Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Carport

Now that the yard is completely fenced in, it seems like the best time for Harlow to discover her ability to jump on top of the carport and find her way out of the yard that way.

Wonderful.

This is what I found then I opened a window shade a few weeks ago to figure out where she'd gone to when a preliminary out-the-window search came up empty....


I opened the window and hollered at her ferociously "YOU GET DOWN FROM THERE RIGHT NOW!"
She looked at me sort of proudly and wagged her tail.
"Right NOW, Harlow!"
She then seemed to realize I meant business and made her way off the carport.

This is a few days later after a now storm as viewed form an upstairs window.....



And this is my attempt to keep her from jumping up on it. At least my spring garden fences were made useful after the season!


Time will tell how effective they are.




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rawhiiiiiide!

This requires no explanation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wrong Bathroom

Before dinner tonight at the restaurant with friends tonight, I went to use the restroom. I entered the bathroom, and a handicapped stall was the first one I saw. I used that one. I came out of that stall afterwards and was washing my hands at the sink when someone entered the bathroom. A tall handsome indian guy, about my age. He sort of paused at the door and all of a sudden, lots of math came together in my head; there's a handicapped stall nearby but right around the corner, (where I assumed there were other stalls), is actually a urinal. Looking beyond the guy in the doorway I can see other bathroom's door, on which there was a "W". As in W for women. As in, I was in the mens room. 

"Yup, you're right. I'm wrong. I'm in the mens room... Carry on!" I told the guy as I walked passed him to the exit. He did just that; I glanced back to quickly assess how this mistake had happened and he was already dropping his zipper at the urinal.

So, yeah, that happened tonight.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Antics

Poor Miss Harlow has been a bit neglected lately. Between my disappointing lack of love life (and me pouting over it) and my Cydney Scott Photography freelance holiday schedule busying up, she's basically been ignored.

Last Friday I had the yard Alcatrazed (yes, that's a word...now anyway). The section where there was hedges blocked by chicken wire is now fenced and there's a new gate replacing the crappy rickety one. Harlow balked at this and Saturday morning when I went outside to call her in so I could get to a shoot, she was nowhere to be found.
Then I looked down the little walkway next to my carport, she was at the bottom of the path, by the sidewalk, peering at me from behind the carport.

I got out. Now what do I do? is what her face said to me. I went and got her and figured out that she must have simply jumped the carport to get to the path on the opposite side of the carport (which was also on the other side of the gate).

It's complicated and I have no diagram so just trust me, she's sneaky.

The other night I was laying on the couch with my red blanket on me. Harlow is allowed on the couch when this blanket is also on the couch, just to minimize any dirt she might be housing and depositing onto my nice couch. Harlow came over to the couch, sat on the floor right next to me and simply looked up hopefully. Usually I have to pat my lap and invite her, and even coax her to come up (the wonderment of the couch is more than she can process).  This time, I simply said quietly "Do you need a snuggle?"

She jumped straight into the air, landed on top of me and laid right down. No running start, no front legs first then struggle to bring up the back end. Just a full jump.  She made me laugh.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

20 Year Reunion

I'm grown up enough now that I can attend my Class of 1994 twenty year reunion.  It's basically frightening.
I volunteered to set up a photo booth. It wasn't used much but I'm glad I had the camera to get the big group shot.
With Facebook, there's little catching up to do, really, but it was still nice to be face to face with some people. Others? Well, let's just say the people you didn't care for so much in high school don't really change much. Though I'm sure they feel the same about me.

It was interesting how many people knew of my photography. That, and my dog, who apparently has a following on Facebook. Pretty funny. "I love your dog! Keep posting (on FB) about her!" they'd say. As for my job, people always ask. It's one of those rare jobs that results in a product that people can see so it's easier to talk about I think. Someone working IT has an important job, but it's a bit tougher to explain to people. I did a lot of question asking to everyone I talked to. (I was channeling Susan I think).


the Walton School crew

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Love

Here are some shots taken at Libby and Adam's wedding last month. A beautiful affair and wonderful shots.

I met a guy recently who's not around anymore. I liked him more than anyone else I can remember for a long time. That was weird for me. When someone likes me as much as he seemed too, I think two things. I think I deserve this! Finally someone who appreciates me!, but I also think to myself Is this guy insane? He must be insane.

These photos are beautiful, but me? I look at my angular profile and goofy expressions and weak chin and think, yup, the guy I really really like who's not around anymore? Clearly nuts.




Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tree Climbing and Toddler Snuggling

I drove to Ithaca on Monday. I'm shooting pics for a story about a BU researcher going to Cornell for a one week tree climbing course for researchers. Andrea has been studying the eating habits of Orangutans and will be returning with her new knowledge and climbing the trees for s better vantage point. Pretty cool.

not terrible considering I don't like heights.

Tuesday night I stopped at my friend Kelly's place and it was a ton of fun spending the night there. Her middle child, Wesley, was turning eight Wednesday morning, and even though it happened at 6:30 in the AM, it was really fun to hear him come downstairs and discover the new bike they'd left out for him complete with a "Happy Birthday" banner on it.  "Holy guacamole! I gotta BIKE!" he exclaimed.

Tuesday night Beth Beer came to visit Kelly and me. Beth, Kelly and I worked together many moons ago at The Auburn Citizen about a half hour from where Kelly lives. Beth still lives in the same town, but has become a librarian.

When Beth arrived, she came in the front door where Kelly and I greeted her. "It's a Citizen reunion!" Kelly said, "I feel like we should go out and scoop some stories!"

