Friday, January 30, 2009


"Woman Gives Birth to Octuplets"

In this day and age of fertility treatments and improved medical care, and shows like John & Kate Plus Eight . . . well, its easy to say "Octuplets . . . whatever."

Which is normally what I do. Except today's headline said "Octuplets' Mother has 6 Other Kids."


Curious, I read.

Headline nailed it. She's got six other kids - ages 7, 6, 5, 3, and 2-year old twins. She makes Poker Peaker's parenting job look like a party. She's "young." She lives with her parents. No mention of the childrens' (previous, or the eight little guys who just arrived) father(s). She's not giving out her name. Family says her fertility treatment ended up with multiple fetuses, and she chose to keep them all. Thought she was having seven. Eighth guy showed up in the C-section. Surprise. Grandfather says "we have a big house, you don't know where it is, and you'll never find us."


I admit I am biased. Growing up with that Judeo-Christian ethic (non-Catholic), there was this imperative to procreate (part of God's plan, you know), but to do so responsibly. Have children, but remember our limited world resources and never have more than you can take care of.

I also do not want to judge people who take fertility treatments. I was one of those fortunate women who, although I have only chosen to have two children, could probably pop them out like a Pez dispenser if I decided to do so. It only took a few tries in one 12 hour window to make the first one . . . how hard can it be? I say that tongue in cheek because I have many friends for whom conceiving is a long, trying ordeal, and each time I see it happen, I wish I had a way to strip out my fertility and gift it to someone who wants just one baby. So I can never know the reasons people do fertility treatments, and I know its not an easy or inexpensive process.

So here are my questions:
  • Why was she taking fertility treatments? She has six other children, the youngest of which were likely not even 2 when she was implanted with this round. What part of successfully birthing 6 children in a 5 year span gave her the idea that she NEEDED fertility treatments? Did I miss something? If she wasn't conceiving right away and wanted to, maybe her body was just saying "let me catch my breath, here . . ."
  • Why would a young woman, living with her parents, with no obvious presence of a father, decide that trying even for a 7th (which has now turned into 14th, in one fell swoop) was a particularly good idea, especially in our current economic circumstances?
  • Where is a young, possibly unmarried/uncommitted woman with six other children getting the finances for fertility treatments ($25,000 a pop or so?)
  • Huh?

Sadly, I am personally speculating that there are parts of this story we don't know, and may never know. Or never want to know. Judgments have been made by people who must be operating under some other guiding principles than most people I know.

I can't judge her morally, or ethically, or spiritually. But lord, girl, have you done the math on this one?

Clearly in need of some remedial personal finances and family economics training.

Is anyone else out there saying "huh?" too?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

All In a Lunch Break

I've been working like a dog lately. (You know, I don't know why people say that - my dog lays around all day taking naps in the sunny spot in our living room) Which explains the lack of writing. I mean, really, what can I blog about?

Dear readers,
Today I accounted for something. It was wrong. I fixed it. I did that another 27 times. For 14 hours straight. Tomorrow I will do the same thing. Maybe have a meeting or two.

Today is another busy day. In fact, it was 12:30 before I realized it was lunch time. I grabbed my purse and jacket and headed to the local soup place.

* * * * *
But not before a pit stop. See, I'd been sitting at my desk working hard all morning and hadn't taken any little nature breaks. So I stopped by the ladies restroom.

I had the room all to myself and in my haste, I grabbed the nearest stall. Didn't even bother taking off my jacket, I was in such a hurry.

As I went to grab some toilet paper, the tail of the belt from my leather jacket got tangled in my hand. I don't tie the belt very frequently, but as I sat there I thought "I ought to tie the belt before . . . "

Yep. You guessed it.

I reached around to the other side. No belt. Reached behind me.

Yep. In the toilet.

And now you are at the next logical step.

I peed on the belt to my leather jacket.

* * * * *
After frantically washing the pee off the belt and double-washing my hands, I headed off to the soup place. Seattle has these wicked hills downtown, so while the entrance to my building off 3rd Avenue is technically the "street level", the soup place is on the other side of the building and is located 2 stories lower than the "street level". So when you want soup, you take these massive outdoor escalators two stories down.

I was riding the escalator down, watching the people ride up the escalator. One of the gentlemen riding up by himself looked me square in the eye. And winked.

Some people nod. Some people smile. Some people give you a wave. I guess he winks.

