Excuse Me? I thought I was in Texas.

Someone forgot to give Cold Miser the memo: TEXAS DOESN’T HAVE SNOW. Let me break it down for you.

This is where I live. It’s this nice little state in the SOUTH called TEXAS.

The place where it does not snow

This? This is what is NOT supposed to happen.

WTF WORLD

Could someone please make this stop? Like now. I’d like to be able to drive home without being hit by a Texan driver that has never seen snow or ice in his life. People here are already pre-panicking and it hasn’t even stuck on the ground.

In conclusion. This is Texas. Snow does not belong here. Please make it stop.

KThnx.

One by One, Hurrah!

Well we made it back to Tennessee. I’m already missing Austin, but if all goes well, we’ll be back for good in a month or so. I’ve been coughing ever since we’ve been back, and considering that Texas is the second state with the most cases of Swine Flu, I’m crossing my fingers that I just picked up a nasty cold. I’ve got my cough drops and ThermaFlu, so I should be fine.

The last few days in Austin were good. We continued to help out Ash’s dad at his carwash, and in return, he’s looking after Kendi for me until we can get down there. We moved Kendi down there because we set her up with a new ten gallon tank (as opposed to her large Tupperware tub) and it will be easier to control the humidity in Texas than it has been here in Tennessee. She’ll be much happier down there. I’m already missing her. She has Ash’s leopard geckos to keep her company though until we get down there.

It’s been raining nonstop since we’ve been back, and I can’t say I’m not enjoying it. I love the thunder and the sound of the rain on the pond outside. Speaking of the pond, while Mama Goose hasn’t had her goslings yet, the ducks have two new ducklings! They’ve taken to spending the rainy days in our backyard and no one is complaining. They’re very cute. I’ll try to take pictures at some point.

The ant infestation has also come back tenfold since we’ve left. Honestly, ants are the most amazing insects. They just stun me by how much they do. They walk for miles to find the smallest crumb and just know exactly what they’re supposed to do in life. I wish I had that security. Ants. Amazing. Just amazing. I just wish they would keep their amazingness limited to the outer walls of our house. I have to walk on my tiptoes for fear of squashing some poor defenseless scout.

In any case, I love being back and seeing all our kids, but I miss Austin. I can’t wait till we’re all there. It can’t come soon enough.

We keep it real, Old School.

I don’t know where the title came from. I think someone said it on TV. Anyway.

“To this day, there are those who insist the Holocaust never happened – who perpetrate every form of intolerance — racism, antisemitism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, and more — hatred that degrades its victim and diminishes us all. Today, and every day we have an opportunity, as well as an obligation to confront these scourges.”

Just thought I’d share that little quote from President Obama. You can read the whole article here: At Capitol, Obama Reflects on Lessons of Holocaust. I think this is a good reflection time – to see what hatred can do. There are hate groups everywhere that need to just open their eyes and learn from the past.

In other news, Ash and I have officially opened our new Rescue Animals blog and information site: I Love Rescue Animals. Our twitter (@RescueAnimals) has grown from 0 to 300 followers in three weeks (we got 55+ followers just today) and it’s already starting to get bigger than we really imagined. I’m happy – we’re actually doing something great! I say “we,” but really, it was all Ash who started it and does all the twittering and reading of articles. I’m just kind of here to look pretty.

Still in Austin, still doing some web stuff, still job hunting. Same old, same old.

The Austin Adventures!

Currently it is sunny, beautiful, and wonderful 70 degrees out. That’s right – we made it to Austin! If you’ve been following my twitter account, you’ll have known that already and more. We arrived on Friday and our days have been booked ever since. Friday we spent the day out at Ash’s grandparents’ 100 acre ranch and watched the storms roll in over the sky.

That sky. I honestly have never seen a sky this big. I love the Texas sky. And the quick Texas storms that drench everything with a rain so thick you can’t see through it, and end in minutes of starting, leaving the sky blue and the sun hot. The ranch is the best place to watch it all happen because the screened-in porch has a clear view of the land all around it. It’s situated on top of a small hill surrounded by rolling hills and ancient oak trees at the bottom of the ravine. It’s heaven on Earth out there.

