Monday, October 31, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 251: Birthday cake eater

This was our anniversary cake. No, I did not bake it. We got it at National Bakery with a groupon. The left side is SH's, the right side is mine. I didn't think the cake part was that good, but the mousse filling was excellent.

In California, the day after my birthday, which I celebrated with my friend Kim by eating Mexican food, going consignment shopping, and getting our traditional wedding/birthday/I'm in San Francisco pedicure* and then with supper with her husband, my friend Luke. A good day.

But I needed cake. SH's stepdaughter, Vanessa, and I share a birthday, so on Day #2 of my Birthday Week, I went to the bakery SH has been raving about for years, the Prolific Overn, to get cake to share with Vanessa.

You already heard about the Lee's sandwiches getting adventure. The cake was part of that same deal. And let me say this about California: the roads are laid out on a grid, which is nice, but man is it a pain in the neck to drive there if you don't know exactly where you are going and have to turn around and around. It takes forever to get anywhere. Longest lights in the world.

Back to the cake. I went to the Prolific Oven and tried to call SH to find out what flavors he wanted - I was getting a variety of slices - but he was in a meeting and COULDN'T TALK RIGHT NOW! s0 I had to make all the decisions myself, which was fine because it was cake for my birthday. Mine. I shouldn't have to worry about what he wants.

I got a slice of kahlua something, a slice of double chocolate, a slice of chocolate mocha, and a Grand Marnier truffle, which is a round chunk of dense chocolate cake soaked with Grand Marnier and then covered with dark chocolate frosting.

Vanessa, her mother in law, and I shared some of the cake, then I took the rest back to the hotel to share with SH. SH says I should have left it all with Vanessa, or at least some of it, and he was right, but it just didn't occur to me.

SH tried a little bit of each flavor. "That one's not my favorite," he said after tasting the Grand Marnier.

"Fine with me. More for me. I didn't get it for you," I retorted.

The next morning, we each had a little bit for breakfast. Friday evening, we had a little more. SH ate the mocha, kahlua and double chocolate flavors. I ate the Grand Marnier.

Saturday morning, we packed. I ate another bite of the Grand Marnier truffle. Then I made the mistake of leaving it unguarded to take a shower.

I got out of the shower, walked back into the room, and saw SH eating the last of the truffle.

"What are you doing?!" I yelled.

"What?" SH answered guiltily.

"You ate the rest of the truffle!"

"So?" he shrugged.

"You said you didn't want any! You said you didn't like it!"

"No I didn't."

"Yes! You said it 'wasn't your favorite.' I relied on that statement. It was my birthday cake!"

"I never said I didn't like it."

"You said it wasn't your favorite! That's Leigh code for 'I don't like it!'"**

"I didn't say I didn't like. I don't dislike it. Besides, I thought you were going to let it go to waste."

"When have you ever seen me let food go to waste?! It was my birthday cake! You're a birthday cake eater!"

He apologized, but it was too late. He'd already eaten MY CAKE. This is war. I'm going to eat the rest of his anniversary cake, which is in the freezer, and see how he likes it.

* I went a little crazy and got a manicure, too. I've only had two manicures before this one. One that my friend Lenore got for me when I visited her in Chicago and the other the day before I got married and my sister and I went to the salon mostly to be pampered but also to not be at my house for reasons that some of you understand very well.

What important lessons have I learned? 1. Never invite people to stay at your house for nine days, unless they are people you want around for nine days and trust me, these were not people I wanted around for nine days. 2. A manicure lasts seven days. That's it. Which is probably why women who 1. use their hands and 2. don't have a lot of money and 3. are uncoordinated don't maintain manicured hands.

** After Leigh taught me, I taught SH that it was more polite to quietly say, "That's not my favorite" when declining food as opposed to stating forcefully, "Yuck! I HATE that!" Although when it is just the two of us, I have no problems vocalizing my dislike of tripe, a tiny piece of which I accidentally got when SH and I shared a bowl of pho. Tripe is nasty and I'm not afraid to say it.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 619: Life in the bon bon lane

SH: You should dress up as a gold digger for Halloween.

Me: You mean in my regular clothes?

