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November 30, 2003

For the hell of it

Your Ultimate Purity Score Is...
CategoryYour Score Average
Explored the pleasures of the flesh
Has yet to see self in mirror
Sex Drive 73.7%
A fool for love, but not always
Done the nasty, but not creatively
Gayness 10.7%
Makes Dr. Frank-n-Furter look tame
Fucking Sick83.2%
Refreshingly normal
You are 58.31% pure
Average Score: 72.6%

Too bad this can't be separated out into before and after college. Most of the straight activities occurred mostly during high school, but not all. It was weird remembering some of the sex I've had... hmmmmm.

Posted by Beth at 05:16 PM
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An honest wish list.

I've told Nerdstar that until I wake up Christmas morning and am given a set of keys to a brand new porsche, Christmas will always be just a little disappointing :-)

Posted by Beth at 04:59 PM
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November 28, 2003

Indulge me my rambling

What is it about being back at home thatís always so weird? Itís not that anything is really the same, the landscape certainly changes, both literally and figuratively. My parents have lived in this house since I was five years old. But it doesnít really feel like the same house from my childhood. In fact, my old room is now my brotherís room. And I sleep in my brotherís old room which is now Zacharyís room. Iíve spent a lot of time fighting and mostly defeating all the old demons of childhood. It didnít even cost me thousands in therapy, it was mostly done during my church going days with the help of God and good friends.

But driving from Grand Prairie to Ft. Worth this afternoon brought back more than a few memories.

My senior year in high school, when dating my first girlfriend, she was going to college over in Ft. Worth. And although it was only about a 35 minute drive, it was a long distance phone call. (It irks me to no end all the *&^#@& money Iíve spent on long distance phone calls in my life so far, only to have the concept of long distance basically vanish in the face of the internet and cell phones!)

Anyway, Iíd make that drive every Friday and Saturday night my senior year Iíd make that drive. The most vivid memory, naturally, is the one of the night it was raining so hard there were only a dozen cars on the highway with me and I couldnít see five feet in front of me. We were young and crazy and in love.

I guess thatís always the craziest part of being young and in love Ė finding ways to be together. I remember when the movie Tootsie came out and my best friend and I joked around about being gay and how much easier it would be, because we could spend the night with our ďgirlfriendsĒ but not our ďboyfriends.Ē Sure enough, until my parents got a clue, my first girlfriend and I got to spend more than a few nights together.

I could write a short novel about the three years we spent together, and the brief affair we had years later. But, I wonít.

I also saw a sign for the road where I took my Camaro out not long after I got it and knew I had just enough of a stretch of two lane road before it curved to see just how fast it would go. I hit about 100 before I had to hit the brakes.

I think the reason we love cars so damn much is because they give us the first real freedom we have in life. But they also give us our own sense of space. Even more than my own room, sitting in my car I knew it was mine, all mine, and only mine. I had complete control over who was in it and what went on in it.

But even more recent than high school has hit me today. Seven years ago, again, back in my church going days, probably my second year of living in Austin, Thanksgiving night I left my parentís house, went to Sue Ellens in Dallas (a long standing lesbian bar) had one drink and did some people watching. Iíd told several people I was going to get my eyebrow pierced and not a single one believed me. That pretty much sealed the deal. So, I left the bar and headed over to Deep Ellum, not knowing exactly where, but figuring it wouldnít be too hard to find a tattoo/piercing shop. I sat there for forty five minutes before mustering up the courage. It was the weirdest high getting it done. Piercings hadnít reached the popularity they did later, so it was still different enough to set me apart. It was funny, the next morning I kept waiting and waiting to see what my parents were going to say. Right before I left to meet up with a friend, my Mom finally had her glasses on and noticed it. But, at 27, what could they say?

I have no idea what the point is here. Just like everyone, there are so many memories, stories that replay over and over every time I spend any time in this house.

Maybe the point is that I really do have a lot to be thankful for. Yes, there are times in my life Iíd erase in a heartbeat given the chance. But, who doesnít. I didnít turn out too badly thru it all. Thatís probably more the point. That itís good to be a grownup. To not have to fight and struggle and strive to be who I am.

Posted by Beth at 10:27 PM
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My brother Jason, Zachary and I went to the Museum of Natural History over in Ft. Worth to see the 9/11 Exhibit they have. There weren't a lot of items, but it was still good to be able to touch a piece of the mangled steel from one of the two towers. Zachary was just a few months old that day, yet I worried so much about him and his future in "such a world."

Now, just over two years later, That Day is still impacting my life, as it is so many others, because Nerdstar is over in Iraq. My opinion will always be - do whatever it takes to prevent anyone having to live thru that kind of day again.

It was nice to counter that exhibit by spending time watching Zachary check out everything in this ExploraZone. He's such a good kid. He loves to watch people around them and imitate what they're doing. It's cute to watch.

Posted by Beth at 06:34 PM
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November 27, 2003

Nerdstar's Thanksgiving

We were supposed to go to the weapons range, got up at like, 4 in the morning, got in our vehicle and parked it in a convoy formation, then, 6 am came and they told us to go to the chow hall to eat a quick breakfast, and when we came back, we were told that there's a halt to the movement because someone's weapon got stolen or have lost it. So we had to stay in our vehicle or around it, I drove a big ole 18 wheeler like vehicle (it actually has 8 wheels), because my
"brother" lost his license. I've been getting a lot more driving time in that vehicle, I think I should be able to drive that on the convoy, but no.

So I took a nap, listened to some radio, laughed at stupid jokes for a bit.

We then were sent to lunch, and at lunch, they had beef, turkey, and ham! Also fake champagne, apple pies with whipped cream , shrimp cocktail, and mashed potatoes! Not bad, but home is still better though!

Supposedly Miss America came here during lunch time, but no one saw her, I bet she got off the plane and said "oh fuck this place!" and took the next flight back home! :-)

It has been really hot today, and I was hallucinating a bit, for some reasons, I thought about Zachary a lot.

They kept up in our vehicles til' 2 in the afternoon, then they had a stupid formation where someone said that there were also over $10,000 worth of merchandises stolen from our tiny ass px, so they sent us all to our tents and searched thru. all of our bags, I heard that they didn't find anything. Typical army.

Maybe we'll have to do what we should have done today tomorrow, but as of
right now, I haven't heard anything yet.

Ended the day, at the last minute, filling our sandbags again.