Saturday was the ASPCA’s Wag-n-Walk in Zilker Park in Austin. That was an amazing day and Ash and I became mini-celebrities while there. I’m not going to go in depth on the whole experience because Ash is writing up a really great in-depth post of our adventures and all the people we met which will be posted over at Rescue Animals when it’s done. I have to say though, the people we met were incredible. For those of you familiar with Animal Cops New York (Animal Precinct) on Animal Planet, we got to meet, talk with, and take pictures with Annemarie Lucas, the face of the Animal Law Enforcement for the ASPCA. She is a wonderful person, so friendly, and you can just tell she loves her job. I’m really glad we got a chance to get to know her. We also made friends with Jo Sullivan, one of the happiest and coolest people we met. She’s the Senior Vice President of Development & Communications for the ASPCA and she kept announcing us on the bandstand because of 16 hour drive and made us come up to the front to be cheered for. Before we left, she gave Ash her card and told her if she needed anything, don’t be afraid to call. I think this is probably the biggest connection Ash could ever get for her job and I’m so proud of her.

There were tons of other people and we both made some great connections in Austin because of it. I cannot wait until next year’s event.

Sunday, Ash and I spent some time with her dad and extended family at a Celebrity Softball game at the Dell Diamond. Her family has a private suite and deck at the stadium, so we had very classy seats for the whole thing. I honestly felt like a celebrity because of it. I didn’t really know many of the celebrities playing on the field, except for Kyle Petty (who is not only a Nascar race car driver, but he can also sing!), but I guess there was a guy from Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, Willie Nelson’s daughter, and someone from Lonestar. It was a fun game though and the concert afterward wasn’t bad either.

I do have a story though. At one point, I went to the bathroom (interesting story, huh?), and there were a couple of very drunk, very loud, very giggly girls there. I was washing my hands at the sink when they started flashing each other. Yes. Flashing. At each other. And laughing how none of them of were wearing bras (and one acknowledged she wasn’t wearing underwear and thank god I didn’t see her prove that fact). Anyway, I got out of there as fast as I could and came back to the suite and sat down next to Ash to tell her what had happened. Just as I was finishing, guess who walked into the suite? Yes. Those same girls. Turns out they were friends of one of Ash’s cousins. They didn’t seem to recognize me but I definitely felt awkward the rest of the time. Weird. Ash (and her dad who wasn’t surprised at all that it was those particular girls who had done it) thought the whole thing was hilarious. Fun times.

Afterward we went back to Ash’s sister’s house where we were staying for the night. Oh, I forgot to mention that Saturday after we got back to the house from the ASPCA event, Ash and I ended up locking my keys in my car. We spent the majority of that night outside with coat hangers and butter knives attempting to get in, and the better part of Sunday morning. We got the window down a little and managed to get a coat hanger into the car but it wasn’t strong enough to hit the lock and none of the hangers helped at trying to unlock the car from the inside of the door panel. Sunday after the ball game, Ash’s dad tried to help and managed to get the window open a little more, and Courtney supplied us with a metal yardstick. Just like that, the door was unlocked. Thank goodness. Today at some point we’re going to Home Depot so I can make a spare key.

The rest of this week will be job hunting and house hunting and meeting up with more family members. And possibly checking out the dog friendly restaurants they have here in Austin. Oh and shopping for some new clothes. Exciting. I have to also finish a paper for my class today, but as you can see, that’s clearly not getting very far. I choose blogging over writing a paper any day.

To bad I can’t get graded for blogging.

Projects and a bit of Austin.

I haven’t been doing a lot of daily posting lately just because I’ve been so busy. Design Coyote has been taking up most of my time, as have a couple of projects I’ve been working on. One of them is a new site that Ash and I have started called Rescue Animals, which is a site to promote animal adoption and welfare, as well as create a link database of Animal Shelters and Breed Rescues across the country. We would both appreciate if you could all head over there and submit the websites of your local shelters/organizations so we can increase our lists. It’s going to be a great cause once it really starts rolling.

Other than that, tomorrow we leave for Austin. Today I’m going to spruce up my resume and print some copies of it out and work on my portfolio some more, so that once we’re down there, I have something to hand in to people. I’m also going to make a list of places that I want to stop by and take a look at. Ash is the same way. I’ll also get a hold of our Realtor and see if we can look at a couple of houses. I really hope everything works out.

Wish us luck!

Just Smile, Smile, Smile.

I’m tired and full of chicken alfredo, so all you get today is this:

Happy Face

Everyone should just be happy. Smile. It’s good for the soul. You’ll feel better once you do. I promise. And it’s contagious. The more you do it, the more others will too. It makes people feel good. Like chicken noodle soup on a cold day. It warms the heart.

