Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A rambling update of everythings

Holy crap I drew something.
This is the line art for a bookplate I'm
making for the Wy'east Gallery & Book Shop

It seems the baby-thing is contagious. A couple of friends of mine have discovered they are pregnant, I have an acquaintance who is acting as a surrogate for a couple, and one of my favourite bloggers, Alicia Paulson from ‘Posy Gets Cozy’(the secretive girl) has announced she has finally been able to adopt a little baby girl after going through a long period of searching, finding and subsequent deprivation of another opportunity. I am SO happy for her.  She posted photos of the tiny Amelia, and she is as precious as precious can be! They must be so happy!

Some yard decorations we got ... for the fun of it.
I continue to whine incessantly about the increasing pain of being with child. At this point, my little countdown timer on the blog says 26 days remain before Baby J’s due date. Of course, only 5% of babies decide to bust out of their confines on their projected due date. Most wait a couple of weeks more. My doctor isn't going to allow me to go over much more than a week since I’m ‘advanced age’ and therefore ‘high risk’.  I’m hoping that Baby J’s penchant for ramming my cervix with his little noggin is a sign he might come earlier. Keeping my fingers crossed, because it has become so painful, walking is veritable torture. 

Yes, it's like that. :D
I am able to find respite from the discomfort at the swimming pool across the street. However I went swimming with my husband recently, and he chased me all around the pool, and I swam too much, and the next day I felt like I was going to die. Floating = ok. Swimming = not ok. Any marginally prolonged activity will ruin me for 48 hours. We went to Kruger’s Farm on Sauvie Island with a couple we are friends with this past Sunday, and I got home and passed out like I’d been hit with a big game-tranquilizer and passed out on the sofa within seconds of sitting down, and the next day, I was in so much soreness and pain, I thought I was going to kill someone.

This is what my husband did to the pumpkin he got
at Kruger's on Sunday.
Our seventh wedding anniversary came and went this month; with birthdays, the shower and everything else, it sort of got thrown by the wayside. But we'll live through it--find a way to celebrate at some point. 

While I was grumpy and in pain yesterday, I noticed two guys walking up my driveway. I was lying on the sofa, wishing for a quick and quiet death, my hair was a mess, I was in jammies. I threw on my husband’s robe and opened up the door to the screen and asked what they wanted.  Apparently, these guys were from a Machinist and Aerospace Union that has been working to unionize the employees of my former company.  I used to work for PCC Structurals (Also known as Precision Castparts); a company that is pretty anti-union. I recall a couple of times when there were whisperings of union going on during my tenure there, and the company clamped down on it pretty hard. Christmas bonuses went up fifty bucks too. LOL. Guards appeared in the guard-shack for a while, and then the furor died down.  This union must be pretty serious to drive over thirty miles one way to talk to me at my home. They had a whole list of employees they planned on visiting too.  This is the most serious attempt I've seen in the seven years I worked for PCC from any Union, and I imagine my ex-company will have a bigger battle to face this time if they want to prevent the employees from unionizing. 

A regency infant's gown for Baby J's ORS debut.
An unexpected gift from a kind friend from CA.
Last night, Baby J kept me up until the wee hours, so I decided I would stay up because I had errands to run. So today was another day of my being out and about. Today seems like the longest day ever, because I left first thing in the morning to mail stuff, grab fuel, stop and visit my brother, hit the bank, swing by the baby store to pick up a rocker/swing for Baby-J, some felt and fabric for a project and I wanted sushi. Bad. By the time I had lunch, I was cooked. I got home close to one, lasted a little past two and crashed for five hours. It’s 3 AM now, and I’m bright eyed and bushy-tailed. When pregnant, be prepared for bizarre sleep schedules.

Breakfast at St. Honoré Sunday morning with hubby.
Other than that, I’m just patiently waiting for the time to come for the little squirmy-butt inside me to come out. We have his little bassinet ready, and his little rocker/swing thing (I assembled that tonight and it took the cat only a few minutes to start expressing interest in this device. I had to fold it up and put it away before he catified it). We have the car seat, not installed yet, but we have it.

