Dec 21, 2006


Bye guys! We are off to Newark Airport to begin our India journey... happy season to you all and pardon the hiatus...

Dec 15, 2006

Champagne Wishes and Lariam Dreams

I started taking Lariam in preparation for our trip to India because it seems to be the only anti-malarial drug that's not contra-indicated in pregnancy. I was warned, however, that it's got some "neurological side effects." What? "Vivid" dreams, they told me. If you do a little internet research, you'll find stronger words than vivid and some people claim it makes them moody, anxious or depressed. Needless to say, I wasn't thrilled about launching into a world of self-induced mental instability, but this little part of me was curious about what kind of dreams I might have...

I took one pill so far - you're supposed to take them once a week, from a week or two in advance of your trip through four weeks following your return. Some people notice that they only have weird dreams the first night after they take it. I started my course on Wednesday morning. Here's an account of the dreams so far, and I'll try to post others if they happen!

Wednesday night: I dreamed about a completely ordinary subject, but it is interesting to note that I remembered my dream, which hasn't been happening a lot lately. This time, the dream was about travel - we were going somewhere, couldn't find our passport, were late for the flight, and all the usual hectic travel anxiety. The only memorable detail besides all that was that we boarded some type of large commercial plane, like an AirBus type. We entered through the cockpit, where a white shag rug was laid out on the floor, and walked back into the first room of the plane. In it, instead of regular plane seats, there were card tables and folding chairs set up. I made some comment that we should go farther back to get a real seat, since clearly the folding chairs were gonna fly all over the place. We went into a different room, and it was all the same - folding and plastic patio chairs. I had a bad feeling about that flight... FIN.

Thursday night: This one was better. I dreamed that I was in 30th Street Station, or at least it was supposed to be 30th St. but only somewhat resembled that particular Deco/Neoclassical train station. It's one of those cavernous spaces, like Grand Central's main waiting room. Anyway, someone had discovered old wallpaper under the existing wall finishes, and had begun stripping off the top layer to reveal the wallpaper underneath. It turned out to be not just any old wallpaper, but huge full-sized floor-to-ceiling images of -- of I don't know what, some kind of phantasmagorical people, giant heads and faces, I suppose of some historical characters. But it was really detailed and really impressive. All of a sudden, I wasn't really in the station anymore, but rather in some other place like a shopping mall, and this time I was very clearly inside some kind of adventure video game. It was called "World of Warcraft," but I know what WoW looks like and this was NOT THAT. It was very eerie, I was playing cards with someone who I knew was trying to kill me, so I reminded myself to "save the game" in case I got killed. There was a moment where I was flat on my stomach trying to shoot some coins across the floor and knock over some other coins - don't know why, but it had to do with saving my life. Something shifted and I was ballroom dancing with a person whose shadow alternated between blue and red - it was an indicator of his temper/temperament. Finally, I had a gun and it shot bits of light - I was firing it at others, trying to take them down even though they were all shooting at me. I knew I was a goner and would have to start the game over. As my character pooped out, Julia Toth from high school came out and accused me of trying to kill her baby. I remember thinking that was ironic, since I'm the one who's supposed to be protecting a baby.

Dec 14, 2006

It's already nine, what the hey? I'll stay and do my blog.

I am on a roll over here.* I know it's nine p.m., but sometimes you just can't get anything done during the day until people leave. Otherwise, you're sitting around kibbitzing or eating cake for someone's birthday or immitating the unicorn voices from the latest youtube video you saw. Now that certain people who talk to me and make me laugh have left the joint, I finished up something important and put a big fat check mark next to it on my list.

Before I go home, I thought I'd elaborate a little bit on my last teaser.

T.J. and I are told that we are going to have a BABY! A human baby that is part me and part him. I have known about this for more than three months, but one thing that you learn when this happens to you is that no one goes running around telling other people until about 12 weeks go by. So I had to refrain from blogging about it, which was hard because if you find out you're pregnant, there's not so much else to talk about for a while. (Now I'm about 15 weeks.)

So I bided my time and told my mom and dad... in fact I swore my mom to secrecy, after which she promptly and immediately told my sister. I wanted to tell my sister myself but oh, well, my bad actually, since everyone knows Mom can't keep a secret for better or for worse. We told TJ's family before Thanksgiving and then started coming out with it to people at work and to friends near and far.

It's the strangest kind of purgatory... not a bad purgatory, just a mild feeling that I am not at a resting state, not at equilibrium. That is, I have some elves hammering and nailing in my guts, and they really don't need my help at all. I've asked, and they're just like, "No, we got it under control. Stop being such a micromanager." So I basically just walk around with my pants too tight, wondering what they're doing in there. Part of me wants time to rush by so we can assuage our curiosity by finding out whether Baby is cute or funny-looking, and part of me wants to slow the train down because this train is a seriously long-distance ride so you better want to go where you're going! We do want to go there. I do. But you know, we girls subconsciously think about this our whole lives, and even when we feel ready it's still like pulling some type of trigger.

