1.31.2005

OMG. Seriously. I should not be allowed to use the Internet because I am laughing so hard that I'm crying (though not quite in need of a Poise pad) at my repeated use of the caption Me! Look at me! I have red pants! in the Vegas pictures. There are about 50 more pictures to be edited and uploaded so stay tuned for more pictures of me, wearing red pants.

The Only Thing Better...
Than playing hockey is looking at pictures of yourself playing hockey. I give you a very bare-bones photo album of Burnination!

The other better thing is this movie of me and Viv dancing our hearts out.

I'm still on Cloud 9 about the Burninating Adventure. It rocked, ruled, rolled and thundered.

Funny how even though I'm totally exhausted and overwhelmed at the amazingness of the Burninators March To Victory, I wanted to write about it and get my measly selection of pictures up, but only after I read what Andrea, Viv and Jena had to say about it too.

1.30.2005

Ahh, The Burnination
Twice, I have gone to Vegas with a team I've chosen and twice those teams have surpassed anything I dared not to hope for. Two years ago, it was Code Red, this year it was the Amazing Burninators. We represented a range of skills, a common love of the sport and, just as importantly, a lack of great love for alcohol. Oh yeah, and a whole lot of heart, more heart than I've ever seen in one place for an extended period.

It all started at the airport:

Where the Nettes and Jena gathered for the strenuous journey.


And Viv and Becky prepared to kick some ass. And dance.

We came into the tourney with few expectations, beyond plans to see the Thunder From Down Under, which greeted us at the airport:


Our hockey marathon started off strong, winning 2-1 and, I must admit, getting just a wee bit cocky when we visited the buffet for lunch.

Jena and I found some fun at the slots during a brief period of structured free time.

Game 2, we expected to do just as well as the day before, but fell short, losing 4-0. Granted, that's not as bad as 8-0 or 13-2 but it still sucked.

It also kicked the spark back into us and laid it all on the line. Saturday morning's game was do or die -- if we didn't win, we were out of the tournament, out in 3 games and going home. At $149 for the tournament fee, I wanted my money's worth! I wanted the extra games that the semi-final and final would bring.

Boy did I get my money's worth. And about $5 extra, for good measure.

Saturday morning, we played our hearts out. Early in the game, we started chanting Burn-In-Ate! Burn-In-Ate! Burn-In-Ate!, thumping our sticks against the boards to the beat. Every time we got the puck, we chanted and thumped. ALL GAME LONG, much to the other team's chagrin. The Burninators could not be stopped. When the other team scored 2 goals in a row, we answered back with 2 of our own, tying the score.

Again, they scored, and again, we came back to end the game with a 4-4 tie. Going into a 5 minute, realistically-lengthened overtime. The chanting continued and our intensity stayed high. We did not give up, not even for a moment, not until Sharon picked up a sweetass pass from Annette and SCORED THE WINNING GOAL! Right away, I hugged Jean, my ever-loyal teammate and friend and said this was better than beating Dallas! It was the most amazing win of my life. We screamed and cheered like assholes all the way to the buffet, our trusted friend.

The semi-final game was scheduled for 5:15 pm, mere hours after the end of the first game. We enjoyed a nice buffet and an even nicer nap before the game, arriving at the rink ready to Burninate once again. After 3 scoreless periods against the team that had beaten us the day before that included some serious highlight reel stuff -- me tripping their most ringeresque player when she was about to score, as well as me ending an extended skirmish in front of the net by sneaking into the crease and laying down on the puck like a goalie, stacking my imaginary pads just before (okay, maybe just as) it crossed the line. That would have been the game-winning goal, against us. That move got us a penalty shot, which seemed like a much better option than a goal. Cara, our fearless and utterly amazing goalie, was surely up for a single shot, stopping it without nary a flinch. We held them for the remainder of the game and headed into a crazylong 14 minute overtime. After yet another scoreless full period, we were exhausted but nowhere near ready to give up and neither were they.

This is where our full bench paid off, those 3 extra players made all the difference in the world -- we held them off and at the end of the second OT, we still had some gas in the tank of Burnination but they were out.

We went into a shootout. A shootout! I had to pick 5 players and could hardly think. Um, Bonner, Viv, Sharon, Mary, G, and um, me. Oh wait, that's 6, I'll sit. No, the team said, it's your team, go shoot. Okay, okay. I missed, hell, we all missed. Except for Sharon, who once again, came through to Sharonate when we needed her most, shooting a hard grounder that squeaked over the goal line.

At this point, the game had run at least 45 minutes past its scheduled end and the rink was filling up with the next teams, including our new friends, the Houston Harpies, who were waiting to take our bench. With each crazy, amazing save that Cara made, the crowd went nuts for her. Apeshit. No less than 50 people were watching and cheering for us, for Cara, as she stood on her head to keep us in the game. The Harpies shouted along with us and were cheering all the while until The Moment, when Orange Gloves took her final shot and Cara once again blocked the shot.

SHE BLOCKED THE SHOT. Blocked. The. Shot. That meant we won. We WON. We won wewonwewonwewon.

It took a minute to kick in. What do you mean, we won? We won? WE WON! Again, I went to Jean, hugging her first before we all accosted Cara, who made it all possible.

We all spent the night grinning at what we'd done. Turned a team that was 1 game away from going home into a team that played the two most amazing games of my life, within the span of 7 hours. We were also sort of wondering how we'd be able to rest, heal and eat enough in time for the next day's 8:30 am game.

The scoresheet illustrating our amazing feat, and Jena, helping to further illustrate the Amazingness of the Burninators.

I hardly slept last night, still wired from the game and wondering how well I'd do. In the end, we lost the finals 4-0, though the score doesn't reflect how hard we played, especially given that we'd played the equivalent of 3 games the day before. My legs gave out at the end, I spent the 3rd period alternating between trying not to cry and, at the very end, literally unable to stand because my legs were shaking. But I'm the captain so I didn't share how badly I was feeling.

We stood on the blue line, across from the other team and watched them get their trophies. Jean, the consummate team player and sportsman, went down the line to congratulate the other team again after getting her trophy, starting a trend that the rest of the team followed while I summed up every ounce of strength I had just to remain standing.

Amazing players, amazing women, amazing sportsmen. We Burninated the countryside, thatched-roof cottages and peasants alike -- all Burninated! Tsssssst, Burn-In-Ate!

1.26.2005

I sort of wonder why we had cameras before the Fisher babies were here. For the dogs, I guess.

