Thursday, April 28, 2005

Shout Out

I just wanted to thank my husband for telling me recently that I'm really not all that pale; it's just that I stand out in the summer because I don't tan.

Thank you, Dominic, for breaking that down for me so well.

Also, thank you for not being offended when I pointed out to you that your tan lasts all year long.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Conceited Blathering

Dominic just left for his squadron run this morning. I had said last night that I would go with him, but then I woke up this morning feeling like a wounded animal blindsided by a big rig and left to die a horrible death in the middle of a cold deserted highway, the vultures circling. Last week I did actually go with him on one of these runs, and despite the fact that we began in the middle of the pack and ended almost dead last and because of this were threatened at any moment to be trampled by the many big burly men with funny haircuts whizzing past, it was a good time, if you can look past the point at the end of the run where I lost all my faculties of not foaming at the mouth.

Ah, to be an officer's wife.

Which is actually something I'm going to have to work a bit on. You see, most of the time I'd rather voluntarily sign up for experimental medication rather than be sociable among a big group of people I hardly know. Also, Dominic always leaves me at some point during these social engagements to throw the football with someone who can actually do the spirally spinny thing because his hand is large enough to hold a football correctly, a talent I sadly lack. During these times, I usually freak out and stand somewhat apart from the rest of the group, looking around nervously and cupping my beer or soda and trying not to hyperventilate or break out in hives. This kind of behavior obviously doesn't make me very appealing, so most people tend to avoid me, except the super polite kind who make a point of at least taking me aside to gently tell me I'm foaming at the mouth again.

Okay, that's not true, but it's obvious this line of thinking and behaving makes me far from the life of any party EVER. Except for the parties with tequila, or vodka.

Speaking of which, my sister posted a bit of tribute to me on her blog. She did this after I pitched a holy fit because she had written something sweet about her family and posted pictures of everyone but me, even the cat. As I am the child most likely to be asked by strangers whether I was adopted this makes sense (in some circles I am even called the black sheep), but I stalked my sister's blog anyway and demanded that she post pictures of me on the internet. She obliged.

Unfortunately, my sister really knows who I am.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Hangin' Out...

Kate and I just got back from a walk down the street. Not for any good reason other than a full moon and fantastic weather. Now I'm going to sit on the balcony, drink a cold beer, and watch my cat drink from the base of our potted tomato plants. Meanwhile, in the other room Kate is supposed to be doing some assigned reading. It's possible she's taking a late night nap though. Mandatory reading always puts her to sleep. That's about it around here for now...pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Holy Crap, I'm Thirty!

Holy crapapoopoo, I'm THIRTY.

Excuse me while I work myself into an unwarranted, period of self-inflicted neurosis for no other reason than the America says I'm supposed to when I turn thirty. I guess it is too early for me to have a mid-life crisis, but I did go out and marry a younger woman, buy a sports car, and get a significantly more dangerous job(compared to aircraft weapons, maybe not.) I'm a little shocked I guess when I think about turning this age because I feel just about the same as when I graduated from high school(over a decade ago). Sure I have some aches and pains sometimes, but generally it's because I just ran for miles or something. Anyone would have a few aches I guess...Mostly I'm just shocked at the number I suppose. I'm certain that 15 year old Dominic would have an open mouthed expression at the mere thought of turning thirty. Hell, thirty year old Dominic woke up this morning in disbelief, slack-jawed, muttering "Damn, I'm thirty."

On the trip home from a strange poetry reading last night I thought out loud with Kate and rationalized how turning thirty was ok because of all the things I'd done. It's been a good thirty years and it's only looking better everyday. I suppose I'm just shocked how quickly the time has flown by, and I wonder if in another ten years I'll still wake up in "shock and awe" that ten years has floated by. Maybe it's good that it seems I blinked and woke up fifteen years later. Perhaps it means I've been too busy out there living. Who knows?

Monday, April 18, 2005


In my email inbox I saw, just now, the title of my Ahead of Time email that I receive each Monday before the magazine appears in our mailbox each Tuesday...

and Ann Coulter is to grace the cover.

I don't know what to say. I almost always steer clear of politics on this blog because all too often the topic can ratchet off to poor taste and plus, really, there are other people better informed than me who can put into words much more succinctly and deliberately the things I can only vaguely postulate in my head...

BUT, I think that Ann Coulter, the celebrity pundit, is so symbolic of what is going wrong all around us right now. And it's not just because she's a crazy Republican who spouts her mouth off with the intent to sensationalize rather than rationalize; it's because there are so many others like her. (Bill Mahr, I'm talking to you. You seem to be the hateful left to her hateful right.) What I have against Ann Coulter is that she's so good at doing what she's doing, and it's as much because she's supermodel skinny, with long viciously died blonde hair, as it is because she's smart and fiercely erudite and passionately crude.

I feel so hemmed in, sometimes, by other people's narrow-sightedness--that inability to recognize that Gray is a color as much as Black or White.

I wish it would all just go away. The insensitivity. The shouting matches. The condemnation. The hateful invective. I wish it would all just go away.

Which makes me a Democrat, I guess. At least that's what it seems like to me sometimes--like the whole party has its head stuck in a gigantic hole like a clumsy ostrich, wishing things would just get better. Which is not true, of course.

These are just issues close to my too-soon broken heart. I just want some tolerance, people. I want some thinking outside of the box, and then I want a little sympathy for the thoughts that just can't seem to escape.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

RolEx (Not The Good Kind...)

