Archive for March, 2007

Published by PaintingChef on 30 Mar 2007

When good plans go bad.

I was in the shower this morning, having the conversation with myself that I normally do at that time of the day (when nothing remarkable or funny has happened the day before and Patrick hasn’t even told me how difficult and crazy I am) and wondering what in the holy hell I am going to write about today when a brilliant plan hit me! I’ll RECYCLE! It’s almost Masters and I have that one funny list about the Masters that is like 2 years old. Maybe I’ll even give it a funny title about how Al Gore would be so proud.

So I go about the rest of my morning with an extra little bounce in my step because the blog! She is covered! I am so thrilled I even put on my mascara before I leave the house. Such productivity is unprecedented. But as I sat down to track down that post from so long ago I was in for a rude awakening…

I’ve already done this. Less than a year ago. And I apparently blamed “Beach-Brain” (which was quite true, after reading about my beach-brain experience I do remember that drunken evening quite clearly. Or rather… I remember the next morning quite clearly…) So I guess if you would like to re-re-read why I detest Masters Week in Augusta, you may follow that link.

For the rest of you I have only this to say. I love you all. For your crazy is fabulous and has prompted me to share more crazy of my own with you. The crazy I held back. Although for the record, I found myself identifying with many of your crazies as well. The penny thing? Check. Knocking on wood? Check. Umbrellas? Check.

Also? I hold my breath and crack my window when crossing bridges that are over (troubled) water (and now you are humming Simon and Garfunkel… you are welcome).

Also the second? When I change lanes while driving, I find that if I drive over those little bumpy reflector thingies on the ground with one half of my tires I must hit them with the other half as well. If I do NOT then the next time I change lanes I must even the score and only drive over them with the side that I missed them with on the first pass. I have found that I really prefer driving on roads that don’t have reflector bumpy thingies on them.

Now go forth and embrace your crazy. The internet said so.

Published by PaintingChef on 29 Mar 2007

Sharing the crazy. One superstition at a time.

There are so many different little superstitions, are there not? I was trying to fall asleep last night (a not uncommon thing) and I looked over at the clock and it was 11:11. Out of instinct I kissed my finger and touched it to the clock, making some wish about getting knocked up or world peace and then closed my eyes and looked away. Normal, right?

But here’s where my crazy comes through… At some point in my life, I managed to get this idea in my head that, for my wish to have a chance at coming true, I had to ALSO see the clock when it said 11:12. And if that’s not enough for you, for whatever reason I seem to think that if I actually SEE the clock click to 11:12 then the opposite of my wish will come true.

More crazy you say? Well fine. If I DO, in fact, glance at the clock the split second it changes time and I see it happen then I will force myself to stay awake until 12:34 and repeat the entire process over again.

But we pick up little superstitions as we go through life. Some are fairly mainstream but others might have roots in family history, situations we’ve found ourselves in, or things that we’ve learned along the way.

For the record… here is the bulk of my crazy…

1. It is good luck if a red bird swoops in front of your car.

2. I wish on eyelashes that fall out and blow them off my thumb. If they don’t fly away the wish will probably not come true.

3. I keep a tennis racquet in the trunk of my car. I firmly believe it keeps me from wrecking because after a string of fairly close together accidents I somehow ended up with a tennis racquet in my trunk. I haven’t wrecked since. Except that time I backed into an air conditioning unit. Oops.

4. When walking into my bathroom at night I will walk into the dark and close the door behind me all with my eyes closed until I reach over and turn on the closet light. I believe this keeps something from jumping out of the mirror and killing me.

5. I kiss my finger and tap the ceiling in my car when I drive under a yellow light. I have had many cars that have had a strange lipstick mark right over my head… try explaining that one to your mother who believes that yellow lights mean STOP NOW YOU FOOL.

Please. I beg you. Make me feel better. Share your crazy with me.

Published by PaintingChef on 27 Mar 2007

Not really the pick-me-up I was looking for.

I learned something this morning. Something so interesting. Please. Tell me. Were any of you aware of this? While they have previously kept their little morning tidbits to the optimistic and cheerful words of musicians and poets, Starbucks has expanded their selection and now includes a side of judgment with your morning coffee!

I give you… the way Michele Johnson in Wamego, Kansas sees things. (I figure that if she let them use her name and location on a damn Starbucks cup then it’s perfectly fine for me to reprint them here…)

The Way I See It #208

I wish couples who desperately take every means to conceive a child would realize that adoption is a wonderful alternative. A child who becomes your child through adoption completes a family. Just as when you commit to your spouse or partner there are no biological ties, yet a family was formed. This child enters the family the same way! It is not blood and flesh that form a family, but the heart.


Now before you go and fly off at me about disagreeing with her let me assure you, 100%, that I DO agree with her. Whole-heartedly. With the exception of the first sentence. I suffer from infertility. I have looked at every available option and method of becoming a mother. And I have not written off any of them. I also have yet to try most of them. One of my very favorite and dearest internet friends has recently returned home from Guatemala with her beautiful daughter whom she and her husband spent many painful years and procedures trying to find. And every time I think of her with her family my heart flutters and I can’t help but smile.

Does Michele propose that every person faced with any degree of infertility race out and jump in line behind Angelina Jolie? Does she truly believe that those of us who aren’t adopting never even look at it as an option? I long to carry a child in my womb. I want to feel kicking and movement. I ache to hold a little person that is one half me and one half the man I love more than anything in the world. Am I willing to try most any means to accomplish this? Hell yes I am and I will not apologize for that. But do I need it to make me whole? No. Absolutely not.

Perhaps adoption will be the answer for me and Patrick, I don’t know because my crystal ball is in the shop due to an unfortunate incident with the business end of a hammer. I think adoption is a wonderful opportunity and should that be the route we end up going, I know that that child will be no less mine and Patrick’s than if we did conceive him or her and Michele Johnson is spot on in her comment that it is the heart which forms a family.

