January 29, 2009

United States of wha?

So, SGT T left on Monday. I came home from the farewell thing and proceeded to invite 80 gazillion people I only kind of knew in high school to be my friends on facebook. Only later did I see the connection, but whatever. Most people accepted and it looks like I'm not the only one that is a friend whore, so who cares. Besides, I'm hoping that most everybody is past all the cliques and social stigmas we had back then. In any case, I've spent entirely too much time on facebook this week and now that my mom is on her way here, I feel hopeful that I'll be distracted a bit more. Besides, it's not like I don't have a shit ton of stuff to do, and she'll keep me on track.

I go pick up my mom tonight, she gets in around 8 so we wont get back to my place until around 10. But, since I'm living on insomnia-time and she's on west coast time, we'll probably be able to catch some Thursday TV with the DVR. I'm going to miss my DVR. I'll have to go back to internet TV to catch all the shows I miss and just can't live without. Sigh.

SGT T called yesterday. They are in some country somewhere, I wont write what he said because as far as I can tell, it's not a real country and I don't want to either a) embarrass him, or b) give away top secret US super stealthy countries hidden in the middle of nowhere. He did, however, get to have a layover in Germany which I pointed out to him meant that he finally got to visit one of our 'must see' destinations before me. Granted, just an airport, but it still made him happy. They will be in their top secret made-up country for an undetermined number of days before loading up and heading off to their final destination where he will be trapped for the next 13 months with nothing but a two week mid-tour leave to look forward to. I guess when you're in prison two weeks is a long time, right?

January 26, 2009

Why did Billy Ray bother changing his hair?

Today is the day. The spouses and family go to say goodbye in a little over an hour, at the farewell ceremony thing. I'm a little uncomfortable about the public forum for our final goodbye, but I suppose it's what we've got so I'll take it. I'm not really sure what will happen, but I sure hope there is food served because it runs from 11:30 to 2:30 and them is prime eatin' hours!

Achy heart aside, I am very excited that I will be leaving here in 8 days! Mom arrives on Thursday to help me pack and clean and travel with the cats, and we'll be home next Tuesday and I couldn't be happier. I'm having a hard time deciding where my first meal will be; right now it is a gastrointestinal battle between China Delight and Andale's and Papa's (it's been too long since I've had some decent taco pizza!) The impossible situations in which I find myself! Life is such a challenge.

Bye, babe, I love you!

(Wedding photo, 2/10/07)

January 21, 2009

LOST starts Today!

You know how I said that I don't have much going on to write about? It's not entirely true, but I still seem to be doing an incredible amount of couch sitting and ass widening. When I was in grad school I struggled with recognizing my strengths and weaknesses in the real world, and well, perhaps now I'm just embracing my strengths and sticking to what I'm good at!

As you saw yesterday, we got a little snow yesterday. Based on the amount of snow I had to push off the car, I'd say we got about 5 inches total.

Today is sunny and gorgeous, the snow is melting which is a bummer, but I enjoyed it while it was here. It was a little strange that SGT T didn't have to work due to the weather, and that supposedly the base was closed, again, due to weather. However, we decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth, and were grateful for the extra day together.

Which, turns out, was a good thing because SGT T just called to let me know they found out they are leaving on Monday. Fun how reality hits a little more forcefully when you have an actual date for things to happen.

January 20, 2009

Happy Barack Obama Day!

I'd love to tell you that the reason I haven't written anything recently is due to how busy I am and how exciting my life is, but given my tendency towards guilt, I wont lie. No, I haven't written because I'm having a hard time coming up with anything worth the effort of logging on to blogger for these days. Until today, that is. And not just because I've watched more CNN today than ever before in my life.

Last week when we were walking up the walk to our front door, we noticed that we weren't the only ones thinking it had been feeling like Spring around here.

Then, last night, SGT T got a call saying that they didn't have to show up for formation until 10 am, as opposed to 5 am, because they were expecting snow. We both thought it was a little weird that things were closing and announcing delayed opening hours and stuff before any rain, let alone snow, had fallen, but hey, we're not from here so what do we know? This morning, SGT T got a call saying that work was canceled for the day because the base was closed. Go figure.

January 14, 2009

On my mind

Oh, hey. Hi! It's been a while, hasn't it? But guess what? LOST is back next week and I'm so excited! I'm watching the recap right now, and it I forgot how much I like this show; it's been so long since it's been on!

In other news, I don't have anything to say, and I thought about posting more pictures, but that's kind of half-assed, isn't it? However, I am entering the "use all the food in the cupboards since they can't put it in storage" phase of getting ready to move and will be doing some baking over the next week. Tonight I made chocolate chip cookies, but didn't take any pictures. I'll try to remember tomorrow, but no biggie.

