Friday, September 30, 2011

Preparing for the future

If you weren't aware, November 4th is quickly approaching, hallelujah.  But before November 4th is October 24th and before that is October 4th.  You don't really care about these dates, but I do.  Because Oct 4th and 24th are the days the movers are coming to take my belongings, and you have no idea how NOT excited I am about smelly arabs being in my apartment.

Yellow = moving days, Green = for Courk, Red = VERY IMPORTANT, Black = MD, :) = America!
Do YOU remember?
The only date Teh Sister cares about in October is the 10th.  It's her birthday.  She'll be 21.  It's cool that she was born on a year that ends in zero, because that means whatever number year it is, plus however many decades old she is, that's what number her age is.  It's pretty much the only way I have of keeping up with what year she was born, besides those annoying 10-10-220 ads in the late 90s.  Teh Bear is the same way, sans the born in 1990 part.  Lucky me.

Recently, I made a list of things the movers can take in their first sweep and things that needed to stay behind for the last 20 days.  I have to say, its really hard to sit in your bed and think of all the things you want to have packed away until further notice.  There are also things that are hard to remember, like my big blue circle chair.  I was staring at it the entire time I was making the list, and still didn't see it as something that could be packed, although it can be.

The biggest things area of things that I want to keep for the last 20 days is kitchen stuff.  When I told the personal property guy (PPG) this he said, "Your apartment didn't come furnished?"
tM: Yes.
PPG: It didn't have pots and pans?
tM: ...It had a pan and a dirty spatula, spoon, and small knife.
PPG: Your building owner sucks.
tM: Tell me about it.

The Navy could save a lot of money by reducing money they give sailors in Bahrain for housing.  We can't pocket any of the money, so it all goes to the building owners, unlike with BAH in America.  As an E5, I pay 756BD a month for housing.  Oh, you want that in American?  $2011.96.. EVERY MONTH.  Locals would pay no more than 400BD for the same exact place, but because they know that we're military, they charge as much as we are allowed to get.  Who says that military members are the only ones committing waste, fraud, and abuse?

So because my building owner sucks, I'm having 2 packouts.  PS, I still love my apartment, sans the bugs.

The first one will be stuff that I don't need.  Which will include the love seat and recliner (that have been serving as booster chairs for boxes in the storage room), decorations, picture frames, books, hopefully candles, the floor lamp, big blue circle chair, wrapping box, uniforms that I won't be needing anytime soon..  There's probably more stuff hidden away that I could find to be packed away.  The first shipment is supposed to arrive in MD mid-Nov, so anything that I would like to have as soon as possible should be sent with the first packout.

The 2nd packout will be anything remaining that doesn't get mailed home or packed in my suitcases.  It isn't set to arrive in MD until mid-Dec.  I'm, again, planning on doing the suitcase living for at least 2 months.  Rah.  That should include all my kitchen stuff and whatever clothes don't get put in suitcases.  I'm mailing the uniforms that I'll need in MD to NC, so that way they will be there before I arrive and I can just throw the entire box in the new car with my suitcases, essentially saving valuable suitcase space for more important things.. like pants and sweatshirts.

The difficult part about the entire process is the waiting.  I feel like I can make it sound so simple.  I can plan it out and have everything done before hand if I wanted.  But, it all relies on others, which I super struggle with.  I'm a Type-A control freak.  I'm sure as soon as the movers enter my apartment and start going through everything I'm going to want to freak out on them... instead I'll just light some candles and mutter under my breath while saying, NO that doesn't go.  They will then do their bobble head thing and probably wrap it and put it in a box anyways.

At the end of September, a guy from the moving company stopped by to do a survey on what I'll be moving, so that way he knows what the movers will need to bring for packing stuffs.  He spoke pretty good English, but I doubt any of the movers will understand any of the Southern Drawl that pours from my mouth.  He asked that I have the stuff that I want in the first packout separated so that way its easier for the movers.  What I took that to mean was, they probably won't speak English, so anything you say to them, sans pointing, will be met with the bobble-head-nod and a noxious cloud of body odor.  Grand.

When I had my packout in GTMO, I didn't do anything.  Actually, I just sat on my bed to stay out of the way.  4 Jamaican men were jamming stuff in boxes so quickly that I was mostly in awe.  So this time, I apparently have to help?  Meh.

An organized mess, this is what my dreams of moving look like.  (image)

 *HHG = Household Goods, which can be used interchangeably with personal property..  aka my shit.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I've given the blog a face lift.

I had some complaints that it took forever for the page to load (good things to tell me, ya'll).  I tried to make it a pretty simple layout.  Not mega-huge photos as the background mainly.  I also kept it dark so that way my eyes were happy while reading it.  I know that a white background looks crisp and clean and neat.. but its also blinding.  If you want a white background, subscribe to my blog in Google Reader.  Voila, white backgrounds, along with a semi-jacked up layout, but who's picky?  When you work in the dark like me, dark pages attract less attention than bright pages (i.e. FB).

