Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kill Joy, Part II

The problem with this blog, as with all others, is that I tend to only post when I really have something eating me that I just have to say.

And so it becomes a brain dump for all my being unhappy and Army hating, when really there are many days in which I love (OK love is a little strong of a word) the military and don't mind being an Army wife, and have a lot of fun.

So, in the name of not making me sound miserable ALL of the time, I'm going to start this post by telling about all the good times I've had since Luke was gone, and say things like "I had tons of fun without him" and "I may actually be able to function long term with him leaving and coming like this -- surprised me too."

So, let's start with last Wednesday -- went to Bible study and it was actually really good without Luke. I doubted the possibility of that. I got to talk about D.C. for an extended time with people who are moving there, and that always makes me happy.

Thursday -- saw Julia and Veeka, both of whom I enjoy a lot and had a lot of fun at the park. Thursday evening was Navs, which was also super fun.

Friday -- Went to the park with Gen and my not dog and Gen's not baby. Went to a birthday party Friday evening with Gen and Jeff and several other very fun people and played my favorite game, Apples to Apples.

Saturday -- I was thinking about going kayaking, but I ditched that idea and decided to go hiking with friends. Photographic evidence:
It was pretty much good times. That evening I took some work gals to a movie on post, where we saw the funniest pre-video of the national anthem ever made, featuring a moose. I laughed. (I also loved the movie, Get Smart).

Sunday -- Went to church, actually played sports with Navigator friends, went to the pool, came home because I was tired.

Monday -- My one month wedding anniversary. Where is my husband? Not here and has not talked to me in six days. But I am still OK! Why? Because I got to talk to Abigail for an hour on the phone and my husband was coming home in only on day and then I got to wash my carpet. And THAT made me really, really happy. And I organized drawers. And cabinets. And it was fantastic.

Now is the part where things go down hill. But you can see that I was very happy and well adjusted for several days there.

Last night (after all the cleaning) I went to bed, where I spent hours dreaming that Luke did get home before I left, but I couldn't talk to him or spend time with him because a bajillion people kept coming in and interrupting. By the time I woke up this morning I was really mad and stressed out and basically ready to see my husband again.

So I started watching the phone. He was supposed to call when he got home, likely this afternoon.

And it did ring. But not because Luke was calling. Basically everyone EXCEPT Luke called.

So I kept waiting. Gen was scheduled as back up driver just in case the Army was stupid and Luke wasn't home yet. But of course that wasn't going to happen.

And I kept waiting. And I made brownies. And then I walked around and admired my floors. And then I watched the Sopranos. And then I admired my floors some more.

And then my phone rang -- Luke, calling from not his phone (because he doesnt have it with him) to say that he wont be home until at least 10 p.m. tonight, and that I should call Gen and have her take me.

That converastion lasted 3 minutes -- the longest (and the only time) I've talked to him since last Wednesday. It was mostly silence because I couldn't talk. There I was again, stupid Army wife who hates the Army, crying on her couch because her husband is always gone.

Now I definitely do NOT want to go D.C. at all. I just want to sit here and wait for him to come home. And I do NOT want to fly all night. I do NOT want to eat lunch with anyone tomorrow, unless it is Luke, and I do NOT to walk around my former hometown, fighting off the urge to wish I still lived there without first seeing my wonderful husband and being reminded of why I left to start with.

Awesome, I'm a complete mess again ... so much for doing well.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Spotted: One Stinky Cheese Man

It's official -- the entire Army smells like feet.

Boy feet, specifically.

I first noticed (and how could I miss it) while sitting in Luke's office being invisible last week. I made him take me home mostly because I didn't want to be invisible (maybe I'll go off on this phenomenon another time), but partly because I could not stand to hang out in a place that smells THAT bad.

How the heck do they work there?! And you know it's not just the smell of Luke, but the scent of about 20 or 30 dudes in uniform and tan boots wandering around, being productive (yet another subject worthy of discussion -- what are these people actually DOING all day?! I mean, I know what Luke does... I think ...)

