Oh Christmas Tree

The best place to keep the stuffed frog we gave my mother-in-law for Christmas in order to keep it out of the dog's reach turned out to be the Christmas tree.


And you thought I'd never blog about sports...

As a former seven year competitor of track and field, I tend to find the latest happenings in the sport wildly entertaining. I have watched track meets all day on TV with what would border on obnoxious enthusiasm. I consider Carl Lewis one of the greatest sports superstars of all time. I can compare track stats and times with the best of them.

All that said, you needn't be a track junkie to see the shocking entertainment value in this news article:

- Associated Press


A Good Shaking

Sometimes we all need a little jolt to get us thinking about what's really important. And sometimes that jolt is just really, really annoying.

Last week I fell victim to my second rear-ended collision in a month. Both accidents were shockingly minor (I'm sending a thank you note to my Subaru dealer) and both occurred on days where no one in their right mind would spend any time outside of their automobile, house, cafe, etc. So cold, in fact, that pens ceased to work, hands ceased to feel and cops were not called, because we all just preferred to get somewhere that didn't make us feel like we were on our way home from receiving an overdose of botox. And both, most importantly, were not my fault. And I'm not just saying that because my Allstate guy reads my blog either.

It's only human when something like this happens to you - make that two things like this happen to you - to question, "Why me?" Does my car have a giant bulls eye on the back of it that I don't know about? Did someone stick a "kick me" sign on my back when I was distracted? Is this just karma getting sweet revenge? But, thoughts like that can only drive you crazy. And trust me, crazy and accident prone are not a good combination.

So, instead, I think I'll try and see the positive. I wasn't hurt. My car still drives. This time, the guy actually had car insurance. And finally, I'm grateful that when it was all over I had someone to call whose first question was, "Are you okay?" Because that truly is something to be grateful for.


Power of a Word

"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine."
-emily dickinson


And then there were two

Well, turned out it actually was a pretty funny idea for a blog. (see previous post)

P.S. Harper maintained this hysteria for at least 5 uninterrupted minutes. He's a comic genius.


Getting Back On

People toss around the saying, "It's like riding a bike," all the time, implying that something you used to do with ease will once again become familiar and effortless, even if it doesn't quite feel that way right now. This colloquialism could currently be used to understand my current relationship with the wonderful world of blogging.

Like riding a bike, blogging gets harder and harder to start back up once you've neglected to write for a while. Next thing you know you have a muffin top (an endearing term my sister likes to throw around - it means: your gut is hanging over your pants) and your old Huffy is rusted with one flat tire and in desperate need of a little WD-40 on your bike chain. Your good intention to blog turns into no blogs, not even bad blogs, in what all the sudden somehow has turned into a couple of weeks.

Suddenly a charming idea you had of blogging about your dog hanging out on the couch with a blanket draped over his head doesn't quite seem to cut it. No, this next blog back after weeks of hiatus needs to be epic and touching and wonderful.

So, unless you suddenly turn into David Sedaris or Ernest Hemingway (not that they're anything alike), you'll never end up doing it, because it's just too big to write. But you have to start somewhere. You have to pick it up again. So, here's my offering. I'm getting out my bike pump and I'm greasing up my chain.

And all of the sudden, the pressure's gone. I guess that's what helmets are for.


A Reason To Celebrate

After much anticipation, many phone calls and some thinly veiled threats made to disown my family if they didn't call me the moment it happened, my beautiful niece Madelaine Grace was born last week. And she couldn't have picked a cooler day for it either - Dia de los Muertos (translation: Day of the Dead).

Sure, it might be a morbid sounding holiday, but I happen to think it is a great one to be born on. It isn't the kind of holiday that will overshadow a birthday and everyone is in a celebratory mood, because instead of mourning the loss of their loved ones, they're throwing them the kind of party that they think their loved ones would have enjoyed. What better way to honor a person's memory than by eating their favorite foods, dancing to their favorite music and reminiscing about all the good times you've had together. I attended my local Dia de los Muertos celebration last night which consisted of some excellent tamales, a mariachi band playing festive tunes and checking out all of the interesting items people had placed on a remembrance alter. A good time was had by all.

So little Lainey - welcome to the family and get ready for some pretty excellent birthday celebrations. I hope you like tamales.


