12.29.2004

Ow
This summer, I bought Bauer Vapor XX skates. They're super lightweight and very fancy-looking, what's not to like? Nothing, except for one small problem. The right skate has a weird bump that rubs against my bony heel, causing a callous that has, in turn, started to cause a myriad of other issues. At the moment, the most pressing of these issues is a sort of constant pain in my right ankle. I've had the offending spot bumped out twice but the pain remains. Sigh.

The last thing I want to do right now is get new skates but this pain is stupid ridiculous, given what's causing it. It's like that awful night I played with severe toe pain, courtesy of my own inability to properly cut my own toenails. Stupid pain, but pain that needs to be addressed.

12.28.2004

Sitting in my relatively comfy office, where my biggest worry of the moment is how I'm going to get all these FAQs into our database before I have to leave, it seems absolutely unreal that across the world, the movement of tectonic plates has created a chain of events leaving 52,000 people dead.

That's the entire population of Upper Arlington, Ohio. My hometown, wiped out in one wave of destruction. Still just too large to wrap my head around. My sympathy go out to all those impacted by this tragedy.

Cow Pies!
Day 2 after Zeus, Rainie and Patrick got into the dog food left Zeus in a bad way. The Roos had processed all their loot but Mr. Man had packed what had to be 2 pounds of the very rich food into his little beagle-sized belly. He still looked like a pack mule when I got home last night so I called Adobe for advice. They suggested we make him puke, the very act that eventually got Alice into so many bouts of pneumonia. Removing some of the volume was supposed to reduce his risk of bloat or of various internal digestive parts twisting and hurting him in a much more major way. Ugh.

So we set up a trash bag for him to puke on, whipped out the hydrogen peroxide, forced it down his throat and waited. And waited. And waited. I should have known better, the man is a beagle and no self-respecting beagle will puke up food they've worked hard to get into their bellies in the first place. We decided to go with Plan B: rear exit.

We busted out the pumpkin and Metamucil, the "Grandma's got to go" cocktail and gave him that for dinner. About 20 minutes afterwards, he busted outside in a hurry and gave us a poop so big I swear it's a cow pie. He conked out for the night right afterwards and metabolized the rest in his sleep. Today, he's feeling much better and looks a lot more like his scrawny self. And we have 2 cow pies to clean up but that's a hell of a lot better than a sick dog.

Holiday Tourney Fun
Just for the halibut, Andrea and I signed up for the annual holiday tourney at Redwood City. Unlike previous years, where outside teams could come in, the teams this year are all in-house, formed from a combination of nights representing a wide range of skill. The most noticable thing is how many guys who have apparently played forever are there. One guy on our team has shin guards that are over 30 years old. Eww. Naturally, he skates like a pro and is super-nice. He was amazed that people would pick up hockey as adults. The most flattering part was that he didn't automatically put me into that category.

The overall skill level was astounding. What's more astounding is how obvious it makes clear how very closed our women's league is. Let's just say, for argument's sake, that I'm high maroon/almost blue level in our league. Blue, being the top. That would indicate that I'm either full of myself or pretty fast, maybe both. But with the tournament crowd, I could barely keep up. I still got a couple of assists and was in the play but I definitely felt about 2 steps behind all night. For comparison, when I sub blue, I feel either right with the play or about a half a step behind. Never two, and certainly not all game long.

It was totally fun. We have two games today and bad timing being what it is, I'm subbing blue between them, making this my first ever Triple Header Tuesday. But there's no way I can pass up the chance to play blue. You wouldn't either.

12.27.2004

For your viewing pleasure, I've made a couple of minor site upgrades today:
  • added search capabilities over there -> to the right nav
  • changed the rotating image on my homepage to show my growing gallery of sidekickpics. Anyone know how to make this rotating image call files from more than one directory?

The most amazing thing about having formed our intent to become parents in the not-so-distant future is that announcing this intent to strangers often equates with instant friendships, the rapid doling of advice and expressions of joy on your behalf. I'm beginning to understand where Mommy College takes place -- in the kitchens and living rooms of houses hosting parties of parents and parents-to-be. That we're gay is irrelevant to our new friends, the Enthusiastic Parents of the World, that we're about to join them in what promises to be the most exciting journey of our lives is what counts and they can't wait for us to be there with them.

I have to admit, in case it's not obvious, I can't wait either. Apparenty, my brother can't wait either because he and his gf gave us Murray's first two gifts. The reception we're getting to this announcement gives me hope that the world isn't filled with awful, gay-hating people after all. Of course, we haven't left California in a while so that helps, too.

Trying On Hats
Naturally, when we went to get a couple of gifts yesterday, Andrea dutifully headed off to find those gifts while the Nettes and I tried on hats. What else can you do?


This hat reminds me of Dumb Donald from Fat Albert. You be the judge.


This one brings out Jeannette's eyes.


My personal favorite. A very silly AndreaTan.

Holiday Madness
Phew, the holidays are over. I'm sure for a lot of folks, there's a collective sigh of relief, and for that sigh, I'm happy for you. For us, it was a very mellow, very nice few days off. We spent our Christmas going between family and friends, playing with the twins for most of Christmas Day afternoon. They were the models of happy babies, laughing and smiling all day. I got my first taste of Riley kisses, which are quite wet and tons of fun. Andrea got Sammy kisses, which involves an attempt to nurse. That kid will nurse on anything. If you think about it, that's a pretty good way to go through life -- always checking for food. At one point, they both crashed out, Andrea and I each had a baby on our chests. Who needs gifts when you can have that kind of love?

