Took the trusty Shadow to get a fixin’

Today my parents came in. I feel kind of bad for them. They had to wake up and leave their house at 7am to get here in time to help me take the bike in to the shop.

They got here around 9:45. Dad and I went out and had a hard time loading the bike into his truck. It’s really hard to back up a 600 lb machine with a flat tire.

Anyway – we drove the 20 miles to A1 Cycles in Killeen. Come to find out, they didn’t have the tires I ordered, nor the correct length chain. I did get the tires, just not the ones that I was quoted a price for.

We came back to Temple, had lunch, went to Marshall’s (the store) and I showed them Scott & White. Dad bought me two really nice pairs of shoes.

We drove back to Killeen to pick up my bike. Another guy was there when we arrived and come to find out, they did have the chain. I raised hell and made them put it on for me. Then this ‘other guy’ tried to charge me too much. He heard it from me. So I got the price I was quoted.

Now my mom is giving my dad a hard time about the proper way to air up an air mattress. I think they just blew up my mom’s hair drier.

El will be here later tonight. Tomorrow I think we’re just going to take it easy – maybe take up the local fare for lunch.

Walking to work, My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me

That’s why she’s called my better half.

I was dead set on making the trek to Killeen and getting the trusty Shadow repaired. Then El called last night. She said: “Why don’t you just walk to work and wait until your parents come down this weekend and take the bike in then?”

So, your humble narrator walked to work this morning. And home from work this afternoon.

The walk to work was really nice. The weather was great. It was a little humid, but the wind was blowing hard enough to make it comfortable. It took around 40 minutes to walk. I don’t know how far S&W is mile-wise from my apartment – but none-the-less, the walk was nice.

Work was okay. I implemented a javascript that will probably be used on the new S&W home page whenever we decide to launch it. That and researching the utilization of streaming video took up the majority of my day – along with another meeting.

After lunch, I was actually looking forward to my walk home….

There aren’t many sidewalks in Temple like you would find in larger cities. I had to walk along the sides of access roads and in medians. Along the way, I could see the new sprouts of Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes. I can tell that Temple will yield a very pretty Texas Spring.

Today I decided to buy myself a six pack of beer, walk home, let the belt buckle flap open, sit in front of the tube and watch ER.

I walked to the local convenience store. I grabbed a sixer of cheap beer and took my place in line. In front of me stood a kid – barely pushing 18 years of age. I could tell this because I watched as he fumbled for his ID when the cashier asked for it. He had at least 3 ID’s in his wallet. This guy was buying a pack of Swisher Sweets. The big ones. It didn’t dawn on me until after I bought my own poison that I had just thought, last night, about going to this same convenience store and buying myself a cigar.

As I approached the counter, a song began to play in my head: “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me”, by the Ghetto Boys. I don’t know why the hell this song came into the ol’ thinker – but it did.

Anyway, I made my purchase and I was on my way. I was only a block or two from the apartment. I took the shortcut. The straightest distance between two points is a straight line. It just so happened, that one of the points in-between was one of the town’s Catholic church grounds.

I’m strutting along, with gangsta rap ringing in my head, a six pack of cheap beer swinging from my grip in a plastic bag, through a nice, manicured church parking lot. It took me a second, then I interrupted my own brain muzak to think to myself: “F#*K, I’m walking through church grounds, looking like a bum. Then I thought: “Sh*t, I just said ‘F#*k’ on church property”.

I figured I should stop while I was ahead, so I walked faster and started humming that tune again. As I approached the edge of the church property, I saw something on the ground. I knew what it was, but I knew I had to get closer just to verify it. It was kind of like anyone’s desire to walk up to a dead body, even though they know it will be disturbing – but just to do it anyway.

It was a dead blackbird. He was a big fellow too, almost crow big. I don’t know how he could have died. He couldn’t have been hit by a car, he was too far from the street. He was lying, face up, wings spread, right below three nice, medium sized trees that were planted closely together. He was in the process of decomposing – maybe a couple days deceased.

I’ve seen symbols in my day – I wonder if this is another.

