Words Of Wisdom
Like Heather, I've been taking these online courses about appropriate things for the workplace. Highlights from the email portion of the day include:
  • It's quite possible that your boss won't get your sarcasm.
  • Scheduling a meeting is usually an appropriate way to use e-mail
  • You've Got Mail? You've Got Trouble
  • Viruses can steal any kind of information
  • "The secret ingredient in our new sauce is cinnamon. Be sure to keep it confidential."

Our Visit
Last night, we kept Gavin and Lili's moms up way too late and had a wonderful evening. Here's proof:
check it out!


Free Raisins, They Ain't
The jar of peanuts I bought last night included 25% more FREE NUTS! Well, all right!

It's That Hip
The satellite radio that Betty Shinkah now sports is radder than rad, it's 180 channels of goodness. Well, okay, more like 90 channels of goodness and a bunch of stuff I'd never listen to, like country. Last night I found a hip -hop station that played nothing but serious old school stuff -- De La Soul and Run DMC, right after each other.

Nothing but good times. That's what Betty's all about.

Where's Cheddah?
Have you seen my friend Cheddah? She's MIA!


Fuck Yeah!
Our dear friend Walt has offered to make the following items for Murray, whenever he or she gets here:

I'll make you a baby t-shirt that says "what the fuck you lookin' at?"

And also: "Today's pigs are tomorrows bacon"

Plus, "Down with the motherfucking MAN!"

And everyone's favorite: "Don't judge me, I'm only a fucking child, mother fucker"


What Would Grandma Do?
When someone dies, I think it's easy to idealize them, to make someone who was a little snarky into a compassionate listener, to change the most annoying of people into heroes just because they're gone or to revive a friendship that was most certainly not in good standing after one party's death.

Not that I've been a party to any of those things or that watching people do stuff like that when I was kind of young made me see the value in being as real as possible all the time. So much so that when a kid I'd gone to high school, Dave H, who was, by most accounts a real pain in the ass, when he died after a prolonged semi-coma following a car accident the Thanksgiving after graduation, I wrote to his family and said something along these lines:

I won't pretend that Dave was my best friend, or that we were even friends at all. Knowing Dave was a challenge for me, a challenge I faced in new ways pretty much every time we opened our mouths in each other's presence. But knowing Dave and being a leader to Dave (in band) taught me more than anyone I've ever known (and to be fair, his impact on the way I lead the hockey teams is great, even and especially today). I will never forget Dave, I'm certainly a better, stronger, more compassionate person for having known him.

His mom, who had also dealt with some of the challenges involved in knowing Dave, wrote back and thanked me for my honesty, saying that I was the only person who seemed to really 'get' who Dave was. I remain flattered and humbled by that response even today. Dave's ashes are spread in 2 places, which, if you knew him (and go figure, a couple of you did), it makes perfect sense.

So how does this connect to Grandma? Because one of the most amazing things about Grandma was her ability to tell it like it was, in very compassionate terms. There was an element of sugar-coating, yes, like in Mary Poppins, she made the medicine go down, but there was always the truth, front and center. I like to think that my valuation of honesty and compassion comes from knowing her, that her legacy is as much about knitting, Pepsi and love as it is about facing the truth of any situation head-on, then finding the most equitable solution for all involved.

Now, when something troubles me, I stop and ask what Grandma would do and then I smile, confident in the knowledge that whatever I choose to do, she'd approve. Because I learned it from her.

Her house goes on the market in the next week or so. I thought I could go see it, re-done and ready for someone else to own but I just can't. Better to keep the memories in my heart, unclouded by shiny wood floors and tasteful decorations.

I miss her so much. You have no idea.

I Must Remember This
That not everyone who plays hockey (or any sport) does so for the same reasons I do. My goals are to have fun with my friends, to give lots of folks a chance to play on a really fun team, and whenever possible, due to the collective efforts of my friends, to win. But for some folks, the winning is the thing, the playing with friends is much less the goal, or not even a goal at all.

I don't think either approach is bad, they're just dramatically different. And I swear, I will remember this and do as I tell my team -- keep playing my game, even in the face of a team that's playing the different kind of game than ours.

Because in the end, no matter what the goal, we all have to go to work the next day and we'll all be back to play together again soon enough.

Things I Miss
I saw this me-me over here about the 5 things you miss about your childhood. I'll bite, anyone else want to bite, too?
  1. Hot summer nights catching fireflies in jars. The other less-touted, less socially acceptable pleasure of smearing them on the sidewalk, to see their fiery asses continue to glow after their deaths.
  2. Riding my bike everywhere and not worrying about wearing a helmet or having a sore crotch the next day.
  3. Riding that same bike over to the community pool, where I'd spend the ENTIRE DAY sitting in the sun, swimming, eating snacks from the snack bar and hanging out with my friends.
    Note: I seem to only miss things that went on in summer. What does this mean?
  4. Those many nights playing cards and eating spinach dip with my Grandma at the Breakfast Table that will soon be on it's way to my home.
  5. Our mostly annual summer vacations, to the Jersey Shore. Eating ice cream at night and playing minature golf at what had to have been the coolest mini golf place EVER.
What about you?

More Shinkah Love
Yesterday, Betty got her first bath, courtesy of the Nice Men who come to my work and wash cars in the parking lot. Every wash package is named after a type of housing -- I got 'The Villa' though I longed for 'The Palace.' Don't we all?

And then! Last night, I finally activated my year free satellite radio and man, I must tell you, that shit rocks. 180 channels of almost anything I want. They have at least 10 channels of ThumpaThumpa dance music so Betty and I are good to go. Woo, Betty!


