Sunday, January 31, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 93: What is sexy

SH: I like you better naked.

Me: You don't think my [light blue with cow jumping over the moon pattern] flannel PJs and [mustard yellow] Wiess beer-bike t-shirt are sexy?*

SH: No.

* Plus the Fluffy Socks.

Wisconsin 101: Pesky neighbors

The problem with Wisconsin is that you have to fight with your neighbors to shovel your own sidewalk. Our neighbor Ann gets up at 6 a.m. to shovel before she goes to work. She shovels our sidewalk as well. Fine. That's nice of her. I take her food when I make a big batch of something. It evens out. I hope.

So SH comes home at 2 a.m. from singing and a beer or two and thinks that he'll shovel our sidewalk and hey, he'll do Ann's sidewalk so she won't have to do it. But no. She hears him shoveling and gets out of bed because she doesn't want to be out that late by herself but as long as someone else is out there, why not?

And then SH complains that someone keeps shoveling out our fire hydrant. It's not really ours - it belongs to the entire street. It is a community obligation. Darn retirees. Nothing better to do than to make sure that if a house catches fire, the fire department will be able to get to the hydrant.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 329: You're not doing it right #21

SH: What are you doing?

Me: What do you mean? I'm scooping the litter box.

Oh like you wanted to see a photo of the cat box? Morocco, again.

SH: But that's not the right way to do it!

Me: What? How on earth can there be a right or a wrong way to scoop poop?

SH: That's not how I do it!

Me: So?

SH: You're doing it wrong!

Me: First, just because it's not your way does not mean it's wrong. Second, do you want to be in charge of cleaning the box? Then shut up.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 322: Girly man

Me: So are you OK with going to Vietnam* next year?

SH: You're the one who has a problem with supporting a communist regime.**

I think what swayed SH was seeing the photos of the food in the Vietnamese guidebook I got at the library. Here he picks out fish for our lunch in Morocco. In that town I can't remember how to spell and am too lazy to google.

Me: It's not like Cuba. It's not illegal to go there. They're allowed to have their own businesses. Stupid college students don't wear t-shirts idolizing a Vietnamese murderer. [OK. I didn't say that last part. But I had to editorialize because honestly, what is it with the Che t-shirts? Are their Hitler t-shirts dirty?]

SH: But. Don't we have to get shots?

Me: That's it? That's the reason you don't want to go? You don't want to get shots?

SH: Maybe.

Me: I cannot believe you are such a big baby.

* We have a bunch of FF miles to use and my friend Dean from the Peace Corps works for the World Bank in Hanoi. Perfect opportunity, right?

** Not that SH supports communism either, but I am the big anti-Fidel voice in the house. Although as soon as SH had the facts about Cuba and Che and Fidel, he was appalled and on the Side of Right.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 321: Bacon worthy

H: What should we have [on Saturday when our friends come for supper]?

Me: Definitely cream cheese stuffed bacon wrapped jalapenos.*

Not bacon. Part of the seafood meal we had in Essouairia. Essouiara. Morocco.

SH: But what about the bacon?

Me: I'll pick some up.

SH: Wait. Here's some in the freezer. But it's the Good Bacon. Should we use it?

Me: Why not? Rob and Lenore are Good Bacon worthy.

SH: But there are children involved.

Me: You know, their kids are not junk eaters.** They actually appreciate good food.

SH: You're right. I think their kids are Good Bacon worthy.

* No Gary. I am not using your name for them. It's dumb.

** You know what I mean. I would not waste the Good Bacon on kids who insist on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or McDonald's. Rob and Lenore's kids have always eaten what their mom and dad eat. They are not fussy eaters. They have not turned their mother into a short-order cook. They are adventurous eaters. And they like good food. They are worthy.

The people have spoken

Notice how they automatically seek the strategically advantageous high spots. Not the warm spot, because library DVDs are not warm. The high spots. Because it's dangerous in our house. They might be attacked. If they could figure out how to sit on top of that jar of tomatoes, they would.

Wow. What a thrill! You actually spoke to me! Not all of you. Yes. I know. I have my ways. But a lot of you. Strangers! Strangers read me. Don't worry. I'm not going to go all Sally Field on you. But wow. Thank you.

