Monday, May 31, 2010

More for me

posted Fri, 10 Aug 2007

The other good news is that I happened upon the Carnival Skittles. Sometimes, these things happen when you're not looking for them. I was in the Hannaford's in Waltham, just checking out the free samples (watermelon, fresh mozzarella and blueberry pound cake) and the prices (normal, unlike The Peoples' Sincere Mostly Organic and Fair Trade Rich Customers Socialist Co-Op in Cambridge, where tomatoes cost $3.89 a pound and they weren't even organic) and seeking a diet soda. After I checked the meat counter and the ice-cream case for samples (none), I made my way to the cash registers and grabbed a root beer from the refrigerator case. I was just giving my money to Olga when I noticed an endcap display with about five bags of Skittles on it. When I looked more closely, I realized these were the long-sought and coveted Carnival Skittles, with candy-apple, red licorice and cotton candy flavors.

I grabbed the bag and threw it onto the conveyor, even though it was the one-pound size. In retrospect, I should have sought the smaller bag, but I was so excited at my find and so sure someone would snatch it from my hands that I acted hastily.

I didn't start eating right away. I waited until just before SH picked me up for our trip back into Cambridge, then had a handful. They were good, but nothing worth writing home about. (Although, apparently, worth writing to the world about.) I decided to save the rest for a sugar emergency and threw them into the car.

After a few minutes of driving, even as a passenger, through Boston, where road signs and lane markings are for sissies, I decided the emergency had arisen. I opened the bag and was preparing my mouth for the yellow candy-apple Skittle (why don't they make that one bright red -- you know, candy-apple red? Whose idea was it to color the candy-apple flavor yellow?) when SH said, "Those smell awful."

I have recently learned that those words or anything similar are SH code for, "I do not want such items in my presence. I cannot bear the consumption of said items in my presence. If you insist on eating those things, I will refuse to kiss you as I hate the flavor of that sort of candy so much I cannot bear to taste it secondhand."

This epiphany came about as a result of my chewing gum while we were driving around town looking for the perfect fan. I'll admit that I have rather odd gum-chewing habits -- I chew only until the sugar is gone and then I spit it out, which is why I usually only chew alone. But my standards had slipped and I had chewed more and more frequently in SH's presence, thinking he didn't mind.

Only he did. But rather than tell me outright, he tried to hint about it: "That stuff stinks." (It doesn't.) "I don't chew gum." (No, but you'll eat tendon?!) Etc, etc. It wasn't until I spit out the last pellet of some sparkly gum with flavors like raspberry-grapefruit (I spit into a container and I am very discreet) that he lost it. Actually, the precipitating event was when I leaned across the seat to kiss him.

"Don't kiss me!" he snapped. "You taste like gum and I hate that stuff."


All you had to do was say so. It's not like gum chewing is a habit I'm proud of anyhow.

I shrugged and said, "OK."

Then he continued, listing all the times I had chewed gum in the recent months (I told you he's The Rememberer) and how much he disliked it.

"OK," I said. "I get the picture. I won't chew gum around you any more."

Yet he persisted in listing my gum transgressions. I HEAR YOU!!!! I SAID I'LL STOP!

Honestly. Why don't men come with dictionaries? I need the Man-Woman dictionary so I can figure out what SH really means when he says something.

But now I have begun to crack the code. I'll become a closet gum-chewer and Skittles eater again. I don't suppose the world will miss my doing these things so much. As long as he doesn't decide he can't stand chocolate, I'll be OK.

She has a great personality

posted Fri, 10 Aug 2007

Cambridge is such an intellectual town. The women do not place a high value on – how shall I say this? – traditional female grooming standards and I guess the men**** don’t mind, because no one appears to be importing Ole Miss sorority types, although I would be willing to bet that if a Chi O in her full glory showed up on Mass Ave, she would wipe out the competition in about three seconds flat.

Or not. Maybe the men here really like unshaved legs, no makeup, workout hair and frumpy attire.*

Cambridge is so intellectual that if you stop at the Cambridge Public Library because you’re tired of walking and also need to use the bathroom*** (sorry, no photos) and then decide you want to sit in the magazine room for a while and peruse the publications, you can find the latest People magazine right there in its slot. No one, apparently, with any ego would be caught dead reading that magazine in public.

Good. More trashy reading for me.

* But maybe that’s why there has never been a Miss America from Massachusetts.
** Although the women in the North End last night looked completely different, so maybe Massachusetts has just had bad luck, because there certainly are enough pretty women around, but they make a lot more effort in the North End.
*** What's the deal with the restroom at the KFC in Waltham? There's a sign asking patrons to use the trash can and sanitary disposal unit and assuring us that said units will be emptied by "trained workers." Just how much training does a person need to learn how to empty a trash receptacle?
**** Not that I saw any prizes in the men department, either, unless you like the "I've never shaved in my life and there's no reason to start now" look, coupled with Crocs.

Important things I have learned, #729

posted Tue, 07 Aug 2007

I have been doing extensive research, slogging through “Whose Wedding is It Anyway,” “Dr. 90120,” “Extreme Makeover,” and “What Not to Wear.” I do this so you don’t have to. I have picked up on some really important life tips:

1. It is no longer considered socially unacceptable for a couple to have their two sons, one nine and one six, serve as the ring bearers at their white with all the trimmings wedding.

2. Although I want bigger bosoms, I do not want the surgery to get them. Have you seen them stuff that implant into that tiny incision?

3. Implants change shape over time.

4. A lot of makeup can totally transform someone.

5. But who wants to put on all that makeup every day?

6. A lot of brides really do try to make their bridesmaids look as bad as possible, to the point of telling the makeup artist to make sure that the purpose of the bridesmaids is to make the bride look good.

7. People spend a ton of money on weddings, which is fine, it’s their money and I’ve had a great time at my friends’ weddings, but all things considered, I’d rather elope.

8. The right shoes can make or break an outfit. (OK, I knew this part. What I didn’t know was how many great shoes were so far from my unemployed reach. Oh, heck, even when I was gainfully employed, I was not willing to pay $500 for a pair of shoes. How do I get onto that show so Clinton and Stacey – yes, we are now on a first-name basis – will pay for my shoes?)

9. I have no sense of style and my wardrobe is c**p.

10. If you ask someone to evaluate your wardrobe so you can have a complete makeover at their expense, you shouldn’t whine that Clinton and Stacey are being “mean” to you when they mock the pajamas pants you wear to pick your kid up from school and run into the grocery store for a gallon of milk.

11. The only reason for me ever to move to Los Angeles would be to be the bridesmaid.

One fine day, or, Who moved my cookie?

posted Sun, 05 Aug 2007

SH: You ate that shortbread cookie! [that had been in the refrigerator]

Me: Yeah. Did you want some?

SH: Maybe someday.

Me: It’s been in there for a year!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The micro-manager`s method to finding a hotel

posted Fri, 03 Aug 2007

1. Send an email with the Quikbook link to your girlfriend, who 1) has been charged with finding the hotel for your trip to San Francisco and 2) is about 40 feet away from you, and tell her this is a good resource for finding accommodations.

2. When she asks you which neighborhood to search, tell her, then come over to join her at the dining room table from the kitchen, where you have been re-washing the lunch dishes that she just washed.

3. When she finds a possibility, tell her, “Yeah, that place is good.”

4. Tell her, “Wait! Check the hotel’s website.”

5. Tell her, “Scroll down – yeah. What about the internet-included option?”

6. Tell her, “Now look to see what the valet special option costs for the entire weekend.”

7. Ask, “What about the weekend special?”

8. When she suggests you just book it, tell her you need to think about it.

9. Discuss whether it’s worth it to pay an extra $3 a day for internet access. Decide that this will be a holiday weekend and you can survive without email for two days and if you can’t, there is always Starbucks.

10. Ask her, “What’s the price on Quikbook again?”

11. Tell her, “Let me check the parking garages around there” and lean over and type over her shoulder. Try to figure out what the weekend cost would be for parking at the garage and if it’s a better price than paying the hotel valet charge.

12. When she says, “Let’s just book this place. It looks good,” agree, but then say that you want to check one more option.

13. When she gets up to move away from the computer, telling you that she cannot bear to watch this, that she thought you guys had made a decision already, say you just want to make sure you have found the best place.

14. As she is flipping through the channels, scanning “Martha,” “King of the Hill” and “The Best of Britain’s Castles,” tell her, “I don’t think it’s worth it to spend an extra $100 to stay at [this other place I’m looking at].”

15. When she says, “I thought we agreed on the first place,” tell her you just had to check.

16. When she tells you that this is the sort of picky analysis that drove her nuts when she had a paying job and that sometimes, you just need to set your criteria and then take the first option that meets those criteria, counter with, “But I want to make sure it’s done right!”

17. Book the hotel you have been discussing for the past 15 minutes when she reminds you that if you spend all afternoon on finding a hotel, you won’t get any work done and will have to do it tonight instead of fooling around.

They call the wind Mariah

posted Wed, 01 Aug 2007

Yesterday, after opening the windows and turning on the attic fan, which I prefer about a million times over air conditioning.

SH: That breeze feels so good. I wish I had something like this at my house.

Me [sigh]: Yeah. If only the technology existed in a mobile form to blow fresh air into a room and create a cooling draft.

Living la vida scatalogical

posted Tue, 31 Jul 2007

This is gross, so if you are squeamish or my mother, don’t read this.

I just read a story in a travel book about a woman who participated in a clinical trial for something about e coli. She was required to give stool samples.

