Friday, October 31, 2008

Fuck Fuck FUCK

Seriously. I love my car. But it is costing way too much this year, the year that I have no fucking money.
My wonderful amazing way too generous boss decided my tires were crap (which they were) and is buying me nice new ones for Christmas. (He's buying them now before I crash and die. He wants me to keep coming to work.)

I took my car in this afternoon top get the tires and asked them to check my brakes too because a couple days ago my brake warning light came on (and then turned off).

I just called to see if my car was ready to be picked up yet and apparently my front brakes are shot and I need new rotors, something about my suspension is about to fall off or something, and I'm leaking steering fluid like mad. The guy was really nice about and told me he hated to ruin my Friday like this.

A isn't getting called back about jobs. A couple have said they might not be filling the positions after all, but most have just ignored him.

Happy fucking Halloween. I hope y'all get the treats, because I am apparently getting the tricks.

EDIT: So the estimate is about $1700. And the mechanic is a nice guy who ushers at church with my dad, so I know he wasn't bullshitting me. I pathetically started crying right there at the counter with the two mechanics trying to console me that it was just a car, not the end of the world. I drove home on fancy new tires in a car that is about to either lose braking power or steering. I'm going to see if my neighbor who runs an illegal garage out in the alley can do some of it cheaper.
And then after I get home and grab a beer to cry into, I see that I have a letter from Kara and a package from JJ. (Filled with chocolate, a cool magazine, lip balm, tea, and presents for Charlie! The chocolate saved me from eating all the trick or treaters chocolate, so I'm sure if they knew what she did they would be grateful as well.) It was exactly what I needed to calm down and stop hyperventilating. I will survive. It's just a car.
I can't thank all my blog friends enough. What would I have done this past year without you guys?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meme-ing it up again

Nancy's post reminded me that I never did this meme that somebody (I can't remember who now because I stink) tagged me for. But I am avoiding paperwork while I wait for A to finish making lasagna, so I figured I'd do it.
I'm supposed to post the fourth picture from the fourth folder on my computer.


Drumroll please...






Um, not sure why I have a picture of my messy side desk. But there you go.

Sweet Mother of Stirrup Queens, we're almost there!

Look people! Look to the right!
U.T.E.R.U.S. is SO almost there. If we sold everything left on the ebay and etsy, we would totally make more than enough. Or if a few of us clicked the direct donation link.

I'm just saying. Don't you want to be the hero who pushes it over the edge and has me send you the georgeous print that OhEmily did? (Plus, I'd put my return address on it and then you could send me fan mail.)
Dream that dream and go buy something.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Keeping warm

I've always been cheap. Of course I like to think of it as frugal. I can't help it. It's the way I was raised.

Among our weekly chores, we all got a thick pile of coupons to cut and sort.

Clothes were found at thrift stores and garage sales.

And of course, when it got cold out, instead of reaching for the thermostat, my mom handed us sweaters.

So when it got cold this week, I looked deep into A's warm brown eyes, slid my hand into his, leaned in...and told him to put on a goddamn sweater.

Of course, I forgot that A has the unfortunate tendency to not only buy in to my frugality once I've had my rant, but to sometimes take it even further. So I woke up this morning with twelve blankets, two cats, a dog, a husband, and a cold nose. Because despite the freeze warnings last night and my flashbacks to Laura Ingalls Wilder writing about not sleeping if it was too cold because you MIGHT NOT WAKE UP, A decided we could totally make it another night without turning on the heat.

Look, I know it hasn't even gotten below 29 F yet and I do not live in Duluth MN like my mother did and lord knows she had to shovel snow higher than her car and still go to school to teach the ungrateful children and somewhere in the countryside my dad was carrying his two sisters on his back through the snow barefoot uphill both ways across broken glass and ice and blahblahfuckityblahblah....

But I have been cold. I reached out to the themostat before A stopped me about a second before I flipped the switch. I am wearing two pairs of socks, leggings under my pants, and two hoodies over my shirt. But my little toe was still going numb, so with no hope of sneaking the furnace on, I decided to warm it up the frugal way...

with hot apple cider!


