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Mel-icious

19th July, 2007. 5:23 pm. 28 Days...

...from today, my ass will be getting on a plane and blowing this pop stand. YAY! But I'm nowhere near where I should be in the 'getting ready to go' scheme of things. Boo. Eh, whatever. In 28 days, I'll be with my man. Can't freakin' wait. God I'm freaking out.

I'm also typing this with the IE zoom set to 200%, because I can't see *shit* right now otherwise. You know how hard it is to check your email when you can't make out the letters? It's not easy. TYping this isn't easy, but since i know what i want to say, it's a little easier than reading something someome else wrote. But I'm seeing (no pun intended) improvement day by day, and when I put in eye drops, I can see pretty well for a little bit until the drops dry up. Pretty well being a relative term, of course. Hopefully my eyes will be fine by Monday, because I have a 4 day "how to be a civillian" class starting next week. I get to wear REAL clothes, not a uniform! Whee! What a treat! I don't know if my standard off duty attire will cut it though - sweats and a black t shirt, no bra. What do you think? hahaha yeah, probably not.

So i was hoping to make this all interesting and good reading and um...stuff...but I think that didn't happen. Some days I'm on point, some days I just crap on. I think today is a crappin' on kind of day, sorry.

Have a skippy day!

Make Notes

23rd June, 2007. 12:26 am. Really, you could just skip this...

I'm back home (the place I live) now after going home (where I'm from) for a wedding. Which most of you know, because the only people that read this are the people I saw at home...so yeah, um, should I bother to talk about it? Guess I won't, except to say that it was verra nice and I cried like a girl at a wedding (go figure...) and I'm sad becasue I don't know when I'll be home again. Seeing as how I'm moving to Oz, it'll probably be a *long* time, which is sad-making. And I never did get any In n Out...bugger!

I've decided to embrace the evil that is MySpace so that I can keep in touch with my important peeps after I move. Most of them don't have LJ and/or even know my LJ exists, and I kinda like it that way. Sometimes a girl wants to rant without her family knowing, you know? You know i know you know! haha

Yeah, it's late and I'm sort of tired and sort of bored and feeling sick from the sickness that bitch-slapped me upside the head while I was on vacation *and* from the meds I'm taking to get rid of the sickness. I'm twice the fun cause I'm twice the sick! hooray!

I didn't go to work this week, aaaaaand I don't think anyone noticed. This is fantastic! I'm still gettin' paid, yipee, but don't have to go in and sit. See, I'm in the process of seperating from the USAF, and since I'm pretty close to being out, I don't have anyone that I'm in charge of anymore (but I did just remember the performance report I have to write..damn, forgot that...), and I'm having sinus problems so I'm not flying until they figure out what's wrong with my sinuses, so me showing up at work means I just sort of sit there until it's time to leave. Really, I have *nothing* (except the perf report) to do at work. Mostly I have a ton of appointments related to outprocessing and things to do at home and around town related to getting my shit together to move. So I do those things, for the most part. But this week since I've been sick, I've been sleeping a lot. Between the sick and the meds, I'm one tired girl. I'm trying to just sleep it off, but I don't know that it's working. I still sound like a chorus when I cough, instead of just one person coughing. That's kinda not good.

