Monday, August 30, 2010

How to turn on a liberal

posted 02/23/08

Whisper sweet nothings like this in his ear:

Income redistribution… campaign finance reform…equality of outcome…Darfur*…undocumented workers…energy policy…mandatory health insurance…no smoking... it's the right thing to do

* Shorthand for “US military intervention only when the US has no military, strategic, commercial or other interests”

The best kind of friend

posted 02/20/08

Leigh is picking through the stuff I have hauled out of the attic, where it has resided since I moved into this house in 2001, and deciding what she will take off my hands.

Leigh: Isn’t that a bath pillow?

Me: Um. Yeah.

Leigh: I gave that to you at Christmas two years ago!

Me: Oh. Right.

Leigh: Can I have it back? Mine broke.

The difference between someone who has moved about five times in his life and someone who has moved a gajillion times

The scene: I am packing books in preparation for the move. We will rent a truck, load it, drive it to Milwaukee, and put my stuff in storage until we find a house. It is in our interests to reduce the amount of stuff to be moved as much as possible.

Important fact: Serious Honey and I went to the same university and graduated the same year. (We met at our 20-year-reunion.)

Me: Do you have copies of the Campanile? (the Rice yearbook)

SH: Yes.

Me: Should I get rid of mine?

SH: Why?

Me: Because they’re heavy and take up room and there is no reason for us to have two copies of the same books.

SH: But it’s not that much trouble to move them! And we’ll have room.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

In the same way that a boy doll is an "action figure"

posted 02/16/08

Me: What are you looking at?

Serious Honey: Wheels.

Me: For what?

SH: For my car. Look! You can see what the wheels would look like on the car. I can even do it in the right color. Here’s a red Passat with the wheels I like.

Me: Oh. How much does something like that cost?

SH: These are on sale. They’re about $80 each.

Me: That’s almost $400!

SH: Some of them cost $500 apiece. That’s why I’m thinking of getting these while they’re such a good price.

Me: Don’t you already have wheels on your car?

SH: [Some long, complicated car guy explanation of factory-installed steel with wheel covers vs. decorative aluminum wheels that are beneath the springs and improve handling and mileage. But the main thing is appearance.]

Me: So you want them because they’re pretty?

SH: Because they make my car look better.

Me: And this is something you can just switch out with the wheels you already have.

SH: Yes.

Me: You already have wheels that work perfectly well but you want pretty ones.

SH: [deep, patient sigh]

Me: So it’s jewelry for your car.

SH: It’s not jewelry for my car! It’s really hard to change them out.

Me: So it’s like a purse for your car.

SH: Maybe.

How to warm the feet for Democrats

posted 02/14/08

SH and I don't do Valentine's Day, but I did get him some masculine fluffy socks all of his very own.


Target demographic

posted 02/14/08

SH: My [naked] feet are cold.

Me: If only there were a solution.

SH: Help! I don’t know what to do.

Me: You’re Phi Beta Kappa and you don’t know how to warm your feet?

SH: No. I need someone to solve the problem for me.

Me: You’re the voter the Democrats want.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How can someone eat oatmeal every day?

posted 02/13/08

At our pre-Cana session this afternoon:

Father Joe: We live in community. Six priests. Five nationalities: Vietnam, Korea, African-American, Philippines, Poland. We cook. Different food every day.

Me: Wow! That sounds great!

Father Joe: Ahhhh! Korea food very spicy! Very spicy! And how can someone eat kim chee every day?

Another woman on The List

posted 02/12/08

One of the many, many reasons I am crazy about SH is that when we watched the first half of “Before Sunrise” last night – me for the first time, him for the second – and realized that it was a stupid, stupid movie with no plot and a moronic lead who talks about Death and The Meaning of Life and Why Are We Here in his stupid trust fund majored in something silly but wants to talk about Deep Things in a completely uninformed way, he admitted that the reason he must have liked the movie so much was strictly because he got to watch Julie Delpy for two hours. I couldn't marry a man who actually watched that movie for the story.

If only we had ice skates

posted 02/12/08

Maybe Serious Honey (soon to be Mr Class Factotum) and I should just do this for our wedding:

Singles Night, Mass Wedding ::

Date: Thursday February 14, 2008

The RiverKings will host a mass wedding on the ice at the DeSoto Civic Center following the conclusion of their game against the Odessa Jackalopes on Thursday, Feb. 14. Couples should contact the office at (662) 342-1755 to get a space on the ice.

It would keep me from having to do anything other than show up, which would be great, as right now, I am more concerned with getting my house packed and moved, selling my car, and finding a house in Milwaukee and moving into it than I am with planning a wedding.

And it sounds so elegant.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Extreme Makeover, Home Edition

posted 02/12/08

Me: But clock radios are ugly. And they are a pain to dust because of the cord.

SH: It will be in our bedroom! Who cares what it looks like?

Me: I care! The bedroom should be an oasis of tranquility.

SH: So how does a clock radio mar that?

Me: You and I definitely don’t have the same design esthetic.

SH: Yeah, my bedroom is decorated in early bachelor right now.

Me: Exactly.

SH: I suppose that once we are married, I can get rid of the piles of coins on my nightstand.

