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So I’m spending my evenings checking out properties. Fighting rush hour to see as many places as I can before the sun sets is a bit of a contest. Last night I checked out the satellite communities of Hornsby Bend and Manor. The ‘historic’ area of Manor was quaint and cute and the neighborhood was full of young families. That might be a comfortable place to live, if I weren’t the only white-chocolate chip in the cookie jar. There were some good deals out there and I thought the Hornsby house in particular was really nice and had lots of open land around it, which would be a welcome change the crowdedness of being in town. But ugh, they’re so far out there. I ABHOR long commutes, which is why for the past 5 years I’ve opted to live in sketchy neighborhoods close to the office instead of living somewhere nicer and further away. When I do the math and realize that I’d be spending an extra hour or two in traffic, plus the added gas, and the inconvenience of having no stores or restaurants within 20 minutes; those are big minuses to me. I try to look at it in a positive light; with no restaurants nearby I’d probably eat healthier and be forced to be a more organized person since I can’t run to the store every time I need/forget something.
That was last night. Tonight I headed north and in towards town. More convenient locations but higher rents too. The houses are nicer, but also at the upper limit of my price range. Even though I could afford it in theory, I don't think I could bring myself to sign a four-figure rent check every month. The duplexes are more affordable but damn, they all look so jacked up. And me being as anti-social as I am, I don't relish the idea of being cheek-to-cheek with a random stranger for a year. I'd get a housemate if I wanted a housemate.
So, I gotta keep looking.
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cut for length, not girth )

So anyhoo,

Jan. 5th, 2010 07:12 pm
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I was pretty busy that week between Christmas and New Year's. So busy in fact, that I didn't write nothing. Now I've got the time!
Holiday Week report (sorry, no pics here) )
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I've been meaning to do a year-in-review post for a couple weeks now and if I don't do it already, it' ain't gonna get done. So better late than never. I liked the format that [livejournal.com profile] opheliasavalon used, so that's what I'll be using. I've gotta say, thank goodness for LiveJournal; I would've forgotten 99% of this year without these cliff notes to refer to.

2009, for what it's worth )
It was a tough year.
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It’s been a melancholy evening. Tonight I effectively moved out of our apartment. Starting tonight I’ll be sleeping at my house. I’ll still need to go back a time or two to clean up and turn in my keys, but I felt a sense of finality when I locked the apartment door behind me this time.
Liz wasn’t there when I left; she’d headed out a couple hours earlier. But maybe she noticed it too, because as she was leaving she said, “In case I don’t see you again . . .” She didn’t finish. I don’t know what I expected her to say. I wasn’t planning on saying a big goodbye tonight, anyways.
Ever since I got back from Dallas, living with her has been wearing on my patience. It’s been difficult just to maintain civility towards each other, and I’d been counting the days till she’d be out of my life once and for good. I’d been looking forward to getting away from her selfishness and insecurity and her devil cat. That’s why I’m partly surprised that I do feel sad now that it’s finally time for us to part. Maybe it’s regret that we didn’t work out, maybe it’s disappointment when I look at where I was a year ago and my prospects looked so much brighter, maybe it’s the non-Christmas alone that I have to look forward to. All of these, none of these, I don’t know.
I know in the morning I’ll probably feel fine; a night’s sleep is all I usually ever need to hit my emotional reset button. Tonight though, is pretty blue.
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Moving has been going rather well. I think part of the reason it’s going so easily is since I didn’t do hardly any cosplay this year, all of my gear and cosplay crap is still packed up from the last move. (And I no longer have the titanic Catbus to lug around; he needed his own damn moving van.) Even though I need to be careful with money this month I scrimped together enough to buy a couple rugs (and a cinnamon bun) from Ikea. The house is mostly tiled and could use a few strategic areas of carpet. I also bought one of those latex mesh . . . under-rug things that you use to keep rugs from sliding around. Anyone who’s worked with latex knows that it reeks of ammonia and as soon as I opened that bag, whoa. It was strong. I decided to let it air out for a while and continued with unpacking stuff. I’d often forget about it and find myself wondering, "It smells like formaldehyde in here, what the hell were those last renters into? High school biology? Cooking meth? Necrophilia? Oh wait, it’s the Ikea stuff. Duh."
Even though the spare bedroom is kinda small I think it’ll make for a good cosplay workshop. With my mad Jenga skillz I was able to tetris most of my cosplay bins into the closet, leaving the floorspace mostly uncluttered. Except for that huge burrito of tarps, catbus fur, and foam that I hadn’t bothered with since TRF. That needed to be put away too so I unrolled it and BAM! I was hit in the face with a smokehouse, ribs and all. The fabric was clean and dry, but smelled strongly of woodsmoke, woodsmoke, woodsmoke. I had a sudden craving for turkey legs. I didn’t actually get around to putting away the fur and foam. Okay, I didn’t get anything done because I stretched out and fell asleep on top of the fur pallet. So soft . . .
My neighbor’s bass guitar woke me up a little while later. Thanks, I didn’t need a nap anyways. I got back to organizing crap into the closet and opened up the fabric bin that I’d taken to TRF. The fabric smelled dirty, but looked clean. I mean, it smelled EARTHY. That was odd, but the material looked clean so I put it away in the closet drawers anyways. As I got deeper into the bin, I realized that there was a 5th grade science project going on in there. MILDEW! It was all damp and furry in there. Blech. That’s what that “earthy” smell had been. I threw away the pieces of material that had already started to evolve and hung up the other pieces to dry. Thankfully, none of the good pieces had turned into a biohazard, but they still stunk. As soon as I move over my washer and dryer, they’re first in line for a wash.
Not counting the plethora of aromas now in the house, I’m making good progress getting settled in. Now that it’s starting to look like someone lives there, it’s getting harder to resist the urge to go shopping for the stuff I need/want for the house. TV, couch, shelves, lawn-mower, microwave, etc. And it wasn’t until last night that I noticed, "There’s no dishwasher. . . Huh." Ha ha ha. I guess that just shows how much importance I place on kitchen-y stuff.
So yeah, that’s about all that’s going on with me right now.

