Thursday, October 22, 2009

Going Rouge in LA while attempting to fill out Adoption Papers

No that's not a type-o. And I started writing this blog before I learned that there is a book out in response to Sarah Palin's Going Rogue called Going Rouge.

I went to my wonderfully talented hairdresser today, Romi Cortier , to get my hairs dyed. I have been increasingly more blond for months now, and while I was born blond, lived most of my life as a blond, I was looking for a pick me up and nothing says yahoo, in my mind, like gorgeous red hair.

I knew it would take a couple of hours so I brought my computer bag filled with articles, my computer and the dreaded adoption constitution. I say dreaded because it is literally a mound of paperwork that we've been putting off for weeks/months now. Jason and I met with this lovely adoption counselor last week. She was sincere, soothing and nothing but hopeful. We were told that in order to get started and get our home study scheduled we had to get complete the paperwork that had been sent to us in the mail. This stack (about 200 pages it seems) has been moved from the kitchen, to the office, to the kitchen, to the dining room table and back to the kitchen waiting for the perfect time to begin the process of answering thousands of questions, writing your biography, doing fingerprints and a myriad of other things.

In order to feel like I was moving forward on the adoption process, I decided to lug the stack with me to the hairdresser's today. I stared at them as we discussed tints, coppers, golds, semi permanent vs. permanent. I asked if the coloring had kept me from getting pregnant. He reminded me that he uses only non toxic dyes. I stared some more at the first question. Name? I managed to fill out the first line and then Harper's Bazar, Us Weekly, The New Yorker and People magazine caught my eye. I perused every magazine that I could get my hands on. I even looked at classified in today's paper (something I haven't done in years). I want to fill these papers out with excitement, hope and with my husband. So, I decided that sitting under a hair dryer amidst the flurry of salon sounds, was not the place I wanted to conceive a child. Call it procrastination. Or a realization.

So, I lugged the papers back home with me. And maybe we will start the process tomorrow. Or on Sunday. The perfect day to start something wonderful.

Note to Self: Just because you "bring it" doesn't mean you have to "do it".

photo: Jason and Andrea on the coast of Mendocino, CA taken by Thomas Krauss.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Balloon boy barfed....did you see it?

Deep breath. Confession. I have been sucked into this drama of the boy in the balloon. (I love how we have to give things names, even if they're alert: HE WAS NEVER IN THE BALLOON) You'd be hard pressed to miss it, considering every show from The View, to Campbell Brown, Larry King and the super brain, Rachel Maddow has covered it. I didn't fall down the rabbit hole until Friday morning when I tuned in to ABC's Good Morning America (my favorite morning show) at 7:00 am. The superbly dazzling Diane was interviewing the family. What happened after that was just a moment of weirdly bizarre, train wreck television. Probably never to be repeated.

You've all seen it by now....the tired, confused, shut down kid barfed on national television. Watching it live in my kitchen while attempting to grind coffee, I was screaming at the top of my lungs....NO WAY. NO WAY. HOLY SHIT. I happen to have a contact or two at GMA and emailed my pals and it turns out that everyone there was just as shocked as those of us at home watching the family watching the poor, traumatized kid puke on television. What's wrong with this picture? Is it the family? The media? Or the public that numbs out to all of it? The whole thing is absurdly bizarre and I am embarrassed for "us" narcissus....those who desire attention no matter the cost. At the end of the day if you are allowing your child to barf on national television FOUR times and pretending he has floated away in an aluminum balloon or agree to go on Wife Swap, your ego is bigger than anything else in your life and you may want to check yourself before you wreck yourself. And to those of us who have indulged in this circus act, the sick pleasure of watching alien/human beings do sick and twisted things, we are just as guilty as the parents. For if it weren't for us and the insatiable desire to watch human beings make asses out of themselves, they would have no audience.

I seriously hope this family gets some help, or help gets to them for putting their kids in harm's way and for exposing them to this strange world. And for their aching need to be television stars and storm chasing cowboys. And I hope that we find some way to tune out when the chatter is so loud so that we are able to tune in to a frequency of truth, and the real issues that face us today. Maybe that's why the balloon boy (there I go again) has swept us away -- because for one week, which is how long this should last, we can leave our own demoralizing issues behind, and be whisked away by a barfing boy whose false claim (to his parent's fame) is that he took a Peter Pan flight high over the Rockies in a home made spacecraft balloon.

Note to Self: Just when you think life can't get more does.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Going Rogue in Annapolis while reading the New York Times

Two very significant things happened since I posted last. Well, three. Okay, make it four.

