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Dr. PowerPoint

“What is a week-end?” HAPPY LEAP DAY! Which means it’s an election year. Phooey. And spring break is in less than two weeks. What’s spring break? I haven’t had one of those in nine years. Spring break. Ha. Working people don’t care about your fabled “spring break.”

Further down the line, for the break between spring and summer semesters, we’re jetting to San Francisco. I’m attending a Professional’s Couples Conference for career development; gotta get an endorsement letter from the University. The fabulous Esther Perel will be joining a panel and lecturing. Something about her accent makes her that much more credible about relationships and intimacy. She’s pretty baller; check out her TED Talks if you haven’t already. She takes a realistic, mature approach to intimacy and love; no “soul mate” idealism. Just how people can strengthen themselves and their partner.

After the weekend conference, we plan to drive (more like bike or stumble) through Napa Valley, stopping at wineries along the way. Amie (whose in-laws own a winery in Napa) is going to hook me up with suggestions. Anyway, that’s what I have to look forward to after my first semester as a master’s student. Seems good enough to me.

Class is going well, I’m making fine grades and I have the lock down on presentations and public speaking. Thanks, Air Force! I was talking to one of my classmates about PowerPoint (I have gathered Millenials don’t know how to use Powerpoint. Just smartphones.), and how my dad has a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership. aka. Powerpoint. She asked, “so, does that make him Dr. Powerpoint?” YES. Yes it does.

Rad Dates. On Saturday, Larry and I went to the Shreveport Symphony to see three tenors sing Broadway’s Best. On the particularly smooth, jazzy numbers, we kept saying how it sounded like “Family Guy”. Seth MacFarlane insists that each episode of “Family Guy” is recorded with a full orchestra. It was pretty great, especially the lovely tenors and their charisma. Chutzpuh. Zazz.

For Valentine’s Day, I baked cookies and played a “love themed” music collection for my war vets.

Larry sneakily bought me one of my favorite albums on vinyl, Cugi’s Cocktails (1963). It is just about the most supreme cocktail party music. I mean, it even has it in the title. How could you go wrong? Each track is the name of a popular cocktail of the time. I always seem to play it when I am getting ready to go out. Somehow it makes my hair bigger and my winged eyeliner on point. Like the photo up there. That was from Valentine’s Day. So is this goofy photo of Otto being absolutely nuts.

Well, I’m off to, as I always say, “disappoint my piano teacher.” Until next time…

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This & That.

4DAPUNX. There’s something oddly ironic about walking your dog in Suburbia sporting a Rancid …And Out Come the Wolves t-shirt. Yeah get some. Starting a riot, but not outlandishly enough for the police to be called. Since like, five of them actually live in my neighborhood.

España. Larry and I went to see the Shreveport Symphony this weekend, with special guest Jason Vieaux; he plays classical guitar.

The program consisted of the following:

LUIGI BOCCHERINI:    Symphony in D minor (“La Casa del Diavolo”)
JOAQUÍN RODRIGO:    Concierto de Aranjuez
SILVESTRE REVUELTAS:    Suite from Redes
MANUEL DE FALLA:  Three-Cornered Hat Suite No. 1, Ritual Fire Dance

He has long hair and looks every bit the tortured musician. And by tortured I mean a semi-famous and extremely talented wearer of scarves. I saw the guy who sold me my piano’s dad at the event; I think he was trying to figure out where he knew me from. A few hours later, Larry realized he had food poisoning from an ill-fated office meal outing at Fuddrucker’s. Does anyone eat at Fuddrucker’s? If you do, why do/would you eat at Fuddrucker’s? Obviously, Larry wanted to lose a few pounds by sitting on the toilet with a trash can in his lap, brought to you by Carl’s Jr Fuddrucker’s. Gets that extra weight loss edge.

So the Tauriel costume is going along nicely. Too bad the Air Force will probably send me out of town the weekend of Dallas ComicCon. FML. I won’t be able to attend any conventions in the summer because I’ll be out of town on Air Force training, and deploying in the fall, so no cons there.

Lastly, guess who made the international news. Good ol’ B-52, H model. Even made InfoWars, and you know it’s not news nor conspiracy fodder until Mister Alex Jones gets a hold of it:


Go BUFFs!

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Been Busy!

