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Tonight's my last night in Austin. I just realized that I've been here for exactly 8 years, to the day. I started my job here on February 1st, 2005; I arrived in Austin just the day before with my old Elantra packed to the gills and checked in to a Super 8 motel. Tomorrow I'm moving on to Dallas, with hopes for graduate school and a new career. My house is practically empty. I'm lying on an air mattress in the living room, nothing else in here but a folding table and chair and my bike. With this emptiness and quiet, I can't help but reflect on these eight years.
I'd made lots of friends, lost most of them, and kept a few good ones. I've gone from being a optimistic, inexperienced engineer to a disillusioned, inexperienced engineer. There was a brief time where I thought I could and would make this my life. Hmph. While moving all of my stuff into storage I realized just how much I'd amassed these eight years and I looked at it all, each bit of it telling me what had been important to me, or what I'd tried to accomplish at one time or another. I'd been in my first serious relationship and engaged. For a brief time I thought that would be my life. In a similar way, i was also naive on that front.
I can't say that I've accomplished much in these eight years, not by any typical standard. It doesn't bother me to admit that. Sure, I can imagine where I'd like to have been by now, or think how things might've been different if I'd made certain decisions sooner, but I know that each step happened in it's time. In my time, at my pace, I got to where I am.
I guess if anything, I just feel a bit sad that this chapter is ending and with it, the level of security and familiarity that comes with such a long stay. That's half the reason I'm moving to Dallas, to divorce myself from the complacency and routine that could undermine my intent to change my career. My office is still here in Austin and I'll still be here on a regular basis, but it'll be as a visitor from now on. I would've liked to have lived here for the rest of my life, and that may yet somehow happen, but for now . . .
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I checked out the Roller Derby tonight. That was some rowdy fun. Kinda like hockey, but not so angry. Just fun. And them girls, wow. So many tattoos and very TOUGH. They could all kick my ass. I rooted for the United States Navy (even though they lost to the All Scar Army). I picked their team just because I liked Kate or Die's war paint.
Next time I'll get sauced before the game and apply some Lick-n-Stick tatts so I can blend in.

(Click the pic for a short video)

Dusty nest

Aug. 8th, 2010 07:38 pm
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So I'm back in Austin for a few days. It's good to be home. Here, I'm FREE.
Yesterday I attended Stephanie's Last-Weekend-in-Austin thing. We went to Sago's, which advertises itself as 'modern' Mexican food. Now I've lived in Texas all my life and my mom is Mexican, so I figured I've eaten every possible Mexican plate ever. But holy crap, that place surprised me! Maybe it's just because I've been up in Canada for months now, but that food was delicious; I don't think I've ever tasted Mexican food quite like that. Hell, I wanted to eat the rice for dessert, it was that yummy.
Sorry, I digressed. Less talk about food, more about people. So yeah, a fair number of people showed up, some I kinda knew. We had dinner and drinks and then headed over to karaoke. This time I had been forewarned by Stephanie to BMOB, which I did. I think that improved my rhythm, but not my singing. Now that I think about it, with both Cat and Stephanie up in Dallas now, I may never go to karaoke again, ha ha ha. After karaoke we got dessert and that was it for the night. It was a fun evening of hanging out.

