Monthly Archives: November 2008

burning a hole

money

When I was young and I would get an allowance or make some money babysitting, I would be utterly compelled to buy something. I didn’t have to spend all of the money, but I would have to get something almost immediately. Often this amounted to some sort of small treat at the store down the road, but I had to get something, or I would positively burst.

I find that when I have pregnancy tests in my home, there is a similar effect. I have to use one almost as soon as I get them no matter how ridiculously early it may be. I am now convinced that these are items we should not purchase unless my period is late. I tested this morning: stark white negative. Then I went back to sleep, dreaming that some new and improved test that resembled a humongous iPhone gave me a positive. It was one of those dreams in which I was convinced I was awake. Until I was.

I’m really okay with all of this. I finally got practical and determined that I’m just 11dpo. I don’t expect I will see any red until Tuesday, so it’s still early. Frankly, I’m far more accustomed to negative pregnancy tests than positive ones–much like I’m more accustomed to getting not even one number right on those very rare occasions when J and I play the lottery. It would be nice to get some or even all of the numbers, but that’s not how things typically roll for us, and I’m okay with that.

I’m maintaining the zen space, preparing myself for the worst but knowing that anything can still happen. I’m okay with any outcome because we have a plan, and we’re sticking to it. In fact, this month beause J is going to have such great success on the quitting of smoking, we should have enough of a surplus to purchase a second vial of sperm. That feels pretty good.

Today is the last day of NaBloPoMo. I have enjoyed it, although I am not entirely proud of some of the content I have produced. It does me a lot of good to sit and process for a few moments a day. I doubt I’ll post daily for the coming month, considering the overwhelming grading tasks I have ahead of me as well as the impending holidays. However, I’ll be here updating as much as I can. Thank you all for joining me on this ride.

I’m off to grade!

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a few of my favorite things

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These are two things I love to see in my bathroom:

1. A couple of pregnancy tests. We will test tomorrow. It’s CD? That’s right. I haven’t even kept track this time. That’s how zen I am. I think I can expect my period in two days, but I’m not certain. I have been completely lacking of symptoms except for some crying here and there for no apparent reason, which could be explained by many different hormone cocktails.

2. Chan.tix: J is finally going to get to use this again to quit smoking. She used this last year but didn’t finish out her prescription once we moved, so she started up again. Now, she’s ready to start this over again, and we’re both excited because this stuff works.

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ahhhhhh, home

We’re home. It was a good trip full of family and baby cuddles, but we’re so glad to be home. We have a fire going with cats taking baths in front of it. J is lying in front of the fire with them sipping some brandy.

On our drive home, we watched the sunset, and then fruit orchards sillhouetted black and lacy against a fuschia sky.

Tomorrow, we will start on a grading marathon that may not end for two weeks, but for tonight, we’re enjoying our home and our family of felines.

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Turkey Day

Have you seen this turkey?
Have you seen this turkey?

You may recall our mention of our flock of turkeys. Approximately twelve of them live on or near this property we live on, and for the first six months or so that we lived here, they were in the yard off of our balcony all the time. In the past two months, they have been nowhere to be seen. We do not know if they were smart enough to go into hiding or if some of the apartment residents have made a meal of them. Either way, we miss our turkeys.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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over the river and through the woods

I have a cat on my lap begging me not to leave for the next two days. Another is lying on the shirt I plan to wear once I get out of the shower. They are so smart. Once the red suitcases come out, they simply know that they are going to be without us and either cling to us, meowing and meowing, or they sit in our guest room pouting, unwilling to respond to our affection.

We are going to my parents’ house for the stuff-yourself-til-you-sleep holiday. I will be spending the next twenty-four hours cooking and working to ward off stress and family drama. J will be working to keep us both sane. We both will hold a certain niece as much as possible.

I am still not thinking about the results of this cycle. Any time a thought crosses my mind about it, I quickly think of happier topics like student papers or what sort of job I may find once this semester is over. So far, I have been successful in warding off all symptoms, pseudo or otherwise.

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a few answers

J started responding to some of your questions, but I’m using them for post fodder tonight. She will have to come back and fill in a few gaps, but here goes…

The first set is from Jay:

1) What did each of you want to do when you grew up, and is that what you are doing now?

I wanted to be many things. First it was a cowgirl/nurse. I couldn’t make up my mind. Later, I wanted to be an astronaut and pilot. This was a huge obsession of mine when I was between eleven and thirteen. I am not a cowgirl, a nurse, nor an astronaut. I think I would be making more money and have more stability with any one of these jobs.

2) If you have a girl, will The Pinkness faze you?

The pinkness is something I worry about a little. Neither of us is fond of pink. As a feminist and cultural critic, the use of colors to define male and female is disturbing to me. I know there’s no avoiding the pink though. I know we’ll see frills and lace and bows and pink if we have a girl, and I imagine we’ll have to deal with it. I don’t look forward to it though.

3) What’s better, wine or chocolate?

Both. Together. As J said, a great full-bodied red wine with some dark chocolate is one of the great experiences of life.

