Sunday, February 27, 2005

Beyond Beyonce

A few minutes ago, as Beyonce was performing her Phantom of the Opera song during the Oscars, J, in all his 7 yo glory, turned to me and said, "Ma, I'd rather smell your stinky bean farts than listen to that."

I am a lucky woman.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Thanks to Dawn

I had been meaning to look up the booster seat recommendations and Dawn just blogged about it, providing a link even.

My son goes through spells of preferring the second row to monopolizing the third row of the van. A few months ago, he shifted to the way back and the booster seat never made it.

I don't think I ever mentioned here before that I drive a van. It was a tough decision, but a good one. I got the safest one on the market. And don't you fucking ask that anti-SIF question, "Why do you drive a VAN if you ONLY have ONE kid?"

With J's visit to the doctor yesterday (he got antibiotics and an inhaler - and ex was unexpectedly there for the appt, so I allowed him the privilege of paying for the visit and the scripts!), I learned that he's 49" and 56 lbs. Early last summer he'd had a bout of poison ivy necessitating a dr visit and he came in then at 47 1/4" and 49.5 lbs around June. I knew he'd done some serious growing, had no idea how much: almost 2" in 8 months and almost 7 lbs!

Now I have no head-in-the-sand booster seat excuse in relation to Dawn's post and link.

I learn J's booster seat category: 4 to at least 8 years/unless they are 4’9" (57") tall.

He has 6 months or 8" to go. I figure the 6 months will happen first.

I feel for him, tho. He's so tired of the booster seat. He has the kind that is like a lounge chair instead of the little seat-only bottom kind. I think it is a nice one, comfortable, but with such a stigma now.

Although it may not sound like it, he's always been remarkable about being in seat belts. He wasn't a sneaky toddler trying to get out. Even now, he puts his seat belt on, no matter whose car he's in. He's very disciplined about it, one thing I don't have to worry about.

Honestly, I think he's anal, b/c he's so much better about rules like this than I am. But I was the one letting him slide about the booster.

Maybe I should go look up the law instead of the recommendation.....

Humph. Around here we're just required to use a car seat to age 5. I'm glad to know I haven't been breaking any laws.

Now to the dilemma of mom enforcement....

B/c that booster ship has sailed!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Have I mentioned

oh about a thousand times how much I hate going to the doctor?

I broke down and made an appt for J to see about his cough. I figure he'll get a pat on the head plus a suggestion for some OTC med and I'll get a bill.

If it were me in his shoes (and I'm pretty much there), I wouldn't (and am not to) be going to the doctor. Green. Schmeen. Sheen. It'll all pass.

I'll admit that I have to tow the line for some of Grrl's drive by mothering. J is with ex this weekend and I can't fuckin listen to him telling me how to raise J or act like I deny him vital things. His wife is the Martyr Mom (tm) and that makes it worse. They have this pseudo ideal of parenting and it has nothing to do with reality.

I'm still working on my Warner article/book reaction, but the bottom line to me is the sad situation of the Martyr Mom (tm) with her masochistic self-sacrificing ways which she thinks elevates her about all other parents. Sad, I say. Sad.

To me, over medicating is much worse than under medicating. Gunk passes. Antibiotics are for 10 days - so they last even longer than the gunk!

I know how lucky I am that J is a healthy kid. I would not do well with frequent doctor visits, even if I deemed them appropriate.

The art of parenting hangs out at fences a lot. Sometimes you're on one side, sometimes the other. And sometimes you have to find comfort straddling the damn thing as it pokes you in the ass.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Cramps on your block?

This evening I was watching a cheapo DVD from 1989, January Man. The flick was alright (2 of 4 stars), mostly b/c I like Kevin Kline so much. The best entertainment was to follow, tho.

I glanced at the credits, when to my surprise, I saw that the young girl Kevin saved from the fire was named Harmony Cramp!

Is that an oxymoron? Harmony Cramp?

I started looking further into Harmony's genealogy and, with the wonders of the Internet, found the rest of Harmony's Cramp family...