My shower was held on 10/14, and Baby J got mostly clothes. We hardly got anything completely practical—which was kind of a bummer. Not everyone stuck to the registries either, as I had hoped. We had been pretty specific about asking for things we really needed, but a lot of the family just went to the baby store and went haywire on clothes, and ignored what we needed on the registry. I sound so ungrateful, slap me… I really am not ungrateful, just stressing out. I need to know we have everything ready to go for Baby J and that we’ll have what we need. Trust me, I've had what I call the 'To Go' bags ready for a few weeks already. One filled with onesies, swaddling blankets, mitts, socks, caps and other baby sundries, another filled with 2 nightgowns, a robe, slippers, mini-travel sized bathroom stuff, and lip balm. I am a spazz.
The bassinet is assembled and
ready to receive its squirmy charge.
Thanks to my eldest sister for this crucial
We had to go out and get all the things we really needed immediately, the car-seat, the stroller, the bassinet, all that.  I am aware that buying cute baby clothes is more fun than buying diapers and wipes, I have fallen into that trap myself. Now I know the value of getting the practical items on the registry for new parents—and I will make sure from now on, when I attend a shower, to pick the things that aren't necessarily cute and fun, and add a little tidbit of cuteness to the gift for the sake of fun. In my experience, family members usually pitch in for the larger, practical items, but that somehow didn't happen.  We got 99% clothes and blankets. One or two folks did go with practical items. I have bottles (no breast pump), a few g-Diaper pants for 3 month olds, a tub, and a couple of other sundries.  But we are still in the air over important things, like the diapers I want to use, and bedding for the crib.  We also need to get a crib and finish the baby-room up. It hasn't even been started ::facepalm:: right now, the room is chockablock full of baby stuff from the shower and random gifts from people leading up to the shower, flooring in packages, and other stuff we need to sort through but I am just not inclined to deal with because I’m so damned Preggo and painful all the time. WAH!  Ugh. So much pressure. Luckily, baby will not need his own room right away, and can subsist in the bassinet if he arrives early.  We will muddle through I suppose. I won’t lie, I was hoping I’d have the room done before he got here… all cute and pristine and ready for his arrival.  Dream on Johanesen!

My sister's gift. The colours are not nearly as washed out
as they appear in this photo.
My sister Helen did give me a precious cute canvas which will be affixed to Baby J’s bedroom door when it’s been painted white (it’s a weird tannish-pink right now).  I sort of lost it a little bit when she gave me the painting. Understanding how my sister and I have evolved, relationship wise, is really humbling. She’s grown so much as a person in these past few years, I've changed so much too, that two people who could never really meet eye to eye are now able to have a sisterly relationship. It swelled my heart, just spending that little time with her the day of my shower. The fact that she was THERE was HUGE. And there without an agenda, or because she had other things to do (well, she did, but she came for the shower primarily). There was no sense of obligation… it was so wonderful, having her next to me exclaiming her delight in the baby clothes and being so open and genuine with my friends. I’ll never forget that. Ever.

I could not invite Satan to the shower. She would have ruined an already awkward occasion… and there were already prickly moments that day as it was, to add my mother to the mix would have ended in disaster. On the most part everyone got along… it was strange to mix friends and family, a collision of worlds, and there were territory issues and hurt feelings that I somehow couldn't manage to escape (never seem to be able to).  Either way, with Satan out of the picture it was easier to just show up and enjoy it.  I have been on a ‘satan moratorium’ lately, and haven’t spoken to my mother for a month or more. We got into a tiff about some stupid thing she wanted to do, and honestly, after being told in no uncertain terms that I should reduce my stress during this pregnancy, I found it easy to just block her out and keep her at arm’s length. It has been strange to be completely in stealth mode with her, and my husband thinks it’s inexplicable and feels like I should go see her and mend fences.  The problem is, there are no fences to mend.  It is always a place where I take her abuse, and she makes the messes and I clean them up. I’m just done with it.  I’m not sure if I even want to see her before Baby J is born, honestly. Or even after… which is a sad thing, but I just can’t stand her vitriol.  Last time I went to visit her, Baby J was just as kicky as a mule, and I made a couple of grunts of discomfort in front of my mom, and she whipped her head around with a sneer of disgust on her face and said: “Jesus Christ! What a mean little cuss!”… already ascribing negativity to someone who is completely incapable of ill intent.  She is already painting him as something bad.  She never really has been a nurturer, and she has openly said she doesn't like kids.  She had better not be mean to this boy or so help me I will duct tape her to a wall and forget about her forever. It’s bad enough she’s mean to my in laws and my husband… They are adults and can defend themselves. This child is off-limits and will never be exposed to the crap I was. Never.
Made this some years back. Got supplies
to make some more today. Easy
hand-sewing project.
Ugh.  Anyhow, I’m done ranting about my evil mother for now.  I’m in waiting mode. It could be that my next post has pictures of little feet and a belly and a squishy-face… who knows? Maybe my next post will be something creative and light-hearted.. ::laughs:: I hope to get back to that place soon enough… when beebs is born and I have less agony, and a bit of time between baby naps to do fun things.

