Thursday, February 18, 2010

Show and Tell: More Stamps

Hey gang. Must say, I'm feeling a bit quiet these few days. But I hate to miss a Show and Tell.

Here are a couple of the dog stamps I've finished recently:

Dear Little Dog



Next up: a three-legged dachshund.

Shameless self-promotion: I'd lurve to make you a stamp of your dog, cat, hyena, or Mexican jumping bean. Here's our Etsy shop, with stamps, nifty jewelry made by Sugar, and the occasional arty drawing of yours truly in stirrups....

Go see what the other, more talkative kids are showing over at Mel's.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not It.

Pregnant, that is.

Thought for a few hours that I might be.

It was a nice feeling.

Lovely Day


Happy Valentine's and Year of the Tiger and, of course, Mardi Gras! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Sugar and I had quiet plans for Valentine's -- I made her the stamp above, she gave me cute underpants with a hedgehog from my favorite store in Brooklyn and picked up fixins for a nice dinner for two -- but while I was furiously carving and Sugar was waiting for the chocolate cake layers to cool, the phone rang. It was The Dane, the wife/mother portion of our favorite neighborhood trio, asking if we'd consider coming over to help them eat the duck she was roasting.

(What kind of a question is that? Isn't a question supposed to have more than one possible response?)

We did consider, briefly, staying home alone, eating lamb chops and being generally Valentine's-y. But only briefly. Because why turn down an opportunity to spend time with people you love just because Hallmark says so?

So we packed up the cake and carried it over. And we had the most wonderful feast of duck braised in beer, roasted sweet potatoes and onion, red cabbage with clove, and apple stuffing particular to The Dane's home island. We played with Mr. Potatohead smashed playdoh between our hands. The Aussie Super Geek convinced us that we ought to be building thorium-reactor power plants, though he clearly remains scandalized by my hatred of efficient light bulbs. The Charming Toddler invented a perfect game for Valentine's, which consisted of her gathering her bucket and "going out" behind the chair, then "coming home" to tell us what she saw ("Ice!") and be greeted with exuberant hugs. Over and over, and it never got old.

For dessert, we at Sugar's fudge-y, nearly black chocolate cake, piled with whipped cream (as things tend to be, when The Dane is serving). And just like love, there was plenty for everyone, once we'd decided to share it.

/sappy part

We did get a time alone at the park before dinner, when The Dane suggested we take their sled on our walk. Normally I don't post pictures of us on the blog, but what the heck?

First, Sugar (right, foreground, by the bench):


And Bionic (by the lamppost):


You'd know us anywhere, right?

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Fine Idea

It was a fine idea, the idea I had, earlier this week, for a blog post. It was going to be about Unknowingness, and how surprisingly comfortable I was finding it, this time around. It was going to be about how during the last TWW, I couldn't stop thinking about the binary possibilities -- that I was pregnant or not pregnant -- while this time, this calmer time, I was enjoying the peaceful, uncanny feeling of admitting the Unknowing into my heart, of thinking of myself not as either/or but as ? How thinking about what was happening in my body was like trying to see to the bottom of a too-deep pool of water, that my state is literally unfathomable, and how that was okay.

What a load of horseshit that was. Or rather, is.

I really did feel like that, at least part of the time, for 7 days. By 8, I was starting to feel a bit more invested in binary realities. And by 9? Yesterday?

Stark raving mad.

In the past 24 hours I have been:
1. pregnant
2. not pregnant
3. riddled with cancer
4. pregnant with TWINS! OMG TWINS!
5. menopausal

My breasts have been more swollen than ever, rapidly deflating, reinflating, and so forth. Sometimes they hurt too much, sometimes not enough. (Full disclosure: the hurting could be related to my constant grabbing to see if they hurt.) My ovaries are similarly mysterious.

I find myself typing things like "I'm not pregnant, am I?" into Google, expecting a useful response. (And, following links, finding instead a dilemma: does one give medical advice about infertility to a 17-year-old and her boyfriend? How about to a 17-year-old who doesn't know the most basic things about how and when ovulation works? Is it judge-y not to? Plenty of people think I shouldn't get pregnant, after all....)

