Monday, May 21, 2007

Slash: How my favorite TV show is quite possibly ruined for me forever

It is no secret to my family and friends that I am a huge West Wing fan. When West Wing was still on the air and I was in a graduate psychology program (that was cancelled, btw, before I finished, bad bad bad university), my cousin Becky and I would IM each other the countdown to WWW-West Wing Wednesday. Silly, to be sure, but our classes that semester were unbearably boring. The show, on the other hand, was smart, engaging, moving, and downright clever.

After I moved to Alabama to be with R, I had Wednesday night classes every week, so I missed seeing the latter half of season 6 and allmost all of season 7. Luckily, all seven seasons are on DVD and I have, in an uncharacteristic dive into frivilous consumerism, bought the whole series (across this past year of course, because buying 7 sets of DVDs at almost 50 bucks a pop is beyond the capacity of my wallet).

And, yes, for those of you who are wondering- my frustration over the slow pace of our adoption has me beating a fast retreat into fantasy land- so West Wing is my current "coping" mechanism, or, rather, my way to obsess about something other than the wait.

I am currently waiting for season 7 to arrive (hooray for Ebay!) and just finished watching the last episode of season 6 the other night. As with any addiction, withdrawal has been horrible- due, in part, to the depressing reality that I currently have no life and am in desperate need of a distraction (see above paragraph).

A reasonable person (well, ok a less deranged, more rational thinking person than I) would simply pop in one of the already watched DVD's from previous seasons, watch his/her personal favorite episodes, and keep an eye out for the postal worker delivering the mail.

I am not that person. I have some kind of anal retentive need to watch the shows in order, and so I am trapped in withdrawal by my own peculiarities.

Here is where the whole West Wing obsession gets bizarre (or, if you prefer, even more bizzarre): Having no idea when the season 7 DVD set is going to arrive, and being stuck in this godforsaken U.P wilderness with its 30 degree temperatures and overcast skies, I decided to cruise the internet for West Wing fan sites.

I discovered West Wing Fan Fiction.

Wow. There are people out there who write stories about the characters on West Wing. In some cases very complex, very long stories- for instance, one story had 17 chapters!

Intriguing. A little bizzarre, but intriguing.

I decide, in light of drizzling rain, 30 degree temperature, and no sign of the mail person, that, what the heck, why not waste a little time and read some of these stories.

I should have read the FAQ first. Particularly the definitions for "Slash" and "AU" stories.

Especially the definition for "Slash" stories.

I clicked on a story that featured President Josiah Bartlett (my personal fav), Leo McGarry (Chief of Staff, another fav character of mine), CJ Craig (White House secretary), and Toby Ziegler (Communications Director). With this particular cast of characters, I expected at best a pretty good drama involving some type of political dilemma (assuming the writer can, actually, write) or, at worst, a poorly worded, sloppy re-write of one of the episodes from the series.

I begin reading. And discover neither of my assumptions are correct.

Three paragraphs into the story and I am thinking....

Oh. my.

One page into the story and I am horrified......


Barlett and Leo? CJ and Barlett and Leo? Toby and CJ and Bartett and Leo?

In the White House?




After reading one and a half pages, I am in a state of shock. and disgust. I exit the website, stare in horror at the monitor, and then, shut down the whole computer.

It is quite possible that I may never be able to watch West Wing again. At the very least, I will have to ban all episodes involving Josiah Bartlett, Leo, CJ, and Toby having a scene together in the Oval Office in which the presidential seal carpet is shown on camera.

Yeah, that pretty much means I can't watch any episodes ever again.

I need a new favorite show. Something safe, like "Family Affair" or "The Waltons."

Surely people wouldn't write "slash" fan fiction about Buffy, Jody, and Mrs Beasely.

Would they?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Conversations with a 4 Year Old- aka I am so ready to be a mom

Last evening R and I met some friends and their 4 year old granddaughter, B, for dinner. B brought along all of her my little ponies and I had a blast coloring with her and helping her "feed" the ponies some of the carrot sticks that came with B's chicken strip meal. After dinner was over, B stated that she "really truly wished she could sleep over our house tonight." Of course, we all know that her wish to sleep over would come to an abrupt end about twenty minutes after she came to our house (she is, after all, 4), so her grandmother and I tried to both acknowledge her wish and convince her that it was really better if she slept at Grandma and Boppa's house, and that we would set a date later in the summer for her to come spend the day here with me.

