10.31.2004

Wow! Orlando airport is just about the best thing ever! How do I know? The cheeseass shuttle vouchers that came with our travel package, vouchers that are supposed to get us the relatively short distance from the airport to the hotel has not left the airport! 45 minutes after I first checked in with the rude clerk, we have driven exacly 100 feet down the terminal to pick up more people.

Lesson learned, getting out of the airport can be longer than the flight to get down here was. Grr-eat.

Foreign Efficiency
I think I've lived in California for too long, grown used to the indifference and surliness that defines our service workers. Gas stations, resturants, retail, you name it. Surly indifference is the norm. Eye contact is a rarity, enough so that it makes you nervous.

My Ohio bretheren are a different lot. Friendlier, perhaps less bitter at working these types of jobs, whatever the reason, the end result is the same: either a friendliness that startles me or an efficiency that leaves me confused.

Case in point: the entire airport experience today has been a flurry of efficiency. From the Hertz guy frantically waving us in (for the record, we were the only people returning a car at that moment) then doing his thang to the car so fast that I could hardly get our crap out of the trunk, to the Delta checkin agent who hurried us through checkin but neglected to mention where to take our bags for security screening or our gate number, to the security screeners who wanted me to strip down (okay, take off my sweatshirt and shoes), all in a hurry because nobody, not a soul was waiting impatiently behind me. It all left me hurried, amped up and jittery.

All in the name of friendly efficiency. Naturally now that we're at the gate we have the special priveledge of sitting near the loudest man in the seating area. Thank god.

10.30.2004

I do have to say that the sheer number of politcal advertisements on TV and everywhere here in Ohio astounds me. This is the true battleground. The best ad I've seen is by the head of the Board of Elections, a public service announcements featuring some of the most condescending instructions I've ever seen. It includes instructions for preventing hanging chads, featuring a close-up of someone wiping off the back of their ballots and the headline 'No hanging chads.' Crack me up every time.

The other candidate for best political ad is one I saw in favor of Issue 1, which would not only outlaw gay marriage but remove any domestic partner benefits that people already have. The ad said great things like:
"It's just common sense."
"It's been that way for 2,000 years. Why change now?
Think about that. If any other issue, such as Indian gaming or public land useage used either of those arguments, you'd just laugh at them, right? Please do the same at the assholes who dreamed up Issue 1. For no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot change who I am just by passing a law, any more than you could make a Chinese person white. So deal, so I can get back to my life. And if you're in Ohio, vote no on 1. For me.

Woo! Ohio!
This is our last night here and I'm afraid there's not much to say. It's been about the shortest trip ever, there are more people we haven't seen than those we have. I've had 2 terrific visits with Grandma and experienced part of the fun that is an Ohio State football game.

Tomorrow we're off to DisneyWorld, where hopefully we'll be so busy having so much fun that I will hardly have time to blog.

10.27.2004

Ooooh. The Time Is....
T-minus 25 hours and counting to liftoff on the Great Travel Adventure of 2004. I've already packed since I have band practice and a game tonight (we still need subs for the A-Team 1, anyone out there want to play?) at 11:15. I've got our special room requested at DisneyWorld, tried in vain to get seats together on the planes tomorrow (for some reason they hold all the 'good' seats in coach for elite mileage plan people, leaving regular schmucks like myself and my travel companion in middle seats on separate rows, even though we bought the tickets TOGETHER 5 MONTHS AGO. Not that I'm irritated by that, no.), reserved a cab online, but didn't get a confirmation so now I'll have to call. All a gigantic pain in the ass, but every little thing I can take care of now is one less potential problem along the way so it's worth it.

But let's go already!!!!

10.26.2004

Finally!
After an entire summer of blood, sweat and tears, I can say, with some trepidation that I am no longer at the complete mercy of ClearCase, and in fact, for this moment if nothing else, CLEARCASE IS MY BITCH!!

Hells yeah.

I have no doubt that it will reclaim me as its bitch tomorrow but for tonight this victory is mine, all mine.

Are You A...
Democrat, Liz Doughty, are you? Yes. Not the dance-in-the-streets or go door-to-door type, but the 'cast your ballot that way' type, which in the end, I think, counts as much as the other two types since it's all about that vote of mine.

You probably knew this if you know me, like, in real life, not just here through my own carefully constructed slice of life, you'd know this already. But since I have already voted, making any lobbying you might be inclined to do worthless, I'll share.

I'm a Democrat because, to begin with, I grew up in a community packed to the gills with Republicans. Typically, the most vocal of these people were the more wealthy of our upper-middle class enclave, and in turn (though it still baffles me why this goes so nicely hand-in-hand there) weren't the nicest people. These people's children were the most popular, most athletic and yes, yes of course, the most likely to pick on kids who weren't like them, kids like myself and Dan, who huddled in our own liberal enclave waiting for high school to end and our lives to begin.

That's ridiculous, you say, you're a Democrat because kids were mean to you? Well, no, that's not quite it, their parents were pretty snotty, too. Decked out in their Civic Association golden jackets, they'd strut down Northwest Blvd. each 4th of July, showing all of our town how very suave they were in their homogenousness, a stream of white men ready to leave the world exactly as they found it.

Knowing what I know now about commissions, city governement and park planning, I have no doubt that they did more good than harm but that group will always represent the stodgiest of the stodgy and in turn, their offspring, the meanest of the mean. Because I don't forget, I can't forget the way those people, young and middle-aged, acted toward scores of kids like me, kids, who for whatever reasons were different than their own kids.

That's where it starts, but here's where it ends. Those people are the stodgy Republicans of my youth, the difference-haters, the oppressors. In adulthood, my decisions are based on a more robust set of criteria, that in the end, returns to that feeling of unabashed hatred and bias.

There is no way, in good conscience, that I could vote for a President who seeks to outlaw my life, to marginalize me even further by creating an amendment that would forever prevent me from being able to marry. Rather than re-write what I've said already, I'll share what I sent to my birthmother's husband, a sweet man who I adore, who happens to be a fervent Republican. From his love for me, I know he'd never be more proud than if I announced a party change, but we both know that's simply not meant to be for me, any more than it is for him. We're still friends, though.

....Now, I have to admit that I never expected to have the right to marry in my lifetime, though I would marry Andrea in a heartbeat were it to become legal for us (no, it is very much not in California, though we have a Domestic Partnership agreement that gives us about ½ of the rights of a married straight couple). In a world where straight people can meet, marry in a Vegas chapel, then divorce two days later, a world where the divorce rate remains around 50%, a world where marriages like Kathy and yours, like that of my parents, are more anomalies than the norm, the argument that gay marriage would somehow impact the moral fiber of society simply seems weak. Consider that my relationship is about to enter it’s 9th year, that many gay and lesbian couples have weathered the societal storms that attack our relationships, faced hate from attitudes that make it okay for anyone to use the word ‘fag’ as an insult, built lives around relationships that stand as a testament to the nature of commitment and strength, in light of that kind of commitment, it hardly seems enough to say that we’re asking for anything special.

