Friday, January 27

This is the post where I say we're doing much better here.

That Monday is a distant memory. Time it took to heal, to reflect, to grieve, to clean the house from a long weekend away, to put the head down and work hard at a job after tearfully telling the boss you'll need a few hours on Thursday for a memorial service. Since then, there've been less and less tears, more wishful thinking on life and its capabilities, the painful reality that the human body can turn on the soul that it keeps, and the solid increase and invested foundation of hugs and love that will remind each of us how lucky we are we have each other, our health, and (for right now) the same zip code.

I can't imagine not being here in 3 years. But in the world we're in today, that could be a reality. I keep thinking back to the great life our friend lived. And I want the same. Minus the ocean boat.....I don't do deep waters.

But this afternoon I felt like my golden self. I reigned my verbal tirade in the blatant stupidity of teenagers riding their bikes in the middle of the street with their helmets haphazardly flopping on their skull. I'm back to talking to the back of vehicles as I crawl my way along the California freeway systems knowing failure in turn signal use results in most accidents. That's a nice way of saying California drivers are stupid. Not aggressive like on the East Coast, just stupid.

Growing up I wanted to be the one who traveled in the family. I saw the world as this amazing place of culture, history, natural beauty, personality, and excitement. I just needed an accomplice.

With Mr. Wookie as my designated travel partner, we've had a chance to do just that. And I feel incredibly lucky for all we've been able to do. There have been so many trips that, looking back, have been the foundation to my dreams. At the dawn of my change in employment last year, I felt a sense of accomplish then. Until then, I didn't see myself as having aptly pursued my dream. I wanted to have passport stamps that rivaled UN Ambassadors. I wanted to send postcards home, with the foreign stamps of exciting foods and ample drinks. I wanted my family to know the tokens of lands faraway isn't a way to rub in my lifestyle choices, but a standing verbato that I love them, miss them, and wish them the best in life. This is what I wanted for my life - I just want to share it.

Then an epiphanial moment caught me off-guard. In my inner core I felt the sense of satisfaction. Inner happiness not in a smug way, but in a sucre bleu! My dreams are there, a reality.

So if I have yet only 3 years left on this Earth. It's been a good one. I am quite happy.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful words as we decompressed from an emotional journey.

Saturday, January 21

The week that pained our hearts.

It was Monday morning. We barely cracked the door to our home a handful of hours prior, thanks to a slight delay from Dulles to LAX. But we scrounged for dinner and then crawled into bed. Our bed. That set of sheets and comforter, with an extra blanket on my side for warmth, that would allow us a re-coop from our long weekend of travels. We were exhausted, but exhilarated to be home and able to sleep in on a holiday.

The sun rose later, breaking through the clouds and streaming into the bedroom. I didn't want to acknowledge it - but it was there. Like an unfortunate and unwanted 'good morning, Mrs. Wookie' even though it didn't make me coffee. I laid there quietly hoping sleep would drift me under again for a few more hours of rest and relaxation.

But it didn't. The sun streamed steadily through the half-moon window informing me that it's beyond late and that I needed to rise for the day. The house needed cleaning, laundry was piling up thanks to our suitcase, the dog needed to be fetched from the boarding hotel, and today was the day to recharge after skipping across country and back.

So out of bed I crawled, fumbling for my phone that had lost battery power mid-night, and scrounged for the wall charger. I made my way out to the kitchen when a voicemail popped through....

Wednesday, January 18

LAX is a layer in Hell. Welcome.

It started at 5:00am last Thursday morning. It started with a knock on the door. And it started with a phone call. The knock on the door was from 1/4 of the vehicular party to LAX. The phone call was from the other 1/4 of the party. The knock on the door was on time. The phone call was not.

"Hey, I just woke up."

Our driver. Overslept. His alarm.

There's a reason why I don't like to travel with people. I don't trust people. I don't like to wait on people. My maneuvers are much better choreograph'd around timely airport arrivals, necessary beer stops, snacks galore, and zero stress as I deal with old people, strollers, and foreigners in my tornado-like path through security.

His cut-off was 5:30am. Then, we were leaving his ass. He shows up at 5:27am.

I sat behind the driver's seat, since he's a staggering 5'6", this provides ample leg room than sitting behind Mr. Wookie. I impatiently watch the clock tick a minute and another minute as we're cutting the morning close to hit our flight. The street lights pass, faster and faster, as we pace the Sheriff's Deputy on his morning commute somewhere important. With each Church we pass, I pray we make our flight. I've never missed a flight. And I was not going to now. My eyes singed into the back of his skull. I couldn't have been more irate, more concerned, more annoyed, and more irritated.

