Sunday, February 28, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 301: How can I miss you while you're still here?

SH: We're eating late again. I like that.

Me: I know. But you're gone for three nights this week so I get to go to bed early.

SH: Hey! You're not supposed to admit that you're glad that I'm going to be gone!

Me: I mean I'm crushed that you'll be gone and I won't be able to eat or sleep because I'll miss you so much.

Marriage 201, Lecture 391: It's too late

Me: I'm falling apart. You married an old woman.

SH: I should have married someone young and fertile.

Me: Why didn't you? You had plenty of chances.

SH: Because the wxyz was good. And you were smart.

Me: But you could have had that with a young chick.

SH: You were a project, but not like rescuing a woman who's insane. I thought I could rescue you from being conservative.

Me: But if you had married a young liberal, your parents would have been happy.*

* Hahahahaha. Yeah, right.

Marriage 201, Lecture 240: What is breakfast?

SH: I'm trying to decide what to have for breakfast.

Me: I'm having pizza.*

Janet and Marty photo.

SH: That's not breakfast food.

Me: So what?

SH: It's not the right thing to do.

Me: How old are you?

SH: But it's important to do the Right Thing.

Me: Oh for pete's sake. Who cares? If you want pizza, eat pizza.

SH: I'm going to have a donut. They're breakfast food.

Me: Oh that's way more nutritious than pizza.

* We (=I) made the deep dish pizza in the latest issue of Cooks' Illustrated last night.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chats du jour: Don't hate us because we're beautiful

Marriage 201, Lecture 347: Get your own

Leftover buttery cinnamon rolls we made for Christmas.

Me: Look what I found in the freezer.

SH: Yesssssss.

Me: I forgot they were there. We didn't even wrap them.

SH: It was right before we left for your mom's. When should we eat these? This weekend?

Me: Tomorrow.

SH: But what about Lent?

Me: These are breakfast food.

SH: Do I get the bigger one? Usually you let me have the bigger piece.

Me: Not this time, buddy. Here. Let me have it.

SH: No!

Me: Give me it!

SH: No!

Me: Give me!

SH: I thought you loved me.

Me: Not that much.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Last report from Petunia

Lily called to say that she wanted to come up Tuesday and get Bob to take him to her house an hour away. She also asked if Bob had some of her favorite medication on hand, since the hospital had dumped hers and she could not get another prescription for several days. A stimulant she's partial to and does have a prescription for. I have my own attitude about her being on that medication, but then I'm not a doctor. No Lily, Bob does not have pills for you to take.

Another photo from Janet and Marty.

On his last night with us we took Bob to a Vietnamese restaurant near our house for dinner. Bob was willing to try something new and ordered a soup that Joe's stepdad raves about. He did not eat it there at the restaurant, but rather brought it home and doctored it up the next day. I asked, "Is it good?"

His reply: "It is now that it tastes like Campbell's soup. I added V8 and Mrs. Dash and other components to make it taste better. It did taste like Asian rose water...blahblahblah..." (I kind of tuned him out here but it went on a good ten minutes with some kind of stream-of-consciousness rambling.)

Half was in his bowl in the microwave and the other half was filled to the rim of a Styrofoam cup with no lid in the fridge. He explained that he was overly nice to the staff at the restaurant because he does not know Vietnamese. It must take a lot of effort to be Bob.

Bob left yesterday (Tuesday). Lily came to pick him up. She actually arrived around the time she said that she would, and Bob was dressed and packed, mostly. However, it did take approximately two hours for them to get out the door from my house, since Bob had prepared food and had to eat it and reheat it several times, in addition to getting the rest of his things together, and then factor in another 20 minutes or so in the bathroom. He made several trips to the car at the sidewalk to load up, and he reported that he was out there alone and a man walked by and he got very nervous. He did not engage the man in conversation. (Yay! A real accomplishment for him.) Bob then stated that he felt very guilty because the man was black. I did not have time to get into whatever that was going to be, since I had to get back to work.