In Summary:
Though this pic came out kind of grainy because I neglected to use the flash, it still sums up the twins to me:

Sammi, trying to make her escape while Riley giggles to herself on the floor.

EARS At Your Service
We had a perfectly nice dinner/baby visit with Susan and the girls last night before Andrea left to skate (well, I might add!) in the red game. Both babies fell asleep and eventually I left the quiet comfort of babyville and headed up to see the rest of the game. Afterwards, I see this IM from Susan: babies are up, and she needs backup.

We come in and she's holding both babies, there's a fair amount of noise and most unpleasantly, there's puke from when Riley got so worked up that she felt the need to show, don't tell, her level of discomfort with the world. Sammi went back down pretty quickly, thanks to Andrea's expertise as a Great Baby Shussher. Riley gave me a very hard time and just when I almost had her down, I had a completely random choking fit that startled her. Andrea came to my rescue with some juice and Riley wakeage was prevented.

When we finally got home, I was so tired, it was ridiculous. Yet I managed to do some laundry, pack most of my crap for Vegas (has anyone seen my red hockey socks? They're MIA!) and watch a little TV with our four-legged kids. Getting up at 7 and having to stay up this morning sucked. We had a ginormous company meeting that was fairly interesting, but I'll admit, gave me cause for a brief nap at one point.

Now I've got a very small window to get my work done and pack my cube for yet another cube relocation (will be my 6th desk since last March) before I have to leave for class.

That's right, class. School starts today and I'm so in denial that I have no, count 'em, no supplies. Oops.

1.25.2005

I Had No Idea
My mom brought up the delicate subject of baby names today. She went on to tell me that you have to consider the possible nicknames as well as the name itself. I refrained from sharing that any discussion of any possible names at our house involves a careful breakdown of every permutation (Nadia? Nope, could easily become stoonadia, who I guess would be from Strongbadia. Hannah? Nope, could be Hannah Tannuh, like LaFawnduh from Napoleon Dynamite, etc. etc.). She went on to say that had she known I would choose to be called Liz, she would have reconsidered naming me Elizabeth, since it was that name she liked, not Liz, or any other shortened version of that longer name I don't like. Oh. That explains why they still, after almost 20 years of being Liz, don't call me Liz.

But I like being LIz. It suits me. It's to the point. It only has 1 vowel. It only has one syllable. It's easy to pronounce and it fits easily in those little bubble forms at the DMV. It's my name, I chose it.

Mom asked about the last name (Tan) and only paused for a second when she realized it wouldn't be our name. She then pointed out that almost every first name goes with Tan, which would make it easier. All very sweet, she's going to be a terrific Grandma. All we have to do now is introduce a nice sperm to my egg and we're home-free!

Woo! A Win!
The A-Team was back in full force tonight, with no subs, just our regular skaters. We had 3 solid forward lines and 5 d, all of us used to playing together. 2 of the 3 goals were scored literally as our skaters slid across the goal line, swiping at the puck as they went down. I totally played in conservative mode since we're leaving for Vegas in only 3 days. The last thing I wanted to do was get caught up in a corner with someone a little too agressive for his own good and get a stupid injury. So I played it safe, skated hard to get to the puck first and did not get hurt.

It felt great to be back in winning mode, here's hoping we can keep it up!

1.24.2005

Hey Nerds
Here's some nifty math problems that some folks have work have been enjoying today: Math Stuff

Undermining The Coach
The CocoNUTS have a coach most of the time. This week, it was the rink's fearless leader, the Jim Jones of Ice Oasis, if you're going to follow Andrea's 'drink the Kool-Aid' metaphor. He's pretty abusive loudly teasing the guys on our team, usually in a funny way, but it doesn't seem to bother them. He is aware enough to not pull that with me or any of the Ladies of the CocoNUTS.

So my man Randy makes kind of a bad pass. Not awful, definitely in the right direction, but not on the tape of the pass-ee. So Mr. Jones says "Randy, who was that pass to?" and I reply, "Your Mom!"

Me SOOO funny this weekend. Just not to Viv. :-( Boo.

It's Girl Scout Cookie Time!

Definition of Inappropriate Advice Re: Babymaking
For the record, here's just a snippet of the subjects that I've gotten unsolicited advice about from people I don't really know, advice that's really worthless and rubs me the wrong way:
  • Offering me their 'really nice' friend's sperm. Um, thanks but no thanks. My response of 'we've already stockpiled some sperm' should be enough of an indication that we've got this part of the process taken care of.
  • Saying "If that were me, I'd use my partner's sibling." Hooray for you.
  • Telling me to really re-think this self-imposed waiting period before we start trying since I'm not getting any younger. For the record, using frozen sperm gives you a very very small window of opportunity, being the overly-involved planner I am, I want every one of these 6 months to make sure when know exactly when that egg is released so we don't waste $1180 a month. Thanks.
That's really about it. Suggestions re: vitamins or hospitals or doctors or anything that might help are also fine. At any rate, I'll listen politely to all of it, I'm just sharing the things that have struck me as just a little too personal, the speaker a little too insistent.

What it comes down to, is that a lot of times, people just want to share their opinions, regardless of what you say in return. I'm doing my best to let them have their say without going into detail about our plans. There's no point, and if I don't know them well enough to say "that's enough, now" then they're not close enough friends to get the details anyway.

Why There? Why Now?
In the 2 extra hours of sleep I now get every morning between my 7 am wake up and take my temperature/consult the Magic Egg Prediction Machine time and my real wake up time, I dreamt that I was forced to drive around a hilly neighborhood with our esteemed monkey-boy president for an afternoon. No secret service, no media, just W and me. While I know this would be a dream come true for some people I know and love, it was about the most tedious thing I've ever done in my sleep. The sound of his voice grates on me so, I think I'm pre-programmed to respond to the soothing tones of southern Democrats, not the harsh tones of southern Republicans.

At the end of our day in the 'hood together, I turned to W and said "You know, I still can't stand you. But thanks for the ride."

The upside of the newly-instituted 7 am call is that taking my temperature every day should be a more consistent event than the first month I did so. The downside is that I'll probably end up having more weird dreams in that time. I'm also significantly less coherent when I get up the first time -- today I threw the little cover for the specially-colored pink thermometer on the ground and forgot all about the Magic Egg Machine. Oops.

