Staring Down the Barrel of a (Hot Glue) Gun

Sometimes your mind can be so open that your brain falls out.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Letdown

My Husband being who he is, knows somebody who just happens to work with the head of the Encrenology Department at Stanford, spoke with him yesterday, and managed to get me an appointment to see him this morning. For this not-so-little token of love, I am truly grateful.


My instincts have been telling me that there are just too many 'symptoms' that I have that can be explained away in many other ways, not least of which being genetics, having borne a child, and just not spending 20 hours a week at the gym with a personal trainer and nutritionist (fuck you, Madonna.) On the other hand, the crazy headaches and the debilitating fatigue I have no explanation for, nor for the test results which are off the charts.

So I went to see the Doctor. I felt something like a sham walking on the hallowed grounds of Stanford, which does have a beautiful campus, if you've never been. The staff I encountered were super nice. Not a single hassle or hiccup the whole time I was there. Timely service. Pretty much a stellar medical experience, as my track record goes. Some underling doctor to The Doctor came in and gave me a pretty thorough once over (her bad luck that I wore my stinkiest shoes today,) and I could tell that there were no immediate signs of 'Aha! Yes! Definitely!' The Doctor arrived and did a similar exam, asking me nearly identical questions. That went pretty quick. He basically told me that no, I don't obviously have any signs of this particular condition, although the test results *do* show something is wrong. He signed me up for a battery of tests to be redone at the on-site labs, including many of the same I just had done yesterday for my regular doctor, AND the same 24 hour pee test again.

I kind of sat there quietly, and he paused to ask if I was mad at my husband. I answered truthfully no, I appreciated that Husband was trying to be helpful, and that this just came from concern, but that I really did not have much hope that this was what was really wrong. I got an appointment for two weeks from today, and then he left.

I sat in the exam room for about 10 minutes afterwards with my head in my hands, feeling pretty deflated and defeated and even more like a sham. While it was by no means a suprise to me that I wasn't a textbook case of this particular syndrom, golly- to say it would've been nice to finally have a fixable problem would be the understatement of the year. I'm guessing that they can't recreate the test results, and that this'll all end up just being some sort of lab error. And if its a lab error as opposed to something I did, I shouldn't feel embarrassed to be doing all this, but I still do.

I had lunch in the cafeteria before having my blood drawn, and saw signs for the Children's Hospital. For a brief moment I actually managed to feel gratitude that that's not why I was here; having to be a parent sitting next to the bedside of a severely ill Mags, holding her hand while she was hooked up to machines and tubes. My heart wentr out to all those parents, and then onward to all the family members who were there looking after a loved one. Then I went and buried my head in the Datebook sectionof the Chronicle and pretended everything was fine until I had stuffed it good and far away.

I'm back at home now, having lost most of my day, and I'm getting ready to head out to help a friend work on some costumes. I'll try to put on a good face instead of weeping all over the appliques, and maybe I'll even succeed. Husband and Mags will be leaving tonight to go to the ranch for the weekend, leaving me ALONE to actually get something accomplished this break and to just be ALONE. Did I mention I'll be ALONE?


Well, I just cried all over rthe keyboard. Fuck I'm disappointed. I REALLY wanted the doctor to at least point to something and say something like, "Well you may not have this, but I think it might be this." I wanted a magic bullet in the form of ANY diagnosis so that I could start to actually fix stuff instead of being strung along in limbo while we wait for test results, AGAIN, that may or may not help. I wanted to be able to wave my little piece of paper in the air and say "See mom, I'm not a shitty daughter! I'm actually sick and having a rough time!" Hell, I wanted to be able to say that to myself, instead of having to battle the feelings that I'm not just being a big pussy who needs to buck up and just deal. Instead I'm ending up with more "Well, maybe"s, absolutely no new news on the headaches or fatigue, and an even stronger personal sense that I'm just a bitter mom with low self esteem who's just obsessing about the realities of having a child and is being overly narcisistic about her image -- and I don't even know where to stick the headaches or fatigue in all of that self loathing.


And they're off!

Good morning, sports fans, and welcome to another exciting race day here at Harrison Meadows. We've got an excellent event planned for you today, promising no end of excitement and suspense!