B was having none of it. For one, she was very tired and therefore in a stubborn, yet whiney, mood. Also, she is very precocious and countered everyone of our "arguments" with a very endearing, eye lash batting, head ducking into my shoulder (I was carrying her at this point) sweet voiced little refrain: "Oh, but if I don't sleep over tonight, I will never not ever have a chance again, and that would make me so very sad."

So, we arrived at a compromise. B would ride to our house with us, and Grandma and Grandpa would come pick her up in a little while, and we would make plans to have a super duper sleep over at our house this summer, with a princess tent thrown in for good measure (I am a sucker for the eyelash batting routine). So, we moved the booster seat to our car, grabbed the backpack with all the little ponies in it, and headed to our house.

B dearly loves Ben and Bogey, and so we spent the first five minutes or so talking about the dogs and watching them tear around the house in wild abandon- so thrilled they were to have someone new in their house.

Then, B found the baby's room (still not put together after the move, but that is another post) and, to her great delight, discovered the big red fire engine pedal car tucked into the corner. With its flashing red light and loud silver bell it is simply irresitable to B. So, Bailey climbs in, we wheel it out into the hallway, and R "helps" (i.e. pushes) B drive it down the hallway into the living room.

We then spent about twenty minutes playing "Fire Engine"......we fixed 10 flat tires (using a basting syringe as a tire pump), checked the oil 5 or six times (using a the broken end of a wooden spoon as a dipstick), and filled the gas tank 12 times (using the basting syringe as a gas pump). We also saved six kitties stranded in high trees using the ladders and put out two fires. Oh, and we also brought the little Red Ryder ride-on fire engine (designed for two year olds) to use as a back up fire truck for the ponies to ride on, so that we could still help people while the big engine was "gettin fixed."

Sure enough, about twenty minutes into the visit, B says rather nonchalantly "I wonder when Grandma and Boppa are coming."

So, I sneak away and call my friends and tell them B is asking for them, and if they really loved me they would come to get her before we hit the crying stage.

Grandma and Boppa arrive about five minutes later (they live just down the street from me) and B spent a few minutes showing off the fire engine and, as she left with them, demanded that we make sure to check the tires and the oil and the gas tank so that when she comes back to play the fire engine is ready to go.

As I was playing with B, watching her "ride" the fire engine and save the stranded kitties in the trees, I couldn't help but wonder if someday we would be watching our own little guy playing so happily with the fire engine, a basting syringe, a broken wooden spoon "dipstick", and little wooden ladders perfect for saving kitties stuck in trees.

Watch, my kid will hate fire engines and will turn the wooden dipstick into a toy gun. which he will use to shoot chippies and other random animals hiding in trees.

I don't care. I am just so ready to be a mom.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


KelleyO tagged me with this one......Enjoy!

What is your salad dressing of choice? Catalina French

What is your favorite fast food restaurant? tough call, i am not a big fan of fast food. McDonald's, I guess.
What is your favorite sit-down restaurant? Toss up between Red Lobster and Olive Garden

On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? 20%

What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? I dont think there is any food I could eat everyday for two weeks.

What is your favorite type of gum? BlackJack

What is your wallpaper on your computer? A picture of Martin Sheen in the Cathedral from the West Wing episode "Two Cathedrals"

How many televisions are in your house? 2


What’s your best feature? eyes (or so I have been told)

Have you ever had anything removed from your body? um, yeah, the usual stuff: tonsils, adenoids

Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? I have no earthly idea.

When was the last time you had a cavity? oh I bet I have one right now.

What is the heaviest item you lifted last? Coffee Table

Have you ever been knocked unconscious? yup. car accident in Gettysburg, PA. Car flipped and landed right on the battle field. moral of the story: beware of 88 year old women driving 70's era cadillacs.


If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? nope.

Is love for real? I believe so.

If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? I like my name

What color do you think looks best on you? Blue

Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? a rogue mosquito. blech!

Have you ever saved someone’s life? In what way? I've called 911 a couple of times for someone. not sure if that even comes close to saving anyone.

