Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Love for the Critters

 So, my Nelly-dog is getting old and senile. Since we only have an apartment, she's staying with my mom, who has a yard--with only two or three stairs, not a flight. Nelly can't really see or hear very well any more, and a couple months ago she had a vestibular attack. She's doing okay now, but still looks lost sometimes. My mom asked if I would send her a blanket or something that smelled like home. Lucky for Nelly, I have umpteen half-finished crochet projects. I had intended to see this one through [of course] and crochet a huge afghan for the bed. I lost interest. But! It is the perfect size for a Nelly, especially folded in quarters, like in the photo. Folding it also makes it a little squishier, which I'm sure will compliment her arthritis. Now for the hardest part: Boxing it up with some doggie treats and sending it to California. Gotta find the shark-tooth necklace I got my brother from Hawaii, too.

I found a pattern for a kitty bed too... Not sure if I am fail, or chose bad yarn. I also made it way too big; she's a pretty small cat. I figured she would like the fuzzy yarn, and it was close enough to black. Sure enough, while I was making it, she loved sitting right on my lap in the middle of everything. Now that I'm done, she's not particularly interested. Hubs says she's waiting til I'm gone and she misses me. Miss Princess [not pictured] has a tendency to "hide" on the blanket that's the same color as her--a sort of cinnamon--so hubs asked me to make one for her so we can have our blanket back. I'm about halfway done with that one!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Good Luck Chuck

This is our house-spider. Today I decided his name is Chuck. He only has six legs, which kind of makes me wonder if I should still consider him a spider. When I was younger, my mom always said that it was bad luck to kill a spider in your house, and it was good luck to have a spider [non-poisonous of course] hanging out. This guy had a web on our porch stairs for over a week, until I accidentally transported him upstairs while bringing up groceries. Once I noticed he was stuck on the bag I set him free on the porch, and he spun a whole new web over night. Unfortunately, I'll have to move him again because his new web is attached to my steamer trunk, but it makes me happy to see him every time I go down the stairs. I can always tell it's him because of the missing legs. Without getting too mushy and inspirational, he kind of makes me smile.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Newest Edition

While at the local hipster grocery store today, I found an aloe plant on sale. I was confused because it was so pretty. I definitely wanted aloe in our garden, so I bought it for a couple bucks. Turns out it's a "Pink Blush" aloe plant. Super cool. When she gets a little healthier, you can see the pink edges better. Did a little research, got some cactus dirt, and replanted the sucker. Poor girl's roots were all kinds of compacted in the bottom of that pot. From what I understand, it is pretty hard to kill aloe, as long as you don't over-water it. So I figure this gal should be fine when I get back home. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Poor Plants-ies

Well, I have good news and I have bad news.

The good news is, I definitely did NOT inherit my mother's plant-killing-thumb. The bad news is, my garden is codependent and can't survive without me. Not quite sure why, except I know hubby couldn't care for them very well post-op. The other good news is, a few things actually did survive. And worst case scenario, we got our toes wet, so next year we'll have a better idea of what to do. I'll be home a little on the late side of planting, but then again, this is WA and we started all of our seeds indoors anyways. So, after a little love and pruning, here's what we've got left.

The pepper we bought is fine. Apparently peppers do better without me around because I overwater them anyways. The greenhouse is next to the window, so even if the plant lights weren't on, they still got some sun. I'm going to keep this guy inside for a while and see if i can get him to grow a bit before he turns into an outside plant. The tomatoes... sigh, the tomatoes. It had grown so tall that it had totally eclipsed my assisting-stick, then flopped over. I cut a lot of it back, but she still looks droopy and wilty. I don't know if that's too much water, or not enough, or maybe it's been too hot outside. No clue. Fingers crossed for that one.

  The cayennes I replanted all died, but one that I ignored actually sprouted. The jalapenos actually came in big time, so I am going to replant them soon and see if we have better luck.

Three of my fly-traps died. This one is still hanging in there; I saw a couple new sprouts so I'm going to try and salvage. The scarlett belle is actually doing about as well as when I left, somehow.

Of all the herbs, the only one left is Oregano, and that's tentative at best. I think that's because like peppers, I tend to overwater them; they like slightly drier conditions. I put it outside, hopefully they'll perk up.

 My once perky strawberry plant lost all her flowers, but is still hanging in there. I cut off all the dead stuff, so hopefully it will bounce back.


