There once was a blogger

December 3, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Posted in Blogging about Blogging, More than you ever wanted to know about me..., The Other D (Better Living Through Chemistry) | 25 Comments

I have this Thing.

The longer I postpone doing something the harder it is to do it. I think “I should have done that last time I thought about it and what the hell is wrong with me and…” and then (at least this is what my Much Beloved Therapist and I concluded) I associate shame with that task, whatever it may be, and so I “forget” to do it and then the next time I remember it’s even harder to overcome the shame and actually do it.  So then when I think “oh crap I meant to do x y or z” I feel even worse, and am even more likely not to do it. Some of the areas of my life where this has impacted me include:

  • returning phone calls & emails
  • writing my m.a. thesis
  • taking insulin (shit, I was going to take my shot after dinner and I forgot and I should do it now, but look at the floor and how dirty it is…)
  • returning library books (this one has cost me $$$)
  • filling prescriptions & making doctors appts
  • and now… blogging

I suppose I could blame my silence over the past few weeks on busy-ness, which is true, but never stopped me before, or on all of you who were doing nowblowme nablopomo and kept me hopping just to keep up the comments, which I didn’t (more shame) or any number of things, but the truth is, I have whipped myself up past cream into butter. The more days go by, the better the comeback post has to be and the harder it is to sit down and write it. How can I just write about baby food or do a meme when I haven’t written in weeks?

So finally I am blogging about the shame in the hope that doing so will free me up to write about second parent adoption (anticlimax galore, pictures on flickr) and babyfood (please tell me that my child is not the only 13 month old who would rather eat stage 3 purees than finger foods) and meeting bloggers (who I am too lazy to link to) and sick cats and the trainwreck that is my immune system (any other diabeters with lichen planus out there?) and shout outs to bloggers with good news and crappy news and…

And please don’t tell me not to feel ashamed: because then I just feel more ashamed for being ashamed.

Dinner, with a side of REM lyrics

July 5, 2007 at 10:31 pm | Posted in AdoptThis!, More than you ever wanted to know about me..., PiliPiliPili | 37 Comments

We had dinner tonight with two of our closet friends here in the City That Always Sleeps.

They wanted to hang out with us one more time before Pepito* arrives home.

They’re thrilled for us – at the same time as they’re deeply ambivalent, especially one of them.   Afraid of losing our friendship, afraid that it will always be all baby all the time and they’ll be left out.

I’m scared too.  I don’t want to lose their friendship or my ability to complete a sentence that doesn’t have to do with bodily fluids.  I’m scared that we’ll be swept away on the carpet of societal expectations and norms.  And I’m scared of how much Pili seems sometimes to relish the thought of fulfilling those expectations – but of course we’ll need a minivan!  She says this half-joking, and because she knows the thought makes me wince, but I feel like there’s a morsel of truth to the idea that she wants to lose herself in playing this new role to the hilt, complete with all its trappings.

I can’t wait to be Pepito’s mom: I still want to be more than Pepito’s mom.   Can I be a hip indie mom if I haven’t really been a hip indie non-mom?  How do we find the line between it’s new he’s going to fuss and WE MUST STOP DOING THIS NOW he’s crying?

I don’t really feel fine and I don’t know if those post is really making much sense.  But I’m going to post it and see if anyone at least gets the REM reference…

*Now that he’s coming home, I felt like he needed a nickname that was exclusively his.

A mopey miserable post which I will regret later

January 29, 2007 at 1:02 am | Posted in AdoptThis!, Home, Sweet Home?, More than you ever wanted to know about me... | 35 Comments

I’m back home tonight from my family’s annual x-country ski weekend. Pili is in bed, sleeping soundly with her glasses still on her face. I should take them off her so she doesn’t roll over and crush them. I should go to bed too, but instead I am here blogging.

I love these weekends – my family, our family friends and their kids and grandkids, my cousin and his wife and daughter – hanging around the cabin, eating far too much food, frenzied snowball fights interspersed with lounging around in pjs reading books with the kids.

But this is the third year in a row that I’ve gone and thought “next year hopefully we won’t be the only ones without a kid.”