Beck-oning to be Seen

**Note to friends of the blog: I replaced the video for your viewing enjoyment. Enjoy**

I saw the greatest SNL performance ever last Saturday while hanging out with my husband and my Dad in middle-of-nowhere Minnesota. Of course, the fact that it was seen on an 80" screen didn' hurt matters at all. It's the kind of performance that makes you happy and awestruck all at the same time. So, without further ado, here's Beck doing his thing:


Harper's Dissertation

I thought you'd all enjoy this hysterical clip of Harper being, well, Harper. Enjoy.


I am a Patriot

"When Thomas Jefferson wrote that 'dissent is the highest form of patriotism,' he indicated our duty as patriotic Americans is not to keep obediently silent when the policies of our elected officials damage our country and its standing in the world. . . .

"We cannot, out of concern for 'politeness' or 'appropriateness,' abdicate our responsibility to speak out when we believe our nation's values have been severely undermined. If we keep silent, we submit to a dangerous national culture of obedience, which denigrates dissenters as treasonous and unpatriotic. This slavish deference to authority corrupts the soul, transforms our moral beliefs and freedom of conscience into objects for manipulation by those in power, and makes us weak, thoughtless and fearful.

"As President Eisenhower, who commanded Allied forces in Europe during World War II, advised, 'May we never confuse honest dissent for disloyal subversion.'"

-Mayor Rocky Anderson of Salt Lake City, Utah, 2006


Are there squirrels in Heaven?

Even as a child I was always sensitive to the circle of life, the shortness of it and the suffering we must all endure. I couldn't stand to hear of the copperhead snake my mother had killed in our backyard with a shuffle in order to defend her children. I sobbed when I heard the rat traps go off in our attic one night after the city had cleared the brush behind our house and they had found refuge in our ceilings and walls.

I still can't hear about hunting without feeling squeamish and the idea of someone close to me dying, as far off as it might be, is often times too much for me to bear.

So you can imagine how horrible it was to hit a squirrel with my car this morning as I was driving to work. I was only a few blocks from my house when it happened. I zigged. It zagged. It zagged again, and just when I thought I had missed it and avoided tragedy, my back tire made a "thump."

As afraid I as I was to look in the rear view mirror and see what I had done, I made myself do it.

I killed a squirrel. I'm a squirrel killer.

It is the only life outside of some ants, spiders and the occasional quarter-sized mouse, that I have ever taken. And when it happened I didn't stop because there were cars behind me, I was afraid I might catch some disease from the poor thing, and, well, because I was in shock.

So, I guess I just wanted to say this so I could make my peace with it: "I'm sorry Mr. or Ms. Squirrel. I didn't mean to do it and if I could I would undo it and somehow spare your life."

With that said, Mr. or Ms. Squirrel, may you rest in peace.


So This One Time...

It is the dream of every wife, not to mention every woman, to have her husband, boyfriend, lover, friend, etc listen to her. I mean really listen to her. No distractions, no I'm-phrasing-my-next-comment, no drone-like head nodding. Just listening.

Well, I got my wish, but it's started to really bite me in the ass. I've had a few encounters in the past week which almost make me wish my husband didn't really listen. For instance, the other day we somehow got on the topic of Spanish class, when I started sharing a clever and funny anecdote. "So this one time in 12th grade Spanish...," I began.

"You held random parties where you made toast in class and yelled 'Ole!' when it popped up?" my adorable husband asked?

"No," I replied. "Actually I was going to say that this one time in Spanish class..."

"You were named Xicotencatl by your teacher which is the name of an ancient Aztec princess?" he asked.

"Actually, no," I said. "Have I already told you these stories?"

"Well, yes," he said.

"How about the one where we all started humming..."

"Da da da dum," my husband finished, humming The Price is Right theme song.

"Okay, what about when my effeminate teacher asked us to conjugate the Spanish verb 'juzgar'..."

"And it turned out to sound like 'who's gay'?" he said ever so sweetly.

"Wow," was all I could muster.

So my husband of 2 years and almost 3 months knows all my stories about high school Spanish. That's at the same time amazing and humbling. He later went on to reveal that he's politely listened to some of these charming tales 2, 3, maybe even 4 or 5 times. Isn't there some sort of award for things like that? I guess the moral of the story is this: I have the most amazing husband in the whole entire world AND I really, really, really need to get some more stories.


A Great Escape

Music is one of those things that help me escape to my own personal nirvana, no matter the circumstance, setting or situation. I've been finding some lovely escape in some wicked tunes lately and thought I'd pass them along for your enjoyment.

The Wood Brothers, Chocolate on My Tounge
Brenden Benson, Cold Hands Warm Heart

Damien Marley, Welcome to Jamrock
Jose Gonzalez, Veneer
Emiliana Torrini, Fisherman's Daughters

The Last Kiss Soundtrack
Gray's Anatomy Soundtrack


Five years later we are still asking, "What happened?"

