Tuesday, August 30, 2005

More baby photos

Well, everybody, here are the ultrasound photos from our second OBGYN visit this morning. This time we got two different ones. The doctor says that everything is going prefectly and the baby is the right size and shape. You can see on the right-hand side of the ultrasound that the baby measures 1 cm and is at a gestational age of 7 weeks and 1 day. In the picture below, I have used arrows to show what is what. The blue arrow is pointing to the yolk sack and the red arrow is pointing to the baby! For the first time, this morning, Owen and I could see the baby's heart beating. Since last time we could't see much more than a black spot, this was very exciting! You can also see a little nubbin of an arm.

I go back to the doctor again on September 26. I'm not sure if I'll have another ultrasound or not but the nurse told me that each time I go in they will want to either see or hear the baby.

Friday, August 26, 2005

It was all just a bad dream...

Well….it’s been a busy week here at the land of…um…where I work. I’ve harly had a moment to stop and write. Don’t ask me why I only feel the urge to write when I should be doing other things at work and not when I’m laying on the couch watching Oprah. I don’t know.

Tomorrow I enter
week #7 of pregnancy. I’m already having nightmares (literally) about what a bad parent I’m afraid of being. I dreamed I dressed my baby boy in girl’s clothing for a picture because I wanted a picture of the baby in my mom’s little cotton dress so badly. I dreamed I kept forgetting to feed the baby. And, I dreamed that I kept setting the baby down and then forgetting where I put it. I also had a dream that it was born 3 months early and the hospital wouldn’t let me stay there. They sent me home with it as soon as it was born even though I wasn’t at all ready for it.

My anecdote for this is to read about whatever it is that scared me in the dream the night before. So, unfortunately, when it comes to misplacing the baby, I’m on my own since I can’t find anything about it in any of my books.

I’ve become keenly aware of other peoples parenting and parenting problems. Not bad problems like “call protective services.” I’m just talking about the routine stuff that comes with having any kid. Like yesterday, when I was making a pit-stop at K-Mart. The other woman in the bathroom had a potty-training toddler in the stall with her and she was trying to coax him into going. When he finally did, she blurted out “Oh my God, what did you eat that was blue?!?!”

While I know very solidly on some level that Owen and I will do fine, there’s a part of me that can’t help but worry. I guess maybe that’s why I know we’ll be good.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The worst...

My day is off to a terrible start. Not that I have had anything particularly bad happen to me yet…no flat tires or unfortunate breakfast spills. But, see, you know those groggy, hazy moments before you’re fully awake? When you’re kind of half asleep and half awake? Well…I was in one of those moments this morning at about 6 a.m. trying to decide weather it was worth it or not to get up and go to the bathroom when it occurred to me that I couldn’t figure out what day of the week it was. I could remember Saturday…we went resale shopping and took the kittens out to play in the back yard. So it couldn’t be Saturday. Do I remember any days after that? Hmmm…..no. So it must be Sunday. Gotta love Sunday. Sleeping in…nothing really to do. MMmmm….Sunday. I love Sunday...

Oh wait….now I remember. It’s Tuesday. I remember Sunday. And now I remember Monday too. Shit. Shitshitshitshit. No more thoughts of sleeping in until whenever…I have to get up in 40 minutes…and I know darn well it will only seem like 5.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Last night I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned in bed for more than an hour, trying to shut my brain down so I could relax and fall asleep, but it did not work so well. I noticed, while I was doing this, that I often have thought chains that end up in very odd places. For instance…last night I began by thinking about TV shows and ended up thinking about seals. Here’s how:

