11.30.2004

I've never felt so much like it's us vs. them until the last month or so. With the re-election of Bush and the subsequent revealing of Jesusland, not to mention the great love of Bush displayed at DisneyWorld, and of course, our making public our intent to become parents, it's starting to feel that way. The idea that we're somehow "not moral" and along with that, the idea that being parents entitles us only to adopt a child with special needs (I wonder, do they offer straight white couples that kind of child first?), or one who is not our same race. Because somehow, we're seen as second-class citizens.

It's really starting to get to me as I slowly realize that we'll never really be seen as equal to the people who like the idea of "morals" and "family values." We'll always be second-best. I can only hope that I don't ever start to believe what I hear and agree with them that I deserve any less in this life than they do.

You Were On The Edge Of Your Seat, I Know
Now that I've played 8 or so games in my badass new child-sized gloves I'm thrilled to report that they are still fitting tightly on my hot little hands. The Quest has ended, I finally have gloves that fit. It's actually improved the velocity of my shot, so thank you, Red Fury (red team I coached last season), for the gift certificate that made these gloves possible.

You Were On The Edge Of Your Seat, I Know
Now that I've played 8 or so games in my badass new child-sized gloves I'm thrilled to report that they are still fitting tightly on my hot little hands. The Quest has ended, I finally have gloves that fit. It's actually improved the velocity of my shot, so thank you, Red Fury (red team I coached last season), for the gift certificate that made these gloves possible.

I can't stop looking at the pictures of Lillian, who arrived safely and without incident on 11/27. She's abso-smurfly gorgeous. Welcome, little one!

For reasons that defy explanation, I can't stop using all caps today in emails. If you're the recipient of any of those emails, I'M SORRY!

Normal
I wasn't going to post about Andrea's supertraumatic discussion with her mom this weekend, but since she did, I figure it's fair game.

In short, the whole thing broke my heart. I was on my cell phone with my parents, explaining some other aspect of the Wonders Of The Internet to them when I heard Andrea's voice start to raise. I knew what she'd done, that she'd broken the news about Murray (which at this point, is simply the news that one day, somehow, there will be a Murray, or if he's twins, Murray and Merrill) and it wasn't going well.

Less than well, you could say. I finally wrapped up my call and headed back to our bedroom to check in on The Situation. I got there in time to overhear Andrea's mom say the word Normal no less than 10 times. Apparently, she's quite concerned that our lifestyle (there's THAT word again) isn't what she'd imagined for Andrea. I wanted to say, Look, lady, I'm not chopped liver. I'm actually very nice and most of the time, quite good to your daughter. In the end, isn't that the kind of shit that matters?

But I held my tongue and realized that Murray will probably have no contact with his Tanparents, through no fault of his own. I suppose you could argue that if we were 'Normal' it wouldn't be an issue, he'd be a welcome addition to the family, but guess what, we're not her definition of normal so here we are, with a grandparentless idea of a child.

Apparently, it would be okay if we adopted, because that means we're helping a child who is already here, already in need of a home. Sounds novel, but it begs the question: why is it the responsibility of lesbian families to pick up the pieces of a straight person's mistake? Aren't we entitled to create our own families on our own terms, or is that somehow deemed wasteful? When a straight couple tells you they're getting ready to have a kid, do you automatically ask them if they're planning to adopt? Does being a lesbian automatically make you infertile? Why does it have to?

I have to remember that there are plenty of situations where people get a hard time from their families about procreation, that this sort of animosity isn't limited to lesbian folks, it extends to teenagers, people in multi-racial relationships (oh wait, we're that, too...), but still. It sucks for all of us.

I Was Doing So Well
It took all my strength, but I steeled myself for the annual onslaugt of gift considerations, refusing to consider the meaningless of exchanging gifts in honor of a holiday that may or may not mean anything to the giver or the recipient. I was really doing well, I've managed to get gifts for my whole family without setting foot in a mall. Doing well, that is until just now when I once again paused to consider the futility of inventing items that you want for the sake of a holiday that means little to many (and yes, it means a lot to some folks and if you're one of them, bully for you, I have no doubt that you enjoy a richer experience than I this time of year) and now I'm all frustrated.

Just call me Scrooge. I'd still rather get you a gift when I find something that I know you'll enjoy.

Last year, I played with the Seals in the Redwood City Holiday Tourney. It was fun but a ton of pressure. This year, it's only open to in-house people, which both Andrea and I are now so I'm thrilled to tell you that for the first time ever, I'm about to play a tournament WITH ANDREA ON MY TEAM!!!!

I think we cover 2/3 of the quota, since they have to have 3 women and 2 players from Saturday nights. We're both. We rock!

And in other tourney news, I got to practice with about half of the upcoming Vegas team (GO BURNINATORS!) on Sunday and it went super-well. During the scrimmage, we were cycling, setting up plays, passing, shooting and leaving our goalie all alone, bored in our end. The way it should be. If that's any indication of how we'll do as a group, I have chosen well.

There are a million folks I could have asked, but didn't. Mainly because rosters only hold so many people and at a certain point, you have to make a choice. It came down to who has played together more, who has played more in general and who I thought would work well with each other. Naturally, I feel bad about not being able to invite every person I play with but hey, I play on 5 teams and have hockey friends outside of those teams. That's simply a lot of people to choose from.

