Thursday, March 31, 2005

Slow Greening

The neighbors grass is getting green. Not ours because we don't have grass yet. (A point that hasn't gone unnoticed by the homeowners association. "When are you getting grass," they ask via email and ever-so politely, "We are all looking forward to enjoying your landscaping." Fuckers. I'd like them better if they just said, "Your front lawn made up of mud and weeds is bringing downthe neighborhood." I told Partner to tell them we can't afford it since we are saving up for sperm. Or that we're going for an environmentally friendly patch of native plants and shrubs and have opted out the green lawn mania.) Anyhow, the grass is no longer brown, but a distinct shade of yellow, with some green edges and patches. It's Michigan, so this is all a super tease because no doubt we will have a giant snow before spring really comes to stay. I drove home with my car window open yesterday. I slept with a window cracked up last night. I took the garbage can out in my pajamas this morning, which are short sleeved, with no coat, scarf, hat, gloves, thermal underwear, woolly socks, balaclava or long length of rope to guide me back to the house in the middle of a blizzard. It was blissful.

This poem might be more appropriate for the last day of April as we move into May, but on this eve of a pleasant sounding month (as opposed to such ugly words as January and February) I offer you this Philip Larkin:

The Trees
The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.

Will You Read It?

I might not buy it, but I'd certainly take it out of the library...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Health Risk Factors

From the new ob/gyn, Dr Dyke's office, the following:

Do you?
  • Do a self beast exam? (kinda?); Any changes? (no?)
  • Exercise regularly? (Oh shit, no. No, I don't. I am a big fat slug.)
  • Smoke? (No! Ha! See how I healthy I am? I may not exercise regularly, but I don't smoke! I got one right!)
  • Consume alchohol? (Of course!) Drinks/wk: (Many. Several. Depends on the week? Um, am I allowed to lie? About two (per night)? Shit shit shit shit. How do I answer this question? Shit. Shit. Why are you judging me, sister, you just met me!?)
  • Use recreational drugs? (Just say no, dude.)
  • Use sunscreen regularly? (For the first three days at the beach, sure. After that, I want the bain de soliel tanned lady body.)
  • Wear seatbelts? (Religiously. Ha! Another one correct.)
  • Eat dairy products daily? (Cheese. Lover. Here.)
  • Eat fruits and vegatables daily? (Yes. Not as much as I should, but yes.)
  • Follow a low-fat diet? (Cripes. Another should I lie question.)
  • Take calcium supplements? (I own a bottle of calcium supplements.)
  • Take vitamin supplements? (My partner does!)

More or less I could stop doing the new patient intake form right now. Clearly I am going to drop dead next week.

Monday, March 28, 2005

The Interview Game

Okay, I got this over at Life in the Suburbs, and here are the rules:

The Official Interview Game Rules

  1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying "interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person's will be different.
  3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
I cannot promise to have questions that are as interesting as Suzanne's, but I will try.

Interview Answers

After Suzanne at Life in the Suburbs so enticed me with her interview questions, I had to ask to be a part of the fun. She's very good at asking the right questions. Here's my attempt to answer:

