Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It made me stronger.

Wow, everything's gone to hell and a hand basket.  I don't know anybody who had a good weekend.  If you didn't experience the insomnia of endlessly thinking about screaming, terrified children being murdered, there's definitely something wrong with you.  I'm a proponent of gun ownership but I'm totally behind practical, real ways to get guns out of the hands of evil people who want to terrorize our population, local and global.

I got my period yesterday and although, let me be honest, I prayed not to be pregnant, and I'm happy I'm not, I'm still totally amazed that we can have awesome sex multiple times during the "fertile" time and never a blip in my scheduled period.  Incredible.  We're both technically fertile but overwhelmingly not so.  The reason I prayed so fervently is that the travel insurance I bought for our trip to Africa next year didn't include a pregnancy clause.  Only a pregnancy complication clause.  And of course, living solo doesn't make me a great candidate for motherhood.

Speaking of that, good news!  My husband got a call today from the "local (hey, where I am) company he applied for and almost got the job but their funding hadn't come through" company and said they want to meet about offering him the job!!!!!!!!!  Of course, my husband has salary requirements (who doesn't?) but we are still having a drink this Saturday to celebrate the promising news.  We were going to drink anyway since Saturday is the sixth anniversary of our first real date. I call real when he first kissed me.  That took work and so I have every right to celebrate my victory in landing this guy!

So, I think ATC and her husband deserve to live together again and if you agree please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, PRAY for us!  I'd really like to have him back. That'd be very nice.  I always have big things happen to me in January so this feels right.

I kept meaning to write about this but I started running back in August and it felt great until the start of fall but now it feels like maintenance.  I can comfortably run a 5K at a nine minute mile pace.  I think that's OK.  I should have run tonight but I'm on my period, eating nothing but high fat foods, and lots of chocolate so screw it.  Screw it for a week or two.

More news to come....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Every Day Matters

This was a big week for me.  On Monday, I went back to a "regular" work schedule, the one where I don't get two days off per month by working an extra hour every day.  I had just switched to that schedule in August when my husband left for his new job.  I realized working longer hours just for the sake of it (meaning, I didn't have pressing tasks that were keeping me at the office at night) didn't work for me at all.  Because that extra hour a day means a great deal to me.  I can exercise at a decent hour, eat dinner at the right time, sleep a little longer in the morning.  You now know how important sleep is to me.

Besides, if I need a day off to do something special, I'll take a day off.  Easy.

Tuesday night, my husband and I wasted over an hour arguing about stupid stuff on the phone.  And it was a total waste of time.  I've had a lot of "rock bottoms" lately but this one was pretty significant.  I felt horrible afterwards.  And angry.  I journaled in handwriting on paper (really!) about how unhappy I was and how deprived I felt in this marriage.  I even spent some amount of time on Wednesday reading an article on my bank website called "Thinking About Calling It Quits With Your Spouse?"  

After getting through the article and especially reading some of the comments members had left, I was convinced a marital split would compound my existing problems, not make them any better.  So praise God for some of those members who said divorce wasn't worth it and to stick it out.  And God turned my heart around on Wednesday.  I gave thanks to have a view of marriage that isn't all about me and my fulfillment despite subconscious and cultural beliefs that reinforce that idea.  And the pull is strong.

I made a very conscious effort Thursday morning to find ways to cope.  Healthy ways to live my life honorably and to do the best I could with the life I'd been given.  Yes, this sounds sappy but I can't give a better description.  And I'm the first to say that infertility and separation are very hard to cope with.  I'm living proof.  But, I know that some people at my church are dealing with much harder things.  For example, I have a friend whose husband just left her.  He lives in the same town and they talk all the time.  He doesn't make any move towards divorce but she was left nevertheless.  I know this is very painful for her.  But she is a faithful woman who spends a lot of time in prayer to give her husband a heart to love Jesus.

And I realized that my choices were for no one else to judge.  I'm not living a perceived archetype.  My husband went to a Christmas party last night with his parents.  He's known this family (the party hosts) for a very long time and ran into one of the sisters he had a big crush on when they were younger.  He said she said, "it must be so great to be back with your parents.  Your mom must be so happy."

I resolved not to get upset while he told the story.  Because I'd done that already and what's the definition of insanity?  Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.  So, I listened.  Then he said he was talking to the matriarch and told her I had applied for a job and got pretty close to getting it but no cigar.  She said, "Well, it's important to be near your husband and she might just have to take anything."   :)

Ok, so I got a little upset at that.  Because my husband, when he was looking for a job, wouldn't accept just anything.  He was looking for something that matched his experience, his education, and his ambition.  So, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, right?  I'm not leaving my job that is going so great and interrupt an upward career trajectory.  And that's what we're committed to.

My husband remind me that these people are simple (his word) and none of the women in the family work.  So, respecting a career woman is not on their radar.  I should mention the Crush said in response to hearing we can't get pregnant, "You can always adopt."  So their empathy track record is not so good.

I told my husband that I didn't expect to be counter-culture.  I was going to get married, have kids, work, but my husband's job would always be more important, etc.  You know, what the culture expects of you.  But, now we're working against the system and it takes wisdom (that I don't think I have yet) to live your life and not always argue with the people who want to gossip about you or try to subtly bring you down.  This is going to take work.

Friday, November 30, 2012


After days of arguing discussing, we arrived at a decision.  Because my husband will not entertain a cleaning lady, moving into an apartment, talking about privacy needs and boundaries with his parents, he said he will come home every weekend.  "That way, I won't have to hear you bitch at me the whole time you're up here."  I sound bitter but I'm not.  I'm actually quite happy today.  I consider that progress.  I'm planning on making lasagna and a vanilla cheesecake this weekend.  The weather here promises to be dreary. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Reflecting on family

Why is it when something bad happens, all the bad, painful memories crop up?  Anyway, I'm sorry I neglected to tell my faithful readers that I didn't get that job.  I found out a couple of weeks ago.  He said somebody had more experience than me which I absolutely don't believe.  But, that attitude will take me nowhere. :)  Life goes on, I guess.

I wish I was one of those Catholic bloggers with the perfect attitudes and ever cheerful posts.  But I'm thankful (see, I can do it too) my relative anonymity gives me more freedom to talk honestly.  Not that the cheerful bloggers aren't honest, of course.  They're just more perfect than me.

That said, I struggle against playing my type.  If I'm paranoid to any degree I tend to believe everybody who knows us is waiting for me to crack.  "Oh yeah, he shouldn't have married someone so much younger."  "Yeah, she's too ambitious."  "Give it a few years, she'll mess around."  I don't so my struggle with my own feelings as I wrestle with what other people think about me and what I'll do.  But, my mother said not to worry, nobody's thinking about me. ;)  She told me that as a teenager, I think, to make me not worry about maintaining a good reputation?  I don't know.  My mother says some very wise things and also some very dumb things.  I guess everybody's capable of that.

I'm beating around the bush, yes!  

To follow up on the comments on the last post....  My husband's family is just very different from my own.  My FIL's age is just shy of what my own grandfather's would be if he were still alive.  It's a generational problem.  It's a cultural problem.  Even though we're all from California, they identify themselves as still part of a culture that keep family close.  I'm from one who considers the individual more important than the family.  We prize fierce Independence.  Not to say we don't love our family.  We do.

There's a really interesting piece in the NY Times today.  It's about a mother who worries about her adult children.  Enlightening to say the least.  It helped me figure out why my husband's situation with his parents bothers me so much.  It's the lack of privacy I so cherish.  I view my marriage as creating a separate family.  We are separate from my family and his family.

But that's not the case anymore.  He lives what he views as not with his parents but he's a stone's throw away.  That's too close for me.  The asking about sleep from my FIL was an invasion of privacy.  The best thing my in-laws can do is kick my husband out of the house.  But should I ask them to do that?  F*ck.  This situation is totally screwed.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Conflict with the In-Laws

About a week or so before Thanksgiving, my husband informed me that he had invited his parents to stay at our/my house Thanksgiving night.  My husband and I were planning on attending my sister's party and my in-laws would be at my husband's aunt's celebration.  I was not happy my husband had not consulted me before extending the invitation to his parents.  I mean, I look at our house as my house at this point.  Shouldn't I be the one doing the inviting since I'm the one doing the hosting?

Cleaning the guest bedroom and bathroom was not exactly taxing.  But I take great pride in my skills as a housekeeper and I want my guests to be impressed by the state of things.  While I complained to my husband, he told me it was just one day out of the year so I could handle it.  That was his dictate to me.  I accept these things more often than not.

