June 28, 2009


Jet lag + head cold + pregnant, so no meds = miserable and exhausted

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June 26, 2009


Also, the dog is mad at me.  Or depressed.  Or scared.  Something.  Because he is not himself.

He supposedly had fun at the boarder.  But he came home a tangled mess, so I immediately took him for a shave-down the next day.  Maybe that was too much.  Maybe dropping him off with strangers a second time set him over the edge.

He keeps doing this hacking thing, almost like a seizure.  And he hasn't barked in two days.  Normally he's perched in front of the window to bark at anything he sees, but not a peep since he's gotten home.  He hides, and won't make eye contact.

Our dog has always been weird, but not like this.

Seriously, I want my Charlie back.

I'm never leaving him again.

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My husband and I went on our much-anticipated vacation to "somewhere other than our parents' houses."  We took two whole suitcases and had the time of our life.  My husband did a much better job of relaxing than he did back in January.  The vacation was perfect.

Until the last day.

And all of a sudden, I realized we were on Block Leave.  I realized that the end of this trip signaled the end of block leave, which means July was coming soon, which means my husband is deploying.

My husband is deploying in like two weeks or so.

And I wanted the last day to slow down, to last forever, to never end.

But it did.

Right before the last deployment, I said this:

I love having my husband home. I need to have my husband home if we're ever going to successfully have a baby. But three years on, I miss the deployment feelings. I miss the sense of connectedness, of purpose, of conviction. It probably sounds strange, but I miss the feeling of sacrifice, of knowing that I've given up being with someone I love for the good of our country. Honestly, for me, the deployment feeling hurts, but it's a good hurt, a deep and satisfying pain. And I haven't felt it in three years. I feel ashamed that I've lived too ordinary of a life for three years.

I welcomed that last deployment.  But this time, it just kinda seems too soon for me.  It feels like he just got home.  That coupled with my lack of emotional investment in Afghanistan has made me unprepared for him to leave this time.

I can't believe he's leaving.

The IVF clinic called me while I was at SBL Utah at the end of May.  I haven't called them back.  I've been stalling.  I don't really care right now.  I don't want to think about it.  I know I need to call them back and get the process moving, but I just don't want to.

I'm kinda incredulous about life these days.  I can't believe what's happening to my self, to my family, to my country.  It's like I'm in a bad dream that I can't shake.

I'm being Dante again.

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June 24, 2009


When we dropped Charlie off at the boarder a week ago, the lady squealed and asked how old he is.  "Wait, you mean he's not a puppy?  You mean he's going to look like this forever?" she exclaimed.  Apparently everyone all week kept asking about the cute golden "puppy," which has prompted my husband to riff off of CVG and keep saying our dog is Permanent Puppy.

They told us another story when we picked Charlie up that keeps making me smile.  Charlie is deathly afraid of water.  He hates it and won't go near it.  The boarder put out plastic kiddie pools for the dogs to frolic in, and apparently Charlie desperately wanted to play with the other dogs but was immobilized by his fear of water.  She said he would just run in circles around the plastic pool while all the other dogs were in it in the water.  So they came up with a solution: they got another plastic pool and set it up beside the first...empty.  Apparently Charlie frolicked and played in an imaginary pool all week beside the other dogs.  Which really tickles me.

We're all back together again at home.  About two or three more weeks before the husband deploys...

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June 19, 2009


Oh good heavens, they tarted up the pirate show.

We saw the show six years ago when we were here, and it was clever: swashbuckling, cannon battles, proper action.  But then someone at Treasure Island thought, "You know what this pirate show needs?  Thongs."  And now, it's a Britney Spears video with a pirate theme.  Ugh.

However, it did end up being a good platform for some movie quote jokes.  My husband worked in the following:
"They're gonna love him up and turn him into a horny toad."
"That's not pirates, that's ass."
"Let me guess, he fixes the cable?"

Dear Treasure Island: The addition of skanky girls does not automatically improve every single thing in Las Vegas.  I'm just sayin'.

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June 18, 2009


There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know.

Rummy was right.  Last night I encountered an unknown unknown, something I did not know I had never seen because the thought never crossed my mind.  I didn't know what I was missing until I encountered it.

If you have never seen a contortionist pole dance, then you have no idea what you've never seen.

Zumanity was wicked cool.

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June 17, 2009


We had the Bellagio buffet for lunch, which was quite good and which I preferred to the Paris one, I think.  (I vote Bellagio for food and Paris for dessert.)  They had some good curry duck and rack of lamb and stuff.  The highlights for me were the asparagus -- perfectly crisp; mine at home is always too mushy or too raw -- and the tiny cheesecakes for dessert.  Oh gosh were they good, and I am the type person who would normally choose seconds of the main course over desserts.

And afterwards in the bathroom, there was a girl puking.  Either she gorged herself, in which case I feel sorry for her, or she's a bulemic.  I had to think about that for a while: is Las Vegas a bulemic's dream or nightmare?  On the one hand, you get all these yummy foods before you barf, but on the other hand...you just paid twenty bucks to gag all that food up?  Weak.

We went to the gym this morning, so that totally counteracts the buffet, right?

Chuck Z suggests the Rio buffet.  Gourmet magazine recommends their seafood buffet as the best in Vegas, so it was on my list of potential things I want to spend $40 on.  I'm trying not to be a cheapskate and do one nice meal per day, and then cook something here or do something light for the opposite meal.  Tonight we will have a small dinner before heading to a saucy show.

