11.21.2002

After dealing with older dogs for so long, I find that my mindset in terms of taking care of Patrick is very different than it was with Ellie and Alice. Ellie, moreso because we knew all along that we were hospice care for her, that 6 months would be all we had with her. Comfort was the key rather than healing. With Alice, for a long time it was healing, she was so darn spry when she came to us, even though she was 9, people thought she was a puppy until the last year of her life. During that last year, I felt that every time we got her past pneumonia, it bought us some time with her, a few more months, maybe years if we were lucky. Of course we weren't lucky but I'll always be grateful for the extra time between the last bout of pneumonia and the end.

With Patrick, the little dude isn't even 2 so healing is the only option. Comfort is too, but getting past this and back to a normal life is the priority. We fully expect to have a long time with him and I want it to be perfect. Is that too much to ask?

When I get mad about all this, about Rainie's turned out foot and now Mr. P's seizures, I have to ask God (who in moments like this, I do think controls these things) if really, we haven't given enough to the karmic pool of sadness and illness? Between Ellie and Alice, don't we deserve at least one year without a major medical problem in the family? I guess not, since we're 1 week shy of a year since Alice's death.

But then I look at Patrick and am reminded of how this big, silly, floppy, squishy boy has helped me start to get past losing Alice. Yes, I still cry at the mention of her name or if anyone asks about her, yes, there's still a huge hole in my heart, but the pain is not quite so great and thanks to Patrick, I can smile at the dogs instead of ignoring them. He's made me remember why I wanted a dog to begin with. How can you not smile at a basset hound? Imagine having 2 around all the time, how lucky you would be.

How lucky we are.

All this worrying is pretty exhausting. Looking at my little guy and wondering if it hurts him, if he's scared, if he'll ever stop having seizures and feel normal again, knowing he'll never be able to tell me. Some days I think I'm ready to be the parent of a human child but days like yesterday make me think, no, no way. I'd never sleep, never want to leave them alone, would want to spend all my time protecting them like we're trying desperately to protect Patrick.

Patrick Update
We started him on doggie valium last night. Since then, he's slept a lot (I'm sure he was as exhausted as we were) and had no seizures. Today he's more of his rambunctuous self. That's all I can ask for.

My dad's office really knows how to let their hair down. In preparation for Saturday's Ohio State/Michigan game, aka the Big Game, aka the defining moment in every Ohio State football season, they are doing the following:

To get in the spirit...let's all wear our Scarlet and Gray (Sweatshirts allowed...no jeans or sweatpants please)

That place really knows how to party!

11.20.2002

Last night we got home kind of late after Andrea's team had yet another win (7-0, great work, Wasabi!) and I coached. I guess this upset Patrick because he had not one but 2 seizures during the night. Our early warning system, aka Rainie, let us know about the first but she, like us, was asleep for the second. That time, I was the warning system. I'm utterly exhausted and missed my train thanks to a last minute visit from the stomach fairy. It's going to be a long day and it's only 8 am.

11.19.2002


(L to R) Rainie, Gus and Zeus


Patrick, going solo

Re: Polyamourousness (or getting it on with a bunch of people)
More than one person I know is into polyamoury, or having romantic relationships with more than one person at the same time. Being something of a prude (at least as far as I'll ever share with the likes of you, my 3 loyal readers) I have to wonder what the point is. How much sex can one person possibly need? I'm not suggesting that the moment we get settled down with a person (short or long term doesn't matter, the being settled is the key here) we all stop looking, we all know I'm a Big Perv even though I've been with Andrea for over 6 years now. But it does mean (to me) being grown up enough to recognize those impulses and to enjoy the view, then control them and go back home to your partner. I do not think it's okay to have romantic relationships with several people at once.

Why? Morality aside, it would be confusing. I've been on the recieving end of the wrong name (um, no, my name is not Becki, thanks for trying) and it sucked. The human ego is so fragile that there's no way to avoid getting someone hurt. Say what you like about being open but if you're the partner at home while the other is out carousing, it would suck. Because I don't want to be the person left at home, I don't think it's right to be the person out running around.

And that's all I got to say aboot that.

