La Virgen de la Bodega

No new posts within a whole week!? What's wrong with me? I'm attempting to discipline myself. I have tried to hold my blogging activity hostage to my work productivity. If I produce, then I can write for my blog.

Sigh....no production as of yet. Tonight I cheat with this little post. I didn't grade anything today! I planned to grade exams at the diner while I ate breakfast. Then I noticed I didn't have time, had to go to the city blah blah blah ...I decided to put off the city thing until tomorrow.

I will probably live a very long life. When Death comes for me I'll explain that I can just as well die tomorrow, there is no reason we can't wait one more day. Given my procrastination skills, I shall live forever. And still get nothing done.

Ah. But I am trying. Baby steps. My friend made a list of things to do in the morning and the order in which to do them. I used to spend my mornings getting confused over those decisions. It was ridiculous. I'd sit in a chair sometimes for 30 minutes going over all the things I needed done and try to pick one of them. Now I have a routine I can stick to and don't have to think about it. Unless I have to go to the store to buy cat food or breakfast, that throws the whole thing off.

La Virgen

A teenage girl packed my groceries at the store tonight. It was late so there were few people around and no line. She talked to the cashier who also looked like a teenager but a bit older. She said, "I'm still a virgin. I'm going to stay a virgin. I'm waiting until I'm married." The other girl responded, "No you won't." She said, "Yes I will! You wait and see. You want to make a bet? I will wait." The other said, "What if you never get married? Do you want to die a virgin?" The girl said, "I will get married, don't worry about that." You go girl! But, the likelihood of her making it to marriage? A lot of teenage girls want to wait but don't.

[I think I read somewhere that a large percentage of these teens who sign the virginity pledge end up having sex earlier than average. Not sure I believe that though. Anyone out there know what's up with that?]

I paid for my food. I wanted to say something to the girl. I wanted to encourage her and tell her that she could wait if she wanted to, that I was waiting and I was 29. But I couldn't make the words come out. I didn't know exactly what to say. I was afraid to say anything. I stalled as I collected the plastic bags. I get so nervous talking to people. Would it do any good anyway? What if she didn't know anyone else who waited? What if everyone told her it was impossible? Then it would be so easy for her to give up. Why should she bother trying to do the impossible? As I sorted through the questions, time passed.

I wanted to...then found myself walking out the automatic door and into the rainy night. Already I regretted my silence. I smiled at her on the way out. Lot of good that will do. The walk is too short to bother with an umbrella, especially with both hands carrying heavy bags. The rain fell in big cold drops, almost frozen so they hit hard. They splashed my glasses, blurring the world into splotches of glare. Waiting for the traffic light to change, I told myself I could say something to her next time. (Like that will happen.)

Excuses, excuses. JL: The Queen of Excuses.

What should I have said? What would you have done? Anything? Nothing?

I gave the boy another chance. But I decided to do that for rational reasons, not out of the blindness of a crush-striken girl. If the patterns return, then I will extract myself from the situation. So far, so good. Details in my next post. Which I expect to do Wednesday. I promised to have exams graded by Wednesday so when they are done I can blog. This morning, I had a nightmare about a big ungly pink rabbit named Mr. Bunny who came after me because I didn't have the tests done. It was really an angry student. For motivation, I'll picture Mr. Bunny with his fangs and bloody dialysis tube (don't ask). In my dream, I chopped off his head to keep him from telling on me. Then a new Mr. Bunny appeared!


New Year Resolution

It's not January. But the Chinese and Jewish calendars have their own New Year's. So, I can too. The JL New Year. I just turned 29 and start one more year. The last of my 20s. I want to make the most of it. I'm young, single, free, healthy, living in New York City and don't work 9-5. How sweet is that? I should live it up.

Instead, I just beat myself up for not living it up and wasting my time by staying home. Yeah, so it's hard to go out in the city and it can take 2 hours to get home on the trains late at night and stuff is expensive, so what? So just because I got depressed last year and became incapable of having fun, I stopped doing things. I gave up on my social life and having a life. Ho hum, what a droll girl am I!