Indiana Josh and the Temple of Doom

I mean, come on! Does it ever stop?!?! Today the weather got into the mid 70’s. I came home from work and thought: “Today would be a great day to go for a ride.” So, I go outside, ready to mount the trusty Shadow, and my back tire is completely flat. Now, I knew that I was in need of new tires – but why couldn’t it wait until the weekend? Life sure is dishing it out right now.

I rode, at a snails pace so as to not damage my rim, to the Exxon a couple blocks away. I asked the mechanic if he could patch a motorcycle tire. “No, sorry.” So, I took advantage of their free compressed air. I filled the rear tire to 32psi, then filled up with the ol’ petro. It takes approximately 60 seconds to fill my 3.5 gallon tank. In that time, my tire pressure dropped to 25psi.

I rushed home in time to call a motorcycle shop. To the best of my recollection, $85 for the front tire, $135 for the rear. This shop is in Killeen, 17 miles from here. I asked if I could bring the bike in tomorrow. The man on the other end told me that the tires could be replaced if I get there by 5pm.

This means I’ll have to leave work early tomorrow. This should make for a very interesting motorcycle ride. I just hope I make it. More news on that in tomorrow’s posting.

I keep wondering if I did something wrong to deserve all of this. I donate to the Salvation Army. I’ve given the homeless spare change. I respect others, the Earth and myself. I pay my taxes. I obey the laws. I don’t steal. I’m an ordinary guy – just like everyone else. I put my pants on one leg at a time. I go to work, come home and mind my own business. I pay my bills.

Geez. As I’ve said, one day I’ll laugh. Oh yes, one day milk will come spewing out of my nose as I look back on the Spring season of 2002.

I’ve been forced to spend over a grand in 2 days. And I haven’t even gotten my first paycheck.

S*%T, F#@k, A$$, I mean, seriously – what the hell? Watch, I’ll probably wreck on the way to Killeen tomorrow and break both legs. I’m sure my health insurance hasn’t kicked in, so I’ll have to pay for an ER visit. Why the hell not? Kick me while I’m down.

Luckily El brought down my guitar last time she was up. I think it’s about time to write a new song. I ought to hop on my one-legged motorcycle, go to the convenience store, buy myself a big fat cigar, come home, sit on the porch and play some blues. With my luck, I’d probably break a string. I wonder where the hell you go in Temple to buy guitar strings.

I’d be playing the flat tire, busted radiator, double rent paying, cheap cigar smoking, broken guitar string blues.

What a life.

Literal lunch break, It takes your bad days…

Today was a drab day. I woke up at 6 only to roll over and reset the alarm for 7. I didn’t really have much to do at work. I had piddly stuff to do, but nothing that made me feel like I accomplished anything.

I like to come home for lunch, I always have. It saves on eating out and gives me the chance to get away from the workplace. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading being at work – I just take the term lunch break literally. I like to come home, be in my own element and relax.

The downside to my afternoon retreat is that there’s nothing on TV except soap operas. I hate soap operas. Last week I spent 3 lunch breaks watching Detroit Rock City. This week it’s going to be Seven. I don’t have many other movies. I guess I’ll have to get El to bring me some more.

Anyway, I go back to work this afternoon and El calls me. She had to put her truck in the shop because it was overheating. We have to get the radiator replaced. $835. So that set the mood for the rest of my day, and probably the rest of the week.

I just got off the phone with Elise – she’s really upset. Not just because of the truck, but because we are owed money from some friends who’s wedding El photographed. We feel that these friends are abusing the friendship. They avoid our phone calls now. It’s pretty sad. Work has been stressing her out this week too.

We’re broke. I wish May would get here so El will be here with me, she can get a job and we won’t be paying 2 rents.

We did really well a few months back. We saved quite a bit of cash for our emergency fund in two months – even without me having an income other than unemployment checks (which was very, very small). So, I consoled my wife – told her to think about how much money we were able to save when there was minimal income. Now that I have a good job, we’ll be able to save that much more and get her a different vehicle.

My parents have been really concerned – I don’t blame them. I’m concerned and pissed at the same time. I told my mom that I really hope I can look back on these times and laugh. And the good thing about all of this is, I know I will.

A long time ago, my mother said to me: “It takes your bad days to know what you’re good days are.” I don’t quite remember what evoked that statement, but I’ve lived by it ever since.