SH: Yes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 731: Wining revenge

Doorbell rings. It's the front door. Usually, I don't answer the front door because our friends and neighbors all come to the side door. Front door people are usually carrying clipboards and we all know what that means.

Although I did actually drive away the blesshisheart Seventh Day Adventist guy once. I was bored and he was talking about South America and poverty, an issue on which I have opinions and on which I had not had anybody to share those opinions with. After three minutes of my ideas, the SDA guy looked at his watch, mumbled something, and left.

I also had the pleasure of forcing a Texpirg guy to admit he didn't have a clue about what he was talking about. OK, he didn't actually say those words, but I asked him several trenchant, very relevant questions about the issue and he could not answer them. Although when someone is making minimum wage to go door to door, I don't really expect him to have any understanding of the issues.

But I knew SH was expecting a wine shipment from his wine of the month club.

If it were bacon of the month, at least I could participate.

I opened the door to find the UPS guy bracing the box against the outside wall.

UPS guy [with a Bronx accent, of all things]: I was expecting you to show up with a glass in your hand.

Me [long pause]: This? Is not my wine. It goes with my husband's collection in the basement. Three hundred bottles. I don't drink.

UPS guy: Wow. That's a lot of wine.

Me: I need to get revenge.

UPS guy: Buy yourself a new bag. Prada.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Wisconsin 101: What to do when you don't want to rake leaves

This is what it's like trying to write a bestselling novel when you have a cat:

1. Sit down at the computer.
2. Read facebook for a little while.
3. Open The Novel which of course is NOT BASED on any real events or real people who would be horribly ticked off to find their nasty ways exposed. It is FICTION.
4. Find the page you were working on.
5. Let Laverne out.
6. Find the page you were working on.
7. What should happen next? Is this dialogue natural? How does this --
8. Let Laverne in.
9. How does this scene advance the plot?
10. Yell at Laverne to stop drinking the yogurt-flavored water in the sink.
11. Maybe this scene is just funny and needs to be in the story because it's funny.
12. Yell at Laverne to LEAVE THOSE TOMATOES ALONE!
13. Could this scene count as character development? I like this scene.
15. Get up and hide the tomatoes in the microwave.
16. Go to the next scene and try to re-focus.
17. Oh. A reference to someone I knew in junior high. I wonder what she's doing now. Is she on facebook? Yes, but profile hidden. What about the google? Oh well I never liked her anyway after she decided we weren't going to be friends with Kelly C and then a year later, she decided she wasn't going to be friends with me.
18. Jump up to keep Laverne from knocking my mp3 player from the counter to the floor, which she wants to do because it's fun to knock things from the counter to the floor.
19. Push cat away from computer, where she has decided she is going to lounge because it is warm there.
20. Push cat away from my arm, which she LOVES, and away from computer mouse. Cat resists. Push again. Cat asks why am I being so mean?
21. Maybe I should just find a corporate job instead.

PS Please follow The Class Factotum on facebook. Thank you.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 617: Hanging around, blue

I forwarded this groupon (above) to SH.

Me: This looks like your closet.

SH: No, it doesn't. The shirts in the photo are 1. too far apart, and 2. on Really Good Hangers made of wood.

Me: You said "wood."

Me: But your shirts are all blue.

Me: I didn't know that there was yet another class of Good Hangers. So there are Good Hangers, Really Good Hangers, and Extry Good Hangers made of wood.

Notice that I rendered him mute with my witty replies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 23: Regulations 5 and 21

At Alcatraz, where we spent the afternoon with SH's stepdaughter and her little boy. We took the tour and got to take the elevator instead of climbing up the stairs because we had a baby carriage with us. What a racket! I hate stairs. If you have a baby with you, you don't have to walk up stairs! I need to start borrowing babies.

We got to the gift shop. "We need to get something for Mark," I said. Mark is the neighbor kid who feeds Laverne and Shirley when we are gone. He took over from Tyler, who moved this summer. What are we going to do when Mark goes to college? This cat thing can be a real burden.

"What about this?" SH asked as he showed me an official Alcatraz guard whistle.

"No way," I said.

"But it's made in the US!" SH insisted.

"I think this would be better," I told him as I pulled out a deck of Prison Lingo cards. Then I reconsidered. "Or maybe not. I'll bet his mother doesn't want him learning prison slang, even if it's old prison slang."