One woman I met at church told me she and her husband were moving south this summer. I asked if she was happy to leave or regretful. She told me they both felt it was time to go but they were a little sad because they enjoyed their time here so much. She said they tried to make the most of it and did different things every weekend, so they had a lot of fun. I've heard other people say how much fun they have living here. I must be doing something wrong. I need to have more fun. I also need to go to church, that always helps my mood. And helps me to feel like a productive and useful human being.

Two New Year's Resolutions for my 29th year: to do at least one fun thing every week and to start going to church regularly enough to get on the rolls.

Last week was the first of the new year. The fun resolution stayed in my mind all week but I didn't do it. I moped around feeling sad about the boy. Because he never called to talk or tried to make anything up to me. Seemed like he didn't care if we never talked again. Which confirmed my fear that I was a girl of convenience for him. I was angry so that made me inconvenient and too much work. That's what I thought, anyway.

Saturday night, my housemate performed in a dramatic reading. I planned to go and got dressed but pooped out at the last minute because I didn't want to go alone. That was going to be my fun thing--though I doubted how much fun one could have watching a dramatic reading about the Tesla Coil. I prefer staying home to going out, I'd rather play on the computer or watch horror films (especially when I'm mad at men--nothing like watching zombies have their heads sliced off for releasing aggression!). I am such a total nerd on the inside. Not so much on the outside, I hope.

Please help, the nerd in me is taking over my brain and my life. I've forgotten how to have fun! What to do? What to do?

How does one have fun in this city with limited funds and no inebriation? If you lived here, what would you want to do for fun? If you came to visit what would you do for fun? If you do live here, where does a nice(?) Mormon girl go for cheap thrills?

[update on the man situation coming soon.]


This is a real question

What's the friggin point? I'm in exactly the same place I was last year, though deeper in debt and further behind.

I'm really asking you folks. I need to borrow some hope since I've run out of my own at the moment. (I also ran out of some anti-depressants a few days ago, coincidence?)
So, what gets you out of bed in the morning?


Two Roads Diverged . . .

... in a Brooklyn hood
And sorry I could not stay true
To one faith, if both I should choose
I looked down them as far as I could
To block's end, where it turned from my view;

Then I sat down on the stoop
But having foresight enough to see
the view from there was no good for me.
Because I faced a glassy, littered lot
open and unused, so long left in want

Sitting still, I'd end in the same place
an empty space, a heart like the pavement cracked.
So I surveyed both roads again
Knowing they are one way lanes,
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall remember this place with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a hood, and I --
I took the one . . .
And that will make all the difference.

*My apologies to the memory of Robert Frost, and the real poets out there. (forgive the abuse of meter, et al.) *

But today I find breathing difficult and the weight of my choices heavy. I feel the two directions of my life pulling hard. The gravity suffocating my soul. I can't stay here without choosing, becuase that's the worse decision. What am I doing? I really don't know. I do know that I won't get to make these same decisions again. That this juncture of my life is momentous, determining the years to come. Or maybe I just need more anxiety medication--since the good stuff is hard to come by, I'll assume otherwise.

I see two different lives I could wend my way through: the great and spacious building glittering me blind--thats the way the firefly inside me drives; and a narrow rocky path going straiter than strait, with a handrail to navigate the difficult place --My rational animal begs me to take that trail.

I shiver in fear both of movement and stagnation.
Two roads diverged in a Brooklyn hood. . . .


Birthday Appearance

Did he or did he not come to my party? See this post for the prequel.

He called me about 30 minutes after I published the abuse post. But I was on the way to the grocery store for party food. He said he got my message and he was confused. I told him that we could talk about it later because now was not the time. I was on the street and had little time to prepare before the guests came. He asked me what I wanted him to bring and then said he'd see me soon.

About 8:30 or 9 pm he arrived. I offered to put guests' bags in my bedroom upstairs and he said he wanted to take me up on it. Then he whispered that he had something for me. So we went up to my bedroom. He gave me two presents and a card. One gift was a wrapped box and the other was in a bookstore bag. He said he bought the bagged one tonight, on his way over. The wrapped one he got for me a long time ago but forgot to give it to me this morning. We both sat down and I opened the little present and the card. The book was a clever apology gift and included a note saying that he was sorry.

