Friday, August 31

You know you really should never trust cheap wine.

So I have pension for pinching pennies when it comes to my wine. Yes, I always order a Stoli and Tonic while out cruising the bar scene in my area (gotta love the Russian mastery), but when it comes to vino...it's go cheap or go home. Because when you can kill 2 bottles of wine a week...by myself...I don't need to break the bank keeping that homefire burning.

But when the wine is self-described as "easy to drink," I chuckle to myself in Vons (it's Southern California's version of Safeway), load 5 other random bottles of cheap wine, and mosey to the cheese aisle - I need shredded cheese so I can make quesadillas tonight. I have leftover taco meat and I don't want to eat enchiladas two nights in a row. So obviously a different Mexican dish makes all right in the world.

Bhahaha.

Yes, sometimes I like to evil laugh by myself - like when I school Final Jeopardy (however rare).

So in case you're wondering, the Meridian Merlot in the above picture. It's just okay. While I only had one glass last night, I'm not really looking forward to coming home after work, throwing a straw in it, and stuporing it until Saturday morning. It'll be something I sip on while I fold laundry (although the laundry will be folded away from the wine since I flail more than a baby orangutan).

I do have a personal stance against the "2 Buck Chuck" from Trader Joe's - it's the ultimate cheap wine. And to me, it's just 'meh.' If I'm going to spend $2 (+ tax) on wine, I might as well spend another $1.50-$2 on some slightly better shitty wine. I mean, hello?? I have standards.

Bhahaha.

Sorry, two evil laughs in one post. I really should try and control myself.

So tell me, do you have a favorite "economical" wine? What's your beverage of choice when your better half is away? Are you willing to host me to prove your point? If you say 'yes,' you're totally awesome. If you say 'no,'...you stingy piece of work. I mean seriously, you wouldn't host me? Why not? I'm offended. Seriously. Off-my-Christmas-card-list offended. I'm awesome. I mean hello, I throw big dollars around. I'm surprised I don't have groupies. Just don't fake a pregnancy.

Thursday, August 30

Is it safe to say that I'm boring most of the week?

Monday - I can't even remember Monday. I know I went to work, I came home, but what did I even have for dinner? Obviously it was profound since it's the highlight of my existence. But seriously, when did the work week get to be so entertaining that I can't remember what I do (and I don't think I even had wine that night).

Tuesday - yes, Tuesday. I remember you. Mainly because I got home super late from my post-work volunteering opportunity, then I had to have dinner with a fellow squadron family, and of course I had to bring a bottle of wine as courtesy (which promptly was emptied between the two adults). I know we had meatloaf, mainly because I had never had zucchini in my meatloaf before. It was fantastic (I put bacon in mine - because that's awesome).  And somehow it was 10:30pm and I was finally driving home to go straight to bed.

Seriously, Mr. Wookie, being a social butterfly is one way to make the time pass. You're welcome I'm not a nagging hen who can't handle being apart from you for more then 6 hours. I'd dump me.

Wednesday - yay. I always love Wednesdays, since we're halfway through the week. However, I do have a certain love for Thursdays more. Because the anticipation for the weekend is still high, weekend plans are coming together (like thrifting with my fellow Junior Officer attache), and there's that 3-day weekend that's just going to spoil me with sleeping in, coffee while I do laundry, and make a feasting lunch for a date with my hammock. Labor Day? Why yes, I labor over a keyboard, desk, and dual 19-inch monitors (gravy, baby). I'll take this day off, thankyouverymuch.

So happy Thursday to you. Remind me to go to Vons tonight for their 30% wine sale. I needs to restock.

The boys (and few ladies) are currently enjoying life at NAS No Man's Land, where the air is dry, Walmart has sad selection of liquor, and Mr. Wookie gets food poisoning before flights are even scheduled. Feel better, babe.

Sunday, August 26

And Mrs. Wookie is back to her sans-Mr. Wookie status.

Obviously we knew this was coming exactly when his boots touched the ground those two-ish weeks ago. I prayed that our time together would crawl like molasses - and thankfully it did. Now while this is semi-how the Army does their little Rest & Relaxation mid-deployment stuff, I know it's not the same. But seriously - just when you get used to some ass clown in bed next to you stealing the covers, he's gone again. So then I'm left fighting the empty other side of the bed which launches the covers up and over me onto the floor.

Thanks Uncle Sam.

But I guess it's a good thing he left a mere 15 days after coming home, since I'm still salty with my established independence. Although once deployment actually rolls around, and subsequently ends, it's going to be a harsh reintegration. From June until the end of deployment next year, he'll never be home for more than a few weeks at a time. Good thing I have tequila in my bar since I'm so salty. I can't let it go to waste, can I?

Lots has happened in the last few days I enjoyed another human in the house - so hopefully the blogging can continue and I can catch myself up on everything. Good thing I have "Project ADD" (seriously, I have needle-point, a puzzle, books, and Pinterest all in rotation to keep me occupied) and can add blogging to the mix. Let's hope y'all don't sign me up for Ritalin (or whatever popular anti-ADD medication is hot to trot these days).

Tuesday, August 21

What is Mrs. Wookie reading on the World Wide Web?

Sometimes I just need to advise you of the stupid things that have shocked and awed me during my down time.

Junior Seau is dead???? Umm....when did this happen??


I seriously don't understand how some men lack a complete spine and blood flow from their d*** to not see that their girlfriend is a (to quote Wayne's World) "Psycho Hose Beast."

