Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Snow Day

Yesterday I found out what it feels like to be the star of a major motion picture. A major action picture.

I am still not completely used to driving in the snow. I grew up in a warmer climate, and although I have lived up north for more than six years, my blizzard driving experience is limited. I decided to drive to work on Monday, in the middle of a snow storm that just deposited 21 inches of snow in our area. The wind was blowing, the plows decided to just skim the surface, but not clear the road entirely, and my tiny, itsy bitsy car headed out. My destination was sixty miles away, but after about 25, I stopped, too scared to go on. I got a call on my cell phone from Scary Supervisor, who told me to go home. (Yay, Scary Supervisor!)

So, Tuesday, once the wind had stopped and the snow was no longer falling, I set off for work again, confident that my drive in would be a cinch. I made it through the drive on Monday, so Tuesday would be great! That was before I took a big swerve to the right and then, overcorrecting, a huge swerve to the right and spun myself around, facing the way I'd just come in the opposite lane. My car slid sideways and I hit the concrete posts that keep unsuspecting, overconfident fools from flying off the side of the road and down the cliff. Only I didn't hit the posts themselves, I hit the snowbank that was piled up against those posts.

I believe that God saved my life yesterday. As I slid towards those posts, I gritted my teeth and waited to be hurt. It took forever to slide over there and when I did stop it was with a tiny tap. Not a scratch on myself or my car.

Of course, I cried the next three miles down the road. I called The Monkey and then couldn't talk. He was almost hysterical, asking if I was okay, what was wrong, should he come get me. I finally choked out that I was okay and told him what happened.

I slowly chugged to work, and when I got there proceeded to bare my bum for an enormous reaming from Scary Supervisor's boss. It seems no one showed up to work on Monday (without permission) and this was not acceptable. Do you think it had anything to do with the fact that the parking lot wasn't plowed and there was no power or heat in our building. Doesn't matter! Bad! Bad!

That aside, I sit here today, limbs intact and grateful to be alive. I almost didn't make it.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas

I got up early this morning to do one more prenancy test. I had this picture in my head of telling my relatives the good news as a final Christmas present.

The first pink line showed up about 10.2 seconds after immersion. I peered over the stick and waiting for any signs of a second line. No second line... Still no second line... In fact, the only thing that happened is that the first line started making noise.

It got louder and louder, until it stood up on the stick and screamed at me. It was yelling so loud I couldn't really make out the words, but I think it was either

LOOSER

or

TRICKED YOU

or

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The Monkey just grinned and said

Well, at least I know I'm getting sex next month.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Is EPT Lying?

I've been feeling poorly all day. A little headache. A little queasiness. I just took an hour nap and didn't feel better when I woke up.

I've never been so happy.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Today The Dog Got A Checkup

And all systems were go.

Thank you, God.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Motherhood

A Two-Fold Discussion


First of all, I am not convinced that EPT is right. I don't have this whole ovulation calendar thing down yet, although I have been spending vast amounts of work-sponsored time on my efforts. I may need to either wait and test in another day or so, or just wait about three more days and see if it's that TOM. (TOM, for all of those of you not in the know, stands for Time Of the Month. This is a more genteel way to say Period or Menstrual Cycle. Pffft. Like I'm genteel.)

I alternate between thinking that my uterus is twinging because of cramps or twinging because of implantation. I can't decide. I know that it will only be a few more days before I find out for sure, but I still feel desperation setting in. It's a feeling of "Oh my God, I'm never going to be able to get pregnant. I'm a failure. People get pregnant on accident. I'm headed for absolute hell." It's a funny feeling, and pervasive in it's attempts to bring me crashing to my knees in tears.


On the other hand


I got a call from my mother yesterday at work. She wanted to know why
"You aren't returning our phone calls!"
I tried to explain that when I listened to my stepfather's message on our phone the night before, The Monkey and I determined it didn't sound like an emergency and was too late to call back. I didn't tell her that I had no intention of calling my stepfather back. I was still feeling a bit pissy. So I talked to her for a minute, and remembered that I loved her.

