Conversational snippets

She watched him silently for a few moments as he worked at the stove and then said,”I need you to show me how to grill pork chops. I don’t know how.”

“I can’t.” His slight chagrin was accompanied by a charming smile, “I literally have no idea what I’m doing.”

“So what are you doing?” she asked, “What’s your plan?”

“I decided to put the raw meat on this hot thing.”

She tilted her head, and inspected the meat with a critical eye, “That’s a pretty solid plan.”

“I thought so too.”

Me: Can poinsettias live outside? I want one but it would be safer for the the animals if we kept it outside. They’re cold weather plants, right?

Kyle: Seriously? What in our thirteen years together makes you think I know the answer to that question?

Me: I thought you’d be use to my questions by now and prepare accordingly.

Kyle: You’re right. That’s how I spend my spare time. Reading up on poinsettia trivia.


“I need your help!” she shouted from the bathroom.

He bounded across the bedroom, scolding the dogs to get the hell out of the way. When he reached her, the concern on his face was evident. “What? What’s wrong?”

“I slept in this shirt but I still want to wear it today. Help me rub the dog fur off of it?”

He stared at her, his face torn between amusement and irritation. Finally he said, “I’m posting this on Facebook.”

“Good. I hope you do. Now help me with my shirt.”


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December 8, 2013 · 1:59 am

I’m sorry. Really.

This weekend I bought Kyle a small present and then I immediately apologized for it before I even gave it to him. I was sure he wouldn’t like it and I wanted to explain myself.

He rolled his eyes at me and demanded his present. He also asked me to please stop apologizing for everything, especially for things like buying him a $1 silly gift. It’s not the first time we’ve had this conversation. It’s also not the first time I’ve had the unnecessary apology exchange with someone.

Things I apologized for in the past week:

1. Needing to eat.
2. Reading.
3. Playing LEGO Avengers poorly.
4. Sleeping.
5. Asking for a glass of water.
6. Shivering.
7. Having hair on my legs.
8. Accepting a glass of wine that was offered to me.
9. Not cutting my toenails.
10. Borrowing toothpaste.

Yes, I know it’s ridiculous. And yes, it makes me want to apologize to everyone for being so ridiculous. (I’m sorry, really. I am.) Look at the list! In essence, I’m apologizing for being human. I’m apologizing for claiming space. I’m apologizing for existing.

I’d also like to apologize for those last three sentences being so damn dramatic.

On one hand, I can accept that my incessant need to apologize is just part of me. It’s a neurotic little quirk that can be treated with compassion. On the other, I’d really like it to stop because I’m afraid it might actually be a little self-destructive. So, I’m testing myself.

I wanted to get Kyle a “just because” present and I thought that I might as well kill two birds with one stone. His gift is due to arrive today and other than mentioning that I bought him a present, I’m keeping my mouth shut.

It’s profoundly uncomfortable. (I just want to tell him I’m sorry if it’s a horrible pressent. But I’m not saying it.)

It’s also made me profoundly grateful for overnight shipping.

I think this holiday season might cause a nervous breakdown. Anyone else have this quirk?


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Om nom nom nom

For a while now, I’ve been a “flexitarian.” I was eating a 75-85% vegetarian diet but I also ate meat because it was convenient and I am lazy. Besides, occasionally this girl really needs bacon. And chicken tacos. And maybe a bloody steak. Hmm. Maybe I wasn’t as good at being a flexitarian as I thought.

A few weeks ago, I decided to give being a real vegetarian a try. It’s best not to ask me why, unless you’d like a boring treatise about food justice, the environment, the intelligence of (some) even-toed ungulates and my feelings. I have a lot of feelings to share with all of you. I could write volumes of bad poetry about my feelings and then author a dissertation on the poetry. I really tried not giving a damn about chickens, as they are stupid jerks, but apparently I am incapable of that. It’s an annoying personality trait.

Anyway, for a seemingly minor lifestyle change, my body has revolted. It might be the cold weather. It might be that I need to adjust my diet to include more protein or fat or who knows what. All I know for sure is that I’ve been ravenous and it’s not pretty.

More and more my stomach has been, “Excuse me, I need food right now.”

I try to ignore it because it’s never actually time for a meal and I’m very busy. So my stomach gets more insistent, “I’m totally serious. Like, stat. Food. Now. Now. NOW!”

Fine. Whatever, stomach. I’ve been grabbing an apple or a piece of chocolate so I can go along with my busy, yet merry, way. Small snacks between meals have shut it up in the past. However, when I do that now my stomach is all, “No. That was the wrong thing. I’m still very hungry and now I’m slightly upset too. Pay attention to meeeee!”

My grouching stomach gives my brain cause to chime in, “That chocolate gave me a sugar buzz. I refuse to do anything productive until you remove these sugar-buzz bees from my head space.”

Never one to be left out, my mouth starts yelling, “I dare you to stuff as much food as possible into your mouth! I double-dog dare you! Let’s see how much cheese we can fit in here! And beans! And quinoa!”

