Sunday, February 22, 2009

Retro Bloggage - All For One

Originally posted July 22, 2007.

I have these theories which oversimplify life's problems, but give me little standards to live by which become etched in stone.

One of my first was, if you have roommates, only have one thing of milk in the fridge.

When I've had roommates in my life, I can honestly say they were the most excellent. And we would always share everything. Hence the one thing of milk in the fridge.

Then I would visit some friends, open their fridge and see four separate milk containers in the fridge. The psychology which occurs is astounding, yet so predictable. One person is inevitably less responsible than the other three. He wakes up, wants cereal, but hasn't gone out to replenish his milk supply. He innocently "borrows" someone else's milk, quite sure they won't mind.

But oh, they do mind. It's such a small thing, but once it happens a few times, it's like that little irritating sore that drives you nuts. You know it's coming and you almost revel in some sort of twisted satisfaction when you're proven right. And the irritation turns to pure unbridled hate. God help us all if he actually has the gall to "borrow" some cereal as well one day.

And when I bring up my theory, I used to get all kinds of excuses. "We like different milk." "I don't drink much, and he eats cereal like six times a day." Blah, blah, blah. And I would look at them in my very judgemental way and declare,"I give this whole arrangement ten months. Tops." And I was usually right.

But today I opened up my own fridge and saw two things of milk. Whole and skim. The ends of the spectrum. One for the kid, one for the wife. Me, I could care less.

Boy, I really hope they can make it more than ten months.

Monday, February 16, 2009

We Probably Have Different Answers To The Question, "Where's The Hoe?" Too.

The only test I ever failed as a kid was totally unfair.

It was a test on toast.  I remember it very distinctly.  It was in the first grade and the teacher was testing our knowledge of the toast making process.  There were four pictures and we were to put them in order; put the bread in the toaster, push the bread down, toast pops up, butter the toast.

There were two facts that made this unfair:  She hadn't actually taught us about toast AND I didn't own a toaster!  For whatever reason, my parents were both fry-pan toasters.  Butter, fry, eat.  (personally I still prefer my toast this way.)  But I got the test horribly wrong and my college scholarships were in jeopardy because I wanted to butter my bread bfore putting it in the toaster.

Ever since that very traumatic experience, I've been rather sensitive to cultural biases in society and interactions.  Those little things where your upbringing has really shaped the way that you think and approach life.  Sometimes we automatically assume that all people should pretty much think/behave in similar ways.  And sometimes it really smacks you in the face that people from different backgrounds really see the world from different perspectives.

Yesterday, as Carol and I drove through a somewhat questionable neighborhood, we both saw something lying on the side of the road.

Carol:  Haha, did you see that wig on the road?  Can you imagine the story behind that getting there?

Me:  Oh.  I thought it was a cat.

Apparently, where I grew up, cats were the roadkill.  Where Carol grew up, weaves were the roadkill.

Either way, it's an uncomfortable conversation to have with the owners once you've gotten out of the car.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love = heart-shaped biscuits

The boys were happy this morning. All of them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Start The Car!

I felt like I was in that Ikea commercial a few days ago when I scored these:

Regularly $12.99 a piece (yikes), they were on sale for $2.99. Pure awesomeness. As Office Renovation 2009 comes to an end, they're a welcome addition. Before and afters of the office will probably be ready in a couple weeks.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Or Like Picking Sitters Using "Eeny Meeny Miny Mo".

As I was walking with the kid down the sidewalk yesterday, something odd struck me.  When I was little, I don't remember ever having any friends on the other side of the street.  Despite the abundance of kids across the street, I never befriended a single one. I remember one house in particular where there would often be three "children of the corn" looking kids intermittently pressed up against the windows or circling their tricycles on their driveway.

But the road was a divider.  It created an invisible barrier of inconvenience.  Robby and Sandy, two doors down, only required a hasty scramble across two driveways.  (One gravel, one asphalt.  Both painful on barefeet on a hot summer day.)  The albinos across the street would involve asking parents, holding hands, looking both ways, etc. etc.  Too much.  

It's funny to think that as adults we can have all kind of criteria for friendships: honesty, loyalty, humor, kindness.  We look for people with similar interests, similar tastes, similar beliefs.  And we have certain minimal standards in hygiene and manners.

But as kids, it was as simple as geographic proximity.  Across the street or around the corner became major obstacles to friendship. Later, when we became school-aged, arbitrary class lists determined our friendships.  God forbid your "best friend" be in another class.  Who would you look to when the teacher said "partners"?   And would you be expected to do wheelbarrow races with a stranger?  The horror.

It's scary how simple the selection process is for who will surround us during the most formative years of our lives.

It feels almost like trusting your destiny to a game of "One Potato".

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hump Day

Wednesday is kind of a big deal in our house. For me, it means that I only have two more nights of sleeplessness before Lee takes over baby duty for the weekend. It also means LOST, y'all. We usually wrestle the kids into bed (literally) a few minutes before 8:00p and then proceed to break out TV trays, popcorn, beverages and laptops (only if required). It's a beautiful thing, I tell you. Only 6 hours and 8 minutes to go...

A couple newbies in the shop later today:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Light Reading

Because I suffer from OCLRRD (Obsessive Compulsive Living Room Rearranging Disorder), I decided to move a couple bookcases around and subsequently ended up rearranging some books.

I asked Jack what he'd like to take with him when he went down for his nap thinking he would want some loud toy or something. Nope, not this time - he wanted a book. Fair enough. I told him to pick out a book.

I'm not even kidding. He was clamoring for this book. I think it was the rainbow. I bet he's reading 'The Man Who Loved Corsets' right now...