Saturday, December 29, 2007

Weight loss thoughts

Just to reassure folks, I'm not trying to lose weight right now. I lost 30 pounds over the summer and then I got pregnant. I've lost 13 more pounds since, probably because I am eating small meals and snacks every 1.5-2 hours while I'm awake to stave off nausea.

I used Weight Watchers over the summer and I plan to go back to that once the baby is born, since I find it easy and low-stress.

They're starting a "Biggest Loser" challenge over on my BabyCenter birth board, and they're going to use percentages, apparently that is how they do it on the NBC show. I don't watch "The Biggest Loser" although I do like "Celebrity Fit Club" (celebrity fit club is funnier, frankly). This means that if they do another challenge after I have this baby, there is no fair competition for me, personally. I think most of them looking to lose weigh under 200 pounds.

For me to lose 10% of my body weight right now, I would have to lose 37 pounds. Yes, you read that correctly. I am very heavy and it's very unhealthy. Someone who weighs 160 would only need to lose 16 to hit a 10% goal. I could whine about it over there, but what else is a blog for, right? I adore those ladies. I get that they feel unhealthy and unfit in their bodies currently. But I would be delighted to weigh 180. At this point, I'd be delighted to weigh under 300. I don't blame anyone else for my weight issue - I know it's my fault and my problem. That's why I was working on it! I sit on my butt too much and while we eat pretty healthily the majority of the time, we also hit the drive thru. I know it didn't go on overnight and I don't expect to take it off that quickly. Going by that it's safe to lose 1% of body weight in a week, it would take me about 12 weeks, or 3 mo, to lose 10%. It might be the same for someone else smaller, but no gaurantees. I don't think it's easier for overly large people to lose weight - it just looks that way b/c of excess water weight.

I just bristle that I can't have "fair" competition with my friends on that board, if they stick with the same style of challenge after I've had the baby. I like friendly competition of this sort, and I think it's fun and valuable, but there's no point in participating in the specific challenge b/c there is no way I can come even close to "winning" using a percentage system. I'll still do Weight Watchers and lose the weight - nothing is going to stop me there - but I suppose I'll have to stick with SparkPeople's boards for the support/competition. The women who need to lose 15-20 pounds probably don't understand what it's like for me, who needs to lose 150-200 pounds.

Or maybe they do, and I'm not giving them a chance.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Late Night Musings

I'm tired. Not just physically, mind. Physical tiredness is easy to deal with, at least for me. Insomnia has never been one of my traits. Night-owl-ness, very much so. I just seem to have developed a bone-deep weariness that I can't shake. I'm emotional (I know some of that has to do with pregnancy hormones), yet can't bring myself to invest much emotion in others right now. The bipolar just eats away at me, and there's nothing I can do for it. Unless I become suicidal (which I'm not. Just freakin tired!) I won't risk hurting the baby to treat it with drugs.

It doesn't help that I'm not working. It doesn't help that I dislike being a stay at home parent, or that I'm a crappy housekeeper and I feel like a crappy mom. I feel as though I contribute absolutely nothing to anyone or anything currently. I know in my rational mind this isn't true - Freyja is bathed, fed, clothed, played with, cuddled and loved. I know that that is worth something, but it doesn't feel like it to me. I hope I can hold it together with two kids. I know I don't have to hold it together alone, but I feel like I have to deal with the bipolar and the mental issues alone. It's just overwhelming. I worry about after the baby comes, will I deal with postpartum depression again? Or worse, postpartum psychosis?

I just worry a lot. I'm just tired. My therapist is nice, but she doesn't quite get it. Even though the test she gave me agrees with the bipolar diagnosis, she seems to think that boosting my self-esteem will solve all my problems. If only it were that easy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Trip Away

Kerwin works for a Marriott brand hotel (think the high-end, swanky one), and one of his "perks" is 2 free nights at a Marriott property at least 60 miles away from the one he works at in November or December.

We took advantage of this the past couple of days in the Ann Arbor, MI area. I had hoped to come back with pictures of Freyja jumping on the bed, but she refused to jump. It was a king bed, I was right there, I made sure her shoes were off. I said, "you can jump on the bed!"

"No, mumma. That is NOT safe."

"Yes, but I am here watching you, so it's OK. It's a big bed, and I doubt you'll fall."

"I will fawl and cwack my head open and you will have to take me to the 'mergency woom."

There you have it - my own personal safety patrol. We did have a good time using the pool and visiting with Kerwin's grandmother, whom we helped "decoration" her Christmas tree. The bed was cushy and huge - Freyja slept on the foldout couch the second night b/c she tossed and turned too much the first and kept us both awake. Last night, Kerwin was on one side and I was on the other, and I think you could have easily fit another fairly large adult in the middle. I don't, as a rule, snuggle.

A nice trip away, even if I didn't get any time to myself. I may look into having Kerwin just come and check me into the Courtyard or SpringHill Suites near us (we get a great rate there, something like $39/night) for a couple days of solo mommy R&R before the baby comes. I could read, take long baths, sleep, take more long baths...oh yeah.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Freyja's Current Obessions

Thanks to my dad, Freyja has discovered the joys of YouTube.

Unfortunately, he didn't tell me what videos he played for her, leading to screaming that I wasn't playing the song with the swing and the car. WTF?! I had to call my dad to figure it out. It was the first one on the list.

Here's her current favorites, courtesy of Grandpa .

Leann Rimes - Nothing Bout Love Makes Sense

Leann Rimes - Nothin' Better to Do

The 5th Dimension - Wedding Bell Blues

The Archies - Sugar Sugar

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Card

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Made with GIMP, b/c I'm too poor for Photoshop.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dear Idiot Child

To the Idiot Child Driving the Green Pickup Truck;
4:52 PM, December 10, 2007
Apple Drive and 144th, Nunica, MI

Please go directly to the Secretary of State's office and surrender your licence, if you even have one. The purpose of a stop sign is so that you STOP, look BOTH WAYS, and then WAIT if there is traffic coming before proceeding across the intersection. You seem to think a stop sign means to slow down, then drive slowly across the intersection, causing motorists with right of way to attempt to brake with less than 50 yards between you and them. Thank goodness the roads were not icy. If talking to your friend or adjusting your radio is more important than keeping your eyes on the road that you barely glanced in my direction as I laid on the horn for those 50 yards, you shouldn't be on the road. Period.

Since you have obviously not learned such a fundamental driving law, you don't deserve to be on the road. You almost got yourself t-boned today. You probably would have been all right, since I drive a tiny Geo Prism. My daughter and I may not have been so lucky. I don't think you want lives on your conscience at 16 or 17.

Driving is a priveldge, not a right. If I knew how to contact your parents, I would. I hope for your sake you did notice how close you came to a serious accident today and talk to your parents about it. They should think twice before allowing you back on the road.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


All the stuff I've bought on Etsy has arrived.

I am really tempted to get into the yummy soap I ordered. It just smells so good!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Ramblings Redux

I'm trying to do all of my holiday shopping for extended family on the money I have in paypal. My folks offered to help us out. They don't want anything back, but I just don't want to let them if I don't have to. I know I shouldn't be so prideful.

Gosh, it's hard. With me not working, though, it's what we can spare. I love Etsy for this. It's only the men I'm having trouble with. I just finished up two aunts and two cousins with a couple of Etsy purchases! Thankfully, we draw names on both sides so there aren't too many presents to buy. It looks like I'll have $$ left over, so hopefully I can find something cute for Freyja, too. It might not be the almighty Giraffe Tent, but it'll be something.

I enjoy shopping and finding that perfect thing, and being funds-limited just makes it more of a challenge. I'm trying to keep thinking of it that way - challenging, instead of pathetic. We'll at least keep up appearances for the family, though I don't know if Freyja is going to get much of anything from us at all. This is the first year she's really been excited about giving and getting presents, and all of hers will probably be from Grandma.

I know I shouldn't be so upset about a commercialized holiday, but I am. There, I admit it. I love Christmas and I hate being unemployed so our Christmas is going to suck. Kerwin doesn't want me to call the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots or anything like that to see about getting Freyja some presents, either. We've given to those and other similar programs for the past two years - and we will next year if things are better - I don't see the problem in utilizing something like this just this once.

Other than that, we're pretty broke. Kerwin and I have been fighting pretty much non-stop and I'm stressed close to the breaking point which I know can't be that good for the baby. I think he thinks that I'm trying to stay unemployed on purpose, at least that's the feeling I get. Yeah. I like worrying about paying bills and buying groceries. That's SO my idea of a good time.

I've applied for many jobs, I've been told my resume doesn't suck by some people I trust on that, and yet there are no calls. I'm going to head down to Goodwill, Manpower, and a few other agencies this week to see if there's anything they have listed that I qualify for. Temp work would be good right now anyway, considering I don't know how easy it's going to be to convince anyone to hire someone who's 4 months pregnant and will be going on maternity leave in early May anyway.

If you made it through this much of my whining, I thank you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Stars Don't Lie?

I am a great kisser, thank you very much.