I have lived this. When I completed my two years in the Peace Corps in Chile, I had to have a head-to-toe physical before the Peace Corps would let me go. (It’s not as generous as it sounds – if you show up a year later and claim that your blood-borne tropical illness is a result of your time in mosquito-infested Equatorial Africa or that your Chagas disease* is because you were bitten by that darn cockroach falling from the ceiling of your hut in the Andean altiplano and that the gummint should pay for your treatment, the Peace Corps wants proof that the little amoebas were dormant in your blood before you exited your service and not gathered on your six-month post-Peace Corps trek through a dozen third-world nations. As a taxpayer, you should be grateful. I am.)

So. This physical consisted of all sorts of invasive things, the likes of which you really don’t want to know.

I thought I had suffered enough indignity when the Peace Corps nurse directed me to a lab in my town. She sent me a little form to take to them. When I got there, they gave me three little vials with stoppers, several wooden sticks, and a sheet of paper with instructions in Spanish.

I took the kit home and read the instructions.

My Spanish was excellent at the time, but I had to read three times and check my dictionary to be sure what I was seeing.

I was being instructed to put a sample of my poop in the vials. Every other day, one sample, until I had three.

But only a sample the size of “la mitad de una lenteja,” or half a lentil.

If you have never had to collect a poop sample, I hope you never will. If you have, you understand. It is nasty. I will leave this part – the logistics of getting said sample – to your imagination. Suffice it to say that even though my cleaning lady had been scrubbing my toilet with the vegetable brush I kept under the kitchen sink, I still was not happy about poking around that porcelain bowl.

But I did what needed to be done. I thought I had suffered all the nastiness involved with the sampling and was taking my little vials to the lab. I wrapped them in paper, then in a plastic bag, then in a paper bag. Somehow, that seemed appropriate – hiding my poop from public view. I didn’t think the other passengers on the bus would really want to see what I was carrying.

But when I got to the lab, there was a man next to me with the same three vials. And he had filled each of them. Filled. As in two teaspoons of poop, packed in there with barely room for the stoppers.

How did I know this?

Because he proudly tossed those unwrapped, exposed vials onto the counter. “Yeah,” he must have been thinking. “That’s a serious sample! Y’all take a look at that! I’ll bet you don’t get caca like that in here every day.”

* Infectious-disease docs, please forgive me if I have the details of Chagas wrong. It’s been a long time since I read about South American diseases in the South American Handbook.

Cheese-eating, etc, etc, etc

posted Sun, 29 Jul 2007

At Live Free or Die Hard:

Me: What are all the French guys doing in this movie?

SH: They needed someone to surrender.

Do ya think I`m sexy?

posted Sat, 28 Jul 2007

On our walk to the malt shop this morning:

SH: What’s this? Oh! A new karaoke place! [Turns over the card and sees a photo of two strapping young lads, both in tight t-shirts] Oh. It’s a gay bar.

Me: So? [As in, “So what, Mr. “I believe in gay marriage?”]

SH: I can’t go there. I’ll get hit on.

Me: What makes you so sure about that?

SH [with a note of absolute certainty]: Oh, I would.

Household hint #472

posted Fri, 27 Jul 2007

Bad thing #1: Trying that non-abrasive with bleach Ajax that was on sale for 50 cents at Schnuck’s on your bathtub and discovering that what you have thought were stains on the porcelain since you moved into the house six years ago is actually dirt that has resisted your weekly ablutions with Soft Scrub.

Bad thing #2: Realizing you have been bathing with the grease and dirt of the old man who lived in your house for 80 years before you bought it.

Bad thing #3: Discovering that no matter how hard you scrub, you can’t get rid of all the old man dirt.

Gender is a social construct

posted Fri, 27 Jul 2007

At the playground this morning:

Me: What do you have there?

Four-year-old boy: It’s a stick. I’m pretending it’s a sword.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The fewer, the proud

posted Mon, 23 Jul 2007

I just wrote about this to my Serious Honey, who has been away from me for far too long but a man has to do what a man has to do. Work does come first, unfortunately. After re-reading it, I decided it was too good not to post. This version has G-rated language.

At boot camp this morning, I was asking Tony more about Marine Corps boot camp. He told me a story of when he was an inductee. These are more or less his words. (I need to start taking a tape recorder to class.)

Tony: I’m on the bus from Charleston to Parris Island. It’s midnight. I know what’s coming up.

Me: That’s right – your brother was a Marine?

Tony: My brothers, my dad, my grandfather. So I know what to expect when we arrive. We all started at 7:00 a.m. at the recruiter’s office, then have flown from all over the country to Charleston. It’s been a long day. These two black guys from Detroit are sitting across the aisle from me, carrying on and talking loud, so I say, “Hey guys. Would you mind keeping it down so we can sleep over here?”

One of the guys answers, “Kindly do not address me, you of Southern, white, rural origin.”

I said, “Hey. It’s going to be pretty intense when we get there.”

He answered, “Perhaps I should inform you that I have had altercations involving sharp instruments in the neighborhood I call home. Indeed, many have suffered at my swift hand. This boot camp will not be a challenge for one such as I. My prediction is that it won’t even reach the level of excrement.”

I said, “If you’ve got a knife, let’s bring it on. Otherwise, whatever.”

Three days later, I was walking through the barracks. The guy was curled up in his bed, crying. Crying! He was saying, “Help me Jesus!”

I whapped him upside the head and said, “Ain't gonna be s***, huh?” And I never saw him again. They booted him out.

I`m not a parent, but... #79

posted Sat, 21 Jul 2007

1. It is neither necessary nor appropriate to answer a child’s question about the purpose of the collection during the collection.
2. It is not inappropriate for a parent to tell a child, “Hush!” during church.
3. It is not unreasonable to expect a four-year-old to make it through one hour of church without chattering.
4. It is not unreasonable to expect a seven-year-old to make it through one hour of church without a coloring book, Matchbox cars, and a ziplock bag of goldfish crackers.
5. It might be getting to the point where it’s not inappropriate for a complete stranger sitting behind misbehaving kids in church to whap them upside the head with the hymnal if The Look doesn’t silence them.

Boot camp notes #845

posted Fri, 20 Jul 2007

At boot camp this morning, we somehow got on the subject of names and superheroes:

Jim: I know a woman named Taylor Taylor. She met her husband on a blind date, but almost didn’t go on the date because she didn’t want to marry someone with that last name.

Tony: Women actually think about things like that?

Me: Tony. Fifth-grade girls fill the front cover of their spiral notebook with “Mrs Bobby Smith.”

Tony: Right. How could I have forgotten about that?

Me: My concern with a blind date would be more about previous incarcerations and stints in rehab.

Jim: That’s what The Google and public records are for.

Me: Yeah, but that only works if he was caught and convicted.


Melanie: Tony, I am so sorry about the way Gray [her first-grade son] was climbing all over you. He worships you! He thinks you’re just like one of his superheroes. I just didn’t know what to do.

Tony: That’s OK. When I was first in the Marines and had gone home after boot camp, I wore my uniform to church. We were standing around after the service and this seven-year-old walks up to me, looks me up and down, and kicks me hard, right in the shin. I looked at him and asked, “What did you do that for? That hurt!” He answered, “But you’re a Marine!”

Let`s stop alphabetizing, too

posted Wed, 18 Jul 2007

Me: Where is the section with the 976s? The 300s and the 929s are over here, but there’s nothing in between and nothing past 929.

Reference librarian: Yes, that’s genealogy and social sciences. The 976s are over there in the history section.

Me: Why do you bother to put numbers on the books if they aren’t going to be put in numerical order?

Librarian: Well, you can’t have genealogy and history in the same section. They are very different subjects.

Me: ????

Librarian: Except there are some books that might be history and genealogy. What do you do then? If it’s an autobiography, it might be of interest both to historians and genealogists. So then you file it in both sections.

Me: Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to put the books in numerical order and just buy one copy of the book?

Librarian: Oh, no. Then you would have the historians and the genealogists in the same section.

Me: Like the ranchers and the farmers.

Librarian: Exactly!

Me: We certainly can’t have that. Those National Librarian Association meetings must be something else.

Librarian: Oh, yes. There is a lot of discussion about where to put different books.

Me: Do the Library of Congress people try to duke it out with the Deweys?

Librarian: Have you ever been to the Library of Congress? Or another really big library? Let me tell you, you are going all over the place trying to find a book there.

The average wedding costs $20,000 these days

posted Mon, 16 Jul 2007

During the warmup at boot camp this morning, Tony asked Regina what she had done this weekend:

Regina: Oh, I had to go to a wedding and then to this engagement party.

Tony: What’s bad about that? I like weddings.

Regina: The wedding was fine, but the engagement party was for a couple who has been living together for over a year and they have a baby. I don’t know why they are having an engagement party now.

Me: Don’t you sort of give up your right to the festivities and the presents if you already have kids together?

Regina: She says she has always wanted to walk down the aisle.

Me: Then why didn’t she do that before the baby was born?

Regina: Got me. I have a friend who had a huge wedding – and she was seven months pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. She wore this mermaid dress. [Uses hands to show a very fitted dress over a big belly.]

Me: Yeah, that’s more of a “go to the JP” thing if you ask me.

Tony: Do all women dream about walking down the aisle?

Me: Not me. I’d rather elope and use the money for a down payment on a house or a trip to Europe. I’ve never cared about having a big wedding.

The List

posted Mon, 16 Jul 2007

Me: What movies coming out do you want to see?

SH: I saw something reviewed in the paper the other day that looks good –

Me: The one where the Gandhi guy plays a hitman?

SH: Yes!

Me: Tea Leoni is in it, too. It looks good.

SH: She’s on my list.

Me: The lists of women you want to sleep with with impunity?

SH: Yeah. She’s hot.

Me: She is cute. OK. If you and Tea are stuck on an elevator together and have only 20 hours to live, I guess I wouldn’t mind if you slept with her.

