April 03, 2005
Embryo = Parasite
"Dear Reader: My apologies. I'm drifting in and out of sleep..."
Not to whine or nothin', but DANG do I feel crappy. Exhausted, nauseated, mind-fogged -- it's like a flu that I just can't recover from. Apparently this is "normal" for the first trimester. Funny; everyone hears about the morning sickness, but how many first-time mothers expect the bone-breaking tiredness? I think this information is intentionally embargoed in order to ensure the survival of the species.
Instead of useful information like "expect to be a knuckle-dragging zombie for the first three months," I've been preconditioned with dire warnings about passing the age of 35 from the media and even from friends: After 35, your fertility drops precipitously, suddenly! Your eggs are withered and old; your child is all but guaranteed to have Down's or some other heinous birth defect, and who's to blame? YOU, selfish yuppie, for wanting to "be established" in your "career" and "life" and "finances" before you perform the function we deem you to have been created for! Oh, and you'll be in a walker at the kid's high school graduation! Is that what you want? Well, is it? Just don't say we didn't warn you, Ms. "I wanted to know who I was before I started raising kids"!
Sure, an endless torrent of scare tactics designed to terrify you into spawning 15 minutes after midnight on the day you reach the age of consent in your state. But nary a warning about the endless, grinding feeling of your life-force being sucked from your marrow.
I don't intend to give up blogging. In my few lucid 15-minute periods, before the quease whacks me in the solar plexus again with the nausea-bat, I have lots of ideas about things to write. But I can't execute any of them. I'm sorry. Greedy Gus takes precedence right now; he refuses to share me.
Luckily, EtherHub is an angel and puts up with my sluggish schlepping around the house, whining -- that is, when I'm not in bed, letting him do all the work around the house. (Though, as I often remind him, mostly in jest, "You're the one that put me in this condition!")
I suppose that the world will just have to endure without my brilliantly original thoughts on Terri Schiavo, the Pope, Sandy Berger, et al. I've got an Instalanche of hormones pumping through the site meter of my circulatory system, and that's all my server can handle right now.
March 27, 2005
A pregnant pause
Sorry for last week's enigmatic complaints about my "medical condition." The work trouble and dental issues are pretty straightforward, but I may as well confess the medical condition: I'm pregnant.
We've been hoping for this for quite a while, so it's great news for us. Unfortunately, my body isn't taking the news quite as well. I've been so exhausted for the last few weeks that I can barely keep up with really essential tasks like paying bills. Every tiny quotidian task I accomplish requires sheer force of will just to overcome the sleepiness, bone-weariness, and intermittent queasiness that swamp me all day. It's a miracle that I can even get to work; it takes about three times the effort now to accomplish half the work, and I'm hiding the saltines I've been nibbling on because I'm afraid my more savvy coworkers will correctly deduce that nibbling on saltines all day = morning sickness.
I haven't told anyone at work; in fact, I haven't told anyone except EtherHub, my dentist, and you guys. I'm past 35, which makes this a "high-risk" pregnancy, and I'm afraid I'll miscarry. Last week my OB/GYN told me my progesterone was lower than it should be, and that's not a great sign. So I'm postponing the announcement until I start to show unequivocally and I can't hide it any more.
I debated whether I should even mention the situation on my blog. At first, I thought I wouldn't; I did say I wanted to keep my personal life mostly out of EtherHouse. But I felt whatever readers remain should know the reason for my silence.
With any luck, this pernicious, malevolent tiredness should pass towards the end of the first trimester or sooner. Till then, I hope you'll understand if I'm uncharacteristically silent sometimes. Greedy Gus (my nickname for the li'l bugger) apparently needs virtually all my energy at the moment, the ungrateful little parasite.
March 06, 2005
How to carry a man-purse without looking gay.
"It's not like you're carrying a teacup poodle," says "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fashion guru Carson Kressley. "Get over it."
I trust my dude-gendered readers are savvy enough not to take advice on how not to look gay from Queer Eye's Carson.
So step aside, Queer Eye dudes. Make way for:
Breeder Eye for the Hopelessly Hetero Guy.
Breeder-Girl EtherPundit here, HH Guys. The first thing you need to know is that inability to understand or care about what you wear comes with the Y chromosome. Most gay men can't muster any interest either. (Shhh! Let's keep their little secret!)
As you know, all fashion trends are designed to make you feel foolish if you don't buy into them, and make you look like a pathetic, insecure poseur if you do buy into them. So you're safe continuing to ignore all articles about what other guys are allegedly wearing.
"But Breeder-Girl," you say, "I read that article about the purse, the man-purse, and even though it looks, well, y'know, gay — not that there's anything wrong with that — it seems so handy! I'm confused! I wish I could carry a purse and not look gay!"
Well, there IS a way to pull it off. First, ignore the man-purse, boy-satchel, dude-sack peddlers. And definitely ignore Carson Kressley.
Next, get a woman's purse. The more feminine, the better. Clutch it in your big burly hands. Look awkward. Hey presto! you're there.