4) What’s your favourite item of clothing?

Funny you should ask: I hate so many of my clothes right now.

5) Biggest TTC gripe thus far?

The time it is taking, the money it is costing. In short, it’s a lot harder than we expected or than it should be.

These questions are from giggleblue:

hmm, do you have any phobias?

I am afraid of heights. I get dizzy. This started at a late age, though. My mom and I were at some huge Broadway show when I was about 22, and we were walking to our seats in the balcony. I looked down and had the worst vertigo. To top it off, there was no handrail to hang onto as I walked down the steps to my seat. Sitting in the balcony that whole night was torture.

I also was terrified of flying for awhile. J may very well have permanent bruises on her hands from me holding them so tightly during takeoff. Both of these have eased up a bit for me, but I still have bouts of vertigo when I’m up too high.

any thoughts for a nursery theme already?

We like the idea of fish or rainforest or jungle–something like that. We also like the idea of bright bold colors (no pink or pale blue).

what’s your favorite mixed drink?

If I’m having a mixed drink, and I usually don’t, it’s a vodka tonic or a flavored vodka with club soda. Normally I drink wine or whiskey. And I don’t like to mix anything with either of those. J loves drinking Jack Daniels and Coke (with lots of cherries).

cow milk, soy milk, or rice milk??

I drink all of the above, depending on my mood and what the purpose of the milk is. I like cow milk with my cereal and with cookies, but I often prefer soy with hot drinks (especially with chai). I will drink all three straight up because I like all three. J will only drink cow milk.

From Olive:

What are your favorite hobbies or things to do in your free time?

I love taking photos. I prefer film, and when using film, I prefer black and white. We both love to hike, taste wine, cook. I bake from time to time. We’re also crafty. I crochet (not well). We both make infused olive oils, cordials, and candles. We’re avid readers but don’t read nearly enough for pleasure when teaching (we’re reading too many bad student essays). More than anything, we love spending time together, whether it’s going camping, walking at the beach, cooking a meal, going to UU, or lounging around the house watching movies.

There were a couple of questions about how we met and our first impressions of one another. I think I will milk those for another post, but gypsygrrl did ask the following in addition to these two questions:

What is an everyday kindness you do for each other and why does it mean so much?

J often urges me to take a nap when I’m exhausted but refusing to sleep. She will cover me up with a blanket, get me a cat, and turn on soft music. Because of her I rely heavily on my naps. She also makes me tea. She doesn’t ever drink tea, but she always has made it for me because she likes the ritual of it and she likes that I like it. Honestly, I could go on and on here. She is a wonderful and thoughtful wife.

Okay, that’s enough of me for today! If you have more questions, feel free to post them. I need to compile enough of these to publish my juicy tell-all and make my millions (ha).

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as promised–a rally story, with pictures

img_1896On Saturday, J and I got up and drove to Sacramento in the morning to go to what was hoped to be a rather large rally on the steps of the state capitol building. I spent a good deal of my teenage years hanging out and causing trouble in downtown Sacramento, so I looked forward to sharing my old stomping grounds with J. In fact, once I skipped class and attended a Gulf War protest at the capitol. These were my early days of “activism,” my desire to be part of some cool hippie movement. I honestly had no idea what I was doing.

But now we’ve got the real thing, so J and I booked a hotel room, selected a bunch of gay musicians for the drive, made some food, and loaded up the car. We were ready to go. Arrival was simple. The hotel let us check in three hours early, which allowed us time to deposit our things and go for a little walk over to the capitol to scope things out and see if anyone was there yet. 

On our way back, we walked through this beautiful alleyway.

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We stopped for coffee and encountered all kinds of gay couples fueling themselves up for the rally. There were also wonderful leaves all over the ground and topping the outdoor tables. It was some sort of urban autumn wonderland. I am a lover of fall, and I was in heaven.

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At this point, we were closing in on 1:00, and we wanted to get down to the rally early enough to find a little slice of lawn, so we grabbed some snacks, picked up our new and improved rally signs, changed into the t-shirts I made for us (complete with a rainbow fist on the front and our wedding date on the back), and walked on down to the capitol again. By then, people were starting to gather. We set up our blanket near another lesbian couple, and rested for a bit.

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As we sat there, people were starting to gather. One woman had an altar of sorts set up amidst the steps of img_1910the capitol, and she was burning sage, drumming from time to time, and playing a didgeridoo. She started playing the thing around the outskirts of the forming crowd, and came and blew it at our backs. I can’t say that I have had that experience before. As she was wrapping things up, the crowd was starting to form. It was great watching people walk by. Kids were carrying “I love my moms” signs; parents had signs about how much they loved their gay kids. It was really touching.

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Every once in awhile, someone would stop to photograph us, and occasionally, we would get up to photograph someone. It was that sort of day. Everyone wanted to document every moment of the event. People were cheerful, festive, and I think as mesmerized as we were by the huge crowd of people like us.

As we waited for the speakers to start, J encouraged me to get up and go for a walk. I encountered all kinds of people:

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img_1936No one can accuse us of being a drab community, now can they?