So, it's my first night home. At some point, I casually mention to hubby, "Oh, did you hear about the Squidbillies Cover Contest?" He is mildly intrigued, whips out iPad, begins to half-assed cover the theme song. Somehow I made a joke about synching the theme song to a Metalocalypse video... and such, genius was born. In the span of about an hour, without leaving the couch--and at 4 am I might add!--hubs recorded the whole clip. Somehow between the two of us we managed to scrounge enough video editing skills to make it mildly believable. Now our video is posted in the contest, and any time we watch it we giggle maniacally because it a) is totally rediculous and b) was so simple to put together. Figures, my first night home and what do we do? Record metal at 3 in the morning. Yup, sounds just about right...

And now, for your viewing pleasure: Squidpocalypse. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Counting down the hours...

I eat alone. I’m not complaining. It gives me time to think. Thinking of course, leads to ranting…

So. I am all for Israel’s “do your mandatory service, get free college” concept. They have a great military and some pretty awesome brains as well. Good system. However. Being somewhat older than the “norm,” I am constantly appalled at the ignorance and immaturity in the US military. Granted, that’s what happens when you take in a bunch of fresh-faced 18-to-20 year olds and turn them loose amongst themselves to be self-governed. But I still can’t believe the utter lack of common sense and common courtesy… things we take for granted; they’re not as “common” as those of us who DO have them would think.

I do not regret going to college first. I wish I hadn’t waited so long after college to enlist. I also wish I had gone straight to the officer program; or that I had gone to a school with ROTC. But I always rebelled against the military, I never would have thought I would be in my own shoes today. I suppose if I had been more open minded, I could have planned for the possibilities. But anyways. My point is, I am a lot wiser and developed because I waited. I made my mistakes. I made my choices. I got out on my own and tried to LIVE. Which is more than I can say for some of the other 20-somethings I know through the military [okay, at least one exception comes to mind there]. Seriously, I know people who are a mere two or three years younger than me who are talking about buying their first car. Like, first car ever. I bought my first car when I was 17, for $300, after working at a video store for the summer.

Sigh. I guess it’s just too much to ask for from some people. For them to chew with their mouth shut, to hold the door for others, to give way if someone’s carrying something down the hall, to keep their voices down to a dull roar, to not loiter for the sake of loitering. Or to even know what the word “loitering” means.

I remember when my step-brother graduated from Marine bootcamp down in Pendleton. Sadly he wasn’t able to see that journey through, but the Marines sure do a total re-education kind of thing. He said at dinner that night that he could point out all the civilians in the crowd because they ate with their elbows on the table, shoveling food in their faces, didn’t remove their hats at the table, didn’t use napkins, etc. He also pointed out that he could tell I was raised by someone in the military, just by my table manners. I very much wish we had gone through the same kind of thing. That alone would save me some heartache.

My apologies, theoretical internet audience. Being around large quantities of people, especially those who don’t respect anyone, makes me irritable and long winded. I hope someone somewhere could get something out of all this… if it makes just one person do something to brighten another’s day [or at least lessen the shittiness], then I have succeeded at something.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Haze Grey +25 [the homestretch]

Haven’t really had much to write about lately, mostly just absurd work BS. Some bath-salts freak tried to break into our house a couple weeks ago; hubby wanted to nail him with the compound bow but the cops got there in time instead. Funny thing is, almost the exact same incident happened at almost the exact same time, not more than a mile down the road.

Have been working out mostly regularly, nothing particularly interesting to update there. My knees are killing me; considering my mom has old sports injuries and my dad just had surgery for his knee last week, I’m a little nervous. Bring on the fish oil, I suppose. Was chatting with coworkers and to be “healthy” I will take a handful of about 15 supplements and vitamins each day. Looking forward to that. *sarcasm*

Last night my I let my phone battery run down all the way on accident, and ever since, it has not wanted to turn back on. Hopefully I can just get away with replacing the battery once I’m home, but that’s going to make my next few days extremely annoying. I miss my phone!

When we hit SanD the other day I was able to get Steam into offline mode via my phone [because that’s the one Starbucks in all of America that doesn’t have wifi—wtf?]. Since then I started a new Gods & Kings [Civ 5] game as Babylon and I am generally digging the expansion. They nerfed a couple things that I will miss, but the whole Faith aspect is a really cool game addition. Hubby bought us all the DLC too, so we have every possible leader. I can’t wait to get home and try it out with hubs! After I beat the pants off of this game, I’m going to try a harder difficulty and also explore some of the other cultures. I also got the brilliant idea to do some research [I am still comparatively new to Civ, I only picked it up at civ4] and make an afghan with squares from each core civilization. They all have “team colors” and a little icon, so I think it could be really cool. For example, USA is a white star on a blue background, and England is a white crown on a red background. Hubs thinks I’m a geek.

