Tuesday, August 19

Oh, the Virginia storms

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mr. Wookie saw this rainstorm coming before it ever hit our house. I just sat in my office working until the world grew dark, the wind whipped the trees, and then the rain threw itself down the house...washing the new grass seed from the back yard (so close, but still so far from having a lawn). And now we're at 100% humidity this morning and the clouds still lingering, like a blanket fort without circulation. So I hunker inside until I have to leave at 5:10pm for my Tuesday night yoga class. California would never treat us like this. How rude, Virginia, how rude. 

Monday, August 18

Meow Monday

"What I love most about my home is who I share it with." -unknown

It's slowly ticking down the days until the house becomes a bit closer to a "home." We say we're still 'balls deep' into making this place 100%, but we'll settle for 90% until we need to start serious renovations. We're launching into a solid schedule of house guests starting with Baby Sister (and her transitting of la gatita), then our fabulous college friends, my parents, his parents, and probably more.

I hope she doesn't hate this place too much. Yes, it rains...but there are squirrels to chase, birds to eat, and an outdoor turtle pond to Meerkat from the corner while the strange reptilian children swim about for food. And let's not forget the plan for 2014: my (puppy) ovaries are bursting.

Friday, August 15

The great ol' pajama commute.

“A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory.” -Arthur Golden

In my 100 days in Norfolk, I've had 100 days minus all weekends to adjust to what's known as the great "pajama commute." My day typically starts with the Jack Johnson alarm clock crooning in my ear. Of course I hit snooze a million few times because I like the indulgence of a warm bed and cozy sheets before I drag ass downstairs for the IV of Oregonian Happiness (coffee). There are times where I bound up instead and make the cups o' joe for Mr. Wookie and I; he's gracious in his 'thank you' as I plop the cup on his nightstand. Other times, he's the body who traipses downstairs for the coffee duty. Most mornings, we lounge in bed with coffee, discussing each other's schedules, time frames for him coming home, my schedule for the day (work, yoga, new Knives Group meetings, etc.), and hankerings for dinner.

Of course, I complain that "I have to go to work." It makes me feel like I still matter to the work force. Though sometimes I forget what it's like to be an applicable member of my office. I come in 3 hours ahead of California and have no contact with coworkers until 11am EST. Then it's full-force busy as I make things happen remotely to my customers, vendors, and team. And the worst part: 4pm EST is my I.WANT.TO.STAB.SOMEONE. time frame because everyone is back from lunch in California and they need everything done before I'm gone for the day. It's like a sample sale at Kleinfeld's. Watch out.

But who am I to complain? I have the incredibly lucky position to be able to work from home, in my pajamas, with my customers and contacts, while earning $__,000/year + commission. My 'complaints' are no different than anyone working in a conventional office. I just happen to get the perk of lunchtime laundry, meal planning, crockpot prep for dinner, and nahnahnahnah nahnahnahnah Batman HAMMOCK TIME!

Thursdays are turning into my favorite for multiple reasons though. 

a.) IT'S ALMOST THE END OF THE WORK WEEK. I love weekends just like the next working gal.

b.) There's an amazing, West Coast-born yoga instructor who kicks.ass.and.takes.names.

c.) I get excited for DATE NIGHT in the 757. There are sooo many great eateries in our douche-y little neighborhood and there's never a dull moment of bad food, poor drinks, shoddy people watching, a few homeless making their way from one ghetto to the other ghetto, and the sometimes run-in's with his new squadronmates.

So here's to showering every couple days and the debate to purchase more pajamas. Life is rough.

Monday, August 11

Meow Monday: Where is Mittens?

Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family. ~Anthony Brandt

It was a mopey day when Mittens, aka "Little Girl," was forced into the cage and onto a roadtrip of many hours to the Great State of Oregon. In our decision to live bi-coastally until Wookie & Co. Remote Office was up and running, and knowing we didn't have an 'end date,' we knew I couldn't keep her in California when I was couch-hopping like a homeless person; and Mr. Wookie couldn't make the drive/pit-stops for skiing with her in tow. It wasn't fair to shove her into a hotel room for 12 hours while he was skiing with friends. So Baby Sister was a SAINT and offered foster love for this furbaby. Who knows? Maybe this would spur her to want her own furbaby to love?

Poor thing. She's been a little 'what the f**k?' in terms of her location. She's sniffed out every nook and cranny of her new-to-her-but-temporary digs. She's been on plenty of cartrips between other houses for when Baby Sister needed to be away (Middle Sister + Husband watched a few times, and my parents watched a bit too). And while there's only been a few Skype sessions with both of them (Baby Sister and cat), we're FINALLY nearing the end of her displacement!

In a few short weeks, Norfolk will welcome the resident feline into the Wookie & Co. house. This future 'big sister' will have a solid 6 months (at least) before introducing the next four-legged furchild into the house, so she's gotta figure out her beans before learning where the high perchs are so she can stalk the flatulating new member from afar.