I made an appetizer and a side dish Thursday morning and to my husband's credit, he helped out a lot with the prep and cleaning the dishes.  He, however, found time to head out to his aunt's to shoot the sh*t with his cousins and give his parents a house key.  I told him to be back by 12:20 so we could leave our house at 1:00pm.  He did.

We got home that night a bit after nine o'clock.  I was tired.  Since this is my house, I'm the only one that carries a key.  My husband does not.  I get to the door and it's locked.  Like my in-laws thought some bad person would just walk in.  I knock.  My MIL calls our names out to check our identity.  I'm carrying stuff in both hands.  Please open the door!!!

My FIL is sitting in my living room, reclining in my chair, reading a National Geographic magazine that I keep on my coffee table.  He's made himself right at home.  I don't remember either of them asking if we needed help getting stuff out of the car.  So, we're all gathering in the kitchen to watch me put containers and unused bottles of wine away.  My MIL saw the brand new food processor I bought to make the food I brought for Thanksgiving.  She giggles as she asks how I liked using it. (I had never used a food processor before.  And I'm 35.)  I said the cauliflower smash was delicious and she should try a little bit.  I think I just said to taste it.  She waves her hand and says she'd already brushed her teeth.  I didn't bother to check to oral status of my FIL. 

So, I go into my bedroom to change my clothes into my house clothes: a cotton tank top, a long cotton boyfriend cardigan, and velour sweat pants.  When I reemerge in the living room, my husband is now in the recliner, and my in-laws are on the couch.  My MIL tells me I look more comfortable.  She must have meant more physically comfortable because emotionally, I was no where close to being comfortable.

I was putting around the kitchen.  My MIL was in the back bedroom.  My FIL was asking my husband what time he got home last night (Wednesday.)  He asked what time we got up that morning.  My husband said we got out of bed around 7:00am but we didn't sleep so well.  This set me off.  I'm not proud of my reaction but here's what I said to my FIL.  "My husband is tired because I woke him up at 3:00am to have sex with him." 

I went back to my bedroom for a few minutes and go back out to the living room.  I took a seat in the chair opposite my husband.  So, it's me on one side and everybody else on the other.  They are talking about what they always talk about, other people and commodity prices.  They'll sometimes talk about how much they hate Oba.m.a but it didn't come up.  I sit quietly because they are talking about people I don't even know and I'm tired of making light fun of them.  I've joked in the past that my MIL should write a book about who's fat, gay, and an alcoholic in their town. 

The amount of time they spend talking about the personal problems of other people is disturbing.  Their favorite topic is what women they know that are now fat.  And they have no mercy for their own relatives.  My huband's cousin's daughter is a favorite target.  I don't know if I ever told the story here but on Easter this year, in line in the family buffet, my FIL came up to me totally unprovoked and said, "Don't eat so much.  You'll get fat."  You don't say that to people.  My sister's a (former) an.orexi.c.   

As the time Thursday night approached 10:30 (past my bedtime), my FIL announces that they'll go to bed because I LOOK TIRED.  They'll go to bed because I look tired?????  What kind of logic is that?  They ask what time we get up.  I said, "whenever we get up.  It might be 7:00, 7:30, 8:00."  Who knows? 

In the morning, my husband got up about a half-hour before me.  So, I got into the kitchen about 7:30.  We have no coffee maker because my husband took it with him.  And I don't keep anything in the house for breakfast except cereal.  My husband asked if they wanted to got out for breakfast.  My FIL's reaction?  "After yesterday, I'm not hungry at all for breakfast.  You're hungry?"  Now that was directed at my husband but frankly, I was hungry and not ashamed to admit it. 

They were gone by 8:00am.  They didn't thank me as they walked out the door.  A few hours later, I told me husband that they didn't thank us for staying at our house.  He said, "Oh, yeah they did.  When I walked them out to their car, they thanked me."

You're probably asking yourself right now (if you've read this far) why I'm so touchy about the subject of sleep.  That's because I never was before I got married.  I like to sleep between nine to ten hours a night.  That's ideal.  I can function just fine with less.  I prefer not to.  If I can get to sleep by 10pm, I will likely sleep until 7:30 or 8:00, depending on the time of sunrise. 

My husband hates that.  Literally hates it.  For the first year of our marriage, he would mercilessly annoy me about my sleep habits.  He would wake me up early just to bother me.  When we went through Retrouvaille, you work on conflict resolution skills.  The topic he picked out of the entire list of problems within a marriage was MY SLEEP HABITS.

And why does he care so much about sleep.  Because his parents do.  This is an inherited opinion.  His parents relate the amount of sleep a person gets per night with their overall personal productivity rate and their moral status.  The less you sleep, the better worker you are.  I was not raised that way.  Nobody in my house growing up cared about how much you slept.  And that's because we were all high achieving people (please forgive any spelling errors :))  So, who gives a damn about whether you wake up at 7:00 or 7:00, we all got to school and work on time.

But what this really comes down to, and my husband and I talked about it last night before he left to go back to his parents is this: I don't want my husband living on his parent's property.  I didn't want it before he left and I don't want it now.  But he tells me he won't do anything else.  And why?  Because he doesn't want to spend any money he doesn't feel he has to.  He believes he can live in the guest house rent free because he worked for his family business for no pay for many years. 

I am now intimately tied to a very painful and complicated family problem that is not my own.  The ironic thing is that why my husband defended his parents to me the entire holiday weekend, just before he left, he said he would tell his father some day that my husband might not have accomplished as my work as his father but that he had more fun that his father.  I told my husband not to sell himself short.  He's accomplished a great deal.  I asked him if his father is harassing him.  He said no.  But this statement about speaking truth to the old man came out of nowhere so I suspect something happened.

This situation is not normal.  A man should not live three hours from his wife and 100 meters from his parents.  I'm not sure how this is going to be resolved or when but it's a doozy. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Recommended reading for the involuntary childless couple

For those of you who are involuntarily childless, I recommend reading the short article linked above.  Essentially, because it takes quite a bit of money to raise children, if you don't have them, you theoretically can save a certain amount on those costs.  I found it to be a good psychological pick-me-up if you're at the stage where you've accepted your situation and are looking for things to be happy about other than being able to sleep in on the weekends or have sex with your husband in the kitchen whenever you feel like it.  (And I consider that a major bonus of infertility.)

Certainly computing the financial costs of having and raising children is not putting an implicit value on the experience.  I think anybody who wants children whether they have them or not believes in the worthiness of the experience.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It's gonna take patience and time

I liked my hair, my hairstyle Friday morning, November 16th.  It was flirty, fluffy, sexy, maybe.  But it just felt too long for my taste.  I had to put mouse on it, blow dry it, and then top it with wax.  The night before I'd text my hairdresser and asked for an appointment around lunchtime on Friday.  Dumb idea number one.  Trying to get a good haircut in twenty minutes is an impossibility.  I told her as I sat down in the chair, I wanted it shorter.  But that's as much as I'd articulated.  So, she washed it and started cutting.

It's a slightly long version of a pixie.  And by slightly longer, I mean 1/8" of an inch.  It's short.  I've had it this short before but it's so short it eliminates the waves and curls I like so much.  I was scared after she finished blow drying and styling it.  When I paid for it and three other stylists were at the counter, nobody complemented the cut.  It was a certified dud.  When I got back to work, the few people who did see me said nothing.  Did they not notice or did they fall into the category of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?"

I was pretty despondent when I got home.  I had run after work and jumped into the shower the minute I stepped through the door just trying to get the little excess hairs off my face and neck.  I didn't feel any better after the shower.  I told my husband about it and he kind of laughed on the phone.  He said it couldn't be as bad as I thought.  I said it was really that bad.  I needed a wig.  I spent an hour last night searching for wigs online.  Most of what looked good were several hundred dollars.  My husband scoffed at the cost and told me to be patient, that it will grow out.  But that will take time, I told him.  I needed to cover the damage.

My mother thought if I was going to have it that short (I didn't bother to tell her that I regretted the cut completely) I should make it platinum.  I told her I wouldn't pay for that.  It's expensive and time-consuming. She said she'd pay for it.  That's how shallow my mom is, in my opinion.  My dad asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  "Apparently, I want a series of bleach jobs."  He didn't get the sarcasm.

My husband and I met at a gun show today.  He didn't say anything about my hair, thank God.  He did say I made it sound worse and shorter than it really was.  I just think he doesn't really study my hair length long enough to remember.  I guess that's just as well.

But, I'm trying to peek out of the darkness that is my appearance and look at this as the start of a growth project.  Personal growth through hair growth.  So, November 16th 2012, is Day 1 of my journey into good hair.  I took a picture of myself a couple hours ago so I could memorialize the changes.  As I type, I have the hood of my college sweatshirt over my head.  I'm a monk.  My monastic period will last at least eight weeks in my estimation to get to an acceptable length.

