Category Archives: diversions

our beloved pacific


J and I drove an hour and a half to get to the beach today, and it was well worth it. We used to live less than five minutes from the beach. We would see the surf every day. We could hear the waves pounding the shore at night during the winter. It was part of our everyday existence, and it’s hard to be so far from it now. 


Today started off a little cranky. We’re dealing with cat issues (post to come), and we were both a little in the dumps, so we needed to get out. It turned out to be a lovely day. Here, it was in the nineties and unbearably hot, but on the coast, it was in the upper sixties with a light wind and plenty of sun.

Families were out flying kites and having picnics. Kids were burying each other in the sand and getting wet in the freezing ocean. It was beautiful.

We walked along the beach for awhile examining the bullwhip kelp that was washed up. I believe this one speaks for itself: 

 We also simply sat on a giant piece of driftwood and stared at the surf. We were windblown and sun-kissed by the time we left, and our spirits were lifted tenfold. The beach and the forest are two places that are guaranteed to calm me and lift me out of even the worst funks. As you can see, I was downright breezy by the time we left: 

Next year we are hoping to move about thirty miles west of our current town, and one of the reasons is so that we will be closer to the ocean. We won’t live nearly as close as we once did in our old hometown, but it will be less than half an hour away, which will be blissful on those days when our moods seem irreparable and all we need is some salty air and the rhythm of the surf. For now, it’s a lovely treat when we get to go. I had forgotten how much I missed it.


Filed under diversions, fun, moving, the beach

this and that: disjointed ramblings of a newlywed with PMS

First things first: There is a new baby in the world, born to the lovely ohchicken. Welcome to the world, Sparky, and congratulations, Moms!

Thank you so much for all of your congratulatory comments. J and I have been overwhelmed with pride as we have watched and read news story after news story about couples being married and communities celebrating with them. This has been a great moment to be a part of, and we feel really lucky.

For the past couple of days, we have been putting together a scrapbook, cutting out articles from the paper, and sending out announcements. This weekend we’re going to my parents’ house to celebrate with them. It’s quite possible the celebration will be interrupted by the birth of my niece. I certainly won’t complain if that’s the case.

Otherwise, there isn’t much going on with us. I’m looking for a new donor, but I’m increasingly convinced that we just need to save up for frozen sperm. I’m just so tired of trying to sort out weird men.

For now, I’m going to tackle tasks that I can actually do something about:

1. I’m trying to find a new hairstyle that will ease me through this really awkward transition from short to longer-short hair. It was just my luck that I had tons of photos taken and appeared on the front page of a moderately significant newspaper with the hair from hell. Ack.

2. I’m working to find my motivation to lose weight again. Yes, I know, I’ve got all the motivation in the world if I think of having a baby. Blah, blah, blah. I used that in the months leading up to our first insemination, and it worked out well. For some reason, that doesn’t work anymore though, and maybe this is because it’s becoming harder and harder to imagine a baby in our future. I was having a hell of a time even remembering to take prenatal vitamins for the past few months. Anyway, this is something I’ll be working at again, and I’ll write more about this life-long struggle when it’s not triggering some crazy, cranky PMS hormones.

3. I’m going to plan my class for the fall. This can be a fun task, especially with the break I’ve had from teaching and with the prospects of new students, new colleagues, and new experiences. I may actually be prepared when the fall semester begins. That would be impressive.

I’m sure there’s more, but I think I’m done jumping from topic to topic for now. I’m confusing myself–one minute I’m joyous, another I’m bitter. Oh how I hate my hormones, especially when there’s not a chance in hell that these “symptoms” have anything to do with pregnancy. Ugh.

But I don’t want to end on a negative note, damnit. I started off talking about new babies and weddings and wonderful readers, so I’ll end with one of my favorite photographs from this week. It appeared in the SF Chronicle:

And if you’re interested in seeing more photos–and there are lots of tear jerkers–take a look here. Don’t miss the wedding album on the right of that page. I guarantee wet eyes all around.

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Filed under celebrations, craftiness, dear readers, diversions, family, Hair, health, marriage, Ramblings, The Great Sperm Search, The Long Break

once a teacher + a request for distractions

Amidst all of the missing-this-cycle hoopla, I have not discussed at all a small, but nice, turn of events this week. I have been given a class to teach at the community college in the fall. It’s just one class, so it won’t be much money, and it will be plenty of work with thirty students, but I’m excited.