And here's what you have to say:

You come here for the cats.

Which means that my plan of getting rid of the earbud eating,* watch breaking,** cauliflower hunting, shedding, sitting by the door and crying at 7:00 a.m., Spawn of Satan beasts as soon as SH's plane crashes and right after I throw away all his crap in the basement without even opening the boxes is a bad idea. Because I would lose all my readers. All of you. Well, most of you.

And that would make me sad.

So stick around. There will be more cat photos. And more Wisconsin stories. And SH will not change. Which means plenty of material.

* Two pairs, which means who's the dumb one? Me.

** Fortunately, SH had just changed from his Packers watch to a watch he didn't like as much, so he wasn't as mad as he might have been otherwise. I don't wear a watch, so it's not an issue for me. And I'm never late. But SH is. Go figure.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Delurking day

Today is the day to identify yourself. Really. I know my mother reads this blog. Some of my mom's friends. My cousin. A few of my real-life friends who keep up with my life by reading this blog because they know I am not a big phone talker. Some blog friends. (Read them - their blogs are are over there on the right.)

My brother. My own brother. Does not read this blog. How demoralizing is that?

But who are the rest of you? Are there any others? Please leave a comment! Tell me who you are.

If I were Marta from My Big Fat Cuban Family, I would bribe you with coupons from Baskin Robbins, but I am not she. She is a big-time blogger. I was bigger when I was on journalspace but then there was The Tragedy and I lost 75% of my readers.

Well. We will not speak of that.

PS Please don't mortify me by making me realize that I have no readers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 22: The fine print

Me: If I had known you were a whiny, burping, farting guy with bitter, angry, birkenstock-wearing, liberal, Mother Jones subscribing parents who would hate me, I might not have dated and married you.

SH: Hey! Mother Jones is a good magazine!

Marriage 201, Lecture 313: Stick a fork in it

Sunday evening. I'm reading a book* while SH is grilling our supper. Yes. He grills in the snow. Even though the snow she is going away. It has been raining - the tears of the Viking fans. Ha! To quote our friend Andrea, "Karma's a bitch, Brett!" Hahahahaha. The snow is washing away and is that grass we see in January?

I hear a voice calling to me from the kitchen.

Harrod's food hall in London from our trip last fall.

SH: It's ready!

I put down my book, turn off the light, gather the cats, throw them into the basement where we will eat supper while we watch a movie, and wait for SH to cut the meat. I have already prepared the salads and the plates. Everything is ready to go. But the meat.

He does not cut the meat.

He does not cut the meat.

He does not cut the meat.

Me: I thought you said it was ready.

SH: Yes.

Me: Why aren't you cutting the meat?

SH: Because it has to rest for ten minutes.

Me: Then why did you say it was ready?

SH: That's what "ready" means to you?

Me: That's what "ready" means to everybody!

SH: No! "Ready" just means that the meat is cooked.

Me: No. It means that it is TIME TO EAT.

* The Devil in the Junior League, total brain candy, but it's fun. I am a Junior League dropout, so I am particularly interested. This is old-school Junior League, not the Memphis Junior League, which my former landlady/real estate fairy godmother made me join as a way to make friends and meet men.

When I whined that the League consisted of women, she snapped that women have brothers and to just do what she said. I trusted her. Made some nice friends (Hi Aimee!) but never met any men. I did, however, discover the Junior League Thrift Shop omigosh $1,000 Michael Kors silk suits for $12, y'all.

And Mary Linda did find my wonderful little Memphis house the day it went on the market and made sure I got it by telling me to pay what the seller was asking and she was right. Another buyer bid $15,000 under the asking price, which ticked off the seller. (The seller's daughter lived next door and told me the story.) I made money when I sold it eight years later.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 781: Weekend honeydos

SH: I moved those boxes so the plumber can get to the [whatever to TV the lines to see why our basement flooded in June when our neighbors' basements did not].

Me: Thanks, sweetie. Your one weekend chore is done. Relax.

Random photo from when we were in London last fall.

SH: Guess what I found in some of the boxes? Calendars from 1990!

