Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Husband Refers to It As "Baby Fever" ...

... and boy oh boy, have I got it. Big Time.

I don't even know where to begin in this post, because this has been swirling around in my head for a long long time now, and I don't know how to sort out all my thoughts.

I am ready for a baby. Not in a year, not in six months, but NOW. Now. This is not Silly Girly Baby Talk. It is not squeal-when-I-see-a-baby-but-hand-the-baby-back-when-it-does-something-stinky. I want a baby. I know the stinkyness and sleeplessness and wanting-to-pull-out-hair that comes with children. But I want one more than anything.

My mom has been imploring me to just wait and enjoy my time with Jeremy before rushing into starting our family, and, yes, I am "only" 27, so I am theortically still considered young, but I don't care. I have had enough time to enjoy Jeremy. No offense to him, but, seriously -- we dated for six and a half years before getting engaged. I think I know the dude and we have shared time as a couple. I do NOT mean, in any way, shape, or form, that I am SICK of my husband. I mean, people are always telling young couples who have not been together for very long to "enojoy each other" before having kids, but that is obviously not the case with me and Jeremy. I simply think we are a lovely, happy couple that have gotten used to working together to accomplish goals, and would put that to good use by MAKING BABIES and raising them to be wonderful human beings.

And seriously, what is up with everyone telling me to chill out and that "things happen when they are supposed to"? I know it would be better if we could wait at least five more months before getting pregnant (for silly reasons like money and jobs and school and something like that ... I tend to tune Jeremy out when he talks about that). But aren't I allowed to be baby crazy??

I have known too many people who have told me they have no desire to have children and then one day, oops! they are pregnant. And why can't I have that? I am the one who WANTS the baby.

I see babies and I feel tremendous physical pain. I have cried and cried. When I pass the baby clothes in any given store, I feel my stomach drop to my feet.

And, seriously, why would I NOT want to make a baby who will share these genes?

Jealous, ladies?

Wherein I Complain About Insomnia

Well, it is about 1:30 in the AM, and I am still wide awake. Le sigh.

Last night I did not finally retire until about 5 AM ... it was BAD. Very Very Bad. And now, I am awake and looking at the clock and thinking about how I have to get up at 6:30 tomorrow morning to work from 8:30 until 8:30. Blah.

I have struggled with insomnia on and off for as long as I can remember. The worst part about it (besides the obvious "not being able to sleep and then being a terrible zombie-like person in the morning" part) is the fact that it is very erratic. I can be strolling through life all la-dee-da-dee-da, smelling roses, getting to sleep at night and waking up normal in the morning, when BAM. All of a sudden I am up until 4 AM one night, and I know the next few weeks will be long, lonely nights. I am never prepared for this weirdness, and I never know when it will creep up on me. But here it is again, and I have no idea when it will leave me.

Currently, Jeremy is sleeping beside me, flat on his back, like a dead person. Like he always is. That man only has to blink extra-long and he could be asleep. It is terrible and infuriating.

Knowing that he is asleep and enjoying the luxury of dreams and rest generally makes me unreasonably jealous once it gets past 2 AM. I look over at him and sometimes even think crazy thoughts like, if I have to be awake and miserable, then HE should be awake and miserable too. And I think about poking him. Or "accidentally" elbowing him. At times, I also have wild fantasies that maybe if I wake him up he will rub my back and soothe me to sleep and all my sleeping problems will be solved. I have tried this tact before, but it turns out it only results in a sleepy, still-awake me and a very irritated husband. So ... my husband sleeps and I type.

It is weirdly lonely this late at night (or this early in the morning, whatever.). It is not the same kind of being alone as during the day, what with the sunshine and sounds and other people being awake. And it is not like I can get anything really productive done, because if I get up to do things (which I used to do in the past. Jeremy once woke up at 4 AM because I accidentally dropped something and he wandered out of bed to find me cleaning a closet. True story.) then I am even more awake, and I know there is no hope of me drifting off to sleep when I am grading papers, cleaning grout, or folding laundry. So, I lay in bed, watch TV, read books, drink herbal sleepy-time tea, listen to CDs that play the sounds of the waves, try to hypnotize myself to sleep, and, most importantly, try NOT to think about the fact that I am still awake and should be sleeping.

