Summer Round Up

Ben & Grace
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
Holy crap it's been three weeks. You'd think something big would have happened.

Well, yes a few things have. For one, the cat's out of the bag about who I've been seeing since Christmas. Miss LA's sister Grace. Facts are, she's much younger than me, it's Ms. A's girlfriend's sister, yes it's weird. It's been weird for a while, but I think without weird, this house would fall apart.

Grace is a Geek, like me. We enjoy all the same things, have a lot of the same beliefs, taste in music and love of science, literature and the online life. A good date night for us is Italian take out, watching Empire Strikes Back and sorting Lego. She knows more about video games and Harry Potter than I do and is probably the only one who could beat me at Star Wars trivia. I care for her a great deal and I'm really glad we found each other. I'm happy.

There was a time when we fretted over who knew about it, but her parents and mine have been told so now we don't have any reason to be secretive other than what would be considered respectful to friends and family. Hence, I probably won't talk about us a lot. Unless of course something bad happens and then I'm milking the angst.

So that's what's been keeping me occupied for the last half year. Along with the regular BGF goodness, it's always an adventure 'round these parts.

Ms. A is doing well with roller derby. She's getting beat to shit with every practice, but her chances of making a team in October are better than average based not just on logistics and available skaters, but also her skating ability and can-do attitude. She may only last one season before suffering a gruesome injury, but she'll be making her little girl want to be like her mommy and that's important.

Both kids start school in about a month. They have as many small adventures each day as Ms. A can find. Sometimes I'll go with them, some times Miss LA will go, but it's always something. Even if it's an unusual craft or baking opportunity at home, she's making their summer memorable. We've been trying to limit their TV and video game time and have completely - and sadly for me - weened G-man off Lego Star Wars (which was his life's blood for a long time.) LMA has her own email now which she uses to ask friends to go to the pool or talk to her old teacher about what she's doing over the break.

Next she'll be writing a thesis paper and I'll wonder why my knees hurt so bad.

Speaking of hurts, I'm all good now. Recently I had that chest pain thing that turned out to be a chest wall injury. It sounds like a hypochondriac diagnosis, but I was told my paternal grandmother had this happen at one point and she also thought it was a heart attack. Weird.

I've watched a little TV, but no reviews for the summer shows. I'll be back to covering regular seasons of Fringe and Dollhouse when they pick back up. If you haven't watched Torchwood and you missed the mini-series, you missed a really well done show. I'll be on Television Zombies, I believe episode 93, which should be next week so stay tuned.

Robot Portrait requests have died off. The 100 Artists Project is dead. I don't even know what to do with the sketchbook that's out there. I'm sure it could be worth something to someone, but I'm tired of pushing that dead horse around. I'm still drawing when I can, writing even less, as evidenced by the gap on this site.

And as for this blog, it really doesn't have a focus, and I apologize; to myself and anyone reading it. It's more a journal, a diary. I never wanted it to be something I'd update every 3 hours with news or political updates or anything. It was supposed to be when I felt like it, or when something happened in my life. I'm just not sure I'm writing for the right reasons. It was for the family, but I always thought it could be more and when that fails to pan out time and again, I get maudlin over the purpose and reason.

Speaking of writing, I've got a little time killer with Grace on Twitter. We made fake IDs for John Adams and his wife Abigail. If you don't know, the two are relatively famous for the letters they exchanged. Considering the number of text messages we've sent to each other, it seemed like it might be fun to read how they did roughly the same thing in late 1700s. So, if you're on Twitter, come find john_adams_jr and Abigail_S_Adams. Their letters are sweet and endearing, and frankly written a little oddly.

And as usual, spread the word about Robot Portraits, the watercolors are working out great. Better get one while I still remotely enjoy doing them.

That's all for now. Carry on.



Good Stuff
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
Ms. A is a roller derby girl.

Apparently this has been a dream of hers for a while. Whether I knew it or not, it's something she's always wanted to do. Kind of like me wanting to do cartoon voice overs or flying a fighter jet; if you get the chance, you take it.

So she took it and is now going to practices and schleping equipment for bouts. Her first practice went well and they invited her back. She goes through more practices, then some evaluations and by some time in October, the league will determine if she's up for selection and then teams will pick.

It's very exciting.