Lily looked rough. Really rough. She's pretty vain, but I must say that the lifestyle she's leading is counter-productive to her beauty routine: all that drinking, smoking, prescription stimulants, and staying up all night is taking its toll physically.

Everyone finally got out of the house after 1:00 p.m. Lily talking and talking about herself and Bob heading to the car with two full plastic cups of beverages (no lids) and the full Styrofoam cup of his soup concoction (no lid). I headed back to the office while Lily and Bob were still in the driveway getting it all together. Bob is a talker who will go on and on and on not reading social cues that it is someone else's turn. Lily is very high-strung and speaks in fast incomplete run-on sentences and loves to be the center of attention - boy I'm glad I was not in that car. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

We did enjoy having Bob. With all that he's dealing with, Bob was a gracious houseguest and did his best to be a good guest. (I met Bob at Thanksgiving at Petunia's a few years ago. I thought he was a hoot. I can see why he might be a little exhausting because he is so intense, but he is a nice man who is very eager to please. CF) He also told stories to Daisy, my five-year-old daughter and she was so happy to have him there. It will be good to get back to a regular routine, but any host feels that way after visitors, I'm sure.

When I got back to work Bob called and told me their exact location and nearby landmarks. Then he explained that he forgot his Chex Mix and Oreos. I assured him that we will not throw them away. Sigh. Bless his heart.

Marriage 201, Lecture 441: My straight man

SH: I'm funny.

Me: No. You're not. I'm the funny one in this relationship.

From Janet and Marty.

SH: I'm funny.

Me: Not really.

SH: Well, I parrot funny things like "boner" and "You said 'wood.'"

Me: Those aren't really funny.

SH: No, but they're annoying.

Me: Which isn't funny.

SH: It is to me.

SH: I should know better than to say anything. It all goes straight to your blog.

Me: You're compensated.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday report

Yet another glamor filled day Chez Factotum as I run from one salon to another. That's right - it's beauty day here. First a haircut, then a pedicure, then a waxing.

Thank you Janet and Marty for this meditation on Mondrian.

SH wants to know why I need a pedicure in the winter and I tell him it's because I need to know my feet are beautiful even if the rest of the world doesn't.

It's also because I can't cut my own toenails straight and they get all ingrown and hangnaily and when I run (hahahaha like that happens that often) my toenails jam into the front of my shoes and then they hurt.

SH says it's because I am a GOLD DIGGER.


That's why I go to the beauty school and pay TEN DOLLARS.

Because I am a BAD GOLD DIGGER.

I also had my eyebrows waxed.* I had never done this before. Ever. I don't even tweeze.

It wasn't that bad. SH even noticed. Said they looked good. Then asked how much more of his money had I wasted.


That's right.

Living the life of riley.

* Which was not so bad but I have to say I do not see the appeal of having other body parts waxed and you know what I am talking about here so don't pretend you don't.

Report from Petunia

Petunia is my friend who is keeping her brother Bob, who has Asperger's, for a week.

Well, the stories are not going to be as odd as I expected, because Bob is doing surprisingly well!

Bob has adhered to the rules well. He stays up late and sleeps until noon, so no need to stay home from work to monitor him. He's only up a few hours when I get home. I had to put a few notes around to remind him of things: no dogs on the sofa, etc. He LOVES animals and has expressed a preference to sleep on the living room floor with our dogs rather in the guest room, but so far has not done it. Surprisingly.

More photos from Janet and Marty.

I cleared out the pantry (no cake frosting but we did have marshmallows in case I need to make fondant), brownie mix (playdate activities), and some other items I was unsure about. Bob has high blood pressure and I noticed that he used salt to excess on his food, and when I cautioned him his response was always, "oh yeah, I forgot", so I put that away, too, and replaced it with Mrs. Dash.

Bob also has OCD, so it's hard for me to know what is due to the Aspergers and what is attributed to the OCD. My husband Joe understands what drives each behavior better than me. I believe Bob's need to always have background noise is the OCD. To not allow any food to be thrown away is the OCD. * Running out of the room when a certain sound is heard is the OCD, I think.