I was thinking about how so many of the shows Owen and I have been watching lately are over. Really good ones, like 30 Days, from Morgan Spurlock of Supersize Me fame. And also Project Greenlight, which ended several months ago, actually. But it was a really good, interesting show. In case you’re not familiar with it, it’s kind of a behind the scenes documentary of the making of an independent film by first-time directors and writers. The movie they were making this time was not an indie, though. It was their first genre film: a horror film. The movie is due out this fall. Owen and I will probably go see it, mostly because we so enjoyed Project Greenlight. It’s interesting how you can do that because, despite the fact that the show aired for weeks and documented this process from beginning almost to the end (nothing beyond the first few post-production edits), they never actually showed the monster in it’s full form. The guys in the creature shop are so interesting. They bring the monsters to life from concept drawings all the way through often times actually wearing the costumes and becoming the monsters themselves. The guy they had in Project Greenlight was fun to watch, as was his creative process. I bet making monsters up is kind of hard. Different things are scary for different people. When I was at the grocery store the other day, I heard the deli lady saying that she didn’t really like Skeleton Key. “Why not?” her meat-slicing compatriot had asked, “Too scary?” “No,” she had replied, “they can’t make them scary enough for me. They never scare me.” So it’s just interesting, how different things scare different people. I used to know this girl in college who was terrified of cotton balls. No kidding. She was annoying. Know what I think is just about the scariest thing out there? Not alligators or sharks or Bigfoot…I think seals look scary as hell. They have these beady black hollow eyes that make them look as though they have no souls. They look like deranged little old men with sharp, sharp teeth who could snarl at you and bite you at any second. Their heads are oddly round, as though they are derranged and deformed. Every time I see one, I get goose bumps and my skin crawls. They totally freak me out. Which is kind of funny (from many different aspects, actually). Baby seals are just about the cutest thing out there. But once they lose that sweet little puff of white fir, look out! They’re horror film material.

So you see? That’s a logical progression showing how you get from TV to seals, through a rather bizarre route. And you’d think all that thinking would wear me out or at least bore me to sleep but, no dice. So now I’m even more tired than usual today.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The stats...

Owen suggested I make a baseball card for the baby with the picture from the ultrasound on the front and all the statistics such as length, due date etc. on the back. I suggested that might be a better art project for him to undertake (I never new he had a crafty side). I can give you the vitals right now, though. As of today I am 6 weeks pregnant. I am due on April 16th, according to my doctor.

A few days ago, I found a cool website that follows a pregnancy week by week with ultrasound pictures and information about what's going on. I think I'll try to post each week's link because it's kind of neat. Click here to see week six.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ta Da!

Here are the proofs from our first photo shoot with junior. S/he is actually the small white mass all the way on the right side of the dark spot, according to the doctor.

She also says that everything is looking "perfect." We'll be back for a follow-up shoot in two weeks and we'll be sure to show you the "proofs" once again!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Bless me father, for...well...read on...

Something has been bothering me the last day or so. And I feel the need to come clean. I realize this doesn’t have quite the plush d├ęcor of a confessional but since, until my baby’s born, I’m kind of a lapsed Catholic (I like to think of it as having fallen off the wagon), this will have to do.

Yesterday, I went to Glen’s to buy some frozen ravioli for dinner. I needed it. Badly. I can’t explain why. Anyway, I was exhausted. You see, I have a cold. And I can’t take any medicine for it. And my body is busy trying to build a placenta these days. I am constantly tired. But life goes on, right? And besides, I NEEDED that ravioli. So, I went to the store to buy it and accidentally bought to little cartons of Ben and Jerry’s because they were on sale (2 for $5 – fantastic deal) and because they are HEALTHY ICE CREAM. No joke…25% less fat and sugar than the regular. They’re practically diet food! So I bought myself a carton of Half Baked (a combo of choc. chip cookie dough and chocolate fudge brownie) and I bought Owen a carton of Cherry Garcia. (Note: mine lasted a full 24 hours longer than his did.)

