NaBloPoMo Wrap Up

November 30, 2013

I think I sufficiently addressed the question of what I’ve learned and whether this NaBloPoMo thing has been a good experience in yesterday’s post.  It’s been good but I’m not sorry to see it end.  I need a break.

I have a lot of other things that need to be tended to.  It seems that Xmas is now upon us so there’s shopping and decorating to do.  And I have to go back to work after spending 2 weeks on my sofa with the kittehs.  The view from my cube at the office is not nearly so cute as this one:

kitty

Gratuitous cat pic

So anyway, thanks for reading this month.  If I ever attempt this again I hope to do better at it.  If you need me I’ll be on my sofa watching all manner of Holiday specials on TV until I have the energy to do all those things I need to do.

Almost There

November 29, 2013

Whew.  Today and tomorrow and my month of daily blog posts will be complete!  You guys can stop reading!

Who am I kidding?  I had to write them all but I seriously doubt any of you read them all.

I have written a lot of drivel this month in order to keep up with the daily challenge.  A lot of it I NEVER would have posted had it not been for this challenge.  But I have learned a lot and it was indeed a useful exercise.  Much like photography, you have to just keep taking pictures or writing blog posts in order to get those one or two great shots/posts.

flowers

Despite the fact that several drafts didn’t make it out of drafts this month, the more I wrote, the more ideas I had for posts – posts that I think will ultimately prove more interesting than most of what was actually posted this month.  In short, I think I now have MORE posts in drafts than I started out with.  And that’s actually a GOOD thing.  I just felt that some of them needed more attention and refining than I had time to devote to them.

So, hopefully, the end result of NaBloPoMo will be more interesting posts that will be better spaced out.

Thanksgiving Cheesecake

November 28, 2013

I love making cheesecake. And I love experimenting with new recipes and altering them to make them my own. In the past I have made:

  • pumpkin cheesecake with gingersnap crust
  • mango cheesecake with Nilla wafer crust
  • peppermint cheesecake with oreo crust and candy cane topping
  • chocolate vanilla swirl cheesecake with chocolate Teddy Graham crust
  • pomegranate cheesecake with chocolate cookie crust

Some of those worked out better than others. But this year I tried Eggnog cheesecake.

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Not quite done yet.

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Looks done now!

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Eating a slice of eggnog cheesecake and some apple pie.

Holiday Traditions

November 27, 2013

How important are traditions to you around the holidays? And how have you had to change them since marriage/kids/death?

Growing up I always spent Thanksgiving at my grandmother’s house amongst all manner of distant relatives that showed up for the annual family reunion.

Once my brother got his license we began driving to Pops’ house after the meal at our grandmother’s and having a second Thanksgiving meal with him. Having divorced parents is really not all bad. 😉

Two Turkey Dinners > One Turkey Dinner.
In case you were wondering.

Then my grandmother had to go live in a nursing home and her house was sold. That was a hard tradition to give up. I will forever associate this holiday with a huge crowd of people – a true “the more the merrier” kind of celebration. Someone always “brought home a stray” or two. Anyone of us who knew someone who had nowhere to go on Thanksgiving knew that our friends always had a place at my grandmother’s table. Momz’ family tried to keep up the tradition alternating at other houses but eventually it fizzled out after my grandmother died.

But I had the new tradition of Pops’ Thanksgiving to ease the transition. When I married Wrong Guy it just conveniently worked out that we spent Thanksgiving with my family and Xmas with his. It seems to be working out that way so far with Right Guy as well.

From age 12 until Pops died I think I only missed 2 Thanksgivings with him. I was out of the country for one. And had just moved across the country for the other. Not only was it his favorite holiday, I was always with him for it. In TWENTY FIVE YEARS I missed only TWO Thanksgivings with him. So it’s natural to think about him a lot this time of year.

Tomorrow will be my third Thanksgiving without Pops. I will be with Right Guy, my brother, SIL and the Kiddos. And we will toast the Old Man. And perhaps this will become our new tradition.

Dear NARAL, NOW, Planned Parenthood, RH Reality Check and any and all people and entities who are pro-choice,

I am infertile. I want nothing more than to have a child. Wait. There might be one thing I want more than a child – I want the government to stay out of my uterus. Well, if I still had one I’d want them out of it.

You may be surprised to learn that most of us who can’t have children (or have lots of difficulty doing so) are NOT in favor of banning abortions so there will be more babies available to adopt. No. Simply…NO.

Most of us are HARDCORE Pro-Choice. You want to know why?

Because we are the ones who suffer all manner of weird pregnancy complications. We are the ones who have ectopic pregnancies and are forced to terminate. We are the ones who suffer repeat miscarriages. We are the ones who do IVF after IVF with embryos the doctors say look good but never get pregnant. We are the ones who are most terrified of personhood legislation because it directly impacts IVF and Assisted Reproductive Medicine in general. We are the ones who have to face the choice of late term abortions because testing shows severe genetic anomalies in our very much loved unborn fetuses. We are the ones whose bodies fail us and cause pre-term birth and put our own lives in danger.