"Yeah, it makes me want to go cover a council meeting" Beth added with her often dry delivery. Covering council meetings was part of her beat and the bane of her existence. Ironically, her husband is now a city councilman.

It was a lot of fun to get together. Beth and Kelly both are whip smart and have very very sharp senses of humor and the conversation was really stimulating. It's nice to be around such interesting and smart women.

On Tuesday, I got an email from the dog walker (who was boarding Harlow while I was gone). The subject line read "OMG" and she wrote, "(My son) passed out and she plopped down and put a paw over him. I just about died.   :) "

As did I.



Monday, October 20, 2014

I'm So Old

I'm on a quick business trip to Ithaca right now. A student from BU is taking a week long course in tree climbing designed specifically for researchers who need to know how to do such climbing for their work. Our student will be headed to Borneo to study orangutans.

So, I drove the six hours today and arrived to get dinner with Bill who is the young video producer doing the video work on the same subject.

During our drive back to our hotel, I asked him how old he was.

"25" he said.
"Oh my God, Bill. I was thirteen when you were born. That's crazy!"
"That is crazy!"
After a long, humbling pause I add, "Let's change the subject"
"Like to how your gonna be forty soon?"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm Not Yawning, Why Do You Ask?

Yesterday I drove to my favorite muffin place to procure breakfast and brought my copilot along.
When I returned to the car and sat in the front seat after the breakfast pick-up, I looked back at Harlow who was full yawn. At the sight of my face, she stopped mid-yawn and clamped her mouth shut, looking at me as if to say "I wasn't doing anything".

I laughed out loud at her weird reaction to me looking back at her. I turned back around and glanced in the rearview to see her let out a big yawn. Oh what a relief, she's not looking and I can yawn in peace again!

Baby Bird? Nope.

Yesterday was a long day of mini sessions at a park in Salem followed by some socializing. 
When I came home I needed to unload the images onto the computer. As I did this Harlow got into whatever bored puppy mischief she gets into when I'm distracted.
I came downstairs to check on her and she had her usual sneaky look about her and while I couldn't see through all her fur around her mouth, she clearly had something in there that was unlikely to be a dog toy.
"What's in your mouth?" I asked her. Not "drop it" or "leave it" but for some reason, a more human question of "what's in your mouth?"
At which point she very slowly and gently, as if there was a baby bird in there, placed something on the rug and looked up at me.
What was this precious, fragile, special item? The end if a toilet paper roll of course.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Germs

So, there's this whole Ebola thing going on. I'm not much of a panicker, but I confess I'm...squirming a bit at the rate at which this illness is spreading.

Here's how ebola's transmitted...
According to the CDC - When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes in, for example, the eyes, nose, or mouth) with
  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, sweat, feces, vomit, breast milk, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, by food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats. There is no evidence that mosquitos or other insects can transmit Ebola virus. Only mammals (for example, humans, bats, monkeys, and apes) have shown the ability to become infected with and spread Ebola virus.

Here's how HIV is transmitted...
Certain body fluids from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV.
These body fluids are:
  • Blood
  • Semen (cum)
  • Pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum)
  • Rectal fluids
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Breast milk
These body fluids must come into contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into your bloodstream (by a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur. Mucous membranes are the soft, moist areas just inside the openings to your body. They can be found inside the rectum, the vagina or the opening of the penis, and the mouth.

So here's the thing. Remember how fast HIV/AIDS spread? Reading the above listed info, it looks like it's HARDER to get HIV than it is to get Ebola.
According to the above info, you don't need to worry about pee, saliva (as in, someone sneezing on you), sweat, puke, or feces with HIV, but you do need to worry about that with Ebola.

If someone with HIV/AIDS sneezes on you, it's highly unlikely that you will contract the virus if you have a scrape on the arm that got sneezed on, or if you forget you got sneezed on (or simply don't know you got sneezed on) and then, perhaps, rub your eye with the back of your wrist or fist.

But you can get Ebola that way.

And who are all these selfish assholes who are getting on planes even though they have fevers, or going out into public when they've been asked to remain quaranteened? Well, I think I just said who they are; assholes.
Is the effort to temporaryily cancel your travel plans too much for you when compared to getting in a tightly packed space with others for hours after you've been working with an ebola victim and have a fever?  Is your need for a GD burger more important than the health of your fellow man?

Freaks me the hell out - both the disease itself, AND the selfishness of people.
Wash your hands and wash them a lot. That's all I'm saying.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sticking Up

I've wondered if Harlow was the kind of dog who would stick up for me if it ever appeared I was in danger. I'm not sure she would step in if I was being attacked or something, but now I do know she'll come to my aid if a small white dog growls at me.

I spent a few days this past three day weekend in the cape. Family friends were with us as was their small white Eskimo dog, Eva. After a walk, Harlow showed no signs of tiring so I brought her to the yard to throw a tennis ball for her. I have one of those wands that holds the ball at one ends and sends it farther than I could with my arm alone.

Eva showed up and the two pups took turns retrieving the ball. One time, when Eva  brought the ball back to me, she wouldn't drop it. So, I did what I do with Harlow and took a hold of the ball and told her to "leave it". It didn't really work so I took the ball wand and sort of stroked her side to distract her. She didn't like that and she lunged at the wand with some serious growling.

Harlow went ape shit on her over this. Perhaps thinking Eva was going after me. Or maybe there was a imperceptible-to-the-human-eye squabble over the tennis ball when Eva turned to the wand. I don't know. But getting them apart was actually a challenge. Harlow kept going after her when I got them apart, and I'm sure it was escalated because Eva (rightfully so) is scrappy and was sticking up for herself.

