Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 937: Never enough chocolate, or, Did somebody say, "Deal?"

SH: World Market has Ghirardelli chocolate chips on sale for half off!

Me: We don't need any. There are six pounds of them in the freezer.*

SH: But they're on sale. For half off.

Me: Six. Pounds.

SH: Half. Off.

* I know this because I have a spreadsheet of the freezer inventory.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 978: I don't care

SH: Come in here!

Me: No!

SH: You don't care about togetherness.

Me: I don't want to sit in a dark bedroom while you doze. It's boring.

SH: But I've been gone all week. Don't you want to be with me?

Me: I'm in the same house, aren't I?

SH: My Nighttime Wife would lounge in bed with me.

Me: Then call her up.

SH: Come look at Shirley.

Me: I don't want to look at the cat.

SH: But she's cute!

Me: I don't care.

SH: Shirley loves me. She cares about togetherness. You don't care.

Me: Nope.

SH: Shirley missed me when I was gone. You didn't even miss me.

Me: I missed you until you started whining.

SH: I save all my whining for you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 295: Support for my life

Rubiatonta asked if SH was the same kind of engineer that her stepdad was in being obsessed with "the just and equitable distribution of leftovers."

We agreed on certain engineer characteristics and she suggested a support group. I needed a name for the group. I picked the acronym: LOONS. I had the first letters - Loved Ones Of

Me: What's a synonym for engineer or scientist that starts with "N?"

SH: Nerd.

Me: That's it!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 598: My wife I think I'll keep her

SH: Wow! This is so good. Your cooking is a good argument for keeping you as my wife.

Me: Yeah.

SH: And the [wxyz].

Me: Yep.

SH: Food and [wxyz]. That's what this marriage is built on. Certainly not on the nightlife. There are so many things you do well, but going out to the bar and drinking is not one of them.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 825: What's yours is mine

SH: Hey! You're wearing my sweatshirt!

Me: Put on your Rice sweatshirt. [I am wearing the formerly forbidden Summerfest sweatshirt, but now that it is starting to wear out, I am allowed to sully it with my imperfection.]

SH: No! That's not a wearing sweatshirt. That's an Occasion Sweatshirt.

Me: What kind of occasion?

SH: I don't know. Other than Rice events, if I feel like displaying my blue and grey Rice spirit, that's OK. But to wear it just to wear it is not right. It's to be seen in. It only has a certain number of wearings in it and to waste it on being at home is just not right. You understand?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wisconsin 101: The tribe of We Who Do Not Waste

I saw this guy when I was out "running" (that's the word I like to use - others might call it "trudging slower than molasses") on Thanksgiving after a breakfast of blueberry pie and white truffle mushroom pizza and a snack of brownie sundae and Fritos.

Oh don't pretend like you don't mix your salties and your sweets. Fritos are the perfect foil for chocolate. Try Fritos and chocolate chips. You will not be disappointed.

So I was out running during the fourth quarter of the Packers-Lions game and would someone please explain to me why 1. I cannot listen to the game on an FM station or 2. they cannot make an mp3 player that gets AM? I wrote to the program manager at WTMJ and told him that it was his fault if I got fat and out of shape because I had to skip exercising to stay home to listen to the game.

So I saw this guy with a van full of pumpkins and I had to ask him what the heck was going on. He explained that he'd already picked up two truckloads of pumpkins and that Thanksgiving was a great day to go pumpkin hunting because people were discarding their pumpkins but they hadn't gone bad yet.

Yes, in Milwaukee we put our pumpkins on the curb along with our leaves for the rakeout.

He stopped because there were three perfect pumpkins right there behind the Lutheran Home. Not even carved. Perfect and intact.

"I scrape out the seeds and roast them," he said. "Last year, I got twenty pounds of seeds. My grandkids love 'em. People ask me all the time about them."

My people.

PS I was able to take the photo because I brought my smartypants phone with me so I could keep up with the game. Which the Pack won.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 926: When I die, I may not go to Texas

This is not Threadgill's chicken fried steak.

Me: I can make you a prosciutto sandwich for the flight.