S&W online staff directory, Cody at Amazon, Java Noodles, I WANT MY WIFE

Ah, where to begin. Last Friday was okay at work. I started on a project that actually gave me something to do. I’m working on updating the online physicians directory for S&W. That just killed time until 5pm when I got to leave to go to Austin.

That was probably the best motorcycle ride I’ve ever been on! The weather finally turned. It was around 72 degrees, it had rained late in the afternoon so it knocked some of the humidity out of the atmosphere. I rushed home from work, cranked up the stereo to an old Metallica CD, packed my backback, strapped on the leathers and hit the road.

I stopped at a local filling station where they provide free air for your tires (very rare). Then it was off to Austin. The backpack kept my posture, the aforementioned music was still gunning in my head, the trusty Shadow was stickin’ to the road because the rain had washed away the sludge and everyone was in a Friday night rush. Because of the chaps and heavy jacket, the wind wasn’t beating me like in most instances. I just blared down the road averaging 90 (keeping up with traffic, of course [wink]).

Anyway – it took me less that an hour to get to Austin. El got home from work shortly after my arrival. We called up ol’ Victor and went to the Mr. Gatti’s buffet. Then we picked up some beer and hung out at the apartment for a while. I decided that I want to go see my old friend Cody (see groomsmen pictures in wedding section) spin (DJ) at Amazon – so we all packed up and went downtown. We all had a great time. Every time Cody, or Dan (Cody’s mentor) spins at Amazon, we get to hang out in the DJ booth. We headed home, Victor got the munchies so we stopped at Jack in the Box where he ordered everything off the menu (not really, but if you know him, you know he can pack it in).

Saturday El had to work early in the morning. I think I slept in until around noon. Not so much by the old hair of the dog, but from being sleep deprived from earlier in the week.

Actually, Victor called and woke me up because we had been giving each other rainchecks for about a month on lunch at Java Noodles on E. Oltorf. Victor, his sister, Lisa and I drove up the road for lunch. I wouldn’t suggest eating at Java Noodles. I read in the Chronicle that the chef was one of the 2 best [overall chefs] in Austin. ???. I think it was his day off!

After lunch, Victor and his sister went to have their taxes done. I went home and tooted around on the computer and watched some 90210. That was pretty much Saturday.

Sunday, El had to work early again. I, well, pretty much sat and watched TV again. I think I just needed some rest. Plus it was nice to be back where most of my stuff was. And it was good to have Riley just veg on my lap all day.

El came home, we went to HEB and bought stuff for chicken Caesar salads. I came home, grilled the chicken and made the salads. It was time to go. It was close to 6pm and I wanted to beat the night’s cool air. El walked out with me and we said our goodbyes while the trusty Shadow warmed up. She started to cry. I hugged her and I got a little teary. I sucked it up so as not to make her more upset. I told her to start looking for jobs in Temple now – that I was going nuts without her. There’s really no point in us being apart. We’re going to have to pay rent on 2 places for one more month regardless of who’s living where. She concurred.

Elise has been landing some photo gigs here and there. This weekend she is shooting her boss’ grandfather’s 85 birthday party – so I think she’s waiting until the stress of that is over before she starts to look for jobs here.

I just really wish she was here with me. It’s really hard to come home at night and try to crack a joke when your better half isn’t there to laugh with you.

Elise never reads these postings, so I can write this… “Elise, find a job and move down here now and I’ll give you long, heartfelt massages every night until July!!!”

Today went by quickly. I’ve been working on this physician directory update for work. This has given me the opportunity to go into the hospital and clinic and meet some people. Everyone here is really nice – and they will actually sit there and talk to you. I had to get some updated information for a surgeon today. I thought I would have to talk to her secretary. Nope, I actually talked to a surgeon. It’s really breathtaking to be in the presence and engaged in conversation with someone who saves lives for a living. It sort of makes you reevaluate your own dreams. I didn’t talk to her about that stuff, but I just makes you think.

I went to college as pre-med. I even went to the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine in D.C. my senior year of high school. I dumped that idea because I wanted to go into politics (I was big into student government in high school). Then, computer science – was that ever a mistake! Then, Communications. “Communications?… what the hell are you going to do with that?” Well, luckily I chose a good ‘area of specialization’. You always hear those stories about how people never go into the field in which they were trained in college. I think I have.

