Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sometimes you just gotta drop off the face of the planet... part 1

I have an admission. I’ve been a lying liar telling lies. I’m sitting at Reagan International Airport (DCA) as I write this. I probably won’t finish this while I sit here, and this won’t be posted for a few days a while. But its all part of this HUGEEEE scheme I’ve been planning for almost a year. Well, most of it. Some of this elaborate scheme wasn't set in stone until a few months ago. But. Things have finally fallen into place.

My elaborate scheme included me lying to my entire family for months, telling them that I wouldn’t arrive to MD early enough for a leave chit to be approved. Sometimes there are definitely benefits to no one in your family having been in the military.. They are clueless when it comes to processes. I'd purposely propagated a trip to PA to see my old roommates and their new baby, so my family would believe I wasn't in MD. Their new baby won't be born until January, but I made the lack of knowledge work to my advantage, if there had been any questions. 

I couldn't find my boarding pass,
so my baggage claim will have to work as empirical evidence.
I'm sitting at DCA, but where am I going? Orlando. Teh Bear doesn't “know” I'm coming. He thinks he knows. I almost told him last night. I was going to threaten to bring sparkly fingernail polish and paint his toes. I got to, “I'll bring…” and realized what I was about to say. Had I just finished it, he would have accepted it as a non-threatening threat… But, when I realized what I was going to say, I just stopped. And Teh Bear prompted me, “Bringgggg, what?” I couldn’t look at him. I said the first thing I could come up with, “I bring all the boys to the yard.” He laughed at me, because he not only got my milkshake reference (btw, I hate that stupid song), but he was probably 99% sure that he knew what was going to happen. He would be right, but he let me continue my very very transparent lie of my trip to PA. 

So, I'm sitting in the airport. People are coming and going. Everyone around me is going somewhere else. It's kinda that in-between that when you think about it, feels like something so much larger than you, but at the same time, so... together? I can't think of a good word for it. It makes me feel not alone when the world feels so big. Maybe that guy in the suit has been on a business trip and he's going home to his family.. or maybe the other way around. That kid and his dad, maybe they are going to FL for a baseball conference. This guy beside me is playing Rome on his Inspiron 6400. I had a computer like that before. 

I'm glad that I'm finally able to enact my real plans. The ability to go and “surprise” Teh Bear. To celebrate his birthday with him. To get even a few days to enjoy with him, even if I know there will be things that come up. I was getting confused there for a while. Trying to remember to tell Teh Bear that I was driving to PA instead of going to the airport to get on a plane. Trying to remember what I would need for my arrival in Orlando while still maintaining that it was for my flight to NC on the 19th. So much planning confusion, which was the most difficult thing about my elaborate scheme. 

So now, I'm one step down. From this point on, its about maintaining my FB and blog silence. To continue the lie of being in PA and then back in MD for the holidays. 

I did talk to Teh Mom the other day and she had mentioned that she had considered making a surprise trip up to see me. Someone had told her that it probably wasn’t a good idea to surprise me. They were right. Not so much that I mind visitors, but did have to tell Teh Mom that I wasn’t going to be in town. I didn’t tell her where I was going, which she probably took as me just not telling her something to exclude her, but it was for her own good. 

For the past few nights, I've been unable to sleep. Planning surprises in my head. Imagining the reactions of people when I walk in unannounced. I finally broke down and told Teh BFF a few days ago. She's picking me up from the airport in Charlotte, which saves me on having to get a rental car, so I'm very grateful. I’m also hoping that she can record some reactions for me. 

It is now time to start boarding the plane. ORLANDO HERE I COME!!!! :)

Hopefully the plane will take a more direct path.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

decorating is difficult!

Soooo.....  Christmas is over.  I asked for dining room stools for my table (what with the not having any place to sit at my table, standing room only folks!), but didn't receive them.  Which means it is time for me to take this matter into my own hands (literally once whatever I order arrives).

I'm soooo tired of having to make decisions when it comes to decorating/furnishing my abode.  I know that this is the stuff I'm going to be looking at for years to come, so these are some pretty hefty decisions for me to make.

Currently the debate is about stools for the dining room table.  When I bought the table, I didn't buy stools because all the ones at the furniture place were $100+ and that wasn't something I was too interested in paying for a SINGLE stool.  I figured I could get something cheaper not at a furniture store.  My budget was a wishful under $75.  I found some 30" stools for $75 for a set of 2, but not only were they too tall, there were also in brown.  I was pretty disappointed.  Why can't I find an awesome deal like that on exactly what I'm looking for?

But I have found 2 solid contenders.  Check them out:

Top = Carey
Bottom = Jordan

If I purchased the Carey, I'd save $20 when I purchase 4, since they are $5 cheaper.  In the end though, I'd prefer to like my chairs for a really long time than save $20, so the price difference between these two doesn't really make or break the decision for me.

My opinions:
Jordan - the look is sleek and modern, which I'm prone to chose.  These would be easy to keep clean since there are no tricky designs to have to dust off.  I considered a fabric bottom for the chairs, but then reconsidered.  If I decide I want to have seat cushions, they sell those separately, so I'm at no loss and no fabric = cheaper.
Carey - there is something about the X-back that I like.  It doesn't feel as sleek and modern as the Jordan, but I still like it in a way I can't really explain (maybe its the pricetag?).

Jordan - people said this chair was semi-difficult to put together, but very sturdy after constructed.
Carey - there were only 2 reviews on it, but they were both favorable.

So, I need your opinions, Gentle Readers.  Which stool do YOU like more?

PS.  I promise to catch you up on the 2 weeks I was MIA for your opinions!!! :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ingenuity.. I haz it.

I'm not an engineer.  It's not a secret.  I have a 4 year degree in Communication-Media which means that I can truck and dolly a video camera like no other and I've written enough research papers on qualitative and quantitative research methods to give myself an aneurysm.  But sometimes, I have to do things myself.. like build a bookcase.

For most people, it wouldn't be that difficult.  Most people probably also have all the tools necessary to accomplish the simple construction of a cheap $30 Target bookcase within 30 minutes.

I own this.  No jk.
What with all the PCS-ing and the broken promises of the Filipino guys that worked in Personal Property in Bahrain (who said my household goods would be here mid-to-late November), my tool kit, that I received for Christmas last year for this very reason, is currently going through US Customs.  I borrowed a brand new screwdriver/flat head set from my sponsor so I could at least hang some hooks and curtains.  Which I didn't actually do, btw.  The maintenance man who came to fix my lights happened to have a drill and he actually hung the curtains, even though I said I would (try to) do it.  I'm definitely not complaining that someone else did it for me.

