Saturday, January 31, 2009

To my neighbors:

A letter to my downstairs neighbors:

If I can make out the words of the music you're listening to, it's probably too loud.

I realize that it's only 2:00 in the afternoon, but you started with the loud music and the yelling at 10am, and it's sure to go to 1 in the morning, if last night was any indication. I can't concentrate when my walls and my floor are shaking, and since I work 10 hour work days and I must do all my my best graduate school concentrating on the weekends.

Also, of the three apartments above you, three of them have occupants that went through Ranger School. Do you really want to mess with us?

Please turn your music/football game/video game/all of the above DOWN.


your upstairs neighbor with a headache.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In which I act like a 13 year old girl

My secret confession of the day: I'm watching American Idol, and it makes me cry... Good grief. I kind of feel like a teeny-bopper. Although I'm also really excited about the new show "Lie to Me," I watched the last episode on Hulu earlier today, and I am looking forward to tonight's episode. I think it's a tv show that Ranger Man and I would like to watch together... maybe. In the meantime Webster and I will watch it. If we ever stop tearing up from American Idol. Geesh. I feel a little less guilty because one of the professors came by at work today and confessed to loving watching it... so I'm totally taking that as justification.

Cookie asked for the details about yesterday's scarf. The pattern is called the Old Shale scarf (ravelry link), it's about 5'8" long and I knit it on size 4 needles.

What's important is the intended recipient, not the scarf.

I don't have a large family, but (up until last year), the family I did have was very tightly knit (no pun intended). My Father is an only child, and his parents lived only about an hour away from us so we spent some time with them. There was my GrandMa (who also knits), my Grandpa, and Josie. Josie is related to me somehow, but it's too convoluted for my pea brain, so as far as I'm concerned, she's my second Grandma. She is one of the funniest people I know- in an intelligent and quick witted way. She is one of those people who are just good hearted and it shines through in the way that she is. We had a dog growing up who was a fantastic judge of character, and Ruthie (the dog) loved Josie from the get go. Even Mr. aloof Webster would come out of hiding to say hi to her.

Josie's pushing 90, she recently had to move out of her home and into a group home/care thingy and around Christmas time she was hospitalized for a while. It hurts my heart that I'm not there with her and my GrandMa as they get older. I used to drive to my Grandma's on Sundays to go to church with her and then we'd go out to lunch with Josie afterwards- and I looked forward to it all week!

So I made the scarf for Josie. I want her to feel warm and bright and cheerful and that's why I made the sweater.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I think I might have a vanity problem. I made this scarf and posted it on Ravelry. And - - - 4 people have clicked the little heart button to "favorite" it. 4 people I have never met before! I kept checking all day today, and the number went up and up! I think the sheer delight that it gave me means that I am just a little vain about the quality of my knitting. Luckily, as this is made of the elusive Wollmeise, I can pass it off that they're actually favoriting the yarn, and not the scarf. But still- what a thrill to look at my projects page and see that someone else has seen my work and liked it enough to add it to their favorites! That is so not good. Not good- I need to go home and make a big ole mistake in something and have to frog it all to make up for it. Karma, you know.

In other news: I got a crock pot this weekend! It's teeny-tiny, but I'm excited to be able to have warm food when I get home from working. My schedule while classes are in session are 4-10 hour days with an hour lunch- which means that I am at work for a really long time and I'm starving and exhausted by the time it's all over. So I'm hoping the crock pot will help. I've actually been eating really well since Ranger Man has been gone- I'm impressed with myself. Nothing gourmet, like when he's here, of course- but still I've cooked everything myself and it's all been relatively healthy. Webster, of course, is on his usual kitty-kibble diet.

I'm off to humble myself somehow. It only seems fair.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Never Ending Socks of Doom

My blogging mojo is a little off kilter (that is, of course, if I ever really had any blogging mojo).

We're back to the stage where I write in emails and regular letters to Ranger Man, and by the time all of that is over, blogging doesn't seem necessary as I've already written everything once or twice. So... we'll see what happens.

