your Danzig is drooping…

Walking the dog is usually a business-like affair for me. I want to get it done and over with as quickly as possible so that I can get back to whatever it was I was doing (aka: sitting on the couch). Preparation is minimal: I put Junior’s harness on him, I step into whatever shoes require the least amount of effort to wear, and if it’s especially cold I’ll put a coat on. We probably average about 90 seconds between “come on, it’s walkies time” to stepping out the door, and a good 45 of that is trying to get Junie to hold still so that I can harness him up.

My husband, on the other hand, has a rather involved process which centers chiefly on picking what music he’s going to listen to. He’ll tell the dog it’s time to go out, then pick up his phone and spend five minutes scrolling through Pandora looking for inspiration. The funny part is that he almost invariably ends up picking one of like five songs. I know this because he always starts singing along as soon as the music starts. He walks around singing while he’s looking for his hat, gloves, coat, boots, harness. He then finds the dog, puts the harness on him and away they go, singing all the while.
Last night’s walkies selection happened to be ‘Mother’ by Danzig. Mark started out humming the opening guitar riff, then broke into the first verse:

     “Mother…Tell your children not to walk my way / Tell your children not to hear my words/ What they mean / What they say / Mother…”

I tend to sing along to whatever he’s singing, except that I sing along in my default silly voice, which is an exaggerated version of Droopy Dog. Junior happened to be on my lap when this whole thing started, so I grabbed his front legs and started waving them around, forcing him to do interpretive dance accompaniment to my Droopy Dog cover of Danzig. Mark was around the corner in the kitchen and couldn’t see or hear any of this, mind you. Junior eventually got fed up of my puppet-master act and broke free. He ran out to the kitchen to be harnessed and walked while I was reduced to a helpless giggle fit over the Droopy Dog version of “…and if you wanna find hell with me / I can show you what it’s like / til you’re bleeding”.
I’m pretty sure Glenn Danzig would NOT approve.
Also, side-note: I totally thought Glenn Danzig was dead until this morning when I Googled him. That is in fact WHY I Googled him. I was like “how long has he been dead, anyway?” TRICK QUESTION, apparently. Sorry, Glenn Danzig! For…well, everything really.
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potato hole

A couple weekends ago Mark and I drove down to southern New Hampshire to attend a beer and chili festival with a group of friends. The beer and chili festival was exactly what the name implies: a festival in which you get to walk around trying many different beers and many different versions of chili. The chili was all you could eat, in fact, and was included in the price of admission. Chili = zero dollars in this scenario.

Remember that. It’s going to be relevant later.

When you first go into the festival they give you a sample glass and ten drink tickets, the idea being that each time you go to an exhibitor’s booth and get a sample of their beer, you give them one of your tickets. When you’re out of tickets, you’re ostensibly out of beer. Except…none of the exhibitors were actually taking tickets. Some of them had containers out to collect tickets, but not a single one of them were creating any kind of “you can’t have this beer until you give me a ticket” enforcement situations. So in essence, it was a no-holds-barred, beer-sampling free-for-all. With chili. FREE chili.

We entered the festival and proceeded to work our way around the small tents, sampling chili and beer. We got almost to the end of the lawn area where we had entered and I asked if it was time to perhaps circle back around to hit the tents we hadn’t visited in our first round. Our friends, who had been to this festival before, laughed and pointed down along a paved walkway at the end of the lawn which led to another, larger lawn with several GIANT tents set up on it. Turned out there were a lot more breweries exhibiting at the festival than we had realized there’d be. Three giant tents worth, in fact! Excited at the prospect of sampling many more beers, we made our way toward the giant tents.

It’s worth pointing out here that New Englanders are known as a thrifty lot. My people aren’t big into wasting things, especially food and drink. Thus, the concept of getting oh, say, a sample of beer, and only drinking a few sips before dumping the rest out is kind of foreign to me. Also, how would YOU feel if you were a brewer giving out samples of your wares only to watch people take just a few sips and then dump them out? You’d be offended, right? You might begin to question your chosen profession, even. You’d surely be hurt. I try to do my best not to hurt people if I can help it, so I was doing my level best to finish off each beer sample entirely before I’d go for the next one. Even if I didn’t particularly like the beer. Unsurprisingly, this resulted in me drinking a fair amount of beer on a stomach that only had a few sample-sized portions of chili in it.

