February 17, 2009
Me: Hey, it's February 17thYou know, I'm just going to assume that the "Oops" was in reference to her forgetting the date and not to her original decision to get hitched.
In fact, I strongly suspect that such assumptions are how we're remained together for eight years.
May 13, 2008
So lemmie tell you about the (mostly healed, in this photograph) wound on my forehead. Kind of a funny story.
Last week The Queen and I rearranged the furniture in our bedroom, to make space for my new Craftsman 1470 pc. Professional Tool Set. (I like to store it all laid out like that, so I can easily find things.) As part of Operation Squabble (we cleverly embarked upon this plan when we were already tired and cranky, like at midnight), we decided to put a dresser into the walk-in closet. We're talking a full-sized bureau here, about five feet high.
I grab one side, The Queen grabs the other, and we hoist it across the room. Between the lifting and my slightly hunched-over posture, the top edge of the dresser is level with my eyeline. Also, the corners of the thing are incredibly sharp. That's a little thing we in the literary business like to call "Foreshadowing".
So I'm backing into the closet. As I do so, the back of my head makes contact with the ... you know, the thing. The rod. The hollow, wooden tube that runs below the shelf, on which you place the clothes hangers? That thing. I touch it with the back of my head. But I am so startled that I jerk forward, slamming my forehead into the corner of the dresser.
"Ohh god!" I howl, hastily setting my end of the dresser down and clutching my forehead. "Oh man. God, that hurts. Jeeze, I really got myself. I'm going to have a splitting headache within five minutes, I bet. Probably have a huge bump tomorrow, too. Wow, that was pretty bad. Yeah, that's gonna be a goose egg."
I look up at The Queen, and she's completely stony-faced. Not a trace of sympathy. "Can we finish this?" she says. So I mutter under my breath a bit, and we finish putting the dresser into the closet.
About an hour later The Queen is in bed reading, and, as I climb in, she glances my direction. "Holy smokes," she cries, "what happened?!"
"Your forehead! There's a huge red mark on it."
I do a slow burn for a moment. "That's where I hit it. On the corner of the dresser."
"When did that happen?"
"When did ...?!" I splutter a bit. "Did you miss the part where I was clutching my head and yowling?"
"Ohhhhhh ...." Realization sets in. "I didn't see you hit your head on the dresser. I though you were reacting to having backed into the closet rod at, like, one mile an hour."
"I had my hand on the front of my head!" I point out.
"Yes," she says, "That's how I knew you were faking."
March 17, 2008
We Hates It, We Hates It Forever
In bed reading, before we turn off the light:
Me: Oh hey, guess what: Guillermo del Toro might direct The Hobbit.
December 17, 2007
Apples and Oranges
Being married to a professional botanist has its ups and downs. It's nice on day hikes, for instance, having someone around who can instantly identify every plant we see. On the other hand, I don't need to be notified of every ecological incongruence in the films we watch. The Queen spent much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy leaning over to me in the theater and whispering, "pfff, I can see why they call this a fantasy--they have polystichum munitum growing in a tropical upland climatic zone."
Last night we went to a wreath-making party last night. Our host provided us with wire frames, fir boughs, holly, and pine cones; before dinner, while I read stories to Squiggle and put him to bed, everyone else got all elfy in the garage.
At the end of the evening we collected our wreath. Ours, while beautiful, was the least ornate of the bunch, consisting only of boughs. As we carried a sleeping Squiggle out to the car, I asked The Queen about this.
Me: Why didn't you put holly in our wreath?
December 12, 2006
The Queen, after reading
M: Lots of people still play racquetball. It's one of the most popular activities at my gym. It's a great cardiovascular workout, exercises all major muscle, and is a lot of fun.
Q: Sorry, wasn't listening. I had a Kajagoogoo song stuck in my head.
August 21, 2006
The Queen rubs the top of her head and makes the ow-that-hurts air-through-the-teeth noise.
Me: What's wrong?
December 15, 2005
I'm A-Start Some Drama
I walked into the kitchen this morning to find The Queen groggily gathering coffee-making accoutrements.
"Wha'cha gonna do wit all dat junk?" I asked her. "All dat junk inside yo trunk?"
She scowled at me as a reminder of the household's "no conversation before caffeine" rule, but then asked, "What are you saying?"
"No no, that was all wrong" I said, disappointed. "You are supposed to reply ..." -- I switched to falsetto -- "... Iím a-gi gi gi git you drunk, git you love drunk off my hump."
She looked confused. "I'm going to get you drunk?"
