7.29.2005

My Confession
All summer, I get totally into Big Br0ther, reading the forums where people post from the live feeds, watching every show. It's stupid fun, and I think we're all entitled to that sometimes.

Andrea Brought It Up First
I wasn't going to say anything, but... This week (and through the ENTIRE TIME people have been aware that we're planning to make el baby) we've heard a seemingly endless flow of seriously ignorant (about the process) comments from people who we (for the most part) really like.

Each of them has suggested that we just 'go to a bar and pick up some guy' for me to have sex (????ARE YOU INSANE????) with in order to make our Murray. People. People. People. There are so many things wrong with this scenario, it's ridiculous. Some may seem obvious to you, like the fact that I'm in an extremely committed relationship, the rules of which do not allow for this sort of activity. Like the fact that I'm GAY and usually, that means that if I do have sex, it's with A GIRL. If I have to spell that out, you might be a little slower than I thought. Some of the other reasons this isn't an option for us are less obvious and will never be disclosed here, but I assure you they're quite valid and pain-filled.

I realize that for some people, this might be just the way to start a family. And for you, I say, that's your choice. I hope it all works out for you.

But for us, that's not what we chose. And though I realize that this process is oh so foreign to some people and asking questions is a natural way to wrap your head around it, sometimes in life it's really a lot better for everyone if you just listen to the answers you're given instead of coming up with your own assvice suggestions on the topic.

And I promise, I'll try to take my own advice next time you don't want to spay or neuter your non-show-champion quality animal.

More Stolen Goodness
This one I got from ThisLife, which I found through the grand and funny treatise about infertility and life afterwards, A little pregnant. Section I: Slambook (Theme: Domestic Pleasures)
  1. All-time favorite tv series. Thirtysomething, though I haven't watched it in years and when I did, it seemed terribly dated. But at the time, those people had it going ON!
  2. Favorite room in your place. My bedroom.
  3. Household product you would recommend to others. A maid
  4. Favorite beer. Um. Something cheap but not cheap like Stroh's.
  5. Favorite snack. Pringles sour cream and onion.
Section II : Survey
  1. Name your price. Three fifty.
  2. How many close friends do you have? Like, 5.
  3. Where do you go when you need to feel loved? Home.
  4. Have you ever experimented with drugs? Define experiment
  5. If so, did you learn anything about yourself? If so, what? Yes. That weed can be pretty fun, but it gets old if you do it every day.
  6. Do you like surprises? Not really.
  7. Tell me something good that happened to you this week. Andreatan scored a goal!
  8. Name three things you are grateful for. Andreatan, our flock of dogs and Betty Shinka
  9. Why do you blog? Because I'm funny and you need to know about it.
  10. What do you want? Toffee crunch. When do I want it? NOW! And to poop in peace.

7.28.2005

I still get email from monstarr.com every day, telling me about special jobs I could apply for, if I so desired. Since I have a very good job at a company that has yet to even consider going under, I'm not in the market for a job. But I'm always in the market for a good laugh.

One of today's opportunities included the following requirements:

"Performs ongoing site maintenance, enters coed, updates web requests, performs Q & A on CMS bugs, does x-browser and x-platform testing on we3b pages packages files for ROW."

In the meantime, I'll be here, entering coed and performing Q&A on bugs.

7.27.2005

He Don't Ask For Much
Our miracle man, Zeus, he likes to sleep in a crate. We don't force him to, he just likes it so we always have 2 for him to choose from. Usually, he picks the grey one, leaving the bigger one open for anyone else or for middle-of-the-night Rabblerousers who need a time out. The big one holds both bassets, which makes it the logical choice for bassets who are acting up, alone or together, since it's really quite rare that only one of them is bad at a time for long. They totally egg each other on. I'll attribute that to their early days, since it couldn't possibly be due to our inability to train them.

Anyhoo, at some early-ass time o' the morning Rainie got her bark on, so I apparently got up and put her waddly ass in the big crate. I swear Andrea did this, but she swears it was me so who really knows?

When I got up for the eightmillionth time this morning, for reals, I let Rainie out of the crate, only to discover that Zeus was in there with her! Poor dude, he was totally minding his own business, snoring the snore of a man who has faced death and lived, when in comes a waddling whining mess of basset to interrupt me.

To his credit, he just went back to sleep and never made a peep. He may bark a lot during the day, but when it's time to sleep, that man knows how to sleep, basset roommate or not.

Saved By The Bell
I got into work early this morning to push out an emergency thingie that (so far) hasn't actually happened. When it does happen, my phone will be aflutter with calls from all sorts of people waiting for me to finish my part. Of course, now that I've been through these sorts of emergency thingies a few times, I've done all I can do in advance and now it's just a matter of waiting for the final approval.

So here I sat, waiting, when my cell phone rang. It was my mom, who instantly started in on something that concerned her, yet I have no control over. Lucky for me, the woman who's spearheading this emergency thingie came to my desk at that exact moment and I had to say good bye to mom for now.

7.26.2005

How It's Going, or I'm A Geezer After All
I know some of you are wondering how it's going with having Thomas around. I'll start off by saying that he's very well-behaved and for the most part, keeps to himself, running up the minutes on his cell phone in his room, creating art and surfing the internet most nights. He's done mostly everything we've asked and is always polite.

But (and you knew there would be a 'but' here) the truth is, it's really hard, having a third person in our small house. Our house is simply too small for this to be a workable solution, long term. It's not him at all, it's just that one quarter of our space is now someone else's space and I'm finding that I'm more of a fuddy-dutty about that than I thought I was or that I would be. I'm sure I'll miss him when he does move on but I can't stop wishing that would be sooner, rather than later.

Ew
Last night I finally got home and onto my couch, where I sat, comatose staring at the Magic Box, absolutely minding my own bidness when the World's Largest, Slowest Fly came around. I did my best to ignore it but eventually it landed on the rim of my water bottle, instantly making this personal.

I waited till she landed then struck, finally squishing her to her death. Later, I hear Andrea say 'ewww, maggots' and sure enough, homeskillet was packed to the gills with babieflies (not to be confused with booty flies) who, thanks to my fly-killing mastery, would never come to be.