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Ommegang Brewery’s Rosetta – it’s a lambic that tastes like sour cherries and heaven. And my heathen ass doesn’t even BELIEVE in heaven. A++, will buy.

So, we were there by the giant beer tents and my husband started talking about wanting more food. Beginning to feel the effects of all the beer samples I had been diligently finishing off for the last hour or so (mustn’t waste, after all), I agreed that food would be a smart move. We assessed our options. The chili tents were waaaaay off on the other end of the park where we first came in, but there were a couple of food trucks vending quite close to the end where we were.

“But the chili is FREE”, I said.

“But the guy selling sausages is CLOSE. Plus: we got cash on the way here for just such a situation. Plus: sausage,” Mark replied.

“Damn you and your flawless logic”, I grumbled, and off we went to the sausage truck (which is an inherently funny phrase, but don’t derail me).

There were a few people in line ahead of us so we got a good look at the wares as others got their orders. The choices were a disturbingly long grilled hotdog, a pretty normal-looking grilled sausage with or without grilled onions and peppers, and french fries. The purveyors didn’t have any signage displaying pricing, but it was kind of too late at that point because it was our turn at the counter.

Me: “Hi, how much are your hotdogs?”

Sausage Man: “Sausages and hotdogs are $8”

Me: “$8…does that include fries?”

SM: “Nope.”

Me: “Oh. How much are the fries?”

SM: “$6”

Me, trying not to snort at that absurdity: “Ok, we’ll take just a sausage please”.

We stepped back from the counter while the guy made the sausage and I turned to Mark with wide eyes.

“Six bucks for FRIES?!” I hissed. He made some malarky argument about captive audiences and hand-cut fries but I stopped hearing the words coming out of his mouth because, six bucks. For fries. When there were seventeen (at least!) types of chili like 500 feet away. FREE CHILI. ZERO. DOLLAR. CHILI. 

The guy gave us the sausage (hurrr), we ate it, I went back and told others of the outrageous pricing, then we all drank more beer and talked about more amusing subjects. A good time was had by all. (That whole story was really just background, so I don’t feel bad ending it abruptly.)

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My husband is shown here exhibiting the infinite patience for which he should be sainted. Note the slightly manic twinkle in my eyes. Or slightly drunk? Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. JOKES WITHIN JOKES, OMG.

Anyway. Fast-forward to last night.

(I wanted to put a gif here of the thing they do on Wayne’s World when they change scenes, but you think I could find that thing anywhere? NO. Fucking Internet. Why do I even bother?)

Wait, what?  Oh yes. Last night.

So last night Mark and I were running some errands and I was ranting about…I don’t even know, something…and at the end of the rant Mark pointed out that I was nearly as offended by that thing as I had been by the price of fries at the beer festival. Since the rant pump was already well-primed, that was all the nudge I needed to go off about those stupid fries.

“Six bucks for fries. THAT WAS INSANE. Do you know how much a 50 pound bag of potatoes costs? Like $10. MAYBE. And that’s RETAIL. If they were buying them through a wholesaler they were like half that. And it’s not even like there’s LABOR involved with making fries. With the sausages, I can kind of see the justification – you have to grill them, you have to slice and grill the onions and peppers, you have to put the sausage in the bun…there’s semi-skilled labor involved in that. But french fries? You dump potatoes into hot oil and you WALK AWAY for several minutes. You maybe go back and shake the basket halfway through cooking, but that’s it. There’s no labor. Nothing.”

Mark tried reason on me:  “Well, someone’s gotta cut the potatoes, at least.”

“NO THEY FUCKING DON’T. They put them through a fry cutter!  You set the potato on it, push the lever down, it forces the potato through a cutting grid, and VOILA, french fries. You don’t even have to PEEL the potatoes. The most you could argue is that they have to WASH the potatoes, but big fucking deal, how long does that take? Not $8 worth of time, that’s for damn sure.”

“Err, $6.”

“Huh?!”

“You said $8, but the fries were $6.”

I side-eyed him as best I could while also keeping the car on the road, because I was driving through this entire thing, it’s worth noting.

“Six dollars, eight dollars…I don’t fucking care. They were too damned expensive and I am deeply annoyed by it. So…so shove THAT in your $8 POTATO HOLE,” I spluttered.

Needless to say, the $8 potato hole was still being brought up this morning. I don’t even want to think about how long it’s gonna to take me to live that one down.

