Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NOT ME! But somebody got a positive HPT!!!

Check out what Stephanie got in the evening of 13DPO. Methinks there's more than one!!

Congrats, girlie! YAYYYYYYY!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Do you shop for entertainment purposes? I never thought I did, but these last two weeks I have been trying not to spend anything apart from the occasional lunch (and yes, that parking charge and Starbucks from Saturday), because of the old bank balance situation, and I've realized that I really did waste a lot of time shopping.

I mean, I wasn't one to troll the malls every weekend, far from it. It was never my first choice of something to do. But, you know, I might find myself there on a random weekend day, telling myself that I needed some new work pants, or something. And then I might end up browsing through handbags and perfume as well. Or I might find myself in Old Navy looking at t-shirts. Hell, even a quick trip to CVS for some aspirin might turn into a leisurely perusal of the moisturizer aisle. Or, the worst offender of the lot, I might find myself in Barnes & Noble. Which is disastrous for the wallet. More often, though, I'd head to the supermarket. Yes, I grocery shop for entertainment. You see, it's not like I don't have kitchen cabinets full of food, but instead of digging around and finding that falafel mix that was about to go out of date, or the frozen veggies that have been gathering freezer burn for a while, I'd tell myself I need more fresh vegetables or that I was about to run out of pasta (disaster!) and off I'd go, getting tasty little tidbits and interesting food items to try. At least with the grocery store you can tell yourself you are not being frivolous. That it's a chore. A necessity.

It gives you something to do, gets you out of the house, gives you a few minutes or more of time spent quietly looking at things. And then the thrill of finding a must-have or a new item and forking over the credit card. It can be quite an entertaining way to pass time. Now, of course, I'm sure I'd feel differently about grocery shopping if I had a rambunctious three year-old in tow. I'm sure then it can be a hideous nightmare - but one I'd gladly swap (most of the time) for any chance to buy organic goat cheese and cranberry spread on my own.

I admit, I thought I was better than people who were addicted to shopping. I was not one of those people who go out and buy so many designer clothing items that they can't afford or who sits and compusively dials a home shopping channel, I thought. But really, it's all a matter of degree, isn't it? I mean, how many falafel mixes does a person really need? How many t-shirts should a person have cluttering up her dresser? Actually forcing yourself not to go and take part in these activities can be eye-opening.

Hello, my name is Sarah and I'm addicted to shopping.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Volunteering fail

I never did register anyone to vote yesterday. I got there 15 minutes early, paid my $5 parking fee and boldly marched in expecting to find a few voter registration types setting up a table near the door. I figured they'd be happy to have me there early to help out and that I'd be all super keen and register a ton of people. Only there wasn't anyone there that looked suitable.  I went up to the convention registration table, but no-one there had any idea that there were supposed to be any voter registration types. They suggested I walked around to see if I could find them.

I did. I couldn't. 

I talked to people with event staff t-shirts, I talked to the convention center staffers. I talked to pretty much anyone who was an adult and wasn't wearing an attendee badge for the other convention that was going on in the convention center at the time (Christians in Action - now there was a bit of a visual contradiction - teenagers and young adults walking around in full costume or in black, scowling and generally being angst-ridden and alternative, and people walking around with kids in matching khakis-and-white-shirts get-ups looking all squeaky clean and Christian. Not exactly two groups of people that mesh well together, methinks.)

Eventually, after a good 45 mins or so of looping around the convention center asking anyone if they knew where the voter registration volunteers were supposed to be, checking back in with the front desk on a regular basis, being sent off to the second floor, no, try the first floor, and generally getting pissed off, one of the event staffers told me that he'd spoken to Lynn (Lynn? Who?) who said that they HAD requested a voter registration group, had filled out all the forms, and that nothing had arrived, so some people had gone off to get all the necessary materials like the registration forms, and would be back at some point. And that there were a few other volunteers like me also wandering around looking for the desk. I sat down for a while, thinking I'd just wait for the damn people with the damn forms. Then I got up and spoke to the front desk people again, in case anyone had snuck in without my noticing but no, the front desk people said they hadn't and that I may as well go away and come back later.

Given that I didn't want to pay the parking fee again I went across the street to Starbucks so I could sit down and rest my aching back, but couldn't help myself getting more and more pissed off at the bad organization. And feeling that I'd feel like a bit of a fool going up to kids who'd seen me walking around like 10 times already looking lost. But, I figured it was my duty, I'd volunteered, and I'd just get out there and do it. So I duly walked back over to the convention center, made one more loop around everything, still couldn't find the fuckers (and at that point, I'd been hanging around for 1 hr and 50 minutes) and finally stomped off in a huff to go home and have some lunch.

There. That was my brilliant volunteering attempt. Not exactly a successful day!

But it was kind of fun seeing the costumes. And that self-conscious way kids have of walking around hoping everyone will notice them but equally hoping that nobody will notice them. Some of them looked really good even though I didn't recognize the characters, although some looked familiar. 

Not so fun noticing the real misfits who presumably latch on to anything like that just so their weirdness will somehow blend in (only of course it doesn't really). Two of the attendees I saw there reminded me of people I have come across over the years who just use a cover of an "alternative" lifestyle as a ruse for being upsetting and behaving badly towards others. It was not a nice moment recognition for me. And they seemed to be older than the majority too - I'd guess mid- to late-twenties rather than late teens to early-twenties. Oh well, I guess it takes all sorts to make the world and we can't protect kids from everyone. Not that these people were doing anything wrong, I hasten to add. I would have done something if they had been. It's just that, well, there's that malevolent or unsettled energy about them that I recognized. It didn't sit well with me. Most of the kids were just sweet, though, even though I'm sure they'd be horrified to be described as such!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Moving right along

Anonymous, I pity your kid(s), I really do. I hope you deal with them with more empathy than you show here. I know this is the innernets and all, and you are allowed to say any old whack thing you like, so whatevs. But I hope you have more decency to the people in your real life.

