Monday, February 14, 2011

That's all

I have re-posted my archives that were lost when journalspace crashed in December 2008 and never refunded my money, you jerks and yes, I was paying for a blogging service how stupid was that? I recovered most of my old journalspace posts and now they are here, except for the political stuff, which 1. is no longer timely and 2. something I don't do any more because I get tired of arguing about those things.

If you have read through this entire blog and want to know what happens next (Reader, I married him! - oh wait - you knew that), then go here to my current blog.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The content of his character

posted 12/06/08

If this is what Milwaukee County has to say about being a juror

The most important qualities of a juror are fairness and impartiality. A juror must lay aside all bias and prejudice.


then why does SH have to complete a form giving his race? (Which is human, BTW. And like the defense and prosecution couldn't figure it out by looking at him when he gets there, if it's so important to the case?) It is illegal for him not to answer the question.

We had to answer the same question on our marriage license application. What? Is it illegal for persons of different races to marry each other in Wisconsin?

Marriage 101, Lecture 12: Life with an engineer, part 2

posted 12/05/08

SH [brandishing the claim form I have completed and printed]: Why did you put "18 Ave" instead of "18th Ave.?"

Me: Because.

SH: But it's not right! We live on 18th Avenue, not 18 Avenue.

Me: So what?

SH: But what if their OCR system matches on the string "18th" instead of "18?" What you write has to match what's already in the system, which is "18th."

Me: I think they can figure it out. It's probably not the only time this sort of thing has happened.

SH: But it's not right!

Oh yeah, I'll tell you something

posted 12/05/08

Dear ponytail kumbaya guy who was sitting one row ahead and across the aisle from me at church last week,

The reason I was in a pew all by myself was specifically because I did not want to hold hands during the Our Father. When you crossed the aisle to hold hands with the man standing in front of me, did I try to break in? Did I look sad that I had been left out? Did I do anything to indicate that oh if only I could be included in the hand holding that my religious experience would be complete? No I did not. I hold hands with my husband, my grandmother and my mother. That’s it. Strangers are not in my hand-holding lexicon.

So what about me compelled you to break your hold with the guy ahead of me, turn around and beckon me to join you? Was it my crossed arms? My stiff posture? My refusal to meet your eyes until I realized you were not going to go away until I said something, which I did, which was, “Thanks, but I’m good?”

I was almost tempted not to shake hands during the peace stuff and say something namby-pamby like, “Oh no. I have a cold and don’t want to make you sick,” but that would have been a lie and a lie in church is like three lies in real life, so I decided to stick to my non-hand-holding guns. Yes, you gave me a look of pity – that “I’ll pray for you because you are so unenlightened that you probably think the Marty Haugen music in “Gather” stinks and what’s worse you probably vote Republican look” – but honestly, I don’t think God spends a lot of time worrying about people who do not want to hold hands with complete strangers.

And neither should you.

Signed,

Happy in my own little bubble at church

Peoples' Republic of Wauwatosa, #22

posted 12/04/08

Me [trying to cross street by junior high right after school lets out]: Please don't cross with me.

Crossing guard: I have to. It's my job.

Me: No, it's not. I'm 45 years old. I don't need a crossing guard.

CG: I have to.

Me: I am not a kindergartner. This is ridiculous. I'm just going to go the other way.

CG: It's not that embarrassing.

Me: It's pretty silly.

And then I jaywalked. Alone. Ha.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pizza are round? No, pizza are square. Cornbread are round.

posted 12/02/08

I always thought that saying was a little odd -- everyone knows that pizza is round. But I chalked it up to the same people who thought of the P&S problem of how many socks do you have to pull out of a drawer of blue socks and black socks to get a pair. You just grab the bunch of socks, right? I mean, doesn't everyone fold their socks? What is this sloppiness of putting unmatched socks into a drawer? Where were these people raised, in a barn?

Anyhow. Guess what? Pizza in Milwaukee are square. SH and I got pizza from a place that is supposed to be one of the best pizza places in town (the fact that Milwaukee was settled by Germans should have been our first clue) and not only was it not very good (a thick crust does not break when I bite into it, OK? "thick" means chewy and thick, not cracker-like and thin) but it was square, which ruined the entire pizza-eating experience. One is supposed to be able to pick up the piece of pizza by the outside crust and then eat out from the point to the outside. But not with square pizza, you're not going to eat like that.

