Sunday, April 26, 2009

Honoring the Great Bea Arthur




Darah has an adorable orange toddler chair that just arrived in the mail on Friday. She loves sitting in it and watching TV. She loves her new chair. Most of all, she loves dancing. It's the most adorable dancing I have ever seen. She's really got talent, people!

And I am still sick...no surprise there. The baby moved a bit in the middle of the night last night. I was glad to feel it move. My bones ache. All over, I ache.

Sandy and I had a wonderful meal (with Darah) in Galesburg at Chez Willy's after the ILLOWA conference yesterday. I actually ate food and enjoyed it. Best of all, though, was spending time with Sandy and Darah. Darah has a new sun hat with bitty bugs on it.

Lastly, I raise my tea cup in honor of the Great Bea Arthur, who died on Saturday at eighty six. She has always struck me as a person of strength. I think it is apparent in her work. May her lovely energy linger on and may her work inspire others for a long time...

"Madchen in Uniform," Lilli Palmer



My latest admiration is for the multi-talented Lilli Palmer (b.1914 - d. 1986), particularly her work in films with homoerotic undertones. I am thrilled to have discovered "Madchen in Uniform." Clips of the film are available on You Tube. It's worth checking out. It's now one of my all time favorite films. I haven't even seen it in its entirety. I am not sure how to evaluate or analyze the film at this point; I'm just enjoying it aesthetically. It's a bit torturous in its subtlety. But I definitely get the  sense that Lilli Palmer's character, Elisabeth von Bernburg, is not only lonely but also feels some degree of homoerotic (and not just compassionate, motherly) love for her student, Manuela. You can see a tortured desire hidden in her subtle body movements as well as in the movements of her eyes when she encounters closely Manuela and Manuela's affections. Beautiful, beautiful.


I would have loved Lilli Palmer and the character she played had I seen this when I was five years old (just as I loved Angela Lansbury as the clumsy and untalented witch, Egglentine Price, in "Bedknobs and Broomsticks"), but I wasn't watching a movie like this when I was five years old. Maybe if I had seen this, I would have figured myself out faster. See, I innately love headmistresses (not ALL of them, just some of them...). My love of headmistresses was here long before I evolved enough to discover my women-centered sexuality and eroticism.

I would LOVE to have been able to interview Palmer myself to find out what SHE thought of the performance - alas, that is not possible. I think much more attention should be given to this remake, as well as to the original 1931 film, "Maedchen in Uniform," and the book by Christa Winsloe (The Child Manuela) on which the film was based. This is the type of film that could really inspire an intellectual conversation. Let's get this on the play lists of controversial films to be shown in academia. Or else, let's just get this on the play lists at lesbian film festivals once in a while. Let's get this shown on cable television. Now who is the us in let's who has the power to make THAT happen? Thank GODDESS for You Tube and its ability to bring obscure, illegal things to life. Now if only I could find copies of the London Cast Productions of Lansbury's "Mame" and "Gypsy" and "Dear World", my life would be complete. All hail the exquisite von Bernburg in her high collared glory.


Some interesting websites:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uLGii67-zY&feature=related
http://www.filmforum.org/archivedfilms/sapphorama.html
http://www.nthuleen.com/papers/655paper.html
http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC24-25folder/MaedchenUniform.html
http://mmmmmovies.blogspot.com/2009/02/la-residencia-1969-or-house-that.html
http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/onlinessays/JC24-25folder/LesbianFilmography.html
http://www.communistvampires.com/horror/House%20That%20Screamed.htm
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/screeningthepast/reruns/thiele.html
http://www.lesbengeschichte.de/Englisch/film_von_den_e.html
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051964/usercomments
http://www.readinkbooks.com/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=12055&CLSN_897=123478199489790d2b43744e9dd4f2d1
http://www.blackholereviews.blogspot.com/2007/11/madchen-in-uniform-1958-remake-of.html
http://www.genders.org/g32/g32_jagose.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Waps-_xIm1w&feature=related

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nausea and Puking during the First Trimester of Pregnancy



Well, just when I thought I was starting to feel better I seem, actually, to be feeling worse. Or at least just as bad as I felt weeks ago.

