1.31.2002

Man's sex with goat. Thanks Biana.

So I just read wen's blog for the first time in like a year and am bummed to see that my site did not show up for her in Netscape. I had no idea because I don't regularly test on it and probably never will.

I would like to take this opportunity to state my position (rant) on browsers:

  1. If browsers were televisions, we wouldn't put up with a Zenith displaying ER with fuzzy lines and an RCA rendering Carrie Weaver's face with a beard. Why do we tolerate great discrepancy in browsers? Why can't Netscape and Microsoft get together and decide what they're going to support then both support it? The blink tag should not be only for Netscape users, everyone needs the opportunity to be tortured by this tribute to HTML 2.0.
  2. Netscape 4.7 on both Mac and PC sucks ass. Don't use it. Upgrade today, you'll thank me. Netscape 6.x is better, IE 4.0 or higher is better.
While I strive to write cross-browser compatible code at work, I will most likely continue to slack on this site. I'll argue all day at work that people are still using older browsers and thus should be supported, but let's just get this out in the open here, I'm too lazy to do it in my spare time, though I love you all, my dear readers, all 3 of you. You're the best!

Andrea's reaction to a shred of good news: peanuts, but a pile of peanuts is still good, followed by my co-workers reaction to that: you get enough of them and you almost have a meal, or a long airplane trip.

Last night, I decided to skip band and play pickup hockey instead. It was the right decison -- my entire line was people who are going to be on the team I'm starting, so it was great to play with them. We scored 2 goals on our line -- I had the assist on the first one and actually scored the second one with my newly discovered backhand shot. The goalie was spread-eagle on the ground and I popped it up over his leg and into the net. A fine victory!

How cool is this? Canada Post Stamp Unveiling features a women's ice hockey stamp! Makes me want to go to Canada and send some mail.

1.30.2002

Hey guess what? I'm stubborn.

After Andrea took my Are you man enough to be Liz's bitch? test, she was frustrated at her results. When I came home last night, she touretted about not being man enough to be my bitch the whole night. I was laughing so hard while trying to reassure her that she was, in fact, man enough to be my bitch.

The dog part of doing rescue is no big deal, it's the people that will one day drive me to quit. Sometimes there's just too much bullshit.

While writing to someone about the realities of no-kill shelters, I wrote this and later realized that it would be good to put it here.

Well, it's not quite like no kill shelters advertise the fact that they kill animals. Most metropolitan, public shelters have to euthanize at some point when they run out of room. We do all we can to spring the excess animals but in the end, no space=dead animals. Private kennels can be more selective in who they take in but again, the end result can be death when they turn away animals.

A good example is the big bright shiny "no kill" San Francisco SPCA. It's beautiful all animals are kept until placed in these 'home-like' kennels w/ couches and crap. What they don't mention is that for the rest of the animals (stray and owner-surrendered), they go across the street to Animal Care and Control. It's the nasty sister to the lovely building, old and not very well kept. This is the regular kennel, where the animals do get killed due to all the regular reasons (illness, lack of room, agression, etc). Most fancy no kill shelters have this kind of counterpart, it's the only way they can stay around. Between all of these, 5-6 million animals are killed each year, mostly due to lack of space.

So it seems clear that the only answer is to spay and neuter. The good news is, before public awareness of this issue grew, 17 million a year were killed.

But it still gets me when one I'm trying to save becomes part of that statistic, and eventually part of the shitty dog food you can buy at the grocery store. Nope, I'm not kidding.

1.29.2002

British Man to Be Father After Testicular Transplant. Uhh, why?

Andrea's new ass injury has made it possible for me to ask her repeatedly "hey honey, how's your ass?"

So I almost never talk about work here, for a lot of reasons. But today something happened that I have to share, so here goes. We have a client who has at best a sort of murky business plan, super nice people who we've worked hard to support for some time now. Today we hear that one of their staff had some major life trauma and had first stepped down from their position, then went off to commit suicide. They didn't know where this person was and when they had no contact for a few weeks, they assumed the worst had happened. They busied themselves writing eulogies and mourning the loss of their friend until they looked up one day and there was that person, back at work. They nearly fell over. Glad the client called to tell us about this.

Take the test: Are you man enough to be Liz's bitch?

Nasty!

Just what I wanted! PEPSI COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 10 CAN SET - WOW!

May I just mention that Andrea has come a very very long way since she began taking ice hockey classes with me in September. When she first started the class, she was barely skating and now she's chasing me around the rink with great skill and speed. Go loo!