And honestly, I don’t feel too hopeful at this moment. We had a long intense talk in the car on the way home. This summer promises to be incredibly stressful and Pili is understandably feeling like it’s hard to feel joyous anticipation at the thought of:

a) bringing a baby home (we should be so lucky)
b) most likely selling our house, finding and buying a new house, and moving further away from her job (and from the few precious friends we’ve managed to make here in this pathetic excuse for a city) at the same time as bringing home said baby if we should be so lucky, but otherwise I am stuck here, with no career possibilities other then my current hour and fifteen minute drive when it is not snowing like crazy which it is half the damn year. And we’re here because of Pili’s job which she loves, and there are maybe five job openings a year in her field, and maybe one of them will be in a state that does not hate us and our family. And there will be two thousand candidates or perhaps I exaggerate slightly, but only slightly, for that one job opening.
c) having to commute long distances and spend several nights a week away from us when she has to be at work

But otherwise I watch my career, my hopes and dreams for which I have also worked hard, spiral down the drain. The easy thing would be for me to give up, say yes, I’ll focus on being a mom. But I would feel trapped into it, like falling into the pattern of putting myself second and surpressing myself that I knew would be easy to do with a husband but that I never expected to fall into with a wife. I would feel trapped and frustrated and I would hate myself and Pili for it. And that can’t be good.

I hate having Big Relationship talks in the car where I feel trapped and itchy squirmy and we always seem to do this.

And then despite the booking of plane tickets I am becoming increasingly agitated about the status of things with Guatebaby because we STILL haven’t gotten our January photos or medical report or any update on the DNA/Family Court situation. It’s to the point where Pili, my somewhat proper Pili, is ready to start sending nagging emails.

And all around me people are getting pregnant and having babies and getting into PGN and out of PGN and me, I got nothing. Nothing, nada, nil. And right now it is all feeling pretty damn crappy.

Five Truths and…

November 10, 2006 at 12:20 am | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me..., Pass it On (Memes) | 3 Comments

I have never been a competitive race walker.

Unless you count being lapped by 90 year old ladies as competitive.

And I don’t mean the kind of 90 year old ladies who are cover models for Prevention magazine. I mean the ones who can’t make it all the way around the mall without stopping for coffee. Twice.

I am: hopelessly confused by right and left, neurotic about being followed while driving, and a devoted stick shift driver. I have always wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail, and violence of any kind in movies makes me hide my eyes and squeal.

Oh, and Kassie? this is the most eminently squeezable Chuzzle. I must say, you bloggy-ladies make/adopt some awfully cute kiddos.

Five or so Things

November 6, 2006 at 11:00 pm | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me..., Pass it On (Memes) | 14 Comments

I have been tagged by Scott and Shannon to present five unusual facts about myself.

Although I am very tired from a whirlwind bloggy get-together in which I. Squeezed. The Chuzzle. I will comply, with a slight twist. I present to you: five truths and a lie. You decide – which is the lie?

  • I have a very hard time telling left and right apart and failed a driving test because of this.
  • I learned to drive on a stick shift (in New York City) and will never buy a car with an automatic transmission. I hate driving them.
  • I hate following or being followed by someone I know when I’m driving. I am terrified that they will get into an accident and I will see it happening and be unable to stop it. I often insist on giving people directions instead and come up with excuses for why they shouldn’t follow me.
  • In high school, I was a competitive race-walker.. Picture a duck with a firecracker shoved up its behind.
  • I do karate but don’t like watching martial arts movies.
  • I have always wanted to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.

Which is the lie? Speak up! I tag… anyone who wants to do it.

I will second just about everyone in the OC and say YOU MUST GO TO THIS SITE IMMEDIATELY. I am torn looking at it, because it’s absolutely incredible and at the same time it makes me want to kick myself because I’ve thought doing something very similar and of course I have never gotten off my big fat butt and done it.

The Winter Holiday of My Choice

October 28, 2006 at 1:47 pm | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me... | 12 Comments

Quite honestly, the winter holiday of my choice would be no holiday at all.

Yes, I’m one big fat grinch.

Growing up culturally and very vaguely religiously Jewish, I put a lot of energy into Not Celebrating Christmas. And I still do. It pisses me off that I have to hear Christmas carols while I’m buying groceries, starting sometime in NOVEMBER (!) It pisses me off that people ask me automatically what I’m doing for Christmas. I’d love to be able to work on December 25th and not have to take a personal day for Yom Kippur. The “december dilemma” has tormented Pili and I. Whenever I think we’ve come to peace with it, it rears its little red and white capped head again. At the moment, we exchange presents on New Year’s eve. It’s great because you get to take advantage of all those post Christmas bargins. However, we usually do spend some time with Pili’s family around That Day, and so I have reluctantly had to shed my superior attitude and join the hoards of frantic shoppers.