P.S. New Weezer makes me bouncy.

Derpa derp

Dec. 3rd, 2009 07:50 pm
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Let's see . . . so that crazy-weird snow a couple days ago kicked me out of Dallas. Even though that blew a royal-sized hole in my work schedule, on the plus side, it gave me the opportunity to get my ass back to Austin and slam down a deposit on that house I wanna get (chase that silver lining, Cody!). It took all of 15 minutes to get that lease squared away, I was surprised at how easy it was. Unless everything goes haywire, I should be getting the keys tomorrow. Oo yay! I won't have any utilities for a week or two, but I've got all month to move in. I'm just glad that I've got the living situation thing taken care of.
Of course, my wallet is at death's door since I have to pay TRIPLE RENT this month. Woof. It's gonna be tight, but I should be okay as long as I'm careful the next couple weeks. *holds breath* It's kinda lame, since right now Best Buy's offering a bundle package on HD tvs and PS3s for $1000 off. That's a steal (and I do need a tv for my new place). But it's bad timing for me.
Oh! And I sent out the Christmas cards today. Yay! With that I've fulfilled my holiday duties. Family said, "Don't buy any presents and nobody visits nobody, because we're all broke." I'm okay with that. Since I don't have any presents to buy this year, I allowed myself to splurge on the cards a little. Though now I have a buttload of leftover cards and stamps. I might just start sending them to people whether they want one or not.
That means Christmas is shaping up to be a quiet non-holiday for me. Liz will be celebrating with her family so I'll have the apartment mostly to myself. I think I'll use the days off to pack and move into my new place. Not the most enviable way to spend the holidays, but it's the only guaranteed time I'll have off. Gotta make hay while the sun shines, right?

