9.30.2004

What Time Is It?
At 5:40 am today, the house phone rang. We're always a little startled when it rings, since almost everyone uses our cell phones or email. Most of the calls we get at home are from our good friends who'd like us to buy aluminum siding, vote for their candidate or subscribe to the newspaper. So when the thing rings at 5 fucking forty a.m., it's enough to startle me. The most it does for Andrea is make her have a ringning phone in her dreams, but me, I'm awake, fearing the worst about my Grandma, or who knows what that is equally bad.

Picking up the phone, I was not that surprised to get an earful of Chinese. At least then, I knew the emergency wasn't for White People like myself. But no, not an emergency, just Andrea's mom, prompted like a schoolgirl at a slumber party to crank call America, er, um, to call her daughter and say hi.

Naturally, 10 minutes later, we heard thumping from inside one of the crates in the kitchen and worried that it was Pat having a seizure so I had to get up and check. No seizure, just Rainie rushing the door like she'd waited all night for it to open, lying there with one sad eye open waiting for her window (well, door) of opportunity to be near us. I went back to sleep, cursing the fates that have once again robbed me of the continuous rest that I feel I am owed as a child-free member of society.

Some days, I feel like the women's league is nothing but a wasteland of hurt feelings and broken dreams. It's getting close to the time when I must acknowledge my part in creating that kind of environment and decide to move on from a leadership position. I'm not taking responsibility for every person with an issue -- some people will be insulted unless they're in charge, some people will feel slighted when they're not placed where they think they should be and some people will invariably feel that I have dealt with them in the wrong way.

All I can say is what I said all along, what I said that long long night last March when it felt I was being attacked after the hell that was League Wide Evals, which is this:

"I did my best. In fact, I did better than my best. I'm sorry you don't feel that's good enough." Hell, I'll even add to it by saying that everything I do for this league I do out of a strong commitment to helping women, especially our older age groups come to love this sport as much as I do and a out of strong commitment to fairness.

The upside to all this fairness is (as our former Treasurer says) there's never any doubt if you're doing the right thing. If you'd do it for so-and-so, you're also obligated to do it for her friend, so-and-so 2. Same goes for what you won't do.

But it still bums me out when people get their feelings hurt, even if they're expecting something more or less than what I can offer, which is always what I can offer to anyone else in your situation.

Today's Lesson
I have just learned a very exciting thing: if you're on a project you're not too thrilled about, a project that the more you look at it, the less it seemed like it utilizes your skill set or internal knowledge base, you can get out of it by simply missing a meeting.

Well, probably not, but I'll pretend. because I missed a meeting on it this morning. Not for any good reasons, like I was in another meeting, or I was working really hard. No, I missed that meeting because I was standing one aisle over from my desk, talking with a bunch of my co-workers. It's the first time in over a month that I'd been able to do that so it was rad.

A few minutes later, my boss said I was off the project, moved to something that seems (at least to me) a bit more relevant and interesting to me. Sweet!

9.29.2004

I need my Blogger RIGHT NOW and yet, it has forsaken me. Why, Blogger, why are you down when I need to post THIS INSTANT?

So I'll write somewhere else until your triumphant return.

Let me start of by saying I've lost some weight over the last couple of years. I'm currently maintaining at less than I was, but no, I'm still not Kate Moss. However, I'm not Kirstie Alley, celebrating my new-found largeness on cable TV, so by all counts, I'm ahead of the game. Part of this weight change is the important downgrade in t-shirt size from XL to L or sometimes, if I'm feeling a little risque, an M. Or better yet, a lot of the times I wear women's sized t-shirts. Not captial W Women's (i.e. plus-sized) but regular old 'go into the women's department at Macy's and buy what they offer there on the rack' shirts, pants and dresses.

Yes, I said dresses. We'll look at that another time.

Unless I can make amends with how much I love to eat and how damn hungry I get after hockey, I've sort of accepted that this is the size I am, this is how much space I take up in the world. It's not ideal, I'd like to be about 25 pounds less, but right now I'm not. Maybe I will be, someday.

Before I started my current job, which requires me to spend a great deal of time sitting down, I wore some girlie-type jeans and pants, somewhat low-waisted but not so low that you could see any skin. Because my skin, especially anywhere around my ass, is simply not the public's bidness. There is an inherent risk in wearing pants like that in the office, the very real risk that someone could see my skin, that skin around my ass. So I don't wear them here. In fact, I've sort of phased them out of my wardrobe, choosing instead to wear my old baggy shorts (which are now pretty damn baggy, thank you very much) so that nobody is subjected to any part of my bare back or ass.

All of this background, while fascinating, may have you wondering why I am sharing. Here it is: Recently I worked on a Very Big Project. It was kinda fun, kinda hard (because a lot of stuff didn't work or wasn't laid out enough) and naturally, at the end, our friends in marketing threw a small party. Not expecting much, I stopped by to enjoy a reasonable amount of ice cream and to pick up the free t-shirt I'd forgotten we were going to get. Apparently, I'd requested a Large, which is good, because that's the size I wear.