For some time, I have been convinced that I wouldn’t be teaching again for awhile, and J was in the same position. While we both just have part time teaching positions (at different schools), we will be teaching, and that is important for us. We both thought when we decided to move that we were finished with this career, and once we did move and had breaks from it, we both found ourselves missing it terribly.  So we’re going back to the classroom. This means I’ll have to be a little more careful again not to reveal my identity around here, but I’m very excited to be teaching a new student population in a new school where they know very little about me. It’s my chance to make an impression on my own merit (rather than on my reputation as a student, then grad student, then instructor).

The other good thing about this is that I have something to distract me from the break, and I need plenty of distractions.

And speaking of distractions, does anyone have any good recommendations for distractions? I’m open to nearly everything except for activities that involve large amounts of adrenaline.


Filed under diversions, teaching writing

appearance and identity for a 30-something queer girl

I’ve not disappeared entirely, and I’ve not sunken into a pit of despair. I suppose I just don’t have much to write about in the last few days.

We’re trying to wait until Friday to test. It’s 10dpo today. My period is due to arrive in a couple of days, so I’m just waiting it out without any expectations.

J and I have been doing our part to stimulate the economy by purchasing some summer clothes. Having lived in a climate with temperatures that never were above 75 for so many years, neither of us had  proper clothing to face the heat wave we had last week. Therefore, we’ve been finding a few gems here and there. I still won’t wear shorts, so this leaves me to skirts. Skirts make me feel more feminine, which I’ve needed lately. I rather like them. I’m even growing my hair out a bit to compound the girliness.

It’s not that I’ve ever been masculine or butch or even much of a tomboy. I have had short, cropped hair for awhile, but even that I always tried to maintain in a somewhat femmish style. Lately, though, when I’ve seen photos of myself, I haven’t liked how I looked. In fact, on more than one occasion, I did find myself looking more masculine than I’m used to, and perhaps this has sparked my interest in growing the hair and wearing the skirts. Who knows? I’ve never really been into the butch/femme labels because I’ve got a little bit of both in me. In fact, J and I both do, although crass straight folks still ask if I’m “the girl.” Whatever. We’re both the girls. There are no men in our relationship. That’s the way we like it.

So I suppose I’m playing a little with my outward expression of my identity again, and that’s fun. As I do this, I’m struggling also to avoid that gravitational pull toward the soccer mom look. You know, the high-wasted, pleated jeans and white sneakers and all the rest of the comfortable ugliness. J will tell you that I have an irrational fear of the soccer mom image. I think I just don’t want to look matronly. As someone who used to love nothing more than challenging the fashion status quo (oh how I loved my sequins, my safety pins, and my knee-high docs), the idea of taking on that oh-so-boring image frightens me. And yet, I know I’ve succumbed to it on many occasions. In fact, I’ve noticed lately that I dress a lot like my mom (not that my mom looks bad because she’s really lovely, but she’s also in her fifties, and I’m, well, not). Perhaps this is what happened when I started teaching and felt I needed to look more conservative. Perhaps it was a result of my body type and having to wear ugly plus-sized clothes for so many years. I don’t know, but sometime in the last ten years, I became a little dowdy, realizing some of my worst fashion phobias.

In the past few years, I’ve lost some weight, and with that has come multiple stages of image redefinition. Through all of this, I keep trying to look more my age–because I was starting to look much older than I am, and that’s no good. I still wish that I could get back a little of that edge I had in my early twenties, but I’m beginning to wonder if that will happen or if now that I’m in my thirties I’m just doomed to look like I should be piloting a minivan. Perhaps it’s just time for a new, highly visible tattoo.

People are always remarking that I never look the same from one year to the next. I used to have professors who, while I had taken their classes regularly, didn’t recognize me when classes started up again in August. I’ve always reveled in that a bit, and maybe my problem is that I just need to shed my skin of the last few years and grow a new one. Who knows–it might even be a little pink–but it certainly won’t involve white sneakers.


Filed under diversions, Hair, Ramblings, TWW

diversions galore (with pictures!)

