Monday, August 29, 2011

What's your name??


But apparently, there are different forms of saying said name.

Version 1:  MEG-an.
Version 2:  MAE-gan.

Preferred version?  1.
Most often used version?  2.

Just sayin... (my name right)...

And some random stuff because my head hurts and my cognitive powers are low:

Maybe I'll just wait for the rotator in November.  (image)
Car porn.. Kia Sportage EX in twilight blue w/ black interior w/ EX package.  I'm not needy or anything.  I posted this photo because it has rain.  I miss rain.

Favorite Looking for Group comic.  We definitely had this hanging in the GTMO office.  (image)
I'm ready for fall.

Sooooo ready.  This is supposed to actually be Patuxent River.  Well, alright. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Preparation for the future!

I have an admission to make.  I've not bought new underwear in almost 2 years.  Which is kinda a lie, because I bought some new ones while I was on leave before I came to Bahrain, but it was only a few pair, so mostly I've been wearing the same underwear for 2 years. 

Sometimes they get stretched.... (image)
And now you're like, yeah this girl's a freak, close that tab.  No.  Let me explain.  I have a thing for underwear.  No jk.  When I was in middle school, I (actually Teh Dad, but thats a minor detail) bought all my friends underwear for Christmas.  I picked out sets for each of them.  And they loved them...  I also may have gotten some for myself.  The best pair had bells on them.  So Christmas-y and cute.  I mean, it didn't matter that I was the only one seeing them (and whoever did the laundry), super cute is important to undergarments.  They can make or break self-confidence..  And I could say I had arrived with bells on!  bwahhahahaha..  Although that one time, they were an issue trying to get through an airport..  oops.  I digress.

YAY!  Undies!  (image)
The point of that was this:
I miss underwear shopping.
In actuality, I miss shopping (in America) entirely. 

So, I've decided what I want for my welcome back to America gifts (its like a housewarming party (which of course can happen after I move into my new place) but not).  Gift cards to Target, Old Navy, and Kohl's.  So that way, whatever I don't get with my back to 'Merica gifts, I can ask for, for Christmas.  And whatever I don't get for Christmas, I can ask for, for my birthday!  WIN!

Now, you're like, wow Teh Megan, you're being super greedy.  No, no, Gentle Readers.  Teh Megan gave some people gifts of fine Bahraini jewelry last year for Cmas.  In addition, I paid $75 to get said gifts to 'Merica to those people.  Oh, I'm dedicated.  I'm just suggesting they also be dedicated.  Teh Dad did pay a lot of get my Cmas presents to Bahrain, he reminded me again the other day when we were having our weekly chat about how much shipping was for him, so maybe he can be exempt.
Yay, Christmas presents from 'Merica!
For some reason, he had a senior moment and started believing that ALL mail sent from Bahrain was free for me.  He was wrong (I may have to repeat this cause its so fun to say).  The only FREE mail from Bahrain is post cards and regular sized envelopes.  So... packages.. just as expensive for me, buddy!

I'm ready for underwear shopping and kitchen shopping.  The only clothing I've bought while in GTMO and Bahrain have been online (which wasn't always a good thing), for walk/runs supporting a cause (fenceline runs/JPJ runs), free, or dresses at the mall in Bahrain (which always makes me have buyer's remorse due to expense).  I don't like buying kitchen stuff here because: 1.  Its usually super overpriced.  2.  It's made for European power sockets, meaning it probably won't work in America due to fit and wattage.  I did buy a cheap-ish set of pots and pans when I got here because my flat came with 1 frying pan w/ no lid and a dirty knife and a dirty spatula.  I also bought the hand mixer, which won't work in America.  Le sigh.

I'm ready to think, "hey, I need/want such and such."  Then go to a store and purchase "such and such" for a reasonable price, without having to haggle or call the K9 squad in to search for "such and such."  Finding things in Bahrain is never an easy process, then once you do find it you have the range of semi-expensive to ridiculously expensive..  And if you're lucky enough to find something for cheap, your first concern is always, "Will this work the rest of the time I'm in Bahrain, at least?"  Then, "Will I need a power converter for this?"

So while all my East Coast Gentle Readers are flocking to their stores to prepare for Hurricane Irene, please enjoy the fact that you don't have to try to find the English labels on items in the store to know what they are, that you know the places that have the things that you want, and you can go to those places because its not Ramadan and stores are on regular working hours, like the other 11 months out of the year.  :)

Hurricane preparedness, you're doing it right.  (image)

For good measure, hahahah Teh Dad was wrong!... hahahaha.  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some random things.

11 months ago.. I arrived in Bahrain.  woah.

I hold my ears when I flush the toilets at work (with my foot) because they are so loud. 

The "One year ago today" statuses are some of my faves.

I hate having to pee frequently, despite the fact that it means that I'm staying hydrated.

Afrin is the shit.  It gave me back the ability to smell and taste.

I'm typing up random things because:
1.  I'm sick.
2.  Having too many FB status updates makes you irrelevant, I gotta maintain my relevance.  :)

The head of the watchfloor came to the Imagery shop to ask if we had heard about the East Coast earthquake and if it would affect exploitation there, and I told him I learned of the earthquake on FB... very proudly.

Many people don't understand that the area where I work is the Imagery shop.  They often mistake us for TLAM guys.  The people that make this mistake are often officers.  I love correcting those people.  :)

Almost every single day in Bahrain, I find another thing to add to the list of reasons why I hate being in Bahrain/at COMUSNAVCENT.  Today's reason: Admin didn't put an important page in my transfer package.  Apparently a very important page.  HOW do you miss the Operational Duty Screening page?  Seriously?  Let's not even talk about the fact that you're supposed to get a transfer package within 10 days of receiving orders and I definitely received mine over a month later, when I had to go ask them about it.  Oh yeah, and if you're taking leave between here and the next duty station, despite the fact that you put it on a form, you still have to physically go to PSD (not your own admin) and tell them.. Then why did I fill out that paper?  Oh yeah, to waste my time!  Thanks!  Ugh.

This is for Teh Sister.  Teh Mom might not appreciate it as much as we do.  But that doesn't make it not funny.  "Hahahahahha, that tickles!"