And then I made it better with some caramel syrup... (50 cents at a garage sale)
And really better with some vodka I got for my birthday...

(Oh! Frugal alert - Organic cream for 95 cents!)
Which turns into whipped cream...
Which goes onto the cider with a dash of cinnamon...

And suddenly I have warm feeling about being cheap again.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Show and Tell: Pomegranate

I've known amazing people. Maria Nichols was head and shoulders above them all.

The best woman I have ever known wasn't much to look at: A tiny hunched over figure with gray frazzled hair and an arm swollen from cancer treatments. She wore thick polyester clothes and had a long face that drooped with age and experience. Her feet would be stuffed into colorless orthopedic shoes.

She wore glasses and when she wanted to make a point to the middle schoolers she taught she would stare through her glasses' thick lenses and slowly, deliberately, push them up her nose with her gnarled middle finger.

She wove amazing tales and prodded students to think and cursed us out in foreign languages while appealing to her sister, Minerva, the goddess, to knock some sense into us.

She also introduced me to pomegranates.

Mrs. Nichols, my mama Maria, taught my social studies class in 7th and 8th grade. (I don't think it was called social studies though. It was the gifted/talented class and I think they called it something else. D, if you're reading, do you remember?) She also let a handful of us eat lunch in her room. We were the social outcasts who would clutch our lunch trays looking for traps to avoid, but once she opened her room to us, it was like our own personal Lyceum. We would eat and talk and listen. And one day we were talking about Persephone, who was tricked into eating pomegranate seeds by Hades to make her return to the underworld. One of us mentioned we had never had a pomegranate, so Mama Maria brought one in sometime shortly after.

I thought of her earlier today as I cracked open a pomegranate. Whenever I see the pomegranate thread the infertility community uses as a symbol, I can't help but think that in another time she would have been a great and wild blogger.She was a true teacher - she didn't just recite facts and expect them recited back. She told stories and made us live them and make connections between them. She wanted us to experience life, not just know some version of it from a book.

My Mama Maria passed away when I was in my senior year of college. Everyone who knew her felt the loss deeply. She made so many feel as though they were her prize student, her special child.

She never said goodbye, she would just send me off with an Irish blessing, as she called me her Irish Colleen.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Only after "May the wind always be at your back" she would mutter "and not of ye'."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tagged all over

I am just getting tagged all over the place! So this will be my catchup post for all the memes. So if you want to know random things about me, here ya go:

Endobaby tagged me for this:
1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
Not from when I was young, but my two best friends have been my best friends since middle school. L moved to Indy from NYC to live with her dad in 7th grade and we recognized kindred spirits in each other. D went to middle school with us. He was on the quiz team and in the gifted classes and did Math Counts and all the other nerdy things with us, but he didn't really become a *friend* until the summer before high school. He went to a different high school, but we would spend hours talking on the phone. D's seen me through a lot. Both L&D are still the best friends a girl could have.
2. What do you value most about your friends?
With D- Being able to sit in silence. My mom never understood the way D and I could be on the phone for hours and have these big periods of silence. I guess it is kind of weird. But if you can be with somebody and be comfortable just *being*, I think that says a lot.

So many of my friends fulfill different needs, but I think all my close friends share the ability to just be completely bizarre together. We are so weird sometimes.

3. Are your friends sounding boards?
Yes, and you, my blog friends, are some of the best.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with friends?
Sitting and talking. Or just sitting and being silent because you already know everything the other person thinks and you can just enjoy having their presence.
I like going out to eat or karaoke or shopping, but it all comes back to just hanging out.

