Monday, February 27, 2006

Olympic Completion and Confession

Here it is, chillin' with the winner of the 50K Cross Country while a cute little girl is singing the Italian national anthem:

And with the skating flamers:

And break for commercial:

Yes, it's done. I finished it at precisely 5:49 last night. I'm wearing it right now and it is quite comfortable and warm.

But I do have a confession to make. Though you can't see it, my hoodie has no hood. I knit a hood. A gigantic gray hood that would've suited a beach ball quite well, and in knitting that hood that looked to be almost the same size as the rest of the sweater, I realized that I never wear the hoods on my hoodies, even when they are for normal heads. I have a smallish head. Most hats are too big for me, so the gargantuan gray hood just wasn't going to cut it. And so, I decided to make a simple rolled collar instead. I went back to my primary motivation for wanting this sweater, which was to keep me warm on days like today when the cold breaks right through the walls, and I went with that. Maybe it was a cop-out, I dunno, but if you had seen that gray hood, you would've developed a deep disdain for useless hoods as well. My hoodless hoodie has come to terms with its altered self and feels complete (and warm and soft by the way).

PS. I also suck as putting in zippers.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Quick updates

1. JMom is due here in a few hours and so far I haven't outed my blogging to her. This is going to make for some scarce blog time while she's here.

2. I have 1 sleeve and the hood left to do on my hoodie. I'm worried that I may run out of yarn, which would be bad, very bad. I'm already trying to visualize how a gray hood with red border would look on it. Or black? Opinions?

3. Little A is at work with me today. Hello Kitty has been performing Phantom of the Opera very convincingly.

4. We're off to lunch with L. I may not see you guys til Monday AM with hoodie in hand (and camera), but hopefully I'll be able to slip in for a little reading, if not writing!

(5. Does anyone else find it weird that the blogger spell check tries to replacing blogging with flogging and blog with bloc? You'd think it would get those two....)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Distraction anyone?

I have always thought that the best way to get something done on deadline is to do something completely unrelated and unnecessary and time-consuming. You think I'm joking?

When I had two major tests and a ten page paper to write as an undergrad, I decided that the most pressing task at hand was to make a little patchwork backpack. It was the thing I must do next. I simply could not continue with my education until this bag was done. So, I spent 3 hours sewing, and then fell asleep. Luckily, my dorm caught on fire that night (no, I didn't have anything to do with it) and I was given a stay of execution on those deadlines.

When I had to write a final for a summer course, I decided that what I really needed was a day off. I was just too stressed you see? I needed some time to unwind before settling into my "writing zone". So, I spent the day boozing and smoking with N. He was just my neighbor back then, and it was imperative that we spend a day of quality time before I embarked on the paper.

And the most recent evidence of my stupidity of this habit?

Yup, with the end of the Knitting Olympics just a week away, and my Olympic project maybe 1/4 done, this heap of yarn became the most pressing thing on my list. It's recycled from a sweater. That's probably two of the sleeves there, though I ripped it apart a long time ago, so I'm not sure.

Remember my little issue with the Noro? Well since my first attempt, my self-striping technique (and yes, I use that word lightly) has been simmering in my mind. So here is the second attempt. (details, JUST IN CASE you want to try it. And you KNOW you do!)

First, I wrapped the yarn onto little plastic bobbins. I made these from one of those weird flexible cutting boards. I wanted the stripes to be fairly regular, so I wrapped the yarn about 50-60 times around each bobbin.

Then I soaked them for about 20 minutes in warm, not hot, water.

While those were soaking, I gathered together all the stuff I needed. Mason jars, (put them on the microwave tray BEFORE making the dyes, or you'll be dealing with a tie-dyed floor when you try to juggle them all to the microwave), vinegar, and (eh hem) "dye".

Next, I mixed up a base dye. My last attempt had some ungainly colors mixed together, so I thought that starting with a base might help.

What did I use to get that lovely color?

1 Ice Blue Raspberry Lemonade, 1 Raspberry Reaction, @1 cup of water, and @2 Tablespoons Vinegar.

Then I added various, reds, blues and purples to get my four stripe colors.