But the hooks still haven't been hung yet.  I didn't want to take advantage of the maintenance man since he had already hung my curtains, so I told him that I didn't really need his help anymore...  Along with the very strong creeper vibe I was getting, I would figure out how to hang hooks myself, kthx.  Mr. Maintenance Man showed me how I could "drill" a hole in the wall by banging a hole into the wall with a screwdriver, but I'm not that strong I guess, because I just make dents in the wall, which is very ineffective.  Hooks = still sitting on kitchen counter.

I was determined to make this bookshelf happen though.  It was just screwing it together, should be no big deal.  That's how I hyped myself up.  Just screws, cause I mean, I have screwdrivers!  WIN!

I opened the box, fearful of what might jump or fall out of it, knowing that it could sense my arts degree fear.  I took all the pieces out and dumped out the mechanical bits (aka screws/nails/various other pieces).  There were a LOT of mechanical bits.  I was pretty intimidated.

I also learned why people don't read directions.  They are tricky, tricky.  My drawings didn't seem to match up to what was happening on my floor.  I just kinda winged it for one part.  Everything seemed to line up, so I felt like I was ok.

I screwed the frame together with only minor complications.  Only one hole didn't want to line up, so I did the rest of its instruction siblings and came back to it and it worked better-ish.  Lesson about $30 bookcases.  The back is a piece of thin cardboard.  I wasn't aware of this.  I was thinking maybe something more heavy duty like.. thin plywood or something a little less.... ghetto?  The instructions said I was to hammer 54 nails into the frame to hold the cardboard backing on.  WHAT?!?!?!  FIFTY-FOUR NAILS?? Nails that are only an inch long?  You've GOT to be kidding me.  What happened to the screws?  Why isn't there a screw option here?  I have a screwdriver.  Which, by the way, can also double as a hammer in desperate times.  Flip that sucker over and use the handle.

That was my plan.  I was just going to use the screwdriver handle to hammer 54 these nails in.  Then I noticed around nail 4 that I was leaving marks on the handle.  On the handle of the screwdriver set that belongs to someone not me.  This was problematic.  I had to find an alternative solution.  Teh Bear suggested I go buy a hammer.  I whined, "Why can't the hammer just come to meeeeeeeee?"  I mean, this is totally feasible in Bahrain.  The market delivered anything you wanted.  I also didn't want to have to buy something I already own, since is currently just displaced, not disowned (story of the last 2 months of my life).

So I improvised.  Re-enter bathroom hooks into story.  One of the hooks I purchased has a large flat surface.  It's metal, which means that its kinda hammer like.  Check on the hammer 54 nails into the bookcase step.  The nails also left marks on the hook, but since it was on the part that goes against the wall, I didn't care.  Also, since the flat part was super large, there wasn't any times that I missed my mark.

So the mark looks a lot worse in this photo than when I looked at it after I was done.
I'm sure the wall will definitely mind.
Ahhh.. Teh Megan is so clever.
And she has a bookcase for stuff.
Stuff that isn't in her apartment yet, but might be one day... eventually... soon.. ish.. y.

It's actually "espresso", but it definitely looks black in this photo.  I don't really like how it blocks the window, but I don't really have anywhere else to put it in the living area.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I have a Pinterest/Creativity/Creating problem.

It's true.  I'll admit it.  I spend most of the day at work on Pinterest when I am on an unclass machine.  The guys like it when I'm scrolling down and they see the half naked girls with the workout suggestions.  Some ask me if I'm planning a wedding (no).  Usually I'm perusing for recipes, home decorating ideas, and funny quotes/pics.  I try not to do too much investigating of things that I would love to have, but will probably never have in this life, ever.  It's just for the best.

Pinterest is one of those websites that you can sit on for hours and get soooo many great ideas.. and then never do any of them.  Every now and then you'll see things like this:

It's true.
So my goal each week, no matter how many hours I spend on the website... I try to create something I've found a few times each week.  Usually, its dinner ideas.  But since its Christmas, many people have pinned their decorating suggestions.

I decided to make my own Christmas ornaments.  The idea came from here.  She kept referring to the glass ornaments are "ornies," never used upper case letters, and overused the "..." instead of using proper punctuation/periods to finish sentences, all which drove me crazy.  I told myself maybe she was British/foreign (sometimes they talk different, right?), but apparently she is from WV, which I'm sure is also a logical explanation.  Yes, I know I have a run-on sentence problem, thank you.

-clear glass ornaments (as many as you want to decorate.  I got mine from Michael's on sale for under $5 for 4/6 size depending)
-Pledge floor cleaner WITH the "future shine/floor finish" (the inspriation blog said with the blue cap.. all the pledge bottles of cleaner had blue caps, and with no good photo of her required items, I was standing in front of floor cleaners for an awkwardly long time trying to figure out which one was the "right" one.  If you can't tell, open the bottle and check and see which one is sticky after you put a dab on your finger.)
-glitter <3

optional ingredients:
-spiked hot chocolate
-christmas jams
-Remove the tops of all the ornaments.  Don't be foolish like me and just pull them out as fast as possible, I definitely got popped a few good times on my fingers by the wires, ouch.
-Make sure the ornaments are clean.  I wiped mine off with my hands.  Good enough.
-Squirt some Pledge into the ornament (Hint: make sure the blue cap is on).  Doesn't matter how much.  I usually did about 1/4-1/2 full because I'm lazy and slightly messy.
-Slowly swish the Pledge around in your ornament, or roll the ornament around.  The point of this exercise is to get the inside coated with the Pledge so the glitter sticks.
-Pour the excess Pledge back into the bottle.  (Hint: unscrew the cap, Hint 2: Time is a tickin').
-If there are any bubbles around the ornament opening, take a q-tip and gently pop them/wipe them away.
-Pour glitter into ornament, LOTS of glitter.  The point of using lots is to ensure the entire inside is covered before the Pledge dries, unless you want the half glittered look, which I did and liked..  (Hint: using a funnel/piece of rolled up paper/ziplock bag with a corner cut off will help minimize mess.  You might also find with glitter, mess cannot be minimized.)
-Roll ornament around to spread glitter/put finger over opening and shake violently to spread glitter.
-When the inside of the ornament is covered to your liking/standards, pour the excess glitter back into its container.
-Wait a while-ish for the ornaments to dry/set, then place the toppers back inside.  It's ok if the wire scrapes some of the glitter off because the topper should cover it.
-Voila! glittery ornament.