I thought it was an isolated incident: that perhaps these unsophisticated Germans, who don't even know what chicken-fried steak is and who charge $3.00 a pound for collards (when they can be found), might have messed up the pizza at one restaurant. But then I saw the recipe for the Potato Rosemary Onion Pizza in the Sunday paper, a recipe written by some famous restaurant guy who has been to Europe, and he wants me to make a square pizza crust.*

Between this pizza debacle and the snow (yes, SH spent an hour shoveling snow yesterday with the shovel Lenore gave us as a housewarming present in July, which was funny then but makes me want to move to Texas now, and we still have ice in the driveway because snow on the roof melts during the day, runs down the gutter, pools in the driveway, which is sloped away from our house and away from our neighbor's house, which is probably some stupid code requirement, and freezes, making walking to the car a very delicate operation, especially for someone who has never lived in global-warming winter as an adult before), I have lots of proof should SH ever doubt my love for him. I coulda stayed in Memphis, where they know what's what with pizza and I never once had to shovel snow.

* Yes, I know that's how they make pizza in Rome, but in the US, we make pizza round. Dammit.

Marriage 101: Lecture 14, Getting Things Done

posted 12/02/08

Me: Are you listening to this show? [Home Improvement, Jill, "You don't want me to nag you, you don't want me to hire a handyman, and then you don't want to do the job. What am I supposed to do?"]

SH: Nope.

Me: She's talking about how Tim promises to do repairs and doesn't do them.

SH: I promise you I'll do things to be nice, but then I get busy.

Me: I don't want you to be nice. I just want you to do what you say you'll do.

SH: I do it if it's important.

Me: I think it's important.

SH: I don't think it's important to go through all the boxes in the corner of the basement.

Me: I do.

Kitchen tip #23

posted 12/02/08

After you have eaten all the Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch but before you have replaced the broken little plastic thingy that holds up the Shelf Formerly Used For Stepping On, you may eat of the candy corns you bought for a dime at Walgreen's a few days after Halloween and that you had hidden on the very bottom shelf of the pantry (aka The Shelf Underneath The Shelf Formerly Used For Stepping On).

Does anyone else hide food from herself? Or is it just me? Am I the only one forgetful enough to remember that I bought something if I stash it behind SH's lifetime supply of Ramen noodles?

UPDATE #1
Am I the only one who eats enough candy corns that she feels sick to her stomach and throws the rest of the bag away?

UPDATE #2
Am I the only one who, if she does not hide the food from herself, then dares not break the seal and open it (I'm talking to you, Hob Nobs from our trip to England two years ago and now in the freezer, and marzipan cookies from Spain that now reside in the chocolate drawer of the fridge) because once the item is opened, it's Katie Bar The Door and then it's to the trash with you, upset-stomach causing stuff?

Kitchen tip #22

posted 12/01/08

There are only so many times you can step on the penultimate shelf of the pantry to pull the Chocolate Chunk Hazelnut Biscotti Granola (SH's -- he has a far more sophisticated palate than I) off the top shelf so you can reach the Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch that you have hidden from yourself before the cheap little plastic thingy holding up the penultimate shelf, along with four boxes of macaroni, a bag of spinach noodles, a jar of orzo, a jar of some kind of wheat berry that is years old and would probably make some fine vegan dish, a box of sugar-free Fudge Chocolate pudding, half a box of vegan fudge chocolate frosting mix (on super sale and really good if you make it with butter) and two bins containing dried beans (mine) and broccoli-cheese casserole mix (SH's), breaks.

Update
I have a stool. I am just too lazy to get it out of the closet and use it.

For my birthday, I want a vacuum cleaner*

posted 11/29/08

We’ve had this problem for a while: the lip on the kitchen sink prevents the dish tray from draining. Even though I have engineered a solution using the caps from two jars of Honey Roast Peanut Butter, which is finally back on the market, it doesn’t work. The drainer is designed to catch water in the sides rather than pushing it to the middle, which is so dumb that I can’t begin to think of how I would punish the person who created this. I mean, does anyone, besides mosquitoes, need pools of water accumulating below the drying dishes? Also, whose idea was it to have this big lip on the sink? What’s wrong with having a flush finish with the counter? What is wrong with these people?

Photobucket

Anyhow. I have been quite unhappy with this situation since we moved into the house and have been looking and looking for a dish drainer that would solve my problem. I knew the solution had to exist – I cannot be the only person in the world who washes dishes by hand. (Cue ominous music here.) Or can I?

So. As I was flipping through the Williams-Sonoma catalogue the other day and scoffing at the prices (doesn’t anyone do her own cooking any more? Is it that hard to make a Red Velvet Cake from scratch? Or even from a mix? Must one buy it for $65? For $65, I will come over to your house and make the cake. People. It’s. Not. That. Hard.), I saw this: a Simple Human dishrack. It was gorgeous – elegant and sleek and best of all, elevated and designed so that water would drain into the sink, even over a stupid lip.

