Hello, again Gentle Reader(s),

Once, again, it’s time for, yet, another recounting of a conversation with the most amazing female walking the Earth today. Yes, that’s right, my wife, Judy. This particular exchange actually took place several months, maybe even years, but probably months ago…

(Cue the memory sequence music here)

(We join our memory as the music fades, with me exiting the bathroom after a somewhat extended visit and encountering the lovely and, patient, Judy in the – albeit extremely short – bathroom waiting line in the master bedroom…)

Bill: “Oh, hi, my little snooky-wookie-kins! Are you waiting for me?”

Judy: “Why, no, my love, my very own, I am not,” and she goes on, “I am waiting for the bathroom.”

Bill: “Of course, my sweet. It’s all yours.”

Judy enters the bathroom… Judy exits the bathroom… Judy speaks…

J: “How do you do that?”

B “How do I do what?”

J: “The bathroom never smells when you come out. How do you do that?”

B: “Seriously? Really?”

J: “Yeah, really. It never has.”

B: “Well, statistically, there is a very small minority of people, of which I am fortunate to be counted among, who can claim to possess the ‘Mine Doesn’t Stink’ charism.”

J: “Well, as much as I hate to say it, and as ridiculous as it may sound, I have to agree.”

Move ahead about ten days…

Bill exits the bathroom.

Judy enters the bathroom.

Judy exits the bathroom.

J: “I’ve changed my mind.”

Judy just got her first COVID vaccine shot and we are waiting 15 minutes quietly in the car. She just spoke:

 

Judy: “Are you just sitting there waiting for me to explode?”

 

Bill: “If I was waiting for you to explode, I would be wearing my raincoat.”

Judy just said something to me and I wasn’t sure I heard her right, so I responded, “OK por butter ba ba mooford?” Is that what you said?

 

“Yeah.”

 

I think she’s giving up on me…

This morning as Judy was getting ready to leave for work…

Bill: “You know, Judy, I’m completely amazed that you don’t get irritated with me when I am being obnoxious.”

Judy: “Oh, but Bill, I DO get irritated with you. Sometimes VERY irritated. I simply refuse to give you the satisfaction of KNOWING I get irritated.”

I this a good thing?

Judy woke up this morning and moved. This, naturally, caused me to – vaguely – awaken, also, though I didn’t move much. I just lay there, quietly, facing away from her, staring at the bookcase opposite my side of the bed and wondering what she was going to do next. 

And then, not surprisingly, she did it… 

She spoke.

Judy: “I just had a really uncomfortable dream. But I can’t remember what it was about.” And then she went on, “It’s like the details are quickly approaching a cliff and are about to go over into complete oblivion.”

Bill: “You bad a really convertible cream and you shan’t December fuzz had a clout?”

Judy: “I think you need to turn your not so bad ear to me. I will repeat this one time only.”

I rolled over to face Judy, with an emphasis on my right ear slightly more toward her face.

Judy: “I just had a really uncomfortable dream. But I can’t remember what it was about. It’s like the details are quickly approaching a cliff and are about to go over into complete oblivion.”

Bill: “Do you remember anything that was in the dream?”

She thought, in silence, for a few moments and then said, “Well, there wasn’t a dirigible. And there was no llama.”

B: “There wasn’t?”

J: “Yes, there wasn’t. I don’t think there was a cow or an ice cream cone, either. And I’m certain that it didn’t take place in ancient times or in the ocean or in Mexico.” She paused and then continued, “And there were no stairs or a garage. It didn’t involve a desk.”

B:  “I see… So you are eliminating everything that was NOT in the dream.”

J: “Yes.”

B “And by doing so, whatever is not on the “missing” list has to be in the dream.”

J: “Yes, that’ right.”

B: “And then you can put all things that are in the dream together to form a completed picture of whatever it was that made you so uncomfortable in the first place.”

J: “Yes.”

B: “It’s like a puzzle.”

