Halfway Through

The wind is whipping away outside, creating a "dark and stormy night" kind of feel to the evening.  I'm halfway through my first intense week.

Tomorrow, I teach again, but I'm going to spend most of the period on an art project.  Do any of you remember making "Coat of Arms" Shields in Middle School?  I still remember this project to this day and can envision it hanging on the teacher's wall during parent night.  I can even remember a couple of the pictures of me at my house and another of me doing gymnastics.  I hope the kids in my classes will share some of my enthusiasm.

Then, I have a couple hours off before going to lead the after-school program at another middle school.  God help me to rally the energy to lead a few games for those unfortunate (to have me as their leader) souls!

Final day of NaBloPoMo.  What did I learn?  That I have trouble with strict discipline.  Yes, most definitely.

Also, that I'm going to keep doing it until I participate fully, including visiting and commenting more on other blogs.  I may not participate next month but will again in the near future.  As mentioned before, I like (and need) the kick in the butt to write frequently!

p.s.  Sh/cm and I had a productive conversation tonight and were able to speak and hear each other with more love and less defensiveness/fear.  I look forward to this weekend and getting a tree, as well as taking part in my Interplay Theatre group's Christmas gathering.  We're going to eat yummy food, play games, and watch the video of our last performance.


Just a quick update tonight before getting to bed.

I've been feeling sad the last day or so - possibly because of seasonal affective disorder?  or the time of year?  or PMS/hormonal stuff worsening?  I'm not sure.

 Sh/cm and I had some tension Sunday afternoon.  We talked through it, but it felt bad after having a great time away together.  Part of me wonders if he was happy to separate and get back to work, while it's harder for me for some reason.

Anyway, call me Ms. Melancholy.  I actually feel sorry for sh/cm with how inconsolable I was on the phone yesterday.  Oh well.

Off to my field trip bright and early tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck!



I'm afraid this post may be a bit dry, but I'm wanting to share my enthusiasm for building more sustainable communities and work systems.  So today's post focuses on one of these new building blocks: Cooperatives.

Here is an abbreviate definition of "Cooperative" from Wikipedia:

A cooperative (also co-operative or co-op) is a business organization owned and operated by a group of individuals for their mutual benefit.[1] A cooperative is defined by the International Cooperative Alliance's Statement on the Cooperative Identity as "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise".[2] A cooperative may also be defined as a business owned and controlled equally by the people who use its services or by the people who work there. Various aspects regarding cooperative enterprise are the focus of study in the field of cooperative economics.

So the idea of Cooperative businesses has been percolating lately in my life, and I discovered a cool website about this exciting, potentially more empowering work structure.  Here's a paragraph from the homepage of CooperationWorks!

CooperationWorks! is a national organization of cooperative development centers and practitioners that span the breadth of the United States. Using innovative strategies and proven business practices, CW Centers provide expertise across all aspects of co-op enterprise development, including feasibility analysis, business plan development, business launch and on-going training for operational success.Find out more about CooperationWorks!

And here's an excerpt from a recent news story listed on their website about supportive legislation that I hope will pave the way for more rapid expansion of the Cooperative movement:

Congressman Chaka Fattah Spearheads Urban Cooperative Development Initiative

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – October 15th 2010 – Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA),
Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus, will lead a new initiative to support urban
cooperative business development throughout the United Sates.
Fattah, an eight term Congressman from Philadelphia, will partner with the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA), a Washington-based federation of cooperatives from all sectors of the economy, and CooperationWorks! (CW), a national trade association of cooperative development centers and individuals. . .Read more
And finally, last week I met with a guy who is staring a website called PermaculturExchange. He's working to bring local start-ups, projects, ideas, etc. together with people who have the right skills to offer and are looking for work.  We are talking about how I might contribute my own skills to this project and perhaps even offer career services individually and through the website.  The Cooperative structure will likely play a large role in the work growing out of this website, as well.
I'm feeling really down tonight for whatever reason but thinking about the potential of Cooperatives makes me feel some hope.  


Premature Exhaustion

I. am. so. tired.

Reacclimating to normal life has been hard for some reason, even though we were only gone for a couple of days.  It might be premature exhaustion, in anticipation of my intense work week, I guess.  It's going to be all middle schoolers, all the time.