It seems a frightened cry of lawmakers who don’t see the face of gay American, who can’t recognize that that face doesn’t look a whole lot different from their own, or that of their children.

So, though I respect your passion and always will, I can’t even begin to think that what those Senators are doing right now (and yes, your beloved W as well) to try and stop me from fully living my life, is simply too much to bear. When I read those stories, it brings me to tears. To think that our nation’s leaders are so united in hate for people they don’t even know, people who are me, hurts at the very base of my soul.

I’ve always felt that being who I am, living as an openly gay person with a healthy relationship was the most I could do for gay rights, that I didn’t need to protest outside government buildings or be arrested in support of my cause. But I’m no longer sure that’s enough.

Yours,
Liz

My Civic Duty
Since we won't be here for election day next week (that's right, my ass will at long last be riding the skiff, drinking from a refillable mug in Disney World!!!) I heard that the county was holding elections at their office and figured that would be the best way to handle doing my duty. Jeannette, Andrea, and I schlepped over there (it's actually quite close to my office, which is cool) expecting not that much of a crowd or much of a wait.

Naturally, we were wrong on both counts. The whole experience took an hour and a half, and lucky for us, we got to interact with my old friends, the General Public. But we're done, our ballots are cast and hopefully the best man will win. I just can't wait until the best man is a woman.

Naturally, the extra gas that's in Chuck's truck came courtesy of Dan and Robin's ATM card, which was also stolen in the A-Team2 Grand Theft Auto Experience.

Celebrating Alice
Granted, I still celebrate Alice in some little way every day. Whether it's just remembering talking our walks, her love of food, all food, anything that you could eat, her swiftly-wagging tail, the way she taught herself to growl for peanut butter, the way she came to work with me all the time, how small she was, how pretty she was or how goddamn happy she made me, one of those things has happened every day since I first met her.

Yesterday was a little different, since it was her birthday. I know she's not around, but technically it's still Alice Day and always will be. God forbid our child end up with an October 25 birthday, he would just have to share.

The dogs and I celebrated in a myriad of ways. Extra treats for all, tears for me, a wagging stump from Gus, Rainie and Gus wrestling for the first time in a long time, the two of them playing tug-of-war with one of Gus' toys, Rainie playing fetch with me (another first-in-a-long-time) dropping the toy right at my feet after only one set of instruction. They were sweet and funny, putting on the Great Alice's Birthday Show of 2004. I only wish she was there to see it, sitting with me on the couch while the bedlam went on.

I topped it off by sneaking Zeus some ice cream. I know she would appreciate the gesture, being a lover of dessert products herself.

Don't worry, little girl. We'll never forget you.

WOO HOO!
Here's the best status report ever from Chuck, owner of the missing truck.

Unbelievable news police called about 7:30 tonight said we found your truck can you come get it . every thing still there except some pens and pencils,notebook and a couple of jackets. It even had more gas than when they took it..

PHEW PHEW PHEW!

Today alone, I have received 5 spam emails offering me a Rolex. Is it really any different than the people in China who were constantly trying to sell me a watch?

10.25.2004

For Alice, On What Should Have Been Her 15th Birthday
Al,
It's hard to believe that you've been gone almost 3 years now. Being your mom still ranks as the best thing I've ever done, loving you and the price I've paid for losing you are still worth it, will always be worth it.

If you were here today, we'd have a party. You'd eat cake, cheese and anything else you wanted. I might make you wear some dorky outfit but you'd sit on the couch with me so I think you'd forgive me for my fashion sense when it came to you. Sometimes, when I'm in the car alone, I feel you on the seat next to me but every time I turn my head, you're not there. I don't know that I'll ever quite get my head around you not being here.

I miss you every day, Al. Every day. From the moment we first met, when you rushed out of Mara's house, ready for an adventure, my heart split wide open, into a thousand pieces. My heart is larger because of you, my life is better for having known you.

Happy Birthday, baby girl. I still feel robbed that you're not here.

My excuse for not working right now is the sun beating down on my left eye through the blinds that won't close because the string to pull them down is somehow wrapped around itself, a little window umbilical cord sucking the life out of my ability to clearly focus on my screen and my bug collection.

It has absolutely nothing to do with my upcoming vaction or how fucking tired I am after a hockey triple-header yesterday that included Grand Theft Auto, the real kind, not the video game. Nothing at all. It's the sun, I swear.

If I get one more fucking piece of spam about buying a Rolex, I'm going to hurt someone.

Ho-Lee Shit
The A-Team 2 had a partcularly good pouncing last night, losing 7-3 to Adobe, a team full of gigantic men who on some level frighten many of us on the ice. We returned to the locker room a bit dejected, a dejection which quickly turned to anger, then despair when we disovered that thieves had come into our locker room because we forgot to bolt the bathroom door (the front door was locked).

Normally ice rink thieves take the easy stuff -- cash and wallets (though for the record, please, people DO NOT bring your wallet into the rink. Ever. Bring your ID in case you need to check out a key but that's it. And even then, hide your car key somewhere a little different than your pants pocket). Cash and wallets can be dealt with and in most cases, the police will merely take a report for your insurance company.

But no, not our theives. They took wallets from 3 men, cash from my pocket and here's the clincher -- car keys from Dan and Chuck. The keys Dan had go to a car that wasn't in the parking lot. Phew on that one. But, for Chuck the news isn't as good.

THOSE BASTARDS STOLE CHUCK'S TRUCK! Took his keys, strutted out to the parking lot like they owned it and just drove away with a carful of Chuck's livelihood - his tools.

Robin (wife of Dan, owner of stolen wallet) called me about an hour later -- apparently the guys who had Dan's wallet had tried to use one of his credit cards at a liquor store where the proprietor KNEW THEM. So we're not dealing with geniuses here.

My most sincere wish at this point is that team dumbass has Chuck's truck parked in their driveway, unharmed and still holding all of his tools. And that Team Dumbass gets 5-10 for Grand Theft Auto.

Fuckers.

10.22.2004

I don't know who Mich is, but here's what he/she wrote, which is downright hilarious.

Recently I was checking my 401k account and thinking about retirement, as everyone does when they hit 45. I saw an article about nursing and retirement homes and the expenses. Then it hit me. No nursing home for me!

Here is my plan: I'm checking into the Holiday Inn. With the average cost for a nursing home reaching $188 per day, there is a better way when we get old and feeble. I have already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn. For a combined long-term stay discount and senior discount, it's $49.23 per night.

That leaves $138.77 a day for breakfast, lunch, dinner in any restaurant I want, or room service. It also will leave enough for laundry, gratuities, and special TV movies. Plus, I'll get a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge, and washer and dryer. I'll also get free toothpaste, razors, shampoo and soap. And I'll be treated like a customer, not a patient.

Five dollars worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling. There is a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free. The handicap bus will also pick me up if I fake a decent limp. Ride the church bus free on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there.

While you're at the airport, fly somewhere.

