Thursday, November 27, 2008

You say potayto and I say potahto

You may have guessed, from my predilection for dance and drama and writing that I'm Humanities Girl. Not Maths / Science Girl. And definitely NOT Engineering Girl. This is not to say that I did not do well at those subjects when they formed part of my curriculum (well engineering was never there but I was pretty good at maths and science. If you don't count calculus and physics, and why would you?) It's just that, given the choice, my interests lie on the arty-farty side of the brain. Whichever one that is, I always forget. Once stuff gets a bit technical I lose a lot of focus. This is why I suspect knitting and I will never be great friends, because if I try to read one of those fancy patterns I immediately feel my brain fuzz over. It's not that I'm dumb, but let's face it, I am more given to creative flights of fancy than technical analysis.

So I don't know why Mister Fixit thinks I want to hear all about the mechanical stuff he did at work. Or TAFE (trade school). I'm starting to dread TAFE weeks to be honest (and not just because poor Fixit gets so angry about the incompetency of pretty much everything or everyone involved in the schooling process - which of course comes home to roost with us, his loving and -mostly- competent family.) No, I dread TAFE weeks because Fixit's method of processing new information is to talk it out. He has to regurgitate in his own words to understand; it's just the way he learns. This has been vaguely annoying, but when the subjects were easy (like say maths, which he already knew, or Human Factors, which is common sense) he didn't feel the need to bang on about it so much. Recently, however, they had to cover Year 11 Physics in the space of 3 weeks and he had a lot to wrap his head around. The upshot of this was that he spent a fortnight trying to teach me physics and I don't want to be mean or anything but : I DON'T WANT TO LEARN PHYSICS!

I acknowledge that it is important and would probably be very helpful in day-to-day life but I already have too many things to think about and..

It makes my brain bleed. Also, the day I decide that Aircraft Mechanical Engineering really IS my cup of tea is the day I sign up for my own apprenticeship, meanwhile I don't really want to learn it second-hand. Call me crazy.

Do people wonder what we see in each other? A typical after-work conversation at our house goes like this:

ME: (sitting quietly doing something absorbing like reading your blogs or playing online scrabble)
FIXIT: (walks past and stops) Oh, you should have seen, at work today we had to dismantlelandinggearstripbackwingtipblahblahblah.
ME: *thinks* can he not see I am busy? Still, better be polite.. Oh right.
FIXIT: It was a prick of a thing. The guy Philip who was the leading hand [inserts a whole lot of information about Philip that I couldn't care less about]
ME: (eyes straying back to computer screen or book or newspaper) Mhm hmm...
FIXIT: Anyway, he got us to pull out the blahblahblah and there was this blahblahblah. (wanting me to understand, because to him stuff like that is Very Interesting and Important to the Anecdote:) You know how a blahblahblah goes blahblahblah?
ME: (sensing an answer is required) *thinks* No Yes.
FIXIT: Well, the blahblah goes into the blahblah like this (demonstrates)
ME: (nods intelligently)
FIXIT: Yeah, so then we had to blahblahblah ad infinitum...

... which goes on to the end of the blahblah while I keep trying to make my eyes look at him and interject appropriately. It usually winds up with me trying to connect the only way I know how, by contextualising it on an emotional level ie Was that annoying? or Gee I bet that was frustrating. Or with him realising my eyes have glazed over and saying good-temperedly I don't know why I bother talking to you! or more snarkily Would you pay more attention if I put a computer screen round my head?

I, of course, never say anything boring to him.


  1. Well, I'm just SURE he gazes adoringly at you and listens with rapt attention when you blather on [oops, I mean converse daintily and very intelligently] about dance steps and tap boards and costumes and the like, so of COURSE he would expect you to be at least as fascinated by the things that rattle about in HIS head. Here for instance, it is presumed that I will be utterly charmed to listen to a recounting of every damn stroke in an eighteen hole game, and want details, like lies, and weather factors and whether irons were used, or woods, and God knows what other things that affect the outcome of a golf game......While his eyes roll involuntarily back in his head five words into the telling of quilty tale.....Where would we be without them?? I guess it's all about supporting and encouraging each other. But the Readers' Digest version would suffice!

  2. Fixit should ring my Father Outlaw, who used to do that airplane stuff for a living. He could ring him every night, at length, while you tool around on the internets.

    Here it's just workmates who need to be complained about. Every day. I'm thinking I will start suggesting he just shoot them.

  3. *snort*

    I came here from Sheep's Clothing, so i've snorted twice in a row. Life is good.

    Also, can I just say, int that photo, I can imagine Major nelson as a schoolboy, and what excellent posture he had. Did he sit up extra straight to get that early mark teachers used to drag out the remaining 10mins before bell ?

    Sorry, I can see your eyes glazing.

    Funny but.

    AB never talks work with me, because I *am* rude, and interject with things like 'look, shiny thing!', and eventually I make him laugh ( or give up ), and he forgets about the blahblah.