Sunday Musings

I get more flowers now that my hubby works 3rd shift loss prevention at a fancy hotel than I ever did before. It has nothing to do with him getting paid more and thus being more able to buy me flowers, it has to do with wedding receptions, museum galas, and political events being held there.

Yes, I get castoff flowers. Today I also got cookies, Godiva chocolates, and Bosc pears, since they used pears in the arrangements for the wedding held at his hotel last night. They are very pretty arrangements, just the kind of thing I might have liked could I have afforded such a fancy fall wedding.

A few weeks ago, he brought home a gorgeous centerpiece of white and pink roses and miniature lilies. I dried about two dozen roses. It smells absolutely divine over by my baker's rack in the kitchen.

I suppose it's nice that he does think about me and bring these castoff flowers home. As a bargain hunter, I can understand his thinking.

All the same, it'd still be nice to get flowers that were intended for me in the first place, at least once in a while.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Goodbye, GG.

The funeral was yesterday, and it was nice. Nice seems like a shallow descriptor, but it's the only one I can come up with right now.

I slipped the "Fuck Cancer" cross-stitch I made into the casket, because she loved it.

The homily had to do with faith and how Grandma lived hers by loving her family and taking care of the people around her. No altar calls, no come to Jesus if you loved Grandma talks, which I know Kerwin and I appreciated. My mom was amused by the two of us singing bass and alto on all the hymns without hymnals in our hands. She thought it was funny that the only people who knew all the words and harmony lines without the hymnals are, in fact, "godless heathens" (she DOES know about Paganism, she was just giving us crap).

Freyja did really well, she was quiet and she drew some pictures during the service.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

It's over

My grandma passed on at 3:30 this afternoon.

The funeral is on Wednesday.

I'm doing OK, just weepy and upset. She was a wonderful lady and we are going to miss her a lot.

My Grandma is Dying

She had stomach cancer, had her whole stomach removed two years ago. Now it is back, and after an agressive chemo treatment a few weeks ago she has gotten steadily worse.

We spent the better part of the night at the hospital, then came to my folks about 5 am to try and get some sleep when nothing was changing. She's on oxygen, but is do not rescusitate in her orders.

My dad and his siblings, and some more of the family (who didn't have a cranky 3 yo to deal with) saw the internist this morning and they have said there is nothing more they can do for her, and all we can do is wait.

They may be moving her to hospice, but we don't know about that yet.

I'm the oldest grandchild and Grandma and I are pretty close. Freyja is beside herself and keeps telling us she doesn't want GG to die. I just tell her that sometimes our bodies become so broken that we can't live anymore, but if she loves GG, GG will never really leave her b/c she'll be in her heart. She seems satisifed with that, but it's so hard to watch your 3 yo cry b/c someone she loves is dying. There are seven other grandchildren and two more great grands, and lots of other family who will miss a funny, caring, loving lady.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Don't Sue Me, JKR

For Eden, who asked:

My HP fanfic is archived at The Petulant Poetess.

I've only done drabbles so far, but my fic for the Winter 2007 Severus/Hermione exchange is going to be posted in January, after my recipient gets to read it first. It's entirely possible I could write something else between now and then, as well.

I usually post fic updates on my LiveJournal. Should I be working on my original YA SciFi novel instead? Probably.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Seven Weird Things Meme

It's Thordora's fault.

1) I like my gingerale with a shot of caramel syrup

2) I'm really quiet if I don't know people. This doesn't win me many friends and makes me seem quite standoffish and snobby. I'm not, I'm just afraid that people won't like me. It's all part of having avoidant personality disorder.

3) My nickname around the house in high school was Opera Wench. My dad's friend Doug gave it to me.

4) I like fancy pens and fancy paper. Nothing makes me happier than a Moleskine and a nice pack of Staedtlers or microns. People wishing to be on my good side need do nothing more than come bearing quality stationery.

5) I read voraciously and indiscriminately. I like all kinds of books but I LOVE sci fi and fantasy, badly written and not.

6) I write Harry Potter fanfiction. People have actually read it and thought it was decent.

7) Asparagus is my favorite vegetable.

I'm supposed to pick seven people, but y'all can just do this if you like, and let me know.

Friday, October 26, 2007

No News

Haven't heard back from the folks I interviewed with last week.

I'm either unemployable or bollocks at interviewing.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Blog Day for the Mothers' Act

800,000 women in the United States will develop a diagnosable perinatal mood disorder this year. Only 15% of them will get any kind of treatment.

If you consider a population of 300 million, that's too many. As a nation, we treat our mothers appallingly. After all, a healthy baby is all that counts, right? It doesn't matter that a mother's body and rights were trampled on to get that healthy baby, does it? Even other mothers turn on each other over how we birth, feed, and care for our babies.

The Mothers' Act is a good start. It provides grants for education about postpartum depression. However, nothing will change until the social stigma of being affected by depression is eradicated.

The stories and voices of perinatal mood disorders are varied. They extend across social, economic, and racial boundaries. It's not just poor women, or white women, or rich women, or black women, or Hispanic women or middle-class women. It's all women.

In a nation that has the most advanced medical technology and the best doctors on the planet, we shame women who need help. "Cheer up!" "Buck up!" "You have a healthy baby, that's all that matters!"

We should be ashamed of ourselves. It's not all that matters.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Assorted Updates

My interview last week went well, at least as far as I could tell. The interviewer and I bonded over a totally off-topic discussion of homebirth and doulas after all the pertinent information was discussed. Hey, anything that will help her remember me!

I should hear about the job by Friday. It's possible that it may be only part-time, but that would be OK as long as I'm still making around what I did with AmeriCorps. It would also cut down on daycare costs!

I'm bringing in a little money here and there with eBay auctions, but I'm losing my mind being at home. Freyja's going to daycare a couple times a week to keep her spot, but neither she nor I are used to being up each other's butt all day. We're still adjusting. Hopefully I'll get this job or another one soon, and she can go back to daycare where I'm sure she has a much more structured day than I could even attempt to give her.

The belly bean is doing fine. I have an appointment next Monday. I'll be 13 weeks, so we should be able to hear the heartbeat. My MW is really good at hunting for it under my fat if I recall correctly from when I was pregnant with Freyja. I had an ultrasound a couple weeks ago, too - I'd scan the picture, but it's not all that exciting - looks like a bean with flippers.

Also, if anyone is crazy enough to want to read my Harry Potter fanfiction, you can check out my livejournal account. I've only done drabbles/100 word so far, but once I finish my fic for an exchange I'm doing, it'll be posted there too. I know there are those of you who think fanfic is scary, so that's all I'll say.

That's about all that's going on around here. Someday soon I'll get back to writing real entries instead of holiday letter-esque updates.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An Interview. I has one.

Wednesday afternoon at three.

I hope they like me, and I hope they like me enough to hire me.

I have seen the future of me not working, and it will only end in tears and insanity. The past two weeks have been more than I can bear. I am not cut out for staying home. I feel resentment toward my husband and child. I indulge in self-loathing. Soon I will have to ask Kerwin for money for something or another, and the last vestiges of my independence will be utterly stripped away.

It isn't, nor will it be, pretty.

So, if you would think of me on Wednesday at three, I would be most appreciative. The job is something I think I would really enjoy. It involves food, cooking, and imparting my wisdom and talent for eating well on a budget to others.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Man Meme

Via Eden:

1. Who is your man? Kerwin
2. How long have you been together? Five and a half years
3. How long dated? six months
4. How old is your man? just turned 29
5. Who eats more? him
6. Who said “I love you” first? can't remember.
7. Who is taller? him
8. Who sings better? it's a toss-up. We're both classically trained.
9. Who is smarter? probably him, as much as I hate to admit it. Book smarts only. When it comes to other things he's kind of dumb.
10. Whose temper is worse? mine, for sure
11. Who does the laundry? we both do
12. Who takes out the garbage? him
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? me
14. Who pays the bills? both of us
15. Who is better with the computer? me
16. Who mows the lawn? him
17. Who cooks dinner? usually me
18. Who drives when you are together? almost universally me
19. Who pays when you go out? depends on who got paid that week
20. Who is most stubborn? me
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? him
22. Whose parents do you see the most? mine!
23. Who kissed who first? he kissed me first
24. Who asked who out? I don't know. We met online.
25. Who proposed? him
26. Who is more sensitive? me
27. Who has more friends? him
28. Who has more siblings? him

Friday, October 12, 2007

Shortbread Love

The craving for shortbread blindsided me about half a hour ago.

It's easy to make, and I had everything, so I made some.

The plan is to eat a piece now and save the rest for later. Somehow I feel that just isn't going to happen. I loooooove shortbread. I did throw the guts of a vanilla bean in there, so it's not completely "authentic", but the dough was good.

Another reason to love shortbread - no eggs, so eating the dough off your fingers, the spoon, or the bowl is completely OK.

1 c. softened butter
1/2 c. fine sugar
2 c. flour (I use 1 c. regular flour and 1 c. corn starch - silky!)