Racing today, in no particular order, will be:

'Getting Ranchy With It' Maxham -- the oldest of todays entries, this workhorse was bred and raised in the wild and wooly Texas frontier. Can this aging beast, already used once at the stud farm, maintain his household lead? Or will the loss of his (pony) tail sap his strength like Sampson and send him to the glue factory?

'Your Mom' Maxham -- raised on an odd diet of white bread and Spaghetti-O's in the Midwest, that hasn't stopped this mare from taking her place in the West Coast race. Well out of foaling season, her long legs promise to take her all over the place; day care, school, and the grocery store.

'Gonna Have A Good Time Tonight' Maxham -- this filly comes into her own, often breaking out of her sire's shadow to do her best running - in the nude. Will her toddler vigor be enough to take todays race and earn her a title of 'Goddammit, come back here!' ?

The starting bell goes off. Your Mom struggles to consciousness in bed while -- wait a second, Getting Ranchy has been up and out of bed a good 30 minutes before the bell went off, arranging a doctor's appointment. It looks like he's actually turning around to get the other two contenders into the race! Wow! Now what is he doing? He's crawling into bed with Your Mom! Oh, this is really gonna slow them down this morning, Jeff. Around the corner comes A Good Time, but she seems to be dragging. Oh no! Now she's turned back as well, and is headed straight for her own stable. Getting Ranchy steers A Good Time back into bed with your Mom, and it seems that the whole race has come to a screeching halt for the moment.

It looks like things are back under way! All three contestants head downstairs and -- this is odd, the filly is riding on the mare's BACK. Unheard of! A Good Time is dropped on the couch and Your Mom heads for the kitchen. Getting Ranchy takes a side trip and saddles up to the computer. It looks like Your Mom is trying to edge to the bathroom, but suddenly Getting Ranchy leaps up and hands her the ringing phone. Oh, this is gonna cost her some serious time this morning! Now there's A Good Time in the bathroom with Your Mom, who is managing to juggle the phone and the filly who stole the toilet at the same time -- with her legs crossed! Getting Ranchy seems to still be grazing at the computer.

This is getting really exciting! Your Mom has tossed the phone onto the couch and a bowl of cereal onto the table and is in a dead run down the hallway! So far its gonna be A Good Time in the lead, with breakfast already running down her chin, followed by Your Mom who's peeing like a racehorce in the bathroom, and in the office is Getting Ranchy who is engrossed with the rest of today's race schedule on his screen. Now A Good Time is jockeying about some stuffed animals while Your Mom tries to peel her out of the cat costume she's been wearing for nearly three days and herd her into something clean. And it looks like - it looks like - yes! Your Mom has suceeded and both are barreling into the office, eyes wide and nostrils flared. And look! A suprise comeback from Getting Ranchy as he vaults over the office chair and meets the other two coming down the home stretch towards the front door. Its neck and neck now folks! Tension fills the air! Who will win this morning race?!?

The screen door bangs open amidst a cloud of dust and a chorus of goodbyes as Getting Ranchy and A Good Time careen through the courtyard, leaving Your Mom panting in their wake. As she staggers back into the house, she declares victory all around and heads to the shower for a cool down.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


I was at one of my favorite stores yesterday - SCRAP in San Francisco - and was struck by inspiration. One of the myriad of types of materials donated there are vinyl banners, kind of like you see covering billboards, or the outsides of buildings or somesuch. The ones I found were smaller; more the "Welcome to Downtown", hanging from a lightpost sized variety. They're super multi-colored, crazy funky, and durable as all hell. Might be a *bit* stiff, but I don't care. I went ahead and bought them because a) I have decided to focus on just making garments from recycled fabrics/materials, b) this just screamed raincoat to me, and c) they were only $2 each, so even if I never get around to it (ahem,) I'm only out $6 total. Whoo hoo! And, everything you buy at SCRAP is considered a donation, and is tax-deductable! Wow, justification city, here I come!! Oh, and if my custom, recycled clothing line ever happens, I'm thinking about calling it "Againables". I like the way it sounds.

Now, to add 'design raincoat' to my to-do list. :)

Double oh! Check it out! The banner is a huge EYEBALL! Hahahahaha! Perfect! I thought it might be, but it wasn't really visible until I took the picture. Even standing there with the camera to my eye, I didn't see it! Brilliant! I bought three huge eyeball banners! Can I maybe use them as part of a structure at BM before chopping them up into little raincoat sized pieces? Hmmmm....

