Monday, December 31, 2012

An open letter to my dad on the day of his retirement.

Dear Dad -

Huzzah! A mere 40 years after joining the family business, you've made it to retirement!

I know Mom jokes about getting you a job as a greeter at Walmart. Personally, my money is still on a second career as a school bus driver. Remember how you'd tilt the steering wheel of the Buick way up, and pretend to yell at us kids? You're a natural.

When I was little, I wasn't quite sure what your job was. So, I told everyone you were a businessman, like the guys in suits in the J.C. Penney catalog. I was somewhat in the dark, but proud.

As I got older, I figured out what your job entailed - because you were willing to explain it to me, no matter how many random questions I asked. I also figured out that a family business was a pretty special thing. Poochie and I both had our first jobs with you - I was a file clerk, and he was a janitor. To this day, I'm awesome at alphabetizing. And Poochie? Well, I think he finally took "sanitation engineer" off his resume to make room for his master's degree.

You worked really hard. We learned that drive from you. We also learned that doing your best, treating everyone well, and living with integrity were givens. You taught us by example.

Your hard work enabled us to live in a nice house and enjoy fun extras. We had some awesome vacations. You sent our sorry asses to college - despite my expensive out-of-state educational tastes - and set us up for success. You also empowered us and gave us the freedom to follow our hearts, even if that led us away from home. I'm only now starting to truly understand the value and depth of these rare, special gifts.

I hope this new era gives you these same opportunities - the time and the freedom to try new things and enjoy grand adventures. Keep on being your interesting, always-learning self. I can't wait to see what else you have to teach me. You've already taught me what it means to be a success.

Thanks, Dad. Love you always -


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stuff I liked in 2012.

It's the end of another year, and time for yet another year-end list.

I love year-end lists. Seriously. What books and movies did I miss? Who died? What was great?

I will say, though, that my local paper - a once-great institution of real journalism - really sucked up the joint with its online photo gallery of people who died this year. The gallery kept showing different photos of the already-listed folks. So, according to the paper? Whitney Houston died 4 times this year. Who knew?

Anyway. I will stop being a curmudgeon and share the stuff I liked this year. Not necessarily new stuff, just new-to-me stuff. Also? I will refrain from listing the same items multiple times (ahem, local paper).

Best show my husband made me watch; also, best proof that I might be turning him into a democrat
The Newsroom. This is the first Aaron Sorkin show I've watched - yeah, yeah, I know, I live under a rock. But I'm not typically into dramas, and it takes a something pretty great to make me commit to an hour-long show. The Newsroom was so worth it. It's well-written, even if it can be a little heavy-handed. Sorkin can write dialogue. I know that's totally Earth-shattering commentary on my part, but dude.

Best change
My Guy and I joined the same gym. Duh.

Scariest outcome of best change
We're going to the gym more. I have been spending more time on the treadmill. For the first time in my entire life, I have been ... umm ... jogging. Voluntarily. For, like, 3 minutes at a time. OK, really more like 2 minutes at a time. But still. Running! What the hell?

Best album
I have no idea. I have clearly fallen off the new music cliff in 2012. All I know is that the Foo Fighters didn't release an album this year and I hate every musical guest on SNL. Because I'm usually home on Saturday nights. Shut up.

Movie that had me pumping my fists
Argo. It's a great script and a super-interesting story. But there's something almost intangible about the film that just puts it over the top. The music and the acting and the editing create this tension that was practically palpable in the theatre. Plus, the filmmakers really captured the feel of the time - the clothes and hair and set decoration were amazing.

Best movie surprise
James Spader in Lincoln. Poor James Spader. I've hated his guts ever since Pretty in Pink, when he played evil rich kid Steff with such insolence. Like Lawrence Fishburne, who will always be Ike Turner to me, James Spader will always be the mean guy who was cruel to Molly Ringwald.

Anyway. I was not prepared for James Spader to be in Lincoln. But he is. And his character is hilarious. He's pretty slimy, but watching him is a joy. Like, he is so surprised at meeting the president that he actually says, "Well, I'll be fucked!"


Best movie I'm glad we watched on DVR
The King's Speech. I realize that My Guy and I were the last humans on Earth to see this movie. But I'm so glad we watched it when we could pause it and discuss the historical background. Quick discussions to figure out who was prime minister and just when certain stuff happened made the viewing experience more robust. Plus, we both ended up going down Wikipedia rabbit holes after seeing the movie. So much to learn!

Also, it's a great movie. And Colin Firth is just ... well, you know.