August 26th is National Topless Day. So does that mean strippers get the day off?

Meatball Bubble Biscuits just sounds amazing. Seriously.

So does it take a certain personality to be a military attache?? I like to think that being a brazen pain-in-the-ass independent fem-Nazi makes me a prime candidate for wine-swilling "military-based singledom" much more than the "I've never not had a boyfriend because my dad left me when I was 3" type of person (please don't take this as a direct offense, but more as the typical psycho-analytic response to that behavior). But this is only my opinion. Yes, I moaned and groaned for the first few weeks with his latest round of detachment because it had been YEARS since I had to navigate the militarily separated status. Now, as he's leaving in less than a week until the end of September, I'm good. I've got wine, dinner dates with the ladies, my work, a jigsaw puzzle, Netflix, some frozen Bertolli Dinners For Two, no need to share the bed, newly purchased underwear so I can avoid laundry for longer. and a plethora of dust to gather on my razor. :)

Our Hawkeye/Greyhound Ball is quickly coming up on the calendar, and I'm thinking to myself, Can I do my own hair?? Usually for these once-a-year occasions, I do tend to spoil myself just a little bit just because how often does Mr. Wookie rock his Choker Whites? He looks absolutely fantastic, so as should I. I've routinely re-worn dresses from college because no one has ever seen them before and I did a pretty good job on choosing cost-effective dresses that are timeless. This year, I did something different. I bought a clearance Banana Republic dress. Because I wanted to. And I can't wait to wear it. :) So with that, I'm going to be Pinteresting ideas for my hair (to do it myself) since I bought a new dress this year. Gotta be productive with my money, honey.

Do you need to waste time and nearly piss yourself?? Check this out. Thanks SMD.


Happy Birthday to Middle Sister who turned a whoppin' 24 today (seriously, hands down, BEST year ever in my life since I traveled heavily, enjoyed life, lived off my savings, and delayed adulthood until absolutely necessary).

Next up: Me. *Gulp*

I've taken a two-day break from the beverages after this weekend. Although, I may start excluding Monday from my typical glass of wine. Not that I'm an alcoholic. But with Mr. Wookie creeping closer to the Deployment Date, I feel like a few random days off will definitely stretch my cheap-ass wine budget for the many moons he'll be gone over the next year (seriously, it's $5 or under for my beverage of choice. Go cheap or go home).

Sunday, August 19

There's still more to cover! Back to "Glamour's 30 Things before 30" #1-5

In continuing the trend of Glamour's "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30", let's see how my answers stack up for the next 5 questions of this Q&A.

By 30, you should know ...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
Yes, although I think the concept of love is ever-evolving (how existential, Mrs. Wookie!). The way I loved Mr. Wookie when we first me was something of bubbles and kitten whiskers, where as with each year together it continues to morph into a more soul-invasive love. And with that, I still make sure I know myself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
I turn 29 in October - which means, I have then one year to contemplate the existence of potential offspring. I'm torn though. I do feel the need to pass along the Ginger locks to the next generation. But then my inner feminist glares at the thought of being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, having given up financial freedom and a narrow waist for a child that will forever change the landscape of weekends, home decor, and my boobs.
And yes, we've been told to produce grandchildren. I'm curious what the starting offer is though.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
I've happily (I want more money!) and unhappily (We're PCSing to California!) left jobs which has taught me lessons in personal standards, the shitty job market in California, left the ol' bank account dusty, and determined to find quality, resume-worthy work.


Though sadly, this is way more common than my breaking up with men. My last break-up was via text. From him. How awesome, right? Oh well, he still lives in his hometown, was a car salesman (please, don't judge), and didn't have any ambition.

I'll take Mr. Wookie for $5,000, Alex.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
I have two rules of thought.
If you can't find the answer via Google, you're screwed.
And if it can't be solved with a $5 bottle of wine, some tears, and a hug, you're screwed.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
Practice makes perfect, right?

Friday, August 17

So, Mrs. Wookie, how was Middle Sister's wedding last summer?

So you know Wookie & Co. have a strict protocol when it comes to weddings.

a.) It's better if we don't have to crash it, so invite us. But only invite us if we don't have to sit at Table 9 with the family rejects. We do best in our habitat (other alcohol-related people), and enjoy the availability of good food (please no Cheez-Whiz and crackers).

b.) We. like. the. beverages. How else will we get up there and dance? Plus, how else will we find the "need" to find the ladies' room juuuuust about the same time as the bouquet toss.

c.) DO NOT FATHER/DAUGHTER DANCE TO "Butterfly Kisses." I will murder a baby.

d.) DO NOT HAVE THE READING OF "2 Corinthians..." I will murder an elderly person.

Yes, there are more, but these are the important ones. So Accidentally Olympian, take note!

Thursday, August 16

So it was Mama Ging's 29th Birthday yesterday.

And like any good daughter...I posted a note on Facebook and called it good.

Mrs. Wookie, are you finally recapping Middle Sister's wedding??? A year later??

That's all you need to do in the modern day, right?

You don't need to call your mother to wish her a Happy Birthday. No. Nor do you have to schedule future pedicures with her upcoming travels to the Southern California coastline to visit the Wookie & Company household (sans Mr. Wookie though, he'll back on the boat for a couple more months). Nope. You don't have to talk about recovering the infamous Victorian chair that's currently rocking a duct-taped pattern that Chanel might use in next season's fashions. Nil. And there wasn't conversation about how usually the weather is just perfect for hammocks and iced tea (Mama Ging, not a big drinker) - and to not worry when our friendly neighbor pops his head over to chat. Nada.