“No.” I say, “It’s 10:30 in the morning. We aren’t eating those things. It’s time to work.”

“Let’s eat ALL THE SPINACH!!!” yells the brain. My brain is obviously still upset about the extra sugar. (Or possibly psychotic. Why else would I be craving spinach?)

“No. EGGS AND CHEESE!” shouts the stomach.

“CAAAAAAARRRRRBBBBBSSSS!!!!” roars the mouth.

I tell my mouth that less than 30 seconds ago it was demanding high-protein food and not carbohydrates.


I tell my mouth that’s still carbohydrates and we really need to eat more vegetables. I am ignored. That’s not unexpected as my mouth has never been one for rationality and/or continuity of thought.

“I vote we hibernate until April,” volunteers the brain, obviously overwhelmed by the combination of a sugar-crash, November rain and the increasingly loud demands of the mouth.

“Hey! This is my problem, remember? This is about me. And I’d really just like to be filled to an uncomfortable level with red curry” says the stomach.

“Ooooh, yes! Definitely that!” agree the brain and mouth in unison. “Let’s gorge on curry, curl up under all the blankets, and stay there until spring time.”

Finally, my legs speak up, “Hey, when you’re done being crazy and food-obsessive, can we go running again sometime soon? We’re getting twitchy and restless and it would be great if you ran until we collapsed. Hibernation sounds like a horrible idea.”


So, as you can see, I’m in turmoil. Has anyone else gone vegetarian? Did your appetite spiral out of control, and if so, what did you do to ease the transition? Help me, please!


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Mass hysteria! Cats and dogs living together

We have two cats now.

I’m not really sure how it happened.   I mean, I know the details of what transpired. I could lay it out, piece by piece, but that story is boring and doesn’t really capture the spirit of what happened.

I feel the story can be best be portrayed with a crappy Paint comic instead.

The lesson in all of this is that when life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. If life gives you cats… well, don’t make cat juice. That’s gross. I can’t imagine the cats would like it either. 

However, there’s no reason I couldn’t help the cats make metaphorical lemonade with the bad hand they had been dealt.  I wanted cats and the cats needed a home. Voila! Metaphorical kitty lemonade! 

Kyle pretends to be a long-suffering victim in all of this. Whatever. He supposedly hates cats but I have evidence to the contrary:

  1. He takes an inordinate number of selfies with both cats.
  2. He built them a cat tree
  3. He lets a 3lb kitten sleep in his beard.

Quite  obviously, this is hate made manifest. (I need the ability to convey rolling my eyes super hard on blog posts)

Even if you aren’t swayed by this argument, I feel Kyle and I are pretty even. That jerk gave me pink-eye two weeks ago because he refused to go to the doctor. Two days of infected eyes equals twenty years of cats. 😀

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November 12, 2013 · 3:20 am

It’s time to get excited! …. Maybe

“So, are you excited about next weekend?”

It was a Friday afternoon and far too early to be thinking of this weekend, let alone next weekend. The immediate problem facing her was whether or not there was enough hot sauce on her burrito and whether she could add more without it dripping down her fingers. Somehow hot sauce always found its way from her fingers to her eyes or up her nose with very little effort on her part.

Hey. Earth to Keira. Next weekend. Are you excited?”

She finally looked-up, still distracted by her burrito, “What do you mean?”

“Uh. Saturday.  Are you looking forward to next Saturday?”

“…Yes. Maybe. I don’t know? Why?”

“Weeeelll, it’s Saturday. The twenty-eighth. Remember?”

“Um…” She thought. He had said it like she should already know, like that they had talked about it at length. What had she agreed to do on the twenty-eighth? There were no races, or conventions, or parties. She was fairly certain they weren’t going to a football game. Was there a family event? Was it someone’s birthday? Were they going out of town? She really hoped she hadn’t agreed to go the damn aquarium again, as she was only interested in the cephalopods and sharks. She wanted to pick up her phone to check her calendar but then he would know she had forgotten.

It was too late. She knew that he knew that she didn’t know.  She could see it in his face and he was far too smug and gleeful about his knowledge. It made her want to blow raspberries at him. She didn’t, but only because that would mean he had won and she wasn’t ready to concede.

Then it clicked.

“OH!” She jumped in her chair and nearly dropped her burrito, “OH!!! It’s our anniversary! “

“Yep. Five years.”  He grinned and raised his hand to high-five her.

“Wait. Is our anniversary the twenty-eighth?”

“….I think so?” He didn’t sound nearly as confident anymore. His hand started to lower.  The smugness was gone.

“Are you sure? Did we ever figure it out for certain? It might be the twenty-seventh.” She paused and thought some more, “Or maybe the twenty-ninth.”

“Shit. I don’t know.”

“It’s definitely one of those days, right?”

“Um. Maybe.”

