Another Transition

2003 is over. Good bye. Was good, but could’ve been better. Everything could’ve been better.

Well, actually, it was better than hoped. If memory serves me right, here were my resolutions for 2003:

  • get a laptop
  • finish my website
  • finish my album
  • get more financially stable

I guess one out of four ain’t bad. Eh? I’m nowhere near finishing the engine for my website, but I have written and put into use my journalling engine. I’m also learning a lot of standardized code practices, and I’m still working on my game, Chrontium, which promises to be pretty cool. I’m also nowhere near finishing my album, but I have a new respect for the creative process, I have some good input on the sound, and I have some new, fresh ideas for lyrics, melody, and so on. Things are gelling a little better. And the fourth one? Feh. That’s anyone’s guess. I did start my 401(k) this year, and I got a savings account. That’s a step forward, right?

I don’t have any resolutions made yet, but one thing that is important on my potential list is attaining better health. I’m not 23 anymore; I’m going on 32. Time to watch the waistline, mind the ticker, pay attention to things. Definitely. This is the only body I’ll get, ever. No remakes, no overhauls, no rebirth or reincarnation. This is it.

I didn’t have any plans for tonight, but luckily my new friends in the local tech community have pulled together something out of nothing, so I’m going over tonight to have something to drink, hang out, meet some more people. And that’s exactly what I need.

My life these days is picking up. More people, like early on when I first moved here. This making of new connections is a good thing; it’s shaking up my stale life in a way, and I’m happy about it. Forward motion, probably, but it’s motion nonetheless.

And that’s about as enigmatic as I’ll get. I’m trying to sort out what I want in my friends, what I need to bring to the table, what I like in women, what my “type” is, all that. The moment I have it nailed down, it’s gone again. That kind of knowledge isn’t meant to be held and examined, it’s meant to be chased, pursued. Relationships are fluid, and there’s no reason why knowing how to make one happen and survive should be static.

So, yeah, this year has been alright. I’m just glad another one is starting. It’s a convenient point to make things happen.

Until next time: see you next year. Har har.

Xmas Day in Hindsight

My 10-hour nap is over, and I feel like hell. I really don’t know how you couchsurfers can do it. I slept on the couch here and my back feels like one of those turkish windmill knots that scouts earn merit badges for learning. But I got some sleep, and now that I’ve gotten up and have gotten online, I’m feeling much better. More sane. More like something resembling a human.

Ok. Our Christmas morning went rather well. I gave my mother the album “Cow Pie Blues” from Willie Nelson and a paperback how-to on screenwriting. She was thoroughly ecstatic about her gifts. I was worried, actually, about if she’d like the Willie Nelson disc. All I remember was that years ago, before she started listening to country music, that she’d poke fun of Willie and say things like “Willie Nelson? Eww, gross!” Now she totally digs him. So I’m happy. And her screenwriting book promises to give her most of what she needs to know about the mechanics and preparation of writing a screenplay, which is what she had major worries about. I wish her the best of luck on her writing endeavors.

To my sister, her husband, and their family, I gave DVDs this year. For the grownups, I gave “Bicentennial Man”, which I still haven’t seen and they haven’t heard of. From what I’ve been told, it was a good movie; not as long as “AI” which came out around the same time, but good in the “sad but heartwarming way”. And, for the kids, I got them “Spy Kids”, which they’ve seen on VHS, but now they get to watch whatever special features are on the disc. My sister was completely surprised that all three movies in the “Spy Kids” series were shot and made in Austin.

And that’s basically all the gifts I gave. Bah bumhug. :)

So, yeah, after getting something resembling 3 hours of sleep last night, I had to lay down for a nap this afternoon. I was sitting on the couch watching the TechTV version of “Battlebots” and suddenly it hit me. I was out like a light. Over the course of the evening, I woke up enough to relieve my backpain by moving into a different laying position. This went on until 2:30am, when I finally woke up enough to say, “Y’know, I really should wake up some time, but why does it have to be now when everyone else is asleep? Damn.”

So here I am, it’s almost 4am, everyone but the pets are sleeping, and I’m wide awake and in need of a shower, some food, and a little bit of company.

Ah well. I’ll try to snap some quickcam shots around town and post them. I haven’t seen much of the town on this trip, but I already see some snapworthy crap. Feh.

Ok. Later.

A Christmash Mirrakle *hic*

After a six-hour drive with a low number of snags, I made it home to Texarkana safe and sound for my Christmas visit. And wouldn’t you know it, no sooner did I walk in the door, the Christmas drama Story began.

Ok. As I’m grabbing my stuff from the car for the first load into the house, I noticed that my uncle Randy’s truck was running. I looked inside and saw that he was either asleep, passed out, or just really, really chilled out. Out of the ordinary, yes, but for some reason I can expect that here. So, I walk into the door and my aunt Janet greets me. First words out of her mouth tell-all that she’s had a few too many. And she’s bawling.

“Janet, what’s wrong?”
“We can’t find Lucky.”
“How long has Lucky been gone?”
“He’s been gone for a few hours. We’ve looked all over, we’ve yelled for him, Randy has gone out to find him, he’s just, he’s just uh,” and Janet starts crying again.