J: “YES!!! It’s a puzzle!”

B: “How long do you think it might take?”

J: “Who cares? It’s a puzzle! I can work on it when I get home from work each day! This is going to be FUN!”

B: “What’s for breakfast?” 

Shopping done. 

Groceries loaded.

Seatbelts fastened.

Ignition on. 

Spaces in front of me empty.

Next row clear.

Gearshift in drive.

Pulling forward. 

Turning right.

Judy: “You’re going the wrong way.”

Me: “I’m going the wrong way?”

Judy: “Oh! No, you are going the right way. I said the wrong thing.”

Me: “You did.”

Judy:

Me: “You owe me an apology.”

Judy: “I’m sorry.”

Me: “You’re welcome.”

Alarm goes off…

Judy turns off the alarm, yawns, turns to me and says: “The ‘Room Sensitivity Index’ is required in order to calculate the ‘Furniture Pain Score’.”

I respond: “Good morning.”

Obviously, she understands math better than I do.

Upon waking in the morning, I imagine that most happy wives might greet their husbands with the words “Good morning,” or “Did you sleep well,” or “I love you” or something else heartwarming…

Judy is special…

Alarm rings, Judy turns it off and turns to me…

Judy:  “I have some sad news about my purse.”

Me, yawning and stretching:  “Do you need another new purse?”

J:  “Not anymore.”

Hearing Aids…

July 7, 2018

For years, the first word out of my mouth when addressed by my wife was, “Huh?”. This was usually followed by a repeat, on her part, of whatever it was that I didn’t hear the first time, and completed by the words, “will you PLEASE check into getting hearing aids??!!

This went on, as I said, for many years. More than a decade, actually. 

Then one day a little over two years ago, I decided that, maybe, I should have my hearing checked and I contacted the VA medical system to set up an appointment.

It was all pretty painless and after two visits – one to get tested and measured and one to pick them up – I walked out with a brand new pair of electronic ears. I commenced to wearing them over the next several days to get used to how they work. 

These particular devices are built so that they fit into your ear in a fashion that makes them almost invisible to the naked eye. AND you can control them with a device that hangs around your neck and connects to the aids via Bluetooth technology. 

AND that’s not all! you can also connect to your cell phone the same way! 

But, after a few days of wearing out the novelty, I stopped wearing them on a regular basis. Oh, I didn’t just let them rot for six months at a time, I would throw them on every so often when I could see Judy becoming frustrated with the word “Huh?”, but I kinda let them rest for weeks or a few months between required usages. 

As time went on and the TV volume grew in inverse proportion to my hearing ability degradation, Judy began to start moving further from the living room when I was observing whatever show I was enthralled with at the time.

I believe the camel’s back finally ruptured when I discovered The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The show seems to fit in well with my level of sophistication but it is not a good match for Judy’s tastes. 

And there is the fact that, by now, the volume is up to about 79. 

Well, being the perceptive and loving husband that I am, I decided, yesterday, to give the old hearing aids another shot… 

I am happy to report that the situation has improved a lot since the day before yesterday! 

And today I figured out how to connect to both my computer and the TV! I watched a whole episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Judy couldn’t hear a thing!

Grawesome!!

With these little buds in my ear canals, I have the hearing of Superman! I can hear EVERYTHING!

And I mean everything. I can hear so much that, depending on what’s going on around us, I am now having a bit of a challenge hearing Judy when she talks to me…

So, what can I hear? I’ll tell you…

In addition to Judy’s voice and friends talking to me, here are some of the things I can hear with my hearing aids:

