Of course, I go to turn off the TV, and the folks of the Nimitz are in Bahrain. It's crazy seeing what was home for two years on TV and thinking how utterly familiar and yet at the same time how completely foreign and dead it looks.
It didn't change from when we left the year before the Nimitz pulled in there.... LOL Go figure.
*Really going to bed this time*
Holy cow, I know where they are. I recognize that deck from NSA Bahrain.... Egads.
YodaMan is on his way home. Well, almost. He's flying in just in time for us to high-tail it to Vegas for a weekend together. I can't believe it, really. Seeing him again so soon... I just didn't believe it. And of course, I shall continue to not believe it until his feet are planted on American soil. CONUS, that is.
I feel like a shite milspouse tonight. I'm snarking on the show Carrier while thinking how lucky I am that piece of crap midshipman took out my knee for me during my fourth class year in ROTC, which led to the loss of my scholarship, which led to me *not* selling my soul to the Navy after all. :insert chorus of angels:
I'm also staring at a box of goodies I'd been saving up for the next care package. Because of my nasty school schedule here and sick kids destroying my errands days, it never went out. At least he's got lots of potty reading material when he gets here. Anyway, I'm a shite milspouse, but I'm also a little proud of that. As a good friend of mine said recently, "You are going to make the WORST Admiral's wife, but someday you will probably be an admiral's wife." Then she said later, "Make sure you fit the role of the worst admirals wife, because only you could be the BEST." LOL She's hilarious, and I'm obviously a big fan of hers, but I quake at the idea that YodaMan might choose to stay in long enough to even be considered for promotion beyond O6. *sob*
I think I'm going to stop reading SpouseBuzz. The Pollyanna is going to kill me, I swear. How can you *possibly* spin something positive out of having accomplished none of your personal goals while the husband has realized more than half of his most outrageous childhood fantasies? How???? Seriously, I'm not being snarky. I'd like to know how to numb myself to this sense of futility and failure in the face of one award and accolade after another that my husband gets.
My fingers are crossed that when (not if, dammit, when) I start pulling in contracts and seeing my books on shelves, this insane feeling of incompetency will fade. Then hopefully I won't feel like I've blended into the beige of humanity, like I have no hope of leaving any kind of mark on this world. I need to feel like I mattered, and right now, I don't. This isn't a woe-is-me, and I'm not discounting my job as mom, but when I was a kid, I thought I was going to do something with myself. I actually planned to be an astronaut (hence the Navy ROTC bit) before I found out I'm about three feet too short (you know you're in trouble when the Navy demands you sign paperwork stating dwarfism does not run in your family). I planned to add something to the world, to leave it different than how I found it. At this point, I have done nothing, contributed nothing, and I feel like an asshole for ever imagining I would.
How the hell did I get here? Oh yeah. SpouseBuzz. I think I'm done there. Reading all that desperate hopefulness and blazing sunshine makes me overanalyze the shit that is the Navy existence, and it's just no longer conducive. I need community, tribe, peeps, in order to survive, but the SBuzz folks aren't my peeps. They're nice, and I'm sure they mean well, but they are alien to me.
And now I'm turning off the tripe that is Carrier and going to bed to dream of this weekend with my husband.
I've been going to spin class pretty regularly lately, and after class one day, my gym buddy says, "Dude, we could totally power this whole gym just with our spin class." I looked around yesterday during spin, when Miss Leslie the Spintastic Instructor (who's running a freaking 90 minute class on Cinco de Mayo - ack!) was in the middle of whupping our butts, and I thought how great it would be if gyms all over the world had at least their aerobic machines hooked up to capture all the energy we whipped up.
I have no words. This is but one of so, so many. I want to scream on behalf of milspouses like K who have to deal with so much because of the ridiculousasininestupendously fucktardedoutrageousincomprehensibleunbelievable contemptible decisions our government has made.
My body is humming from my rage, and I need to find a channel for it now.
I hope everyone in this situation writes letters. Letters to Congressmen, Senators, media, and anyone else who might possibly give a flying shit.
He's coming home early. I hate to jinx myself with this announcement, but it sounds like it's a done deal. Of course, that's the Navy version of "done deal." I'll believe he's coming home early when he's in my car at least the day before the ship returns.