11.29.2004

Gettin' Busy
I took the 4 days of loosely scheduled time as a chance to get rid of some junk, so I posted a bunch of stuff on our local Freecycle list. Within minutes, I had about a jillion responses (is that the right way to spell that, or is it the more jaunty 'gillion'?) for everything from crates of fish supplies, oldass answering machines, old fish tanks and the topper, a lone can of unopened tennis balls that a nice woman is making her husband come to my house to retrieve.

The frustrating parts about using Freecycle is how freaking popular it is and how rarely people seem to read my follow up post that says, instead of OFFERED (meaning, hey people I've got some crap, you want it?), it says TAKEN (meaning, it's taken. You can't have it because someone else already snagged it, you pokey-mon). All told, that's not the worst problem in the world -- too many nice people lining up to help you empty your house of stuff you don't use.

Andrea is convinced that I only gave away HER stuff, but for the record, I didn't. It was a fairly even mix, leaning toward the "truly communal property" side of things, rather than the neat freak one getting rid of the other's clutter kind of thing. Good thing, since neither of us are neat freaks and the rare moments when we're inspired to clean never happen at the exact same time.

In the process, I found a ton of old sheet music from my glory days, high school papers (at the risk of sounding pompous, I have to say that my high school writing quality was, even then, a lot more coherent than some of the college crap I had the displeasure of grading this spring, when I never went anywhere without a stack of papers to grade) and a booklet describing the doings of my fourth grade class for the entire year. Interesting stuff.

I also took pictures of the hordes of extra hockey gear that I'll be putting on eBay as soon as I can figure out how to get Andrea's spiffyass new camera to make friends with my laptop. Stuff out, money in. Not a bad deal, as deals go.

Gettin' Busy
I took the 4 days of loosely scheduled time as a chance to get rid of some junk, so I posted a bunch of stuff on our local Freecycle list. Within minutes, I had about a jillion responses (is that the right way to spell that, or is it the more jaunty 'gillion'?) for everything from crates of fish supplies, oldass answering machines, old fish tanks and the topper, a lone can of unopened tennis balls that a nice woman is making her husband come to my house to retrieve.

The frustrating parts about using Freecycle is how freaking popular it is and how rarely people seem to read my follow up post that says, instead of OFFERED (meaning, hey people I've got some crap, you want it?), it says TAKEN (meaning, it's taken. You can't have it because someone else already snagged it, you pokey-mon). All told, that's not the worst problem in the world -- too many nice people lining up to help you empty your house of stuff you don't use.

Andrea is convinced that I only gave away HER stuff, but for the record, I didn't. It was a fairly even mix, leaning toward the "truly communal property" side of things, rather than the neat freak one getting rid of the other's clutter kind of thing. Good thing, since neither of us are neat freaks and the rare moments when we're inspired to clean never happen at the exact same time.

In the process, I found a ton of old sheet music from my glory days, high school papers (at the risk of sounding pompous, I have to say that my high school writing quality was, even then, a lot more coherent than some of the college crap I had the displeasure of grading this spring, when I never went anywhere without a stack of papers to grade) and a booklet describing the doings of my fourth grade class for the entire year. Interesting stuff.

I also took pictures of the hordes of extra hockey gear that I'll be putting on eBay as soon as I can figure out how to get Andrea's spiffyass new camera to make friends with my laptop. Stuff out, money in. Not a bad deal, as deals go.

Gettin' Busy
I took the 4 days of loosely scheduled time as a chance to get rid of some junk, so I posted a bunch of stuff on our local Freecycle list. Within minutes, I had about a jillion responses (is that the right way to spell that, or is it the more jaunty 'gillion'?) for everything from crates of fish supplies, oldass answering machines, old fish tanks and the topper, a lone can of unopened tennis balls that a nice woman is making her husband come to my house to retrieve.

The frustrating parts about using Freecycle is how freaking popular it is and how rarely people seem to read my follow up post that says, instead of OFFERED (meaning, hey people I've got some crap, you want it?), it says TAKEN (meaning, it's taken. You can't have it because someone else already snagged it, you pokey-mon). All told, that's not the worst problem in the world -- too many nice people lining up to help you empty your house of stuff you don't use.

Andrea is convinced that I only gave away HER stuff, but for the record, I didn't. It was a fairly even mix, leaning toward the "truly communal property" side of things, rather than the neat freak one getting rid of the other's clutter kind of thing. Good thing, since neither of us are neat freaks and the rare moments when we're inspired to clean never happen at the exact same time.

In the process, I found a ton of old sheet music from my glory days, high school papers (at the risk of sounding pompous, I have to say that my high school writing quality was, even then, a lot more coherent than some of the college crap I had the displeasure of grading this spring, when I never went anywhere without a stack of papers to grade) and a booklet describing the doings of my fourth grade class for the entire year. Interesting stuff.

I also took pictures of the hordes of extra hockey gear that I'll be putting on eBay as soon as I can figure out how to get Andrea's spiffyass new camera to make friends with my laptop. Stuff out, money in. Not a bad deal, as deals go.

Though it pains me so to remember any part of that day, today does mark 3 years since Alice left us.

Here's to you, my little #1. My heart still breaks without you here.

11.28.2004

3 On 3 Fun
I put together a little team for this 3 on 3 tournament they had at Logitech. Me, Dan, Robin, Viv, Tami and Ingrid did our thing in front of the Mighty Chuck. They divided the ice into 3 sections with these flimsy-ass boards that made changing lines all but impossible. We had to share the bench with the other team, rendering my usual banter of shit talking all but impossible.