And outrageously expensive.

$69.99, to be exact. Now you guys know I am all about spending money on the stuff you use every day. I’m frugal, but I understand value. That’s why I have the Engagement Trash Can (also a Simple Human product) rather than a diamond ring. A nice trash can (covered, with a foot pedal for opening, tall enough that I don’t hurt my back when I peel onions into it) makes my life a lot easier. Diamonds are nice, but save my back, please.

But $69.99 for a dish rack? It is to laugh, even if “The drip tray, utensil holder, and inner wire frame are all dishwasher safe.” (Is it just me or is there a certain irony in having a dishwasher-safe dishrack to hold your dishes that you washed by hand?)

Photobucket

I showed the page to SH, who decided that this dishrack was very, very cool and he immediately began googling in search of better prices to no avail. We sighed and decided that $69.99 was just Too Much To Spend, even though the product was Very Cool.

Then last night, we passed a Linens and Things, which, as you may have heard, is going out of business. Perhaps we could find the item there at a discount?

No. It was not. But there were two Oxo dishracks that met the criteria and were not only half the Simple Human price, but also 30% off.

Merry Christmas to me!

* Not really.

** We already have two.

*** I want a pony.

Bad movies # 47

posted 11/29/08

Me: That movie [Au Revoir Les Enfants] sucked.

SH: What did you expect? It was about Jews in World War II.

Me: It sucked.

SH: All you want are happy endings.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How we met, part 2

posted 11/23/08

So when I left you, SH and I were necking on my couch. Then I took him back to the airport (this was the Monday after Thanksgiving) and three days later, he returned to Memphis. I had given up all pretense of working -- I mean, they'd eliminated my job and told me to go away, so why should I bust my butt to finish the projects I'd started? Just so my boss, the one who told me I should quit using those big words that nobody understood, wouldn't be left in a lurch?

Don't think so.

So I picked SH up from the airport on Thursday. I went to work sort of on Friday, but came home at lunch. I cooked SH a supper waffles and bacon, which he thought was strange because his philosophy on supper is that it should be a meal with which one can drink wine.

Whatever. Surely there is a wine that goes with waffles.

We had a great time that weekend. Unfortunately, I can't remember what else we did, although I do remember that SH tried to figure out a way to move from the guest room to mine. Then he decided he wanted to see me some more, so got me a ticket to Milwaukee two weeks hence.

Did I mention that Gomez, the millionaire with not one but two Jaguars (the car, not the cat) did not get my ticket to Paris? He didn't even offer.

SH is not a millionaire. But he has good manners. (And yes, he has more than made up for not paying for lunch on our first was it a date or not? date at The Cupboard, a restaurant we still miss.)

Let me say something else here. Millionaires (or men who claim to be millionaires) who have women throwing themselves at them tend not to be good kissers. Don't know why that is unless they feel like they don't need to work at it. Remember "Revenge of the Nerds?" And the nerd who was such a good kisser compared to the jock? Remember what he said? Well, it's true. Former nerds are the best kissers and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Anyhow, I went to Milwaukee and we went ice skating and SH made steak and grilled vegetables for me on his grill on the snow-covered patio and we went out for frozen custard and by then I knew for sure that Gomez "I drink a bottle of wine at lunch then change into my Frette pajamas for a four-hour nap every day even though we are in Paris and the woman I asked to meet me here wants to go to Chartres or Versailles or anywhere but my bank and the Ferrari dealership" was history.

Then SH asked me to go to a New Year's Eve party with him at our friends Pete and Julie in Pittsburgh and then spend ten days with him, which I didn't think I could do because ten days! What if I didn't like him ten days' worth?

Marriage 101, Lecture 45: Your free calling plan and your $42/month YMCA membership

posted 11/20/08

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it's lazy. But tell me you haven't called your husband on the cellphone rather than climb from the basement to the second floor.

Marriage 101, Lecture 33: Just the facts, ma'am, or Life with an engineer*

posted 11/20/08

Me: What would you do if you woke up and you'd gone back 25 years? You would be 18 again, back at college, but you would have the memories you have now?

SH (aka Joe Friday to The Bodacious Red-Headed Pediatrician): That's silly. That couldn't happen.

Me: I know. But what if it happened? What would you do differently?

SH: There's no point in talking about this! It's just make believe.

* I should add that life with an engineer also means that your stereo, TV, washer and dryer, motion-sensor lights, and clothesline get installed properly and the dishes -- when he does them -- are washed perfectly.

He doesn't appreciate great literature

posted 11/18/08

Me: I was really worried about getting a ticket this afternoon [when I went to the tech school to get a $12 pedicure].