Biggest disappointment
Let us not speak of the 2012 college football season.

Best surprise of the 2012 college football season
One of my college friends is the uncle of 2 players on the Iowa State football team - including the kid who is the big stud and heart and soul of the team. Seeing my pal's Facebook posts has made my heart glad. They range from random ISU crowd shots to picks of a tiny grandma in head-to-toe Cyclone gear. Families are awesome.

Best nonfiction book
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. I've gone on and on about this book before, but dangnabit - I freakin' loved it and think the whole world should read it. It's got sports and World War II and triumph of the human spirit and ohmigod, just read this book already.

My Guy's favorite book of 2012
11/22/63: A Novel. My Guy has this to say about Stephen King's novel: "It was good. What? You know that's the extent of my book reports."

Best Target dollar-aisle finds
While they are usually dressed as reindeer / disco bison, this year, the doxies mixed up the costumes a bit.

Santa was in the house, lookin' all manly.

As was his elf ... who really felt like more of a Vegas pirate than an elf, but whatever.

So. What did I miss this year? What books / stuff / movies / shows / dog costumes made your year?

Psst ... when you purchase a book through my links, Amazon throws some spare change my way. This enables me to pay my library fines, stay out of library jail, and keep entertaining you with my hard-hitting literary criticism.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pestilence and famine came for Christmas.

Or, just the flu.

My poor sister-in-law Mrs. Poochie got hit first. She spent all of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in bed, missing out on the festivities at my parents' house. Then, by the time we drove home Christmas night, My Guy was similarly down for the count.

Knock on wood, I have been spared - so far. But our plans to visit My Guy's family are kaput. And there's the little business of my husband feeling near death.

So, let's focus on the positive.

This Christmas, the family discovered something wonderful: My brother has a horrible fear of whales. Good thing he lives in the Midwest, as he is terrified of being swallowed by a whale.

So, it was only natural that when we decorated sugar cookies, a few of the mitten-shaped cookies were transformed into whales. Vicious, blood-thirsty whales with disemboweled frosting carcasses in their mouths. Happy birthday, Jesus!

This holiday also saw what I can only hope will be the first of many Lego-offs. My mom got the bins of Legos from the basement, and assigned a bin to each adult kid. We then had 45 minutes to craft an amazing, Christmas-themed Lego creation.

It. Was. Awesome. I had the bin of pirate-ship Legos, and for about 20 minutes actually thought I could create some sort of "I saw 3 ships come sailing in" kind of thing. But then I realized that a) the only line of the song I remember is "And what was in those ships a'three?" - and the answer is I have no clue; and b) those Lego ships are super complex, and there was no way I was going to be able to cobble together 3 of them in under an hour. So, I created an island lair - manned by monkeys - where Krampus takes bad boys and girls.

Mrs. Poochie made an amazing Santa sled, complete with a Santa shark. My Guy crafted an incredibly detailed living room vignette, complete with a tree and awesome gifts - including a G.I. Joe aircraft carrier. Not that he's still bitter he never received one as a child. Ahem.

And my brother? Well, Poochie made a Lego nativity. A nativity with a Lego dragon playing the role of the angel.

There were prizes. Obviously.

We had great fun. We were privileged to celebrate mostly together. And the flu doesn't last forever. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Never show weakness!

I think the Christmas tree has messed with Foxie Doxie's head.

It's the only change in our house I can think of that might have driven my little dachshund to lose his mind more than usual. On the best of days, he's the type of kid who should wear a helmet. But lately? Lately, he needs to be in a Hannibal Lecter-esque full-body restraint, complete with the the face mask.

See, Foxie is marking more than normal. Like, turn-my-back-for-3-seconds-and-he's-peeing-on-the-fridge kind of marking.

I realize this isn't news. But it has me considering psychoanalysis for my dog.

The other morning, Foxie fell down the steep stairs that lead to our bedroom. These are the same stairs that are so narrow that they necessitated we cut our box spring in half in order to get it to our bedroom. Those scary stairs.

Foxie missed a step and bounced down the bottom half of the stairs, much like Wile E. Coyote. It happened in slow motion, complete with me being all, "Noooooooo" and trying to somehow catch the dachshund, despite the fact that my athletic skills are amoebic at best.

So, Foxie fell down the stairs and ended up under a chair, halfway across the dining room. Time stood still as we looked at each other, both kind of like, "What the hell?" Then, I went into Mommy Mode, cooing over him, patting him down for any exposed bones or gushing wounds.