It's another of those times where I wonder how Rajiv and I can possibly handle the workload without any significant help. All of a sudden our customers are gettinga bit more demanding and there's a lot to do. Today, I don't think I can handle it. Maybe later, I'll feel differently.

In homage to Amy's haiku feature, I offer you:
Let me tell you about
Buffet. Plates aplenty
clean and waiting for my food.

I love the buffet
Featuring baron of beef
All you can eat! A real treat

Life is full of laughs
through the ages, nothing is
funnier than fart

11.18.2002

The other highlight of the game came when I growled at this woman during a face off. I usually do this in the women's league as a joke, they all know me and most are used to it and just laugh. But not Joan. She's not very friendly and was not interested in laughing at my frivolity. I growled, got the look of 'rrrrr' and said hey, I was joking, ha ha. I guess that didn't make her happy either because right after, we got into a scuffle on the boards and she slashed me. She got a penalty and was by that point, super pissed. As the seconds wore down on her penalty, she got ready to come out, her coach apparently said 'come onto the ice' so she did. Except that her penalty wasn't over yet. She got busted and ended up spending another 2 minutes and 1 seconds all by her grumpy ass self, then yelling at her coach.

Good work Joan. Remind me not to vote for you for Most Sportsmanlike. You may, however, vote me most likely to make jokes during the faceoff, even if you don't find them funny.

The Goal
Every time I practice shooting, I work on two things. My not so hard slapshot and a wrist shot from the right side where I lift it about 1/2 way up the net, presumably over a goalie who has already gone down. This is the move for a rebound/deke kind of situation. In practice, without a goalie to shoot on, this is a suave move that I can land just about every time. During games, it's never quite worked out. Well, until yesterday.

After being sick all week, I knew I wasn't up for playing D or Center so I put myself at wing, the place for the most scoring chances requiring the least amount of hard skating. We were down in the offensive zone, Julie took a shot, the goalie blocked it and there it bounced, right in front of me, with nobody around. I took that extra second, rocked back a little to get some momentum as everyone stopped to watch, the other team included. The goalie still down, I went for it, getting off the wrist shot I'm always practicing. Whoosh, it went right over the goalie's head and hit the back of the net, halfway up. The netting actually poofed out the back behind her.

Andrea said that the way I acted afterwards, it was like I'd just won a million dollars. In a way, I had. This is what I had practiced over and over, finally, I pulled it off in a game, a real live game. We tied 3-3 but I'm still giddy over The Goal. It came from my new CCM Vector 110 stick, bought with the money I won in Vegas. Thank you Mr Slot Machine!

11.15.2002

Thanks to brig for giving me lots of valuable insights into what having a seizure is like. Sorry that you know it far too well but I'm very grateful for the insight. For now, we're going to see if our theory plays out, that Patrick has seizures when he's very stressed about us leaving. They've slowed way down, he hasn't had one in 10 days. We're going to sedate him when we go out of town and see if that prevents them, rather than start a long term course of medicine. Of course if they get worse, we'll revisit this issue ASAP. It's good to know that they dont' really hurt, that they're scary but not painful. My poor little big footed guy.

At least today is Friday. I've been battling a cold all week, worked from home 2 days this week instead of 1 but it still kicked me in the ass. I'm feeling a bit better today but sound worse. I guess that's progress.

11.14.2002

On behalf of our company, I'd like to wish Glen a Merry Fucking Christmas. Here's your severance. Now get out.

Layoffs suck all around. It's hard to keep your enthusiasm up when you know that every quarter more of our already meager staff will be leaving. Making the trek up to SF every day is hard enough, it was better knowing I had at least 2 friends waiting here for me. Now I have to look forward to Glen's empty desk and knowing that if he doesn't find something soon, he's off to Toronto. I'm so sorry, Glen. We miss you around here already.

Sigh. It's that time of the quarter again. Layoffs abound in our little office, among the fallen is the Mighty Glen Lewis. Fuck.

11.13.2002

With the holidays really not that far away, I've decided to sell my entire life on ebay to make some extra cash. This includes the cursed DVD player and other crap. I admit that my favorite part is watching the numbers that mean dollars in my pocket get bigger as the auction goes on. Merry Christmas to me and my wallet.