But speaking of gifts, I got everything on my list, some things twice! Granted my list was short (diamond earrings, hockey gloves and a webcam) but it was complete. Andrea tucked the earring box into the hockey gloves (have to wonder how many other houses had diamond earrings tucked into hockey gloves. I'd guess 0...) so I was confused when I went to try on the second glove. I pulled out the box and was giddy, postively giddy. The earrings are astoundingly beautiful. I still don't fully understand why I wanted them but oh boy am I glad that they're here. Thank you, honey!


Check out the Bling! And a hat I did not buy.

As 2004 winds to a close, I can't express how grateful I am that 2004 has been The Year That Nothing Horrible Happened. In fact, it's been a pretty damn terrific year, lingering effects of 2003 aside. 2005 promises to be the Best Year Yet. Bring it on.

12.23.2004

Confession
There's something compelling about going to the grocery store,Wal-Mart or Target on the night before a holiday. The place is invariably trashed, packed with people who are stocking up on holiday food or gift items, household items and of course, beer. All this excitement as if these places are about to close their doors forever, leaving a desperate nation stranded without beer or giblets.

I like going on these nights and doing my regular shopping, cavalierly lingering over shampoos and vitamins, selecting the right box of waffles or loaf of bread as the beer-and-giblet-crazed minions gather around me in a panicked rush.

Guess that means we're hitting the Safeway tonight and probably again tomorrow. Just to fufill my sadistic glee.

Visited the babies last night and got some good, some pretty grainy pics. They're all up on the photoblog, but here are the highlights:

Getting their crawl on!


Riley, happy as a clam in her Magic Saucer. Nobody, and I mean nobody likes to bounce as much as Riley does.
Merry Christmoose, girls!

12.22.2004

You would think that Chumbawumba had 10 albums out and that I owned all of them, for the number of times one of their songs randomly plays on my iPod.

Sign #347 That I'm Ready For Parenthood
Had lunch with Heidi (who's in town just for Christmas. Lame. Move back already, wouldya?) and Suzi B, plus Suzi's 7 month old daughter. The kid hung out on my lap most of lunch, smiling and gurgling. At one point, she blessed me with spitup, at many times she blessed me with some amazingly well-placed droll.

It was, perhaps, the Best Lunch Of The Year. Thanks, kid!

For the three of you who missed my witty reparte yesterday, I was home sick. I got up yesterday morning, showered, got dressed, got my stuff ready to go to work, then realized I was simply too wiped out to stand up. Not that my job requires standing up, but it does involve a fair amount of brain power that just wasn't there.

I had a mellow day in bed, watching TV, napping, then repeating. Eventually, I pulled myself together and picked up our new foster dog, Einstein, who is a very good little guy. He's definitely freaked out by grass and all things outdoors, but wants to play with our guys a lot. He also has never seen a doggie bed and would prefer to sit on hard flooring to anything soft. That's kind of sad.

12.20.2004

Tobi's Mom Speaks...
Hello All,

First let me say how absolutely wonderful it is to have all the support from people around me. Thanks for all the prayers, flyers and support. It is much appreciated and needed.

I wanted to let everyone know what is going on, To anyone on this list that doesn't know what's going on...I lost my dog on 12/10/04, she escaped through an open window...not quite sure how she fit out of it...it was only open about 8-10". I was inside the house with the client...and when I returned to my truck she was gone, and no where to be found in the neighborhood... So since then I have put up more flyers than anyone might believe...I think everyone in Los gatos and surrounding towns know Tobi...but no one has seen her....So Here is the story from there...

Today I met Harry Oakes and his partner Ms. Valorie at the airport. They are a certified SAR team who is the only team willing to look for pets as well as people.

I took Harry to the house where Tobi was last seen and they followed her scent to a driveway just across Quito from Bicknell. And there Tobi's scent vanishes, so apparently Tobi got into a car at this point. Harry says he is 100% positive that is what happened. Her scent was not found at any of the other location where people have called with "sightings." So we are now thinking that someone saw her on the street and decided to take her home. But again this is all speculation.

But a good note is that this morning a news editor from local TV station say one of Tob's posters and thought that anyone offering that large of a reward would make a good news story; so they sent out a camera crew to do a story on Tobi this morning and were able to hook up with Harry, Ms. Valorie and I this afternoon during the first part of the tracking. So if anyone is interested...they are running the story tonight on the 6:00 Channel 11 news.

I am not sure what my next move is from here, but getting the word out is really important from here...since we don't know how far she has now traveled in this car. If that's what happened.So I ask that everyone just keep sending out their prayers to the universe. I don't want to be selfish this Holiday season, but I would really like to have my dog back. I miss her more that I could have ever imagined.

Thanks again for everything,

Mary & Tobi

Got Room?
Our beagle rescue has a slew of research beagles coming out of a lab right and we don't have enough places for them to go. We desparately need people to take 1 dog for about 2 nights (2 dogs for 2 nights is fine, too). The dogs are scared, de-barked and have lived their whole lives in cages. All they will want to do is hang out in a crate in your warm house and be quietly scared as they adjust to life on the Outside.

If you've got a little extra room and a little extra kibble, please email me and I'll hook you up.

Tobi Update
Unfortunately, the Tobi update is that she still hasn't been found. Mary has been out canvassing neighborhood after neighborhood looking for her (I'm not altogether convinced that she's even gone home since Tobi took off) non-stop and she has gotten a few leads. People have seen her in the San Thomas Aquino neighborhood of, on Crockett St. so it seems like she's getting closer to being found.