Weekend Highlights
  • Saw the twins, always good. Sammi has had no more seizures, here's hoping last week's drama was just an anomaly, something we'll tell her about when she's older, a funny story she'll tell her boyfriends (or whoever, statistically, it's safer to assume she'll have boyfriends) when they are first getting to know each other. "Oh yeah, when I was a baby, I had this one big seizure and had to be in the hospital overnight. Never happened again, though."


    Hung with the girls as Susan left for work. The heart-breaking scene above happened as she left, they were watching her go out the door. They did perk up afterwards, even if Riley ran out of gas while playing with her toy just a while later:
    >

    Got to feed Riley (the not-so-challenging eater) some cereal and fruit





    Happy, easy-to-feed baby.


    Skeptical, only-wants-Mommy-or-Daddy-to-feed-her baby. Good thing I know it's not personal.
  • The Women's league annual meeting was sparsely attended. That's due to the super-late announcement of the date, I think, rather than an overall lack of interest. I received a backhanded commendation for not quitting after running league-wide evaluations and Andrea won the big raffle prize -- a half season credit. Woo!
  • Stopped by Heather's all-day birthday extravaganza to wish her well and play a card game I didn't fully understand. Happy 30th, yo!
  • CocoNUTS kicked ass, winning 3-1. One of those 3 was mine, woo!
  • Sunday brought losses for both the red team I coach and the green team I goalie for.
  • My maroon team chalked up another tie. We'll take it. I think the Dogfish have finally hit our stride. Woo! Dogfish! Woo! Playing Viv's team without their loud coach there was a totally different experience, it was like playing every other team in our mostly-friendly league. You know, fun. Though I guess not for Viv. Boo.


    Went out for dinner after the game with Viv, Liz G the goalie, Andrea and Ellaine. That part of the evening was fun for all, even that kid faux-practicing his goalie swing behind Viv.

    On the menu was Griant Squid. You think I'm kidding, but I have proof:


  • Practiced listening to unsolicited opinions from child-free people and was Very Well Behaved. It's better to practice this now rather than being nasty to people when we're actually in the emotional throes of trying/being pregnant. I've also realized that many many things about the impending attempts at parenthood are extremely emotional, much more so than I ever would have expected.
    I'm hoping that as we get closer and I become more familiar with the things I need to pay attention to, as we resolve more of the decisions that must be made that the emotional component will settle down. But right now, sheesh. I may as well be pregnant already, this stuff makes me so damn emotional. For now we're working through the emotions like any adult couple would -- by having pinch and slap fights.

1.21.2005

Heather M Speaks
heatherama: you need to say that when you're betting or spinning the wheel or whatever.
heatherama: come on LBJ! (Little Baby Jesus)
heatherama: bring it home to momma!

I will!

VivSpeaks
After seeing the Very Exciting changes to my template:
SoopahViv: that cracks me !
SoopahViv: so much that i forgot the up

Me too, sistah, me too.

One More Week!
OMG! A week from now, we'll be in Vegas, having already played our first game. I heard from the tourney organizer today that the rink we'll be spending most of our time at, the one I know the best, has been completely redone and now features real boards instead of the scariest, skinniest, hardest on your soft girlie parts boards that were there before. The facelift also means that my Seals ghosts will be gone, new rink, new team, new us! Woo!

Burn on Burninators! May we meet the Teen Girl Squad in the final for a Homestar Runner grudge match. Except, of course, that we have no grudge, we're all just HSR fans. Which is even cooler.


Burninators vs.

Teen Girl Squad

1.20.2005

Just to prove my point:

Anyone else think that this looks an awful lot like a communist-era float? I'm expecting a picture of Mao or Lenin to be on the back of that giant green and yellow thing...

Bad News, Good News
The bad news about yesterday was, of course, Sammi's sudden and very scary seizure, followed by a way-too-freaking-long ambulance ride to the hospital. The good news was pinging what I thought was Brig on IM (she's on so rarely these days that I pounce the second she logs on), inquiring about her big belly, only to find out that I wasn't talking to her, it was her mother-in-law and in fact, she too, was at the hospital. And not just any hospital, no, she was at the same hospital where Sammi now was. In other fact, we later discovered she was in the same room where Susan had been after Sammi and Riley were born.

So...I went to band and waited for The Call saying that Sammi had made it to the hospital. I rushed up, picked up Andrea from work, grabbed pizzas and sodas then made our way over to see Sammi and feed her parents. Sammi seemed fine, was flirting with the world, cruising around the not-that-friendly looking crib in the PICU. Her neighbors in the PICU seemed a lot worse off, more than once I found myself grateful to be sitting there with a little one who would, most likely, be okay very soon and go back to her regularly scheduled life.

We had our pizza in an alcove with Riley, who enjoyed her pizza crust very, very much, telling us ALL about it.

When Susan went back to check on Sammi, I hung out with Riley, talking about pizza crust and toys some more. Andrea took off to find Brig and Jason, when she didn't return for a good long while, I figured she'd hit paydirt. Eventually, she returned, Riley went home to bed and we both headed back to Brig's room to see if she was awake.

I am proud to announce the arrival of Ronan Julius Eaton, and even more proud to post the first pics of him on the web.



The whole family was doing great. Brig seemed very tired but happy(gee, Brig, why is that? It's not like you just gave birth to a gorgeous little boy or anything) and Jason was chipper, perky, ready to show off his little guy.

Though our reason for being at the hospital sucked, sucked, sucked, it was amazing to meet the little Eaton so soon. Welcome to the world, little man!

1.19.2005

Dan-ism
When you're in a casino with Dan, it is impossible, I tell you, absolutely impossible to pass even a single coin redemption station, all of which are clearly marked by a huge sign above them exclaiming "REDEMPTION!" without Dan saying, in his deepest, most booming, most faux-religious voice, "REDEMPTION!" and the rest of the group looking around for the middle-ages era friar who is surely waiting to save our souls from sin.

The Tourette's Has Ended
As I predicted out loud to Heather M when Dan first made his re-appearance via commenting tourette's and a new blog, I knew his time of loudness would be brief. And it was. The comments now fall silent, his blog un-updated since 12/23.

Oh Dan, when will you grace us with your witty wit once again?

The Un-Fairness Of It All
Andrea got a call from Susan this morning (I long to say it was a 'panicked' call but since I didn't get it and since Susan is about the most level-headed person ever, I doubt it would be true) with some really lousy news. Samantha had a seizure today and is, at this very moment, safely ensconced in an ambulance headed toward the hospital here. They were out in Sacramento, a place which I've long thought is too far away for our babies to spend any length of time. She's apparently very tired and groggy, but at least as of the last time we heard from Susan, has not had another one since.

