Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Pumpkin Feet

Today my beloved husband looked at me adoringly and said, "I love that you wear funny socks".

It could be worse.

Happy Halloween, Everybody!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006


"Get your oxycontin-stained hands off of Marty McFly!"

~Peter Sagal, host of NPR's Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! regarding Rush Limbaugh's criticism of Michael J. Fox's stem cell commercial


Okay, that has nothing to do with anything. Except it was funny.

I don't have anything in particular to write about, I just figured I'd better write something.


Dad, I've been ignoring your comment on my cat post. Let me just defend myself in one word: Grandma. I mean what did you expect from your daughter? I share genes with the woman who neutered a neighborhood cat that knocked up all the female neighborhood cats. Remember that? AND, she still has cats from an entire litter of probably feral cats she found God knows where several years ago. Did you really think I had a chance? Oh, yeah, and my mom has saved 4 cats from the harsh environment of Northern Minnesota, which exacerbates the situation for me. Considering my dear husband asked me yesterday, "Are we trapping more kitties this weekend?!" I'm going make a bold prediction that your grandchildren haven't got a chance either.


Wednesday was an important day in my academic career. My Ph.D. committee met and concluded that my qualifying exam should be waived. It is a policy at my University that after aPh.D. student has successfully defended a Masters' thesis they are eligible for waiving the qualifying exam. In the past couple years the conditions have gotten more difficult so I wasn't sure if I could slide through. I have six publications (good) but only a mediocre GPA. My first year grades struggled due to moving 1500 miles away and being groped by a fellow grad student (against whom I had to press charges). I 've been deligently raising my GPA since then, but I was still nervous. In the end, it was good enough and my favorite professor (besides my advisor, of course) called me smart. Yay.


Dean and I bought an exercise bike today. We decided it was cheaper than getting him a gym membership and that way he can watch Mike & Mike In the Morning while he works out. And the days I just don't feel like hauling my butt to the gym, I can watch CNN and workout in my jammies. It's the first somewhat big purchase we've made with our wedding money. Well, that's if you don't count the brake job I had to get on the Green Machine last month. But that wasn't a fun purchase.


The weather is cooling down here finally and I love it. I never was excited about cool weather when I lived in Minnesota, but here fall is my favorite. Sure, you guys say how miserable Florida summers are, and for the most part you're right. But this is our time. It's our turn to sleep with the windows open and feel the cool breeze on our faces and wake up just a little too chilly with all the kitties snuggling with us. It's our turn to get the itch to be outside every minute to the point of playing hooky. And it's our turn all the way until March. And by that time, it'll be spring training and I'll be too f*cking excited to care that it's getting hot.


Speaking of baseball, yay Cardinals! I am living vicariously through Lefty and her Post-World Series bliss. I'm so jealous. Ah well, maybe next year. Pitchers and catcher report in 117 days.


That's all I got. Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

SWF Seeks Honda Owner

Dean and I have two Honda Del Sols. They were both mine when we got married and they were both given to me by my stepdad's mom who owned them before me. The Green Machine, as she is affectionately called, is a '93 and I got her when I was a senior in high school. My Stepgrandma upgraded to a '97 Del Sol and didn't want to sell off the Green Machine, so I got her. The second year I lived in Florida, Stepgrandma decided to get a Honda Hybrid, and my friend Di and I drove the Red Machine down to Florida in a Thelma- and- Louise- type fashion (another post entirely).
They've been good cars to us, and I'm sure they like it much better in Florida than in the frozen tundra of Minneapolis. It's always a little embarrassing telling people we have two of the same car and it can be a pain when we have visitors since we can only each have one passenger.

Anyway, the other day I was leaving for work when I noticed a police car parked across the parking lot. I drive the Green Machine to work since she doesn't have AC anymore and I only work a few miles from home. I opened the passenger door and set my laptop and my lunch bag on the seat. I shut the door to walk around to the driver's side when I noticed a rather large, intimidating cop walking to the police car. And he was staring at me.

"Good morning," I said nervously.

"Good morning," He replied thoughtfully. "Can I ask you a question?" For some reason I felt this must have something to do with the cat situation.

"Okay...." I said walking towards him.

"Does your husband drive a car just like that, only red?"

"Yeah..." I was apprehensive, but secretly glad I didn't have to correct him with "boyfriend."

"Oh. Because I always see those two cars parked here and I always wondered if it was a married couple that drove those two cars."