Me: And the Beavis and Butthead driver’s license.

SH: Maybe.

Me: And the article about the baseball exhibit at the Milwaukee Historical Society that you cut out from the paper last spring.

SH: I suppose that can go.

Maybe a diamond-studded trash can?

posted 02/10/08

“This is the one you want, but it’s too expensive,” SH mused as he looked through the Sunday Target ad.

“What is?”

He showed me a steel trash can.

“It’s almost $100. That’s too much for a trash can.”

“No it’s not,” I argued.

“It’s a trash can!” he said.

“It’s something you see and use every day. It’s worth the money.”

“It’s a trash can.”

“How much do you pay for a Guinness?”

“Four dollars.”

“So that trash can is like 23 Guinnesses.”

“Yeah, but you actually get enjoyment from a beer. This is a trash can!”

Related conversation:

Me: Does it bother you that I don’t want a $28,000 wedding?

SH: Nope.

Me: Does it bother you that I don’t want a fluffy white muffin dress?

SH: Nope.

Me: Does it bother you that I don’t want a big diamond engagement ring?

SH: A little.

I hope I haven't used my karma quotient

posted 02/08/08

I have a contract on my house for the asking price. These two guys bid against each other. My guess is that neither of them has ever bought anything on eBay -- they did not understand the concept of competitive bidding. As in, they each bid the asking price. Hello??? At least do the asking price plus one dollar. No strategic thinking.

But if everything goes well with the inspection (it should -- these old houses are built well, unlike the crap they put up now), I will have a check in my hand on March 20. I will have nowhere to put my furniture, clothes and dishes, but I will have money. I cannot imagine SH and I would find and close on a Milwaukee house before March 20, especially as we do not plan to be in Milwaukee again until the beginning of March, but this is a good problem to have.

The agent had mentioned to the buyer that my house has no dishwasher and was he aware of that? The buyer said that he is an old hippie and doesn't think dishwashers are environmentally responsible. What did I tell you?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My firstborn will be named Saint Joseph and will sleep upside down

posted 02/08/08

There is a bidding war going on for my house. Being a capitalist profiteer, my first thought is that I didn't price it high enough. Being a ruthlessly organized project manager, I am thrilled that I am about to cross something off my list.

I know you're a man just by looking at your face

posted 02/08/08

so you don't need to wear tights that show off the family jewels to boot camp. If you are going to do that, please go to the 5:30 a.m. class where it's dark instead of the 8:30 a.m. desperate housewives session.

This is a man

posted 02/07/08

I tell Serious Honey (soon to be Mr Class Factotum, but we’ll vote on that) that chest hair is manly and many a smooth-chested guy would love to have some hair on his chest. Not that there’s anything wrong with being naturally hairless – you got to be who God makes you, which is why I put up with having almost no bosom, which works because SH is a leg and butt man anyhow – but to get your chest waxed? That’s just ridiculous. Who says, “That’ll take hair off your chest!”

No. The saying is, “That will put hair on your chest.” This phrase is usually associated with manly activities, such as drinking straight coffee, eating raw steak or burnt toast, and jumping into ice-cold water on New Year’s Day. Me, I am not interested in doing any of these things, but I am also not interested in having hair on my chest.

SH thinks he has too much hair on his chest.

I disagree. And I point to Exhibit A, one of the most sexy men in the world, who has just allegedly insured his chest hair for seven million dollars:

67-year-old hunk of burning love, Tom Jones, has reportedly insured his chest hair for around $7 million. Tom approached Lloyd's of London and asked them if they would insure his chest hair and they agreed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

St Joseph, work your magic

posted 02/07/08

Realtor: Hello?

Me: Hi, it's CF. You left a message asking about holding an open house on Sunday?

Realtor: Well, let's hold off on that. The lady who looked at your house last night really liked it and might be putting in an offer. Her realtor just came by to get the lead paint* and other disclosure forms.

Me: You mean I just painted the front porch trim for nothing?

Realtor: Yes.

Me: I was about to plant grass in the back yard.

Realtor: Don't bother.

* Duh. The house was built in 1922. There is undoubtedly lead paint somewhere around here. So don't eat the windowsills.

Maybe I won't need that St Joseph statue

posted 02/06/08

I had about 16 hours’ notice that someone wanted to see my house tomorrow, so thought maybe I would finish repairing the door (patch big hole where the four screws ripped out the wood with plastic wood – I said “wood,” sand, paint the patch, paint entire door frame because the paint I have doesn’t match frame color, drill holes in new place for anchor because it won’t work to put screws in plastic wood, insert screws, find shorter screws, attach hydraulic device to anchor, attach anchor to door, stretching it a bit because the rod got bent), give a quick vacuum and clean the bathroom. While I was doing that, the realty called again – someone else wanted to see it at 5:30.

It was 5:25 when they called. I didn’t answer because I was vacuuming and didn’t hear the phone.

At 5:30, the realtor knocks on my door. At least she was alone, so I could finish the cleaning, empty the trash, put the vacuum cleaner back into the attic, sweep the kitchen floor, put my shoes and slippers in the closet, hide the bathroom rug, and rinse the kitchen sink before her client arrived.