Which segued us into talking about things. I told him how angry he had made me with his stupid comment, when he said he was embarrassed to be with me. He said that of course he didn't mean it. If he meant it then he wouldn't have said it. (Cold comfort.) I asked how I was supposed to know he didn't mean something he said. He said it was a joke, it was supposed to be funny. I told him it wasn't funny. He stressed again that he didn't mean it. I said that it didn't matter if he meant it or not, hearing the words hurt. Besides, there is some truth in every joke. He asked me what would make him embarrassed to be with me? That there was nothing. I said, "Well, I couldn't be more goyish could I?" But he said he doesn't care about that. Blah blah. I said that we should go back to the party before people start talking.

He displayed his usual party behavior, hanging back and watching the others; with some conversation sprinkled into the evening. I could tell he felt upset or worried. When he told me he had to leave I walked him to the door. He apologized again and said he didn't mean the stupid thing he said and he really did wish he could stay. Did I want him to stay? I told him it didn't matter. He said he had promised his friends he would go to their parties before he knew I was having one the same night. I suggested that he should have gone to the others first and ended up at mine last. He said he would have rather done that but the timing of the parties prevented him. He felt bad about leaving. We said goodbye.

Sunday I still felt angry and just disgusted. We didn't talk. We still haven't, other than some innocuous IMs. I WILL NOT be treated this way.


Subtle Abuse

Each incident on its own seems fairly harmless. It's when they increase and then become normal and even systematic that they register on the scale as emotional abuse. He starts with an occasional joke about your faults or frailties. I never objected and even laughed because I like to laugh at myself and I usually think it's funny. Except it really isn't. Because I hate myself for those faults. I have to laugh at the fact that I'm late 9 out of 10 times, that life confuses me, I don't seem capable of planning ahead, etc. If I didn't laugh then I'd be home crying.

Part of my attraction to him was that he is good at the things I am so bad at. I hoped I could learn something from him. I even asked for advice and help at times. But then a few weeks ago, his occasional jokes expanded to teasing criticism. Which I let him do because he wasn't criticizing anything that wasn't true; and maybe I needed a kick in the rear end. Maybe it would be good for me. But it got irritating. The first annoying one: "you should have read the articles days ago instead of right before class and that wouldn't have happened." Oh yeah? No kidding.

Then the criticism extended to things that are not in fact problems for me. For example, I just got my student loan money so I decided to get new glasses. I hadn't done that in 5 years, my old ones were disgusting and too weak. On the phone, I told him about wanting to buy new glasses and maybe get a haircut. He responded with, "So now that you have some money you are just going to go spend it all? Don't forget you have to buy medicine and stuff." What? How could I EVER forget that 30% of my income goes to my medical care?? Since when are new glasses and a haircut (the first one in 2 years) frivolous expenditures? That made a little red flag go up. He was getting overzealous with the advising thing.

The next weekend I was at his place and his criticism started getting obnoxious. That's when he said the first really mean thing. I had to go to the store to buy some 'girl supplies'. He didn't want me to leave but this was obviously a necessity he couldn't talk me out of. I wanted to go to the store and then home. He asked me why I needed to go to the store if I was going home? Why didn't I just get the stuff and come back? I told him I didn't think I had any at home either. Then he said, "If that's true then you must be the most irresponsible woman alive." He didn't even try to make it sound like a joke, he was scornful. I found it hurtful. And out of line. I defended myself but shouldn't have bothered.

Another sign of abuse, he never tempers the criticism with compliments. Since November, he has said exactly three complimentary things to me: 'you're funny', 'you have beautiful hair' and 'you're adorable.' The last one doesn't count because he said it on our first date. I have tried to say nice things to him because that's what you do, and I wanted him to feel good. His glaring omission of compliments told me that he has confidence issues. I hoped he'd get over it when he felt more secure with me.

Men with low self-esteem feel they don't deserve the women they are with, and they're afraid the woman will realize this and leave them. So they don't want to do anything that might help her see that she can do better. That means not giving compliments. I hoped it would end there. But, unfortunately, it also means they try to break the woman's confidence. By constantly reminding her of her inadequacies he can blind her to his own. Having learned this by experience, I made two rules to weed out the abusers. 1. Don't date shy men, they have obvious self-esteem issues. 2. Never go out with a man who didn't have the confidence to ask me out himself. The rules worked, I haven't dated another abuser since.

