Savannah

This is how Savannah looks when it’s NOT raining.

This weekend I finally managed to tear myself away from work, if only just for a little while. I was fortunate enough to have nearly all my work done on Friday due to a (strangely) open schedule. Right after work, I met up with Kessler and McNaughty for burgers and beer at Sesame Burger, one of my new favorite places to go. Trying to make it a Friday tradition since now every time I go to Breck’s it’s packed full of nukes. Guess I shouldn’t have spread the word. I’ll try to keep this place and Hanahan’s Bar (five dollar pitchers) down the street a secret.

Anyway, Saturday morning I left for Savannah, Georgia. It’s just a short two hour drive south, but it ended up taking me forever because of the downpour. I was actually surprised how much rain could come down. Everyone was driving like the amazing South Carolina drivers they are, which is to say, awful. But, I made it and met up with Carissa for lunch right next to the ocean. I actually didn’t realize there was an ocean around because of the rain. When we were eating, we could hear the sirens going off for a tornado warning, but one never came. Too bad, it would be a good photo op.

Either way, I got to meet her family and hang out with her for a while, which was nice. Good to be away from Charleston for a while and see something new, even if it’s in the rain. I was surprised at the sheer amount of hipster kids in the town (until I learned that they have a big art college, SCAD). You just have got to love that ironic hipster ‘stache that everyone is rocking. Of course, tomorrow starts comp ‘stache, so I’ll be rocking something nasty until May 25th, when we graduate. Actually, I have an interview for OCS tomorrow, finally, so there’s a good chance I’ll shave that to not look really gross for the commander I end up talking to. It brings back some memories of A School where I looked like a pedophile rapist for a few weeks.

Carissa and I at a plantation tour in early December. Check out this really interesting marsh.

Anyway, back to Savannah. I had dinner with Carissa and her family at a place called The Green Truck which serves fancy hipster burgers. Not as good as Sesame Burger, but still one of the better options. The next morning we did brunch at a place called Tortuga’s. When I asked Carissa if we were going to the “turtle place” she thought I was crazy — I guess the Spanish isn’t as obvious to someone from Ohio. After that though, I had to drive back. I was surprised how beautiful the country side was now that it wasn’t raining, but I hated the fact that I was going back to NNPTC. I really would have liked to stayed for a week!

Tomorrow is just another week, although somewhat easy since one of our exams was pushed to Friday to make room for our “E-5 Second Class” promotion exam. The Navy makes us take it, even though there’s no way we’ll be promoted. I think I’ve seen one Second Class walking around here as a student, and he had been on Medical Hold for nearly two years. Definitely trying to make it out of here as fast as possible. In fact, tomorrow marks the start of the second half of Power School; just a second ago it was 1/3 (marked by getting a new schedule card). I’m still hanging in there, doing good on some exams and worse on others — generally better at the raw memorization courses than the applied mathematics. Part of how my mind works, I guess.

Time for bed I guess. This place is pretty much a time machine. It’ll be May before I know it. I hope.

That Book Changed My Life

So, I just posted a few seconds ago about my Spring Break in Austin for SXSW, but I wanted to make a separate post for one of the funniest stories I can imagine.

I'm actually a vegan, I swear.

After Brennan and I got finished with a technology conference, we were already feeling a pretty good buzz and started walking throughout the 6th Street area when we realized we were starving and hit up the nearest source of food, a pizza cart. We started smashing on some meat lovers pizza, when, like the true hawks we are, noticed an attractive female ordering a pizza and holding some book. I decided the best thing to do would be to start a meaningful conversation with her, so I approached her and said “that book changed my life”. She turned around and started agreeing with me and explaining how the book illustrated why the meat industry was the worst part of America and that she converted to a vegan diet after reading it.

That’s about the time that she realized we were both talking to her while eating a meat lover pizza. Brennan made probably the funniest face I’ve ever seen when I said “Yeah, this was just my one slip-up”.

This has to be about the best timing on anything, ever. The moral of the story is that she turned out to be a bartender, thought our massive bullshit introduction was hilarious, and actually bought us shots at her bar when we finally figured out what it was called. That’s how winners play Austin.

“Spring Break” 2011

I’m putting that in quotation marks because I no longer have a Spring Break because I have somehow turned into an adult. That said, I really needed to catch up with all the people I have been telling I would catch up with for years — and this is the perfect time to do it before I ship out on May 17th. Pretty much everything worked out time wise, so I decided to take off this past Wednesday and head into Austin for South by Southwest (or SXSW), which is basically a festival films, technology, art, music, and food. So, uh, pretty much everything I like in one place at one time!