Copy/paste whores, or copy/paste-ers (when I'm trying to be nice), are still super annoying.  If you've not actually ever been shot at during war, and I don't mean turf wars in your hometown, don't copy paste stuff about getting shot at.  I will make fun of you.  You're not a badass because you're in the military and stationed in Bahrain.  While this is the middle east, its not a "combat zone"...  get over yourselves.

This blog was kinda sucky.  Ok, a lot sucky.  Blame the fact that I'm sick.  I hope the next blog doesn't need a note from an adult to say that I was sick...

These are some of the great google returns for an image search on sick note from parent/sick note.  Enjoy.

Definitely the best thing I've found this week on the internetz.



Monday, August 22, 2011

When you're so busy looking forward, looking back is hard to do.

Holy mother!?!  It's mid-August!?  It's a hard time for me.  On the one hand, I'm SUPER elated.  That means its almost time to end my desert island stint (Hallelujah!).  On the other hand, its kinda sad.  It means that 2 years of my life have passed on desert islands, and as much as I bitch (its ok, I know I do it) about being on desert islands...  It's not been all bad.  Friends were made, I learned to dive in GTMO, I actually got to do my (trained for) job in Bahrain.  I survived 2 years w/o America. 

It's just hard to look back when I'm so busy focusing on MD in November.  New car?  New house?  New Place.  Those are pretty big things in comparison with things I've overcome while I've been stranded on islands.

By the way, yes I know that GTMO isn't really a desert island, but it was kinda, because we didn't get rain all that often (shall we recall all the writing in the dust on Teh Kaar?), despite being in the Caribbean, due to the mountains that surrounded Guantanamo Bay. 

Lets think of some small things that will be big changes related to going back to the states?

-For the first time since I've left training, I'll be able to wear my uniform off base.  In GTMO, we obviously weren't allowed off base.  In Bahrain, we're not allowed to go off base in uniform, which means getting to work early so you can again get ready for work by changing into uniform.  And if you have to go home in the middle of the day, that means changing out of uniform for the 20 minute excursion, and then changing back into uniform when you get back to work.  What this really means is, once I walked across base looking like an idiot wearing my super high socks with my gym shoes and capri pants.  Classy. 
-American fast food, besides McDonald's.  They have "American" fast food places in Bahrain, but usually, its not the same.  The ketchup packets you get aren't the same as ketchup packets in America.  I don't know how to explain it, they just aren't.
-Having to be on the lookout for unmarked cop cars and cop cars in general.  The speed limit in GTMO was 25..miles per hour..  You could get away with a bit over that, but you also knew where the MA's were usually staked out.  In Bahrain, the cops are... well, I'm not sure what they really do.  I've seen people pulled over before, but I've also seen cars weave through lanes in a construction zone, definitely speeding with a cop right behind us, and nothing happened.  I've passed cops doing well over 100kmh and nothing happens (praise Allah).  On the other hand, I'm so used to going slow (from GTMO) that staying at the speed limit wasn't so bad (when I was home on leave).  Yet, from Bahrain, I'm so used to going however fast I want, that it might be an issue now.
-No Saudi's.. or people from Dubai or Kuwait, or whatever other arabic names are on the plates I can't read.  They are like tourists in Florida.  On Wed/Thurs/Fri nights when the visitors come over, you can expect traffic to be heinous and people to be at their stupidest, not even factoring Ramadan into the equation.  And while there are stupid people in America, at least there is the potential of them using their signal light before they are turning and they often obey the lane rules at red lights.
-The probability of having to salute cars again.  In Bahrain and in GTMO there was no enlisted/officer base passes.. easy day.

There are definitely things about GTMO that I miss, and there will be things about Bahrain that I will definitely miss.
Diving- G
24 hour delivery- B
lack of law enforcement- B
relaxed work- G
3 day weekends- B
regular work hours- G
easy days- G
any day is beach day- G
proximity to everything- G/B
certain people- G/B
certain foods- G/B

But with school starting (yes I see all those copy/paste teacher and bullied child statuses), it makes me realize that the summer flew by.  Literally.  It feels like it was May not that long ago.  I don't feel like I wore shorts for long enough (which I'll prob blame most of that on Ramadan...).  It's hard to believe that 5 years ago I was starting my last semester of college (FIVE YEARS AGO?!?!). 

2 years ago, I was finishing my training in VA Beach.  I was going home and then getting on a plane to Gulfport and then to GTMO, my first, overseas duty station.  It's crazy to me that last year at this time I was preparing to come to Bahrain and my LPO was threatening me with dhow counting (oh so many freakin' dhows!).  I had pretty much turned over my job to a sexual harassment panda (who I've yet to hear all the interesting stories on, which kinda hurts my heart, because I know they are good stories).  I was headed to yet another island, yet another overseas duty station.  At some point between GTMO and now I seem to become immune to the fact that I missed certain American things (Texas Roadhouse, sushi (which thankfully we can get in Bahrain)).  It became a matter of ticking down the time till those things were actually available again, to me, in person, which is almost too much to comprehend.

I'm actually going back to America, and its blowing my mind.  2 years is long enough to get into habits that are for coping with the non-American things in your life (like power sockets and transformers in Bahrain).  It's long enough to stop missing some things.  It's also long enough to realize that people that were in you life when you left, have moved on and you are no longer a part of their life anymore.  It's long enough to forget what you are actually missing while you're away.

Side story:  when I went home on leave from GTMO, I had been on the island for 7.5 months.  I remember standing in the grocery store frozen section, stunned.  There were so many options.  It was more than 1.5 aisles (which is more than at the NEX in Bahrain) of frozen food.  There was almost half an aisle of just ice cream.  There were things I'd never seen before.  I stood there, stupefied.  At the same time, I was moved, literally, tears in my eyes (which is strange for someone that can chill wine with their heart).  This had all been there before I left and I hadn't even noticed... I hadn't ever noticed, because I never knew it didn't come standard.

My eyes have been opened by not being in America, and for that I'm grateful.  I'm ready to listen to people complain about how hot next summer is, and tell them, its not desert heat during Ramadan, so stfu.  I'm ready to walk in the rain and get wet.  I'm ready to hear frogs and crickets outside on summer nights.  I'm ready for the quiet of the winter.  And I know that I'll probably cry the first time it snows when I get back, because I missed snow more than any other thing while I was away.

Thinking of these things help put MD into perspective a bit.  That, for as much as happened in 2 years, settling into a familiar place may not be as difficult as settling into an unfamiliar place.  Time is whooshing by, but that doesn't mean that everything has to be done in one day.  Things can wait and not everything has to be planned (I'm sure if I tell myself this more often I might actually believe it one day in the far, far future).

