Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fun Movie Night

Last night Michael and I sat down to watch a movie together. I wanted to pick one I thought he'd love, and with the price of gas and the price of groceries and living in the DC area and all its attendant stresses, I selected an oldie but goodie I hadn't seen in a while: Falling Down.

For anyone who hasn't seen it, Michael Douglas plays Bill, a Defense Department employee in California who is having a seriously bad day. And he goes on a little rampage, beating up gang members, trashing a convenience store, etc.

Recently, I"ve had a bit of a beef with my local food stores. The quality of the food I am buying is not up to par. I went grocery shopping on Monday, threw some meat in the freezer, defrosted it on Friday, and it was rotten. This happened two weeks ago with meat from a different grocery store. The produce is all soft and has funny spots on it, it's about impossible to find a decent green pepper, and I'm not shopping at Bottom Dollar here, people. I'm shopping at higher end stores (Giant, Super Target).

The prices are crazy too. So when Bill walked into the convenience store and proceeded to put the smackdown on the inventory that was overpriced, I was cheering and laughing my head off. When he got out of his car and left it sitting in a construction-created traffic jam (which I got stuck in at 10:00 at night on Wednesday!), I applauded. When he shot up a fast food chain for giving substandard product, I was on his side.

Unfortunately, the movie kind of has an unsatisfactory ending for me, but for anyone who is kinda pissed at the way things are right now, this movie is a welcome diversion. :-) Michael loved it too.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wolf Trap Magic

Last night, the General and I went on a little date night to Wolf Trap. This year marks 15 years since the first time I heard and fell in love with the dulcet tones of Kenny G's saxophone and saw him in concert for the first time, so when I found out he was coming to Wolf Trap, I decided what better time to go see him again? Plus, he hardly ever comes to DC, instead playing various jazz festivals and such. The closest one here is in Maryland, and I don't do Maryland--Maryland is what I have to drive through to get home.

So anyway, I got the General and me some premium tickets--13 rows back in the orchestra, and I was ready to roll. Told my dad we were going, since he had first taken me to see him that balmy June of '93 as a present for graduating high school. My dad remembered a lot more about the concert than I did, including that Kenny strolls the audience a few times during his shows.

So we get there around 7:30 (the show was at 8:00) and I parked the General on a wall while we waited for them to open the amphitheater so I could go up to the top of the hill to get a program. I climb up there and get on line at the little souvenir booth and I about wet my pants. Kenny G himself was manning the souvenir stand.

Well, I couldn't let the General miss this one. I ran back down the hill and asked the General if he wanted to meet Kenny G. Of course he did! So together we trucked back up the hill (Thanks, Weight Watchers, without you, I would have surely perished!) and got on line at the stand. We bought a CD and he came over, greeted us, we greeted him back, he signed our CD's and we went back down the hill. I was like, "OK, this is living."

Seriously, I about floated. So we get in to the concert and it's going great, he's playing all his old hits, playing some stuff off his new album, and then he started playing my favorite song "The Joy of Life". I love this song, and the strange thing is, the first time I heard it was when my grandfather died. But it's always been a favorite and in fact, we used it on our wedding CD.

So this was the moment for him to come off stage and start playing to the people and it was like literally watching the Pied Piper. Wherever he went, swarms of people crowded towards him. Well, I was in seat M1, right on the aisle, 13 rows back from the stage. When he started playing "The Joy of Life", I couldn't help myself, I jumped to my feet and started dancing. And when he finally came to our side, I stepped into the aisle and he stood there as I danced, bobbed the sax in my direction a few times and kept on going... So yeah, I danced with Kenny G last night.

Unfreakin' believable. I didn't think about a single damned thing going on in my life while I was there last night--it was the best. That music has seen me through the worst moments of my existence. Awesome.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I'll elaborate further in the morning when I'm not completely and utterly exhausted, but tonight was magic... I'm on cloud nine, and I'm not sure I'll come down any time soon... Just what I needed...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

MeMe'd by Lauren

So, Lauren tagged me on her blog to do a meme. Here we go...

The rules: Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What was I doing ten years ago?
June 2008, I was working in Connecticut as a nanny. My parents were preparing to separate and a month later I would move home for a year to be with my mom.

What are five (non-work) things on my to-do list for today:
1. Go shopping for the shower
2. Make dinner
3. Meet Jacalyn
4. Fold towels
5. Fill out this meme

5 Snacks I enjoy:
* It's summer time and last night I ate my first peach of 2008. The word that sprang to mind was "Glorious". I'm eating some now. I don't like 'em canned or frozen, but you can't beat a fresh peach.
* Chocolate--especially Lindt truffles
* Ice cream
* Cheddar and Sour Cream baked Lays
* Chips and salsa

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
First thing I'd do is quit my job. I would be on the phone with every adoption agency in a 10 state radius lining up my brood.

Then, I'd set about to create an affordable planned community in this area full of regular sized homes and lots of trees, just right for people who don't need a McMansion and just want a quiet, safe, comfortable place to live and raise their kids.

