10.31.2006

B is for (not a pretty picture)

Yesterday was CD3. Yesterday I had blood drawn. Yesterday I found out that my estradiol (e2) level is 85.2 and my FSH levels are 10.3.

No. These are not good numbers. Yesterday I spend hours googling, googling, googling. Those numbers are too high. Those numbers are too damn high. Those numbers are too damn fucking high. Women with those numbers are urged to consider donor eggs because even if you do manage to ovulate the chances that your eggs are no good are so damn fucking high. Low Ovarian Reserve. There ain't enuff eggs in my baskit.

True, those numbers could be worse. The FSH could be higher. Maybe I need to hear that right now. Maybe hearing that would just make me scream. Maybe hearing that would keep my eyes from watering. Damn allergies. I don't know. Maybe I just need to lose 100 lbs and cut out all soy. Maybe I need to just chill the fuck out already.

My doctor's appointment isn't until Thursday AM. And I don't really feel like I can completely fall apart until I hear it from him. After all, couldn't Dr. Google be wrong? Maybe there's something still to try? Falling apart now seems a bit... premature? hysterical? overreactive? I'm just numb today. Just numb yesterday. I don't know what to think, I don't know what to plan. I'm just hoping that the doctor has some sort of game plan, or a different diagnosis entirely, something for me to focus on other than that old fashioned, and wickedly sharp word

BARREN.

Maybe it's not real. Maybe I'm not there yet. Maybe there's some mitigating circumstances. I don't know where my high progesterone levels of just a week ago figure... maybe I'm wrong. The doctor hasn't said it yet. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe it's not true. The doctor hasn't said it yet. Maybe I'm just overreacting. Maybe I'm just scaring myself. Happy Halloween. Trick or Treat.

Boo

10.30.2006

Finally, a full-fledged member of the family

I've been with Kristin going on 6 years now. We bought a house together. She comes to all the family events. Through this whole time my mother and my aunts all insisted that my grandparents (my grandfather and his second wife) couldn't be told the truth about us. I didn't really care -- I'm not that close to them, but I didn't let their presence change my behavior toward Kristin or keep me from talking about my life in front of them. So, for all these years, they considered Kristin and I to be just old maids together, probably bought a house to save on rent, and the poor girl just never seems to have any family of her own to spend Holidays with, etc... annoying, and hurtful, but whatever. Everyone seemed to agree that they just wouldn't be able to handle the truth.

But when we conceived the child that was to be Julia, I gave my mother an ultimatum: tell Grandpa that he has another great-grandchild on the way, or I would. So, she finally told him.

And they've been wonderful about it. I'm used to holding them off at arm's length, so they haven't really had much opportunity to show their acceptance, though. Still, we're all moving forward.

And then, Saturday, Kristin's birthday, a card came in the mail. A birthday card, for her. And it said "Granddaughter" on the front, and had $5 inside. Just like all the other grandkids...

10.27.2006

Baby Eat California Roll

Tomorrow is Kristin's 30th Birthday. So last night we had dinner at a local Japanese restaurant with my family. I reserved a room and we all sat on the floor around a sunken table. While we were deliberating and chatting, Julia crawled around the room and charmed everyone. Then, when the food started coming, we strapped her into her booster seat (we brought it from home specifically for those straps) and gave her food.

Our server was an older Japanese woman with a thick accent. She was completely won over by Julia.

About the middle of the meal, she brought Kristin another California roll, and she was still in the room when Kristin picked up a piece of that roll and handed it to Julia.

"Baby eat sushi?"
"She loves sushi. LOVES. IT"
"No, really? She really eats it?"
"Yeah, she really eats it. All of it."
Just then Julia picked up the roll and shoved it in her mouth.
The woman left, shaking her head. She shut the rice-paper door behind her.

"Baby eat california roll!" we heard her say to several people outside our room.

Huh. And here we've been justifying our feeding Julia sushi and sashimi by saying, "Well, what do people in Japan feed their toddlers, then, huh?" That usually shuts the wannabe-toddler-food-expert up.

But maybe they don't. Heck, for all I know, people in Japan feed their toddlers boxed macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets and yogurt like everyone in Middle America seems to do. I mean, the woman seemed a bit taken aback by the sight of a toddler shoving sushi in her mouth while going, "mmmmmmmmm".

What can we say, though? The girl loves herself some sushi. I wonder how long she'll be this adventurous in her eating habits?

What I Forgot to Mention Below

Was that the whole time she was spilling her heart to me all I wanted to say was...

I MIGHT HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR!!!

Yup, this whole thing happened on the Bad Weekend. When Kristin and I were sniping at each other and I was trying to analyze every twinge in my head and pelvis for signs that explosion was immanent. And then that.

But even as I thought of screaming the sentence above, I also realized how completely selfish and over-reactive that was, and, honestly, that was kind of funny. Especially since I was likening it in my head to Turkey Vulture vomit. So, one of the scenes that kept playing in my head (I have a hard time keeping myself in the present sometimes) while she was talking was this one...

She: So. Um. So that's when I realized--
I: I MIGHT HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR!!!!
She: (startled, big-eyed, covered in reeking bile, wipes some sticky, regurgitated rotten news off her cheek, while more drips from her chin into the puddle on her lap) Um... well... uh... wow...
I: CAW! CAW! CAW! (flying away in a flash of black and white feathers and red-skinned, wrinkly, bald head)

I don't really know what kind of sound a Turkey Vulture makes. But a Caw seems possible, no?

Well, I think it's a pretty funny scenario. It got me through some of the more awkward moments of the conversation, at least.

10.26.2006

collision, delusion, incision

A few days ago a woman told me she loved me… and it wasn’t Kristin.

Let me be clear: I am not cheating on Kristin. This was… an unexpected complication in a growing friendship. This was me doing what I like to do… having deep conversations about history, literature, the state of our current social contract, the effects of childhood abuse on adult behavior… and flirting.

I only flirt when I feel safe. It’s a sure bet that if I’m flirting with you it’s because I feel confident that such flirting is not going to get me in trouble. And by “get me in trouble” I mean – put ideas in your head so that you might think that I actually walk my talk. Kristin is the one exception. And frankly, I didn’t do such a hot job of flirting with her (and still don’t). It was my geeky clumsiness that got her, my failure to flirt gracefully (because I had no experience with flirting when I actually meant it to lead to a tousled bed and a long night) rather than the teasing quick-wittedness and risqué humor I’m capable of displaying when I don’t really mean it.

I only like to play when the field is vacant of hearts. I’m a tease, but I hate to be cruel.

