Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bad blogger.

I've been a bad blogger.  I know it.  I'm not gonna lie, setting up my photo posts to automatically schedule kinda put me on the lazy track.  Recently, I've started to feel more guilty about only posting for my challenge and not posting regularly scheduled, every other day, blogs because I'm posting something, that's how this works?  Right?  Ok fine.

It's hard for me to believe that I've not really checked my stats (which I have this sick obsession with, but also because its a static page that was light colored that would light up my face so my face wasn't blue when I was talking to Teh Bear on skype) since the 23rd.

That feels like SUCH A LONG TIME AGO.  Is that bad?

What has happened since I posted a real blog on the 16/19th?  Well, a lot actually, thanks for asking.  :)

I am officially homeless, carless, and living out of several boxes and my suitcases (in a hotel).  This is the first time since Teh Granny bought Teh Kaar that I've been carless, but the homeless and living out of suitcases is pretty much standard for me at this point in my life.  Is that sad?  Yeah, its the life of moving/PCS-ing every year..

I moved out of my flat.  I sold my car to a local, which was at the time, a good idea, but in retrospect, NEVER sell your car to a local while overseas.. Customs NIGHTMARE, along with a rather convenient lack of understanding English from the buyer.  I hit the single digit mark.  I got most of the signatures on my check out sheet.  I walk to base.  I don't work.  I turned in all my uniforms.  I called Verizon and have cell service again.  I started this thing where I don't have a sleep schedule, I just stay awake for as long as possible and nap so I can get back to a more east coast sleep schedule.  So far, its just really jacked me up.  But, the ultimate goal is to not spend several days sleeping through the day once I get back stateside...  We'll see how this works out.

At home, preparations are being made for my arrival.  Teh Dad is picking up my new vehicle on the 2nd (prepare yourselves for my new car porn post), because he's awesome.  He did all the leg work for me, and every time I talk to him I tell him thank you, but I just don't feel like its enough to really convey how much all he has done means to me.

Maybe I'll just get him this shirt?  (image)
Rides are being arranged, dinners being planned, days of hanging out/shopping are on the books.  The only thing missing is me being in America.

Here's to hoping and praying that the rotator doesn't get delayed and/or weather conditions in Norfolk stay good enough (cold is perfectly acceptable) that the plane can land.

Expect the lightness of posts to continue for at least the next 2-3 weeks, especially with the 30 day challenge being over.  With the lack of sleeping and the PCS-ing brain thing I have going on, I'm struggling to function like a normal individual and that means a several decline in my ability to process words...  Teh Bear can attest to that.

But fret not, Gentle Reader... I will return...  with lots of exclamations about 'Merica and cold and the weirdness that is being stateside for good.  Yes, that was foreshadowing.  You're welcome for that hint, it was free.


Day 30: Self-portrait

You're welcome for this:

While I was doing the "eye" challenge, I decided crossed-eyes was acceptable...  excuse the compression effects.  and my extremely lopsided earrings.  :(


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29: Black and white

I have an abundance of black/white things in my apartment.  I didn't actually realize it until I was doing this challenge.  I had this shirt, the fake ZepZep, my tennis shoes..  3 things was a lot of black and white for one day.

Awww.. so soft and pretty.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28: Flowers

In the country of dust and sand.. there are very few flowers to be seen.  This is super depressing for me, as macro photos of flowers are my favoritest thing in the whole wide world to take pictures of.  No jk.  I had to do some searching of my minimal belongings to find flowers.  I considered my Peace Frog Tree of Life shirt, trees are flowers, right?  Eh.  I moved on to clothing that actually had flowers on them.

Shoulda Been a Cowgirl and/or Teh HP Wizard enabled me to buy this super cute shirt.
I love that it has so many different patterns on it.

This is a skirt I bought for $6 back in my super broke college days.  I think Worldwide Jesus Lover was with me, but I can't remember.  I love how this skirt lays on me, and its super soft...  As for the pink, I don't want to talk about it.


I'm 25.  That's a very "adult" age.  Right?  Right.  So?  I'm 25 and considering dressing up for Halloween.  Instead of candy (which would be nice), the party that I'm attending requires payment in the form of alcohol and a costume (much preferred).  Adult party = check.  None of this is an issue... except Halloween is less than a week before I'm off this island.. and finding a costume that isn't slutty or expensive is practically impossible in Bahrain.

But, I think I have a solution.

I decided to join the Navy a few years ago.  And now you're seriously confused.  HA!  One of the biggest things the Navy is known for besides blue water capability?  Uniform changes.  The Navy no longer utilizes the Utility uniform (see what I did there? haha).  I have 4 sets of these "high class" uniforms and I have nothing to do with them.  Meaning.. I can do whatever I want with them... including making a Halloween costume.
Images of the utility uniform are ridiuclously hard to find!  (image)
Welcome to Shitbag Booter costume idea.

Here's what I'm thinkin:  Utility uniform.  I'll remove my names and have Booter name tapes made, which is a simple process from the tailor, and the only cost for the entire costume (besides whatever I initially paid for that piece of crap it).  The most difficult part?  Making the uniform wrinkly, lol.  I'm assuming it will take several washes to get it as wrinkly as I'm aiming for.  Along with never being hung up again.  Since I was an E3 when I wore them, I had no rank on the blouse anyways, so its perfect for my "Booter" status.

Side note (for the non-Navy):  A "Booter" is someone who is straight from bootcamp or training school.  In Old School Navy, a Booter was anyone who hadn't graced the decks of a ship, but because that is more and more common now, if someone referred to me as a "Booter", I'd probably have a few select things to say to them.  Mostly to the effect of, how have you actually contributed to the War on Terror?
A "shitbag" is someone who has to be corrected on something/everything.  Be it personal appearance, personal attitude, timeliness...  Things that most adults would regulate themselves, but some just can't seem to do it on their own.

