Over the last few months I've been collecting some odds and ends that are informational, interesting and, in some cases, just plain funny. Since I've got a week with little else on my column plate, I thought I would take the opportunity to "clear the desk" and share them with you. Schneider back in Minnesota For starters, Windom native and five-time Grammy-winning jazz artist Maria Schneider was back in Minnesota last month. She and the "Maria Schneider Orchestra" paid tribute to her hometown of Windom by making her first appearance at The O'Shaughnessy on the St. Catherine University campus in St. Paul. Schneider and her orchestra gave a concert at the performing arts venue, featuring songs from her Grammy-winning album, "The Thompson Fields." Of course, the album is inspired by the open landscape of her home area. Schneider's appearance was in connection with the the university's Women of Substance series. According to the University's description of the series, Women of Substance "showcases women's ideas, amplifies their voices and honors their place on life's stage. These artists, thinkers and change-makers challenge the status quo, make us look at the world in new ways, drive us toward a deeper understanding of ourselves and spur our own sense of purpose and action. "Through art and ideas, the series ignites our innate power, consciousness and sense of justice, motivating us to take action and inspiring us to lead lives of substance." Without question, Schneider is a perfect example of what the series is all about. No word yet, on whether Schneider and her orchestra will be back in Windom for a local concert. A look at your spouse I get all kinds of junk emails that I may glance at the subject line, then discard it into my trash folder. But every once in a while, I run across a subject that tickles my fancy. Such was the case with an email about "National Spouses Day" in late January. National Today conducted a survey of 1,035 married Americans, asking them to, as they put it, "dish on their spouses." Here's some of what they found: Top five things that annoy us about our spouses: My spouse has selective listening (40 percent). My spouse snores (39 percent). My spouse can be a control freak sometimes (26 percent). My spouse is not as financially responsible as I am (20 percent). My spouse has bodily quirks (e.g. nose-picking, farting, burping, etc.) (19 percent). Top five reasons Americans appreciate their spouses: My spouse is a hard worker (60 percent). I can be myself around my spouse (56 percent). My spouse makes me laugh (56 percent). My spouse is smart (52 percent). My spouse is supportive of my goals and desires (48 percent). The most surprising spouse insight: 44 percent of respondents said that their spouse gets on their nerves sometimes. Here's another interesting tidbit: 44 percent of husbands say they evenly split the household chores with their wives, while only 26 percent of wives say the same. That begs the question: Whose version of reality is true? Hmmmm! Lexophiles Before your mind runs amok, a "lexophile" is a word used to describe those that love using words in rather unique ways, such as "you can tune a piano, but you can't tuna fish." Here are some others that were passed along to me: When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate. A thief who stole a calendar got 12 months. When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A. The batteries were given out free of charge. A dentist and manicurist married. They fought tooth and nail. A will is a dead giveaway. When you've seen one shopping center, you've seen a mall. Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side was cut off? He's all right now. When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine is now fully recovered. He had a photographic memory which was never developed. Acupuncture is a jab well done. That's the point of it. And finally . . . Those who get too big for their pants will be exposed in the end.