More Vacation Rambles.

Last night I finally got WoW back up and running thanks to my dear Meg Sue. Ash is going to start hers in a few days. I tried to play last night but the queue for Kel’Thuzad was so long that I started watching a movie half-way through and when I came back I had been kicked back off the server. I’ll try again tonight if we have time.

We were supposed to go to the zoo this morning, but Emmy the baby (Ash’s six month old niece) is sick so instead we’re going to go meet up with Ash’s dad and explore downtown Austin. I’m going to be such a tourist, I just know it. The one thing I regret while here is the fact that I did not take any shorts or sandals and they say it might get up to 80 today. But it’s already beautiful and I’m so excited.

Last night we went out and had Thai food and somehow or other I ended up downing some sort of shellfish and had a very very small allergic reaction (my face got tight and my throat hurt and my ears started throbbing at the end of the night). It’s nothing compared to if I actually eat crab, but it was enough to make me slightly uncomfortable. I’ll not make that mistake again, trust me. It was delicious and we’re going to a Tokyo Steakhouse tonight for sushi and I cannot wait.

Anyway, we’re all getting ready to go somewhere. You know, half the time I don’t know what’s going on here and I’m just along for the ride. But I’m content, I’m in Texas, and this whole place is just beautiful. Wish you were all here!

There’s Always Hope.

In regards to this earlier post, I have re-evaluated my first instinctual response after a discussion with Ash’s mom on why Obama might have thought this was a good choice.

The fact is he is bringing together two long-opposing sides of a very popular argument. Maybe this is not a rash decision on his part, but instead a very VERY well-thought out step in the best direction. While being gay might make people think I’m a radical leftist, I am actually kind of conservative when it comes to a few political arguments. I think the extremists on both sides could learn from each other and a happy medium could eventually be found. With Obama inviting Rick Warren to speak at his inauguration and having such a strong gay community following him and supporting him, maybe the bigger picture he’s looking at involves a lot more hope than I would have guessed. Maybe his reasons behind this is actually an attempt to make each of the sides face each other on common ground and actually listen to what the other person has to say. In this way, maybe Warren will learn something about equality and the other side could learn something about putting faith into action. Or something like that (though I think they have definitely put faith into action, with a flair, of course). You know what I mean.

Maybe I’m just reaching for a good reason for all of this. Is this a reach? I have no clue. I can’t say it still doesn’t hurt though to have an anti-gay preacher who has compared gay marriages to incest and pedophilia speaking at our gay-friendly president’s inauguration.

But there’s always hope.

Some more Texas.

I’ve completely dropped the ball on this whole blogging daily thing, but I hope that you can all forgive me since I’m on vacation. I’ll be back soon.

Texas is amazing and wonderful and beautiful. Yesterday we spent the whole day out at Ash’s grandparents’ ranch and I have never seen a sky that big and open before. It was almost overwhelming (but in a good sense). We ended up taking the utility cart out to the end of the property (they have 100 acres) and exploring this really old oak forest that has a creek running through it. I spent much of the time just running because I could (cold-induced asthma? Haha, I laugh in the face of cold weather!) and Ash took pictures (which I have yet to upload). I met all of her family, got along wonderfully with everyone (especially her aunts and grandpa) and ate tons of food. I think we’re going back out there later today and I can’t wait (I can’t think of anything to add in parentheses – I fail).

We haven’t gotten a chance to explore the city of Austin yet, but I hope we do. I want to be a total tourist and take tons of pictures. I love it here. I honestly cannot wait until we move here. I love Tennessee and the mountains and that will be perfect for us for six months, but this little preview of Texas has excited me. I understand why all of Ash’s family loves it here and why her mom wants to come back. It’s just beautiful.

I haven’t been keeping up with any news or politics or anything that’s actually worth blogging about, so you’ll have to deal with my personal vacation crap until we go back, which will probably be on Friday. Hope everyone is having a good end of 2008. I can’t believe how fast 2009 is creeping up.

Scary.

Under the Texan Sun.

Everything really is bigger in Texas.