We check the rental car (would you believe it's cheaper to rent a car and ditch it at LAX than park your actual car?), and hit the shuttle. The driver slowly churns his sweet time through the 7 gates of LAX. Each one mocking us as we pass it. Each minute ticking by closer to the boarding time to our flight. Each stomach cell ulcerating, eating away at my patience, my silence a tale-tell sign that I'm stressing and unsure that I won't murder someone for being late with their alarm. It's not my fault. I was up at early. I showered. I was ready.

But we make it through. I praise God for all of that. We made it. Somehow. With a few minutes to spare. Then as a collective unit of 7 (half of JOPA plus me), we boarded our flight. We tetris'd seats to force the late guy to sit bitch. And I got to snuggle up to the left bicep of my adorable Mr. Wookie. I dug out my trail mix since I don't fly without snacks. Because a hungry Ginger is a snarky Ginger. Oh wait, I'm always snarky....

But wait, this morning gets better. Much better....

Monday, January 16

How to survive a 3-day bender...

Have you missed the crickets over here? Probably not since I'm never full of anything more than hot air, or hot methane, or Ginger locks on the floor as I shed more than a warthog - when really, I need those delicate locks since I don't want to resemble Smeegle.

Mr. Wookie and I ventured away to the land of the 757. And we threw it down. We love this city. The moment that the doors of the Marriot cracked and we strolled down Granby Street feeling the excitement in the air for the past energy felt, it was magic. There we were. On a vacation meant for the books. We were invited a squadronmate's wedding, a 3-day event, and a cross-country adventure for half of the JOPA that was not-quietly granted leave for this event.

What happens when you take away half of the flight crew in a Command?? Well they'll pay for it tomorrow. But between last Wednesday night and tomorrow morning, we intended to (and did) rip this city up.

What I didn't miss?? The ear-piercing wind of Downtown. The cold that will rot your bones despite the drinks.

What did I love?? Stepping into a bar that wasn't my favorite back when I was a local, where there's a live 2-man band, the keyboardist with a killer half sleeve, and she's rockin' our "Ur So Gay." Umm...yes. This is my night.

But for now, it's laundry, picking up a pooch from the dog hotel, a sinkful of dishes that we left for post-vacation, and a backyard with a hammock calling my name.

Tuesday, January 10

Her adoption day that came.

I don't know what to say about her adoption day. That time last year I can't really remember what I was feeling. I guess to say it was uncertainty as we brought home a dog with a checkered past. I guess there was the thankfulness that Mr. Wookie had previous dog owning skills. I relied solely on my ability to live with a cat. So yes, that means she succumbed to behavior correction like one would with a cat - with a squirt bottle. And yes, she responded accordingly.

In a year's time she's lost weight and gained weight. She's had dual ear infections that we had to wrangle her for her ear drops because she's better perfecting Houdini's escaping methods while you try and keep her head still. We've tried to trim her nails. She's whined. So we've allowed the lovely pavement to its job on walks. We've barked at dogs, lunged at dogs, tried to chase squirrels and birds. Oh, and the one time she fell down a waterfall. Yeaaaaah...Mr. Wookie was on dog duty that weekend while I was in Oregon. Apparently she thinks herself to be a Golden Retriever, was out camping with Mr. Wookie and squadronmates, saw a squirrel, took off, chased it up a rock cliff, lost her balance, and tumbled into a swimming hole.

Mr. Wookie froze, beer in hand, saying "Mrs. Wookie is going to kill me."

Instead, she swam to the edge, shook herself off, said 'Shit,' and moped back over to the group knowing a rock wall defeated her past life as a mountain goat. No bruises, just a bruised ego. And now we know this dense dog can swim. Olympics 2012, here we come.

In a year's time, we dropped some money on private lessons knowing we can't group train her. She came to us like a hot mess on Jerry Springer. But private lessons lasted all of a handful of months as by the time we got to the 'aggression training' of it all, it was merely her sitting next to a 'trainer dog' and constantly growling at it. "She'll progress out of it." I saw no progress and felt it better to can the lessons than proceed on pouring money down the drain. What we got out of the initial lessons was a better ability for her to respond to commands and be a better dog. And improve she did.

And in the first week of the year's time, we learned she was housebroken and could do tricks. While 'shake' still eludes us, we're content with the rest of her line-up. If only she understand, "Dog, put a cork in that asshole! You smell! You don't get to just cropdust the house."

