The Queen


February 17, 2009

The Secret
Me: Hey, it's February 17th

The Queen: And?

Me: And it's our wedding anniversary.

The Queen: Oops.

You know, I'm just going to assume that the "Oops" was in reference to her forgetting the date and not to her original decision to get hitched.

In fact, I strongly suspect that such assumptions are how we're remained together for eight years.

May 13, 2008



Squiggle & I

So lemmie tell you about the (mostly healed, in this photograph) wound on my forehead. Kind of a funny story.

Last week The Queen and I rearranged the furniture in our bedroom, to make space for my new Craftsman 1470 pc. Professional Tool Set. (I like to store it all laid out like that, so I can easily find things.) As part of Operation Squabble (we cleverly embarked upon this plan when we were already tired and cranky, like at midnight), we decided to put a dresser into the walk-in closet. We're talking a full-sized bureau here, about five feet high.

I grab one side, The Queen grabs the other, and we hoist it across the room. Between the lifting and my slightly hunched-over posture, the top edge of the dresser is level with my eyeline. Also, the corners of the thing are incredibly sharp. That's a little thing we in the literary business like to call "Foreshadowing".

So I'm backing into the closet. As I do so, the back of my head makes contact with the ... you know, the thing. The rod. The hollow, wooden tube that runs below the shelf, on which you place the clothes hangers? That thing. I touch it with the back of my head. But I am so startled that I jerk forward, slamming my forehead into the corner of the dresser.

"Ohh god!" I howl, hastily setting my end of the dresser down and clutching my forehead. "Oh man. God, that hurts. Jeeze, I really got myself. I'm going to have a splitting headache within five minutes, I bet. Probably have a huge bump tomorrow, too. Wow, that was pretty bad. Yeah, that's gonna be a goose egg."

I look up at The Queen, and she's completely stony-faced. Not a trace of sympathy. "Can we finish this?" she says. So I mutter under my breath a bit, and we finish putting the dresser into the closet.

About an hour later The Queen is in bed reading, and, as I climb in, she glances my direction. "Holy smokes," she cries, "what happened?!"


"Your forehead! There's a huge red mark on it."

I do a slow burn for a moment. "That's where I hit it. On the corner of the dresser."

"When did that happen?"

"When did ...?!" I splutter a bit. "Did you miss the part where I was clutching my head and yowling?"

"Ohhhhhh ...." Realization sets in. "I didn't see you hit your head on the dresser. I though you were reacting to having backed into the closet rod at, like, one mile an hour."

"I had my hand on the front of my head!" I point out.

"Yes," she says, "That's how I knew you were faking."

March 17, 2008

We Hates It, We Hates It Forever

In bed reading, before we turn off the light:

Me: Oh hey, guess what: Guillermo del Toro might direct The Hobbit.

The Queen: Oh.

M: Yeah, and they are going to break the novel up into two movies.

Q: [Returning her attention to her book] Mm.

M: Ah c'mon, I thought you'd be interested. You loved Pan's Labyrinth.

Q: Yeah, but I hated The Hobbit.

M: You didn't even read it!

Q: I tried to read the other books, but they were super long and boring. So why would I read The Hobbit?

M: Because it's much simpler than the Lord of the Rings. It's almost a kid's book.

Q: But I hate fantasy.

M: Wha-?!

Q: I hate fantasy. Of course I do. When have I ever said otherwise?

M: Every 20 minutes for the last eight years, in reference Harry Potter.

Q: The Harry Potter books were great.

M: You always do this. You always say you "hate" things that you like just fine. Like, remember the day you told me you hated jazz, and I pointed out that you like Louie Armstrong and Elle Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole and Billie Holiday and Miles Davis?

Q: Well, I just like a little bit of everything.

M: "Liking a little bit of everything" is not the same as "hating everything."

Q: Yes, but the advantage of saying "I hate everything" is that it usually stops people from yammering on about The Hobbit.

December 17, 2007

Apples and Oranges

Being married to a professional botanist has its ups and downs. It's nice on day hikes, for instance, having someone around who can instantly identify every plant we see. On the other hand, I don't need to be notified of every ecological incongruence in the films we watch. The Queen spent much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy leaning over to me in the theater and whispering, "pfff, I can see why they call this a fantasy--they have polystichum munitum growing in a tropical upland climatic zone."

