Friday, September 26, 2008

Do I get a prize?

I recently went for my annual checkup with my family dr, & while my blood pressure was holding steady at 120/80 (yay me), apparently my ferretin (iron) levels were very low. Yep, not only am I hypothyroid & hypertensive (not to mention infertile, but that's neither here nor there…), now I'm anemic too! Do I get a prize??

I went to his office again this morning to talk about it, & he showed me my results. "Normal" ferretin levels are about 10-280-something -- I was at 10. He gave me the name of a non-prescription iron pill I could get at the drugstore, & I got a bottle on my break this morning. I'm hoping they'll do the trick, without too many side effects. I asked his receptionist if I needed to come back for another reading, & she said to call when I've finished the bottle.

Apparently heavy periods can be a major factor behind anemia, & I've certainly had some of those lately. I just figured it was perimenopause raising its ugly head. I've mentioned it to Dr. Ob-gyn and he's never seemed too concerned. Family Dr. asked whether I was feeling fatigued. "Hey, who isn't??" I said. I wish I just could feel normal & healthy -- it seems like there's always something... -- although I realize that both "normal" & "healthy" are relative terms & that I really don't have that much to be complaining about when compared to the problems of others…

In other news, we (finally) bought a vanity on Tuesday night. Couldn't get hold of stepBIL (apparently he was out of town), it wouldn't fit in the car & the rental van wasn't available, so we wound up having it delivered. Even though we bought it Tuesday night, the first available delivery date was today (!) & "anytime between 7 a.m & 6 p.m.," of course. Dh took the day off to stay home & wait, and it finally arrived around 11 a.m. Not quite sure how it's going to look (I think the wood colour is fine but I would have preferred a white marble-ish top), but I was under pressure to make up my mind…! What do you think?

StepBIL arrived late in the afternoon, tore out the old vanity & sink & set some floor tiles where the old one used to be. He'll be here bright & early tomorrow to resume work (grout floor tiles, paint, new toilet & new vanity). Dh & I will be going out for part of the morning (just as well, it gets awfully noisy in here sometimes when he's working...!). Our pg loss support group is holding a waterfront fundraising 5k walk/run. It's been going on for a few years now but this is the first year we'll take part (walking, NOT running!! & paying a flat entrance fee vs collecting pledges) -- at least, so long as the forecasted rain holds off...

Time to watch the U.S. presidential debate...! Happy Friday, & have a good weekend!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It could always be worse...

I've always said that -- no matter how much I may whine & complain about my life -- I thank the Powers That Be that I was born a woman at this particular time in history (late 20th century) and in this particular place (Canada), recognizing that the vast majority of the world's female population doesn't have it anywhere near as good as I do.

Granted, it's not fun or easy being childless & infertile -- but, as this article reminds us, those of us fortunate enough to live in North America still have it pretty darned good, all things considered...

Where I've been lately...

The last few weeks have been a total madhouse chez Loribeth & dh. Let me describe some of what's been going on, topic by topic:

Babies: The weekend before last, we were at FIL's house -- and so was stepBIL-in-law (stepMIL's youngest son) and his wife, with their new baby boy. I brought a gift (Baby Gap) & even held him for awhile as he slept and his bursting-at-the-seams-with-pride grandmother & aunt fawned over him. Oddly enough, it did not faze me in the least.

Monday was my pregnant coworker's baby shower at the office. Somehow I got roped into helping organize it & take pictures, not to mention (another) trip to Baby Gap for a gift, & a trip to the liquor store to pick up a bottle of pink champagne (we knew it was girl) on behalf of one of the bosses. Again, it did not faze me (much). Going home on the commuter train that night, though, I couldn't help but notice two very pregnant women -- one across the aisle & one just down the aisle. THAT irritated me and made me want to rant about the injustice of the universe, for some reason.