But I broke them with this one. And today he crossed the line with an unambiguous and cruel comment. After being with him on Friday night when he laid into me with some speech about how I need to figure out what I want and go get it because I am too timid. And that passivity is unbecoming at times....and on and on.... I am not a timid person! I'm shy with people, but that's it. So I felt confused this morning, wondering why he thought that of me. But we had planned to spend the day together working. So today, which happens to be my birthday, we ate together and worked on our papers. He teased me some during the day but he said nothing particularly hurtful.

Just before I left he levelled the big ugly at me. I asked if he wanted to keep things on the downlow tonight with our fellow students. He said: Yes, it's best not to be the object of gossip. I said I agreed and just wanted to know what to expect. Then he said, 'besides I'm embarrassed to be with you.' That's not funny. In no context are those words EVER funny or acceptable. I responded with 'Oh, so that's why you never take me out then.' I wasn't joking, he doesn't. He ignored that and instead said, "Actually, that woman who lives downstairs. The one who met you. She thinks you're pretty. She told me so. She told me you were pretty." With a backhanded insult he implied that there is only person in the world who thinks I'm pretty. And that person is not him.

When I left I felt like crap. That comment made me angry. And so did something else. He has 3 parties tonight, so he explained to me that he's coming to my party first then going uptown for an hour and then to a party on 40th street where he'll stay until he's tired. His ordering of events tells me that his friends are more important and/or more fun than the woman he has been dating since November. And he didn't do anything for my birthday, other than to say 'Happy Birthday' and give me a kiss on the cheek. He didn't even bother to shower for me, he wore his dirty sleeping clothes all morning and afternoon. I asked if he was going to take a shower, but he just grinned. Totally disrespectful. I'm not even his girlfriend and he's already dropped the pretense of caring how he looks?

While on the way home, I determined not to go to his house anymore. I'd call him when I got home and tell him so. As I walked, I tried to figure out why I always felt bad after being with him. I started reviewing all the mean things he said and did to me in the past two days...and beyond. By the time I got home I fumed in anger. I called him but he didn't pick up the phone. Even though I knew his sorry butt was home. (He had to have known he pissed me off today, I have a very expressive face.) I left him a message. I ended it by saying he didn't have to come to my party tonight. He was under no obligation.

I'm too old for this. He's so gone. Happy birthday. Oh yeah, he hasn't returned my call. I said he could call me back if he wanted, or not. Does he have the cojones to show up? Place your bets below! I'll let you know tomorrow.


Time and the City

How does it happen? This city is a thief of time. I planned to come home after class (2-4pm) and doing a few errands, to work on one of my papers. I got out of class on time, stopped by the office to see if I had mail. Then I went down to the Staples store to look for a USB to parallel port converter for my cheap printer. But I couldn't find any such thing. Then I looked around for other things I might need. I got some birthday money this week so I decided to splurge on new computer speakers since mine are completely broken. Made a quick phone call. Then I went to another store a few blocks away to see if I could find a replacement for the hat that I lost last week. That store has 3 floors and is only accessible via an elevator, so it took awhile. And I had to try some things on and bought myself some new jammies, also with birthday money.

I had planned to go to the vet to buy special diabetes food for my cat. (She isn't dying! She has diabetes which is treatable, yay!) But, it was after 5 when I got out of the store and I knew the food would be heavy. Because I already had to carry the speakers, and because it still snowed and I knew going to the vet meant changing trains and having to walk quite a few blocks both going and coming and to transfer train lines....I chose to nix the vet trip for today.

Living in New York requires many little life adjustments. Shopping, for example is a whole new experience because you have to carry your purchases home. When I go to the grocery store I only buy one or two heavy things like milk and orange juice, to make the walk home bearable. And it's best to shop only for one week's worth of food at a time.