It was not until last night while sitting in Bible Study in a brand new chapel on the North side of Fort Lewis that I decided that the scent is not just relegated to offices but permeates the entire post. We were using a children's classroom -- a classroom where the boots shouldn't be! -- and there it was, that funky soldier foot smell.


And it really is everywhere -- the PX, the commissary, the gym (ok, that actually makes sense), the chapel ...

How do we make it stop? And what if it tries to come into my house ...maybe we'll just start requiring the husband to put all dirty clothes straight in the wash immediately after coming home ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Kill Joy

I was doing fine most of the morning -- sure my husband was leaving, but I saw him off from the my bed this morning half asleep with my eyes closed without crying really at all (the sleeping helped with the not being emotional). I was fine, that is, until he called me just to talk one more time before he falls off the face of the planet.

That was such a sweet thought ... but it ruined my composure.

By the time I got off work the only thing that was going to Save The Day was 1/2 hour in the park and, more importantly, 1 1/2 miles in the pool.

Flashback: other than cheapish groceries, the Army's only saving grace in my book is the free, clean pools.

Obviously they are hell bent on making me hate them as much as possible ... because though I planned my swim around the Fort Lewis pool schedule, when I got there they were closed for ROTC training, another pool was closed and the third only had two lanes open for lap swimming -- that's right, two lanes servicing the whole base. I didn't even bother going over.

I thought the Air Force would be there for me if the Army wasn't, but no -- their pool was closed too.

And now I'm royally pissed, mad at the Army and finding my only solace in a box of Wheat Thins.

(i hate the army)


There are some things that are just not OK to say. As my friend Lawren pointed out yesterday, there are some things you should never, ever ask someone that people for some reason ask anyway. Why would they do that? Not sure

.... Things like "How does it feel to be married?" (I have no idea how to answer this question. I know it's asked with the best of intentions, but what do you REALLY want to know when you ask this??) or, worse, "Was this baby planned?" (the subject of Lawren's justified rant).

There is one thing, however, that is worse than all those -- not a question, but a statement in response to my complaints about the Army being stupid and my husband leaving for six days at a time with no cell phone (even though two days ago he was only supposed to be gone four days and could bring his cell phone) ...

"Well, he's in the Army, so you better get used to it."

Ah, thank you, person who probably does NOT have a husband in the Army and has NO idea why it is so hard, so much harder than you would think ... how no matter how much you tell yourself that he comes and goes and it will be OK, it's not. Thank you, person who will never have to deal with because they have no military connection outside of you. Thank you, person who, when I say "you are never allowed to say that to me," clearly doesn't understand why, or care to understand. Thank you, person, who obviously thinks I'm delusional and a resident of the happy little land of denial. Your opinion and expertise is the one I value.


I don't know where people get off thinking that is an OK thing to say. How can you possibly think such a phrase, uttered repeatedly whenever I'm sad or lonely, is going to help? You think I do not know that being in the Army means that my husband, the person I love more than anyone else, who I left my entire life and career for, my best friend -- you think I don't know that the Army will take him away repeatedly for 12 to 15 months during which I'll barely get to talk to him, see him once for a week and he could die (that means be gone forever, in case you don't get it).

Ah, yes, the solace to my soul is your experienced "get used to it, and shut up."

In short, never, ever say that to me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Repeat After Me...

I am a supportive Army wife. I am a supportive Army wife. I AM a supportive Army wife.

The more I say, the more it will be true, right?

(not working ...)

Luke is late at work again .. this wouldn't be so frustrating if he hadn't left for work at 3:30 a.m. And if he hadn't said he'd be home at 5:30 p.m. And if I hadn't made dinner to be ready at 6:00 p.m. And if he hadn't just called to say his Army boss man is keeping him at least a half hour later.

i am a supportive army wife.

(stupid army)

This is quite the change from earlier. There I was, driving around post between a free swim in the tax payers' pool and shopping at the cheap-ish, tax free grocery store and the thought popped into my head "being in the Army is awesome! good priced/free stuff abounds!"