The woman handing out these t-shirts isn't exactly my best friend at work. Mortal enemy? No, but not my best friend. But I put on my nice face and stepped up to get my hard-earned t-shirt. She looked at the size I'd asked for, and said "Are you sure that's going to be big enough?"

I almost didn't answer but I knew she'd say something else, so I said "yes, that will be fine. That's my size." She of course made another comment, "well, let me know if it's too small," Again, did I not just say that I had in my hot little hand a shirt of the proper size?

I walked away steaming mad, and remain so. Even if I'd asked for an XS, as a fellow woman, it was her honor-bound duty to merely hand me the size I requested, regardless of her own (incorrect) opinion. And for the record, the shirt fits fine, though I'll never wear it now, thanks to her.

9.28.2004

Two days in a row, I'm leaving at 5. I do this knowing full well that tomorrow morning there is a bunch of work to be started on. But until then, I'm off to nap! Me! Napping! WoooO!!!

It almost makes up for the hell of the last few weeks.

9.27.2004

Oh. My. God.
For the first time in months, and certainly the first time this rev cycle, I have NO BUGS. And I'm leaving early for my class. I am beside myself with glee!!!! WOOO!!!!!!

I Need a Weekend From My Weekends
Don't get me wrong, I love playing hockey. Fast hockey, slow hockey, co-ed hockey, women's hockey, even playing goalie, it's all fun. The more people I know out there, the more fun it is. But sometimes, it all comes in clumps and I find myself utterly without any time to myself.

Because part of the hockey culture, at least the Liz Doughty hockey culture, is that I need to be "on." I can't sulk, or cry (unless I'm physically hurt), gripe or moan, I'm there to be part of the group and sometimes, to lead the group. So my mental game has to be on.

I'm good at that, I'm always ready for that but sometimes, I run out of "on" energy. That's where I now. Work is crazy (finally, mercifully, a little slower today), we've watched two dear sets of friends mourn the sudden losses of their pets, and I'm playing a ton. Mostly to make up for the lack of those hellish-but-good-for-you 2 hour Seals practices that I'm no longer invited to.

This weekend, that translated to skating Thursday night's class at Logitech, 2 games at RWC on Saturday, a Green practice as a goalie followed immediately by playing a Maroon game, a 3 hour break, then our co-ed game, where I completed my marathon day by running full-speed into my teammate Ken, banging the hell out of my wrist and throwing my stick halfway across the ice in the process. Ow. And Ow.

Throw in the bad-for-my-stomach Chinese food I had Saturday night, the three days of gastrointestinal implications of that, a few hours of sleep and you can see that I'm ready for a break from my weekends.

Our Y History
As long as I've played at Logitech, this one team has been around. They've moved up, moved down, come back to the same level where we all started, but like a rock, they're still there. Most of them may be nice but I honestly don't know because they have a couple of guys (well, one in particular and two just to be truthful) who are jerks. I think you can chalk both up to seriously deficient social skills (the second guy rates as the only person I've ever kicked off of the A-Team, because he mouthed off to our coach, back when we had a coach) but that doesn't change the fact that for guy number one, my skin crawls when I see him.

When I read that he made some asinine comment to the Hounds after beating them by a very unsportsmanlike score, I thought, yep, that's the guy. Last night, I was ready for them, for him, ready for him to pretend like we were somehow friends since now their team has moved down again and must play the A-Team 2 instead of the A-Team, which fairly solidly kicked their ass last season.

So I'm standing there, surrounded by my friends/teammates, experiencing the joy that is playing with your friends, knowing that in the locker room I have some pretty strong skaters who I specifically asked to sub against these guys, against THAT guy, when he walks up to me and says,
"I just have one question,"
I nod in response, refusing to speak to him but not wanting (yet) to be completely rude, lest I set off his anger.
"Why isn't this team called the B Team?"

We, my friends and I, respond as anyone would. I don't explain that I didn't see any point in making new jerseys or in coming up with a different name, when many of us play on both teams.

No, my friends and I, we just smile at him, then guffaw like bafoons as he walked away, us acting like his question was the funniest thing we'd ever heard.

For the record, it wasn't. And we held them 3-2. I'm pretty sure they were expecting an easy win but we gave them no such thing. Rock on A-Team 2! We rule. And rock.

Almost!
Bitching about my busy life aside, I just realized that it's almost Rocktober! Our Rocktober is slated to be action-packed, with a weekend trip to Albany, NY to visit Heidi, Marc and Roscoe before heading down to lovely Parsippany NJ for Andrea's friend's wedding. Two weeks after that, we're off for a combination trip to first Ohio to visit my family, then to lovely Orlando, where we'll experience the Magic Of DisneyWorld for the first time.

It was either Disney or Tokyo. What it means that we chose the theme park extravaganza, I just don't know. But our hotel has a fully-stocked fishing pond, so my girlfriend can fish on Fake Lake Disney.

