What’s up, Wrong-o?

I think it’s fine to use the popcorn button on your microwave. It’s arrogant Big Popcorn that wants you to think you can’t use it. Calm down popcorn, you’re just popcorn.

I think if you’re a grown adult and still doing any version of “I liked that before everyone else knew about it” out loud, you’re probably doing something wrong. There aren’t any points for that. You didn’t win. If you liked it a long time ago, you made a lucky discovery before other people got to it. That doesn’t make other people less, or make you more. It doesn’t make their enjoyment of Thing less true or sincere or valid, or your enjoyment of Thing a superior, more deep enjoyment or fanhood. No, rather, now you are two people who like Thing. Two people who can now like Thing together. And that’s good. Liking a thing together is one of the best things about liking a thing. Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.

I bet you’re thinking, we all know this is going to lead into you talking about how much you like Korean television and wish people would watch along with you, but no one is going to watch with you, so you should just stop talking about it. WELL, I WON’T STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. I WON’T. SO GIVE UP, YOU.


Penelope was the Lorax for Halloween.

I spend most of my time these days in a recliner under a blanket like a hundred year old person in a recliner under a blanket, for reasons I’ll probably eventually get into if I decide to post for all of November because I don’t have thirty days of ideas but it’s actually more likely that I’ll just abandon the project by Sunday. And my recliner is under a ceiling fan that doesn’t turn off, which is just straight bullshit if you ask me. Which, if you ask me, you did, kind of, by reading this blog. Which you did. It’s still pretty warm here in the afternoons and the evenings, when the sun has been warming the house all day, and we actually still run the air conditioning in the evenings and through the night, because Phil likes to sleep at 74 degrees. Which, fine. 74 is a reasonable indoor temperature, right? And in the mornings, I turn the air conditioning off, because I’m cold. Lately, I’ve been returning to the thermostat several times a day, trying to figure out why I’m still cold when I know I turned it up. It turns out, it’s because it’s kind of not hot outside anymore. So while the air conditioning isn’t running, it’s staying around 74 in the house for most of the day, until the late afternoon, when it warms back up a bit.

Now, EXPERIENCE TELLS ME that this cooling trend is going to continue. Soon, it will stay around 74 for more of the day. And then around 73. Or lower. And no air conditioning at all will be necessary to keep it cool in the house. And as the winter season goes on, even in Arizona, the nights will be cooler. Cooler, even, than 74 degrees. We won’t need to use the air conditioning to get the house to Phil’s preferred 74 degrees, which is actually quite chilly with the blowers going at night, especially because we use a fan to keep the air moving and the dog stink from settling on us. Our room in particular can get quite still and heavy with the two of us and the two of them.

So I asked Phil this. I says to him, you like it 74 at night, right? And he confirmed. And I said, soon it will even be cooler than that at night. And he said, that will be nice. And I said, but 74 is a reasonable temperature for the house to be. Well, yes, he said. So, I said to him, we could, in theory, on those cooler nights, employ the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to that reasonable temperature of 74. Maybe 73. 70, even, could be fine. But we could use the HEAT to bring the temperature UP to the place where we are currently using air conditioning to bring it DOWN. Right? Because we agree, it’s a reasonable temperature. And he said to me, no. No, it’s different. Because it’s HEATING versus COOLING.


(I know, in some people’s houses you prefer to never run the heat. Or you actually prefer to sleep in the very, very cold. Or you prefer another specific temperature calculated exactly for maximum efficiency and money savings. I know. Everyone is different.)

If 74 degrees is a reasonable house temperature now, achieved with air conditioning, how is it NOT a reasonable temperature (even when I give a few degrees, down to 70) when achieved with heat? HM, PHILLIP? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE? PHILLIP THE UNREASONABLE OF UNSOUND ARGUMENTLANDIA?

Speaking of the King of LALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOUR LOGICSHIRE, our three year anniversary was last week.