That's me, the fly abortionist.

It Used To Be My Best Event
There was a time when I was LizDoughty, Master of Sleeping. Through the night, I'd sleep and even well into the morning, if I could. Sleep on, sleep through, it was all the same.

Where this comes from, I just don't know. My mom wakes up at 5:45 am EVERY SINGLE DAY and my birthmom conks out at 10:30 pm every night, waking at an equally insane hour. So it's not learned from example, this sleeping that I used to do, nor is it hereditary. Like so many things about me, it's just me.

But lately, I can't quite pinpoint for how long, it's not working like it's supposed to. Middle of the night, I'm up, early in the morning, I'm up (granted there's the 7 am taking my temperature thing that's been going on since January and I'm sure that doesn't help) up, up, up, like little Sammi who just wants to be up these days, I am up.

And now, I'm tired and it's not that fun. Make it stop so I can get back to my event.

7.25.2005

Holy Crapola
I just completed a ClearC@se delivery -- sans issues.

I cannot be certain that the world is still spinning.

Just When You Thought You Were Safe
A Special Community Alert
A Message from Dr. Delores A. Jacobs
July 25, 2005

Dear Friends
I am writing to let you know that today the California Attorney General issued petition language for one of three proposed constitutional amendments that would repeal existing protections and responsibilities for legally-recognized domestic partners, and permanently ban marriage protections for same-sex couples. With the Attorney General’s approved title and summary, proponents of this discriminatory amendment will now begin to circulate petitions and gather the nearly one million signatures needed to qualify the measure for the ballot in June of 2006.

In addition, this week the Attorney General is expected to issue title and summary for two additional ballot initiatives that would similarly amend the California Constitution. Each proposed amendment would repeal existing protections, and permanently ban the rights and responsibilities currently available to senior citizen couples and same-sex couples legally registered as domestic partners. In response to these ballot initiatives, Equality for All, a statewide coalition of fair-minded individuals, organizations and community leaders, was launched in May 2005 to defeat any proposed ballot initiative that would amend the California Constitution to permanently deny marriage protections for same-sex couples and eliminate the rights, protections and responsibilities afforded to legally-recognized domestic partners.

The nation will be watching as California tackles this important issue. Join our efforts to educate San Diegans about the impact of marriage discrimination and marriage equality by _volunteering today!_ (http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M710093338632500916924465)

To read the Attorney General's Title and Summary _click here_ (http://www.kintera.org/TR.asp?ID=M710093188632500916924465).

For more information about the statewide coalition, please contact Sid Voorakkara (619) 795-4408 or _sid@eqca.org_ (mailto:sid@eqca.org).

Yours truly,
Dr. Delores A. Jacobs
Chief Executive Officer
The San Diego LGBT Community Center

Just Another Day At The Sperm Bank
Now, for the most part, I've kept pretty quiet here about our adventures at the sperm bank. And I'll continue to do so. While I'm on the subject, let me implore you, please, don't ask for a status on the Murray-making project. When it is time to give a status, a very witty one will be given here. Until then, one won't be given.

That said, Saturday we headed up to our friendly neighborhood sperm bank to drop off the equipment we'd rented. Being the weekend, they don't have a receptionist there, they just have folks who do inseminations, which is all they do on the weekends. When we'd picked up the equipment, they'd said to call, in case they weren't there this weekend.

Well, I need not have worried. When we arrived, the World's Smallest Waiting Room was PACKED TO THE GILLS with sperm-purchasing ladies who were all waiting for their turn at the insemination station. Because the equipment didn't have my name on it, I wanted to speak with someone before we just left it there.

So we waited in the corner while the uneasy silence rested upon all of us. Why we don't talk to each other, I don't know. We all know why we're there, there's no mystery, and if it all worked, our kids would be the exact same age (and yes, they could have the same donor, who knows). But no, we all sit in that uncomfortable silence waiting for the door to open and one of them to be called in.

It got a whole lot more uncomfortable when the single (* or at least, there alone at that moment) woman who had been standing in the corner steps toward the woman who was flipping through the book of donor profiles as she says 'do you mind if I look at that?'

Without waiting for an answer, she reaches across the woman's companion's lap, to the book, where she proceeds to flip the open book to the page she needed to see. The woman holding the book says to her 'do you need to see it right now?' and the flipper says 'yes, I do,' all the while she is flipping furiously. The book holder shares a very special stunned look with Andrea while I stand there, doing everything in my power not to laugh out loud.

The Mad Flipper sees whatever she needed to see, then steps back into the corner and says 'let's just relax. We all need to relax. This won't work if we don't all relax.'

Pot, kettle, black?

And lady, if you're reading this, THAT WAS JUST ABOUT THE RUDEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE.

Later, the sitting-down lady turns to the woman next to her and says 'I have those glasses! I call them my Bollywood glasses' as again, I try very hard not to laugh.

When the door opened and the Sperm Wranglers started calling people in, I was insanely grateful to get out of there and meet up with Amy so we could all laugh hysterically and remind each other to just relax while complimenting each other on our Bollywood glasses.

7.22.2005

Good News, Bad News, Re: Betty
The good news is that Betty Shinkah still loves me. That will not change.

The other good news is that the salesguy, Ron, who dropped my key and scratched the little Mazda logo on it BEFORE WE EVEN LEFT THE LOT WHEN WE BOUGHT THE CAR gave the okay to replace both of my keys and that's all done.

However, the right box for Betty's new windshield arrived with the wrong windshield inside. How is that possible? No comprende. But now Betty is windshield-less and waiting for a new glassy front. Aren't we all?

I'll keep the mazda 6 through the weekend and pick Betty up late Monday, I hope. Have a good weekend, sweet Betty. I miss you so.

Betty Gets Fixed
No, not neutered or spayed. Her new windshield came in and she's getting worked on now. I have a fine Mazda 6 in exchange for her and though it's not exactly a Hot Car, it's just fine and similar enough to Betty that I feel at home. The Nice People at Hertz even have sattelite radio in there!

