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sonria July 30 2014, 12:02

My tweets

  • Tue, 22:04: Got told that I'm selfish for refusing to date men w/kids. Huh? Since when is it selfish to not want to share your partner w/another woman?
  • Tue, 22:04: And don't try to tell me it's not always like that. I have MULTIPLE experiences otherwise. Date a man w/kids, might as well date the ex too.
dinosaurcomics July 29 2014, 12:51

YOUR BODY: the missing manual


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July 28th, 2014: The early models that didn't include the protective skin coating as a standard feature were... kinda terrifying to look at.

HEY GUESS WHAT?? The final issue of The Midas Flesh is out now! You can read a preview here, and catch up with all you missed at midasflesh.com!

– Ryan

copyright1983 July 28 2014, 14:28

LJ Idol Season 9, Week 15: "Chekhov's Gun"


"What do you need right now?" I say, calmly, staring at the face on the monitor with tears welling in her eyes. That's my default question when I don't know what else to say, which happens rather frequently.

Her answer is one she's given before at similar moments. "Be angry with me." Though I've heard her say this before, I still don't understand it. I decide it's time to figure it out.

"Why would I do that? So my birthday present is a couple of days late. Not a big deal. I still love you."

She smiles weakly, but I can tell she's not yet convinced. "Why aren't you angry with me? I screwed things up--"

I cut her off. "Getting angry isn't the right reaction to this sort of thing."

There's a lengthy silence, and Katie is clearly deep in thought. Finally, she leans in and whispers to me.

"Mind telling that to my dad?"


Dear Future Father-in-law,

I know we don't have a lot in common. You're an entrepreneur, a savvy businessman from England; I'm an American accountant working his way up the ladder. We're at different stages of our lives, we've grown up in vastly different homes, and one of us has been through the long haul of raising a child while the other has not.

Yet we share one very important thing: We both love Katie.

But from what I've seen, you've got a funny way of showing it.

Look, I understand the concept of "tough love". My parents have both had to show it to me numerous times--punishing me for bad behavior, calling me out on my pride, correcting me when I went astray. Not all messages can be delivered gently.

And I know that fathers and daughters have a special relationship, something I'm not going to understand until and unless I experience it for myself. You and Katie have so many wonderful memories together, and she speaks very highly of you.

So how did it get to this point--where you haven't spoken in weeks, where any time you do talk Katie fears an incident, where the defining characteristic of your relationship with your daughter is anger?

Clearly, something must have happened to let Katie know that your reaction to any imperfection will not be one borne out of patience and self-restraint. She's stepped on enough land mines to know that she must tread carefully--every step could be painful.

And even if you remove the land mines, she's still going to be afraid, because she's learned to be. She'll still be staring at the ground, looking for clues as to where to walk, scared of her own shadow.

I know it must hurt you to see her acting like this. Frankly, it's starting to affect me too, because she's expecting me to be angry with her over the most picayune things. Now, I can't say in good conscience that there haven't been moments that have annoyed, confused, or upset me in the two-plus years we've known each other.

But angry? It doesn't happen--nor should it. There's no reason for it.

Maybe I'm wrong. I've known Katie for a tenth of the time you've known her. I don't see the interactions between the two of you except on very rare occasions. There probably is more to the story than I'm capable of understanding.

But to this outsider, it sure looks like the reason she's afraid to tread new paths is because any stumble could blow up in her face. And I know neither of us wants her to live that way.

Let's rewrite the story. Let's remove the shadow of impending doom, and replace it with the light of love.

Your son-in-law to be,

katestine July 28 2014, 13:43

Injured just enough

The problem with this post is it keeps growing and changing the longer I don't write it. I almost didn't write it this morning, bc I'm getting more data later today (well, if I make it to the gym on time) so it might be invalid by this afternoon. Rinse and repeat.

I found a really awesome prenatal yoga class. You have to understand, I hate yoga. I once walked out of a class bc I thought, "I have so much stuff to do. I don't have time for this nonsense." I showed up for this yoga class and while it wasn't really what I'd consider exercise, it was great therapy. I started tearing up every time the instructor said, "Put one hand on your heart and one on your baby." All this talk of my baby made him seem more real. (My obstetrician tells me the baby will seem real when he starts kicking.) I liked it so much, I signed up for a 10-class card that expires in 6 weeks when I went to yoga 2 days later. That class wasn't quite as good - part of what made the other class so great is the instructor is a doula, so she'd give specific instructions about what to do (or not) based on the baby's age - but it still helped open my hips etc. (I don't know if my hips are tight all the time because of the chair I'm using in the new apartment or because my loose ligaments are getting floppier due to pregnancy, but I assume it's a little of both, like everything in life.) This class is one of the only things I have found that is better or cheaper in Brooklyn than Manhattan.

