Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mark Ronson: "Stop Me"

I met my friend Lila for lunch today at our favorite pseudo-Cajun restaurant. While we were catching up, I heard the familiar strains of a Smiths' song... but different. But I knew the song that was on, and it plagued me enough to get the waiter to check the system to find out who it was. I remembered that I'd heard the song while I was in England earlier in the year, and now that I'd heard it again I couldn't get that sound out of my head. I came home, G**gled it, and have spent the last 2 hours listening to/watching this song. The Smiths+The Supremes+Some contemporary beats= LURV!

5 dpo

I'm an old hand at this whole TTC nonsense, so I know it's just the progesterone from ovulation causing this. But please... will someone just cut off my nipples? For five days straight, I've been convinced that they're on fire, and/or might cut through my bra. This is just stupid.

Humpday Humpable: Adam Ant

I know I'm showing my age, but I can't help it. When I was but a prepubescent girl, this man lit the first sparks to tingle in my nether regions. There's just nothing like your first rock-star crush, especially when you're so young that you really don't understand those "special feelings".

I can vividly remember hating Jamie Lee Curtis for a while, just because one of the teen-mags reported that he was dating her. My heart beating faster every time his videos came on MTV, back when MTV actually showed music videos. Weeping with joy and frustration at the sight of the black & white liner photo in "Strip"... and don't act like I'm the only one who remembers that pic!

I think he sticks out so much in my memory because he was my first. Long before I was a Duranie and wanted to have John Taylor's children, or thought that Michael Jackson and David Bowie should have a battle to win my hand, Adam Ant was there. Damn, I'm old.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

America= Darth Vader

I watched a show on PBS tonight that was about the feelings and perceptions that European countries have towards the United States. It shouldn’t have come as any surprise that about 90% of the people who were interviewed were extremely negative. But I have to admit that I was shocked at the sheer vitriol that so many people had to spew about my country and countrymen.

I think that the worst part of it is that most of the speakers’ views seemed to stem from one of two things: a dislike of American politicians, or images of “our culture” from American television. How can you judge the intellect, morals, and lifestyle of an entire country as being inferior just because you don’t like Bush’s policies? How can you say that Americans as a whole are conceited and lazy, when in the next breath you admit that you’ve never actually met an American or been to America? I just don’t get it.

The overwhelming majority of those interviewed seemed to have the point of view that, as a whole, we are ignorant, uncultured, politically obtuse, and crass. And the really odd thing was that on one hand we were being criticised for the way that our horrible culture is “invading” the rest of the world, while on the other hand we were being criticized for not having wide open loving arms that extended to help everyone who needs it. Huh?

The United States of America, despite its relative strength in global affairs, is a mere infant at 231 years old. How can you expect an infant to have no flaws? How did we become responsible for bearing the burden of expectations of political, economic, and moral perfection for the world? I’m not defending all US actions, history, politicians, or anything like that. We’ve made horrendous mistakes as a country, there is no denying that.

I am, however, defending the American people. We are more than our politicians. We are more than Mickey D and KFC. We are more than Nikes and Britney Spears. We cannot be quantified on the basis of “Friends” any more than we can quantify the British by “Hotel Babylon”. We are a nation of individuals, and judging an entire nation on the basis of political actions is asinine.

I know that this was a television show, and as such, cannot and did not convey the opinions of the entire nation… because of course, 20 people cannot speak for an entire population. But it was a really disturbing show nonetheless. I think the most disturbing bit was in a French elementary school, where young children—perhaps 9 or 10 years old—were asked to draw a picture portraying what they think of when they think of America. A few images were innocent enough, showing people eating hamburgers. The majority, though, were negative images involving things like Bush & oil, US soldiers slaughtering people, and other such acts.

It is a rare child who watches the news, or reads a newspaper. So this showed, even better than the interviews, what kind of opinions many Europeans have about America. Because if their young children associate such negative ideas and images with the US, where do you think they learned them?

Sunday, August 26, 2007


My previous post was lamenting the fact that I had no idea where my freakin' egg was hiding. I'd actually started peeing on things the night before, and of course the opk was negative. But I'd been having fertile cm for about a week, and ovary twinges, and all that good rot. I even sank to the level of checking my thermometer several times a day just to see if it seemed to be working properly.

