Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meme time, again!

Lifted from Dooce.

What are your middle names?
My middle name is Hope. The WCM's is Barry.

How long have you been together?
We've been married eighteen and a half years, together for twenty.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
About two minutes. Or at least it seems that way now. Between our first glimpse of each other and our first actual date was about a month and a half.

Who asked whom out?
He asked me.

How old are each of you?
I'm 38, he's 44. That age difference was a serious issue when we first met - my father FREAKED!!!

Whose siblings do you see the most?
The WCM's. I have one brother, and I see him rarely, as rarely is when he's sober.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
The division of labor in our household, as evidenced by yesterday's post. The WCM's parents were old, and consequently, Old School. He never did anything for himself, and I married him too young to know that I should stand up for myself early and not start doing anything for him that I wasn't prepared to keep doing for him. Getting the man to pick up his own shit is harder than getting Miss Peanut to do the same chore.

Did you go to the same school?
We both graduated from UD. He got a BS in Biology in 1986, I got a BA in French Education in 1992 and a MA in Foreign Languages and Literatures (French) in 1996.

Are you from the same home town?
Sort of. I grew up here, but I was born in a neighboring state. The WCM is from here and has never lived anywhere else.

Who is smarter?
Hah! We're opposite sides of the same coin here - he's more science and math, and I'm more arts and humanities. Our intelligence level is about the same.

Who is the most sensitive?
Definitely me. I'm moody.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
There's a neat Thai restaurant close to us called Sweet Basil that I absolutely adore. I try to get the WCM there as much as I can.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
California. Although, if we're still married next year, the plan is to go to London.

Who has the craziest exes?
I guess he does, although I've never heard anything about them.

Who has the worst temper?
Hands down, the WCM. He has the foulest temper and has broken more objects in our house as a result of that temper than I can count. I've learned two things, though - one, if he breaks anything, it gets replaced by a far more expensive model out of his pocket, and two, if I get all up in his face with equal noise and fury, he'll back off and STFU. Since I'm basically non-confrontational, it took me years to figure that out.

Who does the cooking?
Me. Every goddamn day. Except Saturdays.

Who is the neat-freak?

Hahahahaa. That's a good one. Nobody is. I have a "dirt problem," remember?

Who is more stubborn?
He is. Although I can hold a grudge longer than anyone I know.

Who hogs the bed?
He does. Although it's usually in the name of snuggling.

Who wakes up earlier?
The WCM. He's an annoyingly perky morning person.

Where was your first date?
We watched a movie at his house - The Holy Grail. One of our favorites.

Who is more jealous?
He is, by a mile.

How long did it take to get serious?
Not long at all. We were engaged after four months, and the only reason we weren't married until a year after that is because I wanted to dispel all of those nasty pregnancy rumors. Bitches were trippin' about the early engagement!

Who eats more?
He does, now. I think there was a time when I out-ate him, though.

Who does the laundry?
C'mon, didn't we just go over that whole division of labor thing? I do, of course.

Who's better with the computer?
Once again, opposite sides of the same coin - he's better with hardware, I'm better with software.

Who drives when you are together?
He does, most of the time, unless we are taking my car. Then I drive. Because it's my car.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Listen up, menfolk.

I've a wee bit of advice to offer to all of the menfolk out there. Save yourself the trouble of arguing with an extremely testy spouse, and do the fucking dishes when your woman has cooked you a meal. Capisce?

See, here's the deal: I cook. I cook every goddamn day - barring Saturdays, when we go out to eat - and I don't use mixes or pre-made, reheatable crap from a box. I cook real food from scratch. I pare, slice, dice, cube, mince, julienne, sear, roast, saute, sauce, steam, broil, bake, and nap all of the raw ingredients and turn them into dinner. The WCM is always unstinting in his praise, but the man will not WASH A FUCKING DISH after I cook unless he's been prodded into it.

I resent like hell the fact that I have to work the same number of hours as yon asshole spouse, but then still come home, cook dinner, supervise homework, do laundry, tidy up, fetch and carry, and generally be his frigging mother when he just comes in the door, throws his lunchbag on the counter and plops his ass in his recliner, squawking about "When's dinner going to be ready?" When's it ready? When it's ready, motherfucker! If you don't like it, here's a can opener and a tin of beans. Go for it!

