December 31, 2004

MILLENNIUM

I think New Year's Eve is the most overrated holiday of the year. I don't even like staying up until midnight, and I completely relate to what Lileks said about how the Midwest's midnight is totally eclipsed by New York's. I'm the first one to bed; at 0005, I'm done.

The only New Year's Eve I actually enjoyed was the millennium, and that's because I spent it alone.
Well, almost.

On 31 Dec 1999, I was a senior in college, home for break. My parents had gone out, my brother was having a party in our basement, and I was invited to a friend from high school's house. I went over there and had a great time catching up with everyone. I remember vividly that we nerds all compared when we finally lost our 4.0 averages: one friend complained that he had lost his first, and we reminded him that he was at Princeton, for pete's sake. I love being a nerd.

But as midnight approached and we gathered into the living room, I just began to feel uneasy. It was 1999, the edge of a new millenium, and I had this vague feeling that I wasn't spending the evening right. I couldn't shake the thought that I would regret being where I was. And so, at 11:45, I stood up and told my friends I was going home; they looked at me like I was crazy. I made up some story that I had promised my brother to be home at midnight, and I think they bought it. I said goodbye, and it was the last time I've seen any of those people. I wish we could get together again, but I didn't want to be there that night.

I got in the car and drove home, making it to the doorstep a few minutes before midnight. But I didn't really want to be with my brother's friends either. I knew who I wanted to ring in the new millennium with: I snuck upstairs and grabbed a good friend of mine to take outside with me.

I saw my watch turn to midnight and heard firecrackers in the neighborhood to celebrate the millennium -- the most important year switch I'll ever see -- sitting outside on the steps with my pet fish. That's the only New Year's Eve I'll ever really remember because I was alone with a good friend who didn't know anything about overrated holidays or thousands of years. He just knew he liked to kiss my fingertips when I dipped them in his bowl.

Best New Year's ever.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:20 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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December 27, 2004

MEH

We got rain on Christmas; so did the husband. And then yesterday the Angel Balboa dumped a bunch of snow on us for Boxing Day. Whatever Boxing Day is.

I keep coming to the computer, sitting down, and saying "meh" after about ten minutes. The motivation just isn't there lately, and whatever I have to say has already been said better elsewhere. By the Questing Cat, by Jeff Jarvis, and by Varifrank. Seriously, read their posts instead of mine; I have nothing to add to their wisdom.

I did learn to crochet yesterday. I've wanted to learn for a while, so I finally got up off the couch and headed to my neighbor's. Since all of my current knitting projects are for people who might be reading this, I can't show any of my work, but crochet items are going to be all mine. I'm starting on a hat.

See, I just hit the meh point, where I just stare at the screen and my eyes start to glaze over.

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December 25, 2004

CHRISTMAS

Before I go downstairs to watch Rudolph and open my presents, I wanted to write a little about what Christmas means this year.

What does Christmas mean this year?

For me, the best part about Christmas is giving presents, and since there's no one else in the house, I don't get to watch anyone open anything. That's a real bummer. The second best part is when Dad makes pancakes, but I don't get any of those either. So what do I get this Christmas?

I get the tranquility of knowing that my husband is safe and sound. He's made it ten and a half months with nothing worse than some close calls, and his work in Iraq is almost complete. I know that somewhere in Iraq there's a little tree covered in funny ornaments inside a very messy cormex, and that makes me smile.

I also get the satisfaction of knowing that big changes are happening in the Middle East, changes that are a direct result of American military intervention in the region. President Karzai just appointed three women to his cabinet in Afghanistan. Three women. In a country where four years ago women were forbidden to work at all. That's progress, and it's real, and it's because my own country finally intervened. You don't know how proud that makes me of my country.

This Christmas I also get the relief of knowing that we are halfway through our tour in Germany, that soon we will return home. Home, land of the Pilgrim's pride, where I'd give anything to be. I just couldn't go without my husband; I couldn't leave him in Iraq while I went to the greatest place on the planet. I have to wait it out so we can go there together, step off the plane, and know that we both are finally home.

Christmas brings a turning point in the deployment. Christmas was the furthest goal we had set for ourselves, the last milestone before redeployment.

We're almost there.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:01 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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December 24, 2004

CHRISTMAS EVE

I was awake for over an hour before I realized it was Christmas Eve. I guess that's what happens when you're 27 and alone. Christmas will be fine this year though; several friends are still in town, so they're coming to my house. I have a tree and everything. And Mom sent me three boxes of gifts, so I've even got presents under the tree.