I got my yarn from the bathroom, and dealt it around the colors. In the end, it looked like this colorful mound of spaghetti:

I nuked it for 3 minutes, rest for 2 minutes about 4 times. You can tell when it's done because the water has little or no color left in it. (Though some Kool-aids leave that weird white hazy stuff....JMom and I researched's just salt. Weird, huh?) This is it, just about there. One more zap and it should be done.

When its cool enough to handle, dump it all back into warm water to rinse.

After rinsing, I wound the bobbins into a hank, washed it with shampoo, rinsed and dried. It was a little disappointing....waaay too much white.

The dye just didn't soaked down to the under layers on the bobbin. I'll probably re-dye that one with the base color and it will still look nifty, but my self-striping CLEARLY needs a little tweaking still. So, I got back to my Olympic knitting and vowed to try again another day started all over again. I made longer bobbins and wrapped the yarn so that it only was layered twice.

Of course, I forgot a key step...the pre-soaking. But I was still able to end up with this.

I'm positive that the dye would have been more even and deep had I not been a terd about the pre-soaking, but whatever. I was pretty happy with that result and it seems like a keeper of a technique (with a little tweaking here and there of course....always a little tweaking).

And so the Olympic knitting? Well, I got this done after all my procrastinating stupidity:

Which isn't bad, but certainly isn't Olympic speed. By the way, posing with endless rows of ribbing is my childhood charm necklace. (I told you I'd TRY to find something to jazz up these pictures, didn't I?)

Friday, February 17, 2006

The February Blues

February is my absolute least favorite month. It sits there pretending to be all unassuming and cute with its little 28 days, but really its cold and empty and ruthless. Everyday feels like a marathon of obstacles and disappointments.

Last week, about this time, I thought, "Wow, I'm doing ok this February. It's going pretty fast." Now, a week later, I feel like I've been trapped in this soul-sucking black hole forever. It's not even just the weather. It's been oddly warm here in New England, and I could feel the warmth and the sun trying to coax me out of February yesterday afternoon, trying to convince me that everything was zippity-do-dah. But its all a tease. It's February folks, and its not going to let us off the hook just because we got thrown a sunny 55 degree day.

And so I hate February. I hate the way it takes every happy moment and puts a bitter edge on it. I hate the way it makes me lethargic, and then makes me hate me for being so lazy. I hate the way it drops everything that I pick up. I hate the way it makes me crave warmth, but even when I am warm, it never feels warm enough. Ditto with love. I hate the way it taunts me with Valentine's Day, trying to convince me that it's full of love when it's really just there to make me wonder where the love has gone it buried underneath the flowers and generic cards? Where is that fucking love come February? I hate the way it kicks me when I am down, throwing accusations of what I already fear at me from soul-less doctors sources, making me constantly question myself and fear that I'm just fucking it alllllll up. I hate February more than I could possibly express.

I'm not a big lyric posting fan, but this is exactly what I mean, and this song soothes me through the cold emptiness of February almost every year. I sing it in the car, I sing it in the shower, I hum it at work. And eventually, if I keep just curling up inside under the blanket of quiet melodic truth, it seems to become spring. February has hit me fully in the stomach, and this seems to be the only recourse I've got now.

February - Dar Williams

I threw your keys in the water, I looked back,
they'd frozen halfway down in the ice.
They froze up so quickly, the keys and their owners,
Even after the anger, it all turned silent, and
The everyday turned solitary,
So we came to February.

First we forgot where we'd planted those bulbs last year,
Then we forgot that we'd planted at all,
Then we forgot what plants are altogether,
And I blamed you for my freezing and forgetting and
The nights were long and cold and scary,
Can we live through February?

You know I think Christmas was a long red glare,
Shot up like a warning, we gave presents without cards,
And then the snow,
And then the snow came, we were always out shoveling,
And we'd drop to sleep exhausted,
Then we'd wake up, and its snowing.

And February was so long that it lasted into march
And found us walking a path alone together.
You stopped and pointed and you said, "That's a crocus",
And I said "What's a crocus? And you said, "Its a flower",
I tried to remember, but I said "What's a flower?"
You said, "I still love you."