Posted by Beth at 08:50 PM
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November 26, 2003

How to Survive T Day

Thank God, Michele has more time on her hands than any normal, sane person should and on top of that - she's dispensing free get thru T (thanksgiving/turkey take your pick) Day advice. No really, go check it out. Because this site here will probably be boring as hell until at least Friday! I've got a two and a half year old to keep my very busy!

Posted by Beth at 10:00 PM
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I got another call from Nerdstar this morning. It helps so much just to hear her voice! She's still having a really, really hard time dealing with being there, being frustrated and angry and miserable. Ok, actually, it's getting a little better. Poor thing has to spend Thanksgiving and the next three days at a weapons range. Then early next week they're supposed to start their trek into Iraq. So feel free to send her warm thoughts, prayers, and emails!

I made it up to Dallas from Austin in decent time, but even from 10 to noon there was already more traffic than usual. I can't imagine the parking lot I-35 will be this evening.

It's a little hard to be thankful this year - I'm working on it. But a year is a damn long time to be apart. Just think how long ago last Thanksgiving feels, and how far from now next Thanksgiving feels. Because, if we're lucky I'll have Nerdstar home for next Thanksgiving! She's already planning all the things she'll eat!!

Posted by Beth at 03:36 PM
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November 25, 2003


Our pets have apparently decided that I'm home in order to direct traffic between them and open the door every fifteen minutes when one of them wants in or out.

Not that I'm crazy or anything - but last night about 9:30 I actually announced to them that now that they were all indoors, they would be staying that way until I decided to get up in the morning and let them all out.

Not only is our poor dog going gray from the stress, he now has me talking to him trying to cheer him up, telling him he really should lighten up and laugh at my jokes.

Posted by Beth at 03:07 PM
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November 24, 2003

More on Sex

Ok dear readers, help me out here. This doofus - who's blogsplat site isn't working as I type this - comments "Sex is the greatest thing ever? You must be joking, of course, or have led a very narrow and weird life."

My life is weird compared to some - everyone is weird to someone - but narrow, not even close. Hmm, can weird and narrow even describe the same life? Probably not. Oh wait, fetishist maybe.

But seriously, what in this world is better than sex?? Even done solo for something as basic as stress relief it's amazingly effective. Even done solely for pleasure outside of monogamy it's fantastic fun. And certainly within a loving, monogamous relationship it's the ultimate in intimacy and communication and trust and love.

Can anybody tell me something that's better than sex?

Posted by Beth at 05:47 PM
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Why I love the internet part 5837

Last week I was trying to think of a hobby to help take up some time that didn't involve television or computers. I used to cross stitch and found it very theraputic. It's hard to think when you're counting out stitches. But, as we all know, cross stitch patterns tend toward the homey, hokey, inane side.

I did a google search trying to find something less homey, but didn't have any luck.

Today, on BoingBoing is this subvsersive cross stitch link... how cool is that??

Posted by Beth at 11:35 AM
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So it ends

Just like that, over three years at this job comes to an end. This was the longest I've kept a job since I graduated college thirteen years ago. I'm a sentimental schmuck, so I'm pretty sad right now. Somehow knowing this is for my own good doesn't make it easier. They are going to pay out the two weeks. In about forty-five minutes, the HR rep will be here for the exit interview, then I'm done with this place. I'm not sure what the questions will be to know what my answers will be. I'm going to emphasize the stress and how I can't do stress right now. It's a damn sad shame it all came to this. But, life goes on.

I'm going to have to put a lot of effort into not playing the "if I'd only known" game. I'd have a lot more money in the bank than I do today if I'd known it was going to end now. Oh well. We can only make decisions based on what we know at the time, which turns out to be nothing at best, or faulty at worst.

Past performance is no predictor of future success - isn't that what they say about stock funds? Seems to be the past isn't good for basing any decisions on. And the future is just a big blank mute void.

Posted by Beth at 11:21 AM
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November 23, 2003

If life is good, sex is better...

Mr. Vodka Pundit has a great post to end a weekend with, or start a Monday morning with, depending on when you're reading this.

What cracked me up was his line "joke em if they can't take a fuck." I used to say that all the time in high school and college. Not that the people he's referring to would have a sense of humor.

I'll never, ever, ever understand why so many people get so hung up on what other people do with their bodies, I suppose that includes drug use as well as sex.

Sex is the greatest thing ever. Trust me, facing a year without Nerdstar around sucks beyond imagination, missing out on our sex life is a big part of why. I spent a few years celibate by choice - being so not by choice is the worst.

My only advice to people who get bent out of shape over other people's sex lives would really have to be - go fuck yourself. Literally. You might learn something about pleasure and fun and loosening up.

Posted by Beth at 09:28 PM
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Life is Good

It's been a really nice, relaxing weekend. I was hoping to get out and do some motorcycle riding, but it's been way too windy. Today the cold is finally coming back, it was in the 80s yesterday. Now it's starting to rain. Nice!

I've been going back and forth on whether to give two weeks notice tomorrow or next Monday. The difference is about $300 in pay and maybe a small missed yearly bonus. I don't think that's enough to have to pretend everything is ok for three days. I've also been trying to make sure I'm not just being a quitter and bailing when things get hard. If you've read this site for any time at all you know I've been wanting to quit for a long time. I've also been trying to decide if I should even try to explain to them why I'm quitting, how hard they made things for me. I wrote a brief statement to that affect in my two week notice.

My mom called last night. It helps a lot that she's supportive of me quitting. Until last night she wanted me to hang in there and make it work. It's nice she gets that I'm worried enough about Nerdstar and don't need the added stress of work. Looks like I'll be bringing my nephew down to Austin for probably a week sometime before Christmas. I'm really looking forward to that! I'll also keep him some during March and May.

I met with the therapist yesterday. Mostly it re-inforced what I've been thinking about taking care of myself. I'll decide in the next few days if I want to see her again. I'm not sure it's necessary at this time. I do need to get better at even the simple things like taking vitamins and walking the dog. Hopefully soon they'll fix the carpet in our duplex and I can feel like my home is back to normal.

I'm looking at this time as an opportunity to really get my life together. There's no pressure to do anything anytime soon. That helps a lot.

Well, I'm off to shower, make some coffee and toast a bagel. It's a nice day for watching football.

Posted by Beth at 10:27 AM
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November 21, 2003

Would you?