It Came In The Night
No, nothing bad. Just, finally a dream about Grandma. She was wearing a blue track suit (to all you out there who knew her, you know as well as I do that she would NEVER wear pants, let alone a very sporty track suit, but hell, maybe in her new life in the afterlife, she's discovered the joys of polyester track suits. Who am I to judge?). Anyway, she was wearing this track suit and working out at a fancypants gym. She was in perfect health and could do the excersizes without her arm hurting or the pain I still can't imagine in her hip.

It reminded me of when I visited her in the hospital right after the hip was removed. We went to her therapy appointments every day and though she tried to do what was asked of her, in the end, every session ended with her crying because it hurt so much.

My Grandma had more courage and strength in her little toe than most of us could hope to have in our lifetimes.

And still, that therapy was more than she could bear. It broke all of our hearts to see her struggle. But in my dream, she was a gym-going, track suit-wearing excersizing machine.

Later, she was back at home, though being a dream, it wasn't her house that I knew, it was Someplace Else. I stood with her in her room and all we could say to each other was "I love you." I eventually left her room and walked down the street, saying over and over "I love you," knowing full well that she heard every word.

Because even now I say it and I know she hears me.


10 Years: No Fucking Way

Things I've done for 10 years or more:

  • Breathed air
  • Worn clothes
  • Brushed my hair
  • Had a regular period
  • Driven a car that I owned
  • Played my sax
10 years ago this week, I flew down from Eugene, home of mucho ladies and mucho weed, to visit Wen and 12 of her closest friends for Pride. I stepped off the plane to hear people cheering and, being me, I turned to the woman behind me and said 'that's for me,' which of course the cheering was.

In that wacky crowd was none other than Andreatan. From the moment we met, there was Something Special between us, I even took a picture of her car leaving the parking garage when we left SFO. Of course it took us a year and a half to deal with all our own (okay, mine) crap and figure out that together is where we should be. I was still on again off again with my ex and Andrea, well, she was fending off the hotties here. But I fought them off and wa-la, she became My Woman after that fateful day.

I'll always be grateful to Wen for pulling together that wacky group for a fun weekend, and that said group included Andrea. Hard to imagine, in the story of our lives that you could draw a line from getting off the plane to building a wonderful life, to trying to have a baby. I do love her so.


Why I Don't Eat In The Cafeteria At Work
"You may have already heard, but if not, you may want to think twice about eating at Liz's Workplace Café (especially the salads!). Today Karen was eating a salad and found a partially alive ~ 2" frog crawling through her meal (well, not really crawling)."

The email included pictures, which I have lovingly chosen not to include here for you. Ewww eww eww. Carol: heed this warning! Go out to lunch with us instead!

I Just Connected This Dot
The dot between frozen sperm (mreps, backwards, for the folks (like Zawod and Jena) following along at home) and Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer, which was a Saturday Night Live skit in the early 90's about a lawyer who was a thawed caveman. Now, when we're getting inseminat-ed with our very expensive unfrozen sperm, I can say to myself:

One hundred thousand years ago, some sperm was out hunting on the frozen wastes when it slipped and fell into a crevasse. In 2005, it was discovered by some scientists and thawed out. It then went to law school and became... Unfrozen Caveman Sperm.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this sperm is just a caveman. It fell on some ice and later got thawed out by some of your scientists. Your world frightens and confuses it! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic makes the sperm want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when the sperm gets a message on its fax machine, it wonders: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! This sperm's primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing it does know - when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages. And a successful pregnancy. Thank you.



People Love To Look At My Shinkah: Part 305
I'm sort of getting used to the stares that Betty Shinkah commands from unsuspecting people on the street. But yesterday, I was driving up 101 (not The 101, if I said that, we'd live in LA) when I saw a black RX8 with gold rims two lanes over. I zoomed by, then gave the driver the 'we both have totally badass rides' nod.

It took a second for him to realize that I wasn't just driving a black car, no, I was indeed driving the Very Rare (and really rare, not just that eeebay kind of rare, where no matter what it is, the seller says "RARE!" in the title) Shinkah. He zoomed in behind me, then I saw him taking out his camera phone and snapping pictures.

I sure hope Betty was smiling.

Later, much later, we went for waffles and udon at this rad, open-late joint in Millpitaz. When we left, it was my turn to look twice -- there was that same badass black RX8 with Wheels Of Gold!

It's a small world, when you drive a badass car. Or just live in the world.

The Man Is Fine
As I suspected, Thomas spent the night at his mom's now-empty place. We had a brief discussion about why we want to know if he's not going to come home (or to "Your guys-es place") and came to a modified agreement: he'll send me a text message if he won't be home. That way, when I bolt awake to worry about him, it will be there, reminding me that the man is OK so I can go back to bed and fret about other things get more rest. Phew.

Stealth Fuck Yeah!
I was sitting across from Heather in a meeting. She was totally minding her own bidness when I wrote FUCK YEAH in my notebook, then held it up for her to see.

We both lost it and spent a good deal of the meeting hiding our giggles.


The Results Are In
Of the Fun Suggestions collection held a couple of weeks ago. It seems that the aptly-named Fun Committee has scorned my idea of Free Raisins and gone with the more traditional set of nerf guns.

Tuesday Was A Big Day
I got a crapload of work done yesterday, at work and everything so even though I had to leave for my defeated return to Physical Therapy, I still thought, "you know, Liz, even without the lure of free raisins, you got a lot of work done today."

At PT, I learned that not only has my shoulder regressed in some ways, there's a chance that I have a new extension of that injury, one that may eventually require surgery. Awesome! This time, I'm in for the double whammy of ankle and shoulder so it look like 2 hours for the whole thing, so I almost missed the chance to see Sam and Riley.

But don't you fret, I made it and had a very tasty dinner in addition to a very brief but fun visit with the girls before heading up to Belmont to coach green. Usually, I just assistant (or, ass) coach while Barb runs the show. She runs a very good show and lets me pipe up now and then so it's all good and lots of fun, but last night she couldn't be there so it was my show. Ellaine, Viv and Elissa were kind enough to come out and skate with us, offering the kind of one-on-one help that I know can go a long way. Apparently, we made the skaters work very hard because Andrea managed to soak through her t-shirt for what may be the first time ever.