-The Pledge can be very messy/sticky with small ornaments and/or if you are messy/clumsy like me.  Make sure you aren't doing this project on any surfaces that you don't want to have floor finish on (thus my very awesome tablecloth).  When I was pouring my Pledge in the ornaments, I often had to rinse off the outside while I was swishing it around because I wouldn't get it all in the hole (there was no way to make that sound not dirty..).  I would just rinse the ornament off with water and dry it off then return to the table to finish the steps..

This is what happened:
Craft tables should always be very messy.  That means work is in progress.

Pledge added, swishing around.

Finished products.  YAY SPARKLES!

My other ornament creation idea was to make "book ornaments."  Originally, I was going to cut up pages of books/music and roll them up and toss into the ornament.  I decided that the best way to see the words would be to glue the pages to the outside of the ornament instead, so I went with that method.  The best part about crafting is that you can make it up as you go!  Weeee!

-books/music you are willing to rip up.  I went to a thrift store and picked up Pride and Prejudice, the complete collection of William Shakespeare, and a book on etiquette.  They were $1 each, I was willing to part with them.  I'm sure print outs would work just as well, but I didn't think of that before right now (as my printer is currently in no-owner-mans-land, aka customs).
-glass ornament
-glue/mod podge.  I bought mod podge because everyone says to use it.  I'm not that impressed with it.  I'm pretty sure I could do the exact same thing with some generic school glue.  I have seen recipes on Pinterest to make your own Mod Podge, so maybe its not exactly the same.. but still $4 for a little bottle?

-pop the tops off the ornaments
-make sure ornaments are clean
-take pages from book/whatever you want to put on your ornament, rip into manageable sizes to not have too many wrinkles when you spread it flat onto the ornament.
-spread some glue on ornament
-place small paper piece onto glue covered area
-spread glue over paper you'd placed down and over area you want to add paper to next
-keep going until ornament is covered
-when ornament is fully covered with paper, spread with another layer of glue.
-it was also suggested somewhere that you spray some acrylic finish or your choice of finish on these suckers when they are completely dry.

-glue is messy and sticky.  Who knew.  When it would start to dry on my fingers, it sometimes would rip off pieces of the glued pages if my fingers were stuck to them.  Oops.
-To hold the ornament (other than for the purposes of this photo) I generally just stuck my pinky/ring finger into the opening and held it.  You can engineer your own way if you are not graced with anorexic midget fingers (no offense to anorexic midgets).

This is my etiquette ornament.  It talks about gift giving at Christmas.  I made sure that the word Christmas was sticking out as often as possible.  That's festive, right?
 So what to do with all these ornaments when you don't have a tree?!?!?!

Well, I, again, found inspiration on Pinterest.

This was the foundation for my idea:
I can hang things!  Easy!
Easy, not so much.  While I have an empty frame for another crafty creation for a later date, I ran out of ribbon.  Oops.  I could have just went out and bought more, but I'm le lazy.  Also, I wasn't sure how I was going to hang the frame in the window.

So I went the ghetto route.  I bought a tension rod from Wal-Mart.  $5.  I got the shortest one because my window is only a single window wide (that makes sense in my head, see photos for explaination).  After several minutes of figuring out how to use the tension rod (they aren't the same now as they were 3-5 years ago, just so you know), I set it to the length it needed to be.  I had purchased some already decorated ornaments, so I used those.  I tied a variously lengthed piece of ribbon to the ornament tip, then, I ghetto-ly taped them to the rod.  When the rod was full, I hung it in the window.  :)  YAY CHRISTMAS!

Work in progress.  The 2 large ornaments are in my chose living room decor colors.  I couldn't resist.

And finished product!
I made a few of these, including the gold one, the blue/silver one in the middle, and the clear one with stuff in the bottom (those are red/gold/green bells).

And a bad photo from the outside.  I made sure to roll the tension bar around so my neighbors don't see the ghettoness that is the ribbons taped to the bar.  So far only one ornament has fallen, which I think is very impressive.  I have duct tape on standby, just in case.

The other super easy idea that I found was to pour epsom salt into the empty ornaments as it looks like snow.  I really liked this idea, but the salt does start to get heavy, so I didn't put these on the bar.  I'm also thinking that the salt could have worked as a glitter replacement.  I did try to glue the salt to the outside (using Mod Podge) but the salt keeps flaking off, so I consider it a fail.

Epsom salt can be found in the health/beauty section of Wal-Mart/other stores that haven't monopolized cheap prices with large selection.  It's also cheap, which is why I was willing to experiment with it.

Obviously, all my ornaments aren't hanging in the window.  I got a little carried away with the ornament decorating/purchasing.  I <3 Christmas, what can I say?  My idea for displaying the rest of the ornaments is to purchase a glass bowl (prob from a thrift store if I can find one) and just lay them in the bowl.  That's festive enough for me!


Is that a 1 gallon Mason Jar you spy?  Why yes, yes it is.  Even though I got 2 containers, I underestimated the size of the big balls, so I still had 2 that wouldn't fit.  Oh well, hello remaining ribbon.  I tied them together and now they are ball mates.  Oh, I went there.  :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So much new 2!

And for the bathroom we have:

Cutest toothbrush holder.. EVARRRRRR.  No jk.  I love how he's just smilin.  I told Teh Bear he wasn't a scary monster because his teeth are so white from being brushed.  

Clean on one side, dirty on the other.. LOVE IT!

The shower curtain is a great reminder to do the things I already do, of course.  You also have the 2nd towel option.

The blurriness is what it looks like when you walk in first thing in the morning before your eyes work properly..  not due to crappy/lazy camera skills.

And finally, the trashcan..  This shower rug doesn't really match (although it did match the snowflake curtain before).  It's the softest rug EVAR and I refuse to take it out of the bathroom.  I make sure that it also sits in front of the toilets so I can rub my toesies on it when I am taking care of business (no you didn't need to know that, but you're welcome anyways).

Because Kohl's website was difficult for me for every purchase that I made from Thanksgiving to December 4th, I had to call and place the order over the phone.  When the lady I was talking to added the bathroom set she said, "Your kids are going to love this."  I said, "I don't have kids, but I do definitely love this.  It's for me."  She laughed.  Yeah, lady.  Adults can have fun bathroom sets too!