I laughed, relieved and a little surprised that he had taken note. "Yep, that's us!"

He continued, "I always imagined two people brought together by their love of Hondas." Now I was really surprised. He was a huge cop that had thought up a whole romantic story about our two little cars! I was so sad to burst his bubble.

"Actually, they were both mine before we got married. They both belonged to my grandma!" Usually the grandma part gets people surprised and a little amused.

He was clearly disappointed.

Friday, October 20, 2006

I Promise, One of These Days I'll Quit Blogging About Cats...

but not today.

I have a few more updates, for those of you who are sitll vaguely interested in my exploits as a feral cat colony caregiver. Sure, you all say you are vacationing, working too much, and watching your team go to the World Series. It's okay, if I were you I'd be sick of this too. But it's my blog.

Tuesday night I had the five fixed kitties recovering on the balcony. I was apprehensive about leaving them alone with Dean- who was scared of them- but I had book group and I missed last month to go get married. I'm glad I went. One of the ladies brought a bottle of champagne to "toast the bride" and we shared it. I was so touched. We decided that each month we should find a reason to celebrate.

Well it turns out those kitties are little bottomless pits. I had given them each a half a can of food when I got them. When I got home the balcony was littered was dry cat food. It looked like a bag exploded out there. I asked Dean what happened and he said the kitties ate all their food and were crying. He didn't know what to do so he took handfuls of dry food and threw them at the kitties. I asked him if throwing food at the kitties was really necessary. He said he was afraid they would lash out at him if he got any closer. I think he's going to need a crash course on recovering the cats.

Those kitties ate and ate and ate. Finally I left them each with a whole can of food when I went to bed that night. I was going to let them out at 6:30 Wednesday morning before I went to the gym. But when they woke me up with their restless crying at 4:00, I got to thinking: If I released them then, I would definitely see less people out and about to try to explain exactly what I was doing. Turns out there was one drunk college kid stumbling around and I doubt he remembers what he may have seen.

I didn't think there was anything more satisfying than letting them go. It was almost cathartic kneeling next to the cages, lifting the doors and watching them trot away, back to their lives. Only their lives won't include bringing countless of homeless kittens into the world. They ran off with full bellies and not liking me very much, so Heather said not to be surprised if I don't see them for a few days.

Speaking of homeless kittens, I got a frantic call from Heather at around 5:00 yesterday afternoon, shortly after I had gotten home from work. She said she had run into the maintenance man from my complex who found a small kitten under and abandoned couch by the dumpster. She took the kitten and called me. She said she is currently fostering several kittens right now and simply didn't have room for any more. Was I willing to take the kitten just until she could find a rescue group to take it? Against my better judgement, I agreed.

She and her boyfriend brought the kitten over along with some canned kitten food and some formula. I was shocked and terrified to see the kitten was probably about three weeks old. It's ears were still stuck to its head and it could barely stand without wobbling. What the hell was I doing? I was in way over my head. Heather said the more she thought about it, the more the kitten should go to an emergency room, but the boyfriend said it seemed healthy and that if it would eat, I should keep it until someone else could be found.

Needless to say, Dean was not thrilled to come home and find a three week old kitten locked in the bedroom, mewing and squeaking and our gigantic grown cats milling around the closed door, scratching and crying. I knew immediately I had crossed a line. I felt like I had taken advantage of Dean's graciousness about my new "hobby". Please don't misunderstand, Dean loves kitties and thinks what I am doing is noble. But he doesn't want to end up with 17 cats in a two bedroom apartment. He doesn't want to live with closed doors with recovering feral cats or litters of untrained kitten on the other side. He doesn't want our home to smell like a barn. He doesn't want our savings to go to dumping thousands of dollars into sick strays. And least of all he doesn't want to see our cats distressed or put into danger to catch diseases. I know he's right and I'm grateful one of us has some sense.

I kept the kitten for a few hours. I managed to get it to take formula from a syringe. Once in awhile Dean would storm in the bedroom, look at the kitten with dismay and say, "It's so f*cking cute. What are we going to do?" I knew he couldn't stay mad forever, but we were also both getting attached already. It was f*cking cute. Around 9:00 Heather called saying she found an experienced rescue group willing to take the kitten. I was a little disappointed. Dean was even more disappointed. "Why are they taking our kitten away?!" he wailed. We knew it was best. And part of me felt soooo not ready to have a kitten again. We are way too busy to feed this thing every few hours and I hated to think of leaving it when it came time to go home for Christmas, it would still only be a few months old.