Please keep Tobi in your thoughts, urge her to come home already so her nice Mom can get some rest.

That. Voice.
Yesterday's Rinkpolooza was marred by a couple of folks who have voices that I'm a little embarrassed to reveal that I simply cannot stand. The more they talk, the higer my stress level goes, the more frustrated I feel, the closer I get to screaming "WOULD YOU JUST SHUT UP ALREADY???". The first happened at Fremont, where That Voice was the first thing I heard as I headed to the locker room. Sigh.

That Voice belongs to a very well-meaning person who just happens to drive me nuts. Sometimes, life works out that way. I'm sure I drive some people nuts and to those people, I apologize, now that I really and truly understand how frustrating it is to be on the receiving end of the nuts-driving.

Later, we headed to Belmont, where what I'm going to call That Voice's Cousin was (these people are actually not related, but in terms of their ability to drive me nuts, they are twins) in full force. Andrea and I tried to figure out where to stand so we could avoid That Voice's Cousin, which was going on and on about scads of things (I think the thing that unifies these folks is that they are Self-Proclaimed Renowned Experts on All Things). First we went out to the rink, where I quickly learned that capped sleeves are not warm enough for Belmont spectating in winter.

We weighed our options and decided we could handle it, strolling back to the lobby where That Voice's Cousin was still educating the general public about All Things. I started watching the time, but lost track at 15 minutes of largely uninterrupted dialogue. By the time Viv arrived, I'd started getting dressed and Andrea was sitting there alone, with her fingers in her ears in a vain attempt to block That Voice's Cousin.

Wow, That Was A Lot Of Hockey!
In the span of 2 days, I played hockey 6 times. With a cold. I think that's a new record. Knowing that I had 2 games Saturday night, I begged off playing goalie for the Green practice and coached. Truth be told, coaching is usually more fun than playing goalie because everyone sees me skate and realizes that I may have some pointers to offer them. When I'm playing goalie, it's hard to get that credibility since, well, I pretty much suck at goalie. I'm sure they're thinking "how can *that* woman even pretend like she knows anything about this game when I'm in net.

But when I skate out with them, well, that is another, much more confidence-filled story. So that's what I did Saturday, offering my usual barrage of tips, working with a head coach who realized it was okay to let me talk and share some insights. I had a great time and when we went to scrimmage, I threw on my helmet (was already wearing shin guards and pants because well, it's ice and sometimes, I fall down. I forked out a lot of cash for that stuff, may as well protect my ass (and my legs) with it) and went out to play with them. It was a blast! I scored once but made every effort to pass it after that, trying my hardest to set up my teammates.

But here's the critical mistake. I wasn't feeling my best, the cold that kicked my ass late last week was still very much kicking when I played Saturday (not as much yesterday) so my depth perception wasn't what it once was. That's my story, anyway. I took the puck behind the net and somehow, the net JUMPED RIGHT INTO MY PATH and ATTACKED MY STICK, grabbing hold of said stick with a vengance, throwing my most flabby part right into the butt end of my stick. I heard a creaking noise and panicked at the thought of breaking yet another stick, so I had the good sense to drop it.

But the bruise, oh, the bruise is special. Were it not on my most protective, most flabby flabby part, I would post a picture of it for you here. But it is so you'll just have to trust me.

We went on to play 2 more games that night, a very fun Coco-NUTS game, where I scored a scrappy ass goal, assisted by my very favorite assistant, none other than AndreaTan! It was rad. I threw it back to the point, to her, she shot it, Marv the Goalie, whose name I love saying more than I should admit publicly (Marv! Marv! Marv! If Murray is triplets, after I shoot myself, I will name them Murray, Merrill and Marv!) came out for a save, caught it, then dropped it.

There it was, just in front of the goal line, waiting for Marv! or me to make a move. I moved first and put the thing in the net with a force I wouldn't have thought possible, given how little room I had to move. But it hit the back of the net with resounding THUD and I came up screaming for AndreaTan's hugeness on the play.

I'll gloss over the A-Team 2 game. They just aren't that fun anymore since they moved 2 totally-not-beginner teams down and we seem to play them EVERY FUCKING WEEK. I still adore the group but it's getting harder and harder to even be competitive a little teeny bit. And that part ain't fun, kids.

Sunday, I actually tied as a goalie. You know what that means, it means that I DID NOT LOSE in the net. 1 point is still more than 0 and I will take that point and carry it with me as if I have won the Liz Doughty Trophy of Greatness. I will put that point on my mantel and gaze at it, lovingly, for all of my days. Thank you, Green team, for scoring enough goals to give me that point. And thank you Nora (aka Tall Girl) for scoring yet again. That woman is a scoring machine, I tell you.

Subbed maroon right after and for once, was not plagued by post-goalie syndrome, where I screen my goalie in misguided attempts to block shots I have no business blocking, even if I do have a 'size advantage' over scrawny players like Viv. We did great, causing The Other Team, the one that is coached by That Loud Guy to lose 2-0. I took a very nice tripping penalty that I'm not ashamed of.

Headed over to Belmont to play my own maroon game and wound up out with Viv on D. I know, Viv, playing D? It totally rocked, she and I were a well-oiled machine, despite the fact that we'd had no oil and had never played D together. But DAMN, that was FUN! I mean sure, we lost 2-1 but Jessica, one of two teenagers in maroon scored her first goal to win the game. She was thrilled and couldn't stop talking about it after the game. No less than 6 times (yes, I was counting) she relived the experience for me. I am, without a doubt, thrilled for her but did take the opportunity to remind her that the goal that she was so (rightfully) proud of was also the goal that caused my team to lose so I was happy for her but bummed for my team.