  1. Do you keep a scale in your bathroom? If so, how often do you step on it?
    Yes, there is a scale in my bathroom. I haven’t stepped on it since July, right before my commitment ceremony. I am a little afraid of the scale. When I was in high school, I was a swimmer, as I think I have mentioned. I was really fit—I had very little body fat, but I felt I was huge. It was the muscle. I can vividly remember sitting next to Sarah ***** in choir and being envious of how small she was. A couple years ago, I saw a picture of the two of us doing the twist (how geeky) at a choir concert. I was smaller than she was. Another scale story: I also remember my friend Karen ***** weighing herself in the YMCA bathroom and lamenting that she was 98 pounds. I was 119. I told her I felt like a hippopotomaus when she talked about how fat she was, yet at the time, I was amenorrheic because I didn’t have enough body fat to support a period. I didn’t even start menstruating until I was thirteen, and then stopped a year later for a few months. This all is a partial explanation of the complex relationship I have with weight and my scale. (Incidently, no fears about amenorrhea now; I love food. Probably too much. And also probably related to my scale, hidden behind the bathroom door.)
  2. How often do you wear pantyhose?
    Never!! I hate pantyhose! They itch my legs. I think half the reason I teach at the Uni is because I don’t have to wear hose. I own zero pairs of pantyhose. I haven’t since I was in high school. Or wait—I did own a couple pair when I worked at the bank in Dublin. I do own four pairs of black tights though. And one pair of brown tights. Nordstrom brand. Most comfortable and soft.
  3. When was the last time you lost your temper and what was it over?
    Good Lord. When do I not lose my temper? Combine the Irish temperment with some artist temperment, and I am a vertible tempest in a teapot. But, good Lord, I think I have been temper tantrum free lately. I bet if Partner was home, she could tell me. Oh-- I know when our vacuum broke, again, and started smoking just as I was tackling the staircase. Third vacuum in three years. I was pissed. Once when I lost my temper, I threw a carton of milk. I strongly advise against this as milk is very hard to clean up and is more sticky than one might imagine. It even went onto the ceiling and stained the wall. Partner has made me promise not throw full cartons of anything anymore, but throwing something when one is angry is very fulfilling.
  4. Which do you feel better equipped to parent, a boy or a girl?
    I have two younger brothers that were born some considerable years after I was (seven and ten and half years), so I know boys. In some ways I think boys are so much easier than girls. I have taught preschool and I have nannied also. I get boys. I like boys. But… that being said, I sometimes think it might be easier if we have girls. I worry that a boy will be teased more than a girl, but then again a girl might suffer by association. (Meaning, if she’s not gay, will peers assume she is because of her mothers?) I don’t know how to teach a boy to pee standing up. I suppose I’ve imagined us having girls, but I think I could do both fairly well. We’ll see, eh? (We hope, eh?)
  5. Is there anything hanging from your rear view mirror? If yes, what is it?
    My parking tag-- that's it for the rearview mirror, but I do have holy card of Saint Michael stuck in my visor. And a little bell hanging from my garage door opener. The roads in Detroit are notoriously awful, and the bell gives a jingle a lot. I use it as a reminder to say something I am thankful for (and in this season, it often happens to be a little prayer of thankfulness I am not that sucker with a flat tire from the pothole that a Mini Cooper might sink into. Don’t believe me?)

What fun, Suzanne, thank you!

Friday, March 25, 2005

It's a Good Thing

  1. My local liquor store: This definitively marks me as a problem drinker. I love my local booze shop. I waxed on while in there buying my CC and vermouth about how much I love it there. The owner patted my hand. "I know, honey. I know," he said. "It's like a candy shop!" I yelped.
  2. My students (for the most part): Today the American Studies department presented a conference that undergraduates and graduates participated in. Years past, I have moderated panels, worked the check in desk, etc. This year I merely went to see my students present. I had four students giving papers-- and I was incredibly proud of them all. One of them even won the prize for best paper presented. That kid is a class act. You may think he was sucking up when I tell you what he said, but at the start of his paper, he thanked me. I love him. Sucking up works.
  3. Back to booze: I love the manhattan I am drinking right now.
  4. Easter flowers: Every year we have Easter at our house and we traditionally make baskets for everyone. No one really likes getting all that candy, and boy, it's fucking expensive. This year I bought everyone a potted crocus plant. I am so excited about how all the plants are going to look on the table. I am the lesbian Martha Stewart. I get excited about setting the table.
  5. Forty degree days: Some of my favorite bloggers are in warm parts of the country, and I try not to hate them for that. Still, days that go into the forties, when Partner says, "Let's grill tonight--it's kinda warm" give me serious hope that summer and warmth will come and this only makes me very very happy.

It's a good thing. All of the above. Very contented tonight.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Prayers: Dr. Dyke, Sperm, and June

Last week I tried to make an appointment with an ob/gyn. Another new doctor. Dr. Knife, the last ob/gyn I saw for the first and last time, wanted to cut me open more or less on the spot. I declined her invitation and never called her again. Why do my liasons with ob/gyns resemble bad relationships? (Doc: "You said you'd call. You never called." Me: "Well, I've been busy." Doc: "Too busy for me? This isn't healthy.") I've never had an ob/gyn for more than two years. In college I saw a great nurse practionner, but then I graduated. In grad school I found another great nurse practionner, but she left the badly run clinic for a better paying more prestigious position. Who can blame her? But she totally left me in the lurch. I loved her. It was a painful break-up.

I found some recommendations this time around and started with the most recommended doctor on my list. Silly me-- Of course she was booked into the next decade. I asked about a cancellation list, but they don't do that there. And sure, why would they? She's not exactly suffering for patients. I told the receptionist I'd take that appointment in October of 2015, but I might need to call back and cancel if I found an earlier appointment someplace else.

Guess what? She wouldn't let me schedule the appointment.

