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Should have been a sleepy day...

Books
We did end up going out, both because we kind of felt like it and because we needed some things, like milk, really urgently.

Steve's truck is a 4x4, so getting out through our muddy and slick dirt roads was okay. He at least said it was fun. After much back-and-forthing we ended up at the Oracle location of Oregano's restaurant. It's an Arizona Italian chain, and we had eaten at the Speedway location and liked it a lot. We were not let down by the Oracle location. My angel hair pasta and his chicken Parmesan were tasty and what we were in the mood for.

After that we went to Fry's (grocery store). The goose is obtained for Jul, and we'll have to go back for the salmon and root vegetables that we need for the feast.

After we got home, Steve went to go play his usual video games. I talked to my friend Linn in the Netherlands via Skype and read another fifty or so pages of Julia Serano's book Whipping Girl. This is answering a lot of my questions about transsexuality, and I'll give more of a review after I finish.

Sunday began with lots of sun. We had to go out for some car parts because Steve is working on my truck. We came back with those and also a small firepit, because we burn a lot of our personally identifying information and also there are some rituals we do that require fire and burning things. I put that together and Steve worked on my car.

I was inside preparing a baked rigatoni with spinach and ricotta when Steve called my phone. Our neighbour Bob was over, and we ended up having him in for some dinner because his wife and daughter are allergic to gluten (really, not the fad) and he doesn't get pasta often. He and Steve have lots of plans for January since Bob has machinery and a machine shop and Steve has ideas for wind power and generators and other things related to self-sufficiency. Steve is starting a two month sabbatical in January, with my blessing, and I think it will be both fun and productive for him.

It's a sleepy day!

night, dreams
Perfect. It's Saturday, it's all wet and cold outside and there is nothing more pressing to do than maybe get some milk. Unless Steve decides he can live without.

Except we feel like going out to lunch.

Except we feel like going out period.

I suppose I should put some pants on.

The Dreaded Drill Weekend

Centcom Patch
As I may have said earlier, my current unit decided to do a five mile ruck march as well as an ASU (dress uniform, formerly known as Class As) for the same weekend. The whole weekend was also going to be in Los Alamitos, on the L.A. County border. I bought an airline ticket because Los Al adds two hours to my drive into California. On Friday, I loaded up my three pieces of checked luggage and drove up to Phoenix Sky Harbor airport to get a flight to Long Beach.

My 1540 flight loaded and started down the runway just fine. As it sped up for takeoff though, the pilot suddenly hit the brakes. Something was coming up as being wrong on his dashboard, and he had to abort takeoff. We returned to the terminal.

We were told there was a replacement plane and that it would leave at 1800. The plane arrived, they cleaned it out--and it didn't pass pre-boarding checks.

At this point, the airline (US Air) was trying to get anyone who had no luggage onto flights to LAX. That was not going to help me, so I texted ahead to let people know I'd be on the next flight to Long Beach.

The next flight was at 1540 the next day, which meant I'd miss the ruck march. I was certainly okay with that and went home.

I had a nice breakfast out with Steve the next day and we drove back up to Phoenix. I got my flight and it departed without issue. My luggage was waiting for me in Long Beach, which I think may be one of my favourite airports. It is a repurposed military airbase from World War II, and baggage claim and ticketing are outdoors. The restaurants are supposed to be excellent, though I didn't get to try them, and the rental car outlet had me on the road in no time.

A major was celebrating being promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and he'd bought drinks in advance for the entire unit, or at least people who said they'd be coming. I had some guacamole and chips, two beers, and a glass of wine because FREE BOOZE THAT'S WHY. I had some great conversations with my unit-mates and then ol' Major T. and I retired to the patio for cigars. My roommate hadn't come to drill, so I had my room in the lodge to myself.

My ASUs still fit me, so that was a big plus. ASU inspection was tedious as expected, but then we went to the American Legion for our holiday party. This meant two hours--no exaggeration--of awards being handed out. I received another Army Commendation Medal, so that was great. Todd and Lourdes took photos and they can be seen elsewhere.

The Ladies Auxiliary made a great holiday dinner. We were dismissed at 1300 and I went over to go visit Sandra from San Antonio at her Orange County digs. She and her husband Victor are artists who are currently heavily involved in the Chicano arts scene in Santa Ana. She and I hung out, and talked art and music, and then went to get Bolivian empanadas and pick up Vic over at the Bowers Museum.

I made my flight again and arrived back in Phoenix. Steve and I were delayed by an accident on the I-10. I hit the hay around midnight and woke up with an itchy throat and coughing. I was told, "Don't bring that here," by work, so I stayed in and watched five episodes of "Bob's Burgers", two horror movies, and three episodes of "Arrow".

Ready for work tomorrow!

misrepresentive userpic

Food
Well, I've figured out why I've gained so much weight since I moved to Arizona. I lost a wee bit once I started working, but not enough to get me back into many of my clothes or make Uncle Sam happy.

This morning, I put on my Fitbit for the first time in over a year. I knew I'd walked more when I worked on Coronado, but I hadn't realized how MUCH more. Even with taking the stairs to and from my third floor office, I'm not walking half as much. So it looks like lunch hour walks are in my future.

I've also joined a gym a block away from the Federal courthouse. I can park for free on the street after 1700, or in the parking garage with validation at any time. Since the block where I work gets sketchy after 1700, there's my plan for not walking back to the courthouse to get my car.

