who's the ECL?

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm not BAD evil, more like devil's food cake evil.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Every Pregnant Woman's Dream

I just came home from the hospital where I was visitng with a new mom, dad, and baby.

When I was leaving to go to the hospital, I was planning on being there for awhile. Here's the story:

First time mom. Due sometime in the middle of March. However, sometime around 35 weeks pregnant, she called me telling me she thought she might be in labor. We talked about what was going on, and I told her to take a nap.

There are two ways that a mom who thinks she might be in labor can test to see if she really is in labor. She can either take a nap, or take a bath. If either activity slows down or stops her labor, chances are she isn't in active labor yet.

This mom napped and the contractions stopped. For the next couple of weeks she had several instances where she thought she was in labor but wasn't; she even headed off to the hospital a couple of times only to be sent home. We all knew she probably wasn't going to go past her estimated due date, and we all suspected that when she did finally hit active labor it wouldn't take too long.

This morning at 6:30 am I got a call from the couple. "My water broke last night at 3 am and the hospital told me to come in around 7. So we're getting ready to go and I wanted to give you a heads up!"

Cool, I said. Let me know when you want me to come over.

8:30 am. They're ready for me to come over. I get an hour's lead time, so I hopped in the shower, shoveled eggs and toast, and hustled out the door.

9:45 am. I arrive at their room. I open the door, and see the husband sitting in the rocking chair, rocking happily and chatting comfortably. What? Did she get an epidural? What's going on?

I move closer into the room and see the mom sitting upright in bed, comfortable as can be. Huh? Did she get en epidural?

Then I see a little baby suckling at her breast. OMG! She had the baby! WTF!

Apparently, 15 mintues after they called me in, she gave birth to her little baby girl. Awesome.

So her active labor, if you count from when her water broke, was 5.5 hours. For a first time mom!! The average length of labor for a first time mom is about 12 hours. If you count from when she got to the hospital, her labor was a freaking two hours. Transition was maybe 3 minutes (average 2-3 hours), and pushing was maybe ten minutes (average 2 hours). Are you freaking kidding me.

She didn't tear, she looked great and energetic and got up and showered. Her baby is precious and sweet and healthy and happy.

All first time moms want to birth like this mom did. I know I do!

Congratulations to the new parents!

Monday, February 26, 2007

how cute with the sprinkles

how cute with the sprinkles
Originally uploaded by jensteele.
because i don't really have much to say at this point, i will shamelessly advertise for eat my cake.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

We talked last night. We talked about the weather, how cold it is, how hard it can be to stay warm. We talked about his career, the studio recording, their plans, the contacts they've made. We talked about my career, my classes, the lecture I want to give, and how hard it has been to keep up with all the things I need to do. We talked about the double edge of being so busy--good signs for our careers, hard to keep up with our personal lives. We agreed that we could use some down time.

What we didn't talk about was missing each other. We didn't talk about seeing each other sometime soon. We didn't talk about our hearts and we didn't talk about love.

I had friends waiting for me upstairs; I had to go. I said how nice it was to catch up and that I was glad he was doing so well. He said the same. We hung up.

I wanted to call him back and open the floodgates of my heart and tell him that I miss him, tell him that I still love him, tell him how angry I am that we can't be together, tell him how left out I feel, tell him that I'm scared of the changes I hear in his voice, tell him that despite all the advances in my career I am terribly lonely and kind of depressed, tell him that I want to feel his body against mine, tell him that I want his eyes looking into mine, tell him that I'd come out to be with him, if he wanted, oh, didn't he want it, doesn't he want me?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wood and Water

Hrm. I just found this lurking as a draft. It's a not half bad post. Just that it's about me and Josh. Who is doing pretty good, by the way. Two Gun Man is working hard and the band is playing a lot of shows and just finished work in the studio. Anyhoo.