Anyhoo. Here we are. I am not doing an insem this month, nor have I done anything with my eggs for three months. Except jump start a cycle after 2 months, but that wasn't necessarily an egg/insem issue. Sure, it had something to do with wanting my cycle regular again, but I hope that you realize that I have not exactly been jumping up and down with fear over "losing" a month of precious time. That's because I am not, in fact, obssessed.

Sorry, where was I? I did start this by saying "moving right along" and then proceeded not to.

I'm going to an anim.e convention tomorrow! Whoo! Not to actually attend or pretend any real interest in anim-e or even to hang out with the kids, but to volunteer at a voter registration drive at said convention. I figure now I am all hip with interracting with my fellow community college kids, I can easily stand there and badger a few hundred of them to find out if they've registered to vote. Of course, half of the attendees may be high schoolers, but hey. The big question of the day is what to wear, though, so I don't stand out like a complete idiot. I'm thinking lots of black, seeing as I don't have any graphic t-shirts with my favorite character printed on it. I hope I don't just look like someone's chubby middle-aged mom so that they all steer clear. Chubby 30's older cousin is fine...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Worrying at a hangnail

Oh! Hey! Anonymous is back! It's my lucky day.

Yes, you could do monthly IUI cycles with your eggs (haven't you gone through hundreds of eggs already?), 'cause it's definitely not more than money and time to waste and if you have them both in excess, go for it.

Or you could actually put your money and time towards something with actual odds that are better than zero and go for a donor egg cycle.

Recipe: If you want to keep getting what you've always gotten, keep doing what you've always done.

I'm kind of like a hangnail to you, aren't I, Anonymous? You hate it, you wish it would go away, and yet you just can't help yourself picking at it. Or perhaps I'm a trainwreck that you just can't stop rubbernecking at.

Every time I mention doing a few home insems (not IUI's by the way - they are different and require a doctor - a home insem is an ICI, or more realistically knowing my dexterity, an IVI) or maybe not giving up on my own eggs, here you are, banging on at me to do a donor egg cycle. I wonder, what do you say to couples who have failed a few IVF cycles? Do you tell them never to have unprotected sex again because it's pointless? What do you say to women who do become pregnant naturally after IVFs? That they must be lying and that they could not possibly have conceived without DE?

Yes, I've gone through hundreds of eggs already. But, here's the thing about eggs - using up eggs doesn't affect the ones you have left. The ones you have left are affected by time and chromosomal damage, sure, but having one bad egg (or a hundred) does not guarantee that the next one will be bad. 

Do I have money and time to waste? Well, sure, I do, actually. If you bothered to read my blog, you'd realize that I am now going to college in order to change my career. This means that I can no longer take time off whenever I feel like it to go have a transfer or (more likely) travel to S. Africa or somewhere for a cycle. So it means that logistically, a DE cycle most probably isn't going to happen until after I have finished college. More than three years from now. As for the money aspect, a home insem with that bank that delivers to your house will run me about $350 a shot. Would I do one every month for the next three years? No, of course not, that would be a colossal waste of money. Am I planning another IVF with my own eggs? No, of course I'm not. I even agree with you that that is pretty damn pointless. But would I do 3 or 4 home insems just to give my old eggs another go to see if they can produce a pregnancy without all the stresses of meds and IVF cycles, while waiting for the timing to be right to do a DE cycle? Sure, I might just do that. Is it in fact doing what I've always done? No, it's not. I've never done home insems before.  So you never know, maybe doing that in a relaxed fashion might actually make a difference. 

So, yet again, dear Anonymous, thank you for your "concern" about my cognitive abilities. I don't think I'm insane. And your communication style of beating me over the head with your "facts" is never going to change my mind to your way of thinking.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kind of giddy

So, today is cycle day 1. Which means that last cycle was a normal length with a normal LP, normal EWCM at roughly the right time, and normal everything. And today was all nice and...normal. No spotting beforehand, nice red flow, and all that. Now, of course, it'll probably degenerate into clots and brown gunk shortly, but hey, at least it started off well.

Which all has me thinking that maybe if things have regulated (finally!) since being off the meds, that maybe, just maybe, I should resurrect the home insem plan. And some whining from a certain blogger (you know who you are!) that I just need to get on with it has helped too.

I'm thinking therefore that I might even buy some OPKs this cycle, just to see when things are really happening. And possibly sign up with that bank that ships to your house, in case I want to play around with a can of goodies next month.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall weather report

On the radio this morning, said with a wry chuckle:

The high temperature will "only" get to the mid- to high- eighties today. It is fall now, after all.

Yes, indeed. It is fall now, after all, and our temperatures have finally dropped out of the nineties every day.  We're all quite deliriously excited that we can detect the first, very faint cooling in the weather in the form of marginally less disgusting heat and humidity. 

Oh to live in the mountains somewhere...

Monday, September 22, 2008

She's crazy!

Word from Stephanie:

Here's the scoop:
6 of twelve arrested at some point.
3 of the remaining 6 were grade 3 blasts that the clinic doesn't freeze.

2 of the remaining 3 are grade one blasts.
The last one is a grade one expanded blast.
We transferred all 3!! Yikes!

But, I couldn't very well come all the way back here for one remaining blast. So, we tossed 'em all in. Easy peasy transfer. Progesterone a bit low so, we're adding injections (after some doing, that is!).

