Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Worst Wife in the World

Me:  So, I know you like to keep credit accounts to a minimum, but I really think that we should consider a Hyatt card.

Spouse:   [Silence, which I took to be confirmation of his anti-"a bunch of credit cards" stance.  So, naturally, I pressed on.]

Me:  If you spend $1,000 in the first three months, you get two free nights at a Category 1 through 4 hotel.  I have no idea what the categories correspond to, but I can look it up, and there's four of them, so they probably cover a lot of ground.  Anyway, I reserved the trip we already booked on my VISA, but if we pay for it with the Hyatt card at checkout, we'll hit the $1,000 right away.  And I created a Hyatt Passport account when I booked, so everything we spend at the resort this summer will earn us points anyway, and if we pay for them with the Hyatt card, you get bonus points.

Spouse:  [Still nothing.]

Me:  Point being, we can earn ANOTHER free night pretty quickly - particularly if we are consistent about using that card for all our travel expenses.  Oh, I didn't mention that part - you earn more on travel expenses than other expenses, even if they aren't Hyatt-related.  And since you like to pay all of our vacation expenses at once, having a dedicated card that only gets used for travel should make you happy.

Spouse:  [Still nothing - accompanied by glaring.]

Me:  Remember that night at the pool when Lisa was telling us how they do all of their travel through Hyatt Passport, combined with the credit card, and they go to Hawaii on it, like, ALL OF THE TIME?

Spouse:  Is Lisa the one who sells special event insurance?

[So NOW he talks, and he says . . . that?  Also, this is apparently a thing with Spouse now.  The other day, we ran into a friend of mine, and after we said our goodbyes, he asked if she was my friend who sold special event insurance.  I have no idea what he is planning, but apparently it is "special" and calls for insuring.]

Me:  What?  No.

Spouse:  Blonde?

Me:  No.  Brunette.  VERY DEFINITELY BRUNETTE.  And enough about special event insurance, seriously.  But, speaking of insurance generally, the Hyatt card comes with cancellation insurance, even if you book one of those super-cheap deals on Travelocity and such.  You know, the ones we talk ourselves out of, because one of us might have to go the hospital, or there could be a hurricane.  Now we can take advantage of those.  But only on non-Hyatt travel.  You're better off in the long run to book Hyatt stuff through Hyatt.  Point-wise.

Spouse:  [Starts to glaze over again - probably on account of how the conversation has turned away from special event insurance?]

Me:  Okay, I'm looking up resort categories, and - oh, hey, I wonder if . . . YES.  [Name of resort] is on the list.  I wonder when the [name of festival] is scheduled for this year.  Little Kid's never been, and lately Big Kid's been teasing him about it - which, if you ask me, is kinda scraping the bottom of the teasing barrel.  Oh, OH - I think that coincides with . . .  wait for it . . . pulling up the school calendar . . . YES, YES, YES!  THEY HAVE A WAIVER DAY!  Not on the day of the [name of specific thing we would want to attend] - that's on a Friday - but they get the following Monday off, so we could make a four-day weekend of it, and they would only have to miss one day of school.  We could fly in that morning -


Me:  Or, if you have an objection to flying, I guess we could drive it -


Ah, yes - the College World Series game. 

In which his alma mater is facing final elimination. 

A game on which he is attempting to focus his full attention while his wife attempts to engage him in an in-depth discussion of a trip that, maybe, his family will take IN OCTOBER.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Apropos of Not Much: Meandering Musings for a Monday (June 16th Edition)

Saw this headline on the Internet:

Grandpa has faith girl mauled by pit bulls will recover

Except it was formatted like this:

Grandpa has faith girl
mauled by pit bulls
will recover

So my brain processed it line by line.  Actual transcript of my thought processes is below:

What is a faith girl?  Like, are we talking Pentecostal, or . . . ?

WHO HAS THEIR GRANDAUGHTER MAULED BY PIT BULLS?  I mean, even if you find their religion REALLY repugnant . . . .

"Will recover."  What the what?  That doesn't make grammatical sense . . . oh.  Okay.

That sentence really could have benefited from a well-placed "that."


Found in a news article this list of foods that you absolutely shouldn't, and possibly shouldn't, refrigerate.   My annotations in Italics:


Potatoes (I'm one for one!  I leave them in the pantry, and then promptly forget about them, whereupon they attempt to put down rootsThen I throw them away.  My little part in keeping the economy chugging along.)

Onions (Hmm, the article didn't say whether you need to refrigerate them once you cut them.  I don't refrigerate whole ones but do refrigerate partial ones.  So I'll give myself partial credit.)