So, I am on my way home, exhausted from a day of placenta making, nose blowing and dedicatedly wasting time at work and deliriously dreaming of my two little cartons of goodness sitting on the seat beside me. I get into the car, put on my seatbelt, start the car, apply the break and release the parking break. I then release the break to push the clutch and shift into reverse so I am ready to back up. Then, as any good citizen would do, I checked my rear view mirror. There was somebody there. I’m not trying to be judgmental here, but she was a dumpy slob (one of those people who hunches over their cart as though it were a walker but who you know would have you down in 3 if it came to a fight over the last box of s’mores toaster strudel. My mom always says about them, “God, if I ever look like that all hunched over my cart, shoot me! If I’m that freaking lazy I shouldn’t even be at the store!” But moving on…). But I, being fantastically liberal, know in my bleeding heart of hearts that even slobs have a right to live (they’re a good reason I feel the way I do about things like the availability of birth control and abortion. Who WANTS them procreating???). So I do not commence backing up but, as a good citizen, I let her pass…and this she does v e r y s l o w l y.

In the meantime, I am checking either way over both shoulders to make sure the coast is clear once her royal slugginess has passed. I see nothing. She has cleared and I begin to back up. And what do I hear but BANG BANG BANG BANG. Startled, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a sans-cart complimentary slobby old man! I have commenced backing over him and he is pounding his fist on my trunk to make me stop. I wail on the breaks and can tell that he’s fine because he’s still standing and pounding and screaming at me that I shouldn’t back over people (which I already knew). Apparently, he’s so short that, in my scanning to back up I missed him behind the car parked next to me. Either that or I was too tired to see him. Or his slobbiness just blended him in like Petoskey camouflage it is.

In any case, I felt awful. Of course I didn’t back over him intentionally. I’m a liberal, remember? But he didn’t want to hear me. He wanted to stand there, the floppy jowls of his chicken-skin old neck wobbling and growing redder and redder as the foamy gobs of spit shot at the back of my car like venom. I could see little geysers of steam blowing out his ears like Donald Duck when he gets really pissed about something (even though we all know that Donald Duck doesn't have ears - he's a duck). He eventually kept walking, looking at me, yelling some more, and shaking his fist. I was too terrified to get out of the car or to say anything to him. As soon as the coast was clear I booked out of there, checking in my mirror once or twice to make sure he hadn’t given himself a heart attack or something. Oh yeah…I also began to cry. I’m not only tired but hormonal as well.

So I guess what I wanted to say (to make my short story longer) is that, to the grubby old man, I am very, very sorry. I’m sorry I almost ran over you and I’m sorry I was too afraid you might hit me to get out of my car and apologize. Not that I think you’ll read this or anything, but, just in case. Also, I just wanted to let you know that I checked when I got home and the car is fine so you don’t have to worry about that.


Check this out: somebody actually stole the agency’s recycling bin off the curb. Can you believe it? I mean, they’re FREE from the city. Not to mention, this one was GROSS. It was coated with curdled milk remnants from the daycare. It was dirty and stinky.

I’m thinking it must be some environment-hating republican who needed it to carry the reams and reams of paper documenting the sale of our national forests to lumber companies to his luncheon with Dick Cheney where I’m sure they’re going to eat bald eagle and baby seal while discussing how to cut taxes for zillionaires while at the same time making the slacker-ass poor people pay dearly for being born that way by scrubbing toilets for eternity since that job can’t really be outsourced and all the mexicans have been reounded up into detention camps along with anybody else whose skin isn't pearly white in order to further promote homeland security. It’s probably the same ass hole who drives the Hummer around Petoskey with a bumper sticker on it that says, “Doing my part to impact global warming.”


Let it be known that on this day, the 18th of August, 2005, My Boss (yes, the grumpy, dried up, old, man-hating lesbian) told me to pay $5.00 more for a book so we could get it here in town rather than order it from Amazon. This is the woman who once yelled at me that I had to turn the damn light over the back stairway off as soon as I reached the bottom or top of the stairs so I don’t waste energy leaving it on. Energy costs money. Money is GOD around here. This is also the women who left for lunch today and left her radio on. Ha!