Since it's probably what I'll get once Betty's lease ends (and my heart breaks into 1000 pieces), it's good to know that it's a pretty nice car. Even compared to Betty.

The Cheat Is Here
Some facilities guy is walking around, turning Every Light Switch in my vincinity off and on repeatedly.

Yep, they work. And those that don't? I took out myself. Now I'd like to do some work so could you ix-neh on the light-switch-turning-on-and-off-heh?

I Had No Idea
That someone had made a movie about the A-Team. Okay, it's not about the A-Team, but it could be. If you think hockey is fun and a bunch of madcap recreational players are fun to watch, check it out.

It's DAMN funny. Thanks, Cheddah!

Not What I Wanted To Hear
(I took this from an email Renton's mom sent out to our beagle friends list. I'm too sad to rewrite it)

We helped Renton to the Bridge this morning at around 9 after a really hard, long night. His passing was very peaceful and our wonderful vet, Dr. True, came in on her day off to help us through it. She clearly loved him very much too - but he was impossible not to love. She also sent us flowers today, which I thought was so sweet. We let Ellie say goodbye and after a very quick sniff, she knew he wasn't there anymore.

We're all heartbroken and I still can't accept that he's really not here anymore.

There's all this stuff I want to say, but I just can't put anything coherent together.

Thank you all for everything over the last 5 years and please keep my precious Ellie in your prayers as she learns how to live without her big brother.

7.21.2005

Closing bugs just now, I realized for the first time that 'foxed' is only 1 critical vowel away from 'fixed.'

Now I'm tempted to mark my fixed bugs as FOXED. Because that's a whole lot cooler than fixed.

7.20.2005

I've Said This Before
And I'll say it again.

THE BATHROOM AT WORK IS NOT A BREAK ROOM. It is not an acceptable place to talk loudly about your wedding while people who mind their own business come in to use the room for the purpose for which it was intended. It's just not.

Please please please ladies, have that discussion somewhere else so those of us who see the bathroom as a room for doing big business and little else can do that business without you standing 3 feet away yamming it up.

Were I a little less poop shy, and had they not seen who I was on the way in, I would have just starting farting wildly, to see what they'd do.

Plus, yes, all that talk about weddings, about being able to have the kind of real wedding they'd always imagined and no doubt took for granted, makes me a little sad and a little jealous.

More Stolen Goodness
Blame it on The Sickness or some bizarre need to reminisce, but here's another stolen meme:

10 Years Ago: I was just graduating from college, living in Eugene and selling shoes at the mall. Yes, I wore the ever-sexy referee striped polyester shirt and no that shirt did not get me laid. I had also just met Andreatan and was wondering how to pursue that, when I lived there and she was here.

5 Years Ago: Shit, I can't even remember where I was working then. No doubt at some dot-com that is now long-gone. We were renting our condo, until our Greedy Landlord decided to raise the rent and within a few months money had fallen from the sky and we bought our little house.

1 Year Ago: I was working at the same place I am now, we were getting ready to launch a major redesign so I was working a zillion hours, fighting with ClearCase for the first time and probably more than a bit grumpy.

Yesterday: I was sick, day one. We also left work early to go and pick up a tank full of frozen sperm. I guess that's not something you do every day.

Today: I'm still sick and the sperm sits in our basement, waiting for my ovaries to make a decision.

5 Snacks I enjoy: Raisins (even when they're not free), Ice Cream, Toffee Crunch, Peanuts and Sour Cream & Onion Pringles.

5 Bands I know the Lyrics to most of their songs: The Beatles, Carly Simon (when she wasn't bitter like she is now. Carly, if you're reading this, I'm sorry but your last album was a gigantic bitter anthem toward the world), Yes and I'm now realizing that these days, I listen to so much thumpa-thumpa music that I don't know a lot of lyrics anymore.

5 Things I would do with $100,000,000: Pay off our house. Buy a bigger house outright. Sit in that house and get fat.

5 Locations I would like to run away to: Seaside Oregon, Astoria Oregon and my little house in San Jose. That's it.

5 Bad Habits I Have: Cluttered house, bitching about people who drive me nuts too much, eating tasty foods that aren't good for my ample waistline, occasionally forgetting that I play hockey just for fun, not for a winning record. I guess that's 4.

5 Thing I really like doing: Travelling (but only for a week at a time), eating foods that are bad for me, reading a good book, watching dumb shit on TV in my bed, and of course playing ice hockey.

5 Things I would never wear: Thongs, those low-waisted tight jeans that show off the thong I'm not wearing, shirts that are too small for my size, a bikini and anything spandex outside of the hockey locker room, the happy place where all manner of too-tight clothes are forgiven. Oh and the livestrong-esque wristbands.

5 TV shows I like: (in order) Dead Like Me, Huff, Queer as Folk, The L Word, Six Feet Under. I guess we're getting our money's worth out of our premium channels if those are my favorites.

5 Movies I like: Office Space, Mars Attacks, Galaxy Quest, Field of Dreams and Beaches because it made my high school best friend hold my hand. I would like any movie that inspired her to do that.

5 Famous people I would like to meet: None, actually. There was a year where I met a few semi-famous to actually famous people and for the most part (the most amazing exception being Joan Baez) they were all ASSHOLES. What I get from them is their work, I can enjoy it, or not.

5 Biggest Joys at the Moment: Our fabulous new patio, my fabulous new car, Andreatan, hockey and the hope of becoming a mom.

5 Favorite Toys: My sidekick (which kicks ass), digital camera because it lets me take funny movies, ipod, flourescent yellow hockey backpack. Is that 5?

Seriously
I feel like ass warmed over.

The Sickness, Day Deux
Everything hurts. I even have a fever. Rivers of snot, aches and pains that won't quit. And yes, I managed to play hockey last night but I certainly wasn't my normal self, I didn't play nearly as hard as I normally do. If you were there, please don't tell me if you couldn't tell. That would make it worse.

I came home feeling like absolute shit and laid in bed, moaning in that charming way that Andrea loves so much. If I didn't have so much work to do, my ass would be home in bed, right now.

