:: peeking in ::

Ima Rugger
I've been browsing Facebook far more than LiveJournal over the last few months. Still, I participate in both far far less than I used to check out USENET in the heyday, simply because Dialup Still Sucks.

Mandatory update: The Huns Horde has won its first (wow, is it 3 already?) Cup matches for the season, none of which I've been able to play in because of injuries. (Sigh -- this year, same as last year. No fun. At. All.)

Work proceeds apace. Hope I get a bonus, since I desperately need it if I have a chance at affording the attendance of Bingham Cup 2010 in Minneapolis this summer. The organizers are blocking the World Barbarians this go-around (boo hiss), so I'll be affiliating with the Nashville Grizzlies, many of whom I played with in Dublin 2008.

Playing _Kingdom Hearts; Chain of Memories_ on the PS2 right now. I think I need to be 30 years younger to appreciate it more fully.

Other than that, my life is, well, boring. If any of y'all were wondering why my updates have been beyond sporadic, that's the main reason -- nothing to speak of from my personal experience.

The Tat Club

tattoo, BaaBaas
I'm amazed that I seem not to have posted about my tattoo. (This was the idea behind my teaser comment of "My life has been irrevocably changed" when I posted about Bingham Cup 2008.)

The sweetie and I were in London, spending a couple of days after the tournament. We were walking about Soho, and we passed a tattoo parlor. The sweetie turns to me and said, "Well, you always wanted one, and you've got some memorable events here -- 44th birthday, you scored your first try, your team won hardward", and it was like the cliche light-bulb-above-the-head.

The tattoo itself is the emblem for the IGRAB World Barbarians, the motley crew of unaffiliated players that still want to participate. It helps that it also is reminescent of a Hun, my current rugby club. (OK, OK, it's a friggin' Viking, but I won't let the inaccuracy throw me off.)

A Little Thing That Means So Much

Ima Rugger
This morning, I ran into my boss's boss in the breakroom grabbing the first Cup O' The Day. We made some small talk, then she said, "I want you to know that I'm glad you're here."

Having my work appreciated means a helluva lot.

*2* months since my last entry?!

Ima Rugger
And reading so little as well. I'm losing even more touch than I realized. I'm becoming quite the self-absorbed bugger.

So, in that vein, a synopsis of 2 months, and current items rattling in the brainpan:

Our cat Tigger had kittens. We found homes for all but two (kept a boy because of his Maine Coon markings, and a girl because he needs a playmate his own age, and she's just so darn feisty). Tigger is now fixed, so no more worries about her slutting about.

Our Div 1 rugby team went to regional playoffs in Aspen and got its ass whomped. Still, it's good experience for them, and they got to play in snow (not on the pitch, but afterwards, on their off-hours sightseeing in the mountains).

Our Div 3 rugby team never got near to regional playoffs. We managed to squeak in an extra friendly match against the UT Grads, given our season ended so early. Highly entertaining, since it was the day after our Good Friday pub crawl, so half our Horde was hung over. I got 40 minutes on the pitch, 10x what I got all season (I'm ignoring the 35 minutes I got in Midland to get the high-multiplier impact).

I'm working to get my cardio fitness back up to scratch, since I want a lot more playing time next season. I'm hitting the step and Body Combat and Body Attack aerobics classes at the local Gold's Gym, and I'm disheartened because these courses are seriously kicking my ass. I'd known my fitness had declined, but I'd no idea I'd slumped so bad. I'm wondering if there isn't something else in play.
(For instance, my ankle sprain had never healed properly, so I'm always struggling with squats and lunges and worrying about form. But it's the simple fact of wearing out so completely so quickly, and not recovering quickly, that truly scares me. I'm too young to be broken.)

I was so completely ready to hate the new Star Trek movie, but the sweetie wanted to see it at the Austin IMAX theatre, so we caught it Tuesday. Not only did I enjoy it -- I enjoyed it a lot. It employed a plot device that I know I should hate, but I was so impressed with the execution that I just can't. (On a tangent -- someone referred to it as "Star Trek 90210" -- I have to laugh at the ring of truth to that.)

Current construction work -- expanding the foundation of the atrium, so that we can move the entire structure, so we can repair our roof hail damage. I'm hoping so hard that the sweetie's architecting works better than the last design -- we'd ended up with a lot of the atrium roof rotting from water damage over the years, and the new roof design is a lot sleeker, easier to erect, and easier to waterproof.

My latest guilty pleasure is watching reruns of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" on NickToons during dinner. I am so immature.