Or maybe he likes girls who pee on themselves.

* * * * *
Which made me think of Chrissy. Not the peeing part. The winking part.

Chrissy is a server at a local establishment. She's probably an excellent waitress, on the whole. But she's a winker. One of those creepy winkers that winks to emphasize every point.

Some people wink and its subtle. I've often been caught off-guard by winkers. Did he just wink at me? Does he not see my husband right there? Then a few lines of conversation and another wink (maybe even the husband has gotten a wink at this point) . . . you realize that this person really just winks, occasionally. It's not his secret way of saying "Come away with me Mrs Chako."

Chrissy is not subtle. Chrissy is overt with her winking. In your face. Big, giant, exaggerated eye crinkling, emphasized by heavy, Pat Benetar-meets-Boy George eye make-up. Creeping you out. Sample conversation:

"I'm Chrissy, and I'll be your server (*wink*). If you call me by my name, I'll respond better than "Hey you!" (*wink*), ok? Now what can I get you to drink? Ice tea (*wink*)? Sugar? No? Just lemon? Sounds great! (*wink*, *wink*)."

Thank heavens she's not a doctor with that habit. "Mrs. Jones, I've got the results of the biopsy back (*wink*). Yeah, looks like you have one of those nasty little tumors, ok (*wink*)? We're going to get one of our surgeons to cut that nasty little guy out (*wink*), and then we're going to scan you again and make sure he doesn't have any little friends. (*wink*).

* * * * *
I ordered my chicken basil chili and went to pay for my lunch. The little guy who always works the lunch hour was all smiles like usual. I don't even think he could tell I'd recently peed on my self.

I ordered my soup and complimented him on his new haircut (which made him beam - he'd only cut it the day before). It made me smile, as I left. Forgot all about peeing on my jacket. (Not really.)

* * * * *
Rode the escalator back up. The door to our building is a revolving door. People can get really confused in those things. I watched a poor older woman almost get her face taken off as she tried to enter, because the door was spinning too fast for her pace. Still, she managed to stop it momentarily, which stopped the momentum and caused the guy inside the door to crash into the front of his partition. It would have made a great Mr. Bean sketch.

But just to be safe, I waited until everyone cleared the doorway before I stepped in. I wasn't about to be someone's amusing blog post from lunch break.

* * * * *
I was about to ride up the elevator alone when a guy jumped on at the last minute. Looking completely out of place. I work in a high rise office building where Wells Fargo is the main tenant - white collar heaven. This dude looked like he'd just flown in on the last puddle jumper out of BFE Alaska. Big beer belly, woolly beard, Rudolf-nose courtesy of a few years (decades) of vodka or some equivalent, buffalo-plaid shirt, smelling like smoke and wood and a little Skoal. Think lumberjack, but shorter.

Says "hey".

Maybe all backwoodsmen talk like that.

Maybe he doesn't talk much to girls who smell like pee.

* * * * *
Back to the grind.

Wonder what lunch has in store for me tomorrow?

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Marginal Utility Meets Comedy

Marginal utility.

It's an economic principle I am acutely aware of, given my frugal tendencies. I was trying to teach my son about marginal utility tonight. He's 11. And a bit of a comedian. Neither of which lends itself that well to a lesson.

* * * * *

Whether you know it or not, you already understand marginal utility. It's the concept that leaves you happy when you pay $2.00 for your morning cup of coffee, but start to cringe when Starbucks charges you $3.50 for that same cup, but you pay it because its closer to your house. Or makes you think "I can drink water" when you go to a fru fru hotel and room service is charging $6.00 for that same cup.

Each person has a value attached to certain objects (needs or wants) and we make buying decisions around that. And its all relative - not absolute. So for example, when the DVD you want is at Best Buy for $24.00, but you know if you got in the car and drove to Wal-Mart, you could pay $20.00 . . . well, you buy it at Best Buy because you're there and its worth it. But you won't pay that extra $4.00 for the coffee.

I have a marginal utility of about $30 for a skirt. I'm a seamstress. I sew. I know how much work goes into making a skirt. Unless it is going to massage my ass while I work all day, there is nothing I can pay for over $30 that I can't really get at the $30 level. My marginal utility of a massage is much higher, and I've paid upwards of $120 for a good rub down. Can't put a price on that little piece of heaven. But I won't pay more than $2.00 from a hotel vending machine for a Diet Coke unless I'm seriously desperate.