SH: [laughs]

Me: Or if you are in a bar in LA and she walks up to you and whispers into your ear, “I want you. Now,” it is totally OK with me if you leave with her and get it on.

SH: Yeah, like that will happen.

Me: It would if she saw you.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No jacket required

posted Sat, 14 Jul 2007

When you get older and start to see the finish line, you don’t want to waste any time. You have things to do and not much time to get them done, so you are looking to be efficient.

Me, I have plenty of time. If genetics tell us anything, they tell me that I have a good 50 years ahead of me, so I’m in no hurry. In fact, I need to get a hobby. Or a job. Maybe I’ll start knitting again. I need a job before I can do that, though, because knitting is not cheap.

So the reason I walked to church tonight (the one by my house, not the one I regularly attend) was not that I was seeking efficiency but because I was bored and because I didn’t want to waste money on gas.

What I think happened with this old lady was she got all dressed to go for a real walk – like what they do at the mall in the winter – that fast walking thing – and forgot all about church. She put on her khaki shorts and running shoes and her black running bra and her snazzy black baseball hat that looks so good with her short silver hair. Then she accessorized: a diamond watch, a gold bracelet, diamond stud earrings, and, just because walking can get so boring if you don’t have a walkman, a rosary.

Then she must have walked past the church a little before 5:00 and thought, “Dang! It’s Saturday night! It’s time for church! Well, I’m here. And I’m even wearing my rosary already! Might as well kill two birds with one stone. I can turn the bill of my hat to the back of my head when I go to communion and that will give me a more formal look.”

And that’s exactly what she did.

It was perfectly OK. They even had her take the collection. But then, this is the parish where they sing all the prayers in (very bad) Spanish, even though there are hardly any non-English speakers in attendance. (At my regular church, they have an entire service in Spanish, but that’s because half the congregation is Mexican.) The nun in charge of the music answered me when I questioned her about the Spanish stuff by email:

Our occasional use of Spanish and other languages at IC is an attempt to keep all of us aware that the Church is bigger than our corner of the world. Although we do not have a large population of any one ethnicity in the Cathedral parish, the use of multiple languages on occasion is also to help everyone realize that they are welcome, no matter what their ethnic background.

After that slapdown, I didn’t feel like writing back to ask why we never sing anything in Swahili. Or Italian. Or Polish. Or in any of the other many languages spoken by Catholics around the world.

Now I know. This church is the PC congregation. Anything goes and it’s OK.

Food hint #756

posted Tue, 10 Jul 2007

Just in case you were wondering, if you buy a jar of Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and another of Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl Peanut Butter (alas, your Kroger does not carry the version with the ground chile in it), then, of course, buy the store-brand soda (store brand $2.25 a 12 pack, branded $3.75) as a way of offsetting the extra you paid for the peanut butter (Kroger PB on sale for $1.67 a jar, the fancy stuff is $3.99), then put said peanut butter in the freezer when you get home to keep yourself from opening the fridge every ten minutes for just one more spoonful of that delicious concoction, it takes only three minutes to thaw the peanut by running warm water over it.

Not that I would know.

The difference between cats and dogs, part 37

posted Mon, 09 Jul 2007

Arriving at the outskirts of Clarksdale on Friday and driving around aimlessly for 15 minutes thereafter:

Me: So where is the restaurant?

SH: I thought you knew.

Me: Why would I know?

SH: Well, you’ve been here before.

Me: Yeah, four years ago!

SH: I remember how to get around places after I’ve been to them just once.

Me: [Yeah, but I wasn’t Phi Beta Kappa, OK?]

Me: Well, what’s the address of the restaurant?

SH: I don’t know – I thought you knew! I think it’s right by the museum.

Me: Last time I was here, we had a hard time finding the museum and that was with a map. OK, what’s the restaurant called?

SH: I don’t know.

Me: But you were looking at a map! I saw it on your computer screen before we left.

SH: Yeah – on how to get to get to town, not how to get to the restaurant or the museum. I thought you knew all that stuff.

Me: Why on earth would it ever occur to you that I would remember something like that? You know I don’t remember anything!

SH: Yeah – you’re right. I’m the rememberer.

Me: So should we ask someone?

SH: No way.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Putting your money where your mouth isn`t

posted Sat, 30 Jun 2007

SH has more than once sent me articles about The Evils of Wal-Mart. It fits – he is a cradle liberal – his parents (and I have permission to write this) are Birkenstock-wearing, Mother Jones-reading socialist atheists. He comes by his beliefs honest.

He insists that Wal-Mart should pay employees more, provide health insurance and not deliberately hire more part-timers as a way of reducing benefits costs – you know, so Wal-Mart could be like other retailers, all of which offer far better employment packages to unskilled workers, which is why it is so hard for Wal-Mart to get people to work there. We have spent hours arguing about this, including during the stretch between northern Tennessee and Cairo on one drive to Milwaukee.

I heard about a chocolate-covered cinnamon roll at Dunkin’ Donuts. I’d gladly walk five miles to be able to eat that or this cinnamon roll that SH bought at Wal-Mart right now. This is what he had for breakfast the other day. Looks good, doesn’t it?

Yet despite his beliefs that Wal-Mart is Evil Incarnate, he still shops there. And so do his parents.

But why? I ask him. You hate Wal-Mart!

He shrugs. “Because they have the best prices.”

Huh. And here I thought for liberals, where they shopped was a statement, kind of like whether you choose paper or plastic says something about who you are. I was behind a guy at Wild Oats yesterday who responded, “I don’t care” when the cashier asked his preference. She looked shocked. How can you not care? This is important! It’s about The Earth! What about THE LEETLE CHILDREN??

For the record, I go to Wild Oats for their bulk items and the samples, but I find everything else way overpriced. I don’t need organic dried pinto beans at $2.00 a pound, thank you very much. The pesticide-drenched ones will do just fine. And I always get paper bags -- trees are a crop and I want a pension, so I need my former employer, a paper company, to stay in business.

But SH is not afraid to act in his own self interest, even if it means he would be shunned by card-carrying liberals. If Wal-Mart has good cinnamon rolls, well, then, he’s going to buy them! This is a man on the road to conservatism.

[In accordance with the Fairness Doctrine, I need to present “the other side,” which is that SH says he is more of a libertarian than a liberal.]

Mama told me not to run

posted Thu, 28 Jun 2007

At the library:

Mom to three-year-old: Stay here with me, honey!

[Kid pushes the door open and starts running to the Children’s section]

Guard: Hey! Don’t run!

[Kid ignores guard]

Guard: No running! No running!

[Kid ignores guard, slips and falls flat on his face. He is silent for about ten seconds, looks around, then starts to cry.]

Me: He said not to run.

I know. I’m a brute. So sue me.

Elementary justice

posted Thu, 28 Jun 2007

At boot camp the other day:

Me: Hi Selena. Where have you been?

Selena: I was working at Vacation Bible School.

Me: Wow. How was it?

Selena: I was teaching third grade. There was a kid in the class who was so obnoxious! He’s homeschooled, so he’s not real socialized around other kids.

Me (who would seriously consider home-schooling if I had kids): You think it’s the home schooling? He’s in Sunday school, right? He probably belongs to Cub Scouts or something. Maybe he’s just obnoxious.

Selena: Maybe. He was so bad around the other kids that he finally got punched in the nose. At Bible school!!!!

Me: Well, it’s not like Jesus was a sissy. Remember when he threw the money-changers out of the temple? And that whole, “turn the other cheek” thing is not about letting yourself get beat up; it’s about challenging aggression using the law and social norms to shame the oppressor and win.

Selena: Yeah, but he got punched in the nose! Of course, it was on the third day and the other kids were sick of him. He was less obnoxious after that.

Me: Sounds like he needed it, then.

Bored, bored, bored

posted Tue, 26 Jun 2007

Here’s how bored I am with SH gone and Lindley on vacation for a week (so there’s really no point in my going to work because I can’t do much without her there – I’ve been checking voicemail and I’ll go in for a couple of hours tomorrow, but other than that, I have nothing to do):

1. I decided to see if I could make it a day without eating (I could and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be).
2. As a reward for my one-day fast, I was going to go out for a pedicure, but I couldn’t bear the idea of spending $30 (1/3 my utilities bill) on something so ephemeral, so I gave myself one instead, which I hate doing, but I hate having gnarly feet even more.
3. While I have been not eating, I have been reading all my cookbooks. Kind of like a monk surrounding himself with Playboy magazine, really.
4. I finally patched and painted all the knocked-out places around the extra outlets that the electrician installed six years ago when I moved into my house.
5. I washed the windows in the front door for the first time in two years.
6. I cleaned the back window in the kitchen – the one I’ve looked at every day for the past three months and said, “I really need to clean that window.”
7. I found a place where you can watch some TV shows online and watched “Creature Comforts,” which was hilarious. I also saw outtakes of “The Office.”
8. I have been sending SH about a million emails a day, mostly with links to interesting stories I have found online. (The poor Chinese guy with the 33-pound tumor on his face – pray for him; the French whine-makers who are protesting because the price of wine has dropped; the Chinese family who sold their very tall daughter to the circus.) He doesn’t have time to respond or probably even read all this stuff because he’s at his mom and dad’s helping out after his dad’s surgery last week (hip replacement and happily, he is doing just fine) and he’s still doing his regular job.
9. I have been sitting on the front porch listening to the thunder and watching the lightening as the clouds continue to promise – but not deliver – rain.
10. I have been going to boot camp twice a day on MWF since last week – both the 6:45 a.m. class and the 8:30 a.m. class. It’s not so bad because of the 45-minute break in between classes and it kills time. (It's also not so bad because honestly, I don't work very hard during class.) If I were really hard core, I suppose I could go back for the evening class. I’m still not thin, just in case you’re wondering.
11. I mowed the front and the back yard, making sure not to cut down the zinnias that are growing just fine in the lawn but refuse to take hold in the flowerbeds.
12. I have opened my freezer about 10,000 times to see if anything interesting has turned up since the last time I looked.
13. I vacuumed, another chore I hate and usually avoid by not wearing my glasses in the house so that all the dust and dirt is just invisible to me.
14. I have read about a dozen books and five magazines. I liked “Infidel,” “The Postman” (Thanks to Book Chase for that recommendation), “How to be Cool,” the new Harlan Cobin and “Dedication.” I don’t remember the others and I have already returned them to the library, so I can’t go look on the stack on the cedar chest to check.
15. I watched “Me, Myself and Irene” on my computer. It costs only $2 to rent a movie at the library and I thought, “How bad can this movie be? It has RenĂ©e Zellweger in it.” Well, it can be pretty bad, but I was so bored that I actually watched the whole thing, although I paused it three separate times to do walk around the house looking for something to do besides watch the movie.
16. I washed the shower curtain.
17. I went to the Vietnamese grocery at the busy time, knowing I’d have to stand in line forever just to buy apples – they have only two cashiers and late in the afternoon is when everyone seems to go there to buy a year’s worth of food.

