Tuesday, October 31, 2006


I have a great support system. Even those who don't know what's wrong know that I'm hurting. And they all want me to sit down and have tea and talk with them; they all want to help me, to make things better.

And I too want that, more than almost anything else. But there's nothing they can do, nothing that that can help.

The only person I really want to talk to about all this is Paul. The only person I really want to hold me and hug me and comfort me is Paul. The person I want to be able to have make things feel better is Paul. And he wants that too, more than anything, he says.

But he can't fix it either.

It's broken, it's broken, it's broken.

Everytime I see the unmussed side of my bed, I cry. Everytime I see the futon in the nursery, I cry. Everytime I try to talk to someone, I cry. Everytime I think about what's happening, I cry. I wake up, remember, and cry. If I sleep long enough to dream, I'm sure that I'm crying in my dreams.

It's Halloween. The wind is brisk and the colorful leaves are falling fast and hard. I've always felt like fall is the best time for melancholy. What a gluttonous feast I'm having this season.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Ellie's birthday party this weekend was a lot of fun, for all the girls. Everything went swimmingly.

Her new favorite sentences (yes! sentences!) are "I nice," or "I not nice," depending on her mood, in response to compliments that she's being very nice (to her doll, or holding my hand across the parking lot without complaint, etc.).

Paul found her earlier today holding a salt shaker and trying valiantly to open a container of leftover chocolate frosting. Salty plus sweet, that's my girl! And a chocolate lover, that's her daddy.

We're all fine, physically.

Otherwise, things are not fine. Not fine.

I think I might not be here for a while.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Those People, Me

I think we are going to become Those People, with That Relationship and Those Issues. I never thought it could happen to us. I see it happening. I don't know how to stop it.

I'm not keeping up my end, mind you. Especially while I'm pregnant (but let's face it, that's not the only excuse) I'm not getting up with Ellie in the morning or putting her to bed every night by myself. I don't keep a spotless house. And I'm not always on top of everything else domestically-related, either. I don't do yard work at all. And laundry . . .

But yesterday was Paul's mom's birthday. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago, and again several days ago, but I didn't think about it yesterday and I'm pretty certain that we didn't send anything, not even a card. Usually at least I buy a card, though it doesn't always get sent. Lately I've been backing off actually purchasing birthday presents for Paul's family, but this means that, well . . .

And the kitchen. Cleaning the kitchen and the floors (and, lately, the laundry) are Paul's things. None of them are done the way I'd like them to be done, or as often. Do I take them over? After all, he's working so much. All the time. His job is so important, providing most of our money and all of our benefits. And I'm only working part time. And Ellie's more self-sufficienct these days. (I am pregnant. And trying to study for the GRE. And write. And apply to grad school. And be a damn subdivision trustee. But he works all the time: days, nights, weekdays, weekends . . . I'm just lucky he can do so much of it from home.)

So. I have evenings out with friends. I have one planned for next week, in fact. Paul was out last night and tonight, for a work-people dinner at Morton's and for an hour-long massage that turned into a multi-hour event somehow. Neither of us used to go out much on our own, and we still don't do that much of it. I think it's more of a timing issue right now.

I'm stressed because Ellie's birthday party is this weekend. We have a lot to get done around the house first. None of it is new stuff, but it's stuff that's not getting done nearly as quickly as I would like. I don't want to leave it all until the last possible moment, because,
  • There's too much to do at the last possible moment
  • I know that I just don't have that kind of energy right now
  • Dammit, it stresses me out
So two nights of no helping out around the house right before the birthday party, well, I'm not all that gracious.

So, Paul, who came home tonight fighting a cold and looking like he was half asleep on his feet, washed some dishes, started a load of laundry, and put together an indoor wooden slide. I'm appreciative. And resentful. Because I don't think that I should have to be the one to keep the tally of what needs to be done and ask for help accomplishing each thing. That's not the way our partnership was set up. Is it inevitable that it becomes that way? Perhaps. I hope not.

In happier news, YAY, CARDINALS!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Politics, Schmolitics - Go Vote!

My glucose results came back totally normal! I was so expecting to be on a diabetic diet after failing this test that I binged a little. I can almost say that I'm regretting last night's pumpkin spice doughnut(s) Krispie Kreme run. Almost.

Today I'm ranting about political signs. I hate them. I hate them hate them hate them, and I hate that my favorite time of year is marred by them, more often than not.

