« Phun With Philcon | Main | New Link for Subterranean Magazine #4 »

November 20, 2006

One of Those Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus Sorts of Things

Here at the Scalzi Compound, both Krissy and I recently spent just about the same amount of money on different things entirely, and they both arrived here at the homestead today:

Krissy got this lovely sofa set, with a big sofa in the foreground and the loveseat/ottoman combo in the background. See, prior to this we had a fairly inexpensive sofa set that we decided to keep until Rex the random vomiting cat expired, and Athena became old enough to trust not to spill grape juice in difficult-to-clean places. Both of these milestones have since occurred, and so here we are.

I got this lovely new dual-core, SLI-enabled super-bitchin' computer complete with possibly the most awesome thing ever: A 24-inch 1900x1200 resolution monitor that can -- as you see here -- pivot 90 degrees into portrait mode, which I suspect will be perfect for me when I'm writing. And then I can pivot it 90 degrees into landscape mode, and it will be perfect when I kill things in pixel form. Seriously, though, portrait mode is six different kinds of awesome. I didn't know it was this possible to be so geeked out about something. But there it is.

What's really funny about this is just how ridiculously our purchases conform to sexual norms -- the woman bought nice furniture, the guy bought tech toys -- and it's even more funny when you consider that one recent Christmas, my major gift to Krissy was a 120-piece tool set, which she loved. But what can I say. I'm colorblind in the furniture range, so frankly if Krissy hadn't wanted a new sofa, I probably would have kept the old sofa until it mouldered into sawdust. Conversely, Krissy would probably be content with a 386-era computer, which, frankly, I find sick and wrong. What can I say? Sometimes the stereotypes work.

Upon the arrival of both of our new purchases, we both looked at each other and said "Merry Christmas," which is to say that we've pretty much spent everything we're going spend for the rest of the year, because, strangely, we're not actually shooting money out of every orifice. Which is fine; I'm horrible to shop for anyway, and this way everyone gets what they wants. Except Athena, who still wants her Christmas gifts at Christmas time. Kids. They're just wacky that way.

Posted by john at November 20, 2006 08:38 PM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


Steve Buchheit | November 20, 2006 08:54 PM

I think it's even more stereotypical. The female buys things that encourage community, gathering, sharing, and comfort for many people. Where as the man buys things of "WOOHOO, 128fps on Quake 8! Bitchin' It's like I'm really there." :)

But at least you know each others strengths and they compliment so there's a synergistic outcome.

Or in other words, Krissy picks out the stereo system so everybody can enjoy music, but you get to wire it together.

BTW, what tool set did you get her, woodworking, auto mechanic, general contractor?

Kurt | November 20, 2006 09:04 PM


I am so jealous!!!!

I just got a new Mini Mac and thought that was cool but you sir are way cooler with that whole 90 degree pivot monitor thing!!!!

Go but I love tech toys!!!

Chang, unencumbered by deeper thoughts | November 20, 2006 09:14 PM

Someone I know was selling an Alesis Mircon, a very nice little keyboard. Mrs. Chang said go ahead and buy it. Once I was revived with the smellign salts I did!

Now I wonder what MRs. Chang wants for Xmas. She's got me and an iPod. What else could she need?

Chang, unencumbered by deeper thoughts | November 20, 2006 09:16 PM

And I want a friggin TV that size but our rental bunker is too frigging small.

PixelFish | November 20, 2006 09:21 PM

I have deep and abiding monitor envy. I am slowly shading into a deep deep viridian.

Soni | November 20, 2006 10:32 PM

Mmmmm...pretty, shiny monolith. Monkey touch. Monkey grow SMART! Ooowwahoowaahooowwaahh!

Steve Buchheit | November 20, 2006 10:33 PM

Soni, put down that jaw-bone. SONI!

Nathan | November 20, 2006 11:06 PM

Kennebunkport, Camelot.

Does the Scalzi compound have a cool name?

Cathy | November 20, 2006 11:20 PM

My husband is currently undergoing monitor envy, as he misses his pivot monitor. What's the brand here so we might procure one if money starts dropping out of the sky here?


Rachel | November 20, 2006 11:57 PM

Haha. I break all stereotypes. PopSci is still my favorite magazine ever, I would rather die than furnature shop (My mother drug me along to look at sofas recently. Honestly, just by the first one that's comfortable and move one with your life, people. It's not the most important decision ever), and I'm completely drooling over that screen. Guild Wars much? That'd be the first thing I'd do with it. That, or KoToR. Wow, I'm a nerd.

