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 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.

IMG_0003 IMG_0001

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.

IMG_0011 108_0368

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.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008


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!


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.