And then I'd travel the world with the Jolie-Pitts, being a gracious humanitarian around the globe.

Places I have lived:
(In chronological order, though I'm not adding anything in twice)
Star Lake, NY
Oswegatchie NY
Riverdale NY
New Canaan CT
Provo UT
Guilford CT
Allston MA
North Little Rock AR
Brighton MA
Acton MA
Centreville VA
Fredericksburg VA

Jobs I have had:
Camp counselor
Assistant camp director
Television and radio transcriber
Substitute teacher
Subway Sandwich artist
Rehabilitation teacher for the blind

Ok, time to tag 5 people. I'm going to tag:

Russell, Seraphim, Annette, Melissa, and Nicole. :-) Have fun.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lengthy Thoughts on Infertility

I started to think this afternoon that I was maybe going a little bit crazy. I spent most of yesterday and all day today crying. It got the point when someone would ask me if something was wrong, I would say, "No, I think my eyes are leaking" and then I'd go hide.

So tonight, I got home and I googled "The pain of infertility" and read a bunch of stuff. And I realized that nothing I'm going through is new.

Some of the more interesting pieces I read:

An article from Glamour Magazine which made the following points:

I know. I should not care about Katie or Angelina or Gwyneth. I should concentrate on my own wellness and nurture hope for the future. Should, yes. The problem is, the frenzy over pregnant celebrities is only one symptom of a larger phenomenon that—for fertile and infertile women alike—is nearly impossible to ignore: The world has become baby obsessed. “What we’re witnessing in our culture is a rampaging, almost hysterical fixation on pregnancy and babies and how having them will transform your life and allow you to reach nirvana,” says Susan J. Douglas, Ph.D., professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and coauthor of The Mommy Myth. “For infertile women, it’s like a giant megaphone of guilt and shame.”

“You cannot escape the pressure to have a baby, not anywhere you look. The barrage is suffocating,” says Sabrina Paradis, 36, of New York City, who once cried when she opened her mailbox to find an unsolicited catalog for Pottery Barn Kids. “If you’re infertile,” she says, “the ideal would be to disappear off the face of the earth for a while and then come back pregnant.”

To Sabrina, to me, to anyone who’s dealt with infertility, baby mania appears magnified. “Women going through infertility are in so much pain, they’re sensitive to any reminder of what they want and can’t have,” says Alice Domar, Ph.D., author of Conquering Infertility and founder of the Domar Center for Complementary Healthcare in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Infertility is very, very lonely. Every woman in my close circle of friends has children, and none struggled to get pregnant. I’ve actually put myself into infertility quarantine, distancing myself from some friends—bless them for understanding—and asking a couple of them (nicely, I hope) to take me off their seemingly near-daily dispatches of baby photos. I have trained myself to look away from pregnant bellies and speed by the local smarty-pants kids’ bookstore and hip-yet-crunchy children’s clothing shops in my neighborhood.

The heartbreak that infertile women deal with is not a new phenomenon, I know. Surely my great-aunt Bessie felt, as I often do, that she’d failed as a woman or let her husband down as a wife (mine is quick to reassure me otherwise). But what’s new now is the strength, and number, of forces that can make the hurt worse.

For infertile women, the obsession with pregnant celebrities is excruciating on many levels. “I get frustrated and angry with all the stars who I feel are ‘unfit,’ or at least questionable, parents,” admits Ashley White, 28, of Durham, New Hampshire, “Britney Spears driving around with a baby on her lap? Not fair! I would never endanger a baby like that! I’ve wanted this for as long as I can remember, I can’t get pregnant—and she gets two?!”

For the entire article, visit

I hadn't meant to c/p that much of it, but so much of it fits with how I'm feeling.

A snippet from The Adoption Guide really, really put it into words for me:

Infertility is a prolonged shriek of pain that makes no sound. It is the woman who averts her eyes each time she passes a baby in a stroller, wells up at the sight of a diaper ad, goes numb when a friend announces that she’s pregnant.

An article in the UK's Observer states:

It is weirdly easy for people with children to write rather blithely about childlessness. It is oddly common for men and women, whose own lives have been changed by becoming parents, to think that infertility doesn't matter that much; it's just one of those things. Life's unfair.

When I raised the question of costs with Professor Winston, infertility guru and New Labour peer, he responded furiously, saying it was 'stupid, fatuous'. 'Infertility,' he says, 'is like a pain in the chest. It is a symptom of something wrong. It covers a range of problems; it might be genetic; it might cause a miscarriage; it might be something serious or trivial.'

'Do you have any idea at all,' he asks, 'of the pain that infertility causes? What cruelty leads us to label it a lifestyle choice?'