We are still planning on going to India next week, which is something that's upsetting my Mom a lot. They have malaria and microorganisms and measles and Japanese Encephalitis and typhoid and TB and polio and Dengue Fever and twenty other things that we don't get just hanging around in the States. We thought it over and considered cancelling the trip, but really - we're going for Ashu and Abby's wedding, and it just seemed like the right thing to do on a gut-feeling level. I will try to post some good photos and details of our trip in the New Year!

So, as for other important details like WHAT IS IT (GENDER), we don't know yet. There's a lot of stuff I don't know yet -- I'm supposed to go in for a "quad screening" on Monday, which is a test to tell you if there might or might not be something horribly wrong with your wee'un. I haven't knitted a thing, nor have I read any of the pregnancy books AEW so lovingly annotated and sent me. (I received them last night at home, and opened one up to a page telling me specifically not to do the ab exercises I had just come from doing at the gym.) Maybe I will have time to read up on myself while we sit on a long plane ride next week!

That's all for now, but I promise to be better at revealing little bits of info as they unfold. It's 9:29 and I'm finally going to get off my tuchus and go home to my TJ and my doggie.

*I was feeling punchy enough to say that I was on a fucking roll over here, except now that I know my Uncle Alan reads my blog, I should moderate my language.

Dec 6, 2006

Our Creative Endeavor Reveals Itself

You know how I know I married the right person?

Today is the first day TJ is done with his deadline of last week (some paper he's writing with another student and his advisor, who we will call Fezzik in this scenario since he is a big giant man with an accent). So his mind is lighter and he finally got some sleep last night and Fezzik is off his back for the time being. Today he called me at work to discuss some banal thing like the location of the automobile or if I want to go out to eat tonight. Then, he gets all animated on the phone and says, "Oh, by the way, I figured out what our Creative Project is going to be!"

He and I have always been trying to figure out what our Creative Project is going to be. We thought for a while that it would be Our Act. Our Act was going to be him being all David Rawlings on guitar and mandolin, and me being all Gillian Welchish on strummy rhythm guitar and voice (since everyone knows it's the guy that does the meedly-meeing on the solos and the girl just goes boom-chicky while singing). The only problem was that we never practice, and by never I mean never ever. We sing in the car, but as awesome a musician as TJ is, he isn't a ringer at singing harmonies at all (well, actually his teacher apparently used to marvel at how bad he was at singing harmonies given his general musicianship, etc.) And, in order to help him I'd have to sit down at a piano and figure them out and I never do that because for one we don't have a piano and even if we did I wouldn't because I have no discipline and never get anything done these days. So let's just say Our Act never got off the ground, even though the potential is definitely there.

We have several other points of intersection that have lead us down some other paths for potential collaboration. We would occasionally talk about the software I use in my practice, and how it generally sucks in one way or another and how we could get together and write good software for architects who have been accustomed to using crappy, buggy software with no version control and no ability to really utilize databases to bring us out of the Neanderthal period. That never went anywhere because it's much too much like WORK for me to even think about that stuff when I don't have to, but we may return to it someday. It would be a pretty huge undertaking.

So today, TJ announces that he's hit upon Our Creative Endeavor, and we are going to write a video game.

TJ: It's gonna be called Dog Park.

Me: Ok, I'm with you...

TJ: It's like Street Fighter except it takes place in the dog park, and you can choose to play different dog characters with different fighting [editor's note: fighting=playing, not real fighting] styles.

Me: Right, ok. Would it be sort of skill-based, like the Table Tennis game? Or more like Soul Caliber, where you just hit all the buttons at once and see what happens?

TJ: It should be somewhat skill-based, like you can strategize and create formations like in Madden '07.

Me: Uh huh. So the different moves could be "bite rear ankle" or "sit on face"...

TJ: Yeh! Or "jack-in-the-box" like Bernie, that Boston Terrier who just bops up and down.

So this is it, I actually agree with him and I think we can do this. This will be the greatest collaboration man has ever known... I will be art director and we will both come up with the dog-types and moves, and he will do most of the coding but it would be nice if I could get in there too and learn some... he can figure out how to make a physics engine that can produce accurate-looking dog saliva flinging motions, we can both learn Flash, maybe we can do it in Flash... we can both figure out the soundtrack and try to capture it from a Casio or something...

So that is going to be Our Creative Endeavor, and I am once again reminded that the Teej is my forever true love.

If you've read this far, then you get to also learn the secret I've been keeping from the blogosphere until now -- TJ and I have another creative project in the works, and it's due in June. But that is a topic for another post!

By the way, the image below is I DON'T KNOW WHAT, but I suspect it is not a real game.