Sunday, April 29, 2007

Escapism

Well, I've been in a foul humor all day and now that it is night, I shall hide within some lovely scenery and dialogue and pretend that I am bantering with Mr. Darcy.

I've no excuse and wish I did - the closing is moved to Monday so there's nothing to be done. The cats are all fine and behaving. Chores are getting done. So why all the `tude?

I think I shall blame hormones - I tell you I never really had bad PMS in the past but now? I wonder. I need to keep track of this utterly nasty behavior and see if it follows that curve. Right now, I can see why men go on about it. I've been just wretched. But to my credit, I've really tried to not foist it off on him...

Add in these last days of night shift...oh, how I hate them. In the beginning, they're alright. You kind of enjoy the hours and relax. But at the end you just want them home. You want someone in bed with you, someone to talk to. So perhaps that is a contributing factor.

Or it could be Ohio sneaking up on my ass. I wanted...well, I wanted time alone with her but...in truth, I knew she wasn't there. And all the pitiful tears wouldn't change that so it'd have just been...maudlin. And we had a lunch to get to...did I mention how we could not find the cemetery? Her town, home town, is all of 10 square miles. And yet, we were driving in circles. After, I said aloud that I bet mom was having a terrific laugh at our wandering around - we can navigate Atlanta, Chicago, and Austin but put us in that tiny place and we couldn't find her. Ah, she must have been having fun at that.

So, let's hope for a better day tomorrow. Work will distract me and there's the lovely Mr. Darcy and pretty Elizabeth to distract, no? And that scene...the view from on high...I need a promontory from which to see my life. Would that there was one...

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Too Damned Late

Yup, it's too late to be on this thing, typing away, but my mind is still rattling around after about 3 hrs of OT to get caught up on email at the office. I've been swamped lately and so behind that it was OT or bust. And I've got all the bust I need. Ha Ha...ha...heh...ahem. Yeah. Okay.

So I had my annual the other day and I entered the new doc's office with some trepidation but put on my game face, handed over the surgical notes from the old doc, and we commenced to "experience" each other. I had foolish worries of something awry again but he assured me that all looked well and that the "hormones are still working fine". I did not even want to know how he can tell whilst...there.

But he noted immediately the other situation at hand and offered up commentary on his exam notes and a referral to a plastic surgeon which I am sorely tempted to consider. Yup, ye olde boob job. The much less fun deflating kind. Oh, how I wish it was...better. The procedures are STILL barbaric. Oh, they can slip a fun bag in with hardly a scar to be seen. I get nipples removed and sewn back on with the half-hearted hope they'll stay there. BARBARIC, I tell you!

I've done enough research to know the odds and the truth of it but even with all the downside...can I tell you how lovely it would be to just be free of the 30 extra lbs of flesh? Oh, yes - nearly that much. Imagine a toddler hanging in a baby pouch off your shoulders each and every day. The thought of being able to just shop normally, buy bras for under $75 each, and to tie my shoes without having to do it off-center...

And there is the numbness, too...My hands are often without sensation. I don't sleep well because I have to move a lot to keep the blood moving. I believe that the weight has inpinged the blood flow in the thoracic area more than ever before. I'd always had troubles but now it is quite pronounced. So...

Am I brave enough to do it? Can I heal well at this age? Will the Frankenstein Boobs be worth it? I want to be the Bionic Woman. "We can build her better than before." I just don't know.

And the new house? My God, what that man is going through...we've both been nervous as long tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. My nerves feel as though they've been scrubbed with a wire brush. I am trying to be patient and good to him whilst also being insanely irritated with the whole process. I've not been doing a very good job of it, snapping and being overly touchy. It ought to have ended today but they decided to make the misery last through Monday afternoon. Madness.

Tomorrow we'll look at paint chips and I'll start researching the whole concept of decorative paint (sure, I want each room a different shade but...is that a good idea?) and I'll measure the master bath window so that we can cover it immediately upon move-in. LOL Priorities, people! Oh, and the shower thingy - I simply must have a wooden slatted base to stand on. The drain is in the center of the floor and I cannot BEAR to have my feet touch a drain. It is a thing - an issue - I have. LOL But we've found a lovely Japanese something to make it just right.

So many things I saw that I meant to link you to but then today my pal sent me a link to her badly neglected site and, specifically, the worst day at work that anyone could have. Oh, you think you've got it topped but you really haven't. I think this link will work. Jules is my sweetest pal. She is a perpetual joy, a tremendous wit and so...her spirit hasn't been tainted by the malaise of life yet. LOL And her son is a gift from the Sidhe. Oh, he is Other, alright. Anyway, that right there takes the prize, period.

Now, then. I think I've gotten just about everything off my - er - chest for the evening. I can sleep a bit until the trooper gets home. I hope we have a good day tomorrow. We both could use one...