These past few days have been incredibly tough in the Gaskin household. I had a checksim on Tuesday of this week and unfortunately I didn't pass. I then had a re-check on Thursday night and I failed again for the same thing. Basically I put the wrong coordinates into my inertial navigation system (INS) and it caused me to be off course by seven miles when I have a max allowable deviation of five. It really sucks because now I've been rolled into the class behind me and I'll have to repeat some preliminary sims before I face an elimination sim with the director of operations(DO), a Lt. Col. No pressure there. What really sucks is that I was pretty confident that I passed, and then have your instructor give you bad news like that. Twice. At this point the Navy guys in my old class will get their wings and leave Randolph for their new jets while the other AF guys go onto advanced electronic warfare principles. I however am languishing in intermediate navigation.
It could be so much worse for me though, and I feel like it will be easy for me to correct the problems I've been having with my checks so hopefully my next check will go well. When I failed the second time I was teetering on the verge of self-elimination, but luckily Katharine and my Dad convinced me that would be really silly. I've come to far to just drop. I'm talking myself into an "It will all be ok," state of mind, but it has been pretty depressing around here. We're getting over it though. I'll put my boots on and give it my all. By the way, RolEx is roll execution time back...I mean graduation time...sorry.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Dominic Forgives Me Daily for Being So White

Recently, Dominic bought an acoustic guitar magazine with Jack Johnson and Ben Harper on the cover. When I saw it I said:

"Hey! Did you know Ben Harper is black?"
"Oh, well, wow. I totally didn't know Ben Harper is black."

I was greeted with a look with which I am fairly familiar now, one that borders between faint amusement and weary exasperation. It's a look that says, "My god, what have I married?"

Well, I'll tell you what you've married -- a racially insensitive piece of pale white cornbread from the deep South who was blown away that Ben Harper is indeed a black man, or at least interracial.

Good luck with that, dude.

If I could read this outloud to you it would sound like the teacher talking in Charlie Brown cartoons

I've been feeling lethargic about posting lately. Luckily, Dominic's taken up some of the slack. We've definitely come to that time of the year wherein I do nothing, really, but lie around on the couch and complain about how I don't want to do anything except maybe watch Desperate Housewives and torture the cat and maybe eat an ice cream sandwich or a half a pan of brownies and dwell on how if I could erase one piece of literature from the whole of the western canon, it would be Ethan Frome.

Oh, Edith Wharton. I'm sure you didn't purposefully create evil incarnate. Damn you, Ethan Frome!

Other than that it's more of the same: a pile of dirty dishes, dirty laundry. I fear for our lives, sometimes, when we sleep. One night the noxious gases from the dirty dishes and the stealthy, creeping heft of all the dirty laundry might smother us in our sleep. At least, t'would be a peaceful death, methinks.

But on the brighter side, the strawberry plant we installed in a planter on the balcony has a few berries ripening. Dominic and I figure that maybe tomorrow we'll be able to enjoy them, both of them.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

What A Weekend!

Well, this weekend was jam-packed full of excitement. I'm be a facetious here, it in fact was pretty slow. That's cool though, a little relaxation before a hectic work/school week is always nice. I have to say though, I had high hopes for this weekend and they didn't really pan out. You see I bought myself a new toy on Friday, a handheld GPS called the Garmin ETrex Legend C. I really, really wanted to spend the entire weekend globally positioning myself. It works and all, but it is not nearly as cool as I thought it would be and I am unwilling to spend the extra 130 dollars it would take to upgrade the software, so I decided to take it back. This is how the rest of the weekend started:

Kate and I drove out to the Poteet Strawberry Festival, twenty-five miles south of San Antonio. We wanted to experience a small town festival and enjoy the "best strawberries in Texas." Unfortunately, so did the rest of San Antonio including this police officer who promptly pulled me over for not properly displaying my front license plate. Kate felt compelled to photograph everything. Just in case.

Poteet is the dustiest town in Texas. Kate and I were instantly filthy. We drank beer from cans, and I felt a Koozie was a must. These guys said they'd give me a koozie if I signed some papers and did a few pull-ups.

Sign here and here?

Seven all at one time?

They gave me a Koozie, but I also think I enlisted into the Marine Corps. Man are they going to be mad when they find out they wasted a Koozie on me.

We bought some delicious strawberries and jam and decided the dust was too much. Kate demanded that I take her home so she could shower. For those of you who know Kate, you know that's saying something! On the way home poor Kate fell asleep instantly she was so worn out! Speaking of worn out, I have more PT in the morning! Good night (Insert Texas drawl here)y'all from Poteet, Texas!!

Monday, April 04, 2005

A Moment In Between The Madness

This is me being confused by something...

Well, I thought I would take a moment in between the utter confusion and bewilderment that is existence now to say hello to the internet. Hello. Right now Nav school is totally kicking butt, however I'm hanging in there and they haven't kicked me out yet! There's still plenty of time for them to do that though...
My entire week is full of simulator flights, the bane of my existence. I hate them like I hate hell and all things simulated. They take us and put us in the worst possible conditions, and say "Good Luck Bitches! You don't stand a chance!" I'll be so happy when this phase is over.
I found out today that my drop date may come sooner than June. That's really cool because Kate and I really want to know where we're going. Honestly though, it's mostly just driving me crazy. Next month will be a year since my commissioning date. Wow has time been flying by!
Speaking of time, I have to prepare for a flight. Bye Internet!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

High Noon at the Barbeque Station

Kate: Stop drinking all of my sweet tea.
Dominic: You think I'm stealing it?
Kate: nodding yes.
Dominic: Why? BECAUSE I'M BLACK?