Be happy. HC

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lunacy of politics.

A secret from this week's PostSecret page. It just goes to show you
how irrational people have become, and how afraid they've been made
about something benign. 

I do not support Romney. I think he is a colossal douche. The debates last night pretty much confirmed that for me. When he walked towards the president with his finger pointing, all I could think was that he was as disrespectful and as big as a bully as everyone says he is. He talked down to the president, the moderator and the audience as if they were the ‘help’. He is not, by any means, a good human being, even in spite of all the attestations of his ‘charitable’ nature.  I see someone who has no empathy at all. I see someone who is so out of touch with the middle class, he really has no idea what the hell he’s talking about when he talks about the middle class.

A good friend of mine who I love called me a hater yesterday because I was outraged by Romney’s behavior.  I see a lot of people whining that the outrage about Romney’s inhuman, robot behavior by calling it hate.  This coming from the base that allows Tea Party people to speak for them; people who post pictures of nooses, and spray the N-word on Obama signs. Sure. The Obama supporters are the haters. LOL, there’s a joke.

I want a president who is a human being. Romney’s practiced smile, and plastic exterior, his condescending tone and the way he looks through people… is not human.  He lacks empathy. You can tell by the way he speaks to people. He was warmer and more affable when he was preaching to his moneyed friends about the 47%... but when it comes to talking to Americans in general, he has no regard for them at all except to ingratiate them enough to get them to vote for him. He is a douchebag. A dirty, dirty douchebag.

Why am I so mad about the whole thing? Because I am middle class. We pay taxes, almost 35% of our income goes towards taxes and other deductions.  My reward for working hard all these years? Being told that the social security program I’ve been paying into all these years may not be there for me when I retire. That my retirement age will increase. That I will lose the mortgage interest deduction that saves our ass every year. That I could pay MORE for health coverage, and could be denied health coverage for pre-existing conditions. That’s my reward for being a responsible American.

Recently, I stopped working (got sort of shoved off to the side by my company is probably more accurate) because my pregnancy was hard and making me lose a lot of time.  That meant I had to either get Cobra (which is SICKENINGLY expensive), or buy our own insurance. My husband needs insurance because his new job doesn’t offer it, and Baby-J will need coverage as well, so we applied through LifeWise of Oregon.  I was declined for coverage because of a pre-existing condition. What was that pre-existing condition? PREGNANCY.  I applied well-within the transitional time, I have had continual coverage for more than ten years, and this is what I get for it.  It makes me sick that I live in a country where being pregnant can be a disease that insurance companies can choose not to cover.  It makes me sick that there is a candidate that will make sure these companies are protected at all cost from the people that keep them in existence, and that their mind-numbing profit margins are not affected by the inconvenience of people getting sick or worse… PREGNANT! And worse, pregnant in a non-rapey way too!

It makes me sick that there are people out there who stand beside this automaton with as zealously as they do their religious beliefs. They cling to things that are meaningless… his so-called ‘faith’ (as if being religious is some sort of ‘I am always a good person’ pass, which is bullshit)… his support of things like guns, and his desire to control how other people believe, how they marry, how they live and how women make choices about their own body, all the while espousing the merits of practicing freedom. It’s all such a big lie.  These people are utterly deluded and without sense.