"Right," I confirmed. "Love drunk. You know, off your hump."
The Queen stared at me blearily.
"And then," I continued, "you emphasize this final point by saying: My hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My --"
The Queen interrupted. "Is this that song you've been talking about on your blog?"
"Hang on," I said. "We've coming up on the best part."
"Okay," she said, resigned.
"Are you ready?"
I cleared my throat, took a deep breath, and began again. "My hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My lovely lady lumps."
There was a long, stunned silence.
"Check it out," I added.
"That's awful," said The Queen in horror.
"Now you understand," I said, nodding somberly. "And it's knowledge that can never be unlearned."
"Why?" asked the Queen. "Why did you do that?"
I shrugged. "That song is like The Ring," I explained. "You have to pass it on, or you die."
December 02, 2005
The Final Word
In my post about The Squirrelly's burgeoning language skills, I neglected to mention that The Queen and I recently established his first word. It happened during a conversation with a friend of ours.
Friend: What was The Squirrelly's first word?And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how facts are made.
This wasn't the first time she'd used The Force on me. About a year before The Squirrelly was born we got a second cat to keep Louie, our first, company.
Q: What should we name him?
April 01, 2005
Down In The Mouth
Remember that moment, twenty minutes into The Phantom Menace, when you got that sickening feeling as you realized that the rest of this story was not only going to suck, but it was going to be so bad that it would retroactively ruin all the enjoyable stuff that had come before it?
I think that's pretty much how The Squirrelly is feeling about life these days.
Up until now the world has treated him pretty well: he played with toys all day, took naps whenever he chose, saw breasts on a regular basis, and had the freedom to poop in his pants without any fear of social stigma. Livin' the dream, that kid. But the last couple weeks have been rough. First there was the aforementioned Avery Flu, although, of all the Baldwins, he was the most unscathed. (I, for instance, was both throwing up and thrown up upon.) But right after that he got a runny nose, and then a cough, and last night he had a fever of 102. And through it all he's been teething, which has really been making him unhappy. Question: what's the point of feeling pain when you're teething? To discourage you from growing more teeth? Four million years of evolution and this is the best you can come up with, Darwin?
Anyhow, every once in a while The Squirrelly gives his mother and I the hairy eyeball, clearly resentful of the massive bait-and-switch the world has pulled on him. And all I can do is shrug and say "at least you don't have to pay fucking' taxes."
Fortunately, we're able to keep his teething discomfort at bay through the miracle of Infant's Advil, which we administer to him through a small plastic syringe. It's sugary, fruit-favored goop, and The Squirrelly loves the taste of it -- when he sees us pick up the box his eyes totally light up. Ah yes, I'm so glad we're teaching our child that sweet, numbing relief from the pain of the world comes from a drug in a syringe.
March 29, 2005
Me And The Queen, At The Movies
Capsule reviews for the last three films we've seen on DVD:
Sky Captain And the World Of Tomorrow:
M: As a long-time fan of "1950's science-fiction," I was prepared to love this Sky Captain despite its lukewarm critical reception. And the first hour of exposition lived up to my expectations. But as it became increasingly clear that exposition was all the film had to offer -- plot clearly having come as an afterthought -- my interest waned considerably. Like Chicago, Sky Captain is an interesting attempt at reviving a cinematic style of yesteryear. But unlike Chicago, this one doesn't succeed.I ♥ Huckabees
M: Though isolated scenes in Huckabees made me laugh out loud, it seemed to lack a consistent narrative to string them together into a cohesive whole. With a shorter run time and a bit more focus (though the former would probably beget the latter) this could have been a favorite of mine; in its current state it was simply too scattershot for my tastes.Mr. 3000:
M: A very conventional Sports Movie, but with enough tweaks to set it apart from most. Despite starring Bernie Mac and incorporating plenty of humor, Mr. 3000 is not an out-and-out comedy, and instead walks a tightrope between The Natural and Major League with no small amount of skill. And it even manages to integrates its product placements well. Recommended to aficionados of the "Sports Movie" genre, or anyone in the mood for a guaranteed-good-but-by-no-means-great rental.
February 04, 2005
We bathe The Squirrelly after his dinner, and the foodstuff he is invariably covered in eventually accumulates in the basin, leading to conversations like this:
Me: Can you watch the baby for a few minutes? I want to clean the bathtub.