Bob is easily distracted. This week in my home, he has prepared a bowl of food, heated it in the microwave, sat down to eat, gotten distracted, heated the food again 20 minutes later, and repeated these actions multiple times over a two to three hour period. At home with our parents he takes food to his bedroom and repeats these actions over a six hour period. I have told him no food in the bedroom in my house, so this is a vast improvement. Last night I told him the kitchen closes at 9:00pm since I had to clean it before going to bed. He prepared food at 7:30, and when I went back downstairs at 9:00, he had finished eating and rinsed and put away his dishes in the dishwasher - whoa.

He spends hours in the bathroom. HOURS. After 40 minutes in the shower I knocked on the door, and he assured me he was fine. After the shower, when I told him that we usually take 10 to 15 minute showers, he accused us of living under extreme self-deprivation in a lifestyle of puritanical asceticism. (It was a much longer response but that's all I remember.) I told him no - we usually just have to get to work on time, and also there's the water bill.

I found a support group for adults with Aspergers here in town and we went on Saturday afternoon. Bob tends to monopolize conversation, not recognizing when it is time to allow another person to talk. So it was amusing to see how others in the group exaggerated their behavioral cues to get it across. Sitting in a room of twelve adults with Aspergers kinda reminded me of the Mensa Christmas party that Joe and I went to one year.

We went to a few places this weekend where there were loads of characters and I did my best not to intervene and just allow Bob to talk and talk and talk. Flea markets, junk shops. He was going on and on and on talking to one woman telling her about his collections, and she said, "oh, you must have some good money", and his immediate response was, "Oh no ma'am. I only made $1,100 last year and I still live with my parents. The most I've ever made in one year is $3,000." Then he launched into a very long explanation of his "mental illness" as he called it. Just no self-editing. None. Bless his heart, as we say. The folks with whom he was talking were so nice - just delightful - we stayed and talked another hour! Maybe he needs to get out of that small town more often.

Lily got out of the mental hospital today and wants to get Bob tomorrow. I decided that since she also stays up all night and sleeps all morning and has no job to go to therefore Bob would not have to be alone all day, this might be more enjoyable for Bob. I told him that it is totally up to him. He has opted for going, so he might leave here tomorrow. IF Lily will follow through on her commitment to pick him up tomorrow. We will see.

* I have to say that I think it is just normal not to want to see food wasted. CF

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday report

So y'all I'm feeling kind of cranky because I don't have anything to write about because all I'm doing is shoveling snow again ThankYouMrGlobalWarmingAlGore and doing our TAXES and I'm all, "Why don't I just open up my veins, you bloodsuckers?" and SH is all, "But it's a privilege to give all our hard-earned money to those crooks!" and I'm all, "Sometimes I cannot believe you and I are even the same species."

Isn't this a gorgeous shot? My friends Janet and Marty from the Peace Corps just took a trip to Mexico and agreed to let me share some of their photos.

And then another part of the reason I'm cranky is because I have not had dessert* since last Wednesday.** Or mostly have not had dessert. I was going to give up sugar entirely, which of necessity includes dessert but not the sugar in my coffee because I have stopped consuming artificial sweetener to see if that makes a difference in my headaches and no way am I giving up sugar and caffeine in one fell swoop.

Then I realized that stopping desserts entirely makes me completely obsessed with them to the point that I start all this disordered eating like nibbling the edges off the Pop-Tart but then throwing away the rest of the Pop-Tart which is WASTEFUL and My People Do Not Waste so there you have me torn between throwing away food (bad) and breaking my Lenten thingy (also bad) and my head is whipping from side to side as I try to decide which is the lesser of the two bads and I get a headache just thinking about it.

And that was just on Thursday. Day Two.

So I decided that surely there must be a non-food (as in, Lent<>diet) thing I could do. You know - just to give me some slack in the dessert area. Not that I want to not give up dessert. But just so it's not so dire that it's all I think about. Not that I'm obsessive or anything.

But I am.

So I decided to give up facebook.***

Which has been a challenge. And is causing me great suffering and withdrawal.