Last night we went to a wreath-making party last night. Our host provided us with wire frames, fir boughs, holly, and pine cones; before dinner, while I read stories to Squiggle and put him to bed, everyone else got all elfy in the garage.

At the end of the evening we collected our wreath. Ours, while beautiful, was the least ornate of the bunch, consisting only of boughs. As we carried a sleeping Squiggle out to the car, I asked The Queen about this.

Me: Why didn't you put holly in our wreath?

Queen: Because holly berries are poisonous, and when Squiggle saw them he pointed excitedly and yelled "cherries!"

M: Ah, good call. But what about the pine cones? You could have put a few of those on there.

Q: No I couldn't. They were the wrong kind.

M: What do you mean?

Q: The boughs were from one species of tree and the pine cones were from another. It would look weird to have them on the same wreath.

M: What, seriously? Nobody would know but you.

Q: Yes, it would look weird to me. That's what I'm saying.

M: Oh, come on. What's the big deal?

Q: Let me put this into terms you can understand: imagine if you went to a Star Trek convention and saw a bunch of people dressed as Jedi.

M: Oh, god. Right. Gotcha.

December 12, 2006

Insufficiently Shy

The Queen, after reading yesterday's post:

Q: You're playing raquetball? What is this, the eighties?

M: Lots of people still play racquetball. It's one of the most popular activities at my gym. It's a great cardiovascular workout, exercises all major muscle, and is a lot of fun.

Q: Sorry, wasn't listening. I had a Kajagoogoo song stuck in my head.

August 21, 2006

Ice Queen

The Queen rubs the top of her head and makes the ow-that-hurts air-through-the-teeth noise.

Me: What's wrong?

Q: I have a bump on my head and it's getting bigger. Feel it.

{I engage in some impromptu phrenology}

M: Wow, that's a good 'un. How did you get it?

Q: I got hit by a block of ice.

M: Did it knock you out cold?

Q: It's not funny.

M: Sorry. What happened?

Q: I wanted to pack the cooler for our weekend camping trip, so I went to the grocery store and bought a big block of ice. As I was walking back to the car I tumbled -- honestly I don't know what happened, I just suddenly went ass over teakettle -- and when I threw my arms up the ice flew into the air. Then, after I landed on my butt, the block of ice came down and hit me on the top of the head.


Q: What?

M: Nothing, I'm just waiting for the part of the story that's not funny.

December 15, 2005

I'm A-Start Some Drama

I walked into the kitchen this morning to find The Queen groggily gathering coffee-making accoutrements.

"Wha'cha gonna do wit all dat junk?" I asked her. "All dat junk inside yo trunk?"

She scowled at me as a reminder of the household's "no conversation before caffeine" rule, but then asked, "What are you saying?"

"No no, that was all wrong" I said, disappointed. "You are supposed to reply ..." -- I switched to falsetto -- "... Iím a-gi gi gi git you drunk, git you love drunk off my hump."

She looked confused. "I'm going to get you drunk?"

"Right," I confirmed. "Love drunk. You know, off your hump."

The Queen stared at me blearily.

"And then," I continued, "you emphasize this final point by saying: My hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My --"

The Queen interrupted. "Is this that song you've been talking about on your blog?"

"Hang on," I said. "We've coming up on the best part."

"Okay," she said, resigned.

"Are you ready?"

"I'm ready."

I cleared my throat, took a deep breath, and began again. "My hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump. My lovely lady lumps."

There was a long, stunned silence.

"Check it out," I added.

"That's awful," said The Queen in horror.

"Now you understand," I said, nodding somberly. "And it's knowledge that can never be unlearned."

"Why?" asked the Queen. "Why did you do that?"

I shrugged. "That song is like The Ring," I explained. "You have to pass it on, or you die."

December 02, 2005

The Final Word

In my post about The Squirrelly's burgeoning language skills, I neglected to mention that The Queen and I recently established his first word. It happened during a conversation with a friend of ours.

Friend: What was The Squirrelly's first word?

Me: "Kitty."

The Queen: "Mama."

M: [To Queen] Well, really he started saying "kitty" first.

Q: [To friend] It was "mama."

M: [To Queen] I mean, yes, he made "mm mm" sounds before he said kitty, but, you know, in order to officially be considered a word they have to say it three times in the appropriate context, so --

Q: [To me, accompanied by The Look] His first word was "mama."

