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I was talking to Jane Saturday afternoon. She was bored at home and floated the idea that I might come over to hang out if I was bored as well. I had RSVPed to Amanda's house-warming party that night but I wasn't too keen on going since I only knew the hostesses but none of the guests. So I was quite fine with abbreviating my time at that party.
After a short how-do-you-do at the house-warming I headed up to Denton. Since this would just be hanging out (a "non-date") I nominated some random fun ideas like driving up to the state line to blow $5 at an Oklahoman casino or just exploring Denton at random. Y'know, nothing serious. I went to Jane's house and then let her take over the driving responsibilities. We went to Chipotle first and then to a coffee shop on the square next. I liked the decor and even though I don't do coffee they had a tasty cider for me. The abundant hipsters were a slight detraction but I soon tuned them out. Jane started talking about broken dicks and roast beef labias (labii?), mostly in regards to her past relationships. It was quite fun; I've never known a girl platonically or romantically that could talk about sex so casually. I was glad to know I didn't have to tiptoe around certain topics with her. I'm sure the conversation bothered some of our neighbors but it was too fun to pay them any mind. I didn't have quite as many sad/embarrassing anecdotes to share; either I've been extra lucky or she's been especially unlucky in these matters.
We stayed at the coffee shop until well past closing and then moved to Paschall's, a nearby bar. Jane seemed almost indifferent to the idea. I don't know if it was because she didn't want to spend money on that or just wasn't a fan of drinking, but I pushed forward with the idea. I knew that if I was going to make up for my relative reticence at the coffee shop, I'd probably need the assistance of some alcohol. We didn't have to wait long before some vacancy opened up and we could go inside.
I liked that it was a small bar with a tasteful but not pretentious interior. Thankfully it was small enough that we could have a conversation AND the drinks were strong. I don't mind paying $7 a drink if those two conditions are satisfied. I didn't really feel the booze due to the burrito obstacle in my stomach but the familiar atmosphere helped to put me more at ease. We continued our colorful conversation from earlier. I mean we talked about serious stuff like our messed-up families and other baggage, but it was more amusing to talk about our past romantic mistakes and misunderstandings instead. We only had two drinks each, but they were serious drinks. As the evening progressed Jane became more playful. Not necessarily more vulgar or candid, but definitely more playful. She was even asking me about my personal measurements and I used a dollar bill as a measuring stick. It was great fun; everything was fair game. If this had been a real date I would've been high-fiving myself in the bathroom and matching her flirt for flirt but I kept reminding myself that we were just hanging out and be cool and not get any ideas or hopes in my head. Even with that collar though it was still a great evening.
Closing time came again and we were cast out into the night. It took us a couple of laps around the Square to find her car. She didn't trust herself to drive but neither did she trust my state of semi-sobriety so we sat in the car for awhile. I didn't mind. It was more time to spend with her. We waited for about twenty or thirty minutes, watching the stray drunks wander throughout the Square. Jane read a children's book from a McDonald's Happy Meal.
Eventually I was cleared for departure and we left. Jane began predicting how embarrassed she was going to be tomorrow when she was sober. I laughed and kept trying to explain to her how I only truly trusted people who had shown me their uninhibited self but I couldn't seem to allay her anxiety. Or maybe she was just trying to pre-emptively excuse any offense I might've taken during the night. I got us back to her home safe and sound. By now it was 3 am, give or take. Jane lingered between the car and the front door for a moment and I . . . thought about it. I felt that I could probably push my luck to make something happen but considering how that's essentially how I started my relationship with Courtney, I was loathe to try and start another one the same way. So I left. I don't think I even hugged her. I'm not sure I trusted myself to.
Of course on the way home a flurry of texts from her confirmed that I had sold myself short. Of course. That's me. Too fucking cautious. But still, that was better than screwing everything up. And as a result I was literally and carnally up for quite a while after that. There was no way I could sleep with so much on my mind.