"Plus those cards are made in China and we're boycotting things made in China," SH noted.

"But you have to admire the irony of a deck of prison playing cards possibly being made by actual prisoners," I said.

"The whistle," SH said.

"No! I want his mother to let me hire him again!"

"But he's a 13 year old boy. He'd love a whistle!"

"He's the only person on the block I can hire to feed the cats! I cannot have his mother mad at me."

I looked some more. "This is it. The prison rules playing cards. I think his mom would like this. 'Regulation 21: You are required to work at whatever you are told to do.' Ha. I think my dad must have had these. 'Regulation 5: You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege.' This one is safe."

"Made in China," SH muttered.

"And won't tick off the boss of our catsitter!" I countered.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 198: Not Good enough

SH: Wait. I need to micromanage the laundry.

Me: What?

SH: I need those shirts for my trip tomorrow.

Me: Fine. Whatever.

After I have removed shirt #1 from the dryer, where it has tumbled for about five minutes, long enough to get the wrinkles out but not long enough to dry it, put it on a Good Hanger, pulled and smoothed the placket, the cuffs, the seams and the collar, and hung it on the gas line.

Me: Did I do it right?

SH: No!

Me: What's wrong with it? [Implied: You are a crazy person!]

SH: That's a really good shirt. It should go on a good hanger.

Me: That is a Good Hanger.

SH: It's not a Really Good Hanger.

Me: What?!

SH: It's the right kind, but it's not very good. There are better Good Hangers.

Me: You never told me there were grades within the Good Hanger category.

SH: There are.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shameless self promotion

If you "like" The Class Factotum on facebook, you will get more stuff to read. Upper right hand corner. I am building an empire.

Marriage 401, Lecture 263: Maybe I need a blue shirt

Me: Oh crap! I splattered soy sauce* on my shirt.

SH: You're not doing it right.

Me: I just took the tag off this shirt this morning!**

SH: I guess you learned a lesson about white t-shirts.

Me: Yes. Not to eat with chopsticks.

SH: No. The lesson is to wear a dark shirt.

* from using chopsticks, with which I am not proficient, to eat dim sum with Marissa and Brian.

** I buy white t-shirts in bulk, don't you? When they are on sale at Target or Kohl's, I stock up because no matter who you are, you are going to stain your white t-shirt before the end of the season.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 323: Looking for my replacement

After another night of not turning out the light until almost midnight. Differing bedtime habits matter a lot more in a hotel than at home.

Me: You need a Nighttime Wife.

SH: A what?

Me: I'll be your wife during the day. I'll clean the house and make supper, but I want to be in bed by 10. After that, you can have a Nighttime Wife.

SH: Kind of like a job share?

Me: Exactly.

The next morning, as I am waiting for SH to get ready so we can get breakfast.

Me: Stop worrying about how my makeup is packed! Can we please focus?

SH: Instead of saying, "Can we focus?" my Nighttime Wife is going to say, "Can we dawdle?"

Me: Yeah.

SH: Should my Nighttime Wife be a whiner?

Me: Absolutely.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 913: To sleep, still

SH: The reason I don't sleep much is because there are too many things I want to do.

Me: Sleeping IS one of the things I want to do.

SH: No, the only reason you want to sleep is to keep you from feeling like crap.

Me: That's why.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't call me dude, dude

I walked into T&D sandwiches yesterday afternoon after a half hour of searching for T&E sandwiches and waiting at least five minutes at each stop light as I drove around and around the intersection of Mowry and Blacow - man, these California stoplights are long - and ten minutes on the phone with Vanessa, my step-stepdaughter and mother of my gorgeous, edible, chubby-cheeked step-step grandson, who guided me past the Denny's to the shop. Ahead of me was a young guy with droopy pants and a baseball hat on backwards and another young man with a shaved head* except for a ponytail of dreads that reached halfway down his back. I think some of the dreads were extensions, but I couldn't be sure.

Dreadlock guy let the door close in front of me. I opened it and heard droopy pants guy snap at dreadlock guy:

Hey! You should open a door for a lady!

And he didn't even call me "Dude."

I have renewed hope for civilization.

