Friday, June 29, 2007

Fun with the Feds

I suppose it is possible that I will come to regret writing this post. Perhaps I should wait until I have the actual CARDS in my hands, but, I was so surprised and shocked that I had to share.

I actually had a PLEASANT experience at the Social Security Administration. I encountered not one, but TWO, pleasant, knowledgeable federal bureaucratic types. (No offense to my friends H~ and M~, both of whom are biologists for the federal government. See, they are SCIENTISTS, not bureaucrats. Big difference. And also one of them is technically an employee of a contractor of the federal government, but, let's not split hairs here.)

Anyway, I have been married for twelve years and had not ever managed to convince the Social Security Administration that I was legitimately using my husband's last name. It's a long and stupid story that involves a passport and an amendment to said passport, and two trips to the SSA where I encountered unhelpful bureaucratic types who sniped at me that I should not have gotten my passport changed before my social security card, and that I hadn't brought the right paperwork, and didn't I have my baptismal record or something to prove who I had been before I took a name I've been using since 1995? (Yes, because a baptismal record from a now defunct Methodist Church in Detroit, Michigan is WAY more official than a passport issued by the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE. But, whatever.)

I needed to apply for Lana's social security card, and, since I have been getting nasty grams from the IRS for the past three years about my name not matching the name I was being paid "wages" under, and finally, last year, an insistence from the IRS that I file my taxes under my maiden name since that is the only name the federal government recognizes (oh, yeah, except for that pesky PASSPORT from the State Dept and that LICENSE TO PRACTICE LAW IN THE FEDERAL COURT FOR THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN DISTRICTS OF OHIO.) (I'm not bitter about this or anything), I decided it was time to kill two birds with one stone. I took my passport, my driver's license, my Bar card, Lana's Vietnamese passport, Lana's Certificate of Citizenship, all the documents from our re-adoption hearing, all our documents from the dossier we sent to Vietnam (essentially, every single piece of identifying information about me that exists in public record form), and set off for Social Security.

I was prepared. I had a book (If you Lived Here by Dana Sachs (thanks Nicki for the recommendation) AND my pink Nintendo DS Lite, fully loaded with a murder mystery game, and I was prepared to sit for hours and offer lengthy and detailed explanations about my child's adoption and for my own pathetic failure to prove my true identity.

There were A LOT of people in the Social Security Administration office. I approached a computer screen that politely inquired why I was there. The computer gave me six options - and I chose, "Option 1 - to obtain a new social security number or a name change". The computer spit a piece of paper at me, with the number "582" at me.

I took my number and sat down. There were three open windows, behind which bureaucrats sat. "TWENTY-TWO" called the bureaucrat at window #2.

And I thought, "Wow. It's REALLY lucky I brought my book and my Nintendo, cause I'm gonna be here a WHILE." And then I thought some swear words that I won't repeat here.)

And THEN, less than a minute later, the bureaucrat at window #1 calls out, "582", as if he had not skipped fully 560 numbers between the last number called and my own. AND he had a very slight, very pleasant Russian accent, which made me inexplicably happy. (Because, for reasons I have NEVER understood, I really LIKE the sound of people speaking with Russian accents. Or people speaking Russian. Not that I speak any of it myself, because I don't. I just like the way it sounds.) (Yes, I'm a freak.)

So, "Boris" was a very plain and efficient looking man. (Let's call him Boris. Boris wasn't his actual name, but, his name tag had an equally stereotypically Russian name on it, so, let's just take Boris and run with it, shall we?)...anyway, Boris said, "Vat can I do for you, today, miss?" (Oh, and this makes me happy, too, because when people call me "ma'am" I get all bent out of shape, for no real reason I can explain.)

I said, "Well, I need to change my name on my social security card, and I need to apply for a new number for my daughter, who I adopted in Vietnam on January 8 of this year." And I handed him the paperwork I had filled out from having downloaded the forms on-line, and my passport, and my driver's license, AND my birth certificate AND my Bar card AND my certified copy of my marriage certificate, and he looked at them for about 2 minutes, typed some things into a computer, and it spit out a happy little receipt with my married name and my social security number. Boris said, "Here ees your receipt and you will be receeeeeeving your new card in the mail in seben to ten daiz." (See, imagine Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle saying this, imagine that inflection, exactly, cause I'm not getting it right with the mis-spellings.) Then, I handed him Lana's Certificate of Citizenship, and a certified copy of her re-adoption and name change decree, and her IR3 Visa from her Vietnamese passport, and her Ohio Record of Foreign Birth, and the official translation of the minutes of our G&R, and Boris said, "you come very very prepared, today, miss." And I said, "yes, it's better that way, I think. To be prepared." (Heck, not for nothing am I married to an eagle scout. I know "be prepared".)

