Friday, November 03, 2006

Another hard day at the office

[Talking to Laura on the phone while eating a candy bar...]

Laura: "What are you eating?"
Jack: "A co-worker brought in a big bag of candy bars left over from Halloween."
Laura: "And you went over and took a handful?"
Jack: "No, she dropped it off on my desk."
Laura: "She dropped off a big bag of candy bars on your desk?! What was she thinking?! I'm going to have to start calling you Chubby."
Jack: "Let's see ... there are Kit Kats ... Snickers ... oh, and Baby Ruths, mmm ..."
Laura: "Chubby."
Jack: "Well, I emailed the group and told them to come get some..."
Laura: "And you added: 'But please don't hurry, I'm still sifting through the good ones.'?"
Jack: "Oh, c'mon. I'll bring you home one. What kind would you like? There are lots of Almond Joys that I can't eat."
Laura: "I want something with peanut butter."
Jack: "You're in luck. There's one Reese's Peanut Butter Cup left."
Laura: "Good."
Jack: "It's sitting right next to my Kit Kat and my Nestle's Crunch."
Laura: "Okay."
Jack: "I'll try not to eat it before I get home."
Laura: "You punk! I'm going to meet you at the door and unless you can show me the Reese's through the window I'm not going to let you in!"

[The Reese's made it safely home.]

Comparing job benefits

[After telling Laura on the phone about the free snacks I was eating at Google...]

Jack: "It's just one of my benefits..."
Laura: "Your job has lots of benefits. Let me count my benefits...well, I'm done with that! Oh wait, I got the sniffles from one of the kids."

Motherhood time-cards

[After a long day with the kids...]

Laura: I wish I had one of those time-card thingies. Then I could punch out -- ka-chunk! -- and say, "Kids, stop talking to me."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Have you been fed yet, little fish?

Jack: "Brianna, come feed the fish."
Laura: "No, I already fed them this morning. But they always seem to be hungry because if you ask them if someone fed them yet they always shake their heads 'No'."
Jack: "That could just be their natural swimming motion..."

Friday, August 04, 2006

Google usability study

[Laura agreed to participate in a Google usability study. On the morning that they were coming over she was all stressed out.]

Laura: "I don't want to do this. They're going to think I'm stupid."
Jack: "Sweetie, it's not a test. They're not evaluating you, they're evaluating the software. If something is hard to do then it's a problem with the user interface, not with you."
Laura: "They're going to think I'm dumber than a chimp."
Jack: "Did I mention that I told them you were an expert in HTML? (just kidding)"
Laura: "I'm going to punch you."
Jack: "Oh, and by the way, this will be video-taped for later analysis."
Laura: "Oh great, so later they will have a split-screen movie comparing me with a chimp. The chimp will be going 'click, click, click' and I'll be going 'Whaaat...?' and they'll be going 'ha, ha, ha'!"

Some random sayings

Here are some Laura sayings for which I don't remember the context.

"Does a tree fall if no one is looking at it?"

"I can only lead you to water, push you in, and hold your head under. I can't make you swallow."

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Small Vocabulary

[Laura objects to my publishing her cute sayings. One night when I wrote something funny down, she threatened a new course of action...]

Laura: From now on, I'm only going to say one-syllable things and words that start with boring.

The Opposite of Ambiguous

[Laura sometimes places shoes or other things partway up the stairs, figuring that one of us will carry them the rest of the way the next time we go upstairs. When I walk on by and she later asks my why I didn't carry the shoes (or clothes or whatever) up the stairs I explain that I didn't know if they were going up or down. This was actually true at one time, but lately I use the excuse just for humor value. The latest exchange went something like this...]