***

I was always the ugly one in school. I was the fat one (even when I was 5 ft 9 and 120 lbs I was called the fat one… because my breasts were larger than any other girl’s in school). I was the one that cute boys would talk to in order to get closer to my friends. Once, there was this cute guy… let’s call him Brad. I had a massive crush on Brad. He was a year older than me, but he was in a lot of my classes. One day we were all sitting in debate class and goofing off. Brad had a yo-yo that he was making do tricks in front of the girls. I asked him if he could do Walk the Dog and he grabbed my hand and pulled me across the room (And OH! I wanted to swoon when he touched my hand!) and then he said. “There, I just walked the dog.” And everyone but my friends Laurel and Amy laughed.

I was the ugly one, the fat one, but I also became the untouchable one. Sophomore year, first debate meet, my “mentor” (a senior boy) thought that being my mentor meant he could touch me. I put up with it and put up with it. And then he tried it again when I was standing at the edge of a group of people. I think he thought that my fear of attention would keep me quiet. But I lost it. I screamed at him to keep his filthy hands to himself. And everyone looked, and there he was with his hands up and “hey, it’s not my fault the girl misunderstood a friendly hug over a victory” and from that moment on the only touches I got from boys were hostile. I became the fierce one, too, even though inside I was always shaking. Sometimes I was capable of gathering my reputation around me like armor and stepping between another girl and a boy who was bothering her, and sometimes I wasn’t.

Another boy, another day: I’m sitting in the hall outside the drama room, rehearsing lines with a friend. Clark comes up behind me, sits on my shoulders (he was a slight guy) and begins scratching my head. My heart began beating; get out get out get out. My friend asked him what he was doing. “I’m scratching my balls. Isn’t that right, ball-breaker?” My paralysis cracked and I flung him off my shoulders. He skipped off, laughing.

While other teens were learning how to flirt, how to date, how to kiss, I was learning how to defend, how to fight off, how to hide, how to cry and hide it. And the sad thing is I’m betting most of you were learning how to do those things, too.

***
I’ve said many a time here that my only motivation in writing this blog is to get as many people to fall in love with me and offer to have my love children as possible. But really? If any of you (or anyone, really) were to come up to me and say with great sincerity, “Trista, I think you’re beautiful, inside and out. You get me in a way that no one has ever gotten me before. I’m falling in love with you and I don’t know what to do about it.” I think I would probably vomit on your shoes. Not in a “I am so disgusted by what you just said that the only appropriate response is to vomit on you immediately” kind of way, but in a Turkey Vulture kind of way. Still, when you're the one with vomit squelching between your toes, does it really matter why it's there? You've still been barfed on.

But I like her. I want her for a friend. And I never intended this. So I listened to her. And I offered sympathy. And though I don’t think she’d be flattered by the comparison, sometimes I felt like I was talking to my teenaged self. And that really sucks. Because if I’m going to be talking to my teenaged self, I don’t want to have to say, “I’m sorry, I don’t love you.”

I hurt her. I didn’t mean to, but I did. And the only honorable way out was to choose the lesser of a thousand hurts and do it quickly. At least I said it kindly. And at least I didn’t vomit and run away.

There’s something to be said for that.

I guess.

10.25.2006

Advice and/or soothings required

ok, my fine friends...

If you look at the pictures of Julia below, and on flickr, you can see that even though it's been over 2 weeks, that damn black eye is STILL visible. And there seems to be a little dent in her cheek from it.

Is this normal? Will it eventually go away? Or is she scarred for life?

I'm a little worried because when I fell on my ass a year ago, after the bruise faded (about a month, but it was a BAD bruise, the size of a platter and hard for weeks) there was a permanent crease in my buttock. It's still there. I just figured that the fat cells there were killed or parted (like the red sea only less helpful). But there's a lot more fat on my ass to be parted than on Julia's cheek.

Any of you know how long it takes for a black eye to completely go away?

Pigtails!


Happy Girl
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
I promised pictures of my pigtailed girl, and here they are. In this one she's wearing her chicken costume, but the head's off. She did not like the chicken head on.

In fact, this is the expression on her face when we make her wear the chicken head:
Chicken with a 'tude
or, sometimes, this one:
Julia as Chicken

And then, after we make her make that face for long enough, when we get home she gets us back by doing things like:

Julia and the Ginormous Bra
getting a bra out of the cupboard and running around the house in it (she has yet to do this when there's company, but I'm not putting it past her)
or
Getting into trouble
dumping an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet. And then flushing.

Anyway, back to the ponytails. It was really hard to get her to hold still for them, and we got these elastics that are made out of silicone and are tangle-free, so with determination she can just pull them right on out. AND I don't know how to make a straight part to save my life, AND symmetry and evenness are overrated (or so I'm declaring), but I think they look pretty cute! And it's not so bad when she pulls the elastics out, because her hair just stays in the little bobbin shapes even without the elastics once her hair has dried in them (I put them in when her hair was wet -- easier to manage that way) so no can really tell that she's rid herself of the tyrranny of elasticy bands.

One last picture and then I'm done:
Mommie love

10.24.2006

What the nose knows

How important is your sense of smell to you? And I'm not just talking about the way scent can bring the past full-bodied into the present, though that's something important too. What I mean is how much are you conscious of the way scent influences your relationships?

When you smell someone, do you feel like you’re bringing them inside you? Because you are. Tiny particles of them entering your body, nestling into you, flowing along your nervous system. Residing in you. Your nose is an organ, and scent strokes it.

Can you tell what kind of a day a person's had just by the way they smell? Can you smell the traces of fear, stress, excitement, happiness in the pieces of them that you're taking in?

For me, all the above applies. My sense of smell is very sensitive. When I get someone in my nose I am flooded with more information that I can process. It feels animalian. And sometimes it makes associating with people difficult. I get offended when people smell strong enough (of whatever scent – perfume, cologne, b.o.) that I can smell them from feet away. It’s like they’re walking around with their genitals exposed. I hold my breath when people walk by quickly enough to create a breeze – I just don’t want any information from them. It's just TMI and nothing to do about it.

But when I love someone, I need to smell them. I need to breathe them in. It’s like talking. I get so much information. No, talking isn’t the right metaphor. It’s like looking into your beloved’s eyes – vital for connection. I can smell Kristin’s day on her. I can smell when she’s sick even before she has symptoms. I swear, I can smell her emotions. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true. And I'm learning Julia's smells, too. I'm getting to where I can smell if Julia is getting sick, too, and if that sickness is viral or bacterial. I can smell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection.

And scent is one of the primary ways that my libido gets torched. I think it's interesting that before I met Kristin I dated only smokers. It's true, I just thought back, and everyone I dated was a smoker but for one. And I rarely got the hots for any of them. And the girl who wasn't a smoker, I was hung up on for years.

Here's something I did before I was conscious of how scent affects me: I was spending the weekend at her place. She lived 4 hours away and I would visit once a month or so. It was winter and she had an old heater that was on most of the time. I took the perfume oil I used to wear and I smeared it on the heater vents in her bedroom, in her living room. I wanted her to catch whiffs of me when I was gone and think about how I was missing from her home. A month later, she asked me to move in. And a week after that we were finished. But that's another story.