Today hasn't been quite so fun. My single mission while I'm home this week is to finish my cosplay stuff for Dragon*Con. If I don't finish it in the next 5 days, I won't have another chance. So it's crunch time. And the list of stuff to do is long, so that's already a bit stressful. It doesn't help that my house is still a disaster zone from the pre-San Japan cosplay cramming. Trying to work on cosplay amidst that mess was really pissing me off. I was cursing at inanimate objects and throwing crap; I was not a happy camper. The prop that I'm commissioning for D*C is very difficult. I haven't made any headway on it yet. I'm not sure I can do it in time but I've gotta try. I hate when I have to break my word on cosplay commitments.
Right now I've got to back off and chill out, or else my frustration's just gonna make my task that much harder. I think I'll get pizza for dinner tonight. I haven't had any in weeks, so I won't feel (too) guilty about eating all those delicious carbs. MMmm. I'll put on my fat pants and just relax tonight.
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So where did I leave off last time? Oh yeah, wallet crap. So I spent most of Monday waiting in line at the Driver's License office and then at the bank canceling my card. I was pleasantly surprised when they gave me a replacement debit card right then and there. Once that one little piece of plastic was in my hands a lot of stress and anxiety left me. I could start repairing my plans and schedule with this tool. I never got around to cleaning up the pre-con mess like I'd planned; instead I went to go see Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me. Cried during the first one, and was mildly disappointed with the second. Steve Carrell was as funny as he always is, but I think the story could've been filled out better.
Tuesday I closed up the house and headed to Lewisville to hang out with my brother. But not before stopping in West for kolaches. (Thanks for giving me a new vice, Cat.) Once there, my bro had the brilliant idea to go down to the gun range and rent some guns and shoot em. Hell yeah! He'd been there a few times already. I haven't gone shooting in years, so this would be fun.
When we got there I was agog when I saw the wall of guns to choose from. Everything from pink (yes, pink) purse pistols to M-16s and AK-47s. Wow. On the rare occasions when my Texan-itis flares up and I consider buying a gun, I think about getting a Glock. So that's what I chose. And I'm not really sure why I did, but I chose the smallest, chunkiest, (cutest?) Glock they had. I don't know why it appealed to me; either because it was so compact and dense . . . or because it was cute. But regardless, it shot 9mm rounds, just like all the other Glocks. It's not a toy gun. If anything, I like to think that gun said about me, "This guy is not trying to compensate for anything. He's secure with his barrel length." Cameron picked a bigger, heavier, traditional Beretta. His recent practice and longer barrel enabled him to get some good grouping with his shots. But my mini-barrel was one helluva handicap. It had NO accuracy, even at 7 yards. So as much as I may have liked the portability (and cuteness) of the small Glock, I won't be taking it to the zombie apocalypse. Next time, longer barrel.
For dinner we went to a really nice Japanese steakhouse. Dinner ended up being in the triple digits, but the food was great and I actually had saké that I liked!

. . . the green dots mark my shots )
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I never thought I'd say it, but I think I'll miss this weird sun-never-sets nighttime. The sun never REALLY goes down. About midnight it finally dips below the horizon and orange, then red, disappear from the sky. But the bright blue and purple aura doesn't. It stays on the west horizon, then slowly begins to scootch around to the north, then around to the east where the sun rises 3 hours later. The whole time, I'm thinking, "Sun, who do you think you're fooling? You can't hide! Quit sneaking around! I know you're right there!"
It's a curious phenomenon to watch. Kinda like a big, natural nightlight. And it was kinda nice, having that constant twilight. That half-day, half-night ambiance . . . is pretty groovy.

(Midnight sunset)

