Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For Me?!

I have an amazing boyfriend. That's all there is to it.

He sent ME a care package last week. ME! Contents:

(4) boxes Kraft Mac & Cheese (my comfort food)
(3) microwaveable brownie-dealies (oh. my. gosh. so good and so quick)
(1) each, tooth paste and tooth brush (because he knows that all of the care packages that I send include toothpaste because I'm a fiend about brushing)
(2) refills for my bath and body works scent diffuser, Cherry Blossom scented because there is no bath and body works on the Island and he doesn't want my room to smell like my boy housemates' rooms.
(1) most sweetest letter ever. (yes, I know that is terrible grammar. I don't care. See? Punctuation in parentheses...)

How incredibly wonderful, and it was such great timing- it arrived on Friday and I had just gotten out of a class that made me question my entire graduate school existence as I had spent three hours being completely lost in a discussion about the battle tactics of Alexander the Great that everyone else was seeming to follow. He is so sweet, so very very good to me.

Also- good news- he says now that they are not going to kick him out until after Thanksgiving... Whoo Hoo! Super Secret Army Land, here I come! (No- not really, we probably won't even go on base if any of you censor people are reading this, I promise!)

Friday, October 26, 2007

So Proud of Myself...

That I called Ranger Man as soon as I got home tonight (after midnight his time- I knew he was in bed) to let him know how excited I was that I made nice with "a wife." Not so much excited that she was nice to me, because she seemed like she was a decent human being... but I was proud that I wasn't scared off by the fact that she is a wife, and I actually told her about Ranger Man. I don't think that it is actually that wives are mean- it's just that I'm scared of them... they could be mean. There are enough mean ones out there... Plus, he's been home long enough (two months yesterday), that I think I'm finally calming down and coming out of protective introverted deployment mode. So this woman, who I've been literally scared of all semester, her husband (who just got back from deployment about a week ago) sat in on a class tonight, and they gave me a ride home, and it was nice. First of all it was nice to talk to Army people and not Marines. Not that it's a huge difference, but we could talk about installation names and be on the same page- it was nice. Secondly, their situation is similar enough to ours that it was kind of comforting to think that I may not be as crazy as I thought- they're married, but him being home is the first time that they are living together, because they didn't get to see each other much before either. Hmm.
Anyways- I was proud of myself. Just wanted to share.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An Idea!

Okay, so I have an idea to help Ranger Man. It will require the cooperation of his best friend (female) who doesn't like me (and, well... the feeling might be mutual and completely valid on both sides I might add), and his family (I've met his parents once), but I think it will be worth it. In SA, Angels put together postcard books sometimes for their soldiers, with postcards from all over the country. So I'm kind of going to go with that idea, and get postcards from his friends and family, of places he would enjoy- and on the back, a brief word of encouragement, etc... and a joke, to make him laugh.
Cutesy for Big Bad Ranger Man? yes... but I don't know what else to do.

Phones, again!

Why is it that when phone lines die- it's always at the worst possible time? No matter where they originate from, when they die, they die in a flamboyant and fantastic sort of manner...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

(dis) Couragement

How do you convince someone to believe in them self?

When Ranger Man went to Ranger School he was convinced that he could do all three phases in one try and he knew it was going to suck and it was going to be hard, but he was convinced that he would do it. He believed in himself, and it was easy to facilitate that belief and confidence and help him.

With this school though, he is out of his element. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that he is discouraged. It's much harder to convince him that he's awesome and amazing and will do a fantastic job when he absolutely doesn't believe it himself. Plus it's hard over the phone or through letters. I can tell him that he's wonderful, but there's no one to show him that he's wonderful, and there is a big difference. So I talk to him and I write to him and we make plans for when we get to see each other again. On the one hand- I've told him that whether or not he completes this course doesn't make any bit of difference to me, because he'll still be him. But on the other hand, I know that it would be horrible for him to not pass.

So I'm not sure what else to do, other than more of the same. What I want to do is bake him a cake, but I'm not sure how that would mail... I think baked goods make everything all better.

On the bright side, only 30 more days until Thanksgiving... (not that I'm counting, or anything)

Lt Murphy

I have had my parents buy me current copies of the NY Times to send to me both today and yesterday to see if maybe- just maybe they didn't drop the ball so badly on this one? (And partly because this is a great case study for my ethics class) Nothing on their web site, you'd think they'd have to print something, right? Anyone know? If only people on this Island read the Times- I haven't seen a current edition in about two weeks!

NY Times- The Dreamscape of Nightmares

The NY Times has an interesting article about dreams... leaving me with much food for thought.

