Oh, did I tell you Kyle broke his elbow? Because he broke his elbow. | August 31, 2022

Five days before we were set to leave for Las Vegas, Kyle started limping.

“My Achilles’ is bothering me,” he said, wincing.

“How about some ice?”  I asked.

“No,” he said.

“How about some heat?”  I asked.

“No,” he said.

“How about some rest?”  I asked.

“No,” he said.

“How about a doctor?”  I asked.

“No,” he said.

The next day, he had devised a solution.

“I’m going to go play hockey tonight,” he said.  “I think I just need to stretch it out.”

“Maybe instead of hockey, you should try resting it first,” I said.

“No,” he said.

An hour later, I was sitting on the couch – I’m EXCELLENT at resting my body parts – when Kyle returned, nursing his left forearm.

“I think I broke my arm,” he said.

“How about going to the doctor?”  I asked.

“Okay,” he said.  And then,

“My Achilles’ feels much better.”

“Terrific,” I said.

Lo and behold, his Achilles’ had actually and miraculously healed itself.  Also, he had broken his elbow.  Fortunately for both our trip and Kyle, he didn’t require surgery, and didn’t need a cast.  The doctor’s instructions were simple: wear the sling, work the arm a few times a day, and don’t lift anything high or heavy.

That last rule has been a real problem for me because it turns out I’ve become pretty dependent on Kyle having two working arms.

Here’s an example:

Before we left for Vegas, I decided that we would share one giant suitcase instead of taking two smaller ones because I figured Kyle would appreciate having one free usable arm to protect himself from tripping and breaking another elbow.  This was a good plan in theory but less so in practice, as I am both short and only able to lift something above 50 pounds if I’m carrying it on my back and it’s the same size, shape and grippiness as my children.  Our enormous suitcase weighed exactly 50 pounds (we were nothing if not prepared for every outfit-related vacation scenario), and was so tall that I couldn’t hold the handle on the top while also gripping onto the bottom.  This meant that in order to get it into a vehicle, I had to squat on the ground and use my shoulder as support.  (In hindsight, I’m sure there was a better way to do this, but when I got married I not only stopped dating other men, I also stopped putting suitcases in cars.)  Las Vegas (and Kyle) will forever be changed with the memory of a small, sweaty Jewish girl hoisting a suitcase into an Uber like Atlas with his globe.

Here’s another example:

We have a number of items at our house that are above my eye level, but it’s never been that big of a deal because I’m married to the human version of one of those grabber things.  Except that now that grabber can only reach with one arm.  As luck would have it, all three of the light bulbs in our walk-in pantry burned out simultaneously, and the only person in our family who is both allowed to climb a ladder and has two available hands to twist open the light fixture and pull out the bulbs is this girl right here.  Which means that I have spent the last week using my cell phone as a flashlight to get the canned peas because the only time I remember I need to change the bulbs is when I’m in the middle of cooking something or typing this story and am otherwise indisposed.

The whole thing has been so much work that I’ve taken to “jokingly” asking all of our male friends to do things for me.  Just the other day, I tripped and one of those friends caught me.

“You have really strong forearms,” I said.  “Can you come over later and help me with something ha ha?” 

Then, after he looked really nervous and I realized he thought I was suggesting he come over and “help me with something” untoward, I said,

“No, no, I need you to move a table.”  And then he looked REALLY nervous and walked away.  Now not only do I no longer have a friend, that table is still unmoved.

Kyle feels badly that I am apparently incompetent at life’s simple activities, and so he’s been sneaking around trying to do things to help me out, like fold sheets out of the dryer or move tables.  This means I’ve had to not only do extra stuff – like LIFT SUITCASES OUT OF THE CAR AND CHANGE LIGHT BULBS – but I’ve had to anticipate his every move so as to ward him off.  We recently attended a hockey tournament in Fargo, and I was forced to wake up early because Kyle thought he’d surreptitiously put our son’s goalie bag (which is the equivalent weight and floppiness as an adult body bag) into the car.  After he was caught, he pretended to walk away and instead slipped out of the room with two heavy coolers.

We’re a few weeks away from the arbitrary “healed” date set by the doctor, and I’m marking the minutes off like a person would on a prison wall.  In the meantime, I’ve ordered a ramp to get things from the ground into the trunk of my car.

The photo above is of Kyle on vacation in Las Vegas.  You would not be surprised to hear that a great many people asked him what happened to his arm.  You would also not be surprised to hear that every single one of them was incredibly, deeply disappointed that it didn’t happen to him in Vegas.

This week’s news has a neighborhood greeter, an annual block party, and the Babe Ruth World Series. Read on.