I figured this was a good balance for me since I'm trying to make the rest of the apartment "adult."

No matter what, every time I see the toothbrush holder, I smile because it makes me happy.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

So much new!

I know I did that super cruel thing where I was like, OHHH YAY NEW FURNITURE!! on FB and then didn't even post a picture... WTF Teh Megan, WTF?!?!

Well, I did actually take photos, it was just with my point and shoot and I didn't have the time to upload them and post a blog.  So I am doing it now.  Teh Dad was especially disappointed with my lack of photos, which he made sure to tell me first thing when we started talking.  :)

Without further ado!

What I started with:
Minus the box and suitcases, but add a router/modem cord mess at the middle suitcase, a classy wooden TV tray on the left middle wall, a $20 round chair from Wal-Mart and a TV tray beside the chair where the box is, and a very classy microwave box as a foot rest.  It really did look like a homeless person had moved into an empty apartment.  Sadly, I didn't get photos of this.

To this:

I wasn't really a fan of the beige.  But, this couch was so comfortable.  Teh Bear and I both liked this one the most, so I settled on the color.  I didn't realize it was going to come with pillows.  Not sure how long those ugly suckers will be around.  LOVE LOVE LOVE the rug.  Colors/theme for the living/dining room: beige/brown/light blue/light green/particular types of trees.

New table.  It's got a butterfly leaf so it can be expanded.  It's counter height, and I wasn't paying $100 per stool at the furniture place, so no stools yet...  I'm holding out to see if anyone actually paid attention to my Christmas wish list..  Don't mind the mess, moving in, in progress..  Really should hang that painting.  

The rug in the daylight from the couch.  I did purchase a bookcase at Target which is currently being used to flatten the ends of the rug.  Construction and placement soon enough.  Please also note the plant in the window.  I'm on a mission to keep things alive.  I also want to find some hanging plant baskets to put outside on the deck.  Donations welcome.

My super classy plastic/felt tablecloth that I had to go on a mission to find because Target only carries them in the summer.  Also, you have christmas ornament decorations (to be done, in the bag) and wall hangings (almost finished).  Also from the couch cause I'm lazy.
So there you have it, Gentle Readers.  I'm expecting the bedroom set to trickle in from January to February.  I don't recall which pieces come when.  For now I need to start stalking Craig's List for some end tables/shelving.  I don't feel like I have "homes" for my things yet.  Again, donations are always welcome.

The bathroom set hasn't been completely set up yet (due to some (most awesomest) missing parts that very recently arrived and my own laziness of not having done laundry all week), but when that happens, there will also be photos of Ze Monstars Set!!!  :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Easy blog day

Age: almost 26
Bed size: queen
Chore you hate: cleaning the bathroom
Dogs: Teh ZepZep!
Essential start to your day: Carnation Instant Breakfast, sometimes with a banana.
Favorite color: All of them except pink.. but my hard chargers are blue, green, and red..
Gold or silver: white gold? :)
Height: 5'2.5".. via the navy: 5'3
Instruments you play: Started on the trombone then moved on to the baritone/euphonium.. and I can play the piano with my left hand, although I can only read bass clef.
Job title: Military Servant.
Kids: After the 10 year plan expires.
Live: Patuxent River, Maryland
Movies or TV shows: TV shows online (as I don't own a television), because they last longer
Nicknames: Meggy
Overnight hospital stays: being born?
Pet peeve: Stupidity and ignorance.
Quote: :This too shall pass..." or "Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, its not the end."
Righty or lefty: Southpaw
Siblings: 1 sister my parents stole from an alien family and 1 stepsister
Time you wake up: 6:24+snooze for 9 minutes=6:33
University attended: North Carolina State University
Vegetables you dislike: Hrm.. radishes?
What makes you run late: the internet
X-rays you’ve had: wrist, brain
Yummy food: chocolate, sweet potatoes, lemon pie..
Zoo animal, favorite: any of the babies cause they are so cute.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Is it drafty in here? Oh, that's just my pants around my ankles. My bad.

I am no longer a morning person.  I used to be.  Teh Parents used to comment on how much easier it was to wake me up than Teh Sister (who is VERY crabby in the morning).  I used to be that annoyingly perky person immediately upon setting my feet on the floor.  I've tamed that problem, mostly, and now it usually starts about 1-2 hours after I wake up, which is why I say, I am no longer a morning person.  I'm a mid-morning person.  :)

That being said.  I'm also not the brightest bulb in the box (you get that Cmas reference there?) when it comes to early in the morning.  Sometimes I have to stop myself when I grab my toothbrush and then reach for the soap instead of the toothpaste.  Only once have I put soap on my toothbrush, and luckily I realized what happened before I put my toothbrush in my mouth.  Slow in the am = me.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong... on my toothbrush!

We have command PT on M/W/F.  No big deal.  Alarm went off on Friday and before I left my warm, comfy bed, I checked the temp outside to determine what I would be wearing to PT (physical training/working out).  At a whopping 27°F, I felt like sweatpants and a sweatshirt were necessary over my PT shorts and my long sleeve PT shirt.  I can handle the 40s+ temps, but below 40°F and I will require a coat.  I'm trying to shock my body back to being tolerant of cold weather after being in the caribbean for a year and then the desert for a year.  I felt pretty bulky when I walked outside, I see my breath for probably the 2nd time since I've been home, but I was glad that I had decided on the sweats.  It was so chilly in my car that I even put on my rainbow mittens from Teh Dad and Teh Stepmom.  I rocked those.  After scraping the ice from my windshield (for the first time since being back in America), I headed to base.

When I got to the gym, I took off my sweatshirt because it was a tad warm.  We did some crazy warm up exercises.  And by crazy, I mean, I had never done some of these exercises and stretches.  Silly new navy regs.  Then they announced that it was free day, meaning you could PT on your own.  Since it was my first time at the gym, I had to ask where the machines were.  One of the other females was going to the elliptical machines and said she'd show me, so I said I'd just stick with her and do the elliptical also.

Turns out, the gym is set up like a hangar... because it was/(is?) a hangar.  The main floor has several different courts (basketball/volleyball) and the sides of the building are where the rooms are located.  One side was offices and the other sides/ends were the weight and cardio machines, along with some racket ball courts.  As a not-air-person, I was obviously intrigued by this set up.  It's also the biggest base gym I've experienced, so I was mostly in awe.  The only place I've experienced with a more awesome gym is NC State.