I'll make sure to wear my hair up, but instead of in a tight bun like I would for work, I'll make sure it look like some Air Force hair styles I've seen (nothin' personal to any Air Force homies, its just that.. your female hair regs.. wouldn't pass in any other branch).  Meaning, how I'd wear my hair at home.  I'm thinking instead of my boots, I'll prob wear flip flops (mostly because I'll have flip flops still with me (that didn't get packed out)).  I might also get crazy and paint my finger nails a crazy color and wear some very UN-natural makeup.

I'm thinking that I'll button the shirt crooked (which may or may not have actually happened to me before).  I might also have a fight with some powdered sugar so it looks like my uniform is "unkept".

Pretty much, anything that I'm supposed to do, I'll "do" it, but with minimal effort, if at all, because that's what a Shitbag does.

There are some issues potentially.  In Bahrain we're not supposed to wear uniforms out in town, and while Utilities is still technically a uniform of the USN, I could remove the U.S. Navy tape and then it'd be a crappy blue button down shirt and a even crappier pair of pants that give me a foupa.  Also, there are some people that love the Navy and don't like to see the USN get trashed on, which is pretty much what my shitbag booter idea would be.  Yet, at the same time, knowing the group that will be at the party, I don't think it will be too much of an issue (hopefully).

And for an added touch, I'll make sure to wear my Recruit hat.  :)

This is an interesting use of the shirt! (image)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27: From a distance

Let me show you something awesome that I saw from my balcony (far away) today:

What is this awesome thing you ask?

Is it Ric's?  No.
Is it that weird truck thing?  No.
Is it the motorcycle delivery guy?  No.
Is it the row of dumpsters?  No.
Is it the lack of traffic?  No.

It is that white 2012 Kia Sportage sitting behind that weird truck.

2012 Kia Sportage,
Soon, you will be mine.. but in twilight blue with black interior with an EX package..  MINEEEEEEEEEEE.. bwahahhahahahahah.

PS.  I just want to love you.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26: Close-up

I <3 macro photography.  Seriously.  Obsessed.  Bought a $375 lens because I love it so much.  LLOOOOVVVEEEEEEEEE close-up photos.  I could have chosen from sooo many pictures for this day.. but for me, this challenge was about shooting something new to post.  So much for showing off all my beautiful flower shots that I have.

Arabic Coca-Cola.  I liked the fact that it has Bahrain info and the can was made in Saudi Arabia.  Also, the Arabic and English really floats my boat.
Marshmellows!!!  I actually have these in a bowl on my counter and Teh Bear thought they were just something that I'd grown up having around all the time.  Nope, I just like to randomly eat marshmellows.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25: Something pink

Let me state this for the record: I'm not a pink fan.  Most everyone that knows me, know this fact.  I'm not a pink girl.  I like all colors, but I don't choose to have all colors around me.  Except that.. I found several pink items while doing this challenge!  Wooooah, Sparky!  Luckily, these items were minimal, which is the only things that made this realization acceptable.

When contemplating what to shoot for Something Pink, I instantly thought of my perfume that Teh Advising Sister was wearing/had sitting out the one time I ever stopped by her place.  Vera Wang Princess.  Maybe its actually supposed to be purple, but just the word "princess" conjures images of pink tutus crowns in my head.  /shiver.  I'm not a princess-y girl, but I love the way this perfume smells.

Then something else happened as I went into the bathroom to take the photos.  The most recent bottle I received came with a makeup bag that I'm currently using (for the first time ever, which you will see why) since I'm in the middle of moving...  AND my toothbrush is PINK?  WHAT?!  I'm not actually sure why I have a pink toothbrush, but I'm judging myself.  Shoulda Been a Cowgirl will grin ear to ear when she reads/see this post.

OMG so much pink!  Along with the most spectacular toothpaste evar.

I love the light shining through the liquid and the crown shadow on this shot.

This was probably my favorite pink shot.
For most of the challenge photos, I didn't do any post editing.  Had I known the perfume bottle was so gross, I would have washed it off, but I didn't notice until it was loading on my computer.  At that point, the shot had nothing wrong with it technically, so I just left it.. I mean, I'm not shooting for magazines or anything crazy.. so perfection isn't necessary.

Side note:  This bottle didn't come with 2 different colors toppers.  They were actually both silver.  But, I did something super cheesy for Teh Bear, since this is his fave perfume of mine.  While he was here, I finished my original bottle off, which had come with a gold crown/ring.  Smell is one of the strongest ways to remember something, so I switched the rings on the bottles.  Then I gave the empty bottle to Teh Bear.  It's super cheesy, I know, but totally something that I would like (if Teh Bear wore cologne).


Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24: Animals

There is stray cat around my building that gets fed by the mall security guards.  I considered finding him, but I've only seen him a handful of times in the last year.  Once he was under my car.  Another time he was on top of the Jeep that parks beside me.  A few nights ago, I scared the bejesus out of both of us when I was going into the market because he was in the bushes and I stepped on a piece of wood which made a loud sound which freaked him out, and he freaked me out by jumping out of the bushes.  I felt so bad I apologized to him.  He just looked at me with disdain, but stood his ground.

Kitty was probably going to be too much of a challenge just to locate, so I went with something that is allowed within the confines of my flat and sleeps with me every night...

Fake Teh ZepZep...
Yes, I sleep with a stuffed animal.  But this guy is super soft so I usually hold him in the hand of the arm that I'm laying on.

Don't judge me.
At least I don't use a night light anymore......

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23: Sunflare

Most photographers don't generally want sunflare in their shots unless that is the specific look they are going for.  I fall into the don't want sunflare category.  There isn't really a time I can think of that I thought sunflare added anything to my photograph...