* The Mohawk is also making a triumphant fashion return in the Bay area.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 912: To sleep

After two nights of being up past midnight and then being woken at 7:00 a.m. by the guy in the room next to us, who is having a very loud phone call. Midnight doesn't seem that late, but we're in San Francisco, so our bodies think it is two hours later.

SH: We should [wxyz] tonight.

Me: Not if the numbers on the clock are double digits. I plan to be asleep by 10.

SH: But isn't [wxyz] more important than sleep?

Me: No.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wisconsin 101: Nice manners, buddy

I drove into the airport parking lot next to another car. He was on my left and was poking along, inching forward and then stopping. I saw a space 20 yards ahead and was aiming for it, but I was going to have to cut across Car #2's path to get there. He was going so slowly that I thought I could make it, but then I thought, Well, I'll just stop, signal and wait for him to turn. He obviously hasn't seen the space or he would have been going faster. He'll see me and my signal and know what I'm doing.

Ha. I was wrong. And stupid. I should have risked being broadsided by an idiot driver because when I stopped, he finally paid attention. And saw the space. Which I HAD BEEN WAITING FOR. IT WAS MY SPACE. MINE.

He took it. I couldn't believe it. I yelled at the back of his car.

Then I drove past him and up and down the rows, looking for another space. I made the mistake of turning into a row behind the shuttle. Which was stopped. And which stayed stopped because guess why? The guy who stole my space was walking up behind me and waving to the shuttle.

The signs say "Shuttle picks up at shelters only."

The guy didn't want to wait at the shelter. He wanted the shuttle to wait for him. To walk there. While I waited. I glared at him and he glared back.

When I got into the airport, I thought I had picked my security line wisely - always go in the line with the most men with briefcases and the fewest children and older ladies.

Oh no. I was behind an older lady who apparently had not read a single one of the warning signs in the line telling her that she had to remove her liquids from her luggage.

So she was rummaging through her suitcase while it was on the conveyor belt in front of the x-ray machine.

And the rest of us were having to carry our bins around her to feed them through the machine.

It was one of those days when you want your three zaps. You know what a zap is: it is the power to vaporize without penalty any person who annoys you, such as a guy who steals your parking space, a woman who drives all the way to the end of the merging lane on the highway and expects to be let in even though everyone else merged a long way back because that's the polite thing to do, and the woman who blocks the flow of luggage, boots, purses and computers on the x-ray conveyor belt.

It gets worse.

I got on the plane and who was sitting next to me?

Parking space stealing guy.

You know what was worse?

He turned out to be nice.

I guess I'm glad I didn't run him over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 413: The taxonomy of SH

SH: Hey! You're using the toothbrush I wanted!

Me: I just opened it. I haven't even used it. Take it. I don't care.

SH: Fine.

Me: Just put a new one out for me.

SH: Hey! What have you done with the toothpaste* and razor bins? [separate little bins that stack on a shelf in the bathroom closet]

Me: What do you mean?

SH: You moved those razors from the toothpaste bin to the razor bin.

Me: Because that's where they belong. Like with like, right?

SH: Not in this case.

Me: Why not?

SH: Because the razors don't fit.**

Me: Sure they do. I made them fit.

SH: Only if you slide the bin out instead of lifting it out.

Me: So? Isn't it more important to conform to your schematic of like with like? That's how you do food.

SH: This is different.

* Which also contains toothbrushes, of which we have many because SH loves couponing.

** Also because of SH's extreme couponing. We have enough razors for a tribe of yetis.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 191: The first step is to assign blame

Me: Are you going to do that expense report and then come to bed so we can [wxyz]?

SH: Yes.

Me: Because I need to get some sleep. I don't want to stay up late.


An hour later.

Me: Hey! I thought you were going to be down here half an hour ago!

SH: I started reading some things.

Me: You need to focus!

SH: We don't have to [wxyz] if you're too tired.

Me: Nope. I'm not too tired if you come to bed right now. Besides, I shaved my legs today and I don't want to waste it.

SH: Really, it's OK. I know you're tired.

Me: No! Come one.

SH: But if you're tired....

Me: Oh! Wait! You're too tired, aren't you?

SH: What do you mean?

