Amy and I are currently in Hangzhou, on the 2nd day of a tour. Today is self-guided, we will be guiding ourselves to a train station and back to Shanghai. I will be thrilled to be home but am glad I've been here. I will never take the United States for granted again.
Greetings from Shanghai
Because I have only a few minutes, below is what I wrote my dad also. I'm thinking of you all and ready to return home.
Things here are interesting to say the least. In short, everything is a gigantic pain in the ass. Places are crowded and people shove like crazy. I can't say that I'll ever be in a rush to come back here. Highlights: all of us on the world's most crowded bus, as more and more people shove their way in to the bus and I start talking in English, offering to practice English with anyone who wants to. I also talk loudly about Bob Barker. Everywhere you go these guys come out of nowhere to say, Hello, Watch. As if you want to buy 1000 watches. Andrea's started combatting them by saying HELLO the way Squiggy used to on Laverne and Shirley. Yesterday Amy and I started dancing inside a store because they were playing great dance music. The girls started dancing with us and had a great time with the silly americans. People stare at us wherever we go. I hate the toilet situation, there's something wrong with pretty much every single one we've found. I don't squat, refuse to squat, so there's an extra constraint on our adventures. McDonalds and KFC are EVERYWHERE and the Starbuck's we had yesterday was without a doubt the best ever! We see very few white people and find ourselves staring at them too.
They brought in pizza for lunch today. Not regular, white people pizza, but weird pizza like clams and garlic. Nope, I'm not kidding, I'm just from Ohio, where vegetarian pizza means cheese. I'm standing in the kitchen, talking to a few folks while eating when this new guy walks in. I was refilling the coke supply in the fridge and while my back was turned, the guy took my pizza and left his behind! Sheesh.
Twice is more than enough
Being gay, as you might imagine, I do not have a lot of opportunity to see men's anatomy (aka THINGS, or PARTS). This of course is part of the whole lesbian deal and something that I'm totally fine with. However, not once, but now twice in the last few months, I've seen live cocks! The first, well, that was a long night involving a 52 ounce football full of beer, a lot of sangria and an expensive bar in Vegas. I'm still traumatized by that one.
Last night, I subbed in for the Bandits, which was tons of fun. After the game, I'm in the locker room, stripping down to my hockey underwear (which is still more clothing than some people wear to the Ohio State fair) when I look up at the wrong moment. A guy was getting ready to go into the (communal, gay bathouse-esque) showers and stripped all of his clothes off. There it was, his THING, waving at me from across the room. I looked away then looked back, horrifed.
Yup, I like girls. They are free from parts like those.
I think I broke the office microwave. I was making my oatmeal, just like every day I'm in the office. The little cup was spinning happily, about to boil over as I took it out. I closed the door and blamo! The microwave went NUTS! All the lights came on, the little tray spun satanically and there was a lot of beeping. I screamed like a girl, unplugged the thing and took off.
I am tired of being tired. I am tired of spending 4 hours of my day, every day, getting to and from work. It is time to find another job closer to home. I'd said that this would be my last tech job but it looks like I'll need at least one more while I get through Park Ranger training. I so long to not be exhausted all the time.
We took my parents to the Korea House, home of 2 pounds of food per person and the owner's personal attention along with hints for making sushi. Sushi! she shouts as she puts rice then bean cake then meat on a piece of seaweed for you. My dad walks in the door, stands in a sea of Korean people waiting to get their Bul Go Kee and says "HAH SO!". Oh dad.
I hate drama
Remember how my hockey team all bailed on me last season, leaving me with 5 loyalists? I rebuilt, luckily inheriting a 3 on 3 team of 9 folks largely intact. Today I got an anonymous email from one of them with some valid concerns about me favoring the loyalists (which is true, they talk more so I hear them more) and certain folks playing different positions. What smarts about this is that they didn't tell me who they are. That's silly, I'm a grown up, you are too. Let's work it out, eh?
I work very hard at balancing the team's individual abilities, often putting myself on D when I'd rather play forward and moving folks around depending on who is there. I guess I haven't displayed how hard I work at that. I asked the team for their input on where they'd like to play, hopefully we'll get some pleasant surprises out of that request. Otherwise I don't know what to do, if people don't talk, I can't hear them....
Woo hooo! Amy has secured a seat with Andrea and I for the important flights, the long ass ones from Seattle - Tokyo, then Tokyo-Shanghai. There will be no passing of things across the plane. We're all in the same row, A,B,C, not unlike 1,2,3. Woo!
Haiku Tuesday, a tribute to our upcoming trip
re: China. Let's go
Get on that big plane maybe
If we do not sit
together on the plane, I
will pass things along
excuse me nice man
please give this towlette to my
friend Amy, up there.