This was another challenge I had to do some research on to make sure that shooting sunflare was obtainable.  Directions:  Open aperture.  Point camera at sun.  Shoot photo.  Well alright then.

The day I started the photo challenge.  I was thinking of shooting the green light, but knew that would cause some discontent in the drivers behind me.  So for their sake, I just settled on the red light.

My first ever conch.  Yeah, its ugly.  I'm super depressed I forgot to put this in my packout, but it stays outside my door.  Same when I was in GTMO, but this time its my balcony, so the cleaners don't throw it away.

After reading the instructions, this is what happened.  Hello Sunflare!
This was a cool challenge for me, because I don't normally include sunflare purposely.  Now maybe I will?

Do you think sunflare is a cool effect or do you think it shouldn't be used?


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22: Hands

I ran into the same problem for this shot as I did on bad habit day.  You use your hands to hold the camera!  The worst part about this challenge was that I packed my tripod out with my household goods.  Yeahhhh, not the smartest Teh Megan idea ever, but I'm finding ways to work around not having a tripod... although it is difficult.

Featuring my 2 tattoos!
I'm actually going to see about getting the one on my hand removed once I get to MD.  It's my "why did I join the Navy" tattoo.  It's nothing like the original, which I really liked.  Had I known more about the Navy, I would have just said they were dark freckles.. or asked for a waiver.  3 dots was really NOT that big of a deal.

Oh and a cheesy Owl City line:
Cause the spaces between my fingers are right where yours fit perfectly.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Re-Day 13: 13 Things

Speaking of 13 things..... THIRTEEN DAYYYYYSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had to wait and post this one till the countdown was actually at 13, thus the delay..  

USA, I'm comin' for you!

Day 21: Face-less self-portrait

How often do you take pictures of yourself.. but you don't include your face?  Challenge accepted.

Pretending to nap on the most uncomfortable couch ever.  Sorry for that little bit of skin showing, I know that I could be lashed for this... /end sarcasm.

This was actually me testing my silhouette shot, but it worked for this day too.
Why, hello there, shadow!

 The last shot was something I noticed in passing.  I wasn't going to post it, but realized it would eat at me if I didn't.  Cheesy shadow shot posted, aye.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20: Bokeh

Lesson from this challenge day:
I like things in focus.  I like as much as possible in mostly focused.  As in, even things in the background.  Rarely ever do I purposely shoot the background in bokeh style.  I like the background to be fuzzy, but not so out of focus you can't tell what you're looking at.

I actually had to look up how to shoot a bokeh shot for this challenge.  Due to my inferiority in this department, I started to look into some old photos that I've taken to see if I've ever even accidentally got a bokeh shot.  This was also when the lesson of the challenge day was realized......

The only old shot I could find that would be considered "Bokeh".  This was from brunch with Mr. Curly Sweatervest and Shoulda Been a Cowgirl

I'm not sure if the top is considered bokeh or not, but it's out of focus, which was on purpose.  
What do you think, is the 2nd photo Bokeh?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Adventures and the Fountain from Hell

I'm pretty upset with myself.  Several months ago, Shoulda Been a Cowgirl (SBC) and I had quite the adventure and I 100% forgot to blog about it, and it is definitely worthy of a blog.

It was back in August, it was the day that Mr. Curly Sweatervest was leaving Bahrain, which means that it was Ramadan, it was hot, and I was wearing too much clothes.  I decided that I wanted to test drive a Kia Sportage, to see if that was the vehicle I wanted when I got back to the states.  I knew there was a Kia dealer, and there's a highway that runs through the location where several dealerships are, and I assumed (oh silly Teh Megan) that's where the Kia dealership was.  I asked SBC if she wanted to accompany me on an adventure.  This was around 08 or so.  We were both on nights, or at least I was, so 08 was pretty late to be starting an adventure, but she agreed.

I called the dealership, after having the most ridiculous time navigating their website, to make sure that they were open.  Ramadan means that business have the most random hours.. FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF RAMADAN.  Annoying.

I told Teh Bear to have sweet dreams, and left my apartment to pick up SBC.  No biggie.  We were jammin' to the iTouch and makin' our way to what I had deemed "car dealer alley".  I had failed to remember morning rush hour traffic, which kinda held us back some, but we pushed through it.  We finally started seeing car dealerships, and we were both on the lookout for the Kia sign, SBC more than me, because driving with the Arabs means concentration on the road and all the other idiots.  We never saw a Kia sign.  Disappointment started to set in.  We circled around a roundabout and returned the way we came, still keeping our eyes peeled.  I saw a sign that had the Bin Hindi name (which is who ran the Kia dealership), but I only saw it as we were going 60ish mph down the highway while trying not to hit the barriers beside me or the car in front of me. Because we weren't sure we hadn't missed it, we turned around and tried again, to no avail.

Now I was starting to get frustrated, in addition to the fact that I was up past my bedtime.  I called the dealership, since they were the last number I had called.  While they say most people in Bahrain grow up speaking English, that doesn't mean I can understand any of the English they are saying with such thick Arabic accents added in.  I struggled to understand the receptionist, who transferred me to a dealer who said something about the American Embassy and a left at the 2nd light.  I told him the highway name (because we had conveniently passed a sign that said the name of the highway as I was speaking to him) and he said he didn't know where that was.  WHAT?!  How do you not know where "car dealer alley" is, Mr. Man?  I tried to explain where we were via surroundings, but that seems to only work in the American South or in small towns.

Sadly, like a bad American, I had no idea where the American Embassy was to even have a gauge of where to start following his directions.  I did what any Arab would do, and said "ok, ok." and gave him the bobble head nod even though he couldn't see me.  SBC is watching all this, highly amused.  I didn't want to get lost, because it was getting "late"...  I decided we should go back to my apartment and get on Google Maps and get directions to the embassy.  I mean, that should be on google maps, right?