January 10, 2005
Adventures in Communication
December 03, 2004
The Burdens Of Parenthood
"I took The Squirrelly to the hospital today for his second flu shot. After he got it I was out in the waiting room getting ready to leave, and there was this old lady sitting near us. And she starts asking me all these questions, like 'how old is he?' and 'how much does he weight?' -- but not in a friendly way, she was all aggressive about it. So I got all ready to go, and stood up, and started rummaging around in the diaper bag for his hat, and she totally yells at me, "you need to put a cap on that baby!!" And I turned to her and started to say 'how about I put a cap in your ass?!' But I stopped myself. Because, you know: I'm a mother now."
November 23, 2004
This evening's "how was your day" conversation:
The Queen: I made a major faux pas in baby sign-language class.
November 10, 2004
The Queen and I hang out with Michelle:
Michelle: What's your kid up to these days?
August 20, 2004
We discuss childrearing.
The Queen: The Squirrelly really loves that music class we go to.
May 27, 2004
Three Month Update
Chatting with The Queen.
The Queen: Hey, when are you going to do the three month update for The Squirrelly?Poor girl: she's going to be crushed when she finds out I was never on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
May 05, 2004
Rock The Poot
The Queen and I talk politics:
Me: Uhn, I can't believe we hafta go through six more months of this presidential comapign.Leave it to The Queen to distill things to their essence.
For the record, I will enthusiastically endorse any candidate that uses the phrase "fartin' around" in a political ad.
October 20, 2003
When Husbands Attack
Driving to the store.
Me: Here's the list. Do we need anything else?Three months of pregnancy to go, folks.
October 10, 2003
Home Improvement For Fun And Prophet
I tend to be skeptical of the paranormal, but I can no longer deny that The Queen is psychic.
Often, over the course of the week, She'll notice something that needs to be done around the house -- a leaky pipe that requires repairs, or a portion of the garage overdue for cleaning -- and say to me "Well, I guess you know what you'll be doing this weekend." And I'll be damned if she isn't right every single time: at that moment I do know exactly what I will be doing on the following weekend.
It's downright eerie.
September 24, 2003
The Queen: While you're paying bills online, could you take care of this dentist bill too?
Me: Sure. [Takes bill] Wha-? Geoffrey Strange? Your dentist is "Dr. Strange"?
Me: Who does he have as dental hygenists, the hoary hosts of Hoggoth?
Me: Uhh, never mind. That was kind of a nerd joke.
Q: I assumed.
August 25, 2003
Talkin' with The Queen.
Me: Hey, what did you think of that book The Eyre Affair?
July 21, 2003
Me: Did you hear that story they just had on NPR? I guess they're saying that kids in daycare are more aggressive than stay-at-home kids.
The Queen: Well, if the daycares they studied are like the one I went to, it's probably because they only have one toy and the kids have to fight over it ALL DAY LONG!
The Queen: I'm okay. I'm over it, really.
May 27, 2003
The other night The Queen and I were watching The Big Forever Last Buffy Episode Ever Forever, and, during the break, there was an ad for Direct TV that I had never seen before. In it, a pair of sexy girls are at a party, sitting on either end of a large couch. Into the frame walk two stereotypical nerds -- glasses, terrible hair, pocket protectors, the whole nine yards -- who wedge themselves between the ladies and begin various fumbling attempts at small talk. The women first look mortified, then annoyed, and then a little panicky. Finally, one of them grabs a remote control sitting on an end table, points it directly at the camera, and presses a few buttons.
Now we get a reverse shot, where we discover that there is a TV directly across from the couch. The television screen flashes through a few menus (presumably in response to the girl with the remote) and then settles on Star Trek.
In the last shot of the ad we again see the nerds, who are staring at the television mesmerized. But unbeknownst to them, the two ladies have disappeared, leaving the duo alone on the couch.
"Hah hah hah!" I said when the commercial reached the punchline. "That was pretty funny!"
There was a pause while The Queen looked at me oddly. Then she said, "I think it's great that you can laugh at yourself."
April 28, 2003
Love Means Never Having To Pretend You Care
In a restaurant where music is playing over the sound system.
Me: Jeeze, I've heard this song three times in the last two days.
March 31, 2003
When Goofballs Mate
The Queen: Wow, the kitties love that poultry-flavored hairball medicine I bought.It may not surprise you to discover that we have conversations like this all the time.
March 21, 2003
Actual Conversation I Had With The Queen This Morning
Me: Okay, I've leaving for work again.
Queen: All right.
Me: I'm wearing pants this time.
Queen: Atta boy, sweetheart.
January 29, 2003
Hey Washingtonians! How about that Governor Gary Locke, huh? Did he give a great Democratic response speech or what?