No one was hurt but it was a side of Harlow I haven't seen yet.

And then there was this twenty minutes, which she spent trying to figure out what she was looking at in the water. Hermit Crabs? Minnows? I have no idea!

More water play from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Just...Can't...Sit!

Harlow was extra bouncy the other day when I came home from work and offered her a walk. So, I set up a video camera just cause, you know, I'm never sure what she'll do and she can be pretty funny.

This time, she simply couldn't bring herself to sit when I asked her. No matter how hard she tried, it was like the floor and her bum were magnets flipped the wrong way.


She's so excited to go for a walk that she just can't get herself to sit no matter how hard she tries! 10/10/14 from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Where's Sissy?

A few weeks ago, shortly after the cape fun, the Badens came back tot he area for a weekend. I come to the park where they planned on gathering with friends, and shot this little snippet of Vivian. She;s asking me where Sissy is (Sylvia, her twin), and her reaction when I tell her that Sylvia is somewhere else in the park is priceless.


IMG 6419 from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One Year and Squirrels

Last week was the one year anniversary of Harlow's adoption day. She had puppy parasites and her name was Pinky, and I recall referring to her as "Little Girl"for weeks before coming up with an new name. Looking at her now, it really doesn't seem like a whole year ago that she joined me, challenging me and often winning, day to day being a puppy.

I remember being exhausted! I look at her now and while she is still desperately needy for attention much of the time, and still behaves rambunctiously too, she is a far better behaved girl than she was.
Last week I had dinner with Mom and Dad and I brought Harlow along. She was harassing Mom during dinner and finally I barked "Harlow, go lie down!".  She turned and went straight to her little mat and lay there. I was impressed!

Recently, Harlow has discovered the fabulousness that is squirrel chasing. Why she's never really noticed them til now I don't know. Perhaps there are just more of them out now that fall is coming and the rodents are out looking for nuts to collect?

One time, Harlow spotted a squirrel at the top of our fence in the back corner, and now, every time I let her out, she leaves the house  v e r y  s l o w l y  on the chance that a squirrel will be perched there and she can get a running start at it. The first time I really saw her go bonkers was last week.
I let her out and she ran full speed at the six foot high stockade fence, jumped, and got so high that her front armpits caught on the top of the fence. She didn't get stuck or anything but I was sure she injured herself.  And she had. She is covered now with abrasions and sores and I don't truly know the source of all of them, but clearly this knew fence-slamming habit is a contributor.

This behavior is concerning to me though, so I decided to nip it immediately. I put the correction collar on her and the very next time she ran full speed at that gate, I gave her a zap. She let out a yelp and bounced off the gate. I don't think I've ever used the zap button on that collar before, maybe once (there's a vibrate mode which is usually effective in distracting her from whatever obnoxious behavior she's participating in at the moment).

The interesting thing is that she has caught on to not only the fact that the collar is what makes her uncomfortable and as such, she behaves when it's on and goes nuts when it's not, but she's also realized that I control the collar. I know this because if I'm watching her and she has the collar on, she'll stay away from the fence. She'll run right up to it and stop short of jumping on it (and has created a lovely trough of dirt through that section of the yard).

She has somehow realized that if I'm not watching her, she won't get zapped. I know this because I've heard her, from inside the house, throw herself at that back fence!

The other day when I let her out a squirrel was there, practically waiting for her. And man did that squirrel have a good time with her. It ran the length of the fence back and forth while Harlow wigged out following it, crashing through pots, plowing over and disrupting sections of the quasi-rock wall I have running the length of the fence, and steam rolling over my hostas. If fall wasn't upon us with it's cold plant killing ways, I would care. Unfortunately when H gets like that, there's nothing you can do to snap her out of it. My voice is white noise to her squirrel focus.

I know she wouldn't know what to do with the thing if she ever actually caught it!


Just the other day!
Harlow last year on adoption day! So little!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Puddle

This weekend was great. I spent it with a bunch of my favorite people on the cape and I couldn't have had a better time. I knew that when it ended, I would feel sad. A weekend of little hands hold mine and arms wrapped around my neck and little voices asking to be picked-up and fun stories and so on. There were seven kids ranging in ages 2 to 8 there and I knew it would catch up with me when the weekend came to a close. And of course, it did. I felt really really sad. Sad that the summer is over, sad that my friends and I were no longer enjoying the bubble of cape cod, sad that I will never look into a kids' eyes and see a trace of myself or the Scott line, sad that I struggle to find a good man, let alone an exceptional one who will take me with my short-comings and accept from the get-go that adoption is the only way if he's with me (or surrogacy).

As if I didn't feel that the odds were against me enough.

Meg texted me when she and her family, including 7 year old Stella, arrived home to Great Barrington after our weekend together, "Stella cried for a half hour".
"Tell her I did too" I replied.



Stella selfie!




I wonder how long it will be sad for me that I will never have kids of my own. I wonder when it will be that I will feel OK with this reality. When will I not feel like a broken woman. It dawns on me that I may never feel unbroken or OK with this situation. I feel it every single day. This puddle in my heart. Sometimes I can just ignore it, but other times, it bubbles up and drowns me a bit, leaving me wondering what I'm truly doing on this planet except taking up space and whining.

I find this reality unbelievable. I have lived my life with caution. I have thought through all my decisions. Deciding not to drink too much, deciding to never try drugs. Choosing my boyfriends carefully (a lot of good that did) and my friendships too. I work hard and am careful with my money. I take responsibility for my actions, try to be kind to the people in my life and kind to those who are not in my life. I try to be a good friend and I think I'm good at it. I was diagnosed with a disease and took it in stride and continue to live with it to the best of my ability, complaint-free.Life is a learning experience, and I try to learn and grow form it.