So while any birthday antics will be belated as the 900-mile divide is a bitch in making for traditional Sunday dinners (and a beverage with the Sheriff), we'll easily make up for it. Plus, Middle Sister will be there and we're a fun force to be reckoned with. There'll be some IKEAing, home-cooked meals, sightseeing, celebrity stalking, shopping, and probably some Father of the Bride. We just have some movies worth watching over and over again...which is why the Sheriff always packs his laptop (he can't not find videos online like this).

And don't worry about Baby Sister, she's got her own plans in the works to visit.

Tuesday, August 14

So remember that time we declared NEVER AGAIN on Bulldogs?

May was a very rough month for us. Sweet Pea's loss was Murphy's Law's most douchey thing ever. Seriously, Murph, you pull that stunt. You're an asshole. You kill off my FREAKING DOG less than two weeks from Mr. Wookie's freakin' boat date?? I haven't lost a pet since I was 14, and even then - it was Mama Ging's cat from right after she and the Sheriff hitched back in 1675, so I never really knew the pain of what it's like to lose your own fur-baby.

Losing a pet is fucking hard.

But time heals all wounds. Time allows us to reflect on Damn, bitch has a good life with us. When Mr. Wookie was away on business, she was my co-pilot on the other side of the bed. And should Mr. Wookie only be back for a few nights....well then she got her spot right in the middle. Nevermind if she accidentally flail kicked him in the nuts, which is hilarious by the way.

In the stinging aftermath of our loss, we knew there could never be another love like Sweet Pea. She was our first, she'll be our favorite. She was a snatchy ol' broad who was more like her mother than I ever knew. Don't like people? Who cares, me neither. Don't like other dogs? Me neither, they're not nearly as cute as you, baby girl. And just like that, she was my "baby girl." While I didn't bloat over 9 months and wreck my vagina to have her, I still poured my everlasting love (and money) into spoiling the shit outta her.

But time heals all wounds. I see her pictures and I no longer have the bitterness of a dog gone too soon. Instead, I have the incredible memories of making our home her last home. Our home, our love, our life...was hers. And she couldn't have fit more perfectly. The Junior Officers when they came over would shower her with affection (until she chased the beer pong balls). When it was just one of my lady friends, bitch would curl up on the sofa with me while I drink wine and we watch Say Yes to the Dress (I love my Friday night television!).

Now life is quieter. Life has less walks. Life has unopened bags of treats given to other families in the squadron with dogs. Life has three-week used dog bed in the garage that we can't dare part with. Life has her collar hanging on the key rack as a constant reminder of her place in our family. Life still has a half-bag of food that's waiting for a donation place to accept (I just need to reach out). And life has a re-arranged front room since my heart broke every time I saw the empty floor space where her bed, blanket, toys, slobber, paw prints, and green cloud of ass-gas would linger.

But now life has a new discussion. Life has re-emerged in the conversation of a future dog and how Mr. Wookie and I just can't let go of the breed. I'll be honest - his words caught me off-guard at first. But in reality they shouldn't have. After a month without her, we started to ease back into the future of us. What will we own next? We took every "What dog breed is right for you?" quiz one after the other, and our results clashed every time. He wants a Mastiff, I love Corgis, he'd like a bloodhound, I think wire-hair large terriers are cute, he'd punt a chihuahuah (so would I), and I think Bull Terriers are adorable with their weird-shaped snouts.

It's a good thing we've decided to wait until after deployment to bring another dog into our family, because we'd be those nightmare people with two dogs (a "his" and "hers"). No. We don't want that. We want an "ours."

But Friday night brought words that stung my heart...in a good way. Mr. Wookie's used the time on the boat to reflect about what he misses (hopefully me), what he wants out of life, and where he wants to go next.

"I want another Bulldog."

Is he serious? No way? Are you sure? Are we ready for another (potential) money pit? 

Without flinching, "I'm in." They say shot-gun reactions are from the heart.

So as serious as herpes, a heart attack, and trust funds, I can't wait until we freakin' check into our next duty station so life can SHOW ME THE MONEY ENGLISH BULLDOGS! Seriously. I can't handle my excitement. I need more cowbell snoring, slobbering, and farting...and not from Mr. Wookie. ;)

Monday, August 13

The short and sweet relief of Mr. Wookie being home.

Seriously, 10 days of grass growth. And a few hidden golf balls later.

Ahhhh, Mr. Wookie...back at home...back to (house)work...and back to lounging on the back patio, cold beer in hand, mocking (or being impressed) by the golfers just over our iron fencing. While there's not a lot to do in the short time he's home, there are some important things to figure out before the birds leave for more out-of-state training.

But overall, I'm enjoying the company over dinner, My Idiot Brother, cocktails with Mr. Wookie's fellow Junior Officers (I can't believe how much I've missed them), and the new magnet that graces the fridge.

I was lucky enough to get Friday off from work in order to spend some quality time with Mr. Wookie.

I couldn't have felt less emotion over missing work on Friday. Work shwork!

But now we're back to the grindstone this morning as we're both off to earn our incomes. It's still TBD whether the hours during the short time home will be semi-decent or hard-charging to keep up the pace until their next training exercise. So will we have next weekend together? Or will Mr. Wookie have weekend flights and a grumpy attitude?