Meanwhile, the cash keeps building up. It takes months to get into decent nursing homes. On the other hand, Holiday Inn will take your reservation today. And you are not stuck in one place forever -- you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city. Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there, too. TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem. They fix everything and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks if you are OK. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

And no worries about visits from family. They will always be glad to visit you, and probably check in for a mini-vacation. The grandkids can use the pool. What more can you ask for?

When I discussed my plan with friends, they came up with even more benefits that Holiday Inn provides retirees. Most standard rooms have coffee makers, reclining chairs, and satellite TV -- all you need to enjoy a cozy afternoon. After a movie and a good nap, you can check on your children (free local phone calls), then take a stroll to the lounge or restaurant where you meet new and exotic people every day. Many Holiday Inns even feature live entertainment on the weekends. Often they have special offers, too, like the Kids Eat Free program. You can invite your grandkids over after school to have a free dinner with you. Just tell them not to bring more than three friends.

Pick a Holiday Inn where they allow pets, and your best friend can keep you company as well. If you want to travel, but are a bit skittish about unfamiliar surroundings, you'll always feel at home because wherever you go, the rooms all look the same. And if you're getting a little absent-minded in your old days, you never have to worry about not finding your room -- your electronic key fits only one door and the helpful bellman or desk clerk is on duty 24/7.

Being natural skeptics, we called a Holiday Inn to check out the feasibility of my plan. I'm happy to report that they were positively giddy at the idea of us checking in for a year or more. They even offered to negotiate the rate. We could have easily knocked them down to $40 a night!

"So, when I reach the golden age I'll face it with a grin. Just forward all your emails to the Holiday Inn!"

***

And that is absolutely brilliant. If you consider the costs of some Retirement Communities, where you have to shell out $10,000 or more that you'll never get back to buy into the place, not to mention the million dollars a month, the Holiday Inn starts looking like a pretty good deal. Knowing what I now know about hospitals and nursing homes, I think your best bet is to be in the hospital until you're well enough to be somewhat self-sufficient, then transfer to the Holiday Inn instead of a nursing home, where even the best facilities make you wait for an attendant, sitting there in your own filth until they finish with another patient, their break or the cell phone call to their home. Of course, the not being able to handle your 'eliminations' is a key issue but that aside, I'd take a hotel anyday.

I Need to Talk to You...
About a fecal matter. I don't quite know how to introduce this, but I assure you that it is funny. Unless you don't like poop jokes, in which case you are seriously on the wrong website.

An anonymous friend of mine works at a place with improperly working bathrooms and recieved the following instructions:

Subject: Today's Bathroom Report

Good, better, and bad news!

Good = got to the root of the problem!

Better = will hopefully start repairs tomorrow

Bad = bathroom toilets cannot be used until the problem is fixed (bathrooms nearest the Food Bazaar and jitney station). Urinals and washbasins only can be used. Only liquids are allowed down the drains. Contact me if a clearer definition is needed.

Good news = no pun intended, the basic problem is tree roots. The plumber sent a video camera down the sewer line. The camera has extremely good resolution and I could see first hand the roots in the line. The solution is to dig the underground pipe up and replace it.

This morning the plumber's snake extracted more paper towels and feminine products. The camera confirmed even more of these items tangled in the roots. What baffles me is, what part of "no paper towels or feminine products should be flushed down the toilets" is hard to understand? Again, contact me if a clearer definition is needed.

Better = a repair like this takes a little staging and weather cooperation. I hope to hear this afternoon when the repair will take place. I anticipate it will take a full day. More on this as I know.

Bad = Do Not Use The Toilets On The End at all. Stall doors have been taped shut. Ok to use the urinals and washbasins.

****

Ewww. Just ewww. There comes a point where poo just isn't that funny and I think my poor friend has arrived there.

10.21.2004

Hotel Drama
Since I got to fill out a survey about our stay, I figured I'd share what we learned about the TownePlace Suites in Albany. Of course, I can only speak for this location, maybe other ones are good, but I'll never find out.

The TownePlace Suites is the kind of hotel where you tell yourself, "at least it's clean," accepting a really thin bed and cheap construction as the tradeoff for a lower rate and a silly little kitchenette. But that's the thing, that shit was $99 a freaking night, which, even adjusted for inflation is simply too much for a thin-ass bed. And that's not even counting a heater that doesn't work or the maid who didn't clean for our second night.

Oh wait, if this is the "at least it's clean" variety of room, then it's not cleaned, what does that mean? That I was PISSED. Eventually, the manager gave me $25 off per night, making the room $75 a night, which I still think was too much. Now you know. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Using the Faith
You may know that I was raised Catholic, a bizarre gift from my birthmother (by placing me through a Catholic agency, the good social workers there tell prospective parents that the birthmother wanted the child raised Catholic, though today, my own birthmother is Methodist and my brothers are not subject to the legacy of guilt and shame that being Catholic is.). My parents are the masters of Catholic guilt, I think it's just inbred from being raised "in the faith." It's not the worst thing in the world, once you learn to recgonize it and laugh it off when it rears its ugly head.

Finally, I am able to turn that guilt back on my mom, who is in something of a family feud with her relatives. The folks in question are coming to town today and she's headed out to dinner with them. When she asked/sort of mentioned that she'd be going and didn't know how to act (I mean, really, how DO you act when you're mad at someone but need to be friendly?) I pulled my own version.

Well, Mom, I said. You raised me to be the better person, to stand tall and continue to treat the other person with respect, regardless of what they've done to me. I went on to explain how I've been at odds with someone for months now, but that I do as I was raised, roll into situations polite and friendly, full of small talk on non-touchy topics. It's not ideal, but it leaves the door open to maybe one day repair the relationship. That gave her pause.

Ha! Back at ya!

Leave My G-U-S Alone!
My poor sweet Gus likes his house. Specifically, he likes the fact that, as a member of our family, he gets to live indoors rather than outside in what we figure was a concrete pen, where he hardly had room to stand, was constantly attacked by fleas and was fed sporadically enough to be so skinny that you could see not only his ribs but his hips, too. All of this makes him an extremely grateful, undemanding boy who adores his life with us, a life filled with food twice a day, treats and enough room to pick up a toy and trot around, showing it off for anyone who'd like to see the Power of Gus.

Every day, he thanks me for picking him at the shelter (who's he kidding? He picked me) by coming over, placing his head in my hands and wagging his stump. He's just a good man.

His past makes him a wee bit nervous when we leave. Even though he usually can stay in our house, he gets very concerned when we come back, so much so that after we got back from China, he licked himself into a stigmata (yes, really, the wounds were in the middle of each doggy palm) that took us months to clear up. Knowing that we're about to go for 8 days (7 crazy nights), we asked the vet for some doggie valium. We got Clomicalm and decided to give it a try before we went, in case something went wrong.

A good thing, that, because he had a reaction. He drank gallons of water through the night (okay, two of the three big bowls we have for the dogs to share), more in the morning when I refilled the bowl, then proceeded to start shaking like crazy and to top it off, his teeth started chattering. He's spending the day at the vet's office so they can keep an eye on him. I know it's not his house but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Apparently he peed a lake when he arrived, then seemed better.