Once we found 2 ellipticals together, we started getting prepared, laying down our sweatshirts, etc and I decided I was warm and knew I was only going to get hotter if I kept my sweatpants on, so I decided to take them off.

I pulled down my pants and looked around for a few seconds, in my head I thought, WHEW that is soooo much better, but isn't it a little drafty on my butt?  Then I looked down and realized that my shorts were around my knees with my pants!  OH MY!  So for about 3-5 seconds, I was standing in the cardio room, in my undies, mooning anyone that was paying attention.  Once I realized I was standing in my underwear, in the gym, a VERY public place, I quickly yanked my pants back up.  Immediately my face turned red hot and the other girl and I busted out laughing cackling.  Neither of us could believe what I had just done and that we had been the only ones to see (that we noticed, no one else was laughing, so we assumed we were alone in our giggles).  After semi-gathering my wits, I tried again to take off my sweatpants, only this time making sure I had separated my pants and shorts and that my shorts were going to stay up.

Except on accident...and in classy Navy sweats. (image)
After that the PT session was relatively calm.  I PT-ed for the first time in a month, I ran 1.5 miles at 12:06, which was pretty impressive for this not runner.  Granted it was on the elliptical, but still, that's impressive for me, period.  I learned that the pool is closed while the roof is replaced, for however long it takes, which super sucks, because I was excited about getting back into the pool and being away from the nasty pool in Bahrain that was often broken.

Throughout the day I thought about mooning everyone at the gym and the giggles would start again.  It instantly makes my mood better, each time I think about it.  Later on, I was thinking about the fact that some people would have been super embarrassed and upset if someone had laughed at them if they had been me.  It made me very glad I'm not that person, and maybe its a tribute to Teh Parents about being raised right?  I can laugh at my mistakes and learn from them, and not be upset about embarrassing myself.

Gold star for me and Teh Parents for doing it right! (image)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Free time.. what?

It is strange to me how easily humans fall into habits.  Seriously.  It is only strange to be because I'm now trying to fall OUT of a habit.  Which seems like it would just be easy, except.. it is the creation of a whole new mindset, which is the strange part to me.

What am I talking about?

Not being in Bahrain.
Not being on a watchfloor job where everyone is running around with their hair on fire and their problem is the most important problem.
Not working 12 hour days.
Not feeling like I need to go to bed within an hour and a half of getting home.

The things that I bitched and complained about the most while I was in Bahrain, I can't seem to shake.

If only I had known.
When I get to work at 0730 and leave work at 1630, I get home and my brain is like, ok, now what?  In Bahrain it was:
1-  Have I had dinner?  No?  Eat while Skype-ing with Teh Bear till he goes to work/it is bedtime.  Yes?  Skype with Teh Bear till he goes to work/it is bedtime.
2-  Do I have something that needs to be done but will take longer than 1.5 hours and/or can it wait till a day off?  Yes?  Do it on a day off.  No?  Do it on a day off.
3-  Do I have something that I have to get done in America?  No?  Skype with Teh Bear till he goes to work/it is bedtime.  Yes?  Skype with Teh Bear till he goes to work/it is bedtime while taking care of business in America.

Now, I can get off work, come home and I can do a load of laundry, I have time to make dinner, then not immediately go to bed (which has also been part of the eating healthier kick).  It's just a very strange adjustment for me, even a month after leaving Bahrain.  Still, I've not fully wrapped my mind around the fact that this is it, and it is ok.

Life is so good I still think to myself, I am really so grateful because this was not my life for the past year.  And I don't even bother to think, this made the last year worth it.  Because, well, life in Bahrain without your peeps.. by the time my 3 years in MD are up, maybe then will I think that Bahrain was worth it.

Now if I could just train myself that laundry doesn't have to wait till a day off.  :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lets talk about Bets.. the new stand mixer.

Black Friday has passed.  Thank God, that was a painful retail "holiday" for me to go through.  I should just invest in Kohl's stock with as much money as I gave to them this weekend.  Although, I don't feel too bad giving them my money since I was able to get 20% off my purchases online, get free shipping, and get Kohl's Cash back from my purchases (hello new pots and pans?)..

Of course the KitchenAid stand mixer was on sale, of course I wanted it.  I had this dream about one day getting married and registering for this sucker.  Normal price is around $400... That is not in Teh Megan's price range for kitchen appliances.  The hand mixer I bought from Walmart when I moved in the new MD apartment?  $6.  Yeah, I'm cheap, judge me.

Teh Bear and I went round and round about how I was NOT going to buy a stand mixer because I wanted someone else to get it for me.  Then I started bitchin' about it on Facebook.  I have enablers for friends.  No jk.  ENABLERS, almost every-single-one-of-my-friends-is-an-enabler.  There should be a help group for that.  Teh Model was the first one to tell me that I could find a KitchenAid mixer for right under $130.  I didn't believe it was possible.  No wai.  So, she sent me a link and I checked it out.  I was right, it was no wai.  It was through various "cash back" incentives that the mixer was so low priced.  So, I had successfully talked myself off the ledge.  By this point, it was Thanksgiving lunch time, saved!

After a very delicious Thanksgiving lunch, I came back home and stared longingly at the Willow Blue Artisan KitchenAid 5qt Stand Mixer on Kohl's website.  I was in love.  Last time I was in love?  I ended up in an apartment upstairs (even though I preferred downstairs, because I loved the floor plan that much).  Time before that?  I bought a couch, even though the color wasn't exactly what I had wanted, I wanted the couch bad enough to accept the color.

I got out my handy dandy computer calculator (side note: best idea ever, put your calculator on your desktop/start menu, so much time saved!).  I begged and pleaded to the internet and calculator and stand mixer and Kohl's gods.. please make it happen!  The "regular price" was $399.  They had marked it down to $299.  When you put it in your Kohl's shopping cart? $269.  With a 20% off code I found not very ninja like?  $236.  The cherry on top?  Teh Sister loves me so much, she "bought" this for me, which meant taking her 15% off employee discount off of the final price.  Which meant the total was right at $200.  Plus, it has a $30 mail in rebate, which can be up to $42 if you decline their magazine subscription..  Which means $158ish for a 5qt KitchenAid stand mixer....  Ok, you got me, Howie.  DEAL!  (If you didn't get that reference, its for the best.)