(Ash took this picture. Someone had drawn a smiley face on the ground in Austin. It made us smile too. See? It works. Pass it on.)

Photos, Gift List, and More, oh my!

Austin

I’m already missing Austin. We’ll be back soon, I know, but I still miss it. There was just always so much to do and warm and wonderful. I love the mountains here, but it’s also been raining the last few days and it will continue to rain for the next few days and I’m bored of being stuck inside.

Thank goodness for WoW. Ash made herself a new Belf Hunter so I ran my Glenwyn (Belf Lock) out to Silvermoon to help her level. While there, I also got my first mount, with many thanks to Meg for lending me the gold to accomplish this task. I’m really liking the new stuff that Blizzard has put into the game. The calendar is awesome and displaying the achievements makes me feel more successful (and makes me want to keep playing – definitely something Blizzard thought out carefully, I’m sure). I got WotLK for Christmas but I haven’t installed it yet – I figured I’d just wait till I got high enough for it to really matter.

At some point today or tomorrow we need to go out to the pet store so I can pick up some hoppers for Kendi. We’re looking for jobs too, though from what I’ve seen in the papers and online there’s really nothing. I might end up heading over to Staples since they seem to have some positions available. Though that’s definitely not what I was hoping for. I miss my old job. That reminds me though, I have to update my resume.

Ash is currently working on an in-depth post on our adventures over Christmas break, so I’ll tweet that when she’s done. Apparently she’ll breaking it up into several different posts so you’ll have to continue reading it over the next few days. Speaking of Christmas, here’s the list of goodies I racked up:

From work: Tons of Candy, a set of cards, a puzzle, offers for references
From Ash’s work: A really sugary good-bye cake when we left
From my parents: A pair of PJs, The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton, WotLK Expansion pack, Childrens Writer and Illustrated Market book, candy, earphones, crayons, a sketchbook, socks, Flogging Molly CD, Great Big Sea CD, Kingdom Hearts Remix, Far From Home, There’s a Nightmare in my Closet by Mercer Meyer, Dark Whispers by Bruce Coville, some gas money
From my Oma and Opa: $15
From my Aunt Rosemary and Uncle Bob: $50
From my cousin Eric: his annual mix CD
From my cousin Randy and his wife Kelly: Not sure, it’s still in the mail
From my Grandma: Her annual $2 bill
From Ash’s mom: hand-knitted hat and scarf, The Idiot’s Guide to Children’s Book Publishing, Stitch n’ Bitch book, some yarn (I kind of stole it), a remote control Dragonfly copter
From Ash’s Ricky Daddy: $50 (and he took us out for a lot of meals)
From Ash’s Teddy Daddy: Lots and lots of meals that he took us out for
From Ash’s Grandma and Grandpa: $20, a t-shirt from North Carolina, a beautiful Asian dinnerware set
From Ash’s Uncle Bo and Aunt Jen: What’s your Dog Thinking book
From Ash’s Grandma and Grandpa Niels: candy, a cool LED flashlight, blank greeting cards
From Ash’s sister Courtney and her husband Harry: $15 giftcard to Target

Ash and I have not exchanged our real presents to each other yet since the one she got me is still in the mail, but I did give her the Journey MP3 player I bought her, a pair of Coca Cola boxer shorts (she collects Coke stuff), a car adapter for her MP3 player, season two of Charmed, and I got her a used Okami game for the PS2 but her mom bought her a new one so we’re gonna go exchange the used one for another game (woot!). She gave me a How to talk Southern Dictionary (I got a lot to learn) and while we were in Texas we went to the Disney Store (I’ve never been there) and she bought me a giant stuffed Eeyore. He’s so super soft and great to cuddle with. I can’t remember if I’ve missed anything. It was a great Christmas this year – better than I ever thought it could be.

I also loved celebrating New Year’s in Austin. I honestly cannot wait to go back. One of my favorite things? Yep:

Cacti!

I was excited to see cacti. There is some in central Wisconsin, but it’s all small stuff and dies fast and it not at all nearly as impressive as the stuff here. It was everywhere! I think I surprised everyone by not getting hurt when I ran up to them to get my picture taken. I got my picture taken with palm trees too, and lichen, but I don’t think either of those are as fun as cacti. There are few people who honestly understand and relate to my nerdy fascination with lichen. It’s cool, okay?

Anyway, I’m either going to go play WoW, knit, or watch some TV. Who knows. I love the rain, but I want to go outside and play basketball. I hope it clears up tomorrow. Ta.

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!

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.