Oh Hello, 38

I got to celebrate turning another year older on Monday with some of my favorite things.

Sleeping in… Something I have a hard time doing because I’m racked with guilt for wasting the day if I try to snooze longer.. but I got to sleep until 10..

Three new Pole-Pole figures greeted me on the kitchen shelf when I got my coffee.. raccoon, meerkat, and a seal. They were a surprise from Graham although he’d already taken me to see “Oh, Hello” the night before. There are now too many Pole Pole figures in the house to fit on the hexagon display shelf in the living room <3Oh Hello, 38I got to watch true crime documentaries in my pajamas for most of the day. Seriously.. I didn’t shower until 4pm on Monday.

A trip to H Mart’s food court and Paris Baguette where we got…Oh Hello, 38 Oh Hello, 38 Strawberry Shortcake!

Oh Hello, 38

Snail Mail – The kitty princess from my parents reads: “You’re an eternal child… Three Years Old Forever!” This is probably aptly illustrated by the sticker card my sister sent.. I really couldn’t decide which stickers to use and used almost all of them. Mustache went up first, of course.Oh Hello, 38Shake Shack! Graham wasn’t able to understand my love for Shake Shack until he found this article on NPR and declared, “It’s in your genetics!”Oh Hello, 38 Oh Hello, 38

Husband is a pretty important favorite thing…

Oh Hello, 38

We got home in time for some Basil Hayden and Politics. With an extra bonus of Rachel Maddow thrown in for pre-debate coverage.

Graham let me know this morning that I completely passed out with my arm draped over him, blissfully snoring away. In fact, he got up in the middle of the night for the bathroom and returned to me still snoring soundly. He had to roll me over because I had also annexed his side of the bed in my sleep.. and I continued my snoring.. completely uninterrupted. So I got to fit in one more of my favorite things, annoying my husband, on my birthday <3


Subversive Design – Update 2

On the morning of our first anniversary, I came home from walking Huxley to find Graham in the kitchen with that “hand in the cookie jar” look on his face.

“Don’t be mad at me. I know we said no gifts, but I was thinking about how marriage is about compromise… or more like.. how compromise is about making you happy.”

He took me to the dining room where I was greeted by this:starburst

So, that last item on the list?

No starburst/sunburst clock


I won. And I don’t mean the design war.. I won the husband lottery. Sorry about the cheese.


Things I don’t understand after being married for a year

This is a guest post, from the frequent victim husband of the blog’s owner.

Stacy is generally a wonderful human being, but she can also be a little strange, which you may have guessed from previous posts detailing her totalitarian sandwich ordering or how excited she gets about having an old loyalty card work. There were a great many things I adjusted to during the first two years of our relationship, but now that we’ve been married for a year, there are certain things I’ve resigned myself to never really understanding.

  1. The appeal of ‘informative murder porn’, which she’s watching next to me on the couch as I type this. If I turn on the TV upstairs, there’s at least a 99% chance it’s currently tuned to Investigation Discovery, Oxygen or, occasionally TLC. I can get behind a good detective story, and even something like Netflix’ Making a Murderer, but these shows… The interviews aren’t good, but the acting is worse, and seriously, how many different puns can you make about murder?
  2. She’ll occasionally make up colors, which she’s mentioned before. That said, these colors are defined as whatever Stacy’s thinking of at the moment, and they’ll be presented as the authoritative name for a given shade. Melon & Coral may or may not be different things depending on…who knows.
  3. Walking. Everywhere. Some people enjoy walking, but given complications, like distance or weather, it will typically occur to people that there are other methods of transportation. Not my wife. In freezing rain in January, Stacy will bundle up in 26 layers and mentally prepare to walk several miles instead of thinking “Maybe septa won’t be that awful today”. This obviously also applies to the hills of Seattle.
  4. Delayed intoxication. We’ll occasionally be out drinking with friends, and we’ll have a few drinks. Stacy has always kept her composure while out in public, but sometimes, half an hour after we’ve arrived back home and I’ve sobered up, she’ll start bouncing around the house yelling “Wheeeeeeee!” and generally terrifying our poor greyhound.

There are, of course, many more. I could write entire posts on her musical taste (featuring both the Divine Comedy and Hillary Duff, sometimes in a single sitting), but I have to keep some things tucked away to use in revenge for future posts detailing how she’s messed with me that time.


Subversive Design – Update

We have special house guests <3 from Paris this week, so this is a short update on a previous post.

Another wall hanging…

Another hanging macrame planter..

20160703_183007 (1)... in front of the door that leads to Graham’s office.

Is he ok with this? He was actually the one who nailed the planter bracket to the wall. <3

For the curious, the greyhound statue was a wedding gift from the incomparable Aunt Flossie, spray painted from the antiqued bronze to white to match the rest of the house.


Fire Safety

We’ve been living in our new house for over 3 months now, and that’s actually how long it’s taken for me to notice that we have one of those pet rescue stickers on our back door.