Despite all capslocks to the contrary, we’re quite well matched.

“Oh,” you’re thinking. “Purple flowers and a card of a suitable nature! An anniversary well done!” WELL, GUESS WHAT, WRONG-O. Your new name is WRONG-O.

Do you see there, over to the left side of the picture? It’s Phil, leaning into the fridge, doing the traditional and ceremonial burial at trashcan of all of the leftovers we didn’t get around to eating before I went grocery shopping again. Except the day ended up all crunched and weird, and I actually ended up taking Phil shopping with me. I had a LIST that followed a carefully laid out MEAL PLAN which adhered to our budget, so this on its own was a dangerous endeavor. A Phil in a grocery store is a magnet for cheese products and crackers and cheese product crackers that I never seem to notice until I’m unpacking the groceries. They go into some hidden nook in the cart that only he knows about and I swear he slips the cashier a ten to slide them through while my back is turned and I’m left wondering how I spend six thousand dollars on two packs of chicken breasts and some applesauce pouches. OH, WE BOUGHT EIGHTEEN FLAVORS OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH AND ONE OF EVERY CHEESE THANKS PHIL.

So I lectured him before we went in. I told him, if I come pick you up from work and take you with us (otherwise he’d sit at work an extra hour or so while we shopped, that’s life with one car), you will stay near the cart! Hands where I can see them! AT ALL TIMES! He agreed. And he really behaved himself through several aisles, so I gave him some leeway. I normally don’t buy snack food by a list, but kind of just pick whatever based on what’s on sale, what looks good, and what Phil and Penny like. In the interest of speeding things along, I sent him into the cookie/cracker aisle to “grab JUST A COUPLE THINGS and bring them back.” And to his credit, he did come back with just a couple things and dumped them in the cart. We got everything we needed, we stayed within the budget, it was a successful trip.

SO WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM, right? Is that what you’re thinking right now, Wrong-o? (That’s you. You’re Wrong-o.)

A few days later, I was looking for a snack to give Penelope. Well, it turns out, on our ANNIVERSARY, of all days, the snack foods I had TRUSTED him to acquire? He bought WHOLE GRAIN Fig Newtons. But it was fine, because he’d gotten two packages. BUT NO. The second package was ALSO WHOLE GRAIN.

As soon as he got home from work, I confronted him with my disbelief, my deep sense of betrayal, and absolute bewilderment that he’d buy TWO packages of whole grain Newtons. And do you know what he says to me, Wrong-o? He says, “THEY TASTE EXACTLY THE SAME.”

Are you feeling it now, Wrong-o? Are you feeling your deep, essential wrongness?


And then he took it further.

“I bet you $20 that in a blind taste test, you could not tell the difference between regular and whole grain Fig Newtons.”

Well. There’s only one response to that.


Life intervened for a little while. A short while.



Phillip, Grand Poobah of Inappropriate Snackfood Choices and Head of the Parliamentary Board of Indiscriminate Tastebuds, administered the test. It was to be a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE – if it was just two Newtons, according to him, I’d have a 50/50 chance and there was no possible way success on my part could be credited to an ACTUAL difference between delicious Newtons and sand-wrapped crap Newton-impostors.

I turned my back to the table, and he handed me a Newton. I bit it. “GROSS NEWTON.” I set it down. He claimed I had to eat the whole thing. “I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT HAVE TO EAT THAT. IT IS GROSS.” He didn’t tell me if I was right or wrong. He handed me another Newton to my other hand – apparently The High Muckety Muck of Newton Testing Standards and Enforcement has his ways – and I took a bite. “REAL NEWTON.” Still, he didn’t tell me. This went on for two more Newtons, for a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.

At the end, I turned around. He looks at me, and he says, “You got them all wrong.”


“Okay,” he says, “You got them all right.”



Ass of Newton Challenge: Kicked

“BUT,” he says. “It doesn’t count.”


