enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Aug. 25th, 2008 11:59 am)
The shower went well, thanks entirely to my lovely helpers: Triple_Phoenix, Miss Stacie (Triple_Phoenix's mom), Jodi, and my mom and dad. The only thing that could have improved the shower would have been if it wasn't hot as Hades, but that's August in New Orleans, after all; it was great to be able to get off my feet and in the pool after most of the shower guests had gone!

I was impressed that everyone brought some food or drinks! I expected it from the older guests, but honestly not from our friends who are our own age, but I'm glad I was surprised; we would have run out of beer and soft drinks early if they hadn't brought anything, so I'm especially glad that they all planned ahead and demonstrated their good manners.

We got a lot of wonderful gifts and all I was hoping for was that people would show up, because it was most important to me and Carl that our friends and extended family just come to celebrate with us. It was very touching, too, because all the gifts seemed to have had a lot of thought put in to them. The most adorable gifts were definitely the hand knit baby sweater and socks from Jodi and the hand knit baby hat from Jenae (please correct me on the spelling of her name if you know it, because that's just my best guess), but there wasn't a single gift we received that I don't love and know we can use; I'll have to post pictures of the knit gifts later, because they're just too cute. Linda and Joe Nelson bought us a book that is basically an idiot's guide to Baby's first year, which we should certainly get a lot of use out of - I feel that we need all the instruction we can get!

Speaking of instruction, Carl and I also completed our birthing class this weekend. The instructor covered a lot of material, but focused mainly on the different stages of labor and coping strategies that may help during each stage. She also spent a lot of time working on getting the men/partners to understand how to connect with their women during labor. Of course not all of the information she provided will apply to us, but I think that some of the exercises we did certainly helped us to connect on a deeper level on which we usually only "meet" during sex and Carl feels better now that he has a clearer idea of what to expect during each stage of labor, both physiologically and emotionally, from me and from himself. He also didn't even flinch when we watched a video that included the delivery of the placenta, so I think he'll do well with any blood he might see during our baby's birth, which was something I had been concerned about before; he doesn't have a problem with other body fluids, but seeing blood - spilled or being drawn - just gets to him.

I enjoyed hearing about her experiences working as a doula in local hospitals, including Touro, which is where we plan to deliver under Esther's care. Apparently New Orleans' hospitals are still very set in their ways when it comes to taking the newborn to the nursery for testing, rather than performing the tests in the labor-deliver-recovery room or in the postpartum room; I would much rather not be separated from my new baby just a few hours after birth, so we may have to struggle with the nursing staff over that, but hopefully Esther and Cathy (the other midwife at her new practice) will be able to help us gain leverage on that.

I need to sit down to write some "thank you" notes now, then I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store before the rain picks up again; Faye doesn't seem to have much steam left, however, so I'm not really worried.
A conversation today just got me thinking about my friends who have been or are currently in an emotionally abusive relationship, so I felt I should post this. I think the emotional blackmail and isolation is what worries me the most, because those behaviors can lead to much worse abuse.

You may be becoming or already are a victim of abuse if you:

* Feel like you have to "walk on eggshells" to keep him from getting angry and are frightened by his temper.
* Feel you can't live without him.
* Stop seeing other friends or family, or give up activities you enjoy because he doesn't like them.
* Are afraid to tell him your worries and feelings about the relationship.
* Are often compliant because you are afraid to hurt his feelings; and have the urge to "rescue" him when he is troubled.
* Feel that you are the only one who can help him and that you should try to "reform" him.
* Find yourself apologizing to yourself or others for your partner's behaviour when you are treated badly or making excuses for his behavior.
* Stop expressing opinions if he doesn't agree with them.
* Stay because you feel he will kill himself if you leave.
* Believe that his jealousy is a sign of love.

* Have been kicked, hit, shoved, or had things thrown at you by him when he was jealous or angry.
* Believe the critical things he says to make you feel bad about yourself.
* Believe that there is something wrong with you if you don't enjoy the sexual things he makes you do.
* Believe in the traditional ideas of what a man and a woman should be and do -- that the man makes the decisions and the woman pleases him.
* (some people) Have been abused as a child or seen your mother abused.