The only thing that is making it less difficult is that the person whose updates are the most interesting and funny - my friend Jeff Abbott, the internationally best-selling author - is also giving up FB for Lent. Well, that's not what he said. He just said he was devoting his social networking time for the next 40 days to a special writing project. But he's Episcopalian, so maybe they don't really do Lent. Whatever. Point is, without his updates to read, it's not like FB is that entertaining anyhow.

Well rats. Does that mean it doesn't count?

* Note: Doughnuts do not count as dessert because they are a BREAKFAST FOOD.

** I almost spelled it "Wendsday," which is how it should be spelled and is how my optometrist - or her clerk - spelled it at her new office. I saw the sign as I went in and debated whether to say something because although inside, I am That Woman, I don't want to be That Woman. You know, that bitchy lady who is always correcting people. She's rude and obnoxious and nobody likes her. At the same time, my eye doc probably does not want a misspelled sign. So I discreetly pointed it out to the desk folks. Very discreetly. Because I also make many a spelling mistake myself. Thank goodness for spellcheck is what I say.

*** I actually thought about giving up the internet altogether and then I laughed. Ha! Good one!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 878: Wishful thinking

Me: Until I met you, I never mixed leftovers in tupperware containers.

SH: Why not?

Me: I never thought of it. But it's a good idea.

SH: The next things I'm going to hear you say are, "Until I met you, I wasn't a liberal and I didn't like having fingers stuck in my bellybutton."

Me: Yeah. Don't hold your breath on those.

Chats du jour: Waiting

Shirley is just waiting for SH to walk away. Walk away and leave the steak unguarded. He'll do it. She knows he will.

The adventures of Gomez

If you want to see my embarrassment at dating the Moroccan millionaire, it has started.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 488: You're not the boss of me

Me: I got bagels.

SH: What flavors?

Le pain et l'eau.

Me: One egg, one whole wheat, one cinnamon-sugar, and one asiago.

SH: Did you eat them all?

Me: No! I took a bite or two out of each one. There's still plenty left

SH: You did what?!

Me: I just wanted a taste.

SH: That is not the right way to do it. You have the worst eating habits.

Me: Who made you in charge of the food rules? I am 46 years old. If I want to eat just one bite of the bagel, I can eat just one bite. Get. Off. My. Back.

Friday, February 19, 2010

My friend Petunia and her brother Bob with Asperger's

My friend Petunia is going to be guest blogging about keeping her brother Bob this week. Bob has Asperger's syndrome. I've met Bob. I didn't realize there was anything amiss with him - just thought he was some guy with a strong interest in 40s movies. But then I am not the most perceptive woman on the block.

Petunia is keeping Bob because their sister, Lily, who was supposed to keep him this week, had yet another failed suicide attempt the other day. Lily will do anything to get out of her family obligations. Now Lily is on the way to being committed. Again. You'd think Lily would know by now that pills and a phone call are not the way to commit suicide. You'd also think that if she didn't want to keep Bob for the week, she would just say, "Hey. I don't want to keep Bob for the week." But to OD on pills - that's a little dramatic. That is also the Lily way. I have met Lily.

Bob usually lives with his mother and stepfather, but they are on their way to stay with sister #3, Violet, who has just had a baby.

Petunia has prepared her house for Bob's arrival. She has hidden most of the food. Why?

"Because Bob will open a can of frosting and scoop out one tablespoon for whatever concoction he is making. Then the frosting is ruined. I can't use it. I might have been saving it for something the next month. Or just whenever. I've hidden all the brownie mix and cake mix and everything in Joe's office."

Here are the rules for Bob.

1. No showers before 9:00 a.m. "Because otherwise Bob would get in the shower and stay there for an hour and use up all the hot water and nobody would be able to get ready for work."

2. No petting the dogs. "They get jealous. He doesn't pick up on their cues, like hair raising on their backs. Then they start fighting."