    And then we can get onto the important things in life. Namely: talking about *me*


  4. I do sympathise. Techno-babble has a tendency to hit the hearing receptors and promptly bounce straight off. It can't find a way into the brain. This is what's known as an evolutionary development.

    But I tend to think that having Rhodes Scholars visit for a couple of weeks might be worse. Because the economics babble is non-stop, and they don't even notice the glazed look or the drooping eyelids as you strive to stay awake and look moderately interested. Conversation with such people definitely goes in one direction only, and there is never even a hint, let alone a possibility, of reciprocal conversation. Because NOTHING is more interesting than economics.

  5. I'm snorting too, H & B.

    *snort* Major Nelson *snort*

    You do the best tags, SG.

  6. I'd love a dude who wanted to chat to me. I married a strong silent type and often find out things weeks later. It is a trait inherited by our daughter who has more one syllable answers than you can even imagine!

  7. Nearly twenty years of relationship and I have perfected the 'I am listening' stance while doing other stuff, you see I MARRIED a physicist!

  8. It made me snort too.

    Stomper? That is you mum no? That Persiflage person?

    Who writes a mighty fine blog I have to say. Back off there to add her to my reader!!

  9. I'm still laughing! The whole post, and all the comments!!! THANK YOU!

    ...and why would you not want to know how to calculate the area of a shadow cast by a piece of paper held perpendicular to a picnic table at noon? I ask you?! (When I took physics, one of the profs was famous for test questions like that. My prof, on the other hand, conked himself in the head while demonstrating centrifugal force, and walked around with a bandaged forehead for a few weeks.)

    The right brain is the side you favor, btw, and it would appear that Fixit favors the left. Therefore you balance each other out. :)

  10. Stomper - if my memory serves me correctly Fixit is studying Aeroplane mechanics/engineering...right?
    If so could I ask or beg you to please pay more may end up with more knowledge than some at the moment and save lives!!!!

    But really I know what you mean about the Techy Talk....I usually run off with a " oh shit the dinner!!!!"

  11. Yes, I understand your pain. My husband rabbits on about BIRDS he wants to spot/has spotted/may spot one day. Once, when he was out on a day trip, he sent me text messages with each new bird seen eg 'white-throated warbler' or whatever. I must admit it did make me laugh a lot, which is always good!

    I bet I would never find you boring :-)

  12. I am not Mechanical Girl.

    Or Fixit Girl.

    Dude, my reno techniques would make Fixit's hair curl.

    ps. You can play scrabble online?!

  13. And in news just to hand, it's been revealed that Fixit scored a magnificent 96% on his physics exam! I think I can take some of that credit. Just because I never once shouted stop teaching me physics!! at him when I really, really wanted to.

  14. Congratulations, Fixit! This is SO impressive! I won't even pass on the parental comment I used to receive about what happened to the other four marks...Bad teaching can't get you down.

  15. It must be a man thing.
    I know every position on the cricket ground and you know (or perhaps you don't) how they all have strange names - third man, fine leg, etc. Not only do I know the names, but I know where they are.
    Do you think I ever wanted to know that?
    Do you think the Cricketer knows knitting stitches? Of course not.
    Congrats to you both on the 96%. Take credit for it!

  16. Tom did year 11 physics this year. He's a maths person, and even HE hated it. He dropped it. Year 12 will be a physics-free year for him.

  17. I have met a few women who seem to have mastered the art of feigned interest so well, the husband has no idea she is not listening. I heard one husband telling a friend that is wife was amazing. "She understands all about the blahblahblah blahedy car engine!"
    I glanced at her for confirmation, & she silently smiled & shook her head.
    You can fool some of the people...

  18. He has excellent posture, but.

  19. We've never had so much fun over breakfast. We now have a new saying, 'Oh, look shiny thing!' applicable for french sociology AND physics.

    I've just been tested. My eyes glazed over at 5 nanosecond.

    I recommend Father Outlaw. He doesn't snore when he goes to sleep so the phone calls could last for ages.

  20. Oh my. My dad does that. "You know you need part x and it won't fit unless you have part y and then you'll need part z to apply part x to part y and then it creates...." by which time I've drifted away into daydreams.

    That 96% belongs to the both of you!

  21. You have no idea -- and I mean NONEATALL -- how much I identified with this entry.


  22. You have just explained to me why I have been unable to take up knitting despite the fact that I have a degree in textile design!

    Tell him if he blogs about it, you will comment to him there! Ha!

  23. this is so funny - Fixit should befriend MIC - in his old long gone professional life he was an electrical design draftsman.

    If F will listen to M go on about motorcycles and restoring them and the Fiat I am sure M will listen with glee to F and the plane thingo.

    I told M to start a blog and find some buds who really 'got it'.

    Thus far he has the name - gearhead 1 - and that is it - seems he likes the 'talk' part too !! hang tough sister :) le


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