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No new news to report. Just another week of doing virtually nothing.
I fly back to Austin a week from today. Yay. A whole week off. I don’t have any plans for Thanksgiving. I haven’t contacted my family because I don’t want a repeat of last year’s Thanksgiving. I’m a bachelor who is rarely ever home. I don’t want to stay cooped up in a house with my nagging mom and sister watching whatever generic holiday movies are on because one is too broke to go out and do anything and the other is on-call and can’t commit to any plans that can’t be abandoned at a moment’s notice. Three or four days of that was mind-numbingly boring. It wouldn’t be so bad having my brother over, but in the women’s presence we can’t have too much fun.
I suppose I should put out some feelers for what my amigos are doing for Turkey Day. Hopefully someone’s hosting an Orphan’s Dinner. I’d much rather drink Wild Turkey while watching some turkey movies while gorging myself on turkey meatstuffs. And no families allowed. That’s the best part.

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Yesterday seemed to drag on forever. Without tv or internet and all restaurants and stores closed, I was hard pressed to find ways to keep myself occupied. And man, did it get cold quick yesterday afternoon or what? That cold front was not screwing around. Of course, that meant I would soon discover that the thermostat/furnace isn’t working like I would expect. I’d finally figured out how to turn on the A/C the other day, but when I switch it to “Heat,” I get nothing. So I fired up the fireplace. I’ll probably be annoyed by it the other 360 days out of the year, but for this week I’m glad I’ve got it. I’ve been burning leftover scrap lumber from cosplays-past to keep the house comfortable.
I got up early this morning to take my truck in to the insurance place so they could do their estimate and insurance-y stuff. They gave me a rental car; apparently that was covered in my policy unbeknownst to me. I was expecting them to give me some dinky little Geo Metro or a SmartCar or something like that. But the guy brought around an Armored Personnel Carrier.
Flashback - A dream realized? )
Generally, I’m against the idea of “retail therapy,” but I think I may have accidentally committed it today. After being cooped up all day yesterday, I was not about to go back home after I got the rental. First I went to Jo-Ann’s. A little birdie had told me that you could get a whole bolt of interfacing for $3 on Black Friday. Hells yeah, that would set me up for life. Man, there were so many moms and grandmoms there. That was the longest wait at the cutting table ever. While I was waiting I browsed and ended up getting stuff for two more costumes. C’mon, it was half off! That’ll give me something to work on in west Texas. Next I went to B&N for books and then to Ikea for furniture and other odds and ends. I don’t like Ikea’s crappy construction, but I hadn’t found what I was looking for at any other stores yet so I gave it a shot. While I was there, I got a phone call from the insurance dude. He’d finished his estimate and told me, “The total damage amounts to thirty-six hundred dollars.”
*heart attack*
Holy shit. Four grand? The whole truck only cost 16 grand, new. Another 25% just for cosmetic repairs? That’s a whole other year and a half of truck payments! He kept talking insurance-y stuff, but all I kept hearing over and over was, Thirty-six hundred dollars, 36 hundred dollars, three thousand six hundred dollars. But then he said, “You’ll be responsible for the $250 deductible and the rental.” Wait, what? I was still kinda in shock from the larger number so I just kinda mumbled in assent.
So by the time I get back from west Texas in a week or so, my truck will be ready. Whether I have to pay $1000 or just $250, either will be a bargain compared to $3600. As long as I only have to pay my deductible, that’d be great. Something that might be called a bit of good luck is the fact that I renewed my insurance just a couple weeks ago and paid the 6-months in advance. So it’s not like they’ll be able to jack my rates up anytime soon. As long as these costs don’t get out of hand I should be able to absorb the financial impact without too much grumbling.
As far as holiday news goes, I don’t know where my family is, or what they’re planning. It may sound callous, but if they don’t show up, that’s fine by me. With as much stuff as I’ve got on my plate right now, I probably wouldn’t be the greatest host in the world, not to mention my house is a cold Stone Age hut right now. Maybe they’ll call tomorrow and show up, maybe not. If they don’t, I think I’ll go down to the Haven Gallery to see their exhibit. The Austin Chronicle did a column on a glass-weaving exhibition. The photo of a KIMONO WOVEN FROM GLASS instantly caught my eye. I’m no fashion nut, but I _am_ interested in impossible costumes and this is truly that. The exhibit ends the 11th, so I have to go see it this weekend if I’m gonna see it at all. I pray they allow photography there, because it’s gotta be phenomenal to see in person.

P.S. The title was totes a Deadwood reference. Bonus points if you caught it.