Cream butter and sugar. Add flour a little at a time, until dough is shaggy and easily handled. Either roll out and cut with cookie cutters or pat into a 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 for about 15 min or until "set" and a very light golden. If you used a pan, cut into peices now. Let it cool.

I like to dip into melted chocolate, but whatever floats your boat.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

An Open Letter, Vol III (I think)

Dear Muskegon Target;

When you're closing one store to open another, you may find that the merchandise moves faster if you discount it. There's no way I'm going to pay full price for those 500 thread count sheets still left on your shelf, but had you discounted them I might. If you knock everything in the store down to 50% off I'm guessing whatever you have left will be gone before you close next Tuesday. Just sayin'.

Good move putting the expensive chocolate on 30% off, though. I did avail myself of a few bars. The Chocolove Candied Ginger and 65% Dark Chocolate bar? I'm one happy preggo.

But think about the discount, will you?




I found a sugar cookie mix in the cupboard, but my oven knob is still broken and I haven't gotten a replacement for it yet. I really, really want some cookies. The only sweet stuff I have in the house is ice cream, and I'm too cold to want any ice cream.

Caramel corn sounds good, too - but I don't have any caramel nor do I feel like attempting to make some from scratch.

I'd settle for frozen waffles, but we're out of syrup. Powdered sugar on the waffles is only good if there's butter, and we're out of butter, too.

I need to get a new oven knob and I need to hit the grocery store, obviously. Yet this doesn't solve my immediate problem of wanting something sweet.


Friday, September 28, 2007

It's Finished

So I'm done with AmeriCorps.

This presents a small problem, as I must rename my blog. I expect I'll keep the same address, but a new title would be nice.

I'm thinking.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Skillz 2 pay da billz

K assures me he has them.

Even IF, he says, I don't get a new job, we can still pay the bills! He's done the budget! If we get WIC and Food Stamps and Medicaid. To me, that is not paying the bills. That is continuing to suck off the tit when we really don't need to.

He seems to think I should be overjoyed at this. I do not want the meaningless trailer park existence nor do I particularly WANT to stay home with my spawn. All day. Because we won't be able to afford the gas to go anywhere or do anything fun. Being a stay at home mom is only cool when you have the $$ to do the things you want to do.

I would much rather work. Work. Earn money. Pay off debts. Pay off the trailer. Buy a real house with a real yard with room for spawnlings to run and play. Enjoy my spawnlings on the weekends and the evenings.

Staying home and having to watch every penny does not sound like anything I want to do. It will most certainly NOT be better for my children because vitamin Z won't even help me out of the low feeling like a non-contributor will put me in. K can try to tell me that being with the kids is the most important contribution, but when he's the one stuck at home with no adult interaction, trying to keep a toddler and a newborn quiet all day because Daddy works 3rd shift and is sleeping...well...maybe he'd get my reluctance.

I hate the feeling of not having any money in my pocket and having to ask The Husband for anything I want or need, having to justify new shampoo, or new underwear, or this cute outfit I saw for the baby. I had enough of that during Freyja's first year. Maybe if he were making double or treble what he does and could "pay" me for staying home then I'd be OK with staying at home, but the way things are now, I just can't fathom it.

And of course, because I think it's better for me to work and send my kids to daycare, I'm a Bad Evil Mommy for doing what's right for my family.

Fuck it all, I'm doing what I think is right, and to hell with what anyone else outside the family thinks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yes, Virginia, You Can Have a VBAC...

...if you have private insurance!

I've called six practices and none of them are taking new patients with medicaid. One will take them with referrals, so if I can get my midwife to refer me (she knows I want a VBAC) I should be able to go with that one. The only issue is that two of their docs don't take medicaid at all, and they're the two - you guessed it - most likely to allow VBAC.

I love being poor. All my decisions are made for me and I just have to sit back and let the state decide what's best for me! Just WONDERFUL!

Can I get a VBAC?

Who knows? There are at least 30 obstetrics practices in the area where we live. I am going to start calling them in a few minutes.

Let's hope I find someone with a good attitude, because I'm not going to listen to some jackass OB who thinks he's God's Gift to medicine tell me I'm too fat to have a vaginal delivery. But, if that's going to be the case, I'd like to find out now so I can just stick with my midwives that I see for well-woman care, and have their overseeing OB do a repeat c-section (he did Freyja's, which was the only thing well-done about her fiasco of a birth).

We've been tossing around the idea of a home birth, but there is just no way we'd be able to afford the midwife's fees, and as much as I know I might like a home birth, the idea of uterine rupture at home where I'm 20 minutes from a hospital and general anesthesia scares the shit out of me. After seeing uterine rupture AT a hospital, I'm not quite sure I can cope with that happening at home. VBAC'ing in the hospital I can handle, even though I know it will most likely be sterile, I'll be on my back, everything draped, bright lights and cold in an OR "just in case".

The statistics are on my side, it's just finding a provider that will "allow" me to "attempt a trial of labor". As soon as the phone finishes charging, I'll start calling and finding out.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Um, Surprise!

I know I haven't posted much in the past few weeks. I've been busy, looking for a new job and finishing up the loose ends at my current one.

I've been feeling "off" the past few weeks, too. Then I noticed that I haven't had Aunt Flo for a visit in a while. This is nothing new, as my cycles are wonky.

Well, apparently losing that 30 pounds with Weight Watchers made me ovulate properly, because this is what I got staring at me Wednesday afternoon:

Yeah. The timing is horrible, I have no idea how we're going to afford this. I want to be excited and happy, but I'm really worried about finances. K just seems to think that everything will work out, but I just can't go flying on a wing and a prayer. Hopefully I find a job soon, but this is going to make it even harder.

Monday, August 27, 2007


I have about a month to go in my second AmeriCorps term.

This means I need to get a real job. Also, it means that I need a new blog title. This whole "real job" thing is scary. I like the flexibility I have now, and I know that is going out the window soon. I've gained a lot of good experience, I just hope it's enough to land me a decent-paying office job somewhere. I've applied for a couple, so hopefully they'll at least interview me.

Kerwin started a new job this weekend - working third shift security at a new luxury hotel in the area. He loves it so far, and I hope it continues to treat him well. Anything's better than Best Buy at this point - he plans to stay on at least one day a week there. We love the discount and it's too good to give up! His discount via the hotel is excellent, as well. We may actually be able to afford a honeymoon for our 5th anniversary.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Eight Things About My Marriage

1. Where did you meet your husband? Online, at a chat site called Alamak. We met in the "think cafe", a place for pseudo-intellectuals. In reality, it was the only room on the site where you could get a decent conversation without getting "A/S/L??!!1 U want 2 cyber?" every two seconds.

2. What was the first thing you said to your husband? In real life? I can't remember. It was probably, "Hi! Finally found you!"

3. Where was your first kiss? First date? First kiss and first date were the same day, I suppose. We kissed on one of the sidewalks outside of the Field Museum in Chicago - which was where we had our first meeting/date.

4. Did you have a long or short courtship/engagement? We met online in January of 1999, started "courting" online in January of 2002, met in April of 2002, he moved here in July of 2002. He proposed in January 2003, and we were married September 2003. I'd say it was about an average courtship and engagement.

5. Where did you get engaged? I was sitting on our bed, and I was pissed off at him because I knew the ring was back from being sized and he was hiding at one of our friends' houses instead of coming home and proposing like he was supposed to. He came home, handed me a rose from the gas station, and I was all "whatever!" and threw the rose on the bed. He handed it back to me and said that I might want to look at it a little closer. He had hidden the ring in the petals of the rose. I said "You BITCH!", and he pulled the ring out and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes - but he told everybody I called him a bitch when he proposed.

6. Where did you get married? At my mom's church on September 26, 2003 in a very small ceremony in their prayer room. We had planned on the courthouse, but they were booked up on our date. Enter our white knight in the guise of my mom's pastor, Julie, who helped us put together an amazing non-trinitarian ceremony that was as pagan as we were going to get in a Lutheran church.

7. How did the reception go? We had an open house, with a pig roast. It was very relaxed, people came and went, and we had a good time. No dancing.

8. How was the honeymoon? I'll let you know when I finally get one. We're hoping we'll be able to afford one for our 5th anniversary next year.

Stole this from Deb

Monday, August 20, 2007

Five Questions

1. I need to know-I LOVE the name Freyja-why did you pick it?

Freyja's name was proposed by my husband - he's a Norse Trad pagan. Freyja is the Norse goddess of love, lust, and war (I found a t-shirt somewhere on the web recently that had a picture of Freyja with the slogan "Freyja - if you can't lay it, slay it"). We wanted a name that was strong, meaningful, and unusual, without being too weird - we both have healthy amounts of Germanic and Scandi heritage, so the family thought it was a great name, if slightly odd. Other names we tossed around for her were Maureen and Ysabel, but when I found my due date was going to be on a Friday, which is Freyja's/Frigga's day, I knew we'd found the right name. Looking back, I don't see how we could have named her anything else. Her middle name is Louise, which means "warrior".