So then, well, after slaving away, I find myself muttering streams of vicious obscenities as I'm bending over loading the dishwasher. I get it all loaded, but then am called away to put the child to bed - yet another chore too complicated for the feeble-minded twat I foolishly shackled myself to for life - and come back to find that the WCM has bestirred himself to put a detergent cube in the machine and turn it on. This time, he even remembered to unwrap the cube. (Yes. Yes, he did actually put a wrapped one in there once. It chills my blood to remember that I have willingly passed this man's DNA on to another generation.) And do you know what he has the sheer unmitigated gall to tell me then? Do you? Do you really?

He told me that he did the dishes.

I think that it would be classed as a Justifiable Homicide, don't you?

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

American Idol

When Paula Abdul goes hard on you, you're pretty much fucked. So far, about halfway through, there were a couple of really regrettable performances.

I didn't jump on the Idol train for a couple of seasons - took me until Season 4 (the Carrie Underwood season) to get me to watch it. I can feel the excitement waning in my house now - the WCM will no longer watch with me. Not a big deal, though, as we have a lot of separate interests. He's been plucking my nerves recently, so I'm more than happy that his ass is upstairs watching Andrew Zimmern eat some bizarre crap while I'm planted smack-dab in front of the giant box, listening to contestants make some really, er, interesting song choices.

I like the new judge - Kara - so far. I think she provides what Paula was meant to give - a meaningful feminine perspective. However, this woman is two things that Paula is not: competent and cogent. Ooh, I take that back - three things: competent, cogent, and coherent.

Oh, and memo to a friend of mine - one of the contestants is named Brent Keith. He's from Ohio. He doesn't sing musicals, though. He's a country singer. Freaky, eh?

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Lazy day

There are a few wonderful perks in my profession - not working on holidays is one of them. I'm at home with Miss Peanut, enjoying a beautifully lazy day.

We both slept laaaaaaate this morning - arising at 8:30ish, I poked my head into Miss Peanut's room to witness her sitting up in her bed, rubbing sleepily at her eyes. She hurdled out of it, flung her arms around my waist, and gave me the sweetest hug. We both climbed into my big bed and had a snuggle to plan our day. Miss Peanut made me squeal by placing her "cold feet of DOOM!" on my bare legs while we decided that the first order of the day would be a walk to Dunkin' Donuts to get breakfast.

One Waffle sandwich later, and we're walking back home, me clutching my iced coffee - yes, iced coffee. I'm not much of a hot beverage drinker these days, even my beloved Tea. Earl Grey. Hot is not doing it for me now - and Miss Peanut clutching a bag containing a Triple Chocolate Muffin for our afternoon snack.

On the docket is a little bit of reading, some web surfing, some TV watching, some scrapbooking, and a whole lot of lazing about in pajama bottoms. I'm making a chicken stew and scratch biscuits for dinner tonight, so I'll be about that a little later this afternoon. But for now?

Pajama bottoms, TV, book. Check.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

This one's for you, Noz

So a week or so back, my friend Noz lamented the death of the "Random Playlist" post, where people would post the last 10 songs that played on their iPod. Mah gurl On The Curb seems to have one-upped that phenomenon with this meme. So, to give Noz some hope, here's my version.

**Note: this is a Facebook thing, apparently. Since I cherish my relative anonymity, I'm not on Facebook and have no plans to be on it in the future. Like most Facebook things, this was probably written by a teenager...


1. Put your iTunes or Windows Media Player on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your next answer.
3. You must write that song name down no matter how outrageous it sounds!
4. Tag friends who might enjoy doing the game as well as the person you got the note from.

Short Trip Home” - Meyer. (No, because only a trip home would make it ok)

"Life's Incredible Again" - Michael Giacchino (How uncanny! It's from the Incredibles Soundtrack. You know, the Disney movie?)

"You & Me & The Bottle Makes 3 Tonight" - Big Bad Voodoo Daddies (apparently I like a really strong liver and obnoxious behavior!)

"The Four Seasons: Spring, Danza Pastorale" - Vivaldi (Um, my life's purpose is to dance in the fields in spring. Yeah. Sure. Whatever.)

"Who Will You Run To?" - Heart (Because I'm there for everybody, even when they're not for me. That's some true shit right there.)

"Una Voce Poco Fa" - Rossini (The Barber of Seville) ("One Voice Does Little" - so I guess my friends think that I need to shut the hell up about my unpopular opinions. Or something? A general STFU?)

"Zombie" - The Cranberries (Yes, the fear of zombies keeps me up at night, listening for shuffling and moaning. Oh yeah, and waiting for that new Zombie Jane Austen book...)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Eleanor Rigby” - John Bayless (because I'm random like that. Albatross!)