I think maybe I did this to myself subconsciously.  To feel like I'm making progress in my life in some arena when most areas are pretty good.  Maybe I wanted to torture myself.  Make problems in order to make solutions.  But this solution is just patience.  And I'd rate patience as an overrated virtue.  Maybe this is a lesson from God.  I don't know.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Proust Questionnaire

The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one's personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses given by the French writer Marcel Proust.
At the end of the nineteenth century, when Proust was still in his teens, he answered a questionnaire in an English-language confession album belonging to his friend Antoinette, daughter of future French President FĂ©lix Faure, entitled "An Album to Record Thoughts, Feelings, etc." At that time, it was popular among English families to answer such a list of questions that revealed the tastes and aspirations of the taker.
I thought it would fun to post my answers to the Proust Questionnaire.  Since none of my readers have met me and because I reveal very little about my life details here, I thought it a great idea to share so it might give you some insight (if you cared.)  You'll see more about my fear of apathy below.

1.  What is your idea of perfect happiness?  Being in incredible cardiovascular shape
2.  What is your greatest fear?  Being in the middle of an apathetic crowd during a major crisis
3.  Which historical figure do you most identify with?  Catherine the Great
4.  Which living person do you most admire?  Any person who stands up for the right thing in the face of violent opposition.
5.  What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?  Egocentricity
6.  What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Willful ignorance and apathy
7.  What is your greatest extravagance?  Unbridled ideas and opinions
8.  On what occasion do you lie?  To save a loved one unnecessary hurt
9.  What do you most dislike about your appearance?  An easily readable facial expression
10.  When and where you the happiest?  Late summer/early fall 2012 when, for the first time in my life, my allergies didn't bother me
11.  If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?  An immature need for attention
12.  If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?  That they were better listeners
13.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?  My marriage but I can't take all the credit
14.  If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?  Christians only get one turn around this particular block
15.  What is your most treasured possession?  My waterproof Merrell boots that can go anywhere and never cause me pain
16.  What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  Being a member of an apathetic society
17.  Who are your heroes in real life?  My husband, my father, and my best girlfriend
18.  What is it that you most dislike?  Wanton cruelty
19.  How would you like to die?  In the arms of my husband
20.  What is your motto?  An anecdote is not evidence.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

When David Hasselhoff is your moral compass

I've really have no one else to tell this story to, so I'll tell the internets.  It's been a rough two weeks but I persevere.  I'm proud of that.  I struggle with my feelings of loneliness but I get through.  That's something.

Ok, David Hasselhoff.  Some years ago, I watched, I think it was the E! True Hollywood Story on Baywatch.  I remember two things about that.  One, the tall, skinny brunette actress said that Pamela Anderson made ten times more than she.  Two, that some women were trying to "get with" David Hasselhoff somewhere and he said that he wouldn't go for it because "you're either married or you're not and I'm married."  For some reason, I have a vivid memory of him saying that.

Fast forward to this morning.  There's a guy who works for a competitor and we see each other often in meetings.  Over the past five years since we met, we've had lunch a few times.  We are friends. 

We saw each other at a meeting this morning and as I walk to my car he says, "If you're around this weekend, maybe we could have a drink."  "Well, my husband will be in town so it will have to be the three of us," I said as I closed my car door.

I knew instantly as I drove back to work that gaul dang it, I had to have THE CONVERSATION.  I left him a message and waited for his call.  He called back about 45 minutes later.  I explained that although I like him and enjoy talking to him about our industry and work, I am married and we shouldn't see each other socially, i.e. for lunch anymore.  Sure, we'll see each other in professional settings but no socializing will take place.  He asked if he said something that offended me.  I said no.  Things were just getting to the point where something bad was going to happen if I took him up on his offer at a meet-up in a bar.  So, that's why no meet-ups in bars.

I'm a little ashamed (maybe a lot ashamed) it got to the point of having that conversation, but I figure (so soon after the fact) that once you're married, your feelings don't go away, they just have to be dealt with in a mature, ethical way and if you have to tell someone to back off or get the hell away, you should do so.  So I tip my hat to David Hasselhoff because "you're either married or you're not, and I'm [most certainly] married."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Adoption Tax Credit

For those of you who have adopted... this discussion might be of interest to you.  And you might want to comment on your experience or opinion.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friends with babies

I spent a large majority of the day with Afina, her two precious boys and for some part of the day, Afina's husband whom I dearly love.  He's a unique and great guy.  What a wonderful family.  But Afina is stressed. Her youngest is two months old and she goes back to her demanding job in four weeks.  She's feels she's falling short; not living up to her great expectations.  Her mother is not supportive, she's almost attacking.  Says Afina looks like a slob, not keeping herself up.  But Afina is beautiful and everybody thinks so.  Afina is unhappy with her house and neighborhood.  There are no sidewalks and backyard.

We had a fun day playing with her oldest who is impressively verbal given he's not get two years old.  We caught up on the last few months of activity in our lives.  We've known each other since college so it's fun to see how far we've come and how we're both struggling in our own way.

A few nights ago I went over to my neighbor's house.  She has two girls just about same age as Afina's kids but my neighbor's youngest is very young; just three weeks old.  The girl is small and my neighbor says she's not keeping much milk down.  She's throws up a lot and the doctor says it's acid reflux.  I don't know about these things in babies.  I felt really bad for her.  I don't see many visitors at her home.  Her mom has only been over twice in three weeks.  She doesn't have any friends her age that
come around.  They are young, in their early twenties.

And my neighbor couple has some serious problems, unfortunately they caused themselves.  I'll call them Stacy and Alan.  Stacy wants to move very badly.  So badly that they stopped paying their mortgage in July. It's not that they can't afford the payments, she just wants to leave.  And why?  The barking dogs and what she says are harassing neighbors.  I don't hear the dogs and have not experienced any neighbor problems expect for some being unfriendly.  But that's not a crime.  I suspect Stacy has some problems with anxiety and maybe panic attacks.  And she convinced her husband it was a good idea to force themselves into foreclosure.

They thought they would qualify for a government program that pays homeowners to stay in their homes, help them avoid foreclosure through a short sale, and avoid vandalism because they are still in the house.  Predictably for me but not for them they couldn't qualify for the large payment because their income is too high.  Again, they can afford their mortgage payment.  So now BofA (the great bank they are so much so that the government recently sued them) has sold Stacy and Alan's loan to "a no name bank."  Another couple had put in an offer on their house but now it will have to be resubmitted to the new bank.  I asked if they could just start paying their mortgage again and she said it would mean they'd be so behind it wouldn't make sense.  I didn't get that.  And the new bank would make them refinance and now that their credit is screwed up, the interest rate would be sky high.  This is not good.  Stacy looked very stressed.  And she said her husband thinks she lays around all day while he's at work!  Men.

When I left Afina's today and got home I felt strange.  I guess mixed emotions is the best description.  I felt sorry for myself that I don't have children.  But also happy that I don't have the stress that she and Stacy have.  I don't feel sad.  But that's life isn't it.  The good mixed with the bad.  I have my own particular good and bad, not theirs.  I have my own brand of stress.  But I feel very grateful I'm an aunt.  That I can love those children, not everyday but that I have a special place.  I promised Afina's oldest I'd take him to his first sushi bar when he's old enough.  And that's good enough for me right now.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

"No one else knew that"

Several years ago, I was with a friend at a corner market when he took out his credit card to pay for his purchase.  I looked at the credit card and said, "You've got the Irish flag on your card."  He said, "That's amazing.  You're the first person to know that."

Today, I was with my good friend and we went to a local nursing home to take around a cat so the patients could enjoy him.  One of the patients had a teddy bear on her bed.  I said, "That's a Steiff bear."  Surprised, the lady said, "Ah, no one else knew that."

I thought that was interesting.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Right Way to Support an Argument

This post is coming together for two reasons.  Abortion is very much in the news today and Grace in my Heart posted a few days ago, a claim that the HPV vaccine CAUSED one female's sterility.  What I said in a comment on her blog is that "correlation is not causation", a very important scientific principle or maybe just a logic principle.  What I've seen from folks usually apposed to certain activities or human behaviors is that they try to tie some scary health data to whatever they don't like and want to stop.  Thus, the article about one girl's premature ovarian failure because she took Gardasil.  This type of argument is totally unnecessary and doesn't further the person's case.