Kate, and Anna and I believe somebody else tagged me for this (we are such an incestuous bunch, aren't we):
1. Where is your cell phone? table
2. Where is your significant other? kitchen
3. Your hair color? depends
4. Your mother? me
5. Your father? gruff
6. Your favorite thing? sleep
7. Your dream last night? blank
8. Your dream/goal? happiness
9. The room you’re in? cold
10. Your hobby? incomplete
11. Your fear? emptiness
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Jamaica
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? tidy
15. One of your wish list items? blanket
16. Where you grew up? suburbia
17. The last thing you did? cuddle
18. What are you wearing? sweatshirt
19. Your T.V.? fancy
20. Your pet? sleepy
21. Your computer? powerbook
22. Your mood? indecisive
23. Missing someone? david
24. Your car? sassy
25. Something you’re not wearing? shoes
26. Favorite store? thrift
27. Your Summer? gone
28. Love someone? Al
29. Your favorite color? orange
30. When is the last time you laughed? always
31. Last time you cried? days?

And my new ICLW friend Caba has tagged me for this:

The rules are:
1. To link the tagger and provide the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.
(Ok, I may have said some of these before, but my memory stinks.)

1. I chew on my lower lip when I am worried. It drives A nuts.
2. In college every year I did my taxes with my friend Mel while sitting in the same booth in an Irish Bar.
3. I would not admit this to many real life friends, but I am voting for a Republ*can this year. (No, not for president! Heh. As if.) Please do not spread this fact around as it would damage my liberal nutjob image.
4. My favorite fair food is a corndog. I love a good corndog with mustard. Oh how I love them.
5. We have not yet turned on our heat despite it being 45 degrees out right now. And our insulation is crap, so believe me, I can feel it.
6. In middle school I would go through food phases, where I would eat the same thing as a snack every day after school for weeks. The weirdest one was my eggnog phase. I made real eggnog everyday for two weeks. Thinking about all those raw eggs now is gross.
7. I do not wear my engagement ring. I used to wear it, but I am always bumping into things, so I would hit it and snag it, so I put it up.

I would tag people, but I am lazy after doing all those.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pretend you didn't read that last post.

Uh, I am deleting last night's drunken blog entry.

Yeah. Little hungover this morning. Already sent the "sorry I'm an asshole" email to the nice guy that drove me home despite me being obnoxious. He wrote back saying it was fine and he was amused by the screechy and profanity filled gun control lecture I gave to one of the other guys.

Heh.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Still here, still bitching and moaning

Whew. I just went through google reader and tried to comment on everyone's most recent post and cleared off the old ones. If I missed somebody or something incredibly important, I'm sorry.

So let's see..what's happening here...

Last week my sister flew in for an evening on her way elsewhere. Mel came over and had dinner with us (A made Mac and Cheese. Mmmm.) Mel's having a rough time, so please send good vibes her way. Even though we were both wallowing, it was good to wallow together. (I did get to give baby Simone some burp cloths though! With fire trucks on them! She will be quite a badass when she's born.)

Saturday I got up and had an abbreviated garage sale junket with my mom. It may have been the last one until spring, but it did yield a real Coach purse for $8. (They had marked $10, but as my mother taught me, *always* ask if they will take less, especially if they are having bloody Marys.) It was a nice cap off to the season. (I need to get some cleaner as it has a few scuffs.)
Randomly, I also found a wedding picture belonging to a fellow blogger, Bon. Stupidly, I didn't buy it. (More in a moment.)
I had to go to a board meeting for work in the afternoon, which was boringish, but it only ran an hour and a half over (believe me, with my boss, that's *amazing*) and then we had our annual fall dinner with the board, which is always nice. I truly like all of the guys and gal I work with and they are the best people with which to eat and drink. And drink. And drink.
(At the age of twenty seven, I can't even BEGIN to keep up with these forty somethings. Staying out drinking until 4am? At 11pm, I am usually ready to climb into bed. ) We had a super nice dinner that yielded leftover fillet mignon and chocolate cake, along with a nice wine buzz. We went across the street to keep drinking, but I gave in quickly and had A take me home.

Sunday after I eventually woke up from my slightly drunken stupor, I went and met up with Bon for coffee and a walk. We did not solve the mystery of her wedding picture being at a rummage sale, but it was nice to finally meet her in person.
**********

What other random things have I been up to?