If you play poker, you make decisions on marginal utility all the time . . . although we call it "pot odds" or "being priced in" - there is a certain economic point where its worth it to pay the asking price (the bet), and a certain point where you say "absolutely not."

* * * * *
We are at dinner tonight, when the topic arises (read, I bring it up).
  • Mrs Chako: Son, do you know what marginal utility is?
  • Son #1: Ummmm . . . huh?
  • MC: How much does a McDonald's cheeseburger cost?
  • #1: Ummm . . . $1.00?
  • MC: Right. So if I told you that I had a cheeseburger that tasted just like McDonald's and wanted to sell it to you for $1.00, would you buy it?
  • #1: But I like McDonalds.
  • MC: But this tastes just like McDonalds.
  • #1: Ummm . . . ok, yeah.
  • MC: What if I said it was $1.50?
  • #1: From McDonalds?
  • MC: Doesn't matter.
  • #1: Yes it does. I like McDonalds. Where are the McDonalds? What happened to the McDonalds?

(moments of refocusing)

  • MC: So now, would you pay $10?
  • #1: (Looks at father like "save me") Ummm . . . no.
  • MC: Right. Because your marginal utility is closer to $1.00.
  • #1: (Nods head.)
  • MC: Now what if you were in the desert and starving and I said I had a cheeseburger and I said you had to pay me $10.
  • #1: If I was in the desert and starving and you came up and said "I have a cheeseburger, pay me $10", I'd think you were a mirage.
  • MC: I'm not a mirage.
  • #1: Well, ok, then I guess I'd pay, because I was starving. If I had money in the desert.
  • MC: Ok, so your marginal utility for the cheeseburger went up because you were starving . . .
  • #1: What's your point?
  • MC: So let's think about Ferrari's (looks at Dr. Chako). Why would you buy a Ferrari when you could get two really nice cars for the same price?
  • #1: What kind of cars?
  • MC: Heck, you could get three minivans for the price of a Ferrari.
  • #1: What would you do with three minivans?
  • MC: Its not important what you would do with them or whether you would buy three. The point is that for the same money you could have three vehicles.
  • #1: If you could afford a Ferarri, why would you want three minivans?
  • MC: That's not the point - its that you COULD have three minivans?
  • #1: If you could afford a Ferarri, why wouldn't you just get a Lamborghini instead?
  • MC: You're not getting this concept.
  • #1: I love Lamborghinis.
(Conversation deteriorates)

* * * * *

Some day he will thank me. Right now he's thinking about specs on a new Murcielago. Go figure.

Sometimes I wonder if he's my kid at all . . .

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Do You Take This Woman . . .

Dr Chako makes his father proud . . .

"I do."

Congratulations to the newest "Wife".
Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

That's Oregon . . . Not Maine

Yes, I'm in Portland.

Back at the airport on my way home after a long day that started much earlier than Mrs. Chako normally starts her day.

I owe you a lot of observations about life since last week. Pictures and snippets. Of a wedding. Of family. Of poker. Of children. Of work.