Me: What did you do with them?

SH: Left them in the box.

Me: Why didn't you throw them away?

SH: Because then I would have had to go through the entire box and sort it out and I didn't have time for that project.

Me: No you wouldn't. You could have just thrown away the calendars and been done. Sheesh.

SH: Nope. Besides, throwing things away was not in the scope of this chore.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chats du jour: Do I dare disturb the universe?

Oh yes. She ate almost the whole thing. Shirley goes after bacon. Laverne eats peaches.

Chats du jour: Bacon

SH: Are you going to move?

Me: What?

Please note that this is an old photo and I have graduated from instant coffee to snob coffee. The white stuff is splenda.

SH: Shirley wants to sit by you.

Me: She can sit here.

SH: There's not room.

Me: She can squeeze in.

SH: Why don't you turn the basket [where I keep bills, my calendar, my address book, etc] the other way so she can fit?

Me: It is not my job to rearrange my life to accommodate the cat.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 48: Date night

SH: Maybe tonight we can [wxyz].

Me: Only if you promise to pick at least two fights about politics. You know how much I love that. And some farts. You have to promise to fart. Those are so sexy.

SH: One of these days you'll be browbeaten into submission. The weight of my arguments will be too much for you to resist.

Me [taking notes]

SH: That's going into your blog, isn't it?

Me: Yep.

SH: Oh good grief.


SH: Are we going out to eat tonight?

Me: Let's go tomorrow night.

SH: Why?

Me: Because I have to take a shower tomorrow night for church.

SH: So you're not going to shower today?

Me: I wasn't planning on it.

SH: But what about [wxyz]?

Me: I guess I could wash the strategic areas.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wisconsin 101: The food here is good

Yes. At the Y. A notice for a program to combat pediatric obesity. Above a notice for a bake sale to support the Y's Strong Kids program.

PS We watched John McGivern Live at The Pabst where he talked about taking his lesbian crunchy granola birkenstock-wearing San Francisco health-food friend to Kopp's for vanilla custard straight from picking her up at the airport. She tasted it, then gasped that it was the best thing she had ever eaten and asked if it was frozen butter. People here are not fat because there is nothing good to eat.

PPS Of course I am the one who corrected the spelling of "Enterance." I am trying not to be a scold, but I will always be an English major.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 301: Won't take yes for an answer, or, TMI

SH: Your book club ladies won't be coming upstairs, will they?

Me: No.

Rome again, courtesy of Pat and David. Lovely, isn't it?

SH: Because the bathroom is a mess.

Me: Don't worry about it.

SH: There are papers all over.

Me: They won't be going up there, OK? Don't worry about it.

SH: I've started going through my junk mail while I'm [in the bathroom].

Me: Well OK.

Marriage 201, Lecture 542: We're not dating any more

Me: What was that noise? Did you fart?

SH: No. It was my gut rumbling. Want me to fart?

More Roma, from Pat and David.

Me: You can fart on command?

SH: I've been holding it in.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 913: The purpose of a pretzel roll

SH: But you don't even eat the pretzel roll with the brat.

Me: So?

More of David and Pat's Rome. They're smoking! Oh no!

SH: That's the purpose of a pretzel roll!

Me: No it's not.

SH: Yes it is!

Me: Then why is it called a pretzel roll and not a brat roll?

SH is stunned into silence. Ha.

Me: The purpose of a pretzel roll is to be eaten.

SH: WITH a brat.

Me: I like to eat mine separately. So I can enjoy the flavors better. Leave me alone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 563: Loaves and fishes

SH: The rest of the pretzel rolls are for me, right?

Me: What do you mean?

Another lovely shot of Rome taken by Pat's son, David.

SH: You had part of one this morning.

Me: So? There were four to start and two of us. Do the math, Mr Phi Beta Kappa.

SH: But you didn't have a roll with your brat last night and you aren't having a brat for lunch.

Me: I like pretzel rolls.

SH: But they're for the brats!

Me: They're for us.

SH: What am I supposed to eat with my brats?

Me: I dunno. You're smarter than I am. You figure it out.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 501: Men, women, reading minds

Scene 1. We have just arrived at the play. I remove my coat. The woman behind me clears her throat.