Thankfully it seems she assimilated well for the short 6 months she's been living with 'Auntie' Baby Sister. She's proved an excellent mouse-r in the semi-country living in Oregon. She's splayed her goodies onto the sidewalk to anyone walking by...'Wanna pet me, big fella?' And she's had a few meal choice changes. So in these last few weeks of solitude, I'll need to pick up the pace though. She's got neither meal dishes nor pooping box since we've arrived on the Other Coast. So we'll hook her up. And a mad ton of tuna fish. Bitch, be spoiled.

Thursday, August 7

Work, Covergirl

"If we could make our house a home, and then make it a sanctuary, I think we could truly find paradise on Earth." -Alexandra Stoddard

This backyard has gone through quite the transformation. At first it was a pile of rocks, pieced together in despair and lack of creativity by a S(urface)W(arfare)O(fficer) family with too many kids for the space. So layer by layer the pea gravel, rocks, and dirt have been excavated for the aerial drawings of peace and serenity. The weather has been a little lackluster here for progress the past few weeks, but the mud seems to be drying out (our luck, storms will hit tomorrow). But the modified basketweave of brick patchway is being laid by the best gorilla-slash-naval aviator-slash-Mexican gardener and mason. Don't worry - you'll get invited to the party. It'll be soon.

Tuesday, August 5

Mrs. Wookie's Work v Life Balance

Ever since I unloaded my two bags into this foreign 1,800 square foot home, I've stared at the little projects that have surpassed his level of caring (i.e. the bedroom wall colors weren't on a compatible Pantone color level and it. drove. me. nuts.). So on an early Sunday morning, I pushed the furniture into the center of the room and put on Beyonce for my tunes. He was annoyed I sacrificed a pair of his boxers, but I made him coffee that morning so we were all okay. Plus the contact high that lingered with the heavy VOCs in the air suppressed his lack of enthusiasm for the "Ocean Breeze" on the walls.

It's been like that for most of this move-in process. He conquered the major projects like fresh white paint on the doors, frames, baseboards, and ever other surface that was covered in "almond" like it was 1988. He set up each of the rooms with solid faux-mosexual effort. And stocked the wine bar for my arrival and I love him for that. I showed up to a damn-near perfect house. And I started to feel guilty that I just skimmed through this move. I sat my ass in California for a happy 6 weeks while he tortured through a full unpack. So naturally I had to make up projects that NEEDED TO GET DONE. We need to paint the walls, we need a new rug in the guest room, we need to freshen up the paint on ______, we need to rearrange those pictures (these requests really drive him nuts).

But finally those projects are coming to a close and I can focus back on work. Because working from home is very difficult. I have to wake up and walk 20 feet to work. My commute is torturous. There may be flight boots in my path.

Monday, August 4

My first 100 days: Norfolk, VA [Part Duex]

“And the danger is that in this move toward new horizons and far directions, that I may lose what I have now, and not find anything except loneliness.” -Sylvia Plath

April 26th. Dulles connection. Redeye: LAX To ORF. Sad.

For some reason I always feel like the first 100 days into a new station will make or break your new situation. I was highly gun-shy in California since I was in very uncharted territory when it came to EVERYTHING. He was new to the squadron, and we were new to fleet life. This was the first introduction to the "Wives Group," and they were anything but understanding why we weren't married after like 56 days of knowing each other. Mix those welcomes with a terrible economy...I hated life. OH, and our condo we were renting sprung a MAJOR leak of sewage which forced carpets to be ripped up and later developed mold in the walls (so awesome).

So things have been interesting in my change back to the 757.

I've wanted to stall this move as long as I could. I didn't want to leave the life I built. I didn't want to leave the amazing friendships that developed over the years and distances of Uncle Sam's work-up, delayed deployment, work-ups again, and then (finally) deployment. I fought hard for the "Wives Group" to accept most girlfriends (there was one who faked a pregnancy for attention...so I kicked her to the curb). I fought hard for the timeline on my career. And I fought hard to go to Target for just sunscreen so my Ginger skin didn't fry like a pork rind in the South.

But now I'm here. In Virginia. And it feels like California never happened. Like it was all a dream.

Tuesday, April 22

The backyard. Wanna visit?

This is the last picture I'm told I'll receive until I jump across the States and welcome myself to our house. Man, he's mean. All I want to do is know EXACTLY where everything is so I'm not a freakin' stranger around my own possessions when I arrive. And he prefers to egg me on with little to no information as to the decorative status of our home. I was told to, "Get better and get here." Oh, right. Because it's quite simple to scream through the next few days that are my last in my office before boarding a tormenting cross-country flight to a State that has non-California weather all with a smile on my face? And have I mentioned I caught ANOTHER cold that's kicked my ass? Seriously. So much for being a beacon of health in my last days as a "Californian." But hey, this means I'm the culprit on the airplane that's going to be hacking up a lung. Maybe the seat next to be will be clear.

Friday, April 18

My bags aren't packed. I'm not ready to go.

My heart raced through my chest as my boss came into our department and shut the door. The look in her eyes were saddened. She rolled the empty hair into the room and took a seat. I knew what was coming next.  They didn't. She drew in a big breath...

