Monday, March 30, 2009

Overheard at the library. Ranty Edition.


re: Chris Brown (A conversation between two women. MOTHERS, no less)

"It takes two" "She ain't so innocent herself" "I heard she swung first" "they need to leave him alone."

I will admit to not paying a whole lot of attention to the situation. But even so, he sent her to the HOSPITAL. No wonder domestic violence is so prevalent with attitudes like this. No matter who "swung first," the fact that she needed to go to the hospital signals that something VERY, VERY WRONG happened.

And for these women to sit here in the library, discussing how what he did wasn't really that bad? He HIT her. HIT her. How can that not be that bad? And how can you, as mothers, be willing to accept the idea that hitting your partner is okay, no matter who started it?

Wow. Sorry. Apparently I needed to vent. With capital letters.

Let me reiterate: Hitting your partner is not okay. Sending your partner to the hospital is not okay. Legitimizing and Justifying the actions of a role model/celebrity who did so is not okay.

vent over. phew.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The fight that was not a fight.

First of all- the feared "fight" never materialized. Concerns were discussed (as much as they can be via email) and addressed satisfactorily.

Second of all- to clarify, I feel that it is somewhat of a luxury (if not always a welcome luxury) that I can worry about whether to address my concerns with Ranger Man or not. He's essentially a desk jockey over there and doesn't go outside the wire. If he was, I would not be even considering talking to him about my little worries while he's gone. Sometimes it's worse that we have relatively normal email conversation, without any real normality.

Third of all, here's a pretty picture from FDR's Little White House in Warm Springs, GA that my grandma and I visited when she was here. She's old enough to remember FDR, so it was something she really wanted to see. This is one of the pillars from the Little White House, I loved the vine.


And another picture of the house:


And the wishing well on the grounds:


Very pretty. It was a hazy, dreary day- which are my favorite kinds of days. They have character, sunny days don't have much character. This weekend has been extraordinarily dreary also- rain, rain and more rain. I figured out how to knit the border onto my shawl, so I'm trucking along with that quite nicely while the thunder rolls. I have also found out that it is nearly impossible to nap through a thunderstorm (although cats seem to be immune to this problem- Webster has super napping ability).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lost my groove.

I know I posted that I wasn't being reflective or venty about two hours ago, but two hours can be a long time!

So I find myself with a question, one that I'm sure many others deal with too. Obviously, Ranger Man and I have a long-distance relationship. He's a.l.w.a.y.s. gone. So, when things come up, "waiting until he comes home" really isn't an option. Because he'll only be home for 2 weeks, and then he'll be gone again.

How, then, do I deal with conflict? When something happens that bothers me, what do I address, what do I 'let go'?

I'm not good at bottling things inside. Which, in the long run, is probably good- but in the short term it means I have a big mouth, and if things bother me, I have to address them.

So my quandry (my eternal quandry), is what do I do when something is bothering me, but I know that addressing it will cause 'a fight', or an argument? Do I get into a long distance argument? Do I dismiss it? Do I let it keep bothering me but keep it to myself?

Something happened today, and I immediately reacted to it in a non-accusatory but still "please stop that" way, knowing full well that it's going to result in a 'fight.' BUT- it's something that's been bothering me, in a twingy sort of way for a long time that just became not a twinge anymore. It's also something that I don't feel I'm being unreasonable about (although Ranger Man is sure to feel differently). So I sent a message, saying, "Darling, I love you dearly, but I need you to stop doing xxx, it kind of hurts my feelings." (I'm leaving the xxx out for now). Ranger Man is sure to respond with "You're overreacting, I'm not doing anything wrong, you're trying to be too controlling and jealous." (can you tell we've had this argument before?)

My answer for today was that I had to address it. It's been a little bit of a bother for a while, but it exploded into full-fledged concern and serious discomfort today. I had to do something about it, but I'm dreading the thought of the fight as much as I dread the thought of it happening again.

My second question for the day is this: Are non-long distance relationships easier? Because I really think I would like to try that now.