Shouldn't this be on the Onion? Florida town casts out Satan.

Proof that it snowed in San Jose yesterday: Brad's documentation of the event.

Lately I have been so unable to concentrate. La la should be working harder la la.

Even now, over a year later, I can't look at my Ellie's story on The Senior Dogs Project without getting teary-eyed. We officially had them remove Gus from the rescue listings yesterday since he's now ours.

I've always wanted to make people happy, to say the right things despite my feelings to the contrary, to avoid conflict. Lately, I'm less and less able to do this and while it's kind of painful at times, it's been very good for me. So look for a slightly nicer, but more realistic Liz. Thanks Susan, you're a real bitch and my inspiration ;-).

2 months today. 2 months ago I was standing at the vet, hopeful that Alice could be fixed, filled with a dread that she couldn't. I took my time getting dressed that morning because in my heart I knew it was our last together. Even though she couldn't turn her head because of the slipped disc, even though she was panting and her eyes were bugged out from the GME, I didn't want the morning to end. She ate in our bed and even left a piece of kibble behind -- not her style.

The rest of the day, the waiting, the praying as I sent the $4500 estimate approval back to the surgeon, getting a kind co-worker to witness my willingness to pay, my willingness to grasp at the only straw offered me, are things I may never forget but hope to. Sitting with her body in a box, I know I won't forget. I also won't forget the kindness of Sheri from our regular vet's office who was waiting for me at the surgeon's office, or Linea who dropped whatever she was doing and came to sit with us, to say good bye.

In some ways it hurts more today than it did that day as I drove illegally in the carpool lane to get there, knowing she had already taken her last breath and I wasn't there to say goodbye as she left.

1.28.2002

There's a certain amount of acceptable time you're allowed to grieve. After that time, it seems natural to publicly deny your grief, to pretend that your life has returned to normal, though normal isn't anything like what it was before. If you show signs of still hurting of still suffering from a pain so raw you can't even begin to touch it, people start saying things like "I'm worried about you" and casting their eyes aside if you bring it up. It's like there's this little 20 pound elephant in the room but we can't mention it.

Your timeline, the publicly acceptable timeline, is not mine. You cannot force grief into a rational set of feelings, nor can you hurry those along. Most days, I will cry. Some days, a little, others so much that I have to pull to the side of the road, think I'm going to vomit or can't move. I will see something that Alice enjoyed, some modifications to our house we'd made for her, the places she liked to sleep, anything and I will cry once again. I've never known a love like I had for her, getting past it to a point where I only remember the good times or can recall her sweet face with a smile is a long way off.

I will always be grateful for each day that I was allowed to know her and I will miss her every day that comes after.

Saw my first 2 episodes of Queer As Folk last night. We don't have Showtime, since we already pay like $70 for the goddamned TV, I don't want to pay more so we rented it. It was fun to watch but I was absolutely stunned at the graphic sex. Certainly not what I expected from TV (even cable) but hey, porn at no extra charge is never a bad thing. How that show is not universally boycotted by every narrow-minded asshole, I don't know but I'm glad the world has changed enough that such a show exists.

It snowed in the mountains surrounding San Jose today. The hilltops are blanketed in fluffy white goodness and for a day, it will feel like we live in a little mouintain town. This happens about once a year around here.

Baby Basset Meets Surround Sound
So... my brother bought us surround sound for Christmas. Andrea hooked it up right away but evidently there was a teeny bit of user error and it sounded like crap. Last night she got out the manual and corrected the problem, now it sounds bad ass. Part of the problem was having the bass on the subwoofer all the way off. Andrea turned it up and it sounds much better.

However, Rainie Roo does not appreciate the upgraded sound. She sprinted away from the speaker and those horrible sounds. She eyed it cautiously from the kitchen, the farthest indoor point from the subwoofer, running around and barking at it. Eventually, she gave up and slept out there, away from evil Mommies and that horrid sound. Poor kid.

Saturday, I went to the general meeting of my Women's Hockey League out of support for some perceived dissing my division had received. There were snacks and door prizes, so who can complain (especially when my friend Leslie won the $150 towards league fees! Woo hoo!)? I did get dissed twice -- once for having sent in next season's registration early (mine arrived first. What can I say? I had the form and my checkbook in the same place.). The second diss was much better.

A friend of a friend plays in the league also. I don't really know this woman and don't interact with her very often. Her abilities on the ice are different than mine -- basically I'm a lot more agressive, faster and have stronger skills. Apparently she's fine being at her level but I've been working my ass off to get better ever since I started this hockey business.

