Sunday, April 28, 2013

Speak English, Woman

"Bonjour, mon cher. Avez-vous bien dormi?"

Those were the first words Kellie uttered as I lumbered down the stairs.

"Please don't start with me," I begged, "I just woke up."

Before our first trip to France, Kellie began studying French. Now, two years later, she speaks well enough to annoy me in two languages. To speed up the learning process, she immersed herself in French. She switched the language on her computer to French, her shopping lists are in French, and even the kid's chore lists are written in French, which provides a handy excuse for not doing them. She listens to French music and watches French films. I'm surprised that it hasn't increased her libido since every French film on Netflix is a hump-fest. I don't understand why those Frenchman are so obsessed with sex, they act like they never get any. Worst of all, she’s constantly talking at me in French. And when she's not bombarding me with French she's haranguing me with a rambling discourse on everything that happened during her last French class. My eyes glaze whenever she starts talking about her French lessons. French, French, French - it's all French all the Frenching time. As I write, she's sitting at her laptop mumbling away in French. I want to instigate an argument just so she gives me the silent treatment.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

My Little Stinker

I give the gift of flatulence. It doesn't come from me directly, but I have the rare talent of inducing it in others, particularly my granddaughter, although my wife, Kellie, occasionally claims I give her indigestion too. This skill is quite useful because when that little turd (the granddaughter, not Kellie) gets a gas bubble stuck in her belly she wails like a cat in blender. Freeing that aromatic source of discomfort is not difficult, all it takes is pumping those chubby little legs up and down a few times (again, I'm referring to the baby, not Kellie), and after a few seconds, out pops some sweet relief.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


The book arrived last Monday, the one that promised to help me do less housework, win more arguments, and have more sex. Spouseonomics, by Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson, is no ordinary text on marital relations. This book analyzes marriage with the same scientific rigor and mathematical precision that we've come to expect from economics. By using cutting edge econometrics, couples can look forward to achieving the same sort of results that were once attainable only by top tier corporations like Enron, AIG, and Lehman Brothers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Thermodynamics of Menopause

Kellie’s hot flashes continue unabated, repeating every 45 minutes as they have done for the past three years. That’s like getting burned at the stake 35,000 times. Each attack turns her into a hot, sweaty mess. It's then quickly followed by a rapid drop in temperature that leaves her cold and clammy. Watching her repeated heating and cooling cycles got me wondering about the thermodynamics of a hot flash: how much heat energy gets released in each episode? It shouldn’t be too hard to calculate. We only need three pieces of information: the specific heat capacity for skin, the skin temperature change during a hot flash, and the mass of the flesh getting roasted.

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Like many other Americans pursuing a personal improvement project, I headed straight to the self-help section of the nearest Barnes & Noble, only to discover that we are a seriously troubled nation. Maybe we’re just more afflicted here in Southern California, but there's more shelf space devoted to tomes on fixing our lives than any other genre. Overwhelmed by choices, I soon realized that I needed a self-help book just to help me find a self-help book that might truly be helpful. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Twilight Zone

Photo credit
Submitted for your approval. After cruising the Caribbean during the New Year’s Holiday, a family of four spends the night together in a single hotel room in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Though they share a common room, each family member experiences a completely different reality as they retire for the evening and enter their own personal corner of . . . The Twilight Zone.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Unleash the Hounds

“I hate my bras.” 

Is she talking to me? There’s no one else here so she must be talking to me. It wasn’t an actual question so maybe I’m not supposed to say anything; maybe this is one of those times when I’m just supposed to just shut up and listen. Uh-oh, can’t resist the urge to respond. 

“Then get new ones, dear.” 

That was good; my reply was short, responsive to the problem at hand and neutral. I should be safe.