Ah well. Today I head back to Texas, where we have respectable, Bible-fearing day and night at 8 am and 8 pm sharp. I won't actually get back to Texas tonight. I'll be in Toronto some time around midnight. Instead of spending a night in Calgary, I opted to just string together a bunch of red-eye flights. Not because it'll get me home that much faster (just two hours earlier at the cost of an additional 8 hours of traveling time). I just didn't think it was worth it to pay $150 to stay at a hotel for five hours before leaving to the airport again, especially since I won't be sleeping there anyways. Night shift, hello? So I'll just play musical airplanes and jump from one to the other until I get back to Austin around noon tomorrow.
Ah, I'm a happy puppy.
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I spent a couple days up in Lewisville with the runt. We didn't do too much, just mostly hung out. He's out of school and has no job at the moment, so his schedule was wide open. Mostly it was going out to eat and video games. It was fun to hang out with him; I should've done it earlier this week. We watched "The A-Team," which had ridiculous action, but exceeded my non-existent expectations.
Today though, has been a fiasco from the start. I go back to Canada tomorrow so I left Lewisville at the crack of dawn to get back to Austin so that I'd have all day to get packed and otherwise organized. When I got back to Austin I noticed that I had a new voicemail on my home phone from Cameron. I wondered, "Why'd he call? To say goodbye or something?" The message: Hey Cody, you forgot your laptop up here.
Aw fucknuts.
I had the laptop power adapter and it's wireless mouse with me in the truck; how had I forgotten the laptop itself? So mere minutes after returning to Austin, I got back in my truck and turned right around back to Dallas. The entire drive back I was kicking myself in the ass. God I swear I am so freaking absent-minded. I don't know what it is. ADD? There's a hole in my brain big enough to sail an aircraft carrier through. All the gingko-biloba and mnemonics in the world won't patch up that hole. Like this weekend, Cameron, Katherine, and I went to this fancy Italian restaurant up there. Something called Mangio's or Mannioto's--I don't know. But it was fancy. Split-level dining room, everything is built out of wood, chandeliers on the ceiling, candles on the tables, etc. I'm like, Wow. Fancy. Good thing I didn't wear jeans today. Sometime during the meal I excuse myself to go to the bathroom. I go in there and notice that . . . all of the toilets are stalls.
At this point a normal human brain would have spoken up: Hey Cody, you're in the ladies' room. Get out quick. But not my brain. Mine's got wires crossed or something. Honestly, my thought process was this: . . . Hmm . . . No urinals. . . . Well, this IS a pretty fancy Italian restaurant. I guess over there in Europe, urinals might be considered tacky or vulgar. Stalls are more discrete, I guess. Hm. This is a pretty classy place. They're really European here." So I go do my business, convinced this is normal. Five minutes later I'm washing my hands that a woman comes in the door behind me. Our eyes meet in the mirror (I don't know which one of us was more confused) and THAT'S when I realize I'm in the ladies room. Honestly, I think there's something wrong with my brain.
So I drove back to Dallas, got my laptop, and turned around again. Instead of 3 hours of driving today, I spent 10. Weeee. On the way back I stopped at the Schlotzsky's in Hillsboro for a late lunch. I was displeased to see that they've discontinued my favorite sandwich, but whatever, they're all pretty similar. While eating my sandwich, I bit my lip, with my canine, hard. I jumped an inch out of my chair. My lip is bleeding, that's how deep of a gouge it is. I keep eating . . . and bite myself again. SAME SPOT. I jerk like someone zapped me. God that hurt. Now every time I take a bite of my sandwich, I leave a spot of blood on the bun. The rim of my cup has blood on it. By now my lip's getting a bit swollen where I bit it, so I try to be more . . . mindful of how I'm chewing. But apparently I was over-thinking it because, BAM! I bit myself a third time in the same damn spot. It hurts worse every time! I jumped up again and nearly cursed out loud. I managed to finish eating my metallic-tasting sandwich without further injuring myself. I move on to my chips. The usual. . . . Salt & Vinegar. Normally they're not a problem. Then again, normally I can safely feed myself. One salt-encrusted, vinegar-soaked chip touched my open wound and LIT IT UP. That brought tears to my eyes but since my mouth was full of food, my cry of pain came out only as a moo of pain. That was it. I gave up.
Today has not been my day. I'd prefer to savor my last night here in civilization, but I think it would be wiser to stay home where it's safe (I hope).
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If you, like me, were woken up yesterday morning at 3 am-ish by the sounds of Noah's Deluge (Part II), this news will come as no surprise to you.

Yup, the Guadalupe is flooding. Whitewater toobing sounds a little too extreme (plus it's gotta be hella difficult to hold onto you beer in those conditions). So that means no float this weekend. I'm only going to make this disaster about me just for as long as it takes to say: What the hell?!? Why can't I have any fun?!? All my plans are getting shot in the face! Oh well. This weather provides a good smokescreen for the fact that probably no one was going to show up anyways. But whatever. It's in God's hands now. Now I need to find something else to do.

Today (and probably tomorrow) I'll be heading up to Dallas to harass my brother's ass. It's nothing gay, I just couldn't think of anything else that rhymed with 'harass'. We don't have anything planned to do, but with our powers of boredom combined I'm sure we'll come up with something. (Hopefully it'll involve booze and 'splosions.) I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Yesterday was hectic. My brother had come into town Friday, leaving Dallas immediately after his last final. We hung out for awhile at my place before meeting up with my sister and her guy to go watch the new Robin Hood movie at the Drafthouse. Even with the aid of the bucket of beer I was pretty underwhelmed by the movie. I kept waiting, wondering, "When is he going to start stealing from the rich and giving to the poor?" I did like the whole 'stolen identity' idea, but that was the only aspect that caught my interest. I guess I still prefer the Bryan Adams/Kevin Costner version. After the movie we tried to find Robin Hood: Men in Tights for rent, but had no success. Both my brother and sister say I've lost weight (not a compliment I was fishing for, but appreciated all the same); according to my sister I'm "less puffy than normal." Ha ha ha.
My brother and I spent most of Saturday waiting for my mom to show up. We farted around at Best Buy, Dragon's Lair, GameStop, and we were just about to go to that steampunk event (Green Steam Circus) when we finally received word from my mom that she was in Austin. By then it was 4 pm.
I'd assumed that the whole reason for her drive up was to make some serious plans with us and essentially begin to circle the wagons, just in case things took a turn for the worst. But it was just like any other time she visits; no real agenda other than to sit around and talk and eat. Took them to EZ's and Amy's for fun Austin-ish foods and then we went to go see Iron Man 2. I was only half present, mostly I was thinking of all the packing and reservations and other crap I had to do. And yeah, I was also selfishly thinking of all the other ways I'd like to be spending my last evening in town. I guess it was good to see everyone, but the poor timing just kept me from relaxing and enjoying their company.
Everyone finally left around midnight, giving me just four hours to pack and prepare before my airport shuttle arrived. And boy, it took every minute to get it all done. But I did pilfer a few moments for me and my brother to crack open the fancy Canadian whiskie I'd bought on my flight down. And I even swung by Jenny's and Beauty's to drop some stuff off and to receive my hamster war-name.