We were already headed back to my apartment when traffic came to a stand still.  We started creeping up a bridge, which made me pretty uncomfortable.  I've not got a super lot of confidence in Arab architecture due to all the elevators that I've ridden in Bahrain being very... scary..  That's the best word I have to describe them.  I was worried that a bunch of cars stopped on a bridge could only lead to disaster.  I was also curious why we were stopped.  Eventually, traffic started moving towards the 2 outside lanes (of the 5 lane bridge).  SBC said she saw flashing lights ahead and we had heard a siren behind us trying to plow its way through the traffic.  Not sure if it was successful or not.  Finally, we saw the problem.  A few cars were stopped in the middle lane.  Only in Bahrain.  I didn't really get a chance to look at what had happened, but not only were these cars not just stopped, it was actually a 5 car pile up accident.  And it was almost 7 cars when I almost rear-ended the guy in front of me who was rubber-neckin'.  I laid on the horn and he realized that he had practically stopped.

At this point, I was starting to feel bad for keeping SBC from her beauty sleep.  I offered to drop her off at home before going back to my place to get directions, but she reassured me that she was fine and she would stick out this adventure with me.  Little did she know what this entire adventure would entail.

I was easily able to find the American Embassy on Google Maps and realized just how close we actually were.  I also checked out some of the "attractions" past the embassy so I would know when we'd went too far, this was helpful...  We got back on the road, morning rush-hour well past by now.  We passed under the bridge we'd taken to get to "car dealer alley" and started looking for an American flag, because all embassies have the flag of their country flying at them...  Or at least that's the way it is in movies.

We passed by a building that was grey concrete, had rows and rows of concertina wire around it, and I had a feeling it was probably an embassy, but we couldn't find a flag on it, so we kept driving.  Then I started recoginizing places that I'd seen on Google Maps that were past the embassy.  Super frustrated, I started looking for a place to turn around.  Finally, we found a light where we could make a left turn and an older Arabic man who was beside us at the light gestured for us to roll down the window.  SBC looked at me, and I looked at her, both us trying to decide if we were actually going to roll down the window.  Because we are too nice, we did.  He asked us how to get to the financial district.  We told him he was way off, but to go towards the right.  We laughed that he was asking 2 lost girls for directions as we made the left turn to go back towards where we had started.

We came upon the big grey building again, and this time SBC saw the American flag flying in the far corner.  Not only was the flag not prominently displayed, I'm pretty sure getting into the compound would have probably required my military ID, my NC driver's license, my official passport, and a blood signature to get into.  Lucky for us, that's not where we were going.  We passed the embassy and immediately called the car dealer to tell him we had found the embassy and to ask for further directions..  I had forgotten what he had told me, and at this point, I seriously didn't want to get lost.

He told me to go through 2 red lights, then at the 3rd red light, turn left.  After I made the left, just look for the Kia signs.  At 11am (11pm my time), that sounded way more confusing, so I just went with it.  I followed the directions and we drove through several red lights after turning left and with each red light, I started to get more nervous we were lost again.  I was starting to think we should find a place to turn around when SBC shouted, THERE IT IS!!!  Pretty sure angels in heaven started signing.

Teh Megan on a mission (SBC photo)
It had taken us almost 3 hours to find this dealership.  I pretty much jetted out of the car and into the dealership for 2 reasons, 1) there was a Sportage parked at the door, I felt like it was a sign.. it wanted me to drive it.  2) it was stupid hot outside and I knew there would be A/C inside.

After the A/C blasted away my frustration, we walked around the inside of the dealership, checking out the display Sportage.  I was entranced.  A dealer came and spoke to us and I told him I wanted to drive one.  There were murmurs in not-English, but eventually, it was arranged.  He went and started the one sitting outside the front door.  Scorrreee!  The dealer rode with us, which was kinda disappointing to me, because I had plans to really test this car out.  He made me do a u-turn at the first light and I said I wanted to drive for more than 5 minutes.  The dealer explained to me that I was actually driving a Sportage that someone had already purchased.  Well, ok then.  We promptly returned back to the dealership and made arrangements to drive another Sportage that evening.  We agreed on 8pm.

SBC and I left the dealership, and I decided to take a different way home than we had came, which was dumb.  We almost ended up driving through the Souq, which would have probably meant me enlisting some Arab to drive my car out of the maze that is the Souq.  After almost an hour of driving home, I dropped off SBC and she assured me that she would go with me that night, after our "naps" to test drive the other Sportage.

Sleep time it was.

I got a call right around the time that I woke up from Teh HP Wizard.  She said Mr. Curly Sweatervest, herself, and SBC were going to The Meat Company for Mr. Curly Sweatervest's last meal in Bahrain.  She said 730pm.  I said I'd be there.  I was running late, of course, but SBC and I arrived right around the time we should have been arriving at the dealership.  I called the dealer and said we'd be late, he reminded me they closed at 10, so if I wanted an hour to drive it, to not come later than 9.  Ok.

Dinner was had, which was bittersweet, because it meant Mr. Curly Sweatervest was really leaving us!  Around 845pm we got in the car and headed towards the dealership.  I didn't know of any shortcuts, so we went the same way we had went that morning.  We arrived with no issues, if you can imagine that.