Olphelia Cramp
Phillipa Cramp
Regina Cramp
Cookie Cramp
Justine Cramp
Anita Cramp
Shirley Cramp
Robin Cramp
Fannie Cramp
Hope Cramp
Lottie Cramp
Ivana Cramp
Muffy Cramp
Wilma Cramp
Ruby Cramp
Sophie L. Cramp
Cherry Cramp
Flossie N. Cramp
Opal Cramp
Norma Cramp

Peter Cramp
Dick Cramp
Buck Cramp
Ben Cramp
Seymour Cramp
Mike Cramp
Noah Cramp
Dewey Cramp
Ray Jen Cramp
Phil Cramp
Dixon Cramp
Ceasar Cramp
Han Cramp
Dwight Cramp
Rob Cramp
Lance Cramp
Hugh G. Cramp
Elrod Cramp
Buster Cramp
Willie Cramp

Recognize anyone you've met? Did I miss somebody?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ossie, Ruby, and Guy

I enjoyed Ossie Davis.

I'm so sorry he's died.

What a power couple, he and Ruby Dee. Success on many fronts, to include his son.

That youngin', Guy Davis, got some story-tellin' genes in him. He can whip up a tale with mouth organ, hands clappin', fancy guitarin', and hearty foot stompin' - stirred all together with a sawdust voice both ticklin' the rafters and pulsatin' the dirt.

I have Guy's Chocolate to the Bone, as in: She's a big hipped mamma / Chocolate to the bone / Come to meet the train I'm on / Honey Baby, love ya 'til the day I die.

His Shortnin' Bread and Railroad Story are two of the finest and most inspiring upbeat blues songs I've heard, great for kids, too. On the raunchy side, I can't complain a bit about Back Door Man and Sho 'Nuff Satisfied. He has a naughty voice, very seductive. Take a listen at the Amazon link.

Celebrate the Davis family however you may. A real American tradition. They deserve it.

F.X. McRory's Whiskey Bar, Seattle

This LeRoy Neiman is one of my favorite possessions. Mine is conservation framing of a poster (something I am usually adamantly against - why put a couple hundred into framing a flimsy piece of paper?), but it is signed by Neiman. Of course, the one I have isn't worth a whole lot, whatever Neiman's signature is running these days. However, if it were one of the original 300 Limited Edition serigraphs from 1980, it would be worth $17000.

(click for enlargement)

Although it is a lively and colorful piece, this picture, above, from Neiman's site makes it look rather garish, but it was the best I could find online, b/c it is impossible to condense such richness.

Look beyond the colors for some interesting characterizations of life, to include the priest, central to the painting and perhaps pivotal to its interpretation. His arms are crossed aggressively, eyes glaring outwards, daring to make eye contact with the viewer and threatening anyone wishing to enter. (I have to say, tho, that this is not the stereotypical Irish priest as I think of him.)

See where Neiman painted himself in on the lower edge, yellow jacket, famed hat, Gene Shallot mustache, as he signs an autograph for a fan. Below that is where mine is signed.

Scan the collage of liquor labels for your current and past favorites. See how they meld with the paint and architectural details.

Appreciate the action and noise of a lively tavern on St. Patrick's Day. Hear the bagpipe. Scope out who is picking up whom, who is bored, drunk, chattering...

Feel the sweat of the workers trying to keep up.

You can tell I like the work for many of the same reasons I like Dutch Genre Paintings - everyday life and happenings, three very full dimensions packed into two.

I debated long and hard about buying this piece three years ago. It was perfect for my living room and it added a great name to my collection. It would bring color and excitement, enliven a dark wall, and always provide something new to see.

It also put liquor up on my wall, kind of a strange subject matter for the home of a small child. The way I figure it, the print will just be a picture on the wall for a long time. Our walls are full of such. Once he realizes what it is specifically, it'll be a fun task for him to pick out the hundreds of manufacturers in the collage. Maybe in college he'll be motivated to start his own label collection to assemble into an interesting collage. Regardless, he'll be making art functional in his life. (Believe me, I'm only partly tongue in cheek!)

I came across the story of Neiman doing this work and it is delightful.


LeRoy Neiman's Painting of
F.X. McRory's Whiskey Bar

It started back in December 1978 when LeRoy Neiman came out to Seattle for the opening of Gallery Mack in Pioneer Square. LeRoy visited F.X. McRory's and was so impressed with the back bar display of over 600 bottles that he dubbed it "America's West Coast Bar." Owners Mick McHugh and Tim Firnstahl asked LeRoy to put their bar on canvas, his answer was "no, I'm too busy." The partners kept asking until LeRoy finally tried to put them off by asking for a commission of $100,000.00. Much to LeRoy Neiman's surprise, Mick and Tim agreed to pay it and asked the artist to paint the bar on St. Patrick's Day 1979. A scaffold was set up and Neiman spent the day sketching. At the end of the day he had roughed out a painting.

