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So let's see.
Last weekend I went to Courtney's to drop off the little bit of her stuff I'd found at my place and to also give back her key, which I'd unknowingly kept. I'd suggested just stopping by while she was at work to drop off her stuff and then mail her her own spare key (or destroy it), as a way of exchanging items without any face-to-face time. But she said she wanted to do this in person. That had me thinking she wanted to talk? about something I guess. That made me a bit apprehensive but it turned out to be for naught. I was in and out within 10 minutes; it was just business. Walking back down the stairs to my car, I did feel a bit of the same choked-up-ed-ness from the last time I saw her, but it was quickly tamped down. I guess that's the last of the loose ends.

We'll be wrapping up our work in Denton tomorrow and then I've got 10 days off for the holidays. I've got plenty of projects I'm itching to start; most involve power tools. But I NEED to focus on packing up my house in preparation for the move. I received quite a few genuine offers in response to my Adopt-a-Cody posting on Facebook. I'd only expected one or two. Imagine my surprise when I had to choose and start turning down peoples' offers. I had to choose between Austin and Dallas. The former is the city I love and want to live in always, but Dallas is wear most of my friends now live and so does my brother. That brought the decision to a stalemate until I figured that numerically, I was more likely to get accepted to one of the colleges in the metroplex. So if I'm likely to be schooling there, now's a good time to familiarize myself with the area. Plus, living there will help expedite the application process. I hate to do this to you, Austin, but I will be back.

I won't officially be moving out of Austin till the end of January. After then I'll be rooming with the gracious David & Kelly in Dallas. At least, until they get tired of me. I could always be a wandering house guest and just stay with a new friend every other weekend. Who knows. We'll see how it all pans out.
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Nothing of real interest occurred during my trip. I just wrote this post during my travels out of sheer boredom.

Read on . . .  )
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My boss contacted me at just the best/worst moment, depending on how you look at it. Friday evening, a quarter to six, I was waiting at Courtney’s place to break up with her. I was an emotional mess, full of dread, regret, and anger, to name a few.
My phone rang. It was my boss asking how soon I could get a flight to Canada. Apparently those in charge of the project hadn’t scheduled anyone to cover for the people leaving for Thanksgiving holidays. He continued with the various details but I barely heard him. My thoughts were fixed on the break-up right in front of me. I couldn’t focus on work right then. I just mm-hmmed and uh-huhed my way through the conversation to get it over with as soon as possible. He asked if I would be open to work a 2-week shift through the holiday weekend.
A bitter voice in my head said, “Go ahead and go, Cody. There won’t be anyone waiting for you when you get back. No one will be missing you.”
Prior to that . . . )
With this imperative in mind, I could not decline this assignment, even though I distrust and detest these Canadian assignments so. I was told this would be for a ten-day hitch and I hope they appreciate this favor I’m doing them enough to honor that schedule. Then again, the last time they asked me to come up for two weeks it turned into seven. So I have my doubts.
Even if this turns out to be a bait-and-switch, I won’t have any real grounds to refuse the assignment. If I’m making tough decisions to pursue my next career; giving up my home and killing a casual but otherwise good long-distance relationship, then I have to fully commit to this cause.
My mind recognizes this and I believe I can do it for the next 8 months if need be, even though I may not like it. I just wish that this time didn’t seem so reminiscent of the first time I came up to Canada. Then, as now, I came to Canada shortly after breaking up with my girlfriend. It was a very tough time for me, those months of being isolated from friends and family, alone, with too much time to dwell on the past.
I can only try to fend off a repeat of that experience.
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She wasn’t there when I arrived. I’d wanted to be direct, I wanted to get it over with as painlessly as possible. Waiting for her in her apartment gave me too much time to think, to reminisce, and to dwell on us. I grew emotional.
Courtney arrived and immediately saw on my face that something was wrong. She hurried over to hold me and ask, “What is it?” Her kindness was too much for me, knowing what I was about to do to us. I couldn’t bring myself to say it. I reached into my pocket and brought out a small glass jar of tiny multicolored folded paper stars. She’d given it to me the first time we were together, to remember her by. I’d waved it around her head and shoulders before closing it to ‘trap her essence’. It was the one thing of hers that I kept at my place. Now I gave the jar of stars back to her.
“. . . Why are you doing this?” she asked with fear creeping into her voice.
Clumsily I tried to explain how I wasn’t fulfilled, that she was a good woman, but not the right woman for me. Courtney took it more strongly than I expected, only briefly did she cry. For only a moment did she get defensive, before I could convince her that this talk wasn’t me acting out to get a change in behavior out of her. I didn’t want her to change, I’d never ask her to change, I couldn’t respect/trust someone who would change for another person.
Courtney did not get angry, defensive, hysterical, or desperate. . . . I wish she had been one of those. I could not believe the cool, almost diplomatic tone she now carried expressed her true feelings. If she loves loved me, this had to be destroying her. The reason I was here in person was to help her understand and also that we might grieve together. I wanted to hold her as we cried it out. But she was remote. There were many thoughts, half-explanations, and questions running through my head that went unsaid; each articulation just sounded like another twist of the knife. If she did not want to hear more, I’d let them be.
I knew this was our last time together so as unhappy as it was, I didn’t want it to end. I wasn’t ready for the killing stroke. But Courtney asked me to leave. I tried to hug her goodbye; she was wood in my arms. That tore at me. In less than an hour, we’d gone from a caring, warm embrace to the stiff touch of a stranger.
I’d done this. And now it's all gone.

