October 06, 2005
Thank you for your comments regarding State Senator Pat Miller's (Republican, Indianapolis) proposed legislation to establish a process by which some pregnancies would have to be authorized by the state. As you can imagine, it raised many concerns about the appropriate role of government in our lives.
As a member of the Health Finance Commission, I would have voted against this proposal. Thankfully, because of the public outcry over Senator Miller's legislation, she announced that she has withdrawn this proposed legislation from consideration. I want to personally thank you for your interest and your involvement in this important issue. I will monitor this subject closely during the upcoming legislative session in case this bill comes back in some other form.
--Senator Vi Simpson, Senate District 40
October 05, 2005
And now I need your help. Go here and read about the horrifying new law proposed in Indiana that would ensure that no single person or homosexual person will be able to use ART to have a child. It will also require married couples needing donor sperm or eggs, or a gestational surrogate, to provide proof of their "individual participation in faith-based or church activities" to prove that they deserve to have a baby.
One of Julie's brilliant commenters, Amy E, pointed out that this law would have prevented Jesus's birth, because Mary and Joseph weren't married. Ha. You can contact State Senator Miller, the lovely author of this insanity, here. Click the "to get a list of all Indiana elected representatives" button and you should be able to find her.
Updated to include:
I just found this at Susan's In a Holding Pattern blog. Thank you, Susan...
You can contact Senator Miller directly at (317) 232-9489 or firstname.lastname@example.org. But do use the link above to contact other Indiana representatives--as I understand it, this bill has already been introduced to the general assembly, which means we need all of them to know that we want them to oppose it.
Also, from Susan, "If you live in Indiana, the next meeting of the Health Finance Commission will be held at the Statehouse on October 20, 2005 at 10 am in Senate Chambers and is open to the public." Please go!
* Dead baby thoughts.
September 22, 2005
It's a GIRL!!
We had the big ultrasound yesterday, and the little fetus was happily showing off all her stuff--she's very definitely a girl. I could tell before the tech even said anything. There was a tech-in-training who sat in on the ultrasound and seemed completely incapable of telling what sex the baby was, which was a little scary. I pity the poor parents who get her during her first few years of work.
The baby looked very healthy, if a bit skeletal. All her little ribs and femurs showed up bright and clear on the scan, and her face shot was absolutely terrifying--it looked like a tiny, dead skull. But she definitely isn't dead--she was wiggling and waving her little arms around like a mad woman. Which could have had something to do with the three Reese's Peanut Butter Cups I ate just before the exam.
The whole scan was amazing. The King was holding my hand so hard it hurt--I thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. I cried. It was incredible.
September 14, 2005
I'm the World's Worst Mother, and the kid won't even be born for another five months. Now that's an accomplishment.
September 13, 2005
September 10, 2005
"The Federal Emergency Management Agency worked to get the word out Saturday to victims of Hurricane Katrina that a program offering them $2,000 debit cards is quickly coming to an end.
FEMA said evacuees instead may receive $2,000 through direct deposits to their banks or through mailed checks. Families could apply online at www.fema.gov or over the phone.
People who have found accommodations are not eligible for them, however."
Um, how exactly is that going to work? Direct deposits don't sound too bad, providing the victim wasn't using a local New Orleans bank that doesn't exist anymore. And mailed checks? Um, mailed to where? And they're supposed to apply online? With the computer they presumably carried with them when they fled the city, I suppose. Because they were all rich enough to own a computer, of course. Because everyone is, just like you are, Mr. FEMA Director.
And people who have found accommodations--that is, the only people who actually might have regular access to a phone or computer--can't apply for them.
Seriously, am I the only person who is confused?
September 07, 2005
More real posts soon, I promise. But I just had to pass on the word about these great ones. And in the meantime, thank you so much for your concern about the scary contractions. They have mostly stopped, thank God (which momentarily convinced me that the baby was dead, but I've more or less talked myself out of that at this point), and hopefully won't start up again for many weeks.
August 31, 2005
August 23, 2005
I begged the King last night to please, please rub my butt and make it feel better, but he was very hesitant. I think he was a bit scared of both the way I was vigorously thrusting my ass toward him and the fact that I announced that my waist is now 40 inches in circumference. That is MORE THAN A YARD, people! I am a yard around! A yard is a measurement for a football field, not a body part. I'm fairly disturbed by this, and it didn't help when the King gleefully crowed, "Soon you'll be twice this big! You'll be, like, eight feet around!!" See if he gets a blowjob this month.
August 18, 2005
2. Read My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult.
3. Watch any Animal Planet show involving rescuing kittens from a well.
4. Read pretty much any post by Grrl, particularly the one that said, "I said to her, 'I know you think that you created a life yesterday, but really, you created two. You have renewed me.'"
5. Buy those Hallmark cards that have quotes on them by Maya Angelou.
August 17, 2005
Me: So, you would be able to tell by now if I had placenta previa or an incompetent cervix or something scary like that, right?
NP: [laughing] What have you been reading about?
Me: Um, everything. Particularly things that could, you know, kill me.
NP: Well, no, you'll have to wait until the 20-week ultrasound to see where the placenta is. And what was that other thing you mentioned?
Me: An incompetent cervix.
NP: [cheerily] Oh, no, we usually don't diagnose those until you've had a miscarriage or two.
Me: But, um, wouldn't my baby be dead by then?
NP: Well, er, yeah. [uncomfortable silence] But I'm sure it's all fine! See you next month!
August 15, 2005
What the fuck was I thinking? There are going to be PREGNANT women there! And women with babies! I spent the last two years trying as hard as I could to avoid being near pregnant women because it was sheer torture watching them coo over their lovely round bellies and cute little babies. And now I'm volunteering to spend an hour chatting about breast shields and eating brownies with them. (Or maybe soy cakes? LLLers are pretty crunchy granola folks, right? Jesus, just the thought makes me want to go to McDonalds.)
I have clearly not completely accepted that I'm actually pregnant. The King is totally at one with the idea--he has no trouble discussing the fact that in February, we will be acquiring a child. I, however, am still in total denial. Baby? What baby? My stomach is suddenly as round as a balloon because I ate half a pizza last night, not because of any sort of small person inside it! It's not possible--two doctors said so! "It will be totally impossible for you to get pregnant without IVF. Don't even bother trying." That's what they said.
Shit. Do you think they'll make me try on a breast shield? Do you think I should find out what a breast shield actually is before I go to the meeting?
August 09, 2005
First, there are the mosquitos. I'm one of those people who mosquitos seem to really love biting, and as it turns out, pregnant women are also very prone to mosquito bites. So I'm getting them double. On top of that, I have this fabulous allergic reaction to mosquito bites--a huge, red welt swells up all around the bite and itches for days. You'd think I'd been attacked by leeches or something.
I could live with the mosquitos if they were the only bug around here, but no. You see, tropical bugs are special. By special, I mean HUGE. And terrifying. We get flying cockroaches the size of your hand that crawl under doorways and sneak into the house. Even the King, who isn't scared of bugs, has a hard time with them. The first time I begged him, crying, to kill one, he hovered with his paper towel over the enormous thing on the wall. "What's wrong?" I cried, covering my eyes and praying that it wouldn't fly toward me. "Dude, it's looking at me," he said.
And cockroaches aren't enough either. There are horrifying millipedes that look like something out of a Stephen King novel. Five inches long, it's not bad enough that they're huge and black and wiggly and disgusting. No, they have the added bonus of being able to deliver an agonizingly painful bite and sting. Nice.