Woo, us!

In other news, Thomas was supposed to stay over for the first time last night but didn't make it home. I suspect that he collapsed at his buddy's house after many hours of playing video games but I'm pretty annoyed that he didn't call. When I see him today (hopefully today) I will have the patented Catholic Guilt kind of conversation about the differences between renting a room from someone who doesn't know you and renting a room from two people who have always cared very much about you. For me, that difference manifests itself in a phone call.

Gus, Zeus and the Shinkah on a sunny day.


My Poor Gus
We literally had to drag Gus into the play area at the boarding place today. I feel SO bad but of the 4 of them, he's the worst about bladder control and without access to our doggie door and the miniscule, newly-refenced yard, our house would be floating away on a gigantic river of Gus pee.

So boarded he is, and feeling guilty I am.

You Have Got To Be Shitting Me
The house phone rang yesterday and for once, I answered it. I don't know why, since we usually don't. After much coaxing, I learned it was someone from Macy's, one of the cards we allegedly paid off with the recent refi that also brought us Betty Shinkah. The lady wanted to talk to Andrea, but since she wasn't home, the lady asked if there was a husband she could talk to.

Yes, you know what's coming next. I said, I'm her partner, you can certainly talk to me about this.

Oh, no, she said, I can only talk to someone in her family.

HER FAMILY? YOU FUCKING MORON! I AM HER FAMILY. And more importantly, why do I have to explain that to some collection chippie from Macy's and why, if the law has changed so that we would have to go to divorce court if we broke up, why the fuck does that not give me enough authority to say, with authority, "look, bitch, there is a check in the mail for that measly $60, it is being paid off. Just write that down."

But no, she went on and on, in a pleasant voice about how only an immediate family member was good enough to answer this stupid question, the one she couldn't even ask because she decided I wasn't Andrea's family.

Nobody is more Andrea's family than I am. And though I know that every day, all day, sometimes, some bitch from Macy's calls you and brings up every insecurity you've ever had, tries in one short phone call to take away all the rights we have and you have to ask, is collecting the $60 that's already been paid really worth doing that to someone?

Fuck Yeah!
Because the Fuck Yeah! song WILL NOT LEAVE MY HEAD, last night it entered it's most robust incarnation -- as a musical theater version of a play-by-play for our A-Team2 game. Sitting next to Jena, I kept signing 'Elissa shoots -- fuck yeah!' 'Robyn skates -- fuck yeah!' 'Pass the puck -- fuck yeah!'

And then totally cracking myself up. Fuck yeah!

Kids Today
Thomas is mostly moved in now. I think. At least his room now has a zillion boxes and like so many other items in our markedly (usable) storage-free house, I'm wondering where it will all go, in the end. Yesterday, he mentioned that he's trying to go to Chicago for a concert. The concert is apparently tonight and he'd be back tomorrow. Um, okay, but we're not in Ohio, where Chicago is a reasonable drive away for crazy trips like that.

But hey, the man's 18, as long as he has his $350 for when the succubus demands rent, who am I to discourage him from trying to do the kinds of crazy shit that makes for good stories when you're older and have the money but not the energy to do them?

Nobody, so I'll smile and nod, then listen attentively and appreciatively to his retelling of the trip.


You're Invited
To the Cupertino Symfonik Band's annual summer concert in the park. 6 pm, Thursday, June 23. I'll be the one in the white polo shirt and dark shorts.

A Picture I Didn't Get
The 'be back soon' sign at the coffee stand downstairs said 'Be Back in 10 Minuets'

I can name that tune in 9 Minuets.

So Much Excitement
Where to begin? Well, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my car. My car is my friend and I have named her Betty Shinkahh. She is a thing of beauty and I love her.

We sort of slacked on cleaning what has become Thomas' room. Saturday, we meant to spend much of the day on it but really, we just lost interest in sorting, cleaning, and sneezing so we did something absolutely insane: we went to the movies. Saw Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which was totally good fun but did nothing to get Thomas' room ready for his arrival.

It's a good thing he was late on that arrival yesterday -- that extra hour gave us enough time to get most of the remaining crapola boxed up and outta there. Of course, it's not exactly sorted but it is neatly boxed in the basement so that's something. Or similar.

He had a few boxes in his car, we brought those in and introduced him to the dogs. It didn't take Gus long to fall in love so I apologize to T in advance for all the dingleberryness that Gus is about to shower on him. We still need to rent a truck to get the rest of his stuff over to our house but he's about 60% moved in. He's a terrific kid/young man, thanked us repeatedly for letting him do this and listened carefully to our rules (so far, very rigorous: don't leave any doors open and call if you're going to be out all night so I don't fret).

Though our house remains small, I'm confident that we'll find a way to work it out, the 3 of us, for as long as Thomas needs a place to call home.

The hockey portions of the weekend were fun, as always. Nothing weird happened, nobody hit me on purpose in a weird place, nor did I come home from any of the 3 games angry or annoyed at something. Le Snack pulled off another victory, turning a 4 goal lead into a real nail-biter, but winning in the end, 5-4. I love that team. Love love love.

This post is turning into a real love-fest. But you know what? I've had quite a lot of heartache lately and man, it's about time I had room in my life for a love-fest.


Dad Speaks
Dad, on the Shinkahh, (which I'm tenatively naming Betty Shinkahh):
Looks like it's running when standing still!

People LOVE To Look At My Shinka
Coming back from lunch, Heather and I counted 9 people who stared openly at the Shinkahh, basking in it's lovliness.

I assure you, nobody stared at the Jeep.

And, the Shinkahh made a friend!