I don’t know if Graham’s aware of it being there. Regardless, I took a black Sharpie to update the information.20160619_094507There! Now I can sleep at night, knowing I’m doing all I can to ensure Graham’s safety. P’sh.. and my parents call me a bad wife.


PS. I put that up on Thursday. I’m wondering how long it will take for him to notice.

Subversive Design – How To Win The Battle of Home Decor Against Your Significant Other

Subversive Design - How To Win The Battle of Home Decor Against Your Signficant Other“Relationships are all about compromise.” In most aspects of our relationship, Graham and I have had it easy when it comes to living the adage.. except when it comes to decorating.. well.. decorating and music, but I’m going to focus on decorating in this post.

When home ownership happened in January, after a lot of vetoing and eye-rolling, we finally decided on combining mid-century modern elements with bohemian accents. Just because we agreed on a theme, doesn’t mean that all details falling in the two categories are automatically approved. Graham set some guidelines for me regarding what’s NOT permissible. For instance, this Gemma Correll print is the extent of word art that’s allowed in the house:gemmacorrell1The rules are as follows..

  1. No dreamcatchers
  2. No antlers / mounted deer heads
  3. No Starburst / Sunburst decor
  4. No Sputnik-inspired lighting fixtures
  5. No more painting post-move
  6. No macrame
  7. No woven wall hangings

With the exception of the dreamcatchers (I’ve just never been a fan), this list KILLS me. But you know what? That’s okay. Because I’ve managed to get away with strategically breaking six out of seven of these “rules” through covert operations.

Antlers? Check.SAM_3233Oh look, antlers! This is in a corner of the living room. I was able to pick this up after begging Graham for a mounted jackalope head. He caved on the antlers. The lesson? Pick something incredibly awful so your actual choice in decor seems like a compromise.

Starburst / Sunburst Decor? Check. I dislike our bedroom because of 2 annoying flaws – the warm cream walls and the hideous light fixture that every morning makes me think I’m staring up at a gigantic saline breast implant. I really wanted to add a set of sunburst mirrors in the room to help distract me from the flaws. Graham had already said no to sunburst and starburst decor in general. I waited for him to leave on his business trip to D.C, ordered them from Amazon, hung them up, and waited for him to notice once he got home. He didn’t notice.SAM_3229More Painting? Check. The aforementioned offending cream wall? I complained almost every day for two months until Graham caved so he wouldn’t have to hear me say “I hate these walls” every morning and every night.. with the condition that he doesn’t have to help. So.. that’s kinda like a draw, right?

Macrame? Check.SAM_3249I negotiated that I would keep the macrame planter I got from etsy.. (which I’d *ahem* forgot to tell him about) confined to the studio. Once I hung it, he was surprised that he didn’t really mind it. Soooo.. I’m taking that to basically mean that it’s ok to hang another one… on the 3rd floor.. right outside his office.

Woven Wall Hanging? Check. If you decide to make one yourself, what is he going to do? Tell you that you can’t display your hard work?wallhangingThat was 5 rules broken. Here’s the 6th..

Dreamcatcher? Check.dreamcatcherI know I said I’m not a fan of dreamcatchers, but since Graham said, “No,” I just kinda HAVE to do it. It came as a surprise thank you gift from an etsy seller, so Graham can blame fate.. or maybe poor judgement in wife selection.

When asked if he minded terribly the reminders of violation against his list, Graham replied, “No, if they make you happy, I’m happy. Plus, I realized it’s much less painful to agree with you.”


Lessons In Conditional Behavior (or, Marriage, The Psych Experiment)

A lot of people would say that marriage is about a partnership.. ours is no exception, but it’s a partnership where it’s based on psychological experiments. Actually.. maybe that’s what ALL marriages are in general.

Anyhow, you’re probably familiar with this sort of behavior conditioning, right? The stuff about positive reinforcement and punishments… like this:psychart1Or at least something like this. My last psychology class was about 18 years ago. Holy cow.. babies have been born and have graduated high school between now and when I took that course in college. Moving on..

Interactions between Graham look something like this:psychart2This has been going well for a few years now. So I wasn’t very happy the other night when Graham decided to modify his reaction.

He was playing video games (yes, again) on the first floor, and I was digging through craft boxes in the studio (yes, again) on the second floor when I came upon the still unopened glider we got from the boardwalk in Cape May after cashing in our arcade tickets.

Lessons In Conditional Behavior (or, Marriage, The Psych Experiment)
The actual toy plane

Of course I HAD to use it RIGHT NOW. I slid the squeaky styrofoam pieces together and crept out into the hallway to the top of the stairs. This is how the scene played out downstairs from Graham’s viewpoint:surpriseplaneThere was whining involved… by me.. while trudging down the stairs to rescue the toy plane from the dog. Not a flinch, or “WTF, Honey?!” as Graham tried instituting this model in our relationship instead:psychart3Joke’s on him though. What he doesn’t realize though is that that’s a false assumption. Because in reality, this is what ends up happening:psychart4That part that got cut off reads “reinforcement,” but I’ve never been very good at spatial awareness (one reason everyone should be grateful that I won’t drive).


