Thursday, July 31, 2008

Please Not the Knives

I'm hoping that this is just because this is our first time that Ranger Man is away while I'm here with his stuff... But I am seriously stressing about his knife collection.

Not the various other things of his that are here that may be electronic of have movable parts... his kitchen knives.

I'm not completely positive, but I think he may have started telling me about (and pining for) these knives on our first date. They were living with his mom while he lived in the barracks, but they're here now and good grief the ecstasy that he experienced when he unpacked them... Let's just say I was jealous a little bit!

But now here I am with them. Alone. I'm not worried about cutting myself on the super-insanely sharp knives... I'm worried that I'll do something to hurt one of them. Logically, I'm not sure what that would be. But I don't want to screw up the edge or anything like that- but at the same time, I've got to use the knives for eating and it would be ridiculous to get my own set of knives for when he's gone just because I'm feeling apprehensive about messing up his toys.

I'm not worried about the cameras and the camera stuff- which he told me to use the other day (and I may, they're much nicer than mine), but just about every time I use one of those knives I get nervous...

It makes me wonder if other spouses/SOs have gone through the same trepidation about being left alone for extended periods of time with their military person's beloved belongings...

Adjusting to the South

I knew there were going to be bugs. I didn't realize that the praying mantis would be bigger than my head, but I did know there were going to be bugs.

I knew that the accents were going to be fun and also a little hard to understand sometimes.

What I didn't count on being so weird was/is going to work and being called "Ms. Mylastname." My last name, although I love my family and I loved very dearly my grandfather from whence my last name... it's kind of unwieldy. I usually avoid it, it has a silent consonant in the middle that confuses people, it's the same as a rather unsavory public figure from about a decade ago and it's kind of hard for people to pronounce sometimes if they're reading it for the first time (see above about the silent consonant. People really want to pronounce it).

The students don't seem to have a problem pronouncing it- I think they're mostly hearing and repeating rather than reading and pronouncing, but it is weird that when someone asks my name- I give them "Ms. Mylastname," and my hippie self is screaming against the anti-egalitarian nature of saying that. Granted, I will call them by their last names too... but it's still different.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Knitting People!

I've never really known any knitting people. Well, my mom and my grandma but I'm not sure if they count. So going to a knitting group last night was really interesting.

There was talk about things like Ravelry and Knitty, and nobody thought anybody else was strange for either a. knitting or b. being rather ahem, involved with their knitting... It was fun.

There was a ginormous thunderstorm on the way there so I was freaked out to begin with, but all in all it was a great experience and starting next week my hours at work change so I won't have to be late!

what fun!


The eww factor from the last two days? Actually, it was all yesterday... can be summed up in 4 words.

Armadillo Roadkill
Praying Mantis

Dang that was a big bug.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I am going to my first ever knitting group meeting tonight after work.

I was supposed to go on Saturday but I had a small run-in (or non-run-in) with my mother on Friday that completely stressed me out and I spent all the rest of the weekend nauseous and unable to sit up. Fun.

But tonight... Tonight I knit. I'm not going to worry about school or anything, I'm just going to meet new people and knit.

Wish me luck. I don't do the meeting new people part well.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

On being female and a blogger.

But can't blogging be anonymous? No one can see anything you don't put on your blog. If you feel like you're not going to be taken seriously because you're female, make your blog gender-neutral for crying out loud.
If you're going to write a blog in which you intentionally write about being a woman... be prepared to face the consequences. Those consequences are that your experiences, at best, are only able to relate to half the population.

This is not the same as someone looking at me, seeing my blonde hair and dismissing my intelligence. The internet is the one place that doesn't apply to. Gr. I am mostly a feminist, but seriously? For some reason this just rubbed me the wrong way.

A couple hours later...

Let me edit this and explain myself a little more clearly.

If you have a "mommyblog" you should expect to be taken seriously by a niche audience only.