Avocados (See "Onions," above.  Another half-point.)

Tomatoes (I failed this one.  And, apparently, this failure is why my tomatoes get mealy.  Of course, these days my tomato-buying is limited to Romas, which don't provide a whole lot of raw material for mealiness.  This is exactly why I buy them, by the way:  Spouse is skeeved out by the pulp in a raw tomato, but he will eat raw tomato if it is diced small and the pulp is discarded.  So if I want to incorporate tomatoes into salads and whatnot, I have to dice 'em up like I was making pico de gallo.  I gave up the ghost on this one when not one, but TWO, coworkers confessed to having the same issue.  Apparently, I'm the odd one out.  Grew up in a household where tomatoes were big and juicy, and after you sliced 'em, you salted 'em to pull out the juice even more.  Note to file:  buy one, big and juicy personal tomato to savor while thumbing nose at Spouse.)

Bananas (Duh.  You don't refrigerate them, but once they start to turn, you can freeze them, for later use in banana bread.  Do it all of the time.)

Melons (I only store melon in the fridge once I chop it up - which is exactly what the article says to do, so more points for me.)

Stone fruits (Fail.  I refrigerate these.)

Bread (Duh, againSame rule as with bananas:  refrigerator, no; freezer, yes.)

Pastries (This has never been an issue in our household, on account of how pastries don't last that long in our household.)

Hot sauce
Peanut butter
Oils (Five more points for Gryffindor.)


Apples (One full point for me.)

Coffee (Another full point.  Coffee comes in pods in our household, and said pods reside in a neat little storage drawer under the Keurig.  So, yeah.)

Eggs (I award myself a half point.  I refrigerate them generally, but when I am doing a day of baking, I take them out ahead of time, to get to room temperature, and then I leave them out until I'm done.) 

Butter (See "Eggs," above.  Another half point.)

Condiments (Meh, I'll continue to refrigerate my ketchup and mustard out of force of habit - but I will be less squeamish about using the ones at the diner.)

Salad dressings (Eww.  Just, eww.)

Soy sauce (Not an issue.  I stopped buying soy sauce when the little packets from Asian takeout started to pile up.  Now I just keep a certain number of those on hand, for those rare occasions when something calls for soy.)

I am torn as to whether to share this list with Spouse.  On the one hand, he thinks that I waste perfectly good food because of spoilage concerns, so he might be happy to know that I am actually, sort of, progressive in a number of areas.  On the other hand, he may view the list as a license to continue to purchase watermelons and store them on our porch - which I think is just totally weird and unnecessary.


Today's strange Subway encounter (a story in two parts):

1.  The woman in front of me ordered a chopped salad (which looked good, by the way, and I was intrigued by the cutting-edge methodology that the "sandwich artist" used to chop the veggies), and the guy who checked her out (an assistant manager, I believe) asked her if she wanted chips with her salad.  Is this a thing?  I have never - NOT ONCE - gone into a restaurant and ordered a side of fries to go with my salad.  Burger and fries?  Yes.  Salad and a side veggie?  Yes.  Burger and side veggie?  Yes.  Salad and fries?  NO.

Yeah, yeah, I know that fries are technically a "side veggie."  I'm talking creamed spinach or squash casserole here.

2.  When I informed the same assistant manager that I was having the "Fresh Value Meal," he asked me what kind of sub I was having.  For those who aren't familiar (and I would like to think that a Subway assistant manager should not be among you unfamiliar types), the Fresh Value Meal features a different type of sub every day, AND YOU HAVE TO PURCHASE THAT SUB TO GET THE MEAL DEAL.  So, since Monday is turkey/ham, saying that you are purchasing the Fresh Value Meal on a Monday IS TANTAMOUNT TO SAYING TURKEY/HAM WITHOUT ACTUALLY SAYING TURKEY/HAM.  I really fought the urge to explain this to him, and also point out the earlier weirdness of offering chips as a side to a salad.

My coworker said I should have answered him, "The Thursday one."


Yes, it was one of the "weird tomato fetish" coworkers.


I wish I thought faster on my feet when Subway personnel pose stupid questions.


Given the existence of the chopped salad on the Subway menu, do we still call them "sandwich artists"?  Is salad artistry an entirely different field than sandwich artistry, requiring you to go back to Subway school for dual certification?

Monday, June 9, 2014

I Swear I'm Not a Communist

My alma mater, my Spouse's alma mater and my best friend's alma mater are all headed to Omaha.  And it's already making me tense.

But not for the reason you might expect.

[Ahem.]  My name is Kathryn, and I have zero emotional attachment to the sport of baseball.