PS. I’d like to thank my mother-in-law for providing me with the markers for the diagrams.

UPDATE: After reading this post, Graham yelled, “YOU WEAPONIZED MY MOTHER’S MARKERS?!” Yes, that was a direct quote.

One Of The Perks Of Not Living Alone

On June 2, I was sitting in the studio on the second floor while Graham was playing video games downstairs when I tried clicking on this headline from The Washington Post that showed up on my newsfeed:

Along the U.S.-Canada border, an invisible but hardening wall rises

Because.. well.. it seems like a pretty important article to read just in case Graham and I have to go through with Plan B in November if the election sets off a real life version of The Purge.

But, I freaked out when this message usurped by browser instead:


Really? REALLY?! I know. It was only June 2! As in another 28 days left to go! So..


I have since learned that opening your browser in “porn mode” (aka incognito) does take care of that whole limit thing, but it really kinda takes away the sadistic fun of disrupting your significant other’s quality time with Dark Souls III. Plus, I like Graham to feel needed.

Couplehood is nice.. at least for one of us.


The Sweet Spot

I’m taking a big risk with this post, but I feel like I owe it to all of you who’ve faced a similar problem with a roommate or significant other. Normally, I have my husband proofread my writings before they go live to not only check for grammatical errors, but also to approve content that may be potentially embarrassing. Luckily, he’s good-natured and thick-skinned enough that it’s been a breeze to get his ok, but I can’t this time. Because once he discovers my secret, I’ll have to figure out a new defensive plan for the dilemma regarding..


The phrase, “Do you realize I only had ONE?!” has been heard often enough by Graham that he’s joked it should become my trademarked catchphrase (battle cry may be more accurate) and has been applied towards cases of ginger ale, ice cream bars, bags of gummi bears, etc. Can you tell my husband has a sweet tooth? Of course, I’ve never had to use the rhetorical question regarding foods that contain “organic,” “natural,” “whole-grain,” “gluten-free,” or “vegan” in the label. I’m betting I’ll never have to yell, “You ate all the Organic Kashi Cereal!” No. There’s been a box of Kashi Organic Promise Sweet Potato Sunshine (a double-Graham deterrent since it’s organic AND contains sweet potato) sitting in the cupboard for almost 3 months.

To be fair, it’s not his fault. Growing up in a house of males, he’s been conditioned to take the “You snooze, you lose” philosophy to heart. It’s really hard for me to keep up since I hoard in order to savor. For instance, it takes me months to finish a pint of ice cream, if I ever end up finishing it at all. Luckily, with ice cream, he hates all the flavors I love (rum raisin, green tea, all frozen yogurt) so they sit unmolested by him in the freezer until I forget their existence and have to throw out their freezer-burned remains. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.It’s not a big deal when replenishing the plundered sweets involve a quick trip to the store.. but I draw the line when it comes to Girl Scout cookies. YOU DO NOT PILLAGE GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!! THESE ONLY COME ONCE A YEAR!!! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND DEALERS CONNECTIONS FOR GIRL SCOUT COOKIES?! When you don’t have kids or a regular job where your co-workers taunt you with their daughters’ order forms, it’s near impossible to have a stable supply chain. Ooh suuuure, you can stock up when you see a table set up in front of your local grocery store and hyperventilate from happy delight, but that excitement is quickly superseded by disappointment when two inevitable things happen:

  1. You don’t have enough cash to load your arms with all your favorites (seriously, who carries cash these days?).
  2. They are ALWAYS sold out of Samoas/Caramel deLites, Thin Mints, or Tagalongs/Peanut Butter Patties or have limited boxes on hand.

Anyhow, I discovered this defensive maneuver after my most successful hiding place of 2 years was discovered.. that being a carry-on roller travel bag layered with winter clothes stored in the basement. The bag in the basement provided me with the ability to enjoy cookies all-year-round, conservatively rationing them out to my husband. Unfortunately, it was found out while we were getting ready for our move from Graduate Hospital to Mount Airy. I winced when, as I was packing up the dining room, I heard Graham gleefully call from the basement, “Hooooon-neeeeyyyy…. I found the Girl Scout Cookies!”

Face palm.

That’s ok. Changes in environment and predatory behavior just means you learn to adapt.

Predatory behavior.

That’s when I began thinking.. where would Graham never, ever look..?

The answer was simple:Secret StashWith only one box of Girl Scout Cookies left, it only solves the problem for now, but that’s okay. I have a plan for hiding next year’s reserves.20160601_134502And if I can’t manage to chug all that coconut water in time, there’s always my other back-up plan. I found these on Amazon.

Happy hoarding!