Boris started to fill out some more things on his computer screen, and then, he said, "I think I need my supervisor." And my face fell, because I was sure it was all going to go to hell in a handbasket at that point. He directed me to sit down again and wait for his supervisor to call me.

I settled back into one of the plastic chairs and prepared to wait a LONG time.

I waited five minutes, and the supervisor called me over, and I gave him all of Lana's paperwork and my driver's license, and he looked at everything and typed, and looked at everything some more, and typed some more, and then he handed me a receipt with Lana's correct name on it, and said that her new number would be issued by Monday and the card mailed by ten days from now. And that he hoped I had a pleasant weekend. The whole thing took less than 20 minutes.

As I was leaving, I heard Boris sigh, and in a pained voice explained to his next customer that she could not get a social security card without any identification, and she asked, "what if my purse was stolen" and he said, "was it?" and she said that, no, she just didn't KNOW she had to bring it with her to come to social security...(why on earth would you come ALL THE WAY DOWNTOWN to visit a government office without your purse?? WHY? Why would anyone do that?? I mean, with the exception of social security, every other government office in this city is housed in a tall white "government center" where one has to show a photo id and sign in and out to even get past the front door.) (Because of the Oklahoma City bombing.) (It's been a high security building since 1995.) (WHO DOESN'T KNOW THIS??)

So, I'm feeling reasonably hopeful that, in 7 to 10 days, I'll have actual social security cards for both Lana and I, in the mail. Preferably with generally accepted monikers on them.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Congrats and Détente

Because she is a very private person, and because I promised not to discuss her specific achievement in a public forum, I send vague and ambiguous tidings of congratulations to my real life friend Perpetual Student.

In honor of your triumph, A~, I’ll just say I’m listening to the Barenaked Ladies this morning, my favorite Canadian band.

Perpetual Student has a photoblog that is both quirky and fabulous, so, go check it out if you are so inclined.


So, Lana and I have been at something of an impasse the last several days. Perhaps impasse is the wrong word. My handy thesaurus is suggesting the words, “stalemate” and “stand-off” and those don’t seem quite right either…

What do you call it when a person doesen’t want you to come within ten feet of them, and, you have several days of knock-down fit-throwing from both parties and then you spend a day avoiding each other?

Cause, basically, that’s what we had in our household for a few days.

I will admit that yesterday was somewhat better than the days the preceded it. I didn’t see her in the morning, as she was still sleeping when I left for work. I picked her up from pre-school about 5:00 and she was happy to see me. Her teacher had tried a new hairstyle on her, with her hair pulled back on either side of her head, and I told her how pretty she looked. (She is a pretty child, so, honestly, unless she is screaming her head off or covered with snot, it is never a far stretch to tell her she is looking very pretty. She also likes to be told that she is pretty, so, possibly I should remember to use this more often. Perhaps all the male members of my household should make a note of this as well – all female members of said household like to be told they are looking fabulous. Preferably, you know, in a fake accent, a la Billy Crystal on SNL.)

Anyway, she seemed happy to see me and told me about her day (I understood about 1 word out of every 10, but, that’s okay. I don’t really NEED a play by play of the daily drama of the Gecko Room.

When we got home, we picked up Husband and Gabriel and went out to dinner, and both Lana and Gabe were reasonably well behaved. After dinner, we were all tired, lounged around watching television until bedtime. There were no fits and only minor squabbling between Lana and Gabe, which is preferable to nuclear meltdown any day.

She wanted to snuggle with me before bed, while I sang a song – the first night since she’s been back from my sister-in-law’s since she let me cuddle her at bedtime.

She slept well and Husband reports she is in a good mood this morning. So, I’m hoping for a thaw in this little cold war.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Random Things for a Tuesday Morning

Thing I didn't know about my daughter:

Lana is a nudist. Or at least, now that it is warm, that is how she prefers to sleep. I also think she "sleep strips". Because she sometimes wakes up, naked in the middle of night, needing to pee, and will comment, "mommy, I no have no clothes on."