Maybe they just like talking to me

posted Mon, 25 Jun 2007

Is the concept of “leaving a message” so arcane that people don’t understand what voicemail is for? As in, if I leave someone a message asking a question – say, “When will the table arrive from France?”, shouldn’t the proper response – should the questioned one not be able to reach me in return – be something along the lines of “I don’t know” or “Five months” or “So sorry! We sold that table to someone else! I know you put a 50% deposit on it, but did that mean you really wanted it?”

Aren’t any of these preferable (although the answer I really want is, “It’s here. Come get it.”) to “Hey! I got your message! Call me!”

Some people are clueless. Or rude. Or stupid.

Was I not clear in asking my question? Was my desire for information not obvious? How could I have made myself more plain?

Do some people just like wasting time?

Monogamy = monotony?

posted Sun, 24 Jun 2007

Men, if you are curious to know what happens at a bridal shower, here it is. We eat (cheese and crackers, sausage casserole, the most heavenly creamy cheese grits I have ever put into my mouth and that includes Julie’s wedding breakfast, ham and cheese biscuits, cinnamon rolls, petit fours and chocolate-covered strawberries), we drink (mimosas), and we watch the bride open her presents. Then we go home. This was the best kind of shower – no (literally) game playing, just straight to the essentials.

It was a lingerie shower, which means that everyone was supposed to buy lingerie for the bride. Not knowing my friend’s taste in nightgowns, underpants and garters, though, I decided to play it safe and get her a box of (really good, handmade Dinstuhl’s) chocolates. Chocolate is appropriate for almost every occasion, don’t you think?

These shoes are not made for walking, but they matched the Marilyn Monroe buttercup-colored negligee.

Almost everyone there was married and had been for a while, which inspired some interesting observations:

Guest 1: I’ve been married for 28 years. I don’t even know what kind of nightgown is sexy. Flannel, right?

Guest 2 (holding up a very cute baby-doll nightgown and panties set): If I lounged around wearing this and my husband saw me, I’d never get anything done. I wear old t-shirts to bed.

Guest 3, during the debate about who had left this interesting item – it didn’t have a card: No, it couldn’t have been Jeanine. She’s been married too long. She’d have brought a colander.

Fashion savant

posted Thu, 21 Jun 2007

I’m invited to a bridal shower this weekend. I am looking forward to it because I am very happy for my friend and there is usually pretty good food at this sort of thing. I am concerned, however, about one thing – what to wear.

This is the big dilemma in Memphis (and the rest of the south, although Memphis is not real south because it’s a river city, but for this issue – proper attire – Memphis is South).

I understand purses and shoes just fine. It’s the clothes and makeup that are a challenge.
(This is a Hallmark Fresh Ink card.)

And in the South, there are Rules.

Rules that I, as a transplant from Texas (not really The South) with Midwestern origins, do not know. And they don’t give you a handbook when you move here, either.

I have been to several bridal showers here before (including the one where dogs peed on the presents), but still have not broken the code.

I know that you arrive almost on time – maybe ten minutes after the stated time – if you want to be fashionable. I know that you take a present (duh). I know you have to play the stupid games.

What I don’t know is what to wear.

Not jeans – I tried that at a Junior League meeting once and realized very quickly that the mood of the crowd was getting ugly. Everyone else was dressed sorority-girl cute and had Accessories. I had run home from work, changed into jeans and was sitting through a stupid boring meeting wondering what these girls did all day that they had so much time to spend on their hair, clothes and makeup.

Not work clothes. Not church clothes. Not date clothes. I know all of them are not right, but I don’t know what is correct. And I wouldn’t want to spend the money on it, even if I did know what was right.

I can’t afford the right wardrobe to live here. I need to move where people are slo- more casual.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Better to marry than to burn

posted Thu, 21 Jun 2007

Now you’re the pastor who is supposed to perform the wedding ceremony of the two 18-year-olds. Do you

1. Tell the kids that you don’t think it’s a good idea for them to get married because they are so young. Back up your assertion with divorce data and with your own anecdotes from marriage counseling.
2. Tell the kids your church requires six months of pre-marital counseling and the cooperation of the parents. (I don’t know of any church that requires parental cooperation, but if the parents – also members of that church -- are dead set against the marriage, I could see the pastor being somewhat conflicted.)
3. Say, “OK! I’ll perform this ceremony. I don’t care that you’ll have only a three-month engagement.”

For better or for worse

posted Wed, 20 Jun 2007

Your 18-year-old daughter wants to get married to an 18-year-old guy she has been dating less than a year.

She’s not pregnant.

What do you do?

Here are some options to get you thinking:

1) Tell her you think she’s too young to marry and you don’t support her, but sure you’ll still pay her college tuition
2) Tell her if she marries this guy, they are on their own financially. If you’re grown enough to marry, you’re grown enough to pay your own bills
3) Tell her “great!” and arrange a wedding three months hence

At least he takes in his trash can

posted Tue, 19 Jun 2007

So you have this new neighbor who apparently does not know his own address (isn’t that something we all learn in kindergarten?) because for the third month in a row, you have gotten his Computer Gaming Nerd magazine. The address label has his name but your address.

If your old postman, Lawrence, were still on the route, it wouldn’t be a problem – he sorts mail by name, which is great unless you really don’t want all the PBS fund solicitations that still go to your old address (the one you haven’t had for six years). But there is a new postman and she doesn’t pay any attention to what she’s doing so you continue to get your neighbor’s stupid magazine.

How many times should you have to circle the address and write a note before you take the magazine to his house before you start just putting them in the trash?

How long do you let the magazine sit in the rocking chair before you bother to walk it across the street?

Eight things about me

posted Mon, 18 Jun 2007

Bocephus tagged me. Here is my list:

1. I don’t have a TV. This seems not so weird to me but some people get really bothered by it. I grew up without one (except for a few brief intervals, but even then, we weren’t allowed to watch it very much) and I haven’t had one since I was a kid except for when I was in graduate school, when thirtysomething was my Tuesday night ritual. I wouldn’t even answer the phone while it was on.

I don’t have a moral problem with TV; I just have no self discipline. I don’t have a TV for the same reason I don’t keep ice cream in my freezer – if it were there, all I would do is watch it (or eat it, as the case may be). I know this is true because when I visit SH and he’s working during the day, all I do is watch TV (“Trading Spaces,” “Bridezilla,” “What Not to Wear,” and re-runs of “Dharma and Greg”) and eat the Kopp’s frozen custard in his freezer. I gained five pounds on my last visit. It’s a good thing he doesn’t like skinny women.

2. I hate talking on the phone when I’m at home. I screen all my calls and only answer if a) it’s someone I want to talk to and b) I am in the mood to talk. If I do answer and begin to enjoy the conversation (which is what usually happens if it is one of my friends), I still grab a rag and start dusting so that I am not completely wasting my time.

3. My little toes curl up over the penultimate toes (the piggies that had no roast beef). My mother tried and tried to mash those toes down when I was a baby so I would have normal feet, but it didn’t work. I have a four-toed footprint, so if I ever commit murder, I better not do it barefoot or they’ll figure out it’s me from the tracks in the blood.

4. I believe that if I eat the dessert from someone else’s plate, there are no calories in it. Same thing about eating Captain Crunch straight from the box. It is the act of ordering or putting a fattening food into a bowl or onto a plate that impregnates it with calories. Even when my friend Anita told me she would buy me my own French fries at Wendy’s but not to under the pain of dismemberment touch hers, I couldn’t bring myself to order French fries.

5. I don’t smoke, but I love the smell of fresh cigarette smoke in the open air. Someone is smoking on the porch next door and the aroma is wafting in through my window. Delicious!

6. When I was in junior high, high school and college, I sewed most of my own clothes. Unfortunately, I did not have the great sense of style I do today, so I spent lots of time and some money on fabulous creations like the green crinkle-cloth jumpsuit with the D-ring belt, the white t-shirt with the black trains running across it (I wore it with the bright orange elastic-waisted polyester pants my mother had made for me), and the off-white linen wrap dress that I didn’t realize was see-through until I was at my college boyfriend’s Phi Beta Kappa ceremony with his mom and dad, who already thought I was a loser because I ate his mom’s salad once (solids on the right because that’s where my hand is made perfect sense to me – or is it solids on the left? Whatever – I ate his mom’s salad) and because when they took us out to dinner at the seafood place, I tried to open a crab leg by bracing it the way you do a tiddlywink and just as tiddlywinks do, that crab leg flipped up and over my shoulder with a mere press of the fork. It spun and flung butter on me, my friend Rebecca’s silk fuchsia blouse that I had borrowed, and, of course, my boyfriend’s mother.