I've been thinking a lot this past week about the events of September 11th, five years ago. Has it really been so long ago? Does it feel long for those who lost a family member or loved one on that day?

I remember waking up to the radio early that horrible morning to hear frantic voices saying over and over, "We've been attacked." I rushed up to the university and sat with dozens of my peers staring with blank disbelieving faces at the televisions in the student union. I cried as we all cried, I feared as we all feared, I was angry as we were all angry.

I battled with the emotions of such an affront and tried to work them out on paper. Here are some of my reflections written in the first few days after in the midst of the confusion:

"I feel the loss of thousands I do not know. I cry with them and share their feelings of loss for something that we share. The desire to be happy, healthy and safe."

"The world has cried for so long and now we join in, creating a tear that engulfs all hurt and sorrow and loss. It is a time for healing. It is a time for understanding."

"Only now that we are able to relate to universal loss , can the world finally begin to understand each other."

"How could we believe we were immune to human suffering when so many times we have been the dispenser of it?"

"Stopping the hatred must begin with every citizen. It must begin with me."

This is a picture of all but 92 of the victims killed in on September 11, 2001. It was used by the government in their prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui.


A Cause for Celebration

In honor of my husband's birthday I would like to reminisce a bit over some of the memories of the last year spent in our new home, Minnesota:

* Loading up everything we own (and then some) and making the 1,200 mile trek to the Midwest with a car and a diesel truck, and a chocolate lab in the back seat.
* Carlos the gangster moving our piano into our apartment in 14 minutes flat after trying unsuccessfully for several hours and trying to give the piano away
* Adding new words to our vocabulary, such as "Countermajoritarianism" (thanks law school) and "Oof-da" (thanks Swedes)
* Spitting in the Mississippi
* Surviving the foot of snow dumped on us in one day in March
* Swedish Waffle Day at the American Swedish Institute
* Joining in the immigrant rallies taking place across the street
* Hanging out with my best friend and perfect husband

Happy Birthday Babe - Party hard. You deserve it.


Wigging Out

The polygamous leader Warren Jeffs was arrested this week just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, after two years of running from the FBI and making their top 10 most wanted list.
When I was reading the initial news report, I came across the list of items found along with him, his brother-in-law and one of his polygamous wives when they were apprehended in their red 2007 Cadillac Escalade:
"Inside, they found more than $54,000 in cash, 15 cellphones, four portable radios, three wigs, numerous sunglasses, a duffle bag full of envelopes, laptop
computers, a GPS device, a police scanner and cash cards worth $10,000." (Read the USA Today article here.)

Wow. I love that he was sporting wigs and sunglasses while hiding out from authorities. It kind of makes the whole episode seem more like they captured a spy than an extremist religious leader. And I just have to ask - if he was really trying to lay low, why would he drive around in a brand new flashy red expensive SUV that you can't help but notice?


Life Lessons Learned

In my life I've had a number of jobs: babysitter, party planner, pizza maker, hostess, survey taker, collections agent, orientation facilitator, muffin maker, community service manager, janitor, news reporter, dog sitter, data entry clerk.

In each one I've tried to learn something and bring that new life lesson to my next job. A life evolving process that I hope will someday culminate in perfection. Or at least retirement.

I've worked in enough offices to know that you should stay out of office politics for as long as you possibly can. Sometimes that means a few months, in the case of my new job, that means a week. It's my second week on the job and already I have established alliances, mutual understandings and an arch nemesis. All that on top of doing my real job.

I've learned enough to know that some people are going to form opinions of you that you don't like and aren't true, but you have to figure out how to deal with them and move on. Practice has made that easier, but not easy.

This afternoon I was called hard-headed (for lack of a more appropriate term) by a colleague because I ask a lot of questions. I guess I never lost that part of me that must ask "Why?"

So, I've finally learned that it doesn't matter how many jobs you had, how many places you've lived or how many people you know. Sometimes, in order to survive, you still need to wear a hard hat.


Play Ball!

I came across a photo today on the internet which made me happy.
Here it is:

It's a photo of Ayla, a service monkey for the disabled, throwing out the first pitch prior to a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park in Boston, last Wednesday evening. I coincidentally was also at a Major League Baseball game that night (Twins vs. Indians - Twins won 7-2), so imagine my disappointment that there were no monkeys throwing baseballs at my game.