In just a few days
We will be jetsetting, off
to see THINGS in CHINA!
Today was the first time a visit to the chiropractor made me shout. I guess my mid-back was a mess because when she cracked it, I involuntarily shouted! I played pretty hard this weekend and my body was a bit unhappy about it. Now that I'm adjusted I'm ready for more. Since we're off to China on Sunday, I'm trying to get in as much hockey as I can until then.
What a weekend! We had a great visit w/ my parents. They saw my big holiday concert and 2 hockey games. I'm utterly exhausted but had a wonderful visit. Andrea shocked me by getting me the Game Boy Advance, I'm so stoked! Woo!
In case you were wondering, (I know I was!) there are ample los bathrooms in Shanghai including "1,089 fixed toilets and 25 movable toilets, owned by a government department called Shanghai City Appearance and Environmental Sanitation Administrative Bureau. Apart from the bureau's toilets, private-enterprise owner Gu Hongchang built 140 movable toilets. "In total, the city has over 1,200 toilets, which means, on average, there are three toilets per square kilometre..."
How do you spell relief? DECENT TOILET!
I decided that I hate it that Patrick has epilepsy. Today, it's under control but it could flare up again at any time. A dog whose person is on the canine epilepsy mailing list I'm on had a whopper this morning, peed and pooed and bit his lip so he was awash in bodily fluids. I read that and almost cried, thinking that it could happen to Mr. P at any time. I hope that he is seizure free while we're in China, that he doesn't get freaked out that we're not home for 10 days. Sigh.
In Japan and China, we'll have to go through customs and make declarations. I've been practicing all morning:
I declare that i'm the king of customs!
I declare that Amy declares I'm the king of declarations
I declare that I'll be here all day, making declarations!
The parents have arrived safely. They had a 3+ hour delay getting out of Columbus but arrived tired, but okay. I called the airline to see what they'd done with them, they weren't going to give out the information (aka the 411) but I did this whole spiel about how they're 70 years old (not quite but hey) and don't travel much, if they were lost, or worse, in Detroit and they hooked me up. We had a quick dinner, then whisked them off to my big holiday concert. They hadn't seen me play since high school and it was a huge thrill to have them there. Later, Mom said she was proud of me. Awww, shucks.
Ever wondered: How much of a lesbian are you? Thanks Dylan. For your information, I scored 100 out of 180 so maybe I'm not as gay as I think. Except of course for having no physical attraction to men but hey, that's a sidebar.
Calling the groomer to make an appointment for Mr. Zeus, who is a real pain in the ass when it comes to getting his nails trimmed. We hadn't been there in a while and I knew this was coming but it still left me in tears.
"Hi, I need to make a grooming appointment."
Okay, what's your name?
Oh, okay is this for Alice?
My voice catches, no, no it's not, she passed away about a year ago.
The woman was sorry and overly apologetic through the rest of the conversation but the pain still hung there. Some days, I think that pain will just always be with me, that the mere mention of her name will bring me to tears forever. Maybe it will, I just don't know. The farther away we get from losing her, the more I realize that you just don't get over a loss like this, that maybe you learn (most days) how to maneuver around it, but it's always there. I imagine made for TV movies about Al and me, people the world over amazed at the great bond we shared and of course how fucking cute she was.
Yup, she was #1. I may wear jersey #1, but it belongs to her and her alone. Maybe someday, when I'm more over this, I'll retire those jerseys but for now, it's something I need to do to remind the world who she was. Far more than just a dog, that's fo damn sheezy.
and Solid Gold dancer, yo!
Boogie at the bar
Groove to the beat when
Nobody else is dancing
We are Solid Gold.
Blind man on the train
Nobody stops to help him
You, there, you ASSHOLE!
Late night hockey game
Tons of fun then, but today
So tired I can't stand.
Amyfritz, all things
Fashionable and also
My parents are coming out to visit tomorrow. I am already exhausted at all the planning that's gone on and will continue to go on. I do know that my mom will have a better time the more we have each meal, each moment planned so I've done my best to accomodate that. But I'm not quite that organized so it's very hard. I expect a number of additional phone calls from them before they arrive.
People are Jerks
Just when I am starting to have faith in mankind, that we are basically good, comes a smack upside the head from the gods that screams 'Liz, you dumbass, people are assholes.' Getting off the train this morning, there is the usual throng of people waiting to buy muni tickets, myself included. In the middle of this throng is a man who is obviously blind (HELLO? DID YOU NOT SEE THE CANE??) and he's confused. Doesn't know where to put his money and keeps waving his dollar around. Does anyone stop to help him? No! They just walk around him or shove him out of the way so they can get their fucking tickets. Finally, it's my turn, of course the man is still standing there, so I basically buy his ticket for him then guide him to the platform. At one point the guy almost wanders off the platform and people just look on. Once on the train, he asks if this car stops at Market and California but nobody answers.
