Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Watermelon Tree

The closest you'll hear
From the atheist bug
Pseudo holiday cheer
And a chocolate mug.

Thankful for my kid
Else I'd be holed up.
He makes me live
And fills my cup.

Sincere thanks for reading
This often sad song.
Sincere hope for needing
Hope not too long.

Cricket, 2005
aka Nota Poet

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bridges to where?

Ten little Xmas cards.
You'd have thought I was building a monster bridge instead of just bridging some gaps.
Cards to lovely people who send me pictures of their growing children each year and are left to wonder about mine. Cards to family who I, by design, haven't talked to in over a year. Cards to people mad at me, people given up on me, people... gosh, I don't know what more to say about them.
My first ever cheesy holiday letter. At least it was embellished with lots of pictures of us along the borders. Looked pretty nifty actually. Well printed, heavy stock paper.
Cards filled with school and baseball pictures of my kid. Dove into picture packages going back over two years. People will see my youngster transform from a baby to a mature boy all in one envelope.
I sound equally accommodating and cheery in each. Regardless of what I feel.
When they go in the mail box tomorrow, I will have such a weight off.
Until next year.

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Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around

Monday, December 19, 2005


cat flashlight Over the weekend, I flashlight trained my deaf cat. Yeah, it sounds odd.

She now comes to me, guided by the beam of the light into the hallway. Or I can lean over the edge of the U-shaped staircase and show her to go downstairs to her food if she missed seeing me put out new. It has cut her howling considerably. I keep a flashlight by my bed and at the desk, letting her know where I am or where she needs to go. My house mostly faces east, so it is dim enough the rest of the day that she can usually see the flashlight.

Much more clever and low tech than a cochlear implant, huh?

Sunday, December 18, 2005

A reassessment

aka Mom steals the candy in an unbeknownst sort of way

Yeah, the box was slotted as a stocking stuffer... until tonight. 'Tis the eve for wrapping. Arduous task.

Friday, December 16, 2005

She had a change of mind

She humbled herself and wrote a Blogging Baby update, asking for donations for the Dickens quints. She went beyond making fun of their ethnic names, past photo criticism and blind racism, right back to the spirit that inspired my discourse: helping a family in need, circumstances be damned. Seems she's found the spirit of the holiday season.

Blog bless us everyone.

[Did you catch that? Dickens babies, Dickens mangled quote. I crack myself up.]

PS - here's a sweet article with pictures of them in their new apartment.

ETA - Sorry the PS link is incorrect. I'll work to fix that.

Monday, December 12, 2005

My deaf cat

I have recently come to realize something. It is with great embarrassment that I reveal that it has probably been going on for quite some time.

My cat is pretty much deaf now. She's 17.5 years old and heading toward the infirm, but I wouldn't have wished another disability on her skinny, little body. She can still hear the very, very loud if it is right next to her hear, for example when she's on her kitty sauna (aka computer monitor) and I click on a website that blasts obnoxiously out the speakers next to her ears. She'll wake up for that.

I wish she weren't so oblivious to the fact that she can't hear, but I still can. She calls and calls for me, day and night. It is with her crying pattern, I am trying to piece together when she might have gone deaf. She's cried like this for almost all of the 4 years I've been in this house, but she used to come if I called back, or whistled, or clapped. Now she doesn't come, or she wanders around my usual haunts until she finds me. Or I go looking for her and have waving fits [my version of cat sign language] to get her attention. Or I throw things from in the office out into the hallway in order to catch her eye.

[A]ging cats adapt their lifestyle to cope with any incapacity; slowing down gradually, seeking warm, comfortable spots and spending more time asleep. They sleep more deeply and are harder to rouse, so don't suddenly disturb a sleeping cat or it will be startled, especially if its hearing is fading. This deep slumber also shows that the cat feels safe.

I've also tried to figure out the duration of her deafness per this sort of statement. How long has she been sleeping so soundly? I mentioned the sound sleep to the vet in June and I think she should have picked up on it and a deafness connection, not that an earlier diagnosis really matters a lot in this case.

By deduction, I think she's been essentially deaf for close to a year. Having just officially put it together, or come out of denial about the symptoms staring me in the face every day, I decided to search online about deaf cats to piece together more details. Much of what's published is about congenitally deaf cats (white ones with blue eyes), so it semi-applies .

These are helpful excerpts from several websites:
Communicating With a Deaf Cat
By Amy Shojai for The Daily Cat

[A]ge-related deafness, called presbycusis, is the most common form. It can develop rapidly or gradually when the cochlea (hearing organ) degenerates and the tiny bones of the middle ear lose their flexibility to vibrate and transmit sound.

The Cat Locator ( pendant attaches to the collar and emits a tone when the handheld applicator is activated, to help you find your deaf cat. You can also use the collar's vibration (much the way a pager or cell phone vibrates) as a training signal to curb desirable behaviors.

Older kitties often become clingy and cry for you to "rescue" them. Try wearing very strong, distinctive cologne on your ankles to help kitty find you more easily with his nose.

Living with a Deaf Cat
I usually jokingly reply to people, when they ask what it is like to have a deaf cat that she is just like all my other cats. I yell "no" and she ignores me, just like all the others do.

Where hearing loss is gradual, it can be ages before you realise that Puss is deaf because the cat compensates for its lack of hearing. Where hearing loss is sudden, the cat may appear confused, irritable, over-attached to the owner, insecure or exhibit other 'unusual' behaviours in response to the sudden loss of this sense. Some deaf cats call out more often and more loudly (they cannot regulate their own volume) while others may become mute.

In most older cats, hearing loss is gradual and not apparent until the later stages since cats do not always respond to being called.

Some deaf cats learn to respond to hand signals similar to those used in distance control of dogs.[Our hand signals consist of huge, gyrating, waves that catch her attention. I also try to catch light and shadows to get her to look.]

Poor hearing makes cats defensive - they strike out first and ask questions later. [Our puss is so gentle, this isn't an issue.]

In June 2003, a German acoustics expert announced his invention of a hearing aid for cats. Hans-Rainer Kurz, a hearing aid specialist, took two years to develop the hearing aid with help from experts at the Vetenarian University in Hanover. They developed a tiny device, which can be implanted in the cat's outer ear. Herr Kurz has already had success with a similar aid for dogs. He admitted that the device would not cure totally deaf cats, but could help those with severe hearing difficulties. The hearing aid ensures that the cat is able to take the usual acoustic signals and re-work them into sounds in the brain. Quiet sounds that hearing-impaired cats had never heard before would become distinguishable. The feline hearing aid currently costs around £300.

Recruitment of the Auditory Cortex in Congenitally Deaf Cats by Long-Term Cochlear Electrostimulation
Rainer Klinke, * Andrej Kral, Silvia Heid, Jochen Tillein, Rainer Hartmann
Science 10 September 1999:
Vol. 285. no. 5434, pp. 1729 - 1733
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5434.1729

My cat's isn't congenital (as in she isn't a white cat with blue eyes), but I think the science is interesting.

With these links, I've gone from low level (literally and figuratively) perfume on the ankles to cat sign language to hearing aids and up to cochlear stimulation. Whatever the cat owner might want to do to aid the deaf cat, there is probably a solution.

[Edited to add: I came up with a brilliant solution - my cat is flashlight trained, it was easy to do, and I can call or guide her with that.]

Of course, any proper solution includes shopping, too.

Love a Deaf Cat Today!

Love a Deaf Cat Today! CapLove a Deaf Cat Today! Jr. Ringer T-Shirt

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

My lurking caveat

The following exchange was based on my sidebar Caveat, below and to the right. I've had a couple people reference it recently, so I decided to discuss it directly. Most recently, it was positively brought to bear by a professional lurker, Ann (not her name), who sent me an email today. If you readers have something to add, feel free to comment.

Because Cricket cannot comprehend the lurker mentality, please note that people who visit, according to StatCounter, over 20,50,100 times, people who spend 3 hours looking through 80 pages of posts, and people who subscribe via Bloglines but do not pipe up are considered by the resident insect to be just plain rude, at the risk of said insect seeming brazen, harsh, ungrateful, or ill-willed herself. Consider it her blogging pet peeve. She chUrps it unappealing that folks come here to read, gawk, waste time, or gather information for their own blogs while they should be kindly acknowledging Cricket somehow for entertaining and informing them or for helping them to pass the day. She likens it to a conversation with opinions welcomed and support optional. At least say "hello." Sheesh!