I sized him up. He sized himself up. We both decided he was freaked out but fine. We both let out a sigh of relief, and Foxie started to melt into a little mommy love as I attempted to smother away any bruising.

Except. Then, he realized that the other 3 dogs had witnessed his stunt-man-worthy fall. They had seen him freak out and how he let his mommy fawn all over him. He needed to regain his man card.

It was at this point that Foxie puffed up like a middle manager. He literally grew in stature as he made purposeful eye contact with each of the other dogs. Then, he did what any self-respecting dude would do: He walked over to a wall, lifted his leg, and peed.

Again, just like a middle manager. Mark your territory, boys!

I went ballistic. But Foxie was not concerned. Or at least he was playing it cool in front of the other kids.

This is what I'm dealing with. Doggie shrink recommendations are most welcome.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book-giving for smartypants.

Christmas is a mere week away! Krampus the Christmas Frog and his shih tzu helper are ready. Are you?

For your last-minute book-learning gift-giving needs, I present Cha Cha’s List o’ Books About Stuff!

Yeah. Basically, I read some books and learned some stuff.

Hedy's Folly: The Life and Breakthrough Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the Most Beautiful Woman in the World (Vintage) - Richard Rhodes
Hedy Lamarr was the most beautiful woman in the world … and she happened to invent some super-smart technology. This book tries to sell the Hollywood starlet as an unsung hero of World War II. However, it spends so much time focusing on her co-inventor that I ended up not knowing much about Hedy at all. Since I’m not much of a tech geek, my mind wandered.

I finished the book fixated on the fact that Hedy was bitter about the lack of acknowledgement for her technological work. She also refused an invitation to a fete thrown in honor of her inventions because she had aged and didn’t want to be seen. This shouldn’t have been my big takeaway - I feel like I missed the gist of this book. This might be reader error on my part, but I’m marking this tome as a missed storytelling opportunity.

At Home: A Short History of Private Life - Bill Bryson
If you ever need to prime and paint, then scrape, reprime, and repaint a fireplace surround, this is a great audiobook to accompany you. Don’t ask how I know.

Bryson is my favorite Iowa-born expat because his storytelling is so down-to-Earth - it’s like hanging out with your dad’s old pal. I especially love his audiobooks because he has a soft, soothing voice, and his delivery is just fun. If he’s telling you a crazy story, he’s not even going to pretend not to be incredulous himself.

At Home is about just that: home. This book talks about the evolution of houses - everything from domestic chores to the history of the living room as a stable. For animals. For real. We are now uptight clean freaks by comparison.

Special shout-out to Cyndi B. for the recommendation several months ago - thanks!

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America - Erik Larson
I bought this book when it first came out about a gajillion years ago. I shelled out money on the hardcover (gasp!) based on the strength of a very compelling review. Then, the book sat on my shelf, untouched, for several years. Then I loaned it to my brother. He let it sit on his shelf for several years. I got the book back. Finally, I checked the audiobook out from the library. It came due. I renewed it. Then, I finally listened to it.

I’m not sure if my reticence to read this book was due to the gorey, horrifying nature of the subject, or just general laziness on my part. Let’s go with the former, as this book tracks a serial killer who saw the Chicago World’s Fair as a perfect opportunity. I learned a ton about the fair and the logistics of creating giant buildings meant only to be temporary. Also, I had no idea the Ferris Wheel was such a marvel. I have a whole new appreciation now.

But the serial killer in question? Oy. Bad news. But a really interesting book of good and evil colliding.

Sin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys, and the Battle for America's Soul - Karen Abbott
I was evidently on a bit of a Chicago-at-the-turn-of-the-century kick. Abbott’s book studies 2 sisters who invented themselves and a whole new kind of debauchery at their Chicago brothel. They basically revolutionized the world’s oldest business by making it classy - their establishment had a gold piano, and wouldn’t even let a gent through the door without a credit check.

Of course, the competition did not take kindly to strangers coming in and taking the best girls and the best clientele. And the underworld has politics like any other area of society. This book has intrigue! And murder! And guys named “Hinky Dink!” It paints vivid pictures of a very specific moment in history.

Need other book suggestions? Check out my takes on beachy reads and biographies.

Disclaimer: When you purchase a book through my links, Amazon throws some spare change my way. This enables me to pay my library fines, stay out of library jail, and keep entertaining you with my hard-hitting literary criticism.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sometimes, there's not much to say.

I’m a firm believer that part of honoring the sanctity of life is honoring the silly, the mundane. The good stuff that makes life great.