The Sportage that I'd driven earlier that day was still in front of the entrance but now it was running.  As we went out to find the Sportage I was going to test drive, the guy who had purchased the car was getting into his new Sportage.  I whispered to SBC that we had already driven his new car and we giggled.  The dealer made the Sportage start by pushing a button and I was smitten all over again.  SBC and I got in and made ourselves comfortable.  The dealer was still standing there to help us get out of the semi-parking garage we were parked in.  With the help of the handy-dandy back-up camera, we made it out of there with no issues.  Smitten was no longer a strong enough word to describe my feelings for this car.  We got out onto the highway and SBC plugged in the iTouch for some jams.  She was also messing with other do-hickies and do-dads.  She somehow managed to turn on the heated seats.  Both of our butts were burning.  It was still probably 100°F outside, and we did NOT need heated seats.  I managed to make the red light turn to blue while not hitting any other cars beside us or anything else.  My butt immediately started to feel cool.  Hello, air ventilated drivers seat.  SBC's butt was not as happy though.  I was completely enraptured by this vehicle.  We did some gunning of the engine, we did some skidding stops (which I pre-warned SBC about before I did it, so she wouldn't freak out on me), and then we tested the stereo with some very loud Bruno Mars which was in fierce competition with us singing at the top of our lungs.

The Sportage met all my desires.  It meant spending a lot more money than I had originally intended, but it also meant getting everything I could possibly want, along with the super awesome warranty that new Kia's come with.  Sadly, it was almost 945p, so it was time to start heading back to the dealership.  Once I turned it off, I couldn't figure out how to turn it back on, because the dealer obviously knew secrets that I will have to learn.  I took some photos of the vehicle before I brought the keys back inside.

SBC and I left.  We were excited because the Sportage was awesome and it meant that I could start looking for a vehicle before I got back to the states.  Then her cell phone rang.  It was pretty late for someone to be calling.  It was the dealer.  I'd left my phone in the Sportage.  Teh Megan fail.  Luckily, we hadn't went too far, but we still had to go further away to turn around and go back.  Siiiigh.  After we picked up my phone, we started to head home.

Once we got back to the Grand Mosque, I noticed the fountain was on.  I'd been wanting to take night photos of the fountain for a long time, to include while Teh Bear was in Bahrain, but we'd never done it.  So, I asked SBC if we could stop at the Mosque and walk to the fountain and take some photos since I had my tripod and camera.  She agreed.  We pulled in the Mosque parking lot and parked closest to the gate.  We walked to the fountain, miserable because of how humid and hot it was.  No wonder I hadn't taken these photos yet!

I still managed to get some acceptable shots, although not the greatest.  SBC had already stopped taking photos when I finally accepted the defeat of the weather.  I was hot and grouchy and just wanted to go home and take a shower and a nap.  She agreed.  We crossed the highway again and arrived at the Mosque.... where the gates were closed.

Through the gates of the Grand Mosque.  Hai Kaar!  :(
I was crushed.  SBC was crushed.  She had left her purse in the car (with her keys and wallet), I had left my wallet in the car (which meant no building key)...  Plus, we now had to walk home.  Granted, I don't live that far from the Mosque, but SBC lives a little further away than I do.  Luckily, she had her cell phone in her pocket and she called Teh HP Wizard and asked for a ride to her apartment, since she had a rental car.

After all the adventure that we'd packed into 24 hours, I'm pretty sure SBC actually made a self-pact to never go anywhere with me again if I didn't know where I was going with directions first and to not embark on any "whim" adventures with me either.

It's definitely much funnier now than it was the day that all this went down, for sure.

The Fountain from Hell
PS.  I am going through with the Kia Sportage.  I also had the idea to go take more fountain shots recently and realized that I packed out my tripod with my HHG.  It's for the best.


Day 19: Something orange

This one is only slightly awkward.  Despite realizing that, I still chugged on with this idea because does it get any better than this?  I don't think so.

As I was contemplating what I had left in my apartment that was orange that wasn't food or on my computer, I walked into my bedroom for pink pics and spotted the most perfect thing!

My birth control comes in an orange package!  For even more orange?  The crazy placebo pills are also orange.  I call the green pills my sane/normal pills.

Hello, Sanity, I love you.
Besides the no babies aspect, my Endometrosis has been kept under control with this birth control.  Which for me means more good days than bad days, and since I've been on this medication, it meant very few extremely-in-pain days, which was very important for me to function.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18: Your shoes

Most of my shoes are on their way to America..

The main type of shoes I wear in Bahrain is flippy-floppies.  I wear this on a mostly daily basis, unless I'm wearing brown, then I wear my brown flippy-floppies.

These suckers have seen a LOT of wear.  I got them the night before I left for GTMO.  These have been my travelin' shoes for the past 2 years.

I have tennis shoes in many different colors, but I needed wanted shoes that would match anything, that weren't white (which I already have).  Shoulda Been a Cowgirl enabled me to buy these.  One of my best Bahrain purchases, I've gotten so many compliments on them, despite their looking like wrestling shoes.
I really only wear tennis shoes in Bahrain when I'm driving distances longer than to work or working out.  My flippy-floppies don't give my toes much support when I'm driving and my clutch foot really doesn't like it when my toes start bending backwards and my calf cramps up at all the red lights.  Good times.



Day 17: Technology

For me, technology is VERY important.  It's pretty much the only way I have to keep up with my people in the States... oh who does that include?  All my family, Teh BFF, Teh Bear, Teh 2nd Parents.... pretty much anyone I know that isn't in Bahrain, which would kinda make sense.

Computers are the one thing that keep me connected to the rest of the world.  MY laptop is the bestest of them all though.

Hello, Dell XPS 17, my lovely laptop, I love you.
This is one of the best backgrounds I've found so far, which Teh HP Wizard sent to me at a point when Bahrain was almost completely unbearable for me.  Also, Oscar's "beard" contains all blue icons, which I considered for my something blue day, but moved away from.  There is the notepad, where Teh Bear leaves me love notes when he remotes into my computer to fix it or move stuff from Dropbox.  The 3 different temperatures?  From top to bottom:  Bahrain, Lenoir, NC, and Lexington Park, MD.  It's very exciting to see such low numbers on the bottom two!  Finally, the photo of Teh ZepZep, who is the most amazing dog ever, is actually a photo slide show gadget that constantly rotates through my photos.


