6.29.2001

I'm off to Ohio but before I go, here's a little something to tide you over.

Most of the time, I don't think much about being adopted. It's just part of my life, like my hair or excessive gas. But sometimes I still have those pangs of envy when I see families who look alike, sometimes I feel robbed of something that so many others have. I look at my cousin (real, as in from the Dow-tay! family. Please don't ever ask me if I've met my 'real' mom. I met her when she adopted me you dumbass. I met my birthmom much later.) Anyway. My cousin recently had not one, but two babies, Alex and Ben. Looking at her, I wonder if that's what I would have looked like and then, would my babies look like them?

Everything works out the way it's meant to, I know that I found my way to the right family and that my birthfamily found the life they were supposed to have, without me in it for the most part. I don't think I'd be as interesting as I am if my parents had given birth to me and I know I'd be open to a shitload more health problems than I am (thanks, Kathy!). But it doesn't stop me from wondering who I would have been.

Though if I was that person, I wouldn't know the real me, there'd be some other, less interesting (though probably skinnier, but certainly not a redhead with gas) Liz Dow-tay! in the world and the word adoption would be a far-off concept rather than something that improved the lives of 2 families.

So hey, I'm glad to be me and also glad that wee Alex and Ben made it into the world safely.

Today's fabulous pickup line:
I'm from Jersey, and I can get pot.

Well, shit, sign me up!

I'm off to my high school reunion tomorrow morning. I've been way too busy to even consider any implications that it might have so I'm just going. Maybe it will be a good time, maybe it won't.

Wednesday was a day of goodbyes. First I took Andrea to the badass new International terminal at SFO, where we were stunned by the big shiny-ness of it all. We also had some issues figuring out where she needed to check in, it seems like you check in by flight so even though you stand in a line for several check in people, you can only be serviced by one or two of them. But really, I have no idea.

For once we were there early and I managed to sneak (okay, boldly walk because nobody in authoritah was paying attention) to the passengers-only section of the gate. Ma and Pa Tan were late, having waited upstairs because they figured I couldn't go into that magic area. The flight was headed to Tokyo so all of the announcements were first in Japanese, then English. Very surreal and I felt more white than usual.

After a teary goodbye I left the Tan clan at the gate and tried to get back to my car in the new parking garage, which was so new that the employees didn't know where it was. I got lost but eventually found my way back to the LizMobile.

There I was, driving down 101, minding my own business when I saw a little maroon Acura and thought hey, maybe that's Marci, my sister-in-law, a thought that was immediately followed by 'holy shit! That IS Marci!!' I honked and waved but she was in the Zone and didn't hear me. I used my trusty cell phone to call her and say 'look to your left.' She did and there I was, waving madly. We pulled over and talked.

What I'd dreaded hearing, what I didn't want to know but somehow knew, is that she's leaving. Moving to Vermont next Tuesday. It's not my place to share their business here but the whole thing makes me very very very sad. I miss her already. As we pulled away, me to make a right, she to make a left, I waved and blinked back tears, knowing that it was probably the last time I'd see her.

Of course, the paranoid in me made me also wonder if Andrea would return from her trip so it was a rough day. Around 1 am she called from Tokyo, where they'd arrived safely. She even held the phone out so I could hear the Airport People announcing stuff in Japanese, minus the English translation I'd had at the airport.

6.26.2001

Tomorrow, Andrea leaves for exciting Malaysia, where she'll be greeted by any number of relatives, some actually related to her, some not. At any rate, Aunt and Uncle mean both more (more of them) and less (less actual relations) than it does to my white self. I'm taking the day off from my new job (had also planned on taking the day off from my old job, should have been suspicious when the boss didn't comment one way or the other) to see her off and also to spend a little time with Ma and Pa Tan, both of whom will be joining her on the longass flight first to Tokyo then to somewhere else in Asia.

I know she'll have a great time but I'll miss her terribly. In almost 5 years together, I've been home alone all of 1 night and I'm not really looking forward to 18 of them, though I'll be in lovely Ohio for a few. So if you want to hang out, the next couple of weeks are the time to do it, as Andrea frolicks on a much-needed and well-deserved vacation. But that won't stop me from missing her and the way she says NUTS. Not to mention the way she says NICE, which is also very funny.