The leaves were turning as we drove to the hardware store,
My new lover made me keys to the house,
And when we got home, well we just started chopping wood,
Because you never know how next year will be,
And well gather all our arms can carry,
I have lost to February.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Olympic Progress

I realized as I was uploading these pictures that they aren't the most thrilling things to look at. So, I vow to you all that, for next time, I will find something interesting to live in the pictures for scale and boredom-away.

Day 1: Cast on at 2pm, February 10th, Opening Ceremonies, Asleep by Japan.

Day 2: Knitty rejection bright and early on a Saturday morning! Didn't feel like a WHOLE lot of knitting.

Day 3: Snow day, movies, luge, downhill, and....CURLING! My new favorite sport to watch. It's slow enough for my feeble old brain.

Day 4: Yeah...that one was a wash.

Day 5: V-Day. I've already mentioned my issues regarding this one, haven't I?

Day 6: Making some progress finally. At about 9". Hoping to get to the armpits tonight, but then, I've been saying that for four nights. And in case anyone is wondering, NO, I still haven't figured out the pattern. Haha! I love to live on the edge. The design in my head changes on a daily basis.

Enraged and asking the interweb

Ok, so I may have finally found a place to complain about Dr. Evil in the last post. They say that the complaint may be on any of the following grounds. I took out the ones that are clearly not so....

1. Commitment of an offense against any provision of the laws of the Commonwealth relating to the practice of medicine, or any rule or regulation adopted thereunder. - Who knows?

2. Conduct which places into question the physician's competence to practice medicine, including but not limited to gross misconduct in the practice of medicine, or practicing medicine fraudulently, or beyond its authorized scope, or with gross incompetence, or with gross negligence on a particular occasion or negligence on repeated occasions. - I'm thinking that this is the one, yes? This is where I need your advice....I would consider bad parenting advice way beyond the "authorized scope" not to mention the whole "gross misconduct" thing....does that seem right? And not like I'm just acting pissed, but having a legitimate complaint? I know, right now, to repeated cursing probably calls me into question so I'm trying to find what can legitimately be done.

3. Being insane.- Dude, seriously...this is on here. I wonder how many people file claims about their insane doctor?

Evil, thy name is New Doctor

And old doctor all at once because I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever go back or bring my child back to that horrid woman ever again.

So....the new doctor wasn't great, did you get that? It's really too bad because I was really looking forward to having a female doctor for both Little A and I. I TRIED to remain positive for as long as possible. I mentally noted how she kind of sounded like Joan Cusack and tried to be humored by her. But there was nothing humorous about the bubbling pit of evil emanating from her soul. I couldn't even sleep last night, hours and hours after the appointment because my blood was still boiling.
Oh where, oh where do I start?
How about from the beginning?

Enraging moment #1:
DR: How old are you?
Little A: (pauses) Seven.
DR: (In the snarkiest voice I've ever heard out of an adult....) Well, that took you a while. (As if to say to my child, "What are you stupid?")
Little A: Well, I was just trying to decided whether to say seven or seven and a half. (giggles...still oblivious to the evil.)
DR: Oh.
This is about the last time that the Dr. Evil addresses Little A even though I keep trying to redirect her to asking Little A questions that she can answer just as well if not better than me. Like "Does her stomach hurt?" Well, she tells me that it doesn't, why don't you ask her??

Enraging moment #2:
DR: So she still uses pull-ups at night?
Me: Yeah. I wet the bed when I was little too, and she sleeps just like me. You could land an airplane next to her head and she wouldn't wake up.
DR: So, is there any embarrassment in that?
Me: What do you mean?
DR: Do you embarrass her about it? You know make her feel ashamed...
Me: Uh....noooooo.
DR: Well, that's your problem.
So I've just told her that she's nearly unconscious when she sleeps, that its hereditary and yet STILL she believes that the only acceptable course of action is to (and of course implying every moment that I'm a horrible parent because I don't) SHAME my child about pull-ups. I guess if she had stayed on WebMD a little longer she might have read: If bed-wetting is related to emotional stress, the child will usually regain bladder control when the stress is relieved or dealt with. Older children who wet the bed, especially girls, are more likely to show signs of emotional stress and to be more difficult to treat. Great so Dr. Evil's idea is to turn a probable physical problem into an emotional one and tell me that I'm a bad, bad mother because I don't treat my kid like crap.