Today finds me once again in Calgary, en-route to the work camp. Just before I'd left my boss had told me that when I came back, I'd be a supervisor rather than a field engineer. Technically that's a step up the food chain, but in reality it just adds the stress of being middle management for the same pay of the field hands. I've often voiced in this journal my reluctance to accept greater engineering responsibilities. I'm not a really confident guy, nor am I enough of a hard-ass to wrangle these young punks they've contracted to do the work. So . . . . it's probably going to be a bit rough, at least at the start. *shrug* I don't know.
Either way, here I go again!
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I didn't do too much this weekend. The most productive things I did was to buy a PS3 and a couch, though it'll take 3 weeks for the couch to be delivered so I'll see it next month. Lame, but at least it was only half as much as I expected to pay and I didn't have to resort to going to Ikea. I allowed the PS3 to consume most of my weekend since I couldn't get in touch with any of the prospective ladies, so no dates or anything. It didn't seem like much was going on in town this weekend anyways. Three days of lazy-ing around the house is about my limit though. I need to get out and do something. I think today I'll focus on getting all the cosplay materials I'll need to finish K'nuckles and Sechs. That'll give me plenty of stuff to keep myself occupied during the 'workweek'. I'm even considering running up to Dallas for a day, to hang out with my brother. Just trying to think of stuff to keep the boredom at bay.
Fortunately I'll still be in town for this upcoming weekend, so I'm still optimistic that I'll find fun.
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Today I flew out from camp to Calgary. I had to work half a day on-site, which put me in a bit of a rush to do laundry, pack, get checked-in, etc. Sooo maybe I didn't plan all that properly. I finished and put away my fresh laundry (because I don't want to come back to a pile of dirty clothes) and put on my returning-to-Texas outfit. Maybe it was because I was in a hurry or maybe because my brain had already checked out, but apparently the fact that I'd been snow-covered and wearing 4 layers of clothing that morning had slipped my mind. I was only taking the clothes on my back with me because I want to travel light so I can bring back lots of cosplay stuff. A short-sleeved rayon shirt, jeans, and my jogging sneakers, that was it. When I get to Calgary, it's dark and snowing (AGAIN). At least this time I had the good sense to take a taxi to the hotel, but now I had to find food.
So that's how I found myself jogging down a city block towards the nearest fast food joint, nipples hard enough to cut diamonds, giggling at my own idiocy, picturing my parka hanging on a coat hook in my room 500 kilometers away and wondering whether I'll catch pneumonia or frostbite first. While I was hopping in place at an intersection waiting for the crosswalk signal to change, a bum approached me.
"Hey man, I ain't gonna lie. I'm trying to get seven bucks together to buy a bottle of gin. You think you can help me out?"
I'll pay for honesty. "I've got $5 you can have." And almost added, "I'll give you another $20 for that greasy hoodie of yours."
Money changed hands and I sprinted across the street to the Wendy's.

Only to find that it was already closed.

I used a new curse word I'd learned from the pile drivers this week and kept going to the Tim Horton's further down the street. By the time I got there I was shivering like a chihuahua with Parkinson's. I'm sure the cashier thought I was tweaking for a fix of something.
But man, that dinner was worth it.

Tomorrow, Austin! Fuck yeah!