I have been reading a lot lately about living green and sustainably, and I think that I'll be trying to incorporate some of these things into my life. I'm a tad freaked out about the future of the planet, and I think it's time to quit being scared and to take steps to do what I can to live better-for-the-planet. I'm not a hippie and I'm not a nature girl by any means, belive me. I love my SUV and my air conditioner and my fridge and my electric lights. But all that stuff is worthless if it means i have to live in a world that is being destroyed. I mean, isn't life without a/c better than no life at all? Okay, sorry, not trying to preach. I just think it's time for me to do my part instead of just bitching about how nobody does anything. I'm going to try to do gradual changes while I'm here in the US, and then try for more radical changes once I move. Some of the steps I'd like to (eventually) take are:
* Unplugging my fridge
--I'll have to shop for today's food *today*, instead of weekly. But this could be a good thing, in the long run. See below...
* Buying food produced within 250 miles
--The 'cost' of food includes things like miles driven/flown to get to the market, the heating/cooling of the market, the packaging, etc. If I buy local, the packaging is usually less (when was the last time you saw a plastic-wrapped apple at a farmer's market?), the drive is minimized, there's no supermarket to heat, and it'll be FRESH. Yum!
* Eating meat once a week or less
--Meat production takes a lot of resources. I can't give up meat entirely, but I can't handle killing meat that I raised myself either. So I'll just use less, and even then, keep it local, and try for farms that raise healthy, happy food instead of 'factory food'.
* Tricycle
--I want to get a 3 wheel bike after I move, and use it to run most of my errands around town. Yeah, they look sort of dumb, but they're more stable than a regular bike and have a big ol basket between the back wheels to put dinner in. The town I'll be living in is small, so I should be able to do this okay. Plus I'll be getting regular exercise, which i could use. But when the weather sucks, I may just hop into my car. I'm not perfect.
* Straw-Bale House
--I'd like to eventually build a straw-bale house, with solar power, water cisterns, and a little garden, hopefully on some land that has a stream and a pond. Don't laugh...these houses are cheap, easy to put up, are extremely well insulated, and are very durable. There are houses standing that are over 150yrs old in Nebraska that were built out of waste hay. Not only are they sustainable and less environmentallly damaging than wood houses, but the hay they're built out of is waste that would have been burned and created more emissions. Plus, they're all natural, so you don't have to worry about "sick building syndrome" from all the plastics and stuff. And (man, so much goodness with these things..) they tend to survive tornados, earthquakes, etc, better than regular houses because they are more solid and yet more flexible. At worst, you have to replace a bale or two that got really wet, or maybe re-apply some plaster that blew off. Easy!
* No more plastic
--I'd like to stop using plastic in any form. This will be a bit hard. No bags, that's easy. No more plastic water bottles...um. I think I'll just keep what plastic I currently have (why throw it out if it's still functional?) but try to avoid adding new plastic stuff. This will be tough, since most items these days have plastic in them.
* Recycle
--This is hard to do in OKC, cause the support from the trash guys just isn't there. But once I move, I'll be recycling just about everything that *has* to be tossed out, and reusing stuff until it's un-usable. Along with recycling, I'd like to add..
* Reduce garbage
--If I reuse stuff, I shouldn't have a lot of containers going in the trash. If I recycle what *must* be thrown out, I shouldn't have a lot of non-food in the trash. And if I compost, I shouldn't have much food trash at all. It would be nice to have less than one 13gal garbage bag of trash for two people in one week.
* Compost
--See above. Plus, I can use it for my...
* Garden
--Why not grow some veggies? I like squash, tomatos, corn, etc. Plus, the more room in my backyard that is dedicated to food, the less grass that needs to be mown with an evil emissions-spewing lawn mower. I hate big lawns anyway, they take up time that my man should be spending with me. :-)
* Buy second-hand
--If I buy gently-used things, I prevent them going into the landfill, I save money, and I don't create a 'need' for a new item to be manufactured, and there's no packaging. Yipee! Not all things will be able to be bought second-hand (like underwear), but I can try, by golly.


That's about all I can think of now, but I'm sure there will be more. I'm just looking at trying to find a balance between thoughtless consumerism and ultra-radical woods dweller. Keep in mind, I said this would be gradual. I'm not going to start most of this until after I move, mostly because of two things - 1, I live with roommates who wouldn't support this and it's not my house so i can't make them; and 2, this city isn't set up in a way that I could do much of the list above. For example, I can't take mass transit to work (not that I go...) - it's not offered, at all, where I live OR where I work. The nearest grocery store is 8 miles away, and the nearest farmer's market is 20, so biking there is out of the question. But I can do some things now, and I will. Comments, links, suggestions, etc will all be welcome. If you have an idea that I haven't thought of, please let me know.

That will be all for now, type atcha later!

Current mood: hopeful.

Make Notes

12th June, 2007. 10:18 pm.

I just changed my layout, but then the color wouldn't change to what I wante it to be. Where did my pretty pink go? *pout* I'm such a damn girly girl.


A thought - I may not post much now, but I bet that once I move to Oz, I'll be posting a lot more. Just a thought.






happy little seashell, happy little water....

