Wednesday, October 26, 2005
The halloween party is almost here. I have been all over the web, getting ideas. I have been making bones and skeleton hands out of 'Great Stuff' spray foam insulation. That stuff really is great. We tried to make a mummy by duct-tape wrapping Jim...that is still in the works. I'm not sure that idea is going to be quite as successful.
Here comes Holly with the moose again. Any time I'm on the phone or on the computer, she goes in search of it. The other day when I was making skeletons with the Great Stuff, she sat in the insulation. And then wiped it on Charlie. So we had to shave spots off both the dogs. Not fun.
T minus 10 days till Mike and Cara get married. And we leave for DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!! Wooo! Yay us but we are sad because we have to miss the wedding.
Jim got some game the other day, Ghost Recon 3 or Rogue Spear 3, something... at any rate he's been playing it like a fool. It's something that begins with an S...SOCOM 3. He loves those fps games. Our niece, Emma, turns 4 tomorrow. That's....that's about all I can think of for this update.
Seven months ago, my service in the army was to have terminated. Instead, I am in Iraq for the second time. I sit next to a DOD contractor whose job is identical to mine. Except he makes $120,000 more, works four hours less, and visits home four times more often than I do.
Daniel Goetz is currently serving in Samarra, Iraq. Read his blog here.
I am not alone in my anger and humiliation. When we were here in 2003, there was anger, but there is a difference between anger and bitter hatred. The atmosphere of discontent is thick and contagious. Even soldiers not stop-lossed feel The Betrayal. They know it might be them next time. Dissent will not change anything for us now because our voices are muted. Still, there is hope. It is that in twenty years, it will be these men and women in office. Perhaps, that alone should make me feel better. I don't think it is enough, though, for our wounded and fallen. I can't speak for them, of course. Not yet, at least.
I joined the army soon after I finished college; the decision was an amalgamation of desire to serve, to belong, and to repay student loans. I wanted the challenge to see if I really could be all I could be. Our country was a vastly different place then; one in which policemen, firemen, and servicemembers were no different than any other American. I had almost completed my two years of training to become an Arabic linguist when September Eleventh dramatically changed the nation's climate. I knew my own role would be pivotal, and was eager to see our country avenged on the battlefield. Until then, I had a rather dim view of the army. Their promise to repay my college loans turned out to be false, and I was left to shoulder the massive burden of debt alone. My dismay melted away in the patriotic euphoria that enveloped the country in the run-up to our invasion of Iraq. Like the rest of the America, I clung fervently to the justifications for it. The underlying righteousness was my source of motivation when we crossed the Kuwait-Iraq border in March of 2003.
In the months that were to follow, those justifications collapsed - and with them, my confidence in a nation. In those days, my colleagues and I would often patrol the streets of Baghdad with the infantry in a bid to quell boredom. We were also looking for hope among the Iraqi people; we could live vicariously through their optimism, and perhaps therein find meaning for our occupation. But hope betrayed us as the insurgency swelled. It was when the fighting began again in earnest that we left Iraq. By the end of August, I was back in The United States, free to pretend Iraq never happened. But it had. And nothing could wrench the darkest memories from repression like the knowledge that we were to return. Worse, our year in America was wasted. Almost every week, CSPAN would feature one committee or another complaining that our armed forces hadn't enough servicemembers in critical jobs like intelligence and military police. I wanted them to know how poorly we were thought of in our own units, and how little job-specific training we received before we left. At one point, we were told to study Arabic only on our own time. That was hardly possible when we were kept late every night, sometimes doing only menial tasks like weapons-cleaning until three in the morning.
The last straw was "stop loss". My enlistment contract ended in March of this year. It is seven months hence, and I am still in Iraq. I propose that, in order for me to respect my commitment, the army ought to respect the contract we agreed upon. It was for five years, not six. Proponents of this form of conscription argue that I signed it nonetheless, fully aware of possible outcomes. True, I ought to have prepared myself better. But to remain bound to an expired commitment - exposed to prolonged peril in support of an unjustifiable cause - was beyond my expectations. Today, I find the greatest challenge of the army is to find honor in service. I don't ever regret having joined because I've learned so much about myself and about America. I have faith in both, but yearn for hope to become reality. I want to go home as badly as I want to be proud of my country again.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
So I was dreading going to work today; I knew I'd have to deal with the Lou crap. Sure enough, Lou was in talking to HR when I got there, and not long after, he pops up at my desk to make his crapology. Now, HR and my boss-boss both say Lou claims he was thinking about it all weekend, he was bothered by it, and he wanted to sincerely apologize. Well, that's fine if they believe that, maybe they know him better than I do. But when someone says "I apologize for speaking strongly to you. But you wouldn't take the form from me and it was a trivial form to begin with" blah blah, you were in the wrong, I'm not really sorry, how dare you think I was wrong for shaking the paper in your face which I just admitted to but now am denying...HR says he believes Lou because he wanted to apologize before HR asked him to. Yeah, right. If Lou had any common sense whatsoever, and I believe he is rather shrewd, he would have realized he *was* in the wrong, but he'd better make good with work by apologizing before they reprimand him. Rob tells me he doesn't believe Lou is being intentionally malicious. I don't believe that either, I just believe he's an asshole, knows it, and doesn't care that he's an asshole.