M: Well, but I ... I, um ... uhh ...


Q: [To friend] It was "mama."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how facts are made.

This wasn't the first time she'd used The Force on me. About a year before The Squirrelly was born we got a second cat to keep Louie, our first, company.

Q: What should we name him?

M: Oh, whatever you want.

Q: I named Louie, so it seems only fair that you get to name this one.

M: Really? Wow, okay. Well, he's black, so maybe something like "shadow" or "licorice."

Q: You want to name him "licorice?"

M: Well, no -- "licorice" doesn't really roll of the tongue. But he does kind of look like a big licorice jellybean, you know. So maybe -- oo, that's a perfect name: "jellybean."

Q: "Jellybean. "

M: Yeah, "jellybean." What do you think?

Q: I think I like "Edgar." We'll call him "Edgar."

April 01, 2005

Down In The Mouth

Remember that moment, twenty minutes into The Phantom Menace, when you got that sickening feeling as you realized that the rest of this story was not only going to suck, but it was going to be so bad that it would retroactively ruin all the enjoyable stuff that had come before it?

I think that's pretty much how The Squirrelly is feeling about life these days.

Up until now the world has treated him pretty well: he played with toys all day, took naps whenever he chose, saw breasts on a regular basis, and had the freedom to poop in his pants without any fear of social stigma. Livin' the dream, that kid. But the last couple weeks have been rough. First there was the aforementioned Avery Flu, although, of all the Baldwins, he was the most unscathed. (I, for instance, was both throwing up and thrown up upon.) But right after that he got a runny nose, and then a cough, and last night he had a fever of 102. And through it all he's been teething, which has really been making him unhappy. Question: what's the point of feeling pain when you're teething? To discourage you from growing more teeth? Four million years of evolution and this is the best you can come up with, Darwin?

Anyhow, every once in a while The Squirrelly gives his mother and I the hairy eyeball, clearly resentful of the massive bait-and-switch the world has pulled on him. And all I can do is shrug and say "at least you don't have to pay fucking' taxes."

Fortunately, we're able to keep his teething discomfort at bay through the miracle of Infant's Advil, which we administer to him through a small plastic syringe. It's sugary, fruit-favored goop, and The Squirrelly loves the taste of it -- when he sees us pick up the box his eyes totally light up. Ah yes, I'm so glad we're teaching our child that sweet, numbing relief from the pain of the world comes from a drug in a syringe.

March 29, 2005

Me And The Queen, At The Movies

Capsule reviews for the last three films we've seen on DVD:

Sky Captain And the World Of Tomorrow:

M: As a long-time fan of "1950's science-fiction," I was prepared to love this Sky Captain despite its lukewarm critical reception. And the first hour of exposition lived up to my expectations. But as it became increasingly clear that exposition was all the film had to offer -- plot clearly having come as an afterthought -- my interest waned considerably. Like Chicago, Sky Captain is an interesting attempt at reviving a cinematic style of yesteryear. But unlike Chicago, this one doesn't succeed.

Q: Pretty boring.

I ♥ Huckabees
M: Though isolated scenes in Huckabees made me laugh out loud, it seemed to lack a consistent narrative to string them together into a cohesive whole. With a shorter run time and a bit more focus (though the former would probably beget the latter) this could have been a favorite of mine; in its current state it was simply too scattershot for my tastes.

Q: Really boring.

Mr. 3000:
M: A very conventional Sports Movie, but with enough tweaks to set it apart from most. Despite starring Bernie Mac and incorporating plenty of humor, Mr. 3000 is not an out-and-out comedy, and instead walks a tightrope between The Natural and Major League with no small amount of skill. And it even manages to integrates its product placements well. Recommended to aficionados of the "Sports Movie" genre, or anyone in the mood for a guaranteed-good-but-by-no-means-great rental.

Q: It wasn't completely terrible. But it was pretty boring.

February 04, 2005

Ah, Homophones

We bathe The Squirrelly after his dinner, and the foodstuff he is invariably covered in eventually accumulates in the basin, leading to conversations like this:

Me: Can you watch the baby for a few minutes? I want to clean the bathtub.

The Queen: Is it dirty?

M: Yeah, it's full of pea.

Q: The Squirrelly peed in the bathtub?

M: Hah. No, I mean the other kind of pea.


Q: You peed in the bathtub?

