Contradiction in Terms
You say to-may-toe; I say toh-mah-tah. Deal with it.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003

turning Japanese
I really don't think so. Here's what happened: the Japan Foundation contacted me on the basis of some of my comics work, as part of their quest to recruit people for their symposium on Asian Women Cartoonists. I tried to tell them I was not an artist-- being, in fact, graphically crippled-- but they said (and I quote) "Its okay if... only writer." (Gee, thanks a LOT, Japanese Foundation!)

So this morning, Dean and I taxi'd over to the Japan Foundation office in Makati, where we sat around for two hours listening to why it's our responsibility to produce and promote manga "for the children", before finally finding out that they were, in fact, looking for Asian Women Cartoonists to join their symposium, and had no real use for a couple of writers, one of them profoundly male, even.

It was one of the most boring experiences of my recent life, and I was on the verge of attacking someone for dragging me out of bed at the crack of nine for nothing more than not-very-good green tea, except that I was afraid they might have a mecha hidden in the basement or something.

Yay, me!
I've finished my script for the secret project 100 that I'm working on with some of my guys. Hopefully, my editors will give it the go signal. (I am married to one of them, but so far he has proven generally immune to nepotism or even bribes of sexual favors. What is this world coming to?!)

Post-Partum Digression: part 2 of an 11-part essay

The First Month

It was with some surprise, then, that I looked one day at my calendar and noticed that it was just about time for me to go out and buy a new batch of birth control pills. Being a person naturally disposed to orderliness, it was my habit to note down in my Filofax the exact date when I should buy more pills so I could start taking them again on the fifth day of my period, as indicated.

Except that, based on empirical evidence, it was not anywhere near the fifth day of my period. In fact, my monthly visitor, usually as regular as an American postman (‘Neither snow, nor rain, nor…’), was conspicuously absent from my proverbial doorstep.

Ehh, big deal, I figured. Regular or not, a girl doesn’t go through eleven years of, well, ‘practicing’ without experiencing the occasional false alarm. I’d give it a week, I decided. Two weeks, tops, then I’d worry.

Three weeks of denial later, I was sitting in our bathroom, waiting for results from the two home pregnancy tests I’d picked up at the local pharmacy. Out of the plethora of kits available, I’d chosen one made in the States and one from France, reasoning that while the Americans were generally advanced scientifically, the French, on the other hand, could be relied upon to know all about matters pertaining to the sexual. Therefore between the two, I imagined, I would be able to arrive at a reliable consensus.

So I dutifully held each test in turn under my urine stream (surprisingly not as easy as it sounds), and waited for either two pink lines (indicating a negative response for both kits) or two blue ones (indicating Time to Freak Husband Out). Instead I got a typically Gallic response from the French kit—a purple smudge, which I could only interpret to mean comme ci, comme ca. The U.S. result, however, was much less blasé: an unequivocal sapphire blue line.

Reason enough, I decided, to Freak Husband Out. “We need to talk,” I told him. He was then playing Diablo II on our PC in the living room.

“Okay, just a sec,” Dean said, and, pausing his game, turned to give me his full attention.

I couldn’t think of a single gentle way to do it. “It’s possible that we may be pregnant,” I announced bluntly, holding out the test results.

He stared at me for a long while, then opened his mouth. Closed it. Stumbled up from his chair, fumbled for a cigarette, lit it.

“Jesus Christ,” he said finally. “Jesus Christ. I thought you were going to give me advice on how to beat Diablo.”
Nikki bit in at 10:35 PM :: ::
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