It's probably too early to worry about what the effects of "sleep stripping" will have on her college roomates.

Thing I didn't want to hear from the dentist as I lay in his chair yesterday afternoon, hopped up on nitrous oxide:

"I need the BIG DRILL." OUCH. My mouth STILL hurts. Also, my tongue is burned. How did THAT happen?

Song-like-thing I did not want to hear while lying in the dentist chair, hopped up on nitrous and therefore unable to change the channel on the headphones piping music into my head.

"She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" - NO. I am NOT making that up. It's a real song. I think. Unless the nitrous was playing tricks on me.

Musical things I am obsessed with this week:

"Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White T's - you can hear the song here:

Regina Spektor's album "Begin to Hope" - you can see the videos for Fidelity and Better here and here: (Fidelity) (Better)

(As always, I didn't post these videos to YouTube, and I'm not associated with the people who did. I'm just watching them. Cause they're there. And I need to share my musical obsessions with my readers. :-P )


Monday, June 25, 2007

Lawmommy needs... A MEME

This is kind of a funny meme. You go to and google "[your name] needs" and see what comes up.

I used to my actual name, instead of lawmommy, but, you get the idea. Here are the results: (unfortunately, I share my fairly unusual first name with a large number of German shephards and one Hollywood wife who is, evidently, having some very public marital problems.)

1. Lawmommy needs sleep. This is so true.
2. Lawmommy needs to stop picking on Danny. I don't even know anyone named Danny!!
3. Lawmommy needs your prayers. Well, I suppose
4. Lawmommy needs new pants. Always. What girl doesn't need new pants?
5. Lawmommy needs help. Well, yes, probably.
6. Lawmommy needs a loving home. WHAT?? I THOUGHT I HAD ONE!
7. Lawmommy needs to get better people around her. OUCH!
8. Lawmommy needs dog-obediance training. HUH??
9. Lawmommy needs a pedicure. Well, that's true, too.

My Family Has Come Home

I didn't post about my family's defection to the north woods (because, despite my attempts to maintain a certain amount of anonymity on this blog, I don't think I've done a terribly good job of it, so, really, the last thing I want to do is advertise, "Hey, I'm All Alone in my house" if there are any average psychopaths reading this blog.*)

But, anyway, Husband and his father went fishing, and, in order to effecuate this (as Husband is a stay-at-home-dad during the summer, well, at least as far as Gabe is concerned - Lana continues to go to pre-school most days for part of the day, as she is far behind in her basic pre-schooler knowledge of letters, numbers and crafts that can be made with copious amounts of colored Elmer's glue) my sister-in-law and mother-in-law volunteered to watch Gabe and Lana for three days.

The whole plan came together in less than 24 hours, and on Wednesday afternoon I found myself alone. I was worried about how Lana would do, but it was peaceful to have the house to myself for a few days.

Unfortunately, on Thursday afternoon, one of the partners in my firm had a heart attack, and, so, the next two days were not really peaceful...there are only 5 lawyers in my office, and with one of them undergoing radiation treatment for cancer, and one of them having a heart attack (at work, no less) - I think the other three of us are starting to wonder if our office is toxic.

And we're also sort of consumed with worry about the other two. Stress that is both personal and professional at the same time is really no fun.


I was also really worried how Lana would do, being away from both Husband and I for three nights. By all accounts she was "fine". I am assuming that this means she slept and ate well and was tantrum free for my sister-in-law.

She was clearly ticked at me when she returned Saturday night, and clingy to Husband. She had a minor tantrum (about 15 minutes) in the middle of the night, and all day yesterday, she and Gabriel (who had been together 24/7 for six days straight) were at eachother's throats.

They were both whiny and wretched and I wanted to lock them both in their rooms.

I was also on the receiving end of the following barbs from Lana:
1. I don't like Mommy
2. I don't love Mommy and
3. Mommy doesn't have pretty hair

Oh. WAY TO GO FOR THE JUGULAR LITTLE MISS THING. Because, it may be true that she doesn't love me, or even like me, but my hair is kind of a vanity of mine SO DO NOT EVEN GO THERE.

