Friday, May 22, 2009

On Instant Gratification

It's been a pretty busy couple of weeks. I've been riding mechanical bulls, tracking down judges in Maryland, getting background checks at the county sheriff's office and waiting hours to get a doctor to fill out a simple form. I'm learning quickly that in this adoption process, delays and snafus will come from the most unexpected places.

We have to get used to waiting (and waiting...and waiting.)

So thank god for Netflix. Netflix instant watch is my newest crackpipe in a long line of crackpipes. I have no self-control, especially when hundreds of movie and TV show titles are instantly available to me from Gimme a Break and Simon and Simon, to Heroes and La Femme Nikita.

I like having things instantly available. That’s what was so compelling to me about the whole mp3 downloading thing, I want a song and poof, I have one. These days I would marry Rhapsody if it were a person and I wasn't already married. I discover a new artist I like (this week it’s Modern Lovers---okay I know they’re no where near “new” but they’re new to me) and in a few clicks I have their entire collection.

It doesn’t help that my husband is also a glutton. In the pre-Netflix days, every so often we’d get our hooks into a TV show on DVD and not come up for air until the entire series was finished. To give you an idea of the extent of our problem, we watched all five seasons of The Wire in about two weeks. (I still miss Bubbles and DuKwon).

This behavior leaves us bug eyed, wasted and hazy, but boy does it feel good at the time. This week we’re watching Heroes and the most common phrase uttered in my house is, “one more?”

I think the universe wanted me to learn patience and that is why I was bestowed with my particular set of challenges. But, it being a kind and loving universe, it gave me Netflix Instant watch as a consolation prize.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Steph the Trekkie(er?)

I’ll be honest, I have only a vague idea what the difference is, and only sort of care. You could say I dip my toe in the pool of sci-fi nerdom. I know what a Ponfar is and have used that word in a sentence, but don’t ask me to name Spock’s parents or tell you how many planets are in the federation.

Like the good wanna-be nerd that I am, I have seen the new Star Trek movie not once, but twice in the past week. The first time on Thursday and the second at the IMAX theater in Tampa on Sunday. (It was cool after I got over my initial disappointment in what an IMAX theater was.) First I should say that I have not seen any of the original Star Trek episodes in their entirety. If, perchance, Danny happens to be watching one on TV, I usually make it about 5.3 minutes before leaving the room or picking up a book (generally about the time Captain Kirk starts making out with some blue skinned woman in a metallic bikini from the planet Sklargon).

It’s testament to the show’s cultural status that even though I’ve never seen more than five minutes of an episode, the new movie's characters and their catchphrases still felt familiar to me. Such as Bones telling Spock, “Dammit man I’m a doctor not a physicist.” Or Scotty screaming “I’m doin’ the best I can captain!” from the engineering ward (see it’s probably not even called the engineering ward that’s how un-schooled I am.)

I enjoyed the movie a lot, it was funny, endearing and adventurous. From a storyteller’s perspective, many things were very convenient. But that’s okay, I have quite a large capacity to suspend disbelief (so large in fact that I actually found myself wondering if I could adopt a young half-Vulcan boy). My favorite part of the movie though, was imagining a series of spin offs.

Here are a few of the possibilities:

Spock and Uhura make a porno

As a super logical and (almost) always cool under pressure Vulcan, I imagine sex with Spock might be akin to sex with an eye doctor, is it better like this or better like this? A or B? Better position one, position two, or about the same? Have you concluded?
(Coincidentally the photo above is titled, "Spock and Uhura Make Music")

Captain Nero reads bedtime stories to Romulan children
Nero was an almost dad who tragically lost his family when Romulus exploded. I think he needs some anger management in the form of story hour. I’m pretty sure kids will find his sweaty moon head and face tattoos soothing.

Pavel Chekov becomes a regular on Sesame Street.
Chekov is an exceedingly adorable, enthusiastic young Russian who kids will instantly identify with (since he’s barely older than them). Hilarity will ensue when our nation's children begin to think Ws are pronounced as Vs and Wise Wersa.

Look for these and others, on the forthcoming channel for (Semi) Sci-Fi nerds. In the meantime, I'm going to go catch up on some Doctor Who episodes I missed.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bundles of Joy (sent via US Postal Service)

We’re really doing it, we’re going to adopt a baby. We’re very excited. I should warn you not to hold your breath at this point (it wouldn’t be advisable at any point actually) but especially now since it may be a year or more until we’re actually wiping a kid’s ass.

But still, after I assured the agency that despite my arrest at the FDA I am not a member of a terrorist organization, the ball is rolling.

So let me tell you a bit about this proverbial ball that is rolling. It is a ball consisting of 45 different kinds of back ground checks, reference letters in which I have to ask my friends to answer eighteen questions about my relationship (and notarize their responses), letters from doctors saying I’m not going to spontaneously combust, a floor plan of my house (coincidentally, I did not miss my calling as an architect) and last but not least, a twelve page “Life Summary,” which answers four pages of questions about every aspect of my existence from ages 0-31.

Here’s a sample excerpt from mine:
“Even though it’s just the two of us, we generally confine nudity to the bedroom.”

I am glad these requirements are in place, to guard against crazy wackos adopting children (of course nothing stops crazy wackos from having children, but no matter). We are glad to do it if it means we’ll finally have someone to accompany us to the Pixar/Disney movies we already go to.

This is only phase one of the paperwork process. Apparently there is a whole other level after this. The dossier (sounds so fancy doesn’t it?) is the packet that goes to the Russian government. I’m just going to cross that bridge when I come to it, otherwise my head will explode. Because I have learned this about myself, when it comes to this adoption, I work at the speed of light, possibly faster. Whatever delays may come (and they will) they will not come from my end. I am like a carefully controlled tornado of adoption paperwork.

It has been less than a week since the home study social worker came to the house and we’ve already mailed our initial paperwork package to her and sent away for our handy dandy background checks. Another package is going out today. I can already tell we're going to get to know our postal service employees very well.

This will all be good practice for being patient. I will keep in mind that somewhere at the top of the paperwork mountain is the child we were ready for three years ago. After all the packages and papers and summaries and checks, we will finally be able to be parents. I know it will be worth every filled in blank and notarized signature.

I'm going to trust that the US Postal Service works as diligently as I do, and that things will happen when they are meant to. Of course, if I can speed that up on my end, I will.