Woman: Excuse me. Your dress is unzipped.

Does this look like a new fashion? A fashion where one only zips halfway, exposing the label and one's bra strap? Am I in the fashion vanguard, I, who lives in gym clothes usually?

Me: What?!

Woman: Your dress.

Me: Oh my gosh. SH. Would you zip me, please?

SH: I noticed that before we left the house.

Me: What? And you didn't do anything?

SH: I wasn't sure if you wanted me to zip it.

Me: Why would I not want you to zip it for me? I forgot to ask! In the future, please assume if you see me with an unzipped dress that I do indeed want you to zip it for me.

Scene 2. After the play. We are going to walk to the restaurant, which is near the playhouse and the parking garage. It is cold.

SH: I think the restaurant is a few blocks this way. Or is it that way?

Me: Let's ask.

SH: No! We can just walk around.

Me: Are you crazy? I am not walking around in this cold.

SH: I am not asking! I live here. I should know.

Me: Fine. I'll ask and I'll tell them my husband is a guy and because of that is too proud to ask. They'll understand.

Marriage 201, Lecture 85: Buy nice or buy twice or be dead from smoke inhalation

As SH is changing the smoke alarm batteries, which alerted us to their need of changing at 6:04 a.m. Well, the smoke alarm alerted us, with its stupid increasingly loud high-pitched beep that woke me but not SH and what's that all about? Is it the same deafness that men have to babies crying in the night?

I awakened, looked at the clock, cussed*, went into the hall, determined the noise was coming from the basement, went to see a man about a dog, went back into the bedroom, turned on the humidifier to drown out the noise, put in my earplugs, and went back to sleep.

My mom's friend Pat (my friend, too! Pat, we think of you every time we go to Kopp's) was in Italy visiting her son and daughter in law. She has taken some really cool photos. I didn't think Pat would mind if I posted some. I had been wondering who was reading me from Rome.

When we got up, there was no noise and SH claimed I'd made it all up, but agreed that we needed to change the batteries anyhow as it had been over a year.

SH: Look! This is the same brand** of batteries I got for your camera!

Me: What? We're going to die in our beds as the house burns down around us!

SH: Nah. If the batteries die, the alarm will go off.

Me: Great. Maybe at 3:00*** a.m. next time.

* I know, hard to believe, but sometimes I am not as nice as you think I am.

** The same brand of batteries that lasts about two weeks and dies just as I am about to catch the full moon rising over the trees. Oops! No! Can't take it! Wait! Let me change the batteries! Too late! Moon is too high! SH has been in the bad habit of believing that a battery is a battery and a Q-tip is a Q-tip and you get the same quality no matter what price you pay. I have been trying to convince him that something is not better because it costs more; it costs more because it's better. Example: beer. Need I say more?

*** SH will be up. I will be sleeping.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chats du jour: Control C

Marriage 201, Lecture 51: Til death do us part

Me: Who can help me sell your wine if your plane crashes and you die?

SH: Sell my wine? I don't want you to sell it! I want you to give it to Tom and to Doug and to Gary!

Me: Are you crazy? That's thousands of dollars of wine. I'm not giving it away. I'm selling it.

SH: But there's life insurance.

Me: Not enough.

SH: I don't want you to sell the wine!

Me: I guess you'd better get working on that will, then.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 86: Bringing home the bacon

SH: Our cats are cute.

Me: Other people think their cats are cute, but ours really are cute.

SH: Yes. And sweet.

Me: Maybe we should make our cats model so they can earn money. Then you could quit your job.*

SH: We can't make our cats work!

Me: Oh yes we can.

SH: Besides, what about your bestselling novel? I think I am ready.***

Me: That's going to take some time to write. Besides, it takes a while for the money to come in. That Jennifer who wrote the Bitter is the New Black still temped the first two years. The cats can start generating cash right away.

SH: They are cute.

Me: And cooperative.

SH: Not really.

Me: Oh. Yeah. You're right.

SH: Guess I'd better get out of bed and go to work.