If you are abused:

* You are not alone and you are not to blame. You cannot control his violence. There are ways you can make yourself safer:
* Call the police if you have been assaulted. Charging abusive males is a necessary step in reducing physical violence.
* Tell someone and keep a record of all incidents for evidence.
* Write down the details for yourself as soon as possible after the assault. Keep it in a safe place where he won't find it.
* Develop a safety plan. Memorize emergency numbers. Keep spare house and car keys handy. Know where you can stay in an emergency.
* Consider ending the relationship as soon as possible. Without intervention, his violence will increase in frequency and severity as time passes.
* Recognize that no one has the right to control you and that it is everyone's human right to live without fear.

Look out for men who:

* Do not listen to you, ignore you or talk over you.
* Sit or stand too close to you, making you uncomfortable and seem to enjoy it.
* Do only what they want or push you to get what they want.
* Express anger and violence towards women either through words or physically.
* Have a bad attitude toward women.
* Are overly possessive or jealous.
* Drink or use drugs heavily.
* Have a reputation for "scoring".
enduringplum: (Come Hither Gaze)
( Jul. 15th, 2008 04:04 pm)
Carl's planning to drive up to Dragon*Con, although it did take me a while to talk him in to it and he's still not quite set on it, and to leave early, on Sunday afternoon instead of Monday morning.

Jodi and Doug have both been trying to talk me in to going, too, but I'm hesitant. If I did go the drive up would be hours longer, because I already have to pee every half hour (or less) and the baby will be much bigger by the time Dragon*Con rolls around. I'm sure I'd have a great time, as usual, but I just think my time would be better spent at home where I can relax in my underwear and sleep without apparel. I would love to go! and since Carl is going it's especially tempting, but I've got to be realistic about my needs and limits right now. I'll really miss seeing Doug, too; I wish he would move back to New Orleans!

I love talking to Jodi. Sometimes I feel like she's my one friend who is totally honest with me, so I feel totally free to gossip and complain about whoever with her.

The heat has been unbelievable, but the evenings have been pretty tolerable. I was supposed to pick up a prescription today, but I couldn't bring myself to go out in the heat. Instead I stayed in to cook and read muffin and cream cheese icing recipes.
We're leaving for Denmark on Wednesday, June 11th! I've got a million things to do before we leave and not enough time (or energy) to do it all, but I'm sure Carl and I will be able to get almost everything done - I hope!

We're planning to go to dinner at Kanno on Saturday night, as our last meal in America for two and three weeks, respectively. The dollar is so terrible that we certainly won't be eating out much, if at all, while abroad, aside from getting lunch at one of the restaurants in Tivoli Gardens while we're being tourists. Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm going to have to find a healthy, tasty Danish snack that travels well for my purse, or we'll be stopping to buy food every hour and a half... do they have string cheese in Denmark?

So, if anyone would like to see us before we go, you can either come over to help clean this weekend or join us for dinner at Kanno! Either is fine, of course, just give me a call to make a plan.

Freak Out )

Update: The kitchen is almost to where I can stand it again. I can live with the other rooms being not completely spotless, but I can't be content unless my kitchen floor is spotless, I can see my reflection in my stovetop and counters, and my sink is shining. I still need to mop, but I'll have to get a real mop first; the Swiffer is great for cleaning every day, but I want to really mop the floor before I leave for three weeks, because I don't think it'll get done while I'm gone.
enduringplum: (Blush)


( Apr. 26th, 2008 09:41 pm)
I played World of Warcraft today for the first time in weeks. In fact, it's the only game I've played in weeks. I ran a dungeon with Carl and some friends, as well as one stranger who was extremely low on the DPS (damage per second) meters, then I did a daily quest by myself.

I enjoyed interacting with my friends, but I wasn't really able to get in to it beyond that: I went through the motions of healing the group like a robot, with no emotion attached to it whatsoever, so it wasn't a fun or especially rewarding experience.

I think I've passed the point of diminishing returns with WoW.

We're talking about ending our Direct TV service, which means that both Carl and I might start playing WoW more often once we begin using the television solely for movies and games, but even then I'm not so sure if I'll be able to enjoy WoW the same way I did before.