3. He can't leave the house. "Can you imagine? He'd be dead in an hour."

4. He is not allowed in Joe's office.

Check back here for Petunia's adventures with Bob.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 300: What's mine is yours

As Lindy pointed out, SH has been known to wear my fluffy socks.

So I got him his own. Not that I mind if he wears mine. He looks really good in pink.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 582: What's yours is mine

Me: Why can't I wear your Rice sweatshirt?

SH: It's mine! Get your own!

Churros y chocolate, another excellent way to keep warm.

Me: But the ones in the bookstore are crummy. Rice has lousy sweatshirts. That's the only good one I've ever seen.

SH: I don't wear your clothes.

Me: You can wear my clothes. I don't care.

SH [rolls eyes]: I don't want to wear your clothes. Besides, this is my good sweatshirt.

Me: You're wearing it to a divey, smokey bar where it's going to get filthy.

SH: I wear it so my bar friends can see it.

Me: Oh yeah. Like they've heard of Rice.

SH: They have.

Me: From anyone but you? Nobody outside of Texas has ever heard of Rice.

SH: I don't know.

Me: So you'll wear it out to a bar where it gets dirty but I, who actually went to that school, cannot wear it at home to keep warm.

SH: I don't want it to get worn out! I can't replace it!

Me: I can't believe you're so selfish with your sweatshirt!

SH: Fine. You can wear it, but only if you wear it outside the house. I don't want it to get worn out.

Me: So I can wear it to the gym or to the grocery store, where it will get dirty, but not in the house where I would use it to keep warm?

SH: Yes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bacon du jour for before Lent

Busy day today, y'all. I'm just going to show you some photos of the Milwaukee Iron Cupbake Bacon Challenge from last night and let you drool. Nueske's Bacon was there (hi Megan!) with fabulous samples and NO THEY DO NOT USE LIQUID SMOKE, GARY.

These cupcakes all somehow incorporate bacon.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 980: Loverboy

The difference between youth and middle age


Anywhere, anytime

Middle age

Me: Let's [wxyz]!

SH: Not here in my office! I'd have to re-arrange things! No! Don't touch my desk!

Me: You are such a fussbudget. Honestly!


SH: Hey! You blogged about that?

Me: You know that everything is material.

SH: But you know that's where I work and I can't work if everything isn't in order.

In which I meet the millionaire Moroccan

and am fooled.

How dumb was I?

Pretty dumb.

Megan said, "I wouldn't go out with him again."

But I did.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 337: Because I am a gold digger

Me: How much is the Costco membership?

SH: Fifty dollars.

Me: Fifty dollars!

SH: That's not so bad.

Me: We do not get our money's worth!

SH: It's not all about dollars and cents.

Me: Oh really? What else is it about?

SH: I like shopping at Costco.

Me: You think it's worth $50 for the privilege of shopping twice a year at a warehouse 20 miles from our house?

SH: I go when I go to Doug's party.

Me: OK. Twice a year plus when you go to Indiana.

Chats du jour: A clean sweep

Yes, we are thrilled to know that the tail that Laverne licks with the tongue that she uses to clean the rest of her if you know what I mean is the same tail that brushes against the clean dishes in the dishdrainer.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 449: Did you say something?

Me: Do you have the library cards?

SH: No. Why should I?


Me: Because you were standing right there when I pulled my wallet out of my purse, took the cards out, laid them on the dresser and said, "Here are the library cards for when you go."

SH: Oh. I wasn't listening.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 335: Take a message

The scene. Kitchen, 8:30 a.m. SH worked until 6 a.m. That's what those engineer guys are like when they find a problem and want to fix it. The phone rings. It's his phone. He has his phone, I have mine. We do not answer each other's phones. Never. Nobody calls me on his phone, nobody calls him on mine. That's how it should be, anyhow.

But I don't want to let the phone ring and wake him because he didn't come to bed until 6:00 a.m., ten minutes after I threw the cats in the basement.*

Marrakesh. BTW, I am reposting about my first trip to Morocco on the archive blog.