And now I've twice found small poops in our bathroom. I suspect we have mice. I've never had mice in my house before (except as a pet once, as a kid), but I could probably deal with killing them. Except, if tropical mice are anything like tropical insects, they're probably the size of a hamster and vicious as hell, which means I'm in trouble.
August 01, 2005
He is ostensibly installing an air conditioner because it is so very, very hot here, but what he is actually doing seems to be some sort of copper pipe welding project on my living room carpeting with a BLOWTORCH. And he's about sixteen. And did I mention that he's using a blowtorch???
I asked him, "Hey, do you always have to use a blowtorch to put in an air conditioner?"
He said, "Eh, yeah, sometimes."
Then I asked, trying to sound very calm and cool, "Hey, do you ever worry about burning someone's house down with the blowtorch?"
And he said, "Eh, yeah, sometimes."
Then I fled the room, telling myself it was to protect the fetus from the scary toxic smells that the blowtorch is producing, but really it was because I am too scared to watch this kid do his blowtorching, and so I am hiding in my office praying that he doesn't burn my goddamned house down.
July 28, 2005
This morning, the King awakened me to tell me that it was his cell phone ringing, not our neighbors'. His boss had been trying to reach him, at 4:30 a.m., to give him some news:
He is going to be a Navy Chief Petty Officer!
I know this means nothing to most of you, but it's a very, very big deal. In fact, it's the climax of his career and is what he has been shooting for over the past 17 years in the military. It's a bit like becoming a company vice-president or a division head, and it comes with a lovely raise, most of which you spend buying all new uniforms. There is a month-long induction program he has to go through, and I may get to join a chief's wives' club or maybe go to some of his functions; I'm not sure how that works, so we'll see.
I'm so proud of you, sweetie! You completely deserve it, and I know you're going to make a great chief. Just don't start trying to give me orders, because you know that just don't fly. :)
July 25, 2005
Okay, you're forgiven. Grrl's baby is okay, so now you just need to work on maybe getting her an hour or so of sleep a night. Oh, and maybe fix that whole AIDS epidemic in Africa thing.
And thanks for letting my mom be able to respond with four complete, coherent sentences yesterday when I talked to her on the phone, despite the Alzheimer's. That really made my day.
You are being stupid. Don't you realize that everybody thinks the Book of Job is the crappiest book in the Bible and that you totally screwed Job over for no reason whatsoever, and that in addition, you are kind of a jerk sometimes? Surely you have realized that after four thousand years or however long it's been. So how can you be inflicting all of this on Grrl and her husband? Really, please just take a Valium or something and give the poor woman a break.
PS--About that time I stole a pair of earrings from Claire's when I was twelve? It was totally Leigh Ann Johannsen's idea. Totally.
July 19, 2005
The genetic counselor was a petite little brunette in scrubs, the legs of which were covered with kids' marker drawings. She had clearly let some of her littler patients draw all over her, which I thought was pretty cool for a doctor. She also insisted that she sit in the guest chair in her office and I take her fancy leather chair, because a kid had spilled juice on the guest chair and she didn't want the King or I to get all sticky.
When we walked into her office, we had the following conversation:
Gene Doctor: Hi! [shaking hands] You must be King and Queenie, right?
Me: Uh, yeah. [She knows our names?] We are.
GD [sitting down and beginning to sketch a family tree on a blank piece of paper]: So, basically, we're just here to talk about your family today. Queenie, your mother has Alzheimer's Disease, and your younger brother has a seizure disorder, isn't that right?
Me: Eh? Actually, yes, that is right.
GD: And King, your mother has had some treatment for skin cancer, yes?
King: Yes, she has.
Me [in my head]: Wait! Um, you didn't actually read our chart, did you? Because, you know, doctors aren't supposed to do that! They're supposed to make you fill out a huge long form, and then they throw that away and ask you all the painful questions over again three times, because they can't be bothered to actually listen to you. And they are definitely not supposed to look up your name before your appointment and actually remember it when you come in their office! And let little kids draw happy faces on their pants! What kind of doctor are you???
The best kind, apparently. Too bad that unless our kid has some sort of horrific genetic disease that is our fault for passing on, we'll never see her again.
July 13, 2005
I rented a Doppler machine. Yesterday, the King and I heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time. That's right, I used the B word--call me crazy, but I'm beginning to think that in 29 weeks, we may be getting a roommate.
July 11, 2005
It is so you can answer the three-year-old's favorite question: Why?
For example, here is a conversation I may one day have with the fetus, after it stops being a fetus:
Kid: Mommy, what's that?
Me: A goat, honey!
Me: Err, um, well, a long, long time ago, there was water everywhere, and there were lots of fish in it. Then one day, one of the fish crawled up on this island. But he died. Then another fish, one that had rudimentary lungs through some fluke of evolution, crawled up and lived. Then he met a girlfriend, and they had baby fish that could breathe air. Then, a long time later, this guy named Charles Darwin counted a whole bunch of little birds on this other island, and wrote a book about them...
It would just take forever, and frankly, I didn't pay that much attention in Bio 101. Hence, the fundamentalism. This conversation is much, much easier for the religiously minded parent:
Kid: Mommy, what's that?
Fundie parent: A goat, honey!
Fundie parent: Because God said so. Now stop bothering me.
See? So much easier. Perhaps I should go bust out my copy of the King James I got for my high school confirmation nine years ago and felt too guilty to ever throw away.
July 07, 2005
However, the bombing in London this morning pretty much killed my sense of humor off. Having lived in Washington, DC, seeing the Pentagon with its one shiny new side twice a day on my way to work and home, I know that none of those people's lives will ever be the same, even if they weren't actually on the subway when it happened. Every day when I went to work on the Metro, I wondered if this would be the day that someone tried to blow it up. I would mentally calculate whether I would survive if a bomb went off in the next car, instead of the one I was in. (Answer: probably yes, if they were using regular small bombs, although you would be injured.) Every day I would hold my breath for a tiny second as we pulled into Union Station, knowing that would probably be the most likely spot for an attack--lots of people, famous building next to the Capitol, big empty underground area. And every day I would peer around as I walked through the station, wondering if the guy with the backpack was really going camping, or the woman pushing the baby stroller actually had a baby, or a stroller full of C4 explosives. That feeling never went away, no matter how many times I went to work and home perfectly safely. And now it's never going to go away for thousands and thousands of people in London just like me.
June 29, 2005
It all started with a long and fairly boring first official prenatal visit. (We didn't get an ultrasound or a Doppler, so there's no fun news about whether the "little passenger" is actually, you know, still alive in there. But let's assume the best, okay?). The nurse practitioner asked if we had any questions, and I immediately began a political rant about the wanton use of enemas and episiotomies in the United States. You see, I am absolutely terrified of episiotomies. The idea of someone slicing open my vagina with a pair of scissors horrifies me far more than the idea of labor itself.
The nurse managed to head me off at the pass (and calm my impending hyperventilation) by saying they don't give episiotomies or enemas to everyone. Then she cleverly distracted me by saying they do have whirlpool tubs for laboring in. Ooh. Jacuzzi.
The idea of the jacuzzi having diverted me from the whole vagina-slicing horror long enough to get out of the doctor's office, I then immediately began questioning the King about his feelings about circumcision, should we have a boy. He said yes, definitely. I said that the United States is the only first-world country that still practices circumcision regularly, and he said I had told him that before, but he'd never heard any proof of it. Then I said I really just want the kid to feel comfortable when he's a teenager around other guys, although I'm not thrilled about the idea of snipping bits off his genitalia. Or of having to clean blood off his little newborn penis, either, because that's just weird.
