Find the nearest book.
Name the author & title.
Turn to page 123.
Post sentences 6-8.
Tag three more people.
Since I'm at work, the nearest book to me is the one I brought with me in my bag.
Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
"He was a disaster in the making.
She was still looking at him dumbly when Keffria came into the room. "Davad!" she exclaimed."
Liza also wanted the last three books that I've read and enjoyed. Well, Mad Ship is the second book of a trilogy, and I just finished the first, Ship of Magic, last night and haven't even started Mad Ship... so as you can imagine I can't wait to find out why Davad is a disaster in the making. S, whose partner, J, blogs at Cheese and Wine, recommended the trilogy to me at the blogger bash in New York last November. It took me this long to get my hands on them. Very good, just as she said they would be, but it took me about 100 pages to get into the first book. I'm not sure I would have made it to the "hooked" part if a) I hadn't truly believed S when she talked about how good the books are, b) I hadn't been home alone all weekend with nothing else to read, and c) I realized that I was having a hard time getting into the book because the author is so good at her craft. The book starts out with a great deal of despair and frustration and powerlessness on the part of the characters we are meant to sympathize most with. The point that I realized that I was not enjoying the book simply because I was so drawn into the plight described as to make it feel personal, was the point that I realized how amazing this author is and how great the trilogy is going to be.
Before that I read The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. It was a gift from a co-worker this past christmas. She had paid attention to the fact that I often bring in Sci-fi and fantasy books to read, and so had asked her son (another fan of the genres) which book she should get me. When she told me that her son had recommended the book I was a bit... apprehensive. Her son is a teenage boy. But, I like books written for young adults, and the book sounded interesting so I read it. And then I found out that this isn't a book written for young adults, and it's the first book of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and that it has a VERY strong following, and I don't know how I could have called myself a fan of fantasy without at least being familiar with the series. I devoured the book, and then found out that the series is to have 12 titles (11 of which are published already) and that the 12th title isn't due to be published until 2009 due to Robert Jordan's being diagnosed with a rare (and in many cases, fatal) blood disease. I told this to Kristin and she muttered, darkly, "I hope this doesn't turn into another Farscape or Firefly thing." I have already received the next 4 books for free through PaperBackSwap.com. I haven't mentioned PaperBackSwap yet, but I found out about it from Hope and I am really loving the service. You list books that you're willing to send to other people, and you can browse other people's books. The more books of yours that you send out the more credits you get, the more credits you get the more books you can request. Check it out, it's really cool.
And before that I read Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. Good. Not great, mind, but very promising. I'm excited to read the next book in the series and see what Briggs does with that promise.
Well, since I wasn't officially tagged, I'm not officially tagging anyone. But... Faith? Want to chime in? Anyone else? Cali?
I'm serious. Drink. Not a lot. Not to excess. Not more than you normally would. But if you're used to having a glass of wine with dinner, or if you go to a party and want a beer, go ahead.
And while you're at it, why don't you have some brie and sushi, too?
I am not of the school of thought known as Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise. Oh, I used to be. It seemed the only way to be. I mean, how can you consider yourself a good mother if you willfully put your child in danger? And everyone knows how dangerous brie and wine are.
Ok, I'm being funny. But here's the thing: it seems to me that we lesbians who are trying to get pregnant (or are already mothers) try to overcompensate for the strong cultural belief that we are unfit as parents. And so, to that end, we try to be the Most Perfect Parents Ever. Faultless. So we can use our perfection as a defense, a rationale for our desire to parent. There's nothing wrong with trying to be the best parent you can be, unless you're letting someone else define what that best parent you can be looks like, and when that being starts.
