4.30.2002

Gus Watches a Movie
Sunday while Andrea was playing Mahjongg, I took Rainie, Gus and Buddy the hyper foster dog to the dog park. Gus is usually the man who enjoys these trips the most, playing his version of fetch until he's exhausted. But Sunday was different. He parked himself in front of a fence that borders on some big trees and laid down. We think he was watching birds in them thar trees but he wasn't talking. Once in a while, he'd pull himself away and say hi, an intermission if you will, then go back to the Bird Movie.

I think he had a good time, but like I said, he wasn't talking. Good thing the birds were.

Saw an aquaintence this weekend. She runs right up to me and says "LIZ! I'M SO WORRIED ABOUT YOU!" I had writted to my beagle mailing list about a bittersweet moment when I'd brought up some towels that Alice had used to lay on. I hadn't washed them so they must've smelled like her to the dogs. Zeus wouldn't stop sniffing them, turning them over as if he was looking for her, Rainie lay on my lap crying in a way I'd never heard her and Gus actually dropped his toy to stand with me as I cried. It was a sweet moment, filled with sadness and good memories for all of us, so I told my beagle friends. I guess this woman interpreted it as more than it was, specifically, a license to make a fuss when it's not necessary.

My friend Dave leaned over and said I should tell her not to worry, that Alice was a true love and should this aquaintence die, I'd only mourn for her for a day. Alice is worth the effort (good thing because I have no choice). Yes, at times I'm better. I even spoke of her the other day without tearing up or pausing so I didn't. But other times, when I least expect it, her name floats into my head and with it, a wall of grief. I may heal one day (for the most part) but I'll never forget. I think that's what love is.

I cannot believe that I forgot to mention last Friday's Day of Great Fortune. First, I got my back pesos!! It came to around $5000, so (you can see this coming if you look hard enough) I spent the weekend running around singing "I got five thousand dollars! I got five thousand dollars!" just like Wayne and Garth did. I also scored a big honking credit card that will allow me to consolidate all of my debt at a low low 2.9% interest rate. Woo hoo!

Today I bought my first monthly Muni pass, marking my official entrance into the world of being a San Francisco Native. I can now ride anywhere the Muni goes, along with BART (which =BEER) and Caltrain within San Francisco. Liz Dow-tay!, the San Francisco Treat! Ding ding!

4.29.2002

Today I'm fortunate enough to be working from my new company's Sunnyvale office, a mere 15 minutes and 4 train stops from Chez Liz y Andrea. I didn't even need to buy a paper on the way to the train, 15 minutes is only enough time for 1 or 2 sections! I got off the train and walked all of 100 yards to the office but realized that I didn't know which suite it was. Of course the sign outside of the office had a name other than the company name I know (the larger company had bought this company too) so I wandered around outside the offices (they all open onto a courtyard kind of like Melrose Place) frantically calling the one co-worker I have programmed into my cell phone to see if they know where the office is. Getting desperate, I started peering into office windows, when finally I saw a business card with the company name I recognized on it. 2 Nice People were there waiting for me. I was all prepared with my laptop until I realized that I didn't have the dangle and couldn't plug into the network.

The Nice Man got me all set up on someone else's computer so all is well. With any luck I'll work here 2 or more days per week going forward.

Emails from morons like these are why I'm getting burned out on rescue:
"I am writting in concerns to the basset hound I own and I am very fed up with the way she does and I am half tempted to take her to the pound. She will eat her feasies anad I cant keep her if she is going to do that I have a 14 month old baby and they play togeather but I cant keep her out of the garbage you cant let her out of your sight or she will go to the bathroom and eat maxi pads that to me is very gross and I cant have an animal that eats anything that does things like that she cant be around my daughter for a while after she does this I am going to take her to the pound unless you have any ideas as to what to do with her other than that she is a very lovable dog."

In other news, I cancelled an interview at Cisco today. A month ago, I would've been dancing the Happy Dance to get this interview but now that I have a full time position that gives me vacation and Andrea benefits, I can't see much benefit in a contract gig, even if it is at Cisco. Of course the silly recruiter was pissed when I cancelled but hey man, my life and my family are more important than your lousy commission.

Weekend in Review
Saturday's Jets game KICKED ASS!! We won 7-0 against a team that had just moved up to the DDDD level from EE, a 2 level jump (yes that is the jump I make every time I play for the Jets but somehow, 1 person isn't as bad as an entire team who may not quite be ready. It was great fun and hey, we won!