So, yeah. Couple that with one of those new Optimus keyboards, and I will probably have to hunt you down and make you sign adoption papers. Throw in a wii and I'll become your slave... so long as I get 10 hours of play time a day. ^.^

Ginny | November 20, 2006 11:59 PM

I'm the tech toy geek in my house, but I am also the furniture maven--and honey, in my house there is no television, computer nor stereo in my living room. My living room is a place to read quietly, talk with family (and that happens quite often) or play with the puppy. The television with it surround-sound testicles are in the den, with furnture that I won't weep about when food invariably finds fabric.

If I'm the tech geek and the domestic goddess, what does hubby long for, you ask? He's strange: he likes jewelry, cologne, art by Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, and anything having to do with snowboarding (that's his mid-life crisis, strapping himself to a waxed board and shooting himself down a hill).

David Klecha | November 21, 2006 12:21 AM

I'm pretty sure if I don't get my wife some cool electronics this Christmas that I'll be skewered and served for dinner.

Okay, maybe not, but she's made her desires rather clear...

| November 21, 2006 12:21 AM

There's nothing like writing on a high res widescreen. I use mine landscape (because it's a laptop and trying to write in portrait is maddening) so I can have two pages side by side. It feels like I'm typing right onto the pages of a book, until I read back what I've written. You can't... I can't have everything.

Nick Stump | November 21, 2006 01:01 AM

My daugher was married here at home a couple of weeks ago. First we had to get new furniture--couch, chair. Boy, rugs sure did get expensive over the last two decades. We need this new furniture, and several other upgrades because my wife said so. I learned a long time ago to "do what she say do". My life is much easier now.

But as I'm supposed to be a screenwriter--Guild card and all, I decided I needed a new 56" Samsung DLP, and boy, is my career happy now. My career also made me buy the 250 Directv HD DVR. I didn't want to, but Career said, "Buy it if you want to keep eating." Sometimes, he scares me.

I said no on the sports package, but Career pushed me up against the wall and said he had an idea about a football movie, and maybe we could get the sale if I didn't screw up the second act like I did last time.

I didn't mind the TV so much, or the DVR, but right now, Career in there with my wife watching Heroes.

I'm out here working on the second act. Seems Career had a few notes...

By the way, my daughter moved to Chicago last week. Shes a musician. I'll miss her, but she had to move for her career.

Rachel | November 21, 2006 01:12 AM

Hahaha. That was wonderfully creative. I needed that. Made a nice break from the science fair project I just started 5 hours ago that's due tomorrow at 6:30 a.m.

What kind of a musician is your daughter? My high school band's goin up to Chicago for a competition this spring. Mahaps by chance I will see her. Not that I would know if I did...

Therese Norén | November 21, 2006 04:33 AM

*sigh* You made me miss my old computer.

I had a Qbe, the first tablet PC produced. (My father tried to sell them in Sweden, pretty much so he could have one. I got the demo ex when it was three years old.) It was quirky, it ran Windows 98, and it had far too little RAM, but I was prepared to stand a lot of small annoyances just to have the portrait screen.

Rhiannon_s | November 21, 2006 06:58 AM

I still say gaming reacjed it's peak with the CommodoreC16 +4

Now that was a gaming machine...sigh...

Brandon | November 21, 2006 07:33 AM

Good Lord man! Get those tv speakers on some stands stat!

Nice colors in the family room BTW.

Dean | November 21, 2006 07:37 AM

That chair looks soooo comfortable. Really wonderfully fabulously comfortable. Snowy-day, settle in with a book and a cup of something warm comfortable. Hot afternoon nap comfortable.

Yes, I'd still take the hardware first, but that furniture would be a close second.

A.R.Yngve | November 21, 2006 07:48 AM

The important thing when your spouse buys furniture for the family is to prevent future family strife.

Convince her that the couch/sofa set should be black or dark brown. That way, she won't notice the inevitable food and drink stains later. (Just don't tell her this is the reason why the couch ought to be black. She won't understand.)

jess | November 21, 2006 08:52 AM

My fiancee used to turn his monitor vertical when he was college to make writing papers easier. He recently gave me his old monitor for a super duper wide screen monitor that very well be the same model as your new on. I know it cost him a pretty penny that could have gone to buying a new couch, but since I got a new, (well gently used) monitor I'm happy enough.

Anonymous | November 21, 2006 09:27 AM

Cathy: What's the brand here so we might procure one if money starts dropping out of the sky here?

It appears to be a Dell monitor - either that or else John has taken to putting fake logos on his computer parts...

Steve Buchheit | November 21, 2006 09:32 AM

I wonder if this means we'll be getting longer posts from John in the future? You know, now that he can mentally think, "It's only one screen long."

Eddie | November 21, 2006 10:36 AM

Who bought the Big Screen?(Totally rhetorical question)

What was the quid pro quo for that one?