Who knows, maybe he just had to pee. Yeah, that's it.

10.20.2004

Listening to Melissa Ferrick and her particular brand of melancholy always makes me embrace the greyness of the day outside my window, brings the sadness outside right into my heart, sending me back to the time when being dumped (over and over, I was never the dumper, always the dumpee, convinced that we only needed x,y and/or z to fix what was, in hindsight, a great crevasse of difference between us, a not-that-wide-or-numerous variety of us-es) was the toughest experience I'd known. Before death stole a part of my heart, before other forces changed the way I look at the world and my friends forever.

Man, those were good days. Getting dumped, I can get past. That's for lightweights. It's all this other shit that now clogs my heart some days.

Liz Doughty, Dumbass
In preparation for our Big Trip to DisneyWorld NEXT WEEK!!! I've been reading everything there is to know about our travels and how best to negotiate the splendor that is DW. One thing I came across was Meal Vouchers, which can be a good deal, better anyway that the similar product offered at Disneyland (those give you dollar amounts, which you pay for, so a $10 voucher costs $10. Sounds good but you get no change from them. If you use a $10 voucher to buy a $3 churro all you get at the end of the transaction is a churro and that burning feeling that you've just been had. Because you have, in fact, been had.) so I thought I'd try to pick up a couple on eBay, to have at least a couple of our meals covered.

I bought one as a single yesterday for $18. Good price, so I thought I'd try to repeat the feat. But even though I write instructions for a living, even though I'm getting my fucking Master's degree, I didn't read the bidding instructions properly and I ended up paying $27 per voucher, making them a pretty lousy deal. That's the deal. I'm a dumbass.

Lesson Learned: (I'll share with you people so you don't make my mistake) if you are bidding on a dutch auction on eBay, the amount you put in as your bid is Per Item not the total amount you'd like to pay. But you people, being less of a dumbass than I, probably already knew that.

Our A-Team 2 game last night had some of the weirdest reffing I've ever seen. It was like the guy had our number early on and felt the need to call everything we did, even on people who have NEVER had a penalty with our team, possibly in their lives. Why? Because they play cleanly and were doing so when the imaginary penalties got called. As this guy's calls got weirder and weirder (seriously, did anyone see Chris slash not once, but twice? I was right behind her and didn't see shit) we all lost our cool a bit, Bruce got a technical, I got a warning and later, was instructed to tell Andrea to keep her mouth shut. Naturally, I replied to this in my most sarcastic voice, "yeah, sure."

It was just strange. The guy is significantly overweight, and while I generally don't assume that means shit about anyone's ability to play this game we play, in his case it became clear that he's not even in shape to keep up with the lowest level of adult rec hockey. No less than five times he was RIGHT IN MY WAY as I tried to sneak in to cover the point. It got so I was shouting "WATCH OUT, REF!" every time, getting louder and louder. But I did that after he had called something like 12 straight minutes of penalties.

We killed two consecutive 3 on 5's, which was huge and I'm proud of that. But to do it, we had to sit a few folks who should have playing and that always makes me feel like shit. I believe very much that everyone on the team gets their fair share of playing opportunity so when I have people forced (yes, by my decision. That's part of the deal, when you're the captain, but it still SUCKS ASS to have to sit people so we can kill the World's Longest Penalty) to sit for far too long, I get mad.

I took the shmuck's name (unfortunately, I don't think Fat Fuck will be the right thing to put in my report) and will write a long diatribe on the website where I can report such things. But we all know that he'll be out there again, making bad calls and showing off his manliness for the A-Team 2 again.

To all you forced-sitters, I am so sorry. Hopefully we won't be the victims of Ref Strangelove again and all lines will play as scheduled, nature's way, the rest of the season.

10.19.2004

Tuesday Haiku
Hooray Roctober!
You have finally arrived.
Now, I can travel

To Ohio, yes
But better, to Orlando
Home to silly mouse

And land of theme parks
Five in one place. Just down the
Way from our hotel!

Let's go now! Screw work.
Screw waiting a week plus two
days. Let's just go NOW!

Do Not Be Fooled
I may look like I'm here, doing my thang at work and elsewhere but really, I'm not. My mind is in Disney World, sipping from my refillable mug and waiting to ride the skiff to Downtown Disney.

Knowing the Lincoln Portrait reminds me about part of why I still play my sax. Because for 17 years now, longer than I've done just about anything short of breathing, I've put my lovely sax together, casually tossed my neck strap around my neck and sat down to make music out of notes on paper. Over those 17 years, I've learned that I can be good at something (being first chair was really the first big victory I had, and just when I needed it, coming out of middle school, out of those horrible years where the mean girls ignored me on a good day and made my life hell on a bad one), and been a part of the living, breathing thing that is making music. I've played countless classical and modern pieces, been conducted by some reasonably famous people, travelled to far-off places (okay, Northern Ohio, Fresno, Kentucky and Tennessee) and have marched in all sorts of weather with a horn stuck to my face. I've stamped out yard markers in the snow to practice, set up small ensembles, sat last chair as I struggled to fit in with a new group, sat first chair as I learned to be a leader and somehow, found myself within that experience.

Even though today, it doesn't mean as much as it once did, making music, good or bad, is still very much a part of who I am.

This *is* What He Said!
I just said "YES!" out loud because Lincoln Portrait just came on my iPod. Andrea loads it up for me so there are often surprises, including this one. I'm doing my best to not sqwak my way through the piece.

But this is what he said, this is what Abraham Lincoln said!

Girl Power
At last night's A-Team game, the refs got my buddy Mike's number early. He racked up two penalties in the first (according to him, one real and one bogus). This prompted he and I to discuss just exactly how much shit I get away with using my Girl Power. What Girl Power really means in this situation is that the refs (and to be fair, the other team, even though most of them have known me for years, have skated with me since I started playing) see that I'm female and assume that I can't really skate, stick handle or shoot so any time someone falls down near me, it's completely unintentional in the same way that the breakaways I get are also unintentional and of course every shot I take is not my intention.

To prove my point, I went out soon after that and found myself close in on a gigantic guy with the puck. He thought he was blowing by me but just when he got slightly past me, I made my move. Reached out with my stick and hooked him, holding on until he fell down, screaming all the way that he'd been wronged. Rather than wait to hear what happened next, I skated away as if I'd done nothing wrong. Later, we had half our D in the box at the same time so I dropped back to cover D for a shift (I'm trying to play forward more this season, to practice my unintentional shooting and hopefully my completely accidental scoring skills). They got the puck down in our zone and one guy (another guy I know, this guy almost played for the A-Team at one point but pissed me off when he accused me of making money on a practice when every practice, every season I've ever captained I have LOST MONEY) was parked in front of the net. He, also, was hoping I'd forget about him and go do something unintentional. But I didn't. I shoved him once in the back, moving him away from the net and of course throwing his wobbly ass off balance, though he remained standing. But he didn't learn, he came back to try just standing there in front of my net again. Hi. That's not an option with me. I can't forget you if you're STANDING STILL!