Anyway... the topic of players being in the wrong division for their abilities came up and she went off, bitching about someone who plays 6 times a week being too fast for this division, too agressive (I do tone it down when playing with that group), too skilled to be playing in Green (the lowest level). She finished her tirade with an exasperated "Will ya just move up to Red (the next level up) already????" As if you can move up mid-season (you can't). I turned bright red but was quietly pleased that for the first time in my life, someone thought I was too good at a sport. Me!

Jesus loves the little children. Thanks Liz!

Here's a little Monday morning shout-out to my homie Bill from R-town in lovely North Carolina. What up, dawg?

1.25.2002

I am so sad. Beyond.com Files for Bankruptcy, Agrees to Be Bought. That place was our baby, we all worked our asses off for it for a long time (Andrea much longer than me). It was my first 'real' job, I loved most of it, it was a solid product but had shit-ass management (yes, you Brier, and more importantly the CFO who let us hemmorage money, and let's not forget the marketing guy Sroub who pissed money away on worthless deals and campaigns). Bitter? Yes. Sad as hell? That too.

Farewell my friend, my entrance into adulthood and the real, live world of work. You'll be missed.

January 25, 2002
Tech Center
Beyond.com Files for Chapter 11, Sells Its Assets to Digital River
Dow Jones Newswires

MINNEAPOLIS -- Beyond.com Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and agreed to sell assets to Digital River Inc. for $3.5 million in cash and $7.5 million in shares, plus a so-called earn-out provision -- based on future performance -- for an additional $1.5 million in shares.

The online software seller expects the purchase price of the asset sale to be insufficient to cover all liabilities, and said its shareholders won't receive any distribution upon completion of the bankruptcy proceedings. The asset sale is subject to certain closing conditions, including bankruptcy-court approval.

Beyond said it plans to sell the assets and customer contracts related to its eStores and Government Systems Group businesses. Beyond.com said its Chapter 11 filing will help ensure its customers continue to receive uninterrupted service through the sale process.

Separately, Digital River said it isn't assuming liabilities of Beyond.com other than obligations under Beyond's client contracts. Digital River expects the deal to solidify its electronic-commerce position among software and digital commerce publishers, as well as expand its government sector presence.

Formerly called Software.net, Beyond.com began life as a software e- tailer and priced its initial public offering in June 1998.

That's right, the Columbus Blue Jackets are last in their divison, 2nd from last in the entire NHL, the Sharks are on top of their division and expected to be a Stanley Cup contender, but what happened last night? That's right, Knutsen's first career hat tricks lifts Jackets past Sharks 6-2. In other words: Go Blue Jackets!!!. Being a native Buckeye, I know the value of winning the important games even if you're losing all season so WOO HOO!

1.24.2002

PLEASE LISTEN TO MY FARTINGS.

I am so tired of the insecurity in all these damn dot-coms. I know, that insecurity has been around for a while, for far longer than we had wanted to believe, but now that I've been through 3 rounds of layoffs and watched 5 companies go under, I'm getting burned out on the whole lack of any nugget of job security thing. I don't know what this means, but it's looking like I'm ready for a career change or at least a move into a more stable environment. Of course, not until I have the next big company meeting where the CEO says something charming like "Thanks, and sorry."

Candy for your not-so loved one: BitterSweets�.

Here's a handy interactive guid to Bay Area Ice Skating Rinks.

The best warning ever:
"Corn used in this product contains traces of soybeans"

Last night I went to a birthday party for my friend Barb's dog. Megan turned 15 yesterday, and as one of her biggest fans, I wanted to be part of the celebration. When I got there, I was okay but the longer I stayed the sadder I became. Megan was sitting up, begging the way Al used to. I tried so hard to remove myself emotionally but in the end I couldn't. I left after about 20 minutes and didn't even make it out of Barb's yard before I started crying. Stopped at Boston Market to pick up dinner, the clerk was clearly uncomfortable with my puffy face and got me out of there quickly.

At home, I wasn't done crying and spent much of the evening with a blanket of Gus, Rainie, Zeus and Scooter on the couch as Rainie licked my tears. Someday I may get over this loss but as of right now, I don't see how. I miss Alice so much.

1.23.2002

On Being a bad (or at least inattentive) Mom
Since Alice's death in November, it's been a struggle to care for our 3 other dogs. I'm not interested in them, I don't want to be around them much, it just hurts too much. They don't have the kind of undying devotion that Alice and I shared with each other, Gus and Rainie are very into each other and Zeus, while a good guy, has some behavior issues that can make him hard to love.