Today it took an hour to get home from mid-town because of rush hour. Getting home after 6, I unloaded my packages and bookbag and coat and scarf, etc. Installed my new speakers. Checked my email. Made two phone calls. Fed the cats. Knocked on the basement door to deliver a message to the boy who lives there. He wasn't home so I went up to the kitchen to write him a note. Went downstairs to push the note under his door. Made some dinner (poured cereal and milk into a bowl.) Checked my blog. Had a quick IM convo with a friend....and now it is 9 pm!!!!!!!!! I don't understand how it got so late so quickly and I have done no work.

Everyday goes like this. It took me 3 hours on Friday to go to midtown to pick up a package at school and then go to Brooklyn to the vet to pick up something. 3 hours! Commuting requires waiting, going up and down stairs, and shoving through crowds, and walking in the cold, and changing trains which means more waiting, and carrying bags and packages.... A very different life from the way I lived before.

I haven't adjusted yet to city time. It has taken almost 3 years for me to finally understand that I need to give myself 45 minutes to an hour to go ANYwhere on the train. If it's far away then it takes even longer. The fact that I will always be tired in the evening after going places in the city has not yet sunk into my consciousness. I always think I can work when I get home, because I never expect to be so tired. So nothing gets done as planned.

One of these days I'll get used to living here. Probably right before I have to leave.


'He said, She said, ' in the 21st Century

Oddness. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, I've watched the world changed in ways we couldn't have dreamed of. For example, I remember when:
*Answering machines were new. We never got one because my mother thought they were tacky.
*Everyone else played Mario Bros on their Nintendo while we played Asteroids on our Atari
*Everyone started getting VCRs and movie rental stores proliferated
*Blockbuster killed the independent video store. My dad bought out their C-movie collections for 99 cents each. What a bargain.
*The advent of the dollar store. And the world is still reeling
*Call waiting retired the busy signal, remember how annoying it was?
*Only nerds had computers, like my dad
*Talking cars were going to be the wave of the future. The 84 New Yorker I drove in school was so cute when it talked, but it thought my door was a jar.
*Michael Jackson was good looking
*Velcro was high tech
*Using a typewriter for school assignments meant someone was an over-achiever
*Using a dot matrix printer for papers took forever and were the bane of procrastinators everywhere.
*At my first job in the courthouse, some of my co-workers smoked all day long INSIDE their offices.
*Going to college, I got my first ever email and voicemail account.
*Only yuppies and doctors had cellphones
*Online internet service revived the busy signal
*Men and women argued only about real life instead of virtual things.

Yes, this is another post about blogging. And dating. And blogging and dating.

The NY Times published a piece about dating blogs and how they were becoming a threat to people's privacy. Though most people interviewed thought that as long as bloggers used pseudonyms for other people then there is nothing wrong with writing about them. Besides, past boyfriends have no concern with my blog. But. What to do about current relationships?

I seem to be in some kind of relationship at the moment, what kind I don't know. We've dated about 3 months. In the past, most of my relationships burned out at 2 or 3 months, the rest didn't last past 6. I would get caught up in the excitement of a new person, new romance, the honeymoon phase. Then when the shine of the honeymoon faded, the real person emerged and we realized we didn't like each other. And that ended that.

My excuses for such adolescent behavior follows. Going to a women's college made dating purely extracurricular and men nothing more than meat.I never experienced the friend-to-boyfriend development. Which meant I only dated strangers. Randomly finding someone with whom one has compatibility is more than difficult. After college, I thought I should only date Mormons. So I tried. Nothing ever went very far. Dating is so serious an undertaking for LDS that one doesn't do it lightly, nor stay with someone unmarriagable. My most serious relationship got truncated by moving to New York.

So now I'm 28 and without experience of the adult romantic relationship. All I have done is date, date, date, date, until the thought makes me want to puke. But last fall I started spending time with a friendly acquaintance, I always found him interesting and attractive. At first, I didn't look at him as a potential whatever because I was in love with someone when I moved to the city. And he wasn't Mormon. Meanwhile we became friendly. But he is a shy one, we never went beyond mild flirting and conversation.