A-kon 2014

Jun. 11th, 2014 10:56 pm
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This past weekend was A-kon. I ended up rooming with a totally random grab-bag of new people. There was nothing special or amazing about that, though our room party got pretty huge a couple of nights, which ain't for me. I hadn't been able to get the official time off for A-kon as I'd requested, so I had a couple of shifts interrupting/abbreviating my convention. I was mildly hungover when I reported to work Friday morning and that didn't do me any favors. So Friday night I took it relatively easy with the booze. Saturday would turn out to be my cosplay day. I cosplayed all three of the costumes I'd brought along, which is probably a new daily record for me.
As a bonus, Lindsay was also at the con on Saturday. I'd met her online about a month ago and we'd gone on a couple of dates. The dates had gone well enough, aside from the common ailment of struggling to find things to talk about. She's a mild cosplayer and fortunately/unfortunately(?) her friends wouldn't be attending A-kon, which meant that I was her sole option for accompaniment. I didn't have any cosplay or scheduling commitments, so I was content to have someone to bum around with. After an hour or so of text-tag and hide-and-go-seek, we managed to find each other and spent most of the day with each other. The online metrics say we're a very strong match personality-wise. I have trouble reading her though. I can't tell if her quietness and lack of outward expression is just because she's a reserved person, or if she's bored/uninterested with me and thus disengaged. I figure if she weren't interested, she wouldn't have stuck around. It's just weird that I can't discern any positive or negative cues from her.
She certainly looked cute in her Kiki costume. We wandered the con, grabbed some lunch, and went up to my room for awhile so that she could charge her phone. She'd just driven in for the day, so had no charger or change of clothes for that matter. Later on we went to the cosplay contest, which ran long. We got out of there about 10 pm and we were both ravenous and chose to wait in the long lines for the food trucks. By the end of dinner, Lindsay seemed to finally be relaxing/warming up to me. It being 11 pm, I was ready to switch to drinking and socializing. I proposed that Lindsay join me but she declined. After all, she had to drive home and she'd been wearing the same costume all day long. So I walked her back to her car and that was that.
The rest of the night was typical con goodness. I strengthened some friendships, made some new buddies, and unfortunately missed some people that I only get to see this one time of year. That's just how these things go.