Pg coworker's due date was Oct. 3rd. Her last day was originally supposed to be last Friday, then it got moved back to Wednesday… but Wednesday morning, we got an e-mail that her water had broken, & by noon, we had another e-mail (from her husband's BlackBerry), telling us where all the stuff she had been working on was, & by the way, she was 9 cm dilated & ready to push (!!). The baby (girl) was born about an hour later!

I had a laugh trying to explain the significance of having your water break to two of my (single, male) co-workers in their early 30s. The one guy was quite concerned because this was a few weeks earlier than due date -- was the baby going to have to be in an incubator? I said I really didn't think so, not at this point in the pregnancy. I tend to forget that not everyone is as well-informed about all this stuff as I am. And then I had to reflect ruefully on how it is that I know all this stuff when I don't have any (living) children to point to as evidence that I've earned my stripes…

And speaking of work...

Work: Year end activities are gearing up. I need to find my mojo, and fast. Enough said...!

Dh works in a trading job for a brokerage on Bay Street -- the Wall Street of Canada. As the old saying goes, when the U.S. sneezes, Canada catches a cold (or something like that…), so needless to say, the recent carnage on Wall Street has had repercussions here, & been pretty stressful & exhausting for him.

Of course not only is he dealing with a mess at work, he's also dealing with one at home:

Home: As I mentioned in a recent post, we are in the middle of a bathroom renovation. Our bathroom has early-80s beige fixtures, which I can live with, but the doors on the vanity keep falling off, the toilet sometimes runs (& runs… & runs…), & the tub has been rusting & mildewing. A few years back, it was leaking onto the floor of the linen closet behind it. Some new taps & caulking fixed that, but last winter, we noticed it a wet spot on the living room ceiling close to the wall, right below the tub. We recaulked the tub, but it immediately started leaking again. Dh finally agreed with me that more drastic action was called for. And so… bathroom reno!!

His stepbrother (the new dad) is doing the work for us. He has a small business doing this sort of work. He was here three days last week, during which he replaced the tub, tiled & grouted the walls, and stripped the old wallpaper. We haven't heard from him in a few days (even contractors who are "family" can act like typical contractors, it seems...!), but I think he was waiting for us to make our minds up on a vanity, which we ordered tonight & should arrive on Friday. (Speaking of stress...!) My mother is coming for (Canadian) Thanksgiving in mid-October, and is very scent sensitive to things like glue & paint smells -- so I want to have this done & the house well aired before she arrives.

It's times like these, when everything is covered in drywall dust, that I'm thankful we don't have small children running around the house! -- although I must admit, he has been amazingly tidy, cleaning things up as he goes. Thank goodness!

I'm hoping to post some before/during/after photos for a future Show & Tell... for now, if you'd like a peek at some of our choices, here are some links with pictures of the tub, wall tiles and accent border tiles. I'm planning on dark blue towels, shower curtain, bath mat, etc., to pick up the blue in the border tile. : ) The vanity we picked is a dark reddish-brown wood with a beige marbled look top which I'm hoping will look OK with the tiles on the wall as well as on the floor.

Travel: We spent last weekend visiting friends (fellow bereaved parents, who now have a toddler son) in a small city about a 1.5-2 hour drive away. Left Saturday morning, returned Sunday afternoon. They moved there six months ago & have been hounding us to come for a visit. She & I started comparing calendars back in June, & this was the first date we could come up with that was mutually agreeable (!).

We're very glad we went -- we had a really nice time. (And returned with a severe case of house envy, lol -- they have a two-year-old 2,700 foot four bedroom house with a kitchen/family room/eating area across the back of the house that is to die for.) I'd forgotten how refreshing even a little weekend getaway to visit friends can be. It seems silly, because of course we have no kids and few obligations to worry about -- there is no reason why we can't just take off for the weekend or a mini-vacation as the spirit moves us -- but it seems like we never do, at least, we haven't in the past several years. I'm hoping there will be more such trips in the near future.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Just adopt," indeed....

Also in The Toronto Star earlier this week: a front-page feature article on how international adoptions from many countries are becoming increasingly difficult. The comments section includes some hot debates on all sides of the adoption issue.