I attempted to make that potato soup I made a while back that SGT T and I loved so much, but apparently I suck and couldn't replicate the awesomeness of last time. SGT T even said to me: "I didn't like it". Meh, whatever; I can easily find a way to twist it around so that the reason it didn't turn out is his fault instead of mine, so no big deal. The cookies though, I'm a great cookie maker if I do say so myself, were fantastic.

I guess that's all for now. The other kitchen adventures I'm planning include peanut butter fudge, coffee cake, and possibly toffee. I can't wait!

January 8, 2009

It's like a radio contest where you guess the theme and I give you a really lame gift certificate to the local hardware store

When I started that last post, you know the one where I rambled on and on about the only exciting things going on here (i.e. MOVING and deployment), I hadn't actually planned on writing anything. I've been bored today and so I was going through my pictures looking for some interesting ones to share, and I found some and opened a new post to start sharing when my fingers just got away from me and you got stuck with that long-winded explanation of my week. Sorry about that.

This picture was taken last summer at Raven Rock State Park. This hike was the most disgusting hike I've ever experienced. Even though it was late summer, supposedly cooler temperatures, it was still so humid that by the time we got back from the (mostly flat terrain) hike, I was sporting butt sweat soaked through that ended up being more like entire body sweat where the only dry spot on my clothing was where my shirt was folded over itself. I think I may have mentioned my sweating issues before, it is not pretty. Never fear, the picture below is not me all red-faced and dripping with sweat.

This picture was taken at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. On yet another humid day with the added bonus of a sweaty thunder and lightening rain storm. SGT T and I did get to see our first cotton plant though, which was really pretty in bloom (not pictured, just a neat little aside, to me at least).

This last picture is from Smith Lake, here on post. We went out to explore last summer, maybe hoping for a nice cool place to dip in the water. There was no dipping, by us at least, but it was pretty nice. We got there right as the swimming area was opening up, so there were hardly any people out. Then we went for a "hike" and I got ridiculously sweaty, again.

Put a sock in it, puhleeeaaase.

I. AM. SO. BORED. Earlier this week was all hectic and phone calls and reservations and cancellations and re-schedulings and to do lists for the next three weeks. Those To Do lists are still there because of the cancellations and re-schedulings where it turns out I can't make things happen RIGHT NOW just because I want them to. No matter how much crying I do. So now I've got some "down time" while I wait for move day to get a little closer.

Turns out Mom is going to come out and help me with the packing and movers and cats. The final decision is to fly across the country and leave the car in storage. This will be my first experience flying with animals. I'm really excited. Really. I've decided to take them as carry-on instead of checked luggage because of the $75 difference in fees. Per cat. Bankrupt airlines, my ass. Baggage fees, "extra legroom" fees, meal fees, pet fees; bend over fees is more like it.

So, mom is coming out at the end of the month, she'll help me clean the house which I apparently need because I rarely do cleaning here. Only when I start hearing hints from SGT T about something, you know, like, "Wow, when did we get a furry garbage can?". Chances are, knowing that mom is on her way out here will motivate me to clean before she arrives. Then we'll deal with the cats and hope they don't create any scenes on the plane. It could be embarrassing.

The good news is that we decided to hire a company to do all the packing and moving for us. Since SGT T will be gone before any packing is done I figured the best way to be sure nothing winds up broken, by my fault, would be to hire somebody. I found a company that does all the packing, moving, and has their own storage facility and feel pretty OK about the amount of money we will be giving them over the course of the next year or so. For the most part. You might call me lazy but it is more a matter of time and ease and insurance. I mean, if I'm going to have to hire somebody to load up the truck anyways, and if I'm going to have to put our stuff in storage anyways, why not have them pack the boxes? They said that if we packed, we would be responsible if something broke because of packing during the move, whereas if they do it, they are. And after you figure in the cost of boxes and time, it turned out to be a better deal to have them do it. The guy that came out for the in-home estimate said they'll start around 8:30 in the morning and be done by 1 in the afternoon at the latest. I can guarantee you that if I were doing the packing, even with Mom's help, it would take all day.

So, SGT T is leaving soon. I'm sad. Today we had to go to a FRG meeting which turned out to be incredibly lame and pointless, but for some reason when we sit there during these meetings and the Captain is talking about the deployment I get all weepy and blurry eyed and have to think about other topics lest I publicly embarrass myself. Maybe it is more real to hear him say it, because I don't usually get that emotional about it when we talk about it at home. Sometimes, but not always.

I just realized that I've written a lot about nothing and in a not very coherent way, so we'll just stop now. M'kay?