Enraging moment #3:
DR: She's seven, she really shouldn't be wetting the bed. You should've brought her in long before this.
ME: Well, I bring her in every year for her physical and I've always told the doctor about it and he's always said to not worry too much, some kids just take longer....
DR: Yeah, well, whatever.

Enraging moment #4:
DR: (To Little A about the poo accidents over the past few days) You shouldn't poop in your pants, do you know why?
Little A: Looking at her like she's starting to get that she's devil spawn.
DR: Because then you stink. You smell.
Okaaaay. You're a FUCKING DOCTOR BITCH. You don't think you could've give her some reasons about being clean and healthy???

We were like 20 minutes into the appointment before we even got the the poo-reason we were there. For a minute I tried to be happy that I was getting so much doctor face time, then I realized it must be because she has no other patients. There are SO many enraging moments, I just can't possibly write them all, but you're all getting the gist, eh?

All of this was nicely accompanied by the fact that she didn't know ANYTHING. She kept running to her computer to look up things (like what...on WebMD incompetent bitch?). I had to repeat everything I told her or asked her about TEN times each just to get a response, and very often her very professional response was "Whatever". Yes, when I told her that the poo issue had been getting better over the past two days with the help of pounds of vegetables and prune juice, she says, "whatever" and goes about her business of setting up appointments with this specialist or that specialist. NEVER once did she recognize or consider that this all might be due to a little stomach bug going around the school. Not even once. And I had to tell her/ask her many many times about the potential of Little A having a reaction to drinking cow's milk. Several of those times were also countered with "Whatever". There may be more I need to rage about, but the blood in my veins is circling my body so quickly, I feel like I may just be about to burst out of my shirt into a lovely vengeful green and go kick some Dr. Evil Ass.

So today, I'm getting another new doctor. Fun for all.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Patterning's a Bloomin' Hat!

Is now for sale (or will be this afternoon) at The Island Yarn Company in Waltham, MA for $4.00. If you want the pattern, and are no where NEAR Waltham, drop me an email. Others are coming soon.

Please excuse my shameless advertising.

(Isn't Little A TOOOOO cute in that picture though?)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A dozen roses?

Nope, a dozen things to bitch about on this fine VD. You may notice that I'm not in the highest of spirits.

1. Little A has a tummy issue. I am now the keeper of all the poop in the world. Between kitty and Little A, this is no joke.

2. Our doctor moved, so today I have to find a new doctor and beg for an appointment for Little A.

4. I also have to beg for a refill on the old birth control pills from a doctor who has never seen me and who I'm sure will point out that I'm several months over due for the (ick) pap smear ceremony.

5. I just unburied myself from 17" of snow. This one is less bitching than is sounds like. I get paid for bring it on.

6. Though its the 14th, I think my Valentine's Day is the equivalent of everyone else's Friday the 13th. With someone or no, it always seems like a big blow hard day.

7. On that note, N and I had a fight last night. Well, more silent treatment than fight, but it continued into this morning. We begrudgingly handed each other gifts and said "Happy Fucking Valentine's Day". His card made me cry because in light of said argument it seemed like total bullshit.

8. My jaw hurts. Hopefully just from clenching it in stress/rage and not prelim TMJ or something retarded like that.

9. My knitting for the knitting Olympics seems like its going slower than it should. And I'm already sick of endless ribbing.

10. I have two LARGE piles of unfolded laundry on my living room floor.

11. I forgot breakfast. And lunch. Oh, and dinner last night because I was too pissed off to eat. I gotta go forage for food.

12. I got rejected from knitty on a pattern I was sure they'd love. And now I hate them. Petty is good, trust me.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

(63x/27 x 907y) - 4 + .56z = Hoodie

This morning I knit a couple of swatches for my Olympic Hoodie. Things were going well. I knit a ribbed swatch for the main body and a stockinette swatch for the hood. I measured the gauge and around my body and calculated how many stitches I should cast on tomorrow at 2pm. Lovely. Wonderful.

I almost stopped. I figured that I had figured out (approximately) the first 25,072 stitches. That would get me going, right?

Then I thought, "How many times am I going to screw up this hoodie and how much time should allow for those screw ups?" Then I calculated my needle size times my brain size and divided that by the humiliation caused by the level of potential defeat from not finishing the Hoodie by the closing ceremonies. That was (approximately) 7.567 months. Crap.