Then this shy guy inexplicably turned the heat up in pursuit! I didn't encourage him. Did I? The more I like someone the less flirty I behave. And yet, he called me anyway. So we went out. We have crazy strong chemistry. The third time we hung out, the tension was so thick it reminded me of a scene in Annie Hall. Woody and Annie have an inane, awkward and uncomfortable conversation because both of them are so nervous with sexual tension; subtitles tell the viewers what the two really think. She thinks everything she said makes her sound stupid and he wonders what she looks like naked. I'm finally old enough to get Woody Allen. Yikes.

Unlike Woody and Annie, we have taken things very slowly. Instead of burning out like a match, I found we have some ingredients for a relationship: mutual attraction, common interests, intellectual equality, complementary character traits, similar aesthetic preferences, similar humor, and we study the same discipline so we can help each other with work. Socratic dialogue has taken on the role of a sport for us. We have attracted spectators/listeners on the train and in the park. It begins with a challenge, the other responds and we duke it out verbally until a clear winner emerges or I get tired. Usually, the loser concedes to the winner.

This relationship stuff is hard! It takes work when I respect the other person and actually care what happens. Who knew? When chronically single people try to get together they have to un-isolate themselves. A strange and unnatural thing. It takes effort to remember the other and include him. Besdies this ordinary stuff, I have the blog. I blogged about him. I had assumed he knew that and read it, figuring he found it through google. But, I never wanted to talk about it, way too embarassing. My blog was the elephant in the room.

A few weeks ago I grew so disgusted with myself for using the blog to vent about him that I decided to slay the elephant. I sent a long email saying that I knew he read it. I made several excuses for things posted here. And I apologized for not letting him discuss the blog when he tried to bring it up in December. (Or so I thought.)

He called me. Said he didn't know what I was talking about, he never read my blog. So I didn't have to worry. He didn't know why I thought he was reading it. Why did I? I tried to brush off the question but he pressed it. I answered that I must have read things into his actions that weren't there and I may be losing my ability to reason. He said "You are losing it. I've never seen your blog. I knew you had one but I don't know what interesting things you write there. Maybe some day you'll share them with me and we'll roast marshmallows by the fire." Then he had to go. . . .

That was not the end of this. I think he may have lied and I told him so a few days ago.

And now, as the Times predicted, my weblog is an issue, it's become a thing. 20 years ago, who could have imagined that people in the 21st century argued about someone's website? I never dreamed about growing up to date men and having to deal with things like voicemail messages, texts, IMs, and a website!

Stay tuned for Part II.


State of the Celibate

Currently, I am working on a paper. So I blog. I have new stories for you but life has overwhelmed me. Many dear readers who followed the recent not fun exploits of the Celibate have worried about me. I can't believe how sweet y'all are. I wrote several posts without a follow-up because something new always happened. So this is a catch up post. (I'm sorry for the suckiness of the blog lately, much is changing but I'll get back to the good stuff shortly, including the dating scene.)

On Teaching
In January I posted here about my fears for the new semester. How is that going? Very Well! I teach night classes, and as I hoped, no one behaves like a teenager. I do have one student who took the class before and failed it. She likes to tell me how much she hates the subject because it's irrelevant. Surprisingly, when she said this last week, another student raised his hand and explained to her the benefits of studying this discipline. How cool is that?! They are in my first class that is a little more difficult because they tend to bore easily. But the second class is wonderful. We have a great reporte already, many say goodbye or thank me at the end of class. Teaching at night doesn't mean I can afford to slack off with the discipline. My students are native New Yorkers. Their respect has to be earned.

One night, my later class started packing up because we only had 5 minutes left. One got up to leave, then the rest began to follow. Oh no. I wasn't having it. I said, "Excuse me. No. Class is not over, get back in your seats. You don't leave until I say it's time to go." Two left but the rest sat back down. One said, "You have 3 minutes." I said, "That's right. You see, this is a power issue." Someone said, "Take the power back, professor." I continued, "It is my job as your teacher to control the class and maintain an environment conducive to learning. Having people leave whenever they want is NOT conducive to learning. You don't leave until I say so." Then I finished up and dismissed them. Beautiful! I was so proud of myself.