Speaking of crochet, I have kind of been letting that slide lately. It’s hard to keep up with finding patterns that are mindless enough for me to pick up and put down whenever—tapestry style [using charts] is not particularly good for that. I learned how to do a treble front-post, but can’t get the squares to look neat since I’m not alternating colors. My bad.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Haze Grey +20

Well, I went and got myself all backwards again. Stayed up too late last night, slept too long today.

I have forgotten to mention last week that I have now seen two pods of dolphins and also a whale. The whale was super cool.

This slow internet is really really killing me. I think I’d almost just rather have no internet; it’s like being teased. Nothing decent ever loads besides facebook, making it nearly impossible to do any sort of research [ie, for good spa deals on Groupon, or to add ideas to an Amazon wishlist].

I’ve had a pretty nasty migraine all day. I don’t have much to write about. Just tired of being away from home but at the same time, going home just means that it’s time to get ready to leave again. If you have time, look up the song “Xxyzz Road” by Stone Sour [I think that’s what it’s called, I’d tell you for sure except it would take me over ten minutes just to confirm that through google]. That song is exactly how I’m feeling right now.

Dan Adriano from Alkaline Trio wrote in one of his songs, “You know, all my favorite singers have stolen all of my best lines.” And I thoroughly agree. When I was in college and listening to a lot more music than I do now, I used to compile the lyrics that really got to me, the ones that I related to on a level that was too intense to ignore. I may have to bring that back. Which means I need to listen to more music. Sounds win/win to me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Things I Will One Day Learn:

-Always go to bed ten minutes ago. Especially if you are thinking, “Man, I should go to bed soon.” Every minute you stay up is borrowing trouble.
-Do not answer the phone after ‘reasonable’ working hours, unless someone knows where you are and could be actually looking for you.
-Eat when you can, even if you don’t think you’re hungry, because you never know the next time you’ll be able to
-Nothing good ever happens after midnight
-Don’t ask questions to things you don’t want the answer to….
-Any time you leave to go anywhere, take at minimum: one flat head, one Phillips head, a black pen, and one monkey wrench. In a pinch, a Gerber or Leatherman will do.
-Slamming doors is fine and dandy until someone jams the lock and can’t get back in.

You really know you have a problem when your last dream in the morning—the one where you start to get lucid and conscious, start to realize you’re waking up—is a half an hour argument about making and drinking enough coffee. I forget who I was arguing with, but I definitely woke up dreaming about coffee.

Also, I hear from hubby the super man that some bath-salts zombie dude tried to break into our house last night… or at least throw himself repeatedly into the sliding glass door. Hubby wanted to shoot him in the face with the compound bow, but ma-in-law talked him into settling for the cops. Apparently the same exact scenario happened not more than one mile from our apartment, at almost the same exact time, except they had a gun. We’ll be getting one shortly.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Haze Grey +16.5

Okay yes I know 16.5 is a strange number. Mainly because today would be 17, but I’m more writing about yesterday, which was 16. I managed to go to bed at grandma hour just because I couldn’t entertain myself to stay up any later, and ended up sleeping for about ten hours. I think I needed that, I feel a lot more normal today.

Which somehow reminds me… I want one of those deployment countdown calendar things… Like when we were kids and you’d make the paper chain to count down til Christmas? I want one of those. Unfortunately if I made one, it would probably go around our shop about ten times on the day we leave. I mean, we’re talking somewhere in the nature of like 250 days. That’s depressing as all hell.

ANYways, on a more positive note. Yesterday we did circuit training based on muay thai. It wasn’t that great of a workout because it wasn’t consistent activity. I can see how it could be really awesome, but it’s essentially fat kid camp, so we had to keep stopping and what not. Aside from the guys instructing us, I’m practically the most in-shape one there… until I have to do anything on my back. Situps, crunches, leg lifts, etc. All of that, I am basically a cripple. The back pain is fairly instant; feels like muscle spasms. I’m not going to freak out about it yet, I’m kind of blaming it on a weakness on my part. I have been thinking about it too, and if I can meet the requirements later on, I think I’d like to take over that job. I know you have to score well on the fitness test, but honestly, if I have to be there all the time anyways, doing it is probably the only way I will keep working out, because I’m so lazy. So if I volunteer to help out, I have a reason to be there. And I think I can motivate people more by saying, honestly, “I’ve been in your shoes before, quit whining and do your best.”

