Just Another…

Happy day.

We slept in, exercised together on the John T. Brush stairway, did laundry, grocery shopped and got to hangout with David’s sisters. We played Settlers of Catan and ate…

French Onion Soup

You’ve gotta have:

  • (like 4 medium-large) onions
  • (like 32 oz or 3 and 1/2 cup) broth
  • (2 tbs) butter
  • (2 tbs) white wine or sherry
  • (2 tbs) oil
  • stale (french) bread
  • cheese you like
  • herbs (thyme, or Italian)


  • a nice pot
  • some kind of oven
  • stirring spoon
  • knife
  • cutting board

Then you gotta:

  1. Chop the onions nice and thin. Cut ’em the right way: off with the ends, right down the middle, peel the outside side, then lay halves on flat side and cut thin.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil on the stove.
  3. Add the onions (with a generous dash of herbs).
  4. Let the onions brown for 20 minutes on medium-high heat. Stir them regularly.
  5. Turn to low heat and cover for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  6. Add the wine. Then “let it cook off”. You can turn the heat up.
  7. Add the broth, stir and return to a boil. Stir frequently.
  8. Turn heat to low and let simmer partially covered for 20 more minutes. You can stir it every now.
  9. While the soup is simmering, cut the stale bread and top with cheese you like. You can toast these if you like (but the soup will melt the cheese nicely if you don’t, so no worries). These are your “croutons”.
  10. Put the croutons in serving bowls and ladle the soup into the bowl, covering the bread and melting the cheese.
  11. Don’t burn your tongue. Eat. Enjoy.

Post-meal reflections:

  • Not as good with veggie broth as with beef broth?
  • Brown the onions more. Would make them sweeter?

Data Doom

Madisen calls to talk about the pitfalls of keeping a husbometer. And with a quick, effectively argued blow – the husbometer becomes a private off-blog project (that will probably die a quiet death at the 100 day mark). Mad says the world doesn’t need to know all that, David doesn’t need to see that, and a positive frame of mind is the most important thing. Not the data. She talked about men that would come into the bar and talk about their unhappy wives, wives qualitatively and quantitatively unhappy with something in the marriage. No one needs to publicly wonder whether honeymoon highs are coming, rather need to remember and cherish all the little honeymoon highs throughout the day, the week, the year – and foster those into existence.

My phone call with Mad started with a request for private conversation, and that situation caused a tension that’s difficult to explain and very relevant to the events of the day.

Perhaps I’ve been lazy with my stream-of-conscious, daily-reporting tone for the blog. Perhaps I should experiment with different styles of writing.

In closing, some (non-data) highlights from the day:

  • Having a slow departure, big breakfast kind of morning
  • Watching Anne of Green Gables DVD (surprise side 2!) from the library on my laptop during the train ride
  • Thinking back on last night’s dinner with David and Omo
  • Having a really productive day at work (…using Adobe Premiere again to video edit!)
  • Free pumpkin pie with whipped cream! First pumpkin pie of the year
  • Having a phone call with a lost friend
  • Being given a seat on the subway
  • Coming home to David
  • Peaceful yoga and shower

Guest Post

Title: first 60 days have been great

Sam is reasonable, fun, sexy and hard working. The first 60 of marriage have been just like these traits.

Most of our time is spent working, which is normal and good. I’m still super impressed that she’s going to school full time and working. We’ve had measured discussions where she’s been reasonable. And we’ve gone dancing – which is sexy – and we’ve also gone on vacation, which was fun.

I joke with my friends that the first two months of marriage are easy. Sam’s been great.

Broken Stairs and Budgets

How do I break up my day, you ask?

Stairs, my friends. Stairs.

Alas, unlike TRADITIONAL STAIRS, these machines break. For today’s workout, I moved to the rowing machine.

I’ve been on a stairs kick. I like to see how long I can last before total exhaustion, and I like to read while I step (–got that Anne of Green Gables addiction–).  Then I chase it with an upper body session on the assisted pull-up / dip machine.

David and I are having a great debate about Planet Fitness, and fitness more generally. You see, the PF gym is right across the street from us. I would like David to join PF. David would not like to join because he says the chain is prejudiced. A New York Times article from 2006 summarized the issue:

Planet Fitness bills itself as “The Judgment Free Zone.” But in the weeks since Mr. Argibay was booted, a number of members have accused the gym of judging with extreme prejudice, saying the club humiliates members whose physiques are too chiseled and who take their workouts too seriously. And the incident has raised other imponderable questions.

