Friday, December 19, 2008


I periodically write posts about my many personal failings, most of which revolve around my tendency to over-worry and inability to focus on the now.  Well, I have now reached Olympic gold medal standards of not allowing myself to enjoy the day to day moments.  I have a DAUGHTER now, a daughter, who only lives in the very moment happening.  She doesn't think about whether or not I have all of the Christmas presents purchased, or when the snow will fall again, or how much laundry there is to put away, she only thinks about her sleep, her food and her poop and pee.  These are now all things on which I fixate, but I still manage to find time to allow my mind to dwell in an out of control manner on any number of ridiculous and unimportant issues, like how I'm going to occupy my mind not having to go to a day job, how I'm going to sing and find gigs with a baby, whether or not we'll ever be able to afford to remodel our house, all things that only time and good planning will tell.  

This is all particularly ludicrous this time of year as I'm a Christmas junkie who can usually set aside daily realities to revel in the escapism of festivities.  However, I'm finding my enjoyment of the holiday dampened rather than increased by things like the gorgeous snowfall and our consequent entrenchment.  Now I'm concerned about the inevitable melt and following depression.  I feel muddled still by the change in our life, even though my mind is slowly clearing and we're finding our new situation to be pretty wonderful.  Maybe I'm just expecting too much in light of all the mountainous changes we've faced in the past month.  I just want to revel in this, our first family Christmas as parents.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Again, they taunt us.

Olympic mountain shadow my ass.  Snow later today, please.  Why don't they just tell us the truth, that we all don't deserve the peace, beauty and serenity that snow grants us in this hullabalooing world?  Our Sodom to Portland's Gomorra, trapped in warm pockets of as little blissful billowy snow as meteorologically possible.  Wind, oh, we've got wind, rain, slush, fog...but no snow.  Never snow.  We're bad and must be punished.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quickly Changing

I am utterly floored by how quickly Viv is changing.  She's chubbier, thankfully, and often alert. She enjoyed meeting her great-Grandmother, for whom she is great granddaughter number eighteen:

And she already has become as enamored of Christmas as the rest of our family:

What do you get a two week old baby for Christmas?  

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Four Days

To begin the story of the four days that changed our life, I suppose I have to start with shopping.  At 5:30 am the day after Thanksgiving, the phone rang.  The alarm clock had gotten unplugged during the night and I had overslept.  Angie was calling to ask if I was still going Black Friday shopping with her and Shelly and Shelly's mom.  I needed a few things for Christian and the in-laws for Christmas, so I thought I'd go with them to the mall.  As I'm a shopping tard, I exhausted early and went home after seeing the line at Kohl's that went all the way through the store into the bathrooms and stock room.  

I went back to bed and didn't wake up until Christian came in to the bedroom to tell me that Anne was on the phone.  Anne is the mom of my dear friend Karen, and the social worker at a hospital south of Seattle.  I thought she was calling to check on the progress of our adoption paperwork, and asked Christian to take the call.  He came back in a few minutes later.  A young woman had come into the hospital in labor, Anne said, having previously been unaware of her pregnancy, and had given birth to a baby girl.  She felt that she would be unable to parent and wanted to find an adoptive family.  Did we want to come meet her?  I sat up in bed, and Christian and I looked at each other for what seemed like an eternity.  We jumped up then, and I ran to the shower, thinking what I wanted to wear to meet the birth mother.  I dressed up, even putting on makeup, and made Christian wear ironed pants.  

We drove as fast as we could to the hospital, slowing down due to an accident (not ours, fortunately) and got there around 2:30.  We were taken to a small waiting room where we were told that the birth mother didn't want to meet us and asked if we wanted to meet the baby.  This was not what I was expecting.  According to the usual practices, a birthmother who had not chosen an adoptive family would be presented with a variety of information packets provided by adoptive parents and then choose several with whom to meet before deciding on one.  And, our homestudy wasn't done, the social worker who had come to our house in September never wrote the report.  She emailed us on Halloween to tell us that she had been delayed by family health problems and would do the homestudy immediately. That was the last we heard from her.  

We agreed to meet the baby and were taken into the nursery.  There something that those who have never done an adoption have to understand.  From the moment you first begin reading your first book or your first website, you are told repeatedly that 50% of domestic adoptions fail. That's half.  We were also told that there are few babies available in Washington State and that the means of starting our family would be painful and arduous.  But here we were, in a nursery, holding a tiny, perfect baby to whom we really weren't supposed to get attached.  The hospital had a room for us to stay in, Anne said, so we could get to know the baby.  We pushed her hospital cradle down the hall to the empty room and looked at her for a while.  She was so calm.  We took turns holding her and started talking about what the hell we were going to do.  Anne had told us to call our lawyer right away, but she was out of town.  We couldn't get in touch with the social worker who never finished the homestudy, so we sat and held the baby and talked.  I was supposed to be in a dress rehearsal that night for Hansel and Gretel, but I called the company and begged to be released.  They had mercy on us, and we decided to stay the night, and called Shelly to ask her to bring us some clothes.  The birthmother, though, wanted to have the baby in her room that night, as they had some things to discuss, she said.  We went home, calling everyone we knew on both of our phones, trying to get an attorney.  We spent the next three hours rearranging our bedroom and the bird room to give us more space.  

We woke up early the next morning and saw that an attorney recommended to us had emailed us, asking us to call him.  We spoke, he knew exactly what to do, and so we hired him on the spot.  He gave us the number of two social workers who might be able to redo our home study for us that day.  One of them agreed to come over at 1.  We tore around the house, cleaning and organizing, wanting to get back down to the hospital to see the baby.  The birthmother asked for the baby to be taken back to the nursery early that morning, and the nurses told us to come at any time.  We drove the forty minutes each direction, seeing the baby for a half hour, before getting back to the house, where the social worker was in conversation with Chris and Angie, who we had asked to wait at our house for her.  They showed her around, talked about us and our marriage, and generally saved our bacon.  The social worker was incredibly gracious and we talked for almost four hours, until Christian left to go back to the hospital and I had to get ready for the first performance of Hansel.  I remember very, very little of that evening, other than the two blackouts we had on stage due to the light board overloading.  

After the show, I drove down to the hospital and spent the night with the baby we now thought might possibly be ours.  We were still reserved, though.  Anne and our attorney met with both of the birth parents that day and had them sign all of the paperwork, but there was always the chance of one or both of them changing their minds before their 48 hour window had passed.  She was so sweet and easy and alert that we couldn't help falling painfully for her, but the idea that this whole thing might not work made me withdraw somewhat.  Both social workers told us that this wasn't uncommon, though, and that it could take a while to allow our emotions to take ahold.

The next morning, we waited to hear from all of our people about our progress.  We had so much to gather, our fingerprints we had submitted six weeks before to the FBI, our medical reports for the homestudy which had been sent to the first social worker and which we would have to redo the next day, the DSHS report which we had faxed in, all of which couldn't be gotten until Monday.  So, we waited, getting to know the baby we now tentatively called Viv, as that would be her name if she was ours.  I had to sing Hansel again, one more time, and there was no new news upon my return to the hospital.  

The next morning saw us up very early on the phone to the adoption agency in Texas with whom we thought we were going to do our adoption, as they were supposed to have received the fingerprint reports.  They hadn't gotten it yet, but called the processing office and got a copy to fax to our attorney.  We each then had to go see our respective doctors to get the medical reports, which I then had to fly home to scan in and send for our homestudy.  I brought the scanner back to the hospital for Christian's medical form and waited for 3:30 pm, the 48 mark after which no one could change their minds.  Our attorney wanted to make absolutely certain that the birthmother, who still hadn't wanted to meet us, was protected, so he arranged for her to meet with her own attorney when she returned to the hospital for her post-partum visit.  She and the attorney met right outside the doors to the ward, and when I went to the cafeteria that evening, caught a glimpse of the baby's birthmother as she was counseled.  I wish we could have met.  The day passed beyond the time we could make it to court, so we settled in for another night at the hospital, hoping that DSHS would come through first thing so we could make everything final.  We did manage to make dashes to the store to buy a stroller and car seat, however, and made it to the home of a couple selling a bed on Craigslist, so at least we'd have a place for her to sleep and a means to get her home.  

