Monday, June 29, 2015

Wisconsin 101: They talk different here

I was talking to one of the guys who works at city hall. Discovered he was from Alabama.

Guy: I moved here when I was 14.

Me: That must have been a shock - to be a black person in Milwaukee and to be someplace so cold.

Guy: It WAS! I asked for a pop and they didn't know what I wanted!

[Which I thought was odd because I thought "pop" was a northern thing, but I don't curate his experience.]

Guy: The clerk asked if I meant a soda and I didn't know. I said I wanted Jungle Juice and she said, "Oh! You want juice! It's back there."

Me: It's different up here.

Guy: Plus where I'm from, we were real country. But it's different here. Everything is different.

Me: Food.

Guy: Food. I think the greens are better down there - you know, because of the earth.

Me: If grapes can make wine taste different because of where they are grown, I don't see why mustard greens can't be the same. My friend came from Memphis to visit and she brought me a suitcase full of mustard greens.

Guy: I bet they were good.

Me: Hey. Do you know the expression "put your foot in it?"

Guy: Of course.

Me: I made some brownies for an IT guy at work when I lived in Memphis and he sent me an email that I had put my foot in them. I thought he was saying my brownies were bad.

Guy: No! It's a compliment!

Me: You're sure? I saw a Tyler Perry movie where Madea said something like that.

Guy: It's like when you make some mustard greens that are so good and your granny say, "Child! You put your FOOT in those doggone GREENS!" It means they are real good.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 986: The importance of plates

SH: If you're home by yourself long enough, the plates get out of order.

Me: What?

SH: The two plates that don't match the rest of the set. They need to be on top of the stack, all the time.

Me: Why?

SH: So they get used the most and so if we do break one, we break one of the plates that doesn't match.

Me: That's nuts.

SH: I always keep those two at the top of the stack! You weren't even aware of that? You are definitely not doing it right!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 763: I can bring home the bacon but SH can't fry it in the pan

SH: Hey! The bacon won't all fit in the pan. What do you want to do about that?

Me: Cook it in two batches?

SH: That's not a good idea. It will take too much time.

Me: OK, then, Mr Smartypants - what's your solution?

SH: Cook more of it later.

Me: That, technically, is cooking it in two batches.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 453: I think they took the hat

SH: I don't like it when you leave these blinds open at night.

Me: Why not?

SH: Because people can look in and see our nice things.

Me: You mean like they might want to break in?

SH: Yes.

Me: But it's our dining room. With a table. And chairs. Do people break into a house to steal a table and chairs?

SH: I don't know. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 764: Synchronize your watches

Me, working at home, in the kitchen: Hey! I told you I had a call at 9.

SH: I know.

Me: But you are about to grind coffee! And the water is starting to boil! It's noisy!

SH: I have three minutes.

Me: No you don't! It's 8:59. My call starts in one minute.

SH: No it doesn't. It's 8:57. Look at the clock.

Me: Which clock?

SH: The one on the stove.

Me: That one isn't right. The clock on my computer is 8:59 and that's the one I have to go buy.

SH: But I had it all calibrated perfectly!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wisconsin 101: The princess and the pea

You guys, it has been a stressful time chez us. SH has been gone for the past six weeks dealing with his parents' health issues. He is super stressed and I am experiencing sympathy stress and having to do everything all by myself stress.

If I were not married, I would not have a house this big. (I would like to have a smaller house even though I am married.) I would not have as much cleaning and yard cutting to do. There is more work when SH is gone. I know he has it tougher than I  - he has to deal with his parents - but war is hard on the homefront, too.

I worked from home for a week. When I work from home, I do not weigh myself.

I usually don't like to talk about my weight because I think that is a very boring subject, for you and for me.

But it is relevant to this story because it affects my shoes.

So I worked from home for a week, which meant no weighing. My routine is to get up, shower, weigh myself, get dressed, go to work.

Note I weigh myself before I get dressed. I saw a guy come into the gym at work one day and step on the scale

1. In the middle of the day
2. Fully clothed. Including shoes.

My friends, I gasped out loud.

Men, they are different from us.

When I work from home, I get up, put on the pink fluffy robe my sister gave me for Christmas a few years ago (Soma brand, which makes me think not a single English major worked there), start my coffee, and open my work computer. I work for a while in my PJs - I work with the engineers in Europe, so our calls are first thing in the morning.

I don't get dressed (OK, I don't change into sweatpants) until mid morning, after I have eaten.

I am not going to weigh myself after I have had coffee and food. I am not crazy.

I worked at home for a week.

That meant I went an entire week without weighing myself.

I was also ten miles closer to my fridge than usual and stressed out by our parents/in-law situation.

I ate more.

When I stepped on the scale on Friday, the number had gone up by seven.


I had gained SEVEN pounds in ONE week.

The last time I did that, I was at a cooking school in Italy with my sister.

When I got to work, I noticed that my shoes hurt. (I keep my work shoes at work and drive in crummy shoes.)

