Friday, December 30, 2005

oops, She did it again...UPDATE

The birth mother went into labor last night, and gave birth to a boy. The birth mother's father called the agency to let them know.

They are "struggling."

That is code word for "she is going to parent."

She *could* change her mind.

Yeah, right.

WHAT is the universe trying to tell us? I have no idea. I feel so numb, however. It's more like: ah, well, this one didn't work either. Narda likens it to winning the lottery. I just wish the odds weren't so stacked against us.

Even the social worker that called us this am (our SW is out for a while, and her boss is out for the week, due to to the holiday, so Samantha has been covering) said: "You guys sure have had a lot of activity, but nothing's panned out. I don't know what's worse - lots of activity with nothing paning out, or not getting a call."

You said it sister.

****She DID follow through with an adoption plan. She picked a family outside of our agency, however. Intersting. So she probably had a few agencies going at the same time. So no worries about our bad timing. I asked Samantha if we were running for the Guinness book of world records in "phone calls but no placements." She said absolutely not. I told her this was our 8th call in 10 months, and she said some folks don't get that many calls in 2 years. I felt better than thought - 2 YEARS.. Fuck.****

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Just call me crafty!

So as most of you now know, Narda got me a sewing machine for Chanukah. This has unleashed my inner crafty person. She comes and goes in cycles, and currently, she is here with a vengance! There are three words that I forget to so often associate with Oregon (where I am from, and where we are right now): "NO SALES TAX."

Add to that LARGE, suburban sprawl craft stores, thrift stores and After Christmas Sales - and um, I'm sending a box home. PLUS, Janet gave me a TON of her old fabric scraps. I'm am SO PSYCHED. I have yarn and fabric for days. It's GREAT. I have also discovered this new thing called "wool felting." I have a little coin purse made out of the stuff, and it's really cute - it looks like someone crocheted a large purse, and then oops, put it in the wash. And in actuality, that's what they did. The key is to use 80% or higher wool content, and then wash it in HOT water, rinse in cold, and plop in the dryer. So I SCORED at Value Village today, as it was "yellow tag 99 cents day." And I got 4 wool skirts and two wool blazers for 6 bucks. I've just cut them up, and will try "felting" some pieces before I sew, and then try sewing a few pieces before I felt. I also got a 100% wool blanket for 5 bucks. I'll felt that one, too, but not for beauty's sake. Just because it's a blanket, and I actually want to use it as a blanket. So hot water will make it clean.

I hope you are all enjoying this holiday time, and beware if you start getting crafty things in the mail.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Chanukah!

Happy Chanukah!, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

Down to Two... (and a bfn)

So we get a call from "Faboo Nicole" that the parents of the birthmother narrowed the 4 down to two.

We are one of the two.

They have taken our photo albums home, and will mull over them over the weekend. We should hear something Tuesday or Wednesday.

Oh yeah, and we tried sperm this cycle two, and that was a big ole bust - someone commented on someone else's blog (sorry, I forgot who) that "I might as well stick hundred dollar bills up my hooter, for all teh good it's doing me."

If there is no baby come March, we'll try an IVF, as it's all my insurance will allow.

If THIS baby works out, it will be the WORST timing ever. but we'd still be SO grateful.

Happy Chanukah everyone, we're in Portland right now, and we just got a LOVELY box of Holiday cookies from Estelle! Thank you - they are yummy.

I'm tired, and we just spent the evening with my mother. Again, another blog entry for another day, but suffice it to say, I'm sorry if I'm kind of all over the place here.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

She likes me, she really likes me!

Thanks, Dooce!

inclusive nose picking

Now if that just don't make yer day!

Happy Holidays!

the line to just get IN the building...

The 125th street Metro North Train station - the line curved and snaked around to 127th and Park.

Truth be told, however, I was only in the line for half an hour - it wasn't too bad. It only took me an hour and a half to get to work.

Monday, December 19, 2005

strike? *Update

*OK, So I WILL of course, support my union brothers and sisters, and I would never NOT support their striking actions.

I'm just pissed off that they are striking, and I'm pissed that they make more money than I do, and have better benefits than I do, and the whole "stranded uptown" thing will get old. I'm nervous about our cat sitter getting up here, to take care of our fur babies. I can work from home just fine, but I DO need to try and get into the office somehow tomorrow, to tidy things up before we head out of town.*

OK, here I go, off on another Union rant, and ME, a PROUD UNION MEMBER!