Itchy feet

Nov. 7th, 2009 07:54 am
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Tomorrow I'll be heading back up to Dallas and not a moment too soon. I've been working in San Antonio all week just to keep busy. Driving 500 miles a day to and within SA is not how I want to earn my daily bread; it's just too stressful doing all that driving in a city you're unfamiliar with. So yes, I'm looking forward to going back to Dallas. (Yeah, I never thought I'd say that too.)
In other news, it's time for me to start looking for a new place to live. Lease will be up at the end of the year so I need to get it sorted out promptly. I gotta say though, I'm starting to get tired of the annual apartment hop. 5 times in 5 years? Each time I move I usually do get a slightly better place, but I always feel cramped and that I can't really do what I want with the place, since it's not mine. Considering I'd have to own a piece of property to have cartu blanche with it, I'll settle for more floor space instead. (I really just want somewhere to work on hard cosplay without worrying about ruining my living space.) I started searching online this morning for lofts and mini-warehouses, y'know, properties that would have tons of footage and hopefully cost a little less since they're not super nice apartments. But all the lofts turn out to be in hoity-toity downtown and warehouses aren't available for residential leases. I also checked out garage-apartments. Although those usually come with tiny apartments, a garage would make for a great workshop. But those properties are pretty sad/small/old. Next up are the duplexes. I'm not too keen on being cheek-to-cheek with my neighbor, but duplexes seem to have the balance of price and footage that I'm looking for. But at the risk of sounding racist, those properties seem to be mostly in the black or hispanic neigborhoods. I lived there the first year I was here, by accident. Don't wanna do that again.
Ugh, this is so frustrating/depressing.
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I've been without internet for the past 6 days. Liz's laptop seems to be circling the drain and I haven't hooked up cable at the new apartment yet, so that meant no internet for us. It took me a few days to slowly understand what it meant to have no computer. At first I thought, "No computer? Well, I'll just play video games. Ah crap, can't play it on the computer. Okay, well then I'll work on cosplay. Ah damn, all my reference pictures are on the computer. Okay, I'll write fanfic then. Crap, it's on the computer too! Fine, I'll just listen to music then! What, my Ipod needs to be charged? Dammit! Okay, how about porn then? Aw $*#&$@!"
So not only did it feel like I was living in a cave with no knowledge of the outside world, without my internet, but it was weird just figuring out how to occupy myself without a PC to wipe my butt. This evening the laptop is working, but that could change at any time. We need to get it into a repair shop ASAP.
In other news, I continue to settle into the new apartment bit by bit. Mostly that consists of organizing and finding places to store all my cosplay stuff. Even though we designated one bedroom as the "cosplay room", it filled up frighteningly fast. Now I'm trimming the fat and throwing away all the odds and ends and material that I can. It hurts a little, admitting that I'm never going to do this project or such-and-such, but EVERYTHING MUST GO! Still, I could use a 4th dimension to cram all of this stuff into.
Meanwhile, we've got just two weeks to move all of Liz's stuff to the new apartment. It doesn't seem like enough time but we'll get it done, one way or another.

*yawn*

Dec. 29th, 2008 11:28 pm
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I'm a bit too tired to write a Christmas re-cap post. I've got two more days to move my stuff out of my old apartment. It was funny, as soon as I went on Christmas "break," I kept thinking, "Dang, I shouldn't have spent so much time packing and cleaning up, I haven't bought any presents or decorated or sent cards or anything!" So all weekend I relaxed and visited family members (both mine and Liz). Now I'm thinking, "Dang, I shouldn't have spent all weekend doing Christmas-y stuff; I should've been packing and cleaning!"
Anywho, the main point of this post was to ask if anyone wants a futon and/or baby-microwave? Since Liz and I are combining households apartments, we've got a few redundant items. The futon is solid wood (not particle board) with a black mattress and the microwave is white. If anyone in town wants it, I'll deliver it, all to avoid hauling it to my new place just to eventually take it to Goodwill.
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I didn't have internet access yesterday, so it's not my fault for falling behind. So here's two entries. This task is harder than I thought.

Happy thing #3:
I'm happy that the move is going as well as it is. I've been taking a load of stuff to the apartment every evening. It's not much, but it's added up and my old apartment is roughly halfway emptied. Oh! One thing that definitely makes me happy is now I can say I have a "cosplay room". A room dedicated to cosplay. Where does this box go? "Oh, put it in the cosplay room." *GRIN*

Happy thing #4:
Scottish Fold cats. I may be willing to own a cat, if it were a Scottish Fold. Just don't tell anyone I said that; I'll deny it emphatically.

Happy Meme

Dec. 6th, 2008 01:30 pm
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I got tagged by [livejournal.com profile] vampirate777.

1. Post about something that made you happy today even if it's just a small thing.
2. Do this everyday for a week without fail.
3. Tag 8 of your friends to do the same.