Plus, there are overtones of holy suffering to the whole thing. As if, by giving up such things, you prove yourself worthy of becoming pregnant. You show yourself as a worthy vessel -- pure and healthy and uncontaminated. You deserve to be pregnant, because you have given the appropriate sacrifices. As time goes on the sacrifice becomes greater, thus increasing your worthiness and your bitterness if conception doesn't occur. The sacrifice becomes one of not only alcohol and certain foods, but also one of the normalcy of your life. All is miserable: you dangle on a hook. And the comfort you seek when confronted with the knowledge that you didn't conceive yet again (going out for a drink, or the sushi you had denied yourself) becomes another way of suffering, another sacrifice of pleasure on the altar of conception: because the fact that you are indulging is an acknowledgement that you have failed, the comfort is soured.
I refuse to make those sacrifices. My suffering does not make me a more worthy vessel. It does not make me a better mother. Especially as there is nothing yet to benefit from such sacrifices. The fact that there may be a fertilized egg floating around in me does not make me pregnant. If I have a drink, there's no connection between me and the developing cells for the alcohol to speed through and wreak havok. At this point the best thing I can do is take the long view: do what is healthy for me and my body, do what I can to keep myself happy and relaxed, and keep life flowing with as little disruption as possible. Time enough for disruption when that pregnancy test turns positive.* And since I'll be testing early, you can bet that I'll know if I'm really pregnant as soon as possible and can modify my behavior accordingly.
So, until then, I am Not Pregnant Until Proven, and I'll take another Mojito, please.
Hmmm, I got an email a few days ago saying that I'd been nominated for The Lesbian Lifestyle's first Lesbian Blog of the Year award (thanks Mo!). This is unexpected and yet nice. I think. Frankly, I don't expect to win; I've been off my game and depressed for months now. But, still, if you want to go nominate me again, that would not be unappreciated. I think the way it works is that the 5 most nominated blogs will get to be voted on.
You know, this is a mixed thing. On the one hand, I love attention and approval. But on the other hand I just got to the point where I don't look at my stats counter every day to see who's reading and how many people are visiting. I just got myself to stop investing my self worth in what my technorati ranking or my TTLB status is. And now there's this.
Still, I can't deny that I got a moment of bright pleasure from the thought that someone thought I could be good enough to win a blog award. So thank you. And thank you to whoever is going to nominate me in the near future. I'm going to try not to get too wrapped up in it, though, because if I do it could sweep me away.
Go here and leave a comment to nominate me (if you want to).
Yesterday was hard. Kristin and Julia got bumped from their flight and so didn't make it home until after Midnight. I was very disappointed not to spend the day with my lovies, but not as disappointed as they were to be stuck in Houston all day (not that Houston is a bad place to be, but that when you're wanting to go home and you get all the way to the airport and actually get to go down to the plane only to be told that, no, they were wrong, there really weren't any seats, it's a bit disappointing to still be in Houston). Plus, yesterday was my CD 10 and we had decided to inseminate on CD 10 whether or not I had gotten my LH surge. You know, because I never get an LH surge and yet sometimes I spontaneously ovulate around day 11. So I had to inseminate all by myself.
So, I was feeling pretty sorry for myself yesterday, having to deal with semen all by my lonesome and thinking that even if the insemination would have worked (which I didn't believe it would anyway) did I really want it to work and have the story of how we concieved child #2 be one of loneliness and sadness and self-pity?
Well, apparently I do. I've been peeing on LH sticks twice a day since day 8 with nary a line to be found. I was not surprised; I never get a line. I have come to believe that my urine would be unable to make a line even if I peed in a line on one of those water zen drawing boards. Peeing on any sort of stick, be it ovulation or pregnancy, feels like an exercise in futility. And yet, despite the complete absence of a line yesterday morning, when I peed on the stick yesterday late afternoon there developed a strong surge line! Holy fuck people! I surged! And I caught the surge! And it showed up as a line on a stick! My urine CAN make sticks appear!