Darn, I lost my groove.

here there and everywhere

I feel no blog-motivation. I have tons of motivation for other stuff, just not blogging. I just don't feel reflective or venty or ranty or anything like that. It's actually quite nice, I've slipped into a nice little groove and for the first time since I moved here, I feel like I have my emotions and my body under control. Accordingly, less need for blogging I guess.

Ohh, look- yarn to distract you!


I ordered myself a valentine's day kit from Woolgirl. This was obviously before I knew about the camel yarn. This was the yarn in the kit- It's Madelinetosh Sock in the "Valentine" colorway. It's very pink and cheery.

Also, be distracted by Sir Shedsalot here:


That's a stack of (copies of) documents from the National Security archive about US Public Diplomacy in Iran in the 1950s that he's practically sitting on, in case anyone is wondering. There is much archive-sifting in my future.

As far as actual knitting goes- I think I'm going to frog the sweater (can you all tell I'm a process knitter?). It's too big, and while I could still wear it around the house and stuff, I don't think I would ever wear it out in public, and I'm not sure it's worth packing around for all that. Because you know I will treasure my first sweater forever and it's not like we don't move very often. So if I'm going to pack something over and over again, I want to be able to at least wear it. I haven't frogged it yet, I'm stockpiling bravery, and I may need a glass of wine or two.

And as far as Ranger Man goes... He got to call this weekend! It's nice to talk to him on the phone once every few weeks. Also- whatever black hole had been sucking up his mail finally got unstuck and he got a whole bunch of letters all at once, so hopefully his mail is getting through now. That means I can start writing letters again.

I guess I had more to say than I thought. Although it's not exactly a cohesive subject, but luckily for me it's my blog and I can do that if I want.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Google WIN!

This is the best hit from Google I've ever gotten.

I'm stuck at work tonight, doing a leadership retreat for some students and missing a really cool field trip to a new yarn store, but this search totally cracks me up- full of win.

The search term? (For those not willing to click through...)

"soldiers make better lovers"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So much fun!

I just got home from my first-ever belly dance class! It was so much fun! I've never taken a dance class before (well, maybe when I was 5 I took ballet, but that was it), so it was hard, but it was a ton of fun, I can't wait until next week to go back!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


For all you work-out/creative types (two things that are not usually combined, but I know that there are both people that are fitness crazy and people that are creative that stop by here every once in a while, and this venture combines both. Perfect!)

I'm the team captain of an inter-campus fitness challenge thingy at work- basically people sign up to be on the team and then track the miles that they run/walk/cycle/whatever.

I want to somehow visually track people's progress in the staff lounge so there's some motivation- but I know that we're going to have people who struggle to get in 2 miles each week, and others that are going to do upwards of 20 miles each week, so I don't want to just have a number of miles race to the end of the timeline- I want to somehow represent that each participant is working hard and accomplishing something important to them.

I have some little sneakers to use for place markers to represent each participant, now I just need to figure out what I can measure and represent in public that is going to be motivating for everyone. Perhaps something cumulative to emphasize that it's a team effort? (the mileage gets averaged together each week). Maybe we need to set some sort of group mileage goal or something? Or the number of times per week the participants run/walk/cycle? What would be motivating, but not time consuming? I thought about asking them to set weekly goals, but that would be too much effort I think.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Knitting Update

Remember the Mystic Ice Shawl?

If you don't, don't worry about it. It was frogged. It was too complicated for me right now- I actually frogged it back in January (frog means ripped out to you non-knitters- I completely un-did the whole thing). After I had rewound the ball, I realized it was a darn good thing I frogged it because I had been knitting it completely wrong anyways- the chart is repeated once, and it should have been done as a mirror image rather than a regular repeat. So the shawl would have had to have been frogged anway. Sigh.

Anyway- now the malabrigo is growing up to be something else, and it is much happier (watch out- that last link is a ravelry link).

IMG_0183 IMG_0188

It's much bigger than this now- in fact the body is completely done (a little more than twice the size it is above). All that's left is the edging (and to figure out how to do the knitted on lace edging), but I realized that I don't have the proper size DPNs (Double pointed needles for the non-knitters, they are exactly what they sound like). So, this is on hold for a while- the likelihood that any of the big-box stores around here have the correct size is slim-to-none with my luck, so I'll have to order them. Darn, more yarn shopping.