Apparently, they want him here because at this point, he's just the special projects bitch and of no use to them on the ship. Back here, he can be involved in a building move. I'll take it. He might have long nights and early mornings, but he *supposed* to have weekends, and at least there will be teh secks.
I miss teh secks. There's been a dearth of it in the last year and a half of misery on this ship. *sigh*
So YodaMan called tonight in the middle of my other son's decision to take up the pukefest reins. Yay.
~~~~TMI Disgusting Alert~~~~~~ As I'm moving puke-soggy sheets from bed to washing machine (and btw, how in the !#@ are you supposed to get chunks off these sheets when they're swimming in about a gallon of urp?), ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
he calls to give me this fantastic news. Then he drops the oh-by-the-way.
"I need to call my detailer and ask him to get me the ordmod [the one that makes his IA not flow right into the time we're supposed to be in Monterey]. He said it would be done by the end of the week [um, end of the week... a MONTH ago] and it's not in yet. That could be bad."
Oh, and the "letter of intent" we were promised so we could get our names on all the necessary waiting lists up in Monterey? Still not here.
Oh, and the actual, factual follow-on orders to Monterey? Still not here.
Oh, and did I mention the need for War College in order to qualify for the joint job (heh heh) in Colorado was a big, fat, !#$ing lie?
Grrrrrrrr. That piece of crap, lying sack of radioactive waste is SO getting a Snarky Voodoo Whammy.
Both of them. There are two, count them, two lying sacks of detailer dingleberries who've managed to train-shaft the YodaMan.
Ommmm. Ommmmmm. Ommmmmmmmmmmm.
Did I mention he's coming home sooner than expected? That's so awesome.
Note to self: prescription for Xanax. Immediately. Note to self: more waterproof sheets for pukefests. Immediately. Note to self: I've earned retirement in Colorado. If we aren't packing our shit and moving there in T-7 years, there will be retribution.
I married a geek. He is, by his undergrad degree, a rocket scientist. He is, by profession, an underpaid and over-shafted network engineer. And that level of l33tg33k is hot.
Some people wonder what I see in geeks. I came across a video that combines my love of brootiful kitties and my lust of geeky men. I post it here for your viewing pleasure and so you can see why I loves me some geek.
I'm so freaking tipsy tonight. Holy crap. I've had two glasses of wine to celebrate some excellent writing news. I'm one of three finalists in a writing contest for a novel-length fiction, and the other two finalists have only managed in the past to final in THE most prestigious award for unpublished authors in our genre. One of them has gotten that award twice. So I'm among a cadre of badasses, and that rocks.
Woooooooooooooooooooo! Did I mention I'm tipsy?
Who knew I was such a lightweight? I mean I knew, but come on! Two glasses? WTF?
Since I'm on the verge of tanked and about to return to the kitchen for Glass The Third (though I may divert to Le Potty first tee hee), I figure there's no better time than now to pontificate on the wondrous Retreat that Dig Your Toes In done had a stroke of brilliance over.
Holy crap. Maybe I don't need another glass of wine. I've wated so much time hitting backspace, I'm just gonna stop so y'all can see the patheticness that is my ability to hold my liquor. he heh.
Cut to: Snarkster sitting in a beach lounge chair
"I am so drunk," I say to no one in particular.
"Yes, Snark. You definitely are," says Val.
I signal the sexy young thang playing waiter for us. "Another glass of roslin. I mean riesling. Please."
He nods and hies off to the bar where the sexy young waiter who bears a striking resmeblance (heeee heeee) to Naveen Andrews shakes his head at my patheticness and uncorks a fresh bottle.
"O to the M to the G," I say to Val. "This is so niiiiice. I like being tipsy and on the verge of sunburned. It's hotness deluxe."
Val starts to inch away from me, glancing around her for an apparent escape route.
"Don't worry," I tell her. "My Navy life sucks balls, but I'm not going to go all maudlin on you."
She shoots a glance at the Sayid-y bartender.
"And don't worry about that, either," I say. "I don't cheat on the husband. Even with Sayid-y bartenders. In fact, my darlingest YodaMan e-mailed me tonight and mentioned that I'm the 'paramour' of virtue. I think he meant paragon and he's just a horny toad after yet another deployment and tends towards slips of the Freudian type."