Day 16: Long exposure

Ok, I have to come clean.  This was a photo I took a while ago.  I could have put this one off until I felt like going outside during the evening to get some shots of the cars at dusk, but that doesn't usually happen (the feeling like it part).  It's hot outside, its gross outside, the cars are always honking their horns, the cars usually stink (hello no emissions regulations), wah wah wah.  

Also, I really, really like this shot.  I think its one of my best night shot I've ever gotten, and I this was one of the first times I had focused on doing just night shots... which are definitely NOT easy..  add to that, traffic going by you at pretty fast while you're standing on a partition = scary.

 Bahrain World Trade Center along King Faisal Highway
My 2nd long exposure option was also shot a while ago.  This was actually the night Teh Kaar got locked in at the Grand Mosque and Shoulda Been a Cowgirl and I had to walk home...  The night was miserably hot and humid, which had a lot to do with my impatience at getting super good shots.  They aren't the worst photos, but definitely not the best.

The Fountain from Hell...
Hrm.. Just realized I never actually posted a blog about the Fountain adventure with Shoulda Been a Cowgirl.  Was pretty sure I had done that because the night was so absolutely ridiculous.  Well alright then, there's your future blog warning.


Day 15: Silhouette

This was definitely a challenge for me.  It involved having no tripod and getting somewhere with a lot of light...  I felt like I was a pretty solid subject, but that added a level of difficulty for me, since it meant getting arranged in under 10 seconds (I really should have just sucked it up and figured out how to use my camera remote).

This window had the most light coming through it. 
At first, I was going to sit like I was looking out the window.  But after a few Hunchback of Notre Dame photos, I decided I needed an "activity".  Enter blue book that was sitting on the table from another challenge day.  As for the hair thing.  I was trying to fix my untamed hair as the camera went off.  I felt like it added to the photo rather than diminishing it, so I accepted this shot for what it was.  A freakin' challenge!

This was actually my first attempt for my silhouette photo.  Not so bad, except that I cut off my head (which is a common problem when you sit your camera on something not a tripod to take photos of yourself).


Day 14: Eyes

I was excited to see this one on the list.  I've been takin' creepy eye pics probably since I got my point and shoot in 2003.  Apparently, they can be pretty creepy.. But mostly if I'm comin' at you with a camera saying, "Keep your eye open.  Yes, this is going to blind you.  Shh.  Just go with it.  Stop laughing!  Ok.  Ready?  Close your eye.  3.  2.  Open it.  HA!  Got it!"  I'm kinda like an eyeball creeper.

I'm sure Mrs. Boomkin and Mr. Voices remember having their eye photos taken!  :)

I know this look like all the rest of the eye ball shots I have posted (on FB), but I swear I took this one today!


Day 13: 13 Things

For this topic, I struggled.  I needed 13 things!  Because I was behind, I was able to look at other member's of the challenge for ideas.  I often read Marsh Mellow Goodness, because I think Kate is highly amusing and  she joined the Peace Corps (which is something I've always only ever heard about) and she did 13 things of the same thing.  Clever.  I worked off that idea too.

1.  Me.
2.  My shirt is from GTMO.  It's also a US Marine Corps shirt, the only one I own.
3.  Camera
4.  4th book in Tales of the Otori (which I recommend to anyone who likes historical/feudal Japan/Asia) without its paper cover so I don't rip it to shreds.
5.  Remotes for TV and DVD player.
6.  Crappy Bahrain cell phone
7.  iTouch, which lends to awesome workout jams/dances
8.  My Camelbak water bottle from Worldwide Jesus Lover
9.  La computadora
10.  Paper
11.  Pen
12.  B.o.B.
13.  Lysol wipes (these snuck in the photo, but pretty much fully embraces my take on cleaning: as simple as possible)

My water bottle has lines on it for 8, 16, and 24oz.  I estimated 13 oz of water in my bottle.  I probably had to drink 13 ounces just to get around 13oz left in my bottle!


Day 12: Sunset

Sunset featuring the Gulf Hotel and evening/pre-rush hour traffic!  The colors really suckered me into grabbing my camera for this one.

Not sure where those people at the bottom are walking to...


Day 11: Something blue

My furniture is blue.  It's definitely been in several photographs, but I wanted to capture something more "outside the box" than something as obvious as my deeply disliked, came with my flat, furniture (maybe if it was micro suede instead of pleather I would have liked it better?)

Yes, those are Candy Cane Hershey Kisses that I receive for Christmas last year.  No, I haven't eaten them all.  In the bowl was one, lone, blue Jolly Rancher.  Win.

Today I discovered how awesome reflections are.  If you can't see what is going on: Skyy vodka, Absolute Citron vodka, and Bombay Sapphire gin...  I can haz party?

Recently, I started re-reading the Tales of the Otori series I bought way back when.  I figured that I wouldn't get through the 3rd book, by this point, so I put the 5th book in my packout.  Another Teh Megan fail, because I started the 4th book a few days ago....
Since I do what I wawnt, I've taken this challenge into my own hands.  Often, I can't decide on just one photograph.  After I shoot for a "day", I realize something else that would be awesome... Which is why you're getting so many different shots..  You're welcome, Gentle Readers!  :)


Sunday, October 16, 2011

My mother's daughter or a true Southerner?

I was sitting in my bed eating (shhh, don't tell Teh Mom) a crushed up brownie with vanilla ice cream.  This is the type of thing I do as an adult.  I'm a rebel.  I break those rules Teh Mom always enforced as I was growing up.  We weren't allowed to have food in our bedrooms (despite this rule I usually had a serious candy stash in a box somewhere in my room).  Other than the points in my life where my room was the same as my "house"..  I rarely break this rule.  Seriously.  I even almost feel a little guilty now that I've told you what I did.