I am grateful for what I have. I have a lot. And I am grateful for all of it. I do find myself wondering though if it's because of all the wonderful things I can be grateful for that I have been robbed of things I hoped for most. Love. A family of my own. Is the universe letting me know that I have enough to be grateful for and I should just accept what I have?

I don't want to believe that receiving things I never asked for removes me from things I've always dreamed of.

Well, Universe, I am humbled. So what's your lesson? Because this time I'm not really learning it.

Ben and Vivian take on Martha's Vineyard

Vivian, Lauren, Aaron, Sylvia, Meg and Miles shuttling to the ferry

Twin, Aaron, Miles, Noah and Amanda check out the hermit crabs

Monday, August 25, 2014

Dear Daughters

I wrote the following email and sent it to the women I know with daughters. I heard back from Meg and Suzanne right away, but I cringed a bit for not hearing back from the others just yet. In truth, this is OK. I didn't write it to get encouragement. I worries at first that some feel I was innapropriate in sending it.

A day or so has passed though, and I continued to get responses. The responses have helped me feel less helpless. They've been encouraging and supportive, which I appreciate, It makes me feel much better that others are listening and maybe learning something for their girls. It makes my experience hurt a little less knowing it could help someone else someday.

Hi all,
I'm sending this email with a great amount of hesitancy. I send it not to be preachy, or to push some science on you, or suggest that "traditional families" are the only way to go in this world, or to tell you how to raise your kids.

I’m emailing you because you all have a daughter. Maybe even more than one. I wish I’d known to ask the right questions while there was time to ask, so I’m sharing this with you so that you know to answer the questions before your daughter knows to ask.

I share this very personal information not for encouragement, pity, sympathy, or out of some weird need to over-share.
I share this because if in sharing this I can spare your daughters the same disappointment in their future that I’m feeling right now, it will be worth it for me.

At 38, still single, and with no interest in having a child by myself, this summer I looked into having my eggs frozen.  I’d considered it a few years ago, but thought “oh, I’ll meet somebody. I have time! I’m sure it’s not too late for me!”  Cut to present day and wouldn't you know, it’s too late for me (and before you tell me that “miracles can happen!”, I’m telling you, the results of my test could not have been worse.)

I believe in adoption. I’m all for it.  And I hope I get a shot at parenthood, still, with an adoption scenario someday. This entry is not a knock on that amazing, awesome option.

Here is the point; according to the doctor I met with, genetics plays the biggest role in predicting your child-bearing deadline. Whatever the deadline was for the other women in your family, it will likely be for you too (and your daughter). I had no idea that menopause starts relatively early in my family. I just never knew to ask or that it mattered in some way. About five years before you start menopause (from what I’ve read), you become increasingly less fertile. Assuming you have had no major medical procedures like chemo (which can damage your reproductive system), it’s genetics that can tell you when you’re running out of time (and healthy eggs). Genetics and a blood test (for those of you who might have adopted girls).

So basically, I’m hoping that you will simply learn from my experience, and consider a conversation with your 25-30 year old daughter in the future (mark your calendar). You may not believe in this sciency stuff and that’s totally fine, obviously this email isn’t for you, (and I have not sent it with any intention to promote the procedure). You might think, well, if my daughter wants to have children surely she will be with someone by the time she’s the age to have children!

Ask Cheryl and Peter Scott. I’m pretty sure they would have said the same about me.

Maybe your daughter will be totally career driven but still hope for kids at some point. Egg freezing can take some of that pressure off to meet a deadline, but it needs to be done when you’re eggs are still healthy and young (something I learned the hard way).

The thing is, if she chooses to not have her eggs frozen, so be it! If she chooses to have her eggs frozen but then never uses them, so be it!  If she chooses to not have kids at all, or adopt from the get-go, super!
I just wanted to share my story with you so you know what I learned, in case you didn't happen to know this fact yourself.

Best,
Cydney


some responses...
Dear Cydney,
 Thank you. Sharing this is really important and I really appreciate it. I am more often than not totally surprised at what we don't know and have to find out the hard way. I think you and the other intelligent, thoughtful women of our generation are changing the rules and being open and honest about issues that for many years went undisclosed, and not talked about. Thank you and thank you again. This is information that I will share with (my daughter) someday probably around the same time I tell her to never have sex anyway. No really, this is so important to know and I know that menopause also starts early in my family as well. I cannot imagine what you are going through personally, but please know that I have you in my thoughts and am hoping for strength and peace within, and that you carry the same amazing attitude that you have had as long as I have known you. You are such a great, cool, funny, and daring woman and you will get through this. By sharing this is taking action and that is such a big step in the process of healing. Much love to you sister:)
- K

Oh, Cyd. I'm so sorry you had to face this difficult life lesson. It's totally unfair and disappointing and sad. This was a very personal and heart felt email. I certainly appreciate your hope to spare these girls the same disappointment from lost opportunity or ignorance. I promise I will keep this message in mind as I watch my girls grow up & wrestle with love and family choices down the line. I hope you find other opportunities for your own future as a woman and mother. You'd make a fantastic mom, Cyd, however that may work out. I'm glad you have that hope. & perseverance. Xoxo. I love you, friend. -Suzanne