As I've said too many times, I read about a hundred web blogs a day. Especially on work days the phones don't ring very much.

I just had a thought that I'm not sure I'd read my blog if it wasn't mine and I ran across it on a bored Friday afternoon.

It's hard to say exactly why I like the blogs I like because they're so diverse. But mostly it comes to great writing about interesting things. Two things I know I don't like are posts about dreams and about being depressed. I try to avoid those here.


Seriously, would you read your blog if you didn't write it??

Posted by Beth at 04:16 PM
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Deal Breaker

It's taking every bit of maturity and patience I have not to walk into my manager's office right now and give two weeks notice. The only reason I'll give two weeks notice instead of outright quitting is on the hopes that like with the other employee who quit this week, they'll pay me the two weeks and just send me home. Although, if that isn't their offer, I won't finish out the day regardless.

You know what the biggest deal breaker is in all the bullshit paperwork I had to sign this morning was? They stipulated no personal phone calls other than on break or lunch time. That would be fine except that everyone around here takes personal calls all damn day, you know, part of that isn't this a great place to work b.s. Even more than that though, obviously I have no idea when Nerdstar will have a chance to call. They know this as well. Yet, instead of saying, ok, we know it sucks for you, we understand you need to talk to her whenever possible, they throw this in instead. It wasn't necessary, it was petty. And that's just one small part of what was handed to me this morning.

It's the hypocrisy that really gets me. The meeting before this one they were all, we know this is a really hard time for you, we care, let us know how we can help. Yep, this morning was a great big help. It clarified my situation perfectly.

Posted by Beth at 02:04 PM
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Good with the Bad

OMG... how cool, and sweet, and what amazing timing. Beth and John sent me the Looney Tunes Golden Collection from my wish list to help me get thru Nerdstar being gone. In addition to that, it'll give me something to do when I finally quit my job :-)

Thank you so very much!!!!

Posted by Beth at 11:40 AM
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The end is near

Damn it all to hell. Once again, Iím crying at work. Bastards. Yes, the meeting went that well. Silly me had failed to realize it was a ďseriousĒ meeting including HR (no one ever told me HR would be there) about how much I suck at work and all the things I will improve immediately or face firing. Thirty minutes later Iím almost breathing normally. Almost. Now Iím just trying to decide when to quit. Itís no longer a question of IF. I can make it thru today. Then thereís only three days next week to get another full week of pay. Then thatís probably about it for me.

Yes, a company has the right to expect a certain level of performance from itís employees, no matter whatís going on in their personal lives. I get that. But it doesnít mean I have to work in a place that tells me they care and are here to help me and then turn around and make my life way more stressful than it already is. Thatís the beauty of living in a capitalist society Ė Iím free to quit and move on.

Posted by Beth at 10:14 AM
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November 20, 2003


Iíve been staring at a long, skinny 2004 calendar trying to figure out how to fill all of that time. I could probably fill March and April with volunteering during SXSW, traveling, taking care of Zachary, and hopefully seeing Nerdstar if/when she gets her two weeks leave. And all of that would be really cool and really fun. Knowing all of that was coming up might even make work bearable until March. Then Iíd have to find a way to fill the time from May until hopefully November when Nerdstar is home for good.

Tomorrow morning at work I meet with my managers again to go over my ďimprovement plan.Ē Thrilling. My absolute least favorite coworker quit Tuesday. It means my beloved team leader is having to re-delegate stuff. Whatís ironic is that if Iíd been a ďgood kidĒ around the office the past few months Iíd probably be promoted into that open position. Now, not so likely. Which sucks. But it feels like things are in the air for some more changes around here. I just wish theyíd have a team meeting and put everything out in the open. They donít usually do that around here. So, should be interesting in the morning. As of now my goal is still to get thru till the first of the year at least.

On Saturday Iíve got an appointment with a therapist. After 9/11 my company started offering mental health benefits. Thru an 800 # we can get a referral to a local therapist and schedule up to five sessions with them Ė all paid for by the company. I donít know how to deal with the constant stress, loneliness and worrying Iím in for over the next year. Sometimes itís better than others, but this is only the first week and sheís not in as dangerous a situation as she will be soon. And I obviously need help with decision making!

So, the next few days should at least be productive ones.

Posted by Beth at 04:31 PM
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I got a call from Nerdstar this morning. Her morale is still pretty low, but she's hanging in there. As every other soldier over there has commented on, she's stunned by the sand and dust.

She's with this Stryker Brigade. Info like this and other info she's given me in the past few days is why I'm so worried for her. They sent 300 of these vehicles over there and I'm sure that they'll be in the news a lot during December once they start moving and heading toward their mission.

Posted by Beth at 09:50 AM
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November 19, 2003


Turkey and Gravy flavored soda by Jones. How fun!!

(vound via BoingBoing)

Posted by Beth at 04:55 PM
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Jeff Jarvis' WTC memorial design/idea is simply and completely brilliant.

Posted by Beth at 10:05 AM
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Gay Marrige part 2583

I actually started crying. I started crying because someone said it out loud. Someone said out loud that I'm equal. That I can choose whether or not I want to get to get married. That it's ok. That I can be in love. That the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should recognize my partnership the same way they recognize my neighbors. That it's not a morality issue. That it's an equal rights issue. I started crying because someone said.

That my love.

Is ok.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow the fight starts. But for today?

For today it's ok.

Yeah, pretty much. With everything else on my mind this week, and knowing that this fight is long from over, I haven't let yesterday's rulling sink in. I haven't let myself start imagining a wedding day. It's too weird to think about. I never expected these changes in my lifetime. Not really. And for me, the bigger battle is still the one with my religion. Yes, it's huge that my country might finally recognize me as a first class citizen, but will my church ever stop seeing me as evil and deviant?

But this one simple ruling marks the beginning of the end of a deeply ingrained sense of shame for so many people.

Posted by Beth at 09:58 AM
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Gay Marriage part 1854

If you're happy or pissed about yesterday's Mass. SC ruling, you really should be reading Andrew Sullivan. No one writes about this issue more succinctly or eloquently or plainly.

In talking with co-workers about this issue on occasion, what I find is that they honestly don't know all the obstacles and hassles people like Nerdstar and I face in simply trying to live life as a couple. It's nice when they start to get it. I wish Andrew could/would do the whole media circuit/circus thing and state our case.

