Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 443: Job opening

Me: Anna agreed with me on email that the perfect job is a professional, part-time position.

SH: I suppose.

Me: And I told Lenore the same thing - that I need to work toward a high-paying, part-time, consulting job.

SH: I thought the perfect job was as a golddigger.

Me: I had that job and I got fired.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Wisconsin 101: Property rights and wrongs

If I had a gun, I would shoot

1. The crows that started to caw at the crack of dawn this morning. Crowed and crowed and crowed.

2. The people in the cottage next to ours who were not content to play and make noise on their own beach but had to come over to our beach and let their little kid jump off our dock. Or the dock belonging to the people who own the cottage. People. Lakefront might be public property (I think all waterfront property should be public - why should someone besides the public own the beach?), but docks are not. Is it convention in other places that it's OK to hang out on someone else's private property? Why didn't they just climb the stairs and come hang out in the sunroom?

Bad enough that they were violating what I thought were pretty clear social norms, but then they were noisy to boot. This is our big vacation. This is our splurge. Usually, we go on free or almost free vacations - our trips to Europe have all been on FF miles and hotel points. We eat whether we're at home or on vacation.

But we saved to take this trip - a week away from cellphones and internet. (You can see how well that "away from internet" part is working - SH spent six hours at the library our first day here because he had to get online to work.) We wanted this cottage on the water for its peace and quiet.

We did not come here to listen to a little kid shrieking all afternoon. Honestly, doesn't that kid take a nap?

I know I am being cranky, but I want to hear the sound of the waves, not the sound of someone else's child.

No. We did not say anything to them, even on Day 2 of shrieking. What do you say to someone without sounding completely petty? Plus, if someone doesn't already know not to play on another person's dock, is saying anything going to change the situation?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 592: Sports authority

SH: We can't stop. The score is 6 to 5.

Me: Yes. I said the first person who got to six games would win.

SH: But that's not how you play tennis.

Me: That's how I play tennis.

SH: You have to win by two games.

Me: I don't care.

SH: That's the rule.

Me: You and your "rules are rules" mentality.

SH: It's the right thing to do. It's only fair.

Me: I don't care. It's how I want to play.

SH: It's against the rules!

Me: What - are there tennis police who are going to knock down the door and drag me away tonight? I refuse to be bound by someone else's rules.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 500: Polygamy for you, polyandry for me

After our lunch of bison steaks, whitefish, grilled zucchini, potato salad, and tomato basil salad. Which followed our supper last night of llama burgers and spinach with pine nuts and garlic. Which followed our lunch of tomato basil mozzarella salad. And our breakfast of my Aunt Rita’s mini quiches.

Me: If you were married to [SH’s political wife], you would not eat this well.

SH: I might, but I would have to go out for it.

Me: You would not eat this well and eat this cheaply.

SH: Nope. I need different wives for different things.

Me: I know. I need different husbands for different things. I’ll keep you for [wxyz] and find someone else for money.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 586: Packing for a trip to the cottage

Me: Did you bring the Good Salt?

SH: What do you mean?

Me: The Good Salt. I didn’t put it in the box [of food that I left in the dining room] because I knew you would be using it while I was gone.

SH: It wasn’t on the list.

Me: It’s right here. [I show him the list.]

SH: No. It wasn’t on the list of things I was supposed to do before I left. Look. I changed the kitty litter. I packed the charcoal. I packed the tennis stuff. I packed the box of food in the dining room and the food you put in the pan in the fridge.

Me: That’s the list of things you were supposed to do. This is the list of all the things I wanted to take to the cottage.

SH: That’s a different list.

Me: I know. And look. Right there – it says, “Good salt and pepper.”

SH: That’s not my list.

Me: But it was with the other list. And with the confirmation letter from the cottage people.

SH: That wasn’t my list. You didn’t tell me I had two lists.

Me: I showed you this list. I said, “I’m not packing the salt and the pepper because you’ll need them.”

SH: But that’s not the list of “SH things to do.”

Me: No. But it was here. Why would I have left it with you if I didn’t want you to look at it?

