Operation Market Garden

For all my travel these past few years, I’m much more of a homebody than you might think. I might judge the folks who never left their hometown after high school, but like a big ol’ hypocrite, I never left my hometown after college. In fact, I’ve never lived outside of Texas—let alone outside the US—in my entire life.

Well… it’s a crazy year.

Thanks to a very pretty, funny, and loving Dutch-Australian girl—and thanks to a country that would rather see me leave than welcome her as an immigrant—around the end of the year, I’m moving to the Netherlands. For the first time in 18 years I’m quitting my job. For the first time in 24 years I’ll need to learn my way around a new city, albeit one I already know and love.

To call this a big shift is an understatement. Amsterdam is no Kuala Lampur, but it ain’t Dallas, either. They do typically European stuff like putting the day before the month and pronouncing the letter Z “zed” and calling the first floor the “ground floor” and the second floor the first floor.1 Rush hour is a flood of bikes, hot or cold, rain or shine (usually “cold” and “rain”). Good Surinamese food can be found everywhere; good tortillas can be found nowhere. Football is played with feet. And so on. 2

So what am I doing when I get there?

First and foremost, after two and a half years, I’ll be in a relationship that’s NOT long-distance. I’m excited about the utter mundanity of seeing my fantastic girlfriend—and her fantastic cat, Percy—every goshdarn day. I’ll be privileged enough to stay funemployed for a bit, giving me time to work on my Dutch and tackle some creative projects (painting, writing, etc). I’m excited to join the fantastic Amsterdam improv community. Beyond that, who knows? Watch this space.

If the job search doesn’t pan out, I could always work at Amsterdam’s hippest clothing retailer.

I love Amsterdam, and I love Kiki who lives there. I’m deeply excited about having the adventure of a lifetime. But I can’t write this without acknowledging what’s bittersweet. There won’t be a farewell party or improv show. Austin is my favorite place on earth, and I’m leaving it at its lowest point. I’m swamped with guilt as I move off to (frankly) a better place while the places and people that I love the most are struggling. I sure wish I had an uplifting end to this paragraph.

I have so many things to do before I go. I’m doing what tiny amount I can to make Election Day a happy one. I still have 52 county courthouses to visit. I need to inventory every single thing I own and label it Store, Sell, Donate, or Pack. I need to see so many friends (even if at a distance) and eat so, many, tacos.

And no, I’m not leaving forever; I love Austin far too much for that. Hopefully in the near future our country won’t be such a fuckface about immigration and COVID, and Kiki can come here! For now, though, we’ll be there.


  • I’ll be renting my house, hopefully to tenants who are excited to be chicken tenders. More details soon, if you’re interested.
  • The cats are coming—Sabado in December, Suitcase sometime next year. Moving them across an ocean and introducing them to Kiki’s cat is the most nerve-wracking part of this whole thing. (If you’ve read this far, maybe you’d be a good Suitcase foster parent?)
  • Holland is to the Netherlands what England is to the UK. Denmark, though, is a completely different country.

  1. They think WE’RE the weird ones.
  2. And yes, the country has its collective shit together regarding COVID, and health care in general. I’m sticking this in a footnote since it’s hard for me to even mention without feeling like I’m gloating.

5 thoughts on “Operation Market Garden”

  1. I fuckin love you guys. This is such an awesome thing. Way to go. Might make my own music video called “My Bestie from the Westie” to help me through the grieving process. I wish awesome happiness for you.

  2. I am so happy for you, for Kiki, for Percy, and for your kitties when they can be with you. For me, that was the part I could never quite figure out. I am also happy that you’re going and getting out. To be honest, I have lived outside of my home state of Texas and, frankly, it’s relaxing and wonderful not to have to feel like you’re in a fight for your life every day – and that was before COVID. I suspect you will feel literal pounds lift from your shoulders, my friend. Do not be in a hurry to return. Enjoy it all. The deep breaths, the new place, the weirdness of fitting into a foreign place. Ps, tortillas in Spain are very different, but you do have friends (raises hand) who will send you HEB tortillas in a Texas care package when you get desperate for food blankets.

    2 ¾ cups (13 3/4) all-purpose flour
    1 ½ teaspoons salt
    6 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 6 pieces
    ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons tap water
    For ten 10-inch tortillas, double the recipe, divide the dough evenly into 10 pieces, and roll each into a 10-inch round; cook as directed.
    1. Combine flour and salt in large bowl. Using your hands, rub shortening into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water with wooden spoon until incorporated and dough comes together. Turn dough out onto counter and knead briefly to form smooth, cohesive ball. Divide dough into 12 pieces (1½ ounces each), roll into balls, and transfer to plate. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, at least 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
    2. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll dough into 8-inch tortilla between two 12-inch squares of greased parchment paper. Remove top piece of parchment and gently reshape edges of tortilla as needed.
    3. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Flip tortilla onto your palm, then remove parchment on bottom and lay tortilla in skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until surface of tortilla begins to bubble and it moves freely when skillet is shaken, about 1 minute.
    4. Flip tortilla over and cook until puffed and bottom is spotty brown, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate and cover with dish towel. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve. (Cooled tortillas can be layered between sheets of clean parchment paper, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

    Makes twelve 8-inch tortillas
    40 minutes, plus 30 minutes refrigerating.

    America’s Test Kitchen, “Cook It in Cast Iron” cookbook

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