So it was a wonderful start to my Monday. Nice and early bullshit.
The countdown is on to DISNEY!!! THREE WEEKS AND FIVE DAYS TILL WE LEAVE FOR THE MAGIC KINGDOM! Call me a geek but that place is just awesome. It's only been four years since the last time, so there can't be much that's changed BUT the best part will be that Emma is old enough to enjoy it now! We'll be there right after her 4th birthday. Catie, of course, being one year old, isn't going. But we are pretty much centering the trip around Emma. Although I did kind of get suckered into a 'breakfast with the princesses'. Yay.
I've been a scrapbooking fiend lately. WTF? Am I a geek? Did I get old and not know it? Not that old people necessarily scrapbook, but I am a homebody, I crab about my back hurting, and we go to bed early. When did this happen!
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Melissa called me Friday, wanting to hang out that night. She said her boyfriend was on his way in town, she was making dinner for him and then she'd call. Mysteriously I didn't hear from her till Sunday afternoon. OK I get the whole 'new relationship' bullshit, but don't tell me you're going to call if you aren't. Or call and say "Hey not going to go out afterall." Ryan tells me not to take it personally. I know she isn't doing it because of me. Nobody ever does something truly because of somebody else. But here's the crux, and the thing so many people don't *get* about me. The mere fact that I am automatically a low priority in everybody's life is what sucks. I *get* it. I just don't like it.
http://subconsciousink.blogspot.com/ Yipes! I am in awe!
http://www.livejournal.com/users/scottradke/ all hail Scott Radke. Some truly beautiful and original work there. And he's in Cleveland! Not that I will ever find myself in Cleveland just wandering the streets, looking for his murals, but you never know.
I discovered both those sites while looking for inspiration from the Corpse Bride movie. Just saw it this afternoon. It was so beautiful. I love Tim Burton!
Well I am really not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow and having to deal with the super-asshole. Knowing my luck, something will backfire and I'll be the one getting the shaft, even though he was the asshole to me. It's what Ryan called Hostile Work Environment. Look I don't care who the fuck you think you are, you do NOT shake a piece of paper in my face, especially when YOU FILLED IT OUT WRONG! NOT ME! YOU'RE THE IDIOT, AND NOW YOU'RE THE ASSHOLE TOO!
Friday, October 07, 2005
So I haven't updated in a few days because my bonehead doctor decided to give me meclizine for my swimmy dizzy head. I told him, clear as day, that I do not take Benadryl because I hate the way antihistimines make me feel like a zombie. Now let me clarify that Meclizine is an antihistimine they give to people who get motionsick. It's prescription strength. I.E. I got a prescription strength antihistamine that made me feel like a prescription strength zombie. uh, DUH!!! So I spent the entire day, almost, on the couch in a coma. Not at work. Now I hate calling off work being sick because nobody ever actually believes you're sick. If someone you work with calls off sick, unless you have personally seen them being actually sick, do you believe them? Nobody does. Now why would you give someone a prescription that they've already told you they don't like, less than a week later? Geez.
Deep Fried Pizzas at the in-laws tonight. Yum. The halloween party is slowly and surely coming together. Bought a jump drive tonight, Lexar, 512mb at Target for 44.99. Thought it was a good price. Cate finally decided that college is a good idea. She's thinking Otterbein. I hope they have a good dance program.
Thank God tomorrow is Friday. I need a weekend! Wait, I always need a weekend.
Got the Eye Toy for PS2 the other day. It's great! It's such a kid's game but it's tons of fun. Yeah, I'm a geek. so what?
Monday, October 03, 2005
Today was somewhat uneventful. My supervisor left before noon without telling hardly anybody where he was going. Also neglected to tell us he was going to be gone for two days. WTF? I am continually shocked as to how he has gotten the position as a supervisor, for one, and also continued to hold the position. Given that he hardly does any work whatsoever. I was actually busy the whole day though, which was great. The day FLEW by!
Ed's blog was pretty amusing today. I don't know why specifically.
My headache seems to have gone away. I am wondering, though, if it really is/was a sinus infection. More on that later.
Went to the Bengals' game yesterday, against the Houston Texans. Bengals won, although I can hardly say it was a commendable victory. Defense was shot; 76 kept false starting (is it really that hard to wait for the snap?), and half our points were from field goals. WTF? I expected nothing less than a blowout. But we are now 4-0. Our seats were in the sun the entire game, so the 6 of us, Barb, Jim, me, Jeremy, Melissa and Teresa, all ended up getting a little crispy. Not to mention we were all ready to vomit from heat stroke by the end of the game. Who knew a football game in October was bikini weather?
Why is it I only think of profound things to discuss when I am not near the computer?
Saturday, October 01, 2005
If you can get him to do something we couldn't, kudos. Try things you wouldn't normally associate with a cartoon. Call him an ass. Suggest he take part in an adult film. Mention his family.
You will feel my wrath! Squirrels do have wrath, you know.
This is just silly but really funny!
Found out what 'skeet' means....ew!
Just for my husband
I have a sinus infection and a possible milk allergy (no, not intolerance. different thing and I am smart enough to tell the difference.) so you're not going to get anything profound out of me today. I really want to get the Eye Toy for the PS2, and play video games all day.