Tag Archives: R

What I’m Glad I Bought

Old news: I left my corporate job at Williams-Sonoma, Inc.. New news: what did I buy on my way out that I do not regret and will not be returning? I know you’re so excited to find out that it’s getting hard to breathe. I know – it’s super exciting isn’t it?

Before we get to that though, let me set things up for you. Due to my (former) employment by a leading purveyor of overpriced, high-end cookware and related tools, our kitchen is stocked with food preparation equipment that no couple with our skills has any business having. R mentions this often.

I do not enjoy cooking. You spend an hour or more in the kitchen producing something that will then be consumed. How is that relaxing, to see your creation getting all chewed up? I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy munching up food other people have created. I’m just saying I don’t get anything out of prepping it myself.

This state of affairs has made for some interesting conflicts with R, as he’s the one who cooks and I’m the one who buys the cooking stuff. It seems like a charming, if illogical division of labor, no? (Just to be clear, I do the cleaning. It’s all fair and square, so just calm down.)

I purchased a ton of stuff on the way out the WSI door. Here’s what’s staying:

  • Calphalon One frying pans. Ooo, baby, are these nice. I love them. I, who would willingly use a whisk as a pastry blender, notice the difference. These are some kick-ass frying pans and you should register for them if you’re getting married or buy them the next time you’re in need of a new set (or just one). Screw Circulon and all the rest of the them. These are totally non-stick and hard as nails. (If you go into one of the Wm-Sonoma stores, they might still have one of the sets of an 8″ pan + a 10″ pan for $70. N/A on the site.)
  • Primo Milk Frother. $20 well-spent, my friend. I am not a coffee snob, but years of shelling out $2.15 to Starbucks for my cafe au lait (which they insist on calling a “misto” for reasons not understood by me) has spoiled me for drinking coffeemaker coffee with cold milk in it. I am not going to invest in an espresso machine just to get steamed milk. Primo is my answer. Milk in mug, froth, microwave, add coffee, done. Just make sure you submerge the frother ring before turning it on. Trust me.
  • Microplane Graters. Grating cheese with these (we have the medium one for hard cheese and the rasp for citrus) is like swimming with floaties. You never knew you could have it so good. Kick your collegiate box grater to the curb with that hippie wall hanging you scored that weekend in Michigan at the truck stop and move on already.


K (talking about her downstairs neighbor): She doesn’t use a computer. And she doesn’t have a cellphone.
[tiny pause]
R: When was the last time anyone saw her alive?

Ah, romance

I just want you to know that one of the things I love about you is that you actually listen to me.
R: …Sorry…what?

I have left the building (almost)

The countdown to departure from my job has begun in earnest. On Thursday evening the light at the end of the tunnel flared enough so I could see it. I think it was because my computer’s hard drive was thrown on the burning pyre.

The drive crashed Thursday morning and I spent two of my remaining six days at Williams Sonoma, Inc., recovering files and rebuilding a machine I will use for four days before returning it to the company stockpile from whence it so recently came. That crash was the last of the last straws, and it pushed me beyond the village of strain where I’d set up camp, shrugging into the land of What Are You Gonna Do?

Now all that’s left is buying the rest of the goods we so urgently need for our kitchen at 40% off. This is driving R bananas. He contends that not only do we need nothing else but we should consider returning some of the things we already have. He is clearly wrong.

What home does not need a Pineapple Easy Slicer? R maintains that the ratio of “pineapples consumed in our apartment” to “space consumed in our apartment by said Easy Slicer” is out of whack. I maintain that the Easy Slicer made its value apparent on the very first demo pineapple and it should not be required to reestablish that value on a regular basis. How would you like it if you were reevaluated every couple of weeks on your utility-to-space ratio when your ability to do your job had not apparently diminished? So what if you were not actually required to do your job in that time frame? You still could do your job if asked. That’s all I’m saying.

The item I will be most certain but sad to leave behind unpurchased is the Electric Vacuum Marinator. That’s right. You heard me. The Electric Vacuum Marinator. It does exactly what its name suggests: “Just press a button, and the marinator creates a powerful vacuum seal (no pumping required) that stretches and opens fibers. This draws the marinade juices deep inside the food for maximum flavor and tenderness.”