This Love” - Maroon 5 (Freaky!)

If I Never See Your Face Again” - Maroon 5 (sorry, honey...)

Concerto #2 in C minor - 2. Adagio Sostenuto” - Rachmaninov (perf. by Vladimir Ashkenazy) (I'd say that my life story would be the whole concerto, as it's full of fire and pathos. It's gorgeous, full, open, lush, and great music to have sex to. Hmmmmm.)

Donde Lieta Usci” - Puccini, La Boheme (I want to be a tubercular seamstress who selflessly abandons her lover for his own good so he won't have to see her die. I fucking hate sewing.)

The Four Seasons - Summer, Allegro Non Molto” - Vivaldi (Fuck! What is with the classical music shuffling today! Y'all are going to think I'm some Merlot-swilling, Opera-loving, bleeding-heart liberal or something... wait... shit. Ok, so when I see the person I like, I'm thinking "Fast, but not too fast." Ahem. ;-) )

Nothing Lasts Forever” - Maroon 5 (It's also, apparently, Maroon 5 day on my iPod. That's kind of funny, actually.)

Jump, Jive, an' Wail” - Brian Setzer Orchestra (I would have danced to this, and happily, had it even been recorded at the time of my wedding.)

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring” - J.S. Bach (Shit. They did play this at my wedding.)

Shiver” - Maroon 5 (I SWEAR, I have other music on my iPod. I swear. But I am currently spending a lot of time shivering.)

Bring Me To Life” - Evanescence (Ah, my friends. They make me so happy!)

Go Daddy-o” - Big Bad Voodoo Daddies (True. I don't want anything to happen to my Daddy-o.)

A String of Pearls” - Glenn Miller Orchestra (Either I'm gonna be garrotted or it's wild sex gone wrong. I'm hoping it's the latter.)

C'est Trop Beau” - Tino Rossi ("It's too beautiful." There are some things I've done that have made all others pale by comparison. I've been spoiled by having some really wonderful experiences. I'm jaded. True story.)

Bridge Over Troubled Waters” - Simon & Garfunkle (Oh Christ. This should be the answer to the next question, really. This was one of my grandmother's favorite songs - it reads like the story of her life. My father sang it at her funeral, even though he'd divorced her daughter over 25 years prior. I still can't sit through it without weeping.)

Good Enough” - Evanescence (It's definitely a poignant song. I love the last line "So take care what you ask of me, 'cause I can't say no.")

Last Chance on the Stairway” - Duran Duran (Does that mean there's another chance for me, or that I already used the last chance I was going to get? I dunno...)

Off to Work” - Michael Giacchino (Another one from the Incredibles Soundtrack, and really kind of funny in response to this question.)

In Between” - Duncan Sheik (That's kind of funny, really. In between what, exactly?)

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Medically-induced melancholy

I picked Miss Peanut up from her after-school care on Tuesday evening and noticed that she was a tad subdued. "My throat hurts," is what I got from her. I didn't think too much of it, but told her I'd check it out when we got home.

On the ride home, however, I began to be concerned, as my Miss Peanut is normally a loquacious individual, prone to rattle on for hours if unchecked, and she was remaining uncharacteristically silent save for an intermittent sharp intake of breath. I wasted no time in grabbing the flashlight when we got home and peered down at her tonsils. Whooo, boy! Her throat and tonsils were swollen and inflamed, and there was a tell-tale white patch on one of the tonsils. She was running a low-grade fever, and I figured it was Strep. I did all of the Dr. Mom steps - Children's Motrin for the fever, chicken noodle soup and peanut butter crackers (traditional family invalid food), called in my sick day and arranged sub plans, and then cuddled the invalid until she fell asleep.

At seven years old, Miss Peanut is just shy of four feet tall. She's small for her age, and as she's my only child, I tend to baby her a tad. Times like these, when she's sick and her natural vibrant independence has been dampened, usually find her in my lap with her head tucked between my shoulder and chin so I can rub her back. This clinginess often fuels my melancholy.

You see, it's times like this when I remember that I will never cuddle another infant of my own body. I'll never count another set of fingers and toes or cradle a downy head in my palm while I make loony faces to a baby of my own. While, intellectually, I don't think another baby is a good idea for me, emotionally - and hormonally - I find myself suddenly grieving the loss. My uterus is now just so much useless real estate. It makes me sad and angry by turns.