I do not want to make assumptions about the author of this comment. But… I’m kind of a nasty sort of person so I’m going to. I imagine that Michele Johnson does not suffer from infertility. Perhaps she has watched a friend or acquaintance, maybe even a family member, struggle with the decisions that infertility forces one to make but I would guess that she has never personally heard a doctor tell her that she will have a great deal of difficulty conceiving a child. Maybe she has never arrived at an appointment for an ultrasound, expecting to hear the heartbeat of the soul she has dreamt of for years only to be told that there is no heartbeat. That her body failed her once again. I don’t think that Michele Johnson has ever been forced to spend weeks and months poring over websites and paperwork and articles all telling her the many things she will have to go through to give birth.

Because I believe that if she had done all that, she would know that those of us who “desperately take every means possible” do so with heavy hearts. We start this journey, this battle, fully aware of the stress we are putting on our bodies and our lives. But we have to try. We know that we will become parents; in one way or another it will happen. And perhaps adoption will turn out to be the way we become parents. Because of the people I’ve met through this website I know that if that is the case I will have plenty of support from those who have traveled that path before me.

I just don’t need Starbucks and Michele Johnson to try and make me feel guilty for exploring all the options.

Published by PaintingChef on 26 Mar 2007

A loving note specifically addressed to the left side of my ass.

Hi. I know this may come as a shock to you but I did, in fact, already know you were there given your penchant for bumping into things and your insistence on looking large in jeans. Also there was that whole colonoscopy adventure… But now? After spending 4 hours all bent over and working in the yard? Apparently you doth protest WAY too much. And today you hurt me oh so very badly.

It hurts to sit. To stand. To walk. To run. To bend over and then to stand back up. It hurt to go grocery shopping and to get in and out of the car. And it hurt to stand in line at the post office but I think that had more to do with the person in line behind me talking to her divorce attorney on her cell phone. And to her soon to be ex-husband I say this… run as fast and as far as you can in the other direction because that bitch is crazy.

My ass is killing me, my manicure is wrecked and I have a VERY odd looking bug bite on the inside of my left wrist that I totally plan on scaring Patrick with later but my flower bed looks fantastic.

Published by PaintingChef on 23 Mar 2007

Enough made-up words to make Spell Checker spontaneously combust.

While a bit of background will, no doubt, not make this as hysterical to you as it was to me and Betsy, it will hopefully help you to see a smidgen of the humor.

When I was maybe seven or eight (I’m not sure) we got an Atari. And that shit was fantastic. Frogger. Pac-Man. Tank. That one two-sided game with Haunted Mansion and Pike’s Peak that nobody but daddy could figure out but the monotone, electronic beeping music kind of haunted you when you were trying to sleep. Good times. I’m quite certain that there are pictures of me and Betsy camped out in front of that console television trying to ram that controller in each other’s ears. Betsy in her cute elementary school clothes and me in that damn private school uniform from the year I like to call “you bastards made me go to Webb”.

I’m not sure what prompted the Atari purchase because from then on my parents seemed to have a very strong anti-video game stance. There was never a Nintendo. Or a Playstation. One of their daughters saved her allowance and bought a Game Boy. I’ll let you guess which one but allow me to give you this hint… it was only the impressive speed and dexterity with which I can bat my eyelashes and a few low cut tops that got me through two semesters of accounting in college.

I was never all that heartbroken about the lack of video game entertainment in our house. I would regularly snag the Game Boy which pissed my sister off to no end but overall, they just made me feel uncoordinated what with the multiple buttons and arrows and I didn’t really dig the way they seemed to spotlight my previously unnoticed short term memory deficiency. (As in… “What do you mean that death trap has always been there?”)

Eventually we grew up, relatively unscarred by our lack of video games (as I like to think that the large amounts of various illegal substances I ingested in the late 90s were probably responsible for most of my… charm) and went on with our lives. The first time Daddy brought home a computer from work we were mesmerized, not by the 40 pound laptop computer that folded into its own suitcase larger than most approved carry-on luggage in our living room, but by the little green person with whom we could play “Wheel of Fortune”. Slightly more technologically advanced (meaning with COLOR!) were the introductions of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” which I still blame for my ability to recognize the flags of some very obscure countries and the early spy-like game “Covert Action” where we were represented by a little blinking dot while honing our breaking and entering skills. Then there was the “Railroad Tycoon” phase that, I’m quite certain, cemented the video game ban on my childhood home. (Thanks DAD).

I am now married to a man who starts his Saturday and Sunday mornings off with a good hour and half of Playstation golf or football and 2 cups of coffee. I own exactly 3 Playstation games which I purchased online after a humiliating conversation at Best Buy that went something like this…

“I am looking for a Playstation game. I want something non-violent, non-driving, and non-shooting that requires no memorization and preferably no ‘secret codes’. Do you have Tetris?”

“Are you looking for a game for a small child?”

And Betsy? Well. Betsy and her husband just bought a Wii. Complete with a boxing game which, from the sounds of it, will put every marriage therapist in the world out of business. My parents are out visiting Betsy and her husband this week and they were immediately transfixed. My mother (who I have no doubt is responsible for the video game ban as it was DADDY and not her two angelic daughters who were glued to the computer until 4 am tycooning railroads) was most excited about creating a little character. And they golfed and bowled and boxed and baseballed until the cows came home. But it was Daddy, displaying his typical behavior, who spent four hours in front of the thing while mom and Betsy were out shopping. They returned home to see Daddy, still standing right in front of the television swinging that controller because “he didn’t know how to turn it off”. Guess what he’s getting for his birthday?

But I’m pretty damn convinced that Atari would still work…

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