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Archive for April, 2007

Perchance to dream…

Johnny has announced that he’s hanging up his blogging hat, and I’m going to ride on his shirt-tail and go on indefinite hiatus.

I’m not writing interesting posts. I’m not answering comments like I’d like. I have a small enough readership that this shouldn’t impact people much.

But the main reason is that I’m just dog-tired.

There are a few reasons for this – a few of which you know, a few of which you don’t. The ones you know are the tiredness that comes from trying to keep up with a toddler who gets a total of 13 hours of sleep a day (vs. my 7-if-I’m-lucky), and the tiredness that comes from trying to wrench some writing out of my addled brain.

The ones you don’t are that I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism (it’s mild), and that I’m currently 4w3d pregnant. Still too early to mean a lot, but not so early that I’m not exhausted nearly all the time. Anything could happen there, and I’m in a much better place than I ever was in my pregnancy with M., but in the meantime I’m tired to the bone and I just need to rest.

I’m still up and occasionally around on my livejournal site – if you’d like to stick around, I’d love to see you over there. I’ll still be reading and – hopefully – commenting, but I need to rest for awhile.

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South Park makes me cringe sometimes. This week’s episode, for example, was kind of a waste of 30 minutes. But I keep watching because, every so often, they have a really good one. Granted, my idea of “really good” generally involves a scary Cartman or a very pathetic Butters (preferably both at once), but not always.

A few weeks ago they did an episode involving Stan’s father and the N-word, in which Stan keeps trying to apologize to Token by explaining that he understands his feelings, which is always rejected by Token. At the end of the episode, Stan comes running up to Token and says something to the effect of “I finally get it! I don’t get it!” and they make their peace.
I wish a few Supreme Court justices would “finally get it” as well. Before I was pregnant with MM, I thought I had a pretty good handle on what pregnancy involved. I was very much in the “pro-choice-but-I’d-never-ever-have-an-abortion” camp, and I had all these gauzy Hallmark ideas of what happens when you’re pregnant. Oh, sure, sometimes bad things happen, but they wouldn’t happen to me.

Then I got pregnant. I now know a few things I didn’t know before.

  1. Bad things happen more than you’d think, and they happen to anyone, regardless of race, ideology, weight, or moral righteousness.
  2. Bad things can happen at any point in a pregnancy, right up to and including birth.
  3. A lot of the ‘humorous’ stuff associated with pregnancy – all that ha-ha morning sickness, bloated body parts, joint pain, etc. – is more than just “uncomfortable.” My morning sickness was moderate, at worst, and I still felt like I was never going to be well again for several months. I had bad sciatica, I wound up in the hospital twice before we finally went for it because of high blood pressure, and I spent the entire pregnancy terrified.
  4. And I discovered that I had actually had absolutely no freaking idea what pregnancy was like. None. I’m a woman, and I couldn’t begin to imagine what it was really like. Of course there were good moments – that whole moving-baby thing is pretty incredible – but I simply couldn’t have ever imagined what it was like before I was actually pregnant.

And now we have these men, backed by other men, supported by legions of men* telling us that they not only have completely figured out the whole pregnancy thing, but they’re also the best qualified people to decide when and how decisions about pregnancy should be made. They have absolutely, unequivocally no way whatsoever of even beginning to imagine what pregnancy is like – what it’s like to worry for both yourself and your fetus/baby/sprog – and yet they’re going to legislate how pregnancy should and shouldn’t be done.

It’s sickening and it really makes me just want to up and leave the country. What kind of messed-up place do we live in, where (ex?) senators can do commercials for Viagra, but they can also tell me that I’m utterly incompetent at making my own medical decisions, and too stupid to understand my options when they’re explained to me?

*I know there are many, many women in the anti-abortion camp.  But the majority of legislators and lobbyists involved are men.

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This, of course:

But also a lot of this:

For the record, she looks just like her paternal grandmother in this picture.

Also, as a little bit of sunshine, I present you with MM’s latest work of art:

Elmo with horse and cowboy hat

You can’t make up that kind of thing.

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What do you say?

There seems to be pain and unendurable suffering everywhere today.