Tribute To WhileSeated
America, FUCK YEAH!
Coming again, to save the mother fucking day yeah,
America, FUCK YEAH!
Freedom is the only way yeah, Terrorist your game is through cause now you have to answer too,
America, FUCK YEAH!
So lick my butt, and suck on my nards,
America, FUCK YEAH!
What you going to do when we come for you now,
it’s the dream that we all share; it’s the hope for tomorrow


Shinkahh, FUCK YEAH!
New Fence, FUCK YEAH!
Dogs home, FUCK YEAH!
Frozen sperm, FUCK, YEAH!
Toffee crunch, FUCK YEAH!
Pepper Lunch, FUCK YEAH!
Babies, FUCK YEAH!


Fantasia, FUCK YEAH!
Disneyland, FUCK YEAH!
Clarinex, FUCK YEAH!
Fake Barf, FUCK YEAH!
Hockey pucks, FUCK YEAH!
Winning medals, FUCK YEAH!
Merle Haggard is found (Fuck yeah, Fuck yeah)

No more Jeep, FUCK YEAH!
Brand new car, FUCK YEAH!
Improved house, FUCK YEAH!
Band-aids, FUCK YEAH!
Burninators, FUCK YEAH!
Lots of toast, FUCK YEAH!
Dairy Queen, FUCK YEAH!
Songs by Wing, FUCK YEAH!
Sapphic sisters (sisters)
(fuck yeah, fuck yeah)
Shamanic Drumming


I Tell You What
That X14 Mildeeew remover crap really works, but if you hang out in the room at all after you've unleashed the fury that is the Bad Smell of X14 (which sounds to me like the title of a B sci-fi movie that's crying out to be made), if you are prone to having assorted breathing problems, you are asking for Big Trouble with your lungs.

Not that I know.

And not that I'll use trying to get pregnant as an excuse to not get near the stuff again.

But I have to say, our bathtub almost looks new instead of like the embarassingly mold-ridden mess that it was before the Attack of the X14 From Outer Space.

Yesterday Was A (Mostly) Good Day
Many many good things happened yesterday:
  • Mr. Ed got most of the fence built. Parts of it are a little less high-quality than Andrea would have wanted, but hell, it's done. We're no longer separated from the neighbors by a fence that's propped up with an old rotted-ass board. No, we're now separated by a series of brand-new boards. Phew.
  • This meant that we were free to bring the doggies home from spots. Which was mostly good, except that they managed to lose Zeus' leash, which was a sort of fancypants leash that I'd bought years ago and we'd managed to not lose or have eaten by the other dogs. Phoo.
  • The true highlight, of course, was picking up my Shinkahh, a car I've only seen on the internet, never on the road. It's that cool and I'm that elite. Seriously, it's just awesome. Amazing. Beautiful. Makes the short-lived Jeep seem like a far off, bad dream. Thank you thank you thank you to the forces that conspired to make me wait for the Shinkahh instead of getting the grey last year.
And now the bad, which pretty much sucks in the worst possible way: our friend was carrying twins, they were due any day now but were born dead on Tuesday. It had been high-risk all along but it still breaks our hearts.

At long last, the Mighty, Finned RX8 SHINKAHHH became mine, for $359.99 a month, which includes some damage waiver crap for a dollar a month. Fine, whatever, JUST LET ME DRIVE THE CAR AWAY!!!

Ron the salesguy gave me the complete tour of the car, which I sort of appreciated, but in the end, all I wanted to do was zoom zoom away from the dealer with nary a glance back at the Jeep, which I walked away from with no remorse or longing whatsoever. In my rush, I even forgot about my University of Oregon Alumni license plate holder and I'm not sure I care. I just wanted the beautiful new Shinkahh, which is now mine to love and cherish forever.

Or until June 16, 2007, when I trade it in for a wagon to suit what should be an expanded family unit.

But until then, Good Times, they Will Be Had. Oh yes. Times of Goodness and Joy. And of driving 'agressively' as the car requires.

I've never driven a car that people routinely check out at stoplights, or that inspires Jeep Grand Cherokees to race IN FRONT OF THE POLICE STATION, DURING THE SHIFT CHANGE. This morning I buzzed Andrea and man, it felt awesome.

Today, I'll call to get the free satellite radio turned on and I'll continue to feel Great Love.


Break My Heart A Little More, Whydontcha?
I just noticed two things: 1, that the flights we had to switch to in order to get to Columbus for Grandma's funeral qualified as Elite status for mileage. Gee, thanks. I'd rather have Grandma alive, but sometimes, Elite status is what you get instead of a healthy loved one. 2, that the ill-fated flight from Chicago to Columbus, the one that first got cancelled, that we ran through 2 terminals to try to get on, only to be denied, then to resign ourselves to waiting half the night for after we'd already waited half the day in Chicago, the one we finally got on at the LAST POSSIBLE moment in the LAST THREE SEATS spaced sporadically throughout the plane but ours, gloriously ours, that one?

I didn't get mileage credit for it. It would have been enough to get me a ticket back to Ohio, should I decide to go again soon.

And while we're on that, I'm really torn. I have a 4 day weekend for the 4th of July, so I'm really tempted to go. But the time when I could have been useful has in terms of helping my mom, aunt and uncle with Grandma's house is just about over, it goes on the market very soon and then some other family will hopefully carve out a life in a place that means an awful lot to a whole flock of us.

Or they'll tear it down and break my heart all over again, no doubt replacing it with something with granite countertops, recessed lighting and a jacuzzi tub in the newly-ginormous master bathroom.

In some ways, the loss of Grandma hasn't really sunk in and at other times, I feel utterly adrift, lost without any grandparents at all. Either way, I know she's in a better place, that the canasta group probably hasn't looked up from their game in some time, that they're thrilled to be together once again.