Here's a great comparison of Doggie Seat Belts for all of us who are into restraints.

6.25.2001

I cannot be trusted to mix drinks. I can make girlie drinks in blenders okay but things like Ocean Spray CranGrape or Gatorade should only arrive in my house pre-mixed. My efforts to save money resulted in buying a ton of powdered Gatorade, me following the instructions to the T but it still ended up tasting like crap. So now I have a huge thing of powdered Gatorade, but no use for it. Same goes for my oddly-tasting CranGrape. Maybe if I just added vodka to everything...

Who knew that Luciano's Piano Bar had a wealth of fine tunes, including the always fabulous Girl from Ipanema. Enjoy, you boogie beast!

Vegas rules. No matter what, I still think it's the best place on earth to go for a vacation. All the big hotels with their cheesy gimmicks and the vast array of bimbos in skimpy clothing make for loads of fun. We had a blast, though I wish we could have stayed longer but that's life. When we got back the dogs were so tired, we all took a massive nap for most of the afternoon.

At dinner in our local pizza joint last night, there was a drug bust inside the resturant! Two guys came running in and hit the bathroom and the cops were right behind. Then some other guy and a chippie came in and tried to act nonchalant but scoured the bathroom for whatever product the first guys must have dropped. The whole thing pisses me off. That's my neighborhood, don't be dealing drugs on my street. We don't need any street pharmacists around here, thank you.

6.24.2001

Woo hoo!! I am the proud winner of a Skeevy Award for my use of the word Skeevy in a sentence (appropriately, it was a sentence about my trip to the Price is Right!). I am so proud right now. I'd like to thank all the little, skeevy, people who made this possible.

6.21.2001

Look! My ass playing defense! and me sporting my sexy new gloves and the best one yet, me making a silly face. Most likely I'm trying not to fall because I jumped over the rail instead of coming through the door. The benches on the south ice are about 4 inches taller than the other two rinks so it's easier to try that studly entrance.

Do not forget my glorious (and wide) ass, playing defense. Have I mentioned that playing hockey is one of the coolest things I've ever done?

Highlights of last night's hockey game: Snow Cones: 5, IceHawks 3. I was ruthless, surprising my teammates and myself by going after the puck much more than I ever have and I even took a shot on goal from the faceoff. My recent purchase of bad-ass shin guards paid off when a guy took a slapshot that hit my knee. I felt no pain thanks to the Bauer 5000 Supreme!

6.20.2001

I can't stop watching the Live Weddings at the Little Chapel of the Flowers in Vegas, where we're headed (Vegas, not the chapel) on Friday for Dustin and Noelani's wedding. It turns out that the woman who raised Rainie and has Rainie's mom, my Ellie's namesake, is going there too, for her sister's wedding, which will be at the Chapel of the Flowers. Not only that, the wedding and wedding party are being filmed for the Travel Channel so if I catch up with her, you could say Liz, as seen on TV!! Wow!

In a tribute to my newly accelerated job search, I've changed the blog a bit, as you've probably noticed. Since I also host some of my old work here as well as spiffy side projects I'm working on, I wanted to separate the potentially offensive (yet, I think, often interesting) content of my blog from the rest of the site a bit more. I'm glad you found it.

I've moved the webcam and myself home for a while. Okay, it's true, I'm looking for a new job. The thought of not going back to my job makes me way happier than I'd like to admit, it was really eating at my soul, stealing a bit more of my confidence every day. I think I did go in there with a broken heart, only a week after Ellie died, and it started me off on the wrong foot. I never did recover. Here's looking forward to better things and brighter days.

6.19.2001

I pulled a huge miracle out of my ass the other day. I helped Lucy, a beautiful 13 year old doberman find a foster home. Check her out, she's beautiful. And the people who abandoned her are fuckers.

6.18.2001

If you went to Barrington Elementary, just like I did, maybe some of these former teachers will spark a trip down memory lane. Though I'm sure that's a pretty small audience.

My new obsession is searching for web pages with my name in them. Lookie here, I reviewed an appetizer recipie! Damn, I'm cool.

In case you were wondering, What is a Buckeye? answers all your nutty questions.

People suck: Sandy's Page.

6.15.2001

Finally! Underwear for me and Thoma. Filtered underwear fights flatulence. Thanks John and I'll take the hint. Replaceable charcoal filters are on their way.