What is wrong with people? Are we all so self important that we can't help a blind man get on the streetcar? Obviously yes. So, dear readers, take a look around you and if someone needs help, don't shove them out of the way, help them! You'd certainly want the same if you were in the blind man's shoes.
And to the little kid who hit Leo this weekend at the pizza place, no little Mikey that was NOT appropriate behavior and your mommy should be ashamed that you did that. She should also kick your ass for touching Leo, not just say 'that's inappropriate behavior.' Aren't people parents anymore? Kudos to Holly and Kevin for not kicking the mother's ass but for insisting that she apologize.
My esteemed collegue Rajiv is out for the week on a much-needed vacation. In his absence, I'm covering his accounts and already, here at 10:52 am on Monday, I am ready for him to return.
2 weeks from today, we will be in China. China. Motherfucking China. Ho-a and top o the morning to you, good people of Shanghai.
The parts of the Blue Jackets game that I saw were fantastic, they outshot the Sharks and I got to see Geoff Sanderson score two goals. They were up 2-1 when we left to get ready to play but blew it while we were gone, losing 3-2 to the Sharks. Skating after was big fun, even if the Cones got their asses kicked. Saturday was a Long Day. Andrea headed up to the city for the craft show and I came up later via transit. Lesson learned -- there's nothing fun about a long city bus ride. Bart was exciting from the moment I got on, an old man next to me was 'ready to rock and roll, let's get this thing moving' and another guy came through shouting that we were headed to Sahn Frahn, Sahn Frahn!! By the time I got to the craft fair I was tired and hungry. Fortunately Amy came along and whisked me away to the house of cheesesteaks. We ate them with Andrea, then headed off to get Amy's car, shlepping my hockey gear on not one but two busses. Glenlewis, I do not know how you do that week after week. It was a royal pain in the ass. We got Amy's car and she drove my ass down to Redwood City (home of the most fun playing hockey ever) to watch a rag tag band of geezer subs tie the #1 team, the 16-19 year old Jr Girls Sharks. I took a big time penalty, tripping a girl as she went toward the net, but she didn't score so it was worth it. I had a blast, then we headed back to the city for dinner w/ Andrea, Annie and on to meet for Brandon's birthday party.
We schlepped Brandon's ghetto cake through North Beach, Amy carrying with me in the lead saying, 'excuse us, cake coming through' the whole way. The bar was the super trendy, decidely downtempo Rosewood, where they play hip hop music but nobody dances, they just stand around wearing hip clothes and drinking expensive drinks. Me? I had a water and was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. I decided the music was going to waste and started dancing like I was at a real (aka Gay) club. Amy joined me and we danced as if nobody was looking, which of course they weren't. They were turned away, being trendy.
Sunday, my Red team kicked ass despite the subs I'd invited getting intimidated out of playing for us by these two women who had just shown up hoping to play. I was pretty pissed about the whole thing but got there too late to change it. We won 3-0, thanks to a solid line of D and some hard working forwards. Tons o fun. Immediately after, I went to the Green practice, where I spent an hour dumping pucks into the corner for them to chase. Eventually I started using slapshots. It was perfect, I could just stand there and watch them go. In a game, you'd need to pay attention but in practice, you can admire your shot all day long.
But now it's Monday and I'm here at the office again. Woo.
A day of great stress
Tonight is the Blue Jackets game. I'm totally excited but mad at myself -- I've lost the tickets I bought for Chris, Lisa, Thoma and the lovely Mrs. Thoma. We've turned the house upside down with no luck. A visit to the Sharks office revealed that they will reprint them for you but I of course didn't pay attention to the seat number so I'm going to have to ask everyone on both teams which seats they have and figure it out from there. Sigh.
Picked up our Basset card exchange cards from Kinkos and almost peed my pants when she told me the total -- $215. I talked her down and only took half of them but in the end it was still $75. That's a lot. You basset people better enjoy your cards!
Merry Fucking Christmas
Al Qaeda: 'Gift' of terror on its way includes such great quotes as: "You did not understand the reasons for the raids of Washington and New York," well, gee. I guess we're a bunch of dumbasses, because we don't see any reason to kill 3000 people. I can't wait for that next gift of terror. Sigh. There's no arguing with people who don't value human life.
Tomorrow night, I'm playing at the Shark Tank/San Jose Arena/Compaq Center/HP Pavillion after the Blue Jackets beat the Sharks. While they don't show our game on the jumbotron, they DO show your name if you get a penalty. So....I'll be doing everything I can to get a penalty. My adoring fans: please have your cameras ready to capture the Dow-tay! on the jumbotron.