It’ll be longer than it takes to make a batch of french fries, though. I can guarantee you THAT much.

pterodactyls stormed the field

My husband is super into sports. Not just “dudes keeping a ball away from other dudes” sports, but like…pretty much any sports. He’s not that big of a basketball fan and I’ve never seen him purposefully skim through the channels to find, like, gymnastics or figure skating competitions…but just about anything else, he’ll watch for at least a few minutes if he finds it on TV. Even golf. That right there should tell you something about his level of commitment to watching sports.

When he first moved in with me, he had this thing about how he didn’t want to record games (matches? Sporting…events? Whatever…) on the DVR and watch them later. He only wanted to watch them live. If he couldn’t watch a game live from the start, he would just skip the whole thing because…well, I’m not really sure why. But he had his reasons. Man reasons.

Anyway, after several months of disagreements about what we were going to watch on our one TV, and instances of him missing a game he wanted to watch because we had to be somewhere else, he finally started to warm to the idea of recording sports on the DVR.  Nowadays, there are things he still prefers to watch live, but for the most part if real life interferes with sports-ball TV time, he’ll just record the event and watch it later. The one side-effect of this, however, is that when he’s waiting to watch a game he’s recorded, he will be SUPER ULTRA OBSESSIVELY careful about trying to avoid seeing the score of the game he’s currently not watching. He’ll stay off social media, he’ll avoid news websites that he knows might be running a ticker of the scores, etc. It’s serious business.

So, last night the New England Patriots were playing. Normally Patriots games are firmly at the top of Mark’s “must watch live” list, but last night’s was only a preseason game (I can totally hear him scoffing at the word ‘only’ in my head right now, by the way), so it was acceptable that it be recorded and caught up on a little later. We finished dinner, we went into the living room, he turned on the TV…and there was the Patriots game, because the DVR had been set to record it so the TV had been auto-tuned to that channel. Mark squawked and threw a hand up to shield his eyes, not wanting to see the score. He had the remote and was trying to change the channel but couldn’t make the remote work…possibly because he had his hand over his eyes. He started pleading with the TV as he struggled with the remote.

“No, no, no, don’t tell me the score, don’t tell me the scooooore, noooo!”

To which I, exceedingly helpful wife that I am, cheerfully replied…

“Oh don’t worry, there’s no score yet. It looks like there’s only five minutes left in the quarter.”

There was a beat of stunned silence, then we embarked on a detailed refresher course of Mark’s feelings with regard to having sports scores spoiled for him.

But…IN MY DEFENSE…my reasoning was that there was literally no score, so I wasn’t really ruining anything. Right? I mean, there are things you can GUESS might have happened in a game that has a 0-0 score with five minutes left in the first quarter, ie:

  • one or both of the teams are having a bad night on offense (PLAUSIBLE)
  • one or both of the teams are having a GOOD night on defense (ALSO PLAUSIBLE)
  • somebody might have gotten really CLOSE to scoring but then it didn’t happen (+3 PANTS OF PLAUSIBILITY)
  • maybe nobody had gotten close to scoring at all because…I don’t fucking know…pterodactyls stormed the field (MAYBE NOT PLAUSIBLE, but entertaining to consider)

By their very nature, zeros have no value. Logic* therefore dictates that my revealing that the score was zero all revealed ACTUAL NOTHING. I don’t see how that’s problematic in any way. IN FACT, quite the opposite, I feel like I did him a FAVOR by increasing his anticipation for watching the game. If I hadn’t said that there was no score, he wouldn’t have been NEARLY as interested in eventually watching the first quarter of the game to see just what shenanigans had led up to said fest of equal nothingness.

So there.

*Disclaimer: I use the term ‘logic’ in the loosest sense here. Not that anyone reading this really needed to be reminded of that, I suppose…but still. Better safe than embroiled in Internet debates with people way better at logic-ing than I am (see also: everyone, ever). 

Life_restoration_of_a_group_of_giant_azhdarchids,_Quetzalcoatlus_northropi,_foraging_on_a_Cretaceous_fern_prairie

These are giant azhdarchids. They were pterosaurs that stood as tall as giraffes. FUCKING GIRAFFES. AND THEY FLEW. Can you imagine how horrific it would be to round a corner in the late Cretaceous and see a group of these motherfuckers wandering around? HOLY SHIT. I didn’t even know these existed. This is why I love the Internet. So many dinosaurs.   PS: I took this image from Wikipedia, who say it’s by Mark Witton and Darren Naish. Hopefully they won’t sue me. They know a lot about dinosaurs so maybe we could be friends.