Evil Receptionist: "Well, if you're just going to call back and cancel, I'm not going to schedule you to see Dr. Popular. "
Me (aghast): "What? You won't schedule me?"
Evil Receptionist: "Yes, if you want to call around town and see what you can find, I'll take your appointment only after you do that."
Me (scheming): "Okay then-- I won't cancel. I can wait ten years for a yearly pap. No problem. Book me in.I really want to see Dr. Popular."
Evil Receptionist: "No. If you call back in fifteen minutes, I'll take your appointment at that time. But I won't do it now."

Okay-- I get it. Clearly this is not the doctor's office for me, despite the fact it's five minutes from my house and everyone loves Dr. Popular and I will now probably be forced to see some hack who will second Dr. Knife and want to slice open my stomach and burn things with lasers.

The second doctor on my list was Dr. Dyke. Her office staff was much more friendly from the start. I can get in to see Dr. Dyke April 21. I took it. I am hoping that Dr. Dyke will help us and guide us in the right direction. We need a doctor's signature so we can get some sperm shipped to us (if we want to do ICI), but I kinda think we should do IUI-- it might improve the chances? But I don't know if an ob/gyn can do IUI in the office, or if we're going to need a specialist? And if we need a specialist, how long will the waiting list be for that doctor? Arg. My strongest hope is that if Dr. Dyke cannot help us with IUI in her office, then she'll be able to pull some strings and get us in someplace a little faster. I'm not above begging. Or pulling out the lesbian solidarity card. (This is real-- after you get the toaster, a little card comes to you in the mail you can use for emergency purposes.)

Remember when I said we wanted to start trying in February? Or March? Here's March, coming and going, and we still don't even have any bloody sperm. My revised goal: first attempt in June. Please June. I feel lucky with June. If it worked the first time out, then the wee babe would be born in February. Everyone in my family is born in February (except me and one of my brothers.)

It'd be such a beautiful start to summer...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Culture of Life

[Pre-posting note: If you click on one of the links below, choose "this" one. Sometimes when I am blogging about stuff like this, I get literally dizzy while sitting at the computer and feel like the desk is lilting to the right.]

Do they really care about it? No. Absolutely not. I mean, if they were concerned about it, then we'd be talking about poverty, homelessness, abuse. The number of people out there without access to healthcare. All those things seriously jeapordize a culture who supposedly proports a "culture of life."

My brother's girlfriend sent me a link to sign a petition to save Terry Schiavo. It ain't happening.

But I'd sign a petition to stop things like this happening. Where Congress and Bush on this one? Or doesn't this count in our culture of life?

Angry WannaBeMom.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Crucify Him

When we headed off to church yesterday, I knew what I was getting into—a longer than usual service. I made sure we had a hearty breakfast ahead of time so growling stomachs wouldn’t be a distraction. The service started with a procession that included a donkey. We opted out of that one, but I felt I had missed an integral component of the service. The start of Palm Sunday, with the procession and the palms is part of the emotional journey that takes me from a joyful parade to a deeper recognition about the human spirit and how it tangles with the Divine.

Partner and I have been attending our church for almost two years now. It’s Episcopalian, but I have a hard time identifying myself as such. I am still one-quarter time Roman Catholic, so the easiest definition I can give myself is Anglo-Catholic. I like our particular church, but I am a little more high church than this particular congregation—I could go for all the incense, and probably more kneeling, but that’s just my particular brand of spirituality. We realized this weekend that we had never been at the Episcopalian church for Palm Sunday; I usually steer us toward the RC church for Holy Week services. I wasn’t sure if we’d recite the Passion in the same way at our Episcopalian church as the RC church.

That being said, the Catholic church has let me down on Palm Sunday before too! (Okay, truth be told, the Catholic church has let me down a lot more than that.) A couple years ago my RC church assigned parts to every position in the Passion, including the part of crowd, which is usually assigned to the congregation. I was not pleased with this turn, and thankfully, they have gone back to the original way. Something disturbing and very important happens when one has to stand in church, quite literally under the cross, and shout, “Crucify him!” It’s enormously uncomfortable. It almost makes me itch. I don’t want to be complicit in this crucifixion, but having to say those words, “crucify him,” makes me recognize that I am complicit in suffering. Not necessarily of Christ himself, that’s a larger theological issue, but how many times a day do I drive little nails into people? That student I made cry? The barb I threw at my partner when we were fighting? Talking about someone in a less than charitable manner? How about less overt acts, like a lack of compassion or understanding?