(Let is also be known, although much more quietly, that I delight in making copies and not paying for them and also, on occasion, running my personal mail through the postage meter just to spite her.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Roxie goes commando

I arrived home last night to find Roxie’s collar in the mailbox with the assorted bills and junk mail. My first thought was dread – somebody must have hit her and put the collar in the mailbox to let us know. So I rushed down the driveway to call the cats and there she was, running naked as a jaybird around the yard. I thus concluded that she has taken up being a nudist and was mailing her collar to somebody else. I’m not sure who. Clearly she isn’t the brightest bulb on the chandelier because she forgot to put a stamp on it.

I'm sick....and it's Aretha's fault...

My faithful readers must forgive me for my long absence. I was away for the weekend to visit my mom and dad and also to go to a baby shower. Also, my mom and I had an audience with the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin. Mom and I went to see her and her opener, Jane Monehit, and were lucky enough to have 4th row seats. The concert was fantastic! Ms. Aretha is a very BIG woman, but then again, if you think about it, she has a really BIG voice to house in that body of hers. She’s absolutely amazing. One of my favorite songs she did was from an opera (though I confess I don’t know which one).

We got home after the concert very late, around 1:30 a.m., and I awoke the next morning to discover that I felt like death. I was exhausted and had the beginnings of a cold. I got up and went to work anyway, but then came home again at noon and slept all afternoon. I also called in sick yesterday morning and slept in until noon before getting up and going to work. So that’s the long story about why I haven’t written in so long. The short version is “I’m sorry, I was sleeping.” Who knew that growing a baby could take so much out of you? Incidentally, I was disturbed to discover in reading yesterday that, at just under 2 weeks, my baby has gills. I’m not sure I like this, but I’m pretty sure he/she gets that from his/her father.

So, because I’m not so good at being pregnant yet, I am now sick. It’s just a cold, and my OB has put me on some pregnancy-cool allergy medication to try to help clear it up. It still sucks. My nose is stuffy, my ears are blocked (Owen keeps yelling at me, “Why is the TV up so loud??”) and I have a sore throat.

It is the nature of this blog to share any useful facts that we (this is the editorial “We” though you may consider it the royal “We” if you like) discover. So, in cooperation with Diet Snapple on Ice (they’re popsicles, and for those of you who haven’t been kicked out of Weight Watchers, you can have two for one point!) I’d like to bring you a list of facts I’ve learned because popsicles feel good on a sore throat. These factoids are printed on the popsicle stick. I’ve been saving them just to share with you, may faithful readers. And without further ado…

1. Children grow faster in the spring.
2. Fish cough.
3. A hummingbird weighs less than a penny.
4. A ball of glass will bounce higher than a ball of rubber.
5. Elephants sleep only 2 hours a day.
6. Slugs have 4 noses.
7. The pink lemonade ones taste best (Snapple didn’t tell me that, I discovered it on my own.)


P.S. Owen, the baby and I have our fist ultrasound on Friday morning. We’ll be sure to let you all know what we find out. It’s too early to know the sex(es), but there’s a way way outside chance we might find out if it’s one or two. That’s right, folks, we’re in the running for twins…we had two eggs release and so the odds are about 50/50 that it will be a litter.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Top 10 reasons I hate my job...

10. I hate arguing with contractors.
9. People call me all the time…for stupid-ass reasons.
8. One of my bosses is a be-otch.
7. The other one is obsessive compulsive.
6. How am I supposed to know how to keep water from leaking into the basement?
5. People keep getting confused and thinking I’m a secretary.
4. My job makes it okay for my coworkers to be incompetent.
3. I get yelled at for parking poorly.
2. I’m expected to know EVERYTHING (“Sarah, who is in my office? Why is she working in my office?!?” – How the hell should I know???)
1. It keeps me from my favorite new hobby: napping.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Picture I would like to anonymously like to send my boss

Thank you Natalee Dee! (See links to the right)

Oh man...

Well….here’s a fun little tidbit: I have officially been kicked out of Weight Watchers. Wanna know why? Hint: It’s not because in my short, 1-month membership I have become so slender that my presence is demoralizing to the other Watchers. No…I have only managed to lose about 6 pounds. I got the boot because I’m pregnant. “Even if my doctor says it’s ok?” I asked. No. “Even if my doctor SENT me here??” Sorry…no can do. Weight Watchers’ policy.