I do a lot of driving around town. Starting today, I'm making a strong effort to keep my eyes up, on the beautiful treetops and amazingly blue autumn skies. This driving practice has a couple of downsides. First, of course, it keeps my eyes well off the roadway. Second, it also keeps me from seeing (and pointing out to Ellie) all the cool decorations outside people's houses, and seeing all the fantasy-worthy For Sale signs outside dream homes.

Seeing all these political signs just makes me so mad. This is, in part, because of the way the upcoming midterm election has become a one-issue election in Missouri, and it's an issue that I have very strong feelings about, as an American, as an educated person who's taken a lot of science classes, and as the mother of a child with a disability (who will very likely have Alzheimer’s someday).

Stem Cell Research

And the other side is being incredibly disingenuous.

I won't link to their sites, but they keep claiming, on every yard sign, mailing, political ad, and website, that what they oppose is human cloning. When the bill in question specifically prohibits the cloning of human embryos, this is incredibly disingenuous, extremely frustrating, and terribly effective. Dammit. I can't help wondering how many of them understand that what they're saying doesn't make sense, but it convinces voters to vote the way they'd like.

The Dems aren't without fault, though. A very common sign around these parts is, "Had Enough? Vote Democratic." Which is about the lamest campaign slogan imaginable. It's slightly more catchy than: "We might not know who we are, but we aren't them. So vote for us." I won't vote third party in this election; it's too important. But I can understand the temptation.

On the other hand, at least the pro-stem cell research lobby is staying out of the churches. Two weeks ago, our (awesome interim) minister stood in front of the congregation and invited us all to a panel discussion at another local church, which would involve speakers from a local (conservative) seminary and local university departments discussing the facts and ethical implications of the actual amendment. I thought that was appropriate. He didn't tell us how to vote, he just suggested that we go somewhere to learn the facts and make an informed decision.

Sadly, the other side hasn't shown much restraint. Not only do several local churches have large signs out front telling members how to vote (No!) but even in my own, moderate church, we have members who are disrespecting proper boundaries.

I got a large packet in the mail yesterday, chock full of printed propaganda from "pro-life" websites about the "cloning amendment," along with a letter from a fellow church member explaining why she's against the bill (as a person with disabilities). Since the church didn't authorize the mailing or provide her with the labels, perhaps this is OK, though annoying.

The professionally printed propaganda packets she leafleted the Sunday School classrooms with, however, are way beyond the pale. I had a fit of pique, and tore ours up in front of the class.

I am so burned out on all the political negativity and campaign lies, I really don't want to see it in church on Sunday morning.

My Space, Your Space

So, I have a MySpace page now. I set it up a week or two ago, for "networking" (according to my profile). I've gotten some very cool "friends" already, including extended family and friends I knew in jr. high, high school, college, and after that. I don't plan to do any more with it, other than to check my page once in a while to read messages and check up on MySpace "friends," but it was worthwhile to set up.

Anyway, I got a friend request recently from someone who, according to her profile, likes to read, but isn't much of a book person, and prefers to read magazines, actually. That's two readers who don't read books I've encountered in under two weeks! This must be a new fad.

Next time someone asks me what I like to do, maybe I'll answer that I write. But I don't like sentences. I'm mainly writing lists these days. To do lists, specifically.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Autumn in the Air

"You're not allowed to make any more soups for a while," Paul said tonight. "I'm tired of washing these big pots!"

I have made stew, broccoli cheese noodle soup, and chili in the past week. It's fall here! I love autumn. Paul and Ellie carved jack-o-lanterns yesterday, and Paul made some good headway on Ellie's new closet system today. (I found plans online that promised to show Paul how to build a professional-looking closet system for under $100. He spent $60 and it's going to look great. Plus, he loves this sort of project.)

We took a walk around the block tonight to look at the decorations. We used to do this nightly, and I forgot how fun it can be. But we really needed hats and mittens! Already!

Ellie has discovered a new game to make mommy flinch. "Bee!" she'll yell, pointing behind me, then laugh uproariously. Hah hah hah. Really, I love it.