Hopefully, we've got babies on board! :-)

Oh my! 3 DE blasts!

Good luck Stephanie!! (and DH!)

It's transfer day over in the CR! There's no information on the embryos until they get to the clinic (and as I type they should be there right now, getting ready) but I hope there are lots of excellent quality blasts to choose from. And hopefully some left over that can be frozen for a sibling. Or two.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Let's talk TV

So, I'm guessing the new fall shows are on by now? What are you watching? What is good?

My TV is on the fritz. And has been for quite some considerable time. Well, actually, it's not my TV, it's my HDTV receiver box. See, I have an HDTV that doesn't have a built in receiver for broadcast TV, so I have to have a separate box to pick it up. Much like you have to have a cable or satellite TV box, but I refuse to pay for TV so I am all about the broadcast channels. Nowadays, I believe that all HDTVs have to come with a built in receiver for broadcast signals, but back when I bought my TV, they didn't. And as you can imagine, it's not a big market - those people that have older HDTVs but who don't also have a cable or satellite box, so the boxes that are out there are crap. I've looked for a new one but am having trouble finding one. I currently have two receiver boxes, each of which routinely breaks down for some reason or other, so I swap them over every now and then (they seem to recover after a few months of not being plugged in). But it's not an ideal viewing experience. The one I've been using had been doing good for nearly a year, and when it started futzing out in August, I just unplugged it for a few weeks, and didn't watch TV (I kept watching a few DVDs though), and it worked again. Sweet. I didn't miss anything because there was nothing on, apart from the Olympics which didn't bother me. But then it froze up again. So I've been entirely without TV when I could be checking out the new shows. I am watching The Daily Show on the internet, and that's about it. I've been far too lazy to dig out the other receiver box and switch it over.

What am I missing? Is it time to buy a new TV and get with the rest of society? Be truthful - is there anything really good on? Or, given that I've got used to reading at night, should I count myself lucky that I've got out of the habit?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Czech Update!

I forgot to post! Stephanie reported that they had 15 eggs retrieved and 12 fertilized! Woohooooooo.

Thank you!

Ahhh, so it's the variability thing. I knew you guys would fill me in.

There is, of course, variation in colleges in the UK. Perhaps not so much as here, but it's fairly widespread, nonetheless. And we don't have any private universities at all, so that's kind of a foreign concept to me. I went to a good school although I see in the current rankings it has slipped somewhat from the days when I went there even though the entry standards are still fairly high. It wasn't top tier, but second (or maybe third, depending on your point of view) tier. So my experience there would not directly correspond with the experience here, as it might have done if I'd gone to a lower ranking university. And I'd forgotten that the experience there is variable too.

And of course, I expected the local community college to be pretty easy. That's why I'm going there - to just get this requirement for general ed. credits out of the way with as little expense, time and effort as possible. It's just the level of easiness that has shocked me.

Anyhoo, this has got me thinking. If I ever do have a kid, what do I do about college education for them? I had this plan that I'd get the state prepaid college plan, and encourage them to go off to UF in G.ainesville which is probably the better in-state college (or somewhere similar of their choosing). If they didn't want to go there, fine. If they wanted to go to an out-of-state public school or a private school (whether in-state or out-of-state), they'd be mostly responsible for scolarships, etc, to make up the difference in tuition amounts. [I was also planning on partially funding a 529 plan to help with such differences and/or graduate school, but not telling them about it until the last minute.]

But now I'm thinking this plan might be a crock of shit (ignoring the whole "I might not have a kid" concept). If where you go to school has such a huge impact on your quality of education, should one perhaps be aiming for private schools all along? Or on one of the really good out-of-state public schools?

Thursday, September 18, 2008


So, talk to me about the quality of U.S. education, particularly at community colleges.  As you may know, I have to pick up a few general education credits before I can go to acu school, because I didn't do any for my degree. Different country, different system.

Now, way back when, in the dim and distant past, I remember people saying at my university that a British bachelor's degree was equivalent to a U.S. master's degree. Because we just spend three years on one subject, and don't do any general ed. stuff so we go much more in-depth into the subject. At the time, I thought it was probably just us making ourselves feel better, and excusing ourselves for only taking 3 years to get a degree, and not 4, and that probably the extra year in the U.S. made up the difference. Now I'm left wondering if perhaps it was right after all.

I asked a work buddy about the level of academic achievement, and she basically blew off community colleges as not being the real college experience. And sure, I think they probably do a lot more hand-holding and it is probably more of a half-way house experience between high school and university. But, here's the thing that is bothering me - if community college gives you an AA degree, which exempts you from the first two years at university, then you must be going in to the third year at university on the same academic footing as your peers that are doing all four years at the same place. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to transfer because all community college students would flounder once they got into the "big" college. So it must be comparable.

I have to say it, though. This shit is easy.  I am talking maybe O Level standard, for those that know what that is. In other words, what I did at the age of 15 and 16, and certainly not what I would think of as college level. In fact, we are drafting an essay for my English writing class, and it's been through various drafts and peer reviews as well as a language lab review. And I am dumbing it down because everyone seems disturbed that I am critiquing the thing we are writing about. Aren't we supposed to be critiquing? Isn't that what college is about? Otherwise it's a freakin' grade school project.

But, mostly I want to post here about my government class. We did the first exam on Tuesday. 40 multiple choice questions and 10 fill-in-the-blanks. Now, first of all, no college course in my day would have ever, EVER used multiple choice. They were strictly all essay-type questions. An "A" was anything above 70%, to which my US colleagues have said "but how do you differentiate between those that get 70 and those that get 95?" But the point was, nobody got 95. The questions were set up to be really fucking challenging, and if you were getting 95, they probably pulled you out of class and sent you to Oxford at the age of 14 or something. 