DSHS didn't come through that morning.  We had to resend all of our forms as they claimed to have never received them.  Christian drove to meet the social worker to pick up the notarized homestudy to give to our attorney.  We waited extremely impatiently, me at the hospital and Christian at home, for our attorney to call when we had been approved by DSHS and Christian and the attorney could get to court before it closed at 4.  At 3 pm, just in time, the form came through.  We were legally made parents at 4:45 pm on Tuesday, December 2nd.

We had nothing at home.  No crib, no clothes, no diapers, absolutely nothing.  It's said that, in times of trial, those who are your real friends will reveal themselves.  Ours did with a vengeance.  Everything we could need, all washed and ready for little Viv's arrival home.  

It's Saturday, a week and a day after we first met our little daughter.  I still feel bewildered, as though I suddenly grew another arm and have no idea what to do with it.  It won't fit in any of my shirts, after all.  Everyone told us that this would happen, as the whirl of those four days gave us little time to prepare in any way, and that, once we were home for a while, we would stop feeling as though we were babysitting, and start feeling like parents.  I've only had 10 or 11 hysterical breakdowns, which has to be a record for me.  

My parents have now met her, as I begged Mom to come over the day we brought her home, as I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing, and Dad drove over today to meet his first granddaughter.  We're anxiously awaiting the visit of Christian's parents, who want to come down when the dust has settled.  She's to be their one grandchild, so I hope they approve.  I don't see how they couldn't, as she's perfect.  

We've already made some rookie mistakes.  The bed we bought her was not rigid, so we'll have to resell it.  A bassinet was purchased instead.  I got drenched bathing her as I've never bathed a newborn before, but she didn't seem to mind.  However, her disposition is so sweet that she forgives us as soon as we make a mistake.  

I want to do what's right and best for her.  We are now a racially diverse family, even more so than usual, so we have to find the means to show her that she's not the only one whose family looks like ours.  I'm already worrying about what schools she'll go to and what friends she'll make, and whether or not she'll struggle with her identity.  Will we be good parents?  Will we meet her needs, emotional and physical?  Is our house too small?  The list goes on.  

I'm waiting for the moment when I finally realize that she's ours.  Tiny Viv, the four day baby.  I know it will come soon.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I had no idea.

I really adore sock yarn, especially hard to get, desirable, expensive, European sock yarn.  Last night, when I wanted to go online and buy and buy to soothe the bitter gaping babyless hole in my heart, I thought, wouldn't it be better if I pulled out all of my sock yarn to see what I had and to maybe, just maybe, convince myself that I didn't need anymore?  Yeah, it worked.  

As I also have five more skeins of the expensive, super-excloosive, you-have-to-wait-up-all-night-to-get-it German yarn coming soon, I think I need to knit for a few more years until I can justify the next purchase.  Of course, Christmas is coming, and yarn is a perfect stocking stuffer.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

I miss the magic.

I'm getting the itch, the yen, the longing.  I need to visit Disneyland.  I ache for some escapism.  We promised to take Jayden to Disneyland for his seventh birthday, which is next year, so we're thinking maybe February, when the parks have historically low attendance and the desperate state of the economy means that Disney will need to offer progressively lower prices and greater incentives to guest to get them to spend what little money they have to make the trip.  I'm hoping for deals so absurd that Christian will be unwilling to say no.  I need a rice krispie treat with candy coating.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A little like it.

I was awakened at 5 am this morning my a ruckus in the bird room. I rushed in to find Cyril thrashing against the sides of his cage, panting and flapping.  My bird has night terrors. 

I spent the next half hour holding him and petting him and talking to him as he shook and hyperventilated.  When he had finally calmed down, I put him back in his cage, to have him promptly climb out and offer his neck to me for a scratch.  I couldn't not scratch him, he's too sweet, so I didn't get to bed until about six. 

If a little bird can keep me up in the night, I don't stand a chance with a kid.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The two cutest nuns.

As the director said, there's nothing funnier than men dressed as nuns.  Is it disturbing that they're also pretty smokin'?

Monday, November 10, 2008

The morning after.

Do I feel sad about the show being over because I love performing, or is it because I hate taking events off the calendar on my website?  This show had an unusually agreeable cast who also happened to be extremely talented as well as adorable, so saying goodbye was hard.  There's no break, as Pearl Fishers' rehearsals start tonight and Hansel and Gretel started rehearsals two days ago, but, as I whinge and moan when I'm not so busy that I forget to put on pants in the morning, I'm grateful that I have work, even if I'm still convinced that I'm going to be laughed off the stage (and not in a good way) when I dress as Hansel.  There's only so much a costumer can do.

Oh, and we got a great review.  

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The icing on the happy cake.

Dino Rossi is set to concede. I don't think I could have swallowed the bitter pill of having a 1920's ganster throwback as my Governor.

And, oh yeah, HOLY FUCKING SHIT, OBAMA WON! The tears, they were aflowin'. I love that man and his badass wife and my withered heart has been suffused with the revivifying elixer of optimism. So suck it, Republicans, suck it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A terrible day for the brass section.

I always looked forward to hearing Der Holle Rache played four octaves down when I'd arrive at the opera house for performance nights. We'll now only be surrounded by PETA protesters and there will be no one to drown them out.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Our social worker contacted us today. A family emergency, now mostly resolved, had kept her from the office, but she's back and will complete our homestudy this weekend.

I'm more than relieved-I could feel the depression and defeat I've been smothered under lift once I knew that we could move forward without having to begin again. We would have needed to wait until February to redo all of the home visits and necessary appointments, what with my absurd schedule over the next three months.

I am hoping that all will be well and that we can start matching soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Whither and whence the whinging?

I don't know if it's the shifting weather patterns or that everyone is fed to the teeth with Dino Rossi's teeth-gnashingly oily and insinuating election commercials, but there has been a definite tendril of rudeness wafting into my environment today. This morning's bus driver, after reluctantly stopping for me as I ran down the cigarette butt-littered sidewalk, waving at him as he pulled away from the curb, chastised me, as I breathlessly climbed the stairs, to "Move faster next time." Even my winning smile just succeeded in making him look more disgruntled.

Then, upon arriving at my chilly office, a terse and accusatory email from an accounting unit on campus was waiting there to accuse me of not performing my duties, despite evidence in the form of an email from August proving that I had, in fact, done exactly what they asked me to, and it was, to be precise, said accounting unit's fault for not keeping me abreast of developments as I am not privy to any successive communication between the troublesome accounting unit and the sponsor. And this charming epistle received more than a year after my initial attempt to solicit the aid of the truculent accounting unit over this very issue, which they ignored except in a cursory manner until nine months after the previously mentioned first contact and despite my repeated attempts to address this issue with them, the only organization who could accomplish my required task. Oh, and, at one point, they told me they had lost the file.

And, to add a layer of ice to the permafrost which is my day, the shipping rep on the phone repeatedly interrupted my responses to her questions with the phrase, "I understand that, but..." in a crisp and almost crunchy tone quite unlike the one of simple syrup sweetness spooned over me at the outset of the call.

What for the ornery and combative mien, Mr. Bus Driver? Why you up in my grille, Accountancy Bizznatch? Must you be so gosh darn mean, Shipping Lady? I promise the election will all be over soon, and, if it's the cold that ails you, I hear Florida is lovely this time of year. And, if you relocate to that sunny, tropical shore, you can help swing that state to Obama! Won't that feel good? Won't that put a smile on that grumpy face?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chelonian Crusader

In my fantasy life, I am a superhero, living in the jungles and on the seacoasts of Costa Rica, fighting to save sea turtles from human predation and parrots from horrifying harvesting practices used in the illegal pet trade. In real life, I'm just torturing myself by frequently searching Petfinder and Craigslist for unwanted parrots, and boy, do I find them, in tragic spades shaped like insufficient cages littered with inappropriate perches and nutritionally deficient seed as the only food.

It's the special needs birds who make my stomach clench and blood vessels dilate with worry and longing. It's the plucked macaws and the semi-blind juvenile Amazons (a four month old orange-winged Amazon whom I want to buy and love and kiss and hug but my mean husband won't let me near enough to smuggle out in my coat) who make me wish that we had the means to build a bird room right now and give all of these troubled little souls a place where they'll be loved and can rely on us for everything they need and want. I mean really, what's one more bird? Or twelve.