SH: Hey! You opened that prosciutto while I was gone! You're not supposed to eat the good food while I'm gone!

Me: You ate at Taco Cabana and at Threadgill's [when he was in Austin last week]. I'm allowed to have prosciutto.

SH: No you're not.

Me: Why not?

SH: Because I'm the one who makes the money around here. You're just a gold digger.

Me: So who's the dumb one?

This is a Threadgill's chicken fried steak accompanied with broccoli casserole and okra and tomatoes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 925: Queuing theory

Me: Put whatever you want washed down the chute.

SH: Wait!

Me: I'm washing darks tomorrow.

SH: But that's not how it works.

Me: If you have anything you want washed, put it down there.

SH: Are you washing my work shirts?

Me: I'd rather not. Put anything you want washed before you leave on Sunday [this was Friday] down the chute.

SH: But there are things I might want for after I get back.

Me: That's fine. I don't have to do them now. I'll do them next week. Just triage for me.

SH [holding up a pair of navy slacks]: OK. I'll want these work pants when I get back.

Me: Fine. Wait! No! Don't put them down the chute!

SH: But I want them washed.

Me: Not tomorrow. I told you to triage.

SH: I am triaging. I'm telling you what I want washed for Sunday and what I want washed for later.

Me: Not by telling me. I'm not going to memorize all your clothes.

SH: But it's not that hard!

Me: I don't care. I am not going to try to remember. Just put them on the floor by my bed.

SH: The cats will sit on them!*

Me: FINE! Put them in the dining room.**

* They will. Is there anything more appealing to a cat than an item of clothing that will attract, retain and show cat hair?

** Which is formallment interdit to les chats.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 512: From a turnip

SH: Oh! I left some bandages and the extra lancet on the bathroom counter. Would you put them away when you get home?

Me: I'll keep the bandages, but why would I keep a lancet?

SH: What if I need an extra one next year when I have to take the [cholesterol] test again?

Me: Didn't they send you two this year?

SH: Yes. I only used one. We should save the other one.

Me: But if they sent you two this time, wouldn't they send you two again next year?

SH: Maybe. In the instructions, it says that if you can't get enough blood--

Me: Stop talking about blood.

SH: But you just squeeze a few dr--

Me: Stop! You're making me queasy!

SH: You're a baby. Anyhow, if you don't do it right with the first lancet, you're supposed to call them and they will walk you through it with the second lancet.

Me: So you think there is a possibility that even though you got it in one try this year, you 1. might need three tries next year or 2. you would have some reason to draw blood before next year?

SH: Maybe not.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Chats du jour: Shattered

I haven't talked about the cats much recently and I know you've missed that. There are some people, according to a completely unscientific survey, who read this blog only because of Laverne and Shirley.

And who can blame you? They are such cute cats. Obnoxious and demanding, but cute.

And not too bright. At least, Shirley isn't too bright, although she always gets what she wants, so maybe she is smarter than we think. She is the Dumb Blonde of cats. If Marilyn Monroe were a cat, she would be Shirley - dumb on the outside, smart on the inside.

But quick, she is not. This weekend, the chair you see in the photo above, which normally resides in our bedroom, was in the kitchen. We had company and needed an extra seat at the kitchen table.

Shirley was completely thrown off her game.

Her usual routine in the evening is to let Laverne whine until I feed them. Like the roosters I encountered in Latin America, who started their crowing at 2 a.m. because what if they didn't crow and then the sun didn't come up and everybody blamed them, Laverne starts whining at 3:30, an hour and a half before their suppertime. She has never been silent, but what if she were quiet and I FORGOT? Then it would be all her fault.

Laverne whines and Shirley watches Laverne whine. If I don't get moving fast enough for Shirley, then she will start to knock things off the counter, one at a time. Magazine, plop. Pen, plop. Grocery bag, plop. (Fabric grocery bags rolled up do plop when they hit the floor.) Battery, plop. Book, plop. Anything else we've been dumb enough to leave on the counter, plop.

Then I feed them, just to get Laverne to shut up and to get Shirley to stop destroying things.