At the Kiss of Peace, our church heaves. People get up and walk around, genuinely to give peace to each other, not to gossip or chat, but to spend a moment in time wishing each other peace. I love this—it made us feel very welcome when we attended our first service. Lately, a young person who is a clearly a woman identified man has been attending our church. At the sign of the peace, after we’d participated in the Gospel, my partner noticed this person sitting with head down, very isolated from the exuberant greetings going around the church. She moved across the aisle, and issued her peace. I can’t tell you how I cried when we got in the car—why did no one else go to shake this person’s hand? What hypocrites! What assholes, really. Me included. My partner (who I think) doesn’t even identify that strongly with the term Christian acted. Acted with compassion.

Ah, because the Passion and compassion are linked, inextricably. When I have to say those words, crucify him, it should make me question how often I do that very act in my daily life. And I can query that all I want on here, or in my thoughts, but the very fact of uttering those words, aloud, so others can me hear me, well, it’s fundamentally different in an undeniable, tragic, beautiful way.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Books, Glorious Books!

I thought for awhile the blog could be a good place to record the books I read, but ultimately I think this is not a bookblog even though I rank reading as my all time favorite activity. What a dork. This information, notwithstanding, I did read a few good books over my spring break while I procrastinated painting my family room (which I did start painting today, and I am kicking myself for not getting it done earlier-- it looks good!) Still, I don't want to get into lengthy reviews here, just a quick shake n bake.

No further ado, here's the books:
  1. Little Children by Tom Perrotta: Pretty fast read and biting insights into suburban life; I can't speak to the realism or not because I am not quite yet part of a play-group, child raising crowd. Still, I like Perrotta and this was a good book.
  2. Almost French by Sarah Turnbull: Fan-damn-tastic. I loved every single moment of this book. It's her story of moving to Paris and trying to "fit" in. She's an Aussie, and her candor and keen eye make this a super read. I loved it. I wish we could out to dinner with her when Partner and I are in Paris.
  3. Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst: This book was not what I thought it was going to be. I was intrigued-- Sometimes I seriously believe that my cat Eli wants to speak to me. Another fast read. Moral of the story: Dogs should not talk. (My mother gave me this book to read and we discussed it-- a talking dog would be detrimental to its place in the home. You know when everyone is mad at everyone in the house? It's awful. But there's the dog-- the dog who cannot speak and take sides. Everyone has a friend in the dog, precisely because the dog cannot speak.)
  4. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld. My favorite of the week. In that same I Am Charlotte Simmons genre, but I liked this better. And I liked Charlotte Simmons. I finished this book this morning and I have been thinking about it since. I devoured this book, almost whole. The narrator's voice, Lee Fiora, is so heartbreaking. I could see my own high school insecurities in her, but I am happy to report I wasn't quite as neurotic as Lee. I did not go to a prep school, but instead an upper-middle class public high school that was definitely fraught with some of the very same issues the narrator deals with in this book. I loved the signs that a girl came from a family with money-- I totally recognized them-- for example, a floral bedspread. No doubt. Silver frames with pictures of families on top of ski slopes. Absolutely. So fantastic. I wish I hadn't finished it. Don't you just love/hate when that happens with a book??

That's it, but I still have two days left. Of course, tomorrow I'll be back in the bar to watch rugby, and Sunday is paint finishing, so I don't know that I'll quite get through another full book before the break is so dreadfully over.


I am considering a change here on this blog-- more specifically, not being anonymous. I have questions about this blog-genre anyhow, and being anonymous seems to compound the issue. Yet, some editing would be need to be done, meaning deleting some entries. I am still questioning this change.

Since I am a writer as part of my life, it feels odd to me to not use my name here. Yet I recognize that there are also parts of our life that we have been trying to protect too. Since that part of our life seems to be changing, I might have to change too. Hm. As we leave the known and enter into the anonymous world, I might have to leave anonymous and become known. Or at least partially known...

Does any of this make sense?

Thursday, March 17, 2005

You Can't Always Get What You Want

For example, I am dying to comment on Suburban Lesbian's blog, but the comments are acting all sticky. (Is anyone having that problem here? I love comments. I'd hate if my comments were acting up on you.) Anyhow I am going to remedy this situation by making my comments here.

Suburban Lesbian says:
Green beer is a crime against nature.... I stick to plain beer of a natural
color and leave the green stuff to the Irish and faux-Irish.
Now, let me tell you something, no self-respecting Irish person will be drinking green beer today. I say this as a self-respecting Irish person. I will shortly be leaving for the bar myself. (Yes, I am posting this at ten in the morning, and yes, I really will be leaving for the bar soon.) I lived in Dublin for a time in my life, and the idea of green beer got gasps from all my compatriots. We mostly prefer our beer almost black. Dark. And smooth. Like Guinness. It's good for you. (It really is; click on that link!)