With a smoker, none of that extra information is present. It's all masked. It’s like looking in your lover’s eyes and finding them clouded with cataracts. And, having sex with someone who smokes is like having sex with someone who never takes off their dark sunglasses. At one point, this was what I wanted -- sex without intimacy, sex without really taking someone in. Sex without knowing. But now, for me, this is a radical disconnect that I can’t get over.

Not that the sexual part of this discussion is anything more than hypothetical at this moment in time. Kristin doesn't smoke. But I've got a friend who smokes, and I can only go so far in a friendship with her and no farther. She can't be one of my more intimate friends; she's not one I'll tell all my secrets and hopes and fears to, at least not in person. Because though I can smell her, I can't smell her. And there's that disconnect -- as if I've caught her in a lie of omission. And I want to tell her that my reticence does have to do with her smoking, but not from judgement on the habit, but from something more elemental, simple, primal, and inescapable as scent.

I was talking about this with another friend, a former smoker, who told me about how she was dumped by someone because she smoked. And that she felt that she was more than just a bad habit, and shouldn't be judged by it. And, while I agree with her that she (and every smoker) is more than just that one habit, I can't agree that the habit doesn't have severe consequences and effects on some people. I can't be intimate in a personal, physical (as in physically-present, not necessarily sexual) way with a smoker. And there's nothing I can do about it. It's like trying to be close to an invisible person. You never really know where they are.

So, what about you? What's your relationship to scent?

10.23.2006

Fucking shitty fucking weekend

Yeah, it wasn't a good one. I've had better. The confluence of too many BAD situations and stresses into one gigantic suck-fest of a weekend. Yay me. Yay us. Yay life.

I ran into the most condescending phlebotomist on the planet Friday night. First, she dug. Enough said, right? Second, while I'm sitting there, trying to keep from retching from the effects of the digging and such (blood draws hit me hard even when they go well) I'm trying to tell her that I want to be able to call in and get the results.

She tells me no.

That's right. She said that it wasn't a yes or no test, and the number wouldn't mean anything to me, so why bother knowing it? All it would do was make me worry. And then she patted me on the head, offered me a cookie, and showed me the door. I was really discombobulated and woozie, or I would have put up more of a fight.

As it was, I worried all fucking weekend. I kept wanting to go up to people and say "I'M BARREN AND I MIGHT HAVE A BRAIN TUMOR!!" So, no, it wasn't a good weekend. I'm a brooder. I brood.

The fact is, if she had let me get my results, I might have felt better. Because this morning I felt stronger and a different woman was nicer, and I got Friday's results AND this morning's results.

Friday's progesterone results: 18.30
Today's progesterone results: 22.30

Those numbers seem good, right? Today is CD20, Friday was CD17, and the numbers are going up. They're higher than the reference range for a woman's luteal phase, but right on track for Midcycle. On clomid, in the middle of my cycle, the levels were 4. So, weird, but the high progesterone would seem to imply that I have ovulated this month (DAMN! I missed it!) unmedicated. Or maybe it means something else. But I feel a bit better from knowing the numbers.

Plus, according to Dr. Google, my prolactin levels (32.0) are too low to indicate a prolactinoma. So, that's good, too.

In more positive news, I managed to put Julia's hair into lots of tiny little pigtails and she looked way too cute. I'll try to post pictures later.

If any of you have any insight about the prolactin level or the progesterone levels, please feel free to speak up.

Hopefully I'll have something more chipper for you tomorrow.

10.20.2006

Let's play Stump The Doctor, shall we?

First off, I just want to point out one of the reasons I love Kristin so much:

Driving to the appointment, I was just getting going through a light when I heard a horn honking -- I looked and behind me (going in the opposite direction) a car had abruptly slammed on its brakes, nearly causing a collision and getting honked at in the process. I couldn't see what had caused the car to stop so suddenly.

Kristin was late to the appointment. It wasn't a problem, because they were running late. But she came in a bit flustered with her lateness. Turns out she had been driving up the same street that I had, and had seen 2 puppies playing in the traffic (obviously they're what caused the little scene I had witnessed, though I hadn't seen the puppies) so she pulled over, coaxed the puppies to her, and went looking for the house they must have come from. One house had a doggie door and the puppies seemed most excited at that house, so Kristin rang the doorbell. No answer. Still, she had to get to the appointment, so she locked the dogs securely behind the gate. I love that she took the time to gather the puppies up and make sure they were safe before continuing on. We've rescued our fair share of dogs, but she was running late to an appointment that was important to both of us, and still she helped them. I love her.

Anyway, after waiting and waiting, the nerdliest doctor came in. Turns out all the blind cootchie snortcher grooming was for naught. I never had to bare my beaver. I guess that gives all the bald patches time to grow back in.

After going over my medical history, dates and times and amounts, feelings and pee sticks and mucus, we talked briefly about our donor. No judgment there (thank goodness!) he just wanted to make sure that we had a contract and were protecting ourselves. And then he started deliberating. Brought up PCOS and then dismissed it -- not only do I not have the major symptoms, but clomid did nothing to help me. I'm really glad that I had that ultrasound now, because I was able to tell him what my ovaries were doing (um, nothing -- not dead, but not far from it) on the large dose of Clomid. Then we talked about too much estrogen, not enough progesterone. Could be a luteal phase defect. But that would imply that I was ovulating at least. Then he said the dreaded words. The words I've heard whispering in my little doomsday brain: Premature Ovarian Failure.

Seems that one of the most puzzling things about my cycles is the fact that they are rhythmic. I expect a period every month -- just they're always really, really close together. He said that a woman's cycles will sometimes do that as the ovaries begin failing. So, though he told me that he doesn't expect POF to be the case, he's testing for it first, just to get it out of the way.

I, of course, stopped really listening to him for a while after he said POF. All I heard was "you, my dear, are dysfunctional. All out of eggs. Too bad for you, you'll never get pregnant. YOU'LL NEVER GET PREGNANT. YOU'LL NEVER GET PREGNANT. YOU'LL NEVER GET PREGNANT YOU DYSFUNCTIONAL HALF-WOMAN YOU!!!!!"

Yeah, ahem, then I had to snap myself out of it and try to pay attention to what he was saying. Kristin would probably like me to point out that she heard the doctor say that he didn't really think POF was a real possibility, and that indeed it was a long shot. So, maybe you should take my reaction with an ocean of salt. AN OCEAN OF SALT CREATED BY MY TEARS.

He's also going to check me for elevated levels of prolactin. This is Kristin's favorite theory. Because, though I never lactated, my breasts did get tender and swollen after Julia was born, and I do periodically (though not necessarily with my period) get sore breasts. Of course, my question is: don't women with high levels of prolactin cease menstruating? All my conversations with Doctor Google this afternoon have born this assumption up -- most women with elevated levels of prolactin have fewer periods, not greater. Still, it seems the easier problem to fix UNLESS IT HAPPENS TO BE CAUSED BY A BRAIN TUMOR, that is.