Note to self (and to you) : if you're looking to sell some stuff, it's getting to be a good time because people tend to pay more around the holidays.

11.12.2002

It's that time of year again, Rainie, Patrick, Andrea, a visiting Melinda and I will be marching in the DooDah Parade in Pasadena, helping raise money for basset rescue of Southern California. This time, we aren't faced with the daunting goal of $50 like we were in the Fun Run, we're just collecting money. If you have a little extra cash or need a tax writeoff, email me. The bassets thank you.

11.11.2002

Stellar customer interaction of the day: I explained something to our client and got the following response: I don't believe this is the reason we were (having this problem.)

Welcome to Dow-tays beleive it or not. Because it's true regardless. But how do I say this tactfully?

It's true, Marcos who was supposed to build our fence didn't show. No call, no contact. Andrea's inclined to wait a week, try to find him again and see what's up but I'm not. When I'm willing to pay for something, whatever it is, and you tell me you'll be there on this date to do it, I expect you to be there. Just like when I'm paid to do something (sit in this chair 1.5 hours each way from my home, for example) I do it, in time and as well as I can. So as far as I'm concerned we'll be finding someone new for the fence. As charming as having the Great White Trash Fence Hole is, it's time to fix it.

That picture of Pumpkin is cracking me up every time I look at it. How can you not find bassets funny?

Rainie and Patrick's sister, Pumpkin, who sent good wishes for Patrick to live a seizure-free life, modeling her lovely Halloween costume.

The good part of the weekend: Saturday I played my first game as part of the Mirage, a team in the Women's league at the Redwood City Ice Oasis. A lot of my friends are in this league and have a blast so I figured I'd try it. So far, it's the best thing ever! The level is a bit above where I play in the NCWHL, I felt both completely outclassed and right with the pack at the same time. Outclassed because I'm used to being one of the stronger players in the women's league and right with the pack because I could keep up with or catch almost everyone. We have a bunch of girls from the 19 and under Jr Girls Sharks team on the team. They're a great bunch of skaters with Mad Skillz. I played forward with a girl named Hoover. After her first goal (my assist, thank you very much) I called it the Hoover Maneuver. She scored again, we won 9-4. Winning is fun and playing with women is even more fun than winning.

I can see it getting to a point where I only play in women's leagues.

What seems to be the scoop on Patrick
All of his bloodwork came back as normal, great in fact. Other than the fact that he has seizures, Mr. P is an abundantly healthy little guy. Which is good, but it does indicate epilepsy. The option is to put him on medication for this but once we do so, he's on it for at least 2 years, at that point we'd try to wean him off of it. So, for now we're thinking of trying to minimize the stressors that cause these and see how far that gets us. Maybe nowhere but it's worth trying before we resign him to a lifetime of medication.

Andrea pointed out that we're more prepared for a special needs little guy than a lot of people are. She's right but it still sucks.

Viktor, my coworker in the coma, remains unconscious with no change today. Sounds like he's on a ventilator and not improving. Shit.

11.08.2002

But at least it's Friday.

Spent 2 hours and far too much money schlepping Patrick to the vet. He whined for the ENTIRE time. I felt like the frustrated parents of a newborn who won't stop crying. You love the little one but also want to kill it or at least have it go away for a while until the noise stops. He peed in the house this morning and in the car on the way to the vet today. I arrived at the vet very frustrated and it didn't get any better. They took blood, urine and skin scrapings from the sore on his chin. Our vet suspects that it's epilepsy but we need to wait on the bloodwork to see for sure.

Last night the Blue Jackets had a huge victory over the 1st place St. Louis Blues. I had fully expected to see a loss but no, they kicked ass, winning 5-2. Let it be said that if they get to the playoffs next spring, I will be there, hair dyed red, blue and flourescent yellow, ready for the game.

11.07.2002

I still very much feel like I've been hit by a truck but I do feel better than I did yesterday. Despite the migraine, I made it to band and had a less than inspired performance. Since the concert is Friday, it seemed like the right thing to do to be there but ugh.