So, I put my stuff away, fetched the second load, and made an attempt to wake Randy up. After a few too many knocks on his window, he stirs awake and has a tougher-than-usual time getting the truck door open. He succeeds, and I help him out.

“Yeah, that damn dawg done run off. We cain’t find ‘im. Sumbitch prolly got killed or run over. ‘Bout ta believe somebody done run off with ‘im.”
“Well, it’s possible, yeah. I’m thinking he just found a nice warm place or something.”
“Yeah, that’s a poss’bility, but I still think that damn boy, uh, what’s his name, did something.”

I nod my head. We go inside where he offers me some dinner. After nuking some nice smoked turkey, hot links and beans, we sit down and start shooting the shit about what’s been goin’ on, what’s happening at his job, some of my Austin stories, and we’re just enjoying our dinner.

Well, Janet, bless her heart, she’s sitting in the living room in sadness, despair, and heartbreak worrying about her dog. She calls me in there to ask me a question.

“Shawn, is it possible that Lucky will, I mean, y’know, it is possible he’ll come back?”

“Yeah, it’s likely that he will. Some dogs usually do, I suppose. I don’t think anything’s happened to him.”

“Oh, ok. I hope so. Thank you, Shawn, thank you.”

I go back to the kitchen, and Randy and I get back to dinner and keep chatting.

Well, about ten minutes later, roughly five minutes after the stroke of Christmas morning’s midnight, we hear Janet opening the front door and talking loudly. We bend our heads around the corner to see what’s going on, and wouldn’t you know it, Lucky zooms right into the house and runs to the kitchen to greet everybody. Lucky made it back home!

Janet was so weepy and happy that Lucky had made it home, she ran over and hugged me in a way very much resembling the way that a woman with a little too much to drink would run over and hug someone when they’re happy. She said, “Oh, Shawn, thank you, thank you for bringing Lucky back. Thank you. Oh my Lord, thank you Shawn.”

I was at a loss for what to say. I didn’t bring Lucky back, but to aunt Janet, by saying something positive about the situation to keep it from getting worse, I guess I made the miracle happen.

So, there we have it. There’s our Christmas Miracle for this year. Enjoy it in warmth. And remember, if you keep things positive, you might get Lucky. (yes, this whole story is true. Thank you.)

Mahrry Chrishmiss!

Merry Christmerch!

Once again, I impressed myself.

Tonight, after being stuck at home sick for two days, I went out and did my christmerch shopping. I got all my gifts, for those at home who’re most important to me, in less than two hours from start to finish. And, it gets better: I spent only $65 total. Nice.

Take that!

So, yeah, I’m feeling better. My visit to the doc yesterday was fruitful, apparently, because the drugs I got made my sinus infection go away within a half-day. The only problem, though, is that the steroid drug I’m taking is making my heart want to palpitate more than usual, but all I gotta keep in mind is to smoke much less than usual and avoid anything more than one coca-cola a day. And speaking of my chest, the sinus infection has migrated, if you will, downtown to my chest. I could feel the emigration action last night as I sat at home on IRC. Hey, as long as I can hack and cough it away, I’ll be fine.

Ok. Again, a kind reminder: I am coming home to Texarkana on Wednesday; leaving here that afternoon after I work a half-day and do some packing. I will try to go out and about that night, and spend most of Xmerch Day with my family. I will be leaving TXK on Sunday evening.

Ugh. Twelve more hours of driving. Do I love the holidays or what?

It’s not flu, but…

I am sick.

Friday morning, I woke up with the back of my throat swollen and puffy. I swallowed as hard as I could, made the best of it, and went on about my day. It got better over time.

Fast forward to around 8 last night. After dealing with sneezes and super-dry nose all day (figuring it’s the dry, dusty weather), my nose starts running, my throat swells up again, and I feel ill. Dammit. So, I put on my shoes, went to HEB, and got a bunch of juices, chicken soups, and some cold/flu medication. Got home, made a bowl of soup (with much extra minced garlic), took a vitamin, took the cold med, and waited for sleep.

This morning, I was still no better. It was as if I had done nothing at all. Damn. So I went to the doctor. He said I had sinusitis, and gave me a scrip for some serious drugs. One I’m supposed to take 2 pills twice a day for 2 days, then 1 pill twice a day until the bottle’s empty (these things are horse-pills!). This is my antibiotic. The other is a steroid with a really wierd dosing schedule: first day, 6 pills at scheduled times, the second day is five pills, third day is four, and so on until my last day of 1 pill. And I’m supposed to take these with food. Yum.

Someone just shoot me. :ugh:

So, if you don’t see me hanging out on my weekend, please understand. I either 1) don’t feel well, or 2) don’t want to infect anyone else with this. This sucks. So, yeah, please understand.

As a forewarning, tho, I am travelling to Texarkana for my xmas holiday trip this wednesday. I will work half a day and leave that afternoon. I have scheduled the friday after xmas off so that I can have a nice 4-day trip. I will be leaving for Austin on sunday.

You have been forewarned. That is all.