January 7, 2009

Dip it

Something I've come to realize, and welcome with open arms, about myself is that I'm a condiments kinda gal. A favorite restaurant, favorite meal, more often than not is chosen because of the dipping sauce or salad dressing or hot sauce offered. Some examples: ranging from the ridiculously obvious (I like french fries so I can have ketchup and ranch) to the fattening but irresistible (Texas eggrolls from Roadhouse so I can have some of that yummy spicy jelly) to the addictive (burritos from Andale's so I can drown in their hot sauce). Basically, the more crap I can dip, dunk, or drown my meal in, the better.

Tonight I made fried chicken just so I could have mashed potatoes and gravy. After the whole frying process I was pretty disgusted with the bird but man oh boy the gravy and potatoes were fantastic! Instead of using the frozen broccoli that is in the freezer, I was lucky enough to have some fresh zucchini and squash in the fridge that I had bought for some pasta which I ended up making differently. Usually I saute these guys up in some butter and garlic and throw them in some pasta, and I've also made rosemary zucchini before where you wrap up the zucchini in foil with some oil and rosemary (duh) and throw it in the oven for a bit, but I was kind of at a loss tonight as to how to prepare them. And just then, as I stood paralyzed with indecision in the middle of the kitchen, Freckles called and saved the day.

I told her that if her help panned out that I would give her a special mention here, and so, Freckles, consider yourself specially mentioned.

Even though I overcooked it and they turned out soggy, and even though I told her that I would blame her if that happened and not give her any special mention, I'm still doing so. That is just the kind of friend I am. So, other than the extreme sogginess, the whole "slice the squash throw it in a pan with some butter and cover with breadcrumbs and Parmesan" idea was tasty and successful and I thank her by pointing out, once again, that I'm giving her special mention here. On my blog. Which means she are totally going to be famous because I'm like the most popular blogger out there. No, really, I am. I just like to keep it real by writing really boring stories about making dinner and how small my bladder is. You know how it is.

January 5, 2009

Food porn

SGT T went back to work today after two weeks off. At the beginning of it, two weeks seems like such a long time and how great and wonderful, but by the end you wonder where the time went and how you managed to not get anything accomplished. Like thousands of others, he joined the ranks of post-holiday-back-to-work blues sufferers. Boy, that back to work stuff sure is a drag.

Doesn't help that in going back to work, it means that the deployment is steadily approaching. It weighs heavy, people. There is so much to do and you are constantly running through lists in your head and wishing you had a pen with you so you could jot down what you just thought of because you know that in 18 seconds it will be long gone but you really really need to remember to do it. And all the decisions that need to be made, options to be weighed, bank accounts to be considered.

Like, what am I supposed to do with all the butter in my freezer?

I suppose I'll have to do a lot of baking over the next few days in an attempt to use up a lot of my perishables, and have SGT T take them in to work. Yay! That means more food posts with pictures! Which reminds me that I haven't posted the cake I made for Christmas Eve dinner. I don't have the recipe here, and am not sure where it came from originally, but my mom got it from my godmother when they were friends. This cake features throughout my childhood and only with fondest of memories. I embellished the top a bit, I don't remember ever having it with frosting beyond the chocolate. But here, take a look, Triple Chocolate Cake:

Only after the cake was made did I see how x-rated the white chocolate looks in places. I tried. My first attempts at making pretty food are just that: first attempts. Besides, if the real thing tasted like white chocolate don't you think the porn industry would be a happier place?

Also, I made Mexican Hot Chocolate Truffles posted by Rianne at Art of Dessert. Man oh man were these good. Mine aren't nearly as pretty as hers, but who is surprised, right? Not I. I made these and they were awesome and I gave them to people for Christmas and then I went and forgot to bring some home with me and so they are sitting in the freezer at my parents house. Go figure.

The positive thing there is that in about a month I'll be there and my chocolate craving will accompany me in full force.

January 4, 2009

Passing my lessons on to you

I'm not sure if any men read this blog. In fact, given the fact that maybe four people read it and that I know who those four people are, I'm going to go ahead and assume that no men read this. With that in mind, ladies, I implore of you to spread this message to the men in your life if they are in need.

I'd like us to all take a moment and consider the necessity of men to wear underwear with sweats. Not just to make you feel all snug and secure, no, you need to wear the underwear for more altruistic reasons. When you wear jeans and slacks, things are pretty much nestled in place for the duration, am I right? However, throw on a pair of comfy, flexible, elastic, stretchy sweats, pajama pants, etc, and things tend to bounce around. The scene from Juno where Paulie and the rest of the track team are shown running in slow motion comes to mind. Shiver. There is almost nothing worse than seeing the shape of a strangers penis flopping around in their pants, without first asking to see said floppage.

