Archive for September, 2009

small irritant

September 30, 2009

Rant – dumb ads.

Commercial says “nature knows how much water plants need.”

I cry bullocks!  Weather does not give a crap what plants need.  What the heck do you call droughts and floods, you dopey ad writer?  (It is plants that adapt to geographic localities.  Plus, even if you start splitting hairs and talking about droughts and floods as human intervention into natural systems – they still happen, even to native plantlife.)

Sigh.  I get the human desire for (what is that literary term – it’s not pathetic fallacy) maybe it’s a Gaia-type living things-earth interaction – but what the heck?  Can ad writers please rein it in a little and use it only when it doesn’t immediately make me want yell “balls!”  I mean, honestly.

you’re killing me.

September 30, 2009

Hey reviewer – thanks for the good review – but I think you’re killing me.  You just informed me that you liked my story but the fandom’s dying.  Really?  Nooooooo!  That can’t be.

This is not what I want to know – I’m waist-deep in writing one long fic with another one in the planning stages.  I’m really invested – like having spent literally hundreds of hours (probably a lot more with all the anime episodes, plus the multiple readings of the manga – never mind the amount invested in the fanfic – reading it as well as writing and researching – geez, the amount of time I have spent on the internet looking up the most random stuff – did you know Hawaii doesn’t have a sales tax but an excise tax?) in this fandom.

I want to insert that I’m not exactly proud of this – I’m just trying to tell you my level of concern with the dying fandom comment.  (This makes me think I could really have learned that other language I keep thinking about – you know, being concerned with something useful as opposed to wondering about Hawaii’s methods of raising revenue.)

Fine – the show’s not being broadcast in the US anymore – that’s okay.  I mean, I don’t care if there’s lots of 10-year-olds who like this show (I picked up this habit from a 10-year-old).

I’ve only got a couple of fandoms – most of which are dead anyway – although some others (not mine!) seem to last and last.  Please leave me my illusions about my hobbies.  They’re all I’ve got.

Movies

September 29, 2009

I’m watching a lot more movies right now.  I fall asleep occasionally while they’re on, but that’s okay.  (Sooo sleep deprived….)  It’s not like Baby J (who is by my side all the time) is going to object if I go back a scene or two.

Saw Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal within the last two weeks.  I love Jim Henson and Frank Oz – I’m just saying that right now.  (And the backgrounds for the Dark Crystal – unbelievably detailed.)  But but but – whoever designed the characters – let’s say there’s a specialty in characters that look like bundles of rags with some kind of bird head.  (I know I couldn’t do any better – but seeing the movies in such close proximity really does bring the similarity to the fore.)

That aside, they’re very different movies.  I can see more of why Labyrinth has the fanfic base it does.  All that Bowie-ness translates to lots of drooling femme/fans.  But I myself have a hard time getting over the hair.  I mean, MacGyver’s hair was sort of funny to me at the time – never mind the towering glory that is Bowie’s wig in this.  (I could never have big hair – maybe it’s all misplaced envy.)  Oh.  I’m in trouble with the fangirls now.

unfair

September 27, 2009

It’s a bit unfair that it takes so much longer to write something than it is to read something.   For me it takes a while – Joyce Carol Oates I am not.  I know – there’s the whole thing about active involvement, and this is why society thinks creativity of a sort is to be rewarded – but still.  I’m wondering how Charles Dickens or Honore de Balzac did it – getting paid per word.  Stringent editing and careful research were probably secondary to volume, methinks.  I’m just sayin’.

I’m just creeping along with my latest piece.  A couple of hundred words per day – if that.  Any fantasies about NaNoWriMo should be settled by that (maybe ever).  Volume, especially after the initial burst of getting it down and outlined – is obviously not my strong suit.  Sigh.

Of course, I’m overlooking the fact that I’m probably kind of lazy.  Anyway…back to the salt mines.

travel exploits

September 22, 2009

I love me some travel/food shows.  I will watch almost any thing.  (The travel could be anywhere – North Carolina barbecue, New York pizza, Osaka yakitori, Mexican mole, anything – I like travel (as long as I don’t have to do it – I mean, I love being in a new place but the getting there – ick) and I love food, so there’s no bad here.)  And yet, that darn liberal politically-correct training/guilt gets in the way of really enjoying some of them.  So I ask you – is it just me or is anybody else feel a little, I don’t know, uncomfortable seeing a really, um, “prosperous-looking” host eating the food of the rather underfed locals?

Also, I found out recently that the term “jungle” is now considered un-pc.  I really thought geographic descriptors (I can’t get the words to describe what I really think the word is – it’s not an adjective) couldn’t be counted out like that.  I mean, pampas is still okay, isn’t it?  Or anything “flats” – like the Bonneville Salt Flats?  What about “savannah?”  I know people who have named their kids Savanna, for heaven’s sake.

Prophet?

September 17, 2009

I had a weird dream a couple of nights before Baby J was born.  I was looking down a deep sink, and a baby’s face was in the drain hole (eyes closed, very serene), and I had to reach in and pull that baby out of the plumbing.  That was my job.

I told W this a couple of days ago.  He said, “Whoa.  It’s so obvious – it sounds like a white guy dream.”

denial

September 17, 2009

My memory is shot all to hell.

Something about having a new baby, maybe.  The lack of sleep.  Or the stress.  Maybe its just me being me.  Example: I can’t remember how tiny babies are, until I have one in my hands – their heads are so small – like softball size (I realize this would have seemed bigger should I have delivered vaginally, but it’s still pretty small for a human head).  I couldn’t remember how babies just poop in their sleep.  I had some difficulty re-adjusting to breastfeeding.  Tons of things like this occur to me every day.

