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Finally, a blog.

16 October 2021 12:28

I've set up and maintained a few blogs over time. I was even a part of a planet at one time. Remember those? Aggregators of multiple blogs in one. I had one for my teenager-focused online Linux User's Group. Maybe I'll sit down and write a memoir about that sometime.

It's been a while since I've felt the need to update nobody in particular about my life and thoughts and feelings. A lot has happened. I've launched a fairly successful career, got married to a wonderful man named Patrick, and with him, I have a mini Italian Greyhound named Violet.

I've had friends, fallings-out, hobbies, abandoned projects, weird encounters, new habits (some good, some bad, some eradicated), and I talked to a well-known conspiracy theorist at a Chinese restaurant with a mouth full of Mu Shu vegetables.

And you, internet, missed all of it. I'm so sorry. I'll start catching you up.

So my last name is Williamson now...

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Tuesday Sockspiration

19 October 2021 08:38

I woke up this morning and stepped out to walk the dog, and I found that permeating the air was the unmistakable scent of chicken and waffles. Not a particularly unusual smell for the area in which we live -- an entertainment district in North Texas. However, I've never encountered that particular smell permeating the air in a wide, open area with such pungence. And at 8 in the morning. People around here start seeking spirit-sopping sustenance closer to 2.

It's not a bad scent by any means. Quite pleasant, even in the strange context in which I found it. So today, I let 8 A.M. chicken and waffle smell of unknown origin be my inspiration, and my sock theme. If anyone notices that I'm a little extra jovial today, let it be known that it's because this morning, I smelled chicken and waffles while my dog pooped.

Chicken and Waffle socks

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Gratitude: Creative Enablers

24 October 2021 09:09

I'm a creative person. Sometimes I feel like an artist who hasn't found his medium, so I use everything I do as a creative outlet. The way I talk to my friends, how I accomplish things at work, writing a blog that nobody reads but Chinese robots looking for outdated Wordpress installations to hack.

(Sorry, all static. But here's something for you.)

So today I want to express gratitude for the people in my life who embrace my quirks. My husband most of all, who married me in our apartment full of hobbies and diversions, in an 80s/90s themed ceremony officiated by my brother, who was ordained to do so by me.

But also, my family and friends, my boss, coworkers, the lady at the Build-A-Bear that one time who told me about the pizza scent, all the cool people I surround myself with who embrace my creative expression. Thank you for your critiques, reactions, and genuine, thoughtful compliments. Anything but a dismissive nod and smile is a blessing to me.

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Birthday Post

30 March 2022 23:30

I once again find myself at an age ending in 0. What a ride. 10 years before now, I was trying to figure out how to live my gay adult life in a big new city. 10 years before that, I was lamenting having to move yet and find new friends yet again, knowing nothing of the big adventure that lie ahead. 10 years before that, I was born into a whole new world. What will this new decade bring?

Well, to start, I'm finding that I have to put effort into looking healthy. Gone are the days where I can eat crap, do nothing, and look pretty. I've already invested in a bicycle to stave off the Dale Gribble-bod. I'm starting some resistive training as well, though perhaps I should hire a personal trainer just so as to keep me from injuring myself.

Frustratingly, though my body is beginning to slump into a King of the Hill shape, I still get breakouts of acne. I'm sure that, left untreated, the acne will combine with typical, leathery aging of skin to make my face look like the spell book from Hocus Pocus. Lest such a tragedy befall my supple face, I must take action. Time to tune up my skincare regimen.

My nightly skincare regimen

In selecting my emoilments for my beauty sleep, I looked for things that seemed to contain "natural"-type ingredients. To a certain definition of the term, "natural." Other primates certainly don't seem to concern themselves with night time moisturizers. Really what I'm looking for is an ingredients list that doesn't contain a ton of nasty solvents that will dry out my (already quite dry) skin. For now, I've settled on:

  1. Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Cleanser
  2. Thayers Witch Hazel Toner (various fun scents)
  3. Ayur Tulsi Face Pack (couple nights a week, mixed with rose water)
  4. Sri Sri Rejuvenating Night Cream (for night time moisturizer)

I use the same cleanser and toner in the morning, followed by a moisturizer (looking for a new brand, right now it's some Korean crap I found) and Badger Mineral Sunscreen. So, does it work?

Eh, I dunno.

At least it makes me feel like I'm doing something for myself, which is really the main point. I will say that Thayer's stuff regularly goes on sale at TJ Maxx, and the Ayur and Sri Sri skincare products are very economical, and can be consistently found at our local Indian markets. It seems to make a difference when I stay on them, and there seems to be a detriment in my complexion when I go off the regimen for a few days.

On the other hand, it could be all placebo. It could be that I'm simply seeing benefits from having a self-care routine of any sort, and I could just as easily achieve all this with a bar of Irish Spring and a gratitude journal. Either way, I just hope it delays the Necronomicon face for another decade or two.

Do gratitude journals have sulfates?