So, we do this test. It's on three chapters of the book. It involved regurgitating things we have either read in the book or been told about in class. No original thinking required. No opinions needed. Nothing. Just regurgitation. Not only that, we had an hour and 15 minutes to do 50 questions. I finished in 15 minutes, and spent another 15 painstakingly double-checking my answers just to waste some time. That would hardly ever have happened in my day, as we were always up against a major time crunch in exams.

I get into class this morning, and to my surprise everyone else was grousing about the test. Everyone. There were so many complaints about how hard it was, how it included all these things they didn't know about, how it was so unfair. I didn't quite believe my ears. Que?

The teacher (I hesitate to call them professors, or the classes lectures because...well, they are teachers) handed our tests back so we could discuss them. She said the average score was 61%. Sixty-one! And the scores ranged from 30 to 99. [Bonus points for guessing who got the 99...]

I don't understand. It wasn't a hard test by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe they just all didn't prepare enough (although it's an exam, it goes towards your grade, why wouldn't you prepare?) Maybe they were unprepared for how hard a college level exam was going to be (although the class is a mixture of freshmen and those about to graduate). I just. don't. get. it. 

Is it true that community colleges are just not as good academically as real universities? Is it just pointless to expect any critical thinking to be needed for the first two years? Am I on a different planet from the rest of them? And it shouldn't even be a function of me being super-smart or anything - some of this government shit should have been covered by them in high school - I should therefore be at a disadvantage, and like I said, it was just regurgitating facts which most people of average or above-average intelligence should be able to do with a little bit of studying.  

Example question: How many members* are there in the U.S. Congress? (a) 435, (b) 535, (c) 100, (d) 50. Now, unless you'd covered it a week previously, you might not remember off the top of your head that there are 435 representatives and 100 senators, making a total of 535. You might also forget that "Congress" means both the Senate and the House of Representatives. But it's well within the reach of everyone in the class. [*I may not have this word exactly right, but it was something innocuous like that.]

What am I not seeing here? Is this truly college-level stuff?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Love this!

Treehugger has a post about the Japanese food pyramid here.

I've got to say that it's the first time one of these things has actually made a lot of sense to me, and could actually fit in with the way I eat. In fact, I love it so much that I printed it out and hung it on the wall, and am going to try to follow it. This could be my new healthy eating plan.

A 24-page pdf is here. Page 1 is a better view of the pyramid - or, actually an inverted pyramid that's in the form of a spinning top. Page 2 shows calorie allowances and how you'd vary the serving amounts, but for women aged 18-69 it allows 2200 calories plus or minus 200. I guess the plus or minus depends on height and how active you are. Page 5 shows what constitutes a portion, like half an apple, or that an average size piece of meat or fish is two portions. Sadly, all the text is in Japanese and I don't speak Japanese, but it's very pictorial and the Treehugger page gives a little bit of explanation.

Edited to add: I found an English version here.

Essentially it's saying:

Get most of your liquid from water and tea.
Have 5-7 servings of grains a day - e.g. a slice of bread, a small portion of rice or noodles.
Have 5-6 servings of veggies a day.
Have 3-5 servings of protein a day - e.g. meat, egg, fish, tofu.
Have 1-2 servings of dairy produce a day.
Have 1-2 servings of fruit a day.

Alcohol, sweets and coffee should be had only in moderation.

I mean - yesss! It makes so much sense! We shouldn't be gorging ourselves on fruit because they are high in sugar, so I like how they've separated out the fruit and veggie allowance. I hardly ever manage to have 3 servings of dairy a day, but I can often manage 1 or 2. The protein suggestion is much lower than the US version which was always unattainably high for me and I wasn't sure it was even necessary.

The Czech update

Stephanie says:

Anyway, everything you said that you wish wouldn't happen did. Turbulence? Check. Really hard times on the train? Check. Comfortable bed to sleep in? No check. It's all just Czech! LOL The bed is hard and has this very odd rough terry fitted sheet on it. Very odd.

But, today was our retrieval day!! Everyone else (2 other couples) had to wait an extra day for stims but, ours did so well that she did her retrieval as scheduled. Today, we had to wait 1.5 hours for the wankatorium because some guy from the US whose wife just had her ER couldn't get the job done. He came out of the room sweaty and nervous and was pacing up and down. Oh dear. Eventually, he decided to go back to the hotel to see if that would help. Who knows what happened after that! Anyway, DH had no trouble.

Now, it's just the wait for the fert report which will come in the afternoon here tomorrow.

Hooray! Retrieval already! I hope they get a great fert report.

As for me, just plodding along. Still getting over the cold I caught last week - I seemed to have turned into a snot factory lately, but oh well. I'm slowly adjusting to the new schedule, but haven't done any exercise since I started college, really. I've just been too tired, so that's my big thing for this week - to at least get back to walking and do some cycling even if I don't think I'm up for jogging. And running a half-marathon? Uh, let's just say that's looking highly unlikely at this point.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Good thoughts wanted

I wonder if you could beam some good thoughts for me towards Europe? If you can spare some, that is!

My dear local infertili-buddy Stephanie has just traveled to the Czech Republic to start her DE cycle. I am sending so many positive vibes every day in the hopes that this will finally work! I hope she'll email me updates and let me post them, because I am excited and want everyone to be up-to-date. And who knows, I may even get to babysit one or two times, if I prove myself trustworthy.

