Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Things I can blog about, but not say out loud

I am trying to keep my sadness over going back to work from turning into an out and out depression. I am having a hard time. I really want to enjoy my last few days as a SAHM, but honestly, I am fighting some really ugly feelings.

For reasons I don’t understand, going back to work is connected to my feelings about my family’s treatment of me and my son. As I mentioned, most of my immediate family doesn’t even acknowledge his existence. Besides a voice mail left when he was first born, my brother has never called or asked about him. My sister called once, and I haven’t heard from her since.

I have probably thought about my brothers and sisters every day since lil’ guy was born. I always knew that I didn’t come from a very loving family, but it wasn’t until my son was born that I realized how selfish they were.

What does this have to do with going back to work? I don’t know. Other than the fact that what I really want is to stay home but still have enough money to pay the bills, and that just isn’t the reality right now. What I really want is a supportive family, and that isn’t a reality either.

Compounding everything is the fact that I am running a fever and have a stuffy nose. Last night, I really wanted my wife to come home and take care of me. But there was a nurse at the hospital who had made some sort of mistake. She was feeling bad so my wife took her out for ice cream. She didn’t get home until late. I was really feeling sorry for myself by then.

I am just feeling pissy all over.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I am switching teams

No. I am not going to start dating men. I am switching from SAHM to WM. That’s the feisty stay at home mom team to the beleaguered working mom team. They offered me the job. There were some tense salary negotiations for a couple of days. As much as I needed the money, I didn’t think their original offer was fair. I politely told them to bump it up or it was no deal. They did and I start on Monday.

I am sure me and lil’ guy will adjust. My wife seems relieved, and considering our financial situation, I do think it’s the right thing to do. After a year of my not working, we are seriously in debt. It’s a little alarming.

Nevertheless, I am feeling sad about being away from him. We have grown so close over this year. I don’t regret staying at home with him at all. I did not find it boring or meaningless or even lonely. It actually brought me a great deal of joy. The only downside was the constant stress of making the mortgage.

If anyone has any thoughts about staying connected to your child when you go back to work, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment or email me at mary at thecybersecretary dot com.

Monday, February 26, 2007

February in Boston

Saturday, February 24, 2007

I did not learn everything I need to know in kindergarten

Here in the Northeast we have indoor playgrounds. Pretty nifty in sub zero weather. My son loves the playground. He stands in the middle and makes a joyful screech as all of the bigger kids dash around him.

As I have mentioned before, my son loves wheels. I watched as he pushed a plastic cop car around the brightly padded tarp. I was chatting with the other dyke mommies when I realized an evil little girl had stolen his car, jumped in it and was trying to run him over.

That evening, I relayed this story to my wife. She works with a lot of kids, and is pretty good with them.

“Did you talk to the little girl, and explain to her your son was playing with the car? You could have told her that she needs to let him play with it but she could have it in five minutes,” she asked.

“No. I grabbed lil’ guy from underneath the wheel and gave her a dirty look. Next time I saw her, I muttered, ‘I’m watching you’.”

“I don’t know that kids get that kind of subtlety.”

“Well. Where was her mother, anyway?”

I guess I have a lot to learn about the playground.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Presenting….a little boy

It still surprises me to see lil’ guy walking around a corner. When did he learn to walk? He does an adorable little disco dance with his arms to keep balance. I swear, I can almost picture him 6'0 tall and full grown.

Chivalry is not dead

No news yet on the job front. They contacted all of my references but want me to come in for a second interview. That seems a little backwards, don’t you think? I don’t know why I am so nervous, I don’t even know if I want this job.

I wanted to relay a quick story about something that happened to me yesterday. When I came out of my interview, I went to my car and tried to get it started. It was stuck in the snow. But not in any usual kind of a way. It was stuck like Rush Limbaugh in a size 2 tutu stuck.

A gentleman saw me trying to get me car started, and he came over and started to push the car. A second gentleman saw what was going on, and he came over and helped too. These two guys shoveled the snow and pushed my car for over ½ hour. It finally broke free of the ice.

I just wanted to mention this because we hear so often how civility has completely broken down in society. But these guys worked their butts off to help me out for no reason at all. Their only reward was good karma and a hug from me. I thought it was worth mentioning.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

By the time I came home, there was a message asking for references.