If you are trying to have a competitive political blog- you should be savvy enough to know that being a woman is going to be a bit of a turn off and not broadcast that until after you've gained credibility. You should know that. It may not be right, it may not be PC- but that's the way it is. And if this recent political season has taught us anything- it's taught us that gender still matters. I do think that it would be interesting to see if there are similar issues regarding bloggers of different races- and why not. I agree- it shouldn't matter what one's gender is when commenting on politics, for the most part. If that's the case, then be gender neutral for crying out loud, don't complain when people see female and discredit it because that's a fact of life. Gain credibility without gender and then gender can be revealed. I'm all about the sucker punch.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dang, I forgot about that part

I was thinking yesterday about how much easier this good-bye was than any of our others had been. I know that it's because I feel so much better about being here, and I'm so excited about our new home and everything along those lines, it just felt easier. Although, thinking about it now, it could just be the contrast and relief knowing that it's not a deployment still. It's strange how much you gear yourself up for something like that, and how hard it is to get out of that mode.

Also it's easier because I'm living with his stuff. Well, most of it.

But the part I forgot about... His truck. It's one thing to have his stuff here and not him here- we had two 24 hour shifts, I was okay with those. For those 18 days it wasn't uncommon for me to be here with his stuff and him to be somewhere else.

When I left for work this morning, I saw his truck sitting there all lonely and it hit me that he was really gone.

I'm not complaining- I had 18 days, and he's not deployed so I am absolutely not complaining. It's just funny how some things trigger the sad feelings and others don't. Eating dinner by myself is no big deal, heck even going to sleep by myself isn't that big of a deal- but leaving for work and leaving his truck there... that sucked a little.

... But then I remembered that we had 18 days, and he's not deployed and I was fine again!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

18 Days!

We officially shattered our old record of 11 days straight being together by adding a whole 'nother week and being together for 18 days straight before he had to leave for super-secret Army land. Well, I'm including the (2) 24 hour shifts that he had to work because we were still much closer than we've ever been before!

I'm still waiting to hear from him about whether he has somewhere to stay in Super Secret Army Land, because as of this afternoon he did not. In the meantime I am still shocked by the last 18 days which were full of wonderful learning experiences and were really really fun (I'll try to write about them, we did some cool stuff!)

In the meantime, I have to say-- Happiness just might be when you get home from work at night and your man (who is usually stoic and composed) gets positively goofy because he's so delighted to see you.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Very Interesting.

Good piece here from the LA Times.

I don't know if I ever explicitly stated this, so I'll do it now. For the last year, while on the Island, I was getting my MA with a number of military personnel doing the same thing. These were officers who had "been there and done that" and their respective branches sent them to school for some PME to advance their careers.

Now that I've been outed on, I figure I have no reason to be super-secretive about it anymore, although I'm definitely not giving any identifying information about any of the other students in my classes.

One of the classes that has been the most useful was a COIN class I took this last spring. In this class were a couple of SF officers, a logistician, a former NG member, an (I think) regular Army artillery guy and the list goes on. There were also civilians like myself. All but the NG guy were officers.

I say this all not to laundry list my contacts from class, but to show the range of viewpoints that existed there. The topic of this article came up multiple times in that class (as well as in other classes, to differing degrees). Granted this was a COIN class so our focus was definitely in that direction- but while we agreed that ignoring the possibility of a conventional war was not wise, reverting to post-Vietnam when the US decided that we weren't going to engage in any more COIN operations was equally unwise. There are compelling arguments for future conflicts being both directions- and really- should we forget that we are actually fighting insurgents? Knowing that young American men and women are getting on planes every day to go fight the insurgents, don't we want to equip and train them the absolute best that we can in helping them to come back to their families?

My thoughts are these:
Yes, there are conventional threats. No doubt about it. But we also have numerical and equipment superiority over any of those threats. That means that they won't come to fruition any time soon.