My brother has just been made redundant/laid off. It wasn't exactly a bolt from the blue, as we knew his company was in financial trouble, but my bro' is not one to plan ahead. Instead, he lives pretty much from paycheck-to-paycheck and I know he hasn't got anything saved up for a rainy day. He's also lost his car as it was a company car, so he's now stuck without transport and is planning on using his small reduncancy/severance payout to buy a new (well, used - new to him) car. So here's hoping he finds a good job quickly so he doesn't end up defaulting on his mortgage or anything and regretting spending that cash (though I'm no longer up on how the unemployment stuff works in the UK these days, so I don't know if he'll qualify for housing help or anything).


Did anyone see the SNL clip of Tina Fey doing Pa.lin? She nailed it. Right on, sista!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

On politics

Calliope has been encouraging us to talk about politics. I wouldn't normally say much on here because, well, this isn't a politics blog. But I think I will take her lead and run with it, because I think the time has come. 

First of all, the New York Times has been running some amazing opinion pieces lately. Check them out  here here here here here here and finally here. Yes, OK, you might have to register to read all of them, but it's free, and I promise they don't bombard you with email or anything. Otherwise, you should be able to read one or two (maybe even three) without registration. Anyhoo, thank you New York Times and others for questioning the McCain campaign.

So, on to what I think. When you look at the historical roots of the parties, and I'm going to turn to the Republican party in particular, it has many different and sensible ideas that definitely appeal. The desire for a small government, capitalist economic theories, the wish to mostly keep the government from interfering with business, the desire to balance the budget. All that is good and are policies that I mostly support. I could have been a Republican at one time. In fact, back in the dim and distant past, I voted for Margaret Thatcher in my very first election that I was eligible to vote in. I am all for fiscal conservatism. However, when I look at the current Republican party, I can't see any of that at all. Bush has run up a giant deficit based on his war spending. There is no fiscally conservative thinking going on at all, as far as I can see, as all his policies seem to be about cutting taxes while at the same time paying out billions and billions of dollars to the military. And McCain seems to want to do exactly the same. I'm sorry, George and John, but the war has to be paid for somehow, and cutting taxes while increasing spending and not worrying about where the money is coming from is just plain wrong. It is setting us up for economic disaster if nobody gets it under control soon.

However, what is much more worrying to me is the way that the Republican party has morphed into a two-issue party (well, maybe a three-issue party - what is it, guns, gays and abortion?). First is abortion and moral values. Since when is it conservative to look into my private life and try to prevent me from having an abortion? It's not. It's intervention by government into my life, which the original conservatives were against. In any case, a ban on abortion will not prevent abortions from happening. We know this is true because they used to happen all the time before they were legalized. And what happened? Women died. Women died going to backstreet abortionists. Isn't the life of a productive member of society more important than any hypothetical need to save the innocent? Nobody wants abortion to happen, ever. But they do. To me, it seems that we need to make contraception readily available to anyone who wants it. We should not be advocating abstinence-only eduction - sure, abstinence should be a part of sex education, but if we want to prevent abortions, we would do much better making sure unwanted pregnancies don't happen in the first place. Including easy access to the "morning after" pill by the way - if there's one thing that repeated IVFs has taught me, it's that while an embryo may be technically alive right after fertilization, if it doesn't implant, it ain't going nowhere. Let's put aside our concerns about "life beginning at conception" and say that if we really want to reduce the rate of abortions, let's let women easily take a pill once they've had unprotected sex or a condom accident or whatever - knowing that, yes, a percentage of viable embryros will be prevented from implanting but also knowing that that is better than an abortion at 8 weeks or whatever. However, even then, accidents happen - no contraceptive method is 100% reliable. I would rather keep women alive than prevent safe, legal access to abortions. You don't know what it's like to be in that situation until it happens, but we should all have the right to choose, in my view. But, why oh why, has this become a defining issue for the Republican party? It should have nothing to do with a conservative ideology. It's the influence of the evangelical Christians, and sorry, but I thought we were supposed to have a separation of church and state. I'm sure those same people would hate ME to impose my moral/religious values on them - I'd have you all giving up eating meat, for a start and taking on a more Buddhist respect for life. Why should they get to impose their moral/religious values on me? And don't even get me started on capital punishment. So many of these "pro-life" people are pro the death penalty and pro hunting. Why? I have no earthly idea. Until you can show me that 100% of the people on death row are unequivocally guilty AND that the death penalty is a real deterrent, I don't think that we should have it. And in any case, aren't we supposed to be judged at the pearly gates? What gives us the right to enforce the ultimate punishment of taking someone's life away? Personally, I think if you are pro-life, you should be pro-life in all of it's forms, including animals and yes, criminals. 

Moving on to moral values. This is another hot button issue for me. Since when is it moral to deny two loving people the right to marry one another? I find it more moral to want to help the poor by providing a social safety net like unemployment payments, free access to healthcare for those who can't otherwise afford it, a basic retirement pension, and free education. Since when are those not moral values? Why has the term "moral values" been co-opted to mean hatred? And besides, none of us know - TRULY know - what God's plan is for the world. I believe that God (universe, whatever) had a hand in making every single one of us. If God made people gay, then he/she/it must have a good reason for it.

The environment is another huge issue for me. We are at a tipping point in society, I think. We can invent our way out of trouble, find better renewable energy sources and stop polluting the fuck out of the planet, or we can cling to the old ways and just try to drill more. And have you even seen the charts showing how much extra oil we'll get by drilling more? It's a marginal difference, at best. I really think that we are going to be facing serious issues with global warming, sea level rises, limited access to clean water, food shortages, etc. These are fundamental issues affecting the safety and security of our country and they MUST be addressed. We have reached crisis point and while initially McCain was paying lip service to environmental considerations, those seem to have gone completely out of the window lately.