Up all night, mind racing

I have a job interview this afternoon. I will post more cute pictures of the kid when I get back from it this evening.

The job interview is a last minute thing. I sent the company my resume yesterday, and they called me right away, even though it was a holiday. The job seems kind of intense. The company sells software that mines data for the CIA – yikes! What really bothers me is that it looks like a pretty consuming position. I was up all night thinking about it. I am afraid it’s going to totally take me away from lil’ guy.

Also, much to my surprised, I am feeling a little guilty interviewing for a permanent position when I might be going to school in a few months. I don’t usually feel guilty about my relationship to corporations, but this time, I am feeling a twinge of guilt.

I have been sending out applications for secretarial positions, but I just haven’t gotten any responses. So I sent out a couple of resumes in my old field, hence this interview.

I just have a funny premonition that they are going to offer me the job, and considering the financial situation we are in, I don’t know if I could turn it down.

But Googie, I hear you collectively scream, why don’t you just wait until you are offered the position before you worry about all of this. Well, that is just not how my mind works.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

My goodness, a rant

You know, Googie likes to think of herself as a non-judgmental sort. I don’t troll the internet looking for fights. I try to keep an open mind and live and let live. But check out this web site.

Ok, what the fuck is wrong with these people’s brains? Do you want your civil liberties threatened?

Do people have any understanding of how dangerous governments can be? Googie is sensitive to the fact that people are afraid after 9/11. She has even been persuaded for the need for a strong defense. Criminals and terrorist are a threat in any society. However, the most egregious criminal agents throughout history have been governments with unlimited power. Don’t believe me? Put down your bible for a moment and read the history of the 20th century. Terrorists are not capable of the slaughter that Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union inflicted on its own people. Government power must be limited for a country to be free.

So what keeps us safe? Here’s some hints:
Its not preemptive wars against sovereign nations
Its not warrantless wire taps
Its not prisoners in secret prisons
Its not nuclear weapons
Its not tanks, soldiers or guns

What keeps us free? It’s the Bill of Rights and our collective respect for it. But the Bill of Rights is really just a piece of paper unless its principles are aggressively fought for in courts of law. Thus, the need for the American Civil Liberties Union.

A couple of asides: Don’t you think Googie is going to make a rockin’ lawyer? I can’t wait for law school.

Ironically, though I now worship at the church of liberalism, many of my ideas about government come from the philosophies of Ayn Rand and the political writings of Barry Goldwater. Like I have mentioned, I was raised in a Red State in a Republican family. By the time I was 18, I had read the entire Objectivist canon.
What really gets my goat is that if these people simply read their own literature, they would realize this administration’s disregard for civil liberties is a very bad thing. But my guess is that the people who run this web site and its readers are not conservatives at all, but Christian extremists. I believe what irks them about the ACLU is that the organization has halted their wholesale attempt to take over American public life.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cat Fights

I promised myself that I wouldn’t blog anymore until a project I am working on for a client is done. Is the project done? No. I attribute my incredible self discipline to my Catholic upbringing, because you know that abstinence pledge worked out so well.

I am on a yahoo group for moms in my area. All sorts of moms are on it, straight moms, gay moms and even some men. It is a really active email list. Every thought that crosses the minds of these people gets emailed out. It’s everything from my daughter won’t stop eating toilet paper to my son is projectile vomiting, what should I do? The list is so active that I have surrendered an email address to it. The emails from the group just took over.

Every few weeks, without fail, a cat fight breaks out between the Stay at Home Moms and the Moms that Work. Today someone emailed an article about a local newscaster who gave up her job to be a SAHM and KABOOM, the fur started flying.

First of all, this strikes me as a rich girls fight. For most people, this isn’t even a discussion. I think for most people, the question is how are we going to pay the mortgage and feed a kid, not would I be more fulfilled at home or at work?

Second, parenting is the strangest thing. There is so much potential for misunderstanding and hurt feelings. I have never experienced another situation where ones choices can automatically offend other people, just because they made different choices. Co-sleeping can seem to be a negation of Ferber. Those who stay at home offend those who go back to work. Breastfeeding can seem like an insult to those who bottle fed.