LeRoy Neiman returned to New York and put his sketches aside. Repeated calls from Seattle did no good, the work was not complete and the F.X. McRory's owners had promised their fans an unveiling on St. Patrick's Day 1980! LeRoy's agent told Mick and Tim that mere money would not motivate the artist to complete the work. The two Seattlites came up with a gimmick that they hoped would appeal to this renowned artist. At the time, gold was a very hot commodity. Mick and Tim decided to stop by Neiman's studio in New York City with a 64 oz. gold bar worth $25,000.00. They bought two kilos of gold bouillon at the government offices in Wilmington. The bar was marked as Russian gold, recently given to our president in exchange for US wheat.

The two Restaurateurs took Neiman by surprise. They knocked on the door at LeRoy's Central Park address with the gold bar carried by Pinkerton Security complete with a Doberman. They handed LeRoy the gold and said, "now will you finish our painting?" LeRoy confessed that one of the reasons for the delay was that the size of the F.X. McRory back bar was a challenge to get onto canvas. LeRoy's wife suggested that he create a collage to represent the 600+ bottles. Mick and Tim sent the artist labels representing the bar's entire inventory. On schedule, St. Patrick's Day 1980, LeRoy Neiman returned to F.X. McRory's Steak, Chop and Oyster house to unveil his masterpiece.

In 1988, President Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev agreed to set up some joint ventures. One of them was an art show at the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow. They chose LeRoy Neiman and asked him to bring 8 - 10 of his works. He selected the F.X. McRory's Whiskey Bar and asked Mick and Tim if he could "borrow" it for display in Russia. They agreed and brought it over in person. The painting currently hangs in the Whiskey Bar at F.X. McRory's in Seattle,Washington.


I have to add that ex is in Seattle this week and next. I've requested the he go to F.X. McRory's and get me some memorabilia. He likes the piece in my living room; it is a good "guy painting." I think he will go by there and I should get another delicious magnet for my overcrowded refrigerator, a magnet that shared the same room as....

Oh what a beautiful morning

As I type, there are 2 chain saws cutting down a Bradford pear at the end of my court about 25' from me. A chipper runs in greedy anticipation. That's one strange thing about living in a townhouse community; I have no control over when/if big projects happen.

Bradford pears are a pet peeve of mine. They are today's homeowners' and builders' craze, but they are trash trees, well, if you can call them actual trees. They have this gum drop form that defies all normal tree logic. They are also very brittle and fragile. They may grow quickly, but they disintegrate quickly, too.

Not 20 feet on the other side of this specimen, also in common area but next to someone's property, a Bradford pear split in two last summer. They were lucky it didn't hit anything. It happened on a clear, windless night, no meteorological causes to be found.

I'd noticed this week that today's Bradford bore the Mark of the X. Little did I know it would succumb to the saw so soon. It lost a limb last Labor Day; the culprit was less than 1' across, but it landed squarely across 2 cars, not a pretty sight for the folks in those spaces. Recently, the bark had started to look puny, but there haven't been further casualties, even with the snow fall and iciness of late.

Despite with my opinions on the Bradford species, I am going to miss this tree. It was good shade, provided greenery, and blocked my vision of the road in the distance. I'm sure it was home to squirrels and birds and a multitude of other things.

With the boom of development around here, the philosophy pains me that all, "ALL TREES MUST DIE," even the ones with very few redeeming qualities.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Medical bills and bankruptcy

Rebecca Blood stuck a nerve today with this.

A post by Health Affairs, the Policy Journal for the Health Sphere revealed that half of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills and three quarters of those people were insured at the outset of the illness. Sadly, the average deliquency was less than $12,000.

I suspect that people don't embark upon IVF without having the money documented for it somehow. Pay to play. So I'm guessing that IVFers would not be included in these medically-caused bankruptcy numbers, b/c most of it is this fee for service system, right?

What about lapses in insurance coverage, large co-pays, and unexpected expenses? I remember rumblings of insurance complaints in a couple blogs, but not a lot - probably mostly b/c the insurance policies I'm thinking of cover up to $20,000, then finit; or cover 3 attempts, then finit. I guess that it can be pretty well defined and you enter it knowing what the rules are?