Our basset loving friends in Kentucky need some help. I can't think of a tougher place to do rescue than a part of the country where hounds are bred for hunting then more often than any of us would like, dumped on roads, in yards, in shelters or simply left in the woods when they are no longer useful. If you have an extra $5, please consider sending it to these folks, who work harder in a day to save dogs than I do in a month. The same goes for my dear friend Melinda in Ohio, also a land of thankless work and way too many homeless hounds.

Bluegrass Basset Rescue is in desperate need. I am getting ready to leave and we have no money for kenneling bills. We need foster homes in the Nashville (and all of Kentucky) area. We have to get these fosters in for the winter. If anyone can help in any way, please let me know!!! We are closing our doors for now as we have to get the present bassets adopted out.

We have outstanding bills in excess of $700 for kennelling and veterinary care. We had gotten in a stray hit by a car who would have died a very slow agonizing death otherwise as he'd gotten a hernia as a result of being hit and his intestines had slipped thru. His bill to fix that and neuter him, get him shots, etc... was $500. Any donations towards Buddy's bill would be terribly appreciated. Even just $5 would go a long way! Our address is:

Bluegrass Basset Rescue
215 S. 15th Street
Murray KY 42071

11.06.2002

Today I got lunch from a new (to me) place in One Market. Lucky me, not only was it expensive it's given me a migraine. I feel absolutely stuck here in San Francisco, 1.5 hours (at best) from home. It's a mile to the train station, then far too long on the train. Too many things lie between my bed and I right now and it's not right.

I have to admit that I'm feeling gypped. Patrick and Rainie were supposed to be perfect, be with us from a young age (which they have been) and live wonderful lives free from pain and suffering, at least for a long damn time. Now Rainie has a foot that turns out too much (scary but not overly so) and Patrick has fucking seizures. Haven't we paid our dues with sick dogs, nursing Ellie to as peaceful a death as possible then doing everything possible to keep Alice healthy for as long as possible, in the end losing both after far too short of a time? I thought so.

That's enough of my selfish rant for now.

I just heard that Megan, amazing nearly 16 year old Grande Dame beagle of my friend Barb's pack, has passed away. Megan was the sweetest of girls and I hope that she's with Alice at the buffet right now.

The good part about last night was the free badass seats to the Sharks game that Mary was nice enough to share with me. We were right behind Nabokov for 2 periods and got to see some fantastic saves. They were the best seats I've ever had to a Sharks game! I came home having enjoyed the game and ready to settle in with the putters for some quality TV watching. Patrick was all over me, laying with me on the couch and whining. I thought that was because he was pissed that I'd gotten home so late. Turns out no, it was because the little guy was gearing up to have a seizure. Rainie came up to him, started growling and before I knew it, my little guy was twitching and making noises like he was having a dream, a very bad dream. At one point his eyes came open and were staring out, but he wasn't there. I'd never watched one happen before and am in no hurry to see it again. Afterwards he was drunk, covered in eye goo, slobber and pee and wandering around, bumping into things. Eventually he settled back down, though he remained pretty clingy the rest of the night. I can't say that I blame him. We're going to the vet on Friday and I'm going to have her do every test possible to get to the bottom of this. Not that there's any guaranteed answers out there but I'll give it my best shot to find them.

Thanks to Heather for assembling these highlights of our game in Vegas against some team from Phoenix. It's quite a rock-u-mentary!

11.05.2002

What would you do if you found a wallet w/ $20 in it? There isn't much mystery with me, I'd return it. I also return extra change given to me by store clerks and quarters I see people drop, though I have been known to pick up loose change on the ground. At Mr. Becker's funeral on Saturday, his wife said with Dick, there was never any doubt about integrity, she always knew they'd pay for every piece of software they used and file their taxes with no fudging. That's the ideal I'm shooting for.

Last night I was preparing to vote today (did you vote?) when I started reading the ballot aloud for my captive audience -- Andrea. She did not enjoy my rendition of 'de Bilota' en espanol but I cracked myself up for far too long. God forbid I should have to learn Spanish, even if I become fluent there will still be no doubt that I'm as white as the driven snow -- I can't muster any kind of accent other than White Girl from Ohio. Hola.