There are unconventional threats right now. Ignoring AQ, hezbollah and hamas is, as far as I'm concerned, tantamount to letting the enemy fight the "War of National Survival" that is talked about in the article without responding.

Those who would fight a conventional war are not doing so because they are actors with a degree of rationality- i.e., survival is a priority for them.

For other organizations such as those mentioned above, rationality is (granted, from our prospective) more um... fluid. Survival may be an overarching end goal- but it is not a priority. If everything is destroyed in the attempt to wipe out the infidel then the virgins just come faster for the martyrs. Fighting an enemy who does not fear death and does not value life in the same way we do is really scary and it can't be overlooked as a national security goal.

So what do I think about the article? Assuming that the research wasn't biased- I think they did a decent job covering both sides of the issue, although I'm not convinced that the bias isn't more pronounced than it should be. Meaning, I'm not convinced that the majority of officers really feel this way. But I could be wrong. I sometimes am.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Still Learning

Lesson from last night:

One crazy insomniac plus One twitchy sleeper (who is not normally twitchy, how do people all of a sudden become twitchy in their sleep?) equals one very frustrating night.

Oh yeah, no car. Still. In the market for a nice used car, if anyone happens to know of any.

I'm off to take a nap. I need one.

Oh, and the good thing from last night? Our first major fight- there is a difference (or there should be a difference) between the way he talks to his people at work and the way he talks to me. Namely- less making fun and more appreciating. Got it. First major argument not over the phone down. Phew. What a great guy.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The things I am learning...

We're in a weird situation. It's kind of like a reintegration because we've not seen each other for three months, and it's been about a year since we have been able to see each other on a regular basis. But regular for us then was spending the weekends together, so truly this is a brand new experience and I don't know about Ranger Man, but I am learning a ton.

Learned Lesson Number 1. I knew this already, but I didn't know the extent- I would make a horrible housewife. I think this might have something to do with the not having a car thing, and feeling so helpless having to wait for him for everything, but I do not like the fact that he gets to go out and 'do stuff' every day and I can't. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with housewives- goodness knows I'm sure I'd get more knitting done and my thesis would be completed faster, but I am not thriving on the stuck at home thing. But again, it would probably be better if I had a car and had at least that bit of independence.

Learning Lesson Number 2. Neither one of us is used to sharing a bed. My crazy insomniac self is having issues with his I-could-sleep-through-anything-and-I-want-the-whole-bed self. I don't know how he manages to take up the whole bed, but he does, without fail. Knowing that he's there though, and it's hard to miss him when I have two inches of bed left, is so great. It's relaxing and makes me feel more confident and secure. It's not a bad learning curve therefore... definitely enjoyable...

I'm sure there will be more we will be learning...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Trying to be Grumpy

Ugh. The car moving saga. For a couple days, in the interim between Paradise and here, I was with my car for a couple days and it was really nice to know that I could just hop in and go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Now it's getting more urgent as I start work next week and have no way to get there. It's not that far away, but not really walking distance. And Ranger Man's going away again shortly on another TDY to super-secret-Army-Land... there goes my ride! so, I'm not sure what we're going to do.

But, it's so hard to be upset about it. I have a beautiful apartment, I have a man that is coming home to me every night and I have all the hugs that I want. When you have all of that, it is difficult to be grumpy about a car! I'm trying, but it is just not working. That's why we had Ranger Man make the angry phone call today- he's much better at that.

Also- I have all my yarn in one place, that's fun and I finished a sock today. How productive I can be when I don't have anywhere I can go!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Filling in the Blanks

Since my posting has been disjointed lately, I thought I'd try to fill in the blanks.

As of right now, Ranger Man is not getting deployed this rotation. That doesn't (of course) mean that he's not going on his other previously scheduled TDYs, but it does mean that he's not going overseas and I'm happy about that. It means that we moved into our new apartment yesterday and it is gigantic and beautiful and ours and lovely. It means that he's around do do things like move heavy big things and make sure that we have the basics before he leaves. It means that I get to see him every night for a while, and I'm so excited about that.