I love you and Thank you! - Meg

Cydney,

Thank you so much for sharing this.  I think it is a very important point.  You are an amazing person to take this news and turn it around to try and help another's situation.  I will certainly remember this 15yrs from now. :)
Hope your summer is winding down nicely.  Sunsets and the golden hour are getting earlier and earlier. Talk to you soon.
Hugs,
Kristen


Hi Cyd,
Thank you. 
I read this yesterday, cried and have been thinking of you and what I wanted to say since then.  I am so sorry you are going through this, life really sucks and is not fair sometimes.  I cannot imagine how disappointing and difficult what you are going through is.  I applaud and appreciate your honesty and willingness to share such a personal difficult matter. Your email was wonderfully stated and as a mother of a girl I really really cannot thank you enough for being willing to put your situation out there.  Kids do not come with an instruction manual and you just hope to do your best raising them.  They say it “takes a village” right? Having friends who help you fill in the pieces on what your children need to know and things you should tell them is critical and we are all lucky to have you provide us with this important information. 

Honesty, caring, ability to share, being willing to open yourself up…you will be an amazing mother one day. 
Love,
S

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tickle!

Considering where I am right now, this video makes me smile and cry at ones. Such cuties. Vivian's on the left, Sylvia's on the right. They will be two in a few weeks.

The twins ask for a tickle! 8/20/14 from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Great Barrington

I'm visiting Meg and her family in Great Barrington for a few days. Stella is now six, Miles is four and the twins Sylvia and Vivian are two next month.

I thought it might be tough to be around kids, but it's been really great.  Lots of hugs to go around.
Getting ready for bed, I remembered this conversation from years ago. Too funny.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

All We Can Do Now...

"All we can do now is face what's coming next"

It's a line from A.R.T's Finding Neverland which I went to see tonight with Amanda thanks to the urging of Mom who saw it a few weeks ago.  It was phenomenal. So exciting too, to find that Mia Michaels did the choreography. Michaels was a choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance and I love her work. Tonight it was really great, and Amanda pointed out how different the moves were. Contemporary. I'd be shocked if she wasn't nominated for something for her work.
Also in the show was Melanie, who was the winner of SYTYCD a few seasons ago.

"All we can do now is face what's coming next"

Isn't that the truth. Today, I went back to the fertility doctor. After the news I got a few months ago about my crap odds of success with egg freezing, I wanted to meet with him to make sure I understood the numbers, and discussed exactly what they meant and if there was anywhere to go from here.

There is absolutely nowhere to go from here. Today what I learned in person was worse than what I thought when I heard a few numbers read to me over the phone a while back. My AMH number is .29, "troubling" according to the doctor.  The number should be above 2, and below 1 is a sign of low fertility. FSH is 15.5 which shows "significant decline in fertility".

So, breaking it down, he told me that even for a 38 year old, my numbers are bleak. If I went through with the procedure, I would maybe get three or four eggs, each of which has about a 3% chance of "taking". Meaning, a 3% of even becoming an embryo when given the chance.

I would need to go through the egg harvesting procedure (ten days of hormones, a medical procedure to extract the eggs, uncomfortable recovery and $8000 bill each time) three times for a 25% chance of success.

Diet does nothing to change these numbers, acupuncture does nothing to change this. It's all genetics. How many eggs you have and how long they last is genetic. At the moment I am tired and thinking about my nice evening out with my friend and the wonderful show we just watched, but still, my heart hurts a bit, I admit. I knew my odds were not good, but to think of all those years of cycles. All those annoying cramps. Useless.

To think I thought that being diabetic was my fair shake. OK, I'll take that. A genetic predisposition is required to become a diabetic, so it's in there somewhere. Genetics have struck again with regard to this, and it seems like more than my share really.

Every friend needs to have another friend who can't have kids. That person they are thankful they aren't as they tuck their kid in at night. I guess that's me.

To think, if I'd known to freeze my eggs five years ago, I wouldn't be in this situation. Four or five measly years. Maybe even three.

The other day I went sailing with Ben. As we waited to have access to the boat, we sat in a park and chatted. A woman in the parking was breast feeding her baby, and Ben asked, sort of in awe,  "Do you find it strange that your body is capable of making a human?"
Without thinking, I responded, "No I just find it strange that I won't get a chance to try it."

As we breezed around in the boat, I kept looking at my feet and my toes. My toes curl like my Mom's, I've always loved my hands and my feet because they are carbon copies of my Mom's. I thought I'd get a chance to see if I could pass it on. I just can't wrap my brain around the fact that I won't get to see who I could make. Who I could have brought into the world. How strange to sort of mourn someone I've never met and will never meet. I think they would have been a cool kid.

Today was sort of like being punched in the stomach a second time. I will find myself wondering where I turned left when I should have turned right. My heart hurts. I will adjust to this new reality like I did before. And it will be fine.
I am alive, and I here, It's just that at the moment I'm no fan of Mother Nature.

All I can do now is face what's coming next.





Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams

While I prefer to think of all the great things a person did with their life and not their actual death, recording events is part of what I do. It’s also part of how I deal with emotions, sad and happy. So, today I took an early lunch break and went down to the Boston Common to photograph the outpouring of Boston love and appreciation for the brilliant Robin Williams.

Last night, someone came along and started this makeshift memorial on the bench where a scene from Good Will Hunting was shot. Even during the short period of time I was there, many people came and added their favorite quotes to the sidewalk and left flowers on the bench.

