27 March 2009

Apparently I Am A Danger to Everyone, Including Myself

Yeah, so I haven't written in some time. I keep meaning to, but I've had my parents in town and blah blah blah they want me to talk to them instead of hiding in here, typing on my computer. Whatever. One day I'll get around to posting those fat pictures you've all been dreaming about, as well as a very now-out-of-date accounting of our St. Patrick's Day festivities. But for now, I'm going to post about last night's adventures.

A few of us got together last night to celebrate the fact that Stephanie is finally moving. For those of you who were not invited to this get-together, rest assured it was probably my fault that you weren't. And for the rest of you who were invited and then summarily uninvited, that was definitely my fault. Walk it off.

My father went back home several days ago because he has to work, but my mother being workless has stayed on until this coming weekend. Now, I will warn you now that the incident that I am about to recount made me so completely furious that I lay awake last night thinking that this morning I would gladly pack my mother's bags and call her a cab to the airport. But then I thought better of it after I awoke and decided that writing about it instead would be better. Or at least it would be cheaper anyway, because honestly, cabfare is way too expensive.

As I was leaving my house last night I happened to walk past the home of Melissa Who Lives Three Doors Down From Me at the precise moment she was coming out of her door to race to the same party. Sidenote: Stephanie and I have this running joke about driving ridiculously short distances (mostly her mocking me I should point out). When Melissa had a get-together at her home last month I told Stephanie that I was going to drive to it, and more importantly I was going to park in Melissa's parking spot, too. Unfortunately I left too late to pull that off so I had to walk all 20 feet to get there instead (bummer!). Anyway, Stephanie asked if I was going to drive to her nextdoor neighbor's house for the party last night and even asked if I was going to carpool with Melissa to get there, but we decided in the end it would probably be better if we drove separately in case we wanted to leave at different times. Remember, we were joking. Because Stephanie lives two blocks away from us. So as I was walking past Melissa's house I jokingly asked to bum a ride, assuming she was also walking; as it turns out she was actually going to drive. Seeing me walking guilted her into walking as well ("Well, now I have to walk, too!"). Seriously folks, the closest parking spot we could have gotten would have been halfway between our houses.

As it turns out, it's fortunate that Melissa felt guilty enough to walk with me, what with all the dangers lurking around every lamppost, or at least according to my ever-paranoid mother. "It'll be dark and you're pregnant and you could get mugged! It could be a moonless night and someone could pop up out of NOWHERE and KILL YOU DEAD." By the very grace of the saints in heaven above, we made it safely there.

And we stayed for hours and hours and hours. Now, I don't normally go to functions. Probably because of you. Anyway, I have no clue how long these things last. I definitely had no idea they would last four hours. I was perfectly entertained the entire time, don't get me wrong. It just didn't occur to me that I would need to call anyone to let them know what time I'd be home since I clearly had no clue myself. When the party broke up around midnight and Melissa and I were headed out the door on our dangerous mission home, Stephanie got a call on her cell from my house. We didn't get it in time but I knew it was my freaked out mother wondering if I was facedown in a gutter somewhere. We hurried home (I am a fast walker, sorry Melissa), all while my traveling companion amazed me with horror stories of the crime that goes on in our very own neighborhood. I had no idea I'd moved inside an 18th century London prison, but apparently so. We were just rounding the corner onto our street and I was retelling the story of some freak who I caught stalking my house (if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times: I'm irresistable) when Melissa says, "Is that your mom?" And I look towards the sidewalk ahead to see my mother stomping towards us at a clipped pace. "*sigh* Yes." "Are you in trouble?" And given the look on my mother's face it was easy to reply, "It would appear so, yes." When my mother came within speaking/yelling distance she proceeded to chide me for staying out so late and intentionally trying to get myself killed. And I introduced her to Melissa and bid her goodnight as she giggled up to her front door (I'm glad at least someone finds my mother amusing).

For the next 30 minutes my mother bawled me out for being irresponsible. Admittedly, I am actually a stupid seven-year-old child posing as an idiotic 32-year-old woman so she had every right to be concerned about my being kidnapped within the confines of a two-block section of our neighborhood. But as it turns out she had not just been upset for the last hour or so, but for three hours straight. THREE HOURS. When my husband got home from work one hour after the party had started she was already waiting at the front door with the door wide open, waiting for me. He said when he got inside that she lectured him for those three hours about the obvious need for keeping me on a tighter leash (...excuse me, what? Don't worry, he found it funny, too) and even called my father to complain that this was his fault for being the lenient one when they were raising me. No I am most certainly NOT kidding. I will be kind and say that she was merely "temporarily" insane, although in all honesty, there is nothing temporary about her freaking the hell out about this sort of thing. Did she really think I would die? Really? Yes. Yes she did.

So given my horrificly immature and irresponsible behavior, I'd like to issue the following apologies to My Neighbor Melissa Who Lives Three Doors Down From Me:

1) I hereby apologize for forcing you into danger by making you walk with me to and from the party. That shotgun I had at your back was probably fairly uncomfortable and it admittedly made it very difficult to carry on a conversation. And I apologize for my itchy trigger finger, too.

