Archive for January 2011
I know what you’re thinking… here’s yet another law firm show. You already enjoy Law & Order, why would you need another lawyer show? You tried watching The Defenders and it failed to tickle your fancy. In comes Kathy Bates with her hot new show. Hard ass lawyer, with a fancy office, fancy team, tons of legal jargon to go around, a disagreeable DA to deal with, and no character development whatsoever, right? WRONG! What Harry’s Law has going for it is the entire OPPOSITE of all those things on this list.
Kathy Bates plays Harriet (aka Harry), a burned-out patent lawyer with no criminal experience who gets fired after pretty much boring herself out of a job. After being fallen on by a suicide jumper, and ran over by a car by a young former court rival, all in the same day, Harry decides to simply rent a space in that neighborhood where these strange things happened, and start a law firm. But guess what, that space she rented came with a whole inventory of designer bags and shoes, which her former assistant goes ga-ga over, and decides to join her in that little office, determined to continuing the shoe selling business and starting, much to Harry’s chagrin, the new “Harriet’s Law and Fine Shoes” locale. And, wouldn’t you know it, the young patent lawyer who ran her over, also itching for a change of pace from the corporate world, decides to quit his cushy job and join her in her new adventure.
The show shines with Academy Award Winner Kathy Bates’s performance, and makes you root for her because she REALLY has no idea what she is doing!!! After having spent 32 years trying patent cases, she is a complete fish out of water in a criminal court room.
I cried at the end of the first episode. I can’t say I have cried at the end of ANY TV show pilot I have ever watched. The build up to the final verdict on that first episode was simply breathtaking.
I also need to mention that the show has managed to cast a STELLAR actor for the role of the annoying and disagreeable D.A. (ok, yes, there is a disagreeable D.A.). They managed to get Paul McCrane, whom you might know as major asshole Dr. Bob Romano on E.R. (the chief of surgery who lost his arm on the blades of a helicopter).
In addition to that DREAM of a character (which I’m very much looking forward to watching getting into fights with Kathy Bates’s character), I am also looking forward to seeing my girl Jordana Spiro (you may know her from the show My Boys). That girl is so gorgeous I’d watch anything she was in. I love her voice and her overall demeanor on camera. Can’t wait to see more of her here!
Anyways, I think this is going to be a good show… but people should watch it to make up their own minds. I recommend it! At least based on the pilot episode…
Happy TV’ing everyone!
I just saw the preview to the new movie I am Number Four. It was all going well until I got to the name of the movie: I am Number Four.
Immediately a billion jokes at the expense of that name came pouring into my head. My favorite were:
- The sequel would be “I am Number Five”
- This movie could be about the corporate world (more like “I am a number”)
- Alternate title: “I wasn’t even good enough to make it on the top 3″
- Alternative title: “Thank God I’m not Number 2″
I’m sure I could think of a few more, but these were right off the top of my head. Needless to say: what an awful title for a movie!!!!!!
Here’s the trailer, if you’re curious:
I have thought of joining the ranks of the unfriendable many times before. The closest I have gotten is keeping an account, but having no wall posts and only one profile picture. But now that the Pensive Kid has jumped ship, I feel a sense of urgency in revisiting the topic.
Let’s see what great things Facebook has brought to my life:
- I have gotten back in touch with old friends that I never thought I would ever talk to again
- I catch the occasional news story status update that makes me write to that person and reestablish contact
For the life of me I can’t find any other joy that Facebook has brought to my life…
In fact, I have gotten a bit more aggravation from being a member over the years:
- During my “post a status update and a picture about everything and everything” phase, I would get really mad when people didn’t comment on a witty status update, or a really good picture, or would untag themselves from my pictures
- Looking through some high school “friends’” pictures in exotic and far away places made me feel jealous and horrible about my own life (“Why am I not helping out the starving children in Africa??? Why haven’t I climbed to the summit of a mountain in Switzerland??”)
- Reading other people’s status updates and noticing that they would get 25 comments on the first day (compared to my average of zero) would upset me (“am I not as interesting as they are?? are they not my friends, too???”)
- There was a lot of aggravation when someone would not accept my invite, and there were sleepless nights when someone I did not want to friend would repeatedly send me friend requests
I’m sure I could think of a few more. The point is that, the more I think about it, the more I think that Facebook is the source of all evil: it brings out the worst in us because its whole premise is to create a medium through which we can boast (look at the places I’ve been, look at the Vera Wang wedding gown I got that you didn’t, look at how many friends I got).
The Pensive Kid took more of a physical relationship vs digital relationship approach: physical relationships are more meaningful and we should be devoting time and effort into those, and not our digital personnas (do they really resemble our real life selves?).