Today, I sent her an email. Generic in nature, but with some updates that she might find interesting. (Nothing about TTC*, that's for sure.) Maybe that will break the ice enough that we can talk to each other on Christmas with no anger or hurt feelings. Maybe.



*TTC stands for "trying to conceive". I spoke to my mother about my plans last summer, and she advised us to wait. The Monkey was going through a rough time and I think she didn't want me to be burdened with crazy monkey children if he left or I left or killed him or something. A month or so ago, when we were on the phone, I ended up blurting out something like "Oh, and The Monkey and I are going to try and conceive -- uh, have a baby." Then I changed the subject real quick, but there was a marked silence on the other line, and I haven't brought it up again. I'll just wait until something drastic happens one way or another.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

EPT Says No

Bummer.

Monday, December 20, 2004

We Took Him to a Nice Farm in the Country

A few years ago, my Uncle Steve had a rust-colored down jacket. This coat was so distinctive, you could spot him in a crowd. One day, I went down to the basement, and there was Uncle Steve's coat, sitting in the top of the garbage barrel.

Now my Aunt Fay was the only person I have ever known to speak well of my grandfather. Everyone else describes him in words close to "abusive" and "alcoholic". Aunt Fay insists that my grandfather made homemade pancakes from scratch using lots and lots of eggs, and never let a stranger go away hungry or cold. She told me that he brought home a hitchhiker one Thanksgiving, fed him dinner with the family, and sent him off wearing a new coat. She said my grandmother was furious.

Remembering Aunt Fay's story and standing there, looking down at the coat, I felt funny. I asked Steve about the coat and he told me the zipper was broken. I asked him why he didn't just fix the zipper, as the coat was perfectly good. As I remember it, I think he just snorted at me. I told him he should give the coat to Good Will, as it was a perfectly good coat and someone would need a nice puffy coat like that. I think another snort followed.

At this point, I'm feeling seven feet tall on my moral high horse. I badger and whine about the coat and the homeless. Steve finally tells me that he will take care of it and make sure the coat doesn't get thrown away.

It wasn't until years later that I realized he wasn't sincere. I don't know why I've held onto that memory. I do know it's awful cold today and someone doesn't have a coat.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

It's the Hap-Happiest Time of the Year

I have been trying to decide if I'm going to be mad at my mother for over a week now. I still don't know. It is Christmas.

I called her on my way home from work last week. I wanted to tell her about the beautiful photograph that The Monkey's father took of the sunrise over a nearby beach on the morning we got married. For Christmas, he framed it and put a caption underneath the picture that says:

"The first day of our marriage began with a smile from God."

I was so incredibly touched. I mean, who would've thought that a man would think up something like that?

She listened to me explain this gift and then changed the subject. She started with: (paraphrasing mine)
I don't like the stationary you sent your thank you cards on. I had to use scissors to open them.

and then (for she was just warming up):
You're really ungrateful because you didn't mention the cross stich I made for your wedding in the thank you note. You just put it on the wall and didn't say a word. I mean, that photo sounds nice, but I don't think he spent time worrying about which shade of green to use.
(And that last sentence is verbatim).

At the time, I felt really bad. I loved the cross stich, and I really appreciated all the time she put into it. I send out a generalized thank-you (um, to her and about fifty other people too). I didn't want to hurt her feelings.

Then I had time to think about it. You know what? It's jealousy. She can't stand me oohing and ahhing over someone's else's creative efforts.

So. Should I be mad that she's so ungiving and selfish? Should I feel bad because I wasn't grateful enough for her? I can't decide. I avoided her calls and emails for the last week or so.

This morning, she called me up. She wants The Monkey's father's address so she can send him a Christmas Card. Okay. Fine. Then she mentions that she was trying to send out cards to family members first. And
"Oh, yeah. I guess The Monkey's mother is family now. I don't know how I feel about that. Don't tell The Monkey I said that."