Mostly this weekend has been reflective. It's hard to imagine, but we've been in the (semi) great state of California for just shy of two years. In that time frame, I've worked three different jobs (one as a temp that I kicked to the curb, one a real job that faltered with the economy - so I jumped ship, and where I'm at now - happy as a clam), we've welcomed a beloved pooch and too-soon said goodbye (and we love you), there have been dozens of wine corks, a few hangovers, and a couple broken picture frames (that was the last time we host Mr. Wookie's co-workers over). There have been countless tears, buckets of drool, sheer moments of happiness, and a quizzical first six months into this duty station.

The Navy - it's definitely a learning period. Just when you think you have the hang of it as a domesticated attache, it throws you a new curve ball of new emotions.

So while it took me a good 2-3 weeks to find my "happy place" as Mr. Wookie was playing in the water, I finally did find something that was semi-comfortable. Although the Resident Caveman doesn't understand what all the hubbub is about. "You're home and you have access to alcohol." Ahhh yes, because that alone suffices my needs. I don't need human interaction, when I can talk to the TV. I don't need dinner company, because I enjoy slaving away in the kitchen for one. Instead, I fought with myself for those first few weeks knowing I could be alone, but not trusting myself that "I've got this." Up until that point, my inner monologue was whiny and wimpy. But then the pity party packed up and I found my routine of weekly library trips, cooking every 2 to 3 days of real food then just reheating leftovers to make life easy, and finding weeding the flowerbeds to be the perfect excuse for an ice-cold beer.

Let's just hope this happiness continues beyond his next bag is packed and he walks out the door.

Sunday, August 12

Only when you're alone can you really learn your weakness.

"If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?" -- Gloria Steinem

If you've ever been concerned about my fashion sense, now's the time - seriously, Safari-esque jacket, tribal dress, thigh peekaboo, and leopard shoes. Trust me, I didn't leave the house like this. I just had to break in the shoes.

If there was one thing I learned in my time away from Mr. Wookie, it's that damn, nothing makes the month feel better than picking up a pair of new shoes. Now before you go all materialistic on my ass, just know I have a severe tendency to buy one pair of shoes, love the shit out of them, and wear them into the ground. I believe firmly that shoes are an investment (not Skinny Runner kind of investment), but an investment into the sanity of your body.

Fun fact: I don't buy non-ergonomic shoes.

Cue granny walkers and Metamucil.

I'm the crazy twenty-something that buys shoes with arch support, a heel cup, and dancing room for my toes.

And I love it.

So you're thinking to yourself, "Where in the world do you get ergonomic shoes without hitting up a retirement community? And do I have to go before my Denny's 4pm Silver Dinner Special??"

No, you don't. And they market towards the non-AARP crowd. Trust me. I'm a doctor.

My favorites are Naturalizer, Clarks, Birkenstocks, and Report, if you had to peek into my closet.

So when I was out shopping one lunch break, at my local Naturalizer Outlet store, needing another neutral color shoe for my wardrobe (since the warm-toned brown flats bought 6 months ago are starting to have sloping heels from excessive mileage), I about died when the leopard print shoe caught my eye. Why hello?? I didn't even text-versate with Mommy McD on this purchase. They were all MINE!

Shoes: my weakness. Why? Because my feet are a normal size. I don't have to shop at the TallBitches.com for clothes to fit my legs and monkey arms. I can go anywhere. Maybe this is why Mr. Wookie doesn't like going to the NEX- they carry Naturalizer. :) I'm a 5'10.789" female with a dainty Size 8 foot. Yes, my balance is terrible. Yes, I know this is compounded when I happen to drink too much. Yes, that's why I don't drink.

Bazinga.

BHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA.

So in the timeframe Mr. Wookie was gone, I brought home two pairs of homeless shoes. Without a dog, I'm left to evil devices. That's roughly a pair of shoes per month. Gasp. This is going to be bad. Mr. Wookie has a very long deployment coming up. And the closet is only so big. Looks like it's time to start rearranging things. And I know what you're thinking, Mrs. Wookie, you're so charitable in helping those homeless shoes. I do what I can - I'm the Mother Teresa of footwear.

Saturday, August 11

Welcome Home, USS Summa Time

I've been a bag of questions since Mr. Wookie has been home - mostly, I'm curious how the rest of the squadron finds out when the boat is pulling in and their boots will be on the ground. I feel like being attached to a Naval Aviator (and thusly being an Officer), that I receive more privileged information due to Mr. Wookie's job. Apparently, that's not the case. And not to think I'm better because of Mr. Wookie's status, I honestly just thought that sometimes there are perks to his job. Nope. Everyone is equal in getting knowledge at coming home. The Officers just get the perk of leaving the boat days early since the aircraft needs to be home first (and a thanks to the neighbor squadron for landing them this week).

But after this week, there's no more need for coded discussion for dates, movements, and homecomings.

Mr. Wookie's entire squadron is safely home from the USS Summa Time

They've had a very busy summer of international training exercises with heavy-flying days, aircraft that needed maintenance, very important people on board (like the Secretary of the Navy - who met Mr. Wookie, asked where the Caveman was from, inquisition'd him, "Beavs or Ducks?," then congratulated him on his choice of education. Seriously.), two port calls, a handful of emails back home when the Internet wasn't down, and limited coffee since apparently right after pulling out of Pearl Harbor the stash was out. Again, seriously.

This squadron is working hard in the work-up cycle before deployment and have earned some days off. Lord knows they're leaving all too soon again. But hey, it just makes deployment's homecoming that much better. And maybe each mini-homecoming will make my cleaning skills that much better.

Friday, August 10

Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Or more independent?

