Archive for the 'nerdcore marriage' Category

happy birthday @jsgf: dinner at @saisonsf

1. Caviar sturgeon roe sea urchin chicken belly in a glass bowl with a mother of pearl spoon
Me: umami jewels
J: briny proteins!

Nicholas Feuillat champagne

2. Trout roe and a watercress leaf with dill, potato, shrimp
Me: one bite of creamy salad!
J: …not quite

CD: Music From When You Were In High School
Seriously not fucking kidding! The Eagles, Phil Collins, Thompson Twins, Men At Work!

3. Egg and cress sandwich with gold leaf
Me: that was good
J: REALLY good

Elton John, Benny and the Jets

4. Oyster with lemon verbena
Me: yum. You never get good oysters here
J: we should go to Sydney then

More Phil Collins! Billie don’t you lose my

5. Deconstructed and reassembled bluefin tuna with a rice poppadum
J: because nature didn’t make tuna tasty enough

6. Brassica is any cruciferous vegetable
Kale and broccoli chips in rye and barley with a quail egg in a bonita stock
Me: smells like home
J: roast chicken and kale

Invisible touch! Don’t stand so close to me!

Me: it’s my high school formal!

7. Lobster and turnip and Dungeness crab in a Meyer lemon cream
Me: if California were a soup it would be this soup

The Beatles. You Can Call Me Al!

Me: which Beatles song was it?
J: the one that goes plinky plinky I am tugging at your heartstrings

Wild Horses Couldn’t Drag Me Away

8. Tragic little exploded squid on a bed of its own risotto. Forgive me. It was delicious

OH: i really want succulents for our wedding. I want em in my bouquet

9. A liver dessert and beer. Seriously amazing
J: novel! All the other things were nice but this is remarkable!
Server: yes, the chef calls it foie toffee, with coffee beans

Every breath you take! Summer breeze!

10. 30 day aged pigeon with persimmon, orange, pressed pear, pomegrate and kalamatta olive

Narcisse Pinot noir


11. Brioche goat cheese course! So yummy


12. When a lemon sorbet and a lemon meringue pie love each other very VERY MUCH



What is this more wine i don’t even

13. New Orleansean fantasia with TINY BEIGNETS



14. Popcorn ice cream

Disastrous date to the right of us: a sullen silence is still silence

Disastrous date to the left of us: PLEASE DON’T EVER ASK ME WHAT I MEAN



Dear God I have to be on a plane at 7am. And so to bed.

our son the snake

Me: I dreamed I was giving birth again and was very annoyed with my substandard care. “Where’s my doula? I can’t work under these conditions!” Then the baby was born and it was a boy and I was ambivalent. We argued about whether to call it William or Gabriel. You said Gabriel would get him teased at school. I said “Of coure he’s going to get teased at school. He’s a snake.” Have you ever breastfed a snake?

J: No.

Me: I have. He was a colicky little snake too, always writhing if I put him down. And I was all, we’re not going to be celebrating your first steps now are we? Then he tried to slither into the new shelves, and the inevitable happened. My dream actually had captions at this point: “The inevitable happened.” Julia trod on him.

Julia, round-eyed: I did?

Me: And that was the end of our son the snake.

atlier crenn

Me: “It’s amazing what you can get used to.”

Optimal Husband: “Yes?”

Me: “Today I went riding with my daughter. And tonight I had an all-time top-three meal. I should be euphoric! Instead I am merely very happy.”

(Special commendations to the beet meringue. And the heirloom tomatoes with a tomato water on the side. And the sucking pig. But it was all just beautiful and delicious.)

not by accident, by samantha dunn

Me: “This is a lovely book! The nice lady’s Thoroughbred trampled her and dislocated her shoulder and put a hoof through her shin so that her leg was hanging off by a flap of muscle and skin. And then she had adventures!”

Optimal Husband: “Adventures?”

Me: “Well, surgeries.”

eleventy years


Originally uploaded by yatima

Would marry again!!11!

optimal husband speaks

Jeremy: “Obama will have betrayed us all if he doesn’t declare a National Day of Mourning for Delicious.

optimal husband

hey nonny nonny

Optimal Husband has hit the big Four Oh! (Don’t mention the four. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.)

Our marriage remains nerdcore. He remains Optimal.

nerdcore marriage on oprah

Me to Jeremy: And then she climbed the Harbour Bridge and laid a clutch of giant glowing green eggs.

J: Did she.

