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Category: life

commentaries on the little stuff

The husband posted yesterday about how he launched his novel-writing career. (I hope it’s a career! Fingers crossed!) But, he didn’t quite get our conversation right.

The real conversation:

TH: I don’t want to work any more. [Manly pout.] I want to write a book.

ME: MmHmmmm. [Log into YNAB.]

TH: Complain, complain, complain …

ME: Yeah, it sucks. [Run some reports in YNAB.]

TH: I’ve always wanted to write a book, I’ve started so many.

ME: Yeah, I want to know how the cable guy one ends. You stopped just when it got good. [Budget analysis in YNAB.]

TH: Retirement’s so far away, I wish I didn’t have to wait.

ME: Can you do it in 6 months?

TH: Can I .. what? Write a book in 6 months?

ME: Yeah, can you write a book in 6 months?

TH: I don’t … Probably? Probably, yeah.

ME: Ok, let’s do it. You have 6 months. But that’s all, you’ll need to go back to work after 6 months.

TH: Wait, you mean just … quit my job and write a book?

ME: Yeah. But only for 6 months. That’s when the savings runs out.

TH: Really? You mean for real?

ME: Yeah. But not forever, ok? Just, you know. 6 months.

TH: [Manly cartwheel.]

Ok, ok, so maybe that’s not how it really, really happened. I don’t know that there was any pouting and there probably weren’t any cartwheels. Probably. But, in any event, it all came from a place of careful calculation … not from anything like a ‘heart’. I’m not so noble or generous as the husband’s post would imply. But, I suppose, that’s the novelists’ prerogative.

Travelled out

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I would have told you it was impossible for me to get tired of traveling, but I think it has finally happened.

In the past 12 months, we have been to Idaho (wedding!), Orlando (Disney!), DC 3 times, Houston 9 times, Ireland, Utah (wedding! and BFFs!) and Vegas. And then I went on two knitting retreats and to a knitting conference. And Josh had a guys weekend.

The crazy thing is, we didn’t even really intend for this to be a year in which we saw all the things in all the places. And ensured our cat sitter could pay all her bills.

First up, we suddenly had a wedding to attend! Mormons tend to have short engagements, and the sister did not disappoint on that front. So to Idaho we went. A welcome reprieve from the brutal San Antonio summer and also a wedding! A quick but lovely trip.

And then, Disney World. A friend had called up that spring to ask if we’d like to go to Disney with them, and at first I was all, meh, we were just there last year and we were thinking about going to Ireland anyway. And then she said they’d be staying in a Polynesian Bungalow, and I was like, oh, keep talking, and then I googled it and said OMG we are THERE. If anybody ever invites you to stay in a Polynesian Bungalow with them you say YES. And then you become BFFs for life. With matching Mickey tattoos. (Just kidding. We stayed at the Polynesian, have you been paying attention? She got a Lilo tattoo, mine’s a Stitch.)

And then DC – should be exciting, but that was just for work. Staying in a hotel, working long days, no site seeing. Nothing to report there.

And all the Houston! The husband’s mother moved to Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, so we had a few trips to see her before she left. Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA. Like on the other side of the world. And then the husband’s sister had a baby! So there were baby showers and a false alarm and the real alarm to attend to. Yay for babies!

And Ireland!! We’d been thinking about it for awhile and just took the plunge one day and booked the trip, before we’d had allll the other things on our schedule. An amazing trip, for sure, but it ended up being crammed in the middle of a year of utter madness. 10/10 would recommend Ireland. Muuuuch better food than their English neighbors.

And then b3 got engaged! With another short engagement! So to Utah we went, which had the added benefit of letting us hang out with our BFFs who left us. Not the Disney ones, but our crazy nerdy gaming ones who introduced us to a whole new world of games and then MOVED out of the STATE so now we have NO ONE to play with. Ok, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but in any event, it was fun to see them and introduce THEM to Mysterium. And we played another Time Stories expansion! And also there was a wedding, blah blah, it was beautiful, one of the best I’ve been to, blah blah, mazel tov! (Just kidding, I adore my new sister in law, I’ve had to stop myself from inviting them to visit San Antonio over and over again, I mean I’ve already issued an open invitation and I don’t want her to know I’m a crazy person just yet. Hmm, it just dawned on me that she’s a professor, she’s not stupid, she probably already knows I’m a crazy person … )

And then Vegas. The 30th anniversary of Star Trek TNG was a big draw, of course, but the clincher was that there’s a DS9 documentary in the works. Aaand the husband indiegogo funded it and we got tickets to the convention as part of his ‘donation’. So to Vegas we went, and it was awesome!

