Monthly Archives: June 2014

A State of Flux

March 31, 2014

I’m missing stability right now.  Everything is in between.  My job is in between.  My fertility is in between.  My life is just in between.

We’re almost ready to post the new position so that I can apply for it.  But even then, we don’t know how long it will take before I get promoted.  And even then, we don’t know how long it will be before my position is filled.  So even though we’re almost ready to post the new position, we still don’t know how long it will be before we have two full-time people in my department.

And I have two more weeks to wait until I meet with the obstetrician.  And that meeting may result in having to find a fertility specialist who will work with single women.  And so who knows how long it will be until I can even start trying again?

And I’m tired of waiting.  I’m tired of waiting for us to hire a second full-time person to ease my workload and allow me to focus on making our program everything I know it can be.  I’m tired of waiting to be pregnant again.

I’m tired of living this liminal life.  Let me step through at least one of these doors.  I can only stand on so many thresholds at once.


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Some Thoughts on The Good Wife

March 29, 2014

I know this post won’t be going up until June, but if you haven’t seen the current (or most recent) season of The Good Wife and you’ve also managed to miss the hoopla about the “massive twist” that was in the March 23 episode, save this post and read it later.  I don’t want to give anything away, at least not to anyone who cares.

Now, I have a lot of friends who were shocked by Matthew’s death in Downton Abbey.  I wasn’t.  I knew the actor was leaving the show.  I had not, however, heard that Josh Charles was leaving The Good Wife.  But I did know that this week’s episode had a big plot twist.  I can’t pick up the CBS signal, so I watch the show on the CBS app after it’s aired.  Monday morning, I saw a headline on Slate:  “No One Has Ever Done a Twist Quite Like Last Night’s Good Wife“.  I debated about clicking on the link.  I did.  I read the first sentence — the spoiler alert — and immediately closed the window.  I successfully avoided all mention of the show for the rest of the day and was relieved to see that it was already available in the app.  You see, frequently, CBS makes you wait a week to access new episodes through the app.  This meant I was two episodes behind.  And because I enjoy seeing what people feel the need to comment about, I clicked on the “Episode Comments” button while watching the first of these two episodes.  And the first thing I saw was that Josh Charles was leaving the show.  Hmmm… Massive plot twist.  Actor leaving show.  I can see where this is going.

You’re still reading?  Because now you know as much as I did going into the episode.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend that you stop reading now.

You see, I think I might have found the “shocking twist” to be both of those things if I hadn’t known there was going to be a shocking twist or that Josh Charles was leaving the show.  Instead, while watching the end of the March 16 episode, I kept thinking about how the character of Will Gardner (played by Josh Charles) would be written out.  And since this is TV, it seemed obvious that he wouldn’t make it out alive.

I was pretty sure I knew how it was going to play out.  Suicide.  Or perhaps a murder made to look like suicide.  The show started with a political sex scandal.  Why not play off of the various scandals that involved someone committing suicide before they were able to testify?  It didn’t seem quite in keeping with the character of Will Gardner, but his desperation grows enough in the March 16 episode that I could see it being taken to the next dramatic step in the March 23 episode.

And then I got to the March 23 episode.  And, as is frequently the case in a serial drama, it began with a “Previously on The Good Wife” montage.  I’d completely forgotten about the murder suspect from earlier in the season.  And when I saw that the episode was going to focus on the trial, I knew how it was going to end.  Mostly.  I knew that somehow, the young man on trial was going to be responsible for the death of Will Gardner.  I wasn’t sure exactly how it would play out, but I knew that much.  I saw it coming from around the two-minute mark.  It, for me, was neither shocking nor a twist.

After the episode, I happily read the Slate article mentioned above.  And then I read Linda Holmes’s take on the episode.  And listened to David Bianculli’s comments on Fresh Air.  And then I found a link to the Kings’ open letter to their fans regarding the episode.  In many ways, I find the reaction to the episode to be almost more interesting than the episode itself is.

Slate found the episode to be heart breaking and shocking.  Linda Holmes found it to be trite.  David Bianculli found it shocking, well written, and masterfully performed.

If I must pick sides, my take lines most closely with Bianculli’s.  I saw it coming.  But even having figured out as much as I did, I still found it to be well written, as I expect all episodes of The Good Wife to be.  And the performance of Hunter Parrish is heart-wrenching.  The moment that caught in my throat was at the end of his rampage when he was sitting with the gun under his chin, clicking, clicking, clicking, and out of ammunition to do the one thing he’d wanted from the moment he saw what he thought was a way out.  I also  like the fact that there was no drawn out operating room scene.  There was no death bed sequence, no win one for the Gipper.  Like Tosca, Will was alive one moment and dead the next.

