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December 29, 2005

Nice

It's nice taking a vacation in a city you used to live in. You know where everything is, elminating the stress of constantly having to get directions.

The only downside is choosing between all of the great restaurants here. We had CoCo's (Taiwanese), Kirby Lane for breakfast yesterday, Hoover's (southern cooking) for dinner, and then to Austin Java for hot teas last night. All of those places are unique to Austin. We've been to REI for some shopping, finally found some snow boots I like and that are comfortable!

We spent part of the afternoon at the dog park with Ramen. It's so hard to know just what pets remember, but he was so happy to be there! There were about a dozen other dogs there and he played chase, ran around like an idiot, and played in the water - which is the only downside, because really needs a bath after a trip to the park, so we bathed him in the bathtub here at the hotel.

Last night we were going to see the Asylum Street Spankers, but we've seen them before and decided to hang out at Book People instead. It's such a great bookstore. I think we'd both be happy to spend a week in there.

Today it's more food, a little more shopping, and best of all, great haircuts!

Posted by Beth at 10:37 AM
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December 27, 2005

Ahhhh

I made it to Austin this afternoon. It feels good to be back here. Nerdstar's flight arrives in the next couple of hours, so I'm catching up on blog reading and email and such. (Not that I've got any good emails to read - hint, hint!) We're staying at a LaQuinta because I knew where it was located and that they have free high speed internet. We're going from the airport to our favorite little Taiwanese place for a late lunch, early dinner. Not sure what's after that. We've got haircuts scheduled Thursday. Some shopping needs to be done. Taking Ramen dog to the dog park. Maybe some walking down at the Greenbelt. And of course, our list of restaurants to get to!

Friday we're headed back to my folks' for Christmas with the kid. We haven't exchanged any gifts yet. It's kinda nice because we can do the shopping when everything's even more on sale and hopefully the stores will be less crowded as the week goes by.

Being at my parent's house was hard for me. I've known for years I have a three day max with them, but because Nerdstar was going to be gone so long, I figured it would be better to spend time with family than alone. Next time I'll rethink that plan!

Hope you got what you wanted for Christmas!

Posted by Beth at 02:00 PM
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December 25, 2005

Hanging In There

Nerdstar and I never got into Christmas this year. And being at the folks' house without the kid is no fun. Just hanging out and killing time.

But, less than 48 hours till Austin!! More later...

Posted by Beth at 06:17 PM
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December 21, 2005

Off to the Families

I got Nerdstar safely to the airport on time this morning. She'll be landing in Houston about the time I'm hitting the road to start my all day drive to Dallas. Fun. Ramen will be happy though, he gets to sit close to me in the car all day!

As of this moment, I can't find the cable necessary to pack up the laptop and take it with us, so I'm not sure we'll have much internet access until we're home again. I might hit the library, and I'm sure we can get access in Austin.

I'm going to miss the kitty cats a lot, but we found some very nice people to look after them!

Hope you all have safe and happy holidays!!!

Posted by Beth at 12:21 PM
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December 18, 2005

Coming to an End

This year is winding down, coming to an end, finally. Yes, this year was a hell of a lot better than last year. I'm also hopeful that next year will be better than this one.

This week we both travel to see our own families, then we're meeting up in Austin for a few days. I'll be in the Dallas area, and Nerdstar will be in the Houston area if any of our dear readers want to meet up for lunch or something, drop us an email.

I think more than anything I'm looking forward to the new job. Tomorrow I have to go and get a drug test and a TB test. Then Jan. 6 we have an all day orientation where we pay and get our books and the schedule and so forth. Then it's four weeks of classes and then I'm hoping to be actually earning $$ in February.

I know I'm moving into a totally different work environment than others I've been in, and I'm pretty excited about it. When the class is over we have a choice of working in the lab or working as a patience care tech. For now I'm leaning to lab work. Then in a year I might move into being an x-ray tech or something like that. I want to interact with people, just not a whole lot.

Nerdstar's work continues to be up in the air. They extend her orders for 30 days at a time, but her military service ends in March and unless she decides to become an officer and re-enlist, she can't continue her current job. There are advantages and disadvantages to becomming an officer, so it's not an easy decision. Ideally, she'd love to get out of the army and work for a civilian company - she just hasn't had luck with that yet. Maybe the new year will bring a better job for her, too!