The last comment got her in some VERY HOT WATER with her daddy. (Who knew he felt so strongly about my hair?? :-P ) (I'm pretty sure it was the fact that after telling me all day that she neither liked nor loved me, to have her tell me that she thought my hair was hideous on top of it was really more than I could take and I started crying.)

She did survive the time apart from us. I'm not sure it was in her best interest, but, it's what happened. It's kind of nice to know that Husband and I might be able to, like, have a weekend getaway sometime without the child coming un-glued.

She was more than ready to go back to pre-school this morning, and Gabe was definitely ready for some one on one time with Husband...

I'm out of time for writing and must try to make sense of the nightmare that is my office.


*attention all psychopaths - please note that even if I had posted about being alone, I live in a gated compound populated mostly by police officers, army rangers and ninja warriors, with several attack dogs, an alligator and a really loud security system. So, you know, don't get any ideas.

Friday, June 22, 2007

On Nearly Drowning Myself in My Own Backyard

Yesterday afternoon, I came home to an empty house and a bit of a mess in our backyard.

Evidently, there was a strong thunderstorm yesterday afternoon, which had picked up the solar cover off of our pool, flipped it around, and yanked the entire solar cover roller device (a 20 foot long metal bar with wheels and a roller mechanism) into the pool.

I quickly put on a swim suit and jumped into the pool in order to maneuver the roller out of the water without damaging the liner of the pool (a $2000+ problem). The d**m thing was heavy, but, I got it out and returned to the cement, at which point I tried to roll up the solar cover on it. (This may makes sense only to people who have pools...sorry.) Anyway, the solar cover was so creased and wrinkled and generally discombobulated, that I couldn't roll it up - it was going to have to be straighted out before it would roll up properly.


I jumped back into the pool, and grabbed one corner of the cover and swam with it towards the other end of the pool, and then I swam back and grabbed the other corner and swam with it, until I was, essentially, in the pool with the solar cover stretched over all of the water. (A bit like having painted oneself into a corner.) I was at the deep end of the pool, away from the ladder, and I turned around to try to pull myself out, but, my feet slipped on the liner and I slid backwards into the water and under the d**m solar cover.

At which point I had two thought processes running very quickly through my head.

The first one was: I am going to drown in my own backyard under the solar cover, despite the fact that I am both a strong swimmer and freakishly buoyant. (Not to toot my own horn or anything, since, generally speaking, buoyancy is not a highly prized quality in a human being. I did, however, once have a dive master in St. Lucia assure me, as she was fastening 10 more lbs to my already heavy SCUBA weight belt, "well, my lady, if there is one thing you can be sure of, it is that you will nevah-evah drown." Also, once, I almost drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, when I got caught in some kind of wicked undercurrent, but, then I remembered that you are supposed to swim diagonally towards the shore when that happens, so, I swam and swam and eventually washed up like a very tired lump in the sand, and, obviously, I did not drown. I did, however, get a sunburn on some girly bits that were exposed, because, well, it was FRENCH RIVIERA, and that's the way they roll in those parts.*)

Anyway, the point is, I was thinking that I would drown under the solar cover and my husband and children would come home and find me, drowned, under the solar cover, and wonder WHAT the HELL I had been thinking, going for a swim with the solar cover on. And it occurred to me that the last person I had communicated with before this stupid fiasco was my friend Matt, in San Francisco, via IM, to whom I had IM'd, "I'm going home now to float in my pool" - and how the HELL was THAT going to interpreted once it came out that I had, in fact, DROWNED under my own pool cover (???), and also I thought that the whole thing felt like the opening scene of an episode of Six Feet Under during which someone dies in a stupid and ridiculous way, and I could just hear my husband's confusion and insistence that I could not have accidentally drowned in my own stupid back yard when I could swim strongly enough not to drown in the ocean, and also need extra weight to keep me from floating to the surface whilst SCUBA diving, and what the hell had I been doing in the first place, since he would not have known about the solar cover roller being in the pool in the first place.

(It's taking me far longer to describe this thought pattern than to actually think it, by the way.)

The second thought process in my mind, the most basic thought process probably coming from the most basic part of my brain was, "DO NOT DROWN" and "FIND THE LADDER" - which is, obviously, what I did, which is how I managed to escape the sucking solar cover of doom, and also the embarrassment of drowning in my own beloved backyard pool.

