Sunday, July 7, 2013

Vacation--June 5th, 2013

I succeeded in jogging the full length down to the south end—that street is Fredricksburg.  It turns out that’s the city line between Ventnor and Margate.  I’ll have to look to see just how far that is.  I walked, jogged, and did calisthenics on the way back.  I did pushups, lunges, side squats, mountain climbers, and some step-ups.  It felt good; taxing but good; all that after having a cheddar and broccoli omelet--a very good start to the day.
After that, I showered up and walked south down Atlantic.  That’s where I discovered the city boundary.  I kept walking south through Margate--all the way to Lucy the Elephant.  I bought Mom a t-shirt and a hat for me.  I meandered across the small parking lot to the Rooftop Bar at Ventura’s Greenhouse.  The food was really good.  I had a shrimp salad and a mudslide.  The only downside was after I got cash from the ATM—the menu said Cash Only—the server told me that they accept credit cards.  This was frustrating because there was a $3.50 surcharge for the ATM.
There was another success today—no sunburn despite the jog this morning or the walk this afternoon.  Winning!  Time to watch the CMAs on TV.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vacation--June 4th, 2013

I think God knew that I would risk more sunburn yesterday if the sun was shining so He brought about rainstorms from late Sunday night til mid-day yesterday.  I stayed in and reminded myself why I don't subscribe to cable--too many damn commercials!  Then Mother Nature REALLY made her presence know come evening time.  I LOVE getting up every two hours to check and change things.  Not!!

Breakfast ws tasty and filling pancakes.  Time to reslather my chest w/sunscreen and head out.

I walked all the way to Rhode Island Ave.  It's a bit passed the new Revel Hotel/Casina but I'm not sure how far.  I stopped at Hard Rock Cafe for lunch and had a great tasting burger.  After that, I headed down to Arkansas 'cause I forgot to turn on Michigan Ave.  I made a stop at Wilson's Leather to see if they had tablet covers--they didn't but it was fun to look around.  I also stopped at Jockey when I saw they have a new way of bra sizing.  They measure the volume of the breast to determine where you're at--numbered 1 thru 10--then they measure band size.  It seemed really interesting.  I'd be curious to see if it affects other companies.

Wound my way back to Arkansas Ave and headed back down the boardwalk.  Hung in the room for a bit then changed into my suit for some tanning on the beach.  Maxed out after an hour or so, I returned to the Inn and changed for dinner.  There's a new sushi restaurant on the blockso I went there.  Had assorted tempura and dessert was a mango flavored gelato dipped in white chocolate and drizzled in dark chocolate.  It was quite good.  Now, just hanging out in the room until my freshly washed hair dries and/or cable bores me--whichever happens first.  Then it's off to bed.

Vacation--June 2nd, 2013

Some of this might be duplicated from my previous post but this is my journal entries from the week that I was on vacation.
After a fun week of shopping and tasty food--things that I wasn't able to do while deployed--I spent three hours at Heather's Holistic Health.  I got a facial, a full massage--which was NOTHING like the one that I got on base while deployed, thankfully--and a pedicure.  My toenails are cerulean blue.  Then, after a quick stop at Wawa in Smyrna, I headed to New Jersey.  There was a detour to the Hamilton Mall where I picked upa couple dresses and a couple pairs of shoes.  Got to the Carisbrooke Inn just after 6pm.  Checked in and then unpacked my sneakers so I could get in a quick walk down to the south end of the boardwalk.  It's three miles round trip.  It felt good to get some miles in.  More on my walking endeavor in a bit--my habit of typing has left my writing muscles weak and I need some recovery time or this will be completely illegible.

I actually slept in til 8 this morning.  I originally woke up at 5am but that just seemed too early to get up.  Had a great dream that had Hugh Jackman in it.  That was a fun one.  Although the dream was great, I felt like I had missed out on an opportunity for an early morning walk by not waking up at 6:30am like I have been for the past week and a half.  Tomorrow I will probably just get up when the sunshine coming through the windows wakes me up.  Breakfast was yummy French toast, sprinkled w/powdered sugar and layered w/sliced bananas.  Yum!  I've started drinking green tea so, after one cup of coffee, there was a couple cups of green tea.