Once they've eaten, Shirley goes downstairs to poop. Then she returns upstairs and sits on the cookbooks stacked behind me and watches me work on the computer.

Once I retire to the bedroom to read, she follows me.

And this is what she does.

She walks into the bedroom, which is not as simple as it sounds because sometimes the door is closed and opening doors is hard and she's not always sure about how to do it. Which side does she press? Or pull? Oh it's so complicated! Why won't Laverne open it for her?

Then she walks in. She does not push the door all the way open the way Laverne does. Laverne makes a grand entrance. She shoves the door to the wall and lets out all the heat that's built up from the space heater out of the bedroom. Thanks, Laverne.

But Shirley just glides in. Then she stands at the chair. This is one of the eight chairs I got from my granma after she moved into the nursing home and that SH and I loaded into his Passat and drove from northern Wisconsin all the way to Memphis, only to then move them back to Wisconsin a little bit later.

She stands at the chair.

And then she scratches it.

She loves to scratch that chair. It, along with the oak doorframes in the basement that replaced the pressed wood doorframes that were ruined in Basement Flood #1, is the only narrow wood item available to her for scratching.

I suppose I should be grateful that she limits her scratching to those two places (and to SH's formerly pristine basement speakers) and avoids the sofa.

She scratches the chair, then she jumps on it. Sits for a while. From there, she jumps to the dresser. Looks at herself in the mirror. Then she launches herself to the bed and finds the spot closest to the heater to curl up. The end.

She does this every single night.

But this weekend, she could not. There was no chair.

Rather than go straight to the dresser, she just sat. And stared. At the space where the chair should be.

This is where I must note that she had earlier that day scratched the chair in the kitchen. She knew it was the scratching chair. She had scratched it. But she did not remember that the chair was in the kitchen and that's why there was a space in the bedroom.

She sat, bewildered. She stared. Finally, she turned and walked away. She glared at me over her shoulder. Her day was ruined and it was all my fault.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 897: Squeaky clean

Me: Thanks for doing the dishes all weekend, sweetie.

SH: Well...

Me: What?

SH: I only did them because I knew you wouldn't do it right.

Me: You are full of crap. What are you talking about?

SH: You made that soup with the marrow bones and the kettle was oily. I had to wash it three times! I knew you wouldn't be that careful.

Me: And still my cooking and dishwashing haven't killed you yet.

PS And those are roasted marrow bones you see in the photo, along with chimichurri sauce and cheese grits. There was peach cobbler for dessert. SH complains we don't eat out enough, but would you complain about not getting restaurant food if I were making your meals?

PPS I made harira, a Moroccan chickpea soup, with the marrow bones to which SH referred. It was so good. Not as good as the soup we had in Marrakesh at the stall where the locals ate and nobody cussed at us for politely saying "No thanks" when they asked us to eat at their stall, but still pretty darn good. I got the recipe from The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert. I am trying the semolina pancakes next:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 125: Nutella, or, My shoe museum

Me: Look at these shoes.

SH: Oh yuck.

Me: I know! And they're almost $500. But I like these [leopard print high heels].

SH: Why don't you ever wear your red heels any more?

You can tell this photo is old: I am wearing pantyhose and apparently, nobody does that any more.

Me: Because they hurt.

SH: How can they hurt?

Me: I am not used to wearing high heels anymore, plus I have lost fat from the bottom of my feet. (Apparently, one of only two places I actually want fat and guess what, it's the only place it disappears from.)

SH: Do you still have them?

Me: Yes.

SH: Why?

Me: I like them.

SH: But you're not wearing them. Shouldn't you give them to Goodwill?

Me: Asks the man who owns how many watches? [At least 20 - he collected watches before he married me.]

SH: That's not the same at all.

Me: Oh yes it is.

I love my shoes. I don't care if I can't wear them any more. I just want to look at them and remember that there was a time when I wore sleek, beautiful shoes. When I visited my godmother in the nursing home a few years ago - she was over 90 years old - her lament was that when her kids had cleaned out her house and moved her into the home, her daughter had given away her shoes. "I had the most beautiful silver dancing shoes," she sighed. "I loved those shoes."