Fortunately, I am still in full possession of my knitting mojo. I am also confident that I have knitting mojo, whereas the existence of my blogging mojo is probably up for debate. I have pictures of much of my compulsive Christmas Knitting. Remember the never-ending socks of doom? That's totally what I called the when I was making them. My feet are 9 inches long. Little, size 6.5-7 (women's) feet. Making socks for me is fun, because the feet are not very long. Ranger Man's father, on the other hand, wears size 14 (men's) feet. They are 12 inches long. ugh. In Steeler's Colors, modeled on my feet...

IMG_0112 IMG_0109

Yeh- I think one is with the flash and one without. The true colors are somewhere in between. And sorry about the cat butt... he was trying to help. The pattern is the Wollmeise Socks, which is most of the way down the page. The pattern may have been okay, except that I was knitting the never-ending socks of doom, so it got pretty old. I had three skeins (due to the ginormous feet), and I think I could have knit another inch on the cuff, but they were top down and I didn't feel like fiddling with it, not to mention the fact that knitting this four row repeat any longer would have been miserable. The yarn- super soft, I'm just hoping it wears well. I switched to size zeros for the toe, to try to make it stronger.

Perhaps I've answered my blogging mojo conundrum, maybe for the next (who knows how many) months this will be more of a knitting blog. Maybe not. Probably just more of me. Dont worry, I have more knitting pictures, but I'll spread them out a bit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I watched college kids- apathetic college kids- gather around a television and cheer and cheer today. It was beautiful. Well- I saw them gathered and I heard the cheering because somebody had to man the library! I had to watch the inauguration on BBC because I couldn't get it to stream on C-SPAN, CNN or Fox- which was pretty intense.

I also realized something today- it has been about six months since I've moved here, to "live with" Ranger Man, and (pre-deployment) he's been here about 6 weeks. I haven't yet decided if that's a good ratio or a bad one.

I spent the weekend baking, knitting and reading- altogether not a bad (long) weekend all things considering.

I even took pictures of my Finished Objects from my compulsive Christmas knitting. There are pictures of the socks that are literally three inches longer than my foot. It's kind of funny looking. Someday soon I'll release them from the the confines of Ranger Man's camera and set them free into my flickr account. Right now, there is a cat on my lap so I must go.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The deployment card

I thought about playing the deployment card last week with my prof when I had a paper due and a deploying boyfriend in the same week. I didn't, and I got the paper in on time. I don't think that deployment, no matter how stressful, should be an excuse not to do my school work- shoot, there's one guy in the class who is doing the work while he's deployed!

But today, as I was preparing my final comments for this class, and re-reading the syllabus I had an awful realization. The comments that I had been making for the last five weeks had due dates. Crap. I had been feeling so great about myself for getting everything done, in spite of crappy Christmas without my family, inspite of spending two weeks with the non-inlaws (the parents of my non-spouse), inspite of this deployment... and I find out that 20% of my grade had been late. seriously late. I had thought that the comments had to go on before the end of the week, so I submitted on friday or saturday. No- they were supposed to be done by TUESDAY. ugh. How many times did I read that syllabus and manage to skip over that part?

So- I emailed to prof and apologized. I didn't ask for leniency, but I did feel that I needed to explain why I blew off his due dates (when I have never turned anything in late to him before, and this is my fifth class with him)... I mentioned the deployment, but not in a "give me slack" way, merely in a "wow this has been crazy, I'm so sorry" way. That's not playing the deployment card, right? I mean- that's just being honest about what's going on. No, I did not tell him about the non-inlaws experience... I don't want to be that needy soldier's girlfriend person- but an explanation was needed, right? right?

Anyways, cute cat and FO... Same Webster pose as yesterday, only with a pair of Fetchings out of Silk Garden.


Webster makes a good model, no?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Study Break

Webster was helping me write yesterday...

(Oh, and I've got my camera figured out now, thanks to some web-cam help from afar... ; ) )

Don't know where he is, but it can't be too bad as he has internet access. He's not in-country yet, but he's doing fine. And I'm doing better now!