I don't think I mentioned it, but my teaching counterpart who teaches Thursdays is not getting along with the current 8th-grade English teacher with whom we're working.  So, my supervisor asked me to teach her remaining sessions, in addition to my own.  Plus, this week and next include one field trip day.

The positive side to this story is that I'm off after December 16th (my birthday!) for the rest of the month.  It will be nice holiday preparation-wise, but also working extra for the next two weeks will help balance the lost hours.

I know I'm a wuss compared to some of y'all, but as I've shared, this teaching (especially this age kids) really takes it out of me.  Thus, I'm mentally preparing to be tough and muscle through the next couple of weeks.  Wish me luck!

Next weekend will be all about Christmas stuff like buying and decorating a tree, so that will be a reward. . .


Post-Holiday Gratitude

Well, my updating intentions flew out the window!  Sorry for my unkept promises; I'll try to do a three-in-one post.

Spending time with sh/cm's family was remarkably comfortable and easy.  Though different than me (she's a pediatrician) and profusely talkative, sh/cm's brother's wife, L, and I get along great.  She's very family-focused, and we talk a lot about her boys, their family trips (they've been all over the world - and to most of the National Parks in the greater U.S.), my relationship with sh/cm and her relationship with her husband, D, and various social issues and ideas.  She's a few years older than me but so are a lot of my friends.  

Sh/cm's dad was not the easiest person with which to connect, but he was very kind and welcoming to me. He and his wife, sh/cm's step-mother, have a traditional relationship, and there's definitely a "head of the household" mantle he carries around with him.  One example of the traditional gender-role culture in their house occurred after Thanksgiving dinner and involved me and L in the kitchen scrubbing and drying dishes, while the step-mom bustled around cleaning the rest of the kitchen, and the menfolk sat at the dining room table relaxing and reading the paper.  Grrr.  Sh/cm heard about that one later, for sure!

Anyway, overall it was a nice trip.  Other highlights included:  seeing sh/cm connect with his half-sister's  three boys, especially the oldest one (watching/listening to them play the game of Life was sweet, and I loved seeing sh/cm's patience and care); traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, green beans with bacon, cranberry jelly, rolls, and pecan pie with ice cream - OMG; a gorgeous forest hike above a local Sacramento river with kids, parents, and an elder all looking out for one another and conversing amicably; finishing the weekend playing laser tag with sh/cm, his father, brother, and several nephews (I was a fun target as I could not help screaming as I ran away).

The other side of the our time near Sacramento involved sh/cm and my stay in a historic downtown Placerville hotel Wednesday and Thursday nights.  We had some amazing talks throughout the weekend about our family histories, the future of civilization, family dynamics and issues (processing our visits with his family worked much better than when we were in Eugene with my family for some reason), AND we managed to fulfill our efforts at trying to conceive in what seems to be perfect timing and flow.   

I forgot my bbt thermometer, of course, so I don't know for sure when I ovulated, but the OPK was negative Wednesday morning and positive Thursday - and I'm pretty sure I felt the famed Mittelschmerz twinges on Wednesday later in the day and on Thursday.  When I got him Friday night, I took my temperature and it indicated there had been a rise that morning/day, and this morning was clearly in the higher post-ovulation range.  I'm glad we had separate accommodations those evenings!  

TMI alert:  I stayed with my hips raised for a while each time, as well, which I don't always do, and we also practiced the "have an orgasm afterwards to draw the sperm up into the uterus" technique on our last night.  I'm feeling quite optimistic about our efforts.

We got back into town around 8:30 p.m. last night.  I'm spending the day by myself at my house (currently sitting in the sun at the kitchen table drinking a pineapple/orange/banana smoothie) and he at his, then we will be reuniting for a date night tonight.  Feeling post-holiday gratitude for my relationship with sh/cm.


Thanksgiving in Sacramento

Zucchini bread's made, laundry's done.  Staying up too late watching the Dancing with the Stars Finale.

Sh/cm and I are leaving tomorrow afternoon for his father and step mother's house in Sacramento.  I've never met his Dad so am looking forward to that and to seeing how sh/cm and he are together.  His brother and family from San Diego, as well as his half-brother and half-sister and her kids, will be there too.