And then I got to thinking…hmm…I am about to enter into a phase of life that causes one to gain weight. Perhaps it is not for my own health and well-being and that of my unborn child…that can’t be it. My theory is that they don’t want to encourage somebody who is GETTING FATTER to come every week…it will throw off the averages for group weight loss. And it’s possible that I might pack on so much chub that instead of saying “as a group we lost 40 pounds this week” they will have to say, “I’m sorry, ladies, but as a group we actually gained 7 pounds this week.”

As you can imagine, I felt very rejected and sort of shoved off adrift on my own to struggle with limiting my first trimester weight gain to an appropriate number (less than, let’s say, the weight of a standard aircraft carrier). So what did I do? I enacted my plan called “make them sorry they ever threw me out.” Here’s how it works: you have to plan ahead of time for weeks, being quiet and timid and never saying anything or offering any comments or suggestions. You must be there and participate, but to do so as unobtrusively as possible. And then, when you are kicked out, and they tell you “well, it’s okay if you stay for today’s meeting but you can’t come back,” (which is good since I rode with somebody and didn’t want to have to wait for her in the car like a spaniel) you have to sit in the front half of the room and have to give SPECTACULAR answers to every question, garnering remarks from all over the room such as “what a great idea” or “I wish I’d thought of that” or, best of all, “THAT’s what I’ll so from now on.” Your answers have to be so good that the group leader ACTUALLY BEGINS TO USE YOUR TERMINOLOGY (Me: "You know, I think we sublimate our feelings of worthlessness beneath other endeavours such as caring for our children or working on our careers." Her (later): That's exactly right, it's a process of sublimation!) You have to make them sorry to lose such a vast bank of losing-weight skills. HA!

I have also been secretly plotting my revenge. I plan to start a new membership incognito (perhaps with one of those Groucho glasses/nose/moustache things) and show up every week for weigh-in with a pocket full of successively heavier lead weights…”I’m sorry ladies, but it appears we have gained a total of 56 pounds this week.” Either that, or I may sabotage them by placing trays of cookies, cakes, candies and sweet rolls on the sign-in table.

No matter what, they can’t REALLY make me stop. Last night I silently stole a whole pile of the daily food journals and have now gone underground in my Weight Watching. Cathy, my mother in law and WW partner, has vowed to bring me all the handouts. I asked her about calling me during the meeting and letting me secretly listen to it over her cell phone, but she wasn’t thrilled about that prospect. Apparently she is not as comfortable with diet espionage as I am.


On another similar, yet completely unrelated note, I decided to try my own aversion therapy treatment. See, I’ve been having to go for a lot of blood work lately, what with being pregnant and all. Because I don’t particularly enjoy having blood drawn and it has, on occasion, been known to make me light-headed and even to pass out once or twice. So here is my therapy: every time I have to have blood drawn, I buy myself a donut for breakfast (and YES, I counted the points for Weight Watchers). This seemed like a GREAT plan…who knows? I may even begin to ENJOY having my blood drawn. But, alas, when I spoke to the Dr.’s office yesterday, the nurse informed me that I did not need to schedule any more lab work. I was crushed. But, the good news is that my therapy technique seems to have worked perfectly and I am now considering copyrighting it as intellectual property.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How I spent my morning...

Oh boy....or girl?

Oh…My…God. OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGodohmyGod. I’M PREGNANT!!! I found out on Friday afternoon. After all the pain, all the stress, all the heartache we’re finally there…almost. We’ll be there come the end of April. But still….we’re on our way. Hey, next time I complain about a $112.00 case management fee, somebody smack me. It beats the heck out of the $10,000 - $15,000 for IVF, which the first doctor told me I needed.

So…it occurred to me as I drove home on Friday that there is actually something living inside me now. This blows my mind. Completely. After trying for so long…going through so much….and never knowing if we would ever get here, I think it still hasn’t really sunk in yet. The fact that it could be twins (there were two eggs this month) is so far out there my little brain can’t even make sense of it.