This post obviously is not about Nutella, but it seems that putting the word "Nutella" in the title creates an awful lot of interest. I wanted to test my hypothesis. Although perhaps "Nutella" and "shoes" in the same title is a bad idea. Who knows if people want to read about the shoes or about the Nutella? I probably need to perform more tests.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 913: The proper approach for sandwiches

Me: Should I make a sandwich for you tomorrow for your flight?

SH: Yes.

Me: I don't know if there's enough bread left.

SH: Oh no! There are only small pieces left!

Me: What are you talking about?
The Song of Something Bad Happened

SH: You ate the big slices!

Me: Yeah. I had toast this morning.

SH: But I was saving the big slices! Why didn't you use the ends?

Me: It didn't even occur to me. Don't worry. There's more bread in the freezer.

SH: It's not the same!

Me: Oh be quiet.

SH: But how could you use the big slices?

Me: I grabbed the first slices I saw.

SH: But I had saved those for sandwiches!

Me: Whatever.

SH: But how could you not think to use the smaller pieces?

Me: I don't spend my life wondering, "Will SH want to make sandwiches? Should I avoid certain slices?" I just make toast.

SH: But I always think like that! I always make sure there are pairs of slices that are appropriate for what I want. I always think through the consequences of any task. You just jump into it.

Me: Which is why I actually get things done and you never do.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chats du jour: Envy

Me: Our cats are cuter than the cats in this ad.

SH: Let me see. Yes, they are.

Me: Our cats should do ads.

SH: Maybe they put average looking cats in ads on purpose.

Me: So most people will say that their cats look better?

SH: Or that their cats look like that.

Me: If we put our cats in ads, people would be jealous.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 218: Is this a job for the Nighttime Wife?

SH: You missed all the important political stuff I just posted.

Me: That's because I'm trying to write a bestselling novel so you can quit your job.

SH: I don't want to wait that long.

Me: Then find another job.

SH: I don't want to find another job. I'm tired of being taken advantage of by golddiggers.

Me: Then find another wife.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chats du jour: I don't know if they're worth it

Things I used to be able to do before I got cats:

1. Leave butter on the counter
2. Leave pears in a bowl on the counter
3. Leave peaches in a bowl on the counter
4. Leave dirty dishes in the sink
5. Leave any food out
6. Leave the living room door open
7. Leave the upstairs door open
8. Leave the house without brushing the cat hair off my clothes
9. Go to the bathroom without Laverne whining at the door, opening the door, and jumping into my lap, then jumping to the top of the tank so she can watch the water swirl down the toilet
10. Keep jewelry in the cute pottery bowl I got in Morocco
11. Leave my computer keyboard out
12. Leave my mp3 earbuds out
13. Go on vacation without hiring a catsitter
14. Throw cashmere sweaters on the bed and leave them there until I was ready to put them away
15. Go more than a week without vacuuming
16. Leave my dad's lucky shot glasses from Vietnam on the windowill
17. Leave the compost bowl open
18. Sleep past 8:00 a.m. without being rudely awakened by demanding meowing

What are your pre-pet fond reminiscences?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

I want to show you what the face of resigned acceptance looks like.

These are the faces of men who have been Rice football fans for decades. (Or so I assume because who else would go to a Rice game other than a Rice alum?)

Notice that they do not look happy.

They are unhappy because they are watching Northwestern trounce Rice. And because they paid $35 for the privilege.

Maybe 20 years ago, when the joke was I94, Northwestern 0, Rice could have had a shot at beating Northwestern, but on Saturday, a week after Northwestern beat Nebraska, which I have to assume is a big deal as even I, who am not a huge sports fan, know that "Nebraska" + "football" = Big Deal, Rice didn't have a chance.

Still, SH and I and my college friend Warren who has just moved back to Minneapolis after over a decade working in France*, paid $35 apiece - APIECE - for tickets to the game and drove to Chicago.

THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS. For a RICE GAME. Rice tickets used to sell for less than face value. Who would pay to see a team with such a rich losing tradition?

But we thought it would be fun to watch a game and perhaps see other Rice alum living in the frozen north, even though we had all experienced winter without snow, shoveling, and being cold and should know better.