It's hard for me to part with $75 each for show tickets, but I had a talk with myself this morning: In six months when my husband is gone, would we pay $150 to sit together in a dark room watching a sexy show?  Absolutely.  So why not do it now while we have the chance.

We're having fun.  Really, I don't need to spend money to have fun; I just like doing anything with my husband.  Sitting in the hot tub, being on the internet, riding on a movable sidewalk, all of these are even satisfying as long as he's here with me.  (And the movable sidewalk, that's one of the good parts of life!)

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Luggage was delivered last night at 3 AM.  And we had to get out of bed and go down to pay for it.  Guh.

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June 16, 2009


Our bags still aren't here, so we went out and ate anyway.  We went to the buffet at the Paris hotel, and my goal was to eat things I don't make at home: duck, crab legs, salmon, etc.  But the true joy came at dessert time: mousse, creme brulee, crepes, and...flan.

Ah, flan.  Flan is apparently my version of Proust's madeleine.  It took me back twelve years to the halls of my school in France.  There was a vending machine that dispensed this delightful treat.

Yep, flan from a vending machine.  The French are so la-di-da.

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So today started out...um, well...bad.

We live 80 miles from the airport.  We allotted three hours for travel.  We missed our flight.

I have been in far harder rain storms, but apparently (we now know) flooding backed up traffic all over town.  It took us over an hour to go a few measly miles.  Thank heavens for Garmin; we eventually exited and took back roads to the airport.  I honestly thought there had been some sort of terrorist attack or evacuation, because the highways were a nightmare of traffic but there was not a car to be found on the roads in town.  It was eerie.

So we missed our flight, but luckily for us, the 6 AM flight had been delayed five hours.  Sucks to be its original passengers, but we lucked out and ran to the gate just in time.  We still managed to barely catch our original connecting flight, so we did some serious Mr T style recouping of our day.

And, without a dictionary, I wondered if the final turn of events had been fortuitous or serendipitous.  I think it's more the former, though I detect an element of the latter.

Unfortunately, we're out a good chunk of change in extra parking fees, since in our hurry to make the flight, we chose short-term over long-term.  And our bags didn't make the flight, so now we're sitting in the hotel waiting for them to be delivered.  For a $25 fee, of course.

But our hotel room is teh awesome, so score.  Full kitchen and everything.  (We're talkin' four burners and a full-size fridge, plus dining room table!)  And we overlook the Bellagio fountain and the Eiffel Tower.  So, sweet.

Come on, luggage.  Sarah wants to hit the buffet.

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June 15, 2009


Both laptops are getting turned off and packed here in a few minutes...
We're off!

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Four years ago today, we brought little six-pound Charlie home to be our dog.

You can even see the green ink on his ear where he got tattooed.  (Oh, and don't think we didn't make lots of jokes about Germans and their fondness for tattooing barcodes on people...)

We dropped Charlie off tonight for his week at the boarder's.  He barely looked back at us as he ran off into the room filled with 32 other dogs for the week.  He is going to have the time of his life.

But five minutes after driving away, I said, "OK, I miss him already."  I was mostly kidding.  Mostly.

My husband says we'd better hurry up and have a kid, lest we turn into the Swans.

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My husband hasn't been sleeping well lately.  He is overwhelmed by how much there still is to learn about Afghanistan.  He is keeping himself up at night worrying that he hasn't learned enough geography, culture, and history.  He invested five years of his life into learning Iraq, and now he's changing horses midstream.  He wants to make sure he's prepared for this new mission, and it's been on his mind constantly.

Today is our seventh wedding anniversary.  I joked, "You're becoming an insomniac like me!  See, it's true what they say about people turning into each other when they've been married for so long.  It only took you seven years."  He snorted and said, "But I don't want to be like you in this area!"  When asked what area he would like to be more like me in, he replied, "You know, how you're organized and remember birthdays and stuff."  Heh.

We're leaving tomorrow for block leave: a week in Las Vegas.  In addition to festivities and fun, we will be working on learning Pashto together.  Just another thing to shove in our suitcase...

Don't worry, we're such nerds that we chose our hotel based on who had free wifi.

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June 11, 2009


My husband has a summer birthday, so he was always the youngest in his class.  That also has made him the youngest in his year group in the Army, so he has always been the baby of the group.  At OBC, a prior-enlisted guardsman flipped out when he learned my husband was born in 1980: "I was pickin' up chicks in my Trans Am in 1980!"

But he's started to realize that he's been in the Army for seven years now.  And suddenly, he's older than most of the NCOs he works with.  He's not the baby anymore.

I took his team a homemade lunch today, and they gushed and thanked me and called me Mrs. and Ma'am.  And I realized that I'm no spring chick either: I am nine years older than the medic on his team.  I must seem like such an old lady to him.

On Monday, my husband and I have our seventh wedding anniversary.  We've known each other for almost ten years.

It feels good to be a grown up.  But it took me by surprise today.

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June 03, 2009


I can't believe you've been gone for four years.  I miss your presence and voice on the internet as much now as I did the first day.

Mike Reed, Bunker Mulligan, one of my first and favorite imaginary friends...

I miss you.

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