So why do I hang onto this devilish thing? The 64 million dollar question that comes to mind is: but what if someone wants to reach me??? I’ve been trying to answer that question… wouldn’t they have my email address already? I’m also on LinkedIn for professional purposes, they could find me there as well. So really, do I need to hang onto this thing for the remote possibility that someone out there may be wanting to get back in touch with me?
I’m not ready to answer these questions yet… I really hope to get there soon. And when I do, we’ll have a little “I quit Facebook” party on this blog
Happy Facebooking… for as long as you enjoy it.
Photo Credit: http://www.twrtoday.com/Why-I-Hate-Facebook.asp
Ever since my husband left me, things have been in a state of disarray both physically (around the house), and mentally.
Ok, so he didn’t really *leave me*, but that’s how it feels! Brian had to go take care of some needy clients in California for a week, so he’s been gone since last Wednesday. After he left, the cold that had been brewing inside me finally exploded and I spent Friday through Monday fighting off a burning sinus infection. I was the very definition of the sick and the lame (and lonely).
Thanks to my amazingly maternal sister-in-law, and my super duper mother-in-law, I was slowly nursed back to health and spent most of the weekend away from home being fed and taken care of. I’m lucky to have them around being so willing to help. They really went the extra mile for me.
So let’s come back to disorder: my house is a mess, my sinuses are a mess, I have not finished a single book I have started reading (I got like 4 incomplete books under my belt right now), I’m dealing with the inevitable pregnancy worrier syndrome (“is this affecting my baby???”), and I’m too sick and tired to take on cleaning the house all by myself.
Disorder. That’s what I call this midpoint state between complete chaos and perfect harmony. I long for the days when I had nothing to do when I got home. Lately I’ve been so overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done that I have accomplished nothing at all.
Here’s wishing you a more productive rest of the week than mine has been so far,
I sat with a stranger for lunch today, due to the lack of empty tables at the cafeteria.
We got to talking and she asked me if I was from Brazil (I get that a lot), so I corrected that I was from Venezuela. The rest went something like this:
Lady: you guys have an ocean, right?
ina: actually we have the Caribbean Sea, which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean. Venezuela is at the north tip of South America, across the sea from Florida
Lady: wait… I thought Venezuela was in South America
ina: It is…
Lady: Maybe I’m thinking of Central America
ina: oh yeah, that’s around where Mexico is, Nicaragua, Panama
Lady: No, that’s not it…
Gotta love the lack of geographical reference with which some people roam the Earth.
Happy Thursday, everyone!
I got the day off today for MLK holiday, and it was the worst day ever. My husband, Brian, decided to work so he could get an additional couple days off work later on, so I was all by myself in the house all day.
If you know anything about me it is that I can’t be alone without getting completely down and low. Well, today did not disappoint. However, by moving one inch at a time, I did manage to (1) Finish all our laundry; (2) Keep myself fed; and (3) Bring most of our books down from upstairs to the new location of our bookcases, downstairs.
I just hope that this week picks up at work and I feel a little more useful than I have been feeling there recently. Right now, though, I just want to crawl into bed with Brian and stay there until I’m bored enough to get up out of my own volition. In other words, hit the reset button in my body and try this one more time.
Hope you had a better holiday, and an even better week.
PS: title of this post obtained from a song in the hilarious movie “Team America: World Police”
I gotta say something that is both sad and true: people just don’t want to hear you talk about your kids. Yes, you can include me in that group any day.
Why is it sad?
Because when you are a parent, your children become the center of your universe, and their accomplishments speak volumes of yourself. They are your life and they are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to you. So if someone doesn’t want to hear about your kids, that translates into them not wanting to hear about you. So what do you talk about then? The weather? The local sports team? Your kids are the best topic in the world! But it puts others off, which makes you sad.
Why is it true?
Because when we hear others talk about themselves or their kids, what we hear instead is “My problems are more important than yours/My life is better than yours.” Even with single child-less people this is true: we simply cannot avoid comparing ourselves to others. So when the topic goes to kids, two things can happen: if the listener has no kids they won’t be able to relate, and you are purely alienating them from the conversation; or if the listener has kids, they won’t be able to help themselves and start comparing your kids to theirs, creating animosity and defensive tension in the conversation. I dare anybody out there to say one thing about their kids to another parent, and have that other parent not respond with something “better” about their own kids.
So, now that I am expecting a child, I am becoming more and more aware of when I should bring things up. I’ll make the obvious confession that my pregnancy is ALL I think about: day and night, minute by minute, hour after hour. I want to shout every pain, every decision, every symptom, EVERYTHING from the rooftops. But when I’m around others I’m trying to keep quiet, just answer their questions, and try to keep my endless ranting on every little symptom to myself. Not only for other people’s sake, but for my own as well: I can tell when I’m boring others, and that kind of rejection would hit a soft nerve with me.