But that doesn't mean we're not a little lesser down here, without her. When I stood up there in front of God, Grandma and everyone, and said she was the World's Best Grandma, I sure as hell wasn't kidding.

My lovely RX8, for which I will pay $350/month will be ready for pickup in about an hour (no Zawod, not about 2 hours, just one).


Off-Ice Tournament Highlight
The best off-ice highlight was this: Our excellent goalie, Kathleen, who let in all of ONE GOAL through the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT, was hitching rides from the really huge and totally perfect for the entire team to stay in cabin that she'd found for us with Mary.

After our last game on Saturday, Kathleen got to the parking lot ahead of Mary, so she went and sat in what she thought was Mary's truck. After all, how many gigundo blue trucks with lumber racks can there be in one ice rink parking lot?

Apparently, 2 because some guy came up and asked Kathleen if she was okay, since she was sitting in his truck.

The Fence Report: Day 2
I will start with this: it's pretty much impossible to continue sleeping while Mr. Ed and his mighty team of fence builders are sawing and hammering a sturdy, dog-proof fence into the yard directly behind you. Even if that fence means that the dogs you adore will be coming back home soon, the noise is a little too much to handle.

But, I must say that Mr. Ed's Mighty Team is amazing. When I peeked around the corner of the house (scaring the shit out of Mr. Ed in the process) it looked like they were halfway done. At 10 am!

That Mr. Ed rocks, I tell you what. We can get our doggies home tonight. Phew.


Quiet House
Last night was the first night since May of 1999 that we had a dog-free house that wasn't due to an impending vacation. I kept thinking I heard Rainie's toes tap-tap-tapping their way across the floor to wherever we were, Patrick's soulful whining, Gus' slow prance around the house or that amazing, $4000 sound, the hip-hip-hippity-hopping of Zeus anytime we got near the treat jar or the doggie food bins.

I moved some more stuff from what will be Thomas' room to the basement and was startled every time I came up the stairs to not see Patrick there waiting for me, like this:

Or Gus' lip getting stuck, like this:

Or Zeus attempting to share the bed like this:

But the worst thing was coming home and not seeing this in our backyard:

Ed the fence guy is at the house now, laying poles (heh, I said laying poles) into the ground. Once the concrete dries, the fence itself will be built and I'm sure our property value will go up by another $15,000 just for the fencing.

And our doggies will be home with us, where they belong.

What Is It With Me And 350?
First, we're charging Thomas (who is supposed to move in on Sunday, but from whom we haven't heard to confirm that) $350 a month for rent, just like the succubus in South Pahk did.

Now, I'm trying to lease the RX8 of my dreams for $350 a month and I won't back down. Unfortunately, my credit rating isn't quite high enough to make that a slam-dunk deal so Mr. Car Dealer Man is seeing what he can do. $381 he can do, RIGHT NOW but goddamnit, the succubus got paid 350 and that's the amount I intend to pay.

I've waited since last summer to get this car, been sidetracked by the stupid cheapass losing-40%-of-it's-value-with-every-passing-moment Jeep in the process, so I can wait a bit longer.

I got to drive the Shinkaah, to see it change colors in the sunlight, to sit my ass on the parchment leather seats and try my darndest to understand exactly how a 6 speed works, when all I've ever driven have been 4 and 5 speeds. They even have one with the rear spoiler, just like I want. A couple more days won't kill me, but the visit just confirmed the love.

Why didn't I just get one of these in the first place? Because, the Shinkahh wasn't out yet and I would be driving a gray one, gazing lustfully at the Shinkahhh instead. Now, soon, hopefully this week, I will be driving my very own, finned Shinkahh, listening to the free satellite radio (which includes a standup comedy channel that the salesguy assures me is VERY funny stuff) and admiring my reflection in the black cherry mica paint job.

I will of course ignore the fact that the backseat is pretty much miniscule and that the trunk is sort of big, but has a small opening which means that getting a hockey bag, let alone the baby accessories of the future into the thing will be a challenge. I will, however, take comfort in the fact that it actually has higher saftety ratings than the Jeep and of course, in the fact that I actually like this car.


RIGHT NOW I am going to test drive and probably buy my RX8.

Thank you, Jesus.

I Must Be Doing Something Wrong
My mom told me that she wasn't at all nervous before she had us kids, or before she got married. Why didn't I pick up that level of calmness from her?

Ai ya!

What's Not To Like About Gus?

Man, this was odd.

Last night, we had some random person come and stand on our bench to take pictures. She was apparently with someone on the other team. I asked her to leave, knowing that USA Hockey prohibits anyone not carrying a coaching card or wearing a helmet from being back there. Plus, of course, she was a stranger and who wants a stranger lurking on their bench? Not us.

She leaves, and then sends some guy back to stand there again with the camera. We ask him to leave, I explain the rule and he gets pretty belligerent, asking me if I'm insane (not that I know of, I just like rules that keep hostile strangers away from me and my team, thanks) and refusing to leave until one of my players and I pretty much physically shoved him off of the bench. He followed up by throwing a couple of punches at my player, then finally leaving.

I'm still scratching my head over that one.

Oh Cwap!
Andrea just called to tell me that the neighbors are taking down the rest of the fence RIGHT NOW, which means that we have to hurry the dogs off to daycare, where they'll stay until Thursday night, when it's all done.

But then, soon, very soon, we'll have not-falling-down fencing on 2 of the 3 sides of our backyard. Will that add another $50,000 to the value of our house?


Sad Truth About Red Pants
My beloved red pants are starting to fall apart. Seams are coming apart, the zipper on the inside of the right leg is ripped to shit, leaving a gaping zipperless hole, the zipper on the left leg has broken off inside and if not taped, rubs against my thigh, a tiny pinprick with every stride, and the ass is inexplicably a different color than the rest of them.

And still, I love them so.