My sewing skills have served me well otherwise, though. I still do my own mending and alterations and will do the same for boyfriends and friends. If I had kids, I would have to sew their clothes, I think, just because decent kids’ clothes appear to be very expensive and I would not be willing to dress my daughter in the more moderate prostitot line. I can also knit, embroider and crochet. All of this is thanks to my mom, who also taught me long division when I was in second grade and my math class was moving too slowly for me. Thanks to her, I also knew how to cut up a chicken and dice an onion properly by the age of 11.

7. I hate to be late and almost never am, even though I do not wear a watch. One of my biggest annoyances is when people are late meeting with me. I consider chronic lateness a character flaw and a complete disregard for other people. I just about went crazy living in Chile working with the Mapuche women, who don’t hold punctuality as a cultural value. To paraphrase something I read a while ago (in a Tony Hillerman novel?), for a Midwesterner, 10:00 a.m. means 9:55. For a Chilean, 10:00 a.m. means 10:15 or so. For a Mapuche, 10:00 a.m. means “while the sun is still in the sky.”

8. I have lived on three continents and visited three others. All that’s left is Antarctica. (Seven continents, right?)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Important things I have learned this week

posted Sun, 17 Jun 2007

1. The color mix that the lady at the paint counter at Home Depot comes up with after zapping the paint you peeled off the window frame and the bathroom wall under the color spectrometer does not match the formula written on the cans of old paint.

2. The paint she mixes to match the formula (which you wrote down in your little “My Garden Kicks Butt” notebook, but neglected to include the base white color because, hey, isn’t white white?) looks like it matches the samples, but they are only one inch square and you are looking at them with fluorescent Home Depot light, so it’s not good information.

3. When you actually paint the peeling spots in the bathroom and on the bedroom windows, the paint will be so obviously different you will wish you had left it all alone and just knocked $500 off the selling price of your house when you sell it. Or you just might leave the house in a pine box, in which case your heirs can worry about the peeling paint.

4. Then you suspect that the reason the bathroom paint, which was mixed to the formula you had (2 Perm Yellow, 2 Lamp Black, both under the 48), doesn’t match is because Home Depot has changed the color of their base white from HD6411 to EM6411 and we all know that spells trouble.

5. You don’t know why the bedroom paint doesn’t match unless Home Depot has the wrong formula for Sherwin Williams Dove White. (Which is not the same white as you put in your bathroom. Neither color is a stock color; both are custom mixes, which cannot be returned).

6. Then you discover – at 10:00 p.m. because you can’t fall asleep thinking about how you just wasted $20 on paint you can’t use and if this paint doesn’t work, how will you ever find a color that does? – that you a) can open the leftover can of old bathroom paint, even though you gave up earlier because the lid appeared to be rusted to the can, and it’s OK except for all the bits of rust that fall into it, but who cares because they get covered in white paint anyhow and this paint matches and b) you have a bunch of leftover wall paint that you can use for the trim even though the trim is supposed to be semi-gloss and the wall paint is flat.

7. Painting at 10:30 p.m. is not such a good idea because a) it’s way past your bedtime and b) the light isn’t right for finding all the tiny little nicks in the trim you had already primed and painted with the not-quite-the-right-color paint, even if you do wear your glasses.

8. If you are going to touch up the trim and the walls, it’s better just to repaint the whole house.

9. It’s even better not to paint and just not wear your glasses.

It`s the calories, honest

posted Fri, 27 Apr 2007

At boot camp this morning, from someone who has attended class three times in the past four months, after the challenge Friday weigh in, when I discover I have finally lost some weight.

Someone who almost never goes to class: How did you lose that weight?!

Me: I ate less.

Someone: No. Really. How did you lose it?

You’ll have to take his toilet paper out of his cold, dead hands…

posted Mon, 23 Apr 2007

...but other than that, SH is committed to environmental stuff. He just got back from a trip to Home Depot, where he bought a bunch of those swirly light bulbs. I don’t care if he wants to put them in my house. He paid for them and claims they’ll reduce my electricity bill. Fine with me. Whatever.

The only thing I don’t want is a 100-watt equivalent in my bathroom. I had a 60-watt bulb in there, but SH put in a much brighter one. “Wouldn’t this be better for makeup and stuff?” he asked, as I recoiled in horror from the public restroom brightness that assaulted me.

“Um, no,” I replied. “The last thing I want to see when I step out from the shower is my body reflected in 100 watts. The less light in here, the better.”

He understands me so well in so many ways, but in others, not.

Protestants 1, Catholics 0

posted Sun, 22 Apr 2007

SH and I went to the Presbyterian church near my house this morning just to check it out. My friends who are allegedly members of this church were not there (I am talking to you, Leigh and Emily), which makes me wonder if they’ve been telling me the truth. I don’t know why they wouldn’t go – they have padded pews for heaven’s sake and they don’t even have to kneel – you can’t ask for much more comfort than that.

So. The Presbyterians. They understand that music has the power to move people and use it appropriately. I don’t know what the music was like in the Catholic Church before Vatican II. Maybe it was always lousy. Maybe Marty Haugen is only the latest in a long line of Gather-like torturers whose only purpose in life is to make Catholics miserable as they wish for one, just one traditional hymn that actually sounds like it glorifies God instead of whines.

But hey, that’s just me.

But I’m telling you if I ran the Protestant marketing department, I would take a van with a loudspeaker and a bunch of flyers to the Catholic churches right after Mass every week and play music – good, traditional church music of the sort you hear at Protestant services. I’d maybe slip in a few things about fellowship – you’d have to be subtle about this because you don’t want to scare Catholics but once they understood the concept – like a wake but nobody’s dead – I think they’d like it. But the music – just play those old hymns, like “Amazing Grace” or “Rock of Ages” or “Onward Christian Soldiers” and I’m telling you it would be like the Pied Piper.

This congregation didn’t disappoint me. The only Protestant service I have been to lately where the music was bad was the church in England where they had the kids come up front and sing about being a butterfly, but there was none of that nonsense with this church. No, this place has the first chair violin from the symphony playing before the service starts. They take their music seriously.

The entrance hymn was “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” The choir sang and the pipe organ played and the congregation sang the first two verses. The third verse was a cappella until the last line, when the organ crept back in. There was a small organ solo before the fourth verse, then the organist pulled out all the stops (literally) and the choir opened up and the voices soared and the rafters shook and let me tell you, everyone was ready to go out and WITNESS ALLELUIA PRAISE AND SERVE THE LORD!

Maybe I should send the Presbyterian hymnal (and Gather) to Pope Benedict. He seems like a reasonable guy. Perhaps he just doesn’t know what’s really going on over here.

The population is only 36 million

posted Sat, 21 Apr 2007

Overheard at the frozen yogurt place:

Server: You’re from Argentina?

Customer: Yes.

Server: Cool. Do you know [some random Argentine guy]?

Customer: Um. No.

Moral dilemma

posted Wed, 18 Apr 2007

Your officemate/friend is away from the office at a meeting. She has left half a donut.

You know she has an upset stomach.

You’re starving.

What do you do?

(Forget the part about having to lose ten pounds by June 1 or forfeit $50. Just forget that part. It’s not part of this story, OK?)

Don`t call me

posted Wed, 18 Apr 2007

While we were eating supper the other night at home (a delicious barley-shrimp risotto from the latest issue of Martha Stewart, to which my subscription, alas, is about to run out and that I do not feel I can renew as my financial situation is still not quite where it should be) my phone rang. SH looked at me expectantly.

I kept eating.

“You’re not going to answer that?” he asked.

“Nope,” I said.

No one I know is on his deathbed. I wasn’t expecting anyone arriving from out of town. There was no reason for me to interrupt my evening meal to answer the phone. I have an answering machine. If it’s important, the caller can leave a message. Heck, even if I didn’t have an answering machine (like in the olden days), the caller could have called back.

So what’s the deal with people who answer the phone when I call – especially people with caller ID – and tell me in a dramatic whisper, “I can’t talk right now.”

If you can’t talk right now, then why did you answer the phone? You knew it was I – you knew it wasn’t the hospital or your dad or your friend driving in from Nashville who needs directions to your house or Walgreen’s calling to tell you your sick baby’s prescription is ready – so why did you answer the phone if you knew you didn’t have time to talk to me?

My phone is for my convenience. I expect yours is for yours. But is it convenient for you to answer every darn call and inform the caller you can’t talk? Isn’t my way easier?

It isn`t easy being green

posted Tue, 17 Apr 2007

Here’s how I imagine the conversation went at The Week magazine:

Sincere reporter: We need to do something about Earth Day!

Cynical reporter: What’s Earth Day?

Marketing person: We should Honor The Earth.

Sincere reporter: We could dedicate an entire issue to The Earth!

Editor: No way.

Sincere reporter: But—but – it’s The Earth! It’s our home! And it’s Earth Day!

Finance: We are in the business of selling advertising and magazines and making money. Who cares about Earth Day? Who’s even heard of it in our target demographic? What a bunch of crab.

Marketing: What about dedicating the issue to The Earth?

Editor: That’s baloney.

Finance: What about your stupid dedication in the form of not printing the Earth Day issue? We can put that issue online instead. We’ll save a buttload on printing and mailing costs and you can claim it’s all in honor of Earth Day.

Editor: Cool.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


posted Tue, 17 Apr 2007

At my friend’s house yesterday:

My friend (to her ten-year-old son): Your pants do not belong on the kitchen table. Put them away please.