Apparently his half-sister just broke up with a man she'd only recently moved in with, and it's been hard on her kids (3 boys!).  Sh/cm has talked about wanting us to possibly spend time with the kids and play a role in their lives, but I'm not clear whether his sister wants that or not.  We'll see how things go.

Looks like a holiday ovulation schedule. so that should be interesting.

We have a hotel room for Wednesday and Thursday night (sh/cm usually sleeps on the couch but that didn't sound fun for the both of us), which will be nice.

I'll update tomorrow from over the hills and through the woods. . .


TTC Check-In

Just a short ttc (trying to conceive) post tonight, then off to bed.  

No ovulation in sight after testing today and yesterday.  Historically, this is very early in my cycle to test, but I had that one cycle with ovulation on Day 10 recently so I'm playing it safe.  

I didn't take Femara again this cycle and haven't heard back from the doctor's office as to whether they received my records/labs yet.  I will follow up tomorrow and either schedule some lab tests or make an appointment.  

All things considered, I guess we are trying harder than last month in that I'm tracking ovulation more closely (and thus we're timing our tries more accurately).  

But it still feel like a mellow, "in limbo"-type month.  


What is "Normal"?

I'm feeling a bit disoriented tonight.  Sh/cm and I have had some emotional ups and downs.  I keep wanting us to get back to "normal," but I think I'm creating some ideal fantasy of what we have been and should be.  There have been stretches of time during which we've felt consistently close and our relationship had a sense of fun and ease.

We are having those times now but then something comes along and "triggers" one or the other of us onto an emotional edge, and I feel overwhelmed and scared.  And I have thoughts like, "I can't handle this," or "This is too much," or "Not this again!"

Sh/cm has an aspect to his personality that can be very righteous.  When he feels mistreated, he can lock on to a line of questioning like a pitbull.  He no longer hears me or takes in my side of things.  It's maddening.  He doesn't realize he's doing it in the moment.  We've talked about it and he's linked this side of him to his stepdad, who was bullying.  Sh/cm had to hold tight to his own reality for self preservation.

For my part, I am having some tired, old intimacy issues come up.  Soooo tired and old.  My mind wants to focus on imperfections and hold them up as reasons why we should not be together.  When this first came up, I was able to talk about them but over time, sh/cm has understandably developed some feelings of insecurity.

At this point, I'm questioning whether I should talk to a counselor about this specific pattern because it's come up in several relationships now.  And you know what they say, "If the same situation keeps happening, look at the consistent factor," namely me.  Sh/cm is willing to talk to someone too.

I guess the positive perspective is that our fights are about jealousy and connection/time spent with one another, which says we are scared of losing each other, and we like being around each other so much that we want more of it!  Most of the time we are actually together (and not emotionally triggered), life is good.

My next post will focus on these more positive times and a couple exciting shared goals. . .


My Mundane and Spicy Day

Mundane post about my day forthcoming (well, I will foreshadow a spicy ending). . .

So I harvested veggies and cooked a lot today.  I made a baked dish of potatoes and shallots with rosemary and cooked up some well-seasoned hamburger for soft tacos.

From the garden, I picked and washed a diverse array of leafy greans: swiss chard, kale, large leaf lettuce, and green leafy lettuce.  I also picked the remaining tomatoes  and a few green peppers and will whip up some easy tomato sauce tomorrow, if I have time.

I accomplished some necessary phone calls and emails and went running, which I'm still managing to do a couple times a week (it's harder now that I have to finish before the sun starts setting at 4:45!).

Sh/cm and I had a lovely evening from start to finish and will soon be heading off to dreamland.

He met me at the door carrying flowers, wine, and yummy macaroon and almond cookie dessert.

I paired the fish he cooked with a salad of the greens, peppers, tomato, carrots and avocado, as well as the potato/shallot dish.

Conversation and affection flowed plentifully through dinner preparation and eating, and culminated in dessert and lovemaking in the kitchen.

Sorry, I know that's TMI!  But I have to say it was nice to have such a fun and amorous evening after having some struggles around connection and communication recently.

p.s. Last night, I performed in my third Interplay Theatre performance, since joining the class almost a year and a half ago.  We did a lot of expressive movement pieces - one to poetry and sound that generated lots of positive response.  I also led a "gesture choir" for the first time.  I shared about a typical day teaching the wacky middle schoolers, making dramatic gestures to emphasize parts of my story as several people standing being me gestured along, amplifying my movements.  Sh/cm came and was sweetly supportive.