Damn. Sometimes you just get lucky! Dog missing eight years is found by happy owner.

Why does Computer tech claims multimillion-dollar lotto jackpot just in time read like something from The Onion?

Rainie had Tourette's this morning in a big way. She couldn't stop barking and running around the house like a madman. On our walk, she decided to run, forgetting that her little legs get tired about 1/2 way through. Which they did, then it was us coaxing her for the rest of the way. Silly puppy.

Yet another Liz Doughty appears, this time in the Parents Association of some middle school in CT. I'm everywhere, not just at the Kremlin with Bill Clinton or on Survivor Island with Rudy and Rich.

Look, it's another Liz Doughty. But again, not me.

Hey look, it's a Portfolio for Liz Doughty. Except that it's not me. The official spelling of my last name is now Dow-tay! which is how Rod Roddy will pronounce it when I'm finally called to be a contestant on the Price is Right.

6.14.2001

I've been in touch with Bagel's new dads almost every day. He's settling in but according to them, still misses me. Does he really? I know that I'm more affected by his leaving us than I'd like to admit. We've had, and will continue to have, foster dogs in our home and our lives. I love each of them as if they're my own but I suppose I hold something back with them that I don't do with my own. Bagel is different. His eyes looked deep into my soul, we were closer than I've been to any dog, including Alice, including Ellie. I kind of hope it doesn't work out for him and he comes back to us, though I know that on a lot of levels, he's better off where he is. But am I better off with him there?

I know, it's not about me. It's about those silly 4 (sometimes 3) legged ones who need help in their most desperate hour. As my friend Dave says, they're all little souls and they all deserve a chance.

And to both of the families who gave up on Bagel, I still say and will always say FUCK YOU. He is the sweetest guy, deserves more than you gave him. They all do.

While on some level, we all know that language is constantly evolving (remember when e-mail had that pesky dash in it and saying "I'm working for a startup" had people saying either "huh? or "I've heard of them" when you hadn't said the name?), it's great to see that the de facto keeper of all words, the Oxford English Dictionary has added some real gems, including Bollywood (Indian film industry) and my personal favorite, Mullet (1980s haircut, tipped for comeback).

R.I.P. Itakki 1998 - June 13, 2001
She was a stray, she'd recently had puppies and was very scared, shaking like a leaf when we met her at the shelter. Though Andrea isn't into having a flock of dogs, she was ready to make it work to spring her that day. We decided to wait till Bagel went to his new home that week and see how she was doing. I stopped back 2 days later and she was much better, giving me kisses and jumping up and down. I decided to see if she got adopted out of there before springing her. Why? Selfishness, I guess, I didn't want to deal with 4 dogs right away.

I checked on her earlier this week, she was scared again but again I left her there. The shelter staff knew I'd take her if her time ran out. I didn't count on her going kennel crazy from being there too long. Yesterday she tried to attack 3 people with no provocation. They made the call, they put her down.

I'll pull the next one the moment I see them.

Maybe she would have done that at my house, maybe I knew that somewhere inside her something was already broken (what if she'd hurt me or one of my dogs?), maybe I was just too hopeful that she'd be placed out of there. I don't know but I'll never forget her, though in time, I may forgive myself for not springing her earlier this week, when we had the room.

Rest in peace, sweet girl. I'm sorry I couldn't save you.

6.13.2001

For all who wonder about the world of Mack Daddies, The Macking Manual is here to answer your questions.

I'm praying that our Green Tortoise Adventure doesn't require any pushing.

Had the shortest job of my life last night. I spent 1.5 hours training to be a manager at Hockey Workout, one of my favorite places to play. It seemed like fun, it really did. But the reality was a shift that ends at 1:00 am on the weekdays, being surrounded by self-important young men who were part of some complex hierarchy that revolved around being a martyr for most time worked, regaling others with tales of human excretion clean up and bitching about not having enough money. It didn't take long for that to not be fun.

Don't get me wrong. I think bodily functions are funny (I've read Everyone Poops and enjoyed it every time. Let me also take this opportunity to mention Breasts.) but not in great detail and not with people I've just met.