This is a quote from Dr. Nerdly:

We see a lot of dysfunctional cycles around here, but yours is atypical even of the range of dysfunction that we normally encounter at this clinic.

My cycles are atypical even for an infertility clinic. No diagnosis springs to mind: super short cycles, minimal response to clomid. So. I'm having blood drawn tonight. Blood drawn early Monday morning, and blood drawn on CD3 whenever that is. I have another appointment on November 4th to discuss the results of the batteries of blood tests.

The good news is that when I told him how crazy I was on the clomid, he told me that I would never have to take it again. THANK THE GOOD LORD ABOVE. Although I would. I would take it if that's what it takes.

I like this guy. Even though my symptoms are atypical, I never got the feeling that he was considering that maybe I was mistaken or lying. I never got strangeness about our being lesbians. I never got judgment about our using a known donor -- doing fresh at home. I felt listened to, I felt consulted, I never felt condescended to or patronized. I feel like he feels that I have brains enough to participate in my diagnosis. This makes me happy. This makes me very happy.

Now if only he can figure out what's wrong. And if only what's wrong turns out to be fixable.

Hey, put this in your purse

My parents have this strange little quirk. Well, ok, they have a lot of strange little quirks. But only this one is relevant right now.

We'll be somewhere public. Or they'll be somewhere public without us kids -- yes, I have it on good authority that they do this even without us kids present to embarrass. They do this just because they, personally, think it's funny. So, we'll be somewhere public. Someplace fancy, someplace watched. You know, by security. Or by prissy servers or management. I don't think they've ever actually done this in a store. Always in the unexpected place: a church, a place of business, a tourist attraction, a restaurant, someone's house, a museum, a school, etc. My dad will pick something up, sidle over to my mother, and in a very loud stage whisper (for "very loud" read: practically hollering) tell my mother, "Hey. Put this in your purse." Then my mother, in the same kind of whisper, will start getting flustered and start telling him about how she's so tired of him always making her steal stuff for him and that if he wanted it that bad he could steal it himself. This exchange invariably draws suspicious looks and glares and increased scrutiny.

What makes this funny are the kinds of things my dad will suggest that my mother steal for him: things that are too big, or too bulky, or too messy to fit in a purse. Or things that are permanently attached to a building (he'll start pretending to yank on it in order to get it off). Or things that are just strange: a piece of trash, a small animal. My parents think this is hilarious. They've been married for 33 years this May, and they've been doing this the entire time. It never seems to get old.

As a child, I went through several stages of acceptance of this behavior. When I was younger, I thought it funny, too. When I was a little older, I was worried every time they did it that they were going to get thrown in jail. Older still and I was mortified and would try to distance myself as much as possible. Once I hit adulthood, I thought it was funny again.

Then I met Kristin. And it was so amusing to watch her deal with this bizarre compulsion exhibited by my parents. And then, one day, I did it myself. I made a very loud suggestion, in company, that we just steal something I was admiring.

I have become my father. Though my area of threatened theft happens to be landscaping materials. I'll start arguments with Kristin about how we should just come back and dig up a person's beautifully flowering Russian Sage. They would never miss just one! Or how I could obtain beautiful river rocks for our yard if we would each just put one in our purses when on a walk through the neighborhood and past a certain house. I figure it would only take a couple months to spruce up our rock garden, and they would never miss them. I call it "redistribution of landscaping goods." A certain house has a beguiling statue in their yard: we'll drive by with friends and I'll tell Kristin that tonight's the night we're going to come back and get that.

I find this behavior endlessly amusing, Kristin not so much. I think she worries that one of these days I'll really do it.

My thievery begins and ends at some grapes from the store when I was a kid, and the occasional taste-testing of something from the bulk bins -- stuffed into my mouth hastily and with much trepidation when no one is looking and a great deal of guilty behavior afterward. I just don't have it in me to steal. Neither do my parents. They're probably some of the most honest people around. Which is what makes it so funny.

But, if I really were going to steal something large, inappropriate, and strange, I have found the perfect thing.

My office building is attached to a mall. The mall is dead. They're going to tear it down and do a major remodel. So, for the past year, the stores have been closing. The last 2 months have been creepy. When you walk through the mall to get from the parking structure to our office building, the halls are echoey and strange with the deserted storefronts. It's a ghost mall. It's a ghost mall filled with beautiful...

benches. Yes. I lust after the mall's benches. They're hard wood, beautifully lacquered, elegantly styled. I. WANT. ONE. In fact, I'd love three -- two of the ones with backs for sitting, one of the backless ones to serve as a table. I think they'd look so good in our yard, or in our sunroom.

I've been wondering what they're going to do with them once the remodel gets started. I've been wondering if they're going to store them, or sell them. I wonder how much they're going to sell them for. I doubt I will be able to afford them.

But. Why buy one when I can just steal it? I only see these benches when I drive to work and have to walk through the mall. And I now have an (tiny, third-hand, TRULY necessary) SUV. Every time I walk by a bench I think to myself -- no one's here, I wonder if I could get this bench down the hall, out to the parking structure, and in the back seat of my Kia, without anyone noticing... And each time I think that, I wish Kristin were there so I could turn to her and say: "Hey. Put this in your purse." She might even think it was funny.

All of this was a very long distraction from the fact that I have my RE appointment in less than three hours. I'm nervous. Veeerrrrrrry nervous. I've dressed in my sexy shiznit gray slacks and a floaty little silk top. Hoping to impress the doc with my casual sophistication. I groomed my cootchie snortcher this morning. Which was hard, since I'm blind as a mole without my glasses and my glasses get too steamy in the shower to wear them, so I had to do my grooming by feel. Have you ever tried to feel if you're still hairy somewhere? Yeah. I think the grooming impulse may be one that will come back to bite me this afternoon when it comes time to drop (sexy shiznit) trou. I'm worried that my blood will suck up into my body this time like it did for the serum progesterone test a couple months ago. But, most importantly, I'm worried that I'm going to find out that I can't get pregnant at all. Oh, I know that I won't find that out at this appointment. But this is the first step to what could be that ultimate discovery. And when (if?) we get to that point, if it looks like IVF would be the only way for me to get pregnant? What if we need to use Kristin's eggs? What then? We can't afford IVF. Flat out, we can't. My insurance will pay for all this diagnostic work, all the drugs to get me to ovulate. All that stuff is covered (or so they tell me, I guess we'll see). IVF is not. Not at all. Kristin's insurance doesn't cover it either.