Sunday, a member of my co-ed team decided to drop off the team after I had to scratch her for this week's game since we had too many players. I'm always bummed when there's conflict but losing that one person means my life is a lot easier since I will rarely have to scratch anyone going forward. The A Team had a 4-1 loss, we did have 31 recorded shots on goal (so the number is probably more like 40) and a couple of great moments. The other team was constantly off-sides, at one point I was driving behind the net when they were off-sides. A guy from their team was driving with me while the ref is calling "OFF-SIDES!" so I say to the guy "hey dumbass, you're off sides!" and he goes "yeah well, you're fucking losing." to which I replied "well, you're still off-sides."

Their team has this obnoxious guy who is constantly making comments like "girls shouldn't play hockey" (Sir, hi, I'm full grown, I am not a girl). He had wanted to be on the A Team but I told him that his attitude towards women wouldn't fly. He was messing with my left D, Tommy, who is kind of obnoxious at times himself. Tommy was getting madder and madder, finally, he got his chance, checking the guy into the boards down in the corner, on my side. I was nearby and fell down along with Tommy and the guy. I made a point of not getting up, of laying there holding the guy down and out of the play while Tommy skated away from the scene. The guy gets up, throws down a glove (we all know he'd been waiting for that moment from the first time he picked up a stick) and gets ready to fight Tommy. I slide over to the guy and say, dude, I'm so sorry, I fell right into you. He backed off and Tommy didn't get a penalty. Tommy was also prepared to check the guy who'd cursed at me after I'd called him a dumbass but I reassured him that I'd started that one. A 4-1 loss but I had a decent time despite it.

So funny: an old VW ad and yesterday's Dilbert, which must have been modelled after a certain marketing guy that I know.

4.26.2002

I just noticed that lingus and linguini are very similar words. Yum!

After 3 days of working in San Francisco, I am now a native of this fine city. Sure, the commute here sucks ass but once I'm here, it is Splendito! My new favorite place to eat is Red's Java House just steps away from my swank digs with a Bay View, where you can get a burger, beer and fries for $4.55 (the non-alcoholic version is just $4.05, cheaper than McDonald's!!). I adore everything about our new setup except the commute.

4.25.2002

I got a hotel room for me and Rainie ROo during our upcoming visit to LA for the Basset Spring Games. I got directions off their website, the last line reads:
"go South for 30 feet to Quality"

Who knew that was all you needed to do?

I stand corrected, www.menwholooklikekennyrogers.com is the reason the Internet was created.

Why the Internet was created, so that one day, I could order Gold Teeth from the conveniece of my own home.

Help my band and have a fine meal. Here's how:
  1. Download this fine flier.
  2. Go to the Fresh Choice at the south bay's most happening mall: Vallco on May 21.
  3. Give the flier to the Nice Man collecting fliers.
  4. Eat some salad, pasta and stuff. 20% of your $$ goes toward my band, who is operating on more limited funds than usual, thanks to a spree of music buying last fall.
  5. Grin with a full belly and great satisfaction that you have helped the Cupertino Band.

All along I've said that I'd love to adopt one of Rainie's siblings, should one be returned. In my vision, it was after one or both of our old guys had passed away and we were ready to welcome a new soul into our home. Of course life is not like that and one of the pups is coming back into rescue now. Patrick, short for Ellie's St. Patrick's Day Parade is being returned and we're pre-approved to adopt him. Which is great except that I do not want 4 dogs, so I'm totally torn about this.

Heard back from the old friend, after our email exchange Alice was on her mind. She went outside with her dog and felt Alice in the air, she's sure Al was there for a visit. She must have been, a reminder that her little soul is still around us. My friend said a prayer and her doggie chased a squirrel. A fine tribute to my little boobaloo.

4.24.2002

Today an old friend wrote to me. She's a dog lover too, so I figured she'd understand if I mentioned something about still being lost without Alice, still feeling the pain of that loss. I should've known better. I saw this friend 2 days after Al's death, she made some comments even then like it was time to move on (sure, right, 2 days after the most traumatic event of my life) and ever since, her emails have said similar things. Today was another such thing, she said Alice wouldn't have wanted me to be so upset by her passing. Bullshit! Alice was the queen of the universe, queen of my heart and our home, the center of all things. Of course she'd want and deserves an extended mourning period.

I had a carefully crafted response all ready to go but at the last minute hit cancel instead of send. Nothing I could say would change her mind, only the day her own beloved dog passes away will grant her a new perspective on other people's pain. For now, I'm still grieving as I need to, some days I'm fine some days I miss her like crazy. And so what? I'm still functioning and in a lot of ways doing pretty well. Sometimes that's all you can ask. Sometimes that's enough.

I am literally bouncing in my bay view chair at the thought of all those pesos.

Back pesos are coming today! The nice finance lady is going to hand them to me (I'll have to convert them from dollars to pesos myself) tonight. I still won't believe it until I see them but I can almost taste them.