All that aside, it was a blast, a huge blast. We went 2 and 2, beating teams that actually belonged in the Beginner division, losing to the 2 teams that were way too advanced for the division. I managed to score 6, count 'em 6 goals and rack up a handful of assists. By the end of the day, every one of us, except for the Mighty Chuck had scored. Totally silly fun. And I scored a bunch. Perhaps I am indeed becoming Liz Doughty, Scorer of Goals!

11.24.2004

What Happened?
As always, thanks to my three loyal readers for supporting me in my seriously low moment re: school. Here's what led up to it: almost 2 years now of attempting to balance my time between my life with Andrea, work, school, and hockey has worn me out. Yup, even Superwoman herself needed some time off here and there.

I was finishing up a paper late last night when I snapped. Lost it. Started crying right there into my laptop, wondering, seriously, what the point was. When I started this degree thing, it was with an eye toward change, toward a new life in some ways, promised to make me different.

Except we all know, that a scorpion will sting the turtle on it's way across the stream, it cannot be helped, it's merely part of nature (Susan, retelling a fable, 2004). In that vein, I am not a park ranger, I am not a backcountry camper or even an in-city not-quite-a-policewomyn. I'm just Liz Doughty, kind of brainy, fairly good with computers, skilled at many things, all of which are primarily centered around being indoors. Note: parks are mostly outdoors and working in them, at least to start out with, requires some element of vandal-proof bathroom cleaning.

In short, I'm not sure the Parks & Recreation thing is really for me. My classmates all work in the field and based on their experiences, I'm pretty sure that the rigors of working with goverment would kill me. Though I do feel passionately about women's opportunities in sport, is a Master's degree really necessary to display that passion?

With Murray (and eventually Murray II, who has been appropriately re-named Merrill, as in Merrill Steubing, captain of YOUR Love Boat) in the works, I'm trying to balance how many things I can accomplish before everything else we do seems completely irrelevant when compared to the smiling droolfaces Murray will provide. Because once Murray is here, there will be no school, not for a good while, there will be significantly less hockey (A-Team 2, meet your new captain, Andrea. I'll be cheering with Murray in the stands. Coco-NUTS, you'll have to live without me. Green, you'd better get someone else to pretend it's Halloween every week and dress as a goalie. Hopefully I will have made Blue, I'll still try to skate Blue and A-Team 1, but that's it.).

Is it really worth running myself to exhaustion for something that (at the moment) has a very intangible benefit? Right now, I say no.

I think I just decided to take some time off from school and maybe quit altogether.

11.23.2004

In more (not our) baby news, little Samantha (no relation to Big Sam, except that they both know us) continues to grow and now weighs in at a behemoth 6 lbs, 11 oz. Watch out world, here she comes, making the cutest faces you've ever seen and doing kung-fu while she sleeps.

I just heard that the twins (Big Sam and Riley) had their first taste of water today -- from sippy cups. It's official, they are growing up WAY too fast. Next thing you know, they'll be in college, Murray will be in high school, Murray II will be in middle school and we'll be toothless old women, wondering where the years have gone.

I can't wait.

11.22.2004

So I dared to search on Poopsmith and found what may be the most revolting song I've ever heard: the PoopSmith. Should I EVER become so warped in my upcoming motherhood that I decide a song like this is appropriate for little Murray to hear, please put me on time-out until I come to my senses.

What's better than spam? Interpretive spam! Nice work.

The Poopsmith
This weekend Andrea was the kind, brave soul and ventured out to the backyard for poop patrol, picking up tons and tons of poop, ridding the world of smoldering fecal matter. Thank you, thank you.

In return for this most excellent servdice, I crown her The PoopSmith, which just might be my new favorite word. So funny, indeed, that when I was too tired to sleep last night, I laid there, coming up with new contexts to use the word PoopSmith and laughing hysterically.

One other thing about playing a lot of hockey is that you sort of get used to the volume of body odor that always seems to be around. Even so, now and again I have moments that stop me in my tracks. P.U. people, let's all get our shit washed, shall we?

Ya Learn Something New...
I know this is gonna sound weird, but lately I've been discovering that I really am smaller than I think. From hands to pants to shirts to feet, it's all smaller. A good problem to have, without a doubt. One of those key areas hockey stuff. Everything, and I mean everything except elbow pads that I own has turned out to be too big. One of the most nagging areas of too big-ness has been gloves. I'll find a pair I like, so I buy two or three, and of course, they stretch out after a while and before I know it, I'm spending an entire game fighting to keep my sporty gloves on. A lot of people like that kind of feel, but not me.

Knock on wood, but I think, hope and pray that I have at long last owned up to the fact that I really do have small hands and purchased a pretty cheapass pair of boy-sized gloves. (I got the significantly less cool all-blue model, but should they stay good I'll get some of the bad boys linked above to complement them.)

For the first time in my hockey career, I have Gloves That Fit. When you consider how much time I spend wearing hockey gloves, you can start to understand the joy I felt when I actually had to PULL THEM OFF on the bench last night to drink my water. The quest is over, I am in some ways, officially Child Sized!

11.19.2004

Nerdy Funny
Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names. It's funnier than you might think, but then again, anything that involves "Studies on the Chemistry of the Arsoles" is bound to be funny.