But like a good book (or a shitty, boring book), things must all come to an end. The home has to be cleaned in order to not scare away the Resident Caveman into thinking I live like a slob when he's not here. There was the mad amount of laundry to be done (there were a few times I was THISCLOSE to wearing swimsuit bottoms - again, I had things to do and people to see - laundry was not a priority). And I had to restock the bar (very, very important).

We knew the window of "fly in" dates for this summer-long exercise and I was praying for a miracle. Would I be there to make it? On the schedule at work was a multi-day conference for my division - where I being the newest employee, was the lone soul left behind. I, being there for 10 months, was in charge of EVERYTHING. I had my boss' emails forwarded to me, I had my co-workers' emails forwarded to me, I had everything in my control - this meant the good and the bad. And unfortunately life wasn't smooth sailing for those days.

And to make matters worse, we were given the estimated arrival time for aircraft arrival.

Shit.

I'm going to be at work. Timing couldn't have been worse. And emailing Mr. Wookie on the boat was heartbreaking. "Babe, I can't be there - I have to be at work. This kills me."

So with that, I made a plan. Well, if I can't be there for the fly-in...I'll at least have a goodie bag of beer and booze for his arrival that way he knows he's at least loved. I confirmed with a wife on when she would be going to the Hangar, and that I'd like my goodie bag to accompany her. Plan.


So that morning, the birds were launched. All en route to the mainland. All containing aviators whose families have missed them over the past months. All enjoying the phone calls from port visits, but those who wanted their men in uniform home for dinner, cocktails, and story time for those with kids.

For us without offspring, I just wanted another human in the house to talk to - because cheering at the Olympics is borderline crazy. And that's even before the wine consumption begins.

Once the aircraft were launched, the boat steamed towards land. And the ground crew earned a night of relaxation, popcorn, and some Scwartzing Be With Them. They deserved it. There's not a working plane without the killer crew.

But then I got to thinking. What if I can make the fly-in? What if the stars align so perfectly on my lunch break that I make their boots on the ground? Noo...it'll never happen. But I wouldn't know unless I tried.

So I connived with those able to attend - I want to be there, let's make it work.

At 12:10pm, late for my lunch break, but with my foot HEAVY on the gas I screamed my car towards the Navy base. Once past those gates of ID checks and judgment, the car properly drove the speed limit to the Hangar. That is until you heard this low, grumbling, deep noise...

VROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM

...directly overhead, unbelievably low, in formation, were three E-2 Hawkeyes, happy to see home land, more excited to put rubber on the ground and be welcomed home from their training exercise. My heart raced. No way, life can't be perfect. I can't make this fly-in.....can I??? Are you serious? Is this happening?? Goosebumps trickled my arms.

But then came the time to wait for all the birds to land, and I was anxious with fear as I had a limited amount of time to stand around before I had to make my way back to work. So I waited and paced. I paced and I waited. And I chewed my already nerve-wracked nails. Worry was all over my face.

12:26pm - another fly over in a different formation, each plane breaking to the left in order to descend for landing.
12:32pm - first airplane is down. 
12:46pm - all planes are down, but we were going ever close to my "I need to get back to work" time.

I, giddy with excitement, had the heart-wrenching thought that I would see all the action, but need to get back to work - missing the hug, love, and affection of a boy that's been off on a floating city for the summer.

Tick tick tick went the clock. The planes were parked(?) and reducing their engines. HOW LONG DOES THIS FREAKING TAKE??? I HAVE A SCHEDULE. I'm anxious, overwhelmed, annoyed, and longing to see the boy and make sure he knows he's loved. And apparently this aircraft requires a lengthy shut-down process, instead of killing the engine, rolling into the driveway, and cranking the e-brake - apparently millions of dollars is more involved than a shitty $500 Toyota Tercel with hanging head liner (my first car).

The wind is dancing around the Hangar space, where wearing a dress I began to regret it. 

But then with 10 minutes left in my window of opportunity, it was announced that it was safe to approach the planes. Engines were off. Hatches opened. Finally.

Slowly, one by one, pilots and back-seaters began to emerge from the cocoon of the aircraft. Tall, short, skinny, not-so-skinny....each camouflaged by flight gear and a sweaty head. All of us wondering who belongs to who. I stand next to the Commanding Officer's Wife, who's also curious which plane holds her better half.

I partially yell, "Anyone seen a Caveman?"

"He's in here!" was called back. Third plane.

I can't believe it. I'm here. I'm witnessing this. I'm welcoming home my handsome man home from a summer-long exercise and it literally feels like he just left. Life is in slow-motion as I walk towards him asking, "Hey babe, how goes it?" He looks fantastic - even cuter than I remembered. And I take my first mental images in a long time. This moment. This is what it's all about. Welcome home babe.

"I knew you'd make it." Obviously someone has extreme faith. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. If I wouldn't have been held up those extra 10 minutes at work, I would have left earlier - which means I would have had to leave earlier from the base, and would have missed his boots on the ground.

I thanked everyone who helped make my timely arrival happen and then I was off.

Then I raced back to work with a smile on my face and the utmost thankfulness for life to grant me that little piece of happiness. I got to be there for him. The one person he wanted to see - he got to, even if for a few minutes. And it doesn't hurt that he went home with a six pack of microbrew, a hug, kiss, and a suggestive offer, "Hey babe, wanna do Mexican food tonight? I'll drive." Yup, the boy deserves a couple margaritas if I do say so myself - I will gladly have water with lemon while he tastes the freedom off the boat.