Whoa, talk about a lapse in sanity. I must've forgotten for that moment about all the stupid Luke working late and leaving for days at a time and Washington BFF Abigail leaving for way, way too long. (I don't want to talk about that right now, by the way, lest I become kind of upset).

Gotta keep these things in the front of my mind ... maybe it will help me be supportive ... that way I won't ever be disappointed. Maybe I'll have really low expectations so that whenever I get to keep my friends for more than a few months or my husband gets to eat dinner with me, when he says he will ... I'll be way excited.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Single Thought

Just because it is playing on ESPN, does not mean it must be watched

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Weekend, How I Love Thee

I am so completely over this whole work during the week thing. Maybe it was because I spent the entire week with snot flowing out my face (where does it all COME from?! I swear, there is no end) -- but by the time this afternoon rolled around I was ready to not walk into that coffee shop ever again.

I hope I feel differently by Monday.

Tomorrow I'll spend the day with Luke signing up to be an Army dependent. That means insurance paperwork, ID paperwork, dependent on the payroll paperwork ... an entire forest of paper used just to get me to be all official.

The plan for this could all change. Ah yes, God no doubt finds all of this very comical. I love making plans, schedules, contemplating coming events and basically making my life revolve around things I've put in place for the coming day/week/month/year. And so he put me in the Army, where plans can change 123,456,678,457 in one day just to make me freak out a little.


I didn't feel like doing the gym thing yesterday -- it was such a lovely day out, and I've been so bored with the same-old, same-old there that I just wanted to stay close to home. Today I just felt kinda .. blah ... tired, bored of the gym, confused about a bunch of stuff running through my brain/heart right now ... but...

Dah-duh-duh! Abigail to the rescue!

Brand new swimming suits (my old one officially fell apart last week) arrived today and so we are going swimming before Bible study. THAT is a work out I can get behind. And the best part? When we get to Navs we'll be soggy, smell like chlorine, and looks like we showered and got dressed at the gym ... hot!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ode To A Pot

The whole point of the electric kettle is to boil water very quickly .

But when people saw my little hot pot and asked how fast it was I had to say "oh, a little slower than the stove."


This wasn't just any hot pot, you know -- it was my Mom's. She used it in college. That was over 30 years ago.

It's quite an old little pot.

I took it to college with me. And then to D.C. And then I brought it here. And all along the way it's been faithful to make me boiling water in just as long as it takes so I can drink my delicious tea.


Sadly the time has come for a newer, better pot. It was a wedding gift, not a choice. But still, it feels a little bit like the beginning of Toy Story where Buzz shows up and knocks poor Woody off the bed.

(I'm having trouble throwing out the old pot).

(It feels somehow like treachery ... and let's not lie -- it's kind of a miracle that the thing has lasted so long as it is).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Space Is Out

The Doolittle family is a family with movie rules. My father refuses to watch any movie in which any character drives in a carriage or drinks tea. My mother won't watch movies in which people break into other people's houses or wave about chainsaws in a menacing manner.

And I don't watch movies about space. This includes movies in which people go to space, movies about aliens on earth, movies where things (such as big rocks) from space attack or fall on earth, films about space ships, vfuturistic space living or alternate universes located in space*.

[EDIT: After thinking about this all night, I'm adding movies about the earth's core, people traveling to the earth's core and anything about things below the earth's crust to the space movie category -- above the earth or below, it's all veeeeery similar.]

So. We went and saw the Indiana Jones movie. Indy is a good, solid character who swings around by a neat little whip, kicks some serious butt and finds really cool old stuff. Plus, it has Harrison Ford, who is A Man (as opposed to The Man -- a title that goes to Sean Connery. For more thoughts on the difference bettween "A" and "The" see this post).

No reason in the world to suppose this film would be a space movie in surprise.

Why didn't anyone warn me about this?! I mean, I heard it was bad. And I heard that there was a scene with a bunch of killer ants (totally freaked me out btw -- I covered my eyes and my ears for that one). But no one bothered to mention that this was actually a space movie -- and nothing about space ships or dead, old aliens ever came up in any preview I ever saw.

For the love.