Happy Meme: Day #1 (Friday 12/05/2008)

I nom-nomed a DOZEN tortillas from Taco Cabana. Those tortillas are so fat and warm and soft . . . *drool* All those carbs probably make me fat and warm and soft too, but let's look at the positive! It definitely made happy in my mouth.

I can't really think of 8 other people who post on a daily basis, so no tags here.

***

Aside from that, Jim Gaffigan was pretty funny last night. We sat up in the balcony for the first time and I'd been worried our view would suck, but it was actually a good perspective. As Liz may have informed you, he had a new bit about bacon, which I found very applicable to my life, being a fatty American myself. Despite all of his talk about food and being lazy, after the show we still kinda wanted to go be fatties at Waffle House. But we settled on Taco Cabana instead.
Today and tomorrow I'll be focusing on moving my stuff into the new apartment. So that means today will be the 3rd Annual "Running of the Costumes," the rare day when all of my costumes leave the apartment, leading my neighbors to wonder who the hell they've been living next to for the past year.
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My Thanksgiving guest list has quadrupled in the past 24 hours. Up until last night, it was just my mom who was coming up to see me for T-day, since my brother and sister had both said they didn't know what their schedules would be like. Okay. Liz and I decided we'd bring my mom to Liz's place for TurkeyMeal, y'know, to introduce my parent to her parents, etc. My mom was going to stay at my place and I'd stay at Liz's. So I spent the past few evenings cleaning up my place just enough to pass inspection. I decided to leave Catbus out because it's such a bother to dismantle and remove.
But then last night I call just to make sure everything's on track and find out that my brother is also coming, and his wife, their cat, and my sister too. Now there's too many people to tag along to Liz's family thing, now I've got to throw together a T-day meal for the six of us and super-clean my apartment so that they can all stay here comfortably. For starters, that meant Catbus had to go; I couldn't risk their cat getting hurt on some hardware. And tools and materials had to go outside too, to make room for the dining table that I bought three years ago but still haven't eaten at. And I had to stash the porn and adult items 'cause my sister likes to go poking her nose where it doesn't belong. I left the alcohol where it is; maybe some of it will leave with them.
Work was crazy today. Half our staff had taken the day off, which meant that we (the skeleton crew) had to scramble to cover all the jobs. In the midst of that whirlwind, I skipped lunch so that I could come home and clean like a madman for an hour. I have to say though, my place is surprisingly empty/barren once you remove all the cosplay stuff.
We still have to go shopping for the Thanksgiving foods and stuff, which is going to be . . . interesting. Tonight's probably the worst night to be doing it, but I ain't got a choice.
Yeah, these next couple days are going to be interesting. Thursday afternoon Liz's parents are coming over to meet my family. Who knows how that'll go? Thankfully, everyone will have left by Friday afternoon. If Liz and I can make it that far, we can spend the remaining weekend curled up in the fetal position.
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I don't wanna talk about money concerns, even though that's the 800-lb pink gorilla that's been lumbering in my head today.
This past weekend Liz and I reserved our wedding date at the Plantation House. I think we did good; I was half expecting that we'd get hitched in a VFW hall or something, so this is a slam dunk by comparison. We also put in our application for an apartment uptown and got a positive response back. There's still a whole bunch of little things to handle in the next couple months, but it's reassuring to have these two big things taken care of.
In unrelated news, I'm pleasantly surprised with this Pandora application, which I heard of through [livejournal.com profile] reebear. I put in a couple of bands that I'm a diehard fan (read, "borderline fanatic") of and it starts generating a playlist in the same vein/genre. It's like a conveyor-belt sushi place, but instead of sushi it's music. I wanna sample everything that comes down the line and end up pigging out. I haven't heard anything OMGLURVE! yet, but alot of "Hmmm, this has potential," stuff. The possibility of finding new music has got all my tingly bits tingling.
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Halloween portion (Press X to skip) )

