The Secret Life of Melanie O.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Happy Birthday, baby
Tomorrow is Dan's birthday, but we celebrated today by going over to my in-laws' for a hot lunch. My mother-in-law went all out to prepare two main dishes and a vegetable dish. She also bought Dan a single serving of traditional Aussie mud cake. (The rest of us are watching our calories and had Pavlova for dessert.)

You can tell we're getting older. Instead of loud music and lunch at the club, we opted for a Mah Jong tournament instead. Dan and his family are quite good at the game, while I can barely remember from one set to the next, what the rules are. Still, I managed to beat the seasoned hands, which I felt a bit guilty about, since a) it's Dan's birthday, and by the universal birthday rules, he should be allowed to win and b) it was my in-laws' house and my mother in law made a great lunch.

I have been raised to feel guilty about things I have no business feeling guilty for. But such is life.

Dan still gets gifts from his parents for his birthday. (Granted, we buy them gifts for their birthdays, too.) I chose to opt out of presenting my gift to Dan at his parents' house, and then went on to explain why:

"He wanted some DVD's" I said, "and they probably wouldn't have been appropriate to bring."

Dan chimed in: "Not that they're porn," he reassured them. "Have you heard of Russ Meyer," he asked them?

My in-laws are pretty hip, but they were not aware of Russ Meyer, his obsession with breasts, and his proliferation of films that have heroines with large-busts - films that now have cult status. No - not large busts - huge heaving bosoms that spell death by suffocation for any man caught in their embrace.

I sheepishly grinned at my in-laws, and Dan laughed. Something else I can feel guilty about, but Dan's happy. He has his Vixen trilogy and I have a happy husband.

At the end of the day, when kisses and hugs were exchanged all around, Dan's dad was heard to yell out "Get a room, you two!"

Happy birthday, Dan!
posted by Melanie O. at 6:18 PM - 6 comments
Friday, June 15, 2007
Ten things you never knew about me
I've been tagged by my good friend Kanani, to write ten things about myself that no-one probably knows (or would ever want to know,) so, not being a person to shy away from a challenge, here are my

Ten obscure things you never knew about me:

1) My second toe is longer than my big toe. I think this has something to do with having Tudor ancestry, but I could be wrong.

2) I had my first kiss from a boy at the age of 9. I was in 3rd grade. It's terrible that at this point, I don't even remember his name, although I do recall his face. (Could be a result of the wine I'm drinking tonight.)

3) I used to be a fairly good figure skater. Then I got curves.

4) I always wanted to study ballet and be a dancer. Then I got curves.

5) My first crush ever was on my 4th grade teacher, Mr. Earhart. (I've obviously not had enough wine to make me forget his name.) I wonder what ever happened to him? Thinking back on him, I don't think I'd have that same crush were I to meet him today.

6) I love most vegetables, except two - and they're both white: turnips and cauliflower. No color, little flavor... why bother?

7) It takes me almost as long at night to get ready for bed, as it does in the morning, to get ready for work. One day I'll write about my routine - just for laughs.

8) I was once asked to be the mistress of a man with Mafia connections. I politely declined. He was gentlemanly about it.

9) I was also once approached about having an affair with a well-known news anchor (for the time and locale). We both agreed it would lead to unhappiness and ruin.

10) Speaking of news - the back of my head once featured prominently on the television news magazine 20/20. Our animation studio recreated the Alma Tunnel crash that killed Princess Diana.

Now, having revealed some of the more sordid and obscure moments of my life, I'm now tagging gardenbug to reveal all. I'll be surprised if she does!
posted by Melanie O. at 7:07 PM - 3 comments
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
What's cooking?
I asked Dan the other day to get dinner ready, since I was working on a freelance job. We had steaks, potato wedges, and broccoli on the menu.

Now, it's well-known fact that Dan was a bachelor for many years before we got married. One would assume that he knows some of the rudiments of preparing a dinner that consists of more than reheated pizza, or noodle surprise.

Still, Dan consulted me every step of the way.

He asked, "What should I set the oven to?"

"Dan, there's only one setting for the oven," I answered, annoyed that my train of thought had been interrupted as I feverishly tried to finish a design before dinner.

And then, "What temperature should I put it at?"

"Dan, there's only one temperature that works." (Our fan forced oven only has one working heat element. Again, dropped train of thought.)

And then again, "What time should I put the wedges in?"

"Should I start the broccoli now?"

"I put the lid on the broccoli. Is that OK?"

And so forth. I wasn't getting my work done. I should have just made dinner, but I refused to cave in, because I know that this is Dan's method for getting me to do something he doesn't want to do: make himself look incompetent so that I'll just give up in exasperation and do it myself - which would have taken less time and energy.

We finally got up to the point where the wedges were almost done, the water was boiling for the broccoli, and Dan's additional creation - stewed tomato and onion, was sitting in a pot.
It was then that he came to me and said he was afraid to do the steaks because he was certain he'd ruin them and they would come out resembling something like masticated shoe leather.

To which I replied, "You're a GUY. GUYS know how to grill steaks. It's a primitive instinct."

His reply: "But that's on an OUTDOOR BBQ. This is an INDOOR grill."

Dan won. I finally gave in. I wound up cooking the steaks and serving dinner. Thankfully, he's good at washing pots.
posted by Melanie O. at 1:29 PM - 2 comments
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Handy Dan
The winter months are tough for men like Dan who depend on the import-export business. When it's slow at the wharves, it's slow in the container parks, and it's slow for the men who drive the trucks. We've struggled the past few weeks, trying to cover all of our bills and trying to get out and have a little fun, too, so that life isn't all work and no play.

In the past week, he only worked two days. This is the last straw for Dan, who has threatened to go into business for himself forever. This weekend, we put up several flyers advertising his handyman services. It reads like a '50's pulp magazine advertisement:

Handy Dan the Odd Jobs Man - followed by a caricature of a man with a big friendly grin - the kind of caricature they used to use to sell breath mints, shaving cream, or hair pomade.

I imagine lots of little old ladies calling at odd hours day and night. Once they meet Dan, I am sure that there will be lots of loose tiles and door hinges that will be repaired. The problem is, I'm not sure I'm willing to share him in this way. Who will finish our fly screens and who will finish the bracket for the air conditioner? Will I have to call Dan and make an appointment? And what will he expect in payment?

I wonder if meeting him at the door in lingerie will get me free service?
posted by Melanie O. at 4:59 PM - 3 comments

About Me
Name: Melanie O.
Home: Durham, North Carolina, United States
About Me: Female, American health and beauty-conscious professional who has rekindled a childhood love of dolls.
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