9.24.2004

In my dumb children class this morning, my "That's the Deal" prof said something about the American cyclist Tyler Hamilton, who kept his gold medal thanks to what appears to be a clerical error. Apparently Mr. Hamilton made a statement to the world about his innocence, while proudly sporting a necklace that's some sort of tribute to his dead dog.

Mr. "That's the Deal" went on to make some sort of dismissive comment about the value of mourning dead dogs, as if the concept was so completely foreign to him that he couldn't possibly understand it. My respect level for the man drifts lower and lower.

I get it that not everybody has the same level of commitment to things, that not everyone feels loss like I do, or loves their animals the way I loved Al. I get that, I really do. But minimizing grief, that's about as low as it gets. That's the deal. It's rude and disrespectful.

Rushing
Moby's song, Rushing, is on my iPod right now. Sort of fitting, what with all the sad animal news around us. It was on when Ellie was sick, we were, ironically, rushing her to the vet because (I think) she wasn't eating and seemed to be in pain. We were out of options, and though I'd been her mom for just a short time, I was nowhere near ready to let go.

She lay in the backseat of my Passat while the music cresendoed and receeded (I realize that the correct term is de-cresendo) and I shouted at her, screamed from my own pain and the full awareness of the love I had then and the loss that was to come sooner than I'd ever be ready for, I screamed, "Ellie, this is not your day to die!"

And it wasn't. I think we had another couple of months. But I always think of her when that song comes on, that and Sting's Desert Rose, which came on when we left the vet that last time, Alice in the back and the memory of watching Ellie die seared into our brains. It's just impossible to forget loving like that and losing like that.

Godspeed to the Fishers and the Nettes as they deal with the newly burned holes in their hearts.

My goal for the week has been to make ClearCase my bitch. CVS, in the good old days, used to be my friend -- there was no need for it to be my bitch. We were equals, working on the same branch. Now I have ClearCase, and I can assure you, the two of us are NOT on the same stream. We're not even on the same river of code most of the time.

For most of the last two weeks, I have been ClearCase's bitch. It has mocked me, taunted me, put my code wherever it saw fit and given me any old code it felt like.

But yesterday, for about 30 minutes, I almost understood what it was trying to do. Which, at the heart of all this, is simply to keep track of a huge codebase. Just like CVS, but harder.

Hey Viv!
This is for making me laugh so hard I thought Frappucino was going to come out of my nose:

Seriously Not Fair
Last night, Sutter went peacefully. It sounds like he was already running on the beach, playing catch and enjoying some beef broth before Susan and Bill even brought him to the vet.

Less than 12 hours later, Star Star Kitty decided to join Sutter and died somewhat peacefully on her own terms. By waiting a few days, she gave the Nette family a chance to gather their collective breath and say goodbye in their own way. When my phone rang it's very special VIP ring this morning, Andrea and I both knew what it meant. Star Star was gone. I have a feeling that Alice is becoming good friends with Star, since they're both cats at heart -- little aloof sweethearts who make you feel blessed when they demand your attention.

Both of these sweet souls will always be missed. Farewell, Sutter and Star Star.

9.23.2004

Unfortunately, I think we'll remember this week as the week Star Star Kitty lived...and the week Sutter left us. Sutter is the Fisher's dog, surrogate third (okay, fifth, if you consider that Andrea and I are the first two) parent to the baby twins, the sweetest, lovliest, most well-behaved dog ever. It looks like he can't fight his cancer anymore and they're going to send him off this evening.

Farewell, sweet Sutter. May Alice meet you at the Bridge and show you the way, may your journey be peaceful and your new life be full of joy.

Wow
A whole lot has happened since I last posted. Most notably, Star Star Kitty has rather loudly stated that she is not yet ready to leave this world. She made it through the night and is doing even better this morning than she was late yesterday. Please keep those good Cat Whisperer thoughts and prayers headed her way. She's good people (even if she hates me) and doesn't deserve to leave this world on anything but her own terms.

Second, I picked my maroon team and didn't get Viv. Obviously, my strategy was all wrong (can't say how, it's part of the Secret Draft Discussions that I'm not allowed to disclose) and I missed out. I'm so so so bummed. I could have cheated and said she was a carpool with Ellen, my other captain, who also lives in SF, but that's not true. And well, I can't say it if it's not true, even if it does work out badly in the end. Poo.

Third, one of my co-workers abrupbtly quit today. Just bailed, leaving a million unfinished projects and a cube full of crap in her wake. She sat two cubes down from me, so every time I got up, I had to pass her and her crap. While I won't comment on anything about her situation, I will say that I didn't waste any time erasing her whiteboard or taking down some of the papers she had hanging. I just wanted a fresh view of the world when I walked by and of course, I wish her well and hope that she has another job waiting for her.

Fourth, evals are almost over. We're still dealing with a few stragglers and the usual round of "What? I didn't make it? How is that possible?" but we're dealing with it and hopefully, it will be done.