Book/articles: "Nobody's Father"

This week, the Toronto Star is running excerpts from a new book called "Nobody's Father: Life Without Kids" -- a collection of essays by childless/free men. It appears to be a companion volume to a similar essay collection called "Nobody's Mother" (which is in my huge "to read" stack).

Today's essay is a by a father whose only son died of cancer as a teenager. Even though our circumstances are very different, there is much in his account of grief that I can relate to. Dh said he could totally relate to the line "bereaved parents have an indifference to life." As usual, the reader comments are highly interesting.

There are links to the previous two essays, and there will be more tomorrow & Friday. These men come at childless/free living from a variety of circumstances. I'm sure infertility & pregnancy loss are probably covered somewhere, but will have to find the book to find out for sure...!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Too many posts, too little time...

I'll bet I have more than half a dozen posts started -- in my drafts folder, in jottings that I e-mail from work to myself at home during the day, in my head -- about the political campaigns in both the U.S. & Canada, about my time at home in September 1998, about grief & spirituality (in response to a 6x6 meme at Glow in the Woods), about seeing & holding stepBIL's new baby last weekend & then helping to organize pg co-worker's baby shower yesterday (I survived both just fine -- although the sight of two very pregnant women on the train home later last night just about did me in...!).

But life has this funny habit of getting in the way of the stuff we REALLY want to be doing, now, doesn't it?

For one thing, year-end season, our busiest time of the year at work, is now in full swing, & I am SWAMPED. :(

For another, we are in the middle of a bathroom renovation!! starting with a new tub & tiles (after our old one was so unkind as to leak through onto the living room ceiling, even after multiple attempts at recaulking). StepBIL is doing the work for us & is doing a fabulous job... but he was here until after 8 tonight, & there are still trips to Home Depot to make, drywall & cement dust to clean up later, etc. etc., not to mention the inconvenience of traipsing up & down to the other bathroom in the basement for showers, etc. (I'm hoping -- fingers crossed -- to do a post about it for Mel's Show & Tell on the weekend.)

Thursday night is our support group meeting, and this weekend, we're off to visit friends (also bereaved parents -- former support group clients, in fact) -- a date we made in back in JUNE!!

And I have dived into "The Baby Trail," the next Barren B*tches book club selection.

So if my posts have been scarce & my comments on your blogs scarcer, now you know why. Soon, soon...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The problem with other people's pregnancies

...is not just that they are a reminder of what I almost had/don't have/will never have. It's also that every new pregnancy means however many months that I have another pregnant woman and baby to worry about. To pray about. To hope, through my jealousy, that they'll never have to know the things I now know.

My pg co-worker had an appointment this morning & was supposed to be in the office later. Around noon, my boss sent around an e-mail that sent chills down my spine. My co-worker had left her a message: she'd been sitting at the dr's office/hospital since before 8 that morning. She finally realized, after about two hours, that they had forgotten all about her (!!). Then, the ultrasound machine "didn't work." And now she had to wait some more, because the dr was in surgery but "wanted to talk to her." So she wouldn't be in the office after all -- after her appointment was (finally) done, she was heading home and would "work" from there.

To anyone else, this is one of those "dr's offices, what can ya do?" bureaucractic bungles that you roll your eyes at. (And given what I've heard about this particular hospital, I am not at all surprised...!)

Any mother who has ever experienced a stillbirth, however, will no doubt be reading between the lines, as I did, and letting their imaginations run amok. Broken machine? The dr wants to "talk" to her??

I honestly felt physically ill for awhile. I even e-mailed dh about it. I waited all afternoon, bracing myself for another call or e-mail... which, thankfully, never came.

I will still be holding my breath tomorrow morning, though. And probably every morning until I hear that the baby is safely here, and everyone is OK.

My co-worker lives in the same general neck of the woods as I do -- the same area that the pregnancy loss support group that dh & I help facilitate draws clients from. One of my greatest nightmares is to have someone that I know come walking through the doors at one of our meetings.