Val finally sees her opening, excuses herself, and scoots the hell out of there.
I cock my straw hat over my face and scootch further into the seat. Wood slats under the thin cushion push back against my rather hefty backside, so I flip them the bird, then pass out cold.
Three hours later, I wake up to a darkening sky and burning skin.
"Dammit," I say as I hobble towards my room with thoughts of aloe and a cold water bath. "But at least I'm not home." *hic*
I got an e-mail from YodaMan with a delightful attachment.
"I'm not going drinking," he says in the e-mail. "I'm getting old." Apparently that's an explanation.
Attached to the e-mail is the MWR packet for Stuff You Can Do While You're Visiting This Port!! Mind you, I get this e-mail when I'm fighting a cold, the kids have colds and are fighting sleep, my house has exploded around me and FlyLady has atomized from the shock wave, and the one thing I need more than anything else is to be able to hand kids and house responsibilities to someone else and go work on my thesis.
So here, in abbreviated form, is a summary of the listing of MWR fun for your reading pleasure (times listed are for the whole day's events, not just the main event):
Water Activities: Jetski (9 hours - $27), Parasailing (9 hours - $33), Banana Boat (9 hours - $27), Dolphin Watching Adventure (2 hours - $37), Chartered Catamarans with optional scuba, sunset tour, snorkeling, tubing, etc. (~3 hours - $281 for 6 adults), Dinner Cruise (2 hours - $41), Semi-submersible tour with snorkeling ($26), Diving (4-5 hours - $45).
Land Activities: River Boat Cruise (2 hours - $26), Massage, Aromatherapy, Facials, Skin Cleanses, Spa Ocean Wraps, etc. (all extremely reasonable prices for luxury spa treatments)
And I felt guilty for getting a massage to relieve the pressure in my back when I busted it during the Pukefest Series. I didn't realize the sailors had these kinds of options available to them. I'm sure this only happens when there's an MWR where they're pulling in, but still.
I'm in a weird state on this one. I have one side of my brain saying, "Gee, my options are drunken debauchery with disgusting snakes in my sake, massage, and snorkeling. Hmmmmmm. Eeenie meenie." Then the other side of my brain is saying, "What, it gets better? Their time off is spent how??!!"
I know I get to sit in the Starbucks drive-through with heater/air conditioning, but I do still work 24/7 on the Mom thing. They don't get much time off, but when they do, it turns out that time off rocks the freaking casbah. I don't have the freedom to go spend a day in the water with no cares and no immediate responsibility aside from safety for only $40. If I go anywhere, I need a sitter I can trust (and those tend to cost around $13/hr), and I still might get calls of "OMG! What do I do???" during my "time off." So I think it balances out in the end.
I guess I'm just bitter because he's touring the world, trying new stuff, gathering cool stories and memories, and I'm sitting here in a mess that would make FlyLady poo her purple undies and trying to get up the energy to give a shit.
Okay, so maybe it's not a debate going down over there, but it feels like it's getting personal. The discussion is all about "senior spouses" not helping "junior spouses" get through the military life. I'm a little bit offended by the use of "senior spouse" here, though I understand they only mean time in the lifestyle. The terminology just smacks of finger-pointing at the Mean Old Officer's Wives Who Sit Around The House While The Maid and Nanny Do All Their June Cleaver Work For Them. Unfortunately, some of the "shame on you" comments seem similarly targeted.
[For the record, I'm an officer's wife, but people often assume my YodaMan is enlisted because I don't dress up in heels and caked-on make-up to go to the commissary and run my shopping cart into the heels of enlisted wives. Oh, and I like hanging out with enlisted wives. And helping them start web businesses. And stuff.]
I got a little pissy at some of the attempts at guilt making and posted an overly long comment that really should have been a blog post instead. So I figured since I went to the effort to write something that long, I might as well use it on my blog. ;)
Here's what I had to say in response to those shame-on-you-for-denying-your-responsibilities comments (especially one that stated that just because you don't want the responsibility doesn't mean it's not yours):
I wonder... how is it the responsibility of a spouse to help another spouse? Sure, it's the right thing to do and a laudable effort, but is it really an obligation?
I don't think so. I'm not paid by the military, and plenty of service members have made it quite clear that we spouses are civilians with the "privilege" of being in the presence of the military. There is no incentive to make this obligatory, so it's not a responsibility. It's merely the right thing to do.