2) I hereby apologize on behalf of my mother who did not introduce herself properly last evening as she was too busy shaking with rage and swearing oaths against me. It was rude of her to be so impolite.

3) Finally, I hereby apologize for exposing you to the following dangers last evening: murder, rape, decapitation, kidnapping, robbery, incest, IRS tax evasion, treason, insurance fraud, suicide, shoplifting, breaking and entering, ritual sacrifice, grave robbery, human trafficking, auto theft, genocide, identity theft, money laundering, conspiracy, drug trafficking, disorderly conduct, perjury, arson, bigamy, terrorism, espionage, extortion, bribery, forgery, highjacking, slander, trespassing, driving under the influence, indecent exposure, telemarking fraud, prostitution, hate crimes, pyramid schemes, and embezzlement. Oh, and to me. Because I'm really very irresponsible.

Post Script: today my mother acts as if nothing out of the ordinary ever occurred last evening, which I believe is her way of acknowledging that she had perhaps "gone round the bend" as it were. However, if you asked her this she would deny it it vehemently. But she's normal now otherwise. Which is fortunate since she does handmake the best Chicago deepdish pizza I've ever tasted. Despite this, the Husband commented, "Perhaps we shouldn't have your mother stay for so long in the future. 'Cause she really seems to get uptight after a while. You know, just a suggestion...." Poor, patient Husband.

13 March 2009

A Serious Post For Once

Don't worry, I'll post my fat pregnancy pictures just as soon as my camera decides it doesn't need new batteries after all. I'm assuming it just has to choose not to want them rather insisting than it does. Stupid, spoiled camera.

In the mean time I'm going to write about something that's been weighing on my mind for a couple of days. It's a serious topic, it's going to be very long and wordy, and it won't be funny in the least. So if you're looking for amusement today you won't find it here. I can't always be your little entertainment monkey, you ingrates.

Some drama has happened in our family over the past week. My husband's 16-year-old niece went missing on Sunday and still hadn't been heard of four days later. She hadn't taken anything with her except her ipod (very important) and her cell phone, which she never answered. Money, keys, and ID were all left in her room. Obviously, her parents were frantic, but the police labeled it a runaway situation and basically ignored it. It wasn't until she still hadn't resurfaced on Thursday that the police actually sat up and took notice and actually began investigating her disappearance. And 24 hours later, and one ex-convict 19-year-old lousy boyfriend back in prison later, she was safely back at home again. She'd been keeping this idiot boyfriend a secret for over a year. When her parents finally found out about him, they went to all lenghts to keep him away from her, all to no avail. They even had the cops come to their home and tell their daughter just how bad her boyfriend was and illuminate her life about his extensive rapsheet. She refused to believe it of course, because "he's the only one who understands me and we're in love." Got it.

The whole family assumed the worst about our niece and they were naturally worried sick. However, the more I thought about the situation and the evidence available, the more I was convinced that she was perfectly safe, being sheltered by her idiot boyfriend. He felt the same way about her--that she was the only one who truly understood and loved him for the way he was--and as such I didn't believe he would hurt her. But he would definitely hide her. I'm very disturbed that elements of this case reminded me a great deal of one that the husband and I heard about via one of our many crime shows we're addicted to at the moment, and not the fake ones but the real ones. There was a case of a young teen girl who was a bit of an outcast who befriended an older teen hoodlum with serious issues inside and out of prison. Eventually they and his friend began to do drugs together, specifically LSD. When her mother objected to their undying love for each other, they decided to do away with her. And one night, the boyfriend stabbed her mother to death while her daughter and his friend hung out in the other room or watched or helped, depending on whose version of events you believe. The daughter and friend were sentenced to prison and the boyfriend was sentenced to death. Unless it has since been overturned by appeal, he is still on death row for the offense.

Here is my problem. While a heinous act, no doubt, he should not have been sentenced to death for that. All three were unbelievably high on LSD when they not only commited the murder, but also when they discussed doing it a couple of days before. There wasn't any evidence to suggest that they discussed her murder when they were not high. If I had been on the jury that sentenced this lad you would have had to convince me that he was not only capable, but also even willing to take that woman's life while he was stone-cold sober. Drugs impair one's reasoning ability to the degree that most of us are willing to do things under their influence that we would never even dream of doing otherwise; after all, isn't that the point of doing drugs? That would be the same as taking a drunken driver who had committed vehicular homicide and sentencing him to death for it. Surely he (or she) is responsible for the deaths his selfishness and carelessness caused and he should certainly be punished for not thinking ahead to take into account the possible consequences of his actions. But it was not premediated. He did not begin drinking that evening thinking that he would kill someone with his car. It is this same reasoning that makes me believe the boy was unfairly sentenced in his girlfriend's mother's murder. It was never properly proven that took LSD that evening with the intent of using it to aid him in murdering her mother, nor was it ever proven that he took it days prior with the intent of talking about it with his friends. The prosecution argued that because they had discussed her murder prior, that pointed to intent and premeditation. However, is it truly premeditated when it only occurs to them as a viable option when they are not in their right minds? The mention of murder was never brought up in conversation until well after the effects of the drug had worked its way into their systems. So while the boy certainly deserved to be put in jail for killing her, because really this speaks to his suitability as a common citizen in general, I believe handing down a death sentence for it was unnecessarily extreme given the circumstances surrounding the crime.