I also enabled the mobile view, which I didn't even realize wasn't turned on (Teh Megan fail).

Please let me know if something doesn't work or is "off"..  I will try to take them seriously and remedy what I can (if I agree) with my limited working knowledge of the blogger template editor.

Now if I could just figure out how to make the background for the create post page darker.

I was going to go with one of the new blogger layouts, but they just weren't exactly what I was looking for.  I love my sidebar with all those crazy links on it.

The other new thing is Teh Bear's blog is now linked under the can I decide another day banner.  He just started his blog and he goes on these epic, yet entertaining rants.  We've also discussed the idea of a joint blog (now that he's entered the blogging world), but he's not ready to make a commitment to 2 blogs yet.  He says he'll never post that much.  He also suggested combining blogs, to expand our reader base, but for now we're takin' small steps and just making the tabs at the top so people have the option to read what they want.

I know that I could make my blog a lot more organized by separating my blogs into different tabs (like a cooking tab, a Bahrain tab, a MD tab, etc), but that's still a lot of work for me at this point, so we'll see.  I think for now I like the ability to have everything all in one place, even if you have to click that stupid "older" link at the bottom to get back blogs.  The new layout just automatically loaded older posts, which I really liked, but it took away my sidebar, which really crushed my soul.

Google hasn't won them all yet, but they are getting closer each day.  :)

Reminder: please do let me know if you see/think of any issues!  kthx.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Kitchen Experiments

A while ago, I read a blog that contained a recipe for "baked cinnamon chips".  I was interested in trying this recipe because I have 1.5 containers of cinnamon sugar from GTMO when I used to make cinnamon toast every morning at work.  But the other thing I thought of when I saw this recipe was... SOPAPILLAS!!!!

Teh BFF and I used to eat at Pancho Villa's a LOT before I left for the Navy.  1.  They have amazing food.  2.  We both like Mexican.  3.  They have sopapillas.

I stole this from the Pancho Villa FB page, and I have no idea who thee people are (but it must be his birthday, thus the sombrero), but the plate at the bottom of the photo is the best dessert this restaurant offers.
That is a delightful concoction of tortilla, melted butter, cinnamon, sugar, and honey.  It's gooey, messy, and so much tasty-goodness that it's almost impossible for me to describe with words.

I finally decided to try this recipe, since I'm also trying to rid myself of all the food in my apartment before the end of October.

It was stupidly easy, even for me.

1 package of tortillas
Some melted butter
Honey (preferred)

If you clicked the original recipe link, she stresses the importance of having a pizza slicer.  Well, lucky for me, I love pizza, so much so I have TWO pizza slicers.  I did the directions kinda out of order, but thats nothing unusual for me.

I cut up the tortilla like I would a pizza, so the chips would be like actual tortilla chip shapes and placed them on a ungreased cookie sheet.  Then I took a spoon (since I'm not fancy enough to own a kitchen brush (yet)), and spread melted butter all over the tortillas.  Then I took my handy-dandy cinnamon-sugar and distributed plentiful amounts onto the "chips".

I slid them into the oven for 10-15ish minutes.  No idea on what temp, prob about 200°C (since that's the general area that my oven stays at).  I took them out and they looked burnt and I was kinda sad that I had ruined this experiment.
Oh no!  They are burnt!
SIKE!!  It was just the cinnamon.  HA!  I win!  I didn't have the honey, but if I had added more melted butter and honey, and was sharing with Teh BFF, it would have almost been like being back at Pancho Villa.

These were crunchy and delicious.  I'm sure they were probably a bit more healthy without the extra melted butter and honey anyways.

Lucky for me, I have plenty more tortillas.  Obviously, I had eaten a few off the pan already (they were cinnamony and delicious, there was no resisting!).  My pan held 2 tortillas.  I was able to just shake the pan a few times after taking it out of the oven to loosen the ones stuck to the pan.

I'd rate this as high as the rating goes.  I dirtied minimal dishes, just the measuring cup and pan, and it only took me 5 minutes to assemble and 10 minutes to cook.  Easy day.  Just the way I like it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Tinnny bugs.. OMFG.

Oh, did I redecorate without my own knowledge?  A new contemporary art form?  NO.

I was moving stuff around in my kitchen and this box of Coke (-Cola) has been sitting on my counter for months.  No biggie.  It's Coke.  I know it hasn't been moved since Teh Bear was here, because originally there were 2 boxes of Coke.  So anyways, moved this box and found THE MOTHER OF ALL BUG MASS GRAVES.  WTF?!?!?!