Laura: Didn't you see the shoes on the stairs?
Jack: Oh, uh...yeah.
Laura: Why didn't you bring them up with you?
Jack [knowingly using an old excuse]: I didn't know if they were going up or down.
Laura: If I put it on the stairs, it's going up!
Jack: Well, sometimes the dirty clothes basket goes down the stairs.
Laura: That's only when it's at the top of the stairs. I never carry something partway down the stairs! On the stairs means it's going up!
Jack: Okay. Still, it's ambiguous.
Laura: It is not ambiguous. It is so biguous!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Yesterday's Toys

Laura was recounting a whiny episode from our 4-year-old Brianna (who is much better off than she realizes):

"Brianna complained, 'I have only ugly toys! Everyone else has pretty toys!'
I just stared at her. What was I supposed to say to that: 'Yeah, well, other parents love their kids'?"

Saturday, July 01, 2006

A Nutty Date

[After eating a dessert with something that looked like nuts, even though the restaurant said it didn't have nuts...]

Jack: "Yeah, I think those were nuts."
Laura: "How can you tell?"
Jack: "I can feel it on my tongue."
Laura: "What does your tongue feel like? ... Long and squishy?"

[Later, after I had eaten around the nuts...]

Jack: "Want some of my dessert?"
Laura: "No thanks."
Jack: "It's really good..."
Laura: "I'm so full I can't even handle any air!"

[On the drive home, she helped me find my sunglasses.]

Laura: "Now it's your turn to help me."
Jack: "What do you want?"
Laura: "You need to help me in the house. Grease up the door frame and push me from behind really hard."

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lazy phone threats

[On the phone one day...]

Laura: "Don't make me put down these bon-bons to threaten you..."

and when I paused to write that down:

Laura: "I will not contribute to the delinquency of your web page."
Jack: "You just did."

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Rock, Scissors, Paper

[Jason had just awakened from a nap. Laura and I both were hoping the other would go upstairs and fetch him.]

Jack: "I think I hear Jason. Want to play 'Rock, Scissors, Paper' to see who gets him?"
Laura: "I'm tired."
Jack: "That's okay, you can just tell me what you would have picked, and then I'll tell you what I picked." [chuckle]

[Laura recounts all the chores she has done so far that day...]

Jack: "So what you're saying is you don't want to play 'rock, scissors, paper'?"
Laura: "No, because if I lose I'll just cry and make you feel guilty until you go upstairs anyway."
Jack: "Wow, most women aren't so blatant about their manipulative powers."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Penalty for Buying Books

[I ordered some books implusively on Amazon and casually mentioned this to Laura when she called me on the phone. Laura thinks I have way too many books already.]

Laura: "How's work going...did you email your mom?"
Jack: "No, but I ordered some books."
Laura: "What?! Seriously? You bought some more books? They better be on 'How To Please Your Wife'!"
Jack: "Um, yeah, all 3 volumes."
Laura: "Alright, I gotta go now and toss all your stuff outside! ... and turn on the sprinklers!"

Friday, May 19, 2006

A Very Smart Gun

[At the preschool where Laura used to work the little children are discouraged from playing with make-believe guns but boys will inevitably pick up a stick and point it at someone and say "bang, bang". When Laura would catch them and ask if that is a "gun", they would always deny it and claim it was something else. When Brianna was caught one day, however, she took a different approach...]

Brianna had rolled up a mat and was holding it like a gun.
Laura: "Brianna, is that a gun?"
Brianna: "But it only shoots bad people!"
Laura: "Then why are you pointing it at me?!"

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Chip Munching

[ Laura stopped munching on potato chips and stuffed the bag back in the cupboard after she had already eaten several handfuls ... ]

Laura: "Okay, I'll just say no ... this time."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

What Am I Thinking Now

Laura: "Know what would be a good idea?"
Jack: "You want a coffee."
Laura: "You're so right! How did you know?"
Jack: "It's easy to tell what you're thinking most of the time."
Laura [putting on a blank expression]: "Oh yeah? What am I thinking?"
Jack [concentrating]: "Hmm, nothing. Nothing at all."
Laura: "Oh, that's so harsh!" then, making a fist, "What am I thinking now!"

