Saturday, April 30, 2011

Seasons.. make me sad.

Twin Poplars, Caldwell County, NC - Susan Pritchard's photo

Sometimes you're in the middle of having a normal day and in the normal day ways, doin yer thing..  Then you stumble across something that makes your normal day back into yesterday, and everyone get mixed up.  The photo of the Twin Poplars did that to me today.  It reminded me just how much I miss green in my life.  It was really like a sucker punch to the gut.
Lets review what my life has consisted of for the past year and a half.

What it looks like at Guantanamo Bay... year round. - my photo

What it looks like in GTMO.. ALL YEAR LONG.  Notice the lack of trees?  Yeah, thats no jk.  There are some palm type trees, but nothing about a palm tree is like the leavy green goodness in the above photo.  And you're like, but I see grass!  No, you see brush.  See that dingy green/brown color?  All.  Year.  Long.  It doesn't rain too much in GTMO, so everything hangs in a delicate balance of almost dead vs drowning (when it does rain) a few weeks out of the year.

Bahrain, World Trade Center and Traffic - my photo

Moving on, this is Bahrain.  A country that creates new islands to build on, also no jk.  Its full of half built high rises and traffic and concrete..  Until you leave the city..  Then.....

Teh Sister at the Tree of Life in Bahrain - my photo

It looks like this.  WTF is that desert?  Why, yes, yes it is.  You notice that Teh Sister is standing under a tree?  Well, its The Tree of Life and they say its pretty much dead too, not really sure how its still standing dead.  Notice that nothingness... yeah, the only way to compare it to the leafy green goodness is in the fact that the sand practically takes over the photo like the leaves did in the tree photo..  Not cool.

Fall is fallen.  - my photo
Reasons that I miss seasons:

Fall.  SOOOO many colors.  Piles of leaves, trees changing colors (which is awesome if you're not driving behind someone from Florida watching the leaves change colors), the smell of fall is of cool, crispness.  The shock when you touch your car door handle, being able to see your breath when the evenings get cool, halloween, warm clothes, snuggling, the Renn Faire, hot chocolate...  Fall is most definitely my favorite season.. God, I MISS FALL!

Snow on the backporch!  - Susan Pritchard's photo
Winter.  SNOW.  I LOVE SNOW.  Let me repeat.  I.  Love.  SNOW.  As in, I wanted snow watch in bootcamp.....  Oh you read that right, WANTED (as in had a desire for) snow watch, which was getting up in the middle of the night to shovel snow that had accumulated more than 2" or so.  Did I ever get snow watch?  Hell no.  But I did bust my ass a few good times trying to march on the ice.  Susan posted this pic when NC got so much snow and it was also a sucker punch..  I've not been home for the holidays (Thanksgiving, Cmas, and New Years) in 3 years now.  In the Navy that's not really a super long time, because some people just don't go home for holidays..  Buttttt, for this girl, its a really long time, because I always used to be home for the holidays.  GTMO was the first year I was overseas for the holidays, and it wasn't too bad, but it started the process of missing home.  This year killed me.  I just wanted to be home cause there were receiving crazy amounts of snow (which is a new thing since I left NC) and I really missed my people.  Next year isn't looking so good either since I'll be back in the states, trying to acrue leave again..

Flowers at NCSU, spring 06.  - my photo

Spring.  I'm not a super huge fan of spring.  Rah, life to things, and summer coming.  Rah..  Meh.  For me it means allergies and benedryl naps.  The only positive about spring for me: FLOWERS.  I <3 taking pics of flowers.  So much so, I bought a specific lens to take macro shots of flowers.  Amazing.  I miss flowers.  There wasn't really many different types in GTMO and definitely a minimal selection in Bahrain...  Apparently its hard to grow things in sand?  Huh.

Teh ZepZep waiting to go to Price's Park.  - my photo

Summer..  Its hot, not really a huge fan of summer.  Having experienced 2 summers in the desert now, I'm actually excited to come back to a place where summers aren't completely unbearable.  Also I wanted to take this moment to shamelessly plug the most wonderful, awesome asshole dog.. Teh ZepZep.  And this pic was taken in late August, so it was still summer, so it kinda applied to this post, thats what counts.  :)

Hell its my blog, I do what I wawnt.  And that is bitch about missing GREEN in my life.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Divert your eyes.. please..