It's like having oreos for breakfast.  Very rebel move.

But, as I was sitting in my bed, enjoying my brownie, I realized... I'm eating to comfort myself (the packout/impending move/hotel stay/dwindling countdown/arrival in America/seeing family again/buying a new car/finding a place to live/being in a new state/dealing with not-hot weather/etc).

Then I had a debate in my head.. Was I eating to comfort myself because I am Southern.. or because I am my mother's daughter?

A few months after I got to Bahrain, I was in the shop and someone said they were having a bad day.  I said, here have some (food that was probably chocolate).  I'm not even sure what the exact food was, but one of the Chiefs that was standing there said, "Just like a Southerner to offer someone food to make them feel better!"  She was of course only kinda joking, either way I laughed, because she was right.

Honestly, I couldn't decide if it was the way I was raised or because I am Southern, which I guess really goes hand in hand.  I don't actually remember having a plethora of snacks/sweets around growing up.  I remember cakes/etc being baked for events (birthdays, holidays, etc), but I don't feel like we usually had cake just hanging around waiting to be eaten (unlike the brownies that are sitting on my stove).  It wasn't like the pantry was on lock down.  If we were hungry, we found/fixed ourselves something to eat if it wasn't in or around lunch/dinner time.  I feel like my usual go-to was cereal, but maybe I just have a bad memory (Teh Bear would probably say so since I often repeat the same stories to him).

This entire train of thought led me to the acknowledgment that knowing I eat to comfort myself is probably the first actualization towards having a better attitude towards food.  The second acknowledgement is that I eat when I get bored.

Since I've been in Bahrain, I've been able to cook for myself (hallelujah).  I've also taken up working out regularly and better-ish eating habits.  My snacks throughout the day include fruit.  I also try to limit "bad stuff" like chips/cookies/entire pans of brownies. I've helped myself by sticking to the 100 calorie snack packs (like fudge rounds, because everyone that knows me understand that I need chocolate in my life, but you can keep your soda).  Yes, I have days where I eat my 6" sub, a snack bag of potato chips, and then follow that up with a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  There are days that I have breakfast, eat an apple, have a sammich for lunch, eat a banana, go work out, and have fairly healthy, controlled portion, leftovers for dinner.  Then there are days where I have breakfast, don't really get hungry for lunch, so instead I "snack" on swiss cake rolls, a pumpkin cookie with cream cheese icing, and half a bag of fruit snack gummies, then later decide that I'm starving for dinner and eat an entire Totino's pizza.    

I then bitch about feeling like a fatty and guilt myself into going to work out.  True story, it happens frequently actually.  Don't judge my motivation for getting to the gym!  Some days I don't even have to guilt myself into going to the gym, I just want to go..  It is a strange phenomenon.


When I arrived in Bahrain, I weighed around 160 lbs (which was under the embarrassing weight I'd reached in GTMO).  Definitely over my military weight limit.  Now I'm teetering around 145 lbs.  Obviously, I've done something right!  :)  I've plateaued at the 146lb mark and Teh Bear suggested doing some weight lifting to encourage my metabolism to start moving again to mix it up for my body, instead of just doing my workouts.

At the end of September, we had a uniform inspection.  I was pleased that my uniforms (that were fitted in bootcamp) didn't fit like they once did and, thankfully, not in a bad way!  I have wayyyy too much fabric in the butt/legs of my dress blues.  Shoulda Been a Cowgirl was able to grab handfuls of fabric before the legs even started to pull tight!  I personally was impressed with the inches I'd lost, because weight is just a number.  You can have a super low number and still not be strong or healthy.

Teh Mexican and I were having a conversation recently about getting depressed if you don't work out (if you work out regularly).  I agreed with what he was saying because I do start to feel down if I haven't worked out in 3-ish days.  I start to feel anxious and restless.  I find that I can't fall asleep as well as if I had worked out.  Then I get hard on myself, which leads to a guilt tripping myself (like a true Catholic) because I know I've not worked out and I ate this and this and that and I'm going to get fat!

Disclaimer: The "you're gonna get fat" part is really just a mean thing I say to myself.  I don't actually think I'm fat (in an unhealthy way) and I do not have (nor have I ever had) an eating disorder.

When Teh Mom used to see me roaming around the house, then staring into the pantry/fridge like I was looking for something but couldn't figure it out, she would ask me if I was bored eating.  It didn't happen too often, but it led me to come up with a clever remark, "Nope, just checkin' to make sure all the food is still there."  This worked out in 2 ways.  She helped me see my behavior.  When I would say my clever comment, I would realize that Teh Mom was right, I wasn't really hungry, I was just bored eating, and I needed to find something to do, besides eat.  This worked out because instead of her just telling me what to do (which general led to opposite results), it became my own idea to walk away from the food (usually).  To this day, I still get bored and roam around my kitchen.  Usually around closing the 2nd cabinet and opening the 3rd, or the fridge then freezer, I'll say to myself, "You're 'checkin' to make sure its all there'," then make myself leave the kitchen to find something to entertain myself with instead of eating.

But back to the main question...  I definitely know two ways that makes me my mother's daughter.  I love the idea of gifting food.  Probably due to the memories of making coconut and/or peanut butter balls almost every year to give as Christmas gifts.  The second is that no holiday is complete without a family meal, which can be a gift in and of itself.. hey, food isn't cheap ya'll!  Just bringing deviled eggs isn't a serious contribution to the overall meal (price-wise), despite how much the kids love them... just sayin.  This meal wasn't just Teh Family, but Teh ENTIRE Family.  Cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents, friends..