* SH's job has been really tough lately - super long hours** because they are short staffed and he gets stuff from the guy in France who needs an answer by the next day IN FRANCE which is just six hours away here but hey, who isn't in the same situation right now? At least he has a job and thank goodness for that. SH is a hard worker. I am lucky to have him.

** Like until 5:30 a.m. OK, some of it is goofing off (, but a lot of it is working.

*** If I write The Book, it will be tell all, which means Certain People will never talk to us again, which is just fine with me, but SH is the one who has to make that call. If you know what I mean.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 73: In which SH gets to say "I told you so"

Remember the soy sauce emergency SH has been preparing for?

At last, the time has come. We are without soy sauce. At least, we are without bottled soy sauce. Yet SH would like me to stir fry the bok choy for supper.

No soy sauce.

Stir fried bok choy.

A dish best served with soy sauce.

What to do?

Emergency soy sauce to the rescue! With a side of "I told you so!"

Marriage 201, Lecture 565: For better or for soy sauce

SH: That's not the right kind of soy sauce.

Me: It's soy sauce. Whatever.

SH: But it has blah blah blah in it.

Me: So I'll return it.

SH: You can't return soy sauce!

Me: Of course I can. It's not open and I have the receipt.*

SH: But what if they don't take it back?! [SH is a bit of a Drama King. Bless his heart.**]

Me: Then we'll give it to the Food Bank.

SH: But it's in a GLASS BOTTLE! The Food Bank doesn't take glass.

Me: Oh for pete's sake. It cost $1.50. It's not the end of the world.

SH: Why did you get this one? It's ALL WRONG!

Me: Look. Do you know how many different soy sauce options there are at the Vietnamese store? I was standing at that section for at least seven minutes, looking for a low sodium, no preservative, not made in China*** option that didn't cost $5 a bottle. This woman saw me, left, then came back and asked if I needed help and at first I thought to say no but then I thought what the heck and I said yes. She's from Hong Kong. She told me that this was what she uses at home and likes it so I got it. She moved to Milwaukee from Austin seven years ago and hates it here but her husband's job is here. She wants to go back to Texas. She was making plantains in sweetened condensed milk for dessert. She seemed nice.

SH: How do you know all this stuff?

Me: I talk to people. Don't you?

* Of course they took it back. Then the clerk asked me if I wanted to get another bottle and I told her no, my husband was in charge of all future soy sauce purchases in our house.

** See the Southern definition of "Bless his/her heart."

*** We prefer our food without antifreeze.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chats du jour: Milwaukee cats

Laverne and Shirley. Of course.

Wisconsin 101: Ve are Cherman, ve are about efficiency

A nun and her drinking buddy at the Ham Museum in Madrid.

My friend Claire* is visiting from Memphis. She is not visiting me, but I get to take advantage of her being in Milwaukee. In January. Not many people who live in a place where the paperwhites bloom on New Year's Day would venture to the frozen north in January, but Claire did so for Dawn's surprise party.*

Look at all that beautiful meat.

Anyhow. While Dawn** is at work, I am taking Claire on the essential Milwaukee food tour. We go to Usinger's. She gets to see the bargain counter. We go to the Spice Store, the competitor to Penzey's Spices, which is headquartered in Milwaukee and is run by the Penzey's siblings or cousins or whichever Penzey's fought with the Penzey's who kept the Penzey's name for Penzey's spices. Then we go to the Public Market, which has a bunch more food places and that's where I find the serrano ham.

All along, I am spending SH's money like a drunken sailor - like the gold-digger that I am. Bargain bacon, bargain cheese, bargain dress at the fancy Goodwill store (we snuck*** in a visit there, too).

But when I find the serrano ham - well. That's full price. Dare I?

Oh yes.

Regardez as the Spanish ham master slices the serrano ham by hand.

I dare.

I do.

One hundred dollars worth of serrano ham confiscated by Customs when we returned from Madrid four years ago and thrown into the trash?

I buy it when I see it now.

So I ask for a quarter of a pound of serrano ham. The guy starts to slice it with the meat slicer. When I protest and tell him that in Espain, they slice it by hand, he says, "In Wisconsin, we use machines. We're busy here."