Because, for some reason, nothing in the world makes a man look more manly than uncomfortably holding his woman's dainty purse. Even if there's no female within a 10-mile radius, I guarantee that any straight man who sees you will assume you've been separated from your woman and stuck with custody of her bag.
And no one will ever know that you're carrying a man-purse.Update: Right Wing News is on the case — er, purse — too.
March 05, 2005
You know you've made it as a blogger when...
.... people rip off your name.
EtherHOUSE, EtherPUNDIT — accept no substitutes!
March 04, 2005
Mister, you're a better man than I
On Wednesday night, I was having dinner with the EtherHub at one of our usual haunts, the Westway Diner. There's a precinct very nearby, and it's not unusual to see groups of cops eating there. This particular evening, a group of 6 or 7 NYPD Emergency Services guys came in while we were eating and sat at a large table. We were sitting near the register, and as we were getting ready to leave a while later, I noticed a guy in a black leather trenchcoat walk up to pay his check. He said, quietly, "And those cops over there — their meal's on me." The guy at the register looked confused. After a bit of discussion, the cops' waiter whipped out a calculator and added up the bill, and it was duly handed to the register guy to process. The trenchcoated man was clearly trying to remain anonymous, but one of the staff went over to the cops and spilled the beans. The cops were clearly shocked; when their benefactor was pointed out to them, it was clear none of them recognized him. Nevertheless, one by one, the cops climbed out of the booth and walked over to thank the trenchcoated man.
"Hey, man, you didn't have to do that!" one of the cops said gratefully. "Aw, shut up," the trenchcoated man said affectionately, shaking the cop's hand.
Trenchcoat Dude, EtherHub and I left the diner at the same time. I gave Trenchcoat a thumbs-up and a smile. He smiled back shyly and said, "Thanks."
I don't know what Trenchcoat's backstory is, or what inspired him. All I know is: What a mensch.
And they say the big city is heartless.
February 28, 2005
Why I married the EtherHub.
Because he's the kind of person who would look out the window at the snow that's falling now, and say in a deadpan voice,
"Winter Wonderland, or Holly Jolly Hellhole?"
February 24, 2005
What else should I be? All apologies.
Young as this blog is, I know I already have regular readers. And I know they're sometimes disappointed when they swing by and find nothing new.
I don't know how your average Joe Blogstein or Jane Blogovich finds time to post every day, to be honest. I'm guessing some of them are sporadically employed, or not employed at all; others have a job that allows them to post periodically during the day, either because they work from home or have blog-friendly bosses. Me, I can't blog at my job. Most weekdays, I leave home early and come back late.
What's my groove? Maybe I won't know until I click into it. I'd like to be pithy like Insty or deep like Den Beste, or hilarious like Frank J. Clearly, no one can be all three. (Except maybe Mark Steyn, and he doesn't blog. So there.) For the moment, I'm just being ethereal like EtherPundit.
I'm still finding my way here. For lots of reasons, I don't want to reveal much about myself. I'm extremely reserved by nature, and anyway, I'm not sure the details of my life are of much interest to John Q. Blogperuser. On the other hand, people like to get a sense of whose writing it is they're reading. How much personality is enough? How much is too much? What do I want from blogging? What do my readers and potential readers want? Is this blog a confessional, a soapbox, a rude note passed to a friend in class?
Is it better to do lots of little posts, knowing I'll never have the time to be a real resource or clearinghouse for stories? Or is it better to do sporadic long, bloviating posts, showcasing what scant original thought this Blogger of Little Brain is capable of?
And finally, how much of my personal time can I afford to give up? Maybe it'll end up depending on my traffic. Maybe if I have 5000 visits a day (as I did briefly with my Rathergate anagram series), it'll be worth devoting a good deal of time to, but if I have 5 visits a day I won't bother.
Yet if I don't bother, why would I expect to get more than 5 hits a day?
Woah, dude. It's like a Zen koan. Or a Catch-22. (Is a Catch-22 the Western version of a koan?)
Anyway, comments help. Comments are very encouraging. Negative ones, okay, not so much, but even those are welcome when they show that someone's read what I've written.
January 28, 2005
Sudden realization: We are blessed. SO blessed.
Every so often, something just pulls you right up short, right out of any funk you might have been in danger of sinking into. Once in a while, the light breaks through the clouds of January gloom and something illuminates your mood as if the very face of God were beaming down its favor upon you.
That something is seldom an internet pop-up ad.
That's why I wanted to share this sure-fire day-brightener.*
I never thought the use of the past conditional tense could bring me such joy.
Think what we nearly had, or should I say what we nearly lost. Think how January 20th could have felt. Keep your "FREE $100," spamsters. The feeling I get from this ad is priceless.
Is it odd for an athiest to thank God? Maybe I'll just stick to thanking all of those much-maligned Jesuslanders. Thanks, "Jesusland!" No matter what the pundits tell you, someone in New York City loves ya.
* The ad's not live. Don't bother clicking on it. Just savor the sight.
