Thursday, December 18, 2014

In which Primo wants me to go to a boring political dinner to honor someone I think is a nutcase and I have to figure out what I want in return

Primo: Gary has invited us to [some big deal political event for their party].

Me: So?

Primo: He's invited both of us.

Me: Ick. I don't want to go.

Primo: He paid $1,000 for the table.

Me: If I go, will you ask him about political work?

Here's the deal: Primo wants to quit his job. His Silicon Valley pay in the where we live now job. His job that if he leaves, he will never get back. He will never get a comparable job again. He is in a technical field that is changing quickly and there is nothing more useless in tech than an old engineer.

As you might imagine, I am panicked about this.

He wants to quit without having anything else lined up.

Primo has never had any problems finding work before. Primo has no idea what the job market is like now, especially for someone who wants to change careers.

He says it would be fine because he does not care if he makes the salary he makes now. (I care.)

So we are fighting about this.

I say that he should at least do some research and find out if the kind of job he wants -  which I would like him to define - even exists.

He tells me that he doesn't have time.

I say that if he didn't waste so much time reading political stuff online and getting cranky about it, he would have plenty of time for other things.

So we fight about this. A lot.

Primo: I could.

Me: I have been telling you for two years to ask people.

Primo: But I can't ask them unless I am actually going to quit and be available!

Me: Of course you can ask! That is called RESEARCH.

Primo: No. I can't. I have to be in the right mindset.

Me: What?

Primo: And how can I look for a job while I have a job? I don't have time!

Me: You can do it the way the rest of the world does it! I have gotten three new jobs in the past two years. I didn't quit my job to look for a new one.

Primo: That's different. You're not busy, the way I am.

Me: Oh right. Because I am not at work all day.

Primo: Your job is not as demanding as mine.

Me: Nope. And it pays only half of what yours pays. If I go, you have to promise that you will ask Gary and other people to be named later about work.

Primo: Maybe.

Me: You drive me crazy.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

In which Primo has to pick his walk-up song

Primo: I need to pick a song for the convention next week for before my speech.

Me: What? Like your walk-up song?

Primo: Yes.

Me: You mean, like a baseball player?

Primo: Yes.

Me: Except you are not a baseball player. This is stupid.

Primo: I know.

Me: What are you going to pick?

Primo: I don't know.

Me: How about "Come Sail Away?" [One of his karaoke favorites.]

Primo: No!

Me: Rhinestone Cowboy? [I was listening to Glen Campbell's greatest hits today and feeling kind of sad thinking about how we saw him in concert last year on his farewell tour and he got disoriented during one song because of his Alzheimer's and his daughter had to guide him back onto the stage.]

Primo: What? No! It has to have some kind of political protest theme.

Me: I know. "I'm Not Responsible."

Primo: You mean the, "I'm not responsible because I'm a liberal" song?

Me: Yes.

Next day, after Primo meets with his campaign committee to count the petition signatures (400 more than required, although you have to get extras in case some of the signatures are invalid, which some always are).

Me: Did you pick your walk-up song?

Primo: We narrowed it down.

Me: To what?

Primo: Maybe Tom Petty, "I Won't Back Down."

Me: That wouldn't be bad.

Primo: We wanted a traditional protest song, but they are too soft and gentle.

Me: Plus they are boring.

Primo: And we talked about some Bruce Springsteen songs.

Me: Ick. No. Yet another rich guy who sings about the blue collar life without living it.

A week later:

Primo and I are at the Gipsy Kings concert, which was amazing - those guys are not poulets des primtemps yet they still rock. They started singing, "y no tener la culpa." I turned to Primo and said, "THAT is your walkup song."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

In which Primo spends a Saturday afternoon knocking on doors to get signatures for his nominating petition but gets only six signatures

Me: How many signatures [for Primo's nominating petition] did you get?

Primo: Only about six.

Me: But you've been gone for two hours!

Primo: A lot of people weren't home and the ones who were at home wanted to talk. They wasted a lot of my time.

Me: Like who?

Primo: Carolyn down the street. But she's really nice so I didn't mind.

Me: Who else?

Primo: The "But we are really committed to Obama people."

Me: OK.

Primo: And then Jason.

Me: Oh no.

Primo: You know how he is.* He was my biggest time sink. I must have spent half an hour with him.

Me: I remember.

Primo: He wanted to quiz me about the campaign strategy and he wanted to talk about this issues and he told me my website isn't very good.

Me: Great.

Primo: He raised some good points. There were questions about issues that I couldn't answer and I told him that my campaign manager was working on those and then he wanted to know if my campaign manager is actually qualified.

Me: I guess he doesn't really get the part that you are running just so there is a [Primo's party] on the ballot.

Primo: Nope. He also said we should be taking this campaign to the national level.

Me: As in spending millions of dollars on advertising?

Primo: Yes.

Me: To people who couldn't even vote in this election?

Primo: Yes.

Me: If he has millions of dollars lying around, he can send them to the campaign.

Primo: Nope. He would say that he knew I needed to get moving to get other signatures but then he would start talking about something else again.

Me: Great.

Primo: And then he wouldn't even sign!

Me: What?!

Primo: No! He wouldn't even sign the nominating petition! He has that business and has dealt with [the incumbent] for some regulatory issues and was worried it could hurt him if he signs.

Me: So he wasted all that time and then he wouldn't even sign the petition?

Primo: NO!

* Jason wanted to be involved in Primo's campaign for the state house. He is super scary smart and would have been an asset for coming up with strategy, but by the time he wanted to get involved, we already had a strategy and marketing materials. What I really needed was someone to deliver yard signs, which did not interest him at all. Who does want to deliver yard signs? I sure didn't. But I did because that's what the campaign needed at the time.