After breakfast, I changed into my workout shorts and tank and set out southbound for another walk to and from that end.  Made a short pitstop when I go back to Little Rock Ave but set again.  Once that was complete, I headed north this time.  In the distance between light poles, I did lunges, side squats, and walking on just the balls of my feet.  When I ran out of non-bouncing exercises, I did pushups, one arm pushups (those definitely need work), one leg squats, plie squats, and leg kicks (to the front, side, & rear).  I turned back at Raleigh Ave.

My workout complete, I changed into my bathing suit and headed to the beach.  I did slather most of my body w/sunscreen.  I say "most" 'cause the parts that I missed are all too obvious. :(  The weather was perfect for sunburning.  It was sunny but breezy so you wouldn't even notice just how much sun you got.  The water was freezing though.  I went in to my ankles.  It wasn't even up to 60* yet.  I spent about an hour at the beach and then came back to the room and took a shower.  I then got my face on and headed north to Atlantic City.  Lunch was coconut shrimp at the The Rainforest Cafe.  No shopping though.  I'm gonna be here another four days--plenty of time for shopping later.

I got changed again when I got back to the Inn.  This time into one of the five dresses that I brought with me so that I could dress up for dinner.  Started the meal with a delicious seafood salad--fresh seafood in some sort of lemon vineagrette.  The entree was capellini with chunks of crab and dessert was creme brulee w/coffee.  More yum!

As the hours progress, my sunburn looks worse and worse.  :(

Sunday, June 23, 2013

One month post-deployment

It's been a busy month since I returned last month.  We got home in the wee hours and I didn't get to sleep until about 3am that morning.  However, I was up five hours later--thinking that I had slept for much, much longer.  I was up early pretty much every day that first week, even when I didn't need to be.  We're talking 5 or 6am every morning.  I took advantage of it and got quite a bit done in those early hours.  My birthday weekend was spent in an uneventful manner.  Nothing fancy at all and that suited just fine.  I did enjoy some really good yet not good for me food that first week.  I spent the following week--the first one in June--in New Jersey, enjoying good (in all senses) food and just walking around the area.  I think I walked about five miles a day for five of those seven day.  The second weekend back I worked a few hours at my part time job.  It was good to be back to that as well.
Went back to the *real* job two weeks after my return and have been easing into the rhythm of how it's done back at home station--world's different than what happens at the deployed location.  We've got good folks in the shop though.  I think it's going to be easier in some cases; slightly more difficult in other cases--it's hard to answer *why* something happened the previous day when you've been on your weekend and weren't even at work.  But...working weekend duty definitely has its perks.  I really don't mind having three days off during the week AND it will enable me to take three classes this fall.  Good stuff!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The vacation is almost over.

I'm closing in on my departure date.  I can count--on fingers and toes--the number of days left.  I'm ready for home.  I like the folks that I work with but I'm very ready to not see them for days on end.  There's a reason they're called "days off"'s so that you'll be away from work and those who are at work will have a break from your specific personality for that day.  I know folks were glad when I had my day off.  There was no one to correct them on the escalating level of innuendo--it's to the point that I can't stem the tide; I'm just that worn down from doing so.  There is no one to correct them on the fact that you can't, in fact, where your effing ear buds on the flightline.  Oh, wait, there are folks there that CAN correct them...but they don't.  I don't know why they don't.  I imagine it's cause they have other pet peeves.
I'm ready to get the dirt out of my skin; dirt and grease that has been embedded in the creases of my fingers; grease and oil that poses a daily hazard of possibly giving me a migraine.  But, God forbid, I not do that specific task.  I "suck it up" cause that's what I'm supposed to do.  You can't be in maintenance without getting dirty well...I HATE MAINTENANCE!!! 
The next 35 months will be spent doing all that I can to prepare my guys for their years ahead in the Air Force and preparing myself for life afterwards.  There is $42,000 in debt to be paid off--a home equity loan, a vehicle, and a credit card.  There is a degree that I may complete more classes towards.  There is a house that I may prepare to move out of once that degree is complete.  There is a life to live because I want to honor those who were not able to get any further in theirs.
Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I so wish that I could spend it with Mom.  Soon enough, I will be able to call her and find out how she is really doing and catch up on six months of missed biweekly phone calls.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trying to grow, change, and improve...