“I can’t tell the difference. They taste exactly the same. So it doesn’t count.”

Okay. Okay. So, bringing it all back around. There’s a DIFFERENCE between 70 degrees achieved with air conditioning and 70 degrees achieved with the heating, even though they’re both 70 degrees, and there’s a difference because he can tell there’s a difference. He can tell, therefore, a difference exists.

I successfully complete a FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE, executed under his own standards and procedures, because I can ABSOLUTELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE between an excellent Newton and a crappy grainy Newton of sadness and woe, but my accomplishments in the field of snacks count for nothing, because he can’t tell, thus no difference actually exists.

Put that in your shopping cart and sneak it past the flowers, WRONG-O.

Nag Lorax

EXCUSE ME, you’re going to recycle that bottle, correct? And compost that apple core?

Super Great

I just don’t know if I’ve ever met someone so great.



28 thoughts on “What’s up, Wrong-o?

  1. Susie

    Every time you mention the whole wheat fig newtons, my mouth goes dry and I get sad.

    TJ Reply:

    SOLIDARITY. They’re wretched. And still he presses on with, “they’re all the same.” Well, don’t let me catch him eating from my package of GOOD NEWTONS.

  2. Lacey

    I can’t stop laughing. At all of it. A FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE totally counts in my book. And that note with your flowers. Man, I’ve never seen something so perfect for a person I’ve never met but think I know. And man, that’s perfect for you.

    TJ Reply:

    I sign all my cards, “Your pal, Kelly.” One time, I posted a picture of one on here, or on Twitter, I don’t remember, and someone gave me legitimate crap for it. Like something along the lines of, “How can you not sign a card with ‘love, Kelly,’ what the hell is wrong with you, why don’t you love your husband?”

    Damn, people take things seeeerrrioussslllyyyy. RIGHT?

  3. June

    Does the internet get to weigh in? Because there certainly IS a difference between regular Fig Newtons and Multi-grain crap Newtons.

    I feel like next he’ll be telling you that regular Pop Tarts taste the same as Multi-grain Pop Tarts.

    NO. NO. NO. NO. NO.

    TJ Reply:

    I think this is tied in to the fact that he’s hard of smelling, but that really shouldn’t affect his ability to discern horrific textures.

    Gaby Reply:

    Way late with this reply, but I still laugh at the time my sons’ daycare offered Pop Tarts for a snack. They were sure to emphasize that they were Multi-grain, but still, they were Pop Tarts. There were a few parents who had a shit fit about Pop Tarts being considered a healthy snack, and that was the one and only time I’ve seen them on their “What I ate” sheet. And to that I say Haaaa to Pop Tart-gate.

  4. Jenna

    Penny pictures make my day. Love them.

    TJ Reply:

    She’s really charming when still, eh?

  5. Christy M

    I read that second paragraph and I was totally like, “She’s going to talk about Korean soap operas, I KNOW IT.” Who knows, maybe you’ll wear me down. You got me to finally watch Doctor Who after I’d been dithering for a year.

    Tell Phil that heating (especially gas heat, which you probably don’t have in AZ) is WAY more efficient than cooling. Cooling air is terribly inefficient. And we heat to 68 and cool to 76 when we’re home. (north carolina, and cheap-ass husband)

    And how come some whole grain stuff is okay? It must be the amount of processing, because I can’t stand whole wheat cookies, some crackers, and cereals, but breads and most other baked goods I’m fine with.

    TJ Reply:


    Christy M Reply:

    ..aaand I KNEW that issue would be taken with my calling them soap operas. KOREAN TELEVISION DRAMAS, there. I’m on your wavelength now. At least I didn’t get called Wrong-o, which I am now appropriating.

  6. Laura Diniwilk

    I really did enjoy the episode I watched of Boys Over Flowers (or whatever it was called). But as you probably guessed based on the fact that I am only just this week reading Knight and Backstage Pass, my timetable of accomplishing enjoyable things is a bit slower than most normal people’s.