I've heard in the past that some try to tie having an abortion to getting breast cancer.  This may or may not be true, I don't know.  But isn't there a good enough and morally correct way to argue against abortion other than saying it might give you cancer?  We could say that killing is ethically and morally wrong.  Therefore, as a society we don't condone and our laws don't allow for it.  I don't think that's a stretch.  You might have to go further and say that the rights of an unborn to stay alive supercede the mother's right to kill it if she so desires.  That might make some feminists balk, but it's certainly the right of a government to decide if we allow the willful killing of human life in any form, inside or outside the womb.

The same argument stands for not advocating girls and boys be vaccinated against HPV.  If you think Gardasil is ineffective, dangerous, will make your kid have more sex just because they are now thought to be vaccinated against a proven cancer-causing virus, you don't have to tell a story about how some local doctor came to a flimsy conclusion that because their patient got the HPV vaccine and prior to that, had normal periods, and now testing shows this one person is in premature ovarian failure.  Just simply argue that this is a drug you don't support, don't let your kids get it, and call it a day.  You don't have to do what one commenter did which was call the story "horrifying."  Really, horrifying?  If you think one person's sterility is horrifying, I'd especially appreciate you calling all other infertile's experiences horrifying.  I don't feel my situation is horrifying but feel free to think that on my behalf. 

There are a lot of what I call phony drugs on the market.  Just because the FDA approves a drug for market, does not mean it's a safe or effective drug.  This has been proven many times.  The drug for "restless leg syndrome" was not originally developed for that so-called syndrome.  But, the drug makes spent millions of dollars trying to develop this drug and it's legal to apply your new drug to some other condition not the original one you were doing drug research on.

We can call things unethical, immoral, and illegal but it seems lazy to try and scare others by presenting these "bad" things as causing some very unpleasant or unhealthy condition.  Something can be bad without being unhealthy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I haven't tried not to post intentionally.  Believe me.  So, nothing on the job front.  Didn't receive a reply to my 'thank you' email last week.  I left a voice mail message this morning.  But nothing.

My husband's crazy work is scheduled to come to a close on October 27th  31st.  So, soon and I will be very happy he can come home.  Our wedding anniversary is this Thursday.  We'll both be working; ironically enough, Thursday is my busiest day of the week, lots of meetings and that dumb duck-and-cover exercise then walk outside to chat with your co-workers while pretending to efficiently evacuate.

I'm planning an anniversary celebration in November.  Better late than never, especially when a great dinner, great company, and a swanky hotel are on the horizon.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Not Leaving This House

Today.  I am not stepping one foot outside this house today.  Not even to check on the garden (which is dying off anyway as we enter autumn) and I could do that from a window.  Thank you sweet ladies for your comments and advice on my last post.  And I very much appreciate JBTC's prayers for my marriage.  We are no where near divorce [Whoa, that's sounds like a misleading statement.  We love each other, plan on staying together til death do us part.  I don't mean to make this sound like a desperate situation.  It isn't.] or even emotional estrangement but we most certainly have "things" to work out.  Ours is an unusual situation and we're both trying to navigate our own feelings as well as each others.  My husband admittedly is not so good at managing my expectations so we try something different every weekend, trying to get it right.  But - to answer a question left on the last post.  He can't come home because  he has only Sundays off.  He works until 10:30pm on Saturday and has to be back by 7am on Monday.  So, coming home to visit me is not feasible.

So, Thursday.  I kept the same suit pants on all day which was my wardrobe solution.  I just needed to change my shoes (which could be done in the car) and my top.  As I got into town around 2:45pm, I didn't have anyplace to go to change (my in-laws live a half hour out-of-town).  I certainly had no interest in a fast food joint or gas station.  So, I went to our accountants office.  I walked in with my blouse on a wrapped hanger said, "Hi, I'm [my name].  I'm a client of Stacy's.  Can I use the bathroom?"  And I off I went to tidy up.

The meeting with the would-be boss had been scheduled for a half-hour.  We ended up talking for 2.  I hadn't realized it was two hours because I never looked down at my watch but it felt like a long time.  I guess that's a good sign when you enjoy talking to someone and never notice the time passing.  He seems like a very nice, straight-forward person.  He seemed to like me, too and made some genuine intimations that I was the best monkey for the job.  Even though I said I'd be happy to come back and meet with more people from the company (which I thought should have been done on Thursday) I am not all interested in going back there for a couple weeks.  If he calls to suggest that, hard negotiating is in order.  So, I expect to hear something Monday or Tuesday.

When the interview was over, I called my MIL and headed to their house.  I walked in to dinner on the table (Ah!  I miss those childhood days) and I suffered through watching Fox News and the O'Reilly Factor.  What's with printing the script on the right side of the screen?  It made my head hurt.  But everybody had to do the post-debate analysis.

I went back to the guest house and my husband came in after 10pm.  We talked for about 15 minutes and then it was off to sleep.  He stayed with my until 7:30 the next morning which was really nice.  So, of course I was already there so I offered to do the shopping.  My husband said I didn't have to but that was really the only way to make myself useful that day.  I won't do it again.  But I had to try it once.  The Costco excursion took an hour and a half then I took off for to hit the Tr.ader Jo.e's.  UGH!  It was by far the crappiest TJ's I'd ever been too.  I was starting to become really agitated.  They were missing a huge amount of regular inventory and they didn't even have Moretti!!!!!

The Chee.sec.ake Factory was just a mile away and I'd threatened before to buy a slice.  There was an Anthro.pologie next door so I just had to go in.  The salespeople reminded me of (and forgive me if you are from or live in Missouri) the sales staff in shops at the upscale mall in Kansas City.  They were worse than the Rodeo Drive folks.  Not one person offered to start me a dressing room even though I had three items in my hand!  They paid better attention to the people in trendy clothing.  I guess my 10-year old tank top, $15 sweater, jeans, and sneakers didn't pass the "you look like you have money" test.  I put the items back on the hooks and left.  Besides, the whole scene was pretty disgusting with people shopping and eating expensive food when gas yesterday hit $4.60 for regular!!!!  This is the beginning of Armageddon, I'm telling you.

I and my cheesecake drove to my husband's office, we shared it, talked for a couple minutes and I left.  I gathered my stuff up from the house, talked to my MIL one last time and was on the road by 4pm.  Never again will I do that drive Friday evening.  All the reckless drivers come out and I didn't exactly feel safe.  I was home right after 7pm.  Drank a beer (Stella Artois; good stuff), and paid the monthly bills.

My husband had asked me a couple times on Friday to stay until at least Saturday morning.  I like sleeping with him, too.  A lot.  But a night of cuddling does not make up for a day of total inactivity or boredom.  And we talked about that last night.  We agreed that me staying home and living my life made our marriage much better and me a lot happier.  This intense period of work for him is almost over (maybe another six weeks) so we'll get back on a regular visiting schedule soon.  So, not even considering getting this new job, we can make it work.  I'm confident in that.

And here I am.  In my house.  I love my house.  I was going to drive to the gym to run on the treadmill.  I have been doing a lot of running lately which I should have been blogging about but suffice to say, being in great cardiovascular shape is what is keeping me energetic and capable of handling this exhaustive schedule. But, I'm not stepping one foot outside this house so I'll work out indoors today.  Today is for me!!!!  YEAH!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reaching the end of my trooper tenure

I think I'm spent.  I'm still thinking about it; how to evaluate how I feel.  But at this point I feel pretty confident in saying that my trooper days are coming to a close.  I'm tired for the time being.  What I told my husband I couldn't do, finally came to fruition.  I cannot maintain two households.

I told my husband that just before he departed.  I wouldn't clean two homes.  I wouldn't do all the shopping for two houses.

Because my husband for at least the next six weeks is working 15 hour days, six days a week (yes, you read that right 15! hours a day, 6 days a week), he is understandably not able to do lots of things for himself.  When I worked in my first high-pressure career, we all joked that we needed a wife to pick up the dry cleaning, make dinner, gather the kids from school.  Everybody who works a lot needs a personal secretary.

But I can't be my secretary and his at the same time.  Let me explain.  I had the first interview for this job last Thursday.  I drove three hours on Wednesday night, drove three hours home Thursday morning, then drove back three hours on Friday night, then drove home on Sunday night.  Now, for the second interview tomorrow, I will start driving circa noon tomorrow and had originally planned to take Friday off work and come home Sunday.  Now, I'm thinking about coming home Thursday night and going to work on Friday.

I have all kinds of administrative things to do this weekend.  Paying bills, working on taxes, etc.  I can't do that at my husband's place because there's no internet access and all the paperwork is here at our house.  Everything we own is here except for a few pairs of pants, shirts, boxer shorts, and socks for my hubby in his new location.  So to plan for doing all the administrative stuff would take at least two hours to gather up stuff tonight so I'm ready to go to work in the morning, bright and early.