So why the hell did I decide to participate in Andrea’s holiday gift exchange. Because, derrrr people, I do love getting presents. Even if they come around the end of the year. And because I loved this survey.

Fill in the blanks:

If I could, I’d invent a new electoral system for the U.S. that wasn’t vulnerable to gerrymandering and voting machine companies who promise the election to someone and damn it, the world needs one because, hello, George Bush?

I sometimes buy very academic non-fiction books that I don’t read because it is/they are more like the me I want to be than the me that I am.

If you came over to my house to play and touched my
ate the last chocolate in the box I’d be a little bit mad at you forever for a while.

The colour/s hot pinkmakes me want to shave my eyeballs with a cheese grater.

The colour/s deep jewel tones – burgandy, midnight blue, sunrise, sunset (is this the little girl I carried… oops) is/are so beautiful that when I see them, a beam of light comes down and I hear a choir sing.

Eggy things, okra, and eggplant make me gag, feel it in my mouth for a minute, and then swallow it back down rather than spit it out (or else I just don’t like it, but I’m too nice to say it.)

I might get sick or die if I touch or ingest: Pistachios, mangos or cashews, or anything made of meat or fowl. I’m a pescatarian, otherwise known as a wimpy vegetarian (cheese=good!) with the notable exception of… or look at Canned fish and anything made from it. Seriously. The thought of a tuna fish sandwich makes me gag. I would have mentioned it in the previous question but there’s no way that shit’s getting anywhere NEAR my mouth. (this is where you mention allergies or phobias)

George Bush and all his cronies give me the willies and I might need to consider a frontal lobotomy if I even think about it further.

I love the feel of warm clothes fresh out of the dryer, flannel sheets, and sitting in front of the fireplace so much I want to hump it like a puppy on a sofa pillow.

No one should have to watch me eat chocolate, ripe strawberries, olives, blue cheese, or really good bread because then I might consider being polite enough to share, and I don’t want to share it.

I’m a grown-up now, so I don’t have to eat
drink apple juice (cider is okay) any more, and you can’t make me.

If I could invent a way to permanently coat my nostril hairs with this scent, I’d be my own biggest customer: Vanilla. I am a total sucker for anything vanilla scented. Especially if it has a little bit of a spicey kick to it.

Three things I like that anyone might like: NYT crossword puzzles, chocolate truffles, gardening. And coffee.

Three things I like that nobody else in the world likes: I doubt that nobody else likes these things, in fact I know that’s not the case. But I do think I’m a little odd in my fondness for these things. European black licorice – none of this wimpy twizzler crap. Old signs and advertisements. Tights (NOT HOSE!) with funky patterns and designs on them.

I have TOO MANY/TOO MUCH OF: chotchkes that don’t serve a purpose. Cats, and cat-themed items. And books – but can you really have too many books? No, of course not. And not enough… time to read them. And I know this is supposed to me about me! me! me! But the things I really want are sort of for me and sort of for Guatebaby. I love cute kids’ clothing and I love really good children’s books even more. I think I should have been a children’s librarian. In fact, sometimes I still think about being a children’s librarian, despite the fact that I am already paying back student loans on another degree I haven’t quite finished yet.

Okay, we know the best things in life aren’t things, but these are the best things in life if there are going to be best things: Really beautiful handmade functional objects that are not so beautiful I’m scared to use them. Yummy food and drink. Plants for my garden.

When people have kind, sweet and nice things to say about me, they’re usually talking about:
I had to ask Pili for answers to this one: She says: impish sense of humor, excellent cooking skills, and willingness to listen to a friend in need. I add a good writer and someone who genuinely likes children to that list. When they say I’m a horrible procrastinator they’re usually right too.

It’s true, I’m a photographer. I’m learning to be proud of it.

If I could have any talent in the world, I’d choose the ability to speak persuasively and use it to get people to stop killing each other.

You are given a day and a no-limit credit card to spend in one of these places, childfree. Choose one, or write your own:


  • An auction, where you never know what you want until you see it, and then you want it more than anyone. It’s all about the adventure and the atmosphere.
  • A picturesque neon-lit bar, where a couple of swank cocktails and a friendly bartender might lead to a Chandler-esque story. It’s all about becoming a character yourself.
  • A craft show, because you really need to find something attractive to cover your spare rolls of toilet paper with, and then, you want to maybe glue some paper to some more paper. It’s all about making and doing.
  • A gourmet food store, because you are what you eat. It’s all about feeding yourself and your soul.
  • A hoity toity boutique, because you’d rather have the experience of shopping gracefully than anything. It’s all about quality time.