And foreign policy? Since when has the school bully done well in the popularity stakes? We are essentially the school bully of the world, and nothing Palin or McCain is saying is easing my mind about whether they are going to try more diplomacy than Bush did. I find it a much more worrying time for national security than in the past - if most other countries in the world hate us, it seems to me that our national security is under much more threat than if we were thoughtful, considerate neighbors who were setting a good example in the diplomatic world. Being cowboys or moose-hunters does us no good at all.

I could go on, but this post is long enough already. The McCain campaign is spreading lies about the Obama campaign, and getting away with it.  They should be called to task. Oh, and since when does being supposedly ethical make you a maverick or a reformer? Aren't they effectively saying that the rest of their party are all unethical sleazebags?  Frankly, the only one that can bring change and reform is Obama, and this country needs him. Needs. We HAVE to vote him in, people. I truly believe that the safety and security of the country, and perhaps even the world, depend on voting in Obama. I dread to think what wars could be fought over access to the last remaining oil and food supplies if we haven't managed to change by then.

I truly hope that America does not fall for the McCain bullshit, simply because they agree that abortion should not be happening. Something as important as electing the president of the United States should not come down solely to reproductive issues.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Stress + new schedule + too much caffeine + hanging out with college kids + not enough sleep + whirlwind trip to Boston + recirculating air on planes + meeting a bunch of people from all over the world = Sarah comes down with a stinking cold.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Note to Community College professor

Dear Professor:

You must forgive my ingrained English politeness. I am still learning how you do things in your country. However, when you are telling us about the devolution of power from the federal to state governments but actually say "de-evolution" five times, you're wrong. And when I come up at the end of the class and politely say "did you mean to say de-evolution instead of devolution as written? Surely de-evolution would mean a return to a less complex, or less organized form, whereas devolution is a backwards shifting and return of power to the more local from the more central? Or do you mean that there actually is some change in complexity? I just want to clarify that I understand the concept, because the two words mean different things to me." I am not in fact asking you a question. I am saying "you are saying the wrong word, you dumb bitch, but I'm trying to save you from embarrassment by not pointing that out to the rest of the class and trying to be polite by phrasing it as a question." 

If I actually didn't understand the concept, I'd put my hand up in class and say "I don't understand." I don't need a detailed explanation of the concept, nor how the word you used is just a difference in pronunciation and means the same thing. In fact, the concept of devolution as a political term I believe comes from my own fair country, and I could probably teach you a thing or two about it. Nor do I need you to tell me to look up the pronunciation in the dictionary, although, for the record, I did, and I was right that there is no suggestion to pronounce "devolution" as "de-evolution."


Thanks so much.

Yours, etc.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Drunken ass display

Hey, I just went to Boston for 17 hours. Plus 6 hours flying time. That's some crazy shit right there. That we can actually go so far for such a short amount of time. That it's no big deal to just burn up a shit load of fossil fuels to attend one function.

But I'm back. I didn't catch anyone's eye. I did dance with a couple of different cute guys and tried flirting but got nowhere. Except very drunk. I managed not to toss my cookies, though, AND didn't have any drunken blackouts, so it's mostly good. [Note how low my standards are for figuring out how drunk I was: no blackout = not exceptionally drunk.]

BUT. I have to tell you about this super embarrassing thing because I am either cracking up at my own drunken idiocy or burning in shame and I have to spill. So, I drag myself out of bed this morning, pretty much still drunk from last night, shower, dress, and go off in search of fried eggs, toast and coffee for breakfast. I accomplish that, and feeling somewhat revived I arrive back in my hotel room. I put the light on because it's dark in there, put some extra makeup on, grab my stuff, put it in my bag. And then I thought before checking out I'd try to have a second poop of the day. See, when I've drunk a lot, it, uh, loosens things up in there and I often end up not feeling really good until I've had a second poop. I walk into the bathroom, put the light back on and sit on the can without closing the door because after all I'm on my own in the room. I'd been sitting there a while kind of zoning out waiting to see if anything would happen when I decide to glance to my left, and get a straight view into offices across the street where there's a guy sitting at his desk in one office, and a meeting of three guys in the next office. Yes, clearly I'd opened the curtains before going out to breakfast and had totally forgotten about it, and what with the lights being on in the room I have been putting on a show for the world. I have never shut a door so fast in my entire life! Thank god I hadn't actually achieved any crapping as that would have been more embarrassing to have the whole butt wiping scene played out to an audience.

I slunk out of the bathroom, turned off the lights and went to investigate after a short while, and all the guys were studiously working away staring intently at their computer screens. Who knows, they might not have seen me, but I'm sure my face remained beet red for a while thereafter. There was a sheer curtain in front of the window, and I did notice as I was waiting for a cab that at least the sheer curtain on the ground floor was fairly non seethrough when looking from the outside, even onto a brightly lit reception area, so there's hope. But jeez, I am lame sometimes.

In response to poster #1 from yesterday: note I said "your average fertile". I truly don't think that most, average fertiles have the same awestruck amount of gratefulness at the simple act of being a parent as infertiles do. I'm not saying that they are ungrateful. The vast majority are grateful for their kids, obviously. But there's degrees and gradations in everything. I have a friend IRL who is going through tertiary infertility (is that even a term?) and she has said that after going through this and talking to me over the years she truly never appreciated how mind-bendingly lucky she was before. And that's the key, I think, the realization that it is an utterly amazing, miraculous, mind-blowing thing to be able to parent which most people don't have until they have stared down the barrel of the gun of not having this thing that most of us think of as our right, as easy, as something we have to conciously avoid and be on our guard against until we're ready.