Chinese Lizard Zombies

(Scene: Mark holding the laptop toward me, dramatic music fading from the speakers as a trailer for The Great Wall ends on the screen)

Me: Sooo, instead of the Mongol hoards, they’re trying to say that the Great Wall was built to keep out…lizard monsters?

Mark: Kind of, yeah. Oooh, it was written by Max Brooks!

Me, not knowing who that is, but trying to be supportive: Oooh…?

Mark: He wrote World War Z.

Me: UGH. You know, I was thinking that the trailer had a lot of the same look as World War Z, but I didn’t say anything because I figured you’d pooh-pooh me.

Mark: I wouldn’t have pooh-pooh’ed you…

Me: I don’t think I need to watch a movie about Chinese lizard zombies, honestly.

Mark:

Me, talking to the dog:  Junie, maybe we could get a lizard zombie and tie your leash to it and it could take you for shamble walks! YAY, SHAMBLE WALKS! Grrr! Aaaarrrrgggg!

Junie:

Me: But that probably wouldn’t end well because we’d have no control over which way the lizard zombie shambled so you’d eventually have to call us from your little doggie cell phone, like ‘beep bop boop boop…hey guys, I’m in Thetford and I don’t know the way home. Can you come pick me up?’  Except, you’re a dog so I don’t think you’d even really know where Thetford was, so you’d be lost and we wouldn’t know where to come pick you up. Stupid lizard zombies!

Mark: Not only would he not know what town he was in, but how would he dial a cell phone with no thumbs?

Me: Well clearly it would be voice-activated. We’d pre-program the numbers for him.

Mark: So he could just dial by saying ‘beep bop boop’ like that?

Me, exasperated: I DON’T KNOW. Maybe it’s like, that simulated tone thing that hackers used to use to get on the Internet from pay phones.

Mark: Was that ever a thing? I don’t think that was a thing.

Me: IT WAS, I saw it in a movie once!

Mark: What movie?

Me: HACKERS.

Mark: Oooh, ok, you meant the movie Hackers and not real, actual computer hackers.

Me, going upstairs to bed: Eh, six of one, half dozen the other, really.

Mark: Riiiiight…

****

So the moral of that story is that you probably don’t want to try tying your dog to a Chinese lizard zombie for shuffle-walks because it will get lost and you won’t know where to go pick it up because APPARENTLY you can’t set cell phones up for dogs to voice-dial from, according to my husband.

Also, Hackers wasn’t a documentary, I guess?  I’m still pretty iffy on that one, honestly.

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Very clearly using payphones to get on the Internet. I AM VINDICATED! Also, remember when Rollerblades were the amazing thing that all the L33T badasses wore? Me neither…

I may need a Poké-vention

Last weekend we were at a gaming event with some friends. Almost all of them had downloaded the Pokémon Go app and were happily spending their down-time between actual card games walking around hunting Pokémon. One friend especially, Geoff, was pretty obsessed. He clocked something like three miles of walking over the course of the day, all in the name of catching electronic critters. I had a couple conversations with people about how the game worked just out of general interest, and I MIGHT at one point have said “if my phone wasn’t such a piece of crap I’d download the game and try it”, but aside from that I didn’t think too much of it and had pretty much forgotten about it by the time we got home on Saturday evening.

Wednesday morning, Mark walked into the kitchen and held his phone out for me to look at. It showed a little picture of a guy on a bright green map with roads traced in grey and a cheerful blue sky full of puffy white clouds on the horizon.

“REALLY?” I asked, rolling my eyes. The map he was showing me was the main Pokémon Go screen. He had downloaded the game and installed it onto his phone.

“YES! Where’s your phone? I’ll download it on yours too!”

“It won’t work, I don’t have enough memory,” I hedged, and busied myself with making breakfast.

“Sure you do, I’ll clear your cache. See? TONS of memory freed up!” He held the phone out to show me, beaming. As I stuttered out protests about how I didn’t know what Pokémon even WAS or what the point of the game was aside from walking around picking things up, he was tapping away happily and downloading the app. Clearly this was going to happen no matter what I said. Knowing that my phone is a temperamental little shitbox, I figured that the app wouldn’t even open once it was downloaded or would crash catastrophically, thus giving me an out for deleting it and retaining what minuscule shreds of adult-ness I could desperately grasp at.