I would: wander through hip and ethnic neighborhoods in an unfamiliar city, wandering into boutiques, bookstores, museums, restaurants and bakeries along the way, trying new things, taking pictures, and buying whatever I please for myself and my friends/family. And because this is my fantasy, I wouldn’t gain any weight or have to carry any heavy packages or have my feet get tired.

And here’s the last chance to make sure that you’re not going to get a “Jelly of the Month” club membership when you’re expecting your bonus for a swimming pool. It is important to me that the items chosen for me (Examples: respect my Wal-Mart boycott, are vegan, aren’t made by child or sweatshop labour, can be stuffed down my pants)

I try to avoid things made in sweatshops and I try to eat organically but I’m not dogmatic or consistent about it. A jam of the month club membership would make me pretty happy, actually.

And: If I could suggest that you read only one post from my archives, this would be it:. I think it’s sort of an off beat general introduction. But um, by all means, come on in, make yourself at home and read for a while. Can I get you anything to drink? A cup of coffee?

And: If I were to name the Holiday of my choice for this exchange, it would be: Hanukkah, but yeah, no need to reference that. Anything santa related will be summarily chucked (see above, re: grinch) (Please feel free to make one up – but this is your chance to say “Um, I’m Jewish but that doesn’t mean give me dreidels!” or “More Santa decorations please – I only have thirty-seven now.” or “Winter and gifts yes; religious denominations, no – if only all cards could be like those politically correct corporate holiday wishes!” if you want to. Or, you know FESTIVUS!)

The Week of Ick

October 13, 2006 at 11:13 pm | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me... | 16 Comments

Memo to self: Do not chew gum when you have a stitch in your tongue. At least not on the right side of your mouth where the stitch is.

Memo to self: Do not chew gum when you have had two deep cavities filled earlier this week. At least not on the left side of your mouth where the cavities were.

Why do I have a stitch in my tongue? Because I have a sore that keeps coming back in the same place in my mouth. I’m a little freaked out by this, because when I was in high school, I had a penpal who died of cancer of the tongue as a teenager. Never smoked. Just a random thing.

So when I went to the dentist, I was not thrilled when he said, well, it’s probably nothing, but maybe you should go and have the oral surgeon check this out. And when I went to the oral surgeon, he said, well, it’s probably nothing, but let’s do a biopsy just to be sure.

And now I have a stitch in my tongue.

Most likely? It is lichen planus, another lovely auto-immune condition (thanks, body. Fuck you too), which I already get from time to time elsewhere on my body. I’m trying not to go google med school on this – and I urge you not to – because really, it’s pretty gross.

Have you ever had a stitch in your tongue? It bites. Not literally.

A year ago today…

September 18, 2006 at 11:03 am | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me..., PiliPiliPili | 34 Comments

Pili & I were married, in the small seaside town where her family has spent many salt-drenched weekends. Our friends and family wove a chuppah for us out of beautiful colored ribbons. We said our vows in front of a rabbi and an episcopal priest. We danced to a kick-ass klezmer band as a full moon rose over the ocean.

It was the best day of my life.

My dad says that every time he sees a full moon now, he feels happy being reminded of that day.

This past year has been marked by disappointment and sadness. But through it all the joy hangs, like that full moon, almost over-stretched with light. I get to spend the rest of my life with this woman.

Happy anniversary pweet-sea. I love you.

p.s. Flickr friends go here for some pretty pictures.


August 17, 2006 at 3:38 pm | Posted in More than you ever wanted to know about me..., The Sweet Life | 13 Comments

Just five coincident facts that will have my pumpwearing pals wincing in sympathy:

1. Doorknob
2. 23″ Tubing
3. Carrying hot coffee
4. Cute, ass-enhancing, relatively new (and now elegantly coffee-stained) jeans
5. Formerly off-white carpet

P.S. Is anyone else disturbed by word verification combinations that include the letter “Q” not followed by “U”? Or am I just unspeakably uptight?