Blacksburg isn’t too close to us; my sister lives closer, I think.  But VA Tech students and alumni are all around, here, and this terrible news feels very close.  NPR is conducting itself well enough in their reporting…I’m not so sure about everyone else.

I don’t know if it was completely unrelated or not, but when I was in Starbucks earlier there was a man on his cell phone talking with someone.  The hand holding the phone was shaking quite visibly, and his forehead was furrowed in what seemed like pain.  He got off the phone and went back to finishing his book, but only with a deep, deep sigh.  His forehead stayed the same.

Like I said, it may be completely unrelated, but something was happening in this man’s life to cause him real pain and concern.

It seems to be a hard day everywhere.

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Interloper

I didn’t know of Snickollet, except by name in the comments of blogs we both seem to read, until I saw Sojournering’s posts this last week. I found her weblog the night before her husband died, and I’ve been reading her older posts ever since.

I always feel like such an interloper when I arrive on a blog in medias res, especially when something unthinkably horrible is happening; I haven’t been a longtime commenter, she doesn’t know me from squat, and I almost feel like I should just look away and allow her her privacy.

Instead, and uncharacteristically for me, I just keep reading and crying. I see M. and MM and me in her descriptions of family life. Her mother-in-law is my mother-in-law (minus the actual conversation; my MIL does a lot of her talking through M.), although I think the progression of the relationship is opposite to what she describes. Her babies are my baby, and every picture of GH holding one of them breaks my heart, because I do know what he’ll be missing. He doesn’t look like M. per se, but he has a similar build and a similar charming ruddiness, and you don’t have to read much there to know that he’ll be mourned and missed for a very long time.

I don’t know if this is offensive or tasteless or what. All I know is I can’t stop crying and my heart is really breaking for all of the Snickollet family. There are no good words.

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An update of sorts…

Things finally, finally seem to be moving in a positive direction on the dissertation front, and for that reason (mostly) I’ve been a little too distracted to post.

I started transcribing the dissertation interviews I did in Japan lo these many years ago (not so many that they’re irrelevant, but more than I’d like), and it turns out that my Japanese isn’t so painful to listen to that I collapse in a blubbering pile of uselessnes when I work; I actually can understand what was being told to me; and it’s all really, really fabulous stuff.  As a result, that’s no longer some insurmountable obstacle to writing.
Plus, I discovered two essays that essentially make a tricky argument I’ve been struggling with for several months now, so that also helps quite a lot.

And the therapy, such as it’s been so far, is actually proving to be helpful.  She hasn’t mentioned medication since the first visit, and we’re pursuing a more cognitive therapy approach, which was what I wanted to do in the first place.

In all, things are not going too shabbily for me right now.  M.’s having grief at work, but he says that there are still parts of the job that he likes and looks forward to, so he’s not ready to give up on it yet.

So, with those little snippets of news, I’ll leave you with a short story about a visit from our landlord.

YG is a naturalized American citizen, originally from Taiwan.  His mom is here visiting for a couple of months, and when he came by to pick up the signed copy of our new lease he brought her with him.  She speaks a very little English, and I understand (but don’t really speak) a little Mandarin, so we were able to communicate even without YG’s help (although he stepped in when the going got tough).  She spent the short visit fawning over/playing with MM (which, you know, was fine by me – I love it when people with energy come and play with her for a bit), and exclaiming how  真可愛 MM is – which is true, of course, but I’m always a little ambivalent about it when people say it’s because she’s one of those cute ‘half’ kids.

Nonetheless, she seemed very nice and it sounds like YG is taking full advantage of having her here by letting her tend his garden and cook for him to her heart’s content.  It was kinda sweet to see.

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Going down…

No, not that kind of “going down.”

“Going down” as in “for the count.”  I feel like I have a cold coming on, although it could be some new way for old allergies to manifest themselves.  As a result, I’ve been running around today trying to clean house, get laundry/ironing done, and generally prepare to be useless tomorrow.  My mom’s agreed to do a day with MM without me (usually I’m “working” at the house – although I actually have been comparatively productive just lately), so I’m planning to head back here after I drop her off and possibly sit in front of the TV for the rest of the day.

Bleah.

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