That's it. I think that's enough.

9.22.2004

Good News!!!
Things looked really dire for Star Star Kitty this afternoon, I thought for sure that she was on her way out of this world. But, as of right now, it turns out that a visit from Jeannette was what she needed to fight her way back from the brink. She's doing a lot better, recognized Jeannette and perked up a bit. She's resting somewhat comfortably there and will spend another night at the vet's.

Please keep those good thoughts coming her way. It's clearly paying off, but now we have to get her stabilized and ready to come home.

Cat Whisperers Unite
Last night, the Nettes cat, Star Star Kitty, was minding her own buisness, hanging out in her front yard (aka Star's Yard) when a rogue dog that nobody knows came upon her and felt the need to maul her. Evil Doggie managed to hurt both Star's lung and liver -- she's been intensive care ever since and it's not looking good.

If you are a Cat Whisperer, or even think you might be, please whisper to the breeze a prayer, a hope, a wish, that Star Star Kitty will either make her way from this world in peace or that she'll find the will to recover and come home to the Nettes, where she belongs.

9.21.2004

I am at the point where I could easily be nasty to the next person who interrupts me. Most folks around here are approachable and it's standard practice to walk up to their cube with a timely question. I do it, too, and very much value the contributions my co-workers make to my ability to my job.

However, right now, I have WAY too much to do, not enough time to do it and a suite of brand-new suite tools I don't fully understand. So, please, I beg you, unless I'm the last person on earth who can answer your question, just send an email. I'll respond when I'm able to, I swear.

I'm so longing to post, to say something really insightful, but I just don't have it right now. Instead I'll give you a status on a few things in my life:
  • Work is way harder than it should be. See: ClearCase=Spawn of Satan
  • Zeus is getting more and more deaf. He's now on tape delay, barking a full minute after everyone else has stopped. He's also more mellow than ever, rarely stepping directly on my bladder.
  • My new Monday night class rocks. We're talking about the roles of boards and commissions. Though my real-world experience doesn't involve pay, I have a lot to share on the subject. And I get to share, not just listen the way I do in my other, undergrad class, where our barely-an-adult teacher holds out his hands and says "That's the deal," as if there could be no other "deal" than the one he's just described.
  • The Jeep Liberty now has a name: Guy Lalibert√©, after the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cirque Du Soliel. We used to watch the show on Bravo and Andrea found the French pronunciation of Guy (Geeeeeee) to be vah-ry funny so somehow, the Jeep Liberty has become Geeeeeee. Welcome, Geeeeeee.
That's all I got. I think I'll go look for a goodmindton game now.

One of my very favorite Strong Bad emails features Strong Bad and Coach Z talking idly after playing badminton as the Cheat walks up. Strong Bad's trailing line is: "Yeah, I guess there could be *good*minton..." which cracks me up to no end.

I think I'll introduce that as my all-purpose line.

Right now, I'm speechless. Not like stunned speechless but just out of shit to say. I know, I know, give me a minute, I'm sure I'll come up with something.

9.20.2004

Just scored my first piece of hatemail re: evals. Look, kids, I'm sorry. All I do is add up numbers. If I did anything differently, it would be unfair and wrong.

There's only one more eval session left and I'm pleased to say that I'm not totally exhausted. This time around, I've had plenty of help (thanks Viv, Jen, Lorel, Paula and Susi - you guys rock. And rule!) and with all that we've learned over the last few seasons, it made for a relatively smooth experience.

Naturally, I'm expecting some hate mail from the folks who didn't move up (interestingly, the majority of hate mail comes from beginners who can't move out of green. Seems like the more skilled folks are more able to see their limitations and will even sometimes self-select back into the division from whence they came, after finishing dead last on drills in the higher division. But not the green skaters, no. All I can say to them is, I'm sorry you're disappointed but if you really wanted this, you'd find time to work on your skills outside of our games.) But I digress.

As soon as I get back to work, I'll be sending that email. Hopefully, the angry emails will be at a minimum and won't turn a largely thankless job into a totally thankless job.

If we moved a flock of people who weren't ready up, then the higher division would suffer. We walk a fine line but the good of the many has to outweigh the joy of the few.

Even if I do get hate mail.

9.17.2004

The bestest part about being cut from the Seals is that I can now get the band back together, taking a reincarnated (yet largely identical!) version of Code Red back to Vegas for a Reunion Tour. And finally, finally, I can play WITH Andrea at a tournament instead of having her just cheer like a mad fool for me. It's about as cool as having her play on the A-Team 2 with me. Which is ultra-rad.

And I can also play without a shitload of pressure to win. Because, seriously, having puke in the back of your throat because you have a 1 goal lead with 2 minutes left in the game isn't really that fun. Maybe for pro-fessionals but not for geezers like me.

After my little ClearCase meltdown a couple hours ago, I'm just stuck. Can't look at bugs, can't work on new stuff, just mentally stuck. I guess you could call it Coder's Block, the distant but equally frustrating cousin of Writer's Block.