And that means that inseminating yesterday was great timing for fresh sperm. And if we can do it again tonight (actually, I guess whether or not we get to insem tonight)... it means that I have the second real chance of getting pregnant we've gotten in the entire 10 months we've been trying to knock me up. And in the instant that it took me to register the surge line I switched from feeling sorry for myself for being all alone during the insemination (and thinking that I didn't want to become pregnant like that anyway, not that I was really going to get pregnant) to desperately, fiercely, hoping that that insemination did the trick.
N just called. We're on for tonight, too. Whoop!
You'd think that today would be harder than yesterday what with their absence stretching out like a vast gulf through the day. Everywhere I look they are not where they should be.
And yet today has been easy. I slept better than I expected and woke not too late in the morning (9! My pre-baby self is laughing at that meager sleep-in!) I did two of the self-appointed tasks and moved a massive quantity of boxes out of the basement. I read some and I uploaded a major portion of our music collection into iTunes. It's been peaceful.
Plus, Kristin called and Julia could tell it was me on the phone and demanded that the phone be put to her ear, and when Kristin told her to "say Hi to Mama" she DID! I can't tell you how many times we've put the phone to her ear and told her to say hi to whoever was on the other end only to have her breath heavy, look confused, and say nothing. This time she said hi and then Kristin took the phone away and she demanded it back and when I told her that she should take a nap for Mommy she laughed at me. That's more interaction over the phone than she's ever exhibited before. And it was for me!
So that felt good. I think I am missed - though Kristin says that most of the time when Julia asks for me it's not in a woebegone way, but rather a I-don't-like-what-you're-doing-where's-mama kind of way. So I'm missed, but not like you miss your best friend or puppy but like you would miss your secretary or private chef or Chief Bottom Wiper and Mistress of the Wardrobe.
I've planned out all the meals for this week, and done the grocery shopping. Now I'm going to watch Pirates of the Caribbean and fold laundry as I eat my salad and sandwich for dinner. I was going to take advantage of Kristin's absence to make Creamed Tuna over Rice, but I decided that the recipe makes too much for just me, so a salad and sandwich it is.
Wow. Depite my wildness last night (two beers, a cigarette, and home by Midnight) I am pretty damn domesticated. At this moment I don't feel sad about it, though, it just feels right. Ask me again around my 32nd birthday, though, I might feel differently by then.
Kristin and Julia are leaving me...
for Houston. Kristin's brother (who used to live in Hawaii) has sold his house and bought a boat and he and his wife and kids are going to go drive their boat (look at me! all nautical and stuff!) to the Carribbean and live the good life. But first they stopped to visit Kristin's sister in Houston, so off Kristin and Julia go to bid them fare-thee-well (plus he's never met Julia). I can't go. I don't have any time off to take. So I have been abandoned.
As this is the first time I've spent any time away from Julia (more than just overnight as on Grandparent's night) and as this is the first time I've been away from Kristin overnight since June of 2002, I thought I'd live blog this unique experience. Lucky you!
4:30 AM: Just got home from dropping Julia and Kristin off at the airport. I tried to get Julia to give me kisses goodby, but she said no. Obviously she has NO IDEA that I will be gone from her life for over 48 hours. I hope she remembers me when she gets back. I hope she gets back. I hope that the plane doesn't crash in a fiery fire ball of flame depriving me of the two most important people in my life...
There are only 2 hours before I would need to get up and go to work anyway, and the bed is too big and cold. Besides, I would just fall asleep and then have a hard time waking up and then wish I could just take the day off and mope around, but OH! That's right. If I could take a day off then I wouldn't have been abandoned! So I think I'll just stay up. I've got some volunteer work to work on, I'll just sit at the computer and work on that. Yeah. Then I'll leisurely get ready for work. Maybe I'll even put on makeup and perfume. Maybe I'll even do my hair.