Off the Charts

Yes, more proof, in fact, that I never EVER do anything in half measures.

I went to the doctor yesterday, and got the results back from my 24-hour pee test I took last month. The first thing I said when I walked in was, "I hope you found something wrong," to which my doctor replied, "Well, actually, we did find something wrong." I cheered. What a relief to finally have a specific problem to fix! (I'm sure by cheering the doctor thought there was probably more than one problem to fix suddenly, but to each their own.)

We sat down in the comfy leather seats in front of his desk, and he slapped the 5 pages of test results down in front of us. This is a very comprehensive test, covering all sorts of mysterious hormonal, steroid and thyroid levels, some of which the doctor confessed he was somewhat unfamiliar with as they were somewhat new. Lots of 25+ letter words; that sort of thing. He gave me a bit of general explanation for the test, and then he lept right into page two: the Highly Irregular Test Results.

This was the steroid page. DHEA, testosterone, cortisone, and all varying flavors of the above. Well, so, apparently in all things cortisol related, I broke all sorts of records. There are reference ranges for each of the 20-ish items tested (blah 153-827 or the like,) to which *my* results came back looking more like 2558. In fact, 90% of my results came back - no lie - 2-5x their normal range. The sum of a particular grouping of results was supposed to fall between 5-9000; mine was approximately 21K. The lab actually made a note that they ran the entire test twice because of the crazy results, and still came up with the same time. They even went so far as to call my doctor and ask about my background, 'cause they'd never encountered test results like this before. My doctor admitted he'd never seen results like this before either.

I admit I did a lot of laughing; c'mon, the results were so ridiculous. How could you not? However, if they are correct (and I need to go take some very specific blood tests to confirm them,) chances are may have something called hypercortisolism, or Cushing's syndrome. Its caused by either the pituitary gland sending non-stop 'produce cortisol!' messages to the adrenal gland (instead of just as needed,) or the adrenal gland has just taken it upon itsself to keep cranking the stuff out unasked. If the blood tests confirm the results, then both of these glands will have to be tested for benign tumors that would cause this reaction. If there were tumors, they'd have to be removed via surgery or radiation, depending on which gland had the tumor(s). Cheery, eh? Nothing life threatening, but if untreated could lead to diabetes, among other things. Some of the symptoms for this, one asks? Weight gain, central obesity, headaches, fatigue, and depression, to name a few. Hmmmm...

Husband is a bit worked up about all this, in direct contrast to my snickering and bragging about my ridiculous and hard to believe results. Not crap-your-pants panicking, but he's been doing a lot of research on line since I came home yesterday. He also thinks there's a possibility that by running at 4000 rpm all the time like I am prone to do, I've actually stressed myself sick. The suggestion of slowing down at school again has even landed on the table. He's just a little bit worried. (Note to self - jokes about possibly dying, no matter how small and teasingly delivered, are not appreciated by him right now.)

So, now to go get more tests and wait. I have to admit I feel silly even writing about all this. Nothing has been confirmed. This syndrom is probably a worst case scenario. And it feels like most the symptoms are a bit too vague to not possibly be attested to any number of other things, having a child being one of them. That, and I pride myself on being a ridiculously healthy person 95% of the time. But, this is what the doctor has come up with, so I might as well jot it down somewhere.

Now I need to go, because I need to replant the front yard, clean the entire first floor of our house, run 20 errands, not take a nap, obsess over lists of things I'm not getting accomplished, and probably miss a meal or two while I'm at it. Can't you tell I'm on break between quarters at school? Geez!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I just got an email from St. Vincent de Paul telling me that the zipper blew out of my dress *again*, and would I be able to fix it?

Why is this dress haunting me? I guess better now than at the de Young Museum, but still. Knock it off, already!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Round Three

Goddamn, this is just the cold that would not die! I can feel it coming back, making my throat sore, my nose run, my ears hurt and just dragging me down in general. Enough already!

No, I've not been to a doctor, because it'll take a few days to get an appontment anyhow, he'll say "Yep, you're sick," which I already knew, and then he might prescribe something that may or may not make any difference at all, Not enough incentive to chop several hours out of one of my precious days off. Just wish I wasn't relapsing during finals.