I went to the office manager yesterday and got moved to a much better location. I now have a lovely view of the underside of the Bay Bridge and if I crane my neck, the smallest sliver of a bay view. My co-workers are still frustrated but I am okay. Not thrilled about the shit ass commute but everything else is cool and hey, now I can have a San Francisco Adventure! I might even spy Megnut some day!

4.23.2002

Moved to the new office. Somehow, my co-workers are all in nice offices or a large workspace but I'm away from them, surrounded by people who don't talk, in the smallest cube imaginable. My computers don't fit (I have 3 for all the compatibility testing I do) and my monitor won't fit unless it's in the corner, putting my keyboard at a funny angle. Already I can feel the carpal tunnel I'd worked so hard to rid myself of creeping back. This sucks ass.

Perusing the best of Craig's list, I found this gem: Best Moving Sale Ever In The History Of The World (pictures).

Speaking of gems, I finally saw the episode of Real Sex featuring the Penis Puppeteers. You all must see it, watch closely for the hamburger, take note of the sesame seeds!

What every little girl needs: a Bobblehead Jesus. Thanks Susan!

Speaking of tacky, after visiting the world's most personality-voided notary public yesterday and remembering that it was my mom's birthday while we were sitting there, I ran out to call my mom and tell her how much I sucked for forgetting and Andrea wandered down to the world's most disturbing 'department' store, Savers. Evidently, this place buys the shit you and I have donated to Goodwill and resells it like they're Goodwill, except that they're not. In the Truly Disturbing Shit room, there was the most excellent clock -- 12 inches by 18 inches, a cheesy wood frame with a HUGE picture of Elvis and a little teeny clock in the upper right hand corner. While I was gazing admiringly into the King's face, this Nice Man came up next to me and said 'well, if you're looking for tacky, look no farther!' I was all set to buy the King and his clock until I saw the price -- $49.99! I would not pay $49.99 unless it was on velvet.

4.22.2002

Liz2D2: i know what makes men happy, warm lips on their schlong.

What a weekend! Saturday night I got to sub in for the Jets again, we lost 2-1 (their 2nd goal was a slapshot from the guy I was covering, I was literally a foot away from him when he took the shot. Fucker!). The other team was on average, 19 years old and looked like they were roller bladers from birth unlike the 30+ year old Jets, most of whom had taken up hockey in the last few years so hey, it's not that bad.

Sunday's Red game was also a 2-1 loss but even more fun than the Jets. I was a total bogart, playing all over the place, taking about 5 shots on goal while playing defense. I even caught the puck with my hand and threw it toward the top of our zone (legal while defending your zone), something I've never managed before. I'm thinking it's time to try my hand at playing center instead of defense or wing.

I ran out from my game to Andrea's first Green game, getting there in time for most of it. She had a good time and really kept those feeties moving!

A fine, hockey-filled weekend!

4.19.2002

We got the full details of the benefits and crap from the new company. I'm thrilled that they have Domestic Partner benefits, but once again, am astounded at the amount of shit you have to go through. We have to present proof that we're a couple, including a notarized affadavit and a copy of our mortgage. I just hate it that married straight people don't have to go through this, but somehow it's okay if gay people do. I am tired of a world where I have to PROVE that my relationship is no different than anyone else's. Why is it such a big fucking deal??

Just for the hell of it, I was looking at Ellie's Puppy Album, remembering how very small our ROo once was. She's headed back to the vet on Monday for her annual checkup, hard to believe it's been almost a year since her Royal Silliness joined us.

Last night, Gus was laying on the couch looking at me on the other couch. I started talking to him "Gus, do you like your life here? Gus, are you the sweetest big old guy in the whole world?" after each question, he would moan in response. I do think he's the happiest old dog in the world.

And yes, for the first time since Alice's death, I've started to enjoy our dogs again. I still think of her constantly, will always miss her.

4.18.2002

The end of an era
Andrea was just laid off. I am saddened beyond words that a place that meant so much to so many of us is now kaput. Digital River doesn't know what they're missing by shutting Beyond down. I haven't felt that kind of passion for my work in any of the places I've been since, maybe none of us have. It was a symbol of the dot-com era -- pay no attention to the man looking for profits, hire pretty girls and for Christ's sake, have fun.

Sigh.

I guess Kevin and Leo are having a rough day at home today: "For sale: one kid, 11 1/2 months old, low miles...:-D." It seems that Leo fancies himself a bit of a hacker and likes to delete all the pretty icons on his Daddy's desktop.

