In Sickness

Ian and I rang in 2013 in bed. I was so sick, and so long asleep, that the midnight hour passed entirely unnoticed. It seems like 2013, so far, has been a lot about hospitals, failing health, and loss. I'm hoping that this is a trend that starts changing soon. But I feel the need to purge this and put it all in one place.

My Great Uncle Ellie died on January 8th. He was 92 years old and lived a long and full and happy (I think) life filled with family and love. We were all very close to him. Up until a couple of months ago he was exuberant, hilarious, tequila-drinking, lady-charming and very much alive. His health failed quickly, and the truth is, I'm grateful he didn't suffer for a long time.

My 17-month-old nephew, Lex, who has Cystic Fibrosis was admitted to the hospital on January 23rd because he had a horrific cough that hadn't cleared after a couple of months of extra treatments. Luckily, he is doing better and will be released, it looks like, tomorrow. It was scary and a wake-up call for me. I try to not think about Lex's illness and what it could mean for his future. This forced me to think about it. As a result, Ian and I have signed up to the Great Strides Walk which is a fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Feel free to support me by going here.

On that same day, Ian fell off of his skateboard and broke his wrist.

In the process of making plans to go visit Ian's 96 (I think) year-old Grannie in Vancouver, we heard from many family members that her health seems to be drastically declining. I don't know how much worse it'll be (we go next weekend) from when we saw her last, but I have a feeling it will be shocking. The timing of this visit, which will surely be upsetting in terms of her physical and mental health, fits into the overall theme of our life lately.

My sister-in-law, Ian's sister, has had issues with drugs and mental health for as long as I've known Ian (she was about 14 when I met Ian). She is now 23 years-old and not doing well. She has spent much of the last several months in and out of a mental hospital and I don't really even have the words to talk about this.

Last night, sometime between January 31st and February 1st, my Uncle Brian died. He is...or was, I dad's brother. It is complicated. He was somewhere on the autism spectrum, or had some other sort of major developmental disability that was never dealt with or diagnosed. He was also diabetic and had lost both his legs and one of his eyes to infection over the past couple of decades. He lost his wife just over a year ago. His life is sort of sad to think about, but in the last year, we saw him more than we had in the previous decade. He didn't have a mean bone in his body. I feel glad that his last year had him surrounded by family and living somewhere where he had a religious and social life. I also know that had this not happened, his loss would have hit me far less hard. Bittersweet, I guess.

I will end by pointing out that it is now 2013 and I am still no closer to being a mother that I ever have been. My life is filled with medical centers, doctors, vials of drugs and needles.


Still here. Sort of.

I still read through everything y'all are posting! And even comment sometimes. And love you all! I just, since I've been so focused on Fertility Treatment stuff, have been primarily blogging about that elsewhere. If you wanna read it, you can find it here on blogspot.

My life has basically been swallowed by IUI and home buying. Ian and I close on a gorgeous craftsman in Alameda on Friday. I am in love with it. I can't believe it's mine!

And that's about it. I cut my hair, so I have super short bangs. I feel pretty fat and icky and need to get back to exercising. I am excited that I get to see lele in a couple of days. I spend all my spare time looking at furniture and home accessories online (and in person). I have been in introvertville.
sleepy kitten

i'm your private blogger

heya peeps. so, i started another little blog where i plan to chronicle this journey of infertility stuff. it's not very interesting to most people, i'm sure. and a lot of people say things that make me feel terrible (unintentionally of course), which is why i've been mostly not writing about this all. so i don't want the blog to be as public as lj. it's not gonna post to my facebook or twitter. but it will exist. so if you feel like you'd maybe want to follow it, let me know, and i might send you a link.

now i can't stop singing like tina turner. if only i had her legs.

bring it on 2012

it's been like 1000 years since i've written anything on lj. haven't been super inspired or motivated to write much, but thought i'd give an end of the year/beginning of the year mini-update at least. basically, everything looks pretty identical right now to how it looked a year ago, in spite of all kinds of potential change and excitement that never was to be. so that is just not super inspiring or motivating or interesting.