Jason and I were on our way to Annapolis, Maryland for a friend's wedding over the weekend. A very tall man sat next to me in the middle seat. He called me sweetie and offered me mints within minutes of putting away his bag and wiggling his way in. When I looked up to meet his eyes and say thanks for the mints, of which I took two, I realized I was sitting next to a person that I have either questioned, felt anger towards, or made fun of my entire existence in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, many months ago, I took issue not with him directly, but with his profession and those that populate it. This man of mystery is our local Weather Man Super Star, Dallas Raines.

For those of you who live or have lived in Los Angeles, you know who I'm talking about. Tall. Very Very Very Tan. Big white teeth. Blonde (Maybe bleached?) blown out hair. I have spent many years frustrated with him because I have wondered how hard can it be to report the weather in Los Angeles? It goes something like Sunny and 72 for 9 months. Hot and 95 for two months. A week or two of rain scattered in there. Marine layer in June that keeps the sunshine away. June Rocks. Invariably, there is always a report of the "Storm of the Century" that makes people do radical things like sand bag their store fronts. Indeed we get rain, but not enough to warrant the "Storm of the Century" end of the world graphics and music. It always baffles me that with Doppler radar, Satellites flying above and every other instrument available to major metropolis' that weather men have a hard time getting it right.

Dallas, it turns out, is a lovely and generous man. He offered me almonds after the mints. Talked proudly about his three kids. Knew he wanted to be a meteorologist since he was five years old. He is a race car driver enthusiast. Born and raised in Georgia. Dallas Raines is his given name (I always thought it was a stage name). He's very out there with his Christianity, but not in a you need to be saved way. One other thing that I learned about him is that he doesn't believe in Global Warming. I found that strange for a man that lives his life studying weather patterns. I wanted to scream, ARE YOU JOKING, but held back. It was a lively, enlightening two hours and I have a new found respect for him. Even though he believes things that I do not -- God made the world in seven days and the fact that the polar ice caps are melting isn't necessarily a problem for us humans. I sincerely hope that I didn't misunderstand him, but I am pretty sure those are his beliefs. Fair enough.

Second thing that happened is that when I was in Annapolis I (we) WENT ROGUE. Jason and I ditched our fertility protocol and decided on Saturday morning, after I took Femara pill number two and was emotional and cranky, that staying on these drugs and trying again with IUI is not a great plan for either one of us right now. I put the pills away and now I will be hormone free for a while. Good for him. Good for me. Good for anyone who has to interact with me.

Third thing is the New York Times on Sunday and Monday ran front page feature stories about infertility. So much was covered regarding IVF and IUI. But the gist that I got from the very in-depth articles was that a) It's a travesty that Infertility isn't covered by insurance and b) So many of these families end up with premature multiple births and the cost not only in dollars but in emotional well being is immense. I strongly urge anyone who is going through this to check these articles out.

Fourth thing is we met with an adoption person who deals with Foster kids who are looking for homes. It's a step. And we took it. I'm very happy about that.

When we arrived back to LA there was 48 hours of glorious, refreshing, desperately needed rain. Dallas told me it would happen while we sat on the plane eating almonds and discussing weather patterns. And for the first time since I've lived here, I believed him.

Note to Self: Weather, just like life, is unpredictable no matter how many Doppler radars you have.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I wanted to take this moment to thank you for becoming a follower of this blog and taking a journey with me and this community of women. I am just understanding this blogging world, so if I haven't reached out to you on your blog or email, it's because there are some where I am unable to do that. I am still working on it. If you have any suggestions, please do tell. So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU....for listening, reading, writing and for your support and love.

Can you believe that "whatever" is the most hated word in the English language? That came out today in a poll. I love the word whatever. I use it way too much, as a lazy attempt to fill space. Or how about the abbreviated version -- whatevs. That's a cool word too. I have a friend who literally says "whatever" every 15 seconds. If she was asked to stop saying it, I believe she would make no sense and develop a nervous tick, actually she has a couple of those, which might be why she fills space with words like whatever, like, come on, i'm just sayin'. It's a great reminder for all of us that there are bazillions of words out there that we had to learn to get into a college, and to use more of them. As a rule of thumb, less is more, unless the less is creating a language that is annoying the shit out of the population at large.

