Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Eve at the Bauer's

Happy New Year to my amazingly diverse and motley crew of friends and family. God put you all in my life for a reason, and God knows what the reason was, all humorous sarcasm intended. New Year's eve crept up on me--I kept thinking it was tomorrow. New Years aspirations which I will certainly fail if, as they say, the past is prologue to the future--never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. And the key to happiness for every married man--do whatever you wife tells you to do, when she tells you. Don't talk to me about diet and exercise. 

Else: My wife cooks a great deal every day, almost always on the stove-top, including frequent stir-fry, very little baking/broiling. She is from Hong Kong after all. When we moved into our house, we had a commercial exhaust system installed over the stove which vents to the outside. Nevertheless, it is common for the smoke alarms to go off when my wife cooks. She likes to cook but doesn't clean. Cleaning the stove has been my purgatory. Between my wife's cooking and my cleaning methods, we destroyed our old stove, more-or-less. Last Saturday, my wife went to Sears and bought a new stove and a new dishwasher which were delivered yesterday. She bought a stove with an all stainless-steel top because we know from experience in the distant past that it is far easier to clean stainless steel. She got up at 05:00 A.M. this morning and started cooking for the New Year's eve party.

The smoke alarms started going off intermittently at about 6:30. I'm used to this. But I was trying to do Rosetta Stone Spanish which the alarms made impossible, and of course it woke our two sons up. Needless to say, the whole house smelled like the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant. We opened the door to the garage to get some fresh air air in which usually helps but not this time. By 07:00 the smoke alarms were going non-stop. From bed, my oldest son yelled, "What in the hell is going on!" and then kept repeating that about every two minuets. 

I remembered that the smoke alarms were all on a single circuit breaker, and so I went in the garage and after moving a bicycle, a rake, and a rototiller out of the way to get to the the circuit breaker box, I shut the breaker off, except that I accidentally threw the main circuit breaker for the house, after which my younger son, possessive of an excessive sense of entitlement, who had been playing a video game, then complained that I should have given advance warning about shutting the power off. My explanation that it was an accident didn't mollify him, but it did quiet the smoke alarms. I had previously removed the backup batteries and have procrastinated in replacing them. My wife's explanation for the smoke alarm aural torture was that the new stove is more powerful than the old, and I certainly hope it is. 

But my younger son, ever analytical, came downstairs and appraised the situation. He observed that the new stove is deeper horizontally than our old stove and that the front burners are not completely under the range hood. I tell my wife the obvious which is to use the back burners.

All of this was mixed in with illogical conversations between my wife and myself about who is going to pick up who and when, for going to the New Year's eve party. I explained to my wife what the optimal transportation plan for the day was, at which time she says no and explains to me what the plan will be, to which I respond that she is saying the exact same thing which I was saying to her, to which she replies yes and no. 

As soon as my wife was done cooking and the stove top cooled, I took a sponge and some paper towels and cleaned the entire stove top, making it look like new again. I will do this every single day. I don't need to make a New Year's resolution for this. My wife cooked six dishes this morning, five of which are for the New Year's eve party, before she left for work at 8:45 A.M.