Son: I didn’t leave them on the kitchen table.

My friend: I know. I picked them up off the floor.

Fit in mind, soul and body

posted Sat, 07 Apr 2007

If you’re not in shape before Good Friday, you will be after. Nothing like the “Let us kneel” “Let us stand” workout to get your glutes as tight as they can be. The Stations of the Cross and the Friday evening service together get you 38 standing lunges. The presence of a kneeler does hinder the workout somewhat, but the pew behind your butt throws in a degree of difficulty you don’t usually have, so on the whole, you get a balanced burn.

I first went to the church nearest work for 2:00 Stations, but when I arrived, I noticed there were 1) no kneelers (one of those modern suburban doesn’t look like a church churches, Sack) and 2) no priest. Instead, a woman handed me a leaflet explaining that this would be a new version of the Stations – a DVD presentation of which the first four minutes would be just “meditative music,” then the next 14 minutes would be “powerful” music accompanied by “various images of Christ,” then four minutes of “contemporary social issues.”

Oh great. A no-kneeler, no-priest church and some new-age version of the Stations. I tried to swallow my ire and be open to something new, even though one of the main reasons to be Catholic is to be tied to oh, you know, 2,000 years of tradition, but the ire would not go down.

A guy in jeans started the computer and we saw the Dell logo dance on the screen for 30 seconds, then the screen went dark as the meditative music started.

I couldn’t take it. I walked out and found another church – one that, miraculously, did Stations the way they are supposed to be done. No new age, no contemporary social issues, just the same prayers that have been used for hundreds of years. And with kneeling. How refreshing.

At least he didn`t hide the good salt

posted Tue, 03 Apr 2007

To the untrained eye, these hangers are the same. Or equivalent. They serve the same purpose – to keep clothes off the floor of the closet.

One of these hangers is not like the other. One of these hangers just doesn’t belong.

But to the blue shirt professional/connoisseur – ah, there is a world of difference between these two hangers. Only one of them is suitable for his shirts! Those shirts that are lovingly rescued from the dryer before they reach bone dryness so that they might complete their drying on plastic hangers, then be transferred to the appropriate wire hanger for storage in the closet.

It is so important that these shirts be on the proper hanger that this person – who shall go unnamed – thought it necessary to gather and hide a collection of the “good hangers” from me during his recent absence so that I might not inadvertently use them for my undeserving shirts. I don’t know where he hid them. I didn’t even notice their absence, so I did not seek them.

But I was a bit concerned that this person – again, unnamed – thought that he could not trust me not to use the “good hangers” simply at his request.

Now, of course, I will hog the “good hangers” just to mess with him.

Friday, May 7, 2010

He sees me when I`m sleeping

posted Sat, 31 Mar 2007

SH and I were talking about Alberto Gonzales and this thing with the firing of the US attorneys.

Me: I can see not remembering what went on last fall when you are first questioned about it, but then you go back and look at your notes and say, “You know, after checking, I realized that I was involved.” It’s that simple. It’s the coverup that kills you. But who can remember that far back? I mean, do you know what you were doing on, say, November 16?

SH: Yes. I was in Cedar Rapids. I had a customer meeting.

Me: I cannot believe you remember that.

SH: It was a Thursday.

Maybe I should have gone to Planned Parenthood after all

posted Sat, 31 Mar 2007

When you call on January 16 to get the price of the annual exam at the place that allegedly charges only $75, when you ask the woman how much it costs, when you tell her you’re looking for something like the dental school or the optometry school where the exams are much less than retail, that you cannot pay the $295 your regular doctor charges, get her name when she tells you it costs $75, even if you ask her several times, “Only $75? Nothing else besides that?” She’ll tell you that you have to pay the lab fee and she doesn’t know how much that is, but you figure that must be about the same no matter which doctor you see.

Get her name and then get the name of the woman who makes your appointment when you call back on February 27 to confirm the price and are told once again that yes, it costs $75. That’s all. $75.

They’ll swipe your credit card for $75 when you go for the exam.

Then send you an invoice for another $290 ten days later.

When you call to complain and tell them that you were told it costs $75, they’ll say too bad, you were given bad information. Who told you that it costs $75?

I don’t know. Whoever was answering the phones on January 16 and February 27.

Well, that’s not our policy. They are instructed to say there is a $75 deposit and patients will be billed the balance later.

Yes, but if they had told me that, I never would have made an appointment with you.

I’m very sorry, Miss Factotum, but there is nothing we can do. We can put you on a payment plan if you wish.

When you get home, you’ll find a bill for $123 for a lab test you refused.

Tax collectors and sinners

posted Wed, 28 Mar 2007

Last night was the Lenten penitential service at the cathedral. For those non-Catlicks out there, this service is where they do confession all at once – a “get out of jail free” card. Everyone stands there and you say a few prayers, examine your conscience and get forgiven. Then your soul is all clean and snowy-white for Easter. You do this instead of going to regular confession, which, alas, has become something most Catholics do not do regularly anymore, although I remember my dad taking us to confession on Saturdays when I was a kid and reminding us what were sins on the drive out to the church, even though as a fifth grader, I had no idea what “abusing myself” was.

Well. Apparently, the Church (or at least the Diocese of Memphis) has decided that group forgiveness is not where it’s at and they were going to take this opportunity to shepherd us all back to individual confession. Sneaky! Annoying, but I have to admire their strategy. Commitment escalation and all that. We did all the regular stuff but when it came time for the “OK, let’s all say an Act of Contrition and go home,” Father Val instead told us that there were priests there from seven parishes and there would be one in each corner and a couple up front and we could wait in line to say our confessions. Talk about pulling a fast one.

I, who usually sit in the back*, had chosen a seat in the middle near the aisle this time. Rats. I saw my nearest confessional in the corner and started fast walking toward it, but there was a little old lady between the corner and me. This was one of those cases where the first would be first and the last would be waiting for over an hour. Step on it, sister, I thought, but I didn’t want to pass her because that would be totally rude. She just ambled along and by the time we got to the line, there were ten people in front of us. If each averaged three minutes, it was going to be well over a half an hour before I got home.

I decided to examine my conscience while I waited. The reader had given us a list of things to think about. Self abuse was not one of them. “Have I failed to protect the environment?” was. I didn’t realize the Church was now on the Al Gore bandwagon. As the people ahead of me took longer than three minutes each to do their confessions, I wondered if perhaps they were being interrogated about their carbon footprints.

It was finally my turn. I’m not going to tell you what I told the priest, but in the middle of our little chat, the lights went out.

Yes. It went pitch dark in the church.

The wrath of God?

Fortunately, the priest was an import and didn’t believe in all that newfangled penance. Despite what God appeared to be telling him, he just said that God wasn’t a policeman waiting to catch us doing something bad and told me to say four Our Fathers. That’s it. Then we both fished out our handy flashlights – “I was a Girl Scout,” I said, “I was a Boy Scout,” he said (I didn’t know they had Boy Scouts in Nigeria – huh) – so I could – finally – read the Act of Contrition, which they have changed, so what I was reading did not match what was in my head, and I was done.

Then the lights came back on.

When I walked out, the people who were still in line looked at me with just a little bit of fear in their eyes.

I`m just an Emily

posted Fri, 23 Mar 2007

What it’s like working with two perfectionists with great taste:

Designer: Did you get the sample I sent you?

Client: Yes. It’s too – lime.

Designer: Really? When I hold it up against the drapery fabric, I think it’s more malachite.

Client: No, it has shades of beryl. And I hate beryl.

Designer: But what about the overtones of viridian? Note how those come out when you hold it next to the duvet fabric.

Client [shudders]: You get that sample anywhere near the bedskirt and the chartreuse comes out. You know how I feel about chartreuse.

Designer [musing]: I thought you would like the soupcon of aquamarine. You know – for that painting.

Client [sighs]: I know, I know. But there’s that hint of olive and when we get to olive we’re on the path to earth tones and you know I just don’t go there.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pony Express would be faster

posted Thu, 22 Mar 2007

If Northwest ran the way Caldwell Trucking does (that’s C-A-L-D-W-E-L-L if you want to write it down), you would be told that the plane would leave North Carolina for Memphis on Friday. You would get a ticket and put your butt (or the couch your client is chewing your butt out over three times to Sunday because it was supposed to be here a month ago) on the plane.

But the plane wouldn’t leave! No, Northwest would just put you in a big warehouse in a stack along with other people going to Memphis and tell everyone who called on Monday that they were going to leave “Monday night for sure because we run to Memphis two-three times a week.”

Then they would sit back and wait for more passengers to Memphis, but unless they had a full planeload of passengers, you would just be sitting there twiddling your thumbs, wishing they would let you switch to the Hot Springs plane because really, that’s where you want to end up, anyhow, but you dare not switch because who knows when that plane will be full and besides, they won’t let you off the plane at Hot Springs unless there is a place to receive you. So you sit waiting for more Memphis passengers to show up and wish there were something to eat. And a toilet.

It`s not about the money

posted Tue, 20 Mar 2007

The real reason you pay extra ($295 starting price) to go to a doctor in private practice instead of going to the gyn at the county hospital where it costs only $75 for an annual exam is not because the doctors are better.

Well, I don’t know if the private practice docs are better. I don’t know how to analyze that information. Perhaps the Bodacious Red-headed Pediatrician will enlighten us. I do know my sister, a neo-natal nurse practitioner, has worked in both private practice, inner-city hospitals and military hospitals, so one person can be qualified to work in a variety of settings.