Where do you stand on gym grunting?

Personally, I am happy to keep my grunts at a minimum for a rate of $10/month, $0.05 down, no commitment. (And a $42/annual fee, but that’s in the fine print and who reads the fine print?)

The New York City winter is beginning and that’s my best angle in the will-David-become-a-PF-member debacle.

To David’s credit, he completes a good number of apartment workouts. He keeps a black Patagonia backpack stuffed with cushions and a 45lb kettle bell. He does a variety of exercises with that (squats, presses, etc).

I tell David in a message that:

Signing you up for Planet Fitness is really about me. I am more motivated to have a kickass workout when you’re there.

And that’s true. Besides, you get over the awful purple and yellow branding after a little while. And the place makes for good people watching.

David says I don’t listen to him when we workout together. I explain that it’s because I always saw him in the friend-partner role, not the trainer role.

Ah, relationship fun. But you know what they say: couples who sweat together, stay together.

On a separate note and not entirely unrelated to buying David a gym membership, I want to:

A) Check-in on my finances and budgeting
B) Get better at giving people gifts

Doing A always helps me feel better about doing B, especially when costs money. Any tips for becoming a better gift-giver?

(We are fast-approaching the season of giving.)

Alert! David is writing a guest post tomorrow! Look for it. Who knows? Maybe there will even be some wife-o-meter data…

The First 56 Days of Marriage [Index]

Index of posts:

Week 1
The First 100 Days
The Shelburne Museum
Getting to Know You
Mt. Mansfield

Week 2
Photos and Risotto
Interesting Development
Slow Reveal: Wedding Photos, Political Truth, Work Life
Tom Time
Long Day

Week 3
The Little Red Lighthouse
Congratulations, Brother!
Summer Squash n’ Scalloped Potato Casserole
Quick Check-in

Week 4
Higher Education
Past Bedtime
October 12th, October 12th
Alumni Lacrosse Game

Week 5
I Choose You
Leave No Trace

Week 6
Dog Food & Finances
Turn Around
S is for…

Week 7
Zippity Do Da
A Poem

Week 8
Dataaaaa & Day Recap
Assorted Updates
Election Day
Please No Photos
L.L. Bean

An annotated version of the daily husbometer check-in:

Category Date Score Week Notes
Sex (Quantity, Quality) 11/13/18 0.9 9 Amazing sex (~8pm)
Communication 11/13/18 0.7 9 Just felt really positive and productive today
Chores 11/13/18 0.7 9 Took out trash, washed dishes
Fitness & Health 11/13/18 0.6 9 Way less weed
Finances 11/13/18 0.5 9 Stable condition
Trust 11/13/18 0.7 9 Probably because of the amazing sex
Dealing w/ Everybody Else 11/13/18 0.5 9 Work report seemed positive; he’s coming up on 2-year anniversary and coping with position roll-back
Food 11/13/18 0.6 9 Yummy gnocchi dinner!
Little things 11/13/18 0.7 9 Offered to help me with big class project



Today is all about getting back to work.

Cue inconvenient timing:


I’m still reflecting on all the family time this past weekend, and feeling generally grateful.

My thoughts have turned to the challenge of deciding on Thanksgiving plans with our family in a state of flux. There have been many changes and variables: my mom’s sickness, our marriage, David’s sisters’ potential relocation to Europe, my brother’s promotion.

Husbometer update:

Weeks Average of Score
1 0.62
2 0.57
3 0.54
4 0.55
5 0.55
6 0.56
7 0.57
8 0.54
9 0.55
Grand Total 0.56

A reminder of the categories:

Sex (Quantity, Quality)
Fitness & Health
Dealing w/ Everybody Else
Little things

The first category landed some points for quality tonight. I wonder whether and how these categories might change as we grow old.

Tonight also featured a meet-and-greet with Frances, of Tony and Frances. They are entrepreneurs and investors that focus their energy on mentoring people toward personal and financial goals. I met the couple through my childhood best friend, Olivia.

Meanwhile on our bedroom computer… Giants win 27-23 vs. San Fran!

Bagels and Pita Chips

Bad dreams wiped away by husband cuddles. Another day to sleep in and enjoy family time. Breakfast was leftover bagels topped with everything, and coffee. David and I watched a video about the 1950s French involvement in Vietnam.