Mostly, though, it was the thought of being out so late, for so little money that made me pack it in. The discounts and free practice time would have been nice, but I wouldn't have had time to use the practice time at all. So once again, I'm free in the evenings. Except when I'm paying to play hockey.

6.12.2001

We took Bagel to his new home on Sunday. He's surrounded by love and will be doted on by two of the nicest guys I could have hoped to find for him. It's most certainly the perfect home for him, but I'm a mess. He was my shadow, my pal, always the first one at the gate when I got home, always laying at my feet while I worked, always followed me around. Remind me to only foster dogs who aren't nice going forward so my heart doesn't have to break when I say goodbye.

6.11.2001

As summer kicks it up a notch into high gear, it seems that a fabulous trip with Amy is the way to go. Now that she's a native of the Bay Area, it's much easier than when she lived in Pittsburgh. Though it's much harder to include the Waffle House these days.

It looks like this year's trip will take us to Yosemite, via the transportation method of choice for hippies and adventure seekers worldwide, the Green Tortoise!

The official announcement, courtesy of Brad, who does not have a kitchenette on his second floor:
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bob Barker has agreed to stay on as host of "The Price is Right" through 2006, the durable game show's 34th season on CBS. Barker, 77, signed a new five-year contract with the daytime program he took over in 1972 and for which he's won 14 Emmy Awards. He said he was "humbled" by the network's confidence in him over the years. The show, which started in 1957 on NBC, is among the highest-rated on daytime TV. Barker's new contract was announced Thursday during taping of the new season's premiere episode. The terms of his contract were not disclosed. He will be working with two new assistants Claudia Jordan and Heather Kozar, the 1999 Playboy playmate of the year. The pair will join Nikki Ziering.

Yesterday's hockey score: Snow Cones: 3, Spiders 2
Woo hoo!!! We had 29 shots on goal (though it was more like 31, the scorekeeper was engrossed in her Wendy's meal), they had 10. Woo!

6.08.2001

A salute to who he was then: The Price Is Right.

Thank God. Specially padded bra saveswoman from nail puncture. And she's from lovely Frankenmuth.

I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to let me know that the world's greatest Game Show host, Bob Barker, has celebrated 30 years hosting the Price is Right by signing on for another 5 years. You can count on Amy and I heading down there for at least one more taping!! Congrads, Bob. You rule, even if you did tell my audience that you don't wear underwear in the summer.

Alice's Horoscope: Old habits die hard, and this week you are encouraged to finally rid yourself of a bad habit that bothers others in your home. Maybe you haven't noticed how it bothers others, but somebody will explain the situation to you now. Take heed. You can expect three wonderful days from Tuesday to Thursday this week.

Does that mean she'll stop getting into the trash?

Something my Dad overheard:
Don't be afraid to try something new; the Ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic by professionals!

6.07.2001

Snow cones: 2, Gang Green, 8, my leg: -1 Not the best night in hockey history.

6.06.2001

Here's our Rainie when she was just a few weeks old. Today, she's 5 months old, weighs over 30 pounds, has a full set of adult teeth and is quickly becoming the biggest dog in our house. And we love her.

My dad, on those pictures of me playing hockey:
Wow! I wouldn't want to face you!

Last night we went out for Chinese, my choice. It was a fine meal until I woke up quite ill at 6:19 a.m. It's just a day of feeling like crap.

6.05.2001

My rebellious friend chatted with a puppy mill owner. Note that the breeder wouldn't let her get in touch with the original breeder or meet the dog's parents. Also for some reason, Missouri is the Puppy Mill capitol of the US.

Please folks, get your pets from rescues or reputable breeders.

If you don't have a copy of Life Is Good Now as told by Floyd, you must get one! I laughed out loud at the pic of Floyd begging to be picked at the shelter. Buy one today and see what I mean.

"There were all these 20-something kids doing HTML and making, like, six-figure salaries. Nobody doing HTML deserves that."
Yup, the Golden Days are over.

Scenes from last night's hockey game: me in hot pursuit of the puck, me doing something involving crouching and a stick, my butt, in a new jersey that fits much better and my left leg, feverishly guarding the point.

Final score: Snow Cones 2, Mercury Rising 9. You can't win 'em all.