We never came to an agreement about circumcision. Any opinions? Personally, I decided it would be easiest just to hope for a girl.
June 24, 2005
I immediately shrieked, "King! Come look at this freaky scary thing on my stomach! Tell me you don't see it! Tell me I'm imagining things!"
My sweet husband peered at my stomach for a minute, then pointed, laughed hysterically, and said:
"Look, baby! You've got a racing stripe!"
June 23, 2005
1. What's the best stretch mark cream? Do any of them really work?
2. I plan to breastfeed, but the King wants to feed the baby too, so I'm thinking I could pump and let him bottlefeed occasionally. Will this totally freak out the Tadpole so that he or she will hate me and never want to breastfeed again? I've heard of some bottles that say their nipples prevent confusion--do they work, and which are the best?
June 20, 2005
DH: What? Are you sick?
Me: No, I'm perfectly fine. All my pregnancy symptoms have suddenly disappeared. I'm having a miscarriage, I know it.
DH: Uh, are you bleeding?
Me: No, but the book says there's something called a "missed miscarriage," and you don't bleed at all if that happens.
DH: What are the symptoms?
Me: Having all your pregnancy symptoms disappear. We have to go to the hospital, the book says so!
[Two hours later, the obstetrician inserts the DildoCam.]
OB: There it is! A healthy fetus. Looks like you're about seven weeks and three days along. You can even see it's heart beating!
Me and DH: [crying]
OB: You're perfectly fine. Don't worry about a thing.
Me: Something's wrong! We have to go to the hospital!
Me: I've got vaginal discharge! I'm leaking amniotic fluid! The books says to go to the hospital if you have any leaking at all!
DH: Honey, you just got out of the shower. You're dripping water everywhere, that's all it is. Go dry your hair.
Me: Oh. Yeah.
Me: Something's wrong! We have to go to the hospital!
DH: [sighing] What now?
Me: I just picked up this enormous frozen turkey, and it totally hurt my shoulder! The book says shoulder pain means an ectopic pregnancy! We have to go now--The book says!
DH: I am throwing that motherfucking book away.
June 14, 2005
And yes, I got a copy of What to Expect. The King bought it for me. We saw it in the store, and I told him I had wanted to buy a copy for the last two years, but it was just too painful when we weren't actually expecting, so he got it for me. And I cried in line at the checkout.
And in the car after getting the lame blood test yesterday. And three times while watching tv. And once this morning in bed. Either I've definitely got that weepiness symptom, or I'm just still overwhelmed by the thought that I've actually got gobs (I hope) of HCG floating around my system.
And speaking of symptoms, yesterday my boobs were killing me and I felt totally sick in the morning, plus I took two naps in the afternoon. It was great. Unfortunately, I feel perfectly normal and fine today, so I assume that means the pregnancy's ending. Of course, I have no way to know for sure whether it's developing properly, because the Navy won't do an ultrasound until 12 weeks! Apparently they think the kindest and most sensitive way to find out that there's no fetal pole or gestational sac is not in the quiet tones of your gentle OBGYN as he or she points to the tv screen, but rather by waking up in a pool of blood and agonizing cramps.
No, seriously, I'm trying really hard not to think about things like that, although I know the King and I are both worried about it. But we're trying to enjoy it, too, especially since this is our first pregnancy--we're trying really hard to be that annoying couple who tells everyone after two days and starts buying tiny clothes at four weeks because they just don't know any better. I'm not quite there, though--I told him I can't say the B-word yet (as in, "I'm having a...!"), so he affectionately named our little ball of cells "The Tadpole." It was so sweet, I cried. Again.
June 11, 2005
"Go to Hawaii, that's what we did!"
"Just relax--all that charting and stuff just makes it take longer."
I got two lines today. Two lines.
June 09, 2005
And then you call her and leave a really nasty message on her answering machine that says, "Hey, this is Queenie, and you fiddled around with my washer today, and now it doesn't work. And it worked earlier, so you totally broke it, and you need to come over right away and fix whatever it was that you screwed up."
And then you hang up, and then you see the cord hanging out of the back of the washing machine that you accidentally pulled out with the laundry room door five minutes before and forgot to plug back in? Don't you hate that?
June 08, 2005
Stop laughing. I know, it's ridiculous. And no, I'm not pregnant. I am, like Akeeyu, in the middle of the longest, most boring cycle in history. I took Clomid about ninety-three days ago, and nothing has happened since. No ovulation, no blood, nada. I have, however, had two weeks of swollen, sore boobs, alternating bouts of feeling sick and stuffing my face, constipation, and fatigue. Whoo hoo! Pregnant, right? Not so much. Apparently I'm just fully fucked up.
The whole moving-three-times-in-two-months thing has been a major pain too. We flew here to Hawaii in May and moved into a nice hotel that the Navy kindly paid for. For ten days. However, they didn't have a house for us to live in, so we actually had to stay in the hotel for a month, paying for most of it ourselves. We finally got housing last week, and moved into it on Friday. (Pearl City, for those of you in this area.) However, in the meantime, we found our dream home. Or as close as you're going to get to it in Hawaii, where one-room shacks are selling for $400,000. We are now in the midst of selling our souls to the devil to get a half-a-million-dollar loan so we can buy said dream house, which only needs about $20,000 worth of work to make it livable. Trust me, for Hawaii, that's a great deal. It's just a little scary, and it means that assuming the devil accepts our souls in exchange for the house, we'll be moving yet again in a few weeks.
In the meantime, everything we own is in storage. The Navy kindly loaned us what they call "Aloha furniture." Aloha furniture is truly lovely wicker and plastic furniture with a florescent floral pattern that the Navy stores in huge, scary warehouses until someone like us needs to use it for a couple of weeks. Apparently they call it Aloha furniture because every morning you get to say "Aloha!" to the cockroaches that crawl out of it during the night.
Other than the endless moving, cockroach issue, and not having Internet access for ages, however, Hawaii is pretty awesome. It's actually hard to think of anything funny and sarcastic to say about it. The weather is just stunning; I'm learning to wear flip-flips. And there are rainbows here. And not just once in a while--I'm talking every day I go out for a walk and there will be a rainbow arching over the mist-shrouded peaks toward the center of the island, with the ocean waves gently lapping behind me.
Okay, that last bit was a lie. The King and I haven't spent any time at the beach yet. We stuck our feet in at North Shore for about five minutes a couple of weeks ago, but I haven't actually swum in the ocean here yet. I know, who goes to Hawaii and doesn't go to the beach? Don't worry, we'll get there eventually.
The only thing about Hawaii that isn't what I expected is the traffic. Everyone said, "The traffic is a nightmare, you'll sit for ages, it's horrendous." Ha! Happily, that turned out to be untrue. The people who told us that clearly have not had the pleasure of fighting traffic on both the Washington Beltway and the 101/405 Interchange in Los Angeles IN ONE WEEK. Now that's traffic.
So, to sum up, I promise to try to be a better blogger from here on out, and maybe even post a picture or two of our little island paradise.
May 23, 2005
So off I went this morning to the State Farm office in my (apparently uninsured) car. The nice lady in the very big mu-mu (yes, some people actually wear those here) typed up all the necessary forms. While she was typing, we had the following conversation:
Insurance lady: [peering at a form] Does you or your husband have the birthdate of July 29, 1977 [not the actual date]?
