Monthly Archives: February 2012

looking glass

So the Virginia legislature has decided there are no more pressing issues than may or may not be going on up in our ladybusiness.  Nothing else that might require their attention.

I’ll mention the now-infamous-and-probably-dead ultrasound bill just so I can link to this picture of a thousand people silently protesting.

But what I really want to talk about is the personhood bill.  RESOLVE, as you might expect, opposes it as they do all bullshit egg-person bills.

What’s interesting about this iteration of a terrible idea is the naked hypocrisy.  From the RESOLVE press release:

“The reason we’re here today is because Delegate Robert Marshall, the sponsor of this bill, contacted RESOLVE yesterday and he said that Section 7 of HB1 specifically exempts infertility treatment.  After thorough investigation we believe he is wrong and the public needs to know it,” said Barbara Collura, RESOLVE’s Executive Director.

Yes, you read that right.  This bill attempts to exempt infertility treatment.  According to these assholes wackaloons yahoos state legislators, a fertilized egg is a person with rights.  Except when that fertilized egg has been created specifically to have a chance to grow into a baby.  Those fertilized eggs are not people.  Makes perfect sense.

To review:

  • If I’m poor and I didn’t have my egg fertilized in a lab on purpose but instead inside my fallopian tube after a condom broke, well, that fertilized egg is just as good as a bouncing baby with all the rights and privileges of a citizen of these United States.
  • But if I’m rich, and had several eggs fertilized in a lab after years of agony at not being able to create a person, those fertilized eggs are not people.
The ones that are wanted, hoped for, and (not incidentally) paid for, are potential.  The ones that can be used as a stick to punish the wrong kinds of women for having sex, or being raped, or being poor, those are precious babies.*


RESOLVE notes that, unsurprisingly, the language of the bill has little or nothing to do with actual reproductive biology and as such, if the bill passes IVF will still be functionally impossible in Virginia, but the scientific illiteracy of the legislators is not the scariest part of this for me. What is terrifying is that they are showing their hand in a way I haven’t seen before:  by putting in this ridiculous exemption they are proving that they don’t actually believe fertilized eggs are people.  If they did, they would have to find IVF to be just as abhorrent as abortion.  And without the flimsy pretense of genuine belief in this nonscientific garbage, what you’re left with is a blatant attempt to use the power of the legislature to restrict choice.  To keep the Republican party inside the uterus of every woman in Virginia.
This is an unusually naked and cynical attempt to divide and conquer.  But I mean it when I say that choice means all choices.  Attacks on women who choose not to have children are attacks on infertile women.  As I’ve said before, we are two sides of the same coin.  Either we can make choices about our reproductive health or we can’t.
* After the precious babies are born, will the state still care? 
**OK, what is going on with my paragraph formatting today?  Remind me again why I can’t blog with a pencil and paper????


This weekend I almost fell asleep.

I was at the grocery store and I thought — I remember this.  Moving my cart slowly through the aisle, more slowly than most people, being that lady no one wants to be stuck behind.  Staring at the tomatoes; how can I possibly pick one?  There are too many choices. It becomes hard to hear.  Every sound seems to come from a long distance away, or through a thick layer of fleece.  I’m staring out the window at a blizzard and I know it’s a tragedy, but I’m wrapped in a thick fleece blanket and it can’t touch me.

Numb.  And the blanket is so soft against my cheek.  I could just lie down and sleep; then nothing could touch me.

I remember this.

Shopping becomes an impossibly long series of steps, and the trip can break down at any time when without warning one of the steps is simplytoo much.

Drive to the store.  Lock the car.  Walk inside.  Choose a cart.  Remember where the spinach is.  Check every item off the list.  Choose a brand.  Choose a fruit.  This takes much too long; I wander around the store and can’t remember what I’m looking for or which step is next.  Have I put any ice cream in the cart?  I can’t remember.  Is it melting?  How would I know?  Choose a checkout lane.  Put the food I have no intention of eating onto the conveyor belt.  Put the bags back in the cart.  Wheel the cart to my car.  Open the hatchback.  This is where it stops.  It is too much.

Staring at my empty car, knowing that I can’t possibly lift those bags out of the cart, it is too much to ask in this storm, knowing that that fleece blanket is an invitation to stay out of the blizzard.  An open door to stop feeling.  To sink down and walk slowly and sleep too much and stop eating and not hear what anyone says to me.  I remember this place; I feathered this nest for months and months.  I could go back.

It was intoxicating.  I stood there a long time, crying outside my car in the Wal-Mart parking lot, thinking how nice that numb fleece blanket feels.

But I didn’t go back.  I loaded up the damned car and I drove back home and made myself some damned lunch and that evening I played a damned concert and after the weekend was over I went back to my damned job, where after 77 damned hours of data entry I will have earned enough money for another damned IUI.

fancy ramen

This started as a way to use up whatever vegetables were left in the fridge at the end of the week, but it has evolved into a more-or-less static set of ingredients.

Fancy Ramen

  • 2-3 c chicken broth (homemade is best, but canned will do in a pinch)
  • a hunk of fresh ginger, very thinly sliced
  • 2 or 3 mushrooms
  • 2 eggs if you’re sharing, 1 if you’re not
  • a big handful of some kind of leafy greens (baby pak choi is my favorite but I can’t get it here so I use spinach)
  • 1 package of ramen noodles
  • fresh hot peppers (I use Thai chillies when I can get them, but here I substitute serranos)
  • 1 scallion
  • half a tomato
  • soy sauce
  • lime wedges

Put the broth on to boil with the ginger.  While it is heating, slice the mushrooms.  Chop the hot peppers, slice the scallion very thin, and cut the tomato into thin wedges.  If you don’t always have lime wedges in your fridge like I do, cut some.

When the broth is boiling, add the mushrooms, noodles, and greens.  Stir as needed to get the noodles totally immersed.  (Throw away the nasty seasoning packet.)

Crack the egg and gently slip it into the soup to poach; reduce the heat and cook according to noodle package directions.

Ladle each serving into a bowl and top with tomato wedges, scallions, hot peppers, and a dash of soy sauce.  Squeeze a lime on top and eat immediately (while the egg yolk is still soft).


Temperature has dropped.  Spotting has started.  Just waiting for that second shoe to drop so I can call the clinic and make plans for next time.


BFN stands for bullshit fucking nothing, right?  I think I am losing my mind.  Deep breaths.  It ain’t over till I see red.

potato salad with kalamata olives and feta

Apparently I am now writing a food blog…

This is what I made today.  It is a VAST quantity, as it’s meant to be lunch for both me and my husband for an entire week (with probably some left over).

Potato Salad with Kalamata Olives and Feta

  • 10 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 10 hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 6-8 oz kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 4 oz feta cheese crumbles
  • 2 14.5-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1 t oregano
  • salt to taste
  • crushed red pepper to tasted (I think I put in about a teaspoon)

Boil the potatoes in salted water.  Drain and cool, then dice.  Roughly chop the hard-boiled eggs.  Whisk the last 5 ingredients together, then toss everything in a very large bowl.

When I was thinking about quantities, I was thinking 1 potato + 1 egg per person per day, but it’s such a very big quantity that I may have overdone things a little…

I make a big bowl of something every Sunday that we can just scoop into containers and take with us to work each morning, and this one turned out particularly well so I thought I would share.

blog gremlins

So, Blogger hates me.  Over the past few weeks I have tried (and tried) to comment on some Blogger blogs … but the stoopid software won’t let me.  I have had this problem before but it never lasted more than a day or so.  I will keep trying!

**EDIT:  Apparently I can comment anonymously.