Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too Good to Pass Up

For all you book lovers out there, I found a meme on Leah's blog that we must do.

The instructions are:
1. Pick up the nearest book ( of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

So blame Leah (and the fact that I'm reading blogs at work) for the following:

"That section authorizes the use of 'any professionally developed ability test' that is not 'designed, intended or used to discriminate because of race * * *.
"The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, having enforcement responsibility, has issued guidelines interpreting Section 703(h) to permit only the use of job-related tests. (See 9)."

From: Griggs v. Duke Power Co. (401 U.S. 424 (1971)) as cited in Cases and Materials on Employment Discrimination and Employment Law by Estreicher and Harper.

Aren't you glad I didn't pick up Hamilton's Corporations?

I tag anyone who would like to do this.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway!


It's that time again!! Time for another giveaway carnival sponsored by Shannon of Rocks In My Dryer and Bloggy Giveaways fame. This week, I will be giving away this lovely print of Volets Caraibes by Francois "Fanch" Ledan. The winner will receive the framed seriolithograph (10 3/8" x 9") with a certificate of authenticity. (Sorry for the reflection off the frame - that doesn't exist in real life!)

To enter this giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment below. If you do not have a blog, please leave your email address in your comment so that I may contact you. Winners will be chosen by a random number selector.

Comments will close on Friday, February 1st, 2008 at 9 AM EST.

For other fabulous giveaways this week, check out the main list over at Bloggy Giveaways! Good Luck!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Need Jane?

This is my first time participating in the Barren Bitches Book Brigade traveling book tour. This round, we read The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler.

I found the book to be OK; not the greatest book of our time, but a pleasurable read. As my mother and I might call it, a "beach read."

I was glad that I read this book as an audio book from iTunes, I find it much easier to get through certain books by listening, rather than having to slog through pages.

Question 2
Did you find the allusions to the various Austen books distracting or helpful in understanding the characters in the book? Were there enough similarities to Austen's characters for you to distinguish who was who (i.e., Jocelyn=Emma)?

I think one of the problems that I had with the book is that I have not read all of Jane Austen's novels. More familiarity with the source material would have been helpful in dealing with the material. Instead, I struggled with relating to each of the characters and how they represented Austen's characters and vice versa.

Question 6
Jocelyn and Sylvia are closer than most sisters. Their relationship has withstood many tests. Do you have a particular friend who has stood by you through thick and thin in ways that stand out from most friendships, and if so what brought you together and what keeps the relationship so special?

For me, BFF is as close as to me as my biological sister. We first met in college, where we lived on the same hall during our freshman year. We have been as thick as thieves ever since. She is truly my kindred spirit, the Diana to my Anne Shirley.

I saw many similarities between Jocelyn and Sylvia's relationship and that of BFF and me. BFF is much like Jocelyn - the sophisticated singleton who knows what she wants from the world and goes out there and takes it. I find myself to be more like Sylvia - past of a troubled, but generally happy, marriage with thoughts of children, spouse and friends crowding my mind and time.

I think our friendship lasts because our relationship is based on humor and similar trains of thought and feeling. Our common bond is not merely based on the fact that we went to college together. Like the friends in The Big Chill, we did "know each other really well for a short period of time;" but we also have "known each other forever."

Question 8
Allegra is described as "liking being an aunt. That it offered all the kid time she needed. Probably. All she wanted mostly." If you don't have your own children, but are an aunt, how important is that role to you and, what special rewards does it offer?

I do not have children of my own. I am an aunt to two small boys. I do believe that being an aunt is important. I would like that, as my nephews grow up, they can see me as a trusted adult to bounce ideas off of and learn more of how to be an adult different from their parents. Not that their parents are bad, just that I think we need more than one model for how to be a grownup.

Yet, being an aunt does not fulfill my visceral need for my own children. I do not see SIL's kids often enough, nor am I a true part of their care to feel "ownership" in their lives. I love them, but they do not ease the pangs in my heart and my womb for children of my own.

Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about The Jane Austen Book Club? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Brigade by visiting the master list at Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #10 (Embryo Culture by Beth Kohl with author participation!) and all are welcome to join along. All you need is a book and a blog.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

Just a few more minutes till I get out of here. Thank goodness. I'm just so ready for this weekend. I'm exhausted and I can feel myself losing it emotionally. Just read Jen's post about her dogs and almost started to cry. Listened to my now favorite King's Singers' song, La Peregrinacion, and tears welled up because it's just so beautiful. Um, yeah, not exactly proportional emotional responses. I'm not really sure what is bringing this on, I guess the beginnings of PMS since I've been extremely diligent about taking my Zoloft. Of course, there's been a lot of sad news around the blogosphere this week, so I've been sinking since hearing the news about Ames, Lennox and Zoe, and JJ and Mook. Life just sucks sometimes.