I was emailing my friend, Trina, back and forth and she was talking about black and white issues in society. I was reminded then that I believe there are very, very few situations that are truly black and white in this world. I believe that there are exceptions to almost every rule and circumstances vary to such a degree that no two situations can ever be truly compared to one another with the intent of laying out a solid, indefensible solution for both. I believe God is the only one who can do so and I believe He takes everything into effect before passing judgement. We are imperfect as humans, but we do our best by usually having juries decide each individual case based upon the unique evidence and circumstances that go with it. Juries aren't perfect, but they're the best we've got in an imperfect situation.

The death penalty. I believe in using the death penalty, but sparingly. Also, not for the same reasons many people believe in it. Often proponents of capital punishment use the "eye for an eye" argument to justify its use. If you kill someone, you deserve to be killed. I don't believe that. I believe if you kill someone or multiple people, or something just as heinous AND you've proven yourself incapable of ever being a capable contributing member of society AND you are just as much a danger in prison as out and if you ever escaped you would immediately resort to your previous heinous activities, then you have forfeited your chance to live and should be put to death. In my opinion, just because a murder has been committed does not mean the person who did it should also die. Here's an example. Say that a man comes home from work, catches his wife in bed with another man, and in a fit of rage and jealousy picks up the first object he sees and chucks it at her head. The blunt-force trama results in excessive internal bleeding and she dies. Should her husband be sentenced do death? Why or why not? I believe not. Not only was there no time for him to develop a plan before his emotions took over, but what are the chances that he will go and murder again after this initial crime? For a man who had previously no former criminal past, it would seem that only such an extreme emotionally charged event was capable of making him irrational enough to forgo his usual non-violent nature and act upon his over stimulated emotions. What are the chances that this same man will be found again in a similarly emotionally charged position that would force him to react in the same way? Therefore, is he a danger to society? Possibly. Some would argue that it's easier to murder the second time than the first. If he's capable of it at all, he's capable of it again. I would argue we're all capable of it if forced into an extreme enough situation. Would I kill someone who was trying to permanately harm one of my children? Yes, I might. The law would likely excuse me for protecting my young, but not necessarily in every situation, even if we at the time feel it is more than warranted.

The husband in my example is not necessarily uncommon. There is a reason lawyers have used "temporary insanity" as a defense in the past. It is an attempt to show the jury that this was an isolated event brought on by the most extreme of circumstances and that the odds of replicating those circumstances to the point of replicating the result as well is nearly non-existent. Does that argument work? Not always. But it still brings the point across that not everyone is a serial killer.

America's prison system was the first of its kind on earth. While other countries reserved prison for people who couldn't pay their debts and handed out death sentences for nearly everything else, America used its prisons as a form of rehabilitation. The U.S. had the idea that if prisoners could be reformed, they would not need to be executed but rather re-taught and then released back into society as productive citizens. Sometimes that works and obviously sometimes it doesn't, evidenced by the number of repeat offenders out there. And some are deemed to be beyond the point of rehabilitation so that they are sentenced to life in prison. They cannot be trusted within society any longer and thus have been stripped of the privilige of living with the rest of us.

So then what specifics separate those with a life sentence from those with a death sentence? Well, that's truly the question, isn't it? This is what citizens and politicians argue about unceasingly. People in favor of the death penalty use several arguments in their favor: the afore-mentioned eye for an eye argument, the argument that it provides closure for the victims' families, the argument that it serves as a deterrent to those who would otherwise commit these crimes, and the argument that what they did is just so bad that they have essentially proven that they are inhuman enough that they cannot be allowed to live. I believe only one of those arguments holds water, and it is the last one. But first, the others. I've already gone over the eye for an eye argument and why I don't believe it's justified to kill everyone who takes a life no matter what. Every situation is different and each needs to be analyzed based upon its own unique circumstances. The closure argument. I have yet to see a family member of a victim say that the death of the murder makes them feel better. In fact, most of the time they express the idea that even though the murderer is dead, they feel just as much pain and that person's execution will never bring their loved ones back. The only positive outcome they ever express is that now the murderer can't hurt anyone else. We will be coming back to that one, guaranteed.

