Terminal Leave

Last Friday I packed up all my stuff into my car. It barely fit. If I had one more big box then I wouldn’t have had visibility out of all my mirrors. The two weeks prior to this, I’d been out-processing from post and my unit. There was a lot of paperwork involved but by this point I’ve gotten pretty good at figuring out the military system, so it wasn’t too bad.

It took 10 hours to drive home. Traffic going towards Dallas was significantly less than traffic going in the other direction, for some reason. Fewer cops in Arkansas than in Texas, that’s for sure.

I’m on terminal leave for two and a half months, a term which means that you’re using up all your earned leave days which take you to the end of your active duty contract. I get paid full salary that time, including money for housing in Dallas and also money for food. Seeing as housing in Dallas fetches $1,100/mo according to the Army rate, and food is approximately $250-300/mo, I’m doing quite well for being on leave! Plus jump pay and language pay.

Today I moved all my stuff into my room and out of my car. My room is already full of boxes since it’s been a storage room since I left. So I ended up cramming stuff everywhere. There’s no way I’m taking this much stuff to grad school!

I bought a 22″ widescreen monitor to help with productivity via dual LCD screens — it’s a pain in the ass while coding to have to switch from window to window. I lost the ability to record my favorite shows off analog cable (we have satellite TV in the house) so this sort of makes up for it — I’ll have to download my shows from now on.

It hit 78 degrees here and I had Chipotle. I saw Letters from Iwo Jima and Painted Veil, both of which were quite worthy of Oscar nominations.

Now that I’m somewhat moved in, I need to arrange taking cooking classes, booking tickets to Australia or wherever, and seeing Julie. I am going to work on my project quite a bit in my off-time. Obviously getting into UT Austin was awesome news — one of the things the program there is associated with is the Clean Energy Incubator. I need to visit the school and see what it’s like, so I’ll know if it’s a place that I want to be.


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