Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I Should Be Doing Something Else...

Well, It's true. I should be. In the next five days Kate and I will move out of this apartment, drive across the country(uprooting our obnoxious Mexican kitty), close on our first home, and I'll find out about my new job. So we have something of a busy schedule. It's been somewhat surreal because we've done a little here and there, but we've left the brunt of everything for the movers, so everything is pretty much standard around here, except that we know we're about to leave. It's all very strange. Of course, we're totally nutty about the fact that we're about to buy our first house. I'm super excited about painting the interior, but Kate feels it's too early to talk about colors. I keep annoying her anyways though! She has it coming...
Today was my last day of work! Hooray! I am so glad to be leaving this base, and I'm really excited about starting something new. I guess that's one of the best things about being in the military. After a few years of doing something, it's time to start something new without being the low man on the totem pole again. It's not a bad racket.
Kate and I will be driving into NE on Friday afternoon and arrive Saturday evening. We have a hotel room with our cat and I'm pretty sure that's going to make everyone a little stir crazy. The three of us sitting around a hotel room blinking at each other is going to be a little awkward. All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy...(this is what the cat is thinking as she is waiting for an opportunity to eat us.) We should be able to get out and enjoy ourselves though, because come Monday it's back to busy time.
I've booked all our utilities on Monday, and I have to gripe a little about the cable. It's one hundred and fifty dollars a month. The cable is like crack cocaine. They get started a little with some good programming and then they hit you with a DVR and high speed internet then you're hooked for life. Those bastards at Cox and Time-Warner are heartless. They know what they're doing, but they just don't care. Shameful. I hope that I can survive the five days without internet access. It's going to be hard for sure, but hopefully I can get a friend to supply me with some while I'm down on my luck. I'll have to get some for Kate too...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Speaking of Books

Today I temporarily lost my mind in the bookstore. Fifty-seven dollars worth of science fiction books? What, I don't have that much money in my checking account? Never mind! That's why god invented credit cards!

Normally I don't even carry a balance on my credit card. I do this by a very strategic method, it namely being, that I don't use it. But with all our house buying expenses and a few unforseeable emergencies (re: car wrecks) I've had to reinitiate my credit card into our household finances. It was do that or tell our insurance company, "Hey, we can't pay that $400 deductible, but thanks for trying to bill us anyway," and then end up in jail. I know I shouldn't be putting additional charges on my card right now with our move coming up, but it turns out that today I really, really needed that Philip K. Dick book and that Kurt Vonnegut novel and, oh, oh, I couldn't possibly leave the store without an Ursula K. Le Guin book, but what's one Le Guin book? MAKE IT TWO. I never even got out of the science fiction aisle, people. I had to close my eyes and feel my way to the register and then run out of the store really quickly in order to avoid any more purchases.

Afterward, I did have a little devil on my shoulder telling me to go to a CD store (I mean, I do have a very long roadtrip coming up, one in which I must cater to one very unhappy little kitty as well), but since buying CDs and books nearly always results in rash decision making on my part I just went straight home.

Besides, I have a busy night lined up. First, there's the fourth disc of season 1 of the Gilmore Girls to watch tonight (all of it), and also I got my InStyle magazine in the mail today, so it must be perused, partially at least. Also, there are my new books, one of which must be started tonight, and lastly, I just made a special trip to the grocery store to get my favorite ice cream because watching Gilmore Girls without consuming some form of junk food is considered sacrilege in some countries.

Monday, October 17, 2005

My Book Reading Husband

is back!

One of the more peculiar aspects of my life before Dominic is that all my attentions toward boys were spent on specimens who did not particularly like to read. My short liaison with the out of fashion raver who had a copy of Marilyn Manson's biography in his frat house dorm room by his leopard print futon doesn't count (This was my taste in men at the time? The horror, I know).
Then came Dominic and his stacks of books lining the walls of his apartment and his smart contributions to discussions in English classes, and well--this on top of his dashing good looks?--I was smitten. I even forgave him for not liking Hemingway and thinking that Ethan Frome wasn't such a bad book, when everyone knows it's really the spawn of Edith Wharton temporarily acting for the devil.

When we first graduated from college I wasn't surprised that Dominic wasn't reading anything at the time. We both had just gotten off about a two year bender of doing nothing but cramming as many novels, poems, and plays into our heads as our major demanded, and also once he commissioned into the Air Force, he got busy quickly. That's what having a full-time job means for most people. But then an entire year passed, and then more than a year, and the only thing he'd read was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe all in one big gulp one Saturday afternoon. Now, I am certainly not blaming him for this change in his reading habits. Dominic has been EXTRAORDINARILY busy learning how to do his new job. His reading was rerouted to technical manuals and textbooks and he often worked long, long hours with no hope of much reprieve for months on end. But still, I missed the way we used to be in college, in bed together, each of us with our noses in books.