So I grab the phone and run into the basement. As soon as I open the basement door, Laverne tries to sneak into the kitchen, which would be fine, except her next stop is the bedroom door, where she will cry and cry and cry because she is sooooooo lonely, it having been two and a half hours since she has had human contact. So I grab her as I walk down the steps, saying hello into the phone.

The caller is confused: "I thought this was a business number. I must have misdialed."

I correct him. "No, this is SH's number, but he worked until 6 a.m. Can you call back?"

Yeah. I know. Wrong thing to say. And this after I have just finished watching season one of Mad Men. You'd think I'd know how to cover for the boss. I should have said, "This is SH's line, but he's not available. May I take a message?" But I had a squirming, crying cat in one arm and I was trying not to make too much noise and I just wasn't thinking. For dumb.

When SH wakes up, I tell him about the call. He's mad.

SH: Why did you answer the phone?

Me: I didn't want it to wake you.

SH: If I stay up that late, I should have to suffer the consequences of my decision.** What did you tell him?

I recount the conversation. SH groans.

SH: Oh no. Why didn't you at least act like a receptionist?

Me: Well, I think Laverne whining in the background might have tipped him off that you work from home and that this wasn't an actual office.

* Boy were they surprised when I went straight to DEFCON 1 and turned on the overhead light. Laverne froze, paws splayed out, looking at me accusingly, saying, "But you're cheating! You're not using a proportional response! You never turn on the light! You're supposed to hunt for us in the dark!"

"Ha!" I said. "New rules, girls! There's a new sheriff in town."

Shirley thought I couldn't see her if she just stayed under the dresser and that I wouldn't tug on her tail to get her out. Wrong again, missy.

** May I point out that SH does not usually have that attitude?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 421: I'm not a mind reader, you know

Scene: I have folded and put away a load of laundry and tossed the basket to the basement landing. Yes, I am too lazy to take the basket all the way to the basement, but I will be going there again, so why waste the trip?

Notice that the basket is placed such that SH had to step around it to get to the bottom stairs. He had to WORK to avoid the basket.

SH makes a trip to the basement to get potato chips. He returns with the potato chips. The laundry basket? She is still on the landing.

Me: Why didn't you take the laundry basket down with you?

SH: I didn't know you wanted me to.

Me: Wasn't it obvious that it needed to go back to the laundry room?

SH: No.

Me: Why would I not want you to take it down?

SH: Maybe you wanted to leave it there so Shirley could play in it.

Right. Because I am in the habit of inconveniencing myself so life is more fun for my cats.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 383: Dumpster diving

SH: These [bargain table] donuts are not very good.

Me: I know. Maybe you should just throw them away.

Marrakesh. Les sandwitches.

Me: No. Take them out of the box.

SH: What? Why?

Me: Take them out of the box and put them straight into the trash.

SH: You wouldn't take donuts out of the trash and eat them.

Me: [nothing]

SH: Would you?

Me: Maybe.

Chats du jour: Relaxing? or Waiting to attack?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 397: I told you so

Me: They denied my FSA claim for that stuff from Walgreen's.

SH: It's only $8. Blow it off.

Snake charmers in Marrakesh, the pit of Morocco.

Me: What - we're so rich we can throw eight dollars away now? Besides, they're wrong. It said on the Walgreen's receipt that I could claim it and they paid a similar claim a few months ago.

SH: It's not worth it to fight them over it. Besides, I spend more than that on beer.

Me: That I did not need to know. And I'm not asking you to do it.

SH: But you have to write and that takes time and a stamp.

Me: Just what do you think is involved? All I have to do is email. I have the time. Leave me alone.


Me: Ha! They wrote back and said they'd made a mistake and should have paid the claim. I told you I was right.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 314: Save Big Money at Menards #881

Me: Oh good grief. Why on earth did you get this?

SH: It was on clearance!

Me: I don't care! We don't need it!

SH: Don't you remember last winter when I couldn't get my gloves dry after I had done all that shoveling?

Me: We have a dryer! We have drying racks! You have more than one pair of gloves!

SH: It was on clearance!