  • Dog talking to me
  • Flowers in the garden talking to me
  • Ants crawling on the sidewalk
  • Every breath I take
  • My heartbeat
  • Blood circulating through my veins
  • Me in my “outside” voice
  • Me breathing
  • My hair growing
  • My finger and toenails growing
  • Me scratching my head
  • Toothbrush – sounds like a train
  • Eyes blinking – mine and everybody else’s
  • Teeth grinding
  • Joints cracking
  • Everybody’s thoughts
  • Dog’s breathing
  • Dog’s tags jingling
  • Bird wings flapping
  • Electrons running through wires connected to outlets
  • Vehicles driving along three miles away
  • Cookies, chips, watermelon, crunching so loud when I chew that NOTHING else comes through
  • Ice cream melting in my mouth
  • People staring at me
  • Sunlight
  • Paint fading

The only time I can’t hear any of this stuff is when I’m actively connected to the phone, computer or TV. (And when I say “any of this stuff,” I also mean the human voice…)

Unfortunately, all of this racket is going to drive me nuts so I may have to use the aids somewhat sparingly. Or figure out how to filter some of this stuff out. 

But at least I can turn the TV volume down to zero…

And after taking the garbage out today, I’m really glad that there’s no such thing as smelling aids…

Some days my hearing is not as good as other days. Judy just walked into the room saying something.

I responded,

Bill: “I’m going to get myself donated up? What does that mean?”

Judy: “I don’t know. YOU said it.”

B: “Well, what did you say?”

J: “I’m talking to myself. Don’t interrupt.”

B “Oh.”

Finally, after 67 years, I have met my match in the kitchen. Out of respect for my friend’s family, I will not give his name. 

How do I know that he is my culinary equal?

I’ll tell you…

Judy: “What did you guys have for dinner at the meeting tonight?”

Bill: “Lasagnsicles.”

J: “What’s that?”

B: “It’s frozen lasagna that you are supposed to cook for two hours at 350 degrees that you only cook for forty-five minutes in an oven that’s not turned on.”

And that, dear friends, is how I know that I have met my culinary equal. 

Bill: “Thank you for making pancakes this morning.”

Judy: “You’re welcome. They are waffles. Thank you for liking them.”

Bill:  “You’re welcome. I should have recognized the little square indentations. Thank you for thanking me for liking them.”

Judy:  “You’re welcome. And thank you for feeding Jamie, by the way. “

Bill:  “You’re welcome. I know you don’t like handling bugs. Thank you for telling Billy that we would “lizard sit” while they were away. A year ago.”

Judy:  “You’re welcome. Thank you for agreeing to do that. It was nice of you.”

Bill:  “You’re welcome, It was, rather, wasn’t it? It is sweet of you to say. Thank you.” 

Judy:  “You’re welcome. Yes it was, and thank you for saying that.”

Bill:  “You’re welcome. I always like to acknowledge that I did something nice. Thank you.”

Judy:  “You’re welcome. Actually, I was thanking you for saying that it was sweet of me to say that it was nice of you.” 

Bill:  “Oh! I’m sorry. I misunderstood. You’re welcome. Thank you for clearing that up.”

Judy:  You’re welcome. Thank you for understanding.”

Bill:  “You’re welcome. Thank you for being understandable.”

Judy:  “You’re welcome. Can we stop this, now?”

Bill:  “Yes, if we must.”

Judy:  “Thank you.”

Bill:  “You’re welcome.”

 

 

 

I Was Right, Today

November 8, 2017

I was right, today.

I don’t know how it happened, but it did and I don’t really know how to handle it because it’s never happened before. 

I think I’ll just bask in the afterglow of my rightness for awhile.

Judy says that’s OK because she is leaving for work now, but that I should be done before she gets home tonight. 

 

 

Mustard And Ketchup

November 7, 2017

I like mustard. Judy likes ketchup. I showed her this to bolster my position:

She sent me this:

 

Guitar Storage Evolution

October 26, 2017

Hello, Gentle Reader(s?),

One of the things that every guitar owner must take into consideration when he or she makes an investment into a new instrument is – “Where am I going to keep this thing?”

This is not as easy a question to answer as one might think. Especially if you have a wife in the house. You can’t just make room for it on her side of the bed and expect her to be OK with it (wives can be funny that way). And you also can’t just pop it into the refrigerator and hope she doesn’t notice.  