I've been fascinated by service monkeys ever since I saw David Sedaris speak about them at one of his readings last year in Salt Lake. As he so aptly put it, "It makes you want to throw yourself in front of a bus just to get one.” Check it out.


An Uncomfortable Email

Occasionally I receive these emails from a good friend of mine. We don't talk or even email that often, but I am on her list to mass email anytime something she finds interesting comes across her path.

These emails sometimes involve low-brow humor, sometimes photos, sometimes warnings about drinking straight out of your Coke can without wiping it off. But sometimes, more and more, they contain over-the-top political propaganda that diverges 180 degrees from my own view. They are hateful, bigoted emails meant to spur patriotism and pride in what we are doing in the world. Only, they don't seem to inspire me much.

I've continued receiving these emails for some time. I would politely read them without comment and then promptly send them to my email trash can, ending the cycle of intolerance. But today, I could not. The email I was forwarded from my friend was simply too much to swallow. I had to respond.

But how to do you respond when you truly value the friendship of the sender? How do you say, "Thanks, but no thanks," without hurting their feelings in this time of extreme partisanship. I felt uncomfortable responding, but I came to the realization that eventually if you don't stand for anything, you stand for nothing.

So I sent her a reply. I mentioned how much I valued her friendship and her as a person. But I put my foot down and said, "Enough is enough." We'll see if I hear back.


Mixed-Orientation Marriage

I came across an article today in The Salt Lake Tribune, my old stomping grounds, that shocked me. When you've spent some time in Utah, you become somewhat accustomed to seeing and hearing about things that are a little unorthodox, but that didn't prepare me for this.

Openly gay LDS (Mormon) men are getting married to straight LDS women in the LDS temple and having families and children together. There is no "how could I not have seen this" moment in the marriage where the husband says to the wife, "I guess it's about time I told you something..." No coming out of the closet after the nuptuals have been taken. Just full and total disclosure before the fact. Women marrying gay men knowing they are gay.

I can't seem to wrap my mind around this new idea of matrimony.

Check it out here.


One in a Billion

I never carry cash anymore. It seems like whenever I have it, I spend it without ever remembering where or why. And although someday I hope to be able to have the kind of money where it doesn't matter if a few 20's get lost in the shuffle, at present, it does.

So I was surprised the other day to actually find good ole' U.S. currency in my hand woven Mexican wallet. Here's what I found:

A 2 dollar bill and a 50 cent piece. What are the odds?


My favorite things

Fresh homemade jam, vegetables just picked from the garden, blue lightening on the prarie, the smell of newly fallen rain, an air conditioned bedroom. Just a few of my favorite things in the summer.


Interesting Poll Results

Like the geek I am, I was listening to NPR this morning and heard about a new poll that shows the current political climate of the country. NPR surveyed the 50 most competitive Congressional District races in the country and showed that the pendulum is swinging in the other direction. Finally. I hate to say it, but, it's about time.

See the official results here.

Listen to the story here.



Yogurt, it does a body good

I'm often approached in our neighborhood by men who wish to comment on my appearance. Yesterday, I was told by a Hispanic gentleman that I had a "pretty body." A couple of weeks ago a mailman drove by and stuck his head out of the car window to yell, "I wish I could deliver your mail!"

Even though I've grown somewhat accustomed to the attention given to me from these men, it still surprises me when it happens. Confusion (who me?) is followed by disbelief which then turns into mild embarrassment which causes me to make a gesture of bowing my head and shuffling into a dark corner to hide.

It happened again today. I was at the grocery store (the scene of most of my weird encounters) perusing the dairy aisle when a man approached me. He was a middle aged man who was pushing his nearly empty cart while talking to his friend, another middle aged man. He stopped and turned toward me while pushing his sunglasses a little further down on his nose.

"No wonder you look so good," he said surveying my cart. "All you eat is yogurt."

"Thanks, I like yogurt," was my feeble reply as I turned to keep walking down the aisle.

"I ain't tryin' to get fresh with ya," he continued. "I mean, I don't mean no disrespect or nothin', but tell your husband he should be thankin' his lucky stars he gets to be with you."

"Oh, I'll tell him," I said and hurried to get away so I could find a dark corner. Only, I still had some more shopping to do. I had just a few more items to pick up, but it seemed at the end of every aisle, there he was. I don't think he was following me, however, and after our akward encounter we just pretended like we hadn't had one.

Somehow I managed to get out of the store without any further bizarre comments being thrown my way. I have to admit though, as I put the yogurt away in my fridge once I got home, the whole thing gave me a chuckle.