Personally, I would like to see us support each other more. I know that the choices I made were grounded in the crucible of my reality. I breastfed until lil’ guy and I developed a painful case of thrush, and then we stopped. I stayed at home, but had to cash out my retirement fund in order to do it. Now I will be going back to work (ha ha). Accept in rare cases of abuse or neglect, I am sure other mothers make the best choices under the particular circumstances they find themselves in.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Musing on Housewife's Comments

I found myself thinking a lot about housewife’s comments, so I thought I would put them in their own post Andrew Sullivan style.

Housewife wrote:

1. I had a pink dollar bill the other day, can someone please explain this to me? I hate not being in on the joke.

2. My father was adopted, he was born in Nazi Germany and his mother died either in the camps or during childbirth... too many stories and none of them matter. The point is that he flew all over the world to find his father and please him. He was well into his 50's before he realized that his father was the man who tucked him in at night.

I think with an honest portrayal of who everyone is genetically that reminds your little guy that parenting is an active action (my father never had that) much angst would be saved.

I'm sure there is wondering aloud and in quiet but perhaps this can be done without pain?

First, I think the most likely explanation for the dollar bill is that it got put in the wash with some red clothes. If there a mass pink bill joke, I’m not in on it.

Second, the story about your father is amazing. I completely agree that parenting is about the actions you take, not who you are biologically. To be honest, I come about this from an intense background. I come from a large biologically family, but we don’t function as a family at all. My father wasn’t a father to me. I really see my first AA sponsor as the woman who mothered me and helped me become the woman that I am. I have five brothers and sisters, but only have contact with my youngest sister. My brothers and sisters, with the exception of the youngest, have shown no interest in my son. And I mean no interest. None. Zip. Two of them have never met him even though he is over a year. They have expressed no interest in meeting him. In fact, have not really acknowledged that he exists. I am not sure that I can ever forgive them. Meanwhile, I have friends who would jump out of bed and come over in the middle of the night if I needed them too. One of his godmothers has a picture of Googie at work. They celebrate his birthday and know when he hit his major developmental milestones. They are all ready to take him to Red Sox games. Personally, I think biology is over rated.

Like I said, I have talked to quite a few kids of gay parents. Some of them seem really interested in their sperm donors, but others not so much. Mostly what I hear expressed is curiosity, not angst. My friend’s daughter, from the New York Times piece, said she wanted to see what he looked like, and then just take it from there. She seems pretty mature for her age. I don’t hear any big expectations from her about what meeting her sperm donor is going to mean for her life.

I did read a piece in the Washington post from a young girl I don’t know. Her mother is a straight woman who used an anonymous sperm donor. You can find it here. She does talk about depression and anxiety about not knowing her biological father. So what I was trying to say is that if my son should experience these feelings, I hope I have dealt with my shit enough to be there for him and help him deal. But maybe he won’t have any feelings about it at all. I have seen that too. As for me, I would not be comfortable if the sperm donor came forward, however, my personal comfort is no longer the most important thing to me. That stopped when lil’ guy came bouncing out of me and into the world.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Beer Money

A friend of mine told me tonight that her daughter’s anonymous sperm donor has stepped forward and broken his anonymity. Her daughter flew out to LA to meet him. It was a big deal. It was in the New York Times. She was having feelings about it because she is the non-bio mom. She was bummed that there was one more biological connection that she wasn’t a part of.

I was a little freaked out by the story. Just last night, I watched the movie Broken Flowers where the main character goes out in search of his son. I was having nightmares about 3672 showing up at our house one day with pink flowers in hand asking to see lil’ guy.

I asked my friend how she was doing, and she said she realized it was ok to have feelings. She knew that her daughter loved her, and she could just step out of the way and let things happen. Then she said, “Its just part of the deal that you sign on for when you do this.” Her hands waived in the air when she said it. I knew exactly what “this” was. This is stepping away from the traditional family unit. This is traveling down a different, less worn path. This is deciding that fundamentalist be damned, you were going to have a family.

I have noticed that kids of lesbians experience a range of emotions about their sperm donors. Some seem really interested in who he is, others appear to care less. I have tried to mentally prepare myself for the questions our son will have. More importantly, I am trying to prepare myself for his feelings so that I can help him when the time comes. I believe that being open to his feelings are also part of the deal, another thing that I signed on for when I signed up for “this”.

