Tuesday, July 29, 2008


This is raw.

I had a client say something to me yesterday that I would never in a million years have said, even to someone I hated.

In a matter of fact tone, she says "So, what happened to your diet?"

When I politely smiled and tried to go back to her invoice, she continued

"No, really, what happened to your diet?" This time more insistent, as if the fact that I am providing her a service or a product also entitled her to being able to ask personal, probing questions.

I suppose I could have said that, with all due respect, that wasn't an appropriate question or that the question overstepped some unspoken boundary. But I was shocked. Amazed. Mortified.

Instead, I replied, quietly, rather embarrassed, taken aback, "Sometimes life gets in the way."

"Yeah, it sure is easier to pack on all those pounds than it is to take it off!"

Did she mean well? Best of intentions and all? In whatever small way, she probably thought she was helpful. But she was down right hurtful. I am not sure what part of her relationship with me allowed her to think she could say something like that to me. None of my friends would have. At no point in time have I ever even thought that this client could be considered even slightly more than a client to me.

Which is probably key here. What she has said shouldn't be hurtful. What emotional investment do I have in her? Would I ever have coffee with her on any morning? (aside from the fact I don't drink coffee of course.....) So why should what she said nearly bring instant tears to my eyes and cause me to cry buckets this morning?

After hearing her say it, I do have to wonder if my friends have had the same thought, but simply had enough tact to not say anything. Is that what hurts?

Or is the saying "The truth hurts" true?

And is my emotional reaction evidence of that truth?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Much Ado About Nothing

They say that anticipation of a thing is often greater than the thing itself. Today proved that saying to be true.

I spent 1 1/2 hours at the Social Security office today. When I walked in, there were 3 other people there. I had to check in electronically, making a choice about why I was there. Pushing a special button garnered me a piece of paper with the number E 196 on it. I sat down to wait. There were two windows open and each had a customer actively processing their issue. Within 15 minutes the entire room filled with people. Every chair was filled and the walls were lined with people. Thirty minutes later, one of the customers was done and left and the woman manning the window closed the window and left. I read through two Newsweek Magazines. Occasionally, someone would come from the back and call a name. And then the other window opened and they started playing bingo. They began calling out numbers - O 236. R 329. M 560. As a number was calIed multiple people in the room would frantically look at their shred of paper hoping they had the winning number. I kept waiting for my special bingo number to come up. Finally it did. I took a deep breath, walked up to the window and sat down.

As I handed the paperwork I said, as calmly and coolly as I could manage, "I am here for a name change after a marriage." And held my breath.

Her computer hiccuped initially. It gave her fits and I was sure there was some secret special code embedded in my paperwork that would make it get rejected. Alas, as I was sure I was turning blue, she tip tap typed away and within moments she said congratulations on my marriage, had me sign a piece of paper and handed my a receipt showing the changed information!

It is official! In two weeks I get my new card and I can go to DMV and play DMV bingo!

Yipppeee !!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Equality? Really?

Yesterday I received our certified copy of our Marriage Certificate. It is what I need if I want to, and I want to, change my last name to my wife's. This is where I think the fallacy of CA saying lesbian and gay couples can marry is going to play out. While it gives the 'appearance' of making us equal... it is only in CA eyes....

To change my name, technically, in CA, I can just simply begin using my wife's last name (or any name I choose really), but in the post 9/11 era, that isn't recommended. What is recommended is to go through the legal hoops to do it. When one gets married, that Marriage Certificate is your key. You begin with Social Security and 'trickle down' from there. Once the SS recognizes the name change, you can go to DMV and make the change. Then from DMV you can go anywhere else you need to make the change happen and do it. Sounds simple, doesn't it? Not that it isn't work or time consuming, but it is a relatively simple non court involving process. One I am *hoping* will work for me.

Alas, I fear that it won't. The SSA is federal. And to the federal government, our marriage doesn't exist. Which means they can (and I suppose probably will) return my properly filled out paperwork and say "nope, ain't gonna happen."