Lost Sanity

[Laura was trying to give the kids a bath upstairs one night...]

Jack: "Need anything from downstairs?"
Laura: "My sanity..."
Jack: "Your sanity? Is that where you left it?"
Laura: "Well, I'm hoping..."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Delusions of Power

[Laura gives herself willingly to delusions of power. If you let her hold a power drill, for example, she will draw it like a gun, point it at you, and in a low cowboy voice challenge you with "You talkin' to me?". So I guess I should not have been surprised when I teased her one night in the bathroom and she responded by grabbing an electric toothbrush...]

Laura (threatening me with her toothbrush): "You better watch it! I've got a toothbrush and I know how to use it!"

Playful flirting

[I made some lewd dancing gestures one night to get a reaction out of Laura...]

Laura (shaking her head): "I'm not one to judge ... but I will talk!"

Friday, April 14, 2006

Child Allergies

Laura (sneezing): "Achoo. Achoo. See, I'm allergic to kids. Two sneezes, two kids!"

Summer interns are not for spanking

[A while ago there was a Dilbert comic about an intern (Asok) who had to perform petty tasks for the full-time employees. There was one strip where the intern was stuck in a hole in the wall and people would walk by and spank him. This delighted Laura so much that she asked if she could have an intern.]

Jack: "I'm getting an intern this summer."
Laura: "Can I spank him?"
Jack: "No."
Laura: "Once?"

Laura: "What's his name?"
Jack: "I think it's Way Yen."
Laura (grinning): "Way Yen? Say when!"

First words of the day

Jack [just waking up]: "It's Good Friday today."
Laura [pointing a finger at me]: "So you should be good today!"

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Snacks at Google

[Google has a huge variety of free snacks and drinks for their employees. Sometimes my joy and enthusiasm isn't shared by my wife who calls me from home after a long day with screaming kids (and without the free snacks). But lately, I've been cutting back on the ice cream, Dr. Pepper, and chocolate wafers and trying to eat healthier -- though not without a little skepticism from Laura...]

Laura: "Getting lots of work done?"
Jack: "Um, some."
Laura: "Or busy eating snacks?"
Jack: "No, I fnished consuming the snacks." [chuckle]
Laura: "Yeah, double-fisting them goes faster, eh?"
Jack: "They were healthy snacks."
Laura: "Oh, is that what we're calling them now? Were there air quotes around 'healthy' by any chance?"
Jack: "No really, they were healthy snacks."
Jack: [busy transcribing the conversation so far...]
Laura [suspecting this] "I'm going to start writing stuff that you didn't say, like 'I gotta itch my butt!' Ha, there!"
Jack: [still writing...]
Laura: "Whatever you were going to get me for our anniversary next week, you're going to have to double it."
Jack: "Okay, that will be easy." [chuckle]
Laura: "When were you going to try to come home? Cause, ya know, I'm going to change the locks!"

Saturday, April 08, 2006


[I used to pick up lots of free pens from trade show booths, so I have quite a collection now including pens that light up, pens that stand up on their own, pens shaped like the state of Texas, pens that look like a rocketship, and so on. But very few are good quality pens that I would want to carry around. So Laura was a bit surprised when I returned home from the store with an unexpected purchase of a package of pens.]

Jack: "Look, I bought some pens."
Laura: "But we already have lots of pens!"
Jack: "These are good ones."
Laura: "But we have a whole drawer full of pens! See? In fact, the museum called and asked if they could have some!"

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I have to go hide

[Our 4-year old Brianna was having a play date with Molly so the house was even busier than usual when Laura was talking to me on the phone...]

Laura (about to hang up): "Well, I can't be talking on the phone all day.....I have to go hide."

Monday, April 03, 2006

A good striking

[Jason was sick one Saturday night so I was going to stay home with him on Sunday...]