Then I went to Walgreen’s to kill time by reading People magazine (does that count as gossiping?) and looking at the chocolate I will be avoiding for the next six weeks. This lady better buy the house. There’s not that much I can do to kill time unless I want to eat and all the fun options are off the table for now.

Super Tuesday

posted 02/05/08

1. Experimenting with a new hair color and cut (my sister told me what style to get and she was right)
2. Repairing the front door where the wind blew the screen door so hard that it broke the screws holding the door-closing device to the frame
3. Putting a strike plate on the frame so I can latch the screen door. If I had done this four days ago (or six years ago, when the latch first became a problem), # 2 would not have been necessary.
4. Trying to make the back yard look as good as it is possible for a yard with almost no grass to look
5. Forcing myself to sit in the basement while the tornado sirens wailed
6. Eating M&Ms in anticipation of six weeks of chocolate deprivation.
7. Gossiping in anticipation of six weeks of gossip deprivation.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Old time religion

posted 02/04/08

At the bargain table at Easy Way:

Oh honey, I eat garlic on everythang. Um hmm. Everythang. I eat it in my oatmeal.

You gots to get off those medicines, otherwise you get addicted. Know what I use? I use vinegar. That take the blood down. But not too much, or you dry you blood.

I don’t eat poke. Mm mm. The Lord say don’t eat that swahn. He say don’t eat poke or rats. That what it say in the Bible. It get into you brain and make you mad. It ruin you spirit.

Beef, either. You know how they got them mad cows, don’t you? Because they don’t feed them wheat or whatever cows eat. They feeding them other cows. They eating they own flesh and they mad about it.

Jesus say don’t eat poke. He say, “If you eat poke, don’t complain to me because I done tole you not to eat it.”

Know what I eat? I eat turkey. But not the legs. Um um. The legs is where they parasites. I only eat the white meat.

Give me a hug, honey! Halleluiah!

Catholic real estate

At church on Saturday:

Fr Simon: How are you? What’s going on?

Me: Fine. I’m trying to sell my house.

Fr Simon: Do you have your St Joseph statue?

Me: No. It seems kind of superstitious.

Fr Simon: I know a lady who tried for eight months to sell her house and no one wanted it. Then she buried a St Joseph statue and the house sold the next week.

Me: It could just be coincidence.

Fr Simon: I don’t know. It worked!

Going to the chapel

posted 01/30/08

The realtors came yesterday to look at my house, set a price and give me suggestions on how to improve its salability. Yes, I’m selling my house because SH and I are getting married and I am moving to Milwaukee. Yes, I know it’s about darn time. No, I don’t have an engagement story. We’ve just been talking about it forever and now the divorce is final (in November, five and a half years after he filed and three and a half years after I met him, so I am not a homewrecker!) so we can do it, although we still have to wait for six months because of this old stupid Wisconsin law, otherwise we’d go to the JP this weekend. Next weekend. Whenever we are together again. But SH has me on his company insurance now as his domestic partner, so at least there’s that.

I have plenty of annulment and divorce drama stories, but let’s just leave the lessons learned from those experiences as 1) leave the ex-wife’s address off the annulment application if you are applying for a “lack of form” annulment, which does not require that she be notified (and hence really ticked off) instead of telling the guy at the archdiocese over and over that SH really wants to know before they send a letter to “Imelda” so he can be the one to tell her and believing archdiocese guy when he says that no letter has been sent* but then it turns out that it has because AD wanted to have Imelda notified in case a formal annulment was necessary, which it’s not and didn’t we say to tell us first? so now Imelda is boiling mad at SH because not only is he applying for an annulment (which he would only do to remarry, as he is not Catholic) but he didn’t even have the guts to tell her himself, which of course he would have but he didn’t think she was getting a letter, and phoned and called him some not very nice things (girl has a mouth on her), which means SH is in a mood and 2) don’t marry unless you are sure she is The One because getting out of a mistake marriage is a very costly** endeavor.

See? No clutter. We even bought a puzzle board so we can move the jigsaw puzzle easily.

Back to the house. The only comments the 15 agents or so made about my house were that I needed to hide the space heaters (which I knew – no sense in drawing attention to the fact that it is a pain in the neck to heat this house) and paint the front porch. My realtor told me that usually, she has to tell people to de-clutter. Not me. I am the anti-clutterer. An agent also commented that I don’t have a dishwasher, which is wrong – I am the dishwasher. Is it so hard to wash dishes? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I don’t have a bunch of kids, but if you have kids, you have subordinates to whom you can delegate dishwashing, so you still come out ahead. Plus, the way you have to scrub some dishes before putting them into the machine, you might as well just wash them by hand.

The good thing about my neighborhood is that it attracts a lot of tree-hugging liberals (“Hillary!” bumper stickers abound) and I know no good environmentalist would waste energy by using a dishwasher, so it’s not going to be a problem.

I will miss my cute little uncluttered bungalow with its prize-winning yard.

* At least the letter got to her after she had sent SH their $10,000 tax refund check for which he gave Imelda her half as soon as she put it in the mail (certified) and he had the tracking number. The Post Office, however, decided not to hold the check with the rest of SH’s mail in December so when we got to Milwaukee early this month, the check had been returned to California. You know – because SH hadn’t picked it up. He kept ignoring those notices that were in his held mail because hello, he was out of town, which is why his mail was being held in the first place.