January 10, 2005

Adventures in Communication
  • The Queen, The Squirrelly and I were taking a day hike. A mile into the forest we encountered a women who was standing off to the side of the trail and talking on her cell. About an hour later, as we were coming back, we saw the same woman in the same spot, still yammering into her phone. "She got a very specific calling plan," The Queen speculated as we passed. "The rates are dirt cheap, but that's the only place in the State she gets reception."
  • One of the joys of being a new father is getting into conversations with co-workers who have also recently had babies, and having this long, involve discussions about the mechanics of birth and infant care without using any words like "vaginal" or "breastpump," instead choosing phrases like "yes, the baby was 10 lbs, 7 oz. but she still gave birth to him, um, the not-cesarean way." It's like playing pick-up games of Taboo.

December 03, 2004

The Burdens Of Parenthood

The Queen:

"I took The Squirrelly to the hospital today for his second flu shot. After he got it I was out in the waiting room getting ready to leave, and there was this old lady sitting near us. And she starts asking me all these questions, like 'how old is he?' and 'how much does he weight?' -- but not in a friendly way, she was all aggressive about it. So I got all ready to go, and stood up, and started rummaging around in the diaper bag for his hat, and she totally yells at me, "you need to put a cap on that baby!!" And I turned to her and started to say 'how about I put a cap in your ass?!' But I stopped myself. Because, you know: I'm a mother now."

November 23, 2004

Vital Signs

This evening's "how was your day" conversation:

The Queen: I made a major faux pas in baby sign-language class.

Me: What happened?

Q: Well, all of the women in the class are super religious, and one of them asked what the sign was for "Jesus." And the teacher said that you touch the palm of your left hand with your right index finger and then vice versa, like for stigmata? And I totally snickered.

M: You snickered at the cruicifixion of our Lord?

Q: I couldn't help it! I just thought it was ridiculous. I mean, what if the sign for every famous person was the way they died?

M: You'd move your head back and to the left to sign "JFK."

Q: Exactly. And to sign "Elvis" you would sit on a toilet.

November 10, 2004


The Queen and I hang out with Michelle:

Michelle: What's your kid up to these days?

Me: Crawling. Like, all over the freakin' place.

Queen: And he's losing his monkey toes.

Michelle: His what?

Queen: You know, if you touch the sole of a newborn baby's foot how his toes will kind of curl up around your finger? Like he's trying to hang onto a branch or something?

Michelle: Right, right.

Queen: His toes don't do that as much anymore.

Me: Also, we finally took him in and had his monkeytail amputated. His balance has been all screwed up ever since.

Michelle: You should totally tell him that when he gets older.

Me: Oh, I will. "Yeah, you were running and swinging all over the house when you were three months old. But then we had your tail cut off, and you had to relearn how to walk." I wonder if I could get an actual tail somewhere, put it in a jar of formaldehyde and keep it as "proof?"

Queen: He'll probably take it to school for Show and Tell ...

Me: Hah! Oh man, that will be great. I love being a parent.

Queen: Other fathers can't wait until their child is old enough to play sports or hold a conversation; you, you're just waiting until he's old enough to hornswoggle.

Me: It's so true. I guess I could start now, buy a big rubber breast or something.

Michelle: I bet my husband would loan you his.

August 20, 2004

Guitar Pick

We discuss childrearing.

The Queen: The Squirrelly really loves that music class we go to.

Me: Oh?

Q: Yeah. The teacher plays guitar, and he loves guitar. She even gives lessons to kids, starting at age four, so we might want to sign him up for those when he gets older. I'm thinking he should play guitar or violin. Except violin is kind of geeky. So guitar, then.

M: Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa. He's only six months old, let's not get all life-plannie, here.

Q: I'm not being life-plannie.

M: I just watched you narrow his choice of musical instruments down to two and then eliminate half.

Q: Kids who play guitar are cool.

M: Granted, but we're gonna let our kid play whatever he wants to play.

Q: Oh, of course. I'll just make sure he wants to play guitar.

May 27, 2004

Three Month Update

Chatting with The Queen.

The Queen: Hey, when are you going to do the three month update for The Squirrelly?

Me: The "three month update?" What do you mean?

Q: On your site.

M: Still not following.

Q: On defective yeti you write those updates every month on The Squirrelly's birthday, remember? And he's three months old, now. So when are you going to post the next one?