Officially, I'm skeeved out.  I have chill bumps all over my body and feel like I need to go take a scalding hot shower for principle purposes.

And for the record... if I hadn't already made it clear:

Friday, September 23, 2011


Not sure what you're seeing?  Well, let me tell you.  This is my bowl of cereal that I was enjoying.  Seriously enjoying.. Thinking, Fruit Loops, you are delicious!  (Chuckolas would understand this reference.)  Then, I saw something in my bowl move, and it wasn't a loop.  Then it bobbed back up, resuming the floating.  A BUG!!!!???!?!?!??!  WTF!?!  Then, I started using my 3910* eyes.. TWO BUGS!?!?!!!!  NOT OK!

The Bastard Bugs have breached the defenses of the Fruit Loops bag.  I not only had it tightly rolled up, but also had a clip on it!

*3910 is my rate designation, that indicates that reading imagery is my specialty.  We are always looking for very small details/things other people wouldn't notice/see due to their untrained eyes.

I can haz November?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tiiiiny Bugs.... invading my apartment.

So.. for the tiny bug update.. I give you actual mass graves.

Right side of guest room door frame

Left side of guest room door frame..  some even tried to get away..

Come brothers, we will die together and there will be virgins waiting for us in heaven!
Even the bugs are Islamic?  Insensitive?  My bad.  

They are actually between the cutting boards and under my pans also.. but this was the most concentrated area.

We aren't good enough friends for you to use my sponge for your pillow Mr. Bastard Bug.
Maybe the exterminator's stuff is working.. Slowly.  Because I've still seen several alive bugs.  To include one crawling on my shirt last night.  NOT OK.  I'm sure it came from the notebook that I was writing in, which was sitting on the living room table, but that's not the point.  I'm am no bug's friend, especially if they think that I'm for walking on.  I KILLED that sucker.  SQUISHED HIM DEAD.

I can haz November yet?


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tiiiiiny bugs, in my cabinets..

That title is to the tune of the Tiny Bubbles cadence.  Tiny bubbles!  in my whiskey, makes me happy...
Except, I'm not happy about tiny bugs.  AT ALL.

They are everywhere.  I discovered them in the unopened bag of rice, they are all the time creepin around inside my cabinets, they infest grains.  They don't like sweets, which I tested.  Teh HP Wizard didn't know it, but while she was here, I left some buttercream icing on the counter on purpose instead of cleaning it up, and the bugs didn't come near it.  I'm not really sure wtf is going on, but these bugs are creeping me out.  While Teh HP Wizard was here, the exterminator came, but these bugs aren't dying.  They even crawled into my water dispenser, where they promptly drowned.  So they obviously aren't smart bugs.. I just can't figure out what to eliminate (because its not like I'm leaving food out on my counters) to eliminate these bugs.  So.. I'll just keep dealing with it for another month, and then move out.  Problem not solved, but what's a girl with minimal time and options to do?

I can't figure out what type of bug these are.. but I did take photos to share with you, because I'm awesome.

The best close up I could get from in a bowl of water.

These were in my water cooler, plus one that was actually IN the water bottle, one that didn't drain out, and 2 that were trying to crawl in that I found on the outside of the bottle at the water hole.

Kamikaze Brothers, in (a drowning) death.

This is like the place to die, aka the mass grave.  There were at least 3 more in various places along the walls of the cabinet, we won't talk about the other side of the cabinet...
I was feeling pretty confident about my microwave being a safe place, but when I went to use it this afternoon, I saw one crawling on the inside of the door.  My vengeance on these bastard bugs is to flick them off whatever surface they are on.  When I went to sit on the couch, there was one crawling along the back cushions and I flicked that mo-fo into oblivion.  Flicking them seems like more of a sudden death (hopefully) or at least stuns the bugs and gets them out of my sight, or at least that is what I like to imagine.  It also means minimal contact with the bug for me, because killing them seems mostly ineffective.

I will assume these are a Bahrain bug and no one can tell me what they actually are.  I just hope I don't bring these bastards back with me, because they seem to be immune to whatever the bug guy put down if they stay far away enough.  For now, I'll keep checking my dishes before I use them, and glasses of water before I drink them... le sigh.

Hating this place, like always.  America made me a snob with, apparently, exceedingly high standards, and while I try to fight this because I'm definitely in a place with practically NO standards, I just can't settle for bugs cohabitating with me.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

ID dilemma .. the solution.

Within the last week, I posted about my ID dilemma.  How I didn't really want to get a new one, but knew it was time.  So I was sucking it up and just going to take the plunge.