So I've withdrawn from them, throwing myself into getting to work earlier and earlier, playing hockey 5 times a week, doing anything to avoid being home and looking at the places where Alice used to be. Last night, for the first time in almost 3 years of being doggie parents, Andrea gave me instructions for feeding them, things she's doing better in my absence as a caregiver. I haven't fed them in over a week, and even when I do, Andrea is doing 9 meals out of 10, a total reversal from a year ago.

But this is what loss is, an intense need to let my grief resound and to take care of myself the best way I can. This is also what marriage is, having a partner who is compassionate enough to step in when I am too sad, too raw, too tired to do what I should be.

Someday, I will find a new way to relate to our furry kids and will become once again the kind of doggie mom I used to be. Or perhaps a different, but still wonderful parent. Until then, I am so grateful that Andrea is there to step in for me. And so are Gus, Zeus, Rainie and Scooter the foster dog.

1.22.2002

From my boss, who is also an Ohioan:
After so many years in Ohio, I think I understand the rules now. Here are written guidelines to assist others:
  1. Know the state casserole. The state casserole consists of canned green beans, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, and dried onions. You can safely take this casserole to any social event and know that you will be accepted. In fact, Neil Armstrong almost took this casserole to the moon in case he encountered alien life there. NASA nixed the plan out of concern that the casserole would overburden the Apollo rocket at liftoff.
  2. Get used to food festivals. The Ohio General Assembly, in an effort to grow bigger offensive linemen, passed legislation years ago requiring every incorporated community to have at least one festival per year dedicated to a high-fat food. Thus, Sugarcreek honors Swiss cheese, Bucyrus has a bratwurst celebration, and Gahanna--seeking an edge over other towns--has recently introduced theTriglyceride and Low-density Lipoprotein Festival. It is your duty as an Ohioan to attend these festivals and at least buy an elephant ear.
  3. Know the geography. Of Florida, I mean. I've run into Ohioans who couldn't tell you where Toledo is but they know the exact distance from Fort Myers to Bonita Springs. That's because all Ohioans go to Florida in the winter. Or plan to when they retire. Or are related to retired Ohioans who have a place in Sarasota. We consider Florida to be the Lower Peninsula of Ohio.
  4. If you can't afford to spend the winter in Florida, use the state excuse, which is that you stay here because you enjoy the change of season. You'll be lying, but that's OK. We've all done it.
  5. Speaking of Ohio weather, wear layers or die. The thing to remember about Ohio seasons is that they can occur at any time. We have spring like days in January and wintry weekends in October. April is capable of providing a sampling of all four seasons in a single 24-hour period. For these reasons, Ohio is the Layering Capital of the World. Even layering, however, can pose danger. Golfers have been known to dress for hypothermia and end up dead of heat stroke because they couldn't strip off their layers of plaid fast enough on a changeable spring morning.
  6. Don't take Ohio place names literally. Upper Sandusky is below regular Sandusky. Circleville is square. East Liverpool has no counterpart to the west. Also, if a town has the same name as a foreign capital-- Lima or Berlin, for example--you must not pronounce it that way lest you come under suspicion as a spy. Hence, it's not LEE-ma as in Peru, but LYE-ma as in bean. It's not Ber-LYN, but rather BER-lin.
  7. Become mulch literate. Ohioans love mulch and appreciate its subtle differences. Learn the difference between hardwood, cypress, and pine bark at a minimum. Researchers think the state affinity for mulch derives from its relatively flat terrain. People have a subconscious need for topography, and when it can't be supplied naturally, they are more likely to make little mulch hillocks in their front yards.
  8. In order to talk sports with obsessive fans in Ohio, you have to be knowledgeable on three levels: professional, college, and high school. The truly expert Ohio sports fan knows not only the name of the hotshot quarterback at Abercrombie and Fitch High School, but also what colleges he's interested in, how much he bench-presses, who he took to the prom, and what he got on his biology quiz last week.
  9. Remember that Ohioans are never the first to embrace trends. When we do embrace them, we do so with a Midwestern pragmatism. For example, if you see an Ohioan with a nose ring, there's a good chance he's had it undercoated to guard against rust.
  10. The best way to sell something in Ohio is to attach the term "Amish" to it. The product need not be genuinely Amish. This would explain the existence of Amish moo shu pork. I hope you found this guide to be useful. If it offends you, please let me know. I will bring a green bean casserole to your house to make amends.

