holy shit, amigos, it's another LiveJournal year gone by!
today's entry closes the book on LiveJournal Year Thirteen.
where does the time go!?! let's find out!

one year from tomorrow the PSE and i had just arrived in Mumbai, India.
we were a little more then halfway through our nine-month Great Adventure around the world.
we were exhausted, having been out on the road for five months already [see LiveJournal Year Twelve] but there was still so much we hadn't seen so we didn't have any choice but to continue on.
India was a land of beauty, exotic strangeness, great food, odd people, heartbreaking poverty and still, somehow, the bubonic plague.

the PSE and i spent February making our way through India and Nepal
i had a great time but the PSE caught an upper-respiratory infection that had to be treated with a regiment of heavy antibiotics.
February also brought replies from Law Schools back in the States.
in a fit of audacity i decided i would try to get into Law School for free [see LiveJournal Year Twelve.]
i sent away fifteen applications to fifteen school and, after waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting, i finally received word back from all fifteen.
eleven accepted me but wanted me to pay at least some percentage of my own tuition.
four had given me full-rides.
after some debate, i decided to accept the school that was the highest-ranked out of the quartet, the Texas A&M School of Law in Fort Worth, Texas.
it may not be very prestigious to go learn the laws at a school of agriculture and mechanics, but i'll be goddamned if i'm gonna argue with the price.
i was very proud of my accomplishment.

the PSE and i spent March making our way through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
we visited one of the Seven Wonders of the World, one of the most infamous and horrific prison camps in the world and an Olive Garden!
i also gave the PSE an orgasm with my mouth, only the second time in our relationship and the second time in my life that that has ever happened.

the PSE and i spent April making our way through the Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
in the Philippines i indulged in some medical tourism, going under the knife twice to fix two things wrong with me.
i had LASIK to fix my nearsightedness and hair restoration surgery to correct the horrors of male pattern baldness.
the surgeries were more gruesome then i was expecting.
for LASIK they tape your eyes open, pin you down and zap lasers into your eyes.
it doesn't quit hurt, but it is plenty uncomfortable and it leaves your eyes stinging something awful for thirty-six hours.
the worst part, though is the smell of your eyes sizzling when they get you with the laser.
hair transplant surgery involves them carving a strip of meat off of the back of your scalp, parsing out the follicles then jabbing them into the front of your head where the hairline is receding.
it is a bloody, barbaric process but the doctors give you plenty of Vicodin or whatever to keep you too loopy to care.
i was a swollen, bloody, stinging mess by the end of cosmetic surgery week, but i am supper happy that i did it.
all together, the surgeries cost me $4,200 American dollars, but every penny was money well spent.
it's rare that a cheapskate curmudgeon like me ever gets a deal that i can't find fault with but, goddamn, being able to see and have hair is important.

in May the PSE and i finished up our tour around the world with Japan, South Korea and China.
we visited an island full of friendly wild rabbits, an island full of friendly, wild deer and an entire country full of 1.3 billion unhappy Communists.
on the 21st the PSE had a birthday. she turned thirty.
i never thought i would find myself ever dating a thirty year old, women age like milk, but there i was and here i am, doing it all the same.
so far, so good. the PSE has managed to keep her looks, at least most of them.
at the very end of May, after nine months and two days of tramping around the world, it was time to go home.
that is, it was time to go back to the States. we didn't quite have a home yet.

in June the PSE and i visited the PSE's family in Reno, Nevada and my family in New Jersey.
after as much of that as we could stand, which was a little more then a week a piece, we got our cars in good running order and drove them from my Parents' house westward to Fort Worth, Texas where the Texas A&M School of Law would soon expect my matriculation.
we did not have a place to stay lined up yet but after two days in a motel we found one easy enough.
a one-bedroom apartment in a complex managed by absentee scumbags on the scummy side of town, but just a few blocks walk from a high-end grocery store, which was the primary draw.
we'd only just got ourselves moved in when the PSE and i found ourselves employed in our old gigs as lab rats in pharmaceutical clinical trials.
we made $6,050 a piece for a four-night stay in a Drug Study in Dallas plus numerous out-patients visits for the following six weeks.
after being out on the road for as long a the PSE and i were and significantly depleting our savings that $12,100 was a welcome windfall.
we were happy to find a Drug Study in Dallas, just a half hour down the road should there ever come a time in the future when we might again need some money.