I can't help but think of Christmases past though. Like the year I got the Barbie RV; I saw it and thought I was still sleeping. The year my father built me a dollhouse, and my parents stayed up all night wallpapering it. The year I asked why Santa's handwriting looked an awful lot like Mom's. The year I finally got to sleep with my grandma (my brother always got to sleep with her): she kept me awake all night with her snoring, and I was panicked that Santa wouldn't come unless I was asleep. The dorky Christmas video we made for our grandparents that we still show to embarrass each other in front of spouses and girlfriends. The Christmas two years ago when the movers came to pick up our household goods to move us to Germany.

Or my favorite Christmas memory of all: the year we got a Nintendo. My brother opened the wrapping paper, and I'll never forget the magic in his voice as he exclaimed, "There must be a Santa Claus because Mom and Dad would never buy us a Nintendo!"

Posted by: Sarah at 02:59 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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December 22, 2004

CARE LESS, EYES, LIPS, AND HANDS TO MISS

Annika does Poetry Wednesday every week, so I thought I'd share one I like. I'm sorta hit and miss with poems -- either I love it or couldn't care less -- and there are only a few that I think are really superb. This is one of them:

A VALEDICTION FORBIDDING MOURNING.
by John Donne

As virtuous men pass mildly away,
And whisper to their souls to go,
Whilst some of their sad friends do say,
"Now his breath goes," and some say, "No."

So let us melt, and make no noise,
No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;
'Twere profanation of our joys
To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th' earth brings harms and fears ;
Men reckon what it did, and meant ;
But trepidation of the spheres,
Though greater far, is innocent.

Dull sublunary lovers' love
—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit
Of absence, 'cause it doth remove
The thing which elemented it.

But we by a love so much refined,
That ourselves know not what it is,
Inter-assurèd of the mind,
Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,
Though I must go, endure not yet
A breach, but an expansion,
Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so
As stiff twin compasses are two ;
Thy soul, the fix'd foot, makes no show
To move, but doth, if th' other do.

And though it in the centre sit,
Yet, when the other far doth roam,
It leans, and hearkens after it,
And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
Like th' other foot, obliquely run ;
Thy firmness makes my circle just,
And makes me end where I begun.


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December 18, 2004

MATRIX

I have a confession to make: I bought The Matrix: Revolutions tonight. Yes, I know, I know. General consensus is that it sucked, but I have to see for myself because I still haven't seen it. I missed it the one day they played it in the theater here (yes, we get movies for one day only, unless they're mega-blockbusters), and I have to know how it ends. I don't care if it's the worst movie ever; it's been a year, and I have to know.

But I'm positive I won't think it's the worst movie ever. I'm sure my husband would say that my favorite movie genre is Crap, which is evidenced by my owning The Karate Kid Trilogy and Big Trouble in Little China. I'm easily entertained, have criminally low movie standards, and am a complete sucker for explosions, especially when they're set to techno music. Hence, my desire to see the final Matrix movie.

Since it's common knowledge that the movie was bad, it goes for $6.83 online, so I feel no guilt whatsoever in purchasing it. And I will watch it eagerly when it shows up. However, I will likely refrain from writing the embarrassing post about how I enjoyed it. Because I know I will enjoy it. Big Trouble in Little China, remember?

Posted by: Sarah at 06:31 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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December 17, 2004

ANTHOLOGY

I've been cleaning out my husband's hotmail while he's been gone, and I just noticed that he saved all of the emails I wrote him while we were dating. I've gotten sucked into reading them all over the past few hours, and I must say that I was something else back then. It's funny how he's been gone for ten months: back when we started dating, I couldn't stand to be without him for an hour. Probably the only person who will be interested in this post is my husband (and maybe Annika because she paid us a nice compliment in our interview). Without further ado, here is an Anthology of Goofy Crap I Said to My Husband Back in 2000:

I will think about you twice every second while you are gone.

Girls dig sponges of useless knowledge, so if anyone tries to pick you up this weekend, get her number and then I'll go after her wolvyberserker style and beat her senseless. Mercy is for the weak.

Without you, I am Schroedinger's cat...both alive and dead...