M: Um, I think you're confusing me with Dooce.

Q: I am?

M: Yeah. I've never done anything like that, but Heather writes a monthly newsletter for Leta.

Q: Oh, right. Well, you know: you bloggers are all alike.

Poor girl: she's going to be crushed when she finds out I was never on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

May 05, 2004

Rock The Poot

The Queen and I talk politics:

Me: Uhn, I can't believe we hafta go through six more months of this presidential comapign.

The Queen: I know. The TV ads are terrible.

M: Are they? I haven't seen them.

Q: Yeah, they're awful. Every one ends with "I'm blah-blah-blah, and I approved this ad." It's so stupid.

M: I think they have to say that. It's the law.

Q: It is?

M: Yeah, it's part of that campaign finance thingie.

Q: Oh. I thought it was just, you know, one-upmanship. Like, "I approved this ad!" "Oh yeah?! Well I approved this ad!!"

M: Hah! Well anyway, I guess Kerry has some new ads out today. Apparently they are pretty good.

Q: I hope so. Because so far all the commercials have been [ridiculously dramatic voice] "John Kerry ... voted ... to take body armor ... from soldiers!" and [ridiculously pompous voice] "I fought in a war while George Bush was fartin' around."

Leave it to The Queen to distill things to their essence.

For the record, I will enthusiastically endorse any candidate that uses the phrase "fartin' around" in a political ad.

October 20, 2003

When Husbands Attack

Driving to the store.

Me: Here's the list. Do we need anything else?

The Queen: We need more vegetables. I need to start putting more vegetables in my lunch.

M: Okay.

Q: I always eat my lunch last.

M: You always ...? Last after what?

Q: After everything else.

M: What else do you eat during the day?

Q: My sandwich, my yogurt, my fruit -- the rest of my lunch. [Exasperated] Why don't you listen to me?!

M: I did listen to you. You said "I eat my lunch last" and I had no idea what you meant.

Q: Didn't I say "I eat the vegetables in my lunch last?"

M: No.

Q: Oh.


Q: Why are you attacking me?!

Three months of pregnancy to go, folks.

October 10, 2003

Home Improvement For Fun And Prophet

I tend to be skeptical of the paranormal, but I can no longer deny that The Queen is psychic.

Often, over the course of the week, She'll notice something that needs to be done around the house -- a leaky pipe that requires repairs, or a portion of the garage overdue for cleaning -- and say to me "Well, I guess you know what you'll be doing this weekend." And I'll be damned if she isn't right every single time: at that moment I do know exactly what I will be doing on the following weekend.

It's downright eerie.

September 24, 2003

Hell Mouth

The Queen: While you're paying bills online, could you take care of this dentist bill too?

Me: Sure. [Takes bill] Wha-? Geoffrey Strange? Your dentist is "Dr. Strange"?

Q: Uh-huh.

Me: Who does he have as dental hygenists, the hoary hosts of Hoggoth?

Q: ...

Me: Uhh, never mind. That was kind of a nerd joke.

Q: I assumed.

August 25, 2003

Constructive Criticism

Talkin' with The Queen.

Me: Hey, what did you think of that book The Eyre Affair?

Q: I thought it was good.

Me: Really? Because I'm a few chapters into it and not sure if I should continue.

Q: I liked it.

Me: Well, I'll keep reading it, then. It must be good if you liked it, since you're, like, the toughest book critic I know.

Q: I'm not a tough book critic.

Me: Yes you are. You hate every book you read.

Q: I only hate bad books.

Me: But you say that 98% of all books are bad.

Q: That's because they are.

July 21, 2003

Toy Fury

Me: Did you hear that story they just had on NPR? I guess they're saying that kids in daycare are more aggressive than stay-at-home kids.

The Queen: Well, if the daycares they studied are like the one I went to, it's probably because they only have one toy and the kids have to fight over it ALL DAY LONG!

<Awkward pause>

The Queen: I'm okay. I'm over it, really.

May 27, 2003

Know Thyself

The other night The Queen and I were watching The Big Forever Last Buffy Episode Ever Forever, and, during the break, there was an ad for Direct TV that I had never seen before. In it, a pair of sexy girls are at a party, sitting on either end of a large couch. Into the frame walk two stereotypical nerds -- glasses, terrible hair, pocket protectors, the whole nine yards -- who wedge themselves between the ladies and begin various fumbling attempts at small talk. The women first look mortified, then annoyed, and then a little panicky. Finally, one of them grabs a remote control sitting on an end table, points it directly at the camera, and presses a few buttons.