Soon it was time for the speakers to begin, and the crowd had grown quite huge. We picked up our blanket and joined the throngs. We were relatively close to the podium, but with everyone’s signs, it was difficult to see.

As the speakers started, there were many people milling about offering stickers for Day without a Gay and the like as well as white knots, black wristbands, flyers with coupons for drink specials at the after parties at the gay clubs downtown. It was almost festive with hints of both awe that we were all amongst our tribe and sadness that this is what it took to bring us together.

Gloria Allred was the first speaker. She was great and led us in some call and response thanking the Supreme Court. She was encouraging about the upcoming court battle and was generally good to listen to. Unfortunately, although we were close to the stage, we couldn’t see more than the occasional speck of anyone speaking because of the ever-changing sea of signs in front of us.

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Honestly, all of the speakers were good, but the highlight of the day was hearing Margaret Cho talk. Before she showed up, the Dykes on Bikes had been circling the block on which the capitol sits, and it turns out she was just as enamored of them as we were. Here’s her talk and her song if you’re interested (I know, this post is embarrassingly multi-media):

The speakers kept coming, and we kept standing and yelling, and shaking our signs. Occasionally, I had to step away to get a sense for the size of the crowd, and to take photos. This one attempts to show just how big it was from the street:

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 By the time the speakers were finished, we had been standing in one place for a few hours, and we were ready to move. Luckily, it was time to march. The march took place around the State Capitol Park. img_1983We were toward the front of the group. Each time we rounded a corner and caught a glimpse of the crowd behind us, it was breathtaking. Unfortunately, none of the photos really does it justice, but we wound around the entire Capitol Park–all 5000 of us.

There were all kinds of law enforcement, following us in squad cars, lining the interior of the park on horses and bikes. Others were simply standing there. Many of us thanked them as we passed. It was somehow reassuring to have them there. We knew they were there to protect us just as much as they were there to enforce the law.

Upon returning to the start point, J and I stopped and watched everyone filter back in to the West Side of the Capitol building.

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Drivers were honking for us, and the crowd was electric. Dance music was playing over the huge speakers as we came back in, and people started dancing on the steps of the Capitol. J joined them.

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The energy was wonderful. People danced and cheered. Didgeridoo lady started drumming (she was multi-talented).

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And soon the MC called it all to a close, inviting all of us to come down to gay town and buy her shots of tequila.

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We were tuckered out, but energized. We said goodbye to the Capitol, grabbed our signs, and headed back to our hotel. As we sat in the lobby enjoying a beer (yes, I did have a beer, the bad TTCer that I am), several different gay folk walked by giving us thumbs up or cheering. It seemed the whole of downtown Sacramento had turned into gay town with people driving by waving rainbow flags from their cars.

It was a remarkable time, and I am forgetting to include so much here, but there is really only so much I can say. It is not a day I will soon forget, and sadly, there will have to be more days like these in the months and years to come. We are glad to be a part of history, glad to have joined our tribe to celebrate and mourn and stand in solidarity fighting for our marriage rights.

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 If you made it this far, and you haven’t yet seen enough photos, there are more to be seen on my Flickr account to the left. It was really a beautiful event to photograph.

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tired

We’re back from the rally, but I’m wiped out. It was such a great experience.

Now I have to prep for tomorrow morning’s class though, so here’s a little taste. I promise a full photo essay on Monday.

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Take a look at the “ask me, ask me, ask me” post if you haven’t already. I’m looking forward to answering your questions in upcoming posts.

Have a good Monday!

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and the winner is

Travelher wins Brownie Points and my great respect for guessing The Smiths. I should have a proper prize, but I don’t, so here’s the video for your enjoyment. Oh how I loved The Smiths as a teenager. I still love them, but Morrissey speaks especially to those suffering from the awkward, lonely adolescent years.

We have no wifi in our hotel–or rather, we have $10 wifi in our hotel, and it’s simply not worth it to spend that much to post today, so I’m saving this for tomorrow when I will time stamp it. Yes, I care that much about not missing a day of this. I figure I can’t be disqualified for lacking internet, so long as I write each day.

I’m liking your questions. I’ll work on responding to them in the next few days. Feel free to add your questions (or send me an email) if you want to add to the small list.

Details on the rally to come.

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ask me, ask me, ask me*

It’s mid-Nablopomo, and I’ve not got a thing to say, so I’m taking a page from Ms. Specific Distiny’s book and putting out the questions box. What do you want to know about me, J, or our TTC process? What questions do you have? If you have been lurking (and I know you’re out there–I see you), what have you wondered? I double dog dare you to ask a question! But questions are not limited to lurkers. Oh no. For those who have been following along for all of these months, what do you want to know? What have you often wondered? This is your chance to take part in my tell-all (or tell-some, as this is likely to turn out).

I’m planning to create a FAQ page, and these questions along with our responses will be featured on that page. So go ahead, ask me (or J) a question. We promise to answer so long as it doesn’t jeopardize our semi-anonymity.

*Brownie points to anyone who can identify the song/group this title comes from.

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