I miss America.  Everyone I know knows that I miss 'Merica.  Being away from "the motherland" for going on 2 years is trying.  But, while I can be rude to assholes in America, thats not the case here in Bahrain, and I've had to learn to hold my tongue and not yell, "take a fucking picture, it lasts longer!" to locals who can't seem to focus on any object in front of them besides the closest woman.  No jk, I've seen men almost run into other people because they were staring at a woman who wasn't wearing a burka. 

Lets talk about dress codes in Bahrain.  The standard is a polo shirt, of course with at least short sleeves, with slacks, for men and women.  Yes, women are allowed to wear skirts, but prepare to be propositioned if you dare to wear something risque.  You know that if you see someone walking down a popular location in a mini skirt with high heels and probably large hair, they've got a price per night/hour.... usually.  Amusingly, men aren't allowed to wear belly shirts or saggy pants.  Women have to be tasteful, no low cut tops, nothing above the knee...  Off base we follow the rules of Bahrain, and that includes during Ramadan, which is definitely going to be hell.

Have I worn out a dress that came above my knees before?  Once.  On my birthday.  But, the dress had long sleeves, and because it was super low cut, I even wore a cami underneath!  Modesty in LAYERS!  Did I get stared down by the waitstaff?  Sure as hell did, and for once it wasn't because I was being loud and rambuctious, with a possiblity of being annoying.  Worst part, I misplaced my wallet (in my car) and at the end of the night I was looking under the tables and benches for it...  Siiiiiiiigh.

But there are also normal days..  When I don my short sleeve polo and my Old Navy perfect fit slacks (oh how I love thee perfectly fitting and comfortable slacks) and men still stare.  Maybe its just a problem with the occular devices of men in the Middle East?

Maybe it has to do with different levels of modesty, which is a whole post on its own.  But I don't appreciate being stared at.  I think its debasing and I'm not here for your pleasure Mr. Arabic Man, despite what your culture has taught you, my culture says you're a jerkface and keep yer eyes on the road and you're probably a terrorist, but I tell myself that you aren't cause I'm a nice person.

Despite the fact that I'm a white woman, I will not die from being stared at, no matter how many other people you run into, or how hard you try...
Men Who Stare at Goats

and a parting image, in complete sarcastic font:
If my boobs had eyes they sure as fuck wouldn't be looking at you Mr. Unibrow.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

math is tricky...

I'm a huge fan of words and English and writing and all things not scientific, except for grammar, which is a special scientific process that some (including myself) will never master.  That said, I do like to consider myself a fairly intelligent individual and I hold myself accountable for being capable of solving simple algebra problems with no letters in them.

Which leads me to.....

I can solve this problem 2 ways.  And each way gives me different answers.

Order of Operations states that I do the () first. 


orrrrrr is it:


This problem is dumb.  And causing me strife.  And further proving my stance on the fact that math is dumb.  My opinion is that 1 is the answer, probably because I like to work backwards. 

Anyone who was in my Calculus class in high school might remember that I struggled for the entire year doing derivatives.  Then, towards the end of the year, we started doing anti-derivitaves and it was easy-peasy for only me and the math geniuses.  It was strange being good at math, especially when most people couldn't figure out wtf was going on.  Working backwards is my thing.  Even when the math teacher tried to explain that anti-derivatives were derivatives backwards, I still couldn't do fowards as well as backwards.  Its the plight of my life, and probably why I struggle writing introductions to formal papers so badly.

I feel like I should get this, but instead I keep thinking, anyone want some Pi?  heeh (image via

I'd rather be wrong than be right the wrong way... Or so I keep telling people so I can maintain my 1 answer.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring freakin fever...

Its about cleaning and weddings and babies and flowers blooming and pollen (bleh) and life returning in general.

Its delightful, till all you have left is cleaning after your maids and allergies.  

Lets be real for a second, I'm definitely NOT having any babies any time soon.  So that also gets tossed out quickly.  And since I'm in the desert, flowers here aren't like in America (there's flowers here?).  And I'm not at that wedding point yet..  

So I'm fighting it, kinda.  

Let me tell you a story from when I was in college.