No one is better acquainted than we are with the idea that not every embryo has what it takes to become a child and not every egg/sperm has what it takes either. And not every womb can carry to term. We are intimately acquainted with the fact that pregnancy can be dangerous to mind, body and spirit and it should therefore be a choice and not a legal obligation.

Many organizations are moving away from the term “pro-choice” in favor of “reproductive rights” claiming that every woman should have the choice of when and whether to have a child. I wholeheartedly concur. However, when your organizations talk about reproductive rights and freedom they rarely mention the flip side of the coin: infertility. We can’t control when or whether to have children. And no amount of free birth control pills or sex education is going to give us that control.

I propose that we join forces. I propose that your organizations add health insurance coverage for infertility as a cause. If we knew that someone out there was fighting for us also, perhaps we’d shed our anonymity and join your cause with even louder voices than we already use. Make us feel included and you will have 1 in 7 couples, all very educated in the reproductive process, fighting on your side. I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but I know a lot of us feel this way.

Not that we don’t already fight on your side. I’m just saying that if we felt more included in your cause we might yell more loudly.

It’s just an idea. Think about it.

On Rule Following

November 25, 2013

I recently wrote a rather rambling post that eventually made its way around to the subject of rule following. As previously stated, despite being a more or less upstanding citizen, I do like to do things my own way. And if that means I color outside the lines a little, so be it. I tend to view the world in shades of gray rather than in black and white. The result of this is that most lines are rather blurred for me and I evaluate them on a case by case basis.

[The coloring analogy is a bad one since I have an intense dislike for coloring outside the lines when I’m coloring – really when anyone is coloring.]

For most of my life, as you might imagine, this has gotten me in trouble. In high school I had an affliction known as excessive-eye-rolling-at-teachers whenever they said something I deemed moronic. It got to the point where I honestly didn’t even know I was doing it.

For the most part I was never a trouble maker. I just skirted the edge with a few teachers/professors here and there – those that made rules that made no sense to me. In particular, this was a problem when those rules adversely affected me and/or made the teacher seem lazy. This included policies of not giving back credit for multiple choice exam questions that were admittedly poorly written or attempting to enlist me to correct my fellow students’ papers which were riddled with grammatical errors that should have prohibited them from ever being accepted to college. That may sound harsh, but I am of the opinion that if you can’t pass freshman English because you don’t know the difference between to, too and two then perhaps you shouldn’t be there in the first place. And it’s not MY job to help you pass by correcting all your mistakes before you hand in your paper to the professor. Even if the professor told me to do so.

But I digress. What I really wanted to write about was the ONE time to date that this quality has HELPED me in life. And it was that experience that made me realize that I have this trait and that it’s not a bad thing.

I once got a promotion precisely because I’m not a rule follower.

In grad school I had a fellowship award that paid my tuition and a small hourly wage for working in the computer lab. I believe there were six of us and one was given slightly more pay and prestige and the title of Manager for coordinating the efforts of all the others. When our Lab Manager graduated it was time for a new one. We all assumed it would be the most senior person. But he got passed over and I got the job. And I wanted to know why. I didn’t expect him to make a fuss about it, but if anyone were to question why I got it over him then I wanted to know my boss’ reasoning.

He told me that the other guy was a “rule follower” and that sometimes in this job a person who “could think on her feet” was needed. Someone that would do what it took to fix the problem even if it meant skirting protocol. I had never thought of it like that before but I very quickly saw that my boss was right. The other guy, while extremely intelligent and amiable, would never have broken even the silliest of rules in order to get the job done. He was the type that would nearly piss himself rather than leave the lab unattended for 2 minutes and run to the bathroom. OK, so that’s a gross exaggeration but I think I made my point.

The point is this: sometimes you need to break the rules to get the job done. And that’s OK.

That said, there are certainly limits to this behavior. The end does not always justify the means.

But I’m not talking about breaking the big rules. Just the little ones that often prevent us from doing our best work. This is my version of thinking outside the box and I think it makes me a better problem solver.

I would really love to hear others’ thoughts on this. Are you a rule follower or a rule breaker?

The Answer (aka Feeling Lazy)

November 24, 2013

Two days ago I posted 2 truths and a lie and asked you to guess which was the lie. It wasn’t a very popular post but I did promise an answer today. And, truth be told, I’m still recovering from being vertical yesterday. I spent the day sitting up and moving around more than I had all week. And it tired me out. So today I’ve been back on the sofa. Despite the fact that I have 3-4 almost finished posts sitting in drafts this is all you are getting today.

The answer:

I have never lived in New Orleans. But I did, in fact, move to Las Vegas for the hell of it. And I have moved quite a lot.