Saturday, August 20, 2011

McDonald's... the Arabia kind.

Sometimes I like to tell myself "I need protein" (in a food, not in a dirty way, you pervs!) and then find it with a side of delicious McDonald's fries.  It's complicated.  But the fries are delicious and burgers have protein, right?  So, the other night I was debating in my head what I wanted from McDonald's.  I mean, they deliver until 3am (since its Ramadan, otherwise they deliver 24 hours), so it was really a matter of what did I want.

So, since most places on American Alley have fairly navigable websites, I figured I'd search for Bahrain McDonald's and see what came up.  Hello, McDonald's Arabia.  I did the work and went to the Bahrain page, but if you click on the McDonald's logo it will take you back to the first page that shows the Arabian Peninsula.

I usually just get the Big Mac meal, because its delicious no matter what country you're in.  But, the McArabia is also pretty delicious.  So I was torn.  I kinda wanted a Big Mac, but didn't really.  So I went to the menu link on the site, which was pretty handy dandy.  I knew I wanted fries, so a value meal it was.  This is probably the most advanced site I've been to that deals with anything Bahraini, no jk.  I ruled out the McArabia, because I really wanted a burger.  But I didn't want a Big Mac, and a Quarter Pounder or McRoyale (yeah they call them that here), they were just too much burger.  But 2 cheeseburgers with fries and a drink?  Perfect, cause I could eat one burger for lunch and one for dinner!  Win.

So, I called them up and placed my order.  Madam Megan waited for her food, but since I was on the site, I decided to poke around a bit more.  I was definitely amused by the Kids drop down menu, where Grown Ups was the bottom link.  But then it turned out to be stuff for parents related to kids, so it wasn't as amusing as I thought.  I was hoping it was like kid stuff for grown ups, like cool complicated coloring pages or something.

Since I had nothing better to do, I clicked on the absolute truths about McDonald's.

Click if you want to read it
Pretty much it said McDonald's in the Middle East are better than the one's in America, in a nice way.  It also talked about how they don't interefere or support any political/religious activities and they have halal certificates.  I had no idea what that was.  It sounded... middle eastern, or Islamic, I couldn't really tell which since one is not ambiguous of the other and vice versa, despite common beliefs, but I clicked it anyways, because I was curious by now.

click to read
It pretty much said, we have standards, bitches.  Sans the bitches part.  And I could view the certificates to prove it.  Again, curious, I did.
Chicken one
Beef one
Fries one
I'm not going to lie, this was probably way more interesting to me than to any of my Gentle Readers.  But, I found it so interesting that I knew that a FB status update just wouldn't suffice.  Hello, ingenious blog idea!

All the time you hear about how entire chickens are ground to make chicken nuggets, which is really some type of freaky paste stuff, breaded and fried, and Americans consume chicken nuggets like there isn't a tomorrow.  I personally don't really do chicken nuggets, and if I do, its because I stole one from someone, and I'll usually de-bread it before I eat it.  I'm strange like that.  I don't eat the chicken nuggets here, but maybe they are better because they are prepared according to Islamic standards, which I'd assume are way better than American standards.

I mean, some Muslim man literally takes a knife, says the magic words, and cuts a chicken to kill it before it can be prepared.  Can you imagine doing that  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  "Bismallah, Allahu Akbar."  cut.  For each chicken.  I don't even begin to fathom how many chickens are killed a day by the Muslim man.  Is there a shortcut for this process?  Because that seems like it would get old.  Like maybe there's a machine of sharp knives in a room and there's a man on a microphone that stands in the room, or the microphone is projected into the room of cows or chickens prepared for slaughter and he says it once and he pushes a button on the machines and all the animals are cut at the same time?  Either way, its effort that I doubt any non-Muslim American would do.

Or so I assume.  I mean, I'm not in the chicken killin' business, but I know there's a Tyson plant not far from where my recruiter's office was.  I'm sure that eventually I'll go on leave or be in America again (haha, see that foreshadowing about America, not about leave..) and I could go ask 'em.  "Oh, excuse me, I was just wondering the steps you took in killing the chickens.  Do you bless them first?  How do the Atheists feel about that?  Do Christians think its blasphemous?  Do Muslims even look at your heathen chickens?  Do you just use a machine?  Do you euthanize them?  Do you cut off all their heads with a massive saber?  Is it a test to see who can kill chickens the fastest?"  I feel like the saber option is probably the most fun.  It's like chicken hockey..  except the purpose is.. cuttin' off chicken heads.  The person who cuts off the most heads the fastest with minimal injury to other parts of the chicken wins.  Sometimes, its so glaringly obvious that I was raised in the south.  heheheheheehe.

So yeah, McDonald's in the Middle East.. They haz standards, yo.  That still doesn't explain why the ketchup packets have to taste so weird though.....

Oh and since its Ramadan, the call center man made sure to offer me an apple or berry pie to go with my meal.  I think my favorite part is that on the ad they offer them a la mode, which if you haven't had an apple pie from McDonald's (heated), with ice cream and caramel... you need to.  One of the few things I learned from the ex-fiance' was that McDonald's did Apple Pie a la mode if you could talk them into it, most employees now don't even know its offered until you tell them, some outright refuse.  Sometimes, they also have brownies a la mode too, that was a good time in my life.. :)



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Things that NEED to be done...

You know those moments in your life where you want to do one thing, but you know you should do another thing?  Or better yet, you never run out of things to do.  Even though all those things are optional.  For me that's a constant state.  There is always something that I could be doing.  Like, when I'm having a 3 hour Private Practice marathon, I could be doing a preemptive strive on my blogs, or reading things on my Google Reader feed that never is cleared out, ever, or looking for housing in MD, or putting away my dishes, or doing the laundry, or taking a nap, or working out, or working on photos .  Or when I'm at work, and I'm piddling around on the internet, I could be studying for my EIDWS board, or updating a recce guide that no one has looked at for months, or making overviews that will get looked at a few times a year, or helping someone else study for EIDWS or the upcoming advancement exam.  I don't know.  I just always feel like there is something else that I could be doing.