I was 100% in support of a possible strike for the TWU - UNTIL I learned that the conductors, you know, the ones who open and close the doors, and then yell at us that the doors are closing, make 20 THOUSAND DOLLARS a year more than ME.

They are making MORE money than I am, and they have a BETER pension plan and health insurance plan than I do, and I only get a 1.5% raise a year, and they are balking at a 3% raise.

So now I'm annoyed that we might have a strike, and even though we'll be in Portland for the holidays, our cat-sitter needs to get uptown! And a strike to improve upon some of the best benefits in the City just gets me a little hot under the collar.

So do I support the strike? NO. Had our economic and benefit status been similar, perhaps yes, but now that I am armed with information, I'm a LOT less sympathetic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

we SAID it would happen this way...

So Narda and I are entering into a VERY busy and stressful time at work.

I have auditions, Narda is off to Seattle to work on August Wilson's Radio Golf

We jokingly said to Nicole that "of course, we'll get the call at the WORST possible time for us - which would be mid-January."

So guess who I just got a call from?


VERY healthy birthmom, 17 years old, adopted herself, from Colombia. Birthfather is 18, White. ALSO adopted. They are both Catholic, but the birth mom is a member of the gay/straight alliance at her school. HER parents are very supportive of her adoption plan. She's had excellent pre-natal care, no drug or alcohol history, and is also in therapy. She wants an open adoption. So do we. She lives in NJ, so there's that glorious 3 day thing - once she signs, there's no "30 day waiting period." LOVE THAT.

And, here's everything that could muck it all up:

-She could choose to parent
-She could go into labor early
-She could choose another family.

Our fantasy situation? She picks us. Goes into labor LATE - like February 15th.

THAT would be perfect.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

SO much to share, so much to do at home...

I will get to the topics listed below, I promise - I just have a LOT to do at home today:
1) Sort through the PILES of papers that have accumulated on my desk, so that I can find the lovely note from the IRS saying that my accountant F'd up, and I owe them 90 bucks plus interest!
2) Sew some Chanukah and X-mas gifts
3) Finish filling out the Chanukah and X-mas cards (I've addressed them all, but I have to write things in them now-that's the lengthy part)
4) Have brunch with Bobby and Janette, and then proceed further uptown to visit my niece, aka "Boo-Boo-Baby-Girl-Belly-Bulldog-Spike" - but apparantly, she now weighs more than a few 9 months old babies I know... so i'm not so sure the "baby girl" part of her name will stick around - but she's AWFULLY Cute!

See what I mean?

But here are the topics floating around in my head, that I promise to share with you sometime in the near future:

-The Really great book I finished reading: Unchosen, The Secret Lives of Hassidic Rebels (MUCH Controversy about it in the ultra-Orthodox sects of Judaism, however...)
-The upcoming Holiday time with the family in Portland, and how visiting home is NEVER a vacation, it's a second full time job.
-The Yeshiva day-school that I went to, and eluded to briefly in a previous post.
-The difficulty of the holidays, combined with infertility, but the flip side of enjoying lots of SLEEP. And trying to get as MUCH of it in as possible before a kid comes.
-The fact that this blog has been viewed over 30 THOUSAND times, and other random thoughts.

But I have to get dressed now, and get ready for brunch. At Amy Ruth's (YUM!)

Friday, December 09, 2005


I *HEART* snow! And it was REALLY pretty this morning, for about an hour. Then it turned to shlushy ugliness. YUCK.

So to remember the beauty and purity of the original snowflake...

You can make your OWN snowflake here: Make a Flake

Here's what mine looked like:

And MUCH thanks to Lorem Ipsum for the original link!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Chappy Challadays

I was "that" kid on the bus - you know, the one who said to the sweet, little old lady that complimented my 'new dolly from Santa,' "There IS no Santa Claus, we're Jewish, I got this dolly for Chanukah, which is 8 days, so I get a present a day!" (to the which, she would blush, and turn the other way).

This continued into my adolescent years, having survived the earlier years of a Yeshiva-like day school, that my parents pulled me out of at the end of 3rd grade (and promptly sent me to see a child-psychologist, to deal with the verbal abuse from the Rabbi's, and my own social-awkwardness, but that's another blog entry for another day...). In High School, I was the kid who stormed the Principal's office demanding that EVERY religion be represented in the office decorations or NONE AT ALL. (I was a little miffed that they had a Christmas tree displayed prominantly in the window of the school office).

This continued into my adult-hood, as I'm that obnoxious little bugger that responds to all of the "Merry Christmas's" with "Happy Chanukah!" I figure - if you are going to assume that I celebrate Christmas, I will assume that you celebrate Chanukah with me.