Hi Cricket,
I read your caveat and am writing to offer you some insight. I lurk. I lurk a lot. I always lurk. Reason is - I don't have anything interesting to add. I'm not clever, funny, or even knowledgeable about any particular thing. I'm just a lost and lonely soul searching for somewhere to belong. I could be wrong but I'm thinking perhaps a lot of lurkers are in the same boat with me. So please don't assume we're all just being rude.

email response...
Thanks for your message. I appreciate you de-lurking very much.

In all honesty, I do not agree with a comment needing to be interesting or to add somehow to a discussion (my comments sections never overflow enough to begin their own discussions anyway). Funny or clever isn't necessary, either. Simple support does wonders - ie, you're a funny lady, I like your style of mothering, you have a great kid, what a shitty day, sorry that happened, I can relate, etc. These aren't particularly interesting (perhaps you set the bar too high for yourself), but they show that you're listening and that you care about another human being.

I think it is very important for one person to demonstrate that for another, particularly a person who is lonely (aren't we all somehow?) and has the real need to reach out, despite the fear.

I also think that if I break some of your loneliness or isolation or make you laugh or give you warm fuzzies, it is only polite that you offer me positive feedback in return. We don't 'owe' each other in a sense of 'have to' but I do believe we 'owe' each other in a sense of 'what's right.'

Besides, you intending to be rude or not does not have to parallel what I feel about the situation. I am putting myself in a vulnerable position by writing, inviting scrutiny or whatever else comes along. It does not mean that I am less lost or lonely than you. However, when somebody comes on your front porch and peers in the window, they ought to say hello somehow.

Further, if you are truly looking for a place to fit, you need to try to make room for yourself at the table. I don't know to invite you unless I know you're there. And you don't know how well you might fit (as my life amazingly isn't summed up in alll these posts! we might have something big in common) until I know you a bit. That's why it is easier to have comments from fellow bloggers - I know them, their circumstances, their history, their current travails, and I know when not to feel oversensitive about a comment, b/c I know their senses of humor. If I didn't, honey, Orange and Ron, the bitches, would have been in hot water by now. (Ha!)

I hope this message makes sense more than a quick, cutesy caveat. From your email, I have to guess that they set the bar too high for themselves out of fear of not saying the right thing. Or, on the flip side, knowledge that they're pissed at me and will say the 'wrong' thing.

See, comments from strangers out of the blue are not helpful. Within a virtual relationship, stray comments happen and sometimes they are helpful, but the relationship is necessary first. See, she read me for hours and felt she knew me. I know nothing of her. Nothing. And she expects me somehow to heed her advice? And for me to discuss it with her in a place she doesn't check again?

I write this to let you know the value it gives you as a repeat reader and commenter, someone with a blogging relationship with me. You hold water then. However, lurkers with stray/hurtful/seemingly constructive comments do not hold water as such, but repeat commenters with blogs who say off the wall things sometimes through humor still hold water regardless.

The relationship is what matters. That's why lurking is bad to me. The relationship is completely one-sided.

I will probably use this as a post. I won't use your name or email address. I've had several silly comments about my caveat (I only did that 2 or 3 months ago after the 8 hr/day person - who still lurks), so this is a good opportunity to explain it. Plus, I want to reach the reader who left the critical comment and never saw my response.

Thanks again for writing. See, it really helped me a lot to sort my ideas.

Well shut my mouth

Just when I'm fussing about age, I find this - compiled lists of women discussing their pregnancies over the age of 40.

The author asks if it happens so rarely, why is it so easy to find?

[Magical website, please insert ditto marks for me!]

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Not J

I always say that I don't 'do' people, even though I really want to.

This began as J, but one needs a model for more than 5 seconds. It's tough to ask for more from an 8 yo, the bugger. Hence, the inspiration is J, but it doesn't look like him. Other details aren't quite anatomically correct b/c of nothing to compare it to. Alas.

I could fix it, but I have begun forcing myself to stay with the spirit of my intention at the outset - a quick pencil sketch, in this case. Doing and capturing are more important than perfection, even tho the original, fleeting model, himself, is perfection, except for that wiggle worm stuff.

Monday, November 28, 2005

And the quints endorsement commentary evolved a life of its own

I wasn't sure how to contact Sarah Gilbert (to clarify: I thought about it, but didn't dig very much) to give her a courtesy call that I found an askance sort of reference in The Post to her quints name piece or that I was using her work in my recent entry (or the follow up). I don't read Blogging Baby, as it doesn't generally apply real well to my life circumstances (and I'm relatively, although blindly, sure that their infertility section is not the brand I feel in my cold, bitter heart), so I am not familiar with her body of work, her overall slant.

I suppose I'm glad that she found out about the two articles on her own (Jeez, the first one was at #5 overall for blog hits yesterday at BlogPulse. And it triggered Sarah's first post to be at #9. Thanks, Julie.) and that she decided to continue writing about the topic at Blogging Baby. She now has a beef with Mill*y, the Wash Post author who picked her out (as revealed by me) as the "reason" the quints weren't receiving endorsements. In her latest article, she also disagreed with the way he portrayed the parents in a Post picture, one he apparently took himself. He showed harried parents with the three infants home at that time, Sarah commenting that he could have tried to spruce them up a bit, but he seemingly chose to let them look, well, greasy, tired, and underdressed in order to further their endorsement-seeking cause.

While her analysis might be true, the parents could have looked more put together, I remember life with one newborn and, although I wasn't seeking endorsements, I sucked at just one kid. I looked and felt like hell, not getting my head above water until he turned 4 months old. I could not fathom caring for three whilst visiting the other two in the hospital. Nor could I imagine getting dressed just to have more pabulum spewed on the next outfit and adding to the already strained wash load. I understand wearing Ts, nightgowns, robes, sweats, and jeans on a really good day; shoes optional; shower, comb and make up MIA. I think these parents look normal and I would not have critiqued the picture.

Further, Sarah said that she didn't realize the family was African American based on ethnic names akin to Sha'nay'nay Me'Asia or that her piece could have been construed as racial. While I am not a regular reader of Sarah, I have to wonder who Blogging Baby "hires" (I am assuming they get paid unlike the insect here) to write and edit. Is there not someone who might have brought this to her attention? The web-creating crew obviously knew of the race, as the picture in Sarah's first piece shows the mother, Jannell Dickens, who honestly looks pretty damn good there after having quints. Obviously, Sarah isn't uploading/coordinating her own Blogging Baby posts/pictures the way I do in this Churp, Churp monopoly I have, but you'd think she'd have some formatting/content input or routinely check to see how her pieces look on line to see if anything affects the presentation of material.

Besides Sarah quoting from my brilliance and intelligently agreeing with my first post (tongue in cheek, people!), I kind of think she could have kept her mouth shut this go around. The critique of the picture was overboard and the blindness to race was naive at best.

But then maybe I'm just a crusty, old, pragmatic, barren witch who casts stones at both sides of an argument just for fun (and, seriously, for the sake of blogging and media integrity), trying to bring them together in the middle...

So, back to the crux, people...

Here's the address if you wish to donate even a mere dollar this holiday season:
Dickens Quintuplets Fund
M&T Bank
University Hospital Branch
22 S. Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Attn. Tamara

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Flicks, no spoilers, I think

I love holidays for the movies they compel me to see. Friday, I saw two, both on the indie side. Went alone. Love it that way.

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic
65% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes

Sarah Silverman is bleeping hilarious. The best description I could think of for the flick is Rocky Horror meets stand up. She is imaginative and gutsy, leaving no slur unturned. She's out for all with a sweet, yet scathing, tongue.

My favorite line is when she pseudo-empathizes with the post 30 crowd trying to conceive a child: "The best time to have a baby is when you're a black teenager." [You had to be there.]

Nothing is out of bounds to her and she gets away with it.