Its like I do not allow myself the time to just be.  I mean, all the things I choose to do are things that I want to do.  I want to watch 3 hours of Private Practice, or I wouldn't do it.  I want to get the dishes put away and the laundry done so I don't have to worry about it for the rest of my days off.  I want to write blogs and post them every other day, or I wouldn't do it.  But sometimes, I forget that doing nothing, just stopping to breathe, is ok.

I become wishful of times where there wasn't always something to do when you ran out of things to do.  When you enjoyed someone else's company, just to spend time with that person, not because you felt like it was something you were obligated to do.  When the activity you are doing with someone else is made better by the presence of the other person, whether it be eating a meal, shopping, sharing links on the internet while you sit beside each other, or even just sleeping.

I go through a default list of things to do.
Check FB, maybe update status, check gmail for new chats, nothing there?
Is there a blog ready?  No?  Write blog.  Yes?
Anything interesting on Google Reader?  Yes?  Entertained till something else distracts me.  No?
Have I read my internet comics recently?  No?  Checked.  Yes?
Are there chores that I need to do?  Yes?  Do them.  No?
Is there anything that could be done that I haven't done?  Yes?  Do it.  No?
Check Fb.  Have I worked out?  Yes?  Keep scrolling through FB.  No?
Potentially go work out.  Would I rather watch a tv show?  No?  Reader again.  Yes?
Start tv marathon.

I just can't stop feel like there is always something nagging at me that needs to be taken care of.  I feel no peace. No rest.  I fall asleep fitfully because my brain is racing with thoughts, ideas that should be considered, plans that would be awesome, situations that could work themselves out.. and I wake up to the same level of activity.

What would it be like to live in a non-connected world?  A world without computers and constant communication.  Without telephones.  What would it be like to live in a place, and that place is all you know?  I honestly can't fathom it.  I mean, I can contemplate the idea of being "unplugged".  But that is a choice.  To live in a world where the internet doesn't reach, where the concept of community isn't a place larger than what you know, where your neighbor is probably a family member, where your family is literally all you have, a smaller world, I have no concept of what that life would be like, that was never a choice for me.

This super huge, super speedy, super connected world makes me feel small.  And maybe I wonder if living in a place that was all I knew would make me feel bigger, more significant, less lost, and with less things to fill up my time, with an acceptance of quiet time, and different concepts of community, family, and what my plans actually are.
I'm going to go study my EIDWS stuff now.  :)


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Life drama 2

So, I pretty much decided I want a Kia Sportage EX for my next vehicle.  This decision took me about a month to come to.  In the meantime, I've been looking at the options, test driving, sending Teh Dad and Teh Sister to test drive, getting price quotes from USAA, Navy Federal,,  I've been doing lots of homework related to Kia Sportage.  I'm trying to find the best price and the best time to buy between now and November.  And its tricky.

 Lets start with, do I really want to spend $25,000 (prob plus some) on a vehicle?  Do I really?  No.  Would I to get what I want?  Yes.  Do I really need all those things that I want?  No.  Do I really want all those things that I want because this is the first car I'll have ever bought for myself and I plan on keeping it a very long time?  Yes.  Will I give myself grief down the road for not getting those things that I want?  Yes.  Do I really want to spend over $25k on a vehicle?  No.  Will I?  Probably.  Will I regret it?  Some.

See what I just did there?  That's pretty much a several time a day conversation in my head.  Ugh.  I'm having pre-buyers remorse, what is that?!

Then it comes to dealing with my car now.  Which is finally sorted out, but was very tricky there for a while.  That will be more of a headache come October and we're transferring the car to the guy buying it, so I'm saving that blog for a later time, when I need to rant.  Which I'm sure I'll need to rant, because it will be a situation where I'm having to deal with locals, which usually comes with a frustrating lack of English (on both sides), spending money (hopefully not mine), and will ultimately end up with me no longer owning Teh Kaar, which in turn means walking to work.  Good times.

"You're going too fast" warning...  NOT ok.
Since I know what I'm looking for, I'm trying to get a jump start on the actual purchase.  Shoulda Been a Cowgirl and I went on a Kia Dealership adventure, to include finding the dealership and actually test driving... twice.  The first test drive was on the base model which didn't impress me at all.  I was only allowed to drive it down the street and back since it was someone's already purchased vehicle.  Well then.  We went back later and test drove the highest model and loved it.  The dealer didn't really hassle us, it was nice.  He let us drive it, gave me his card, easy day.  I think he knew because we were Americans (which isn't hard to tell when I open my mouth) we weren't actually going to buy.  I considered it for a moment, but the price of everything in Bahrain is so inflated because their money is worth more than USD.  I also considered the fact that I'm buying a new car when I get back to the states because having to ship my car means time without a car.. which was the issue to begin with.  And buying a car means having to ship it back, which means being without a car, which was back at square 1.  So I got over that idea quickly.  In addition, it would have been the European model, which was the engine I didn't like.  So, definitely no.

Then I went to base, because there is a car dealer on base, who deals mostly with Ford, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeeps.  He was talking to the person in front of me about a Nissan, so I kinda got my hopes up he could help me with a Kia.  Instead he told me "there's a reason they have those warranties," and tried to sell me a Ford Escape.  A manual Ford Escape, after I had clearly said, "I want an automatic, my car now is a manual, and my clutch foot is tired."  I wasn't joking.  People kill me.  Actually, I wanted to kill him because he called during my sleep time, which is pretty much a death sentence to the caller, no matter who it is, unless I really like you.  I was sad that he couldn't help me because they usually give such great deals.  But, I wanted to kill him, so it is probably for the best that I don't see him again.

I talked to Teh Dad and he said he'd test drive an American one for me.  Which he did last weekend, with Teh Sister.  They liked it.  He really liked the SX, because it had the "get up and go", but that's the most expensive model, which I don't even want to pay for.  Teh Sister gave me the email address of the dealer.  When I spoke to Teh Dad and Teh Sister, both spoke highly of the dealer.  Great, a decent car salesman.  Win.

I emailed him a list of things that I required, things I thought were nice options, and things that I didn't want/care for.  This is his email back to me:
Me = not impressed.