The sky is beautiful here and the weather is fantastic. I really, truly honestly can’t think of anything else to say. I’m just happy.

Well, I’d be happier if Spunky didn’t feel the need to bark at every tiny little movement or sound three miles away. I swear, that dog barks at ghosts walking the halls of buildings a dozen cities over. It drives everyone nuts.

But other than that, Texas is wonderful and that’s all the blogging you’re getting from me for now. I’m tired and it’s warm and my leg is falling asleep.

And I’m uploading patches for World of Warcraft which I’m way behind on. I cannot wait to start playing again.

Christmas Morning.

First off, let me just say, the weather here is absolutely gorgeous. Bright sun and blue skies and a lovely 43 degrees. I could not ask for a more beautiful Christmas. I love Tennessee. Slept in till about ten, curled up to Ash, and we wished each other Merry Christmas eighteen million times before we got up. I think it’s safe to say that we’re both thrilled that we’re spending Christmas together.

Ash’s mom knitted us all scarves and warm hats for Christmas so I haven’t taken mine off all morning. It’s cute and warm. We’re waiting until we get back from Texas to do a real Christmas present opening though since some of the gifts haven’t arrived in the mail. That’s okay, the one thing I wanted was to spend this day with Ash and I’m getting that and more so I’m perfectly happy. After breakfast this morning, we’re gonna head out to Ash’s uncle’s house and spend the day there. It’ll be great and a day full of yummy food.

Merry Christmas from Ash and Nikki

From Ash, me, and our many kids, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. May your day be bright and beautiful and full of good wishes!

Home for Christmas.

So let me tell you a story. A story that involves a lot of snow and driving. And Christian billboards.

We left Ashland Saturday night in the midst of a bad blizzard. But that’s not even the beginning. We were supposed to leave two days earlier but the weather, we were told, was horrendous so we shouldn’t even attempt it. It didn’t get any better but we didn’t want to stay around and wait for it to blow over so on Saturday we packed everything up and were almost ready to go when I went out to start Ash’s car. Yeah, that didn’t work, and after an hour of near-panic we got it started and were out of the house after dark.

We had hoped the weather would get better the farther south we got, but boy were we wrong. What should have been a six hour drive from Ashland to my parent’s house turned in to a 24 hour drive because we had to stop three hours after starting and pull into a motel the weather was so bad. We snuck all twelve of the kids in and slept for a few hours. We were up and out by noon and got to my house and promptly fell asleep (after celebrating an early Christmas with my family and opening up presents). The very next day we were up at 6 in the morning and were out on the road driving the three hours to Chicago. In Chicago, we got everything packed out of my dad’s van, packed into the trailer later on, and were once again, back on the road by 6 at night to Tennessee.

The drive to Tennessee was pretty uneventful except for the falling asleep at the wheel a couple of times and having to pull off twice at truck stops to catch a few winks, and, of course, the increasing number of Christian Biblical billboards warning the unbelieving that Hell is real (it’s real!)! Normally it’s ten hours from Chicago to Crossville, TN, but with the sleeping it took longer and we finally made it to our destination at about 9 in the morning yesterday. It’s been really nice today just sitting around and eating and watching TV. Ash and I bought new pants for ourselves and I picked up another small gift for Ash. Tomorrow we’re going to her Aunt’s and Uncle’s for Christmas and then on Friday morning we leave for Texas. It’ll be more driving but that’s okay, at least we’ve got a break before then, and it’s TEXAS. I cannot wait to go.

I got to talk to a ton of people back home on the phone and my dad is gonna call tonight when he reads my sisters The Night Before Christmas so I can listen in. It’s our Christmas Eve tradition, so at least I can still take part in that. It’s weird not being home for Christmas, but I’m really happy I get to spend it with Ash and her family – I definitely feel like one of family when I’m here. Everyone is just wonderful and makes me feel so at home. It’s great.

Ash is being adorable right now singing Christmas carols. I’m so happy. I hope everyone is having a beautiful holiday season and a very Merry Christmas from Ash, me, and our family. May your season be as happy as ours. <3

I Want a Robot.