My camera often acts as an emotional wall and it can help me cut-off from the situation I’m witnessing. Sometimes.  A lump formed in my throat as I arrived (and grew at the sight of a young woman writing with a little boy “I Yam what I Yam, I’m Popeye the Sailer man!”), and it was a struggle to keep it together until I decided to leave my own quote from Dead Poet’s Society, “I sound my barbaric YAWP over the rooftops”. Focusing on chalk writing apparently helps curb public outbursts of tears. Who knew?

Robin Williams was a genius. I think few would argue with that. Many who met him and knew him said he was kind and warm-hearted (from what I’m seeing through interviews). Those who only saw him on the screen know he was heart-breaking and hilarious, often while playing the same role. When the chalk washes away, I know that’s what I’ll remember, and I will be grateful to have Dead Poet’s and Good Will and Vietnam and many more to continue to enjoy his genius through. But for today, I document.
This one started the lump in my throat. A quote from Popeye.







I added this one.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Oh Captain My Captain

I must have been in need of a good cry. Bottling up stresses and disappointments because of a lack of way to release them, I lost my control when Amanda texted me "Robin Williams is dead".

I truly don't remember the last time I felt my gut drop, but it did tonight. News sources say he committed suicide after a recent bout with depression. Ironically, I have been bad about taking my own meds recently (simply from distraction) and I am now wondering if it's part of the reason why this hit me so hard. The death of a stranger.

I cried. And then I cried some more, all the while thinking how weird it was that I was crying for someone I'd never met. Then Facebook blew up with thoughts and condolences "I don't believe it"s and reposting of news stories about it.

Then the pictures started and I'd remember one other way he'd contributed to his field;

Genie hugging Aladdin.

Waterworks.

A Vietnamese baby reaching out and touching Williams' face during the filming of Good Morning Vietnam.

Waterworks.

A clip of Williams doing various impressions.

Waterworks.

I feel fine, and then I look at FB again and I am reminded.

Williams standing on school desks "Oh Captain, My Captain". How ironic that the boy his character so desperately wanted to protect killed himself.

Life imitating art.

Amanda texts me that we have to have a GWH (Good Will Hunting) viewing soon. Yes, we do.

Depression. I have mixed feelings about suicide, in truth. Williams was married and had a 25 year old daughter. He left them anyway. He had been clean and sober since the '80s. He left anyway. Who knows what demons get to a person. I just can't fathom life getting so bad that you can't stop yourself from thinking there's no other way. Some other way. Any other way than the one you're about to choose.

And then other times, when I am feeling at my lowest, I get it, despite the fact that I know it is something I would never ever do. Ever.

I think about Susan and how she fought and fought to the end. And I am annoyed that another person, healthy, would voluntarily go. Someone who has family to think about. Someone who has contributed to the world and who could still do so.

Right now the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is taking over the social networking sites. Someone with ALS has little choice but to watch their body fall apart while their brain remains the same. But, suicide is a choice.

And then I remember, that even though I have my bouts with sadness, some people have deep, sad holes that they fall into with no way of getting out. To them, it appears there is no way out. Even though I struggle to believe it myself (which is amazingly odd), depression is a disease that needs treatment just as I need my insulin.

We humans are some complicated things aren't we?

I will leave you with someone far less complicated. Someone who finds joy in the end of a carrot!

Ends if carrots are the funnest! 8/9/14 from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Boston Bucket List; The Summer Installment 4

Star Wars at Chris Columbus Park !

We learned a few things from our Shakespeare experience; This time, I packed some of my own chairs along with cushions and a sweatshirt (I was cold the other night at Shakespeare on the Common).

When I picked Ben up, we thought together about what to get to eat. We were a little short on time and needed to get going to Wellington Station where we planned to park my car and take the T into the city since the parking near CC Park is expensive.

A stroke of genius! We'll stop at Kelly's Roast Beef on the way to the station. I've never been and it's very famous int he area for being good.

Sandwiches in hand we rode over to Wellington Station and parked my car. We gathered up our over-sized bag of seat cushions, food and my sweatshirt, and awkwardly carried the lawn chairs into the station, up the stairs, to the entrance to find...it's closed. Shit. I'd forgotten Wellington is closed.

Not wanting to make things more complicated, I decided "Screw it let's just drive in".

We reloaded up the car and headed in to Haymarket. Once there, I went for the bag in the back seat to find my water bottle (with a flip-open top) had opened up and poured it's contents all over my sweatshirt. Shit.

With a grumble and a harrumph I left my soggy sweatshirt behind and braced myself for a chilly, no-water-to-drink evening in my tank top. At CC Park we were pleased to see it wasn't packed. We found a very nice spot, and Ben then wandered off to get drinks, including a new water for me, and chocolate chip cookies from the Boston Chipyard. So goooood!

While I was chilly all night, watching Star Wars in this way was so much fun. Everyone laughed at the cheesy lines, and since it has been at least a decade since I've seen it, I really enjoyed it.

And everyone cheered when the Deathstar was blown up, so that in itself was worth the trek of an experience.




Saturday, August 9, 2014

Boston Bucket List; The Summer Installment 3

Shakespeare On The Common!

After picking up some killer italian subs in The North End, Ben and I headed over to The Boston Common to claim our small scrap of lawn. The place was packed and finding a spot with a view of the stage was tricky, but we persevered.

The show was good, but I was a bit distracted, I'll admit. I think this is because sitting near the ground on a low, rented sand chair is not comfortable at all. After an hour and a half or so, Ben admitted he felt antsy too.

I informed him that it is because we are old.

We didn't quite make it to the end of the show, but it was a fun experience. I really enjoy being part of a crowd event like that. It leaves me with a really nice feeling of community. Hey! Look at me, I got out and DID something tonight! And other people were here with me!