I've been going to the gym, but I'm going to start applying myself more because, well, it must be done.

weekend update

holidays, mithras
Have I mentioned lately that I hate Christmas? Because I do. I hate it with a passion. I had an anxiety attack in Target yesterday, even.

Still, many if not most of what people in the U.S. and Canada associate with Christmas are actually from German and Scandinavia. This includes the tree. We were going to put up our Jultrae (Yule Tree) tonight, but we went to see "Mockingjay Part 1" instead.

Steve held my hand through scenes of airplanes dropping bombs and I didn't realize I had his hand in a death grip until the scene was over. Here I was thinking I was doing so well. It's a very good movie though; if you've seen the first two, the third won't disappoint. They're all getting better as they go along, so I'm hoping that the fourth and last movie will be absolutely spectacular.

But now, I have to brush my teeth and go to bed.

Thanksgiving, Zia Music, et al

astrology, sun
Negativsteve came down from Phoenix for Thanksgiving, carrying the cranberries and the Mrs Cubbison stuffing. Steve is very combative about stuffing being Mrs Cubbison's, and it turned out Negativsteve prioritizes it too. Steve and I brined a turkey for the first time (Alton Brown's recipe) and while I didn't think it made the meat any more juicy than our trick of roasting it breast-side-down, it made the skin crispier than any we'd had.

Dessert was pecan pie made with pecans from our own tree outside. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a harvest festival, so that just made sense. It came out excellently well, too. I used the recipe from the Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook from which I originally learned to cook.

Friday I went to work, which felt like an insult, but there were filings to be done because federal government uses an electronic filing system that never closes. Still, as I was walking up to the courthouse in the morning, the U.S. Marshall smoking outside asked me why on earth I was going to work.

Today Steve needed repairs to the back hatch of his 4Runner, so we drove down to Ina Road, dropped it off, and headed off to a craft show that was happening at Maker House. This was where we went to the music sale where I was so pleased with my score. This time I picked up two sugar-skull themed tree ornaments and a little necklace with red ceramic skulls, red beads, and spiral metal beads. It's not as loony as it sounds; I'll post pictures to FaceBook when I first wear it.

After that we went to Zia Music. I got three jazz CDs and decided to take a chance on one of their $1.99 grab-bag packages. I'm glad I did. There were two CDs by Prince and the Revolution, a copy of "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back", a copy of "Walk The Line" which Steve and I haven't seen yet and want to, and two more jazz CDs. Have I mentioned that I'm enjoying having a couple of stereo systems in the house? Because I am.

Gotta watch the parade

Christmas, Jul, Father Christmas
Since I was little, a staple of my life has been the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on CBS. When I was really small, before colour TV was much of a thing, my parents would drop me off at my grandma's and grandpa's because they had one.

It's almost half a century later, and my grandparents are all gone now, but the parade continues. I don't know if it always had all these commercials or annoying commentators but I don't care.

Spiritual Counseling

astrology, sun
Oh yeah, I said I'd write more about this.

Rabbi Helen has no Jews as clients. Most of them are liberal mainstream Christians, Lutherans and Episcopalians who think of Jesus as non-divine.

I gave her my extensive theological background, and told the story of how I stopped believing in a personal God. I said I missed prayer, and did both that and meditation, explaining that prayer is "the ultimate talking to yourself". She nodded and said, "But which 'you' are you praying to?" I thought that was a brilliant question and said so.

Nov. 23rd, 2014

Urge to kill
So, our friends Todd and Lourdes were coming out this weekend. He was doing the Tour de Tucscon bike race and she was going to meet us here at the house, and we would all go to dinner or something afterward. They were going to stay overnight here.

Lourdes’s dad went into the hospital, so she didn’t come out here, understandably. At 5:30 PM we called Todd, wondering what had happened. The Tour is 104 miles, so we wanted to make sure he was okay.

Turns out he forgot we lived in the area and went with the friend he’d done the Tour with to Longhorn Steakhouse downtown and said we could come join them. Well, downtown is a 45 minute drive, Longhorn is a crappy chain restaurant in a city full of magnificent places to eat, and we spent the whole day cleaning the house and waiting for his phone call.

So, Steve and I figured we should do something, so we went down to Ina Road and had pho and curry at Miss Saigon. Then we got a few groceries, went home, and I read until I fell asleep not long after.

This morning Steve's weekend alarm (from last weekend when he had a match to shoot) went off, waking me up. Then another one went off. Finally I was drifting off when Todd called to say he, Tim, and Todd's brother and sister-in-law who live on the east side of town were available for breakfast. After yet another comedy of errors (sister in law went to the wrong Good Egg even though we had given the address) we did have a nice breakfast.

Now we're home, and we're going to watch Survivor's Series and eat either tri-tip or burgers.

busy week

astrology, sun
At work, I've been learning the job of actually being a paralegal at the AUSA. I joined a gym and have started using it. Yes, the National Guard gym is free, but it also adds onto my commute and a lot of the equipment is old and broken.

I went to the spiritual director, Rabbi Helen, yesterday after work. It was pretty emotional; we talked a lot about the Great Spiritual Breakdown of 2008. More on this later.

Off to work, and tonight we're going with our friend Steve to see Don Rickles live.

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