I've said it innumerable times on this blog alone, but I wish there were a way to truly educate everyone in the world about care of exotics, especially parrots, as any creature with the average intelligence of a kid in preschool requires exceptional provisions which cannot be attended to without extensive research. The World Parrot Trust works uphill towards this goal and they even have John Cleese promoting their work, but the public at large has little interest in the issue, as most of them are unaffected. It's not those people at whom I'm pointing my finger of reproach.

I want to prevent parrots from being sold in pet stores, from being impulse buys, from being traded like baseball cards and sold like old couches on free websites. I want every parrot purchase to be either from a licensed, inspected, reputable, loving, small aviary breeder or rescue organization. No mills, no chain stores, no seed, only cage and enrichment requirements and proper diets, and no need for the ASPCA to intervene.

There's a part of me, and not a small part, that wants to quit this singing nonsense and do something worthwhile. Maybe I can somehow couple my zeal for saving the chickerns with my notion of opening a laundromat for the homeless. And I just now realized that I have a Messianic complex. Be saved!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I think we're going to have to start over with the homestudy. It's been a month with no word from the social worker, and I'm just about fed up. If the market hadn't uttery collapsed and we were able to get financing, this would have been an even more aggravating problem, but I supposed the disaster has bought us a little bit more time. I'm dreading having to do all of our paperwork over again, but I'm willing to do it if we absolutely have to. I suppose this is another test of how much we want a kid.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sitting on my Hands

Things I'm waiting for:

1.  The homestudy to finally be complete so we can send it to the agency.  
2.  The financing to come through.
3.  My conflicts to be okayed by one of the companies I'll be singing for so I can buy plane tickets to and from Spokane before the prices go up.
4.  The agency to review our dear birthparent letter and photo portfolio so we can make changes and get it back by the time our homestudy is done.
5.  A possible reclass at work so I won't have to be an assistant anymore.
6.  The election to be over so I can stop wondering if we are inevitably descending into a fascist state.
7.  This week to be over so we can finally start rehearsals and I can stop wondering if people are going to find out that I'm a hack and fire me.

It's all out of my hands.  Not even buying yarn will make my waiting tolerable.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


You know why Sasha's looking straight at the camera? He's subliminally telling me that he's only allowing Christian to hold him like this because I'm on the opposite side of the room, and that he'll bite my face off if I come any closer. I used the zoom. It was necessary for my health and well-being.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Good Bones

It's a sprain, we had Pierre's tiny wing x-rayed at the emergency clinic by a vet who actually knew about exotics, which was surprising and nifty.  She also had fantastic hair.

She gave us three days of pain meds compounded with an anti-inflammatory and he's already showing improvement.  As a bonus, she gave us Pierre's digital scans so we could bring them to our regular vet, so they must, of course, go on the blog:

Tiny chicken head!  Look at those wee, wee boneses!  So dainty, he is.  Poor sweet injured peanut.  You can see the damage on the left hand side, the grey by the left elbow is the mass of swelling.  In larger birds, the injured wing is usually strapped to the body so it remains immobile, but a bird as tiny as Pierre would be quite difficult to find a wrap that wouldn't double his inconsiderable body weight.  Hee hee.  The image makes me giggle.  Tiny mummy.  But, he's now resting comfortably, drugged, in his corner-free plastic container.  He's my problem child. 

Protect them from me.

I am a curse.  I am a jinx, a plague, a blight, a scourge.  Pierre has now injured his wing, and it's completely my fault.  He's in a round Rubbermaid container to keep him from having a place to strop his beak and reopen his injury, and that container was on top of the secretary in the bird room.  The cord for the heating pad underneath was hanging down in front, and the secretary must have been too full, as the front door opened, pulling his container down with it.  He sprained his wing in the fall, and the joint is swollen.  The vet is closed until tomorrow, but the doctor isn't in until Tuesday, so we're going to give him cayenne pepper as a natural anti-inflammatory until we can get him in.  He can still use the wing, he's holding it slightly away from the body, as I don't think the inflammation will allow him to close it completely.  

I don't know what more I could possibly do to that little bird.  We didn't separate him and Fritz and he received his beak injury, we didn't anticipate that he would continue to try and clean his beak and he repeatedly reopened his injury, and now I actually caused an injury to him, directly.  I should be forcibly separated from the birds.  I shall henceforth be known as Typhoid Suzy.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


On reading about Joe Biden (from

1. Given an F grade by the NRA regarding pro-gun issues.
2. Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance.
3. Rated 16% by the Christian Coalition, indicating an "anti-family" stance.

Since the enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess this makes Joe Biden my bestest chum ever.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Self Infliction

One of the things I didn't anticipate when Pierre got injured was that he would continually try to get off of his beak whatever it was that was continually annoying him.  This is obviously a problem as what's annoying him is the lack of beak.  Preening has become mostly impossible, but he sadly tries, and frustratedly shakes his head every time he fails to use the remnant to get his messy feathers ordered.  Because the parrot beak has a hole at the base and the two disparate sides can only join together in the egg, the lower mandible is only partially attached once broken, and must feel loose.  

When Christian went in to visit with the birds, he saw that Pierre's face was covered in blood, and that blood had splattered all over the hospital cage as well.  It was a horrible sight, and poor Pierre was still pushing his beak against the perch, most likely trying to make the pain stop.  We cleaned him up in warm water, and could see that he had stropped the live, remaining piece of beak until it pulled away from his jaw and bled.  The bleeding stopped and, once clean, we wrapped him in a towel and scratched him until he calmed down.  We returned him to his warm cage with the heating pad turned up and he even ate, which was unexpected.  For such a tiny, fragile little bird, he's a fairly resilient little bugger.

However, my biggest concern now is that he will repeatedly re-injure the beak until the piece that is left dies as well, and, as our vet doesn't have a call system, we couldn't contact her to ask what we should best do to prevent this from happening tonight.  I'm at an utter loss to know how to keep him from hurting himself.  He's had such a tough little life so far, I just want to make him happy and contented.  I suck at it so far.

Monday, September 29, 2008


Et tu, Walgreens?  I know I said that my childhood doctor thought I had a health history far more advanced in age than my actual chronological years would indicate, but I thought you knew me better.  I mean, I know you fill my prescriptions for asthma meds and even once, before a trip, tranquilizers, but a free AARP membership coupon with my purchase? 

I understand that the purchase was of hemorrhoid wipes and stomach acid reducer, but come on, lots of people my age have hemorrhoids and leaky esophageal valves.   Don't they?  

Friday, September 26, 2008


It's been said by mothers and fathers throughout eternity that good things start to happen when we stop looking for them or have, let's be honest, stopped caring whether they happen or not.  Well Mom and Dad, you were right.  Once auditions stopped causing me to gnaw my fingers off and wet my pants a little, I started getting work.  The scales of wisdom have tipped in your favor.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Five kinds of awesome.

Why did I eat that chicken salad? I knew it had been in the fridge too long, even though it smelled fine. I seemed to remember leaving it in the food processor on the counter for a few hours right after I made it, but I then refrigerated it and consumed some on crackers with no ill effects. So why did it turn on me so, causing vast digestive distress and dry heaving 12 hours after the final serving was eaten? Why, on top of a respiratory infection, did I have to get food poisoning? Because I'm apparently Homer Simpson, that's why. I could never stay mad at you, chicken salad.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tragic and Unnecessary

Christian and I spent a while at the courthouse today, as we had to get fingerprinted for our adoption application, just in case we are hiding that we're international jewel thieves who need a third with really small hands to fit into those unreachable back corners of safes.  We had to wait for the fingerprinting technician and were sitting in the lobby when a young woman came in, pushing her shirtless two year old son in a stroller.  The lobby was for both the fingerprinting/gun permit office and for filing civil and small claims cases and restraining orders.  The woman approached the latter desk and spoke with the clerk, and attempted to communicate her story of an abusive ex-boyfriend and papers being served to her fraudulently, but, in her anger and frustration, she wasn't able to explain herself sufficiently to allow the clerk to understand and be of any assistance. She said over and over that she had been in a safe house when the papers had been supposedly delivered and that she was going to have to leave the state to escape her ex-boyfriend's violence.  She said that he was trying to get custody of his son, and she didn't know what to do.  The clerk kindly offered to call a detective to see if he or she could be of any help, and the woman sat down to wait.  