P.S. Note to self: Don't forget to buy Crown Royal Special Reserve at the duty-free shop tomorrow. That's the liquor from that documentary that you couldn't remember for weeks. Get it and see if your tolerance has really dropped after a month of teetotalling!
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Four days till I get on a plane to go home. Wee! It's getting increasingly more difficult to contain my excitement. I don't have any plans yet (besides shopping), but I need to get to planning or there's a good chance I'll end up wasting my time off.
And that also means I've just got 4 more days to figure out what (if any) costume I'll be making for AX. For some unknown reason I thought of doing the Rocketeer. Yeah, I like the helmet and overall art-deco motif of the movie, but that's not a fitting costume for AX (though it could work for D*C). I don't even know why I considered it. Obviously I'm still stumped for cosplay idears.
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I've been back for a few days now. It's been an odd bit of limbo. Just before I left I was involved in a near-miss, an incident that requires either immediate dismissal or just re-training, depending on which of our clients you ask. So it was a 50/50 chance of whether I'd be sent home in disgrace, or allowed to keep working. Luckily the client who is higher up the food chain advocates re-training rather than firing me outright. So for today and tomorrow I'm going back through orientation again. It's a bit humiliating and embarrassing. To date, fourteen supervisors and safety officers have pulled me aside to talk about my 'incident'; it seems like EVERYONE knows about it. I'm on thin ice for the time being. Being on probation like this has added a layer of stress to my stay out here.
Three days down, eighteen to go. It's been hard getting back into the groove of being here. Neither my Dallas or El Paso assignments were this difficult. I guess the main difference is that even though those jobs were away from home, they weren't so damned remote. It's hard to recharge your batteries in the evening when you can't drink or even go into town to enjoy simple pleasures. Here there's nothing to do but eat dinner, gym, and then an hour of sitting alone in your room till lights out. It's a routine filled with drudgery. If it weren't for Skype I'd have zero social contact.
Eventually I'll stop thinking about how fun & comfortable it would be to be back home. Once I do that and become a drone, the days will just fly by. For now though, the memories of Austin are still too fresh to ignore.
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my weekend back in Austin )

These weekdays are very boring in comparison to the weekend. I leave back to Canada on Thursday morning so in the meantime I’m just trying to keep busy during the day with chores and other ‘responsible’ stuff. Yup, boring.
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Thank Helios the sun has finally come out! Sure, there's still frost and flurries in the morning, but the afternoons are actually pretty comfortable. Unfortunately this thaw has turned the snow-covered landscape into one huge, brown, muddy bog. Knee-deep mud everywhere. The native word for this organic muck is "muskeg," which I believe loosely translates to "moose shit". So we've gone from snow to swamp in two days. I'm not sure that's an improvement.
In (sort of) good news, I finally got my photography permit (just in time to not take pictures of the snow). Now I can take my camera along with me and not worry about the random vehicle searches. Guess I'll have to wait till spring gets here before things are pretty enough to photograph.
I also finally got around to getting Skype. I told myself to get it so I could call for (practically) free to the States, but I haven't actually called any of my kin yet. I'm just so tired in the evenings! But I have to call my brother. It was his birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday, runt!
I got paid yesterday which marks a shift from me paying to be up here to finally getting rewarded for the hardships of this job. The pay is better than I was expecting, which was a nice surprise. Too bad I can't spend any of it up here! Ha ha ha. Oh well, it's probably better that I can't.
And most importantly, I've just got 5 more days before I go back to Austin for a week. I am SOOOO friggin' ready for that. Working 12-14 hours a day for 28 days straight? Yeah, I need some down time. I spend a good part of my idle time daydreaming about the things I want to eat/do/buy when I get back to the 'real world'. Sadly, the food is my greatest fantasy. I haven't had caffeine or a fry or any sort of combo meal in a month. The sucky aspect of my week off is that I have to travel on my own time and it takes 2 days to get from the camp back to Austin (and vice versa). So they give me 7 days off, but I'll only actually be in Austin for 3. Majorly LAME.
I guess that just means I'll have to really focus and cram a month's worth of fun into three days. A challenge? Yes. Do I accept? Hells yeah.