My frocking ID helped me understand
why paygrade and rank weren't
the same on the ID.
I also forgot to explain what "frocking" is.  Frocking is not a dirty word.. despite its close cousin with the U minus the R.  In the Navy, to advance to the next rank E4-E6, you have to take a test, and for E7 too, but that also requires some other stuff.  This is either in September or March.  You usually find out the results of your test a few months later.  If you are selected to advance, you are "frocked".  Which means you assume the responsibilities of that rank, but not the pay.  That usually comes even more months down the road, at which point you are actually your new rank, despite having been wearing it for the past 8 months.  It's a Navy only thing to my knowledge.  Being frocked is a bad time to get in trouble, because you are still actually the rank you're getting paid (not your new rank), so if you get bumped down in rank, you don't go back to where you were to start with, you go to the rank below what you were.

Back to the ID dilemma...  Let me show you what I had.

hehehehehehe.. this will always be my greatest ID photo.
This was the frocking ID photo that Miss Reflective witnessed.  I knew going in that it was going to be hard to beat this face.  For starters, I ended up with that face in the middle of making a bunch of silly faces, so this was definitely a by-luck face.

I felt like I needed to practice some faces.  So I made faces at Teh Bear, and he screen shotted them so I could see what they looked like.... and so I'd have something to blog about.

Crossed eye, not looking at the camera 
Crossed eye, kinda looking at the camera 
Both eyes crossed.
Teh Bear suggested that I just walk in with crossed eyes and stay like that for the entire appointment, because if I'm consistent with the look, then there's nothing wrong with looking like that on my ID.  Well, crossing my eyes isn't difficult, but holding the crossed eyes for long periods of time starts to make my head hurt, so I didn't do his idea.  He was slightly miffed, but it was just going to be too much work.

I walked to the CAC lab with my sleeves down, because the day prior I had gotten sweaty walking across base in my blouse with the sleeves rolled up and decided it needed to be washed, and since I'm not a sleeve rolling master, they stayed unrolled.  It was stupid hot on my walk, in the desert, across the entire base.  I'm glad they gave me a bit to cool down so my face wouldn't be all flushed.  I explained how much I was going to miss my old ID and they were kinda baffled.  Who misses their ID?  Then I told them it was all about the photo.  At which point, the PS looked at the ID card, started laughing, and instantly understood.  I mean scroll back up to that top picture..  You'd miss that too.

This ID photo only took 3 shots.  The first time, my head was turned to the side too much.  The 2nd shot, I looked too normal (yes, I just said that).  And then the final shot looked like this:

Teh Face full of winning.
Completely ridiculous.    I look like I might not have any teeth, which to me, makes it even more amusing.  This one isn't as funny as my frocking ID photo, but its still worth a chuckle.  When I showed my Chief, he just shook his head and walked away laughing.

There's a very undeniable "Teh Megan" head shake that certain people have.  Generally, my leadership/parents.  Like when I do something very Teh Megan, they just start shaking their head.  Not in a disappointed way, but in a not-really-surprised-she-would-do-something-like-that type way.  Teh Dad does it a lot.  It's usually followed with, "Oh, Megifer."  Which makes me laugh.

So, the ID dilemma has been solved.  I'm glad that it wasn't a painful experience, other than the heat.  It's rare to find an actual human being with a soul (in the military) that appreciate someone's desire to make other people laugh, even if it is just via an ID card.


Friday, September 16, 2011

I'm addicted, its a crisis!

If you are singing Ke$ha now, we can be friends.  :)
Why does she have to look like a drug addict?  (image)
Things I'm pretty sure I have an addiction to:
1.  Facebook.  Is there anyone that doesn't have this problem.. besides people that don't have a facebook?

2.  Carnation Instant Breakfast.  Its like chocolate milk every morning, but healthy.  And apparently since I have boobs, I need extra calcium, and I don't drink plain milk, so this also helps put the check in the box for drinking milk.

3.  Being clean.  Not that this one is bad, and maybe some would call it good habits, but if I'm not clean, I'm grouchy.  Thus, its an addiction.

4.  My water bottle.  I sometimes often don't drink enough water.  But, I'm more likely to consume more water if it's in the Camelbak bottle that Worldwide Jesus Lover (this name is derived from her missionary status, which for a short duration of time put us back on close latitudes) got me.  I almost lost my water bottle when Teh Granny and I went to Yellowstone.  We might be soul mates, because it found its way back to me.
5.  Blistex Raspberry Lemonade Blast chapstick.  BEST CHAPSTICK EVAR.  No jk.  I think I found it while I was in GTMO and it was the best stuff ever.  Teh Bear has kept me supplied with it since I've been in Bahrain.  Just another thing that makes him great.  I made everyone at work smell the best chapstick ever, because it is the best chapstick ever because they were laughing at me for saying that.  Then they smelled it and understood.  So delicious!