As this scenario was playing out, the woman's little boy had been playing with the rain cover of his stroller, to her intense annoyance. He hopped out of his stroller and was about to start pulling on his mother, so I started talking to him to distract him long enough to give her a chance to do what she needed to do.  I asked him question after question, and heard his answers around the thumb he was loudly sucking.  I said above that he was two, but that's because he told me that was his age, whereas he looked closer to four due to his size.  He and I spoke for a while about nothing, and, as I had my phone out, thought he might like to see pictures of the birds.  So, we looked at those for a while, and he was fascinated by the birds as well as the way the phone flicked through the pictures.  He came to my side at one point and wedged himself between my arm and my side, and I have no idea how he did it.  That a child that little wanted to attach himself to a total stranger and his mother seemed relieved to see it made me terribly sad. 

When she was leaving, she made an effort to tell us that she was going home to change her son into more clothes as he had had an accident with his lunch, necessitating his shirtlessness.  I shared that Shelly and I had taken the boys to the zoo and, when they both wet themselves to soaking, had dressed them in whatever we could find, so I understood insufficiently dressed little kids.  She left, and the kindly officer who was on front door duty, who we could see through the door but not hear, pointed at her son with a smile and she laughed at whatever it was he said.  Everyone tried to be so good to her, but I could see that the life she had made for herself and the choices she had been required to make had taken away her chances of normalcy.  
Upon seeing a girl like her, I couldn't help but think of how her life is laid out for her now, and how, unless she and her son are both incredibly lucky, he will end up exactly like her, or worse, his own father.  And how would they change their fortunes when they are obviously alone, without even anyone to go with them to the courthouse?  

Women like her break my heart and make me feel spoiled and selfish, and also make me wonder if what we've heard said is true, that the women who choose to keep their children when they become unexpectedly and unwelcomely pregnant are often the ones the least equipped to raise their children.  Were their mothers like them, insufficiently educated and taught that their only value is in what they can give to men?  

It does break my heart so.  I hope that our adoption will help break this cycle for one family, at least.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Deeply Hung

I have a massive Fair hangover.  Four Dr. Peppers, barbecue, onion burgers, fries, elephant ears, livestock allergies and a first prize ribbon!  

Eat it, acrylic whores. 

Thursday, September 04, 2008

For he's my dear, my darling one...

Happy birthday to the only man on earth who could challenge Gene Kelly for the title of best backside in the history of asses. You are awesome in every way, not the least of which is how amazing you are with people of all ages, and kids in particular. You are willing to perform such feats as running incessantly up and down punishing sand dunes in order to entertain tireless nephews, and that makes you spectacularly cool, in my opinion and theirs. You never shirk at doing hard or tiring things if they will make other people happy, and you seem to derive great joy from seeing others having fun that you helped make. You're also so polite, and really think before saying anything to those who need to be handled a little more gently. Because of this, you make them feel as though they are respected, and that's more than they usually get in their daily lives.

Thank you so very much, too, for the incredible work you've done with Sasha. He's a completely different bird than he was a year ago, and that's utterly because of you. He's so happy and content and well-loved because you cared for him enough to make an effort, despite the very difficult times at the beginning. It makes my heart burst to see him raise his little foot to his neck and invite you to scratch it every night before he goes to sleep. You're a softie, which kills me. I'm sorry I make you occasionally watch Animal Cops. I just really like to see the bad guys get theirs.

So, my smiling and beguiling one, I hope that, despite having to stand in line at the DMV, this birthday is the happiest, because you deserve it.

All my love,

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Quote for the Ages

While seeing absolutely no irony in their own criticism of Obama's perceived inexperience, Republicans defending Palin's inexperience in the light of Democratic party comment about the same (from the Guardian) had this to say:

"Tennessee congresswoman Marsha Blackburn suggested that Palin's work on the parent-teacher association of her son's school gave her useful experience for the vice-presidency.
'Every woman in this room knows that if you can handle being a room mother… a PTA chairwoman, Girl Scout cookie mom, there's a lot of things you have the ability, the organisational skills, to handle. She transferred those leadership skills to the political arena.' "

Yep, that's exactly what qualifies a candidate for nomination to the Vice-Presidency, a mean hand with the Girl Scouts, those little bitches. So, apparently, all Obama would have had to do to prove his readiness for leadership was chair his girls' PTA.

We won't even discuss the hilarity of this same group of women calling for a moratorium on discussing Palin's family situation (both teenage daughter's pregnancy and husband's DUI) when Michelle Obama has been out and out called a racist by this same group because of her Princeton Master's Thesis. Oh pot, stop teasing the kettle.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Why's it so cold out here?

If this doesn't make you cry, you are dead inside.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Poor Pierre. He struggled at the horrible breeder's house, where he never even learned to stand, he struggles at our house as he can't be with his lover at all times, he struggles at the vet where he is today, getting a fractured lower mandible repaired. He's just a tiny, fluffy blue ball of woe.

Fritz and Pierre love each other, passionately. However, they fight terribly when in the same cage, so they each have their own apartments. But, as we are terribly permissive parents (enablers), we let them sleep together. If they aren't separated before they fully awake, though, they fight. They must have had quite a throw down on Saturday morning, left together longer than usual while we lazily slept in. Fritz had a bite on his eyelid, but Pierre seemed fine. However, yesterday morning, I noticed that he hadn't eaten many pellets, and he seemed far meeker than usual. I took him off his perch and saw that the lower right portion of his beak had been completely broken in two unevenly sized halves and that blood had filled his mouth. I threw on my clothes and ran him to our vet, only to see that they were closed on Monday. I ran him to the emergency vet, where they charged me $255 to give him fluids and a pain killer, and then told me to go back to my vet today. I took him home, made a little incubator for him, fed him warm, mushy food and watched him try to understand why he couldn't use his beak properly. It was tragic to watch him attempt to preen but stop in confusion, and then shake his head, as if to try and dislodge whatever was bothering his bite.

He's back at the proper vet now, where they are wiring the two separate beak pieces back together. He could grow it out, he could lose the piece altogether, we just don't know. We simply cannot allow the little birds to be together anymore.

Wow, this is surprisingly like parenthood.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How old am I?

When I was about 20, a doctor told me that I had the health problems of an 80 year old. When I was 29, I had an appointment with the surgeon who removed the ute, and he said that I had the worst hemorrhoids he'd ever seen in someone my age. When I went to the doctor today to have my physical for the adoption home study, it was discovered, during the manual exam, that I apparently now have a stricture of the poop chute variety. I'm hoping that, by getting all of these absurd problems out of the way now, I'll be perfectly healthy as a 90 year old.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


We were accepted into our agency of choice, so bring on the babies! Well, one baby. Bring him or her on! Not that we have a gender preference, so bring on the baby of either gender! And race! We don't care! Baby, baby, baby!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Responding in Kind

Ah, the internet.  The home of more inaccurate and spurious opinions and badly-stated personal manifestos than any twelve survivalist compounds could read in many lifetimes.  And now, I've found a whole webring of sites I wished had never burned holes in my retinas.  I knew that, when starting the adoption process, we would be forced to listen to opinions on co-sleeping and international vs. domestic adoptions as well as be an unwitting audience to horror stories of adoptions gone wrong.  What I didn't expect, but should have, was the huge number of websites dedicated to the desire to abolish adoption, and that any search for information regarding adoption would lead me to these innocuously named sites.  

These pages forward the opinions that every pregnant woman should parent, that adoptive parents are thieves, that agencies are human traffickers, that all adoptive children end up abused and suicidal and that these same children will never lead full and successful lives until they are reunited with their "real" parents.  And, I'm reading this all while starting to write our introductory letter to potential birth parents.  