Feb. 28th, 2014 01:20 am
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While driving home today I caught myself in a rather ebullient mood. A bit of reflection revealed to me that the reason for my mood was that at this moment, it seems that everything is going well and moving forward for me.
At the beginning of this year, I'd looked into the possibility of working as a tutor at a tutoring business. That didn't go anywhere, but I eventually found my way to a website that serves as an intermediary between tutors and potential students. It wasn't until my conventional job hunting was going nowhere that I began to seriously consider that sort of freelance work. Yesterday I had my first tutoring gig. I was nervous as the hour drew near. It's one thing to test well and prove competency to yourself, but that may not correlate at all to how effective you are at teaching. I pulled up at the student's residence and was somewhat dismayed to see a giant affluent house situated in a country club community. I was reminded of my mom's stories of her tutoring experiences, where rich parents would just burn money on tutors for their dumb or apathetic kids. I was worried that might be the situation I was about to experience.
I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, at first when the student pulled out his geometry homework, it looked nigh incomprehensible. But after a few minutes of letting him take the lead in explaining what he was trying to do, the vocabulary and theorems came back to me. We started clicking pretty quickly and I soon had a firm grasp on where to focus his attention and what ideas would be instrumental to his grades. Luckily for me, he was an engaged and intelligent kid. From what I could gather, I assume the only reason for his difficulty is that the teacher cannot provide enough in-depth explanation or direct instruction, for whatever reason that may be. The mother seemed to have already concluded that we should meet twice a week. I doubt Zarar will need that much help, but I couldn't resist the offer for a more consistent revenue and besides, it can't hurt to be extra diligent, so long as the student is okay with the regimen.
I was delighted with the successful outcome and the prospect of a long-term job opportunity. More than that, it was rewarding and relieving to have an experience that says I just might actually be a good teacher after all.
Oh, and speaking of jobs, I was starting to worry about my job offer from Chipotle. I'd filled out all the necessary forms by Thursday evening, the same day of my interview. But I didn't hear anything else from the all weekend. Complete radio silence. Not until Tuesday did they call me and say to bring in my license and social security card so that I can be 'put on the schedule'. But when I told the manager that I didn't have my card available, she wasn't able to offer me any alternatives; not even my passport would suffice. I said I'd do what I could. So I spent Tuesday afternoon at the Social Security office up in McKinney, doing what I could to expedite my replacement card. They gave me a receipt that proved my number belonged to me. I went in to Chipotle today with some trepidation that this still wouldn't be acceptable. The general manager appeared to receive my documents, but then stopped when she saw that I didn't have my card. When I told her it'd be two weeks for the replacement to come in, the expression on her face told me this might be a deal-breaker. She stepped away to call her manager and I wondered if this was a no-go. Then she came back and told me that my passport WOULD work. Okay, that's not what I'd been told, but whatever works. So I'll have to go back on Friday with my passport to finalize all this, but I'm glad to know that I'm still holding onto this job opportunity.
I took it easy at the gym today because I forgot my water bottle. With the air as cold and dry as it is right now, my exercise-induced asthma is tricky to manage. Constant hydration and mindful breathing techniques seems to keep it at bay. But anyways, I weighed myself on the scale and either the last scale I used was wrong, or else I've actually lost weight. I'm certain I wrote a post this time last year, when I crossed the 200-lb mark (though I can't find it); that's what prompted me to start being more disciplined about food and exercise. Today I was at 187, according to the scale. That difference is more than can be attributed to error; the only conclusion is that my efforts, inconsistent as they may be, have had an effect. I'm pleased with this. I was worried that I'd get softer, now that I'm living with my brother's family. They've got snacks everywhere and they're less concerned about healthy eating (as is evidenced by my brother's waistline).
I continue to expand my workout regimen at the university gym. Every week I add a new machine to my regimen. I still don't have any real strategy to my workout, but I figure each machine must confer some benefit. Ultimately I'd like to get around to using the weights/weight machines, but I'm most clueless and least confident about those. I don't know if that'll happen. And on top of that, I've been pretty good about riding my bike to and from the bus stops to get to school. That's 5 miles roundtrip each day that I go to school, rain, shine, or sleet. The only exceptions have been when I have too much stuff to carry with me, like today since I had a presentation to rehearse. All things considered, I'm fairly confident that if I maintain my current commitment, I'll continue to see physical improvements. Once the weather warms up I'll be able to push myself even harder. Woo! Eventually I'm going to be a hottie! *knock on wood*
The other developments are a bit more difficult to quantify, but I'm sure they're just as integral to my current feeling of satisfaction. To put it simply, I think I'm fitting in with my classmates. I know maybe I'm just too self-conscious about my age. I just think if the situation were reversed and I was in my early 20's, I'd be dis-inclined to hang-out/chat with someone a decade my senior, especially if they were the opposite gender. To my surprise, I haven't perceived any of that disinterest or aversion that I was expecting. It helps that almost all my classes utilize cooperative learning (group work), which helped as an initial ice-breaker. I'm on a first-name basis with an unexpected number of my classmates. Rather than being avoidant, the gals seem to be cool with my company. I commonly walk with one partway to her dorm after class, chatting. Tonight the cute one in my Psychology class said she hopes that she can work on a project with me. I'd assumed the gals would be the most skittish of all, so this outcome has done much to assuage my initial doubts about fitting in.
With all these aspects in positive territory, I can't help but feel good about my current situation.
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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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Ooo, it’s been a fun, busy holiday break. It’s so difficult going back to being responsible again.
Christmas-y poos
We finished up our work in Denton on the 22nd. I stuck around for an additional day when I found out that my mom was visiting my brother. I didn’t want to make separate return trip to pay my respects on Christmas, so this was a fortunate coincidence. We spent the day entirely at their place; my mom ooh-ing and aah-ing over baby Lilly, Kat and Cameron playing video games, while I fiddled with cosplay. It was a low-key but still pleasant visit.
Before I left DFW I also visited David and Kelly’s place, where I’ll be staying this year. They’ve got a nice house with plenty of space and better yet, they’re remodeling the place. I’ll be able to make use of my dormant carpentry skills and lends them a hand (and my power tools). I’m excited about staying there.
Back in Austin I jumped straight into building the Man Cave version 4.0. It’s not the highest priority project on my list, but it’s such a big project that I need to get it done while I still have my spacious house to work in. I like to think this will be the final version of this party tent.
Jenny, Beauty, and Mel came by for the remnants of my Krampusnacht celebration. Having just arrived back in Austin the day before, I only had enough time to get the basic party refreshments; honestly, this was just an excuse to do some drinking without eggnog or ugly sweaters. We chilled at my place for an hour before relocating to a karaoke bar down the road. There were a lot of black people there, for some sort of Xmas gathering, it seemed. The one young goth couple was amusingly out-of-place. On our way out we met a cute faux-hawked girl by the name Maybelline. Yeah, seriously.
Between Krampus and Karaoke, I was too worn out to join Jenny and Beauty for their LudaCristmas bar crawl the next night. The highlight of my Christmas was going to see “Django Unchained.” It was pretty cool. When I returned from the theater, I was surprised to find my mom at my house. Apparently she’d left Dallas a day early, to avoid the ice and snow forecasted for the 26th. I only had to endure the motherly inquisition for that evening; she left early the next morning.