2. If you could be doing anything, ANYTHING in the world, what would you do?

Anything? I could toe the party line and say I'd be doula-ing for a living, but that wouldn't be true. I love doula-ing, but I love acting more. I'd be on Broadway, doing plays and musicals. There's a whole list of roles I want to get through, Elphaba in "Wicked", Kate Monster in "Avenue Q", Carlotta in "Phantom of the Opera"...I could go on. I love to sing and most of the CDs in my car are musical soundtracks.

3. If your man sends you flowers, what ones must they be? Why?

My man never sends me flowers - I'm more likely to send HIM flowers. I love daisies and carnations. Either of those is a good bet. I like purple daisies the best, or big huge bright orange gerbera daisies. Roses are nice, but IMO die too quickly once cut. Daises and carns can last a month if you care for them properly.

4. What kind of an animal is Gonzo anyway?

Gosh, I don't know. I don't think he's an animal at all, but some kind of alien - didn't they confirm that with "Muppets in Space"? I'd say he's a cross between an anteater and a baby elephant.

5. Are you assertive and almost rude with mean/jerky people, or do you seethe quietly?

It depends on the situation. I don't like mean/jerky people. If it's family, I seethe and plot revenge (and usually get it). If it's at work, I try my best to be assertive and use big words the mean/jerky person will not understand. If it's some asshat in a store I'll never see again, I am assertive and probably very rude, but IMO they have it coming.
Interview rules:
1. Leave me a comment saying "Interview Me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Today's Quiz

Stolen from Eden.

You are The Devil

Materiality. Material Force. Material temptation; sometimes obsession

The Devil is often a great card for business success; hard work and ambition.

Perhaps the most misunderstood of all the major arcana, the Devil is not really "Satan" at all, but Pan the half-goat nature god and/or Dionysius. These are gods of pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious. This, too, is a form of enslavement. As a person, the Devil can stand for a man of money or erotic power, aggressive, controlling, or just persuasive. This is not to say a bad man, but certainly a powerful man who is hard to resist. The important thing is to remember that any chain is freely worn. In most cases, you are enslaved only because you allow it.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Monday, August 13, 2007

More Pirate Shenanigans

In a Very Serious (meaning we had a ballpoint pen and were doodling on the back of the advertising place-mats) planning session at our favorite greasy spoon on Friday night (they aren't lying about the best coffee in the area - it's like crack, it's so good), I cracked a devious and masterful plot over my coke and cheese fries.

The only thing better than a pirate party is, of course, a pirate party where everyone has a pirate alias. We compiled three lists - titles, first names, and surnames - and everyone will have to assume a pirate alias and wear it around on a name-tag (sticky, of course).

I am still at a loss, however, as how to accomplish this. Shall I just provide the lists, and everyone chooses a name they like from each list, or do I make them draw and end up with what they get? My evil side likes the second option.

I already chose my name, of course. I'm in charge of this shindig, so I'm the Commodore. Commodore "Wily" Maureen Bellamy, to be exact. Now to convince Kerwin to buy me a hat. A big one. With a feather in it (I know that the highest rank is Fleet Admiral - but I think Commodore has more flair).

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Something more

This is my entry for August's Pulsate Olympics.

The first time I laid eyes on my husband after he packed up and left his family home like a thief in the night was on a hot summer afternoon. I had spent the morning baking blueberry muffins (the blueberries picked from the patch at my then-boss's house) to quell my nerves. We had met two months before in Chicago, on neutral ground - this would be our first meeting on my home turf, as it were. I paced between the kitchen and living room, looking out to the driveway at the slightest noise of cars going by. Finally, finally he pulled into the driveway and clambered out of the tiny car.

He had been driving for thirteen hours straight in a Chevy Metro. He was sweaty and tired, dressed in jean shorts and a tee shirt with a lizard on it, and he was the most beautiful and welcome sight I'd ever seen. I remember flinging open the door and wrapping myself around him before he could even say a word - claiming him, in my own way, as my own - this man who would leave his family and friends to travel across three states in hopes of building a relationship with me.

We had spent three years getting to know each other online and by letters and infrequent phone calls, first as friends. We had helped each other through breakups and betrayals with others. When I'd had my heart broken by a boy who I thought would be "the one", he had commented on his sincere regret that he was in a relationship at the time. A year later, that relationship was over and we were building a tentative courtship. Being courted online was a singular experience - it was easier for me, a shy bookworm, to express my feelings through the written word - and by the time he arrived on my doorstep we knew each other very well indeed.

"You're here, you're really here," I whispered as I wrapped my arms around him, wanting to commit him to memory. And he was. And he stayed.

We're celebrating our fourth anniversary this September. I won't say it's been all sweetness and light - but whenever I think of him standing there on the doorstep on that July afternoon, I remember what he gave up to come to me, I remember both of us shedding our vulnerability in hopes of finding something more.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pirate Party!

Well, I'm glad I didn't do these until today, as my cousin decided to schedule her daughter's party the same day.

Combined parties are out of the question. I had one in my youth and hated it. I think Freyja deserves undivided attention for her special day.

I ended up moving the party a week later - gives me more time to get ready, in any case.

Here's the invite - cute, no?

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

The Visit

Freyja met her paternal grandparents for the first time yesterday. They live three states away.
It took her a bit to warm up, but it was a good visit all around.

The house was clean, but my mother in law still felt she needed to help in tidying Freyja's room. I know she meant well. Honestly, I really do. I still felt like a shit. I know I'm no domestic goddess, but I do the best I can.

They stayed with us last night, we had a nice breakfast of waffles and sausage, with "sparkly juice" and real organic maple syrup.

Freyja had a good time, and they loved her, so I suppose that's what really counts.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Not only have I missed my appointments, we've had car issues, plumbing issues, our air conditioner is starting to crap out, I still don't have a new oven knob, and my inlaws are coming to stay this weekend. Add that to vitamin Z not really being useful for bipolar, and I am one tense, moody chick.

I wish I could get some xanax or something without looking like a drug seeker. *sigh*

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mah Outlook, it trix me...

What is this nonsense? Two appointments I've been an hour late for in the past week and had to reschedule, and all because Microsuck's Outlook seems to be having a little hissy fit and not leaving my appointments where I schedule them!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Officially Crazy

According to the test I took; and upon confirmation that yes, it was pretty damn accurate, I now have two new diagnoses.

Axis I: Bipolar Disorder
Axis II: Avoidant Personality Disorder

Neither are really any surprise. The Bipolar, my therapist said, is "mild" but "not mild enough" to be cyclothymia.

I'm trying to cope. It's nice to know that I don't have to feel the way I've felt all my life, that there is something at least a little wrong, and with medication and therapy I have a good chance of fixing it. It also explains a lot about how I feel day-to-day.

On the other hand, I am now officially crazy. I have an appointment with my primary care doc to go over mood stabilizing medication options.

This is hard. I've spent the last ten or twelve years pretending there's absolutely nothing wrong with me. Now I have to learn to cope (better than I have been), but I'd rather just crawl into a hole and shut the world out for a while. This, unfortunately, is not possible.

I don't want to be a grown-up today.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My True Nature, Let Me Show it to You.

From Eden via OK CUPID. Really, is anyone all that surprised? Now, does anybody knit or crochet? I need me a scarf. A wool or cotton one, not that nasty acrylic stuff. I'll pay!

Your Score: SLYTHERIN!

You scored 80% Slytherin, 12% Ravenclaw, 20% Gryffindor, and 20% Hufflepuff!

Or perhaps in Slytherin

You'll make your real friends,

These cunning folk use any means

To achieve their ends.

Slytherins are known for their ambition, guile, and Machiavellian sensibilities.

Link: The Sorting Hat Test written by leeannslytherin on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Friday, July 20, 2007

Potter Puppet Pals

For some reason, Freyja is now obsessed with all things Harry Potter. Of course, she doesn't quite "get" the movies yet but loves watching them and will happily sit through 8-10 pages of "Sorcerer's Stone" at a time. She thinks the Dursleys are funny. She loves the Hungarian Horntail. And like her mother before her, she's inexplicably drawn to Professor Snape.

I have a feeling that for my sweet almost three year old, that stems from the Potter Puppet Pals.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Note to Self

Must stop reading angsty, lusty Draco/Hermione and Severus/Hermione Harry Potter fanfic.

Even if it is (reasonably) well written.

Even if that pairing has the whole hatred/lust thing going for it.

It's naughty. Shame on me.


Friday, July 13, 2007


Freyja is away for the next two nights - she stayed with our DCP tonight and will stay with my mom tomorrow night. Kerwin had today and tomorrow off. I still have to work, but I can actually sleep without being kicked and elbowed by a two year old for the next two nights!

Tonight, we went a town over to browse in the shops and have a coffee. We were walking back to the car when Kerwin called a friend of ours, who happened to be at the bar across the street! It was dueling pianos night, so we stopped in for a drink and ended up staying almost three hours. So much fun - we NEVER do anything like this. I think we were overdue. I keep forgetting that we're not "old and married" - we can still have fun. It'd be fun for a MNO, too!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Do Want

I don't know how keen I am on the purple, but I love the style. But at $210, I think I'll pass.

