Merry Christmas from Dewar #35!

dewarsantaIn honor of the dewar, I half-assedly adapted a few verses of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

It really can’t stay
(But baby, it’s cold inside)
It’s got to go away
(But baby, it’s cold inside)

These weekdays have been
(Been hoping that I’d drop in)
So very weird
(Hold me in your hands, they’ll turn to ice)

The cryobank will start to worry
(Beautiful, what’s your hurry?)
They’ll charge me an exorbitant fee
(What’s a few hundred more?)

So really it had better scurry
(Beautiful, please don’t hurry)
But maybe just a half a day more

the dewar's profile

Confused? Read this or Google Image “dewar’s profile.”


This is what the dewar looks like without its costume, left. This is what the dewar contains (+2), right.

I expected dramatic vapor to emerge from the dewar when opened. Nope. I did “burn” my fingers on the contents because I ignored the directions’ exhortation to wear gloves.

The little vial sits out until the frost goes away. Then you stick it under your arm for 10 minutes (to bring it to body temperature) and it’s ready for action.

Action involves a syringe and catheter that, for all practical purposes, amount to a baster. Happy Thanksgiving! You don’t want this in your turkey!

One does one’s business, then one watches “The Mindy Project” for two hours so one can tweet Mindy Kaling that one conceived while watching classic Season One episodes and then maybe Mindy will come to one’s baby shower.

Repeat twice on consecutive days, return the dewar to a licensed UPS facility and hope you don’t need to do more of this because every round costs $1,100. That’s a lot of Modcloth!

How to Magically Get Pregnant

1. Buy a ton of clothing that you will never fit into again if you get pregnant. Remove the tags. The clothing will lose its powers if it is returnable.

2. Tell the cryobank to ship the goods. This will cost $160, plus $30 for three basters. Track the package as often as possible, at least once an hour. This will insure prompt delivery.

3. Drink every caffeinated beverage you can without your heart exploding. At least five Cheerwines a day. You may be entering a dark period of no Cheerwine.

4. Tell everyone who walks into your office that you are trying to get pregnant on Friday. You can’t fail now!

5. Consider buying an expensive, non-refundable plane ticket to somewhere overseas nine months from now, in case the clothing purchase doesn’t work.

[Ed. Note 11/14/14: None of this worked.]

I had planned a post about how Mei Xiang‘s insemination might have gone down if she were using Fairfax Cryobank, but then her second cub (same litter) was stillborn and I felt it was in poor taste.

Instead, here is a photo of a dress I have been trying to find for three years after rejecting it as too short and too expensive in 2010. I FINALLY discovered it on eBay for $50.

I figured I should enjoy wearing a single-digit dress size while I still can.

the one that got away


Now that I am off birth-control pills, even more things than usual make me cry. I must often resort to the hated waterproof mascara (hated because it doesn’t come off without a jackhammer or maybe lye).

Here are some examples of things that have made me cry recently:

Dramatic reenactment

Dramatic reenactment

The capsized cupcake: We had cupcakes at work a month or so ago. One of the cupcakes, in its special cupcake box, had fallen over. I tearfully stood by the box and begged each person selecting a cupcake to choose the toppled one. Eventually someone ate it and I felt better.

A Zumba class: It was SO confusing, it was SO loud, I couldn’t tell what the teacher’s feet were doing, I felt the rest of my life was just what I did between Zumba classes, that no matter how far I ran, Zumba was the default state of my existence and there was no escape.

The departure of a beloved employee: I cried uncontrollably every day for a week, frequently while moaning, “she was my little intern!” I imagine this was awkward for her.

Walking down stairs with co-workers: I remain mystified as to why I cried, “I can’t be with people right now!”, ran back up the stairs to my office and wept.

Skincare Secrets of the Whiny and Entitled

For the past decade, when people asked how I maintained my flawless alabaster skin, I would shrug and say “good genes.”

This was my skincare regimen. On days when I was feeling ambitious.


While I never tested this, I’m pretty sure I could have gone to bed with my face coated in lard and suffered no ill effects. This made me feel superior, as if I had a special talent.

But the “good genes” response was a lie. I knew what was keeping my skin perfect, and it wasn’t a painting in an attic. It was birth-control pills, which I took for two reasons: to spare myself extra mood swings, and to keep my supernaturally good skin looking supernaturally good.

Obviously, I am no longer taking them. I soon I had the skincare equivalent of the moment in “Superman II” after Superman gives up his powers and gets clobbered by the douchey redneck in the diner and sees himself bleed for the first time.

Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 5.31.03 PM

The below lineup is now part of my skincare regimen. I did not photograph the two makeup removers and the daytime SPF 25 moisturizer, because they don’t match my Kiehls products.


My skin, while not perfect again, is nearly so. If I use these six products, which all together cost somewhere between $150 and $200. If I do not EVER touch my face. If I squeeze NOTHING that looks squeezable. If I am VIGILANT.

If you want to try my procedure — and it works pretty well — here it is:

Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque: Use three times a week. Put on so much not a single pore is visible.
Pineapple Papaya Facial Scrub: Use three times a week. Let it sit on your face awhile so the enzymes can eat the zits or whatever they do.
Ultra Facial Cleanser: Use when your face is really greasy, grimy and/or sweaty, and to wash neck, ears and decolletage.
Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser: Use twice a day. This component may be the magic bullet, but I’m too lazy to do an elimination trial to find out.
Ultra Facial Cream: Use twice a day. Don’t forget your neck.
Blue Herbal Spot Treatment: Put this on anything red. Repeat and repeat until whatever the red is goes away. SQUEEZE NOTHING. Trust in the Blue Herbal Spot Treatment.

Remove your makeup before using any of the scrubs, masques or cleansers. Don’t forget a daily sunscreen; I use some Clinique product I will doubtless replace with something Kiehls as soon as I run out.

‘The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians’


I don’t remember how I found this book. Maybe I Googled “pregnancy book I won’t set on fire.” I bought the second edition, the one with the hideous cover art. A Getty stock image? Barf.

After two OBs referred me to Fairfax Cryobank, Death Star of Fertility, because they wanted nothing to do with at-home DIY baby-generation, I started buying books from the Single Mom by Choice subgenre of parenting literature.

These disappointing tomes devote about as much space to the details of at-home insemination as “The Ultimate Guide to Pregnancy for Lesbians” does to “Sex with a Man.” (Three paragraphs under “Other Options.”)

My favorite part of “The Ultimate Guide” is the first line of chapter four, “Getting the Goods”:

“Sperm. It’s a subject many of us have shied away from most of our lives.”

It’s comforting to know that many women potentially find this process even more off-putting than I do.