Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grammar Rant

"I" verses "me"...How to choose?
When listing yourself with someone else, take out the other person's name to see which one fits the sentence.
For example: "Ernie and I danced with the pigeons yesterday" works as "I danced with the pigeons yesterday" but doesn't work as "me danced with the pigeons yesterday".

However, it is not always correct to replace "me" with "I".
For example: A caption under a photograph that reads "Bert and I, waiting for the train" doesn't work when it is "I, waiting for the train" but does when it's "Me, waiting for the train" (note the important use of comma after the noun).

Make sense? Good. Now do it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


I received this email from a dear friend of my mine a few days ago:

"Whereas this is the Year of Awesome
Whereas you and I are not so much church-going folk
And But Also
Whereas you and I were raised in super-churchyness. . .

What do you think is a really healthy-in-balance-with-your-center thing you will do for Lent this year?

This could be so awesome.
Something wonderful.
Something so lovely. . ."

And, naturally, her call to action got me thinking.
Pre-year-of-awesome, Lent = deprivation, guilt, "should", general woe.
Naturally, I became so overwhelmed with these blergy feelings that I gave up Lent (and well, let's be honest, religion) all together for the last few years.
But, in the YOA, I don't suppose it has to be that way at all, does it?

I did some very academic (read, not very academic at all) research on the internet and decided that this year for Lent I will spend the 40 days that lead to Easter (for all of you "heathen" readers who don't know what Lent is, that was your clue) finding ways to integrate the 3 central virtues of the Hindi tradition into my daily life by practicing Compassion, Self Control, and Charity.

I know it seems like a tall task but I think I'm up to it and what's more, I'm invigorated by it. Surely, this process will bring me more in touch with my humanity and I'm pretty sure that's the whole point. Isn't it?!

Ideally, I'm going to keep track of the journey: Perhaps on this blog, or in my YOA journal. Regardless, I'll be sure to report my experience back to my faithful reader(s).

In the mean time, I challenge you: think of ways you can make your life's journey (be it religious or not) over the next 40 days more intentional.

"What ever you can do or dream you can BEGIN IT. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!" -Goethe

Happy Reading.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Santa Drives A Scion

The last few months have been a bit rough on me an my beloved. There have just been too many deadlines to meet, requirements to feel pressured by, scheduling conflicts to navigate, crossed signals to unravel, reports to write, programs to coordinate, concerts to sing, end-of-year gatherings to attend, students to advise, assignments to read, cards to send, gifts to purchase and wrap, disappointments to attend to, and stressors in general.

In our home, the chaos of the holidays is only compounded by the fact that both my partner and I are bringing the most ridiculously busy time at both of our jobs to a close. He, finishing the billable and then business year. And me, welcoming, orienting, teaching, advising, programming, and planning ahead with a seemingly un-ending stream of students.

Yep, by the time Thanksgiving rolls around we're both usually just about ready to throw in the towel. But that is never what we get to do. Instead, we celebrate his birthday and turn the corner into an up-hill race against time that persists until the end of the year. We, though I'm not sure how, add MORE. Each thing as lovely and exciting as the next -- in their own right. But, when compounded they make our combined day-timers read like the who's-who of "you'll never get a good night's sleep, ever again". As a result we have less time together, less time to connect, to rejuvenate, re-cooperate, enjoy the holiday season as a couple. Not to mention less time to sleep, eat well, or exercise. We become the King and Queen of divide and conquer. DOing but not BEing.

So, it should come as no surprise that this weekend while in the car with my partner, amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations and concerts, that we were admittedly stressed and bickering as a result. I can't really remember the details of what we were discussing other than we were vowing to ourselves (as we always do this time of year) to do LESS at Christmas. I was surely on a rant that NO one would care if we didn't send a card, or starve if we didn't bring cookies. He likely chimed in to remind me that the nieces and nephews will be showered with gifts regardless if we send ours and that our spirits will be bright with or without an 11-foot tree in the living room (yep, you read that right, e-l-e-v-e-n feet!).

Yes, we finally agreed (and boy, wasn't that refreshing?): we'll do less at Christmas. No weekend of choir concerts to sing, no 1100 cookies to bake, no mountain of cards sent near and far, no shopping marathons, no shipping gifts all around the world. None of it. We'll re-invent Christmas. We'll make it work for us. We'll divorce ourselves from Christmas as a "season of expectation" and make a new season of survival and (maybe, just maybe) periodic joy.