I came away with this experience faced with a couple issues that needed to be addressed:

1. I knew this wasn't going to be easy. I knew that I might have do things like snuggle kittens I couldn't keep and that I would ultimately have to make responsible decisions if I wanted to keep my sanity. I unfortunately didn't think hard enough about how it would affect Dean. He might not be emotionally ready to do things like snuggle kittens he can't keep. We need to find his comfort zone and I need to respect it.

2. When I started this project, I was willing to do whatever I could to help the kitties. I need to recognize that there may be a difference between what I am physically able to and what I am capable of doing without losing my job, my husband and all my senses. I was so exhausted from the Big Fix that I worked from home Wednesday so I could take a nap without Dr. Hari knowing about it. I was MIA for a couple hours that day. If I would have kept the kitten I would have had to work from home today as well. I can't do things like that on a regular basis if I want to finish my Ph.D.

3. Dean and I needed to set up some definite rules. He wasn't happy I took in the kitten without consulting him. But what if I would have found it myself? Do I need permission to rescue a helpless animal? Good question. We came up with a compromise. If I find a kitten in need, I am to use my best judgement. I can take it in for a maximum of five hours after Dean gets home while I find someone else to take it. You might think this is unreasonable. What if I don't think I can find someone? Then I am to tell Dean not to come home, even it means going to a bar or a hotel. Clearly, these rules are set in place to allow my mean old husband to avoid getting too attached.

It turns out there is something more satisfying than releasing the cats. When I went out there to feed them tonight, I flashed my lantern on a black cat hovering behind a tree, waiting for the food. It had a clipped ear- one of the one I trapped, spayed and released. And it came back.

Okay. Sorry this is so long. There is just a lot going on on the kitty front. Like I said before, I am heavily steeped in this right now and I need to find an equilibrium. Be patient, dear readers. Not a lot of people understand this or why I care so much. You guys seem to get it, and for that I'm truly grateful.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fix Those Kitties!

Except for one miscue and some miscommunication among humans, the Big Fix went very well.

Heather's friend Kris suggested we start trapping at noon on Sunday. I got a little freaked out about that because Heather said usually trapping is done at dusk when the kitties would be out and hungry- and when residents and management wouldn't be out on the property. But as a novice I was at Kris's mercy and told her to come whenever she wanted. Kris turned out to be the most hyperactive woman I have ever met in my life. No contest. I opened the door to find her wild-eyed and covered with scratches. She is also terribly sweet and dedicated. She did, however, seem a little too excited about finding big tom cats and chopping off their bits.

The traps have two doors, one on each end. One of the doors is attached to a lever mechanism that can raise up a small platform on the bottom of the cage. You place the food slightly under the platform, the cat steps on the platform to get at the food, triggering the door to shut. The other door is to be opened upon feeding and releasing. We set up the five traps behind the dumpster, each trap had a paper plate with about a tablespoon of tuna on it. We stood aside and waited a few minutes. Sure enough, one of the scrawny tuxedo cats came milling around it, sniffing at it. That little asshole managed to slip his skinny paw through the cages and proceeded to scoop out all the tuna in the traps. Then, full and proud of himself, he went and laid in the sun.

"Wow! Yours are much smarter than mine!" I shrugged apologetically, but inside I was a little proud of his ingenuity as well.

The second attempt didn't lure any kitties for awhile. Kris got bored warning it could be hours and decided to go run some errands. I left for maybe a half hour and came back to find two of the traps full. The cats were startled so I got the sheets given to me just for covering them up. I covered them and walked past a still open trap with a kitten in it, eating the tuna. I had eyed this kitten for a few days wondering if it was young enough to be socialized. And it was in my trap. But it was too little to actually trigger the mechanism. It wasn't until the kitten, drunk on tuna, actually laid down in the trap, putting her full weight on the trigger that the door sprung shut. I felt bad for trapping her, but I figured either way she needed to be caught. If she was too young to be fixed we could keep her. If she was old enough, she should be fixed.

It took a couple hours, but finally all the traps were full. And the kitten was the only one I had ever seen before. I wondered if it was the lunch crowd, since my guys don't come out until a little later. Either way, they definitely weren't the five I was expecting.

Kris loaded them in the van and took them all home with her. I was expecting to keep them and then go with her to the clinic the next day, but she said that would be too time consuming.