I Might Have Been Really Tired
Last night i was totally loopy and andrea gave me $100 cash (not for being loopy but for some other vacation-related crap).
And I go, is this my Benjamin.
And she goes, um, you mean jacksons.
And I go, I'll show you a jackson, the Jackson 5.
Then i laughed until I cried about having the Jackson 5 in my pocket.

Things I've Never Done, Until Now
  1. Dropped a skate blade directly on my bare foot. It hurts as much as you'd think it would, maybe a little more because
  2. I blocked a shot with the TOP OF MY FOOT, not 2 centimeters away from the scene of stupid thing number 1. I assure you, there is no padding there and my foot bones carry no protective fat for occasions like this one. Unlike my ass, which is amply prepared for these sorts of things.
  3. Been in the immediate vicinity when not one but two people injured themselves during a game, both attacked by the boards. Both times I stepped right back as if to say 'I didn't touch her.' Because I didn't. But it was very painful to watch and in one case, to see my friend laying there (I didn't know the other woman but I still worried about her).
  4. Got cup checked from the rear. Stick inserted between my legs, then pulled back so the blade pulled back into my uteruine area. Ow.
Today, only the foot still hurts. And I say to myself, boy, am I smooth.

I Can Taste It
Our new, improved! loan funds today which means that soon, oh so very soon, I can sell the Jeep (who wants it?) and get the RX8 of my dreams. Maybe even later this week.

I cannot wait.

Dragonass Pics
Thank you Flickarrr, for enabling me to put up these pics in no time flat!

My red pants, in sunlight, amidst the trees.

Other words might be: undescribable. Amazing. Or, in the immortal words of the woman who got kicked out for too many penalties, then saw us walk into the bar immediately afterwards, Perfect. Terrific. Great.

But it was. The tourney was absolutely amazing. We won all of our games and the championship, too, sweeping the tourney. The rink was great, the location stunning (it's literally in the middle of a forest) and the team defies description. It was the hardest I've ever played, and the most fun on the ice I've ever had.

When the final buzzer rang after the championship game yesterday, and we'd won, I cried. It was the most amazing way to make peace with all that had happened between the Seals (coaching staff, not the players) and me.

Because they might go to more tourneys in the future, I'm keeping my jersey and I'm even going to put my own name and number on it. Just in case.


Neigborly Assvice
Andrea mentioned it, but I'll add on. Yesteday, the house (aka the Plantaion) was a flurry of activity. Mr. Ed cleared out a goodly portion of the weeds around our front walk, then poured concrete over the remainder, then left a guy to clear out all the organic materials from the back 40, aka The Dowtay-Tan Wildlife Preserve and Home For Used 2 Liter Bottles From The Neighbors.

Chuck also stopped by to disable the rocking feature that our toilet had been evolving too. Because as much fun as it was, I'd rather not rock while I do Big Business. He's hopefully returning next week to install a fart fan.

I'm extremely grateful that Andrea stayed home to supervise all the activity because if nothing else, the constant stream of comments from the neighbors would really start to piss me off. That, and the need to peer over the shoulders of the well-intentioned people who are doing the yardwork, so I don't have to, pointing out what they've missed while ignoring the 3 truckloads of shit they hauled out of the Wildlife Preserve.

So last night, I was rushing strolling leisurely to go to band when the neighbor pulls up. Does she say 'wow, that looks nice'? No, she says 'I wondered why they didn't lift up the bricks to get the weeds underneath them.' I smile my tightest, most 'seriously, I'm not looking for this kind of discussion' smile and said, very tightly, because we didn't ask them to. Because, really, I'm just happy that this stuff got done without me breaking a sweat.

But it's frustrating to get as much shit as we do about our yard from these people, since they're the same people who haven't EVER painted their peeling house or garage, which is about to fall down. Here we're doing stuff to raise everyone's property value and all they can do is criticize?

As my Grandma used to say, though with a great deal less sarcasm than I intend to inflect right now, Thanks a lot.

Wing Tunes
My work buddy sent these amazing tunes and I'm weeping, I'm laughing so hard. (Though I'm not laughing as hard as I do at the pic of me in those nerdy glasses, now *that's* funny). Wing is so famous she was on South Pahhk, though she did not give a monster three fitty.

A Second Chance
You may recall that a couple of years ago, I played for this fairly competitive tournament team. Being on the team required a tryout so just getting there was absolutely amazing for me, especially then, when I wasn't quite as confident or skilled with the stick and skates as I am now.

For however many months the season lasted, I went to every practice (save one, when I was at a different tournament), every tournament and even though that year featured some pretty awful things happening to and around me, I still make Every Practice.

And then, last fall, when I tried out again (no spots are guaranteed) I was cut. Women who had been on the team in years past and flaked were chosen over me. People who only made a fraction of the practices were selected, I was not. A large handful of teenagers were chosen for the better team, effectively turning an adult team into a kid's team and squeezing out a number of adults in the process.

I still have no idea why I was cut though the best we can figure is some weird political thing. And the truth is, I just didn't get along with a lot of the team. It felt like middle school, where the returning players were the 'in crowd' and us newbies were so totally out. On the ice it became amazing and wonderful, but off? I was all kinds of left out and a bit sad. The friends I did have from that organization were on the better team, who shared the ice and many an after-practice dinner with me, but who didn't go to the same tourneys or have the same coach as my group.

And really, who needs to fork out $800 for just league fees to feel left out? But I was still disappointed as hell when I didn't get picked again. The funny thing is, since not getting picked, it was a huge weight lifting, I could just skate at my own pace, I didn't need to feel like I was the weak link, I didn't need to prove myself.

It gave me more than a small amount of glee to hear that the flakes they picked instead of me left shortly after the season started and the team went to tournaments increasingly short-handed.