SH: Did you get one?

Me: Let me tell you the story. So I couldn’t find parking and finally did, but it was blocks from the school. I used all my coins and got an hour and a half on the meter, then used my last dime for the guy next to me who had run out. I thought 90 minutes would be enough.

SH: Did you get a ticket?

Me: Let me tell you the story! So I finally found the place – they had changed rooms from what they said on the website. The girl who gave me the pedicure was really sweet but she took a long time because you know they have to do everything on the list and she kept checking her list. I finally told her that I needed to leave by 3:00 so I wouldn’t run out the meter, so she started to hurry. Then she said that she might not be able to do the massage and I said OK because I don’t like that part anyhow. I had brought my flip flops because I was going to wear them back to the car, but it was so cold there by the lake and then it started snowing, so then I thought I would just sit there and read my book for a while so my toes could dry, but by the time she finished, I really had to go, so I put on the flip flops anyhow and ran back to the car.

SH: Did you get a ticket?

Me: No! I got back with four minutes to spare! And the parking guy was right there! Can you believe it?

SH: You made me go through all of that just to find out you didn’t get a ticket?

Me: Well, it's not a story if I say, "I was worried I would get a ticket, but then I didn't." That's just dull.

Top secret

posted 11/16/08

For some insane reason, I volunteered to set up the membership database for my neighborhood association. What this means is that I entered 263 records into excel, a record consisting of the member name, phone, address, email, and interest in volunteering at three different levels of 25 activities. (For those of you who know anything about spreadsheets and databases, this means 75 columns just for the activities. All’s I can say is thank goodness for What Not to Wear, Rachel Ray and SuperNanny – good background for doing data entry.)

Back to the email address: lots and lots of couples with shared email addresses, as in bobandsandy@yahoo or cindylovessteve@aol.

Have they learned nothing from me? Do they not know that couples should not share an email address because fighting for custody of the address when they divorce is worse than fighting for the dog? Yes. I implied it. Sharing an email address leads to divorce. I know at least two couples who had shared email addresses who have divorced and if that's not proof I don't know what is. Couples should be able to have secrets from each other.

But CF! you are saying in shock. Once you are married, you should share everything! You should pee with the bathroom door open! You should fart in front of each other! That’s the beauty of marriage! A complete partnership!

No, I say, no, no, no.

Boundaries are the key to any good relationship. Parents shouldn’t share everything with their children (“I've always thought your sister was a big loser” is not something my mother should say to me, not that she would of course because she doesn't think that, but if she did think that, it would be NONE OF MY BUSINESS) and spouses shouldn’t share everything with each other. If my friend tells me she has lost $23,000 playing the slots and asks me not to tell anyone because she is so ashamed or she says she is interviewing for a different job but don’t tell anyone because she doesn’t want it to get back to her boss and I say but what about SH and she says please don’t tell him either then there is no harm in keeping that secret.

The exception, of course, is if my friend says You know I’ve always thought SH was a big jerk and how can you stand him. In that case, the proper answer is He’s not a big jerk and I will thank you not to talk about my husband that way and goodbye. If SH asks why I no longer talk to that friend, then I tell him what she said. If someone wants me to take sides with her against my husband, my husband wins.

Other than that, your secret is safe with me.

Marriage 101, lecture 7: Men and tools

posted 11/14/08

A package arrived for SH the other day while he was in Dallas. I emailed him to tell him it had arrived.

Me: Hi baby. You got a package from buy.com.

SH: The buy.com package is a hammer, of all things. It has some kind of fancy vibration-reducing technology, and it was just a bit over $10. Open it if you want to.

Me [trying to think of how to phrase my response given that SH has hammered exactly five times since we met): Ummm. You know I already have a hammer, right?

Our conversation when he got home:

Me: You know I already have a hammer.

SH: But this one is cool! And someday, we might be doing a lot of hammering.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Let them eat salad

posted 11/10/08

Y’all, I am trying really hard not to mock this, because really, what’s it to me what someone else eats or doesn’t eat? Who cares if someone wants to be a vegan and shun honey, butter and eggs? It’s just more for the rest of us, right? I have many vegetarian friends and they are just fine with me because I don’t have to feed them steak or the good bacon. The less of the good stuff that I have to share, the better. I am more than happy to make an omelet for a vegetarian while SH grills two fabulous steaks for us. Eggs are way less expensive than meat.