Last week (or the week before? My time has been all jumbled) I finally put together all my Ikea bookcases. As I was doing that, I listened to CDs that the amazing Kate sent me - one to wallow to and one to dance to. A has decided that based on her musical taste, Kate is indeed a good friend to have.
Of course, something had to go wrong - I had been so proud of myself for having just the perfectly sized space for three and a half bookshelves. Except of course that I had measured from the wall and not the floor. We have huge baseboards. I don't want to cut into our antique baseboards for some Ikea shelves, so I just put the little one at an angle. It still looks pretty good.

Before:


After(ish - I still need to get all our books up there and organize them):You can get a sense of how big they actually are from the chair - it's not a small chair. I painted the walls a carmel color and got some baskets at a garage sale and put this cool 1895 Art Nouveau wrapping paper on my magazine holders:

I've also been trying to find a chair to put in there and I found this midcentury Plycraft Mr. Chair on Cra*gslist, but now it is sitting in my living room and is so comfortable that it might not make it any further:


And now your moment of cuteness:


Also, the Etsy and Ebay U.T.E.R.U.S. things are going well! I have a couple things to put up on etsy tomorrow morning, so look over there tomorrow to see what fantasticness you can buy.

Oh, and thank you all for offering virtual drinks. If they were all real, I would worry about my liver.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Shake your crafty money makers!

What's that you say? Did Io steal the below directly from Lollipop Goldstein? Why yes I did.
****************************************************************
Um, some pretty freakin' amazing things happening with U.T.E.R.U.S. When we last left off, we had $837.12 in hand. And then an anonymous donor issued a challenge. She will match bloggers dollar for dollar over any amount made through the eBay auction, the etsy site, or direct donations. In other words, if you donate some pottery to the etsy store and it sells for $40, it actually sold for $80 because this person is matching you dollar for dollar.

Wait.

You really need to read this new again.

Whatever you donate--either itemwise or as a direct donation--will be matched dollar for dollar. If you give $5, it's really like giving $10. Why is she doing this? Because she wants to kick you into action. She wants you to remember a time someone did something for you and she wants you to pay it forward.

So what can you do to get into the giving spirit? There are numerous ways to get involved in this--one does not even require you to give anything at all beyond your time...
  • Donate directly via the paypal link on the right sidebar (it's midway down the sidebar with the U.T.E.R.U.S. updates).
  • Donate an item to our eBay auctions or bid on an item yourself.
  • Donate an item to our etsy store or buy one yourself.
  • Sell ad space on your blog and donate the ad revenue to U.T.E.R.U.S.
  • Donate a skill--web design, etc--or run a garage sale at home (and then donate the money)
  • Do this really cool thing that Lori found and donate the money you make from it. Remember--$10 is really $20 in donation form.
  • Tell people about U.T.E.R.U.S. and ask them to get involved too.
*********************************************************************

OK, Io here again. We have sold three of the six things in the etsy store, so we need to get more stock! If you knit, donate a blanket or some mittens or something! (If you *thought* you wanted to knit so you have nice yarn that you never used, you're me. Donate the yarn.) If you an an artist, consider how good it would feel to have somebody buy your work and hang it on their wall! (Kate sold a picture!) If you make jewelry or stuffed bears or purses or anything craftylike, please consider donating some of your work. And if you don't, come buy it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Still alive

I'm not even really sure what to say.

I go back and forth between feeling like I am being a melodramatic queen to feeling like no, this really does call for some heavy sighing and weeping and hand wringing and whatever else I can pick up from starchy Victorian novels. (And I generally feel like an asshole for ignoring all of your sweet comments and loving emails. And I'm afraid when googlereader hit 200, I hit clear, so I'm sorry for not commenting on all your happy/sad/random news. I love and appreciate all of you SO MUCH, but every time I saw somebody had left a message I burst into tears and had to close my laptop.)

