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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

What I've been doing instead of posting like I should

• Working. My job does keep me busy, and I’ve recently taken on a new project.

• Shopping for our new living room. So far we’ve established that couches cost more than we thought they would and that I think leather couches smell yucky. At least we’ve managed to purchase one new item – a nice big TV.

• Having a surprise endometrial biopsy. Surprise! I wonder if those words have ever been used together before. I thought I was there to discuss treatment plans, which I was, but we also did the biopsy.

• Sorting through books and other items to decide what we’re keeping (and packing and moving) and what we’re selling or giving away. There’s still a lot to be done.

• Researching and booking movers. Wow, there are a lot of scary stories about moving out there! But I’m using a company that two people at work have used successfully, so hopefully our move will go ok.

• Knitting up a storm. My sister-in-law is due to go into labor any second now, and the blanket for my niece isn’t even halfway finished. I really wish I could knit faster.

• Hanging out with Laila and Noah. Noah has learned my name and yells it out when he sees me. That gives me a nice feeling. I will really miss them when they go back to San Francisco.

And I’m sure I’ll only get busier from here, since moving day is just one month away. Let the countdown begin!


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

So that’s the kind of mom I’ll be

Seamus and I go for a walk at about the same time every morning. We see the same group of dogs every day. Some of the dogs are Seamus’ friends – McGruff the hound, a really sweet Chesapeake Bay retriever, a lab mix walked by a woman I call bag patrol (she’s completely obsessed with whether or not people are picking up after their dogs). Other dogs, he doesn’t like so much. There’s the little yippy white dog he wants to eat. The Great Dane who Seamus loves, but who doesn’t like him.

And then there’s Jasmine. She’s a black lab mix who hates pretty much every dog she meets, except for Seamus. She just loves Seamus, so her owner always wants to bring her over to say hello. The owner is trying very hard to socialize Jasmine properly and give her positive reinforcement. And Seamus likes her ok, but every once in a while, I get the feeling he’s saying “But she’s dorky. Why do I have to play with her?”

And I just make him say hello anyway, because it is the nice thing to do. I'm sure I'll do the same thing to my kids too, and make them hang out with the misfits and the underdogs. Is that mean? Will it be like Marge making Bart hang out with Raplh Wiggum on the Simpsons? Because I think the misfits and the underdogs are frequently more interesting than everyone else, and I'd like to enoucourage my (I know, currently non-existent ) children to give everyone a chance.


Friday, April 15, 2005

My friend Leo

A sad anniversary.

When I got the call from Jules’ office, my first thought was that they were calling to tell me that she had lost the baby and needed me. But I was wrong. So very wrong. Instead, I heard words I couldn’t bring myself to believe: Leo killed himself this morning. He shot himself in his car.

Leo was my friend Jules’ fiancé, soul mate and best friend. She met him two weeks after I convinced her to move down to DC with me from Boston. I didn’t want to like him. In fact, I was pretty resentful of him at first, because she fell for him hard, and all of a sudden there was this guy who was always in my house.

Little by little though, he won me over. He was just so damn charming, and sweet and funny. He would tease me and call me his B.B. (butt buddy) because I’ve got a bit of an ass, and he was an ass man. I would tease him about the fact that we met him at Tracks (a gay club). We were both Redskins fans, although I couldn’t come close to his knowledge of football. He loved PlayStation and the Harry Potter books. He was raised a Baptist (and a full-on Southern Baptist at that) but he also believed in reincarnation. And he had the greatest laugh. You couldn’t resist Leo when he laughed.

But when he was down, he was really, really down. I knew of at least one other time that he tried to kill himself. Jules and I had even talked about how worried she was about how depressed he had been. I guess we couldn’t conceive of him actually doing it. He was so excited about the baby on the way, and he had told her he would get help, for his own sake, for her sake, and for their baby’s sake. But for some reason, on that day he gave up.