But…I am worried already. Because we’ve gone through so much to get here, there is a huge part of me that can’t quite believe it still. On Friday afternoon I kept expecting them to call me and tell me that either they had read the results incorrectly or that they had given me somebody else’s results. I had more blood drawn this morning, and I am filled with anxiety about the results….that it will have all been wrong or something. I am terrified with every cramp (of which there seem to be a few these days) it is an ectopic pregnancy or a blighted egg. And, because I am at a higher risk for miscarriage, I am really really nervous about that. I’m a little ticked that I can’t see the doctor until next week. I home I’m not this worried the whole time…

For us this news is huge. Not only have we achieved what we have struggled for the last two years, but we did it without IVF. We had always wanted more than one child. If we had required IVF to get pregnant, it would have means one…maybe. If the IVF had failed, then it would have been none, since there’s no way we could have afforded to do it more than once. Twice at the very most.

So there you have it…our news. If you want to read Owen’s take on it, check out his blog at www.getspiked.blogspot.com

Friday, August 05, 2005

Would you, could you, in the dark?

I know many of my regular readers come here only to read peculiar information that seems to find me (I’m not looking for it, I swear!) with regards to animals. Well, here, for your enjoyment, is a little tidbit on the mating habits of badgers. It’s from an article called “Women are not the only ones who prefer sex in the dark” and was written by Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph.

A study of badgers' mating habits has found that, like many women, they prefer to have sex in the dark. During a new moon, female badgers are "tolerant or indifferent" to the advances of males and, when the moon is full, they become actively hostile.

But during the darker phase, from the last quarter to the first quarter of the lunar cycle, they are more amorous and mate far more frequently.

Dr David Dixon, a biologist who made the discovery, said: "A possible evolutionary driver for this link with the lunar cycle is that badgers spend a long time copulating - 90 minutes or more is not unusual. This means that in the past, amorous badgers may have been at considerable risk from attack by wolves, lynx, or bears unless they restricted their mating activities to when the countryside was cloaked in darkness."

Last year, a survey revealed that one in five women feels uncomfortable undressing within sight of her husband or boyfriend and a similar proportion also refuses to have sex when the lights are left on.

I know what you’re thinking...what the hell, eh? On the one hand we have women and on the other, badgers. Let’s see how they’re similar. Makes me wonder…maybe it’s because badgers have self-esteem issues relating back to the unattainable standards for badger beauty paraded in front of them in badger pop culture. Who knows?

And, because I’ve had requests for more information about animals’ glands, here’s a BONUS FACT, just for Amy:

Badgers belong to the same family of mammals that have musk-bearing glands under their tails - including the otter, polecat, stoat, weasel and pine marten.

So catty...

Roxie and Velma have developed a brilliant new game. It’s called “First You Stand On Me, Then I Stand On You.” Here’s how it works: First, you stand on me. Then, I stand on you. See? Everybody wins!

Last night I noticed that the poor gargoyle statue on the deck had been knocked over. Clearly, it was playing possum in order to avoid further assault by the gruesome twosome. I set it back up, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they now revert back to their old favorite game, “Molest the Gargoyle.”

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Music meme part deux

Here’s another music meme. I ganked it from Owen.

  1. Open up the music player on your computer.
  2. Set it to play your entire music collection.
  3. Hit the “shuffle” command.
  4. Tell us the title of the next ten songs that show up (with their musicians), no matter how embarrassing. That’s right, no skipping that Carpenters tune that will totally destroy your hip credibility. It’s time for total musical honesty.
  5. Write it up in your blog or journal and link back to at least a couple of the other sites where you saw this.
  6. If you get the same artist twice, you may skip the second (or third, or etc.) occurrences. You don’t have to, but since randomness could mean you end up with a list of ten song with five artists, you can if you’d like.

