Where Is Sophie And What Have You Done To Her?

sophieToday I unfortunately bring you the sad and despicable news of what some neighborhood elementary children may or may not have done. Note: We live right around the corner from an elementary school, so kids up to 11 years old pass by frequently in the mornings and afternoons.

One of Johnny’s favorite baby toys is Sophie the giraffe, the timeless squeaky teething toy beloved by babies for generations. One day Sophie went missing. We suspected it had been left in a restaurant, but thought little else of it.

A couple weeks later, I was taking Baxter out to get the mail and found this vulgar note on our property.



Pitiful grammar and penmanship aside, the note was alarming to discover! Some pre-pubescent little jokester wrote this on the back of a school assignment that had the name Sinjith written on the front. Now, I don’t know if this is Sinjith’s handiwork or one of his schoolmates is to blame, but it seems to me someone found Sophie near our house, took her, and did something to her. And then left us this note.

If that’s true, I ought to march over to Jollyville Elementary and have a word with the principal.

Lauren, however, believes it to be unrelated to our missing Sophie toy, and is instead referring to a girl named Sophie… nowadays a rather common name.

All I know is two things: Sophie is missing, and someone has left a note in our yard about defiling someone named Sophie.

What do you think?

24 Years Of Me And Opening Day: A Timeline

Monday is my favorite day of the year… Opening Day of the baseball season! Traditionally, I have taken off work and sat home and watched on TV, or when we lived in Minneapolis, attended in person. Lauren, John, and I were on a walk this afternoon and I started recalling (rambling) off the top of my head what I’ve done on every Opening Day the past decade or so. This is a skill of mine that many friends and family find impressive–how I can recall mundane details like what Livan Hernandez’s pitching line was on Opening Day 2008. Lauren wasn’t terribly enthralled with my recollections, but maybe you will be. If not, I’m not forcing anyone to read!

Update: 2016 – Did nothing special due to too many days off leading up to Opening Day. Went to work as usual at Callaway and attempted to watch as much as possible on MLB.TV but was thwarted by rain delays.

2015 – Taking the day off work and watching the Twins/Tigers game on TV. Brian Mego has been rumored to join.

2014 – The Rosoks were in Austin over spring break and we watched the Twins lose to the White Sox 5-3 (again, I’m not looking up any scores or stats, this is all from memory!).

2013 – The Rosoks were in Austin over spring break for the second of three straight years and we watched on MLB.TV as the Twins hosted the Tigers. Vance Worley made his rough debut for the Twins.

2012 – The Rosoks were in Austin over spring break for the first time, and from our apartment on Jollyville, we watched on MLB.TV as the Twins lost to the Orioles 4-2.

2011 – Our last year living in Minneapolis, I unfortunately was forced to DJ a wedding dance and missed the game. But Lauren, Kate, and Tim watched the Twins get destroyed in Toronto from our Colfax Ave apartment.

Twins home opener vs Oakland in 2011.

Twins home opener vs Oakland in 2011.

2010 – In the first year of Target Field, the Twins opened on the road in LA with a loss to Jered Weaver and the Angels. Lauren and I watched the late night West Coast game on FSN from the apartment.

2009 – The last year at the Metrodome, the Twins opened with a 6-1 loss to the Mariners, and Lauren, Tim, Kate, and I were in attendance using the free company tickets from Microboards. Ken Griffey, Jr. homered in his return to Seattle.

Opening Day '09 as the Twins lose to Seattle. Thanks for the tickets all these years later, Mitch!

Opening Day ’09 as the Twins lose to Seattle. Thanks for the tickets all these years later, Mitch!

2008 – The Twins opened at home against the Angels, and Lauren, Walsh, Sarah, Nick, Patrick, and I went to the game together in a blizzard. Thank goodness for the Dome! Torii Hunter made his first appearance against the Twins in a 3-2 Twins win.

Opening Day 08 with Walsh and Sarah from the cheap, cheap seats at the Dome.

Opening Day 08 with Walsh and Sarah from the cheap, cheap seats at the Dome.

2007 – The last time I experienced Opening Day as a single man, Walsh, Feeney, and Marin attended the Twins/Orioles game at the Metrodome. Johan Santana and the Twins beat Erik Bedard and the Orioles.

2006 – The Twins opened in Toronto and lost to Roy Halladay. I watched from Joe Senser’s in Bloomington with Patrick, Liz, Jason, Nick, and Jeff. Jason accidentally ran up a massive tab.

Not the season opener, but Walsh, Liz, Patrick and I had the Microboards seats for the home opener a week later.

Not the season opener, but Walsh, Liz, Patrick and I had the Microboards seats for the home opener a week later.

2005 – In the one year the Twins tried to form their own cable channel, we were unable to watch at DSU. Instead we listened to the Twins/White Sox game on the radio at 912 North Egan while playing goofy golf in the yard.