Between finishing up the Man Cave and starting to move my furniture into my new storage unit, I also fixed up Ice King and made a new Dolan head to wear for Ikkicon on Saturday. I hadn’t found anyone to room with so I had half a mind not to go but I knew this would be my last chance to see my cosplay buddies for a few months.
It definitely wasn’t easy handling/putting on Ice King without a handler. It took me two hours to get it from my truck and put it on in the hotel lobby bathroom. When I realized I’d forgotten a key piece of the costume I was really tempted to say “Fuck it,” but I improvised a fix. I knew it wouldn’t look good.
Ice King photo under the cut because I can't look at, and notes to myself on how to fix it )

Despite the problems, Ice King got a lot of praise, being hailed as both the “best” and “creepiest” Ice King ever. I knew that was a possibility when I made the costume. Sightless eyes often tend to unsettle people. Heh heh.
I changed out of Ice King quickly so that I could go assist Jenny and Beauty with their own over-sized costumes at the cosplay contest. While at the truck I poured myself a big, stiff drink. Without a room (and room party) to call my own, I figured this was my best chance to get into the ‘con spirit’. In hindsight, this was a poor decision. I’d been so busy with my costumes that I hadn’t eaten that day and wearing Ice Kin had dehydrated me, so the rum packed a much faster, stronger punch than normal.
I was fairly buzzing by the time I got back to the con. I had no badge to get into main programming with, so I ninja-ed my way in behind a group of photographers. We still had an hour to wait for the contest to start. I sat with Jenny, Beauty, and Cat for awhile before noticing Crystal’s TTGL group sitting a row behind us. I went to go chat with them. I got a little too handsy during Crystal’s show-and-tell about her costume. Or maybe I had been stroking my own thigh; I’m not 100% what exactly happened. Either way, I regret that blunder.
When the cosplayers went backstage I sat with Amanda, Juby, and new-friend Anne. Juby lent me one of her sizable camera lenses. It was so big that at first I thought it must’ve been her boyfriend’s; since when do women focus on the size of their equipment? If I’d been sober I would’ve been more excited about playing with a new toy. As it was though, I was more like, “How do I camera?” We were soon asked to vacate the first 3 rows to make room for the “VIPs”. No problem. But rather than see industry guests and cosplay pros come in, it was just normal weaboo shlubs. Apparently they paid an extra fee to get the good seats. I don’t know if I approve of that.
Overall, the cosplay participants had some solid, well-done costumes. I was surprised at the level of quality, given the relatively small size of Ikkicon’s attendance. After the contest we went to dinner at a delicious Thai restaurant. The sobering walk there and back helped buy me some time but my memory gets spotty after that. From what I remember, it was a fun night.

New Year’s Eve
Traditionally we have our NYE party at Jenny’s and Beauty’s. With them moving out this month, that was looking doubtful for awhile. But they held on and hosted another one. This year the theme was ‘the Future!’. I found that it’s hard to make a futuristic costume that isn’t post-apocalyptic (which was last year’s theme). Indeed, only Jenny and Stephanie made costumes of any relevance; I shed my own costume within minutes of arriving. The house was soon filled to bursting with people and booze. The weather outside was too cold and wet for anyone but the most determined smoker to brave. I managed to stay Goldilocks-drunk and Beauty took up my duties/camera as videographer. Midnight came way too soon for my liking. People did start to disappear after that, but a good core of revelers stayed with us till around 4 am. It was good times.
Oh yeah, and this happened. Yup, the ole Dress-and-Shirt-Swap. I thought I'd see some boobs in the process, but somehow I was hoodwinked.

And then this was the . . . most coherent video that Beauty shot with my camera.