The Squid and the Whale
94% Fresh at Rotten Tomatoes

This movie is about how divorce affects a family, but it sets the premise well into the movie with a description of a NY museum display of a squid being devoured by a whale. I guess one could debate who is the squid and who is the whale in the movie, but I have pretty firm opinions on that.

Like so many good family dynamic movies, a kid steals the show. The younger son, swilling beer and sharing his middle school self love with the masses, was disturbingly charming and particularly endearing with the given situation.

It was anything but a tear jerker - rather a good, solid movie that served as a reminder for me about the subjectivity one has in viewing one's life circumstances.

Anybody else see these, or Capote, or Johnny Cash, or anything else gotta see?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fond farewell, Chris

Have you ever heard of Chris Whitley? He's one of my favorite singer-songwriters.

I've loved his music since Living with the Law over a dozen years ago. You'd probably recognize tunes off of there. At the link, listen to portions of Poison Girl and Big Sky Country - sassy modern blues.

He died on Sunday.

Check out his music and see if you don't become a fan, too.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

No longer anonymity with sperm donation?

I found a recent newspaper particularly interesting. A 15 yr old boy wanted to find his father, but he was the product of an anonymous sperm donation. Trying to explore as far as he could, he did what any good genealogist does. He started with what he has: his own Y chromosome.

Y chromosome analysis is a common test with new, specialized laboratories now devoted to conducting it. Many family associations involved with genealogy pool together to do studies to see if the Y chromosomes of their male members match or are similar. For example, using Y chromosome studies, labs can tell whether this Northern clan of Yahoocytes is related genetically to that Southern Yahoocyte family. Or if this stray Googlehorn stem belongs in the greater Googlehorn branch. If related, they'll discern how closely or distantly, depending on the mutations involved when compared to the anticipated frequency of mutations.

It is helpful for relations in general, but not necessarily in relationships, except, for example, if Junior doesn't match Senior, but the Mrs. really enjoyed her milk deliveries.

This 15 yo boy thought he might find the country of origin of his father, little more. His results, however, revealed two men, strangers to each other, who all had a 50% change sharing the same father, grandfather, or great grandfather. The men also had similar last names, but had different spellings, according to the findings in database at Family Tree DNA of Houston.

This bright 15 yo decided to take things a bit further. With the donor paperwork his mother received, he knew the birthdate of his father. He took his search to, obtaining a list of all the people born on that date.

You guessed it. One had the same surname as the two Y chromosome relations. He has contacted his father, but the details were not released.

Now there's a website paralleling the efforts of the still anonymous boy, Donor Sibling Registry, whereby information on donors is collected with the goal of matching up half-siblings from common donors.

Judging from what I read at the site, there are an awful lot of donors who were Ph.D. candidates or medical school interns. I figure this kid got a sizable chunk of his gray matter from daddy.

Of course, ethicists are split as to whether the interests of the boy (and other donor children) supersede that of the donor or whether this fiasco will unravel the entire donor community.

What do you think?

Monday, November 14, 2005

We bloggers are entirely too powerful

aka What do the media, blogging, ART, race, and given names have to do with high order multiples' endorsements?

I was doing some reading yesterday and happened upon this article:
Few Answering Quintuplets' Needy Cries
By C*urtland Mill*y

It seems that new parents of quints, Jennell and Noval, aren't getting the loot that other quint families have supposedly gotten in the past. (Other details first, then I take up the issue, below, where The Post's author hypothesizes several reasons for the lack.) The family lives in a one bedroom apartment and the father is now unemployed. They'd like diapers, formula, and a van, the usual stuff.

Here's the address if you want to donate:
Dickens Quintuplets Fund
M&T Bank
University Hospital Branch
22 S. Greene Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Attn. Tamara

Jennell, the daughter of Floryn and sister of Sharita, took clomid to overcome what I figure was PCOS. She was a stellar responder to her medical jump start.

Very fortunate, Jennell performed the miraculous by staying pregnant with 5 babies past 30 weeks, but, as anticipated, her babies came early: JaMir Amare, a boy, and his sisters, Si'ani Ritay, NaRae Dimetria, Jade Na'Liyah and Rayne Anye. They weighed in at 1 lb 12 oz to 2 lb 13 oz. Three have already gone home and two more are expected this week. They were only born about 8 weeks ago, so they are already overachievers, coming home before their due date.

You can probably sense an undercurrent around here. I do have a beef concerning the "whys" this family hasn't received donations according to the author, who writes:
Companies usually donate all the baby products and volunteers step in to provide services from housecleaning to nursing care.

But none of that has happened for Dickens and Davis. Except for the help of a few family members and friends, they are pretty much on their own.

Part of the problem was the initial media coverage of the Sept. 21 births. A 22-year-old woman has five babies after taking fertility drugs. As word of the births spread, some bloggers who monitor births online -- supposedly for the purpose of helping to find resources -- began mocking the names that Dickens had chosen for the babies...

I didn't realize bloggers were quite so powerful! We can stop commercial endorsements with the blink of an eye or tap on a keyboard.

I wondered who these mighty and snarky bloggers were, so I looked through Technorati (what The Post links to for searches), Google Blogs, and Blog Search Engine and found only one blog entry referencing them - and it wasn't even me, even though I readily admit that I contemplated a post 8 weeks ago. That sole blog entry must be the one "blogger(s)" responsible for the Dickens plight.

We need to blame Blogging Baby for there being no van in the Dickens' driveway. Thanks a lot, Sarah Gilbert. You crashed that party, rained on that parade. The family is hard up b/c you wrote an article questioning the kids' names. Further, this almighty article was read by all endorsement-welding PR people who collectively decided it would be too difficult to market something based on Si'ani or NaRae.

This does not add up for me. If people like Sarah are going to make fun of select names (and have authors like C*urtland Mill*y blame those same names), they are missing the multi-seat boat. There are a mighty lot of higher order names to make fun of. Just look at this list of 'famous' ones. There are bland names and ridiculously made up ones, too. I wonder the breakdown of freebies going to Jonathon, David, or Molly vs. Shipley, Rhealyn, or Shira. Do their endorsements differ?

What about a mixed bag, one sibling group (notice, I have not said litter) containing both a Matthew and a Genesis? [Oops, pro baseball player there who didn't even use fertility drugs. I'd hope he doesn't want baby endorsements, but then again Star Jones got endorsements to pay for her wedding. Humph.] Okay, then Jantzen and Briley vs. sibling Zachary. Did only the traditionally named one get endorsements? Does Zachary alone ride in the new van?

Or is it different if a surrogate carries the fantastic five?

I doubt it.

And, people, I really doubt that a lack of endorsements for the Dickens had anything to do with their children's names, or (what the real implication is, faulty as that might be to make inferences about) their race, or the media, or bloggers, or that she took fertility drugs. Or even the otherwise overlooked fact that they're not married.

One could say there are too many strikes against the Dickens for endorsement recognition, but I think the reason Jennell got no endorsements is b/c there are too damn many people having the likes of 5 babies at once. There was another set last week. (Sorry, but I cannot find that link again to the new set in Indiana - and that itself is a clue about media coverage, or the lack thereof, for moderately higher order multiples, if there is such terminology. People are much less enamored with the phenomenon. It has become almost commonplace.)

Most of us around here are in baby underload, but most of the world is in baby overload. It's not our fault, nor is it the Dickens. So don't blame any of us, CM.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Happen to meet Margaret?

When I was at P's last night, we watched Trading Spouses for the first time. I was intrigued, to say the least, by the Evangelical (??) Christian woman, Margaret, in the previews. It turns out she was traded to a astrologer/hypnotist family for a week, seemingly designed to be a square peg in a round hole situation. It obviously didn't sit well with her, either. See the telling video of her coming back home. Scary woman, so she is. (Hear a funny condensed version of her rant set to music here.)

The hypnotist mom was lovely. She took Margaret's surprisingly normal children under her wing and made them feel special. She also directed $20,000 of the family's money/winnings (each traded spouse gets $50,000 to allocate as desired to her new family upon departure) for Margaret to have the stomach stapling surgery she wanted, money Margaret initally declined, b/c the situation was "dark-sided" and she "rebuked" it as a "God Warrior."