& of course thanks for the kind words to all.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Shuffling off this infertile coil

So, as I was driving home yesterday I had the radio tuned to NPR and I caught the tail end of an interview with some woman, and they were discussing how her life had gone to shit when in one month her health had failed and she had to pay $600 a month more for medication and the bank told her they'd made a mistake with her tax/insurance escrow and she'd have to pay $800 a month more for that as well. And they talked a bit about the shitness of life, but then she said, in an amazed voice "but you know, I'm a MOM and that's all that matters. I have my daughters. And I'm a MOM. I am SO grateful for that every day."

And I should have realized from all the gratefulness, but my first thought was "shut up, you fertile bitch about your effing motherhood." It's amazing how my mind goes there. Even though I tell myself I am all evolved and "at peace", the bitterness is often right there, beneath the surface, waiting to bubble up. Clearly I need to do some more work!

Then of course, I was quickly proven wrong about the "fertile bitch" part of it, because it turns out this woman adopted two special needs children from foster care, and is now running a campaign to get more funding for foster/adopt programs.  I should have realized that your average fertile would never be that grateful about the simple fact of being a mom. I felt ashamed at myself for a nanosecond, and then I thought "you know, that could be ME." I could be a mom. Me. I could still do it. And every day when I think I am DONE and I will never go through all the hell again, whether it be a DE cycle or an adoption process, and I'm going to become the crazy cat lady, there's a part of me that thinks how much it will be worth it in the end to finally become a mom.

So, yesterday I had been thinking that perhaps I should end this blog. Because where do you take a blog after infertility? Most women morph into mommy bloggers.  And that's cute, and they get to keep at least a portion of their readership who want to keep up with the exploits of little Jimmy. But time after time I see the women like me (maybe), who fail at treatment and decide enough is enough, ending their blogs because they just don't know what to say anymore, or how to connect.  I mean, seriously, who is interested in what we do? I thought I might have to take up a hobby, like knitting or something, just to have something to write about.  And then after I thought "hey, I can still become a mom" I remembered that my reproductive shit is really only on hiatus at the moment.  I guess I'll keep on keeping on for now.

Stephanie was asking on Saturday what was up with the home insem plan. And, well, it's on hold. But I realized that what was really going through the back of my mind was that I have all these hopes that I'll get to acupuncture school and meet a nice guy and have an opportunity to try naturally. And there's a part of me that wants to at least wait until I get there to check out my options before going down the man-in-a-can route. I hadn't even realized that before, so I think that I am going to wait until at least January.

But hey, I appear to be ovulating, I'm going to be going to a function tonight where there is going to be an open bar and LOTS of drinking so you never know. ;) Don't hold any collective breath, though, as I am hopeless at flirting. Hopeless I tell ya.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I deleted my adsense unit.

It had political ads. For the R-side. Ick.

Given that I only write drivel these days, and hardly get any clicks at all from this site anyway, it didn't seem worth it any more.

I either need to get myself a new theme - hey, maybe I should just ramble on about books - or just quit writing drivel. But we all know the drivel ain't going away...

Monday ass

The media sucks ass too, you know. Gripe of the day follows: I pretty much don't follow sports. I'll watch the (soccer) World Cup if England are playing. I might catch a bit of Wimbledon or the US Open. The Tour de France might catch my eye. And that's about it, honestly. I didn't watch any of the Olympics. That's not to say I won't go to a sporting event and enjoy it, but watching it on TV leaves me cold. But there is one thing that I find pretty damn amazing and inspiring, and that's the Paralympics. Man, the obstacles some of those people have overcome just puts the rest of us to shame, quite frankly. So I was quite looking forward to a bit of Paralympic coverage, and can I find any? I cannot (I don't have cable, so maybe it's on ESPN or something but that doesn't help me). I can't even find any on CNN.com or anything like that, so I am reduced to catching the occasional snippet of information from the BBC website, which won't play any videos for me because of whatever deal the Olympics/Paralympics have sown up for coverage in different regions of the world. And the US is leading the medals tables, so you'd think CNN.com would have a teeny snippet or something. Nope, nothing. Gah.

OK, so the books - yes, they were both annoying, in different ways. The "Starbucks" book had a lot of namedropping, of pretty much every famous person who ever went to one of the author's dad's parties. It was kind of dull in that regard. Also, the author is utterly amazed that people respect one another in some walks of life. Where has he been his entire life? It made me feel sad for him that he'd gone through so much of life just following what he was supposed to do, and being a general ass about things. The "Bitter" book was annoying in that she's such an obnoxious bitch for 3/4's of the book. I only kept going at that point because I was waiting for her to get her comeuppance. But it was at least quite funny. However, I'm glad both of them in the end became better people, so it was worth it for that.

Ahem...I read another book on Sunday called Neither Here Nor There. By Bill Bryson. Who makes me laugh out loud. So that was the best book of the weekend. I did do most of my homework, promise!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

In which I suck ass

So, in order to catch up at work, I needed to do about 4 hours on Saturday to make up for Labor Day, otherwise I will be down on my hours for the week and not be paid enough (or have worked enough hours to qualify for health insurance). I also have a mountain of college homework to get through. And then I thought I'd do about 4 hours work on Sunday, so I could get ahead of the game as I'm going to be doing a bit of traveling this week and will again get down on my hours for the week.

I'd planned to meet up for lunch with Steph, and so I thought I'd bounce out of bed early, do a couple of hours work, go out for lunch, get back, immediately do some more work, do a spot of laundry, and then spend the evening doing homework. Not exactly a wild Saturday night, but then again, I haven't had a wild Saturday night for a very long time, so it's not exactly an issue chez moi.

