6.30.2003

We just picked up Andrea's fly new car. Unfortunately, we were both too tired (and my ongoing battle with last week's migrane kicked back up again) to really pimp properly. Instead, we drove it to Fresh Choice, then home again, where it's pimpin' quietly in the driveway.

I've been trying to write this since Saturday but cannot find the words.

Buddy, my mom's sweet, death-defying miracle beagle man, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. He seems to be relatively pain-free but does have a bit of a cough at times. Mom is feeding him bacon and all sorts of other goodies, trying desperately to wrap her head around the looming sadness.

He battled cancer in 1999, emerging victorious when he wasn't expected to live 4 months. Since then he's been mom's miracle man, but I guess he's run out of miracles.

Please keep Buddy and especially my mom, who is so very close to Buddy, in your thoughts as he begins the journey away from us.

After much window shopping, Andreatan has finally bought her bad self a Brand New Car. We did the deal in phases, with me being the hard ass and Andrea being the Buyer. In the end, I think we got a decent deal and the critical piece, Andrea having the most reliable car in the house, is in place. I can't wait to be pimpin in the Endeavor, starting to-nite!

6.27.2003

I am pleased to report that yet another day goes by and Gus has kept us safe from the mailman.

Googlism on toast: toast is enough of a tribute to a woman who was a superstar in her own time.

My result on googlism. Sorry, Google doesn't know enough about liz doughty yet.

6.26.2003

At long last the power came back on around 4:30. The poor dogs, especially the old guys, were very unhappy about the heat and I was powerless to do more than give them an impromptu bath. They're feeling much better now, though.

Tried to take Andrea's car for an oil change but the great plumes of blue smoke tell me that won't be quite enough. After a brief pow-wow with her on the phone, we decided it was best to just let the old girl rest comfortably in our driveway while Andrea decides what the next move was.

There's something about great plumes of smoke that inspire people to honk at you and let you know that's what's going on. Thanks for the help, folks, but really, I can see it too. Wouldn't you be worried if I couldn't?

Woke up today forgetting that part of the light rail project in our neighborhood requires the VTA to turn power off for much of today. So much for doing freelance work. I'm here at the damn spiffy school library which just opened last week. The rest of the campus is a ghetto shithole but this building is niiice.

I had to stop by the ice rink where the Thursday pickup group plays, I'd bought a ghetto blocker from Jim the goalie and owed him money. I pull up and Terry says 'oh cool, here's another goalie.' It took everything I had to get back in the car and walk away, headed to Evil Statistics, where a midterm awaits me.

Speaking of that, I guess I should go study or something.

6.25.2003

In class today, I almost peed my pants when I got the brilliant idea that our old curmudgeon of a teacher would be superfly if he was only sporting a truck driver hat. Every time he turned around (pretty much the whole time) I started giggling again, imagining some lovely brown plastic mesh surrounding his sweaty bald head.

A girl needs something to sustain her through 2 hours of Satan's Math.

6.23.2003

OMG the Lost Smurfs episode is absolutely hilarious. You must see it. And speaking of things you must see, Doggie Fizzle Telefizzle is now in full swing on MTV (aka the world's best TV channel). I think anything Snoop Dogg does is cool, his voice is downright sexy (yes, people I'm aware that I date women, that does not preclude me from noticing Snoop Dogg's sexy voice). Another fine program on the MTV is Surf Girls, which features a bunch of hot girls surfing in bikinis. As if life couldn't be better...

Just pimpin' on the Huffy. You wanna sit on my bannana seat?

Rainie is so funny. I'm in the office with the door open (it isn't always when I'm in here, depending on the Basset Likehood of Getting into Trouble at the Moment Index, which is more variable than you'd think) and they all wander in and out. Every so often, it's like Rainie or Patrick remebers that the door's open and come running in at full speed to say "HELLO!!!! MOMMY!!!" as if they weren't here just 2 minutes before. Silly kids. As much as I hate statistics (and I do), I love being able to have moments like that with them.

At long last (or so it seems) I wrapped up my big freelance project this weekend. The site went live with a minimum of post-push hassles. Now we're down to minor cleanup work and revamping the very small corporate site. This should also mean that I get some additional sleep.

Got my first stats quiz back, a very disappointing 72%, not because I didn't understand what I was doing but because I wasn't paying close enough attention to the instructions. A decimal in the wrong place, forgetting to include the median on 2 questions. Dumb dumb, dumb. The good news? I really do (so far) understand what's going on.

6.17.2003

Day 2 of statistics sucked even worse than day one. The teacher knows one way and only one way of explaining things. I tried to get him to tell me why he put zeros on one side of a stem/tree chart and he couldn't tell me. "That's how it is." Great.