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It’s been awhile since my last update. Not much has been going on, but here’s a quick re-cap )

That brings us up to this week. Mmmm, kinda grumpy ATM, mostly due to work. I’ve just gotten to the point again where I’m fed up with it. Between working these out-of-town jobs, spending my free weekends in Dallas with Courtney, and a few rare days at home in Austin, I’m starting to really feel like none of those places are home. I simply don’t have the patience for this routine anymore. I haven’t made much/any progress on my job change; I’m rather stumped on what I might want to do besides this. I was going to go see a career counselor this weekend, but I’m stuck in Wichita Falls once again. I’ll be going soon.
Hobby-wise, I’ve been very irresponsible about cosplay since A-kon. I was making some serious progress right up to the con but in the month since then I’ve been dragging ass. It’s hard to buckle down and focus when I keep bouncing from place to place. (Or maybe that’s just an excuse.) In any case, I’m ordering myself to get back to work. Tokyo in Tulsa is just a week away and I can finish if I get serious about it. While I may or may not be able to attend due to my fickle work schedule, I’m going to work as if I CAN GO, until I know that I can’t. Even if I can’t go, at least my costumes will be that much more ready for Dragon*Con, which is for damned sure going to happen.
I feel like I’ve been missing out on friendships and other social fun due to my work commitments and personal choices of how I spend my time. That’s why I’m so intent on attending things like TnT and San Japan, conventions that I otherwise wouldn’t be concerned with. They’re rare opportunities of quality time with my peoples.

So, we’ll see how things go . . .
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Today is a dark day. I learned that my stripper neighbors are moving out. D:
Sparrow and Domo, I hardly knew you crazy bitches. I almost didn't mind being woken up at 3 am by your loud fights with your boyfriend/pimps in the front yard. Whenever the police or repo man showed up, it was always interesting. I'm sure you lost your deposit for tagging your own house; in a way it was like a public Rorshach test. You made thousands of dollars a week, but owned no furniture.
Your lives are obviously train-wrecks, but they were very entertaining train-wrecks. Plus, you walked around naked alot and that was much appreciated.
Goodbye and take care! (can't say that since it's not going to happen)

How about:
Goodbye! You were the most interesting neighbors I've ever had!
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As any regular LJ-user may have noticed, LJ's been having a bit of trouble lately (more than usual, it seems). With the help of [personal profile] becala I found an alternate journal website that should provide a good mirror in case LJ goes belly-up.
I'd been postponing writing any new posts because I wanted to wait for Dreamwidth to import all my old LJ entries first. But LJ's epileptic fits have prevented that, so whatever. I've got writing needs that are going unmet!

I know I've posted the hell out of my Japan trip, but there's a re-cap/post-game/end credits post that's been bouncing around in my head and I need to get it out before I can write anything else. (I promise this is my last Japan entry!) So, here are my Top 5 Reasons Why Japan is Awesome )

