Thursday, September 29, 2005

I Found What???

Have you heard the latest K-mart jingle? The little country western jingle sings out, "I found love in a K-mart store." We don't have K-marts in my city anymore, but even when we did I could never even find what I was looking for. Forget looking for love. I remember going into a K-mart downtown during a downpour to find an umbrella; it took me 20 minutes to find a damn umbrella. Seems to me that K-mart needs to work on making their stores more accessible and user-friendly than on sparking a love connection. Perhaps we would still have K-marts in my city if they focused on more realistic sales. But that's just my opinion...

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Baby Is Still Dancing

I'm still here. I'm still pregnant. I'm still mostly zzzzzzzzzzz, but my constant lounging on the couch has been reinforced by the new TV season. Anyone watched Earl yet? I love that show. In fact, I think to honor it, I'm gonna get a tattoo on my butt of Moses parting the Red Sea after this whole pregnancy thing is over.

So, on Friday, I'm going for this test called an Ultrascreen. I had never heard of this kind of test until my doctor discussed it with me a few weeks ago. Since I am 35, I am in this category of concern for certain birth defects and genetic disorders. I am amazed at the number of tests one can do in order to rule out these kind of conditions, besides an amniocentesis which is so invasive. My doctor is signing me up for all of these tests, with the hope that I won't need an amnio at all, which is nice. The thought of a needle being inserted directly into my belly just doesn't sit well!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Blockbuster & Porn

I went to my nearby Blockbuster Video a few days ago to ask if "Inside Deep Throat" was available for rental. "Inside Deep Throat" is a documentary about the people involved in the production of the 1972 porn flick "Deep Throat." Here's a statistic you may not know: "Deep Throat" is the most profitable film in history, with shooting costs of merely $25,000 and a gross of over $600 million (that's starting to make the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy look a little inadequate). "Inside Deep Throat" has received excellent reviews since it opened six months ago in select cities (unfortunately, I do not live in New York or LA). In addition to covering the making of "Deep Throat," the documentary also profiles the cast and the crew, including Linda Lovelace's later anti-porn crusade. The DVD also contains a deep throat tutorial, which apparently includes hypnosis. So imagine my disappointment when Blockbuster told me that it was not available for rental. Which got me to thinking. My first thought was, of course, "Who has Netflix???" But beyond that, and on a much more poignant note, was this: are the selections at my local Blockbuster a reflection of the demographic and political trends in my neighborhood? I realize this may be a bit of a stretch, but this is an example of the kinds of thoughts that go through my head.

I live in an ultra-conservative, primarily Caucasian neighborhood. Interesting for a city which is approximately 60% Hispanic and is sometimes the lone blue dot on the election map, surrounded by lots and lots of red. I know there are a lot of Republicans in my neighborhood because it takes me less than 5 minutes to vote in my Democratic primary, but the line of Republicans extends out the door, to the end of the parking lot, and down the street. I don't have anything against Republicans, I just choose not to be one. But sometimes I feel like they have a lot against me. Case and point: I proudly went to my local Democratic headquarters in 2000 to purchase a Gore-Lieberman sign for my yard. I hammered it into my yard with pride. Somedays though, I would return from work, and my sign would be lying flat in my yard. Not as though it had merely fallen over where I had hammered it. No. It was clearly removed from its hole and tossed elsewhere. I have no problem with one of my neighbors knocking on my door and telling me why he/she dislikes my sign. The "why" is key here - if you are going to come to my door and tell me that you do not like my demonstration of my first amendment rights, then you are required to provide an explanation. But to just pick up my sign and toss it across my yard? How cowardly. The sperm donor says it's just kids, but, as I've said before, they learn it from somewhere. Notice to all ages - I have no problem picking up my sign and pounding it into the same spot, this time with my 4-inch heel.

What was my point? Oh yes - porn.

I don't really watch porn. But I do like to watch shows about the porn industry. For example, when I think of it, I like to watch the "Real Sex" series on HBO which has recently had some interesting episodes about the porn industry. When I had free Showtime, I was a big fan of "Family Business," a "reality" show about the man who owns and operates Seymore Butts. This guy was a respectable single father, who ran his porn flick business with his mother, who was always trying to set him up on a date, and his perverted cousin Stevie. Cousin Stevie once accidentally ended up as a model in a bondage booth at a porn convention. In another episode, Cousin Stevie was repeatedly slapped by exotic dancers when he would ask them if they knew how to squirt (the coveted female ejaculation). A lot of the show would focus on the main character's attempt to find a date. In one episode, he went to one of those mega date events, where you meet many members of the opposite sex in hopes of finding a love connection. He met many respectable women who were teachers or lawyers, but when the women would ask him how he made his living he honestly would say, "I direct, produce, and distribute adult entertainment." Needless to say, date over.

