production maven

pro•duc'tion n. 1, act of bringing forward. 2, a product of physical or mental labor; esp., a theatrical presentation. ma'ven n. an expert. Also, ma'vin.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

truth is worse than fiction

Ladies. Here's another pregnancy pearl of wisdom for you.
When you get pregnant, you will be told, and you will read, that you will have to void your bladder a lot. And that's the truth. There are urgent needs to go at the most inopportune times, and when you've excused yourself and hustled yourself to the nearest powder room and you drop trou and you squat.....
and three little pee drops come out. That's all the relief you're getting.
Wash hands, rinse, repeat in 20 minutes.

So that's the truth. And while it's annoying, it's not gross.

What you're not told, is that you will have to do this pee thing, most of the time, away from your home potty. For some reason, the urge is stronger the moment you step away from your house, where you spend all of your time. It's like an unconscious need to check out other bathrooms. And those other bathrooms of which I speak? Are PUBLIC RESTROOMS.

Normally, I'm not super-hinky about germs. Sure, they're out there, I wash my hands as much as I can when I'm in public, but by and large, they're unavoidable. You have to learn to live in harmony with the germs, or end up like Howard Hughes. However. People. Women. DO NOT spend time hanging around a public restroom, if you ever want to be able to use a public restroom again IN YOUR LIFE. I'm not talking, "hanging around" like it's a fun and cool place to be. I'm talkin', when you go to a restaurant and have to wait for 20 minutes, do not sit next to the bathrooms and observe the constant - CONSTANT - parade of people, mostly those of a certain retired age, going in and out of that room that also hosts a toilet. You will totally go off your dinner if you do this. And, when you're driving to work and you know of every rest room that is between your house and the 200 miles to your job, try not to think about all the old-lady pee that's happening in front of you because a tour bus full of New Jersey or United Kingdom residents has just pulled in before you and all the older ladies are using the toilets before you and there is a line. Heaven forbid they use the toilet on the bus.

Usually public restrooms don't bother me, unless they are heinously filthy (like the ones at the Orient Point ferry on Long Island) or if they are not cleaned on a regular basis (like any place in NYC that you can use the restroom without having to buy something). I like to go to the ones that don't have anyone else in them, and I can pretend in my mind that no one else has used them since their last cleaning, which happened to be within the last five minutes. I can then pee and get out the door. But when you're faced with the quick turn-around flushes and the lines and the OPP (other people's... well, their pee and maybe something else starting with a "p"), it's hard to keep your mind on the prize and not think about THEM.


You may now return to your regularly scheduled whatever you were doing.
And remember to pee before you leave your house.


Monday, September 27, 2004

patience pays off

Much to my delight and dismay, I was surprised (more like ambushed) on Saturday by my mother, her best friend, my aunt and great-aunt, a clutch of dear, wonderful friends, and a scattering of assorted in-laws and neighbors. They all descended upon my house with balloons, food, and gifts (wonderful gifts!). A portable party. It was fantastic! And I was, truly, surprised. I was waiting for my friend M. to show up with her mother to go to the Road Race that Mr. G. and I were to be working. Instead, it was all a ruse to get me to stay in the house... it's a good thing I took a shower and was dressed. But I had my glasses on and my sneakers. Bad. That just goes to show how serious I was about going to the road race. Me. In sneakers.
It was a blast.

I actually have to work, but I will write more a little later on (either in the day or in the week. You know how I am.


Tuesday, September 21, 2004

the waiting game

I am not a patient person. I never have been. I used to be teased by my neighbors because when school would start, I would begin the count-down: how many more days until Christmas? Then how many more days until my birthday (which is in January)? Then how many until spring break? Then how many until school was out? I am a chronic planner, a perpertual counter, someone who is always looking ahead to the next season. Now I'm pregnant. And? People? Being pregnant is simultaneously the fastest and slowest nine (actually, it's ten) months of your life. We found out when I was about five weeks along, according to the first day of my last *cycle*. Now I'm 25 weeks. Those twenty weeks have gone so fast, but at the same time, they have been sooooo slow... couldn't wait to see the baby on the ultrasound. Couldn't wait to feel her kick. Couldn't wait to wear maternity clothese. Couldn't wait to see her kick. I've hit all of those markers. We're headed onto the slippery slope of the last fifteen weeks. I know they are going to fly and drag ass. Now the kicking's a bit obnoxious, and yay me, I'm wearing maternity clothes - and feeling like a WHALE. I'm a beachball. All boobs and butt and stomach. Typical.