Yesterday I went to the craft store to find some "teach yourself how to crochet" stuff. The craft store is a pretty innocent place, you don't go there with the sense of danger that might accompany you to, say, that shopping center in Spring Lake, NC where there are guys that stand on the sidewalk waiting for you to drive by so they can stop you and harass you in your car. But yesterday I practically ran from the craft store because of a creepy sweat pants wearer. No, I didn't run just because of the sweats, because I realize that I am not exactly fashion-faux-pas-free. I ran because it was the closest I've ever come to feeling molested. Seriously.

I went to the knit/crochet section of the store and was looking at the How To books when this man with inappropriate underwear usage appeared in the same aisle as me. I immediately noticed the free-floating bulge that bounced as he stood there, and cringed as I turned back to the books. He made his way down the aisle to where I stood so I meandered down to look at hooks and needles at the other end of the aisle. There was, what looked like, some male scratching and grabbing going on, but it didn't seem to be overly done and I imagine with things getting flung every which way, you might get the occasional scratch that must be dealt with immediately, so I thought nothing (much) of it. Until he suddenly joined me back at the books and more than subtly scratched; it was more along the lines of "this is what I do in my lounge chair when I watch Vanna turn the letter tiles". I immediately went to a different aisle, looking back I'm not sure why I was so persistent in wanting to find a book or something. He showed up moments later and I fled. I got to my car, locked the doors, and sat there for a minute to see if he was coming out of the store (have I mentioned that I don't have a job and therefore read a lot of fiction and therefore was imagining scenes of car chases and losing him with my stealthy driving tricks and if that didn't work driving until I saw a cop), he wasn't so I left. Luckily, I found another craft store down the street and was able to finish perusing the books and yarn without any problems requiring either the fashion- or the Fayetteville police.

Lessons learned:
-The craft store is not as innocent a place as it is made out to be
-I'm fully prepared to drive like Jason Bourne if the situation calls for it
-Crocheting is a dangerous hobby

January 2, 2009

What? What am I doing?!

I took down my 2008 re-cap for now, I've got to reconsider some of my answers and give it some more thought. Sort of like my resume, finding a way to word my irrelevant experience so I appear to be the ideal candidate for the job. I've got to find a way to make "spent the year unemployed, sitting on the couch watching TV and reading brain candy books, feeling my ass expand with each commercial break and turn of the page" sound desirable and as if it is exactly what I had hoped to do with my year.

We're back from Oregon and what a great trip! We got to see friends and family, and spend the holiday with them. It was the first time SGT T had been home for Christmas in a couple years; in 2006 I left him alone in Utah (Utah!) while I spent the holiday at home with family (long story, but he swears he was OK with it), and in 2007 we were both in Korea (I'd say moving across the world makes up for the Utah incident, wouldn't you?). I think we were both especially happy to be able to be home and surrounded by people that care about us. Especially with him leaving at the end of the month and missing next Christmas.

We were able to spend the night before our flight in Portland and see SGT T's mom - I finally met my mother-in-law! SGT T and I have known each other for 8 or so years, been together for three and a half of those, and I had never met his mom. It's about time!

We made it home, the return flight nowhere near as miserable as the flight out. No terrible seatmate, we got to sit next to each other, and no miserable delays. We rang in the New Year with our usual tendency towards rowdy craziness: sitting on the couch watching TV. Except we threw in a twist this year, instead of suffering through Ryan Seacrest and his boyband looks and annoyingly stylish suits, we spent it with my boyfriend on CNN, Anderson. Definitely a good decision, last year in Korea we watched Ryan and Dick and it was a sad, painful affair, the likes of which I hope to never repeat. My favorite part was when Kathy Griffin punched Anderson Cooper in the stomach and he giggled. Oh ho, it makes me chuckle just remembering it.

January will be a pretty hectic month for us, I hope you'll be patient. Not that you have ever been a demanding crowd; there has never been a mob with pitchforks and other painful farm tools the likes of which I hope to never see outside of a corn field outside my door requesting me to blog for them, but when I do write, you might get tired of me rambling about SGT T leaving and all the stress of packing and figuring out the logistics of moving and stuff. I thought I had it all figured out: after he leaves, rent a truck, load it up, unload it at a storage unit, and drive with the cats across the country. Easy enough, no? Now it turns out SGT T doesn't want me to drive, wants me to leave the car here in storage and fly, then buy a car once I get home. Which, on the one hand, yay! a new car! But on the other hand, no, not a new car, a used car that will last the year until we find out where he'll be going when he gets back. He said I could buy a new new car if I wanted, but part of the goal for this deployment is the getting rid of debt and the creating of a real savings. So, my dad was all, oh there is an '88 Ford Escort Wagon for $700 here! Ugh! We'll see. If things are that bad then I may just bite the bullet and get a cool new car. What a snob!

OK, so hey, Happy New Year! I have no idea what is happening yet except that at the end of the month I'm supposed to move back across the country, with two cats, and with or without a car. Sounds fun, care to join me?