Posted by Beth at 11:07 AM
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More Snow

We got another seven or so inches of snow yesterday. It started about 3 a.m. Saturday morning and didn't stop until sometime after midnight last night.

It's still new and novel enough to me that I love to watch it snow and love seeing things all covered in white.

Nerdstar wrote about her looking at getting a new truck. It was kinda fun taking a couple out for test drives in the snow. They let her keep one for the weekend, so we'll drive it around today while going to eat and do some errands.

Posted by Beth at 10:59 AM
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December 16, 2005

Little Man and Silly


Little Man and Silly
They're so glad we bought a nice comfy bed with a down comforter for them, it helps them stay warm in this colder weather.
Posted by Beth at 11:55 PM
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December 15, 2005

Wrong

We watch a lot of episodes of pet rescue shows on Animal Planet and can't believe how cruel some people are to animals. So we're glad there are people out there who are more than willing to take care of animals. As you know, we've taken in two strays and found them homes in the past few years and I'm sure we'll do it again at some point.

But I also know from dealing with them that organizations like the Humaine Society can be really nazi-like.

This story
just strikes me as wrong, although there might be more to it than we're reading. I'd say if the woman can show she had the cat for four years, has vet records and such showing she took care of the cat, it should be given back to her.

Posted by Beth at 11:06 AM
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Must Read for Today

Vodka Pundit found a new embedded reporter blogging from Iraq. She discovers that: "If I am truly unbiased, then I need to get used to this one simple fact; that the untold story, might in fact, be a positive one [emphasis added]. It takes a minute to wrap my mind around it, as a news junkie that became a news writer. The great, career-making, breaking news stories usually donít have happy endings; they usually revolve around disturbing news, deceit and downfall. Nasty political doings. Gruesome crimes and murders. Revealing secrets.

But Iíve come upon something that is none of those. Not this aspect of it. There are politics to this war and controversies and investigations. But there is another side."

Go read the whole thing at VP, here's the link to the original entry.

Posted by Beth at 10:49 AM
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December 13, 2005

Sweet Or Creepy?

You tell me.

Posted by Beth at 05:17 PM
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December 12, 2005

Huh?

I'm sure this won't seem funny to anyone but Nerdstar and I, but oh well. It's my blog...

Last night I was asking Nerdstar if she thought I'd make a better lawyer or therapist. (Don't ask.) She said lawyer and we talked about why.

Then I said, "Well, but the law is all about loopholes."

She said, "It's all about nipples??"

Me, "Yes, it's all about nipples!"

I won't bore you with the talk of nipples that then took place.

I can never imagine what kind of brain she has that comes up with things like that.

Posted by Beth at 08:15 PM
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Iraq Votes

Early voting has started in Iraq. Iraq the Model has lots and lots of updates.

Posted by Beth at 02:57 PM
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December 11, 2005

Not too bad

About three weeks ago I played poker for a couple of hours one afternoon. I started with $200, at one point had $500, and left with $400. I put the original $200 away and Nerdstar and I promptly lost the other $200 playing craps and blackjack the next day.

We've got plenty of money in the savings, but let the checking get a little low. So we were joking around about me playing poker and winning some grocery money!

That's just what I did. I started with $200 today, too, which was actually the short stack because it was a new table with a $100 - $300 buy in. About three hours later I cashed out with $663. Not too bad for a few hours work.

We split the $60 and another $20 Nerdstar had and again promptly lost in playing craps and blackjack.

We went from the casino to the grocery store and got lots of good stuff to eat this week!

Winning at poker always makes me really happy. It's a game of egos, and I've got a decent one when it comes to playing. Part of what makes winning at poker even more fun that winning at craps is that I'm winning against other players and not "the house." I don't play aggressively like a lot of the men do, and I don't play "for a draw." If I'm putting my money out there, 90% of the time I've got the best cards. But since I don't play the good cards aggressively, they don't usually see it coming. To make it even sweeter, there was a guy with a lot of money and a big mouth at the table today. I'd say at least half of my $400 in winnings was from him - I won $100 in one hand. Sweet!

I'm also smart enough to know that a couple of good days at a poker table doesn't translate into a career playing cards. I sure wish it did though.