It's a high class problem and not an important social issue by any means; I just feel like I'm wasting my time with WoW, because there are no tangible benefits from playing an MMORPG and I would rather spend time with my friends face-to-face. A friend who recently quit playing, who I met through WoW, has taken up photography since closing his account; I think I could do something a lot more worthwhile with both my time and money than play Warcraft, as well.

I would miss it sometimes, but it would mainly be the fun I had with my friends that I would miss, which is something I can make happen in other, more rewarding ways. Well, once they get over their WoW-dependency, then I could make it happen in other ways.

It seems like WoW has given us an excuse to never get together anymore, even though we don't play online together very often at all.
enduringplum: (Come Hither Gaze)
( Apr. 25th, 2008 12:03 pm)
I went to get my hair cut yesterday and it was very strange to walk in to that lovely home, but not have Miss Bessie there to tell me what a pretty girl I am and talk to me about her current interests, religion, and her life growing up while I waited for my turn in Lenny's chair. She died recently of congestive heart failure after leading a long and happy life, and I know she couldn't have had many, if any, regrets, because she lived her life well and always freely gave love and acceptance. She was a wonderful, kind, and intelligent woman and I will miss her.
enduringplum: (Gush)
( Feb. 19th, 2008 03:19 pm)
Needless to say I was terrified by the whole experience of hemorrhaging and my subsequent trip to the E.R. The good news is that today I'm only seeing brown blood, which means I haven't developed any new bleeding and that the bed rest must be helping (although it is extremely boring and a little lonely; I'm in awe of the pregnant women who endure weeks of strict bed rest!). I was a total mess yesterday, but I'm feeling much better about the whole situation today. I feel very fortunate to have the support of friends and family.

For those few of you who are included in all the right filters, but haven't offered me a single word of congratulations or concern since I became pregnant, I just don't know what to say and I don't feel like investing energy in people who obviously never even bother to skim my LJ when that is our main method of keeping in touch. If you see this, which I have my doubts about, then I hope you know I did my best to be a good friend from a distance and I'm disappointed that you couldn't do the bare minimum for me; it does not take much effort to think about what a friend has written and leave an LJ comment.
I think I can officially announce that I am feeling downright dreadful now. Last night the chills started, then later I started running what must have been a pretty high fever, because I was absolutely burning up. Today I have the horrible, wracking cough and the general nasty feeling that comes with a bad cold or flu. When I talk I alternate between sounding like Demi Moore and like an old, worn out hobo known only as "Gravel."

Thankfully, Carl is very sweet to me and never seems bothered by my probably irritating requests to turn off the heat, turn the heat back on, turn the heat down a bit, let the cat back in, get me some water, et cetera, et cetera. It's at times like this that I know, without a doubt, that I married a good man.
enduringplum: (Default)
( Nov. 20th, 2007 03:30 pm)
I got my birthday present from Carl early, because I begged enough after he let it slip that he'd already bought it! It's a black iHome iPod dock/clock radio. I love waking up to music, but not when it's the random selection of a DJ with whom I may or may not share the same taste. I'm creating my "Waking" play list right now; Nancy Sinatra's "You Only Live Twice" is at the top of the list and I have yet to decide what else I really want on it.

Carl told me last month that he was having trouble figuring out what to get me for my birthday, so I just told him what I wanted. I don't have a problem with that at all, because he always puts a lot of effort in to my gifts and usually always chooses something perfect. I have gotten an unattractive pair of shoes in the past and a dress that's just slightly trashy, but otherwise he's always hit the mark. Besides, it really is the thought that counts and I know how carefully he goes about his shopping for me.

I wish I still had a sketch of him I did when we were first seeing eachother, because now that I'm drawing again I'd like to expand upon it. Unfortunately, I didn't evacuate with that particular sketch book. I think I remember the drawing perfectly, but I'm sure there would be a lot lost if I tried to transfer my memory of a quick sketch in to a new, finished piece. I would love to use him as a subject more often, but I'm sure that sitting for me would make him uncomfortable, both because of the time and exposure required.
enduringplum: (Snuggly Bunny)
( Jul. 25th, 2007 04:20 pm)
Today I had a somewhat light line appear on my ovulation predictor test strip, which I think indicates I may ovulate in the next few days, because the last time I tested only the control line was visible.