Lessons from Deployment

Lesson Learned #1: after your boyfriend deploys and you think you're out of the things only you eat (i.e. coffee creamer), it's a good idea to check the refrigerator before going to the grocery store. He does a good job of taking care of you. Otherwise you're going to end up with a bunch of coffee creamer.

Lesson Learned #2: It's really great that all of said boyfriend's things are now here in our apartment and not scattered between here and the barracks. Moving this stuff here right before the deployment was a necessary evil, and having him put things away and clean may have been convenient while I was working 10 hours a day, but now I cant find anything! Where is the cord for my camera???!?

Lesson Learned #3: People may not call you more often than once or twice a year. Until your boyfriend has deployed and you are waiting for the "I'm okay" phone call. Then everyone you know will call you (despite the fact that they have no idea) what a bad time it is... ugh. My mom called after I was asleep- I really thought that one was him, because who else would call when they know I'm in bed? What a let down.

Seriously, I have no idea where the cord is, and its driving me nuts. I was going to post a picture of Webster helping my write my paper yesterday, but I can't figure out how to get my pictures into my computer without that dang cord... I'll keep looking.

In the meantime, I'm relaxing, baking, finishing up the last tiny little bit of schoolwork I have for the weekend and snuggling with my cat. Oh, and waiting by the phone for an 'I'm okay' phone call. That would be nice.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Many drafts, no actual posts

My post list is growing, according to Blogger. I'm just not actually publishing any posts.

A deployment and a final paper due and the start of classes at work should not all happen in one week.

Luckily- the paper's due on friday and then I have a four day weekend. My next class doesn't start until Saturday, I'm not sure what I'm going to do for 4 days... (knit) (snugle with Webster)(start working on thesisy stuff)...

It's almost the weekend people! I may have actual blog posts on the weekend.
Here are some cop-out pictures because I can't say anything else...

IMG_0139 IMG_0148

Friday, January 9, 2009

On Deportment

We like "deportment" rather than "deployment."

Here's why:

(I could have sworn I've posted this already, but I can't find it, so... if you've already read it, don't bother reading it again!)

Ranger Man's last deployment was actually about a year and a half ago. That's a long time in Ranger-World. At the time that he left, I hadn't even moved to the Island yet (wow, a lot has changed!). I was still in my interim (between undergrad and grad school) job- the one that convinced me that I needed to go to grad schol. This job was actually pretty great, just not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was a specialty construction company (as opposed to a general contractor)- and construction companies have their share of characters working for them.

One of the other girls (it was construction- I mostly saw crusty old men all day) and I became friends in the sense that we would go out for a drink on fridays after work and chat during work etc. Although her heart was mostly in the right place, she had lived in this tiny hick town (I commuted to the hick town from the reasonably sized hippie-ville city every day) her entire life and therefore had a limited worldview.

Whereas I had done my undergrad work next door to an Army base and an Air Force Base, studied military-media relations, been engaged to a regular Army soldier and was currently dating (or whatever Ranger Man and I were doing during that year, that's a different story for a different time) a Ranger... she didn't have a clue. I guess I can't fault her for not knowing, but still...

One day not too long after Ranger man had 'left,' she was complaining to me about something her boyfriend had said to her (in person), and how she chose to not speak to him for the rest of the night. Note: This particular chain of thought already made me want to punch her as I didn't even know where Ranger Man was at that point. She asked me where he was (This was when we still called him Ranger Boy)- literally, she asked what my plans were with Ranger Boy that weekend. I said he was "away," and her response was...

"oh, that's right, he's gone on deportment..."

what? deportment?

"um, yeah- he's gone." I did not have the heart to correct her, and plus- it's kind of funny. So I told Ranger Man and now we have all sorts of jokes about hopping the fence... and saying that he's getting deported makes me smile, while saying that he's getting deployed- not so much. Obviously- if there were truly immigration issues it wouldn't be funny... but for now it's funny and euphemisms are good. So I say he's deported. At least to myself.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


I don't think that I really understand gifts. I mean- I completely understand loving someone and wanting to do someone nice for someone, but I don't understand the expectation of gifts. Yes, Christmas and birthdays are nice, and if people feel that they want to give me a gift- that's wonderful and exciting and I'm appreciative. But I don't expect it.