So I might be able to manage the talking part (as much as I can without being inhuman), but I can’t seem to be able to stop blogging, so I’m just blogging my pregnant thoughts in my family Blog. Not that anyone is interested in reading that stuff anyway.
So sad… so true.
In today’s world, a woman’s fertility is a mystery that is mostly only fully understood by OB/GYNs or women who are trying to get pregnant. I am here to let the proverbial cat out of the bag, and to shout from the rooftops how fertility works.
Whether you are a woman trying to conceive, a woman trying to find alternate natural methods of contraception, or a man wanting to take an educated and responsible approach to sexual activity, this guide will give the reader a good understanding for fertility.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and I do not dispense medical advice. This is an experience-based post with some information extracted from different websites and from my own experience with the topic. Experiences vary from woman to woman and from month to month. For more detailed information, please research on expert sites or consult your physician.
Let’s get started!
Let’s start with a brief and colloquial glossary:
- Uterus: Women have a uterus, men don’t. It is a hollow organ where a baby would grow.
- Eggs: Like all our fellow mammals, we females have eggs whose whole purpose is to become fertilized and make a baby. Eggs are fragile things: after they have reached maturity, they only live from 12 to 24 to 48 hours (at the most) before disintegrating into nothingness.
- Ovaries: ovaries are the egg factories. A woman has 2 ovaries which have millions of eggs in storage. The ovaries are located on either side of the uterus, connected to the uterus by tubes called the “Fallopian tubes.”
- Ovulation: Every month, a single egg reaches maturity and begins its descent from the ovary to the uterus through the Fallopian tube. The process of traveling down to the uterus is called “Ovulation” and it only happens once a month around day 14 (ballpark — the exact day varies from woman to woman and from month to month) of the menstrual cycle.
- Fallopian Tubes: the tube that the egg travels through to go from the ovary to the uterus. It connects the ovaries to the uterus.
- Period or Menstruation: Approximately 12-16 days after ovulation, the lining of the uterus, together with some blood, gets shed out of the uterus to the outside of the body via the vagina, which is directly connected to the uterus.
- Vagina: it’s the tract that connects the uterus to the outside world. Normally penetrated during intercourse, and through which a baby would travel to be born. I know most people think they know what the vagina is, but I have heard of some confusion between the vulva, vagina and urinary tract. As a side note: women do not pee through their vaginas! They have a separate urinary tract that is connected to the bladder.
- Cervix: this is a “valve” of sorts that exists right in the intersection between the vagina and the uterus.
- Menstrual Cycle: the entire fertility process, starting on Day 1: first day of menstruation (or period), and ending approximately a month later on the day before the next period begins. Length of a cycle is said to be 28 days on average, however this length changes from woman to woman and may vary from month to month.
- Phase I of the Cycle: This is the timeframe starting on Day 1 of the cycle, and ending on the day of ovulation.
- Phase II of the Cycle: This is the timeframe starting on the day of ovulation, and ending the day before the next period begins.
- Basal Temperature: a woman’s body temperature changes depending on which phase of the cycle she is in. Phase I is characterized by a “low” temperature, while Phase II a “high” temperature. The exact temperature varies from woman to woman, but the high and low temperatures differ by half of a degree to a full degree (Farenheit). This temperature is recommended to be taken at the same time every day, and when a woman has not gotten out of bed yet to minimize variation from measurement to measurement. Basal temperature may be taken orally.
- Sperm: Sperm is packed with tons of spermatozoids, which race to meet the mature egg for fertilization (that’s their calling in life). Sperm may live anywhere from 3 to 5 to 7 days (at the very most) inside a woman’s body.
Now that we know the terminology, let’s do a brief recount of the order in which events happen during a menstrual cycle:
- Day 1: The period comes! Yeah yeah, yuck yuck, get over it. This is when the uterus sheds its lining and some blood. The length of the period varies from woman to woman, but it can last anywhere from a couple of days (lucky girls) to a week. On this day, a woman’s basal temperature is “low” (baseline varies from woman to woman).
- Day 14: Again, this is not an exact day for every woman or for every month, it varies, but at around this day ovulation will occur. Right after ovulation happens, a woman’s temperature rises to the “high” temperature. Super regular women may find this day to be the same every month, while irregular women may find this day to range anywhere from day 10 of the cycle to day 26, or they may observe even wider ranges in some cases!
- Day 15/16 (or 12 to 48 hours after ovulation has occurred): The mature egg that was released to the uterus disintegrates into the lining. A mature egg lives anywhere from 12 to 24 to 48 hours (at the very most). After 72 hours from ovulation have passed, the chances of being fertilized drop to nearly zilch.