Now, I have my own issues with The Monkey's mother (who, by the way, is no longer married to The Monkey's father). But, I still feel protective. Whether my mother likes it or not, she is my family now. And I think I'm really tired of my mother's comments and attitude.

I just haven't decided if I should be mad or not.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Today I Get to Wear My Red Zip-Up Sweater

It's the day for our office Christmas Party. The kind of Christmas Party where you get to pay for your own lunch. And eat with a group of people I generally try to avoid. The only perk is that we get to go home a couple hours early.

Originally, we had a Christmas Breakfast planned. Our division was going to do a Yankee Swap (note: my present was ready to go...). The People In Charge decided that we couldn't have both - despite the fact the office was deprived of a "day away" earlier this year. They decided that we could have the office party, but not the breakfast too. One of the office people suggested another Yankee Swap for the office party. My passive-aggressive nature flared up, and I decided not to participate in their new yankee swap (I already made a brown courdory buckwheat-hull pillow, which is perfect because it's not gender-biased and would be generally desirable). I hope no one brings a gift. I'm also pissed because I have to go to the bank before lunch to get singles so there's no bickering over the bill.

Once I get home, I'm going to make a bundt cake with my beautiful new pan. I'm then going to vacuum the house. This way, hopefully, I won't have too much stress tomorrow, when The Monkey's family is coming over to exchange gifts. I hope to make one more cake tomorrow, which will make one for his mother and one for his sister's family. That, along with the gifts we've stocked up on should be adequate.

We bought a small Norfolk Pine tree instead of putting up our large artifical tree. I threw a red and green table cloth over the end table it's sitting on. That's going to be the extent of my decorating. With the Dog not having the greatest sight, I'm not too interested in setting up an obstacle course for her to run into in all the confusion. I'm also too lazy to deal with putting everything else up. I'll order a few pizzas and The Monkey's mother will bring chicken wings, salad and drinks. That'll be it.

Then I'll be able to concentrate entirely on working on The Monkey's afghan. Oh, how I look forward to the quiet.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Bless You!

One word.

NATTO.

Ahhh, Panera

I am happy to say that my Former Neighbor Co-worker (so named because he used to have an office next to mine) has agreed to indulge my greed for bread and warm soups on a very cold day. It's not everyday that you can get someone to go with you wherever you feel like eating on the spur of the moment.

Oh, wait. That's one of the excellent qualities The Monkey has, and one of the reasons I married him.

Shall it be chowder or Kale soup? Hot buttered baguettes. Oh God, I'm in heaven. AND. It's snowing out. My life is great.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

December is a Lovely Month to Ovulate

The Monkey has named his life-giving fluid SWIMMERS. As in,

Do you want the swimmers tonight?

I think this is a big improvement over his temper tantrum of last month. We've had four or five days of concentrated effort to bring a little monkey into this world. Not all wild, romantic, passionate moments, but well-intentioned anyway.

So that part of Monkey Land is going, dare I say, swimmingly.

Otherwise, the walls of the zoo are crumbling down.

I think I'm having panic attacks. Or anxiety attacks. Or just seeing the hopelessness of reality clearly for the first time. Hard to tell. I have been tempted to call up the old family doctor and ask for a mild sedative. Only problem is that this flies in the face of how I prefer to handle my life. In other words, drug seeking behaviors are best left to wimps and babies. But oh my. I am so overwhelmed with problems at work, guilt from my Mother, inadequacies in regards to Christmas presents and gift giving in general.

I'm having a week where I want to curl up under the covers and refuse to come out. Once again, I repeat, I wish I hadn't used up all my sick time on non-emergencies...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Good Guilt

I ended up having to tell Scary Supervisor my plans for the day. (I mean he was done with his meeting and was just standing there in front of me, what was I supposed to do? Not tell him? Then I'd have to face him tomorrow, knowing I snuck out like a sneaky sneak.)

He was very sympathetic. (This is part of what makes him scary - I'm unsure of how he's going to react to any given situation.) He exclaimed about the money. He exclaimed about the endless trips and surgeries. He mentioned that it might be time to stop.

