Sunday, August 30, 2009

Calculon Cookie Sheet: The Sequel

The cookie sheet has been removed from the counter! This morning it was in the sink, with some cleanser rubbed into the burned up corner.

UCC: So, I see you're still trying to revive the Calculon coookie sheet. I thought it was dead, and I was going to take it outside to use on my potting table.

TCG: Yeah, do that. I can't get it clean.

WISIMH: Yet moving it from the counter adjacent to the sink into the sink was all you had the energy to do. The idea of actually taking it out to the trash or otherwise disposing of it would require initiative. And you've got the initiative of a tube of toothpaste.

In other news, I went into DOB's room to get her laundry. She's still sick in bed going into her second week with flu.

UCC: How are you doing today?

DOB: Blah blah, blah, still sick, blah blah.

UCC: It's already over 90, you should close the window and turn on your air conditioner.

DOB: I turned the heat on (in the faux fireplace) because it was cold earlier.

WISIMH: You did what you demented sow? It's going to get over 100 today AGAIN! If you can't close your window, at least don't run the freaking heat!

UCC: Well, it's going to get over 100 today again, so perhaps I could turn it off for you?

DOB: Well, I turned it on because it was cold earlier.

WISIMH: Which is as relevant as, say, telling me your dog is a good boy. BTW, did you notice he has more open sores on his legs, and don't tell me the other ones are healed, because there is always another new sore.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Breaking Cookies Sheet News

Since I last roasted tomatoes to can (Friday, August 21) one of the cookie sheets has remained on the kitchen counter, with a greasy scummy layer of soapy water, “soaking” to facilitate cleaning the caramelized remains. It has remained there exactly 7 days today.

UCC: I’m going to roast the tomatoes I got at the farmer’s market yesterday. What’s the status of the cookie sheet?

TCG: The cookie sheet cannot be saved. We’ll have to buy another one. I was going to take you to On The Table (aka, Sur La Table) to get a new cookie sheet. The Calculon (Actually it’s calphalon™ but we delight in calling it Calculon – the clueless movie star robot on Futurama – to the annoyance of Jim, the sales clerk at On The Table, who is apparently not a Futurama fan) I can’t get the old one clean.

UCC: Can’t I just use the old cookie sheet? I could use the silicone pad, would that help?

TCG: No. You need a new silicone pad too, I can’t get it clean any more. Can’t you use the stainless steel cookie sheet instead? That cleaned up easier than the Calculon sheet.

UCC: No. the stainless sheet is too thin and it’s bowed somehow so one corner lifts up and all the oil drains off and the tomatoes burn in that corner.

TCG: Well, I suppose you could use the Calculon sheet one last time. Don’t bother with the silicone pad, it doesn’t prevent goo from sticking under it, and it just adds one more thing to clean.

UCC: Very well. Rest in peace, Calculon pan.

WISIMH: Too bad all the heroic efforts to clean the Calculon pan failed in the end and the patient slipped into an irreversible coma. Pulling the plug on the Calculon pan one week to the day it was last used to roast tomatoes is a bittersweet experience. We had some good times together, me and the Calculon pan.

But what pisses me off most of all in this traumatic experience is having the damn pan sit on the counter for an entire week, in intensive care, so to speak, only to pull the plug on it. I truly hate a messy kitchen. It causes me real psychic pain to have to work around that stuff. Our arrangement is that you “wash the dishes.” I do all the cooking, cleaning counters, putting away dishes and sweeping the kitchen floor. I also do at least two loads of dishes while I’m cooking, leaving only the actual serving plates to be washed, which can happen anywhere from 24 to 36 hours after use. I also wash my dishes and cups from breakfast and lunch simply to assure I’ll have a clean coffee cup tomorrow. You’re a lazy slug and I’m getting tired of humoring you into thinking you’re carrying your weight wrt/kitchen upkeep.

TCG: I said you could use the Calculon pan one last time.

UCC: I heard you. I said I’ll use the stainless pan out of respect for the passing of the Calculon pan. It’s better to let it die with dignity than to use it one last time in it’s comatose state.

WISIMH: Besides, if I used the Calculon pan, the encrusted goo marinating in greasy dishwater for a week probably wouldn’t contribute to the tastiness of today’s tomato sauce. It’s like the circus left town, but you’re still here. Is it happy hour yet?

Friday, August 28, 2009

One Man’s Poo is Another Man’s Fantasy

Went to the gastroenterologist today to follow up on the old man’s chronic diarrhea, one of the tougher topics to tackle in the morning and without any controlled substances stronger than caffeine. By the time we got home, the outside temperature was over 100, with a relative humidity a bit drier than the breath of doom from a mouth-breather with gum disease and a bad cold. But first, there was 30 minutes of the predictable toilet-chair-toilet routine, of course. Interspersed with coughing spells with sound effects like the worst teenage barf movies in Dolby stereo. That’s before we left the house! More fun was in store.