I did really think a year would bring along the perfect dog though. But she's not. She still gets really excited on walks and wants to pull but then the martingale collar pinches and she (sometimes) backs off. If not, we changed directions until she figures it out. Yes, sometimes it's back and forth, but eventually she remembers that the Ginger walking her is in control and when she plays her cards right - treats.

In a year's time, she still doesn't like the wind and she'll sit outside the door to whine at night. The one time we let her in the room, bringing in her bed by my side, she fell right asleep. The other time she slept with me while Mr. Wookie away, she stayed at attention while the wind howled.

In this next year's time, her job will be a protector, provider, and therapeutic release. She can hear the front gate open and will respond with barking. She can come when called and will not deny hugs and affection. And she'll give plenty of kisses when she senses you're down on your luck, usually when crying emotions and Uncle Sam that just don't mix, and just need a (proverbial) hug.

We still don't have a keyword for her to attack male genital in case of a home invasion - but we're researching our home defense options. And we still don't have her standing on hind legs at the bar making mommy a cocktail. We definitely don't have her doing voiceover work to pay for her $.33 tennis ball habit (Play It Again Sports used balls....haha, I said used balls....hhahahaha, I did it again...).

But if she does that, she might as well pick up her own poop, mow the lawn, and unwind my hammock when the Santa Anas are douches and in town.

But until then, we'll renew her lease for another year. I guess so....

Monday, January 9

That ol' deployment crisis form.

This weekend was all joy as I knew I had the Commanding Officer's Wife nicely asking for all forms to be turned in as soon as possible. I wasn't the last one to turn it in. Just the second to last. Although I beg to mention that the last one to turn in is a salty wife with many a cruises under her belt. So I'm just pretending I'm salty by being late with my homework. Right??

I've known about that darn form for months now. At the November Wives Group meeting I hosted (I'm honorary, in case you forget that we're those awesome people who don't have each other's name tattoo'd on our foreheads), it was brought up that they need to be 'turned in' before the TADs begin as you never know.

I was ambitious as one point, but then you read the questions and then you start to think that the world will implode, the dog will be left owner-less, and WHO'LL EVER CONTINUE THIS SHITTY BLOG OF VODKA SERVITUDE??


The questions began as generic as name, birthday, cell phone, vehicle description, and address. But then it got into the deep stuff. You know. Like pet care.

Then I started to think....what if something happens to me?? Who'll take care of my dog???? And I get misty-eyed. Not that our dog is the crown jewels. But she's our sap story of dismay and rescue. And no one else really can have their heartstrings tug like ours.

That's the bitch about Mr. Wookie and I being each other's best friends in a super small duty station. We're each other's shoulder, each other's crutch, and each other's barmaid. But when he leaves in a few weeks for a handful of weeks, the thought of Sweet Pea not having one of us to belly rub her into torturous oblivion was a bit depression-inducing. Because really, who'd take our dog?? Who's dumb enough to deal with her? She's our dumb dog. Our dumb dog that sometimes we'll let her sleep with us under the conditions that she sleeps at the end of the bed, doesn't fart up a storm, and doesn't try to sneak up near our heads because she feels a pillow is necessary for her slobbering jowls also. Because of her distaste for fellow canines, she can't just go with another squadronmate's family - everyone has a dog her. We just have the cunt of the litter.

Thankfully I have a blessed soul that's my Middle Sister. She's literally our only hope. Should I become maimed while Mr. Wookie is on cruise, she's agreed to be a saint and take on dog ownership. I don't know if she'll ever forgive me. And I don't know if she knows what she's signed up for. But really, my instructions were easy. Food twice a day. Walk in the morning. Toys for her to chew. Belly rubs. Tennis ball habit. And a couple beds in the house since she doesn't like to doze off without one of her humans in eyesight.

But I completed my form and had it to the COW on Saturday night as we met over margaritas and Mexican food discussing the squadron's next movements, our next potlucks, movie nights for the kids, and potential plans for the unknown-to-us-yet port calls that may happen.

It's sobering filling out that paperwork. And that's just the Wives Group form. The first deployment meeting is in a few months where doomsday will meet Uncle Sam as the fates will be sealed that the boat is ready. Or at least, that's the plan. This'll be our first deployment and I just don't want to suck at it. No one wants to be the deployment bitch. I think the key is to just bitch at the deployment.

Dear Deployment,

This stinks. Although thanks for the extended time to not shave my legs. That's awesome. I can almost braid them. This is soo cool. Oh, yeah, bring him home in one piece, without a tobacco habit, a tattoo from Singapore, and a mustache. Especially not the mustache.

Much obliged,

Mrs. Wookie

Let's hope that envelope never has to open.