"Few of us suffer from nightmares crippling and persistent enough to demand treatment." Yeah, well- some of us have, and trust me it's not fun. Especially when they still can't figure out why, and so instead your shrink tells you to A) stay away from any kind of news (what, am I supposed to live under a rock?) and B) fundamentally change who I am as a person and my goals in life, because I shouldn't read books about war and violence. Seriously? On the bright side, he wrote me a prescription for some pills that do help me sleep- for the first time in my life I am getting a full night's sleep at night, and I am not afraid to go to sleep.

The formal definition of nightmares- bad dreams that wake you up. Cool. Now if there was only something they could do about it... But the fact that most of our dreams are bad? That's awesome! Not because I think everyone should have bad dreams, but it means that I am not so incredibly psychotic after all in the fact that I have never had a good dream. Everyone else is just in denial- that's perfect. Granted, once or twice a month would generally be a drastic reduction for me, but still I do feel a teensy bit validated.

Also- I can remember being 5 or 6 (at the oldest, it may have been younger) and being awoken by the same nightmare night after night after night. Mine actually seemed to decrease when I was a teen, which is consistent with the fact that I also don't dream if I'm going through something huge emotionally. Being a teenager wasn't exactly fun for me. However, now that I'm in my twenties, apparently my body thinks I can handle it again. Thank you body.

I thought the bit about being paralyzed during REM sleep was interesting. One of my exes- the stupid firefighter- also had crazy dreams like me (that's why we thought we were perfect for each other, we were the same kind of crazy), but he also had a tendency to do ... things in his sleep. Apparently he had in the past hit one of his ex-girlfriends, and I can tell you from experience that he did other things in his sleep too, things that you really need to be awake to enjoy. And he would have no recollection of any of it in the morning. That is not good for a girl's self-esteem. Maybe he just didn't get into REM sleep enough...

"Fear extinction memories..." interesting. I will buy this if they will allow this caveat: maybe I manufacture my own memories. Watching scary movies, or things of that nature- if those can give me the kind of memories that I need to work out in dreams than this may work.

I also like their point about a bad dream (where you stay asleep) being good and productive, while a nightmare is not because your mind doesn't get any resolution. I pretty much always wake up, but I know that there are some days that I can feel I'm going to have dreams, and definitely after a doozy I feel ill for a whole day afterwards. Part terror at the prospect of going back to sleep, part exhaustion and partly due to the fact that I usually spend the next day reliving the dream also.

All in all, it was a very interesting article to someone like me.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Facebook etiquette?

I have a myspace account- to keep in touch with my soldiers... although I did not do that willingly, I did it.

For school, there is a program facebook page- so I think I got myself a facebook thingy too. I have no idea how to use it or anything, but I have one.

So I get an email today, from someone wanting to be my 'friend' or whatever it is on facebook... the guy that blew me off the night of my high school freshman homecoming dance (literally- the guy was only there for the first 45 minutes, then he disappeared. I found out the next week that he went bowling)

Is there some sort of etiquette on facebook or myspace or whatever? I mean, it's not that I have any hard feelings toward they guy- there were some exigent circumstances that were subsequently illuminated that I understand. However, still- this was merely the first guy i a long - LONG serious of getting stood up, getting blown off, and my personal favorite when a guy showed up for what I thought was a date with me, and brought his girlfriend. I know that he didn't really have any sort of influence on the number of guys that did subsequent dirtbag type things to me, and actually meant them to be dirtbag things in some instances... but still, in my mind he will always be the first. And so you can imagine that he's actually not one of my most favorite people to think about.

It was just weird.

Not to mention that scrolling through his friends- most of them were my so-called friends in high school... whew, what a trip down memory lane! What a weird day...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thank Goodness!

It seems that the democrats on Capitol Hill have finally realized that maybe now might not be the best time to alienate Turkey.
Yes- The Atrocities that occurred should rightfully be classified as genocide, according to historians, however... now is not the time to lose Turkey as an ally.

The Kite Runner continues...

And the saga continues... Fox presents the perspective of Khaled Hosseini, the author of the book.
The drama isn't thickening, it's just cementing itself as fascinating (obviously I'm quite interested in this- possibly to the point of obsession)- but this is a brand new phenomenon. I mean, when in the past would this have occurred, first of all- and second of all, when would anybody have cared? I think it's incredibly interesting.
Finally, I have to say that just about all the reports I've read about this have been incredibly non-biased. No one seems to be blaming the boys' families, or the studio... and this fact in and of itself is quite amazing.