Please keep Little Miss I Love My Lobster in your thoughts.

Eavesdropping
Hello. This is Michael.
Pause.
Yes, this is Michael.
Pause.
Hello, Wells Fargo!

1.18.2005

Browsing Karen's excellent array of photographs, I found a bunch from the semi-final game the Seals played in Vegas last year. Not wanting to beat a dead horse, but hoping to give myself some closure, I looked. In every photo, I look like shit -- almost standing up straight most of the time, hands right next to each other like my stick was a golf club (what was I thinking there???), completely out of position, you name it. I'll own up to what I need to work on as a player, those pics were a very humbling set of reminders about what's missing from my game, or at least, what was missing then.

But it also reminded me that I had very little fun at those games. The stress was ridiculous -- I spent that ENTIRE GAME trying not to throw up, being so nervous that I wasn't good enough to be there, that the 'established' players didn't like me, wouldn't ever like me (and in truth, many of them did not, choosing instead not to waste their time on anyone who hadn't been on the team the previous year), that we wouldn't win. When we lost 3-1, it was a self-fulfilling prophesy in a way. And of course, I had to ride back with the trophy, since the winning team was on my plane.

Bottom line, I never really felt like a Seal. It was more like being in middle school all over again, with somehow even more to prove and people who were equally unkind as those awful middle school kids, just less obvious about it. Granted, I still have a couple of friends on the team, but for most of them, we weren't friends before and we're not friends now. I will always be bitter about being cut, but hopefully looking through those pics one last time will let me lay that time to rest.

And get ready to kick some ass in Vegas with the Burninators, a group of my friends before, a group who will be my friends after. Burn on, Burninators! May the ice be a pooling mass of water after we've Burninated.

Build your own Burninator!

Defying Gravity
Karen, you take the best pictures:

And here I thought I stopped catching air when I went to cover. Made for a super-rad photo, though. Who needs knees?
Phat props to excellent hockey photographer Karen for taking a whole set of these bad boys at Sunday's Green game. Which I lost, btw. But hey, I caught air.

Karen also made a jaunty collage of Viv doing her thang and a very nice spiffed up version of me making The Save which consisted of 3 saves, followed by a Very Dramatic reveal of the then-dead puck at the end of it.

With a great gasp, I remembered that before Susan had the twins, there was a strong chance that they were going to move to Sacramento. I almost lost it at the thought of our babies growing up just far enough away that we wouldn't have gotten to know them at all.

That would be way worse than missing a week and getting That Nasty Look from Sam.

Because I Have To Give Both Babies Equal Time...
And because they're so damn cute:

The end of a hard day's spackling. Note the sippy cups, universal sign of aging.

Lobster Love
The key to Sammi's heart? Through her lobster!


You can't see the lobster, but I assure you that it's nearby.

Riley In Action!

Getting ready...


And poof! She's off to the races!

I Have Hit That Point
Where I am totally fed up with playing at Logitech. This season, they moved a couple of strong teams down to the division where the A-Team 2 plays and now, instead of having half a chance with each game, we have half a chance with 2 out of every 6 games. Not the best way to spend $450, if you ask me. I'm also sick of the crappy reffing that lets people get CHECKED, yes CHECKED, that oh so dangerous activity that has been known to Kill People when done incorrectly (in that kid's case, the rumor is, he was cross-checked from behind). Rest assured that nobody in either division that each A-Team plays in knows how to check properly, nor do any of us know how to take one properly. That's something I don't want to learn.

I'm also sick of how freaking competitive it seems. How here we are, playing teams full of people who can't stay on their skates, have no real sense of strategy, but who are packed full of people (who are most likely not assholes anywhere else but on the ice) who love love love to push other players into the boards, who throw themselves at opposing players (bye, bye, ACL!) and who really, I swear to you, think that they're NHL players.

People, I assure you. I have seen the NHL and I have seen you and yes, I have seen me. They are not the same. We are not the NHL. We are rec-level players trying to have some fun and still be able to go to work the next day.

That said, and a whole lot that's going unsaid since readership is up, way up, I'm folding the A-Team 2 after this season and encouraging everyone to go to Redwood City's Saturday night league, where rule infractions are called consistently, where hotshots are moved to another division quickly and without a lot of bullshit and where in the end, we're all friends because next season, we could be on your team.

Tobi Update -- Need Your Help
Mary managed to talk to Sonya Fitzpatrick, the grande dame of animal psychics. She got different info than the other psychic, but it's all worth sharing, in case one little thing leads to another little thing that brings Tobi back to Mary.

Sonya suggested that Tobi is living in a yard with a very good view of a large radio tower with something round on top. I know it sounds weird, but if you can think of a place in the San Jose area (or anywhere in the Bay Area for that matter), leave a comment or drop me a line or call Mary directly: 408-568-2984. Sonya also picked up that Tobi's collar was taken off and she's very upset about not having her new collar on.

I keep praying to St. Jude, the patron saint of lost causes, asking for his help (technically, I think the term is 'intervention') bringing Tobi home. If there's a St. Jude in your faith please ask him/her/whoever for a favor, to bring Tobi back to Mary, okay?

Weekend Highlights
We saw the babies every day. We saw Riley crawl live, in person on Friday night and man. I have seen some things in my life, I've seen sweeping vistas across the United States and in China and I've felt my heart expand in an instant when I first met Alice, but so far, in just 9 months, Miss Riley has captured two huge pieces of my heart. The first was that day she smiled, to our great amazement and wonder. Then, Friday, we had the privilege of seeing her crawl, just hours after she first figured out how. Sammi has also provided us with many sources of amazement -- the whothehellareyou face, sniffy face and a great love of a stuffed lobster. Both those kids have changed our lives in ways that seemed impossible just a few months a go.

But I digress. Oh wait. Beyond babies and hockey, there's just not much to tell. What else do you need?

Too Much Hockey?
I think I skated too much this weekend, playing 6 times in 3 days. I'm sore almost everywhere and to be honest, didn't have all that much fun on a couple of the games. Redwood City and the women's league have spoiled me in so many ways. Sigh.

1.14.2005

Mr. Murphy Takes A Weekend Trip
He's gone, flying right now to Japan for the weekend. And we are sad, lonely. Here's how it feels


Oooh! He's still here, not in Japan.


