10.31.2000

Is today my 5th day here? I have no clue, I feel like I've been moving boxes forever. My cold is getting worse but we seem to have almost everything but the furniture out of our house. As more and more of my parents things are unpacked at the new house, the more it seems like home, but in a different, cozier, quieter way.

I'm so busy with all this moving stuff that I haven't had time to call any of my friends who I normally spend time with. Somehow, that's okay. We've got a house to move. The life that was inside this house has been packed up, shared between boxes and our memories, but it's not here anymore. Maybe it's been gone for longer than I realized.

10.30.2000

Day two of the Big Move finds me sore, tired and the bearer of a cold. We've managed to get most of the non-furniture items out of our house and over to the new one. A side plot is me getting Ben almost trained to heel. So at least he's worn out too.

We had dinner at the Chinese resturant that used to be McDonald's. That place still messes me up. Where today there's a mahogany bar, at one time there was a deep fryer and a counter with hip teenagers waiting to take my order. And I'm sure that McDonald's has never served up an order of MuShu pork.

There were trick or treaters tonight. We were at the new house but came back here to my childhood home in time to hand out free candy. We ran into a neighbor my mom knew and as we stopped to chat, another neighbor guided his child past our darkened house, saying that 'those people never participate anyway.'

Nice. My mom was all fired up since this guy obviously had no idea how long we've lived here, how many stupid suburban events we've been part of over the years. Fuck off, all you Stepford families, we don't need your stinking block parties and PTA events.

10.29.2000

Well kids, it's almost 10 pm. In accordance with Parental Sleeping Regulations, I'm off to bed.

Greetings from lovely Ohio. I managed to arrive on time but unfortunately my luggage didn't, choosing instead to enjoy the scenery in St. Louis for an extra night. We moved a nice chunk of my parent's stuff today, with me battling them because their moving theory is to move like one box at a time, then carefully unpack it and return home for another box. Since we've rented a truck, I figured we'd use the whole truck but hey, what do I know.

The new house is pretty cool, spacious and roomy yet cosy. Not creaky like our house seems to me now. The emotions I thought I'd feel are noticeably absent--maybe because Ellie's death has left me spent, more focused on the things that matter, like who you love not where you see them. I gave the last of her things away today, 15 kinds of treats, pills and other stuff. Closure? No, but about as close to it as I could hope for. I still miss her like crazy, I think I always will.

One thing I forgot about Ohio is that it's cold. Frickin' cold. The California Liz wears a sweatshirt in the winter but the Ohio Liz needs a jacket. Hopefully the California Liz will remind the Ohio Liz tomorrow that a jacket is imperative.

And by the way, I really hate Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. I think we should re-name it Who Wants to Kiss My Ass.

10.27.2000

Today, my mom has new house tourette's. They closed on both houses today and I'm on my way there tomorrow to help them with the Big Move™. I'm almost resigned to it.

10.26.2000

A grieving father on NPR said that loss doesn't fade, but that it just becomes less immediate. 2 weeks and 4 days after Ellie died, I have to agree. Some days, I almost forget that she's gone, other days I weep as I did the first night, and once, for a second, I forgot that we'd even known her.

But each time, I'm snapped out of it and the fact that she's gone hits me anew. Yes, she's in a better place, in the company of some amazing dogs and people, but my life has a huge hole in it where she used to be. Death is not hard for the dying but rather for those their passing leaves behind.

In this case, it's me left behind.

Don't try to say ' you only had her for 6 months and 8 days, you couldn't possibly have loved her that intensely' because it's not true. Knowing that our time with her was to be short, I made the most of every day I had with her, doing my best to treasure at least one memory from each day. We truly packed a lifetime into 6 months and 8 days, I don't know how I could possibly muster that kind of intensity again.

On the phone with my mom. She has moving tourettes!

Just when I couldn't feel worse about our search for a home, our realtor sent me a link to a triple-wide.

I got this reallly fabulous spam yesterday, which instead of responding to, I'll post here (with a few additions of my own) for your perusal.
Hi
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Many of our clients initially thought it would be better for us to be paid in a percentage of profits. Thank goodness for them they choose a flat fee instead. They have enjoyed an enormous increase in traffic.
We offer you a free comprehensive analysis of your site. If you would like this free analysis please REPLY to this email and include your:
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We have taken great care to provide this message. If you wish to be excluded from all future mailings please click reply and type remove in the subject line.