Current mood: excited.

Make Notes

12th June, 2007. 8:29 pm. Random Stuffs

I have a new laptop that I mostly love. But there are a few love-less bits. 1. My mouse's right-click button tends to just stop working. No "copy", or "paste" or "open in new tab" (my favorite, btw)or "rename", etc. My touchpad's right click functions don't work either. I don't know why it stops, I never get any error messages or anything. Just all of a sudden it doesn't work. Baffling! 2. I think the DVD burner may not work. I mean, I haven't had it work yet, but I've only tried it twice. The cd burning portion seems to work ok, I've burned a few cds...but the two DVDs I've tried didn't work. I got the laptop, then got sent almost immediately to the Middle East, so I couldn't take it in to be looked at because I was gone during the free looking-at time. Le sigh.

I make a smoked tuna dip that is faaaaantastic. I love it. It's my dinner right now. :-)

1 pouch smoked tuna
1/2 block cream cheese (not low or non-fat, that makes it taste chalky)
1/4 to 1/2 of an 8oz tub of sour cream (see above)
Liquid Smoke to taste
Tabasco to taste
dried dill
garlic powder
celery salt
seasoning salt
packets of Lemon Salt (you know, the beer salt sold at the counters of gas stations) to taste
smidgen of rubbed sage
teensy bit of thyme
(I don't have exact amounts because I'm not a measuring kind of cook, i just add stuff in until it tastes the way I want it to.)

Serve with Fritos Scoops or saltines. YUM-O! Would also be good with some diced celery in it, I think.

I'm gonna go roam the internet now. Y'all be good and I'll be seeing my peeps on Thursday. YAY!

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22nd May, 2007. 1:44 pm. Home again, Home again, Jiggety jig

So, remember my last post (or at least I think it was my last post...I haven't actually checked) when I was talking about getting out of the military and how I was bummed out that I hadn't really done anything useful? Yeah, pretty much right after I wrote that, I was shipped out to the Middle East to do useful things, and I just got back 5 days ago. I'm not going to talk too much about where I was and what I did, because we must always guard against 'them' finding out too much about what 'we're' doing. Okay, so I'm mocking a little bit, but there is a note of seriousness in there.

The Middle East is amazing and weird and brown and bloody fucking hot (and exceptionally humid, which surprised me, since there's no green stuff. I always equate humid with lots and lots of green stuff). I was on a base that's pretty good, as far as deployed bases go. There was a nice pool, lots of activities to do, half-way decent food (unless you're a food snob, like I am, then it's crap food), actual buildings to sleep in with working air conditioning, etc. I was briefly at another base in the region whilst I was waiting for my ride home, and that place was much more sucky. The tent (ugh) that I was assigned to had no ac...and it was about 117 fucking hot degrees. I couldn't sleep, couldn't breathe (actually had a little panic attack, it was so stuffy), couldn't bear it. So I wandered around for 16 hours instead of sleeping, after being up for 30 hours already. But I got to see some nice carpets at the shopping area. Too bad I didn't have $5k to buy one, because they were something special. I want me a silk carpet, oh yes.

Anyway, I digress. I went to the desert, I helped wage war on unsuspecting terrorist types, and now I'm home. One of the things I remember talking about was how I might feel about killing people. Well, I can now state that I don't have any bad feelings. See, the thing is, I don't actually have anything to do with people getting dead. I don't pull the trigger, drop the bomb, or control the aircraft that do drop the bomb, so I'm not troubled. Maybe it's rationalization, but I'm okay with that. It's funny, because I do have conflicting feelings about the war(s) in general. But I don't have any issues with what I've done and the people who died whilst I was doing it. And really, when it comes right down to it, when my people are out there getting attacked, I'm all in favor of kicking some Taliban ass. Yes, both groups are people doing what they think is noble and patriotic...but in a contest of "us vs them", I'll pick "us" anytime.