Okay, if I fall asleep now, I can still get five hours of sleep before my 12-hour workday tomorrow. Here I go ...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Okay, no political rant tonight. I will instead dazzle you with pictures of lovely, fabulous, fantastic pieces of jewelry that you will immediately want to own.

All of these items, made by my dear friend, Melissa, are available at her etsy store, relishdress.

I love these darling little earrings -- robin eggs in a nest? Too cute.

I got my favorite younger sister this necklace in Kelly green, and this hot pink one is HOT!

I love these colors!

Squeee! Look at these delicate little flowers! I feel like I am in a dollhouse!

And, finally, a fun summer bracelet. Ahh ... I feel like I am back on the beach in Cape Cod ...

I love these colors!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Epic Fail in Florida: Bienvenido a Miami

According to news reports, the state of Florida began banishing sex offenders to the area under the Julia Tuttle causeway over two years ago, and the shantytown has now grown to accommodate over 80 residents. Yes, they are forcing people to LIVE UNDER A BRIDGE.

The state of Florida claims that they were “forced” to send people to the state-owned land under the causeway because finding homes for sex offenders is virtually impossible due to zoning that prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of anywhere that childern might congregate, including schools, parks, or even bus stops.

Since when were state governments allowed to force people to be homeless? The state has actually been issuing state IDs with “under the Julia Tuttle causeway, Miami, Florida” listed as their permanent address.

To make things even more confusing, the city of Miami cites that the state is actually in violation of the ordiance, as the causeway is within 2,500 feet of an island that is home to a park. Now the city of Miami is suing the state of Florida for creating a public nuisance that is a threat to health and safety because the state informed them that the shantytown is “their problem.”

The focus here should not be on the tussle between the city and state, however. The problem is, if other states can find homes for sex offenders, why can’t Florida? It seems that the state of Florida is more interested in punishing these people than in finding ways to follow laws. And if the state of Florida really wants to continue to punish sex offenders and ensure that they cannot become repeat offenders, then they should keep them incarcerated instead of releasing them into the general population.

On top of that, while the 2,500 foot “barrier” between past sex offenders and the rest of the world seems nice in principle, do lawmakers really believe that this mandatory distance creates some sort of magic force field that keeps them from walking 2,500 feet to committ a crime? If sex offenders want to violate someone, their place of residence is not going to keep them from doing so. I highly doubt there are pedophiles out there who think Hmm, I really wanted to go to the park to find a vulnerable child today, but it is SO far away. If only it was 2,400 feet or less from my home. Sigh ..

In reality, the entire system needs serious attention. Not only are people being forced to live like trolls under a bridge, but there are not enough effective methods in place to keep past offenders from repeating their crimes, and, unfortunately, in most states all sex offenders are treated equally. Someone having underage sex with their underage boyfriend or girlfriend is not the same as an adult sexual predator who repeatedly targets and violates children. Their crimes are not the same, their need for serious counseling is obviously not equal, and their likelihood of repeating their crime is clearly not equivalent.

Taxpaying citizens simply find it easier to turn a blind eye and hope that the sex offender registry will keep their children safe. Because looking at pictures online and noting the criminals’ addresses will definitely keep bad things from happening to you and the people you love, right?

It works the same way that the magic force field does.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Donations for Electrolysis Welcome

When I was planning my (fabulous) wedding, I subscribed to, which I found incredibly helpful. Apparently they have a "married lady" branch, called, because I have been getting magazines in the mail that helpfully tell me what things I should be buying to make my "nest" a real home, now that I am married and must buy many more things in order to be happy.

Most recently, I got an e-mail from with the subject "Four Ways to Make Your Marriage Sizzle!" and I could not resist opening it.

The e-mail explained that people get too comfortable with each other after they get married, and husbands will get bored with their wives very quickly if they let this comfort happen (apparently at the six-month mark, which is when they sent the e-mail). Their number one tip for women was: "Do not, under any circumstances, go to bed with prickly legs or zit cream!"

I have a few problems with this advice:
1. I have zits
2. I am Italian -- my legs are prickly approximately 45 minutes after I shave them in the morning

If this is the best advice there is for keeping a marriage together, then I am screwed. Or, of course, I can always remember to focus on that feeling I had when things were fresh and new.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My New Deepest Desire is to Stab a Drug Company Executive (in the Face)

Yesterday I drove home to my doctor in Yale to evaluate a medication I am currently taking. We talked, I got blood drawn, and she increased the dose I was taking from 20 to 30 milligrams after checking to make sure that the 30 mg dose was still available in generic form so I could save a little money.