Laura: "Looks like you get a 'Get out of church free' card tomorrow."
Jack [hoping to sleep in]: "Oh good."
Laura [thinking Jack was a little too happy]: "Uh-huh."
Jack: "I mean, uh, darn, I wish I could go...but Jason is sick."
Laura [looking up toward heaven, and inching away from Jack]: "Wait till I get over here, God, before you give him a good striking."
Jack: "A good striking? So there are degrees of being struck by God?"
Laura: "Yeah, you know, there's the regular lightning strike, and then there's the extra good striking for people like you!"

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chocolate mousse flambé

Jack: "We're having a Finance committee meeting at our house tonight."
Laura: "So you'll need some snacks."
Jack: "Oh...uh...right."
Laura: "Oh boy. You should have told me. I just went shopping."
Jack: "Well, maybe you could whip up something...let's see...I think I would like chocolate mousse flambé please."
Laura: "I don't even know how to spell flambé."
Jack [teasing]: "You don't play the domestic submissive wife very well."
Laura: "I never got that memo. I think I flamb
é-ed it."

A Measure of Trust

Jack [in a position to tickle Laura's feet but holding back]: "Don't you trust me?"
Laura: "Not as far as I can roll you."

[The usual saying is something like "I trust him about as far as I can throw him" meaning "not very far at all". But Laura could probably roll me quite a distance. So she does trust me!]

Charity starts at home

[After attempting to tickle Laura...]

Laura: "Being nice starts with you."

Sounds like "Run away!"

Toddlers clearly understand language before they can speak it. Our 18-month old Jason, for example, can usually understand simple commands. Whether he wants to obey those commands is a different question...

Laura: "Jason, lie down so I can change your diaper..."
Laura [chasing Jason]: "No, not 'Run away'! That sounds completely different from 'Lie down'."
Laura [still chasing Jason]: "Jason! Argh! You're making gray hairs pop out all over!"

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Don't get mouthy

[On Valentine's Day, I was sick and feeling cold. Usually it's Laura who is either "freezing" or "boiling hot" but this time it was my turn to exaggerate.]

Jack: "On a scale of 'Very Cold' to 'Extremely Bitterly Cold', how cold would you say it is in here?"
Laura: "Not very."
Jack: "I'm freezing....brrr."
Laura: "I'm in short sleeves and I'm fine."
Jack: "So what you're saying is that you're having hot flashes, then? How old are you now?"
Laura: "Really? You're messing with me on Valentine's Day? I can see your headstone: 'Here lies Jack. He got mouthy on Valentine's Day.'"

Baby complaints go here

Laura (trying to clean up our 1-year old Jason): "Jason, hold still. I need to wipe your face."
Jason (complaining): "Wah, wah."
Laura: "Yeah, tell it to your Congressman."

Not to be too blunt, but...

Jack: "What's that on Brianna's cheek?"
Laura (glancing at Brianna): "Filth. Any other questions?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Super Bowl Time-shifted

[Tivo is great for recording shows but sometimes it seems there is just too much to watch. We recorded the Super Bowl but didn't start watching it until Sunday night...]

Laura: "I guess we should start watching that Super Bowl. It's not going to watch itself."

Super Bowl Couch Potatoes

[After hours of watching the Super Bowl, sprawled out on the couch:]

Laura: "Okay, I'm going to get up and start working."
Jack: "Aw, you don't have to."
Laura: "No, I meant, I'm going to sit up and start crocheting."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Clones are different

[After describing the movie "The Island" to Laura and mentioning the DNA tests for the escaped clones:]

Laura: "Will they be able to tell that they are clones?"
Jack: "No, the DNA is identical."
Laura: "But maybe it's a little different."
Jack: "No, they're clones. That means they have the same DNA."
Laura: "Maybe not exactly the same."
Jack: "The DNA is identical. That's what cloning is. IDENTICAL DNA."
Laura (under her breath): "Different."
Jack: "You're being silly. And obstinate. And stubborn."
Laura: "You forgot belligerent." (then, under her breath) "Different."