All that skating seems to have caused the Great Snot Buildup of 2004 to dissipate and I'm feeling a whole lot better, even if I am sore and have a huge bruise on my flab. It still beats knitting.

12.17.2004

Just got a bug back with this comment:

We are not entitled to answer this question.

Um, okay. What am I supposed to do with that??

To my credit/discredit, I did have this in the note: "If neither of these accomplish what we need to do here, this is probably not a bug but rather a reflection of a nuance."

I think I've been in school too long.

Even aided by my current lack of smell, the fact remains that Sugar-Free instant cocoa tastes only like a sad reminder of it's sugared cousin. Blech.

Help Bring Tobi Home!!!
I cannot say enough wonderful things about Tobi. My friend Mary adopted her this summer after losing her almost 16-year old dog. Tobi and Mary quickly became inseparable and I too, feel for the joy and wonderment that is Tobi. She's the sweetest dog you'll ever meet and she's done wonders for Mary's overall happiness level.

Which was all well and good until she jumped out of Mary's truck around 9 am last Friday morning on Bicknell Road near Quito Road in east San Jose. She's been missing ever since and Mary is sick with worry.

I know it's a long shot, but if you see a dog that looks like Tobi anywere in the South Bay area, please call Mary at 408-568-2984. Normally, I wouldn't put a phone number here but this is really important so please don't be an assmonkey and use that number unless you've seen Tobi.

Did I mention that she's offering a $2,000 reward so if your assmonkey neighbor has her, please turn him in to Mary and get yourself some cash. Oh, and know that my friend can sleep again because her best buddy has returned.

Is it rude to waltz into the break room, look at the person whose lunch has stunk up the place and say "Yo! Your lunch smells like ass!"?

Probably, so it's a good thing I didn't. But I wanted to.

Christmas Isn't All Good...
Check out the Top 10 Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time, there's some truly special stuff on there. My favorite is the one that depicts Santa as a happy swinger. Swing on, Santa!

12.16.2004

Sick
Less than 2 hours after I finished my final yesterday, I started to feel a tickle in my throat. Soon enough, it became a bona-fide sore throat, followed by a runny nose, coughing and a headache. A full night's sleep wasn't enough to ward off whatever it is and now, I feel like total crap but can't skip out of work yet because I'm in the middle of losing a fight with Clear Case.

Crap+!

Woo HOO!!!
I just heard that Jeannette scored herself a new job, one that seems well-suited to her skills and interests! And working with people who seem nice. That's huge!

Looks like karma wanted her to have a Merry Christmas. And have a Merry Christmas she shall. WOo! WhooP!

12.15.2004

Leaving my final today, I was so busy checking email on my sidekick that I almost ran into someone. When I finally looked up, I saw that it was a woman probably around my age, pushing a shopping cart laden with bags of recycleables. That in and of itself is heartbreaking but when I looked behind her, I saw what appeared to be her mother, walking with a very small child.

Damn.

It Only Took a Year
But last night, when I was taking one-timers I heard something scraping under my stick. Hoping against hope that it was just tape coming off, my fears were confirmed when I took a good look at the end of my blade. Nope, I've taken a chunk out of the best stick ever. Sigh. It won't be long now before it's unusable and I'm forced to cannabalize it.

I do also have the Really for Real Best Stick Ever but I'm paranoid about using it because it was hard to find in the first place, and it cost a gazillion dollars. Might be time to put it into action, though.

Manifestations of Freedom
Wow. When I go home from work tonight, I can just sit my ass on the couch and surf the internet, read a magazine, watch tv or do whatever I want. Because there is no schoolwork to be done. I feel naked.

Well, That Was A Waste of Time
The team I coach had a practice last night so I schlepped up to Belmont to run it, expecting that 10 people would be there. That's enough for most drills. I had prepared a number of things I wanted to do with them and in some ways, was looking forward to it.

When I arrived, a whopping 2 of my skaters were there. 2. That's right, 2. In case you didn't hear me right, 2. As you can imagine, you can't do a lot of drills with 2 people. Eventually, that number rose to 4 as folks from another team showed up to "sub" for the practice. The grand total of skaters for both teams was, at that point 10.

We took to the ice, my merry bunch of 2, plus the subs. The coach for the other team had his group at the other end (we split the ice between two teams, each takes an end, usually) and Heather thought to go down to see if our group could join them. Which is all well and good, in theory but I know that coach and that guy simply prefers to work alone. The moment Heather went down there, I knew my involvement was over, unless I wanted to get into some kind of pissing contest over rights to coach my 2 players. And that seemed silly.

So we all went down there, but That Guy (who is, actually a very nice guy. I have no beef with him as a person, merely with the fact that he's a Coacher-Aloner, which is okay when you're the only coach but not so good when there's another coach there, too) didn't ask me what I'd had in mind to do, he just ran his own drills. When I tried to speak up about things to think about when doing the drill, he sort of let me talk but it seemed clear (to me) that he just wanted to get on with his drills. I knew how it would end -- that I'd either start that fight or head down to the other end to shoot on the lonely goalie.

Eventually, I was explaining something to one of the skaters when he announced to the group that he had some sort of sore throat and couldn't talk very loudly so could we all (including me, THE OTHER COACH) be quiet.