Today I give you some observations about Portland.
  • Portland is nice. Everyone and everything. Don't get me wrong - there are still yucky things like any urban setting. Run down buildings here and there. I'm sure there is crime, although its never affected me. Saw a few homeless people. But even the homeless people seem more decorative than anything else. Not threatening. Not obnoxious. Just part of the landscape. And I'm sure there are yucky people - they just had the day off, apparently.
  • Portland is happy. Like the guy who sold me my water at the Rite Aid this morning. Although his happiness might have been due to the 40 ounce Monster energy drink he had next to the register. Or a few other substances. He made a comment that he was working on a script. Or maybe he said scrip. Could be a friend of Dr. Pauly's. Either way, he was a walking ray of caffeinated, hopped-up sunshine. Him and the Starbucks guy. Who explained the whole thing about copyright infringement for the Super Iced Chai Frappaccino Cream drink thingy. When all I really wanted was a vanilla latte.
  • Portland is customer service. Like the fast-talking guy at Subway. Unlike the McDonald's workers in my hometown who work at a snail-like pace and prefer to employ the "if I don't look directly at you, you're not there and I don't need to help you" strategy of customer service, this dude was on it. He didn't look like the kind of guy you'd expect it from - weird earrings and tattoos, mohawk dyed red. But this guy lined up three sandwiches at once (by himself), had the sauces and veggies prepped and ready while the meat and cheese was toasting, and even rearranged our orders to be more cost effective. And did it all with a really adorable smile (for a guy with a red mohawk). Go figure. Maybe my expectations have been significantly lowered over time, but he was a breath of fresh air.
  • Portland is unique. People pride themselves on being different. From clothes, to hair, to jewelry, to thoughts . . . don't try to put these people in a box. I saw two red mohawks tonight - one on the 20-something Subway guy. And one on some 60-year old or better grandpa with a skull ring and a button down denim shirt on. Go figure. Conformity is not high on the priority list, necessarily. Neither is plastic surgery and other superficial things. Neither is bathing, sometimes.
  • Portland is white. For as unique as Portlanders (Portlandites? ? ? ) are in looks, thought, and expressions . . . Portland is white. Coming from Seattle where the diversity is pretty high . . . well, Portland is white. We ate at a Thai restaurant today. The waiters were white. The bussers were white. I didn't see in the kitchen, but I bet some of the cooks were white. The hostess was an albino. It's the largest collection of relatively liberal, diverse-thinking white people I've ever seen.
  • Portland is convenient. The airport is concise and manageable. Clean. Well-marked. Internet is free. The Tri-Max (train) stops there - takes me straight downtown, two blocks from my client. No rental car. No parking hassles. No nothing. All for $4.50 per day. Makes a day long business trip to this city one of my most efficient days.

I'm sure I've oversimplified it. But if I have to travel for work, just make it like Portland. At times like this, when I'm stressed and busy and crazy . . . well, its the closest thing to a vacation I can get.

When I catch a breath again, I'll let you know how we married my sister in law off, killed a bottle of 18-year old McCallan, misread the suits on the board and lost my chip stack to my husband, and survived the killer death fog of Seattle.

Now, I gotta go debit something.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snippets of Fiction

Ever have one of those phrases or something someone says just paint a really vivid picture for you? I heard a snippet of conversation . . . and on my tired drive home from the office tonight at some ridiculous hour, this is what the snippet turned into . . .

Respectfully submitted,
The Wife

He sat on the bed, head in his hands. Drained. Could smell the touch of Jameson’s on his own breath. He looked up at the sink across the room, where the flowers sat bathing in water. They looked like they were trying to crawl out of the sink toward the trash can to throw up. He smiled that twisted, wry smile that comes to your lips when things aren’t funny, but you don’t have the energy to cry. “I know how you feel,” he thought, staring at a particularly bedraggled daisy.

Not everything survives this kind of winter. Certainly not a bouquet you leave in your truck all night as you wander aimlessly trying to figure out what to do next. Apparently not this last relationship either. The flowers should have been tucked inside one of her numerous crystal vases in the warm apartment; the only thing tucked in her warm apartment now was Eddie. She said she couldn’t meet him for dinner tonight; had told him she had to work late. He was surprised when she wasn’t at the office when he came by with the flowers and some Chinese takeout. Not half as surprised as when he drove past her place, and recognized Eddie’s car. The same one she used to complain about. The same Eddie she said was history.

He ran his hands through his hair. Winced. His fist still stung. He had thought about punching someone. Maybe Eddie. Instead, he had punched a stop sign at the end of her street. Could still feel the ice cold metal. He got up to go run his hands under warm water, then remembered the bouquet was still in there. Reminding him.

Not everything survives this kind of cold.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Of Vindication and Adult Erotic Accessories

Ok, its really just a post about poker.

So I took a small mental pause to play one of my favorite play money games - the fine 45 person NLHE SNG. I end up in the last two tables with a big mouth who got mad because I took to long on one hand (potty break). He took to calling me "Mrs. Dildo". I know. Real original.

Kept at it though. I might have had a couple witty responses here or there, the wittiest being "Did I just end up in a 6th grade class room with a bunch of little boys who just learned the word "dildo?" He kept it up. Taunted other players. Even pulled one of those "That's what your mother says" things that guys seem to find so offensive to one of the other players. Who was a chick. Moron.

Then one of the other players types "Moderator". Couple minutes later, Moderator 94 comes on. Reminds all players that constant verbal abuse of another player is inappropriate. Blah, blah, blah. I thanked the moderator. My opponent says "Just kidding moderator. But Mrs. Dildo is playing too slow."

