! This one is Eryn's bed. Want to jump on her bed! Eryn is jumping on her bed! No, Eryn is not sleepy. [snore]

[Breakfast at Cedar Pass Lodge, just outside the Badlands National Park Scenic Route] Want a sucker. Want some of your eggs, Dad. Hey, those are good eggs. Want to see the four faces again. Tomorrow we will see the four faces. [Some day we will see the four faces again, Honey.] On Sunday we will see the four faces again! Want a sip of your pop, Mom.

Hey, motorcycles! That one is kinda like Boppa John's. That one is kinda like Boppa John's too.

Hey, stairs! This is hard work for Eryn. Hey, a snake! Wow, this is lots of stairs. Hey, where is number 8? Oh, there it is! Hey, where is number 7? Oh, there it is!..Hey, there are motorcycles by Mom's silver car. Where are the four faces?

Want to climb like Mom! Hey, a rock hurt Eryn!

Want to listen to "Rhinocerous Tap!" Go back to the start! Hey, where's Big Bird? Can't reach him! Hey, there are lots of motorcycles. Wow, motorcycles are loud. That one looks kinda like Boppa John's.

Want to ride the pony! No, not want to go on the jackalope! Want to ride on the jackalope with Mom! Want to ride on the jackalope by herself! Want to ride on the rides!

T-Rex scared Eryn! Not like T-Rex. Want to go to Boppa and Mana's house. Want to play that game with Mana again! Want to pet their kitties.

That's a big dinosaur! Hey! There's a elephant slide! Want to go on the elephant slide! Want to go on the elephant slide! Want to go on the elephant slide!

Want to listen to "Pickin' Wildflowers!" Go back to the start! Want to swim in the swimming pool!

[Mitchell - Corn Palace] Hold up Jane!

Roar! Roar! Not like T-Rex. T-Rex scare Eryn. Want to listen to "Rhinocerous Tap!" Hey, where's Big Bird? Where's Eryn's motorcycle?

We are at our hotel! Want to swim in the swimming pool! Want to jump on Eryn's bed!

[Souix Falls, SD] Hey,those are a lot of rocks. Want to go to a park! Want to go to a park! Want to go to a park! Want to go to a park!

Hey, there's Eryn's park!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Perimenopause, 34

My doc confirmed for me yesterday ("You're feeling that through the Ortho-tricyclin?!") that I am, in fact, perimenopausal. Night sweats, hot flashes, memory shot to hell (as if it were stellar before), moody (more so). Switched me to Orth-Evra (hormones in a patch), because normally the first offensive against the symptoms is to go on a birth control pill (hm) but said she didn't promise anything. Goody. She did offer the advice that if Scooter and I were planning to have a second child, we'd better get to it.

Geez, what is this like without the pills already in your system? I keep conjuring up Kitty Foreman on That 70's Show.

The Other Stuff I Promised

ACME Comedy Club, Saturday night.
We went because Nick Swardson was appearing, and we had first seen (and laughed at) him on that stage when he was a kid (too young to drink), and before he went national. Very funny man. When we last saw him in person, he did a bit about a Neanderthal man trying to use a washing machine that made me laugh so hard it hurt...wish I could remember how it went. Sigh. This time, he did a lot of new material and also some things from his Comedy Central specials which we had heard, but were funny anyway. Next time Eryn says she wants to go to the zoo, though, I think I won't quote Nick as an Old Guy talking to his future grandson: "The zoo? No, fuck that. I'm not fucking going to the zoo." Strange...he doesn't bounce around the stage now, like he did eight years ago, when he was but a boy.

Finally heeded the call of marching technology and bought an iPod on Saturday at the Apple store at The Great Monument to Capitalism. Pardon me for sounding like a tool, but it does, in fact, totally rock. Love it, love it, it is so cool! We've downloaded...hm, six songs?, from iTunes, and the rest of the music on there so far is from our cd collection. I know you're panting with anticipation to know what six songs were so important we had to put them on our new toy right now, so here they are:

"Pickin' Wildflowers"...Keith Anderson
"You Sexy Thing"...Hot Chocolate (you know, it was the song playing while the men in The Full Monty waited in the dole queue)
"Stayin' Alive"...The BeeGees, from Saturday Night Fever
"Ah! Leah!"...Donnie Iris
"I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)"...The Proclaimers

Go ahead, find a pattern in THAT.

