Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Don't want to talk about it!

I'm tired of talking about it.

(warning: not happy, not upbeat and not positive. Probably not fit for public consumption, but I've got to get it out of my system)

Ranger Man is leaving again soon- and until he separates from the Army (in 2011), he won't be home for more than 6 weeks at a stretch. And let's face it- 6 weeks is extraordinarily optimistic.

Yes, I know he's getting deployed. I realize that. I don't know where he's going and I don't know how long he's going to be gone. I don't want to talk about it any more. I'm tired of people giving me 'the look'- you know, the combination pity/you must be crazy look? I'm tired of hearing him say "they give me enough body armor and weapons to take over a small country by myself" when people ask him if he's got what he needs, and I'm tired of the BS that he spews that he's just going to sit in front of a computer and write reports. Yeah hon- that's why you need a beard. right.

I'm tired of explaining that even when he does get back (whenever that may be), he's going back to Super-Secret-Army-Land again and then he's getting deployed again and then he's got more training etc etc. I don't want to talk about it. I'm tired of his mom using it as a guilt trip to try to get Ranger Man and his brother to spend more time together.

My coping mechanism is denial and avoidance. I just want to spend today like today and deal with later, later. I don't need to be reminded that I'm spending the next three years alone.

And to top it all off, I can't even knit anymore- too much knitting, typing and clutching books has led to a nasty carpal tunnel flare up and knitting makes my hands want to cry.

Oh, and my prof moved around the due dates for our winter interim class, so I have a ton of reading and writing to get done before Sunday- and we'll spend all day friday and saturday in the car (I get wicked bad carsick with any sort of reading), and tomorrow is supposed to be a family thing for New Years. I told them I don't know if I can go because I've already lost two days this week where I can work. So what am I doing this New Year's Eve? I'm all alone with a book about Verdun in WWI. awesome.

Worst. Holidays. Ever.

My earlier post was incorrect. I do want to talk about it.... I'll probably just edit the other one as to not clog up anybody's feed-reader with my ramblings and rantings. So starting now is actually a second post- but the "not suitable for public consumption" warning from above still applies.

While Ranger Man was at his last school (the one that was on post and he mostly got to come home on the weekends), one of the times that he left he made a comment that made me feel better.

He said "You know, I thought leaving you would get easier- that I would get used to it. But it doesn't."

That made me feel better. It made me feel like I wasn't the only one feeling my way through separation- even if it was only a work week at a time.

Most of the time, I get nothing. It's just... all of a sudden one day he's gone. Since he's still got stuff in his barracks room, I don't even see him pack- which makes it even more surreal that he's gone. Just... *poof* I'm dropping him off at the airport, or the ER, or what-have-you. And then it's just Webster and I. There's no change in emotions for him as he prepares to leave, there's no discussion of what it'll be like, or contingency plans, or heck even plans for whenever he gets back- just gone.

Of course it's not like that for me. I can't stop thinking about it. He gets to move upward and onward, but back home everything stands still where his clothes are still in the closet and his dishes will most likely still be in the sink. All I want is to be near him- to feel that he's still here and to know that I'm not alone yet. But in his mind, he's not gone, so no alternate course of action is needed. (here is where my denial comes in to play). He doesn't understand why I really need him to at the very least (when I'm not seeing him during the day because he's doing whatever with his parents and I'm stuck doing classwork which needs quiet and alone) be here in bed with me when I fall asleep. Soon enough I will have to do that by myself, but for now- is it too much to ask that he come to bed when I do?

I just want him to act like he cares that he's not going to be around. I don't want to be the only one that cares. I understand there's nothing we can do about it, and that it is the way it is, but why can't we make the most of it?

So I do want to talk about it- I just only want to talk about it with him, not people who don't have a clue- and I want to do it without the bravado and Ranger machismo. Every once in a while the human side of him overpowers the Ranger side of him, and this is one of those times that I am really missing the human side.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Little Blue Diplomacy

Um. Read this.

Newest tool for winning over Afghans? Viagra.

My question: What happens to the rape rate after these 'gifts' are offered? (not, of course, that rape would regularly get reported there anyways...)

There is part of me that truly agrees that commodities such as this are much more effective agents of soft power than cash. This is actually quite a large part of me. You can't possibly finance (or arm with hard weapons) anything bad, and the connection you make is probably much more personal and real with your asset. However... at what cost does encouraging dirty old men to have more sex? How appreciative are their four wives, and are they sticking to only their wives?

Does doling out viagra inadvertently lead to an Afghanistan where women become even more oppressed?



And about the other stuff- I still don't want to talk about it. At least the internet router is turned back on in this house and I can connect to the outside world again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Not posting

I'm not posting because I don't have anything good to say. The happiness about being able to wear my socks lasted all of about 10 minutes and since then all I can think about is going home to Georgia. And most people who have been to Georgia will probably attest to the fact that me wanting to go back there is a testament to just how miserable I am here.

I started a post the other day, but I have a feeling it is pretty whiney, so I didn't post it. I keep telling Ranger Man that it wouldn't be so bad being here where EVERYTHING is 100% different than what I've known before if at least what I knew before still existed. Or, if he weren't a different person when he was around his parents. Not different in a bad way, just different from when we're along (duh, right?) but it's just more that's different and that makes it even harder.

And then Loquita wrote something today that reminded me why else I'm so miserable:

This is it, as soon as we get home from what feels (to me) like the trip from hell, he's going to be gone. I have no idea how long he'll be gone, I have no idea where he's going, and I have no idea what he's doing other than he needs a beard to do it. And he's been gone... and now we're here... and then he's going to be gone again.

I want to have a selfish ME!ME!ME!ME! pity party right now. So I just stay cooped up in one little bedroom, and he says I'm being anti-social, but I figure that's better than what I see as the probably alternatives which are a) bursting into tears at random intervals b) opening my mouth and saying something to someone I'll really regret, or c) making some sort of huge social faux pas that seems likely because I've never felt more like a backwards country-bumpkin before in my life.

OMG- she just took our dirty clothes. You've got to be kidding me. She does not need to wash my underwear. I feel like I'm in hell. What am I supposed to do, say um, no, don't wash my underwear? And how on Earth did he tell her that was all right? He knows that I don't like washing my clothes in the laundry mat because I hate it when other people SEE my underwear. So letting someone touch my underwear is okay? AAAACK.

For not posting, this sure was long.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Whine and whine

Okay, I changed my mind. After the laundry incident, I have to vent and whine.

This harder than I thought.

It's not that Ranger Man's parent's aren't lovely, because they are and they're nothing but nice to me. But they're not my parents. And my 'parents' as a unit don't exist anymore, so quite frankly seeing people being all family-family makes me feel rather ill.

And that's not just it either. We know how Ranger Man loves his food and he's very concerned with the presentation of the plate etc, right? Keep that in mind.

At work a few weeks ago, we had some professional development and we took a class on race relations. Intrinsically, when talking about race relations you must also talk about class- and there was one part of the discussion that hit home. Some of the materials we received had a table that compared attitudes toward different things among different classes- one was food. People who belong to a lower class tend to focus on the quantity of food they have i.e. do they have enough. Middle class on the other hand tends to focus on the quality of the food i.e. do they have good food. Upper class people have the luxury of not having to worry about quality or quantity thus they are more concerned with the presentation, or the look of their food.

We know where Ranger Man falls on the spectrum... I'm not there. I grew up pretty solidly on the lower end of middle class. We always had what we needed, but we didn't really have anything else. It's really weird for me to be here, not just because everything feels wrong with my family, but because I feel so out of place.

His mom has all of these plans for my birthday. Starting with moving it up a day so we have time to "recover" in time for Christmas. umm... what? She has plans to take me to a yarn store and buying me yarn, and then going to some store that only sells cakes and buying me a cake and then some uber-fancy dinner at an uber-fancy restaurant with Ranger Man's brother (they don't even like each other!) and his girlfriend. I've never met either of them. Its freezing, I don't have anything to wear, and I certainly don't have anything WARM and appropriate to wear, so instead I freeze to death and am the most uncomfortable I've ever been in my life.

They're loud- maybe it's because I grew up in a smaller house, maybe I just have a quieter family, but raised voices scare the crap out of me, and all they do is yell across the house. It's not good.

There's all this talk about all this people coming for Christmas, and going here and there and having dinner with this group of people and that... first of all, I hate meeting new people. And when I do, it is imperative to take a day or two of time spent alone in my room with the door shut hiding from new things to feel like normal again. So essentially, I've gotten myself into a situation of two straight weeks of nothing but the most anxiety inducing thing I can think of, with no way to recover.