I originally got this cold about a month ago. I'm pretty sure I picked it up from merely reading Mer's blog about how *her* whole family was laid low by it, although I'm willing to entertain the slim chance it came home from daycare. Ah, the joys of a full-blown sinus infection, and the non-stop snarking sound that accompanies that. So attractive! It flared back up again when zombiegrrl was in town, although she claims that *I* gave it to *her* (some women and their revisionist history -- what can you do?) Let's just say you could've gone golfing with my tonsils (preferably after removing them first.)

But this last round? Oh, it was delivered on the wings of an angel. You should have been there. My own, sweet Mags, held aloft in my arms. Her hands sweetly cup my cheeks. Her eyes gaze into mine. She gently presses down on my chin, and I soften my jaw to open my mouth. She leans in, love shining from her eyes, and I relax into what I am certain will be a big smooch from my loving daughter.

And then she promtly - and very deliberately - hacked an enormous cough directly into my mouth.

Mer was there; she can attest to this entire scene. That is, if she could stop laughing long enough. Seems she's developed a bad case of schadenfreude.

Maybe she should see a doctor about that.

Take THAT! (thwack!)

Husband sent a link out to an article published by the Christian Science Monitor (hey, that's almost an oxymoron!) to one of our parenting chat lists. It really went to town on Baby Loves Disco, decrying its many dangers, as supported by many People of Authority. Read the ridiculous piece of work here.


My disco-loving panties got so tangled up over this, I actually sat down and wrote a letter to the Editor, which I don't think I've ever done in my life before (this fact may be a good indicator of my priorities, but a girl's gotta start somewhere.)

I doubt my letter will reach anyone's eyes via print or monitor as I way overshot their meager 200 word limit, but it felt good to write anyhow.

Here's also a great blog entry about it:

Post Script: This only made me slightly completely behind on working on my finals.


I've only been to the San Francisco venue of Baby Loves Disco. However, the events I've attended have not been about bringing children 'up to speed' with an adult lifestyle, but about creating a huge playgroup-like space in a venue where parents are not driven out of their minds by marauding cartoon characters and loud, endless children's music.

There's nothing that happens at these afternoon excursions that wouldn't happen in people's homes: listening to non-kid music (and we're not talking death metal here, but DISCO,) kids eating goldfish crackers and drinking from juice boxes, playing with hula hoops, beach balls, and play scarves, and yes, the *occasional* parent having a beer. How exactly is this 'encouraging parents into turning children into mini adults'? Music is at a talkable level. Spankings are avoided, not sought after. Sippy cups are not being filled with hooch. Toddlers are not sporting the latest in thong diaper technology. Strippers are not in charge of stroller parking. Truly, I think the worst thing about BLD is that it falls directly during nap time.

While pointing out many shortcomings of this one particular venue, the article also fails to mention a *huge* safety measure: no adults are allowed into the event without a child, and I believe there may be a 2 adult per child ratio as well. These are not spaces random people off the street can just walk into. Nor do parents cease to be responsible adults once they are inside these clubs, crazed by shiny mirrored balls and a Corona or two.

BLD is not about 'not setting boundaries with your children' but is instead about having the whole family together for an afternoon in a day and age where many children are slapped in front of the television by parents citing, "Not now, dear, I'm busy." And choosing Los Angeles out of all 16 cities to represent what Baby Loves Disco entails seems like a convenient way to distort and vilify what is nothing more than spending time with the kids.

By the way, does the author even have children?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Things I *would* blog about

if I wasn't competely exhausted:

* being mistaken for both a pregnant woman and a man in the same week.
* the home stretch for finishing another quarter at school.
* glorious day at the beach with Mags.
* Mags evident excitement by a 3 month old baby.
* driving home fom San Francisco with the gas light on and the realization that I did not have my wallet with me.
* watching the 5 year old neighbor boy teaching Mags rugby plays.
* Mags' subsequent "Shit!" outburst when said rugby ball hit her.
* evil Husband's dastadly werewolf maneuver at game day.
* the dangers of my Craigslist obsession.
* my new, oversized, 540 page Taschen book full of full-color natural history plates (drool)

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thank god for Husband

Husband forwarded me his respnse to a Washington Post article about the emerging trend of people staying mostly within their social class to get married. Attention whore or not, it warmed my heart to hear again how much he loves me, and was an especially soothing balm after feeling bruised from the latest email lobbed at me by my mom.