The whole scary episode lasted about 45 seconds of under-water time.

After which, I successfully rolled the solar cover up, got back in the pool, and then floated for a long time on my back, enjoying my freakish buoyancy....


*I would highly recommend, if you are ever on a French beach, and decide to "go native" and take your top off - WEAR SUNSCREEN on your girly bits. A LOT OF IT. Like, SPF 60. I did have sunscreen on, but, it didn't survive my fight with the undercurrent.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

What SHE said...

I've been very upset lately about something I read on another person's blog. (I not read normally read this person's blog, I do not link to her blog, and I am pretty sure I couldn't find said blog again if I tried.)

But, essentially, the writer of the blog was offered the opportunity to pay more money to bring home a baby from Vietnam faster. And her response was essentially (and I am paraphrasing, not quoting), "if God has opened this door for us, we should pay the money and walk through it. God is so wonderful to give us this option." And MY response to that line of thinking is:

God does not open doors that cost extra money to walk through.

If someone is saying, "you can go this route for your adoption, and wait this long with everyone else who is desperate for a baby, OR, you can pay us MORE MONEY that is not mentioned in our contract and bring home a younger baby, more quickly" - guess what is opening that door? Folks, it's not God. It's GREED.

And while I feel like I could rant and rave about it at length, I don't have to. Because my girl, Mrs. Broccoli Guy, has evidently been living inside my head, and she has said it all quite elequantly. So, please go read what she has to say:

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hey, It's Free Legal Advice Day, AGAIN

Okay people. LISTEN TO ME. LISTEN TO ME VERY CAREFULLY. We have been through this before, but, here I am, I'm going to say it again, because, evidently, I have not gotten the word out to the entire country. Or even the entire state in which I live - or even, for that matter, the entire county in which I practice law.

Land contracts. ARE. A. BAD. IDEA. Seriously. I mean it. Don't get involved in a land contract. BUT, if you are embroiled in a land contract, for the LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD, record the land contract. DO YOU HEAR ME??? RECORD IT. RECORD. IT. WITH THE COUNTY RECORDER. Or the Register of Deeds. (Depending on what state you live in.)

I'm going to make this very simple. Unrecorded land contract=financial ruin. So. JUST. DON'T. DO. IT.


Piece of free legal advice number 2:

If you are already married, DO NOT, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, fly to Las Vegas and MARRY SOMEONE ELSE. Bigamy is a crime, people. Take this to heart.

Also, if you do this, against the very sound advice of LAWMOMMY, do NOT be surprised if BOTH of your spouses (or putative spouses) want your head on a platter. You have been warned.

That is all for now.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Where Ever We're Together, That's My Home*

Twelve years ago, today, Husband and I stood up, in front of our assembled families and friends, on the hottest day of the summer, and promised to love one another until the end of time.

My grandfather sang an old-fashioned hymn in his beautiful, deep baritone that brought tears to my eyes, and my veil nearly caught on fire in the unity candle as Husband lifted it over my head.

And it was hot. Wow. Was it ever hot. And I think we got married in the last church in Ohio that didn't have air conditioning in it's sanctuary. (Earlier in the day, my grandfather and I had actually had a fight - in which he took the reasonable side and suggested that lighting 48 enormous candles along the aisle was an incredibly poor choice on a day that was already 95 degrees at 10 AM, and I took the bridezilla side and insisted that I was only getting married once and I was going to have my 48 candles come hell or high water or obscene temperatures. (I cannot remember what was significant about the number of candles. I only remember it was important at the time.) And my grandpa, a man who had raised 5 daughters, recognized the insanity glowing in my heat-stroked eyes, and gave in. I miss that man.)

It was hot, and my groom and his groomsmen were wearing three piece grey wool tuxedos. We had an amazing wedding cake, made by mother, who, among her many many talents, is an extraordinary cake creator (I guess that a Bachelor's Degree in Sculpture can have unusual applications in the real world.) The heat made my mother fret that our cake would collapse, but, it didn't.

We made our getaway in a vintage Ford Mustang, and that night, we danced to the theme song to the movie The Princess Bride. (Mark Knopfler's "Storybook Love.")

And twelve years later, on a day as hot as our wedding day, I just want to say to Husband, you are my best friend, you are my passion, you are my everything.

