Big News - The Facts

Most of you may have got the phone call already so this won't come as a big deal, but for the Mr. A side of the family, there was no reason to get a call so have fun hearing about it now.

If you STILL don't know by now (and frankly, what kind of subscriber are you to not have known) Ms. A and I split up a few years ago. Since then we've dated a little but she's been primarily tethered to a woman from Louisiana - thus her blog alias is Miss LA. Clever I know, try to hold back your envy at my epithet prowess.

Last Friday, after much soul searching by Ms. A, the two decided to get married. The date is New Year's Eve of 2009 (I think, might be New Years Day 2010) and they've already started a guest list. The BGF House is all very happy for them. Ms. A spent the evening on the phone to Miss LA's parents and I was beside myself with joy because I remember having to do the same thing with her dad and it sucked. It sucked the wrought off iron. So to see her fret and shift and flit about was the high point of my day. Then Miss LA had to call Ms. A's dad and talk to him. Poor dude, this is the second time he's had to say, "Well it's ok with me, but if you do anything to her, I have guns and I'll be comin' for ya." (No kidding, he actually said something much similar to me. I think he was only 30% kidding.)

Now, this being the great state of Texas, the best thing they can hope for is a committment ceremony. Texas has a ban on gay marriage and will not recognize marriages from other states. It is sadly not singular in its policies and so the girls will have to do with a big party, a friendly minister giving them their blessings from friends and family and that's pretty much it. Oh, and a lot of booze.

The discussion of our official divorce has come up, but in light of the state's lack of recognition to same sex marriage, it's almost not worth it. We're not clinging to anything, it's more of a pragmatic approach to the situation. Divorce filings can be easy, but it impacts a lot of things we're not ready to address yet; taxes, beneficiaries, insurance. Plus, and this is the biggest thing, a divorce impacts our credit - which is shit right now anyway. Purposefully adding to the morass to me is a foolhardy gesture. It's not an excuse, it's a reality. It's a while between now and then and our plan was to shore up as much as we can on our credit, move, then possibly split. That's after I kill Count Rugan. (No? No one?)

This also doesn't affect our living arrangements. As long as my kids are in school and I'm the 2/3 majority bread winner, they will live with me. But, Ms. A takes care of them primarily as she's home during the day, so they will be with her as well. And since Miss LA and Ms. A are now engaged, they will live together. And truth be told, Ms. A is my best friend. I have other friends and acquaintances, but I've known her longer than just about anyone else. We like each other and we like each other's company. To say we HAVE to find new places to live alone just because we're not married seems archaic and counterproductive. Why get two places when you can just funnel all your resources into one home?

So, the reason for the previous post was that they had a fight Sunday and knowing Ms. A the way I do, I was fully expecting her to back out. I know her well enough to recognize the pattern and I'm frankly a bit shocked she hasn't tried to flee. It's a good sign that she's maturing and willing to both accept herself and the situation. But all is good, so that's why the hesitant post.

That's all there is to report. Carry on.


Big News

Reflections on 2008
Originally uploaded by Cheryl Rollman.
Something happened this weekend.

Stay tuned.


Reminder: Reviews Are Up

Just a quick reminder that I'm still doing recaps and reviews for Television Zombies. Fringe started this week and Star Wars: The Clone Wars has been back into its season for a few weeks now. Also coming up, I'll be doing reviews for the Joss Whedon science-action show Dollhouse (which starts February 9th.)

As always, TVZ is covering the best (and sometimes the worst) of pop and cult TV with news, reviews and weekly podcasts. Don't forget to stop by.


We're Moving!

Austin Bats
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
The BGF just got word last night that we'll be in our current abode at the Four Pines at Rollman Manor till the middle of the summer, at which point we'll be relocating. The current choices are The Single Tree Resort and Howdy Howdy Howdy Rock Garden Hotel and Casino.

On the upside, the BGF will be moving as a unit. This time we're going to try to get an extra room so that LMA and G-man have their own rooms, Ms. A and Miss LA have their own room and Your Truly and my excessively geeky trapping have our own room.

On the downside, we're moving. I don't like moving and the last time we did it I dropped a refrigerator on my leg - a hurt that still gives me problems when the cold winds blow off Lake Youraloser. But, we'll be forced to streamline, clean off detrius and unneeded materialism. Translation: We're throwing away a shit-ton of toys.

We're moving in July and were able to get a month to month lease with no raise in rent. We'll be staying in P-ville and the same school district so LMA doesn't move schools. We just need more space and while the house we're in is great and the area is great, we're just pushing saturation levels.

More to come.


Broken Yours Yet?

I didn't make any resolutions this year. I don't think I made any last year. I'm trying to make each day an improvement and to put myself under the kind of pressure as required by one day of atonement would be a debilitating mistake. It's better, in my mind, to make smaller goals that can be accomplished and that work toward a larger change than it is to pin all your self worth and motivation on to a single looming quest at the beginning of the year.

So no I didn't quit smoking.

I didn't resolve to lose more weight (though for some inexplicable reason I've lost ten pounds in a month), I didn't resolve to draw more, drink less, clean/sober/shape up, be nicer to people, be more aggressive/understanding, have more self worth and better self esteem. Nothing like that. To me 2009 will be, as sports teams like to say after a miserable season, a year of rebuilding. We have a good team and we need to give them time to play together and develop those skills.