It was sort of fun. The weather was perfect: sunny and cool. The fans were excited. The Northwestern fans, that is. The game was good for Rice in four second spots, but the good part was overshadowed by the bleak shadows of gross incompetence and the tragedy of playing a team where the other players weighed 40 pounds each more than the Rice players.

I surrendered to the inevitable: Rice was going to lose. It is our tradition.

Going to a school with a bad - or outclassed - football team prepares one for real life. Sometimes, no matter how hard you practice or how much talent you have, you are still going to lose. For almost all of us, there will be someone better or luckier out there. It's good to learn that lesson as a young person so you don't waste your life whining about fairness. When you learn that lesson young, you know that you still have to soldier on and that life goes on.

Now for a slight change in topic, as this post is not meant to be a sermon about Life and Loss.

What's the deal with the constant barrage of noise at a Northwestern football game? I have not gone to many college games in the past few years - just the Rice homecoming games - but have they all become like Northwestern? I know the Rice games were not like this. During every single bit of game downtime, either the band was playing or there was recorded music playing over the PA. I wouldn't mind the band, but they, too, were piped through the PA. Bands are loud enough that it is not necessary to amplify them.

If the band isn't playing, isn't a little bit of silence on a beautiful fall day OK? Why do they have to blare rap music over the PA?

When they weren't playing music, they were doing commercials: Every single thing in the game was sponsored, including the net behind the goalposts. Every little event was sponsored. I think there might have been more live commercials during the game than there would be during a televised game. Anyone have any comment on this? I found it to be highly annoying, especially as I had already paid THIRTY FIVE DOLLARS** for my ticket. For that much money, for an amateur sport, shouldn't I be able to enjoy just a game?

* He is looking for a job, so if anyone needs someone with these qualifications, let me know.
1. BSEE from Rice
3. 10+ years with HP in the US, Germany and France
4. Fluent in Spanish, German, and French. And English, of course.

** I could have bought a shoe with that. I could have bought the second shoe with SH's ticket money.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 451: It's getting deeper and here I am without a shovel

SH: You liked it here the first time you came and that was in December.

Me: Yeah, but you were in an apartment with covered parking and unlimited heat. And someone else did the shoveling.

SH: So you were tricked.

Me: Yes.

SH: You just don't have the right attitude toward shoveling.

Me: And what's that, person who does almost none of the shoveling around here?

SH: For every time you shovel, you get to skip a day at the gym.

Me: Yeah, I don't think so.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 206: Call my union rep

Me: Did you change their [the cats'] water?

SH: No. I just fed them.

Me: Why not?

SH: Because changing the water is your job. I just fed them as a favor to you.

Me: You fed them because you were awake first. Part of feeding them is also changing the water.

SH: Nope. I merely substituted for the feeding part. I did not assume the complete cat obligation.

Me: Change the water.

SH: Nope. Not my job.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 211: The getting of Nutella

This story goes with my facebook post. I wrote it 18 months ago.

February 2010 SH has to go to Germany for work. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It sounds good, but I have traveled with him before and here's how it goes: he gets up early, grabs something to eat from the hotel buffet, goes to the customer's office, spends all day there, then returns to the hotel and tries to get into his email so he can do all his regular work that has been accumulating while he has been gone.

Usually, the internet connection is bad so he has to go down to the front desk to complain and sometimes they have to put him in a different room because Oh dear, sir, guess what we put you in one of the three rooms with broken internet even though you're obviously a business traveler and we have plenty of rooms with working internet available.

Then he spends a few hours doing his email before he realizes that he needs to eat some supper but if he's stuck in a suburban hotel (most likely because he stays close to the customer offices), his easiest food option is the hotel food, which most people will admit is not the tastiest.

So. International travel for work. Not so glamorous. I will have to tell you about our trip to England together last summer and how that little adventure nearly ended our marriage. Let's just say for now that the combination of two control freaks, google maps, narrow English "highways" and left hand side of the road driving are not conducive to romance but make fabulous tinder for a blowout fight.