Because Heather M (not to be confused with Heather MC, which now that I think about it, is a pretty cool nickname) requested it, I have added comments.

11.18.2004

Minding My Own Business
On my bleary-eyed drive to work this morning, I pulled my fancyass new Jeep up alongside a snazzy purple-ish Passat and thought "Hey, that's kind of snazzy. But my new Jeep is more snazzier, so there Mr. Passat driver!"

I didn't think too much more about him, or if I did it was a string of thoughts like "I don't really miss my Passat." "Remember when I had a Passat?" "That Passat of mine was much lower to the ground than this fancyass Jeep!" "My Passat was paid off but cost a million dollars to fix." Anyway, not swayed by the suaveness of his car, I kept driving past him in mine. Until the traffic stopped for a reason I couldn't see, and Mr. Passat Driver came swerving right in front of my Jeep at a high rate of speed.

It's a good thing I drive like a grandma, always leaving at least a car length between me and the car in front of me, something I do as a precaution against moments like that, when a fancyass driver feels the need to cut across two lanes of traffic, then screech to a halt on the far shoulder, all because there was an orange plastic barrier cone loose in his lane, threatening to harm his precious fancyass car.

Mr. Passat Driver, you were totally right to risk MY LIFE because that orange piece of plastic jumped out in front of me. Really. My life and my equally fancyass Jeep are not worthy of life, if it means your stupid shiny car could be scratched or hurt.

PSA: People, dear readers, please remember that the life of the person behind you on the road is far more valuable than whatever could happen to your stupid car if you run over some road debris. I should know, I ran over some road debris myself, back in 2001. That shit fucked up my car pretty good, but you know, it didn't scare the crap out of anyone or risk anyone's life.

Um, okay
This morning, I was very tiredly walking toward the front door of our building when I see a bunch of orange cones lined up across the drop-off area and a security guard standing around them. "That's silly," I thought, "he could get run over when people use the drop-off area," and I kept walking toward the warmth and comfort of my building until that very same man came toward me and said in an angry voice, a voice that was far too gruff for that time of the morning, "You have to go in the side," "Why?" I asked. "Because of what's going on this morning." "Um, what's going on this morning?" "The President of another country is coming here." "Oh, okay."

And I trudged up the stairs. I have to admit that this is the first time a Presidential visit in my place of work has impacted my day. It's kinda cool.

And no, sorry, I won't tell you where I work. Only that we had a Special Visitor today.

11.17.2004

One Crazy Night
Last night, I subbed in blue for the first time since last season. Before the game, I did everything right -- slept long enough, ate the right amount of food at the right intervals and packed my very own (quasi-legal for me to have) blue jersey set. I was ready, by golly.

The first period, I was hanging out in front of the net, moving around, staying open and waiting for something to happen. I know my own limits enough to not be the chaser -- in blue, I'm leaving that to the truly fast people. Though I can keep up, my strength at that level lies in positioning and timing, so I worked with that. The puck got loose, I skated into it and shot on my backhand. In slow motion, the puck went into the air, dribbled and bounced -- right over the goal line! I was stunned, am still stunned that I scored a goal in blue!
Later, the scorekeeper told me it was a nice assist, that one of my teammates had somehow tipped it in, but everyone else, and of course, I, think it was MY GOAL, DAMNIT!

Fast-forward a couple of shifts. KP, who is perhaps the best blue player, sets me up with a nice pass. I bif it, waiting too long to swing, connecting with the puck just as the other player's stick is lifting mine. Crap. On the bench, KP said "I wrap it up and tie it with a golden bow for you! Put that into the net!" Okay, okay.

Later, KP gets a breakaway. I keep pace with her, it's 2 on 0. We come into the net, she's on one side I'm on the other. The goalie is lined up on her since she has the puck. Lesser players would just shoot, maybe scoring, most likely not. But KP, she knows what she's doing and feeds me the pass at the last second. If I'd missed, I would have been too embarrassed to every show my face around blue again.

But I didn't miss, I got that puck on my stick, took a second to ready it, then fired it right into the back of the net. A lovely goal, if I do say so myself.

Me! Two points in one game. In blue!

On my way home, I get a sort of panicked IM from Susan, mom of the twins. Turns out that both girls were having a very very bad night, wouldn't stop crying and with Daddy out of town for work, there weren't enough hands to help them go to sleep. I picked up my takeout food, then Andrea, and we headed over to the Great Palace of Crying, Angry Babies. We divided up the labor, taking turns until finally, first Riley, then Sam decided sleeping was a good idea. Though there was certainly a lot of trauma and angst leading up to it, the feeling of having a baby fall asleep on you when you're rocking them is really hard to beat. Especially when that baby decides to cooperate and actually go to sleep when you finally put her to bed.

It was a long night for everyone. Riley capped it off with a gigantic poop today so maybe she was just waiting for the Metamucil to kick in. I feel you, kid.

Today, I don't feel so hot. I'm hoping it's just a bad encounter with roast beef, but either way, my ass is actually leaving work early to go home to bed. Lameness abounds, yo.

11.16.2004

Reason #1007 Why The Internet Is The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread
Because someone used that sliced bread to make a grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary on it.