Wisconsin 101: Packerland

Friend who wishes to remain anonymous for reasons that will become obvious: Yeah, when the Packers were playing the Twins, I kept waiting for Brett to throw an interception.

More Morocco.


Friend: My dad has four Packers [season] tickets, but I've never been to a game.

Me: Your dad has Packers* tickets? And you've never gone?

Friend: Yeah. He got eight when they used to play here, but now he just has four. But I've never been. I don't really care about football.

Me: I don't either, but I'd love to go to a game, just for the cultural experience!** Tell him that if he ever can't go to a game, SH and I will buy them from him. Maybe the four of us could go together.

Friend: Only in September or October. Not when it's cold.

Me: Oh. Yeah. You're right.

* Someone has to die for tickets to become available, basically.

** I went to my college games in Houston, but watching Rice play football is not very much fun. Unless we're playing the Aggies and can make their band mess up hahahahaha. We won maybe two or three games my freshman year and that was it. Then we lost almost every game. Want to win your homecoming game? Make sure it's when you play Rice.

I went to a few UT games when I was in grad school in Austin and that was more fun because Texas wins. But still, watching football when it is hot and humid is uncomfortable. I have never seen a pro football game.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Chats du jour: Banished

How it works at our house. If SH doesn't come to bed with me, he stays up late to work. Or to go out for a beer or two and to sing. And then he works some more. He comes to bed at 2:00. Or 3:00. Or 5:00.

Yes. He is a crazy man.

An armful of sleepy cats.

But it works for him.

The cats sleep with us. Or me, really.

But they wake up at 6:30 or so, way before we want to get out of bed. That would be fine if they would just sit quietly in bed, but if they are awake, they want to do things like eat. Or climb all over the furniture. Or sit on us and purr.

That is not in our plan.

So what happens is that we throw them into the basement at 4:00 or so, depending.

They have figured this out. Usually, we can catch them while they are sleeping, but last night, SH didn't come to bed until 5:00 and they were already up. I had just gone to the bathroom, so I was awake.

I hear SH's footsteps as he came down the stairs.

So do the cats.

Laverne jumps off the bed. Runs around. Tries to hide. Can't find anywhere. Oh no!

She jumps back onto the bed. Circles. Circles. Comes over to me. Forget it, honey. I'm not giving you shelter.

Jumps off the bed again. Thuds to the floor. Laverne is not graceful. Runs under the chair by the door. Yeah. Because SH will never think of looking for her there.

In the meantime, Shirley has stealthily crept to under the middle of the bed and is not making a sound. She'll sacrifice Laverne. No loyalty.

SH opens the door. The cats hold their breath. Maybe he'll forget. Ha.

SH pokes around in the dark. Cusses softly. Turns on the closet light and opens the door a crack.

"I'm awake," I say. "Don't worry. Shake their food container. That will lure them out."

He goes into the kitchen, rattles the food container. Laverne is tricked. He grabs her and throws her down the stairs.

Shirley, who cannot figure out why she can't open a latched door and will paw at it and cry in frustration for minutes, is no fool when it comes to food. We have never fed them at this hour. Why would we start now? She stays under the bed.

SH gets on his stomach and reaches. Shirley shrinks back. He finally gets the yardstick and swipes her out.

They get their revenge. At 8:00 a.m., they start crying and crying and crying. If they're not sleeping in our bed, neither are we.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 405: Not the solution I seek

The plumber guys came yesterday to clean the tree roots out of the sewer lines from our house to the main line under the street. Our hope is that the next time we have a 100-year flood rain, which happens about every eight years here, the water flows into the dirt, through the tile something, into the pipes around our house, and out the sanitary sewer lines via the Palmer valve blah blah blah plumber talk engineer talk all the way into the city's sewer lines and into Lake Michigan rather than being stopped by roots and old toilet paper and being pushed back into our basement and onto our relatively new carpet,* which we have thanks to USAA and that we are not eager to replace.