2004 – Liz, Patrick, Jason, Travis and I took in Opening Day at the Dome as the Twins beat the Indians 7-4 in an extra-inning thriller!

Jason and Travis were on hand to see the Twins beat the Indians on Opening Day 2004.

Jason and Travis were on hand to see the Twins beat the Indians on Opening Day 2004.

2003 – Ugh, I had to look this up. But now I remember. The Twins beat the Tigers 3-1 as I watched from the dorms at DSU. For the home opener the next week, the Twins hosted the Blue Jays and I purchased 27 tickets to the game thinking a large group of friends from Valleyfair would go and sit together. Chris Ahrendt and I drove to Minnesota from Madison and Chris was too ill to attend, but I did get rid of every last ticket that day.

2002 – The Twins, nearly contracted the previous winter, won their opener in Kansas City behind a barrage of home runs. I watched on TV from the dorms at DSU, and the next morning I was interviewed on WCCO Radio and given free tickets to the home opener the next week after a story about me in the Star-Tribune went somewhat viral in the Minneapolis media.

Minnesota Twins' 2002 home opener vs Detroit Tigers

Minnesota Twins’ 2002 home opener vs Detroit Tigers

2001 – I have no memory of the specifics of this game, because I was a senior in high school and this was a weekday day game! (But the Twins beat the Tigers 3-2.)

2000 – I am fairly certain the Tampa Bay Devil Rays came into Minnesota and shut out the Twins 7-0… let me verify… Yep, I was right!

1999 – Again, I’m a little hazy on the specifics but I believe the Twins opened in Toronto against Roger Clemens and lost 3-2… let me verify on baseball-reference.com… nope, they did play Toronto but it was at home and they won 6-1. I do remember watching from my childhood bedroom on MSC.

1998 – Well then, I’m almost sure this was the year the Twins opened in Toronto and lost 3-2 to Clemens… I had to feed the bottle lambs after school so I missed the first inning, but I watched the rest on TV in my bedroom. Yep, just verified and that is accurate.

1997 – Oof… I am fairly certain I listened on the radio as the Twins beat the Tigers. In fact I think they swept that series at the Dome to start 3-0 in ’97… Yep, that’s exactly what happened!

1996 – This is probably wrong, but I think I was in school and found out late in the day they had lost to the Red Sox in Boston, 9-0… nope, way off, beat Detroit 8-6.

1995 – Okay, this must be the year they got destroyed in Boston… yup, I was right, 9-0. Again, I was in school. 7th grade.

1994 – This I remember very clearly. I watched a rare televised game in my bedroom as the Twins lost at home to the Angels 8-2. Dave Winfield and Pedro Munoz each hit solo home runs. (Verified, and that’s exactly correct.) I’m shocked I can remember the result and box score of a game that happened 21 years ago when I was 11 years old and in fifth grade.

1993 – I know they lost to the White Sox because Kirby Wicks and I talked about it on the bus the next morning… Wow, right again! They lost 10-5 to the White Sox.

1992 – This was the last year I wasn’t paying attention to baseball on Opening Day. I was by the end of the season, but I have no idea what I was doing on Opening Day or who the Twins played.

So, there ya go.


This week’s meals all had a very common theme.

On Sunday night, we ate a rotisserie chicken.
On Monday night, I made chicken marsala.
For lunch on Tuesday, I had a chicken strip basket.
On Tuesday night, we had chicken wild rice salad.
For lunch Wednesday, I had leftover chicken marsala.
On Thursday night, we went out to Lucy’s Fried Chicken.
On Friday, we had lunch at Fresa, a Cuban chicken place.

That keeps in sync with my diet for the past 30+ years. I was a very picky little boy, so more often that not I would wind up eating chicken nuggets or chicken strips regardless of what meal was prepared for the rest of the family. I insisted on eating at McDonald’s whenever we went to Huron as a youngster and never got anything but chicken nuggets. There were dozens of various shapes of chicken at school lunches–chicken patty, chicken nuggets, chicken strips, chicken tenders, popcorn chicken, chicken rounds, chicken squares, chicken rhombuses, chicken stars, chicken soup. Then in college we went to countless wing nights where we routinely ate 25 wings in one sitting.

If I figure I have eaten on average one chicken every week for the past 30 years, that is 1,560 chickens in a lifetime. If you consider that some of these chicken entrees were pieced together with the meat of various chickens, then I’ve probably eaten a part of 10,000 or more chickens. I hope there isn’t some bizarro afterlife where all the chickens I ate get the chance to eat me. But I’m probably safe from that, as I’ve never personally killed any of the chickens I’ve eaten.

This would be the rough equivalent of how many chickens I have consumed in my lifetime.

Chicken sure is good. It’s still my favorite food to this day. Speaking of which, it’s been a while since I’ve had some good Indian chicken vindaloo… maybe for lunch.