5:35: I didn't get a call. They must have made it on the plane. They were flying standby, and there's always a chance of getting bumped while flying standby. Crazy to fly standby with a baby. I'm just hoping that the flight isn't like the last flight we took with Julia... but this time we packed plenty of dramamine and chocolate and chocolate-covered dramamine. This is to be the trial flight to see if drugging Julia with dramamine results in the desired outcome (a sleepy and non-screaming baby contentedly resting and drowsing through the flight) without any unwanted outcomes (such as the turning of our little angel into a dramamine junky) because, frankly, we're not sure how we're going to get through the three flights to Kauai if we can't sedate our child. We're bad parents like that.
So, I didn't get a call. They must have gotten on. They must have gotten through security with that dangerous bottle of milk. It is out of my hands now.
7:35: Shit! I'm going to be late for work! And yet, here I am, blogging! Why, you ask, am I going to be late for work? Because I decided to clean the house. I don't know what's happening to me. I used to be the biggest slob. Still am a slob. Still. But yet, now, whenever I'm nervous or depressed or anxious all I want to do is clean. As if the answer to all my problems lies in a shiny glass table-top. Or an immaculate floor. So I clean. Or I sit around feeling frustrated because everything's so messy and I can't clean. So this morning I emptied the diswasher, put all Julia's toys away, cleaned up the garbage shreds left over from the dogs getting into the kitchen garbage can (damn dogs figured out that if they step on the pedal the lid will open giving them access to the treasure of treasures) swept the floor, vacuumed. Basically I did everything I could do to make the house look good without actually going so far as to clean the bedrooms where my beloveds should have been sleeping. That would have been too jarring. Hell, I should have just gone to sleep. Oh me, too late now.
Hey, one bonus to being left behind: I'm wearing Kristin's new white knit hoodie. It looks pretty good on me if I say so myself. Now if only I can manage not to spill anything on it so she never knows...
8:35 AM: Just got a call from Kristin. They landed safely! They're in Houston. And a full hour before my scheduled freak-out that they were crisping in a plane crash somewhere! Now I can settle down and do some work. Did I mention that my resolution (one of them) was to blog less (at work) and work more? Of course, here I am, blogging more and working less. I better nip this one in the bud! Off to work...
9:23: I'm supposed to be working on payroll. But I had a thought. Can't remember the thought now, though, that I'm here to tell it to y'all. I guess I'll go look at the payroll stuff again. I wonder if Julia has noticed that I'm missing yet. I've just noticed that I seem to be blogging once an hour, that seems strange to me. I should stop blogging and get back to work. People need to be paid, you know.
12:55PM: I have successfully broken the one hour mark: I have now gone more than one hour without begging for attention from anyone. Whoopee!
1:08 PM: Holy Shit! I hope it's not an omen! The UPS guy just came and when he was handing me that computer pad (that's heavier than it looks) to sign for the packages I dropped it and it fell hard on my desk smashing a red pen that I had casually left uncapped just moments before. Now there's blood-red spatter all over my mousepad that's decorated with this picture:
and now it looks like this...(Picture removed due to my supserstition and anxiety... just use your imaginations, ok?)
I'm really upset at this. It's more than a little disturbing to see red smeared all over my baby, especially since she's not within kissing distance. I may have to throw my mousepad away...
4:27 PM: Well, I made it through work, even though I had 2 count 'em TWO frustrating phone calls with the IRS over the same damn issue. I was getting dead-walled by one guy, so I hung up on him and called back (waiting another 20 minutes on hold) and got someone else and finally got my problem taken care of. And the whole time I was on hold I kept wondering if my recreation of my newly grotesque mouse-pad was really the bad-luck token that I originally took the mousepad to be... Is it? Have I damned myself by trying to illustrate my original damning? Omens are just so confusing...
Anyway, I'm off for home now. I'm going to go out to a pub with one of my oldest friends. Never fear, though! The live-blogging of my solitude will continue. I think this is going to be one of my longest continuous posts ever!