If I stayed with my husband the whole weekend, I'd have to pack up all the perishable food in the fridge so I could eat it there.  We are trying very hard not to eat out on the weekends although we did break down and get a pizza last Saturday.  Either way, I am still bringing some food I picked up for DH on Monday.

The kicker for all this was, even though my husband would be at work for the entire day Friday and Saturday he said, "If I want to be helpful, I could do some grocery shopping since he's out of food."  Now, I know this is not entirely true, he does have some food in the fridge but what a stab to the heart!  If I want to be helpful??????  My nightmares are about not being responsible so do you not think being helpful is a major life priority for me?

Despite the obvious attempt to manipulate me, I told him that he had to take some responsibility for himself.  He can't wait for me to clean his toilet (which I did last Saturday because he hadn't done it since he moved into the guest house and which took me all of five minutes) and vacuum his carpets.  But I told him he had to do these things for himself.  He had to find the time. I couldn't do it for him.  I already clean two toilets here and vacuum this carpet in our house.  He said he would.  I really believe however, that toilet will not be cleaned again. :(

So, I'm not quite sure what I'll do tomorrow.  My option is to wear my regular work clothes to work in the morning, change into sweats for the drive, drive to the in-laws, change into my pants suit all before the afternoon interview.  Will I have enough time?  Is the the rigga marroo worth it.  Should I just suck it up and wear my suit all day and carry the sweats in a bag for the eventual drive back tomorrow night or Friday morning?  UGH!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm a frickin' trooper

Just as I was about to put my pantyhose yesterday morning, I saw blood.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  What the f?  I really thought this our month (crazy, I know) but I had had super good mucus and we did it on the right day.  Jeez.  Anyway, I put on clothes I hate wearing all because I have to (black skirt suit, pantyhose, high heels.)  The interview didn't start until 8:15 but I got there at 8:02 and they pounced on me.

I figured they would give me a writing test.  This has happened before however what hasn't happened before is that I was supposed to give a five minute presentation to a panel of people I hadn't laid eyes on yet.  Since I'm pretty experienced chairing meetings, giving long, short, medium presentations to all types of people I wasn't so much scared, just a little annoyed that hadn't bothered to give the candidate any notice.  Nothing like walking into the unexpected to make people feel relaxed.

So, I did the writing (and not like you can tell by reading my blog but when I really try, I can be a bad-ass writer; my husband tells me so) and they ushered me into a conference room, I put down my classy briefcase, shook the panel members hands and did my talk.  I hadn't brought in my water bottle from the car and I was pretty parched after 45 minutes in the little, warm room so by the time I was done with my presentation, I had cotton mouth.  There was a water jug, the kind where you screw the top on to reveal the hole, at the end of the long conference table.  I eyed it.  I asked if I could pour myself a cup.  They said yes.

But there was too much ice in the jug and it kept blocking the water trying to get through the hole.  I didn't want to struggle with it especially when they were staring at me not saying a word.  So I got just enough water to wet my palate and I carefully rationed my water for the next 30 minutes.  I should mention one of the guys had a Styrofoam coffee cup, a Thermos, and a plastic water bottle directly in front of him.  I guess no one could bother to pour me a cup.

As soon as I described what happened next, you'll easily be able to figure out what industry I work in.  These interviews are not what you'd call friendly or "let's get to know one another."  No, they grill you in turn.  The first person asks three questions, the next person asks three questions, etc.  They told me at the beginning there would be 10 questions and I can't remember who took the 10th question.  What was really whack was that although there were paper plaques in front of the panelists, with their names and the organizations, they didn't describe what they actually did.  And this was important to me because none of the panelists worked for the company.  Not one.  Like the company couldn't bother to send one staff member???  All the questions I had prepared related to the company and none of these people could answer them.  This was not about us liking each other.  This was about them "approving" me.  I hate that.  It's insulting and totally unnecessary.

I had lots of questions I made up on the spot but by 9:45, time was called.  I was ushered out as quickly as I had been ushered in although the actually very nice HR person told me she'd get back to me by Monday as to whether I passed the performing monkey test (my description) or not.

Happily, I didn't have to wait that long and just found out that I am a good monkey and I'll be asked back to talk to real, actual company representatives.  Wow!

Now, the goal here is to just get a job offer.  I am not even certain I want this job.  It pays worse and has worse benefits than my current job.  And I like my current job.  I've never, ever looked for a job when I had a good one that I liked and didn't really want to leave.  So, this is pretty twilight zoney to me.  Prayer is in order.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Things We Hate

I'd wanted to write this post for a while but stubborn pride kept me from it.  Because my prior stance made me feel like a Catholic outsider.  Some people outright debated my right to call myself a Catholic.  But, I will say it because my readers and commenters made me think long and hard - I don't believe any human has a right to abort their child.  What I am specifically saying is that a woman/couple should not be able to have an abortion simply because they don't want to give birth to their child.

It wasn't the religious, Catholic argument against abortion that finally swayed me.  The argument that drove me was from an atheist. A living philosopher, Don Marquis, he teaches in Kansas, wrote what I think is a pretty famous piece called "Why Abortion Is Immoral."  His article is in one of my college textbooks, Intervention and Reflection: Basic Issues in Medical Ethics.  I saved only those textbooks that dealt directly with my major and minor and my medical ethics book.  I loved that class.  The professor was visiting from NYC and she never held a driver's license.  She was born and raised from what I remember in New York City and never had a reason to drive a car.  I respected that but thought it must have been very hard to her to adapt to Los Angeles.

So, I think it was my final paper for that class where I argued, I think intelligently and logically-sound that a woman has a right to an abortion in the first few weeks of pregnancy.  For the longest time (up until now) my concern was that the right to an abortion was right because a woman's right to protect her own interest and well-being overrode her unborn child's right to life.  I know that's a feminist argument and I wouldn't automatically disavow feminist beliefs because I believe equal rights are important to women specifically and society in general.  Those societies that harm or restrict the rights of women just because they are women, I think intrinsically harm those societies and don't allow them to prosper.

I'd support the general restriction of abortions in the United States and beyond.  But with that act, an entire generation's (or two or three) idea of how to live your life would have to fundamentally change.  Men and women, including sexually active teenagers would have to thoroughly understand that once she gets pregnant, that's a final event.  God-willing, that child will be born and they'd have to decide to parent or allow someone else to take that job.  I guarantee, because I've known people like this, that people believe that they can have sex and inconsistently use contraception and it's no big deal because if they get pregnant, they can always just have an abortion.  Since I used pseudonyms, I don't mind saying that one of these people was Jack.

Jack called me one night in 2004 and told me that his girlfriend was pregnant.  I asked how he could let that happen.  He said they were careless.  He didn't want to have a child with her.  He wanted to have sex with her and take her to restaurants and various other places but he definitely did not want to raise a child with her.  And I guess adoption was off the table, too.  No kid roaming the streets, living a life.  She had an abortion.

I know a fair number of men personally whose past girlfriends got pregnant with their child and they all insisted she have an abortion.  And some of these men professed a belief in Christ.  People's habits would have to dramatically change.  I know that's a welcome idea to the Catholic Church since extramartial sex, contraception, abortion are all sinful.  But a lot of people, a lot of men would not be open to changing their sexual habits.

Which brings me to a different but not altogether unrelated topic, some people's attempt to end prostitution.  I think it's morally wrong for a man to use a prostitute.  I definitely blame the buyer.  I read tonight this very interesting opinion on trying to eradicate prostitution and I think it's worth a read.  It made me think about things I hadn't thought of before; and there's value in that for me.  Oh, and here's a video of atheists talking about their opposition to abortion.  Interesting if you as a Christian believed only those who believed in the Savior, believed abortion was wrong.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Literal Title: Upcoming Job Interview

I really hate having literal post titles, but I wanted people to actually read this and pray for me.  I have a job interview next Thursday for a job in a city that's closest to my husband's work site.  Yes, this could be very good if I like the people.  I've already googled the key players in the company and it looks promising.  I chose the first interview time for the day: 8:15am.  I normally like to be the last person if at all possible to leave the last impression but it's not to be.  I am driving three hours to be there Wednesday night and will leave immediately after the interview because I have sh*t to do at work.  Yes, it's very busy for me right now with lots of tight deadlines; like, hourly deadlines.  So, I'm just taking the morning off.