According to the Chinese 5-Element cycle, the cycle of time can be broken down as follows: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood. Each cycle has its own season, time of day, emotion, color, taste, smell, personality, and etc. Thus, people can be atttributed to one or two elements that can describe their constitution. This is a part of Chinese medicine that TCM doesn't really pay much attention to, so I didn't learn it in school, and am just beginning to figure this stuff out.

I met another woody type person today. Wood people are people who tend to be ambitious, straightforward (ie rude or tactless), intense (like aggressive), and kinda self-absorbed. They tend to be on the skinny side with tight tendons and a need for hard physical exercise. They can get anxious, high strung, pushy, and strung so taught with tension they look like they might snap at any time. Think road rage.

I admire woody people for their drive and ambition, their unwavering belief that they have a place in this world and by golly they are going to take it. Tell me I can't and I'll show you just how much I can, asshole.

People say that woodies tend to be type-A, but I disagree. I think that anal, compulsive organizing type-A-ness is more Metal, but that workaholic thing is surely a Wood trait.

Josh is a Wood type and he is all these things to one degree or another.

I, on the other hand, am all watery and stuff. Which means in a nutshell, because it is hard to talk about oneself objectively, that I am more receptive and flowy and Yin and mellow and patient and like to wear black. I can go deep; I like to delve below the surface all the time and do a lot of work with the unknown and transition. Also, it means I can spend a whole day lying on the couch and feel like I got a lot done.

There is a natural flow between the elements that determines the relationships between all of them. Water flows into Wood, which flows into Fire, then Earth, Metal, and back to Water.

Sometimes it was really hard for us to agree on something to do. Sometimes we would be talking about the same thing but using different approaches and we couldn't understand each other. Josh sometimes couldn't understand why I would talk about something I would think about doing and then never do it. I sometimes couldn't understand why he would be so consumed with a project to the exclusion of everything else.

Water flooding Wood, Wood consuming Water.

We are both dominant personalities; we were both used to being the "one in charge" in a relationship, and sometimes we would just get exasperated with each other. Picking out a movie at the video store was always a big ordeal. I would voice my opinion on his choices, and he would look at me and ask, "Why are you being so difficult?" My response was always, "I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm telling you what I think!"

I would tell him he drove me crazy and he would look at me with his big sparkly blue eyes, and the Wood and the Water would sort themselves out. Water nourishes Wood, Wood carries Water to the sky.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Genital Mutilation By Any Other Name...

I just watched the most intense YouTube video ever. It is a videotape of a baby boy being circumcised.

Anybody who is planning or thinking about circumcising their child should watch this video, or one like it. They need to be informed. They need to know what they are asking their child to endure.

For more information about it, you can check out this page, where the link to the above video is located.

Monday, February 05, 2007

How flickr Got Me Dreaming Of Ice

Ah, the wonders of the internet.

Here's the story:
I was checking out my flickr page, postponing all the damn callbacks I have to make today.

I decided to check on my most popular photos, as ordered by interestingness. And I noticed that one of them had been marked as somebody's favorite. Really? Why?

I checked out the flickrite's favorites, looking for mine, because--really? mine was that interesting?--and I saw this really cool, funky looking photo.

I clicked on that photo, which brought me to willster's photo set of his vacation last year in sweden. He stayed overnight at the ICEHOTEL, way up in the arctic circle. He has several gorgeous and interesting photos of the ice hotel--the rooms, the hallways, the ice chapel, the ice bar, and etc. Everything is made of ice or snice (snow and ice). Except for the electricity. And the reindeer pelts. And bed mattresses, I think. Which are covered in reindeer pelts.

Several of the rooms are decorated/sculpted by artists. In the daytime the hotel is open to visitors, like a museum. After 6 pm the guests take over. There is a sauna and warm changing rooms in the warm part of the hotel. If you were to take your luggage up to your room, it would freeze. I suppose if you need to pee you go to the warm part of the hotel. You wouldn't want to melt your room. With your pee.

Each year the hotel is built a little different. Every spring the hotel melts back into the river from whence it came. Talk about environmental!

