2.26.2009

This Was Just Odd

Val's classmate invited the whole class to his birthday party. Oh shit,
I thought, does this mean the start of a trend and we'll end up inviting
all 20-ish kids to Val's party this year? That's something I simply
cannot do, not when some of those parents are also God-loving bigots who
sported Yes on H8 bumper stickers.

I know, Jesus would've invited those people to the party but hey, I'm
not Jesus. And it still smarts to know that they felt the need to tell
the world that my marriage didn't matter.

So we went to the party and were shocked to find that Val was The Only
kid from school there. Wtf? I heard later that some of the parents
didn't want to go because it was at the kid's house. This makes no
sense to me.

This little boy's folks are among those who send their kids to her
school because of the Christian part. They had a few friends from
church there, people who I found so odd I'm sort of at a loss for words
about them. I'll try again later.

After the mom started to head outside and leave her 9 month old baby
inside, I somehow got stuck babysitting. Later, more Friends From
Church came and that mom also left me inside with her kid.

What. The. Fuck?

Eventually I pawned the kids off on some parents and took Val outside,
where a few minutes later the Odd Friends From Church piled into their
van and drove away in a huff. All before the birthday boy's grandma
bothered to arrive so we could all have cake, never mind that this was 3
hours after the party began.

Later, Val said that she didn't have a good time and ya know, I didn't
either.

2.25.2009

Getting A Joint

No, not the kind you try in college, but the kind more suited to the
older set - you know, replace an ailing knee. That's what my mom's had
going on this week. She had a new knee put in yesterday (like how I say
that, like it's as simple as putting in a new light bulb). She was up a
bit today and hopefully it's all good from here. I'll keep you posted.

2.21.2009

A Classy Day In The Neighborhood

Saturday afternoon in our hood means the following:
-mariachi music being blasted
-kids playing in the street
And today we had an added bonus, the neighbor across the street getting
dropped off by the cops. Score!

2.16.2009

Not Bad

In the last two days I've played 5 games of hockey, scored one goal and
emerged from all of it a bit lighter (my drawers, they are all drooping
right now, including my beloved red pants) with the only lingering mark
a bruise on my thigh from climbing the ridiculously high boards at the
out-of-town rink and a giant rash on my stomach.

The tourney (did I mention, we went to a tourney?) was fun, we won 1,
tied 1, lost 1 in a close match and had our asses handed to us by a team
who had no business going to this 'for fun' tourney and especially had
no business running up the score to 9-0. No. Business. And boy was
that not necessary.

But other than that it was a good time. I got to skate with many
friends, including my fabulous and sexy linemates. We also got to stay
in hotels (2 different ones since I had enough points to get one night
at one free) where Val loved yelling across the lobby at Cheddah,
calling Poof on the phone and sleeping on a sofabed. We also got pirate
hats at this bizarre combination A&W/Long John Silver's/gas station.

After the tourney, I came home and played co-ed since we had all of 6
skaters without me. I rounded up more and we ended up with 11. I hate
to say it but co-ed is just not as fun as any kind of women's
team/league/game/scrimmage.

Now it's 2:20 am and I'm all wired. Good thing I'm supposed to get up
at 7 for work. I'll be all perky and shit for sure.

2.11.2009

Clicking

For so long at my old job, I felt inadequate. Surrounded by hard-core
developers who spent way more time than I did thinking about code,
trapped by a tool that was, both in hindsight and at the time,
ridiculous. Simply ridiculous, clea.rcase was. When my Boss Of
Excellence left, she said that leaving that awful software behind was so
freeing.

I couldn't imagine because I wasn't going to leave. Not with my stock
vesting this spring and sabbatical coming soon after, there was no way.

Of course you know how that all turned out.

So now I've got this crazy job, where by golly, there's a seriously
nice-looking website built solely with (gasp!) HTML. It gets a little
help from the YU.I but that's it, just the kid of plain old code I know
best. So instead of feeling like a doofus all the time, I'm actually
feeling pretty smart.

If I wasn't able to just sit down and focus, crank the work out, I'd be
struggling at this job. But it seems that the more work that comes in,
the more I can do. Of course, I get up to pee less often than I should
because I'm driving towards the end of the day when I absolutely have to
be gone by 5 at the latest in order to get Val from school.

That's a powerful motivation.

But I digress. Though many parts of my job could be better, the work
itself is helping my confidence return. Do you know how empowering that
is, after 2 years of feeling inadequate at work?

I can tell you. It's huge.

Also empowering is the fact that the guy who managed to take my place in
band last year when I was out ever so briefly, he's going to be gone for
our next concert. So not only do I get to play a bunch of really badass
solos, for the moment at least I'm sitting on the end. That's the same
seat I've had in various bands for more than 20 years. I'm used to it.
I don't much like sitting anywhere else so I'm thrilled beyond words to
be back there, even for a while.

Being forced to play all those solos is empowering too. I'm hitting
(enough of, for now) the notes, to the point where my band clapped for
me tonight.

I didn't realize how demoralizing it had been to doubt myself in all
these ways. Even though the sheer volume of my work is crazy, I must
say it's freaking awesome to be able to do it well. Maybe all this is
what I need to 'just relax' and get pregnant.