SH: It wasn’t my list. You need to be more explicit.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Wisconsin 101: This is how we eat

One advantage (perhaps the only advantage) of having a job away from the house is that I am now spending most of my time ten miles away from my refrigerator. It would be nice to lose the marriage 15 and fit back into my old clothes. I still have the Thin Jeans. They are upstairs in the dresser in the guest room, i.e., in The Drawer of Hope and Lost Causes. But maybe. Someday.

So what do I do? I come up north to visit family. I stay with my aunt, whose first words (almost) when I walk in the door are, "I just baked banana bread" and "Have you tried it with Nutella on top?"

The winters are long and cold up here. It's either eat or spend more money on heating.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Employed at last, #5

One of the advantages of my new job is that I am very close to the downtown Y, close enough that I can go there at lunch. That was one of my big concerns about returning back to work (other than the complete loss of my freedom, which I am still mourning) - would I be able to exercise without going through too much effort? Sure, I could always get up really early and exercise before work, which was a great solution before I married a night owl. Or I could exercise after work, thus reducing the number of hours in the evening for doing what I want to do from four to two and a half. "Want to do" meaning "all the things that have to be done around the house before I go to bed and maybe a little bit of fun."

Exercising at lunch is my favorite option. I don't like to go out to lunch because 1. it gets expensive and 2. it takes a long time. The ritual of eating out. That's soooo annoying. The waiting, the waiting, the waiting. I just want to eat and get it over with. Don't make me listen to the specials or the food descriptions. Don't make me have to make small talk while we're waiting for the food. Don't make me glare at you when you ask, "Are you still working on that?" while OTHER PEOPLE AT THE TABLE ARE STILL EATING! Wait, wait, wait. That's what eating out is all about. It's so inefficient.

So the Y has lunchtime classes. I'm only a few blocks away. I can walk there, even in my high heels.

But here's the drawback: The classes there make me sweat.

Usually, I don't sweat when I exercise because 1. I am too lazy to work that hard. But I have tried some new classes and even with my extreme sloth and the freezing-cold air in the gym, I have sweated.

Which leads to the problem: how to return to my pristine, pre-exercise state before I return to work? Without taking a lot of time? Or ruining my makeup, such as it is?

The irony is that I don't sweat that much when I am going to the Y from my house and haven't had a shower and don't intend to take one even when I return home. But now that I am all dressed up, I am sweaty.

Today decided the issue for me. Not only was I sweaty, but the other people in the class - a cycling class - were sweaty as well. As we stretched at the end of the class, another student walked over to stand in front of the fan.

The fan I had been facing.

Now the other student - a man, dripping sweat, was between me and the fan. The very strong fan.

I felt rain on my arms and face.

It was raining sweat on me. Raining this man's sweat.

I gagged.

As you guys know, I have a very high gross-out tolerance level. I have showered in the Fs and Gs in the South American Handbook, after all, although it creeps me out to use a dirty shower now if I can't wear flip flops. I don't get all panicked if I can't wash my hands before I eat or if I can't wash the peaches before I eat them. A fly in my water at a restaurant? I take it out and carry on. Thirsty at Bastille Days? Doesn't bother me to find an empty vodka bottle and fill it with water. 1. Most people don't drink vodka straight from the bottle and 2. even if they did, the vodka sterilized it and 3. I was really, really thirsty, but still not thirsty enough to pay $3 for a bottle of water.

But someone else's bodily fluids on my body - when that other person is not related to me by blood or marital contract (and even then, SH got all freaky the day I used his toothbrush by mistake - I didn't, but he did), that's the limit. That's where I draw the line. That's what I can't take. This is part of the reason I don't like holding hands at church - I don't really like to touch people I don't know and to be honest, I'm not crazy about holding hands with people I do know. Except for SH. But that's it.

I wiped the stranger sweat off my arms and face with one of the antiseptic paper towels you're supposed to use to wipe the bike seat with once you're done using it. But that still wasn't enough. I made my decision: to the showers I would go. A shower used by a stranger who is no longer there is preferable to a sweat bath from a stranger.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Employed at last, #4

The shoes. The shoes. Oh, the shoes.

