Last day in the office for a while.
We’ve reached MEA Weekend in Minnesota. MEA Weekend, which BTW I hear isn’t called MEA anymore, is a long weekend scheduled the third week in October when kids are out of school so teachers attend their annual Teachers Union Organizing meeting. I think the proper term now is Education Minnesota. It would more accurate to say the Fraternal Order or Teachers and Education Specialists Local XXX. Sounds more union like.
MEA does give us a 4 day weekend in the October, for that I’m grateful. This weekend is chock a block of full of great activities and enriching things for the family and I to do. To begin with, on Wednesday, a day before the official start of the MEA holiday I’ll be heading up the Sank Summer Palace to pick up the old lawnmower to bring home to handle the yard leaf issues. That’ll be fun.
While I’m up there I’ll do the winter thing, change the lower unit oil on the various motors, change some spark plugs, add a new valve to the gas tank. I’ll mow and get up any leaves that are on the ground up there. I’m sure there’s a ton. After that I’ll load the mower onto the trailer I’m borrowing. That’s, without a doubt one of the sketchiest things I do every year. Load and unload the mower. Since the trailer that I’m borrowing is an old school model that doesn’t have a drop grate can you drive up, I have to drive the thing on it by negotiating two 8’ 2X8 boards. Must keep the wheels exactly straight on the planks when loading or I assure you that bad things will happen, I don’t want to take a drop on a 600lb mower no matter how short the drop might be.
Also on Wednesday, Middle Kid heads off to New York City on his Confirmation trip. He’ll get to visit a slew of Jewish oriented places; Ellis Island, Lower East Side, Temple Emanuel, and attend a performance of the Blue Man Group. Not sure how the last one got in there. Along the way he’ll get some deli food that we just don’ t have in Minnesota. He’s gone for 4 days on that trip. One little sign of the times, we received a letter at home from the lady who’s planning the trip, the Rabbi’s secretary. The letter described things you could do to avoid getting infested by bed bugs.
Bed bugs. Seriously. Apparently they’re a big problem in Nuevo York. And since the kids are staying at the… and Mr. Idiot see if you can read this and not break into song, even briefly, they’re staying at the YMCA. I saw on the news that even the Waldorf has bed bugs.. well if that classy joint has them they have no chance at the Y.
I told the kid not to take anything nice because on his return we’d be burning his clothing and forcing him to strip neekeed in the garage for delousing. It would be helpful if he could shave his head and rub my mothers Nair all over his body ahead of time. Mrs S thought that was a bad idea because the Nair rash and the bed bug bites would look a lot alike and we wouldn’t know of we would have to sheep dip his ass or not, and um.. sheep dip is expensive. Good news is we have a terrific new pond in the back yard that will come in handy should dipping prove necessary.
I’m not talking about Sheep Dip the scotch BTW, in case you were wondering.
So that’s Wednesday. Thursday you can find me on the mower, mowing my lawn and two neighbor lawns, picking up leaves. I trying to win the neighbor of the year award at our annual holiday party, a prize that has proven elusive over the years thanks to the fact that I actually have neighbors who are naturally “nice”. I have to contrive “nice” and it’s not easy. I also have a neighbor who works for a humungous software company based in Redmond who has literally helped everyone on the street in one way or another with computer issues and as such is everyone’s pal. I can’t compete with that.
The other problem, the awards ceremonies are at the holiday party, and despite the fact that by the time we get there everyone in the place is three sheets out, they all seem to notice that our house isn’t as festive at the holidays as the rest of them. No lights, no plastic Santa’s, no mangers.. the place looks like a missing front tooth in an electric holiday smile. Heebs.. you can tell.
Thursday night Mrs S and I have “date night”. Sort of. We’re going to see Dark Star Orchestra, the same Grateful Dead cover band I saw last July at the zoo. I’m thrilled to death, I love the Dead. Mrs. S.. lets just say she had made the comment when I told her about the tickets “What in 25 years of marriage would indicate to you that I’d want to go to this?” True. And the answer, “to spend ‘fun’ time with me” isn’t good enough it seems.
She was even more excited to learn that the venue is a standing room place. She gets to stand while watching a band she’s going to hate. Oh.. and she doesn’t like loud music. Sooo the opening line on the evening is 200:1 that Mr Sank will seal the deal, in the biblical sense. Still, a guys gotta try. This is, after all, our first “date” in like 10 years.
Friday the SankCircus, the three remaining members of the clan anyway, load up les automobile and hit the road for Houghton Michigan to check in on the Oldest. We missed family weekend up there, for no really good reason other than we had other stuff to do. Stuff like… well I don’t remember but I’m sure it was important. I’m also sure it involved Masonry in some way shape or form.
The plan in Houghton is for your old pal Sank to spend some quality time in Kitchen filling the lads refer with food. That’s Mrs. S’s plan anyway. I’m cook wit dat, nothing else to do in Houghton that I haven’t already done.. The list being, hit a book store or two, eating out at The Library, cruising Shopko and visiting the Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech. Other than that? Nada.
BTW, I did find a bottle of Sour Salt, actually a friend found it for me at the Byerlys in St. Louis Park, one of the more Jewish neighborhoods in the area. Sour Salt is actually crystallized citric acid and is used in making stuffed cabbage. And a couple other things I’m sure. Or not.
There is stuffed cabbage in the near future at the Casa Del Sank. No more excited about that than my kids. Or Not.