Me: Oh, that's my birthday.
Lady: Oh, we're the same sign!
Me: [blank look. What sign?] Um, okay.
Lady: [leaning in and whispering conspiratorialy] We Leos really like to be the boss, don't we?
Me: Oh, um, yeah. I guess.
Lady: So, your husband's birthday is April 27?
Lady: Wow, that is so uncanny! My husband and I were just like that--he was an Aries and I was a Leo. Just like you guys!
Me: Oh, that's nice.
Lady: Of course, we're divorced now.
May 18, 2005
They say that life moves more slowly in places like Alabama and Mississippi. I have discovered that this is because EVERY SINGLE ROAD IN THOSE STATES IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION. I am not kidding. We drove for five hundred miles on a four-lane highway that had been narrowed to two, so our nine-hour trip took twelve hours instead. We amused ourselves most of the way through Alabama by saying, "Greenbow, Alabama," and "Jenny: The most beautiful name in the whole world," in a Forrest Gump accent over and over again.
Mississippi is the same as Alabama, only with even worse roads. Also, the water is brown, and I don't mean the water in Old Man River. We stopped at a Hardees and the water was absolutely terrifying. I'm fairly sure that washing my hands in the bathroom actually made them dirtier.
We spent three days in New Orleans. They were wonderful days, and I was very happy to get to visit, and I was equally happy to get to leave. New Orleans is just too much of all the good stuff--too much good food, too much alcohol, too much river-and-weeping-willows-and-soft-jazz-playing-on-the-street. It was a little overwhelming. I did buy a very cool tee-shirt that says "Born Again Wiccan" on it, although I haven't been brave enough to wear it yet. I was seriously tempted to wear it in front of the King's family in Georgia, but I was afraid some of them would lynch me, particularly his cousin, who is a snake-handling, fundamentalist preacher as well as a world-champion, Olympic-level bow hunter. He can hit a deer at 500 yards, so he can sure as hell hit me.
If you happen to be going to New Orleans, I have only one recommendation--Mena's Palace. Of all the great food in that city, it's the best. It's a tiny hole in the wall, cash only please, next to a fabulous used bookstore in the Quarter. Get the shrimp po'boy. Trust me.
May 17, 2005
The catch is, the buyer wants, and I quote, deeply serious literary work, "like Tom Clancy."
That's right, Tom Clancy. If the publishing industry now considers Tom Clancy's books to be serious literature, I might as well just stab myself in the eye with my pen and be done with it right now.
Seriously, there's just not a lot there. We drove for like six freaking hours through South Carolina, and only saw four people. And seventeen million trees. We arrived at the King's father's house for an overnight visit. The King's dad took off when he was about six months old and never came back. They've only seen each other a handful of times in his entire life, and the King's dad remarried three times after divorcing his mom. Despite that, and despite the sheer excruciating boringness that is South Carolina, we had a good time. The King's dad was extremely welcoming and friendly, and I ate shrimp that had been pulled from the Charleston River only hours before, and the King and I stood on the banks of the river just as the sun went down, watching the shrimp boats sail in, and kissed. It was like a scene out of the Prince of Tides, only without the rape and violent physical abuse and stuff. Oh, and I ate my first boiled peanut.*
* It was better than you'd think, really.
May 13, 2005
Also, I discovered why the King and I are soulmates: When we order bacon cheese fries, I let him have all the bacony ones, and he lets me have all the cheesy ones.
Finally, there is a very special restaurant in North Carolina called the Risque Cafe. I haven't actually eaten there, but I'm sure it's something very unique. You see, it's a combination porn shop and eatery. That's right, stop in for a club sandwich and a side of fries, get a naked lady on your lap. It's just off I-95, so if you're ever down that way, do stop in and let me know if it's as terrifying inside as it appears to be from the outside, and if the naked ladies actually serve the food, or if that's against some sort of North Carolinian health code.
May 12, 2005
So, um, I can't read Grrl's comments because there's a bad word in them, but you're perfectly happy to show me what that word is? So, like, if my hypothetical kid* were trying to get to a dirty page, she'd be blocked, but you'd be happy to tell her that the page includes "hot chocolate scat enema stories?"** Righto.
* Ha! Hypothetical kid. Like that's ever going to happen. Ha ha.
** No doubt I'm going to get some very cool keyword hits off that last paragraph. For all of you that got here looking for enema stories, believe me, I like them as much as the next girl, but I just don't have anything for you.
May 11, 2005
We saw a billboard that said, "North Carolina: We Support the Military More Than Any Other State." I immediately thought, "North Carolina: We Like to Kill People Too!" Perhaps that was uncharitable of me.
We drove through North Carolina quickly, stopping only once, to see the Girl Who Is Prettier Than Me. When I was in junior high and high school, I had two best friends, Caroline and Anne. Caroline was the pretty one, Anne was the daredevil, and I was the smart one. Every guy we ever met would have killed to get with Caroline, and she could have given a rat's ass about any of them--she just wasn't that interested. But for all that, she got knocked up when we were seventeen, and I lost track of her during college. I admit I was secretly a little happy when she got pregnant--she might be gorgeous, but at least I got to go to college.
So anyway, I hadn't seen her for ten years, and then about a month ago, Anne told me she had moved to North Carolina. I wrote her, and we arranged to get together for lunch. It was good to see her, but I was rather bitter by the end. You see, not only is she still the Girl Who's Prettier Than Me, but she is happily married and has not only one, but two beautiful daughters. Looks like I really did waste my fertile years getting an education. Damn it, and damn that pretty girl.
April 28, 2005
The whirlwind tour is almost over, and I'll be back to my regularly scheduled posts in another week, it looks like. We are in California at my parents' house right now, and we should be flying to Hawaii in about seven days. The Navy hasn't yet given us our plane tickets, however, so that's sort of up for debate.
Nevertheless, I'll have tons of posts after we arrive--we drove through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada before getting home. Whew! It was a big trip, and I promise to tell you all about it very soon!
April 10, 2005
--Goodbye state-owned liquor stores that won't sell you a damned shot of vodka after 9 pm or on Sundays.
--Goodbye tourists asking where the Washington Monument is, even though the thing is 900 feet tall and visible from 50 miles away.
--Goodbye assholes who say loudly into their cell phones, "And the congressman was just telling me..." Congressmen are a dime a dozen around here, asshead. I ran three down with my car this morning.
--Goodbye drivers with diplomatic plates who don't know the rules of the road and wouldn't follow them if they did.
--Goodbye crazy fundamentalists who take up two seats reading full-size Bibles on the metro.
--Goodbye crack whore who asks me to buy her cigarettes every morning and has no underwear.
--Goodbye crazy boss who insists that I capitalize "State" in sentences, even though it's totally wrong, "for political reasons."
--Goodbye eager-eyed interns who come here all self-important and whose goals are to network their little hearts out, get laid by other interns after getting shitfaced at the Dubliner after work, and get elected president in 2028.
--Goodbye humidity so thick you need to take a shower after going outside to get the newspaper.
Goodbye, Virginia! You've been fun, except for the shitty rent, shitty weather, and shitty traffic. Next stop, North Carolina!!
March 31, 2005
No, I'm not kidding. Aren't you jealous?