But, as the song title goes, "you can't always get what you want." Today I want a pint that tastes like a pint from my local. Guinness doesn't travel well. The pints here are shite compared to Ireland. I lived down the street, literally, from the brewery. To get to my local, the Guinness could practically walk itself there. On the bus (the 78A) every morning on the way to work, I had to pass old Guinness's at St James Gate. Some mornings it was motivation for getting work done and getting into the pub. Others it was horrid reminder of the night before. A pennance, one might say. But today, I'll have to suffer through bad pints-- I'll probably drink Smithwicks (say it like this: Smiticks). It's not what I want, but it might be what I need.

Here's another piece of advice: Don't drink black and tans today. The Black and Tans were a nasty group of soldiers sent to Ireland after the revolution known for their cruelty and hard-heartedness. Quite clearly state sponsored terrorism. Read about Croke Park in 1920. Anyway... If you absolutely have to drink a black and tan, mix the Guinness (gasp!) with Harp or Smithwicks. No Bass Ale today. I was once very vehement about this, but I have given it up as some of my best friends are English guys, but I am allowed to be a bit bitchy about it today.

So, there's my St Patrick's rant for you.... Otherwise, Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What I Did on Spring Break

Can I tell you how much I am hating it already, and I haven't even gotten out a brush yet, little less BOUGHT the paint? I am taping. Taping. Taping. This is because I cannot cut in without getting paint everywhere it shouldn't be. I am only painting the family room, so it shouldn't be that bad right? Well, when I finally get to painting, it might not be. There's not a lot of surface area-- Who knew we had so many windows? Well, I guess I did when we about doubled on our window budget when building the house... (Damn contractor!)

I haven't started taping the ceiling. I hate this job.

Why can't we just hire someone? My preferred way of getting this type of thing done-- Oh! Because there's a budget!? We need to save our money for sperm!!

Damn kids.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Waylaid Women

If you take one look at my blogroll, you'll see that I read more than a few blogs by women who are struggling or have struggled with fertility. I hope it's not something that neither I nor my partner have to deal with-- although with several docs suspecting the endo in me, I worry sometimes. On every one of the blogs I have listed, and others I read regularly but haven't listed, there's something going on that I identify with-- maybe big, maybe small.

What exactly is it that I identify with in the fertility blogs? I think that being a lesbian couple who wants to create a family via their own pregnancies and some donated sperm, some identification that takes place-- yet at the same time, I wouldn't vouch for this as a blanket statement, and I hardly want to be the representative for [blogging] lesbian wannabemoms. It's just true for me. It is a foregone conclusion, we need to track ovulation cycles with scientific rigor-- at pricetags in the hundreds of dollars for one little measly vial of semen-- one might want to just be ONE HUNDRED PERCENT POSTIVE that ovulation is indeed taking place. IUI is just about a foregone conclusion. Easy pregancy isn't a matter of fact. Lots of money out of pocket. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I was a great party for a three year old today (and that Sesame Street song kept ratcheting through my head: "One of these ones is not like the other..." I felt very much like the only non-mom there.) Anyhow, at the great party, I had a discussion with a friend of a friend about the ins and outs of pregnancy for lesbians. She was sympathetic, telling me how when she wanted to get pregnant, she and her husband just had more sex than usual during ovulation and +/- three or so days on either side. Wistfulness sets in. I wonder if that's the same pining women going through IVF feel sometimes. This is not jealousy or envy. I am happy for my friends!

When we were reading comments potential donors made at the cryobank, quite a few them brought tears to my eyes. These men were senstitive to the fact that anyone coming to the sperm bank had some serious aspirations about creating a family. It was touching. It is touching.

I think what it really boils down to is there are these women out there, like me, who really want to be having children, and for one reason or another, we've been waylaid. Well, let's have a drink girls, while we can. To our beautiful bodies and all our love waiting... Just waiting... (And if you're not in this crowd of women, cheersto you too; I don't like to see anyone left out!)

Monday, March 14, 2005

I Want Some Stuff Back

Like my house key, for example. Some books I loaned. My very very favorite DVDs of Pride and Prejudice. I want these things back. Now.

This is petulant me. Whining me. Bitter, sour, me. Me that should get over it. Make a new house key. Buy the discs again. Toss the books as a loss. Right? Of course, right. But I can't do it. Right now I am composing the email/letter in my head: Give me back my shit. It's rude to keep it. It's mine and you know it. Do I have your stuff? If I do, I'll give it back. Maybe you forgot the DVDs were mine because you had them for so long? I'll allow for that possibility. But now, give them back. I want them.