They sat there a moment, trying to decide if they should call a more responsible relative or friend to discreetly ask about their wedding date. Or, they could dig out their important document folder that contained their marriage certificate…but that folder was buried somewhere in a box in the back of a closet. Probably.

Finally she said, “Do you want to just say our anniversary is the twenty-eighth?”

“Yeah” He nodded definitively, “That’s way easier.”

That detail decided, she finally added more hot sauce to her burrito and then leaned over the table to kiss him.

“Happy early anniversary to us. I am very excited. She paused and then added, “You have cheese in your beard.”

P.S. I checked a calendar from 2008. I’m nearly positive that we were married on Sep 27th 2008 ..but since Kyle and I are so awesome and also so bad at remembering, I think it’s okay to celebrate both days.


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Adventures in Home Ownership

Some of you know that Kyle and I bought a house about a year ago and  since we’ve bought the house, I’ve been wanting to rip up the carpet. I was fairly certain there was decent hardwood underneath.  I had peeled up the carpet near the vents but I couldn’t get a really good look at the floor without damaging the carpet.  Naturally, I wanted to start tearing it out immediately. Kyle didn’t think that was a good idea. It’s usually a sign that something’s a bad idea if Kyle’s the one putting the brakes on. So, for an entire year, I’ve been very patiently and very quietly (and sometimes not so quietly) hating the carpet.

Kyle was putting it off because he thought he was going to have to do most of the work.  It’s not an unreasonable worry. The man has a lot of construction experience and he knows what kind of work this project entails. Also, he knows me and he knows sometimes when things get difficult I throw myself down on the floor or couch or whatever is nearest, claim my legs are broken, and refuse to move. And that maybe I’m also dying. And the only cure is for someone to bring me a Diet Coke. And red curry and/or possibly a burrito.

It’s just as charming as it sounds. I don’t blame him for wanting to put off the project.

However, the situation was quickly becoming untenable. One of the dogs is thirteen and semi-incontinent. The other is shedding so much I’m surprised he’s not completely bald yet.  It doesn’t matter how often I vacuum, shampoo and spot treat the carpet. I cannot keep it clean and really, I feel my energies are better spent elsewhere. (For instance, I’ve just discovered how much I love Portal. I also really like to sleep. ) Also, Kyle’s allergies are terrible this year and I doubt our dusty, dirty, furry carpet is helping the situation.
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Don’t let them fool you. Those sweet faces are hiding the carpet-destroying-monsters underneath.

Anyway, Kyle left for a football game with some friends to drink beer and cheer against my alma mater. I decided that was a legitimate reason to possibly cause major damage to our home. I grabbed the carpet near the stairs and started pulling.

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I don’t know what I would have done if it was terrible. Probably, I would have tucked the carpet back in and pretended that everything was normal. I’m really good at pretending everything is completely fine.   However, I got lucky. So, I grabbed a utility knife and started cutting.

And kept cutting.

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You see those dark spots on the left? That’s Bear’s handiwork. (Weiner-Work? Or maybe,  “My Crazy Brain Has Made Me Lose Control of My Bladder-Work” and possibly, “I’ve Forgotten That Outside Exists-Work” and “Hey, This Seems Like a Great Place To Pee-Work?”)

Anyway, Kyle came home, gazed upon my deeds, and declared it good. He was curious though what caused me to suddenly slice up our floor, so I told him that I had to make a tough decision between him, the dogs, and the carpet. One of them had to go. He understood and gave a surreptitious nod toward Buster. You know, because you can hurt a cocker spaniel’s feelings if you say mean things about him.

“Oh, hell no.”  I said, “You were a close second to the carpet.”

He decided that was reasonable and went to get me a cheeseburger. He also brought me a pry bar and showed me how to use it on the carpet tack.  I had been using a flat-head screw driver; it wasn’t nearly as efficient. Or fun. Seriously, get a pry bar and just start demolishing things. It’s fantastic.

Ummm. Make sure you own the things you demolish.

After I had eaten, Kyle gave me a brief construction lesson on how to lay the padding, how the tack works, and how to stretch/install the carpet. Then he left me alone to go watch more football. Good man. It’s not a good idea to mess with me and the pry bar.

I kept cutting.

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I’m mostly done. There’s still a few more places I haven’t gotten to yet. I haven’t moved the couch because I can’t do that on my own. I leg-pressed some of the furniture across the room but sadly, the couch is too big for that.

There’s also some damage to the hardwood floor but it’s nothing that’s unfixable. (I think. I still need to research more) Honestly, I hope I look this good when I’m 73. I like how it looks; it’s made the entire room more cheerful and warm and homey. It’s like honey in the sunshine.

Bear’s a fan too. I guess I can forgive him for staining my floors.

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There’s still a lot of work to do but I have claimed it as my project.

Considering how much I like to sleep and play video games, it’s going to be a good six months or so before anyone is allowed bare-footed in the house. Y’all have been warned. It’s not my fault if you get tetanus.


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