It all started innocently enough with this article about someone selling a grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary on it. That's interesting enough, so naturally, I did what anyone would -- I went to eBay and searched on Grilled Cheese. I found a plethora of grilled cheese bounty, with items ranging from not grilled cheese ..6 watch lot-Juvenia,Bulova 23 J to EMMA FOAM LATEX MASK! NOT Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese, all of which were not Grilled Cheese, none of which included the Virgin Herself.

Of course, there were true competitors: Face ! virgin mary in steak! not grilled cheese! and the required Limited Edition Artist-Signed T-shirts but nothing, I tell you, nothing prepared me for this, the trump card of all Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese trump cards:

Better than Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Yasser Arafat on a Falafel.

Please excuse me as I fall out of my chair laughing my ass off. And look for an Arafat on a Falafel t-shirt.

Now I Get It
There are some people, who, when they ask you a question are just waiting for you to finish talking so they can talk. No harm, no foul, that's just how it is. But knowing this makes dealing with them easier, you don't really have to speak. I'm going to try an expirement -- just murmur incoherently, then pause and look up expectantly. I'll let you know what happens.

We got a new couch for the dogs last night. You heard me right, a new couch. For the dogs. Since we got the new reclining loveseat, they've been relegated to only one Traditionally Human Seating Area, the gross-ass little couch. That's where they get their glimpse of the world, perched on the couch, looking out our big front window at all the goings-on. How could we deny them that pleasure?

We can't. But we needed a new couch (life expectancy of a well-loved couch in a house with 4 dogs is no more than 3 years) so when the Great Nette Remodel of 2004 was complete, we were first in line for their old couch. It took far too long for us to get our act together to pick the thing up, but at long last we did last night.

Gus had the inagural lie-down, resting his head on the fluffy armrest and falling asleep. I looked at him and said "I'm still glad we didn't give him back to his original person." I still have no doubt that his person was well-meaning, but you just can't argue with the cumulative effects of a lifetime of neglect. Even now, Gus can't jump easily or stand still without his legs shaking. But that man loves his couch. Thanks, Nettes and landlords, for enhancing Gus' life.

11.15.2004

Coconuts!
Because I'm growing a little bored with playing against the same set of women every week at Redwood City, I'm switching to their beginner league for a season. My friend (who is a beginner) is also playing so it could be kinda fun. While other folks I know have moved to this league to help set up plays and stuff, I made it clear "I'm doing this to learn to score goals and play center," to the hockey director. Since he's known me for a couple of years now, he understands this drive (and my serious lifelong goal-scoring drought, though I did score from the point on Saturday) and doesn't mind.

I got my team assignment today: I'm on the COCONUTS! Or rather, the Coco-NUTS! We start this week and I can't wait to be a Coco-NUT! It also makes a great explative. I stubbed my toe! COCONUTS! Jena broke her ankle! COCONUTS! Our second mortgage suddenly sucks! COCONUTS!

COCONUTS!

I should have called Dan and Robyn's mortgage guy. The whole time we were doing our refi this summer, when rates were low and the world was a shining, happy place, I had a sort of bad feeling about it. More of the used-car salesman thing than last time, a nagging 'you're being had' feeling that I couldn't quite shake, even after I gave him the third degree.

When we showed up at the closing, we discovered that he was out of town and that he'd forgotten to tell us about a not-that-small outlay of cash we needed to outlay RIGHT THEN or we couldn't close. We would've lost the dramatic decrease in our first if we hadn't gone with the program that day. I guess along the way, he'd also changed our second to a tee-riffic intro rate for 3 months, followed by a widely varying rate for the rest of the term. I didn't notice, obviously it's my fault for not reading more thoroughly (though those Equity and Title People always want to move you through the stuff at breakneck speed, it's hard to pause for even a second with most of them) but in the end, here's the thing. The guy basically pulled a bait and switch that's not only costing us money, but has absolutely ruined our relationship with him. I'm so mad I could spit, now that I've discovered this crazyass fluctuating rate and the lies behind it. We're going to have to refi the second AGAIN because of him and find a new used-car salesman, er, mortgage broker to help us. What a fucking mess.

Ya know, until our man Gavin Newsomb decided to open that teeny window of hope and allow gay couples to marry on his watch, I'd never really thought it possible. I'd expected to continue living my life, granted certain rights under the law, rights that come close but may never be as many or as robust as those that you straight people get as a matter of course. But that was the deal, I got it, I knew that going in.

But for those brief weeks, I dared to imagine a different kind of world, a world where I could use the word 'wife' if I chose (I think in the end, I would still not choose that word, it doesn't seem to fit. I still like 'partner' better than the alternatives.), a world where my relationship carried the same legal weight as those of my straight friends and relatives. We almost went up there to wait in the cold and the rain with all the other folks, but in the end, decided that we'd rather keep waiting, hoping for it to truly become legal so we could have our ceremony anywhere we chose instead of at city hall.

We all know that wasn't the case and now, in 11 states, it's even less the case than it was on 11/1. I guess I'm in the same place I was before that brief window of hope opened and closed in the blink of an eye, but now it seems even sadder that we can't get our marriage licenses too.

I am so ready for the semester to be over, if, for no other reason than the fact that I won't have to ride light rail so much. Because my fellow riders are really starting to creep me out. Today the guy in front of me put his arm up on his seatback reaching back, almost touching me. Eww. He then continued to reach at the air just above my leg. Eww.

That's not unlike the guy last week who stared right through me, vomit on his chin, talking at me but yet, not, until we reached his stop.