Me: Read it on Twitter. Must be true.

J: I never thought of Oprah having an ovipositor, but it makes sense.

Me: It totally makes sense!

J: You’ve got an ovipositor! You’ve got an ovipositor!


how nerdcore marriages work

Julia is emerging as a systems thinker.

“Daddy, how does [x] work?” she is wont to exclaim.

“Daddy, how do brains work?”

“Daddy, how do TVs work?”

“Daddy, how do nerves work?”

“Daddy, how does a computer work?”

“Daddy, how do eyes work?”

Me: “Eyes?”

Julia, scornful: “I ASKED DADDY.”

so the mister and i

…went almost two weeks without being in the same time zone for more than three hours.

That kinda blew.

All better now. He does snore a blue streak. It’s very soothing.


J: If I reek of garlic it’s because I was making YOUR DINNER.

R: Slaving over a hot clove.

nerdcore marriage leads to dancing in the streets

On mornings when the timing works out – not all mornings, but definitely the best mornings – the whole family walks down Eugenia together, the girls in school uniforms and non-uniform tights and boots, their bright backpacks on their backs, and Jeremy and I in our serious grownup Linux hacker and industry analyst standard city equipment.

J and the girls take the bus south, I go north. The buses are frequent so there’s usually not enough time to wave, but one morning last week, Mission Street was empty for a while. I waved, the girls waved. I waved. They waved. I blew kisses, they blew kisses, I made heart shapes with my hands, they made strange squashy shapes with theirs.

Then we all paused. Still no bus. Awkward.

I made jazz hands. They made jazz hands.

All three of us started to dance.

We danced and danced. We boogied. We step-ball-changed. We twirled. Julia, especially, twirled.

For ten minutes, on two sides of Mission Street, we got our white girl funk on.

When my bus finally arrived I saw a woman on the other side of the street solemnly high-fiving Jeremy and the kids.

nerdcore marriage & 2 kids

You need some back story, an essential piece of family lore which I have mysteriously never blogged. Once when Claire was very small, we made one of our regular visits to (be still my heart) the Monterey Bay Aquarium. A docent was introducing her granddaughter to the Pacific Giant Octopus. When the docent ran her finger in a squiggly pattern against the glass, the octopus followed her with a tentacle. In a voice aching with affection, the docent said: “He loves to interact.”

Now you are ready for my story. I have called my husband on the telephone. This is what ensues.

R: Can you stuff the girls’ sleeping bags into the big IKEA bag? And pyjamas for each of them? And a change of clothes for tomorrow?

J: Sure.

R: …with a pickle?

J: You don’t like pickles.

R: Hate ’em.

J: The girls don’t like pickles. NO ONE LIKES PICKLES.

R: Someone must like pickles.

J: Because they exist?

R: …yes, that was going to be my supporting evidence.

J: So someone likes neutrinos?

R: Not very often. And only in caves, far beneath Antarctica.

J: They like them. They just don’t like to interact.

a dozen-odd things that you might like, if you were me

  1. Sanjay Patel’s Ramayana: Divine Loophole (he’s the Pixar animator who also did the totally cute Little Book of Hindu Deities)
  2. Gama-go’s poppy tee
  3. Jeremy, who gave me both for my birthday
  4. Leo the taxi driver, who brought back my wallet, CONTAINING MY GREEN CARD, after I left it in his taxi; and who laughingly refused any kind of reward
  5. our neighbour Naomi’s mom and dad and their beautiful home in stunning Big Sur, where we spent last weekend
  6. sea otters like the one we saw swimming off Jade Cove when we hiked Point Lobos
  7. yummy last-minute dinner at La Provence with nineteen of my closest friends
  8. a series of intensely technical and awesome rides on Scottie as I figure out how to fix my lower leg
  9. OK Go actually outdoing themselves in their latest video, with help from the Maker community
  10. Synth Britannia
  11. kissing goodnight to my girls as they sleep in their new bunk bed
  12. my lucky, lucky, happy life.


Just a fragment, really, hopelessly idealized, I mean really, a meadow beside a waterfall, there might as well have been Tom Selleck and a sandwich. What the fragment was really of though was the sunlight shining on, indeed reflecting off, a side view of his white ass and thighs that were always his best features (“What an ass!” heheh) and us being sweet to each other and happy together, as we seldom if ever were in life. And waking to remember that we will probably never speak to each other again, with excellent reason. A reminder as if reminders were needed that I am turning 39 tomorrow. Mothers! Lock up your sons!