Me: This isn't about me! This is because you're too tired but you want to make it my fault!

SH: Maybe.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chats du jour: What goes down must come up

I don't want to gross anyone out, so stop reading right now if you don't like to think about CAT VOMIT. This is a CAT VOMIT post. I am going to talk about CAT VOMIT.

If you are still reading and don't like what you read, it's your own fault. You were warned.

Cat vomit. Let's think about that. Let's think about human vomit. When you need to throw up, which we all hope is rarely if ever - my friend Anita bragged that she had never thrown up but then there was the white wine and beer incident in Willy's Pub in college, where do you go?

Straight to the toilet, right?

Unless you go to the sink, which happened when I was at a friend's house once. I wasn't the vomiter. It was her father in law. I was the person who discovered the vomit. As I was a guest and as I had not created the mess, I felt no obligation to clean it, although I did feel bad for my friend. I went into the kitchen and whispered in her ear that someone had thrown up in the bathroom sink. My work was done. Perhaps I should have cleaned it, knowing now what I know about her in-laws and how very difficult those situations can be, but I was not as good a friend as I should have been.

Which brings us to the question: How good a friend do you have to be to clean vomit of an unknown provenance from your friend's bathroom sink?

Very very good, I would think.

And the next question: Why would you vomit in the sink when there is a toilet right next to the sink? Who vomits in a sink? That's just rude, people, and it's even ruder to do it and then 1. not clean up the mess and 2. not tell anyone about it so the next bathroom user has to discover it.

But I said I was going to talk about cat vomit and I will.

Laverne is the cat equivalent of that sink vomiter.

My bathroom rug is hanging on the clothesline at this very moment, being rained on. The original plan was to hang it there until the vomit was dry, knock the vomit off, and then wash the rug. Now it looks like the vomit will be rained off, which is fine with me. And yes, I will still wash the rug. I have a very high gross out threshold, but I do draw the line at not washing with soap items that have been vomited on.

Why was the rug vomited on?

Because it wasn't the wood floor in the kitchen, which was where Laverne started to heave and make that cat vomiting sound that all cat owners know and hate. I heard the sound and I heard her run into the bathroom, which has a tile floor, 40% of which is covered with the cute little blue rug with fish that we got in Morocco and was certainly never intended to serve as a cat vomitorium.

She ran from the place where it would have taken three minutes to clean the mess - albeit with gagging - to the place that needs washing in a machine.

And she did this when I was one minute away from getting into the shower to wash the Clairol #24 Clove color chemical from my hair.

Laverne is in the doghouse with me.

Laverne is also the reason we have not had baba ganoush, that great eggplant dip, in our house for two years. The only time that Laverne has vomited on an easy-to-clean surface (she usually goes for the basement carpet, which is even worse than the bathroom rug) was when, for 35 seconds, I turned my back on the opened container of just-made baba ganoush on the kitchen counter.

The next thing I knew, I heard cat vomiting noises. Laverne had eaten half the baba ganoush (maybe it was more than 35 seconds) and was in the process of returning it to the original container.* Where I could not differentiate between the unconsumed and the post-consumption baba ganoush. Which almost made me throw up myself.

I threw it all away, bleached the counter, and have not made baba ganoush since.

Sometimes I wonder if cats are worth it.

* I told you this would get gross.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 143: Beisebol has been berry berry good to me

SH: It's not "points" in baseball! It's runs!

Me: Same thing.

SH: No it's not. Soccer and hockey have goals, baseball has runs.

Me: Same thing.

SH: No.

Me: The general category of sports scoring is points. When one team plays another, the team that has more points wins.

SH: Not in tennis.

Me: It is so. Games and sets are a type of point. They roll up.

SH: You can have more points than your opponent and still lose on games in tennis.

Me: Types of points.

SH: Golf isn't scored in points and the person with the lowest score wins.

Me: Golf is a game, not a sport.

SH: A marathon isn't scored in points and the person with the lowest time wins.

Me: Race. Not a game.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 193: Crazy food strategy

SH: You changed the order!

Me: What are you talking about?

SH: I had those stacked with like foods on like foods. You changed it to like containers.

Me: That's because how it's supposed to be done.