1.  No professional writes in all caps.  I've seen people claim they write in all caps because they are dyslexic...  Well, that's what spell check is for, welcome to the 21st century.  You aren't sending me a navy message, so fix yourself.
2.  I'm interested in buying a very expensive car.  Tell me what I'm looking at paying.  I don't care that it isn't November, and there are potentially deals now that won't be available down the road.  I need to know how much I'm spending.  Because that could very much affect other things when it comes to money and the MD situation.
3.  He led Teh Dad and Teh Sister to believe that he really wanted to help me.  He even told them, "Well, I need to eat in November too," implying that he didn't need a sale right away, and was happy to help them help me.  He didn't seem all that happy to help me.  He talked to Teh Dad about payment options and down payments, but he didn't mention any of that to me in the emails.  Again, 21st century, welcome to it.  Email is the way to communicate now, get with it.
4.  Is there something somewhere that says if you don't thank a military member for their service you will get your tires slashed?
5.  My list of "must haves" was 4 things long.  Automatic, keyless entry, power windows/doors, and the reverse assistance thingy.  All of these things are available at the lowest, non-base model.  Again, not impressed.

At this point, I'm willing to find the place with the best deal online and head straight there after getting off a plane in NC.  I'll be tired, grouchy, and probably down right mean, along with being excited over being in America, which means I'll probably be pretty no-nonsense about the whole situation. Get me the best deal, I'll buy your car.  Don't give me a good deal?  Keep your damn car.  Easy day.


Teh Bear warned me that this adventure wasn't over.  I told him I knew, and that was just all the more blog posts/rants for the future.  See, I'm always blog preparin'!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

13. My Worst Subject in School

Some might argue that I never really had a "worst" subject in school.  I made pretty good grades all the way through high school.  Not really sure what happened to me when I got to college, since I wasn't living the party life, but my grades started slipping.  Although I don't consider my 2.968 gpa bad.  But for the most part, the subject I got the worst grades in, historically, was math.
In elementary school, it wasn't so bad.  I don't remember struggling with addition or subtraction.  Multiplication was easy except for 6s, 7s, 8s, and 12s, which I still struggle with to this day for the most part, but I still made the Math Club by 4th grade.  Division is what they made calculators for, especially long division, but its fun if I just sit down and focus on the problem.  Once we started throwing letters (which I'm pretty good at) into my math problems was when things started getting tricky.

That's when I learned to plug and chug.  Anything with a simple formula, I'm golden at (hello, Pythagorean theorem).  Anything backwards, I'm golden (hello, antiderivatives).  But you start adding square roots and multiple sets of brackets and fractions and multiple letters and you're setting me up for disaster.

I'd rather write a 10 page paper in APA format than sit through Calculus.

Luckily, I took Calc in high school.  It was my first class of the day and the teacher has a semi-high pitched voice.  We've already discussed how I'm not a morning person.  Nothing in that class clicked until we started doing everything backwards.  Regular derivatives had blown my mind, but I was one of very few people who actually understood what was happening when we started doing them backwards.

I'm actually not certain how I was lucky enough not to have to endure any math classes during my entire time at NCSU, but I didn't.  No statistics, no calc 2, no college algebra..  just a microeconomics class, which counted as a humanities class, and that didn't even happen at NCSU.  I took that class online through a community college at home to transfer back to State so I could graduate a semester early for sure.

My favorite class... EVAR?
History of the English Language.
I kept all the books from that class.  The final assignment was to do the etymology of a word, which wasn't necessarily a long assignment, but was definitely awesome because it meant playing around in the online Oxford English Dictionary, which just so happens to be the best dictionary...evar.

Learning about the language made me feel like I was stepping back in time.  Realizing, a year too late, that reading Beowulf out loud made it make sense if you used a very bad british accent.  Understanding why some people use the same word but pronounce it differently, or how some words are pieces of words that were lost long ago.  And finally seeing that Latin will never be a dead language, despite the fact that it isn't used in it's true form anymore, every day we are using pieces of the Latin language (and I didn't just say this so Teh Dad will feel reassured about letting me drive to another high school to take Latin was worth it).  :)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

7. How I Shop

Polly Pocket Mansion:
Dance floor, tanning bed, pool, car, greenhouse!?!?
When I was little, Teh Parents stressed saving money.  So, on each birthday, I would put some money in my savings account, and I could keep some of it.  Teh Mom said the savings account was for when I was older and I needed to buy something like a car.  A car, hrm.  Well, at 7 years old, I didn't care about a car.  I cared about a $30 Polly Pocket mansion.  I didn't have $30 though, I had like $10.  But, Teh Mom said, we'll just put it on layaway and then you can just pay little bits on it when you get money.  I didn't like this idea.  I wanted it NOW, like a dutiful 7 year old.  Since I'm not Teh Sister, so I didn't get my way and to layaway the mansion went.

The neighbors!

I was crushed.  I had even promised to play with this thing every day.  It wasn't going to be one of those, yay toy! then the next day, oh who cares toy.  Eventually, I finally paid off the mansion, with a little help from Teh Parents.  I played with that thing all the time.  It was like the Polly Pocket party house.  I'd set up my other Polly Pockets around the house like a neighborhood, and everyone would come swim and dance and be awesome at the mansion.  Eventually, I did stop playing with it, and I have no idea what happened to it.  I have a feeling it got donated or sold, because I do remember thinking, "but I paid $30 for that thing!"

Flash forward, I became a teenager.  I got a job.  Eventually, Teh Granny bought me Teh Kaar (the same car I currently have?  why yes, yes Teh Kaar is my first and only car).  I didn't save money.  I'm not really sure where it all went in actuality.  Being in high school isn't cheap?  We'll just say that.  I made money for things I wanted/needed, most of the time.  And that money that I'd been saving?  There might be some bitterness towards Teh Dad for some not good financial investing that resulted in the loss of almost the entire $750 (which is still a lot of money) that was in my childhood savings account.  Life goes on though.  But I know he reads this, so I like to remind him that I remember these things.  :)

Flash forward, I am an adult.  I got a real job.  I can now afford to save money.  Its mostly delightful, except for when it comes time to spend said saved money (hello, new car with no clever name, furniture, and real life).  But, I've also realized, I often engage in retail therapy.  When I get upset, I buy things.  Which means, the internet is the devil and an enabler.  Arriving in my first overseas duty station?  new camera.  Another year not home for Christmas?  new camera lens.  Godfather died? Arriving in a middle eastern country?  new bed set(s).  Teh Bear leaving Bahrain?  City Center Mall w/ Shoulda Been a Cowgirl and Teh HP Wizard for dress shopping.. 2 days in a row (ouch).
I can haz money tree plskthx?
I keep telling myself that I'm leaving Bahrain soon, so I should stop spending money, but it seems mostly impossible.  People keep leaving Bahrain which means nice dinners out.  Although, I'm certain I've filled my dress quota for the year for these events (but all the new dresses I've bought are sooo cute!).  The money I'm saving hasn't changed, so that's a good thing in the midst of this money storm.