And the uterus? Naturally I scrutinize its every twinge, most of which are probably gas. I AM SO PREGNANT, I decide. Then, for a thought experiment (for I am nothing if not scientific), I decide to spend five minutes thinking about my left knee as closely as I have my ute.





And you can all say you knew me when.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Breadwinner Woes

For the umpteenth time, I'm contemplating leaving my university job for the for-profit world, mainly because while my current job is interesting/helps people/provides occasional international travel, it barely pays a living wage. (This makes my handle on this blog a bit of a joke, although at least my wage is one we can live on, unlike Baby's. She makes kind of a zombie, undead wage)

So right now I'm staring at a byzantine job application for a consultancy. You know the kind of application: please tell us why we're wonderful, please tell us why you're wonderful, please be different from everyone else out there, make us an online portfolio, write us a bunch of crazy essays, etc., etc. (Let me pause and say, WTF, I'm not applying to Vassar here folks).

I'm wondering, should I put the work into this? Sometimes I believe that I've been in the academic world for too long, and I'll never be able to get an interview at a real firm. And if I do get hired, it will probably be in my contract that I'll have to use 'words' like 'impactful' on a regular basis.

Here's how far I've gotten:

Why I am wonderful:

Because I'm secretly a unicorn, a care bear, and a vampire combined. My superhero name is The Sparkle Menace.

A Super Duper Worker!

Why you are wonderful:

Because you have money.

Why I am different from everyone else out there
(see point one)

What inspires me:
Interesting art! Great novels! Not your dopey firm! Have you heard of
hubris? No? I know it's an older word than 'impactful' but I think it's still in the dictionary, and in modern usage . . .

Ok, possibly I'm not ready to do this application yet . . . .

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Thinking of England

Inspired by Twangy Pearl, Sugar presents an artist's rendition of last Tuesday's inspermination:

Note, please:

- Funny Socks
- Good Luck Thumb Ring on left hand
- Comfort Items Worthy Of A First-Rate Nerd: a hardback, high-ish brow, dystopian novel (quite excellent, by the way -- and while it is grim, I was at least reading the chapter titled "Pollination," which seemed apt), cell phone, and trusty journal. With pen. You never know.

Your wonderful well-wishings were folded up and tucked in the book. I got them out at the word "tenaculum."

But wait, you say. Didn't you need those buoying comments precisely because Sugar wasn't able to accompany you? How does she know what it looked like?

Well, because on this snowy evening, I have just now been re-enacting the scene on our living room couch*. Yes, I put the socks back on and everything. The Society for Creative Anachronism's got nothin' on us.

Next time someone asks what exactly it is lesbians do, perhaps I will tell them about this.

Happy Snow Day, everybody. Check out what the other kids are up to on Mel's Show and Tell.

*NB: our couch does not have stirrups. Fear not. Also, full disclosure: I was really wearing a zip-up cardigan, like the nerd professor I am.

Monday, February 8, 2010

That's no ladle, that's my knife

I have an old friend who is a real planner. She's great at planning. She's got at least a 2 year schedule for every possible job move, life decision, and each associated emotion. And that's cool - it works for her.

I am also a planner, or I used to be, but since I'm also a morose depressive, attempts at long range planning often lead me down a dark road with the utter futility of life waiting at the end of it.

The other night my planning friend decided to take me to task over Baby's lack of A PLAN (read lack of money) regarding possible parenthood. Although I started thinking in internet acronyms (OMG, WTF? That's my wife you're talking about! That's just not done, IMHO!), I didn't say anything much. Then after I hung up the phone I got progressively more and more steamed.