Next semester, night classes and my own car are the way to go. (The garages get so full in the mornings that parking is impossible because they close them off.)

I got an email today about a tournament that sounds terrific - high level play for girls and women 22 and under. It's held in Estonia and features teams from around the world.

Except for one thing - the guy sending the email, the organizer of this esteemed tourney, made a joke about appealing to a "broad" audience. That's right, when trying to get people to fork out $2000 for this event, he called us broads.

In my early 20's, I was a much more hard-core feminist and would have organized a boycott of the event. 5 years ago I might have glossed over this but today took a minute to email the guy, telling him what I thought. Is that enough? Is changing attitudes (or attempting to?) one person at a time adequate? Probably not but sometimes it's all you can do for one day.

11.12.2004

Fire Drill Fun
After a solid week of buildup, our building had a fun-filled fire drill today. As we all emerged, en masse, outside into the sunlight (which promptly blinded a number of engineers who aren't used to seeing the sun), I commented to myself that it was like a rave, due to all the crazy lights and sirens. Not that I really know, because I've never been to a rave, but I have seen them on TV. That's close enough to make me an expert, for sure.

I wandered over to the designated Assembly Area to find my group eagerly awaiting the end of the Drill. My Uberboss said "This was like the Cheat's Lightswitch!, which was so very very true.

We all grabbed our purses, those of us who are purse-carriers, anyway. One co-worker (aka the Lady Who Spins) proclaimed that bringing her purse was silly, really, but re-thought that when I pointed out that people could have stolen our hairbrushes. Her reaction to this? "Yeah, because that's how they do the voodoo. With hair."

Exactly. Good thing I grabbed my purse.

I have to say that You People with your blue and black hockey pants and gloves certainly blend in a lot better than I do. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but at least you can always pick my red and flourescent green ass out of those little thumbnails. And I think, sometimes, it scares people.

I can't stop looking at the photos. Good thing today isn't a huge deadline at work. Oh wait...

Our names in lights
Check me out, I look like a Real Hockey Player
I'm coming to get ya
Um...where's the puck?
I'm an ad for Robby Glantz. Maybe that stuff works after all!
Chuck's unbeatable 5 hole
Heather, rockin the puck away from those Monkeys
Dan, kicker of asses
Jena, before The Great Ankle Break of 2004 :-(
Steph, the Other Secret Weapon
Take THAT, Vanessa!
Um, Vanessa, the play's over here...
Chris, showing the love (but NOT slashing)
Take THAT, Terry! Our friendship doesn't stop me from shooting on you!
Aww, Vanessa, did you fall down? I'm SO sorry
Robyn, showing off those fancypants gloves. Oh wait, I have them, too...
Chris, again, not slashing. This time, also looking like a playing card pose.
I told you Dan was a kicker of asses!
Dan is also ready to give hugs as needed
For a second there, I looked like I knew what I was doing
Yep, we're a buncha badasses.
And the reason the A-Team 2 began: so I could play with My Favorite BadAss

Because the only thing better than playing hockey is looking at pictures of myself and my friends playing hockey, I offer you this fine gallery of the A-Team 2 vs. Ice Monkeys. What I want to know now is how long it will take for my teammates and LizSpeaks readers to find the link....

11.11.2004

Expect the Unexpected
Without sharing much of this because, really, it's none of your business, or rather, we're feeling quite private about the whole thing, I will share this. Today, we took some concrete action towards getting ready to start a family (i.e. a human child, not just the dogs). I was on the phone with my mom afterwards so I took a deep breath and shared a bit about where we were on the Parenting Readiness Scale.

I really didn't know what to expect. I was really not ready for what I got:

  1. "Start saving your money, kiddo." (she NEVER calls me kiddo)
  2. "So we do need to move there."
  3. "I can babysit, right? I'll be a good little babysitter for you."
Now, logically, that all makes sense. I'm 31, it's about fucking time we got started on this. But call it internalized homophobia, call it whatever you want, I was more than prepared for some kind of lame rhetoric about how I shouldn't do this, not yet, not now, not ever. Mom may currently live in a Red State, but she's got a Blue heart. Come out of the Red, mom (for the record, she proudly sported a Kerry sign in her yard for MONTHS, even as it was surrounded by The Other Guy signs), join us and Murray-to-be here in the Blue. You can babysit all you want.

11.10.2004

We're sitting here watching a TiVoed Ellen show, a show that I normally find very entertaining. But today, I have That Look on my face because in the "exerience" they have set up a little teeny ice rink, upon which characters from Disney on Ice dressed as Nemo, Marlin and Dorie are acting out, line by line, part of Finding Nemo. On ice.

It ranks up there with some of the most bizarre things I have ever seen, including the Mouth Breather of DisneyWorld and the homeless man in our neighborhood who rubs a rock against a utlitity pole all day. Andrea and I are still sitting here, muttering about that being about the most bizarre thing ever.

Is the Disney on Ice show like 2 hours of on-ice re-enactment? Please, God, let our child not ever force us to go see something like that in its entirety.

Ending the Drought
Had my first win as a goalie in a looong time. I think the last time was at the end of the Winter 2003 season, when I played a losing season for the Crash Test Barbies. Chalk it up to good d, to me keeping my focus for the entire game, to a great team effort, whatever you like, it's all good because I actually had a win!! As a goalie! With the big pads and everything!!

Woo hoo, Dangeresque! We kicked some ass.