So I did it again, this time with even more force. It was as clear a cross-check as I've ever delivered. Thankyouverymuch. He fell backwards, landing on his ass and like the other guy, screaming like a little girl about the injustice. ISome guys I know would've stood around, screaming back at him, waiting for the penalty, but I did the Girl Thing. I skated away and acted innocent while my guys cleared the puck.

Later, we got a too many men on the ice call and someone had to take the penalty so I sat. I figured it was my karmic duty, since I'd had those two freebies. We won, 5-4. It was totally fun.

10.18.2004

The Deal Is...
I'm having kind of a tough time with the undergraduate class I'm taking this semester. The format is largely lecture (though I did find a way to comment on "that guy Sipowitz from NYPD blue. He's short, balding and not really a sex symbol, yet he gets all the chicks. What's up with that?" spouted with the same level of indignance that Cliff Claven used to give the phrase during his stand-up routine on Cheers.), followed by tests and quizzes where I have to regurgitate what's been lectured to us. Apparently, I've been a thinking, connection-making grad student for long enough that I've forgotten how to function in this kind of class. I got my midterm back today -- only got an 85. I feel pretty much defeatist about the whole thing, accepting that at best, I'll get a B+. Kinda sucks, though, since I'm an A student.

It's just proof that grad classes are the best fit for me. I can always connect a topic to another topic, I just can't fill my head with facts that may or may not connect to each other. When left to my own devices, armed with that same bucket of information, I have no trouble tying it all together in any number of ways.

And We're Back
Lesson Learned: Newark Airport is significantly larger and more hectic than San Jose. This means that arriving one hour and 55 minutes before your flight is just barely enough time to get through the myriad of bullshit required to get to the gate. And only enough time because you spot the farthest away, least-populated security gate and go through there, even though it means shlepping an extra interval of distance to the gate once you've gone through.

Other Lesson Learned: direct flights are really less preferable to flights with connections. Yes, connections take more time than your di-rect transfers, but you are guaranteed a chance to stretch your legs.

Most Important Lesson Learned: the beds at the Sheraton (the fully caffeinated version, not some other brand in the Sheraton family) are the best thing ever. They're so nice that you may choose to sleep instead of visiting your partner's old friends in her hometown or eat lunch at an authentic diner.

10.13.2004

A Little Early, or Congrads, Sarah
So...we had a really nice couple of days in Albany, saw lots of prime foliage (the news said it was so it must be true!) spent time with Heidi, Marc and Roscoe, then drove the 2.5 exceptionally long hours to New Jersey. We'd managed to switch hotels to the Sheraton. It has the Nicest Bed Ever. I know because we were able to check in early and take a quick nap.

But I digress. Which is okay, since it's my blog. We made it to Andrea's friend Karen's wedding just in time for the mass to start. I was horrified to say the wrong response to the first reading but quickly regained my Catholic sea legs.

After the wedding, we stopped to get a card (hey, look, we managed to get here. Sometimes, that's enough!) and grab a quick bite. A couple of weddings ago we discovered the large gap in time between the end of a wedding and the start of the reception, along with that the value of a snack.

Even with all that time, we still managed to get to the reception way too early. There was a party in full swing with a picture of a young girl on a table at the front swathed in hot pink, teenagers dancing in the banquet room and two youths sleeping on a couch. Something told me we were a little early, or in the wrong building.

Turns out that we'd stumbled onto Sarah's bat mitzvah. She had huge elaborate centerpieces with board game themes and decorative items (Sarah paper towels and a mini dollhouse) all over the place, even in the can. Wow. The staff is magically transforming the place as I write and at long last, Sarah has left the building. Shalom, congrads and farewell. Let the wedding festivities begin!

And this is what he said
Greetings from band, where we are rehearsing the ever-popular Lincoln Portrait by Copland. The piece features narration throughout, including the phrase that cracks me up every time, year after year:

...Standing erect, he was six feet tall...

Gets me every time. Heh, he said 'erect.'

Only about an hour is left until I can leave work for the first part of our Rocktober vacations. I'm doing my best to focus, but it's not going so well. Whistle blow, already!

Okay, there's not really a whistle, just a pile of bugs that I'd rather leave in a more complete state than they are at this moment.

Bad Idea Jeans
My sporty red hockey pants were masquerading as Bad Idea Jeans last night. To eat or not to eat before a game is always something of a question, though you'd think I would have learned not to eat after the Great Bowel Event of 2003, but that's another story... In a vain effort to stave off hunger and no doubt, certain death from starvation, not to mention the very real possibility of wasting away if I went more than 8 hours without a meal, I had a Happy Meal on my way to the game last night.

No, this story doesn't end as badly as you might think, but my dining choice was not without incident. All was well, we were holding our own after the first, but from the beginning of the second period on, I was two steps away from puking. For the record: I don't puke. Ever. I think the team felt my Extreme Nausea because we all slowed down, losing 5-2.

I did discover that my D pair, Suzi, is about the funniest person I've ever met. She shares my love of a joke that won't die, and the gift for dry humor that not everyone appreciates. We were so busy cracking each other up on the bench that we almost missed our turn to go on the ice. I think we could have sat there all night, just carrying jokes WAY too far and enjoying every minute of it, including trying to come up with a cheer for the Spiny Dogfish. Eventually, this became three barks, followed by the sucking noise you might imagine a fish would make. Try that with a mouthguard and hilarity ensues. Rock on Dogfish!

10.12.2004

Sporadic Haiku Tuesday
What? Who? Me? Liz is
Not here, she's already on
Vacation. Buh-bye

Oh shit! I'm still here
Working for another day
Wait for the whistle.

Whistle blows, then can
I go. Far away, then come
Right back, then go again

Hold on, DisneyWorld
We're there soon. Ready to ride
All day. Roll all night.

Pimpin' with Mickey
Hangin' in O-Town. Drinking
Pop from refilled mugs.

Orlando Five-Oh
After many attempts, I got through to Disney World's Recreation desk to set up our Surfing Lessons in the climate-controlled wave pool of Typhoon Lagoon (funny how they don't call it Hurricane anything) only to find out that the Tuesday lessons were full. I almost cried since I've been looking forward to this for months, ever since I pulled myself out of the Pacific Ocean after my somewhat successful surfing lesson) but the Nice Lady quickly informed me that they have them a few times a week now and that there is room in Monday's class. Well, hell yeah, sign me up for that!

We're arriving in time for the last day of Mickey's Halloween Party, which, had I known about it and gotten my act together to buy tickets to, would have been a really rad event. They close the park to everyone except partygoers. There are a couple of special parades, trick-or-treating and most importantly, a sparsely attended park experience which means no lines for the rides. But, alas, the only day of the event that we'll be there for is the last day, Halloween itself, which is sold out. I looked on eBay for tickets and they are like a million dollars. Okay, they're just a lot more than face value, so it looks like we missed out on that. We do plan to loiter outside the main gate just before the party starts, hoping to score a couple from innocent partygoers who have someone who couldn't go.