Usually, my charming smile lets them know that I am lovingly messing with them. Sometimes, however, it really confuses people. Mostly in places that aren't NY. When I was on the road with the Flaming Idiots, and we'd go to bizarre, unheard of sections of the hinterlands, I got REALLY Funny looks, the kind that made me think that they really did believe that there is nothing BUT Christmas out there in this wide, wide, vast, multi-cultured world.

So when I heard that Target was changing their signs to say "Happy Holidays," Instead of "Merry Christmas," it just made my heart smile with glee - it made me feel as if someone was paying attention. If perhaps, one of the charming folks that I shared my "Happy Chanukah" with was listening, and they told their cousin Sally that there was this girl they met in Oskaloosa, Iowa who wished me a "Happy Chanukah," and did you know, she was real-nice-like. It made me feel a little more able to tolerate that damn Drummer Boy song in the deli on the corner, because hey! Target, a major monolopy of suburban capitalism, was becoming a little more "inclusive."

And then I came across this: American Fmaily Association boycotts Target They want to BOYCOTT Target for NOT saying "Merry Christmas."


These people just get under my skin.

I just don't get it anymore. Isn't the whole message of Jesus to be loving and kind to all? And not be exclusive? Wasn't that the whole point of Christianity to begin with? It has turned ugly, in so many ways.

Now there are TONS of normal, goodhearted Christians out there, of course, but I'm pointing my finger at these wack-jobs.

I've spent the majority of my life trying to be inclusive of everyone, and will continue to do so.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

my new baby - the Elna 2110!

my new baby - the Elna 2110!, originally uploaded by shellipsm.

if you get something cute, homemade, and obviously from a sewing machine this holiday season, you'll know who it's from!

by request

Many of you have asked (as many have asked throughout the ages...)

WHY OH WHY are there so many *@#!&*^%$ ways to spell CHANUKAH!

Here, my internet friends, is THE final, and definitve answer.

You see, hebrew is written in a separate language, with a different alphabet; and therefore, the "transliteration" (English pronounciation of Hebrew) that many read is an editorial decision. ie: the editors of prayer books that include transliteration decide how a word will look.

There are, however, a few "certainties" that we can all feel confident in.

The Hebrew pronounciation of Chanukah is more akin to Challah, aka, the "loogie hawking" variety of the CH sound.

This is what the word Chanukah looks like in Hebrew.

Words that start with the letter on the right (We read Right to left in Hebrew) all (mostly) are pronounced with the Ch sound, NOT ch as in chair, but Ch as in Challah, or something that sounds like what you do in private while brushing your teeth to clear your throat.

So most Jews have taken the CH as the definitive transliteration for that letter.

Thus, Chanukah is the most appropriate spelling of the word. But hey, truthfully, since it's a different alphabet in a different language, spell it anyway you like.

A funny side note - in Hebrew, there is NO sound for the letter W. So all of the Wendy's restaurants are pronounced "Vendy's" :)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Sewing machine

So I asked Narda for a sewing machine for Chanukah.

I'm really excited, as I used to have an "old school" Singer, black, one stitch, etc. I gave that up to "Materials for the Arts" ages ago, and I miss sewing. Plus, I REALLY want to learn to quilt. So I decided on a sewing machine as my big wish list item.

I've done a bit of research, and I really only need a simple, sturdy, mechanical workhorse (none of that computer embroidery stuff, I wouldn't use it, to be honest). I'd LOVE a Bernina, but we can't take a second mortgage on the house right now! :) So I've settled on The Elna

What do you think?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

so much to say, so little time

It's getting towards that crazy time at work. Gearing up for auditions. I'm working later hours, and there's a lot to do.

I have SO many things running through my mind right now, like:
-The Draft
-The Color Purple (which we saw last night and was GREAT!)
-The cats
-My friends
-My mother (OY! That's a whole novel unto itself)
-My weight
-Power to the people and all of that jazz...

But right now, I have to leave work, and go to the gym. And then go home, and finish the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers before they reach critical mass and should no longer be kept in the fridge.

So I leave you a few good links to some blogs I've been reading lately.

Good stuff!

Sassy Jack
Jesus was NOT a Republican
Big Gay Dan
America Blog
Tales of a Wessel
And I wasted all of that birth Control...

Of course, I still read all of the usual suspects, as seen in my links to the right, but these are some new additions, and they are all well spoken, thoughtful, and provoking.

So enjoy the reading, I'm off to go lift some weights and ride a bike.