I got to go out on the town one day, and I think I bought out the stores. It's great! I have two big ass boxes winding their way through the postal system filled with spoils of shopping. Hooray! I have much things for much people, and once the boxes get here, I'll ship it to the intended reciepients. I know I spelled that wrong, i hate "ie" words. I got way too much stuff for some people (yes, that's you Mary) and not enough stuff for other people (like my roommates..oops). Hey, it's not my fault that my Arabic friend is easier to shop for in Arabic-Land than my Anglo friends. I wanted to get more stuff, but ended up not being able to because the drivers were all antsy to keep moving to the next souk. I wanted to buy Mary and Bethany some foo foo arabic ladies robes (not burkas, just robes), but ran out of time. They're actually really cool looking, and comfy to wear around the house. I got myself one, but then didn't get to go back to get them one. I feel bad about that, but I'm keeping mine. Hahaha, such a great friend I am!

It was very strange seeing the ladies walking around in their garb. Not all of the ladies, mind you. There were a lot of women in regular clothes, maybe about 1/3 of all the women I saw. But there were also a lot in traditional dress. I can't figure out the differences between what they wear. Some have a scarf around their heads, but their whole face is visible. Some have only their eyes visible. Some have their whole faces covered, and some of the face-covered ones have gloves on as well. I don't know what the different types of head covering mean, and it was making me nuts trying to figure it out. I should Wikipedia that, see if i can learn something. The women that I could see their faces, man they are BEAUTIFUL. It was neat to see how the women managed to be attractive and project allure even with the covering. They all wore black, but it was black with rhinstones and colored sparkles sewn onto the sleeves, the hems, the headscarves. The women had very delicate, feminine ways of moving their hands and walking sort of fluidly sexy, and even the garb couldn't hide that. I don't know, as an American woman who's free to expose almost all of my body in public, I found it interesting to see the way they managed to communicate "sexy" even when all covered up. Maybe cleavage isn't the be-all end-all of sexy. Who knew? The one thing that looked funny to me was their heads. I guess they have a ton of hair, because they all had really egg-shaped heads under the scarves, which I can only assume is because of their massive pony tails/buns. They looked a bit alien-headed.

The men were pretty much about 50/50 in traditional robes. I can't figure out their headcoverings either. Some of their scarf-ends were all dangly, some half dangly, and some were all wrapped up around the ropes. Some were red-checked, some green-checked, some brown-checked, and some just pure white, and the ropes holding them on were also multiple colors. I don't get it. Clothes that "mean" something confuse me. It's like some weird gang thing. "Oh, he's from the Red-Checked Half-Dangly Black Rope Gang. That means he's a bad ass with two wives who's looking for his third wife AND he's gone to Mecca! What a man!". But there were a lot of hot guys, I must say. Arabic men and women are 90% smokin hot. At least the ones I saw were. Granted, I was in a mall filled with fairly affluent people. I would imagine the poor people are less attractive, since they probably have bad dental care, poor sanitation/hygiene facilities, grubby clothes, etc. It's a lot eaiser to be pretty when you don't have to worry about basic needs like housing and food. You don't believe me? Just look at the next homeless person you see.

I'm trying to think about what I can say that is interesting about the work part of me being there, and it's not much. We worked a 5 day cycle, and it ended up where I had 3 days mostly off (worked a few hours every so often), one day where I sat around on an airplane in case the other airplane didn't take off (we'll call that working), and then the 5th day I actually worked, and that was always a long ass fucking day. But I got really used to being able to sleep 12 hours a night if I wanted to, and stay up till 4am if I felt like it. I'm going to hate going to work tomorrow. What do you mean, I have to be in at 7:30?! Haha...

Our mission there wasn't all that big of a deal, because there are people who've been doing that same thing for the last several years. I think (my opinion only, not that of the USAF) that we're only there to get us back into the 'combat mind-set', and to get some 'combat' experience for our people. See, we haven't really done anything like this for so long that our experience levels are reallly really low. So they send us out to a fairly easy war environment (with backup from the people who've been doing this for years now) to get our folks experience with the whole process, and to get the people we need to interact with used to working with us again. I dunno, I could be wrong. I don't make decisions, i just do what I'm told. Maybe we really are needed. But I don't think so.