My first day, by the time I got home, I was hobbling. My feet throbbed.

It wasn't that I was wearing cheap shoes. I had gotten a pair of Bruno Maglis on eBay. That's a nice brand, isn't it? Handmade Italian - how can you go wrong?

That is one upside of a China boycott - Italian shoes.

Yet these still hurt.

And the pantyhose were maddening. So tight! Darn control tops.

But I can't wear heels with naked feet.

Jen on the Edge recommended tiny footies, which I had never heard of. I got some at Walgreen's and they make a huge difference. I am not a pantyhose purist. They are necessary when it's cold, but even without pantyhose, I am dressed 1000% more formally than almost everyone else at work.

On Day 2, I wore the Ferragamos that I also got on eBay.

Either I was getting used to heels, which I otherwise wear maybe six times a year, or the Ferragamos are more comfortable. Less uncomfortable. Plus they are better looking than the Brunos. I am looking at them now. So pretty. Black heels with the quilted toe.

Years ago, my friend Julie sent me a pair of Ferragamos that had come into the Junior League thrift shop during her shift. "They're too small for me," she said. "Do you want them? They're brand new - the Ferragamo rep dropped them off."

Heck yes I wanted them. She sent them to me. I put them on. And winced. They were narrows. I do not have a narrow foot. I have a wide, pudgy foot with fat little toes. I do not have pretty, elegant feet. I guess it's good I live in a place where one rarely has a chance to show one's feet.

But I wore them to work anyhow. And was hobbling by the end of the day. I called Julie. "Just dangle them off the ends of your toes," she advised. "They're gorgeous shoes."

I only wore them once. But the new (to me) shoes are just fine. I mean, they don't make me cry just to put them on. But they are still not as comfortable as flip flops.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Employed at last, #3

Here's another work-related dilemma: What to wear.

1. None of my old work clothes fit me.
2. I am too lazy to lose weight.
3. Even if they did fit, they are not in style.

I work in a business casual environment, emphasis more on casual than on business, but I cannot bring myself to wear sleeveless tops to work. Or sleeveless tops that are cut back to the middle of my shoulder blades. Or jeans. Or gym pants. Or tennis shoes. I just can't do it.

Yet it's not that easy to find more professional-looking clothes. Have you shopped lately? What is it that nobody wants to sell dresses or blouses with sleeves? I took a trip to the mall this weekend - I have been there about once a year since we moved here, as I do my best not to pay retail, but this was an emergency. I found some nice skirts on sale at The Limited, but I could not find blouses or dresses with sleeves. I looked at The Limited, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market, J. Crew, and Banana Republic.

I tried looking at Boston Store (a regional department store) but that way madness lies. They have horrible merchandising. Anything on sale is jumbled up on sales racks that are crammed together. Even the not on sale clothes are arranged in a haphazard way. I don't think Calvin Klein would be happy to know that their made in China (and hence off limits) suits are mashed up on a rack pushed into their dresses. I should not have to move portable racks to get to full-price clothes.

Hello Boston Store executives! If you want me to pay full price for your clothes, make it easy for me to get to them! And if you want me to buy your sale clothes, don't make me paw through every single rack to look for white blouses. Do not mix white cotton blouses with cheap flowered polyester tops (what is it? 1976?) with acrylic sweaters with sequined miniskirts. I am not that patient. I want you to organize items by category so I can look at all the white blouses in one place.

Oh - and do NOT make me walk through the gauntlet of perfume samples to get to the stairs. Man it stinks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Employed at last, #2

I have a few dilemmas now that I've started working. I know my whining will fall on been there, done that ears and I know I was darn lucky to have had six years of not working, although I will note that the first few of those years were before SH and I got married and when I was living off my savings and worrying that I would be a bag lady. I didn't want to be unemployed, but I was doing really stupid things in my job search and then I didn't interview right and I messed it all up. I am a good worker, but I am not a good job hunter. Then I started reading Ask a Manager and following her advice and voila! Eighty seven cover letters and four interviews later, I am employed. This despite a six-year gap on my resume. So I know it's not me, it's how I was doing it before.