So, I embarked. I embarked on math. MATH.

I measured the length from where I wanted the bottom of the sweater to my armpit. Then I realized that was the easy part that I had already done. Crap!

Then I measured from my armpit to my shoulder. Then from that shoulder area to the middle of my torso (where the zipper would be). Then, I did (get this) THE PYTHAGOREAN THEOREM. Yes, I sure did. And I think I even did it right.

Of course when I got my answer, I found that my sweater was only going to come to my belly button, and I just don't have the belly for that nonsense. So then I measured from my shoulder to where I really wanted the hoodie to end.

And then I stared at the paper for a long, long time. I drew a doodle of the hoodie in my head. I multiplied some numbers that meant nothing. I felt proud that I had done the Pythagorean theorem. Then I had lunch. Then I wrote in my blog.

So here I am. Knowing full well what the first 25,072 stitches should look like and having no clue how to make the sleeves do what they should. I've designed a couple of baby sweaters, so I'm not quite sure why I'm a special kind of 'tard when it comes to these hoodie numbers.

And so do you all know what time it is now? Time to bail out of the Olympics? No, no, no. Time to take a nap? Sadly, no. Time to buy liquor? Well, yes probably, but that will have to wait until I'm technically off the clock. It is time to make it up. Yup, it's time to pull some select numbers straight out of me arse, write them on a piece of paper, and pretend like they represent some coherent pattern.

I'm tellin' yuh....I'm feeling like a figure skater who throws in a Triple Axle at the end, just for the hell of it. The same figure skater who falls directly on her arse for said arrogance and spends the next 3 years in physical therapy.

Those special little words

N's pretty good with a lot of those special little words. On our good days, I can be virtually showered with special little words.

There are, however, two little words that I'm trying to teach him that would improve our relationship 100 fold.

We would have blissful sunrises and afternoons filled with energetic exchange. We would be more balanced and optimistic about the entire world around us. Little spats would melt away under the warmth of those words. Delectable meals would be created and hearts would be won. If I was to only hear these two little words, our lives would be an oasis of serenity and joy.

Repeat after me.

"Coffee, dear?"

Olympic update!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I gotta get a grip...

This story made me cry this morning.

Somebody please put me out of my misery. Sappy freak.

I've been saved!

By Roo. You can all head over and thank her from saving you from reading my clouded head drivel that's been resistant to cohere into a post. Her blog rocks, if you're not reading it, something is wrong with you. And so:

Four Things

Four Jobs I've Had:

1. Roy Rogers in Carmel, NY. I like to refer to this job as "Roy Rogers Program for Budding Vegetarians".

2. Camp cook at a christian camp in NY. Yup, a christian camp.

3. Music and sewing teacher at a vocational program for adults with disabilities. This job had its perks, but this was not one of them:
(Whilst mopping up a bathroom...uh...problem)
V: I'm really disturbed by the fact that my shoes are sticking to the floor.
Co-worker: I'm really disturbed that I didn't realize I had a hole in my shoe, and now my sock is soaked in....

4. Craft fair flunky. Trying to sell handmade patchwork items to people who only wanted to spend $1 per week. It was a hold-over job while Little A was a baby. And a completely unprofitable one.

Four Movies I Watch Over and Over:
(i.e. Chic flics for a rainy day of knitting)

1. Chocolat (Could Johnny Depp BE any yummier?)

2. Ever After

3. The Wedding Singer (Could I love Drew Barrymore ANYmore? Yup, nipples 'n all)

4. Amelie

Four Places I Have Lived:

1. Marmet, West Virginia (Go ahead, Google Satellite it and you too will see what a festering pit of chemical waste it is. Not to mention the kid named JJ who loved to craddle his shotgun lovingly in his arms on his front porch.)

2. Zanesville, OH, Oh how zaney!

3. A mice and bug infested cottage at a christian camp with no shower. Apparently Jesus was supposed to cleanse us? I must've missed that service....