I had to call the Post Office every day and ask where the check was. I spoke to the carrier in California three times (not because the Milwaukee PO gave me that information, but because I tracked him down), each time imploring him not to return the check to Imelda but to send it back to SH. I gave the whole story – disgruntled ex-wife, already has her share of the money, took a month to send it in the first place, no reason to send it back to SH – in hopes that they would remember the letter when they saw it again and think, “Wasn’t there something about this letter that I was supposed to do?”

The letter finally got back to California two weeks after it was sent from Milwaukee. No tracking information. Just me calling to nag every day. The day it got back there, I spoke to the carrier again. “You wanted me to return this to Imelda, right?” he asked.

“No!!!!!! Send it back to SH!” I practically shrieked into the phone.

The good news is that the check was waiting for SH when he returned to Milwaukee on Saturday. But the moral of this story is don’t expect things to go smoothly and always plan for the worst.

** Old joke: Why does divorce cost so much? Because it’s worth it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Don't ever tell your mom that you're bored

posted 01/29/08

Overheard at the drug store a little bit after school was out this afternoon:

You home? You better be home!

Then clean the house!

I don’t care that you clean it yesterday. Clean it again.

Then go clean someone else’s house!

It does a body good

posted 01/29/08

I am on to you “coffee” drinkers now. Ha. You’re not “coffee” drinkers; you are full-fat milk, lots of whipped cream and some chocolate with a wee little bit of coffee thrown in for flavor drinkers. You can’t hold a candle to real coffee drinkers.

How do I know this? Because Serious Honey has developed a little bit of a “coffee” habit. (He does not claim to be a serious coffee drinker, although he has been known to make coffee at home and add nothing that would make it taste good, so he is man enough to take the real stuff.) There is a coffee shop near his house, right next to the Great Harvest bakery. We walk there on Saturday mornings to get breakfast at the bakery (and shamelessly sample whatever they have out) and coffee at the coffee shop.

He orders a chocolate au lait, which means “chocolate milk and whipped cream with a dash of coffee flavor.” Heck, even I can drink that. And I do. He’ll ask if I want my own, but I say no because if I get my own, the calories count. I’d rather just drink out of his. So I have developed the habit of drinking as much of the whipped cream-infested part as I can before he gets to it.

I even ordered my own “coffee” the other day when my friend Teri and I went to High Point Coffee after boot camp last Friday. Yes, it is the first time in my life I have ordered “coffee,” and don’t go telling me that hot chocolate and whipped cream with a quarter-shot of espresso doesn’t count as coffee* because about the only person I know who orders straight coffee with none of the extras is Harpo and he is from Miami. They take their coffee seriously there. Don’t get between a Cuban and his coffee. (No, Harpo is not Cuban, but he learned coffee from Cubans.) Heck, he orders a cup of coffee with a triple shot of espresso in it. No milk. No whipped cream. No chocolate. That is coffee that will put hair on your chest.

But the rest of you? I’ve seen you at Starbucks, with your half-fat, half-skim, 30% Jamaican Blue, 70% high-country, fair-trade, organic Guatemalan leftist all the profits invested in women’s reproductive rights organizations coffee beans, a quarter shot of hazelnut, a third shot of vanilla, a full shot of chocolate, and a big dollop of whipped cream grande.

Ha. You sissies. If I can drink that stuff, it’s not coffee. I’ll take a domino-playing, guayabera-wearing, 85-year-old Cuban √©migr√© and his 75-cent thimble-full of concentrated coffee sludge over you milk-drinking posers any day.

* Although I suppose that technically, based on what I ordered, I am not a coffee drinker either, but then, I don't claim to be.

While the cat's away

posted 01/26/08

My schedule when SH is chez Class Factotum:

Get up
Make bed
Have a healthful breakfast
Go to boot camp or go “running”
Do errands: library, grocery store, Home Depot, charity drop
Do chores so SH won’t think I sit around the house and do nothing all day but watch TV (on my computer), knit and eat bon bons: rake leaves, do laundry, clean bathroom, call Exxon to get my 75 cents refunded because the air machine gave me air for only two tires, wash dishes, put away clothes
Take a shower so SH won’t be repelled by my stinky body and greasy, matted hair
Make a healthful, balanced lunch: a meat, a starch and a veg
Eat lunch with SH
Do more chores
Make a healthful supper: meat, starch, veg
Make a dessert because hey, SH will eat it and then I can eat off his plate, which means it doesn’t count for me
Eat supper with SH
Fellowship with SH: work on a jigsaw puzzle or watch a movie
Go to bed around 11, because SH is a night owl

My schedule when I am alone.