‘Kay, the drive to the doctor. So we finally get in the car, back out of the carport, park and return to house for his cell phone and then actually depart. New fun fact. Did you know that when you cough, you have to take your foot off the accelerator, regardless of the ambient speed on the freeway? But for an even bigger thrill, picture this. I’m in the suicide seat, adjusting the vents on my dashboard air, and trying to drink my coffee before we got to the parking lot and began circling for one of the closest three spaces. We’re halfway there when TCG grabs my wrist and squeezes quite painfully hard. This is the understood signal, in lieu of any verbal input, to convey the imminent likely possibility of a fainting spell or a coughing seizure by the driver, for which he wants to apologize wordlessly in advance to his doomed passenger. I, of course, duly over-respond, are you okaying and all, make an anguished facial expression indicating extreme distress. There! Ahhh, if only I knew what you were trying to say…

UCC Are you ok? (trying not to draw the driver’s attention to a partial unannounced lane change at a comfortable 45 mph)

TCG: No words, but sounds approximating that I imagine would be made by a zombie before he slaps his fish-hands in your face, who is at that very moment being anally raped in a three-way by the bastard child of Boris Karloff and DOB, by an angry postmenopausal woman suffering from spousal dementia, and finally, by your mamma. Between dramatic, desperate, wordless puppy-eye looks, continuing to emit sound effects from your worst drunk driving nightmare, or the fuzzy way your teeth felt the morning after prom night, or the way the sound track to my life is played in the background.

UCC: (With a bit more drama) Are you ok?

WISIMH: Ahhh, if only I knew what you were trying to say… Are you trying to remind me of the recent sad news that Ted Kennedy has lost his brave battle with brain cancer? Is there breaking news about whether Sandy is Still a Good Boy? Has the Coalition of the Willing scheduled a reunion and not invited Hungary? Are you asking me to describe the way your kisses taste after you have licked a camel’s butt and not removed and/or cleaned your dentures in a coon’s age? Are you remarking on the improbable fate of the Soviet Union, which so filled our teenage cold war nightmares of Armageddon, and yet ended spawning a bunch of impotent backward post-communist market kleptocracies that have too much oil and too little understanding of the seriousness of environmental pollutions? Are you saying I was a latchkey mother, and now I’m paying the price? Wait. What? Are you saying Muppets don’t have souls?

Needless to say, we made it home alive, or, I’d be blogging this from heaven, which could happen you never know. The doctor was this 6 foot tall Nordic blond with a Kissinger accent who performed TCG’s colostomy a while back. He was on iv Valium that day. Good times. As TCG said, she knows him in a way no other women does nudge nudge wink wink. I will spare the details of our double entendre poop/sex joke-filled discussion with the lady gastro. I have evolved a remarkable ability to decline to be embarrassed in public by TCG. Like Dad said, in a shit-throwing contest, the winner isn’t the guy who throws the most, but the guy who has the least sticking to him. Or, was it that life is a shit sandwich: the more bread you have, the less shit you taste?

By the time we got home, outside temperatures were up to 106. Seriously. It’s too hot to even try to hand water the parched yard. Think tumbleweed blowing through, dust-bowl breezes pushing the air pollution around and heating it up. Nothing a good news joke won’t cure:

The good news:
A propylene glycol-tini looks like an apple-tini, tastes sweeter, has fewer calories.
The bad news:
An antifreeze-tini will kill you. Too slowly.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cookie Sheet Update

It's been two days now and the dirty cookie sheet is still soaking on the counter.

In other news, the empty suitcase was removed from the living room after about a week, so all hope is not lost for the cookies sheet.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Breathing and Coughing

Last night, sitting in our matching recliners in front of the TV.

TCG: Whooo, hoo. (Pause) Whew hoo.  (Repeat endlessly. Think audible pursed-lip breathing, with an added moan/groan attempting to convey the weight of the entire world on one’s exhausted shoulders. Then think of this as part of the ongoing background 24/7. I mean, even when I pull up into the carport and exit the car, he opens the front door, leans out, and starts woo hooing as I walk up the sidewalk.)

UCC: Ok. New Rule. You can make those noises when you walk or otherwise engage in any aerobic activity. But you can’t do it just sitting there in the chair between hacking up phlegm and examining it in the Kleenex before tossing it in the trash.

TCG: But it helps me breathe.

UCC: But it helps drive me crazy, and we wouldn't want that, would we?

WISIMN: Don’t care about the breathing any more. It helps me want to strangle you in your sleep. And you might also consider dropping the habit of making your hand tremble when you know I'm watching, or of closing your eyes and acting surprised out of a coma when I come within earshot. Or not.

This Morning:

TCG:  (Washing dishes sitting in a stool in front of the sink) Listen. I washed the big cookie sheet, and your silicone mat. But this other cookie sheet will have to wait for later. I just don’t have the energy now. 

UCC:  Exercising amazing self control to remain steadfastly silent.

WISIMH:  The cookie sheet has already soaked with soapy water for >24 hours. Philip K. Dick said reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. So, believe it or not, this is the reality of my life. And that’s why I don’t consider my habit “recreational” drug use. It’s a condition of my very survival.

Later this morning:

UCC: Here’s the pomegranate juice you wanted. How are you today?

