|We got this from my parents. I think my Grandma Smittley painted it in the 1970s when she and my mom went through their ceramics painting phase. Anyway, consider it another step toward Project Chaos Yard.|
1. Big Apple Bagel in Superior for lunch. "Say," my dad says as we scooch into a table. "On the way up here we heard about this actress who stabbed her husband. Reese ... Reese ..."
"What?!" I say. "Reese Witherspoon?!"
"No, with her knife!" he says.
2. We drive up the North Shore along the Scenic Highway and Ma Pista scouts the horizon for kitchy shops, reading the name of the stores and asking my opinion of the store's stock. "Tom's Logging Camp" she says "Mocha Moose! Russ Kendall's Smoke Fish House," she says.
"That one's good," I tell her.
"What do they sell?" she asks.
"Smoked. Fish?" I say.
If I ever go fishing for a 60-year-old woman, I'm going to dangle a chainsaw-carved bear made from a tree stump from my line.
3. They're staying at the Radisson, though my mom loathes the Radisson and is convinced that the recent makeover was purely cosmetic and that they will never be able to get the smell of 1982 out of the carpeting. Either that, or there is just a conspiracy against her and they keep getting stuffed into the non-refurbished rooms that still have a sort of Pile of Coke on the Ironing Board-Dead Hooker in the Closet-ness to them.
Also: She doesn't really care about Sleep Number beds.
4. We go to Starbucks for coffee. She questions the business model of a place that allows customers to rent a table for the afternoon for the price of a medium latte.
"How do they make any money?" she asks.
As I am wretched at math, I shrug and drink about 16 ounces of caffeine.
5. For dinner we go to Eddie's World Famous Ribs in Superior. This is probably a relief to my dad. Usually when we pick the restaurant he finds himself staring at a menu wondering what part of the cow the polenta comes from. Plus, there is the time my mom ordered the GLBT sandwich from Chester Creek Cafe and we all snickered. We cram ourselves full of so much food. This is old school, right here. Super club. Salad, bread, and my shrimp is stuffed with cheese and crab meat.
"My mouth tastes like the 1970s," I tell my mom as we roll back into the hotel.
6. Brother Pista joins us at the hotel. He's in a sling from a snowboarding accident.
"Is it hard to drive?" I ask.
"No," he says.
"Is it hard to drive?" my mom asks.
"No," he says.
"Honestly," he tells us, "The hardest thing is peeing."
I scrunch up my face.
My mom looks at him for a second.
"Why?" she asks.
It takes her an extra couple of seconds to remember the Portrait of a Male Mid-Urination from her science textbook.
"Why do you think?" he asks.
"Oh!" she says. "Gross."
7. My dad and brother go to the hockey game; We ditch left in the skywalk and head to "The Artist." This is perfect, as Pa Pista seemingly prefers movies with words. The last time my mom and I went to a movie it was "Circle of Friends" and she has never let me forget that she had to explain to me what "English leathers" are even though I was a worldly 14 year old.
8. Brother Pista gives me a ride home. He opens the armrest in his truck and it is packed with two boxes of Girl Scout Cookies. I wonder what kind of life I lead that no one has offered to sell me Girl Scout Cookies this year and if it's too late to change that. I eat six between the hotel parking lot and our home in West Duluth. I eat them so fast that I only tasted .5 of them.
9. Chuck and I try to watch movies, but the combination of waking to an alarm clock on a Saturday and saying so many consecutive words in the course of a day has me wiped. I zonk out during two pretty shittastic movies. Then, oddly, I go to bed and find my eyeballs are willing to snooze, but my body wants to jam. I blame Scene No. 4.
10. We meet my parents for brunch at Duluth Grill and coo over their handcrafted ceramic coffee cups. Then we all hug -- did Chuck and my dad just shake hands? -- in the parking lot.
11. "Oh!" I say to Chuck later. "My parents were telling me about this actress who stabbed her husband. Reese ... Ugh. Reese ... What's her name Reese ..."
"Oh," he said. "I've heard this."