Besides, sometimes? Sometimes, you just need some levity. And some chickens. Choreographed chickens.
Mad props to Kelley to bringing this important video to my attention!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

How to know if you're destined for upper management.

Today was the holiday luncheon at Globotron. I sat at my table of lowly contractors, and we enjoyed free lunch. It tasted free. But, again, it was free.

CEO-types tend to fancy themselves to be "people people," and Globotron's CEO is no different. He deigned to sit with us unclean contractors and work the room.

He was a nice enough fellow. But I think he's a cyborg.

See, the luncheon made up for the free food with excellent party favors. Every place setting had a little box of Godiva chocolates. You know, those square boxes of 4 chocolates? Yeah. Class touch, Globotron. I approve.

After we were done eating, Cyborg CEO picked up his box of Godiva. "You know, I've never had a Godiva chocolate," he said. "I buy them for my wife all the time, but I've never tried them."

At this point, he should have made some comment about the joy of trying something new. But no.

Cyborg CEO tossed his box of chocolates to the guy sitting next to him. "Here," he said. "You have 'em."

And then I died.

Why, oh why wouldn't you try the chocolates? You don't even know what you're missing!

But the obvious "chocolate good!" grunts aside ... I immediately thought that Cyborg CEO must never sing in the car or try weird foods or do anything silly. And it made me sad for him.

And then I resumed my Bitter Corporate Denizen persona and decided that you simply cannot be senior management in Corporate America unless you are flat-out insane.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Tonight, my husband asked, “So, did you make out with the janitor today?”

I’m experiencing a career low point.

The contract gig that I’ve been working for 2 months has not delivered as promised. Instead of writing, I’m being groomed to do business process analysis. You know who doesn’t give 2 shits about business process analysis? This guy.

And instead of being a business process analyst, I’m being treated like a glorified admin. You know, that admin who isn’t too bright? The one who cannot be trusted to make copies correctly?


I’ve got people arguing with me when I point out their text is grammatically incorrect. Clearly, I am not to be trusted.

Let us be honest: I am a decent communicator, whether that communication be print, online, verbal … or a combination of Spanish and pantomime.

That last one isn’t on my resume anywhere. But I guess it should be. If you ever doubted my abilities, let me just tell you: Today, I discussed infertility with my Spanish-speaking maintenance guy pal.


I had a random hallway run-in with Maintenance Mercury, my Freddie Mercury look-alike amigo. He showed me pictures of his family on his phone. He positively gushed about his 2 sons and young daughter. Then he asked me if I have kids. Then he asked me why not.

First, I tried to explain in my faltering Spanish that I’ve only been married a year. In my fluster, I may have fallen back into my high school vocabulary and mentioned hay muchos libros en la biblioteca.

Maintenance Mercury showed me more pictures, then asked me again.

Somewhere in there, I realized that he is 1 of only a handful of authentic people to be found at Globotron, and I like him a lot. And I decided to just let it all hang out.

“No es possible,” I said. Then, I did what I can only assume is the international sign for “barren” - waving my arms in front of my crotchal region while shaking my head.

Then, Maintenance Mercury looked sad, and asked me if we’d considered adoption.

About this time, I realized that I was talking about my ladyparts, in fake-ass Spanish, with a near stranger, standing next to a busy elevator bank in some random office building. Yeah!

Then, I drew a chart tracking my hormone levels. OK, not quite. Instead, I realized that I never thought to ask my high school Spanish teacher the Spanish word for “infertile.” Some things you just can’t predict.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book-giving guide: Biographies.

'Tis the season for giving gifts. And if you’re like me, books are second only to dancing stuffed frogs on your list of Completely Awesome Gifts.

Oh, Krampus.

Here are some biographies that I’ve read recently. Perhaps they will help in your gift-giving quests!

I Suck at Girls- Justin Halperin
Ol’ Justin wrote Sh*t My Dad Says, which is funny. I actually liked this book better. It’s about his quest for love - which, of course, his dad has a few choice words about.

This is just a funny book. Also, it taught me that it’s never a good idea to screw a waitress who’s willing to screw you - and anyone else - in the storage closet of the restaurant where you both work. Life lessons, friends.

Like a Lampshade In a Whorehouse: My Life In Comedy - Phyllis Diller
When Diller died, I thought of 2 things:
1. I used to babysit a little girl who always wanted to play house. I was to be the mom, and she was to be the cleaning lady - always. And she always wanted her name to be Phyllis.
2. Phyllis Diller is this icon of comedy and totally a badass, and I know next to nothing about her.
So, I laughed about #1 and remedied #2.