Posted by Beth at 06:45 PM
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December 08, 2005

Glad

I'm glad to see someone else has already bothered with inventing a heated keyboard, saves me the trouble.

Posted by Beth at 01:30 PM
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Sad Day

The found kitty has a new home. One of Nerdstar's coworkers knew someone who was looking for a new kitten. The lady came by this afternoon with her two sons and took the kitty with them.

We're all pretty sad. It's such a cute, fun, playful kitten. We just didn't have room for it at this time. Ramen will be almost as sad as Nerdstar.

At least is has a good home now.

Posted by Beth at 01:08 PM
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Well Put

As always. Peggy Noonan.

Again: What does it mean when your first act is to break the laws of your new country? What does it mean when you know you are implicitly supported in lawbreaking by that nation's ruling elite? What does it mean when you know your new country doesn't even enforce its own laws? What does it mean when you don't even have to become an American once you join America?

Our elites are lucky people. They were born in a suburb, went to Yale, and run the world from a desk. Which means this great question, immigration, is going to be decided by people who don't know what it is to sleep on a bench. Who don't know what it is to earn your space, your place. Who don't know what it is to grieve the old country and embrace the new country. Who don't know what it is to feel you're a little on the outside and have to earn your way in to the inside. Who think it was without a cost, because it was without cost for them.

The problem with our elites as they make our immigration policy is not that they have compassion and open-mindedness. It is that they are unknowing and empty-headed. They don't know, most of them, what others had to earn, and how much they, and their descendents, prize it and want to protect it.

Go read the whole thing.

Posted by Beth at 01:06 PM
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December 07, 2005

More Snow


101_0420


Posted by Beth at 11:19 PM
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Still

It's STILL snowing. It's been snowing for 14 hours straight and is supposed to snow all night.

I'm feeling glad we're on the third floor, I'd hate to have to tunnel my way out.

Posted by Beth at 11:11 PM
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One

One, and only one, man should be up for this... Michael Yon.

Posted by Beth at 05:59 PM
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Heh

Wow, and I thought I hated Katie Couric.

Posted by Beth at 12:58 PM
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Snow


Snow
It's not a fun, sticky snow you can make snowballs and snowmen from. But it sure is pretty!
Posted by Beth at 12:23 PM
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December 05, 2005

This and That

I'm not used to this level of cold. No, we're not covered in snow or anything, but the high tomorrow will be 17. I don't think the high in Austin has ever been 17. And if it did get cold, well, you waited a few days and it got warm again. I've always thought I'd prefer cold to hot. That's mostly true. I like not being hot AND sticky. But I'm thinking my ideal weather would be 40% humidity and a temp range of 45 to 75, with a month or so where it's cold and snowy - because if it's going to be cold enough to snow, there should be snow. Any idea where that would be the case?

Not much going on these days. We went to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang yesterday. It was entertaining. If you're looking to kill a couple of hours I'd recommend it.

Mostly we're counting down days to good food. Nerdstar flies to Houston the 21st and I head to Dallas probably the 23rd. In Houston she'll get her fill of Chinese food - the real stuff. In Dallas I'll finally get my fill of Whataburger!

Then we're going to spend four days in Austin eating until we can't eat anymore I'm sure. I'm sure lunch every day will be at our fav. Tawainese cafe, dinner will be Hoovers, Papadeuxs, Magnolia.

We both agreed we're not much into Christmas this year. Our present to each other is the trip to Austin where we'll get great haircuts and do some shopping. We can't find our massage therapist - which is making us sad.

Zach will be with his mom the week of Christmas, so we'll catch him on the way back from Austin for New Year's.

Posted by Beth at 02:25 PM
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Monday Fun

If you've seen/heard Wendy's new commercial with the techno "satisfaction" song. Here's the original video for the song. (mostly work safe.)

Posted by Beth at 10:59 AM
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December 03, 2005

Zach 2


Zach 2
My family took tons of pics of Zach starting when he was a baby. I'd say about a year and a half ago or so he decided he'd rather be the photographer than the photographed!

While he was here I handed him my digital camera and he took about 80 pics in an hour. I thought I'd share these self portraits.



www.flickr.com








Bethlynn327's photos tagged with zachs More of Bethlynn327's photos tagged with zachs



Posted by Beth at 11:16 AM
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December 02, 2005

Hehehe

In keeping with Gay Friday...