*I will, however, watch the original Star Wars trilogy, ET and any historically accurate films, such as Apollo 13.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Day I Felt Like Crap

Oh wait, that day would be today. And yesterday. And probably tomorrow.

It started as a sore throat Thursday, which I honestly thought was allergy related. The running nose yesterday sealed the cold deal though -- and when I woke up this morning feeling like death warmed over I knew the gig was up: sickness reigns.

I managed to pull out something resembling energy for a portion of the morning. But by the time we hit the bread aisle of the commissary, I was looking for a nice corner to sit in and feel miserable.

I have not felt that bad in a very, very long time. Earlier I was literally crying I felt so extremely sick and dead. I still have no energy but I don't feel like curling up in a ball and giving up the ghost.

I will say, though, that I am feeling much better now than I was even an hour ago -- I spent the entire afternoon curled up on the couch wishing Luke would put me out of my misery (he refused). I actually managed to walk over here and open my computer and start writing something that (I assume) makes sense.

I'm going to blame my start on the road to recovery on my new Kitchen Aid mixer. Just looking at it gives me strength.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

This was GOING to be nice...

Instead of blogging a stirring eulogy about my little polly hot pot that I stole from my mother that I've replaced with a new one, I am being forced to vent about the supreme stupidness of the Army. We shall call this post "The Day the Army Hated Pie."

It's the day after the official end of our honeymoon and we had grand plans. We thawed the steaks and Luke was going to cook them up on the awesome grill I got him for his birthday -- the inaugural grilling -- while I was going to bake a few potatoes, heat some creamed corn, go on a walk in the woods on this truly lovely evening and cap it all off with a delicious cherry pie I baked as a surprise for my husband.

Ah, the pie -- now sitting on the stove being cold and uncut. Luke's sister made a pie for the fair and he sounded kind of sad about not being there for it, so I made him one of his own. I pitted the cherries with Abigial at work so it would be ready in time for him to come home and smell it baking. It was going to be amazing. I spent the day hungry, thinking about steak and pie ...

Enter the Army. "Hey babe, I have to stay probably until 10:30 " blah blah blah...

And he has to stay that late tomorrow, too (or later!) ... so no steak and pie today and no steak and pie tomorrow ... and the first two days of being married are spent alone on my couch watching What Not to Wear,* eating scrambled eggs and non-fat ice cream .... sigh.

I hate the Army.

*What Not to Wear -- Redo My Spouse? What the crap? clinton drives up in a jag, planning to ... reignite the passion? Huh? What is this?! Where is Stacy?!?! Where is the witty comebacks!? I dont like this.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Married and All That Stuff

Greetings, blog world -- it's been a while and now I'm married. Go figure.

First off, the stress mentioned in the last post stuck around a little bit, but was mostly gone by wedding day -- by the time we got to the church looking awesome and Joe showed up, everything was dandy.

Photos on the front lawn of the church, followed by chatting with old friends while waiting for the wedding to start and then the wedding itself were all wonderful. Everything went off without a hitch .. I mean, except that I got hitched but that was planned ... and so on and so forth. If you want to see pictures, go visit Joe at snaptography.net

And now I'm going to tell you all about our honeymoon. OK, not all about it. But about some of it.

Pay attention folks, this part is interesting.

We started the trip at Lake Quinault, which is a couple of hours away from Tacoma, smack dab in the middle of the Quinault rainforest. For this sort of rain forest think: mossiness sans monkeys, but plus really huge trees.

This is the lodge where we stayed.

Now, on our way down to said lodge we saw a sign "world's largest spruce tree." Luke said "I dont care about a big tree." I said "world's largest tree? heck yes! how can we be near this giant tree and NOT see it." He agreed, so off we trotted.

But first we took some uber cute pictures and since this is my blog, Im totally going to make you look at them before I continue this atrocity of a giant tree story.

My husband and myself- - check out my totally awesome earings

Pretty view of the Olympic mountains and the Quinault river

Mountain Man Luke

Me. Looking at the tall trees.

Now, the thing about The Big Tree (they say) is that it's not so tall as it is big around. OK. So we are looking for a very round tree. Good to know.