In North Dakotaish news, the FM Legion riders honored Moorhead’s John Cunningham, who is best known for sitting outside his building waving to passersby. (KFYR TV)

The entire community of Jamestown throws an annual block party in order to welcome University of Jamestown students back to school. (Jamestown Sun)

Dr. Richard Faidley, the superintendent of the Williston Basin School District, goes around to all of the local and rural schools and says hello at the start of the school year. (KFYR TV)

Fort Yates now has a new mural thanks to group of Denver-based and local artists. (KFYR TV)

Speaking of murals, Fargo’s Lauren Starling has brought the world of Mario to the downtown. (Valley News Live)

Williston was the hot spot of baseball after hosting 48,000 people for the Babe Ruth World Series. (KFYR TV)

Finger’s crossed, it’s looking like it’s going to be a pretty successful year for North Dakota’s farmers. (Facebook)


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Ma and Pa Kosior go to Las Vegas | August 24, 2022

Kyle and I just got back from a weekend anniversary trip to Las Vegas.  At least I think it was a weekend.  If you have ever been to Vegas – this was my first visit – you know that is a place that completely exists outside of the realities of time, space, and society’s expectations about liquids consumed by the yard.  The whole thing is so wackadoodle that at one point I was standing next to one woman clad head-to-toe in a Louis Vuitton sweatsuit and bucket hat and another woman wearing nipple tassels and what I think was a bathing suit bottom with “It doesn’t eat itself” written on the tush and my very first thought was, “Only one of these two people is dressed appropriately for the heat.”

For a brief period in my Boston twenties, I was cool.  Well, cool-adjacent.  My glamorous and exotic best friend and former roommate spent six years extricating me from my pile of chinos and proclivity towards exclamations like, “Oh, my word!” and “Holy buckets!” and into a lifestyle with dark eyeliner and the knowledge of the right and wrong place for a glass of champagne.  However, you can take the girl out of the Gap but you can’t keep her from Internet ads for sleeveless pink polo shirts; and my move back to North Dakota twenty years ago (after which I married a guy who has a standing text chain with his friend to share Dad Jokes) started an aggressively deep slide back into The Mom I’ve become today.

Anyways, and as such, it became pretty apparent immediately after stepping off the plane that Kyle and I were not really the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce’s poster children for their updated catchphrase, “What happens here, only happens here.”

First of all, Kyle and I look like our idea of a wild time is to research and shop for new bathroom cleaners.  They were handing out shots of this chocolate mint-flavored whiskey in the airport, and the beautiful whiskey girl – everyone who works in Vegas is gorgeous and incredibly fit, which…how?  Is there a talent agent who travels the United States looking for The Venetian Walgreen’s next hot checker-outer? – said to the tattooed guy nearby, “This is the perfect way to start off a night,” and then had to really rack that beautiful brain of hers to come up with this pitch for us: “…This is good…to go…with…a cup off of coffee after dinner.”  Then she smiled apologetically because of course we two nerds wouldn’t have a stimulant before our bedtime at 5:30pm.

Our taxi driver from the airport to the hotel further hammered home this fact when he offered up a completely unsolicited warning.  “Pot is legal here,” he said, “So you know, don’t freak out if you smell it.”  (This was a helpful head’s up, by the way, because pot smoking is a competition in Las Vegas and everyone is out to win.)

Second, neither Kyle nor I gamble.  I mean, we did gamble a little; Kyle put $25 down on various sports books and I played (and lost at) video poker for twenty minutes before I realized deuces were wild.  We also spent about $20 in various slot machines, but came out net ahead after I kept finding abandoned poker chips on the floor because who doesn’t go to Vegas to admire the wide variety of carpet patterns?

Obviously, you don’t have to gamble or look rock-n-roll to have a good time in Vegas.  Here is what we did when we weren’t drinking airport whiskey and learning about the perils of marijuana:

  • We went to several excellent restaurants and one buffet; and the buffet had so many food choices that it actually grossed me – ME, the QUEEN of BUFFETS – out of buffets for possibly ever.  The restaurant (“restaurant”) had something like ten different full buffets, the most popular of which being the seafood spread.  Every single person in line walked away with an ocean’s worth of fish, which they devoured like a shark frenzy.  The waiters (they brought the drinks and were the only normal-looking waitstaff in all of Las Vegas) would wander table-to-table, eyes glazed over, scraping chum and plates onto a rolling cart while simultaneously making a feeble effort to keep their souls from leaving their bodies.
  • Attended a show called Absinthe. The advertising for Absinthe said “If you only see one show, see this!” Which is the type of confident advertising that I automatically immediately discredit.  However, the models on the poster were enticing and Kyle booked the tickets so we went.  We sat next to two drunk ladies about my own age who shared my level of pre-show skepticism at the promised amazingness of Absinthe.  I don’t know if it was the free-flowing alcohol or the fact that the performance had a lot of mostly-naked men, but those ladies, and this lady, were all converts to the awesomeness by the curtain call.  My review is, “If you only see one show and you like acrobatics and dirty jokes and you’re okay with getting splashed with water and there isn’t another show you want to see more, see this!”
  • Went to this thing that was either called “Meow Wolf” or “Omega Mart” which is a thing I found on a list of “If you only do one thing in Vegas, do this!” I think Meow Wolf/Omega Mart was an interactive art exhibit; although my thoughts really didn’t matter because Kyle and I were 100 years older than 100% of the other attendees and about 4,000,000% less aware of what was happening.  You enter into Omega Mart, which is a mind-bending grocery store where the products on the shelves are all what the kidz would call “ironic.”  If you dig deep enough (specifically, open the freezer or go behind the deli counter), you enter into another world that was a little like if Pandora was run by Big Pharma.  Or something.  In addition to being 1000000000 years older than everyone, we were the only ones not taking constant selfies (one kid near us never once looked up from his phone).  Despite our total uncoolness stinkin’ up the joint, we thought it was great.

