Sunday, June 29, 2008

Ballack is HOT

It's been a nice weekend. Got a lot of errands accomplished, a lot of things around the house done. Went for a 4 mile walk on Saturday. I didn't take Toivo with because, well, he's a terrible walker. I want to walk. Momentum - forward. Stopping - none. Toivo likes to stop and smell the roses. Or pee on them, more likely. And he wants to greet every dog and doesn't understand that we are to moving forward at all times. He also is kind of a wimp. At about the 30 minute mark of any walk he starts to drag a little. If I took him on an hour-long walk, I'd have to carry him home. I suppose I could "train" with him to build up his endurance but I don't have the patience or the desire. When I'm out there walking, I like to be by myself. Lip syncing to my music. Occasionally jogging, mostly walking, and enjoying the sights.

Watched the Euro Cup final today. Wasn't sure who to root for. I didn't think Germany played well enough to make it to the finals, so I was conflicted about rooting for them despite the fact that it's the European team that I have the most history with. (Been causally following them since 1996.) I was excited at the prospect of Spain winning it all, over the legend that is German football. So I watched the game with a desire for a good game with lots of drama. And I got it. I was riveted for the whole 90+ minutes. And I decided that the object of my affection (er, lust) was #13, Michael Ballack on the German side. Hello! I love soccer players. As physical specimens, anyhow. I could go on and on about what turns me on about them, but I think I should try to keep the postings fairly family friendly. Did it just get warmer in here? Anyhow, congrats Spain! Well played.

I'm going over to Megan and Paul's house for supper. Grilling steaks. Yum. Tomorrow I get to meet up with Heather to catch up. I had to reschedule with her from last week. We'll have to celebrate her school success and toast my departure.

Finished packing today. Yes, I know I don't leave for three days, but I wanted to make sure that I had everything washed and ready that I wanted to take with. I managed to get it all in a carry-on, so I'm happy. We'll have to see if the TSA confiscates my crochet hook. The website is a little ambiguous as to whether they'll let me through. It's something to the effect of, "They should let you through, but they might not, so don't be surprised if you are left with yarn and no hook." Gee. Thanks. Helpful.

I have to order my wedding photos. At this point there's no guarantee that they're going to be done by the time I leave. Typical procrastination on my part. In my next life I'm going to be born into wealth and privilege and I'll have people do stuff like this for me so I can spend my time attending museum openings and polo matches.

A two-day work-week lays before me. I can handle that. Trying to catch the Light Rail at 3:50am on Wednesday? That might be tougher.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Afternoon games have their drawbacks

The Twins played in San Diego this afternoon which was great because I could follow the game online at work. That meant a welcome distraction from actual work. However, it means that I'm at a loss as to what to watch this evening as I work on Holly's baby blanket for Samantha. I use the tv as background noise/occasional visual distraction when I crochet or cross stitch. Yes, I said crochet and cross stitch. I am uber-1940s-domestic sometimes. Either the craft is the excuse to watch tv, or tv is the excuse to do crafts. Not sure which. Regardless, I didn't get Holly's son's gift to him until he was three years old. Her daughter is a few months old right now, so I'm already ahead of schedule. I know of at least three more babies arriving in the next few months that I'd like to make blankets for. If the TSA lets me bring my crochet hook on the plane, maybe I'll work on it on the way down to El Sal.

Yes, I'm going to El Sal next week to visit Zac. Excited beyond comprehension. What is it? Six days now? I'm getting restless and I'd like to pack right this moment if it were practicable. I'm itching to break up the monotony of the last weeks post-softball. A vacation. I can't think of the last time I took a vacation. For rest and relaxation. With no other agenda than to enjoy myself. What a peculiar idea.

It appears my employer will keep me on until the end of August, when I cease working. I'm glad for that. Apparently I'm employable. Nice to know. Hopefully at some point this project will be done and my fearless overlord of the basement, Jill, will be able to return to the land of the windows up on second floor with the other real-live Thomson employees. Instead she now toils in the basement, forced to babysit us temps, many of which leave job skills to be desired. She brought me pizza the other day. She is a kind and sharing overlord. I'll have to make something of equal worth as pizza to share.

Had to reschedule with Heather, because I'm lame. I'll be hanging with her on Monday. That should be fun. I got to hang with Sara, Heidi and Bianca last week. Autumn this week. Clearly an additional day of the week for spending time with friends would be useful, especially when you're facing only 60 or so days left in the same state. The panic button has certainly been pressed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Late night

This is what happens when you don't hang out with your friends regularly enough. You have weeks worth of stuff to talk about and it take a whole night to catch up. And two pitchers of beer. For two people.

Met up with Autumn tonight for the first time in ... a month? Five, six weeks? Too long, anyhow. I missed her input and insight into life in general and my life in particular. I realized tonight that we've known each other for about five years now. Quite awhile. A lot of stuff has gone down in the last five years. Good, bad, ugly, blissful. More than most friendships can take. And yet we're still good friends. It's a comforting feeling.