I don't expect people to buy things for me, and I certainly don't expect that there is a certain amount of money that they will spend, or that it will be comparable to what they spend on someone else (i.e. my brother). I think I do expect people to recognize the occasion (a phone call is usually sufficient), but with the exception of my parents and Ranger Man, even that is optional.

It bugged me all Christmas, and I was (probably not wisely) reading on one of the main Ravelry forums today about family members who expect gifts from each other- like it is mandatory on birthdays or whatever.

It's not. No one HAS to buy anyone anything. Recognition of milestones, holidays or achievements can be done in many ways and honestly- I would rather someone took the time to talk to me about whatever it is than slapped some money or gift card at me. I would never presume that someone was wrong for not getting me things. Yes- I was (and still am, a little) upset with Ranger Man for completely neglecting my birthday altogether- but that wasn't about money, that was about the specialness. He could easily have watched movies with me on tv all day and I would have been more than happy. Actually, I probably would have been estatic. There was no need for money to be spent. (which we totally did last night and it was so awesome- last night was awesome).

His family, on the other hand, was very conscious of the fact that it is imperative to buy some sort of present for each other. In Ranger Man's eyes, even if I were to knit something for someone (i.e. a scarf for his mother)- out of Wollmeise no less- that wouldn't be good enough because it wasn't store bought. The whole holiday was about what can we get and how do we make it even between the brothers etc etc. So weird to me.

I'm sure that's how some people show that they love each other. They get the best and newest and shiniest things for each other and by increasing their status they can prove their love. If they enable their love ones more capable of keeping up with the Joneses then it must be true familial love.

I'm trying to get it, I really am... but expecting gifts just seems wrong. Maybe expecting people to expend their time is even more presumptuous?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mr. Coffee saves the day

During the fall semester, a few things happened:

a. I didn't like reading/writing when Ranger Man was home. If he was home I wanted to be spending time with him, and also he was noisy and made complicated reading difficult
b. He would have to get up and leave around 0530 every day for PT, while I didn't have to leave for work until 0940. So I tried to get the majority of at least my reading done during those morning hours when he wasn't here. Which of course takes willpower to get up early when you don't really have to...

I did a reasonably decent job with this system when he was home. I actually did an even better job when he was gone ( I love rolling over into the warm spot in the bed and going back to sleep). However my sleeping schedule was thrown way off whack over the last two weeks which is kind of like the kiss of the sleeping death for an insomniac- the only reason I ever sleep at all is because my body just gets into some sort of a rhythm and decides to doze so the rhythm is gone now and bedtime is ugly. Consequently, 0530 is at least as ugly!

I'm behind the curve on this (as I've had this coffee maker since we moved in), but I just started using the delayed brew feature- and that is the best motivation for getting out of bed when I don't actually have to! It's wonderful! I knew, that if I didn't get up, my coffee would get cold and wasted while if I did get up, all I'd need was a cup! So Amazing!

(I'm easily impressed sometimes, can you tell?)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home sweet Georgia...

I can't even describe how much better it feels to be home. Georgia never looked so good...

The trip home was in step with the rest of the 'vacation,' car troubles and a normally wonderfully quiet kitty who would. not. shut. up. while we were trying to sleep in who-knows-where Virginia last night. But we're finally home and I honestly feel like a weight has been lifted. Nothing's changed; Ranger Man is still leaving very soon and our apartment is a mess and all the problems I had yesterday I still have today, but today I am home. I can deal with things my own way and in my own time.

I have an essay to write tonight so I can edit tomorrow and submit by midnight Island time, but other than that I am enjoying being in my own home with my own little family.

And to be honest- Of all the states we drove through- Georgia was the greenest and the prettiest, who woulda thunk? I guess home really is where the Army sends us...