She explained things were changing in the next week. I watched and listened, my heart still pumping beyond necessary speed in my body. My coworkers jaws dropped. My life plan for the last four months was team fodder. They asked questions, and I answered with complete honesty.

My boss's eyes quivered when she looked at me. I told her, "Stop it! It's not like I'm dying." But then I realized...it is like I'm dying. I'm the life of my team - I'm the energy, I'm the entertainment. Monday morning after I leave will be a somber event commemorated with an empty desk and quiet coffee pot chatter. No one will be there to joke about how I don't take customer calls until after a cup of "anti-bitch juice." And the YouTube videos of playful Bulldog puppies won't draw the shrill of excitement as my puppy ovaries are prepared for 2014.

Instead I'll be working the other coast's hours and barely overlapping with my old crew. It's going to be different and I don't know if I'm truly ready. Maybe Bailey's in my coffee will help. Yes, that should do it.

My replacement desk. It's like the loaner PE clothes from junior high. Gah.

Thursday, April 17

What it's like to stay behind.

It was a difficult day when he dropped me off at the airport for my journey back to California while he began the long journey to our (again) new zip code. We spent a week gallivanting around California as a mini-vacation between stations since this state is absolutely amazing (ocean, mountains, trees, lakes, and more). I bravely walked into the counter to get my ticket and make my way like a Baton Death March to the United gate XX at Reno International Airport and Tire Care.

I broke down once the doors were closed to the airport and I tried to shuffle to the security area.

I don't do well when it's my decision to leave. It's something I can't explain. When Mr. Wookie took the bus down to San Diego to ship out on the USS 'Bout Time, it was a sad morning...but nothing too overwhelming. I knew this was just the band-aid rip for the year and he would be home before I knew it. But when our lives are upended for my career, I feel more - I feel more pain, I feel more guilt.

So it's no surprise when my "mopey-ness" was at it's peak last week. I didn't see it when I was in it, but my boss saw it a million miles away. I was called into her office. I sat down. We agreed. I need to finish my preparation in California and schedule my shift to Virginia. So that ticket is purchased and my extraction date is set. I'm ready but damn, I don't want to go. This place is magical.

Why are my lips blue? I don't know. But there has been one benefit to staying behind and being mopey - there's been some super shopping to help perk me up. I've picked up super long sweater tanks, new summer dresses, linen pants, JCrew shorts, and a cute pair of anchor boxers for my gorilla. Now how am I going to get all this to my new home?? Maybe I should have thought about that before the debit card was raped.

Wednesday, April 16

Mrs. Wookie + 48 Hours + Vegas

Nay to flying Southwest Airlines and their inability to hit an on-time departure (and subsequent arrival time).

Yay to befriending two delectable looking Australians in Southwest's neck of LAX. (Shocker) I was ordering a margarita when the bartender asked me if I wanted a menu for dinner. "No thanks, I'm drinking my dinner."
"'eah Mate, did you just say 'I'm drinking my dinner?'"
"Uh, yes."
"F*** yeah, Mate! Cheers!" (Australian then walks over to talk...and I leeeeeet him!)

Nay to getting into Vegas around Midnight and not getting dinner.

Yay to the delivery service of Starbucks by the one and only Sheriff! And super YAY to the extreme comfort that a real bed gives the soul. Damn, air bed living sucks. But hey, it could be worse...

Yay to Mama Ging and Sheriff capturing the hearts of Little Nephew with their photo op with the Minions.

Nay to the wear and tear of a single pair of shoes for 3 days (Friday at work, Saturday walking around Vegas, and Sunday walking around Vegas).

Yay to the new shoes purchased at DSW. I mean, Mr. Wookie...no new shoes were purchased. None.

Yay to the great times had with the parents during the rare trips. There was ample cocktails, ample people watching, just a scoot of gambling, and only one tranny encounter.

Oh and yay to catching some AMAZING stand-up by the one, the only...Tim Allen. He was truly entertaining and much different from his television personality of clean-cut comedy. I don't know who f-bombs more: Tim Allen or a sailor. He had me cackling while I sat between my parents and flailed with excess when his stories had my sides in stitches. Seriously. He's worth the pricetag. Plus, it comes with bragging rights with Mr. Wookie.

Sunday, April 13

What happens in Vegas...

...stays as a lifelong lesson as you teach Mama Ging how to work the Texas Tea penny slots. Although this time I didn't donate my typical $50-100 to the Great City of Vegas. Instead we spent it on something more awesome and had a VERY jealous Mr. Wookie.

But let me enjoy this real bed for a moment. Damn, it's comfortable.

Thursday, April 10

Mr. Kitchen, nice to meet you.

"Excuse the hammer." -Mr. Wookie

Every few days grant me another picture or two if I'm lucky of how my new surroundings are slowly developing from Box City to Home. And this gem of a photo has me "oooooh"ing and "aaaaaaahhh"ing more than some people in a shoe store. We're still unsure of my extraction date from California, but I know I'll gladly walk through the back of the house and enjoy the spacial living (at least spacial compared to living out of a suitcase, on an airbed, and in an office-like space). I mean, who'd choose an airbed over a real bed?