(Drag the word want out for full effect.)

At the end of the day, none of the things matter really. This is all in relation to a friendship that I thought I had for years. It was a close friendship, but not without it's difficulty. Often my good fortune was regarded with much jealousy. That was hard-- It was overt. And often very mean things were said. Partner always wondered why I took it-- I am not someone who takes it. I also think there was a certain amount of Schadenfreude when I was not so lucky. These are all hard emotions to reconcile coming from someone who is supposed to be one of your greatest friends. Right?

But at the same time, we'd have fabulous talks. Really good conversations. And shared a lot of honesty with each other. Although as time has passed, I hazard that there was quite a bit hidden from me actually. Whatever difficulties, I counted this person among my bosom friends. We talked almost every day. Until the summer. And then lots of things happened-- Partner and I were moving, and trying to sell our house, and get this house we are in finished. Partner is a contractor, so it wasn't a matter of riding the contractor to get finished, it was all up to us! Serious budget concerns. Wedding in August. We moved in here in July. WannaBeMom is a freak and had to host a rehearsal dinner at her new house the night before wedding. She couldn't go out to a nice restaurant like normal people-oh no--- but okay, off track here-- Get the idea that the summer was nutso!? Some bad feelings might have started when I didn't ask said friend to be "best woman" for wedding. We didn't have "bridesmaids"-- just close friends we asked to be in ceremony by doing readings or blessings. But we both chose our closest friends to stand up with us-- and I didn't ask this person. She skipped my hen night. I was hurt. Blah blah-- long litany of failed emotions-- and come to Christmas, about two days before it actually, friend tells me she is "drifting" and that just happens sometimes and, oh well... tells me I have been a good friend and it's really just her. ARRRRRGGGG-- totally helpless me! I say "don't drift-- get out a paddle, girl! We are friends!" Never hear from her again. Arrrrrggh! Like worst dating nightmares, or like I am in middle school again. Gack. Gag. Hate it! Cry. Moan. Slowly get over it and break out of wallowing self misery and realize I have some fucking awesome friends, and this probably was a good thing in the long run.

It's that disconnect between intellectual/rational knowledge and emotional knowledge. Sucks, doesn't it?

Hm. Now give me back my shit!!

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Incidentally... is the baptism I had the blues about earlier this week. I don't think I should have blues going to a baptism. And since today is so beautiful, I won't have the blues. I am going to take a morning bath, with my Typhoo tea, and think about smiling all day.

Morning mantra: I will not engage with Tante Folie. I will not engage with Tante Folie...

Daphne With Her Thighs In Bark

“Daphne with Her Thighs in Bark”
[Ezra Pound]

so that,
in the next myth
my sister will be wiser.

Let her learn from me:

the opposite of passion
is not virtue
but routine.

Look at me.
I can be cooking,
making coffee,
scrubbing wood perhaps,
and back it comes:
the crystalline, the otherwhere,
the wood

where I was
when he began the chase.
And how I ran from him!

satyr-faced he was.

The trees reached out to me,
I silvered and
I quivered. I shook out my foil of
quick leaves.

He snouted past.
What a fool I was!

I shall be here forever,
setting out the tea,
among the coppers and the
branching alloys and
the tin shine of this kitchen;
laying saucers on the pine table.

Save face, sister.
Fall. Stumble.
Rut with him. His rough heat will keep you warm.

You will be better off than me,
with your memories,
down the garden
at the start of March—

unable to keep your eyes
off the chestnut tree: j

ust the way
it thrusts and hardens.

--Eavan Boland


So I had said a couple weeks ago that I was going to post at least a poem a week, and here it is. The first one. As usual, I am off schedule. I used this poem in my class when we talked about literary allusion. Eavan Boland happens to be in the top five of my favorite poets. I probably will post more than a few of her poems. She also was the inspiration for my dissertation topic, but since I am doing a good job ignoring my dissertation lately, I will not expound on that.

This is not really the mood I am in this morning-- I thought perhaps I post something bright and crisp. That's how it is here this morning. The sun is so insistent through the window that the thermostat said it was 75 in here. It's not-- I would never turn the heat on that high-- but with the sun shining directly on it, the thermostat has been duped. I almost duped too-- it looks like it should be becoming spring outside with the sun the way it is this morning-- alas, we are still wintering here. According to the local weathercasters, it's going to be unseasonably cold here until at least next Sunday. Temps in 20s and 30s; at night it goes down into the teens. We should pushing 40s by this time of the year. I am ready for spring. I am ready for green leaves. (I can hear Philip Larkin's poem "The Trees" coming on-- it's definitely more the mood I am in this morning.)