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Birthday Post for Patrick

5 July 2022 23:11

I remember the first one. We didn't get to spend your birthday together that year, because I was in Oklahoma celebrating the same day with my grandfather. You and him share that day. It's a good day for you two, excellent choice.

My love

We weren't "dating" yet, were just sort of hanging out. But I was obsessed. I didn't know quite what I had found. A partner? A really good friend? A guy who encourages me to buy telephones and firearms? What was this thing I was feeling? I discussed it with my brother. We killed a bottle of Uncle Val's Botanical Gin that night. He told me that I better hang on to you.

So I did. We kept hanging out. We shared experiences. I told my mom about you. One night, after you made me another delicious meal, I finally told you that I love you.

"You do?!"


"Well, I love you too."

We snuggled on that cane couch with the worn zebra fabric.

I love you, Patrick. Happy birthday.

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Lucky Penny

8 July 2022 21:40

Today I walked rather than biked to work, and came across a lucky penny. 1999, though as shiny as you could expect a street penny to be. That's one way to look at today. Another way is: my bike got stolen and I had to walk to work in 100 degree heat, briskly, so as not to miss my first meeting.

A penny for my troubles

I chose the penny. I could have made it a real crappy day for myself by wallowing in self pity and doubt, but it was easier to just make it a lucky penny day. It wasn't all that bad of a day when I just kept the right perspective.

I made my dentist laugh in my retelling of the story. Dentists like to laugh, so he's probably glad I chose the penny too. Always choose the penny.

I wish my bike thief well. In no way do I condone taking my property, and I would have used an appropriate amount of force to stop the theft if I had the chance. However, since I'll probably never see my bike again, I can only hope that the thief somehow uses their new vehicle to get them out of whatever situation they're in that may necessitate Class A Larceny.

And an important lesson: always take pictures of your valuable property with something a bit better than a Mavica.

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Dream Journal: The Stormy Video Call

16 August 2022 10:53

I'm no stranger to work-related dreams. I've always taken great ownership and pride in my work, which can, at times, foster stress and anxiety. My brain sloppily attempts to reconcile these feelings using metaphors and surreal narratives. Sometimes a dream can bring clarity and fresh perspective to what I've been feeling. Other times, I have no idea what I was trying to tell myself, and I am only left with further questions.

It was a dark and stormy Teams call

I was on a video conference with several coworkers. I don't remember if the coworkers in my dream were specific coworkers, or just vague entities that I identified as such. Perhaps my faceblindness extends into my dream world. I also don't remember the topic of conversation. However, I do remember that we were all based out of the same city, and we all seemed to live in historic buildings like mine (neither of which are true in real life).

A storm began to roll into town, observable by the darkening of each participant's background in succession. As the rain and thunder covered the city, its progression was seen in the grouping of meeting participants at the bottom of the screen. The storm finally came to me, the rain trickling against our own windows as the wind lightly rattled the trees outside.

The lightning and wind picked up, battering one particpant's historic windows, then the next, and the next, further darkening each particpant's video stream until reaching my own backdrop. THe rain was thick and heavy, the wind smashing it right into the windows. Our panes have been known to leak a bit, so I began checking for leaks and considering some mitigating actions against the ingress of water. My eye was drawn back to the screen.

The winds became quite extreme for the first participant in the stack, shaking his windows violently until suddenly flinging them open. My coworker was lifted from his chair and pulled out the open window. He caught the window pane and held on for dear life, his feet dangling up towards the sky as the winds visciously circulated his belongings about him.

Then I woke up. Happy Monday!

The above image was generated using OpenAI DALL-E. I guess Stupid AI is actually pretty good for generating images of my dreams.

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Year One

21 August 2022 11:00

Happy anniversary, my love.

It was a dark and stormy Teams call

Thank you for always helping and supporting me, and yet challenging me to do better and be a better person. You changed my whole life and the way I think about everything.

Together we've build a lifestyle that is rare and special. I feel it when I look around our wonderful apartment, a space built for two curious and creative minds.

I love you. Let's get dinner or something.

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24 September 2022 21:45

I haven't updated this blog in a while. I've been busy.

Often we think of "busy" as a lie, or a convenient excuse. It does seem that people use it as a shorthand for, "I'm prioritizing other things in favor of this." Whether those other things are a severe injury, full-time employment, a spa day, or sitting around all day playing Mario Party 64, it's not a lie.

Is that valid? Depends on who's complaining. I often find that the biggest critic of my time-management skills is myself. I get antsy if I find myself watching too much TV, a bit less so if I'm playing video games. I guess I want to feel like I'm doing something when I'm doing nothing.

Not that I feel much better if I spend every waking hour over a span of 96 hours tracking and commanding a work-related incident. 100% commitment to Quadrant I doesn't make me happy either. That didn't make anybody happy.

Well, here I am now, with work stable, school caught up (oh, school's going well, by the way), and now I'm writing in my blog. I'm sure the spam bots that read my blog will be pleased.

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