4. In the Brandeis Castle, 5th floor. God, I had strong thighs that year.

Four TV Shows I Love:

1. Dharma and Greg

2. M*A*S*H (me too Roo!)

3. American Idol (Go ahead and laugh. I have no explanation for myself on that one.)

4. Molto Mario

Four Favorite Books:

1. The Chronicles of Narnia (am I allowed to count all 7 as one book?) by C.S. Lewis

2. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley (I'm always a sucker for a good King Arthur story...especially one where the women rule.)

3. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins (The best Tom Robbins in my not so humble opinion.)

4. The Dark is Rising Series by Susan Cooper (Again a series, but uh...)

Four Places I Have Vacationed:

1. Ireland

2. Williamsburg, VA

3. Selkirk Shores State Park in Pulaski, NY

4. Madison, WI

Four (of the many, many) Websites I Read Every Day:

1. Roo

2. Stella

3. Tink

4. Yarnharlot

Four of my Favorite Foods:

1. fresh bread with butter

2. roasted asparagus

3. Malai Kofta from New Mother India

4. Cheese, yummy cheese

Four People I’m Tagging:

Please don't feel obligated...

1. Jayne

2. Mignon

3. SO

4. Lissa

Monday, February 06, 2006

Little A is changing

Little A has always been a kid who burns off more calories having a simple conversation than most adults burn off all day. She bounces off walls, ceilings and and unsuspecting furniture just telling you that she got to go outside for recess. Most of her sentences start, "Ok, you pretend you're..." or "Pretend I'm _______, who are you going to be?" She never tires of imagination games and can rarely glue her butt to the chair for more than 10 minutes, unless it's to draw a book.

Lately, I've noticed a calming in her. And apparently, this little shift is only something that someone like a mother who watches her scrupulously would notice. I've mentioned it to N several times, and he claims he doesn't see it. I asked her dad if he noticed that she's a little calmer, and he didn't really think so. L was over last night, and I'm dying to call her to see if she noticed. She's a mother, so she might have seen it.

For instance, in Superbowls past, I can vividly remember trying to appease Little A so that I could watch the game. I'd play with her on commercials, turn off the game and dance for certain intervals, draw with her, play card games, and still she was never satisfied. She needed constant imagination and fun, and this stupid football game was really distracting mommy from giving that to her.

Last night though, she was perfectly content to sit there on the couch, snuggled up in her footy pajamas and chit-chat. She didn't stand and bounce like a tigger on every 5th syllable, she didn't once ask me to pretend something (although she did proclaim the living room the "Hogwart's TV room"), she didn't even take me up on my offer to read to her during the commercials. She just sat and talked like any other gasp, sob, heave grownup. I can only take solace in the fact that she ate 4 gigantic cookies, and clutched a stuffed cat and a Hello Kitty purse through the whole game.
I should be happy, I know. She's growing up so very nicely and becoming a more wonderful little person everyday. She's clever, she's smart, she's creative, kind-hearted, sensitive, funny, and beautiful. But....................but........................but...................................
She's growing up. I suppose I should've expected this. I grew up, shouldn't I have expected that she might too? But the seductions of childhood are fleeting. And they're turning me into a big motherly drama queen.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Inspired by Dawn's post today.

N and I started dating about a year and a half ago. Our evening began with some abysmal pool playing and beers. Later we stopped by one of his friend's house before heading out to see an African singer. Being a Saturday night, there were no less than 15 guys hanging out in the back of the house. After meeting too many to remember, N asked me, "Are you uncomfortable being the only white person here?" Honestly, it hadn't even occurred to me. I said, "No, I'm uncomfortable being the only woman here," with a slightly nervous laugh. That hadn't even occurred to him.

At the moment, I felt like a paragon of anti-racism and found it totally weird that he hadn't noticed that I was the only woman among 15 towering men. But then, I really hadn't noticed that I was the odd color out. My little liberal high soon faded though as I started to wonder why? Why did it not even occur to me that I was the only white there, but I was the only women? Why did N have the opposite response?

It hit me right in the middle of the concert. Power. As always, it was all about power. Being white has never really put me at a disadvantage, it's never disempowered me. I've never really had to consider my white-ness in relation to anything else. It is, though we don't like to recognize the bias, the standard here in the US. N and his friends tend to have to consider race everyday...its forced upon them by every facet of society. And it becomes so ingrained that it's a knee jerk reaction for them to think that everything is about race.