I had a chance to ask Former Supervisor (whom I love) if she wanted my lunch, as I wouldn't be needing it. (No, not me. Nothing nutritious in this body, thank you. I'll just drive through Burger King instead). She declined, and asked about my plans. She commiserated and asked:

"Who are you doing this for?"

FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET JESUS! It's not like I feel bad enough! Now to add on to the sadness, depression and fear about this whole situation, I can drop a huge helping of guilt to the picture. I mean, hey! She's my child and wouldn't you do anything to help your child?

I don't know why that doesn't make me feel better.



Good Grief

Back to the city far, far away. Infection this time. Not to make everything me, me, me, but I am not dealing well with this. I'm feeling the need to curl up in bed and pull the covers over my head.

I have to leave work early to take Dog back in. I asked Not-So-Scary Supervisor if I could bail, using the lame excuse that Scary Supervior was already in his meeting, so I couldn't ask him.

I don't know what is worse, going back to the vet's or spending time with a very stressed Monkey...

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Everybody Poops

But come on...

A newspaper?

In the women's room?

Gross.

Monday, December 06, 2004

post. script.

Psychic Lesbian co-worker remembered my plans to put up the Christmas tree this weekend.

She asked how it went.

She comiserated about Dog.

She promised to pray for her.

I think I'm officially a creep.

Weekend Revisited


Friday
5:30 pm: Arrive home and look at dog. Dog looks bad. Drive Dog to city far, far away for emergency care.

7:30 pm: Arrive at emergency care center for sick Dogs.

9:30 pm: Dog is seen by vet who has no experience with eye issues. Vet calls our optomologist who offers suggestions. Dog is admitted for the night.

11:30 pm: Arrive home and fall asleep three hours after normal bed time. Bed is notably cold without Dog to warm us.


Saturday
9:00 am: Write out 40 Christmas cards and include new copies of non-rhino-sized-bride photos.

10:00 am: Run. Work Biceps. Work Triceps.

11:00 am: Make banana bread, despite best intentions to avoid baked sweets.

11:30 am: Speak with optomologist who recommends we lance Dog's eye with a needle, as previous interventions have not been effective. Try hard to keep banana bread down.

4:00 pm: Leave to pick up Dog from city far, far away.

5:00 pm: Stop at McDonald's to pick up Egg Nog Milk Shake and Chicken McNuggets to tide us over for the ride.

7:00 pm: Return home with marginally visual Dog and take-out Chinese food for Dinner #2. Flatly refuse to put up Christmas Tree.

9:00 pm: Fall into bed in MSG induced coma. Dog providing welcome warmth.


Sunday
9:00 am: Skip running. Do step tape instead.

10:00 am: Watch Dog run around yard with ease. Remain hopeful she has some sight left.

11:00 am: Start baking first of 150+ cookies made in the Monkey kitchen.

11:45 am: Eat aforementioned cookies.

12:00 pm: Laundry. Grocery Store. Blech.

2:00 pm: Work on Christmas afghan and watch Remains of the Day with Dog as companion.

5:15 pm: Order pizza for dinner, ignoring refrigerator full of food purchased less than 5 hours ago.


Monday (not technically still weekend, but...)
8:00 am: Argue with The Monkey over who takes the Dog in for a recheck with the optomologist. The Monkey looses.

11:00 am: Arrange with The Monkey for the Dog to return to the city far, far away for laser surgery tomorrow.

And the week has only just begun...

Friday, December 03, 2004

fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck

It's almost 5:00, or as we call it here: "quittin' time". Hungry as usual, I called The Monkey to see what we were doing for dinner.

Expecting to hear Wok and Roll, I was very surprised when he told me the dog's eye is messed up. Our dog optomologist (yes, optomologist) has changed vet clinics and The Monkey can't get in touch with anyone to help us. Another two hours without intervention and she could loose the sight in her remaining eye.