P commented that Margaret looks like Cartman; I guess he's not alone in his observations judging from the comments at the first link. He also said she reminded him of his own screaming mother, minus the religion angle. Poor guy!

See/listen for yourself and check out the sorry state of modern Christianity. What is it? Some 70 million Americans are Evangelical?

I rebuke them.

And so, thankfully, did an awful lot of voters on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Morning greeting

What a beautiful way to start the day. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My popular bosom

In 16 hours, the limit of my counter's cache, I got 14 hits plus, below, for my post Tits, hooters, boobs, boulders, melons, breasts, and ice cream cones yesterday. I have been floored at the response, particularly b/c half are actually people seeking real information, not wanting descriptions of boobies.

I feel even more redeemed for having revealed myself that way with the post. B/c these people actually have the proper wording down, they are leaps and bounds ahead of me and I would love to learn off of their experiences. And there are just as many people searching every single day. This is a very common concern, I am learning.

On the personal front, I mentioned to P that I think fixing my breasts would be covered by insurance and you'd have thought I'd killed his cat with the look on his face - jaw-dropping sadness and shock. He begged me to please, please, please not mess with the breasts.

I am taking his concerns under advisement.

In order of hits, not relevance (!), following are the yesterday's hits and their rank within the search engine for that search.

#1.....Tell your boobs to quite staring at my eyes

#3.....liz clayman boobs

#1.....bilateral asymmetry breast milk production 10 solution for bigger breasts

#6.....hypoplastic tubular breasts

#30.....growing bigger boobs younger sister

#7.....pert breasts

#21.....tubular breasts

#570 (talk about persistent!).....breasts breastfeeding techniques

#3.....sister melons

#2.....Breast Deformities Tubular

#5.....tuberous puffy shape

#20.....tuberous breast deformity

#1.....pancake boobs national geographic

My only surprise is that none yesterday came seeking accessory, flattened, or inverted nipples. They get attention many other days. Can't forget the nips.

PS - These are from overnight and through the day, just those that pertain directly:
wrinkly old tits
hypoplastic tubular breasts reconstructed
tubular hypoplastic breasts
hypoplastic tubular breast
ice cream boobs
abnormal breasts hypoplastic
cone puffy nips
saggy boulders
Breast Symmetry (Tuberous)
i have awful breasts

Obviously this is an issue to lots of people. Why don't we hear about it more in this our perfect society? There is a hierarchy of acceptability when it comes to birth defects and wonky breasts rank low in acceptance. If knowlege is power, those with tubular breasts feel powerless, b/c knowledge sure is difficult to come by.

Please share if you have something to add, even if this is an "old" post.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Repeat performance

This time, it is sitting next to my bed in a baggie. We both forgot it, but he hasn't mentioned it yet this morning. He goes to his dad's tonight, so I won't try to do it again until Thursday night.

Please remind me, people.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The obligatory

Here's J's Halloween shot. Or it might be some kid off the street, can't tell.

Are we taking bets as to whether he's smiling in there?

Oh yeah, he's a werewolf mummy, in case you couldn't tell.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Timing is everything

I haven't seen anyone else post about this, so I will. It has been stewing since last night.

Brooke Shields is expecting #2.

Lucky 40yo, so she is.

The article states, "Shields has played Roxie Hart in the long-running Broadway revival of Chicago since Sept. 9 and is set to continue in the role until Oct. 30."

This means that she entered the gig pregnant.

This means that, knowing that she had the gig, that she did not undergo extensive ART this time to get pregnant. Roxie is a strenuous role in a strenuous production. It's not that pregnant women aren't strong, but, jeeeez, they sure tend to be nauseated and generally unwilling to jump around and dance in the early stages of being knocked up.

It isn't the sort of thing a pregnancy-seeking ART patient would want to have on her ART calendar.

To Do:
  • Shoot up
  • IVF
  • 2 Week Wait
  • (Rinse and Repeat?)
  • Play Roxie Hart
  • Announce as the 2nd Pink Line Emerges
No, I don't think so.

I found an announcement article about it last evening, b/c I'd followed a thread saying it's been rumored that she and her husband are planning to adopt, in part, to keep PPD at bay. I don't think her pregnancy would have been as hard for me to swallow if I'd have read about it first. Prefacing it with the adoption angle made it tougher to read. Can't explain that.

But, I suppose, congrats to Brooke and Chris. You give hope to infertiles and depressives everywhere.

Besides, I can't wait to hear what Tom Cruise says about it, now that they're in a baby race and now that Kate is a Xenu follower, who will never fall prey to something so ridiculous and contrived as PPD.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Feel me up, baby!

Does your man constantly take inventory?

Mine does.

When we meet out at a restaurant or when I come over to his place, he always lays his hand mid-back to see if he can figure which bra I'm wearing. Sometimes he'll query, "Leopard?"

He also goes low, to the small of my back, to discern thong, bikini, or granny.

He tries to be smooth and inconspicuous about his curiosity, but he fails. I'm onto him.

It could just be a crude male thing.

Or it could be a wise divining rod to quickly test the waters, to gauge the mood up front for the evening via lingerie.

Or it could be like shaking a present. You know you're going to get it anyway, but it's fun to try to guess what's inside.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Patrick's tail, errr, tale

Ever thought the words ass cancer would be synonymous with splitting a gut... as in laughing and shaking the desk hard enough that the cat fusses at you?

Read this Bad News Hughes new classic. It is the closest parallel I've ever read to a guy going through the riggers of IVF.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tits, hooters, boobs, boulders, melons, breasts, and ice cream cones

...not to mention jugs, tatas, and bazongas.

Now look what went and happened while I was gone this weekend. I have to put on another Public Service Announcement show.

[Please understand and support 'verbally' your understanding of the bravery involved in this difficult and quite revealing post. BRAVERY!]

Someone came here searching for perky titties.

Let me assure you that this is not the proper residence to find perky titties.

Once in HS on an everything but 4th-base-fling, I was told I had the most pert breasts he'd ever seen.


The guy was a jerk, but I treasure that part.


I've had a breast post brewing for a while, say five months. My wounds about the subject were re-opened in June. I was putzing around, I believe, starting from a post at Truth in Cosmetic Surgery Blog. So many people want bigger breasts. Or, like my sister, want (get) breast reduction. Me, I just want them to point the right direction, sorta upwards would be nice. I guess I'd like a lift.

P sent me a funny t-shirt picture recently. Across the chest it read:
Please tell your boobs to quit staring at my eyes.
Despite the fact that he, lovestruck fool, actually likes my package, I emailed him back:
Whatdya mean? Mine stare at your penis.
So the scoop is out. I have awful breasts. The once pert ice cream cone (picture the cone attached horizontally to the chest) boobies now have the C-cup cones facing south.

I look like one of those topless starving African women in National Geographic. Except I'm fat now.

I grew up teased by none other than my mother and younger sister. They called my boobs ice cream cones, the sugar cone variety. My mother had big, saggy, heavy breasts that made her bra straps dig into her shoulders and my sister grew to have large, round melons she later had reduced, paid for by insurance b/c they mangled her 95 lb frame. Ma and sis would often come up and poke me on the sternum just b/c there wasn't much more than skin there. My otherwise tiny sister had so much breast flesh that the skin over her sternum had a vertical crease much like the very top of a butt crack. Bony sternum and all, I preferred mine, b/c I mistakenly thought they would be perky longer and less trouble down the road.

The fall happened when I was about 30 during my course of 6 months of depo lupron for endo, followed by 12 months of depo provera, followed by another 12+ months of no menses on bcps. It wracked my body, aged me, added 30ish lbs, and made the cones descend in a major way. And they made me feel unattractive, too. Double, well, triple whammy.

Aside from expensive surgery, the only thing I could do was accept them. Combine their direction with my flattened nipples and my breasts were less than sexual objects. Pumping for 7 months, b/c J would not breastfeed from said flattened nipples (few are actually inverted, contrary to popular opinion), corrected them to where they will generally, but not perfectly, pooch outward and semi-correctly when squeezed, rather than retreating due to the binding adhesions.