Get up
Eat something for breakfast
Goof off on the computer
Realize I am going to be late for boot camp if I don’t get my lazy butt out of the door right now
Maybe stop at the library on the way home. For sure stop someplace where I can get food.
Goof off on the computer, including looking at shoes at, reading the local paper, reading the Milwaukee paper, My Big Fat Cuban Family, Maggie’s Farm, Ann Althouse, the Happy Catholic, Manolo’s Shoes and all the associated sites (Manolo for the Big Girl, Manolo for the Brides, Teeny Manolo - all hilarious), and the Pioneer Woman
Eat an apple and peanut butter (lots of peanut butter) for lunch
Goof off on the computer some more, sending lots of email to SH and wondering why he isn't writing to me. What's his excuse? Work?
Do not take a shower – so I’m sweaty and my hair is nasty. So what?
Watch "Ugly Betty" and "Samantha Who?" online. America Ferrara is adorable even if her politics are not right.
Have a snack. Another apple and PB? No. What’s in the freezer? What about the chocolate drawer?
Get impatient that my People magazine has not arrived.
Have another snack. Cheese and crackers. Yum.
Realize it’s maybe sort of supper time. Look in fridge and hope for miracle. Eat some butternut squash that I got from the bargain counter at Easy Way. Eat the last Hit cookie. Eat a little bit of the chocolate bar that Leigh gave me in my Christmas stocking. Eat the liver from the giblets I threw into the chicken stock I am making with the bones and skin from the chicken for the Caldo Xochitl (Mexican Chicken Soup) I am making. Eat handfuls of Szechuan rice crackers while I read food blogs.
Read in bed.
Go to bed at 8:00 because I am a nine-hourer (maybe a 12-hourer)

Doesn't everyone have a chocolate drawer?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nothing new under the sun

posted 01/25/08

Me: Sophia, what’s new?

Sophia, thinks, then walks around the coffee table and lifts her dad’s iPod: This is new.

Me: What else?

Sophia shows me a ruler: This is new.

Me: What else is new?

Sophia shows me her McDonald’s happy meal.

Me: What’s old?

Sophia shows me her blanket: This is old.

Me: What else is new?

Sophia: My face.

Me: Your face?

Sophia: Yes. My face is new.

Me: Well, I suppose so. What else is new?

Sophia: My mom’s face.

Me: I need to ask Leigh about that botox.

Baby, it's cold inside

posted 01/25/08

SH, who is wearing pajama bottoms, a sweatshirt, and the fluffy socks: I’ve been cold all morning.

Me: Why don’t you put on some more clothes?

SH: [picture the expression someone would have if I just asked him to shoot and eat his cat]

Surprisingly, this is not enough clothing to keep someone warm when it's 19 degrees outside in an old house designed for southern summers

Hard questions I have asked SH today that require at least a minute or more of contemplation before he answers

posted 01/25/08

Would you like oatmeal for breakfast? (I ask him this question every weekday that we are together.)

Do you want a thigh or a leg for lunch?

Have you put the clothes you want washed into the hamper? (This 30 hours after I told him I would be washing darks today.)

Would you like to serve yourself?

OK. Would you like more rice?

Thigh or leg?

Why don't you serve yourself, sweetie?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

She doesn't need that degree

posted 01/21/08

My friend's second-grade daughter has decided she wants to attend Princeton.

Daughter: Mama, I checked the Princeton website. It costs $45,000 a year to go there.

Mom: Wow.

Daughter: What do you think it will cost by the time I go to college?

Mom: I don't know -- maybe $60,000 a year?

Daughter [long pause]: OK. So I'll need to get a job by fifth grade.

My people called it maize

posted 01/18/08

Waiter: And our special salad tonight will have micro greens, organic goat cheese and sliced sun-dried plums.

Me: Those would be prunes.

Waiter: ????

Me: The dried plums. Also known as prunes.

Waiter: Oh. Yeah.

Ready for a long, cold winter

posted 01/17/08

Serious Honey to me: I don't know why you don't like your body. You're firm and toned with a nice layer of fat.

An abundance of riches

posted 01/14/08

Talking about SH’s ex-wife, whom he put through college while he raised her two daughters, and hypotheticals for the two of us:

SH: So if we were married, would you take advantage of my gravy train and go back to school? Would you just be lazy and let yourself go?

Me: Do I have to pick just one?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why I would never write my own wedding vows

posted 01/12/08

Because I would want to include statements such as

1. If either of us ever buys or wears a pair of Crocs, the marriage is over
2. I promise to tell you when you have boogers
3. I promise to tell you when you have something stuck in your teeth

The Rememberer, but not the Asker

posted 01/12/08

From the man who can tell you exactly what he was doing on November 16, 2006.

Serious Honey: My friend Jon’s wife had a baby last week.

Me: Really? What was it?

SH: Boy.

Me: How much did he weigh?

SH: I don’t know.

Me: What’s his name?

SH: I don’t remember

Follies on ice, 2

posted 01/11/08

Overheard at the skating rink:

Just because I'm black doesn't mean I don't like boobs.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sir yes sir

posted 01/10/08

At SH’s church, we do not hold hands during the Our Father (aka “The Lord’s Prayer” for you Protestants). We are a cold, stiff people in Wisconsin. We do not want to hold even the clean, unsweaty hands of people unknown to us.

So whose idea was it for us to do-si-do with the sweaty woman next to us in the Zumba class? (The class with the fake Latin music.) Not only to link elbows and skip around, but to do so free form, thus robbing us of the quality most sought in an exercise class – structure? Unless directed otherwise, we Midwesterners are the type of people to stand quietly looking at the floor and mind our own business. We smile politely at the other women in class, but then wait for our orders. If the order is to basically exercise on our own (in pairs), what is the point of being in the class?