The kitties got through surgery just fine. Much to Kris's dismay, I ended up catching four girls and only one boy. Again, I was expecting Kris to pick them up from the clinic and drop them with me. She never showed up and I couldn't get a hold of her. I found myself worried about my cats and anxious to see them, make sure with my own eyes they were okay. I called Heather who sensed my apprehension and then we both tried calling Kris several more times.

It wasn't until this afternoon that I heard from her. I told her I was fully expecting to recover the kitties last night as well as tonight. She says that keeping them the night before and the night after the surgery is "part of her deal" and she does it for everyone. She intends to keep them two nights next month as well. Dean was ecstatic. I wasn't as thrilled but if it gets Dean feeling more comfortable with this process so be it.

The kitties are now resting peacefully (and occasionally whining) on the balcony. My kitties are surprisingly well-behaved. They are keeping and eye on the visitors, but there has been no hissing, no puffing up, no spraying, none of the horrific noises I was imagining. They are curious and Nellie gets wildly jealous when I go out there with canned food, apparently a delicacy around here.

In the end, Kris said she thinks the kitten is deceptively small-probably much older than she appears. Dean thinks we simply can't have another cat and I know he's right. And I don't have the time, the energy or the skills to socialize a feral kitten. In the end, she'll have to go back with her cat family and I'll be satisfied knowing I did a good thing for her. But she's soooo cute!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Calm Before the Storm

Tomorrow I'll be trapping five dumpster kitties. My new friend Heather won't be able to help me, she has trapping of her own to do, but one of her friends will be coming over to get me started. Monday is Feral Cat Day and the event where I can take five kitties to get spayed/neutered for free is called "The Big Fix".

Yesterday runnergirl and I went to pick up the traps I'm renting for the kitties. I had to go to a woman's house who keeps a bunch in her garage and rents them out for these types of events. When giving me directions, she guided me to her streeat and then described her house as "the dumpy one on a double lot." Boy, she wasn't kidding. I was skeptical of this assessment since the nieghborhood is very cute. Her house contained appliances on the lawn and several pieces of furniture littered with cats. Runnergirl and I got out of her truck and were immediately greeted by a cat with no tail. There were several cats with the tips of their ears missing, the signature of feral cat fixing and quite a few rubbing up against us. She came out and proved herself to be the quintessential crazy cat lady. Runnergirl and I got the traps, went to load them in the bed of truck only to find a stowaway- one had jumped in her truck bed. The lady said she had 17 of them and I could tell by the noises coming from her windows she had several dogs too. Runnergirl and I then took a solemn oath to never EVER let each other get that bad.

Today I straightened up and swept the balcony for when the kitties are trapped. I lined up all five traps to see if they would fit, and they do. Now it's a matter of loading the traps tomorrow with some tuna and waiting. Early Monday morning Heather's friend will come back with her minivan and load 'em up and move 'em out.

In other news, Heather also said she talked to a maintenance man from my complex who was thrilled to hear someone would be humanely caring for the kitties and helping their situation. It feels great to have someone on my side who works here. The maintenance men are more involved than the management, so I had to breathe a sigh of releif and I don't feel like I have to hide anymore when going back there.

Lastly, I am feeling a little blue about tomorrow. I have developed a relationship with those cats unlike any other I've had with animals before. It has caused me to grow up a lot to care for these cats while getting nothing in return. I can't snuggle them or groom them or feel their weight on me while I'm sleeping. I've learn to keep my distance and find love in my heart anyway. The most rewarded I feel is when I am about halfway down the parking lot and a see the half dozen or so who come out to greet me. It's funny how such a small gesture from a cat (who let's face it, think themselves far superior to us) can mean so much. They run out and cry and run circles around me (withouth letting me touch them) and I try to shoo them out of sight, while giggling and feeling flattered. Their bravery makes me almost positive those will be the five that wander into the traps first, and it breaks my heart that I will case this trauma to them. I know it's for the best. Really, I do. But will things be the same after this? I know it's selfish of me, but their trust means a lot to me. I just have to keep in mind how much this will help in the long run.

More after the Big Fix!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

New DL

No matter how funny you find this, I SWEAR to you this is 100 times better than my old license.

The Hillsborough County DMV is quite the place. I was not the only white person there, but I was the only white person with all my teeth and one of the only ones wearing proper shoes instead of bedroom slippers. Many people there came in large groups with translators. It was noisy with shouting, cussing, crying babies, and the frustration of attempted communication in several different languages. I brought my book but didn't read it. Instead I sat alertly, watching all the drama and felt more than one pair of creepy eyes crawling on me.