But I'm not going to call my friend back and try to explain that I'm angry because I don't think she would understand. Instead, I am going to list here some reasons why Baby's drive to follow her bliss, consequences be damned, makes me happy:

First off, Baby would not be my partner of twelve years if she hadn't jumped on a train and moved across the country to be with me before we'd even had a first date. (Yes, we are really lesbians.) If that is not a positive result of a spontaneous action, I don't know what is.

Baby loves dogs, I mean REALLY loves dogs. She will rush up to a stranger's dog and talk directly to it, regardless of the owner in question. This has not only gotten me over my fear of dogs, but has made us some friends in the neighborhood.

Along the same lines, Baby is friendly to everybody and expects that they will be friendly back. And mostly they are. So I end up living in a friendlier place too.

Baby has patience to wait out unpleasant aspects of what she sees as a positive situation. For instance, she balances the irritating aspects of our food coop against the good food and occasional cool people. She balances my crying jags against the times I'm NOT being a nut job.

Basically Baby is just good at loving stuff. Which is very nice to be around.

There. Thanks for reading my sappy post. Now I don't have to bite my friend's head off.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Who Dat?

It's Sunday, the best day of the week for music chez Bionique. On Sundays, our speakers play nothing but the Greatest Station In The Nation: WWOZ, the listener-supported, volunteer-programmed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station. Thank you, streaming internet broadcast! I no longer know what I would do without OZ. Every day on OZ is magic, but even though there's no "Sittin' At The Crossroads" (whose DJ signs off "May your blues be on the radio"), there's Gospel and Cajun & Zydeco fais do do and the inimitable Hazel The Delta Rambler.

Today of all days, even Brother Jesse can't help adding to his mix of "Nearer My God To Thee" and "Balm In Gilead" a more-earthly praise: "When The Saints Come Marching In" has made quite a few appearances.


Listen, I'm not a football fan. I was raised in the land of basketball, and that remains the only sport I truly understand and care about (besides anything in the Olympics, but that's another post). However, I decided some time ago that when I need to declare an allegiance, I would choose the Saints, in part because I love New Orleans* and in part because I love how New Orleans loves them. I know people in other places love their teams, too -- when I lived in Chicago, I really did see tables of men at Due's murmuring sad "Da Bears" into mugs of beer -- but New Orleans loves the Saints on a whole other level.

Chris Rose writes about it in 1 Dead In Attic (which you all should really read anyway). I just started tearing up all over again looking for a good quotation to share with you, but I think I'd better choose something before I fall to reading the whole book again. This is from a piece he wrote after the first post-K game, in the Superdome that so many of us outside NOLA associate only with shame and horror but that many New Orleanians think of also with love for its life-saving shelter, however imperfect (as Rose says elsewhere, "The toilets didn't flush and there was no cold drinking water and not enough medicine, but toilets didn't flush anywhere and there was no ice or medicine anywhere"). See, I can't hold myself to one quotation, and don't even get me started on the piece about the lady with the cats. Or the piano store. Where was I? Right:

The Saints are family around here and you're stuck with them just like you're stuck with,

The Saints are our crazy Uncle Frank, prone to off-color remarks and broken promises and he's certainly not the guy you send to car pool to pick up your kids when you're stuck at the doctor's office, but you have to admit: holiday gatherings just aren't as much fun without him.


It's a long road home no matter what color glasses you're wearing today, but there is something about waking up in a community that is thinking the same thing -- if only for a moment -- as if we had all just accomplished something together -- when actually it was a bunch of millionaires whose names we hardly know.

I'm not trying to claim that I'm a supa-dupa Saint, but I wish I were, which is more than I can say for my feelings towards any other team.