I'm concerned about my friend Dave (The_Ugly_Knight). He's always been flaky and unreliable, but lately things have been much worse and I don't believe it has everything to do with his baby, Dillyn, as he claims. I think it has more to do with his unhealthy, co-dependent relationship with his girlfriend, who is manipulative, emotionally blackmailing, and unfriendly to his friends; when she and I first met, she wouldn't even speak to me, despite my best efforts at being friendly. Before he moved in with her, he was able to meet us once a week for our regular plans, but since then he has pretty much disappeared from his friends' lives completely. As far as I know, the only friend with whom he's had an contact is his younger cousin, Chris; I'm glad for that, but it doesn't help me worry any less or feel less slighted.

If he is just busy with Dillyn, that is something we can work around. We can all chip-in on a car seat to install in my car's backseat, so I can pick up both him and his baby, so they can both join us for our Tuesday night gaming. It's not hard to set up a space for a baby Dillyn's age in an unfamiliar space; I've done it plenty of times for the children of aunts and cousins at various family gatherings. Alternatively, we could all chip-in to hire a baby sitter to stay with Dillyn for several hours while we game at Triple_Phoenix's apartment. I've mentioned this to Dave, but he has yet to respond to me in any way about it, which is why I believe his absenteeism has more to do with his disfunctional relationship with Stacey than it has to do with Dillyn or his utterly undemanding, nine-to-five job.

His recent behavior is reminding me a lot of the way my alcoholic friends and girl friends in abusive relationships have acted when they were getting in to serious trouble either with their drinking or their relationship. They withdraw from their friends, make excuses, avoid discussing issues, and, most specifically, avoid me. Dave still answers phone calls from people other than me.
enduringplum: (Perfect Powder)
( Oct. 29th, 2006 11:47 pm)

Our wedding ceremony was short and lovely, as well as a nice deviation from the norm. Dinner at Jamila's, as always, was both fun and delicious; the wonderful staff are experts at making their guests feel truly welcome and at making a special occassion feel truly special. Even though we ate there on the twentieth, I'm still craving that wonderful sausage and those scallops! I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures for myself and if they don't suck, I'll post them here. :D

enduringplum: (Jaded)
( Jun. 5th, 2006 08:26 pm)

Things between me and Allen* really seemed to be getting better. He had bought a book about fibromyalgia and was learning a little bit about it and I felt that we were communicating better and that the recent strain in the relationship was fading. Tonight, however, I found out that he is apparently willing to lie about some very insignificant things, which is appalling to me because lying to loved ones is appalling to me. 

I was out all day and wound up not having enough time to drive home to let the dogs out to pee before my evening class, so I called him to ask if he would do that for me and he said 'yes.' So, after class I just called to check back in with him and asked if he had let the dogs out; he said 'yes' to that, too, but when I got home not long ago I remembered that I had locked the door to my parents' FEMA trailer and that only I and my parents have keys, not him, so there's no way he could have let the dogs out. I called him back after I let the dogs out myself and asked him how he let the dogs out and he actually tried to convince me that he did it, but eventually admitted he lied so as not to seem irresponsible. How is that supposed to make me feel?

enduringplum: (Sepia)
( Jan. 30th, 2006 02:32 pm)
The wedding was really fun and the toast to the newly married couple given by the maid of honor was so loving, thoughtful, and sentimental that it actually made me tear up a little.

Today we were told that we should be getting a FEMA trailer in two weeks since our claim has been in for sooooooo long, but we've heard all that before; I'll need the keys in my hand before I believe it. The house hunting will continue even when we do get into a trailer, although it will be up to Allen* to hunt for himself once we're in a trailer, since I don't plan on moving in with him at that point. After all, I don't want to depress him when I have one of my Bad Days. I'm not bitter, just pissed.

I got an A on my first ASL test, but I expected no less since I've taken the class before, and my first math test is on Wednesday; I'm always apprehensive about math tests, even if it's subject matter I've covered a million times before
While I was in the shower I realized that I've been a bodhisattva to many men— no, I should say guys because it seems to refer to someone caught between being a man and a boy, as they most often are.

So, I've been a bodhisattva to many guys and it has me wanting to know: When will I free myself to earn my own enlightenment?

What the hell Karmic debt am I repaying to these guys, anyway?
"My body may be young, but my mind is a hundred years old."