Hard to believe Mr. Leo is that old already. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was meeting him for the first time at Kaiser when he was just one day old and a mere 12 pounds? I will always be proud that I was the first person outside of Holly and Kevin to hold him. That kid is just great. And cute too. I got to peek in on him sleeping last night, he was all curled up with a blankie, sporting a handsome blue sleeper. So cute, I didn't want to leave. But I was also struck by the urge to wake him up, so it was best that I left.

Happy almost birthday Leo!!!

We're scheduled to move to the new office next Wednesday. Let the San Francisco adventure (and the San Francisco treat) begin!

4.17.2002

We got offers from the new company yesterday. It's a lateral move for all of us but the key thing is that it means jobs for all of us. I will have to upgrade my Caltrain pass to take me to San Francisco, but it sounds like I'll be able to work from Sunnyvale or home a couple of days a week so I won't be completely wiped out by the long ass commute. Stay tuned.

Not much to say right now. Try again tomorrow.

4.16.2002

They're handing out pesos! I'll be getting mine soon. Stay tuned.

Join the fight to save Eastridge, this dinky mall ice rink where I've spent many a night practicing for something or other. It's the only rink in the area where you can get a decent sized rink at a reasonable time for a decent price. If Eastridge is gone, well, I just don't know what we'd do. Plan to shut down Eastridge ice rink gets a cold shoulder. Fuckers!

Woo hoo! Toby came through his surgery just fine and will with Andrea as soon as she figures out how to get to the vet's office from her current location.

Toby is in surgery right now. The doctor is confident that his tumor is nothing but we won't know for sure until it's been removed and the lab work is negative. Please keep this sweet little guy in your thoughts this afternoon.

In other news, our current foster dog Toby needs surgery to remove a lump from his lip. We're hopeful that it's not cancer and a kind man donated $300 of the $420 that the surgery will cost. He's a sweet young guy so I hope that he'll come through it just fine, then go on to a happy home.

Skip, the sweet scared dog that I placed this weekend, is coming back because he bit the woman twice in 2 days. Actually, he's not coming back to me, we have no choice but to put him to sleep (yes, a nice way of saying kill him). At this point, he's a liability and we could never place him again. He'd be with our family forever, being a liability to us. We can't take that risk. I sorta feel like I failed him, but really, he failed himself by biting. Many things can be fixed but fear biters are the worst, pretty much unfixable.

Happy trails, sweet Skip. May you be free from the fear that brings you to bite people in the next life. We'll meet again when I get there and until then Alice will show you the way to the buffet.

Victory!
Last night I subbed in for the BBD Jets for the first time. I've been going to their drop in practices for a while now but hadn't played a game with them. They play 2 levels above where the A Team plays, DDDD (yes, all co-ed divisions at the Ice Center are named after bra sizes), so I was pretty nervous -- would I be able to keep up, would I look like an ass, would I just suck? Well, I looked fine! Andrea came to cheer us on, which was great.

It was a much faster, much rougher (keep 2 hands on that stick, missie!) and in some ways more laid back game than I play in EE. Overall, I worked a lot harder but had a lot more fun. Who knew that I'd be happier in a better league?

4.15.2002

My busy Sunday went off without a hitch, unless getting slaughtered in both hockey games counts as a hitch. I really don't know what happened with the A-Team, it was like we were all in slow motion. My Red team also lost but our goalie was a no-show so at least there's some excuse there. I did accomplish my goal of keeping the puck in our zone more times than I let it go by. I also won the race to the puck when it did go by, getting there in time to send it out of our zone and to my waiting wing for a breakaway.

Afterwards I was so hungry that I ate for an hour. Then I came home and ate some leftovers.

The concert also went well, I'm always amazed at how automatic reading music is for me. I guess doing anything for 15 years would make it somewhat automatic, freeing you up to enhance other aspects of the play, like dynamics and crap.

In all, it was a fun but tiring day.

4.12.2002

As if puberty isn't hard enough, when your dad brings you into the family business, it's worse: 12-year-old smuggler swallows 87 condoms of heroin.

The Advanced hockey class last night kicked ass! Not because I learned a lot (I did learn a few things) but because those guys were fucking fast and I was able to keep up! Not only was I not the last person in line for drills, I only was passed once and I even passed somebody else once!

I was getting all proud of myself and still am. Sept 23, 2000, a little over 18 months ago, I started this journey, not knowing a damn thing about skating, faced with sheer terror when a coach mentioned the word scrimmage. Today, I don't suck, I've even moved up a division in my women's league. Hell, I'm even in the women's league! I'm a pretty scrappy defenseman and skate almost as fast as some people who seem like Wayne Gretzky to me. I'm still not skinny like Kate Moss, will never be, but in so many great ways, hockey has given me a whole new life.

So woo hoo! And please join me in welcoming myself to the Advanced class.