You know where this is headed...At that point, I headed down to the other end to shoot on the lonely goalie, essentially rendering the entire thing a gigantic waste of my time.

I'm Free!!
I just finished my final final and am now on the way to 6 blissful weeks of only having to work, play hockey and sleep.

12.14.2004

That's Not Right
Andrea found this story about a special Fox is planning to air where an adult adoptee attempts to guess her birthfather out of a lineup. If she's right, she'll get $100,000, if she's wrong, the imposter gets the cash.

Reality TV has gone way too far with this one. Though I know some folks allow their reunions to be videotaped, that's one thing. This is entirely another. I cannot imagine how violating it would have been to have any part of my own reunion publicized with that kind of range. Granted, I wrote about the whole thing on a web page, but that was for my own benefit, to chronicle the overwhelmingness of it all and share the link with a few interested folks. Note that I'm not linking to that now.

There is no way I could have maintained a relationship with my birthfamily, had we met that way. Mostly because none of us would have consented. But also because it still ranks among the most amazing things I've ever experienced (imagine, if you will, growing up around people who you don't look like, very nice people who love you and who you love, too, but you always kind of feel like you're on the outside. Then imagine being 24 and finding a roomfull of people that you look like and who share your sense of humor) There is no way television could capture even a fraction of how life-altering that is.

I hope it all goes well for the adoptee in question, but if you ask me, she's playing with fire.

You Know You're Tired When
You get an email inviting you to a work team dinner and you convince yourself that it's next week. You then spin yourself into a panic figuring out how to get out of coaching red so you can go. Only later do you realize that you've invented the date and that the real date is actually 2 weeks after that.

Not that I know what *that* feels like.

Funny. After playing defense almost exclusively for about 3ish years, now that I'm working on becoming a forward (shh! please don't tell the Coco-NUTS that I play D -- they all look at me as a center or wing now and it's kind of cool), I haven't played D in a while, except for part of that Ice Pirates game. I sorta miss being back, especially now that I'm starting to get confident enough to run it up more often.

And another funny -- I heard through the grapevine that morale on the Seals is dropping at a pretty high rate and that only 6 lucky ladies made it to practice last week.

That's what you get for cutting the person who shows up every week and has great enthusiasm. You get someone who might skate better but doesn't come to your practices. You tell me what's better.

Christmas in the Ghetto
Let's face it. Our neighborhood, while rather groovy in a myriad of ways (not the least of which is the fact that nobody bats an eye at our interracial dykeness and the fact that there's never a shortage of reminders about an impending trash day) is by and large, a little short on funds.

So when we decorate (we being the royal we, since Andrea and I are the Grinchesses and do pretty much nothing to show our opinions via lawn decorations at any time of the year) it's got a certain flea-market flair to it.

With that, I give you:

The Manger scene next door, complete with plywood lean-to and boughs of pine

A Wise Guy, er Wise Man, lit from behind via the wonder of modern man -- a power strip hanging down his back.

I know, I'm one to talk because literally, the only thing we've done for the holidays is hang up the really cute 'Kiss Me, Deer' sign Andrea bought a couple of years ago, the sign that we just took down about a month ago. What can I say? It's not easy being the Grinchesses.

12.13.2004

It's probably time to go home -- I just nodded off for a second while fixing bugs. If I wasn't such a dumbass when it comes to ClearCase, I'd have been out of here about an hour ago. But I am, and so I remain.

Get Your Prayer On
Or whatever you do when seeking favors for things beyond our control because Ellie Mama, giver of life to our Roos is suddenly very sick. She finally went in for a dental/great pulling of rotted teeth and the sockets aren't clotting. She's bleeding profusely and they're doing everything they can for her.

But, just in case it's not enough, please keep Ellie Mama in your thoughts.

What I'm Not Bringing To The Department Potluck

I have to say that Jeff Probst skydiving with the votes for this year's Survivor winner, then riding a motorcycle into the World-Famous CBS Television City is just a little much.

12.11.2004

Went to the company party tonight. It started with a huge crisis -- I couldn't find my hot shoes, which complement the dress quite nicely. But Andrea helped me through it and we got there a little more than fashionably late. It ended up being the nicest holiday party I've been to, even if it took us forever to catch up with Carol and Deb.

It was just nice to have a mellow time with the coolest bunch of folks I've worked with since the Good Old Days.

12.10.2004

I am continually surprised and amazed at the number of times the word 'menses' comes up in any reading about starting a family. One could easily develop menses tourette's. Menses! Shalom!

Uninspired
Mostly because this has been a very long week, I wasn't too into skating at the advanced class last night. But I can't make the A-Team 1 game on Sunday afternoon so I had to get the pucks to my lovely assistant, Bob. He skates the class too so I figured I'd get a little excersize while I was dropping off. Murf had us working on doing a wide-legged stop so transitioning to going backwards was easier. We also had to do tight turns going backwards. I'd never had to do that before, it was really enlightening. I'm pretty fast backwards but had never worked on the agility portion of the evening before. Must keep working on that, I think small, tight turns forward and backward are part of the key to making blue. And of course, to playing better and stopping more opponents without resorting to cheap tactics like a well-placed trip.

But I digress. Because I was so tired, I just did things at my own pace, not stressing when I couldn't keep up with the super fast guys (usually I try to stay right with them, sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't) but last night I actually took Murf's advice and tried to do it right before I did it fast. It's time to admit to myself that I am totally good enough to keep up with that class, stop trying to compete on every drill to prove that (because really, nobody's keeping track anyway) and just learn stuff.