And the sweater? I bit the bullet and figured out the darn sleeves. I think I also may have inadvertently figured out how to magic-loop in the process, thank goodness for long cables on my circular needles. Go me.

** Also- note the lack of lifelines. All the other pictures of my lace have had lifelines. This pattern has been a ton of simple, almost-mindless fun **

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Visitor!

My Grandma came to visit me! I am so happy that she's here- sure that I'm going to go a little nuts spending a week with a more-than-half-deaf 82 year old- but really happy. I'm not precisely sure how I'm going to manage my work schedule, although I already know she's spending all day here alone, in my apartment, today. Eek! But she mentioned baking cookies or something, so I guess I can't complain too much.

Insofar as this visit doesn't coincide with either of my Spring Breaks and so therefore I'm still crazy busy/stressed out during it, the timing isnt great. But I'm also in the longest radio-silence we've had yet from Ranger Man (which, thankfully, still isn't that long), but I'm sure if she wasn't here I'd be doing something silly like worrying about it. Instead, I have to come up with ways to entertain her. It's a win-win.

And the best part? One of the first things she did last night was ask me to knit her a pair of socks! Coming from a knitter, that's quite a compliment. So we went diving into the stash and she picked a skein of yarn for a pair of socks to wear with her clogs.

And now? I'm off to work and to brainstorm things to do with my (very energetic) Grandmother!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They Messed with my Head!

On the Island, there is no daylight savings time. I had forgotten what this was like- my poor insomniac head is fried! I had finally gotten into some semblance of routine that was actually working when WHAM! They messed with my head!

I'm sitting at my kitchen table right now with coffee and a blank stare, thinking in my head, "what happened? am I awake enough to try showering yet, or will I drown?"

It should be a glorious day! After one more cup of coffee.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reflections : This time versus last time.

This deployment has been very different than the last, and completely different from the 'other' deployment (Ranger Man and I have each been through one deployment without us).

Warning : Webster is literally in my lap right now- and my laptop is in my lap, so half the cat is sitting on the computer, making typing more of an challenge that it usually is. But he needs his snuggles and since I'm sitting here trying to convice my Lunesta-ized body that it is in fact bedtime... here we are. If Ranger Man were here, he would laugh and take a picture. Of course if he were here, Webster would be snuggling on the lap that isn't moving or otherwise occupied by electronic devices. ideally. Anyways- that's why all of the typos, I can't see what I'm doing!

This deployment is very different. I've not posted a lot of it because it's been a very personal battle that i've been fighting. Our last deployment was not typical: It was very short (he came home early to go to Super Secret Army Land), I was moving to Hawai in the middle of it, and before moving I was living with my parents, working with a wonderful and supportive group of people and had just established myself with some great friends.

Then I moved to Hawaii and went back to my default position of being more solitary. Ranger Man came home (to Ranger Local #1) soon after I after I moved to the Island. We had great mail service (well, one way- I have no idea if mail went both ways) and we wrote via email almost once a day. The email was rough, as we are really bad email communicators as a unit, but for less than two months, it wasn't that big of a deal. I could go home and talk to my mom, my dad was supportive and willing to distract with talk about biking or hiking or kayaking or climbing or whatever, my friend A from work (of Deportment fame) and I would hang or go out occasionally on the weekends and my friend Danger would take me once a week for a walk in one of the beautiful places to go for a walk in the Pacific Northwest and then we'd go out for margaritas afterwards. It was good.

This time around- it's completely different. I am completely on my own. My mom and I aren't really talking (really- I don't need to hear about how you got drunk and hula danced in a bar mom). My dad's never been the one I go to for talking, but he's trying. A and Danger are great, but they have no idea about anything in the alternate universe that is a Southern Army Base Town. At work, most of my interactions go like this: "Hey, Ms. KJ, will you do this citation for me?" "No, but have you seen this great style book? I'll show you how to do it!" "grumble, grumble."