Unfortunately, it's crowded out weightlifting. I was trying to fit at least my 15min, at-home kettlebell workout, but there was a week where I went to yoga Tues and Thurs, kettlebells on Weds, and Fri I completely failed to start my workout. I was at the gym, dressed, lying on the mat, and I could barely do the (essentially) hip thrusts I've been doing for multiple years on the advice of my physical therapist. Even without weight, it took massive willpower to get them done. Apparently in my condition, yoga counts as exercise, even though it's mostly organized stretching. This seems like a total rip-off to me.

Now that I'm in my second trimester, I decided to try running again. Prior attempts at running left me with horrible cramps afterward, but I thought maybe now that I was in the second trimester, it would be different. It was an unusually cool night, so I headed along the greenway to the Brooklyn Bridge, figuring I'd run until I couldn't, then come back. I ran a mile, not particularly fast but not horrific, and found myself thinking, "I should stop," so I did. I turned around and started walking home -- when I suddenly got sharp pains in my left hip (i.e. the one connected to my bad ankle). I limped home, periodically stopping to double over from the pain. I came home and announced to my husband and Twitter that I'd run for the last time in 2014. It felt like the same kind of IT band pain I had when I overtrained for my first trip to Rainier, which my PT told me was too much weight on a frame that couldn't support it, that it's an injury that pregnant women get as their body increases in weight and decreases in stability in a short period of time. I had occasional pain/inflammation near my tailbone several times after the run, including one night where I was miserable and could do nothing but go to bed. Ok, no more running.

Yesterday, Jon and I went to the Great Swamp with my ex-boss and his wife for what was originally billed as a hike and turned out to be a walk along the trail to wildlife viewing locations and then a little walk in the woods near a historic site. Jon tells me the longest distance we walked was 0.8mi -- and it was plenty for me. I was a little stiff when we got home and this morning. Ai yah.

On the plus side, I didn't immediately require ice cream afterward, even though it was hot. I've been finding that when it's hot, walking around to do errands is debilitating and I have to go find air conditioning immediately. We live 15-20mins walk from the subway, so I get some activity that way and that walk is usually okay (although a couple of weeks ago it wasn't).

Anyhow, I'm going to try doing my PT exercises at the hour-away gym where I can do almost all of them and hope that works, and finish reading what Exercising Through Pregnancy has to say about you know, in case they have suggestions besides "be fit when you conceive", bc the alternative seems to be just yoga and hope that's enough. ugh.
mmailliw July 26 2014, 18:13

Acclimation? Burnout? IDEK anymore...

On Thursday night I was planning on making a post about how I finally seemed to be settling in smoothly into MathPath (classes going better, people actually coming to my conferencing time table to discuss the problems I dealt with, even learning how to play pickleball... being coached from essentially zero by one of the veteran instructors here)... except... the 'city' was really getting to me.

I had thought about going out at night on Wednesday - except that the lightning/thunder/rain storm starting at 8 PM and ending after midnight made it essentially impossible.

Thursday had way better weather so I thought I'd go to one of the places I had seen earlier after the kids went to bed - only to find that "open until 11 on weeknights and 12 on weekend nights" ACTUALLY means "closes at 10 every day" so I decided just to go the opposite way to get to the bar I had visited on Monday.

That bar was actually a 70 minute round trip (35 minutes each way) from campus; along that road, you don't see ANYTHING open past 10 - not even a gas station - until you're 10 minutes from a bar (so if I wanted to do *anything* out at all, it would be a 50+ minute round trip) and I enjoyed relaxing for a bit; the only problem was I got back at nearly 1, took a bit after that to fall asleep for real, and was exhausted the next day.

Friday seemed to go the same as 'usual', more or less... with my wrapping up my inequalities class to real applause... but, quite often, it seems like I'm simply a ghost here (in that I'm nowhere near as visible as I was when I was a counselor or even last year although the senior staff still seems to strongly respect me). I got to spend an hour in conferencing time simply waiting for people to show up... but no one did - with much less homework due Saturday (only half the classes would meet), no one seemed to take it seriously at all!

At least I got to go out - somewhere near campus this time as a few things stayed open as late as 11!

Now we get to today: I finished teaching my last class in the morning, the camp said its formal farewells to the instructors this week (including me) but I'm still on site...

-the closing ceremonies and talent show are early this evening after dinner; I'll be asked to do a math competition for show similar to what I did my first summer as a counselor there... though I'd be surprised if I did as well this time as last time
-the kids who aren't being picked up that night (but going by plane Sunday morning) are having an all-nighter and I probably plan on hanging out most of the time with some of them instead of sleeping
-I actually leave with the kids to the airport, on a bus, at 5 AM... although my flight isn't until 11:40

after all that happens, I'll essentially be done with the week!

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