Posted by Beth at 09:35 AM
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November 18, 2003

Nerdstar Update

Excerpts from emails she's sent me:

It seems like it'll be tent living for us for at least the next 6 months, the so called ďmissionĒ has changed. No living in the trailer park environment like they've first advertized, and shower may not be readily available once we leave Kuwait.

Man, it sucks here, all of us are coming down with some sort of respiratory ailment, I heard that this guy has already came down with pneumonia! But at least we are safe so far.

Our acting first sgt. is trying to get neck gators for us so we don't breathe in more sand than we needed to... we'll see what happens to that. They issued more of that stuff to the people on active duty than the reservists, even though we are pretty much doing the same damn things... speaking of army of one... I think that it's all bullshit.

I don't think the morale is high here, we all miss home and all the people and comforts.

For now I am still stuck with the headquarters team, without a job really. The acting 1st. sgt. is in the same boat as I am. Right now what's keeping me busy is maintaining the vehicles that we've got.

I heard that our mission will now be more of a offensive mission, and we'll probably be living in tents for the rest of the year because they wanted us to be "more mobile".... they can bite my ass!

I am feeling sad too for not being with you and the kids. Just hoping that the year will go by fast, or maybe in 6 months they'll not need us anymore... not that they need us now.

Posted by Beth at 10:40 AM
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November 17, 2003


I really need to make some plans for New Year's and I can't seem to make up my mind.

I'm spending Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family. Those nine days will be plenty!

I have to work New Year's Eve. If I try really hard I can probably find something to do that night in Austin. Then, I have off the 1st to the 4th - Thurs. to Sun. There's a really nice state park about three hours from here and a small set of private cabins for rent nearby. I've thought about taking Ramen there and chilling for a couple of days. But, do I really want to be really, really alone? There's always Vegas - but I'd be sad to be in Vegas without Nerdstar.

So... any suggestions on what to do for four days?? I'd say money isn't an issue.

Posted by Beth at 04:14 PM
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Brain Dead

My brain isn't feeling fully functional today. I'm not sure if it's the cough syrup or the stress. I'm learning stress comes with very strange side affects.

Anyway. If my brain were fully functional I'd be writing about Hillary's cheerleading speech in Iowa Saturday night. (Yes, I really did watch it.) It was actually dead on. But I think she's overly optimistic if she thinks the Democratic party is ever going to come up with solutions instead of criticisms.

I'd be writing about how different this country will be when the defining moment in the lives of "people in power" will be 9/11 and not JFK and Vietnam.

There'd be something really insightful about how the Dems are playing to the past and not the future and it's going to cost them big time. It's not about what has happened in Iraq, by election time rolls around it will be about what is going to happen in Iraq, and really, the rest of the world.

I'd also throw in something about how this next election will clearly define us either as a nation of completely selfish bastards, or a nation with a generous heart who really does want to see freedom spread throughout the world.

But I just don't have the energy today.

Posted by Beth at 02:23 PM
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Blogrolling hacked?

WTF? Apparently Blogrolling has been hacked. I checked Michele's site and her blogroll looks like mine. I'm going to be more than a little pissed if I have to re enter my blogroll. I'm sure Michele will be furious. This really isn't a great way to start a Monday morning!

UPDATE: Jason posted a couple of entries on the breaking news part of his site. As with the times Hosting Matters was messed with, Jason has done an amazing job of restoring things and addressing the problems. Thanks, Jason!

Posted by Beth at 09:13 AM
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November 16, 2003

Wide Wide World

Once again, Michele has written a better post on a topic than I could have. This thing we call the blogosphere is huge. It's even fun to get lost in. There are many workdays about 4 p.m. when I've read all my known sites. That's when I go to Michele's blogroll, or some place like the Ecosystem and click on thru to some new, unchartered territory. Hell, the other day I even ventured into some way left blogs and had a look around. I thought they were assholes, but it was still interesting, and probably even good for me. (and, no, I didn't feel compelled to leave comments on their sites telling them I think they're assholes - because that would be rude!)

I know that I don't ever want to be pigeon-holed (I'd like to see someone try!) or for my blogroll and my readers to all by one type of person. That would be boring as hell.

Posted by Beth at 05:08 PM
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I got another 6:15 a.m. call from Nerdstar. I'll take them whenever I can get them! They're at camp Udairi for about three weeks, then I think they start their convoy into Iraq. That's when I'll really have a hard time not worrying myself silly.

I keep thinking about all the movies I've watched about WWII and how long those soldiers were gone, and how long they had to wait for letters to get back and forth, and the real sacrifices the people back home had to make. I know how lucky I am to be going thru this with the help of email and satellite phones and the internet, and biased as they may be, even the news coverage.

It helps tremendously to read the blogs of soldiers who've been to Iraq and back or who are still there. I think it's helped Nerdstar too, to know what to expect. It really is amazing to me, the power of this new form of communication. I think if she'd been in that first wave of soldiers sent over this would be much, much harder. Even her being at Ft. Lewis for so long helped soften the blow of her being in an actual war zone. I'm not having to adjust to her being gone AND worrying about her safety. I miss her terribly and am ready for her to be home, but I'm pretty adjusted to being alone for now.

And thanks again to all of you who have left comments!!

Posted by Beth at 09:14 AM
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November 15, 2003

1st Saturday

I got a call from Nerdstar at 5:30 this morning. She's already in Kuwait. That just seems so weird to me. I'm sure it's even more strange for her - going from the overly green Seattle area to the completely brown desert of Kuwait. I spent about two and a half hours this morning getting a little package ready to send to her and mailing it out.

Other than that it just seems very surreal. I support this war. I think the people of Iraq deserve every chance at freedom. Nerdstar having to be over there doesn't change any of that. I've kept up with what's going on over there, and I still will. I'm optimistic that another year of our troops being over there will see changes we can't quite bring ourselves to hope for yet.

When Nerdstar was on active duty at Ft. Lewis it seemed more like a job than real military service for both of us. Now it's real. And I'm proud of her.

Posted by Beth at 11:50 AM
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November 14, 2003

Lighter Reading

I love this post by Cynthia of Life in the Pink on having a clone. Sounds about right to me!

Posted by Beth at 09:26 AM
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Same but different

I'm pretty exhausted. Nerdstar called about midnight last night and we got to talk for quite a while, then she called again about 6:30 this morning before they were to get ready to get on the plane. I'm sure once I get home today and try to relax I'll be pretty sad. A year seems like a damn long time from this side of it. What's hard is not knowing when I'll hear from her again.