Maybe.

2.08.2009

Yes! Yes! Yes!

After I had Val, I was rather misshapen in the ways that mattered most
to me - my feet were just bigger enough that I didn't fit in my beloved
skates and more importantly, my red Blue Jackets ho.ckey pants didn't
fit.

I sucked it up, got bigger skate that I didn't like nearly as much and
found a bigger shell for my pants. I tried my Blue Jackets shell on
exactly once and took it off right away.

Eventually I lost just enough to make my skates fit again, but the pants
were a far-off goal.

But lately, I've played sooo much hockey (ahhh, this bliss...) and
managed to lose enough weight that today, for the first time since 2005,
I skated in My Red Pants, the way they were meant to be.

(My pants are pro re.turn pants, which means that they consist of two
pieces. You can swap out the bottom half, which I did to accommodate my
post-partum thighs.)

The other great thing is that once again, my pants are loose enough to
ride lower on my waist. I'd forgotten just how nice that feels.

Oh, and I'm in my smaller jeans now. Still a size bigger than pre-Val
but hell, the return of the Red Pants is more than enough. Bliss.
Sheer bliss.

Speaking Of Retiring Clothes

I also put away all of Val's cloth diapers (haven't used them in months)
and the majority of her training pants. She's a big girl now, that's
for sure.

I Rule.

As much as possible, I buy Val's clothes ahead of time, taking full
advantage of season-end clearance sales. So far, this system has worked
pretty well. Until last summer, when she decided to forsake all of the
well-chosen shorts and t-shirts I bought for her and wear the same 2
dresses all summer.

So today, I decided to retire most of her fleece footie pj's and get out
what I was sure was a bunch of lighter-weight long-sleeved gems I had
stored away.

I emptied her drawer of those bulky fleece monsters and was stunned at
the amount of space left in the drawer. So I go through 2 big bins of
clothes and find all of 2 pairs of long-sleeved pjs.

Val's there helping me, trying on clothes that I hoped she could wear
for one more season. When she realized we didn't have much by way of
the pj's we were looking for she goes 'what am I gonna wear?'

Sigh. Time to do a lot of laundry and hope that some turn up. I am
determined to not buy anything new for summer so we're just going to
have to make what we have work.

2.05.2009

Close To Home

On Grey's Anatomy tonight, there's a little girl who is in with a
failing heart. The same kind of defect (but much worse) than Val had.
Hearing them rattle off the girl's condition seemed like nothing, but
when they said VSD and the camera panned over to a rather very sick
little girl in need of surgery to save her life. To save her life.
Well, my heart skipped a beat.

I will never, not once in the rest of my life, hear those letters
together without seeing a small glance of what awful things could have
been in store for us had that hole in my baby's heart been a little
bigger, a little different, a little worse.

And I come back to what I know, that if the tradeoff for the miracle we
got when Val's VSD healed itself is somehow, in some weird twisted way,
that took away our chance to have two kids (and I know, it's a stretch
but somehow, in my mind and in my heart, they're connected so here we
are) then so it is.

Just the same, IVF is not that far away. We'll proceed with the
understanding (again, in my head) that maybe when it comes to kids,
we've already gotten all the miracles we've got coming.

2.03.2009

I'm So Proud

For 2 library visits now, Val has chosen books from the Magic Tree.house
series. These are short chapter books with a few pictures in them.

And I'll be damned if we didn't read through the first one (Gorillas or
something) then this week, she picked two of them! Forget Blue's Clues,
we're onto chapter books!

I should add that 2 weeks ago, she got a board book that was like 4
pages long and enjoyed that too. So it's all relative but hey, I think
my kid's a lover of books.

I Did Want Busy-ness

The last year or so of my tenure at my last company was both stressful
and awful, then really boring. When it was stressful it was because I
always felt inadequate as a developer. Surrounded by a team who thinks
about coding all the time, who were trained as developers in school and
on the job, I felt small. A lot. Add to that stress being on a team
with easier coding but shorter deadlines and I guess in some ways it was
a recipe for disaster.

Because I panicked. A lot. Too much to do in a small window of time
and too intimidated to ask for help from the genii around me, I got
myself into a hole where I was Liz, the fuckup.


About a year ago, the drama came to a head and I had to move to a super
lame position within my team. That job? Sucked. Was boring. Was not
well-defined, so it led to me apparently not doing the job well, a bad
review then the layoff.

The HR guy said my layoff wasn't connected to the bad review but really,
even if it wasn't, it was. A non-defined role without many tasks isn't
needed after layoffs, no matter how you slice it.

So somehow, I managed to land my new job one month after the layoff.
And in so many ways, it's the right job.

The code is mostly just HTML. There's no monolithic source code control
program to learn, then re-learn or be held hostage by. I can work on
the fly. I have a shitload to do.

So even though my agency has many (thousands of) shortcomings, the work
itself is so much more up my alley than what I was doing before. And
that, my friends, is no small thing.

2.01.2009

A Week Ago

We were home, newly triumphant after our victory in Vegas.
Today, I've been sick all day, I think due to the baby aspirin I started
taking on Friday. Now I'm off to play a hockey game after eating 1.5
pieces of toast all day.