I need to stop leaping ahead of myself. Today, today is just a consultation. Today is just a step. Today is nothing heavy. I actually feel good about today when I'm not stealing stress from tomorrow. This kind of stealing isn't funny. Sometimes you need to let go of old patterns in order to be happy. Sometimes you shouldn't borrow trouble, even in a hypothetical way.**

** ok, that was REALLY pushing it as an ending to tie the previous story together with the musings on my doctor's appointment. I'm sorry. That was less than graceful. Forgive me? I'll steal you some flowers and send them to you...

10.19.2006

Corporate Drag

I'm in corporate drag today. Full ensemble: hose, heels, long skirt, blazer, shell, tasteful and minimal earrings. The Boss is coming today. The Head Honcho. The Big Cheese. On a tour of the district offices. To shake people's hands. What this means is that --

Oh. My. Lord. I just saw one of my office mates coming up the elevator in black leather chaps! Maybe she didn't get the memo. Maybe there's a suit stuffed into her backpack. Wait, someone's teasing her about the chaps. She's patting the bag. Maybe? But, oh lord, it would be funny to see our local boss' face when he sees her in chaps. He just came up the elevator himself, DAMN! he just missed her!

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, the Numero Uno. What this means is that I was told to clean my desk and the lobby I sit in. Now my desk is cleaner than it has been since my first week on the job. I had no idea that I had so many post-it pads in my drawers. Oh, yeah, and I get free lunch. So there's that.

I still don't know whether or not I'll be sitting at this very clean desk two weeks from yesterday. My contract expires on the 31st and though I've been told they want to keep me on, I've yet to see a formal offer. Um. Yeah. I've been looking for jobs, but work is hard to find. They keep assuring me that they want to keep me, but they said that to the other contract worker and then three days before HIS contract expired they gave him the bad news that they weren't going to keep him on. Bad luck, that. The thing I've got going for me is that no one else wants to sit at my desk and answer phones and buzz the door open. Fun for me, don't you know?

Crap. One is not supposed to blog about one's job. Still. I don't think I've said anything untoward, have I?

If you're wondering what the real point of this post is... I'll tell you. I'm getting you used to boringness from me, so you won't be so surprised come November when all my brains are grated and squeezed and the juices used to annoint my keyboard in a blessing on my manuscript. Or something.

PS -- RE consultation appointment tomorrow!

10.18.2006

Now I'm Eating Amber

Have we ever changed these sheets?
They are smudgy and soft.
They are layered burnt sap
rubbing on and off your skin.

I try to clean you
but when I lick your hair
my mouth bleeds.

My tongue snags your stockings,
catches on your ring
and with it your finger and arm and thigh.
You (knotted up with my grosgrain tongue)
are hard to swallow.

I'm used to eating secreta.
This time it's translucent and tastes
of trees, water, salt, smoke.

10.16.2006

There are times

When you have nothing to say. When you have nothing to say, and yet you want everyone's attention. You want everyone to stop what they're doing and say, "hey, chica, hi. I like you. I think you're really smart and funny. Keep on keepin' on." Even though you're standing there, bedraggled really, but other than the bedragglement, just sort of unremarkable. Nothing noteworthy. Nothing to inspire intense devotion. Just... there. With nothing to say.

10.13.2006

Photo Friday: To Dreeeeeeeeeam the impoooossible dreeeeeeeeeam...


Peace. Love, and Harmony
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Wow. When Cali decides to challenge us, she REALLY challenges us. How do you take a picture of a dream? Especially when one has just been whining that the dream is so, so, very far from manifesting?

Wait. That's just my negative side coming out. My dream isn't so far from being made manifest. I'm just beginning to realize that I may not recognize it when it comes around.

So. Peace, Love & Harmony. That's my dream. I took this picture while Kristin and I were at the hot springs last weekend, and while we were there we made some concrete plans for the creation of our mutual dream for our future -- our commune.

Ok. Co-housing. I know. Commune sounds so... alternatively hippie and violent. Images of flowerchildren and vats of cool-aid. Too many women and too few men -- and not in a lesbian mecca kind of way. But still, co-housing feels awkward on our tongues.

Here is my (our) dream:
acreage in some semi-rural area that is still within easy driving distance of a cool city. Like somewhere in Oregon or N. California or New Mexico. A community of houses full of our friends. A fish/duck pond. Chickens. Gardens -- vegetable and herb and flower. The individual houses arranged around a central courtyard with a big play area for the kids. A common house with a big kitchen, dining/great room, a play room for the kids during inclement weather, guest quarters, AV equipment, maybe a gym. I'd like there to be a simple outdoor stage for house concerts by local and wandering musicians and maybe plays the kids (and/or adults) would like to put on (as kids my brothers and I were always putting on magic/talent shows and plays for the other neighborhood kids). A generator for the common house just in case of the complete collapse of society as we know it (why yes, I AM obsessed with Jericho and Battlestar and other dystopic visions of the future, how can you tell?)

I see Kristin and me and the kids living in a house built as greenly as possible, warm and inviting, surrounded by this community of people we love. I see friends dropping by unexpectedly -- knowing that our door is always open. I see myself with a job that doesn't take up all my time, one that gives me adequate time for writing. I see my children in a community schooling co-op -- like homeschooling, but in a group with other parents taking responsiblity for teaching different subjects. I see us, as a family, travelling a lot, taking the kids to foreign countries, coming back to the arms of our community.

I see myself as a writer, taking the visions in my head and sharing them with others. I see myself engaging in dialogue and friendship with other writers -- inviting them to come stay in our community for a while, maybe running an artist's retreat or a writing workshop. I see myself in my dreams as confident, self-possessed, gracious, generous, warm and welcoming. I see Kristin doing a job that she loves, that she feels fulfilled at. I see our children flowering into the best that they can be -- following their own dreams.

Peace. Love. Harmony.


Sometimes I think this vision is impossible, that it is so wavery and watery that it will never come to be, that the best I can hope for is some rough semblance. And in those cases I just hope that the semblance is enough. But other times I think we might just get closer than that. Already our house is warm and welcoming, our doors are open to visitors and guests, we're working to create community. And after taking a good look at our finances, Kristin and I think we may be in a position to buy land in a year or two, in fact, we're going to start looking around. We figure we'll buy the land now, and then when we're ready to start really planning the co-housing, if the land isn't where everyone wants to be, we'll sell it and hopefully make a profit to buy land elsewhere. It may yet come to pass.

And I'm going to write a novel. I'm going to do it. And I'm sending my completed poetry manuscript to some contests and presses and such. And I'm going to start looking around for some freelance work. Baby steps, baby steps, baby steps.

10.12.2006

In Honor of National Coming Out Day

Which was yesterday (cough, cough). So, I guess it's fitting that I offer you a rerun from last January.

People, I present to you...

My coming out story.

Enjoy.

10.11.2006

Ok. I'm doing it.

I'm going to do NaNoWriMo this year. I really, really am. Kristin and I have been talking for a good long time that I need to write a bestseller to finance our wild dreams. But that's all I do. Talk. This will get me to WRITE something. Hopefully. Hopefully.