So... I told Ranger Man about my blog (I figured that since he was kind of a focal point, and this is public domain and all, he probably had a right to know)... and then I get a message today saying that he had a list of three things he wanted to talk to me about- one of which being my blog (although he stumbled with the wording), and then when I finally got a chance to call him back after class it was late his time because of the time difference. So he was trying to whisper to not wake his roommate, and if you've ever tried to listen to someone trying to talk to you in a whisper via cell phone- you can relate to what a horribly frustrating experience it is, so I told him that I would talk to him tomorrow, when he could actually use a normal speaking voice on the phone.
And now I am waiting. Wow - that was quite an impressive stream of consciousness. I'm just a teensy bit concerned about what he's going to say. Mostly because I have no idea what it's going to be... Hence the hardly-coherent train(wreck?) of thought.

UPDATE: Here's the scoop- apparently he read the posts about him, and then decided that it was just a little too weird, so he said that he wasn't going to read it anymore unless I was there with him... He did say that he was laughing about the Pillow post though. what a goofball.

Friday, October 12, 2007

How Horrible.

I realized today that I am not a good Army Girlfriend. Not because I don't support him- because I write a letter to him every night and he's not even deployed... Not because I moved to Hawaii while he was deployed (well, not today anyways)...

Because I am terrified of and horrible at PowerPoint.

If you have any sort of connection at all to the Army, should it just kind of come by osmosis or something that Powerpoint is workable? I made a presentation for school. Five Slides. A grand total of about 32 words, and it took me three hours of cajoling and cursing. well, mild cursing... maybe just exclamations- but still! And then- I still wasn't convinced it was going to work, so I emailed a copy of it to the rest of my group, put it on one of those memory drive thingys (what are they called?) and emailed it to myself. If I had a blank CD, I would put it on one of those too... good grief, that should not be the hardest part of the class!

I feel so inept.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Marines to A-Stan, Soldiers to Iraq?

Check out this article from the NY Times.

Move all Marines to A-Stan and Army to Iraq? That is really interesting. Send the marines to the place where they're assured funding, relegate the Army to the unpopular - but bigger - war... hm. It sounds like it's a real, honest to goodness serious proposal? I have no sources at the Pentagon to confirm or deny, but I sure as heck wish I did right now.

The implications would be pretty incredible. I mean, think about how many more KIAs are in Iraq than A-Stan... Could it go so far as to backslide to Vietnam era stereotypes? Is it possible that the only thing keeping the "support the troops" mantra going for the left is Afghanistan? And if so, if you could distinguish between the troops doing what is perceived as good things- in A-Stan from the "bad war" soldiers in Iraq, would admitting you were a soldier lead to people calling you a baby killer or spitting on you?

Maybe it's taking things to the extreme, but maybe not. Truly, maybe not. Also, is there enough infantry in the Army trained in counter insurgency/urban warfare to do the same work as the Marines are doing? I'm not trying to pass judgment on one branch or the other, but the Marines have been a small war machine since their inception, while the Army is arguably still trying to make that transition.

So, I guess for those reasons, I have a hard time believing that this is a real honest to goodness being considered option at the Pentagon. but, what do I know?

Good News!

While I am really, really trying not to get my hopes up too much, it isn't working... Hopefully I will be able to see Ranger Man over Thanksgiving AND Christmas. It almost seems too good to be true. He's planning on flying me out to see him over Thanksgiving, and I have no idea where I'm going to be for Christmas, but he's planning on being wherever that is too. I can't wait!
Also- luck of lucks, I won't be with him for his actual birthday, but it'll be close. What fun!

Monday, October 8, 2007

I am not sane.

I was not allowed to watch The Wizard of Oz until I was in High School, and only then because I had to watch if for a class. Why? Because my mother is a very smart woman and she knows that I have bad dreams and that flying monkeys and green witches may not have been the best thing to assault my brain with.
So why, then, knowing that, have I consciously chosen to focus a good deal of my studies on film? Why did I just submit a proposal to a professor to write a research paper on the implications of the portrayal of genocide in motion pictures? There's a reason that I haven't seen any of the movies that I referenced in my proposal... Hotel Rwanda, Schindler's List... maybe I should just give up on sleeping for the rest of the semester. I'm completely crazy...
On the sweeter side, Ranger Man said "just bring them here for Thanksgiving, and we'll watch them together..." too bad I can't wait that long.

looks like my proposal was shot down... well, not so much shot down but I was given the "you can do it, but it'll be difficult, I've seen people try, and no one succeeds..." speech from Professor H. last night. bleh. Now I have to figure out what to write about, looks like I'm not going to be able to get around writing a historical research paper -- eek! I don't know HOW to write a historical research paper!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Too Hot.

I am ssoo not cut out for this whole tropical climate thing... It is too hot to do anything.

This whole week was overcast, so it was bearable, but today the sun was back, and I acted like a slug all day. Plus, I'm all out of Otter Pops, which I truly thank God for... his gift to the starving college students of hot places. (That was not at all disrespectful, I am truly thankful for Otter Pops.)