Anyhow, my whining is that it's hard to do everything you want to do every day when you are away from home 11 hours a day. At my old job, I had enough tenure and I knew what I was doing enough that there were a few things I could do at work, but when you are new, you have to suss things out. Is it OK to check your eBay watch list while you're at work? I already got the Hand of Death for going to the public library site to see when my books were due. That's harsh - to track people who go to the library site, although you have to admire an organization where that has become enough of a problem that IT has to address it.

I don't need to violate the IT policies and find I am a top violater. At my old job, I was in the top 25 violaters one month. This, in a company of over 100,000 employees.


Because I kept going to sex sites.

As in, I was trying to figure out if I had a UTI. I didn't want to waste time going to the doctor if I didn't have to. Honestly. I was not going to porn sites. If I want naked women, I can see them at the locker room at the Y.


How do I get everything done now? When does the house get cleaned? Before, I did not have shedders in the house: no husband, no cats. My house did not get dirty. But now, it does need to be cleaned. I do not want to hire a maid because the purpose of my getting a job is to come out ahead on the money, not behind.

When do I cook? When do I do laundry? When do I goof off and read? When do I blog?

SH has been stellar. He has taken over the bedmaking and the cat-box cleaning and the trash taking out and the dishes, but he is starting a new project that is going to have him working even more hours than he works now. We might have to learn to live with a dirty house.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Employed at last, #1

Well, you guys, it looks like I am an employed person. Like my last good job, I had an offer three days after my interview.

My last bad job, which was at a sweatshop in Miami, working in the corporate finance group of a major transportation and logistics company (I have heard it is bad form to badmouth previous employers, so I won't be using any names, but come on - we've all had crummy bosses and jobs before and hey, this is not an interview), came only after a months-long ordeal of canceled phone interviews (by them, without notice) and a really bad office visit. I should have heeded the signs - the job turned out to be a nightmare where I worked from 7:15 a.m. to at least 7:00 p.m. and usually later, doing really important things like removing the staples from the left side of the presentation for the board of directors and stapling the right side. Apparently, nobody had figured out that copy machines can be programmed to staple on one side or the other and thought it was a good use of salaried employee time to be removing staples.

The other thing I could never figure out was why it mattered so much which side the staple was on. Someone said that one of the directors had said something once, but I'll bet he did not say it thinking, "Aha! I really want to make junior analysts stay at work until past 10:00 p.m., standing in the basement in the print room, checking documents and staple locations!"

I hated that job. HATED IT.

And yet, knowing what I know, I still would have taken it because I had been looking for a job for over a year and had not found a thing. I needed work.

And sometimes, that's the reason you take a job: because you need work. Not because you are seeking emotional fulfillment or because you want to make a contribution but because 1. you need money and 2. you need health insurance. That's why people put up with crummy working conditions.

That crummy job? Over 100% turnover in the year and a day that I was there.

Let's hope that is not the situation with this new job.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 337: Vous ne le faites pas correctement, deux

SH: What if you don't do it right?

Me: How can I not ask if they have a coffee maker at the cottage right?

SH: No. I mean, what if you don't get ground coffee right?

Me: How can I not get ground coffee right?

SH: Last time, you got bad ground coffee.

Me: Fine. I won't get coffee tomorrow if they don't have a coffee grinder in the cottage. We can get the coffee when we go to the store for the milk and eggs. Satisfied?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 228: Sock it to me

SH: Hey! What's this? [He pulls an empty socks bag out of the trash.]

Me: Socks. A bag from socks.

SH: Where did it come from?

Me: Upstairs. I was getting stuff out of the dresser in the guest room. [Where we keep out of season stuff.]

SH: Where are the socks?

Me: I put them in your drawer.

SH: Why!? Who says I needed new socks?

Me: Your other socks had holes in the toes.

SH: So? That doesn't mean they're unwearable.

Me: Yes. It does. That is exactly what it means. That's what a hole in a sock means: that it is no longer wearable. And I have no intention of darning your athletic socks.

SH: What happened to the old socks?

Me: They are now rags.

SH: Hey! You do not have the authority to make my sock decisions!