6.04.2001

Because it seems like a good time to repost this, I will. If you've ever considered buying a dog from a pet store, please think again, chances are it came from somewhere like this. Also if you buy a dog from a breeder, make sure it's a repuatble breeder. What this means is that they will always take the dog back, even in 10 years, that you can meet at least the mother, that the dog lives in clean conditions and the place isn't overrun with dogs and waste.

A REPORT FROM A PUPPYMILL AUCTION

"I do not believe I will ever look at the world in the same way again. This weekend was worse than I had imagined, worse than I had even been told to expect. I attended my first puppy mill auction in Missouri Sunday, determined to bring home every last Cavalier on the auction block. Lucky Star was successful. We got all six Cavaliers being sold. Hoorah!

But that was only 6 dogs out of 200+. I wanted them all. I wanted to run, ranting like a mad woman through the dirt isles of stacked cages, a screaming pied piper, opening and releasing every last one of those imprisoned souls. What I saw behind those latched doors broke my heart, and made it almost impossible to maintain my equilibrium or my sanity, much less the undercover role I was expected to play. Every 15-20 minutes my husband was at my side, asking if I was okay, telling me I could do this, HAD to do this, for the dogs. For the dogs....

Periodically, I had to escape the nasty atmosphere of the barn for a gulp of the cold Missouri air, hoping the frigid gusts would calm and fortify me.

Some cages held one-eyed dogs, others held dogs with recent cuts, and old, ugly scars, dogs with toenails an inch long, dogs whose hair was one large mat, pregnant bitches close to delivery, dogs missing ears, legs, teeth.

There were no wagging tails, no yelps of delight; no bright, trusting eyes or barks of playful banter. Most cowered in the farthest corners of their cages, two or more huddled close together, as if their closeness would bring them some measure of comfort in dealing with their shared misery.

Dog after dog was auctioned to the highest bidder, often with such sales pitches as: "Missing an eye, but sees well enough to hit his mark": "This girl is only a year old, but she has earned her keep by already producing one litter - now she's got another on the way - a bonus for you"; "This bitch has had 19 pups in a year and a half - just the kind you want"; "If you just sell one of this pregnant bitch's puppies, you will make more than you've paid for her"; "Bitch only has three legs - big deal, she won't be passing that on." And on one male dog, who refused to stand on the table because of an injured foot, the auctioneer remarked, "Don't let that bother you, he can still get it on."

Dogs were often held high in the air for all to see, tails lifted to gauge whether they were in heat, mouths probed roughly to check their bites, and abdomens poked and prodded to check for pregnancy because "this one's been running with Jax - could give you a surprise."

The Cavaliers were one of the last breed on the block. My heart stopped, and my eyes welled when I saw the first, and only two females brought to the table. Their eyes remained downcast, their tails tucked, their bodies postured with fear. "Look at the coats on these beauties," the creepy auctioneer said. "These ladies have produced some gorgeous pups." That sealed it -- I wasn't leaving that place until I had every single cavalier in my possession.

Our babies brought the highest and liveliest bidding, with bidding often reaching feverish levels, the bids coming so fast and furious, I was afraid I could not keep up. I hated bidding; I hated NOT bidding.

When I got the highest bid, the auctioneer said, "Which one do you want?" "I want them both," I replied. "Great," he said, "You're saving me time, little lady." When we got the final bid on the puppies, the last to be auctioned, I breathed a sigh of relief, and said a quiet thank-you to the man upstairs.

While waiting in line to get the dogs, one man approached us, and asked how many of "those Charlies" we had. I said I only had three. "Well," was his response, "you are certainly in business now." Yes, I told him, you better believe it.

Rescuing just a few is worth the effort, worth the heartache, and worth the dirt, stench and barren, desolate miles my husband and I endured. Six are safe, but so many more are not. Rescuing from these sleazy breeders is a necessary evil. It is only a drop in the bucket, I know, but it is SOMETHING. It certainly is not enough, and we must work diligently to try and save them all.

A number of people I talked to before leaving on this trip knew nothing about puppy mills. They know about them NOW. Educate. Please educate. Tell everyone you know, and people you don't know, what puppy mills are all about. Relate my horror story, and the stories of other rescuers. We CANNOT shut down the puppy millers without the education of the public.