It's also weird suddenly feeling like I belong to a special group of people, military spouses, and yet not really feel a part of it. I don't want to feel different. I don't see my life as any different than anyone elses. Being gay should just be a nonissue. I did a Google search for websites or support groups for other gay military spouses. There's nothing out there. How sad is that? And I have a feeling it's because of fear. Because of this don't ask/don't tell bullshit. Because, obviously the Army doesn't care if you're gay if they think they need you. By the end of last week, because of some totally inappropriate behavior by someone in her unit, her whole unit knew the rumor of her being gay. Even with paperwork pending to come home to help with her grandmother, they didn't care and weren't about to discharge her. I'm sure it's much more scary for career military people. Nerdstar's military obligation ends with this tour. If they want to make a big deal of her being gay and send her home early - great.

I'm not the motivated activist type. I've thought a little bit about starting a website for others in the same situation I am. I probably won't though.

My immediate goal is to stay awake thru my workday, then go home and crash hard.

Posted by Beth at 08:55 AM
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November 13, 2003

Pen Pals

I realized last night my parents are probably a lot more sympathetic to my situation that Iíd clued in to.

My Mom had a friend at a different high school who knew my Dad. This friend knew my Dad had joined the Army and told my Mom she should be his pen pal. So, my parents were pen pals the entire four years my Dad was in the Army. My Dad actually wrote a letter every day. Iím not sure if they still have those letters, Iíve never seen them. Once he got back to the States, they met, and not too long after that were married. Ten months later they had me :-)

Itís a little different than Nerdstar and I in that they hadnít met before being pen pals, but itís still kinda cool.

Like I wrote the other day. My Dad is a very quiet man. While heís always been a constant presence in my life, weíve never really talked much. Whatís weird is that Iím a lot like him in a lot of ways, the way we think, our sense of humor, stuff like that. But Nerdstar is a lot like him in the other ways, hard of hearing, slow to get going, bad driver.

Anyway. I guess it helps just knowing they can understand what Iím going thru, even if we donít talk about it much.

Posted by Beth at 02:22 PM
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I really can't say Thank You! enough to all of you who have called, emailed and left comments. It really helps a lot.

Nerdstar and I talked quite a while last night and she'll call at least once today. She sent me her cell phone a couple of weeks ago, it's going to feel like an appendage soon. I'll have it on and with me all the time so that whenever she does get a chance to call she won't have to worry about not getting a hold of me. She also called and talked with my Mom and little Zachary last night. We're all going to be pretty sad she's not with us Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Last night and today I'm feeling really calm. It's been weird, but there have been several times I've been spiraling down and said a short prayer and had peace come over me. It's kinda neat.

For now I'm pretty much settled on staying with this job for a while. The holidays are coming up, then I start over with three weeks of vacation next year. I have a feeling I'm going to be taking a lot of time off next year, that would be really hard to do with a new job.

I'm trying to figure out what I want to do for New Years. We've got Thurs. to Sun. off. I might rent a cabin out by a state park and take Ramen and do some walking, sitting by the fire, reading and writing.

One thing that really helps is I don't have to worry about money while she's gone. Her paychecks are directly deposited into our joint account. As long as I'm working, I'm going to try to only spend my paychecks and just save all of her pay until she gets home. But, if I need to not work for a while I'll have that option.

I've had to really fight seeing these past seven months, and now the upcoming year, as a complete waste of time, a delay to getting on with our lives. I'm trying hard to find ways to make the best of this time. We'll see how I do with that.

Anyway. Thanks again!!

Posted by Beth at 08:57 AM
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November 12, 2003

Bad News

Well, itís official, Nerdstar gets on a plane around 5 a.m. Pacific Time Friday morning. I'll get to talk to her tonight, and hopefully once more tomorrow, then it'll be a while before we talk again. Itíll take them about three days to get to Kuwait. Sheís not sure exactly how long theyíll be in Kuwait unloading all their equipment thatís being shipped over, or where sheíll be after that. Sheís going to be with the command unit, maybe even be their hummer driver.

The other day I was wondering what weíd done last New Yearís Eve, and I looked thru my archives and was reminded that we spent last New Yearís apart as well because of a fucked up job situation on her part.

I feel like Iím right on the edge of just completely falling apart. Oh, sure I can make it thru the days ok. But I dread crawling into bed because I know Iíll come undone once I do. There are so many emotions, big, strong emotions. Fear, anger, dread, sadness. They fight for who gets felt the most.

Iím so angry at Nerdstar for putting us in this position. But I canít be mad at her, because I know sheís feeling just as badly as I am. I keep reminding myself this has to be so much harder for her, and I really have to/want to make this as easy on her as I can. And, Iím angry at life for always fucking with me.

Iím so deeply sad at the thought of her being away from home for another year. I donít want to go thru the next year without her, the holidays, our birthdays, our anniversary.
I donít want to be alone. I was alone for a long time, finally found someone I really enjoy living with, sharing my life with, and now sheís not here with me.

And Iím scared to death of so many things. Thereís some small part of me that is totally convinced that once she gets on that plane for Iraq Iíll never see her again, that sheíll be killed over there. Iím scared that our relationship wonít survive this year apart. That one of us will change too much.

Iíve been physically ill the past two weeks over all of this. Iím not sure the next two weeks will be any easier. I have a lot of decisions to make. When I want to quit my job. How to fill the time when I do quit. What I want to do for New Yearís. Basically, how to get thru the next year without going crazy.

I know there are hundreds of thousands of family members of military people going thru this. That just isn't very comforting. Especially since there's not really a support group I can sign up for.

Sigh. Keep on keeping on, that's about the only choice huh?

Posted by Beth at 02:43 PM
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Who knew

Nerdstar is 90% sure today's the day she finds out if she's coming home or getting on a plane for Iraq Friday night. Me, well, I'm falling apart. But, I don't want to write a long post until I know for certain what's going on.

In other news, I picked up a box of Nilla Wafers the other day at the store. It's been a long time since I've had some, and they seemed like a good comfort snack. I finally grabbed the box and settled into watching tv on the sofa last night. I pulled out the first one and it seemed a little dark to be a Nilla Wafer, I thought, hmmmm, they burnt one. Then the next one I pulled out was the same color. Weird, a whole box of burnt Nilla Wafers. Darn, I really wanted some. I check the box and it says, "Chocolate Nilla Wafers". HUH? When did they start making those?? I tried one, they didn't taste like chocolate or Nilla Wafers. So very wrong!