I am excited about new things when I get to MD, like the new car and the new furniture.  All my own, like a real big girl adult.  And eventually, I should definitely get over this retail therapy thing.  Especially because, I have such regret after I spend the money.  Its a very nasty cycle.  And its only ok when I still have receipts and can return things...  Still, should stop.  Anyone know any good solutions?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life drama 1

This probably isn't the first of my blogs about life drama, but this is the first time I've labeled it as such.  I'm thinkin' its pretty clever, so I'm going with it.

I've finally run out of pre-written blogs.  Which makes me kinda sad since I was doing so good at staying on top of the blogging.  Life has kinda been running amuck (spell check says this isn't word, but I'm using it anyways) lately.  Its things I can control, like going out and being social, or choosing to focus on chatting with Teh Bear instead of distractedly giving him 2 word answers while he tries to chat with me while I write a blog, or my Private Practice marathons.  Either way, seems like since Ramadan started, I've been doing more things, which is ironic since its so freaking hot and we have this stupid clothing regulation we have to follow that the locals don't even adhere to.  I really should make a list of reasons I hate being in Bahrain, it would make me feel validated to look back on it later and realize that this place was mostly miserable.

I guess a good indicator of life sucking is when you go to the doc for your yearly wellness assessment and you're told that you're a medium risk and the HM2 has no suggestions for you, because you work at NAVCENT and your life just sucks.  That was actually Teh HP Wizard's experience, but still true nonetheless.

Recently, life has been about planning for November.  Its a lot to look forward to and definitely a lot of planning is required on my part.  Planning is my thing.  But planning also = stressing.  Stressing over things I can't really control, which is kinda pointless.  Which leads to a vicious cycle of me trying to plan.  I start planning, realize I can't do anything because I'm overseas, get frustrated, get stressed, Teh Bear calms me down, I calm down, I become apathetic to planning, I give up planning, I get bored, I realize I miss planning, I start trying to plan again, I get frustrated.... see?

What is happening in November?
Teh Megan GOES TO AMERICA!!!!!!!

I've started progressing in small steps.  Transfer package = step #1.  One glitch in the transfer package equation. Are you planning to ship a vehicle to the U.S.?  ____ Yes      _____ No

A few months ago, a local approached me and asked if my car was for sale.  I told him not at the time, but potentially down the road, before I left Bahrain.  I got his number and told him if I decided to sell it, I'd call him.  Well, it was time to call.

After looking at it, and taking it for a test drive, he had the money to buy the car 2 days later.  He had misunderstood when I had told him I needed to know if he wanted to buy it within the next 10 days (because the transfer package has a deadline).  He thought that meant he needed to buy it from me in the next 10 days.  After 2 calls in the middle of my sleeping time from his english speaking friend, I finally explained that I needed to know for paperwork purposes, but didn't want to actually sell the car until October (definitely will need to keep my car until late October, its hot in Bahrain and walking to work doesn't sound like fun to me, kthx).  He seemed to understand.   I did assure him that I would definitely sell it to him in October and wouldn't put a sign in my car to sell it in the meantime, that I would contact him in October and we could get the paperwork stuff settled and it would be his.  Promise.  He said ok.  Glad that was settled.  That only caused moderate drama for 24 hours.

What does all that really mean?

This means Teh Megan will be purchasing a vehicle when she arrives in America.  Rah, for meeting the stereotype of deployed sailor returns home and buys new car.  I'm looking at the 2011/12 Kia Sportage.  I went and talked to the car dealer man on base, because they offer some pretty nice deals, and he told me, "There's a reason Kia's have 100,000 mile warranties.  They also don't drive well."  At which point I promptly responded, "Well, I've test driven one, and its what I want."  He then proceeded to tell me how great the Ford Escape is and started looking in his database for Escapes.  He later emailed me a quote for a $17k one that had a lot of extras!  Those extras included everything a base model has, nothing more.  A/C isn't a perk buddy, its standard.  Rah.  It also included a manual transmission, which I had already said no to.  I was apparently wasting my breath with Mr. Car Dealer Man.  I wasn't impressed.  I went back online and read more Sportage reviews.  They aren't bad on gas, people say they drive stiff so they can feel every bump in the road, but I'm used to driving 4 inches off the ground, so when I drove it, it felt smooth to me.  I talked to Teh Dad and he is going to try and test drive one for me in the near future to tell me what its like, since the American base model and European base model (which I did test drive) have different features/engines, and I definitely wasn't a fan of the European base engine... or that stupid 120kmh warning.

After I arrive to MD in my new vehicle, I will need to find a place to live.  Preferably with 2 bedrooms and at least 1.5 baths and a yard (fenced in if neighbors are close) and will allow dogs.  I'm not picky or anything.  If nothing else, this will at least narrow down some options.  I'd prefer a townhouse type place, if I was given the choice of townhouse vs apartment, in a dream world, I'd find a house, but not holding my breath on that one.

After I find said place, I will then need to buy furniture.  A LOT OF FURNITURE.  I currently own 5 pieces of furniture: a skirtless loveseat with a very uncomfortable fold out bed and a recliner with a broken arm because the movers ripped it off (thanks, jerks), and 3 tables... with hearts (they were given to me).  I could have gotten the recliner fixed, but it is so old, its really not worth the headache of doing the fixing it paperwork through HHG, especially when English is the 2nd language of most people that work in the office.

So, a bed, a mattress, a couch, end tables, a chair, a dining room table, chairs for the dining room table, maybe a desk, maybe a tv, something to put a tv on, a book case (or a few), night stands, kitchen stuff, washer and dryer, microwave.. Idk, things that fill a house.  Things that came with my Bahrain apartment.