But the hardest thing for me is waiting for my shower. I'm impatient (see first sentence, above). There's some kind of something going on, and I don't know what. Or who. Or when. I know that my mom and Mr. G. and my best friend S. and my close friend M. are all involved in some way, and that they're working together. But it drives me CRAZY not knowing just the date. What's the big deal, you say. Why can't you just go with the flow? Just go with it, be surprised. Because I just CAN'T. I am a planner. I know what I'm doing next March. I am working right now on schedules that go through next June. I will soon begin working on the books for next fall, which means I'll be scheduling books that will be in process this time next year. I have household bills scheduled for the NEXT FIVE YEARS. I have my dentist appointments set up for the next year. I like to know days for events. And my baby shower is no exception. I don't need the details. I just want to make sure that I am clean and dressed (I tend to shower later in the day when I'm at home on weekends and working from home during the week). Sometimes the contact lenses don't make it into the eyes. I want to make sure I'm emotionally ready. I love the fact that these people that I love are all working together to surprise me with SOMETHING, I really do. I love that they are having a great time keeping their mouths shut - and I commend them for it. But I just want the date.


Is that too much to ask???

I was telling Mr. G. the other day that any time there is any thing that comes up between now and the time that the baby shower happens that is even slighly different than what I was planning on doing, my mind immediately becomes suspect. I'm such a stinker. I'll keep everyone posted as to when it happens, if indeed there is anything at all. For all I know, I've worked myself into a frenzy over really nothing at all.

It's been a friggin' busy week in my hometown. Make that a busy few weeks. Please note: I am NOT complaining!! I'm happy to be busy again, and that Opaque is picking up. Mr. G. is swamped. He's got work coming out of his ears, and there's really no end in sight, I am happy to report. That's one reason why I haven't written. I have also been slightly depressed, which is not as much fun to report. That's the other reason. I'm still very sad about my kitty, and for those of you who are animal people, I know YOU understand. For those others who aren't animal fans, you can skip to the next paragraph. I really miss her habits but I'm also seeing the bright side - I can get some throw rugs now. She used to pee on new rugs. Always. But I miss her weight on the bed at night. I miss her little greetings and grunts when I would go to pat her. I miss her thumping down the stairs. I just miss her energy. I miss her smell (but as Mr. G. can report, the cat boxes are a lot easier to clean - she made a lot of stink!!) I'll get over it some day, but I have to acknowledge this or else I won't get over it. And now I have to stop because my eyes are tearing up and I'm still at work.

I've also been working on a manuscript - I have several ideas for novels that I'd like to write, but in the meantime I'm keeping a journal of my life. It's hard to write every day. I got behind last week and I'm still catching up. I don't know if it will ever get published, and even if it doesn't, it will be neat to look back next year and read what I was doing on a daily basis.

So, sorry for the lengthy delay in posting. Anyone else out there feel like blogging has maybe jumped the shark? There are a lot of people who are signing off for good. Sad to see them go.... But I'll be back! I promise!


Friday, September 10, 2004

so heartfelt

Thank you so much, everyone, who commented on my last post about my dear kitten. I do realize there are some people in this world who think that mourning a cat is a little cuckoo, and that there are still many others who would like to do harm to a dog or cat. To those people, I turn my head and, sometimes my back. But to those of you who may have teared up a little, because you can empathize with such things, I offer you my heartfelt thank you. Neither Mr. G. or I regret our decision, and, while we'll miss Juniper and the other cats who have been and gone before her, we know she's better off. And don't you think that in kitty heaven, that all cats like each other? I firmly believe that it's only on earth that they are grouchy. In K.H. (Kitty Heaven) they all frolic together constantly. I'm sure the noise drives people nutso.