I was nervous about my OB appointment on Friday, but it went well. I'll get my glucose results early this week (fingers crossed) but all the other news was good. Clean urine test (I assume they're checking for protein, not pot, but whatever). Better weight gain this month (last month I gained a ridiculous amount, due to lack of exercise coupled with too much travel). LARGE uterus. "Wow, it really shot up there this month!" Also good. And nice blood pressure, too: 100/70. My exercise-induced sciatica is normal and non-harmful, just "uncomfortable." Whatever. And my many contractions aren't a concern, unless I can't get them to stop by lying down and drinking water. All systems go!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bug Me Not

A few years ago, my sister lived in an apartment that was attractive to large, flying roaches. In her opinion, which I share, it was actually attractive to just one large, flying roach. She was too creeped out to touch the thing, and her then-boyfriend (now, husband) doesn't kill bugs. He humanely releases them into the wild, where they're free to return to the nice warm apartment with the easy food.

Lilsis has written humorously in the past about her partner's experiences with "helping" spiders, but this story needs to be told in his own words.

So, today, without permission, I'm totally plagiarizing an email my sister's new husband wrote to his family a couple of years ago, after the first roach sighting. Here's hoping it doesn't bring a plague of roaches (or spiders) upon my house.

Lilsis does not like roaches. More specifically, roaches in her house; it's the "in the house part" that is the key. Anyway, while I was out errand-ing yesterday she called and had been "surprised" by a visiting member of the roach family. She quickly hurled a book at it, but it eluded her death strike and went missing for the remainder of the day.

When I got to her place after work, we resumed cleaning her room (which is what she had been working on earlier in the day). I was assigned to the "dangerous area"- under the bed--and Lilsis was folding clothes on the opposite side of her bedroom. Well, we cleaned for a while, made some headway, and no roach was to be seen. That is, until I saw that it was sitting on her back. Now, my view was that the roach was trying to apologize for his intrusion in her abode by giving her a warm embrace . . . Lilsis felt differently about the matter.

As soon as I saw it, I calmly rolled up whatever piece of paper I had in my hand and slowly and stealthily walked over behind her. My first swing at the roach failed to knock it off, but it did alert Lilsis, and she immediately knew what was happening. At that moment Lilsis immediately sprang into a convulsion of screams, jumping and swatting, while either I, with my second swing, or she with her hand—there's still debate—knocked the roach off of her. She had rocketed to her bed where she continued to get the heebie-jeebies and scream, and Orion (the enormous dog) not knowing what to do with himself, ran laps over the bed and on the floor until he realized that our major concern at the moment was not with him being on the bed and so he sat on my pillow and cleaned himself.

The roach being either stunned or crafty sat on the floor motionless—undoubtedly trying to camouflage its brown self on the orange carpet: not a very effective tactical decision. I found a glass and a piece of paper and contained the intruder. He was freed outside and the apartment is, for now, roach-free. All in a day's work.

Good job, Lilsis. Laughter is important in a marriage.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Applications Suck

I am in the process of applying to some grad school programs for next fall. (More on this later. Much later.) And I have a quick rant.

I went to college many years ago. I am a very different student today than I was at 18. And at 18 I went to a science/research-oriented university and took a lot of very diverse courses.

I took more semesters of Chemistry and Biology (including labs) than I've ever bothered to count. I took a fair amount of Calculus. I took Physics and Psychology. I flirted with several different majors before I decided on English, which I chose because it's where I was getting the best grades.

So my major GPA looks pretty decent, but my overall GPA is pretty lousy. I very quickly grew frustrated with a university experience where I was one of 450 students in a lecture hall, the professor maybe didn't care too much about teaching anyway (let alone had any notion of who I was), and the "mean" score on an exam - earning the student a low B - was 33 out of 100. End result: I had a lot of fun in college. Once I decided not to compete in the rigorous science courses I continued to take, I enjoyed myself a lot more.

Now I want to go to grad school. I am willing to take the GRE, to submit samples of my current/recent work, to write wonderful letters of explanation. But so many grad programs have a ridiculous clause about what a student's undergraduate GPA must be in order to apply.
  1. This is stupid for students returning to school after a break - the sort of student I was 13 years ago is hardly relevant to the student I am today, and
  2. What I want to study doesn't have a lot to do with Organic Chemistry. I shouldn't be penalized for taking courses that I found challenging - I could have stuck to "Science for Musicians" and bolstered my GPA artificially.
Stupid applications.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

A Life of Its Own

I went to wash inside my belly button in the shower the other day, and realized that this is no longer possible. I no longer have a belly button.

"Yeah, I noticed that earlier today," Paul admitted when I mentioned it.