Not so much, it turns out.

The phone DID run the app, so after breakfast I set up my little character. Mark took off down the driveway to see if he could find any Pokémon but I stayed inside, drinking my tea and generally not paying that much attention to my phone at all.

Then the phone buzzed. I looked down and it said something about a wild Charmander appearing. After a few botched attempts, I managed to catch the Charmander, to much fanfare from my phone.

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Cute, right?

“Well, that’s nice,” I thought, and then shut the app off so that I could go get ready for work. Mark came back just about then, looking forlorn.

“I walked all the way to the corner and back and I didn’t find ANYTHING,” he said.

At that point I felt the beginnings of something start to unfurl in the dark recesses of my lizard brain.

“Oh, really? That’s funny because I didn’t even move from my chair but a Charmander popped up and I caught it,” I said smugly. He looked slightly affronted, but then HIS phone buzzed and he was distracted by catching some kind of critter of his own.

Since Wednesday morning I’ve developed a bit of an addiction problem. I can’t stop playing this stupid game.

On the drive to work yesterday and today, I pulled over at almost every single rest stop / turn-out / lay-by on the side of the road to see if there were any Pokémon hanging around.

I read something about certain types of Pokémon only showing up in their specific environments in the real world, so I went out of my way to drive to the beach this morning and sit there for five minutes hoping some kind of water Pokémon would appear.

Last night it was 85 degrees and about 90% humidity but Mark and I walked the dog over a mile out to the end of our road (where there is a conveniently located Poké Stop, it turns out) and back, just in the name of finding more Pokémon.

I have already caught myself several times today pre-planning my errand-running route tomorrow in order to maximize time that I can explore known Pokémon-laden territory.

I don’t even know what the fuck any of these animals are, what they do, which ones are rare, how to battle with them or ANYTHING, seriously…but it doesn’t matter because they’re out there and I WANT THEM. And not only do I want them, but I want more, bigger and better ones than my Husband has. I’m generally not that competitive of a person, but apparently when it comes to building menageries of imaginary animals, I MUST BE QUEEN.

It’s totally weird.

(And it’s basically all Geoff’s fault.)

T-rex arms

Last night while I was making the bed (right before getting into it, because I’m at least semi-adult…when it’s convenient…), my husband walked into the room wrapped in a towel. He had just been in the bath and was searching around for a pair of underwear to put on. Once located, he dropped his towel and stepped into said underwear. Then, looking especially thoughtful, he turned to help me make the bed while asking:

“Do you ever find that, when you’re coming up the stairs and the bathroom door is open, you catch yourself doing little mini T-rex arms at your reflection in the bathroom mirror as you walk?”

I stopped and looked at him, one eyebrow raised. Random questions involving dinosaurs are normally my wheelhouse, not his. I mean, it’s not like a private wheelhouse or anything…but, you know.

“Err…no. I can’t say as I’ve ever done that”, I replied, and fluffed the pillows on my side of the bed.

As if I hadn’t said anything, he continued on in his thoughtful tone while straightening the corner of the quilt purposefully.

“And by mini T-rex arms, I mean like, full-on T-rex arms, basically. Like, RAWR RAWR I’M A T-REX.”

In that moment, I had two thoughts.

The first was that every once in a while the Universe reaffirms that I’m spending my life with the absolute right person.

The second was that I was NEVER going to be able to go up those motherfucking stairs again without at least considering doing T-rex arms at my reflection in the bathroom mirror.

 

unstoppable

 

 

sometimes a plane is just a plane

Saturday morning Junior was at the groomer getting his hurr did and I had two hours to kill. I knew that if I stayed in town I’d end up living out one of several scenarios:

  1. I’d go to WalMart and spend way too much money on a bunch of shit I didn’t need, including but not limited to make-up that I end up never wearing,
  2. I’d go to Sephora and end up blowing half the rent money on buying all eleventy billion colors of Kat Von D Tattoo eyeliner which is my new most precious favorite thing ever,
  3. I’d eat my way through half the fast food joints on the strip because clearly I hate not only my circulatory system but also my liver, brain and colon,
  4. I’d go to Pier One and spend a small fortune on wooden giraffes (you can TRY to explain to me why I don’t need like seven of those motherfuckers but I will never believe you. NEVER.)
  5. I’d go to SuperCuts and get a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad haircut.