What I will never understand is how some will talk about all your negative traits but they don't see when you're trying to make yourself into a better person nor will they, with regard for your feelings, let you know what you might be doing wrong.
I am nowhere near where I want to be as a person.  Things that have happened to me in the past have really affected how I interact with those around me.  I love my friends and do my best to be a good friend to them.  I think I do pretty well but when my tendency to be upfront backfires, I react by being a little less forthright.  I don't get dishonest but I will share a whole lot less.
Or, when I'm dating, I usually jump all in (with my head) but hold back (with my heart).  I treat my sweetie the way that I want to be treated and try to not chameleon--which I've been doing pretty well.  However, when they turn out to be a douchebag, I will throw a wall right back up and tread cautiously.  I have way more casual sweeties than serious ones.  The last serious fella that I was with was in 2004 and he chose to be dishonest with me...haven't shared my heart with anyone since.  That's not to say that I haven't loved anyone since then but there was definitely a part of me that was just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And, it did.  Thank you for that, Black Behr.
So, going back to trying to improve.  Because of my lack of trust towards most folks, I'm pretty sure that I come off as a bitch.  I exhibit disdain and dismissiveness.  I'm trying to not do so.  I've also been accused of having a "high sense of entitlement."  I don't know what that means but I'm trying to figure it out so that I can address it.  If anyone who knows me, knows what this means, please let me know so that I can get to work on adjusting whatever it is that needs to change.
I'm also constantly in conflict with myself because my "military work" self is so much at odds with my "true" self.  I'm so much more at ease at my part time job than I am at full time job.  I think because I'm less under the microscope at VS than I am in the AF.  As a result, that discontent and anxiety carries over into my personality and the folks I work with pick up on it.  Three more years and I can say "Screw it!  This is the *real* me."
I welcome any and all feedback.  I do truly want to grow.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cancer. Part II

How bad?  Stage 4 Carcinoma.  Now what? She goes to a shit load of appointments and I finish out my deployment.
Not to say that I didn't have a good cry when I read the letter--which I got the day after my last post--but my thoughts and feelings are not going to change anything in her world right now.  They will only affect my world.  Which means that I need to focus on the here and the now for the next few weeks.  When I get home, I can call her and get "up to the minute" updates.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cancer. How bad? And now what?

I spoke to my dad yesterday.  He let me know that my mom had sent me a letter and, although he wanted to wait until I had received it, he thought that I should know that she will be seeing an oncologist sometime soon, in order to make a diagnosis on the lump on her neck.  Now, this lump...I saw it last year when we were on vacation.  She brushed it off and I didn't press her about it.  It's not like a marble under the skin or anything.  It's more like a large sausage shaped (think bratwurst size) "thing" is under her skin.  Last year, it was probably 1/2 to a full inch in diameter (if it were a real tube) and about two inches long.  I don't know how to really describe it.  I just know that a year ago it was big enough that when she turned her head, there was little indentation where her jawline should have been.
And I can't just pick up the phone to talk to anyone.
So, now, I wait...for the letter...for a better explanation of what the hell is going on...for the timeframe of just how much longer she'll be here.
I love you, Mom.
Bette Midler--The Wind Beneath My Wings

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 10th, 2013 marks 17 years in the Air Force