And so I may get to spend money in court fees and newspaper ads, as well as the time going to court to make the change happen.

Not even separate but equal.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Inventive Australian Shepherd

Would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it. Would have been baffled by it for who knows how long. This morning I got one of the biggest laughs I have gotten from the antics of my australian shepherd, Please.

Please is not a big Australian Shepherd. She weighs about 43 pounds and stands about 15-16 inches tall. She's a decently wide Aussie dog, but she is not fat. Why does any of this matter? Read on my friends, and prepare to laugh.

I walked out to the mail box this morning to put some mail out and took Kaeden with me. It was an uneventful walk and when I got back, Hazer was in the yard to greet me, but Please was nowhere to be found. Not that that is unusual anymore. She doesn't hear as well and since I left via the front door and was returning via the back yard, I thought perhaps she is still waiting patiently, if a bit wistfully, at the front door for my return. As I came into the house with Kaeden and Hazer, I could hear the unmistakeable sounds of a dog ripping a large paper or plastic container. I walked down the hallway, expecting now to find Please in our bedroom destroying something and was taken aback to discover she was in Christie's gated office, actively inside a potato chip bag trying desperately to get the very last crumb out. I stood there for a moment, looking over the 41 inch tall gate at Please, trying to figure out just how she got in there.

This is the gate we have. We got it from Foster and Smith shortly after we moved in. Ours is black. It is so the cats have a haven that is a 'dog free zone'. Well, I suppose it's not so much that now.

With her bad hips there was no way she could get over it. Was it unlocked and only appearing to be shut? Nope.. it was appropriately shut and locked. And yet she was on the inside and we were all on the outside. What was the answer to this mystery?

As I was pondering this mystery, Please answered the question for me. She shoved herself through the CAT DOOR opening in the bottom of the gate. Seriously, she lunged forward through the cat door. It took a bit of work and for a moment I thought she was stuck half way. But with some wiggling and squirming, in no time, she was through it and out in the hallway performing a perfect sit looking at me saying "What? What did I do?" I laughed so hard I cried. My 43 lb Australian Shepherd had just squeezed herself, not once, but twice through a 6 or so inch opening. For potato chip crumbs. Is it any wonder her nick name is "Weasel"?

I suspect you might not be laughing as hard as I did, because it probably is one of those 'you had to be there' moments. But hopefully this at least brought a smile to your face. Of course, this "Please" story doesn't compare to the one where she stole my father in laws false teeth and paraded with them, but that's a story for another time....

Friday, July 11, 2008

FINALLY !! Happily Married

We did it! We got married July 10th 2008!!!! It was real and it was legal. And guess what!!???

The world didn't end.

No lightening bolt struck us down.

The earth didn't open up and swallow us whole.

None of the other people witnessing the marriage saw their straight marriage fall apart before their very eyes.

And the world didn't catch on fire and burn down!

(Well,okay, some of the little world we live in IS currently on fire, but I am fairly certain we didn't start it....)

Who knew???

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Fire Snow and Fire Sun

This is a different kind of snow. It is not the nice fluffy, cool, moist snow that you might think of... No... It is fire snow. Most people call it ash. But the sky was as black as any snow storm might make it and the outside, at least through the kitchen window, made you think that when you walked outside it would be cold. It was a cool, crisp 80 degrees at 7 am.

This is Ashy Splashy! Yes, those are ashes on his head and near his eye. He just had to get involved.
This is the ash on my TBird's windshield at 7 am. By 7 pm, it has doubled in quantity. If you stare outside, you would swear it was indeed snowing, the particles that are coming down are that big and noticeable. I feel like pig pen when I walk as my pant legs create enough wind to fluff up the ash as I walk. There are tens of thousands of acres burning all around us. The heat has been turned up and we're running in the 100's to 110's and the fires are just loving it, eating up more and more land as the winds push them along.
And this is 12 miles from where I live and about 30 minutes after the above pictures were taken. The sun is just beginning to over power the smoke and poke on through. The ash rains down there too.

And this is only the beginning of summer. Wait till we hit the "REAL" fire season.