Now, on day two of Honeymoon Bliss we were taking a little walk through the woods where we saw an awesome waterfall ...

So there we were, walking around, when we saw a sign (sadly, no photos of Ugly Deceptive Sign) that said "The Big Tree -- 2 mile" Woo! The Big Tree two miles left! And what's two miles when you are going to see The Big Tree? For serious. So off we went.

And went. And then the trail was blocked by giant branches. So we climbed around. And then there was a giant tree. So we climbed over it. And then there were more giant tress. And more. And then I got a spider on my shirt (this was like almost the last straw). And then Luke had a spider on HIS shirt (he didnt seem to care). And THEN we got to a really big log in the middle of the trail, and I asked Luke how far we had gone and he said "oh not even a mile." .. and it had been an hour of climbing over random logg-age ....

So I decided with no little consideration that we should turn around. But not before I sat on a big
tree in the way of the trail.

And then I took a bunch of pictures of all the forest crap covering the trail
Do we see a trail in this photo? Not so much. So you can understand our reasoning.

Now you may correctly imagine that on our walk of shame out of the Evil Blocked Trail that did not actually take us to The Big Tree I was Not Happy -- I mean, Amy? Defeated by a trail? No! Did the sign at the beginning of the trail bragging about The Big Tree say anything about the way being blocked by rubbish? No. What park ranger is slacking? Who decided this tree was the biggest anyway? And why would they advertise The Big Tree and then mock hikers by making it impossible to get to? why? Why? WHY?!

For the love.

Later that night, after mulling over these important questions for several hours, I stopped by the local mercantile to ask the informed cashier -- "for serious, what is up with that?" And SHE informed me (get ready ..):

We were not hiking towards The Big Tree. That was only A Big Tree, and the way had been blocked for two years, thanks to several giant storms. In fact, she had not heard of anyone ever making it to that sub par tree and that several people had been rescued from that "trail" over the last year.


Shocking, I know.

The ACTUAL big tree, she said, was down the road off a little paved path.


This is a good time to note the important distinction between the words "A," and "The." If I said that Luke was The Strong Man (as illustrated below)
... you would think that he was it, the end. But as we know, The Incredible Hulk is well, hulkier, so Luke should be called A Strong Man, not THE Strong Man.

The same sort of thing goes for the tree.

And so the next day we made our way to The Actual Tree.

Please not that this sign is not actually on The Tree.

And THAT, my firends, is The Big Tree.

We were shocked -- SHOCKED! -- by its size. Obviously, this was the correct reaction.

Now, the rest of the honeymoon is not nearly as interesting -- beach blah blah, hot springs blah blah blah, Port Townsend on the Sound blah blah blah, bed and breakfast blah-de-blah blah.

Pictures for you, nonetheless, and then I'll stop typing and leave you people alone.

On Luke's favorite Washington beach -- Beach 4. (cool name, I know).

Look at my rad sandals. Look hard. This is the last time you'll see them, um, EVER because I'm a moron and left them at the hot springs (oh yeah, no pictures of the hot springs themselves because Im stupid)

Now this is an important picture taken right before I almost died. This shot is at the end of a very steep, mostly foggy and scary drive on a road that was definitely NOT on the map -- yet we drove it anyway. And then as we were going down the mountain on some very treacherous pebbles Luke was going waaay too fast and totally slid the car around and that is when I almost perished. And then I screamed. And then I hit him with the map.

To make me feel better about my near death experience we stopped and got a burger at a little joint in Forks. Burgers = amazing. Their pie? Not so much.

Luke at the Sol Duc Falls on the Sol Duc River near Sol Duc Hot Springs.

Crescent Lake

At Hurricane Ridge outside Port Angeles -- waaaay cool views.

Very chilly at Port Townsend

The B&B we stayed in last night.

Tomorrow we head out to go white water rafting before hitting Boise to pick up all our cool Wedding Swag that my parents carted there for us. Monday we head back with a stop for dinner with Liz Napoli and then -- thank the Lord -- we are done.