Either way, we're fully into Rocktober! I only have 1.5 more working days until we go to Albany, then New Jersey. We'll be at Friday's home opener of the Albany River Rats, where $14 gets you on the glass. Let's hear it for minor league hockey. Woo!

10.11.2004

A Saturday of One's Own
Recently, my weekends have been sucked away from me by scads of hockey. Saturday, at least once, Sundays 1-3 games and before you know it, poof, it's Monday morning, I'm exhausted, wondering where my weekend went, why I didn't have any time to just mess around the house and why oh why am I so damn tired. So this week, I did something crazy: I skipped my Saturday game and went to the mall. For the record, those RWC games are the same people week after week, making the same moves and subbing for each other. I have no doubt that there were more than enough people waiting to take my place. We got Vacation Shoes (I'd be a dumbass to go to DisneyWorld with 5 month old sneakers that I've worn every day), a couple of shirts, a lovely pair of Lebron James armbands, whoever he is and a bunch of clothes for our favorite baby twins, Sam and Riley.

Having even a half day to do these things (my band played at the Cupertino Oktoberfest earlier in the day, which I can assure you was A LOT different than the Fine Midwestern Oktoberfests of my youth, which did not include teriyaki chicken on a stick or moon cakes) felt absolutely decadent. I've decided to drop that league for a while, just to have more Saturdays like Regular People.

These Things Take Time
In fact, they take about 3.5 years. As you know, I've played co-ed hockey for a bit longer than I have a right to -- joining a team right of my third time through the beginner class, taking to the ice as if I had any real idea of what I was doing. I didn't, not for a while and when I finally did, I moved back to defense, land of not many co-ed scoring opportunities, unless you have a killer slapshot. Which I don't (that's Andreatan's job, anyway).

So I have toiled, contributing to the overall effort in many ways large and small, but never scoring. Assists? Sure. But no goal. Only the lone empty-netter a few seasons ago, for which my team celebrated as if I'd gone through a ton of traffic and a goalie.

But at last night's A-Team 2 game, I realized that we had enough D that I could pull myself and Vinnie up to forward. Spike was rotating through, at this point he and I wound up out together. He took it into the corner and I lined up in the high slot, all alone. I called for it, he saw me, sent it. It landed in my feet but I scootched back, looked up, saw my opportunity and aimed the puck. It went through a bunch of traffic and bounced off the back of the post, about 2/3 of the way up in the net. It also managed to bounce off the other post, which was a little odd. Maybe it's just that I had that much force on it. Yeah, right.

But that matters not, because, I, Liz Doughty, always a bridesmaid and never a bride, finally, at long last, after all this freaking time, SCORED A GOAL IN A CO-ED GAME!!!! The team, knowing of this lifelong drought, cheered. Cheered like assholes we did. I even did a little Mike Eruzione dance (watch the movie Miracle if you need to see this in action) and one of the other team's players (who also plays with me on the A-Team 1) came over to congratulate me. It was sweet, lovely and fun.

Thanks to all who cheered like assholes on my behalf. It made a terrific moment tremendous.

Oh yeah, and we won, 5-4. The A-Team 1 also won, 5-0. It was a day of wins and a day of fives. And of, course, it was The Day That Liz Doughty Finally Scored a Goal!

10.08.2004

To be fair, here's what I just got from IAMS, looks like all the pressure they've been getting has paid off.

Hello:
You've contacted us in the past, and we've promised to keep you informed about new initiatives with nutritional studies and our dog and cat care and welfare programs. We have exciting progress to report.
Progress
This week we announced that by October, 2006, we will no longer conduct feeding studies in external contract facilities or universities. Instead, we will transition all of our dog and cat feeding studies to three locations:

  • In-home with pets volunteered by pet parents -- which already accounts for more than half of the dogs and cats in our studies.
  • In-house at the Iams Pet Health and Nutrition Center where an expansion is underway.
  • In places where dogs and cats already live, such as animal shelters and with groups that provide assistance dogs to people in need.
This is another example of the innovative collaboration provided by our independent International Animal Care Advisory Board, which includes experts from a number of well-respected outside organizations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). We appreciate the expertise of these individuals as well as their organizations' dedication to the welfare of pets.

Myth-busting
Plenty of myths circulate on all topics over the Internet, and one story that is making the rounds talks about a beagle study at Auburn University funded by Iams. The story is a complete fabrication, but the reality is simple: We are actually funding a study with beagles volunteered by their owners. Once the study is complete, the dogs and their puppies are returned to their homes. This is another example of how false stories can confuse the public.

To read more details about our dog and cat care and welfare program, visit http://www.IamsTruth.com. We created this Web resource to set the record straight and share our best practices with the rest of the pet food industry. Visit IamsTruth to see:

  • Streaming video showing the dogs and cats at Iams study sites.
  • A photo album of dogs and cats who have completed feeding studies and have been adopted by caring Iams employees.
  • Outside experts' observations about Iams policies and practices.
  • Results from unannounced site reviews by the International Animal Care Advisory Board.
Thank you for taking the time to read our message. If you no longer want to receive updates, please respond to this e-mail so that we may update our system. As always, Iams Consumer Care is happy to answer any questions you may have. Call 1-800-863-4267 to speak with one of our advisors about these important issues.

Sincerely,
Marti (not Marti Doughty, mother of Liz)
Iams Consumer Care, North America

Two Days in One!
I got up early, well, okay, I MEANT to get up early so I could be all organized about this, but both of the old guys needed to go to the vet. Zeus because even at his advanced age we still can't trim his nails at home. He fights us like a rabid squirrel, though the moment he goes into the Back Room of the vet's office, Sherry (our long-time trusted vet tech, friend to Alice, the nice lady who sat with us after Alice died, who had driven her down to the surgeon's that day and came back in rush hour traffic to mourn her. We'll always be grateful to Sherry...) puts the muzzle on him and poof, he's a different dog, just waits patiently for her to finish. At the end, he nudged her, asking to have the muzzle removed and of course, to be petted.

Meanwhile, I waited far too long in the exam room with Gus, who has a few extra lumps in addition to the million he already has. Our regular vet wasn't scheduled to see him, even though she's the reason we drive in rush-hour traffic to Sunnyvale. Um, that's not so good. I talked to Sherry and 2 seconds later our good doctor came in and pronounced his lumps Something To Watch but Nothing To Worry About. She also gave me some doggie valium for Gus, so he doesn't lick himself into a stigmata when we go to DisneyWorld, home of refillable mugs and skiff rides to town.

Loading the guys in the car for the return trip was a challenge. Gus was too tired to make the jump into Andrea's car (the only car right now with a plastic liner, she was nice enough to trade with me today so I could keep Guy in his pristine state for another day), he kept trying, then falling. I'd try to pick him up and help him in but that hurt his pride and he growled at me. Meanwhile, Zeus is already in there (had to lift the little squirt) and decided at that moment to make a run for it. Fucker. I used my lightning fast reflexes to grab Zeus and hold Gus. Not once, but twice. Fuckers. Gus finally caught his breath enough to get his front paws far enough into the car that I could just grab his ass (heh, Gus' Ass!) and load him into the car.