It is funny how I have been looking forward to spring break for 18 weeks, counting them down, and then when I had to leave you I felt like I wanted to stay. I am about to waste 25 hours...the travel time...and all I can think about is how I would love to stockpile those hours and save them to spend with you.

My mom found out you are 19. Ha.

When I am without you, my heart is all ate up.

This is the last time I can write to you from Sweden, so I am going to blow you another kiss through the ethernet cable and tell you that I cannot wait to see you.

I am listening to "Glory of Love," the cheesy love song from the Karate Kid, and I wish you were here with me. I'll see you when you get home. And I promise not to be grumpy.

Work will be torture because you will not be there.

[when my roommate was annoying me] Only one more week. After that I will never share a room with anyone but you for the rest of my life.

I rented a movie and blah blah blah, everything seems so empty and boring without you.

I wanted to tell you that I want to marry you and have your big headed children and that I cannot imagine having to do this for another two years. Two days has been torture enough.

Are you drunk?
Are you telling stories?
Are you missing me as I am missing you?

Your grammar mistake was cute, but only after I realized what you meant to say. You wrote: "I am so glad to find out that you read my email. I'm glad you are not worried. You have no reason to be my Sarah." I hope you meant "You have no reason to be, my Sarah"!
I love you. I have every reason to be your Sarah

P.S. All pushups done for our beautiful flag are good pushups. (You are so strong!)

I love you so much that in driving home today, I started crying because I happened to look into a house window and see a wife straightening her husband's tie in the living room. I wanted so much for that to be you and me.

I miss you. To steal a metaphor from one of my new professors, when I am without you, I feel as alone as a bean rolling around in a boxcar.

[after watching an episode of Days of Our Lives] I love you, though. I will never say that you raped me just because you were keeping it a secret that your father didn't really die when he got shot by the Italian Mafia and is instead pretending to be dead to get back at your mother who is trying to cover her murdering tracks.

I am really starting to miss you. I can't wait to be together. 315 days until we get married...

I love you because you didn't vote for Nader and because you think Krispy Kreme donuts are overrated.

And my favorite:

My roommate told me something once that I have been trying to forget for four years. She once said, "In every relationship there is one person who loves more." Once I heard this wise statement, I began to analyze all of my relationships, both romantic and friend. And I have found through the past four years that she has unfortunately been right. There is usually one person who is head over heels for the other and the other tries to figure out why he does not feel the same. My view of relationships has drastically changed in the past four years because in my mind there was little chance of anything that resembled real love.

However, there was the oddball relationship that would come up every once in a while, the two people who seemed so in love that I could not tell who loved more. And my amendment to that statement is that in every relationship there is someone who loves more, until the two people reach a state of love where the difference is indiscernable. It's like some sort of calc graph where the lines become tangential and almost appear to be one graph. And so I decided that this is the only true love, the love where you cannot tell where one graph ends and the other begins.

I was thinking about this as I drove back to school, and I realized that I do not know who loves more in our relationship. It has been so easy to see with others, yet I really think that we love equally. And that amazes me. We are a calc graph. A horizon. A rainbow whose end you can never find.

"In every relationship there is one person who loves more, unless you are [husband] and Sarah, and then you just love the most."

My husband didn't do so bad himself. This one's my favorite:

Before you, I didn't give a rat's ass about girls. Now, I'm a shell of my former self. I'm pathetically crazy about you. I miss you so much that I read all your emails over again and listened to the voice mail message you left me over and over just to hear your voice. How pathetic is that? I would have kicked my own ass in the olden days. Who am I kidding? I love how crazy you make me. Come home.

Husband, the way I missed you five years ago is nothing compared to what I feel now. If it sounds like I loved you then, my feelings have only grown. I miss you so much and I can't wait to see you again.

You're favorite.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:21 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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December 10, 2004

SHRUG

I know, I know. I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, so I should just shrug, right? That's what the book says. Shrug it off and think about yourself. But I'm still Dagny, still thinking that the world needs me. I'm trying, but I'm not ready for Galt's Gulch yet. I got stuck working an extra hour at the gift wrap today because my replacement never showed up. I can't just walk away if there's no one to pick up the slack. At least not yet. I'm starting to feel like maybe I could, especially after this hellacious week.