Oh yeah, and if you really want to impress someone, refer to your resume as a CV. Curriculum Vitae. That’s what a physician’s resume is called. Of course, your CV would probably need to be around forty pages long!

Anyway, it’s about that time for Elise to call. El, if you ever read this – I’m serious about the back massage thing!

S&W IS department (ahem), what’s in my new job

Elise just left. Luckily I’ll see her tomorrow. See, weather permitting, I’m going to try to go to Austin every weekend. The weather was really nice today – hopefully it will be the same tomorrow so the motorcycle ride will be pleasant.

The IS department came and setup my computer so I can now log on and do my job. Unfortunately, for me, the S&W uses a Novell network that I am not familiar with at all. I guess that will give me something to learn in my spare time. The also use GroupWise as their email client. I’m used to Outlook Express… More stuff to get used to. No biggy – I guess that ‘old dog, new tricks’ thing applies.

Work was okay today. I always thought that I was kind of web/new media savvy – boy was I wrong. We had a meeting today with the IS department… I felt like everyone was speaking Chinese.

Elise ran some errands this morning, then she came and met me for lunch in the hospital cafeteria. I had the fajitas – that was a mistake. They were terrible.

After work, I came home and El and I went to Academy to get me a rain suit. I can’t really show up to work all drenched like I could at Vidbook. See, I have to kind of dress up for this job. Luckily I don’t have to wear a tie – but I might as well.

I’m still confused and uncertain as to what I’ll be doing as Communications Coordinator. My cohort, David and I discussed this today. He shed some light on it for me, but I really won’t know until I’m actually doing the work. Right now I go to a lot of meetings. There we discuss the design of the new S&W website. I’m not actually going to be doing any designing or development – that’s what the IS and Illustration teams do. But my experience has helped in coming up with some good ideas. I mentioned a cool Javascript for the home page – everyone liked it and I think I’m supposed to propose this to the IS dept. I kind of wish I could get my hands in the dirty work. Maybe one day I will. I think it would be a plus if I could chum up the IS guys.

Well, that’s news for now. I can’t wait to head back to Austin.

I’m in Temple now – orientation

Greetings from Temple! I have a lot of news!

I’ll start by letting you all know that I really wanted to get up here and be able to add to my ‘journal’, but, yours truly forgot to call good ol’ Southwestern Bell to have a land line setup. Duh! I’m so used to having Road Runner and not worrying about a phone line, dial up internet connections.

So, having said that – I didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be able to get online until Sunday when El and I were moving me up here.

Saturday, El had to work. She was relieved of her duties early due to the blinding cold weather. We loaded up some of my crucial effects and arrived in Temple just in time to sign our lease and get our keys. My temporary bachelor pad is modest. It’s an apartment, what can I say? I can say this: We don’t have quite as much storage space as our place in Austin. I think this is a good thing because when El moves up here, we’ll be forced to get rid of a lot of our stuff. Also, (and I’ve mentioned this before) rent is so much cheaper. I think we have pretty much the same amount of square footage here, and we pay $301 less!

We got $300 off this first months rent because El found coupon for this complex online. Next month, we get another $50 off because of a referral from this complex’s sister complex. I might get an additional $200 off next months rent as well because I referred another Scott & White employee (if she signs a lease here). But, that $200 off for the referral will cost me a pint of blood. See what happens when you work at a hospital! I’ll touch on that later.

Sunday was the big day. I had to load up everything I needed and kiss Riley goodbye (for now). It was kind of sad leaving. I was pretty nervous about the move and the new job, so I didn’t get all watery in the glazzies.

You want to talk about cold?!?!? I had to ride the trusty Shadow 70 miles in 38 degree weather against a northern wind. I have never been so cold in my life.

We got to Temple and moved in the futon and my clothes. El went to the laundry room and washed some towels and a comforter for me. We went to Subway for dinner and to the Super WalMart for my groceries.

Elise left around 11pm. I could have sworn I was being shipped off to war. It was as if we were never going to see each other again – we didn’t want to let each other go. She finally drove off. I came upstairs – then I got choked up. I told her to call me when she got home so I would know that she made the trip safely. Luckily, a local TV channel was showing the first episode of the X-Files, so that occupied my mind until El called.