But I do, so it's not. Ugh. Suck suck suck.

7.19.2005

The Sickness
Andrea started it, but I caught it too. All the symptoms that Nyquil allegedly cures? I got 'em.

Aren't you jealous? Achoo.

Wanna Stay In SF Tonight?
We Pricelined a room at the Holiday Inn something or other in San Fran for tonight and won't be using it after all. In an ideal world, you'd give us a little smudge of cash in exchange for the room, but at this point, it's going unused so if anyone wants our room tonight, lemme know.

For Once, I'm Without Original Inspiration
So I swiped this:

1. What is your occupation? Content Developer
2. What color is your underwear? Grey
3. What are you listening to right now? The delightful sound of WhileSeated typing.
4. What was the last thing you ate? Peanut butter granola bar. And apple juice.
5. Do you wish on stars? Once in a while
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Red, like my pants.
7. How is the weather right now? Hot but not terribly so.
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My mom
9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Well, I swiped it from a blog, so probably.
10. How old are you today? 32
11. Favorite drink? Coke.
12. Favorite sport to watch play? Ice hockey. With girls and boys.
13. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yeah. I've been blonde and a horrific purpley shade of red.
14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Contacts. I'll bet you didn't know that, which is sort of the point.
15. Pets? 4 silly, wonderful dogs
16. Favorite month? No opinion
17. Favorite food? Tofu house.
18. What was the last movie you watched? The Pacifier
19. Favorite day of the year? Our anniversary, Sept. 6. It's usually over a long weekend, so even better!
20. What do you do to vent anger? Fume silently and be full of pent-up rage.
21. Fall or Spring? Spring
22. Hugs or kisses? Neither, unless you're Andrea.
23. Cherry or Blueberry? Cherry
24. Do you want your friends to blog you back? Sure, everyone wants to know this stuff!
25. Who is most likely to respond? Cheddah or Andrea or Viv. How's that for vague?
26. Who is least likely to respond? Amy. Because saying so will make her do it.
27. Who do you live with? Andreatan (person), Rainie, Patrick (bassets), Zeus (beagle) and Gus (pointer mix)
28. When was the last time you cried? Last night, thinking about my Grandma.
29. What is on the floor of your closet? A whole bunch of clothes.
30. Who is the friend you have had the longest? DanO. Since somewhere around 3rd grade.
31. What did you do last night? Scoured my chart with a professional, had dinner, then watched gardening shows on TV.
32. Favorite smell? I guess vanilla. Least favorite? Ass.
33. What inspires you most? My inner muse.
34. What are you afraid of? Being out of work so long that we lose our house. (I'm totally working now, this is just fallout from being a dot com victim for so long).
35. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Spicy, with cheese!
36. Favorite car? My brand-new absolutely lovely Madza RX8, Shinka!
37. Favorite dog breed? Basset, though I'll always love my beagles.
38. Number of keys on your key ring? 1 on the car key, along with my Grandma's keychain.
39. How many years at your current job? 1.5, which is something of a record for me.
40. Favorite day of the week? Saturday, I guess.

There. Your turn.

The Best Movie Reviews
Statler and Waldorf, those guys in the balcony from the Muppets, are now reviewing movies for movies.com. So funny, you must see.

Thanks Heather for that one.

7.18.2005

Cheap Tunes
I just found this music site which, though not nearly as spiffy as itunz, has a shitload of recent music for dirt cheap.

And I'll Say This
While I'm mentioning the time I lived in Portland, I'll also mention that MY LIFE TOTALLY SUCKED while I lived there. But I had a very nice apartment.

Sometimes, There Is No Other Option
Most of the time, I keep my a fair amount of my smartass remarks to myself, or I just share them here. It's pretty rare that I actually say what I'm thinking, even in the face of blatant stupidity.

But on Sunday, after I sat in the car waiting in front while Andrea went inside the crazyass plant store in the totally crowded no-place-to-park-ever Asian Plaza to pick up our new bamboo (heh, that sounds funny, new bamboo) and a couple of cheap but cool pots for about 10 minutes, she finally came out. I leapt out of the car to help load pots and new bamboo. Just as I was standing there holding the pot, trying to find a place for it, this self-important security guy came by, walkie-talkie in tow, for emphasis, and said 'you guys are okay, just keep on loading.'

I admit it. It was hot and my tolerance for the obvious was quite low. So I said "what else would we do?" quiet and politely enough that he was totally confused. Spun in a circle while he was trying to figure out whether or not to walk away or come back and make us sit in the fire lane longer just so he could gain the upper hand in the situation.

I totally understand that some people might like to park in the fire lane. I also understand that were there a fire, I would be the first to get the car out of the way so the firefighters could do whatever they needed to do. But if I'm standing there, holding a goddamn pot, it's pretty clear that we're not parking.

This is like the time my old Jetta died in the left hand turn lane in Portland. I think on the corner of Burnside and something, right before the bridge. Anyway, that day there was a tremendous windstorm and I'd let my ex set up jumper cables on my brand new Jetta to give some lady a jump. I'm still not sure what went wrong but it blew my alternator, so the car would abruptly stop moving, the alarm would go on and the only way it would stop was if I got out of the car and turned the key in the driver's side door.

That happened about 3 times, and finally the car pooped it's last poop right there on Burnside. We sat there trying not to panic, lights and horn ablazing as the wind whipped around us and the rain clouds swarmed. We must have called for help, while we were stuck there in the left turn lane, blocking traffic. I remember something about AAA giving you priority for tow trucks if you're blocking traffic. Do with that information what you will, but we had a truck there in about 10 minutes. Not bad for a blustery day.

As we waited inside the car, lights ablazing and horn a-bleating, my ex overheard these two chippies on the street across from us bitching about my bleating and flashing car. One said "why the hell are they just sitting there?" as if the bleating and blazing didn't indicate any kind of issue. Her friend replied "because they're law-abiding citizens." OMG yes, how did you know that I wanted to spend my day sitting here in a broken car as the passers-by make mean comments and angry drivers bleat their horns back at me?