I considered buying a townhouse, but I'm not really sure what the market is like and/or if there are places within a range that I could afford.  In addition to all the other expenses of American living that I'll be incurring.

cell phone
car/property insurance
moving expenses (I've learned that even if the Navy gives you money to move, its never quite as much as what you actually spent)
new uniforms (including that stupidly expensive goretex, which I will actually have to get before I arrive, but it is for MD)

I'm sure there are other things that I'm leaving out that I just can't remember right now.  Because while living in Bahrain is expensive.  I don't have to pay for electricity.  My gas bill is practically non-existent (yay Middle East), my cell phone is prepaid and I rarely use it since Skype is free, I don't pay for internet (unlike GTMO), I did pay for car insurance and my renters insurance, but they were fairly cheap since my car is old and my furniture was provided.

On the other hand of planning, I am retardly excited about the proximity I will be in of really awesome things.. liiiikeeeee My Raleigh Parents (my last roommates from college who moved to Philly), Mrs. Boomkin and Mr. Voices, Washington DC (helllllo photo opportunities (cherry blossoms in the spring, national monuments, etc) and/or lots of people I know).  I'm also halfway between NY and NC.  Which means that a trip to see the NY relatives is more of a possibility than it has been.

Its nice to daydream about all these things, but its a lot more stressful to actually make these things happen.  And everyone has already told me, you don't leave for a few months.  EXACTLY!  A FEW months.  So far I've only received one email from my sponsor, and I know there are people that don't even get a sponsor, but I'm kinda psycho, and I have lots of questions (which my old LPO can attest to from when I got my orders to Bahrain, I sent him at least 2 pages of questions) that I'd like answered or at least some friendly guidance about the area/places to live/how my job will be/etc.  Its just nice to know things before you have to dive head first into them... for me anyways.

I can haz stress-free PCS?  No, ok fine.  Just as long as I can haz 'Merica.


Saturday, August 6, 2011


I stole this from another blog.  Their responses didn't have as much description, but I'm an overachiever.  Consider yourself entertained.

Four jobs I've had in my life.

1. Student. This job has actually consumed most of my life. I've only not been a student for around 3ish years (not including those years before I was eligible). I graduated from NCSU in Dec 2007, and once I joined the Navy it was back to school for training, which lasted almost a year. Since then, I've done my job and had no more "schooling" which has definitely been a relief. Teh Mom tried to talk me into getting my master's degree, and when I asked her if she was paying for it, she said no, so I told her no I wasn't getting my masters anytime soon. I needed a break from the student thing. Srsly.

2. Tour Guide for a Historical Home (Fort Defiance, Lenoir, NC). I <3 this job. It was amazing, but it was kinda far out in the boonies, and Teh Dad "encouraged" me to find another job closer so that way it wasn't so much gas. I think he really just didn't like driving out there (since I didn't have a car), which is why I often enlisted the help of my then boyfriend. Even after I got a job closer to home, I still volunteered at Fort Defiance (home of General William Lenoir) until I left for college, and even for a while during college. Best job ever and such an awesome boss!

3. Retail hell. I've definitely had way more than one retail job so this one kinda encompasses them all. I was a grocery store cashier, then deli worker, then I jokingly applied for a job at an "adult toy store" and actually got the job (this was among several other applications that I'd put in), I worked at Kohl's for a summer, and I worked at Target (which was definitely the best retail job I had) for a while.

4. Waitress. I learned a lot in this job. A lot about people, a lot about the food industry, a lot about myself. I sometimes made less than $500 a month at Texas Roadhouse (which I will always say makes the best steaks), and it was sometimes a feat to see how I would contribute to groceries, rent, and the bills, and still have money for gas or if I got sick (which did happen once, which was the final step in me cancelling my health insurance). When I applied there, the manager asked why someone with a college degree would want to work as a waitress (because I was actually hoping for the bartending job), I said, 1. TRH has delicious food. 2. I need a job. I was hired.

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. Catch and Release. This is a Jennifer Garner movie and it has Kevin Smith (who actually speaks). It was rated pretty badly, but I super liked the music and the idea behind the movie. And it had the most intimate/romantic sex scene I've seen without being too cheesy or tacky. The ending was kinda cliche, but I was okay with it.

2. Pride and Prejudice. The Kiera Knightly version. I read the book after I watched the movie and the movie was better, IMO. And the ending scene just makes my heart go all aflutter, which is definitely a girly thing.

3. Garden State. The music was amazing, the movie had a decent enough plot (even though some of the drug references were lost on me), there were some cutesy scenes, and they got together in the end. Rah

4. The Family Stone. OMG <3. I'm a sucker for Cmas movies (hello, Love Actually). I'm also a sucker for movies with several layers of plot. The ending was a little awkward (switching to a different brother and your sister going after the brother you dumped? Hrm, hope no one gets married), but I liked how the characters overcame their differences and tackled the secret of the movie. Boobies have never made me cry more, and apparently sex on Christmas Eve is ok, well alright then, noted. Downside, Sarah Jessica HorseFace... ugh. But the rest of the movie makes up for her face.

Four TV shows I love to watch:

1. Grey's Anatomy. If you know me, you know that this show is my FAVORITEST SHOW EVAR. I'm one of those people. But, in my defense, I didn't get into Grey's until well after it became popular. Pirate Gone Marine endured watching Seasons 1-3 while we were dating and he even would sit down and watch it with me (I was in Raleigh, he was in Lenoir) when it would come on. I'd call during commercial breaks with my outbursts. Teh BFF also got into Grey's and while we lived together it was always an event. We'd make chocolate martinis and stake out our corners on the skirtless loveseat, cell phones close by or turned off. Zeplen would plop down between us, and the family was set for 43 minutes of delightful Grey's Anatomy entertainment. Christina was definitely my favorite character. She's no nonsense and very nonchalant about pretty much everything. Crazy Christina wasn't really my thing though and everyone getting hitched off is getting annoying.

2. Brothers and Sisters. I'm very sad this show was cancelled. I enjoyed the back and forth between all the characters. I did get a little tired of the same plot line repeating over and over, and when they killed off Rob Lowe I was pretty much crushed. Sarah was probably my favorite character as a strong female, which is just as cliche as it sounds, judge me if you want.

3. Mad Men. I'll be pretty upset if this show doesn't come back. It was almost ruined for me because of the Megan with the bad teeth (OMG! No!). Not only do we share the same name, with the same spelling, but I have thing for teeth, and her's were just.. not ok with me. Also, Mad Men brought back the styles of clothing that I love, so I might be biased.