As you all may have noticed via Friday’s post, I have an amazing wife. This weekend, J set out to distract me from the negatives, and she was quite successful. Here’s our weekend play-by-play (or something of the sort):

Friday, we were both feeling restless. I think I knew I’d get my period that day, and I think J did too. We started the day with the idea that we would get into the car and let us take it where it wanted to go. There are so many parts of our new county that we haven’t yet explored, so wherever it went was sure to be good. We ended up on this road toward a natural hotsprings resort (not open yet 😦 ), and we found a winery that I’ve been looking for since we moved here. We went there years ago on a wine-tasting trip with my mom, and it’s lovely. The place has okay wine, but what it’s really known for are its lavender products and gardens.


Don\'t you want to jump on these things?

This was a delightful surprise, and we spent at least an hour perusing the gardens. They aren’t yet blooming, but we were excited to see what they look like before they’re filled with lavender blossoms. We chased dragonflies, trying to get photos of them (no luck), and we fantasized about hopping from one rounded lavender bush to the next. After awhile, we did go taste some wine and were waited on by the queeniest man. (For some reason, older queer men tend not to like us. What is that all about? What did we do to them?) The wine was not great, but the experience was lovely.

Afterward, we were starving, so we went for barbecue at what is touted as our county’s best barbecue. We sat on a patio overlooking a creek, complete with an old-fashioned water wheel; drank beers, and ate what we thought was our county’s best barbecue thus far. Then it was on to our very favorite winery to pick up this month’s wine club shipment and off to home to swim because it was hot! For being CD1, it wasn’t a bad day at all.

Saturday, we were determined to continue with the diversions, so we opted to head out to some of our local farms to get some nice veggies. The first we stopped at was connected to this organization. We bought the most beautiful (and huge!) eggs, mustard greens, green garlic, and wonderfully stubby little carrots–all for something like five dollars. We were thrilled. Then we went here. We’ve been waiting for this barn store to open up since we moved here, and it didn’t disappoint. We got ourselves the most delicious salad greens, basil, chives, sugar snap peas, and more that I can’t remember at the moment. We can’t wait until the veggies and fruits really start coming on because we’ve found a number of u-pick farms where we can’t wait to go pick out our own foods. Since apartment living doesn’t permit much more than container gardening, this should give us the fingers-in-soil fix that we both need.

But this trek was not over once we had our produce. Oh no. We then opted to discover some places we had always been curious about. We stopped at this “inn and spa,” which we knew we would never be able to afford, and pretended to scope out wedding locations for my brother. Instead, we were snooping and taking great photos:                                      


Later that day, we needed cheese. And since I was decidedly not pregnant, I could get as adventurous as I wanted. We went to our favorite local gourmet market, got a few lovely and unpasteurized (!) cheeses, along with a bit of wine, and we proceeded to have a lovely picnic on our balcony in the sweltering heat. Afterward, we had yet another swim. The pool is going to save us this year.

Yesterday was more of a coming down day. We went to UU where there was a terrible guest speaker talking about some sort of Presbyterian view of feminism and homosexuality. I tuned out. It felt too much like church did when I was a kid. We did meet some lovely people though, and we’re starting to feel even more at home there than we thought we would.

Reality did set in Sunday evening. My sister is due to give birth sometime in early June, and when we were on our cruise, one of her friends threw her a surprise baby shower. The surprise was on us as well because we didn’t find out until a week before we were to leave on our trip, so we’ve opted to do a very small, very intimate family thing–a baby welcoming if you will. This means my mom and sister and my brother’s soon-to-be fiance will come to our place, and we’ll do something special. Well, J and I started planning this thing last night. It was hard. There I was with my horrific cramps, trying to come up with songs for a baby welcoming CD, and we both just welled up with tears. It’s going to be beautiful; don’t get me wrong. I’m surprising her with a photo shoot; mom’s getting her a mani/pedi; we’re planning some cool pagan welcomimng rituals. It’s all going to be lovely. But this also brings on all of those ugly jealous feelings, those longings to welcome our baby. It’s such a sticky place to be in. The upside of all of this is that we’ll have just inseminated when this event takes place. Perhaps it will bring us some much-needed luck on our second-to-last cycle with Mr. G.

While my diversions this weekend were welcome, one can only escape reality for so long. Truth be told, I’m not pregnant. No matter how much I want to be, no matter how many fake symptoms I felt, I’m not. Today, I’m once again, refocusing (how many times have I said that damn word–that phrase–on this blog?) so that I can spend the next couple of weeks making really great eggs. But I’m giving myself until Wednesday to enjoy the wine. Oh the lovely California wine.

 Happy Monday, everyone!



Filed under diversions, family, J, weekend