Thursday, August 7, 2014

PT Cruisin'

Chatting with coworkers during the annual summer lunch at Tia's I joked with Scott, head of design, that he is failing me as a match-maker by only hiring gay male designers. Or married ones. Or gay ones who are married. They need to be straight and available, I tell him, adding "And taller than 5'10...and someone who enjoys a challenge!" I joke, giving a little swing of my fist."and a fixer-upper!" he adds with a 'I'm just joking!' look.

Er...um...I didn't like what you just said.

On my drive home along the Rte 28, my eyes gravitate towards something familiar to me and I instantly see her; my puppy riding a long, ears flopping and fur blowing in the breeze with her head out the window of my dog walker's PT Cruiser. I tried to get a picture with my phone but no luck.

I got home just behind the two of them and when I got out of my car and looked up at my porch Harlow looked down on me, dog-smiling, with her paws on the ledge of the porch, clearly standing on her hind legs for a better view. "Who's that?!" Bonnie the dog walker says in a sing-song voice.  I can see in the wiggle of her upper body that Harlow is now wagging. It reminded me of kids' reactions to the sight of me when I used to babysit.

A kid running at you yelling your name with their arms outstretched is equaled by nothing.

And then I wonder if I'll get to see that sometime.

In the evening, Lauren and her son Owen and I were planning on going to Revere Beach to watch an outdoor showing of Night At The Museum, but the rain started to fall and we even got hail!

Hail! from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.


So, I invited them over to watch Cloak and Dagger instead. We thought it was age appropriate for Owen who is 8, and with exception to the scene in which Henry Thomas gets cornered by an armed thug who threatens to blow both his kneecaps off, we were pretty on-target. Owen later said "That was really mean! I think that part is probably better for nine or ten year olds".

Agreed.

Meanwhile, Lauren and I marvelled at the parenting moments. Of which there were none. Kimmie, Davie's neighbor simply says "I'll be alright, I've got a key" when the police bring the children back to their own neighborhood in the middle of the night. Um, where's your mom? Workin' the late shift?

Towards the end of the movie, when the children are using their bus passes to get to the San Antonio Airport just before midnight, another show of exceptional parenting arises when Davie's dad comes over to Kimmie's house looking for Davie. "I thought she was at your house!" says the mother, "She left this note though!"

I've gone to the airport, call the police.

Really, Crappy Mom? You thought Kimmie was right next door? If she was in fact next door, why was she still there at midnight?

Sheesh.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Trio Dinner

At least every two months, preferably every month, my friends Amanda, Donna and Christina come over for dinner, or we go out somewhere.

Last night we were without Donna thanks to stupidy-dupid work. It was breakfast for dinner night!

We had chicken and waffles, which I tried for the first time when I visited Libby some time last year, cream cheese with pecans and a bit of syrup, inspired by San Juan's Waffle-Era Tea room, the classic home made whipped cream with strawberries and the trendy nutella and banana.

The ladies were understandably skeptical at first about the chicken, but one of them, after taking a bite and thinking for a moment said "Oh, I get it!"

They liked it.  Good dinner all around.


Evening Snuggle and a Burp too

8/06/14 evening snuggle complete with a burp in my face from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Boston Bucket List; The Summer Installment 2

George's Island!

When Jodi contacted me about joining her and my brother Christopher to George's Island last Saturday, my first thought was "We have islands?" followed by "Sure! I'll come!"

It turns out we have a few very nice islands; George's, Spectacle, and The Other One I Can't Remember The Name Of.  We all packed snacks to share and made our way down to the Boston Harbor Saturday morning and took a 40 minute ferry ride to George's Island. We were going for a music festival hosted by Berklee, which turned out to be one small tent with a musician under it but we didn't mind at all. 

The island was small enough to explore but big enough that it didn't feel at all crowded. It also had a rather impressive visitors center/museum with lots of info. None of which I read aside from some mumbo-jumbo about two dudes way back in olden times who would join the army to collect a stipend, disappear and join another battalion elsewhere, get a stipend, disappear...

You get the idea.

They were brought to justice and shot to death on the island.

We were surprised at how not rustic the place was with it's clean bathrooms, food (if we hadn't already brought some). There was even a beer tent. There was lots of space to explore, open fields, rocky beachy areas, picnic benches, little grills, and trees for shade if you preferred.

The weather was beautiful and sunny and we found some perfect shade to sit under, listen to music,  people watch and chat and sort of nap.

After a few hours of eating and lounging and one walkabout, we joined a very long line to take the next ferry off the island. We struck up a conversation your a nice couple standing behind us and that helped to pass the time, which we ended up having a lot of on account of one of the ferries not showing up for some reason or another.

In the end, a whale watching boat was sent as a stand in. It would get us home in fifteen minutes which I was most certainly in favor of over a 45 minute ferry ride. I offered Christopher a dollar if he'd ask the rangers "Are we gonna see whales on the way home?! You know, because it's a whale watching ferry?!" as we boarded the ferry but he didn't take the bait.

Loser.

It was a great day and a perfect addition to my summer bucket list!


The ride to the island was actually REALLY hot, so it was a relief to find the weather on the island really comfortable


snacks!


Apparently the island hosts a kite-flying festival. This is not that though.




sibling selfie






Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

Boston Bucket List; The Summer Installment 1

I'm struggling lately. That may or may not be obvious from reading my blog. I have no idea, and I suppose that doesn't matter much.

I've started a Boston Bucket List for myself. I basically feel that I get to start of fall year after year and feel really disappointed in the summer that just flew by. Not this year. I'm going to go to outdoor concerts and movies, art shows, museums, etc.