DOB:  Well, I cough, then I cough again. Then, I cough a third time and bring something up. Not much, but a little.

UCC:  That’s wonderful. It sounds like you’re feeling a little better.

DOB: Well, I cough once or twice, then on the third cough I usually can bring something up, but not a lot.

UCC:   That’s wonderful. It sounds like you’re feeling a little better.

DOB:  Yes, I had a better night last night. I usually have to cough about three times to bring something up. But it’s not much.

UCC: That’s wonderful. It sounds like you’re feeling a little better. (This is actually fun).

WISIMN:  I wonder if you could try to bring a little something like a fucking clue, or possibly any thought that gets us off this broken record déjà vu merry go round. Better yet, I have a question: Shut the fuck up.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Is there another word for synonym?

George Carlin always asked the most important questions, didn’t he? Now that he’s gone, who is left to tell us what to question? Watching TV last night in our adjacent recliners, it occurred to me that some people never figure out the mission statement of their lives. If the crucial challenge of our life is never put into terms we can understand, we could end up bouncing around on the pool table of life in whatever direction the other balls push us, and watching banal TV shows in our adjacent lazyboy/girl recliners.

Then again, such people often have the optimism that is the reward of living the unexamined life. Such people tend to think that it’s a good thing, for example, that smokers are less likely to die of age-related causes, without looking past that good news. Also, when these people have an original thought, you have to admit it’s original. For example, Britney Spears actually said this: “I don't really have time to sit down and write. But when I think of a melody, I call up my answering machine and sing it, so I won't forget it.” Pure genius.

The mission statement of my life could be: lather, rinse, drink, repeat. That other mission-statement-challenged people happen frequently to be tiresome, goes without saying. Then again, if I had a time machine, I’d probably use it to go back to the beginning of this sentence.

So, last night, during the commercials between reruns of Scrubs, I began to formulate my Rules for Conversation Interruptus:

1. When I try to explain something, interrupt midway to ask the very question being answered.
2. When I resume an interrupted sentence by beginning “As I may have mentioned recently…” interrupt at this point to say “You don’t have to get all mad about it and whatnot”
3. Break the silence at the point it is becoming somewhat sinister by pointing at something banal and observing how interesting it is. Extra points for not making sense and/or having passed the object being pointed at traveling at 40 mph, making it impossible for conversational partner to see the object. Extra, extra points for talking over another speaker and waving your pointy finger too close to the other speaker’s face.
4. When I have uttered a simple sentence (e.g. cats have whiskers) pause thoughtfully and ask, “what?” and then interrupt after the first two words are repeated.
5. Repeat a statement by the other person verbatim, but intoning it as a question, e.g. Cats have whiskers?
6. Whatever else you do, never listen unless something is repeated at least twice.
7. Gesturing to the undefined aether in front of the speaker – is that someone I should know? Or, is he somebody famous?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


TCG: Looking at the shopping list on the frig door. That Clorox, is that regular Clorox or colored Clorox?
UCC: Regular Clorox.
WISIMH: That’s why I wrote “Clorox,” rather than, say, “Clorox for Colors.”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fun with Short Term Memory Loss

Watching the news, and Howard Dean was just interviewed about the status of the health plan legislation. Sufficient time has elapsed for this information to be bumped out of the short term memory queue into the wild blue yonder of neural synapses where long term memories may be stored but are often not indexed for later reference.

TCG: Did I just miss Dean’s interview?
UCC: I don’t know. You were laying on the couch. Were you sleeping?
TCG: Dean. Dean. The other guy. Who was interviewed? The other Dean.
UCC: The guy who was in the movie Giant and was then killed in a drunk driving incident?
TCG: No the other Dean.
UCC: The guy who makes the sausage in a chocolate chip bun on a stick?
TCG: No. Nixon.
UCC: Nixon’s name wasn’t Dean…. Ah, you mean John Dean?
TCG: Yeah. That’s the interview I missed when I was on the couch?
UCC: Possibly, but not tonight. Howard Dean was interviewed. John Dean wasn’t.

In other news…

TCG: DOB has a rash on her arm. J told her to put Milk of Magnesia on it.
UCC: Sure she didn’t mean calamine lotion?
TCG: I’m pretty sure she did, but we can’t question this because, as you know, J knows everything, and DOB forgets nothing.
UCC: When you pick up the Milk of Magnesia, pick me up some car wax to douche with, and a bottle of hair gel for my indigestion.
TCG: Done. I’ll also get some cough syrup in case my dandruff doesn’t clear up by the time I finish the brake fluid.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Toasty Conversation

Sitting down in my TV chair with a plate with a buttered slice of toast.
TCG: What’s that?

UCC: It’s toast.

TCG: How was I supposed to know?

UCC: One clue might be that it looks like toast.

TCG: What’s that white stuff on it?

UCC: Actual butter...

WISIMN: ...As opposed to the yellow lard you slather on thick enough to choke a horse.

Cat: Hmmmm.

WISIMN: Finally! The first intelligent conversational offering of the evening.