Okay, that's about it. I've run out of things to say, and my hands are getting jittery from too much caffiene (thank you Starbucks, how I love thee). Plus, my dumb ass got massively sunburned two days ago at the lake, after not getting burned in the desert at ALL (dumb dumb dumb ME), and I'm getting that ants-crawling-under-my-skin itchy feeling and it's making me nuts. I have more to say about getting out, moving, freaking out and being home-itis, but I'll save that for another time. Besides, this is too long as it is.

Oh, btw, I couldn't get to LJ from the desert, it was blocked by the firewall, so that's why this is my first post about this whole thing.

PEACE,
moi

Current mood: itchy.

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28th March, 2007. 10:35 pm.

I'm leaving either Thursday or Friday or Saturday.

eeep!

Mary, I'll call you Thursday.

Make Notes

21st March, 2007. 8:30 pm. Money Religion & My War Experiences

I want to talk about two wildly seperate things today, one of which is amusing (to me anyway) and one of which is sort of serious (ditto). Just to give you a heads up.
-----
In conversations with my brother the other day about the Federal Reserve Bank (long story, don't ask), I realized that money is like religion. Or, rather, belief in money as money is like religion. Think about it for a second...what exactly *is* money? It's little green pieces of paper, and random bits of cheap metal. If I was to walk up to you and hand you a piece of paper covered in green marker and expect you to give me something - some tangible item, like food or a DVD or your car - you'd think I'm crazy, yeah? But when the government says "hey, we say this is worth something", you'd gladly hand over your stuff for the right amount of little green papers.

Money is supposed to be, basically, a certificate that's worth a certain amount of gold, an actual tangible thing. In theory, you could take your paper into a bank and ask for shiny metal in exchange for the paper. In practice...c'mon, yeah right. Sometime in the 40's (or maybe 30's...I'm writing this without looking up the exact date or Act name, cut me a break), the US Gov't made it illegal for average Americans to own (or use) gold or silver as a means of exchange. I think it was sparked by the Depression or WW2, I can't remember which.

So what that means is, the only reason money works is because we have faith that little green paper is worth some amount of gold. It's like religion. If we didn't have blind faith, money wouldn't work. People would deposit every cent they own and then insist on getting that amount back from their bank in gold. But we have faith, so we all belong to the Church Of Paper Cash. Which means...we should put our religious differences aside, because we belong to a world-wide religion, regardless of the name of your god (dollar, pound, drachma...).

Okay, maybe not "amusing", but sort of interesting to think about.
--------
My war experiences...

I joined the Air Force in July of 2001, when I was 24, with a delayed entry date of Sept 11, 2001. I was supposed to go to basic training on 9/11...but I didn't make it there until the 17th, because there were no airplanes flying and the country had more pressing issues to deal with. At the time, I was joining becasue I wanted a change, I wanted to 'restart' my adult life. After 9/11, I was glad I had joined when I did, because I wanted to KICK THE SHIT out of the bastards, the cowardly fucks who attacked a civillian, undefended, non-military target filled with children as well as adults. IF they'd have attacked a valid military target, if they would have attacked a group of adults who had chosen to be part of the military...I would have understood. I would still have been pissed as all hell, but that's what waging war is all about. I'm not even going to get into the whole "uniformed army vs militia" argument, btw. But I digress...yeah, I wanted to beat some sneaky terrorist ass.

So...In almost 6 years in the military, during which time my country has been at war with TWO different countries/regimes, what have I accomplished, how do I feel, what do I think? (I'm not sure how much I can say here, as I am still in the military, and I'm not allowed to really say things that could be construed negatively, or I could go to jail.)

What have I accomplished? To be blunt...I've done not one single thing that can be said as having an effect on the War on Terror. Maybe, if you strech it, it's possible to say that I was part of a team that helped train fighter pilots who then used that training in the Middle East. But me, specifically...I've done nothing. Not one single solitary thing that is actual, real, useful warfighting. I've flown about 700 hours worth of practice sorties. EVERY time I fly, it's for practice. We call them "Combat Sorties", of course. Have to keep that 'combat focus'. But they're practice, for us as well as for the fighter pilots.

Part of my job is to detect and identify enemy aircraft using a variety of methods. Well, when I fly, the (friendly fighters pretending to be) "the enemy" lets us know beforehand when they're taking off, where from, what they'll be doing, where they'll be doing it, and they tell us various bits of information that the REAL bad guys wouldn't tell us. Tell me again how this is realistic training for a real combat experience? The bad guys won't call us up before they fly and go "oh yeah, by the way, look for me around northern Baghdad at 3pm"!