4.11.2002

I'm finally hearing back on some of the resumes I've sent out and it's not good news. I've gotten three "thanks, but you suck" emails in the last 2 days. Good thing things are sort of looking okay for the merger here at my non-paying office. I'm really looking forward to that handout of pesos.

Sunday is shaping up to be a marathon of activities. 12:15 PM, A-Team game in San Jose, 3 PM, Cupertino Symphonic Band concert in Cupertino, 6 PM, Red game in Belmont. At least all of these things are on the way to each other, I'll be moving slowly up the peninsula, doing activity after activity. Here's a summary:
12:15 Run to puck
1:45 Run to concert
4:30 (I hope) Run from concert
6:00 Run to puck

Is this what soccer moms feel like? Exhausted but giddy.

4.10.2002

This has made my day: Popularity of Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Pushes Netscape to an All-Time Low. Sorry Netscape, your browser just doesn't work as well.

Oh, My Ass!
Monday night during practice, we did a drill where a forward heads up the boards, bounces a pass off the boards around the defenseman then heads into the net to take a shot. The idea was that the defenseman would start moving, catch the pass before the forward did or at least start running to catch up. When I did it, the defenseman chose another way to stop the puck -- to stand still and knock me down, which was also very effective. The downside was that she and I both fell down and my ass still smarts, 2 days later.

As the time to our alleged merger grows shorter, tempers around here are also growing shorter. Folks have been on a rampage (thankfully today it's not directed at me, but rather, in a wide range around the office) and I'm just trying to keep my head down until it's all settled. I did find out that I won't be getting back pay for most of the time I've been here without full pay but will most likely have a job in the New World. I guess I'll take what I can get but that doesn't mean I'm happy about losing that money.

4.09.2002

If you've seen the Job Fairy can you ask her to stop by our house? I'm at a low low low moment with all of this nonsense.

I really don't know how those NHL guys play so hard night after night. All of a sudden, I'm going a lot faster out there (on the ice) than I used to and bumping into a lot more people. Does that mean I'm playing better defense? I don't know but I do know that I'm more sore than I've ever been. Last night at practice, I took out our new star defenseman pretty hard, landing right on my ass. Pads only go so far. Later, during a scrimmage, I clocked somebody in the corner, knocking my ankle and elbow pretty good.

I'm ready for a non-checking day.

4.08.2002

I happened to stumble upon the Kelley Park VW Show yesterday with my parents. It was great!

Weekend Hockey Report
Saturday morning's beginner hockey class marked a Big Day. Every Saturday for the last year and a half (since Sept. 23, 2000) I've woken up early to attend the 8:15 a.m. class where I started to learn everything I know about a game I now love. Along the way, there was a brief excursion into the Intermediate class, until Andrea joined me in the Hockey Life this January, then I moved back down to beginner to be with her. Well, really, it was to make sure she got up to go to class, traditional alarm clocks are no match for the Sleeping Professional.

This week marked my last time through the class. I've decided to do something that seemed absolutely unattainable to me when I first started skating. I'm taking the Advanced class, which meets at a much more reasonable time, 7:45 p.m. on Thursdays. At this point, I'd rather be the last in line coming back from drills than kind of bored in the beginner class. So I will.

Saturday night was my first Red Division game and it was Big Fun! I loved the pace of the game and how nice everyone was. My parents saw me play for the first time ever, that was the best part. They had no idea how well I could skate (no, I'm still not Espen Knutsen, but I'm getting better all the time) and I think were impressed. Looking in the stands and seeing them there meant more to me than I may ever admit to them. Oh, and we won, 1-0.

They also attended the A-Team's second game and were again impressed. The difference between the women's league and co-ed play is pretty vast, co-ed is a lot more agressive but of course fun. In the span of about 30 seconds, I had my (badass Easton Synergy) stick knocked out of my hands, then got knocked on my ass, snapping my wrist back pretty hard. I limped off the ice and my concerned teammates kept asking if I was okay. I kept saying I didn't know but eventually felt better, though I'm sore today. We lost 6-3 but had a great time. This time I remembered my Captainly duty and shook the ref's hand.

My parents went home this morning after the most laid back visit I've ever had with them. I miss them already.

4.05.2002

Oh my god! It's the story of our Gus! I Stole Your Dog Today. Here's to Gus and neglected dogs everywhere, many of whom die after a shitty life and some lucky ones, like Gus, who find a home who adores him and a puppy sister to curl up with at night.