But now, for the first time in maybe forever, I just kinda want to stay at home. While I plan my trip to Malaysia, of course.

5 years?!

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I meant to just take a little break to get settled into the new Texas life … but, uh, then 5 years went by.

So what happened?

Facebook. Facebook happened. Well, really, Facebook + Smart Phones. It’s just so easy to post my inane thoughts to the computer in my pocket! And I get instant likes! From my captive audience of 300 friends!

(Well, not my captive audience. But a captive audience. Because they are all checking their like counts on their … slightly less inane posts.)

So, quick 5-year recap:

  • I look like a legit grown up now! Many of my earlier posts are so whiny about how people never take me seriously because they don’t think I’m an adult, but my face has finally arrived at adulthood! I had suspected it would happen around 40, and that’s about right. I’m not quite there, but … almost. As much as I hate to admit it, I’m almost there.
  • We had a house built! In Texas, where land is abundant and materials and labor are cheap. So there’s acres of wood floors! And the largest granite island known to mankind. Like you can see it from space big. Except for we do have a roof, so you can’t really.
  • I’m obsessed with knitting now. Beyond obsessed, really, if that’s a thing. I’m in a real live knitting guild. And then like 2 other local San Antonio groups. And then … I started my own group. And I go to knitting retreats. And knitting conferences! Like comic cons, but for knitting.
  • The husband launched his writing career! He’ll be a famous writer any day now, I just know it. Or, perhaps, any day after he finishes his novel. Which has 7 really awesome chapters! And a whole bunch of chapters that are still rattling around in his head. That are probably also awesome, I just can’t vouch for them yet.
  • We’ve travelled to a billion awesome places!
  • B2, B3 and the sister are all married! B2 even has some babies!

I know that’s not it (5 years is kind of a long time), but that’s all the things that popped into my head just now. Hopefully the next update won’t take 5 years, but, uh, no promises. 🙂

As I was cleaning up around the house last night, I realized I could only find 2 of the 3 house keys that I had copied. I looked all over the kitchen and laundry room, in drawers, on the floor, under the new microwave, and came up empty.

Immediately, I thought of the parade of strangers I’ve had in the house: 2 Best Buy delivery guys, 3 cable guys, and an A/C repairman. I had been storing the copies on the uber-secure open countertop.

None of the guys had seemed shady, but I started to doubt my judge of character. Plus, if all ‘bad guys’ seemed shady, we’d sure have an easier time avoiding trouble.

In the daylight, I am rational. I am fearless. I will go toe-to-toe with most any challenge. But once the sun goes down – I become very aware of just what a little girl I am, and suddenly overwhelming danger lurks around every corner. Locked inside the safety of my house, I am fine, but the possibility that somebody else had a key was enough to drive me to panic.

The husband tried to talk me down from my ledge over the phone, but I was having none of it. I packed up my stuff, and drove down the street to check in to the La Quinta.

Once I got checked in, I called the husband back, and he asked me if I had checked all my pockets. Hmmm, my, um pockets? Why no, I hadn’t checked any of my pockets …

Most of my pockets were outside in the car, so I decided to check in the morning. I enjoyed my sleep in a real bed, in a hotel room that was nicely air conditioned.

Sure enough, this morning I found the last key in my yester-yester-pants. It was such a relief! Nobody wants to chop me up in little pieces! Or steal my Dynex!

I guess Texans really are nice people, after all.