No, the real reason you pay extra to go to a doc in private practice is because

1. You don’t have to deal with a waiting room full of screaming babies.
2. You don’t have to wipe someone else’s pee off the seat in the bathroom.
3. The nurse isn’t snotty to the pharmacist when she calls to ask if it’s OK to give you three months’ worth of your prescription at once as opposed to one month (something you had already discussed with the doc, who had said sure it was OK and if Walgreen’s gave you any hassle to have them call him), saying that it’s not OK and the pharmacist must dispense only as written -- without even checking with the doc, which means the pharmacist calls you back and you have to call the doctor and you can’t even talk to the doctor but must leave a message but only after you have given – I am not making this up – your social security number, birthday and address – to the receptionist.
4. You don't have to explain to the doc and the nurse that yes, it is necessary to be married before one makes babies.

Important things I have learned by googling old boyfriends

posted Fri, 16 Mar 2007

1. That the reason my high-school boyfriend didn’t want to kiss me had more to do with the fact that he was gay than with my attractiveness or lack thereof.
2. That it wasn’t that my grad-school boyfriend didn’t want to get married – he just didn’t want to marry me.

Maybe this is why they rank 48th in education

posted Wed, 14 Mar 2007

From today’s paper:

In what had become a grammatical Gordian knot, the Arkansas Senate supported a resolution Tuesday declaring "Arkansas's" the correct way to write the state's possessive case.

The Senate vote came after a few groans and an introduction by Sen. Jim Hill, who said he studied the history surrounding "the much-debated apostrophe-s."

After receiving a single question, the Senate approved the resolution on a voice vote, although a few "no" votes could be heard.

Hill, D-Nashville, lamented the lack of enthusiasm on the floor.

"This thing is seeded in history," he said. "I expected more intelligent questions than this."

At boot camp, I told Tony that I was relieved to know that Arkansas had at last settled the thorny issue of—

He held up his hand. “Don’t say it,” he groaned. “I cannot believe the Arkansas legislature wasted time on this.”

Which of course prompted questions.

Me: They resolved that sticky issue of the plural.

Tony: No, of the possessive.

Me: Right. I stand corrected.

Tony: “Arkansas” is possessive with an “apostrophe s.”

Cecilia: I thought possessives of words ending with “s” were formed with just an apostrophe?

Tony: You and every style book in the world.

Melissa: They must not read the Bible. It doesn’t say anything about “Jesus’ssssssssss.”

Me: Are they going to tackle the grocer’s apostrophe next?

Tony: I cannot believe they spent hours and days debating this.

Melissa: Did they consult other states ending in “s,” like Kansas?

Jane: What’s there to debate?

Me: We’re talking about it now, aren’t we?

Jim: Is the plural “s” in Arkansas silent, too?

Customer relations

posted Wed, 07 Mar 2007

Yes, I know I am turning into one of those “The snow was higher and colder when I was young” people, but honestly.

Customer in Lindley’s shop: Oh, there are so many beautiful antiques here! But I can’t get things right now, what with the kids in college.

Me: Yes, tuition is so high now.

Customer: Oh, it’s not the tuition, it’s the little things. Every week, they call and need $200 for this, $100 for that.

Me: I guess it’s time to tell them to get a part-time job, huh? [thinking about how I waited tables at the faculty club during the school year – OK, stood at the credenza and gossiped while the professors waved their empty glasses at us hoping for a refill of tea – and taught swimming and lifeguarded 60 hours a week during the summer when I was in college]

Customer [shocked]: Oh, no! They study so hard that I couldn’t ask them to do that.

Me [smiling]: Of course not. (You know they’re spending it all on beer and dope, right?)

Catching flies

posted Tue, 06 Mar 2007

The scene: The building across from Lindley's office – the one that goes with the car whose alarm is triggered by thunderstorms and trains. It's 5:15.

Me: Who owns the car with the alarm that goes off when the train goes by?

Cleaning lady: I don't know. You could ask them up front at the bank.

Me [after catching guard's attention, shouting through the window because he won't open the door]: Who owns the car with the alarm that goes off when the train goes by?

Guard: ?????

Me [louder]: WHO OWNS THE CAR WITH THE ALARM? Never mind.

I get out my little notebook with the cover that says "My garden kicks ass" (Leigh gave it to me for my birthday) and write, "Who owns the car whose alarm goes off for 30 minutes when the train passes or when it thunders?"

Guard: ???

Me: It's in your lot.

Guard: ???

Me: I don't know which car! The one w/ the alarm!

Guard: ???

Me: I work across the street. I have to hear it.

The guard goes to get someone – maybe one of the tellers who is there until 6:00. She mouths a name and points up. "Dr S. On the second floor"

Me: Dr S?"

She nods. "Do you know him?"

Me:No, but I am sure going to meet him!

I march my booty upstairs, plotting my strategy. A nasty note on the office door? That's always effective.

Curses, though – the office is still open. I peeked in the door – friendly-looking women. Rats. I am forced to be nice when I want to be hostile

Me [in Southern nice]: Does Dr S own the car with the sensitive alarm?

Office lady: Well, his alarm does go off…

Me: I work across the street in the office facing y’all’s parking lot and that alarm seems to go off a lot…

Office lady: Yes, I tried to get to it quickly today.

Me: Do you think you could ask him to reset it so it’s not so sensitive? We would really, really appreciate it if he did. [smile, Southern nice: subtext: “Your boss is such a jerk and you must know it because you’re the one who has to run out and turn off the alarm and don’t tell me I’m the first one who’s complained come on you guys have to have figured this out you’d have to be complete idiots to think this wouldn’t bother people.”]

Office lady: I’ll mention it to him. [subtext: “Oh honey don’t you think I’ve tried I’m the one who has to run out and the one whom everyone gripes to but does he care no he’s too busy putting news tits, asses and faces on rich society ladies to care.”]

Me: Thank you so much! [subtext: “I’ll be back if I hear that darn alarm go off again and next time I’m not stopping with you.”]

My city was gone

posted Sat, 03 Mar 2007

I came home to discover SH had done the grocery shopping, which is a wonderful thing, but then I discovered he had taken my Salmonella-Honey-Roasted Peter Pan back to Shnuck’s and replaced it with natural peanut butter with no sugar, no additives, and no flavor.

SH does not like peanut butter and does not eat it – it is on the List of Foods He Will Not Touch Even Though He Eats Tripe Which Is One Of The Most Foul Things In The Universe – so I asked him very carefully why he had gotten it instead of the regular kind. After all, the man had done me a favor.

I think the salmonella gave the Honey-Roasted Peter Pan that little extra zing. I miss it.

“I figured you didn’t want the natural peanut butter because it costs more,” he said.

“Nooooooo,” I answered slowly.

“But with the natural kind, there are no trans fats,” he argued.

“Like I care about that.”

“But this is better for you! It doesn’t have all those preservatives and additives!”

I had to blurt it out. “Natural peanut butter tastes like crap! It’s awful! I like the preservatives and the transfats.”

He sighed and rolled his eyes. “Fine. We can return it tomorrow. I still have the receipt.”

It’s amazing the man ever tries to do anything for me.

The plot

posted Wed, 28 Feb 2007

Summary of the latest trash novel I read:

Female lead: I am very stressed out because my mother just died and I found out she mortgaged my business to pay her medical bills and I have only one month to repay $300,000. To make matters worse, I was almost killed when a bomb went off next to me two days ago. And my best friend just had a biopsy. I think I will have a one-night stand with her handsome brother, an alpha male detective in the Boston police department.

Male lead (the brother): OK. I will sleep with you.

FL: Oh no. I had a one-night stand. I never do that sort of thing. This will never happen again, ML. It was a one-time thing. It was a fling, understand?

ML: [cool!] OK.

Best friend: Brother, you have to figure out who is trying to kill Female Lead. You must protect her.


FL: I can take care of myself, thank you very much.

ML: Oh no you can’t.

FL: You are sleeping in the guest room.


FL: [Doesn’t he want me?]

Lots of stuff happens and the crime gets solved. They sleep together again many times.

FL: [Oh no. I have fallen in love with ML. I guess I have always loved him. But I must not say anything. My secret must stay with me until the day I die.]

ML: [Oh no. I have fallen in love with FL. I have always loved her. But I must not say anything. My secret must stay with me until the day I die.]

ML: I love you. Marry me.

FL: I love you too. Yes.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

40 years of wandering

posted Wed, 28 Feb 2007

I started worrying about my weight at a very young age. From my grandmother’s journal. I was three years old:

CF was weighing herself on the bathroom scale. Then she said, "Oh, oh, seven o'clock!"

It`s going to be a long 40 days

posted Sun, 25 Feb 2007

SH and I were talking about our trip to Spain last year (funded completely by SH) and missing churros y chocolate.

SH: What if the trip had fallen during Lent and you hadn’t been able to eat chocolate?

Me: I would have given up something else for Lent.

SH: Like what?

Me: Sex.

SH: You would have had to buy your own churros.

A rainbow world

posted Sun, 25 Feb 2007

SH and I walked into a bar. It was supposed to be a karaoke place. The singing was supposed to start at 7:00 p.m. This would be a place where I would be happy to go with him, as most karaoke doesn’t start until 10:00 p.m. Musicians, you know.

So we walked into this place – and noticed that not only was there no singing but also that all the women had mullets (I am not making this up) and that all the couples were guy/guy and gal/gal.

All conversation stopped. All heads swiveled to stare at us. The theme music from “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” started playing in my head.

Apparently, a guy/gal couple coming into this place is not the usual thing.

But we gutted it out. We just wanted to sing, man! Can’t we all get along?

We asked the bartender what time the singing started.

“Whenever the karaoke people get here,” she shrugged. “Ten, eleven. You know how they are.”

“But in the paper, it says 7:00,” SH protested. Protesting to a butchy woman with ten holes in her left ear and with a pool cue standing next to the cash register isn’t always such a good idea, but SH has taken on the wasps in my basement, so I knew he could handle a bartender.