I don’t know quite how to express what it is like to realize that someone you care about has chosen not to exist anymore. It’s like getting punched so hard you can’t breathe, while adrenaline rushes through your body like you’re about to go over a cliff. You can’t sit still. You want to go rushing out to change things, to fix things, to undo the undoable somehow. You’re sad. You’re hurt. And you’re angry. But of course, there isn’t anything you can do.

To anyone who ever has a friend that they are worried about, I say – don’t hesitate. Don’t worry about hurting their feelings. Don’t think they won’t follow through. If you think your friend needs help, get it for them. Better safe than sorry.

And to anyone who has ever considered suicide, I say this: Don’t. Just please, get help. Don’t think that the people you leave behind will be better off without you. What they’ll be is sad, and angry and bewildered and left trying to fill the gaping hole where you should be. I’ve been horribly depressed. There was a time in my life when I thought, well, someday I might decide I’m tired of living like this. But instead I got help, and my life got better. I wish I had talked to Leo about that more, about how life is so completely different when you come of out of a depression, it’s like you’re a different person. I don’t know if it would have made a difference or not. When you’re in that hole, it is awful hard to see out.

So instead all I can say to Leo now is, I wish you were here. I miss you. We all do. It is devastatingly sad that you never got to meet your son Malcolm, to see how wonderful he is. And equally as sad that he will only ever know you through our stories. You should see what an amazing mom Jules is, and the life she’s built for herself and Malcolm. I’m sorry that life got so hard you couldn’t go on, and that we couldn’t help you. That you didn’t know that we all would have done whatever it took to help you. I hope with all my being that your next life is one of much joy and peace, and no pain.


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

The all TV post

Look! A post that is not about my new house or my fertility. Dedicated to my dear husband John, who is even now ferrying his extremely British cousin Gerard back to his hotel in Georgetown as I lounge around on the couch in my pajamas. I would be busily reading other people’s blogs or checking email, except that for some reason about half of the Internet appears to be down.

So instead, the post that John has been bugging me to write about our new favorite show, Deadwood. Have you seen it? I’m sure it is not to everyone’s taste. First of all, it is a western. That threw me off for a little while and I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. I was wrong! Second, it is violent. Seriously violent. And dirty. Not sexy dirty – literally dirty. I find myself wishing that the characters would just grab a washcloth from time to time, thinking for the love of God, just wipe the dirt off your face! And the swearing! Wow, is there a lot of swearing in this show. I had no idea there were so many ways to use the words “fucker,” “c*cksucker” and “c#nt” in dialogue. Swearing aside, the show is very well written. I’m always surprised when we get to the end of an episode because I get that caught up in the story.

And the characters are actually multi-dimensional, which is a nice change for TV. One of the main characters is the saloon owner who runs the town – Al Swearengen. When you first see him, you think, ok, obvious bad guy. He’s got a million scams going. He orders people killed. He beats up one of his whores because she shoots a customer who was hurting her. But then bit by bit, they reveal more about him. He saved a crippled woman from a terrible fate and hired her to cook and clean in the saloon. He shows mercy and compassion for the minister who has seizures. He is actually looking out for the town of Deadwood even as he looks out for himself.

The main good guy, Bullock, has layers too (like an onion). Yes, he’s all noble and sheriff-y, but he also cheats on his wife, and takes other actions he later regrets. He’s got the greatest clench and stare-down since Clint Eastwood. But even the lesser characters are really well-drawn. Swearengen’s main henchman, Dan (a Ronnie Van Zandt lookalike) had some great lines. And the weasely hotel owner/mayor of Deadwood (who was in Blade Runner and had two brothers named Darryl on Newhart) is just appalling in his underhandedness and scheming, but you also feel sorry for him sometimes. The actress playing Calamity Jane is awesome. So are the actors who portray the town doctor, the prospector Ellsworth, Bullock’s business partner Sol and Trixie the whore who wants to become a bookkeeper.