And it is in that point that I disagree with Linda Holmes.  I think she’s right about the letter from the Kings.  They talk about how they’ve done something unique.  But they haven’t.  Characters get killed off all the time.  Characters get killed off in mass shootings all the time.  But it is rare that death in Hollywood does not linger.  And Will did not linger.  No, the episode was not unique.  If anything, I think the Kings’ letter does more damage than good because it adds a pretension to the episode that might not otherwise exist.  If they hadn’t tried to defend their work as “special”, then it could stand as what it is.  It is a well-written and well-performed exodus for a character.  I do not see it as a reason to give up on the show.

The Good Wife is a good show because it delves into character.  There are few stereotypes on the show; the major players are all deeply human.  The Kings understand the concept of liminality in storytelling so perfectly that you don’t always see it unless you stop and think about it.  I have faith in their ability to write about grief and mourning in all of its complexity.  I look forward to seeing how the rest of this season is handled.

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What’s Making Me Happy

March 28, 2014

  1. Honestly, at this exact moment, not having a bra on. This was one of those days that the straps wouldn’t stay up and the underwire was poking and the band was too tight… But we’re looking for bigger items than this exact moment…
  2. Friends taking care of each other. Nicki’s grandmother died. No, that is not making me happy. Of course not. But Nicki, for other, much happier reasons, missed this month’s meal exchange. We all cooked enough for her to have some anyway. The food has been in one of my parents’ chest freezers (yes, they have more than one) since Sunday. When I saw her post about her grandmother, I texted her to let her know we have food for her. And why this really does make me happy is that with friends, it all works out in the end. Nicki couldn’t contribute this month. Lizzie will be moving next month, so she’s not sure if she’ll be able to contribute. But the rest of us will. None of us will be able to cook for the group every single month. But that’s where the rest of the group can step in. And how can that not make a person happy?
  3. I have to say that being through our accreditation interview is still making me happy, even though it was last week.
  4. We are this close to getting the new position into the hiring phase. The dean has finally read the job description, and we’re hoping to get it posted by the end of next week. We’re close enough that it actually feels like movement. Finally!
  5. This post by Linda Holmes. It was from a few weeks ago. And it was making me happy then. But I forgot to make a note to include it. But rereading it, it’s still pretty funny.
  6. And last, but definitely not least… TMI Warning! My period finally started. I’ve been incredibly regular since Sofia. 27-27-27-27-28-27… And this month? 31. I swear it waited on purpose. It waited because the moon wasn’t in the right phase. Or it waited because it knows that I have an appointment with the OB who said he’d be willing to help me try and conceive again. But I think it also knew that I was ready. It was supposed to start on Sunday, so I put on a pad before going to knitting. On Monday, I wore dark panties and a pad. On Tuesday I wore light panties and a pad. On Wednesday, I wore light panties and a panty liner. It finally started on Thursday when I wore dark panties with no pad or liner. I know it was waiting for something to bleed on. I caught it starting before it had a chance to do much damage. But it was a relief. And therefore, it is definitely making me happy.

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March 21, 2014

  1. It’s spring on the calendar, and it’s finally starting to feel like spring, too. You’re probably safe from posts about snowshoeing until next winter.
  2. Connie forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day and remedied this by putting a green post-it on her sleeve. It stayed there all day. Courtney also forgot to wear green. Her solution was to put a couple of green hanging file tabs on her collar. I, too, forgot to wear green. Then I remembered that my toenails were painted green. It just wasn’t exactly sandal weather…
  3. Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me recorded in Kalamazoo last night. It was a lot of fun both because the show is fun, but because we got to see the whole process. And we got to see Carl Kassel before he retires.
  4. This Guinness ad. I’m sure it’s funny to people who’ve never been to Yorkshire. But some of the jokes are even funnier to those of us who have. I have watched it multiple times. And I laugh each time I do. (Watching it again as I pull up the hyperlink… Yep, still funny!)

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Another Week Done

March 14, 2014

It’s Friday! And it’s been okay. Even yesterday, which marks six months, wasn’t bad. I didn’t even find myself spending most of the day thinking about the fact that Sofia would have been six months old. Courtney and I had lunch and that specific detail wasn’t a topic of conversation. I feel like I’m starting to move forward again. Which leads me to…

What’s Making Me Happy This Week!