Sigh, he's not here.

Breaking News
Little Miss Riley learned to crawl about 1/2 hour ago. Go, kid, go!

The Internet is Now Complete
Thanks to the wonder and amazement that is Dooce, I have found what may just be the best website ever: Gallery of a Nice Lady's Friends paired with subject lines from spam emails. If you don't think this is pee-your-pants funny, well, I don't know you. And you certainly don't need a Poise pad.

There will be no webcam presentation today. Because, well, I left it at home after dropping my laptop, power cord and webcam on the ground late last night (it seems to be unharmed). I was too freaked out by The Dropping to pack the cam. So you'll just have to guess what I'm doing today, though I bet it will have something to do with sitting at a desk, contemplating calmer things.

They announced this at work:
Effective soon we will be designating a room as a quiet room where people can escape from the hectic pace of our work days and contemplate calmer things. The window to the room will be covered with film to provide privacy but the door will remain unlocked. The room will be available on a first come, first serve basis and it is expected that if the door is closed the room is occupied. Please use the room with sensitivity to the fact that others may also need time alone with their thoughts.

I'm not sure why, but the idea of leaving my desk to "contemplate calmer things" cracks me up. They had a room like that at IKEA, I found myself reading in there a lot because it was the only place in the entire 100,000 square foot building where it was actually quiet. The crapass 'buy more shit' music didn't make its way into that room and for 15 minutes a day, I had peace and quiet.

But I have a real job now, with a desk of my very own and headphones. Not sure what I'd need with a quiet room.

1.13.2005

cleartool: Error: Unrecognized option "-myanus"

2005: The Year Of Rididulous Pain?
It's really too early to tell, but it has all the promsises of becoming that kind of year. Somehow, during the course of my recent illness (which is still hanging around in the form of a stuffy nose), I managed to get some sort of Tooth Pain. Mostly, this Tooth Pain doesn't bother me, at least not until I skate. At today's lunchtime pickup, it was driving me nuts, causing a throbbing pain with every stride.

Since I've never bothered to get a dentist out here, choosing instead to frequent my childhood dentist in lovely Ohio when I go back (hey, shut up! It gives me something to do for an afternoon when I'm there. And if you've ever been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about.), I had to try and find one in a hurry. Jeannette likes hers and the office is fairly close to us so I tried there first.

Dentist office chippie: Yes, the Dr. is taking new patients, when do you want to come in?
Me: Well, what do you have available in the next couple of days?
DOChippie: Um, let me transfer you?
Me (not out loud): Then why ask? Just freaking transfer me to the person who can do this!!
NewDOChippie: when do you want to come in?
Me (sighing out loud, to myself): Well, what do you have available in the next couple of days?
NewDOChippie: tomorrow at 3:30
Me (thinking): do you have an appointment later in the day?
NewDOChippie: HELLO?
Click.
Me: You cannot be serious.
But she was, homegirl hung up on me. Called Andrea's phone-trained dentist and will be headed over there on Monday.

1.12.2005

To steal blatantly from the Book of Rob, I'll now do a year-in-review for 2004 in photos, for you and all your friends:


I started a new job, where I work with Carol. That's her, there.


Andrea tried playing goalie


and hated it.

But she sure looked cute in all that stuff.


Went to Vancouver with the Seals and kicked some ass. Of course, they kicked my ass off the team that fall, but I didn't know that then.


Samantha and Riley were born


instantly converting Andrea and I into the World's Most Enthusiastic Aunties


I played kickball at a company offsite


I drank Coke at the same company offsite. This was before my beverage options shrunk to include water, tea, milk and the ever-popular Talking Rain Sparkling Water


We went to Disney World. That rocked. And ruled.


We went out for hot pot. Yum!


Andrea built a new fence for us.


While Jeannette and I wore safety goggles.


My good friend Mary's dog, Tobi, was stolen. She's still missing.

Talking to Heidi about shit jobs you may have to take when the job market is being particularly cruel to you, I remembered what IKEA described about their ideal worker: someone who has an interest in home furnishings.

OOh! That's me! I love home furnishings.

Oh wait, I have no real interest in them, beyond acknowledging the fact that many, in fact, most rooms are a lot more practical if they contain home furnishings.

How Our Life Has Changed
  • I now cannot go an entire non-work conversation without mentioning one of the following: conception, pregnancy, ovulation, charting, temperatures or babies in general. Lucky for you, I don't usually mention cervical os (not to be confused with Mac OS) or cervical mucus. But I could. Andrea, on the other hand, is now fond of bringing up cervical mucus whenever and wherever the mood strikes her. She's also quick on the draw with 'folic acid.'
  • I used to buy hockey equipment and random crap on eBay, not caring too much if I won or not (except when I bought that ill-fated carbster last summer that didn't end up fitting). But today, I tried to buy a Fertility Monitor and watched obsessively until the auction ended. I was sniped at the last second and lost. I did discover that I could buy this RICE FERTILITY GODDESS 50" TALL- SOLID WOOD!! instead but chose the monitor from another seller instead. Jennie suggested that the RICE FERTILITY GODDESS wouldn't do so well -- check out those hips -- and offered this instead, Goddess of Fertility.
  • I drink milk and eat meals that are described as dainty, featuring leafy greens and a variety of vegetables.
  • This is the biggie: I drink almost no Coke, just one a day. And I don't miss it because I'd rather have a kid than a Coke. Or a mocha or a latte and yes, even more than a Frappucino.

It Wasn't All Bad
Played goalie last night and it didn't suck. I was totally relaxed and ended up playing my best game ever in net. Of course I still lost, but I only let in my usual 2 goals and this time, they were both pretty good goals. I faced a record 27 shots so all in all, I'm pretty happy. Woo!

1.11.2005

Man...
Though I'm feeling better than I was, I'm still nowhere near 100%, maybe like 75-80%, so I'm earning a C/B- in life right now. There's a Green game tonight and I'd begged off playing goalie, due to said illness (and some element of owning up to the fact that I don't really like playing in net. This will be my last season playing goalie for a long time, if not forever, for reasons greater and much more interesting than my dislike of the position.). I was all set to coach tonight, even brought my jaunty hat (see webcam) of victory.

But at the last minute, the other goalie became sicker than I so now I'm back on the hook. As usual, I apologize in advance for my poor performance tonight, you good people of Green.