But I digress. A bit ago, my friend from the better team asked me to go with a bunch of them to a tournament. I had no choice but to say yes even though I've had more than my fair share of tourneys this year. There was no way I could pass up the chance to play with the kind of highly skilled, fun people who are going on this trip. And if they think my skills are strong enough to keep up, to contribute, who am I to disagree?

So tomorrow night and twice Saturday, I will don my Seals jersey for one last time, for a chance to prove again to myself that I can do this.

And then I'll sell it back to the group.


What Do You Do When...
Readership gets a little too high for comfort? The obvious answer is to shut down, start over or better yet, write my mundane yet oddly compelling thoughts for myself alone, move this blog to a new, secret location or just keep going. I don't know where the answer is but it's getting to be time to make some sort of decision.

And maybe it seems so improbable now, but I assure all three of you that you'd be okay if I stopped writing here at all. You might even be better off and hell, I might be too.

Signed and Sealed
Our refi closed yesterday, we spent 40 minutes getting hand cramps from signing our names in a zillion places. We are now (credit-card) debt-free and even have a little cashola in the bank(inate) for various home improvements.

Oh yeah, and once the loan funds, I can sell my stupid Jeep and get the RX8. Bye bye cheapass black cloth, HELLO PARCHMENT Leathah.

Talked to Eric's mom last night, she sounds tired, just bone-weary tired. The Robert Guillaume-Barre syndrome is running it's course -- right now he's paralyzed from the neck down and in a moment of panic, couldn't control his eyes. Luckily, that was temporary. It sounds so horrible to see eye control as any sort of milestone, but that's where he is right now, so celebrate it, we must.

He's still intubated and every time he can sort of talk, he says he's scared. We all are, for him.

I Need New Glasses

But maybe these aren't the best answer.

We were at WahhlMaht (cousin of Centulee Maht) and though they have a decent selection of glasses, I kept thinking, no, you can't get glasses at WahhlMaht. WahhlMaht is a place for big jugs of juice and low-end electronic equipment, not glasses.

I Didn't Realize
How long we'd been joking about naming our kid of the future Murray but scientists have discovered a reference as early as 2002.


The Fun Never Ends
Our mortgage lady discovered why the lender was trying to pay off my car with the refi -- because Cry-sler is owned by Merceeedez and the loan showed up as MBNZ on my credit report. Not to be confused with the horrific MBNA credit card that I'm desperate to pay off and close. She's worked with the right people today and we're good to go, card is paid off, car is not.

RX8, here I come, probably in a couple of weeks! Woot!

Apparently the dogs fill their spare time by rooting around our yard for loose fence boards from which to make The Great Escape. Where they'd go, they don't know. What they'd do when they got a few blocks away and realized that we weren't there, that there are no nice doggie beds strewn about for their laying pleasure, there are no treats coming from the never-empty treat jar and yes, that there are no mommies ready to love, laugh at and pet them.

I got to miss a meeting this morning so we could go patch the hole and help them lose the inspiration. Given a choice between a meeting and preventing 4 missing dogs, I'll choose preventing 4 missing dogs any day. Okay, maybe 3 since the hole was pretty small. Gus would invariably be left out of the escape effort, would be standing there in the yard, watching them go because he's too big to fit out and not strong enough or flexible enough to get through.

They've been keeping us up all night with their fence antics, last night marked 2 nights in a row of pretty much no sleep thanks to them. I know, it's practice for Murray but really, I'd rather practice a myriad of other things then learn the sleep deprivation thing when it's really time.


Eric Update
I have not been to see him, which I feel like crap about. But, his other mother is here from the east coast so the main window of opportunity I have to visit falls at night, when she's there. Since I don't know her, that seemed weird. "Hi, I'm here to visit your completely sedated son and I have no idea what to say to you except that he's a really terrific kid and it's a bummer you live so far away"?

So I didn't go. But she's leaving soon so I'll probably go after she's gone and Sue's there at night with him.

Here's what you really wanted to know: he's doing A LOT better. Oxygen is down to 25% and he's semi-conscious part of the time. Mostly, when he communicates, it's that he's scared. And that sucks. The doctors now think he's got Guillain-Barre Syndrome and at this point, we're looking at a long road to a point where he can come home in a wheelchair.

Please continue to send all those good thoughts over to Valleey Med, I know they're working.

Thanks, But No Thanks?
We're finally closing our refi tomorrow (thanks a ton, Steph, Rose rules!), which will mean we begin our great parenting adventure(s) (see: Thomas) debt-free. I've been ridiculously excited about this mainly because it means I can sell the Jeep and get the RX8 of (far too many of) my dreams. Drool has flowed from my mouth more than once about this upcoming event but now that it's less than 1 day away, I got the summary from the title people.

In addition to my credit cards, they're paying off my Jeep. You know, the one I hate. Fuck fuck fuck. I called everyone I could call and the only way to get it taken off is to redo the entire loan and we're just too close to turn back now.

This sucks because I may now feel obligated to keep the Jeep longer if it's paid off. And because I hate it. Now it will be a paid-off reminder of my inability to choose a proper vehicle. Sigh.

While Cleaning...
I was in the basement Saturday, minding my own business, when I found an old dog collar that I knew had come in with one of the dogs who were now ours instead of in foster care with us for a short while. I was pretty sure it was Ellie's and just looking at it made me sad. Then I looked closer at it and saw that it had a VetSmahht Rabies national id number on a very faded tag.

HOLY SHIT! I thought. We've had this collar for over 5 years and never bothered to look closely at it? Someone had Ellie and loved her enough to get her vaccinated, then put the ID tag on? We could have found them years ago?

I nearly cried, I felt like such a jerk. So I dropped what I was doing and called the number on the tag. It took 3 phone calls but I eventually found a person (on a Saturday!) who could look it up. The tag was so old that their system now has 7 digits instead of the 6 on this tag but she eventually said 'was the dog tri-colored?' Yes, yes she was, I replied.