I had added the mixer to my shopping cart.  HOURS later I finally made the decision to actually buy this sucker.  I figured while I was at it, I'd check and see what their prices were on anything else that I had been looking at buying, mainly a vacuum.  With all the discounts I was receiving, the vacuum ended up being cheaper from Kohl's than Amazon, so that was also added to the shopping cart.  Finally, I noticed a CrockPot for $10 after mail in rebate.  Well, why not.  I've always wanted to try out this CrockPot phenomenon.  Added.

Finally, I'm going to check out, and there's issues with the Kohl's card I was using.  Me=crushed.  It took an hour to get that deal sorted out, and by that point, my Willow Blue option was no longer available.  Me=Crushed.  You may not know this about me, Gentle Reader, but I struggle to have a favorite color.  I love all colors, so for me to have finally come to a decision on which color I liked was an hour long process of itself.  No jk.  I had debated on the Willow Blue, which Teh Bear kept referring to as Duke blue, which I would ignore every time, red, black, dark grey, light green, apple green, a fun color like darker yellow/orange...  It took me a while.  I went through all the colors several times.  My computer was like, seriously lady, just pick a stupid freakin' color.  It's just a stand mixer.  My computer is obviously a boy if it had a gender.

While I was on the phone, having to place my order, because the internet gods were punishing me for taking such a ridiculously long time to make up my mind on if I was going to buy the mixer or not, then what color to buy, then what else I should add to my cart, the lady was telling me that my Willow Blue, red, dark grey, green apple, and pear colors were all out of stock.. ALREADY.  This was only 11pm.  Since when did people become so internet savvy about black friday, gosh.  Finally, I went with Ice Blue out of desperation.  I just wanted to buy a freakin' stand mixer before I 1- got frustrated and changed my mind, 2- just changed my mind.  The photos online made the mixer look like a bearable sky blue ish-y color..  Fine.  Order finally complete around 11:58pm on Thanksgiving night.  HA, take that people standing outside for hours before a store opens.  Hello, $90 in Kohl's cash, yes, we can be bffs.

The order confirmation came via email saying my order would arrive Dec 6-9th.  Well, ok then.  That gave me sufficient time to plan whatever my first recipe was going to be in the new mixer.  On the 27th, I started doing some serious research.  I considered challah bread, mousse, or a brownie recipe that had been passed on to me with the review, "THESE ARE THE BEST BROWNIES EVER."  Obviously, the 6th isn't close yet, so I had some time to make up my mind.

Then I received an email saying that my mixer was ready to be shipped on the evening of the 27th.  Okie dokie, it will be here in a few days then, deal.  On the 28th, I came home for lunch, after much debate because I had strongly considered Chipotle.  At my door, there was a box... that said KITCHENAID STAND MIXER.  OMFG IT ARRIVED!!!

So soon????
I brought it inside, did a little happy dance that it had arrived so quickly, but threw in a few confused "how did it arrive so quickly" kicks for good measure.  I then ate lunch, skyped with Teh Bear, and went back to work.  I didn't even take it out of the shipping box, I had plans for it.

Willow Blue (image)
I still wasn't a huge fan of Ice Blue.  I had my heart set on Willow Blue, but apparently, so did the rest of America.  I decided after work, I'd swing by Kohl's and see what other colors they had available.  I crossed my fingers for my Willow Blue.  I brought my mixer to the return desk and said I'd like to exchange it for another color, then went back to look at the selection.  Red, red, red, silver, black, silver, silver, black, black, red.  Seriously?!  It was like NC State had taken over the KitchenAid stand mixer section.  I took a red one back to the front with me, it had been my 2nd choice.. way back when... 4 days ago.  I got it up to the counter and the lady behind me was telling me how red was "in" now.  I explained that I remember when red started coming "in", because I had bought Teh Mom a red microwave with the full intention of having to return it for the silver one the next day.  I really liked the red, much to my surprise and Teh Sister's surprise.. Teh Mom also liked the red.  Jaws hit the floor that day, and I didn't have to do an exchange.  

I looked at the color of the blue mixer through the handle, and I looked at the photo of the red mixer.  I just didn't have the heart to settle for the red one.  I knew that it meant that my kitchen would always be red themed, which is already my bedroom color..   Which would just lead to red taking over my house, and I just couldn't take that risk.  After very much hassling with the ladies at Kohl's who tried very hard to find a Willow Blue mixer for me, to no avail, since my model is apparently no where on the Kohl's website anymore, I just accepted the Ice Blue mixer for the retro 50's color that it was, and lugged it back to the car to return it home.

Since the mixer arrived so early, I hadn't decided on a recipe to try with the mixer, which meant that whatever I made with the mixer required on-hand ingredients.  I had box funfetti mix and box brownie mix, but brownies shouldn't be made with a mixer (ever) and cake mix was just too easy.  After some internet scavenging, I found a recipe for made from scratch cake that I had all the ingredients to.  Well, ok then, made from scratch cake it is.

After putting the cake in the oven and returning to my computer, I felt guilty.  Who makes just a made from scratch cake and has no icing to go with it?  I couldn't be that person, so I looked up my buttercream icing recipe and made more magic happen with the mixer.

Betty Draper would have done it this way.
While I was working on the cake and icing, I kept thinking to myself, this feels like a very Betty Draper type thing.  The made from scratch cake, the retro colored mixer.  I was just 2.5 kids, Don Draper, and a huge house short of an early episode of Mad Men.  The mixer has been properly named Bets, or Betty when I'm mad at it.

Overall, I'm pretty hyped about my purchase.  I'm sure once I start making crazy stuff like challah bread where I can walk away from the mixer and let it do its thing and come back and move on to the next step, I love Bets even more.  But for now, we're at that awkward getting to know each other stage.  She's tepid of how I'm going to handle her gears and I'm working on better accepting the retro-ness of Bets.  I'm sure that soon enough we'll be the best of friends though.  

I mean, I wouldn't have had any reason to create this completely made from scratch masterpiece if Bets wasn't in my life.

That is definitely a ridiculous amount of icing.. Oops.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall Cooking/Decorating

I never thought that I'd turn out to be that person that decorates for the seasons.. and I don't think I really am with the exception of Christmas.. butttttt.. that said...  This year I've wanted to do seasonal baking for practically every holiday that has rolled around.  It's like Betty Crocker has consumed me

Also, I'm not sure if you've met Teh Mom or not, but I remember for a very long time decorating for most of the seasonal holidays/events.  When Halloween rolled around it was Teh Mom's excuse for not only pumpkin and black cat decorations, but also the fall foilage decorations.  We also had Easter decorations.  I can't remember any July 4th decorations off the top of my head, I don't really my family being extremely patriotic in any way other that usually going to enjoy fireworks at some place.