Interview Meme, Rebound

June 29, 2006 at 11:01 am | Posted in AdoptThis!, First Comes Love - Then Comes... GonalF?, Gradual School, More than you ever wanted to know about me..., Pass it On (Memes), The Sweet Life | 15 Comments

In a weak, I have nothing to say moment, I sucumbed to Shelli’s charms and put myself up for the interview game. A reminder for those who haven’t seen this before – if you’d like to be interviewed leave a comment and say so. I’ll post questions for the first five to do so, which they will answer on their blogs with the same invitation to be interviewed.

1) What is the hardest thing about living with diabetes?

Geez, ask an easy question, why doncha? How can I choose just one? I have lots of things I hate about living with diabetes – the extra suitcase I need when I travel to carry enough supplies for just-in-case-I-get-stuck-in-a-ditch-on the side of the road in a blizzard for two weeks and the inevitable oh crap I forgot x, y, or z, the diabetes drive-by comments

(an anecdote, because I have to get this one off my chest: said to me last night, on the phone with the director of my graduate program, a somewhat ditzy woman who I genuinely love and respect, “I forget because you don’t look diabetic.” In my iciest tone, “Annabelle (not her real name, by a long shot), tell me then, what does a diabetic look like?” A good conversation ensued, in which I once again educated the world that not all people with diabetes are old, fat, and gangrenous)

Then there’s the moments when I hit the wrong spot and OW OW OW! Or the moments when my blood sugar will not cooperate with what I want to do. Or the lows – at intimate moments, in important meetings, at 3 in the morning. Yeah, all those things SUCK.

But the worst thing overall, which really encompasses all of the above, is its constant hum in the back of my mind. The am I hungry or am I low hum, the should I ask when we’re going to stop for lunch hum, the how many carbs are in that, and should I bother testing when I’ve already eaten half of it, hum. The, do I just pull out my meter and test in front of this person when I really don’t feel like having a Diabetes Conversation? That constant hum separates me from other people. While you’re jumping up and down with excitement at the thought of going to the water park, I’m wondering: how will I carry my supplies with me? Will Smokey be safe? (Also, how many people have peed in that water? Ugh.) I wish I could just be there, in the moment, without this constant buzzing that only I can hear.

2) Have you two “picked” which gender you prefer? Can you just say “the youngest one you’ve got?”

Sure, we’ve picked which gender we prefer. Pili prefers boys and I prefer girls. Babies in Guatemala are generally referred within a week or two of birth, so age doesn’t work as a decision avoidance method. And the wait for boys is less than the wait for girls, so if we say we want whichever comes first, we’re saying we want a boy. So here’s what we’ve lit upon and what our agency has agreed to: We will put our name on both lists. When we get to the top of the boy list, we will be passed over until three months have past. If we have not been referred a girl by that point (which is within the range of possibility, but not the range of extreme probability) we will take whichever comes next, which will probably be a boy. In other words, we’ve found a way to leave it somewhat up to chance. Now I just need to write my damn autobiography, yo, so I can get on to my interview with Vaseline Teeth.

3) Can you share your thesis with us in 25 words or less?

Once again, ask an easy question… My thesis is pretty specific to my work, which is not something I want to get into here. So, in 25 words or less: It has to do with making a content area which is generally seen as developmentally inappropriate for young children more accessible to them. During the discussion with my program director last night, we agreed that if I had not made substantial progress by labor day, I’d do the comprehensive exam option, and just get my damn degree already.

If that hasn’t put you to sleep, email me and I’ll tell you more.

4) Could you start a recipe blog, please? Your food pictures!

Aw, thanks. The comments I’ve gotten lately on my pictures, along with the recent disruption in my daily routine, have been inspiring me to focus some energy again on my photography. I love it when I do it, but am far too insecure about it to hang out my shingle as artist. I don’t think I cook enough to have my own food blog, but I’d certainly hint hint be happy to contribute to someone else’s…

5) As far as the embryos – can you do a “natural transfer” cycle – just stick um in, and add progesterone, and call it a day. ALL the while you are focuing on adoption?

A couple of people have suggested that, and I think it’s worth looking into. Mind you, I’m not the one being poked and prodded, but I think that the parts Pili minds are: a) the suppositories b) the ass shots (both of which are involved in adding progresterone) and c) being probed and medicalized in general. Right now, we’re still agreeing to disagree on what to do next. I’d like to do one more cycle, sometime before referral, and just put all four remaining embryos back, and pray that one of them sticks around long enough to say hi. Pili is still, a) bleeding, and b)not so interested in getting back on the table anytime soon.

Anyone who has more experience with this and can explain why a “natural transfer” FET would be significantly less unpleasant than an unnatural one, please speak up.

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