The very best thing we did in Vegas, though, was talk to the staff.  The young and hot (and incredibly nice) waitstaff were always happy for a chat, probably because we reminded them of their parents’ friends.  One waiter kept saying, “It’s your birthday, right? *wink wink* Because we have dessert for you,” and “It’s also his birthday, right? *wink wink* Because you get free drinks.”  We closed out a French restaurant because the bartenders invited us to stay.  The morning before we left, we went for breakfast and were greeted by a (hot and young) chilly waitress.  She took our order, and came back a few minutes later.

“Are you from Minnesota?”  She asked.

“North Dakota,” we said.

“Oh, I’m from St. Paul!”  She said, warming instantly.  “I figured.”

The photo above was taken at Omega Mart.  I don’t think I’m supposed to be smiling.

This week’s news has Williston’s first triplets, a Bachelor, and Weston Dressler.  Read on.


Bismarck’s Weston Dressler has been inducted into the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Plaza of Honor. (KFYR TV)

Halliday’s Dante LaPierre took third place in a 24-hour, 100-mile endurance race through California. (KFYR TV)

The Chahinkapa Zoo has a new baby girl gibbon.  Congratulations to Effy (Mom), Sprite (Dad), and Poppy (Sister)! (Wahpeton Daily News)

The first triplets to be born in Williston are turning 70 years old. (KFYR TV)

New Salem is getting a mural relating the culture and history and Morton County. (KFYR TV)

Grand Forks’ Baylee Bjorge got a special video message from “The Bachelorette”’s Logan Palmer. (US 103.3)

Two bits of good news: Dickinson’s Ian Vesey is expected to recover from brain cancer, and Make-a-Wish North Dakota is sending him and his family to Alaska for some salmon fishing. (Dickinson Press)


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Where the Wild Things Are: The Younger Siblings of Baseball | June 29, 2022

Behold, America’s Pastime.  As the first buds of spring emerge on the branch, so do cleats on the baseline – ready to make and rake their own layers in the dusty tracks like so many generations before.  However, today on Animal Planet‘s “Where the Wild Things Are,” we take you off the baseball field to capture a species rarely seen by the naked eye (because most people wear sunglasses): the elusive, the sugar-filled, the unkempt and unkept…Younger Siblings.

As the title suggests, a Younger Sibling is the latter offspring in a family group that also includes an Older Sibling.  When enrolled in activities such as baseball, these Older Siblings require an excessive amount of attention – from identifying appropriate clothing (“Are we wearing blues or whites today?” a parent will ask, using the royal “We” to identify to the Older Sibling – who rarely knows the location or cleanliness level of any jersey, color notwithstanding), to providing nutrient-rich sustenance (“I hope we’re all hungry for microwaved hot dogs!”), to traveling to and from events (“We have to be at the field at 7am, so maybe we will sleep in the car.”), to watching every moment of gameplay (“Yes, instead of going to bed, let’s definitely talk about that minute detail.”).

An adult brain can only process so many thoughts at once; and, as a result, any Younger Siblings are given the barest minimum of care – basically, parents just make sure to bring them along to wherever they are going.  Left to their own wild devices, these Younger Siblings organize into feral packs, roaming about the ballfield in search of food and fun.  These packs are called “Buddies” because, once in a group, the Younger Siblings eschew their own given names so as to answer to all variations of the name “Buddy.”

Buddies exist everywhere and nowhere.  One minute, they are under the bleachers.  The next, they are in the outfield.  Their location rarely has anything to do with their purpose; they will throw a ball back and forth from inside the bathrooms, or cheer at random for whatever team is in closest proximity from the top of an electrical box.  Often, they will stop what they are doing and have a long conversation with another member of the pack – ending the conversation by slapping one another and shouting, “You’re it!” and running off.