A morning excursion to Portland City Center featured a charming bakery, a well-balanced thrift shop with a little bit of everything, and novelty shop equipped with thank you cards and cute oven mits.

After that, we said goodbye to Sophie and packed up Tom’s car. The drive is a blur of conversation, music, media consumption, naps.

Lunch was also dinner? A rest stop was involved. Think: skimpy overpriced salad, pita chips (unexpectedly covered with cinnamon sugar), guacamole extras and large fries from McDonald’s.

We dropped Caroline and Kristin at their dad’s place, and had the opportunity to visit there for a little while.

Then we returned to Chapel. I retrieved my jacket from the basement, and the boys unloaded love on Rocky (the family companion).

The rest of the night was spent driving back to the city, hunting for parking in our neighborhood, hauling things back to the apartment, chugging seltzer and settling in…

We bickered over David’s recent line of complaint: I am oppositional and he doesn’t feel his opinions are valued. He presented the complaint in the form of comparing me to one of his relatives.

Please take a moment to imagine my data project, the “Husbometer“, making squeaky, break-down noises.

What other strategic objectives do we have for our coupledom in these last of the 100 days?

My thoughts return to a post-nup, and a yearning to mitigate some relationship stressors (my gainful employment).


L.L. Bean

Saturday began nice and slow: cuddles, coffee, radiant heat, improv breakfast.

The day picked up speed around 1pm with a brunch outing and a two-car excursion to Freeport, Maine.

We got lost in the L.L. Bean stores. L.L. Bean and other Freeport brands created a complex retail maze. Soft sweaters and sales galore. When it was time to leave, David grew frustrated in his failed effort to promptly reunite the group.

We returned to Portland and some bickering ensued. David performed poorly on the husbometer.

As a group, we grabbed pizza at Flatbread Company and attended a community theater performance of Mother Butterfly. Scenes that stuck out: Sophie’s mom singing opera, the family fighting, the cancer doctor.


For me, Friday required sleeping in.

Hannah (a fellow Syracuse University grad student who took my room in the old apartment) shared an AirBnb bedroom with me Thursday-Friday during the conference. Kenneth took the other room.

Hannah left in the early morning, but Kenneth and I drove in later. I was due to volunteer at the Syracuse University iSchool booth from 10am-1230pm. This was my opportunity to reunite with Molly and to hang out with Jay, who both work where I used to — the iSchool’s enrollment and recruitment office.

Tom, my brother in-law, called me as I was leaving the AirBnb for the Riverside Convention Center. He proposed a weekend trip to Maine with David and I.

I spent the morning debating the proposed trip to Maine. David and I chatted over logistics and preferences via Google Hangouts.

Thanks to the conference’s New Members roundtable, I had a luncheon to attend at no-cost. I ate a sad meal of apple-squash soup and a “vegan selection” that had the likeness of hot spinach-cannellini bean salad. Fine as long as you like side dishes for main dishes and your lunch is free.

Meanwhile, David agreed to join the trip to Maine and let everyone know that it was “not because he wanted to go to Maine but because he wanted to spend time with the sibs”.  I, having also decided to attempt the family trip to Maine, embarked on a snow-sleet-rain plagued 6.5 hour drive home from Rochester. I rerouted to Chapel Lane mid-trip after consulting with Tom mid-trip.

That night, David, his siblings (Tom, Caroline, Kristin) and I all departed around 9pm for Maine from Chapel Lane. Our destination was the family home of Tom’s partner, Sophie in Portland, Maine.

It is a great honor to travel with all of you. – Me to the Dougherty Sibs


In the morning, I scuttled from my accommodations at the home of Ms. Lawley (in West Henrietta) to the grad student AirBnb (near downtown Rochester). The blue, two-bedroom AirBnb reminded me of the apartment I shared with Vicky and Sidney in Syracuse. I checked in, dropped my things and walked to the conference center.

From 1pm-2:15pm, I served as a monitor for an interactive session on “cultivating empathy in librarianship”.

From there, it’s all a happy blur: meeting with friends in the exhibit hall, session sampling, sweets, beer and tofu wrap at Drifters, pizza in the presidential suite, reuniting with Lane Lawley and company, reception at the Strong Museum of Play, late night talent show with Urban Librarians Unite.

David and I had light-touch communications. In his work world, he prepared to make a switch to “product side”. I’ve come to understand it’s like the research and development side of marketing.