Even worse, if the order is to exercise on our own to the blaring fake Latin music, we really don’t know what to do. How do we keep the rhythm without an instructor to watch? How many circles do we skip with the woman on the right before we switch to the woman on the left? Should we introduce ourselves? Must we make eye contact? Do we have to smile? What if it’s actually not a woman but the weird shoeless guy with the Amish beard who looks at the floor the entire class? Do we have to link elbows with him?

I am ready to return to boot camp, where there is no room for personal initiative.

If I should die before I wake

posted 01/09/08

The other thing I have been doing is working on my will. What should I give to my brother and sister? What has the best (or least bad) tax implications? How dare the government tax the money I would want to give to my family or anyone else?

I already showed Serious Honey these instructions:

I do not want to be embalmed unless it is required by law. I want the cheapest casket available, even if it is a corrugated box. Ask the mortician if there is something cheaper in the back or get one from Costco. Do not waste money on burial accoutrements! Save it for the funeral party.

I will leave it up to him and my survivors to plan the party. I would like some token “how will we go on?” moaning, but after that, I want everyone to have a good time at my funeral lunch.

Wasting away again in Margaritaville

posted 01/09/08

What I have done the past few days while SH works:

Go to the YMCA and try different classes, including a Body Pump class, where I suspect that the aerobics version of “More Than A Feeling” is why Brad Delp committed suicide, and a Zumba class, where I wonder where the Latin part of the music is supposed to be when almost all the songs are rappy and in English.

At the Y, the mall and the grocery store, where I Step Away From the Free Donut Holes, look for a parking space where there is 1) no slope and 2) a snowbank at the front so I can park without using the handbrake and without worrying that the car will roll away. At the mall, I discover that even if I leave it in gear, the way SH advised, it will roll some, so the snowbank is very important.

Wonder what there is to eat.

Look for something to clean in SH’s apartment that won’t stress him out. He hates cleaning the bathroom, so I am safe to wash the tub and toilets. When I scrub the kitchen sink and then go for the drain trap, he asks what I am doing. “Cleaning the drain trap,” I answer, thinking, “Well duh!” He tells me he has never cleaned it in the five years he has lived in this place and I tell him that’s obvious.

Wonder what there is to eat, then remember that my loose jeans are too tight.

Buy a gallon of milk, even though we are returning to Memphis on Sunday, because a gallon costs only 45 cents more than half a gallon. Hurry to pour out stale water from sealed water bottles four years old and replace it with milk so I can freeze it before SH sees me and panics that I am throwing away his bottled water, even though he has to empty the bottle before he sticks it in his briefcase and goes through security.

Still wonder what that pink peppercorn chocolate that we got at the wine shop in St Augustine tastes like.

Watch “Whose Wedding Is It Anyway” and “Platinum Weddings” and wonder who spends $80,000 on a wedding when you could pay for a lot of a house that way and still have money left over for a great trip to Spain.

Talk to SH about the stupid new law in California that it is illegal to smoke in a car if there are minors in the car. Does that mean that 16-year-old drivers can’t smoke if they are alone? Agree that it is almost more stupid that California is going to ban hand-held cellphones in cars. Wonder if the California legislature listens to its constituents or if the constituents really want a nanny state. Maybe the legislature thinks the law won’t apply to them, kind of like the Portuguese No-Smoking Czar who was caught smoking in a casino the day after it was made illegal.

Go to the library and read part of “People Magazine,” then look for DVDs to check out. Thanks to the Milwaukee taxpayers, there is no charge for DVDs, unlike Memphis, where although we can afford several bodyguards for the mayor and a brand-new basketball arena, it costs $2 to get a movie from the library, which is twice as much as it costs from Blockbuster. Get several movies, including “The Good Girl,” which is interesting in that there is no one likeable or moral in the entire movie, “Becket,” which was excellent, excellent, excellent, and “This Movie Is Not Yet Rated.” We have yet to watch “Oklahoma,” “Howards End” and “Maria Full of Grace.”

Watch “Extreme Makeover” and wonder why these people all think they need plastic surgery when all they really need is a decent haircut.

Argue with SH about whether every bathroom should have a plunger. He maintains that there should be only one plunger in the house; I say there should be one by every toilet so a guest doesn’t need to go through the embarrassment of asking for one.

Try to sneak some corrugated boxes into the recycling, but I don’t move fast enough and SH intercepts me, saying, “But this is a good box!”

Wonder what the crazy laundry people upstairs can possibly be washing when they do three loads in a row after having done a load every morning and evening since we returned.

Watch the second half of “Sergeant York” and think what a hunk Gary Cooper was.

Think I really need to get a job or a hobby.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ode to love

posted 01/07/08

Why I love Serious Honey:

Because when he makes a grilled capicola – smoked pepper cheese sandwich with the great onion-dill rye bread from Great Harvest, he cuts off a small piece for me, who has been forced into the baggy jeans that are now too tight for polite company.