It was in that quiet moment of scroogy-sanity as we sat at the stop light that I glanced out the passenger window. There, in the car next to us was Santa Claus himself. No fake beard and dated polyester suit here folks! Nope, HE was the real McCoy. Wearing a red beret and a fleece vest and driving a Scion: Good Old Saint Nick. Apparently he's given up the sleigh for the new boxy-but-trendy rig (better MPG and comes standard with GPS). He moved from the North Pole to Salem (better weather and proximity to Ms. Claus' family). And, well the red suit lined with fur isn't "Northwest chic" so, he opted for the beret and vest: tre Oregon! This little moment brought me such joy amid an otherwise bleak December evening that I just had to share it with you.

So, if you're feeling the disappointment of the holidays and stress of the end-of-the-year, I encourage you to re-write your rules. Choose joy. Decide what you want and begin it. I've decided to say a less than fond farewell to 2000-and-sucked-my-ass. And, hello to what I've decided will be 2000-and-awesome (the year of awesome according to the Chinese calendar).

If you don't get a card, cookie plate, or gift from me next year, please don't take offense. If you come around and see no decorations, please don't assume I'm next festive. Rather, take solace in the fact that I didn't run myself ragged trying to make Christmas *magical* all the while missing all the magic around me: running through lighted neighborhoods, the occasional egg nog latte, singing carols with the radio, baking with my mom, giving to charity, spending a quite moment with my partner.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for Santa, his Scion is silver and I'm sure he'll bring you just as much joy as he did me - if you're ready to receive it.

Happy Reading!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh dear! We missed August.

Tragic when one forgets a whole month, isn't it? I did, however, have a good excuse: work.

Life's been busy here in my neck of the woods but all-in-all things are going well. August brought with it the standard-issue chaos of orientation and the start of the school year. In addition, the Cap'n and I worked feverishly on our "remodel" during which we re-vamped (read: got rid of all the old college furniture) our spare room/office. It looks just dandy now and we've moved on to our bedroom. We've got new end stands and a big-kid dresser! Next, is a face lift for the bed and bath. Bit by bit we'll get it all done and I can't wait! Our goal (well, my goal, but he's pretty his goal, too) is to have the whole house done by the end of the calendar year. I'll post pictures when we've completed the whole project. Or, you can visit my Facebook site to get a sneak-peak at the spare room.

It has been fun to purge the old stuff and subsequently pick things that are truly "ours" both in style and ownership. It has also been cathartic to clean out so much of the stuff we've amassed over the last 11 years that we neither need nor want (no offense mom, those window clings from 1999 were FAB at the time, I just don't think Pooh Bear sliding on a snowflake says "We're adults without kids").

So: we purged, and purged, and purged...and are even still purging. I swear, I'm not a pack rat. And yet still, I have spent hours sorting through stacks of cards, notes, pictures, movie stubs, binders of notes from not 1, not 2, not 3 but 4 degrees, stuffed animals, costumes, scrap book supplies, decorations, and (for reasons unknown to me) an entire box of beige and cream tap-top curtains.

Now that we've purged, however, I've run into a bit of a dilemma as to where to keep the things that "don't go" in the house. For any Friends fans out there, you'll relate to the fact that the closet in which all-of-the-above resided was very similar to Monica's closet in which she put all the things that didn't "go" or couldn't be organized into another place in her apartment. The Cap'n used to refer to this closet as "purgatory" a place were things would go to live for a while before we'd either throw them out or find a place to keep them permanently.

And, over time we not-so-lovingly dubbed this closet the "high emotion closet". Why? Well, because venturing into the closet for even the most simple of tasks (e.g., getting a greeting card) would inevitably result in needing to nearly unpack the whole damn thing just to get to what ever it was you were there for in the first place. Over time I eventually began to avoid the closet. I even refused to decorate for Christmas the last 2 years because it would require unpacking and re-packing the closet. Ridiculous? I think so!