And the roommies and I are due to have dinner at the Landlord's house tonight- is that weird? I'm not sure... on the one hand I will have a square meal, which I haven't had in a while, but on the other hand - awkward! Plus, I should be doing a ton of reading, etc that I didn't do today because it was too hot to concentrate... the roommies have pledged to do their best to keep this as brief as possible. I hope it works out that way.

Boys are Weird.

Ranger Man and I have been tossing back and forth the idea of getting married for a bit now. I don't want to go through another deployment as a girlfriend, and well- he's still trying to get used to the fact that he's got a girlfriend... so it's been interesting, to say the least. But even before his school had started I'd really backed off- I mean, obviously, I can't force him to do anything, and why would I want to? I had made my point, we had some discussion, and I was going to let it be. And now that he's mega-stressed, I was really not even worried about it at all. He can't get deported again until he's done at school, so I don't need to worry about it right now...

Today, we were talking about the copious amounts of books that I'm collecting, and how I wasn't looking forward to moving... and he said (I'm quoting, because yes, I asked him to repeat this...) "Well by that time maybe your hubby will be able to help." My what?! I thought that I was just a girlfriend? I was getting used to the girlfriend idea. It is not nice to tease girls that way! Not that I'm obsessing about it... but really... that was the most bizarre thing for him to say. what a weirdo.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Kite Runner- Part 2

Here is an update (via NYT) on the situation with the filming of The Kite Runner. Well, I suppose not the filming, but the poor kid that got drafted to play Hassan. He's not such a poor kid any more I guess. I just think this whole situation is fascinating, and I wish that I knew more about it. What did the contracts say? Is it true that the families didn't receive a script? In short- it seems that both sides have a lot to gain by deception, either in the beginning as the family says, or now as the family wants out of A-Stan... It's just fascinating.

On the other hand, reading the book was traumatic enough for me, I'm not sure if I could ever see a movie about it...

The letter writing brigade (me!)

Ranger Man is trying so hard, and I wish that I could help him... but of course what can I do, even if we were married there wouldn't be anything that I could do- so I regress back to what I do best... writing letters. I am a heck of a letter writer, let me tell you. The poor guy is probably going to be mortified- it's one thing to get bright pink letters from your girlfriend when you're deployed, is it something else when you're at school? Is it still a good thing, or is it a bad thing? I'm not sure. Either way, he didn't tell me to stop sending them, thus I will continue, I suppose. I just hope they're enough!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


One of the things that I always forget about, until it happens, during a deployment or TDY is how much I like saying good night to Ranger Man, and hearing him say Good Night to me before I go to sleep. When you're a crazy insomniac with scary dreams, you tend to rely on positive routines in order to fall asleep at night (because really, is there any other motivation?), and my routine which was oh so nice has been.... suspended for the time being, again. Hooah.

Because of some significant spatial/location issues, it is extremely rare that Ranger Man and I get to say our good nights in person, so it is normally by phone anyways, but it is definitely something that I have gotten used to and it is one of the first things that is hitting me about this super secret Army school... I miss saying good night, and hearing it. It's just not the same coming from my Roommates...

Unlike the last few weeks/months, he is busy. I know that he isn't "deported" Which is our euphemism (I'll save that for a later post) for deployment, I know that he's safe and he's going to be safe for the whole time he's there, but at the same time, his cell phone is very turned off most of the time (he made sure to tell me that would be the case, so that I could stop worrying...), and even when he can talk, he's tired and it's deportment mode for me on the phone- everything is happy and fine and nothing is wrong...

There are of course, other things that I miss too, but that is the one that I can put into words the most concretely. It's a little difficult to explain, but there is something innately comforting to talk to the one you love right before you go to sleep, even if it is always just by phone. However, it looks like for the next few months, I am on my own for the good nights. Maybe we can tape-record it and I could listen to it before bed...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Financial Aid Woes

I have spent (so far) six full weeks being yanked around by Financial Aid... And there is no end in sight. Six weeks ago they told me everything was in order, they were just waiting for the funds to come through... last friday when I still hadn't seen anything, I was (rudely) told that I needed to verify I'd received my BA -- What? So the transcript that I paid $20 for and sent in with my application doesn't count? When I explained to them that they merely needed to read my transcript and they would determine that it did indeed reflect the award of my degree, I was then assured that everything was fine, and it would be 1-2 weeks and I would see the check...

I got another bill yesterday. I called this morning and was shooed off the phone with the same "we're just waiting for the funds" routine that I got six weeks ago! Oh. My. Gosh. I don't know if Financial Aid is really that hard, or if this is more evidence of the delight-fulness of this Island...