Tomorrow I’ll be marking my 17 year anniversary in the USAF.  17 years.  Who’da thunk it.  It really has gone quickly…despite feeling like it was taking forever.  The last couple years—since 2008, I’d say—has been pretty tough to get through.  My fitness has been sporadically good enough to keep me in and I will continue to fight to achieve and maintain the standards required to stay in.  However, looking back at 17 years…some highlights:
1996—Basic Training at Lackland, Tech School at Keesler in Biloxi, MS.  I have some great memories from Tech School.  Made some friends then that I still keep in touch with today.  I remember going to Mustang Sally’s and dancing til it was time to head back to base in order to meet curfew.  My second week there we ended up in lockdown cause someone had messed up.  We marched to and from the dining facility…in our blues…in the pouring rain.  My lowquarters were trashed after that.  I was also on the drill team for the latter half of my six months there.  *That* was fun.  Tossing around plastic, molded guns with precision and timing…took a muzzle in the armpit during one of our practices.  *That* hurt.  Lol.  Transferring to my first duty station, McChord AFB, brought about a long drive across three states as I drove from my hometown to Washington.
1997—Settled in and my bestest bud in the whole world moved to Washington with her daughter.  Lordy, two 20-somethings on their own…God, that was fun.  Parties every weekend and hanging with friends.  Me and Jose Cuervo were real good friends for about six months.  Then he turned on me and I haven’t been able to stomach him since.  Lol.
1998—Both my BFF and I were 21 by this time and able to go out to the clubs in the local area.  Still had parties on the weekend but going out dancing was so much more fun.  I had a *serious* boyfriend for a short time…until I realized that he was an alcoholic.  That discovery nipped that in the bud.  However, my bestest bud met the love of her life which lead to…
1999—I was the Maid of Honor in her wedding.  I bought a house in July.  The mortgage company must have been crazy--selling a house to someone whose take home pay is $1100/mo while they were charging $840/mo for a mortgage payment.  I got a second job at The Love Pantry.  Lots of stories there…but none would be appropriate for total public knowledge…it was an adult toy store, after all.  Lol.  I had that job for the eight or nine months that I “ghosted” in the dorms. 
2000—started out pretty rough.  My bestest bud moved to Iowa with her husband. I finally started receiving BAH so I didn’t have to work at The Love Pantry any longer.  It was in this year that I started talking to my son’s adoptive parents about having another child for them.  I went off the Pill later that year so that I could get the chemicals out of my system.  Had my first reenlistment—Dad officiated.
2001—My brother’s kids came out to visit while their mom was visiting her husband’s family in New York.  He loved seeing the kids after almost four years of not.  My son and his parents came up for some races that year and were able to stop for a bit during their travels.  I was able to get a picture of the three cousins—my son and my niece and nephew—just before my niece and nephew headed back to the east coast.  It’s the only picture they have together.  I sewed on Staff Sergeant in December.
2002—My daughter was born in the Spring.  Three months later, I was headed to Tinker AFB for AWACS training because I had orders to Japan.  I got to Kadena three weeks before Christmas—that was kind a bummer cause I didn’t know anyone at my new base.
2003—Not too long into the new year and I was headed home for my grandfather’s funeral.  I also moved out of the dorms and into an apartment.  I loved how it was close enough to base that I could still walk to the Commissary and/or BX, yet far enough away that I didn’t have to deal w/base traffic.  I also completed my Community College of the AF Associate’s degree in the spring.
2004—A friend moved into the apartment with me—more parties and headed out Gate 2 on the weekends.  Work was definitely uneventful.
2005—It was quite a year for transition; a lot of friends moved as they left Kadena; to include me moving to Dover, Delaware in December. 
2006—Four months after getting to Dover, a C-5 crashed in a field just south of the base.  That was headline news for quite a few months.  In June, I got my part time job at Victoria’s Secret—gotta love a 30% discount and being able to get new items at just $15 or free.  At the end of the year, I sold the house that I had bought in WA back in 1999 and bought a new one in Camden, DE.  Re-upped for four more.
2007—I was transferred from the C-5 squadron to the C-17s.  We spent the first five months of the year setting up all the programs; to include me and one other person inputting thousands of individual items into the toolroom computer database.  We got our first plane just before the start of summer and we were aching for work because there is almost nothing to do when there is only one brand new jet to maintain.  By the end of the year, we had about half of our aircraft inventory but were still doing everything we could to stay busy.
2008—I was transferred to a different squadron in June and oversaw a number of improvement events throughout the Maintenance Group as well as performed numerous inspections that gauged how well each shop was keeping up with orderliness and housekeeping.
2009—I spent 16 months in a daily fitness program after failing a PT test in Oct ’08.  In Aug ’09, I transitioned out of that and then had liposuction around my waist and hips. I love, love, love the results.
2010—Had a very dark period at the beginning of the year but came out of it unscathed; Made Technical Sergeant and sewed on in Aug.  That pay raise helped me to pay off a ton of debt.  Re-upped for another six years in November.  Dad was my reenlistment officer.
2011—Went to the NCO Academy shortly after returning to the C-17 flightline.  Six weeks in Montgomery, AL is not my idea of a vacation spot but I did have a fairly good time while there.  Upon my return, I went to night shift.
2012—Transitioned from nights to days in Aug; attended the National Sexual Assault Convention in Chicago, IL in September—very enlightening and educational; went on vacation after that and the outprocessed in Oct for a deployment that began in Nov.
2013—present time…still deployed but headed home in May.  I’m definitely missing my cats and the rest of my personal space and time but I’ve been able to save a ton of money and got to know quite a few of my coworkers.  Really can’t complain.  J
It’s been quite a ride and I’m anxious for the next three years to pass so that I can begin the next chapter but I don’t want to “Click” passed the whole of it.  I plan to do a little introspection to see what changes I should make and what positive impact I can have at work.  I’m certainly open to suggestions.  Lol.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Looking forward to heading home next month.