Monday morning came early. I had a nightmare that was luckily halted by the alarm. My dream was that a doctor found a tumor on my right lung…

Anyway – Monday was orientation. I went outside at 7:30am to warm up the Shadow. It was 26 degrees out. I had to scrape frost off the seat. I arrived at orientation on time. A group of approximately 30 of us had to sit through 7 hours of formalities and the like – typical orientation.

There was a lady named Mindi who kept talking about the Scott & White blood bank. She was a new/returning employee, also going through orientation. Mindi is a marketing coordinator for the S&W blood bank. That’s where my $200 off next months rent comes in. I came home from orientation and had to go to the apartment leasing office to turn in our walk-through. Mindi was in the office inquiring about apartments. She recognized me and said “Hello”. The office manager said I would get $200 off next months rent if Mindi signs a lease. Mindi got excited for me and told me that if I received the referral discount, that I would have to go in and give blood. I told her I would (and I will).

I don’t know if I’m at liberty to discuss this, but last month, a person contracted HIV from a blood transfusion at Scott & White. Scott & White has their own blood bank. This incident was a rare case where the blood supply was low and blood had to be brought in from an outside source (San Antonio). So, for the record, the blood containing HIV wasn’t from Scott & White. Look at me, I haven’t been there but a day and I’m already sticking up for them!

Today was first day of actual work. I reported to my ‘office’ (glorified cube) at 8am. I got the tour of the hospital and the cafeteria. It’s a hospital – don’t really know what to tell you. If you’ve been in a hospital, then you know what I’m talking about.

My computer needs to be setup by the IS department (establish password, map network drives, etc.). So, I don’t have access to my computer as of yet. sentence deleted. Today I basically sat there and read S&W materials. I had 2 meetings to attend too. They were okay, but I obviously didn’t have anything to contribute. That will come with time. But, all in all, I think I’ll enjoy myself there.

Other than that, I’m really lonely. I have two lawn chairs acting as living room furniture and a small television to keep me occupied. I miss my wife like you wouldn’t believe.

I’m moving to Temple, I hate AOL, I hate Hartz

Elise and I just got back from Temple. We moved some small stuff into our new apartment that will hold me off for a little while. We brought some cooking supplies, a TV, radio, alarm clock, my bathroom stuff, etc. Tomorrow we’re going to move up the futon, my clothes and my computer.

Speaking of computers… Looks like I’m going to have to hunt down one of those “1000 free minutes” AOL CDs so I can be online. I hate AOL. No sense in paying for Roadrunner at two places. And it’s going to be hell having to go back to a dial-up connection. Tomorrow, while El is cleaning (this was her idea, I promise) I’m going to set up the computer. This means I’ll have to reinstall my old 56k modem – fun! Good news though – Roadrunner is cheaper in Temple!

We were trying to figure out which room was going to be the bedroom and which was to be the office. Upon making that decision, we then attempted to visualize where all of our stuff was going to go. I can tell you this much, our home office is going to be lacking in the way of feng shui!

We came back into Austin to find a not-so-welcome letter from Hartz in our mailbox. Seems they don’t believe that their product nearly killed our little Riley. DO NOT USE HARTZ MOUNTAIN CORPORATION PRODUCTS!!!

If you haven’t heard the story of how we almost lost Riley last year, click here. You must have Real Player installed to watch the video.

Well, gotta go start packing up my clothes!

What’s a blog, TXU, apartment ratings

For those of you who’ve noticed, I’ve began to chronicle my and El’s lives here at Janicek.com. I’m not going to make any promises, but I’m beginning to like using this website as somewhat of a journal. There may be times when I write, other times I may not. We’ll see!

I’ve added a link to my archive at the bottom of this page. I’ve put all of February’s entries in this archive.

And remember, the Janicek.com forum is no longer password protected, so feel free to use it to satisfy any textual whims!

In the news… nothing really new today. I had to scoot around on the trusty Shadow in the cold drizzle that this day brought to mail off an item that I sold on eBay.

I had to call TXU (Temple’s utility company) to make sure I have electricity and hot water upon my arrival. I was told that I am going to have to pay a $150 deposit unless I can provide a credit reference letter from the City of Austin Utilities proving that I have been a customer in good standing for the past 12 months.

