Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A great relief


That pretty girl had us very worried over the past several days.

The story starts a few weeks ago. Mandy, who has had digestive issues over the years, once again was having diarrhea and other related issues (a fever, etc.). This has happened in the past, and a course of antibiotics and Lomotil always took care of it. So the vet put her on those, but the problems didn't go away.

When she went back to the vet last week, just before Christmas, he x-rayed her abdomen, and there was something there the size of a grown man's fist. He couldn't say conclusively without an ultrasound, but it looked like a large mass (just holding up the x-ray film to the light, I could see it clearly, and I normally can't make out anything on an x-ray). If it turned out to be solid, they'd need to biopsy it, but there was a good chance that a solid mass would mean... well, it would mean we'd soon be losing our little girl. I wanted to vent about it last week and thought of blogging about it, but I didn't want to bring anyone down right before Christmas (particularly since I know some of you know Mandy from visits here).

On Monday, she went back to the vet and had her ultrasound done. It took until today to get the results. It's NOT cancer. I'm so relieved that I'm nearly in tears now, just typing that. Amazingly, it's not any kind of mass. It's her stomach. Not where it should be and quite distended, so she needs some help with that, but it looks like it's a completely treatable problem.

It seems she has some kind of issue causing her stomach to back up, so we're doing smaller meals (and have been for several days) and spreading them out through the day as much as we can. Also, the vet had us pick up Pepcid from the drug store. It seems dogs can take the same medicine we do, so she's going to take half a pill twice a day to help her stomach be more comfortable and settle down.

Next week, we'll touch base with him. He may do another x-ray then to see where things are. She has a small nodule on her spleen, but he's not too concerned about that. We just have to help her get her digestion straightened out. If it doesn't resolve on its own, they may do endoscopy or (and I really hope this isn't needed) exploratory surgery to try to fix what ails her. So she may have some unpleasant (and expensive, of course) things ahead, but at least it looks like she'll be okay in the end. Considering that I was literally in tears last week, thinking she might be dying, this isn't so bad!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Last night, we stayed out quite late. It was for a good reason. Our friend Jerry Dixon was doing a holiday show, with the help of others, including his partner (and a man we're also privileged to call a friend), Mario Cantone.

Jerry has performed on Broadway, and he has the voice to carry it off. He was amazing, as was every guest singer who joined in, among them Tony Award winner LaChanze--she was amazing. Words can't begin to do her justice.

A real surprise was that there were a number of Jerry's colleagues from the entertainment world in the audience, and he got them to participate in some amazing riffing near the end of the show. The whole thing was just a joy.

The tough part was that the show didn't even start until 9:30, and this was a "school night." By the time we got home, it was about 1am. Then the night got to be even more wonderful, as my husband was in full-out honeymoon mode. Far be it from me to pass up on that, so we were up much later. It all was worth it! Wow, was it worth it! ;)

But now I am tired. And, of course, I had a meeting after work tonight.

Speaking of that (and I was thinking I was going to end the post a few lines ago, but then I remembered this part), last week the LI GLBT Network held a town hall meeting after the NY Senate defeated the marriage equality bill. At the town hall, I got up and spoke. I really don't have the energy to really try to recap all of what I said, but it went really well. I got a round of applause and people congratulating me when I went back to my seat. Fast-forward to tonight...

Tonight's meeting was a group of lawyers and judges I belong to. One of the presenters at tonight's meeting is a lawyer who was at the town hall last week. I asked him about what he'd be presenting, and he said, "whatever I say tonight, it can't begin to compare to your speech from last week." I felt so proud. Wish my Mom could have been there! :)

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Maybe the mean people have it right

I don't really mean that. Mean people suck, and I'll never change my opinion on that. Still, sometimes I wish I could just tell some people to hit the road. When someone is doing the "woe is me" routine, I can't just tell them to fuck off. If they had encountered some serious heartache (illness--their own or a loved one's--or long-term unemployment or the loss of a loved one), then I could understand the melancholy. But the ones who just want to wallow in it really drive me nuts.

Through the years, I've also had the good fortune to know people who pushed on, no matter what happened. Not that they didn't get sad or upset, but they didn't take that as their long-term license to drag everyone else down.

I always try to be optimistic. I think it's the smart way to live. Yes, life has its pain, no question. I've gotten through my fair share. Still, what's the point of worrying about the bad things that could happen?

Back to my original point... I'm too nice to some people, and that gives some the feeling that they're free to dump on me. This Intertubes thingie has just made it worse. Going back to my days on IRC, I was way too supportive to people who didn't want support; they just wanted to spread misery.

Now comes Facebook. Mostly, it's a fun way to keep up with friends, but I recently got a friend request from a guy from overseas. We had a mutual friend in common, so I said okay to the friend request (even though I usually limit that to people I know). At this point, I suspect the mutual friend doesn't really know him, either, but that's another matter.