Oh yeah, and the noise and the yelling? Makes it impossible to get my reading done for school.

Happiness

Happiness Is...

Having an excuse to wear my hand-knitted socks. Not just an excuse- a need! It's cold here!

Well-- one that's not AC induced anyways. And when I go out, I will wear my new hand-knitted cowl (omg, I love Dream in Color Classy!).

Ranger Man adapted very well to travelling with a girl and a cat rather than travelling all by himself and driving for 15 hours straight. Now I just need to pry him away from his mother's kitchen long enough to fully cat-proof the house so I can get some writing done!

Friday, December 19, 2008

More Ornaments!

I posted about only having one ornament (which btw, wasn't meant to be whiney...) and I had a box waiting for me from my Grandma with two more ornaments in it. And chocolate. And a gift card which is totally being used to buy yarn. win-win-win scenario.

Anyways, now we have three ornaments for our tree, but we're not staying here (which is another reason I didn't put too much effort into the tree)- we're off today to PA. I'm going fro 80 degree weather to 30 degree weather in less than 20 hours- it should be great fun. Wish us luck with Webster in the car for the 14 hour drive...

Ho Ho Ho

I finally finished the socks for Ranger Man's uncle and his wife (presumably Ranger Man's Aunt?) who sent us the large boxes of stuff for our kitchen.

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I also made a set of teeny, tiny mittens (the one ornament on our tree) out of a tiny ball of worsted-weight wollmeise that came with the December Sock Club package. Yes, our tree is kind of bare, but it's okay, there's always next year. This year paper writing came before making ornaments, and I am not a fan of buying ornaments for the tree.

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So we have the tree (with one ornament), lights on the tree, and some lights around our sliding glass door. The only other Christmas decorations that we managed are a tiny Santa tea-light holder and a Christmas tree cookie tin. Ho, Ho, Ho.


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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Guilt

Warning: This is probably going to be a downer...

Normally, I love Christmas. My birthday is Christmas Eve, which means my whole family would get together for two whole days of wonderfulness. (Keep in mind my 'whole family' always consisted of my parents and my lil bro and my Grandma and Grandpa when he was alive and Josie, who is like my second Grandma but actually like my Great Aunt or something). Everyone was happy, almost every single ornament on our tree was made by us (mostly my mom)- including the one that is just a simple star covered in tin foil from the days when my parents couldn't afford anything else.

There would be cookies and smiles and everything would smell wonderful. We would pick out a tree together and we had special food (including leaving birthday cake for Santa instead of cookies), and everyone was nice to each other and happy for two whole days. It was so great.

One of the first things that I was sad about when my mom left last February was that there was no way Christmas would ever be the same. Well, specifically at that time I felt like she'd been lying to me for te last 23 years at Christmas time when everything was wonderful... but when your traditions center so much around togetherness, and all of a sudden you aren't together any more-- She took away Christmas.

So it's been really hard this year, I've tried to 'get into the spirit,' but it's not been easy. Ranger Man has tried to help, but his family is so completely different than mine that it's hard for his perspective to sink in. Last weekend was better as we got a little tree and I made little mitten ornaments and we baked some cookies, but it still feels crappy that what was wonderful about Christmas- that everyone is together- can never happen again. Christmas is broken and I don't know how to fix it.

But at least that was just me feeling crappy and sorry for myself. I got an email from my dad this morning which started talking about the snow they received over the weekend, and he said "There's not much Christmas spirit here with lil bro and I."

Geez. My dad is second only to me in his love of Christmas. He starts humming carols in July, and I've never seen him happier than when he gets to sort out the presents to who gets what on Christmas morning. So now, along with feeling crappy and sorry for myself, I feel guilty that I'm not at home trying to make them feel better, and in turn probably making everybody feel crappier and sadder. I made a pretty conscious decision to leave and not to be responsible for my parents' happiness or well-being. They're not that old, and if they're not going to try to work on their marriage, then why should I bend over backwards to work on anything else? They're they ones that broke the family, I'm not going to put it together.

Does my brother need to be caught up in all that? no. But is he old enough to leave if he wanted? yes. He's turning 19 in January, he's staying of his own choice.

So why do I feel so guilty that I'm not there wallowing with them?

We're going to go see Ranger Man's family. I can use the (true) excuse that I don't want to leave Webster, and driving to PA from GA is a long drive, but we can take Webster, where I really don't want to put the cat back on a plane again. Plus- people probably aren't going to be bummed and sad and screwed up there, and the only guilt will be self-inflicted.

I really just needed to write that all out- no resolution, moral or happy ending (yet, I guess), but man what a guilt trip.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I hate beards

There's a reason that every guy I've ever dated (with very few exceptions) was either a soldier or a firefighter. Besides the obviously masochism in having relationships with boys that I never see and the obvious hot men in uniform thing... I am a fan of clean shaven men. I don't like long hair and I don't like prickly beards.

Friday was the last day that Ranger Man had to shave for work. This is sad partly because I hate beards. Mostly it's sad because his job now (after Super Secret Army Land combined with all the other various schools he's been at in the last 36 months) requires that he has a beard when he gets 'deported' - (I just realized, via a search, that I never explained how that euphemism came about? sorry guys, it'll be forthcoming, I promise).

He has to have a beard. Which means that his job just went up a notch or two on the dangerous scale. And the beard growing has already started, so we're definitely getting closer. No wonder I hate beards.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What I learned today

I learned today that HPD does a fantastic job directing traffic when there's something wrong with the traffic lights. The cops here- not so much. They stand on the side of the road and kind of watch the craziness that is major intersections not regulated by traffic signals. Also- the road that I take to get home is apparently on several different power grids because about every other light was out. Apparently in Georgia the law is actually that if the light is out at an intersection you are supposed to treat it like a four-way stop. That's what I thought... but that is surely not what happens and it is kind of scary because there are a lot of cars going a lot of directions in no particular order. Good grief.

I learned that there's nothing to do at my job if there's no power and the college will therefore close.

I learned that as much research as I've done for this stupid paper- it doesn't matter if I don't have a thesis. My papers actually need to have a point and not be random analysis.

I think I have a start on the thesis, but more knitting and cookies will be needed in order to cement it and make it really great. Webster and I just took a nap and that definitely helped- I'm feeling much more clear-headed now.

I am also really, really glad that I don't have to take any sort of exams. I hate exams and all of the stress that comes with them, I'd much rather have the less intense but longer term stress of having a gimondo research paper to write. It's easier on me.

So far, that's all I've learned today. Hopefully the rest of the day will be devoted to sharing my brilliant insight through writing this paper (ha).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Dead Week

I should be writing.

I actually really like what I'm writing about- and I'm excited about the paper that has yet to be written... but instead I'm baking cookies. and knitting. The paper's not due until midnight Island Time on Monday- I've got plenty of time.

Besides- I need the cookies for brain food to help the writing, right?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mystic Ice, take 2

Remember the Malabrigo?

I decided it would be better for Mystic Ice. I started with the other yarn (the tencel), but I was not so convinced that I liked how it was turning out- so I frogged it all and re-cast on with the Malabrigo, and I am sooo happy with this. And it's so soft, too!

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As always, excuse the lifelines.

What should I be doing right now? Working on my last final paper. Instead I was taking pictures of my knitting... sigh.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Library-ish stuff

(cross my fingers, hope the embedding thing worked)

I am so using this in my library orientations from now on.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Early Christmas

We went out on Black Friday- the only time I've ever gone shopping on Black Friday and it was so worth it. We got a washer and dryer! Sears had some amazing deals that I'd been watching for weeks. We ended up getting the pair for about what it would have cost for just the washer regularly! I am so excited that I can finally do my own laundry in my own home without having to go to the laundry room to do it- I hate it when strangers can see my underwear!

I can't even find the washer or the dryer on the Sears website any more, otherwise I'd add a link.

All in all on Friday we went to Sears, Jo-Anns, Starbucks and the grocery store. Obviously the grocery store was deserted the day after Thanksgiving, and Jo-Anns was much less crowded than Sears- which still wasn't that bad... But the Starbucks was insane. Holy cow apparently people need to be caffeinated to shop (which I get), but the Starbucks people were just not equipped for the onslaught- I bet we waited more than ten minutes after placing our order before getting our first drink and another five minutes after that to get the second one. We had a grand time talking and people-watching in the meantime, but I did think it was interesting that of Sears and Starbucks, Starbucks won the Crazy Black Friday Crowd award, in my book.