Welcome home, Caveman. I've missed you.

Now let's have time crawl since you're leaving before month's end. I've missed you. And we have a lot of catching up to do: Cheers, steak dinners, movie dates, martinis, and Chinese take-out nights with Netflix marathons.

Thursday, August 9

Preparing for Mr. Wookie's (short) return to California.

It was put into our ear sometime mid-July that with the state of the Navy these days, deployments stretching into un-seen-in-Navy-history durations, I.A.'s happening to almost every Command, that there may be a change to the estimated date of arrival for our "flyboys" to come on home. "Just because they say they're going to return, doesn't mean they will," mentioned a very salty wife who's seen her husband be literally on their way home and have the boat return to location of conflict because duty called. This really stuck with me, although I wouldn't dare raise my concern with Mr. Wookie.

No. You're coming home in August and that's that. We'll enjoy the handful of days that you're granted on California land, we'll hug, kiss, and travel, we'll continue talking dogs (seriously, sore spot still for us), and I'll do his laundry like a loving girlfriend knowing I'd rather do his laundry than not be able to do his laundry.

But seriously, what if while in the vast Pacific Ocean, duty called? What if they were kept for just a month? What if they were kept for beyond Christmas? Seeing as Mr. Wookie's actual "shove off" deployment date has wavered within a four-month margin, I literally couldn't be surprised if it was moved up to NOW. It's happening to one of our sister squadrons here. They've barely been home 6 months before their Skipper had to let loose the news that the boat calls their name...so soon.

But in July I found my rhythm, and sadistically began to enjoy this rare life of just me, although the thought of a vacation without Mr. Wookie will be long-deserved. His out-and-back schedule will cause even my best of friends to le sigh and dream of a closer duty station for me. It'd be one thing if the squadron would just deploy already, but instead they're taking it chunks of weeks at a time. We'll go here for training, then the boat, then back East, then to the boat...

So once his boots are on the ground, I'm taking time off work - each time welcoming Mr. Wookie home with a man-style breakfast, served with coffee, and my day-off company to Costco for "man foods" since my style of dinners don't really stick to your ribs.

Although let's not pretend I don't have standards when it comes to welcoming home a long, lost semi-Caveman-ish Mr. Wookie. Don't fly-in with a rose. They're just lame. I don't know how you get flowers when you do fly-ins, but please, I beg you - make a request. Just explain, "My girlfriend is a redhead, so naturally she's a pain in my ass. Can you cut the flower off and just give me a stem?" Har.

Okay, not really. I mean I'll take a rose if I have to - but seriously, let's have something more creative. What about a spider mum? Or hydrangeas? Or gerbera daisies? I would die for daisies and he knows this. That's how my birthdays are so awesome (minus the age).

Although I wonder what it will be like for his actual deployment fly-in. Will I be nervous? Knowing how many months he's going to have been gone, will there be an awkward warming-up period where I don't trust that he's home for good (when literally we'll be PCSing shortly after)? Will I run into his arms, semi-tackling him? Will I waddle my ass there after gaining 50 pounds in depression and wine-soaked aggravation? Or will I walk up to him and say, "Hey stranger, that didn't seem so bad?"

Monday, August 6

Within the metal hull: Life on a boat in an E-2 squadron

So if you're lucky, you read Marrying the Navy; And because she's such a peach in the blogging department, and an aviator's better half (go team!), she actually got to tour the aircraft carrier NavyGuy is on this summer and documented the beautiful gray on gray color scheme most parts of the ship contain.

Okay, okay, "beautiful" isn't the right term, but whatever. I know when I mention bringing gray into our home in either a pillow, wall color, accent lamp, or such, I get,..."Babe, the boat is gray. Are you trying to depress me?"

Oh, sorry. I forget.

So the boat brings nightmares (although I expect those tropical and exotic port calls to more than make up for things), there's something Mr. Wookie has been looking forward to.

The decorating.

But let's talk first about the boring ways you can decorate a Ready Room.

Exhibit A

And sadly I'm too lazy to Google other Ready Rooms to compare, but seriously white walls? Fluorescent lighting? Is that the best that can be done?? This squadron really needs a Mr. Wookie. See below, and you'll know why.

Let's take, for instance, Mr. Wookie's Ready Room on the USS Summa Time.

Yes, this is Mr. Wookie's real-life Ready Room. I'm not kidding. For those non-Navy readers, this is where all briefings and action happens (you see the projector, white board, distinguished chairs facing in that direction). It's the hub of the squadron; it's where you squeeze every Junior Officer, Department Head, XO, and Skipper (although the latter three all have designated chairs) for morning meetings, testing, safety stand-downs, and the like. It's where you get business done.

Also in the Ready Room is the small "lounge" near the red trunk (which may or may not be the "Cruise box" who are 'in the know'). And lastly there's the desk on the left of the screen with the two laptops that are used by the JOs to email their mamas, lifetime domestic partners (hurray!), the few with actual wives, and friends off the boat.

in my opinion, THIS is how a Ready Room should be done. Am I partial? Of course I am. Because it was designed largely by Mr. Wookie. Seriously, his inner gay is AMAZING. Flooring: Home Depot. Faux brick panels: Someplace else. Marquee sign: Hand-freaking-painted in our garage. Yup. Mr. Wookie custom-made that bad-boy for our annual Hawkeye Ball (which is a BLAST!); but after receiving a letter from the Commodore for his efforts with it, it was unanimously voted to re-purpose it for the deployment. And thank goodness. Would you want a 6' marquee sign occupying space in your garage?? Yeah, exactly what I thought.