This guy chats with me whenever he sees me online. It's always the same thing. He needs a job, but you only can get one if you "know someone" or pay someone off. He wants to go out with someone, but he's afraid of what will happen. And on and on.

His problems may well be real--although I've also learned the hard way that people are quite bold online and make things up with impunity--but what am I supposed to do about it? I've encouraged him to tackle his problems head-on, talk to friends to find work, take whatever jobs he can and build from there, etc. Regarding dating, what can I really say? He says he's bi, but, from what he says, he really seems to be gay but scared. Given where he lives (even worse homophobia than here), I can understand that, but what can I do about it?

I've given him what advice I can, over and over again, but he just seems to enjoy having a pity party. I dread seeing him online, and it makes me hesitate to even go onto Facebook. I know I should "unfriend" him. I also should delete him from Yahoo IM, as he asked to be on there, too.

I just feel so mean cutting this guy off. Still, I don't owe him anything. I'm tempted to say, "you have to stop dumping on me, or I'll unfriend you," but I don't know if there's any point. We don't seem to have much in common. Maybe I should just make a quick, clean break. However I do it--if I do it--I know I'll feel guilty. Of course, this is why it has been week after week of being depressed by someone I've never met (and, in all likelihood, never will meet).

This probably is a flaw on my part. *sigh* No, I don't want to be a mean person, but it would simplify some things!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Interesting times

You may know the curse, "may you live in interesting times."

In a sign of the enduring bigotry of so many people, and the enduring cowardice of so many politicians, the New York State Senate yesterday soundly defeated legislation that would have granted marriage equality. Those who follow me on Facebook already saw a rant or two. I could go on about the factual inaccuracy of those who claim religion has a place in our government. Anyone who truly knows what the Founding Fathers believed knows that they were very strongly against religion playing a role in the government. Separation of church and state was a vital requirement for them.

I also could go on about how recent events are driven by ignorance, hatred and tyranny of the majority. But if so many really are worried about the sanctity of marriage, then I guess it's time to outlaw divorce, as some have proposed. Certainly, there's no greater threat to marriage than divorce. In fact, Marc and I got married in Connecticut, but we've seen no destructive impact on straight marriages, despite our efforts. We were told our wedding would be a threat, but all of the straight married couples we know stubbornly refuse to have their marriages destroyed by our getting married. So I guess we're not the big threat; time to go after divorce!

Okay, I'll stop. And yes, that was me not going on about this. I really could write quite a bit.

In another interesting development (and on a completely different subject), a local university announced that it is eliminating its football program. The football program was started in 1937, but the university decided it could no longer justify the expense. I'm not sure what to make of this, but I can't imagine it happening if not for this amazingly crappy economy.

So I know what you're thinking: this is too depressing. Just show us more rugby photos. My, you're so pushy. Well, fine...

That should hold you for now. Seriously, I hope you like those. More to come! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Geek moment

I find things like this fascinating: Pectoral Muscles Give Geese the Oxygen for Himalayan Journey

Just the idea that there are animals that have evolved to be able to fly over the Himalayas, reaching heights of 30,000 feet. It's a short article and, to me at least, an interesting read.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mandy and some rugby photos

When a new camera comes home, the dogs can count on being among the first subjects. So here's one of the first shots I took with the new camera, a Nikon D300S (a photo I'm sharing for no other reason than I think she's beautiful and I love her)...

This photo immediately validated my high expectations for the camera. When I looked at it in full resolution, I could clearly see Marc's reflection in her eyes (he was sitting next to her on the couch).

Now I think we should enjoy (or "tolerate," if you don't like rugby as much as I do) some rugby photos! You already saw one hottie from the playoffs two posts ago, so now we can look at some action (no, sadly, not that kind) photos...

Had enough? I guess that will do for now, but there's more to come! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Recap of recent fun

Since I have been such a bad blogger lately, I'll go back and share a few things I missed. One recent bit of fun came a little under two weeks ago. I had some friends from work over for a Friday night party. At the same time, our friends James and Ademil came out to join us and stay for a couple of days.

Friday night was a blast. As we expected, my work friends and my non-work friends hit it off beautifully. The only issue was the eventual complaints of a couple of the straight girls from work because James and Ademil (both of whom are hot guys!) are far more interested in each other than they've ever been in any girl. Sorry, ladies! They're on our team!

On Saturday, we went out to the North Fork for some wine tasting and a nice lunch, and then we headed back here, stopping to food shop on the way. As we did, the guys went into a party store to buy some birthday decorations for yet another friend who was joining us that evening. Cesar (the birthday boy) and Bruce joined the four of us, and we had a lovely dinner, followed by James' homemade flan for dessert. Great stuff!

On Sunday, we took James and Ademil to Robert Moses State Park for some time at the beach. Recent storms appeared to have taken their toll on the beach. Even if it was high tide when we were there, that didn't really account for how short the beach seemed. I guess it's time for the Corps of Engineers to come fix it (every so often they send a dredge to recapture sand from just offshore and pump it back up to the beach).