After an hour of circuit training I went to do my run. My mile hit at about 12 minutes, my 1.5 mile was around 18. However—at my max time to pass the 1.5 mile, I was only 0.10 short!! That makes me feel pretty good. I ran for a total of 30 minutes including cool down, and hit 2.5 miles. I think I want a mile meter like the yarn meter I have. I’m curious to see how much [if any] weight I’ve lost. I’ll know on the 16th, and also probably my measurements. The good/bad news is that since will be deployed, they generally don’t make us run the whole fitness test, just do the body fat part. That means I should be able to pass no problem if I keep this up. My issue has always been not preparing, being inconsistent… now I really have no excuse to be inconsistent, and if I keep this up for the… oh… four months I have left before the test, I should be able to get down to size. It just rubs me the wrong way to walk around out here and see so many “real” fat people in the military, to where I don’t understand why they are still in, and yet everyone wants to give me a hard time just because I am Super-Pear shaped. The way they measure fat is completely BS. Granted I don’t know that switching to other, more accurate ways would be in my favor, but still. Measuring my “hips” below my hip bone just because it’s the “widest point” [read, “fattest part of yo ass”] doesn’t sit well with me.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Haze Grey +15

Man this sucks. I’ve managed to get almost completely backwards and barely able to write. Pretty much I’m going 24/up 12/down, and it’s not exactly working out.

Today I ran for 55 min and clocked 4.45 miles. I didn’t run yesterday because of my lovely adventures with the Admiral and his bad news… crab legs and ice cream do not for a deployment redeem. I did however have fun last night making a fairly inclusive list on Amazon to help out. I think the day before that I ran for 55 minutes and only managed 4 miles. I was really not feeling so hot and only made myself go so that I could try to get back on schedule.

So, what is with girls and showers? We only have three of them, and there’s roughly 30-40 of us. No joke, I waited for about ten minutes, took a shower, and got out, and one of the other girls still wasn’t done. It was fairly ridiculous. Granted I didn’t shave today, but what on earth can possibly take that long? Wash your self and get out. On a semi-related note, I can’t stand people who decide they should have their meetings in the middle of a high-traffic hallway. Seriously. Kind of goes along with the “who ever is carrying the heaviest or bulkiest item gets the right of way” concept. I mean, that’s common sense, right? Wait… military… that’s right, common sense isn’t welcome here.  

I was watching some stupid show today, Family Jewels I think—not by choice—and, well, I gotta say. Maybe it’s our accelerated culture pushing everything to overkill, but I am really sick of the general public’s “support the troops” fa├žade. Everyone puts on such a big show about it, but aside from talking a big game, what does anyone really do? You say you respect veterans, but do you really? You can stand on your moral soap box all you want, but the truth is, America tends to take its military for granted. I think this whole “Support Our Troops” movement is just a bunch of hype, a bunch of people just jumping on a bandwagon that they support intellectually but not in any other life changing aspect. Sure celebrities go to the USO and Walter Reed Military Hospital, and I guess that’s great and all, but what about the rest of us? I get really sick of seeing so much cheesy “positive thoughts” propaganda… but how many people actually work to do something about it? And I don’t just mean donate to organizations, because I think that’s a load of bullshit no matter what organization it is. Money is stupid. Donate your TIME and EFFORTS. Like the church that sends us pillowcases so we can have a bit of color in our day. Or friends and family who actually write letters or send pictures and care packages. Maybe the world has a skewed view of what they think “helps” or what is “important” to active duty deployed military folks.  

Okay, I’m done here. You can have this soapbox back.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Haze Grey +11 [Bass Ackwards]

Accidentally stayed up for 24 hours on the 3rd. Then accidentally slept for 12 hours. Then stayed up for 24 hours again out of necessity… Tried to sleep through the night, and got interrupted by a drill, so I had to run down to the office. Should have stayed up and worked out, but I was grumpy so I went back to bed for a couple more hours. Got up for ‘midrats’ [oh, I love you midrats, yes please, feed me at midnight] and now I think I’m up for the day. That’s a little frustrating, and I’m sure I’ll regret it, but I should be back around to normal in a couple days. I guess we started a night shift effective immediately, and I am pretty bummed I’m not on it. I’d be so good on night shift!