Posted by Beth at 09:53 AM
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November 11, 2003


I was bored one day while covering the front desk and decided to do some word games with my name - trying to make an anagram, or see how many words I could make from those letters. I had no luck with the anagrams.

Today I find this anagram maker link and it comes up with A Nimble Thud for my name - I think that's kinda cool!!

Posted by Beth at 01:43 PM
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Fair Warning

I've been reading Margaret Cho's blog for a while, she's actually an amazing writer. This post today on "don't fuck with me" is fantastic. I had a friend once who made me feel this way - like a badass who had the protection of the universe. I've lost that feeling. I miss it. But I also find it hard to balance it with "doing unto others..." Go Read It!

Posted by Beth at 12:04 PM
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Veterans Day

My dad and all of his brothers did their time in the Army. Two of my uncles went to Vietnam under the buddy program, and my other uncle went as well. Thankfully, they all came home. My dad volunteered at the right time and was stationed in Germany driving tanks instead of in Vietnam.

My father never really talked about his military service, he's a very quiet man. Iíve learned more about it in the past few years when Nerdstar has talked with him and my uncle about it than I ever did growing up. So, I didnít know until after college that my dad had hoped Iíd do the military thing.

I always knew the military wasnít for me. If getting up ass early every morning wasnít reason enough not to join, taking orders was. There have been times the stability of military life looked like a nice option. But that stability always seemed too restricting, to have too high a price.

I certainly never, ever thought Iíd end up a military wife. Iíve never been attracted to military types, men or women.

When I met Nerdstar, she had done two and a half years of active duty and was in the reserves in the National Guard, but she seemed even less the military type than me.

When 9/11 hit she was in the Army reserves, trying like hell to get her security clearance so she could be a Chinese linguist. I kept telling her she should get out before they called her to active duty. She honestly never thought they would. She was in an obscure little linguist unit. Her active duty job had been in supply, though, and I knew that would come back to bite her in the ass.

Almost a year went by and no word on her being deployed. Then, sure enough, they called her up to do supply for a unit of Arab linguist. Sheís been gone almost seven months, and if sheís sent to Iraq this week, sheíll be gone another year.

Itís hard being an unacknowledged military wife. While Nerdstar hasnít been in danger, or in Iraq yet, itís still really hard to get thru this time apart. People who support the military donít usually support gays, or even gays in the military. I canít begin to imagine the impact legalizing gay marriage would have on the military. It would force a change in donít ask/donít tell.

On this Veterans Day, Iíd like to salute all the gay and lesbian soldiers out there, who serve their country in spite of possible personal persecution. And Iíd like to extend a toast to all the other partners of gay and lesbian soldiers who go unacknowledged and unthanked because theyíre forced to remain invisible.

Posted by Beth at 09:55 AM
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November 10, 2003

Bad Apples?

I first heard this story on one of our local AM talk radio afternoon shows.

Lawyers acting for the six men trying to stop Sky broadcasting a reality show in which they are seen unwittingly kissing and caressing a male transsexual are planning a litany of legal charges against the broadcaster, including conspiracy to commit sexual assualt.

The men claim they were tricked into kissing, cuddling and holding hands with Miriam and say it was only after three weeks of filming that they were told the beautiful woman was, in fact, born a man.

While viewers would know from the start that Miriam is a male-to-female transsexual, the contestants - who include a Royal Marine commando, a ski instructor and an ex-lifeguard - only discover the truth when Miriam picks the winner and then lifts up "her" skirt.

Without knowing a LOT more, it's so hard to know who's being a complete ass here. The show's producers were certainly assholes. But if Miriam knew the "contestants" didn't know, I can't say she's blameless.

Yes, the new fad in "reality shows" is to throw in some unexpected twist. Yes, the six contenstants are probably embarrassed as hell and trying to save some face. But I can't say I blame them.

I can never begin to imagine how hard it must be to be transsexual. Stupid stunts like this by everyone involved just isn't very helpful.

On AgendaBender today there was also this sad story from the NY Post.

November 7, 2003 -- Five transgender teens who attend Harvey Milk HS posed as female prostitutes, and then robbed their tricks by claiming to be undercover cops willing to let them go free in exchange for cash and credit cards, sources said.

Posted by Beth at 02:57 PM
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Morning Radio

I donít normally listen to ďmorning radio.Ē The entire genre makes me want to kill. But, because I only have am/fm in my car, no cd or satellite radio or anything, I tend to leave it scanning all my presets. Ten seconds of each station is enough to get a feel for what theyíre all talking about every morning.

The one morning show I do find fun here in Austin is on our alternative station 101X. Trina and Drew are great and there is a lot more variety of topics than I would expect on an alternative station, or even when it is all about boys/girls/sex/boobs, itís not totally sophomoric.

Today the topic was a survey out about how little people know about the structure and participants in our government. No one can name the different cabinet members, Supreme Court members, etc. Trina said she didnít have room in her brain for all that stuff, and that she just wants to live her life and ignore all of the serious stuff. She said, ďIím not planning on procreating, so I donít have to worry about any of it.Ē Drew came back with, ďthe government is in every part of your life, so youíd better know how it all works.Ē Interesting. Then they debated on if knowing this stuff made Drew a geek or if he could still be cool.

And maybe Trinaís view is what lies behind a lot of the political apathy in this country. She wants the government to ignore her as much as she ignores them, thinking if she just leads her life, stays out of trouble, then why should she worry about the government interfering, not realizing the scope of government interference in every aspect of our lives.

The other thing I was wondering was whoís job is it at the radio station to come up with these topics every morning. The DJs try to make it sound all ďhey I was thinkingÖĒ but I know thatís not the case. What a cool job that would be.

Posted by Beth at 12:20 PM
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November 09, 2003

Weekend Update

I achieved my biggest goal this weekend - sleeping a lot! It's been a long time since I've felt caught up on sleep. Mother Nature was very helpful for a change and provided the perfect sleeping weather - cold and cloudy and rainy.

But the real highlight of my weekend was picking up the first of a seven dvd series called Noir. DenBeste wrote up a couple of reviews of it much better than I ever could, fortunately I read the nonspoiler one! My local Best Buy had at least six of the seven dvds. It's hard not to go pick them all up today. I'm even tempted to pick up the soundtrack in spite of it being all in Japanese.