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Noah Tackles Land Warrior & TIA

This guy is one of my favorite reads. Sign up for his Yahoo group DangerRoom and see his articles a little sooner.

This one is interesting. "I went to Ft. Lewis last summer expecting the soldiers there to love their new wearable electronics package, called "Land Warrior." The reaction I got instead was... different, to say the least."

And then, of course, these guys had to do a wee bit of satire. Hilarious - better viewed with a beer or two prior.

But then he has this one which I was not aware of. "Texas Governor Rick Perry is "gathering massive amounts of information" into the "most exhaustive... database in state history." The system is supposed to be used to catch crooks and terrorists. But the database isn't being run by state law enforcement. ...even DPS [Texas' Department of Public Safety] is skittish about the direction the project has taken..."

Now, I am the first to admit that I am woefully behind on the local politics. It's not something I've had time for and likely will not for awhile. But, on the heels of that whole Duke issue, the thought of someone in that seat of power having such freedom of information - well, it stinks of "the Ozark Long March" as Billy calls it, doesn't it? And if the DPS is a tad worried you can trust me that there is a lot more to that story.

The 24 Movie Meme

Yay! My first meme! I am a movie fanatic - rather particular about them. I shall not foist it off on anyone else but would love to see the rest of you put up your lists!

The Weird 24 Movie Meme
(Found at Billy’s)

1. Name a movie that you have seen more than 10 times.
Out of Africa, Aliens, Tremors

2. Name a movie that you've seen multiple times in the theater.
I shall admit this never again – Footloose. Hey, I was in a special “stage” of life.

3. Name an actor that would make you more inclined to see a movie.
There are several – some merely because they aren’t Socialists…Robert Duvall, Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Adam Baldwin (gotta love that Jayne), Nicole Kidman (c’mon – even I wouldn’t kick her outta bed!), Angelina Jolie (same, same), Emma Thompson (sheer genius in terms of talent)

4. Name an actor that would make you less likely to see a movie.
To scavenge someone else’s list: Jane Fonda, Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.
Aliens (“All right, sweethearts, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every paycheck a fortune! Every formation a parade! I LOVE the corps! “, “Game over man... Game over!”, “Marines, we are LEAVING!”) Monty Python and the Holy Grail ( "go away or I shall taunt you a second time.”, “It's just a flesh wound.”, “ she's got huge... tracts of land.)

6. Name a movie musical that you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.
Sound of Music is easy enough. I know most of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, too.

7. Name a movie that you have been known to sing along with.
Seven Brides

8. Name a movie that you would recommend everyone see.
Oh, dear…the Firefly series would be top of the list tho it’s not a movie, really.

9. Name a movie that you own.
Geez! The DVD, VHS or Laser Disc? I guess Aliens is the one I’d grab in a fire. Laser Disc, huge editors version.

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.
Hmmm. I guess Billy Bob might have been someone that I would never have predicted to make it, regardless of his prior life.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?
I think I did once but could not tell you what it was – way too young.

12. Ever made out in a movie?
Oh yeah…

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven't yet gotten around to it.
Pretty useless fodder out there, now. I would like to see 300, though.

14. Ever walked out of a movie?
Don’t think so. I don’t go to many – has to be worth my time and money.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.
Gladiator – Scene 1 wherein his clean gear told me he was already dead.

16. Popcorn?
Not usually – I’ll take a handful from yours but Twizzlers are my snack of choice.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?
Very rarely. Perhaps once every three months. Mostly due to lack of something worthwhile.

18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?
Mmm…it might have been The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe! Either that or Pride and Prejudice (gloriously done).

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?
A very well-done period piece will always get me as will excellent military/action fare. Sci-fi but it had better be very good.

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?
I think it was Snow White. The one I really remember, though, is Blazing Saddles.

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?
Any of the American Pie’s. I know, I know – guys love them. I think they’re juvenile.

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada – fantastic but quite strange. The Fifth Element and Fargo are also very different.

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?
Easily – The Exorcist. Seven is a close 2nd.

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?
Oh, man…Monty Python of any variety…but Blazing Saddles is also fantastic. And Serenity/all the Firefly eps have incredible humor.

True Enough

A snippet of an article from our former home town...true in all.

"...a notable anniversary passed last month in a Georgia town that witnessed a dramatic plunge in crime and violence after mandating residents to own firearms. "

Monday, April 16, 2007

Dumb Masses

I refuse to click through all the VA Tech news, refuse to turn the news on again and utterly cannot bear to hear another child brought before mic to express, "...you know, how, like, crazy it was, you know?"

Cold? Yes. Admittedly. Parents are grieving. Families are altered forever. But...I cannot help but think of a room full of people - young, healthy people who were facing their last moments and only one - ONE man with 9mm's. That's it. Even a professional isn't going to be able to resist 30 rushing, resisting, bent on surviving human beings.