So...kids, if you're looking for a competitive analysis of your website, be sure to get in touch with my new pal Carol.

10.25.2000

The George W. Bush dance.
Go boldly where the hamster dance did not, to the heart of idiocy and the GOP. Thanks once again to my home slice Sarah.

Woo hoo! It's Alice's birthday!!

She's 11 today, which is hard to believe since she acts like a puppy, or at least a much much younger dog.

Now here's an idea I can get into: Job Candidates Charge for the Interview. So many times, I've gone to interviews thinking that maybe I wanted the job, maybe I didn't, then knew within 30 seconds that I didn't. I'm way too polite to say 'gee, you guys seem to have your heads up your asses. You may have 10 million users but you have no revenue and none in sight so, while you're all very nice, I've been at enough companies that have gone out of business this year alone and don't care to take on another.

So I sit there and talk to everyone who comes in, all the while growing more and more bored/frustrated because I'm tired of answering the same questions over and over with each new person. I'd rather play a videotape of myself and save us all some time.

The idea of billing for my time is ideal. It would keep the windbags under wraps and would make it easier for me to say 'you know, this just wouldn't work for me. Ever.' Thanks to my homie brig for this one.

10.24.2000

The Public 8 Ball is just plain cool. Thanks Sarah!

If you go to the NFL For Her page today, the NFL will donate $5 for each page view for breast cancer research. Click to save some boobies!

10.23.2000

In a way, working animal rescue is playing God. We get to decide which shelter animals get pulled for rescue, essentially leaving the remaining animals to try to get adopted, but more likely, to die.

Once we pick the animals we think we can place, it's playing God again, deciding which family is worthy of this animal. Of course we have criteria, selected by experience not guesswork, things like holes in fences, previous animals who died under strange circumstances, unwillingness to spay or neuter, having 'gotten rid of' other pets, the list goes on and on.

Often, I don't have to ask about any of this--people will spill their guts if you listen long enough. So yes, we play God in deciding if these people are worthy of our animals. We're all about saving lives, but more importantly, making sure that the lives we save spend their days surrounded by love and respect. Is that so bad?

My fabulous friend Korge is all set to run The Columbus Marathon 2000 this Sunday. You go, you big stud!

10.20.2000

Reading a piece on infertility (don't ask, it's for work) I can't stop laughing at all the mentions of vas deferenes and penii.

Anonymous quote of the day:
"When I left him, he still had his teeth"

Just got back from solving my favorite problem in animal rescue--finding a dog for a home. Tammy the basset hound was lucky enough to show up at the Palo Alto pound at the same time a woman my vet knows was looking for her. They met this morning and it was love at first sight for all involved. Woo hoo!

10.19.2000

Took Holly to the vet for her welcome home checkup. She weighs more than Alice ever weighed, more than my Ellie on her fattest day, so we're continuing Beagle Boot Camp for her. But the best news is that she's perfectly healthy. Loving Ellie was an amazing thing, a test of my capacity to love (I think I passed, the downside to this is the grief that still hits me new every morning as I see that she's no longer at the foot of my bed) and a lesson to me (enjoy every day you have with someone. Treasure at least one moment from each day.). Holly brings a new set of lessons, an easier love that I still haven't fully accepted. There must be a catch somewhere, right?

So last night I hadn't been to band or driven my Squareback for a while, so I decided to do both at the same time. In the back of my mind, I knew the Squareback was coming due for her semi-annual fueling but I thought we'd be okay until after band since I was running late. Ha! As I attempted to go over the freeway, she sputtered and died as the traffic piled up behind us. Of course I'd left my cell phone in my reliable car, leaving me forced to run to the nearest payphone inside a rather swanky hotel. My grubby self found the phone and called my own personal AAA--Andrea. She arrived bearing gas, (she had not travelled afar) within 20 minutes. Not only did I get a reload on the ole' gas tank, but I got a smooch!

Today's Lesson:
When driving your old-ass car, 1. make sure it has enough gas to get where you're going--assume the gas gauge is incorrect and 2. bring your cell phone.
This concludes today's Public Service Announcement.

10.18.2000

Settle down!

My new phone has a button that says 'Make Busy.' I think everyone needs a button like that. Oooh! The boss is coming, click 'Make Busy'!

10.17.2000

For reasons I can't explain, that picture of Rudy cracks me up. I'm sitting here, looking at it and chuckling to myself. What a way to endear yourself to new co-workers, muffled maniacal laughing.