6.  Teh Kaar.  Maybe this isn't really an "addiction", maybe its more like lust/devotion, in the non-sexual way.  My car depends on me to keep it going, and I depend on it to keep me going.  If I didn't have Teh Kaar, I'm not sure what I'd do, especially in Bahrain.  It will be a very sad day when I actually sell it to Jassim.  Teh Granny already reminded me to take pictures with it before its gone.  She's right.  I'll have to put it beside the first photo of me standing beside Teh Kaar (which I can no longer find on my computer).

Teh Kaar
7.  Music.  When its quiet, I'm usually signing in my head.  When there is music, I'm usually signing outloud.

8.  Making lists of 3 things, or in sets of 5 things..  As in, I can't stop until there are at least 10 items on this list.  This could also be called OCD.

9.  I'm really struggling to think of 2 more things I'm addicted to.  So now I'm just making shit up to fill up number slots to prove a point.

10.  Blogging.  I really do feel bad when I don't maintain my regular schedule, like I have a fan base or something that actually cares about when I post blogs.. hahaha.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Finally IDW!!

After 5ish months, I am finally PO2(IDW)!!!!

EIDWS (Enlisted Information Dominance Warfare Specialist) pin on DCUs (desert cami uniform).
EIDWS is one of the searches that gets my blog enough hits for me to consider them significant.  That and the myspace turd girl, which almost makes me want to remove that picture, but it was an integral part of that post, so it survived.. for now.  I still can't believe there is still so much interest in that photo.

Let's talk about my EIDWS process.

I technically started the EIDWS program in March, or at least that's when I routed the chit, because that was the month after the program was finalized at NAVCENT and they started doing training briefs, which meant that the program was actually available.  I didn't get to start going to the training until April/May because I was on nights.

Once I started going, I got lucky enough that it was at the same time they decided to do Saturday briefs, which was many sections all at once, which was how I was able to get my signatures so quickly.  Since no one really had had the pin yet, going to the briefs was the easiest way to get the signatures.  For the different shop sections you could go and get qualifiers to sign, but it was much easier to just go to the briefs, get the signature, and call it a day vs finding time in your schedule and theirs to meet one on one.

Now that more people have their pin, they can sign off for the common core, and you can still go to briefs/to qualifiers to get 200 section signatures, which makes things a little easier, and at a more personal pace for those super motivated/unmotivated.  I was pretty motivated once I got started.  I got all my sigs in under 2 months.  I tested at the beginning of July.  Then I went on leave.

Then I took a 1.5 month break.  Yeah, its the truth, I won't deny it.  The reason?  I slept better at night not worrying about IDW.  I wasn't constantly stressed about it.  It was delightful.  I was very hesitant to get back to the grind because I liked the weight of IDW not being on my shoulders.

I didn't need these for too much of the IDW process,
but I think I will remember this idea for later.  (image)
So the day came when someone asked me, Have you boarded yet?
Me: nope.
Them: Why?
Me: Because I enjoy sleeping.
Them (confused): Do you want to board?
Me: When?
Them: Soon.
Me: Sure.

He was leaving soon, so he wanted to get this knocked out before he left, which was a smart idea, in my opinion.  He had another guy that was interested in boarding with him, so we sent an email to the Senior Chief who arranges the boards and requested that we all be able to board together since they do the boards in groups of 3.  Despite having heard there was a fairly long wait to get a board, we had a date within 2 weeks, so I was impressed.  Then it was time to get down to business.

SOOOO many flashcards!
I used at least 5 packs of index cards.
After spending the end of July and most of August telling Teh Bear I was going to/needed to study, the fire under my ass was lit.  Board time was coming.  The 3 of us got together a few times and studied.  I had made flashcards for every line item in the book, and the amount of flashcards was overwhelming, but writing all of them helped me, since writing something down is the primary way I learn.  We also had Teh HP Wizard's flashcards, which were extremely helpful.

I also arranged for a PO1 to do a murder board for us.  For my non-Navy/military readers, that is like a pretend board.  The person(s) doing your murder board asks line item questions to test what we (the boardees) know.  It helps people who are going up for board to see what they need to study, see what they don't know at all, and have practice at boarding, because a lot of going up for a board and answering someone's questions is about confidence.

We had an awesome 2 part murder board.  It was long and tedious, but sooooooo worth it.  Many many thanks to the PO1 that helped us out by taking the time out of his days to help us.  He drilled us for 2 hours on the first day and then 2.5 hours on the second day.  We covered almost every item in the book.  We walked away with 1 day left till our board and we decided to come in that day and strengthen up on the things we weren't so good at (instructions and people in charge of things, like OPSEC-O, SSO, Information Assurance Manager/Officer (who aren't the same), etc).  We weren't going into our board knowing everything but as much as we could know.