Not only that -- the hospital where she is set to deliver her baby has had a troubled history when it comes to obstetrics. They will tell you all is well now, of course -- but at one point, a few years back, there was talk of closing the unit entirely (leaving a population of several hundred thousand people without obstetric services & travelling to other hospitals further afield for care), because of the "problems" there, which were well documented in several of the local newspapers. Let's just say that I have heard about some of those problems firsthand, but for reasons of confidentiality cannot discuss them with her (or here). She IS aware of the hospital's reputation -- & in fact switched drs mid-pregnancy because of what she'd heard from a friend -- but she is not aware in the same way that I am, I am sure.

So many secrets to keep. So many emotions to keep a lid on. I know pregnant women often say they feel like they're going to "pop." Right now, I do too. Just a little while longer...

Update, Friday morning: All is well... she's is just stressed out, understandably. It HAS been a stressful pregnancy for her (me too, lol). She was telling me about her day yesterday & that she has to go back in for more bloodwork tomorrow, saying, "What else can go wrong?" While I sat there with a semi-smile frozen on my face thinking, "You really, REALLY don't want to know..."

September 11, 2001

As a Canadian, with no family in New York City or Washington, my experience of September 11, 2001, was nothing compared to what the people in those cities went through.

But it was still a traumatic day -- one that my (American) mother said reminded her of the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 -- and one that still hit very close to home for my dh & I.

As in New York, Sept. 11 was a beautiful clear, sunny fall day. Shortly before 9 a.m., I e-mailed my younger sister at work to wish her a happy 39th birthday (I still have the e-mail). Dh & I both work for one of Canada's major banks, in one of Canada's tallest office towers on Bay Street -- the Wall Street of Canada. I'm on the 6th floor, but dh works at a stock trading desk on the 65th floor, near the top of the tower (where he can often see small planes flying by).

The trading floor is full of monitors with news feeds and television sets, and, shortly after 9, he called me to say that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Centre towers. Both of us assumed it was a small plane, pilot error or heart attack, etc. I went to the office TV set, which someone had tuned to CNN, watched for a few minutes & then went back to my desk.

Awhile later, dh called again. Another plane had crashed into the other tower. And both of them were not small planes, but jumbo jets. It was being described as a terrorist act. I think everyone was in a bit of a daze. And starting to get nervous about what all this meant.

I went back to the TV set, where a small crowd of my colleagues was now standing around, & watched for awhile in disbelief. Tried to go back to work (denial or what??), but couldn't focus, gave up and went back to the TV set, just in time to see the first tower collapse. Mass confusion, reports of more planes in Washington. Then the hit on the Pentagon, the crash in Pennsylvania. I remember CNN broadcasting live cellphone calls from people who were in the towers. (I wonder if those people got out.)

My boss said, "I'll bet it's Bin Laden." I'd never heard the name before.

At that time, dh was trading U.S. stocks and options, and once the exchanges in New York closed down, he was told he might as well go home. He called me to say he thought he'd catch the next train home, & asked if I could leave too. Nobody had said anything about leaving, so I said I'd see him at home later.

He says he went out the doors of the tower, stopped & said to himself, "Am I nuts??" turned around & came back inside & up to my floor! Someone let him in the security door & he appeared at my side just as we were all watching the second tower collapse.

Shortly after that, our office administrator told us the senior VP of our department had said we could all go home if we wanted to. All over the downtown core, people were going home. Who could work?? By then, I REALLY wanted to go home -- who knew what else was going to happen & where?? (& if all I was going to do was watch the news on TV all day, I'd rather do it in my own home!).

We had 15 minutes to catch the next train home. I returned to my desk to collect my things, & my phone message light was blinking... I looked at dh & said, "That's mom," & it was (calling from 1,000 miles away), & she sounded like she was in tears. We didn't have time to call her back just then.

I said to dh, "Do we go underground, or outside?" Where did we feel safest?