The Monkey called back. He found the optomologist who wants us to get the Dog to our old clinic ASAP. The Monkey says she looks terrible and he doesn't think she can see at all. You wouldn't believe how much work has gone into saving this eye...



Deck The Halls

I have lofty plans for this weekend.

I want to get my wonderfully large and pre-lit Christmas Tree set up and my Christmas cards sent out. My mother-in-law bought us, at our request, an artifical tree from Sears about three years ago. I was tired of spending an extra $60 at Christmas time, and I just hate slaughtering innocent greenery. It usually takes two hours to set the whole thing up; you have to position each branch (A) in it's color coded slot (B) and stay out the of way of angry Monkey swearing (C) while singing to Christmas Carols (D). If A+B+C+D= your afternoon, then its a great day! If you can't manage C, then you might as well stay in bed.

I try to be one of the first to send out cards each year. This year, I decided the first weekend in December was a good goal. Plus, I've already gotten two cards, so I am assuredly not the first. I decided to include a wedding picture for those we didn't invite to the actual event. I felt bad about copying our photographer's pictures on the Photomaker at CVS, so last night I made copies of pictures taken by a friend. I didn't look at them very closely before I had the machine print out 15 copies. Once I got home, I realized that I looked like I had fat girl boobs, a deviated tricep and forty extra pounds. (Actually tricks of light and a vintage dress.)

I don't think so.

The Monkey, of course, isn't happy about paying for more pictures, but I. REFUSE. TO. LET. PEOPLE. SEE. ME. FAT. I know the minute I send them out, they will get into the hands of trolls who haven't seen me in years and who will pity poor Other Monkey for letting herself go. She used to be so cute! The HORROR.

So add to my list of things to do:

  1. Go to CVS and make more copies of a different picture. (Note to self, go without The Monkey so I can take as long as I want and spend as much as I want.)
  2. Refuse to go to the market to get extra ripe bananas to make a magnificant banana bread. I am not going to submit to the pressures of Christmas baking on a daily basis. I must show some restraint. Plus, the chocolate cake was just polished off.
  3. Go grocery shopping and stock up on healthy food so that the family of Monkeys won't have to eat dinner out every night. IT IS NOT OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP OLIVE GARDEN OPEN.
  4. Go for a run and work those aforementioned triceps. Go for another run, as I was waylayed by a sleep decifict yesterday and didn't get downstairs and so I'm one workout short for the week. Workout biceps too, if you get the chance.
  5. Consider, carefully, making an eggnog bundt cake. Consider it again.

Aren't the holidays grand?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Obsession D'Jour

The Christmas season has come. And I couldn't be happier! I'm not normally a Holiday Spirit kinda gal, but this year, I just can't get enough!

My first love this year is gingerbread cookies. I found a great recipe and an even better cookie cutter. The two were destined to come together in a profound way. I made two dozen snowflakes on Saturday and there's only one left. That's a lot of cookies for a three day period. I can't wait to make more! I've been looking at eBay almost non-stop (work? what work?) trying to find a gingerbread man that I can love. I smell those warm spices in my kitchen already! And the best part? The Monkey doesn't like them! For once, they are MINE, ALL MINE. (He doesn't like Oreos either. This just confirms he's perfect. More for ME!)

My second love (not secondary, however) is bundt cake. Crate and Barrel has really pulled me in with this one and now I'm totally obsessed. I bought a bundt cake cookbook (oh yes I did) and this weekend, in addition to the gingerbread cookies, I made a chocolate pound cake and an apple strudel cake. The time that I haven't spend looking for cookie cutters, I've spent looking at this and this and this. I wake up thinking about bundt cake and go to sleep wishing the pans didn't cost so much. I think I would make cake non-stop if I could. The Monkey would obligingly eat it for me; I only want to stay home and bake.

I'm going to give people cakes for Christmas this year. I don't care if it will make them fat. I don't care if it makes me fat. (Okay, yes I do, but remember, I'm running!) Don't you want a sugar-dusted, moist and fudgey, melt-in-your-mouth bite right now?

I know you do.