I've been reading some through this old journal of mine, surprised to remember a few key moments, the College of Science announcing the Planetarium that I'd later be married in, my father being a stick in the mud about religion, and the moment my mother started treating me like an adult and peer (at least as much as a child can be).
I made all the pages public again, not that the unblinking eye of !wayback can stop. Partially, this is because of AIM's scheduled sunset, I wanted to back this location up in case LJ planned on doing something similar. Also, it turns out the person I was embarrassed at reading my drama filled early posts later became my wife, so what do I have to fear anymore?
So what's happened in the last few years that I made a legitimate effort at blogging?
I met my present day wife around the time of my 4-vehicle collision. We met through Craig's List after the woman I was trying to date pointed me at Jessica's post for friends because she mentioned being a Mac user. I was stupid and didn't realize who she was at first, but we maintained a friendship for some time. About a year later, I slept over at her place, watched Ninja Assassin with her, and told her I didn't want her dating other guys anymore.
We've been together about 8 years, nearly 3 years married.
In 2012, my father passed away from cancer in his gallbladder. I missed out on most of the last six months spending time with him because of a stupid grudge I was holding with my sister. My mother had also just come out of her second bout with breast cancer, opting for double mastectomy, later getting MRSA at the surgery site. I have said to myself that my mother is "built like a tank", and I shrugged off my father's illness not really understanding how treating cancer like that is like saying "Oh yeah, Mom had Virus and got over it" without realizing that different diseases play out vastly differently.
I made up with my sister, and we've never mentioned or brought up what separated us again. I am so grateful for having her, even though she was essentially an adult by the time our folks wed. I also never beat myself up for mistakes made. There's no use in regret, other than realizing our mistakes and learning from them. I got to visit him in his last few days, and it was like no time had passed between us.
When I got home from his home, the morning he passed away, my clock radio turned on for it's normal workday alarm. Paul Simon's Graceland was playing. I realized that Jessica hadn't started playing it on her iPhone, and that it was serendipity that a song I associate so strongly with him should come on at that moment to console me. Were I a more superstitious person, I might have considered it him reaching out. Transitioning to only getting to visit him in my dreams has been odd.
Jessica and I adopted two pups, one a rescue from a breeder/flea market and the other from our local animal shelter. I walk them three times a day, and have roughly trained them, although if we're outside and I don't have treats on me, I'm happy not to have them pulling my arm out of my shoulder. Patient and understanding neighbors and other owners are my favorite people.
I changed jobs for the first time in 6 years, jumping ship from central IT to go work for a department's IT needs. I told myself that the pay cut was acceptable for the fact that I'd get to work on more substantial projects instead of putting out fires that typical tier 2 support lives by. I was wrong. At least I was allowed to take off the month of June to have that spectacular vacation my mother paid for, bringing Jessica and I to Alaska after we'd just got back from Pensacola, FL.
On December 13, 2014 (12/13/14), Jessica and I were married at the UTA Planetarium. We over estimated the number of RSVPs, didn't instruct catering to save the food, and have since been telling anyone that attended not to feel any tiny bit guilty for having seconds. Jessica was a tremendous sport, and gave me a goofy picture of us "Lady and the Tramp"-ing a cannoli like an old favorite "Awkward Family Photos" of a couple doing the same to a banana.
In late 2015, we came to Austin to apartment hunt on the weekend before I had a job interview. It was honestly the most fun I'd had in an interview, doing code in front of people, "with all of google" as my open book on how to solve a particular problem. I know I stumbled on a few of the technical questions, but two weeks later at my desk at UTA, I got a call from area code 512, our lives got interesting again.
I had no break in state service, and besides going through a normal 6 month probationary review like any transfer, I was a full time employee at UT, the school I'd dreamt about attending, but missed the deadline by bad weather and being a lazy teenage doofus. Jessica went to the bedside of her ill grandfather, and I finished boxing and preparing for the Arlington to Austin move. I walked 9 miles inside two apartments, and got my first 300% calorie goal on my Apple Watch. Jessica's grandfather got better, and she joined me.
She faced depression from another round of job hunting while we floated with credit cards. She joked that she'd gotten another dog, which I took in stride and giggled with her that Elroy turned out to be a solar bobble-head figure. Eventually she found temp work at UT that turned full time, gaining back her sick time, but resetting her vacation (which she'd been paid for).
Credit card debt sucks. Austin is really fun, and can be inexpensive if you know what to look for.
I'm biking 4 miles to work. We're becoming experts at the bus system, which I've been using since workday 1.
Jessica's parents moved to a small town north west of San Antonio just before we moved to Austin. Jessica used to worry about her mother being so far away, but I remind her that in moving to Austin, we're closer than we would have been 5 hours north of her in Dallas-Fort Worth.
I try to call my mother regularly, although I really could talk with her more. I try to keep in touch with my sister. Jessica and I both had our respective nieces spend a week in our guest room, making time to hang out, offer them alone and special time where they don't have to compete for attention from siblings.
After leaving Arlington, we discovered one old coworker became a regular chat friend, and we've made effort to touch base with him, stay up to date with his kids, wife, and the old work team's drama.
My cubical neighbor turned out to be a really great friend, open and happy to help a timid new teammate. We've gone out together, introduced wives, met his teenage sons, and make regular lunch visits.