Nov. 23rd, 2010 07:07 pm
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Earlier this week I had my annual employee review with Boss #1. I’d hoped to evade him long enough that he would forget about our appointment, but no luck.
It was a . . . sobering discussion. Having the same guy who hired me now telling me that maybe I should look for a new job, is rather disheartening. He asked me the generic question, “Are you happy here?” I’d been unhappy since/during Canada, but I’d been telling myself that was an acute reaction to the immediate circumstances. Now that I think about it, I’ve been chronically unhappy with this job for awhile. Six years after I started and I’m still in the same entry-level position, not talented enough to advanced or outright lousy enough to be fired. My patience and willingness to tolerate adversity has allowed me to hang in there this long. I’m no quitter, but I have to admit that I’m a failure at this job. I’m not growing or advancing or benefiting from staying here. Something needs to change. I’ve lived here six years and I’m very grateful for the financial security and overall stability I’ve gained from this career; I dread risking it for the mere possibility of a better career. That’s probably half the reason why I’ve held out as long as I have. Fear of losing what I’ve got.
It’s only a seed of motivation now, but I know that ultimately I need to leave this company. I really don’t know where I’d go from here, if I’m no good at this profession. Yeah, I’m a little scared. I thought I had this shit figured out.
He said I should consider “re-inventing myself,” whatever that means. All I know right now is that I need to take a long, hard look at what I can and will be able to do for the rest of my life. Six years is a long mistake.

Last night I spent the night at my new place. I hadn’t planned on it, but due to a scheduling snafu, the power was turned off at my old place this afternoon. Yesterday was unseasonably warm so I sure as hell wasn’t going to try sleeping in a house with no A/C. Yeah, packing up my bed and toiletries and etc in complete darkness was real fun. I don’t even wanna think about what the inside of my fridge looks like. In time I managed to get the essentials moved over to the new house. I tried taking a cold-water bath (gas isn’t scheduled to be hooked up till Thursday!), but I had to draw the line somewhere. One inch of cold bathwater in the tub is that line, apparently. Frankly, all I’ve got at the new house is electricity, which is the most important, I suppose. I’m surprised at how handicapped I become without internet at my disposal. I don’t know when or where I’m posting this to the internet; probably from some ‘free wi-fi’ restaurant in the neighborhood. I’m just writing this post in good faith, like a message in a bottle, hoping that it will reach the internet someday. The funny thing was, after all the sweating and grunting to move my bed across town and up the stairs, I discover that the A/C at the new house isn’t working either. So I ended up sleeping warm and sticky after all.

Today I worked a half day. I needed to burn some vacation time anyways and with family coming in to town and a house to move into, I could definitely put the free time to good use. I was driving my bed and TV to the new house when this happened.
Now with eXtreme battle damage!
Apparently I wasn’t stressed enough with moving into a new place, having family visit for the holidays, and looking for a new job, so subconsciously I decided to rear-end a big-ass truck while merging onto I-35. I fought the semi and the semi won. Totally my fault, so I can’t even be angry at someone else’s fuck-up. This is all me. My poor baby. Just one month shy of getting it completely paid off. Yeah, he’s still driveable (he’s a 4-cylinder bad-ass like that) and yeah, I can just afford the $1000 deductible, but all I keep thinking is, “Fuck, my truck!” The crumpled hood blocks half my view of the road. It’s so damned embarrassing, like a boner at the pool. I can’t hide it. Everybody knows I suck at driving.
In my head, I can handle all this crap. Physically, my stomach has had that nauseous feeling for a week now, but that’s minor. But between you and me, one more straw and this camel is going down.
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Brought to you by the Home Depot.