I admit that I did write the webmaster/founder of one such website.  She did not quote one documentable source, one article or book published in the last fifty years, one traceable researcher or research project or any opinion that wasn't proffered by a frequent visitor of the website, to substantiate her raison d'etre.  Her primary sources seem to be those who found her site by searching for the best way to treat young, pregnant, frightened women like their choices are not their own, that because one woman was victimized by whatever unscrupulous individuals coerced her to surrender her child, all women who choose an adoptive family for their child are victimized.  

It's no wonder girls are confused.  They are being told that the sex is wicked and evil but that they should never think of or use contraception as it's going against God's will.  However, if they do get pregnant, their choices are limited to none, not even the choice to decide that their child might just have a better future with a family who not only wants that child, but can provide for and love him or her.

So, how do we know that the birthmother who chooses us is doing so with proper counseling and forethought?  How do we know that both of the birthparents are mature enough to make a decision like this?  I know that this is why we use an agency, why counseling is mandatory for any birth mother through that agency.  It's also why open adoption plans are vital, which I understand now, so the birth mother can continue to have contact with her child, if she wishes it, and know her child is loved and healthy and successful.  It will also enable parents to ensure that their child doesn't feel as though they are separated from their past.  I sincerely hope we are up to this, and that we and our child can make the relationship with the birthmother work, so we can all be the best family possible.  

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Funnest Parents

When did having fun become the raison d'etre for eschewing common sense, safety and responsibility? Have Americans always been such hedonistic assholes? Why am I suddenly sounding like a parent? I'll tell you why: today I attended a presentation on ATV injuries in children, and my response to that presentation is, "holy shit."

What kind of imbecile would reassure their intubated child, struggling on life support in the ICU, that he shouldn't worry, they'll replace his Artic Cat when he gets out of the hospital? And why do even journalists covering events such as this still, after visiting our Center to learn about the risks of ATV use by children and the need for helmet use if one persists in being foolish enough to allow their children to ride, still color their stories with their own personal beliefs that helmets impede the fun? Why does any parent put their own unfulfilled youthful dreams before their own child's well-being? Just because your parents didn't allow you to ride in the abandoned quarry on Toothless Joe's four-wheeler didn't mean that you should allow YOUR children to do so, and merely because ATV parks with jumps and water hazards exist, that is no reason to frequent them. Contrary to a widely-held belief, one does not have a child so one can relieve ones childhood, this time getting to do everything one didn't get to do the first time.

I know that parents have an extremely difficult task in determining what amount of risk-taking behavior is acceptible, and that a certain element of danger can prepare a child for facing real trials later in life. However, this does not mean that activities that are categorically hazardous and almost guaranteed to cause bodily harm should be encouraged merely because allowing them will make one "cool".

And right now I'm realizing that I'm making a mental list of non-allowable activities for our own child that will make me the most reviled parent around. But at least my kid will live to twelve.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The New National Champion

Congratulations, Christian! You're the new Master's Track and Field Shot Put Champion for your age group! Even though you were the only one in said age group, I'll only mock you a little. You wear that medal with a sense of accomplishment.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Nothing Like Expected

Our house has never been this clean, nor will it will ever be this clean again.  For the past week, all we've done is scrub and dust and vacuum and organize and scrape, and our house is utterly gorgeous.  Was it necessary?  Nope.  Our social worker said that everyone cleans, but that's not what concerns them, and the kind of people who ask for a home study aren't usually the kind of people who need to worry terribly what others will think of their home.  While I knew that, really, there's no way I could have gone into the home study any other way.  

Nancy came over last night to start the process.  It only took two hours and was considerably easier than what I expected.  As we've already started our agency application, much of the information she needed was already completed in our profile, and she only needed to ask us questions not covered or ones we hadn't answered yet.  We now must each write a comprehensive autobiography, detailing everything from our childhood impressions of our rearing to our employment history and how we feel about our own roles as parents.  All of this information will then be compiled, along with medical histories and our letters of recommendation, into one profile to be submitted to each state and our agency.  While our personal histories will only comprise about 3/4 of a page, we are free to expound upon our personal virtues and failings as much as we like, to be condensed by Nancy.  I actually feel a little guilty about how much I'll inevitably write.  I mean, what if I leave something out that I find terribly important and that the birth parents will latch onto as the reason for choosing us?  As Nancy said, we have to view the massive volumes of information we provide as it will be viewed by a young woman and, possibly, her mother, grandmother, aunts, siblings, cousins, brothers-in-law, everyone, so we'd better make ourselves as vibrant and transfixing as possible. While I have endless faith in Christian's boundless virtues, I will incessantly worry about my own.
So, it's a damn good thing our house is clean.  

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lucky Number Seven

Hi honey!  So, here it is, our seventh anniversary, the year of the supposed itch, at least according to Billy Wilder.  Thankfully, we don't live in an overheated, urban apartment where a sexy bombshell can sublet the upstairs while I'm vacationing away from the city for the summer.  That's next year.

As this will be the year of biggest change for us, I wouldn't be surprised if you did feel some kind of urge, maybe if only to flee from the stress of it all.  We're going to get a baby, dude.  I admit to feeling some apprehension about what a kid will mean for our own relationship, which has, up until now, been the sole most important thing in my life.  Of course, the best hope is that this child will make our love all the stronger, and give us another outlet for our boundless affection for each other.  That is my goal, and I know it's yours, as well.  This life we've made together, this little middle-class menagerie, is what we want it to be, and I think that this child, this person we can raise amongst our varied creatures, will be pretty cool because of this interesting place we've made.  I also think that, because we're older and have made it a point to embrace the things we love doing, we'll be able to provide this little chicken with some pretty fantastic experiences, whether attending the Track and Field Olympic Trials, traveling to all the Disney parks, seeing our beloved birds' cousins in the jungles of Panama, having clotted cream in Cornwall, seeing your mom sing opera or learning how to draw from your incredible artist dad.  And don't forget learning how to knit.  That will be of utmost importance.

And what family and friends we have around us, to give us the most encompassing love they have in their hearts.  We have both sets of supportive and loving grandparents within driving distance, and one set has HORSES, which couldn't be niftier.   And holy cow, can you imagine all of us in Disneyland, sharing that first experience together?  I think I might just burst.  What a gift it is to us, too, to have our child's aunts and uncle want to give our family the best love in their hearts, and share with us the three most perfect cousins our kid could have.  How lucky our sprout will be to have the coolest kids in the world be in their own family.  There's so much to look forward to.

Writing this all out is good therapy, and equally good practice.  I never say enough of how being married to you has made my life exactly what I want it to be, and how grateful I am to you for building it with me.  As I sit here on the couch, sneezing from cleaning the office last night, looking around at the house we've been working on over the years, I see that it's bigger than we thought, and it can hold whatever we bring to it.  I can't wait to raise a child with you, and see some of the wonderfulness that is you in that child.  You are the best husband, and you will be a extraordinary father.  

I love you with all my heart.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sudden Turns

I was shoved by teenage punks when emerging from the grocery store, and was consequently unutterably pissed until, when driving out of the parking lot, a young, aggressively groomed man in a lowered, pimped and bronzed Honda passed me and I caught his personalized license plate, which read "Fluffer". I don't think it means what he think it means.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Run, fat girl, run.

Was keep-away ever fun for anyone other than the hyper-athletic kids who had been playing soccer since conception and the regressive, vindictive gym teachers who enjoyed seeing the athletically-impaired be repeatedly denigrated every time they would attempt to get the ball from their snide, obscenely muscled peers?  

Christian and I were trounced in keep-away yesterday by two children under five, but this time it was because short ones are really, really quick and I'm old and fat.  Why can't we all just share the ball?  Oh yeah, because the need to kick the ass of those who are less skilled is deeply, deeply rooted in the human psyche.  Still, having your jiggly butt handed to you by a five year old doesn't suck so much when the little people are that cute.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Things learned from the most recent Spokane trip.

1.  Spokane is hot in the summer.  Armpit of Hades hot.  Vile hot.  I-can't-sleep-it's-90-degrees-in-my-room hot, I'm-so-sweaty-I-have-to-change-my-clothes-four-times-a-day-hot.  I-remember-why-I-moved-hot.