I have been thinking about our child dreams though. I realized last night that the vision I have of children in our house doesn't extend into middle or high school, and when I think of those years I think of dreary nights full of homework and early sunsets. Is it possible that I hated winter even as a twelve year old? Spring evenings or late autumn nights with homework don't sound as bad... What kind of mother will I be to a fourteen year old? I had a hard time with my mom as a teenager-- not because I was out of control or wild-- just had a hard time. I would much rather not have that with my own child. Now, of course, my mother and I talk pretty much every day and I really like her: I would pick her as my friend.

I wonder if this middle school deary feeling has something to do with myself-- I mean, when I think of someone with a baby, or toddler, I think (justified or not, it's what I think) "young parent." And if it's the first child, the parent is indeed young, as a parent if not as a person. An older child signified an older person-- so maybe my fears about teenagers and homework are really fears of my own aging. Which I really haven't felt, to tell you the truth, fears of aging. Yet... yet....

It's a lesson I can take from the poem, "the opposite of passion/ is not virtue/ but routine." Something I fall into easily, but chaff against at the same time.

So what about you? What do you think of the poem?

Monday, March 07, 2005

Baptism Blues

This weekend I have a baptism to attend. Pay attention to the family tree here:

The baby belongs to my cousin, who isn't really my cousin, per se, but my mom's cousin's kid. When my mother was a child, her aunt died. My grandmother overheard someone at the funeral say, "Who's gonna take the orphans?" (My great-aunt had three daughters.) My gram didn't think twice; she said, "They are not orphans. I'm taking them." My grandmother was a widow and making her own living, and she was quite clearly someone with her priorities on straight. (It's been ten years since she died. God, I miss her. ) So, all my mom's cousins, I've always called aunts, even though they didn't live with my mom and gramma for that long, that's just the way we do it.

I have three aunts on this side of the family. The youngest aunt I'll call Tante Bee. The next aunt, the one I am probably closest to, I'll call Tante Italiano since she married an Italian man. Tante Italiano has one daughter, Cousine Italiano, and I was in her wedding this past spring. She married a very nice Chaldean man with a large Chaldean family. The wedding was a total blast with a great Arab band and tons of dancing. Very traditional. Cousine Italiano happened to be pregnant when she got married-- not a problem for most of us, after all, she was thirty-three. It happens, eh?

There was one aunt not happy with this wedding, and she created a lot of havoc for ma pauvre cousine. Enter Tante Folie-- a born-again fundamentalist Christian. Tante Folie did not attend the wedding. Why not? She didn't want to support a wedding that took place in the Catholic Church. This was worse than Cousine Italiano being pregnant before being married.

This weekend is the baptism for Cousine Italiano's bambino. My brother is the god-father and I am missing all sorts of exciting weekend activities to attend the baptism. Partner will be out of town, alas but still I was cheered by thoughts of a nice family weekend with Tante Italiano, Bambino, Cousine Italiano (et al) with no fear of Tante Folie being present. I mean, if she wouldn't attend a wedding in the RC church, she certainly wasn't going to come to the baptism, right??

Wrong! She'll be there. My mom called to tell me. And I am nervous. It goes without saying that she didn't come to my ceremony. In fact, she told my mother that I shouldn't even send an invitation. So I didn't, but I did write her a very nice letter telling her that of course she was welcome to attend if she changed her mind. Tante Folie also told my mother that I shouldn't send invitations to her (adult) daughters. That particular piece of direction I ignored. One daughter sent me back a very nice RSVP, and the other, well, I could swear I saw spit marks on the reply card. Probably both of them will be there this weekend too.

My head has been hurting all day thinking of this. I have no doubt in my own consciousness as a Christian. (Which is a different blog entry that is overdue.) I don't want a scene with Tante Folie at Bambino's baptism. Tante Folie, as her name implies, might not be similarly inclined. I have found myself trying to memorize Bible verses for ammo, which is totally totally totally the wrong way to approach the Bible. (Live as God's servants, respect everyone, and show special love for God's people. 1 Peter 2:16-17) Arg! Stop me! Stop me!!! This totally goes against how I live my faith-- to think of the Bible in this way. It's not right. And at the same time I know this is the language that Tante Folie speaks, and I want to be able to speak it back to her. Fluently.