The sister had one day of fun before she had to head back home, so we went downtown to see the Alamo and the River Walk. She wanted to see the Alamo because, come on! It’s the Alamo! And the River Walk because of something about Cloak and Dagger. Which makes me wonder, why has she even seen that movie?? She was born in 1990. I’ve seen the movie about a thousand times because it was somebody’s favorite (maybe b2?), but I don’t even remember anything about it.

Even though my new home is in the boonies, we made it downtown and found a place to park in less than 30 minutes. Yay for 70 mile an hour speed limits through the heart of a city! Unless you don’t know where you’re going, then good luck to you. Just keep moving!

We wandered through the Alamo, and I recounted the story as best as I could remember. William B. Travis! Santa Anna! All the women and children hiding in one room! Nobody came to help! Everybody died! But, they slowed the Mexicans down long enough for Sam Houston to get into place and then he wiped out Santa Anna! Texas independence!!

It was early, so the river walk was pretty dead, but we found a place to eat lunch. The sister doesn’t like Mexican food, but I doubt whether she’s ever had Tex-mex. The parents were raised on Arizonan-mex, which is not the same kind of food you find in Texas at all. For one thing, Tex-mex isn’t ever a man-vs-food style heat challenge like Sonoran food often is. And another thing, Tex-mex includes chili! As someone who grew up with Sonoran-mex, that’s just blasphemous and silly. But, it is what it is. And, it’s yummy!

So, suffice it to say, we ate at the Rainforest Cafe. Because what says San Antonio like the Rainforest Cafe?! We were seated by the animatronic pandas, and decided to split the chicken parmesan. Which worked out well, as we are both tiny people with tiny appetites. Ok, so she’s a tiny person, I’m just a small one. 🙂 And I never get to split anything!

Given the fact that the Rainforest Cafe isn’t an Italian place, the chicken parmesan was surprisingly good. And we still didn’t clean our split plates! I was closer than the sister, as I’ve got 6 inches and 40 pounds on her, but it was still more food than I could eat. And I can put down an 8″ Deli like nobody’s business, so it was definitely a generous portion. No wonder America is fat.

After lunch, we hit the mall to do some shopping, and caught Batman at the IMAX theater. I had already seen it (duh), but the sister hadn’t, and she doesn’t live near any IMAX screens. So Batman it was! She liked it better than the husband did, but she, too, was bothered by the Ra’s al Ghul story not adding up. Because she reads comics. All of them. While I am conversant with many of the major characters in the major comics, she actually reads the things. It sure does make a geek girl proud. /sniff

We grabbed some Yummi Japanese on the way home, and the sister introduced me to Ramune. Which is just soda in a glass bottle. With a marble in it. And also tamago. Not only does my sister out-nerd me, she out-japaneses me, despite the fact that I have the Japanese name. Just goes to show, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.

After our gyoza and sushi, we slept in the new house on air mattresses that Amazon left on the front porch for us. Despite the fact that they are 4-in-1 mattresses, they clearly only have 3 configurations: 2 twins, 1 twin, or 1 king. I guess maybe math isn’t a requirement for marketing majors?

A few months back, the husband decided we should move to Texas. After some thought, I decided I was up to the adventure. I married a Texan; I knew the day would come when I, too, would become a Texan. I’m pretty sure it’s in the marriage vows.

And so ensued a whirlwind of activity: renting out our house, finding a rental home, finding jobs … I thought it was all supposed to be hard, but everything fell into place without too much effort. Moving is easy y’all! I think I’ll do it more often!

To get my car to our new home, we decided I’d drive down early and take care of logistics (internet and cable, really … the husband might just die without internet and cable). But I didn’t want to drive for 26 hours all by myself, so I flew my sister out. She couldn’t take a whole week off (ah, the shackles of adulthood), but she managed a long weekend for a ‘road trip’. Little did she know it was less a road trip and more just a whole lot of driving.

I quit my job early in the afternoon, hopped in the car, picked up my sister, and we were off! We managed to beat DC traffic and had ourselves a looooong drive through Virginia.

At the recommendation of a few coworkers, we stopped just shy of the Tennessee border, and called it a night. The Virginia side of the border is supposedly ‘nicer’ than the Tennessee side; I had to laugh when I looked out our hotel window and found a lumber yard. Admittedly, it was a clean and orderly lumber yard, but I was promised mansions and golf courses!

