Thursday, January 29, 2009

How Can 1+1= -1?

We've probably all heard of the idea that 1+1=3. Synergy, right?

M and I can totally see how a good marriage relationship results in synergy. We get more done, we're happier, we can do stuff that neither of us can do alone. You might think this means that M and I should spend as much time together as possible so we can work our synergy mojo. Not so.

My kids have mastered disergy.

Married couples and siblings are two very different things. It is often better for either M or I to go somewhere else, ANYWHERE else, and take one of the children with us. Either of the kids by themselves can be downright enjoyable. But get them together?

Not an additive function.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Please Help Keep Me From Being Arrested for Terrorism

I'm still waiting for my stand mixer to go on sale again. I'm totally going to just get it next time, even if my snowboard boots haven't sold yet. I think the fates are trying to coerce me into it. First the hand mixer, and now my bread machine. Last week my ancient hand-me-down bread machine kneaded itself off the counter and broke when it hit the floor. So now I'm actually kneading dough by hand. Totally unacceptable.

While I wait (because heaven forbid I pay the full Costco price, which is already a great deal), I need to be prepared. I STILL haven't decided once and for all what color I want to get. Here's where you come in.

There are really only two options: white or stainless steel. But which one? I lot of the stuff I keep out in my kitchen is stainless steel. My pots hanging on my pot rack, my canisters, my mixing bowls on the shelf in my island, the new hardware on my kitchen cabinets, and a few other odd and ends. But those photos are all out of date. My kitchen isn't red anymore. The new color is a gray-blue.

On the other hand, a lot of things are white in there too. My refrigerator is white. All my dishes are white. The doors and trim are white. I actually hope to paint my cabinets white someday. And do you know what else is white? Flour. What do you use a lot of around a mixer? Flour.

So even though stainless steel sounds cool in theory, maybe it's a fad. Will it be the next avocado? In 20 years will people look at stainless steel things and think, "That is SO turn of the millennium." And would stainless steel show fingerprints and flour dust even worse than the white? I like stainless steel. A lot. But white is universal and timeless.

My original plan was to go into the store and do a little research. Look at the stainless steel color in person and see how it performs. Rub my greasy little fingers all over it. Smuggle in some flour in my pocket and throw a handful on it.

Then my sister pointed out that I would probably cause an anthrax scare and get hauled away to jail. So, I guess a poll will have to do. Please vote in the sidebar and feel free to pontificate in the comments.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Alpha Gatherer in Training

M's grandparents gave Claire and Scott some money for Christmas so that M's parents could take the kids shopping to pick out something. A couple days after Christmas, the kids went to Target with their grandparents to spend their money.

When I met back up with Claire afterward, I asked her what she got. She told me she got the game Cooties and then in the same breath announced, "It was only $5!" Every time we talked about what she got, I'm pretty sure she spent more time being excited about the fact that the game was only $5 than she did actually being excited about the game or the other toy she bought.

I wonder where she got the idea that after shopping you should come home and brag about the great deals you got? Well . . . at least she has her priorities straight???

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Holidays

Christmas was wonderful. Nothing more need be said.

The day after Christmas, I wore capris and a short-sleeved shirt to stroll the Riverwalk in San Antonio:

It was good.

Just as we were about to leave San Antonio, I felt a stiff breeze blow a bunch of dust or something into my eyes. My eyes felt gunky the whole way home and things escalated with itchy watery eyes and a sneezing runny nose until I realized. That was no dust. My winter allergy season had begun with a bang. My symptoms basically haven't stopped since.

It's been bad.

After a couple of days almost back to a "normal" routine, we had New Year's. I holed up inside the house too afraid of outdoor pollen counts to even think about taking down the Christmas lights while M did some maintenance work on our sedan. It took him two and a half days, but in the end he changed the timing belt and a few other parts on the car:

It was ugly.

But all's well that ends well.

So why can't my allergies just, well, end already, okay? I hate wearing my glasses all the time when my eyes go crazy. Scott's hobby is poking the middle of the lenses right after I clean them. And did I mention that I'm a prisoner in my own home? It's hard to have much dignity when you are afraid to take your garbage out to the curb for fear of an allergy attack, let alone walk down the street to check the mail. Next thing you know I'll be answering the front door with a gas mask on.

Hmmm, that might be a good trick for scaring off solicitors...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Telephone Homophones

Before Christmas, I was talking to my sister J on the phone. She asked if she could talk to M to see what he thought of her idea for a Christmas gift for me. Afterward I found out that the conversation went something like this:

J: Do you think Gretchen would like a mandoline for Christmas?
M, with a puzzled expression: Uh... no.
J: Do you know what a mandoline is?
M: Do YOU know what it is?
J: Yah, I just thought she might like one since she doesn't have one.
M: Why would she want one?
J: All right, never mind. I guess I'll come up with a different idea.

Now I already had an inkling that J was thinking of getting me a mandoline, and I loved the idea, so I was horribly curious. Even though I only heard M's side of this conversation, I was almost sure I knew what had happened. You see, I am fluent in both M-ish and J-ese. So then M and I had this conversation:

G: So what was her idea then?
M: She wanted to get you a mandolin!
G: Why is that a bad idea? I'd love that.
M: You WOULD???
G: What item exactly are you thinking of when she says that?
M: The musical instrument that's like a lute or something.
G: Yah, I was afraid of that. She means a kitchen tool for slicing. I better call her back...