It looks like Ann from Financial Aid came through! I got an email from the government telling me that my annual expected family contribution (i.e. the amount of cashola I'm expected to put up each year to fund my education, living expenses, crack habit, booze fund and of course the hydroponic farm in my basement) has dropped from $20,000 to $4500, which means I'm now eligible for some kind of financial aid to make up the difference. The next step should be an award letter from the school telling me how they plan to fund that difference. I'm ready for some good news.

I had my first win as a goalie tonight. They won 10-8 and I only let in a few dumb ones. I had a lot of nice glove saves, used my blocker and had a number of stick saves. I finally feel like I'm making progress. It is time to admit that I really can't play goalie in one game, change in 10 minutes, then play forward in the next. I was just way too tired.

Speaking of way too tired, good night. I need my rest for day 2 of Evil Statistics.

6.16.2003

Evil Statistics sucked. The class is in a very small room, it was full to capacity, then some. Turns out a lot of these kids were trying to add it, not having registered early like my bad self. The teacher is ancient, talks to the board and mutters a lot. He did make all the people trying to add go stand at the back, giving seats to those of us who had actually registered. It's going to be a long 6 weeks.

In less than an hour I start my foray into the exciting world of Evil Statistics. I'm so not looking forward to this, if there was an optional root canal choice, I think I'd take that.

The good news is that I finished the bulk of my big freelance job last night at midnight, that I have 2 small and another big job coming my way, they should be enough to carry me (financially) through the summer. The other good news is that my sore throat is finally gone. While I'm still coughing a bit, it's much better than it was.

6.13.2003

I've been pretty busy the last few weeks working on a freelance gig. The timing couldn't be better, since I've had this time off of school. They're a very nice group of folks to work for and the money I'm making should be enough to carry me through the summer, assuming I get denied the unemployment extension. Part of the gig is working on their UNIX server, it's like old home week for me, cranking away on a terminal window, set up the way I like it -- black screen w/ the ugly green type. I'd forgotten how focused I get, last night I was utterly exhausted, sick, grumpy, but couldn't stop until I did this one more thing. Made me remember all those crazy days at beyond, where we were all there late every night, thought we owned the world and were really part of something. Maybe that's why every job I've had since then has paled in comparison, because the world had already changed and what I was doing was already old news.

I want my work to be new news again.

6.12.2003

I just noticed that the TV job I didn't get is already open again. I guess whoever they hired didn't work out so well. Ha!

The big bad nasty cold that Andrea had last week has jumped from her to me. I sound terrible, hack like an old smoker and have some sort of strange goo coming out of my left eye. That said, I still played pickup hockey today, this time as a goalie since goalies play free. Despite my inexperience, I did okay, it's different with 5 on 5 (my previous 2 games have been at 3 on 3, which is much faster paced). Nice to have defensemen there to help out with some of the guys camped out in front of the net. What's frustrating is the forward who bitched at me for not going down on every shot. Hey pal, I'm not an expert either but at least I'm wearing the gear. Could ya be a little nicer in your delivery? No. This is the same guy who's bitched at me for not waiting before I make passes as a forward, something I do regularly in my own games. The difference is that the guys at pickup are a lot more skilled than my normal compatriots and don't allow me the kind of time I usually get so the puck is stripped from me before I even have a chance to do something with it.

That Tod's grumpiness aside, I did a bit better this time, blocked more shots and fell on the puck a lot more. It's still quite a learning curve, almost like learning to skate all over again, except that you really can't move much with all those pads on. I'll make another attempt at Vallco's sticktime/pickup (which sucks as a forward but might be okay as a goalie) tomorrow.

6.11.2003

Came across a full-time job that I'm qualified for today and thought seriously about applying for it. But then I realized that having a full-time gig would slow my degree progress down dramatically and more importantly, that I'm just not ready for that level of stress again, not on top of going to school. One of the truly wonderful things about having been in school this past semester was realizing how very little money I can get by on and how stress-free (or at least differently-stressed) my life is without the pressure of constantly waiting to be laid off. Someday, I'll work full time (or close to it) again but for now, I'm interested in getting by with enough money left over for pickup hockey and the occasional dinner out.

6.10.2003

My badminton teacher finally reported grades, it's confirmed, I now proudly sport a 4.0 GPA for the first time in my life! I'm sure that will all change when I start Evil Statistics next week but for now, here I am, Liz Doughty, straight A student!

I did better as a goalie last night, I even went a record-setting 9.5 minutes without letting in a goal! It's exhausting, nerve-wracking but in a really weird way, fun.

6.09.2003

Last night's win means that the A-Team is currently tied (with 4 other teams) for 3rd place in our divison. It's a new world record!