And finally the deterrent argument. This is touted as being the strongest argument in the pro-capital punishment arena, and yet it is the argument that holds the least water. No one has ever provided evidence that I've ever heard of that has polled individuals with the results being "Yeah, I was gonna kill her, but man, then I thought about how our state allows the death penalty and then I thought, oh crap! I better not do it then! So I let her live." Most murders do not lend themselves to enough prior thought that would allow the would-be killer to think far enough in advance of that specific consequence. When humans are presented with enough time to think before they act on something they know they shouldn't do, the farthest their thoughts will carry them is, "I might get caught." It is from there that they exercise the idea of whether or not it's worth the risk of being caught or not. I daresay it would be a rare event for an individual to think about killing someone else for their own reasons that they've concocted as good enough to justify such an act and then pause to think about the consequences through to their complete end: "OK, so I kill this guy. If I don't cover my tracks enough, the cops might get the idea it's me. So I better do a good job of hiding what I did so I don't get caught. If I don't do that well enough, what will happen to me? The cops will come and they'll question me. If I don't lie well enough I'll have to sign my confession and get thrown in jail. Then I'll have to wait for my day in court and I'll have to have a good lawyer. If he can't argue well enough the jury might find me guilty. Oh man, and then I'll go to prison. Oh, but wait! What if they decide that what I'm about to do is so bad, despite my assertions that it had to be done because this dude totally has it coming and/or has something I really, really want that think I'm unfit to breathe another breath! OH MY GOSH I COULD GET THE CHAIR FOR THIS. Maybe this guy doesn't have it coming after all? Yeah, they're totally right. It's just not worth it. Time for Wheel of Fortune!" I guarantee you that that thought process and the type of person capable of carrying out a capital punishment-worthy offense are not compatable. As indicated, most people don't even register that what they're doing is worthy of such a sentence or it wouldn't occur to them to do it in the first place. While they may admit what they're about to do is wrong (if they've even thought about it long enough to come to that conclusion at all), they either do not believe they'll be caught for it, or they don't believe that a jury would think it's so wrong that they should die for it. Very few people on this earth would knowingly and willingly commit a crime so unbelievably horrendous that they believe they would be sentenced to die for it. Of those who know they would, typically serial killer types, those criminals believe themselves to be, and are usually correct to some degree, that they are intelligent enough to get away with it. And for those of us who do think about capital punishment, we are usually also right-thinking enough to not believe in committing the act in the first place if for no other reason than a strong sense of right and wrong. More of us are scared out of ever committing murder and other horrible acts for the consequence of eternal damnation rather than lethal injection. The death penality is not the deterrent people believe it to be.

I believe the death penalty is based in fear. There is a line that has been crossed in such a crime that is so unsettling to us as human beings that we cannot fathom its purpose or possible justification. An angry and jealous husband who murders in the heat of the moment will not be forgiven, but he can be understood to some degree. While most of us would not have reacted in the same way (or so we believe), we are not disgusted with his actions to the point of taking his life. But a man who rapes and murders dozens of teenaged girls on a spree that lasts years and crosses 32 states is unfathomable. It is inexusable. It has crossed a line. It shakes us to our cores. It terrifies us. Such a man cannot only not be trusted in society, he cannot even be trusted in prison. If he escapes he will do the same all over again because his mind is deseased to such a point that he can never be cured of his sadistic urges and he will continue until he is dead. There is little reason to keep him alive, and the risk of doing so far outweighs the guilt of taking his life. And so we execute him. It is the only solution to his personal problem and our problem with him. He will never be rehabilitated, he will never be in his right mind, he will never be forgiven by society, he can never pay his debt. He is hopeless and thus extremely expendable. There is a reason that states are willing to pay the price of killing some people versus the much cheaper option of simply keeping them in prison until they die naturally. Because they feel it's worth the cost. It's worth the peace of mind. It's worth the safety of everyone else in society because until that individual is six feet underground, he will always be a potential danger to us. And not just a danger, but a cancer. A disease that is pulling our society under with it. The criminal must be completely erradicated to cleanse us and more importantly for us to feel safe. Fear is a very powerful motivator in our society, don't ever doubt that. It can decide if you live or die.

And what do you think?

12 March 2009

And So It Begins....

Yesterday I had someone ask me if I was having twins. Remember, I'm only 14 weeks along. Admittedly, I look about five months at this point, but the twin question? Already? I assured her I was not and then sighed as the inevitable "Wow, you're gonna have one huge baby!" comment followed. Again, I assured her I was not. And then I bored her silent with my standard tedious pregnancy history. I plan to do the same here.

It's difficult to explain my personal physique to other people and why I look unnaturally and monumentally huge compared to everyone else with the same gestational aged baby as myself. For one, I have absolutely no stomach muscles. My body gave up on those about halfway through with Peawhistle. To make matters worse, maternity pants offer no support whatsoever. So what used to be shoved against me with the assistance of the threadbare strength of my Eddie Bauer jeans is now left to hang pathetically in front of me. Mind you, it used to be even worse on Sundays. Given my horrendously long waist and unnaturally midget-like legs, no pantyhose actually stay up past my waist for more than 10 minutes. That is, except for the maternity pantyhose that are designed to ride up far over your belly's expansiveness. So starting at about six weeks pregnant I had to start wearing those suckers, and if there's one thing they're not, it's "control top."