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?
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cut for family crap )
I spent 36 hours in the Valley and that was more than enough. I’m not going back for Christmas. I like to enjoy my holidays.
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First off, more rain has once again shut down work for us. We worked for TWO WHOLE DAYS this week. Pfft. (I need hours!)
That aside, I don't mind having the weekend off. That means more time to work on costume! I think I'll stay here in Dallas over the weekend; I'm just getting tired of constantly driving back and forth and packing and unpacking all the danged time. In costume-y news, I finished the mantle yesterday (in one evening, no less!). I've got an assload of leather left over so I'll have to find ways to incorporate it into my costume. I'm gonna be wearing so much leather, it's gonna be awesome. Today I think I'll go grab some material for my tabard. I'm gonna try and make that garment "dickie-style" because there's already more than enough layers in this outfit. I'm afraid I'm gonna overheat. One part of the costume that's got me stumped is headgear. Yeah, my ranger costume is heavily based off the Lord of the Rings costumes, in which no one wears hats because they all have glorious locks of hair. But I live in Texas and I want something to keep the sun out of my eyes. So it's either sunglasses or a hat. Which one's gonna look better in a Renn Faire costume? Hmm, I wonder. Duh. I'm just having trouble imagining what kind of hat would work with a ranger costume. I'm NOT making one of those dorky Robin Hood hats, so don't even suggest it. But I need something . . .
cosplay rambling )
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Back in Dallas.
Yeah, it was good to be back in Austin for a bit. Work on cosplay, go to drinky parties, and have some days off. But it's also good to be in Dallas again, where I don't have to worry about my paycheck. I need to keep busy.
Today's bit of coolness is when I checked into the hotel the only room they had left was a handi-capable room. Hmm. I've always wanted to try one out, but I didn't know if that was taboo. I assumed that a handicap room would be a lot more spacious, but what if they asked to see my proof of handicappedness when I checked in? Uh, I left my wheelchair in my other pants? Wrong. That'd be embarrassing. Like worse than stealing their parking spot.
I told the hotel clerk, sure, I didn't mind. And boy oh boy, was I right about this room being big. It's HUGE! I've had apartments smaller than this room! I'm pleased because now I have plenty of room for cosplay-y stuff. Heck, I think I'll pitch that tent I bought for TRF, right in front of the TV. I need to practice setting it up, right? ;)

P.S. Everybody needs to watch the Venture Brothers premiere tonight! I'm gonna have my own little one-man viewing party, yay! (Secret viewing hint: keep an eye on Hank's hair)
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According to my camera, I took over 300 pictures of this weekend's party. Upon review, about 290 of them are ridiculously blurry. The moral of this story, Cody? Set your camera settings BEFORE you start drinking. Or just go full Auto, you doofus.

I spent today driving to Dallas and back, in the rain. I was there for all of . . . 40 minutes? Just long enough to clear out my hotel room and GTFO. Actually, no, I was there a while longer after that. I couldn't NOT stop at Golden D'or. Spent about an hour there looking for material for my cloak. Finally I had to go to an upholstery store down the block to find something that would work. Hopefully this will be all of the big stuff I need to buy for the TRF costume; after buying the sewing machine I need to take it easy with the frivolous spending.
I found out today I'll be here in Austin all week, so I finally decided to unpack my bags. Now I'm going to have to start buying groceries and checking the mail and acting like I live here again. Wow, it's gonna be so weird.
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I go on break tonight. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday back home in Austin. Tomorrow I'll be going to see Liz's mom to talk and hopefully get some new perspective or ideas about us. I don't see much point in talking to her dad; I expect his opinions would agree with mine but I need new ideas, not more of the same stuff I've already come up with. Been there, done that.
Liz will be getting back in to Austin midnight Friday. I hope she's not too tired from her vacation. I'd really like to have a talk with her Saturday. I know I said I'd wait till we went to the therapist, but at the same time I don't want her to be completely caught by surprise when we go. So I want to at least bring up the topic so that she'll have a couple weeks to mull over what I've been thinking and then hopefully we can make some progress when we actually go to the therapist's.
That couple's book has been insightful. Sadly, I think I've learned more from that one little book than all of our therapy sessions. I have to remind myself not to put too much hope into what I've learned. Yes, the tips about communication show me that sometimes I accidentally express myself in ways that handicap our discussions. But, improving our communication is just the start. If we can't find a mutually agreeable way to move forward, then it's moot.
So yeah, Friday I talk with her mom, Saturday I talk with Liz, and Sunday I'll probably spend on damage control from the aftermath of our Saturday talk. Not really the kind of weekend I would like to have, but it's difficult to relax or think about much else while I have this occupying my thoughts. My mom, brother, and sister had been planning to come to Austin to jointly celebrate mine/my sister's birthday this month, but I called them up and told them I needed to set this weekend aside for Liz and I. That also means no going to see District 9 or Ponyo. Well, that stuff can wait.

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