Now, being a woman is often disadvantageous, if not outright dangerous. And the things that make us wary, or uncomfortable are those things within us, those parts of us that put us at risk to be hurt. I walk around being keenly aware of any man that could present danger. Being a man, and never having to feel sexism on the other end, N didn't even consider my gender to be a liability. N might well walk around everyday feeling the liability in his skin tone, while I'm feeling it from my girly parts.

And it made me see racism, sexism, classism, all the ugly ism's a lot differently. Growing up with very (politically) liberal parents with a Native American brother, attending bi-racial churches, and so on, we were taught that race should not be an issue. So don't make it one. See the person, not the race, sex, and so on. It's nice advice, but now I don't feel that its complete enough.

Besides looking at the person, you have to try to understand what might be their liability. What makes them uncomfortable around you, around anyone. And try with all the will you have to lessen and stomp out that fear for everyone and anyone, even yourself. Freedom from the fear that is rooted so deeply in those ism's is the only way we'll all truly see each other.

THAT'S the reason you don't want to talk about a vasectomy?

This morning I came into work, logged on and did my usual blog surfing in the quiet morning hours. (Good worker, eh?) I found this over at Finding Zen and naturally had to add my two measely cents. It's a hot button issue for pretty much anyone but hermits, so I couldn't restrain myself from commenting.

A little later I called my sister (still...good worker, eh?) to see if she had taken a pregnancy test. She shocked me right out of my January bordem last week by telling me that she and her husband had a little "mis-hap" with a condom and her cycle was just at that lovely time that it meant she could be pregnant. It was news. Not like 14 year old pregnant news, but still shocking. She's done with the baby thing, with two boys who are hanging their toes over the cliff of puberty, she has had no desire to return to diapers.

So this morning was the earliest that she could take a test and have any hope of it being accurate. It was negative, but so early, neither of us thought it should be completely trusted. When she had initally told me of the "mis-hap", she said that maybe she would now use this as a way to lead into a (i.e. push for) conversation about a vasectomy. I asked her this morning if she had or was going to do just that.

Sister: Nope.

V: Uh...why?

Sister: Well.....

V: Seriously, why?

Sister: Because if I started that conversation then I might find out things that I don't want to know.

V: Like what?

Sister: Like maybe [Husband] might've done things in the past and there might be issues with diseases or something.

V: Are you shitting me?

Sister: Well, I know he's not doing anything now and he's wonderful now and all that, but what the past....

V: Was there a time that you thought he did something?

Sister: There....was.....a time that was...................rocky. And maybe he did and I don't want to know about that now. I don't think he really did, but if he did, I don't want to know about that. And so I don't want to start that whole vasectomy conversation.

V: Ok, but if you did really think he did something, you're already having "mis-haps" with the freeking condoms, and that the same thing...

Sister: Well, that was just once and there's no reason for me to just keep voluntarily putting myself at risk.

This conversation went on in this circle for quite some time with various "Wouldn't he have had a blood test for this job, that thing" and her always claiming ignorance.....ending with.

V: I think your crazy.

Sister: I know it sounds crazy.

V: No, it doesn't just sound crazy, it is crazy. (Contorted mindfuck face)

My sister has been married for 14 years. Her husband is amazing. Seriously. There are very few men I would deem good enough for my sister, but he excels way past the line of entry. They aren't splitting up, she's not just waiting something out, they're there for good. So, its just a total mind-fuck for me to think that she still has this deep level of mistrust. She's planning on never having unprotected sex with him because of a slight glimmer of a possibility that he had an affair ages ago? And she'd rather do that, then just know. She acts like it's such a slim possibility, the odds are that he didn't. Big odds. Wouldn't she want to know that? Wouldn't you want that confirmation that someone had been true to you even in the hard times if it was there to get?

And if he wasn't, I'm a little shocked that since then, and his (and their) great evolution, that she wouldn't think that he might have had everything checked out? That he might've thought o not put her at risk.

This whole conversation has got me stumped. Does this mean that my sister, who is usually all about truth and awareness would rather live under this shadowy possibility for the rest of her life instead of finding out and moving on?

I'm with Stella. I'd want to know. Even if it made things rocky again for a while, I'd want to know.