After Plumber One finished snaking his giant roto-rooter through the pipe and after Shirley came down to the basement to inspect the machine because she loves anything that makes noise, SH and Plumber Two had a conversation about flooding and how to prevent and general basement dampness. SH pointed out his engineering feat of elevating all the boxes and tires and insulation onto 2x4s.

Plumber Two: Oh, ya don't got to do dat. Why, we got a company we work wit' down sout' of town where dey got all dese extra pallets dat dey just give--

Me: [shaking head desperately, drawing finger across throat]

Plumber Two: I mean-

Me: Maybe we could just get rid of some of the boxes?

SH: You think we should throw away everything!

Me: Pretty much.

Plumber One: Oh dis basement is nuttin'. We seen basements dat are full all da way to da ceiling wit' stuff!

Me [glaring]: You're not helping.

* The only place in the basement that gets wet when it floods.

Marriage 201, Lecture 561: Big Love, big deal

Me: Oh no!

SH: What?

Me: I didn't time my holds right at the library and I got Disc 3 of Big Love before I got Disc 2.

SH: So?

Me: I haven't seen Disc 2 yet.

SH: So?

Me: I can't watch Disc 3 until I watch Disc 2!

SH: Why not?

Me: Because they're IN ORDER!

SH: So. Just watch them out of order. Big deal.

Me: They're IN ORDER! I can't watch them out of order!

SH: I don't know why this is such a big deal. I'd watch Law and Order or Northern Exposure out of order.

Delurking day, part 2

Wow. The lurkers continue to identify themselves. You guys are great. I had no idea. Fia's Mom, BohemianDoc, Joanna, Jan, Melissa, I know you guys already. Sayya, Teresa, Mrs Darwin, the two Anons, we've kind of just met. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. And yes, I do plan to write that book. I am working on it as we speak.

Wisconsin 101: At the mall

This is Wisconsin. Of course there is a Nueske's Bacon stand at the mall. Of course there is.

Yeah, this is a crummy shot. Sorry. I didn't check after I took it but even if I had, I wouldn't have noticed how out of focus it was.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wisconsin 101: The plumber

Me: So when should we have our lines* cleaned again?

Plumber: You're going to hate me for sayin' dis, but ya know, it could be two years, it could be five years. Da best ting to do is to wait until it floods again and den ya know how long ya need to go before ya clean.

Me: I think I'll have you guys come back in three years.

* From the house to the main sewer - an attempt to keep our basement from flooding again, even though we have enjoyed these first two times so much.

Marriage 201, Lecture 399: Putting on the ritz

After SH has taken a shower before going out to a smokey bar that will make his clothes reek of cigarettes.

SH: It's important to be clean to put on stinky clothes.*


Me: Why bother to shower at all to go to the bar?

SH: It feels better to be clean.

Me: Then why not shower in the morning and be clean all day long?

SH: That's not important.

* He wears the same smokey jeans and t-shirt a few times in a row.

Chats du jour: Micromanagers

Shirley and Laverne, making sure I do things right.

(SH prefers to call them "supervisors." SH would prefer that term. You can guess why.)

Like putting the knives away. Oh no!


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Marriage 201, Lecture 871: Get a blog

SH and I have been arguing. Discussing. Whatever you want to call it. We have been talking about politics and religion. For two hours. My least favorite subjects to talk about with him. Why? Because on religion, I say "x" and SH says, "probably not x - I'm just not sure but probably not." On politics, I say "y" and SH says "oh not y not ever y until the day I die not y not y not y not y!"

I hate talking about this stuff with SH. He says it's "invigorating." I say it's painful.


SH: But don't you think this is stimulating?

Me: No.

SH: But you have time to waste. You should listen to me.

Me: I'd rather waste my time on things that interest me. Why don't you write a blog?

SH: I don't have time.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Wisconsin 101: Nuns at the grocery store

What the two nuns (I don't know what order they were) had in their grocery cart at Pick and Save:

Four heads of cabbage
Two big packages of baloney (bless their poor vows of poverty hearts)
A huge box of Fritos
Bratwurst. Of course. This is Wisconsin.

No beer. But they hadn't gotten to that aisle yet.