That's a lame line from a lame-ass play often performed in junior high schools across the country, but I feel that way more and more lately. Alternatively, I also feel horribly naive lately. I won't go into details...

Sex with Carl has been totally weird lately. We haven't been doing our usual BDSM play because I'm convinced that he can't make love to me, it seems like sex between us can't just be about me and him and our emotional-sexual union and be fulfilling to him. As much as I like BDSM and love being the dom or sub, it's unacceptable to me that that be the only way he can be physically and emotionally satisfied by sex; I don't consider it making love if it can't just be about the two people and their bond. Toys can be involved in making love, but they're usually not-- that's more for fun. It's hard to explain.
Since we haven't been using our toys at all (at my insistence) for the past few times our lovemaking has felt very contrived to me, almost like acting out a love scene. I've been very emotionally distant from the entire act, like a detached observer. It's been so strange.

Tomorrow is my last day at work before I take off for three days to go to Monroe to visit the ignorant, redneck family members whom Carl can never meet. Although none of them are so uncouth that they would make a lewd comment about his being black, I think they would all be obviously uncomfortable. So I'll just wait till I get knocked up or we elope before introducing him to that branch of the family-- so they really have something to be shocked about! I don't feel too bad about my ignorant side of the family since some of his relatives are uncomfortable with my being white. I guess that evens things out. Thinking that makes me smile at the absurdity.
enduringplum: (Default)
( Nov. 18th, 2003 12:37 pm)
Last night I went out with TheUglyKnight and Samothtiger, which I haven't done in a very long time. We went out for a sushi dinner, but first we stopped by the apartment that Samoth shares with his sister and her boyfriend, and some guy I don't know. I know that they won't mind if I mention that their apartment is a fucking hole and I don't understand how they tolerate living there, especially not with all the jackasses that seem to be perpetually over there. I though my apartment was messy, but this place reminded me of the places I went to in middle school to do drugs; the only reason I could tolerate those conditions then was because I perpetually fucked up on, usually, rather serious shit. Thank God I grew out of that phase, I'm also glad I went through that phase as young as I did. Boy, what a dumbass I'd be if I were doing it now! The worst part of it all was meeting the boyfriend... When Punky and I walked past him on the lawn the guy said, in regard to me, "Who is THAT?" in a tone of voice that immediately told me that he and I will never get along because he's an ignorant pig who would hit on me if no one else were around, even though he does have a girlfriend who's too good for him. It's not my place to judge and it's none of my business, so if she's happy with him I'm happy for her, but Samoth's sister shouldn't be with someone ignorant, unintelligent, and racist. I was only at their apartment for about twenty minutes and I heard more nigger jokes than I care to think about. It's funny, Samoth and his sister both hate their father, but her boyfriend reminds me a little of him, at least the racist part. I haven't lost any respect for Samoth's sister, but only because I understand what it is to go for the guy who's really bad for you. I just hope she grows out of it.

My period has been really hard on me this month, not only did it come early, but it came with a lot of the intense physical pain that isn't normal during menstruation. I spent most of my weekend with the damn heating pad on my abdomen and I even missed a day of work. However, I did avoid using heavy pain killers, which is very encouraging because I could have been in much more pain than I was.
I'm still calling around to different doctors, the ones I can see according to my insurance, to find the one I think will best serve me. My last gynecologist, Dr. Susan Jeanfreau (not the beautiful doctor from the free clinic, but the one before that), was so terrible that I'm being very selective: I WANT A DOCTOR WHO WILL LISTEN TO ME!

Every night when I pack another box in preparation to move I look forward to having my own studio; I can't wait to get back to work on the things I really love.
I hope Carl has actually been keeping up with the paper work, I've been too busy with my quest for a good doctor to check up on him. I wonder if he knows he should also be looking for good home and flood insurance? Hmm... I'd better ask tonight.

No, I'm not worried about who will read this, I'll say what I want.
enduringplum: (Default)
( Nov. 6th, 2003 12:46 pm)
Last year my birthday was so miserably lonely that for the first time in my life I'm dreading my upcoming birthday; not only will I be out of town with family I really dislike, but I'll be away from all my friends who I'm afraid won't call anyway. Last year of all my friends only Triple_Phoenix, Jeff, and Carl remembered my birthday. My good friend Nyssa would have called me or visited, she did in fact already have a present for me, but she was in Spain for Thanksgiving. I was extremely depressed that day and deeply angry and disappointed with almost all of the people I call my friends because very few of them were kind enough to remember my birthday as I do their birthdays.