Before I sign off, let me tell you about MY bonus. I came home with seven puppy mill dogs, my seventh being a male, 2 year old Lhasa Apso. He was placed on the table and the auctioneer opened the bids at $150. No bids came. Down to $50, still no bids. At $25, the auctioneer said, "Come on, folks, he's worked his tail off in his short life - been one busy little guy. Worth a heck of a lot more than $25. If you don't want him, I'll put him back to work for me." At $15, my husband saw the sadness in my eyes. "Toni," he said...too late.

The auctioneer said, "Well, do I hear $10?" My hand shot up before I could stop it. "Sold, to the little lady for $10." "Got yourself quite a bargain," was the auctioneer's parting shot.

The Cavs hadn't even come up yet, and I knew we had a long way to go. "Sorry," I told Chris. "I couldn't help it." "It's okay," he said. "By my calculations, using the luggage rack on top, we could probably haul back another 20 or so." He was joking, of course, he simply understood that this business was deplorable, and resigning these dogs to a pitiful existence was heart wrenching.

Find it in your heart to get involved with rescue, in whatever way you can. Attend an auction, donate your money, foster a rescue, or just encourage and advise those of us who are just getting our feet wet. You won't be sorry. Your heart may break, your eyes may be red-rimmed for days, but I promise you, you will be forever changed." -- Toni Webb, The3Cavaliers@aol.com

Yes! This is the way it should be: Dot-Commers To Receive Unemployment Benefits In Form Of Stock Options.

I am so very very very sad to report that Ben, my favorite 15 year old beagle, died today at 12:15. He was there for me when Ellie died and was a loyal pal to his mom, Sharon, for almost 16 years. I'm so glad I saw him on May 2. I'll miss you always, sweet Ben.

I admit it, I'm mad for Jimmy Luxury. It's the music I've been waiting for my whole life, lounge tunes with a backbeat with rap over all of that. If I made music, it would be like that. Or at least I'd want it to be. But don't just take my word for it, buy your own Jimmy Luxury CD today.

We've got sod! Andrea got to our local Home Depot early enough on Saturday to score what we thought was enough to cover the whole yard. She loaded her poor car with 24 rolls of the stuff, it was so loaded down that she bottomed out and her rear tires looked flat. After carefully backing the car into the driveway, she covered it with a tarp so the sod wouldn't dry out. It was quite a classy sight.

As of today, most of our backyard has grass and there's an in-ground sprinkler system in the works! Woo hoo!

The world's largest basset. Here's hoping that our ever-growning Rainie Roo doesn't get quite that big!

6.03.2001

I realized yesteday that losing Ellie broke me, in a way. I had so arrogantly thought that I'd be able to handle loving her with all my heart, even knowing that one day soon she'd be gone. Somehow, I was invincible, as if my ability to see the beauty in her gray face and badly disfigured leg would be enough to help me bear her death with ease and grace. I thought I'd be ready for her death but I wasn't, not by a long shot.

When it happened, something deep inside of me broke and whatever overconfidence I'd had was gone, along with a lot of my confidence. I started a new job just 8 days after she died and haven't been myself there. I've become very shy when it comes to standing up for myself and showing my talents and now I'm in serious trouble, on the edge of losing that job if I don't go out of my way to show them how damn smart I really am.

All because of a sweet, silly girl who loved her bone and McDonald's and when I wasn't looking, broke my heart and changed me forever. It will be a long time, if not forever, before I'm overconfident like that again. My humility was Ellie's greatest gift.

My good friends with Arizona Basset Rescue recently came into some beagles. These guys are from the same puppy mill where Ellie, our Rainie's mom, was from. At least that place is slowly shutting down. If only they'd all go out of business.

6.01.2001

As I prepare for the beaglefest, I can't forget that last year Ellie was there, sniffing butts. Who would have ever imagined that a sweet old girl would roll in a change my world. God, I miss her. It doesn't get any better, just less immediate.

Live in the Bay Area? Have a beagle or a beagle fetish? Beaglefest 2001 is tomorrow. I'll be there with some random dogs.

Nice. CNN.com - Black man executed 82 years ago gets pardon - June 1, 2001. Yeah, whoops, sorry about that, even though you're already dead. And people still think the death penalty is a good idea? If you're wrong, you can't bring a dead guy back to life.

This is so funny. No, it's not nice but you'll laugh anyway.

VW Beetle starts up after being buried for 10 years. Yes!