This would be because of the fact that I can't see my own belly button very easily anymore, but it's all too easy for him to see it as I've taken to walking around the house looking like baby Huey. Note to self: buy maternity pajamas. Wearing regular flannel pants and non-maternity t-shirts around the house is simply not flattering in your current state.

I have noticed that the skin at the top of my navel, which I can both see and feel, is becoming quite tight. Thankfully, I have never pierced my navel, or I would certainly be exceedingly uncomfortable right now. I'm simply not the navel-piercing type, though I admit that I faked it briefly.

Lo these many years ago, when I was trying to attract Paul's attention, I did purchase a fake belly button ring and wear it around him. This was not as easy as it sounds, since it was December in the mid-1990's, when it was still fashionable for women to wear clothing in the winter.

Anyway, in addition to my tightly stretched belly button, I have also been feeling a sharp tug in the skin on the upper right part of my abdomen. I know all too well what this means: a new stretch mark will soon appear. I already look like the victim of a violent crime - I have the worst stretch marks I've ever seen from my first pregnancy - so I acknowledge the appearance of a new one with resignation and a little resentment.

No new stranger belly touches to report today, and the usual whispers of "when is she due?" have been following me around wherever I go, but I did have an interesting experience yesterday when another writer in my writer's group told me that I look very good, then asked if I am still pregnant. Really!

A few days earlier, wearing a non-maternity Walt Disney World t-shirt with a slightly distorted Mickey Mouse stretching across my mid-section, I had to announce my pregnancy to Ellie's Parents As Teachers parent educator, as an explanation for why I wanted to schedule another visit in a few months, when clearly Ellie has aged out of the program. She honestly didn't notice! So perhaps my shape changes on an hourly basis.

I nearly ended the whole thing last night, inadvertently. I have an obnoxious cold (I'm not blaming you, Jessica!) so I made myself a cup of herbal tea before bed. I just grabbed the first tea bag in the basket, without paying too much attention to what it was, and lay down to rest. Suddenly, the baby started doing back flips and trying to force its way out of my belly through the skin rather than a more conventional route. Raspberry leaf tea. Apparently a uterine stimulant. Used homeopathically by some women to calm Braxton-Hicks contractions, but more often used to stimulate labor and/or induce miscarriage. So. Now we know that my uterus reacts strongly to raspberry tea; time to put that box away for another 12 weeks or so.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Intruder Alert

My younger sister - not LilSis, who just returned from her eco-tour honeymoon in Costa Rica; MiddleSis, the one who had her Costa Rican eco-tour honeymoon a few years ago - had the strangest experience recently.

MiddleSis was upstairs getting ready for work when she heard a clinking noise. She just knew that it was her dog downstairs in the kitchen licking out the breakfast cereal bowls, so she hollered, "LUCY!" and was surprised to hear the dog jump down from the bed in the next room.

A moment later, she heard the water downstairs turning on and off. !!!

Lucy, the apparently fairly useless guard Beagle-mix, finally went downstairs to investigate, and MiddleSis, heading stealthily down the back stairs herself, heard an older woman's voice address the dog.

"Oh, good," thought my 6 months pregnant sister, "I can take her."

It turns out that it was a woman from some agency who was supposed to be picking up someone for a court date. (Apparently, she had the wrong address.) Her instructions were to go around the back, and to go inside if no one answered the door. She'd been waiting in the living room for a while (!) but then decided to wash up the breakfast dishes.

That's exactly the sort of thing that would happen to MiddleSis. Someone broke into her house to wash her dishes. Classic.

And this is why I worry about giving Ellie a younger sister.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Treading Lightly

I met someone new today, at a place where I go on Wednesdays. It was the sort of setting where people sit around a table and discuss things in an orderly fashion. I'll post the following conversation without comment.

A leader-type person asked the newcomer to introduce herself with something we didn't already know about her. Like, for example, her favorite hobby.


"Oh, you went way out on a limb there! Very creative," replied a male-type person sitting next to me.

"Oh, I also love to read. And work out."

The leader-type person jumped on this promising tidbit. "What do you like to read?"

"Well, I've been a student for so long that I haven't had time to read actual books. That was my goal on my recent vacation; to start an actual book. But since I got engaged on vacation, I obviously didn't start a book. But I've always read my magazines. And lately I've been reading Bride Magazine."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Mama Honey

When Ellie's listing the members of her family, or calling for me in a public space (with her hand almost cupped up near her mouth and usually when she can see me within a few feet of her, so purely for humorous effect) Ellie still calls me Mama. I've heard her say "Mommy" a time or two, but she definitely prefers Mama.