SH: No! You're supposed to group like foods! I had the cream cheese cupcakes on top of the regular cupcakes and the squash soup on top of the tomatoes.

Me: What? No. Like containers.

SH: Only if you've run out of room and need to optimize space. Otherwise, like foods together makes more sense.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 216: Seeing the light

Me: I look so much better in this bathroom mirror.*

SH: What do you mean?

Me: The incandescent light bulbs are a lot more forgiving than those stupid bulbs you put in our bathroom.

SH: But those are environmentally responsible. It's the right thing to do.

Me: I hate them. I want you to change them.

SH: But the spirally bulbs are the right thing to do! Do you know how many watts we would be using with incandescent?

Me: Nope. And I don't care. I like the way I look this way.

SH: No. Our lightbulbs are the right thing to do.

Me: But if I liked what I saw when I looked in the mirror at my nekkid body, I would feel better about myself and that would mean more [wxyz].

SH: Oh. Well, maybe.

* The guest bath at Bonnie and Gary's lake HOUSE.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 215: The Raisin Exception 2

After I've returned home with the dozen cupcakes I picked up with a groupon.

SH: What kind did you get?

Me: I think four Ghirardelli, two red velvet, one raspberry truffle, one carrot cake, and then different cheesecake cupcakes.

SH [opening box]: Where's the carrot cake one?

Me: Hmm. Wait. I guess I didn't get the carrot cake one.

SH: Why not?

Me: I don't know. I guess the red velvet looked better.

SH: But I like carrot cake!

Me: Oh well.

SH: Why didn't you get it?

Me: I don't know.

SH: Why didn't you get it?

Me: I don't know.

SH: Why didn't you get it?

Me: I don't know.

SH: Why didn't you get it?

Me: I don't know.

SH: Why didn't you get it?

Me: Shut up! I didn't get it because - because it had raisins in it.

SH: It did not! You're making that up as an excuse.

Me: Maybe. Maybe not. You don't know.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 616: SH is not getting any credit for this one

Me: The only reason you stopped* was because you needed to pee, too.

SH: That's not true.

Me: Oh yes it is! You never stop for the bathroom! I always have to nag you!

SH: Well, maybe you're right. If I hadn't had to go, I would have tried to talk you into waiting until we got to Bonnie and Gary's.

Me: I knew it.

* At the gas station in the tiny town in the Kettle Moraine forest on our way to Bonnie and Gary's lake house for the weekend

Monday, October 10, 2011

Chats du jour: Mighty huntress #7

I told you the other day that I was glad that the trash had not been picked up before I could discard the battered, 12% eaten corpse of the chipmunk Laverne had so proudly shown me earlier in the day.

I have my suspicions about that corpse and my friend Bridget and I discussed them when she dropped off some paperwhite bulbs this morning.*

In all the time Laverne has been killing small varmints, she has never tried to eat one.

Maybe, despite her frantic meowing that starts 90 minutes before suppertime EVERY DAY,** she isn't that hungry.

If she were as hungry as she maintains she is (she also wakes me up with her crying in the morning if I haven't fed her by 6:50), then I would think those mice and chipmunks would look pretty good.

I don't think she ate it. I think it was dead and chewed on when she found it.

No, I don't have a good alternative suspect for the killing, but here are the facts:

1. The chipmunk was definitely dead when Laverne brought it to my attention. It had blood coming out of its mouth. Usually, when Laverne actually kills her catch (as opposed to keeping it alive for as long as possible so she can chase and capture it over and over), she kills it by biting it through the middle or at the neck or, I assume, by breaking its neck. I didn't see any puncture wounds on this chipmunk.

2. I didn't make her drop the chipmunk and get rid of it right away as I usually do because I was hoping she might hide the body in the neighbor's yard and then I wouldn't have to deal with it. I do not like picking up dead rodents, even with two small gardening tools as extensions of my hands.

3. When I finally did have to get rid of the body, after Laverne whined to come in because someone seven houses away was cutting his grass and the lawnmower makes noise and noise is scary, it was already stiff. With flies. None of her other kills have reached stiff + flies. How long does it take for rigor mortis to set in for a chipmunk? Google is completely useless for this information.

