Friday, September 25, 2015


Confirmed negative.

I have no words.

I hate my life.

A long day's journey into madness

So, I was supposed to have my Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) in August, ie the final step in BFU’s glorious carefree life of frozenness. I found a clinic in Chicago to do the 3-day ultrasound, since I was still there at the time, and all went well this time, ie no Fuckheads (aka polyps).

As fate would have it though, my ORM coordinator person Haley left me a detailed message as to what I should do upon returning to Oregon, and oddly enough, that message somehow went to some electronic voicemail box instead of my normal Voicemail app. A box that I’ve never used or accessed or called since I got my phone over 2 years ago. This mean that I had no way of getting back to that message…..and figured well, there must not have been anything critical.

Except there was, ie my need to actually come in for another US to test for ovulation before FET. Oops. This meant that my FET was pushed back to September, but this was okay, because that meant Dr. B. could do my transfer. Whee! It all seemed meant to be. I took it as a sign, clearly.

Wednesday, September 16th

BFU transfer day! I set out for ORM, and while I’m still in Silverton, I stop at the stoplight on Water St. where it intersects with C St. I’m behind one car at the light, a white Mercedes, and when it turned green, he went and then stopped abruptly. I of course thought, what the hell? A full second or two later, a car goes flying through the intersection on C street, down the freaking wrong side of the street. FLYING. Probably going around 60. I honestly have no idea how Mercedes guy even saw him coming - but if he hadn't and he and I had just gone ahead (as one innocently does at green lights), it would have looked like Armageddon on the road, and I'm pretty sure someone would have been killed. Probably me or Mercedes man. Holy. Shit.

When I relay this story to others, they point out that Mercedes guy was probably my guardian angel, and this makes sense to me. Fate is trying to protect me from being splattered across a road, so I’m obviously going to give birth to Jesus or something. Clearly.

Transfer goes well. BFU defrosted successfully! This seems like a great harbinger of success. Well, basically because if he hadn’t defrosted, it would have been game over pretty much right away. I think they just put him in the microwave on the “defrost” setting, and that seemed to work. Or at least that was how I understood it. The embryologist came in to report on this, and she told me that BFU looked “scrappy” and “feisty.” Okay, I might have said that, but I’m sure that’s what she was thinking.

That night

I’m supposed to be on bed rest today. Fine, I can handle one day without canning. Wait, what….bed rest tomorrow too? What fresh hell is this??

Thursday, September 17th

How does one define “rest” anyway? Isn’t it just a state of mind? Does one actually have to be prone to be resting? I say not. Rumor has it that one can actually go for a walk, so I take Kone for his morning walkie, but not to the rezzy. The guilt will haunt me for life.

My friend who had her FET yesterday as well is obviously on the same schedule as me, so we check in frequently. We’ve both decided that we’re not going to test at home (POAS) before we go in for our blood test (beta). Pshaw, what’s the point of possibly getting upset about it all? No thanks.

Later today I look longingly at all the stuff I have to can, but I stay strong. Oh yeah, and I can only have ONE cup of coffee a day, and need to wear warm socks. According to some feng shui shit, warm feet = warm uterus. Warm socks it is. One meager coffee. No booze. No lifting stuff. Sigh. It’s going to be a long week. It’s one thing being intentionally lazy, but enforced laziness is maddening.

Friday September 18th

Today I go to Oktoberfest with Peg since I’m allowed to walk around, and am as virtuous as one can be at such a thing. No bier. Okay okay, I normally don’t drink beer anyway, but still.

Saturday, September 19th

Today is fig-picking day. Not as in “you fig-picking son of a bitch!”, but as in actual picking of figs. But it’s not like I climb a ladder or anything ; I just pick the ones close-ish to the ground. Not that near the river or anything. Nope.

That afternoon

I have some cheap-o POAS tests that I bought at the dollar store at one point, for god only knows what reason. Of course it makes perfect sense to try one, in the afternoon. Of course it’s negative. My stupidity has no bounds.

Sunday, September 20th

I test again, this time in the morning. Negative. But it’s ridiculously early; most people don’t even start testing until 6dp5dt (6 days post 5 day transfer, in IVF lingo), and this is only day 4. Pfft.

That evening, I feel a sharp pain in my lower back/side. A symptom?