Has someone ever saved yours? The doctor who realized I had a raging staff infection in my knee (post-op) and called in the surgeons on a Sunday night. Definitely saved my life, not to mention my leg.

Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? Maybe. Can I have a few shots of hard liqour first?

Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? yeah, probably.

Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? Not in this lifetime

Would you never blog again for $50,000? I'd seriously consider it.

Would you pose nude in a magazine for $250,000? No

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1,000? Yes. especially if there is a few hundred glasses of water standing ready.

Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000? Wouldn't even consider it.

Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? Nope

Give up MySpace forever for $30,000? Sure thing.

DUMBOLOGYQ:What is in your left pocket? dog treats

Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie? Never watched it

Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house? carpet

Do you sit or stand in the shower? Stand

Could you live with roommates? Not happily

How many pairs of flip-flops do you own? None. uck.

Last time you had a run-in with the cops? Pulled over for having a headlight out a few months ago.

What do you want to be when you grow up? who said I planned on growing up?

Last friend you talked to? Fran

Last person you called? R

First place you went this morning? No where. unless the bathroom counts. ha.

What can you not wait to do? Receive our referral

What’s the last movie you saw? The Queen

Are you a friendly person? Usually.

Hmm...who to tag? I pick Kathryn at Journey to Our Child, Laura at Ladybugs and Dragonflies, and Kate at The Cracked Pot

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Week in Review

I realize I have not posted in ages, and I apologize if that has annoyed anybody. Truth is, there is no adoption news to report, and since this is an adoption focused blog I sometimes have to scramble to find something to talk about. I believe we are now number 55 on the list (rumors are that there were four referrals recently, three boys and one girl, although I have not officially received an update from our regional rep), and someone recently posted on our agency yahoo list that they are number 54 and have been asked to put their dossier together- however I do not know if they are number 54 on the overal list of 159 or 54 on the list for a boy, or 54 on the list for a girl, so I do not have my hopes up in terms of being asked to put our dossier together. I probably should contact our homestudy agency to schedule an update sometime soon (we recently moved, so we need to amend the homestudy to state that), however we are trying to put that off as long as we can so as to get as much "mileage" out of the updated homestudy as possible. We really do not want to have to do yet another update down the road if we dont' have to, for obvious reasons: it is expensive. If we can schedule it for sometime in August, then we will be near our one year mark for our homestudy (we had our original homestudy done in September of last year) and should be o.k. if the timeline our agency has given us holds true.

In other news, this last week/10 days have been filled with drama and adventure! Let's see, where to start.....hmmm....anyone up for a good Bogey story? Kate, you will appreciate this one, since your Piper is also a scottie.

Bogey's Grand Adventure

Last Wednesday morning, I let Ben and Bogey outside in the backyard to run around and chase that horrible chipmunk that insists on teasing them- hoping, in vain, that by letting them outside I would get a few minutes peace and quiet to check email without a cacophany of barking and whining from the boys as they sit in the window and voice their protest over the chippie's presence in their yard. It worked like a charm, for about ten minutes. Then, Ben decided he had had enough of the fruitless hunt and wanted back in. I let Ben in and tried to convince Bogey to come back in as well- however he was still hot on the trail of the chippie and refused to give up the chase.

I learned a long time ago that you can't outstubborn a scottie- they are going to do what they want to do when they want to do it, thank you very much. So, I left him outside and decided to tackle the distasteful task of laundry. While I was in the back room gathering up the dirty clothes, Ben began barking his little head off in the living room- it was his "alarm" bark; of the "something is terribly wrong and you need to come here right now" variety.

I muttered some not so nice words under my breath about the chipmunk and returned to the living room to tell Ben to chill out. Sure enough, Ben was sitting on the back of the couch staring out the window and barking like mad. Had to be the chippie, I figured. I knew that he would not stop barking until I looked out the window and acknowledged that yes, there is the chippie, and yes it is in the backyard etc.....

Imagine my surprise when I looked and did not see a chipmunk anywhere. "What in the name of all that is holy ARE you barking about Ben?"

Then I saw it. Way off in the distance, at the crest of the hill and moving fast towards the forest. A little white tail wagging.

I flew out into the backyard and checked the perimeter of the fence. Sure enough, there was a hole dug underneath the corner of the fence.

Bogey was AWOL.