Anyway. So it all hangs out in front. A lot. Mostly because there is absolutely no other place in my torso for the baby to sit, what with that space being occupied mostly by my valuable stores of fat that see me through the long harsh months across the Sahari Desert. So my little satellite lives entirely outside of my body, attached onto it only by a thin layer of skin. With Sputnik in place, it pulls all of the fat and extra skin from all over my body and yanks it out in front of me. So surprisingly, I don't look like I'm pregnant from the back at all. In fact, I look thinner from back there. Even from the front, or even just the waist up I don't look that pregnant. But you catch me on the profile (which isn't hard to do in my condition) and, based entirely upon past experiences, you and your companions will gasp in wide-eyed horror at the sight before you. That's also when you'll unpolitely ask just how much weight I've gained in my obviously 90-week pregnancy.

For the record, I haven't gained a pound since even before I got pregnant. No, I'm not kidding. But look at my gut. Go ahead; I dare you. See if you believe me. Of course you don't. Because I'm having twins. Huge, fricking twins.

In other happy news, both Jody and Lisa have delivered delicious cookies to me within the past two days (where were these people in December?). Because if there's one thing I'm not, it's fat enough. Thanks again!

06 March 2009

It's Not Polite to Stare

YES, for the love of all that's holy, I'm pregnant, all right? 13 weeks even. Because I've only been having people ask me since I was, what, eight weeks? As in, when my body completely failed to keep it a secret from anyone I came in contact with? Because all the fat that I used to try to stuff into my pants was pushed up and out by my watermelon-sized super uterus resulting in the Most Overflowing Muffintop Ever Vaulted Onto Mankind? Yeah.

See, I'm not as talented in the baby-hiding department as say, my friend, Jody. Jody walked into labor wearing the same pants she'd been wearing nine months prior. In fact, when she produced the baby at church, none of us believed it actually came out of her. She assured us it did. How she managed to hide that entire baby in there can only be explained by Jody's miraculous survival skills, seeing as how she obviously does not possess internal organs.

But I, on the other hand, do have all my parts in tact, and then some. When I was pregnant with Peawhistle I looked obviously pregnant by 12 weeks and had to move into maternity wear. With Peanut, it was 10 weeks. This one, 8. At this rate I'll be moving into maternity pants before I even know I'm pregnant. Or worse yet, just wear them all the time. I guess that would solve everything.

I am huge throughout my pregnancies in case you haven't caught on. By six months I am getting the comments about "Isn't that baby out yet??" and "How overdue are you?" With Peanut I was in for a six-month ultrasound and a woman in the waiting room nodded her head and said, "Twins, huh?" "No, actually, just the one." "Are you sure? They can check those things now." (She was older, but apparently also an idiot.). "Yes. I've seen it on the scans. Just the one." "Hm. Well, that's gonna be one huge baby!" [Curt smile, followed by ignoring her.] For the record, Peanut couldn't even manage to top 7 lbs. I get this a lot. A LOT. And for those who have not actually seen me at nine months pregnancy, you cannot possibly fathom what a sight I make for the general public. Really. Don't even try or it'll hurt something internal (unless you're Jody).

Oh, and the doctors. Oh my goodness the doctors. I had an OB appointment today. I came out of there absolutely fuming. I consider myself an easy patient. If it makes sense, I'm going to do what I'm told to. If you're not an idiot, dealing with me will be smooth sailing, I assure you. The OB/GYNs that I saw for Peanut left me with such perpetual heartburn and spiking blood pressure that I swore I would never go through them again. And yet, here I am with them again, experiencing the same damn heartburn, etc., mostly because they're too darn convenient to get to vs. the good ones who are half a world away. With Peanut they swore up and down throughout the entire thing that something must be wrong with me. No, the test results always came back just fine. But someone at my age? With my enormous fattitude? Being healthy? Why that's preposterous!! Here, let's find something that's wrong with you to justify our existences here!

Here's how the conversation went today. The conversation that made my blood boil. You know, for the record and all.

OB: OK, and we're going to do the glucose challenge today as we discussed at our last meeting.
Me: We did not discuss any such thing at our last meeting.
OB: Yes we did, because here is the information right here in your file.
OB: What is the problem? It says right here in your file that you were gestational diabetic Type 2A. It says it right there. You were on medication and everything. You were diabetic so we have to test you early now.
OB: Fine. I'm going to go look at your glucose test results and just see for myself.
OB: You know, I just looked at these test results. Your test results came back fine; you passed your glucose test. Did you know that you weren't diabetic?
(And here's where I really lost it): YES, I JUST SAID THAT. I WAS NOT DIABETIC!!
OB: Well then, why did they say you were? Why did they put you on medication for something you didn't have?
Me: Because they're paranoid freaks who wanted to find something wrong with me and settled on gestational diabetes, that's why! And I'm getting a little sick and tired of this crap and I'm not going to do it anymore!
OB: Now Abby, you know you can refuse any treatment. That's your decision. But we're really just looking out for your best interests and, of course, your baby's.