I'm going to forget my point soon, so here it goes.

It amazes me that Blockbuster will not rent a documentary about such a popular industry. Documentaries appear to be big things these days, especially since Michael Moore did his one about Columbine and that other guy made a whole film about how he ate nothing but McDonalds. Porn has become an issue with clearly divided camps. Even Linda Lovelace became anti-porn before she died in 2002. The porn industry also makes a ton of money. Remember when all of the porn production companies had to shut down business for several months because one actor tested positive for HIV? That was a lot of money lost.

Ooooo...but I forgot....we don't talk about sex. Certainly not in my neighborhood. It's another one of those NIMBYisms. And that's why this documentary is not at my Blockbuster.

So maybe I will drive ten minutes to the city's biggest sex shop, and see if they have my documentary. Funny - the city's biggest sex shop is located very, very close to my ultra-conservative neighborhood. You can imagine the stink that caused when it opened!

Or maybe I'll ask Sandra to put it in her Netflix queue.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Dancing Baby

Well, I haven't gotten anywhere with a scanner yet, so I can't post my sonogram pics, but this is what we know: we have two legs, two arms, a head, and a good strong heartbeat. The heartbeat is especially important, because once it is confirmed the chance of miscarriage decreases tremendously. Apparently, we also have a dancer. Because my first vision of my baby was of all of these arms and legs wiggling! It was as if the baby was as excited to be seen as I was to see it. So, therefore, the nickname of "The Dancing Baby." It could have made a good IPod commercial! Interesting thing about the sonogram is that it was a "transvaginal sonogram," which means the little camera was inserted up inside of me to get an image of the baby. Hmm. A little like porn. Also intriguing was that the purpose of this sonogram was to confirm the pregnancy. Let's see...I've missed two periods, my pregnancy test was positive, the test the doctor ran was positive. Oh - and I had been having unprotected sex. So what exactly are we confirming here? One friend said, "That you're not having a litter of puppies." OK.

A wise piece of advice for the men of the world: there are certain things in life you should never be late for. Your wedding is a good example. Another good example is taking your mother for dinner on her birthday. Us ladies have learned to accept your lack of punctuality not as a sign of weakness, but merely as a reality. Another thing to never be late for? Your wife's first sonogram. My sonogram tech was nice enough to wait around a little while for the sperm donor, who managed to make it in just the nick of time. Before I slapped him. And possibly killed him. But he made it - apologetic, and a little out of breath (I thought that was a nice touch). It was all worth it in the end.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


I met him at a party when I was in college. I don't even remember why my girlfriend and I went to this party. I only remember that there were many alumni from our college present at this party, and that we were not planning on staying very long because we were also due at a friend's birthday party. I also don't remember exactly when I noticed him. I know he was sitting next to me at a rowdy game of "I Never." What I remember was leaning against the back of a couch, waiting for my girlfriend, and he came up and started talking to me. We never made it to the birthday party.

I was wearing jeans, a left-over red shirt from the '80s (with the trademark '80s funky paisley design), and red Ropers. He was wearing shorts and a black t-shirt. We both wore glasses at the time. He was clean-cut, had short hair and was nicely shaven (yes, my friends, this was the day before the earrings, the tattoo, and the beard!). He came up to me and said, "So what do you think of Stevie Ray Vaughn dying?" And this native Austinite shared her despair, and the despair of thousands of others, over the tragic and sudden death of her beloved blues star less than one month before. I shared with him about the last time I had seen SRV, on the opposite bank of Town Lake from the stage, my friend so excited to cross the street and see the guitar player that he left my car door wide open, something we did not discover until we returned to the car at the end of the show. I asked him where he was from, and the small Texas panhandle town where he lived was the same town where my family would spend the night on the way to our vacation in Colorado, lodging at the Red Carpet Inn and dining at the local K-Bob's. It's possible that I was in that small town the day Elvis died. I was all of 20 years old when we met. He was 23, out of school, and working at a local Air Force base.

At that point in my life, I had recently emerged from the fog of a miserable heartbreak, in which a boy two years earlier made a decision about his life which could not possibly include me (a whole other blog entry someday). I remember just weeks before I had told my girlfriend that I would really like to meet a nice guy. Sure, I had dated some in college, but most of those guys were, well, dating imbeciles. On the night that I met him, I remember vividly a force that was present, stronger than the two of us, that said "This is what I can offer you."

That fated night took place fifteen years ago today. A year later we moved in together. A few years after that we got married. In blog-land, he is referred to affectionately as the "sperm donor," although he is so much more (although lately, I've taken to calling him "my baby's daddy" because that sounds much more ghetto!).