- Day 28: This is the last day of the cycle. The exact day varies from woman to woman and may vary from month to month. However, it is usually pretty standard for it to be 12-16 days after ovulation regardless of when ovulation actually occurred.
So… when IS a woman fertile?
Now that we’ve gone through the biology of how a woman’s body works, let’s tie this to fertility.
If you know that sperm may live inside a woman’s body for 3 or 5 days, and you know that a woman’s egg can only live for 12-48 hours, that gives a woman about a week’s worth of fertile time in the month. See how that worked? A woman may be only fertile for up to 48 hours (time the egg is alive), but if there is sperm left over from sexual activity from 5 days prior to ovulation, then there is still a chance of conception (because there might be some live sperm left over inside the body by the time the egg comes along), even if the sexual activity did not occur during those 12-48 hours. That is why they say that if no contraception is used, there is a 25% chance of pregnancy in a given month (in a 4-week month, 1 week is 25% of the time).
So we got our window: a woman is fertile about 7 days in the month. Ballpark! Again, this may vary by woman.
Got it! But WHICH 7 days???
So how does a woman know when she ovulates? I’ll only cover the most practical and “mathematical” one: basal temperature. Others, which I won’t go into, are: observing the texture of the cervical mucus, using a fertility calculation device, or observation of the safety calendar.
To find out when a woman’s body normally ovulates, it’s important for her to track her basal temperature and become familiar with her own body’s ovulation routine. For instance, set an alarm at the same time each morning before she usually gets out of bed, take a temperature using a basal thermometer (a regular thermometer may work too — it depends on its sensitivity), and track it for several monthly cycles. Watch the temperature go up in the middle of the month, and go down on Day 1 of the cycle. Nifty tip: women who do this can actually predict the day they will get their period by noticing that the temperature was “low” that morning!
By doing this, a woman can get a sense for how regular her ovulation days are, what her standard “low” temperature is and what her “high” temperature is.
When the temperature is observed to be “high,” that means that ovulation has already occurred! So if the last time she took her temperature was the morning before, her egg may have been released anytime in the past 24 hours.
This is the reason why women who are trying to conceive are advised to have sexual activity the day prior to their average ovulation day. That way sperm will be alive and around by the time the egg comes down. If the woman waits until her temperature goes up to try to conceive, the mature egg may be up to 24 hours old, and it may have disintegrated by then.
So which 7 days?… it will depend on ovulation day! Won’t know that answer exactly until a woman becomes familiar with her own ovulation pattern.
How can this be used as contraception?
Here’s a step-by-step way to use this as contraception:
- Step 1: Track basal temperatures every day for at least 6 months (12 months is recommended). This should give a woman a good idea for how her body works. Beware: if she is on the pill or any other hormone-based contraceptive, these temperature patterns will be VERY different from what they would be if she wasn’t, since the pill tends to regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Step 2: Create a calendar system for sexual activity: if she is 5 days (or more, depending on how “safe” she wants to be) away from her regular ovulation day, stop sexual activity. If she is 3 days (or more) past ovulation, sexual activity may be resumed. This is also called the “calendar method” and there are many resources online to find out when a woman’s “safe” day is depending on the minimum and maximum length of her periods for the past 12 months. For maximum safety, it’s recommended to pad the calendar method’s suggestions by a day or two to account for any unusual irregularities in the cycle. I recommend googling “calendar method fertility awareness” for more information.
- Step 3: Our hypothetical woman now knows the day when she normally ovulates (from Step 1), which are her high temperature and low temperature (Step 1), when her period normally comes (Step 1), and which days are safe and which aren’t (Step 2). The last step is to keep an eye on the actual ovulation day every month so she remains informed every month of where in the cycle she is and avoid surprises. There’s no need to take the temperature every day at this point, she could just take her temperature around the usual ovulation day so that she knows every single month when ovulation occurred. This is the main safety net. Knowledge is power.
Is fertility awareness contraception for me?
Fertility awareness is a recognized and widely used method of contraception. It’s 100% natural and, when used properly, has the same success rate as the pill. However, it is not for everybody.
This method requires discipline and it’s not for the faint of heart. Misuse and misunderstanding of the method is common. Those who use this method correctly and strictly enjoy the benefits of a hormone-free and safe contraceptive. On the flip side, as there is a timeframe when sex is not safe, sexual spontaneity and frequency may be compromised.
So, maybe it isn’t for you, maybe it is. The most important point of this whole article is to educate, and to not let a convenient contraceptive method (like the pill) prevent you from knowing about human fertility and how your body (if you are a woman) works. It is actually very empowering to know exactly what is going on, when it’s happening and why.
I hope this guide helped at least one person out there learn at least one new thing! My work here is done.