Last night, on the third debate where this republican team once again comes out of a debate having offered NOTHING in answers for the most important questions that affect all Americans, even those ones who think they are somehow above the damage this potential administration could do.  No answers. The tactics in all three debates has been to deflect. Deflection seems to be a GOP mainstay. When called to the carpet for answers, just point out controversial things about the other side, even if those things are completely fabricated.

This team lies like nobody I’ve ever seen in my 41 years, and somehow that’s acceptable to Americans. It is not acceptable. It is never acceptable to base a political campaign on lies when the fate of 98% of the American people rest on these representatives.  Somehow Romney/Ryan have been given a free-pass to lie their asses off again and again. And not only that, they have a ‘news’ network happy to make up graphics and spin data to support the lies as much as it takes. It is unbelievable. And worse? Even if these lies are debunked with impunity by fact-checkers, they continue to be used and propagated with alacrity by the whole party, and parroted ad nauseam by the base. 

They are 100% unapologetic for their contempt for fact and truth.  They state plainly that they will not be influenced by fact-checkers. They will repeat and repeat lies as if somehow it will make it true. I cannot believe I live in a country where this is allowed; that there is a percentage of Americans who allows this to happen, who enable it, and support it even.  They do so for the dumbest reasons too and are only harming themselves in the end.  The party banks on their continued ignorance, and keeps them fired up by poking them with issues that rile them up, but issues that are utterly meaningless, ultimately.  They are against Obama because they don’t like him. Because they don’t want a black man leading this country. Because they are afraid, and have been made irrationally afraid by the party that is manipulating them.  The doom and gloom being preached by churches and politicians is unbelievable; the lies they are telling to freak them out is inhuman. But as long as it achieves the ends of the 1%, then it is acceptable I suppose, and they give these followers the promise of class-advancement while simultaneously widening the gap between the affluent and the chaff that gave them power and filled their pockets.

I am not supporting Romney. I am a rational person. He is an inhuman bully, who looks at the President of the United States as someone who is less than him. Because he is black.  Because he is human.  Because he is intelligent. Because he has shown success (much to the despair of the GOP and the pundits) IN SPITE of the treasonous stonewalling of the congress. The party heckles him, and disrespects him because they don’t see him as an equal. It’s as simple as that.  Last night’s blatant show of disrespect and bullying was as evident as it can be that this man should NEVER be allowed into the highest office of this country. It will destroy this country from within.

The Americans supporting Romney are being led by fear. A culture of fear being created by the party. They are being told that the economy will collapse (if the GOP keeps striving for that to happen, it just might, that's what they've been aiming for these past four years, they WANT Obama to fail). They are being told by pastors and priests that their souls will suffer eternal damnation if they vote for Obama. They are being told that Obama is going to take away their guns, their rights, their firstborns and their testicles too, for all I know. The craziness is out of control, and nobody seems to think this is complete bunk, and that maybe they're being manipulated. I cannot believe it.  How stupid do you have to be to believe this stuff? They are using words like Marxist, and Communist, and repeating them without even understanding what those things really are.  They are being told they are going to be forbidden to practice their religion... It's utter lunacy.

Get a grip and a perspective people. Context is important. And most of all, objectivity.  Step back from the alarmist crap and look at it with a rational eye.  Things ARE better since 2008. We paid fewer taxes, there are more jobs, and the economy is struggling back from the pit of despair in spite of a congress that has done nothing but work tirelessly to impair this progress. Look at the man you fear, this half-black man whom you seem to believe is a Kenyan Communist Nazi... look at this man who is a loving husband and a great father. A man who has fought for your right as middle class to not be butt-reamed by the 1% in spite of your efforts to protect their right to rape you incessantly.

Do I hate Romney? No. I feel sorry for Romney. He is a sad excuse for humanity, and his running mate is just as pitiable. These people are so disconnected and have no connection with real life. It's sad for them, ultimately. They have all the wrong ideas about what happiness stems from. I don't HATE anything, except maybe sweetbreads, root beer, black licorice and foie gras. And pedophiles. I hate pedophiles. 


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