I ALMOST FORGOT!!!! If you're already on Dreamwidth, please give me your screen-name there so I can add you! (As of today it is my main journal site; not that it matters much since all journal entries are cross-posted.) I'm "astillar" on both websites, herp-a-derp.
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Ooo, it’s been a totally unplanned (but fun) weekend so far. It all started once upon a time . . . *cue twinkly SFX and wavy blur*
I needed to go back to Wichita Falls to do some reconnaissance for work. Overall it meant I’d be doing 12 hours of driving and 2 hours of hiking. That would’ve added up to one very long workday so I planned instead to drive partway there on Thursday, spend the night at my brother’s in Carrollton, and then knock out the rest of the job Friday so I could get back to Austin at a decent hour. Easy peasy, right?
It didn’t quite work out that way. On the drive up, I started seeing snow about Hillsboro and thought, "Is this what everyone is complaining about? This is nothing! There isn’t even enough ice to make a dirt raspa. These people are babies!" Then I hit the Dallas city limits and boom! Ice on the highway. My windshield soon got covered with mud and slush and of course I had no washer fluid to clear it away with. So I was driving blind, on ice, through the Dallas MixMaster. That was not fun. But I called upon all my training from Canada and amazing driving reflexes from my pizza delivery days and my knowledge of physics, biology, and engineering and I triumphed.
By the time I got to Cameron’s place I’d decided I wasn’t doing any more driving. I’d gotten in, but I wouldn’t be getting out. He and his wife had been home-bound for four days and in pajamas for nearly as long. (At least the cold kept the smell down.) I hadn’t brought any supplies with me so the big question was what to do for food?
Somehow or another we managed to make plans to go get dinner with Cat & Kevin. They were even worse off than us. Their apartment gate was literally frozen solid so they could only eat within walking distance of their apartment. At least we could drive, albeit very slowly. I wasn’t too sure how this would turn out, I’ve never mixed my family with cosplay friends before. But it turns out that nerds are nerds are nerds, just in different flavors. LOLcats was the perfect universally understood ice-breaker. I felt it was a fun dinner.
Overnight we got about 4 inches of new snow. It was pretty, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to try driving in it. Work would have to wait till the thaw. Katherine was actually "work" working from home so Cameron and I went outside to play around for awhile and buried her car in snow. Then we got bored enough to risk a drive to the supermarket for booze and steak. It was fun to watch people slipping and falling on their asses in the parking lot. Back at the apartment, we set up a little man camp on the balcony, set the beers in the snow, barbecued our meat, and had some quality bro time.
After steak and beers I exercised some poor judgment. I decided I’d accept Stephanie’s invitation to meet for drinks. Slightly tipsy + driving at night + on ice + in a COMPANY vehicle + with bad tires = not very smart. I fishtailed once and that sobered me up INSTANTLY. But even with my recovered stats, it was still a suck-ass drive. 80 minutes to drive 30 miles. Ridiculous. But I would not admit defeat!
Our mutual cosplay friends didn’t show, just a few of Stephanie’s law school buds. There was me, Steph, Lorraine/Lauren?, Amy, and Amy’s cleavage. I only mention the fifth guest because the groundhog had seen his shadow, meaning that there would be six more weeks of turtlenecks. So this unexpected, but welcome glimpse of bosom was telling me, "Yes Cody, Spring WILL come. Keep the faith!" "Okay boobs, I’ll stay strong." MMmmm, boobs . . .
The girls were cool. I learned a lot about Law, mostly that 1) I could never hack it in the law profession, and 2) I need to watch more Law & Order marathons if I’m going to go drinking with them again. Nah, we talked about all sorts of crap. Stephanie had kept her cosplay past a secret from them so when they asked how we knew each other, I had to make up some story about our days at the Austin soup kitchen. I thought it was a good story.
I was surprised that one of them actually knew what a civil engineer was. In my 6 years of being one, I’ve NEVER met a non-engineer who knew that. Furthermore, she was quite familiar with the client I was working for this very weekend. I was like, “Shit, you know my job better than me. Who are you?” Cool gals, we had fun. Next thing I knew it was one a.m. and time to depart. It was definitely worth the hassle of the being an ice-road trucker.
I slept in this morning, giving the sun plenty of time to melt the snow and clear the roads. I went up to the job site and slopped around in the meltwater mud for a couple hours then turned around and headed back to Austin. As I drove south, the snow disappeared from the landscape bit by bit until there wasn’t a speck of white to be seen. As if the snow and ice had just been an unpleasant dream. That was fine by me. I’d had my fill of the stuff.
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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)
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I’d been out in the field delivering plans to the technicians. I came back to the office and one of the first things an engineer said to me was, "Cody, you’re a freak."
"That is some crazy stuff you’ve got on your computer."
(Huh?) I’m wondering, did some porn start playing by accident? Worried, I head to my office, which is big enough for two people, and find it crowded with 6 guys, all staring at my laptop. The cosplay screensaver/slideshow is on.
"I want that one! The one with the belts on her legs! She’s just begging to be tied up!"
(. . . Are they talking about Lulu?)
"Ooo, check out the pink-hair one. I’ll put some strawberries on her!"
(Ichigo’s not even legal! Don’t look at her like that!)
"Where’s that nice butt from?"
(Well, Julia _is_ wearing a PVC catsuit . . .)
Then they notice me and bombard me with questions. What is this? Did you take these pictures? Do you know these chicks? Where is this? Etc. All of a sudden I was super-popular. As one guy put it, this “put me on a whole new level”. I was all, hey, I’m glad you guys like the photos, but you’re getting the wrong idea. Yeah, the gals are pretty and all, but it ain’t like that. This isn’t fetish-wear or 'role-playing'. I tried telling them that we make and wear these costumes based on comics/games/cartoons/etc and go to nerd conventions and yes, we do party and drink at the hotels, but that doesn't mean we have Mardi Gras-like orgies, which seemed to be what they were imagining.
Now there are people who aren’t even in my company, just coming around to my office to watch the cosplay pics. Complete strangers. They come in, I’m like, Can I help you? And one of our engineers will just be all, "Show him THE PICTURES," as if we're ten years old and I stole an issue of my dad's Playboy. It’s getting to where I can’t hardly get any work done because people’ll want to watch the slideshow.
I mean, it was surprising to hear that they approved of my nerdy hobby (and HOW!), but . . . it was weird too.
I can’t help but feel like I should apologize for their behavior. So to all the cosplay ladies that read this LJ and many more who don’t, I apologize that you were admired and lusted after. (But if you’re a cosplayer, this probably isn’t the first time.)
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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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Today's conditions:
-24º, -35º windchill.