The problem with making the high-emotion closet a more pleasant place to be is that I have now lost my fall back spot to shove stuff that I don't know what to do with. For example: the Cap'n's trophy from the annual high-school-friends golf tournament. Where the hell does that live now? I'm tempted to put it in a neatly labeled box that reads: Trophies. But, more fittingly it should really just read "trophy" as that is our only one. My best solution? "Take it to the office!"

Happy reading!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Maybe she's born with it...'cause it sure as hell wasn't Maybelline

Do I look thinner to you? Lighter? Maybe like I'm missing some extra tissue? Not so much here, or here, but maybe, down here?

...No? Really? Well that figures, I suppose you'd have to look a bit too closely for both of our comfort to see that I am now the proud owner a of a uterus with a single cavity.

Confused? Yeah, so was I. So were most people. Let's just say I was born with it.

After a year and a half of active trying to conceive a child (only to realize that perhaps we were rushing that process and we may not even really want children of our own) I was diagnosed (after seeing 7 different medical specialists not to mention trying any number of crazy or outlandish tricks, methods, suggestions, prescriptions, etc. (see my post from June for more details)...I digress...I was diagnosed with having a uterine septum. Wha? Erm, WTF is a uterine septum, one might ask. You know the piece of cartilage that separates your nostrils. THAT is a septum. Crazy, right? Yeah, me and only about 2% of the female population have one. Lucky me. So, the septum in my uterus was not made of cartilage, but rather extra tissue that never dissolved as it was supposed to in my 20th week of gestation. Yep, you read that right folks. MY 20th week of gestation. Meaning: I was born with it. For shits and giggles, I've been blaming my mom for this one. That makes her feel groovy!

So, what does one do with a septate uterus? Use the extra half for storage? Keep on trying and hope for twins (one to a side?). No, no, surely not no. One has two choices. Neither are to continue trying to have a baby and hope for the best (well, I guess that is a choice, but from the information I got (specific to my septum) that was not a wise choice. The two choices are to 1. Have it removed or 2. Don't have it removed. Option 2. sucks, BTW because it means I continue to have the symptoms and other problems I've been having...for example 20-28 day periods (yes, you read that right too, not 20-28 CYCLES. Nope. That'd be "normal". My bleeding lasted for 20-28 days. Yum! So, we opted to have the sucker removed. That's what I did yesterday.

My very own personal nurse (AKA: My older sister, Teed) arrived late Thursday night ready to help and support my uterine resection (that actually is the technical term). For funny, she brought me these: HA! We woke early and arrived to the hospital a bit after 6:30am. I got checked in and set up in my pre-op bed. I was asked my name, date of birth, and reason for my visit roughly 8,942 times. And, right around 9:15am they wheeled me off to surgery. On my way, I was narrowly run-in-to by a large cart carrying a load of empty boxes (ah, for comic relief). The kind, adorable, and totally "Portland" anesthesiologist mixed me a lovely little cocktail and I was off to the land of Zzzzz's. In they went, out it came, and next thing I knew I was waking up in the recovery room. That was probably the worst part, I started to come-to and loathed having that oxygen mask on my face but as I tried to regain enough consciousness to removed the mask myself the cramps and pain set in. Opting for groggy over in-pain. I dosed for a moment until a nurse arrived to offer me some IV meds. YAY for IV meds! That took care of the pain and before I knew it I was in my own clothes and being wheeled to my partner (AKA: Cap'n Handsome)'s car.

We arrived home and I got a heating pad on my belly, a bagel and some thai food in my belly (YAY for a reason to eat all the carbs I want) and then took a nap. As the day progressed on, I felt better and better. Sadly, my troops (Teed and the Cap'n) were fading fast, as they didn't have the luxury of a medical induced coma as a mid-morning nap. Pity, isn't it? So, we shuffled off to bed early and I woke up a bit early to do some little chores (re-arranging the pictures and cards on the fridge counts as a chore, right?) (and so does blogging?) and I'm excited for a day of visiting with my favorite sister (no offense to my 5 sisters-in-law, but she gets that title, she's earned).