ClearCase has me near tears right now. Why why why is it so hard just to work on one file? Why, God, why?

Happy Andreatan Day!
That's right, folks, today, all day, is Andrea Tan's birthday. The dogs and I sang her happy birthday, though Patrick decided to sing all the way through with me, instead of waiting for a pause the way Rainie does. Gus carried a toy around the room while Zeus looked confused on his bed in the corner. But we all did our part for the Andreatan birthday effort.

And you can, too! Please take a minute to send her a cheesy online greeting, the more flash animation and noises the better.

Happy birthday, Andreatan! You're still the girl I love the most.

9.16.2004

Right now, I'm fixing a bug that requires way too much time for what it is -- putting a little image into a big table of other little images -- but yet, there's no other option than to take my time, do it right. Because anything less would get kicked back to me anyway.

But, man, I'm going a little nutty right now!

9.15.2004

Another interesting side note about A-Liz Prout Hall. Through some bizarre twist of fate, I actually lived there twice -- once as a hopeful college freshman and once, in 1972, as a fetus. Yep, I gestated for a brief time in the hallowed halls of Prout Hall, though I didn't enjoy much by way of "fireside frolic." I know, weird.

What's weirder is that, at least when I went to BG, you had to apply to get into that hall. I saw it on a tour of the school and thought "Yes! I must live there!" so I went to great lengths to make sure I did. Of course, it turned out to be a hate-filled shithole (Amy lived in a different dorm) but I didn't know that then.

I think I've revealed more about my youth in the last two days than I have like, ever. Weird.

Right now I'm craving KFC mashed potatoes in the worst way possible. So much so that I may sneak out of work early to get me some. They are my total comfort food, the little styrofoam place where I turn in times of great stress or need. For once, that stress is caused by a never-ending stream of bugs at work and by just being tired from my busy, busy, exciting life. That's it. No real outside drama or internal turmoil.

Both situations can be resolved by the end of bugfix and some additional sleep. And of course, with a healthy serving of mashed potatoes.

Speaking of potatoes, Amy and I used to fire up the meanest Potato Buds in my dorm's (which has been TORN DOWN! AMY OMG! THEY TORE DOWN A-LIZ PROUT HALL! We are now officially Relics From an Earlier Time.) common room. We'd hunker down with a big tupperware, some water and the microwave and get to work. Screw the exchange students who wanted to make their curries, we were in for the night, enjoying our InstaFood Bonanza.

The Little Team That Did
The A-Team 2 had our first game of the season last night against the Hounds. We lost about 5 people between seasons and frankly, I wasn't sure what to expect from our new skaters. Granted, every single one of them is someone we know, someone who's mellow and who won't be an ass on the bench (yes, that's my first criteria in putting a team together. Sometimes it works, (A-Team 1, after 6 seasons of great effort) sometimes it doesn't (Rabblerousers), as far as winning goes, but nobody leaves angry or hurt.), but I wasn't sure how the skill levels would blend together in terms of play.

P-shaw! I needn't have worried. We came together, everyone played their hardest and to top it off, we won 5-1. Only one of the goals was a breakaway, the other 4 were crazy garbage goals, brought to you by the bad news bears of hockey, the A-Team 2, who kept swatting and passing and swatting and falling and trying again until the puck crossed the goal line.

Top quotes of the night:
"Liz, you didn't tell me the ice was so big!" This said between gasps.
"You didn't tell me it would be so hard!"

Phat props to our new-newbies Robyn and Dan for having a serious amount of tenacity. Every damn time I looked up they were in the right place, in the play, scrambling to get the puck, make a pass, take a shot. This resulted in an assist for Robyn (and me, too! I played wing and wasn't awful!) in her first period ever and a bunch of great shots for Dan.

I am so impressed with everyone and how well it came together. Even if not every game's outcome is like last night's, I know we have a great group. Rock on!

9.14.2004

All Up in My Grill
I think I'm going to buy this fine grill for my sporty new Jeep Liberty. That would make me the coolest kid on the block!

Confession
Hi, I'm Liz. I'm 31 years old and in many ways, a fully-functioning member of society without a criminal record. Despite my ability to pay a mortgage on time, to be reasonably competent at my job and to maintain a messy but love-filled household, I am utterly incompetent at trimming my toenails.

Case in point, I mangled my right big toe so badly that I'm having a hard time skating. Oh, and wearing shoes. OW OW OW!

It mortally embarrasses me but I'm going to have to seek outside help for this issue. Please keep me away from your toenail clippers, pedicure kits and any other toe-mangling implements. It's for everyone's own good.

I just dropped my fiction writing class. It was to be my self-indulgent three hours a week but when I got there, I found a huge group of true undergrads, not the relatively mature group that I met with last fall in the same class, but a large bunch of jock-types with their goatees and baseball hats. The same kind of kids who used to snicker at me or see right through me in the high school hallways, the same kind of kids who would no doubt snicker when I read my not-awful fiction about a very hip young lesbian who does, in fact, have contextual (i.e. not porn) sex in her fictional life, read out loud in some detail in their presence.