6.08.2003

The A-Team rounded out our 2-games-in-2-days marathon with a much better game. The Lightning is a much nicer, more balanced team than the team we played last night. I took a risk and stacked one line with basically our 3 best skaters. It worked, that line had 6 of our 7 goals and we went on to win it 7-5, bringing our all-time win record to a new high of 3. Woo! I feel much better about playing co-ed, for now.

My grandmother hasn't been feeling well lately. Last week she was in the hospital for a few days, went home exhausted and has landed back in there today. At first glance it seems that she's had a mild heart attack. She's 97 years old and for the first time it seems that she's getting ready to leave us. Yesterday I talked to her and it was like she was going down a list of everything she'd wanted to say, it was good that I'm close to my brother, that I have Andrea, that I'm nice to my parents.

Part of me wants to get on a plane, go to her and shout "DON'T YOU LEAVE US" but in my heart I know that it's best if she's ready to go to let her get there peacefully. So I'm going to wait and see how she does over the next couple of days, knowing that I probably won't see her again.

From the moment we met, she's been my best friend, my loudest supporter, the one who taught me about the important things: making a nice dip and the art of playing cards. When I had no other friends, she was there, ready to bust out the dip and the cards, to fritter the night away on game after game of Gin Rummy. In the last few years, I've been there for her, when she was first really sick in 1999, I spent 10 days with her at the hospital, trying to make her want to get up again after losing a hip. We played ball in physical therapy, talked and went through some rather unpleasant stuff with her body. But I stayed because she was there for me. Over the last 4 years, I've gone home more and more, to remind her how much she means to me, to show her that I'm not just in her heart but I'm ready to be there, with her. We've watched Bob Barker, 'that Regis' and eaten Nuts. Each time I leave, she cries and I walk out with a heavy heart, guilty that I don't live there anymore, that I'm not there to help my mom with her care.

Indeedy, 97 years is a good run in any book but that doesn't do much to ease the aching in my heart at the thought of a world without her. I wish her a safe journey and pray that Alice is there to welcome her when she arrives.

From what I can tell, hockey bags are supposed to last about a year. That is, if you play 1-2 times a week and treat them with care. I don't. I play 3-6 times a week and treat mine the way a small child would, throwing it about and dragging it across the ground. So my lifespan is running at about 6 monhts right now. My current model, the Mission bag w/ wheels has just crapped out. I've apparently ripped a huge hole in the bottom of it, so now when I pull it, stuff spills out of the bottom. Too bad, it's been the coolest bag I've had so far (thanks, Kathy!). Short term, I think it's time to bust out the duct tape. Long term, it's time to accept that I should get the less expensive models, though hopefully I can still afford wheels.

After two pretty pathetic games last night, I ran home, showered and got all dolled up to head to Dr. Wen's party in Santa Cruz. I made the drive in record time and arrived in time to hang out with Melinda, Damon and Kai. I hadn't really spent any time with Kai in a long time, mostly because life on this side of the hill had taken over, there was no time to head to Santa Cruz like there used to be. I don't lament the changes in my life that keep me here most of the time but I do miss hanging out with those kids.

I had the chance to grill Kai about his transition to manhood, asking every question I'd had stored in my little mind about the subject. Was it scary? How soon did your boobs shrink (fast enough to make my well-endowed self jealous!), was it tough walking into men's bathroom's at first, and the one I should've asked but didn't need to, the answer was obvious -- are you happy? Yes, he is very happy, a totally different kind of energy now. It was fantastic to see him like that, finally himself after all these years.

And marvellously boob-less and muscular. Hooray for you, my old friend!

It seems that my co-ed hockey division is becoming more and more physical. To some extent this is fine, I don't mind being bumped a bit, because it gives me the freedom to bump myself. Being a woman helps a lot, too. I get away with a lot of shit that men get called on. But I think it's going too far. I've been hurt more this season playing co-ed than I ever have. My tailbone (which is still not quite right), and assorted bumps and bruises. Today I'm way more sore than I have a right to be. Last night's game featured a lot of shoving, me tripping a guy (and not being called, of course) and the real highlight, mostly mild-mannered Vinnie shooting across the ice after a whistle to start pummeling a guy on the other team. A great melee ensued, with Irene (Master of Referreeing) trying to hold the other guy back, while he took a swing at her. I stood there shouting "DON'T FUCKING TOUCH IRENE" and would have gone in if I thought it would help. But really, it's not like any hitting I could do would add any kind of value.

I'm not sure where to go with this. I don't like all the hitting, I don't like being hurt after games, especially when we're not winning. What is the answer?