Still looking for something to wear on Friday - it's the fifth anniversary of Kerwin's liberation from the "cult" and so we're going to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix at the Imax (3-d ending!) and then to Mongolian BBQ for dinner. Or maybe the other way around. I want to dress up like a nerd, so I'm on the lookout.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Before I get too far into the sertraline experience, I thought I should call my therapist and make an appointment. She wanted me to complete the Millon-III assessment back in February (my bad) and I never came in to do it. I actually picked up with phone without a huge amount of anxiety and made the call. This tells me the sertraline is starting to properly kick in (for those who have been following, my superpower is also back).

While I was poking around the internet looking for CPT codes for the assessment (so I could badger my insurance co. and see if it was covered), I came across the Myers-Briggs personality profile test again. I took it for the first time about eight years ago and scored very strongly as an iNFp. I took it again today, just for kicks. I've changed personality types, but not by much. I'm now an iNTp. The "T" (thinking rather than feeling) was only a margin of 1%, so I don't know how accurate that is. Apparently I should pursue a career in the natural sciences - and since I'm a geography major (this is my fifth, yes FIFTH major and the only one I've been completely happy with) that works out well. I don't put a huge amount of stock in an internet test anyway, but it's still a nice place to start.

In Conversation, She Spoke Just Like a Baroness

Kerwin, in his infinite geekitude, likes to make mix CD's. His latest effort is surprisingly good and fun. Concerned about the quality of music our spawn hears at daycare (they're not permitted to play anything interesting according to the state, so it's all kiddie crap) and wishing to not set her down the path of her Broadway-musical-loving mother, he has been working on a series: "A Brief Introduction to Rock and Roll". Volume one spans 1956-1974. It begins with Chuck Berry's "Maybelline" and ends with Pink Floyd's "Shine On You Crazy Diamond".

The songs that Freyja likes best are Elvis's "Return to Sender" (it's the guy! The singing guy from Lilo and Stitch, that's him, yeah?) and Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" (it's the fire song, Daddy! I LOVE this one!).

There's a discussion in the family (between Kerwin and my dad, who is a former radio DJ and station program manager and all-around audiophile) of whether "Ring of Fire" is really Rock and Roll or not. There are a few other songs on the album that they argue about as well.

He did screw up on a couple of the versions. 1958's "La Bamba" is the Los Lobos version, and not Richie Valens. 1957's "Great Balls of Fire" is not the standard version I'm used to hearing.

Yet - I find myself playing it in the car, eschewing "Wicked", "Avenue Q", "RENT" and "Into the Woods". It's a fun mix. And if I press the "back" button to hear "Killer Queen" two or three times - well, it's just because I wish I kept Moet et Chandon in a pretty cabinet.

Friday, June 29, 2007


What is it about traveling even short distances? I went about 90 miles away this week for a training. What in hell am I tired from? Sitting on my butt in a classroom for 2 days, sleeping in a ghetto Holiday Inn, and driving 180 miles?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Zoloft, er, Sertraline Update

*cue nightly-news music*

"Coming to you live from her desk, here's Heather with the Sertraline Update. Heather?"

It's a week and a half into this crazy SSRI experience, and my moods are already more even. I'm less anxious, less worried about little things. I actually feel like getting up in the morning, even if I haven't slept a wink. Oh yeah. That sleeping thing? I went from sleeping 10+ hours a night to lying in bed tossing and turning. I think I've had approximately 10 hours of sleep in the past week. I hope it will even out soon, all the Experts say three weeks is the time when you see the "big changes".

I've also lost my superpower. I can still function as a "normal" person would on that front, but not like usual! Some people have been telling me that losing my superpower isn't worth not being depressed, but I beg to differ. I'd much rather be "normal" on all fronts.

So, other than needing a nap and wishing I still had my superpower, it's going well. I see my primary care doctor on Friday for a weight and blood pressure check (it was high at my annual) and a dosage adjustment, if necessary. Thankfully, all my other labs came back normal - no pre-diabetes, normal cholesterol, etc.

So, that's all for the sertraline report.

Monday, June 25, 2007


It was a busy weekend for our little family.

Friday night, we stayed at my folks' house overnight so we could go to the renfaire on Saturday near their house. While we were there, we broke in my mom's new blender with frozen margaritas and BS-ing around the bonfire (no margaritas for Freyja, she was already in bed). Nice time. Glad I get along with my folks! I also did a little baking for the Midsummer ritual our group held on Saturday and the picnic afterward.

Saturday dawned hot and sunny, and we suited Freyja up in her garb (I didn't take any pictures, I know I'm a schmuck) to head over to Derbyshire. Kerwin and I, unforutnately, have grown too soft and large for our garb, but here's a picture from six or seven years ago of me at another festival:

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I make a sexy wench, no? I still think my shirt is too high in that photo.

They had this nice little event called "Soak a Bloke/Drench a Wench" to raise funds for breast cancer research. Freyja and I both got in on this fun. We threw water soaked sponges at a group of blokes in garb - several knaves, a couple peasants, a few dirty pirates - and got kisses in return.

Freyja was apparently the only little girl all day who "permitted" herself to be kissed! My girl was trying to kiss all these guys on the lips - hilarious. I don't know if the Jack Sparrow lookalike was TRYING to kiss me on the lips or if he just missed, but da-hamn. Swoon! It is well known around these parts that I am a "kissing whore"- I'll kiss anyone, given half an excuse. This, thankfully, amuses Kerwin instead of infuriating him. Freyja got lots of attention in her little Irish dress - she got a rose from the wandering rose guy (he was cute, too) , a necklace from a merchant who said she was "too cute", and "jewels" from the Queen of the festival. Next year we plan to take her one weekend, and go by ourselves the other weekend. Next year I also plan to fit back into my garb. Rawr!

We had a nice Midsummer ritual on Saturday as well, and a picnic with friends at a local park.

Sunday was uneventful - we got a nice afternoon nap and Freyja and I hit the grocery store, where she proceeded to tell me how to choose a watermelon - "Daddy says you gotta THUMP it!"

I'm still thinking about Jack Sparrow's twin. . .swoon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Arrr, Mateys!!!

Kerwin and I were talking about idiot parenting this morning - you know, helicopter moms, people who refuse to challenge their children to grow, or use imaginative play, etc. Somehow this led to talk of Freyja and her VERY "Type-A" personality - and that if we give her the support and resources she needs, she'll grow up and do whatever she wants, and kick ass at it - and we'd never tell her "No, don't get a music degree, get a math degree."

So Kerwin asks her, "Freyja, what do you want to be when you grow up?"

"Wanna be a PIRATE!!!!" She growled, brandishing her cereal spoon. Now, this is not surprising in and of itself, since we've been talking about a pirate birthday party for some time now, but what she said next was classic.

"What did she say? Did she say she wants to be a pirate?" I said. "Freyja, if you're a pirate, Miss Chelsie (our DCP's 14 yo) won't like you anymore. She's scared of pirates, remember."

She thought about this for a minute (and I wondered if I'd gone too far with "won't like you anymore", then pointed her finger at me and shook it - "Well I will just tell her to GET OVER IT!!!"

I almost choked on my english muffin. And this was after she climbed up into my bed at about 7:30 and said "Mumma, I have a question." all matter of fact and oh, so grown up. "If there are spiders on the wall and they don't stay in the corner, and I don't like them and they scare me, will they bite me?"

It slays me just how much she sounds like a KID these days. My baby is almost gone.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Crummy Day

We were supposed to go to the beach today, and then have a cookout. I haven't seen my best friend in weeks. We had plans.

Freyja refused to take a nap. Flat out refused. Threw herself around. Acted up. Jumped on the bed. I told her "If you don't take a nap, we don't go to the beach."

She still acted up.

So here we sit. Maybe most parents would have backed down on that, gone to the beach anyway.

I can't. She's a monster lately. Nothing we do or say has any bearing on her behaviour. I had to stick to my guns, even though I'm missing out on my fun, too.

It sucks to be a mom today.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Musical Dreaming

I like to sing.

I really like to sing folk songs and ballads, "Irish" pub songs, sea chanties, old-school torch songs,blues, and anything else that stays in that middle to low register where my voice really shines.

As I noted a couple posts ago, if I had the wherewithal, I'd love to be in an all-chicks "Irish" pub band (and I'd call it Mad Morrigan. There'd have to be three of us). I think to do that, however, I need to learn to play an instrument. My rhythm isn't bad and I could possibly learn to play the bodhran, with practice (of course). I don't know if I can play the bodhran and sing at the same time, though. I can dance and sing, walk and sing, type and get the idea. I've also been kicking around the idea of taking guitar lessons for a while, but I don't know if I'm "too old" to pick up something new like that. I haven't gotten any further than drooling over pretty guitars on that, though.

I also think that Kerwin and I (he sings too, a lovely bass/baritone) could make decent money singing together at weddings and events. We'd be a cute double act, plus we're both fairly talented - then I think that he only plays saxophone, and I play nothing. We'd need a band.