A year ago we had just found out why two years of ttc hadn't been working. And even with all my bitching and moaning about how we couldn't afford IVF, I knew that A was graduating in December, that he'd get a job making more money than he did teaching, that we wouldn't have the extra expenses of l@w school. I figured that we would be able to save and it would be a wait, but we'd make it within a year. Easy.
And then A flunked the b@r.
Man, did that suck. We've been living off of my salary (love my job, but I am paid next to nothing) and our savings. A studied again and decided not to get a job on the (oh, it seems SO. FUCKING.STUPID. now) belief that he would pass in October and get a l@w job. So it would be ridiculous to get some other job in the meantime! Just hang out a while longer and do stuff around the house! And then we'd get back on track and maybe we could do IVF sometime in the spring!
And now he's flunked again.
And the economy is in the shitter.

Even if we could get pregnant with that good old-fashioned s-e-x, now would not be the time.

Everything is kind of jumbly.
A is looking at jobs pretty much everywhere. If he gets a job somewhere else, he might move while I stayed here. It's hard to figure out what he can do though - there's a lot of stuff that he would be great at, but his backround is all over the place, so actually getting hired? Might be hard.

He could cook - he has a culinary degree and was a professional chef. But that was eight or nine years ago, so getting hired to a decent kitchen might be hard.
He could teach - he'd been teaching C*mmunications at the university level for seven years until he quit last winter to study for the b@r. But it's the middle of the school year. So he *might* be able to get another job making shit money *next* fall, but that doesn't do us much good.
He has a law degree...but, well, you know how that goes.

We're both depressed and touchy and nervous. A feels like he has let me down and is embarrassed. I hate having to tell people. And I'm sure they hate figuring out what to say.
He's not stupid and he certainly studied (I am hitting the next asshole who tries to explain how they studied and maybe he should try their method that SERIOUSLYpeople heTOOKthefuckingclassesandDIDallthesameshitYOUdid, so shutthefuckup.) (Oh, and please don't tell me that JFK Jr had to take the bar two or three times or whatever. I don't think he was living in the ghetto while he was waiting to take it again. And saying that doesn't make it seem any better that A doesn't have a job. Plus JFK Jr. died. Just sayin'.)

There is no way that we will be having a child in the next year.

Oh, and last Monday? Heard from the clinic about donating. Fucking perfect.
While it would be nice to have the money and I still would like to help, right now I am unhealthy and stressed and probably mentally unstable.Extra hormones right now might push me over the edge. So I am withdrawing my profile. Boo.

And other shitty things - I fucked up at work last week, nothing huge, but I hate fucking up. One of my best friends here and his husband are moving out of state. My friend R (who is *that person* who was in the process of adopting, but got pregnant) is pregnant again. She's kicks ass and I am happy for her, but talking to her last week and the combination of hearing her say she was sorry about the b@r, tell me that she's pregnant and wants a girl, and that I'd be pregnant *soon* just about killed me.

Aw fuck, here I go veering off into melodrama.

***
There is good stuff too:

I put up my Ikea shelves and while they don't quite fit right (I measured from the wall and forgot about the baseboard, so the skinny shelf is at an angle. Doh.) they look really good in my freshly painted office/library.

My sister is coming into town tomorrow, so that makes me super fucking happy. She will drink wine with me and trade out a couple of books and lecture me about what I should do, but in a way that makes me feel inspired, not shamed.

Um. Cinnamon ice cream. That's good.


OH! And hot damn, UTERUS is good! Go look at the ebay stuff (wanna win my hamburger phone?) and also look at our etsy store, which I am running. uterus.etsy.com
And please consider donating items or money.

***
So tell me people, what did I miss in your lives last week?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I was going to liveblog

I was planning on liveblogging the VP debate, but I can't because I just keep breaking out in laughter. Palin is ridunkulous.


Ten hours.

Ack

Less than 22 hours until we hear about the bar and I simply can't concentrate on anything. I'm crawling out of my skin.
I have work sitting in front of me, but it's not exactly holding my attention.
Quick, somebody distract me.