So I guess I had that moment in mind when Mr. Security Guy gave us the okay and I gave him the kind of snide remark I wished I'd had ready for those chippies in Portland.

The Little Shit
This is just the 335th in an ongoing series of events but I'm pretty irked. Saturday morning, we hung around the house while Mary (aka the Elf of Fan Installation) got settled. To get our of her way, we headed out to the backyard to water our still-not-planted-yet plants. I heard the Little Shit Who Lives Behind Us stomping on aluminium cans, and had a feeling that soon enough, we'd get to enjoy a projectile from him.

And I was right. This time, he threw a stick over at a pretty high velocity. Had my head or any other body part been in it's way, there would be an angry sore turning into a bruise right now, thanks to The Little Shit. So we shouted "HEY!" which sent Little Shit running inside, where he peeked out. I went to the garage and grabbed a chair to stand on, 100% ready to hand out my own can of Whoop Ass to Mr. Little Shit.

But he didn't come out again. I wouldn't either if an angry dyke was looming over my back fence, shouting obscenities at me.

Just you wait, Little Shit. It is time to snag the most menacing of our Spanish-speaking neighbors as my translator and head over there to explain that next time, we're calling Los Police.

Whaddya think of them apples?

How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Okay, it was just a weekend but we seemed to cram an awful lot of fun stuff into those two little days. Saturday, we went to Raging Waters for the first time ever and I have to ask myself, self, why did you wait so damn long? Not only is it packed with fun water slides, there are also a zillion little pools with a variety of water accessories to hang out in. And I can't neglect to mention the fatass wavepool, where we sat for far too long in the shallow end, letting the ends of the waves wash over us.

Yep, I'm a bit sunburned but totally happy we went. While we were gone, a team of elves entered our home and installed our brand new fart fan! Here's proof.

We had time to do a drive-by visit to Heather and Gerald's BBQ just in time for fondue! Good times, good times, then off to another totally fun A-Team 2 game. We lost 3-2 on a 5 on 3 penalty kill in the last minute of the game. Somewhere along the way, Jena and I started inserting the 'annnttth' sound of the buzzer in our conversations, so on Sunday, when I was coaching them (wearing shorts because I brought enough hockey gear and clean understuff for my games, but not a sweatshirt to coach in. Brrr!) I made this movie: For Jena's enjoyment!

Sunday: hockey mania. Le Snack enjoyed another non-loss (a sort of loud 2-2 tie), then I coached Andrea's green team to victory (okay, maybe they totally did it themselves and I just stood on the bench making jokes and a list of things that ryhme with ice:

  • Nice
  • Spice
  • Rice
  • Slice
  • MICE
Went on to my first A-Team game in a while. I had really missed them and the fact that we won, 6-1 made it even better. I've turned over the reins to Bob, who said that if we won, he was captain, if we lost, I was. Last night, Bob was. And he scored 2 terrific goals. A totally amazing night.

Came home, totally tired but wired, in time for Thomas to tell us his buddy is leaving for Japan in a week and the only time they could hang out was that instant. Which was somewhere around midnight. We told him to drive safely and we'd see him tomorrow, which is now today. He's been doing a few crazy teenager things lately and since I'm not his mom and since I worried that he wasn't doing enough crazy teenager things, I'm glad he's out there doing them. We always remind him to drive safely and he's been terrific about calling when he's not coming home.

One last bit of news: we have named the Tiki. His name is Tyrone Tiki.

7.15.2005

Sometimes, I Forget
I mean, really forget that being gay = being different than a lot of folks. It's not like I wear some sort of ginormous queer identification label on my forehead and with my longer hair and new-found tendency to wear shirts that are made specifically for women, I often 'pass' as straight (no, the purse does NOT do anything as a queer icon, even it is flourescent yellow). Which is fine. I'm just enough on the edge that guys don't bother me much (e.g. hit on me) and for the most part, it's a good place to be.

But then I go to the ob/gyn's office, which is PACKED TO THE GILLS with perfect-looking straight women and their khaki-wearing husbands. For once, I go alone so there I am, surrounded by these women, their makeup and perfect hairdos, me in my baggy shorts and feeling oh-so-very not like them.

And maybe that's what this is about. With that kind (read upper-middle class ladies who are more likely than not to be housewivesof crowd, I just don't fit in. Those women are like the girls I grew up with, who are probably very nice people and may have been all along (just like I was) but were so snotty to me all those years that I'd never even give them a chance now because they didn't give me a chance back then.

Yeah, it's probably more about that than actually being gay. But I still feel weird there. I can see why studies show that nice lesbians avoid health care, just because you can feel really weird there. And holy shit, if they don't bother to read my chart one more time, to see that I don't use birth control and despite the recent, very costly entrance of sperm into our lives, I'm still not concerned with getting pregnant from the copious amounts of sex I have, I think I'm going to smack them upside the head.

But that's just me.

Kids Today
Thomas called me last night around 8 pm. I assumed it was the 'I made it home from LA okay' call that I'd asked him to make, but no. It was the 'I'm staying overnight and leaving here at 3 am to go to work tomorrow' call.

Not being the man's parent and frankly, enjoying not having him home for a couple of days, I rode the line between landlord and parent, saying well, get at least some sleep before you make that drive, okay?

7.14.2005

Ubiquity: Achieved
Talking to a co-worker who also plays ice hockey about the joy that is Ice Oashis, he said the following:

"Wait, I think I know who you are. Red pants?"

YES!!! I AM FAMOUS! AND I WEAR RED PANTS!

In case you were wondering.

The End Of An Era
Found out late last night that the beagle rescue website I've been manning for about 5 years is now being reborn by someone 'with more time to devote to it.' Probably a good thing in the end, but the way I was told kinda smarts.

I always start these things with the best of intentions then watch idly as it goes down the shitter. The truth is, I don't want to update it anymore, my heart is long out of beagle rescue. Since Alice died, my heart is still not totally healed and may never be. Yes, she was the most amazing beagle there ever was and yes, I am eternally grateful to beagle rescue for bringing us together, but no, I've moved on in my passions and just don't belong in the animal rescue community the way I used to.