in July the PSE and i got ourselves a new dog friend.
we had been living without a dog in our lives for seventeen months.
a dogless life is a lonely like and not a life for us.
several times during our Great Adventure around the world we would find ourselves dog-sick, looking forward to the day we could one day return to America, get a place to stay and make our family complete again.
we visited a few animal shelters in both Dallas and Forth Worth before on 3, July we finally found the little friend we were looking for.
well, that is to say, a little friend found us.
we went and had a visit with a Shih Tzu/Yorkshire Terrier who made it clear that she was too fragile and too pathetic for us to put her back in her cage.
well, okay then, i guess you're gonna have to come home with us.
and she did, and she's been wonderful.
except for all the times that she has not.
even though our new friend was two years old when we got her, she didn't have a bit of house training and she suffers from extreme separation anxiety.
she cannot be left home alone with losing her shit and destroying our apartment.
the PSE and i suffered through no less then two hard months before we got our new friend acting right.
we got her to pee outside and to sleep through the night in a box by the side of our bed.
the separation anxiety is a much more pernicious problem but the PSE and i have resolved that by just really not leaving the house all that much.
we also helped to ameliorate the problem by tiling over the carpet that our new friend tore up in front of the door with vinyl laminate.
keeping pets is less about training as it is negotiation and learning to manage each other's foibles.
we named our new friend Monster because in the beginning she seemed like a little fucking monster, though, there are probably plenty of other, names that would have fit better.
aside from all the trouble she's caused, the Monster is the sweetest friend i have ever had.
every time she wags her tail at me my heart melts and the Monster wags her tail at me all the fucking time.

in August i began my studies at the Texas A&M School of Law.
i was expecting a smooth transition, a few weeks of “this is where the bathrooms are” and “who knows how courtrooms work?” but instead we just jumped right into it.
i immediate found myself overwhelmed by the pace of the thing, having to work work work work work every single day non-stop for the subsequent sixteen weeks.
in all my life i have never found myself busting my ass as hard as this, though, i'll admit i have lived a mostly-easy life.
the PSE got herself a job at a restaurant that dealt in ramen as a waitress.
it was her first job as a waitress.
it didn't pay very well, the PSE would be lucky to make $80 on a four-hour shift, but the vegetarian ramen she would bring home was fucking delicious

in September i turned thirty-five.
i celebrated by going to class.
if the PSE did anything special to celebrate me, it wasn't enough for me to remember it.
i've been hinting [and explicitly demanding] that i want a bulletproof vest for, like, five birthdays now but the PSE just won't play along.
the PSE and i also celebrated our anniversary, twelve full years as a mated pair.
we did a big fat nothing to celebrate that one, too, though i think we at least bothered to have sex.
the PSE and i also began seeing a relationship counselor once again.
our relationship was actually going okay, we were getting along better then we have for most of the previous thirteen years, but, we have some structural problems that need ironing out.
i want to have kids and the PSE does not.
how do you solve a problem like that!?!
unfortunately, after visiting the Counselor three times a month, our Obamacare ran out at the end of December before we could get a good answer.

in October the PSE took another gig at the Drug Study.
she took a Study consisting of two overnight in-patient stays for four consecutive weeks for $3,200.

in November America elected Donald Fucking Trump President of these United States and i had to pay my Father $100.
like the rest of the world, i was dead certain that there was no way America would elect a reality TV buffoon to be the leader of the free world but apparently, like the rest of the world, i sorely underestimated the willingness of the American voter to cut off their own noses to spite a Brown person's face.
or perhaps the ability of the Russian FSB to hack our voting machines.
likely both.
all throughout our Great Adventure around the world the PSE and i would meet increasingly nervous foreigners who would ask us “so, uh, what the fuck is up with this Trump guy?”
and, smart guy that i am, i would tell them confidently, “yeah, don't worry about him, he's not going anywhere...” but yet, at every turn, i got proven wrong.
reactionary nationalism is on the rise, it seems, not just America but the whole world over.
if for some reason Live Journal Year Fourteen that starts tomorrow [!!!] gets cut off short, the odds are it's because i've found myself locked in a gulag with all the other people who have gotten under Emperor Trump's thin skin by saying something unflattering on the internet or, more likely, because there has been a nuclear holocaust.

in December i sat my first round of finals at Law School.
the PSE quit her job at the Ramen Restaurant because it turns out, working fucking sucks.
the PSE already knew that, of course, she just had about as much as she could take from this particular fuckface.
towards the end of December, the PSE, the Monster and i flew back to New Jersey to visit with my Parents for a week.
not because i wanted to, but because i am an only child, and i feel guilty for not being a better son.

in January the PSE and i spent several afternoons during my time off from school trying to buy ourselves a house.
we can't get a mortgage so we would have to buy with cash, but we don't have all that much cash, either, so what the fuck are we doing?
mostly, wasting our time, and the time of several realtors.
at some point in January i got my grades back from my first semester at Law School.
they were not great, they were downright embarrassing, honestly, but they were enough to keep me from losing my scholarship or failing, so, good enough, i'll take 'em!
the PSE decided that instead of returning to scholarship herself, or even getting herself another job to support us, that she would devote herself to being a full time Drug Study lab rat.
mostly that meant driving down to screen for different Studies both in Dallas and down in Austin, but not getting selected to participate for various reasons.
the PSE ended up spending the month hanging around the apartment doing different arts and crafts projects when she wasn't fucking around on the internet.
the PSE did a lot of fucking around on the internet.

and so went the LiveJournal year.
it was a pretty good year. a year to be proud of.
hopefully next year will be, too.
let's find out together, shall we!?!

//[onward ho!]

September 2017

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