The “no pumping required” note still baffles me after 2+ years with the company. Was this product preceded by the Hand Pump Vacuum Marinator? Or is it a reference to other vacuum products requiring pumping? My vacuum cleaner is not hand crank, is yours? I guess the Swedish penis enlargement pump works on the same principle, but that can’t be what they’re referencing, can it?

At first, I thought, “If you have time to discover the EVM, earn the $200 to buy it, learn how to use it, use it and then clean it, you probably have time to marinate meat in a Ziploc as God intended.” But then I thought, “Who am I to stand in the way of progress? This is a wondrous application of modern vacuuming / pumping technology to a problem no one knew they had! What’s not to love?”

Even if R would let me buy it for our home – which he won’t – I almost certainly would not use it for its intended purpose. I would put cheese and olives and hard drives and other things that don’t need marinating in it, just to see what would happen and no doubt it would be broken in a weekend, so he’s probably right to veto it, but it’s still a sad loss for our crowded cupboards.

So I will live on without my beloved, intriguingly useless and surprisingly compelling Electric Vacuum Marinator. Farewell! Adieu! I’ll be over here with my unmarinated but smoothly cored pineapple.


Now that we’re engaged, I’m up against the title thing again. (See original problem here.) I never did fully sort out how to refer to R when we were, uh…is it ‘dating’ if you’ve been living together for five years? I did an extended trial run of “El Señor”, mostly while ordering at Starbucks, but R vetoed that as weird. Now that we’re engaged, that whole exercise, all that effort, is out the window.

Now it’s “fiancé”. But, of course, that’s not working for me either. It’s too…frilly. Fiancés are guys who belong to country clubs and think they’re hilarious rebels when they wear Tretorns with their seersucker suits. “Fiancé” is just too… Hell, I don’t know: it’s just not me. I’m from New England, for God’s sake.

So I’ve settled on “fancy” as my ironic compromise. R is my fancy. Which is true, really. I like it and I can live with it until the wedding. I have no problem with “husband”, for the record, so we should have smooth sailing from there on out. I might change my mind though when I get there. I’ll keep you posted.

News Bulletin


So what’s been going on? What’s with the chaos?

All right, I give (under your imaginary pressure and questioning): we’re engaged!

While we were in Belgium in November, R asked me to marry him. I didn’t mean to tip you off with the, “We’re engaged,” comment, but I said, “Yes.” Well, what I actually said was, “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” which R tells me was not reassuring.

It was in an ivy garden at night behind the Church of Our Lady in Bruges and really could hardly have been more lovely and romantic. We’re very excited and, no, we haven’t made any wedding plans yet.

Those photos of me running are not me running away (as some have suggested). I was just taking a quick lap to let off some steam. They shouldn’t leave convenient paths lying around if they don’t mean for you to use them.


Me: My glasses are always smudged. I wonder if my eyelashes are too long.
R: Or it’s because of your flat face.
Me: I don’t have a flat face…
R: And your protruding eyes.
Me: That’s nice talk.


R: You so fine.
Me: You so fun.
R: You my Superfund.
Me: You realize that that’s nuclear waste?
R: You so fine, you radioactive.

Philosophy in the Home

Me: Do you know about all this veil of ignorance stuff?
R: No. Is that what you’re getting me for Christmas?

Vegas, Baby

We went to Vegas two weeks ago for my friend’s 30th birthday bash. It was excellent. Except for the part where I came home with some black plague-like throat infection. But that was later. I only lost $4 gambling but I spent about a billion dollars on other things, including $200 on MAC cosmetics I don’t need but which make me look like I’ve been airbrushed. But Vegas ain’t about “need,” baby, it’s all about the want, the gimme and the have.

We stayed at the MGM Grand and, except for the three hours we spent at various reception desks sorting out all the reservations snafus for the birthday suite and our room, it was birthdaylicious. They have lions on site for Pete’s sake: what’s not to love about that? The lions commute from a farm outside Vegas, so, even better, every few hours there are fresh lions.

Our room looked out at New York, New York’s rollercoaster. For three days, I’d wake up, open the drapes and watch the rollercoaster wind around the front of the resort named after the city I lived in for years. On the third day, this is how the conversation went:

Me: Oh.
R: What?
Me: Oh. That’s why all those buildings are so close together. It’s New York. Like New York. With all the buildings. Like New York, New York.
R: You’re smart, right?