so, yeah. on the babymaking front, we still haven't made one in spite of many many many months of trying. we are now working with a reproductive endocrinologist (aka a fertility dude) who will attempt to merge the semen of ian with the egg of sharon in the creation of a new life form - the shian. i don't expect to talk too much about the process as we go through it. suffice it to say that ian mostly masturbates in cups while i get poked, probed and prodded. on the plus side, i really dig my doctor and feel good about starting on this journey with him. you can presume that if i get pregnant, you'll hear about it when it's at the point that it's time to tell. in the meantime, it all feels a little raw and personal and boring and tmi. although i do like hearing from other people who've gone through the process.

what else? i was asked to be on the newbery committee, then not able to be (they made a mistake). i was given a super rad acting promotion that i loved, then had to leave it (there was a union grievance). i went on anti-depressants then went back off of them. i got excited about buying a house and moving to alameda but did not buy a house or move to alameda. i don't think i left the country even once. actually, january of last year i went to canada. friend stuff and family stuff is aok great.

i did get a bad ass tattoo in 2011. so there's that, at least.

here's to 2012! bring it.

today is a good day

the new library on 81st avenue opened. i can't begin to explain how exciting and inspiring and empowering and amazing this is. i love oakland so much sometimes it makes me almost cry. sometimes i really remember that my job is a job in public service and that there is no other public i can imagine serving right now. and this investment, right in the heart of east oakland, is just happymaking and beautiful. the birth of a library in this economic climate is a huge triuph. it's a triumph at anytime. and giving the people of this community and the two schools that will use this as their library the largest branch in oakland (second only to the main library), the most advanced technology, and an AMAZING staff is such an investment in the future, and such a contribution of hope.

some things that happened, that made me smile, above and beyond just the fact that this library exists, and that i was there with friends who are coworkers and coworkers who are friends, and above and beyond the fact that hundreds of people came out for this event, are as follows:

1. one of my regular patrons at my branch (elmhurst) was at the opening. i saw her amidst the hundreds of people and she rushed over and gave me a hug. you can see her below in the photos. she's the one standing up and dancing in the crowd (when the rapper was performing).

2. the library director also gave me a hug. and thanked me for coming back to oakland. this made me feel good.

3. i came back to my branch and helped a gentleman (he is an older guy, is deaf and does not read lips or sign language and he also does not speak) and he was so happy i understood and was able to get him what he needed that he grabbed my hand and blew me a kiss.

4. mini-cupcake with my lunch. delightful.

5. my favorite brothers just came into the library. the 13-year-old is the one who told me, "but you're too nice to be a boss!!!" when he found out i was the manager. LOVE HIM FOREVER.

here are some photos of the day:

the staff prepping for the big day

barbara lee

crowd shot (see the patron i mentioned above!)

speeches from the children of EnCompass Academy and ACORN Woodland elementary schools (the two schools on the campus with the library)

moments before mayor quan cut the ribbon

clifford! duhs!

a quiet moment.

and a less quiet one.

watch this video. watch it to the end. watch my friend derrick (and know that i laugh and i cry everytime i watch it).
"Students mobbed the truck that delivered the first shipment of books and materials to the library in mid-December. They couldn't contain their joy when librarian Derrick DeMay opened up a box and showed them the new stuff inside."

here are some articles about the library opening.
oakland north
inside bay area
oakland tribune/san jose mercury news


"The new library represents a commitment to the East Oakland community and the young people who live there."

"EnCompass Principal Nguyen also hopes the surroundings will send a positive message to students. “When you surround children with beauty, they start reflecting that,” she said. “When they think of themselves in the hood, they don’t get that message.”"

Incentives Make Giving Fun!!!