This time around, until this morning, I had no idea when he was going home. It literally could have been any time between sometime this month to December. That was awful. Now I've got a bit better of an idea. It's not December, thank goodness, but it is certainly longer than 'typical' Ranger deployments. Now I know when hes scheduled to take block leave, so now at least I have something to look forward to. Before- it was just a bunch of days that I kept crossing off on my calendar... Now crossing them off has a purpose.

So the hardest parts of this deployment (so far) have been two fold: Feeling completely cut-off, and the utter uncertainty. And: My Grandma will be here for a week, starting next week so that will help with that, and the little tiny bit of information I got this morning definitely alleviates some of the uncertainty problem.

There have been more than a few bad days- and a couple really bad ones. But overall, it's truly going well. I'm eating better than usual and exercising more. I've got school largely under control for now and Today, I feel happy. So that's a start.

And oh my gosh- I cleaned today! Usually, Ranger Man does the cleaning (have I mentioned I love him?) But obviously, he's not here, and before he left, he cleared out his barracks room. So there was STUFF everywhere... it was terrible. He took a picture of it at its worse, I may have to post that sometime. And he seems to think that he "cleaned it up" before he left. And I think by that he means that he cleared a path or something, I don't know. And he is such a packrat! Apparently, we are in the deepest throes of a box shortage. So that means: We MUST NOT throw away any boxes. We must keep the empty boxes. Not so much. He named some specific boxes he wanted to keep before he left, and I am tossing the rest!! Good riddance.

And now, after a weekend of cleaning, It's not bad.. It's not perfect- and Lord knows we still have boxes of stuff, but they're mostly contained boxes. and put in corners. And only a couple empty ones.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Week in Review

Finals week at work has thus far been interesting, and there are two days left (Thursday and Monday).

The ethics class has the opportunity to submit their final essays early and compete in an ethics essay contest- the winner of which gets some token prize. I am one of the lucky ones that gets to grade the essays... h.o.l.y.c.o.w. painful experience.

Thankfully, the prof took pity on us graders and only sent us the 9 "best" essays out of the 23 that were submitted. I made sure to thank her for that as the 9 "best" were all still pretty terrible. There were one or two that may have been OK, C type papers, but they were the best of the bunch. One of the papers didn't mention ETHICS at.all. It was probably the most well-written essay and easiest to read, but it had nothing to do with ethics, which is what the paper was supposed to be about.

There's also been a gaggle of rumors flying around that were addressed in an SGA meeting, so now I get to meet with them and explain why you can't discuss rumors in an official capacity in an open forum meeting on campus.

The powers that be decided that it would be fun to do a new student orientation during all of this and while classes are still in session. So yesterday was filled with botched orientations. (13 is not a small group of students when I only have 11 chairs in the library).

Blegh. How's that for a bunch of complaining? On the good side: I'm working on a new sock. I have a (very) rough timeline for when Ranger Man might be coming home. I'm a little bit ahead in my readings for class. Oh- and it looks like I may get to teach one class during the fall! yay!

Gratuitous Adorable Webster Picture (From us taking a nap a couple weekends ago)
Edit: You can totally see the thumb on his paw in this picture. My cat is cool because he has opposable thumbs!


One more day and it's the weekend! Finally!

Monday, March 2, 2009

what a weekend.

Isn't weird weather a sign of the apocalypse?

Let's review the weather here in Georgia over the weekend:

Saturday Morning: Thunderstorms and Tornado

Saturday Afternoon: 70 degrees and Sunny

Sunday Morning: Snow

All day Sunday: More snow and occasional very loud claps of thunder that scared the bejeezus out of one particular cat and girl.


It was nice and all- curled up on the couch with a book/knitting, purring cat, hot chocolate and hand knit socks was great. But it was also very strange. Webster loved it though- he loves watching snow fall down.

Also frustrating as my school (the work one) is the ONLY school in town that wasn't closed/delayed. Ugh. Not that there is any need for closure- the roads are clear- but still, a day off would have been nice. Especially now that its sunny again! ; )