Oh, and we saw Dark Knight yesterday. Ranger Man loved it and I closed my eyes and bawled through the whole thing. If there hadn't been people sitting on either side of us, I probably would have gotten up and waited in the lobby. Creeped me out much to much. It was fun to go to the movies though, like a date or something!

And because I really have nothing exciting (besides the laundry machines!) to say... Here's some Georgia Tree-Action!

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Google's funny!

I am not the only person who gets creeped out by random friend requests/what have you on facebook. Someone got to my blog by googling "friend request creeped out" of course, for a while there, I was getting quite a few hits off of "barracks whore," although it looks like I'm (finally) off the first page of google for that search.

It does make me wonder- what are people actually looking for by typing "barracks whore?" pictures? tips? how to become one? where to find one? It makes me laugh.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Egg Nog, Egg Yuck.

I love Christmas. My birthday is Christmas Eve- so I have always been the worst kind of Christmas nerd. In deference to those around me, I will wait until Thanksgiving, but at that time- the Christmas Carols go on, the Christmas moves get watched... I love it so much. I even love it after 5 years working retail in (gasp) malls for 3 of those years- I'm a diehard. Although, I won't lie- Macy's at Christmas does more than fulfill the need for Christmas songs. But I digress.

So eggnog is sort of Christmas-y, but more simply holiday-y, so I didn't think it was breaking the Thanksgiving rule to get some Eggnog at the store the other night. It was Vanilla Eggnog, which I had never seen anywhere on the West coast, so I was excited to try it. And yum! it's really good. (Sidenote: good in coffee too!).

Downside to this lovely eggnog: Webster also, apparently, thinks it is lovely and when I left my glass on the table to wind the yarn, he hopped up on the table (bad Webster!) and helped himself. Ranger Man and I learned, about ten minutes after we detached the cat from the glass of eggnog- he was really going at it- that kitty tummies and eggnog are not a good combination. Ranger Man now calls it Egg Yuck. Poor Webster.

I'm excited because I've only got two days of work and then a 5 day weekend! My goals for this weekend:
  • Graft the toes on the two pairs of socks that are sitting on my coffee table that are completed except for the grafting.
  • Finish the book I'm reading for my final book review for this semester.
  • At least outline that book review
  • Start reading for this final major paper of the semester
  • Eat lots of pie.

Looks like a good list to me!


Webster before the egg yuck... Ranger Man playing with beads:

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Poor kitty...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nothing exciting here

Work and school (mostly school) and also Ranger Man randomly coming home and randomly going back (again, mostly school) has fried my brain. I have no brain left. So instead, here are some of the pictures from the photography class the other weekend. In the next few weeks there will probably be many more cop-out posts like this one.
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On the other hand, I did finally get the yarn for Mystic Ice wound, and the shawl started. I'm on row 15 (did I mention my brain is fried?).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It must be the end of the Semester...

Because all I can think about is how much reading and writing I have to do, but all I really want to do is wind that skein of tencel laceweight I got in the mail yesterday and start Mystic Ice. It's a very tangled skein right now, although it doesn't look as bad as Cookie's.

Sigh.

On the bright side- I turned in Major Paper #1 for this semester this morning. All that's left is one very minor paper, one book review and Major Paper #2. And I have until 12/10. That's only 7ish books that I need to read between now and then and who knows how many articles. That's probably do-able.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Secession.

Secession? People are talking about secession? Is it bad that reading that article kind of made me giggle?

For the record: I live in Georgia, and I haven't heard anyone talk about secession. But- I also stay out of the 'country' parts of town (not really sure where they are, but I stay away none the less).

But then I was thinking: What if it's not just MSM crazy over-reacting yellow reporting? Theoretically, what would secession look like in 2009? And how on earth would I avoid it and get back to the land of the Yankee? What would they do with all the soldiers on post? Would every single member of the US Armed forces stationed south of the Mason-Dixon (or its 2009 equivalent) line be moved North of the line? Logistically, how is the possible? Do they know how long that would take?

Apparently I've been a little too engrossed with schoolwork lately, because once I actually started thinking about that, it was quite an interesting proposition. Silly and giggle-prompting yes, but still interesting.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The silver lining

Really- yesterday was horrible and I don't care to repeat it. I'm a worrier anyways, and when there really is something to worry about, it isn't pleasant.

But, throughout the whole thing, when he was sick and when we went to the hospital, I kept thinking to myself "I'm so glad that I'm here and he doesn't have to be by himself." I told him that yesterday when we (briefly) talked on the phone. Not that this made it all worth it or anything, but he replied to me that he felt the same way- that he was glad I was there too. It sounds sappy, but that was a really validating and wonderful thing to hear. Sometimes I'm afraid that he just takes care of me, and that I'm just along for the ride and it was really great to be able to help him, and for him to really recognize and feel that I could do something so tangible and concrete for him. But as great as it was, it wasn't great enough to wish that sort of situation on us on a regular basis. No thank you. Still, it was a nice ending to an icky day, a silver lining in a really dark cloud.

I'm still pretty sleepy, maybe later this weekend I'll write about the guy I met in the ER... it was an interesting night.

He's Okay.

He called last night. He didn't have to go back to the hospital or anything yesterday. He can call every once in a while, and the best part of all- he gets to come home on Sundays!

Thank you all so much for your hugs and well wishes- as long as he can take care of himself enough to stay out of the hospital for the rest of the week, he'll be back home this weekend and I can take care of him the right way!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Craptastic GoodBye

Okay, I'm going to try to explain what happened. One, because it's kind of sucky and misery loves company and two because I feel so frustrated that I'm hoping for some catharsis.

Ranger Man was supposed to report to his course today, and it sounds like they were kicking it off with a PT test. Ranger Man was really nervous about this course, because although it's a regular Army course, he's still required to uphold Ranger standards and expected to pass with flying colors. Unfortunately, he's been sitting in classrooms for the last year, and not working out or doing field problems so he has been a little nervous.

We went to bed around 9 last night, and he felt fine. He started to say that he was feeling nervous. We were talking and feeling okay about the goodbye and the separation, and right about at ten it was apparent that he wasn't feeling well. It was gross. Let's just say he couldn't keep fluids in his body. Initially he attributed it to nerves, but after a few hours that was obviously not the problem. I rubbed his back and watched him get sicker and sicker from 10 until 3. At 3 he handed me the keys to his truck, with the DoD decals, to drive him to the ER. He must have been really, really ill to even consider letting me drive his baby.

I knew, logically, that he had the flu or food poisoning or something like that and he wasn't dying. That didn't make it much less scary. He's the one that is big and strong and takes care of me. When we were trying to leave, he put his shoes on by the door, I left the room and then re-entered it (less than 2 minutes gone), and he was face down, flat on the floor. I asked him if I should call an ambulance, because if he was collapsing, I wasn't sure if I could get him down the stairs. He was completely white, no color in his face and he was experiencing chills. We outfitted him with a bucket for the car ride, and he made it down the stairs- we were off to the ER.

They set him up in a little room in the ER, ran a line and gave him a total of 3 units of fluid. 3 units is a lot! They gave him an anti-nausea to stop the vomiting and he was finally able to sleep, and the color returned to his face. They discharged him at about 7:30 in the morning, with 48 hours quarters (the doctor's note telling him to stay in bed for two days), and some medication.

In the parking lot, he got on the phone with his bosses, and agreed to stop by 'the office' right then, to discuss what to do. Of course they decided to send him to the course. He has to pass this course in order to get promoted, and the course isn't offered again for another 7 months. If he doesn't get promoted he's (a) kind of stuck professionally for a while and (b) stuck without BAH still for the next seven months. I'm sure there were more reasons, but those are the only two that I'm privy to. So we're off to his barracks room to grab his things, him still feeling like garbage- just not throwing up any more, and smelling like he'd been seriously ill all night, and me really trying to just make sense out of everything that had just happened- when I hadn't gotten any sleep since 24 hours previously.

He dropped me back off here at the apartment and he was off- a hug good bye and that's it. I have no idea when (if?) he'll be able to call, if he's okay, if he did that PT test which probably would land him back in the hospital... Not to mention, I'm praying that I don't get whatever he had.

Is it bad that part of my frustration is because for a good chunk of last night it seemed inconceivable that he would be going to this course. He was supposed to spend today in bed, with Webster, recovering... and I know it's bad that I got my hopes up for that, but I did. As much as I hated that he was sick, it was difficult to be really upset that he might be home for the next few weeks instead of gone. And then, in an instant, that was gone again and I was so tired and worried and so keyed up still from being wound tighter than a drum all night long - it was really hard and frustrating.