January 25, 2005
You link me! You really, really link me!
Normally, you understand, I display a ladylike, virtuous modesty. My ears redden at the very mention of my name. Excessive praise gives me the vapors.
Still, I can't let this last week go without comment. And that comment is: WOW.
My first week of serious blogging, and I get linked by my favorite blogs in the world, blogs I’ve admired for years:
Not to mention getting blogrolled by SlantPoint and linked by assorted kind folks all over the blogosphere.
According to my hit counter, a high percentage of visitors spent a good deal of time here, poking around, which is a good thing. Now the fun part begins: Generating new content to keep this site worth coming back to. I’d tell you some of the things I have planned... but no. You’ll have to come back to find out.
* "Heh" is a trademark of the Instapundit International Sinister Rightwing Consortium.
January 22, 2005
Snow rhyme or reason.
Okay, it's snowing in Brooklyn. It's snowing quite heavily, and it's very cold. Right.
But such things are far from unknown in New York. We have a big snowstorm at least once or twice a year. Some winters we've had several.
So what explains the behavior of people who flock to the corner supermarket and stock up on food as if it were their last chance to eat before the apocalypse? The Donner Party, in their wildest fever dreams of abundance, would have shown more self-restraint.
I went to our small local grocery to buy a quart of milk, and the tiny place was crammed to paralysis with neighborhood families, mostly quite plump. They were wild-eyed, grabbing things I had a feeling they never would have dreamt of buying if it weren't snowing -- buckets of cottage cheese, enough frozen shrimp to cater a wedding reception, canned tomato paste by the half-dozen -- and their pushing carts choked the aisles.
I quickly realized that the supermarket was un-navigable. Horrifyingly, I was left with only one alternative:* Go to one of the other half-dozen places to buy food staples within a 3-block range of my house. For GOD'S SAKE, people! Every other storefront in Park Slope is a place to buy food! Granny will not starve, you have my word!
*Or I suppose I could just take my coffee black for a day, if necessary, but apparently that's the kind of sacrifice that could kill us all, leaving Park Slope strewn with the corpses of the starved, her streets piled high with withered bodies, dessicated skin tented over dry bones, half buried in drifting snow, with no one left to weep for them but the moaning wind.
December 11, 2004
EtherHouse undergoing renovations
It's a shame to post this sporadically when you're trying to get a blog off the ground. But I'm still trying to drag EtherHouse, bit by binary bit, from TypePad to Movable Type. Had to switch hosts, ending up where I probably should have started, at Hosting Matters. Now we'll see if we can whip the thing into shape and go live with my real URL: EtherHouse.com.
I must admit that I've also been enjoying a little decompression from the news and blogs in general for the last week or so. It's the first time since Sept. 2001 that I've actually felt able to relax my vigilance. Don't ask me what good it ever did anyway, staring with bloodshot eyes at talking heads on the TV while tense music blared the latest alert, or reading political blogs until my wrist was numb from mousing. Apparently some part of my lizard brain thought it was very important that I follow all the polls, as if victory depended solely on my unwavering attention.
In a way, Nov 3 was as big a turning point in my life as Sept 11 was. It silenced so much unbearable din. Bush's victory, apart from anything else it achieved, had a major effect on my personal life; it muted a lot of the constant rage and hostility that had been emanating from so many of my friends and colleagues for so long. Bear in mind that I'm a deeply closeted Bush supporter, so the rage and hostility weren't directed at me personally. They just permeated the atmosphere like new elements. Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, rage, and hostility.
Shortly before the election, the EtherHub and I very cautiously bought a bottle of champagne. There was quite a lot of voodoo around the whole purchase. "Well, there's every chance we won't use this." "Oh, that's for sure. We could always use it on New Year's." "That's really what it's for, now that I think of it. New Year's. Or some wedding in the future. If it happens to get used on Election Night, well, that's a nice bonus..." We were so careful not to jinx anything.
We spent election night in a hotel room in Philly. The champagne was cooling in an ice bucket. When Fox called Ohio for Bush, neither of us reached for the champagne. "It's just one network," I said calmly.
When NBC called Ohio, we popped the cork and filled the flutes I'd bought just for the occasion. I had tested all the glasses in the store until I found the ones that made the most pleasing "ding!" when clinked together. And we ding!ed ourselves silly in the early morning hours of Nov. 3. Again and again. Every time we heard something we liked: whooping, laughter, ding!, and a sip of champagne. Daschle got several goodbye ding!s too. There was so much good news we could have ding!ed our way through two bottles.
And now it turns out we could've bought a case. There's been so much good news lately that I hardly know what to make of it. It's taken a while to learn how to push aside the "so when's the brutal payback coming?" anxieties, but I figured out how to deal with it.
I feel like a new woman. And for this one brief shining moment, I'm really enjoying not having a passionate opinion on 50 things a day. So bear with me; I'm sure this phase won't last, and I'll be refreshed and extra-feisty when I'm ready to come out swingin'.