I have to say though, that mostly, I am grateful. I am sure there are a lot of reasons why young men donate their sperm. My younger sister said at her university, the frat boys donate their sperm so that they will have beer money. Thank God for frat boys who need beer money! What would the lesbians do without them? I’d buy you a beer if I knew you. Our son is the best thing to ever happen to us.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Quick update

So I woke up this morning to things being shut off. First it was the cable, and then the phone and then the internet. First thought was not how am I going to continue to send out resumes, but how will I blog? Luckily, one of my slacker accounts had finally paid me, and much to my surprise, the check cleared so I had money to get everything turned back on.

Yesterday’s interview went pretty well, but it was short. Not sure what to make of it. I think that means either the interviewer took one look at me and thought, “You are so perfect for this job, we don’t need to go on.” Or it means she took one look at me and thought, “I would rather have a poke in the eye with a red hot poker than work with you.”

In little boy news, my son has been soooo sweet lately. I’ve been a little bit depressed, and he and the dog just give me hugs and kisses all day. I’ll be sitting on the couch staring out the window, and he will toddle over to me and puts his arms around my knees and pats my leg. I didn’t even know he knew how to hug. No matter what, remember this, it has all been worth it.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Mind of the American Male

I have been thinking a lot about men lately. I have been reading books about raising boys. It’s been pretty eye opening. I never realized boys were so cruel to one another.

Then the other night I was driving home from my AA meeting when an NPR show came on about the “Mind of the American Male”. Even a couple of years ago, I would have thought, “Men own everything, and now we have to know what they think too?!” However, a little American male is now the center of my existence, and I was rather interested to know what men had to say for themselves. I drove around Boston listening to the program even though I had a sweet wife and ice cream at home waiting for me. (100% aside- Boston is not a fun city to just drive around in. Even at night. When I was young and living in Arizona, I would drive for miles. Those generous open highways! There was the beautiful desert and the dark sky that went on for days. A girl could really get her head together driving around Black Canyon Highway).

What really interested me about the program was that men seemed really anxious to join the discussion, and there were a lot of strong feelings expressed. However, the complaints struck me as kind of vague. There was the standard complaint that feminism has redefined the sex roles and now men don’t know what their role is. This is undoubtedly true. But wasn’t the height of the feminist movement in the 70’s. Like thirty years ago. You would have thought men would have figured something out by now. I think there has been some foot dragging.

There were discussion of girlfriends who had left them, and how hard it is to make a living. But nowhere in the discussion did anyone say something so insightful that I thought, “This is the heart of the matter.”

Now, I have dated men and women. In my judgment, there is little difference between them. And what is different gets exaggerated, my guess is for political purposes. I do think boys are raised in a manner that forces them to pigeon hole themselves into acceptable masculine personas. Just this year, I have observed boys being acutely discourage from expressing feelings and interests that would be considered unmasculine. I think some men take these lessons to heart more than others. Some men do this so thoroughly that they become dulled and completely cut off from parts of themselves. In some cases, the most interesting parts.

Comments left on my blog have been mostly from women, however, if a boy should happen to pass this way, I would be really interested to know your thoughts are on any of this. So please, consider this a written invitation to comment. Don’t worry if you are not a boy, I still would love to hear from you.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

My lil' sugar booger

Many thanks to Keith @ for giving us his old digital. So its back to posting pictures!

I waited a bit to update the blog. I wanted to be in a better mood. I'm sure those of you out in blogland were a little tired of hearing about how lousy I felt, and how my life was completly falling apart.

I do feel little better. I'm doing a fifth step with my sponsor this afternoon. And I have a job interview tomorrow with an organization I am generally interested in. I would tell you who, but I don't want to jinx it. So wish me luck and I will let everyone know how it goes.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I'm in a pissy mood, and I can't get a hold of my AA sponsor

I am in a super duper crappy mood. A guy calls me for an interview earlier this week, and I start out today with a whole hour to get across town. The interview wasn’t in a different city, it was just in another neighborhood. But after staying home for a year, I am totally unprepared for rush hour traffic. I was 20 minutes late, and you can imagine what they thought of that.