For those foster dogs out there wondering how to employ Zeus and Gus' technique and become a permanent resident of your foster home, here's the crash course:

Zeus: steal their heart the moment they pick you up. Force them to buy you McDonald's 2 minutes after they meet you, then cuddle up on their lap once you get home. When you are all ready to go to a new home, sidle up to Mommy #2, sit down and look at her with the most thoughtful, sweet look in your eyes, telling her she's the best person you've ever met and you can't imagine life without her.

Then bark. A lot. And be sure to mark all of the furniture and the boxes they are packing to move you to a new home that they bought specificially for the likes of you.

Gus: My method is more subtle. Come into the home in very bad shape, very very skinny (10+ lbs underweight) and covered in fleas. Have a hard time standing up on your back legs and slowly fall in love with their 1 year old basset hound. Strengthen your legs by running around with above puppy and rest by sleeping with her on the couch, purring since you've never been this comfortable in your whole long life.

When Mommy #1 is suddenly heartbroken because your littlest, oldest beagle sister dies, be there for her. DO NOT LEAVE HER SIDE. When you take a drink of water, come to her and drool on her leg, every time. When she cries (and this is a lot) put your head in her lap and wag your sad little broken stump of a tail. Remind her that even though your sister is gone, you need her too and you too, are in love with her. If things look doubtful that you'll stay, drool some more then curl up in your little sister's old bed and guard the big baby basset as she sleeps in her crate.

There are many variations on this method, but they all work. We hope that our course, "Becoming a Permanent Member of your 'Temporary' Family" has helped another loved foster dog like us stay put.

Things I hate about doing rescue
  1. When a dog dies despite my best efforts
  2. Dealing with people who call me to get rid of a perfectly good dog
  3. Explaining that there is not a kennel at my house full of dogs for them to choose from
  4. Explaining why I don't place dogs who are going to live primarily outdoors. Some rescues do, but I think that's wrong and won't do it.
  5. Getting frustrated as people call, speak slowly on my machine for what feels like an hour, then say their phone number so fast I can't write it down. These people are not called back.
  6. Listening to 5 messages from some asshole in the span of 30 minutes who thinks that I get paid for doing rescue and should be waiting for his call all day long. These people also do not get called back.
Good things about doing rescue
  1. The truly grateful look on a dog's face when I pick them up from the shelter. They know that I've saved them from death.
  2. Knowing that I've helped to create families by placing dogs with good people.
  3. Getting progress reports from families who tell me their new dog is the world's greatest dog.
  4. Finding a great home for dogs that seemed truly unplacable and as such, marked for death in a shelter, but managed to turn themselves around during a stay in my home.
  5. Helping older or sick dogs find families when the rest of the world has given up on them. This is more rewarding than placing a healthy 2 year old dog anyday.
  6. Pulling together a group of volunteers to help a dog in a far-away place get to a safe place.
Notice that only one of the positives involves people. It's never (or rarely) the dog that's the real problem. Even dogs who were real assholes at first have done well in my care and gone on to be treasured members of families.

I think I need a rescue break because I can't be nice to those idiots on the phone anymore. Linea already had me stop talking to people giving up dogs because I can't find the strength to be nice to them. She did, however, call my vet and talk to Sheri, (the fabulous vet tech who drove Alice down for emergency surgery that awful day, then met me there as I rushed to sit with her body. That's was beyond the call of duty and I'll always be grateful to her and the rest of the staff at our vet's office for everything they did to help Al.) She managed to get a free exam for all of my fosters as well as 20% off all other services so I don't have to compromise for any dog in my life by going to a crappier vet in order to save money.

Sometimes, everything you can do is not enough
Last month I saved 2 Walker Hounds from the shelter in Sacremento. They're considered hard to place but I found great homes for Gracie and for Max with minimal effort. I asked if there were more left at the shelter and there was one. I scrambled to find both a short-term foster home for the guy and a ride from him to me, found both and bought him until today at the shelter.

I guess there was a miscommunication because the shelter put him to sleep over the weekend. I'm mad, frustrated and sad on Houndie's behalf.

Among my trip to Ohio's many highlights including the bad ass seats Melinda's hubby scored for the OSU men's hockey game, seeing the OSU Women's team beat St. Lawrence (and scoring some nice gloves and shinguards for a great price!), great visits with my Grandma (we watched the Price is Right together) the greatest moments were on the plane on the way back from Denver, where I sat with the China Women's National Hockey Team. No shit! All of them, and me! I was stunned and SO excited I couldn't speak, just sat there thinking "I'm sitting with Olympians."