I say this knowing that Dena and Walt still welcome us into the rescue fold, and I appreciate that. The burnout rate among rescuers is insanely high and I can tell you why. Because people, and the dumb things they do to their animals, get really fucking old. My tolerance for those people is now very very low so I guess that's reflected in the minimal effort I put into the website.

I do wish my replacement well. She's a very nice lady who apparently has scads of time on her hands for such endeavors. I just wish they'd made the transition a little more pleasant instead of just ripping it from my cold, dead, underinterested fingers.

The Crack Report
After an exhaustive inspection that included a shitload of finger and hand prints being added to Betty's cracked windshield and a me giving a knowing glare to the Ass From Parts, the service manager guy finally concluded that, indeed, Betty's crack is Not My Fault.

Now, if those Asses knew me, they'd know that I'm often the first person to say 'yep, my fault on this one' and I would ante up. But since they're used to dealing with the General Public, who, has been known to use lies to get ahead, they had to go with their much-coveted 'procedure' that involves their own brand of fact-finding.

Which in this case, looked like this:

And was followed by assurances that it would get taken care of. I also politely said 'I won't be talking to the parts guy I spoke with this morning. That whole award-winning service thing, I'm just not seeing it so far,' with that midwestern smile on my face to confuse him.

I also saw Ron, who sold me Betty then held us hostage for an HOUR afterwards to show us a bunch of shit I could have figured out on my own just to satistfy their stupid survey. He asked why I hadn't called to thank him. Yep, he was probably kidding but I assure you, I wasn't laughing.

Buying a car is just WAY harder than it needs to be. Good thing Betty's cute.

The Upside To Betty's Crack Drama
Is, of course, the fact that I now have a license to drone on and on about CRACK. Which, like ham, is always funny.

Betty's Crack
My poor Betty. I think she was trying to shield me from the damage to her windshield. She didn't want me to know just how big her poor crack is. But the truth is, it's huge. It runs from the corner by the driver's side all the way across her front, to between the windshield wipers.

I had another long talk with Oak Tree Mazda service, who is sort of being helpful. However, their parts department were absolute assholes. Well, just one guy, but I assure you, he was an ASSHOLE. Award-winning service, my ass. Ass.

Bottom line: I have to get Betty's ass in there ASAP so the service manager and I can arm wrestle over who's going to pay for Betty's crack repair. They have to order a new windshield but they won't until someone pays, either me or Mazda and they can't determine that until they meet Betty's faulty crack. Hence the ASSHOLE drama in the parts department, him and his 'procedure he has to follow' before the new crack-free windshield can be ordered. Follow this, pal. Just get my poor Betty a new windshield. When I asked for his manager, he said the manager is off today. How do you run a business with no management, with no escalation point?

Last night, Betty and I talked about it. I assured her that we'd get through this. And we will.

7.13.2005

You Would Do This Too
If a new employee at your work came into your life and that employee's name was K.C., don't even try to tell me you'd do anything but refer to him (in your head) as Mr. And The Sunshine Band.

I Will Tell You This
That if this bill actually passes, I will brave the crowds and whatever weather may abound to take my turn and gain the same rights as the rest of the country.

And I would cry, oh yes, I would cry.

I've said it before but it's still true: imagine, if you will, that you find the love of your life, that he or she is everything you've ever wanted (and more!), that after almost 9 years together you're pretty goddamn sure things are going to work out, that never in your life will you find someone else that even begins to compare to their sense of humor, their compassion, their unfaltering devotion to you, their unwavering support of everything you try, to the way their smile lights up your heart.

Then imagine that oh so very private kind of love causing people to hate you, to literally spit on your love, just because your love is the same gender you are.

Most of the time, I live my life with Andrea, grateful to have her with me at all, to not be alone in my life, to have laughter and joy, to have someone to hold my hand in the dark times and to cheer like a maniac when I play hockey. But sometimes, I'm around my straight friends who can easily forget that my relationship endures the same kinds of mundane struggles about housework that theirs does, or that I'm even in a relationship at all and I wonder when, if ever, we'll be on equal footing with the rest of the world and what it would take for that to happen.

If this bill passes, maybe in some small way, we'll gain a tiny piece of that footing and my relationship with Andrea will count for something more to the rest of the world than it seems to now.

But no matter what, it already means the world to my heart. And though that's what matters in the end, I'd sure as hell like the kind of public recognition that everyone else gets, too.

More About The Crack
(Mainly because how many chances in life do you get to say 'More about the crack?') It looks like Betty's windshield is cracked from the inside. Well, it doesn't just look like it, it IS cracked from the inside. Which rules out any crazy debris or rocks hitting it.

The Mazda dealer said that it's rare for cracked windshields to be covered by the warranty, but that I should bring it in to get looked at before they decide. I said "well, the car is less than a month old. I will fight that tooth and nail because it's simply not my fault."

And so my fight with Oak Tree Mazda begins. May I remind you, good people of Oak Tree Mazda, that I have yet to fill out the survey about the buying experience that was so goddamn important to you, the survey that mattered more than what I wanted to know about the car, the survey that the sales guy held me and Betty Shinka hostage for over AN HOUR after I'd bought it to make sure he covered. Yeah, that one. I could still change my answers, you know.

NOT FAIR!
Betty Shinka's windshield has cracked. WTF!!!

Susan tells me that Blogger isn't feeling too well today. Test.

7.12.2005

More Haiku
Big Tiki Goodness
Taking up residence in
Our fabulous yard!

Spend what you like on
The fabulous yard. Yard cash
Means equity-- yea!

Unfrozen sperm trip
Not completed. Will try it
Again, with feeling

I don't understand
Your modern ways, says caveman
Lawyer. He funny.

Haiku
Mom: You pay too much
To Sydney, you should not go
Watch your money, now!

To Sydney I go
Pay too much, or not. I go.
And fuck the mortgage.

Oh wait. The mortgage
I can pay. Other bills, too
Shussh, mom. I'm 32.

Mommy College
Amy has long said that all mothers attend some variation of Mommy College, where techniques for things like nagging and Valuable Life Lessons are taught. Not all mothers attend the same Mommy College, in fact, I'm discovering that some didn't go at all or that they attempted to attend via correspondence course.