Here's my list-

1. "Grow for Me" – Rick Moranis; Little Shop of Horrors Soundtrack

2. "Dedicated Follower of Fashion" – The Kinks

3. "Penny Lane" – The Beatles

4. "Mr. Brightside" – The Killers

5. "Clint Eastwood" – Gorillas

6. "Life is Just a Tire Swing" – Jimmy Buffett

7. "Highway 49 " – Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters

8. "Kismet" - Bond

9. "Sweet Baby James" – James Taylor

10. "Humble Me" – Norah Jones

My FIRST music meme (that's kind of fun to say!):

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?
Um…about 7.7 gigs. And no I wasn’t “Afraid” to answer….I just had no idea and am not so good at guessing.

The CD you last bought?
Well…when I first read this(back before I figured out how to answer it) , I’m pretty sure the last C.D. I bought was almost a year ago when I bought the Avenue Q Soundtrack and the Garden State Soundtrack. But last night I go Jack Johnson’s “In Between Dreams.” That’s my deal….you get one I get one too. Hehehe.

What was the last song you listened to before reading this message?
“Something Beautiful” by Robbie Williams. Actually, it reminded me that I still had to do this thingie. I was trying to figure out what songs to put for the next question.

Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.
I’m going to look at this from an “over a long period of time” perspective, sincethey change daily.

1. “Something Beautiful” by Robbie Williams (also…“Solsbury Hill” Peter Gabriel): These songs remind me of my time in Prague. I spent a lot of time alone there, just me and my headphones. For some reason, “Solsbury Hill” reminds me of the metro and “Something Beautiful” reminds me of my road trip to Poland. It was all over the radio there and all we had to listen to was the car radio and each other.

2. “Power of Two” by the Indigo Girls (also…“By Your Side” Sade): These are my “together we can get through anything” songs. Dealing with all this infertility stuff has been really hard on me…and for a long time hearing either of these songs was sure to make me cry. Things are getting better, though.

3. “Defying Gravity” sung by Idina Menzel in the original Broadway cast of Wicked: I just love this song…I love how empowering it is and I love to sing it in the car and in the shower (my two favorite concert venues). It’s about somebody taking a stand for what she believes in, even though it may not be the most popular choice.

4. "Romeo and Juliet” by Dire Straits: This is one of the first songs (and one of the few songs) that Owen and I both agreed was a good song. It always makes me think of him. It’s a kind-of “our song” for me, even though it isn’t.

5. The version of “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole: I love this song, it’s so pretty and so innocent. It’s pure and sweet. I love this man’s voice (and it TOTALLY does not match his body. He was a HUGE Hawaiian Dude…but he passed away.) Anyways, show tunes (even reworked ones) have a special place in my heart. I recently discovered that I am a gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body (‘cept the sex part.).

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Um…nobody. I don’t know anybody else with a blog. (I know…you can say it…loser.) I regularly drop the ball. Never send me chain letters. NEVER.

We put the FUN in dysFUNctional....

Here is an excerpt I thought was both funny and accurate. It’s from Psychotherapy Networker’s August issue.

Face it, Your family’s nuts. The only cure for dysfunctional families is to do away with all families. We all have at least one weird family member and usually more. In fact, most of us are that member! A family is nothing more that a group of people irrationally committed to one another’s welfare. Being a good family member means being able to enjoy living every day with a group of flakes and failures. A good family is a group willing to stick with you when most sane and discerning people would vote you out.

I know this is true of my family. Everybody has his or her own quirks and, event hought hey drive us crazy sometimes, those quirks are often what we love about them (even if they don’t love it about themselves). Being family is being able to laugh (in a good, healthy way, not a hurtful way) about the things that make us different from one another.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Island: A review

Last night I dragged my husband to the movies to see a show that I wanted to see but that he had no interest in seeing. Invariably, this ends badly. However, last night it wasn’t so bad. He didn’t like it overly, but then again, neither did I.