I heart you too, Hunny Bunny -- even when you are using my air. ;)


I don't want to call it dating down, but I came from an upper-middle-class background in Dallas (my mom was one of the first women to graduate from SMU law), while my wife's family is distinctly blue-collar Milwaukee. I have three degrees and my wife has none, although she's in school now.

My previous girlfriend had a Ph.D. and an M.D., but the relationship
never had that spark.

My wife is awesome. She has her pilot's licenses (all the way up
through commercial), and trained as an aviation mechanic as well. She
is creative and clever; she writes well, she designs clothing; she rode
her bike from SF to LA once. She bore our daughter without painkillers.
:) She is a terrific mom.

We share a lot of values, which is why I think the relationship works
so well, but they're not what I think of as class-values: honesty,
responsibility, not taking life too seriously ... I guess frugality
could be considered related to class. She learned it by necessity
growing up, and I don't know where I got it.

Deciding she wasn't 'from the right background' would have been the
biggest mistake of my life.

Bad daughter! Bad! No treat for you!

I do so love being hit with an electronic rolled-up newspaper first thing in the moring. Oh, and here, let me grind your nose in this emotional mess you made here on the floor, too.

Mags' 3rd birthday is a mere month away. This normally entails the annual Grandparent (Airplane) Winged Migration to California to lay gold, frankencense and mirrh at the child's Ked-clad feet. And while there's always stress involved with having extra people around - more so with familial types - I was actually sort of looking forward to it this year because Mags is finally old enough to get it and really enjoy it. God knows she's done nothing but talk about her birthday since last October when she went to her first real cake/balloons/bouncy house party. My god. How had she possibly lived her first two and a half years without this Disney-themed bliss? How would she live the next six months until it was her turn?

But there is already a toy wrench in the cogs of this birthday Erector set. This morning I received a polite email from my mother saying that she and her husband would be unable to attend Mags' birthday - nay, visit us in Cali this spring at all - and would we be so kind as to please give her a hug and kiss for them? So, where's the problem there? one might ask. Is it unreasonable to think they might not have other plans? To quote Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "How do I bullshit thee? Let me count the ways:"

* Excuse #1: I have a doctors appointment on April 4th I've been waiting months to get. Weel, ok. Fair enough.

* Excuse #2: Aunt Margaret is having Easter at her house and we're driving Grandma, so we can't come then. (alarm sounds) Ok, my mom really can't stand her sister Margaret, so much so that - get this - she refuses to call my daughter by her name and only calls her by her initials because - and she told my aunt this to her face - her name makes her think of my aunt, and that makes her sick to her stomach. No lie, folks. And now she can't wait to race over there for Easter? Oh, and by the way, there are 8 siblings; suddenly my mother is the ONLY person who can pick up my grandmother?

* Excuse #3: We are going to be at a convention in Missouri on Mags' birthday, and we'll be driving back afterwards; don't know how long we'll be travelling. (alarm sounds) Wow, this is where the shit really starts to stink. It's not as if mom doesn't know exactly when her granddaughter's birthday is and all but considers it a holy day. Nor is it like my mother to not call before hand and say something like, "Are you celebrating M's birthday this year? Are you having people out? There's this other thing we'd like to do that might conflict..." or something along those lines. Slippped your mind, did it? Not f***ing likely.

* Excuse #4: This is more subtle. Not really an excuse; you've just got to know my mom. In her email, she never once mentions Husband or myself. The entire letter is how much they are saddended by having to miss Mags' birthday, and how they'll be sending her gifts along, she's glad Husband's mom will be there, please give big hugs and kisses, etc. We don't exist. No we'll miss seeing you, how have you been, can we make alternate plans -- nothing.

There are other things too. I emailed her a week ago asking if she had made her plans to come out, and never heard back. When Husband called her over the weekend to follow up, there was no mention of ANY of this plethora of possible conflicts.

I am really really beyond tired of this bullshit. The silent treatment? Distant and polite communication via email? Are we really doing this again? I feel like she's trying to punish me, and its RIDICULOUS! I'll be honest, there is a part of me that is happy she's not coming out -- I break out in a rash when having to host (certain) people for lengths of time. But I was actually looking forward to having the grandparents out this time. Mags is old enough to appreciate her birthday, as well as her grandparents, who she knows by name and ask about without promting every now and then. How much fun would they have all had together? Does my mom not see that the only people who are really going to feel the brunt of this are herself and Mags? THAT'S what makes me angriest about all this bullshit! Arg!