I nearly slapped her for that pathetic excuse for a guilt trip. These people constantly put me through the wringer for their own sense of satisfaction and then have the gall to act offended when I call them on the carpet for it. If they think I'm going through their Crazy House of Obstetrics again, they're out of their fricking crazy minds. I'd rather deliver on the front lawn of the hospital.

Oh, and this is fun, too. So they did the first trimester screening last week to determine the odds of having a baby with Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18 (because at 32, I'm ancient). Fine. Tests results came back as my being at a higher risk for 13 and 18 than when I went in. But not terribly high, but higher (1/550 vs. 1/720). However, the risk of killing the baby via amnio to find out would be 1/300. Easy decision, right? This OB asked me repeatedly what I wanted to do, despite she herself saying my chances of having a baby with a chromosomal defect are incredibly slim and the risk of having the amnio to find out conclusively isn't worth risking the baby's life. And yet when I agreed, she didn't believe me. I told her that if this baby has even a chance of taking one breathe outside my body, I will give it that chance, period. I'm not going to abort. I will also not unnecessarily risk the life of the baby just to ease my mind a little, either. If the baby has major problems then there's nothing we can do about it anyway. "Yeah, but you'd at least get some warning." "Consider us warned. Thanks." She just wouldn't take it. I can only assume that she didn't like my expressionless, "heartless" approach to the problem. Did she expect me to burst into tears? Would it have solved the problem if I had? No. So what is her deal? Man, she bugs the hell out of me. Unfortunately, they all do.

Let's see what else I can whine about here.... Huh. Guess I'm plum out. I'm sure more will come later. I'll have to keep you updated. So I'll move on for now.

Only a couple of friends officially knew about my pregnancy early on, and their main job was to tell me if I looked pregnant that day or not. Stephanie was the best for this. At the ward dance she said, "You don't look pregnant at all (i.e. only incredibly fat!)! You should definitely wear that shirt to the Moms Night Out party this Wednesday!" I dutifully did as I was told, all the while thinking that this group of women has only thus far seen me wear my "More Cowbell" t-shirt and nothing else. I'm sure they think I own no clothes. Anyway, because she knew of The Secret That Apparently Wasn't Much of a Secret Due to My Ridiculously Ever-Expanding Size, she was also sworn to secrecy. This, despite the fact that she's a terrible, terrible liar. But she did her best and I appreciate it. You're free, Stephanie! Free!

And for all of my neighbors named Melissa who live three doors down from me, I would like to officially apologize on behalf of Stephanie and her enormously unconvincing lie when you asked her if I was pregnant four weeks ago. I assure you she made me pay for that, but not before pleading with the Lord to forgive her for deceiving you and everyone else in the room she lied to at the time. She has been torturing herself for my sake to the point of fearing for her very salvation, so I ask that you forgive her for her pathetic attempt at deception. And Stephanie, when the Judgment Day arrives, I will gladly step up to the Judgement Bar and take full responsibility for those false witnesses you bore. I'm only happy to. It's the least I can do in exchange for you never actually calling me "only fat and not pregnant," despite every opportunity I gave you to do so.

Can I pick the right friends or what?

An Affair to Remember

I'm always on the lookout for new ideas for posts. Lisa, clearly my favorite person of the week because she told everyone on her blog that I'm funny, asked me to post about the conversation I had with the county police in relation to my previous post (the one about murder; you remember the one).

I hate to burst your rosy bubble, Lisa, but I did not actually speak to the police on the phone. For the rest of you, in case you haven't noticed, or haven't spoken with me in person yet, I'm a complete idiot on the phone. Really. There is no other mode of communication that I succeed with less than that of telephone communication. I come off as extremely mentally handicapped. Fortunately, I know this (there are many like me who are still in denial). What are the odds that a retarded person calling the cops and asking if she can teach people how to commit a felony would be met with approval of any sort? "OH BUT DON'T WORRY COMMISSIONER OR LIEUTENANT OR COMMODORE OR WHATEVER YOU'RE CALLED DOWN THERE, IT'S ALL JUST A JOKE HAHAHAHAH SNORT COUGH GAG CRY." No. I'm stupid, but not that stupid.

So I emailed them instead. And the emails go to a PR guy who is used to dealing with morons, hopefully worse off than myself. We exchanged a few emails while using Very Pretty, Smart Words, never saying what we really meant, but knowing perfectly well what the other one was saying. So to satisfy Lisa's curiosity, I will not just replicate our communication, but moreover I will write what we actually thought, rather than what we actually said. For our purposes, PR Guy will be known by the name Kojak.

Me: Hello, cops! I want to write something on my blog but I don't want to get in trouble for it.

Kojak: You can say you hate us and we suck all you want and we can't stop you. That whole Freedom of Speech deal. Look it up. Ungrateful snot....

Me: I wasn't going to say I hate you and you suck, I swear! I just wanted to teach people how to get away with murder. BUT IT'S A JOKE I SWEAR DON'T ARREST ME.