Looking for a hand truck? Find one here.
Here's a great idea for the toy every kid needs: Pull My Finger Elmo. Hee hee, Kermit, that one smelled! Hee hee, I threw mud!
At long last, Andrea has been cleared to go ice skating -- for 15 minutes. I can't wait! Hopefully she'll want to go tomorrow and I can skate with my girl once again. Woo!
Last night, I could actually make a Hockey Workout game. I played pretty hard, giving a few extra shoves of love until I got a couple in return. First a guy shoved me into the boards, hard. I called him a motherfucker. Then there was a scuffle in front of the net and somehow the same guy fell right on top of me and my arm, imprinting the inside of my elbow pad into my arm. It's a lovely bruise, according to Dylan it looks like I've been shooting up. Ow. We tied and are headed to the playoffs in first place. Woo.
Because I'm too lazy to think of people to email this to, and anyone I'd send it to would read it here anyway, here's my take on the questions Dena sent out:
1. LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATER:
Eight Crazy Nights, the Adam Sandler animated musical. See ya later, poopsicle.
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
The Miss America Family by Julianna Baggett and some cheesy Maeve Binchy paperback I bought for $.25.
3. FAVORITE BOARD GAME?
4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE?
Hustler. Okay, not really, Maxim.
5. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Alice, when she was clean, just after waking up.
6. COMFORT FOOD(S):
Korean, instant mashed potatoes (tell me it's not magic when first it's flakes or powder, then the presence of water makes it into POTATOES!), mac and cheese.
7. FAVORITE SOUNDS?
The whack of catching, then giving a good pass in hockey.
8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD?
Scoring a goal for the other team. Or remembering that Alice is gone.
9. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING?
Goddamn! Your mom was great last night. Okay, no, either woo! hockey today or woo. work today.
10. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE?
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME?
MURRAY ABRAHAM TAN-DOWTAY!
12. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE?
Weed and hockey. Okay, no, hanging with my bitches and talking about all the cool stuff we've done or may do later, when we get off the couch. And my dogies.
13. FINISH THE STATEMENT, "IF I HAD LOTS OF MONEY, I WOULD:
Quit my job and finance myself as a professional hockey player in the LizDoughty Hockey League. LDHL! I'm sure I'd do something stellar for animal rescue as well, like fund free spay/neuters for as many people as possible.
14. DO YOU DRIVE FAST?
Yup. That's why I live in CA, where 80 is the norm on the highway.
15. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL?
That is none of your business.
16. STORMS - COOL OR SCARY?
A pain in the ass. And scary.
17. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR?
Brown 1981 Toyota Corolla station wagon. That thing rocked, just ask Amy and/or Dan.
18. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE COLOR?
19. FINISH THE STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME, I WOULD:
Take a nap.
20. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI?
Yeah, they're not nailed down.
21. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Blue. I don't think I'm kidding.
22. GLASS - HALF EMPTY OR HALF FULL?
Half full, I guess. If it's beer, then it's half empty and I'm already sad that it's gone.
23. HOW MANY DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS HAVE YOU LIVED IN?
Columbus, Oh., Salem OR, Eugene, OR, Portland, OR, Sunnyvale, CA, Mountain View CA, San Jose CA = 7
24. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX?
On the couch with Patrick and Rainie draped across me.
25. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
Hockey and curling.
26. SAY ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS: Dena is da Bomb. And she raised some pretty fucking amazing puppies. An email I got from her has changed my life in so many ways, I now have 2 amazing bassets and 2 dear friends thanks to one email.
27. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED?
Dust and some crap of Andrea's.
28. WHAT IS A SPECIAL GIFT YOU WANT, BUT WILL NOT BUY FOR YOURSELF.
A new ipod to replace the one I left on the fucking plane in Chicago. I'm really not worthy of another one. That, and a membership to the Power Bodies gym in San Jose.
29. OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU WILL E-MAIL THIS TO, WHO'S THE MOST LIKELY TO
I'm just posting it so it doesn't count.
30. LEAST LIKELY? George Bush. Heh. I said Bush.
I just can't adjust to being back at work. I start school for Park Management in January and I guess I'm ready to be working at that now instead of sitting here watching my ass get wider.
My first day back at work and I'm not exactly getting warm fuzzies from being here. I think getting re-anethestitized to your daily life is the hardest part about vacation.
Woo, I'm back from LA and Ohio. Lots of good things happened on both trips -- new medication for Patrick, no seizures, having a great visit with my birthmom and family in Ohio, a nice visit with my parents. The low points were getting airsick on the way from SJ to Chicago and losing my ipod in the process. Sigh. It's great to be back though!