We decided to go outside -- less claustrophobic -- and hurried down Bay Street -- taking nervous looks at the glass office buildings towering above us. It was an eerie feeling. The station was busy -- much busier than it normally would be, midday (& apparently the next train after ours was PACKED). I felt my anxiety dissipate somewhat as the train pulled away from the downtown area -- but it was weird to look at the beautiful Toronto skyline, with all the towering skyscrapers set off against that gorgeous blue sky, and wonder how in the world two similar buildings, and thousands of people in them (and at that point, we feared that it was tens of thousands), could just VANISH from the face of the earth in the space of less than two hours??

I called my mom on my cellphone & let her know we were OK. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home. I figured that if the world was going to hell in a handbasket, we'd better be stocked up on food, just in case. We spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch, stunned, numbly flipping from the CBC to CNN & the other American networks.

The next morning, I awoke to find dh already downstairs, sitting on the couch, watching CNN with tears in his eyes. "They say there are more than 200 firefighters dead," he said tearfully. "When I was a little boy, they were always my heroes."

The train ride into work was quieter than usual. It was not a day for casual chit-chatting.

There is a certain point in the track, near the end of our trip, where we round a curve & the skyline of Toronto comes into view. Looking at it from the train window, I swallowed hard, thinking of how different the skyline of New York City must look that morning.

The closer we got to our office tower, walking up from the train station, the more emotional I felt. My eyes started filling up with tears. I said goodbye to dh & watched him disappear into the elevator that would take him up to the 65th floor. It feels a little presumptuous to write this but, as the elevator doors closed, I started crying, thinking of all the women who had said goodbye to their husbands the day before, who went up an elevator to a trading floor near the top of a tall office tower, and never came down again. Having that connection, and also having experienced a traumatic loss myself in recent years-- the stillbirth of our daughter, three years earlier -- I felt like I could relate, just a little bit, to some of what they might be going through. Reading some of their accounts of their grief, I marvel over the common ground we share in bereavement, no matter what the circumstances of our own unique losses.

I was the first person to arrive at our office, so everything was still & silent.... very eerie. (At least nobody was around to see my raccoon eyes!) As the morning went on, though, it was down to business and I started to feel much better. The Canadian bank I work for has about 300 employees in New York working at Liberty Plaza, right across the street from the World Trade Centre site -- who were all eventually deemed safe and accounted for -- and there were calls to make and messages to draft to let all our employees worldwide know they were all right.

With the stock markets in chaos, dh was told to go home early again. Over the next few days, he spoke with traders from companies who worked at nearby buildings and across the river in New Jersey, and he heard some awful stories from them.

A few days later, there were memorial services held around the world for the victims, including one in Ottawa. Work once again came to a standstill as my colleagues & I gathered around the TV set and bowed our heads during the moment of silence. (We did it again on September 11, 2002.) I'll never forget the image of the television cameras silently sweeping over the crowd of 100,000 people assembled on Parliament Hill, heads bowed in total stillness.

Some two dozen Canadians lost their lives on September 11, 2001 -- in the planes, and at the World Trade Centre. One of them was a young brokerage executive, who worked for the bank across the street from us, and was visiting Cantor Fitzgerald's offices while his pregnant wife went shopping. His death in particular felt "close to home."

As time has passed, the effects of 9/11 continue to linger, in subtle & not so subtle ways. I was born in a small town on the Canada-U.S. border. My ancestors settled on a farm just a mile or two from there on the Minnesota side in the late 1870s, & my mother was born in a small town 20 miles to the south. By this time next year, as part of the fallout from Sept. 11th, I will need a passport to cross the border to visit my ancestors' graves in the cemetery. :(

I walk faster through the crowded concourse of the train station now, & dh & I have actually moved from one car to another when one of us has felt uncomfortable about the behaviour of other passengers. I have noticed days (like yesterday) when more security officers than usual are standing in the concourse of my building, watching -- for what? What do they know that we don't?