Hotdogs for homophobes.

Actually, scroll through the whole site - it's a riot!!

Posted by Beth at 03:06 PM
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A three-fer

I guess I haven't written about being gay here in the midwest, and concerning Nerdstar's job in particular.

As for being gay in the midwest, it's no big deal. Yes, the people here are the straightest I've ever been around. (That's a different post for a different day.) But, for the most part I don't really care what they think if I happen to hold Nerdstar's hand walking through a store or the casino. And 99% of the time I'm not worried about one of them pulling out a gun or deciding to harrass us or beat us up.

What's been a little more tricky is Nerdstar's coworkers. Although she is on active duty and working with military people, there are a lot civilians at her job as well, including the boss men. So it's not your typical active duty life.

Nerdstar is better than I at keeping her private life private. While I didn't come blazing out of the closet at my last job, I kept it to the Nerdstar is my roommate line, and had pics of the pets and Zach and Nerdstar in my cubicle. I'll never lie if asked, I won't hide my life, but I am better at understanding work is work and not everyone needs to know everything about me.

Where it gets hard and is when you actually become friends with a co-worker. I'm not sure Nerdstar thought it all through when one of her co-workers started organizing dinners and hanging out and such. At that point, you have two choices if you're in a gay relationship and can't be completely out. You go and hang out or whatever as if you're any other single person, leaving your g/f at home. Or you avoid all outside work social stuff. Neither is any fun. Well, ok the third option is the "roommate" option.

The problem with that one is that most people aren't blind or stupid. And when you've been together as long as Nerdstar and I have been, and when we both moved up here at about the same time, and so on... well, any conversation that's not about the weather and current events leads to questions that reveal your life.

Another problem is that it just becomes the elephant in the room between you and the people you actually become friends with. You don't know for certain they know, but they don't feel like they can ask, and it's a stupid dance.

Would this be an issue of Nerdstar wasn't on active duty? Not to the extent that it is. Sure, even a non-military job can fire you, but it's much harder.

The hardest part of the whole thing is the constant feeling that our seven year relationship is someone less valid, less real, less important because it has to remain unacknowledged.

As always I feel I'm just rambling. Hopefully Nerdstar will write her thoughts about this soon.

Posted by Beth at 10:41 AM
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More

More fun debates, this time about gay students and schools informing the parents instead of the child informing the parents of said gayness. Mostly by people who have no idea how hard it is to come out to anyone, much less your parents.

I'm pretty sure it's much easier to be out at school than at home, although being out at school can be a nightmare. But as painful as rejection by some peers may be (and these days there will probably be at least a few supportive peers) I don't think there's anything more painful than being rejected by your parents for being gay.

I was out in high school because I just wasn't smart enough, savy enough, to hide that I was falling in love with one of my girl friends. Did my parents figure it out, yeah, did we ever talk about it - hell no. Back in '86 my parents were great at don't ask don't tell.

As for what school administrators should do - beats me.

Just don't make the mistake of thinking that parents should somehow magically know their kid is gay. Or that every gay kid who has the courage to tell a friend or two has the courage to tell their family.

update: they're talking about it at GayOrbit as well.

Posted by Beth at 10:18 AM
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A good read

Kat writes a decent post about gays in the military. And there are some good comments as well. I haven't read the stuff over at Blackfive yet, and might or might not later.

I'm not really in the mood to write about the topic today. I guess it's both amusing and tiresome to read straight people debating the topic.

If you're new to this blog, maybe reading the military wife category will catch you up.

Maybe later today I'll write a new one on all the joys of having to mostly be in the closet with Nerdstar's current job.

Posted by Beth at 10:00 AM
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December 01, 2005

Penguins and Pink Boots

One of Nerdstar's good friends from Baylor is an adventurous chick. A couple of years ago she spent two years in Mongolia with the Peace Corps. While she was there she would send out this wonderfully written email accounts of life there.

When Nerdstar came back from Iraq and we spent a couple of weeks at Ft. Lewis, WA, we got the chance to meet up with Cindy who was living in Seattle.

Now Cindy's managed to get herself a job in her dream location of Antartica driving the vehicles.

You can read her blog here. I'd just start at the bottom and work my way up.

Posted by Beth at 10:39 AM
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