Why SH might drive me crazy:

Because when I take the container of Windex and a paper towel into his bathroom to clean the mirror, he follows me anxiously, asking “What are you doing?” then gets all stressed out when I actually spray the Windex on said mirror without moving his toothbrush or water glass, even though everyone knows that Windex cures everything, including sore elbows.

We deliver for you

posted 01/03/08

Yes, that is the UPS man making a delivery to the US Post Office. I would have taken the photo of him inside getting the clerk to sign for the package, but my camera batteries were dead.

Too left for Democratic Chicago

posted 01/02/08

We’re driving through Chicago and see a billboard for 820 am! Progressive talk radio! SH immediately tunes to it.

SH: There’s nothing there! Where is it?

Me: I’m so surprised that there’s not a market for a whiney leftist east coast woman like Randi Rhoades in Chicago.

SH [rolls eyes and continues to tune]: Hey – what’s this?

...the theology of the body...

Me: It must be a Catholic station.

SH: How do you know?

Me: Catholic ESP.

...Relevant Radio, from the Diocese of Chicago...

Me: Told you.

SH: How can there be an entire radio station for Catholics in Chicago but no progressive radio?

Me [after long, slow consideration, thinking that this close to home, I don’t really want to have a political argument]: I have no idea.

Yeah, but he's laughing his way to the bank

posted 01/02/08

As we drive into Indiana, the song “Small Town” comes on. We hear the lyrics, No I cannot forget where it is that I come from.

Me: I’ll bet John Mellencamp’s high school English teacher cringes every time she hears that song.

Serious Honey: Oh, you don’t understand people from Indiana.

Me: She has to be thinking, “Please, please don’t tell anyone I was your English teacher.”

SH: Nope. There’s probably a plaque in his high school

Friday, August 6, 2010

It's a cult -- no, it's a Pack

posted Tue, 11 Dec 2007

Baggage handler in the jetbridge in Milwaukee last night, looking at the sea of gold and green-adorned passengers in line -- with straight-faced, wide-eyed innocence:

Who are the Packers?

(Warning -- this might not be funny to anyone who is not from or who has never been to Wisconsin.)

I just like messing with the TSA

posted Mon, 10 Dec 2007

If they had searched my checked bag today, they would have found

1. A fitted cream-colored bedsheet with a tear in one of the corners (SH asked me to repair it -- he does not have a sewing machine, or so he implies, but there might be one hidden under all the boxes in his office -- xoxo -- mwah! love you, sweetie!)

2. Seven DVDs, including "The Tuskeegee Airmen," "The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," ummm -- can't remember the rest, but they are movies SH owns and has already watched and that I intend to watch so that we can finally have an intelligent conversation about something besides pepper or whether farting is a worse faux pas than belching and if it is, how many belches are there to one fart.

3. Some cool presents from the Art vs Craft Fair that I got for my sister and my friend Leigh -- my sister for Christmas and Leigh for always taking me to and picking me up from the airport, thus saving me about $50 a trip.

4. A dog toy shaped like a menorah. SH bought it for his friend Pete's dog. Men are strange.

5. A bunch of celery, three pears, and a dozen clementines. Also, two pounds of cheese and cheese curds and a half a pound of cooked pork tenderloin. The celery is left over from the osso bucco we made this weekend. SH will be home only two days in the next month, so I brought the celery here so it wouldn't be wasted. It now joins the bunch of celery in my refrigerator. Perhaps cream of celery soup? The cheese was liberated from SH's freezer, where it wasn't doing anyone any good and was in danger of falling to the fate of the Bagel from Ought Five. Well, Ought Six, but Jan 2 Ought Six, so this bagel was two years old. It was a leftover from when SH and I were in Pittsburgh for Pete and Julie's party two years ago. We bought bagels on the way out of town and never finished them. Just in case you're curious, sesame bagels do not keep well, even frozen, for two years.

6. SH's light winter coat so he wouldn't have to carry it himself when he comes here this weekend.

7. A stuffed bunny dressed as a granny that I bought at the crafts fair at SH's church as a birthday present for Sophia, who is turning three next week.

8. Peppercorns so we can make steak au poivre when SH gets here on Saturday.

9. A regular-sized deodorant, but no other toiletries. I keep toiletries at SH's house so I don't have to remember what to pack. He sent the regular size deodorant with me so he'd have it for the Big Road Trip of '07. He didn't want to take it with him because then he would have to check his bag. Yes, deodorant can kill you.

10. My clothes and laundry, including my undies, which I am not too thrilled about any stranger seeing.

11. A pair of silk boxers, black with red and green chilis on them, the waist torn away from the body. (The moral is that silk needs to be line-dried.) They are unwearable, but I like the fabric and thought maybe I could make a couple of handkerchiefs from it.

Straight from the Franklin Mint

posted Sun, 09 Dec 2007

We're looking at the neatly-ordered (empty) boxes, magazines (wine, auto, aviation), books, presents he meant to give away last year but didn't see the recipients, unframed photographs and expired coupons in SH's office. SH takes a stack of booklets off of a box and looks for a new place to put them.

Me: Give them to me. I'll put them in the trash.

SH: No! These are Summerfest programs!

Me: So?

SH: I want to keep them. They're collector's items. Imagine what it will be like when I have 30 years' worth. Won't that be cool?