We had a Senior Chief and 2 Chiefs on our board.  One Chief was actually my departmental Chief, and having went through the program, we were familiar with the other Chief and the Senior Chief.  They each took turns asking us their different sections.  My Chief covered the beginning of the 200s section (C5F/NAVCENT history) and most of the common core.  Senior Chief covered the mid 200 section (EW/IO stuff) and some random common core that applied to his sections.  The other Chief covered the end of the 200 section (technical/network/messaging stuff) and the random common core that applied to his sections.

Unrelated break time (you're welcome):

We each missed questions, which we knew was going to happen.  As it happens, most of the questions we had to do look-ups on, out of the 3 of us, someone knew the answer, which I think was part of what made us a solid group.  After about an hour worth of being questioned, which honestly didn't seem like that long, thank God, they kicked us out for a few minutes, then told us all to come back in.  We were told we didn't do great, but we didn't do the worst.  I was completely satisfied with that.  Then they congratulated us on making PO2(IDW)'s (we, the boardees, we are all 2nd classes).  Along with all being PO2, we were all pinless until now, which makes it even more exciting for the 3 of us.

The most painful part of the process was the parts that I made painful, mostly with the procrastination problem I had going on.  Had Teh Bear not been coming to Bahrain and I didn't take leave in July, I probably would have gotten my pin with Teh HP Wizard or Teh Lumberjack.  After my test in early July I was ready to board.  I had that motivation turned on high.  I was ready.  Then I went on leave and definitely got comfortable not having to worry with IDW.

I lied, the 2nd most painful part is waiting for the paperwork to be signed so I can actually sign my name w/ IDW and actually getting to wear the pin.  The shittiest part is that despite our board being on September 6th, the 2 of us who aren't leaving next week prob won't get it "awarded" to us until the awards ceremony at the end of the month..  Which I think is crappy on principle.  I earned it, I want to wear it.  I'm trying not to bitch too much about it, because the process is over now, and its just a matter of waiting...  But anyone that knows me knows that patience definitely isn't my virtue... ever.

Despite not being able to wear it or sign my name with my designator, every now and then someone calls me PO2(IDW) and I smile really big because thats freakin' awesome.  The program started in late March and within 6 months, I was qualled.  That makes me pretty proud of me.

If you already have a different warfare pin and are trying for the IDW, it should be fairly easy since the common core is the same from other warfare qualifications.  If you aren't a rate that falls within the IDW community trying to get the pin, it will probably be a little more difficult.  Because we boardees all do the same job, they had to leave out a significant portion of the 200 section because they knew we knew that stuff (and if we didn't, wellllll.... we won't talk about that).  When my Chief asked us a question that pertained to my job, I felt like I was showing off because I knew the answer.  I really wanted some network questions so I could really show off, but it was probably for the best the other Chief didn't really go into that stuff since the other 2 guys weren't quite as nerdy as I am.

As for being pinless.. till now, this is the first opportunity I've had to get a pin.  That's the plight of the job I do.  Most of us are now being sent to shore commands till a ship deploys, then we get sent to the ship as a rider, where you can then get the SW/AW (depending on the ship) quals.  And if you're only going on a short deployment, you may not actually have the time to complete the program.  I do know of some folks who get sent to shore commands that deploy to AF/Iraq who are able to get their EXW (expeditionary warfare qualification).

When I got to GTMO I asked the Master Chief if there were warfare qualifications I could get.  He said no.  I was pretty disappointed since GTMO would have been considered an expeditionary command, and that's a pretty badass qualification.  Since I'm going to a squadron next, I've already inquired about getting my air warfare qual.  I figure since I'll be there for 3 years it shouldn't be an issue to get the pin, since I'm assigned to the squadron.  I was pinless for almost 3 years though, so if I wasn't able to get it (which I might be a little upset about) I'd still be satisfied with my IDW pin.

-Don't take leave in the middle of the process.
-Find people to study with.
-Do whatever you need to do to learn the information.  Whether that is reading over the manuals/briefs/writing 5 packs of flashcards w/ crayola markers.
-Don't let the process overwhelm/stress you out (especially if you're easily overwhelmed/stressed (like me)), its just like any other test/qualification you've ever done.  If you know it, you know it.  If you don't know it, learn it.
-Don't expect to know everything.  While the board would be super impressed if you were that genius that knew everything, that's a lot of pressure to put on yourself.
-Be confident in what you know and don't over think the questions.


Monday, September 12, 2011

ID dilemma

These things don't match.
So, I have a problem, kinda.  No, not a blog writing problem, a bigger problem.  My ID is techincally wrong.  I have a frocking ID.  Which my LPO in GTMO insisted that I get, even though I was supposed to replace it a month later,which I didn't because I'm a slacker.  This ID thorougly confused one of the MA gate guards here, which is kinda disappointing since they should probably know these types of things.

But, I've decided the time has come to replace my ID.  Which causes some problems.