  1. The sun came out, the sky cleared up… Okay, now that I’ve gotten that song stuck in some of your heads (not to mention my own)… Yes, the weather has become reminiscent of spring! My mom and I went snowshoeing and just wore fleece sweatshirts. No coats. No hats. No gloves. Only one pair of pants. I even have worn shoes to work. Shoes! Not boots! Shoes! Sure, we had about eight inches of snow on Wednesday. And, sure, that left us with a net gain. (More snow fell than had melted on the warm days.) But the weather has reached the point of reminding us that we do, indeed, have more than one season.
  2. And, yes, snowshoeing is still making me happy. Especially as described in point #1. My mom and I have been rocking a stretch of trail. It’s a beautiful piece full of hills and trees and streams. And we blazed through it twice this week. Even stopping to enjoy the scenery, we found ourselves setting personal bests. Now we just need to figure out what to do so that we’re in this good of shape come next winter. Depending, of course, on what next winter brings because…
  3. Moving forward is most definitely making me happy. The weight I’ve had while, well, waiting for my annual has lifted. I feel like there’s the possibility that I’ll get to bring a baby home some day. And in the near(ish) future, too.
  4. This brilliant poster explaining World War I as though it were a bar brawl. I think the part about Russia is my favorite, but the description of the US is pretty good, too. Yes, this showed up as a meme on Facebook. And, yes, I liked it so much that I bookmarked it. Pretty sure that every now and then I’ll go back and re-read it just for giggles.
  5. The catalogue for this year’s Medieval Congress has arrived. Now to spend hours perusing it to decide which papers I want to hear…
  6. This ridiculous game. I have spent more hours than I care to confess playing it. Let’s just say that I have had to plug my iPad to charge at least every other night this week… If you care to join me down the rabbit hole, it’s free in the App Store.
  7. Sibling Rivalry. Yes. I have now had my DeskCycle for a week. I had a short day on Monday because of my annual and a short day today because I had a meeting in East Lansing (at which there was a random act of kindness from the conference center of free cake for my planning committee – free cake – another thing to make me happy!). I rode about 140 miles this week. Not bad. Now to see how far my brother rode on his DeskCycle.

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Next Steps

March 10, 2014

I had my annual today. And it was good. And not just because Lori is practicing the recommendation that years of clear pap smears mean you don’t have to have one Every Single Year so Woohoo!-No-Speculum!

Remember that godawful meeting to “provide closure” and “discuss my case”? Well, one of the things they said was “if there’s anything we can do, let us know.” I took that, well, not at face value. It’s what people say to be polite, right? They don’t really mean it. Well, Lori told me that they really meant it. She told me she explained to them how much work (and money) it took for me to get pregnant with Sofia. She told me that they’d agreed that it would be perfectly reasonable for them to pay for me to undergo fertility treatment again.

I walked out feeling so… light. I’d been stressing over this. Not just the having to go through it again. The having to pay for all of it again. The having to decide how long I can afford to try. I don’t expect the hospital to pay for months and months of trying. But three cycles? That doesn’t seem like an unreasonable request. Isn’t that the amount that insurance plans frequently cover? (That is, of course, insurance plans that cover fertility treatments.) If I hadn’t gotten pregnant when I did, I would have tried a third time. So three cycles on them, three cycles on me… I just feel so relieved that it’s okay if I don’t get pregnant immediately. That I can afford to do this again.

So now I have to wait a month. I have an appointment with one of the obstetricians. He said he’d be happy to do an IUI, but I need to meet with him first. I’m not dinking around this time. I want to start out with the protocol that helped me conceive Sofia. I don’t know if he’s comfortable prescribing FSH or if he’d prefer to refer me to a fertility clinic. But at least we’re starting to move forward. I’m not stuck anymore. At the very least, I’ve left Limbo for Purgatory. And the beauty of Purgatory is that you don’t stay there forever.

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It’s Friday!

March 7, 2014

…Which means it’s time for another round of What’s Making Me Happy This Week!

  1. Early birthday presents. Or one specific early birthday present. (Yes, my birthday’s not for months. You didn’t miss it.) My brother recently got a deskcycle. And he bought one for me, too. It arrived yesterday, and I rode 30 miles at work today. Woohoo!
  2. This post by Linda Holmes. (Have I ever mentioned that I love Linda Holmes? Just checking.) It is brilliant, and so spot on. Looking back at my posts over this winter, I think she’s pretty much nailed it.
  3. Opening day at Plainwell Ice Cream. It was on Saturday. It was very cold on Saturday. So, naturally, my parents and I parked about a half-mile away and snowshoed to the shop.   And then we had our ice cream (cappuccino is still my favorite) and snowshoed back to the car. It was great fun. And we didn’t even get any weird looks when we showed up in our snowshoes. I think that says a lot about the winter we’ve had…
  4. And speaking of snowshoeing, the trek my mom and I took today was particularly good. It’s about 40F (a lot warmer than last Saturday!), so we were just wearing fleece hoodies. And we went through what is, I think, my favorite stretch of trail. It’s all hills and trees with a stream running through it. When I think of nature, that’s what I see. And right now, there’s still a lot of snow.
  5. Oh, and snowshoeing with Amber and Lizzie on Sunday was a lot of fun, too. There was a lot of good snowshoeing this week.
  6. The newest correspondent on the Daily Show. Jordan was a year behind me at KAMSC. He had his first on-air this week. I thought he did a great job. I laughed a lot. The only disappointment, for me, is that they didn’t make a joke about how he was an expert to talk about the Crimean Peninsula because he grew up in Michigan which is, of course, not one, but two peninsulas (peninsulae?).

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