Every so often, the list of things that I miss and/or took for granted while not deployed rears its head.  Some of those things:
Not having to wear a uniform any time I exit my domicile
Being able to grocery shop
Being able to shop, period
Driving more than two or three miles
Picking up the phone and calling my friends and family
Living in more than one room
Sleeping on a bed that is larger than a twin AND has a firm mattress
Living alone
Leaving work and actually leaving the whole place that I work not just my workcenter/shop
Spending time with folks who aren't military
Being able to be my "off duty" self
Being able to work out in clothes that are comfortable vs having to wear the PT uniform--did I mention that the crotch ends, literally, four inches above my knees?
My front-load washer with its lack of agitator which doesn't tear up my Delicates
Not having to be quiet cause people are sleeping
Having my kitties around to love on.

However, there has been plus sides to being here:
Saved up $10,000 in four months
Haven't had to buy gas
Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and other basic toiletries can be found for free at numerous locations around the post
The latrine and shower area is cleaned daily and not by me
Care packages
Getting to know better the folks that I work with
Expanding my system knowledge quite a bit
Got to come to a whole new country that I had never been in
Not having to pay for electricity

Definitely more Cons that Pros to being deployed but at least I can say now that I *have* deployed--first time in my 17 year career.

Still can't wait to get home though.  :)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Doing better on a six month deployment than on a six week TDY

Well into completing the fourth month here and I can't help but notice that I'm doing better on this deployment than I did on my six week TDY to Montgomery, AL.  I would venture to bet that the off-duty stuff is what makes it happen.  At Gunter, the students were pretty isolated from the working side of the base so the folks that we had to had to hang out with were other students and, really, I saw them almost every day during the duty day.  I didn't really want to hang out with them off-duty as well.  Not to mention that I'm not a big fan of hanging out with a bunch of people that I don't really know and drink with them.
Here, is different.  Only two people that I work with (on the same shift) have the same day off and I don't see myself hanging out with them.  Okay, that part is the same.    However, I can go to a couple of the other agencies on base and visit with the folks that I know there.  I think the other difference is the amount of off-duty time that we have here.  Less time to not hang out with anyone.  At school, we started around 7am and then were off around 3pm and had Saturdays and Sundays off.  Here, I work noon to midnight but am at work by 11:25am and don't get home til any time between midnight 30 and 1:30am.  My day off is totally routine--laundry, movie, coffee, and food; usually gym and a trip to the Exchange, as well--and the day is over before I know it.
The point is: with more of my time being occupied--even if only by work and sleep--I don't notice that I'm far from friends.  This is especially important because my natural self is wary that folks won't accept me and therefore I stay guarded and tend to be a little heavy on the sarcastic side as a way to protect myself.
Okay, that tangent was very subtle but damn, so true.  Anyhow, the days aren't flying by but they aren't dragging either and I'm making it through pretty well.
Now, let me share my Off Base Excursion with you.  Oh, a Off Base Request is the verb but an OBR is a noun.  I know, it's really the same thing but "I'm going on an OBR on such and such day" is an accepted phrase.  So, my OBR was on the 25th of February.  I earned it by submitting an improvement suggestion for one of our technical orders for fixing our planes--oh, on another tangent...the Feb 25th issue of the Air Force Times talks about the withdrawal from Afghanistan; what it doesn't mention is that my workcenter (which isn't in Afghanistan) is going to be hopping in the upcoming months...just sayin'--back to the focus of this paragraph...
The first stop was the Hyatt in downtown Bishkek for a small repast and a massage.  It was night and day different from the one on base (  This time, it was very much like the ones that I'm used to in the States with one slight difference: they rub the dickens out of your glutes.    It had the nice robe, though, and a dimly lit room with relaxing music playing.  I had to conciously tell myself to relax when she was massaging my "cheeks" cause they're not used to getting massaged.  Once that part was passed, though, I was able to fully relax.  I even fell asleep when she was massaging my legs.  Loved it!! 
After everyone got their massages, we headed to lunch.  It was an Indian food restaurant.  Not a big fan so I had salmon.  It was excellent and just the right amount.  Our final stop was shopping.  We went to a "mall."  Imagine one big, square building with five levels.  There were very few interior walls though.  You could easily tell the borders for each "store" but they really weren't separated by anything more than strategically placed shelves.  Really tall shelves.  The nicest looking store was the perfume one with high end perfumes like you'd find in any Macy's or Nordstrom in the States.  Yep, I spritzed myself.  Felt great to smell like perfume again.  :)  I didn't buy anything though.
Bishkek, itself, appears to be very rundown.  The infrastructure is well worn and, in some places, crumbling.  There are a ton of shanty-like homes.  It was kind of depressing.  I'm looking forward to visiting again; if only so that I can see the contrast between winter in Bishkek and spring.
I do have another OBR next week.  We're going to visit Babushkas (grandmothers).