See you on the Court

My husband and I have always tried to find athletic activities we could both do together and actually enjoy. So far we've agreed on hiking.

So for my birthday last week, my husband gave me a tennis racket. He grew up on the courts and has longed for someone to stand on the other side of the net and hit the tennis ball back to him. I, on the other hand, haven't ever set foot on one, unless you count the time in 8th grade that my friend's dad took us to the court at his country club and proceeded to humiliate us in front of all of his friends.

So, yesterday morning my husband and I had a date to hit the tennis courts. Bright and early, with my pink tennis rack in hand, we headed over to the courts in the park across the street. My husband went over the basics (forehand, backhand, serving, the rules of the game) and we got to playing. Impatient by nature, I immediately attempted to serve, throwing caution to the wind.

My comfort with the court increased and pretty soon I was keeping extra tennis balls in the waistband of my shorts and grunting like Maria Sharapova. Tennis pros, look out, here I come.

When we got back to the apartment I was feeling pretty good about picking up the game so fast, my husband's comments only fueling the fire. The discussion then turned to the couple who was playing on the court next to ours. They were similar in age and it seemed as though the male counterpart was teaching the female how to play as well. My confidence got ahead of me.

"I don't really think she has was what it takes," I blurted out to my husband.

The look of absolute horror on his face said it all.

"I mean..." I stammered, but what was said, was said.

So those in my neighborhood beware. I'll be back on the courts tomorrow.


Mi Media Naranja

Since this is the second anniversary of marrying my amazing husband, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to write a gushy, sappy post. (Thank you for indulging me.)

I feel so lucky to have found someone in the world who understands me and loves me so well. I believe there is nothing greater than to love and be loved honestly and unabashedly with the entirety of your being. Having found this kind of love, everything else in life is colored differently - tragedy becomes less dire, celebrations more jubilant.

Thank you husband, for allowing me to be myself and for giving of yourself so selflessly. You truly are mi media naranja.


A Relieving Rainfall

I awoke this morning to a rumble from the sky. It was still dark when it should have been light and the air was curiously cool. I inhaled the smell of crisp vapor into my lungs and listened as the drops splattered the ground outside my open window.

The people, as well as the land, needed this cleansing. The heat, the humidity and the dryness have pushed both to their breaking point. The ground was brown and thirsty, the people tired and worn. But now that the rain has finally fallen, a quiet gratitude blankets the city and all are at peace.


One Hot Dog

Proof that I'm not the only one that thinks its hot outside. (Don't worry - I gave him some ice water five minutes after I subjected him to this photo shoot.)


Dubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble

I'm a person who likes theories. And I'm a person who likes to come up with them. Some of my theories are more far fetched like the one I have about JFK, however, most of them are harmless observations about human behavior. For instance, I have a theory that we are all allotted only so many words in the day and that the moment you exceed your individual quota your mouth will forbid them to come out in the right order, no matter how hard you try.

Another theory I have about quotas and allotments concerns the amount of patience in the world. I believe there is only so much to go around in the course of the day and once it's gone, it's gone. Today I think someone used it all up pretty early on.

Standing in lines has never been my cup of tea and today, given the lack of patience available to me in the universe, it nearly sent me over the edge.

The first line was at a large evil chain store where I had gone in search of something to cool off my insufferably hot apartment. I have this theory about lines; the one with the least number of people in it will get you out of the door the fastest. Although my theories have proved untrue a time or two.

So, there was a sweet elderly lady and her husband who had been rung up already and only needed to pay for their items so I thought it was the perfect qeue. Oh, how I was wrong. The dance between checkbook and patron and cashier and reciept took a full ten minutes. I was forced to throw a Diet Mountain Dew in my pile due to the exertion of standing in one place for so long.

The second line was later in the day at the grocery store. The woman checking out in front of me only had a few items and so did I so I thought, "Man, I lucked out." Well let me tell you, man, I did NOT luck out. The cashier held up a bag filled with Dubble Bubble and asked the woman, "How many do you have?"

"What do you mean?" asked the woman. "Don't you weigh that stuff by the pound?"

"Um, no we don't," replied the clerk. "It's 5 cents a piece. So how many?"

"I guess I'll have to count."

So we all waited while the woman slowly counted each and every individually wrapped gumball and set them on the checkout counter. "1...2...3...4.......61...62...63." Sixty-three gumballs scattered all over the place.

"That will be $3.15," said the cashier and then she moved on to the rest of the woman's items.