No, I really do.

So anyone else absolutely appalled and hurt by Obama’s choice of speaker for his inauguration?

Rick Warren?

I keep waiting for someone to say it’s a sick joke.

In other news entirely, we’re gearing up to try and leave tomorrow, or at the latest Friday. But hopefully tomorrow. In celebration, I made white chocolate macadamia nut cookies tonight and we watched The Colbert Report and Whose Line Is it Anyway? and cuddle up under the blanket on the floor. It was really nice. I think I’m gonna head off to bed now. I’m tired.

But seriously. Rick Warren?! And this after Obama invites an LGBT marching band to play at the same event. And picks a transition team with several open and out members of the community. I understand he’s trying to play nicely with all sides, but couldn’t he have picked someone NOT Rick Warren? I wonder what his team thinks of that.

Ash is coughing. I hope she’s not getting sick. What a bad time for illness. Night all.

(Also, I wanted to add, I absolutely love Bruce Springsteen’s new song, “Working on a Dream.” It makes me happy whenever I hear it because it personifies perfectly my life right now. I just love it. It grows on me the more I hear it. Good song. Go look it up.)

On Being a Nerd and Ass Grabbing.

“Not in the butt.” – Ash.

Yeah, and that’s not completely out of context. /sarcasm

Had an office Christmas party today and I stuffed myself full of chicken and chocolate and played Guitar Hero while co-workers (along with the president and dean of the college) cheered. It was a good time and I got paid. I love my job. I’m gonna miss it.

I’m currently updating the SBird Crew to WordPress 2.7 It’s duller than it sounds (I suppose that means I’m just a nerd because I think it actually does sound exciting). I really like the new look. It’ll take awhile to re-learn everything and figure it out, but the whole thing is so damn customizable, it’s hard to not like it. For once, change is good.

Since there aren’t a lot of great photos from the drag show, have one that I took of Ash right before the show. Her Boi Band name is Baby D, which is why I wrote it on the back of her shirt. Isn’t she adorable?

Baby D

Night all.

How To Talk to Girls

So did anyone else catch the kid that was on Ellen last week? I had wanted to post something about him earlier, but we’ve had so much going on that I constantly forgot when I went to blog. Anyway, this kid, this 9-year-old boy, this smooth-talking, suave, toe head of a child, has written a best-selling book on…

Wait for it…

Talking to girls.

The New York Post has an article on him as well, complete with photographic evidence of him charming of the ladies. I don’t know about you, but I feel sorry for his mother when he hits puberty. Wow. Nine and he’s already a best-seller. Way to be a winner, kid, way to be.

Thank goodness I already have Ash, otherwise I might just need this book. Gotta remember, “Comb your hair and don’t wear sweats.”

Reaching for Myself.

I need a self-exploration day.

Okay, I just sat here for a few minutes and read that over in my head several times, and there’s really no way that can be said without a thousand innuendos popping up into the brains of the few loyal readers I have. Or it could just be my fourth grade sense of humor (i.e. immaturity) surfacing. In either case, I now have you all thinking inappropriate thoughts about my sex life. Let’s try this again.

I need a day devoted to defining myself. And what I mean by that is … well, in all honesty, I don’t know what that means. It could mean anything from running naked through the woods and yapping at the moon to setting up my acrylics and painting. I’m going to assume that it’ll be more likely that I’ll put brush to canvas since 1) I’m not a fan of public nudity (most certainly not my own) and 2) it’s a steady zero degrees out right now and I’d rather not lose any exposed body parts to frostbite. I’m cold enough inside with a multitude of layers, thank you.

Anyway, it’s not just me. Ash needs one of those days, too. We’ve both been horribly stressed out with this house situation and it’s really getting to us. We just need a day where we can both do exactly what we want and not worry about time or money. I know it’s not going to happen for a good long time, but maybe once we get more stuff packed, we can take an afternoon off and just have a play date with one another.

Ah sexual innuendos. I’m talking about video games, you perverts.

I’m going to bed.