Now we get a reverse shot, where we discover that there is a TV directly across from the couch. The television screen flashes through a few menus (presumably in response to the girl with the remote) and then settles on Star Trek.

In the last shot of the ad we again see the nerds, who are staring at the television mesmerized. But unbeknownst to them, the two ladies have disappeared, leaving the duo alone on the couch.

"Hah hah hah!" I said when the commercial reached the punchline. "That was pretty funny!"

There was a pause while The Queen looked at me oddly. Then she said, "I think it's great that you can laugh at yourself."

April 28, 2003

Love Means Never Having To Pretend You Care

In a restaurant where music is playing over the sound system.

Me: Jeeze, I've heard this song three times in the last two days.

The Queen: What is it?

Me: "Last Train To Clarksville," by The Monkees

Q: Are you sure it's not the Beatles? It sounds like the Beatles.

Me: No, I'm certain it's The Monkees. I listened to a lot of Monkees when I was in high school.

Q: You're kidding me. The Monkees? I thought you liked Talking Heads and The Smiths and stuff.

Me: I did, but ... well, there was this girl that I was friends with in high school, and she really liked the Monkees, so I listened to a lot of Monkees too. That's how I was, then -- I just listened to whatever my close friends liked to so we'd have something in common. I listened to Talking Heads because my buddy M. liked them, and I listened to The Smiths because my friend J. liked them, and listened to The Monkees because this girl was way into The Monkees, and so on. I mean, when it comes to music I've always been a poseur -- but I know I'm a poseur and I don't pretend that I'm not, so I guess that makes it okay.

Q: I have to pee.

Me: You have to ...? I spill my guts, I reveal this fascinating insight into my personality and psychological makeup, and all you can say is "I have to pee"?!

Q: So it seems, poseur.

March 31, 2003

When Goofballs Mate
The Queen: Wow, the kitties love that poultry-flavored hairball medicine I bought.

Me: You're kidding.

The Queen: Seriously. They hated the last kind, but I just gave them this new stuff and they were, like, purring with happiness. Now they're all excited and running around the house like a bunch of wild Indians.

Me: Ahem! We do not say "running around like a bunch of wild Indians" any more. These days the correct phrase is "running around like a bunch of wild Native Americans".

The Queen: Whoops, that's what I meant to say.

Me: Anyhow, they love the hairball medicine, huh?

The Queen: The Native Americans? Yes, they're crazy for it.

Me: Hah! Amazing fact -- the Native Americans were renowned for using every part of the hairball medicine, leaving nothing to waste.

It may not surprise you to discover that we have conversations like this all the time.

March 21, 2003

Actual Conversation I Had With The Queen This Morning

Me: Okay, I've leaving for work again.

Queen: All right.

Me: I'm wearing pants this time.

Queen: Atta boy, sweetheart.

January 29, 2003

Locke Jaw

Hey Washingtonians! How about that Governor Gary Locke, huh? Did he give a great Democratic response speech or what?

No seriously, I am asking you: did he give a great Democratic response speech? Because I have no idea. The Queen and I watched it, but we were able to hear very little over our own, compulsive editorializing.

Announcer: Ladies and Gentleman, the Democratic Nation Party's official response to the State of the Union Address.

Locke: Good evening. I'm Gary Locke, the Governor of --

Queen: Oh my god! Look at his hair!

Me: How can I not?

Locke: My grandfather came to this country from China nearly a century ago, and worked --

Queen: Is it a toupee? Is he wearing a toupee?

Me: Why would he wear a toupee when he has a perfectly good head of hair?

Queen: Then what idiot styled it to look exactly like a toupee?

Both: [Laughter]

Locke: We also support the President in working with our allies and the United Nations to eliminate --

Me: Why is he doing the head-waggle?

Locke: Together, we can meet these global challenges ---

Me: Check that out: he's totally doing the head-waggle. Who coached him on this speech, Leslie Miller? He delivers every line with the Leslie Miller / barn owl / "ain't no man of mine gonna call me no skank" head-waggle. It's like watching the Democratic response given by a bobblehead doll.