I finally got some sleep- I left work early and came home and slept for a while. I'll go back to sleep really soon, because that 28 hours without sleep thing wasn't so much fun.

That is our craptastic good-bye this morning. Really, really awful. It's one thing to say "Good bye, I don't know when I'll talk to you again, but be careful" when you know that he's at least starting out okay. He didn't start out okay, which means I don't know if he's okay now.

Ew Yuck and Sleep

There are some good-byes that are really good- not too sad, well-prepared and looking forward to the hello at the other end.

There are some good-byes that are terrible because of the people involved- egos, sadness and despair.

Then there are some good-byes that suck because of nothing that anyone did, but because of the worst possible timing.

I'm too tired right now- but let me say Ew, Gross, and So So Sleepy right now. Oh, and I have no idea if Ranger Man is okay (as in, in good health) right now. I'd give it a fifty-fifty shot and that's being generous.

On the bright side, I now know how to get to the ER on post.

More later when the words aren't cris-crossing on my screen.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A leaf.

Just a couple pictures from the nature photography class we went to yesterday. We had a fantastic time- although we usually do when we do something together. I started out on my craptastic camera, and then Ranger Man took pity on me and let me use one of his. I don't have any of the pics I took on his cameras on my computer, yet, but here's one of the least icky ones I took with mine. Two more days until he's gone again... luckily I have tomorrow off work too! I'm sure it will be mostly spent packing (unless he does it today), but we'll still have a great day and then I will get back to the grindstone while he's gone again.

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I think that I've done a much better job than I anticipated of keeping up with school while he was here- I was a little afraid that my classes would go way downhill once my wonderful distraction was here, and it's not like I have classes to go to every week for accountability. But I kept just as much on top of things, if not more so, while he was here as I did while he was gone. Getting up with him early in the morning was the perfect time to get stuff done. Now I'm sure that I don't have the willpower to get up at 5 on my own so I'll have to adjust my schedule again and try to find something that works. Hm. Webster is not going to be happy- he liked having me up all morning long!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A Parade!

It's our 'last weekend.' He's not going away away right now, but ugh. He's still leaving again. On the bright side, last weekends are usually filled with fun stuff (and some tears, but mostly fun stuff), so here's a run down of yesterday:

Ranger Man and I happened to be at a bike shop downtown yesterday, and all of a sudden there was a parade marching down the street! No kidding. It was some sort of Masonic get together parade? I am not sure, it wasn't in the paper or anything, but there were Masonic lodges from all over- Chicago, Arkansas, the Bahamas... and it was pretty cool to get to see the parade.

Then we took a walk by the river to see the turtles, it was a beautiful sunny day and the turtles were sunning themselves on rocks. There was one little turtle that was all by himself right up next to the sidewalk and I named him Melvin. I wish I had brought my camera!

We had lunch at a Caribbean restaurant (following the Bahamas theme), and went grocery shopping. It was nice- a real day with just the two of us, no Army stuff to get done, no immediate school deadlines for me, just nice and relaxed. Lots of talking about nothing and just being happy to be together, for once. This school that he's going to isn't so long, it's just a little over a month, so in the grand scheme of things it's not that big of a deal, but it was nice to have a mellow and fun day before he leaves.

Today should be even better. Except for having to do laundry, we're going to take a photography class together. Hopefully I'll have some good pictures to share at the end of the day!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

ahh, somebody likes me!


Loquita gave me a blog award, and said some very nice things about my blog! I'm touched!

I'm supposed to answer the questions with one word, but I don't think that's going to work. One of my undergrad professors told me that I was prone to rhetorical flourishes (he was a journalism teacher and that was a bad thing), and I haven't looked back since. No pithy responses from me! Plus, Ranger Man made me a Lemon Drop and some Mac and Cheese due to my icky day and the Lemon Drop is... well, I'm feeling it!

1. Where is your cell phone? in my purse. No. In my jacket pocket. I called my dad on my way home to whine about being a jerk and making students cry...

2. Where is your significant other? This is so cool- he's right in front of me. I can see him. He's putting together the dresser we got at IKEA last Sunday so we have somewhere to put our clothes. He's also watching some Steven Seagal (sp?) movie or another.

3. Your hair color? My hair isn't sure what color it wants to be. Blondish-reddish? darker underneath? It got pretty blonde while I was on the Island.

4. Your mother? Has turned into a raving lunatic lately.

5. Your father? Is an all around good guy who seems to be much better natured now that he doesn't have to deal with my lunatic mother.

6. Your favorite thing? hm. Ranger Man? Webster? Knitting? I have no idea

7. Your dream last night? It was probably bad. But luckily I don't remember it. All I remember from last night is being really cold and having someone to snuggle with.

8. Your dream/goal? being Dr. KJ, or getting my JD. When I took the LSAT (when I was 19), I promised myself that if I didn't go to law school I would get a PhD and be Dr. KJ. I'm still working on that goal. Then I want to make brilliant contributions to the scholarship in my field.

9. The room you're in? The living room

10. Your hobby? Knitting! (duh)

11. Your fear? edited to not jinx anything.

12. Where do you want to be in six years? See number 8.

13. Where were you last night? here, with Ranger Man. After Arabic class, that is.

14. What you're not? um, sober? the lemon drop is helping me not feel like a jerk, but it's not helping me feel sober.

15. One of your wish list items? hm... a bunch of books for my thesis. Yarn, of course... and I've promised myself that when i finish my thesis I can learn how to spin - so a spindle and fiber. Ranger Man says he's going to make me a wheel (how cool is that?!)

16. Where you grew up? The PNW- practically South Canada

17. The last thing you did? Well, technically I'm participating in an online chat for my Art History class, so hopefully the last thing I did was make a meaningful contribution to my class.

18. What are you wearing? PJs!

19. Your T.V.? Don't have one. So it's my computer. White Macbook.

20. Your pet? Webster (duh) - the King of the House

21. Your computer? see # 19. Working with PCs at work confirms to me almost daily how much I love my mac.

22. Your mood? improving.

23. Missing someone? my mom- I wish she'd come back from crazy land. And my family who's so far away. I'm about to miss Ranger Man, but I have a few days before that happens!

24. Your car? Finally I got one! I love air conditioning in cars!

25. Something you're not wearing? a bra? is that tmi?

26. Favorite store? hm. The Loopy Ewe? haha. no. Seriously.

27. Your Summer? Has lasted FOREVER! come on cold weather, I'm ready for you!

28. Love someone? Of course. And we both deserve it!

29. Your favorite color? well green. But I can't wear green, so blue. but I like green better.

30. When is the last time you laughed? not today. Probably yesterday.

31. Last time you cried? Last weekend, I think. And it was a doozy. But I think I'm feeling better now.



I'm supposed to tag people. I'm going to be a terrible person and not tag anyone specifically- please feel free to consider this your tag... I had a wicked witch of the west day and I don't know how much more telling people to do things I can handle. No more Guilt!



Disclaimer: I apologize if the lemon drop has led to even more typo-s than usual. I do love lemon drops though, they're so yummy!

The Wicked Witch

I'm a jerk.

I made a student cry this afternoon! I'm not even a teacher...

I feel like a jerk. When I used to babysit eons ago, one of my kids called me the "wicked witch of the west." Today I feel like that title would apply again.

I don't think that I was overly harsh- merely realistic, and she deserved to hear what I told her, but at the same time... crying? really?

But then, I found out also that two of the kids that I used to coach have stuck with climbing and have made it to Nationals- that is awesome! One of them, in particular, was the reason that I loved coaching climbing, it allowed the inner-city kids that didn't have much else to look forward to a vision and a purpose and something to be truly good at. I am so happy for them. I obviously don't take any of the credit, I just taught them a very, very little- my colleague, ~M~, has apparently continued to carry the torch and do amazing work. That made me feel a little better, but I still feel like a jerk.

this and that

correction: *now* I am officially registered for my final classes on the Island. There was one class that I was waiting to see if I could take it as a distance study and I heard back from the prof yesterday that I can! It's a class that actually relates to my thesis, so I'm pretty excited about that. It's an amazing prof that I've had before- but even without the added work that comes with a distance study his class last spring was hands down the most intense and reading/writing heavy class I've taken as a grad student. And there will be more writing as I have to make up for not being in class for discussion, so it should be kind of crazy. I was hoping to get some work done on the thesis during Spring semester, but I'm not sure how feasible that is now. And I peeked at the syllabus for my winter class... bad idea. bad bad idea. lots and lots of reading about one topic all crammed into those four little weeks.