It's completely understandable why some spouses don't give their time to others. Our lives are already run ragged by this lifestyle. Who has the energy and time to commit to others when they can't even make it to an FRG meeting, have never met other spouses, are still three years down the waiting list for housing (where there *might* be a sense of community with other military families), and wouldn't know the military community if it paraded up their backsides?
It doesn't seem fair to pass judgment on a spouse who isn't available to be a mentor or hand-holder. Not everyone has the energy or the emotional fortitude to deal with other people's issues when their own lives require high maintenance. I didn't like being an orphan when I was a newbie wife, but I never expected anyone to come to my rescue. They were pregnant, dealing with major family issues, or trying to handle an upcoming PCS, and I was a grown woman with a car and a budget.
That said, if you do have the ability to go to a military function and give lip service to being of service, you should definitely pony up. But what about those of us who are in over our heads as it is? Just because someone's been surviving this life for so many years doesn't mean that person is any more capable of helping someone else through it.
So I think I should pack up all his music gear that's hogging hella space upstairs and put my office there. I could take all that room that's sucked up by his big-ass piano (the one I lugged from Guitar Center to the post office and shipped to him in Bahrain) with my writerly gear - notes, papers, books, printed manuscripts dripping in red ink, office supplies I got from yet another trip to Staples - and put the corner desk I use now in the bedroom to act as altar space (because you can never have enough).
Alas... if only my darlingest husband knew my most secretest desires.... He would also know that, in exchange for another blissful 7 years of the Navy life, I feel entitled to a bed closer to the ground so that I don't require a freaking ladder to get in and out, wood floors downstairs so I don't have to vacuum and use stain remover in the dining area every freaking day, a maid, a nanny, a personal trainer, a personal chef, a little girl (potty-trained, thank you) (adopted) (with a second nanny just in case something happens to the first), a massaging chair thingie with those OMG shiatsu knobs that climb up your back and make everything All Better, a room in the house where I can pull out all my crafting stuff and lock the door so little hands don't pilfer, decent neighbors, occasional opportunities to road trip like I'm still in my early 20s, occasional opportunities to see the world since the only thing the Navy's managed to make available is the ever-so-lovely island of Bahrain, that vacation to Crete the Navy took a big poo on, that vacation to Ireland the Navy also took a big poo on, my cat, maybe a few more cats, maybe a dog if wee one #2 keeps insisting, date nights at least once a year, regular adventures to Colorado in preparation for retiring there some day far far far away, and kid-indestructible blinds on the windows.
Alas, how shall I ever let my husband know what I *truly* desire for being such a luvverly snarky navy wife?
As of August 8, 2008, I will begin the 101/1001 craziness. From now until August 8, I'll be adding to this list. If you have any ideas you think are up my alley (or hey, if you think there's something that isn't up my alley but that I should try - like finding five positive things about Navy life ;), post a comment, and I might add it to the list.
Starting August 8, my 1001 days ends on Friday, May 6, 2011.
Have a completed list of 101 items.
Hike Anasazi ruins.
Finish my Master's degree at Seton Hill.
Begin teaching classes.
Cull my crap so that I no longer own items I don't use or need.
Host a High Tea.
Host a Shisha Night.
Take a kickboxing class.
Take a full yoga series (at least 8 weeks).
Send a postcard to Post Secret.
Collect 20 rejections on a single book - or a contract. ;)
Sing in public (Happy Birthday at a kid's party counts).
Complete two books besides my current thesis novel.
Complete a personal book of liturgy, either compilations of others' (cited) work, my own original work, or my personal revision of others' (cited) work.
Enter 10 more writing contests.
Wear a size 6. (Permanently.)
Join a CSA or co-op.
Publish a short story.
Re-pierce my nose. This time refuse the loop and get just the stud.
Spend 3 weeks consuming meals that follow ahimsa and do not contain processed food or artificial preservatives
Get a job that makes me happy and has decent income.
Anonymously pay for someone's meal or coffee.
Hike Mount Woodson.
Walk in another Breast Cancer 3 Day.
Wear a size 8 on my way down.
Throw out my size 12s for good.
Take a tribal belly dance class.
Take a drumming class (or just learn to drum).