No, I'm not a Communist.  Actually, factually, people have asked.  Not just because of the baseball thing, but because of the ice cream thing.  I really didn't like the stuff until a few years ago.  But then the Little Kid decided that he LOVED it, so I learned to like it, and now I enjoy it.

So maybe if my kids played baseball . . . but they don't.

For the record:

I like other sports. 

I REALLY like some sports (see:  all of my prior ravings about basketball).

I like attending baseball games.  I enjoy the overall atmosphere in a stadium, and the sounds:  the cracking noise that the bat makes when it connects with a ball, the PA announcer, the organ music.  (Although I wish that the organist would play entire songs, or at least longer segments of songs.  I always feel like the music stops a phrase short, you know?)  But I also recognize that, while I am busy enjoying myself, I am rarely actually watching the action.  I'm people watching, or reading the program.  In my teenage years, I was known to sneak Stephen King novels into Astros games.  But I don't do that anymore.  Because now I have a smart phone. 

I respect other American traditions, like apple pie. Okay, false:  apple pie is my least favorite pie.  Key lime is tops on my list, followed by lemon, pumpkin, cherry, pineapple, coconut cream, custard, pecan, Kentucky Derby . . . chocolate meringue even comes in ahead of apple, and I don't particularly like chocolate.  YES, I SAID IT.  I am an American who is ambivalent about chocolate, apple pie and baseball, but who occasionally eats ice cream.  Preferably vanilla.

I like baseball caps, a lot.  I lived in them in law school.  The first day after graduation that it was really humid outside and I reached for a ball cap to corral my hair but then realized that I had a job that required me to wear business clothes - well, a little part of me died that day.

I also like baseball jerseys and those baseball tees with the contrast, three-quarter length sleeves.

I LOVE "Field of Dreams."  But not because of the baseball aspect of it.  In no particular order, for me, it's all about:  (1) the love between a father and a son; (2) Amy Madigan's character (the way she stands up to the small-minded people in her community about the books!  the way she unquestioningly supports her husband even when he is giving off indications that he might, in fact, be a complete loon!); (3) James Earl Jones' voice; (4) the musical score; (5) the part where Timothy Busfield sees the field for the first time; and (6) that final scene where the cars are backed up for MILES.  Okay, number 6 is the best part.  It's just so mystically beautiful, but, honestly, the cars could be lined up for wrestling or NASCAR and I think I'd still have the same visceral reaction, so long as the music swells when it does.

A few years ago, I thought I experienced a breakthrough, when we were displaced from our house, living in our temporary apartment, and the Rangers lost a heartbreaker of a World Series game.  I got so worked up that I actually felt compelled to pour a drink from the liquor cabinet, and I even Facebooked about the game a bit - but, based on my complete lack of interest in anything that has happened to the Rangers thereafter, I suspect that I was just frazzled at the time because we'd had a particularly rough day with the insurance adjuster.

Likewise, I got very worked up at a UT/TCU baseball game last year when the crowd got partisan - but that was mostly about some emotional baggage left over from when a ten year-old TCU fan heckled me at an event I attended with Spouse, circa 1995, and the kid's mom, instead of chastising her son for being rude, seemed to support him a little bit.  So I guess my actual beef is with bad parenting generally.  And I also recognize that, had I actually been following the UT/TCU game that got ugly, I would have understood the context of the crowd reaction - but we were in obstructed seats, so past a certain point I decided it wasn't worth craning my neck and getting a crick in it.

Yeah, that's my excuse.

I WANT to like baseball - for the memory of my father, a lifelong Cardinals fan; for Spouse, who was raised by a mother who is so obsessed with the sport that she will listen to the game on the radio while simultaneously watching it live; and for my best friend from college, who follows UT like some people follow the Grateful Dead.  And so I find myself occasionally faking it in the hopes of making it - like earlier today, when Spouse kept yelling incoherently at the TV, and I attempted to show my support by asking questions like:

So, they're playing Pepperdine, right?

Is this a make-or-break game?  Like, is it a double elimination kind of thing?

[After that last question was met with silence . . . .]

Does TCU have to win this game to stay in, or do they have to win this game to advance?

And when you said the other day that UT was already through to the next round, was it THIS round, or a prior round?

Okay, so how many teams actually go to Omaha?

Yes, he rolled his eyes at me.  Several times. 

He did not call me a Communist.

But he was probably thinking it.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Dear Katy Perry

We have come to expect that you will provide us with the "infectious jam of the summer."  (See:  "California Gurls," "Last Friday Night (T.GI.F.)").  With this year's "Birthday," you have exceeded yourself - on multiple levels. 