It hit me two days ago that, very soon, Ranger Man will be gone again and that means that everything that has been great about the last almost-five weeks will be gone again. He's not going to be gone gone yet- although that's certainly coming shortly- and although he'll be much closer physically than the times he's been at Super Secret Army Land etc, he'll have much less communication abilities. Hopefully he'll get to come home for Thanksgiving?

Sigh, Webster and I are about to be on our own again... At least I've got that cat!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

not the end, not the beginning

I'm officially registered for my last two classes at my school on the Island- and one is the class that they make you register so you can actually PAY them for the pleasure of writing a master's thesis. Awesome. So technically, all that's left is one class over the short winter term and then my thesis. Of course I'm a glutton for punishment and I'm trying to work out a deal to also take a class in the spring, but that would just be icing on the cake and it would actually help with my thesis.

I feel like I should have had some sort of bittersweet moment when I hit the "Submit" button and actually registered for the last time at the school on the Island. Like there should have been some sort of relief, or apprehension, or some sort of feeling at all. But it's not really an end (and not just because there's still a thesis to write), because I'm not done with school, and it's not the beginning of something, because I'm most of the way done with my first Master's degree... it just feels like the middle.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Someone else's words

Scott Adams (the artist behind Dilbert) very nicely summed up the misgivings I have about the outcome of this election, through humor. You can read it here.

To clarify my position (and none of this is earth-shattering): While I'm not quite so doomsday-ist to suggest that the entire country will collapse (although I'm not saying it's absolutely not a possibility), the amount of hurt and disappointment across the country is going to be immense. And because of the record number of voters, I think that it will be even bigger than the 2000 election as far as dividing the country. As a political scientist (which I hate that I am that, I really do... but alas, an interdisciplinary MA will do that to you!) I am incredibly interested to see how (or not) a new administration can deal with the disappointment and mistrust.

Voting and such

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Friday, obviously, not today... I spent almost two hours in line for early voting. I'm not sure what to make of all of these insanely high predictions for voter turn-out. I know that 80% voting shouldn't be insanely high, that people should want to have a say in the governance of their own lives, but it still seems pretty high. It also seems really high considering that it's mostly likely not going to be a landslide either way, which means that a lot of people are going to be disappointed with the results.

While you wait for tomorrow, check out Hulu's collection of Historic Campaign Ads.

Oh, and how cool is it that there's a peach on my sticker?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This might be a food blog now...

As promised, Monday night's dinner...

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Fettuccine Alfredo with (my favorite) broccoli. He even warmed the plates with hot water before putting the food in them- he remembered to pour the water back out of mine, but kind of forgot for his, so he had soupy Alfredo.

So that's the reason that I didn't make it to knitting group on Monday- I had yummy food waiting for me. It's not like I'm going to have yummy food waiting for me for too much longer, so I'm taking advantage of it now, while I can!

I just realized that I thought I finally stopped trying to sleep this morning at 4:30, which would make it close to five now, which is almost time that I would wake up if it wasn't the weekend... but it's daylight savings time. It's not even four yet. I'm going to have to figure out how to get back to sleep. There wasn't any daylight savings on the Island, so I'm kind of out of practice with the whole screwing with the internal clock thing... darn.

I think we got pictures of last night's dinner also- a Pork Loin Roast that handily eclipsed the Kraft mac and cheese I poured out of a box for lunch... What am I going to do when he's gone again? I'll have to come up with my own stuff to blog about!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween

I didn't exactly grow up in the boonies, but I didn't grow up in the middle of a city either. In order to go trick-or-treating we had to actually get in the car and go somewhere- the mall when I was little, or a friend's neighborhood once I started school. So I never, ever got to have the experience of trick-or-treaters coming to the door. I thought that last year, on the Island I would have some- there were approximately six. But I was nervous the whole time about being all alone in my house opening the door to strangers (thanks for leaving me all by myself, roomies!)

So this was my year- I was so excited! Ranger Man was going to be here and there are small children living nearby, so I started talking about the trick-or-treaters and getting candy for them months ago. We talked about getting a pumpkin (and roasting the seeds, I love roasted pumpkin seeds!), but in the long run, we still don't have a dining room table or any place really suitable for carving a pumpkin, nor are we really home and not racked out in bed because we're exhausted long enough to do the carving. So we gave up on the pumpkin idea. I thought.

I got home yesterday and Ranger Man was sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor (which was covered in newspaper), carving a pumpkin! It's the cutest, most lopsided Charlie Brown Christmas Tree type of pumpkin I've ever seen, and I love it. Here are some pics:

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Yay for pumpkins! what a fun surprise! And yes, our kitchen counter really is that messy. You can actually see knitting in one of those pictures- I've got a UFO stashed in the kitchen....

We had a few trick-or-treaters, and we have a ton of candy left over so it was a win-win night!

I hope everyone else had a great Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

gah! political confusion abounds!

Overheard in the (college) library:

"Well, Mr. Student, what are you going to be for Halloween?"

"Well, I was going to be a communist, but Obama stole my costume."

Um, what? I realize this is Georgia, but some of these college students need to research what communism IS before they talk about it. Seriously. Not even socialist- he went straight to communist. I don't care what kind of politics you have, kid- but get your political persuasions straight!

plugging away

I've been plugging away at the knitting, although work + school + Ranger Man has left me precious little knitting time. I'm okay with that, for now.

But first, a gratuitous Webster photo. That's my chair in the kitchen- I sit while Ranger Man cooks and that way we can still hang out together. Of course, as soon as I want to sit there, Webster decides that he wants to sit there too... so I sit on the chair, Webster sits on my lap and Ranger Man cooks. Fun times!

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Here's the blanket I've been knitting for my cousin's wedding (last July)/Christmas.

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Of the ten hanks of yarn, I think I'm most of the way through the fourth. I really want this to be done by Christmas, so I better get cracking. although, at this point, it may be a lost cause...

And for Ranger Man's uncle who sent us the two large boxes full of things to outfit our kitchen with: socks!

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Using my foot for a model so they're kind of loose. A lot. Hopefully his foot/leg is bigger than mine. I've started the second sock of these.

I've also done some stash acquisition, but I haven't taken pics of it yet...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

No culinary creations today.

We've got pictures of Monday's dinner (and the reason I wasn't at knitting group), but they're in Ranger Man's camera, not my flickr account, so they will have to wait for another day for their debut.

Currently, it's evening time and Ranger Man's still at work so... gasp... I'm cooking. I almost feel guilty, like I should be feeling more inadequate as my boyfriend cooks for me and does most of the cleaning while I sit in a corner and studiously read for school. But the fact of the matter is that he's better at all of that stuff, and he had always insisted that he would do it- I just didn't really take him seriously. Not that I didn't believe him, per say, more that I just didn't comprehend what he was saying. Now... I just don't complain. And I count my blessings every day, and I help with everything that I can- like tonight cooking dinner.

It's not even the actual acts of cooking and cleaning - or going to every grocery store in town looking for one specific type of hot cereal- that I appreciate. It's this amazing sense that I am valued. Not just for my looks, or what I can do for him, or what I can accomplish. Simply for being me. I am valued for being me. Well, part of it is that I come with Webster, and Ranger Man is totally loving being the cat-daddy (and is going to KILL me when he knows I posted that on the internet. Hi Honey!). But it's just me that he likes, and he likes doing things for me and making me feel special. It's kind of incredible.

So, I'm doing my part and cooking him a decidedly non-gourmet, but still hopefully edible dinner. It's not that I can't cook, it's just that he does it so much better, and he enjoys it more! I just hope that he comes home soon to enjoy it...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cheesecake

This weekend's lovely culinary creation?

Cheesecake.

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That's right, he made a cheesecake, and it is delicious.

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My impressive feat for the day? I did not eat cheesecake for breakfast. I thought that was highly, highly impressive. In fact, I didn't eat cheesecake for breakfast or lunch- but all bets are off after dinner.
Yes, he plated it that way too...
And I think he's making fettucine for dinner tonight- I have got to start working out more!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Purrr

I found something else great about online classes- I can participate in class and Webster can curl up in my lap all at the same time. puurrr.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Need to vent.

Ranting I need to get off my chest:

1. No matter how hard/busy/stressful/exhausting your day was, you SHOULD say hello to me when I walk in the door. If you don't, and I find you in the house and say hello, you SHOULD at the very least respond. Before you shovel the next three bites of food into your mouth. I did not move across the country to be ignored.