Speaking of those millionaires, here's another reason I'll be wearing black and gold today (assuming I make it off the couch): Scott Fujita. I've heard quite enough about the Tebow Focus on The Family (Well Not YOUR Family) ad (though I encourage you to watch this response from Sean James and Al Joyner, who talk about honoring their mothers and daughters by believing in their ability to make medical decisions for themselves). I want to hear more about Scott Fujita, a Saints linebacker (and transracial adoption baby -- he's white; his family is part white, part Japanese: "I have no Japanese blood in my body. But I’m Japanese at heart.”) who has decided to use his time in the spotlight to champion gay rights. The whole interview is worth reading, but here's part I though you all might find particularly interesting:

A year ago or two years ago, I remember reading about an initiative that was proposed in the state of Arkansas. It was some kind of measure that was aimed at preventing adoptions by single parents. Now, the way I read that and the way that I translated that language was that only heterosexual, married couples could adopt children. As an adopted child that really bothered me. I asked myself, what that is really saying is that the concern with one's sexual orientation or one's sexual preference outweighs what's really important, and that's finding safe homes for children, for our children. It's also saying that we'd rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home, where the parent, whether that person's single or not, gay or straight. Either way, it doesn't matter. It's a home that's going to be provided for a kid who desperately needs a home. As an adopted child, that measure really bothered me. It just boggles my mind because good, loving homes for any child are the most important thing.

Oh, and he's straight (and married) and -- did I mention -- a FOOTBALL PLAYER? (Yeah, they do call him a pinko commie in the locker room; he speaks up anyway.) Scott Fujita, you are my hero.

This post is near long enough, and I've got stamps to carve and roux to make. In conclusion:

*Shameless-but-proceeds-to-charity plug: You can read my love letter to the city in Submerged: Tales from the Basin. Buy the book, and I'll tell you my seekrit identity, though I need for various reasons to keep my real name the hell away from this blog. I don't get any money if you buy it -- never did get any -- but several organizations working on sadly-still-necessary post-K recovery will.

Tylenol -- Let Me Be More Clear

It occurs to me that my last comment on Tylenol not actually doing anything could be read two ways.

1. "Tylenol won't hurt the theoretical cell-bundle."
That it not what I meant.

I meant:

2. "Tylenol is basically a placebo (that gives you liver damage)."

I've given up taking it, as it doesn't seem to make a damn bit of difference one way or another. Whining seems just as effective at making me feel better.

In other news, Sugar has sweetly offered to make red beans and rice, which I had planned to make for a Superbowl party today. (I'm not particularly a football fan, but I am a huge New Orleans fan, which makes this the first year ever that I've cared who wins the game. Plus, I'd far rather cook and eat in honor of New Orleans than Indiana.)

My wife. She sure beats Tylenol.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


It doesn't actually DO anything, does it?

I'm not terribly sick, but I do want an aspirin. I don't really think I'm...marmot...but just on the off chance....

Thank heavens for Sugar, who brought my lunch to the sofa, and for my cat, who's loyally guarding me as I rest.

A Good Day For Scones

Hello, dearies. Is it snowing where you are? It is here, but so far there isn't enough for sledding yet, which is WRONG. And I'm getting a cold. Maybe.

Mel mentioned her attempts at making scones without heavy cream, and it reminded me of Sugar's yummy ginger scones, which don't call for it. I asked for the recipe to share with Mel, and Sugar said she'd make them! Things are certainly looking up around here.

Sugar's Yogurt Scones

(recipe clipped by Sugar's mom from...some book on bread, and adjusted a bit here and there. This is half the listed recipe, as it makes too much for us and doesn't keep all that well. This way makes 8 large scones.)

1 1/2 c flour (or use half whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbs butter (1/8 lb, if you buy it in big chunks the way we do)
1 packed Tbs brown sugar
1/2+1/8 c firm yogurt
1 egg
1/4 c ...stuff. The recipe calls for raisins or currants, but since raisins are less than awesome and my body treats currants like DEADLY POISON DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY ALERT POLICE, we use crystallized ginger and nuts, ideally pecans. (We're out of pecans, though, so today we're trying flax seed.)

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease baking sheet.

2. Sift dry ingredients (flour, soda, powder, salt) together. Cut butter into brown sugar (food processor or pastry cutter) until uniformly blended, resembling coarse meal.

3. Beat yogurt with egg. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add yogurt and "stuff." Mix minimally ("with swift, decisive strokes." Hot.) until well-blended.