IVF or otherwise, it's sad to lose everything b/c of illness.

No wonder I couldn't get it up to call the doctor today. My lungs felt better and I'm of the school of being afraid of what they'll find given the chance to poke around.

I heard it was happening with the big boys...

but they found me here, too.

Is blog spam a TOS violation? Help me out. (Cox Communications)
California, Laguna Niguel, United States, 0 returning visits
3rd February 2005
12:41:39 AM
3rd February 2005
12:41:48 AM
3rd February 2005
12:42:09 AM

Received: from ([]) by (InterMail vM. 201-2131-117-20041022) with ESMTP id
Received: from ([]) by (InterMail vG. 201-2136-104-20040331) with ESMTP id

For what it's worth...

I've decided to milk this chest (congestion) for all I can.

I hate doctors. I have to be dying before I'll go.

On most things, I figure, "Awww, it'll go away..." And it does. For example, I may still have behunker ovarian cysts or colon cancer, but, hey, I feel fine right this moment.

This is different, tho. Usually I think a chest cold (or whatever the fuck this is) will pass. With my asthma and lung congestion like this, I have to sleep propped way up and sleep is fleeting, but it's just life for me my whole life. It always does pass; I've never gotten pneumonia and I think I've only gotten bronchitis maybe twice.

I don't care for antibiotics. I have a non-asthmatic friend who will get sick the same time as me, go on antibiotics, and we still get well about the same time. I do laugh at her about it.

It's not that most antibiotics affect me adversely, i.e. I can tolerate them fairly well. Erythromycin did upset my stomache a few years ago when I was on it for a root canal. Besides that, they're fine. Hate me, but I don't even get yeast infections from them. I was once hospitalized for a whole week on mega death IV antibiotics and didn't get a yeast infection. (Maybe I have a funky chemistry and neither embies nor yeasties like me?)

Paying for doctors and scripts aren't worth it to me.

Not usually.

See, it is almost day 3 again. Last time with an FSH of 6, my preliminary dip into the ART pool, I realized there's more to uncover. As I said way back in the beginning of this blog, I seek peace and resolution on this matter that has haunted me for 6 1/2 long and painful years.

If the numbers and chemistry aren't there for me, then so be it, there's nothing more I can do. It is proof to give it all up. It gives me a complete picture to make better decisions.

So I'm going to the doctor with an agenda. I need refills on all my asthma meds, too. If I could squeeze it in, I'd even take a PAP from a GP (or Internal Med, I forget).
I'll try for an appt on Friday. I'll ask for day 3 estradiol, LH, prolactin, and progesterone. Maybe I'll throw in a repeat FSH for good measure. It should fall on Sunday or Monday.

And I will take it from there.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Why is this?

I have a new pet peeve.

The national telemarketer prevention registry does not work.

But, know what, you can't do anything about it, not easily anyway.

Know why?

The telemarketers have gone to automated messages now. You can't even interrupt them and ask to be removed from the list. Instead you, theoretically, have to listen to the whole message, write down a phone number and fucking call the telemarketer back! What an insult!

No, I don't want satellite TV, credit, or to pass on a message to my ex husband who never even fucking lived at this residence.

I'm sick. I'm spotting and my progesterone is falling. Leave me alone. I yelled at my sweet son this morning. I want to hide.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Cough, cough, snooze, snooze

Whatever this is that I have in my head and chest is progressing nicely. Extended periods of time in bed are good sometimes. Well, if it weren't for the phone ringing and whispers of, "Mooooommm, I'm hungry." We have played Kerplunk many times, as well as a Thomas The Tank Engine Magic Railroad game - we've had that game over 4 years and it is the best. Ice cream is still helping a little.

As it turned out, J was out of school for 2 days, b/c we haven't had enough snow days to use up the pre-programmed buffer days. My son is very good company.

Once I woke up and he was gently kissing my hand as it stuck over the side of the bed. That boy, always a romantic.

They say a boy's first girlfriend is his mom. If that is the case, I sure will be missing this bit down the road.

He came up to me this evening, laid his hand on my forehead and told me I have a fever. This wasn't from a toddler playing, this was from a 7 yo quite serious about his findings and diagnosis.
He has a slight cough himself, probably from the same thing as me, but his isn't kicking his butt or giving a fever, so I'll send him to school. He has been taking it seriously, tho, consuming vitamins as I have asked.

I'm going to miss him when he goes back tomorrow.