“You can go to One More,” she said. “They start at 8:00.”

We thanked her and left, feeling the eyes drilling into our backs as we walked out.

“Let’s go to One More,” SH said.

“That’s the place that Steve went when he first moved here and he was so excited to see it full of nothing but women watching football,” I told him. “Then he noticed they were all wearing flannel.”

“Oh,” SH replied. “Maybe not.”

Cooking hint #392

posted Sun, 25 Feb 2007

Just because it says “Pyrex” on the bottom does not mean you can put a bowl containing two cups of buttermilk, two egg yolks, ¼ cup of maple syrup and five tablespoons of melted butter directly on the gas burner.

Trust me on this.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Clothes make the woman

posted Sat, 24 Feb 2007

I’ve been working with my friend Lindley, an interior designer, to get her business organized. Yesterday, she called me over and showed me a proposed fabric combination and furniture layout.

Lindley: Look at this. What do you think?

Me: You see how I’m dressed. Do you really want my design opinion?

Lindley [pause]: Yeah, we have to work on that.

I`m not dead yet

posted Mon, 19 Feb 2007

And so it came to pass that Spamalot was to be showing at the theater of the Orpheum in Memphis. And The Class Factotum and The Serious Honey wanted to attend, but they turned their pockets inside out and nothing but dust trickled to the ground. They searched high and low, under the pillows on the sofa, in the cracks of the seats of the car, in the far dark corners of the closet, but all that they found was a rotten apple and an old lamp that, when rubbed, yielded a genie who refused to grant any wishes, being a modern genie who didn’t buy into that “fairy tale crap.”

They would have had the moneys to go had the Class Factotum not paid all her moneys to the power company, but that was before she knew she was part of the need part of the formula and not part of the ability. Who knew there were actual benefits to socialism?

So they sat, verily, sad and lonely, recounting to each other the jokes: “I fart in your general direction!” and “A watery tart gives you a sword? That’s not a basis for a form of government!” but it didn’t work. It wasn’t the same.

Then they thought, “Maybe if we go press our noses against the glass and watch the rich peoples as they walk in, we might feel better. Maybe we can be a tiny little part of the Spamalot experience.”

So, yea, they put on their best theatre clothes and went to the place of Spamalot. When they arrived, they found a woman holding two tickets in the air. She was selling the tickets! But the tickets were too expensive for the Class Factotum and the Serious Honey, who had only the pennies they had found in the bottom of the washing machine.

“Fair lady,” they explained, “we cannot pay face value for those front-row seats. $170 is far more than we can afford. But thank you.”

Then they saw a woman holding one ticket in the air. “But we need two,” they said sorrowfully.

As time for the show to start drew closer, they grew sadder and sadder, even though their hearts were lightened by the sight of the girl wearing the shoes of the killer rabbit.

Then the lady with the one ticket said, “Take my ticket. I’m going in.”

“But we cannot pay you,” they said.

“I don’t care. It’s no good to me.”

“Thank you, fair lady!” they exclaimed.

Then the lady with the two tickets, who had seen the fair lady give away one ticket, approached. “How much will you give me for one ticket?” she asked.

“But we want two,” they told her.

“Hmm,” she said.

Serious Honey, who is a math whiz, began to think. He searched his pockets again and found two pieces of bubble gum, a pretty rock, a dollar bill and a marble.

“What if we trade you our one ticket, which is on the fourth row, and everything I have in my pockets, for your two tickets?” he asked.

“Done!” the lady said.

And that is how it came to pass that the Serious Honey and the Class Factotum saw Spamalot on the very front row in the dead center.

And I have better insurance

posted Tue, 06 Feb 2007

20 years ago:

Hide tampons under other items in basket. Buy things I didn’t even want to conceal them. Look for female cashier, even if it means standing in longer line. (This was before the “reading People magazine in the grocery store" days.)


Me [looking at list]: Oh! I need minipads.

SH [who has raised two stepdaughters]: They’re over here.

Me: Let’s see – which ones are the best deal?

SH: These are the best price per unit.

Me: I can’t reach them. Why would they put them on the top shelf where the average woman can’t get to them? Good grief.

SH: Here. How many do you want?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Young love

posted Sun, 28 Jan 2007

I had supper with my friend Emily last night. She told me great stories about her little boy, Ellis, who is nine. Ellis decided he didn’t want to go to a four-day Boy Scout last summer. “Mama,” he said firmly, “I’ve never been away from you for four days in my life and I don’t intend to start this summer.”

He has already decided what to name his eight children: Ellis A. K., Jr, Gray A. K. (Gray was Emily and her ex-husband’s second choice for a boy’s name), Robert A. K. (Robert is Emily’s dad), Thomas A. K. (Thomas is Emily’s favorite uncle and is also a beloved neighbor), Emily Caroline K. (would have been Ellis’s name had he been a girl), Emily Elizabeth K., Emily Ann K. and Emily “whatever her name is that I marry” K.

Ellis is eagerly awaiting Valentine’s Day this year so he can have a do-over with Hayley. He has been in love with Hayley since they were both 18 months old and in Mother’s Day Out together. They go to different schools now, but she is in his heart. She came to his birthday party last year (in December) and Grandma reported that they held hands surreptitiously.

On Valentine’s Day last year, at Ellis’s request, Emily took Ellis to Hayley’s house so he could deliver a bouquet of chocolate roses to her. Hayley, her little sister, and her mother lined up on the porch for the exchange. Hayley gave Ellis a homemade valentine: heavy paper with lace and valentine candies pasted to it. Ellis presented the roses to Hayley, who oohed and aahed appropriately: “Oh, Mama! Look at these! Aren’t they so pretty!”

Then Ellis stage-whispered to Emily, “Can we go behind the car?”

Emily: No!

Ellis: I want to kiss her!

Emily: No. You’re too young.

Ellis [rolling eyes]: I mean on the cheek

Emily: If you want to do that, you need to do it in front of her mother and you need to ask her permission first.

So Ellis marched up to Hayley and asked, “Can I kiss you?”

“No!” she said, shocked, and spun on her heel and, as Emily says, “disappeared in a dust of pink into the house.”

Ellis was crushed as he watched as the love of his life vanish.

“You can kiss me” said Hayley’s little sister, coyly.

Hayley’s mom tried to explain to Ellis that Hayley is very shy, goes to an all-girls’ school and is not used to being around boys. “If you want to give the kiss to me” – she pointed to her cheek – “I’ll make sure she gets it. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it.”

Back in the car, Ellis huffed, “She’s been my girlfriend for years. You’d think she’d let me kiss her.”

Long pause.

“I’m still going to marry her.”

First date = last date

posted Sun, 21 Jan 2007

At the bar at The Bistro last night, which was the only place to eat if you didn’t have a reservation, due to the monster truck pull at the FedEx Forum.

Bartender [to the dressed-up late 30’s couple that sat next to SH and me. The woman put her purse in SH’s space.]: Hi. Are you folks here for supper?

Man: Yes. I was here for New Year’s Eve last year. This is a different menu.

Bartender: Well, that was a while ago and it was a special menu. I’m Chris, the other bartender is also Chris, and there’s a Gretchen floating around.

Man: It must get confusing at Chris mas!

Bartender [strained smile]: Yes sir. What can I get you folks to drink?

Woman: Do you have any merlot?

Bartender: Yes, these three here on the wine list.

Woman: I don’t like anything too bitter or dry.

Bartender: Try this.

Woman [wrinkles cute little nose]: Oooh. Too bitter. I don’t like it.

Bartender: OK. What about this one?

Woman [shakes carefully coiffed little head]: I don’t like that one either.

Man: She doesn’t like anything too bitter or too dry.

Bartender: This is the last merlot. What do you think?

[Gay couple to their left watches carefully; SH and I watch; bartender watches.]

Woman: I don’t like that either.


Woman: Those potatoes with the duck – is it possible to substitute something else, like green beans?

Bartender: Well, the way they make this dish, it’s a composed dish, it’s built up, so technically I suppose they could, but it wouldn’t be as pretty. I’d have to ask the kitchen. [The Bistro is run by a pretty famous Memphis chef. He probably doesn’t like to have his creations messed with.]

Me to SH: She doesn’t eat any carbs! How boring is that?!


He orders first and does not order for her. Rude, rude, rude. Not saying the guy should order for the woman these days -- some women don't like that -- but he should at least let her order first. It is what gentlemen do.


Man: What do you want for dessert? That pecan pie looks really great!

Woman: I’m not going to have dessert. I’ll just have some of yours.

Man: Why don’t you just get a dessert?

Woman: I don’t want dessert. I’ll just have some of yours.

Man: But why don’t you just order your own?

The difference between cats and dogs

posted Fri, 19 Jan 2007

At boot camp this morning. A siren sounds as we are about to do our first set of pushups.

Claire: That’s a tornado siren! We need to take cover!

Tony: The sky is perfectly clear. There’s no tornado. Now shut up and do your pushups.

Liz: It could be a bomb siren. Terrorists could be about to bomb us.

Me: If we’re about to be bombed to death, I don’t want to spend the last 15 seconds of my life doing pushups.

Tony: Well, I’m not going to spend the last 15 seconds of my life doing what you want to do with you. Push UP!

Ten seconds later, I finally get it.

Me: If I had only 15 seconds to live, the last thing I would want to do would be that with you!

Tony: You know you want it. Don’t lie.

Bonnie: Tony, you need your own employment lawyer advising you on sexual harassment.

Tony: I’ll counsel myself later.

Me: If I had only 15 seconds to live, I’d want to spend it eating dessert. Brownies, probably.