I need your prayers for next Thursday, my sanity, and my ability to stay calm.  I'm already a jittery ball of stress.  This doesn't help although staying at home this weekend instead of seeing my husband should help me, I hope.  I've already picked my outfit, I'm wearing the green shirt seen below, a black knee-length skirt, and nude hose. I hate hose.  Side note: the purple dress doesn't really work.  I'd need to take it to a tailor but for what it cost, I'm not sure it's worth it.  I have 30 days to decide.

So, I'm trying very hard not to get my hopes up.  But I am excited as I have three kick-ass references lined up; wonderful people who are very smart and for some reason, like me very much.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Still Waiting for Catholics to Comment on Circumcision

The grandmother carried the sleeping infant boy on a white pillow toward the synagogue’s altar, and passed him to her son. Her son carried the infant toward the mohel, or Jewish ritual circumciser, who stood amid a cluster of chanting men.
The mohel lifted the infant’s clothing to expose his tiny penis. With a rapid flick of a sharp two-sided scalpel, the mohel sliced off the foreskin and held it between his fingers. Then he took a sip of red wine from a cup and bent his head. He placed his lips below the cut, around the base of the baby’s penis, for a split second, creating suction, then let the wine spill from his mouth out over the wound.
You can read the whole story here
[New York City] estimates that metzitzah b’peh is used in some 3,600 local circumcisions each year. The city’s health department says that, between 2000 and 2011, 11 babies contracted herpes as a result, and 2 of them died. This spring, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared that the procedure created a risk for transmission of herpes and other pathogens and was “not safe.”
So on Thursday, the city’s Board of Health is scheduled to vote on a proposal that would require parents to sign a consent form indicating that they are aware of the risk of herpes transmission when a circumcision procedure, or bris, includes direct oral contact.
So soon after the "Obama Will Force Catholic Employers to Violate Their Religious Beliefs by Providing Free Contraceptives" hysteria, the issue that circumcision is evil, backward, disfiguring, etc. is on the table.  They are trying to ban it in Germany, San Francisco, and other prominent places. 

Where are the Catholics?????  It seems clear that trying to ban or limit the practice of circumcision is a complete and total infringement on religious freedom.  The circumcision of males is a central tenet of the Jewish faith and I'm told, the Muslim faith.  If I'm wrong on the latter, please correct me.  But, maybe there is something to limiting this practice.  Two babies died from herpes!!!

I'm starting to think that if no bishop, cardinal, bubble dwellers want to tackle the circumcision issue, it makes the whole "Fortnight for Freedom" look like it was really a Fortnight for Not Letting Anybody Employed by Catholics Get Free Birth Control.  If Catholics are pro religious liberty, they are morally compelled to take a stand against any government, federal, state, or local that limits the practice of circumcision.   


We were winding up our evening after-work conversation.

[Him] Ok, stay out of trouble.  And stay off the internet.
[Me] Why?
[Him] Because when you get on the internet, you buy things.
[Me] I'm not going to be sucked into your manipulative mind games.
[Him] I'm just kidding.
[Me] No, you're not.  You always say you're kidding when I have a problem with something you said.  I know you don't like me spending money on clothes and shoes.
[Him] You're just dwindling our savings, that's all.
[Me] Look, I am very comfortable with how I manage my/our finances.  I already invest over 20% of my gross salary.  Not just save it in a zero interest savings account.  I invest it.  And you know that already.
[Him] You're maxing out the retirement account?
[Me] Honey, you knew that.
[Him] Well that's good.
[Me] I don't think you quite understand the ten of thousands of dollars we save by not having a child.  Food, health insurances, clothes, education.  We don't pay a dime.  And on a relative scale, we've paid out almost nothing when it came to infertility treatment. 
[Him] You're right.  I need to look at this issue differently.

Whew!  And so I wait for my dress and shirt in relative peace.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Turning a new page... and getting a new dress

I ordered these online today:
My husband gets email alerts for credit card purchases.  He waited ten minutes into the conversation to ask me if I'd ordered $200 worth of stuff from J. Crew.  I said "yes" in an excited, happy voice.  I know he's trying to make me feel guilty.  In fact, he said he hadn't ordered anything for himself in a while.  What he really means he hasn't ordered anything his company didn't reimburse him for.  I took a deep breath.  I won't freak out like I did in the past and commit a dramatic reactionary response.  I'm a grown, working woman.  I deserve this and I'm going to look great. :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace The...

...fear of change?  I always say I love change.  It's what makes me feel alive.  But now that change is all around me, I think I just love change once it's over.  Uncertain change is what I don't like.  Despite having an awful dream (nightmare) and waking up depressed after my husband left at 4am, I got my mojo back by 8am.  I've already applied for two jobs today.  The first one looks pretty good for me and when I saw the ad, the opening closed on September 10th.  Thinking I had lots of time to complete the application because my brain is still in August, I looked at my watch and said, "Oh, shit, today is September 10th.  Better get a move on."  Now, I remember what I hate about applying for jobs; applications these days take several hours to complete.  But like any good Gen Yer, I am trying to apply and then let go.  Write the best dang cover letter you can and forget about it.  Don't dream about the move, dream about a new office, dream about the new job and people.  Let it go.

I proudly told my husband on the phone at lunch how proactive I was this morning.  I told him all I'm trying to do is get back to my baby.  My baby left me and I'm going to get to him.  I'm sure, definitely sure I'll slip back into worry sometimes but I'm determined to embrace this new life experience.  It hurts to leave a place where your ties run deep.  They do for us here but I'm not doing myself any favors by harboring sadness.  No, I won't be doing the master's program here.  That's on the back burner for now.  It will come back around when I am ready.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Tidal Wave

You might recall I was accepted into a master's degree program in late spring.  For the last few weeks it's been on the back of my mind that the semester should be starting soon.  Well, yesterday late afternoon (just after publishing my last post) the school sent me an email saying classes start next week and I should register for classes post haste.  Two classes, one Friday night and the other is on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm.  When will I see my husband?  Heck, when will I have lunch?

So, I went into a slight panic, called me husband to explain the situation, argue a bit about "losing" the $75 application fee (I swear, sometimes...), head to the church for 5:00pm confession, I'm apparently not in-the-know because not all three priests show up for that time and I missed out but did a private, silent prayerful confession in the church (good enough for me), talk to my husband again (he couldn't find a priest to confess to, either), against my better judgment head to a happy hour that my friend who organized it didn't show up to (he emailed me before so at least I had advanced warning), talked to a few people I don't really care for, drank two margaritas and ate a shrimp cocktail but the waiters kept calling it a prawn cocktail (semantics), drove to a property we own to pick up a vacuum cleaner and make sure, with ever disappearing sunlight that none of the sprinklers blew out (my husband's suggestion to check) and then went home and slept poorly.

This master's program is in town but there are online options.  In a perfect world (and I lived in that world for about three months), my husband and I would both be working here and I could take two years out of my life and finish this stupid degree I don't really want in the first place.  But, we live and work apart and my husband will very, very soon be moving into a period of working six days a week.  But that will last only about three months.  So, he was thinking that going to school might "keep me occupied."  "And we'll never see each other for three months?"  "We can meet up on Saturday nights in"  "You suggest we stay in a hotel every Saturday night???"  He could tell by my tone that this was a rhetorical question that could be answered in the negative.  No, honey, I couldn't bear to not see you.  Take the online course.  That's what I imagined he said to me.

I guess that's what being married for four years does to you.  Your husband says the wrong thing like he always has since the day you met him.  Before you'd get angry and argue about what he should have said and how he promises to think more before he speaks next time.  But now, I don't even want to fight so I just imagine he said something loving, supportive, tender, caring, yada yada. 

I'm sure the online program semester has already started and I'll have to pay another $75, maybe more to apply for that program even though it's part of the same state school system and start in Winter.  C'est la vie.  I guess what this experience is really telling me is to get off my ass and start looking for a job.  But, I did that for the last twelve months for my husband.  I need a frickin' break.  So, I can talk myself down and be upset and threaten to start smoking (even though I really can't) or hit the bottle every night.  But I know myself too well.  I'd rather be dead that be an addict or even have persistent hangovers.  I'm being dramatic, I know.  But I have lots of time to think. 

Now I should mention (I can't believe I forgot until now) that my husband is good friends (he's good friends with everybody and their brother) with the regional manager of the restaurant I visited last night.  He said, "Where's [your husband]?"  "He got a job in [that city] and living there now."  "Are you guys still together?"  OUCH  "Yes, we're still together."  Flashing my wedding and engagement ring in some sort of dorky "look at this" way.  "Oh, so you're doing the see-each-other-on-the-weekend-thing."  Is that what it's called?