For the record, it is true that I have not spoken with my mom since December-ish, and I think that's what's got her panties jammed so far up her butt. Nor did I call her on her birthday. Never mind that we've had talks about how I am a shitty communicator and to please not take it personally in the past. Never mind that she was included in an email in early January explaining that I was not well and I would be incommunicado for a while (which she did not respond to.) Never mind that NO ONE has heard from me in forever. Never mind that she didn't acknowledge the stack of 60 photos of Mags she recently received. Never mind that she hasn't tried to contact me to ask what's going on or say that she was feeling hurt or even, hey how are things on your end.

No, no. Let's just leap right into hurt silence AGAIN, with the understanding that she has been WRONGED somehow, and I SHOULD KNOW why she is upset and should be the one to instigate the repairs. Look, mom, we're both GROWN WOMEN with (gasp!) lives. And if you're feeling hurt, or confused, or uncertain, or angry, fucking SAY SOMETHING ALREADY! People have feelings! Maybe they stem from real actions, or a miscommunication, or, or whatever, but not talking about them is doing more damage than anything else, and it sure as shit makes me want to talk to you less and less for fear of stepping on yet another invisible toe!

(smashes forhead onto keyboard repeatedly)

I swear, when Mags gets older and we hit our 'troubled mother/daughter' phase (although if we could avoid it I would be eternally grateful,) we're not gonna do this silent treatment BS. If anything, I'll irritate the crap out of her by being a big California hippie and always wanting to talk about our feelings. This 'you're a bad daughter' vibe is beyond ridiculous.

Friday, March 09, 2007


I confess. I took a home pregancy test just now. After the run in at the store, I felt compelled to check when I got back home (boobs have been a little hurty lately.)

Anyhow, I peed on the stick, and waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing. I'm assuming this means that the stick was a dud or expired or something, because you're supposed to get at least one line (negative) if not two (positive.) Not getting anything was a little like shaking a Magic 8 Ball and seeing "Ask again later".


Well, at least it's not just me.

I ran into a woman I casually knew from our local grocery store today. She's a nanny now, and was pushing around a stroller with a toddler in it. We chatted about her new charge briefly, and then she asked, "And you're going to have another one too?"

"No," I corrected her, patting my tummy, and ruefully smiled. "I wish." She immediately appologized, and I told her it was no big deal, 'cause really, for whatever reason, today it wasn't. Sure, I then strolled into Safeway and picked up an Oprah magazine and a bag of jelly beans (which lost their appeal after about a dozen -- bleck!), but I didn't immediately come home and burst into tears, which is my normal coping mechanism.

I'm not really gonna rant about lapses in social graces, or anything like that. I dunno. Today it was weird; I whine to myself about eternally looking four months pregnant all the time, and it was almost a relief to hear someone else sorta confirm it for me. Made me feel less like I was losing my mind.

It did cement my new wardrobe plan: I am seriously going to start shopping in the maternity section at Target from now on. Because really, that's the shape my body is. Yes, I've put on weight in the usual areas, but mostly its just my abdomen that sticks out, starting way up at the bottom of my ribcage. At least that way, I won't be bulging out of clothes build for people with much more evenly distributed weight.

Maternity clothes. Ok, maybe I will have a quick cry.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Rant and, well, more Rant!

I spent the last 20 minutes at the library composing a huge gripe to the comment box about the lack of a designated quiet area after 7pm. I think I did a fairly good job of being civil about it, and right now, I don't really care even if I wasn't. I just wasted an hour and a half at the library, AND I nearly lost the meager amount of work I did manage to accomplish because the library security system for some reason would not let me save my work from the computer to my memory stick flash drive-y thing. I had to print it out (quick! Scramble to see if you have any loose change for the copy fee!) which means I get to retype it all now that I'm home. So take that, library personel! Feel the wrath of my pen! Ha HA!

Plus, when I got home, Husband was jsut launching into what appeared to be the begining of a lengthy, let's-catch-up phone call at his desk -- not 10' from mine. For the most part, any other night, this would be no biggie. But now I'm feeling even further behind, stressed, and all I want is total silence to get lost in (in his defense, he immediately moved into the bathroom and closed the door when I asked him to please hold the conversation somewhere else. I appreciate it, Husband, even if I could in no way vocalize it at the time. Smooch.)