Me: Of course I do.

SH: They're not your socks!

Me: Yes, but I know how to decide when socks have gone bad.

SH: Don't get rid of my socks.

Me: Good grief, Sheldon. You would never have even noticed if you hadn't seen the bag in the trash.

SH: Yes I would. I knew I had socks upstairs. I was staging them, waiting for the right moment.

Me: [Eye roll]

SH: Are you going to blog about this?

Me: Absolutely.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fashion advice, or, My kind of wedding

My sister: So I'm not going to make my bridesmaids wear ugly dresses, but I do expect you to help out a bit.

Me: That's fine.

My sister: And you have to bring a neutral-colored bra.

Me: Why?

My sister: Because you will be wearing a t-shirt that says "Bridesmaid" on it.

Me: Ah. So the hot pink and orange striped bra is not appropriate.

My sister: Nope. And bring your cowboy boots.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 337: Vous ne le faites pas correctement

As we are looking for the beignet stand at Bastille Days*

SH: The man approach is to look for an information stand or a flyer. The way CF does it is she just asks someone.

Me: That's because I want to find the beignets.

SH: Yeah, but I don't want to bother anyone.

Me: Because it's such an annoyance to have someone ask you where something is.

SH: The other thing is that I don't want to admit I don't know something.

Me: You are all concerned with the process. All I care about is the outcome. For you, if the process isn't authentic, you don't want it. Whereas I just want to get what I want as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

SH: That's because you're not doing it right.

Me: Yeah, but I get where I'm going a lot faster than you do.

* Yes, I know. I know that beignets and the Bastille have nothing to do with each other except they are both associated with the French language.

PS Microsoft translates "You're not doing it right" as "vous faites pas droite," which I think is not correct. Which would be ironic.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 277: How did I survive without him?

This is the facebook message I got from SH after lunch:

I just hung the sheets (and towel) out on the line.
I am 47 years old, and before today I had NEVER done laundry and hung anything out to dry on a line. (I used to hang my shirts, but only inside.)
It's starting to look as if it may rain, and there is some rain on the radar. If it rains with that laundry out there (which we need), I will take that as a sign that I am not supposed to hang laundry out on a line.

I responded: No,.you will take it as a sign that you can bring rain

SH: It is raining (and thundering). I had to take the laundry down; I got out there before it started to rain hard, but the laundry is no drier (and maybe a bit wetter) than it was before I put it out there.
I have work to do this afternoon; I may or may not have a chance to put the laundry back outside. I may end up putting it in the dryer.

When I got home, the sheets were in the laundry basket behind the back door. I hung them out again and threw a load of darks in the machine. As I was hanging them on the line, SH came outside to kibbutz.

SH: That's not how I do it.

Me: I know.

SH: We do things completely differently.

Me: No sh*t. Here, hang these up.

SH: What?!

Me: Oh. I'm sorry. Am I asking too much for you to hang up your own underwear?

SH: You should have just put those on the drying rack in the basement.

Me: Maybe. But then I would have to sort everything out before I put it in the basket.

SH: That's how I do it. Did you notice that all the socks are matched? As I pull everything out of the washer, I make sure I have it matched and organized.

Me: Wow, Sheldon.

Photo: http://smileq8dotcom.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/sheldon.jpg

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 221: Whining in a forest

SH: I don't want to go to the doctor tomorrow.

Me: And?

SH: You made the appointment for me.

Me: So change it.

SH: It's too late. It's not the right thing to do. It's all your fault.

Me: Don't blame me. I give you permission to cancel. Go ahead.

SH: No, I want to whine and I want to blame you, even though I was there when you sent the email noting the times I was available.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wisconsin 101: In a happy place

My friend S: I don't eat meat.

Me: More for me.

S: I don't like the way animals are treated.

Me: I can see that.

S: But I love my ostrich cowboy boots.

Me: They're gorgeous.

S: I am convinced the ostriches lived a long, happy life and died of natural causes before being turned into my boots.

Me: Their lives were for a greater purpose. I'm sure it would have made them happy to know.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 336: Flat earth society

Me: Do you still have that extra calendar?