After a few minutes, she said the dog she had listed was male. Momentarily stumped, we both scratched our heads then I asked 'is that dog's name Zeus?'

Yep, it was Zeus! Zeus' owner had died, that's how he came into rescue so I knew nobody was looking for him. Two more phone calls later, I tracked down his old vet and they were able to get his records, which will be sent to Abode for him.

But the best part? We found out his birthday! Our man really IS 12! I was right! His birthdate is 12/31/92! He has the same birthday as the Roos! We'd been celebrating his gotcha day 12/23 so we were actually close but to know for sure is just awesome.

Why does this matter? Because the difference between 12 and 14 or 15 is huge. This means that barring another Granola incident, the Z man is likely with us for a lot longer. And that he's already 5 months older than Alice was when she died.

I just feel lucky, that's all.

What You Were Dying To Know
When we last left our heroines they were playing a lot of hockey and offering a room in their home to a very tall, very kind 18 year old relative. They were serious about that offer but hoping that a more spacious option would come available to him in the meantime.

Well, there was no such option and we found out this weekend that Thomas is indeed coming to stay with us. He moves in 2 weeks from now. We spent much of the weekend making room for him, me clearing out the basement to make room for the stuff in the room upstairs and Andrea clearing out the stuff in the room upstairs that will become Thomas' temporary lairrrr.

If we had a bigger house, I'd be more excited. But we don't. And we only have one crapper, which gives me a bit of angst since it connects both of the bedrooms. That means if everyone's in bed, you can HEAR what's going on in there. And sometimes, you know, people don't want to hear or be heard when they're doing Big Business. But Big Business must be done so I'm seeing if we can get a fart fan installed.

We're charging him rent, the south pahk amount of $350, since that's what the succubus demanded from Chef's dad. That's also the amount that Gail once sold a truck for, at the insistence of her sons. It's a good price.

But holy shit. In 2 weeks we're going to become pseudo parents.


When I Was Home
I took a few pictures of the outside of Grandma's house. I've been unable to delete them from my camera, and keep downloading them over and over when I download new stuff. Every time they come up, my breath catches, I can't breathe, the heartache is so strong.

Because I know that my mom and her siblings are working their asses off to get the house ready to sell, that at the very best it will be made different by whoever buys it, that at the very worst it will be torn down, replaced by some fancypants new house that shows off the latest in decorative features but lacks any of the charm, the memories and the years of joy that have gone on inside Grandma's house.

It all just breaks my heart.

Waving Station

Babies In The Fountain!

Originally uploaded by liz2d2.

Where Was I?

When I was a kid, anytime someone in the family told a story about anything that happened before I was born, I'd ask "Where was I?" not fully understanding that my entire family and much of the world had lives before me.

I know, it seemed unreal then and it seems unreal now. We study history in school and those faraway times make sense maybe because the movies were in black and white or there are no photos of that time, but the very real family experiences that went on and were recorded in color before my arrival still seem sort of weird, even now. (What do you mean, you went to the Cape without me? Why wasn't I around? Huh? I wasn't born? Huh?)

And speaking of baffling things from my past, the house I grew up in, the house that my parents sold in a flurry of new-found love for a new house, is inexplicably for sale already after only 4 years. I'd like to point out that it looks a shitload different than when we lived there, than when I spent all that time asking where I was.

But in case you were asking a smaller question, simply missing my witty banter, I've been pretty busy with that crazy work I do today. I've also been moving into the new Flickarrrr pro account Andrea was nice enough to give me. My handiwork is visible to your rrrright ---->.

Yesterday, we had an off-site, which was just not my kind of deal. It was a murder mystery kinda thing, set in 1899 and though I (didn't really) tried, I just couldn't get into it. The organizers must have known I'd react this way -- my character was a total bit part so it was easy to hang out on the sidelines and chit chat with my friends. I was feeling pretty bad about not participating but I realize that not everything is the right activity for everyone. I mean, I knew that, but it was comforting to remember that and realize that it's okay not to get into every single thing I do.

We ended early and realizing that I was a mere 1.25 miles away from the babies' house so I raced over there to go to the park with them. They played in the fountain, showed off their walking skills and laughed. Oh yes, there was laughing. I swear to you, the girls get funnier every day.


Not Sure I Can Do This
We're having an offsite today, a murder mystery thingie that could be fun. But when they announced that it's going to start off with a reading of the will, I realized that I'm not really in a place where I can find amusement in death.

This Title Means Something Different To Some Of Us
Baby Bullet Wins Tranny Award

Great Concert!
Def Leppard and Bryan Adams are playing in San Jose on Friday so put on your red rocker boots and mullet wigs and come on out!


Our friend's son has been back in the hospital for a couple of weeks. It started with what seemed to be a headache, then was diagnosed as a sinus infection and now, I'm not sure what the hell it is. He's in the ICU and they'd resisted putting in a breathing tube until today, when they had no option left. He was sedated then it was put in, he'll be kept on sedation until it comes out.

He turns 18 tomorrow and will spend that day under sedation while his family misses him dearly. Please send any good thoughts, prayers, or whatever it is that you do over to Valley Med, where our sweet guy waits for a miracle.

So Not Possible
Last night we went to Thomas' high school graduation. Thomas is my cousin's kid, he's spent a lot of time with us over the years and we've watched him grow into a very tall, very kind (okay, he was always very kind, just shorter) young man who found himself bored in his traditional high school, so he transferred to this amazing program at a local community college. The program has the students taking a couple of core high school courses along with college level courses. It's very small (30 juniors, 30 seniors) and the staff works extensively with the students along the way.

Thomas' classmates were well-spoken and spoke highly of their experiences in the program. I was glad he found his way there, it seemed to suit him well. He got through and now his plans are uncertain (there's a small chance he could be coming to stay with us for a while) but he made it through and I am insanely proud of him.