I've thought more about the job stuff and have decided to continue to slowly look for another job. Beth has been gracious enough to help me rework my resume. I just figure, why stay at a job that I'm not really that happy with, and now will be under scrutiny to do better at. My manager is writing up a "personal improvement plan" which just makes me feel too much like a juvenile deliquent.

My poor Nerdstar is having all kinds of trouble the last few days. The run around with her and a couple of other people's reassignment paperwork is coming to a boil. Now she's having increasing trouble with someone of higher rank spreading rumors about her being gay. It's getting ugly, as it always does when it comes down to one person's word against another. Nerdstar at one point a long time ago trusted this person, and this person has turned out to be fairly mentally unstable.

It sucks because I can't be there to help her thru all this.

Fortunately, I'm at least feeling more calm this weekend. Today it's just going ot get some lunch, grocery shopping, and more being a slug.

Posted by Beth at 01:15 PM
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November 07, 2003

Being who I want to be

It's Friday afternoon, winding down one of the most icky, stressful, emotional weeks I've had - and with the year I've just had, that's saying a lot.

There's an old saying - I feel like I've been put thru the ringer. It seems appropriate today. One of those old hand cranked laundry ringers that would leave clothes damp and squished.

So many things in life come down to deciding what kind of person I want to be. It's been brought into clear focus - by me, not by my managers or coworkers - that there are too many days at work that I am just a complete ass. And you know what, there's not really any justification for that. It's immature to feel like it's ever ok to be an ass because I'm unhappy with things. And honestly, I'm a complete ass to some of our customers. Not to mention it's usually just plain old arrogance that sometimes lets me feel it's ok to be an ass to them.

Time for a change. Not a better job change, but a better job performance change. Because it's no fun knowing I'm an ass.

I realized part of what makes me miss college so much. While semesters were all a lot alike - there was always that starting over feeling with each new semester. And with real life - there are rarely clear starting over points. I miss them. Yeah, there's New Year's, but for some reason it's not the same. Birthdays don't always cut it either.

We're built for cycles and new starts; you know, the moon and all.

Maybe this weekend I'll find some way to mark a new beginning. A shift in attitude, in being who I am. Or at least get enough sleep and cozy time to feel like the new me.

Posted by Beth at 02:50 PM
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Must Read

Mandatory reading for your weekend. You can't beat blogs for hearing it straight from the source. This guy is an an Iraqi writing about what's going on in his country.

Posted by Beth at 11:58 AM
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November 06, 2003


Naturally, things came to a breaking point this morning at work and I talked with all three of my managers and worked out some things. We all acknowledged this was a bigger issue than just a couple of days off. Both sides have felt that the other wasn't giving enough. I said, yes, I have been skating thru, and told them parts of why. It went pretty well. We're going to meet again tomorrow, hopefully with a lot less emotion. I know I've got to step up my side of things, hopefully I can find the energy to do that. I know they met me at least halfway, and I need to do the same.

It sure sucks being a grownup. But I try very hard to be responsible.

Posted by Beth at 12:21 PM
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November 05, 2003

Slowly Imploding

I suppose that's possible, slowly imploding. I was walking the dog last night, feeling pretty damn down, and tried to cheer myself up by "looking on the bright side." Guess what. I couldn't find one. In fact, I ended up making myself feel worse. I realized that this time last year was just about when the bullshit with our last apartment started and we ended up paying two rents for six months. When that hell finally ended, about two weeks later is when Nerdstar got called up to active duty. Then I thought, well, at least I'm driving a better car, oh wait, that's not really that great of a consolation prize.

I was actually contemplating quitting my job just to make it a clean sweep and a chance to start from scratch. Except I didn't think I had the energy for that.

Anyway. Today was day one of some pretty inane team training at work. It was a complete waste of time because those of us paying attention were the ones who already knew the material, the ones tuning out where the ones who don't know shit. Figures.

Not the point. Back in June I looked ahead on the yearly calendar and asked off for Nov. 26 and Dec. 26. The day before Thanksgiving I drive to Dallas, to leave after straight up noon doubles the driving time. We have wed/thurs Dec. 24-25 off, so I went ahead and took that Friday to avoid driving back to Austin for one day of work and driving back to Dallas for the weekend. No problem. Until Tuesday when I get an email from my team leader saying that in light of my recent approved time off, I can no longer take those two days off. I politely emailed saying I had plans and still needed those two days off. She said she'd consult with our manager and our manager's manager.

This afternoon, after a day of training, I get an email informing me that if I choose to take either of those two days off they will interpret that as a voluntary resignation.

HUH? Fuck you. I've been at this job for three years and have a pretty decent work history there. Yes, I've been thinking of quitting, but my work standard has not dropped. They're also very aware that this is the most stressful time I've gone thru in my life. The last face to face conversation we had before I took last week off was "we understand, we'll work with you." And now this is their response? They'd rather fire me than give me two days off? Fuck you.

I'll be talking to HR tomorrow. Yes, I'm aware I probably shouldn't blog this while it's ongoing. Fire me. Oh wait, they don't have any grounds to fire me. I was informed by a very nice person who works for the same company, but not in the same office, that our company allows up to two weeks of unpaid time off per year. Interesting.

I'm so pissed. If they want to get rid of me fine. Fire me. Call me in and tell me I suck. But this passive aggressive bullshit coming from the top manager in our office down thru my team leader? Again. Fuck you.

The ball's basically in my court. I can suck it up and have job security for a little longer, I can talk with HR about being transferred to our other facility, or I can keep a low profile and simply quit without notice at a time when they really need me there.

One thing I won't be doing is making small talk with any of these people anymore. Our office is supposed to be great to work at because of how nice and friendly every one is, how supportive management is. Whatever.

I also pretty much need to decide by Monday on whether to renew our lease for another year or not.

The wild card still being we have NO idea where Nerdstar is going to be for the next twelve months. Fun.

Posted by Beth at 09:37 PM
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November 04, 2003


Speaking of Afghanistan, this looks encouraging, they will soon have a constitution.

Posted by Beth at 01:40 PM
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Iraqi Leaders

Let me state from the beginning this post is just my mostly uninformed thoughts, no research, no google searches. I might get to those later.