I was super pleased that she took the time to do that, and I trotted off to Target this afternoon to have the prescription filled. While I waited, I got laundry detergent, Swiffer sheets, a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper (yum!), and some new bones for Cleo. All in all, I was having a lovely little afternoon.

I went to pick up my prescription at the specified time, and the pharmacist said, "Okay, you're all set. That's $187.99."

My immediate response was laughter. I threw my head back and laughed, because I have recently learned that this keeps me from attempting to stab people when I get bad news. 

After laughing away the urge to kill and/or maim, I explained that I usually got the generic version, to which she replied that the 30 mg dose was not on the list of generic drugs that cost $10 for a three-month supply.

I started to sweat a bit and began looking around for the person whose ass was soon going to be the home of my size 10 black patent leather Steve Madden flats. 

So I said to the nice lady, "Let me get this straight ... the 20 mg dose costs $10 and the 30 mg dose costs almost $200 and they are both generic." 

She confirmed this, and then looked a little sad for me, like it was too bad that I was not going to be able to afford my frivolous luxuries, like medication. She even pulled out a list of generic drugs and their prices.

I leaned over, scanned the list, and found that both the 10 mg and 20 mg dose were on the $10 list ... lightbulb! So I asked if I could have my prescription filled by getting 90 of the 10 mg pills and 90 of the 20 mg pills and just taking them at the same time every day. She looked startled, and then said, "Oh, yes, that makes sense. And that would save you $180!" to which I simply smiled politely and nodded. 

Yes, clearly I am either a genius or some type of witch for noticing this discrepancy and finding a way to keep drug company's grubby hands off my cash (sorry Jeremy ... our cash).

So now I am highly interested in locating a drug company executive. I just want to talk to him, I swear! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Brunette One

Names have always been an obsession of mine. From the time when I was in second grade and horrified to see the entire church full of elementary school students turn to gawk at me when we reached the station of the cross where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. I was convinced there was something "wrong" with my name at this point, and I began noticing (in a bad way) that no one else shared my name.

I also had a weird (and unrelated) habit of taking a 70s-era goldenrod colored pillowcase and putting the open end around my head like a headband, wrapping a rubberband around the extra fabric at the back of my neck, and letting the pillowcase cascade down my back like beautiful, golden locks of blonde hair. I knew, without a doubt, that blonde girls were where it's at, and my brown hair was holding me back in more ways than one.

When I wore this hideous golden pillowcase as a head of hair, my name was invariably Tiffany or Allison, which were names that were given only to rich blonde girls. Veronica was a name that no one else had and one that made kids turn around and gawk at you when you were a child who did not want to be gawked at. Plus, everyone told me that Veronica was the mean one and Betty was the nice one that Archie should really be with.

Long story short, I now love my name and wouldn't trade it for any other name in the world. I feel special and beautiful because it is my name. I was angry when there was another Veronica in my class when I transferred to Yale Public Schools in the 6th grade, and I was none too pleased to discover that there was another Veronica at my last place of employment. I have become accustomed to being the only Veronica in a crowd, and it is a wonderful feeling.

And now I worry about what to name my children. Okay, I have always worried about what to name my children. I know, from experience, that a child's name has a huge effect on his or her life, whether for the positive or the negative. I want my children to have names that are beautiful, regal, not hugely common, and extremely meaningful. And I have a list of those kinds of names, all ready to consider.

The problem is (I'm sure the clever amongst you have already guessed it), Jeremy does not ... how do you say? ... care for these names. Okay, he hates most of them.

And the list of names that Jeremy is adamant his children will one day have? I despise them. For obvious reasons, I will not include lists of names that one or the other of us find repulsive, but this discrepancy in name preferences is one that has had me in a tizzy for years.

Lately it seems even more crucial that we either find new names that we both like or for me to find a way to hypnotize Jeremy in order for him to love the names on my list and disregard the names on his own. No, I am not announcing a pregnancy, but I surely hope it will happen sooner than later, and the tape I have been playing next to Jeremy's head while he sleeps that repeats the names I like over and over while interspersed with his favorite sports highlights doesn't seem to be working.

For the time being, we are both trying to be open-minded, but ... well, to be honest, I hope I win!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kittens Are Liars

I can never really predict what I will see when I walk into my office since I share it with the two other core faculty members of the General Education department, but I don't generally come across things that make me roll my eyes so intensely.