But mine sure as hell did attend and one of the things they must have covered was 'when it's okay to spend money.' Apparently, it's okay to spend gobs of money converting your overgrown backyard into a Tiki-laden oasis but buying a plane ticket to Australia for a family wedding is cause for concern about your child's ability to manage her budget.

Huh?

And of course, having gone to Daughter College (which, from what I've seen, is a completely different school than Son College, a topic that fascinates me to no end but that I'll probably never address here), I immediately started explaining how we really DO have the money for this, how Andrea got her ticket to Australia for free, how we have some ching in the bank, etc. etc. etc.

And then, I pulled out of the Daughter College tailspin and said politely, but firmly, "We have the money for this." And for once, there was no hanging up on either side and only a small amount of the disapproving tone hanging in the air.

I think on some level it's impossible to have your parents see you as a fully-formed adult, no matter how old you are, no matter how long you've been in a quality relationship or held down a job. Even though you're going to a family wedding, in Mommy College graduates' minds', that trip is actually the ever-growing pile of candy bars that once made up our credit card debt, a purchase of equal necessity as that pile of candy bars. I know I'm feeling the pain of the passage of time when we deal with Thomas -- in my mind he's still a 12 year old but then I blink and notice that there's a mostly adult person who is living in my house.

Victory At Last!
The A-Team 2 played a great game last night and pulled off our 3rd win of the season. Great effort by all and thanks for bearing with me as I got the feel for playing center again. I was a little panicky at first, losing faceoffs hither and yon, but later got my groove on and started winning them. Now all I need to do is learn *where* to win them.

But it's all good, because we played well, had fun and we won. And yes, Dan, with you on the ice, we won. So there!

7.11.2005

For Those About To Rock
I salute you!

Garden Mania!
We went apeshit this weekend, buying plants and planting accessories all weekend. Nurserys, the totally rad Store That Sells Tikis, and the secret cool nursery location, Target! were not safe when we rolled into the lot. Say goodbye to your supply of totally hip plants, because they're going home with us!

We've laid out the plants roughly where we want them to go and will start the planting process this week. So far, we've set up two canvas chairs out on our new patio and have spent mucho time sitting out there, enjoying the view of the stars and palm trees. It thrills me to no end that 5 years after we moved in, we can finally use the biggest portion of our backyard.

Why the hell did we wait so long?

Woot!
Did I mention that I've managed to talk Andrea into going back to DisneyWorld and that I found us some super cheapass airline tickets/hotel combination to boot? We're staying outside of the World this time, in a much smaller hotel that lacks Disney charm but makes up for it with a free breakfast and easier access to transportation than our totally charming but had terrible food and our room was a zillion miles away from the bus stop hotel of last year. We're also renting a car so we can drive our damn selves to and from the parks and we can enjoy tasty meals outside of the World, since for the most part, Food Of The World sucks.

I'm so excited! Woo!

Drive-by Babies!
Finally, a not-awful pic of me with Sam and Riley:

7.08.2005

Our Long Night With Patrick
During the night, Patrick went outside and put his nose into someplace he shouldn't have. I'm guessing it was the metal bands that held the exciting flagstone together in their pallets but whatever it was, it ripped the shit out of his little black nose. He came looking for us (the doggie equivalent of a 3 year old crying out for mommy), whining and walking around all confused. Of course, this happened at 3:30 am, when else would it happen?

But we didn't know about the ripping of the nose right away, so we brought him into our room. That's when I noticed a little piece of his nose sticking up in the air, followed by noticing the blood and rest of missing nose skin. I do my best to clean it up, but after all, it's late and dark and I'm very, so very tired and Rainie is so very up in my business as I try to clean Patrick up and all I want is to go back to bed.

Which we do, until 5:30, when Patrick remembers that his nose hurts and starts crying for us again. We calm him down, until 6:30, when again, the cold harsh world surrounds our little Pat and the crying begins again. We all finally give up around 7:30 when Patrick sees that Andrea is outside talking to Mr. Ed about our shaping-up-nicely patio and decides once again that if both mommies are home, they most certainly need to be in the same location (he often will get wigged out if we're not together, running back and forth between rooms, hinting like Lassie used to that it's time to consolidate his parents).

And so we all gave up and got up pretty early, Thomas included.

Sorry about your nose, Pat, but was it really worth all this? Probably, when he's most likely sleeping it off on the couch while our asses are attempting to work so we can pay for the upkeep of his highness' ass.

7.07.2005

I So Wish
That I could talk to my Grandma right now. Just about stuff, and Bob Barker, and playing cards and the pinching of butts on airplanes.

In Case You Were Wondering...
WhileSeated has a new nickname: Top Donkey!

Brays to you, pal! You and your HotShoes.

Renton: The Miracle Man
I'm totally in tears at this, it's just about the Best News Ever (blatantly copied from his mom's email to the beagle list):

Well, geez, Renton pulled another miracle!!! I'm so sorry that I didn't write sooner - I think I've been unable to believe it and scared to jinx it... Tuesday morning he seemed not quite so painful, so we figured we'd hold off until the afternoon... Then in the afternoon he seemed a little better, so we waited until this morning - when he got himself outside and then back in without help! Yay!!!

My bubba is still with us and seems to be feeling MUCH better. I have no idea what happened, or why he's better now, but we'll take it! This afternoon, for the first time in several days, he even got the littlest bit playful with me.

He's eating well (he had chicken all day Monday, and now he's getting some canned in with his regular food) and while still limping noticeably, his back legs are working well enough that he can get in and out of the house and (sometimes with a little push) get himself up from laying down.

He's just so miraculous you guys - God has sent us our share of challenges, but we've also had way more than our share of miracles.

We also are having a new A/C installed tomorrow (yep, it was dead), so that should make him feel better too. We've been relying on misters, fans, and a squirt bottle of water for Ren... Ellie seems to not mind the heat and seems MUCH more relaxed now that Ren's feeling better. She knew something was really wrong...