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I hope you dance!

This year (meaning: since I turned 36 last May), I've been looking at my life and comparing and contrasting it to my mom's life during that same year in her life.  Especially as the time closes in on the milestone point that sent her life on a whole new trajectory.
When my mom was 36, she had two teenagers in the house--my brother was 17 and I was 13--and I know dealing with us was not easy.  My brother had always been the one to get in trouble and would lie constantly to try to cover up the trouble that he had got in.  I was busy dealing with Junior High and trying to not get in trouble like my brother but wanting to be like him just the same.
If you overlapped the years like they were two circles, this month would line up with a comparable year in her 36th year, it would be August of 1989--the summer between 7th and 8th grade for me and 11th and 12th for my bro.  Things hadn't even gotten really that difficult...yet.  In October of that year, it all changed.  I'm curious to see how April goes for me.  I'll still be deployed but that doesn't mean that my life can change as much as hers did.
Back to October 1989...Mom met someone and our lives would never be the same.  I can understand being unhappy with life's circumstances and wishing things would change but would you change them that much?  Or, more correctly, would you allow them to be changed?  Attractions between people can be ignored when you know that the disruption will be like a pebble in a pond and will affect more than just your life.  It's hard to see that, though, when you're in the grip of attraction.  The funny thing is: I never thought twice about it when Mom said that she and her friend, Norma, were going out with a couple other friends or that she had fallen asleep at someone's house.  I trusted her and took her words at face value.  I didn't actually find out that she was dating this new guy until a month or so later.  Even then, I didn't really believe it.
I'm not going to go into all the details that occured between then and now but I often wonder if she would have allowed all that change if she had seen a glimpse of where she's at now.  :(
Mom and I went through lots of ups and downs when I was a teenager, with the biggest one being when I got pregnant at 17.  That was probably the lowest valley in our relationship but I'm glad that, today, we are in the hills.  We're friends and I know that I can share pretty much anything with her; discuss any topic; ask any question and get a candid yet caring response from her.
We even have songs for each other.
Hers for me:
I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin' might mean takin' chances, but they're worth takin'
Lovin' might be a mistake, but it's worth makin'
Don't let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin' out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)

And mine for her:
Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler
It must have been cold there in my shadow,
To never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.

So I was the one with all the glory,
While you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.

Did you ever know that you're my hero,
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
But I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.


Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
For you are the wind beneath my wings,
Cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Oh, the wind beneath my wings.
You, you, you, you are the wind beneath my wings.
Fly, fly, fly away. You let me fly so high.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.
Oh, you, you, you, the wind beneath my wings.

Fly, fly, fly high against the sky,
So high I almost touch the sky.
Thank you, thank you,
Thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.

Love you Mom!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Three (almost) down, (nearly) three to go...

I’m coming up on three months in on this “vacation” and although I can’t say that it’s dragging, it sure as heck isn’t flying by either.  Very little changes from day to day.  Every day we have planes that need to be caught, inspected, fixed, and then launched; lather, rinse, repeat every few hours.  I do have a new roommate—a Marine corporal in the Reserves.  This one is about ten years younger than me.  She’s from one of the Carolinas…I think North.  The important thing is: we work similar hours so neither of us are keeping the other awake.  Though, she does sleep about two hours more than I do in the mornings so I’m often getting dressed by the light of my computer screen.  And she usually stays awake for an hour or so after me but since she doesn’t care if I turn out the main light while she’s watching a movie on her computer, I’m able to fall asleep at a decent time…when we’re not staying up, talking. 
The savings account is growing at a good rate.  With the few deposits that I made in January, I’ve already netted $15 interest.  I won’t sneeze at that.  Anything is good with the way rates and returns are nowadays.  I’ve deposited more since then--to coincide with the Feb 1st paycheck—and will continue to deposit as much as I can each paycheck.  My goal is to reach the max of $10,000 in deposits before I leave here.  I’m almost halfway there and will be by the time *I’m* halfway.  J 
Had another visit to the “salon” on base.  Got my eyebrows waxed.  Yeah, they went a little too skinny even though I said “No skinny, just clean.”  Oh, well, it was only $5 and they’ll grow back.  I don’t see myself getting them done again until I get home.  There’s going to be a “Works” done for sure.  Trim, highlights, lowlights, brows, and a pedicure.
I’ve got an Off-Base Adventure coming up in a couple weeks so there will be more to share then.  J

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A massage on base...