Our 68-storey office tower had never had a full drill before -- we'd simply line up by the fire exit to the stairs and that would be our fire drill. Even before 9/11 I thought that was totally ridiculous. How long would it take us to get out of the building? Where would we be exiting the building, and where were we supposed to go from there? Nobody seemed to know. Since then, safety training has vastly improved, and we now have an annual fire drill each fall in which the entire building is completely evacuated.

In the past, people tended to assume that most fire alarms were false & work through them. These days, fire alarms tend to get taken much more seriously, and people are far more likely to evacuate, than they were in the past.

Huge planters have appeared on the sidewalk outside of my office building, forming a barrier in front of the street. It's obvious they're there to prevent a vehicle from being deliberately driven up the steps. Another time, we were asked to clear our desks to allow access to the windows to allow a protective film to be applied that would make the windows more shatter-resistant. Nothing was said about why the windows might shatter, but we could all imagine why.

I've worked in this tower since it opened, 20 years ago. I've probably spent more waking hours there than any other place in my entire life. It is home to me, in a peculiar sort of way... the coffee shop girls, the familiar faces... I walk through the concourse and look around me and, while I'm always happy to go home at the end of the day ; ) I think about how lucky I am to be working here. I think sometimes about the World Trade Centre survivors, and how -- totally aside from the tragic loss of coworkers, family members, friends -- they also lost the place they spent so much time every day, some of them for years & years -- their sense of belonging to a certain place, the comfort of a daily routine. That has to be disorienting.

It's now seven years later -- and in the morning, as we round the curve in the track and the Toronto skyline unfolds into view, I still often look up from my newspaper to admire, breathe a silent prayer of thanks -- and remember September 11, 2001.

My 100-word version of this post -- along with 100 words about 9-11 from dozens of other bloggers -- is being posted some time today on Bridges. Stop by, read & remember.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Book alert!

Today's Globe & Mail had an excerpt from an upcoming book called An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCracken, about the stillbirth of her first child, a son, while she was living in France.

O Magazine also had an excerpt from this book in a recent issue.

I checked the book out on the Chapters-Indigo (Canadian mega-bookstore) website, & learned it hasn't been published yet (at least, it's not available in stores here yet). Needless to say, I will be keeping my eyes open for it!

"The dead don't need anything. The rest of us could use some company." Amen!!

Two other beautiful stillbirth memoirs I have read & loved:

* Life Touches Life by Lorraine Ash (a journalist who has remained childless/free after the loss of her daughter Victoria Helen).

* Shadow Child by Beth Powning, which details not only the stillbirth of her first son Tate in the early 1970s, but how it affected the rest of her life in the years afterward, and how she finally came to terms with her loss & was able to give her son a place in her life. This was one of the first first-person accounts of stillbirth that I read after the loss of my daughter -- my copy is actually signed by the author -- & it was a hugely affirming experience for me to read it.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Signs that summer is over

The kids are back at school, & the weather has been chilly and rainy this weekend. I put on my heavy, fluffy terrycloth bathrobe last night for the first time in months! I'm not ready for this...!!

Mel was asking in her Friday roundup where everyone has been. After my posting frenzy in August (!), I know I've been kind of quiet myself lately -- here as well as in comments elsewhere. It's been a busy few weeks, getting back from vacation, covering for others who were still away; farewells & welcomes at the office (students & others leaving us, & their replacements arriving). Also, I've been joking to some people that first it was staying up late to watch the Olympics, then the Democrats, then the Republicans, & that this week will probably be my first decent night's sleep in nearly a month, lol.

Of course, being Canadian (albeit one with an American-born mother & lots of American relatives), I can't vote in the U.S. election... but U.S. politics has a huge impact on Canada, so we can't help but take an interest here. Plus, your election is infinitely more interesting than ours -- which was just called today for Oct. 14th. (I am sick of it already, lol.)

Speaking of the conventions, they're the subject of a lot of interesting posts I've been reading lately. I think my favourite was Io's, because it touched on a pet peeve of mine -- the elevation of the cult of mommyhood, to the detriment of those of us who have not been blessed with a family.