I had gained so much weight that my feet were fat.

I was scared that my purse might not fit. If shoes are not sacred, then purses are not sacred, either.

Seven pounds plus pain-inducing shoes = throw away the entire contents of the Emergency Chocolate Drawer.

Reader, I did.

I discarded the Jordan almonds, the candy corn, the M&Ms.

It hurt.

But sometimes, one must sacrifice.

And then, over the weekend, I remembered that I had dared to eat

1. restaurant food
2. pickled
3. enchiladas made with Velveeta
4. Cheez-Its

Let me translate that for you:

I had dared to eat salt.

So now we know what happens when I eat salt.

My body, so delicate, so finely tuned. So responsive to anything but running and weight training. Salt.

At least the seven pounds left my body.

But now my candy is gone.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 764: The important things in a relationship

SH was gone for two weeks. He came home for 40 hours. He left again for two more weeks. He returned for a week.

He had not been home for more than four hours on the second time when he attended to the most important task a man can address when he sees his wife for the first time in a good long while.

A man who has spent four weeks in very stressful circumstances - at the home of his parents when they are having health problems and do not want to address any of the larger, looming issues like

1. they will both die some day
2. really - they are not going to be the only ones to get out of here alive
3. they have a hard time keeping up with the house - have to hire help for the garden and for cleaning
4. they have not updated their will since there was a major event requiring such

SH has been trying to convince them to move into assisted living ("but the place doesn't have a heated indoor pool!") or to hire help ("we tried, but her soup was bland"), but they will have none of it.

He has not gotten to sleep late because his mom and dad get up early and make no effort to be quiet when they do get up because they think SH should not be sleeping so darn late.

This is stressful, no?

So when a man comes home to his Penelope, who has been waiting faithfully for his return, and he wants to relax and enjoy the company of someone who does not criticize everything he does, what is the natural thing for him to do?

You got it.

Reconfigure the squeeze points on the toothpaste.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 632: Life with an engineer

SH: Where has Clara been?

Me: Who?

SH: Clara. Our next door neighbor.

Me: I don't know. How do you know she's gone?

SH: Because her car is all covered with leaves and dust.

Me: What?

SH: It's been sitting in the driveway.

Me: I don't even pay attention to their cars! Besides, how do you know it's her car?

SH: Because Clara drives a [whatever] and Chloe drives a [other whatever].

Me: You actually know what kind of cars our neighbors drive? And you know which car belongs to which one?

SH: Yes.

The 'yes' was said with a tone of, "What? Is this not normal? Doesn't everybody know this kind of information about his neighbors?"

No. They do not.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Wisconsin 101: We do not waste

My friend Amanda, for whom I am making a birthday carrot cake: Do you like grating carrots?

Me: No! I HATE IT!

Amanda: So you just buy them already grated?

Me: Are you crazy? I'm German! We don't spend money on frivolity like that!

Amanda: I'm German, too. How could I even ask such a question?

Friday, June 05, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 23: The things we treasure

These are the crummy parts of SH being gone:

1. I have to cut the grass
2. I have to do the dishes
3. I have to do the laundry
4. I have to scoop the litter box
5. I have to clean the bathroom
6. I have to vacuum
7. I have to get the mail

This is the good part of SH being gone:

1. I put the trash out when I want to, which is before the bag is so jam-packed stuffed that it takes two people to pull it out of the can.
2. And I put the dishes away wet.
3. And I leave dishes in the sink overnight.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Chats du jour


SH has been stuck dealing with some rather unpleasant issues lately - he is at his mom and dad's helping them with medical stuff and it is not fun at all. Suffice it to say there are certain things a person who has the money (which his parents do) should hire help for rather than expecting their offspring to handle the problems.

But he got to spend an evening with some friends down that way and the evening was made almost perfect because the friends have a mama cat and kittens.

SH is as happy as a pig in mud.

baby kittie!!!!!!

She's so little.

I love kittens.

Monday, June 01, 2015

Marriage 701, Lecture 763: Odysseus returns

SH just came home after being gone for almost a month. (Thank you, parents who refuse to deal with reality. News flash: Everyone gets older. Everyone dies. If you really love your family, do what you can to mitigate the impact of your poor health and your for-sure death on them.)

In only four hours, he

1. Checked the inventory of everything in the fridge and the freezer to identify what is new

2. Tried to rotate the cheese inventory, insisting we need to pay attention to the 'best by' dates in choosing the next cheese to open, even though a. cheese is how you store milk for the long term and b. we have never had cheese last longer than a few months in our house so I AM NOT WORRIED ABOUT OUR CHEESE GOING BAD

3. Worried that I was furminating Laverne all wrong and that I would release clumps of cat hair into the wild and also bring cat hair inside

4. Reconfigured the squeeze points on the toothpaste

I told him I mostly miss him when he is gone, but I do not miss it when he wants to know what I am doing and why.