Apparently the river the ice comes from, the River Torne, flows slowly enough that when the ice forms, it is incredibly clear. They definitely use that to their advantage when scultping the hotel, as the snice acts as solid walls and the ice as windows, letting in light. I think the clearest example of that is in the ice chapel.

I've gotta go there one of these years. I mean, come on! It's a hotel made of ice!

Thanks to the flickrite who favorited Becky's birthday cake (and apparently has a thing for rainbow sprinkles), because if they didn't I wouldn't have found the photos of the icehotel on willster's flickr page and I wouldn't now be dreaming of a trip to Sweden!

The internet rocks!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Trying Not To Obsess About HPATDH

  • Okay. Have you all seen the press photos of Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) for the play he's currently in, Equus? I mean, that's a lot of Treasure Trail Potter to be looking at. My first reaction? Holy crap, you have got to be kidding me.
  • Speaking of Hairy Potter, you must have all heard by now that book 7, HP and the Deathly Hallows, will be released on July 21st? I will be turnng off my cell phone and computer and don't you even think of bothering me for the 24 hours after I get my book (which will be at 12:01 am on July 21st). Afterwards I'll need to call one of those helplines that will be set up in the UK in order to process my depression. I know I was a little depressed when she killed off Dumblydorr in HPATHBP, and she's killed off two more pivotal characters in #7.
  • Two girlfriends and I went to Screen Door for dinner last night. We were kind of in a hurry, so we sat at the bar. The bartender was funny, and good at her job, and she's the kind of firey sassy woman that if my friend could turn gay, would want to date (her words, not mine). The restaurant had a wait the entire time we were there, so the bartender was kept busy. At one point we offered to take over for a few mintues so she could take a smoke break, and so she disappeared. We panicked. By the way, the food? Pretty good, and they have fried chicken everyday. Fried catfish and pork chops are side dishes. Take that, other Portland southern-food restaurants.
  • I still think Harry has to die in the end. Sure, Voldemort will too, but Harry's whole life purpose is to defeat Voldemort--and I just don't think that kid is going to muster through to killing the Emperor without taking himself down too. But I like that kind of tragedy, where the main character dies. Everybody wants the kind of happy ending where nobody dies--like you got it for free, right? I like the kind of happy ending that came at a terrible price--like you earned it, you know? Like Frodo, being so scarred and f-d up from all the horror and evil he experienced, that he never really healed and eventually had to leave. That kind of happy ending. Potter can't possibly live a happy and unscarred (pun intended) life after everything he will have endured. Better to have him die when the task is finished. What else could possibly be right for him, after all that?
  • I have been battling the sickness for a couple of weeks now. For a day I'll feel headachey, chilled/fevered, out of sorts. I'll take a crap ton of Vit C with flavinoids, mildly sweat when I sleep, and feel right as rain the next day. Then a few days later it starts up agian. Lather, rinse, repeat. Today seems like a sick day.
  • And, one of the Weasleys has to die. There's too many of them. And it won't be Percy. That would be too easy. Voldemort doesn't do easy. He destroys families. He doesn't off the family member that would be least mourned.
  • I've discovered that the Academy Theater, a little second run movie house in SE has these crazy movie deals on Mondays and Tuesdays. Mondays you can see two movies for FOUR DOLLARS. Tuesday is two for the price of one day. That's right--you and a buddy can see a movie for three dollars, total. And you can get pizza, beer, and a Green & Black's bar of chocolate for the show. Nice!
  • I'm not saying I want all these characters to die, but the reality of that story is that Voldemort spreads the very thing he's afraid of: death. There is not one family in the HP world that has not been negatively affected by Voldemort, past or present. Every family has lost loved ones because of him. And don't think he'll go down without a fight. And the only one to stop him is a teenager of 17? Extraordinary as he is, it's going to take something a lot deeper to take Voldemort down, and it will be the one thing Voldemort doesn't understand and always underestimates: selfless love. And who is better set up than Harry to want to do that?