But I have to say that this notice on the library bulletin board promoting a “Vegan Thanksgiving Feast” made me laugh. Never having seen the words “vegan” and “feast” used that closely together, I was compelled to do some research. Bless their sincere hearts (and I mean that), they have only plant-based foods at this event (“The Feast consists of a buffet offering a sliced turkey substitute, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and chili”), having made the transition from vegetarian to vegan recently:

The last few years this event was on as a vegetarian event, this problem had been made less difficult by the introduction of color-coded clothes pins. All dishes containing dairy, eggs or honey would get their own color clothes pin. Green would be used for raw dishes. And three years ago, I couldn't have been happier when they made this event an all-vegan event. The only clothes pins that are left from the old system are the green ones.

I can make a good vegetarian meal. Ask Harpo, Bruce or Leigh. I rock with the Spanish tortilla, the fried-egg and buttered bread crumbs pasta, and the macaroni and cheese. The dilemma, of course, is how you get a decent meal without dairy (ie, butter, lard, cheese or cream), eggs or honey. OK, the honey I can do without, but how do you get good mashed potatoes or gravy without animal products? What kind of gravy can you make without either meat broth or milk? How do you make a good brownie without butter or eggs? Or pumpkin pie? Sweet potato casserole? Corn casserole? It’s just not possible. Maybe that’s why there are no fat people in the photos: no one wants to eat more than the bare minimum to sustain life.

Perhaps it’s this lousy diet that makes vegans cranky enough to want to ban hunting for other people (can’t the hunters’ motto be, “Against hunting? Then don’t shoot”) and change Wisconsin’s slogan (although perhaps the slogan should be “We have lost all notion of self reliance and want the government to take care of us and to tell us what we are allowed to put into our bodies,” given Wisconsin’s vote in the recent election and the climate in Madison re smoking in private property like bars):

We're not able to stop the hunting just yet or make our state slogan something else than America's Dairyland


Fortunately, given their diet, they will never have the strength to fight us egg and cheese eaters. Celery just doesn’t give you that much fuel.

It's better not to look

posted 11/09/08

My friend Luke, the beloved of the wonderful SFGirl with whom I get pedicures, has generously offered some at-home web work to me. I am delighted at the opportunity to make some money (so many things on the wish list, most of which will have to wait until After Alimony, including replacing the AWFUL Kenmore, yes that is the Sears brand, electric smoothtop stove that sucks) without even getting out of my pajamas but am dismayed at what the take-home loot turns out to be after Uncle Sam has taken his bite. (I was going to say “share,” but that implies he has a right to my money, which he does to cover infrastructure, education and defense but not so that Congress can get out of Social Security and give themselves a better plan or so Obama can take some of my “wealth” and “spread [it] around” – can’t people get their own jobs and create their own wealth? Why do they have to have mine?)

Anyhow. Luke has offered me at-home, in PJs, in front of Paula Deen’s Home Cooking and What Not To Wear work for $20 an hour. What’s not to like?

It’s lovely. It’s delightful. It’s more than I would get for doing nothing.

And then I did the tax calculations.

When you are an independent contractor, you pay all your social security. Instead of a 7.5% cut from your paycheck, take out 15.3%. Then, if you are married (and I would be delighted to be wrong on this one, so anyone who knows more about this than I please jump in), your earnings go on top of your spouse’s for income tax purposes, so take out another 30% or so.

Then, if you want to work through an online freelance service (like elance.com) and be available for other employers, you pay a fee of 8.75%.

Add all this up and you’re at 54% more or less going to other people, which puts the take-home pay at under $10/hour, which is still more than I’m making watching What Not To Wear without work but sheesh! I’m still going to do it, but I’m also giving serious consideration to cleaning houses for cash.

German money

posted 11/09/08

SH: Look at this pull chain at Menard's. It's only a dollar. I can put it in the tool room.

Me: I was just going to tie a piece of string to the chain that's there.

SH: But it's only a dollar. That's only one-quarter of a beer.

Very Rainman

posted 11/08/08

SH decides that he needs to replace FM 99.1 (preset 3) with FM 93.3 on the car stereo presets. He resests 95.7 from preset 2 to preset 3, 94.5 from preset 1 to preset 2, and sets preset 1 to 93.3.

Me: Why couldn't you just replace 99.1 with 93.3?

SH: They have to be in order.

In the pink

posted 11/07/08

Henry: SH, you can't wear a pink shirt. Pink is for girls.

Thank you, China

posted 11/07/08

Warning on the battery inside my Radio Your Way, SH's Christmas present to me last year that I love, love, love and that died inexplicably and I can't get it replaced or repaired because the company is out of business after those jerks at Apple sued them for patent infringement which is a bunch of crap because no Apple product gets AM radio and lets you record radio programs as far as I know:

Don't put the battery into fire and heat it.