So how about some photos from that lovely weekend?

James and Ademil at our favorite Winery, Pindar Vineyards

By the way, James (in red) is about six feet tall, so that should give you an idea of what a big, strapping boy Ademil is. (Did I mention that they both play on the rugby team, too?)

James borrowed my camera and took this photo of Marc and me

This is a shot of Cesar, taken at a recent match (I didn't take photos at dinner)

Just sharing these photos was a fun reminder of a great weekend with friends. Perhaps I'll post some beach photos another day! :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Need to get back to posting

I've been a really bad blogger. I've had things I could post. I've gone to rugby matches. We've had friends out. I even bought a new camera recently. Did I blog about any of it? No. Sorry!

Okay, time to get going again. Since it's late, and I'm tired, I'll keep this short. I'll share just one photo from this weekend's Northeast Rugby Union playoffs. It's not an action shot, although I can't help but think of the action I'd like to have with the subject of this photo. Had I really been thinking, I'd have gotten a full-length shot, because this was gorgeous from head to toe. Here you go...

If you want to know what to get me for the holidays, that's it! Not to worry, I'll share him with Marc.

I'll work on posting again soon. Sorry for being absent for so long. Bear with me!

Monday, September 28, 2009

New must-see TV

I've just learned of a new TV show, premiering in a few weeks on the USA Network, called White Collar. I can tell you it's destined to be a great show. I did a little research to find out what it's about. Apparently, it stars this guy...

What's that? You want to know what it's about? Well, um... It stars this guy...

Clearly, it's going to be a great show! ;)

Friday, September 18, 2009

High Holy Days Hound

I heard Marc playing this video and commented that that's the worst sounding shofar I've ever heard (watching it, it's also the smallest one I've ever seen). Setting that aside, this is hysterical...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rugby photos

I know, I know. I'm barely doing anything with the blog, other than posting rugby photos. I'll try to be better! For now, though, how about some more rugby photos? These are from last weekend's match against Brooklyn.

These aren't the most fabulous shots, but I'm happy to have gotten even decent shots. It was nasty weather. Aside from trying to protect the camera from water, the light was too low to get the kind of shutter speeds and depth-of-field I really need to get good stuff. So anyhow, here we go...

Isn't he handsome? That's our friend JR.

Our buddy Andy got some ribbing about this one--not only is it a high tackle, but it looks like he's trying to choke the guy!

The good thing is that Andy has a good sense of humor--he made that one his profile photo on Facebook.

Okay, that will do for now!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

My favorite photo of the day

There was rugby today. The full set of photos is here, but I'm not going to post any here just now. Instead, I'm going to share my favorite photo of the day--one from the sidelines:

My boys got the attention of some kids

We took Dodger to today's match. We thought he might like the field trip (for the most part, he didn't--he's generally happy at home), and we thought it would be nice to trot out The Brown Hound, as we start handing out business cards for his new photography business.

During the match, I looked across the field and saw the scene above. What could be sweeter than that?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


There's some news, aside from there being more rugby photos. Last weekend, we were invited to photograph the All Star Sevens Tournament ("Sevens" refers to the size of each side in the match--about half the usual size, it makes for a quicker match). On an adjacent field was the Liberty Cup, a small tournament that included teams from the NYPD and FDNY, as well as military teams from Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune (yes, Marines playing rugby!).

But before we get into the photos, let me share the news. For years, Marc has been encouraging me to make a side business out of my photos. I got more encouragement last weekend from a rugby friend. Having finally gotten the message, I am happy to introduce you to Brown Hound Photography. It's more than rugby photos. We also offer landscape/seascape photos and photos of some structures from our travels in other parts of the world. The site will grow as more photos are added in the weeks, months and years ahead. Marc is working on the design and marketing side of things, as well as being my assistant, pack mule and all-around helper when I'm doing my thing.

Okay, so here are some photos (and I strongly encourage you to click on these for a better view):

The Marines play against the NYPD

See the blond Marine on the left side of the photo? He looked even better up close (sorry, no "up close" photo). *drool*

Oh, yeah. There were some women playing, too.

Okay, okay. I'll try to behave. The truth of the matter is that these ladies had some serious skills! They could have kicked the asses of a lot of male ruggers. I said to Marc that I really had to admire how well they played!

How about that for a jump?

By the way, if you go to the homepage of USA Rugby, the first photo you'll see is that last one (at least for now... and for the past 3 or 4 days). The second photo also is mine. (It was a good week!) :)

Okay, I think that's enough for a blog post! If you want to see more, go to the gallery. There are 193 photos, and some nice ones, if I do say so myself. (Actually, since it was nasty, gray weather, I'm quite pleased with the results. Low light isn't good for rugby photography.)

And remember Brown Hound Photography for your photo shopping needs! :)