* Who reads this blog -- I never knew! I am always so excited to find someone who is not my mother who reads this blog.

** Dawn was also a Peace Corps volunteer, as was Claire, which is how the three of us are connected.

*** Yes, I know that word is not necessarily proper but it has become accepted through usage so get. off. my. back. Stink, stank, stunk. Sneak, sneacked, snuck. Wait. That doesn't really work, does it? Well. Whatever.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 331: Saving money

SH: I took that mileage charge off my expense report.

Me: Which charge?

SH: You put mileage from a previous trip on another report.

Me: Yes, but I explained it in the notes.

SH: But the dates didn't match.

Me: That's why I explained it in the notes. I had forgotten to expense the mileage on an old report. I just put it in this one instead.

SH: I didn't want to trigger an audit.

Me: But I didn't do anything wrong. It was a legitimate expense.

SH: It was just $16 out of over $3,000 I filed.

Me: It was still $16! That's enough for a pedicure at the beauty school!

SH: What if they audited?

Me: What if they did?

SH: It would just be trouble. And it's not that much money.

Me: This from the guy who makes sure I know when milk is on sale for $2 so I can save forty nine cents. Sheesh.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wisconsin 101: The Pack

At my friend Dawn's surprise birthday party, at her mom and dad's house. SH kept asking me, "Do you think they'll have the game on? Will I be able to watch the game?"

Of course the game was on. This is Wisconsin.

With 1:47 left to play. The game is tied.

Dawn's mom: I better get out my Packer rosary.

Me: You have a Packer rosary?

DM: Of course!

Me: Is God a Packer's fan*?

DM: Oh you betcha.**

Me: Then why is he putting us through this agony?

DM: Because he gives us free will.

The Cardinals set up to try a field goal.

Dawn: Mom! You better start praying!

* Maybe he isn't. 51-45 OT.

** OK not really but doesn't that sound more authentic than, "Yes, he is."

Friday, January 08, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 391: My people do not waste

After we had to make a special trip to Target* for the men's sock sale and even get a raincheck so SH could "replace" some of his holey socks.

SH: Maybe I can get rid of these socks.

Me: As in throw them away?

As SH shows me his socks, I say, "Get me my camera." He says, "Wait. I am not only supposed to be your straight man, but I have to get your camera while you sit in bed, too?" I say, "That's right." He does it. He is such a sweetie. Aren't I lucky?

SH: Yes.

Me: Good.

SH: Well, maybe not throw them away.

Me: What do you mean?**

SH: This sock isn't so bad. It's not a toe-sticking-through sock. It can be a slipper sock.

Me: And you bought all those new socks why?

SH: I dunno.

* We were on our way back from Bonnie and Gary's and had just stopped at Costco. Target was across the street. We don't usually shop together because shopping with SH Makes Me Nuts. He has to look at Every Single Item. If we are grocery shopping, he has to look at every single expiration date, every single orange, every single package of steak. (I am not making this up.) SH cannot set a standard and then pick the first item that meets that standard. He has to look at every item to make sure that it is not better than the item that he has in his hand. I am surprised he actually married me. What if there is someone he likes better out there?

** I am thinking he wants me to darn it and I am over darning his socks. He has a drawer full of socks but wears the same five pairs over and over. Basta, I say. Basta.

Marriage 201, Lecture 32: For better or for packaging

SH: Oh no! This is all wrong!

Me: No it's not.

SH: You taped across! Everybody tapes the long way. This is all wrong!

Me: No it's not. It's sealed.

SH: And you only taped about an inch over the side!

Me: So what?

SH: And look! You can lift the ends! What if stuff falls out?

Me: There's nothing to fall out.

SH: Everybody tapes the other way.

Me: No they don't.

SH: People who wrap boxes do.

Me: I have shipped plenty of boxes.*

SH [taping madly]: And the label! The label is all wrong! You didn't even close the label.

Me: I didn't know if the UPS guy would need to do something.

SH [exasperated sigh]: No! You're supposed to seal it.

Me: Whatever.


Marriage 201, Lecture 315: Distraction

SH: Didn't you wash my other jeans yesterday when you did laundry?