I guess I'll see what happens on the twenty-eighth!
Today at five Carl and I are going with our realtor to look at the four bedroom, two bathroom house we've been ogling. It does still have people living in it, but they were denied the loan for which they applied which means that they will probably not be approved unless it is in years to come, so the people selling the house were interested in our offer. I'm very excited, but I'm keeping that in check because we don't know if they'll actually accept our offer or if we definitely want the house-- it may be falling down in places, but we won't know until we visit it this afternoon; I hope it works out, I'd love to have three-thousand square feet to play around in!
The house is on Green Street in New Orleans, only blocks from Cohn Street, which is the neighbourhood where I grew up. It is a very rough, dangerous neighbourhood in a few areas, which is why this house is in our price range, but I wouldn't feel unsafe there unless I was walking alone at night and I'll feel safe in our house with my dog Cora and the second dog Carl will adopt when we move; he wants a German shepard, but we will probably adopt a puppy from the SPCA, if we're able to find a shepard mix there that would be ideal.

Last night I visited my mom to do laundry at her house. While the washing and drying machines were running in the back room we watched that Joe Average show in the front room. I felt truly sorry for the bimbo starring in the show, it was pretty obvious that looks were definitely something she considered well before personality, no matter what she said was important to her. I can understand how people can consider looks before personality, but I can't do that myself: as soon as I discover that the man of the hour is an idiot or a boor I disappear before he knows it! Some of my friends (although certainly not my close friends!) have told me that I can "do better" than Carl, because he's not as gorgeous as they think he should be, but I think he's very attractive even if he is a short guy. Besides, being with a man who's about my own height has proven to be quite... satisfying.
Like my new layout? If so, you have Switchknives to thank (I'm far too lazy to do my own!).

I think everyone secretly hates me because I'm such an outspoken "bitch" all the time, which would explain why everyone seems to be avoiding me; In all honestly I know that everyone doesn't really hate me and thinking so just means that I'm extremely self-centered, but I can't really NOT be self-centered. After all, I can't actually perceive anything that doesn't touch my little universe of me-ness.

In other news... a friend of mine is missing as far as anyone can tell, but I heard a rumor that a friend of his from North Carolina spoke to him two days ago, which makes me worry less. Other than that none of our mutual friends have heard from him in almost two weeks.

Carl can't understand why it hurts my feelings that after a year and a half he still doesn't know my phone number, but he still knows his crazy ex-girlfriend's phone number. It has always bugged me that he wouldn't learn my phone number, but I always let it go because he claimed to be the type of guy who doesn't learn any various phone numbers, which was fine with me... until tonight when I discovered the ugly truth! Sure, it's NOT really a big deal, but it hurt my feelings that he felt he could dismiss it when I said "So, after a year you don't know my number, yet you still remember her old phone number?" He just said my name in that tone of voice he uses when I'm irritating him and he thinks I'm being ridiculous and oversensitive. SO WHAT IF I AM BEING RIDICULOUS AND OVERSENSITIVE?!? Is it really that hard to learn a freakin' phone number? It's only SEVEN numbers! Anyway... all he really had to say was "I'm sorry, Honey, I didn't realize it was really important to you," then I wouldn't be upset right now. He's a good man, but sometimes he just doesn't understand that all I want is a little sympathy.

--I know HIS phone number.
Yesterday I made plans with my very good friend TheUglyKnight to go out tonight, but, alas, when I called him to find out when I should pick him up from work he told me he was with his sister and her friend George, with whom he is going out tonight. This seems really unfair to me and although I know he didn't want to hurt my feelings, it really does hurt my feelings that he wouldn't cancel his secondary plans with them. Not only did it hurt my feelings, but it's also very rude that he should make plans with me and then do something else, instead, without giving me any advance notice whatsoever. What if I had just driven out to get him without calling first? Would he have still gone out with his sister and her friend? What a bunch of bullshit, I was really looking forward to seeing him!


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