STICKY

PERHAPS WE LEARNED SOMETHING.....
…Perhaps we were only mildly entertained. Regardless, please enjoy these Reviews, Responses, Works of Fiction, and Retellings brought to you by one who hopes to someday join the ranks of those who have written something worth reading.
(Kaylia Metcalfe)

Adventures in frustration

So. Ella had her six month check up today.

Despite the fact that she turned seven months old recently.... when we made the appointment during her 4 month check up, this was the soonest they could schedule her in.

Have you heard me complain about her doctor's office yet? 

I hate her Doctor's office. It is a converted regular office meaning that th weight station is a cubicle desk, the exam rooms are conference rooms with glass walls, and the whole thing is insanely crowded.

Also, the staff tends to not read the chart they are holding... I have been asked how we enjoy WIC despite the fact that we aren't on WIC, I have been told how impressive it is that I know who Ella's dad is (?!?), and I have had them think she was some other kid... a little boy.

The office also doubles as an allergy clinic and we have seen stacks of needles (some with meds (or soemthing?) in them) just lying about.

Whatever. 

Today's adventure:

We arrive 20 minutes early. We learned last time that they intermix the walk in people with the appointment people and last time despite having an appointment, we waited for over two hours on the waiting room.

The office us dark. Empty.

Totally empty. Apparently they had moved locations.

And hadn't bothered to tell us.

So, we drive to the new location.

(We had picked this Dr because of the location btw, We have to have a pediatrician who is both in our insurance and within walking distance. This was the only dr that was both.)

Ok, new location.... Technically still walking distance, but it will be a looooooing walk.

The new location isn't a Pediatrician / Allergy Clinic anymore.

It's a pediatrician /Urgent Care facility.

So, crowded and now the walk in people get preference over the appointment people.
We sign in. We are still technically early. We are also number 11 on the list.
11
We wait.

We are lucky to grab a chair. The room is crowded and it just gets more so. Standing room only.

We get called back. They rush Matthew and Ella through the weighing and measuring (on a better surface this time). Meanwhile I pay the co-pay. When I finish paying the gal says "Ok, great, have a great day!" I say, "We haven't had our appointment yet."

She is confused.

I join Matt and Ella in the examining room.

We wait.

And Wait

Ella gets fussy.

We feed her a bottle, we play on the floor, we sing songs....

We are in this room for over an hour.

Finally the doctor comes in... not our normal doctor, but, we are quick to realize, a drastic step up.

She is friendly, talkative, she asks questions she answers our questions, she gives good information, she is great with Ella!

She tells us that the wait was so long because they had us mislabeled.

Sigh

Ella gets her shots and is very brave, she cries but settles quickly.

Then back to the front to set up the next appointment and we escape the office almost 2 and a half hours after we arrived.

***

Home now... Ella basically got her bottle late, her fruit late, skipped her morning nap... in other words, the schedule is all out of whack... who knows how long it will take to get her back to normal....

Oh the joys!

Oh right... Dr office stats: she is 20.4 pounds, 27 inches long! Hooray!

April Community Alliance Article

The April issue of the Community Alliance paper it out all over town... but in case you haven't gotten your copy or you aren't local....

Here's the teaser.


When the Personal Becomes Political

By Kaylia Metcalfe
I attended a writers’ conference recently where I listened to a panel discussion about the “The Politics of the Writer” that centered on the idea of separating the artist from the art. Should they be separated? Should they be treated differently? Can this affect sales? Do artists (writers) have the right to hide their politics or the responsibility to share them with the world?
Of course, we were talking about this because of the recent news hoopla regarding Orson Scott Card.


On the Radio...

Tomorrow night I am fortunate enough to be part of a local author reading / signing event here in Fresno.

Along with that, I am very lucky to be able to promote the event on the radio earlier in the day. I will be on KFCF 88.1 during the "Its a Queer Thing" radio hour starting at 5:00.

I am very excited about both opportunities!

If you aren't local, you can hear the radio broadcast (live) by visiting this link.

Hooray for promotion and events!


A Box and a Loaf of Bread... in other words... Hope


To stave off the looming sense of misplaced but still powerful depression I have been attempting to equal parts hide from and ignore, today I did two things. I built a cardboard playhouse for Ella and I baked banana bread.

First, the cardboard.




It was a diaper box from Amazon. It became a little enclosure complete with windows that open and close… and the best part, the thing I am the most proud of, are the door and window handles. I made them out of white yarn and they can be used to open and close the windows and doors from either the inside or the outside.

Ella is a bit too little to do much more than hang out in there… but we did have a lot of fun playing peek-a-boo through all the various windows.





I have a feeling that little J (the 18 month old I watch) will enjoy it on a whole other level.

And I’m anticipating that Olive is going to get a bit of use out of it as well.

Ok, on to baking.

I made banana bread from a recipe that I augmented. First I had to find a recipe that didn't call for eggs as we are out… and then I had to do something to make it my own. (I’m not the only one who does that right? Takes a totally fine recipe and decides to tinker with it during my maiden attempt.)

Anyway, I tinkered and baked and viola! Banana Bread Kay-Style!

I'll type up my recipe later and post it on my cooking blog.