Me: I thought you put only one pair in the wash, but I didn't do all the darks, so they might still be there. But I don't think you put two pair in.

More Garden of the Gods.

SH: I put in two pair.

Me: No you didn't.

SH: Yes I did.

Me: Whatever.

SH: I want to wear those tonight when I go out. They're already dirty. [Goes to the basement and returns.]

Me: Where are the jeans? I told you there was only one pair.

SH: They're there.

Me: Then why didn't you bring them up?

SH: I forgot. I got some potato chips* instead.

* Because of course we keep our potato chips in the basement. Doesn't everyone?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 441: The art of the nag

SH: Why aren't you nagging me?*

Me: I don't always nag you.

At Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.

SH: I thought you liked to nag me.

Me: No, I don't like to nag you. Sometimes I have to nag you to get you to do what needs to be done.

SH: But I'm not taking a shower.

Me: I know.

SH: But we might be late.

Me: I know.

SH: Is it because P is my friend and you don't care if we're late?***

Me: Maybe.

* To shower to meet our friend P at the restaurant where we are using our coupon that is about to expire. Lord knows it is better to spend $40 than to let a 70 cent** coupon go to waste.

** SH says that no, it cost $2.

*** P is both our friend now, but SH has known him for years and I have just met him. But yes, SH is the one who would look bad if we were late, not me.

Marriage 201, Lecture 58: My People Do Not Waste

SH: I'm going to throw away this orange.*

Me: No! Do not throw it away!

SH: It can't be any good. The peel is all hard.

Me: No. I'll eat it.

SH: Careful! Don't cut yourself!

Me: See? It's just fine.

SH: I thought you didn't like oranges.

Me: I don't. But there is nothing wrong with this orange.

* That has been in the fridge since Christmas Eve when I zested it for the two sticks of butter rum pecan cinnamon rolls that I made on Christmas morning.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 311: And of these foods, thou shalt not eat

Yes, that bumpy yellow stuff on the upper left is tripe, aka cow stomach, aka menudo, tripas, mondongo, and guatitas. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Foods SH will not eat. Note that I love all these foods.

1. Anything with That Orange Flavor, like sweet potatoes or winter squash
2. Anything with That Almost Orange Flavor, like chard or beets
3. Anything with That Mushy Texture, like pinto beans or navy beans or red beans or cranberry beans. Black beans are OK as long as they are cooked with enough fat, such as the ham bone that Bonnie and Gary gave us last year at Christmas. Oh man did that make great soup.
4. Anything ending in "erry," such as blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, or cherry
5. Anything with That Sticky Texture, like peanut butter, although peanut butter is OK in dipping sauce for spring rolls or in West African Peanut Butter Stew
6. Bananas, unless they are in banana bread

Foods SH will eat and that are Not My Favorite:

1. Tendons, tripe, marrow, any fat I cut off my meat, and probably roadkill.

Because they don't have food where we live

Some of the things my mom is sending with us:

Homemade rolls
Homemade chocolate chocolate chip muffins (OK, from a mix, but still)
Steak sandwiches
Goat cheese (was to have been used for a salad but we made something else instead and my mom is real lactose intolerant instead of fake lactose intolerant if you know what I mean and I think you do so she said just take it with you because she can't eat it)
A banana
An orange
Leftover cashews (well no because we would just eat them and I have my own Milwaukee Roll, thank you very much)

Blue moon over Denver airport from the Hertz place.

It's all good because I hate being stuck on a plane without enough food. Or anywhere without enough food. Even if there is food to be bought because I hate spending money on crummy food and really, is the airport the best place to buy food? No I think not.

And yes, we are stopping at the German bakery on the way. Blue cheese brie and liebkuchen, as my aunt and German uncle recommend. Yes, I know taking cheese to Wisconsin is kind of silly, but I have not had blue cheese brie. And a bakery run by authentic Germans recommended by an authentic German is something I need to check out.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 331: The favored son in law

Of course The Big Factotum thinks the sun rises and sets on SH. Of course. Isn't that normal that in-laws just looooooove their children's spouses? Isn't that the usual thing?