Seriously, though, I'll try really, really hard to post at least once a week between now and May 6th, and I'm sure our jaunt across the highways and byways of America will lend itself to many good posts, especially as we're visiting both of my best friends from junior high school, neither of whom I have seen in ten years. And one of whom I used to hate because she said she would be my bridesmaid and then didn't show up to my wedding. She gave me two weeks' notice that she wasn't coming because she didn't want to have to be away from her husband for a whole two days to fly out to Georgia and be in my wedding.
Now she's trying to make it up to me. We'll see.
Anyway, I love you and I'll miss you all terribly! I'll get back on here as often as possible and tell you all about the glory of the Flying J Truck Stop and what it's like to hang out at the local gas station on Friday night in rural North Carolina. It'll be fun, I promise, so don't totally abandon me, okay?
March 28, 2005
March 26, 2005
The Muslim Cusser. This woman stands at the entrance to my train station in a full-length black chador, the very-conservative Muslim dress. She looks very pious and modest in her black headscarf, which carefully covers every hair. You'd think she was the most perfect conservative Muslim woman. Then she holds out a paper and says, "This weather is a fucking pisser, ain't it? Have a newspaper."
The Catatonic. At the Franconia-Springfield metro stop, there is a man who holds papers. He doesn't actually pass them out, because he is a catatonic. For real. The man is an actual catatonic. He stands perfectly still in the center of the doorway, his arms held out, with a pile of newspapers on them, and people take one off the stack as they walk by. He's obviously homeless, and I've never seen him move. It's a bit embarrassing to walk up to a stranger and take something out of their arms without them ever moving or making eye contact, much less speaking. He's like a human bookshelf. I often wonder if the newspaper people actually pay him, or if they just put him in place three months ago and just refill his arms with papers twice a day.
March 25, 2005
To celebrate my departure, the building fire alarm has gone off six times in two hours, thus ensuring that I get plenty of exercise before my move to Hawaii by walking down three flights of stairs, through a basement, up half a flight, and through the lobby to the outside, and then retracing my steps once they get the motherfucking alarm turned off. Wait twenty minutes and repeat. Six times.
Also, we're going to a bar this evening for happy hour. I intend to get very, very happy, and I intend for it to last more than an hour.
Because after 5 p.m., I am officially OUTTA HERE! Starting tomorrow, I will be officially self-employed, a freewheeling freelancer with nothing but the stars to hold me back. And the IRS, who wants my first estimated tax payment in three weeks. Before I've actually earned any money. Because they're just cool that way.
March 24, 2005
March 22, 2005
1. When you send the manuscript to a publisher, send it in a plain, ordinary envelope. Do not wrap the manuscript in plastic wrap, bubble wrap, duct tape, aluminum foil, or all of the above. This will make me think it is a bomb and will scare me a lot.
2. Follow the publisher’s directions. If our website says to send in four copies, send four copies. There is a reason for this. If I have to Xerox your manuscript three times to pass it out to our other editors, I will be very annoyed, and I will be almost infinitely more likely to throw your book in the trash.
3. Do not harass me. If you want to make sure we got your book, sent it return receipt requested. Do not call me every day. Do not leave long, rambling messages on my voicemail about how you were inspired to write this book by a little bird that crapped on your head one morning, thus teaching you that life is infinite struggle. Buddha already said it, and he did it better than you.
4. If you are writing a children’s book, do not tell me that I must publish it because your kids love it. Your kids love you, not your book. Your book almost certainly sucks.
5. If you are writing a children’s book, do not include illustrations of limbs detached from their bodies in an auto wreck, injured animals dripping blood and gore, or adult men in children’s darkened bedrooms. Trust me--if you include pictures of any of the above, we won’t be publishing your book.
And to that guy in prison who wants to write a kids book about how he really, REALLY loves his pretty, little 8-year-old niece, I’m calling the fucking cops.
March 20, 2005
I've gotten this one before. Seriously, how many people out there are interested in that part of her body?
A bitter, bitter bug student?
I know it's weird, but the addition of "pick" instead of just "axe" on this one made me laugh.
And really, what on earth were you looking for, dude? If you're reading this, I'd really like to know. Was it about President Bush? Neurology? A really odd porn fetish?
March 16, 2005
Today is the 18-month anniversary of us trying to have a baby.
I will be celebrating by having chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then drinking myself into oblivion. I think the King is worried about incipient alcoholism in me. I told him to worry about his goddamned "9% normal" morphology issues.
How did you celebrate your infertili-versary?
This is happy for us, because the King wants to start investing in real estate when we get to Hawaii. I don't want to, but he's managed to talk me into buying some sort of property we can rent out, ala a condo on the beach or something. I agreed because if the renters turn out to be for shit and leave us without paying, we can always go and live in it. Not so if we had gone with his other (more-beloved) idea, which was to buy an empty store in a strip mall and rent it out to a business. Although sleeping in an empty Baja Fresh might have been kind of cool.
March 15, 2005
Like this morning, I was in Au Bon Pain getting a bagel with egg and cheese, and the guy in front of me in line was buying three bananas. He paid about $3.50 for what would have been about thirty-nine cents worth of bananas at the grocery store. I was dying to ask if all of those bananas were for him, or did he share them with people the office? I mean, really, who needs that many bananas? Is he suffering from a serious potassium deficiency? Does anyone like bananas that much?
And then there was the old, gray, ill-looking man in line at the grocery store who was buying nothing but ten pounds of potatos and a huge bottle of plain-wrapped vodka. I desperately hoped he was conducting some sort of potato experiment to see if he could make vodka at home, but I feel that he was actually just in the end stages of cirrhosis of the liver and was using the potatos as his only nourishment while he drank the cheap, foul vodka.
(Not that I'm criticizing vodka. No, I love the stuff. Just got the two-dollars-a-gallon kind.)
And then there are the people who you see with a cart piled sky-high with macaroni and cheese, boxes of preflavored, dehydrated pasta, ramen noodles, and a 24-pack of Mountain Dew, and then, perched on the very top of their mountain of bad-for-you food, is the package of five-dollar organically hand-grown tangerines that you rejected as ridiculously overpriced and only fit for rich, pretentious people. Do they think you'll think they're really very healthy if they stick that stuff on top of all their other crap? Do they think they'll think they're really healthy? Am I just way too obsessed with other people's business?
March 13, 2005
Car Salesman: [gesturing to Ford F-150] So, what can I do to put you in this truck today? I'll give you a great price!
The King: Oh, no, we're just looking today. We're definitely not planning to buy today.
Salesman: You never know, you might change your mind! People get surprised all the time--they come in, just planning to look, and they drive off in a new car. It's just like having a baby!
The King and I almost died laughing. Then we left. I don't think the salesman saw the humor.
March 07, 2005
I figured he was just desperate for any hope and didn't put much thought into the turmeric thing. But I spoke to my mom on the phone for the first time in four months yesterday. My dad stopped putting her on when I call home a long time ago because there was no point--she had no idea how to use the phone and couldn't take part in a conversation. But yesterday, we had the following exchange:
Me: Hi Mom!
Me: How are you doing?
Mom: Good, very good.
Me: What are you up to?
Mom: Just hanging out!
I know it seems stupid, but I was crying by the end of that little, six-line exchange. She actually responded to me and was able to answer my questions. I haven't been able to have a conversation with my mother in over a year--you can't imagine how it felt to have her say she was good when I asked her how she was. I'm crying again writing this. Maybe I'm imagining that she's improved, but even in my imagination, it's a wonderful thing. My dad swears she's looking at books again (she was a voracious reader) and responding to him more, and that it's because of the turmeric. Let's hope.