How do I feel... Hmm, toughie. I feel guilty that people come up to me and thank me for serving my country, when I really haven't done anything. I feel guilty that my fellow military members are deploying, fighting and dying *every* day...and I have never deployed once. I feel angry that I was never given a chance to support the ground and air troops who are in danger every day. I feel grateful that I will never have to deal with the knowledge that my actions resulted in death. I feel cheated that my primary job is more admin than anything else. I feel sad that what started as a righetous war became something...else. I feel sad that there's any debate about "supporting the troops means supporting the war" (I don't know how to explain that one...just...Even if you disagree with the war, you can still support the people who are ORDERED to fight it). I feel that, no matter what benefits I may have from my time, the money spent to train and maintain me was a bit of a waste since I wasn't ever utilized. I'm a very expensive tool that's collecting dust on a shelf, still in the package. I feel pissed off that with all my expensive training (at least 1 Million, minimum), I'm not very well qualified to get a good job when I get out. I feel like it was a good experience, but I'm ready to do something different now.

What do I think? I think that...I don't know what all to say about this. I want to be honest, but I also want to be safe. Not that what I have to say is *bad*, per se, just that I don't know what exactly constitutes bad.

Um... Okay. I think it's a damn shame that something that was once viewed (by the general public) as noble and worthy is now viewed as despicable and dirty. I wish that, as a whole country, we could get our collective shit together and figure out the whole Iraq issue - whatever resolution that might be. I think that the military is good for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons...but it's not for everyone. I have, overall, really enjoyed my time in the Air Force (maybe partially *because* I haven't gone to war?). If nothing else, it allowed me the opportunity to meet some really wonderful people, and I will always be thankful for that, no matter what. Plus, I got to live a life that very few people ever get to see, much less experience. Like i said, I'm ready to get out and move on to other things, but I did have a good ride. Sure, there were moments of "oh my god this sucks/is stupid/pisses me off"....but what job doesn't have that? Yeah, it's been a good ride.
-----
Ok, that's it. Two totally disconnected, rambling musings on wildly disparate subjects. I hope that you found it interesting, at least; entertaining at best.

Chow!

Make Notes

19th March, 2007. 11:23 pm. blarh

Here we go, some random stuffs.

You know, 5 minutes ago I had a ton to say. Right now, I have nothing. WTF? Where'd it all go? Jeeeez. I'll chalk it up to old age. I can't type for shit right now, I keep having to go back and retype the word I just typed because I keep missing letters.

I think it's a sign to go haunt some other website. I'm gonna post this because the typing was a pain, but really, I know there was nothing of any value in it at all. Sorry about the time you wasted reading this.

My bad.

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5th February, 2007. 12:25 am. Restless

I'm restless right now. It's 12:20am, I have to get up at 6:15, I've been moving all day, and I don't feel remotely like going to bed. I'm getting a weird mood, one that I get from time to time. I want to paint, to write, to create something. I want to cry, to laugh, to sing, whatever. I want to *something*. I want to not be here. I want to be with the one I love (which is a standard condition of my existance). I want to be rich, I want to be beautiful, I want to be interesting, I want to be more than I am.

I want to be tired so I can go to bed so I can take care of the 9 million things I need to do tomorrow.

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4th February, 2007. 9:53 pm. I hate moving, and I know you do too

Moving moving moving moving. So much fun. Mirroring comments gleaned from metaquotes comments, I never realize how much stuff I have until I move. I personally don't think I have all *that* much stuff, but according to the friendly pack mules who helped me, I have too much stuff. Huh, who knew? BTW, I hate it when I'm moving and the pack mules complain about how many books I have. EVERY time I move, someone bitches about me having too many books. Is such a thing possible? I think not. Besides, I've removed about 4 boxes worth of books from my collection in the last 5 months alone. That's pretty signifigant, for me. Anyway, moving. Hating moving. Back hurts. Moving sucks. I'm still not done. UGH. Peace out, peeps.

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