Embarassing
Is waiting at the printer for documents from a sperm bank to print out while an engineer with no real sense of personal space looks over your right shoulder.

Also embarassing is faxing documents to that same sperm bank and getting the number wrong, calling their main phone number instead, so everyone in the copy area (okay, one guy besides me) can hear information about sperm before you turn bright red and abruptly cancel the transmission.

Redeeming is getting the number right on the second try. Not that any of this is nervousness-inducing at all.

Righteroni, the Alabama Treat!

Great News
Tyler, our man at the rink, agrees that Sunday's Ice Time Debacle was lousy and has sent Dana (captain of the other team) and I the following response:
Liz and Dana,
I apologize for the unfortunate situation on Sunday night. I will go ahead and reschedule your game for a later date. I will also go ahead and offer you a free combined comp practice at a later date as well (most likely later in the spring/summer).
The result from your shortened game on Sunday will not count.
Thanks for your patience,
Tyler

1.10.2005

Here's My Tale Of Woe re: Last Night's Game
Tyler (hockey league organizer guy),
Despite the fact that I spent part of last night fuming over this, I've waited until later in the day to start this email, hoping I could be calm. I'll do my best, please bear with me.

Here's the story: Last night, when we arrived for our 11:15 pm game, there was no indication that the ice had any problems. Pretty soon, it was clear that the game before ours was running really behind. I assumed (wrongly) that someone had been hurt earlier and pushed the schedule back, but as you know that wasn't the case.

After the earlier game finished and both the Cheap Skates and the A-Team 2 were FULLY DRESSED, the officials and two rink employees went onto the ice to inspect what we later learned was the spot where a pump had broken earlier day. At that point, we learned that two earlier games had been cancelled. We still didn't know what was going on with our game, and more importantly, we were given no indication that our game was in jeapordy of being cancelled.

The officials and the rink employees stood around for a long time before determining that the rink was too hazardous for us to play on. I have no issue with that decision, would never push for anything that jeopordized anyone's safety. But I worked with Dana, Cheap Skates captain, to come up with alternatives -- the games on the center and sourth rinks were almost done, since they were the last games of the night, couldn't we just take that ice instead, since we were ALREADY DRESSED. It took about 20 more minutes of discussion between the officials and the rink employees to determine that no, we couldn't play. Thanks to Dana and my powerful, calm, persuasion skills, we arrived at a compromise -- 3 15 minute running time periods on the center ice, with no ice cut.

I could live with that, but apparently, one of the rink employees balked at that and he came back to tell us, first, no, we couldn't play, even though both teams were fully dressed and, at this point, had been waiting for some time. Eventually, we got him to relent and we played 2 20 minute periods on the center ice, with no ice cut beforehand.

Apparently, the concern for the time was with the rink employees, that they'd have to be paid overtime if we had gone later than 12:30. While I understand that from a business perspective, as the captain of a team that has paid $7500 for a season of ice, it seems downright silly that 15 minutes of overtime for 2 employees would impact the rink's bottom line in any significant way.

I realize that the officials would have been paid either way, and I made sure our team (and of course, myself) thanked them for staying so we could play at all. That was very kind of them.

My issue lies strictly with the rink staff. There are a couple of ways that would have been far more acceptable ways to handle this: 1. Someone, anyone from the rink could have called me anytime that day or night to tell me the game was cancelled. We would have gladly taken a reschedule, had we not been FULLY DRESSED before we learned of the rink's difficulties. 2. That same someone, or his friend, could have merely written CANCELLED on the board instead of assigning us a locker room. I would have gladly stood at the entrance to prevent my team from dressing.

But neither of those things happened and we wound up having to fight way too hard for something that was, at best, a second-best alternative. I hate to pull the 'we pay a ton of money to play there' card, because I do understand that maintenence costs are high, etc. etc. but I do not think it's too much to ask to either cancel a game if the ice is truly broken or at the very very least, warn a team before they dress that there's a high likelihood that they won't play.

I'm asking you to work with me and Dana to reschedule the game for a time when we can play a full 3 periods, with an ice cut. Please let me know when that can happen.

Thanks,
A very frustrated Liz

Thanks to Michael for taking the time to point me out in my webcam today:

Patrick, Man of Many Issues
I can't say enough good things about our boy basset Patrick. He came to us when we least wanted another dog, but when I needed him most. Since he joined our family almost 3 years ago, he's become my boy. Andrea is pretty cool to him, but he's all about me. Which is cool, since Rainie is all about Andrea. It works out. The old guys are equally ambivalent/sporadically clingy to each of us, no discrimination there.

But the man has issues. Some are capital-I Issues like severe epilepsy. That's the worst one, the one that sucks up most of my time when I'm worrying about him. But he's got a couple of others that are a whole lot more amusing. For starters, he's not that bright. Whether this is due to the cumulative effects of the seizures or just his own innate non-smartness, I haven't a clue. The other funny issue is sort of recent -- his tongue doesn't seem to fit in his mouth properly, so he spends, I'd estimate 30% of his day trying to make it fit. Along with this has come a few choking episodes that remind me of all the shit we went through with Alice.

Late last night, he had another one. I went out to clap him on the back as if that would do anything, but I had to do something. He just stood there, wagging his tail the whole time. That's my boy.


My man at 4 months old.


My man as a wee, wee thing.


His full-grown ass. Literally.

Is It Possible?
That I have finally gotten over the bulk of this awful cold/flu/whateverthehellitis? Maybe. I've done more resting and drinking of fluids in the last week and a half than I've done in years and I can tell you for certain that too much rest really is too much rest. I'm bored. Want to go out and do SOMETHING, ANYTHING at night instead of napping, having dinner and napping some more.

But, in preparation for this weekend's hockey, I napped a lot. Given how crappy I felt, it seemed the right thing to do. And it was. Woke up Saturday, went to Oakland to see the Spongebob movie with Jennie and Graham (who was soo cute, fascinated with the entire thing -- every time I looked over at him, he was leaning forward, fist on chin, watching intently), stopping at Hockey XSport on the way home to find, at long last, a mate to the world's greatest stick. That's right, I now have a matching set of Si-Core 75 flex RH Sakic curve sticks. Woo!! And they're orange.