Home is just another word for you*...


*Stolen shamelessly from "You're My Home" by Billy Joel.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Memory of Strawberries

My mother is a gardener - it's something she has always been good at. (Whereas I, on the other hand, have been known to kill plastic plants and cacti, even.)

When I was growing up, my mother grew strawberries in two long lines, running along a walkway on the side of our house. They were tiny, little perfect heart-shaped strawberries - or perhaps it was just that we never allowed them to grow very big. They certainly never made it into the kitchen. While we had peaches and raspberries and rhubarb in abundance in our freezer, the strawberries were pretty much were eaten by whoever happened to spot a ripe one on the vine, right there on the walkway. I don't even remember rinsing them. Maybe we rinsed them in the hose, but, probably not. But, as I recall, the taste of those strawberries was a little taste of heaven - sugar sweet without the sugar, and warm from the sun. (We did the same thing with my mother's snap peas - eating them straight from her garden. I wonder if she knew that we ate them, or if she just thought she had a lousy crop of snap peas every year?)

Yesterday, Husband brought home a package of strawberries from Kroger. Lana and Gabe were excited when I opened the package up to make a bedtime snack - they both love strawberries. I rinsed the strawberries in the sink and started to slice them into bowls, and the smell of those strawberries wafted up to my nose, and it occurred to me, that THESE strawberries barely even smelled like strawberries. For lack of a better explanation, they smelled like the memory of strawberries. A faint whiff of what strawberries are SUPPOSED to smell like. This made me sad.

I sliced the California berries up and put them in bowls for my children. I sprinkled them with sugar, and they ate them with gusto. I put the rest in bowls for Husband and myself, and I drizzled them with sugar and with a few drops of obscenely expensive balsamic vinegar from Zingerman's*, and I won't say that they tasted bad. (In fact, with the balsamic and the sugar they tasted pretty divine.) But, they didn't taste like the strawberries from my mother's yard. It made me wish, momentarily, that I had a green thumb like my mother's.


PS - there is a photo post up at my other site

*I stood in the vinegar section Zingerman's in Ann Arbor, looking at the $150 bottles of balsamic, and the $30 bottle of balsamic seemed like a veritable BARGAIN by comparison - and then I got home and it occurred to me that I had spent more on the bottle of balsamic than I had on the SHOES I was wearing, and it seemed a little insane. It made sense at the time, I swear. I was made temporarily insane by the crazy delicious smells in there. And the vinegar really is amazing. It is. I SWEAR.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hold Me Like a Baby That Will Not Fall Asleep

I have much to report on the bacchanalia of roller coasters, fried foods, and family (dys)function that is our annual extended family reunion to an amusement park on the shores of Lake Erie, but, I don't have time to do it justice and hilarity right this minute. Hopefully later this evening I can write a good post.

In the meantime, do you ever get a phrase from a song stuck in your head? Like, STUCK STUCK STUCK in your head and it WILL NOT GO AWAY for anything? And you listen obsessively to other songs OVER AND OVER AND OVER again in an attempt to get that ONE MEDDLESOME AND UNPLACEABLE PHRASE out of your head because you fear if you don't it will keep playing over and over until you go stark raving mad?

No? Really? It's just me, then?

I guess I am nuts.

I've been listening to the music from the movie Music and Lyrics, an album by the Perishers, and also a song by some dude named Daughtry who is evidently famous for having been on a show that I have never watched* but is, by all reports, quite a big hit - trying to shake this musical obsession.

But, none of this got the pesky musical phrase out of my head. So I googled it. (LAWMOMMY PULLS HAIR, POUNDS HER HEAD AGAINST HER DESK AND WAILS, "WHY DIDN'T THIS OCCUR TO ME BEFORE???????????")

The phrase is (as you might have guessed from the title of this post), "Hold me like a baby that will not fall asleep." I have no idea where this came from, or where I heard it, but, I know it stuck with me, because, while it might seem like a romantic idea to someone who has NEVER held a baby that will not fall asleep - to someone who has spent a LOT of time holding a baby that wouldn't fall asleep (that would be Gabriel) - even years later, the feeling of desperation that accompanies that act does not leave me. "Hold me like a baby that will not fall asleep" - it's an act of desperation, of angst and anxiety and fretfulness - is it not? It doesn't sound like a love song, not to me, anyway. I think it captured my dark curiosity. Why would anyone ask for this particular kind of holding?