One of my classmates from last fall wound up in a fairly large, similar in demographic, creative writing class this spring. That group felt the need to snicker, to attack her work (which covered some pretty heavy sexual issues, even if wasn't well-written it deserved to be heard) via email and in the classroom. She imploded on herself, had a little meltdown, went off on the groups and was eventually forced to apologize for lashing out at the group. While my constitution is a bit stronger than hers, I am not interested in opening myself up to that degree of narrow-minded scrutiny, to justify what should be blindly accepted as the basis for my work. Yep, I'm a dyke and it's about a dyke. Get that, move on, see the far more interesting parts of my character's life.

The irony is that I don't think I fit into a lesbian writing group either, since I spend far too much time making fun of the Quirkiness of Dykes.

But I just don't need that kind of juvenile attention. Maybe I underestimate their ability to not be Upper Arlington jock types, but having them there, reading their drivel about 'banging' chicks was enough of a jar to my comfort level that I can't justify spending $500 in tuition to risk it. I'm trying to get into a Recreation grad class instead.

Making excuses? Probably, because it bums me out to have to do this. But when you consider how far I've moved (2500 miles), how much I've done to distance myself from my adolesence, to create a life as a grownup (who farts and burps, yes) and as a writer, it makes sense.

The A-Team 1 had our first game of the season last night. We played well, as individuals and as a team but still came up short against a team that has always beaten us. Last time, it was 8-1, this time it was 3-0. I guess that's an improvement.

At one point I blocked a slapshot with my upper arm. That wasn't quite my intention but that's how it went down. I think I'm going to end up with a very healthy bruise on this one. Ow! This morning I realized that it's at the exact same height as my heart -- kinda scary. I think I'll continue to wear my shoulder pads with the extra doohickey over the heart for co-ed. The thinner ones (yes I have two sets. What's it to ya? I play a lot, often twice in the same day, and value dry gear.) are for the women's league, where the slapshots don't hurt quite as much. Though I've never blocked Andrea's...

9.13.2004

There was something so very odd, yet interesting and fun about having my boss (MB) and very fun co-worker (VFCW) shooting on me last night. The highlights included VFCW spinning in a full circle every time she tried to stop, then giggling hysterically at herself, MB falling in a spectacular manner more than once and then, at the end, when MB scored on me. Hooray for you! Lame for me.

It was totally fun to have them out there and to play with Andrea, even if she did send the fastesthardest shot I faced all day. Thank god it went just wide of the net, I don't think my shoulder is up for *that* kind of action.

Speaking of the risk of recurring injury: I didn't appreciate it when the coaches insterted themselves into the play and all of a sudden I was facing some potentially hard shots. Yo, folks, this is my SECOND TIME BACK after getting hurt and being out for three months. Why don't you save your hard shots for appropriately-skilled goalies. All I wanna do is keep getting stronger, not face a setback because you got hungry to shoot on a lame goalie.

Patrick had a seizure last night. More like early this morning, around 2. But we didn't quite catch it. We heard Rainie growling her low growl and thought she was just being a shit, trying to guard her place in the crate just outside our door. A few minutes later, Patrick whined like a mad fool and we finally clued in that something was wrong. The poor guy's face was covered in drool, he'd peed himself and he was scared, scared, scared. We cleaned him up, reminded him where he was and that he was okay but he didn't calm down until about a half hour later, when I gave him some puppy valium (an unfortunate required supply when you have an epileptic dog) and put him in the crate. I guess he just needed some rules.

This morning he was totally thirsty and still kind of freaked out. I hate so much knowing that he'll have to go through this, in some form or another, for the rest of his life. More than that, I hate knowing that one day, we may not be able to stop the seizures with medication and that we may lose him to this. My poor sweet boy.

And So it Begins...
The beautiful part about having our Fremont ice slots back for the women's league is that as of today, 4 out of the 10 evaluation slots are complete. Woo! The even better part is that my delegation efforts totally paid off and I emerged from the day unscathed. I got to skate my own sessions without having to answer a whole lot of questions or feel too frazzled.

Phat props to all who helped coordinate this stuff (yeah Viv, that's you and those other kids). You guys make my life rad!

9.11.2004

Finally
Tonight, we had a nice dinner with Jeannette, then I headed over to the car dealer to see how I could do if I traded in my car. They totally came through, giving me only about $800 less than I could maybe have gotten from selling it. So I said yes, took the deal and wound up financing very little (relatively) on a brand-new Jeep Liberty.

Half-expecting to pick it up tomorrow after a good detailing, the guys at the dealership had other ideas, I'd be driving it home tonight. Was I really ready to leave my Passat behind, to say good-bye to a car I'd had for five rather very critical years of my life? In a way, it meant saying good bye to those five years and all the changes (good and bad) they've brought with them. Getting Alice, taking her to work every day in the backseat, the two of us singing together, loving and losing Ellie, how she knew when we'd pull into McDonald's, letting out an excited howl. Not just the dogs, but learning to play hockey, driving to Seals practice, to a million co-ed and women's league games. Dog parks, failed dot-coms, weddings, funerals, we headed to all of them in that car.