My friend Ben joined me last night to the ICA in Boston, which is free on Thursdays, open later and has a band playing outside too.   As we approached the building, it looked unimpressive. And quiet. And empty. Hm. Then we walked around back where the building faces the water and the band was hopping and the crowd was full. Ben and I looked at each other, minds sort of blown.

Inside, we both especially liked this one installation. A room of videos playing simultaneously. Each video was of a different musician and they were all playing music together, being recorded at the same time, in different rooms in a large home. As you approached each screen, a speaker brought you closer to that particular musician and you could hear them more than the others. Switch screens and you heard that musician more clearly.
There was the guitarist sitting on a bed which had a woman laying in it, the guy in the tub, a group on a porch (listening to the process being recorded inside), the accordion playing who sort-or writhed her way through the song, the tall creepy many on all black who appeared to have no eyebrows.

The lullaby jam session, which went on for about an hour, was slow and lonely and pretty.

As for the rest of the museum, Ben said it best when he looked at one piece "It's cool! Is it art? I'm not so sure."




 


I feel bad for Ben, really. I have few single friends. One has a young son, and one has a boyfriend now (so single...but not really). So Ben is my go-to for my fun summer adventures both because he's great company and because, at the moment, he's available more often than other friends are.

The reason I feel bad for Ben is that I struggle to edit my thoughts and my thoughts lately have been fairly intense, if not downright Debby Downerish. I realized last night when I got home that this is, to be perfectly honest, because I am really lonely. So he's stuck listening to my wet-mop moping (must work on that)

Single like me, Ben is looking to find someone. His advantages in this arena are A) He's optimistic about the process, not beaten down by years and years of trying and failing. and B) His prospects are good. It's just fact; there are far more women out there looking for love than men and as such his odds are better than mine. Think about it, how many men in their 40s do you know who are single and unhappy about it? None. Because they can find someone with ease. Women? There's a sea of us trying to find our person and failing.

Much like the dying off of honey bees, this is a mystery to all.  Just the other day Lauren was telling me that she knows five women who are all catches and still involuntarily single.

So last night I arrived home feeling really sad. I spent my evening with an romantically optimistic person, which is great, but it also amplified my hopelessness somehow and it made me feel like I was super-shitty company.  I just spent the night watching either lots of other people in relationships, or tons of women all younger and skinnier and prettier than I am looking around and trying to find someone themselves.

I haven't shaken off the feeling today. I can tell because, well, I can feel feelings for a start, but also because I'm being really friendly to others, which is what I do when I'm sad because I think to myself, maybe they're sad too, and someone smiling at them and being friendly will help them feel better.

I loathe this feeling. It's so self-deprecating. So whiny. I want so much to feel worthy of something great and open to it's possibility. And not so lonely all the time even when I'm surrounded by people and good company.

I want more little magical things to happen and I want to be more open to witness them. Like this little snippet. Everyday stuff that makes me smile.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sara Bareilles

Last night I went with Tori to see Sara Bareilles in concert at Blue Hill Tent on the seaport here in Boston. 

I can to know of her work when I was watching So You Think You Can Dance and fell in love with this piece along with the song that played with it...

http://youtu.be/dQumAKlCJUY

Bareilles was great in concert. She has an amazing range and sang her ass off the entire night. She was really entertaining and the audience was too. In the video below, you can see a couple a good distance in front of us (and a very good distance from the stage) waving. They waved on and off through the entire show. In this video, it really just shows them concert waving with the music. It doesn't appropriately show their geniune waving to Sara all night long like she was a neighbor down the street (with the exception of an occassional raising of a glass by the guy when Sara said something worthy of a cheers!) They would stop when it got dark, and start up again once it got bright out, as if they thought Who knows, maybe Sara will see us and ask us to come on stage with her. Or at least maybe wave back?

Hats off to them for their tenacity!

This video is a clip of a very cool call and response she did after splitting the audience.


When the show started everyone stood, but as it went on and the music calmed a bit, most people sat back down for a time. The section I was in was trying to sit, but two seats in front of us were two couples still standing. One young couple, all snuggly wuggly, and another older couple, the man wearing a western-type shirt. After a while, the woman next to me said "Mr. Austin Texas t-shirt needs to sit down" and then she stood up and leeeeeeaned over and tapped him on the shoulder, "We can't see her and everyone behind you is sitting".

As he sat (and the snuggy wuggly couple next to him did too) my neighbor said to me "What can I say, I'm almost forty and I've lost my filter".

Oh, how I do know what you mean, neighbor. 

She later offered Tori and I some wine because she and her friend wanted another carafe but knew they wouldn't drink it all themselves. As she got up to go get their second round, she said "I'll get four cups!" She returned disappointed that the stalls had closed but I though it was so nice that she offered.

It helped me feel better about people and the world. 

Bareilles talked about her music and what the inspiration was behind some of her songs. One some, Brave, was written when she had a friend who was struggling to come out as an adult. But last night, she held a piece of paper in her hand and talked about how a woman named Nicole was in the audience and wanted Sara to know that her young son died in a car crash recently and that Brave had become an anthem for her to keep moving forward. "So, this is for Liam and Nicole" Bareilles said as she began to sing, and projected on the wall behind her was a video of people dancing and singing along to Brave in various states of joy and illness, clearly showing it's uplifting abilities to some.

It was really moving.

Before Brave though, she sang King of Anything, which is another favorite of mine. Below, she split the audience in two and created a call-and-response situation. Pretty neat.