I really must spend some time this weekend checking out my flist, going back a week or two. I have been *so* out of touch.
Ima Rugger
The big 45 is coming up next month. I guess I do owe myself a crisis of some sort, but I need it to be relatively short-term (the years-long malaise I'm mired in frankly sucks).

Now I'm not looking for a sports car or a boytoy on the side or anything like that. No, I need a socially-acceptable crisis/solution. One that looks nice, and not too expensive (and no, installing shrubberies is right out). I'm open for legitimate suggestions.

Hail? Mary!

Ima Rugger
I got home from work Wednesday afternoon. A half-hour later, the sweetie and I hear this huge THUMP! on the roof. Followed by 6 more. Followed by a shitload more. While the DirecTV signal goes out, and I hit the Refresh button on the browser to see current weather radar, the sweetie opens the front door to the sight of BIG HONKIN' HAILSTONES falling everywhere.

Thankfully it was a short burst -- maybe 5 minutes. However, it bashed a hole in the plexiglass skylight of the atrium, cracked the windshield of the truck, and really cracked the windshield of the Honda, and that one will have to be replaced.

:: grumbling about more unplanned-yet-necessary expenses ::

At least they weren't shattered like hundreds of other windshields around Austin, as rush hour traffic met the stones. You know, I'd always thought that people exaggerated their size, but some of the stones I picked out of the yard were larger than golfballs. Yikes!

And, of course, in the necessity of warping probabilities, none of the veggies and herbs we planted two days prior got damaged at all.

We'll have an insurance appraiser check our roof, just in case.

:: poking head in ::

Ima Rugger
Oh! LJ is still around. Best make some quick comments.

This rugby season has royally sucked for me. Repeated injuries have kept me off the pitch for far too long. A sprained ankle, a strained calf muscle, and 2 retinal tears have been the bane of my ruggerhood. If my follow-up doc appt. goes well, the retinal laser surgery will have taken well enough that I just *might* get some game play for the last 2 matches of the season. *Maybe*.

I have determined that yogurt is nothing more than adult baby food.

I'm still more than thrilled to have a paying job. Slowly I'm putting reinforcements into the shaky foundation of my finances. Who knows how long it will take to undo the damage of unemployment, but all I can do is Not Buy Stuff and pay off back bills as I can.

Unfortunately, I'm just not terribly resilient -- the woes of the last few months have made me someone Not Fun To Be Around. I'm working hard to turn that around, but I've been wallowing in negativity for a long time, and it'll take a while to leach the tarry stuff from my personality. (One of the reasons I've just not been writing.)

In other news, Hasbro is dropping all financial support of competitive Scrabble by the end of the year. This probably won't affect the low-level competitions around the nation, but it'll doubtless put a crimp in the larger events. Nationals should be interesting in the Chinese sense.

And, to end, a cute note -- Swiffer plays fetch. We'll toss her fluffy ball across the room, and she'll run and grab it, trot over to us with the ball held high in her mouth, and drop it at our feet. I've never had a cat do that before.

Starting With A Bang

Ima Rugger
Despite the current burn ban in Travis County, including a ban on fireworks rockets, Roman candles, and other airborne explosives, we expected some illicit activity for New Year's Eve.

Given that a) our oldest dog totally freaks over fireworks of any sorts (to the point of once jumping through and breaking a window), and b) the idiotic next-door neighbors have a huge line of dry dead cut brush along the entirety of our property line, 6" x 6", we weren't about to stay out all night. Ergo, we ran in to some friends at Rusty Spurs (the next gay country bar in town) and made it home by 10pm.

Thankfully, our house and property didn't burn down.

No, that "privilege" was reserved for the house across the street and 2 doors down, right around 12:30am.

And yes, the odds are astronomically high that alcohol and illicit fireworks were the culprit. Yeesh.

More Bits of Random

Ima Rugger
  • I'm changing my journal subtitle again. Sorry, fj; I thought I'd get some good out of the mantra, but seeing it just depresses me every time.
  • Yesterday I heard a news anchor refer to a casualty as "fatally killed". =:-o
  • I'm planning on sleeping through December 25. No disturbances, please.

A couple of nice things

Ima Rugger
1) The Huns totally kicked ass in our matches against the Dallas Reds last weekend. Both matches were on the order of 50s to 10.
(The not-so-nice thing was that I got a calf strain at Thursday practice so I couldn't play. Even now I am unable to run at all.)

2) I got my first paycheck for the new job. Ah, to pay bills again.

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