Thursday, July 27, 2006

Adoptus Frustratus

Yes, there was another post here.

It was whiny and petty and passive-agressive and it's gone now.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Reader Participation Day: Ethical Dilemmas

Solve my problems for me please, dear readers.

1. A former intern has asked me to be a professional reference for her. Quite frankly, she was a complete flake. Very nice, but very flakey. Promised things and didn't deliver them, didn't listen to feedback, couldn't write her way out of a paper bag... you get the picture. I did a lot of the work on the project that was supposedly her responsibility. My former boss, when asked for advice on what to tell her, said "boy, I'm glad I was on maternity leave for most of the time she was her so I don't have to deal with that one." Do I:

a) Tell her I don't think I'd be the best person for her to use as a reference for this field (I don't think she has a lot of other people to turn to)

b) Say yes, and hope no one calls me. Be honest if they do.

c) Say, well I can certainly say you were enthusiastic (if nothing else) and hope she gets the picture.

d) ????

2. One of the security guards at work, L., has told me that her niece and niece's partner are going to Cape Cod to get legally married in a few weeks. They are super excited, have been busy planning a huge party at L.'s house when they get back, etc. etc. She's thrilled for them and doesn't understand why they can't just get married here. I don't understand either, but I think I've written about that before.

They live in New Jersey. It's my understanding that MA will not marry out of state residents (if they're gay). If her niece and partner are from a socio-economic background similar to L.'s, which I think they are, it's entirely possible that they may not have access to the most current information regarding gay marriage in MA. Do I say something to L. about the fact that I'm not sure they're going to be able to pull this off?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Photo, yes I had a nice weekend

The topic was opposites. Young/old, big/small, good/evil, you name it.

I didn't get a chance to shoot anything new, but I had fun looking back through my old photos. I came up with two contrasting hand pictures...

Hands IIHands I

And some nice big/small, young/old from our trip to India:

Baby ElephantGrands

Saturday, July 22, 2006


I wore Pili's ear out last night, bitching about a letter to the editor in the NY Times. Finally, I said: "Perhaps I should blog about this." And she, eager to get back to the Escapes section, said, "Yes, perhaps you should."

ASIDE: There is nothing that gets my dander up more than reading letters to the editor. At least the ones in the NY Times are well written, which is way more than I can say for our local paper, whose letters to the editor generally read something like this: "How dare you say bad things about our President?!? Dont you know we are at WAR????" There are terrorists and WMDS out there in Iraq and they want to kill US!"

In this letter to the Editor, a nurse expresses her opinion about IVF and stem cell research. In the end, we agree with each other. "The ethical and moral obligation," she writes, "lies with saving lives, not saving potential lives." Great. Fabulous. We agree.

In the middle of her letter, though, she opinionates about IVF.

"It is disingenuous to support in vitro fertilization," she says, "and not support stem cell research. With in vitro fertilization, precious health care dollars

ART-SWEET: Whose health care dollars? This makes it sound like the government is paying for IVF, which g-d and our bank account both know is not the case

are spent creating embryos

ART-SWEET: here's the part that had me spitting out my tasty organic grilled veggies in shock

to satisfy individuals' selfish need for children who match their own DNA. There are so many adoptable children already born into this world that it seems immoral to create 'adoptable embyros'."

A CONFESSION: When Pili and I first started down this whole get us a kid route, I was of the sternest moral fiber. Anything beyond clomid was immoral, I thought. A waste of money given all the kids that need homes. Obviously, somewhere along the way, I changed my mind.

So what bothers me about this letter?

First of all, there's the typical misunderstanding of adoption. The desire to physically bear children is much more complicated than simply a wish for children "who match our own DNA." There's the desire to nurture life within one's own body - to have that essentially human physcial experience. To know one's child from before he or she is even born. To control the environment - nutrition, chemical exposure, drug and alcohol exposure - of one's child's early formation. To raise a child who knows without a doubt where he or she came from, what his or her medical history is. Not to mention the desire to have a child without undergoing the financial and emotional scrutiny involved in adoption.