Hear that you women having trouble with breastfeeding due to flattened or inverted nipples!!! Pump for months and they will correct themselves if the baby isn't a voractious eater [and painfully yanks them out like my finicky kid would not] and isn't doing the correcting for you!!!! No Lactation Consultant will tell you this b/c they are fucking clueless!!!!

(Visit this surgeon's website for before/after pictures of surgically corrected nipples.)

As an additional aside, while I was trying to get J to breastfeed unsuccessfully, I read everything I could, to include the LLL "classic" The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. I am not providing a link b/c the book is hooey. I fucking ordered the book and looked up flattened/inverted nipples. They less than a paragraph to it. I was casually told that they must occur b/c the woman must be lacking in enough breast play with her husband in the bedroom. A woman does something (or not, actually) to deserve this deformity! This load of crap haunted me. According to the author, I guess I should have started breast play before puberty, b/c, fucktard LLL, this was the fucked up way I was born! Just like my mother before me!

Further as I come clean overall about breasts, I feel the same way about the recommended wearing of stupid flying saucer discs providing gentle pressure to the nips to try to correct them. Honey, they need Hoovers to pull them out, not yeast-infecting sweat-causing breast shells. [Evidently LLL has come out with the Evert-It Nipple Enhancer in the last 8 years. Doesn't look too effective, tho - a glorified syringe? They also seem to have come to realize that breast shells, the wearing of essentially a jock cup in your bra (yeah, I used to knock on them just the way J and his team mates knock on their cups now), is less than desirable, so they came up with the equally ineffective Soft Shell Breast Shells for Inverted Nipples. Oh, the bullshit advances in breastfeeding technology!]

There was some good news, tho. My breasts, after giving up the painful yet useful pump, finally became sexual objects when the nips revealed their sensitive selves. Wow! Nips that stick out feel/respond a hell of a lot better than those too shy to be coaxed out. Wow! Nips with personality. Wow! Nips that could actually stick into the mouth the next baby and not retreat when suckled! Wow!

Obviously that last part has been a very painful part of SIF. I worked so hard on the nips to make them functional to breastfeed the next baby. [tears] This is a tough SIF side effect that I haven't brought up here before. Tough.

Breasts a big deal to me? Without a doubt, yes.

Add to that the fact that I have not one, but the coveted two, accessory nipples (mine are faint like the bottom pic - supposedly one in 18 of us have a 3rd one) and I am over the top on the Deformed Mammaries Scale.

  • saggy tube socks
  • flattened nipples
  • accessory nipples

Lucky freak, yes I am. At least the accessories didn't present themselves when I was pregnant or breastfeeding; I was expecting balloons on my abdomen like a nursing dog.

When I see cute pancake breasts/nips, I cringe. When I see ones that actually curve upwards, I want to cry.

Tube socks and extra freckle-looking things. That's what I have. The tubes are not quite as wrinkly as the old hag in Something About Mary, but just give me some time.

So, as I was web searching in June, I came across something that rocked my world.

What I have his called a tubular or tuberous breast, not a tube sock. It is a birth defect. It must be genetic, b/c I believe my mother has the same.

Here are some definitions:
Tuberous breasts - A breast deformity where the breast is shaped like a tuberous plant such as a potato. It is a form of constricted breast.
Tubular breasts - A breast deformity where the breast and or nipple areola complex has a tubular or cucumber shape as opposed to the conical shape normally seen in a developing breast. It is a form of constricted breast.
Constricted Breasts - A general category of breast defects that share in common a short distance from the areola to the inframammary crease of the breast. This general category of breast deformities also includes tuberous breasts and tubular breasts.

Here are some descriptions.


  • A patient with a small and tight breast that looks abnormal.
  • Often associated with large areolae that are puffy and protrude.
  • Features of a breast that is not round but narrower from top to bottom and with tight skin especially below the nipple.
And as far as breastfeeding goes, this, below, explains my appearance and my experience of having a hard time having enough milk [I had to pump 45 minutes each time, double pump, miserable]. I disagree, tho, that tubular breasts are caused by a progesterone deficiency. They are congenital. However, if the supposed progesterone deficiency is congenital as well (ha), then maybe I agree.

Tubular hypoplastic breast [I presently resemble the 3rd from the top but with more space between the pair and better symmetry; I've never been so sparce as the one pictured right next to this part of the article.]

There is one exception to the rule about breast size/shape and breastfeeding ability, and that is that some (very few) women have insufficient glandular tissue in their breasts. In other words they simply don't have enough milk producing cells, and these women can then experience milk supply problems. This condition is called breast hypoplasia or hypoplastic breasts.

This kind of breast is underdeveloped (hypoplastic) in terms of the milk glands. They lack normal fullness and may look like 'empty sacks', and may seem bulbous or swollen at the tip. Many times hypoplastic breasts are widely spaced from each other, and narrow at the chest wall. Due to lack of glandular tissue, they have an elongated or tubular form, and often are quite small. The areola can be enlarged.

There may be a significant asymmetry. The breasts don't grow during pregnancy and there is no engorgement when the milk is supposed to come in after giving birth.

Scientists don't yet know for sure the reason for this underdevelopment. One theory is that at least in some women it would be linked to too little progesterone, since progesterone mediates the growth of alveoli (milk making glands).

If you happen to have these tubular hypoplastic (under-developed) breasts, talk to a lactation consultant before giving birth.

And the best news, well, almost, is that these hooters can be fixed! I'll give you a few examples.

I resemble her right breast. With a good surgeon, I could look normal.

She's bigger than I am, but look how beautiful she is now!

To be able to wear cute clothes and go braless in public! To have a positive self image about one thing on my dysmorphic body!

Why, oh, why did I go through 25 years of breast exams and three Lactation Consultants to have to find this out on my own? How hard would it have been for someone to inform me that I have a breast deformity? Why the fuck did no "professional" tell me? It not only affected my self esteem, it affected my ability to feed my son!

Yes, I've known about the accessory nipples since I was 5; a thorough pediatric allergist found them. Yes, I've known about the flattened nipples forever b/c of my mother's experience; one LC told me that I was the 2nd worse case she'd ever seen.

But why nada on the tubular or tuberose breasts? From the links and descriptions, I don't think it is that rare.

For five months now, I've had these print outs next to my bed:
Tuberous Breast Deformity/Modified Mastoplexy
Tubular Breast Deformity/Breast Corrections [I resemble the first and third.]

For five months, I've realized that my defective breasts have a clinical description, one that was withheld from me. [I'll admit that I cried for a couple days in June knowing that I am physically deformed in yet another way. Wounded. I strongly believe that the breast issues and endo are related - tissue in the wrong places b/c of the 'mixed up conductor' theory in embryology. In fact, I believe that all girls/women who show up with an accessory nipple should be considered to have endo. Sure would help out on a lot of IF diagnoses, too.]

For five months, I have contemplated writing this post to let other Google women know that they're not alone. Bravery, I tell ya. Feel free to write and pat me on the back. Anytime.

For five months, I've wanted to say how wonderful it is to be able to Google stuff for myself, how wonderful the Internet it, how wonderful it is to blog and force myself to think about stuff I thought was useless to think about.

For five months, I did not know the following site existed. Performing this PSA dog show and researching more sites, I found this:

Breast Reconstruction for Deformities Unrelated to Cancer Treatment by AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS
ASPS Recommended Insurance Coverage Criteria for Third-Party Payers

For reference, the following definition of cosmetic and reconstructive
surgery was adopted by the American Medical Association, June 1989:
Cosmetic surgery is performed to reshape normal structures of the body
in order to improve the patient's appearance and self-esteem.

Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body,
caused by congenital defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma,
infection, tumors, or disease. It is generally performed to improve
function, but may also be done to approximate a normal appearance.