4. The chipmunk was missing half of its jaw, which may have been because of Laverne but if you were a cat and wanted to eat a dead chipmunk, would a bony, tooth-containing part of the body be where you would start? Not me. I would start with a nice fleshy hind leg. Laverne eats peaches, pears, plums, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and blueberries. She likes soft things. She gave up after that one bite of the banana. Although it could be that she doesn't like banana peel.

After I made my "no maggots and where are the bluenose flies?" observation, Bridget suggested that we could take the temperature of the chipmunk's liver to determine the time of death, except neither of us knows what the live liver temperature of a chipmunk is supposed to be. If you google to get that information, you get recipes for cooking squirrels. Which is not helpful.

Here is my theory: some other animal killed the chipmunk. Laverne found it and thought she would fool me and get all kinds of "Laverne you are such an amazing hunter!" credit from me, although I have not been praising her for her kills so much lately because I really don't like being the cleanup crew. She didn't think I would use my forensic skills to analyze the situation. But I am on to her and this chipmunk is not going in her score.

* Bridget, I promise I am usually out of my pajamas by 9:45 a.m. Really, I am. Usually, I have switched to gym clothes, which are just as unflattering and inappropriate for public viewing but at least are somewhat designed to be worn outside of the house.

** I have never forgotten to feed her. Never. So this desperation puzzles me.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 231: The Raisin Exception

SH: I think you like these kolaches* better than I do.

Me: Maybe.

SH: So I guess you can have them. Except I might like some of this one if you take the raisins out for me.

Me: I'm sorry. I don't remember the part in our wedding vows where I said I would pick out the raisins from anything.

SH: You don't think this is in your job description?

Me: Nope.

SH: But you cut up pears for me.

Me: That's because you're a whiner. But if you won't pick out your own raisins, then that means this cottage cheese raisin kolache is for m.

* That he bought for me at Sykora Bakery in Cedar Rapids when he was there for work.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 618: I can't take the drama

Me [after the Brewers won the division series and half an hour after SH agreed to talk a walk with me]: Are we going on a walk or not?

SH: I'm all excited about the game!

Me: Can't you be excited on a walk?

SH: I wanted to read about baseball.

Me: Why do you have to read about it? You just watched it happen.

SH: Baseball fans like to talk about all the details!

And apparently, they like to get their wife's camera out of her purse, take a photo of their Brewer's hat, and post it on facebook.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 449: Just take off the glasses is the easy way

Me: I hate cleaning the house.

SH: Then get a job.

Me: Does the house clean itself then?

SH: No. But if you get a job, I can quit mine and I'll clean. Or if we are both working, then we hire a cleaning lady.

Me: Oh yeah that works.

SH: You just leave the marker next to the sofa, right?

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 315: The art of the flirt

Me: I think someone flirted with me!

SH: What happened?

Me: I said something had happened when I was 20 and he said, "So that was three years ago?"

SH: Yep. That was a flirt. So how come men are allowed to flirt with you and women aren't allowed to flirt with me?

Me: Because I didn't engage with him. I just told him he needed glasses. Then he admitted he was full of crap. That woman told you that she fantasized about you singing while she was in the tub.

SH: That's not allowed?

Me: Telling you she thinks about you while she's naked? No.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wisconsin 101: Too nice

You can be too nice. Here's what makes me want to smack people.*

If I am waiting to cross the street, you do not need to stop. You need to stop if I am already in the crosswalk, but I am not going into the crosswalk if there is oncoming traffic. I wait for a break in the traffic before I cross.

1. I am never in such a hurry that I must bend drivers to my will by forcing them to come to a screeching halt.

2. I never count on a driver seeing me and stopping in time. My assumption is always that if I don't time it properly, I could die. And as I have not eaten all the cheese, butter, and dessert that there is to eat in life yet, I am not ready to die.

If I am waiting to JAYWALK, you really don't need to stop. You especially do not need to stop if I am waiting to jaywalk to the consignment store with my load of old purses and those great black suede Italian boots I bought last year, sure that they would stretch.

They never stretch.

You would think I would have learned this lesson by now, along with "never cut your own hair," but I am an eternal optimist.