And of course I totally forgot that I suck ass.

I had way too much caffeine on Friday. I have simply got to get the caffeine intake under control, but it's the only way I'm getting through the week at the moment. So I couldn't get to sleep on Friday night.

Hence, no bouncing out of bed with the dawn on Saturday morning. Instead, while I was trying to get an extra hour's sleep, the cat turned into the whiniest cat ever known to man, and managed to piss me off the entire morning instead of letting me snooze.  So I was grumpy AND late. Then I realized that I needed to get some errands done that couldn't wait until Sunday, so I ended up doing those, and not working at all in the morning.  Right-o, thought I, no problem, I'll just work when I get back.

Except we went book shopping and I spent a fortune.  Despite having sworn off buying books and claiming to be a model library-using citizen.  Nope, I splashed out. I have to get the spending under control. And I'd started reading one of them in the store, and it was calling to me the entire time I was driving home. So what did I do when I got home? Did I start anything useful? No, I started reading the damn book.

And you want to know how much I suck ass? Not only did I read the first book, I read a second one. Yes, I stayed up until 1.30am, and spent the entire 10-hour period between 3.30pm and 1.30am reading two entire books.  That have nothing to do with either work or college. Gah. Sometimes being a speedy reader is really bad, because you start thinking, oh hey, it won't take me long to finish this, so you stay up, whereas if I was a sensible person I'd have read one chapter and gone to bed at a reasonable hour.

So now I somehow have to do 4 hours of work today (while pretending that I did it yesterday), and all my homework, AND my cleaning and laundry, and then will have to work next Saturday to catch up. And of course, I'm kind of hungover from the late night, and it's 11am and I haven't done a THING yet.

I. Suck. Ass.

In response to Cali's question, the books were:

How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill, and 

Bitter Is The New Black by Jen Lancaster

Both memoirs by people who get fired from well-paying jobs and end up doing something far less lucrative but more personally rewarding. Yes, there's a bit of a theme going on...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Seems like it might miss us

The path has shifted, thank the lawd. But now it looks like it is headed for N'orleans. Damn, they really don't need another one.

Anyhoo, work is draining the life out of me again. It's really fucking hard to work such long days when you're not used to them.

Anyhoo too, did anyone watch the Daily Show videos on Sarah Palin? They're up on Comedy Central (and also on the Daily Show website and probably lots of other places too ) - the one called Sarah Palin Gender Card is classic.  Oh my god, they're good.  I can't figure out how to link to individual videos on their sites, but oh, they have made my heart smile.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Yikes here comes Ike

The latest predicted path for hurricane Ike is very worrying. I hope it swings around, but right now it looks like it is aiming squarely at my house. I'm not sure the house can survive a category 4 impact. I know it'd probably be fine (fine as in: there'd be damage, but damage that I could cope with/fix) in a category 3, but 4 is much much worse. How does one pack to evacuate knowing that everything that you leave could be gone? What if the roof blows off and the contents are sucked out into the void?  I have no intention of staying, by the way, if a 3 or higher is heading for my house so I'm not so worried about my personal safety. Just my house safety. And the choice of where to go and how far to go. And how the cat is going to deal with it all. And how on earth I'm going to get everything done.

Still, they are predicting that it might lose strength, so that's good.  And it could still shift and not hit around here.  

Please shift, storm, please shift. In the meantime, I have found my insurance policies, and may slowly start putting stuff to evacuate with into my "hurricane box", should it come to that. 

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Times like these

Next time I whinge about my new schedule, I will have to remember times like these.  I only actually worked a half day yesterday because I ran out of work. Yup. Rarely, if ever, happens to me, but I guess my boss has been a bit freaked about me working part-time as he gave too much work away to other people. So that means I'm 4 hours down on my pay, and will probably have to make it up on Saturday. Hopefully some new work will come in by then, or I will have wrestled some back off someone else. At least it let me rest and recuperate a bit from my first week.

Today, during my extra long lunch break (1 and 3/4 hours), I zoomed along to the local Obama campaign office to try to score some free tix to an event they have going tonight. Sadly, they'd run out by the time I got there, but at least I (a) have enough time in my schedule to be able to actually contemplate going to an event with the potential veep, and (b) have enough time to go and try to score tickets. Maybe next time the stars will align and I'll actually get in.  But, it was still something I wouldn't have been able to even try to do previously.

Then, my last class of the day was cancelled, so I was able to go to the supermarket on the way home. (Oh.my.freakin'.god. I've never seen a supermarket so empty and calm!) I was in old lady heaven, and was actually able to dawdle along with them, rather than curse that they had the audacity to be out and about at a time when busy people need to get things done. And then I was able to come home, put the groceries away, wipe the kitchen counter, do a quick Swiff* of the floors, check the hurricane forecast and still be sitting down before 5pm.


*one of these days I will have to post about my Swiffer love. I seriously think that they may have to pry them out of my cold dead hands one of these days.  As for going green, and not using disposable stuff...ummmm, yeah, please don't ever take my Swiffer away.  Please, God, not the Swiffer.

Monday, September 01, 2008


Homework? Check
House cleaning? Err, not done.
Holiday? Are you freakin' kidding me?

Yes, so here I am, at work, on a holiday. Nothing really new there, except this is the first one where I absolutely won't get paid unless I put some hours in. Which makes it a bit miserable really, seeing as most other people are out enjoying themselves. So, I'm bored. Reading about the hurricane and hoping everybody is OK. Trying to get down to some serious work but struggling.