2.  Five-year-olds' wrestling matches trump tee ball in terms of hilarity.  Nothing will ever be more adorable and comical than 400 skinny little chickens and a few husky bruisers in singlets. 

3.  Taking three children five and under to see Wall-e, even with four adults in attendance, will ensure that you will not see more than five minutes before being interrupted by the lapping toddler who can't decide if Mom or Grandma has the better popcorn.

4.  When entertaining outside in summer, wear as much Off or Deet as you can without inducing respiratory distress.  If not, you will wake up the next two mornings scratching your ankles and knees until they ooze.

5.  Don't start a movie you really want to see at 10:30 pm after having not slept more than three hours the previous night, especially if you want your parents to watch it, as well.  

6.  When you bring knitting you need to work on quickly, don't forget the pattern at home.

7.  Don't buy your nephew his birthday Star Wars Legos before you go swimming as he will have no interest in going in the water when an unopened At-Ap Pod Walker sits in the car.  However, buy them after, as having a precocious, blond muffin clasp his hands to his mouth and exclaim, "There are just so many wonderful choices!" when having to decide between four measly sets at Fred Meyer, is better than most anything.

8.  Make salad for your parents. They'll be so grateful that you spent the money on the steak and bleu cheese and bacon you're making despite high cholesterol worries that they'll do the clean up dishes afterwards.  

9.  Don't listen to Patton Oswalt in the car when driving home as you'll most likely crash your car when the hysterical tears blind you.  And if you don't crash, your abdomen will be in agony, you'll suck all the oxygen out of the car and you'll do damage to your steering wheel from the pounding.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Life

When I make up my mind that I want something, I want the process to begin immediately and to see aggressive progress being made at every moment.  However, our house is currently surrounded by a vortex in which time doesn't progress as quickly as it does in the rest of the world.  

We're waiting for our social worker to return from vacation so we can do our homestudy, we met with the friend of my boss who adopted her son and could offer us advice, very helpful advice, and, on her suggestion, we're looking into agencies in states where there are large multicultural populations.  However, making spreadsheets isn't making progress, and no matter how many Google searches I do for domestic adoption agencies in Texas, the answers that I want aren't forthcoming.  I want to know to whom we can turn to walk us through this process, I want to know how we're going to afford it, I want to know if we are ever going to get a child.  I suck at waiting, especially when I seem to be stuck with no help coming.  I bloody well want it all to begin so it can end.  

I'm buying yarn as a balm.  I'm padding the crate of our life so the hard corners of unexpected trials won't bruise us when we crash into them.  I want to avoid cracks in shipping, and knitting keeps my hands from peeling off all the paint from our veneered souls.  Knitting countless socks might make the waiting less torturous.  

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The fungus among us.

When Sasha had his vet appointment last week, our new (excellent, board certified and quite intuitive) vet hadn't seen him yet, and, as it was time for his annual check up, took blood and cultures and swabbed his bitey little mouth. It seems that the rescue from whence we adopted him is the Moby Dick to our little Pequod home. Poor Sasha is the only one of our four birds to have an avian disease called aspergillosis, which is spread by the inhalation of mold spores of the genus Aspergillus, and is usually found to be not harmful in normal, healthy birds kept in clean environs. However, the conditions in which we found Sasha at the rescue were best described as fetid: ideal to further the spread of infection and cause even the hardiest of birds considerable stress. The crusted droppings, the lack of clean water, the dust and grime, the dog feces and constant barking presence of the feral pack of dogs around the birds' cages, the cross-contamination of dozens of animals all kept in a confined, unventilated space, the being passed from foster home to rescue to foster home again, the incessant noise from birds not given enough activity, all would weaken even as strapping a bird as Sasha.

I'm certainly glad that the vet was thorough enough to not only culture the swab from Sasha's mouth, but send it to an independent lab for confirmation. I'm leaving it to Christian, though, to administer the liquid medication. I would have to towel Sasha to get near enough to his beak to get him to take the meds, and I just can't bear causing him any more stress. Poor pooper.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Drilling into my soul.

Yesterday, when Christian was doing the laundry, the floor drain that connects to the main water line from the kitchen and bathroom and connects with the sewer line near the driveway googed forth a geyser of poopy water, flooding the area in front of the basement door with sewage and used toilet paper.  Swell.  Christian used the shop vac to suck up all the poo and sucked the drain as clear as he could until the plumber could come to snake out the pipe.  We didn't want to pay an additional $200 bucks for the emergency call when we could wait until morning, so we made an appointment for today, when they came and cleared the clog.  Alas for us, when the extremely expensive plumbers used their equally exorbitantly-priced equipment to give our pipe its videographic fifteen minutes of fame, they found that their camera reached a point in the pipe where it was halted, coincidentally, right under the spot in the concrete floor where Christian had drilled down to anchor a shelving upright and had to stop because the hammer drill encountered resistance.  He, however, didn't stop drilling until the bit became irrevocably stuck.  Yep, Christian drilled right through our sewer line.  With a really big bit.  The plumbers are still here.  So, now there are jackhammers and new pipe fittings and $1,200 of credit-card-paying-off monies all floating around in the filth down there along with my good will.  And I chose last night to drink rum.  Foolish girl.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Drunk Blogging

Well, I'm not actually intoxicated anymore, but slightly-tipsy-and-mildly-sleepy doesn't quite have the same rebellious cache to it. Drunk on a Sunday night!  However, now all I want is a toothbrush as my teeth feel hairy.

Shelly and I had to watch the Tony Awards to make fun of Patti LuPone's jaw spasms and see which plays and musicals we should sob over not being able to see live as we live on the wrong coast and touring companies suck by the time they get to Seattle and all the really good stuff happens in New York, although Bartlett Sher won a Tony, and Cheyenne Jackson performed a scene from Xanadu, and I actually KNEW him when I was still in Spokane, as he is from around there and we have/had some of the same friends.  

Seeing someone to whom you used to serve coffee at the cafe where you worked the early morning shift during your last semester in college sing and dance on the freaking Tony Awards gives one a feeling that the world is a shockingly tiny place where anyone who is astonishingly beautiful and obscenely talented can make a huge career for themselves and have an entire website dedicated to their thighs alone (you have to log in to see the glory that is Cheyenne's quads, apparently).   And I can say I kind of knew some of his friends when.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dawning Understanding

We met with our new lawyer, and were very happy with the outcome.  She was helpful and had excellent suggestions, so we've started making contacts with agencies and individuals who could possibly help us.  However, we seem to keep running into the same problem.  Very few agencies do domestic adoptions.  Most strictly do Asian and Eastern European adoptions of children six months and older and those that do work with domestic adoptions mainly place older children.  Even Catholic Community Services, who, on their website, lists domestic adoption among the services they provide, are not accepting anyone into their program, and have no plans to do so in the near future.  It was recommended that we contact CCS of Eastern Washington, but I was told today, in an upsetting phone call conducted entirely in emphatic negatives, that they simply cannot help us because, well, they don't want to.  I told them that Western Washington CCS's domestic program was closed, that we hoped that we could get someone here to do the home study and post-placement evaluation, but the person I was speaking with didn't want to hear possible solutions to what she seemed to believe were insurmountable problems, seemingly couldn't wait to end our conversation and expressed no interest in answering my questions.  Her final parting statement was that domestic adoptions are rare because of birth parents changing their minds.  Now, I believe that to be the real reason behind the problems we are already beginning to face.

It is estimated by "Adoptive Families" magazine that 25,000-30,000 children are placed domestically for adoption per year, and that number is more than all international adoptions combined.  However, the proportion of agencies offering international vs. domestic adoption does not at all reflect this estimate.  It is rapidly becoming obvious that the possibility of birth parents changing their minds casts a heavy and challenging pall on domestic adoption.  In what seems to be an effort to minimize changes of mind and heart, all of the agencies that I've researched advocate completely open adoptions where the adoptive parents and the birth parents choose each other, have extensive personal contact before the birth and continue that relationship after the child has become part of his or her new family.  Upon speaking with our lawyer and family and friends who were adopted, we do not believe that this is a route we wish to enter into the GPS.   The idea that a birth mother would continue to play an active role in our child's life after the termination of parental rights gives me great pause.  As many (indeed, most) young mothers who place their children for adoption are from impoverished homes with little or no familial support and equally minimal education, the maturity level required to maintain appropriate distance would likely be lacking.  We would like to be able to raise our child in our family without the constant specter of jealousy or competition and without the fear of inconsistency from the birth mother and confusion to the child.  I would have no problem with providing the birth mother with photos, but actual contact would not be terribly desirable.  To be vulgar, it would feel far too much like I was playing mother to another woman's child while she watched from the wings. 