I grabbed Ben's leash and put it on him, put Bogey's leash in the pocket of my hoodie, and took off out the door.

ONE HOUR LATER...after tromping through the woods in some kind of horrible Saturday Night Live spoof of Lewis and Clark exploring the wilderness... alternately crying, pleading, and cussing Bogey out.... I finally managed to get my hands on the little runaway. [Actually, Ben is the one who caught him, as Bogey likes to hunker down and "hide" and jump out at Ben -it is his favorite game- and, thinking this was one hell of a great game he was playing, did the same thing in the woods.....when he jumped out from underneath a mass of soggy leaves (did I mention it was raining?) and landed on top of Ben, I managed to grab him and hook him to his leash]

My once white/wheaten little scottie dog was pitch black. covered in dirt, mud, sticks, leaves, and who knows what the hell else.

When we finally made our way back to the house a rather sheepish Bogey headed right down the hall and jumped into the bathtub. Normally I would have found this to be a Hallmark "aw how cute and clever" moment, but I was far too ticked off to appreciate that interpretation. Instead I interepreted it as Bogey saying "ok, yeah, I know this is the price I have to pay for taking off, but man it was a lot of fun and definitely worth it."

It took 3 baths to get him clean. 6 towels. 1/2 a bottle of doggie shampoo. Not to mention I then had to bathe Ben. And myself.

Robert came home early and fixed the fence so that it was now truly "Bogey proof."

So, imagine my shock when the very next day I looked outside and could not see Bogey ANYWHERE.......

I checked the signs of a prison break.

Yet, there was no Bogey to be seen.

And Ben was again sounding the alarm with his extremely annoying, shrill barking frenzy campaign.

I could not believe this was happening. again.

Guess who managed to dig a hole under the deck (no small feat, as it is more a platform than a deck and has no steps- it rests on the ground for crying out loud)?

And Guess who got STUCK under the deck and could not get out?

Guess who had to dig you-know-who out from under the deck and give him yet another round of baths?

That dog is going to be the death of me yet.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Oh Boy

Last week the board of directors of the Sawyer Family Center put together a flyer to go out in the community newspaper that details the different projects and events that are currently going on and in the works.

1500 of these things were printed up and delivered as an insert in the sawyer news.

My phone has been ringing off the hook since they were delivered.

Why, you ask?


Instead of the phone number for the Sawyer Family Center being put on the flyer, our personal home phone number was put there by mistake

and no one caught this before it went to print. no one.

And no, I did not see it before it was printed. I would hope that if I had, I would have noticed that the flyer had MY HOME PHONE NUMBER ON IT!!!!!

now everytime the phone rings, I cringe.

And there is nothing I can do to fix it. not a damn thing.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Where we are on the Vietnam adoption wait list

I received a very nice, considerate, and informative email from our regional rep in response to my inquiry concerning the expanding wait times, where we are on the infamous "list", and what we should expect concerning our own wait.

According to the email, we are 111 on the list of currently 154 families waiting for a referral. If the list is further differentiated into boy and girl requests, we (having said we prefer a boy) are #59. However, if any of the 110 people ahead of us on the master list who are currently asking for a girl only change their preference to boy or girl, we will be bumped down the list.

The current wait times are 12-15 months for a boy and 2+ years for a girl. The wait time can either increase or decrease depending upon the number of referrals and the frequency of referrals our agency receives. Therefore, it is impossible to say that we will wait longer than 12-15 months, wait exactly 12,13,14, or 15 months, or wait less than 12-15 months.

in the last four months, our agency has only had 2 girl referrals, so the current statistics are in favor of boy referrals over girl referrals, which, if the trend continues, gives us a little bit of hope that we might at least fall within the wait time line quoted to us in January: 12-15 months.

So, that is where we stand right now. I feel better having a better handle on how the list works and where we are on the list. Of course, I had hoped that we were further up on the list, as we are 3 months into our wait, and if we do the math of being (potentially #59) on the list, and say there are 5 referrals a month on average, that puts us at 12 more months for a referral. Within the 12-15 month wait we were quoted, albiet at the tale end of it. So, roughly one year until referral , and 3-5 months after that for travel. Yuck. Lord grant me patience.

But, at least we know more now than we did before. That's worth something, right?