Diller wrote this autobiography after she’d retired from comedy in her 80s, so it offers a complete look at her career. And lemme tell you - she doesn’t hold back. Girlfriend names names. And the stories of her childhood and her marriages provide context for her comedy and why she did the professional things she did.

This book was a quick, entertaining read. I was fascinated by her personal life and how it fed her comedy but was also completely separate from it.

Then Again - Diane Keaton
I listened to this audiobook. And haaaated it.

I think it just didn’t translate well to the medium, as part of the text is Keaton’s mother’s journal, and part is her own musings. So, with an audiobook, it was really difficult to discern what was what.

My shrink loved this book and thought it was richly textured. I thought it could have been dishier. I mean, c’mon - your main relationships have been with Woody Allen and Al Pacino. Oh, and Warren Beatty. And you just kind of laugh them all off? She clearly wrote with the intent of not spilling anyone’s secrets.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) - Jenny Lawson
Perhaps you’ve heard of a little blog called The Bloggess. If not, you should run right out and read it and all of the archives. This memoir is by The Bloggess herself, and it’s honest and funny and very educational. I learned so much more about taxidermy than I ever thought possible. This is a fun book for anyone who likes social media, or laughing, or preserving dead animals, or laughing about preserving dead animals.

Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son - Anne Lamott and Sam Lamott
If you’ve ever even held a newborn, I trust you’ve read Anne Lamott’s Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year. It is amazing and authentic.

So, this book? Anne wrote with her son about the first year of her grandson’s life. Maybe it’s just where I am in my life, but … ick. Keep in mind that I read this book right about the time we found out we’re barren, so it’s yet another ill-timed book that definitely shouldn’t be in any “So, you just found out you’re barren” book club.

Anne just came off as so neurotic and like the mother-in-law from hell. I feel so bad typing this. But it was my gut reaction. She was authentic. But I was turned off by her authenticity. It was not a good fit for me at the time. But if you’re looking for a gift for a grandma-to-be, this might be OK.

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office - Jen Lancaster
I am probably the last woman on Earth to read this book.

Jen was a somewhat snotty, $600-purse-carrying, fancy-car-driving VP who got laid off after 9/11. She and her husband went from fancy to brokety broke broke, and this is the tale of their fall and ultimate redemption.

Loved it. Reread parts of it. It made me laugh and also feel pretty OK about my decision to leave Corporate Behemoth.

As with so many things, if 1 is good, 5 is better, right? I worked my way through all of Lancaster’s memoirs. Bitter is the New Black remains my favorite. I have to admit that by her latest, Jeneration X: One Reluctant Adult's Attempt to Unarrest Her Arrested Development; Or, Why It's Never Too Late for Her Dumb Ass to Learn Why Froot Loops Are Not for Dinner, I got bored. There was no redemption. And I found that I disliked her more often than I liked her. I’m a fickle reader like that.

Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood - Laurie Notaro
Notaro is another memoirist who has entertained me with many books. “Fat Bride” isn’t her latest, but it’s the one I read most recently. Unlike Lancaster, I like all of Notaro’s books. However, I would be scared to eat food that came from her house. Her books just kind of make it sound like any vittles would be covered in cat hair. Considering the dog hair situation at my house, I do realize this is a pot / kettle situation.

If you have a moderately fucked-up bride-to-be on your gift list, get her this book. It will make her laugh and feel better about her daily mental breakdowns over stuff like napkins and envelopes. Also? I think all bride-to-bes qualify as “moderately fucked up.” See also: my entire blog from Aug. 2010 - April 2011.

What great biographies have you read lately? What should I add to my never-ending “to-read” list?

Disclaimer: When you purchase a book through my links, Amazon throws some spare change my way. This enables me to pay my library fines, stay out of library jail, and keep entertaining you with my hard-hitting literary criticism.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

I forgot my husband's birthday until I saw it on Facebook.

I am the worst wife ever.

To be fair ... he has to travel to a convention every year the week of his birthday. And the night before his official birthday, I stayed up late wrapping his birthday gifts.

But when it came to the day of the blessed event? Well, I was running late. And the dogs were doing stuff. And I was having a bad hair day. And blah, blah, blah.

So, imagine my surprise when I finally had a chance to look at Facebook and saw many messages wishing my sweet husband a great day. Oh, right!