A couple of days ago I wrote that whole pitiful post... and got a positive opk later that night. I ovulated the next day. I'm 2dpo right now, once again in the TWW. I can't believe it, but I've been so worried about ovulating, that I'm just relieved that it's happened and I'm not freaking out yet about the whole TWW thing. "Yet" being the operative word.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where's my freakin' egg?!?

Missing: One egg, quality unknown. May have accomplices. Exact location unknown, but suspected to be clinging stubbornly to an ovary.

Yes, I’m on cd22, with no egg in sight. My cm is at the right stage, and has been for a freakin’ week. I’ve had the usual sensations of ovarian bloating and the like, and I should have ovulated, at latest, 3-4 days ago. But I got nuthin’.

I’m trying to be patient, since I realized that with the exception of one “break” cycle a few months ago, this is my first natural, unmedicated cycle in about 8 months. The crappy thing though, is that before I started the meds, my ovulation was predictable and would have happened by now. So I kinda feel like I’m damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Stupid ovaries.

I got spoiled with u/s and trigger. It’s so convenient, having someone take a look with the dildo-cam, and just TELLING you when you have an egg ready. Then you take a shot, and blammo! Ovulation. There’s no guesswork, no peeing on sticks, no need to temp (even though I do anyway). Now that I’m back to TTC “old skool”, I have to say I’m not too fond of this. I feel like an accountant who had their computer taken away, and now has to use an abacus.

Well, guess I better see if I can get some stick peeing done, and find out if I’m even remotely close to ovulating. Nothing says TTC like a mound of crumpled Dixie cups in the bathroom wastebasket.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Black Conspiracy, coming out, and faith

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this, but I have stupidly medicine-resistant hypertension. So, about a year ago, my family doctor-- after trying all the common meds in her bag-- shipped me off to a cardiologist for more expert treatment. Thankfully, Heart Doc was just what I needed; he fixed me up with a cocktail that keeps my BP under control. Best of all, I was upfront with him about TTC, and he made sure that my meds were fairly safe for pregnancy, should I be so lucky to achieve that state.

I had an appointment last month with Heart Doc, and something happened to me that's never happened before: I had the uncontrollable urge to "come out" about TTC. To everyone. Now, you might think this a bit weird, but let me explain.

I am (mostly) black. As a black woman who moves easily between different cultural and racial scenes, I have noticed what I call "The Black Conspiracy". You see, black people behave differently amongst fellows than with others. When one black person is alone with another black person, there is an automatic assumption of likeness, that the other person has common experiences and knowledge that make you compatible on a level that "others" can not comprehend. It can also lend a (often false) feeling of intimacy, leading some to feel they have the right to be very personal in their speech and commentary.

I see TBC in action at least once a week. If a (white) co-worker was in the office, then (black) visitors would be on their toes, super-professional to the nines. If I were the only one present, there would be an air of "we're in this together" wafting off of them. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked by total strangers about my religion, which church I attend, if I'm married/single, and whether or not I have children... all within the first 10 minutes of a so-called business meeting. But it would never happen when a white co-worker was around.

I've tried to tell my non-black friends about TBC, but I don't think they believe me. They think it's a joke that I'm making up, that no one would automatically assume fellowship to such a degree. But I'm telling you, it's so very true!

Now back to Heart Doc. Heart Doc, as well as 99% of his staff, is black. Since I only go in about every 6 months now that my BP is well controlled, they don't have the instant recollection of me that I get at my RE's office. You know, where you walk in the door, and the MAs and nurses all know your name, your treatment schedule, and that you're there for a cd3 baseline u/s. That just doesn't happen at Heart Doc's. Every time I go to Heart Doc, there's a sort of re-introduction that takes place.

So this last visit, I was doing the oh-so-lovely weigh in & temperature check with one of the MAs when TBC kicked in. I was asked if I had children, which I still can't figure out how checking my weight would lead the MA to ask me that (oh yeah, TBC). At this point, I'd been seriously, under-doctor's-care, trying to conceive for 3 years, and I think I'd had enough. It was time to start coming out, and if I sounded a little rude, then so be it. I told the MA that I didn't have children, but that I'd been trying for a long time. She smiled sweetly, patted my arm, and told me to have faith in the Lord.