I read the NY Times way too much I know but one article today threw me into another depressive state.  It's about Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and their, let's say, social attitudes about women.
Women are erratic and emotional, and they make good wives and mothers — but never leaders or rulers. That, at least, is what Osama Abou Salama, a professor of botany at Cairo University and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, told young men and women during a recent premarital counseling class.

What was striking, though, was the absence of any reaction. None of the 30 people in the class so much as winced.

“A woman,” Mr. Abou Salama said, “takes pleasure in being a follower and finds ease in obeying a husband who loves her.”
Since the Brotherhood rose to power and one of its former leaders was elected president, much of the uncertainty over its social agenda has centered on its plans for women. Will the Brotherhood try to impose a conservative dress code? Will it try to bar women from certain fields of work? Will its leaders promote segregation at schools?
But in a country where a vast majority of women already cover their hair and voluntarily separate from men in coed environments, for most people — women included — those questions are largely academic.
Mr. Abou Salama’s class makes that case. “Can you, as a woman, take a decision and handle the consequences of your decision?” he asked.
A number of women shook their heads even before Mr. Abou Salama provided his answer: “No. But men can. And God created us this way because a ship cannot have more than one captain.” 
And then,
At the group’s headquarters, in the densely populated Cairo neighborhood of Nasr City, Mr. Abou Salama walked into a spacious room where the front seats were for men and the back seats were for women. He lectured on qualities to seek in a partner, getting acquainted under parental supervision, dealing with in-laws and consummating marriage. In his social paradigm, understanding that the woman was created to be an obedient wife and mother and that the man was created to fend for his family holds the secret to a happy marriage.
“I want you to be the flower that attracts a bee to make honey, not the trash that attracts flies and dirt,” Mr. Abou Salama said as the women listened intently.
Was that just liberal, NY Times propaganda?  Should I have quit my job just as soon as my husband started his new one?  Was my job just a way to keep up solvent that whole year?  Am I harming my marriage irreparably by not living with my husband during the week?  Why don't I just give myself a break???

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Smattering (Yes, reader from the USCCB. I'm talking to you.)

  • My mood's picked up only because I'm dreaming about real estate.  My husband's already talking about buying some property in his new location.  I told him bare ground works great for me because I have plans for a barn house.  Something like this totally appeals to me. 

Why buy an old, energy inefficient house that you'll have to renovate when you can get a prefab (the one above is not) that's sustainable and green?!
  • I've never been one to call out the "lurkers" as they're called.  This IS the internets so everybody's a lurker.  However, some of my readers are creeping me out since I see they've been reading for a long time and have had absolutely nothing to say.  Say something, please.  And who is the person from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops?  I see you and what is your interest in my blog?  Are you gathering information for ex-communication?
  • Despite my almost total opposition to the sacrament of reconciliation, I kind of have to go before Friday.  Some friends are having their marriage blessed in the Church tomorrow and my husband's the witness.  Wouldn't be good for me not to take communion.  Which is the reason why I'm going to confession today but I'd be lying if I said it's wasn't a primary motivator.
  • I was really sad to read about Jenny's money woes.  I feel bad some bloggers are struggling to meet their financial needs in the midst of infertility and adoption.  I encourage other bloggers to write about the money aspect of infertility treatment, adoption, and new motherhood.  We talk so openly about medical matters, it only makes sense to talk about the money.  We're not adopting but it would be good to understand just how much it costs to adopt.  I'm trying to educate myself here.  Please help me.  Veiled references to adoption credits don't help me.   

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Infertility Chip

This post was supposed to focus on our backpacking trip this weekend which was as mentally, physically, and emotional challenging as I'd say our Peru trip last year.  Except this was only 20 miles and two days.  We were in the Sequi.oa Nati.onal and hiked to Pi.nto  I always hate that I write about this stuff before I have the pictures available (can't seem to find the camera USB cable) so sorry there are no pictures.  But the weather was perfect, no mosquitoes, and terrific exercise. 

For some reason however, the Labor Day weekend was for me, a heart wrenching experience filled with misunderstandings and miscommunications (I guess that's redundant.)  My husband really struggled on the hike (we had some grueling uphill climbs) and accused me of trying to starve him just because I was never hungry enough to suggest we stop to each lunch.  I am very, very sensitive about being perceived as a good wife who anticipates her husband's needs.  So, to be accused of deliberately hurting him or not helping him, hurts deeply.  And there seems to be a lot of that lately.

Now that we live apart during the week, I work more, at work and at home.  I am simply much busier taking care of a household by myself.  I couldn't imagine doing this with kids to take care of (couldn't do it) but the strain is real.  My husband has focused more on what I forgot to do or forgot to pack than what I did.  He is very much "the glass is half empty" right now.  And we argued about that this weekend.  And I cried a lot.  My sunglasses are still stained with tears.  For some reason, I just can't wipe them clean.

It became obvious to me this weekend that I have an infertility chip on my shoulder.  That although infertility no longer stings like it used to, I view myself as a survivor and expect recognition of what I endure or what I've triumphed over.  Yes, this is wrong in practical, spiritual terms but the feeling is so strong.  I want my husband to constantly recognize the sacrifices I've made for us.  Ann Romney talked about how the burden of life is greater for women than men (that's how I interpreted it) in her speech at last week's RNC.  But that comment didn't make me feel any great empathy for Republicans or made me feel at peace with life, it made me very mad.  This is not fair and everybody knows it.

I'm angry that I'm not looking at the bright side.  I'm angry that my influence over my husband is lessened especially now that he's so close to his parents.  This is a very sore subject for me.  I'm angry that I'm not the one who made mistakes but I'm the one paying for them.  I'm struggling with the idea of following my husband into a life I never envisioned for myself and one that I don't really want.  I hate to sound dramatic but it's the truth.  I like my life here.  It's not perfect but it's my life.  Argh!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I was telling my husband last night on the phone about the horrible events happening in our community; the tragic miscarriages and loss of so many hopes and dreams.  We agreed that no matter how bad things seem for us, we are facing no pain that can equal someone who wants their child so badly and can't have them.  I am praying a little harder for them. 

We finally received a couple of weeks ago, the bill for my transvag ultrasound way back in February.  While I had sent what I thought was an impressive protest letter for charging me $1,100 for an abdominal u/s which was never ordered but performed anyway, the hospital just sent a revised bill for $685, the cost of the transvag u/s.  I asked my husband if I should call and negotiate them down or ask for payment installments.  He said to go ahead and just pay it which I was surprised by.  He normally likes to pay things at the last possible moment before incurring late charges, etc.  So, while nearly $700 is a hit to anybody's monthly budget, I'm glad it's finally out of my hair and the failed medicated cycle is behind us.  I can't imagine paying out that kind of money again just to get my period right on schedule like six days or so of shots and two weeks of progesterone cream meant absolutely nothing.


Monday, August 27, 2012

I'm late on Akin and what about circumcision?

The whole Todd Akin controvesy was interesting to watch given that he was beat up by both political parties.  I guess Republicans know when to throw a Senate candidate overboard when he'll hurt the chances of an already weak presidential nominee.  But, as a Catholic, reading the blogs (and my representative reading sample is JBTC's blog roll; not expansive, I agree) I was nominally surprised that none of the blogger, not even Leila wanted to capture this very hot story.  I searched for "Akin" on her blog but got nothing.  However, Altcatholicah did have something to say....   

Yes, I know that most of us are here to wax spiritual about infertility, adoption, secondary infertility, how you're carefree now you're a mother, you've always been a mother but like to hang out with the denied, etc., but what about some good old-fashioned praise for a guy who stands up for the Catholic belief on abortion?  No abortions ever, no exemptions.  And instead of just saying that, what he believed, Akin gave an offensive blowoff to women pregnant because of sexual assault.  "Give me a break, pregnancy from rape is rare because a woman's body can 'shut the whole thing down.'"  As an infertile, I found this political explanation of science and biology pretty amusing.  I guess even with repeated loving, consensual sex, my body "shuts the whole thing down."  And even referring to fertilization and conception as "the whole thing" is super funny.  I'm missing out of the "whole thing." 

As someone who hasn't been assaulted in that most horrific way and therefore in no position to judge how a victim should respond or interpret the possibility of pregnancy, I offer only my opinion on the political controversy.  If there's something a politician loves better than the unborn, it's his/her ability to be re-elected.  If the Republican party would have defended Todd Akin in the wake of a Democratic challenge, I'd have a lot more respect for them.  But his big money donors headed for the hills and left him sadly hanging onto his run for the Senate. 