Fast forward to the final table. I go in with middle stack. He chips up a little later and is nearly the chip leader. I wait him out. Chip up. Now I'm the leader. We're down to three. Player three gets knocked out when he went in with his pocket fours against the dildo-sayer who had an AJ offsuit and caught the J.

Now we're heads up, only he has a monster stack . . . nearly 2-1 against me. He kept up the taunting. I just played my cards. Slow played him a couple times. He got tired and lazy and stupid. I finally hit an ace on the flop, but he is first to bet and bets out. I raise him, and he goes all in.

Turns over 10-7. Paired his 10. I'm ahead with the pair of aces. Turn comes an ace, river comes a 10. Full houses all around, but last time I checked, my aces full beats his 10s full.

In the chat box I saw a "gg" . . . couldn't believe he was being gracious. Then I realize it was the player from third place who'd been watching to make sure he got annihilated.

Glad I made someone's day.

The extra play money doesn't hurt either. After starting out with 5,000 play money chips last year when the Dr. was deployed, I have over 97,000 play chips.

I know they are play chips. But its about the discipline, not the money.

Discipline, baby. Oh, and having morons taunt you and call you "dildo" for your play money chips.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Friday, January 9, 2009

. . . We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming . . .

Debit this. Credit that. Impair the other thing . . . Write a memo to explain why you debited this, credited that, and impaired the other thing. Have your assistant fax something. Oh, wait, you don't have an assistant anymore as a result of corporate downsizing.


Hey folks. Mrs Chako is still alive. Buried under auditing, but still alive. My apologies if I have not trafficked your blogs, commented on them, or written anything of interest lately. Work, and a cold are kicking my ass. Thank heavens I still have fabulous shoes.

I love you all. But if I'm relegated to e-mailing my husband and texting my son as a primary means of communications this week, then the rest of you will have to be satisfied with this blog post for a little while longer. Please. Did I mention I still love you?


Debit this. Credit that. Propose an adjustment. Duck and cover when the client explodes.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

All You Need is Love . . . and a Bathing Suit

I read this story and chuckled.

Not so much about them wanting to elope. About the fact that they only packed swimsuits.

Kids. Only worried about the necessities.

Funny thing is, when I was 10, my sister and I traveled to visit our cousin with her grandparents. We wanted her to come back home with us, so we smuggled her in the car by hiding her in a blanket on the floor of the backseat. We got about five miles from her house, which seemed really far to us, when she popped up. We were convinced 5 miles was too far for her grandparents to turn around and return her. We were wrong. Apparently when the whole trip is 300 miles, 5 miles is nothing. Who knew?

Want to know what we packed for her escape? One Barbie. One pair of clean underwear. Oh. And a swimsuit.

Like I said. Necessities.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thank you

To Waffles, for keeping me updated on various shoe-related matters. The links are appreciated. Though how you find them is beyond me.

To my kids, who still want to hug me, even when I'm buried in accounting night after night.

To my au pair, who never has to be told what needs to be done.

To Nana Judy for your hospitality . . . looking forward to coming to see you.

And finally, in these days of my terrible cold, where my nose and my lips are dry and chapped . . .

Thanks to the Carmex-fairy who managed to leave me a brand new pot of Carmex in the bathroom, in my bedroom, and in my car . . . she must be working with the "updated-insurance-card" fairy who left my new proof of insurance in my car too.

Love those fairies.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Wrinkle in the Space-Time Continuum . . .

Last night we went shoe-shopping.

After spending over an hour and about $150, I realized The Wife only came out of that experience with $15 of clearance items.

This is not supposed to be how it works.

What's next . . . a plague of locusts?

Watch out.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Friday, January 2, 2009

Nine Words Women Use . . .

I have a crazy girlfriend who loves to send me these things, but this one rings probably truer than I'd like it to, so I thought I'd share. Women, if you haven't used at least 7 of the 9, you're not really a woman (or not old enough to be reading this).

Men, if you have been in a long relationship and haven't heard at least 7 of the 9 . . . watch out . . . they are coming.

(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually not a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever').

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying D --- YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.

Good luck communicating . . .

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I Resolve . . .

To skip those "full year" resolutions. I pretty much suck at it.

So I decided last night I'm going to start with small daily or weekly resolutions and not make more until I get over the hump of the first one.

My resolution for the coming week?

To finish a long-outstanding project for my husband's business. And to do it without criticizing him.

Hold me to it, peoples.

Respectfully submitted,

The Wife