1.20.2002

I did not make my connection in Denver because there was ice on the wings of the plane and San Jose has no de-icers. We all stood around waiting for the sun to come up and melt the ice but by that point it was too late. I got to take a tour of United's hubs, first Denver then Chicago. Lucky me.

1.17.2002

Another reason I may not make my connection in Denver tomorrow: New baggage checks may cause delays.

Holy cow! You can opt out of a shitload of annoying popup ads by clicking on the company names here: No More Popup Ads.

Here's some more insane stuff. Kent Kage Arm. Thanks Brad. I think.

Uh...I'm not sure what this means but I'm taking the Insanity Test anyway.

I wonder if I'll miss my plane tomorrow in Denver....

I don't know what made me think of this but the market for a Furby has gotten overloaded. Get your Furby's cheap!

So I'm headed to Columbus tomorrow for an exciting long weekend with the family. My connection time in Denver is a mere 35 minutes, which is admittedly close. No less than 3 times has my dad asked if I'll make it. As if I know that today, the day *before* I fly (or yesterday or last Sunday for that matter). So all morning I've been asking my esteemed co-workers if they think I'll make my connection.

Liz's mom gets involved in rescue
(though like all communications during the work day, it's sent via email through my dad)
Elizabeth: Mom just called me and wanted me to tell you that she's concerned that the man your're giving the dog to will keep it outside; it sounds to her like he won't follow thru on his promise to keep it inside. Just passing this on; you dog lovers are tuned into things like this. Call Mom when you can.

Last week I started noticing that more and more of my sweatshirts have rips, tears and permanent stains. How did this happen? Didn't I just buy all of these daily-wear items yesterday or last week or at least in the last year? The sad truth is no. I used to buy enough new clothes that I never had this problem but somehow real life has taken over and my money now goes toward more noble causes like improving our home, caring for the dogs or ice hockey lessons, leagues or gear.

But I do think it's time for at least one stain-free, rip-free sweatshirt to come into my life. I'll choose carefully, this one could be in my life for some time to come.

I rolled up to the fine San Jose Diridon train station this morning to see the most excellent Olympics Torch Relay Train waiting to pull out. I hadn't quite pictured that the torch would take a break and ride on a train but I was pretty stoked to see it there as I walked up to catch my now-seems-lame CalTrain. Like a little kid, I couldn't stop staring at it with wonder and pride as I looked between the construction equipment through the fence to catch as many glimpses of the train as possible. We passed the torch (train) again in Santa Clara and I waved to the people on the top floor of that train as we went by. It was quite a moment, quite a sight.

1.16.2002

less freedom=less pee

1.15.2002

So last night we go to the shelter to pick up a new foster dog and there's guy standing there with his dog and cat, giving them up because he's moving and can't take them. Now, maybe this sounds like a reasonable excuse to you but think about it -- would you leave your child behind because you were moving and they were rambunctuous anyway? Your elderly Grandmother because she's too old? No, you wouldn't. It's not legal and it's not right.

Unfortunately it's perfectly legal to leave your pets behind. Pets you'd made a lifetime commitment to, but like so many marriages, I supposed that till death do us part means about as much to some animal owners as it does to married folks, which is little.

Anyway, we're waiting there for the one clerk on after-hours duty to finish with the guy and bring out the dog we're supposed to get. The relinquishing guy's dog is tiny, a little black chiuhahua thing, who is shaking more and more as time goes on. I start talking to the man as Andrea says loudly "NICE. ANOTHER OWNER SURRENDER" but the guy is oblivious. The guy starts crying as the haul away his cat and I give Andrea the look that says "the last thing I want to do is bring home two more dogs but this little guy is so small and scared to death, what else can we do?"

So today we have Scooter the dog-agressive corgi/beagle mix and Bilbo, the chihauha mix at our house. Bilbo is actually a very nice dog and should have no problem finding a nice home. Scooter has snapped at both Gus and Zeus so far so he's not allowed to meet Rainie, who inspires the nicest of dogs to bite.

And Mr. Dog-giver-upper can rest easy knowing that some nice person from rescue has swooped in to save his guilt-ridden ass.

I'm headed to Ohio on Friday, just in time for the new baggage screening laws to take effect. Which is good because it alleviates some of my fears, but bad because it could make everything take a shitload longer. Baggage rule stirs fears of airport gridlock. Though I suppose it's better to be late than dead so screen away.

Snow Cones: 5, Valenti Rebels: 3
Finally, the Snow Cones have increased our share of wins to a whopping 2! Our captain stepped up last week and announced some line changes, moving me to defense as I'd asked for, and instituting a policy of all 5 players changing at the same time, not just offense and defense separately. After the game, no less than 5 of my teammates told me how well I'd done, and the guy I call the Animal told me I was the new Animal.