6.06.2003

I know I don't talk about Zeus much. Partly because for the most part, he's a very easy-going guy, has caused us almost no headache or heartache since he came to us 2.5 years ago. Partly because of that, he doesn't get as much attention as the ever-demanding Roos. But lately, in Andrea's words, he seems more and more befuddled. He's getting deaf (has actually missed the 'I'm giving out treats now' call more than once), going blind (doesn't hear us come in, sleeps in his crate until we make a ruckus in the kitchen and wake him up) and is confused in general. We've never really watched an older dog just decline like this so it's bitter sweet, if that makes any sense. These days, he gets special attention and a place on the futon behind me in the office (until he wakes himself up, sneezing like a madman). He deserves at least that, and a lot more. Please keep our old man in your thoughts, he's still very much kicking, just a little less so than before.

6.05.2003

Now that we've made the move from ReplayTV to TiVO, the jury is still out. What I miss about the Replay: knowing how it works, not having to mess with it to watch TV. What I don't miss? How long it took to process requests (yes, Replay, I'd like to watch TV now...I'm still waiting...) and that it died not once but twice. I'm hoping that the TiVo brings us better luck.

6.04.2003

I didn't realize that sites like The Animal Rescue Site were still around but I guess this one is. If you click on a link on their home page, you magically provide .6 bowls of food to a shelter animal. It's hard to argue with that so go click one for the gipper.

6.03.2003

Who the hell is Ann?
I finally got my ass over to Financial Aid today, after a horrifying trip to the City College bookstore to get my Evil Statistics books (a whopping $140 for 2 books. Fuckers.). When they say 'drop in counseling,' I assumed (wrongly) that meant I'd wait there until someone could sit with me and go over my poor financial portfolio, then say, well, Liz, I see that you have pretty much no money, we'll give you a big bag of money right now.

Okay, I didn't quite think it would be that smooth, but I did think I'd sit down with a person and discuss it, getting some vague assurances that I could get money from them and a rough guesstimate about how much. But no, it wasn't like that. The woman behind the counter took my stuff, said she'd staple it. That's all she said. Great, free staples are nice but what about my money??

Then she noticed that my parents hadn't signed the form. Well, no shit. I'm 30 and haven't been a dependent since I was 22. Why would they need to sign it? So I said, well, I'm 30, do they really need to sign it? She asked 'how old?' '30.' 'Oh, well they should sign it.' WHY? But I kept my cool and explained again that I'm a grownup. At that point she relented and went back to the free staple offer. I asked what happens after the staple insertion, evidently it then goes on to Ann. It took more prying to learn that Ann will be reviewing it and will magically be in touch with me in a couple of weeks, but I should call Ann if I haven't heard anything in a couple of weeks. Oh.

I'll let you know what Ann says.

  Course/Section and Title Grade Units
1 PKMGT*010 18133 Intro to Park Mgmt A 3.00
2 PKMGT*011 18134 Park Communications A 2.00
3 PKMGT*014 18138 Conserv Resources A 3.00
4 PKMGT*018 18139 Park Planning & Design A 2.00
5 BIO*014 17443 Cal Plants & Animal W  
6 PE*7.02 18737 Badminton-Beg    
7 GEOL*015 17875 Geology California A 3.00

Liz Doughty, Master of getting dressed in Goalie gear
So last night, I played one game as myself, as a skater. I had a hat trick, though Hockey Workout goals aren't quite like 5 on 5, but it's still cool to have a good game. Afterwards, I schlepped out to my overloaded car and exchanged my regular gear for goalie gear. I was pretty nervous, since all I'd done was put on the stuff 4 times before, with some help from real goalies each time.

The first period was by far the longest 20 minutes of my life. The other team kept setting up a play where one guy ran it in and then passed it to the open man on the other side in front of the net. I can't get that kind of lateral movement so I let in like 7 of those goals. I didn't even see them coming. I let in 10 goals in those 20 minutes and couldn't wait for the end of the period. At the half, we switched goalies, ostensibly so that my team could have half a chance. Well, the other team went on running up the score, they scored 7 more goals in the second period and down in my end, I only let in 6. An improvement.

Both teams were very understanding, every time I made any kind of an okay save, they all cheered. The highlight reel will have only one save on it, though. They did a penalty shot so my friend Annette was coming toward me. I came out of the crease to meet her, followed her back in and when she shot it, it went right to my glove! I put my hand up like the Statue of Liberty and everyone cheered. It was the best possible environment to make such a huge ass of myself in. Thanks to everyone for putting up with my sorry, goal-letting-in ass.

6.02.2003

Today marks yet another day where I didn't get my sorry ass to the Financial Aid office to see what kind of goodies they can offer me. I really have been busy, had a meeting with a client and played pickup. Today's pickup was pretty lousy, full of 20 something boys who had clearly played their whole lives. Anytime I came near the puck, it was either stolen from me faster than I knew what to do or they hung back in a condescending way, letting me make one move before they went on with their game. I think I'll stick with my friends on Thursdays.