Well, I’ve been a good utilities customer, always, but you’d think the brains at a utility company could take it upon themselves to run a credit check among their cohorts just like any other business would. Get a copy of your credit report and you’ll see what I mean. It’s pretty easy for anyone to find out about your credit.

So, I had to sit on hold for over 20 minutes with the City of Austin Utilities to request this stupid letter that’s going to save yours truly 150 smackers.

And get this… In November of 2000, El and I moved in together in a 2 bedroom apartment. Prior to that, she lived right below me – both of us lived in 1 bedroom apartments. Not but 2 weeks before we moved out of those singles and into our current, roach-ridden ghetto dorm, the apartment complex put ice makers into our refrigerators. Just before we could get any use out of them.

You’ll never guess what the nice people of Bristol Square did for us today… hmmm… give up? They put an ice maker in our refrigerator. How sweet of them. Kind of funny, just yesterday I put in our notice to fulfill lease and vacate. If you want to know how El and I have recently felt about our current apartment, click here.

Well, tomorrow it’s back to Temple. We’re going to load up my personal effects and try to get me somewhat settled in.

Temple: credit union, apartment, Mazzio’s, new work clothes

El and I took I-35 North to Temple early today. We visited one last apartment complex that Elise wanted to check out. Luckily we did because it’s the one we decided on. We wound up saving quite a bit more money as far as deposit, ‘preferred employer discounts’ and ‘move in specials’. The short of it: It’s soooo much cheaper to live in Temple vs. Austin. Yeah, yeah – you might snicker and say: “What is there in Temple?” Well, my friend Marshall and I were having an existential conversation a while back, and the gist of it was: If you don’t take full advantage of what Austin has to offer, then it’s not worth the price you pay to live here. Having said that, El and I can always drive 70 miles to see the bats fly out from underneath the Congress bridge in the spring. We can come in for a nice dinner or a night out on 6th. We can drive down on a lazy Sunday for a stroll through the botanical or sculpture gardens and hang out by that spring fed pool. Of the eight years that I’ve lived here – I’ve only done that stuff once.

As I was… We went to Temple, put a deposit down on an apartment. We opened an account with a local credit union and went to the Central Texas Workforce Commission to hunt down a job for El that she had found earlier last week online (no luck on that – job must have been filled).

We had dinner at Mazzio’s Pizza and decided to leave Temple and head home. We should have waited a wee bit – we hit Austin rush hour. I’m not going to miss that!

Halfway home, El says: “Do you want to go see if we can find you some ‘work clothes'”. I said: “Okay.” We went to the Salvation Army on South Lamar. We bought 4 really nice pairs of slacks that looked as if they had never been worn and one dress shirt that needs only ironing. I would have spent around $300 had we gone to JC Penney’s ($600 had we gone to Foley’s, Dillard’s etc.) Everything fit perfectly except one pair of brand new, navy slacks that need to be hemmed approximately 1″. Our damage: $48. So we’re both really happy about our finds for the day!

We came home and I was doing my nightly kitchen work when El brought out the old pen and pad and said: “Let’s write out a list of stuff you’ll need.” She was so cute. She started putting together a care package for me! I don’t know what I’m going to do without her for 2 months!

I’m kind of getting scared. Like I’ve said, I’m getting nervous about the job and moving to a smaller town where we won’t know anyone – but I’ll be fine. I guess I’m scared of growing up and moving on. I came to Austin to go to college. I got lucky and landed a job with Vidbook upon graduating, but now our lives are taking us to new places – granted, not geographically far, but new, nonetheless.

Anyway, for those of you who busted my chops about how I didn’t like ‘Black Hawk Down’… ‘We Were Soldiers’ comes out tomorrow. Go see that if you want a decent made-for-the-big-screen war documentary (no, I didn’t read the books either – I’m talking about the movies and I’m not going to read the books). At least ‘We Were Soldiers’ sheds light on the other side and the friends and loved ones of those who were involved. If you don’t like it, I don’t care – I’m entitled to my own opinion.

Rudy’s with Chic, El’s gettin’ skinny on me

Today I had lunch at Rudy’s BBQ with my former Editor-in-Chief from Vidbook. I’m starting to take notice the things that I’m going to miss in Austin – like really good BBQ!!