Black bird

Nov. 16th, 2012 09:00 pm
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It's done.
I've broken the heart of a good woman.
All the reasons I had . . . none of them warrant the sadness we both now feel. If I didn't love her, why does this hurt?
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Another Dragon*Con is in the books. This was the best one yet. I wish I didn’t have to wait a whole year to go again!
Dragon*Con 2012 )

Like other Dragon*Cons, I wish I could’ve spent more time with those people I don’t see anywhere else, or got to meet more new cosplay acquaintances. Only getting to meet certain people once a year places maybe too much hope and expectation on chance encounters, I suppose. But I am happy with one new development to come out of Dragon*Con. I can confidently call Nick & Lisa my friends now. Even though we all hung together quite a bit at Anime Expo this year, I still considered them just my ‘girlfriend’s friends’, and thus just acquaintances of mine. I’m not one to quickly or easily warm up to new people, so this development means something to me. All the cosplay fun and drunken shenanigans aside, that was the best part of Dragon*Con for me.
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Just got my full GRE test scores in the mail today and was disappointed. On the verbal reasoning (logic/words) I got in the 96th percentile. In the quantitative reasoning (math) I got in the 82nd percentile. But my analytical writing (essays) score was way down in the 29th percentile. I know my typing output was hobbled by the fact that I was reduced to hunt-and-peck typing, so that might account for part of it, but I still can't believe I did that poorly on the essay questions.

I'm quite bummed out and discouraged by these results. As far as my application for graduate school goes, my college GPA was unimpressive and I have no virtually no experience that would recommend me to the graduate program, so I was REALLY relying on strong test scores to improve my chances at being accepted. There's a 60-day waiting period between GRE testing sessions, so even if I wanted to take it again and improve my score, it'd be too late to get an application in for Fall 2012. All I can do right now is submit my application and hope for the best.
With the applications due at the end of February, I'll be sending out my requests for letters of recommendation this week, bothering my friends and family for that favor. I've a few application essays to write this week too; apparently I'll need to try really hard on those. After that, it's all out of my hands. Nothing to do but wait.
This weekend I'll be heading up to Dallas. Courtney had been coming down to Austin the past couple times, which was a pleasant change of pace. Highlights of those weekends included watching "Aliens" at the Alamo Drafthouse with Michael Beihn (Corporal Hicks) in attendance, drunken trivia night with J&B&S at Opal Devine's, Goodwill hunting, tattoo art revival/flea market shopping, and shark fighting (one of those is not true).
This Saturday Stephanie's planning a japanese-themed party. It will be fun to hang with my DFW pals again (plus, the sushi!).
And I've FINALLY got all the ingredients together to do a life-casting of my head. I'd ordered the stuff back in December, but me being me, managed to forget this, that, and the other thing. Sure, I'd like to do this in the convenience and mess-friendly environs of my own home, but I'll do it up in DFW if need be. I don't wanna wait another two weeks for my next chance. I figured I'll need an accurate duplicate of my head for sculpting the Hound's helm (Game of Thrones) and my old plaster one is due for retirement. This costume will be expensive and time-consuming, but it will be relevant at Dragon*Con and the Renaissance Faires, so I'll get plenty of mileage out of it. I need to keep making steady progress on it if I'm going to have it ready in time for those events.

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I finally got around to finishing my Dragon*Con entry. The report's kinda dull since I didn't do much cosplaying and don't remember much (because of all the booze), but NONETHELESS I had a FANTASTIC time. More fun than last year's D*C, if that's humanly possible. It was great fun to build on old friendships, rekindle distant ones, and start entirely new ones. I owe it all to my buddies, near and far, who made it a success!! A year is too long to wait for next time!

P.S. No pics just yet. I should have those posted in the next day or two. But here's one pic to curb your appetite.
(The secret word is 'cocktails'!)



Dragon*Con report, if you're interested )

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