4. Drop by rounded quarter measures onto cookie sheet. [And then it says to brush them with egg, which we never to. When I wheedle, Sugar sprinkles turbinado or other fancy sugar on top. Today, I wheedled.]

5. Bake 12-15 minutes.

Makes 8.

It's taken me longer to type this than it took Sugar to mix up the batter, that's how easy we're talking (or how slow I type). Pictures to come when eating commences! Yay!


Here! This photo taken shortly before the scone died a glorious death in my mouth. YumYumYum. Flax seeds are fine -- inoffensive, but not a huge flavor addition. But I like how they feel when I bite them with my front teeth.

Sugar's Yogurt Scone

Thursday, February 4, 2010

True Confessions

And now, for your TWW entertainment, results of a quiz link I found buried in starhillgirl's archives.

I'm going to lose a lot of lesbian points when I tell you that I got this result (instead of Toni) by admitting that yes, I do find the spelling "womyn" hilarious and unsophisticated.

I don't drink much herbal tea anymore, either. (But I do still have cats and quite a number of Dar Williams albums. No need to confiscate my credentials.)

[If you have no idea what this quiz is about, here. Also, thanks for being a terrific ally. I love you even you're straight ;) ]

You Scored as Sydney

You are Sydney! You know that most people are too foolish to make the world a better place, so you're not looking for a better tomorrow -- you're looking for some new clothes and a little respect in the academic world. You can be self-important, so be sure to hug your girlfriend and thank her for putting up with you.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Other Great News

Whatever else comes of yesterday's endeavors, this means a whole 4 weeks without holding my pee for an OPK. Praise the Lord.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

You Know What's Awesome?

Valium. Valium is awesome.

If I were in the market for a new addiction, I'd strongly consider this one. Although bear in mind that I am still pretty loopy.

You know what's better than valium?

You all. Thanks for all the kind messages today. When I heard the word "tenaculum," I unfolded them and read them again. (And tried to name every part of England that I could. I'm pretty good with geography, but not when high, apparently. Kept getting caught in a Devon-Dover-"They'll be bluebirds over the white cliffs" loop.)

More later, when I am sobered up. Typing like this is way too hard.

P.S. The socks, for the curious and the SITM faithful, are from Little Miss Mismatched (which means there's a third one, too, in red and yellow). The nurse liked them, too.

After Some Consideration

I have settled on these:


On account of they have spots and stripes, too:


Thanks for the well-wishin', y'all. I'll do my best.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back In The Saddle

Or the stirrups, at any rate.

Greetings from the [state college where I teach] campus library, where I spend my non-teaching time this semester, since I don't have an office. Today I'm at a large, shared table in the very open art history section, staring at the double-lined OPK I'm holding under the table, where I can pretend that the students can't see it. (They can, of course, just as I can see them pass notes in class.) Lord knows what they think, but who cares?! I am FINALLY OVULATING! W00t!

A little background: after taking November and December off from TTC -- November because I o'd the weekend we got married; December because of travel (and because I wanted to be drinking, not weeping over my period, while visiting my in-laws) -- I expected to ovulate about two weeks ago. Which was right when I found out that I might lose my health insurance. And just like in October, when my revving-to-go body encountered a big wallop of stress, everything came to a screeching halt. (Except the soreness at my left ovary that I get every month around ovulation. That has obligingly kept on going.) Following some major hustle on my part and some help from others, I did NOT lose my health insurance, but even though I've been peeing on sticks like it's going out of style, checking my TP like I'm expecting the Virgin Mary's face to turn up there, and urging my pituitary on, nothin'. So, I say again, W00t!

I'm going in for a valium-assisted IUI tomorrow, so wish me luck, please. Sadly, Sugar can't cancel her afternoon meetings, so I'll be riding solo. I'm sad about that, but it's evidently a difficult thing to schedule around, my ovulation. I'd be happy to think some of you were keeping me company, however virtually.

Heigh-ho, Spermies, Away!