Seriously, this was in my office.

While I am used to seeing terrible cheesy motivational posters (I work at a career college, after all), this one really got my goat. I love kittens, mirrors, and lions, individually, but this is the most ridiculous exercise in lying to people that I have seen in quite some time.

This might be a controversial opinion, but I think how you see yourself is important, but it is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, the most important thing. No matter how hard I imagine I am, I am not an award-winning gymnast, a milllionaire, or skinny.

In fact, I have dealt with this exact problem for years. I have an image of myself in my head, but over years, as I have steadily gained weight, my self-concept has not changed size or shape along with it. Some people might not see this as a problem, but it is when I confidently plan an outfit only to step in front of a mirror and realize it looks startlingly different on a person of my size or when I smack my hips against a student's desk or a doorframe because I don't realize my hips take up more space than my brain thinks they do (which actually happens more than you might think).

I think the real problem with "motivation" like this is that it gives people false hope, and, what might be more dangerous, an over-inflated sense of entitlement. I see this played out on a daily basis at my college. Students greatly overestimate their skills,their importance in the grand scheme of the college system, and what they "deserve" for the money they pay for classes. No matter how hard a student imagines that they are an A student, they might never be if they don't have the drive, motivation, skills, and dedication to learning that other people do. And, unfortunately, some people are likely never going to be A students, no matter how hard they try. And that's FINE.

I know, I know, as an educator you are supposed to give everyone room to be the best, but I don't think that being confident that there are, in fact, people in this world who will never be the next Einstein is not stopping people from learning, growing, and improving in realistic ways.

And I really do believe, more than anything, that I am an award-winning gymnast.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Summer Floodin', Had Me a Blast ...

I ran downstairs to grab the detergent to hand wash a few things and was in for a terrible surprise. We have a trail of rugs that lead from the staircase to the washer and dryer because the floor is ... ummm ... disgusting. I tried my hardest to scrub it clean when we moved in, but it is the scariest basement I have ever seen; we affectionately refer to it as the "Silence of the Lambs" basement. Thank god we are only renting. Anyway, as soon as I stepped onto the rug in the basement, I heard a horrifying squish sound and my bare foot instantly sent a message to my brain. It went a little like this: "Oh, shit ..."

We talked to the neighbors and there is such a problem with ground water here that it can actually seep into the houses at any given time, but they had never had that much of an issue with it. So, we investigated further, and our drain in the middle of the basement floor was also backed up, and it seems that the dehumidifier that we were assured was working properly was not, in fact, working at all. So, there was standing water all over the basement.

Our landlord came and monkeyed around with some tools (though I don't have the slightest idea what she was actually doing), but the basement was still full of water, and all the stuff that we had in the basement was wet and/or moldy, but certainly revolting. So we had to throw a bunch of things away and then stand in the water discussing how to divide up the rest of our belongings between the tiny, sweltering attic (where things could be melted or otherwise damaged) and the tilty garage that could collapse at any moment (which, of course, is why we had stuff in the basement to begin with).

And now, we still have piles in the bedroom that leads to the attic that Jeremy wants to "discuss" with me before he puts it all up there (read: he wants to get rid of some of my precious belongings).

But, I did sneak away to buy food to grill tonight and when we were done with all the horrible, disgusting work in the basement, we had a lovely dinner. And, we are going to have a dessert of ice cream after the battle royale about the attic. Yum!! So, even though I still have some more unpleasantness to deal with, at least it will be sandwiched with good food.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Prison Break

I was having a lovely, unproductive day today, and aside from the dreary weather, things were going swimmingly. Then, I innocently went to deposit a dirty dish in the sink and noticed the window that leads to the back yard looked this:

And then I realized I had not seen or heard from my cat in the last half hour. I ran out the back door screaming "MOJO!!!" and immediately saw him sitting in the far, way-back region of our neighbors' yard, apparently appreciating the fence they recently put up around their compost area.

MoJo saw me, heard me scream his name, and took off running. I could not believe it. I was beyond shocked. This is the cat I spoil rotten and who supposedly loves me. Running. Outdoors. Where the scary things live. I had honestly thought that he had learned his lesson a few months ago when he snuck out with our guests one night and was gone a full 36 hours before returning home filthy, exhausted, starving, and scared. As he started running towards the front of my neighbors' house (and the ROAD!!!!), I was frozen on the spot. I didn't yell, I didn't move, I just stood there with my mouth wide open and my heart in my feet.