I miss Emmy already. She had the kindest, sweetest soul, she was old beyond her years, thanks to years of abuse at the puppy mill. At the Waddle in March, first we couldn't find her wagon ride and Walt was all set to carry her (mind you, she was a basset, not a toy poodle) when I flagged down a nice lady with an empty wagon and got Emmy (Queen of the Green), who was decked out in her St.Patrick's Day finery, a ride. Later, I was on the puppy sag wagon (the bed of apickup truck) with Elliemama, looking forward through the front window, I saw Emmy in a different wagon, from behind. Her tail was going in circles for the entire parade. She was a happy girl, despite being blind and dying of cancer. That's a spirit you just don't forget.

Sweet dreams Emmy Lu, may Alice show you the way to the buffet!


Leo!

Farewell Miss Emmy
...as written by her mom, Dena

Emmy, my blind puppy mill girl, gave up the fight against lymphoma today. She let us know it was time to let her go. I am still pretty numb - even though I thought I was prepared for her passing to the Rainbow Bridge, I don't think I really was. I would like to thank all of you who have sent words of encouragement and support when we heard the news and over the last month as we struggled with helping her. I will try to answer you all personally as soon as I can.

Emmy came to us as a foster for the local rescue in May of 2000. She was born at a puppy mill here in AZ and was kept to use as a breeder. She was bred every season for 6 years until the puppy mill owner decided she was no longer useful. When she was released from the puppy mill she was sooooo thin. It turns out that her teeth were rotten and infected and it hurt too much for her to eat. The vet said she had never seen teeth as bad as Emmy's. We had her spayed and had her teeth pulled and she started gaining weight. She trusted us immediately, unlike many of the other puppy mill dogs that were rescued alongside Emmy. She sought out attention and affection whenever she got a chance and settled into a life of leisure. Her only issue was that she tinkled when she ate; a habit we never broke her of. A family expressed interest in adopting her and assured us that the tinkling would not bother them. Unfortunately it did, and she was returned a few days later. Shortly after her return, one of her eyes swelled up. We rushed her to the vet, but it was too late. She had genetic glaucoma and we discovered that she also tested off the charts for tick fever, which aggravated the glaucoma. She needed eye surgery, but the rescue couldn't afford it. I cried all the way home from the eye clinic, worried that Emmy was in pain and needed help. Her Auntie Mel [Melissa Rogers] came forward and made 17 "Emmy dolls" that were sold for $100 apiece to fund Emmy's surgery. She came through the surgery with flying colors and my husband and I made the decision to permanently add her to our family. A few months later here other eye started bothering her, and she eventually underwent another surgery. A few bone infections later, she was fine. She enjoyed her weekly visits to the bark park, trips to Petco, even attending ceramics classes. Then early this year, my husband found a lump on Emmy's neck and we took her to the vet. We were given the sad news that Emmy had lymphoma and we vowed to spend as much time with her as possible for as long as she was with us. I'm happy to say that we fulfilled that promise and I have so many happy memories, especially her day as Queen of the Waddle of the Green.

Emmy charmed everyone she met. She was always attracting a crowd at the dog park when she would "accidentally" bump into someone to get them to pet her. She would sit patiently and wait her turn if there was any petting to be had.

We always joked that Emmy had no vocal cords (she'd been de-barked by the puppy mill), no teeth, and no eyes, but she had all of our hearts. :-) Emmy, you will be missed, but we'll meet again. In the meantime, hopefully Hannah is there at the Bridge to show you the way.

4.04.2002

Oh thank God! The risk of birth defects in children born to couples who are first or second cousins isn't as high as many experts had believed...". I'd been waiting to hear that all my life, along with scads of people named Cleetus and BettyJo.

Yeah, I can't pretend here much longer. That Nice Man handing out backpay needs to stop by very very soon.

I'm at a low moment in all this job bullshit. My phone continues not to ring and the people buying my current (not really paying me) company are maybe trying to screw us. Things are not looking good and I'm not able to be optimistic today. Maybe tomorrow.

A sad day
Emmy, a sweet basset girl who belongs to Dena and that Walt (Elliemama the basset's parents and the good people who brought our Rainie Roo into the world, in addition to taking me to the Park n Swap) is out of time. She's about 8 or 9, blind, but was the happiest little girl in the world (you should see that tail! It won't stop!) until she got cancer. They're putting her down today, please send a good wish for Emmy Lu as she makes her journey today.

4.03.2002

Becoming Liz Dow-tay! has given me a new perspective on my name. Being adopted, you never (okay, I never) quite felt like a true Doughty, that there was always something that set me apart from say, my cousins, who were born Doughtys, not converted at the rough age of 3 weeks old from another name like I was. When we researched our ancestors in school or talked about genetics relating to crap like rolling your toungue or eye color, I was either excused from the assignment or tried to pretend like the past generations of Doughtys were people I was actually related to. I mean, yes, of course, I am related to them and if you asked them in the afterlife about me, I'm sure they'd say yes, but then again so would my birthfamily so it's a weird situation. I'm from both families and yet not.