And the coup de grace: last week, I asked W to get my pain meds for me.  Then. five minutes later, I asked him where the meds were.  He said he had already given them to me.  Wha-?  I’d remember taking a bunch of meds – wouldn’t I?  Wouldn’t I?  (FYI: Tylenol 3 and 600mg of Ibuprofen and iron supplement and pre-natal vitamin)

No.  I wouldn’t.  I’m not a druggie – I just couldn’t remember whether or not I had taken my medication.  W gave me the weirdest look – like I was a nascent dealer.  I’m not all hopped up on meds – jonesing for my next high.  Really, I’m not.  Frankly, I could do without the iron supplement.

Honestly, I couldn’t remember taking the meds.  W wasn’t in the room so he didn’t see me take them, but he gave them to me – and he refused to give me more.  I’m sure he gave them to me if he said he did, and I took them because I would, but what happened to those five minutes?  What happened to my brain?  Nothing like this has ever happened to me before, where I couldn’t remember.

Of course, it could be the pain meds themselves that led to my memory loss.  But I want to lodge a protest here – memory, where art thou?

One of the family.

September 14, 2009

So life is okay with a new baby.  She’s different from her brother, in that she can sleep for longer than one hour at a time.  Which is so much beyond awesome, I can’t even tell you.

I think I’m getting enough sleep myself, but it’s hard to tell, especially when I just knock off while just sitting around.  I only realize it when I wake up – sometimes with a little drool crusted to my face, sometimes not.  I can’t do very much right now – so sitting around is mostly what I do, except for hygienic things and taking care of Baby Girl J.

W asked how nursing was going for J because I had a Bad Moment last week.  It was the Fifth Day – apparently, there is some seriously bad mojo that goes on with the Fifth Day following birth – it’s not scientific, but friends of friends have confirmed something kicks in then and people start crying/falling apart.  Certainly, I did.

I was terribly dehydrated from the surgery/bronchitis and it took me a day or so to figure that out and that Baby J wasn’t getting any milk – and then she sort of stopped peeing.  In a baby, that’s a bad bad bad thing.  I got home and then went through the realization that I might be doing something bad by being so dehydrated so I contacted the La Leche leader.  (W calls her The Leche.)

I felt terrible.  I mean, this is my second kid – I should know how it goes, shouldn’t I?  Apparently, not.  In my defense, I was stressed out, tired, recently having gone through some surgery, and I hadn’t been able to rest like I wanted because my body felt so weird to me.

I love The Leche – she was really sweet and matter-of-fact and she thought I just had to keep going and make sure I was taking in enough fluids.  She later told W that my call to her made her worried (I started to cry while asking advice because I was so afraid of not feeding the baby enough), but when she arrived, she felt better because it wasn’t as if I was abusing Baby J or anything.  It wasn’t particularly dire – but I needed to keep pushing fluids – and I had a couple of small corrections to my technique (it had been a couple of years – give me a break!).

So some hours later, when Baby J starting to pee, and pee, and pee, and poop and pee and pee, it was like I wanted to throw a party.  My baby will live to pee!

So W asked me yesterday how things were going with the feedings.  I said things were going well – she feeds hugely, and then goes directly to sleep.  She doesn’t hardly even burp.  W said, “sounds like she’s one of us, all right.”

Got Meds?

September 9, 2009

Sept 5, 2009.

So I was reading The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman around the time of my daughter’s birth.  (Since I’ve stopped buying books, I’m working getting to the piles of books sitting around the house, many of them picked up from the “FREE” piles sitting in front of professors’ offices at the end of the year.  There’s a lot of good, discussion worthy-books in those piles – the major drawback of this system of book collection is that I always read too late to actually participate in the discussion. But I know I’ve heard of this book before I picked it up a couple of years ago – I just can’t remember where.)

Basically, the book is about a little Hmong girl with epilepsy and the cultural clash that happens over her care.  It’s really interesting.  There’s a lot of discussion about how the Hmong, and this family in particular, ended up in Merced, California – historically, and then the sociological effects.  Much of the interesting thing for me was the medical issues of the Hmong.  Assuming the writer is correct (it’s hard to know, because I don’t know anything about the Hmong, but the writer is also an outsider and not a religion specialist/sociologist, I don’t think).

I sympathize with all the major characters; as I think you’re supposed to with this book.  But because every book I read is ultimately about me, I wonder what it would have been like to have been a Hmong child.  Sure – my parents are immigrants – but they’re different from these parents.  My parents’ education wasn’t perfect, but they had at least some high school equivalent, they were Korean hence familiar with a lot of concepts of modern medicine, and like I’ve written before, I’m a huge fan of medical intervention (and my parents are also), which apparently is anathema to traditional Hmong.

How does one go from such a position of tradition (belief there is a limit to the amount of blood that can be taken over a lifetime so taking samples for tests are a hard sell) to acceptance of modern concepts of medicine?  I admit, my parents do some wacky medical things – bee stings?  Apply taenjong (fermented bean paste).  Sore back?  Tiger balm and these weird very strong-smelling mentholated pads (salonpas as a brand name) that gets adhered to the spot.  Still – my parents do understand, respect, and will follow medical advice (or they would try very hard, given the limits of their command of English), they understand what doctors are trying to do, and religious beliefs don’t get in the way of medical treatment.  I suppose I feel fairly lucky that this is true and the medical care I’ve received throughout my childhood, as opposed to the way it might have happened had I been Hmong (unless I’m mistaken about how I’m reading the book).  Of course, it is different even between immigrants and their largely-US raised children – but even trying to bridge that is hard for me to put together in my head.

So if you’ve read the book, let me know what you think.

Warning

September 9, 2009

WARNING:  The post that follows is a very personal, really detailed birth story.  Don’t read if easily grossed out.  REALLY.