Only now, I am puking more often. I puked my breakfast up on Saturday morning and I puked my breakfast up this (Monday) morning. I think today's episode of puking may be my fifth time puking during the whole first trimester. It's especially frustrating to feel so sick when I am nearing the end of the first trimester and have the hope and expectation that the second trimester will bring some relief. I do know that I COULD survive being sick for the next six months, as well. I could survive it. But it would be torturous Hell for D and Sandy and me. I hope it will not be like that.

When I puked on Saturday, Sandy was there to pick D up and take her away from me and the toilet. Today, D and I were alone. I was hoping she would stay in front of the television watching the Backyardigans while I got the job done, but she followed me into the bathroom. She seemed very curious about what I was doing. But I lost my ability to talk to her while I was vomiting. I just put my arm out to block her from approaching the toilet. She whimpered and whined and tried to get back my arm. When I could breathe to speak, I told her "It's okay, Mummy J just got sick." She came right up and looked into the toilet. "See, icky." Then she tried to reach into the toilet. "Let's flush it down, now." Then we flushed it and closed the lid. "All done," I said. "Ah dan," she said. "Do you want to give Mummy a hug?" And she gave me a hug. Then we both brushed our teeth together and left the bathroom. Ah, the start of another week of pregnancy. Being pregnant (each time) has been the most difficult thing I have ever done. It's not the ideal situation for D, but we're getting through it. It will not last forever. MummyJ with energy will return someday! Feeling guilty for putting D through the boredom isn't going to get us anywhere. (Sigh.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today Week 13 of Pregnancy : Heartburn and Nausea


I am in the throes of Week 13 of my pregnancy. This means I am moving closer and closer to the second trimester. Sometimes I think I am starting to feel a bit better (in terms of nausea and energy levels), but then at other times I still feel overwhelmingly awful. My nausea is worst in the morning, late afternoon and evening. By the time I lie down in bed to read Darah a story, I feel desperate for unconsciousness. Sleep, sleep! Last night, sleeping was difficult. Darah was up for what seemed like a couple of hours crying fussing with teething pain. I gave her some Tylenol and Orajel, but it still took her a while to calm down enough to sleep. We felt so sorry for her. It was clear she was in pain. Earlier in the night, she was crying and touching her mouth. I said, "Oh, does it hurt? Ow. Ow?" And she repeated "Ow," while touching her cheek. It's so sad when you can't make it better. I just held her and stroked her hair until she finally fell asleep.

My mom and (paternal) grandmother stayed with us for the first two weeks in April. I found it VERY helpful. I was glad for Darah to have her meals at the table and have energetic people around to interact with...she loved having them here, too. They cooked (well, when I let them) and cleaned and cared for Darah. It worked out pretty well. My only major complaint was the horrible smell of boiled eggs that seemed to fill the house for two weeks straight. Darah enjoyed having eggs every day, but I could not stand the smell. No escape. Boiled eggs. Ack. I am very grateful that they came to help. My father and brother met them here for Easter. Darah was in her glory with all of the excitement and interaction available. Now it's just back to Darah and her sick MummyJ during the day. She's adjusting pretty well. She plays very well on her own, thank goodness. Her favorite activity, though, is reading books and having books read to her. She could read books all day long. Over and over.

Aside from nausea, I am having trouble with heartburn - especially at night. I have stopped taking the gummy vitamins again. They are sour and actually aren't bad, but for some reason I cannot get myself to take them right now. I am already uncomfortable, feeling big and like things are pushing against my stomach and ribs. The taste in my mouth is, possibly, the worst thing I feel during the day. After I eat, especially after I eat something sweet, I always have a terrible taste in my mouth. Nothing makes it go away. Hormones create my reality. They are very difficult to battle. No, impossible. In the night, my legs feel like bricks. They fall asleep and they ache. I get a bit of relief by sleeping with a pillow between them. Everything is just so uncomfortable. Even my bladder. It feels full often and my pubic bone aches at times from the pressure of it all. Will it ever get any better? Yes, after the baby has broken through my skin again and is out of my body! In six months or so.

My intuition says I am having a girl (aka a baby with clitoris). But a lot of what we call intuition is bogus.

I wear pajama pants most every day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Face Changes During Pregnancy : Noses and Ears Growing





Last night, Sandy asked me: "Do ears grow during pregnancy?"

I said, "Yeah, why, are my ears bigger?"

"I think so," she said.

And I thought it was just my nose that was growing.