So now that I've converted (in my own mind and on hockey jerseys, not with the DMV or anything) my name to Dow-tay! I've made peace with all of that. I'm neither full Doughty nor full Birthname here (name not disclosed to protect their privacy), I'm simply somewhere in the middle, leaning toward Doughty, but simply Dow-tay! nonetheless. My mom didn't know that I'd adopted this Dow-tay! persona until last week. She said it was silly until I said that my brother calls me Dow-tay! then she thought it was okay.

In a lot of ways, being adopted gives you the absolute freedom to be yourself. There are no expectations about how you're supposed to look, act or how smart you're supposed to be (though my parents did remind me that my birthmom was smart so I should work hard in school, implying that I had the genes to get better grades than I did). You're just yourself from day one. Becoming Liz Dow-tay! made that clear. I'm still just me and always have been.

Carol, on me making Red: "Congratulations! I hereby declare the Dow-tay! to also be migh-tay!"

Thanks!

The A-Team is the most enthusiastic bunch of folks I could have hoped to put together. With a surge of pride, I walked into the south rink, surrounded by folks I'd put together, wearing the jerseys I'd desgined, folks who were so excited for our game, none of them could get any work done that day. Yesterday morning, my inbox was flooded -- none of them could sleep after the game, they were so excited.

Today I got this email from one of them: "I will make the game on Sunday. I would need to have a near death experience to miss the game. Actually, a full death experience would also cause me to miss the game."

It's a far cry from the other team I was on, where nobody was interested in practicing or even talking. I wish them all the best, but I'm giddy about how darn nice the A-Team is.

4.02.2002

Like cats and dogs
I'm different from my parents. To some extent, it's inevitable. Even if I was their flesh and blood, I wouldn't necessarily have the same values, beliefs, laugh at the same jokes. Being adopted makes that even more defined, it's like it's not even expected that I adopt their way of life. It's never been expected of me, that I think like them (largely conservative and not too keen on trying new things, unless, of course, a friend who is largely considered hip suggests in, then it's the coolest thing ever) or act like them. I'm so grateful for that, it's like from a very early age, they gave me full permission to just be Liz.

In the end, (meaning today, which is probably not the last day of my life, but you do never know) I'm quite me. Somewhere between nature and nuture arrives Liz Dow-tay! I think it means I'm more inclined towards having animals be a central portion of my life, always ready to make/laugh at a fart joke and until hockey, not interested in sports. I imagine that for those of you (my 4 loyal readers) looking and acting like someone else was something you took for granted. I know I would've too. But I didn't. I don't look like my family and in a lot of ways don't act like them. Sometimes I wonder what I would've been like had I grown up with my birthfamily but really, we'll never know.

The reason I mention this is this morning I was talking to my mom, who will be here (yes, with my Dad) tomorrow for a visit. My brother is recently unemployed now and my situation is still largely volunteer-based, meaning that both he and I have more time to spend with El Familia. Mom says "maybe we just shouldn't come" and I say "look at this time as a gift," but she can't. I have to, otherwise I'd be really depressed that the time I've spent learning the skills I have seems largely wasted today.

A friend just sent me a very cool picture of Alice and I that I had already but love to look at. Yes, I'm better these days but I still (and may always) miss her every minute. Life does go on, the pain has lessened somewhat but my heart still very much hurts without her. She was my boobabloo, princess Alice a babwa, number 1. She always will be.

Each time I don my A-Team jersey, it's a tribute to her. I'm #1 because she was #1. We may not win but that doesn't matter as long as I can honor and remember MissAlice in some way. Even though most of my stuff from the office is gone, taken home long ago, Al's stuffed dog is still here. It will be the last thing that leaves the office with me once the fat lady sings or the Nice Man handing out job offers somewhere else comes along.

Some days, I come home and expect her to be there. Other days, I see Rainie sitting in Al's old spot and I get sad. Some days, I can just smile if I think about her but most of the time I smile and cry. Right now I think the tears would hurt my sunburned face so I won't cry today if I can help it.

But she's never far from my thoughts.

A guy just stopped by to buy our voice and data equipment. He had heard that we were downsizing. Now that's ballsy. For the first time in my life, I was able to say "No comment" and have it be relevant to the conversation.

This is week 5 of basically no pay. I'm getting paid for 15 hours a week even though I'm here for 40. While I've tried to remain optimistic through all this, I find that I really can't anymore. Yes, we're allegedly being aquired but the nice man handing out offer letters for the new company has yet to stop by and I'm getting a bit skeptical about the whole thing. My boss went to the new company yesterday and was surprised to see our engineers there interviewing with their engineering team. So far, my team hasn't been invited up. I just want some resolution either way.