So, it was with a kind of feverish pleasure that I got to suggest books for him to take to survival school when he left a month and a half ago. Now he's back up in Washington and he's informed me he's about 50 pages into Everything is Illuminated, and I'm so excited that he's doing something nerdy again. I mean I love my macho husband who struts around in his flight suit and can fly a Cessna and eat pounds on end of buffalo wings and survive in the wilderness, but I seriously think he may have been moving beyond my league, what with no books to humble his manhood and make him appear sensitive and thoughtful. And I can't have him moving beyond my league because we're married, and it would do no good for him to one day wake up, look at me, and think, "Behold this mousy little book nerd sleeping beside me. Ugh, all that drool...I can do better than her!" and then dump me. I will not be dumped! YOU HEAR ME, DOMINIC?

Where was I? Right--but that's not the point. The point is that Dominic's reading again--and reading a really lovely book at that, and that makes me happy. Now we can both be really excited about seeing the movie when it comes out. With the hobbit! I mean Elijah Wood!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Texas Sized Goodbye

So Dominic's gone again. Once he comes home there will be a flurry of moving preparations and then we'll leave Texas for good.


No offense, Texas. Everyone here really loves you and likes to brag about how big you are and how we shouldn't mess with you or else, but a lot of the time you're just kind of hot and dirty--and not in a good way. I guess in some ways, living in San Antonio has been a very educational and cultural experience (like how you taught me about fresh tortillas, SA, or gently showed me that being a pale, blonde gringo is not that bad) but even the embracement of my awkward whiteness can't make up for how many stinkin' strip malls this city boasts. Maybe there are as many strip malls in Omaha as there are here, but I seriously doubt it, and anyway, Dominic's and my house are far away from them. In Nebraska we're going to be living in an actual neighborhood, with real houses and trees and sidewalks and everything. Here in Texas, we live in the middle of a parking lot.

But afterall, you were my first big city, San Antonio, and you taught me how to navigate your freeways and you gave me two car accidents and you gave me my first tapas and you gave me my Mexican kitty cat and you gave me a husband in a garden and snow flurries on Christmas Eve.

So thank you for all that. Except for the car accidents. Geeze.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Washington Again...

Well after two weeks of being able to enjoy home life, I'm off to Washington again. This time I won't be stupid and bring only one long sleeve shirt. I'm off for more training, but this time I'll only be up there for a week thank goodness. Then when I get home, Kate and I will only have a week before we move from Texas to Nebraska. I'm so excited and scared that it's hard to think about anything else. So far, everything is falling into place with mortgage companies, realtors, and movers, but nothing is of course finalized iuntil the last minute and that's what's scary. It seems that if one thing doesn't work out then everything else will totally fall apart. I guess I shouldn't worry about that too much as it won't help anything... Kate and I can't wait to get in our house. Even though when we get there we won't have any furniture so... Kate, the cat, and I will be sitting, sleeping, eating, and well...everything on the floor. Even when the movers do get there since we're doubling our living space we can't fill the house so half the rooms won't have anything in them. Kate and I always make jokes about how we'll have this great house, but crappy college kid furniture. It's true though... Anyways, we'll be moving in exactly two weeks and I can't wait!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"God does not leave us comfortless" but he does decide before we're born if we're going to be nerds.

So today I went to see this movie, and while it wasn't very good, I was able to correctly recognize and identify the author and title of a poem read aloud by Cameron Diaz's character. It was a singularly nerdy moment, made even nerdier by the fact that I didn't recognize the poem because of my English degree but because I read Jane Kenyon for fun, and I remember reading "Let Evening Come" for the first time a few years ago and closing my eyes and thinking, "Wow, this is a rocking poem."

They just don't come any nerdier than that, folks. And by they I mean I.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


'“Well, she’s still there, so there’s that.”'--Flood and Loathing on returning to New Orleans and seeing the city's buildings rise up from a distance.

Our good friend, Dale, recently returned to his hometown. He's started a blog about his experiences in post-apocalyptic New Orleans. It's a good, candid look into the everyday workings of what people down there are doing to get their lives back and move on.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oh, how I enjoyed wearing a blazer--if only it was for a day.

Two days ago we experienced a sudden temperature drop here in south Texas, and it was like Christmas. I couldn't believe how happy I felt about 60 degree weather. I normally never welcome cooler weather, but that was back when I used to live in Alabama, and I thought the 90 degree heat in summers was hot, but then I moved to Texas, and I walked outside during a recent heat wave and burst into flames. Bursting into flames sucks and is unattractive in general. Plus, I have a lot of good feeling associated with cold weather and Christmas time in general now--what, with Dominic and I getting married and all Christmas Eve a year ago. So now that we're approaching the holiday season, cooler weather reminds me of that one time I put on a wedding dress and stood outside for two hours in 30 degree weather and said some vows, and then I fell down a flight of stairs. Memories.