No, you have to be more imaginative than that. 

Fortunately, you have me to show you how to be more imaginative than that…

After you have decided to display the instrument (assuming you are going to display it, that is – but what good is it to have such a fine piece of art unless you are going to make it visible to anybody who walks into the room – or even into the immediate neighborhood?), one of the first considerations to, well, consider, is the dignity with which the instrument is displayed.

Here are some things to think about NOT doing:

  1. Never, under any circumstances, keep your guitar sitting on the back of the toilet. This is not a dignified storage method. You can keep it in a closet, just not a water closet.
  2. Refrain, if at all possible, from keeping it on top of your wife’s grand piano. While this is certainly a more dignified and public place to display the instrument, the resulting marks on the piano may lead to some animated discussion between spouses. 
  3. Don’t just leave it in a case somewhere. To do so completely negates the real reason for the acquisition in the first place – people will not think you are cool and groovy if they don’t see your guitar out in plane sight. That’s because they won’t know you have it. (Yes, it’s true. You don’t have to know how to play the instrument as long as company sees it and THINKS you can play it.)

Now, The best way I can think of to demonstrate the proper method(s) of displaying your guitar or collection of guitars is to show you what I have done over the years.

First attempt:

The Guitar Love Seat

Nice try, but brilliant failure.

While this presentation looks nice, and even comfortable, it was not a permanent solution. The issue was that I either had to 1) take them down when company came (removing the “You play the guitar? You are soo cool and groovy!” display factor) or 2) try to squeeze everybody onto the piano bench to visit.

Second Attempt:

The Original Guitar Wall:

This, actually, worked pretty well for awhile. The only real issue was the sparse population as evidenced by all of the extra space on either end of the line of instruments.

Third attempt:

The Guitar Wall – Fuller, Cooler and Groovier

While this rendition of the wall was certainly cooler and groovier, it still lacked a couple instruments because there wasn’t enough room to hang all of the available instruments… Of course, there was room on the adjacent wall for the snake, so it wasn’t all bad.*

Third attempt, part B:

The Guitar Wall and Floor

Even though they wouldn’t all fit on the wall, a small investment in guitar stands enabled the inclusion of two more instruments. I had completed the display of coolness and groovyness…

Third attempt, part C:

The Charred Guitar Wall

Unfortunately, Third attempt, part B didn’t endure the fire…

Third attempt, part C (cont’d):

The Empty Guitar Wall

This isn’t as cool and groovy as it was when there was an actual room around the wall and actual guitars available. But it DID lead to…

Fourth attempt:

The Guitar Driveway

Sadly, none of these instruments survived the fire. The firefighters, though, laid what was left alongside the driveway in a rather respectful manner…

Fifth attempt:

The First Replacement Guitar Wall

14 months later, most of the instruments had been replaced, the house had been replaced and the Guitar Wall had been replaced… All was good. For about five years…

Sixth attempt:

The Guitar Closet

When you move, you have to make adjustments…

Seventh attempt, fourteen months later (last week):

The Second Replacement Guitar Wall

When you have a guitar closet, it’s not cool or groovy because nobody can see the instruments. Especially you. When you can’t see the instruments, you don’t play them. When you don’t play them, you get rusty and your caps (calluses) go away. And when you pick one up, your fingers hurt. They might even bleed. You can’t leave the instruments in the closet…

Seventh attempt, part B:

The Guitar Wall and Floor

When you don’t have enough wall space, you go back to the floor…

*On a sad note, Monty (pet snake) did not survive the fire, either. I had hoped for a long and happy life for him and used to joke that I would turn him into a guitar strap when he passed. However, I couldn’t bring myself to do that when we found him and we buried him under a tree (see “Guitar Driveway” above), next to the driveway. Rest well, Monty. I really do miss you… 

Montgomery Pyth