I know. Duh.

12.09.2004

No matter how many times you tell a sad story/divulge something emotionally hard, it's still hard on the heart, exhausting to the soul. Starting off your day by doing this is really not the best thing, I strongly suggest sharing big things late in the day instead. Thanks for listening, though. You know who you are and you rule.

Corn Dogs and Iwo Jima
Fred, our sound engineer for our band (who has a side business doing recording, btw. He also shaved his long-time beard and announced himself as "Hairless Fred" last night) brought in advance copies of the CD from our Veteran's Day concert. With much fanfare, I give you this:

You're not seeing things. That really is a corn dog being raised at Iwo Jima. We have a brass group called the Horn Dogs so Fred went for the funny. Here's to Corn Dogs, and to Fred for putting the two together.

Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I just ordered toothpaste that will be delivered directly to my home. Now that's what I'm talking about!

12.08.2004

Dear Santa
Ever wondered what happened to those letters kids put in the mail addressed to Santa Claus? Well, a lot of them wind up at your local post office, unopened. The post office distributes them to anyone who'd like to help.

Someone on a mailing list I'm on did this, she took about 8 letters. Most of them were junk, asking very pointedly for things like laptop computers, flat panel monitors and big televisions. There were also 3 photocopied letters asking for similar items. Good gifts, I'm sure, but not the sort of thing you could realistically expect a stranger to buy.

Eventually, she found one written entirely in Spanish, written by a 9 year old boy with some siblings. He asked Santa for coats and shoes, and maybe, just maybe a toy.

If you've got a few extra bucks and a little time, it's worth considering. I'm going to call my post office tomorrow and see about getting a few of my own.

Did You Know...
That if you leave a banana chip and a nut in a bowl together overnight, that the flavor from the nut will leech onto the banana chip, creating a very nutty banana chip.

What I Want For Christmas
Is to magically wake up tomorrow and understand everything I need to know about ClearCase. Or at least enough to get through my workday.

And some peanut brittle.

Gift Giving Made Easy
This little gem will work for anyone and everyone on your list.

The End of The Deal
Today was my last day of class with Dr. The Deal. Thank God. I've enjoyed the material, though not so much the format (lecture/regurgitation) and have managed to develop a relationship with my teacher, who is well-respected in the world of sport sociology. He's committed to being on my thesis committee, so this won't be the last he sees of me. The final is next Wednesday, followed by 6 blissful weeks of school-free evenings.

It also marks the end of my bifurcated workdays, since I had to leave in the middle of the day, three days a week to ride the light rail and experience The Deal. From now on, my classes will just be at night, like regular grad students. I can't wait!

12.07.2004

Rob (Dec. 4, 2004, in case you're reading this From the Future) writes about how life has changed him, how he's become a completely different person than he was in his 20's

"I'm not the person I was before. It didn't happen all at once, it was like a process of fossilization, where molecule by molecule, my old flawed flesh and blood has been swapped for something stronger but less vibrant" (Rob, 2004).

I feel you, man. No, my life since my 20's has not been marred by becoming a parent (yet) or by the tragedies that have befalled him, but nonetheless, like all lives, mine has been marred by my very own sets of tragedy and heartache, all of which have chipped away at the person I once was to create who I am today.

Not that long ago, someone who Knew Me Then (in my 20's) said I used to be a lot more easy-going, a lot funnier and overall, more friendly. Unfortunately, in her mind, I'm forever that person and since we hardly interact anymore, that image trumps the more subdued person I am today, causing a great deal of confusion that I'll always feel bad about. It's not my fault, it's not her fault, it just is. But it still sucks.

Those days, the Good Old Days, when I was new at being Alice's mom and loving every minute of it, that still ranks among the happiest times of my life. The piles and piles of shit (that, much to your dismay, will most likely never be fully explained here) that have come my way since have indeed changed me, made me into a fossil, too. Again, I think some of this is an inevitable part of progress, though some days, it seems that I've been handed an extra-large pile of shit to sort through.

I'm not suggesting that I'm stuck in that time, or long for those days to return but I do miss being that particular kind of happy-go-lucky person. Because I'm just not now, not like I was then. I have wrinkles and a schedule.

Don't you look in the mirror every now and then and wonder who that geezer staring back at you is and where they came from?

Huh?
I just read something where a person was described as a 'genitally monogomous slut.' I don't suppose any of you can explain what that means....

Phrases That Could Not Be Used to Describe Me Right Now:
High-energy.

Fucking winter.

This is something I don't think I've ever said: I'm pretty sure I don't want to play hockey tonight.

Probably just exhaustion from all the hockey I've been playing lately, combined with school crap and a host of other issues, but still. My ass is so tired I just might skip my maroon practice tonight.

It's Almost Over
My semester is at last drawing to a close. I thought I had to turn in my Big Final Paper (A Trail of Two Cities) and do a presentation last night but stupid me, it was just presentation night. I put all the effort into my paper instead of into the presenation (which was fine, just not as fancy as I would have liked had I actually kept all my deadlines together). Oops.

So I get another week to spend with the Stevens Creek Trail. Woo.

Before class, I finally got to meet with my advisor, who is new to me. My beloved advisor and mentor was forced into early retirement, leaving the job of advising us grad students to someone who isn't being paid for it and as a result, is totally swamped. He's a totally nice guy and I like him, but his area of concentration is as far away from what I'm working on (women and sports) as you can get while still being in the Recreation department so there's inherently a disconnect between our focuses (focii?). The good news is that if I don't drop out, I could be done and have a master's degree a year from now.