What can I say, I've been busy. With the new job (which is fabulous even if I am the official Red Tape Magnet™ and my computer won't let me work) and a new dog, Holly, who joined us on Sunday, life is grooving along.

Here's Holly:

10.12.2000

I think I've finally accepted the fact that on Monday, I'll be working at a new job. I liked everyone I talked to there and the work should be rewarding. Leaving my friends here behind is the hard part. That and having my very own office.

Author's Note:
The LizCam is on hiatus because I'm cleaning out my office. Once I'm set up at my lovely new location, it will be back.

Have to pick up Ellie's ashes tonight. In some ways, it means picking up the pieces of our time together and moving on.

Mostly it just means she's gone.

Tomorrow's my last day at work. Mentally, I've been outta here since the layoffs but it's still kinda hard. I'll miss my friends, but after next week, the remaining few won't be here anyway.

On to bigger and better funded things!

10.11.2000

Just when I think I'm starting to be okay without Ellie, I see someone who doesn't know that she's gone and have to explain all over again. Each time it's like the first and I still expect her to greet me when I get home at night.

I should have bet someone how my mom would react to Alice's impending arrival. She said exactly what I thought she would and she's not happy about it. Why is it that I'm 27 years old and still want my mom's approval? I have other places to stay in Columbus, places that are probably more relaxing, but I'm still pissed that my mom would say Alice isn't welcome at her house. As if somehow Alice isn't a member of my family.

But I was good, I told her that was fine, I'll stay at my friend's house instead. Then I hung up.

We had our first taste of Silicon Valley real estate today. We saw a house that we liked, parts of it were okay, parts of it were wonderful so we decided to put in a bid on it. We bid $11,000 over the listing price and were outbid within an hour. Buying our house is going to be some crazy shit.

Some guy felt the need to correct me on Alice's webpage to tell me that she's actually red and white, not lemon and white and that more than 3% of them have that coloring and it can be a hinderance in the show ring.

Gee thanks. 1. She's not a show dog, she's been rescued twice so at this point she's pretty fortunate to have a home. 2. Her pedigree says lemon and white. and 3. that's just plain rude.

Asshole. Why write to a stranger just to tell them you think they're wrong? Why can't people just let other people be?

10.10.2000

Sometimes, I'm fine for up to 30 minutes at a time. I don't cry or get sad. Then I remember that my Ellie's gone and while I try to console myself, saying that she's in a better place (which I firmly believe she is) and free from pain, I still miss her like crazy. But the Ellie I don't miss is the one we said goodbye to this weekend, the one who was riddled with pain and couldn't stand up.

I miss the healthier Ellie who said 'woo! woo!' when she was happy, who followed me everywhere I went, who ate Chex Mix with me after work every day, who bonked open the bathroom door every morning to make sure I was okay, who guarded my bed, who rolled on the grass every chance she got. My Ellie, who taught me the value of living and loving one day at a time. Together we packed a lifetime into 6 months and 8 days. My Ellie and me.

Just so you don't think that I'm not my old self, because I am, or at least I'm trying to be.

I've decided to take Alice with me for Thanksgiving. My mom, keeper of the immaculate house, will be nervous. 5 bucks says that her reaction is 'ohh. Are you sure you want to do that?' Al has a reservation to ride under my seat in the main cabin. If she doesn't fit into the crate, then she won't go but I'll give it my best effort!

10.09.2000

One day past Ellie's passing and I'm okay. Well, I'm not okay, I miss her like crazy but looking at the pictures from her second day with us, I know that she hadn't felt that good in a while. It was absolutely her time to go. I was her mom for 6 months and 8 days but it could have been a week or 10 years for the way I feel.

The sweetest of girls, the bravest of girls to fight so hard with such dignity. That was my Ellie. I'll miss you always, little one.

10.08.2000

I'm sorry to say that my Ellie died about an hour ago.

10.06.2000

I still suck. There are 7 dogs in desperate need of saving at a shelter and I'm afraid my efforts have fallen short.

I did just accept a job offer after I got them to throw in the refrigerator I'd been wanting.

Today's motto is: I suck.

Why?

Because I'm so tired that I can hardly function. I'm going to be a real winner at this afternoon's interview. It's my third set this week and I'm officially sick of the whole thing. Someone just give me an offer I want so I can stop the madness.