SH: Why?

Me: I need it.

SH: That's why we should never throw anything away. It's safer that way. You can never go wrong keeping something.

Me: Of course you can. It's not the end of the world if we don't have an extra calendar in July.

SH: Obviously you learned nothing from that article on procrastination I sent you.

Me: It was not exactly a strong defense of procrastination. It was just a history of the subject.

SH: And look how many great thinkers in history were procrastinators! If it was good enough for them, it's good enough for me.

Me: There are a lot of great thinkers who thought that the world was flat, too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 178: Sock it to me

SH: I'm going to Target tomorrow before I get that pizza. [With the groupon that is about to expire - honestly, so many of our meals are determined by about to expire coupons. We have got to stop buying them, SH.]

Me [looking at my socks as I am getting dressed for tennis class]: Would you buy me some athletic socks? These are wearing through on the top. I guess it's time for me to buy more socks.

SH: I don't know anything about buying women's socks! I don't know the sizes! I don't know what kind!

Me: Good grief. It's not that hard. [I hold up my leg.] See? That's the kind I want.

SH: You're going to have to write it all down for me.

Me: Athletic socks. Short. Medium. It's not that hard.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 663: The feet

Me: My feet hurt. They hurt so much.

SH: That's what you get for wearing high heels.

I might note that these are not just any high heels, but Italian high heels.

To make it even better, I got them almost new on eBay and paid almost nothing. Almost nada. For handmade Italian shoes.

Me: But flats are so ugly.

SH: Who cares?

Me: I want to look good.

SH: Why?

Me: Good point. I'm already married. I don't need to attract a husband.

SH: Unless you're looking for another sugar daddy to replace me.

Me: Yeah, because men with money really want middle-aged women whose feet hurt.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Crazy people in other places

How timely is this? I got this comment today, right after I got the email below.

Comment: Speaking of AC, whatever happened to your friend dealing with the insane homeowners association president?

Last night at about 9p two policeman showed up at my door saying that "the neighbors" [the crazy homeowners' association president] had a complaint of a noise disturbance coming from my townhome. Of course, I was in total shock and had no idea he was talking about. I was in my loft watching TV when all this occurred.

I invited the police in so they could take a look around and obviously there was nothing to see. About 2 hours later I get another knock at my door. Again, [crazy HOA pres] have called the police saying there is a noise disturbance coming from my house (funny how no one else seem to hear it!). Again, they come in and now we're all scratching our heads wondering what is going on.

At 530a I hear knocking at my front door again which of course wakes me up. Again, [crazy HOA pres] have called the police saying there is a "noise disturbance" coming from my townhouse at 430a IN THE MORNING! Since it was the 3rd call the police had to issue me a summons and now I have to appear in court on July 31st. If the judge rules in their favor, which I can't even imagine, I have to pay a $100 fine!

This blatant harassment and bullying is because I have complained about [crazy HOA pres's] loud SUV, their loud air conditioner right next to my wall that sits on their patio and how they continue to grow trees and plants in the "common area" right behind my patio so it obstructs my view. If any of were doing this we'd be inundated with letters and fines!!

Do we really want these people running our HOA? I know I'm not the only one they have tried to intimidate! I have talked to several people now in the complex who have had enough. They have unnecessarily fined people, served unlawful lawsuits, harassed and bullied people in [our neighborhood], to such a point, I know people who will not even buy in here because of them. Unless we want this place to become all rentals something needs to be done.

There will be a meeting my townhouse on JULY 12th at 7pm. Please come with any past or present concerns or issues especially if you feel you have been abused by this HOA. There are so many of us that are so fed up, something has to change to stop this insanity!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Wisconsin 101: This is not how we usually do it, part 2

Did I tell you guys about the other job interview I had? Where I had to do word problems?

You know the nightmare: you are in a room and you are told that you can't get out until you solve all the word problems.

OK, that's not a standard nightmare. I've never had it. The one I usually have is that it is the last week of school and I just realized that I never dropped that class that I stopped attending after the second week of school and there is a final and I am completely unprepared for it.

Also, I can't find my locker.