Catchiness?  10 out of 10.

Saturation with double entrendres?

Oh, lordy.

There's, like, two phrases in the entire song that won't make me cringe when my nine year-old sings them from the backseat. 

I especially like the part about getting your significant other* into his birthday suit so you can bring out the "big balloons."

You're talking about something like this, right? 

Yeah, I didn't think so.


* At least your significant other is no longer that Massengill-hygiene-product-in-human-form, John Mayer.  He was harder to explain than your lyrics.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Rest My Case

Hungarian doll.

Mexican doll.

Hungarian blouse.
  Mexican blouse.
Chicken paprikash.
Chicken tinga.
Any questions?


Monday, June 2, 2014

Bless His Heart

Me:  Do you have my phone?

Spouse:  Yes, I'm charging it.

Me:  I need it for a second.  [Name of friend] posted something cryptic on Facebook, and -

Spouse:  She has a rule against that.

Me:  Right, so I need to call her and/or text her, and find out what is wrong and/or tease her about being a hypocrite.

Spouse:  Okay, here.

[I call my friend.  I establish that her world isn't ending.  We discuss a possible grown-up outing for Friday.]

Spouse [while I am still on the phone, channeling his own children]:  Oh, that reminds me, you need to keep Sunday open -

Me [doing that hiss-whisper thing that you do when someone interrupts you on the phone]:  I'M. ON.  THE. PHONE.  WAIT FIVE SECONDS, PLEASE.

[I hang up.]

Me:  Okay, what about Sunday?

Spouse:  You need to keep Sunday open, because there's a thing -

Me:  Nope, no "thing."  Not for me.  Already HAVE a thing.  Vacation Bible School exec board.  Remember?  Church meeting, after church, last Sunday, and another, different church meeting, after church, THIS Sunday?  We talked about this. 

Spouse:  Oh.  Okay.  What's in the oven?

Me:  Dude, SERIOUSLY?  Carnitas.  You watched me carve up a pork roast.

Spouse:  I wasn't sure if that was what I was smelling.

Me:  What, the thing that smells EXACTLY like carnitas?  Wait, I need to apologize -

Spouse:  You should do that more often.

Me:  - because I just realized that the ten conversations that I have had about this weekend's schedule were not, actually, conversations that I had with YOU.

Spouse:  Thought so.

Me:  But I'm not retracting my carnitas sarcasm.  You earned that.

Spouse [sticking out hand]:  Hi, Parnell M., WHITE BOY.  I have never smelled carnitas cooking IN MY LIFE.  Do you think [mother-in-law's full name] made carnitas for us growing up?

Me:  Do you think [mother's name] made carnitas for ME growing up?  You eat them, so you OUGHT to be able to extrapolate what they smell like when they are cooking from what they smell like WHEN YOU ARE EATING THEM.

Spouse:  I'm turning them off.  They look done.

Me:  Does the meat shred easily with a fork?

Spouse:  Is it supposed to do that?

Me:  SERIOUSLY?  IT'S A TACO FILLING.  You're from here, so I should not have to explain carnitas to you.  Or carne asada, or al pastor, or barbacoa . . . it's just food.  Mexican food in Texas is JUST FOOD.

Bless his sweet little heart.  No, really - bless him for:

Indulging my need to verbally spar (and giving as good as he gets); and

Indulging my odd, quasi-Mexican tendencies, which I have blamed variously on:

Spending part of my early childhood in a border town.  When your nursery is decorated with painted wooden screens, wood carvings of clowns and THIS EXACT papier mache doll:

you're going to absorb some stuff by osmosis.

Spending part of that part of my early childhood with Lita, who kept house for us and who (I have been assured - I don't remember back that far) I worshipped, and worshipped me.  Again, I was too young to remember, but for all I know, she recited carnitas recipes to me on a continuous loop when I was in her care.  Really good ones.

The fact that I am Hungarian-American, and Mexican is analogous to Hungarian in a lot of respects.  I am 100% serious about this.  I believe that I am genetically programmed to crave spicy meat dishes, and want to cool them down with dollops of sour cream, while wearing colorfully embroidered blouses.  It's in my DNA.

Spouse tolerates all of this, and does not complain when I serve him fajitas and carnitas back to back, even though he would much rather eat Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai food 24/7 (because Asian is analogous to Irish in a lot of - nope, not really, can't even attempt to pull that one off).  He also tolerates the fact that I, occasionally, confuse him with my best girlfriends and assume that he is part of our "hive mind."  (I actually think that he might find it flattering)

For this, he will get Thai basil fried rice - after the "little meats" are all gone.