I'm hoping that I'll be back to my usual cherub-like demeanor (shush, you) later tonight as I'm seeing my therapist and then BFF is flying up here for her birthday weekend. Woo!

In other news, be sure to check back here on Monday as it's the start of this season's major Bloggy Giveaways and post-day for the Barren Bitches Book Club on The Jane Austen Book Club.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Little Closer

Due to technical difficulties, namely the fact that SOMEONE (whose initials are JD) is keeping me busy cleaning, my pics of the messy and less messy 2nd bedroom are not available yet. I hope to get them uploaded soon, as well as a Ta Da! picture.

Nothing much else going on - I've been crazy busy at work, so the fact that BFF is coming up tomorrow night means much anticipated awesomeness.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

WFMW: Spelling


1. an arrangement of letters that form a word or part of a word.

2. the process of forming words by putting letters together.

3. the violation of which drives Jendeis crazy!

One of my greatest pet peeves is the increasing inability of our population to spell words correctly. Not only are misspellings rampant among the blogosphere, but homonyms run wild!

Now, I'm not speaking of an errant typo or two. I'm talking about chronic, careless misspellings. Readers do judge you and make assumptions about economic class, education and general attention to detail all based on poor spelling.

Below is an easy-reference list for misspellings frequently found on the Internet:

Altar = where one gets married; Alter = change

Calendar = a date book

Definite, as in "I'm definite about spelling."

Definitely, as in "Judge Wapner is definitely on today. Definitely!"

Lose = to not win; Loose = not tight

Separate = divided

It only takes a few moments to hit the spell check and proofread your work before posting. Please do so! Learning how to spell has worked for me; for more tips, see Shannon's blog every Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Picture of My House

Yeah, right. Nice try. You ain't seeing this till it looks like people live there, not a wild pack of Alsatians.

(Plus, I forgot to take a before picture and when cleaning, JD tends to go with the whole "it gets worse before it gets better" routine, even in "just 15 minutes" sessions. I will try to take a picture tonight, however, so that you can see that progress is being made on our 2nd bedroom/computer room/JD's cave.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Scuse me while I kill this guy

Can you believe that this post is NOT about John Dear? No, instead it is about the stunningly insensitive urologist with whom we just had our consult. From now on, his name is Dr. Az-hat.

What it all boils down to is this. Dr. Az-hat is a surgeon. JD doesn't require surgery (in every one's estimation, it's not like Dr. Az-hat would give JD a physical or anything). Because Dr. Az-hat believes there's no money in our pain for him, he's getting rid of us. So, instead of doing an SA with Dr. Az-hat, he told us to just go back to Giant Fertility Center (GFC) and have an SA done there. Um, forgetting anything, Dr. Az-hat? How can we do an SA without any S?* As my brother said in preschool, "Gas hole."

Dr. Az-hat just said that we should try to do an SA with GFC, even though it might take 10 years and horrible chafing. His tip was that we should see if we can bring in the donation from home. Gee! Thanks, Dr. Az-hat!

After much questioning, Dr. Az-hat did admit that there were alternative methods, but that these would only be available in an academic setting, so JD should just give up the goods here. Then he goes on to say, once JD can do that, I don't see any problems with you getting pregnant! Um, yeah, we know that. That's the friggin' problem!!!

Thank goodness JD has the day off from work today. If he had to take time off because of this waste of space, I think he would have bolted over the desk and choked the guy. Course, he would have had to get in line to do that.

*When raging about this whole situation with BFF, she thought it was odd that you had to do some sort of inventory of sailors in the Navy to get pregnant.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Back to Where I Once Belonged

Back home in the gloomy, half-melted DC metro area. Ah, it's good to be home. My convention was quite a success -- I think we have a lot of deals set up for the coming year and it's good to reconnect with all the major players in the industry. Plus, I got to hear Tom Brokaw and Tony Blair speak!! Awesome.

The plane ride home was great, I slept from takeoff through landing. Definitely needed as the conference is a four-day marathon of schmoozing, glad handing and BS'ing. The only thing that marred the trip home was MOLD on the sandwich bought in the Ft. Lauderdale airport. Gross!

Oh, and did I mention that I suspect there were bedbugs in my hotel room?! I have bites on my hands, arms and back. Shudder. Guess what I lectured on to my company's conference last year? That's right.