Gus stood in the back with his head between the headrests, giving me the Evil Eye. I gave it right back to him. When we got home, I made sure the front gate was closed thanks to Gus' Great Escape of 2002 but I took Zeus' leash off so it wouldn't be as bad once we got inside. Big mistake. He's not Al, who would wait patiently to go inside. No, once again the little bastard made a run for it. I grabbed him by the tail but let him go once I realized he was really trying and the gate was closed, I let go, let him think he was getting somewhere, then sent out the Bust O Gram.

Just when I thought the dude was getting older, he decides to have the Spark of Life, which is cool but man, it's hard to manage alone. The big one falling and growling while the little one tries to sneak out for an adventure of his own. Punks.

We're having a few minor technicaly difficulties at work so in response to everyone's questions about the system being down, I finally responded with this:
"Yeah, I'm getting that error, too. In fact, it's displaying this:
http://www.homestarrunner.com/systemisdown.html, which was immediately followed by a series of giggles up and down the corridor.

Rock on, Team Dangeresque!

10.07.2004

I just heard that for a mere $68 extra, Andrea and I have secured a King-sized bed for our Disneyland extravaganza! I've been pestering our travel agent for months, but we were stuck waiting for a cancellation. I had seriously given up hope, resigned myself to the fact that our first non-family, non-hockey, just us vacation since 1997 would be spent either crowded into one double bed, wishing I'd started that fitness plan a little sooner, or sleeping apart, appreciating the extra room but missing my best friend and bedmate.

I fully recognize that DisneyWorld is a family resort and every room is designed to allow for the maximum number of young children and their families to be crammed in there. So I knew it was a long shot, but woo hoo! Thank you to the Nice People who cancelled their trip so we could have ours the way we wanted.

-DisneyWorld Resort, Port Orleans: Riverside-
King-sized bed
dum DUM

In telling Jeannette when my big paper is due for my Monday night class, I realized that it's due 10/25, which should have been Alice's 15th birthday. Three years later, I still feel robbed. I can almost talk about her without crying now. Almost, but not all the time.

Here's to you, Al. You're never far from my heart.

Check her out, she's getting her slurp on.

My cubemate's disk drive is spinning and it sounds like someone taking a hit off a bong. I keep turning around, expecting to see some stoned hippie-type saying "Peace, man," or myself a number of years ago saying "I'm SOOOOO stoned," then laughing hysterically and taking off my pants.

But both those possibilities are very far away. Now it's just me and the hits from the disk drive. Which I think I'll eject because it's about to drive me NUTS!

Pooped
Between just a little too much hockey, not enough sleep, not enough sleep, too much work, too much stress about too many things and not enough sleep, my ass is Wiped Out. I meant to go to band last night, I really really did, but the instant I got home, I was so tired I pretty much fell into bed for a much-needed nap. The nap readied me somewhat for the A-Team 2's 11:15 pm game, but not as much as if I'd been fully-rested.

We played well, had a lot of help from our stronger skaters, though naturally, the only one the other team noticed was the guy, who only scored once, choosing instead to try and set up his teammates. They ignored the fact that one woman scored 2 of our goals, with The Mighty Steph putting in the fourth. Both Jean and Jeannette racked up assists, bringing our total to 4-1.

Early in the game I got checked against the boards by a true beginner who couldn't stop. I've played over 1000 hockey games and have NEVER been checked like that. I have to admit, it made me a lot more weary of going anywhere near this team along the boards, and in fact it reminded me that my whole style of co-ed play is built around NEVER being trapped along the boards with a big guy, anyone who can't stop or worse, a big guy who can't stop. Because when they fall, they'll fall on you and that shit hurts. In so many places, I couldn't think of where to ice it.

That move put me on edge and made me play a bit more conservatively than I would have liked to. But I'm well aware of my limits and chose not to risk injury. Had fun, though.

10.06.2004

Last night's Green game was totally fun, even if we did lose, even if I did let in 2 goals. Considering my past average of 5, that's an improvement and I figured out how to stack my pads, though it came out looking more like I was reclining. Nora says next time, she's bringing grapes to feed me and a fold-out fan to cool me off with as I recline, there on the goal line. Sweet!

And we named the team Dangeresque, which includes a great hand gesture that Nora does better than I do, mostly because she's so tall.

Liz Doughty Goes to Court
It's not as exciting as it sounds but I've been served. On October 25, a mere 3 days before our Exciting Vacation is to begin, I must head to our local court and testify about our next-door neighbor. It's a long, complicated story, but in short, the granddaughter she used to take care of hacked a plan to leave her grandma's care and go live with her drug-addict mom. The plan involved telling school officials she'd been beaten by grandma, then a brief stay at the children's shelter, then long-term happiness in the care of a mother who hadn't been a mother to her at all in the 9 years she'd been in this world.

But hey, you can't blame a kid for trying. Except that along the way, my neighbor was arrested, charged and now the prosecutor won't drop the case for reasons I don't quite get. There's no evidence, only the word of a young girl with dubious credibility.

That's where I come in. Because it won't go away and my neighbor refuses to plead guilty (I wouldn't either), I've made a couple of statements over the phone, Andrea's written a letter and yet, it comes to this, my ass being served.

I don't think it will be like Law and Order, though I think there are a couple of good ways to handle it.

  1. Make that dum-DUM noise like they do on Law and Order after every statement I make, or at least when I talk about a location.
    "Liz Doughty's House, San Jose California"
    dum-DUM

    "Courtroom, San Jose California"
    dum-DUM

  2. Start screaming "AMEN, I TESTIFY THAT THIS WOMAN DID NOT HARM THIS CHILD! CAN I GET AN AMEN?!!!"

  3. Talk about the lord-uh and how he told me to testify. Then ask for an amen from the crowd while gesturing wildly.

  4. Continue to do the dum-DUM sound. Because that, for sure, will not get old.
Amen!

Taking a moment to relive the past, I found this: Haiku Tuesday, a tribute to our upcoming trip
re: China. Let's go
Get on that big plane maybe
sitting together

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!

As it turned out, we volunteered to get bumped (I wasn't really in a hurry to get to China, so the idea of a day in Seattle, a free hotel plus $700 sounded great) but they didn't need us so we all got the bidness class upgrade. Amy and I sqwaked the ENTIRE WAY about the various amenities provided to us. It was great.

10.05.2004

Hello, Babies!
We had a drive-through visit with the lovely baby twins last night. When I arrived, Susan had them both propped up on the couch, looking out the window like they'd been waiting for me. She hid just out of sight so it was just these two little heads watching (yes, watching and connecting with the fact that I'd arrived. How cool is that???) and smiling through the window.

But they were a bit grumpy, since their mom had deserted them for three whole nights to go to work this weekend. It was the first (, second and third) time they'd been apart, so it was totally understandable that they'd both want to keep mom in their sights at all times. Riley gave us quite a show, though, flapping about like she wanted so badly to fly. She's also scooting backwards on her hands and knees. I felt like attaching something to her butt that would beep as she backed up, alerting the world to Riley's impending travels.