So- we're moved in, I've turned in all my paperwork at work and I start next week. My car is still on the other side of the country, so that pretty is less than desirable, but other than that everything is golden and I'm happy as a clam.

Knitting? I knit a bunch on the planes, and a little since I've been here, but nothing too exciting.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Insert Grin Here

That thing I didn't want to write about lest it not come true?

It came true.

I'm here, in Georgia, and Ranger Man's here too.

Gotta go- I've got some overdue snuggling to do.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


All right, so it didn't end up mattering which job I wanted (although I decided, for many different reasons that I wanted the state job) because I didn't get the other job.

So it ended up being a moot point and I ended up getting what I wanted anyways. How often does that happen?

Apparently more often than I thought... I hate to make this a cliffhanger, but I don't want to jinx this other good thing by writing about it until it happens. In about two days, so you won't have too long to wait.

Okay. So how about instead... I promised I would write about how Ranger Man got his name.

I guess part of it is kind of obvious- I mean... he's a RANGER... and he's a very elitist Ranger, and we met just before he left for Ranger School, so it was kind of a given. But at first, he wasn't Ranger Man, he was Ranger Boy.

This was to distinguish him from Fire Boy (now known as the Stupid Firefighter), Fly Boy (airforce also known as Preacher Boy), Beamer Boy (cause he drove a BMW and I thought for sure that meant he would be employed. I was wrong), Tesoro Boy (who is actually A, my good friend), and Hot Tub Guy (don't ask... no- I never got in the hot tub, I had heard too many stories).

Um yeah. When I first met Ranger Man I was really not in a serious dating mode, and the best way that I know to deal with that (or maybe just the most fun) is to date bunches of guys at once. This totally sucked for Ranger Man when he went away to Ranger School, but we're both over that.

So Ranger Boy was the name given to him to distinguish him from the others (because names are just so hard to keep track of!)

But then, I finally pulled my head out of my you-know-what, and realized that I only dated hot tub guy at all because he had Ranger Tabs and My Ranger was the one that I really wanted... and of course then he got deployed. Yes, this is a trend for us.

This is where we get to the part where I am sworn to secrecy and can't reveal all the details.

Suffice it to say that my Big Bad Ranger Man (insert roars and grrs and gnashing of teeth) experienced an injury from a normal household object that shouldn't have gotten the best of him. So to this day I tease him about how the Big Bad Ranger Man was bested by ... normal household good that I am sworn to secrecy about. Obviously he wasn't maimed or anything- then it wouldn't be funny. But the fact that it bled enough for him to have to bandage it... that deserves Big Bad Ranger Man teasing, and for simplicity's sake, these days I shorten it to Just Ranger Man.

It's not a terribly long story, or Probably even that original, but there is a reason for his name, other than the obvious "job title + gender."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I realize that by reading this blog it is not readily apparent, but actually a large part of my academic studies has been on the phenomena of blogging- milblogging specifically.

As an undergrad, I was in journalism school and trying to reconcile the ideas that milbloggers are some of the only true ways to get reliable information about contemporary warfighting with the fact that my professors were telling me that bloggers were bad sources. In grad school, one of my first papers was on the historiography of milblogs.

Enter this article from the NY Times.

I'm not sure if they're more about (a) a Supreme Court Justice mistaking law fact (but really, I don't believe they are truly expected to know UCMJ law- even though it would certainly be applicable in this case) (b) none of the other briefs filed mentioned this (c) no major MSM news outlet caught the mistake (d) Child rape has in fact been an executable crime and in practice, not just theory or (e) that the one to break the story was a blogger.

I don't know what the "punchline" of the story is. I think that is is certainly admirable that they are finally doing their homework and consulting reliable blogs, and it has been a long time coming. It is just really interesting and you can bet that I will be seeing if this trend continues...