Lately, though, around the house, she's taken to calling me "Honey." Which, really, is too too funny.

This afternoon, we were outside getting the mail and she was trying to get into the car. "Go! Go!" she said. To her dismay, I carried her inside (after pushing her on the swingset until the mosquitoes came out).

After dinner, she came up to me as I was sitting on the couch.

"Car. Go. Bye bye."

Since she was clearly asking for ice cream (projecting? me? never!) and it is, after all, her Birthday Eve, we all loaded up in the car and went bye bye. To everyone's satisfaction.

Three years old tomorrow! Three! In her last week at her current preschool. Having the last of her visits with the therapy team she's seen practically since birth. Today we had our last music class and last visit with Parents as Teachers, and without noticing it we already had our last library story time weeks ago. Everything is changing! Amazing. Go bye bye indeed.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Crimson Petal and the White

by Michael Faber.

One of my book clubs is reading this 900 page tome this month. Because of the length of the book, and to adjust our schedule for the upcoming holiday season, we're giving ourselves an extra week to read it.

It's extra strange, then, that I'm already done with the book, more than 4 weeks early. It took me 4 days to read.

We can thank my employer for some of that. I just got back from an incredibly useless (for me) business meeting, at which I spent a fair amount of time waiting around for packages to arrive and so got a lot of reading done. There was also a full (part-time) work week of time spent in airports and airplanes, prime reading opportunities.

But since I can't talk to my book club for nearly a month, I must vent here.

How unfair of Faber to introduce these characters, share with us intimate details of their lives and thoughts (and I do mean intimate; the book is narrated from a second person POV) and then drop us when he's "done."

What happens to these characters? Are they dead or alive? If they survive the 900th page, what happens to them next? Few clues in the text, few clues. And while I don't need everything wrapped up neatly with a bow, it doesn't seem too much to ask to know if the various POV characters are living or dead, and, if living, healthily and safely at the end of a novel. Too much to ask? Surely not.

I was thinking that the ending looked pretty grim. But reading the interview with the author (link above) it seems that there's hope. Good.

The New Count

26 (or 27, depending on which ultrasound you're reading) weeks pregnant:
  • Spontaneous belly touches: 3, not counting family or friends
  • Comments about how freakishly large I am already: innumerable, at least 3 just today
  • Follow-up queries as to whether or not I'm "sure," or if I might be carrying twins: see above
Also, since I often write about Ellie's sleep when I have complaints, I want to share some love here too. We've been having some challenges with Ellie's nap, it's true. She doesn't quite make it through the afternoon without one - oh, she can hold her eyes open until after dinner, but it's not pleasant for anyone. And she's been getting up a little too early in the morning. Paul might say it's a lot too early, since he's usually the one getting up with her. But bedtime? Bedtime rocks.

Ellie has been doing great with going to sleep at night. We do the whole night time routine: potty, bath or face/hand washing, tooth brushing, pajama application, climb up into bed, read stories, lights off, say prayers, kiss goodnight. And she rolls onto her side, snugs the covers up to her chin, and goes to sleep on her own. Wonder child! Blessings upon her soul.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

No, Not the Catheter

If I had been blogging on Wednesday, instead of spending the day in transit: rushing to the dentist, rushing to the office, having lunch, rushing to the airport, flying to California, and checking into a lovely hotel sans internet cafe; I would have blogged about Mark Foley.

I would not have blogged about the emails to pages. I would not have blogged about how fortunate this timing seems for the Democrats. I would not have blogged about how this further demoralizes the Republicans, who've held themselves up as the standard bearers of decency.

Rather, I would have blogged about Representative Foley coming out, in the midst of the mess, as gay. And a survivor of clergy sexual abuse. But mainly the gay part, that came first and has gotten a lot more attention.

I was sickened by this, this excuse. Even at this late date, this man - full of a truly impressive amount of self-loathing - is helping further his party's crusade against gays, by suggesting, however indirectly, that what he did was unavoidable because of his sexual orientation.

As Michael Albetta, president of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus, said, "A pedophile is a pedophile whether you're gay or straight. So he's gay. So what?"

We're looking a lot at the age issue, and that's certainly important. But while we're discussing that imbalance of power, let's not forget that it doesn't stop with adult vs. teen, there's also U.S. Congressman vs. Page. Which is kind of like President vs. Intern.