Anomalies of breast: Code 757.6
■Tubular breast
■Absent breast or nipple (amastia)
■Breast asymmetry
■Breast hypoplasia/micromastia
■Accessory breast or nipple

A variety of reconstruction techniques are available to accommodate a
wide range of breast defects. The technique(s) selected are dependent on
the nature of the defect, the patient's individual circumstances and the
surgeon's judgment. When developing the surgical plan, the surgeon must
correct underlying deficiencies as well as take into consideration the goal
of achieving bilateral symmetry. Depending on the individual patient
circumstances, surgery on the contralateral breast may be necessary to
achieve symmetry. Surgical procedures on the opposite breast may
include reduction mammaplasty and mastopexy with or without


(.) (.) ----------> (*) (*)


See also My popular bosom to understand how many people visit this post daily.

PS: if you've had experience with surgery and tubular breasts (or flattened/inverted nipples) or have been frustrated by this/these defect(s), please speak up about your experience, how you learned your breasts have a diagnosis, how insurance worked for surgery, or why you choose to not have surgery. Be anonymous, if you desire. An awful lot of Googlers will benefit from your response and I would be equally grateful.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

She relaxed, among other things

Good one. MSN at its best.

"I was so stressed! I couldn't help but wonder whether motherhood in my 30s was a bad idea."
Though her ob-gyn tested her for abnormalities, everything was fine. "My doctor reassured me that not getting pregnant right away [aged 33, after 1 year trying] was typical at my age. Hearing those words made me relax instantly." She got pregnant two weeks later -- before all the test results even came back.

I think I must have been taking the wrong approach. I didn't realize that doctor's mere words are conducive to fertility. Generally, they put me off in the other direction, toward stress and anxiety, far, far away from seeking more magical doctor voices.

I never get anything right.

The article goes on to be so misleading that it's painful. To me, anyway. Concerning pregnancy in one's 40s:

Chris Roll, who had twin girls when she was in her late 40s, recalls wanting to shut her eyes at precisely 3:00 every afternoon at work when she was pregnant. "I needed three extra hours of sleep at night, and if I could have taken that nap, I would have!" she admits. Still, Roll was so happy that she didn't care very much -- she had been trying to get pregnant for several years, a fairly common occurrence for a woman in her 40s, when conception is most difficult.
Okay, just before this, the article discusses declining egg quality beginning in the mid 30s, increased chance of miscarriage, then it jumps to a woman who had twins in her late 40s and it just focuses on how tired she was? No donor egg disclaimer in there? Is this fair and responsible reporting? Why write articles like this? It's akin to babbling in order to hear your own voice.

This part gets a big, fat HUH?

On the plus side, you're less likely to experience morning sickness when you're older [above 40]. "The placenta is smaller and producing fewer hormones, including HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), the one that causes nausea," explains Dr. Niebyl.
Oh, right. One's placenta is smaller, one has less hormones, so one has less nausea! Hurray! Oh, but these are some of the motherfucking reasons one is more prone to miscarriage! Not so hurray, bonehead doctor and writer.

Very mirror-has-two-faces reporting, there.

But I get it now, the byline:
Jessica Brown is a writer who lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, January 2005.

American Baby: the pinnacle source for all pregnancy news attracting the cream of the writing crop for human reproduction and MSN uses it as it if were worthy of reading.


Okay then. Who is fact gathering Jessica Brown?

I could only find one other potential article written by her:

Digital Divide Provides Opportunities for Corporate Spin:How to Win Puff Coverage by Donating ComputersExtra! March/April 2000By Jessica Brown at Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting.

Quite relevant, huh?

Or is she actually a poet?

Or does anyone have access to this spicy Google entry which I doubt is her?
Jessica Brown - In Praise of Good Breeding: Pro-Natalism and Race ...Pro-Natalism and Race in the British Print Media. Jessica Brown ... "Look afterwomen," the writer concludes "and the population will look after itself. of_womens_history/v015/15.3brown.html

I am pretty darn sure she isn't this one: Jessica Brown, Reader in Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Bristol.

So who the fuck writes these articles that some people actually read and believe? The magazines go in doctors' offices, so they should have a measure of credibility and thoughtful research. Shouldn't there be some standards, even at American Baby?

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Stuff On My Cat

I may have hidden it too well in my last post, but do go check out the Stuff On My Cat website. It is a favorite mom and son activity around here.

You'll get a chuckle, between seeing what people dream up to put on their cats to the cats' looks of playfulness, indignation, or quiet resignation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The clay man and his clay dog

The Cricketson household has been eagerly awaiting the release of Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

When I saw that it got a 94% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes, I was ecstatic. This would mean that W&G would live up to our expectations!

P was unfamiliar, but I coaxed him by phone yesterday to come see it with J and I. With the anticipated adult humor, I figured it would be good exposure for him to the witty Britty pair.

I'm actually happy he declined.

This movie doesn't deserve a 94% rating; it is based on their cultish following. The reviewers believed their own buzz.

It deserves more like a 70% rating: Fresh, but not that Fresh. It's left over salad.

This reviewer summed it up for me at RT:
"Wallace and Gromit is clever but rarely funny. It's too quaint, too perfectly fine."--

Yes, clever. Their pest control company is called Anti-Pesto.

Yes, clever. Wallace can't curse in a children's movie, so he exclaims things like, "Hoover Dam!" and "Shiitake Mushrooms!" instead.

Once again, I am embarrassingly in tune with the Ebert & Roeper pair:
"It's slightly amusing and I'd say when it comes out on video or if you catch it on cable, but to rush out to theaters..."--
Richard Roeper, EBERT & ROEPER

It was number one in the box office last week.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pretty amazing

Just saw this via Slate:

Birth Mother Vs. Egg Donor Decision Upheld
By ROSE FRENCH, Associated Press Writer Fri Oct 7,12:39 AM ET

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A woman who gave birth to triplets using donated eggs is
the legal mother of the children even though she has no genetic link to them,
the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

The court's 4-1 ruling upheld decisions by lower courts that awarded parental rights to the birth mother.

Cindy Culpepper and Charles Galiwango were not married when they sought
to have a child by in-vitro fertilization using two anonymously donated eggs,
which were fertilized with Galiwango's sperm. One of the eggs divided, resulting
in triplets.

After the relationship deteriorated, Galiwango challenged the parental
rights of his ex-girlfriend, who gave birth to the children in 2001.

The court said it took into consideration the fact that before the
children were born, the couple intended Culpepper would be their legal

"Recent developments in reproductive technology have caused a tectonic
shift in the realities which underlie our legal conceptions of parenthood," the
court's opinion said.

The decision could apply a broad definition of a parent in later cases
involving nontraditional parents, according to legal scholars.

"In most states, the courts have not looked beyond the biological
connections, marriage or adoption in determining the definition of a parent,"
said Susan Brooks, law professor at Vanderbilt University Law School.

"People who support greater rights for nontraditional parents like gay
couples would be encouraged by an opinion that would define parent more broadly
than simply by marriage, genetics or adoption," she said.

I love that last line: define parent more broadly than simply by marriage, genetics or adoption. I'm sure many of you would agree.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Old school

Remember your toothless grin from the 1st grade?

Well, this site is for looking up old school pictures. I was able to show J his dad as a little kid and that was a real treat for him.

Definitely check it out and get a laugh.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sometimes I suck as a Mom

Tooth Fairy a la Cartman Posted by Picasa

With J, I am amazingly lucky regarding several things: he is rather naive and can be easily foiled.

For example, at Xmas I muttered (lifelong insomnia means I take meds each night and they can kick in without a lot of notice) to P that he needed to put out the bag of Santa Claus stuff when he got up to pee at 3am, but P didn't hear me in my drug-induced pre-slumber jargon. On Xmas morn, J came to our room and declared, "Santa forgot to come!" Ahhh, what a great way to start the morning. I hustled him out with P distracting him, telling my son that Santa just left them by the door this time b/c P doesn't have a fireplace. (It embarrasses me to lie to my son!)

That snafu followed a similar incident whereby I missed out on a Tooth Fairy opportunity a few months before. I forgot and J got no bucks, the pathetic tooth and baggie remaining beneath his tears-soaked pillow. To my credit, I remembered to do the deed the next night.

Tooth Fairy Mom Posted by Picasa

Thankfully, he swallowed the next one he lost and I just handed him the dollar rather than risk the alternative. The one after that, he lost at his dad's, so I was gloriously off the hook.