I may just have to *not* work on this for about 30 minutes until I calm down and can actually focus again. Oooh, maybe a cookie.....

Gritting my teeth

Ok, so maybe I'm old. But I remember when libraries were something of a sacred place; a hallowed ground to go and meditate over books. And by meditate, I mean there was QUIET.

But I'm sitting in the public library trying to hammer out a paper for school, and I'm realizing I'd actually be getting more accopmplished at home with a near 3-year old running around tugging at me. Christ, this place is loud! Really, its nothing but teenagers checking their MySpace accounts, talking on their cell phones, and just being loud in general. Where are the wizened librarians, swooping down out of their perches on high, dusty shelves to chastize, threaten and expel those who dared break the silence?

Even more ridiculous is the fact that the library has a quiet study section (yay!) but it closes at 7pm (wtf?) Since when wasn't the entire library a silent study section, and if they're going to have one, what can possibly be the reason for closing it EVER? What, people don't need to study or concentrate after dinner?

Yes, I have a large, book-shaped chip on my shoulder about this. I *lived* at the library when I was growing up. I'd walk from my grandmother's house on 58th street all the way up National Avenue to 75th nearly every day of summer vacation, and almost every day after school, both grade- and high-. I'd get a stack of books, find a fairly secluded corner, and curl up into some unnatural position in the armchairs provided and completely lose myself in book after book. More often than not I'd be late for dinner. There was the smell of polish from the real wood floors and banisters, and those incredible card cataolgues (that's a whole other rant I have. I found an amazing array of books just by stumbling across random cards in the catalogue that I otherwise would not have ever discovered - impossible to do on a lifeless COMPUTER.) Bliss! Introvert nirvana! My tribe!

But now when I go to libraries, sure, they might be full of youth/teens, but I'm fairly sure I have yet to see one actually reading a BOOK. The Library is just a place to hang out, like a paper-lined mall. Even if a student actually has to do research for a school project, its just researched on a computer. Books? How very old school.

I want my old library back. I want to step in and feel enveloped in sound-dampening isles of books. I want the security of knowing that there are quiet corners I can curl up in. I miss having librarians who seemed accessable and useful, not just someone sitting behind a desk who looks put out and directs me towards a computer when I need help finding something. Hell, I even miss the sound of the inside of a book's cover being stamped by some pursed-lipped librarian (self-serve check outs? Good grief!)

I'm wrapping up my work now, escorted out of the library by someone's Brittany Spears ringtone, and the image of some 13-year old's MySpace wallpaper (the Playboy bunny symbol, how very appropriate!)

I feel old and crotchety and generation-gap-y. How can I be old enough to be part of a generation gap? I mean, other than between me and my mom's generation? Meh! Where's my walker? God damned whippersnappers!

Husband Story of the Day

As overheard through the bathroom door to Mags

Husband: "See, now if I throw a rock, and you throw paper, then..."

Speaking of Feminine Hygene

Wow. I'm particularly fond of the earrings.

Help a Womens Shelter

Forwarded to me by my aunt. Takes all of 10 seconds to do:

Dear Friends and Family:

You probably never thought of this, but women's shelters in the U.S. go through thousands of tampons and pads monthly. Assistance agencies generally help with expenses of "everyday" necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, and clothing, but one of the most BASIC needs is overlooked - feminine hygiene products. "Every month" necessities seem to have fallen through the -- well, let's just say they've been overlooked.

Seventh Generation, a green paper products and cleaning products company, has a do-good attitude and will donate a box of sanitary products to a women's shelter in your chosen state - just for clicking the link. Talk about easy, and, yes, it is legitimate!

Thanks for helping out. Please pass this on.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Literally makes me sick to my stomach

**Serious warning - you may not want to read this if you have kids or are upset by news stories involving children**

There's a news story right now that all but makes me cry when I read it. So far, as best as officials can figure, a man kidnapped his 8-year old daughter from his estranged husband, rented a small plane, stuck the kid inside, and then crashed them both inside the plane into his ex-mother-in-laws house, killing them both. (I'd put down the link, but this story bothers me so greatly, I just can't.)