And so it played, over and over and over again, in my head, just that single phrase.

But, thank god for google. And Because I was able to determine WHICH song it belongs to, WHO sang it, and then LISTEN to it. About 12 times this morning. And that seems to have done the trick to get it out of permaplay in my own little music-room-of-obsession in the deep dark recesses of my brain.

It's Suzanne Vega's Gypsy, from her 1987 CD Solitude Standing, and the music can be found at this youtube link. (I have NO IDEA what the animation that accompanies the music is about. NONE WHATSOEVER. I have no association with You Tube, Suzanne Vega or the person who put this video together and am in no way shape or form endorsing same. Just saying, this is the song that was making me crazy.) It's actually a really great song. But, I'm still not sure what the refrain is supposed to MEAN.


* I'm serious. I don't watch it. I had no idea who Daughtry was, until I heard the song on the radio (the song is "Home" and I was all, "that is an AWESOME song. WHO is this guy, singing this song with these great pipes??" ( er...vocal chords). And, then, I found out he came from American Idol. Am I the only thirty-something in America who didn't know this? Please tell me I am not alone.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

There is a Polly Pocket in my Purse, where once only Hotwheels dared to tread

Five months ago, David and I first met our brown-eyed girl. (See post below for a photo of our first mintues together).

In many ways, I can hardly believe that it has only been five months.

It seems like a lifetime ago.

I know it makes no sense, and I know I have said this before (to some of you in real life, if not on this blog), that my memories of our time in DaNang and HaNoi are farther away from me that my memories of our time in Japan, or my time in France or our time in Tucson. Those times and places are all more than a decade in the past. But, my memories of the lives I led in those places are clearer, crisper, more available to me, than the three weeks we spent in Viet Nam. (And yes, I realize that I LIVED in those places, and I only visited Viet Nam, but, it's the best comparison I can offer.)

My memories of that trip seem to grow fuzzier by the day, like they are at the very edges of my consciousness and threatening to fade away into oblivion. I am so glad I kept such a detailed journal, because, without it, truly, I would have a hard time remembering that it was "real."

Obviously, when I look at Lana, or when I see tiny pink shoes in the foyer of my house, or the Strawberry Shortcake bathing suit hanging in my shower - I know she came from somewhere. There is the surreal realization that she is in the here and now, she is filling in a space that for so long we didn't even know was empty.

But it seems impossible - only five months ago? Only five months ago, David and I flew halfway around the world, for this child, and brought her home? Hasn't she always been here?

And yet it is those tiny pink shoes in my foyer - I KNOW those haven't always been there. Or the Polly Pocket at the bottom of my purse, hanging out with a Tinkerbell lip gloss. Is it possible it has only been five months since I first saw her with my own eyes?

It hasn't been easy, these five weird, wonderful, bizarre, emotional months. But, I think it's getting easier. It's certainly getting harder to remember that she hasn't always been a part of us.


You've Come a Long Way, Baby

One month ago...*

Five months ago...

*And for those of you worried about the fact that she is holding a very tiny, wild turtle, rest assured that my science teacher husband made sure she disinfected her hands afterwards


I'm a little bit FREAKED OUT by ,

this news article ,

in light of
very bad dream of two weeks ago.


Monday, June 04, 2007


It's raining. It's been raining for 2 days. I feel melancholy and slightly sad for no reason whatsoever that I can pinpoint. I have the same three songs* on repeat and have been listening to them over and over all day (they seem to soothe my melancholy for unknown reasons.) I suspect it's driving my secretary crazy.

I could tell you about our weekend, but, really, the rain is making me tired and I don't feel like it. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Thank you for everyone who made suggestions for the treadmill - I now have a VERY LONG QUEUE at Netflix. I have Alias coming as soon as I finish with Grey's Anatomy. (I was very good and walked on the treadmill over the weekend on both Saturday and Sunday. I finished Season 3 of Arrested Development, and you would think with all that hilarity I would be in a better mood. Go figure...)


* Pete Yorn's "Just Another", Maroon 5's "Makes Me Wonder" and Snow Patrol's "Open Your Eyes." Random, I know. But, just what I was in the mood to listen to. Over and over and over again...

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