So we caught up on workplace drama and such. Too bad the Twins didn't start til 9:05 CDT. I've been wanting to watch a game with someone for awhile, and she's a true baseball fan. We finally left in the top of the ninth because at some point we had to get home. It was 1-1 when we left the bar. Still not sure if we won. Actually, I think I'm going to go check. (Yup, Twins win 3-1.) Not much to blog about anyhow -- Don't want to disclose all the contents of our conversation.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

In lieu of substance, I give you photos!

First off, I just went back and read my entry from yesterday. There are certainly pluses and minuses about writing when you're upset. And there are even more pluses and minuses about posting it where people you know can read it. But I feel better after I vent here or in my journal, so the post is going to stay up.

Okay, on to some other things. I need to get rid of my cats. We've decided to bring Toivo, the dog, with us to Hawaii. However, I've decided that we can't bring the cats. There are importing to Hawaii pet issues, but more importantly is the fact that Zac is allergic to them. I've been meaning to get off my butt and post some signs around the neighborhood, or hop on Craigslist and post something, but I haven't. So I'll just talk about them here for a second. As kind of an ode to them.

They have been indoor cats their whole lives, save the three months in OK. They both have all of their claws, but as long as they have a scratching post (or two) they stay away from furniture. They both usually come when called. They will climb on tables unless you patrol them and spray them with water regularly enough to train them. Alan is worse at this. Lately he's been incorrigible. I'm not sure why he's been such a pain lately, but the spray bottle has been getting a lot of work.

Alan is dumb as a stump. But lovable. He craves attention and wants to be close to you, even putting his head under your chin. He likes to "talk" to you, but he's not obnoxiously loud. He's really uncoordinated for a cat. He occasionally misjudges jumps, leading to some pretty funny results. He loves everyone and is quick to adjust to a new environment. Tends to lay down in the middle of a room, in the spot where he is most in the way. Frequently underfoot. Likes other animals, dogs and cats. Likes to play with other animals and is comfortable with my dog chewing on his head. When he lays down, his paws are always crossed, in a very regal pose.

Nala is my baby. I got her as a kitten. She's skittish. A princess. Neurotic. Bossy. Wonderful. She likes attention, but on her time and at her pace. She rarely sits on people's laps unless she's anointed you as a chosen one. She lived with me and my Grandpa for 2.5 years and she sat on his lap once. It was a big day for Grandpa. She likes to curl up with me, so it is possible for her to like someone. She chirps like a bird - rarely meows. Except every now and again she'll sit in a room and meow, like she's lost, or looking for everyone. If you say her name she'll stop and come to you. She's fat. Shaped like a raccoon. She hated Alan the first three days we had him. By day four they were curled up together. She hated the dog for the first few years we had him. Actually, I think she still doesn't like him. I think she merely tolerates him.
So those are my cats. And if anyone knows of a good home for them, let me know.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Coping? Yeah. Not so much. Tonight anyhow.

I spent Friday night with Sara, Heidi and Bianca, tossing back a few margaritas and chatting about stuff. It was a lot of fun, especially since I hadn't seen Heidi or Bianca in awhile. The conversations are always interesting and there's usually a fair amount of gut-busting laughter. I had to bow out early to get home and let the dog out, but I'm hoping we can arrange a girls-night-of-silliness at some point in the next couple months.

I didn't do much today. Slept in. Like a lazy butt. Went and got the oil changed in the car, ran a few errands (saw Austin at B&N!), picked up some of the stuff from the storage unit and brought it over to the house, went through it and re-boxed it. I have to have all the stuff I want shipped to Hawaii at the house by July 23 or something, so I had might as well get going on that now. I haven't talked to the moving people yet, so I'm still not sure what's going on. But the paperwork was submitted so I'm hoping they'll call me next week.

Warning - this next bit is me, whining. A lot. It's a pity party that I'm throwing for myself.

Crabby, crabby, crabby. The last couple of days has seen me in a particularly pessimistic and pissy mood. I managed to hurt Zac's feelings yesterday by completely ragging on a packet of information I got from Hawaii from their Family and Fleet Support Center. Or Fleet and Family. Or something. It doesn't really matter. I had hoped it was something about jobs in Hawaii, but instead it was something that Zac referred to as a "Welcome aboard" packet. Well, when I opened it up and realized it had nothing to do with the paralegal position I applied for, I was disappointed. And then I read the first line of the letter that says, "ALOHA and welcome to Pearl Harbor!" or something like that. I just tossed the whole thing on the floor and walked away. The only way it could have been worse is if it had come with a basket of goddamn muffins.

A few minutes later I looked at it again. Pamphlets and brochures galore. Lots and lots of happy happy happy Navy people and their happy happy happy families. Yay moving! Yay trying to find a new job! Yay leaving your home! Yay moving far away from your family! Yay support for you while your spouse leaves you! Yipee! I felt like I was reading through government sponsored propaganda packets. True, I might be uprooted every 2-3 years, but by golly! I can get a discount at Burger King! Wow! Who wouldn't make that trade?