The other day I went skating with her. We've been a few times since a friend of Lil Miss Austin had a birthday party at a local rink and we were reminded how much fun it is. I'm not a great skater. I used to be, but now I wobble a lot. I rarely fall, have to figure out cross over stepping and how to stop without running into the railing. But I'm not horrible.

But everyone falls.

Tuesday I was cruising along and something stopped me, or more precisely stopped my wheel. I was thusly catapulted into the air and landed jarringly on my left hand and wrist, jamming my elbow into my ribs. At first it was just my wrist that hurt; a mild sprain, no bruising. I spent the evening icing it and wore a bandage the next day. The pain began to lessen and by Thursday I was able to play a little basketball.

Last night I was laying down and I stretched with my arms above my head and something pinched and twinged from just above my left nipple all the way down to below the side of my ribs. I thought I was having a heart attack. The paint wasn't enormous, but once it happened, it didn't go away like a cramp. And any pain you get in the left side of your chest is worrisome. After a bit of deliberation about going to the hospital, I went to the after hours clinic where the doctor assured me it was a chest wall injury, probably from my fall. Here's some pain medicine, relax and don't lift stuff.

I called Ms. A to give her the news that it wasn't cardio related and she teasingly hazed me about having owies. Apparently, I have a habit of blowing small pains out of proportion. Though a sharp unrelenting pain in your chest I hardly think is crying wolf.

But it got me thinking about pain. I usually keep my mouth shut about the small pains I get. My ears ache a lot and I get the odd sharp, knee-wobbling pain in my head. I don't say anything usually because I don't feel my pain is worth it. It's an odd description, but one a friend echoed when talking about similar pains. You don't think it's worth taking medicine, going to the doctor, even telling your friends and family about. You don't want to be a bother.

Which makes comparing pain quite difficult. Ms. A's going to be a roller girl and she's given birth twice. Unless I impale myself on my own compound fracture, she's going to give me grief over my little owies. It's out of love and fun that she does so, she's not being mean, but how do you compare pain? Some pains are different, some are events you can cope with, others are just merciless. But what makes my pain less or more than yours or his or hers?

We're built differently. Even if you've had a painful experience, it doesn't make each new one something you can relate to. I've had someone kick me in the face, breaking my jaw. That, to my memory, wasn't really painful, any more than running into someone while playing a sport. However I've also had hangnails that make me want to cry like a girl. How to explain that?

While I work on that and try to find books on neuropsychology and pain, I'll go back to taking my drugs for my non-heart-attack chest pain and wait for the next almost-broken-finger and nearly-stroke-like-pain-in-my-head.

Carry on.


Back To School

Originally uploaded by Cheryl Rollman.
Previously on Life In Austin:

Ms. A registered for and received federal aid to go to school. She's going for a sociology/psychology and teaching degree and become a social worker.

Last week she helped me register as well and as of this fall I will be a registered student at Austin Community College.

ACC is one of those schools that offer either a short associate degree program or a path that leads you to a transfer to a larger university where you can study for a bachelors degree. I picked Art because that's the university path. The other choice in town was Austin Institute of Art, but I've put off going to meet them because a) I don't think a degree from there would be any better than from another university, 2) because I don't think I'll be able to get as much financial aid and finally) because I don't think my college credits from 91-96 would transfer.

So Ms. A has been helping me run through the online applications for both the school and financial aid. I have to turn in some paperwork today, but I should be ok to start at least with some core classes this fall. I don't have many classes left to take I don't believe, but I won't be able to load up; one MAYBE two a semester.

I was in the advising office on Monday finding out how much of my credit would transfer (I have 94 credit hours from a state college in Denver) and what I'd need to take next. The guy was really nice and asked what type of student I was; a transfer or if I was coming out of high school. I laughed, almost loudly. Told him he was really kind to say that. It felt like getting carded for cigarettes.

I don't know what I'd do with a degree in art. I don't know yet where I'll go after ACC. AIA had the type of courses I'm interested in, but that's not a guarantee I'd be working in that field. I'd rather be more broadly studied and find a field I'd fit into than be pigeonholed into a specific career based on a limited education. Miss Louisiana has a degree in photography from SCAD but she's so educated, she's smarter than her chosen field will allow. Thus she's not working in photography. And I'm worried about that.

But, I have to get through English 1301 first. By the way, according to my transcript, I got a D in Basic Drawing 1. Isn't that awesome?

Carry on.