In other news, the British National Health Service is considering cutting payment for Aricept and Memantine, among other Alz drugs, because they don't cure Alzheimer's.
If you live in the UK, please read the article and contact your government. They're right--Aricept and Memantine don't cure Alzheimer's. It's true. But those drugs gave me six extra months with my mom, six months when she still knew who I was, and when she got to come to my wedding and meet my husband, months we wouldn't have had if it weren't for those medications.
No, they aren't a cure. But I dare the British government to tell anyone who has ever had a family member dying of Alzheimer's that those six months just aren't worth the money.
March 04, 2005
Selling the house feels like a high-school popularity contest, like running for Homecoming Queen or something. What if no one comes to look at my house? What if everyone laughs at us and says we're ugly? What if some other girl shows up in the exact same dress, ala Brenda and Kelly from 90210? I might cry.
We worked for about 37 hours cleaning the house and making it perfect for potential buyers. Our realtor spent three minutes pounding a wooden stake into the front yard and hanging his sign off it. For that, he gets 3% of the selling price, or about $10,000. If this is high school, then he's the football player who convinced me that buying me a three-dollar carnation corsage meant he got to feel up my tits.
Plus, to add insult to injury, this whole letting-people-come-wander-all-up-in-my-shit thing means that I have to put on pants! On the WEEKEND! By eight a.m.! PANTS! And the King specified that they must be clean pants! How can he expect me to do that? Weekends are when I bust out my ratty sweats and don't bother to put on underwear for two days. I don't know why the King doesn't like that--I say, "Hey baby, these sweats don't have any zippers or buttons. That makes it easier for you to get in them, and I know you want to get with this, baby," while rubbing myself lasciviously. To which he says, "You have egg on your shirt." Oh.
March 01, 2005
On my first day on the job, I walked in the bathroom. She was standing at the counter, staring at herself in the mirror. As I walked into the toilet stall, she said, brightly and loudly, "My makeup is from Revlon!" I had no idea what to say, so I just smiled freakishly brightly and quickly shut the door on her.
She also stores a box of those things that are sort of like baby wipes but are really for cleaning your ass off on the back of one of the toilets. It stays there all the time, and she has used a big, black marker to write on it, "Belongs to Mary Smith! DO NOT TOUCH!" As if we'd want to fondle her ass wipes. Freako.
On another day and another trip to the bathroom, she trilled at me, "I just love blueberry pie, don't you?" This while I'm peeing and she is putting on eyeshadow, with nary a pie in sight.
She also spends approximately thirty minutes in the bathroom after lunch each day. She brushes her teeth for ten minutes, then flosses, then uses a mouthwash. She's not a dentist and isn't married to a dentist, so she's just very, very concerned with dental hygiene--much more than most people. Forgive me for thinking that's just kind of weird.
A coworker made the greatest comment about her: "Mary Smith marches to the beat of the drummer in her head."
* Names changed to protect the crazy.
February 28, 2005
(a) A roller, wrapping the paper around your hand in a padded little mitt, much like a wee urinating baseball player?
(b) A folder, carefully creating a neat little symmetrical square of paper even Adrian Monk would be happy to use? or
(c) A wadder, tearing great sheets of paper from the roll and heedlessly smashing them up into a big, glorious ball without rhyme or reason?
I'm a wadder. The King is a folder. And yes, we actually spent nearly an hour discussing this, and the attendant personality disorders that go with each type of toilet-paper style preference, over dinner last night.
February 25, 2005
Therefore, this weekend will be devoted to cleaning the house and making it presentable. We started a few days ago and did the downstairs. Basically, you have to put away every single personal item--the goal is to make the house look like a model home, beautifully decorated, but unlived in. The issue is, our house is not beautifully decorated. The King and I prefer black leather furniture that looks like it came from a frat house basement. We've got tacky alabaster statues--about twenty of them--of naked women. Granted, they are Greek goddesses from when the King lived in Crete, and at least they aren't out on the front lawn, but they're still naked-lady statues.
We have my collection of erotic books and pagan books, from my dabbling in Wiccanism. Given the astounding percentage of fundamentalist Christians around here, those probably will ensure that at least one woman will screech, "Bob, we can't buy this house! It's inhabited by SINNERS! We'll never get their filthy God-cursed aura out of the carpeting!"
Plus, we definitely don't have enough closet space to hide all the vibrators and porn.
(Geez, when I look at it like that, we definitely shouldn't be allowed to be parents.)
So anyway, given all of the above issues, we're working on it. We've found ourselves disagreeing on what constitutes "personal items that must be hidden" and what are "beautiful home decorations." For instance, I said, "King, your collection of seven dusty and mismatched model cars should be stashed in a box." He said, "But these are collectors items! Everyone will think they're really cool!" Me: "I don't. And they're not. If they're from Ace Auto Parts and you picked them up while getting a new spark plug, they're not considered collectors items. Trust me."
Of course, just then, 20/20 had a bit on some guy who sold his childhood collection of those itty-bitty Hot Wheels cars for like forty-three bazillion dollars. Which the King thought made his point.
And then he indicated the three porn mags and two overdue library books that I had missed under the coffee table and I had to shut up.
February 22, 2005
The article was debating between (a) establishing father-oriented services, just for men, to help teach them how to help their children and improve the family's well-being, and (b) saying that why the fuck should men get special treatment? The mothers are expected to do all the heavy lifting and deal with the foster care system entirely on their own. What's stopping the men from doing their fair share?
I'm inclined to agree with the latter, and I always want to say a big "Fuck you!" to people who act like a man taking his kids to the park is so cute and such a sweet thing to do, when he is surrounded by dozens of mothers doing the exact same thing. But on the other hand, when it comes to kids in foster care, the important thing is helping the kids, right? Even if that means giving their fathers a little unfair extra hand, if it'll improve the kids' lives?
This paragraph in the article really irked me:
"Some caseworkers attributed a gender bias in part to the fact that many social service systems, such as public assistance, were established primarily for mothers, who are used to accepting help and have learned to cope with travel, bureaucracy, paperwork, and inevitable delays. Participants observed that fathers typically have little familiarity with social service systems. They tend to experience the child welfare system as confusing and controlling. They want clarity and answers to questions about matters such as court outcomes that caseworkers are often unable to provide. They are more easily frustrated and resent having to jump through the 'hoops,' particularly if they were not living with the family and do not feel responsible for their children’s maltreatment."
So women are expected to just deal with all the crap and red tape the social service system throws at them without a single complaint, but men are excused from getting so frustrated that they just abandon their children altogether? Women never resent having to spend years filling out forms and never getting any answers just because we're women? WHAT THE FUCK? And the last sentence is the best one--Men "resent having to jump through the 'hoops,' particularly if they were not living with the family." So now abandoning your kids even BEFORE you had to deal with the system is okay, because it means you aren't responsible for the economic and emotional fallout of your abandonment???
February 17, 2005
1. So what do you think of Howard Dean being the next head of the Democratic National Convention? Will he keep the party left, or move the party even further central?
Dunno, although I agree with one of Cecily's commenters that there's basically no "left" left in the Democratic party. And I hated Dean anyway--I was completely in love with Kerry years ago, when the primaries were just warming up, when no one had ever heard of him. Oddly, I fell more and more out of love with him the closer the election got, so much so that I considered not voting at all by the end because he had gotten so stupid and irritating.
2. Why don't we hear more about the religious left (idea totally stolen from Charlie’s blog)? And why doesn’t the DNC court them instead of doing things like making an anti-choice advocate the new minority leader in the Senate in order to appeal to the new “morality voters”?