Girls that live together are silly.  Especially when they have boyfriends and dreams and empty ring fingers.  So, one day, a couple of my suitemates and I decided to buy wedding porn a wedding magazine.  This was the mother of all wedding magazines (that were available at the NCSU bookstore).  It had to be at least 1.5 inches of page after page of wedding related items.  We giggled our way through the line, someone scraped up the money to purchase it (I know it wasn't me, cause I didn't have 2 dimes to rub together) and we sprinted calmly walked back to our suite.  We went through it, oooh-ing and aahhh-ing at the beautiful dresses and tuxes and flowers and exotic destinations.  Who knew that weddings were about center pieces and napkins and favors?  We folded the corners of the pages of dresses we liked, each taking our own turn with the wedding bible (I have no idea which magazine it was).  After about a week, the magazine had been thoroughly flipped through.  But, the semester was a'tickin so it was tossed to the side and eventually tossed into the garbage (by me, which is what would happen when people left shit in our room).  

That was my initiation into the wedding world.  About a year later, my ex-fiance' proposed.  Meaning, I could stop sideways glancing at the wedding porn and finally allow myself, without feeling guilty, to let these magazines "guide" me on my path to getting married.  Short story, he said I was too excited about it after a month in.  So I put all my wedding porn (which had started to amass) on the top shelf on his side of the closet (so HE had to see it) and said let me know when its okay to be excited again.  Even shorter story, and luckily for all parties involved, he never said to be excited and then we broke up.  WHEW, dodged that bullet (and that ain't sarcasm font).

But, yet again, spring has rolled around and I have wedding fever.  My facebook feed is filled with people getting married and havin' babies..  oh and finishing school, at least I have a check in that box.  

For the time being, I have started looking at wedding porn again, because its a guilty pleasure that I allow myself, even knowing marriage is in the future, at some point, one day, eventually.  

I like to oogle over the pretty dresses and make nasty faces at the dresses that are ugly that some women pick out because they are blind pay way too much for.  I like knowing that I will not have a wedding that is over $30k, much less $15k.  If I am going to pay for a ONE DAY celebration, I better not have also been able to afford several decent cars for the same amount.  I like knowing WAY ahead of time that I want my wedding to be about my marriage not "my day".  It makes picking out napkins much less intimidating.. :)

Stop feeding it!!!

PS. Are we FB friends? Like can I decide another day on FB and we can be! 

This is why people work from home...

Pearls Before Swine

My bed in Bahrain isn't the most comfortable bed ever.  But since I didn't pay for it, who's to complain?  But, that being said, I once slept in "The Cloud".  That was the name I gave the bed.

It was a king size temper-pedic mattress, which was obtained via the trading of a spare tire (who am I to judge when people are idiots and I benefit?).  Then, add to it, the 1000 thread count sheets.  THEN.. the microfiber comforter (which I may or may not have later singed a wee bit in the dryer, crunchy parts be damned that thing was still delightful)...  Some days it was very hard to motivate myself to go to class.

Fast forward to now.  Putting on a uniform to go into work every day is annoying.  It requires getting to work earlier than early (since we can't be in uniform off base, and we must be "early" to work), and all the extra effort of redressing yourself to work.  Being in uniform doesn't really do much for me other than make me uncomfortable.  Maybe it helps some people get in that "frame of mind" to work..  not so much for me.  The quality of my work doesn't change depending on what I'm wearing, odd.  Sometimes it still baffles me how I actually chose this on my own free will, but I did.

I don't have 1000 thread count sheets here in Bahrain, buttttt.. I do have B.o.B.

B.o.B. was named after B.O.B. from Monsters vs. Aliens.  Cause they are about the same color.  Actually, this was the night that B.o.B. acquired its name.  It was movie night in my room, and Teh Bear and the Ginger came over to watch Monsters vs. Aliens (we tried watching it with the dinky 3D glasses, but it was a fail).  Since I kept my tin shed at subzero temps, Teh Bear was a little chilly and stole the blanket, kind of actually looking like B.o.B from the movie, but instead we called him Bob the Blob since B.O.B. at least had an eye.

Where did I acquire B.o.B.?  He came from Target, that miraculous, ever so delightful place.  I worked there for a while when I was in college, and sometimes they would have amazing end caps of clearance items.  Usually nothing that was on clearance was anything I actually needed, buttttttt... everyone can use an extra blankie...  Right?  Right.  You can't beat a SUPER soft blanket for only $3.99.