What I do with it, if anything, from that point remains to be seen. But I'll have it. Liz Doughty, M.S., Recreation. Not bad, really. Of course, at some point you'll have to change the meaning of M.S. to Murray's Supermom, but then it could mean both things.

And speaking of being Supermom, last night Patrick had a crisis. Apparently having a small mind equates with having a small bladder, and my man went outside at approximately 3:45 a.m. in the rain and wind that is winter in San Jose. That's all fine -- we have a doggie door and now, thanks to Andrea, a fortifed backyard to keep them in. But last night, something went awry for Pat.

The screen door blew closed and shorted something in my little guy's brain. Despite the fact that the screen door has a doggie door in it, he couldn't figure out that all he had to do was jump through both, something they all do all summer long.

Nope, my guy stood outside, crying, howling softly until I woke up. At first I couldn't find him so I stumbled around the house, peering into dog beds, crates, the couch. No Pat, he was still crying somewhere. Finally, I opened the back door and he came sprinting into the house with the same level of velocity that he did that day I accidentally locked him in the garage and left. Except this time, it wasn't my fault.

I dried him off, propped open the screen door with a concrete block and went back to bed. Andrea wondered how I'd even heard him crying, but I knew. It's because I'm his mom. (That means Andrea would have woken up if it was Rainie. Neither of us would have to get up for the old guys because they're smart enough to just plow through the doors.)

12.06.2004

My parents decided not to come visit, so it looks like we'll be enjoying a family-free holiday season.

The Great Escape
Friday night, I worked late and was minding my own business when I noticed that I'd missed a call on my cell phone. It was my next door neighbor, telling me that she had 3 of our dogs in her yard. WHAT?? And where/who was the fourth?

I rushed out of here (work, where I am now), leaving a bunch of stuff behind, ran red lights and drove like a maniac, reminding myself all the while that getting killed in a car wreck on the way home would not bring all of the doggies to safety any faster. When I got home, I saw Rainie and Patrick in Next Door Nanette's yard so I unlocked our classy-ass chain link gate to let them in. Rainie was fine, but Patrick got scared by the concrete block separating our driveways (granted, now that I think of it, the thing is as tall as he is) and backed out of his collar, then took off down the street. He eventually stopped and came back to me but it scared the shit out of me.

I found the hole in question and patched it up by putting some wood in front of the loose board they'd been nudging over to sneak out. The next morning, we learned that there were more loose boards when Next Door Nanette's boyfriend came over with Rainie (there were super cute pawprints on the walk leading up to the house) and said that the little guy was "in the yard."

I did not realize that "in the yard" meant "He was in the yard when I came over here with this dog, I left the gate open and assume that your wandering hound dog will resist temptation and stay put until you come over and get him." I threw on some shoes and a sweatshirt, thinking Z was safe in the yard.

Nope. The gate was wide open and Homeboy was out for a walk. I heard a gentle jingling of tags and knew he hadn't gone far. I spun around like a madman, looking in the way-too-bright-sun for his Faded Highness. Finally, I spotted him a few houses down, just sniffing. He came to me, too. I picked him up and carted his skinny ass home.

We spent Saturday tearing out the rotted old fence and coming up with an elegant fencing solution. Jeannette was nice enough to come over and help, we got it done as the sun went down.

And there were no more doggie escapes and we all lived happily ever after, bound by a lovely redwood fence.

This Is How Clever I Am
My final paper and accompanying presentation for Rec 203 are due tonight. It's a 15 page bundle of joy, with a lovely powerpoint thingie about the way the Stevens Creek Trail has been successfully created in Mountain View, while Cupertino (in my humble and backed-up-by-data) has dropped the ball and angered the public because they tried a very unique method of public input collection.

Naturally, it's called "A Trail of Two Cities."

OMG I am so funny, you forgot to laugh!

There are games that you lose, where it's easy to say it was a team effort. But there are other games where your team's inability to win was due pretty much to the goalie's inability to stop the puck.

Tonight, I was that goalie. I failed my team, the excellent Dangeresque. 4 seriously dumb goals. Sorry, Dangeresque.

I'm pretty sure this is my last season in net. Time to be realistic -- I'm awful at it. Sigh. Better to focus on being a Coconut.

12.03.2004

It's T-minus 5 days and counting until the Great Parental Visit of 2004. Already, we are mired in a flurry of planning and also, some planning of each meal, event, and moment of our spare time. I don't work that way, never have (totally genetic, this difference. I have proof.), so it's always a bit stressful. This time around is no exception.

Lucky me, it's coinciding with my huge final paper (due Monday and including a big presentation that I've hardly even thought about) and my lone final. Along with that other thing I do, you know, work.

Why this visit has to happen now (compared to say, closer to Christmas) is a long, complicated story that frankly, is not something I'll ever share here. It's probably enough that I say it just makes for some seriously bad timing.

I did let the folks know that if they move here, it won't be like this. Our lives are not nearly so prescribed and I'm not going to change that, even if it does mean passing up on free babysitting now and then.

OW!
Just got back from the chiropractor. My shit was a mess, hopefully everything that was out of alignment is now aligned with the sun, moon and starts and my overall level of aches and pains will drop a bit.

12.02.2004

Thanks to my having broken ClearCase, I had a little spare time to bring you the following masterpiece: Pictures I Took With My Sidekick -- A PhotoDocumentary by Liz Dow-tay!. Enjoy a little visual slice o' my life.

