Friday, October 21, 2016


It's Friday night and I have spent the past month writing the 34- now 24-page release notes for the latest software release at work, which involves working with a German engineer to understand the benefits of the new features. I like this guy a ton for going out to dinner, but getting him to think abstractly and about market benefits is a challenge.

For instance (and we were not really talking about describing the feature as blue, but as I have no interest in giving away trade secrets and losing my job, for this blog, the feature is blue):

Me: So. Can we say this feature is blue?
German: No. It's indigo.
Me: But - indigo is a kind of blue.
German: It's indigo.
Me: Blue is the higher level of indigo. If we say this feature is blue, we are not being untruthful, correct?
Engineer: But that's not accurate!
Me: It's true, right?

I am weary. I am too tired to think of other words.

I don't want to be a nasty person who is unkind about nice people. Part of the challenge of this blog now that Sly and Doris are dead is that really is not a villain to the story. Oh sure, Ted is trying, but eventually he will go away.

I hope.

I hope he will go away. Please please please go away, Ted. You are not wanted here.

But no villain. I learned in my organizational behavior class in grad school that one of the best ways to create unity in a dysfunctional team is to unite them against a common enemy. I have united us (you, my wonderful readers) against the common enemies of Sly and Doris, but they are gone.

I need an enemy.

Where can I find an enemy?

Today, Primo asked me to teach him how to make hospital corners so he could make it the way I like it.

Nope. Nope. Nope. He, at the age of 50 - 51? - how old is he? Whatever. At his age, he has never learned how to make a bed properly.

Yay! We can resurrect an enemy!

Sly and Doris - you never taught your son how to make a bed? Honestly.

I need to ask Primo if he even made his own bed as a kid.

Are you guys shocked when you find kids who don't make their own beds? I am. I am almost as shocked when that happens as I am when I learn that parents are paying someone to cut the grass and shovel the snow when they have perfectly healthy kids around. Or are washing the dishes themselves instead of making their kids do it.

Maybe Doris made the beds. I don't know. Why would she? Even if she didn't care that she was spending all of her time doing boring housework that she could have delegated, didn't she think about what Primo might need to know how to do as an adult?

(And no, I am not even considering the idea that Sly might have done part of the housework just by virtue of living in the house. Even retired, he didn't help. Last year, when Doris was in the hospital and Primo did a load of laundry, Sly had no idea where to put Doris' clothes or the kitchen and bath towels. HE HAD NEVER PUT THE LAUNDRY AWAY! And of course there is no excuse for not being able to figure it out. He just didn't care.)


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

In which Primo cleans out the guest room! and throws away junk mail from 2012 and 2014!

I complain so much about Primo and I don't say enough nice things about him because I am living this life so it's all balanced to me but then I realize that you guys hear the cranky stuff about Primo and how he is not throwing stuff away but that I don't tell you about all the wonderful things he does and says.

1. He is always very complimentary to me about my figure. I worry I am gaining weight and things are getting tight but Primo always tells me that he likes the way I look.

2. He takes care of almost all of the housework. I get home from work and I have to do nothing. He washes the dishes and does the laundry and cuts the grass and buys the groceries and cleans the bathrooms. It's nice.

3. He cares about making me happy. He does nice things for me, like picking books up from the library or going to the Vietnamese grocery store, so I don't have to get my lazy butt out of the house and somewhere else.

4. He is finally throwing away old stuff. :)

I thought of some more things.

1. He cleans the catbox. I never have to do it.
2. He cleans the slime out of the dehumidifier. I have seen the slime. It is gross.
3. He cleans the hair out of the bathtub drain, even though it is my hair.
4. He cuts the cats' claws.
5. He repairs the car and changes to the snow tires.
6. For my birthday, he gave me just what I wanted - an entire day all by myself to watch Blacklist and Madame Secretary. And he made me a grilled cheese with steak, giving me all the lean steak, which is not that much of a sacrifice because he prefers the fattier pieces.
7. For years, I did not visit his parents with him because he knew how miserable it made me because of how nasty they were, even though going alone made it more miserable for him.
8. He visits my mother and is gracious and kind to her and to my other family. He has attended two funerals and one wedding this year for my family even though I told him he didn't have to go. He says, "But I like your family."