Even before I read her post, I had e-mailed myself a New York Times story about Sarah Palin that caught my attention (and raised my hackles) with the following paragraph:
“I admire her intelligence and I admire her integrity, but first and foremost she’s a mom, and she has an understanding of what being a mom is,” said Janet Kincaid, a grandmother and Republican who last summer opened her lakeside Wasilla home for a $20,000 Palin fund-raiser.

Forget the question of whether six years as a small-town mayor and not quite two years as governor is enough experience to assume the vice-presidency (&, by implication, the presidency) (let alone how well it stacks up against Barack Obama's political resume). She's not JUST a woman! She's a MOM!! -- that experience trumps everything else in some people's opinions. I guess that means politicians who don't have kids (whether they wanted them or not) had better pack up their marbles & go home, hmmm?

I have blogged about this before, long before convention season -- and I realize that most parents do this unthinkingly -- but so often when they talk about various aspects of parenthood, the implication is often made that if you don't have kids -- for whatever reason -- you're simply not as important or valued a member of society. Your personal time is not as valuable, your extended family demands are not as important, your reasons for leaving work early are considered less "legitimate" than similar requests made by parents.

We all tend to seek common ground with the people around us (that's why one of the first questions you'll likely be asked when meeting someone new is whether you have kids). And we all like to think of our political leaders as being "people like us."

Political candidates have long relied on their families to present a positive public image, to some extent... but the consideration of a self-proclaimed "hockey mom" for the second-highest office in the U.S.A. seems to be elevating the question to a whole new level. Does family status really matter in a political candidate? Should it? Are childless/free political candidates at a disadvantage?

I'm still mulling over these questions, but I'd love to hear what you think.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Quirky Meme

I was tagged by Janis a little while back to do this meme, and here (finally!) are my answers. I had a whole list in my head & of course it vanished at one point.

I suspect I have done this one before... but I'm not going to go looking until I'm finished... I want to see if I give the same answers! ; )

Mention six quirky, yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself. Tag six other bloggers by linking to them. Go to each person’s blog and leave a comment that lets them know they’ve been tagged. If you participate, let the person know who tagged you you’ve posted your quirks!

1. I cannot let the closet doors in my house remain open -- even just a crack (and especially if I'm going to sleep!). They have to be closed, tight!

2. I don't eat my red Smarties (kind of like M&Ms) last... but I do separate them by colour. Black go first; pink & purple last.

3. Dh & I work in the same office building, & every morning before we split up & head to our respective floors, I tell him, "Be good & be careful." We started saying "Be good" after we saw "ET." The "be careful" part started after Sept. 11/01...

4. I have been known to eat chocolate chips from my kitchen cupboards when I'm craving chocolate.

5. I use a paper Filofax week at a glance calendar, & use different coloured pens for different things. Red is birthdays & anniversaries, purple is for daily notes about the weather, black is for bills due on that date. Green is for marking them off when they're paid!

6. I hate mushrooms, but I will tolerate cream of mushroom soup in casseroles. ; )

I think just about everybody has already done this one... but if you haven't, consider yourself tagged!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Anyone watch Oprah today?

It was Elizabeth Gilbert talking about "Eat, Pray, Love." I missed about the first 10 minutes. Probably a repeat, but I don't get to watch Oprah every day, being at work most of the time. ; )

Richard from Texas was in the audience & spoke briefly. He wasn't at all as I had pictured him. I envisioned someone more grizzled, with a Texas cowboy drawl, kind of like Sam Elliott. : )

She talked about the "selfish" label. (I hope I'm remembering this correctly.) She said the Chinese have two words that mean "selfish." One means "that which benefits the self." The other means "greedy, harmful to others, etc." Somehow, in our society, we've mashed the two translations into one. If you're benefiting yourself but not doing harm to others, how can that be selfish? I thought of all the times I've heard childless or infertile people called "selfish." How are we harming others by choosing to live without children or choosing to pursue a family by doing infertility treatments?

Did anyone else see the show?