1.  I worked really hard to get the current photo on my ID.  It makes anyone that actually looks at the photo laugh.  I sat down and refused to stop making silly faces until the PS let me keep one.  Miss Reflective can vouch for this, she was also forced to go.  the PS just kept clicking the mouse to take photos, me with eyes crossed tongue sticking out, eyes closed tongue sticking out, winking with my left eye, trying to wink with my right eye, laughing, stupid big grin..  He finally stopped on one that I only looked moderately goofy in and I begged him to let me keep it.  He allowed it, only if I didn't tell anyone who let me keep the photo, which was convenient that I actually forgot this guy's name.  Best ID evar
2.  I want to have my ID picture in my DCUs.  It's kinda vein, not gonna lie.  But it seems like everyone has their ID photo in the blue digis or peanut butters now.  I wanna be a rebel.  Also, DCUs is the uniform I've worn for my entire Navy career up to this point, besides being in training (/shiver utilities).  Also, DCU's are more badass than NWUs because it means you're all tactical and shit.  Not that I'm really a badass, but I like to pretend.
3.  I hate the fact that I have to walk across NSA Bahrain in 100°+.. which means getting all sweaty and gross... (Side note, yay! to Teh Bear for learning me how to make the degree sign!)

So.. I decided to suck it up and do it anyways.  But, I'm really sad about the loss of my awesome photo, because it is AWESOME

I've been practicing making silly faces.  Teh Bear is a huge fan of my crossed eye look, but I'm sure that they wouldn't let me keep a crossed eye photo, unless I maintained the crossed eyes the entire time I was in PSD.. and after a while it does start to hurt my eyes/head.

I'm trying to figure out a goofy smile, while maintaining not squinty eyes.  Maybe something with all my teeth, or a creeper side smile.

I just have to come up with a medium that can pass as professional if you're not looking closely, but will definitely make someone laugh out loud (lol) when they actually look at the photo... 

I'm also not sure what the set up at the CAC lab here in Bahrain.  In GTMO it was usually 1 person in the lab doing the IDs, which meant there wasn't really anyone else to glare at me and tell me to act like a grown up.

We'll see how this pans out, because I scheduled the appointment to get a new ID...

I will leave you with some funny ID photos.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Who wears socks anymore?

These flippy floppies have seen lots of wear.
So.. my staple footwear as become flip flops..  or "FLIPPY FLOPPIES!!!" 

If you are Teh Ginger or Teh Lumberjack, I know you are both going "FLIPPY FLOPPIES!!!" in a very loud, annoying voice in your heads, so I did that just for you...  Silly boys.

Back story: Teh Lumberjack called me one day (while we were still in GTMO) and Teh Ginger answered my phone in a high-pitched, nasally voice, with extra emphasis on double letters, "FLIPPPPY FLOPPPPIES!!!"  Teh Lumberjack swore it was me who had answered the phone, and I'm sure he still doesn't believe me, despite Teh Ginger telling him the truth.  It was mostly in the way the words were said, which is now perma-etched in my brain.  Assholes.  :)

I liked pairing these with fuzzy pink socks, the fuzz stuck
out of the holes.  :)

So back to footwear.  Flip flops.  I didn't really wear flip flops in America very often.  I have cold feet symptom, so I like to wear socks.  For a while I was spicing it up with fun socks and Crocs, because I'm oh-so-clever.  I had some other slip-on shoes that I'd wear with socks, but rarely ever was I sockless.  I owned a pair of Adidas sandals, but after Rue (the Shorkie the ex-fiance and I had) decided one of them was a chew toy, they had to be put to rest, which spawned my Croc problem.

But wearing flip flops isn't conducive to wearing socks, unless you're into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle look.  Some people can pull it off, but I'm sure that I'm not one of them.  
apparently they make socks to wear with flip flops now.. What's the point!?!?!  (image
I wear shoes in snow.  It's smart.
Something else that isn't conducive to wearing flippy floppies?  Cold weather.  And I'm hearing FB rumors that its starting to get "cold" after the equator like heat in America this summer.  By "cold" I mean the temps are dropping and its no longer in the 90s.  Teh Bear was telling me something about La Nina this morning.  Mrs. Boomkin and Mr. Voices were evacuated this week because of flooding in the NE.  My E. Canadian peeps are experiencing what they consider fall-like weather, which could be indicative of an early winter (I could only wish).  I don't need my toes freezing off, so I'll stick with wearing socks and shoes and having cold toes despite these measures.

But who cares about any of this?  Well, me.  I love fun socks.  Actually, Teh BFF posted on my FB wall recently: "So...I was in Walmart today and saw these awesome socks and thought of you...and in turn had to buy not 1 pack but 2....and now I have to decide which kind you get :)"
She understands.  She probably also is doing a preemptive strike on items Teh Megan used to use, but no longer does because she lives in the desert, socks being a very significant item on that list.