There is a religious left? One of Cecily's ladies said, "Because we're too busy sending layettes to African women stuck in refugee camps, feeding homeless people and people with HIV/AIDS..., encouraging fair trade, making microloans to women and supporting Heifer International." I hope she's right. If you're one of those religious left folks, can you come visit me? I'd love to chat, and you guys definitely need to get more press.
3. Is “reality” television losing steam?
God, I hope so.
4. Do you think Hillary Clinton has a shot in 2008?
Probably not, and I'm totally torn on it. I love her, but she's so extremely left that I don't know if I could actually vote for her. I'm also torn on nationalized health care--I want everyone to have affordable health care, but if that happens, the quality of my own health care with go down. Look at infertility treatment in England and Scotland. I have a relative who nearly died in England because she couldn't get treatment in time for her uterine cancer--she had to fly here and get treated and pay for the entire thing out of her own pocket, with no insurance.
5. Who is the hottest man over forty on TV right now (I vote Treat Williams on Everwood or David Caruso on CSI Miami)?
Julian McMahon, no doubt. But a better question would be, who is the hottest woman over 40 on TV? Oh wait, there aren't any? Interesting.
6. What takes better photographs, film or digital?
Film. Is there really any doubt about that?
7. Didn’t chemo-bald Melissa Etheridge mop the fucking floor with Joss Stone singing “Piece Of My Heart” by Janis Joplin at the Grammys?
Abso-fucking-lutely. I wanted to lick Melissa's gorgeous, sexy, fabulously bald head.
8. If you watch the HBO show Carnivale, what the FUCK is going on?
Don't watch it, but from what I've gotten from the commercials, no one has a clue.
9. What’s your favorite bad movie of all time (mine is Roadhouse)?
Ah, Labyrinth. David Bowie in tights, oh yeah, baby.
10. What made you start your blog? If you don’t have one, why the hell not?
Secretly, I hoped that a publisher would read it, think I was a genius, and offer to buy my novel. (I almost wrote "buy my soul" right there. It would probably be easier to do that then to sell a novel.)
* That's how I always think of her in my mind, as "Lovely Cecily," as if it were one word. I don't know why, but she definitely is very lovely, so it works for me.
February 16, 2005
I also made a doctor's and a dentist's appointment. Why, you might ask? Because the Navy does not own a map.
According to the Navy, when a family is transferred overseas, each member must have a physical, updated vaccinations, and a dental exam. This is presumably so that if you move to, say, Nigeria, you will be prepared to be exposed to sleeping sickness, malaria, HIV, and all manner of other unpleasant diseases. (Note that none of those diseases are actually helped by vaccinations, but whatever. We'll pretend that doesn't matter.)
I have to take off work and get all of these things done because we are moving to Hawaii. Because Hawaii is technically "over the sea," it is considered "overseas." Never mind that malaria and polio are pretty much impossible to get in Hawaii, or that Hawaii has one of the largest and most advanced hospitals available to the military on it. If it's got an ocean between us and it, it's full of nasty foreigners who want to spread their yucky germs to us Americans. So I have to go get innumerable needles poked into my arms tomorrow night, and then get my teeth scraped next Wednesday, and if I ever find out who decided Hawaii was a foreign country, I'm going to kick their xenophobic little ass.
* My dog is basking in reflected glory right now. If you watched the Westminster Dog Show last night, you saw this dog win Best in Show. My dog looks exactly like her, except red instead of brown.
February 15, 2005
And now back to our regularly scheduled post...
I quit my job this morning. That's right, we'd damn well better be moving to Honolulu in 45 days, because I am officially going to be unemployed in six short weeks. My boss had a terrible cold, and this is our busiest month of the year, so I hated to quit on her, but I just couldn't keep it a secret any more. So I resigned, and she took it well, until...
...the girl in the office next to me came in to work twenty minutes later, and she resigned too. I knew she was planning on it, because she's moving to New York, but we had confided in each other and planned to make sure we left at different times so as not to cause a panic in the department. It was a total fluke that we quit on the same day. In fact, I intended to catch her when she came in that morning and let her know I'd quit in case the boss wanted to talk to her about taking over my job. But I had to pee, and she managed to sneak in while I was in the bathroom and resign. Whoops.
So, soon I'll be free! No more damned near-bankruptcy nonprofit work for me! I'll be working for myself, with plenty of time left over to write the great American novel and make my agent a very rich woman!
Except that my boss asked me if I'd be willing to telecommute part-time, and the idea of having a steady income is very tempting. Shit.
February 13, 2005
I gave him an electric guitar. You see, the King loves music, particularly rock and heavy metal. However, he has never picked up an instrument before. He declared early last year that he had always wanted to learn to play guitar, so I decided to indulge him. Woe is me.
The thing is, I forgot that my dear husband has NO PATIENCE. None whatsoever. He is the least patient person in the universe. You don't want to see him in line at the gas station, it's ugly.
Therefore, yesterday afternoon, when he had been plunking away on his shiny new guitar for an hour and hadn't yet mastered the A chord, much less Stairway to Heaven, he was a very, very frustrated man. I tried to tactfully remind him that I've played the piano for two years and only know Ode to Joy and Bach's Minuet, but that didn't seem to help. The ghost of Jimi Hendrix was floating over my husband's head and taunting him.
It was a long and stressful day. In the end, the guitar, somewhat shockingly, did not get thrown through a window, but it has been carefully placed on its stand, where we agreed it will stay until he can schedule some lessons with someone who, I dearly hope, knows the easy version of Stairway to Heaven.
February 10, 2005
Usually, I put about one book to press per month. Tomorrow, I have to do four in one day. It's a tad stressful. However, I've come up with some helpful imagery to get through it.
Imagine the four books are four cows. The four cows and I are standing in a very big, fenced-in field. There is a chute at the end of the field, and my job is to herd all the cows through the chute and off to the slaughterhouse.
So, I start waving my arms and jumping up and down, shouting at the cows. They all start moving around, some walking, some running, some heading toward the chute, some running the wrong way. So I begin darting around, first running to one cow and giving it a healthy shove in the right direction (thus getting the proofs to the author for their okay). Then I run to another cow and get it going toward the chute. It flies there! It's a well-written, easy-to-understand cow with a fairly sane author who doesn't want to give me a nervous breakdown, and it returns its proofs before the deadline and plops itself right in front of the chute, ready to walk on through. I pet this cow a lot, because it's so nice.
So it goes, with me, the poor editor, herding my cows ever closer to the chute, some slow, some fast, but all generally going the right direction, with occasional slips to the side or backward, if the typesetter's computer crashes and kills half the files or the author goes on an unexpected vacation without telling me.
Then we get to this morning. This morning, one of my cows not only took off running the wrong way, but it leaped over the fence and took off through the neighbor's cornfield, along with the author's proofs which he said he somehow never received, even though the book is supposed to be finished tomorrow. And despite the three other mostly well-behaved cows doing well, that cow was the one that made me cry.
I'm now off to tell my director of publications that the cow has escaped, and then I have to go get my lasso. Wish me luck.
February 09, 2005
So, I had anticipated that I would start my period about a week after he got home, having ovulated two weeks ago, which would allow us to try Clomid, have brilliant success, and have a bouncing baby girl next November, perfect for timing our move and not being too close to Christmas.