Because I have an offer that I want but now that it's here, I find that I've become greedy. While at one point, I said I'd take my current salary because I liked the place so much, now I find myself unwilling to do that. As my mom says, it's a difference of a refrigerator. Do you give up a great house because there's no refrigerator? No. You wait and get the Sub-Zero when you can afford it.

Because we got approved to buy a house with no (count it, no) money down and I'm dragging my ass getting the paperwork together. I'm just not ready to move right now, there's too much work involved. The mortgage person is pushing me hard to get going and I just can't.

Because even though Ellie's cancer hasn't spread, she's still in pain and there's nothing else I can do for the moment. We are headed to a homeopathic vet next week, though.

Because I've been so stressed I haven't written back to lots of people who probably think I'm an asshole now.

Because I don't say no very often and when I do, people either don't hear me or are stunned.

Other than all that, I'm great!

10.05.2000

Just how exhausted I am is illustrated thusly: I called home to check for messages and tried to fast forward through a message using the completely different commands that work on my work voice mail. In the process I managed to delete our outgoing message. I also tried to put the water pitcher into a cabinet. Looks like it's time for a rest.

10.04.2000

I've heard tales of what happens when your parents sell your childhood home, especially when they move to a different town. You go "home" for the holidays and it's not "home" but someone else's town, where nobody knows your name and somehow your memories fall into the void of your mind alone.

In some ways, I'm lucky. My parents are leaving our house, but will still be in the same town, a mere 2 miles away from the house where I was raised. But it's still not my home, they're still leaving 30 years of memories behind in exchange for the smart thing--a one-story model house where they aren't prone to falling and will be able to maneuver easily for years to come.

But they're abandoning my childhood. What once was home is now someone else's house and I feel lost. Where are my memories now? They'll reside in my mind alone and any that might have been brought back with a trip home, triggered by something in my house, will never return. I'm forced to console myself with sentimental rememberings of what once was there. Even when I go there in 3 weeks, it's gone, most of the house packed and ready for a new adventure.

Guess I'd better get ready for the adventure too.

Anyone looking to trade for some exciting tapes of The Price is Right from over the years should look no farther. Here's the place!

We've been all caught up in watching Big Brother and Survivor and almost forgot that it's that magic time of year--the start of the fall TV season. We almost missed Judging Amy but lucky for us, it doesn't start again until next week. Although now that my boss has collected his severance, there won't be any more office Amy Brenneman ogling.

In the spirit of Megnut's periodic summary of her opinions:

RU-486 It's about time.

George W. Bush is a moron. There is not GAS below Alaska's ground, but OIL, which, when refined becomes gas.

Trouble in the West Bank: kids, can't we just agree to disagree and move on with our lives? I know that you can't erase all that tension with a declaration that simple but wouldn't it be nice if we could?

My job search: I'm tired of talking to crackhead recruiters and to companies that have no hope of ever earning real revenues.

Our home owning dreams are going to happen. Perhaps sooner than I'd ever imagined.

Just took Alice and Ellie to the vet. X-rays show that Ellie's cancer has not spread at all. I'm so happy. Alice just got her shots, which with all our vet trips, we'd managed to not do yet.

10.03.2000

Had another interview yesterday. I even told my boss that I'm looking, since now that everyone I care about doesn't work here, it's pretty hard to get motivated about being here. I brought a billion writing samples (which are VERY different from stool samples, thank you very much) with me. The person I was talking to spread them out over the table and there it was, my working life spread before me. It was like an out of body experience.

Heard from my long lost friend Carol today. Who knew that she had a blog, and that she also reads brig and would find me again that way? The world is so small. I only wish my ass were, too.

10.02.2000

Sometimes, being nice means that people walk all over you. I think I'm tired of being nice and being so concerned with not pissing people off.

I spent most of my hockey class aplogizing to people who didn't care for knocking their stuff off the bench, for inadvertenly stealing their pucks. And why? They didn't care.

I've been coding HTML for quite a while but for some reason, I've had this silly fear of forms. Maybe because they're a pain in the ass, or possibly because they often require some hoo-doo magic to work right. I'm no expert in hoo-doo magic so I've avoided them. But today, the tide turned and I found some JavaScript hoo-doo that made it all better. Drop down menus are now my friend.

In my most recent hockey class, an amazing thing happened: I came to a complete stop from a moderate speed.