Over this past weekend, he quickly developed a very loose tooth; it sort of sped past another semi-loose one he's had for months. He spent Sunday with his dad and I so much wanted the tooth to be gone when I got him back. No such luck.

Loose teeth are a big deal for J in particular. The kid is mighty slow when it comes to teeth. He didn't get his first tooth until he was 11.5 months old. (If you haven't braved such, most kids have a tooth or four by the time they're 6 months old.) I think this made for a much happier baby; he rarely cried b/c he wasn't teething all the time. For his present count, this was only his 5th tooth lost. It has been over six months since the last one came out, so he had no cutie pie gaps anymore.

Nowadays, his friends have all lost the 8 front teeth and are working on the incisors. With him being a year older than many, this is particularly telling. In fact, the dentist was so surprised about J's mouth on Monday, he snatched out J's previous x-rays to make sure there are teeth in there.

B/c I knew my non-risk-taking son would not yank out his own tooth, I loved the timing of the dental check up on Monday afternoon. I was so glad for the opportunity to hand it over to professionals. However, within a minute of us leaving for the dentist, the tooth dropped out on its own. No blood. No pain. Very cooperative, indeed.

Yeah, except it went in a baggie and in a kitchen drawer to be forgotten in the rush to leave for the dentist's. J got up this morning, asking about his tooth. Mean mom that I am, I told him that it's his responsibility to make sure the tooth gets under his pillow.

I wish I could find the cute pillow like this that my sister x-stitched for J. It hangs on the door and would make life easier.

Tooth pillow Posted by Picasa

So when the tooth and baggie resurfaced this evening, I immediately made a twin baggie with a dollar in it and stuffed it in my pocket where it waits.

In closing, I must thank you for reading, keeping me awake and focused, so I can actually do my motherly job properly tonight.

Then I can dream about getting it on with this spirited guy....
Tooth Fairy Freak Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2005

A cousin

Do you get crickets indoors as the seasons change? Last year as I began my blog, I was in the midst of a cricket invasion, so I drew my inspiration from them for my name. I find their song comforting and friendly, not minding them being around.

I just went in the kitchen and met the biggest cricket I have ever seen. It was on the floor and the black body was close to 2" long, not including accessories. Perhaps he's been visiting a while and has dined on cat food and kid crumbs. I let him scoot where he wanted. Couldn't bear to hurt a cousin.

What a difference a day makes...

24 little hours.

First, Zeeks, who was floundering a bit about pursuing adoption in light of her marriage and newly built home, announced a surprise (ha, I know, the irony of that word) pregnancy after 4 years trying.

Then hilarious Susan from Post-Coital Babble outlined her intended course with a new job and with pursuing donor eggs, then wrapped up with her decision to stop blogging.

Follow that with our lovely Chris, the drunken slut of an Urban Legend, announcing her positive this week. Indeed, she may be barefoot and...

And this morning brings us our frustrated foster-to-adopt mom, Michelle at Cubbiegirl, deciding that if she couldn't say anything nice, she'd prefer saying nothing at all. Blog over.

Please go show them all some love. They all need and deserve it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Remember this song?

My head hurts.
My feet stink.
And I don't love Jesus.

All true today; most true most days.

Allergy season is upon us. I don't understand how my head can be aching and clogged as my nose runs like a faucet without discretion. Doesn't it come from someplace that it empties?

I wake each morning with a sore throat that lasts half the day.

At least my asthma hasn't kicked in yet. When grass season is fully upon us, I will be sleeping in the standard upright position for a month. Just see how cranky I am then!

I do love the fall. Ahem.

Silver lining: at least I largely get over on the spring.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Got beads? Got a conscience?

Storm Survivors Told To 'Expose Themselves'
Tuesday September 6, 03:28 PM

A group of female hurricane survivors were told to show their breasts if they wanted to be rescued, a British holidaymaker has revealed.Ged Scott watched as American rescuers turned their boat around and sped off when the the women refused.

The account was just another example of the horror stories emerging from the hurricane disaster zone.

Mr Scott, 36, of Liverpool, was with his wife and seven-year-old daughter in the Ramada Hotel when the flood waters started rising.

"At one point, there were a load of girls on the roof of the hotel saying 'Can you help us?' and the policemen said 'Show us what you've got' and made signs for them to lift their T-shirts," he told the Liverpool Evening Echo.

"When the girls refused, they said `Fine' and motored off down the road in their boat."

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Knight in a baseball cap

Said by my son about our cat:

"If Ada's in my room and I'm watching Tom and Jerry, when the cat gets beat up, I always cover her eyes."

What a thoughtful little kid! The mouse won again and, thanks to chivalrous J, our cat missed the whole thing.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina's backlash

Doesn't it all now sound like Michael Moore's next big movie?
Edited to add:
Guess I wasn't too far off. Here's Michael Moore's open letter to Dub.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Our maid

When I was growing up, we had a maid. Now our maid was special. She didn't really have a body, per se, but she did have a name: Katrina.

If we needed to go to the store after dinner and the kitchen wasn't cleaned up yet, my mother would remark, "Don't worry. Katrina will take care of that."

Other times, my mother would call, "Katrina, we're on our way out. Please take care of the laundry for us."

To me, the name is synonymous with Scarlet's lovely 'fiddle dee dee' concept. It's okay. Stuff can be tended later. We don't have to bother with it now. And, further, we can hope that somebody will actually come along and do the chore for us.

These days, I have a completely different impression of the name, Katrina. This time she made the mess and she needs a lot of effort afterwards to make things right.

Mostly, tho, I wish Katrina didn't get fiddle dee dee'd by our government.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Objects of my attraction

I would have guessed I was a butt chick, however it makes plenty of sense that I am a penis chick. You know me.

I used to quip, Samantha-style, that I wished I could have penis auditions before going on a date just to make sure the thing worked right before I got otherwise attached and really wanted to try it out. Just line 'em all up and see which ones work the way I prefer. Save me time. It would give a whole new twist to the insty dating phenomenon, too.

I find it interesting, tho, that I have a thing for cleavage. Don't guess I'd rule anything out.

What about you? What does your test say?

I must give props to Dol.ce and Gabb.ana for providing additional material for, um, dreams. Yeah.

You scored as Penis. You are attracted to the: penis. You are a penis man/woman.











What Body Part Are You Attracted To?
created with

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Young crushes

Did you have a crush on a movie star when you were little? Who might that have been? It'll date you for sure.

Mine surely date me. I had not one but two crushes....

Robert Redford

Paul Newman

... in no particular order. They are perfect in any light, order, costume, contortion.

The blue eyes.
The smiles.
The attitude.
The charm.

Oh my.

I have found it so interesting to watch their successful endeavors since they sorta gave up acting, too.

It has always been bantered that they might coulda shoulda will do something together again.

The rumors are back! Pleeze O Pleeze let it be true.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Grizzly Man, Review/Spoiler(?)

Have you ever made a silly face at yourself in the bathroom mirror?

Have you ever howled just b/c it feels really good?

Have you ever muttered under your breath as you walked away from a difficult situation?

Have you ever joyfully sung off-key using your loudest voice in the car?

Have you ever pounded your fists and screamed into the watery madness of the shower?

Have you ever emoted?

Well, you might also understand Timothy Treadwell. The difference is that Timothy did it all over 5 summers with a camera running, in the wilderness, with bears and foxes running around. He ventured to capture versions of each personal, emotional display in a rapid succession of takes, with him most probably anticipating input in the end editing process... edits that would paint him in a positive and stable light.

I would suspect that his rantings compared favorably with Jeff Corwin out takes if Corwin were passionate about a single cause.

Grizzly Man (Rotten Tomatoes, 94%) is the perfect name for this movie. I did wrongly go expecting more of the grizzly than of the man. That may have been an animal-centric March of the Penguin holdover. But that's not to say there wasn't plenty of grizzly: scat, swims, fights, hunting, competition, fishing, parenting, boredom.

This movie was about the man, the passionate idiot, the excitable addict, the crazed ecologist. His behavior was crazed, but he wasn't crazy, as some of the film's interviewees concluded. I think the writer/director, Werner Herzog, concluded the same as those interviewees.