As most women do, I live with extreme dichotomies of personality. I do have a very tough and controlling side and I have it's opposite, the timid fearful woman. Because the strong woman disappeared last year, the timid one took over. And it created a disaster! Because of that, serious anxiety htis in the morning and lingers all day before teaching. Last year I was so depressed, it was all I could do to show up let alone control 40 students AND lecture. I let myself go some in appearance. I wore these old lady comfortable shoes and didn't bother much with makeup. I probably appeared quite timid.

Not this year. I am kicking arse and taking names. The bada** inside me has re-surfaced. The old lady shoes have got to go. I usually wear boots or Doc wingtips with stacked heels. I've also tried to punk things up a little, wearing dark lipstick and black gummy bracelets and keeping up with my nails. The way teachers dress really makes a difference in how students treat them, sad but true.

Things are already much better this year and I expect that to continue.

Making up last term
Some may recall this post in which I described the bind I had gotten myself into as a student. And how I was afraid to ask the rude professor to do an independent study to make up for his class in the fall. I came up with a solution the Friday after classes started. I still hadn't registered because of my fear. Having run out of time the week before, I went to school to get the registration paperwork, still not knowing what to do about it. While sitting in the office filling out the forms, I realized....I didn't have to make-up the work with that professor! I could just take a new class, start over. That would be much more pleasant and probably less work too. Yipee.

The deptartment chair got permission to grade my papers for the visiting professor I had last fall who couldn't grade them because he went back to Oxford. Hallelujah! That man is so kind and understanding. I was afraid to talk to him about registering because I hadn't talked to the mean professor yet, what a great slacker am I! When I did go in to see him, it turned out that he hadn't emailed the Oxford don yet either, even though he agreed to do that in December. His procrastination warmed my heart because it reminded me that these are my people, we come from the same warped planet. I started the paper for him this weekend. My friend and I got together on Saturday to help each other work. We had a lovely day.

The Uterus
What is the state of my uterus? I heard from a few concerned readers regarding my uterine problems. Some of you said you prayed for me and I think that worked to the extent that I went back to my old cycle of 17 days, an improvement from 10! My blood tests came back normal. But the nurse said I still need the sonogram because there is something wrong with me, healthy people don't bleed that much.

I decided against the sonogram for the following reasons: if there is something wrong then I can't afford to fix it anyway, if it gets diagnosed now and then I get insurance it will be pre-existing and not covered, we know I don't have any STDs, if I do have fibroids then they can't do anything about it other than prescribe birth control pills which may shrink them. So, what is the point of taking a picture of them? None. This did not convince the nurse. She said I could have an endometrial biopsy instead but could expect discomfort from that since I've never given birth and they have to go up the cervix. No thank you. She refused to give me the prescription until I have some tests. Sigh.

One kind person suggested I look into getting help from the state or checking Planned Parenthood for discounted ob/gyn services. I don't qualify for state aid. I haven't looked into the PP thing yet. A few readers have emailed me asking if they could help financially. Not wanting to turn such generous people away, I have added a donation button to the bottom of the blog. Thank you kind souls who donated! For now, my uterus has calmed down and my two week cycle is livable, I feel more stable. I'll take care of this some day.

Kitty, Kitty
The sick cat. She's likely dying. I took her to the vet because I hoped it might be something small we could treat for a nominal sum. Nope. She had to have blood tests because she has the symptoms of the old cat diseases: diabetes, renal failure, or hypothyroidism. The vet should call today with the results. So I wait to find out how my beloved kitty will die. I have responded to this with complete denial, feeling nothing.

Funny thing happened on the way to the vet. I don't have a cat carrier because she's car trained and sits quietly in my lap when we travel. For this trip, I wanted to splurge for a cab, so I had to go down the block to catch one. I walked with kitty half-way inside a canvas bag, her front half clinging to my shoulder. One man I passed said, "You need to get a real baby to play with." Then he repeated himself with contempt. No doubt he wanted to offer his services, either that or I truly disgusted him. Maybe both. No cabs stopped for the woman holding a cat. I can't blame them. After I stood on the corner for awhile, watching the cabs go by, a homeless woman offered to get me a cab. Then she asked if I had any change I could give her. When she hailed the black caddy I gave her 75 cents.

This catches everything up I believe. Thank you for your concern, it means a lot that so many people who never met me could feel such compassion for me. Happy fun stories should be forthcoming soon.