Yesterday, Dominic and I went with some friends to a small little hovel of a restaurant in San Antonio that serves tapas. They also had live flamenco dancing. And sangria. That was a good time. Today we're observing the Sabbath by hanging out in our pajamas. Dominic's watching football, and I just ate a delicious sandwich.

(These were the ingredients: honey wheat bread, 2 slices of deli counter roast beef, one slice each of deli counter provolone and swiss cheese, leaf lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mayonnaise, and dijon mustard. Pickle spear on the side. Oh, heaven.)

So, what I'm trying to say is that we're really enjoying our last few weeks in Texas. And flamenco dancers are cool. And it's totally 80 degrees and beautiful outside today.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Surreal Is The New Reality...

I just talked to my friend Dale who lives in New Orleans and I was just so struck by all that he had to say about life in New Orleans now. Since he has been in town he says he spends his days shoveling sludge out of his new, old house that he never got to move into, sponging himself off, and then heading to one of very few restaurants for a drink and salad as he's a vegetarian. He told me that even tough he's only been working like this for a few days now that it seems that all he has known before has been washed away and life now demands only that he wake, shovel sludge, and go to a restaurant before the 8:oo pm curfew sends hime and everyone else in the city back home. If they're lucky enough to have one. He mentioned a friend or acquaintance, whichever, that came home to find his two story home leaning on his next door neighbors and a condemned sign on the door. How is that for surreal?

Dale mentioned to me that a few places in the city still had Wi Fi connectivity and he wanted a card so he could access the web through his notebook. I told him I could get one off the web and have it sent to him. He chuckled and let me know that no one delivers to New Orleans right now. He had told me earlier that it was third world there, but honestly I cannot comprehend the situation that so many people are in. He says that as he travels between his apartment and his house, he is constantly shocked at the destruction the city has been subjected to, and when he believes it can't be worse, he finds something new. Because his apartment is on the second floor, he still has a refrigerator. He has been trying to help his friends with the rare commodity. Shocking, to me at least. I've never lived without a fridge. I'm sure some older people have, but to me the concept is medieval. I'm a spoiled American. Sorry.

Dale is glad that he's back in the city though. For him, New Orleans is home. So he's glad to be back in the city he loves and shovel sludge out of a home that he never got to live in. I know that he's working for something and someplace he loves. That makes it worth it. Even if the claims adjuster condemns his house at the end of the week. He's there and trying his best to move on. I guess that's it. No happy ending or moral to this story. Just one guy shoveling sludge, eating and drinking in a devestated city. Like thousands of others...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Don't Let Me Get Started...

Well; sure enough, I survived Survival School. Then Water Survival School. It was not fun at all, and I have to say quite unpleasant. To save everyone time, I'll leave it at that. I'm glad to be out of the cold and back in Texas with my sweetheart though for sure. This has been our only separation of any length, and proved to be extremely difficult on us both. We made it through unscathed though!

With those schools behind me, Kate and I are only a month away from our PCS (move) to Omaha. While I was away at survival I met several people who were going there as well. Amidst the misery and cold I had a great time explaining how lucky Kate and I were to be moving to our new house and neighborhood. I honestly can't wait. We're going to have a ginormous grill. I wish we could have a charcoal and a gas grill, but someone(Kate) is giving me a hard time about that. It probably won't happen. At least right away...

Kate and I went shopping today because she left her flip flops at the hotel in NE. During the shopping we stopped at Cost Plus and talked about how much fun Christmas was going to be with our three stockings(The cat needs one too!) lined up on the fireplace mantle, listening to Christmas carols, and hopefully a lot of snow. It's going to be a ton of fun. Hopefully new and old friends as well of course! There are a lot of people from my school headed to NE as well. Kate loves Thanksgiving of course because she's a pilgrim, and we'll have a big dinner for that as well. I just really look forward to the Christmas holiday every year. It's so much fun.

It's so good to be back home with Kate. Leaving your family is incredibly difficult and even though we all do at some point it never gets easy. I guess that makes being home so much more special. I'll leave agin in two weeks and I know that although it's only for a week I'll miss Kate(and the cat) terribly. I'll be back in WA for another school, but at the same time I know that means when I get home Kate and I will be leaving TX and on to new and exciting things!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I'm Back Baby!

After three horrible weeks TDY, I'm finally back home with Kate. It was tough, but Iwas able to make it back! Later!