I've been to the salon/spa twice now.  The first visit was to trim up the back of my bob.  The stylist did pretty good considering the language barrier.  What helped was that the back of her haircut was exactly what I wanted so when the translator asked for further details--I think the stylists are just most familiar with #2 on top and fade to #1 aka man-cuts--I was able to say "just like that."  It got a little iffy towards the end because the most underneath part of my hair is shaped in an "M" at the nape of my neck but we muddled through and my hair is no shorter than I'd like it.  I'm SO not worried about what the style would look like should I "hit the town."  Nobody cares.  My days are spent going to work, going to the gym, and being in my room; on my day off, I might venture out but, really, no matter the day, I'm throwing a beanie cap on my head and it's gonna get smushed.  Nobody gives a wazoo what anybody's hair looks like...provided it's in regs.  But that's a whole other story. second visit, I went in for a massage.  A full body massage.  Now, if you've had a full body massage anywhere reputable in the States, you know what an elegant experience they usually are.  You get a robe and some slippers.  You're often asked if you'd like a glass of water while you wait.  Then, when it's time, the masseuse shows you the room, asks you to doff your robe when they leave and then lay down under the fairly heavy sheet.  The lights are dim; it's quiet; there might be some aromatherapy wafting through the room; you're in a place of solitude and relaxation.  Yeah, not so much here!
You're lead down a corridor of "rooms" that are no more than cubicles cordoned off by plywood and sheets.  Sheets that are hanging on those large round hoops used for shower curtains which means: one big swoop and everyone is knowing your business.  There is no robe; there are no slippers; no glass of water while you wait.  You're asked to take your clothes off and lay down under the (should have been donated to the goodwill) sheet.  Let me just say that it's thin enough that I could almost see the various bruises that had accumulated on my legs.  So, because all I had were my workout pants (bootcut VS workout pants under my PT pants), I wasn't able to get the full body...just back.  Okay, I can deal with that.
The masseuse (a woman) stood at the side of the bed and started the massage on one side of my back and then moved to the other side; she then moved to the head of the bed.  Okay, I'm not really comfortable with some strange woman's breasts leaning against the back of my head while my back is rubbed.  Hell, I don't even want the boobs of someone I KNOW resting against the back of my head.  That was odd but, since it was shortlived, I did my best to ignore it.  Then she started rubbing the small of my back.  Every since my liposuction in 2009, I really have no fat there.  It was sucked out.  So, she's rubbing the crap out of my skin, into my bones.  I told her "It hurts when you rub there."  She proceeds to rub harder.  "Ouch!" and I move my hands behind me to get her hands away from me.  "Harder is good, no?"she asks.  "Not all the time," I say. 
After that, she asks me to turn over and I'm thinking: what is she going to rub if this was just a back massage.  Needless to say, my hands are covering the private parts up top.  She puts a towel over me and proceeds to rub my arms.  The whole time, through this whole massage, she's trying to engage me in conversation and I'm just wanting to tune everything out and zone.  That SO didn't happen.
There were just too many distractors for me to relax: her breasts having rested on the back of my head, her rubbing my back too hard, being one gust of wind away from everyone seeing my business, and the noise outside the "cubicle."  Did I mention the fella in the next cubicle that sounded like he *really* liked his massage?  Every once in awhile I'd hear a lengthy sigh come from that direction.  You know, one of those shuddering "oh, oh, ooohhh" sighs.  Yeah, way too distracting.
Now, I did all for two reasons: one, why not? I could use a good massage; and two, 'cause one of the guys at work wanted to know if anyone had had one on base and I thought "see reason one."  When I got back to work and was relating this story to one of the others who has been deployed here before, he told me that most of the women don't enjoy the massages and most of the fellas have no issue.  I'm sure.  If you have no problem with any of the distractors that I mentioned, it would be a great experience.  All told, thank goodness it was only $10 but I'm gonna save my pennies and pay the $$ when I get back home to have the experience that I'm used to.
I will go back for hair trims though.  lol.