Now, I have an idea of what you may be thinking?

Mrs. Wookie, are you sure he's not a Nate Berkus (you know, gay)? Is that why you're not married?

(Haha)

I don't get it either. But being a Libra, who can struggle with the decision of tuna melt or hot pastrami sandwich, he's definitely the best thing about PCSing. "Babe, where should we put this, here or here?" He picks which he likes, which makes our house come together that much quicker.

I can't imagine what life would be like if I had to unpack post-PCS without him. I'd at least have the "necessities" found: liquor, Internet, and my 4" featherbed (seriously, post to come).

So life on the boat can be trying, sometimes (flights at all hours of the night, boat food that gives you butt-sludge, etc.), but when you have a place like that to call home - it can't be that bad. Or if you need a pick-me-up, find a Marine Ready Room - there's nothing like excessive camo netting to make you appreciate the finer things in life, like red mood lighting.

Sunday, August 5

What helps pass the time? The other ladies missing their men.

I will tell the story a million times over, other wives will agree with me, a "Wives Group" will not break your soul. If it's full of catty women, back-stabbers, and "thunder cunts," then no one will blame you for not partaking in the "fun."

But then what happens when all the ladies are dreamy, drink red wine like it's going out of style, have kids but respect your decision to not procreate at this time, and welcome you into their home for dinners, drinks, movies, cry fests, complaining, Bunco, book club, birthdays, bitch-fests....did I miss anything??...it makes the world a special place.

As the lone longtime-domesticated girlfriend (and advocate for sans-kids get-togethers which are met with cheers since the slogan is "Time away from my kids makes me a Happy Mom"), I'm accepted into this group as one of their own. While it takes a little more effort to get to base than other non-base dwellers, I'm always happy to join in on the fun whether a family-friendly picnic or wine drinking out on the town.

We've done everything from progressive dinners, to wine tastings, to movie nights, book clubs, and a few even helped me score that elusive Victorian chair that'll face a remodel later this year (let's just say Mama Ging is coming to visit - so I've got her name alll in helping me).

One thing I don't like: People who 'go home' for detachments/deployments. While visiting is one thing, there's something else about being "left behind" that I find strengthening to your soul. That and I'm one of the few who's still holding strong to the bullshit-ic thought that I can have a real 'career' while popping around the country after Mr. Wookie. While I may not make promotions because I leave too soon, dammit, I'm going to keep chasing my next resume addition and the bi-monthly deposits in my bank account. So while the mom with kids take off as soon as the boat is gone, I stay put - just me, myself, and I if I have to - because I live here - this is my home.

Although I'm starting to feel the bite of employment on my backside as the discussions of where port calls will take place. Place A? Place B? And thusly, who's dropping $$$ for a place ticket to port call "R" to spend a mere few days with their boy. To me, this doesn't sound like a sound investment. Spending $1,000 for 3 days seems overpriced (PLEASE, tell me if I'm wrong!). I feel like it's a better investment to spend $2,500 for the  two of you to spend on a 10-day adventure somewhere post-deployment. Anyone with me? Am I not seeing the light? Or am I the light?

So while the boys will be back from the boat this month from their summer-long exercise, I can't help but think about the future. Once Mr. Wookie shoves off for deployment, his time in California is essentially done since our tour will near the end once they return from the USS Actual Deployment. And what's more important to me? Keeping the homefire light and the bank account full, or taking a few days off here and there (and subsequently emptying a piece of the bank account) for some mid-deployment travel??

Decisions, decisions.

Readers, your insight is worthwhile. Navy ladies, please let me know how you've done!

Not my hat. The kids thought I should rock it.
And yes, this is the same night as the Victorian chair incident.

So until the planes land, the boat pulls in, the tri-walls are unpacked, and the stinky boots are loped over to the side of Mr. Wookie's desk, I'll hang here with my ladies. And pass the umpteenth wine bottle.

Saturday, August 4

You get those traps, Mr. Wookie

Official photo from the USS Summa Time

It's official: Operational flights have ceased and Mr. Wookie can breath a sigh of relief as the exercise has closed in the air, and the boys can begin to make their way home. We still have toes and fingers-amount of days until they're home, but I need to start getting the house back in working order since I live pretty much like a frat boy.

I've received great news though. Mr. Wookie had to punch a hole in his belt since he's lost weight while being on the boat. Apparently the combination of boat food, and cycling (apparently the weights portion of the gym is overrun with 19-year-olds who think they can flex has caused Mr. Wookie to seek out the quiet areas of the gym), has made for a more svelte Mr. Wookie. I'm kinda excited to see him now! You probably can't tell he's any skinnier (he's second from the right), but I know I see a difference! He looks so skinny now (yes, I know he resembles a low-land mountain gorilla - but still, he's skinny!).

Oh, yes, and the caterpillar on his face. He says he's over it and will shave it off first step on home turf. So that makes me curious. Is a handful of weeks during the summer too much for your 'stache-ing capabilities?? We still have that deployment coming up - then what?? That'll definitely be some 'stache growth. Seriously. I don't know how he'll manage that. But good luck to him. I won't need any help in growing out my leg hairs - please, that shit is easy.