Sammy was just mad at the world, none of my usual tricks made her happy. She finally settled down and fell asleep on Andrea, only to jolt awake and back into Somewhat Happy Baby mode the instant we tried to put her down. Even though we had to run off to dinner, it was still awesome to see them.

Our First Game
Tonight marks my official return to the exciting world of being a well-meaning but not very skilled goalie. 3 months of Physical Therapy, of lifting specific weights, waving this weird wand, using heavy-duty rubber bands, pushing against my therapist and finally, attaching weights to my goalie stick have led to this moment, the moment where I will no doubt do as poorly as I've done in the past.

But I don't care, because I'm out there, ready to rumble. And to watch my boss' boss be tall, then fall and my Very Fun Co-Worker spin, giggle, repeat. And of course, to see the crowds part when Andreatan sets up for her slapshot. It's really like the Red Sea (okay, the Green Sea). And I'm glad it's headed toward Viv tonight, not to me.

Let's go, ladies! Let's kick some ass. Even if out of all of us, only Andrea knows what she's doing. We can spin, fall down, and spin some more, giggling like mad fools all the while. Because in the end, this has to be fun. Otherwise, there's just no point. You may as well go get a voluntary root canal.

10.04.2004

Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?
Wen writes about a friend drifting away, or so it seems. Whatever's going on there, it sucks, it's a lousy situation to be in, where someone you cared about so much yesterday has all of a sudden converted you to Yesterday's News or, conversely, you've converted them to Yesterday's News in the time it takes to raise a voice, be stubborn when I don't think it's necessary or made one comment that I'll never be able to forget. In these situations, I tend to just let things go, trying (sometimes in vain) to have faith in the universe and its ability to bring us together when we need to be.

Part of this you can chalk up to the transient nature of lives, to how at one point in your life your favorite food is a hot dog, then your tastes change, you discover Aidell's Sausage and all of a sudden, you guessed it, hot dogs are Yesterday's News.

Once the hot dog conversion is complete, you may eat those hot dogs, may still enjoy them, but in the back of your mind you're thinking, this tastes okay but an Aidell's would be better right now and this hot dog just seems a bit awkward anyway.

I know how it goes, Wen. I do. I think that's what's happened with us, when we started being friends all those years ago, eating the proverbial hot dog at Ohio State, we had more in common then because at least for me, my life was a lot less robust. No loving adorable girlfriend, no hockey, not much going on really outside of going to school and figuring out how to be gay. And of course, eating those hot dogs.

But then we both moved, moved on, found other hobbies, and yes, I found Aidell's. However, we do still both eat those hot dogs sometimes, we just have a lot less time to do it in. I chalk this up to our collective robust lives, to the expansion of our world that has made our friendship less a focal point and more of a very reliable and trusted resource that I enjoy spending time with. While I regret that we don't have more time together, I am extremely grateful that our worlds have each expanded so that they are filled with a myriad of other things that make us both happy.

So what I'm saying is, I don't think friendship as adults has to be an on/off thing. Or at least I hope not. I hope for the sake of ending your stress that your other friend, Wen, is busy eating Aidell's, that he/she merely needs to be shown a hot dog once more to be reminded of how good they can be, too. Even if you no longer eat them every day.

Best of luck to ya, may you find your vegan Aidell's, pronto!

Where the 70's Survived
We had an offsite last Friday at lovely Vasona Park. The festivities included a rousting game of kickball. My team was the roustees (well, actually we were the Word Doctors) but we still had a blast. As offsites go, it was about the best ever. We had a seriously rad lunch, with these little sushi-like things that had sausage on top. Trust me, they were yummy, because sausage makes anything better. After lunch, we played kickball, then our managers took turns reading cards they'd written to each of us, saying what we offered to the group. It was really sweet, and yes, mine said I was a Lover of Cheese.

I embraced the athletic nature of the day by sporting the most sporty outfit possible. Below is some proof, though I chose not to share the two pics that show my wrinkles, yes I said MOTHER FUCKING WRINKLES.


Rawk On! It's Rawktober!
Chillin', havin a coke. My idea of hard lee-cor, right there.
I have the fastest-moving feet ever! But they don't spin.
Nobody points like I do, baby.

Light Rail of Joy
Three days a week, I leave the comfort of my office and ride to school on the light rail. Mainly because, as you know, I'm cheap and the thought of buying a $158 parking pass is way too much, and because they close $158 the garage during my classtime.

Today, I've been lucky enough to sit behind Lil Rob, who is apparently #23. I knew because it was embroidered on his sweatshirt. When I got off, I was missing him until a new guy, with a huge mullet got on, he's in the sideways-facing seat so all I can see is mullet. Ahh, a gift.

The Part of...
On soap operas (now known as Daytime Dramas) when someone is out for the day, they don't re-write the script, they just bring in a sub like you'd do for a third-grade class. As the faux person enters the scene, a voice that sounds a little like I imagine God's would comes on, a voiceover, and says "The part of Janet Lemore is being played by Some Other Actor You've Never Heard Of," except that instead of Some Other Actor You've Never Heard Of, it really is the name of an actor you've never heard of.

But I digress. Today, Viv's blog is that Daytime Drama and I'm the Other Actor. In lieu of actually writing something here, where y'all are looking for it (Hi, Y'all!) I've been commenting over there like a mad fool.

Anyway, since part of my weekend included playing against Viv, feel free to read her writeup of the game. I'll add my own comments later. Maybe, if I feel like it.

10.01.2004

The Deal About Eggs
Silly Egg Song. That's really all there is to it. Thanks MEStevens. I think.

Happy Rocktober!
Yo! September has finally come to a close, and with it the lingering ghosts of another eval season, a hard month at work and yes, my dream of ever playing for the Seals again. Ringing in Rocktober on my BlueJackets calender is Tyler Wright (Melinda's secret boyfriend). A rather homely basset hound does the same on the basset hound calendar, not the BlueJackets. That would be a different calender, the BlueJacketsBassets calendar, which, while potentially amusing, would have seriously limited distribution, like, to me.

Both calendars were gifts and when I got them I had no office to go to (well, not one that paid over minimum wage), I had only the dream of a cube to hang them in. Today, they're just about the only real decoration I have here, a victim of one too many layoffs to truly move in probably ever again. But in my cube, they are nonetheless. Thanks to Heather for the bassets and Kathy for the BlueJackets, even if I am a little late in saying thanks, I enjoy both gifts tremendously. Kathy's included an invitation for an amazing trip, one I could probably never say thanks enough for, but I'll try again. That trip rocked my world in so many ways. Thank you thank you thank you.

Besides, both gifts remind me that it's ROCKTOBER! 2 weeks from now we'll be in Albany, chillin with Heidi, Roscoe and Marc, 4 weeks from now, we'll be in Ohio, on our way to Orlando for a Real Vacation. First since 1997. I can't wait. Can't. Wait.

Rock on, Rocktober!