And for those of us who've managed - been randomly lucky - a certain complacency sets in. I think that many women, even those who conceive naturally and swiftly, feel the little shudder of doubt and dread as they wait for the period they don't want. But we forget it - just as we later manage to forget the pain of giving birth - and the thought of infertility quickly blows away, a little ripple of cold wind. For whereas cancer (or strokes or heart attacks or BSE or a bolt of lightning out of a blue sky) might always be waiting round the next corner, waiting to ambush us, infertility only matters during a certain passage of our life, and after we give birth becomes something that we do not need to fear or think about.

Yet for men and women trying to have a baby, the clock ticks like a time bomb. It ticks away their hopes. The year is divided brutally into periods. The mood swings between hope and despair, hope and despair. Around them, they see pregnant women, babies in prams. They see the birth of the future. They feel they are outcasts from the only life that they really wanted and that other people so easily have. They deserve to be listened to.

Some words from a pastor who struggled infertility with his wife:

Grief is a real part of infertility. It may be heightened in miscarriages or stillbirths, but it is just as real when a couple cannot conceive. The sorrow Kerrie and I experienced the day we received our lab results was as deep as the grief we would have felt if she had called to tell me her parents had passed away.

Scripture confirms the close connection between the two losses. Proverbs 30:15-16 tells us the grave and the barren woman are two things that are never satisfied. The sense of loss from infertility will frequently resurface whenever life situations – such as a menstrual cycle or the birth of a child to another couple – trigger painful feelings of the opportunities lost. has an excellent list of things to think about and do to help yourself with the grieving process of infertility. For more information please visit this informative article:

What really got me about the article was the part which read:

Identify your losses. Take some time to think about the infertility losses that you have experienced. Some of those losses include the loss of experiencing pregnancy, the loss of connection with friends who have experienced pregnancy and the loss of a child with your eyes and your husband's nose.

What I feel sad about is that even if my husband and I adopt, we will miss our child's first breath, the first time he/she opens his/her eyes, their first cry, their first blanket, their first article of clothing. We may miss their first smile or their first word or the first time they roll over or the first time they crawl. We will not pass down our superior genes. When people say, "Well, you can always adopt" they don't think of these things. I crave that experience of feeling my child kicking me from the inside out, and I will never have it. And I do feel myself distancing myself from friends who have become pregnant. It's too painful. I shut down in their presence. I don't want to look at ultrasound pictures and listen to the names you've picked out. I don't want to hear your pet names for your fetus. I most definitely do not want to hear you complaining about being pregnant. I would endure years of morning sickness if it meant at the end of the day I would have a baby of my own in my arms.

A woman shared a few thoughts on her own experience with infertility:

Grief - now that’s interesting - I find not many people give me credit for experiencing grief. How can you grieve for something you’ve never had? I am grieving for something I’ve never had; for lost hopes and dreams.

I find that my grief is cyclical on a monthly basis - not surprisingly! Calendars and counting become a way of life, making sure you make love during the critical time - very romantic!

Shower parties - I’ve been to a few. Pre-infertility I didn’t have much fun there - too many mothers telling you their horrific birth stories with relish - seeking out the uninitiated! Post-infertility? Well, I only went to one for a very close friend who knows my situation. She was filled with incredulity at what I had to experience there, putting herself in my shoes for a moment. I don’t blame those who don’t know about me, as they wax lyrical about all things pre- and post-partum, but the silence of those who do know is hard to bear.

At times it is difficult for me to feel excited at future plans for things happening at work or church - it just doesn’t seem as important as having a child.

Anyway, that's about all I'm going to say here on this blog about all this. This is intensely personal and I want to respect my husband's feelings as well as my own. I know so many people are only trying to help, but the worst things you can say to me at this point are, "The doctors are often wrong..." (yes, because I've been through all this for all this time and I want to keep believing in something that is obviously not going to work so I can keep on driving myself crazy) and "You're going to make a great aunt" (I don't want to be an aunt, I want to be a mother, thank you very much!), and "Well, you can look for other experiences in life besides having children" (this one has me in tears just writing it, I don't even know how to respond to this one) and "Well, there are other options" (yes, I am aware of that, and yes, we will look into it, but wouldn't it be nice not to have to pay some bureaucrat 20,000 dollars for the privilege of a child? Wouldn't it be nice not to have to worry how my husband's disabilities or our crappy carpet affect our chances?). Oh, and my personal favorite, "I'm so sorry, I don't know what I'd do without my children." (Yes, rub it in my face, thanks.)

Anyway, that's all from here.

I Just Wanna Say...

It's official...

We got tickets thanks to my good pal Melissa and her magical Amex card. :-)

Hell yeah. HELL YEAH.

My goal is to wear my old Jonathan Knight T-shirt to this concert on 10/12.

Will it happen? Hell if I know... I have to find it first.

But I am oh so excited.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

NKOTB Coming to DC

Who's with me?

It's official: the pre-sale begins tomorrow at 11:00AM. I don't have an AmEx card, so I'll have to wait to get tickets till next Sunday... But I'm gettin' 'em and I'm going!

Anyone else want to go? They'll be here on 10/2 at the Verizon Center. I'll buy the group tickets if you swear to reimburse me :)