I was still trying to process that as she led me to a room. Then a nurse came in to check my BP, and I'll be damned if she didn't ask me about my marital status and children, too! Again, I blurted out a quick summary of the state of my uncooperative reproductive organs, this time making sure that I pointed out that I was single. Honestly, I was wondering what kind of reaction I would get. I got a sympathetic smile, and more reassurances that the Lord would provide, but that it would be in His time.

The nurse left, and I picked up my novel to read a bit, knowing it could be anywhere from 5-15 minutes before the doctor actually his face. Surprisingly, Heart Doc came in right away. He did another check of my BP, and we did the usual 'chat about my habits, conditions, etc.'. I was taken aback when, as he read over notes on my chart, asked me how my TTC was coming along. This was the first time since I'd been in the office, that it felt okay.

See, Heart Doc is a rare gem amongst doctors, in that not only is he good medically, but he is also very caring and personable. He has never made me feel as if I was wasting his time, no matter how many questions I have. I've even gotten flustered before, saying that I must be taking too long with my questions; his response was a kindly reassurance that I could take all the time I needed, and that it was okay.

So when Heart Doc asked how it was coming along with my RE, my hard-nosed "I'll show them" attitude cracked. I was very close to tears as I told him how hard it's been, trying month after month, year after year. How much I fear miscarriage if I ever get pregnant. How afraid I am that my hypertension will get out of control in a pregnancy. All the things I keep bottled up inside, he managed to get out of me with one kind, sincere question. It's a little blurry, but I know there were some hugs in there, too.

Of course, TBC had to kick in before it was all over. Religion is a big part of TBC, because most black people assume that all other black people are Sunday-go-to-meeting folks just like themselves. It's never a question of, "Do you go to church?" No, it's always, "What church do you go to?"

So, before I left Heart Doc, I got a last hug, and a reminder that God has a plan for us all. That I had to keep faith and hope, and try to find out what His plan was for me. And for once, I didn't bristle at "God" talk. I could definitely deal with what Heart Doc was saying.

See, Heart Doc didn't hand out platitudes about everything being okay, or that it would happen one day if I kept praying, or anything like that. Without coming out and saying it, he acknowledged that I might not have children, that it might not happen, but that it didn't have to be the end of everything. Rather, that I might have to figure out what I'm supposed to do if I can't be a mother.

I feel that religion is a personal, private thing. I am spiritual, but not particularly religious, if that makes any sense. So it bothers me when people pepper every other sentence with what I call "God" talk. I mean, are you trying to rack up brownie points or something? Is there a contest, where the winner is the person who can say "Jesus", "Lord", or "Have a blessed day" the most times in a day? I guess I find it somewhat offensive, as there are so many other faith systems out there, to continually throw your own beliefs in other's faces.

Despite all that, I felt good about the visit. I came out to two people, had an impromptu therapy session with a third, and got prayed over. The last was a little weird, but actually felt kind of good in a "going against my own grain" kinda way. Who would've thought that a doctor's visit could turn into church?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Slobfest '07

Exactly two weeks ago, the sale of the property where I worked closed, and I became unemployed. It was amazingly easy to just walk out of the door at the end of day, but that was probably because I'd been emotionally distancing myself from the situation for a while, knowing that it was coming. I apologize for that horrible run-on sentence, by the way.

Since Wednesday two weeks ago, I have been involved in what I call Slobfest '07. I'm sleeping late for the first time in ages, staying up all night reading if I want, and watching a million DVDs. The really scary thing is that I'm discovering how much I'd like to stay in Slobovia. Where is that damned winning P*werball ticket when you need it?!?

Though it's been really nice taking this vacation where I don't have to rush to fulfill my usual anal-retentive, packed full schedule of museums, parks, and historical sites, I know it can't last forever. Next week I have to start the job hunt, which is going to be a bitch. The job market is so poor that I'll be lucky if I can get a job at a burger joint as the french-fry girl. No, I take that back: I'll be lucky if I can become ASSISTANT french-fry girl. But I'll freak out about that later; right now I still have a few more glorious days in Slobovia.


As I'm sure you've figured, since I haven't posted a giant pregnancy announcement, last cycle was another bust. With everything going on in my life and in my head, I decided to take a break cycle from all the stress of TTC. No drugs, no u/s, not even opks. I'm just going with the flow this cycle, and dealing with the OTHER parts of my life that don't have anything to do with my reproductive organs. So, today is day 7 of Break Cycle '07.