Monday, July 30, 2007

advice! answers!

Occasionally here at Drunken Housewife Industries we have a moment of caring, where we pause in our spate of anecdotes and rants to reach a hand out to the readers and answer their questions. This time we invited readers to submit problems as well as the more traditional questions, although only one reader was brave enough to try that. The Sober Husband's answers are in bold; the Drunken Housewife's in italics:

That classic beauty, Missy, current reigning holder of the Mrs. Drunken Housewife title, asked, "What's the DH's favorite recipe that Sober Husband likes--but also does not involve the more pricey of ingredients and the more time consuming of preparation?"

Sober Husband: The most precious ingredient in my favorite foods is my wife's love. It is not for sale.

Also, the sober husband likes to try new things. The DH is a culinary adventurer, and the sober husband tags along. Given a menu of choices, he tries the thing he has not had before.

I think the answer to this question is that potatoes-ricotta-pasta dish, the "glutton" one. It's ingredients are common, and we keep coming back to it.

Drunken Housewife: In Italian cooking, pasta cooked with potatoes is referred to "pasta in the style of a glutton." To Americans, the idea of pasta with potatoes seems grotesque, but the reality is magnificent. I have a couple of different recipes for this, but the basic idea is potatoes in small pieces, cooked with olive oil and garlic, along with pasta. It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Silliyak, the dashing holder of the Mr. Drunken Househusband title and former firefighter, inquired, "Can hallucinations have IQ's?"

Sober Husband: The only meaning I see behind the term "IQ" is as a test score. So if your hallucination can take a test, it can have an IQ. You just have to measure it.

Drunken Housewife: It depends upon how good your hallucinations are. One of the best hallucinations I ever had was when I was 22, and in my first experiment with hallucinogens, I hallucinated that I was a plate of Chinese food. That was a high quality hallucination, but I don't think an IQ test would have reflected that.

Our beloved and intrepid Hughman said, "all i wanna know is more about the parrot. does it talk? what's its name? how do the cats respond? the kids? etc, etc."

Sober Husband: Oh, the parrot talks all right. It's getting it to shut up that's the trick.

We call it "Zoe". We don't know whether it's a boy or a girl. Science will tell us for $75, which isn't worth it. The girls want to make a nest and see if it will lay an egg.

She bites everyone and everything, except for me, whom she loves dearly. (And she's got a mighty beak. She can break a pencil in half with one chomp.)

Every morning when she hears me coming down the stairs, she starts squawking. I put her on my shoulder and feed her toast while I read the paper. Then I put her away and clean up the mess of crumbs she leaves behind.

She appears content to live with us and will never escape. We take her outside all the time, even when her flight feathers are long enough to fly. She always climbs onto my hand the moment I allow it.

In contrast, the DH can not pick her up at all because she fights so hard. When it is absolutely necessary to move the bird without me, the DH breaks out a tough leather glove that goes up to her elbow called "the hand of authority".

Drunken Housewife: the parrot is definitely in the doghouse today, as she literally bit the hand that feeds her. She lunged and bit me as I was in the very act of filling her dish this morning. More positively, I was happy this year when she finally learned to say my name (for years, she'd call out, "Anton! Anton!", followed years later by adding on "Iris! Iris!" and now, at last, she calls for me, too. Lola claims the parrot also knows her name, but I have not confirmed that.

Hughman later inquired, "Also, do the girls read junie b.?"

Sober Husband: I don't know what "junie b." means. An author?

Drunken Housewife: As a former library volunteer, I've spent plenty of time reshelving the many volumes chronicling the adventures of Junie B., First Grader. Iris Uber Alles read one or two of this series, and her reaction seemed to be, "Eh." It was okay but failed to grip.

A commenter who wishes to remain anonymous shared through email:
So I have this business, and a business partner. This is his sixth business and my first. He has a lot more experience than I, and is responsible for nearly all of the business that has been brought in. I've been working with this guy since college (2003) and it has been very very good for my career. People hire us because they are so impressed with him, and justifiably so. He's a spendthrift though, and just asked to borrow $1k from our business because some money juggling he did with his own accounts has fallen short. He called to ask my permission, which I gave. I'm not sure how much choice I had to say no, but I think I had some. It's not a matter of overhead, as the business can well afford it. I'm not worried about him paying it back - he will. And most of the money is "his" anyway. I am more worried that this is a shady practice, and that we must not do it. I am also worried about his spendthrift nature getting away from him. He ruined one of his earlier businesses by assuming too much risk. I think he chose me as a partner because in many ways, including this one, I am the opposite of him. We're both gay, so it's not a romantic relationship, if that matters. Also, I need some kind of support system outside my partner to ask these sorts of questions of, and am not sure how to go about finding one. What do you think?

Drunken Housewife: I have two basic thoughts, which are (1)that $1,000 isn't worth harming a valuable relationship over, but (2) you need to do this properly, just in case there are ever any audits or legal issues which come up and also to set a good precedent for the future. There are a number of ways to do that. If your business is in the form of a partnership, your partner could take a draw in the amount of $1,000 and just forego future draws to make up for it. (Both partners need not take a draw at the same time). If you want to do it in the form of a loan, the partner should sign a note and pay interest. There have been problems with the IRS cracking down on sweetheart loans which should be treated as income, so there should be either a realistic interest rate OR this should be treated as income to your partner. I think that what you need is a friendly accountant or attorney for these times. Email me for the name and number of my guy, who is both an accountant and an attorney, if you don't have such a person already. Incidentally you could also sign up for a business mentor with the Chamber of Commerce to have someone to ask for guidance from time to time.

Sober Husband: I have three different perspectives on business ethics always in my head. Each has its own voice that whispers in my ear when I'm figuring out how to do business with someone.

The first voice is the oldest, from when I was a simple academic. That voice tells me that what matters is what you produce, that ones goal in work should be to benefit people and posterity. This voice is not at all informed about how to get along with other people. It only knows parables about famous individual contributors, the simplistic scientific bibliographies that clutter textbooks. It took me a long time even to consider the problem of how to get along with other people at work.

The second voice comes from my actual work experience. This has taught me the obvious lessons that it is critical to choose carefully the people you work with up front, and that ethics would not be an interesting subject if the ethical course did not sometimes conflict with ones own self interests.

The third voice is that of Tony Soprano. The guy's a gambler, he takes out $1000 for a dumb reason, but you need him so you keep your mouth shut. Everybody's got to survive. Not everybody can be proud of what they do to feed their children.

My only advice is to recommend Jack Welch's book "Winning". You can't tell whether he's saying what he really thinks or what he wants you to hear, but it doesn't matter. I think you can find whatever meaning you need in it. It's like an oracle.


hughman said...

so cute about the parrot only liking the SH, him being the only male and all! who knew parrots were so possessive.

hughman said...

also, which "intrepid" am i?

"audacious, dauntless, unfearing, brave, fearless
bold "

don't get me wrong, i love them all.

the Drunken Housewife said...


Missy said...

Hey, can you post a link for a good potatoes/pasta recipe? I really would like to try one. My daughters love both pasta and potatoes, so it sounds like a winner. I like how the Sober Husband listed his favorite ingredient--although I must say, my younger daughter would say immediately. "Suck up!" (And to quote her, "nobody likes a suck-up, Mommy." "And who would nobody be?" "Me.")The Sober Husband sounds like a remarkably flexible and open-minded kind of guy. What a good match you two are. (Awww...)

My younger daughter did like Junie B. Jones, but only for a while, because the books are fairly easy to read and she finished them too fast. I really liked reading them aloud--they were more fun to read because I could do all the different character voices.