Highlights included another Andreatan goal from the point and the scorekeeper asking me how to spell our team name before the game. Me: "Danger. Esque."

11.08.2004

There remain so many things I want to say about the current state of our nation when it comes to the Red State/Blue State divide. If I ever get motivated, I'll collect them all in one place for your reading convenience, but for now, I'll just go ahead and spew as I see fit.

Every Sunday a bus drives up and down my street to pick nice Baptists up and take them to church. Now and again, that bus brings a handful of well-dressed, well-intended folks who long for nothing more than to share the word of God with me. That's nice, did you want a beer?

But you know, there's something to that. Go where people live and impart your particular brand of wisdom in small doses, then go about your business saving souls. Using that logic, here's my plan to convert the "Morals Voters" as I now call them to my way of thinking, which, I admit, is totally radical. You know, that all men (and women) are in fact created equal and are entitled to the same rights, all of us. Not just the pretty people or the people that the People In Charge like the most.

So, part one of my plan to point out that girls who kiss girls and boys who kiss boys are really not that exciting (unless we're movie stars, and even then, I think there's an element of mundane-ness in even Ellen's fabulous life) and more importantly, not that different than the God-loving white folks who felt the need to try and outlaw me. I wonder, are these the same types of folks who tried to outlaw other minorities in the past?

To do this, I see myself as the star of a series of full-color print ads that say things like "I pay my mortgage. I have a full-time job. I don't suck. I'm pretty. I carry a purse. And, oh yeah, I'm gay. And I'm just like you." that I would pass out at churches throughout the south, boldly going up to people who voted on "morals" to prevent me from getting married and pointing out that we are all the same. Yes, in that vein, I must look deep within myself and examine what's similar between Those People and me, but I can do that after I'm allowed to marry my partner... I figure that gives me some time.

Great. One of the assholes on the Other Team works with Viv. Apparently, in real life, he's actually not an asshole, but I did call him one last night while he was swatting at Chuck. You can say many things about the A-Team, but one thing you cannot say is that we let people swat at our goalie. Even if those people are nice at work or in real life. Sorry, Mr. Plays with Assholes but is not one. I'm not an asshole either, just when the aforementioned swatting and hitting is going on. You understand how it is...

It's Like a Roller Coaster
Yeah, one that never ends, one that isn't really any fun, it just keeps throwing you around until you feel like you're going to puke. What am I talking about? My new desk/cube/whatever. It's located right off a main thoroughfare, which is indeed convenient, but, because our spiffy building is built on rollers for earthquake protection, that means the floor shakes all the time. All. The. Time. Cubes farther away from traffic, like my old cube, were hardly susceptable to this issue but my new one is way too close to Things That Move and I'm having a very hard time trying not to puke, let alone to get work done.

Ow. And Boo
The A-Team 2 played at the tank, something that everyone likes the first time. But the reality is, getting to the rink is a huge pain in the ass and playing there, with a handful of fans is not like playing there when the place is packed. Not that I have any idea what that's like, I don't but I think I would hate all those people cheering or booing based on my actions. I know this because at last night's A-Team 1 game, there was a crowd of chippies lined up cheering for the Other Team, a team I hate to play because they're ASSHOLES. When the Other Team scored, the chippies cheered so loudly all I could do was give them the finger with my gloves on. I know, classy. But everyone has a breaking point.

Speaking of breaking points, the worst news of all: Jena, our hero, our fellow lover of StrongBad and all things the Cheat, broke her ankle in two places at the tank. She was a total stud, laying there, saying so calmly "I think I broke it" that I figured there was no way she'd broken it. She was just too calm. Was that shock? Dunno. But ow, Jena. Heal fast, we miss you already.

11.05.2004

Hall of Horrors
At DisneyWorld, many of the rides throughout the 5 parks are repeats of ones we have here (well, in Anaheim, an hour plane ride away) so we chose to spend our time visiting attractions that you can't see here. One of those was the Hall of Presidents, which features a life-sized animatronic model of each of our presidents. They introduce themselves and when they got to our now-repeat current president, the audience broke into a crazy loud applause that shook me in a way I wouldn't have expected.

In case you were wondering what the millions of people who voted for him (I'll just call him The Other Guy for now) looked like, they look like the legions of heterosexual white people with small children who shared the parks with us. Now, I have no issue with heterosexual white people, some of my best friends fall into that category, not to mention all of my parents. But when I heard that level of enthusiastic applause for a president who has lied to us, who makes no attempt to hide his disregard for the separation of church and state, who of course, has gone out of his way to speak about a little thing called "morals", a concept that he and his friends there in Washington and across the country have expanded to include my life, simply because my genes dictate that I share my life with a woman instead of a man.

It's the "morals" thing that gets me. The implication that my life is somehow "amoral" because of this one facet of my life. That I live what I consider a moral life: follow the rules, don't lie (watch me try, it's really quite funny, I turn bright red), hardly drink, respect my partner, admit my mistakes, strive to treat people the way I'd want to be treated, even if I don't agree with the choices they make about their lifestyles, none of that matters because when I go to bed at night, the person there beside me in the darkness that is the end of every day, that person has boobs, thus voiding any morality I may embody in other areas to my good friends at DisneyWorld, in Washington and in far too many areas around the country.

You have got to be kidding.