It all comes back to needing instruments. Anybody else that plays an instrument want to be in a pub band with me? If you're local I'd love to get together just to jam. I miss real singing (in the car doesn't really count).

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


After gaining a pound last week, I am down 2 for this week. Eight pounds, total since starting 3 weeks ago. Not too shabby.

Monday, June 11, 2007

5 Random Things Meme

Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so:

Melanie in Orygun

Mommified Me

Bumblebee Sweet Potato

Spin Me I Pulsate


There are questions:

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was still in high school, languishing in teenage hell.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Pretty much the same thing I'm doing now - AmeriCorps, parenting. My life is just not interesting.

Five Snacks You Enjoy

-string cheese with Pretzel Goldfish

-bagels with cream cheese

-anything involving cheese dip

-strawberries dipped in brown or maple sugar

-gingersnaps and ice cold milk

Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To-

-Whiskey in the Jar
-Happy Phantom - Tori Amos

-The Wizard and I - WICKED soundtrack
-Hunter - Dido
-Finnegan's Wake

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire

-half away for investment/college funds
-send my friends to their Stonehenges (that one place in the world where you think you would feel the most enlightened and connected)
-beautiful wonderful home of our own
-start an Irish pub band, all chicks.
-hire a house staff - maids, trainers, gardeners.

Five Bad Habits

-I bite my nails
-I don’t exercise.
-I like yelling
-Eating cheese fries at every opportunity
-Spending too much money on stupid shit.

Five Things You Like To Do

-cuddle with my toddler (when she lets me)
-read Fantasy/SciFi novels
-buy lipgloss
-drink tea
-act pretentious

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again

-tapered leg jeans
-anything velour and form fitting
-stripper heels
-ugly tee shirts

Five Favorite Toys

-the computer
-my Senseo
-needlepoint kit
- Game Boy Advance

Now apparently I have to ask 5 other suckers peeps to do this.


If you want to do it, do it. :D And let me know.

Friday, June 08, 2007

An Open Letter, Part Deux

Dear Women's Clothing Industry,

I know it is hard to believe, but fat chicks like to swim. Not sit by the pool, not try to cover up all the rolls, chunk, and cellulite you seem to think we should be covering with the ugly-ass bathing suits you have on offer this year, but swim. To do so, we need to not be encumbered by swimsuit skirts that are reaching lengths not seen since the Victorian era. And would it be too much to ask to put some decent support for the girls in there? The half shelf bra with wimpy foam cups is just NOT cutting it here.

Also, please get a reality check on the prices. I just paid $13.84 for my husband's brand new board shorts, and there is more material there than in a lot of womens' suits, yet it was a quarter of the price of many suits I tried on yesterday. What the hell is going on with that? The last bathing suit I purchased was about $25 and I wore it for five years, so it's obvious that I'm not going to get higher quality with the higher prices, unless I'm looking for a competitive swimming suit, which I'm not. To be fair, there were some suits for $17 or so at the Evil Store, but they were ugly.

I did purchase a suit yesterday despite my annoyance with the industry. Wonderful Target came to my rescue as usual. I think $25 is plenty to pay for a swimsuit. I bet a LOT of other women feel the same way.

Get a clue,


An Open Letter

Dear Moron;

When half of all americans are likely to use food stamps at some point in their lives, it is no longer a welfare queen problem (not like it ever was one), but a shitty economy problem.

Your "tax dollars" are more likely to go to funding that war in the big sandbox and paying for police and fire services to keep you safe than to government aid programs.

Die in a fire.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Scent of Awakening

This is my entry for Thordora's June Pulsate Olympics.

I walked into my mother's house today and smelled Paganism. My mother is Lutheran, and as far as I know holds no Pagan leanings - but the smell that wafted into my nostrils as I set my things down was unmistakably the smell of the small hole-in-the-wall shop where I conducted my spiritual awakening over the course of a couple of years. The shop is out of business now, and I'm not sure what, if anything, resides there now. The smell of the store (and my mother's house today) is the same as any new-agey or occult store that sells incense in a small space - exotic woods, musk, eucalyptus and who-knows-what-else all mixed together, but that smell will always remind me of Wings and the incredibly kind and patient people who worked there and answered my questions, let me spend entire afternoons picking their brains, and tolerated my endless browsing to only walk out with $5 worth of merchandise. There's a shop in the town where I now reside that smells similar - but they sell mostly beads and bohemian hippie clothes, so it's not quite the same.

That smell takes me back to when I still looked for the wonder in everything, and anything seemed possible. It was a time of transitions, leaving the trappings of childhood behind and figuring out what to take with me into adulthood. It's the smell of a few poor decisions mixed with a lot of great ones. It's comforting to smell, yet bittersweet - the reminders of those wonderful people who were so good to a girl on the verge of discovering herself, who reassured me that as long as I "checked my gut" and remembered "why my friends call me 'Mama Heather'", that everything would work out in the end.

It did. It has. It continues to. For the smell of awakening, for the time, talk, and wisdom you shared - thank you Dawn and Sherri, and all others whose names I cannot remember. Blessed be.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Current Events

I have to admit I'm not really "up" on them.

I listen to NPR on the drive in, which consists of a half hour or so of Michigan Radio's morning program including the Marketplace and Environment reports and a half hour or so of "Newshour" from the BBC. This means I usually hear absolutely nothing relevant to what other people are talking about on a daily basis, although I do know quite a bit about the Six-Day War now. The podcasts I download don't help (Wait, Wait - Don't Tell Me; Science Friday; and RadioLab). We don't have cable anymore, so I can't get my hour of news and snark via Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert.

What's a busy mom to do? I've tried watching Headline News at lunch, but people come in and go "Ughhhhhh, are you WATCHING this? Millionaire is on!" (seriously), so that's out. We don't subscribe to any newspapers, although that may be the most cost-effective solution.


Monday, June 04, 2007


I am a shoe slut. Since I'm relatively poor, I have to save my shoe binges for Payless and clearance racks, but I'm a shoe slut nonetheless.

I only like comfortable shoes. I have a couple pairs of heels - plain black pumps with a 2", thick heel, and a pair of 4" "stripper shoes". The rest of my shoes, including the dressy ones, were chosen for cuteness and comfort level. This whole flats trend that's going on right now makes me a very happy shoe slut.

Most people can't tell, since in the summer I wear Birkenstocks or Birkie-fakes - clogs when working, sandals on my free time. I have a lot of sandals. I have cute toes, so I feel I'm entitled to show them off.

I scored on shoes this weekend, though. I went into Payless after my pedicure and found the best pair of "athleisure" shoes. They're mary-jane style,(and apparently vegan, too) with black nonslip soles and brick red uppers. The uppers are a sueded material and very soft. $9, marked down from $25. Score!

They're definately not Sex-In-The-City approved, but they're Heather-approved - and that's good enough for me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The New and Improved?

I'm going to get a pedicure this afternoon.

I've never had one before, and I don't know what to expect. I made sure to shave my legs, I don't know if a leg massage is involved and I didn't want to gross any nail techs out. Well, that and I'm wearing capris. Hairy legs and capris, they don't mix. But this pedicure thing is new. I was sitting with my feet in the pool at the daycare provider's house one afternoon after work last week while Freyja swam (okay, she didn't so much swim as float around in a blow-up dolphin) with Kerwin. DCP and I were chatting and she said she had to go get a pedicure before her son's open house (which is tomorrow). I mentioned that I had never had a pedicure (GASP), and the next thing I know we have a date.

I am just NOT the "type" (is there a type?) that gets pedicures. I paint my toenails, sure. Myself. With strange, bright colors. I haven't worn makeup since January, and the biggest concessions I make to my girly side is a haircut every six weeks (and this is not even a year-old ritual) and a dye job every four. The haircut I get at BoRics, and the dye I do myself. Low-maintenance.

But as I think about that seven pound weight loss and the next three years (my conservative estimate) that it will take to lose the rest, I think that it might be fun to do some things that are considered "girly". It might be nice to buy some more feminine clothing (once I can fit into it). I've always been that chick in jeans, a ponytail, and birkenstocks. Girly was never my M.O. I got my man by my brains, personality and my persistence (becuase DAMN was that boy an internet ho!), not with perfect hair, pretty makeup, and ladylike manners.

I kind of want those ladylike manners. I kind of want the girly stuff - for me. Not for anybody else, but for me. Yet I don't want to lose myself, nor can I get past my desire to tell society at large to eff off. It's a fine line. Maybe I'm just "growing up".

Thursday, May 31, 2007

My Classic Dame Is...

Your Score: Katharine Hepburn

You scored 7% grit, 38% wit, 47% flair, and 16% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Fun :D I love her. I especially love "The Rainmaker".


Minor and initial success, but hey, it's something. It's something so good that I am being naughty and sneaking on from work to blog about it.

I lost 7 pounds my first week on weight watchers. I know it will slow down soon, but it was awesome to hop on that scale and see that drop :) My pants fit better. I feel good.

Is anybody else who's doing WW kind of OCD about writing things down? It drives Kerwin insane that I'm always pulling out my little blue bag to jot down this point and that point and those two glasses of water.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Super Kawaii!!!