Me: No.

Checking it twice

posted Sat, 08 Dec 2007

Looking through the stack of SH’s DVDs.

Me: Oooh. Daniel Craig. He’s on my List.

SH: Yeah, yeah.

Me: Denzel Washington! He’s on the List, too!

SH: Denzel?

Me: In a heartbeat. Are there any black women on your list?

SH: Hmmm.

Me: Who are the black leading ladies? What about Tyra Banks?

SH: Nah.

Me: Who else? They always pair Denzel with a white chick, like Eva Mendes. Oh, I know! Halle Barry!

SH: She’s beautiful, but she’s not my type.

Me: Why not?

SH: Too skinny.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Control freaks, unite

posted Fri, 07 Dec 2007

Me: Why don’t I make the bed while you fill out that life insurance application?

SH: Let me see how far up the sheet is. [looks] It’s too far up on the foot. We have to re-do it.

Me: OK, fine. But you really are not very good at delegating.

SH: Where is that light blanket?

Me: Why don’t we worry about the blanket later? Remember our objective here. [I start to put on the pillowcases.]

SH: OK. Wait! That’s the wrong pillow for the flannel pillowcase. [There are three pillows and only two flannel pillowcases.]

Me: What’s wrong with it?

SH: That’s not the pillow where your head is going to be, is it? It needs to be on this one. You have it on the scratchy feather pillow. It needs to be on the soft one.

Me: Fine. Whatever. I’ll switch pillowcases, although I don’t know why I couldn’t have my head on the white cotton pillowcase. Now will you do that application?

SH: You know I would have had to switch them later if you didn’t.

Me: I think we need to agree that the person not doing the job needs to leave the room while the other person does whatever it is he is doing.

SH: Yeah, but what if you are doing it wrong?

Me: [rolls eyes]

SH: Where is that blanket?

Phone puzzle

posted Sun, 02 Dec 2007

Yard guy: My phone number is 123-4567. My daddy’s phone number is 987-6543.

Me [writing]: OK.

YG: If you cain’t call me, call my daddy. He find me. If there work, he find me.

Me: OK.

YG [pointing at number]: My daddy named Stan. He a white guy, but he my daddy. When you talk to him, he sound white. He don’t sound like me. But he my daddy.

Hostess with the mostest

posted Sat, 01 Dec 2007

Sophia [before going upstairs to look for Dog, after I had already eaten her cookie]: Don’t touch my food.

After the piercing shriek and the shattering realization that Dog is not to be found:

Me: Maybe Dog went on a trip. Maybe he went to visit his mother. He’ll be back tomorrow. [Fortunately, not a lie, as Stephen and Leigh keep a backup Dog in a secret location. BD is used when Regular Dog has to be ripped out of Sophia’s hands to be laundered.]

Sophia [sniffing, reluctant]: Maybe.

Me: Let’s look in the kitchen.

Sophia: Look! Cookies! [Reaches for bag] Would you like a cookie?

Me: No, thank you.

Sophia: OK. I need one for me.

We open the refrigerator.

Sophia: We have milk. We have lem’ade. We have ketchup.

True love

posted Mon, 26 Nov 2007

is when your sweetie digs through the raw chicken juice and prime rib fat-laden trash to find the coupon you threw away yesterday and now realize you need.

How to kill the mood

posted Wed, 28 Nov 2007

At a friend's house, talking to another guest, heretofore a stranger to us. Guest is pudgy and balding and looks to be near SH's youthful 41.

Guest: Where are you from?

SH: I'm from Pittsburgh.

Guest: Me, too! What neighborhood?

SH: Upper St Clair.

Guest: Me, too!!! What year did you graduate from high school?

SH: 1981.

Guest: My mom was class of '75.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Fun with a toddler

posted Sun, 25 Nov 2007

Me: Sophia, you’re a towhead. That means your toes are on your head.

Leigh: Sophia, are your toes on your head?

Sophia: No!!!! Here are my toes!!

Sweet dreams

posted Fri, 23 Nov 2007

SH: I actually remember some of what I dreamed last night. I dreamed I was at a karaoke show run by my friend Scott and I kept messing up the songs.

Me: I dreamed I found some cereal on sale at Whole Foods but it was still too expensive.

SH: At least I dreamed about something fun.

Me: I like food.

She was right about washing the reds and the whites together, too

posted Wed, 21 Nov 2007

As I pull out the oatmeal and saucepan:

Mom: You can do the oatmeal in the microwave, you know.

Me: I know.

Mom: It’s easier than on the stovetop.

Me [measuring oats, water and salt into the saucepan]: I know. I like it this way.

Mom: Then you don’t have to worry about it boiling over and you don’t have to watch it.

SH: She likes it this way because she likes it a little burnt on the bottom.

Mom: But it’s easier my way!

Me: I want to do it my way.

Mom leaves to take a shower. I ignore the pot and the oatmeal burns to the bottom, which is not a problem at my house because I have non-stick pans, but this one is plain steel or whatever that sticky surface is and the oatmeal is really stuck to it.

SH: It’s going to be painful, cleaning that.

Me: Not as painful as the “I told you so” I’m going to get.