HOOORAYY for RENTON!!!

7.06.2005

Woo!
After shlepping it around for over a month, I finally did more than just put my edited thesis on my desk -- I opened it and made edits, up to page 7. It's some bit of progress and I'll take it.

Gus Hates To Leave Our House

Ever since he was boarded at Spots twice in one week, he's been loathe to leave the house and has made every effort to be as good a boy as possible. Check him out, paws grazing the edge of the door, refusing to step foot outside.

That's a far cry from the man who tried to escape every chance he got a couple years ago.

I Will Tell You This
About $1.50 night at the local cheapie theater: unless you like hearing a theater full of cheapass people (who, by virtue of being there on cheapass day, are just like me) talk IN THEIR OUTSIDE VOICES FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE, you're really better off forking out the extra $2 for regular price day.

Though, eventually I gave into it and and periodically spoke the obvious -- "OH, THEY'RE SINGING!" "HE'S THE BAD GUY!" and nobody seemed to mind.

7.05.2005

Stalkers Are We
Every other Sunday, Susan doesn't work at night and we find ourselves driving past their exit thinking, hmm, maybe we should stop by. With Dairy Queen.

Most weeks, we even call first, like grownups. Well, grownups who fart and burp a lot and who drive a hot car.

This week, there was no answer on either the cell phone or the home phone so Andrea started leaving a long-ass message on the home machine, saying over and over 'are you home now?' 'what about now?' for about 5 minutes.

And the thing didn't cut us off! So she kept talking and we kept driving our hot car until we got to their house, where we discovered it was packed full, full to the gills, I tell you, with people we didn't recognize.

Now, we'll crash a party if it's people we know, but strangers? Nope. So we turned around and drove slowly by again, only to have Susan spot us there in our hot car there on the street right in front of her house just as Andrea screamed into the phone: YOU ARE HOME. YOU'RE CHEATING ON US!!! followed by me saying 'She totally saw us.'

We got our DQ then drove by to see if The Strangers had left. They were just leaving so we came barging into the house saying 'you cheated on us!' the way Susan says when she sees us post pics of other babies here on the Internet.

Back at ya, missie!

Renton
About 5 years ago, we adopted a little old beagle who we named Ellie, after our friend's sweet beagle, Ellie. We struggled for 6 months, 8 days to keep Ellie comfortable until cancer finally took her from us in October of 2000.

Around that time, the other Ellie's family was inspired by our taking in a sick little girl and they took in a Dogue De Bordeux who had been through hell and back. He's a big, sweet, beautiful boy who instantly became best friends with their Ellie. The two have been insperable ever since.

I just heard that Renton has taken a turn for the worse, that he can no longer move his back legs and they're probably going to have to put him down today. My heart aches for my friend and for her Ellie. Please keep Renton in your thoughts and I can only hope that my Ellie and Alice and now, Grandma are there to welcome him home.

Where It's At With Eric
If I were a different kind of person, I'd have taken pictures of my visit with Eric on Friday. But I'm the kind of person who would rather think of him as a well person, as a guy who walks around wearing his Darth Vader mask, who knows where every sushi joint near all of his mom's friends' houses is, who enjoys his music and his burritos and playing ball hockey in the yard.

But right now, he's a guy who's doing some equally amazing stuff, but it's a bit harder to watch. His disease is progressing, he's now on the part of the program where his nerves grow back the myelin, which serves as the communication conduit between his brain and his nerves. This means that he can now move parts of his arms (but not the whole arm), leaving him able to do a spiffy little dance.

We're all waiting for the feeling in his legs to return and for him to be without breathing assistance. However, his breathing tube was converted to a trache, so he can mouth words, giving him a voice (of sorts) for the first time in over a month. Friday he breathed room air for almost 8 hours.

It's all progress, heartbreaking, one-day-at-a-time progress, but progress just the same. Eric is an amazing, strong, tough, lovely young man who humbles me with each small step towards better health.

He's now conscious enough to be asking about cards, so if you've got some card-sending energy, drop me a line and I'll hook you up with his address. Even if you're thinking 'I don't know this kid, what does he care if I send him a card?' I assure you that each piece of mail is treated with the utmost of respect and gratitude.

Another upside to having a lot of cards decorating his room is that it reminds the staff at the hospital that this is a young man who has a shitload of people outside his room gunning for him.

It's Okay, I Speak Whale
Or, the less modern translation analogy: Barbara Billingsley telling to jive-talkin' turkeys in Airplane that she speaks jive, then translating 'shiiit!' to 'golly' for the viewers at home.

These days, the most popular analogy is Dorie (not Doiee, Zawod) from Finding Nemo speaking whale.

Or my visions of myself speaking fluent wookie to Chewbacca, should he ever come to my house.

I've discovered that talking to teenagers, or specifically, to the one who lives in our house is like Speaking Whale. I have no doubt that he thinks he's said exactly what needed to be said, which could be something like "I'll be hanging out with my buddy Fred for the next couple of days, see you on Thursday," when what my Non-Whale Speaking self heard was "My buddy Fred, he's cool."

So we're learning to listen between the lines and ask more direct questions. But it's going pretty okay, having him with us.

7.04.2005

A Successful Fourth!
Because we actually got off our asses and got home just before the fireworks started in downtown SJ this year, Gus didn't go apeshit and Patrick didn't have a seizure. Woo!

We also enjoyed a moviefest this weekend, starting with The War of the Worlds (hello, creepy goo and Fanta) on Friday, then Saving Face on Saturday, which was cute as hell and in many parts, reminded me of Andrea's family, then today we went to see Kung Fu Hustle (big on Kung Fu, short on Hustle), which ended up being a double-feature with Sin City, which could possibly be the worst movie ever.

But then again, I didn't see all of Howard the Duck so take that for what it's worth but believe me when I say that it's not like rubbernecking, where everyone is sort of interested in seeing it, no matter how bad. Skip this one.

We had a very mellow weekend, which included another great win for the Mighty Le Snack and a crazyass win for Andrea's green team, a game that I'll let her tell you about.

Hope your holiday wsa as nice as ours has been.