Sunday, January 8

Don't call me the coffee bitch.

For Christmas, I got a wonderful thing. So did Middle Sister. We both wanted, and received, electric kettles on our lists as they're a great way of having tea-ready water click off without having to run from the couch to the stove to pull off the whistling 1950's counterpart. It's great. With a short click, the water is hot and resting for a few minutes while I finish reading a blogpost, emailing Kim Jong Un about how he's now match for Gingers, or throwing a tennis ball for dumb dog to run off after and then not find because it rolled behind a paper bag (she's....dense).

Mr. Wookie didn't take into consideration the ramifications that an electric kettle would presume. Usually I wake up with him but he hops in the shower. So I mosey into the kitchen since I can't begin my day with an IV of Cheerios. And because I'm nice, I usually start the coffee so we're both not angry assholes at work just because our caffeine supply isn't there.

Well.... introduce the electric kettle....and goodbye morning coffee. I've been a mood lately for the past week or so that coffee wasn't what I was feeling. I wanted something lighter and less of a pain in the ass in the morning than dumping the grounds, rinsing the filter (we use the gold reusable one - what else do you really expect from Oregonians??), and make the coffee. Now tea involves wake up, stumble to kitchen, pet pooch, pour cereal, click down kettle, read blogs, slurp cereal, spill a little on my keyboard, hear water click ready.

Oh, You wanted coffee??

"That was a bad idea getting you that thing."

Well....yes and no. Yes, because my niceness in the morning has reduced to green tea, Yogi tea, or something sweet like a passionfruit or raspberry tea. You want coffee...well...if I get around to it. So now we've semi-stopped making coffee in the morning since Mr. Wookie can acquire it at the squadron and there's into too bad of a selection either.

I have a feeling that the coffee maker will come highly neglected come the upcoming TAD periods. Mr. Wookie will be gone for weeks at a time and with my new friend the electric kettle, my mornings are looking incredibly easier. The worst will be crawling my ass out of bed when there's a snuggling dog butt going crazy that she got to sleep on the bed. This is awesome. But the daylight is slowly increasing so soon we'll be back to our 5:30am wake-up calls for longer morning walks - because this bad owner has difficulty waking up when the stars are still out. Good thing pooch doesn't mind evening walks.

I think Mr. Wookie will like my new toy though. I've made him a quart of iced tea this morning. Maybe he'll see it is for good, and not all evil.

Saturday, January 7

It's almost that time. Almost 1 year.

Tomorrow is the big day. The big day when we didn't tell anyone we were on our way to a small adoption event for English Bulldogs just looking to browse and see if there any we could meet on a one-on-one basis. Instead, our dumb selves brought home an overweight basketcase of a slobbery mess and decided to be pet owners.

I don't know if Mommy McD forgives me for not letting in the secret. Oh well...she did the same.

I'm now the sad soul who's work desktop background is of my dog. *ring ring* "Yes, this is Therapy, how can I help you?" I validate it by getting a squeal out of my boss saying how cute she is - umm...yes...yes, she is. Don't let it fool you though. Her methane butt-trumpets can clear a room.

We're deciding what to do with her tomorrow. You know, since her lease is up.

Okay, okay, we're debating what to do to celebrate. I think In 'N Out is the perfect plan.

Thursday, January 5

Who doesn't love Mr. Wookie??

Get in line. Yes, I haven't been up to blogging mainly because I've been lazy, busy, more lazy, uninterested, and...well...lazy. Sometimes when I'm bored, I don't feel the need to entertain you with the monotony. There are dishes, there's coffee in the morning, there's recovering from Christmas in both financial means and mentally. I wrote a post about how I don't know what I'm doing next year for Christmas because he won't be here and I'm not sure about what sort of time off I can get then either.

I was told today that "Woman, my family demands more bloggin." Shit. Well...get in line. My family complains all the time. Well guess what...

Apparently I need to be better on the ball. Maybe this weekend will be better. Of course I say this all the time. But then again, let's think about the New Year resolution I set for myself.


Well I'm awesome naturally, maybe I need to apply that to blogging.

Dear mojo, come back to me.

In other words around here, January is in full bloom of 80-degree weather during my lunch break so I'm soaking in the rays while reading a new book. Let me tell you. Life is rough.

Tonight we scrounged for dinner and had leftovers. Saturday we have the final party of a squadronmate who's making his way back to the E-2 RAG at NAS Norfolk, to which hopefully we survive. Dear tequila, please avoid me. Thanks.

Okay, I'm bored again. Mrs. Wookie signing off. Where's the tonic?