Anyway, we napped after the movie/shopping fest and headed to Redwood City for our weekly dose of CocoNUTS! I played D, so I can spend some time playing D with Andrea before we take the Burninators to Vegas. I can admit this here, to You People, that I was a Cocky Defenseman that game, running it up and doing all sorts of crazy ass stickwork. Because I could. It was totally fun but man, I was totally out of breath by halfway through. Andrea drove me down to Logitech for my A-Team 1 game, where I was momentarily stunned by the difference in speed from CocoNUTS. Took me a couple of shifts to get my legs back under me, by that point, I'd helped let in 2 goals. Sigh.

Did more resting yesterday, then played my maroon game instead of going to Brig's baby shower. It seemed better to breathe on my non-pregnant hockey team than a very pregnant Brig but it still sucked that we couldn't go. I again played the cocky defenseman and the team played like champs. We pulled out a 2-2 tie and had a great time. I went home to nap, thinking that my maroon team is just about perfect this season (except of course, for the fact that I don't have Viv on it). Napped, then headed to Logitech for what was supposed to be an 11:15 pm A-Team 2 game.

I shoulda known something was up when it seemed like we had FOREVER to get dressed. Long story short, (if I tell all the gory details I'll get all pissy again, when I spent half the night trying to calm myself down about it) a pump broke on our ice sheet. They'd cancelled 2 games earlier in the day because you can see the cement underneath the ice and well, that's risky shit. People can get hurt on that kind of protrusion. Maybe I just wanted to say the word protrusion.

But they let the game before us go on, then trotted out 2 of the doofuses who work at the rink to inspect the damage. At this point, it's about 20 minutes after our 11:15 game was supposed to start and I'm getting kinda pissed. I'm also weighing our other options, and send Andrea out to see how much time is left in the game on the center rink. The timing was right to move our game there, once it finished, since it was the last game of the night. I calmly present this option to the officials and the doofuses and wait far too long for an answer. The scorekeeper really lobbied for us and after WAY too much discussion and negotiation, we got to play a whopping 2, 20 minute periods on the center ice, with no ice cut after the game before us because the doofuses would have to get paid overtime if we went longer than that (scorekeepers and refs get a flat fee per game).

What a deal. We fork out $7500 a year to get what, exactly? An imbalanced division, inconsistent reffing and no support/willingness to adjust when the equipment fails. That said, I'm about 75% certain that I'll be folding the A-Team 2 after this season and encouraging everyone to move to Redwood City, home to the CocoNUTS, balanced teams and consistent reffing that keeps my players safe. The A-Team 1 will stay, regardless of what I end up doing long-term, but for the A-Team 2, there aren't a lot of options.

We won 2-0 and the highlight of my night was taking a beautiful wrist shot from fairly close in, then hearing a very loud PING as it hit the post. All night, I stomped around the house going "PING! ARRGH!!!"

1.07.2005

Confession
We don't walk our dogs as often as we should. That's partially because our hockey schedule and my school schedule bring us home at indecent hours, hours when even our sort-of-gritty neighborhood becomes a little too sketchy to feel comfortable in, even with the alleged protections that having 4 dogs should provide. It's also partially because, despite all the hockey, we're kind of lazy. This combines to make 4 dogs who 1. aren't used to being walked so they walk like assholes on the leash. Yes, this is without a doubt our fault and 2. dogs who, when they do go on a walk, get pooped by halfway through. The upside to this is that they are then pliable enough to walk nicely on the leash.

So we bucked the trend, saddled them all up (no easy feat, they all go into OMGI'mgoingforawalk tourette's, whooping and hollering as if they've won the Doggie Lottery, which, really, I guess they have) and headed out the door. I took Rainie and Patrick because that's what I usually do (if memory serves). We walked a bit behind Andrea, Zeus and Gus. The bassets longed, begged, pleaded to walk with everyone else. Rainie especially was kind of pissed that she didn't get to walk with her favorite parent, Andrea, or to lead the way. But I was firm and eventually, they both started to understand the value of following my lead instead of their own. There was a lot less tripping and straining at the leash. And that was just me!

By less than halfway through, Rainie was panting. Soon enough, Patrick joined in and they both started walking much better for me. When we got home, everyone was pooped, except Zeus, who could have probably trotted on for another hour or so. They all sacked out, save Gus, who missed his opportunity to get a spot on a bed and walked around, groaning at me for the rest of the night as if we don't have enough beds for all the dogs.

Not much going on today, just fixing more bugs and lamenting that my cold remains.

1.06.2005

They just turned out the lights here at work. You can see how freaking dark it is on my webcam. Sigh. Stupid bugs. Stupid paycheck. Oh, right. Paycheck.

The fun part about taking your girlfriend to an annual female parts exam is that it's hard to be nervous when she's sitting in the corner giggling at the goings on.

Cold, Cold, Go Away!
Being sick is so damn boring! All I do is go to work, go home, nap, have dinner, then go back to bed. Lame.

1.05.2005

In case you were looking for it, here is where you can get the Do It Yourself Pope Kit. Enjoy, and may the blessing of John Paul II be upon you.

Reason #105 I've Put Off Having A WebCam
Because I could easily sit here ALL DAY posing for myself, then laughing at how it turns out.

Top Highlight Of Last Night's Team Dinner

Mike, getting his flirt on. What a naughty boy he is!

For Your Viewing Pleasure
Thanks to my brothers, who gave me a laptop-sized webcam for Christmas. In turn, I offer you the revamped LizCam, available whenever I feel like hooking it up and turning it on. Enjoy!

1.04.2005

No Real News On Tobi...
Hello again,

As of today there isn't much new news...I was finally able to talk with a pet psychic, there are a couple more still to come. Some of you may not believe anything from here on out...but at this point I think this is the only chance I have of finding her...so I am trying anything.

But Marty said that she was able to talk with Tobi, so she is still alive and as well as could be expected. She said that Tobi told her that she was approached by two Hispanic males in a brown full size truck...and was grabbed before she realized that their energy was off...She say she is being kept in a small chain link fence behind a white stucco house. There are a lot of children next door which is very disturbing to Tobi. She is feeling very confined and misses the freedom she used to have.

The psychic said that Tobi felt she was taken about 20 minutes away on a busy road going into a more populated place then where she left.

Unfortunately that's the information I got. So needless to say, I am glad to hear she is alive and has not given up on me. But now I need to figure out how to get the word out to whatever community that she might be in, that I want her back. So I am going to place a lost ad in whatever Spanish publications I can find. Then my next step is to figure out a grid system following 280 and 85 to approximately 20 minutes and start the canvassing of those neighborhood next.