It's painfully cold here.

pic and rambling )
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I’m not proud to admit it, but a week or so ago, I joined Yes, yes, I know it’s lame. I know, let’s just brand a big "L" on my forehead already. I’m not really the kind of guy (nor do I have enough dude buddies) to go to bars or clubs to meet women. And my social circle is strictly limited to cosplay friends, which is a pretty small pond to be fishing from. For a while I was seriously thinking about joining a fun recreational group, like dodgeball or softball or camping, to increase the number and types of people I know. But given my erratic work schedule, I can’t really commit to anything that has a regular schedule. So I needed some way to branch out, despite these handicaps. Internet to the rescue!
Frankly, my biggest reason is probably just that I’m tired of looking in the rearview mirror, relationship-wise. I want to start looking (and moving) forward. I realize that I may not be able to trust my own assessment of when I’m ready to start again, so this online avenue seems a prudent, low-risk way of getting back into it.
So far it’s been fun and interesting. Already I feel more positive, occupied with considering other people and simultaneously evaluating myself and what I have to offer (or don’t). At this point it’s mostly window-shopping and trying to get to know people who appear to be interesting and compatible. A lot of the connections fizzle out, but that’s no different from ‘real-life’ interactions. I like that you can take it at your own pace and you’ve really got nothing to lose by trying.
If something fruitful comes from eHarmony, that would be fantastic. If nothing comes of it except for maybe a few dead-end dates, that’s okay too. Like I said earlier, this is just a nudge to get the ball rolling again. It’s just to help me warm up to the idea of being in a relationship again. And in that aspect, it’s already working.
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DaVinci, Darwin, Einstein, and me. What do they all have in common? They're friggin' geniuses.
Last night I went to Jo-Ann's for fabric. Same old, same old. Even though it's not as bad as it used to be, I still feel a little out of place there. While comparing swatches to bolts of fabric and feeling the textures, I'm quite aware that I must look gay to any passerby. I don't blame em, even I doubt myself a bit. Guys don't belong in fabric stores! That place is full of nothing but women.
And then it clicked. THIS PLACE IS FULL OF NOTHING BUT WOMEN!!! Why didn't I see this before?!? I could be king here! It's an untapped goldmine! Picking up chicks at the fabric store! It would be like poaching from the King's Forest. I'd be Robin Hood! There's got to be some way to work this angle, it's ripe with opportunity. I haven't come up with a plan yet. Set up a couple stools at the cutting counter and let them come to me? Join up with the 'Sewing for Singles' group? Watch a Project Runway marathon and lurk the aisles till the fashion majors swing by? There has got to be some way to exploit this hunting ground . . . If I can figure this out, it will be my gift to man-kind. Yes.
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Wow. Making out with three different cosplay gals in as many nights? I don't know who changed the channel, but leave it here. I like this show! This gets the day off to a good start; makes me feel all confident and studly. Keep up the good work, subconscious!
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I know I owe LJ a Thanksgiving entry, but that takes hella-forever. And I wanna write about something else right now.
So my job has me working all over town, it seems. And usually I bring along a camera because I'm not too good at describing/explaining stuff to my bosses back at the office. Half the time though, I'll see a place and go, "Oooo, that'd be a cool back-drop for some cosplay pics!" Like this one. )

Yesterday I was reading the Austin Chronicle at lunch. This ad caught my eye. I thought, "Hmm. She looks borderline jail-baity. Is this ad legal? )

August 2017

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