When I was finally called up and I told the calm (bless his soul) man that I simply wanted a new license with my married name he gave me a couple options.

DMV guy: "Do you want to remove 'Anne' [my middle name] and replace it with F*** [my maiden name, not the "F" word]?"

Me: "Would that be a permanent, legal change? Or would I still keep my middle name?"

DMV guy: "No, it's not a legal change. It's just that we can only put three names on here."

Me: "Oh. I see..."

DMV guy: "Many newly married women find it easier to keep their maiden name on here."

Me: "I know! I'm sort of having a hard time letting go of it. It's all I've ever known!"

DMV guy: "Um, no. They find it easier when they're still changing over credit cards, bank accounts, that sort of stuff."

Me: "Oh. Okay. That sounds good."

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Random Stuff

I am just checking in. I was really busy with experiments for the last ten days, now it's time to play catch up around the house. Yesterday I worked on a manuscript for a paper and relaxed a little. Today I cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, did a big grogery shopping (during the Bucs game so that the store wasn't too crowded) and Dean did four loads of wash that I still have to fold. I should finish the half dozen or so thank you cards I still need to do.

I'll be taking Wednesday off of work to get more stuff done. Getting a new driver's license, putting Dean on my bank account, going to the doctor. Why am I going to the doctor you ask? Because on Thursday Dean found out he has whooping cough and the doctor said I should get on antibiotics to make sure I don't get it. I realize I should maybe do that sooner, but I feel fine. I'm considering asking for a tetanus shot since greensunflower told me I should as long as my cats (and stray cats) continue to draw blood. Now that I'm married and have kickass health insurance so I can indulge in vaccinations.

Speaking of stray cats, next Monday is National Feral Cat Day and I am getting five of the dumspter kitties fixed for free. This will be an undertaking. I spoke extensively with the coordinator of the local host for this event. Friday I have to stop feeding the kitties to get them good and hungry. Sunday night I have to trap the kitties and keep them overnight. We decided they will stay on the balcony since it's been cooling off at night to the 60s, they should stay cool out there. Early Monday morning they'll go to the clinic. They will get spayed/neutered, vaccinated against rabies, shampooed and ear-cleaned, they'll get checked for abcessed teeth and treated if necessary, they'll get fluids if they're dehydrated and they'll get 1/4" clipped off their left ear so that the sames ones don't get re-fixed next time. They'll keep the kitties ovenight and then the next day I'll pick them up. The boys will go back behind the dumpster right away and the girls will stay on the balcony for one or two more days. I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it next week. If I survive.

The Twins season is over. I cried like a baby when they got down to their last out. They had a fantastic season, Baby Jesus ended up with the batting title, Johan will certainly get the Cy Young. We'll see if Morneau gets MVP. I won't hold my breath, but he deserves it. It was painful to see commentators shocked that they got beat by the A's, but that was quickly erased by the shock of the Yankees getting beat by the Tigers. Apparently it's a bigger deal when the $200M team gets outed. Torre's getting the axe even though he clearly isn't the problem. I'm thinking he would look mighty good in a Twins jersey.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Sometime around 11:00 last night, I noticed Allie running around the apartment growling. This can only mean one thing: she caught something. Living in Florida, critters make their way into our apartment on a semi-regular basis, especially when the weather is starting to cool down a bit. Lately, it has been either very large cockraoches or palmetto bugs. I can't tell the difference. We haven't gotten any lizards in awhile, a memo must have gone out about the kitties. Being a cat owner, I never have to worry about roaches skittering across my feet. But I do have to worry about finding the leftover pieces of them once someone gets ahold of them. Usually it's Allie, and then she starts this whole running-around-growling thing. So then I close off the bedroom, the office and the bathroom so she can't hide with it allowing me to find it later under the bed, behind the toilet or a similarly startling location. Then, we let her run around awhile and once she tires we tempt her with a treat and she drops it, allowing us to pick it up with a paper towel. Pretty effective pest control.