Soo, I spent most of this weekend moving non-essential stuff from Casa 1 to Casa Nueva. By "non-essential," I mean cosplay, which is probably the majority of my possessions now that I think about it. Ooo, and once I started moving stuff into that great, BIG, gorgeous garage I started getting that feeling. That feeling of cosplay POTENTIAL. After a few trips to Home Depot (and a few hundred dollars of shopping), I've gotten that garage tricked out into one sweet cosplay workshop. I even painted the whole garage on impulse so that I wouldn't be distracted by how ugly it was. (Don't tell my landlord!) And that second bedroom upstairs? That's the storage room, also known as the cosplay retirement center. Now I have all the room I want to work. Yes, Tagmec and Catbus, you have been very patient, enduring an intolerant fiancé and cramped living quarters. The time has come for you to stretch your wings. Finally I'll be able to scratch those off my to-do list.
As if sensing my optimism, my mother called me this afternoon. She reminded me that (allegedly) I had agreed to host Thanksgiving at my place this year. What? Why would I ever do that? I can't really argue with the logic of having everyone meet in a central location though and since I'm a man, I concede to logic. So instead of preparing for a cosplay orgy this holiday weekend, I'll be preparing to host my family at my new place. That means pretty much everything's gotta be moved over before Thursday. Woof. I was going to make another trip tonight but then I realized Dexter, Walking Dead, and Venture Brothers would be on back-to-back-to-back. Note to self: Never make plans on Sunday nights ever again.
I guess the upside is that they should all return to their caves and haunts by Friday which means I'll still have some chance at fun and merriment later in the weekend. But in the meantime I've got a lot of packing/unpacking/cleaning to do. Woo, let's do this!
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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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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 just realized I never got around to finishing/posting my Thanksgiving entry. A bit old, but here it is anyways. )
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Now I feel kinda guilty. Called mom last night to find out what was going on for Thanksgiving. She told me that she didn't have the money to come up and see us. Then she went on to say how she hadn't been able to get her alimony (?) from my dad. Apparently he hasn't worked in over two months and he's pawned just about everything of value he has. He even had to use her phone (since his has been disconnected) to call his brother and sister to ask for a loan. They couldn't/wouldn't help him. He's in a tough spot. I know I've said that I despise that man, but upon hearing about his situation, I caught myself feeling sorry for him. My mom's retired so she can't work more than a certain number of hours per week or else she loses her retirement benefits. They're both having trouble paying their bills and covering my brother's tuition. I'm sorry that they're in this position but I don't have the means to help them so it's just easier to forget about it.
My sister, the Aggie, might be coming to Austin for the UT/A&M game. If she does I think I'll meet up with her somewhere to watch the game. Football isn't really my thing, but watching the game is mandatory for all Austinites. I don't really know my sister anymore; ever since I went off to college in '97, that was the last time I had close contact with her. Sure, we see each other on holidays, but those are artificial situations and in those cases, we both revert to how we were in high school since we don't know each other as adults. So it's been nearly a decade since I knew her well, most likely both of us have changed. At least with my brother we go to cons often and he'll call me up at random times about random crap (like to tell me to watch Venture Brothers or buy a PS3), so we're still close.
So my plan for the weekend is:

Thursday: Be lazy
Friday: Football with sis
Saturday & Sunday: Nekobus

Sounds good to me. (And I'll probably eat some turkey too.)

long, ugly dad tangent (no humor included) )

Not again!

Nov. 17th, 2006 05:07 am
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Oh crap! Next week's already Thanksgiving! (It seems like just yesterday was Halloween.) You know what that means . . . Family! Oh no! My mom beat us kids to the punch. We should've had a conference call to sort out our excuses, maybe sabotage our vehicles, get assigned jury duty, etc, but she struck first and called each one of us unprepared. Mom is down south in the Rio Grande Valley, I'm here in Austin, my sister's in A&M/College Station, and my brother's at UNT/Denton. She wants everyone to get together for Thanksgiving dinner, blah blah blah. Apparently my brother's been playing the "It's too far to drive, too much gas money," card a little too often because now her idea is to come to us for Thanksgiving. No! And since I'm sort of centrally located, she wants everyone to come to my place to cook, eat, and sleep for Thanksgiving. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! She's finally starting to outsmart us. It used to be, I could keep her from visiting by telling her that there were no hotels in Austin, but she's wised up.
Awww, this is gonna suck if it actually happens. At the very least I've gotta clean up the apartment and buy some more furniture (I'm single, I can't accomodate a whole family). The worst part though would be explaining the cosplay, evidence of which is all over my apartment. My brother's into anime, so he's cool. But my sister's in redneck land and if it doesn't run on hooves, diesel, or beer, then she doesn't get it. And my mom is old, so she's clueless (she still refers to anime as "that stuff with the people with the little mouths"). I can hear them already.
"What is that big thing in your dining room? Is . . . is that a skull?"
"*sigh* . . . It's a mechanical horse skeleton."
"What's that big green thing?"
"Mom, this is GIR. GIR, my mom."
"And that big pointy thing? Is that a sculpture?"
"No, that's Pyr -- Yeah, it's a sculpture."
Maybe I could handle one of them at a time, shield them from my otaku-ness, but two of em? No. My sister's sneaky. She'll outflank me while I'm busy with the mom and get into stuff. "Why do you have a wig? . . . And make-up? . . . Ah! You're gay!" See, that's why I can't own something like a sewing machine. If the wrong people saw that, there'd be nooo way I could explain it away. It could be a stainless steel serger on a pile of Playboys, in a room chockful of guns and power tools, and they'd still say, "You are soo gay."
What was I talking about? Gay cosplay? Wait, no, Thanksgiving. Yeah. So anyways, I like turkey and pumpkin pie, but not enough to entertain guests. Like they say, "Despues tres dias, tù pestas." Or in this case, three hours.

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