I'm thrilled that we won and even more thrilled that my teammates noticed how I've improved. Woo! Thanks to my cheering section for making sure I skate hard even when I'm tired. Your shouts of "DOW-TAY! GO GET IT!" make me go get it. You guys rock!

1.14.2002

I am laughing out loud at the Who let the Tim-may out? remix of Who let the dogs out. If you like South Park and love Tim-may, you must find it. I'm about to bust, it's so funny!

My homies in O-Town, (Orlando), the stars of Making the Band have moved their fine show to MTV, with a new season starting this weekend. Woo hoo! New season!

1.10.2002

Give Hockey a Try Day with NCWHL
Have you always wanted to try ice hockey- and you don't have a team to play on? Or you don't have all of the equipment-----yet?

Give Hockey A Try Day (GHATD) is your opportunity to come and try hockey for a day, and borrow equipment from volunteers in the Northern California Women�s Hockey League.

Date: Saturday February 2
Time: 1:30-3:00PM

(We recommend that you show up 30-60 minutes in advance to register and dress. If you are borrowing equipment- come extra early- trying on 16 different helmets to find one that fits takes time! Most years we have more people register than we have room for- if you are on the waiting list, you will get priority placement by coming early.)
Price: $15
Location: Belmont Iceland: 815 Old Country Road
Belmont, CA (650)592-0532
Take 101 to Ralston exit, go west, about 1/2 mile to Old Country Road. Turn right (by Wendy's) and go north about two buildings (pass the apartment/condos).The rink is on the right.

How to register: write to betsyrisch1@yahoo.com or erisch@ventaso.com with the following info:
Last Name
First Name
E-Mail
snail-mail
phone

For those who don't have email- leave a message at 415-437-1927. Let us know if you need to borrow equipment. IF you can borrow some yourself- it will help immensely! Rental skates will be provided at the rink for free.

We will have practice with drills, instruction, and a short scrimmage. No previous experience required- complete newbies are very strongly welcomed even and especially if you've never skated before!

OH MY GOD. What I'm doing right now is a pre-meeting.

I'm a grown up: I just said : "why don't we go through one of the documents together?" over IM.

My MSN messenger name reads Alice's Mom. I changed it the day of her surgery, in support of her and out of a fear I dared not name that she wouldn't be coming home that night. Since then, I haven't had the heart to change it, knowing that once I do, I can't change it back since it's no longer true, at least not in the immediate sense.

Yesterday, I tried to change it to just Liz, but the gods stepped in and made the messenger crash literally as I clicked Okay. So I'm going to leave it as Alice's Mom for a while longer. Because I am and always will be, even if she's not with me.

The cutest thing ever: Family labels | Unique, Address Labels. I ordered ours today.

Sabrina talked me into signing up for the Robby Glantz International Power Skating next month. It involves bungee cords so even if I don't skate any better, I'll be able to say "I did the bungee drills."

In other news, I've decided to try out for the maroon level in my women's league. It's two levels up from where I am now but I'd rather reach for something more than I can do and maybe achieve it than just try out for one level up, which I know I can make. The tryout is in mid-march, wish me luck! This will be the most challenging thing I've ever done athletically.

1.09.2002

Wow! Pet First Aid Class Offers Peace of Mind

An excellent choose your own mis-adventure about what breeding your dog can be like: Virtual Breeding. I'll save you the time of going through it -- bottom line: it's a bad idea.

Sometimes, I'm fine. Sometimes it seems so very long ago that Alice was part of my life, that she's just a distant memory, something wonderful from my past. Other times, it hits me like a large truck and I'm stunned, stuck wherever I'm standing, unable to fight the tears. Just now, I walked into my cube and for a second, expected her to be there, waking up from a nap because I was back, stretching her little stretchy-stretch and doing the wakeup dance. But of course she's not there. All I have are some pictures, a tiny raincoat and a lifetime of memories compacted into the 2.5 years I was her mom.

It is so sad, though it's still all rumors at this point, but it does look like Beyond is coming to an end. Farewell, my old friend.

1.08.2002

So you wanna be the Po-lice
Today my mom got a call from a trainer with the police department in Tucscon AZ. My ex-sister in law (not the most recent, most wonderful one, but the one before, who none of us really had any affection for and who moved away from Ohio without telling any of us where she's going almost 2 years ago. We have not heard from her since) apparently wants to be an esteemed member of the po-lice force and for lack of better references, has listed my entire family (not sure if there's a call waiting for me at home or not) as references.