What couldn't have been more than 20 seconds later a plump young boy of 10 years, chocolate smeared all over his face, ran up to the woman who was his mom. He was holding a bag of individually wrapped chocolates.

Somehow I made it out of the store with all of my grocery items in my brown paper bag and my mouth tightly shut. I guess some of that patience got passed my way after all.


Thank you Global Warming

When my husband and I made the move from the hot arid desert of the west to the Great White North we didn't think that heat would be a problem we would have to worry about anymore. Cold, yes, but heat? It couldn't possibly be a concern. Could it?

Turns out it can get hot in Minnesota. Not just uncomfortable, glad I wore shorts hot, but the kind of oppressive heat that makes you seriously consider why people ever go outside anymore.

From the wonderful air-conditioned car (best purchase I ever made) to the air-conditioned cafe I am now sitting in I got sunburned. It was a 25 foot walk. We decided to seek shelter because our apartment doesn't have any air-conditioning. I know. I know.

One of my coworkers was venting yesterday about the insane 100 degree heat (without factoring in the heat index or humidity) and said, "I mean, I can't imagine anyone getting through this alive without AC."

I meekly raised my hand and said,

So we left ice cubes in Harper's water dish and all the fans on high and we fled the hot box we call home for a couple of hours to lavish in a place where we are not melting into the floor. And, I must say, we probably won't be leaving anytime soon.


Will you be my neighbor?

Recently my husband and I were out of town attending my sister's wedding and left Harper in the care of one of our neighbors, a fellow dog owner and lover. This neighbor is an endearing sort of eccentric and is always saying or doing things that give me a chuckle.

For April Fool's Day she put envelopes which featured a red verticle stripe on them under the windshield wipers of all of the cars on our street. She included her own so as not to raise
any suspicion. The envelopes contained a scrap of paper which read, "Don't get punked. Happy April Fool's Day!"

For Christmas she gave us a card that read, "For no reason whatsoever," and contained a message of well wishes. This message was lost on us for several days
, however, until I realized that if you held it up to the mirror you could read it. She had written the entire thing backwards.

It was this neighbor who rescued me a couple of weeks ago when I woke up in the middle of the night realizing I had left my bridesmaid dress at home. She promptly sent it in the mail
in a decorated package and no one was the wiser. Later I noticed that there was a piece of paper taped on the package labeled "invoice." I thought, how business-like of her, and then proceeded to remove it from the box. On the paper it read:

"Dear neighbors. The boys are getting along so well. Good thing I understand dog language:

'Hey, check this out! I think it's fresh cat urine. Did you see a cat?'
'No, but I smelled a rabbit over there.'
'Actually, that is more likely to be a squirrel. Not many rabbits in this park.'

'It doesn't do much good to pull on the leash, does it?'

'No, she only has two speeds. Slow and slower.'
'Watch out for that big German Shepard. He's so full of himself. He thinks his shit don't stink.'
'Yeah, speaking of which, I think I'll take a dump here.'
'Hey, while she's picking it up you go left and I'll go right.'
'What? Did you say North?'
'No, go south.'
'No, counter clock.'
'What is she talkin' about. It's not like we tie her up on purpose. hea hea hea'
'Now it's your turn to dump. Let's do it again.'"


Get that woman some food!

Yesterday, after my first day of summer school as a teacher of special ed students, I returned home tired, hungry and some would say a little grouchy. I am notorious for my Achilles stomach and due to the chaos of the first day and the attention needed for my high need students, I hadn't eaten all day. In fact, I hadn't even had time to use the restroom. So, it wasn't very long before my husband could tell that my blood sugar was tanking fast and that a crisis was looming on the horizon.
"Eat an apple!" he said frantically. "Have some lunchmeat! What about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?!"

Finally, I relented and our marriage survived. If only all life's problems were so easy. So, today I came across a Reuters news article that showed how on the other side of the world a marriage in China went very very differently:

Wife accused in swordplay death of husband

Tue Jun 20, 8:19 AM ET

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese woman has been charged with accidentally killing her husband with a sword after he refused to make her dinner, the Shanghai Daily said on Tuesday.

Police said Tang Xiaowan, 25, who has been practicing swordsmanship since she was young, had often forced her husband of three years at swordpoint to carry out her demands.

On March 3, her husband, Li Weidong, refused to cook dinner because he was late for work.

Police said Tang picked up her sword and put it on Li's chest and promptly slipped, stabbing Li by mistake.

Li died in hospital from loss of blood.

Tang was arrested Monday and charged with manslaughter.