I also love fuzzy, soft socks.  I have been known to drop less than $10 but more than $5 on socks because they are soft/fuzzy/cool/warm/smell good.  Oh yes, I actually bought a pair of socks that smelled like lemonwood or something exotic.  They were delightful, and the smell stayed for at least 3 washes.  And I was sniffing my "dirty" socks after I took them off.  Disclaimer: I don't have stinky feet, so smelling my "dirty" socks is totally acceptable.  Don't judge me.

Black heels + driving a stick shift = badass.
I guess I should also disclaim (in the spirit of disclaiming), I do wear socks when I wear my gym shoes or tennis shoes if I'm going to be out driving for long distances.  My clutch foot is much happier when I'm not wearing dinky, supportless, flip flops.  But, because I often swim for PT, I just wear flip flops to PT.  So it really does seem like I wear flip flops all the time.  I even wear my flip flops when I dress up, because I only own black and white heels, which often don't match anything that I'm wearing.  Flip flops are often cheap (especially in comparison to buying dress shoes in Bahrain), although I had to move on from the delightfully colored Old Navy flip flops after busting my ass too many times on wet floors (not that this happened in Bahrain...ever).  Sometimes you really do make investments when you buy certain things... like flip flops.

Although there is one significant upside to not wearing flip flops...  I will no longer feel guilty about my toe nail polish chipping off.  I really loved the emerald green with silver glitter I had going on for about 3 months..  But it was lookin pretty bad by the end.  The only reason it even got removed was because Teh HP Wizard suggested a foot massage.  Really loved that green.

So now, I'm T minus 2ish months of no more Bahrain.. and when I get back to America, it won't be flip flop weather... fer shizzle.  Lucky for me, I invested in tennis shoes before I went to GTMO, so I have shoes to wear, but my sock collection seems to have dwindled to plain white ankle socks and a few neon colored pairs, and my required work socks (eww).

Even knowing that I'll be footwear ready when I get to America, I already feel like I miss wearing flip flops a little.  I think I need to go put on my flippy floppies and walk around for a bit.  :)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Did she forget she had a blog?

No.  Actually, I've been feeling pretty guilty about not having blogged in the past few days.

But I'm sitting here drinking a caramel macchiato, which is part of this new thing Teh Bear and I are doing.. listening to each other's suggestions, even if we don't necessarily like them.  Recently, his suggestions have worked out for the best, so we'll see if this one also pans out.  The goal of the beverage is to make me more "focused" and hopefully awake/aware for my murder board in 30 minutes.  I also ate a real breakfast.  I also just realized I left my multi-vitamin my shorts pocket in my locker.  fail.

Maybe this coffee stuff is working, since I just remembered it.  Maybe its a ginkobloba substitute?

So what happened since I've been a bad blogger?

-Teh HP Wizard became my roomie till she departs the island.

-I showed Teh HP Wizard just how awesome my moving skillz actually are.  She was impressed... and completely moved out an hour after my arrival.  me=winning.

-My EIDWS board was scheduled.

-I arranged a murder board pre-real board.

-I switched from night shift to day shift.

-I missed out on scheduled skype time with Teh Bear because we both decided to be social on the same night.  Lesson learned.  We can miss one skype date, but 2 in the same day was pretty crushing.  Did I mention recently how lucky we are that I have real (enough) internet and we can skype usually 2x a day?  Do I sometimes get teased for this?  Yes.  Do I care?  No.  Teh Bear+Teh Megan time is super imperative to me being a nicer person.  You should all probably thank him one day.

-Teh Elmo's Mom's bday

-I got back into my swim workout routine.  My sides are super sore.  I feel so much better swimming than I do going to the gym.  Like I workout better or something.  Maybe its the 45 minutes straight of physical activity.  Maybe its that I just prefer the nasty NSA water over the smelly NSA gym (if you don't agree your nose is broke).  Who knows.  It's just better in the water.

-2 things related to swimming.  I learned a new way to get water out of your ears beside shaking your head over and over to one side (which does start to hurt).  Jumping up and down with your head to the side!!!!  ZOMG WIN!  And, complying with another Teh Bear badgering suggestion was to wear my silicone earplugs while I swim so I wouldn't get water in my ears in the first place.  That was a good idea, because it worked.  Huh.

-I made up for being on nights for 2 months with the amount of work I did yesterday.  Karma isn't supposed to hit that quickly or quite that hard.  It was completely uncalled for, as I've been super good lately.  Probably should have studied more EIDWS while I was on shift.

-Facebook when I'm on days here is so depressing because America is asleep.

That is all for now.

Rah, blog!

For Teh Bear.  :)  (image)