Many heartfelt thanks to all of you who have commented recently. I truly appreciate your comments and support. It helps to know that y'all are out there rooting for me, even though my life sometimes seems like a bad episode of 90210. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

You Are the New Day

A new day dawns in Boca Raton, Florida, site of my conference. When I think "conference," I think seminars and lectures and round tables. This ain't no conference. The crazy is out in full force. This is a 72-hour jam-packed networking event. I have meetings back to back to back from 8 AM to 10 PM each day. This is really a convention of blue blazers and khaki pants. The people are incidental.

I've got a breakfast with a broker now, so must dash. Many apologies for the complete lack of proper paragraphing.

**Incidentally, the title of this post is actually the title of a wonderful song by The King's Singers. Beautiful song - check it out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Post That I Shouldn't Write

First, I want to thank all of you for your kind wishes and support. It means so much to me that you are out there sending good feelings into the universe on my behalf. Please know that I do the same for you, even when I am not in contact as often as you or I might wish. :)

It is probably unwise to post this, maybe I am drunk on Jane Austen novels and movies. I have struggled with myself over this post, but my need to write and confess my feelings is much stronger than my ability to exercise prudence at the moment. I trust you all for your discretion.

There is a man. I care for him deeply. He is a dear, dear friend. In the secret recesses of my heart, I have thought of him and dreamed that had John Dear and I not met and fell in love, that this man and I would be together. Timing, it seems, is everything.

JD knows of my physical attraction for this man. We once spoke of it, casually, not in any serious manner. After all, we are human and can be attracted to members of the opposite sex. I don't know whether JD knows that I have an emotional attachment to this man as well. Though I suspect this man does. He understands things, where JD does not.

And yet... and yet. "My true love hath my heart." John Dear has me mind, body and soul. I love him as he loves me. I truly believe that JD is my soul mate - the man who was born to love me, as I was for him. It was only this past weekend that I could finally understand the powerful bond that JD and I have of love and tenderness and passion that only comes with having gone through severe trials.

So, this other man, my infatuation -- I will do for him what I can -- wish him a woman who is free to care for him as deeply as I do and love both of my men enough to do that.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Mikvah

What was the secret to this weekend you all ask? Well, a large part of it was that I made my first trip to the mikvah.

For those who don't know, the mikvah is (in the very simplest, boiled down terms, that's just for me so don't comment and tell me how I've explained everything incorrectly) a Jewish ritual bath. There are lots of different rules about the mikvah -- I'll just be talking about my own experience.

For observant Jews, married women use the mikvah a certain number of days after their period has stopped. Before she visits the mikvah, she and her husband cannot have sex. This has to do with rules of cleanliness and purity, about making sex between married people a holy thing. I always liked this aspect, but was not an observant Jew, so didn't participate in this.

After doing lots of reading to explore my faith, I decided that I did want to observe the practice of going to mikvah every cycle. Not being able to have sex or touch each other in that way really builds up the tension and longing. It also ensures that you'll be having lots of sex around the time you ovulate, which ain't such a bad thing when you are TTC.

So, here's what happens (as entirely based on my experience at my mikvah):

The mikvah has a bathroom with a toilet, shower, vanity and sink. Plus, the lovely mikvah lady has supplied everything you will need; like a spa! She even has a sheet of instructions posted to tell you what to do.

The whole point of cleaning before you go in the mikvah (which looks like a cross between a pool and a hot tub) is so that the water can touch every part of your body. That means no makeup, no jewelry and no acrylic nails or nail polish (which sort of sucked, since I had acrylic nails since starting my career as I felt it was more professional and now I have grubby nails which are breaking all the time and I haven't bought clear Sally Hansen yet). You take a shower and shampoo (but don't condition) your hair. You comb through all your hair, remove any stray ones. Use a pumice on your feet, elbows and knees to remove any dry, dead skin. The whole point is to be clean, clean, clean.

Then you go in the mikvah. The water was so warm and it was, well, it felt like walking into milk. It was just soft and caressing. It was like being embraced. You dunk yourself all the way under the water three times and after each dunk, you recite a specific prayer.

The way that the water felt, well, the closest thing I can liken it to is that it felt like sex. All swirly and warm and just caressing every part of my body. I came out of the mikvah and got dressed and all I wanted to do was have sex. Um, kind of appropriate to the whole reason for this.

I wish that I could post articulately about this. I just don't know how to describe things well. If you want to know more details about mikvah, please visit Leah's blog, where she describes using a mikvah for conversion specifically, but I found it very helpful for knowing what to do for my first time at mikvah.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Update

Just wanted to let y'all know that I'm still here. I'm going to a conference in Florida for the rest of this week, so things at work have been busy trying to prepare and clean off my desk.