And, besides, we'll have our hands PLENTY full in 4 months time... I'm 24 weeks along as of Monday, that means 16 more to go. Feeling bigger. The baby is kicking plenty. It's a thrill. And, we're absolutely terrified.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and that you listened to Fresh Air today. If you didn't, you should maybe have a look-see at this site and know that, somewhere out there, there is someone making a positive impact in someone else's life. It is so refreshing and inspiring to hear about these kinds of people and organizations. Makes me want to get out there and make a difference too...

Schönes wochenende!


Thursday, September 02, 2004

how do you say goodbye?

Wednesday, Mr. G. and I had to put one of our cats down. This was a cat that I had for eleven years: she had been with me for so many of my adult rites-of-passage, and putting her to sleep was the hardest decision that I have ever had to make. Deep down we are all selfish people: when something makes us happy or brings us joy, we want to keep that thing around forever. I didn’t want to do this, but her condition was so bad, I could not abuse her in that way, to satisfy my own selfishness.

This cat was my only friend during my failed attempt to move down south after graduating from college; she was the constant in my ever-fluctuating life. Something happened to her early Tuesday morning and she started to have seizures… slowly at first, then more and more frequently. Frothing, yowling, spinning in circles (always to the left), voiding her bladder. The vet could do nothing except give her a sedative and take some blood for some tests. The seizures got closer and closer together. Tuesday night neither one of us slept very well, and Wednesday morning after laying awake in bed since about 4, I got up at a quarter to 8, got Mr. G. up, and we prepared to bring Juniper to the vet one more time. She was seizuring all night long, constantly. Several times I got up to sit with her. She barely recognized me. I gave her a sedative in the middle of the night, and she bit me. We took her to the vets, she lay on the table, got a little feisty when they gave her the injection, then passed with me stroking her head. It was quick, it was hard to let her go, but I could not NOT do that to an animal who had brought so much love and joy into my life for so many years.

I feel like there is this empty, metallic, cold spot in my heart. She was not the nicest cat, in fact, she was downright mean and antisocial. But she was my first cat, my baby kitty, my kitty-one. She would come and hang out with me when I was in the bathroom and liked to look in the shower when it was running to see what was going on. She let me cut her nails without a fuss. She loved tuna juice and would run into the kitchen whenever she heard us using the can opener. As she got older, she loved to lay in my lap or, if I was reading, lay on my belly. When she was really happy, she drooled. She had a pillow stuffed with mugwort that she absolutely loved – loved it more than catnip. I used to imagine how I would feel when she was gone, and now I know. I didn’t think I could do it without her. Happily, I can, but I will miss her for a very, very long time.

After letting the other cats and the dogs sniff her body, we buried her to the north of the apple trees on our property, and included her mugwort pillow and a can of tuna for her to take with her. Our shepherd, Riley, did a very interesting thing. She sniffed her ears, noticed that Juniper wasn't swatting at her or running away as she normally would, so then she sniffed her cheek. Nothing. She finally sniffed her mouth, as if she was checking for air. At that, Riley turned and walked away. She knew what was there was just a shell, that there was no life within. The other cats and Darwin, our golden, sniffed her, but not as thoroughly, and were as resolved as they could be. It's a good thing to do if you have animals and one dies - let the ones who live on see the body of the one who has passed. We don't know how animals resolve themselves to death happening, but imagine if you don't and you're tormented with having the others constantly looking for the missing pet.

If you have a pet, please stop and give them a snuggle and a kiss. These animals bring so much to our lives, and the tragedy is that most of the time, we outlive them. Take a moment to recognize their special - even if they are annoying - traits. Someday, I guarantee it, you will miss it.

Taking tomorrow off. Going to the doctor's and to the accountant's then shopping with my mom while my dad, brother and Mr. G. play golf. Happy 60th birthday, dad!