Having a slightly inebriated converstaion with Angelo, the CEO of deviantART

So, Wednesday I headed to Austin for my first event, a Texas devMeet with a lot of the core staff (and friends!) from deviantART which was put on at the Spider House off Guadalupe. I met a lot of new folks because it drew such a crowd, which was nice, but it was also comforting to see the rest of the Texas devMeet guys from our annual meets. We’re pretty much family now. Lots and lots of history there. Interesting how bonds like that form.

I got to talk to Ryan, the creative/marketing guru for dA, and I think we talked way too long about demographics, but for us it was an enjoyable experience. And, of course, I got to see my former bosses, Heidi and Danie, who were pretty awesome. And finally, I had a few drunken rambling conversations with Angelo, the dA CEO and all around badass. During this entire time, I was working on getting completely plastered, at which I completely succeeded.

Finally, we headed to another venue to wrap up the night and I really can only say that I hope they expected me to be truly a memorable experience. I was all kinds of nuts that night for a lot of complicated reasons. In turn, if I ever get to meet them all again some day, I believe I will be “that guy”. Ha.

Thankfully, I survived the night and found a place to stay. I ended up getting some breakfast with Charlie, one of the elite SXSW photographers this year, and a Texas devMeet regular and had more random conversations about life. Good times.

Koreana, the world's best place to eat. This is not an exaggeration.

Following that, I headed into San Antonio to link up with Christian and see if he had been betting his life savings on the field. We hit up Koreana off Rittiman and had the best meal in the entire world. I forwarded this image to Dan and he instantly started crying. What a baby. After that, I linked up with KJ, Dylan, and Craig (and worked in a trip to Taco Taco with KJ the following morning before heading out). Then, we did Bays, like the classic Trinity experience where an entirely hammered Rob showed up. Of course, we managed to get to Crabby Jacks (and didn’t even get kicked out). I got to see Stephanie again, which was nice, even though she lost all of my elite CD collection.

After hanging out with Rob for a while that next day (until Ariel came in town!), I got a call from Brennan, the source of my exploits from last year’s spring break. I headed that way and met him in Austin for a SXSW feature about the future of technology in ten years. Unfortunately, the most memorable thing about it was an egg toss and a four dollar Bud Light, but after this, we were set and ready to party. Along the way, probably the funniest thing possible happened to us. But, as usual, it all went down at and around 6th Street (though there were noticeably less people than usual — I guess they were at the VIP parties).

When I woke up, I called up Scott who I went to Creekwood Middle School with in Kingwood, and ended up reuniting with in college freshman year as incoming Trinity freshmen. We ended up making margaritas and heading to meet other Kingwood friends like Matt and Aaron to swim at Barton Springs, a really beautiful natural spring with a nice park area. Then dinner at Garj Mahal, the best Indian place I’ve ever tried, and then back to the 21st St Coop, an interesting coop with a bar set up and lots of music and places to gather. We listened to some screaming music and drank, but the highlight was just getting to see all the guys again.

I wanted to make this post immediately after I got home, otherwise I would delay it and forget it like I usually do. I had a really, really great time. I think it was such an interesting Spring Break because I had four completely unique experiences: a devMeet, a Trinity-style night, a Sam/Brennan 6th Street rager (Sam was with us in spirit. 5 dollar liquor pitcher? Absolutely!), and a chill reunion with my best friends from my childhood. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

There was a possibility of staying another night, but I really had to get back because of work (and my body had becomeĀ  a living alcohol sponge for days straight). Next week will be cut short too because then I’m heading to Houston to see Emily.

Spring Break, Round 2 — coming soon.

Life in Midland

Thanks a lot, jerks.

Shortly after joining the Navy, I was told that I would have to wait until March (eventually until May) to ship and so I was faced with a unique situation: I couldn’t get a long term job, but I needed money to pay off all my college lifestyle credit card debt (both living in Australia and just going out with Sam, Christian, and the rest of the guys so often my senior year). As well, I saw the impending, looming, daunting shadow of my debt from going to school at Trinity University. I shelled out so much money to go there, it’s kind of ridiculous. In the end, however, they sent me a generous refund check… of 1 dollar. Seriously, just rub it in you jerks. Every time I get a letter in the mail asking alumni for financial contributions I curse out loud and rip the letter up. I took a class called Underwriting and Development, so I know that Trinity has staff that knows not to make requests in such a jackass way.

Either way, as a result of all this debt and the fact that my apartment contract was coming for an end, I was forced to consolidate and do something I vowed never to do again: return to Midland and get a job until I leave. At the time, I was looking at March as the latest, though I have no idea what it might be at this point. The advantage of going home was purely monetary in nature because I hate Midland, I hate the people in Midland, I didn’t know anyone there, and living back at home can be frustrating. That, and the issue is coupled with a lot of tension between them right as I was getting back, meaning I was thrust into arguments that I had thought I escaped from in 2006 when I left for San Antonio.