More Thoughts on DHEA

I wanted to share more side effect information about DHEA, which I don't think I've shared fully.

In retrospect, I feel I was a bit cavalier in my attitude when I first started taking it.  I only took in the positive benefits I was reading and didn't look deeply enough at the potential side effects.  

For me, I believe 75 mg is too high a dosage.  I started at 50 and went up to 75 about a month ago because this was the dose used in the successful oft-quoted fertility study (the only major study done so far, I believe, so it's not been shown that high of dose is needed).  And part of me was also probably just wanting to increase my chances any way I could, after several months of BFNs.

But my body did not like the higher level.  This was the worst month of PMS I've ever had, and I've definitely been more tired and irritable even outside of that.  Acne, yep, increase in that too.  

So, I'm lowering back down to 50 and plan to talk to the doctor about it as soon as possible.  I don't want to stop and lose the gains I've built up the past three months, but I want to respect the impact it has on my body.  The higher pregnancy/lower miscarriage rates are nothing to sneeze at but neither are the side effects:
One of the more common side effects of DHEA supplements is acne. Other side effects includeinsomnia, fatigue, oily skin, abdominal pain, hair loss, nasal congestion, rapid or irregular heartbeats and heart palpitations.
DHEA supplements may alter liver function, so people with liver disease shouldn't use the hormone. People with mood disorders (such as depression) should only use DHEA under the supervision of their healthcare provider, as DHEA supplementation may worsen mood. High levels of the body's natural DHEA has been associated with psychotic disorders, so people with or at risk for psychotic disorders shouldn't use DHEA unless under the supervision of their healthcare provider.
Since DHEA supplements may influence the production of male and female hormones, acne, greasy skin, facial hair growth, hair loss, weight gain around the waist, a deepening of the voice and other signs of masculinization may occur in women. 


Party's Over

Once again, the party is drawing to a sad end.  This was a hard one for me because my luteal phase went a day long, and it NEVER does that; as in never has, as long as I can remember.

It was also a particularly brutal PMS month, which as some of you likely know, adds to the emotional intensity of any experience. That particular fog is lifting, at least, thank God.

My family was in town from Oregon, so the extra cycle day took place out and about, mainly at the Oregon-Stanford game (which Oregon won handily, Go Ducks!).  Every trip to the bathroom, I would come back and whisper to sh/cm, "Nothing yet."

At the end of the day, hope was definitely building, but then some different type of cramping started and then light spotting and a temperature drop, so I knew that was it.  I admit it, there was crying.  But I'm doing okay now.

I do wonder if that up down, up down bounce at the beginning of my cycle meant I ovulated late or ovulated twice, which may have affected my luteal phase length?

In related news, I am cutting back my DHEA supplementation to 50 mg from 75 after noticing slight facial hair increase.  It was blonde and very light, but still, yikes!  *I also wonder whether it affected my mood and plan to research that a bit further.

If I doctor recommends it, I will tough it out, but for now, I'm going with 50, as I've seen this dosage recommended, as well.  And it will hopefully keep me recognizably female.

Now that we've had insurance approval, I'm also calling Kaiser tomorrow and recruiting a real doctor back into the mix.



So I've been having very light cramping off and on today but no spotting yet at almost midnight, as I head to bed.

The past several months, I've consistently started spotting on 13 dpo, which is my cycle day today.

Hmm, I dare not hope, and yet it is very interesting, no?


An Upward Trend

Excited about the Oregon - Stanford game on Saturday.  Family dinner scheduled for tomorrow night, too, including niece and nephew (yay!).  

Today was an okay day.  Work wasn't horrible, and I had a productive talk with sh/cm tonight.  I'm pretty sure part of the tension relates to thinking about long term plans together and the scrutiny and perfectionist-driven fear that stimulates.

My temperature was up several tenths this morning, which was a bit surprising.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  Also have had a minor headache since this afternoon.

Hope you all have a happy Friday!  I will be attending a community non-profit event on resilience and climate change with sh/cm.  Looking forward to it actually.



