Apparently "accepted pending minor revisions" really is meaningful. The first two rounds of submissions to this journal took just over three months each, first coming back "revise and resubmit" and then coming back "minor revisions". The final round lasted less than 24 hours, with the final, official acceptance hitting my inbox a full hour before my advisor's one-word email ("Great!") acknowledging that the final submission had been made.
So there we are. I have no idea what the backlog on brief reports is at this journal, but at some point in the coming year I will be a published author. It wasn't my idea or my design, but it was all my analysis and a great deal my writing. Even I can't be pessimistic at this stage. Now I can eagerly start anticipating the hectic proofs process, and hoping that in with the author reprints is at least one copy of the entire journal, with my name buried in the Contents list.