6:24 PM: I am wracked with anxiety. On the one hand this would be about the time Kristin and Julia walked in the door if it were a late night for Kristin at work and so there's a primal part of me saying, "Read NOW, slouch around NOW, check your email NOW! Hurry BEFORE THEY GET HOME, enjoy your alone time before they get home!" But they're not coming home. So no need to rush. No need to do anything, even though there's another part of me urgently directing my attention to the pile of clean laundry that needs to be folded, and the christmas decorations that need to come down, and the closet that needs to be reorganized, and the weatherstripping that needs to be applied... I guess I don't feel like I deserve to be lazy and slothful on my weekend alone. I feel that I must fill the weekend with Productivity and Good Works and Create a Welcoming Home Environment for my weary travellers upon their return. Or perhaps they'll realize that they really did quite fine on their own and decide that I'm too lazy and slothful to bother with. Maybe they'll come home, take one look at the messy house, and walk the other way.
Ok, I know that won't happen. But it's a very primal part of me talking right now.
God, I need a drink. Any minute now Moss will call me and we'll go out and get some beers and sweet potato fries. So I should hurry up and read NOW! BEFORE SHE CALLS! I should get my cleaning done now now now! Damn those tricky, wormy thoughts!
12:53 AM: Got in about a half hour ago from hanging out with Moss. We went to the bayou and she introduced me to the delight of a Black and Tan. Hanging out with her was just what I needed. We've been friends for 12 years now and she has a piece of my soul. We kept playing the "remember this?" game and giggling like we were 20 and stupid again. It felt good to be reminded about how far I've come since we met, how much I've grown and accomplished, just as it felt good to leave the Mom part of me at the door... though I couldn't shake the Mom all the way off, conversation turned oh so easily toward Julia and how wonderful she is, and marriage and relationship and how rewarding (and hard sometimes) it is. But it felt good to be free of anxiety and to relish in memory for once.
After the pub Moss showed me her new place (she's getting a divorce and I had yet to see her digs) and there, smack dab on the wall, was a picture of me taken on her wedding day. I'm standing next to her and her husband. I remember this picture: I was pretty unhappy and confused that day, and I thought I looked terrible. But they loved that picture. Had it hanging right in their entryway. I was so embarrased by how ugly (I thought) I looked. I hated going to their house because I hated looking at that picture. Eventually I got in the habit of looking over it until I never saw it at all. But I looked at it tonight and I was stuck by how cute -- no, beautiful (if you'll allow me the liberty) I looked in that picture. Only 6 years ago. It's such a tragedy that I can only think I look beautiful if there's a span of at least 5 years between me and a picture of me. I should ask her for a copy of that picture to remind myself that even if I feel like I'm the most embarrassingly ugly person alive, I really am a beautiful person.
So, I'm calm and happy right now. The anxiety is hanging at the edges and the house is too quiet. But I'm going to go to bed and turn on the sound of crickets and fall asleep and dream of loved ones.
Well, friends, I have to say that this New Year's Eve was the best New Year's Eve that Kristin and I have had in a looooooooooong time. Maybe ever. It was that good. 2006 dropped away like a diseased skin, or an extra limb that had been mangled in a terrible misfortune and died while still attached to the body so that it just hung there, useless and smelly and getting more and more bloated by the minute. Phew! What a relief to let that putrescence go!
Anyway, we hadn't made plans because of Kristin's surgery, but as the tweener week wore on we decided that Kristin felt well enough to have people over, so we called some friends of ours who have children and invited them and their kids over for games and snacks. We also took a chance and invited a new couple and their two kids; and they invited another couple and their baby. I was a bit nervous having people I didn't know well over, and spent New Year's Eve day freaking out and cleaning, but it all went so well. Kristin and I felt like we clicked with the new couple we had invited, and the other new couple seemed nice, even though I didn't really get a chance to talk with them before they had to leave. Most of the kids and guests pooped out and left around 11, but our new friends put their baby to bed in a pack n play in our room, and their 5 year old stayed up till midnight with us and then fell asleep on the couch while we finished our game.