Most. uneventful. cycle. ever.

It's the weirdest thing.  Every other cycle, since starting to ttc a few months ago has at least included breast soreness.  Most have involved fabulous and varied symptoms such as skin breakouts, cramping, back pain, and others I will spare you all from in this moment.

This cycle?  Not so much.

I have super bad PMS (mood-wise), so if that counts, then I'm covered.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I had the never-before-seen bbt temperature fallback/rise pattern, along with another up/down bounce for good measure.  The first dip happened on 4 dpo, and the second on 6 dpo.  But this is likely hormonal fluctuation, even on 6 dpo, since it's typically too early in the cycle for implantation.

AF is due in two days, so not much longer to wait.

I'm working a full middle school day again tomorrow and feeling so not up for it.

Sh/cm and I are still not sympatico, adding sadness to the mix.

Maybe the world will look better after a good night's sleep?



I would like to apologize for my bad attitude ahead of time.  

This job stinks.  

Looking back, I spent much of today scowling at 13-year-olds chatting gaily with their buddies, as our guest speaker valiantly soldiered on.  I also said, "Listen up!" and "Shhhh" about a million times and walked around the room motioning and cajoling them to, "Pay attention."  Fun stuff.

I hate classroom management, and what's more I'm not great at it.  Yes, I can do it now, better than I could when I started 10 or 11 weeks ago, but I'm still at most sub-par.  I don't like the feeling of doing just an okay job.  I want to be doing work that truly fits me, and at which I can excel.  

I've always been more of a creative project design and one-on-one counseling person, as well as self-development theatre/creativity-based workshops for older youth/adults.  But not teaching classrooms of 40 amped-up middle school kids.  This might fit more in the category of "my worst nightmare."  

How did I end up here?  Oh yeah. . . . the money thing.  What's that you say?  I've posted similar blog entries before?  It can't be!

All this leads me to say that I am going to jumpstart my work search again and also put energy into the collaborative educational workshop idea with sh/cm, which has juice for me.  I'm hoping a meeting tomorrow with a friend, who mentioned conspiratorially that she has an idea she wants to run by me, may hold promise, as well.

This concludes todays regularly-scheduled bitch-o-rama.

p.s.  I did have one contribution this week of which I'm proud:  I designed a clear and colorful handout with introductory exercises for our career exploration software program.  I guess even if I leave this program in the near future, I can contribute in a lasting way on that level.


Does my love ever reach you?

In honor of the jealousy theme these last few days, I thought I would share this song.  I'm sure many of you have heard it before.

Sh/cm and I had a bit of a breakthrough late this afternoon.

As sometimes happens, intensity of emotion can penetrate defenses and my sadness seemed to open him to a deeper level of self-awareness.  He is willing to get some help dealing with old trauma that takes hold of him sometimes and sabotages his trust (and both of our equilibrium).

And just like that, a wall of fear and frustration in my own heart crumbled and fell.

Relief.  Hope.  Love.  Yes.


Jellyfish are Creepy: Trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Did you know that Jelly Fish have no brain to speak of?  Yet they move around like other living creatures or animals, seeming to navigate through space with purpose.  It's creepy.  Apparently the cells just react to certain stimuli and also in accordance to the cells around them, like a domino effect.  Weird.

The trip overall was a good one.  We also saw amazing sea horses.  I'm sure you all know the males carry the young for a nice change of pace.  The way they dance and use their tails to wrap around and hold onto things is pretty nifty.

My friend seems very happy to be reunited and going strong with her now fiance, and they got along well with sh/cm.

We all went out to a decadent dinner afterwards, which began with this delightful watermelon/tomato drink (it sounds gross but it was surprisingly delicious) and ending with lavender creme brulee (yum!).

In the car on the way down and back, sh/cm and I talked energetically about collaborating on a climate change workshop with similar information content to the one he did this week, but instead of non-violent communication exercises in-between the four sections to help people process, I would facilitate embodied movement exercises or creative activities.  Each "between" section would be about 10 minutes or so.

We will offer these educational workshops free initially to community members and non-profit folks, adapting the material to make it most relevant to the concerns and potential action steps of each particular audience.  Once we have the curriculum smoothed out, the thought is that we will offer the workshop to local non-profit organizations for a sliding-scale fee and also give "train the trainer" workshops, so that other's can give these types of workshops, as well.