So what in the hell happened in that room?

Did they all look at each other, hoping one was packing, or that one was willing to die for the rest of them? Did they just line up to die like lemmings? Why didn't they just think for a minute - a moment - that it was their last decision? That they could take it or dish it out and give themselves a 50/50 chance vs. the 0% he was presenting them?

I know, I know...it's easy from this comfortable chair in my - relatively - secure home. But I've been in a similar place before, with worse odds and no backup. I saw the muzzle flit upward and the twisted smile after it lowered again. Just joking, yeah. A game...

But in that moment...knife came to hand from the counter and I had corners in mind - what would take a hit and remain intact. In that flitting, glinting glance came all my life in a roar in my mind and there was nothing I wouldn't do to continue breathing.

What happened in that room with all that roaring between their ears?

Was there no man there willing to do it - to be the one to take the hit so the rest could have a chance? [Ed: There was. Liviu, meet Fabrizio. I think you'll get along quite well.]

I don't know if I can stand the talking heads long enough to find out if anything else is known. If facts have come to light.

And what of the shooter? What motivations could be possible? Sure, one or two people, perhaps - vengeance. But 30? You have to carry a lot of hate to manage it. Or absolutely no feeling at all. To be God, to be God to each of them and select them...a reaping. Surely. But why?

More questions than answers at this point. Dumb masses - none left to tell the tale, I mean. Mute. Silenced. And someone somewhere is in a funeral home, taking photos, and meeting families outside with dad's that look just like their kids. And, just as likely, wondering what more they could have done.

But the one thing that I feel most clearly...no one was able to meet him on even ground. No other 9mm's there. Because they wanted the school to be a place of safety, a haven of learning. Oh, they learned something alright. That all the lies you've told them over the years - that you'll take care of them, that life is just fine if you will think this way, like us - that there is no truth in any of it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Quietude

The Trooper is out on the roads, doing his thing today, and I am home, trying to get a handle on the messes. I am an admittedly poor hausfrau. I don't mind some things - laundry, dishes, cooking, and even using the beloved Dyson - but I get behind in other things. My desk is always cluttered but then it isn't only my clutter. My catalogues stack up (tho I now rip out pages I like and toss the rest) and the kitchen counters are a mess.

I think, though, that a part of it is because we knew this place was very temporary. I just don't care. I knew I'd be repacking much of it. I accepted that this box would remain on the floor or that stack of papers would just be tossed back into another box...so I haven't made a concerted effort, really. However, I am looking very forward to having our own home.

I like to think that I won't let things get out of hand - that the boxes will all be tossed, the bathrooms kept clean, the CDs always refiled (of course, they're alphabetized - are you crazy?)...I know that this is likely a bit of dreaming. Some habits die hard, after all. But I hope that the new place will mean enough to me - us - that we'll work hard to keep it in shape.

I've a list, now - things to sell and things we'll need to purchase. I even have a running mental list of plants I'll need to disguise the less attractive aspects of the lot. It's easy stuff. But a small part of me hesitates, still. It does not trust that it will actually happen. Something always goes wrong, after all, and why not in this, too?

Oh, I am a pessimist. Well, perhaps a stoic is more accurate. And he is the eternal optimist. So we battle now and again on that front. I am sure I am a wet blanket, as we used to say way back in the olden times. LOL But sometimes his breezy, optimistic attitude makes me crazy, too. You cannot go through life just expecting everything will work out. Frustratingly, for him it does! Oh, I cannot tell you how crazy that makes me. I will have a triple plan and redundancies before making a decision or taking a course of action. He just walks out into the mine field of life, so to speak, and looks back, smiling. And never missteps.

Sigh...I do adore him. But I wish he were wrong more often.

Anyway, he's gone all day and I've been trying to get things done but I just can't find it in me. I want to sleep, of course. But I managed to get a few things done and I console myself with that. I'll even tackle a few more! I just want to enjoy this day, though. I want to continue with the silent rooms about me, musing over my thoughts and not taxing myself. It is a selfish thing, this pleased acceptance of quiet solitude. As long as I've lived on my own I have always done so - no TV, no music, no company - just...quiet. It's soothing.

And, of course, I surf - I hit the usual spots (which I have been quite poor about listing over to the right, I'll admit) and then see where they link off to and find an hour or more has passed. I think our little community is quite literate. Very smart, funny, irreverent and even thought provoking. I find it very interesting to see how alike we are and yet how divergent in many ways. And how we might never have known each other if not for this medium. Not that many of YOU know ME - yet. LOL I am a lurker...I would have been a tremendous analyst for the NSA. Just let me pour over documents, find connections...happy as a clam. Sadly, I had other...interests...in my youth.