This weekend was very nice. Since our talk on New Year's, our marriage has gotten much stronger and we express real loving feelings towards the other, not just saying it, but meaning it. We were like two teenagers this weekend (in part because of something that happened on Friday which I will discuss in my next post) and we really needed that time together. We had been going through the motions for so long that there was no passion left. Well, now it's back and in abundance! I think we are both so much happier right now.

John Dear is now up and walking with a boot and occasionally with crutches. We practiced driving this weekend and he's back to his normal driving skills which are at an advanced level of "Let's Make Jendeis Nauseated and Throw Up."

To celebrate his healing, JD went to the Grooming Lounge and got a shave and haircut (costing considerably less than two bits since he was using a gift certificate). Even this morning, it was still weird to hear his voice coming from a face different from the one that I've been used to for the past several months. :)

This seems a weird place to end, but I've got to get back to work now. Talk to you all soon!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

TiVo Help Needed

To all those who have TiVo, I need some technical support.

I have digital cable through a box. Channels 1-100 are basic, and 100-up are special basic and premium. We get basic, special basic and HBO.

When I hooked up my TiVo, all the channels changed. NBC (channel 4 here) was now at 34; Fox (on 5) was at 35. Basically, NBC, Fox, CBS and ABC switched their places with home shopping channels. Everything else stayed the same.


I can't get TiVo to go to any channel higher than 100. I miss my HBO, I miss my movie channels, I miss my Discovery Home channel! Waa!

When I turn TiVo off and switch tuners, the cable box allows me to access all these channels at their (previously) regular numbers. Any ideas?
This was a post for the Backwards Edition of Works for Me Wednesday. For more Works For Me Wednesday, see Rocks in my Dryer every Wednesday!

Indecision 2008

Margalit posted yesterday about the New Hampshire primary and discussed the conventional wisdom that many women are voting for Senator Clinton solely because she is a woman and that Black people are voting for Senator Obama solely because he is Black. She links to Gloria Steinem's op-ed in the New York Times, an essay I highly recommend for food-for-thought.

Margalit's post has inspired me to write one of my own.

First, I believe someone on C-SPAN yesterday said that if they had over 500,000 voters in New Hampshire, that would be more than voted in the NH general election in 2006. That kind of a result is pretty awesome. Didn't they have something like 65% turnout? That is wonderful for elections in the United States!

Back to gender and racial politics -- I thought the whole point of equality was that we shouldn't vote for the Black candidate simply because he's Black, or the woman candidate simply because she's a woman. Maybe we are not there as a country yet.

If we are to judge people by the "content of their character" alone, I don't think that I would vote for Senator Clinton. There were a lot of shady things that went on during President Clinton's administration (politics-wise, not even looking at the sex scandals) and she was right there in the thick of it.

(Attention, cynical moment approaching) Of course, Senator Obama may just not have been in national politics long enough to have a scandal attached to him. But, I don't think it is fair to label him with the inexperience brush. How much experience in foreign policy did either Bill Clinton or George W. Bush have when they stepped into the White House?

No matter who turns out to be the candidate in our general elections, I will almost certainly be voting for the Democrat. I align with the Democrats on social issues, and after the last eight years, I don't think that the Republicans can claim any sort of ownership of fiscal responsibility. (Check out Margalit's blog for a widget detailing what the expenses in Iraq could have been used for).

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Feel the Awesome

Yes, feel how awesome I am when I tell you this.

CD 1 = 1/1/2008

Who cares about having a consistent in length cycle when my body can pull this magic with numbers off?

Plus, I am having a fabulous hair day.

So there!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Open Letter to My Bagel Place

Dear My Bagel Place,

I am writing to inform you of my feelings of loss and isolation this morning when I stopped by only to realize that you were closed for New Year's Day. Instead of enjoying my now customary egg & cheese on an everything not-toasted with a medium coffee to go, I had to endure the slings and arrows of the local grocery store. I will save the details, suffice it to say, I do not wish to endure this agony again.

Bagel Place -- I count on you for stability, calmness, and yes, caffeine, in this crazy world of ours. Please remember that there are people out here who rely on you for the comfort only you can provide.

If this had something to do with John Dear's insult of your toasting abilities, please remember that he is an ambivalent dysthimic, who chides because he loves. I, your true devotee, know and trust in the healing power of your bagels. So, let's not have this happen again, shall we?

With much gratitude and hope for the new year,

P.S. You've been running low lately on the coffee lids and half-and-half, so let's get that order in place, hmm?