I’ve already said way more than I meant to about this show. See, that’s how good it is. I was also going to talk about my growing addiction to Television Without Pity and how I’m still pissed off about them killing Boone off on Lost. But I’ve already gone on for long enough.

Edited to add: This was written Tuesday night, before I realized that blogger was one of the many, many sites I could not access.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

Good News/Bad News

All is well with the house. It passed the extremely thorough inspection with flying colors! And we locked in the interest rate on our mortgage. Now we’re looking for new living room furniture.

On the reproductive front, I had an HSG test, where they shoot dye into your reproductive system and take an x-ray to look for trouble. There are people all over the internet who say it is very painful, but I didn’t think it was that bad.

It was still unsettling though. My doctor was late, of course. Then the techs got snippy with each other. Then the radiologist came in, and started barking orders and muttering– turn to the left, lift your hip, I can’t see, that’s just spillage, push more dye in, your right fallopian tube is blocked. Push more dye in, yep, the right side is completely blocked.

Wait, what?

And then my doctor says “the preliminary results show your right fallopian tube is blocked. We’ll talk about the final results tomorrow.” And leaves, along with the radiologist. Which left me alone on the table, feeling just a little bewildered.

So naturally, I went straight back to my office and spent the next hour looking up “blocked fallopian tube” on the internet, which was a mistake and a half. According to the Internet:
a) my only hope of getting pregnant is IVF

b) no, no, now I won’t need any treatment, because the dye from the HSG will have blasted open any blockage and I’ll get pregnant in the next three months

c) I have to have a laparoscopy to get the tube unblocked.

d) Recovery from said laparoscopy will take a) 3-4 hours, b) 3 to 4 days, or c) 3 to 4 weeks

e) No, what I need is Clomid (ok, I can maybe see this helping me, with my one open tube)

f) Actually the best treatment is IUI ( I really don’t get that one)

g) No, I should go with this non-invasive treatment that will magically unblock the fallopian tube

Sometimes the internet is not your friend. And do you know what the worst part is? I still don’t have any answers. I went to see the doctor to go over all of the results from the eleventy-bajillion tests we’ve done recently. I waited forever, and finally had to leave without getting to talk to her because we had to go to the house inspection. So frustrating! I’ll track her down this week, but thank goodness I’m still riding that house-buying high, or I would have been a wreck the last few days.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cash for Coleen

Cash for Coleen

The lovely Coleen over at Hussified is participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day. She’ll be walking 60 miles in three days to raise money for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment. 60 miles in three days! It’s a lot of work, and she has to raise a lot of money ($2,500!), so she turned to the internet for a little fundraising help. So please, if you’ve got any cash to spare and are looking for a great cause to support, consider donating some money to Coleen and the Philadelphia Breast Cancer 3-Day.

To get the full story on why Coleen is participating, click here.


Monday, April 04, 2005


We did it! I am so excited this post might not even be coherent, but just as I was convinced we had no chance, our offer on a house was accepted. A house right on the very same street as the one we liked so much last week. It’s thrilling. And a little terrifying, but wahoo! We actually put our offer in on Friday, and they said we’d have an answer on Saturday, and then the sellers kept stalling and stalling and even my realtor thought we weren’t going to get the house. And then this afternoon another house in that neighborhood listed at a price over our absolute highest limit, and I thought, well, that’s it, started composing a post in my head with the working title Fucking DC Real Estate and began looking up new listings in other neighborhoods.

But instead, it turns out we got the house! They made us wait until 10 pm, but we got it and it is so awesome. It has a breakfast nook off the kitchen that is all windows, and a deck and a fireplace and a little fenced yard where Seamus can go off the leash. And it backs up to a common area, and has trees to block the road and is right next to a park. The only thing I don’t like about it is the wallpaper in the living room, and that’s just two walls. And possibly the paint in the master bath. John is already planning the move, and I'm...well, I'm pretty much just bouncing up and down like a little kid.

I don’t know how I’m ever going to get to sleep tonight. Yay!