Naturally, this plan has completely gone to shit. My newfound talent for ovulating seems to have dried up, as it hasn't happened yet, and thus I'm not on the rag, and thus there has been no Clomid-eating/screwing/birthing-not-too-near-Christmas. (Well, okay, there has been screwing, but just for fun, not for conception.) Which is really pissing me the fuck off.
The King absolutely insists that any and all children we have not have birthdays in late December, which means if I don't start a new cycle soon, we'll have to wait another month at least to put the theoretical child's birthday past Christmas and into January. Grr.
Of course, it's pretty much pointless of me to obsess about this, because the Clomid won't work and I won't get pregnant anyway, but it would be a nice change to be able to obsess about an actual possibly-baby-producing two week wait for the first time ever, instead of obsessing about the fact that my period continues to insist on not appearing.
February 07, 2005
We also need to do our taxes, by which I mean I need to do our taxes. They are a nightmare because I am partially self-employed, we itemize, and we're residents of different states. So it sucks. I've always done them myself (except one year when I went to the "free tax expert" at Quantico, and all I have to say about that is you get what you pay for), and this year I'm thinking about either buying Turbo Tax or going to a preparer.
So, does anyone know about how much H&R Block charges? I could just call them and ask, but I really, really hate calling businesses, so I'd rather someone out there tell me. I will do almost anything to avoid calling Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, or any of the other million companies who send us bills for things that are frequently wrong. I hate hold music, and operators who transfer you nine times, twice to themselves, and dealing with other people in general. I love those automated phone answering services that ask you to push 1, then 3, then 2342347, as long as they give you the information you want. If you want something other than one of their eleven options, you're shit outta luck, because not only will it take you three hours to get a real person on the phone, that person won't be able to help you.
February 01, 2005
10:48 am, 2/1: His flight left 18 minutes late from Paris this morning, but they're scheduled to arrive one minute early, which means I have just over two hours until he lands. I managed to get to the store and get roses, a balloon, and beer (and some sleeping pills to help with the crazy time change), which took FOREVER. Can I say something totally un-PC? I love it that developmentally disabled people are able to get jobs nowadays and have full, satisfying lives. They deserve it. But when I am in a hurry at the grocery store and there is only ONE checker, that one checker should be able to move at full speed. It should not take TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES to check out the one person in line ahead of me. I'm not kidding. Okay, now I must go change the sheets and dig my makeup out of the back of the medicine cabinet. Ooh, and vacuum. Shit.
7:44 am, 2/1: It's today! It's today! Presuming he didn't somehow get lost in De Gaulle airport (which is certainly possible; that place is a nightmare), the King should now be in the air over Spain, or possibly the Atlantic Ocean, on his way home. I'm already taken a shower and shaved my legs (and other unmentionable places [oops, I mentioned them!]). Now I've got seven hours to get to the store and buy beer and flowers, vacuum the house one more time, finish a freelancing job I've got going on, and, um, oh yeah, work. Because I was lame and didn't take the day off, thinking "Oh, he's not getting home until 3 pm, that's plenty of time to work in the morning!" Which is why I spent last night proofreading instead of watching nine reruns of Friends.
5:35 pm, EST, 2/1: He's on his way! I just got an e-mail from the King, and he is no longer in Afganistan. According to Delta's website, he is currently winging his way over the Middle East on the way to Paris, seven minutes ahead of schedule. I cannot even tell you how stupid I looked doing a little happy dance in front of my computer just now. Leaving Afganistan is the worst part of the trip. There are no commercial airlines allowed to fly there, so he had to take a UN transport, and there is the whole shooting-down-planes-with-shoulder-launched-missiles thing to worry about. So I'm very, very happy that part is over, and per the previous post, I was totally serious about the drunken hot wing eating. Because we're just classy like that.
Please go visit Grrl and Lilysea and write your congresspeople, because I don't have the mental capacity today, because THE KING IS COMING HOME TOMORROW! In less than twenty-four hours, his plane will be touching down at Dulles Airport (assuming they aren't delayed, of course), and in about twenty-five hours, his cab will be pulling up in front of our house and discharging my husband into my very happy arms. I will be pelting him with roses and homecoming gifts and, after he brushes his teeth, many sloppy kisses. And then we'll go to Hooters, eat hot wings, get drunk, and have sex. It will be a perfect day.
(And I'm hoping to blog it semi-live--I'll definitely be around in the morning to let you know if his flight is on time, and to let loose a stream of cusswords worthy of a sailor [oh, the irony, as he's in the Navy!] if it isn't.)
January 30, 2005
After that, I spent some years not really thinking about faith or believing in God. This last year, however, I’ve been experimenting with Wiccanism. I love the idea of communing with nature as a way of worship. I love the tactility of candles and incense and water and wine, and kneeling in the dark while someone mutters an incantation. Ironically, all of these are important both in Wiccan rituals and Catholic ones.
My quiz results showed me to be 100% liberal Protestant—I guess I haven’t gotten as far away from the beliefs I was raised on as I thought. I’m also 98% Unitarian Universalist—I’ve always been drawn to UU, but there’s never been a church in my town. I’m only 17% Roman Catholic, which surprised me; I figured that would still rank pretty high on my list. I was a little disappointed to only be 73% Neo-Pagan. I guess that’s because all the non-nature stuff lots of Wiccans use, like crystals and Tarot cards, just make me want to laugh. I admit, I’m not a very good Wiccan. Much as I want to worship nature, I’m actually not a very nature-y person. I hate camping. I’m not fond of bugs or dirt, and I love room service.
I turned out 34% Jainist, whatever that is. Apparently Jainists believe that after you reach enlightenment, you become a god. Cool.
You would think that my mother’s Alzheimer’s would have pushed me back toward some kind of religion, so that I could believe in some afterlife where we will get to be together again someday, but it hasn’t. I wonder about that sometimes—maybe it means I really am an atheist, although I hope not. I want to believe in God, I just can’t seem to. And the rules of every religion I’ve tried just make me laugh—I always want to ask, “Do you really think God’s that petty?” I want to want to be a part of a nice, cozy congregation, but I just can’t. I guess I’ll go light a candle and try to meditate on the snow.
January 29, 2005
January 27, 2005
I'm not feeling particularly merciful today because my sister rode that very train for many years, and only stopped a few months ago when she changed jobs. She could easily have been killed. Perhaps instead of putting this guy out of his misery, we could keep him restrained so he can't hurt himself for the rest of his life, and let him live with untreated depression and whatever other psychoses he may have. I realize that in real life, that's more or less what will happen, given the slowness of the judicial system, but maybe a friendly judge could make it official at the trial.
January 26, 2005
Comcast representative: Hold on.
[Fifteen minutes pass]
Me: Um, are you still there?
Rep: Yeah. Hold on.
[Ten minutes pass]
Me: Hello? Anyone?
Rep: Yeah. Is your modem plugged in?
Rep [typing]: I'm running a scan of your system. Is the standby light blinking?
Me: There is no standby light.
Rep: Huh? What do you mean, no standby light?
Me: No. Standby. Light.
Rep: Um, well, push the button on the modem.
Me: The modem doesn't have any buttons.
Rep: No buttons? Um, hold on. [type type type] I'm showing that everything is fine with your system.
Me: Well, it was just running slow, but now I seem to have no Internet access whatsoever. Good job on that. [Bitter rage begins to swell within my heaving breast.]
Rep: Yeah, we'll have to send out a tech. I have an appointment available next Tuesday. But really, as far as I can tell, everything is fine.
[My shrieks of impotent rage fill the atmosphere.]
Me: Tuesday will be fine.