    I feel like wrong-o will be the hottest insult at la casa diniwilk this month. Even though you were totally saying it way before anyone else even knew it was a THING.

    TJ Reply:

    I think I’m going to start yelling, “WRONG-O!,” too. I think I’m going to take it from blog to life. It’s got potential. Big potential.

  7. Laura Diniwilk

    Also I just now noticed P’s candy receptacle matches her outfit. A+.

    TJ Reply:

    The way you let people know you’re serious when you knock on their doors is by carrying the hollowed out head of another of your own species.

  8. Rhy

    Phil is absolutely Wrong-O, both about the heat/AC issue and the Fig Newtons. Especially the Fig Newtons.

    On a semi-related note, I got into an argument with my guy a few days ago about whether or not I can taste the difference between Coke Zero and Diet Coke (Chipotle was out of Coke Zero, so he asked if Diet Coke was ok). There is ABSOLUTELY a noticeable difference in flavor, but he swore there’s barely any difference and that I’d never have known he’d gotten me Diet Coke instead if he hadn’t asked me first.

    The gauntlet has been thrown down. A taste test will be occurring in the near future. A taste test which I shall succeed at with ease. Barely any difference, pfeh.

    TJ Reply:

    They are not the same. Not at all the same. If they were the same, I would like them the same, and I would buy them the same, but I don’t, and I don’t. No taste test needed, because duh.

  9. Sunshine

    Newtons are supposed to be fruit and cake not fruit and “health.”

    TJ Reply:


  10. Elsha

    I am with you, both on the issue of 70 degrees being 70 degrees, and also the fig newtons of sadness and woe.

    TJ Reply:

    See, you’re the kind of people I like to have in my life. You’re good people. You’re a smart kind of people. Person. You know.

  11. Nicole B.

    I heat to 70 year-round (67 on off hours) since it doesn’t usually get much above that outside (excluding this past summer as some sort of ridiculous, 90-degree anomaly). I don’t even have A/C, so I can’t help you there. Despite that, I stand firm in my belief that temperature is temperature. See also: 106 degrees is not fit for existence, I don’t care how “dry” it is.

    As for Newtongate, smeafness MUST be at play here. While I’ve never completed a Fig Newton Challenge, I have done a Goldfish Cracker Challenge and whole-grain tastes different, absolutely it does. Now, I don’t mind certain things being whole-grain, but it has no place in my fishes. Those are sacred.

    TJ Reply:

    Whole grain anything is just never necessary. It just ISN’T. IT ISN’T. If someone wants to tell me that I absolutely must eat a whole grain version of a thing, I would sooner just NOT EAT THAT THING. Or, realistically, eat less of that thing. Or, more realistically, eat that thing when that person wasn’t looking. Or, most realistically, eat that thing right in front of that person’s face, because who the hell does that person think they are?

  12. cindy w

    This bit right here?

    “Gleeful and sincere shared enjoyment of a thing is fantastic and there should always be room for more, really. Enjoyment of a thing can’t be used up. Also, stop it. Grow up. Move over, make space.”

    I basically want to ocpy & paste that into a million different places all over the Internet.

    Truth: I once tried to give my kids the whole grain Newtons because I thought they’d be a healthier snack. I think this is why my 6 year-old has trust issues. I still feel bad about it.

    (Although in my defense, Lucy didn’t care, she just sort of indiscriminately shoves food in her mouth regardless of horrifying textures.)

    TJ Reply:

    When I tell Penelope I’m going to give her a cookie and pull out a Newton, she cries. SHE’S RUINED FOR NEWTONS NOW, AND IT’S PHILLIPS FAULT.

  13. Audrey

    I feel like claiming Whole-Wheat Anything tastes the same as Regular Anything is on par with claiming turkey bacon tastes like real bacon. No. Not even the same food group.

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