This blog entry is all over the place-- if you could follow the family names here and get the gist of what I was saying, I should give you a prize. Suffice to say, I am more than unusually stressed about the event. Also, suffice to say, I am more than unusually pleased that at the party following the baptism, there will be a cash bar.

I plan on making a large cash withdrawal from the ATM that morning.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Is it too early... have a CC manhattan?

And one more thing, I want to know, if they have diaper genies, then why can't there be cat shit genies too?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

"God Loves Gay People"

At the peril of everything else in my life, I have been reading "a little pregnant" from start to finish. Long winded reviews aside, it will suffice to say "Wow" for now. Julie is a great writer and a super wit and her bravery, humor, honesty-- even more than that-- I am going to use as a model from here on out. We have a long road in front us, Partner and I, and I want to be healthy about it. A week from today, (edited edited edited since I am changing format) Which means is six short months, we can start trying if all goes well. The frustration of this is, well, frustrating. We wanted to start trying this month! Pft.

Of course, all the obstacles we're facing made me think twice when reading Julie's beautiful blog-- (we don't even know if either us will have problems with fertility yet!)-- but one thing she said I particularly stopped at was this: "It's gay people who have the reproductive advantage!" (Read the full post here.)

First of all, let me say that I particularly loved this post and laughed when reading it, but at the same time a modicum of melancholy too. I wish we had the reproductive advantage. A week or so ago, over at Waiting for Nat my comment about wanting to go upstairs like our straight friends prompted some good discussion. I had to amend said comment and put in the necessary infinitive, "to try". And I still want that. I hold my position. I wish that tonight Partner and I could try... (So much whining. And I was going to try that new-more-adjusted model!)

I don't know what the future holds. I know that if everything goes well, we have to wait at least six more months, maybe seven depending on ovulation cycles for Partner, and I don't want to wait any more. I want to start trying now. Today.

Julie says that "needing medical intervention of some kind doesn't exactly come as a shock when, you know, we're talking two men or two women." That's true-- I mean, I knew we'd have to involve crowds of people in our reproductive future, it's just not what I wanted. I am pretty sure that it's not what Julie wanted either.

And if it happens that Partner has trouble conceiving, we could just move to my uterus next, (But I fear for my reproductive health-- that's addressed other places here) and it's true that is an advantage we have over the het couples. (Thank God, we've got at least one!) But on the other hand, I can't exactly lean over and ask for the sperm either. Note: this is a serious shortcoming. If Julie is right, and God really does perfer gay couples, this was an oversight.

But please God, please please please, let Julie be right about this one!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Sounds of Summer...

... but first the winter. I am so fucking cold I can't stand it much longer. So far this year we've had at least 52 inches of snow. Last year at this time it was 19. (Things could be worse.) And it's bloody snowing again right now. Someone pointed out spring begins in a mere 18 days. I can see photos on other people's blogs, and it appears it may already by spring where these people live. People wearing windbreakers or long sleeved shirts with no jackets at all. This only confirms my suspicions that this is a God-forsaken state for at least six months of the year. Come the first week of May, I'll be all about the glory, but for now, WHERE IS THE FUCKING SUN?

I love the heat. Bring it on. The dog days of summer-- I love 'em. I like to feel the sweat. The hotter it is, the happier I am. Humidity? Doesn't phase me. My lovely parents bought a place in SC, and August is my favorite time to be there. I sit on the beach all day with my books and a couple beers, and try to soak up the sun, like a snake, hoping I will have some celluar memory of it come February. (Clearly, this does not work and probably the only celluar memory I am getting is skin cancer.)

We never use the air conditioning. And it does get hot here in the summer-- we have our 90 degree days with 110% humidity.

I once dated-- long distance-- a guy who lived in Austin TX. I went to visit for a couple weeks mid-summer in the middle of a heat wave and it was all the news stations could talk about-- how hot it was. At noon, you couldn't see a soul on the street. Except me. I was out by the pool, luxuriating. Mad dogs, English men, and me. How did I end up a northerner when I am clearly a cold-blooded animal best made happy by deliriously hot days?

So, okay, 18 days until spring, so I thought I'd find a good summer cd, plop it into the player, have a g-n-t, and sit under the halogen light: Look, I try to do the best I can with the tools I got. The perfect cd for this mind-game is called the "Sounds of Summer"-- It's one of those compilition cds, which can be cheesy, but it's got some great jazz pieces on it, and it was going to be perfect. Listen to a little Mel Torme sing me "Too Darn Hot," and have you heard the Ray Brown Trio do "Summertime"?

How totally wonderfully ironic: It ain't in the case, and I can't find it anywhere.

It's worse than that bleeding groundhog.