Big Factotum: SH, would you like me to make you some cinnamon raisin bread?

SH: Yes! But raisins really aren't my favorite.



BF: The cinnamon bread is ready. I left out the raisins.

Me: Thanks for leaving out the raisins. I don't really care for them.

BF: I left them out for SH, not for you.

Marriage 201, Lecture 420: Your kiss is on my list

SH has returned from the Mighty Ski Trip of Ought - um -- of Ten. He stayed the night in Denver at Mike's house. Mike's wife is an awesome hostess - two little girls, sick, and yet she puts up an unexpected guest overnight.

SH's workout routine of walking down the stairs from his second-story office to the basement to get the Dill Pickle Pringles he had hidden from himself did not quite get him into the shape he needed to be for a day of skiing, so by the time he and Mike returned from the slopes to Mike's house, he was a little pooped and driving another hour and a half to my mom's all of a sudden seemed not such a good idea.

Well anyway.

So he got back here about 11:30 a.m., which meant we missed going riding with my uncle, although SH might not exactly have been in the best of shape for getting on a horse if you know what I mean.

SH: Hey! You didn't kiss me!

Me: Yes I did.

SH: No you didn't.

Me: Oh. Right. I slapped you on the butt. Well, that's almost the same thing.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

This is Wisconsin. People here get up early

At my aunt's*, where SH and I have stopped to visit for a second.

Me: I better call my mom and tell her we're here and see what time she wants to have supper.

My aunt holds out five fingers.

Me: What?

My aunt: Five. She wants to eat at five.

Me: That's so early! SH likes to eat at eight. We fight about it.

My aunt: And then go to bed on a full stomach? You city people.

* My aunt and uncle own and run a commercial stables and get up at 5 a.m. My uncle, who is 75 years old, rides every day. And walks two miles every day. Even though he has broken just about every bone in his body. Good genes. He, alas, is not the blood relation, although I have pretty good genes on my side. My grandmother, who died this summer, was 96, and was pretty healthy when she died. My grandfather died at 82, I think, and had his eggs and bacon in the morning. The smoking didn't do him much good, but he died at home.

Marriage 201, Lecture 400: The alias

Me: So what do you want your double secret probation blog name to be?

SH: I don't know.

Me: What about Biff?

SH: No!

Me: Or Bubba?

SH: No!

Me: Why not?

SH: Those are dumb. I sound like some idiot. Like that guy on Back to the Future.

Me: OK. Then Steve.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 38: Pie, dibs and the Big Factotum

My mom, the Big Factotum: SH, do you want that last piece of pie?*

At the Broadmoor, where "summer" is a verb. But where it still is not warm enough to take wedding photos outside on January 2. The bride's friends must really love her.

SH: No, I think one is enough.

Me: Maybe you can save it for after you get back from skiing tomorrow.**

SH: Maybe I can dibs it.

BF: Nope. There is no dibbsing in this house. You have to eat it now or else.

SH: What do you mean, there's no dibbsing?

BF: It's first come, first served. CF and her father used to get up at midnight to race each other to the leftover pizza.***

* The amazing apple pie that my Aunt Mary Ann made for dessert on Friday, probably the best I've ever had in my life and that includes the apple pie with the cheddar cheese in the crust that we had in Rockport, Mass, a few years ago. Mary Ann's pie had cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and cardamom as seasonings and she puts in vinegar in the crust for extra flakiness. SH says his mother's pie is right up there, but he has to say that. I don't. She's not my mom.

** SH is going to Denver on Sunday to ski with a friend of his. My mom and I feel abandoned, of course.

*** Which is why I instituted the dibs rule in my own house. Duh. I hate being up at midnight and I hate eating that late. But one does what one must.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 342: The unbearable lightness of smugness

The best part for SH about getting a Prius when we picked up the car with free Hertz miles in Denver on the way to my mom's in Colorado Springs was not that he got to feel even more morally superior, although that was something because as a Liberal, he feels that way every day, so this was just another notch on the belt of Moral Superiority, but that there were so many cool gadgety things for him to play with as we drove through the dark, icy mountain roads with the New Year's Eve drunks. This car is a Terminator Engineer's dream.