Marriage has not always been easy, as no one bothered to hand us a manual when we started out. There have been many ups, and some terrible, devastating, and painful lows. At one point, I nearly threw it all away. But I hung in there; or rather, HE hung in there, HE never gave up on me, even though I had nearly given up on myself. And for that, I am eternally in love with him. There is nothing more I want in this world than to wake up next to him tomorrow morning. The feeling that I am carrying a little part of him inside of me, no matter how psycho it sounds, is the most thrilling and exciting feeling I have ever experienced.

Tomorrow we go for our first sonogram, we get to see our baby for the first time. Hopefully Kim will let us use her scanner this weekend so we can post the photos on the blog!

We still have those clothes, my left-over '80s shirt now starting to look a bit vintage, and his black t-shirt, now faded. And I still have those red Ropers. There are certain things in life you can never throw away.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Names And Other Goodness

"You seem to be a pretty active person and an independent thinker who likes doing instead of just talking. If you want your child to be strong-minded and leave his or her mark on the world, you should consider baby names that people associate with being creative, smart, active, and strong."

I guess this is some help. When I'm sent a link advertising a quiz like this, I'm really looking for some concrete suggestions! I'll have the sperm donor take it - see if he gets the same results!

On a big bright note, I am proud to announce that for the first time in my bra-wearing life (roughly two-thirds of my life here) I am wearing a bra with a C cup. I never thought it would happen. I would like to thank my little unborn baby for granting me, at least temporarily, with bigger boobies!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Do You Get Tired Of Junk Mail???

I feel like I throw away at least half of what lands in my mailbox these days. I get a lot of junk credit card offers, charity solicitation, and the like. I've lately been throwing away all of these catalogs I get too, because it will be awhile until I can fit into their form fitting clothes again!

Anyway, my local NPR station offered this information on how to decrease the amount of junk mail you receive. Unfortunately, there is not just one web site or one phone number you can call, but these can at least tell you how to get started. Wouldn't it be nice to receive only the mail you actually requested!

Just some handy FYI.


Tuesday, September 06, 2005

My Expanding Waistline

Every morning before work has become more of a challenge. There I stand, naked, in my closet, searching through all of the clothing I own for anything that might fit around my waist. I think I own maybe two pairs of pants that have elastic waistbands. I have a few loose-fitting dresses which are not very flattering. I think one of them may have really served as a potato sack at one point. Unfortunately, a lot of the closet has been abandoned. Even worse, I'm simply not allowed to wear tank tops and yoga pants or pajamas to work - bureaucratic control freaks!

My beloved friend, Kim, gave me some hand-me-down maternity clothes. She also had twins, so when I hold up one of the pairs of pants she wore towards the end of her pregnancy, I look a little like the Subway guy. So I wandered into my first maternity store last weekend. It's a bit overwhelming. I've never been one to admit that I have a tummy and have taken great pride in the periods when I did not. So to walk into a clothing store, look at a salesperson, and say, "Hi, I'm pregnant. I don't look it yet but I'm apparently growing because nothing fits" is a big deal. Thank heavens for nice sales people who I think took pity on my ignorance. I have never seen so many different kinds of pants. Pants with panels, pants with adjustable straps (I'm sure that's not the right word), pants with more elastic than should be allowed. I opted for normal-looking pants; that is, pants with a normal button and fly. None of that panel stuff or little straps on each side you can tighten or loosen. And I found some cute little tops, nothing form fitting so I can let my belly hang out (since it seems harder and harder to suck it in!). I also bought some interesting little contraption called a Belly Belt, which essentially allows me to wander through my day with my fly undone without the fear that my pants will fall down!

They truly had everything, including lingerie. I know bigger bras are in my future; unfortunately for the maternity store, I like pretty colors and pretty patterns and I like for everything to match. Their lingerie color was limited to white (which the, sperm donor points out, might not be appropriate because it is now clear that I am no longer a virgin). They sold MANY varieties of underwear. I thought there was simply "underwear for pregnant women" which would resemble granny panties, only bigger. I was greatly relieved to see thongs for pregnant women (since I am a thong girl), however I'm a little skeptical about the one-size-fits-all thong. The little store also sold all of these skin care products, seemingly intended to prevent stretch marks. Does any of this really work?? All of the bottles of lotion gave instructions to apply three times per day. That seems a bit excessive to me and I suspect a good "let's scare them into buying this" scheme. I went to my normal skin products store a few days before this maternity store adventure, and they recommended something I already had at home - I figure I'll try this first.

I do feel like a cult member (do you hear chants of "one of us, one of us"?). As I was paying for my new better-fitting clothes, I was placed on the mailing list for the store, was provided with two free issues of a parenting magazine, and was given a gift bag filled with samples and coupons. It was as though the little maternity store was the welcoming committee and I was the new neighbor. Sometimes I do feel as though we have joined a new segment of society, like we are in the upper echelon. But we are simply doing what most people do: procreate and become parents. Interesting how that felt as though it required a membership.