The biggest events were always birthdays though.  Not a birthday passed without decor.  That definitely got passed along and I'm not sure Teh Bear really understands, but he thinks he does, so I'm letting him go with it. 

Since being in Bahrain, the setting in of the spring-freakin-fever, the having my own personal kitchen, and a general loathing of delivery/take-away/restaurant food (due to having to eat it so often in the past few years).. Better Crocker has really taken over.  I feel like baking is a thrill (mostly so I can bring it to work and have everyone tell me how delicious things are).  Its so very domestic and gross and stuff. 

Because of the Betty Crocker syndrome (oh yes, that is what I'm calling it), I subscribed to a few food/baking blogs.  Something I've noticed about food blogs?  Any holiday is a reason to be creative with food.  Seriously. 

Well, Halloween was here, and there were some awesome ideas in one of the blogs I read.  These Halloween-Cakes-in-a-Jar might actually beat out funfetti ghostie cakes that I made several years ago when Pirate Gone Marine and I were dating.  The best part of those cakes?  The suggestions she made about what she was going to do for Christmas w/ red velvet cake. 

Personally, I'm not a super huge fan of the red velvet.  Give me lemon or yellow cake any day.  But, I do know several people that love red velvet cake, lucky for them, I like them a lot and would be willing to do some red velvet experiments.  I also think that this whole creative baking thing is a much cheaper idea than Bahrani jewelry for Christmas.  Just sayin (prob got that idea from Teh Mom also.  Although she usually did/does coconut balls/peanut butter balls (yummmmmmmmm)).

The idea of being back in the states for the holidays this year is beyond exciting for me, which you, Gentle Readers, will probably be hearing about until I start bitching about how Christmas has become a consumer holiday and everything is all about what to buy, blah blah blah.  At least for November (and probably some of December if I get some snow), I promise to enjoy it.  I'm sure most of this comes from the fact that I've not experienced USA Christmas in 3 years.  Eventually, you forget what its like to walk past stores covered with Christmas balls with 10% off signs in the windows.  You realize that the rest of the world could care less about Christmas.  You also realize that a silver 2 foot tall tree and decorations are the best Target One Spot investments you ever made... if they arrive in time for Christmas..

Friday, November 25, 2011

Life is good.. and I'm grateful.

Usually, every year around Thanksgiving your FB/myspace/twitter/whatever-social-media-you-use feed explodes with "30 days of thankfuls" or "I'm so thankful for.. blah blah blah" posts.  This year, I didn't really feel like I got as much of that.  Or maybe I would have if I didn't have so many people blocked?  Who knows.

Personally, I try not to play into all that hype of doing it just because everyone on Facebook is doing it.  I'm a rebel like that.  Nonetheless, off the the I'm so thankfuls definitely were reminders of everything that I have to be thankful for.  And, just to note, I was thinking about this laundry list of things WELL BEFORE Thanksgiving time rolled around.  I mean, I've been listening to Christmas tunes since September?

But, I really do have a lot to be thankful for, and not just because its Thanksgiving...  but because even when I think my life really sucks, it really doesn't.

For instance:
Living in Bahrain meant being away from my family for yet another year.  But I building up my savings account, which has definitely made coming back to America and paying for Real Life much easier.  I learned about working long shifts, which made me grateful for being able to get off work before dark.  I couldn't wear my uniform off base, which makes me appreciate being able to get ready at home and drive to work now.  I got my IDW, I got a NAM, I did some cool work, I met some awesome people.  While I will tell everyone for a very long time that Bahrain was the pits (which it is), it wasn't as bad as it could have been, not that I would have wanted to find out what could have been was.

I am grateful for many things:

-the support of my family/friends/Teh Bear.
There are days that I go without talking to these very important people (with the exception of Teh Bear who I do talk to everyday at least for a few minutes on bad days (good days=more than a few minutes)).  There have been days that I've talked to them several days in a row.  No matter what, I know they are there for me, always.  Like Teh Dad organizing the purchase of Indigo Montoya/Teh Turtle.  Like Teh BFF dealing with Teh ZepZep when he was down and out.

-having a job.
There's a lot of hubba-ballew going down on Wall Street right now about some job crap.  Ok, its not really crap, but I haven't really kept up with it because I have a job, which doesn't give me an excuse to be ignorant about world events, but some people are whinin', some people are bitchin', some people have legit complaints, and no one seems to have any solutions.  I have a good job.  It's plain and simple.  I could still be a server at Texas Roadhouse, but instead, I signed a contract and said, I'll be your peon US Government.  I might not like my job everyday, but I have job security for now, and for that I'm grateful.

-the ability to afford things.
This obviously stems from the last point.  Moving back to America is FAR, FAR from cheap.  I had to find a place to live, which the military does give me money for, but everywhere wanted a piece my first born child every month for a decent place to live.  I had to buy things that I didn't have: a car, furniture, things for the kitchen that I had to leave in Bahrain due to power sockets/voltage differences, clothes for winter, a chair to sit in until the furniture arrives or the packout get delivered.. THINGS.  Things that just keep adding up, that make me feel super materialistic, but at the same time.. Teh Dad says, "You're investing in your household."  Oh, am I?  Pretty sure I should just go buy some Kohl's stock.

-having things.
I have a still new computer, a brand new car, a brand new bed, brand new furniture (which will be delivered at some point in the next 3 months..), a new place to live, a new job, the ability to make new friends, new kitchen toys, new purses, new sheets.. Things.  While pointing all this stuff out makes me feel materialistic, I know there are people in Africa who live in a mud hut with a pottery vase for water from the river and a crude pot to cook over the fire with with 1 set of clothes...  So yes, its materialistic, I acknowledge that.  But, I also vow to make delicious goods with my brand new KitchenAid stand mixer and distribute them to people I know (this is me not being greedy, see?).  I also know that these things don't represent ME.  That having things doesn't make me a better person.  But having things makes my life more comfortable.  They aren't necessary, but they are definitely nice.