I hate the way people just mosey here. I mean, come on. I’m not always in a hurry, but I walk with purpose [blame my dad]. Get from point A to point B, and if you’re just walking around to waste time and look busy, get the eff out of MY way. People have absolutely no self awareness.

In other news, due to a glitch/bug with Steam on the ONLY day I put it online [in order to download the Gods and Kings expansion] my gaming ability is incapacitated. Which makes me sad. I was really enjoying playing Civ on watch, and I was supposed to practice with the expansion so hubby doesn’t wipe the floor with me when I get home. But now I’ll have to wait a while before I can fix it, since we don’t get real internet. And that’s only if we’re lucky enough to get a couple hours free in SanD. Not gonna lie, pretty bummed out. And I can’t even crack it either.

I really want a cup of coffee, but since our coffee supply is limited [our hookups aren’t exactly pulling through] I guess I’ll settle for tea. Also I hear tomorrow my semi-boss might be building a power supply from scratch. I told him I wanted to help.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Haze Grey +7

Oh, damn, I see… I’ve been doing it wrong all along.

First day of mandatory PT today… I understand the “working out til you feel like you’re going to puke” kind of thing now. I still don’t like it and I still hate working out. After an hour or so of that I did 2 miles in 22 minutes, keeping with my 11 min/mi average… BUT. My mile is about 12 minutes, and my 1.5 mile is at 17. That’s one minute over fail, and two minutes over my goal. Again, I use either a hill climb or a cross-country program for shits-n-giggles, I’d probably be a little faster on a flat course. I got myself coughing on the elliptical; that’s good, right? I can say now that running to TV is more entertaining but running with music is more effective. But it’s hard to manage electronics and I don’t want anything to get stolen or broken, so I’ll just trade off I guess. I definitely missed watching Tara today while I ran. On off days my goal is to do 5 miles. On PT days I’ll cut it down to 2 miles. I might just cry tomorrow. I also tried to do a bit of yoga afterwards, if nothing else to stretch out my poor legs. It’s really not as worthwhile without a good instructor, and I miss the 104* room at Expand Yoga in downtown Tacoma. I really noticed a difference when I went. When I get home again I’d like to go at least once a week, maybe twice. Plus it’s another excuse to run… it’s about 1.4 miles from my house.

They’re doing a rally-cross course on Top Gear [yeah we always watch the BBC actually]… if I didn’t love my little car as much as I do, I would jump at the chance to do that kind of craziness with it. I bet she would rock.

Today is the second time in a row that I have walked off and left my water bottle somewhere, then had to go back and get it. I should come up with a solution for this problem.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Haze Grey +6

So it’s been tough to write daily. Yesterday we got facebook back so I did that instead. I know, I know, slap my wrists and call me bad. Yesterday I also went to the dentist, who then told me I should go take a nap. So I did, and it was glorious. Setting someone up to fail big time tomorrow, not on purpose, but it’s just kind of an inevitability. Mandatory PT starts tomorrow, it makes me sad. I did just over 4 miles today in 45 minutes. Still keeping with my 11 min/mi average. Honestly if I got it down to 10 minutes I’d pass. That is on an elliptical though, and it’s so much easier to do that than run on a treadmill. I hate treadmills. I’d rather run on the street than on a treadmill. And you know, I really hate thinking about working out. I really really hate working out. I dread it so fiercely. It goes against everything I believe in, except wanting to be hot and flexible. But once I actually get out there, and once I get done, I do feel better. It’s just getting started that is so hard to do. I need more motivation. I’m thinking of doing some P90X or Insanity at home, except I don’t think that would work well in an upstairs apartment. Trying to get the videos from someone before we get home.

Apparently my old senile puppy-girl misses me even though she’s losing her mind. She’s safe with my mom down in CA, because she’s home more and has a yard and can make her more comfortable than I can in an apartment. I still feel like an asshole for letting her go. Maybe when we move I can bring her home. But she apparently misses me and doesn’t understand why I’m not there, so I need to send a pillow or a blanket or a shirt. I’m thinking of making her a blanket and then sleeping with it for a couple nights to get it to smell right. I don’t think we kept her doggie bed or I’d send that too. Maybe I’ll throw in some bones or treats or something because I feel guilty and I want her to be happy. It sounds like she is, but I feel so bad abandoning my dog. We got her when she was like a month old, way too early, and she’s been with me 13 or 14 of her 15 years. When I first moved to college she couldn’t come with me, but by the time I was a junior she was back. She stayed with my mom then too.

This is a photo of Nelly when she was “young,” back in 2000-ish. She was already about 5 by then I think.