The Mannequin.
Walking between Circuit City and Apple, Scooter and I passed the Gap, where someone had pulled one cup off the plastic breast of a mannequin in the front display window. Sad, funny, and another missed photo opportunity.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Sushi at Origami

Scooter says it's my job to blog the weekend so he can simply point to it. I suppose...he'd just say glowing things about Origami, whereas I have good things to say and a viewpoint from someone who doesn't do well with raw fish.

First, we learned that being at Origami at 5:15 means the sushi arrives quickly. (Bonus!) We started with what I have been referring to as "Octopus Balls," (actually, it was deep-fried octopus). On first glance, they looked like Rocky Mountain Oysters. Scooter bit one in half and felt compelled to show me the inside. The exterior is this totally innocuous deep fried batter, so the swirls of tentacles (and was that a head, bitten in half?) were a bit of a surprise. I tried one - popped the entire thing into my mouth so I didn't have to examine the contents, and worked through it. I can't say it tasted like chicken, because it didn't. I can't liken it to anything else, either, because it tasted like octopus - and not like that clam-like, chopped and deep fried calamari. If you don't know what octopus tastes like, I can't help you. It wasn't the flavor that gave me trouble, anyway, nor was it the texture. It was the relatively large tentacle flopping across my tongue. Not flavor, not texture. Flopping. Shudder. Sorry there's no picture; Scooter said we should have had the camera along to document his half-eaten octopus ball before he finished it, but I didn't bring it. You're welcome.

But then came the sashimi Ono (Wahoo) in ponzu sauce. Yum. Seriously. It was a special, so there's also no photo of that on the website. Essentially, it tasted like swordfish barely seared on one side. "Ponzu," I can only assume, is Japanese for "makes nearly raw swordfish-like fish taste extra yummy." Major points to Kyle for deciding to try it.

Everything else showed up together. The sampler of five flavors of Tobiko (flying fish roe): plain, soy (too salty), wasabi (quite hot), citrus, and cranberry. We also had two other wasabi tobiko, so I had one of those and the soy tobiko. Good stuff, though you're finding the little eggs in your teeth for some time afterward, and they're not as yummy after an hour in your mouth. Still pop, though. Scooter said the wasabi version blew his sinuses at Sushi Tango, but I didn't have that experience at Origami. We also had the Dynamite Maki (traditional seaweed and rice roll, with yellowtail, cucumber, garlic chili paste, and leaf lettuce); Sake Maki (roll, with salmon); Maguro (white tuna over rice); Hon Maguro (bluefin tuna over rice, seasonally available...this is apparently the back portion of the fish, and less "fishy" and oily than the front portion); Hokki (northern shell clam over rice); Lobster (essentially lobster salad on rice and wrapped in seaweed; Kyle and I agreed it would have been better had they left out the mayo and just put a chunk of lobster on top of the rice); and my favorite, the Unagi (freshwater eel, over rice, cooked). If you think that picture is unappetizing, you won't like the photo below, of the living critter:. Yeah, I ate that. What?

Having been to Midori's Floating World Cafe for my first sushi experience, I knew I had trouble with nigiri sushi (sushi incorporating raw fish), but was intrigued enough to want to try again. I tended toward the cooked, or sort of cooked items: the ono, the eel, the octopus balls, the lobster; but I also ate the Dynamite Maki (it was my selection), the fish roe, and some sake maki. This time, I did have a gag reflex - which I fought back, thank you) the second time in the evening that a piece of raw yellowtail got stuck between my teeth and cheek. Flavor = good. Texture = not my thing. Okay, so now I know. This is why I liked the ono so much - the light searing on one side left the flavor but spared me most of the texture that gives me the shudders.

It's too late to finish the weekend, but I'll try tomorrow for the ACME comedy show, the iPod, and the exposed mannequin. Oh, and menopause. You're welcome.