And back to Altcatholicah (I'm too lazy to link, sorry) but they posted one essay from a woman recently raped who concludes her story by saying, "Rape is a horrible crime; an abortion won't make it better -- it merely compounds the tragedy."  It sounds like the writer is making a global judgement about the importance of not having an aborting your rapist's child (jeez, that sounds chilling) but if she's a Catholic, it absolutely makes sense.  It also makes sense that Sophia Mason at Altcatholiah wanted to give her profound thoughts on the discussion.  If they made sense.

Mason writes, Of course these women need help and support. But it is foolish—and dangerous—for men and for women who have never been in such circumstances, to make condescending assumptions about what sort of' 'help' might be best."  But then she goes on to do just that, make condescending assumptions about what sort of help might be best for "these women."  That has such a Clinton-esque ring to it.  "I did not have sex with THAT woman."  Mason, as a Catholic goes on to support a Catholic idea that conceiving a baby with that man that raped you as a unique healing experience that you shouldn't miss out on, hey it's "beneficent serendipity."  

I get the sense Mason thinks police departments and social service organizations are compelling assaulted women to have an abortion.  Strapping them down and forcing the procedure on them.  Give me a break.  If the pro-life folks get their way by restricting access to abortion to everybody, including rape victims, you're the one compelling women into a specific situation, not the scary pro-abortion cops and doctors.  

But, of course, all this discussion of pregnancy is moot when (and I know I'll get hell from saying this from a few particular people) Plan B is available at most hospitals and drug stores (at least in Calif.)  So, then no one if forced think about whether or not they'd have an abortion or not.  Doesn't everybody win in that case?  That's a rhetorical question, people.  

And a small comment on the circumcision issue.  It's big right now and the movement to stop and severely restrict access to male infant circumcision is gaining ground.  What do Catholics think about this?  Isn't this the religious liberty issue that could roll quite nicely into the "government's forcing Catholic employers to provide free contraception" issue that seems to have died?  Just an idea. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

This made me cry.


This was my first week on my new work schedule; an extra hour a day.  I responded to this change like I usually do, in a manic reactionary way.  I think it was Tuesday when I felt I had some extra time to get ready for work, so I vacuumed a good part of the house.  The windows were open and I was terribly afraid I was waking a neighbor up with the racket.  My husband hasn't quite learned how to do a long distance relationship so I had to coach him to write little text messages during the day so at least I wouldn't go ten hours without talking to him.  This morning, I made the prophetic announcement that neither of us should pass judgement on our situation until we're settled into the new routines.  He's still up at the company headquarters waiting on new wheels so he can get home; hopefully tonight.

I know I was expecting to be at 120 this morning.  It was not to be but not so bad in the scheme of things: 123.4.  I'm really getting to the edge of natural weight loss so we'll see where this goes.  I did sabotage myself Wednesday night by having a mochi ice cream ball and a couple cocktails (I guess that's how I needed to deal with a little loneliness.)  I did manage that day to go to Mass, yes!  I was downtown for a meeting so I ended up at the LA Cathedral for the noon Mass for the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.  Felt nice to see people in business suits take their lunch hour to go to church.  Can you spot the cathedral in the picture?

So like any good dieter (and believer), I'm shaking off the failures of the last couple days and marching forth.    

Sunday, August 12, 2012

In spite of...

In spite of two beers, two glasses of wine, half a barbecue lamb sandwich, and a kid's scoop of Reece's Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, I lost some weight.  122.6 this morning.  Now just three pounds to go.  I'm giving myself until Thursday since that will be two weeks since I started.  It's crunch time.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Now you're ready for IVF?"

I'm sorry I haven't been updating my weight loss saga as closely as I could have.  I didn't weight myself this morning because it didn't look good; what the numbers might be, that is.  Two days ago I was at 123.4.  Just four more pounds to go.  This should be the hard part.  The first four was water weight.  The last four is fat and maybe a bit of muscle, I just don't know without one of the floating fat percentage test.  I'm kind of taking this weekend as a fun one.  My husband came back home a day early which I'm very happy about. :) We just came back from a car museum trip with our great friends which I can't name by their fake names because I can't now remember what I called them.

Last Tuesday, on the phone my husband said, "The new company insurance cover $15K of... I can't remember what it's called right now... what's it called?"

[Me] Infertility treatment.
[Him] Right, infertility treatment.
[Me] And how do you know this just two days into your job?
[Him] My boss told me.
[Me] You've already told them we're infertile????
[Him] Well, he and his wife have the same problem but she's a little older. Like 39 or 40.  (This is supposed to make me feel good?)
[Me] I guess you guys are cutting to the chase.  Back to the topic at hand.  We could afford to do IVF before, it wasn't a question of money.
[Him] Well it sort of was.  If you want to do that, I'd be OK with it.
[Me] But I don't want to do IVF.  Having insurance that covers it makes no difference to me.

Fast forward to this morning....
[Me] So, after all these years of telling me you don't want kids, now you want them?  Why?
[Him] Well, it would be nice to carry on the name.  Not like we'd be assured a boy, but...
[Me, heading to the master bathroom] Exactly, and this is my policy.  I am open to children as long as I can conceive them the same way 90% of the population does, FOR FREE, IN THE PRIVACY OF MY OWN HOME, AND ON NO DRUGS.  Only that way am I open to having kids.  Why should I pay thousands of dollars for something that most people get for free?
[Him] OK, honey.

And that's where we left it.

The aforementioned friends were the only ones so far that actually asked us how my husband and I would handle being apart for a few days at a time.  They passed no initial judgement like every other person so far has.  I said I was excited.  I'm happy my husband is working at a great job.  The last year was hell and it didn't help having him home every day.  That was not a good compromise.  I'm excited to travel to a new place a couple times a month.  This is an adventure.  It's not a bad thing and people can keep their bad attitudes to themselves.  This is going to be fun!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

4 lbs Lost!

Ah, progress.  Gotta love that.  I was 123.6 this morning and it feels great.  Four pounds makes such a difference for me.  10 red grapes was on the menu for dinner last night.  Sounds harsh to have only that but I cheated in a major way by eating one of those wrapped ice cream cones you get at a gas station.  The company was handing out the junk as an employee appreciate event and I guess a way to cool down.  So because everybody else was eating the cones, I did too.  I worked out twice yesterday.  Last night, I did Karen Voight's Quick Slim Cardio.  Instead of another picture, here's a video:

I made today's lunch last night, spinach ravoli with marinara sauce and sauteed yellow squash.  Let's see how that microwaves back to life. 

I seem to have been dropped by any mom commenters.  Sure, I can see how embracing childlessness is boring to them or that I've become an anathema.  Perhaps that harsh but it's striking to me how different I am now.  Before I was part of the NaPro pack.  People were so interested in my procedures and I'm sure just waiting for them to work.  Is it offensive that it didn't work for me and I'm not afraid to shout that out?  Just curious. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Little Perspective

What have I forgotten to document?  Saturday night, I did Jennifer Galardi's Sweating Sexy.  I love that workout; Jennifer is so much fun and I dig the dance routine. 

Food wise, I'm eating not so healthy stuff like pizza and more wine last night but I'm eating just a little bit so it's not hitting me that hard.  Weight this morning was 125.2.  125 is really my baseline weight so I getting back there is not difficult but getting under it is.  If I want to push the weight loss more, I have to go into full deprivation mode and I'm now starting to realize that might not be worth it.  I was very happy with my weight post-Peru at 119 but I cannot replicate that in real life.  I'm not doing high altitude hiking eight hours a day.  Right now, my ass is in an office chair.  Even working out an hour a day, to lose, I'll have to eat much less.  I guess I'm on the fence right now.

This morning I did Grace and Gusto by Ellen Barrett.  Not sure about lunch today, I didn't bring anything to work except, you guessed it... cherries! 

So, let me get something straight here.  I'm not trying to make anyone feel bad by advertising my "bad" weight as such and you'd be happy if you were at my "bad" weight.  Everyone is different and I'll be the first to acknowledge that weight is probably the worst measurement of the body's state.  While being slim is important to me, strength and muscle tone is a very high priority for me.  I like lifting weights and gain muscle relatively easily.  A lot of women shy away from using weights which I think, as a non-scientist, is not good.  Muscle development helps your bones and supports your whole system.  And I think it's sexy to be strong.  I'm glad my husband think so, too.  He like athletic women.

I've played sports and worked out my entire life.  I know how my body should look.  125 is good.  I'm satisfied at that weight.  And even if I get down below 120, I likely won't stay there long since I enjoy food enough to want to eat and be satisfied.  So, please don't read what I write about myself and project it on to you.  I'd advocate working out for health long before I'd suggest anybody starve themselves to be thin.  That's why I write about my workouts at home because I think it's a good idea for anybody, even mothers who are short on time.  Being active is a wonderful lifestyle and I'd gladly promote the idea.