Day 1: Left work blissfully early to head up to St. P. Stopped at Target on the way out to buy some bottled water for the 6-hour drive, and noticed that they were clearing out their inventory of books, so I picked up Heidi Julavits' The Mineral Palace, Tom Wolfe's Hooking Up, Paul Lussier's The Last Refuge of Scoundrels, Richard Donkin's Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Evolution of Work, and John Hein's Jump the Shark: When Good Things Go Bad, for a buck each. One largely uneventful drive later, I arrived in the Twin Cities. Although she seriously disliked my road togs (I was wearing a fancy Soviet wrestling coach's workout sweater), I changed into something more presentable, and my gal and I (her Li'l' Duce was staying with the grandparents) headed to Mancini's, a mobbed-up steak joint on West 7th. The place was huge inside (four dining rooms and a late-'60s hipster bar) and the steaks were gigantic and well-prepared, and although we annoyed the waitress with obscure drink requests (we struck out on the pousse-cafe), the drinks were strong and tasty. We headed back to her place for honey vodka and season 1 of Alias (Mother's Day gifts), and a good time was had by all.
DIRTY COPPER MOMENT: On my way to her apartment, I noticed all these big banners in local stores with a cop's picture and a blacked-out bads. It turns out that a couple of cops, including a beloved vice cop (?), had been killed over the last week, no doubt explicating the massive police presence during my visit.
Day 2: After my sweetie bought me a delicious grapefruit bubble tea (I got hooked on the tapioca teas in San Francisco), Annie, my gal's Li'l' Duce and the cutest kid on earth, came home and we had domestic fun for much of the day. We also headed to the Walker Art Museum just in time for it to close, drove past ninafarina's new place (a duplex in the MPLS suburbs), and sped home to take care of a very uncomfortable and shrieky baby, who was being troubled by mysterious stomach problems. She went down for a nap, and we amused ourselves until dinnertime, when we all gorged on sushi and watched more Alias.
DIRTY COPPER MOMENT: A cop bird-dogged me all the way back from the grocery store when I was bringing home stuff to fix for lunch, and I felt sure he was gonna pull me over, but when I turned off the main road he declined to pursue. Since I've been driving on expired tags for about a decade, I continue to say how much I can't believe my goddamn luck, and thank goodness I'm not black. Also, that night, a ghetto bird flew around and from the sound of it, landed directly on the roof of my gal's apartment. It was deafening, and how she slept through it I cannot imagine, unless it's that she was totally wiped out from having been constantly awoken by my hideous snoring the night before.
Day 3: An abbreviated day as I had the big drive home, but still a lovely one. We hung around with Li'l' Duce in the morning, and she was in a plenty playful mood; then her grandmother arrived to take her to church. Alone at last, she and I did what young couples in love always do when they have some time alone together: we watched a really depressing Ingmar Bergman movie. Yes, nothing creates intimacy between a man and a woman like watching an insane Swedish woman who's just had sex with her brother describe getting raped by a spider. Pausing only to forget my cell phone and remember a swell kiss goodbye from my gal, I headed home early not long after Annie came home, and though I anticipated slow going, I made record time getting back. Do I miss her already? Yeah. Will I see her over Memorial Day? Yeah, yeah to that too.
DIRTY COPPER MOMENT: The entire trip through Wisconsin was absolutely swarming with pigs, rollers everywhere, doing that crappy trick where they drive along the freeway at about 50mph, and no one will pass them because they don't want to get a ticket, so traffic gets backed up for miles. Grrrrrr.
And now: back to work. Such as it is.