But what really gets under my skin is the idea that infertiles are expected, by virtue of the fact that our bodies have not cooperated with our dreams, to forswear those dreams as selfish - the means to fulfill them immoral since adoption is also an option.

Is it selfish for fertile folks to have one, two, three, four... sixteen kids? What about the healthcare costs that incurs? If they want large families, why shouldn't they "just adopt"? I don't hear her calling them selfish.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

An Acrostic, for Bri

Howling cats want me to feed them.
A salad sits untouched on the counter.
Personal emails go unanswered.
Put aside for this task.
Y aren't I doing these things?

Because of someone
In the computer.
Dear, I wish you
A very happy, healthy, baby-bearing
Year of thirty-one.

Personal Ad

Bri, this is not your birthday post. It's coming later, I promise. But if you're reading this, go wish Bri a happy birthday anyway.

I'm placing this ad for my friend "Gonalfa." She's been living in our fridge for a while and is need of a new home ASAP.

Untouched but Hot-to-Trot Gonal-F Pen seeks willing infertile (US only please) cycling SOON (expires 8/06).

Please email me and tell me your story if you're interested. I'll run the answers by Gonalfa and get right back to you.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

So let me get this straight, Mr. President

Dear President Not Good Enough to Wipe my Ass Bush:

Let me see if I've got this straight:

"Marriage is the most fundamental institution of civilization, and it should not be redefined by activist judges."

But it's okay for one activist president to overturn the will of the American people, as defined by their elected representatives - the will of the American people that their tax dollars should be used to fund research that could cure alzheimers, parkinsons, diabetes, and a host of other ailments - in order to protect the "life" of a handful of cells in a petri dish?

I'd rather save their lives than his/her life any day.

If we don't use the four embryos sitting in the deep freeze right now, they're going to medical research in the hopes of possibly improving the quality of life for me and millions of other living, breathing human beings. They're not going to become some evangelical's miracle snowflake baby. So let me and my elected representatives decide where to put our money and concentrate your limited energies on something you do well, like provoking frickin' world war III in the Middle East.

White Hot With Rage,


Two months and two days ago

I will be honest, since this is my blog. But if you're pregnant, you might not want to keep reading. I would understand that.

Lots of folks in my little corner of the internet have gotten pregnant lately. They are filled with joy. They are looking forward without hesitation to the Baby that will Be. And you know what? Their Baby Will Be.

They will have doubling betas, beautiful fuzzy ultrasounds at which they clasp each other's hands and gasp (clasp, gasp, aren't I clever?) at the sound of their baby's heartbeat. Nothing will go wrong for them. Why not? I don't know why not. Maybe they were nicer to their mothers in a past life. Maybe they're just not me. Maybe if I had just believed whole-heartedly that nothing would go wrong, if I had not allowed doubt to slip in, nothing would have gone wrong. Did I jinx it by allowing the possibility of wrongness to materialize in my mind - one small grain and then another and then another - like the elementary school science experiment of sugar crystals on a thread?

Don't get me wrong. I don't in the least begrudge them their good karma. I just wish it extended to me. Perhaps the very fact that I can't just be happy for them without a reflex kick of self-pity and self-doubt is indicative of the starter crystal that sent our baby astray?

As excited as I am about the potential of Guatebaby, I just can't get these thoughts out of my head.

I can almost hear the gentle, rational voice of my father in my head, telling me statistics, reminding me of the joys of my life, trying to convince me these things don't happen because of me. And I don't know what scares me more. Random crap luck, or the idea that I make my own luck and that luck is bad.

Monday, July 17, 2006

For Cali & Deanna

Ms./Mr. Groundhog (I wasn't getting close enough to those claws to find out whether he was a she or she was a he. Plus s/he smelled terrible.) has been released into the woods, off the aptly named "Woodchuck Hill Road." My neighbors may hate me, but my garden thanks me. One down, two to go.