Our energy around this project is exactly the type of energy I've been longing for related to collaboration, and I'm feeling both excited and hopeful.

Still no two-week-wait signs to speak of.  My bbt has been bouncing around high, low, high, low, medium, so I'm not sure what that means.  I'm supposedly on 7 days post-ovulation.


Weekend Connections

This is going to have to be a quick one before I fall asleep right here on the couch. . .

Thanks for supportive comments recently about tension around sh/cm and exes.  We had a good talk tonight and truly felt deeper empathy for the first time around situations that had triggered/upset one another.

Tomorrow morning, he is attending an annual fundraiser brunch with me for my Interplay Theatre organization, during which I may get up and do a little impromptu theatre.

Then, we are going to meet my friend M and her boyfriend, with whom she recently reunited, and check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium, then have dinner.  M's the one we met at the Gilroy Garlic Festival a couple of months ago, and she shocked me when she said she and the boyfriend had broken up.  Now it looks like they're heading for marriage, which should have been the case all along.

Having no two-week-wait signs whatsoever, unfortunately.  I can't believe it's November already.  The psychic said I might get a positive pregnancy test in December so that could be next cycle. . .



I was in a really good mood.  I had a facial today, which I never do but now can say I very highly recommend.  A little work got done, I went on a walk, I had a good conversation which resolved some tension with sh/cm, I drank a glass of red wine. . . and then he called.

He called to tell me his ex had asked him for a ride to this talk he's giving tonight.  A talk hosted by the group they are mutually part of and facilitated by her.  A talk I had found peace with, despite the somewhat emotionally-laden circumstances, and was prepared to attend with my supportive bells on.

But then he called.  And I got triggered into an upset place again, a place I did not want to go.

I just can't believe that that he blithely agreed to give her a ride considering the stress and conflict we've had around the situation recently.  I even spoke with him about it earlier today, mentioned I was feeling a little vulnerable around it, and specifically asked to both have a clear plan for what we were doing afterwards and not end up doing something with just us and his ex.

We made plans to get a drink, and he said he would protect me from an uncomfortable situation afterwards.  Ha!  By giving her a ride there, it meant he would have to give her a ride home - putting us in the exact situation I sought to avoid!

Well, I did go to the talk, though I thought about ditching.  SIF, if you're out there, I actually thought of your phrase "classy class."  Even though it doesn't fit exactly in the context I'm using it, for some reason it came to mind.  I thought to myself, "I'm going to attend because I'm classy class, and I don't back out on something important I've committed to because I'm upset."

In retrospect, I'm glad I went, but it was kinda hard being there. . . and I left immediately afterwards.

I'm not sure I want to see him tomorrow night.  We have plans but I'm feeling pretty blech about things.

We need to get to a better place around this stuff and, as they say, "fill the well" of our relationship.

Because right now, it's pretty darn depleted.



Nothing much going on here, except some tension with sh/cm.  Our jealousy with one another's exes knows no bounds.

I think I'm going to ask your opinion on this difference in viewpoint we have, because it keeps coming up for us:  do you think interactions with an ex-girlfriend and those with a guy I dated are in the same ballpark?

Additional information:  the guy I dated a few times is currently my housemate and we have a mutual support-type relationship in which we share with one another our feelings about dating/relationships and our desires to have a child (his marriage broke up because she didn't end up wanting to have a child and he's one of those men who really wants to be a father).  I have zero feelings of attraction for him and we had some flirtation when we first moved in together (I was feeling sexual and he happened to be there so I flirted with him) but haven't had any energy like that for over a year.

Sh/cm has been meeting with the ex-girlfriend weekly the whole time we've been dating because they are both part of an activist group that she co-leads.  He's had emotional "triggers" come up around his relationship with her at the time of Burning Man and at her birthday, which last year apparently was the beginning of the end of their relationship.

As I write all this, it sounds so juvenile!  But seriously, can you compare an ex-girlfriend relationship (who you were in love with and intimate with over several months and had trouble getting over) with a platonic housemate who you had a few dates with a year-and-a-half ago (with whom you are now friends)?

p.s.  Nothing stirring on the two-week-wait front.  I'm eating pineapple.