And falling asleep again to visit the house, loved house, lost house, changed in dreamlike ways, ways that Richard both would and would not approve. The polished concrete floor half-stripped of red and green paint was beautiful, and all the rough bricks were true to life. But this version had an imperious view of rooftops and the Harbour, and it was not at all clear why Jeremy’s room did not have a door, so that we had to climb through an internal window. And waking to remember that the house has been sold to a half-Scottish half-Danish lover of Sydney School houses, whose three young sons will, I hope, love it as much as I do, although how can they?

No wonder I spent most of yesterday verklempt and listening to depressing songs of youth. I was emo before the word was coined! Last night was a lot better, a very liberal Anglican church up near Coso and Mirabel somewhere, with a friendly (two-humped?) llama eating nasturtiums out of the front garden and chickens wandering around during the service. Thussy would have loved it. We all went, Bryan and the boys, Shannon, Salome and Milo, us Fitzchalmers and even Janny and Gemma when they came to visit; there was a treehouse in a spreading live oak where they could conveniently stay. Testimony took the form of people writing famous mathematical proofs on the whiteboard, with all of us in the congregation chanting along with them. “DIVISION BY ZERO! CONTRADICTION!” A straightforwardly happy San Francisco dream.

nerdcore marriage strikes back

[09:19] mizchalmers: o noez
[09:19] FurHordinge: ohez?
[09:19] mizchalmers: we forgot to have a windoze 7 launch party
[09:19] FurHordinge: zomg!
[09:20] mizchalmers: *fake laugh* what do you use the new features for, my husband jeremy???
[09:21] FurHordinge: oh, it’s so easy! if I want the screen to go blue, I just do this!
[09:21] mizchalmers: here is our friend token minority! she has this to say! “…”
[09:22] FurHordinge: look, Female is showing off her recipe database and pictures of the kids!
[09:23] mizchalmers: teehee!
[09:23] FurHordinge: and Male is watching his DVD of explosions again!
[09:23] mizchalmers: (resignedly) oh, male!
[09:24] FurHordinge: (I propose we make a family movie for all the family: Exploding Princesses Talking About Their Feelings)
[09:25] FurHordinge: (And Ponies!)

[11:07] mizchalmers: of course the seminal Exploding Princesses Talk About Their Feelings (And Ponies) film is LadyHawke

pillow talk nerdcore-style

R: “Who’s the nicest person you’ve ever been married to?”

J: “Hmm. The Rach. Who’s the nicest person you’ve ever been married to?”

R: “In the real world, or in Rach world?”

J: “Sigh.”

R: “Johnny Depp would never sigh at me like that. Neither would Simon Schama.”

J: “That’s because they are not real.”

R: “Rory Stewart would never tell me my imaginary boyfriends aren’t real!”

watching old almodovar films

Me: “It’s not shocking that the nuns are doing heroin. What’s shocking is that they are proposing to share needles.”

Jeremy: “It was a simpler time.”

this and that, life and death, pride and falls

R: “I find myself unexpectedly very sad about Ted Kennedy.”

J: “Yeah, me too.”


Claire clocked heads with a kindergartener today and came away with a black eye and some shallow cuts. She spent the afternoon at my office and we wandered over to AG Ferrari for lunch.

R: “That’s the earthquake memorial.”

C, remembering earlier conversations: “Your grandmother was born three days after the Great Earthquake! I bet her mother was glad she wasn’t in San Francisco. Your grandmother’s mother is my great, great… wait, let me gather my greats.”


R (as I finish recounting this to Jeremy): “And then I exploded. All over Third Street. A fine red mist.”

(A clarification: I exploded with pride in my daughter, who gathers her greats; and not, as my father assumed, in a temper tantrum.)

it’s called entity contact, okay?

Jeremy: “So Jimmy Neutron’s parents are going to Burning Duck.”

Rachel: “Our generation? SO OVER.”

J: “Cat? Why are you snappy?”

R: “She needs to go to Burning Cat. And take catnip.”

J: “And there would be laser pointer art. Hey I could do that… Maker project… and choreograph the cats…”

R: “Bebe might have epiphanies on the catnip. She might come to realize there are better ways to express her anger than biting.”

J: “She might start insisting that the catnip comes from outer space.”

R: “I? Am going to kick your ass. Albeit v e r y s l o w l y.”

J (fleeing in slow motion): “It’s okay. Bebe doesn’t even know what redwoods are.”