But, MoJo wasn't running into the dangerous street. Instead, he ran down the neighbors' driveway, turned right and ran down the sidewalk, turned right again, and ran up our driveway, skidding to a stop at my feet. I grabbed him and dragged him indoors, and now he is sitting here next to me, purring, and looking all innocent.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Canine Jealousy and Childhood Curses

As someone who has struggled with varying degrees of jealousy over the course of her lifetime, I am highly qualified to detect it in others. Strangely enough, the jealousy I have been witnessing in spades lately has not been harbored in a human, but in the animal members of my family. More specifically, Cleo (my female lab mix) is wildly jealous of MoJo (my male tuxedo cat).

Maybe THIS is why Cleo is jealous.  I'm just sayin'...

Cleo simply will not abide either me or Jeremy giving attention to MoJo in any way, shape, or form. If we lean over to pet MoJo, Cleo runs over and inserts herself between person and cat. If MoJo is on a lap, Cleo will put her face on said lap and look up adoringly at the owner of the lap. If MoJo goes anywhere near Cleo's crate, Cleo heads her off at the pass, runs inside the crate, and protectively picks up whatever random toy happens to be housed in the crate at that time. This exact scene played out just moments ago, and Jeremy I dissolved into laughter, especially after I called out (in a Cleo voice, of course), "Hey! All my STUFF is in there!!"

This reminded Jeremy of childhood, as he says the last thing he and any of his brothers (there are four of them altogether) said before they left the house for an extended period of time was "Don't touch my stuff!" Jeremy said he would also implore his mom to make sure none of his brothers "messed with his stuff." As he explains, one brother was notorious for borrowing clothes and never returning them, and one was unfortunate enough to still be remembered as the brother who knocked over the cup of dirt Jeremy had secured from Tiger Stadium. Why any child who shared a room with three brothers would imagine it prudent to leave a prized possession where it could be knocked out of a cup and lost forever is beyond me, but I am a girl, so what do I know?

Back to Cleo's jealousy issue. It has apparently become so overwhelming for my poor little pup that, just a moment ago, Jeremy leaned over to kiss me while I was laying on the couch, and Cleo actually ran over and inserted her entire head between our heads. This situation is comical enough on its own, but the most fantastic part is that it just so happens I used to do the exact same thing whenever my parents kissed, hugged, showed any form of affection, or even got near one another. Granted, I was only a toddler, but the jealousy overwhelmed me. I simply could not understand why my parents would choose to give affection to someone who was not me. I mean, I was right there, in their line of vision and everything, and they were not showering me with kisses, hugs, or affection, and were instead directing it toward each other. Ridiculous.

For this and various other behaviors, both of my parents cursed me. I cannot count how many times I heard the phrase "One day you will have a child JUST LIKE YOU!" Sometimes the curse was comical, but more often than not it came on the tail end of a good old meltdown. (For the record, I never took this comment as an insult, and even looking back, while I can understand why some people might find this non-life-affirming or detrimental to a child's emotional well-being, I did not consider it as such. Most of the time, I just said "yeah right.")

I was not, in fact, the mild-mannered and easy going child you might imagine me to be. On the contrary, I was often described as "dramatic." Whatever that means. The problem was, I just had A LOT of emotions. And situations generally felt life-threatening. And people just did NOT understand what I was feeling. All of this didn't begin in adolescence. It began in toddlerhood ... and continued on until ... well, that depends who you ask. I feel I have grown leaps and bounds from my tear-fueled, ranting, stomping childhood, but I must admit I am still a bit dramatic. When Jeremy asks me if I want a particular food that I dislike, I feel the need to be honest with him and tell him "the thought of that food makes me want to VOMIT." The thing is, I don't say this to be dramatic. I don't say that when I actually mean "Meh. I don't feel like that right now." If I say the thought of that particular food makes me want to vomit, then the thought of that food makes me want to vomit. I am not an exaggerator (in this instance, anway), I just have an abundance of strong emotions that simply cannot be quelled.

At any rate, I find it funny that the curse my parents bestowed upon me was so strong that it didn't even wait for me to have children to hit. My dog is following right in my jealous footsteps.
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