Kojak: Oh, yeah, that's much better. Listen, criminals get enough good ideas from the plethora of TV shows and movies out there that getting bad ideas from your idiot blog really isn't going to put a dent into our efforts here, trust me. Get over yourself. And stop emailing me, too.

Me: Woohoo! Free ticket from the cops to do whatever I want!

Voila. See? Not the exciting encounter you were hoping for I'm afraid. Why? Because I wasn't stupid enough to talk to them on the phone.

Oh, I know how these things roll. Don't you doubt it.

05 March 2009

How To Get Away With Murder

A while back I told Lisa that I could totally hide a body because I watch "CSI." It's time to come clean though. I actually watch "CSI," "CSI: Miami," AND "CSI: New York." I'm practically a professional with all this training I've been getting via CBS's weekly lineup! I can't withhold my vast array of crime-related knowledge any longer. And because I know so many of you have been holding out until you've received the proper guidance, I will now give you some tips on how to get away with murder.

1. Selecting your victim:

If there's one thing I've learned from crime shows, it's that the police are always on the trail of serial killers. Serial killers are the "big ticket" criminals that launch careers and make cops famous. Measly one-time killers like you don't. So when you're selecting your victim, be sure and pick someone you know and are close to--in fact the closer the better. Serial killers always choose victims randomly and have no motive, so be sure and have tons and tons of motive to make sure you're not a suspect! If you've threatened to kill someone whilst both of you are in a very public forum, preferably with video cameras rolling, this is the perfect victim for you. They will never suspect you as you're too easy a solution; if there's one thing detectives love, it's a good mystery! You killing your ex-girlfriend after writing about your intentions to do so on your blog for five years and taking out a full-length page in the newspaper is no mystery at all! Guaranteed you're getting off scott-free, friend!

2. Selecting your weapon:

Whatever weapon you choose, be sure and leave it at the crime scene. If you're going to go through the effort of offing someone, at least let the rest of us in on how you did it! Really, it's called common courtesy.

3. Hiding the body:

We all know you gotta hide the body afterwards, right? Be sure and pick a place they'll never think to look. I suggest the city morgue (imagine how confusing it'll be for the cadaver dogs). Sure, that annoying medical examiner is likely to ask you a few personal questions ("Who is this?" and "Why is this person's blood all over your clothes and face?"), but never fear, they're just curious cats! Also, they may ask you to fill out some paperwork while you're there, too, but it has nothing to do with the murder, trust me. It's for demographic purposes only. Why, you'll probably be getting some coupons in the mail within 2-4 weeks, so be sure and stay home so you'll receive these great savings!

4. The Crime Scene:

Let's face it: you're doing this to get attention to some degree, or at least a one-time mention on the nightly news, am I right? Sure I am. But you're going to get no attention at all if they never know anything ever happened. Be sure to select a crime scene that'll get noticed, preferably before the blood dries. We're looking for pizazz, people! So make it some place that people will come across within a very short time, but not so many people that will mess up your crime scene's look. On the front lawn of a busy neighborhood is a good choice. Also, night time is not your friend. Be sure and do this in broad daylight so you can be sure the scene looks the way you want it to before the cops get there. The police will respect you that much more when they've seen what pride you took in your work to get your crime scene looking the way you did.

5. Witnesses:

As people are staring at you committing this murder, be sure and give a smile and wave. Friendly people are never thought of as murderers; these people will only remember your winning good looks and charm instead of the gushing blood. Remember: a smile can fix any problem at all. Everyone loves a smile!

6. Evidence:

As I indicated, be sure and leave the murder weapon at the scene. We're on pins and needles to know how you did it and for sure that pesky medical examiner is never going to guess without a little help from you. Also, remember that crime solving is more of an art than a science, making detectives and CSIs primarily artists. Artists who thrive on flashy designs. So do these artists a favor and leave some fingerprints/palm prints/footprints behind, the more the better. Use the victim's blood if you can, because red really makes the scene pop! You're doing this for the city's finest remember; they're protecting us against criminals, it's the least you can do for them.

7. Bragging Rights:

Everyone loves a person with self-confidence. Those murderers who never say anything are not only cowards, but clearly lack self-esteem. No one likes those people. But you! You're confident in what you do and how you do it. Don't be afraid to share what you've accomplished, why and how you did it, and where the rest of the evidence is stashed. It takes someone with a lot of guts to admit to others when they've committed murder; you want to be in that category of confident people, don't you? Of course you do! Tell everyone you know. They'll probably brag to their friends what an awesome person you are and how privileged they are to even know you! And if that doesn't boost your ego, I don't know what will.

8. The Confession:

On the off chance the police do ask you politely to come to their workplace and write about what you did, use this opportunity to impress them with your vivid and accurate memory! It's hard to remember every darn little detail, what with the blood and the screaming and whatnot. They'll be amazed the more you can remember, evidenced by the copious notes they frantically take while you're talking. You'll be the center of attention for hours and hours! When they finally ask you to write it all down yourself (you can't expect them to keep up with your amazing recounting of events, you genius you) be sure and write legibly. Penmanship really counts for something these days, believe you me.