My amateur diagnosis was confirmed the next day by Miss Peanut's pediatrician - Strep Throat. We spent all of Wednesday - save for the doctor visit and the resulting trip to Target for antibiotics and pudding - lolling about in our pajamas. There were naps, movies, and Spaghetti and Meatballs for dinner. There was medicine, bedtime stories, and snuggles until she slept.

Today? Fresh pajamas, same agenda, with, hopefully, less melancholy.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Learning moderation

So, I'm getting this whole "moderation" thing down. Instead of being either insanely deprived or insanely indulgent, I've been treading the middle ground recently, and been very happy with it. One of the things I've done, is gone back to using Bento Boxes for my lunch.

I use Japanese Bento boxes that I get online from either eBay or from ichibankan. Here's an example of what one of my lunches would look like:

Bronwen's Bento 5-13-08

I had a small tub of peanut butter and half an apple in the top half, along with two wedges of Laughing Cow French onion cheese. There's a crispbread under the clear lid to that container to smear my cheese on. The bottom of my bento contains Apple-Walnut Chicken Salad. I've got half a protein pita to eat it on, too, but no container to put it in.

It's not much food, but since I've been surgically altered, it's plenty for me. Now, before I happened on this particular bento - this is the first bento that I purchased - I'd been looking for an old, old Tupperware-style bento. Like this one (photo not mine - I found it at this blog):

Unfortunately, or fortunately, as the case may be, I was woefully inept in my internet searching and didn't come across a single one - despite the dozens currently available on eBay... *facepalm*

What I did come across, though was the Laptop Lunchbox. It's a tidy enough system, what with the different sized containers, hard outer shell, and nifty carrier. Here's what it looks like:

I think it's quite nifty, if a little large, which is what my basic problem with it was. See, being surgically-altered, I wouldn't have the room to eat all of that. That's a lot of food - quite a bit more than my typical Japanese bento holds. They market this lunchbox toward getting kids to eat healthy, too. Now, I'm about to have a bit of a rant here, so hold on to your hats.

It has been shown - but damned if I can find it right now - that children learn to eat what's in front of them. They learn their portion sizes in childhood and carry them into adulthood - ergo, if you serve a child a lot and tell them to clean their plate, then expect that they're going to expect proportionately larger servings into adulthood. And those proportionate servings are going to be much larger than the actual recommended serving sizes. Do you follow me?

By serving a child a large lunch, using a box like the one above, you're encouraging them to eat outside of appropriate caloric bounds. You're showing them amounts of food - they aren't sophisticated enough to calculate calories, so while they might be eating an appropriate amount of calories through eating lots of veggies and fibrous fruits, wholegrain bread, and other nutritious staples, they can be learning inappropriate serving sizes. Of course, the other problem here is that not every child has a lunch of nutritious staples. Twinkie, anyone? Our caloric intake in this country is out of hand!

You may find that your child is satisfied with less food than you're serving. Of course, if they tell you they're hungry, then feed them! I don't advocate putting children on diets - just serving them appropriately. That's a lesson I know I'll flub somewhat, given my own food issues. But I can tell you that my child is as yet a normal weight for someone her height. When she's hungry, I feed her. She eats all kinds of stuff - although, I'll admit she doesn't care much for vegetables other than asparagus. We eat a lot of asparagus here at Peevish Place. Ok, rant - and subsequent digression - over (well, almost).

Well, as it happens, I was in Barnes & Noble this week - I go there to sit in the cafe and read the magazines for free - and I happened upon this book: The Nine Inch Diet. The basic premise is simple - over the years, our dinner plates have grown in the same geometric slope as our nation's obesity crisis. In the 1960s, a dinner plate measured 9 inches. Today, a dinner plate measures 12 inches. The author suggests that if we all went back to 9 inch ,and serving sizes appropriate to those plates, then we'd all, as a nation, lose weight.

It looks simplistic, but you know? I can totally see it. If you, like me, were conditioned to clean your plate, not to waste food - there are children starving in China! - and eat what was put in front of you, then today's gargantuan serving sizes are quite a challenge. The WCM's parents went through the Great Depression as children - wasting food was anathema in their house. Consequently, it used to drive the WCM nuts when I leave anything on my plate. Since my subsequent alteration, he's learned not to say anything. Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks?!

Well, when I told the WCM about this whole 9 inch plate deal, he smirked at me. Being a scientist, he was quick to remind me that correlation does not equal causation (although he was quite a bit more pithy in his reminder...). He did, however, hypothesize that, using the same logic, perhaps the cold winter we're experiencing is due to the increase in pirates in Somalia.

My laughter, I'm sorry to say, was immoderate.

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