It will be difficult to not succumb to the pressure to adopt a child whose parents are not only not in the scenario, but likely not even known.  However, we want this child from the very first second, to be the first person he or she sees, and to be the only mother and father this child has ever known.  I feel as though we are being made out to be quite selfish, but this is what we want.  I hope there will be those who will help us achieve this.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Step One

We are meeting with an adoption attorney tomorrow morning.  We have kicked the ball and it rolleth.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Missing crucial information.

Many things about advertising anger me. I dislike diet pill ads where the before and after pictures are the same one, but the guy is just standing up really straight, I hate commercials for late night chat lines that show idiotic, giggling girls who would never be at home on a Saturday as they'd be out getting drunk with her friends from the nail salon, I loathe daytime ads for things like the toxin removing foot pads that were proven to only turn brown because of foot sweat and apparently smell like poo and that damn screaming guy who sells everything from kitchen cleaner to garden tools can die in a fiery crash. However, the one that makes me the angriest is the ad for the cervical cancer vaccine. While it is an excellent product and I would love for every girl to get vaccinated, the ads are hugely misleading. They state that the vaccine doesn't prevent all kinds of cervical cancer or other types of HPV diseases and that those vaccinated should continue to get annual checkups. All fine, you would think, but HPV is a sexually-transmitted infection and the risk of contracting it can be cut hugely buy advocating condom use. But, do you think the word sex is anywhere in the ad? Do the vaccine's manufacturers say that safe sex practices should be taught to avoid the risk of contracting the disease? No. And why? Because we're a country of puritanical hypocrites who alternatively vilify and glorify sex. All we want is sex until we're in our 30s and then all we want to do is stop everyone else from having it. And it would be unimaginable to talk about it rationally instead of treating it as an embarrassing, shameful act, but then turn and behave as though that act drives our every decision. I wonder what a difference it would make in the choices of younger people if they were given a realistic idea of sex and the consequences of it, instead of being deliberately kept ignorant by parents too afraid to admit that their child has grown up, too indifferent to care or too permissive to try and place responsibility on their children's shoulders.

The last time I was at the gynecologist's office, I picked up the brochure for the vaccine to see if any information about transmission and prevention was included, and it was not. And I'm really pissed.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Officially Official

Last night, Christian and I decided to begin the process of adopting a newborn. Hand-holding and calming words will be much appreciated. Oh, and advice. We need lots of that. And, oh yeah.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And it will make me rich, and then I'll retire, and then...

Stupid yarn barf.

Someday, I shall invent the first perfect center-pull ball to be commercially wound, and all knitters shall revere me as their yarn queen and will organize a parade for me and all the floats will be made of hand spun alpaca and I'll have the prettiest queenly gown made of cashmere and I'll wear a crown of circular needles plated in platinum.   I shall be so very, very pretty.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Close Calls

There are times that living in the city and commuting to two jobs makes me think that I'm not going to live to 40.  Yet another close call today, this time while turning left onto my near cross-street.  The wretched stoplight at which I turn doesn't have a turn signal, so I was waiting in the intersection at a green light.  When the light turned yellow, two people ran it, so I had to wait until the light turned red, as one can legally do when already in the intersection to turn.  I started to turn, and a large Lexus pulled out from the car turning left opposite me and tried to run the red light.  He swerved just in time and only avoided hitting me full on by about an inch.  He, of course, pulled over on the side of the road to check his car after his swerve had forced him to turn (I could see him in the rear view mirror), but he didn't even bother to look and see if I was OK.  Wanker.  I'm going to hurl.

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Key to World Peace

There are those who say that, to achieve world peace, we'd merely have to put all the warring leaders in one room to have afternoon tea. The key is apparently not tea, however, but walnuts. Observe:

These two have never been what you'd call enemies, but they certainly weren't above taking a swipe at the other's toes when they each had a half of the divided cage and one would walk across the roof of the other's side, and they certainly never seemed fond of each other. We started to catch a glimpse of the power of food in peacemaking scenarios when, one evening, Christian was lying on the bird room floor eating cereal, and each of the birds came down from their respective cages for a bite, and were polite yet distant with each other. However, this is unprecedented. Harmoniousness through food. It's the means to the end of all wars. And I shall provide the walnuts.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hey, you, in the front row...

Yeah, you, the ass-clown in jeans and a t-shirt sitting right in front of me. Do you see what's going on around you? Have you noticed that a large group of people have congregated on stage but have stopped singing and are, oddly, bending at the waist repeatedly in the direction of the audience while making gestures of heartfelt thanks and gratitude? Do you notice that the people seated around you are (hopefully) doing something vigorous with their hands? Yes, they're repeatedly bringing them rapidly together to produce a sound commonly known as a clap, usually used in polite society to express appreciation and respect for job well done. But you're not clapping. Did you not find that we all did a good job? By your slouched posture and back visibly turned towards the stage, I can only assume that you found something lacking in the evening's festivities and feel the need to show your displeasure by behaving in a fashion more suited to a small child recently denied a new toy from the vending machine at Safeway than an adult man who can obviously afford the best seats in the house but just as obviously cannot grasp how to show even the smallest modicum of gratitude for those who just worked their collective asses off to entertain you on this dreary Wednesday evening when they could have been home knitting. Were you dragged here against your will? Did the woman sitting one row behind you to whom you just directed a comment obviously offensive enough to cause her to adamantly shush you with both hands trick you into thinking that you were, in fact, going out for a night on the town with the boys to Dirty Dick's Tavern and One-Stop STD Shop to watch naked Jell-o wrestling while baseball/Nascar/bass-fishing played on the big screen TV behind you and scantily clad toothless waitresses served you $0.99 pitchers of Michelob, only to then have said woman, who must have been driving, turn the corner onto Mercer instead and say, "Oh well, since we're here, we may as well go to the opera?" Well, then I applaud you for making such a brave statement against the oppression of her and opera and all they stand for by putting on your baseball hat before the soprano even made it to the stage and casting around behind and around you for enough audience members who were also rude enough to try and flee before the house lights were brought up to obscure you in your escape attempt, using their great and equally insulting numbers to hide you in their midst. And for you, sir, and those other people, while I appreciate that, at a monster truck rally, your ticket buys you the whole seat but you only need the edge, a ticket for the opera buys you the whole seat because you need the whole plush, endowed, reclining $300 a show seat. Why do I need the entire seat, you ask, in a seemingly innocent manner? So your bourgeois and/or tornado bait buttocks will have a comfy place to repose while you show due deference to the people on stage who have just done what you could never do, even if you were stapled to Joan Sutherland's ass. Go buy a button down shirt, you Bud Light swilling, Camel smoking, Chevy-driving, gun-owning, refuse blanc dill hole who probably doesn't tip in restaurants or bring his wife to orgasm, either.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Gnash gnash, rend rend

I rescheduled my dentist appointment twice as I felt terrible and I just couldn't bring myself to go get scraped with sinuses that felt like they had been filled with lye, and I was punished for it.  I have my very first cavity.  Ever.  Ever ever.  V. depressed.  Thank God my dentist is so good-looking or I'd deeply resent his news.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Astonishing Things

As singing in the chorus is a job, most of the time it's pretty, well, jobbish, job-like, jobesque.  However, there have been one or two times when I realized that, next to being a soloist, it's the coolest job ever.  Tonight, when Larry Brownlee was singing, I really loved my job.  And when he sang the "F" in his final aria, and a woman in the front row had to wipe away tears, I really couldn't imagine being anywhere else.  And I didn't want to set John Relyea's hair in hot rollers, or anything.  Nope, I didn't.  I would never think such things.  And I didn't tell him, or anything.  That might have been creepy.  He just didn't look enough like a Musketeer.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bad girl.