So now, I have B.o.B. and if I could go to work wrapped in B.o.B. every day, I'd probably strongly consider it.  Until I looked at the temps outside which are getting into the 90s more recently.  Although, I wonder if I could make this work for Ramadan?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lazy or Clever?

(pic from
Now what I'm more curious about is HOW the baby is not falling out of the jacket..  Is it in some type of holder?  Is the baby being smushed against her belly and held tight against the jacket?  And how is this okay?

Now..  I don't have kids.  I'm on the 10 Year Plan, the one that started when I turned 18, but kept refreshing till I turned 20, and then the years started tickin down.  I didn't want kids for 10 years.  I still don't want kids for that 10 years.  Its a good deal for all.

Nursing in public is one of those risky deals.  One which I am vehemently against.  I'm told its because I don't have kids.  Well, duh, I don't have kids, and my uterus and brain thank me every day.  My uterus for leaving it vacant, and my brain for sticking with the plan..  And, when I think about it, taking my baby to the bathroom to nurse it is kinda gross, but thats what they have pumps/etc for.  Fill those bottles, and pulling THAT out (without suffocating your child with your grotesque largeness) won't affect anyone, or bring scornful looks upon a blossoming mother.  Hell, people will probably volunteer to feed your kid for you, granted your kid is cute.

Of course, what do I know.... I don't have kids.  /roll eyes.

Learning to design..

I have a degree in Communication Media.  Nothing about my degree prepared me to make this blog "pretty"...

By that I mean, I do NOT have an extensive knowledge of web writing script, particularly CSS, which apparently is the new thing.  When I was barely a teenager, back when the only internet to be had in Podunk, NC was dial-up, I had a lot of free time on my hands.  My parents were divorcing, I was an angry teenager, so I decided it would be awesome to create a webpage..  on geocities.. Does anyone even remember  use Yahoo anymore?

Oh yeah, Geocities.  Sadly, a few years ago they finally gave up, and my awesome pages are now gone forever.  You'll never be able to find the lyrics to Dead Bodies Everywhere anymore (and whatever other songs I took the time to type out the lyrics for), zomy.  Geocities wasn't too complicated for someone with a lot of free time on their hands, and I made sure to get Dad's money's worth for the internet (good thing we had the unlimited option).  So I had some .gif backgrounds that were tiled, different fonts, different sizes, different colors, hell, even hyperlinks to different pages within my website.  The internet was amazing.  Someone even commented on my use of javascript.. NO idea how I even made that happen, but I'm magic, what can I say?

Fast foward almost 15 years (omg that many?)...  I've used several social media sites..  Xanga, myspace, fb, others I'm sure I signed up for and never thought about again..  So now, all I want for this sparkly, new blog is a freakin "pretty" template.  Wrong, actually I want to be able to use my own photo for the background and for the rest of the page to magically come together the way I see it in my head.  Apparently, this requires an extensive knowledge of CSS..

If you know anything about me, you know I get headaches, migraines actually.  For some people, their thing is reading code.  but there's only so much of this:  ></\{}--prtofwrd, serif, 20px, /br, <> /a/p::, that I can handle.  My brain works best when there are full words, that don't even have to be spelled correctly (so says that spam email about benig albe to raed teh wrods eevn if tehy aenr't sllped crroetcly), or in the right order (I took Latin in high school).  Now, this hasn't given me a headache yet, but I can feel my eyes start to strain, wishing that I would stop, begging to read just a a few entire words.

Maybe CSS isn't really that hard to figure out, but if it takes me more than 5 minutes to change fonts, I'm too ADD for that mess.  I like the lazy option of seeing what looks ok, then clicking it, then clicking save.  Too bad this doesn't really give me what I want.  Siiigh, one day.

Re-visitation of old habits..

For a very many years, I kept a blog.  I liked it.  I liked the semi anonymous postings.  I liked being able to share my opinions in a place where my friends could see them, whether they agreed or disagreed.  Mostly, I liked having a place that was MY place, to say what I wanted, when I wanted, however I wanted.

Maybe I won't be a regular "blogger", but I will have a place if I want, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Now how do I make my damn page "pretty".. cause this pink shit has got to go.