Tomorrow, El and I are heading back up to Temple to make a decision on an apartment and to open an account at a credit union.

Nothing else really going on. I’m still pretty nervous and excited about the new job. Oh yeah, I don’t know if El wants me disclosing this information, but she’s lost almost 10 pounds in the past couple months by dieting and exercising. I’m so proud of her!

Apartment shopping in Temple

El and I drove up to Temple this morning. We put forth our best effort, and came up short in finding a room for rent for your humble narrator. Apartments and motels alike had an average of $1300/month for rooms to rent for short periods (their ‘corporate rates’). We begged people, but no luck.

So, we’ve decided that we’re going to go ahead and just sign a new lease for an apartment in Temple. It’s going to be rough for two months. But, just to give you an idea, a comparable apartment to the one in which we live now, in Temple, is $300 less than what we pay in Austin.

In doing this, I think it will be easier for us in the long run. We’ll already have “our place” in Temple when Elise moves up there with me in May. We won’t have to move stuff twice (moving into a room for rent, then moving into our apartment). And I can bring up my computer, more clothes, a TV, stereo, etc. etc.

Scott & White pretty much owns Temple. Everywhere you turn, there’s either a hospital, clinic or annex building. The good thing about this is that S&W is a ‘preferred employer’ meaning we get discounts on rent, among other things, to be determined later. Another plus, is if you’re ever hurt, injured, sick, whatever, it’s a stones throw from a Scott & White facility.

El and I had lunch at the Dairy Queen. Reminded me of Brenham. For those of you whom I didn’t know in high school, Brenham is a small town neighboring Bellville – where I went to high school. There were three old men, sitting and having coffee (an obvious daily ritual because they showed up at the same time, by different means) and talking about local sports and news.

Elise was on the phone with an apartment complex trying to get directions. The two older ladies sitting near us obviously overheard her conversation because when Elise hung up, one of the ladies spoke up and gave us better directions. Everyone seems to be really friendly and outgoing.

We stopped outside the Temple Daily Telegram to pick up a newspaper and check the classifieds.

We swung by the ol’ Temple Chamber of Commerce. Geez, I was astonished by all of the friendly “Welcome to Temple, so glad you’re here, you’re going to love it here!!!” Having said that, the lady we spoke with in the C of C handed me a 20 pound bag of ‘Temple goodies’: a phone book, map, coupons, visitors guide… all the goods.

Well, we won’t have all of the big city bright lights anymore, but if we ever get bored, I’m sure we can hit the local taco stand and get in on some good conversation.

I’m getting pretty nervous about starting my new job. I’m getting double nervous about the financial strain we’re about to endure. I know El is nervous about moving to a ‘small town’ and trying to find a job. But, we have each other – in good times and in bad, for richer, for poorer. I don’t care where we have to move, as long as I have my El, I’m the richest man in the world.

S&W physical

I went to Temple today to have my physical. I had to take El to work so I could have her truck to make the trek. I have a complex … urinating under pressure. So, I made sure to drink something close to a gallon of water on my trip there (minus radio and popping plastic shopping bag serving as rear passenger window). I arrived at building 19 to do my drug test. Well, step one wasn’t the urinalysis. I had to endure close to an hour of waiting and finally a medical history check. I was then sent to the Scott & White clinic for my physical.

I arrived in the lobby and handed in my paperwork where I was told to sit and wait and someone would call me in. I sat down, with a grunt (see drinking a gallon of water above). As I sat and tried to relax, I engaged in a deep sigh. Upon doing this, a small amount of saliva made its way into the wrong tube. This stimulated an immediate regurgatory reflex that sent my bladder into emergency response. Oh my gawd – I thought I was going to explode.

I sat there for a good 10 minutes and my name was finally called. Saving your from gory details, all went well.

I had my photo taken for my super cool Scott & White badge.

I left work (heh, feels good to say that) and took the nickel tour of Temple. I drove around just to get lost and see the town. I have to say, I think I like Temple. It’s small but has everything one really needs.

Tomorrow, El and I are driving up there to find a place for your narrator so stay during the weekdays until our lease in Austin is up in April. We’re also going to try to find a good credit union to join and possibly look into apartments or houses to rent when we move.