The latest round of terrorist attacks in Iraq, killing both Iraqis and U.S. soldiers, reminds me a lot of the situation in Israel. After 9/11 I thought a lot about Israel and how they could train the U.S. in dealing with small scale (small compared to 3000 dead in one day) terrorist attacks, car bombs, suicide bombs, etc. Last week I was thinking how the Iraqi leader should call up the people in Israel who are trained to look out for these attacks and respond to them and get some training. Of course, my next thought was, uh, wait a minute, who the hell IS the leader in Iraq?

And that's what I see as the biggest problem in Iraq right now. There hasn't been an Iraqi leader to step up and unite the people. I understand there are several different groups in Iraq and that is supposed to make this more difficult. But that doesn't mean the need for one is any less.

Afghanistan has Hamid Kazai, and I assume (remember, no research yet) that having him step up has helped tremendously. (Simply based on the fact that I'm not hearing of as many terrorist attacks there right now.)

Yes, the U.S. military can do a lot to help in Iraq, especially with the help of locals giving them tipoffs. But until the Iraqis really come together and say enough, we will not be terrorized any longer, not by Saddam, not by the Ba'athist (sp?) not by outsiders, not by anyone, this is our chance at freedom and we're not going to let a bunch of f*ckheads ruin it for us, there will continue to be big problems.

Where is the strong, loud Iraqi voice stating that message??

Posted by Beth at 10:17 AM
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November 03, 2003


The single biggest factor at times when I'm pissy and/or downright angry is usually feeling powerless. I can usually take things in stride as long as I feel I have some control over those things. But once that illusion ends - watch out.

That's what's been so frustrating the last six months. Not only am I not in control of what's happening with Nerdstar, she's not either, and on a normal day she has no idea who exactly is in control. How can I use my amazing powers of persuasion and charm to affect the outcome if I can't find whoever is in control.

Maybe that's where faith and God come in. It gives us a huge illusion of control - if we live the right kind of life, say the right kind of prayers, then God will be on our side and we can have access to His power when ours isn't sufficient. Too bad I lost my faith a while back and it's still not fully recovered.

With this whole flooding/carpet replacement thing, I get pissed because I did nothing wrong to bring this about. But I can't go wring my neighbor's neck to make myself feel better either. Apparently, I don't even have any say in when my living space is going to be back to normal. No control. And it frustrates the hell out of me.

Traffic is another time I get really angry. I used to think it was because in my car no one can hear be yelling like a complete ass, so it's a safe place to let off steam. But really, it's all about not being able to control the events and idiots causing traffic problems.

I'm sure lots of therapy could come out of this one issue alone :-) Too bad I'm not into therapy.

Any of my guy readers care to tell me what makes them feel powerless and how they deal with it? Is it something women deal better with because we're sort of programed to be helpless/powerless in subtle ways?

Posted by Beth at 04:06 PM
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Nerdstar and I joke around all the time about how much God hates us... but some days sure make it feel real.

It's been bad enough going thru six months of being unsettled emotionally, STILL not knowing if Nerdstar is going to Iraq, being unsettled mentally and not being able to make plans for the future. And now, as things are getting really stressful, my living space has become completely fucked.

The property manager came by this morning and just decided to have all new carpet installed. That sounds like a good thing, and I'm sure when it's all said and done I'll be happy with that. We've lived here a year and are about to sign up for another year. But she couldn't even tell me exactly when this will take place. So there's lots of stuff out of place. And while I'm certainly in no mood to pack up all my books and cds and dvds and such to help the guys who are going to have to come in and install carpet in an occupied duplex, I'm not sure I trust them not to fuck with my stuff. I find in my old age I get more and more icked out by people messing with me stuff.

I briefly considered just moving out. But I don't really want to go thru the hassle of finding a new place, changing all the utilities and all that stuff. The hassle of new carpet isn't as big as the hassle of moving.

It's amazing how little comfort the line "well, it could have been worse" really is.

All this on top of Nerdstar flying out again today to head back up to Tacoma where I'm fairly convinced we're just going to be told she's shipping out the 13th. She's convinced she's not.

So I'm just pissy today. And having these big fans blowing is driving me nuts from the noise and irritating as hell to my sinuses and throat with all the crap they must be blowing up.

Posted by Beth at 11:46 AM
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November 02, 2003

Flooding and Spring Cleaning

Wow, this weekend is the one year anniversary of this site. It's been a long year! Thank you so much to my readers.

I'd love to wax philosophical about my little site and all that, but we woke up to flooding carpets this morning. Turns out our neighbor in the adjoining side of the duplex was out of town and had something go wrong and his side flooded and ran over into ours. Fortunately, the maintainance guys showed up this afternoon and now we have big fans blowing and a dehumidifier going. I've been wanting to clean out the spare bedroom - poor Nerdstar had no idea this would be how she'd spend her weekend at home. I'm a little tempted to check into a hotel room tonight, the fans are pretty loud and we're supposed to leave them running all night. But I have a feeling we'll just stick it out here. I'm a little burned out on hotel rooms after spending the week in Tacoma.

Fortunately, it was the bathroom and the spare bedroom that got flooded. We've been using the spare bedroom for storage, it was a lot of empty boxes and so nothing got ruined.

Goodwill and the public library will be very happy to see us tomorrow. I'm going to take about four boxes of books to the library, and all kinds of stuff to Goodwill. Oddly enough, this stupid warm weather makes it feel like spring cleaning, even if it is the first of November.

Ahhh life - she's still such a total bitch.

Posted by Beth at 04:44 PM
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November 01, 2003


Yes, Nerdstar and I made it back to Austin, and she went and picked up Ramen from the kennel this morning. The cats were happy to see us. Little Man kept waking us up every hour or so meowing at us loudly all night. It's stupidly warm here this week - in the 80s. UGH! The high in Tacoma yesterday was in the low 40s, which we both prefer. Oh well, looks like we can ride the motorcycle to lunch!

It was really good to get away for a week. Spending time with Nerdstar helped me to set everything aside for a few days and not worry so much. I'm an amazing proficient worrier. But, another week has gone by, the ship out date is still getting closer, and suprise, surprise, we still have absolutely NO idea what's going to happen. Last word she got on Friday was that the paperwork has just been going back and forth between the new and the old units trying to decide who's going to decide. Stupid.

So, we're off to our favorite restaurants and maybe the movies and getting in as much snuggling as we can.

Posted by Beth at 12:21 PM
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