No seriously, I am asking you: did he give a great Democratic response speech? Because I have no idea. The Queen and I watched it, but we were able to hear very little over our own, compulsive editorializing.
Announcer: Ladies and Gentleman, the Democratic Nation Party's official response to the State of the Union Address.Me and The Queen, we have a good time.
January 09, 2003
I Know Something You Don't Know
Scene: Last week, after seeing The Two Towers in the theater.
The Queen: I know who puts the ring in the Crack of Doom.Scene: Last Tuesday, after rewatching The Fellowship of the Ring on DVD.
Q: Okay: now I know who throws the ring in the Crack of Doom.Scene: Last night, 20 minutes after we turned off the light, as I lay sleeping and The Queen apparently lay awake thinking.
Postscript: It would be cool if, at the end of Return of the King when Sauron finally gets the ring, they played I Got The Power by Snap, and Sauron could dance around and do the rap part ("it's gettin' kinda hectic!") and then be all like, "BOOYAH! It your face, hobbits!!" I think that would really drive home how evil he is.
(What? You didn't know Sauron gets the ring and enslaves all of Middle Earth? Christ, I though The Queen was the only person who didn't know the ending. Jeeze, sorry man. **spoilers!** Sorry.)
November 21, 2002
Phone conversation with The Queen.
Me: So, I'll see you at four, then.
October 30, 2002
My Name Is Luka
I walked into a door this morning, and now I have a big red blemish on my face. All day people at work have been asking me what happened. And I don't want to say "I walked into a door," because that totally sounds like something you'd say if your spouse hit you and you didn't want to admit it. So, instead, I've been saying "my spouse hit me". It's not technically true, but at least people don't think I'm hiding anything.
October 14, 2002
Age and Arbor
It is early Sunday morning. My wife and I are lollygagging about, reading books and drinking coffee. She climbs out of bed and leaves the room to refill her mug, while I continue my book on critical thinking.
The chapter I am reading is all about fallacies: mistakes people make in their arguments and reasoning. The current paragraph states:
The Fallacy of Hasty Generalization: One is guilty of hasty generalization, or jumping to conclusions, when one draws a general conclusion about all things of a certain type on the basis of evidence concerning only a few things of that type.At this moment my wife re-enters the room and, glancing out the window, says "Wow, our Madrone tree is looking beautiful."
I follow her gaze to the backyard. The Madrone has recently shed its bark, and it now appears youthful and hale. The only bad thing about this tree is that it drops leaves year-round, many of which fall on the the property to the south -- something that perpetually vexes that elderly homeowner. "Yeah, it looks great," I agree. "Too bad the neighbor doesn't like it."
"Oh, you know old people," my wife replies as she clambers back into bed. "They hate trees."
August 05, 2002
The Myth of Sisyphus Retold
As Retold By My Wife During a Weekend "Fun Run"
Wife: Ug. I hate these uphill parts.
July 10, 2002
"Jesus!" I said as I drove us to work today. "A pipeline for Stupid Gas must have ruptured in this area. Everyone is driving like an idiot."
"It's really bright this morning," my wife observed. "People in Seattle have a hard time driving when it's sunny out."
"Or if it's raining, it's snowing, it's hailing, the skies are overcast or the skies are clear," she added. "Or at night."
May 15, 2002
Powder Blue Bath Mats
The house my wife and I just bought was built in the 60s. While some parts of the home have been remodeled, other areas, such as the bathroom, have the original fixtures in the original color scheme.
Friday my wife came home and showed me the powder blue bath mats she had purchased.
"I think they're the right size," she said. "If not, Eddie Bauer said I could return them."
"You spoke with Eddie Bauer?" I exclaimed in mock excitement. "The Eddie Bauer?!"
"Well, it wasn't really Eddie Bauer," She deadpanned. "It was actually a gay man who openly winced when I asked him if these would go well with our mint green bathtub."
April 10, 2002
"Dude, Pass the Boot Dryer"
My wife, a botanist, owns a truck which she uses when doing field work. The bed of the truck has a lockable canopy over it, and inside is a large trunk. The trunk is blood-red, with a bronze frame and an ornate lock. This is exactly the sort of ancient trunk where you would expect to find either
March 13, 2002
I washed a white towel with a bunch of brightly colored clothing and, to no one's surprise, it came out pink.
Upon discovering this, my wife sighed and said "It's no big deal, but in the future could you at least try and make your husbandly blunders a little less stereotypical?"