Now I have to go wrap my own family's presents. I already let go of the fact that they're not going to make it home in time.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:23 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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TOO MUCH

Last night I had a dream that perfectly sums up how I've been feeling these past few days. In the dream, I went to see the musical that's showing here, but throughout the whole thing, my students kept interrupting and asking me questions. I finally gave up trying to watch it and went to the store to buy some gifts for my husband, but my friend kept pressuring me, telling me it was time to go and that I had to choose quickly.

This whole week has gone down the toilet. On Monday, when I was so excited to be taking my vacation days so I could get stuff done, I never imagined what a waste this week would be. I got suckered into going in to work on Wednesday and Thursday, so I sat there all day long, thinking about everything I would be doing if I were at home. When I wasn't at work, I was knitting furiously for the gift exchange we had last night; the woman who won my gift said monotonously, "Oh, a scarf and hat," and then tossed them on the floor. Eight hours of work, wasted. So I was saving my stuff to do until today, when I found out last night that our company was supposed to be doing a gift-wrap fundraiser today but no one has signed up for it. No one even called me about it, but now I might get stuck gift wrapping for four hours.

Christmas gifts are supposed to be mailed back to the States no later than tomorrow in order to guarantee them in time for Christmas. I haven't even started packing the first box. My Czech orphan gift has to be over at battalion this morning too. I also haven't bought a single thing for my husband for Christmas, since I haven't even had time to think.

When is it going to be time for me to do what I want to do?

I mentioned my frustration to my husband the other day (thus the funny exchange), and he thought I was cracking up. He said I sounded like I was depressed and that he was worried about me. I'm not depressed; I'm pissed off. I have stuff that I need to do, and it's all getting pushed aside for stuff other people need me to do. I know it's nothing like the stress of having an RPG hit your tank, but it's still something I don't really want to deal with.

So, once again, no blogging from me. I don't even have time to read blogs today.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:14 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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December 07, 2004

CHANGES

A few weeks ago, I was offered the opportunity to replace an 8th grade English teacher. The catch was that they needed to replace him within two weeks, and I didn't think it was right to quit my current registrar job in such a rush and right before Christmas. So I didn't look into it because I thought that I had a sense of duty to my co-worker. Then my co-worker and I had that massive blowout, and everything changed. I realized that loyalty to a job a monkey could do is pretty silly, especially when DoDDs pays more than three times what I'm making now. Turns out that I'm not qualified for the job they were trying to fill, but I might be qualified for another one that's opening up for next school year. I am going to start the application process, and everyone has told me that the best way to slide into the job is to start out as a sub.

So I'm quitting my job.

I have been saving all of my vacation time since I started working for when my husband comes home, and now that it's not necessary to save it, I'm burnin' it up. Yesterday I went in and announced I am taking the rest of December off, and that was that. I will go back in January and help them register students for the new school term, but I will give my notice and hope to be out of there at the beginning of February. I can then sub at the school and hopefully get in good with the principal.

The thought of teaching middle schoolers more than freaks me out, but the money is definitely right, and I might find that I love them after all. I'm excited to give it a shot, and my dad always says that a human being can do anything for one year. I can teach hormonal kids for a year too: if I like it, I continue; if not, at least I gave it a shot.

So remember those big changes I mentioned? That's that. I have the rest of the month to myself, to concentrate on 1) grading the rest of my papers, 2) getting Christmas presents mailed, 3) the five knitting projects I've started but can't mention because too many people read my blog, and 4) filling out the 60 page teacher application packet. Oh, and blogging. I'd like to devote some more time to it, since I've been rather lame lately.

These last two weeks have been a ride, but I'm glad they happened. The fight with my co-worker opened my eyes to how silly I was being. I needed to move on, so I'm glad that she shocked me into taking the first step. I just wish it didn't have to end on such a nasty note. But that's life, and I need to look out for Sarah.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:29 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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December 06, 2004

HI

Dear the husband,

I know you are getting excited about orders getting cut and plans for redeployment getting made. Just don't get too excited and forget about being safe. Stay focused and diligent. And if you see anyone put a tent in his mouth, call Humor in Uniform.

Oh, and slow down on the Atlas Shrugged already! 950 pages in three weeks? How did you manage that? I tried to catch up last night, but I'm still about 400 pages behind you. Hopefully starting tomorrow I will have lots of free time (more on that later).

Anyway, be safe, enjoy your Christmas tree, and keep looking for a copy of Team America!
Love you, of course.
Sarah

Posted by: Sarah at 04:34 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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