A-Team, 3, Red Army, 8
The good news: a lot of people showed up to cheer us on. We played our best and all had a good time.

The bad news: we lost. 3 of those goals went right by me. I'm used to playing with a different goalie, one who is more my backup than someone we need to backup. This is no great diss on her, she's just pretty new at this and needs stronger defense than I'm used to playing. So I'll have to kick it up a notch.

This morning, my inbox was filled with mail from the team. They were all so excited after the game, they could hardly sleep! The Red Army captain said we looked really organized, that with more game time together, we'd be a really good team. I appreciated that, since I've spent a lot of time and energy making us organized. After the game, I realized that as the captain, I have to shake the ref's hand. Good thing I realized that before I left the ice. I also learned that a heavy bag of pucks on your shoulder changes your balance while on skates, another valuable lesson.

The sunburn continues to smart. Today it's turned into a nice splotchy beard. It still hurts, maybe even worse than yesterday. I suppose it's good that I'm not getting any more interview calls since I'm in no shape to meet people like this.

4.01.2002

Having a sunburned face makes people look at you funny
Yesterday, shortly after our triumphant limo-zeen ride to the Reno airport, I went to buy some water from the Peet's coffee at the gate. The nice man who handed out change was very nice but behind him was a scary-looking, bitchy transsexual named Salome who said, quite loudly to the Nice Man "look at her face!" about me. That was not very nice. Even if Salome had been the most attractive person on the planet (she was not), she had no right to say that and, for the record, looking funny, painful or bright red with brown splotches due to any type of injury does not make you deaf or invisible.

I admit it, my sunburn is more than just unpleasant. It hurts, it burns, it looks nasty and it makes people stare at me. Andrea has known me through many a burn (yes, I'm a total dumbass when it comes to being in the sun, maybe not after this, though) and says that this is the worst ever. I think she's right. It's just on my face and neck and it looks horrid. People turn away when talking to me. I would too, since pieces of skin are peeling off.

If you see me in the next few days, don't look too closely at my face. It's making me wish I were Muslim for a day so I could cover this up. Blech.

I know that all this turmoil is a gigantic learning experience but I'm ready to stop learning now and start getting paid.

Amy and I went on our weekend fiesta to Reno and Tahoe. It was splendito! It involved outdoor ice skating, which was amazing. I'd never skated outdoors before, let alone with a view of lake Tahoe that goes on forever. Tubing was Big Fun, I threw snowballs at Amy on the way up and hooked her up with her new boyfriend, Murphy, who admitted that he likes working the tubes because he can touch pretty girls. He touched Amy as much as he could, then moved on to a woman who was there with her husband, who videotaped the touching. When he asked me what her last name was, I said Smith, though later Amy chastised my lack of creativity, so I should have said it was Suarez.

We had a fabulous and huge lunch at the lodge while we watched children frolic in the spiffy outdoor pool with skiiers whizzing past them down the mountain. We decided that we are now expert skiiers, so we'll be back on the mountain before too long.

Our intention is to try out for the Amazing Race so everything we did was practice. We took a $5 bus to Squaw Valley. The bell desk and valet guys all said it would pull up right where we were, but after 20 minutes of waiting, we realized that it wasn't coming. The all-knowing conceirge told us that it came somewhere else so we hopped in a cab and went to the last stop on the bus route. After our day of frolic, we had the grumpy bus driver take us back to a different hotel so we could have the fine Saturday night buffet. We then hitched a ride to the airport on the Atlantis airport shuttle and caught a ride from there on our hotel's airport shuttle to avoid paying for a cab. We weren't the only people riding the free airport train, there was a stoner kid at Atlantis who went on to the Eldorado and the ass-kicker -- this old guy who had also scammed a free buffet at Atlantis by wandering around, plate in hand asking questions about coffee and prime rib. The old guy came sauntering up, belly full of free buffet food and rapped on the closed door of the Eldorado bus as it was pulling away. Neither he nor the kid had any luggage (aka props) but still got a free ride.

Amy Suarez and I sat there, stunned. The old guy had kicked all of our asses!

Yesterday, we headed downtown to the Cal Neva for a 99 cent breakfast and a free ride to the airport on their shuttle. Amy was busy winning scads of nickels from Mr. Lucky when it was time to go. We headed to the lobby and waited and waited and got nervous. Finally, a limo rolls up -- it was our shuttle! We made full use of the partition between us and the driver and felt like royalty when we rolled up at the airport. People were staring at us, I waved.

I did get a massive sunburn on my face, which is painful and unpleasant. A small price to pay for a grand adventure.