Take a good look at me. What scares you the most, you The Other Guy-loving evangelicals from across our great land, is that I don't look any different than you. Yes, I wear more comfortable clothing than your wife does but the "morals" that mean so goddamned much to you mean the same to me.

The difference? Mine don't include hate or exclusion as a matter of course and yours do. Ask yourself, is that really what Jesus would have done? Encourage people to turn their backs on one another and to practice principles of hate? I doubt that very much and it's that doubt that makes me cry at the thought of our country growing more and more conservative, at the thought of all that hate radiating out of rural America, pointed directly towards me.

As those families funnelled out of the Hall of Presidents, I looked at them, hard, trying to see what motivated them to respect The Other Guy but all I could see was how easily they could get married to the person they loved, how easy it was for the family their love made to grow and how much their extended families unquestioningly loved them and their kids.

I pushed aside my tears of frustration and anger, tucked my hand discreetly into Andrea's and walked outside as the crowd swallowed us up.

11.03.2004

I've spent the day fighting a strange blister on my little toe. It's now to the point where I have a jaunty little limp. Many other disneygoers have the same limp, so at least I'm not alone in my pain. But that shit still hurts.

Our tribute to the Disney World Transit System has ended unsuccessfully. We arrived at Downtown Disney just in time to see the shops closing up. No gifts for you, just a last ride back to the hotel on the skiff. Skiff skiff farewell.

Greetings from our last night in the swamps of Disney. We spent a very full day in the Magic Kingdom, riding everything on our itinerary, plus a surprise - a preview of Stitch's great escape. That isn't supposed to open until 11/16, so Andrea was stoked to get the chance. Unfortunately, it was The Line Ride, and after a long wait, it was just weird. Not quite a ride, not quite an 'attraction,' just kinda weird. It spewed this weird smell, supposed to be a chili dog burp, a nasty odor that still lingers in my nose.

We closed down Epcot and are hoping to make it to downtown disney in time to get a few fine gifts, but our plans are thwarted by the stopped monorail in front of us. Right now I'm enjoying a lovely view of the magic kingdom parking lot.

Finally, the monorail moved, and we learned the intricacies of the Disney transit system. There was no direct bus, so we rode to Fort Wilderness via the only bus line still running, then just now caught the Downtown Disney bus. Who knew?

I'm really not looking forward to going home, to returning to my life. This has been nice, spectacular, even, about as far from real life as you could hope to get. Having no schedule, no obligations, even no hockey for a whole week has been great. Remind me to do this again soon.

Greetings from the end of day 4, our final full day in Disney. After a very full day at the Magic Kingdom, which included a preview ride on Stitchs Great Escape, a ride that let out a foul smell that lingers in my nose even now, we took the monorail over to Epcot to catch the few rides we'd missed. closed down Epcot and are hoping to make it to downtown disney in time to get a few more gifts, but our plans are thwarted by the stopped monorail in front of us. Right now I'm enjoying a lovely view of the magic kingdom parking lot.

11.02.2004

I will not discuss the failure of my home state, ohio, to aid in electing John Kerry. I do not consider him a particularly charismatic man, but he was not W, which was more than enough for me.

May the great wave of conservativism sweeping the nation right now not sweep so far as to push me back into the closet. At this point, I think that's the best we can hope for - to get through the next four years without being even more marginalized. Nice world we live in. If you're straight, white and about the same size as everybody else.

Greetings From The Skiff
Here it is, the end of day 3 of the great disney adventure. We slept in after going to bed superass early in an attepmt to recover from the early morning of surfing.

We got to the Animal Kingdom around noon. It was unlike any other theme park I'd been to. The hordes of books I read preparing for this trip didn't do it justice. It was lovely, amazing and sweet. Thrilling and scary? No. But not everything has to be.

It closed at 5, so we headed over to the Magic Kingdom, aka the Florida equivalent of Disneyland. We had yet another McDonaldsesque meal, me again getting the kids meal. There was enough time to ride Buzz Lightyear and the People Mover before we had to rush to Cirque du Soliel, or as Angie the skiff driver told us, circus of the sun.

The skiff was there at the dock. Great. We hopped on and waited to go as the minutes ticked away. We waited some more, picked up a handful of passengers then finally. 10 minutes after we boarded, we were on our way to Downtown Disney. It was 8:25 when we left. Skiff rides take 25 min, the show started at 9. I tied my shoes tight, ready for a run but when we arrived, the magic skiff was there, ready to deliver us to cirque's dock. A skiff to skiff transfer got us to the show in the nick of time. Skiff, skiff, hooray!

11.01.2004

Fun. Tired. Sick. Fun.
Our first full day in Disney World began at 6 am, when we got up for our surfing lesson at Typhoon Lagoon water park. Attempting to surf in 80 degree climate-controlled water was much easier than attempting to surf in the Pacific Ocean. I'm pretty sure now, that I just don't like surfing, but I'm still glad I tried. Andrea was a total stud, for a while I just watched her try rather than surf myself.

Afterwards, we hung around the park and had a blast. It was so far, the best park yet. The only other park we got to was Epcot, which, for the most part, sucked. They may as well call Mission: Space Mission: Vomit because even Andrea "iron stomach" Tan felt gross and shaky afterwards. Like all motion simulator rides, I just did my best not to vomit during the ride. Sigh.

Test Track was by far the best ride there. We're on the way to MGM now, hopefully it's as rad as Typhoon Lagoon was.