Luckily for me, he was a few time zones behind. So, my mid-morning (OK, who are we kidding - late morning) birthday text just looked like I was being conscientious about the time difference.

Now he's home, and he appears to still love me. I don't think he even noticed. Sometimes, it's good to be married to A Guy. They don't notice crap. Like bikini lines, food that's past its expiration date, and the proper timing of birthday greetings.

Yep. I married well.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Strumpet spouse or multicultural maven?

My husband is at a convention this week. I miss him horribly. I haven't talked to him in 3 days.

This is what was going through my head when I got kissed at work today.

I know, right?

Remember when I was kind of obsessing over Globotron's Hispanic Freddie Mercury maintenance guy?


I came out of the ladies' room today to find Maintenance Mercury waiting outside. I apologized for taking so dang long to pee. After all, I'm from the Midwest. That's what we do - apologize for everything for no reason.

Turns out Maintenance Mercury doesn't know a lot of English. And I don't know much Spanish. But we attempted a conversation. He apologized for his English and I whipped out some truly poetic Spanish like, "Mi espanol es muy malo." At least I varied somewhat from my super-useful high school lessons of "The library has many books" ("La bibilioteca tiene muchos libros," for those playing along at home).

Maintenance Mercury was obviously excited to practice his English. I had to keep talking to him - he's such an ebullient person. It was only toward the end of our chat attempt that I realized he was complimenting my eyes and my laugh. Then he said something about my husband, shook my hand, and kissed me on the cheek.

My initial thought was, "I can't wait to tell My Guy!"

I guess this means I would be a horrible adulteress. And I'm totally OK with that.

My second thought was, "That was probably inappropriate. Huh."

And then my third thought was, "Mama's still got it! Yay! Even if I have a total double standard, being pissed about being called "girl" at work but thinking it's not terrible to be kissed by a maintenance guy who might have been following the norms of his culture."

Does this make me a harlot? Do I have to turn in my feminist membership card? I say no on both accounts. I think it makes me a friendly adult who just doesn't want to be treated like a child.

Well, a friendly adult who cannot wait to tell her husband, mostly because he will be so disappointed I didn't talk about "todos los libros en la biblioteca."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Tumbleweeds. In my ladyparts.

The ad running on my blog right at this moment promises hot flash relief.

Because there's something about my blog that says, "Hey! Are you all dried up like me? All dust bowl uteri are welcome here!"

Hi. I'm 37. Thanks for the ad love, BlogHer.

Actually, it's kind of ironic. After this summer's initial wave of "Hey! We're barren!" shock and awe, I think I'm hitting a secondary wave of hormone-related madness.

After a late-summer flurry of remodeling activity, My Guy and I are coming out of our home-improvement comas. We're talking about how to enhance our basement rec room, and the idea of a kitchenette / bar area has been thrown about. Mostly, it would augment our Kleenex-sized kitchen. As part of this, I'd move my sewing machine and crafting area from the basement into the completely empty bedroom off our master.

Oh, you know. That bedroom that was going to be a nursery.

And, for a number of reasons that just add up to a giant ol' mess of TMI, I should probably go back on the pill.

Now, God love my husband. His comment about the "building a bar / reclaiming the possible nursery" move was that nothing is permanent.

As for going back on the pill? I said, "I feel like it would really be putting the final nail in the fertility coffin." And he countered with, "Didn't we do that this summer?"

Well, when I vowed never to take any more drugs or undergo any more tests, and we broke up with the reproductive endocrinologist with a nice, "It's not you, it's us?" Yeah, I guess we put a nail in the fertility coffin ... but I guess the tiniest part of my optimistic little heart held back. That part kind of paid attention to the women who tried to be comforting with the whole, "Oh, it'll happen when you stop trying" schtick.

For the record: don't say that. Because sometimes? It will never, ever happen. 

I guess going back on the pill is the ultimate in "not trying." It's also the ultimate in "Fuck you, heart. This is the brain talking, and we are sick of the ladyparts chaos. There's a new sheriff in town!"

I'm not angry. I'm not really upset. I just feel like I've come off of a pretty good bipolar bender. Years of "Oh God, please don't let me get pregnant," followed by a brief but intense run of "Oh God, please let me get pregnant" have made me kind of numb. I keep getting the message that I should want a child, but things are different when it's a no longer a see-what-happens. Now, it would be much more methodical and deliberate.

I'm kind of waiting for a sign on whether or not we should explore adoption. So far, the only signs I've seen have been of the "Refrigerators on sale - perfect for your rec room bar!" variety.