The drama has begun. A group of parents of the girls I coach are insisting on going to Vancouver (aka land of hockey) for a tournament. Our girls are in a development year, they've been blown out of every game they've played to date and I don't anticipate them doing well in this tourney. But we're going anyway (well, not me, I'll be in China), registered in the lowest division possible to give them a chance in hell at doing sort of well. The parent rampage has begun, I'm bracing myself for the email flurry that's sure to commence -- these parents don't understand why we're going 'all the way to Canada' to play at that level. Um, Canada is a whopping 2 hour flight away, just imagine that you're going to Phoenix. I can't wait to watch this one develop. Lucky for me, I'm an assistant coach and will just sit back and watch el fireworks.

Viktor, the guy who was laid off last week, apparently went skydiving on Sunday and something went very wrong. He's in a coma right now. Jesus.

The other day, I was meeting Linea at the ice rink with two dogs who were hopefully on their way to new homes. I'm standing there with the world's cutest beagle, Hanna, who surely was adopted by now, waiting for Linea to arrive when I see this guy and this woman sitting on the stoop outside the rink. I explain that I do rescue and that the dog was getting a ride. The guy feels the need to say "beagles were bred for hunting you know" then proceeds to tell me about their noses (which work like a million times better than yours and mine combined) then about their ears, which like basset hound ears (but smaller) were designed to lift a scent from the ground to their noses. Finally I turn to him and say yes, I know this. Remember, I do rescue?

It's sort of like telling someone laden with hockey gear that you need skates to play. Well, maybe something a little more obscure like that your shin guards go on before the hockey socks, but still.

11.04.2002

I do not sleep on Sunday nights. I don't know if it's because I'm dreading returning to my hellish weekday schedule or am wired up from playing hockey but there I lay, tossing and turning, dozing occasionally until it's time to get up. Last night was no exception and today I'm exhausted. I'd better sleep hard on the train tonight to make up for it.

Wen mentioned her recent Theramin experience and I wanted to share mine. There's this guy in Project Pimento who is a Theramin virtuoso. We saw them play at some tiki bar in North Beach and it was perfect. You've never heard the Hawaii Five-O theme song done right until you've heard it on a Theramin. It's the only musical instrument that's played without touching it. Magic!

I Am King Kong
I seem to have gone through a phase where I thought it prudent to cut my hockey sticks short, too short. They looked child sized next to the other people on my team, so after months of bending over and not always having my stick on the ice, I broke down and spent a whopping $5 on an extension, sort of like a hair extension but not quite. I cut it down a bit and still have a stick that's a good 3 inches longer than before. As some of you already know, 3 inches in a lot of things makes a huge difference and the same is true for hockey sticks!

I played my first game with the MegaStick yesterday and felt like fucking King Kong. My pokechecks were right on, I could reach farther without stooping over and nobody got past me. A couple of times I toyed with the oncoming opponent but then reached out with my MegaStick and poked the puck away at the last minute. We won the game, 4-2. The 2 were NOT scored on the me and the MegaStick.

Woo! I played three games this weekend, with a record of 2-1. Not too shabby.

11.01.2002

I just heard that there's 1 sub spot open to play with the Snow Cones after the December 6 Sharks vs. Columbus Blue Jackets game and I GOT THE SPOT!!! I am absolutely giddy about the chance to possibly see any of the Blue Jackets (aka my idols) in the locker room. If you're interested in watching this extravaganza, there are still tickets left at the $33 level. I'd love some of you loyal readers to join us, but email me very soon.

Halloween in my neighborhood, which doesn't have that many kids in it: Me standing outside with our next door neighbor Peter, commenting repeatedly about the lack of kids, then calling to the few kids who went by "hey, we have candy over here!" Eventually a few more kids came but we still have about 1/3 of our candy left. Everyone I know went out to party last night. Funny, it didn't even occur to me. We had a great dinner at the Korea House and watched TV. That was more than enough party for me.

A great outrage: Bratwurst Stand Gets the Boot. Not fair. Bratwurst should be allowed anywhere and everywhere for it is one of the keys to happiness.