So I've got some cleaning to do, shopping to do (we need liquor, man foods, and cleaning products), mowing of the Cambodian jungle also known as a back yard, sleep, Girls' Night In with my squadron ladies, a facial at 1pm, a laundry pile that looks like Kilimanjaro - all within his estimated date of (probably going to be delayed) arrival. This all is too much to do in one sitting. That's why there's wine. So I can rehydrate in the midst. That and cleaning the house will take some time - first stop: Home Depot. I need a chisel for the bathroom. Remember, frat boys aren't clean.

Friday, August 3

Happy August y'all -- let's welcome Mr. Wookie....sometime this month.

In continuing the trend of Glamour's "30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30", let's see how my answers stack up for the next 5 questions of this Q&A.


By 30, you should know ...
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
Indeed.
2. How you feel about having kids.
Good thing I have a few years for this one too. On one side, kids are annoying. They whine, they break things, they suck your funds, they kill vacation plans, and put a damper on DINKdom. But kids are cool when they're 6 and playing t-ball - or if they're little ballerinas - or they get to ride on a firetruck in a parade - or you teach them how to play backyard baseball. Or they're eventually Olympians.


Everyone can dream, right?
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
I'm getting bored already with the questions.
I've definitely quit my fair share of jobs. Not making any money? I QUIT! Moving across country with a boy? I QUIT! You lied when you hired me? I REALLY FREAKIN' QUIT!
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
There's a fine line with that - and with it all I think it's a 'gut instinct.'

With jobs, I've always felt it was "stay or go" within a month's time. No longer are 'break-in periods' months-long. After a week, you can tell the type of people your company hires. Do you wanna stay or go?

Have I ever left a job without notice? Yup. Don't be a douchey employer. It's that simple.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
Practice makes perfect, right?

Wednesday, August 1

So the other day, I leave my house. And get an offer I don't want.

I did something I'm quite proud of. I didn't expect it to happen. But it did.


So you know Mr. Wookie is gone. But dammit, I put my hair in rollers, donned some makeup, and got myself a date for dinner. By the way, Mr. Wookie knows all about this - so no secrets, mmmkay. Who was I 'dating?' Oh, just one of our good college friends who's stationed in Virginia, who we haven't seen in 2+ years (and 2 deployments for our friend), and I wasn't going to let my solo status rain on the parade of Oregonian hospitality.


Just because Mr. Wookie is gone, doesn't mean my social life is dead. Our friend (in a sister E-2 squadron) who's in town for training, needed some dinner company (who am I to be a bitch?). So I was determined to show our friend where Mr. Wookie's and I's place in the world exists. How the beach is a living entity, how the weather is just about perfect in late July, and how the scent of cocktails on the ocean better be served with a cuppa chowda and the perfect seafood entree.


I love my life and I love that I'm able to be the extended hand of our life and welcome our friends to Southern California with open arms. While I love it more when Mr. Wookie is here, I know he's in mostly great hands of some very dedicated and skilled pilots. Plus, there's the possibility for overlap with Mr. Wookie and our friend from Virginia, so don't feel bad about anything. In fact, feel bad for me. ;) Our guest room will be occupied and late night movie fests will be had by the boys. All while I go to bed 'early' at 10:30m.


So in to town came our friend. And into his phone came my offer for dinner, views of the beautiful Pacific ocean, and a promise for a night where college would be jealous. He gladly accepted. There's something about a friendship than spans a near-decade built on a solid foundation: Beaver football, both our fathers being in law enforcement, and the simple knowledge that Oregon is the best place to retire only because it's where we come from (plus fishing licenses are dirt cheap, biodiesel is easy to find, and damn...have you met me?)


The night was simple. Dinner at a local pier focal point. Then a move to Downtown for drinks. Where (honestly, shockingly) we ran into further (other) sister squadrons in the E-2 community (ones we know very, very well), which merged into a party like rock stars. There was was dancing, there was tall boys of PBR at 1:30am, and there was the questioning to ME from some random guy of, "Wanna get outta here?"


Ummm....I know what that means.


Ummm....


NO.


Sorry buddy, a.) Have you met my better half? b.) Eww. c.) You're shorter than me. d.) NOOO.


That was the highlight of the night. Seriously, getting asked to leave a shady bar and do unmentionables with this guy. I honestly thought it was hilarious in the moment. Have you met me? I'm a handful. Seriously. I'm a Ginger, so that's going against me. Then I have this resident Cavemen that I live - who you'll have to beat away with a stick (seriously). 


But either way, I was quite proud of myself. I got hit on. And I didn't even try. Not because I was dressed suggestively or putting out the signals that I wanted someone to take me home. Instead, I knew it was because I actually looked gorgeous for once in a long, long time. Normally my appearance sans-Mr. Wookie is more lesbian than anything - because why try when not necessary? So "toot toot" own horn. But seriously - 'gag' to his offer.


Although, I just kinda feel bad with how I answered the question, because in my right mind (which was....umm...altered), I didn't exactly sugarcoat it. "Nope." Not a, 'Oh, yeah, you actually probably know my boyfriend, Mr. Wookie.' Or 'I have a longtime boyfriend, thanks.' Just 'NOPE.' He probably had no idea - but I bet you he learned who I was afterwards (not to say I'm anything special - but our community is veryveryverysmall, so the information of Mr. Wookie has probably made it to him by now and he feels like a JACKASS). Next time buddy. Maybe then the girl will not be attached to a part-ape aviator who's growing a killer detachment 'stache.


So who's ready for Mr. Wookie to be home?? I know I am. It used to be because I missed his cooking, now I miss his bodyguarding skills in our local bars. Come home, Mr. Wookie, come home.
 
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