This trip, he is traveling alone. I don't want to spend five days in a suburban hotel while he is at work all day and we don't want to waste frequent flier miles on the trip.

On his way back, he calls me from the international lounge or whatever you call that place when you have an upgrade to business class and you get free internet and some cheese and grapes that are close to becoming raisins. Well, that's what you get in the US.

In Europe, you get really good food and free booze. Which would be great if either of us were heavy drinkers, but we are not. OK, Spain's business class lounge is not so fabulous - they have olives and potato chips for breakfast. For breakfast. But they also have booze for breakfast, so again, if this is your thing, you are fine.

But the German lounge?

They have yogurt and salami and pretzel rolls and candy and curry (yes, curry or at least some kind of Indian food) and sausage and fish and lots of other goodies that I do not remember.

And they have Nutella.

Which I do remember because when we took our trip to Germany last year, we went through this same lounge and I made about ten trips past the Nutella bin, grabbing two or three little Nutellas each time.

Oh yes it was tacky.

That's why I had to get only a few at a time - so nobody would see what I was doing.

Not that the businessmen busy on their computers or with their newspapers or their morning gin and tonics cared about what I was doing but what about the help? What about the Algerian buslady who was replenishing the breakfast buffet? I didn't want her to see me being so greedy.

So he calls me. "I'm in the lounge. Do you want me to get you some Nutella?"

Oh yes I want Nutella. I want it even though I still have about two dozen little Nutellas left from the last trip and even though I have three jars of Nutella-like substance from World Market sitting in the pantry. Unopened. I like the idea of Nutella. I can't control myself once the jar is opened,** but it is comforting to know that the Nutella is there should I have a Nutella emergency. The little Nutellas are better because once opened, there is only about a tablespoon of Nutella to eat. It's safer.

"How much?" he asks.

"As much as you can get!" I tell him.

"I can't keep going back to the bowl!" he exclaims, shocked.

I think about this. Nobody knows him there. Why does he care how he looks? Why does he care what the Algerian buslady thinks?

And then I think about the 400 pounds of Nutella in the basement pantry.

"Maybe not that much," I admit.

He returns with eight packets. Proof of love.

** I have the same problem with dulce de leche, also known as manjar, which is a spreadable caramel you get in South America. I asked my roommate in Chile not to bring any more manjar home because I was having a tough time not eating the entire jar at once. He started hiding it. Ha. As if he could hide manjar from me. I asked again. I came home to find a note on the table: "That Woman, I spit in the manjar." Did he really think a little bit of spit was going to stop me? I just scraped off the top layer and ate the rest. All the 140 calories/tablespoon rest.

Marriage 401, Lecture 256: Company clean

SH [as I am cleaning the light fixtures in the bathroom*]: Wow. When you clean the house, you really clean.

Me: Of course.

SH: Shouldn't you just wait until things get dirty? That's how I did it.

Me: Nope.

SH: That or I was having company.

* Full disclosure: It was the first time I had cleaned the lights in months, although in my defense, I never wear my glasses in the bathroom, so it's not like I see a lot of dust.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 109: Waiting and hoping

SH: Uh oh. The knob came off that drawer.

Me: Yeah, I was tightening the screws and I guess it got stripped, so I--

SH: I'll have to--

Me: need to put some wood putt--

SH: fix it.

Me: y in it.

SH: What?

Me: I know how to fix it.

SH: You mean you're not one of those women who needs a man to do repairs?

Me: I lived alone until I married you, remember?

SH: But I could do it.

Me: I can't wait that long.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 741: Talk to my union rep

Me: Nope. It's too late.

SH: What? You agreed to [wxyz].

Me: That was at 8:00 when you said you would come to bed early.

SH: It's only 10:00.

Me: I lose interest after 9:30.

SH: Are you saying that this is a job for the Nighttime Wife?

Me: Yes. I'm off the clock.

SH: Are you getting overtime?

Me: I darn well should.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 712: Sexy is as sexy does

SH: I thought you took the polish off your nails.*

Me: I did. I repainted them myself.

SH: Oh. Yeah. You're not very good at that.

Me: It's my right hand. It looks bad because I'm right handed. Oh. Wait. My left hand looks bad, too. I guess I'm not very good at this.