But surely someone has nightmares about word problems.

So before I could have an interview, I had to pass an intelligence test. This was an online test with several sections. There was the detect the pattern in the letters section, the detect the pattern in the graphics section, and then the word problems section.

I could have done any of the word problems in about two seconds. When I was in 8th grade.

But I have not done much word probleming since then, although YES! You do use algebra in real life!

There were the train problems: Train A leaves the station at 10 a.m. and Train B, blah blah blah.

There were the lease vs buy problems. There were the payroll problems. There were the how many cubic yards of mulch to buy problems.

I could do most of them because hello, they're simple logic, but the clock was ticking down and I knew if I didn't get a good score on the test, I wouldn't get an interview and then I'd never get a job and everything would be crap.

The only problems that were super easy for me were the shopping questions because I do those in my head all the time: The shoes were originally $160. There was a 15% off sale and you have a coupon for 30% off. How much will you pay?

Of course, the truly logical next question is not, "Does the coupon apply to the original price or the discounted?" even though we all know that it's going to apply to the discounted price because you pay more that way. No, the real question is, "Do they even have this shoe in an 8.5 and can I find a salesman to get it for me?"

I'll tell you more about all this tomorrow.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sunday report

I'm cranky. It's been hot, hot enough that we've had to use the a/c. I didn't even use my a/c when I lived in Miami or Memphis - only a few times when I had houseguests. I hate a/c.

I also hate muggy heat that is accompanied by (not simultaneously) cold winters, snow, and ice. That is, if I am going to have hot summers that require a/c, I should not have to change my tires in the winter, worry about slipping on the ice and breaking my leg, or shovel snow. Or be cold.

I was tricked into moving here and now I don't even get a decent summer. The only good thing is that I haven't had to mow the grass in over a month.

Oh yes - along with the heat, we are getting dry. No rain. I don't care so much, but this is sort of an agricultural state and farmers need rain. Speaking of that, who writes the prayers at my church? You know, the prayers where everyone says, "Lord hear our prayer" after the statement. Honestly - there is enough going on locally that we don't need to list pray. It's always lists: "We pray for those in the healing professions: health care providers (nobody will use the word 'doctor' anymore, which I think is a deliberate attempt by health insurance companies to undermine physicians), nurses, lab techs, EMTs, receptionists in the ER, blah, blah, blah." Every prayer is a list.

But when they ask the congregation for what they want to pray for, it's always very specific: "My neighbor who was just diagnosed with lung cancer." "My nephew who was just killed in a car accident." "My brother who is being deployed." "For rain." Nobody ever volunteers a list.

I need to take over that place and make them do it right. They never start on time, either, and they sing crummy songs. Is there any composer worse than Marty Haugen or David Haas?

For all you non-Catholics out there, I assure you, there is nobody worse than Marty Haugen or David Haas. Imagine the worst version of Kumbayah that you can think of, raise it to infinity, and you still have better music than Catholics find in the Gather hymnal.

My garden is crap. Nothing will germinate. I have planted and planted and planted. Nothing comes up. The rabbits are eating what little is growing. If I had a gun, I would shoot them. Maybe I'll buy a gun. Every rabbit on earth could die and I would not shed a tear.

The cats are shedding like banshees. Banshees shed a lot. There is cat hair all over the place, despite my vacuuming and brushing. The extra hair is making the cats throw up more, so I have the additional joy of finding cat vomit on the carpet in the basement. Not on the 80% of our flooring that is not carpeted. Just on the new(ish) carpet in the basement.

I handwashed an Ann Taylor silk sundress and it shrank. Sure, it said "dry clean," but they always say that. Always. I have always handwashed silk and it's always been fine. But not this dress. It is now six inches shorter than it was and it hits my legs right at the point where the casual observer thinks, "Those are some chubby knees."

I hope your July is going better.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 115: You're not doing it right

Me: It's a good thing you didn't change the toilet paper at that party last week.

SH: What do you mean?

Me: They had the toilet paper coming from under.

SH: If I had seen it, I would have fixed it. I would have been doing them a favor.

Me: It's rude.