No, you dumbass, it's not. That's because you were scrunched on the couch because of Kone. Duh.

Monday, September 21st

More negative. No biggie. I go with
Most Excellent Neighbor Laura to our local Hi-School Pharmacy, and as we walk in, I whack her arm with excitement.

"Hey, nausea! I feel nauseated!"

Laura backs away from me slowly. "Umm, yeah, it's the horrible candle smell they always have in here, it makes everyone sick."

Sigh. I do get a headrush as I'm looking at canning supplies, so clearly that's a symptom. Clearly.

Tuesday, September 22nd

Tonight I go out with some friends for TFT, aka Tiki Fucking Tuesday, at the Creekside Grill. I virtuously have a Shirley Temple, which is actually pretty good, though I look longingly at the slushy tropical drinks the girls are having.  It’ll be worth it though. Of course this has to work, why wouldn’t it?

I'm really tired these days. That has to be a symptom, right? I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Kone is really restless at night, so I'm getting on average 4 hours of sleep. Nothing at all.

Wednesday, September 23rd

How the FUCK can the test be negative? At this point it should be showing something, some faint semblance of a line. Nope, nada. To keep my mind occupied, I go apple picking, but am careful to not lift anything too heavy.

I also go on a fig quest with my fellow figilantes, Liesl and Joseph. Okay, at one point I may have gotten on a ladder and been precariously balanced while reaching for a particularly glorious fig.

Liesl: Tasha! What are you doing?? The unicorn! Think of the unicorn!

Sigh. I get off the ladder and let Joseph do the honors. 

Most Excellent Friend Sarah Z. pops by today with a card and chocolate and a gift, because she's just that awesome and gets the whole "showing up" part. And she too understands the shit mood I'm in, and how devastating and soul-crushing this is.

Thursday, September 24th


NOW I’m pissed off. A negative fucking test? My friend tells me that she got a line yesterday, as well as this morning. My FRER (an early response test) is, on the other hand, so blindlingly white that it’s mocking me. Seriously, the control line is getting starkly dark, and the rest is the definition of stark white. Wtf.


I go to take Kone for his morning walkie, and he decides to yank my arm out of its socket and practically take me down. “Kone!” I yell. “I am NOT IN THE MOOD!” I then feel bad, of course. I am a bad momma. Clearly this is why I’m not pregnant. I start bawling while I’m talking to Laura, and I’m supremely annoyed by her friend, who I’ve met before, and who always looks at me silently with a weird moonlike smile on her face, as if I’m the strangest person she’s ever met. Yeah, lady, well maybe I have a personality, unlike some people. Geez.

Laura a bit later texts me to see if I want a coffee from the stand near us.

Me: Yes! ALL THE COFFEE! Make sure it’s highly caffeinated! The biggest size they have! Because fuck it!

When she brings me my coffee, I look at her with tears in my eyes and tell her I’m going to go get jars, because jars make me happy. Normally Laura would tell me that I’m insane for getting even MORE jars, but today she just looks at me and agrees that yes, this is a good idea. She understands.


I drive to Mulino to pick up some canning jars that I scored on Craigslist. This is unusual for me, because I always miss out on any good deals. In this case, it’s obvious that fate has decided hey, you don’t get a baby, joke’s on you, but we’ll throw you a bone and give you some canning jars. Clearly that’s what’s happening here. Clearly.


I test again using a cheapo test. Again, blindingly white. Rage. I head out to do some errands, and the world is feeling my wrath.

“Why the hell doesn’t anyone in Oregon know how to fucking drive???”
Really, is it necessary for everyone to drive so far below the speed limit? I kid you not. 40 in a 55. 30 in a 50. 50 in a 55. 15 in a 25 or 10 in a 20, because those aren’t already slow enough. I hate people. I’m not asking you to speed or anything, just drive the fucking speed limit.


I go to deliver some apples and insist on toting heavy boxes. Because fuck it. Fuck you, universe, for the nice kick in the teeth. It’s worse this way, to get this far and get my hopes up, and then, nothing. Story of my fucking life.


I stop at the grocery store to get some ginger ale for the fucking cocktail I’m making tonight. And to get Kone a steak, since clearly I won’t be needing to save any money for raising a child. When I get to the checkout, the woman in front of me is writing a CHECK. A freaking check! Who the hell writes checks anymore, unless you’re at Costco and don’t use an American Express card? Seriously, who? WHO DOES THAT??