2. If you gave birth to me, you have no magical rights to be my friend. If you don't act like my friend then I don't have to act like your friend. And yes, you should send me my winter clothes that I asked for without bitching about it or guilt tripping me. If you gave birth to me, I should not be worried about whether me talking to you or not is going to make you hurt yourself. If you gave birth to me- you shouldn't hurt yourself.

3. No one should hurt themselves.

4. I really, really had things that I wanted to talk with someone about my day- good stuff, not bad stuff... but stuff that I was really looking forward to discussing. I've been sitting alone on the couch all night writing a paper as after I was ignored, I was gone to bed without. Sometimes I hate all the Rangers.

5. Just because you have a cute fluffy white kitty tummy does not mean that I am going to scratch it. Mostly because then you'll want to play and get wound up and not be ready to go to bed.

6. Thank goodness for my non-crazy Aunt. She may be the only non-crazy person I'm related to. Maybe that's because she's only related by marriage.

This and That

Some random thoughts for the record:

I stand corrected: apparently the nice ex-Ranger didn't offer to draw me nude, he just offered to draw me, and all of his other work that he was showing and pointing to as examples just happened to be of naked women. Uh huh.

Webster decided to try to eat my Juno Regina the other day. It's actually surprising that he's never tried to eat my knitting before... but that didn't make it any less gross. Luckily he didn't get to the actual knitting part, and I was about to join a new ball of yarn anyways. But still, I didn't talk to Webster for a large part of Sunday night. We're talking again now.

While getting up before 5:30 am with Ranger Man enables me to get a ton of school work done- I'm still exhausted. He STILL gets more sleep than me- he goes to the barracks and takes a nap after PT some mornings, and all I do is read, write and sometimes throw in a little bit of knitting. Last night, after knitting group, I got home around 8:30 and went straight to bed. I was sleepy enough that I actually almost slept through the night- which meant I wasn't tossing and turning, so Webster slept all through the night too and didn't wake up hours before the alarm and want to play. It was a win-win-win situation. But still, I'm tired!

Also- it's getting chilly here. It's probably not actually that cold, but I've been living in a state of permanent summer for a year, so anything below 70 feels freezing. And it's all of a sudden cold too, there was no nice transition period. A few weeks ago it was all of a sudden not humid any more, and now it's all of a sudden cold. This place is weird.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookies

He's making them. Right now.

I'm supposedly reading for school.

I took some pictures of the cat today, but they didn't turn out so well as I am back to using my own camera (I can't really use his when he's right here. Well, I could, but it would feel funny). So I'm not posting the so-so Webster pictures. I also took some pictures of Ranger Man baking cookies in silky shorts and boot socks. But I'm not supposed to post those either, so this post isn't as great as I had planned. Sorry y'all.

I'm becoming Georgified.

We went to the Farmer's Market in town today, and there was also an art walk in the same neck of the woods, so we checked that out. While there we met an artist who was a Ranger long long ago who offered to draw me nude. hm. I'm still pondering how I feel about that. To his credit, he wanted to do it from a photograph as a birthday present for my Ranger Man, but still... it was a little odd.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

They can't take him away!

I'll starve to death. Good grief- I am seriously getting used to this whole gourmet cooking thing. I like it. A lot. When they take him away am I going to be able to go back to mac and cheese and broccoli? He's ruined me!

In the meantime, I've been knitting a little. Not a lot, but a little. I have turned a heel on a new sock and I'm (only) about half-way done on Juno. That middle section takes forever! Ranger Man was going to take pictures for me last weekend - he is the photographer of the two of us after all- but we didn't get around to it. We went to see Wicked in Atlanta and it was amazing, and so much fun! We went on a real date and everything. Poor Webster missed us because we were gone all day long, but we had a wonderful day.

(I've gotten into the wine again, so this may not be so coherent. This may require editing tomorrow).

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Everything goes better with wine...

How did I manage to find a guy who not only likes to cook gourmet food, but does it well?

I am not a meat fan, usually- therefore meat loaf (being just a big old hunk of molded meat) has never been that appealing to me. But that man can make a mean meat loaf. It was so good- and get this, cooking makes him happy. I get to eat well and he gets to do something he loves. wow. win-win.

We had a really great talk. I think the wine helped keep the nerves down and we were able to talk about (insert scary voice) "the future," without degenerating into tears and frustration. I've spent the morning looking at joint JD/Islamic Studies programs... The future looks bright again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is it still reintegration if...

You've never spent more than 18 days together (doesn't that make it 'integration' rather than reintegration?)

You thought you would have a month, not have a month, and then have a few months to make the integration really meaningful and fun, only to find out, all you have is a month and then ... well, that's it.

Yeah. We thought his next deployment was going to be mid-next year and that is not the case. So he just got home, but in my brain I'm already gearing up to say good bye again and this time it's a more real good bye because I won't get to talk to him and see him on the web cam every night, and know where he is... It's a real good bye- so my question is this. How do I not think about the good bye and only think about the hello?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Old Switcheroo

A few weeks ago, the enrollment officer at work told me that she was going to a college/career development thing and would I like to go with her? I'm piecing together a fledgling career center at work, so my response was, "yes!"

I assumed that I was going to a "thing" where other people were going to talk to ME about college and career development. Honest miscommunication- I didn't ask and made one assumption, she didn't give me more details and made another assumption, and what it boiled down to was us arriving at the venue and me GIVING the talk about college and career exploration/development. Uh yeah. With no preparation (I thought I was getting information, not giving it!), no idea what exactly to talk about and 20 minutes to talk to eighth graders.

What an interesting day.

I told Ranger Man about it and he said "yeah, tell me about it, I had to do the same thing, but briefing a colonel today." To which I responded "uh huh. But you probably actually knew something about what you were talking about, and weren't worried about completely screwing up the futures of 60 eighth graders." "oh. yeah." (How cool is it that I can tell him about my day in person?!)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The first weekend.

He got back just fine (three airplanes in about eight hours, it was impressive), minus his luggage (my four hundred dollar suitcase mind you).

The airline found his stuff/my suitcase Sunday night, but until then he was without a lot of essentials, like his phone charger (who checks their phone charger?!) and toothbrush.

The first night he was here, just before we were about to go to sleep, I told him he could just use my toothbrush until his was found. He looked at me like I had two heads. "I brush my teeth in the morning," he said to me.

uh huh. right. after a garlicky spaghetti dinner? don't think so. I just raised one eyebrow at him, while he stared at me like I was nuts, and then all of a sudden an understanding came upon him and his face changed as his mouth said "Ooohhh. I brush my teeth now."

Yes honey, you brush your teeth now... what a goon. What fun it is to have him around!

Of course he came home on the weekend before I have three papers due, so while I was overjoyd to see him, I was also kind of crazy busy with schoolwork. And crazy stressed out about getting it done. So he let me go into the bedroom and shut the door to read and write while he completely made and cleaned up dinner on Sunday. I could definitely get used to him being here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

On a Break

Super-Secret-Army Land is about to give me back my boyfriend.

I'll be back later. Probably.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If only...

If I could survive on a diet of French Fries and vanilla milkshakes I think I would- it's a wonderful combination.

Oh, and mac and cheese.


And broccoli.

Those are my indispensable foods.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

He knows me so well...

From a conversation last week:



Me: I don't remember how to get to the airport

Ranger Man: Okay.

Me: That could be a problem for you.

RM (calmly): Okay.

Me (increasingly frustrated): It could be an awfully long walk home for you if I can't remember how to get there!

RM: Babe, by the time I get on the plane, you will have mapquested it 5 or 6 times, and probably practiced packing your purse twice for the trip. I'm not worried.

Me (rather sheepishly): good point



It's a 15 minute drive to the airport. Maybe. Maybe only 10.

So far, I haven't practiced packing my purse, or mapquested it. But that's just because I know there's lots of signs for how to get there. And I've still got some time.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Terrorism = Piracy and Slavery?

President Bush made a comment at the UN last week that's been bugging me.

I usually try to keep politics out of this blog, but this isn't really politics- it's more fundamental than that.

Speaking to the leaders of the world, President Bush said it is necessary to show that, "like slavery and piracy, terrorism has no place in the modern world."

That really worried me. The terrorism that we have experienced in the past few decades is absolutely nothing like slavery or piracy.

Firstly, as a matter of fact- piracy is obviously not eradicated, or even hidden from the United States as the USS Howard is currently pursuing a hijacked ship off the coast of Somalia.