Photo Friday: The Very Clean House in Which I Blog

Very clean house, because Mrs. Vaseline Teeth came over today and did the home visit! She seemed very pleased with the house, with my peppermint ice tea and zucchini bread, and with the cats, and was her general agreeable non-questioning self.

Thanks to the wonders of laptops and wireless internet, I blog all over the house.

I blog in bed. With (from L to R) the laptop, the fan (because it's damn hot), Bart, Pili's knees, and Idli.

Where I Blog: Bed

I blog in my office. Pili and I share an office; I have this cute little alcove at the south end of the room. Go to flickr to see all the commentary on this one.

Where I Blog: Office

And in the winter I can frequently be found blogging in front of the fire.

Where I Blog: Winter

Note the happy hanukkah lights!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Updates, updated

Someone (who hasn't updated herself since she dropped a big bombshell a couple of days ago) nagged me about updating. Ever the dutiful blogger, I shall.

The meeting with Mrs. VT was fine. She quizzed me about my family, didn't appear to have read my autobiography with much care (No, Mrs. VT, I don't have any siblings. I did mention that a few times in my autobiography, I believe), asked me what I thought the strengths of our relationship were, told me lots of stories about all the couples she's helped, and asked me how I thought I would handle it if our child turned out to have a disability.

Wait a minute: Throw him in the trash was not the right answer? OH CRAP.

The conference proposal is almost done, and I got an extension until Monday.

Monday is also the day VT comes to our home. We're taking her at her word that she is not showing up with white gloves on, although I may have to bake some cookies. Mostly just to see how quickly Red Riding Hood can cream butter and sugar, of course.

But the happiest news of the day? Sorry for the crappy photo, but I must report that I Have a Hart. I also have one fewer groundhog in my backyard.

Groundhog, Interrupted

p.s. Calzones were filled with ricotta, mozzarella, a variety of lovely greens from our CSA, onion, and garlic.

Friday, July 14, 2006


10:29 am: Vaseline Teeth appt in an hour. STOP. Very nervous. STOP. Voice sounds like a cheap hooker. STOP.

10:30 am: Rejected for job I didn't really want. STOP. Should not have bothered applying for assistant level position. STOP. Do not want "assistant" on my resume at age 31, unless it comes with "director." STOP. Still kinda pissed they didn't even interview me.

10:32 am: KitchenAid wonderful. STOP. Makes better pizza dough than me. STOP.

The KitchenAided DoughThe finished product

10:33 am: TMI. STOP. Antibiotics giving me diarrhea and yeastie beasties. STOP.

10:34 am: Blood sugars punishing me for suggesting they were smooth. STOP.

10:35 am: Conference proposal not done. STOP. Anxiety level RED. STOP. STOP. STOP. STOP. MAKE IT ALL STOP.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Short, but not as Sweet

My A1C (after one month of pumping) was 7.7!

Given that that represents the past three months, and my A1C in June, pre-pump was 8.3, and before that was 9.1, I am pretty damn pleased with myself.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Five Things

1) I'm SICK. I have an ear infection (since when do grownups get ear infections?) and am on antibiotics and about five thousand decongestants trying to get the damn gunk to drain out of my ear. Of course when it does, it drains down my throat and makes me cough, which makes my ear feel like I've just gotten off a poorly pressurized plane. Gah. Gack. And sudafed makes me feel like my blood sugar is low (racing heart, etc.) even when it is not. Although actually, my sugars have been stellar lately, despite the infection.

1.5) I also have laryngitis. No voice whatsoever. Those of you who know me in person, know that this is torture for me. Pure torture.

2) The Job That Blows is really busy and I have a conference proposal to write, due Friday. It would be much easier if I could actually talk to the people I want to have on the panel. Yes, this means I really shouldn't be blogging at work.