Maybe that was b/c Herzog and his crew saw all 100 hours of TimothyVision, The Wilderness According to Timothy, The Up North Outback of Alaska. Or maybe that was b/c Herzog never made a face at himself in the bathroom mirror.

Reviews are largely positive. Some snips stand out:
"By the time Grizzly Man ends, you hope the grizzly bear that ate him took its time."-- Walter Chaw, FILM FREAK CENTRAL

"His film is a subtle and deeply moving tribute to a flawed idealist who saw kinship in bears' eyes, where Herzog sees only the abysmal indifference of nature."-- Maitland McDonagh, TV GUIDE'S MOVIE GUIDE

"A brilliant portrait of adventure, activism, obsession and potential madness that ranks among helmer Werner Herzog's strongest work."-- Scott Foundas, VARIETY

"Whatever you finally conclude about Treadwell, Herzog has made a one-of-a-kind movie."-- Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

"Although the film has sympathy for its subject's idiosyncrasy, Herzog makes it clear that he strongly disagrees with Treadwell's sentimental view of nature."-- Walter V. Addiego, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"Grizzly Man is many things, including a much more resonant and complex portrait of TV-poisoned narcissism than Tarnation."-- Michael Atkinson, VILLAGE VOICE


In the Rotten tomatoes "About" folder, these segments stand out to me:

Even more fascinating are the times Treadwell turns the camera on himself, alternately testifying to his almost religious love for the grizzlies and revealing less exalted, all too human emotions, including vanity, rage, paranoia and loneliness. © Lions Gate Films

Timothy was very dramatic: it was the best day ever on the planet, or it was the worst day and the world was going to end. -Jewel Palovak, who controls the rights to Treadwell's archives as the co-founder of Grizzly People

Herzog also wanted to honor the actor Treadwell had wanted to be before he discovered bears. "There was such a deep desire in him to be a star, and so I gave him that space to be his own star."

Palovak believes GRIZZLY MAN presents a multidimensional picture of the man she knew long and well. "Not many people get to pursue their lives and their dreams and do it the way they want to, and Timothy Treadwell did. I hope people see themselves in Timothy in some ways; the film is about all the different emotions, about being a flawed person but still a happy and whole person when you're in your element."

She adds, "I think Tim really would have liked the film. It might have made him a little uncomfortable in places, just because he's showing himself so nakedly. But he would have liked GRIZZLY MAN because he was a fearless person in a lot of ways, and it's a pretty fearless movie."


What I believe is missing in the information released about the movie and the end of Timothy and Amie's lives are the aberrations which occurred that led to their demise.

1) He was in Alaska later in the season than ever before.

2) He had returned to the area b/c of a plane ticket problem, or he would have been out of Alaska. It didn't state it per se, but I believe Amie could have played the first round in the of saving her own life if she had used her ticket to leave.

3) The bears who knew Timothy were hibernating already.

4) The bears in the area had come from farther in the back country.

5) Food was more scarce b/c of the circumstances.

6) Bears were hungrier.

That's why Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard died. They were at the right place at the wrong TIME, not just in the oversimplified wrong place. They were in the right place for Timothy. Amie wanted to be there for Timothy, so by default it was the right place for the both of them.


Friday, July 29, 2005

I turn to you in this sticky situation

and request your expert assistance on a topic about which I know little, but I am having to learn.

P has ear wax issues. It is often clumpy and dry. It tends to be profuse. And for a big guy, he has little ears, for what that matters.

Last Saturday as we frolicked in the pool, P pulled up and began wagging his ear. This continued all evening and we realized that it was clogged, perhaps with pool water inside.

His normal means if treatment is a Q-tip. This time, he pulled out a paperclip, too. I know, I know. Not the brightest bulb in the socket.

I declared a moratorium on both and pulled out the unopened bottle of Mack's I'd purchased months ago, however the box lacked the bulb pictured at the link. This stuff is very dilute peroxide (the O2 bubbles break up the wax) and glycerin (conditions the skin). P can hear the bubbles, but it hasn't worked well. I decided to up the ante and get the REAL peroxide, which rages bubbles and does a better job breaking up the wax.

B/c he has irritated the canal skin by messing with it so much, I suggested using some olive oil to help out the skin. Little did I know that it (or mineral or baby oil) is a prescribed treatment that helps the peroxide-broken wax get mobile to float out while it protects and conditions the skin.

P has had moments where he could hear since doing the Big Daddy Peroxide, but they were as fleeting as a premature ejaculator. The next step will be to purchase a bulb and flush the canal with warm water. I can see this one making him pee. I should try it while he's sleeping!

Too bad he doesn't have medical insurance. He'd be heading to a doctor with a microscope. Or I'll be making him so he'll shut his gob. Remember, my ear was clogged for unknown reasons from January to about May? I'm only so sympathetic.

Meanwhile, here are many links and gadgets I found that pertain to his situation. Although I tend toward the granola, I am confident that Ear Candles and Ear Cones are not lighting my fire, nor P's, any time soon.

Have you known of anyone to have problems to this extent? Have you known of someone with a compaction and how did they get it out? Anyone tried a prescription wax softener? Is it snake oil, too, or merely full strength peroxide?

Self Treatment For Earwax
Most cases of earwax blockage respond to home treatments used to soften wax if there is no hole in the eardrum. Patients can try placing a few drops of mineral oil, baby oil, glycerin, or commercial ear wax removal drops, such as Debrox®, Mack's® Wax AwayTM, Murine®, or Physicians' ChoiceTM in the ear. These remedies are not as strong as the prescription wax softeners but are effective for many patients. Rarely, people have allergic reactions to commercial preparations. Detergent drops such as hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide may also aid in the removal of wax. Patients should know that rinsing the ear canal with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) results in oxygen bubbling off and water being left behind-wet, warm ear canals make good incubators for growth of bacteria. Flushing the ear canal with rubbing alcohol displaces the water and dries the canal skin. [This is an idea I'd missed, so it's being incorporated now.] If alcohol causes severe pain, it suggests the presence of an eardrum perforation.
Ear candles:
or coning:
cons to candles/coning: and

EarClear Irrigation Syringe - more controlled than using a bulb, I guess

Ototek Loop - stick it in the canal to fish out wax

Murine System: fluid and bulb

AuraClear: fluid and bulb
More specific details:
An ear can also get plugged up with earwax when fingers or objects are used to clean the ear canal. The finger or object may push earwax deeper into the ear canal and compact it. The inner portion of the ear canal lacks oil glands, so the compacted earwax is no longer coated with oil and hardens. This may cause a sudden loss of hearing or ear pain. In such situations, a healthcare provider should remove earwax. Removal of an earwax blockage will reverse the hearing loss and pain that it has caused.

Never try to remove earwax yourself with any type of instrument, such as a cotton tipped swab, car key, bobby pin, toothpick [or paper clip!], or high- pressure water spray. Such tools often cause injury to the ear canal and can perforate the eardrum. They may dislodge the small bones in the middle ear behind the eardrum. They can even damage the inner ear, causing permanent hearing loss.

Cerumen [Earwax] Impaction
Genesis: Cerumen impaction can be a result of ineffective attempts to remove earwax. This results from a common misconception about cotton-tipped applicators. When the patient inserts one of these into the ear and withdraws it, the brownish discoloration typical of cerumen can be seen. The assumption is that the total mass of cerumen has adhered to the applicator. Unfortunately, this is false. While a bit of cerumen does discolor the applicator, the bulk of the more solid mass of cerumen is rammed further into the ear by the applicator.

Ceruminokinesis is unable to move this harder wax, and the impaction begins. Continued cerumen production occurs between the impaction and the tympanic membrane, adding to the impacted mass. Physicians may discover impactions so well organized that they appear to resemble a cast of the inside of the ear when removed.
A cast. That's what I'm expecting from him. An ear canal cast in wax. We can bronze it, even, in the lost wax sculpting technique. Posterity, I say!

Edited to add: This pages gets a number of hits each day. Join in the discussion. Please share what has or hasn't worked for you! There are lots of people who would benefit.