I realize I’ve become like George Bailey in IAWL, when he realizes that old dumbass wino Uncle Billy has carelessly lost all of George’s hard-earned cash. “Stop it, stop it, can’t you all just STOP IT???”


I’m plotting to burn down or bomb any and all POAS manufacturing facilities. This will be my new mission in life. Those things are evil. I have one left, and I am going to symbolically destroy it. Because fuck that.

Why? Why does nothing ever work for me? Why is life so fucking unfair? Why do shitty crackheads or assholes pump out babies with no problem? Why has fate fucked with me like this?

I can’t stop bawling.

Fuck my life.

Friday, beta day

I am going in wearing flip-flops. I will stop on the way in, and get the biggest fucking coffee Starbucks has to offer. A quintenta or something. If I could put Kahlua in it and not have to drink and drive, I would.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Faith in humanity

Some of my faithful readers may remember my inaugural RAGBRAI, which was inordinately hot and humid, and by day 7 I had burned my lower lip to a crisp and was talking with a lisp and only able to eat tiny bits of food with a fork. In other words, I looked totally ridiculous.

It was under these circumstances that I met the most awesome people in the world, Jim and Faye Petersen, who were in one of the last towns on the last day meeting up with their daughter Tomeka. I wound up having breakfast with the Petersens, where Jim Petersen blithely and cheerily assured me that it was “all downhill from there.” This was the day my dreams were shattered as I learned that even the most friendly of Iowans were expert liars.

Anyway, of course as we parted that year, I threatened assured them that I would show up on their doorstep should RAGBRAI ever go through their lovely town of West Liberty, Iowa.

This year was that year.

Amazingly, the Petersens had somehow managed to find me after RAGBRAI 2011, through my Blog Which Has Swept the Nation.  So we’d kept in touch, and for some odd reason, they seemed excited to have me visit and be their guest at their home. I know, go figure.

That Friday, after dealing with the 19% hills that Iowa is composed of and cursing the blazing Iowa skies, I was passed out in our shade-less camp lot coolly relaxing after a leisurely day of riding when who showed up in a blaze of glory but Jim and Tomeka, driving a truck borne on celestial clouds and accompanied by the halcyon sounds of a heavenly choir. Umm, not that I was tired of riding at that point or anything.

After loading my bike stuff in the car so that I could just pick up the RAGBRAI route the next morning from their house, we headed on out to West Liberty, aka mecca. Truly mecca. Because not only is this the cutest little town in the world – the REAL Bedford Falls of Iowa – but the Petersens also live in the most glorious Victorian, one of a sea of glorious Victorians in WL. Seriously, I’ve never seen so many gorgeous houses in one town.

I was in heaven.

I really don’t think a week of hot and hilly riding had anything to do with it, but I was highly appreciative of the accommodations.

Faye Petersen: Oh I’m sorry the guest bed isn’t very comfy, it’s kind of old and….
Faye: And it can get a bit stuffy in here so you might want to leave the door open a bit…
Faye: And the bathroom is…..

That evening after hanging out on their porch on the swinging bench with cocktails, we went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant (OMG BEST FOOD EVER) and then wandered around town a bit. We visited Slightly Vintage, where I begged the owner to come decorate my house, because she had done such an amazing job. Then the still-in-progress printing press store, with a focus on all kinds of old-timey printing press machines and such. This is where I learned the origins of the term “upper case” and “lower case” – based on where the letters were placed in the cabinets. Well duh, who doesn’t know that? I’m also reassured by Jim that this time, it really IS all downhill to Davenport, truly, no more hills. Whew!

That night I slept on the wings of angels in the comfiest bed I’ve ever encountered, to complete blissful silence. No train whistles, no crappy bad band music or karaoke, no drunken cyclists trying to find their tents. Blissful. Complete. Silence.

The next morning, I sadly bid farewell to the most amazing people in the world who have so graciously welcomed me into their home and who live in the most adorable town, and we make plans to work on ways to boost commerce and tourism in West Liberty. Because did I mention that it’s the cutest town ever with an astonishing number of beautiful Victorians? I envision all sorts of Christmas-y things happening here, wandering carolers with roasting chestnuts and house tours and mulled wine at the shoppes dusted with lightly falling snow and and and….well, you get the point.