3) I expect to be passing notes with the pump educator at my one month follow up tomorrow. Am actually curious to see what my AIC will be.

4) I mailed the I600A AND dropped all of our homestudy docs off at Vaseline Teeth's yesterday. Our individual appointments with her are Friday, and the joint meeting at our house is Monday. I hope I have a voice by then. I expect this weekend to be spent cleaning things I never knew needed to be cleaned as my beloved wife (WIFE, do you hear me appeals court asswipes?) freaks out.

5) The wonderful Cali stepped into the middle of all this and made my day by declaring me the tribute of tribute tuesday. And telling me that my rainbows were a winner for Photo Friday. Thank you Cali! Thank you Photo Phriday Phriends!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

In which I apologize to a rodent

My sincere apologies, Mrs. Groundhog

May I call you Mrs. Groundhog? I assume you are female, as I've seen you frolicking with two equally fat little ones, and wikipedia assures me that the male of the species abandons you after the birth of the little ones. (Pig) Perhaps a simple Ms. Groundhog would suffice? Or does New York State extend marital rights to rodents - as long as they're heterosexual rodents? It certainly seems like your relationship could use some statuatory encouragement towards stability (assholes, assholes, assholes).

You've had a grand old time devouring my liatris, making mincemeat of my yarrow, and decapitating my coneflowers.

The liatris

Hopefully the havahart placed strategically amongst the baptisia, leading directly to the hole under the fence that you've dug and redug multiple times, will shortly result in the end of my acquaintance with you and your kids.

So long, it's been nice to know you.

What's that? Ah yes, the apology. While I have been an eyewitness to some of your more heinous crimes, yesterday, I blamed you unfairly.

In my heart of hearts, I knew you weren't the culprit. But it wasn't until I saw the calling card, left so generously in the lawn weeds, that I knew who it was who chomped on my tomato plants, beheaded my raspberry bushes, and took the buds off my phlox.

Damn DeerPhlox, bitten off in its prime
Damn Deer IIMore tomato damage

The calling card
Bastard deer.

Did I ever say I was in favor of gun control? Did I really say that you were cute as I saw you grazing peacefully on the other side of the fence?

I lied.

Some pictures of what my pride and joy, aka what Bambi is trying to destroy:

The garden I

The garden II

Friday, July 07, 2006

I'm back! Let's talk! Or, the longest post ever.

A little the worse for wear, but back nonetheless. A warning to the squeamish and to my phobic friends, bodily fluids mentioned below.

We had a lovely time out in suprisingly sunny northern CA. I think Bri and I may have breathed the same air molecules as we were stunningly near each other without knowing it. My cousin, wife, and adorable twin niecies live around the corner from the cafe in which she apparently spent most of high school. Weird.

I guess Pili and I really are married, fucking assholes on the NY State court of appeals be damned*, because I LOST it at her mother. Lost it. I believe the words selfish and inappreciative flew out there a few times. It's just really hard for me to see how her parents treat her. Their priorities are, IMHO, weird. I know they love her - and me. And they're always happy to see us - and very jealous of our time when we're there. But they don't make much of an effort to get out here, or to encourage us to come there by subsidizing things... And it's hard for me to believe the "oh we're so poor line" when they're in the middle of remodeling their entire house.

Aside from that outburst, it was a beautiful trip. And Pili's mom is coming to visit us, g-d help me, in a month. So I should really stop bitching about her. Dad and step-mom, on the other hand... And my niecies are the cutest, smartest things ever. I will put some pix up on flickr, friends and fam only, so let me know if you want to be among the elect.

After a miserable trip back which included getting sick at O'Hare, convincing myself that I had Toxic Shock Syndrome (did not, but still cannot bring myself to leave the world of girly diapers MAXIpads and return to more convenient modes of dealing with things), a two hour delay, and not being able to find my car in the airport parking garage (Stop. Laughing. At Me. Now.), I am finally back in the Lovely City of Eternal Sleepage.