But what I remembered, as I sat in that car with Alice's hair trapped forever behind the odometer, was that those memories will always be with me, no matter what I drive.

I dropped Jeannette off after a quick joyride with Annette and enjoyed a few minutes to myself in the new ride. I remembered so much about those years with Al and Ellie, the final puff of Ellie's cheek as she left this world, racing down 85 to spend time with Alice's body that horrible, horrible day, but the good memories, too. I let myself bear the grief one final time, then pulled into my driveway and closed the door to my new car.

9.10.2004

Captain Timewaster just called to tell me he bought a different car for his daughter. Mine was nice, though. Gee, thanks.

So far, this experience is exactly like the dealers describe when trying to talk you into screwing yourself out of extra money by trading your car in. How dare car dealers be right!!

My lone political statement:
rm -r Bush*
CVS add Kerry*

Trying to post my car on Craig's List again and it's just not working! Ack!

A dude came out to see it yesterday afternoon, spent a long-ass time looking, prodding, touching everything, drove it (a little less Grandma-like than I drive, ack! buddy, easy on those curves) then asked me to get him complete service records (yo, don't have. Deal.) and take it to some auto shop he owns in Fremont to have it poked, prodded and touched yet again. In the heat of things (and the heat of the afternoon) that seemed okay but now, well, it doesn't.

Plus, the m-f er hasn't called back to set up that time to take it there. Between his lack of contact, Stalker Boy being the only other interested party and CL being uncooperative, I think it's a sign that I should just trade it in.

Why? You ask? Are you sure you've picked out a car? You've been super-duper wishy-washy for over a year, is it really time to actually BUY a new car?

Yes, kids, yes it is. I found it. It's silver (not my fave, but a lot better than white or "champagne" which I consider a pretty word for "dirty-looking"), it's the one they put in the ad in the paper, super cheap, one at this price, etc. etc. The funny thing is, it has everything I want -- power windows, locks, CD player, cruise control, the bigger engine of the 2 available and of course, my beloved 5 speed. And it's cheap. Like butt-ass cheap so my payments will be super small, even if I do get a bit screwed on the trade in.

So, instead of Seals practice, where I'm no longer invited anyway, I'll be heading out to Ye Old Jeep dealer tonight to finally get a goddamned new car. Woo!

Thank Youse!
My little posting generated 3 helmet offers for my friend. I've got 2 of them in my car right now, we'll see which one fits and give the other back. Last night, she put on all of her new (to her) gear and wore it around the house, shooting a puck-sized bag of catnip at her boyfriend, who played goalie in the doorway.

That image alone makes it all worthwhile. I'm still laughing. And Sunday, when I'm her goalie, I'll shout "HEY! SHOOT THAT CATNIP OVER HERE!!!"

9.09.2004

Rifle Through Yer Basement
I was just about to write Viv and ask this question when I realized that a bunch of my hockey friends read this. It seemed a more expeditious way to hit all of you to do this:

Hey all you hockey folks out there (all three of you), one of my favorite co-workers is about to start playing in Green this week. She's borrowing a bunch of my gear (please make no comments when you see how little of my pants she fills out, in comparison to how much I did, thank you very much) but I don't have an extra helmet for her.

Do you? Can she borrow it for the season? Or buy it from ya, real cheap-like? Please email me RIGHT NOW! if you do. Thanks. Watching my friend skate promises to be the best thing ever. Who wouldn't want to be part of that?

The babies were at the soccer game last night. It's always good to see them, even if their mother has decided that Riley needs a little teeny pony tail on top of her head. She looked like a weird (extra cute, of course) version of Pebbles from the Flinstones. Sammy is lucky that she doesn't have enough hair for the same sort of treatment. Yet.

Seeing Riley's sad little mohawk/ponytail gave me a glimpse into the future, when both of them could have ponytails and be running around playing soccer. It made me giggle, just a little.

Farewell, Fine Car
I have a very interested buyer coming to see the Passat today. Should he decide to buy her, I'll be carless for a couple of days, which isn't awful thanks to my nice girlfriend with the big car and the free VTA pass I get as a student.

Yes, that means that I've finally decided what kind of car to get next. The quest is over, the votes are in and it's going to be a Jeep Liberty. I drove one in Columbus and totally dug it. It had a decent-sized engine, held a ton of crap (thanks, Betsy and Randy, for needing help moving so I could find that out. That particular adventure also provided me with a live sighting of a beaver, giving me license to say "Nice beaver!") and was very very comfy. The stereo sort of sucked but now that I admit my true self, I realize that NPR sounds about the same on any kind of stereo.

The 2005s have arrived so I'm hoping to score a 2004 for a decent price over the weekend. And then all this car nonsense will be done for at least a few years.