In a few days I'll return to my gentle and quiet surgeon to have the balloon that is currently occupying my uterine cavity (to prevent the walls from sticking to one another as they heal) removed and in a few months I'll have a follow up ultra-sound to make sure they've removed all of the septum and that I have a healthy amount of cells in my ovaries. After that, we've decided to wait on the kid-factory. I need at least a year to recover, mentally, from this whole ordeal. I've been in and out of doctor's offices for the last 2 years. I've gone through (or rather, put myself through) a lot of tumalt and strife about the whole "baby having" issue and before we consider trying again, I really need some "I feel healthy, I'm not crazy, Life can be normal" time. So, that's exactly what I'm going to have.

So, my truthful and not flippant answer to anyone who asks if "we have kids" "plan to have kids" "are trying" "have thought about having kids" or "thinks we're ready to have kids" to me on my 30th birthday. October 1, 2010 is when I'll be ready to talk about that with someone other than my partner. No offense, no snarky-ness, no issue. Just, ask me in October 2010, K? Until then, you can find me enjoying life with my partner, working in my chosen profession, soaking up time with my family and friends, relishing in the birthing and growing up of my nieces and nephews (all of them, blood related or not).

So, there you go. That's what I've been up to these days. Right now, I'm enjoying the fact that the sun if pouring through the kitchen windows (highlighting my lovely refrigerator arranging work) and that I can hear the water fountain outside. I'm looking forward to spending time with my sister today and can't wait for what the next year will bring for me and the Cap'n. Hopefully, it will be a year full of nothing. No houses, no babies, no pillows propped under my hips after sex, no disgusting Chinese herbal teas, no abstaining from drinking alcohol, no self-doubt, no timing sex, obsessive temperature monitoring, no discussions about cervical mucus.
Just a regular old year. Ahhhhhhh! Can't wait.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Year In Maybe's

This month's blog: a stream of thoughts, maybes, what ifs, if onlys, etc. from my last year. It is my first attempt at a "slam poetry" type thing.

Happy reading!

Maybe I should...
Gain weight? Loose weight? Exercise more? Exercise less? Drink this weird-disgusting-nasty herbal tea? Drink less alcohol? Drink less caffeine? Drink more water? Drink from only a straw? Eat more carbs? Eat less carbs? Eat different carbs? Forget about carbs all together? Have more sex? Have less sex? Wrap my legs around my head...After sex? Before sex? During sex? Relax? Chill out? De-stress? Do more yoga? Stand on my head? See a Dr.? See a different Dr.? See a naturapath? See an acupuncturist? See a surgeon? See a therapist? See a chiropractor? See a specialist? Stop seeing Doctors all together? Go back on the pill? Take this other pill? Take this handful of pills? Stop taking pills all together? Eat red meat? Go vegan? Stop eating soy? Add fats? Go totally organic? Chew only on the right side of my mouth? Adopt? Have dogs? Move to Bermuda? Seek a surrogate? Work more? Take my temperature at a different time? Check my mucus again? Stop checking my mucus? Throw away the Basal thermometer? Pee on another stick?

What if...
I'm really sick? It really IS all in my head? This never goes away? He leaves me? She calls to tell me shes pregnant? I always have to work the late shift? I caused this? I could change this? I am controlling this? I'm not meant to have kids? I'm supposed to be a career woman? I'm destined for something else? I have cancer? A tumor? A virus? An infection? An unformed twin? We bought stock in Kotex?

If only...
Someone would really listen to me! People would stop asking if I had kids! I could get-a-job-to-get-insurance-to-figure-out-whats-wrong-and-fix-what's-wrong
-to-get-pregnant-to-leave-the-job-to-raise-a-family! If we had socialized health care! Strangers would stop telling me about the way THEY got pregnant! Others would stop telling us that "we're ready" for kids! I could just stop thinking about this! I could feel normal for one month! I'd been a more informed teenager! My sister lived on this coast! I had a different schema for the age you are "supposed" to be to have kids! We'd of known how hard it was to get pregnant...we'd of had more sex in college!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

You have GOT to be kidding?!

Here's a quick list of pairings from my life that I think are funny, ironic, interesting, etc. ...

1. Zit cream and under eye cream
2. Resentment and gratitude
3. Tears and laughter
4. Beer and ice cream
5. 10 hour work days and health insurance premium payments
6. A uterus and... WTF another uterus?!
7. Prenatal vitamins and wine
8. Liberal arts education and office work
9. Exhaustion and sleeplessness
10. Hummus and pretzels

Hope you are able to enjoy some sun today!