Well shortly after 11:00 Dean was making noise about wanting to go to bed, but I had the rooms closed off (I was still working, thank God for PC Anywhere!). Dean took out the treats, but Allison was still intent on running around with her prey. I decided to corner her in the hallway and grab her, giving her a little shake to make her drop it. I chased her and she ran in between the couch and the wall. It was dark back there, and I meant to tap her on the rear to coax her out so I could pick her up. I stuck my hand back there and all of a sudden I felt a searing pain rip through my left palm. I let out a blood-curtling scream, not knowing what had just happened. Did she scratch me? Did she bite me, injecting with me roach juice at the same time? Oh my God did the roach bite me? I was freaking out. Turns out she hooked me and tore a deep cut in my left palm, right in between my thumb and forefinger. I know, I'm all about the Soft Claws, but Allie is very resistent to me applying them and she is not a bad scratcher, so I slack off a little with her. Not anymore. It bled like crazy. It still hurts pretty bad and it's impossible to bandage. Not to mention my feelings are hurt! Allie's the sweetest one! She's not supposed to stab me!

PS- I was recounting this story to my mom tonight, unabashedly looking for sympathy. I told her that Allie tore a gash on my left palm.

"Oh, I'm sorry! Wait. Are you right handed or left handed?"

"Mother! I'm right handed! Duh!"

"Then what are you griping about?"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. Except for Sunday I have been working 16 hour days for a week. I am a wreck. I'm exhausted, my eyelids feel like sandpaper. My mind is numb. We have helium and I'M THE ONLY ONE WITH SAMPLES TO RUN. I've been running short (~ 4 hour) experiments all day, 8am to midnight and then I write a computer program for a long experiment to run while I sleep. Today should be the last day where we have helium (we ran out for awhile Sunday which is why I got stay home and watch baseball). That's normally a good thing. Except that my advisor wants a rough draft for a manuscript by Friday. I have an abstract and an assignment due for class on Tuesday. I'm suppoed to be writing my candidacy proposal. And oh yeah, I might be hauling five dumpster kitties to the clinic early Sunday morning for Spay Day. That's not for sure yet, they are officially filled up for this month, but my new connection is confident she can get me a coveted spot. I'm glad there are so many people who care about kitties, and maybe it would be best if I couldn't get in on Sunday. I already have an appointment to bring in five kitties for the annual Feral Cat Day event (you can bring in five kitties for free!). So definitely within the next month or so, 10 lucky kitties from behind the dumpster will have their sex organs removed. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that.

And baseball? I don't wanna talk about it.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Today had to be one of the very best days of my life as a Twins fan. Ho-ly cow, I am in heaven right now. We went into today’s game (the last game of the regular season) tied with the Tigers for first place in the division. The division winner will play Oakland at home, the wild card winner goes to Yankee Stadium. We had been in first place for a total of several hours for the whole season, and were now tied for a few days for the division lead. And it all came down to today. What needed to happen? We absolutely needed to win today’s game and Detroit absolutely had to lose. If we BOTH won or BOTH lost, Detroit would be the central division champions because they had a winning record in the season series of the two teams. We had to win against the White Sox, Detroit had to lose at home against the Royals, who have lost 100 games this year. 162 games in the season, and so much was riding on this last one. We won easily, but it wasn’t looking hopeful when the Tigers jumped out 6-0 in four innings. Then, the Royals, (who had also won the first two games of the series) amazingly started scoring runs. The Tigers were unraveling. By the seventh inning, the Royals were on top 7-6. By the end of nine innings, the two teams were tied 8-8. Those scrappy Royals just wouldn’t give up. They had nothing to play for and even less to lose. The Tigers were forced to bring in their would-be starter for the first playoff game. They had bases loaded in the eleventh and couldn’t score. Finally in the twelfth the Royals scared two and went on to win, giving Twins the central division. At the Metrodome, well after the Twins game was done, 60,000 fans were screaming, “Let’s go ROY-ALS!” watching the improbable unfold on the jumbotron.

That isn’t nearly all that happened today, the last day of the regular season. Joe Mauer won the batting title! The first American League catcher to win the title and the first catcher to have the best batting average in both leagues. He was the first Twin since Kirby did it in 1989 which made the occasion bittersweet. We have the AL batting champ, and a shoe in for the Cy Young. Johan Santana finished with the pitchers trinity: leading the AL in ERA, wins and strikeouts. Justin Morneau has a very good chance of being named MVP (that’s not as clear cut as the other two), but he also tied the record for most runs batted in for a season by a Canadian (tied with Larry Walker). Very cool for Justin also.

We wished so badly we could have been there to see all this live, but with the baseball package we were able to flip between the Twins, the Tigers and the Yankees (both Jeter and Cano threatened to overtake Mauer for batting title today). We settled for buying a couple bottles of champagne and talking about the events incessantly. I am so pumped for the post season!