4 or 5 years ago, this story would've prompted an intellectually driven reaction along the lines of "Wow, that is really fucked up!" In fact, the reaction may have been even stronger than that, having done a lot of flying myself back in the day, and knowing the sickening, heart-pounding, immediate cold sweat sensation you get when the engine suddenly races from the aircraft being pointed in some unususal attitude, or the sound of the engine dying, or having to make an emergency landing.

But now I have a kid. And as much as I occasionally honestly do want to put her on the corner with a FREE sign taped to her t-shirt, reading this story totally kills me, on a handfull of different levels.

** Stealing your own kid to get back at your ex-wife? Using your child as a pawn?!? To be that out of touch? I just can't grasp it.
** To kill not only yourself, BUT YOUR CHILD AS WELL? And not in any quick and painless sort of way, but by aiming your plane into a building?!?! JEsus, the absolute terror that kid must have felt watching the whole thing unfold. Even an eight year old would get the seriousness of what was happening, and the sound of the plane, and that sense that something was wrong -- I can imagine her screaming.....
** Being the mom, calling the police to report that your child is missing at the same time the police are receiving reports that this mand and child just crashed into a building; having your day start out with "Those socks don't match" and "What do you want for dinner tonight?" and having it end with "Your child is dead from an airplane wreck, most likely at the hands of your ex husband."

What is is about some grown ups?!? It seems like this last year or so has just been full of stories of kids being a bused if not outright killed. I mean FULL. Incredibly freaky and bizarre and over the top and disgusting stories of parents dropping their kids in the SF bay, or killing them and hiding the bodies in the washing machine, or leaving your kids in the snow overnight because they wouldn't stop crying; or foster parents locking their kids up in cages, or the woman who used her 4-month old son like a bat to hit her boyfriend, fracturing his skull; the child abductors and molestors -- this repulsive list just goes on and on.

Husband agrees that all of this is terrible, terrible news, but that there is the possibility that there's actually not an increse in this sort of horrifying activity, but that maybe the media just gets wind of more of it and makes more of it public news; less of it is hidden from the public eye. He may have a point, but it sure doesn't make me any less likely to drop what I'm doing, run over to Mags - even when she's out on the corner wearing her sign - and hold her as tight as I can.

And I know there is part of me that hopes that all those other children can feel that same hug too.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


If my dress form had a face, that's where my punch would've landed.

As it is, my fist just kinda bounced off her upper chest (I'm not stupid enough to punch the metal pole holding her upright.) I dunno that anyone saw me do it, but the noise did riccochet through the classroom pretty impressively. Nor did she fall to the canvas, which I was both happy about and even more frustrated by. Stupid fucking dress form.

She's not even the *right* dress form. Mine has gone missing for two weeks. Every time I mention it to my teacher, she always says, "Oh, I just saw it in room blah blah blah last period," and then I go and look for it - sometimes twice just to make sure I'm not missing something obvious and making a fool of myself - and its never there. Last week she even went to go look, and lo! it wasn't there. Then everyone asks me "Well are you sure you're looking for the right one?" "Maybe she's not a size 10, maybe she's an 8." Well, fuck you all. I know that its supposed to be a size 10 labeled Jane, because I spent an entire class period three weeks ago mumbling "me Tarzan, you Jane." AND because I WROTE IT DOWN.

I spent most of last week running around trying to find this dress form, because you're always supposed to use the same form because they're all made by hand, so there is variations even between all the size 10s, or 8s. or whatever. When fit is important, the dress form is important. But seeing as how this assignment is due TOMORROW, I made due with a fairly-similar-I-no-longer-care size 10 named Bahama Mama, or something like that.

So, I'm trying to drape what appears to be a really simple dress. Strapless, floor-length, something you'd see in a wedding dress magazine. Then why did I punch Booty Baby, you ask? Well, because there are three soft folds/pleats across the bust that are giving me fits. I have asked the teacher for help on this part twice today alone, and I still literally reached the point where my eyes were tearing up with frustration. And punching a defenseless dress form. I am an extremely talented girl! I am smarter than this motherfucking dress!

All I want to do is go home, sleep, have today's migraine magically disappear and possibly not go to class tomorrow. Fuck, I don't want to be here.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Offspring Story of the Day

Me (starting to lose my patience): Come ON, Mags, let's MOVE. One, two....
Mags (smiling, and not at all phased): Come on mom. Take it easy.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Brown PlayDoh snakes

Broken into pieces and dropped on the floor look *incredibly* suspicious.