Ok, people have been incredibly generous in their support of 826 Valencia and my spelling bee team, Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe. But I am still just about halfway to my goal and the team as a whole has a ways to go. You have no idea how badly I want to kick the butts of Lemony Snicket, Adam Savage, Thao Nguyen, and Michael Chabon raise money for 826 Valencia to help them help as many children as possible!

So, here's what I'm offering. You will receive some incentives if you donate, depending on how much you donate here:

$5 = a shout out on facebook

$10 = a shout out on facebook AND a personal heartfelt compliment posted on your facebook wall (or somewhere else if you aren't on facebook).

$15 = both of the above PLUS a handwritten handmade card in the real mail

$20 = all of the above PLUS either a copy of my hai-cooties mini-zine (a book of haikus i wrote - one for each person i've kissed) OR a set of 3 mini 1" badges handmade by me (we can discuss possible designs, but some ideas = old maps, old yearbook photos, text and illustrations from old children's books, etc.)

$30 = all of the above PLUS a handmade just for you mix cd designed for your enjoyment (or playlist on youtube or rdio)

$40 = all of the above PLUS either a print of any of my photos on flickr ( - i recommend the travelgasm photos) on 8x10 high quality photo paper OR a miniature owl plush ornament handmade by me.

$50 = all of the above PLUS either i take you out to the bar of your choice for a drink and you can make me wear ANY OUTFIT YOU WANT no matter how horrific (as long as butt, boobs, vagina, gut don't show) OR i'll cook you dinner (give you a choice of a couple of meal options) OR if you aren't local, and you don't want to wait until we see each other next, we can discuss a suitable mailed treat to go along with all of the above. One for each fifty dollars donated.

EDIT: I HAVE ANOTHER ONE! ok, at the rate of $15 hour you can pay me for babysitting services, dogwalking services, or other such services (as agreed upon) via donation.

For those of you who have so amazingly already donated...let me know if you'd like to cash in on your deserved incentives! Just send me an email or post here or let me know somehow all the info i need - your choices, your address, etc etc.

Thank you again so much for helping me support this amazingly worthwhile organization!

Donate Donate Donate! It feels good!!!

Help me to cheat in a spelling bee!

Hi all! I think that this is the first time I've participated in an event for charity that required me to fund raise, so I'm sorry if I'm not very graceful at it. But the cause is really important to me, so I decided to get past my awkwardness and give it a go!

(Here's the link, but there's more information below!)

I'm trying to raise money for an amazing organization - 826 Valencia. San Francisco locals mostly know it well, and visitors may recall checking out the "pirate store" on Valencia Street that is part of 826. For those of you who don't know the work they do, let me tell you a little bit about it. 826 Valencia is a non-profit that supports students in their writing skills in San Francisco. They do all kinds of workshops and events for children and they send volunteers into the schools. They are supported by your generous donations. A lot of these young people don't have other opportunities to participate in these sorts of programs and of course, as a librarian, I know the importance of getting children excited about writing! This is the future, guys!

You can read more about all the exciting things they do by going to their website, here.

So, what does this have to do with me? Well! I'm participating in a Spelling Bee for Cheaters! I've joined a team (of mostly librarians) and we plan to whoop the butts of such luminaries as Lemony Snicket
and Michael Chabon (who are participating on other teams). The more money we raise, the more we are allowed to cheat. And while I may be a bit of a grammar snob, you should all know I'll take all the help I
can get when it comes to spelling! We haven't yet reached our goal, but we are currently in first place and want to stay there! My team is called Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe (get it? huh? huh?) and we want
to WIN! We also want to raise the most money for 826 Valencia and every little bit helps.

Please donate, if you can, even just a couple of dollars. I'll appreciate it, my teammates won't kick me off the team, 826 Valencia will appreciate it, and of course the children and their families will
appreciate it. All donations over 25 dollars are, of course, tax deductible.

Use this link here to read more about the bee and to donate for me and my team! And please spread the word to anyone else who might want to help!