Locke: Our plan provides over a hundred billion dollars in tax relief --

Queen: Why is he smiling? Who told him to smile? He looks ridiculous when he smiles. I've never seen him smile during a speech before.

Me: Well, that's because the only time he gives speeches is after some initiative he supported gets voted down five-to-one.

Queen: True.

Locke: To strengthen America at home, there's much more to do --

Me: You can tell that he's forcing himself to smile. He frowns while talking and then gives with the smile at the end of every paragraph. He goes, like, "[Frown] Our parents shouldn't be forced to give up their doctor [Smile!]. [Frown] That won't save Medicare [Smile!], [frown] it would privatize it [Smile!]."

Both: [Laughter]

Locke: Environmental protection has been a tremendous bipartisan success --

Queen: Can't. Stop. Looking. At the hair.

Locke: Yes, the Republican Party now controls the executive branch --

Queen: The combination of the smile, the hair and the glasses make him look like a big nerd.

Me: I keep waiting for some bully to come on-screen and push him.

Queen: People from other states are going to stop us on the streets and say "My governor can beat up your governor."

Both: [Laughter]

Locke: That's the vision of the Democratic Party -

Me: You know what would have been great?

Queen: What?

Me: If the Announcer Guy was, like,"Ladies and Gentlemen, the Governor of Washington State" and then they cut to Locke looking all somber and serious, and then he suddenly started flailing around and yelling "Bats! Bats in my hair! Get 'em off me! Bats in my hair!!"

Both: [Long Laughter]

Locke: Thank you for listening, and God Bless America.

Queen: What, it's over already?

Me: Yeah, but keep watching: I heard that Tim Eyman will be giving a rebuttal to the rebuttal.

Both: [Laughter]

Me and The Queen, we have a good time.

January 09, 2003

I Know Something You Don't Know

Scene: Last week, after seeing The Two Towers in the theater.

The Queen: I know who puts the ring in the Crack of Doom.

Me: You do?

Q: Yes.

M: I don't see how. You haven't read the books.

Q: I tried to read the books! But they were really really boring. Stupid and boring.

M: Yes, I believe you've mentioned that several dozen times.

Q: But it doesn't matter, because I know who puts the ring in the Crack of Doom.

M: Okay.

Q: It's Sam.

M: Okay.

Q: I'm right, aren't I?

M: Why would it be Sam and not Frodo?

Q: Because Frodo isn't going to make it. He's almost dead and there's another three hour movie to go. Only Sam will make it.

M: Huh.

Q: I'm right, aren't I?

M: So you tell me.

Q: I'm right.

Scene: Last Tuesday, after rewatching The Fellowship of the Ring on DVD.
Q: Okay: now I know who throws the ring in the Crack of Doom.

M: Who?

Q: Aragorn.

M: Could be.

Q: Because it's his destiny. There's that whole scene where they talk about that king that tried to put the ring in the Crack of Doom and couldn't do it, and then later they said that Aragorn was the heir to the Throne of Whatever, and then he had the chance to take the ring from Frodo but he didn't so he's stronger than his grandfather so he could throw it into the Crack. It's his destiny.

M: You seem pretty confident that someone destroys the ring. How do you know that Sauron doesn't get it?

Q: Shut up. It's Aragorn.

Scene: Last night, 20 minutes after we turned off the light, as I lay sleeping and The Queen apparently lay awake thinking.
Q: Matt?

M: Mm?

Q: Matt, I need to ask you something.

M: Mmf?

Q: I need to ask you a question. And it's important that you answer me.

M: [Suddenly wide awake and alarmed]: What is it?

Q: Who puts the ring into the Crack of Doom?

Postscript: It would be cool if, at the end of Return of the King when Sauron finally gets the ring, they played I Got The Power by Snap, and Sauron could dance around and do the rap part ("it's gettin' kinda hectic!") and then be all like, "BOOYAH! It your face, hobbits!!" I think that would really drive home how evil he is.

(What? You didn't know Sauron gets the ring and enslaves all of Middle Earth? Christ, I though The Queen was the only person who didn't know the ending. Jeeze, sorry man. **spoilers!** Sorry.)

November 21, 2002


Phone conversation with The Queen.

Me: So, I'll see you at four, then.

The Queen: [pause] Huh?

Me: I said I'll see you at four o'clock.

TQ: [pause] Wha-? No.