4. Modern Family. HILARIOUS! OMG <3. This is the most recent show Teh Bear and I watched together, and we finished season 2 while he was in Bahrain. I love Cam's shirts. I love Phil's cheesy jokes. I love Claire's obsessive issues. I love how dramatic Cam and Mitch are. I love how Gloria and Jay's relationship is unconventional. So much smiles.

Four places I have been on vacation:

Crazy horse at OBX

1. Outer Banks, NC. Its the beach. Rah.  I floated Teh Kaar there once.  No jk.

Artist's Way,
Yellostone Nat'l Park
2. Big Sky, Montana. Yellowstone, then a lovely drive to Washington state to visit the relatives in Wenatchee, and then a drive to Seattle meant that Teh Kaar had traversed all the way across the U.S. Plus, snow in June. WIN.

3. Saranac, NY. This includes a lovely drive up the east coast. Usually involved camping with the grandparents and cousins. Much fun. I've not been to NY since I was with my ex-fiance. Hrm. I should remedy that.

Mrs. Boomkin, Mr. Voices, and me :)
4. Ewing, NJ. This was when I met Mr. Voices and Mrs. Boomkin in person. We had such a blast having LAN parties and playing World of Warcraft till ridiculous times in the morning, watching Mr. Voices play softball, and we visited NYC (my first time) where we had photos with the Naked Cowboy and a ferry ride on the Hudson River. And we went to Philly where we enjoyed the museum and then I was required to get cheese steaks from Pat's with our friend Skaveybaby (who I was also meeting in person for the first time), who met us there. SUPER awesome time. Also, they have the most comfortable red couch. And Lola and Zep became BFFs. Score.

So what are your Four Things??


Friday, August 5, 2011

Desert chill

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here before, but my Bahrain apartment is cool.  Seriously.  Literally.  Cool as in chilly, and thats the way I like it.
Goose bumps are weird.  
Its awesome because there are 2 thermostats.  One for the living area and one for the bedrooms.  Score.  Ok, its awesome for more reasons than that, but they don't apply to this post.

I keep my living area about 21-23*C/69-73*F, while my bedrooms stay at a delightful 18-19*C/64-66*F (don't judge my asterisk, there isn't a degree symbol and I'm not techy enough to know a keyboard shortcut for a degree sign).  Something I didn't get from my family, an acceptance of "warm" temps for my household.  It also helps that I don't pay my power bill.  Although, even when I lived with Teh BFF, our apartment was always warmer than my current temps.  To battle that, I had a fan in my room.  I like it cold, what can I say.

Growing up, we had a wood stove which heated the house.  Teh Dad kept it so warm hot that people knew to bring shorts with them to our house if they were visiting...  in the middle of the winter.  I was always complaining growing up during the summer how hot it was in our house after I'd come in from being outside.  Teh Parents would always just tell me to let my body cool down and it wouldn't feel so hot.  This was only partially true.  76-78*F isn't cool by Teh Megan standards for the summer.  Its good that I'm an adult now and decide my own temps.

In the desert though, its delightful to walk into a frigid apartment after being outside.  You feel the sweat that was running down your back freeze in place.  You feel cool and refreshed again.  When I got here, one of the guys that went through indoc with me insisted that going from the extreme heat outside to cooler temps inside made people sick, and he didn't want to be sick, so he didn't plan to run his AC while he was here.

Good on him.  Not me though.

In the desert, rockin'
that sweatshirt!
I better be able to practically see my breath.  Ok, thats a little extreme.  But, only kinda.  I'm sitting in my bed typing this (yay laptop!) and I'm wearing a short sleeve shirt.  Pretty sure my arms have chill bumps.  But, its so delightful when my body is all in the covers, or I'm wearing long sleeves.  During the "winter" in Bahrain, there are photos of me wearing my NC State sweatshirt while in my apartment.  And, when we had PT at 0530, people used to show up in their Navy sweats (classy) because it was so cold.  By cold it was mid-70s (F).

While Teh Bear was here (yeah, go ahead and brace yourself for lots of these references for a while, Gentle Reader), he commented about how I could turn up the temps in my apartment and not have to wear fleece pants and long sleeves around my apartment.  Silly Bear.

I explained to him that my fleece pants weren't because I was cold (mostly a lie, since often I also wear socks, but the tile is cold!), its because my fleece pants are awesome.  As for the long sleeves, its because often I like to have one arm out of the covers while I'm sleeping, and I don't like for that arm to get cold.  To make the long sleeves applicable for awake time, the places in my apartment where I usually sit are where the vents hit me.  But when I'm in the kitchen or moving around, the temp is comfortable, so I just accept the wearing of long sleeves, fleece pants, and socks.

One of the funniest moments of Teh Bear's stay in Bahrain was definitely one morning about mid-vacation.  We both magically got out of the bed at the same time.  It was kinda strange though, because we didn't do our normal lay in the bed for a few minutes, then get up.  No, we both got up, and started our morning routines.  Banyo, Carnation Instant Breakfast shake, internet check.  We'd prob been up for about 20 minutes, minimal chatting, as it was still early, and I'm not really a functioning morning person, which we've acknowledged.  Unless I'm ready to be awake, my communication consists of grunts and slight nods.

Finally, I was ready to make words.  I asked him what he was doing, and he said looking at FB.  Eh.
Then at the same time we said:
Teh Bear: I think I'm going back to bed.
Teh Megan: I'm freezing.  Lets go back to bed.
We looked at each other, started giggling, at which point we both got up from our computers, I did a silly run to the bedroom and jumped in the bed.  Teh Bear was much cooler about it than me, because he just walked his long strides, and was still right behind me, he jumped in the bed right after me and we both covered up with the sheet, comforter, and B.o.B. (what is B.o.B.?).

We giggled to ourselves while we snuggled, both of us freezing.  As the dutiful girlfran' (this is the modification of the word "girlfriend" which I stole from someone on FB because I was making fun of them, and its just stuck because its so fucking ridiculous), I made sure to put my ice cube toes on Teh Bear's legs, making him squeal, in a very manly way.

I guess its good that I'm headed to MD next.  Maybe I'll get the snow I've been pining for, for years now.  Although, I am slightly worried that my Caribbean/desert thin blood really won't bode well in the cold.  Its just a good thing I look good in layers.  Oh wait, I wear a uniform now.  Fuck, that stupid digi coat is stupid expensive.  FML.  I can haz gortex for life?  :)