I was trying to figure out what drew me to both of these activities, why they both seemed like good weapons against melancholy and apathy.

Here’s what I came up with:

1.       They both involved problem solving, the need to exercise my brain in a way I haven’t been doing lately. Whether it was figuring out how to put handles on the doors and windows or what the appropriate thing to use instead of shortening (part applesauce and part margarine), this sort of problem solving was fun and challenging without being insurmountable.

2.       They were both creative. Here! I can point, Here is what I made. No endless words and paragraphs with only the word counter to give me validation of not wasting my time… here there is tangible proof that I started with one thing and made another. I MADE this… and It was good!

3.       Along with that, both projects provided a tangible goal, something to work toward and accomplish within a relatively short amount of time. I think that the monotony of my days is really getting to me. They all seem to blend together and I feel disconnected. Having a goal, a plan, and then knowing that I could o it (and do it pretty much by myself) was liberating in a way.

4.       They were both fun! I shouldn't have to explain this one… but yeah. Fun. It can’t be overstated… especially when one is feeling generally blue and frustrated.

5.       Maybe most importantly, they were both for other people. I have found, in the past, that shifting my focus away from myself and my problems onto someone else can help me feel better. Knowing that Olive, J, and even Ella, will get a bit of fun from the playhouse was a big motivator. And I had been trying to think of something sweet to do for my long suffering fiancĂ© for a while… therefore dessert!

Anyway, I’m not a guru or anything. Hell, I’m not even close to the tree line in these here woods, but I do feel better and I hope that I can remember these things tomorrow or the next day or the next and utilize them in new and interesting ways. 

I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with me… but today I feel a little bit more able to fight it.


Still taking a break

I'm still here, but I'm not all here, if you know what I mean.

Soon though.

I hope.

The faking it is getting a tiny bit easier.... someday soon, I'm sure that I won't have to fake it... that what I am feeling will be back in line with what I am supposed to be feeling.

Blah,

This is rambling and I know it isn't making much sense.

A Pause


Dear friends.

As some of you noticed, there was no “Show Me…” entry this week.

In fact there wasn’t anything from me this week.

I hope to be back up and actively participating in life again this week… been having a bit of a hard time lately.

There isn’t one particular thing.

It isn’t a matter of sleep deprivation
Or body image issues
Or a persistent cold
Or Ella’s teething
Or Ella’s persistent cold
Or Ella's night terrors, growing pains, who the hell knows but she isn't sleeping.....
Or feeling overwhelmed with this motherhood thing
This author thing
This fiancé planning a wedding thing.

It is all of that

And

It is the news that a beloved family member is dying of cancer.
It is the frustration of ignorant people doing ignorant and hurtful things
It is watching friends be preyed on by scam artists and having those friends be so desperate that they fall for the scam.
It is being a part time babysitter for an active little boy (fun but exhausting)
And

It is the bad dreams
The weight of decisions based on untold variables, blood work, and questions I don’t even know how to ask … let alone answer.
It is the stories in my head, swimming bits and pieces… flotsam that cannot be ignored but is never fully given enough attention to be dismissed.
It is the headache that has been with me for a week now… sinus? Allergy? Stress? Does It even matter?
It is the vendors who don’t want to support the LGBT community
It is frustration of feeling trapped because there is nowhere to go
And no way to get there.

It's the broken dryer

It is an asshole who stole our laundry basket
And our laundry

It is the hangnail and the blister
It is the weeds and the crust in the sink and the dirt on the floor and the crud in the toilet and the spiderweb under the chair and the dust on the shelf and the lint on the carpet and the dirt on the windows and the hair in the drain.

It is all of this

And none of this

And I just couldn't bring myself to type anything last week.

No words in the story

No photos for the blog

No phrases or fragments to figure out later

Nothing

I feel empty even as I eat my fill of Easter candy
I feel restless even as my muscles beg for sleep
I feel apathetic even as I watch Ella play or smile or coo.

And then of course, I feel guilty.

I’m not sure exactly what’s wrong, and I don’t have the energy to figure it out.

So

Soon

Sooner rather than later, I promise.

I’ll jump back up, rally the troops of my motivation, put on my mask and

Make it work
Fake it till it’s real
Plug away

Just keep swimming swimming swimming





Maybe tomorrow.

We'll see


The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale
By Margaret Atwood



Timeless
Riveting
Frightening
Profoundly crafted
Perfectly paced
Chilling.

This is a story of a dystopian future where we are no more than the sum of our parts and where the religious extremes are followed through to insane levels. It is compelling and haunting, full of nameless and socially named characters that will stay with you far past the final pages. And those final pages are essential. The "Afterword" adds so much to the story, it would be a travesty to skip it.

This book takes the notion of class, of gender, of rights vs privilege, of hierarchical systems, and of cultural xenophobia to some very frightening logical conclusions. It will make you think. It might give you nightmares. It is, understandably, one of the most important allegorical stories of our time.

The fact that it wasn't written in 2008 is shocking and a testament that there really is nothing new under the sun.

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone... but especially those who like to think outside the box, who want to be challenged a bit in their beliefs, and who harbor a well placed mistrust of organized religions / systems.