-being me.
Being away from friends/family, not being in America, putting on a uniform, sometimes these things make me feel like little parts of me are chipped away.  Having to deal with life without my peeps, living in a place where its not acceptable to say things I normally would or dress a particular way, being in uniform and having to follow rules that I don't always like...  these things are sometimes difficult for me to accept.  Not that I didn't choose this life, but Teh Megan who goes home to be with her peeps, who doesn't have to put on a uniform, in America.. she's a bit different than Teh Megan who was in Bahrain.  Granted, these things have also altered my personality in some ways (most would say for the better), but I notice a difference when I get to be with my people and not feel like I have to limit myself on things that are very ME.

I hate it when other people are right.... and I hate it more when someone is referred to as "Brother"....  (image)
Sometimes these things come to me when I'm driving down the road.  How I'm in Teh Turtle and its still new and it needs to be washed (how if I was in Bahrain it would get washed every day, but by an Arab, and man its delightful that most everyone speaks a variation of English I can understand) and how lucky I am to have been able to visit NC and NJ and how awesome the weather is (no matter what the weather is as long as its not over 75°F) and how delightful smelling my favorite fabric softener is and how it works so well on my new sweater and then my American cell phone might ba-dunk or Drrroid at me, and I smile because that's someone in America sending me a text or a notification from Facebook, and how I have a really good life.

And I believe the quote.  I believe that the more grateful I am for my life, the people in my life, the things I have, the more I that appreciate all that I have (vs how I couldn't have them) and the more happiness I feel.  Life is cool like that.  Tricky, but oh so awesome.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Facebook, Why do you pretend to know me?

Like the most modern websites, Facebook tries to peg their audience by IP address/location info/gender/etc.  These are some of the ads/random things that FB has given me.

Please note, I've never put it ANYWHERE that I can read/speak Arabic.  IP address "matching" must be how I'm getting these ads in Arabic..

I'm not gonna lie, this clever little play on words definitely made me smile.

squiggles = Derka Derka.
Hair plugs really?  In Dubai?  No, I'm in Bahrain.  Not the same.
Sims on Facebook, hrm.  Someone went back in time and realized my love of the Sims.. and this was tempting.
Bath and Body Works is open at the mall that we are prohibited to go to due to protests.  Score!
"Get Bitten!"... seriously?  Some people have definitely been watching too much Twilight.
Oh Arabia, how you love your coffee/tea...
Because I'm a woman must mean I need lipstick/beauty products to look amazing..  I'm pretty sure that's what most Arabic women think due to the insane amounts of make up they wear.
Halloween @ Pet Arabia.. this one is definitely aimed at non-Arabs, since most locals loathe dogs and the cats are all strays.
OOo Bridal Week!!  What?
Derka Derka
OOO yes, I could totally go learn English!
Derka Derka

I'm just confused to how Barack Obama and NPR are related to eating an Odwalla bar...  or the NEX.

Now that I'm back in America, I've gotten a lot less Arabic ads.  After clearing my cache and resetting my router, I even stopped getting search results in Arabic, YAY!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Small habits that haven't changed yet...

So, I'm officially an American again.  Not that I actually wasn't an American at any point, but it sure started to feel that way for a bit there.

I'm livin' in America.  I've purchased Starbucks more than once.  I've had fast food.  I ate at Subway for the first time since GTMO.  I had American McDonald's.  I've had to resist honking my horn at people.  I've been driving in MPH instead of KPH.  I've had to look out for cops and unmarked cars along the highways.  When going out to eat, there wasn't a 30 minute wait between my food arriving and the waiter/waitress returning to the table.  I saw most of Teh Family in my minimal (2.5ish, thank you rotator delay) days in NC.  I crossed state lines.  I have been able to fulfill plans.  I spent dollars instead of dinar.  I've spent 10 minutes trying to find the correct place to change the time format from Bahrain time to Eastern time for the blog (you'd think if you changed the time for one Google application (calendar), it would change the time for all your Google applications, apparently not).

Honestly, its amazing.  I feel like I could just keep repeating that over and over.  I feel like my FB wall has become a devotional shrine to how awesome being back in America is.  This makes me feel kinda bad for the friends I have that are still in Bahrain and have to see my America smut.  Sorry guys and gals, I just can't help it.  I've become one of those people.  I hate it, but I can't help it.  Seriously.

And maybe a lot of it isn't because I'm back in America so much as I feel like I'm finally starting a real life.  Now you're like, you're cuurently having your real life, Teh Megan!  You're correct, Gentle Reader, I am.  But, for the first time in my adult life, I now own my own bed.  No jk.  I didn't have my own bed until I was almost 26 years old.  That's the life of a chronic mover.  I also only owned handed down furniture.  Just a note: there is nothing wrong with hand-down furniture, its free, you're probably taking it off someone else's hands...  But, there's just something very "real life" and "adult" about owning your own furniture.  The knowing that next time you move/PCS, you will probably actually have to worry about weight limits is mysteriously thrilling.

But, despite all these great things, there are still things that I haven't gotten used to yet.

-The button/handle to flush the toilet being on the side of the toilet instead of on the top/center of the lid.
-High speed internet being slow (which I only know when/if someone else tells me, since I'm used to crappy internet).
-Having a cell phone that is connected to the internet, that I can update FB from.
-Having a smartphone.
-Text messages to my phone that are from people that live in America.
-Not being able to call my Bahrain peeps.
-Temps being in Fahrenheit.
-Being able to pay for everything with plastic.
-Not honking at idiots on the road (Teh Bear always likes to warn me, "You never know who is carrying a gun.")
-Not being honked at.  (I did get honked at today and thought to myself, "pfft, I had so much space, you're an idiot, save your honkin' for something better."  Hello desensitiatization...)
-Traffic lights changing from red to green instead of red-yellow to green.
-My new car and all its perks and surprises (automatic lights, push button start, back up camera).
-The idea of getting time off for holidays (after most of the last 2 years getting minimal to no time off, I'm like Pavlov's dog).
-Blogging again.

Hopefully, this is me getting back into the blogging routine.  I've not uploaded the photos on my camera since before I left Bahrain, mostly due to the crappy internet I've had to deal with since moving out of my flat in Bahrain.  I've got photos of adventures in Bahrain, adventures of my flights to get home, adventures of being in NC, new car smut, adventures of getting to MD, adventures with Teh Bear, and soon enough there will be adventures of my trip to NJ!  So many exciting things for the Gentle Readers to look forward to, yay!

As to not have yet another photo-less blog, I give you falling down icy steps bruise:

I will have to post an updated photo before this big nasty goes away, in probably at least another month....