Geez, let us NOT go there, eh? That is a tale for another time. Besides, I've broken ties with my historian. She was...not well. And it was unhealthy to have her in my life. It took a long time and a lot of BS before I could admit that. And it is sad because she was the one who remembered everything. I've only snippets here and there. And nothing proper for the lady of a Trooper. But I am wholly reformed. All of that was...so foolish. Such profligate waste. Such a cavalier way to live a life. It embarrasses me to think of it. Still, for good or ill, it is who I am. But I like this Me a lot more. I think you would, too.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Remember...

Fabrizio Quattrocchi, Italian Hero, May 9, 1968-April 14, 2004

This man and his name are honored by me each year. You may not remember that singular name so allow me to remind you of his importance to this world.

Fabrizio - I use his first name as I think he was the type that would have enjoyed having a woman do so and that he'd smile in that suave Italian way and maybe even wink - was an Italian security guard in Iraq. He was kidnapped and held by terrorists and, in the end, made to dig his own grave and kneel at its edge before they killed him.

It was his decision at that moment - that hinge upon which my world turned that day - to defy them, their beliefs and their utter callowness. I like to think he was even defying God in that moment, a God that would allow such nonsense to not only be permitted but to thrive.

I shall quote from the Wikipedia entry, "Quattrocchi's kidnappers forced him to dig his own grave and kneel beside it wearing a hood as they prepared to film his death, but he defied them by pulling off the hood and shouting "Adesso (or ora) vi faccio vedere come muore un italiano!" -- "Now I will show you how an Italian dies!" He was then shot in the back of the neck."

My GOD. Does it get any better than that? Can you be more of a Man than that?! It as as large a FUCK YOU as any man has ever delivered in modern time and I adore him for it. So allow me this moment - this shaking, tear verging moment, won't you?

Oh, and it makes me grin, it does, in that feral way that a soldier knows. I can feel deep in the belly a stirring that is respect - the kind that is known only in one soldier to another. I have felt it only rarely in the past but it tells me, subtly, that once there was a time when the armor rattled on bones.

Tomorrow night, Fabrizio, we shall dine on Italian - some puttanesca, I think - and drink to your name. Saluto!

Smack Down! Dukies and Wealth Envy

Well, I hadn't really intended on commenting about the Duke case because it was clear to nearly everyone from the start what was going on there. The ability of a person in a place of power to nearly destroy forever the lives of innocent men was astounding and frightening. Herein, a snarky column author gets a deserved whack. Hat tip to Billy, of course.
Ser-mack!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Kitchen Sink

As in...it's all here, folks. An assortment of thoughts rumbling about this morning. It's been an early one, too. So...where to start? Something pleasant...

We had the great pleasure of meeting Christina F2F this week. Trooper was very kind to drive and attend the somewhat girly event with me. He actually had a terrific time and was quite pleased with the company. He may have been influenced by the plethora of food presented to him, of course. There is no way to describe her sweetness nor the envy I had for the Diva In Training apron her little girl was wearing. I shall learn to sew and I shall have an apron for every mood! [shaking fist in the air] It's glorious country out there, too. So unlike where we shall be living...

LOL Yes, yes - the hunt is over and it's all done but for the signing. Oh, I'm petulant about a few things but I have come to consider it and decide that I am being a seriously selfish and unappreciative woman. So I had this list - a top 3 list of Not's - and not one of the three is avoided in this home. At first, I was just sour faced and fighting it. Unfair, I cried out inside. But then I ran my mind over the truth of it - it's better than anything I've ever had in that it's MINE - well, OURS - and that I have no right to be so demanding when this is the very best we could do. Mind you, we've not the ability to fund a mansion and we had a range within which we had to reside to abide by DPS' rules so the constraints were many and immovable.

Within those constraints we found something reasonably acceptable and with a good likelihood of paying off in the future. We know we won't stay there forever. It's likely a five year home. So that, too, has adjusted my thinking on the matter. Who knows where we'll be in that time - especially if he goes for Ranger. Those openings are few, after all.

And what else...the news...pfft. I am so sick of it all. Ticks - they remind me of ticks all sucking off the same dying dog. Imus? He used a vernacular that is heard daily on the commute, pounding bass lines accentuating the "urban" decay. They will call it racism but the real racism is in declaring that he is too white to be saying that sort of thing. They are words, people. Words. Whatever happened to the old "sticks and stones" concept?

Anyone want to discuss Feinstein's abrupt departure from the Senate Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee? The profit her husband made from her voting record on military construction contracts? No? God, you can hear a pin drop, can't you?

How about the chatter on the net about where that anthrax came from back during 9/11? Anybody?

Oh, the list of topics is long today and I'm running out of time. But there's the start of it - the things percolating in my mind this morning. Now I think it's time to percolate some coffee. Damned early shift...