I dyed my hair last night. It needed it, and I was having a crummy day. It's nice and bright, about the color of deep red poppies ("And now, my beauties, something with poison in it. Poppies... Poppies. Poppies will put them to sleep. Sleep. Now they'll sleep!"). Not quite purple enough for bing cherries, but it's hella bright.

Then I had an eye appointment this morning, just a yearly vision screening - she did a dialated exam as I hadn't had one before.

Kerwin is sitting across the room laughing at me. "You look like you just walked out of an Anime!" Gee, thanks honey. You're so...kind.

Bright hair. Big eyes. Super Kawaii!!! >.< Add that to the fact that I just could not find my own sunglasses and I'm walking around with the awesome paper ones, I feel so stylin.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Car Fun

No more "surfing" at work plus nice spring weather means I don't get to the computer very often for fun.

I had a crappy day today. Not only did I leave my lights on and run my battery down, I also locked my keys in the car when I went down at lunch to go get gas before it jumped and found the car dead. I didn't get gas before the thirty-cent jump, and the only person who could come to jump my car and get the keys out was my DCP's husband. Not that he was grumpy about it, he was telling me about how he'd done similar things and not to fret since he didn't have any plans. I still felt like a tool, though.

In my defense, my car doesn't "ding" when you've left the lights on nor does it "ding" when you leave the keys in the ignition. I don't know if it's a quirk with Geo Prisms or if it's a burned fuse. Not a clue. I should probably look at the fuse box to make sure.

I started Weight Watchers today. Since I get an obscene number of points I feel as though I am constantly stuffing my face. Something has to give, though. I don't want to be morbidly obese anymore.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Got a Call

Freyja's doctor called me today.

He apologized. He still doesn't quite know what happened or what went wrong, but he's going to look into it and he's going to go over protocol with his staff.

He said he finds the whole idea of insurances and payment "distasteful" because it gets in the way of why he went into medicine - to help people.

I reassured him that this was the first and only bad experience we've had with his staff or in his office at all - which it was.

I'm satisfied. He offered to see her tomorrow morning if we'd like. I don't think we'll be up that early (considering it's 3:25AM and here I sit, blogging), but it's a nice gesture.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Take a Letter, Maria - Final

Dr. SoNSo:

I’m writing to you today to let you know about an experience I had in your front office on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. I had called on Monday, April 30 to schedule an appointment for my daughter, Freyja LastName (birthdate 8/27/04). She has a corn or plantar wart on her little toe. I spoke to M, who scheduled the appointment for me with no problems.

On that morning, A from your office called and spoke to my husband, saying that Freyja had no insurance (which I was aware of, it had lapsed and is in the process of being renewed) and that I needed to bring “paperwork” with me to the office visit. I had no paperwork other than a letter from DHS requesting that I send them a copy of Freyja’s birth certificate.

When we arrived at the office for the appointment, I was told by A that you would not see Freyja unless she had proof of insurance or “paperwork” that said it was in progress. This had not been mentioned on the phone. While I understand that YourPracticePC is a private practice and has the right to refuse service to anyone they like, Medicaid/Healthy Kids covers 3 months retroactively and the visit would have fallen under that. I wasn’t even asked if I would pay up front, just dismissed because of “no insurance”. Is this a new policy for your office? I would understand if we were new patients, but Freyja is well established and has been coming to your office for her primary care since her four month well child visit.

Freyja was very upset, (and I wasn’t pleased myself) as she was looking forward to seeing you. I know that may seem kind of silly, but we’re delighted that she likes and looks forward to seeing her health care provider. We are moving to ThatTown soon and had planned to continue coming to ThisTown for Freyja’s primary care, but if we are going to be treated poorly because we happen to be in a lower economic bracket we may have to rethink that decision.

The YourPracticePC website states “From the first time you walk in our doors or call us on the phone, we want you to know that you come first. While others say they are doing it, we are. Whether it is a friendly greeting by our staff or a “real person” answering the phone or listening to your concerns, ourpracticePC is putting patients first. We want you to know that we value having you as our patient.” Is this indeed the case? We don’t feel very valued right now.

If you would like to call me to discuss this matter, you may reach me at phonenumber1 during the day and phonenumber2 in the evenings.


Heather LastName

Since his office is an offshoot of a larger practice group, he gets a letter, his office manager gets a letter, and the central admin office gets a letter.

"AmeriCorps Sucks" "I hate AmeriCorps"

Let me guess.

You're "storming".

See, there's five stages in your AmeriCorps year - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, and Adjourning. This is from a guy called Bruce Tuckman who originally wrote it to have to do with team building - and every AmeriCorps member is part of at least one team.

It's really easy to get stuck at "storming". Trust me. I've been there. Your living stipend sucks, you spend all your time doing inane things when you really signed up to change the world, and your site supervisor/program director thinks you're a moron (or vice versa). The little things are really starting to get you down, and you're thinking about quitting.

Don't quit. You want that education stipend, and you won't get it if you quit. You also won't get the chance to challenge yourself, push your own boundaries, and really discover what you can do. Frustrated? Vent. Call your program director and tell them what's on your mind. Start your own blog. Vent to me here - I'd love to hear your frustrations. What you're feeling is completely normal and part of the process.

I'm telling you from my perspective as a second-year member - it's worth it. Stick it out. If you've quit everything else you've ever tried, stick it out. If you're so broke you're looking for coins in the couch cushions to buy a loaf of bread, stick it out. You CAN get through - and you WILL be proud of yourself. You deserve it. See your year through.

ETA (4/8/09) Some of the comments have expressed a desire for a forum. 

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Take a letter, Maria

On Eden and Thor's suggestions, here's the letter I wrote to Freyja's doctor. I haven't printed it yet.

Dr. So n So:

I’m writing to you today to let you know about an experience I had in your front office on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. I had called on Monday, April 30 to schedule an appointment for my daughter, Freyja lastname (birthdate 8/27/04). She has a corn or plantar wart on her little toe. I spoke to M, who scheduled the appointment for me with no problems.

On Wednesday morning, A from your office called and spoke to my husband, saying that Freyja had no insurance (which I was aware of, it had lapsed and is in the process of being renewed) and that I needed to bring “paperwork” with me to the office visit. I had no paperwork other than a letter from DHS requesting that I send them a copy of Freyja’s birth certificate.

When we arrived at the office for the appointment, I was told by A that you would not see Freyja unless she had proof of insurance or paperwork that said it was in progress. While I understand that YourPracticePC is a private practice and has the right to refuse service to anyone they like, Medicaid/Healthy Kids covers 3 months retroactively. Is this a new policy for your office? I would understand if we were new patients, but Freyja is well established and has been coming to your office for her primary care since her four month well child visit.

I realize that no one can make me feel inferior without my consent, but I felt low as we had to turn around and leave your office without being seen the other morning. A’s attitude was “well if you don’t have insurance, we don’t want you”. I am glad that it was only a corn on Freyja’s toe and nothing more serious that she needed to be seen for.

Freyja was very upset as she was looking forward to seeing you. I know that may seem kind of silly, but we’re delighted that she likes and looks forward to seeing her health care provider. We are moving to ThatTown soon and had planned to continue coming to ThisTown for Freyja’s primary care, but if your front office staff (who have all been wonderful every other time we have been in the office) are going to treat us poorly because we happen to be in a lower economic bracket we may have to rethink that decision.

If you would like to call me to discuss this matter, you can reach me at phonenumber1 during the day and phonenumber2 in the evenings.


Heather LastName

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Gas prices have hit $3.25/gallon here - that's a 30-cent jump.

If we don't move closer to town, I don't know how we'll afford to go to work, much less do anything else. I know we pay less than most European nations, but most European nations have decent, safe, affordable mass transit systems. Unless one lives in a large metropolitan area, there's no real mass transit to be had in the US. There used to be a light rail that ran right through my town - but it's been gone since the 60's.

This is ridiculous. And it's only going to go higher. I hope the fat cats at the oil companies are enjoying their profits.

Feeling Bookish

What have you read lately that you would recommend?

Fiction, non-fiction, anything. Self-help, even. I keep rereading the same things over and over, and it's just not satisfying anymore. I need to broaden my horizons past Anne McCaffrey, Jodi Picoult, and Robert Heinlein.


Freyja has a corn on her toe. On Monday, I talked to her doctor's office and made an appointment for today since a pumice stone hasn't helped. They called this morning to tell me that she doens't have insurance. I'm aware of this - I just faxed in the last of the endless paperwork (since Congress now needs to make sure every person getting medical help is a valid citizen, you know) to get her re-approved for HealthyKids (medicaid). She was up for renewal, her caseworker sent me a paper that said "send this crap in" yet didn't tell me what it was for and never returned my call, so it ended up lapsing. They only spoke to Kerwin (who has no clue about how any of it works), and wanted me to bring "paperwork" in with me. I had no idea what "paperwork" they meant, since they didn't specify so I didn't bring anything.

