Sunday, July 20, 2014

"Just trying not to get run over."

So there are seven grandkids on the Goin side (in order of age): Amy, Jack, Steve, me, Patrick, my brother Nick, and Jeff.  There's a meme that goes around Facebook about how your cousins are your first friends and big fat cheesy whatever, but I can dig it.   Even though Jack and Patrick lived in Green Bay (Jeff didn't come around until later) (he kinda inspired this entry), they still made it down for cousin week at the cabin every year.  I don't know how Grandma and Grandpa Goin managed to take care of us all, what with the camp songs and air guitar on flyswatters and the Look What the Cat Dragged In it hurts me, but somehow they did.  And for that I am grateful, because not only are the Goin cousins some of my favorite people, but I've also been able to celebrate most of Mötley Crue's collection since I was 8 thanks to them.  I still don't know where Tropicana is or why Vince Neil lost his heart there.

Ten years ago at Jack's wedding.

Jeff is the baby of the family.  Sure, he's 29 and has been a husband for just over 24 hours, but still.  We all (minus Nick, who was too young) went into Packer territory for his baptism.  Naturally, with that fond memory in mind last night, I cried my stupid eyes out during that ceremony.  He wasn't even out of the gate before I was reaching for a tissue.  But I guess that's how my family is.  Sarcastic and sentimental.  Despite all my pathetic blubbering, I had a fantastic time, and you know why?  Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Goin know how to rock a wedding.

Noah and I got married well before Pinterest and all that jazz, so clearly there are a few things I wish we'd done differently (no clinking of the glasses, no weird photographer, NO clinking of the frigging GLASSES I will kiss my husband of my own volition thank you very much).  I wish I'd put more thought into our special day, but hindsight is 20/20 and I've had glasses for 30 years.  Jeff and Kelsey had some nice touches that really knocked the ball out of the park (see, I made that joke because Jack works for the Twins!  Geddit?)
Jack, geddin' it from Steve.

1. Open bar.  I totally get why you wouldn't want to have one.  It's spendy, people might get stupid, and in certain counties you might have to keep a cop handy to make sure nobody goes over the next farm over to start mud wrestling with pigs.  I wish we'd had one to thank the folks who drove in from everywhere and bought us nice gifts.  And didn't go up to north Ham Lake to go cow tipping (none of our guests would have done that) (...I might have).
We had a cash bar. 

2.  Appetizers.  Reportedly there was a meat and cheese tray at our reception but I never saw it, likely because our batshit crazy photographer had never been on a golf course and didn't know where to take good pictures.   Last night I ate my weight in cheese empanadas.  Don't judge.  Appetizers are the poo, so take a big whiff.
Copyright some drunkard with a disposable camera.  Remember those?  Of course not. 

3. Sit down dinner.  Now it was really fun taking my plate through the buffet at our wedding...not.  Especially wearing a white dress?  And monkeys might fly out of my butt!  Outdated Wayne's World quotes aside, it was so much nicer to be served my pasta rather than winding up with a chestful of pesto.  Even though green is a tremendous color on me.

All in all, last night was an emotional and amazing night.  It was the first Goin wedding in 10 years where I hadn't been a bride or a maid, and it was so tremendous to be able to celebrate the introduction of another Goin girl into the family in such a swanky but yet chill environment.  To the newest Goin, I say welcome with open arms, and enjoy a lifetime of "Kelsey Groin" jokes. We love you!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

"Why don't you try to solve the mystery of who put mud in the freezer?"

Summer in Minnesota is far too short.  "Well golly gee, what an extremely astute observation that nobody has ever made," responded 75% of year round Minnesotans.  Haters.  That's why Noah and I like to sit on our deck after work on those lovely sunny afternoons.  Living right off a fairly busy thoroughfare is kind of a pain in the ass, but we've learned to deal with the roar of motorcycles and those God forsaken Con-Way trucks that once drove some out of town friends of ours to start a drinking game (see truck, take drink.  Not for rookies).  We've also learned we live in a city full of morons who don't understand the concept of a crosswalk.  Seriously, if you're going to be the dumbass to put your toddler in a SHOPPING CART and WHEEL HIM across FOUR LANES of late afternoon traffic, at least have the common sense to go the extra mile (as it were) and let the timed lights guide you.

Yes.  This is a real thing that actually happened.