Cold popcorn recipe

Jack (helping himself to some leftover microwaved popcorn): "Mmm, this popcorn is pretty good..."
Laura (feigning modesty): "Well, it's an old family recipe."

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Seems simple enough

[While listening to NPR asking for money on the car radio...]

Laura: "You already gave twice last year."
NPR: "And at the $10/month level we have these wonderful tumblers..."
Laura: "You shouldn't listen to this..."
Jack (teasing Laura): "Mmm, tumblers..."
NPR: "...which you can use for a Gin and Tonic..."
Jack: "Yeah, for all those Gin and Tonics that I drink!"
Laura: "You don't even know what's in a Gin and Tonic!"
Jack: "Um, Gin and Tonic?"

That must be one big juice box...

Laura (who is overly skittish about expiration dates): "Oh, we have a juice box after all. But what's the date...hmm, April 2006...Okay, Brianna, you can drink this. But drink it fast!"

Extraneously impressed

Laura: "Oh where did we park, where did we park?"
Jack: "You don't remember?"
Laura: "No."
Jack: "It's straight ahead. No need to keep extraneous facts in your brain, eh?"
Laura: " the word extraneous."

[a few minutes later...]

Laura: "I don't know why I'm so tired...I'm old and extraneously decrepit."
Laura (brightening, proud of herself): "It's always good when you can use two big words in the same sentence. You're impressed, aren't ya!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Between what lines?

Jack: "Would you like some ice cream?"
Laura: (sadly) "Um, no."

[10 minutes later, when I'm happily eating my ice cream...]

Laura: "Did you make me some ice cream?"
Jack: "No, you said not to."
Laura: "Well, maybe you should learn to read between the lines."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Where's That Daycare?

[On a particularly bad day when Laura had to drive off with two crying kids in the van.]

Jack (saying good-bye above the crying): "You'll be okay then?"
Laura: "I might just drop the kids off at U-Take-Them day care."

Early Mornings

[Our 1-year old Jason, who can't talk yet, is usually a bit whiny in the morning until after he's fed.]

Jason: (whining)
Laura: (sleepily making her coffee, early in the morning)
Jason: (whining)
Laura: "I hear you, Jason. You're whining to the choir."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Like That's The Same

[If I tell Laura about something good I did at work she always asks if I got a shoulder ride and I have to remind her that it would be highly unusual for software engineers to give shoulder rides. This bedtime exchange was slightly different.]

Jack: "I had a breakthrough at work today. I booted Linux on my simulator."
Laura (about to go to sleep): "I'll give you a shoulder ride in the morning."
Jack (knowing full well that Laura couldn't give me a shoulder ride to save my life): "Okay..."
Laura: "... or maybe I'll just point at you ... excitedly."

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Eating at Google

[The food at Google is excellent, plentiful, and free, making it hard not to gain weight.]

Jack: "I've been trying to take smaller portions, but it's hard when there are so many good entrees. I take some potatoes, a few more vegatables, some Chinese food, a small taco, ..."
Laura: "... and by the time you add a roll and 3 desserts you can't even see the tray anymore!"

On Being Pregnant

Laura: I was talking on the phone to a friend who is all excited about being pregnant and I wondered if that would make me want to get pregnant again, but nope. I remember feeling sick and getting fat. And when my water broke while I was standing in line to see the receptionist and it all gushed out on the floor in front of everyone, I thought I had lost control of my bladder. Pregnancy wasn't nearly as fun as the brochure made it seem.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

7 years is Golden

[After watching the movie "Must Love Dogs" in which Diane Lane jokes that in California 7 years of marriage is considered the Golden Anniversary:]

Laura: Seven years is golden. What are you going to get me for our 7th Anniversary?
Jack: That was a movie, Dear. And it was a joke.
Laura: Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Whadya gonna get me?