And, as of three am last night, the autobiography is done. It's not, by any stretch of the imagination, a piece of writing of which I'm proud. But it's done, and I don't think Mrs. Vaseline Teeth cares that much about my writing. In fact, I'm not sure what she cares about, which is unfortunate.

A word about Mrs. Vaseline Teeth. She smiles. A lot. More than I could smile without my lips sticking to my teeth. She gushes about how adorable Guatemalan children are and hasn't asked any questions to date about our ability to support the culture of said adorable children. At our first meeting with her, we flipped through the gigantic basket of adoptive family Christmas cards. I picked up one of those adopt-the-world family pictures with sixteen or seventeen children, some bio, some clearly adopted. "Oh that's such a sweeet family," she crooned. "Can you tell which ones are their real kids?"

[Adoption bloggers, you are with me now in saying: no, no, no - she didn't. The adoption social worker did not ask you that. But she did.]

A trick question, I thought, and pounced. "Why, all of them, of course," I said, well-read adoption advocate me.

"Oh yes, of course," she said. "But which ones are their own?"

More tentatively: "Do you mean, which ones are their biological children? Because, I mean, they adopted them, right?"

Dismissively: Yes, yes. Can you tell which ones are adopted? Well, duh. The parents are office-paper white. I'm guessing the brown ones are adopted. Why are we working with her? Because everyone says she is the best in town. And no one seems to have any suggestions for anyone else within a hundred mile radius. And she will get the job done, and not make our lives difficult. Am I crazy though, for thinking that her job is, on some level, to make our lives difficult? To ask tough questions and make us think through them? Or am I expecting too much of her?

I bought myself a present for finishing my autobiography. Actually, I bought it beforehand because I have wanted one for a long long time and it was super on sale (try, $250 off list). But I didn't open it until I was done with the autobiography. And now I am having a wee bit of buyers remorse because, really, we can't afford this right now. But it would probably cost $50 just to ship this puppy back, so I ought to keep it. Right?

Splurge 1
Splurge, Closeup

A word about being sick: My Stomach Thing That Was Not Toxic Shock Syndrome is now a Generalized Low Energy Headachy Snotty Thing. I want to have energy. I need to have energy. I need to have energy so as:

  • To take on my lengthy todo list. [MOST DECIDELY NOT DONE]
  • To carry the haveahart out to the wilderness behind our house and try to capture the evil groundhog who has bitten off the tops of my phlox, my tomatoes (a short way to get on my shit list), my liatris, and my yarrow. [DONE!]
  • To plant the strawberry runners I brought back from CA. [DONE!]
  • To pull out the lawn weeds that have taken over the lawn. [Ha! Surely you jest!]
  • To outline the New and Revitalized, Revisited Thesis. [Err, um.]
  • To vacuum the cat-hair coated carpets before Pili gets home on Sunday. [See above]
  • To call NonExpressScripts and ask where the hell my prescriptions are. [Two arrived today. The test strips are now "in pharmacy." The pump supplies? In limbo, apparently.]
  • To cook up the fridge full of delicious organic veggies before more arrive from the CSA on Tuesday. (Spell check wanted to change veggies to Vegas! Perhaps next weeks delivery from the crunchy granola farm will include a few crunchy granola showgirls?)
  • To change my lancet.

Okay, now I'm having an anxiety attack about all I have to do. Later, sweeties.

*Lots of other bloggers have commented about the incredible stupidity that is the appeals court decision. I will say only that these are not the great legal minds of our time. To say in the same breath that children born into same-sex relationships live in more stable family units (and therefore do not deserve legal protection for those family units) and that (contrary to the opinion of any number of respected social science organizations) it's better for kids to grow up in opposite sex couple households... that's just frickin idiotic. And what about non-procreative straight couples? What about... oh, it just pisses me off beyond words.