SH: I wasn't looking for a glamor girl when I met you. Good thing.

Me: What were you looking for?

SH: I don't know.

Me: You probably weren't looking for me.

SH: Nope.

Me: So what happened?

SH: You were interesting and the [wxyz] was good.**

Me: And then you got stuck with me.

SH: Yep.

* From the birthday manicure I got with Kim in San Francisco.

** When my dad was dying, I asked him what had attracted him to my mom, thinking I would hear some deathbed wisdom. Instead, I got, "She was sexy."

Monday, November 07, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 258: Saving time

SH: I want these clocks (the clock on the microwave and the clock on the oven) to match.

Me: Uh huh.

SH: That's why I pressed the buttons at the same time.

Me: You're nuts.

SH: I also want them to be a minute fast, but no more than a minute fast. But they could get less accurate.

Me: Uh huh. [Because I don't care. I am never late. People who try to fool themselves into being on time by setting their clocks ahead are still late. It just takes a commitment to being on time. No tricks.]

SH: Electric clocks may become less accurate. The frequency is 60 Hz but it's not constant. They force it to average 60 Hz. Electric companies may be allowed to let the frequency of the power vary slightly.The clocks could become slightly less accurate.

Me: How do you know this stuff?

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 74: These were Italian!

SH wants to take a trip to Europe over Christmas so he can get enough miles to maintain his status. My ticket would be free on frequent flier miles and he has enough hotel points that we wouldn't have to pay for lodging. I do like that part. But I am not crazy about 1. traveling over Christmas and 2. going someplace cold.

SH: We could go to Spain.

Me: But it will still be cold there,

SH: Not as cold as here.

Me: What about if we go to Colombia? It would be warm. And guess what you could say?

SH: What?

Me: "Is this the bus to Cartagena?"

SH: But we could say that in Spain, too!

Photo source:

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 759: Better to light a single candle

SH: Now that I don't go to Menards any more, it's harder to get a deal on candles.

Me: We have enough candles.

SH: At least one time, I got a candle just to annoy you.

Me: I'm shocked.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Marriage 401, Lecture 698: I'm not doing it right

SH: Do The Traveling Wilburys belong under "T" or "W?"

Me: T.

SH: I was looking for U2 and saw The Traveling Wilburys, so I moved left, because I thought, "Wilburys is a name."

Me: I alphabetized your CDs, remember?

SH: You did it wrong.

Me: Bands go by the first name, individuals go by the last name.

SH: No!

Me: Then how do you do it?

SH: [no answer]

Me: Alan Parsons, under "P." The Alan Parsons Project, under "A."

SH: What about Eric Clapton?

Me: Really? C.

SH: What about Ben Folds?

Me: Is that a band or a person?

SH: Person. AND a band.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Extry good

If you "like" the Class Factotum on facebook, you will get extra helpings of stuff.

Marriage 401, Lecture 723: Tomato, tomahto

Me: Oh look. The PC iPads are under $400 at Target.

SH: The what?

Me: You know. The PC version of the iPad.

SH: It's the android version.

Me: Yes. The not-Apple version.

SH: But it's not a PC.

Me: It is to the iPad as the PC is to the Mac.

SH: Except it's not.

Me: What do you mean?

SH: It doesn't run Windows. It's an android.

Me: Did you understand what I meant the very first time?

SH: Yes.

Me: Then why are you nagging me?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Chats du jour: Busted by a floppy cat

This is Laverne. Laverne likes to sit on my arm while I work. Or while I try to work. It is convenient for her.

What is not so convenient is when I post this photo on facebook, SH, who is in Dallas for work, comments indignantly, "You're wearing my sweatshirt again!"

He gets all pissy when I wear his sweatshirt and asks me how I would feel if he wore my clothes, to which I shrug and say, "Wouldn't bother me at all."

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Chats du jour: It's a good thing she's cute

This is Shirley, who likes to sit on the keyboard because it's warm.

But who dislodges keys in her efforts to get comfy.

And then SH replaces the keys. Which is fine as long as he checks the "4s" before replacing them.