So that's the mind set I was in when I called Zac. I wasn't going to trash talk the packet, but I did mention that I got it. He sounded enthusiastic and interested in it. That's when I started bagging on it. So he got indignant and upset and asked why I just didn't throw the damn thing away , if I didn't want it. I was getting worked up when he snaps, "I'm sorry I requested it for you. My mistake." Turns out the Navy doesn't just mail these out to new arrivals, you have to specifically ask for them. Zac didn't feel he needed one, as he's been stationed there before, but he thought that maybe I would want to check it out. Yeah. I felt like a colossal ass.

I did thank him for thinking of me and told him I appreciated his attempts to make this transition easier, but I had to cut the conversation short and I felt like things didn't get resolved. We didn't really talk about it much today either. He just said he was more frustrated than pissed off. We just left it at that.

I certainly understand "frustrated". I suck at this. I absolutely, positively suck at this. And, honestly, a good part of me doesn't want to get any better at it. I don't want to get used to moving. I don't want to get used to being forced into finding a new job. I don't want to get used to not having a career where I can move laterally. I don't want to get used to filling out paperwork to change an address every 2-3 years. I don't want to make new friends each time we have to move. I don't want any of that. But, as countless people have pointed out to me, "That's what you signed up for!" If one more person says that to me I might haul off and pop someone in the nose.

Apparently I'm short sighted and was overly optimistic. I thought, this is the person I love. I want to be with him. We'll make it work. And in my head I "knew" what was coming, but I sure as hell didn't "know" what was coming. And so I sit here, pissed off, lonely, waiting til we can be together, just so we can throw another round of different stresses into our marital mix. We'll finally have the distance issue out of the way, but there will be setting up the new house, his new job, my lack of job, me being away from home, being surrounded by the military. Marriage is such an adjustment anyway, why the hell are we making it even tougher?

I can't help but think about this winter, after the wedding, when Zac was looking for his next assignment after El Sal. He was talking to a detailer. (They help sailors find their next job.) One of the options (and there were only a few on the table) was a year in Kuwait. Immediately after the year in El Sal. Zac explained to the detailer that one of the reasons he went to El Sal was that he could be stateside for awhile after he got done. He told the detailer that he had just gotten married and that he didn't think I would be too happy with that assignment, after already being apart for a year. She snapped at him, "She just needs to suck it up and cope."

Wow. "Suck it up and cope." Thank you ma'am for that very clear introduction to the Navy. I can't imagine why I have my guard up around you people.

But I love Zac. More than anything. And there isn't a day that I don't look down at my left hand and smile about the fact that he's my husband and I'm his wife. And I think about all the good times we've had so far and hope for all the ones we'll have in the future. So what the hell do I do? I don't want to be his pissed off, unhappy wife. He deserves so much better than that. I want to be upbeat and optimistic and enthusiastic about all this. But I'm not. So until I can figure out how to pretend that I'm sucking it up and coping, I'm not sure what to do.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Almost forgot I had a blog

Softball? Done.

Nephew? Five months old.

Days til Zac get to MN after finishing up in El Sal? 69.

Not much else new to report. Hence the lack of entries. I've been lacking the ability to write about the usual and mundane. Softball came and went. The weather was abysmal this spring leading to multiple cancellations and reschedules. (More than usual anyhow.) But we did get some games in. All in all it was a pretty good season. Each season brings it's own cast of characters and drama, so no matter how prepared you think you are there will always be a hiccup or wrench to remind you how interesting high school-aged athletes can be. The picnic was last week. Bittersweet. It's nice having my afternoons and evenings back, but I miss the chaos and the girls. And there was some sadness as I looked around at the kids and their families. "I love this," I thought. "I love all of this." And I took a deep breath to take it all in, because I knew it was the last time I'd be a South High softball coach. It kind of broke my heart, but I'm grateful that I had one more year.

One Saturday afternoon, Megan and I talked about coaching for South. We wondered if we'd have the patience, the energy, the time to coach softball at a different school. Part of the reason I am willing to give my life over to softball each year is because it's my school as much as it is the girls'. And it's my city. If I wasn't representing the City of Minneapolis, and South High School, I'm not sure that softball would be enough to motivate me to coach. I love the sport, but I don't think that would be enough on it's own. I suppose there's a possibility that I might coach softball again in the future in some other place, but I don't think so.

So now I need to start looking for jobs in HI and prepping for the move. The Navy apparently thinks it's fun to keep first-time movers in the dark as long as possible. It's not like they move people by the thousands every year and could throw me a bone or something. Somewhere a paper pusher is laughing maniacally at my expense. Yeesh. So I will continue to hope that I'll get a be-packed-by date soon. It looks like Zac will be up in MN at the end of August so we can spend some time here before moving on to Nebraska for awhile and then to the West Coast to deliver the vehicle and then to Hawai'i. I don't mind flying by the seat of my pants sometimes, but a plan isn't always a bad thing.