Day two took us through Tennessee, with a quick stop in Nashville for lunch (and a t-shirt), and another stop in Memphis for another t-shirt. Both Nashville and Memphis seem like happenin’ places, I’d like to go back sometime and spend more than 30 minutes there.

We stopped just past Little Rock, and the sister decided to have a swim. I had forgotten a bathing suit, so she risked the dangers all by her lonesome, and managed to not get kidnapped by hill folk. The hill folk were a bit odd (“there was a guy in the hot tub … wearing a trucker hat “), but were apparently friendly enough. They told my sister they’d “see her later,” which left her hoping they meant at breakfast the next morning. And me hoping it was just an expression that they said without thinking of the meaning behind it.

We did manage to get out of town the next morning without incident, and made it to Texas. We drove through the husband’s home town and ate some really terrible barbecue because the good place was closed. Chicken Express would have been a much better choice.

Later that night we made it to our destination, and picked up some Rudy’s. This time the sister was impressed – brisket, sliced white bread, and cream corn – and decided that Texas barbecue doesn’t suck. Which is a good thing, otherwise the husband would have had to disown her. I’m pretty sure that was in the wedding vows, too.

freecyclin’

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So, what with the in-laws coming later this month and all, the husband and I decided to get the house in order. Which means we had no choice but to take notice of all the stuff we had managed to acquire. Stuff that was just sitting around and collecting dust.

The last time we did serious purging, we used Craigslist to give items away for free. Which turned out to be kind of a pain. There were all kinds of people who said they’d take stuff, only to never show up. Or to change their minds after haggling for a week about a pick up time. There were a few items that just ended up in the trash because that was so much easier than finding someone to take our perfectly good stuff.

So this time around, we tried Freecycle. Since it is a somewhat closed community (you have to get approved for membership) that is heavily moderated (you break the rules, you get kicked out), we figured we might have better luck. Also, it is local – you can only join your local Freecycle group – so we wouldn’t run into the problem of people deciding they didn’t feel like making an hour-long drive for something. At the most, if you hit all the lights, it might take you 15 minutes. Best case scenario, you’ll be within walking distance.

So we spent Friday night and Saturday posting items on Freecycle. And then we started watching our stuff head out the door! PS3 controllers, a camera bag, old video cards, a computer desk, a tv, a three hole punch, leftover thank you cards from our wedding – nothing is too big or too small for freecycling.

The husband just wanted to trash everything, to get it out of the house ASAP. But I, having grown up in Washington state, couldn’t bear the thought of filling up our landfills with stuff that still worked fine. Also, I have pretty serious hoarder genes that run in my family. Thankfully, I have little desire to keep stuff I don’t use; I just hate to see things go to waste.

And so our perfectly good stuff has found new homes where it will be loved before it ends up in a landfill. Not to mention all the people we made happy! The winner of the box of DVDs is set for family movie night till the end of the year. The video cards get a second life in a new machine. And somewhere, in the next block over, someone is rocking out on their new rock band guitar.

nom nom nom

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This is what happens to a squash when it comes up against a turtle who hasn’t eaten in six months. Poor thing never stood a chance.

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I’m blogging from my doctor’s office!

Thanks to the marvel that is iPad, I can take my computing just about anywhere! Unlike the husband, I didn’t opt for the 3G version, so I assume the blog won’t update until I get back home to the safety of my wifi network. But because I’ve got the handy-dandy wordpress iPad app, it doesn’t matter that I can’t reach the internet.

My hope is that my new iPad will replace the aging laptop. So far, there’s been one ie-only website, drag-and-drop website functionality, and office docs that I’m missing out on. But that’s what the work computer is for, right?

My 15 minutes is up, I haven’t died from my allergy shot. Time to go!

Is cat vomit on the granite kitchen countertop! Catchy jingle, no? Hmm, well one of the holy terrors sure thought so.

There are not enough clorox wipes in the world. Also, I think my pancake batter station will be on the other side of the stove now.

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