Me: No? No, we're not meeting at four o'clock like we discussed?

TQ: [pause] Um? Uh, oh, four, yeah. We're meeting.

Me: Are you reading your email while you talk to me on the phone?

TQ: [pause] Huh? No, no.

Me Should I believe you?

TQ: [pause] Wha-? No. I mean yes!

October 30, 2002

My Name Is Luka

I walked into a door this morning, and now I have a big red blemish on my face. All day people at work have been asking me what happened. And I don't want to say "I walked into a door," because that totally sounds like something you'd say if your spouse hit you and you didn't want to admit it. So, instead, I've been saying "my spouse hit me". It's not technically true, but at least people don't think I'm hiding anything.

October 14, 2002

Age and Arbor

It is early Sunday morning. My wife and I are lollygagging about, reading books and drinking coffee. She climbs out of bed and leaves the room to refill her mug, while I continue my book on critical thinking.

The chapter I am reading is all about fallacies: mistakes people make in their arguments and reasoning. The current paragraph states:

The Fallacy of Hasty Generalization: One is guilty of hasty generalization, or jumping to conclusions, when one draws a general conclusion about all things of a certain type on the basis of evidence concerning only a few things of that type.
At this moment my wife re-enters the room and, glancing out the window, says "Wow, our Madrone tree is looking beautiful."

I follow her gaze to the backyard. The Madrone has recently shed its bark, and it now appears youthful and hale. The only bad thing about this tree is that it drops leaves year-round, many of which fall on the the property to the south -- something that perpetually vexes that elderly homeowner. "Yeah, it looks great," I agree. "Too bad the neighbor doesn't like it."

"Oh, you know old people," my wife replies as she clambers back into bed. "They hate trees."

August 05, 2002

The Myth of Sisyphus Retold

Albert Camus' Essay 'The Myth of Sisyphus"
As Retold By My Wife During a Weekend "Fun Run"
Wife: Ug. I hate these uphill parts.

Wife: [Two minutes later] Okay. Okay, I think we're at the top of the hill. Yes. Yes, we are. Ahh, that's so much better.

Wife: [Two minutes later]: Ug. I hate these downhill parts.

July 10, 2002

Seattle Drivers

"Jesus!" I said as I drove us to work today. "A pipeline for Stupid Gas must have ruptured in this area. Everyone is driving like an idiot."

"It's really bright this morning," my wife observed. "People in Seattle have a hard time driving when it's sunny out."

"Or if it's raining, it's snowing, it's hailing, the skies are overcast or the skies are clear," she added. "Or at night."

May 15, 2002

Powder Blue Bath Mats

The house my wife and I just bought was built in the 60s. While some parts of the home have been remodeled, other areas, such as the bathroom, have the original fixtures in the original color scheme.

Friday my wife came home and showed me the powder blue bath mats she had purchased.

"I think they're the right size," she said. "If not, Eddie Bauer said I could return them."

"You spoke with Eddie Bauer?" I exclaimed in mock excitement. "The Eddie Bauer?!"

"Well, it wasn't really Eddie Bauer," She deadpanned. "It was actually a gay man who openly winced when I asked him if these would go well with our mint green bathtub."

April 10, 2002

"Dude, Pass the Boot Dryer"

My wife, a botanist, owns a truck which she uses when doing field work. The bed of the truck has a lockable canopy over it, and inside is a large trunk. The trunk is blood-red, with a bronze frame and an ornate lock. This is exactly the sort of ancient trunk where you would expect to find either

  • A priceless treasure, full of rings fashioned by the craftiest of dwarves, platinum-tipped arrows enchanted by the Elder Elven Council of Thom, diamonds as large as Granny Smith apples and countless coins minted from every precious metal known to the inhabitance of ManaEarth; or
  • A collection of automotive and fieldwork equipment, including jumper cables, a quart of oil, an old milk jug fill of water, a bag of kitty litter (for traction), leather gloves, a rain hat, and an $20 electric boot dryer.
Last night some punks broke into both the canopy and the trunk. They took the boot dryer.

March 13, 2002

Husbandly Blunder

I washed a white towel with a bunch of brightly colored clothing and, to no one's surprise, it came out pink.

Upon discovering this, my wife sighed and said "It's no big deal, but in the future could you at least try and make your husbandly blunders a little less stereotypical?"

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