Try ice skating again and see if I still have any of my former mad skillz.
Rent a hotel room one night away from husband and sprogs. Take myself out to dinner. Watch TV as I fall asleep. Sleep in the next morning.
Use my Spa Finder certificates!!!!
Road trip with some friends.
Meditate at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
Try Vietnamese food.
Catch up on my kids' scrapbooks.
Learn Tarot (as in real readings, not the intuitive thing I do now).
I swear to the gods and the Mighty Dead that I'm about ready to open up a can of whup-ass on the Navy.
I got more pics this weekend of the hubster getting his drink on in Hong Kong. Yay. Glad to hear that he's out having fun while I'm nursing a busted back and a perpetually puking toddler, as well as scheduling umpteen gazillion appointments for special ed assessments for speech and social delays on the elder son. He was sweet in the last e-mail - said though he was blitzed, he looked raunched in the photos b/c he couldn't stop thinking of the pukes and the special ed pre-k (henceforth known as special k).
I got pissy enough about the whole business that I said to myself, "Self, f*ck this." And I called a local massage joint and scheduled some work done on my poor back.
In happier news, I'm channeling my inner skinny bitch. I've been to three spin classes in the last five days and will be doing two more before this week is out, plus some other fun classes that have cropped up on my radar. And for dinner? Miso soup with wakame. Who's your skinny bitch? Who is she? Yeeeeah, my beotches.
I'm seriously getting antsy about the environment, though. I just read an annoying article about "even cash-strapped fishermen are doing the oh-shit dance at the sudden disappearance of salmon off the coasts of Cali and Oregon." The fishermen want a fishing ban for salmon. You think?
Uh oh, I feel a rant coming on... Skip to the ~~~ if you're not in the mood....
You know how we're dealing with drought around the country? You know how water conservation is suddenly becoming A Thing? Did you know half the water consumed in the US goes to livestock? Have you seen Meet Your Meat? You should. Warning, though: I bawled like a wee infant through the whole thing. Though I think it's important everyone understand what animals endure for our pleasure, I don't want anyone to end up in therapy because of a link I posted. If you're ready for it, go here. And for those who say, "Oh, but that's so rare, it really isn't representative of the industry," I say this: one time is too many. Life is precious, and that gift isn't limited to the human experience. What would you do if suddenly the American public decided dogs or cats were yummilicious and treated them as livestock? Would this kind of treatment be okay then?
Meanwhile, back at the free-range ranch ;) I'm probably going to live as vegan as I can. I'm not going to completely cut animal protein from my diet. Humans are omnivores, but that doesn't mean we have to -or even should- eat meat at every meal. When I purchase meat products or even dairy, it will be from local farms or the 4H kids, and it will be from animals that were treated respectfully. I'm not sure I'll eat flesh anymore. I love fish, but there's even a damn fine ecological reason to stop that consumption, as seen in the disappearance of the local salmon supply.
I'm also waiting for my YodaMan to recall that I have a birthday coming up. He'll probably ask me two days before what he can get me (and of course it'll be too late at that point, but at least it'll be better than the year I was prego with kid the first, and he forgot until like 8:30 that night that it had been my bday - which is exactly why I don't bother celebrating it anymore), and my answer will be an under-the-counter composter. I think that's hawt.
So what do these health and environmental changes have to do with my deployment wank? Simply this: he's gone, and these changes are easier to implement. Without an extra opinion in the house, I can do small changes, and over time they become habit then a lifestyle. I can decide at the last minute that I'm going to make a pot of miso soup for dinner and not worry about the sad puppy face and huge salad mess that will result. I can make this lifestyle mine, so that when he comes home, he can find a way to step back into the flow in his own time. We've done the separations enough to know that there's going to be gnarly reintegration regardless, so it won't be such a shock for him to see that I'm serious about no ick in the pantry, no suffering in the fridge, and regular spin classes for my shrinking ass.
See? Even *I* can find the sunshiny splotch mired in the poo pile that is the Navy life.
This blog is here for me to vent my frustration, usually at the Navy (since they're SO good at pissing me off). If you have a hankering for the dulcet posts of a June Cleaver Navy Wife, you're in the wrong place. If you dislike whining and snarking, hit your Back button now. Otherwise, welcome! Join the snarkfest and vent your angst.