We gave up on TV except as a movie venue when our younger kids reached middle school age.I don't really miss it.

I got a jones for things with internal combustion engines. (I know. Very twentieth century.)

John Scalzi | November 21, 2006 10:49 AM

Monitor brand: Yes, it's indeed a Dell, specifically the 2407WFP monitor. I was originally in the market for a 20 or 22 inch monitor, but I decided to take the bump up because the price for this one was relatively cheap and because the smaller monitors that could also pivot were not that much less expensive. So it was worth it to suck up the extra cost.

The Big Screen: We both bought that, actually. One of our TVs died a few years back and we decided to get a big one and rotate all the other TVs in the house.

In both cases, the operative theory behind the purchases was to figure out need/wants, buy the best possible object in that class within our budget, and then use it until the wheels fall off of it (i.e., purchasing well but not frivolously).

Jon H | November 21, 2006 10:59 AM

Kurt writes: "I just got a new Mini Mac and thought that was cool but you sir are way cooler with that whole 90 degree pivot monitor thing!!!!"

FYI, your Mini should be able to rotate the display of the external monitor. There should be a popup menu in the Displays thing in System Preferences, that lets you choose from 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees and 0 degrees (normal).

Steve Buchheit | November 21, 2006 11:37 AM

I rotated my radius PrecisionView 21 ninety degrees, but I had to put it back because my neck was getting a crick in it looking at the monitor that way. :)

Tim Walker | November 21, 2006 01:01 PM

Do you feel the laserlike beam of outright monitor envy being directed at you from Austin right now?

Then again, if this monitor helps you write more in the vein of ~The Android's Dream~, which I stayed up late the last two nights to finish, so much the better.

Arlo | November 21, 2006 01:02 PM

I've got a 2407WFP, too -- in fact, I think I suggested it back when you were looking for computer spec recommendations. Isn't it hot? I mean, the tilt thing is great, plus it's got media card readers built in, USB2 ports, an outstanding monitor stand, and even Picture-in-Picture support! Well worth the cost, in my opinion.

Jon H | November 21, 2006 02:52 PM

The weird thing is that widescreen monitors look so much *longer* when they're in portrait orientation. I tried turning my 17" SGI lcd, and it seemed to be much taller than it had been wide.

Probably just an illusion or something, but still - kinda freaky.

Buck | November 21, 2006 04:12 PM

A friend of mine said she could tell how long a couple had been married by their furniture. She observed that guys (especially here in the Detroit area) tended to furnish their apartments and houses like cars- black leather seating, surrounded by lots of glass and chrome tables, shelves, etc. Upon marriage and combining of furniture, the first to be replaced was the guy's stuff- especially since small kids and chrome and glass don't exactly go well together. The leather couches and chairs were usually relegated to dens/TV rooms.

Kate Nepveu | November 21, 2006 04:51 PM

Thanks to this, I finally got around to figuring out how to turn my work monitor to portrait orientation. So far I think I really like it for writing, though it'll be weird going back to my home laptop.

Nick Stump | November 22, 2006 06:02 AM

My daughter Marea is an electronic musician who works under the name "The Riveter". She used to be the Lady Foursquare. I think they change names a lot. Before I took up the dubious career of screenwriting, I was a blues musician--still am, I guess.

I always hoped my daughter would not follow in my footsteps, as a life living out of a van is... well, it's life living out of a van. I told her I had higher hopes for her. She just looked at me and said, "What did you expect?"

She'll be home for Dad's turkey, and I can't wait to hear all the great things she's doing. Though I sorta hoped she'd be a regular person, I think it's OK. Her eyes get real bright when she talks about the people she meets and the music--especially the music and I know how that feels.

Me, I'm just glad to have family around the table Thursday.

bonnie-ann black | November 22, 2006 03:24 PM

oh, john... such serious techno-envy as i am now feeling is guaranteed to send me to some sort of geek hell. my furniture is approaching 15 years old (in parts) and i couldn't care less if it all fell apart, if only i could have a gorgeous monitor like that! maryan and i have often said that if a man really wants to woo us, seriously woo us, he can skip the diamonds and rubies and pearls -- and get us a top of the line Mac and a giant monitor screen. though a really comfy couch (preferably in dark blue or green) would be nice too.

Post a comment.

Comments are moderated to stop spam; if your comment goes into moderation, it may take a couple of hours to be released. Please read this for my comment moderation policies.
Preview will not show paragraph breaks. Trust me, they're there.
The proprietor generally responds to commenters in kind. If you're polite, he'll be polite. If you're a jackass, he'll be a jackass. If you are ignorant, he may correct you.
When in doubt, read the comment thread rules.

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)