Stupid Fun
After breaking ClearCase, I find myself with a free moment, so I stumbled onto this: the Signmaker. It's hours of Internet fun!

I've just stumbled onto a number of blogs written by women who are Very Concerned abou their weight, enough so to have started and maintained a Diet Blog. I commend the effort but it got me to thinking about the amount of time we, as a nation spend thinking about food. Not like other nations do, where the thinking about food is mostly "Hey Joe, do you think we'll be able to snag a squirrel for dinner?" but rather "Oh shit, I just ate a whole pie again."

Inherent to any situation is trouble, that's just how the deal goes. So when you're a wealthy nation where most people can afford to eat, that's bound to mean people can also afford to eat badly, or Yummy Foods That Taste Good. Compared to gruel, which I imagine isn't all that tasty.

All that Yumminess (and so very much of it fried) has of course created a nation of Chubby People Who Feel Guilty About It. Some of the time, I'm one of those people. But most of the time, I'm just not. Trying to eat as much as I feel like I need to, then be done with it. It's sort of hard, (see Yummy Fried Foods above), but then again, it's not.

Let me say this: People. This is America. There will always be more fried food. You can have some tomorrow, just stop for today, a little bit before you think you've had enough.

Lest you think I'm becoming Dr. Phil, I will assure you that I'm not. I have, however, managed to shed about 20 pounds over the last couple of years by excersizing (yes, a lot, but hey hockey's fun and expensive. What's not to like?) and by simply leaving the last piece of fried cheese there on the table. This mindshift has given me a good perspective on eating and in turn, cut down my number of bad food habits.

Most importantly, I don't feel guilty all the time for eating Yummy Food. Just sometimes, when I forget and heed the call of the last piece of fried cheese. Those are the dark days, but I'm just not letting them be as dark as they could be. Because tomorrow, I'll skip the cheese and all will be right with the world.

After all the consternation, I have (I think) decided to stick it out in school for one more semester. Not only that, I'm going to suck it up big time and take Research Methods, the Hard Class I've Been Dreading. Dr. That's the Deal is teaching it so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to learn everything I need to. I will once again re-evaluate after the semester is over.

For the record, Jimmy SMITH is the king of music. Jimmy Smits is another story, one that will not be told here.

12.01.2004

I still seem to have the SHOUTING PROBLEM today. SORRY everyone.

On School and Babies
The more I dare to discuss either of these topics in public, the more unsolicited opinions I get. It's beginning to dawn on me that having kids is not only the great conversation starter between women (why does everyone who has a kid want you to have one, too? I'm not sure, but I'll report back on that at some point in the future, when Murray replaces everything else in our lives as The Best Thing Ever) but it's something everyone has an opinion about.

More than once in the last couple of days, the phrase "Opinions are like assholes, everybody's got one" has come to mind. I'm old-school, if I foist an unrequested opinion on you, I do my best to put it out there ("Seriously, man, Jimmy Smith is God's gift to music") and let the chips fall where they may. What works for me doesn't have to work for you, I don't need to waste our collective time trying to convince you of something. Please don't do that to me.

I don't mean for a second that the comments and emails I've gotten from the three of you loyal readers go unheard or unappreciated. I'm addressing the far-too-lengthy real-world conversations I've been having, conversations that consist of me doing my best to listen and nod and eventually, abrubptly changing the subject so we can all get back to even ground.

Farewell, Astro
I am sad to report that the Great Astro, friend of Alice and great love of Nadine died yesterday at the tender age of 15 years, 7 months and 11 days. I know their hearts are broken and I'm sure Astro's beagle sister Maya (who is now 12) is lost without him.

Hearing about his death broke my heart a little for Al all over again. They knew each other in real life, casually ignoring each other at dog parks all over the Bay Area with that special kind of aloofness that only beagles in pursuit of food can show. The number of people and dogs who actually knew her grows smaller every day. Farewell, sweet Astro. May Alice and Ellie show you around up there and may your belly be full forever.

#1 Sign Of Too Much Hockey...
Is the fact that I'm completely dehydrated and the corners of my mouth are all raw from spitting out my mouthguard repeatedly. When I had my old, wonderful magic Mission Carbster (size M/L -- if you've got one in your basement, drop me a line, let's work something out) there was ample room in the cage for me to do this without the ends catching my mouth on the way out. But with my still cool, but not extra spiffy Bauer 8000 helmet, the cage is actually better, because Bauer puts the bars in front of your eyes close together so the holes you see out of are actually big. It's also this funky, dull silver that distracts from the ice less than any other cage I've used. But the damn thing is small, causing the mouth corner problem when I play too much.

Last night was supposed to be a mellow night. We were going to visit the babies, then go have dinner. No hockey. That is, until Andrea got the call to sub for Marci's red team. At that point, I realized that I could watch her play, then stay for the pickup that's right after. I'd been talking to the guy who runs it for a while but the timing had yet to work out in my favor, until last night.

Andrea's team played hard but was hindered by a goalie who, um, could use a little help. They lost 10-3 in one of the 2 worst ass-whoopings I'd ever seen. As Red Coordinator, I feel obligated to do something about the goalie situation, but since I'm not Goalie Coordinator, my hands are somewhat tied.

But I digress. Both teams played well, until the score got totally lopsided, the shots were totally even. A good effort by all.

The pickup afterwards was totally fun, fast but mellow, as in they all skated fast but nobody went out of their way to knock you over. Everyone played hard, tried to set up plays and was generally very nice. I was exhausted at the end but it was so worth it.