If I am waiting to JAYWALK and you have two huge garbage trucks behind you**, then you really really don't need to stop. There is no law in the world requiring drivers to accommodate jaywalkers who are not even in the street and to tick off the drivers behind him. The only reason a driver accommodates a jaywalker in the street is that it is very inconvenient to deal with the insurance company when you hit a pedestrian. And the police.

* No one ever accuses me of being too nice.


Thank you, trash guys, for being late today so I could get the chipmunk whose face Laverne had eaten off and then vomited up into the trash rather than having it sit in the bin for an entire week of the nicest weather we've had in a month. One does not like to have maggots in one's trash.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 614: Bad Bacon Eater

SH: I can't believe you left all this bacon in your bowl.

Me: I ate the lean out of it. That's just the fat.

SH: I can't let this go to waste.

Me: You cannot eat those chunks of fat! That's disgusting!

SH: It's the good part!

Me: It's gross and besides, it's cold!*

SH: I'll warm it up.

Me: It's still gross. I cannot believe you are going to eat that.

SH: It's not like it's Oscar Mayer. It's Usingers: It's the good stuff.

* Yes, I was eating some leftover pasta straight from the fridge because I was in a hurry and wanted some food in me before I went to aerobics. The pasta sauce had tomatoes, onions, chicken and chunks of bacon ends. The bacon was for flavoring, not for eating. I had cut it in 0.5" x 0.5" pieces.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 291: Putting out fires

SH [as he is packing for a work trip]: Hey. This shirt* does need to be ironed.

Me: I asked you two weeks ago if you wanted me to iron those shirts.

SH: I know.

Me: And you told me "no."

SH: But it's wrinkled.

Me: I would have ironed all of those shirts or thrown them back in the wash.

SH: Now I need it.

Me: It's 10:00 p.m. I'm not going to iron now.

SH: I should have let you iron it.

Me: I was all ready to iron those shirts the next day but you told me not to do it.

SH: I meant not to do it right then.

Me: My question was not a "Do you want these ironed NOW." It was "Do you want them ironed EVER."

SH: But I didn't need them then.

Me: But that's when it was convenient for me to iron.

SH: I didn't need them.

Me: Too bad. I'm not ironing right now. You had your chance. For future reference, the next time I ask if you want a shirt ironed, I mean do you ever want it ironed. Ever.

* I usually just hang the shirts to dry after taking them out of the wash and tossing them in the dryer for a few minutes. If you smooth the wrinkles out in the cuffs, the collar and the placket and tug the other seams, then the shirt will air dry with not very many wrinkles. For this batch of shirts, however, I had skipped the dryer step because it didn't seem necessary. I guess it was.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 312: Infield fly confusion

This is why I take a book with me when I join SH in the basement to watch a baseball game.

Me: Wait. Why didn't that one count?

SH: Because it's after noon and after noon, the ball has to travel 450 feet at a 34 degree angle for it to count.

Me: I thought they had to wait until the ball was caught to run.

SH: This was a sacrifice fly. And there are two outs. So they can run then.

Me: Why wasn't he out?

SH [rolls eyes]: Because it's the first Saturday in October and on the first Saturday in October, anyone who slides into second base in the fourth inning has to be tagged on the body. They can't just tag the base.

Me: But what about-

SH: He's wearing a purple earring. See it? If you wear a purple earring, then the popup foul ball rule only applies in odd numbered innings.

Me: And the-?

SH: His knickers are pulled up over his knees. That gives you an exception from the full moon line drive rule. As long as the refreshment stand has sold more than 5,000 brats. With mustard. No sauerkraut.

Me: But the-?

SH: As long as they try this after the sausages have run. Now, if the chorizo wins, then they can't do it. But if the Polish sausage wins, then they actually get extra points.

Me: What about-?

SH: I cannot believe you just don't get baseball. It is not that complicated. Look! The pitcher has a tattoo on his neck but the batter has one on his head. Of course the batter has priority in that. But only if the catcher has no tattoos. If the catcher has tattoos, then they defer to the first baseman.

Me: It seems kind of silly to me.

SH: It's not. These rules make perfect sense.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Chats du jour: Mighty huntress #2

Baseball and football to watch today, so not much to post about unless you care about the Brewers. I don't care about Wisconsin football, but we can't get the Texas games now that we don't have cable.