I believe that what you do (and how you do it) on New Year's Eve sets a tone for the rest of the year. Over the last decade that I've been tracking, this pattern has proven to be true. Maybe it's just hindsight and creative linking, but still... there it is, it works for me. I think a night filled with children and friends (and new friends -- this is important after the two years of friend-loss we've gone through) and laughter and light spirits and games and intellectual conversation was a great start to 2007. 2007 is going to be a good year, dammit! We deserve a good year. Heck, we deserve a good several years!
So, what did you all do?
WARNING: POTTY LANGUAGE!!
It started out as a way to alleviate suffering. Julia gets constipated and has hard poops. One day she was straining and Kristin and I thought that it must be difficult pushing out a hard poop against a diaper. So we took off her diaper and held her over the toilet. And the movement finished moving much faster. Everytime we saw her straining we held her over the toilet. And then we cheered and waved bye bye to the poop and Julia got to flush the toilet (oh joy!). Even better, there was less shit to wipe off her, since there wasn't a diaper there to spread the stuff around. Eventually we bought her a little potty seat that sits on the regular toilet (Blues Clues, not that we know what Blues Clues is, but still, I'm trying to paint a complete picture here). After a few weeks we got tired of having to keep the potty seat on the toilet or have it kicking around on the floor, so we got a hook and now when the potty seat isn't in use it's hanging on the wall just above the floor.
Then we started noticing that Julia's diaper was not saturated in the morning when she woke up. One day, on impuse, we asked her if she needed to go potty. She said yes and when we put her on the potty seat she went pee. More cheering, more waving bye bye, more flushing of the toilet. In addition to the regular "She's grunting, hurry! Stick her on the toilet!" sessions, we incorporated sitting on the potty first thing in the morning and last thing at night... also before any baths. On weekends we started randomly asking her if she needed to go potty, and if she said yes we would stick her on the toilet and usually she would go. Sometimes if we left her there long enough she'd go poop unannounced as well.
A couple days ago we were getting ready for a party. One of us was in front of the bathroom mirror, the other one of us was trying to push the first out of the way. Julia pushed her way in the bathroom, too. I had just changed her diaper (this is important to note). We weren't really paying much attention to her, but she pulled her potty seat off the hook (it's at just her height) put it on the floor, and sat on it. We looked at her and laughed, oh so cute. We asked her if she needed to go potty. She stood up. "No" she said. I checked her diaper. It was warm and full. She had peed in her diaper while sitting on the potty seat she had gotten down expressly to pee on. From that moment on, everytime she gets her potty seat down and places it on the floor or the toilet, we take her diaper off and let her sit on it -- she usually pees. It might be coincidence, after all, babies normally release small amounts of urine throughout the day. But Julia's gotten to the point where her diaper is dry for stretches at a time. She's begun holding her urine, and thus when she askes and we sit her on the toilet and she pees, I'm believing that it's not a coincidence.
This morning I was on the computer uploading cds into my new iPod. It was a slow morning since I've got the day off to mourn a dead president (is it unpatriotic to wish presidents would die a bit more regularly so I could have more free days off?) Julia had already had her morning potty sit where she had both pooped and peed. But suddenly she came into the living room holding her potty seat. I looked at her and when she saw that I saw that she had the potty seat she laughed and ran back to the bathroom. I thought she was just playing and chased her into the bathroom. She put her potty seat on the toilet and began tugging at her pants. What the hell, I'll stick her on the potty again. I took her diaper off, placed her on the potty, gave her the quacking duck that we let her play with when she's toilet sitting, and stepped out of the room. She began jabbering to the duck. Suddenly there was a plop plop and then she began struggling to get down. I wiped her, put a diaper on, we waved goodby to the poop, and flushed the toilet. Then she grabbed the potty seat and put it back on the hook. Then held up her arms so I could pick her up and wash her hands.
I think she'll be out of diapers (at least during the day) by the time she's two if not sooner. And it's all been (mostly) her idea. Do they make panties size 18 month?