As I set off on my way to the final stretch to Davenport, with happy thoughts in my head about the wonderful and generous people of Iowa, and thinking about how I can get the Petersens to come visit The Manor in Silverton, and life is grand and HOLY SHIT WHY ARE THERE 19% HILLS AT THIS POINT IN THE RIDE YOU LIED TO ME JIM ET TU JIM ET TU?!!

So yeah, there were a few hills. By a “few” I’ll just note that there were so many that at one point, no exaggeration, it looked like there was a zombie apocalypse upon us, because there were that many people slowly trudging up the hills, having just had it with their bikes. I for one did NOT walk my bike, but let’s be honest – our speeds were about the same.

Finally, yes, probably about 5 miles out of Davenport, it was in fact downhill. Along a highway-like road, which didn’t quite give us room to go bombing down it, but hell, I’ll take it at that point. We finished in a park along the river, and it was nice enough relaxing there for a while. But to add insult to injury, to get back to where our charter was, it was about a 6 mile slog straight uphill to St. Ambrose. Sigh.

So I might still have a slight bone to pick with Jim Petersen, just saying. I’ll call you guys. Jams will be on their way. Thank you for being the most memorable part of any RAGBRAI that will ever be. Ever.


Yes yes, I know, Ragbrai was about 6 months ago and I’m a little behind. I had meant to live blog from the road, but alas, the singular world wide web connection in Iowa was elusive. And I’ve had other things to blog about since then, but have kept thinking…but Ragbrai! Things need to be in order! So, my dear nineteen of readers, the highlights:

·        You know how you have past experiences and you learn from them and think you’re doing the right thing? So yeah, the fact that the last 2 Ragbrais I did were the hottest on record and I didn’t even pull out my sleeping bag because it was so damn hot and muggy? So I smartly didn’t bring one this year? Bad. Fucking. Move. Note to self: using your towel to drape over yourself as a pseudo-blanket doesn’t work very well.

·        Day One, I am almost plowed down my Schnauzer Lady. This is the batty little old lady who rides with her poor ancient schnauzer in a basket on her bike. Of course her bike is weighted down with all sorts of crap because she’s apparently also a semi-hoarder, so she can barely keep the thing upright. Which leads to her being in front of me, trying to get moving, and starting to tip over, right in my way of course.

Schnauzer Lady: “Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!”
Me: “Ahh! Ahh! Ahh!”

Luckily some good Samaritan manages to stop her before she hits the ground, AND before she does so right in my path. Disaster averted.

·        Best lines of the week: Ann is riding along next to a serene and sweet 72-year-old lady, with a basket on her bike and I believe an I Love Jesus sticker on her helmet. The full effect. Suddenly a peloton of  cyclists go zipping by in some long-ass pace line, as people can’t seem to help themselves from doing.

Little old lady: Look at those assholes, all clipped in and stuff! Who the hell do they think they are? Where the hell do they need to be? Look at them!

Ann almost falls off her bike from laughing so hard, and for the rest of the week this becomes the rallying cry of Team Sloth: “Look at those assholes, all clipped in and shit!” It never ceases to amuse.

·         Scene, Day One: Sloth Michelle and I are riding next to each other as we start out, amidst a sea of people. Suddenly she moves off to the left, and I hear a faint “Winning!” from her. Say……what??

Me: “Did….did I just hear you say….. “winning”?”
Michelle: “Yep.”

Oh, it’s now ON. When there’s an opening, I make my move and go flying by her on the left.

Me: “Who’s winning NOW, bitch??”

Cue uproarious laughter from our fellow cyclists. So yeah I guess I can be a wee bit competitive (all in good fun of course).

·         My tent is a shitlord. As of day 2, I’m already composing a letter in my head to the asshole Coleman tent manufacturers.

Dear Horrible Tent People:
I’m sure you were very proud of yourselves in creating such a compact little bundle for your tents, one easy to tote around, without a spare inch of space. Kudos! Bravo! Might I point out though that there is one problem: the fucking thing won’t fit BACK in the bag once you’ve actually used the damn thing.