PS The nominating petitions are due in a week and we have no idea how many signatures have been collected on Primo's behalf. If I were the campaign manager - which thank God I am not, I would be calling all the volunteers to ask them how many names they have. If they don't get enough names, Primo does not get on the ballot.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

In which the wife of Primo's opponent breaks her leg and Primo's campaign team tells him he is the one who has to issue a statement

The wife of Primo's opponent - the wife of the congressman - has broken her leg. Just hit the news. I sent an email to Primo saying that maybe someone should post something on his campaign facebook page - something along the lines of, "We are all thinking about the congressman's wife and hope she has a quick recovery."

He agreed, then noted that his social media person had sent him the same news and suggestion.

A few minutes later, he came downstairs, all grumpy.

"They're telling me it has to come from me! That I have to write the statement! And that I have to send a personal note to the congressman!"

"What?!" I replied, perplexed.

"I don't have time for this! I have gotten hardly any work done today. I need to go to the school board meeting tonight!"

He stomped.

(Primo stomps. I guess it's better than putting a fist through the wall. He stomps. He tells me he tries really hard not to be like his dad, who is a yeller and did punch Primo once when Primo was a 98-pound weakling teenager and Sly was a 210-pound weightlifter.)

(I really do not like Sly.)


I agreed - "They do need to do this for you."

"I called [campaign manager] but I can't reach him. I have work to do!"

He stomped back upstairs. I microwaved some chicken with pine nuts and walnuts from the Spain section of my Cooks Illustrated Best International Food cookbook and sat down to eat and read my Time-Life Spain cookbook. I need to make garlic soup. And caldo gallego. And flan. I love food.

He came back downstairs. "[Campaign manager] sent me something, but it has a grammatical error in it and he mentions the word 'prayer.'"

I laughed. "Does he not know that you don't pray?"

"It's pandering to talk about prayer if I don't pray," Primo said. "I'm not going to do it."

"Why don't I draft something?" I suggested.

"Maybe," Primo said. "You know how I am - I will agonize over a 15-word statement."

Oh yes I know how he is. It takes him forever to compose an email to his best friend telling him what time our flight arrives so P can pick us up.

So I draft a quick statement. This is not hard.

I am saddened at the news about Congressman X's wife. No matter what political differences we might have, we all love our families and want nothing but good health for them. I am wishing Mrs. X a quick and painless recovery.

The main purpose of this note is for the followers of Primo's campaign facebook page to know that he is not a jerk. Period.

I think it should be all over. We'll see how long Primo agonizes over it. I am glad I am not such a perfectionist. I think it makes life really hard.

In which Sly brings up the oatmeal again SIX YEARS LATER

Remember when Sly got angry because I did not offer him oatmeal?

He's back. Primo is at his mom and dad's (again) because they have a medical situation (again) and will not move into assisted living or deal with anything because they want to wait until they are healthier, which is so likely to happen. Doesn't everyone's health improve after 80?

  • Primo
    We talked about the oatmeal situation.
  • Me
  • Primo
    Because my dad brought it up.
  • Me
    THat was SIX YEARS AGO!
  • Primo
    He is sure that he was not already eating when you failed to offer oatmeal.
  • Me
    of course he was
    he also thought that [Primo's niece] was pronouncing something wrong
  • Primo
    He always trots out the laundry list of criticisms from the past.
  • Me
    your dad is not a REmemmber
    Your dad needs a hobby
  • Primo
    I used to be good at breaking out the laundry list. I learned to stop that, at least for the most part.
  • Me
    he better hope that his sister is still alive after your mom dies
  • Primo
    He has a hobby. Criticizing people!
  • Me
    because she is going to be the only person who will put up with him
  • Primo
    He's good at it!
  • Me
    I will not have him in my house or in my life
  • Primo
    Proud of his ability.
  • Me
  • Primo
    He criticized my mom yesterday for not remembering a rule in cribbage.
  • Me
    he doesn't even care if there are witnesses
  • Primo
    Not being really mean, but picking at her. She wasn't happy.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

In which Primo goes to another meeting with people who will already like him

Primo (in the phone): The meeting went great! They really liked me!

Me: Of course they did.

Primo: I spoke really well. I didn't use a script.

Me: Did you finally speak from the heart?

Primo: Yes! I talked about that school board stuff!*

Me: Good!

Primo: People came up to me after! They wanted to meet me! They wanted to volunteer! This stuff is fun. It's a lot more fun than my job. I want to quit.

Me: If you can arrange to inherit a million dollars, we can sure consider it.

* Our local school board, which has the funds to pay decent wages, voted the other night to lay off over 30 custodians and outsource the jobs for 1/2 the wage. The savings in the annual budget are less than one percent. I am pretty disgusted.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

In which Primo shows great restraint and some personal growth

Primo: I'm cranky. It's a little thing. I should let it go.

Me: Probably.

Primo: [Social media person] set up my google plus account. -- This is not a big deal. I should let it go.

Me: Let what go?

Primo: OK. So with google plus, you can design a custom URL.

Me: Yes.

Primo: She had "Primoforcongress" but google wanted more. So she added "NM" for the state.

Me: So?

Primo: Well, she just added the capital "NM" but didn't change the other letters!

Me: So now it's "PrimoforcongressNM" instead of "PrimoForCongressNM."

Primo: YES!!!!

Me: She didn't do it right.

Primo: I should let it go, right? Even though she should have been consistent with her capitalization?

Me: Yes.

Primo: I am an administrator on the account. I could just try to change it myself. But that might bother [social media person].

Me: Probably.

Primo: I should let it go.

Me: You should.