SH: It's doing the right thing. There are three possibilities:

1. They meant to have it the other way and made a mistake, so I'm doing them a favor.
2. They don't care and don't notice.
3. They want to have it the wrong way so I have to fix it for them.

Me: Thank you, Sheldon.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 998: In the end, we all shop alone

This is how it works when I need something, i.e., a jacket for an interview in 17 hours. No, I wasn't thinking. Who wears suits to work any more? I got rid of all of mine years ago. Nobody wears suits! But then I read something on Ask A Manager, whose kick-@ss advice about cover letters is what has gotten me my interviews - seriously, I have had two recruiters tell me (in so many words) that my cover letters are great. "Delightful" and "really caught my attention" = "great," right?

Anyhow, on AAM, people were talking about what to wear to an interview and I realized that oops, it looks like people still do wear suits to interviews, but I emailed the recruiter just to be sure and she replied that oh, a pantsuit would be fine.

Pantsuit <> black skirt and white blouse.

As in, skirt and blouse are not formal enough.


To the mall I went.

I had a mission.

1. A jacket that 2. would go with my black skirt, 3. is not made in China and 4. not expensive.

Now. Let me contrast this with how SH works. SH, too, will have a mission when he goes into a store. Milk, for example, or bacon.

We each have a mission. A well-defined mission.

How does it work?

I define my mission objectives and criteria and shop until I find the item that meets those criteria. Then I stop.

SH defines his objectives and criteria, finds items that meet the criteria, and continues to search.

Because what if he finds something even better than the criteria? What a disaster that would be if he didn't get the best possible option?

Which is why it takes SH ten minutes to choose a pound of bacon and takes me 71 minutes, from the time I leave the house to the time I walk out of the mall, to find not one but three jackets that 1. go with the black skirt, 2. are not made in China, and 3. are 60% off.

Which is why I refuse to shop with him.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Wisconsin 101: This is not how we usually do it

I have to tell you about this job interview I had. First, I had to buy something to wear to an interview - not only do I not have any suits left, they wouldn't fit me if I did. Marriage has put a few pounds on me. Not that I care enough about it to do anything like diet. Dieting means being hungry and/or not eating things I like, like half and half and cheese and dessert and darn it, life is too long not to eat things I like.

So I bought a black skirt in a size larger than I used to wear and a white blouse to go with it because who wears suits to work any more, anyhow?

I arrived at the company's headquarters. Waited patiently, as instructed in my email. Because I wouldn't have known to "wait patiently" until the HR person came to get me.

What kind of candidate is he used to? People who throw themselves across the receptionist's desk, screaming at her?

I had googled the guy who was to interview me.

I found out that he is in charge of "corporate highering."

Which made me think that this interview was not going to go well.

And I was so right.

When the HR guy, whom we shall call Simon, came to get me, he didn't even come all the way down the stairs to the lobby. He stood on the landing and called my name. Yes, I, the only person in the lobby besides the receptionist, was indeed the person he was looking for.

He took me to a conference room. Did not offer me water or soda or coffee. I offered something to drink even to magazine ad salesmen when I was working and they are about the most annoying people on earth.

In the small talk, he learned I had gone to high school in the Panama Canal Zone.

That's when he said to me, "I really like Florida! But I go to Miami."

That's when I knew this interview was not going anywhere.

I smiled weakly, and rather than saying, "You moron, the Panama Canal Zone has nothing to do with Panama City, Florida," I just said, "Oh! Miami! Do you get good Cuban food when you're there?"

Even that, he didn't know about. Had never heard of a medianoche.

I later spoke to a friend who knew people who worked at the company. She told me that Simon's father was good friends with someone high up in the company. I need better connections.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Marriage 401, Lecture 223: Now lie in it

SH: I know one thing you'll want me to do if you get a job.

Me: What's that?

SH: Make the bed.

Me: Yep.

SH: But what if I don't do it right?

Me: How can you not make a bed right?

SH: I might square all the pillows.

Me: You do that already. I can live with it.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Chats du jour: Guilty

Not shown: What happened after Shirley's stomach decided that flowers did not agree with it.