This is how physics works. If something fits into a bag with no room to spare when that thing (tent) is perfectly dry and unused and fresh off the factory floor, what are the chances it’ll fit BACK into that bag once it has, say, a wee bit of dew on it? SLIM TO FUCKING NONE.

I hate you people.

Miss Tasha

·        I determinedly stick to my low-carb diet. Day one: Burger with no bun. Other forms of protein. A cheese stick. Nuun instead of sugar-laden Gatorade. I feel very virtuous.

·        By Day Five, I am subsisting on popsicles, watermelon, corn, and pickle juice. Fuck you low carb and the horse you rode in on.

·        Iowa, seriously, 19% grades? Really? I love you, but COME ON.

·        By Thursday, Day Five, bitterness has set in. This year’s route is long and hilly and I’ve just had it. This leads to the following thoughts in my head:

o   Upon seeing the handmade roadside signs: “What the hell people, those don’t even RHYME!”
o   What did you patch this road with, Iowa, cowpies?
o   Seriously, another fucking hill?
o   FINE, I’ll ride in the middle of the road TOO, you asshole cyclists, since you’re all incapable of understanding the rules of the road EVEN ON DAY FIVE.
o   Similarly: “No, I’m NOT going to call out ‘rumbles’ three times. Because if by day five you haven’t yet figured out that there’s always 3 sets of rumble strips in a row, then you’re too stupid to be out here.”

·         Ackley, Iowa = the Bedford Falls of Iowa. Not only do they have the most amazing decorations coming into and going out of town, but they’re selling CANDIED BACON. ‘Nuff said.

·         One day at our Brancels campsite, we’re chatting with this nice guy who’s doing Ragbrai for the first time, and we come to a realization.

Me: You know, it’s true, those movies they show on the buses out here are pretty damn depressing.
Nice guy: Yeah, I mean had I seen those beforehand, I never would have signed up for this.
Me: Right – you have the Race Across America one, where the one guy gets plowed over by a truck. Then the Ragbrai Spokes one, where the one guy is riding for his wife who died of suicide.
NG: And the rest of them have causes they’re riding for! I need a cause.
Me: You certainly do. Otherwise what’s the point? How about biking for People Without a Serious Cause? They need love and attention too.
NG: Done.
·         At the same time, the best thing about the Spokes movie are the lines from John Karras, one of the two founders of Ragbrai. When it was suggested by their employer, the Des Moines Register, that they let whoever wanted to join me on their maiden trek across Iowa, Karras’ response was : “I thought that was the stupidest thing I’d ever heard.” And later, about the 90-year old guy who decided to do the ride a couple of years in: “He was glacially slow.” Classic.

·         Ragbrai included some off-roading this year. Fun.

·         Goatsies! This was right before the tornado hit. Or what the little girls who owned the goats decided was a tornado. Because when the wind picked up, chaos ensued.

Little girls: EEK! Eek! What do we do! And Hansel is stuck!
Me: Umm….

Yes, poor goatsie had gotten his string wrapped around his chair. I, umm, proceeded to lift the chair and untangle him. It took 3 seconds. The girls were in awe of my prowess.

·         If you don’t like biking in the heat and sun, I’m going to say you proooobably won’t like Ragbrai. One person on Team Sloth, who rode on average about 8 miles a day since she’d ride to the first town and then catch the SAG wagon, seemed to forget this part.

Me: Umm, so are you planning on riding more tomorrow? (after hearing that she had been just riding to the first town) Maybe to the second town at least?
Slothy Sloth: No, this is working for me!
Me: But….you’re not doing much riding then.
SS: Yes, but I don’t like riding in heat.
Me: …….
SS: Or sun. When the sun comes out, hoo boy, I’m done.
Me: But……it’s Iowa. The last week in July.
SS: Right….
Me: Heat and sun are kind of a given.
SS: I just can’t ride under those conditions.

So there was that.

·        The worst thing about Ragbrai this year, other than my tent being a shitlord, was the fact that my hands and feet were completely screwed up. I’ve always had the poor circulation thing, but this was epically horrible. Both got extremely painful and then numb, yet still painful, however that works. As the week wore on, I’d have to stop more and more often to shake out my hands and take my shoes off and rub my feet. This was not good.

·        The best thing about Ragbrai…….well, that’ll be in the next post. It was as epically awesome though as the hand/foot thing was horrible. More so.