The BGF is rumbling along as well as can be. Work is unbearable and rare for some, mind numbing but at least steady for others. Like every one else, every where else, the belts are tightening though I don't know what they'll squeeze out. The whole house has officially been sick as well. It was either Strep or a really bad case of almost Strep. G-man got it first right before NYE, and then gave it to his sister. I did my best not to get it but ended up getting it right as Ms. A and Ms. LA came back from Louisiana. Ms. LA was sick for a while. Ms. LA's sister is staying with us until UT opens again for school. We both got it and now Ms. A's got it.

The difference between when mom gets sick and anyone else gets sick is an order of magnitude. There are three (four now) adults in our house so that at any one point, the kids are being looked to, played with, scolded, feed, washed, etc. Between the lot of us, you'd think those not feeling well could take some time to rest. It doesn't happen like that. Even before the advent of the BGF, when Ms. A was sick, she didn't get down time no matter what I did to help. The only thing I could have done better was to have taken the kids to another city for three days. I don't get sick that often but when I do I'm a worthless slug and Ms. A pulls double duty. When she's sick, for whatever reason, she can't get a break to recover.

So this time, even though I was with a sore throat, I felt fine. Good enough that I didn't feel the need to couch and watch Price Is Right for a few days. I had to take off work because I was likely contageous, and one night I had a hard time sleeping, but it's nothing like when Ms. gets sick. She's out of commission for days but still feels the need to clean or do laundry. She and Ms. LA are both home today and I hope Ms. LA is there to tell her to sit down and shut up and get better. I can't while I'm at work.

Carry on.


New Year, New Things

Republic Y-Wing
Originally uploaded by xadrian.
So this is what I've been doing with my time. I had a few drawing commissions that needed to be done, but for the most part, I've been building this.

For those that don't recognize this, or think it only looks vaguely familiar, this is a Republic Y-Wing as seen in the cartoon network show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. If you recall the Y-Wings from the first movie, they were old clunkers, fighter bombers passed their prime but rebuilt over and over again by the Rebel Alliance.

What we see in The Clone Wars are the brand new Y-Wings, new to the Republic and flown by squadrons of clone pilots and at one point Anakin Skywalker. The changes from the old to new is one of style, mostly. Whereas the more recent ships are a hodge-podge of exposed engine works, reduced engine sizes and a removal of the manned turret, the original starfighter was sleek, fully paneled and the turret was manned.

This was also a side bet with a flickr contact, RocketSeason. I was already in the planning stages, having almost finished my Nebulon Ranger, and the episode of the Clone Wars with these ships had just aired. I wanted to build one so I started looking online for images. I found RocketSeason's Flickr account because he had posted a few images from the show. We' made a friendly bet to see who got done first, I figured he's kick my ass as this is my second ever MOC (my own creation.) However he ran out of the right type of pieces, which I was close to doing. I had to disassemble my Tantive IV model to get the pieces needed for the engine pylons and I went through most of my yellow pieces getting the striping right.

It's an ungainly model. The pylons were a problem to figure out how to attach to the fuselage. At first I had a whole design using rods and interior attachments but in the end it's just attached with a couple 90° arch plates and could fall apart any second. It also doesn't line up right and you can see where the pylons are pulling away. I had to keep it all as light as possible, learning lessons from my last model. But I'm very proud of how it turned out. I need to clean up some areas of the underside and the rear landing gear and the back where the fuselage fades out.

It measures 36 1/2" long and 16" wide and weighs ~4.5lbs. It's easily as big as the official LEGO UCS sets and I won't know until I take it apart, but I'd guess it's roughly 1,000-1,200 pieces. Before anyone asks, no it's too big for me to spend the time making instructions. Plus there's a lot that doesn't fit very well and I'd rather not have people know that I "cheated" a bit.

Other than that, not much going on. Most of the BGF has been in Louisiana so while I've had close to two weeks off, I've spent close to half of that by myself. Well, myself and the kids. I met an old friend from college this last weekend and it was really good to see him. We were best friends in college and did a lot of theater together, liked the same music, played basketball and just generally liked each other's company. When I moved to Texas, it was quick and I don't think a lot of people knew what happened. He was one of them. So over a couple of beers and sandwiches at Central Market while the kids played on the playground, we caught up and it was quite nice. It felt like no time had passed and at the same time I knew that he was only visiting and that the next time we'd talk it would likely be another decade. It's bittersweet, but the realities of time and distance between friends.

I hope everyone had a good holiday season. We all had a lot of time off and relaxed. There was much eating, watching TV, playing Rock Band and a bit of travel to meet family. I'm not terribly excited about 2009 either way. I've developed a very Zen attitude toward life and I will take what life gives me and either use it or ignore it. There are a few things I'm concerned about that will likely shake out in the next few months, but you can't worry about these things until they present themselves to you.

Our house is still happy and vibrant and full of life. It's as much a curse as it is a blessing. This time the girls have been away was peaceful. I was able to watch all three Lord of the Rings movies, draw a few pictures, build a LEGO ship and watch a little football and hockey. It wasn't totally fun and loneliness began creeping in late last night. It'll be good to get the rest of the family back.

I hope 2009 is good to you. The next few years are going to be interesting on every level and I dearly wish for everyone to be able to cope with the changes that are so likely to occur as to require instruction manuals.

Carry on.