I am also going to spend Friday hanging out on Bicknell to see if I could spot a brown full size truck that might frequent that neighborhood on Fridays which is the day she disappeared.

I again want to thank everyone for their support and prayers, I do believe that Tobi and I will be together again...and am hoping that it is soon, but am willing to keep working at it for the long haul.

Thanks again for your understanding that I have missed many birthdays and holiday things during the last month and will do my best to make it up to you as I work through the first part of the year. Also if anyone else has any suggestions about what else I could be doing to get her back, I am definitely open to ideas.

Mary

Today's weirdo link: Hoodies for your iPod. Thanks again to Mr. WhileSeated for that linkage.

I Admit It
I watched that Fox special, Who's Your Daddy? last night. The adoption community had thrown a bit of a shit fit about it before the airing (myself included) because it sounded seriously tacky, not to mention the fact that it completely glossed over how very difficult it is to find information leading to your birthfamily in most states. Not to mention how once you've found them, it's a total crapshoot of how it will go. I know far too many adult adoptees who are heartbroken when their birthfamily wants nothing to do with them, they carry that heartache with them everywhere they go and nothing can dispel it.

The woman featured on the show was emotionally strong, no doubt pre-screened for sanity and prettiness (she could have been a model, imho). I glossed over the dumbass challenges where she was supposed to narrow her selection, those seemed especially demeaning. Maybe that's because I kept trying to put myself in her shoes, trying to pick my birthfather from a group of strangers. It's no wonder that until the very last moment, I was convinced that the guy who looked the most like my own birthfather was the woman's. He wasn't.

At the end, she did pick her birthfather from the crowd. Once she'd narrowed it down to 2 of them, the Other Guy was a pretty lousy liar so it was obvious he wasn't the guy. It seemed like everyone cried for the entire show, I'll admit that I cried for part of it too. Once you accept that the basic premise of TV is that everything is pretty and works out at the end of the episode, it got to be a fairly interesting show.

The woman called him Dad from the start and referred to him as her Dad through the whole show. I cannot imagine referring to my birthfather in that way, not when I have a perfectly wonderful Dad of my own. I have met my birthfather, and though I'm extremely grateful to have done so, I can't imagine him being anything but an ancillary part of my life. This woman seemed ready to forget all about her adoptive family just for the chance to meet this guy. But therein lies the challenge of being adopted, of finding and meeting your birthfamily. Where do the two collide, how do you make sense of the very different dynamics with each group?

Seven years after meeting my birthmom, I still don't know. We're all trying, though and my life is infinitely richer for knowing her, her family and my birthfather's kids. I know this: last night, when the adoptee was standing there with her birthfather and his three daughters, she was absolutely beside herself. I totally lost it when he asked her to forgive him for giving her up. But there she was, when they sprung yet another surprise on her: her birthmom came out from behind the curtain. The woman forgot completely about her birthfather and his kids, forgot about winning some cash and the host behind her, ran screaming to her birthmom and the world fell away behind them. Later, she said a void in her heart had been filled. At that point, Andrea turned to me and asked how I was doing. Fine, I said between sniffs.

That's just how it is. Adoption is and can be a wonderful, beautiful thing, but at the root of it lies a bunch of broken hearts. I will always remain grateful that I've gotten to know my birthfamily, to ask the questions that had been with me as long as I could remember and to finally, see a face that looks an awful lot like mine.

1.03.2005

Year End Madness
You know, in past years, I've apparently intended to do some sort of summary of the year, but have never actually pulled it off (at least not in 2002 or 2003, and who wants to look further back than that?). So I'll leave 2004 in that category as well, as Yet Another Year That I Chose Not To Summarize.

I'll say this, thank God it wasn't another 2003. I just didn't have another one of those in me.

I will, however offer you this: Ski Mask patterns from 1965. Thanks, Mr. WhileSeated, for the linky.

Is This Bad?
My brother's girlfriend and my lone ex-girlfriend went to the same college, though I don't think at the same time. While opening Christmas gifts, my brother's gf mentioned that she'd purchased the alumni directory, which was HUGE. Without thinking, I asked to see it (okay, practically knocked Andrea over to reach for it) and turned to my ex's name to make sure she's not dead.

That period when we were together was (I hope) the least healthy of her life. I sincerly hope that it was what I hope was her rock bottom period, the time that she now looks back on and says "man, I was pretty F*ed up then, I treated Liz pretty badly and myself, worse. But today, I'm all good, healthy and okay." Because I don't know how it could be much worse than that, if it is, well, her life has got to suck. But I don't know how she is now, because we don't talk and even though that leaves me with a very unfinished feeling in my heart, it is the way she wants it so there it is, this slightly open sore I have on my ass that may never fully heal.

So sometimes, I wonder if she's finally managed to kill herself or if she has her act together. Based on her address in that monstrous directory, it looks like she's not dead and may have, in fact, gotten her act together. Good thing I checked.

Where Was I?
Had a nice 4 day weekend but managed to have to work a bit on the first day, have one illness-free, work-free day on New Year's Eve, spent the day hanging out with our favorite baby twins, then spent the night hanging out with our favorite adult twins. Got home from a wild and crazy New Year's Eve to find that Patrick had had a seizure at some point (no doubt, due to a combination of a dark house, no mommies around and some schmuck in the neighborhood setting off fireworks). The next morning, I woke to find myself sick yet again. What the hell is wrong with my immune system?

Spent New Year's Day in bed, getting my rest on so we could go to Steph and Tony's party that night. We made it, and I lasted longer than I would have thought. The partygoers were enjoying the rum-based beverages while I had Sprite and nibbled on crackers. Oh well, at least I got out of the house.

Had a final practice for the Vegas team yesterday, I skated but felt like crap before, during and after. That was the hardest skating I've ever done, not because I skated great but because I felt so lousy to begin with. Yuck, and lame.

The good news? First, I had my painful skate adjusted by the Skate Doctor at Redwood City. He made an unsightly bump on the back of the skate that has finally, at long last and at a cost of $3, fixed the problem with my skate. Last night, I skated without any combination of callous cushions, gel pads or tape on it and it did not hurt. Thankyouthankyouthankyou Mr Skate Doctor Man of Redwood City.

Plug: he has a little teeny shop inside the rink at Ice Oasis. He does amazing skate sharpenings and of course, performs minor surgery on skates that can change your life. If you need any of those things, go see him. It's worth the trip.

Other good news? 2004 is officially over and Nothing Horrible Happened.