I was having second thoughts, then I started up my Passat this morning and heard it make a weird noise, a different kind of humming above the regular engine hum. I got it washed and noticed a bunch of little dings and scratches on it, then I thought, okay, it's time to move on before all these things become bigger issues.

I put a pretty vague listing on Craig's List last week and got a few hits, one from a kid who wanted to see it 'ASAP' then didn't write back. Last night, I was rushing around the house trying to get to the Earthquakes game on time when the phone rang. It was the kid, who I had NOT given my number to (who uses the home phone anyway?). Apparently, homeboy had looked me up and could he come RIGHT NOW to see the car? Granted, I'm in the book but that shit's kinda creepy. Naturally, I responded by googling him, where I found out that he's a high school kid. That makes the stalker-esque behavior a little more forgivable -- chalk it up to youthful enthusiasm.

It all makes me quite ready to have a shiny new car in the driveway and be done with the whole thing.

9.08.2004

We managed to cool the house off pretty well last night so I finally got some sleep, emerging from the night much less grumpy than I was yesterday. Thanks to all who gave me space to be my grumpy-ass self and get that out of my system. Word.

9.07.2004

A Wide Berth
Fact: I hate the heat. That's a large part of why I live here, because for the most part, San Jose is free from the blistering heat and humidity that marked the summers of my Ohio childhood. However, a few times a year, it gets unbearable here, usually for a few days at a time. We're in one of those times right now and it reminds me of everything I find intolerable about the heat.

Such as, living in a house without air conditioning. I spent ALL NIGHT trying to position myself in front of a portable air conditioning unit (heh, I said unit) and a hard-working fan, trying to cool myself enough to get even a little sleep.

I had no luck. At one point, I wanted to run from bed in my itty bitty pajamas and go straight to a hotel down the street, forgetting all about the dogs and Andrea, who were surely hot, too.

But they weren't hot like me, sweltering in my skin all night, waiting for the dawn to break so maybe I'd get some relief. In the end, I got about 3 hours of sleep. That makes me a pretty grumpy girl today.

Please, for your own good, stay out of my way. I'll assure you my rude behavior is related to the heat but you'll suspect it's personal when I snip and snap at you for the most benign of comments. It's not personal. I'm just too hot to function. And not in a good way.

8 Years
Yes, kids, it's true. Today, Andrea and I celebrated eight years together. In fact, she just shared her joy right now by farting on my leg. It's that kind of love that keeps the ole flame burning bright.

Gas, and love. It just doesn't get much better than that.

We had a very mellow day, rounding out an action-packed hockey weekend. I played in a tournament at Redwood City, got thrown onto a team with a buncha people I knew but had hardly played with. We held our own, even if we didn't win that much, we still did pretty good. I had to play against a few of my former teammates and while I have no hard feelings against them in particular, since they didn't choose to cut me from the team, I still very much didn't want them to score on me.

It's like I've made the switch from 'competitive' to 'recreational' in my play and I'm not quite sure I'm ready to give up the ghost. We'll see how this fall goes.

Well, I'm off to return the gas of love with some of my own. Here's to the first eight being pretty damn good and the rest that follow being even better. In all the world, there's simply not a better person to share your life with than Andrea Tan. That makes me a lucky, lucky girl.

9.03.2004

I made it back last night, on time in case Grandma is wondering. Got into work early today hoping to get caught up before I had to go to class. No luck. Our source code tool had a planned outage that we hadn't been informed of. Later, I discovered that I'd joined the wrong project so in order to do my work, I had to join the right one. There's another 35 minutes gone. Terrific.

Now I can finally work and it's nearly 4 pm. So glad I got in early so I could wait and be frustrated.

I really miss the Entertainment Wall.

9.02.2004

Finally, I'm at the airport waiting to board. I'm certainly glad that I came here, said all there was to Grandma (including going over my flight times no less than 17 times: So, you leave at 3:30 and get in at 10, 7:30 your time (local time rounded for simplicity's sake), spent some time with the folks and reconnected with some old friends.

That said, I got to the airport an hour early and am ready to board. What I'd really like to know is why people feel the need to shout into their phones. Sorry, dude, you're really not so important that we all need to hear your conversation. I swear.

The Most Bizarre Thing
Mom and I are at the yarn store, getting crochet supplies for grandma. We arrived 5 minutes after they opened and the place is packed to the gills with well-intentioned ladies who knit. We had to fight to get any help at all. This is so odd.

3:25 am. I think I'll give the whole sleep thing another try. I'm ready to be back in my own dog-hair plagued bed.

9.01.2004

My last night in Columbus leaves me utterly unable to sleep. Part of it is a reluctance to leave the safe cocoon of the Entertainment Wall and go home tomorrow and I think part of it is just sadness. Grandma wasn't having a good day today and it was hard to watch. I recognize that having that kind of day is undoubtedly harder than watching. May my life never include that kind of day, let alone almost five years of them.