All of these scenarios ultimately end with tears…usually mine. I know because I’ve actually done all of them, with the exception of buying the wooden giraffes.

So, instead of subjecting myself to the clearly unmanageable temptations of downtown West Lebanon, N.H., I decided I’d drive up the hill and hang out at the airport. Not like, the inside of the airport where people are waiting around for flights (though that holds a certain appeal as well, though probably better done in larger airports where more than like six people are in there at any one time and people will get creeped out by the fat lady with no plane ticket doing cross-stitch in the corner for two whole hours), but rather out in the observation…area? Parking lot? Basically, it’s the back side of the airport. There’s a big chain-link fence to keep dingbats like me off the runways, but you can park up and watch the one or two planes an hour take off / land. There’s almost never anyone else up there, at least not in the winter, so I can sit in my car cackling at ‘Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me’ and doing my cross-stitch in relative peace.

When I got to the place I normally park up, there was a jet sitting just on the other side of the fence. It was a smallish jet, what I later learned was a Gulfstream 5. I learned that by, out of sheer random curiosity, punching the registration numbers emblazoned on the tail of the jet into Google. Not only was I able to find out what kind of plane it was, but I was able to see who it was registered to and, after a little dicking around, could actually find a cataloging of all the recent flights this plane had taken.

WEIRD, RIGHT?!

This is probably a good time to remind you that my run-away imagination is built for conspiracy theories. I wish it was built for like, writing enormously popular novels or screenplays because that would be way more lucrative and life-improving, but no. It’s pretty much all conspiracy theories all the time up in my ol’ cabeza.

So, when I was sitting there seeing all these details for the flights of this plane come up (on my PHONE, no less. We live in the future and it’s a magical place, people!), of course my brain was starting to rub its figurative little hands together, going “Yes, I can work with this. YESSSSSS.”  Pretty soon I was Googling the company that the plane was registered to (some kind of crazy hedge fund investment firm thing in Manhattan), and coming up with all kinds of far-fetched reasons why rich Manhattan-ite investment bankers would be flying a private plane to East Desolation, N.H. in the middle of January (which, trust me, is NOT the time you want to be here unless you’re a skier. Or a polar bear. And even then, your judgement is suspect). Everything from shady investment deals to covert extra-marital get-aways to a corporate team-building workshop (‘come survive the wilds of New Hampshire in the middle of January with nothing but the clothes on your back, a book of matches and three tins of Alpo’) bubbled up from the dregs of my imagination and it was altogether entertaining.

Later on when I got home and told Mark about my adventures in low-level phone-based Internet sleuthing, and questioned why all these people on Internet message boards would be talking about THIS SPECIFIC PLANE unless it was A VERY IMPORTANT PLANE, he totally burst my bubble. Turns out plane-spotting is a big hobby, just like train-spotting – people hang around airports and take note of the tail numbers of planes they see on the tarmac, then post the details on the Internet so that other people can “track” the planes. There’s even an app you can buy that lets you input the tail numbers and plot all the plane’s flights on a map.

So, fuck it. Next time I have to wait for the dog to get his hair cut, I’m totally buying myself a wooden giraffe. Maybe two.

 

giraffe

You cannot even fathom the dog-propelled chaos that would ensue if I brought this home. Junior would alternately try to hump it, chew on it, and refuse to come into the room where it resided, out of sheer terror. I need like…three.

 

 

 

 

I married a cookie licker

I made peanut butter cookies this afternoon. That was a mistake, since both my husband and I are weak, weak people…who really like cookies. Especially peanut butter ones. I doled out a few over the course of the afternoon, then bagged the rest up and stashed them in the microwave in the hopes that out of sight really WOULD equal out of mind (which is hit and miss with us, at best).

About half an hour ago, Mark started edging toward the kitchen, looking sketchy. Just as I noticed what he was doing, he caught my eye and put on his “hopeful” look, which is kind of a cross between puppy-dog eyes and a guilty grimace. The following exchange occurred:

Me, suspicious: “What are you doing?”

Him: just standing there silently, contorting his face further to try and make ‘the look’ more convincing, presumably.

Me, laughing now: “Do you have to crap? You kind of look like you’re clenching to keep from crapping your pants.”

Him: “Can we have cookies?”

Me: “We had cookies earlier. We don’t need more cookies.”

Him: “Right, but I want cookies.”