If any of the rest of you are going to do it, let's be buddies! My name is Temmerling, and you can see my profile by clicking on that lovely little writer/runner dude in my sidebar there...

Now, I just have to figure out what the hell I'm going to write about!

Bad Dreams

I had a dream last night. Weird, since two of my favorite bloggers just blogged about dreams. Last night I went to bed upset, every neuron bathed in an intoxicating mix of stong emotions, like strong spirits, like a big nasty mix of tequila and rum and Pabst Blue Ribbon, and I dreamed.

I dreamed that I was pregnant. Wait. I dreamed that I was pregnant and happy and then... I started cramping. And bleeding. And I went to the hospital and I was miscarrying. I was laboring to clear my body of my dead baby and I was all alone. Crises were occurring all around me in the hospital -- everyone had other people in more immediate mortal danger to attend to, and all I could catch were flashes of people's clothing as they hurried past my doorway -- mine was a relatively tiny little problem. And in my dream I kept telling myself the stories of the women I've read on-line, come to care about, who have had their own tragedies. And I kept telling myself that they lived through this, that they've had worse than this, that I need to just buck up and get through, but everything was covered in so much blood, and everything hurt so much, and I was so alone.

So now I have an emotional hang-over. I am headachy and nauseated and there are little sparkles of fear running through my brain. Some of my dreams have been spectacularly prophetic while others are just piercingly symbolic of some deeper truth I'm not acknowledging. And then, of course, there are the dreams that are nothing but neurons pickling in a bath of emotion. The problem is figuring out which category a dream (this dream) belongs in...

10.10.2006

Two Snippets of conversation in Butt-fuck Nowhere Utah

Snippet #1 You People All Look Alike To Me
Setting: Wal-m*rt where we were forced to go for swim-diapers. It was the only store open on a Sunday. Because, you know, if you're not in church, then you should be, and so only soulless corporations like Wal-m*rt will take your dirty money.
Players: One Overly Talkative Checker, Two Mothers Embarrassed To Be Seen In Such A Store, and The Cutest Baby in UtahTM.

OTC: Oh, wow, you're the one with the baby in the picture!
METBSISAS#1: Excuse me?
OTC: Your baby is the baby in the picture?
METBSISAS#1: What picture?
OTC: The picture at the front of the store!
METBSISAS#1: There's a picture of my baby at the front of the store?
OTC: Right there by the photo studio, there's a couple picture of your baby.
Mother Embarrassed To Be Seen In Such A Store #1 looks where the Overly Talkative Checker is pointing. There is, indeed, several pictures of babies. Two of those babies happen to be black. Neither of those babies are The Cutest Baby in UtahTM (of course they aren't, like we would let Wal-m*rt take pictures of our baby).
METBSISAS#1: Those aren't pictures of my baby. Those are two other, different, babies.
OTC: Are you sure?

Snippet #2: Bathroom Humor
Setting: JB's Restaurant around 10:30 AM
Players: Hard-bitten Waitress (I would use a more PC term, but this woman has definitely been a diner waitress since the invention of the term back in 207 A.D.), Older woman looking for some breakfast, One horrified traveller who really, really needs to use the bathroom before hitting the road.

Woman: (coming out of the bathroom) Phew!
Waitress: I know, it's bad in there. Didn't you just about die in there?
Woman: Oh, man, yeah. I didn't think I was going to make it out.
Waitress: I know, I was in there not too long ago and I nearly passed out.
Woman: Well, I'm glad I don't have to go back in there again.
Waitress: Do you know what you want for breakfast, hon?
Woman: I just need a minute to recover. That bathroom was a little hard to bear.
Waitress: That's it. I don't care if the manager is cold. That bathroom is just too hot. We're going to have customers dropping like flies if he doesn't let me turn the heat down...

Photo Friday -- revisited

Water? I'll see your water, and I'll raise you an entire weekend submerged.

Have I mentioned that our last name is Balboa?


Our little bruiser
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
Yup, your eyes are not decieving you. That is a shiner on my baby's perfect little face.

I'm not going to tell you how she got it... but you should have seen the other guy!

Head on over to The Speckled Frog to see more funny pics of Julia from our weekend.

10.06.2006

No Photo Friday -- And Boy am I Uncomfortable About It.

Y'all know I still don't have my broken camera back, right? That it's been gone for 12 WEEKS NOW! And that when it comes back it will still be broken, right? Yeah.

And Kristin's got a fancy dancy Nikon digital SLR that has more buttons and bling that I can handle. And I've got a BAD reputation with cameras... so I only touch her camera when I'm desperate for a shot. And NEVER when I'm in a rush. So, though I have the perfect picture in mind for uncomfortable, I was in a rush this morning and didn't take it. So, how about some uncomfortable stories instead?

Uncomfortable Story #1

Julia goes to a very small in-home daycare. It is run by A*. A needs to leave to take school-kids to school by 7:45 ON THE DOT. And I was running late this morning. So I knew that I was pushing it. Cutting it close. She might even have left already. And if I didn't catch her that meant either waiting the 45 minutes until she returned. Or driving to the first school she drops of at and getting snarled in school-traffic (the WORST!). So sped down the alley to her parking lot, bouncing over the pot holes and through the puddles, Julia squealing in the background at the rough ride and pulled in right behind her (as she was starting to pull out) so she couldn't go anywhere. Then I remembered that I hadn't written a note for her to be able to give Julia her cough syrup, so I hurriedly grabbed an empty envelope and a pen and started scrawling on it as I pulled Julia out of her car seat and walked to where A was standing, tapping her toe, at the open door of the van. "You've just made all these kids late for school." She said, and I finished putting the flourish on the signature of the illegible note. I looked up at 4 sets of accusing child-eyes, and looked down, as I handed A the cough syrup, the note, and the baby. "I'msorryIwon'tdoitagain" I muttered as I slunk back to my car. But... I probably will.

*Daycare provider may not be as annoyed as portrayed. It could all be my own issues and projections...

Uncomfortable Story #2

Tuesday I came home from work. Kristin and Julia were playing in the library. I walked into the bathroom to, uh, go to the bathroom. And I looked into my (normally sparkling, so clean you could eat off it -- snort! no, never mind, I can't go through with the lie, it's never that clean) toilet only to see... greenish brown clumps in the midst of yellow-cloudy water. It looked like diarhhea, AND IT HADN'T BEEN FLUSHED AWAY! OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M BEING FORCED TO LOOK AT THE PRODUCT OF KRISTIN'S (obviously diseased) BOWELS! HOW INCONSIDERATE OF HER NOT TO FLUSH HER DISEASE AWAY! "Gaaaaahhhh!!!!!" I exclaim, in a tone of pure horror, and I look over at Kristin accusingly, my face pale and tight with disbelief and disgust. Kristin sighs, rolls her eyes, and says:

"Julia threw dog food in the toilet."