That just seemed like a factual error to me. More disconcerting was comparing terrorism to slavery. Slavery was widespread, government approved and indeed part of the foundation for the economic system of mercantilism. It was accepted. It was legal. It was not just condoned, it was pursued enthusiastically by government agents. Obviously that changed, but these were the foundations of slavery in the early modern era.

Terrorism, on the other hand is illegal. That is a fundamental difference. Terrorism is a political tactic used by fringe groups to gain recognition and support. It seems to undermine politics and economics rather than support them. These are all fundamental differences. Terrorism has never been legal. Slavery certainly was (3/5 of a person, anyone?). Terrorism has never been the foundation of economics for major powers. Slavery was.

Obviously the president wasn't going for that much analysis, but I think that it does history a disservice when false analogies are drawn.

Hopefully I'll feel less bothered about it now that I've gotten it out of my system.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Question of the Day

How is this possible:

There's a gas station I pass on my way to/from work. It's been out of gas for the past three days. Three days ago the price of gas there would have been $3.99. Today, the cost was $3.89.

How does the price of gas go down amid a shortage?

Thank you

Thanks to the commenters (why is spell check saying that's wrong?) on the post from the other day. Cookie, Loquita and Rebecca- you guys are awesome and I'm so appreciative.

You're right. They're bad news bears and I don't need them. I'm not sure of the exact course of action I'll take in the long term. But it's not going to be all-inclusive, if you know what I mean.

In the meantime, I need a sign to hang over my desk at work that says "If you come into my library to ask me a question and don't care enough about your question to ENUNCIATE it, I am unable to assist you. Come back when I have bionic ears. Thank you and have a nice day." Do you think my boss would mind?

(The southern drawl/mumble combination is incomprehensible to my west-coast-hippy ears. I can't help it, I haven't got a clue what they're saying to me)

Oh, and I'm done with the first set of diamondy-pattern on my Juno. I'm at the middle part of repetition. At least some progress is being made!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Facebook again- the bane of my existence?

I've blogged about my struggles with Facebook. Here and here. The concept is difficult for me. This is another post about that, and about stupid High School drama. It's long and ranty. This is for me to write down and hopefully feel better about, dear Readers, so there's no knitting, very little mil-girlfriend content. Read at your own (boredom) risk.

I hated high school, with a passion. To the extent that I got out as soon as I could, which in my state meant that I could leave after my sophomore year and attend community college full time. I took this opportunity for the state to pay for my college and from that point on, I didn't take any more classes at my high school. One of the reasons- the primary reasons- for this was all of the awful high school politics and drama that accompanies teenage girlhood. I was sick of it. I was tired of the people that were supposedly my friends making me feel bad about myself, and I was tired of being one of the "mean girls." And yeah. I was. It was ugly.

So I left. And I was kind of ostracized by my 'friends.' I know, I know- if there were so bad that I wanted to leave, why would i still want to be friends with them? That was the conclusion I eventually came to, but it's taken me since high school to come to that conclusion. All I knew is that I could no longer get anyone to return my calls, and I whenever I did manage to get myself invited to an event I felt like a slut (the virgin slut is a truly malicious creation that exists purely for the entertainment of high school girls). But it hurt.

I also have trust issues. Reading this blog may make that apparent. Even before all this crap with my parents I have had problems trusting people. I don't know if it was this way before these girls treated me this way or not, but I know it has been since then.

But I grew up and I came to the conclusion that, after all, I could have tried harder to fit back in with them, whether I feel that should have been required or not. I came to the conclusion that not being constantly exposed to the high school harpies made me a better person and I was okay with it.

Enter Facebook. Holy crap do I hate facebook sometimes. It makes me deal with these unresolved issues.

And also- how did I still remain a gossip topic after not having talked to ANY of these girls (there were five of us in our group) for FIVE YEARS? get a life people!

Ranger Man and I happened to run into one of them the weekend before he deployed two summers ago. She and her husband (I think I may have introduced them, actually) were having dinner and so were Ranger Man and I. They gave me their phone numbers- but it was right before a deployment and leaving for grad school and I didn't want to introduce any more drama. So I didn't call them, but I felt bad because she made an effort, and after all- wasn't that what I said I wanted all those years? So I started it, and I sent her a message on Facebook. I opened Pandora's box.

She wrote back once or twice, but after that I didn't hear from her and it wasn't that big of a deal. No guilt on my end- it was okay. Then the parents situation happened and all of a sudden I was getting messages from another one of them, and then another (that's three of the four, for those that are keeping track). I suspected at the time it was because they heard about my parents. I suspect more strongly now, due to some of the things that have been said.

I don't know how I feel about that. On the one hand, I guess it's fantastic that they found out I was going through something and decided to reach out. On the other hand, when I broke off an engagement and moved back in with my parents (which apparently they all knew about?!), I heard nary a word. So far the ones I had heard from are the ones that it was easiest to justify. The ones that I personally had spent the least amount of time and energy on trying to contact and talk to and hang out with during high school. In short, the ones that I felt less personally slighted by. So I talk to them, because I think their hearts are in the right place, and I think that I feel appreciative for the support.

Today I got a message from the last of them. The one that actively wouldn't return my calls. The one that would say rude things about me to my face. The one that hurt me the most there at the end. Today. Not six months ago when I needed to know that people cared, today. And today I am feeling the hurt and the rage and the indignation all over again. (Yes, I hold grudges).

I don't really think I want to talk to her. She has an ability to make me feel badly about myself. She always has to be the best at everything (which means I am bad at everything by comparison), and I don't know that I need those feelings right now. I love my life, and I love where my life is going, but I know for a fact this person is the least likely to try to understand the lifestyle choices I've made. And misunderstanding in her book has always led to put-downs.

But maybe that's all in the past. It was what, eight years ago since sophomore year of high school? Maybe I'm being too harsh. Or maybe I've learned my lesson.

It is days like this that I really hate facebook.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

ahh, he's growing up!

My lil bro is a really cool kid. Not cool like hip/with it or whatever lame term signifies fleeting popularity, but cool as in mellow, deeply caring and intelligent.

Unfortunately for him, he's also got a healthy dose of teenage boy apathy/lazy. When he applies himself, he does great work, but you generally have to ask him to do it. He doesn't complain. Every once in a while, something will irk him and I see a teeny bit of something inside of him that lets me know that this mellow and chill dude is actually related to me, but for the most part he's extremely level-headed. This was (and is) frustrating to people like me who like to overract periodically.

Lil Bro graduated from HS this past spring, and he had been taking a few classes at the local tech college for his senior year alongside his last HS requirements. He's starting regular college (i.e. not running start college), and he's going to buy my car from me so he can be mobile.

One of the things that has seriously freaked me out about my parents is what it's going to do to lil bro. I just don't want him to feel like he is stuck taking care of one or both of them and that coming at a great cost to him. On the other hand, as far as anyone can tell, he was not bitten with the same "change the world in a big way" bug that I was, and maybe my parents --read "my mom"-- will respect that he's a person in his own right and doesn't need to be taking care of his adult and fully functional parents. We'll see.

I'm just very proud of the man that my lil bro is working towards becoming and every time I talk to him I am more and more impressed with what a together kid he is.

//end gush here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sock Club Round One

We all know that I like knitting socks. Now I like knitting lace too, but that's another post.

I heard about the Wollmeise sock club and I thought I would enter, because it seemed like a monumental occasion, and an opportunity to get some great sock yarn. I didn't really think I'd get in, and I didn't on the first lottery round, but somewhere in the subsequent lottery rounds I did get in. There was a little debating about cost, but Ranger Man said that I ought to go ahead and do it, and with that large of a yarn purchase I deferred to his judgment.

The rest of this post shall be pictures. They are close in color, although I really couldn't catch the true vibrance.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

The draw back to never seeing your boyfriend.

Not last spring but the spring before (I think), Ranger Man was involved in creating one of the Army Strong commercials. Involved meaning- he was one of the "Army dudes" they used in the commercial. Does that make him an actor? Anyways, I remember we were talking while they were filming, and I remember him talking about the commercial when it came out. I could have sworn that he told me it was the one where they're all jumping out of the plane- you know, you see them walk out one by one?

Before his last deployment, we were in a movie theater watching the last Spiderman movie and one of the Army Strong commercials came on in the preview- he audibly sucked in his breath "You've got to be kidding me!" and I was totally stoked because my boyfriend was about to be on the big screen! It wasn't his commercial, but it was still pretty cool.