Probably the cutest baby I’ve ever seen

Thankfully, I’m not completely alone because I do have my brother and his new niece to visit, and that’s always a relief since we grew up with the same frustrations as a kid so I can have someone to share with. And, for the first month or two, I met a girl who I really thought I clicked with, but I must have done something or she found my character to be unsavory, because she stopped calling and texting in that way that people do when they’re too embarrassed to say “I don’t like you. Stop talking to me.” If I had to guess, it’s because I’m not particularly Christian. Church hasn’t made a lot of sense to me and the morals imposed there seem superficial and not applicable to modern society. Then again, Midland is stuck in 1965 when it comes to things like that.

Welcome to Nowhere, Texas

But, being completely alone has its perks. First, I was able to get a job with a company called Two Rivers Pipeline Construction that has me driving all over West Texas and New Mexico. It’s time away from the house, from the family, and gets my mind off the looming uncertainties of the future. Second, I spend most of my time at the gym, generally for the same reasons as work. I don’t like being at home, and I really wish I had my own place, but I have too much debt to pay off and a who-knows-when ship date that have made it impractical to do much else.

So between work and working out, the only thing I’ve done is play a few video games. Few being the key word because I really don’t have the patience for them like I used to. I want to play 15 minutes at a time and I dislike playing online because everyone is an idiot. The majority of my gaming time I spend playing Xbox 360 games with my brother, which is always a good stress relief.

12 July 2010

When I was getting some food, I saw a pretty girl eating alone. I asked to eat with her and she never touched her sandwich, so I asked why. Here is the exact wording of the conversation:

Girl: I have this thing where I can’t eat because my brain tells my body I’m too fat.
Me: Oh, so you have an eating disorder?
Girl: No way! That’s dumb!
Me: You literally just gave the definition of anorexia.
Girl: Oh, but I don’t throw up or anything.
Me: No, that would be bulimia.
Girl: I don’t know what you’re saying so just give up.

I got up and left. At this moment, I don’t think I’m ever going to talk to another person again.

22 March 2010

As usual, I’ve slacked off on updating this. I suppose it’s just because I’m busy or just not really caring. Not too much is new in my life, however. I suppose more than usual, though.

I’ve been searching for a job and this whole process is extremely frustrating. Employers treat potential employees like trash for the most part, canceling meetings and not showing up to them (the company in question is called CityVoice in San Antonio). It’s an annoying process and my hopes of getting something in San Antonio have pretty much been erased. I’m expanding my search to all across Texas (at least in major cities) and a few other places. I have something going on with Sam though, and that could really pan out — and Austin is the best location for that. Hopefully it will pan out because I really think Sam and I would do best on yacht being rich, but the market is crowded and it’s hard to bring an idea to reality. But I am hopeful and hope is really what can make or break an idea. We’ve got to keep pushing ahead.

Sam was taking care of the Gremlins while we chilled.

Also new in my life is a girlfriend, Stephanie, who is a really nice girl. She’s fun to hang out with and as weird as I am, which makes things a lot more compatible. I’m really not a girlfriend kind of guy so we’ll see where this goes. I’m currently happy, but I demand a certain amount of space and freedom which seems a little hard to get right now. That said, that’s coupled with all the things that are going on at school and in my personal life.

I’m continuing to work out, although I’ve hurt my left shoulder pretty badly and so I’ve had to relax my efforts. I will eventually get a giant ripped beast, or so I hope, but for right now I’ve got to take it easy for a few more weeks before I ramp up my weights. Of course, it’s hard to have a consistent work out schedule when I’m so busy with everything else. On top of it, Spring Break 2010 pretty much set me back two months. I haven’t drank and partied like that in a long time. It was certainly very fun to be there for SXSW and St. Patty’s, and I had a few of the best days of my college career. However, at the same time, it’s good to be back. I’m not really sure how anyone gets anything done in Austin; how do college students not drop out immediately? I don’t think I could handle doing that sort of thing unless it were my job! Somehow, we need to get paid to party…

26 September 2009

My humble abode

I’m back! Actually, I never left or intended to abandon this web log, but the end of Australia and the start of summer followed by moving into my own place and going to school has left me pretty distracted. All of my courses are intense and I’m stuck working on papers and projects pretty much all throughout the week, even the weekend.

Not much else in my life is particularly new or interesting, however. I have my eyes on a girl, not that I have time for a relationship, so we’ll see if anything happens. I’ve been messing around a little with a few girls but most of them are freaks I want to avoid at all costs. Oh well. Been hitting the bars (Bays and Limelight) here and there, and I’ve appreciated not paying for booze at frat parties again.

In other news, that’s about it. I managed to hit a deer with my car, which was scary, but the damage is all fixed now. I pretty much just get up and go to school and come home. Exciting stuff right there.