"Oh. Ok. Nevermind." And I flushed the toilet and went about my business.



And here you thought I was going to talk about my fissures. Now THAT would have been uncomfortable...

10.05.2006

Sick Again, Sick Again, to the Doctor We Go

Yup. Julia's sick again. I'm blaming school kids everywhere. Damn school kids with their damn germs.

Julia is an extraordinarily cheerful child. What temper she has is more and more often expressed in sassiness and back talk. Of course, we're the only ones who can understand when she's telling us to fuck off. Everyone else thinks she's talking about ducks. According to authorities, Julia is talking on a nearly 2 year old level, but is hindered by her 13 month old physiology. She isn't physically capable of pronouncing all of the words she knows, but that doesn't stop her from trying. And she's turned into a little parrot -- everything that comes out of our mouths is repeated (sometimes garbleishly, but still recognizably, at least to us) by her immediately. "Oh SHIT!" I say as I drop the carafe of espresso. "Oh shit" pipes a little voice from near the dog bowls. "God, I'm a dork" I say as I have to slam on my breaks because I nearly missed the turn into the doctor's office. "Dor!" comes from the carseat behind me. Yes, dear, your mama's a dork. And well you know it.

But the problem with having an extraordinarily cheerful child, and one who can't help but babble constantly, is that no one believes you when you tell them that she's ornerier than hell and is clearly not herself and this is NOT NORMAL and something is wrong with her. They just look at what appears (to them) to be an ordinarily cheerful child, who is extremely interactive and lively. Yes. Yes, you agree, but normally she's 100 times more active and talkative and happier than this! And then they look at you like you're lying. Because that seems impossible. Until you have lived it. She runs us ragged. She never sits still. She never stops talking. We wouldn't have her any other way.

If you don't believe me, ask Sacha and M of Babycakes. They met her in Oregon last May. We kept apologizing for her crankiness, even though we couldn't figure out why she was so cranky. It turned out she was cutting 4 teeth at once. Anyway, ask them. I'm pretty sure they'll tell you that she was just charming. Even as she was being (compared to her normal self) a complete monster.

Yeah, we have it tough, I know.

But it does suck when you know she's not feeling well, she's not acting normally, but you take her in and the doctor (well, yesterday's doctor, because our regular doctor is out of the office this week, our regular doctor knows Julia quite well and believes us now when we say she's not feeling well) tells you that she can't possibly be as sick as you say she is, because if she were she wouldn't be this happy and talkative. I say, "do you talk to people talking to you when you're sick? Because Julia is verbal like an adult is verbal, just without the vocabulary and pronunciation skills. I have to be on Death's door before I stop responding to people verbally, and Julia is like that, too. She's not like other babies who look but don't speak to strangers. Julia will talk to everyone." Anyhow, the doctor ordered a blood test to look at Julia's white blood cell count to determine if she is fighting a virus or the tail end of a sinus infection.

So I take Julia down the hall to the lab. And the two lab techs ooh and aah over her, and say they feel bad because in a minute she'll be crying and hate them. They have me hold her elbow so her arm is still, and then they prick her thumb and start squeezing the blood out. And Julia didn't cry. She flinched when her thumb was pricked, so I know she felt it. But she just watched, fascinated, as the tech collected the blood. The lab techs were floored. I was stunned. I couldn't even watch it, I felt sick. But there Julia was, not screaming, not upset, not struggling. Weird. She got a sucker and a sticker, but she was more interested in chewing the band-aid off her thumb.

The blood test showed that she is fighting a virus. Ok. For now she's fighting a virus. Hopefully that's all it ends up being. Hopefully she doesn't develop an ear or sinus infection on top of that.

So there you have it.

10.04.2006

This is not what I'm supposed to be writing.

There's this really funny story that starts out: two women and a baby are getting ready for a fancy schmancy wedding and realize that it's been so long since they went anywhere fancy schmancy (since the party where they announced the pregnancy of the one at 9 days past ovulation, in fact (they hadn't planned a party for that particular, they just happened to be going to that party when they found out)) that all their fancy schmancy clothes (not many, to be sure) are all just a smidge too tight...

Kristin gave me permission to tell this story. She gave permission as we were driving home, laughing so hard it hurt. And she told me last night that every day she has pulled up my blog expecting to see the story and every day she's disappointed.

But, see, I'm not sure I can tell it right. I'm not sure it's not one of those stories that you had to be there for. Like this one:

Once upon a time some friends and I were driving to the Oregon coast. And we were wanting to catch the sunset on the ocean, and we were SO disappointed that we hadn't been able to drive fast enough. It was getting pretty dark, dark dark in fact. When suddenly the driver (me) said, "Look, look! We haven't missed it! There's the sun right there through the trees!" (we were ALMOST to the beach at that point) And I hit the gas pedal and we all started cheering that the sun hadn't set yet (even though it was really dark everywhere BUT where the sun was... can you see where this is going?) and then the sun started getting a bit bigger... and it seemed kinda low to the ground... and then we pulled into a clearing and realized... it was a streetlight. Oh how we laughed and laughed at how for those few moments we were convinced that a streetlight was the sun. And then we went to the beach and played in the water in the moonlight. The End.

See? That's not very funny, is it? Because it's a had to be there kind of thing. Now you're all looking at me like I'm not very bright. Trista, how could you possibly mistake a street light for the sun? And how could you, once you realized your mistake, laugh at what was obviously a very troubling symptom of your decreasing physical and mental acuity? I don't know. You just had to be there.

So, I worry that when I tell you that instead of throwing on comfier, but less schmancy, outfits for the wedding, Kristin and I both decided to put on girdles, you'll miss the humor in the situation. I worry that pity will be your primary response when I say that I was wearing TWO elastic things around my waist because one just didn't seem to be able to subdue a particularly stubbon roll of fat around my middle and the black shirt I was determined to wear is very sleek. I'm afraid that you won't think it's funny that Kristin had bought a girdle sized "small" because she thought that the smaller a girdle she bought the smaller it would make her.

And if I tell you that during the course of the wedding Kristin's girdle folded down from the top, creating a back roll that I was specifically supposed to warn her about, but that I was too much in pain from my own girdle riding up under my breasts, simultaneously exposing the tummy roll I'd been trying to hide AND creating deep bruises on my sensitive mammary tissue from the boning to notice, will you laugh? Even if I want you to? Don't you think it's funny? Cause it was. The crumbling of our vanity. How silly we looked. How we walked in there creaking but skinny, and walked out lumpy, limping, and laughing at how ridiculous we looked and how much pain we were in. How when I helped Kristin put on that girdle, I fastened it in the back, not thinking of how she was going to take the thing off... and so when we got in the car for the drive down the canyon, and she groaned (in between gales of laughter) and tried to take the damned thing off, she couldn't reach any of the hooks and she had to practically take all her clothes off and twist this way and that way to get it off, with me laughing at her the whole time. How the number one thing we learned that night was that it's better to be lumpy and comfortable than be skinny and in pain.