But I digress, as per usual.  So last night, as Noah and I were having a nice conversation and watching the idiot parade, I got a wicked craving for a bomber pop.  Not just any old bomber pop, but one from a blue and white ice cream truck.  Back in the '80s, when the old neighborhood was filled with kids, nothing thrilled us more (other than a rousing game of TV Tag) than the faint ringing of that bell.  We'd run sopping wet, nicely chilled from playing in the sprinklers, beg Mom for a few bucks, and tear down the street before he drove off.  There's a sort of innocence involved with the nostalgia...I still get a little giddy when I hear the ding-ding, even though there's no chance I'm going to chase that bugger down the street ever again.  Even I have some dignity (I DO I SWEAR).

Totally rocking the dignified label.

Thanks to my parents having a deep freeze the size of a mini-horse, we always had plenty of frozen snacks to tide us over in the event of a no-show by our trusty truck.  Now, freezie pops are good.  If you ask my niece, they're probably her second favorite thing in the world besides Daddy.  On a spectacularly hot day in West Fargo last summer she had three and her tongue looked like it was ready for its first Grateful Dead concert.  I'm not saying she's wrong, because the cutest little girl in North Dakota can do no wrong (I can hear her daddy laughing from here), but Popsicles are really the way to go, if you ask me, didn't.  Just close your eyes - it's 80 degrees outside, you just got done playing in the neighbor's pool, and your mom opens the freezer and hands you a classic grape Popsicle.  Or cherry!  Or root beer, which is still my favorite.  Sure, they were a little messier than freezie pops, but you didn't have to clean up after yourself!  Watering bans aren't a thing in 1987 so you feel free to go back out and spray yourself in the face with the hose!  Now go dry off because Kids Incorporated is about to start.

However, the ultimate - the pinnacle - the "thank you for staying outside and playing nice instead of straight up murdering each other" - was always Dairy Queen.  Mom would take us to the junior high pool and let us loose while she got a few hours of some much deserved freedom, which I'm assuming she used to grocery shop and what not rather than having a three gimlet lunch at some dive bar (viva Blainbrook!).  Even though we were tired out and positively reeking of chlorine, we'd practically squeal with delight when Mom turned instead of going straight on Central.  We didn't have a lot of money back then, what with the whole single-income-two-kids situation, so getting a Blizzard or a Dilly Bar was a real treat.  Although I never got the appeal of the Mr. Misty.  Just have yourself a nice refreshing glass of Kool-Aid instead!  You know you're not going to sell that whole pitcher anyway.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Highway 8 Revisited

Noah and I went to the Goin family cabin on Pipe Lake for the 4th once again this year.  My grandparents built it (with their bare hands!) (Grandma was one tough German cookie) in 1956, so I've been going there since I was an infant.  Like, my birthday is May 21st, and I have a feeling my very first Memorial Day was spent up there.  Having traversed Highway 8 eleventy nine times in my life, there are certain landmarks I enjoy seeing along the way.  Thesse are kind of out of order, but it's my Monday and frankly I don't give a rat's ass.

Lindstrom's water tower is a tea kettle!  How Swedishy and quaint!

I don't enjoy seeing this sign unless I'm coming up from Iowa.

Our McMansion.  I can't stop smiling when I see it for the first time every year.

Nothing like driving on gravel for a nice smooth ride!

This is the point where I get giddy to the point Noah threatens to slap me stupid (OMG kidding).

When I was younger this house had mint green trim on the windows so I called it the gingerbread house.  I assume it is not made of gingerbread as it has not been eaten by bears as of yet.

Redneck yacht club!

A couple of jackasses.

Pipe Dream Center...not sure if that was intentional or not...

This house is a trip.  It's so dilapidated I'm surprised it can hold up that satellite dish.

Always thought this was pretty.

It's the turn off of 8!  Eeeeeee!

See, because my husband's name is Noah...get it?  GET IT?!


Almost to Wisconsin!

Yup.  Rocks.

Eichten's, for all your cheese and bison needs.

Raise your hand if you remember when this was an A&W!

This was the Dinerbel - one L - until this year because they hate me and want to whiz all over my childhood memories by changing their name.

Terrible picture of a cute little gift shop called Gustaf's.  Seriously, did Stevie Wonder take that?

And the DQ which will forever be known as "The One Robin Williams Stopped In When He Was in Hazelden."