Saturday we went to go look at apartments. We’ve got it narrowed down to two, I think we’ll make our decision pretty soon. Saturday evening Liz’s old friend, Becky, showed up with her new boyfriend. We jawed for a while and then took them to dinner where we were two disgustingly cute couples. Afterwards we stopped by Spec’s on the way home. The sheer size of that booze warehouse amazed them so we spent some time messing around in there before heading home for movie and drinks.
Sunday morning we all went out to Waffle House for breakfast and then took a short trip to the Austin Celtic Festival. I’m kinda sorta tempted to join the Roman re-enactment group there. More importantly, I came to the conclusion that I need to start putting together a costume that I can wear to these historic festivals. Something I can wear year after year and keep adding to. I think a ranger sort of outfit would be comfortable enough to wear all day, but still offer options for personalization and accessorizing. I don’t have time to put anything together for this year’s Texas Renaissance Festival, which we’re attending this weekend, but I’ve decided I’m going to do it. By the way, Liz and I have reserved a room with double beds for this weekend. I know a lot of our Austinite pals already went to TRF, but would anyone like to go this weekend and share the room? It would be great to have some company.
So yeah, by our standards we had a busy weekend. That makes me all the more grateful that I’m just working 4 days this week. Three-day weekend! Booze and corsets! Stabby things! Meat-on-a-stick! Woo, TRF, yeah!
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Save the Anonymous for 4chan )

In other news, I'm working about 60 hrs/week on this current job. It sucks that I don't have much spare time/energy by the time I get home (I haven't touched my cosplay for the last couple weeks), but the overtime will help me pay down my credit card bill which is good. I've just got to keep reminding myself of that.
Now that I've popped the question I'm finally able to move forward on some plans I'd had. Star is all abuzz with wedding planning but I'm more focused on living arrangements. My lease runs out at the end of the year and Star's ends in Jan or Feb so I've started looking for a place for the both of us. Her parents object to the idea of us living together, which I can't say surprises me. I had hoped that the ring would've quieted their objections, but no. I'm just glad that Star agrees with me on this matter; that's what really counts in my opinion. I'm really jazzed about the money we'll save by moving in together and the prospect of getting a second bedroom or, dare I say it, a GARAGE where I can go balls-to-the-wall crazy with my cosplay. Oh, that'd be so awesome. No more worrying about spilling glue on the carpet or setting off the fire alarm or contaminating the kitchen. It'll be my cosplay refuge. Don't worry, you guys are invited too. We both want to stay within Austin city limits but we'll probably move a little northwards to shorten Liz's commute. Aside from that, our options are wide open right now.
Aside from that biz-ness, the ACDF second "anniversary" is scheduled for this weekend. Considering the weak response this event has generated, the dinner might as well be a wake. I'm going because I want to give ACDF one more shot, but I'm not expecting much. So if any ex-ACDFers happen to be reading this, consider coming down to dinner Saturday night. If not for ACDF, then just for a chance to hang out and have fun.

Frankly, this scenario reminds me of a line from "The Difference Engine" (quite possibly THE definitive steampunk novel).

"The text indicates that the Meirokusha, suffering a grave decline in membership and a growing lack of attendance, have voted to indefinitely postpone future meetings."
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This weekend was a weekend of firsts. It’s been over two months since Star got her new apartment, but only now has it become unpacked enough for humans to live there. Friday we spent the night there for the first time. I’m curious to meet the elephants living upstairs, but afraid at the same time too. So far it’s been a juggling act and a learning experience, figuring out how much of my stuff to bring over, what cosplay crap I can smuggle in and ditch at her place, etc. It’ll take some planning to get used to living in separate apartments, but it should be okay.
Saturday morning I took off to go steam-clean (another first) my place and I was flabbergasted to see how much dirt came out of that "white" carpet. I had to clear out my living room and dining room so that I could steam-clean and now that that area is clear, I think I’m going to reorganize my cosplay area. Make it more efficient and sexy and shit. That way when my pad is on MTV Cribs I’ll be all, "Here’s my cosplay zone. . . . Jealous much?"
anime tangent )
Late Sunday afternoon we went to La Madeline (sp?) for dinner. That place is a little on the pricey side but you pay for the fanciness, I guess. I’m a sucker for baked goods so I won’t stop going there any time soon.
We took our desserts to go and walked down to the pond below the Arboretum. There were ducks and turtles and families walking around and couples strolling together. We sat down at a picnic table to munch on our desserts and to watch the scenery go by. It was rather picturesque and a bit romantic too. The only thing that kept me from totally making out with Star was the picnicking lesbian couple about twenty feet to our left. They were a small distraction. And then there was the hyperactive 6-year old boy who I think was trying some sort of mating dance to entice the ducks out of the pond. Or something. It was fun to watch, whatever it was.

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