This whole job search has been a study in what not to do. I came really close to getting an offer with one job, but I am pretty sure that they found their way to this blog (based on my web stats), and that was the end of that. Somehow in the course of my short job search, I have managed to alienate every web design firm in Boston. I am beginning to think that I will never code in this town again.

On another note, I wanted to thank the people at this web site
for information on putting social bookmarks on the new blogger. Don’t they look cool?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Bring on the straight jacket

Boston Maggie tagged me with this Meme: 6 weird things about yourself

I'm pretty weird, so I'm not sure if she knew what she got herself into, but here it goes:

Six weird things about me

  1. I am not a vegetarian, but chicken completely skeeves me out. I won’t touch it or eat it. However, if it is in a dish, and I don’t know it, I usually like the way it tastes.
  2. I totally love this ridiculous blog:
  3. I use to belly dance. At the height of my belly dancing career, I danced in front of 200 hundred lesbians. They screamed and hollered and stood on chairs during the performance. People tell me that I looked perfectly calm, but I was scared to death that I was about to get mauled by a bunch of sexed up lesbos.
  4. When I was very young and very drunk, I got a really large tattoo on my hip. It’s a tough looking tattoo of a woman’s head that is the handle of a sword. Her neck elongates out into the blade. I immediately regretted it when I sobered up.
  5. Per my wife – Every night, I get into bed, and then get out of bed to put on socks, and then get back in, then get out of bed to put on pants, and then get into bed, and then get out of bed to take the pants off. Eventually, I kick off the socks too. I do this every night.
  6. The very weirdest thing about me is that I have an alternative life that runs in my head. I mean it actually plays like a movie, and I feel like I have very little control of it. In my alternate life, I was adopted by a couple of gay men and grew up in the Castro district of San Francisco.

I am suppose to tag six people. Here are four to start. I think of a couple more:
I am going to tag Keith at and

Rhea at the Boomer Chronicles

Kim at Madd Babies

Robin at the Other Mother

Saturday, February 03, 2007


You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

I have entered a free fall financially and spiritually. I haven’t been able to pay my bills in weeks. Normally, this would upset me, but I am feeling an eerie calm about it. I had a bunch of interviews, but don’t have any lined up for next week.

I feel a bit like I have fallen off the face of the earth.

I did some meditating last night, and even a bit of bible reading. I couldn’t sleep, and I finished off the very interesting book on Rwanda, and decided to read from the Book of James. I believe that is where we get the One Day at a Time slogan from in AA. It says something to the affect of “you don’t know what will happen from one day to the next so stop pretending like your plans mean anything.” Or some such.

In my heart, I am an agnostic. But I have been contemplating giving some space in my head to the idea that there maybe a spiritual solution to my present problems. I will always have doubt. But I have a little bit of faith too. Maybe I need to let Faith have a run at things for a while

BTW – in an effort to get a project out the door for a client, I gave my son the digital camera. He’s very interested in it, and it keeps him quiet. He was very well behaved as he slammed that camera on the floor several times. You may not being seeing any more pictures of him until I go back to work and can buy a new one.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Disaster Narrowly Averted

Or avoided by a mile. My son had been throwing up in the morning, just once, and then going on like nothing happened. I thought it was strange, but didn’t think much of it. This went on for three days when my wife, the neuro nurse, mentioned that morning vomiting was a symptom of brain tumors. I panicked, and dashed to get the pediatrician on the phone.

Meanwhile, pandemonium has broken out in my city. As you probably know, a little bit too creative ad for a cartoon caused the city to come to a standstill because the authorities thought they were bombs. Normally, this would create a dramatic reaction from me. I am one of those people who have a disaster kit in their basement, though it’s unclear to me what the duct tape is for. After 911 I tried to get my doctor to prescribe antibiotics for me. I wanted them on hand in case there was a bio terror attack. She refused.

But I completely missed the chaos yesterday because I was trying to get the nice nurse at the pediatrician’s office to take my son’s situation seriously. I wanted a CAT scan. She thought he needed chicken soup. Medical personnel are so unhelpful.

BTW – the vomiting ceased this morning.