My mom was like "well, I don't think she's dishonest, but we didn't like her very much" and then chose to forgo all common sense and give the nice man handing out badges and guns my brother's phone number at work so he could also give a bad reference on her behalf.

Now folks, I may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but if you really want the job, DO NOT list people who don't like you as a reference. It will not help your case.

Two weeks ago, I was playing hockey, minding my own business, fighting a guy for the puck against the boards when somehow my face guard clocked me in the mouth and I bit my tongue. For a few minutes I thought I'd lost a tooth, I tasted blood and all that swelling business started. I was very lucky indeed, nothing happened.

I took that as a sign and finally started using the mouthguard I'd bought months ago, after my dentist yelled at me for not wearing one. I hate it, it makes me gag, drool and talk like I have a big piece of plastic in my mouth (which I do), but the highlight is that it makes making fart noises very easy.

Whole Dog Journal's Top Ten Dry Dog Foods has a good list of quality dog foods. I'm always torn about this issue -- while we don't buy the shit food they sell at the grocery store, we don't spend a lot of time thinking about what to feed our doggies. I used to, standing there reading ingredient labels for Ellie, who would hardly eat, for Ellie, who was without a doubt dying and probably soon, but these days I feel more fatalistic about it. Now that we've lost Alice, who ate only the best food and died a death completely unrelated to what she ate, I feel less inclined to care about the quality of the food they eat (this is still like very good quality vs. the Cadillac of dog foods, right now, they're eating the Volvo of dog foods) because they will die and they will have happy lives with me until they do.

In other news, I had a dream about Alice last night. We were mostly just hanging out and I think she was playing with me a little (something she did about twice in the time she was ours). I woke up happy but missing her all the more.

1.07.2002

Weird. My prescriptions weren't going through the insurance system because they entered me into the system as a male. That may have some impact on the situation, though drugs are drugs and I could see getting something like birth-control pills but I'm not.

The future of television? WebTV founder to unveil souped-up set-top box at CES. Perhaps.

1.04.2002

Last night, Gus seemed to have a belly blockage, so Andrea was nice enough to run out for pumpkin and Metamucil. Just to complete the "Grandma's at home screaming because she can't go" look, she got some prunes, too. Her checkout guy treated the experience like an auction ("gimmefivedollahgimmefivedollarforthemetamucil" and "SOLD!! for $54.95 to the lady with the hat!"). Evidently he also told wild stories and made the experience something to remember.

She returned home frustrated but amused and is still remembering bits and pieces of it as time goes on so it must have been something special.


Look! Bin Laden as a talk show host!

This is just not right: eBay item 1317042616 (Ends Jan-11-02 13:13:37 PST ) - HOME TOILET FOR DOG, PUPPY HOUSETRAINING NEW! I'm sorry, but teaching a dog to shit on a mat does not constitute housetraining. Nor does having a 1 year old dog who suddenly has decided to start peeing inside, but that is another story.

1.03.2002

Today I'm wearing a red shirt with a small navy blue stripe and navy blue jeans with grey and navy blue shoes and a red sweatshirt. It feels like I'm wearing Garanimals.

Hey Welcome to Harvard. Not.

Anonymous quote from someone who always has to be right: " I just really dislike people who always have to be right..... it is a flaw of youth and lack of self-awareness...." Unfortunately he's not talking about himself.

1.02.2002

For all my Spanish-speaking hockey-playing friends who prefer to buy their gear in pesos, look no further! Hockey sobre hielo.

Don't even ask me how I found this: Learn about Jock Itch.

Since I have no pressing need to bring a dog to work (only Alice valued my company as much as I valued hers, watching me from her nest here at the office as I worked, the other dogs would rather be at their house (Zeus) or with each other (Gus and Rainie) than with me) I've started taking CalTrain, which is full of adventures, but less interesting than my Bart adventures of this summer.

So far, I've only seen a creepy middle-aged woman comfort a young woman with a baby in her arms and one on the way, saying she'd hold her up to Jesus (I hope her arms are strong) and that Jesus would make the father of the child(ren?) turn hisself around. The young woman later asked me for the time.

In my spare time, I want only to rest and sleep. I realize that since hockey has encountered the year-end holiday slowdown, I have been forced to do almost nothing and to feel the grief I'd been putting off. I miss Alice so much it's unreal. I recall the times my heart was broken by lovers and while it seemed like those were the worst times, they were nothing compared to this.