He is just a good, good person and I am so lucky to have him. I didn't meet him until our 20 year reunion, but I knew his best friend while we were in college and I remember what Pete had to say about Primo. He said, "He has the biggest heart of anyone I know." And Pete is right.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

In which I try to convince Primo that Hoarding Is Bad

Me, reading a novel about a hoarder: Listen to this! "I can't throw that vase away! It can be repaired!"

Primo: You get frustrated watching me be like that.

Me: Yep. And CPS is going to take the kid away in this book because his bed has too much stuff on it - he can't even sleep on it.

Primo: You don't like all the stuff on the bed in the guest room.

Me: Nope. You not only have your own junk, you have imported other people's crap into our house.

Primo: What are you talking about?

Me: You brought a reel to reel tape player from your mom and dad's house into our house!

Primo: But it's an interesting antique!

Me: Then look at photos online.

Primo: It's RARE!

Me: IT IS NOT! It is junk!

Primo: But there are still tapes from my family!

Me: So? Get them transferred to a CD.

Primo: It's not the same!


Primo: Tom [his friend who is visiting] also thinks that a reel to reel tape player is an interesting antique.

Me: You told me that Tom has a ton of old junk in his basement. He is not exactly a credible source.

In which I discover that Laverne has a very refined palate

It is 4th of July weekend in real time and here is what I have done so far.

1. Put Laverne out
2. Bring Laverne in
3. Put Laverne out
4. Bring Laverne in

I did this seven times before noon yesterday and noticed, thanks to my excellent observational skills, that the reason she wanted to come in every single time was to get a drink of water.

Thinking that what she really wanted was water and wanting to thwart further in and out trips (which involve putting her harness on and clipping her leash to the clothesline, and then undoing all of that to bring her in), I took a bowl of water outside when she started whining and placed it next to her.

No luck.

She still wanted to come in.

I brought her in. Perhaps she was done with Outside for the morning and wanted to move to the kitchen window, which is another of her favorite spots.

Other Favorite Spots include
  • Hunting Spot Number One, right by the house where the field mouse nest is
  • Hunting Spot Number Two, by the tree where she watches squirrels and rabbits but never catches any
  • On Top of The Stove
  • Perched on the Toilet Seat Watching the Water Swirl
  • Perched over the Kitchen Sink Watching 
  • Right next to My Work Computer by the Vent

She did not want to move to another Spot.

She wanted Inside Water.

Which, apparently, is completely different from Outside Water.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

For The Cosmic Avenger, from the brilliant Bill Watterson

Because, as The Cosmic Avenger noted, engineers cannot do math.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

In which Primo fumes about Ted insisting he needs to check Primo's math

Primo: I'm really mad at Ted.

Me: He's a jerk.

Primo: "I need to check your math."

Me: Because you are either stupid or dishonest.

Primo: Probably stupid.

Me: That's what everyone says about you.

Monday, October 10, 2016

In which Primo answers Ted's email far more graciously than Ted deserves, given the not so subtle insults Ted made, and tells me that if Ted even tries to get two of the other nieces and nephew to request as audit as allowed by the trust documents, he will never talk to Ted again, not that I want him to anyhow

Primo wrote,


Yes, funds are forthcoming and you should have checks for the agreed-upon amount by the end of this month, as previously mentioned.

What math do you need to check? I have been through the spreadsheet (attached) that we've used to track Ted'sSon's education expenses -- as well as the documentation you provided -- more than once, and after you receive checks for the "remaining balance" there will be no amount outstanding. Please let me know if you see any mistakes or have additional expenses to submit.

(And then boring stuff about taxes and medical bills)

Me, after reading Primo's email: Wow. You are a lot nicer than I would have been.

Primo: For now.

Me: He is such a jerk. And he has no legal right to know what's in the big trust!

Primo: Nope. I haven't moved any money out of my parents' trust into the kids's trusts yet. There are still some medical bills and some tax stuff. I can't shut that trust down yet.

Me: I guess he could see TedsSon's trust once that's set up because even though TedsSon is 21, Ted is his legal guardian.

Primo: Yes, I think so. But for my parents' trust, three of the four beneficiaries have to demand an accounting.

Me: Which Stephanie and Jack's kids aren't going to do.

Primo: If Ted tries to get them to demand an accounting, I will never talk to him again. I will tell him that our relationship is dead, that any request for disbursement needs to come via certified mail, and that I will be resigning as trustee and he will have to deal with [the lawyer] whom he calls "a junior varsity lawyer."

Me: I don't want you to talk to him again, anyhow.

Primo: I know.