We all have our little failings, right? Yes? Hello?

I am shamefully addicted to yarn and suffer from a physical longing for it that cripples me with drooly lust. But not just any yarn, oh no. It must be hand-dyed sock yarn, that users and pushers describe with words like sumptous and smooshy and delicious and decadent. Yarns that knit up into fantastical stripes and have such a tight twist that they don't need a nylon blend to keep their shape and not wear out. Yarns like this and this and this and this, and this (scroll down) and, especially, this. Sock clubs: 29 days of torture for one day of ecstasy. One hank for one pair of socks or mittens or a scarf or hat. Single skein satisfaction all for the low, low price of my soul.

Friday, April 18, 2008

The price of idiocy.

In the past few days, I've had to fill up both cars as Christian and I have been driving a great deal. Both of us commute to work, me to two jobs and Christian a long way to his one. We also drove to Bellingham to visit the in-laws. Because I felt as though GWB had personally slapped me across the face when I saw the obscene total for filling the Corolla yesterday, which has never cost more than $35 before mid-last year, I thought I would take a little looksee at historical gas prices as reported by the Energy Information Administration.

What I found was that, averaged over all US regions and all formulations of the regular grade of gas, the price between the beginning of the current wretched administration to four days ago has increased 166.93%. We cannot use regular gas because it makes our Corolla engine ping, so this does not quite reflect the increase in price for our useable grade, but the increases are fairly consistent across grades. Because I wanted to be fair and accurately reflect what a oil-control interest can do to an administration, I compared this rate in inflation to the rate of inflation during the Clinton administration, who, as far as we know, had no familial interest in oil price fixation. From 1992-2000 (including the election year, which could have impacted the price because of public perception of impending change), the price of gas increased 22.12%. Yep, a 144.81% difference between the two periods.

Interestingly, the rate of inflation during the Clinton administration was 22%, as well, so the rate of inflation kept pace with the gas prices. Now, the rate of inflation during the current administration is 25%, and we are currently in a period of slow growth. We are watching oil barrel prices increase at a rate that will prevent many Americans from being able to get to work, consequently leading to an even greater reduction in the workforce. Ironically, this hasn't seemed to decrease gas consumption in the largest, most polluting vehicles, as those who can afford SUVs and the like can afford to fill up, so pollution will not be decreased significantly by this change. And reducing car traffic would be fine if the gas prices had increased because of gas taxation where the taxes could be funnelled back into the community and directed towards bettering public transportation. However, because gas-burning public transportation will cost more to operate, using this transportation could become prohibitively expensive for the marginal population in the US who have to budget strictly to survive.

That a president who is so utterly disconnected from his public was elected by people who thought he seemed like a good guy with whom to drink a beer, it seems somehow tragically appropriate that those people can no longer afford to drive to the bar.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hum hum hum hum.

Man, I'm freezing.  How does my skinny neck hold up this huge head?

Keesh moi, dahlink, for I am lofly.

Please, Christian, can I have them?

I disapprove of your photos.

I really have the smoky eye thing down.

My Suri coat brings all the knitters to my corral.




Sunday, April 06, 2008


What a craptastic audition I had yesterday.  Extra breaths, poor phrasing, imperfect high notes, inconsistent God, am I 22 again?  I left the room feeling exactly as I used to when I was young and terrible, like I had just fought a battle against a horde of terrifying enemy using only a feather duster and good intentions.  I honestly thought I was past this stage, the stage where I truly don't feel like I have any skill, not to mention talent.  Not that I'm ever going to burn up the stages with the sheer spectacularity of my voice, but sheesh, some consistency would have been keen.

I think I like knitting so much because, when one is finished with a project, one can look back upon it with pride and pleasure.  No matter what you make in the future, you always have this one lovely thing from the past to remind yourself that you can make something good.  With singing, the past doesn't matter, only what you are doing now and in the future.  I sang well at my last audition but this one, but it couldn't matter less.  Singing is proving over and over that you have what it takes to be together when it's important.  It's actually seeing someone you're auditioning for look impressed at your skill or technique and getting hired because of it.

I didn't get a small part next season at SO, so I'm going to have to look for a different day job that can give me more hours, and that's a hard thing with which to come to terms.  I think I just need to know what the future holds, at least for now, and then maybe these auditions won't hold so much sway over me.  I hope.

Friday, April 04, 2008

No, officer, I'm not hiding a cria in my coat.

I know that I don't have a farm, or a barn, or a backyard big enough, but I really, really want an alpaca. I mean, I can wear a resipirator when feeding or grooming it, and can find a corner in the house for it to sleep in at night, they don't really get that big, and their fiber doesn't contain any lanolin, so I'm not allergic to it. They make nice humming sounds when they're happy or sad or mad or hungry or tired or lonely or in love so they hum all the time and they have really, really soft noses and their fleece can be sent out to be spun into yarn that would keep me happy for a long time, and they can't possibly eat that much and the boys would love them ('cause there's more than one in my imaginatory backyard now) and we could take them on walks around the neighborhood and do halter shows at Alpacapalooza and maybe someday we could have our own alpaca farm and wouldn't that be swell? Wouldn't it?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


After picking the jalapenos off of a Vietnamese sandwich, never blow your nose without washing your hands first, because corporate tissue is useless and your finger will poke right through and the capsaicin under your fingernail will contact your mucus membranes, causing you to get a nose bleed and make your nostril feel as though you just inhaled a large quantity of fire from an acetylene torch that was aimed right at your sinuses, consequently forcing you to dance around your office like a cracked out grinder monkey holding a cold, wet paper towel to the inside of your nose just when your boss comes in to ask about his travel reimbursement. And, you know, that just doesn't send the right message about your reliability as an employee.

Monday, March 31, 2008

McOddison of Weirdsville

I can't explain them, but I wish I could find the deeper meaning of my unrelentingly strange dreams. For example, last night. I shall lay the scene:

There were some earlier parts of the dream that evaporated from my memory as soon as I awoke, like cotton candy on the tongue, but I seem to remember underground passageways and canals of water. From what I clearly remember, I am staying in a large hotel that is also half research laboratory where studies are being conducted on the levels of heaven. I'm myself and then a man, the lead researcher. I suddenly realize that all of the other guests are enormous, big-headed alien cat-people who will eat me if they find me. I'm nervous because everyone else has received a post-it telling them to which level of heaven they are ascending, corporally. I'm hiding behind some drapes when I suddenly see my yellow post-it, telling me that I'm going to level 10, but I don't want to. I want to live, I think, loudly. I dash from my hiding place, out of my hotel suite, where the furniture has suddenly grown to massive, cat-person appropriate size. I run to the staircase, using my passcode to bypass the keypad, and meet up with another fleeing human. We run out of the exit door, and suddenly I'm in the car with Christian, but it's 1955 or so, I'm a femme fatale with a giant, flippy 'do and Christian is a Rock Hudson-esque character. Now, Rock was on Lucy yesterday, so I know where that came from, but huh about the rest of it.

So, we're staying at the beach in the house of a hotel owner, and I'm wondering why I thought big-headed alien cat people were trying to eat me. We're in the car, as I said, and I see that, on the large stretch of sand and grass behind the hotel are hordes of performing cats. I'm now in the lobby of the hotel speaking to the owner and telling her about the people eating giant cats, and we come to the conclusion that I was feeling anxious and the performing cats must have lodged into my subconscious, leading me to believe that I was going to be devoured. Yep, good explanation. Anyway, Christian and I are apparently part of some suspense film in which I've stolen some money and Christian is the fiendishly clever hero who has to fall in love with me and bring me to justice. We spend time in the bar of the hotel, which is inexplicably in the kitchen of the beach house. We get into the car AGAIN and are driving winding, jungly roads and suddenly the "film" we're in ends and we have to log on to a website to see how the mystery ends. Tina is there all of a sudden and she is reading the end of my story to me as I'm sitting at Christian's feet, next to the gangster I defrauded of money who is sitting in front of a screen covered in vines while the ocean rages behind even though I'm then suddenly dressed in an enormous purple hat leading a herd of schoolchildren, because I'm now the meanest beloved teacher in England's Edwardan history. Lost yet? Imagine how I felt when I woke up.