9. Choosing a Lawyer:

Don't you hate it when someone doesn't have enough faith in you to believe you can do something that you know you can? Doesn't it just chap your hide when you hear someone telling a dozen strangers that you're completely incapable of a crime you yourself know you did? Be sure and stand up and correct that idiot lawyer so these strangers won't go home thinking you're an incapable loser! You left a marvelous crime scene there, Tiger! Don't you let that courtroom forget it!

10. Impressing Your Prisonmates:

Have you ever heard that first impressions are everything? It's absolutely true. These fellow prisoners are going to be your chums for the rest of your life, Sport! Be sure and let them know right off the bat how willing you are to be friends so as to maximize your mutual experience there in the state penitentiary you're all calling home. Who doesn't love to be complimented, right? Everyone loves a compliment. Be sure and spread them around as soon as you come into your new digs, followed by a brisk slap on the back for your new mates. You'll be enjoying your new life in no time!

Disclaimer 1: Don't actually commit murder. It's illegal. And it makes me sad.

Disclaimer 2: I went to the effort of asking the county police if I could post this. They basically said, "Knock yourself out. Can't be half as bad as what's on TV." Score! THE LENGTHS I GO TO FOR YOU PEOPLE.

03 March 2009

All It Takes Is a Little Perspective

So I was all set to write a post about Peanut's latest foray into his personal medical book of history with the most disgusting case of pink eye I've ever seen in my life. I was going to write that my usually adorable baby boy has neon-yellow goop constantly pouring out of both eyes and how I can barely keep my lunch down around the little tot. I was going to say that strangers come up to see how cute Peanut is, as per our usual treatment when we're out, but instead of oohing and aahing they take one look at his petri-dish eyes and politely turn away without another word. And I was all set to threaten the miscreant who dared infect my boy with a disease that will likely spread to the rest of us by week's end with the most heinous and discriptive of tortures I could concoct.

And then I read Ms. Mindy's Now-Secret Blog (so don't bother) asking for well wishes for a family who had to take their sweet and adorable baby girl Gracie, who was not much younger than Peanut, off life support yesterday because the heart she was given for a heart transplant turned out to be a bad heart and the surgeons didn't find out until it was too late. And her new little heart gave out and they had to let her go.

I'll take Peanut and all his nasty, vomit-inducing pink eye any day over no Peanut to hug at all. Thanks for the perspective, Mindy.

Let's all give our kids one extra hug tonight. Because we can.

01 March 2009

Consider This Product Plugged!

I just wanted to quickly share with you, my friends and stalkers, a product that I have recently purchased that I now love. I first saw this product on another Mommy Blog somewhere (can't recall which one now--sorry anonymous mom!), and gave it some thought at the time. Then Greta ranted and raved about the same thing on hers. Not known to be a liar (or at least that I know of...yet), I checked out the website and was sold! The Magic Product? The Baby Vac! The Baby Vac is a contraption that you hook onto your vacuum cleaner that sucks all the snot out of a baby's/toddler's/preschooler's/adult's nose. Yeehaw! And let me just tell you, this little sucker (pun not intended, but not avoided) totally works. Case in point:

Peawhistle and Peanut got sick about a few days apart, PW coming down with it first. I used the baby vac on PW once (she is capable of blowing her nose, even if not terribly effectively), and PN in the morning, before his naps, and before bedtime. Peanut's cold is now gone, and Peawhistle's is still hanging on with the running, stopped up nose and the coughing. Peanut never had the chance to cough because none of the mucus ever made its way into his little chest. It's a wonder, people. A fricking wonder.

How does it actually feel? I haven't tried it out myself, so I'll have to go by my kids' reactions. PW seemed taken aback by the contraption, but stood still long enough to get the job done. She coughed a little. And then she ran off none the worse for wear. Peanut...well, Peanut is, uh, "special" as always. Mind you, he's not scared of the nose-sucker at all. With his ever-increasing desire to morph into the family's household pet, Peanut is terrified of the vacuum cleaner. So it's not so much that he bawled and wailed because all the crap was getting sucked out of his nose, but rather the noise our ancient vacuum cleaner makes and I'm assuming how much he thinks it will eat him or something. So. Wasn't exactly a pleasant experience for him typically, but with Peanut very few things are. Take that for what it's worth.

If you're interested in obtaining one of these fine Snot Suckers for yourselves, the cheapest I've found online (which happens to be the same one Greta found) is sold by folks in New Zealand. It costs $22.99, and that includes shipping and handling. Not a bad price for something that's relatively easy to clean and won't get you just as sick in the process by asking you to suck out the mucus yourselves as some makers of proposed baby nose vacuums do, because ew. Also, they take PayPal, which makes them even more awesome. Why, I didn't even have to get up off my fat and lazy butt to find my credit card! These are my kinda people!