Me: “Fiiiiiiine…”

Him, scurrying out to the kitchen, yelling back over his shoulder: “Did you want one?”

Me: “Well, YEAH.”

He came in a couple seconds later and handed me a single cookie, sheltering his other hand against his body, clearly hiding it and the cookies (plural, I’m not stupid) it contained.

Me: “How many cookies do you HAVE?”

Him, looking slightly panicked: “Three.”

Me: “THREE?!”

And then, with a look of sheer panic on his face, he took the stack of three cookies and LICKED THEM. Then, with a note of triumph in his voice he said, “And now I’ve LICKED THEM so no one else can HAVE THEM!”

I completely lost it – the kind of heaving, uncontrollable laughter where you don’t make any sound and you can’t breathe. He started laughing too, which only served to further feed the hilarity. I seriously haven’t laughed so hard since the pterodactyl incident. Half an hour later, I’m still sitting here having random outbursts of giggles over it.

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“I’m surrounded by idiots. Help me.” – Junior

 

the curious case of the missing scone

I bring treats into work on Tuesday mornings for staff meeting so Monday nights, I bake.

Sometimes I make banana bread, sometimes muffins…it really kind of depends on what I have around, what food blogs I’ve been perusing before making the shopping list, and what I feel like doing.  This week I was back in scone mode after a run of blueberry coffee cake made with the lovely local blueberries I picked and froze earlier in the summer.  The scones I had in mind to make this week were studded with dried figs and toasted walnuts, and warmed with some ground ginger, nutmeg and allspice.

I hadn’t made scones in quite a while so I had to keep referring back to the recipe a lot (baking is the only time I really ever pay attention to recipes, because way too much can go wrong if I don’t…which I have learned the hard way!  How bad can it go, indeed…), and maybe also neglected to remember that my preferred recipe only makes 12 scones.  I like to try and bring at least 14 or 15 servings to work with me, so after I had scooped out 12 nice neat piles of scone dough, I went through and trimmed a bit off each one to make them smaller and hopefully yield a few more scones in the process.  When I finished, I had 14 scones – six on one baking sheet, eight on the other.

I could almost swear to this.

Almost.

It should be noted that I wasn’t drinking at the time, either.  I just…want to throw that out there.

Anyway – so, I’m PRETTY SURE that 14 scones went to the oven, and I’m also PRETTY SURE that 14 scones came out.  I set the pans on top of the stove to cool, like I always do.  At that point Junior was spoiling for his evening constitutional, so Husband harnessed him up we took him for a quick five minute jaunt around the driveway together.  As we came inside I needed to pee so I kicked my shoes off and ran upstairs to use the loo.  I came back downstairs, went into the kitchen to package the cooling scones up, and noticed something odd…

There were only 13 scones – six on one sheet, seven on the other.

Husband happened to be coming back through the kitchen just about then, and I glared at him accusingly.

“Wha?” he said.

I pointed at the space where the scone was missing.  He blinked and shrugged.

“SCONE STEALER”, I said, pointing at him.

“I didn’t!”, he replied, without a hint of a smile.

Now, it’s not like he hasn’t nicked warm baked goods off my pans before of a Monday evening, but to be fair to him, he almost always makes it enough of a production that I’m aware he’s absconding with the goodies and have a chance to stop him if it really matters.  And even if he doesn’t, he certainly never lies about it when I call him on nicking something.  So, when I stared long and hard at him and he vehemently denied having stolen the scone multiple times without even a trace of smugness, I found I had to believe him.

And yet…I could almost swear there were 14 scones when we went outside.

Could our crazy neighbor or one of his kids have sneaked across the breezeway into our apartment, grabbed a scone and slipped back into their apartment without us noticing from 30 feet away in the driveway?  Possibly…but not likely.

Could it have been some kind of R.O.U.S. infiltration?  Again…possible, but I’ve not noticed any sign of even normal sized rodents in the apartment (thank fuck), let alone ones big enough to make off with an entire scone without leaving so much as a trail of crumbs.

Ninja pterodactyls?  Stealth scone-stealing pixies?  Aliens?

I mean…it’s POSSIBLE that I miscounted and only actually baked 13 scones…but I don’t think I did.

It’s pretty much always aliens.

Also, for the record, the next morning Husband DID admit to stealing a scone, but he was adamant that it was after I went to bed and was definitely NOT the original scone that I accused him of stealing.

Hmmm.