2010 wrap-up

i've done this a few years in a row - i found the last two year's and couldn't find the previous. but that's ok. here it is again.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you'd never done before?
i've learned to live within a budget - saving large amounts of money. i traveled to new places. i became an aunt. i got a tattoo. i learned how to run and even enjoy it a little bit!

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
i didn't make any resolutions last year, but i had a lot of ideas about how to live my life and i think i've done a pretty good job with most of them! ian and i had a date last night to go over our life constitution and to see how we're doing with it so far - to re-evaluate all those goals. i'll post some of those results later.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
babies like crazy! closest is my sis-in-law, ali, who gave birth to my niece, reese. my next closest baby is baby solomon, who belongs to my friend, sheri. but there were lots more! and more coming!

4. Did anyone close to you die?
no, thankfully.

5. What countries did you visit?
israel, palestine, jordan, ghana, kenya, uganda, rwanda, south africa, australia, new zealand

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
i would really like to find myself pregnant by the end of this year. i aort of feel like 2010 had it'd be a hard year to top, otherwise. but if not 2011, then 2012!

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
07/13 - came back from our travel
09/25 - carla got married
10/22 - my niece was born

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
coming back to the bay area, and going back to my life successfully, but while implementing so many life changes in a pretty natural way. saving money more than i ever have managed to do before.

9. What was your biggest failure?
haven't finished my book. wasn't able to stay off anti-depressants.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
yeah. had a nasty kidney infection at the beginning of the year and ended the year with a burst ovarian cyst.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
got a new car. lots of plane tickets. and some beautiful bookshelves.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
family and friends the world over.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
i can NOT believe that vanessa and zac broke up!

14. Where did most of your money go?
for the first half of the year - travel travel travel. since then, stuff for our apartment, i etc. and still lots of visiting travel.

15. What were you really, really, really excited about?
coming back home!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
rome - phoenix, pursuit of happiness - kid cudi

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder?
eh. neither, i don't think. different year, different struggles, different excitements, same sharon.

ii. thinner or fatter?

iii. richer or poorer?

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
wasted time on the internet and watching bad tv

20. How did you spend Christmas?
flying to hawaii with a recently ruptured ovarian cyst and a bottle of vicodin

21. How many one-night stands?

22. Did you fall in love in 2010?
stayed in love

23. What was your favourite TV programme?
how i met your mother, big love, dexter, hoarders, intervention, obsessed

24. How will you see in the New Year?
i flew home from hawaii and then watched the ball drop on tv with ian.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
i shall consult goodreads. these got 5 stars:
life of pi - yann martel
when you reach me - rebecca stead
palestine - joe sacco
one crazy summer - rita williams-garcia
dark emperor and other poems of the night - joyce sidman

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
this is like too impossible a question for me. kid cudi? best coast? the like? robyn? local natives? jenny and johnny? young the giant?

28. What did you want and get?
a cute apartment in a cute neighborhood. a niece! my job back.

29. What did you want and not get?
a pregnancy. a niece/nephew from my sister. all of the cute boots in the world.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
uhhhhhhhhhhh uhhhhhhhhhhh i can't think of a really good one. oh! i liked scott pilgrim! duh. and easy a.

31. What did you do on your birthday?
i slept in AND took a long nap. then i went bowling and drinking with work friends (and ian) and to late dinner after. i also had fondue dinner with some friends the night before AND ian cooked me a brunch.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
less cold weather!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
1st half = hippy same clothes every day girl.
2nd half = trying to dress slightly more grown up but really mostly still always wearing the same things i always have! brown, tan, grey, navy, black, white, layers, boots, chucks, jeans, owls, bright pink occasional dress and tights.

34. What kept you sane?
ian and bella

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
the singer from the national

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
same as always - palestine/israel, civil rights for all peoples, health care

37. Who did you miss?
at some point during 2010 i think i missed every single person

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
it's sort of easy to make change you believe in, if you set your mind to it.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
turn the light out, say goodnight. no thinking for a little while. let's not try to figure out everything at once.