So.. maybe its both?  :)

I'll leave you with a disturbing image...
I'm so grossed out right now.  Who thinks this is appropriate?!  This person hopefully doesn't have the ability to reproduce..  Because that would be inhumane... for the children to learn these practices of inappropriateness!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Photo Challenge Update

I know I'm several days behind on the photo challenge.  Shitbag, aye.  One of my goals on my 2 days off was to get caught up (maybe even get ahead some)..  But, I have a migraine that has decided to stick around.  It loves me so much that its only making one side of my head hurt.. per day.  Yesterday it was the right side, today it is the left.  It's a great time.  Not seriously.

I'd love to lay down and nap this sucker away, but sleep and I are apparently having a lover's quarrel that I wasn't aware of until recently.  No bueno.

I will definitely be completing the challenge, no matter how difficult finding something blue (besides the sky and my furniture) will be.  Now.. to take my migraine meds.  Helloooo feeling better soon.

Friday, October 14, 2011

22. My First Kiss

For a very long time, I was fearless.  Seriously.  I got hit in the forehead with a rake by Doug the exchange student while he was doing Copoeira moves with a rake because I stepped up to him, I usually didn't let the fact that I was a klutz hold me back, I let people toss things to me even though I have a minimal chance of catching it, I pull out in front of cars, I was driving when I was under the age of 5 (no jk)... and I made the first move when it came to my first kiss... and the repercussions of that probably bite me in the ass more now that I'm an adult since apparently guys actually like it when the girl makes the first move? 

Side note:  it took being knocked out by a soccer ball to the face to make me MUCH more fearful..  Something about landing on the ground head first will do that to you.  Luckily, this happened much later in life.

In kindergarten (what kind of word is that anyways?), you don't know each other (usually, work with me here) so you're all in the same playing field.  You don't already have a predisposed group of friends.  There aren't really any cliques yet.  You're all fresh meat.

I was one of those kids that rarely got in trouble.  Sometimes I'd have to pull a card (which was the worst thing ever for me) because I was talking when I wasn't supposed to (4 out of 5 times) or was somewhere I wasn't supposed to be.  Then there was the one time Teh Mom was our substitute teacher and she made me pull like 2 or 3 cards for reasons that probably weren't real reasons, but it was just the convenient that I was her kid and I got to be made an example of...  Needless to say, I was not happy with her when we went home, especially because the 3rd card I pulled, the red card, meant time out in the back of the classroom, and I wasn't really doing anything wrong to have to pull a card.  Seriously.

In kindergarten, you get snack time and nap time and play time.  It's a pretty sweet deal.. or it was, I'm not sure how it works anymore.  They are probably doing multiplication tables and writing poetry in kindergarten now.  We always got to pick out which drink we wanted (orange juice, regular milk, or chocolate milk) and we had to bring our own snack (to my remembering).  On this day I chose orange juice, which was different from my regular chocolate milk.  Jamal was sitting beside me.  I was super into Jamal, he was pretty cute.  After they had distributed the drinks and everyone was almost done with their snacks, I apparently decided it was time to make a move on Jamal.
So we were a little older.  (image)

The next time he turned to face me, I kissed him right on the lips.  I wasn't subtle, I didn't wait till anyone wasn't looking and I can't exactly remember how I got in trouble, if the teacher saw me or if it was the collective gasp from the other kids and the immediate "oh my gosh, Megan just kissed Jamal!" whispers.  Either way.  I definitely pulled a card that day.  I wasn't really sure why I had gotten in trouble because no one actually talked to me about it.  I just assumed from then on out that kissing people besides your family was a pretty big no-no.  It took till sometime in middle school (shhh don't tell Teh Parents) to outgrow that assumption.

Did you get in trouble for your first kiss or were you way more suave than me?


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

This one time, I molested a gigantic roll of bubble wrap...

I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.  I may or may not actually be a child.

I decided not to do anything too risky while the movers were there to protect their roll.

Excited face!  Who loves bubble wrap!

This mo-fo is almost as tall as me...

I need to grow.. 

Things were starting to get steamy between me and the bubble wrap roll.

I was holding it close.

I felt like I should back off a little, so I gave it some space.

Then it missed my touch.

I was trying to see inside the bubble wrap roll.  Everyone has a heart somewhere.

Then we got naughty again.

I tried being smaller than the bubble wrap roll.

We were buds.

But I wanted more.  (I pretended the roll was really Teh Bear... not that I could dip him for a kiss..)

This was me telling the roll to be good.  Nothing too inappropriate, my boyfran wouldn't like it.

Shakin my booty at the bubble wrap roll.

What a comfy body pillow!

This is much harder than it looks.  No pun intended.

Look Ma, I'm flying!

Wrestling with the bubble wrap roll.. I was showing it who was the boss.

Balancing on the roll on the table.  And I cut off my own head.  Awesome.

I had the bubble wrap roll pinned.  It wasn't getting away.

Me serenading the bubble wrap roll.


Giving the bubble wrap roll a hug with my awesome packing tape bracelets on.

Taking the packing paper and beating the bubble wrap roll with it.  The paper was actually heavier than I anticipated.

Me begging the bubble wrap roll not to leave and making promises that we could have fun for a long time.
Please excuse the semi-bad quality of these photos.  I took my ancient faithful point and shoot and set the shutter delay.  I sat it on the counter and the dining room table and random boxes..  I took all these photos while the movers were taking boxes out.  Anytime I heard the elevator ding, I would run the bubble wrap roll back to the spot they left it in and return to my computer like I was being normal... Bwahahhahahahaha.. little do they know their bubble wrap isn't innocent anymore.

I wanted to wrap myself in it and take a photo, but one of them taped it closed before I could.