They refused to see her, since she didn't have "current insurance". The new MA who was manning the front desk was snide and had the air of "take your government tit-sucking ass out of my office". I explained that Medicaid covers 3 months retroactively, so what was the big deal? Well, there's no "proof" that she'll be covered and it's "too much hassle" to see uninsured people, since they "rarely get paid".

It was only a corn on her toe, but Freyja LOVES her doctor and was looking forward to seeing him today. I told her we had to go home and she screamed "I WANT DR. GREG TO LOOK AT MY CORN TOE!!!" and started crying. Boy, did I feel like a jerk - except why should I? Has our medical system become that broken that they won't see children who need health care? It's a private practice. They do have the right to refuse service to anyone - but Freyja is an established patient, not some unknown new person. What if she had been really sick, like with a high fever or something?

On one hand, I can see their reasoning. On the other, that MA was a royal bitch. The MA's there are usually very nice and never have talked down to me. I don't know what I should do - wait for her insurance confirmation to come back and make the appointment again? Find a new office - maybe an FQHC so they CAN'T refuse her service? Write a firmly-worded letter to the doctor to let him know my displeasure? Frankly, I'm disgusted.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Baked Pasta

After spending a half hour looking for recipes, I'm not finding what I want. I'm making pasta tonight and I wanted to do a baked pasta.

Do I have to put ricotta in it? Does anybody know? I'm broke this week, but we're having friends to the house for dinner tonight and I wanted to serve something cheap that can be assembled and the mess cleaned up before they arrive (the house is small, no dining room, and the least bit of clutter looks atrocious) - hence baked pasta.

If I have to go out and get ricotta I will, but I will grumble the entire way. It's stupid expensive.

Friday, April 27, 2007

100 Posts

100 posts.

I didn't think I'd get here. Honestly, I started this blog so I could be a cool kid like Karrie - she asked if any August 04 mamas had blogs, and I had had blogs before (lame ones!) so I decided to just do it up all fancy-like here at Blogger. It's taken me approximately six months to make 100 posts, which isn't too shabby. That averages out to about one every other day. I've been blogging in one form or another since December of 2000, which I think makes me some kind of blogging pioneer.

In six months, I've posted mostly under the tags of:

random foo (32)
self (18)
spawn (16)

I forget to tag posts a lot too, but I'm guessing that's pretty accurate. I've blogged from home, work, friends houses, my parents' house, and anywhere I can find a wi-fi connection. I value the connections I've made and that I know I'll continue to make.

If you've been lurking, post a comment. Let me know who you are, how you found me, and what you wish I'd write about more often. It's nice to have that input when I'm in a dry spell.

Change my Daemon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I just want to watch daytime TV

It started on Friday - that niggling little feeling of a scratchy throat. Then as I was sitting in the theatre watching Kerwin's graduation ceremony, the runny nose kicked in.

By the time we got to Chili's for a celebratory beer, the fuzzy head feeling had made its' entrance. So I skipped the beer. Head colds leave me feeling drunk enough. I slept 4 hours in between the waking to blow my nose and cough.

Saturday morning the barrage continued. I think I had a fever, but I don't remember. I was at my folks helping them get the house ready for Kerwin's grad party and we were busy. When my mom and I went to pick up the cake, I also got cold medicine. I chugged it down with a bottle of Bolthouse C-Boost juice blend, hoping to feel better. Within 15 minutes I felt like I'd been hit by a semi truck. Non-drowsy my ass. Since they took pseudoephedrine out of everything you can get off the shelf I figured I'd be safe with the phenylephrine-based stuff they replaced it with. Ha. Decongestants and I just don't get along.

Five hours of sleep Sunday night. The fuzzy head was mostly gone, but the rest stayed. I finished getting ready for the party, welcomed people, attempted to act the hostess. I spent most of the party curled up on the futon in the guest room at my folks whinging to my best friend Angie about how crappy I felt. Way to be the supportive wife there, Heather.

It's still here today, and the fuzzy head is back. I'm here at work because I have a lot to do this week, even though I know I'll be less than productive.

If you send me virtual tea and imaginary cozy blankets, I will love you forever. Mad props, and all that. If you're at home today and you catch Oprah, think of me? I want my head cold rights of tea, blankies, and daytime TV.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Last week was National Volunteer Week (Inspire by Example).

My program director sent us a little swag - a keychain that says "Essential Piece" and a pen that says the same.

The pen also has my name on it! I know this isn't really anything to get excited about, but it's fun. Mostly it means its' one pen that nobody will steal off my desk.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Fudge Ripple

I had a dream this morning that I was hanging out with Karrie. I think we were at her house. There was disco music playing, and we were eating ice cream. Fudge ripple and pink grapefruit. Not together, I don't think. The ice cream was in pint containers and apparently had come from Ikea, except it was like the kind they make at Cold Stone Creamery, where they mix all the stuff in.

Yeah, I have no explanations. I didn't eat ice cream last night nor did I read blogs before bed.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The times, they are a-changin'

Kerwin is graduating from community college tomorrow. Halle-frickin-lujah!

He wasn't going to walk and participate in the commencement exercises. I wanted him to - it's a milestone and he deserves to be recognized. He came around - I MAY have bribed him with cake and a party. I admit nothing. Nothing!

He's taking a year off. He's "burned out" on school and wants to wait before applying to 4-year institutions. This is probably academic suicide, but now he'll have time to spend with us instead of on homework. For the past four years (seven semesters of which he was in school) he's worked full time at a thankless job and gone to college. I'm proud of him. He graduates with his Associate's in Science and Arts, plus 30-some credits of electives that may or may not transfer.

I'm also very glad that for an entire 15 months, I won't have to hear him bitching about how stupid his homework is, how many papers he has to write, how his professors think their class is the only class he's taking. I never bitched about these things because I just feel that they're part of going to college. People think I can't live without bitching about things - ha! I get it from him!

It'll be nice to have my husband with no demands on his time except for work. We haven't had a time in our married life where one or both of us weren't taking classes or working or both. In the past two years, one of us was always doing both. That's what we get for marrying "young" and having a baby right away. Can't change that now, nor do I wish to. Before much longer it'll be "remember when. . ." and "I can't believe we survived those years"

I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Farfalle - Work In Progress

Dug this up this afternoon. I think I'll work on it some more.

Farfalle was named for her mother’s cravings during pregnancy. Her mother always said that rotini made her think of weird bugs and spaghetti just didn’t feel right going down during pregnancy. She craved pasta, though, and farfalle was what she often chose. What better way to name the child conceived at the end of a semester abroad in Italy? Her mother didn’t even know until she got home, and she knew she’d never see Paulo again, or even be able to find him.

Named for a pasta, with a mystery father, Farfalle nonetheless is the apple of her mother’s eye. A becoming combination of her mother’s very Irish features and her father’s classic Italian look, the girl’s curly brown hair, freckles, and startling blue eyes draw constant comments.

Farfalle is three years old, and she loves pasta, too. She loves to chirp her order at her and her mother’s favorite hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant, and it’s always for her pasta namesake. Her mother has done a wonderful thing in weaving a tale for Farfalle about her conception. Many women in her situation would be bitter, and with good reason. Farfalle’s mother had too much fun being pregnant, and then bringing little infant Farfalle to her last semester of classes to be bitter. Understanding professors and a baby in a sling combined just as magically as Farfalle’s conception, and life is good for the happy pair.

Tonight is something new. Farfalle’s mother hasn’t dated since she came back from Italy. She wouldn’t, couldn’t bring herself to leave Farfalle for an evening, and most men aren’t inclined to have a first date with a three year old, however charming, hanging about. Tonight is different. Farfalle waits with her mother at the Italian restaurant for the Greek suitor. They draw pictures as they wait, Farfalle’s mother showing a deft hand with the crayons.

Farfalle sees him first. She tugs on her mother’s sleeve as he approaches. Tall and dark, Farfalle sizes Nikolas up closely. She likes him, at least she likes how he looks and how he smiles, but he has to like pasta, too. She and her mother can’t settle for just anybody. She thinks they do great on their own – her mother is a librarian and Farfalle goes to Jenni’s daycare every day, and Miss Jenni is like a second mother to her. This arrangement works for everybody, and Farfalle is a little nervous about it changing.

Nikolas has flowers, big pretty gerbera daisies. Two daisies, one bright, bright pink, which he hands to Farfalle with a grin, and one orange, which he hands to her mother. He sits down, and they order. Farfalle first, for her namesake with alfredo sauce and broccoli, and her mother and Nikolas next. Nikolas is nice. He talks to Farfalle and her mother, and it’s one big conversation. Farfalle feels very grown up tonight as she eats her broccoli and answers questions politely. When they get up to leave, her mother gives her a thumbs up and a big grin. Farfalle returns it, since she likes Nikolas. They go their separate ways, Farfalle and her mother in their little car, and Nikolas in his littler car.

Farfalle and her mother stop at her Grandma’s house to say hello. Grandma is anxious to hear about the date with Nikolas. Farfalle tells Grandma that next time she will stay with her while her mother goes out by herself, because that is what grownups do. Grandma smiles convincingly at Farfalle’s mother, who reluctantly agrees.