MINOT PRIDE. This past Saturday was a semi-impromptu gathering for Minot’s LBGT community at Sweet and Flour Bakery downtown. I say impromptu because the organizer, a co-worker of mine, thought it up just a week earlier when we saw him at 10 North Main. In just a week’s time, the word spread and there was well over one hundred attendees packed into a tiny pastry shop! Now, if you remember waaaay back to a year ago, about this time, said Sweet and Flour of Minot had a pre-opening gala until midnight. Luckily for me, it was my birthday and I headed over there to try a bakery selection in lieu of a birthday cake. It was so terrible, I didn’t have a desire to go back. Until now — because of the good reason! Anyway, the cupcake was still dry and sawdust-like, but the pastries were pretty legit. There were guests from all styles and walks of life, including straight couples from work, straight singles from work, pseudo-crossdressing teenage boys, an older man in drag, hot scenester lesbians, and of course, everything in-between. It was a really nice time and Larry was a very good sport about it all. We wanted to support our friend from work, and I think he was thrilled with the success & popularity of his get together!

TOO MANY TWINKIES. The Saturday last week that I volunteered to help out with the Wounded Warrior 5K Race, I wasn’t able to visit and play the piano for the elderly folks at Trinity Homes like I usually do that day. I figured nobody would really notice too much, anyway.

Totally wrong.

“How come you didn’t come by last weekend?”
“I missed that beautiful piano playing.”
“You weren’t here last week; I thought you might be doing an exercise On-Base.”

This week, Trinity Homes was short their usual volunteers, so I hit a double dose of piano-and-help-out action on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning, I helped out with the “Hope Floats Minot 5K”, which is for a park to be rebuilt due to our flood of 2011, and was able to go help out with my elderly entourage. Anyway, the Trinity Homes church service there was surprisingly legit — the pastor reminded me of the one back home, at the where church I’d go with my Gramma. The dude plays organ and sings. He’s like a one man church service. Dem skillz.

Here is a picture of me and Rachel, on a BUFF training mission. The ladies have it! She was the Radar Navigator, and I was kicking it old school as Navigator. Since I upgraded, I rarely get to sit in the Navigator seat (and do flight timing control). Usually the brand new navigators I fly with are more comfortable in the navigator seat, because that’s what they’re used to.

MUSTY PAGES. Holy crap, Mitch Clem’s My Stupid Life and Nothing Nice to Say comics. Blast from the past. It makes me kinda sad, though; nostalgic I suppose, but not a place I’d like to revisit readily. That compartment of my brain has a lot of nerd knowledge packed into it (like a friggin’ space bag), but has been set to mothballs. Like I tell people I meet in the military, I had an entire life before I joined the Air Force. I wasn’t one of those “live with your parents, move out to college to live in a dorm and do ROTC or the academy, then move into the dorms at flight school, then move into an apartment near base (or on base). I moved thirteen times total in college. I couch surfed when I didn’t have anywhere to stay between moves. I worked some pretty neat jobs while putting myself through college. Like I said, an entire life. It’s like a new chapter is being written, and the previous ones have been closed and printed. This comic illustrates it nicely.

TUROK, TRASH HUNTER. So in the evenings, when Larry and I take Otto for his walk, I bring a plastic bag along to go trash hunting. And trash hunting is just a more brutal way to say “pick up garbage”. The census is in: people who smoke Marlboros (or any cigarettes, really), eat Taco John’s, and drink beer or Arizona Iced Tea are the biggest litterbugs. Oh yeah, Monster drinks, too. Keep it classy, Minotians. Combine all of those and you might get a super righteous kidney stone.

JUST PALS AROUND. Yesterday, Otto went a new pal’s house. A new lieutenant in my squadron just moved here, with his small beagle and miniature dachshund (she is 8 lbs.! If you remember, I had a miniature dachshund that was 7.5 lbs.). Anyway, they are moving into their lovely new home, complete with a big, grassy fenced backyard. Otto immediately started playing with the beagle, as the mini each just barked. I guess I’d be scared of someone twice my size, too! Yes, it’s a “play date” for dogs — we people who don’t have kids have play dates, too. Toddler not required.

FASHION. And here is your obligatory fashion photo. Usually I post outfit ideas, but I wanted to show off my new shoes I got on Ebay. I saw them in Guam while deployed, but the store’s clientele is mostly tiny Japanese people, who don’t stock anything over a women’s 9 for their tiny feet. Because of the short toe box of these shoes, I needed a 9.5, when I am regularly an 8.5. Chanel and Louboutin, get your toe box/sizing under control, for real! So thanks, Ebay, for not selling me a fake pair of Chanel shoes, and at an amazingly low price. The dress is by Stop Staring! and is universally flattering on everyone. Sneaky stripes… This is from my birthday dinner with Larry last weekend.