Buddies are particularly hard to identify, as they are always shifting numbers, members, and clothing.  Many Younger Siblings will arrive at the field wearing their SpongeBob jammie bottoms and their Older Siblings’ unused jersey, and leave the field in a pair of shorts and no shirt at all.

Because of these changing facts, and in order to hold up the “parenting” end of being a parent, adults will move their focus away from the Older Sibling long enough to regularly track the general vicinity of his or her younger child.  Once they spot one or more members of their last-known pack, they will shout out an ambiguous missive, such as, “How’s it going, Bud?”  To which their offspring will identify themselves by yelling, “I’m hungry.”

The Buddies’ diet is forged entirely from the nearby concession stand.  This is not to say other options don’t exist; in many cases, the parents of the Younger Siblings will provide a carry-all filled to the brim with healthy/healthy-ish foodstuffs, ranging from sunflower seeds to fruit snacks to the same straight-up actual candy served at the stand.  Regardless of what is provided, the Younger Siblings will wait until the exact moment that the Older Sibling is either up to bat or pitching and then ask for money “to get something to eat.”

“Hang on, Bud, your brother is pitching,” the parent will reply, their eyes glued to the field.

“But I’m hungrrrrryyyyy,” the Younger Sibling will say, invoking a tone which has the effect of completely erasing a parents’ memory of any previously-packed snacks and/or best-laid plans to not buy anything at the park.

“Oh, okay,” the parent will say, producing $5 without actually looking away from the game.  “Bring back change.”

No change will ever return.  Instead, it will be traded for hot dogs and candy bars, as well as cotton candy, Freezees, Ring Pops, and bags of chips.  Once gathered, the Younger Sibling will graciously dole any and all foodstuffs amongst the Buddies, oftentimes forgetting to save enough to fill their own bellies.  Not to worry, though; they will soon be sated as soon as the coach switches pitchers and another Younger Sibling can repeat the same song-and-dance with their own different set of parents.

If, for some reason, the concession stand is closed, the Younger Siblings will console themselves with fistfuls of unshelled sunflower seeds – which they will “eat” by sucking off the salt and spitting into the grass whole, thereby saving themselves the unnecessary exertions of shelling, chewing, or actually consuming any protein.

To get an inside look at this volatile pack environment, Animal Planet embedded one of our top researchers, Dr. Pat Patterson, into what we identified as Buddy Bravo (which was formed after one of the members of Buddy Alpha left to go to Sam’s Club with his grandma).  Here’s what Dr. Patterson had to say:

“I found Buddy Bravo rolling down the pitching mound on an unused field, and I was able to join them by standing near the group until someone pointed at me and said it was my turn.  We played on that field for one hundred hours, and then petted a dog for another hundred hours.  I was briefly a member of Buddy Charlie after a kid named Sam called Finn’s sister a farthead, but we reconvened once Sam’s mom found a bag of balloons in her wagon.  Come to think of it, we never did blow up those balloons; instead, Finn pulled us around in the wagon like a choo-choo train for infinity hours and then it was time to go.  Did I have a good time?  Well, Sam did – wait, is that the ice cream truck?  Can I have $5?”

As Dr. Patterson – who is currently preparing for a similar study amongst Hockey Buddies – noted, Younger Siblings will spend “infinity hours” at the baseball park – time that will never be reciprocated by their Older Sibling.  Yes, one day the Younger Sibling may be at his or her own baseball game, and yes, the Older Sibling may need to come to the field to get his or her mom’s car keys – and, while there, casually glance at the game while mom digs in her purse.  When that happens, nearby adults will coo, “Isn’t it great that he came to watch his brother,” which is the cue to the Older Sibling that they are now allowed to leave to do something better.

Finally, speaking of leaving…all baseball games come to an end – and with it, our migrating Buddies find a soft landing pad on the folded-up lawn chairs of their parents. 

“Can we go to the pool?”  The Younger Sibling will ask, after a final handful of sunflower seeds.

“Sorry, Bud,” their parents will say.  “We have to be back at the field in an hour.”

Join us next week on Animal Planet‘s “Where the Wild Things Are” for a look at the dictionary definition of universal chaos: that time you decided to invite your four-year-old’s entire preschool class to his birthday party.

This week’s news has a swimming lesson and a barbecue.  Read on.


Minot’s Roosevelt Park Zoo is attempting to set the record for the world’s largest swimming lesson. (KX Net)

Fargo’s Johanna Zinke has created a business called Ramp Girl (she’s 10 years old) so that she can sell rare ramps she finds on her family hikes to area restaurants. (Fargo Forum)

Over 5,000 people came out to the 10th Annual Bakken BBQ – which broke records with 46 cooking companies – in order to raise money for Make-A-Wish North Dakota. (Dickinson Press)

 


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