I remember my college film and cinema professor saying that the sci-fi films of the 1950s and ‘60s mirrored the public’s fears. Think The Blob and The Thing From Another Planet and fears of the atomic bomb, radiation and nuclear fallout; Invasion of the Body Snatchers and the faceless masses of the communist proletariat. The Island, the film we saw last night, follows in the grand tradition of it’s sci-fi forefathers, extrapolating the effects of human cloning to the point into the distant future where there exists a huge underground clone farm under the Arizona dessert. The elite of society can elect to have a clone of themselves developed, hatched and raised in this underground facility and then later, can “harvest” the parts they need such as a new kidney or heart…or their “policy,” as the clones are called, can bear a child for them.

Among the community of unknowing clones are Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johansen, portraying Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta, respectively. The community, a seeming utopia sheltering its occupants from “the contamination” has no idea that they are merely awaiting harvest. Instead, they wait eagerly for their names to be drawn in a lottery to win a prized place on “The Island,” the last place on earth free from “the contamination.”

The Island blends the more successful and disturbing elements of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery and Lois Lowry’s The Giver in with the hallmarks of modern science fiction and action films. Because of its PG-13 rating, the film is happily free of gore and gratuitous sex but it is still somewhat violent. The plot is farfetched and (I’m sad to admit) neither actor made a stellar performance. In fact, I was very disappointed to notice MacGregor’s loveable Scottish accent conspicuously missing for most of the film (it’s a plot tool, but still…I was bummed).

I give this film an overall rating of 2 ½ stars out of 4. It wasn’t bad. But it wasn’t good either.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Things I hate...

Something my boss says that I hate because it's stupid and redundant: "Um, Sarah? F.Y.I. for you blah blah blah blah (while you read this last part, make the sound of the teacher from Charlie Brown). F.Y.I for you? What the sam-hell is that? Shouldn't that be F.Y.I.F.Y.? And THIS is the woman who feels she needs to "correct" my newsletters?

The thing she said to day that was EVEN MORE stupid: "I just need to know F.Y.I. for me." (WTF is that about???) Shouldn't that be F.M.I?

My side of the story...

This entry contains a response, also known as “my side of the story” to Owen’s entry about sleeping problems. If you’d like to read it, check out his blog at www.getspiked.blogspot.com.

Let me begin by stating that my husband, the aforementioned Owen, is the human equivalent of an electron. He is in constant motion, usually at exceedingly high rates of speed. Sometimes it may just be his lips moving (he is quite the talker). Other times, it is his hands at motion in a flurry of imaginary piano keystrokes. But…when we’re sleeping (or at least trying to) it is his feet. He kicks and shuffles so much I sometimes think he is actually planning out a tap routine and that he’s going to leave me for a life on the vaudeville stage. At such moments as these, the idea actually has a pleasing ring to it…because perhaps then I could get some sleep.

I’m the first to admit that I’m a light sleeper. (Check out my Blogger’s 101. I admitted it there.) However, I don’t know many people who would willingly go to sleep each night whilst the person next to them has the light on, is noisily turning magazine pages ever 30 seconds or so, and is constantly repositioning. His solution? I’m to sleep with an eye mask on and ear plugs in my ears. I’ve gotten pretty good at ditching the mask (most nights) but the ear plugs give me a hard time. After a lifetime of chronic ear infections they are sensitive and too many nights in a row with the plugs in leaves them itchy and congested. So I don’t like to wear them unless I have to.

Now…on the evening in question (that would be last night) I NEVER, not even once asked him to stop reading. At about quarter after 10, I just asked him if he would be finished soon. I was very sleepy…and contrary to what he says, I cannot just decide to sleep and sleep. Constant noise is distracting and keeps me awake. Still, I did not ask him to stop reading and he did not suggest I put in my ear plugs.

I awoke several times during the night to his constant kicking and shuffling (and perhaps the humming of some ragtime tune, I can’t be sure…I was groggy). My sleep was light and fruitless as I, being a stupid, stupid girl, and, having sworn off caffeine for the time being, had waaaaaaaay too much diet coke during the afternoon/evening. Needless to say (and so then why will I say it, you ask? The answer is “I don’t know.”), that and his kicking kept me up most of the night and so I too am exhausted today. And despite all that, I love him too.