And now conservative groups are blaming the inaction of those within the "GOP" who knew about Foley's "indiscretions" but failed to act on political correctness and fear of appearing homophobic. Brava! Well done! A Republican congressman does a Bad Thing. Other Republicans seems to have known about it and covered it up. And it's still the fault of the liberals! Excellent!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Big Read

I haven't entirely fallen off the face of the earth. I had a meeting over here for one of my book clubs tonight, which was fun. And I baked (Sara Lee prepared, but I physically baked, so I get the credit) pumpkin and apple pies, so the house looks clean and smells delicious.

I have a business meeting in San Diego this week, which should be fun, but I'll be away from the computer for a couple of days. I'll get to have dinner at my cousin's house, and I'm really looking forward to that. I saw my cousin recently, but I haven't seen her husband since they moved out west, or older son (a few months younger than Ellie) in at least a year and a half. I haven't met his little brother at all, and that little guy's one already! And my cousin's pregnant again. So brave! Also a pediatrician, so she surely knows what she's doing.

If you're looking for something to do on Saturday, you should go to The Big Read. I plan to be there! After nap, of course. I love nap.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fan Girl

Paul has started feeding Ellie All Bran in the morning, which I think is hilarious. But since he's usually the one who takes care of what comes out of the other end when he's home, I figure, well, he'll figure this one out on his own. "She likes it!" he says.

I think she "likes" it because once she saw him eating a bowl and wanted to have what he was having instead of the Multigrain Cheerios in her own bowl. I doubt the All Bran (even the flakes with yogurt bits) would win in a toddler taste test, even if the only test subject was my daughter.

So, this weekend!

Saturday morning, we went to Forest Park for Arthur's Picnic in the Park Character Breakfast. Arthur and his PBS friends come visit St. Louis kids one Saturday each fall, and Ellie's school co-sponsors a breakfast for kids with special needs, so that they can meet the characters ahead of time in a more accessible setting.

Last year, Ellie was excited by the affair but a little afraid of the characters. This year, well, two PBS character breakfasts and two trips to Disney World before she turns 3 . . . we've created a character junkie. Unlike most of the toddlers, she had no fear of the larger-than-life muppets. Everytime she saw Elmo across the room (and she doesn't watch Sesame Street; she knows Elmo from books and stuffed animals) she ran over to fiercely hug his knees. Since Elmo has somewhat poor vision, and can't necessarily see his own knees (I would imagine) this was rather dangerous. I am relieved to report that we did not cause Elmo to do a Humpty Dumpty, and he should be appearing on PBS this week as usual.

Last night, Alison Bechdel did a reading at Left Bank Books. Hey, look! She already blogged it.

I went down to the reading with a few friends from one of my book clubs. And because I am a lucky, lucky girl, a wonderful local author (and amazing reader), Kathleen Finneran, invited us to tag along with a group of people (including Kathleen and Alison) when they went down to The City Museum for a drink afterwards.

The most humorous part of the evening, for me, was my slightly late arrival at the bookstore. Now, that part wasn't a shock (there was construction on Olive! I swear!) but I'd spent a little time in front of the mirror before I left the house. I was wearing a maternity top, but cut in a currently fashionable style, not obviously maternity. And black velvet stretch jeans, two sizes too large but not maternity. And tall, kicky black books. And lipstick! I was convinced that you couldn't really tell that I am pregnant, unless perhaps you caught me in profile in the right light. So imagine my chagrin when there was a flurry of activity and people insisting that some poor man give up his stool when I arrived so that I didn't have to actually stand for the reading, in my delicate state.

Alas, alack. I got a great seat up front, because at some point it became more of a spectacle to keep protesting that I was fine standing than to just accept the stool as graciously as possible. And my friends had to stand in the back and around the corner, unable to see the screen well. My view of the screen was partially obscured too, but that's just because I was sitting on a low stool in a side aisle about 5 feet in front of Alison herself. Obviously, I didn't mind a bit.

And I did go a bit Fangirl, but I managed to keep silent. I figure that was better than sounding obnoxious. I just came off as totally boring, a dud at one of the of the table drinking diet soda, which isn't too far off base. Anyway, it was great to see Kathleen again, and I found Alison to be utterly charming at the reading. If I ever publish something myself, and do a reading or two, I wonder if I'll lose my sense of awe at being around real authors.

I'm thinking no. I'm thinking that I'll always feel this way around amazing writers whose work I admire. And that's just fine with me.