I have been thinking for TWO YEARS that when I see that commercial I am seeing his butt. The one where they're all jumping off the plane. Keep in mind I've seen him in uniform for a grand total of three times, total, the entire time we've been together. But it looks like his backside, it does! I haven't had a tv for the last year, so when I saw the commercial online today, I was so so so excited. Of course Ranger Man wasn't answering his phone, so I tried a couple of times and then left him a super excited message, "Oh my gosh, I just saw your butt!"

He finally listened to the message and his response was, (and I quote) "wtf?" "what commercial." yeah. that's not his, apparently his face is in whatever commercial he's in, which leads me to believe that I haven't actually seen his commercial. I've been checking out someone else's butt for two years. He'd only told me over the phone, we'd never seen it together, because we never see each other! grrr!

He told me that it wasn't him and I literally burst into tears.

It's not that it's that big of a deal, I know, but we're in the less than three week window and I'm just about done with this whole TDY thing. I'm over it, I just want it to be done. I'm trying to deal with (or avoid, I can't decide) whatever drama my mom is trying to drag me into right now, I've got the work stuff I'm dealing with, I'm overwhelmed with school and I am completely at that stage where all I want is a hug. Seeing what I thought was him today, and then finding out that it wasn't actually him... it crushed me. That might be a sign that I need to go back to bed. If we saw each other more often, I would have known that wasn't him and there wouldnt have been such a let down.

I may be hormonal.

Juno Regina

I've been working on the same three knitting projects for what seems like forever. It's been almost a month. For someone who's used to churning out a pair of socks in a week, this seems like forever. The combination of having multiple WIPs (works in process), and starting school has meant that my knitting productivity seems to be diminishing. That's all right though, I have been bitten by the lace bug and I am loving it.

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My in process and obviously un blocked Juno Regina. (Please disregard the lifelines, I'm liking lace, but I'm not that good at it yet and the lifelines have lived up to their name a couple times). I'm using KnitPicks Shadow, and my ravelry page reminds me I'm using size 4 needles (options).

I'll have more yarn tomorrow. Right now I'm three hours ahead of Super Secret Army Land time and I'm waiting for half an hour before I can call and wake Ranger Man up. I think it's important for him not to get too used to sleeping in because I can't do it, and he hates it when I get up and let him sleep in the morning and he wakes up and I'm not there.

On the bright side, now that my health insurance (that is exorbitantly expensive, good grief!) has kicked in, and the wonderful pills that help me sleep at night are again on my bedside table. I think I got my first good night's sleep all year last night and I am happily rejoining the land of the living (good bye zombies, it has been nice living in zombie-land with you for the past six months, but it is time for me to move on!). On the other hand, I think whoever invented the speculum was a sadist.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

sad and frustrated.

So, I work at a small 2-year college. Well, the campus I am at is small. When I interviewed over the phone and they described the school to me, "disadvantaged" was the word used to describe the students. They weren't kidding when they said that a good number of the students had never used a computer before. We're talking basic don't know the difference between right click and left click/how to cut and paste type of stuff here.

Which is really cool- the school has a philosophy of eliminating the barriers to a college education and helping all students succeed. That is awesome, and something I can really get behind.

The problem is that some students really can't succeed in college. It's just not possible. There's not a way to really draw the line and say, um, really you shouldn't be here... but I spent two hours with a student today trying to get through the process of registering for her classes. Not actually thinking about which classes to take, simply logging into her account and transcribing the class information that her advisor had written on the form. TWO HOURS. That's not even doing any thinking work related to school, merely trying to register. It wasn't altogether a computer skills deficiency, as she definitely had the clicking basics down (gah! clicking a million times does NOT make it go faster! chill!), it was the little things like figuring out what her social security number was- I had reset her password to the last (certain number redacted for security) digits of her social. I told her, your social is 9 digits long, take of the first (certain number) and type in the rest... couldn't do it. and then, couldn't figure out what I was saying when I was telling her that in copying the section number from the advisor written form, she had added a digit. She just couldn't understand what I was saying, couldn't conceptualize it, or refused to actually turn on her ears and listen - I'm not sure.

It was so frustrating, for me - it had to have been frustrating for her too, right? (she's a returning student, keep in mind she's had to do this process before) If she has this much problems simply registering for the classes, how on Earth does she think she's going to actually complete the classes? I'm a pretty patient person, but she had completely pushed my buttons.

There's really no point to this tirade other than to vent. It's frustrating because, as much as I'm there to help students succeed, there's just only so much I can do. There's only so much the institution can do, and there is a certain threshold that needs to be met before the institution can even begin to meet the needs of the student. At what point, after how many Fs, can you tell a student that they're just not cut out for this? It's frustrating and it's sad.

What a bummer day.

On the bright side, Webster is getting way more comfortable in the apartment, just in time for Ranger Man to come home and throw off our routine!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Protocol...

I went to Starbucks today. I had been going there often when I first moved here as kind of a homesick sort of thing, but since Webster got here, and I started paying for Webster, I was less homesick, and my coffee money is going to cat food.

But I went in this morning before work because I haven't been feeling so hot, and there's just something about strong coffee and espresso that makes me feel better. I was standing in line and all of a sudden in through the door to stand directly behind me is someone who is obviously a Ranger in the Regiment. Rangers are distinctive, even if you can't see their oh-so-hot tan berets. Their unit patches denote that they are part of a much smaller group of people. So I know this guy was at Ft. Lewis for a while and now is stationed here in the regiment. Small world. He probably knows Ranger Man. So I'm ogling his shoulders, trying to be discrete, but it was pre-coffee, so I'm sure I didn't do much good... and I'm thinking to myself that I should talk to him and tell him why I'm ogling. But, what do I say?

I'm not a wife, and not knowing this guy, I don't know how he feels about girlfriends. That was actually the first thought that went through my mind. I didn't feel like being belittled or trampified in my pre-caffeinated state. But then, I also am used to Mr. security conscious Ranger Man, who really is made largely uncomfortable talking about his job as a Ranger with others. So, I also didn't want to do that for him, in his pre-caffeinated state. Plus- what would I say, "so, you might know my boyfriend, Mr. Ranger Man" to which he would reply, "Why yes, I do know Mr. Ranger Man, but I haven't seen him around in a few months, where is he?" At which point I would be forced to divulge the location of Super-Secret-Army Land, which always makes me slightly uncomfortable, and I don't know how much this guy knows about Ranger Man's job.

Gah! So, obviously, I didn't say anything. I ogled. He put the tan beret on and I melted and thought "ahhh, so unfair!" and he opened the door for me and we both left. I called Ranger Man, who did indeed know the man behind me in line, and didn't seem to realize the conundrum of to talk or not to talk to the man behind me in line that I had been placed in.

Oh yeah, and to compound the situation, the guy out-ranked Ranger Man, so I was even more intimidated.

I think I'm glad that in that situation, everything can be blamed on the fact that it occurred BC- before coffee, so if I accidentally didn't follow the unwritten protocol, I have an out.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Boring Life

Ranger Man told me a couple days ago, "You haven't blogged in forever!" Apparently he's checking up on me now. : )

It's not that there's nothing going on- my Arabic class started, my online Art History class started (which I did mention), work's been going strong, but none of that really seems interesting and blog-worthy.

Ranger Man and I are in some sort of an almost-home lull, there's nothing interesting going on between the two of us either. I am so boring. Webster is being a pain in the neck this morning, but usually he's wonderful and having him here has quite the calming effect on me.

I've been working on the same three knitting projects for what feels like eternity, and I didn't even go to knitting group this week because of homework concerns, so I'm not making very quick progress. It's amazing how much school cuts into my knitting time!

I may possibly have something exciting happen today. I don't know yet, but if I have this opportunity, I'll definitely write about it. If I don't get in- well, don't expect much out of me tomorrow either, okay?

Because I am so incredibly boring, here's an old picture, from Webster's first Christmas. He had just gone under the knife (he's neutered now), so he was still pretty out of it for Christmas. We travelled the two hours to my Parent's house (because it was still their house together then), where he met Jack the dog and mostly hung out under the Christmas tree while the effects of the drugs wore off.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

If you only read one blog post today...

Please, please let it be this one.

I'm not saying that there is a shortage of poignant and beautiful writing on the internet today- because there is an abundance. But this... This is so important. Please.

I love online classes!

Multi-tasking is achievable, I can be involved in a discussion and knit, or post on my blog...

Good fun.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A sign that the Insomnia is winning

When you're driving home from work and up ahead on the sidewalk an old man is walking, slightly hunched so as to obscure from vision his head and neck... and you think,

"Oh, that poor old man doesn't have a head, how can he see where he's going?"


Good grief. I need to get some sleep.