And that we need to go back to the gym.

And that the next time we get invited to something fancy schmancy, we should try on our prospective outfits a few days before the event.

And that if you're going to buy a girdle, by God, buy the right size!

Eh, I guess you had to be there.

10.03.2006

Do you ever get the suspicion

that deep down you're just meant to be a professional student?

I'm thinking about yet another change of plans. I'm thinking that maybe I'd like to be a therapist when I grow up.

Why? Well, I love talking with people, getting their stories, helping them figure things out. I act as an amateur therapist for the majority of my friends. I have a talent for drawing people out and then figuring out just where to push to get them to go further in their thinking. And I (usually) know when to back off and let them process without any more of my help. I think I'd be a good therapist and I think it would be an interesting career.

But I think the same things about becoming a librarian.

So now I don't know what to do.

My real problem is, though, that I think I'm putting too much pressure on this decision. Like deep down I think that if I could only find the right degree to get then my life would work out golden and I'd suddenly be happy and motivated and fulfilled. And school delays real life. Not only would my student loans be deferred, but any major decisions, as well.

And I think... I think... I think I should put at least as much effort into pimping my writing as I am pondering future careers.

I am familiar with the sensation of being lost and confused and disillusioned and wandering through academia. I am not as familiar with the sensation (and process) of marketing myself, of putting myself out there, of creating something from nothing and working without a teacher/instructor/professor giving me timelines, deadlines, exam questions, books that contain the answers, and a set goal. The thought of looking at the path my feet are already on and working to walk that path, make it successful is not one that I'm comfortable with. It seems at times that I'd much rather look into the sky and dream and be lost -- and then be bitter when I realize that all I have to show for my wanderings are shreds of mist.

OK. I'm going to make submitting to the Tupelo Press' current contest as much of a priority as applying to schools. OK. I'm going to send out one packet for submission each month.

That begins my attempting to really walk the path I said I wanted to walk. As for concrete career plans...

How does one go about choosing what one wants to be when one grows up? Should I apply to both library schools AND therapist schools and then see which ones I get into? Should I ask the magic 8 ball? Should I put up a poll? Should I throw darts or flip coins? Should I job shadow? Can you even shadow a therapist? Is that allowed? As you can see, I'm comfortable asking question upon question until the original impulse is shrouded and I'm chasing mist again. It's deciding on a course of action that turns out to be the right one that's the problem.

10.02.2006

Spork!


Spork!
Originally uploaded by Temmerling.
When you say the title of this blog post in your mind, I want you to make the Spork sharp and crisp. Spork! Like a little Kentucky fried chicken bock. Spork Spork Spork Sp-GAWK! Yeah. Just like that.

My Spork finally came. There it is, isn't it pretty? I know some of you ordered copies, too, so I'm hoping you got yours this weekend, too.

But you know, it's funny. Funny in a sad kind of way. I wrote to Lauri not too long ago that I had this silly conviction that once this major work of mine got published. In print. In a cutting-edge journal. For all the world to see*, that my life would change. Maybe I'd feel more writerly. But I knew that people would see my opus and suddenly offers would be POURING in. People would ask me for readings. Suddenly everyone would know how brilliant I really am. I would be famous! This blog would be the site of greatness! And I would owe it all to Spork.

That's a huge burden I put on poor Spork. I'm sorry, Spork, I didn't mean to be unrealistic. I won't do it again.

The sad part is that they got rushed at the end and asked for my help formatting my stuff for publication. But I didn't know what I was doing, and it came out wrong, and I didn't know until I got my hard copy. The margins are all messed up. Whole sections are indented to the right that should be left-justified. I mean, there's no reason for those sections to be indented, but there they are. Indented. It undermines my (everywhere else) careful line-breaks and spacing. Instead of looking brilliant, I look like a young poet who doesn't understand the power of the indent. I'd like to think that it looks like a mistake and people will be able to tell that the poem isn't supposed to look like that... but mistakes like that don't get made, unless, of course, I do the final formatting.

It's just frustrating. I self-sabotage all the time, but I didn't think I was this time. I thought for once I was going to let something wonderful happen to me, and I screwed it up again. I was going to send copies of this book to important people in the valley in order to start making my presence in the artistic community known. But now I'm embarrassed. Especially since all the other pieces in the book are wonderful and amazing, and beautiful on the page.

If you didn't buy the book, you still can. Like I said, the other pieces included are amazing. But, if you didn't, but you'd still like to see a sample of my published piece, you can go to Spork's website and see it:

By clicking on the following link you agree that upon learning Trista's full name you will not stalk her, harass her, or otherwise impose upon her private life unless you are very, very hot, or want to give her lots of money.

I agree, I'm rich and sexy and I want to share! Let me in!

I don't agree. I am neither hot nor rich, and yet I still intend on stalking her. Let me at her!

*if, by all the world, you mean approximately 300 people many of which are past or present contributors and their family and friends, a couple-dozen people who are too cool for me even to LOOK AT, and with the rest being (probably) a bunch of creative-writer-types who like to sit around in coffeehouses and basements talking about how the world just doesn't get it, man! This stuff is so, like, real and important, and the drones just go about their tired, corporate lives, oblivious to all this beauty in the ugliness of change, man! Whoa, can you pass me the bong?

Well I'll be a Monkey's Uncle!


YAY for cotton candy!
Originally uploaded by
Temmerling.
It turns out Julia LOVES the circus. We were skeptical when Merr said she wanted us all to go to the circus. We thought Julia would be too young to appreciate the show. But, my god, I'm not sure if it was all the cotton candy she ate, or the snow cone, or the fact that she had unimpeded access to a bucket of popcorn, but she loved, loved, loved the circus. Loved it.

When Julia gets excited she opens and closes her hands really fast. It's like her excitement is too much for her body and she must distribute it through her hands. When the circus started she started squealing and those hands started going and her eyes were so wide!

Her favorite acts were the flying acrobats. We were in the perfect seats to see them and she loved the way they hung upside down and flew through the air and tumbled in their shiny costumes right in front of her. She didn't really care for the clowns, or the trained animals, or the strong man. But that acrobatic troupe...

I was disappointed that there were no tightrope walkers, for flying trapeze. Though they did have those people who hang from a rope from the ceiling, and I think they're beautiful.

But in the end, two hours of circus (not to mention the sugar crash) were too much for Julia. She managed to fall asleep during the final act -- 7 motorcycles in the cage of death -- and slept all through the rousing finale.

After I put her to bed, Kristin and I had pangs of Terrible Motherhood. We realized that we had fed our child cotton candy, popcorn, and snow cones for dinner and that was it. Sigh. Good thing the circus comes to town only once a year...

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