On a fertility note, I went into the Doctors for a follow up visit yesterday. Needless to say, I was kind of a wreck. The loving and very worried nurse offered a chocolate sprinkles cupcake to me as a sweet, buttery salve. As I sat in the Docs well lit office looking across his desk at his new, young and very pregnant intern, I wept and I ate. And all I could think was, I should have brought cupcakes. I bet the person who brought in cupcakes is pregnant, LIKE THIS INTERN!!! My doc asked me if I needed anything to help calm me down this next cycle. I wasn't sure what he was getting at, but after quizzical looks and a very uncomfortable conversation, that went something like, "I always said I would NEVER go on anti-depressants", he wrote me a prescription for the big P. Prozac. You heard me. I don't know if I'm going to take it. I have a weird feeling that I might like it too much. Whatever.

Note to Self: Never say never and use "whatever" only when necessary.

photo: Wiley in the grass taken by Leelee Groome

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sheryl Crow reflects on Note to Self

I have dreaded this blog entry for 36 hours. I wasn't sure how to put into black and white that I am not pregnant (AGAIN). How many times can this happen to a girl and she remain sane? Is that possible? Has anyone out there ever wanted to apologize for not being pregnant? All the well wishes and phone calls. All the fertility dolls and lucky charms. Has anyone had the mind to send them all back? Because on days like this I feel like I have let everyone down. My Jason. My family. My friends. I know it's not rational, but it's real. I have heard it are building a family. It takes time. One day this time will be in your rear view mirror. I want to believe it and yet it all seems so far away. I want to say this is the hormones talking, I am mostly right. Part hormones. Part desire. Part disappointment.

I sat down on the couch, next to the window, by the fountain about 25 times. Checked email, surfed the web, anything to avoid writing. Jason left town on a business trip so this news has come and I have had to deal with it alone. Not totally alone as I have friends who love me and have called and been there. So I continued to surf the web....and this is what I found:

The wonderfully talented and loving and beautiful Sheryl Crow blogged about "Note to Self". It's not everyday that a rock star tells her fan base to check out your book, so I thought I would take this moment to say that's what happened today along with I got my period. I can't thank her enough. It is a bright spot in this rather confusing and depressing day.

I have included an excerpt from her chapter in my book. She writes about the mistakes and frustrations in making her first record and how making her second album freed her to be the artist she is today. While it's about making music, the lesson resonates beautifully in many areas of all of our lives. Mine included. This baby making process has nothing to do with anyone else but me and Jason and I have to let go "the idea" that I might be disappointing those around me. The expectations and the regret. The idea of letting go is the new idea.
Ladies and gentlemen an excerpt from "Note to Self", Sheryl Crow's essay: "Achieving Harmony"....

The experience really set me up to make my second album in the right spirit. When I went into the studio to record, I felt like nobody believed in me so I had nothing to lose. I figured I’d make the record I wanted to make. I couldn’t wait to get in, close the door, and purge myself.

24 hours after shutting the studio door, my producer left. I called my manager. “I’m screwed,” I told him. “What should I do?” “Do it yourself,” he said. “You know what you’re doing. You’ve always demoed your music well enough that it sounds like records.” We didn’t okay this change with the label, because we thought they would never let me, a woman, produce on my own. So feeling like I really had nothing else to lose, I just did it. My second album created a big opportunity for me, and I’d like to think, for other women to produce their music. When one door closed, another opened. Literally.

When I listen to the album today, I hear a scrappy, frustrated voice who thought her career was over, and then proved that she was just beginning. It was a nice opportunity to turn a horribly negative experience into a positive, self-affirming one and learn to believe in myself again. The process toughened my skin. and it made me much more protective of my own talent. I’m no longer afraid to own it. I called that album, “Sheryl Crow”—for all the obvious reasons—it was my statement, for better or for worse, and happily it was received for the better.

I always said that if my first record had sold 10,000 copies, I would have still been in good graces with those misunderstood artists, but instead I became the “them” in the “us against them.” It didn’t feel great at the time, but in hindsight, I realize how much it prepared me for the future. The lessons that come with breaking free, in many ways, carry over in all areas of one’s life. I’m not nearly as gullible, and I have a lot more savvy when it comes to running my business like a business. Ultimately, I can’t make everybody happy.

The amazing and beautiful thing about life is that there will always be a time and a place to heal old wounds and practice forgiveness and compassion. I hold no grudges against anybody for anything, and my days are better lived that way. This reality was never more than clear when I had the amazing opportunity to reunite with my producer, Bill, fifteen years later on the album, “Detours.” The title says it all. We laughed, we cried, we got to work, and we made some really inspired, kick ass music.


Note to Self: When you try to please everyone, you risk losing yourself along the way.