Chapters, My

8 10 2013

I’ve noticed in my nearly 30 years on this earth that our lives are made up of chapters, much like a book.

For most of us, it is outlined by major events in our lives.  For the military folk it is broken into their tours, as one tour ends, so begins a new phase in their lives.

I would say that I have had the usual ups and downs and life events in each chapter of my life.  High school and into the Navy was the first chapter, the longest, and maybe one of the most important.  It made me who I am today, and it is what shaped my values and codes.  However, the events since then have transformed me into so much more.

When I joined the Navy I was a completely different person.  I think I had always sought that structure in life, everything having a place and a recognized order.  This is what the Navy provided.  After boot camp, where I learned to just keep your mouth shut and follow directions…sometimes blindly, I went to school in Florida.  This is where I continued to learn how to not always speak my mind while I sometimes learned the hard way and rarely saw the “bigger picture” that everyone always talked about.  I just thought the military would be a four year job, and I could learn about myself, and start my college fund.  This is what I kept in mind for four years.  When I arrived in Hawaii to my first duty station, I was picked up for ceremonial guard where I performed in several burials and retirements.  This is where my sense of history and heritage began, meeting all kinds of people, all with individual stories and deep respect for what the Navy had provided them.  After a few months I headed up to my actual job.  It was not what I had hoped for, and did not prove to be as rewarding as I had hoped.  I was junior ranking, and I was so hungry for responsibility and the chance to lead people that I became discontented with my position and people telling me that some goals were just not possible.  I had some terrible leadership, and it is from them that I learned what not to do with my future Sailors.  I made a few long-lasting friends and got to explore Hawaii’s islands and also see Japan and the Philippines.

My second tour brought me to the middle east; the tiny island of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf.  Yes, I actually had to google the place before agreeing to take on the orders.  Here I had an extremely rewarding tour and learned many leadership traits from several leaders who were in and out of the command, as it was a one year billet.  Although we worked our asses off and had many a 16-18 hour day, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.  The work we put in was worth the dividends…but I did learn that when accepting high stress billets you need to be prepared.  I also learned how to live alone and depend on myself, so I came out much stronger on the other end.  I had time to start blogging and also get into fitness. For my next duty station, I knew it had to be a ship, in order to ensure my transition into the next higher paygrade, and also broaden my experience.

My most recent chapter brought me to the mighty sea….where Sailors belong, right?  My very first PCS tour afloat.  By far this has been the most rewarding tour yet.  I have learned so much from my chain of command as they have supported me in every move and decision I have made.  I have found my place in the Navy and they have empowered me to move forward with my career, which is what I will pass on to my Sailors.  The feeling I had when I was in Hawaii and I wanted so much to be the one making things happen and having those Sailors in my charge depending me was finally here.  It is unfortunate, but in the military you have to attain a certain rank to be put into positions of leadership.  Maybe I wasn’t ready in Hawaii, who knows, but I was  able to grow into the shoes that my previous mentors had left for me.

Through my travels in the Navy I have tried to date but never really made it work…some of the relationships bled over from one chapter to the next, but I could never force myself to choose my personal life over the military.  Which sounds pretty sad when saying it out loud.  Many a person has asked me what will be there for me after the Navy……the military or my family?  We all know the answer, however the military has yet to let me down as some of the men boys I have encountered….whether by simple incompatibly or pure self destruction.  Maybe the next chapter in my life will bring prince charming but for now I will stick with my Navy life and travels.  I am definitely open to any suitor that can handle this!

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Crepes.

3 02 2013

My recent obsession has been crepes.

They.

Are.

Amazing.

Like, seriously.

It started in Bahrain but I have since become addicted. They are just so damn yummy. Last weekend in Denver I was at a place called Crepes a la Carte, which were the best I have had since returning to the states from overseas.

crepeslogo

As luck would have it, my friend Kittie is a chef-in-waiting and came over this morning to show me how to make crepes!! It’s really simple actually, you just whisk pancake mix with a ton of milk (she uses soy milk), and then put in a frying pan on medium, ensure it is very thin, then top with your have flavor. Mine is nutella and peanut butter!





December Tidings

6 12 2011

Well folks, it’s officially December. I can’t say this has been the most productive month so far…

I’ve been watching a lot of Teen Mom, Sister Wives, Real World, Gossip Girl, Desperate Housewives, and 19 Kids and Counting. Television kind of sucks your life away…I don’t know why I watch so much of it. Seriously on the weekend it’s like an all day thing and then all of a sudden it’s 8pm…where’d the day go? There’s this book called “The Black Rock”. I haven’t actually read it, but Sis Roch was telling me about it. It’s about this tribe back in the day who would waste away their lives staring at this black rock. They were so consumed by this rock that their lives flew by so fast and they accomplished nothing. Then all of a sudden they were old and crippled and they didn’t know where the time went. Kind of like a television box, no?

Speaking of black rocks, does anyone else think Kim K’s engagement/wedding ring was offensively large!? Like, 20 carats too large. Perhaps she will donate it to charity seeing as it didn’t really pan out..

Oh, and working. Which consists of going to classes for my upcoming duty on board a ship. Some diverse classes let me tell you.

We went down to Point Loma and Coronado Beach the other day and took some photos. It was a blast. If only I could do this for a living! But I don’t want my passion to become a job. So I’m happy doing it on my free time for now.

Me and the Missouri Man didn’t work out… Long story but I’m just not cut out for this long distance thing. I’ve known him since I was young, so we’re still going to be friends, but it sucks it didn’t work out. He can’t leave Missouri because of his job and I can’t leave CA because of my job. So that’s that. I think I’m giving up in the long-distance world of dating. It’s a hundred times harder than having a normal relationship. Every little problem is just magnified. I don’t know how people in the military get married or have kids. Well, the kids thing is easy. As for finding someone to spend your life with, you actually have to be in the same state at least to make things work. Considering I’ll be moving around for the next 13 years until retirement…that doesn’t make me very marketable.

Me and Sista Roch were discussing the other day how former bf’s just come out of the woodwork sometimes. That same day someone I knew in Bahrain emailed me out of the blue. He’d been on deployment for the last few months and just got back and wanted to see what I was up to. Why do guys randomly email/text/message you out of the blue? Well, my theory is that they’d like to keep you around in case they are in the same place as you and they want to hook up. That’s really the only reason I can see why they would want to string you along… And it’s never a, “Hey, how are you doing? How’s school? How’s work? Great, I’m doing well. Welp, have a good one!” No, it’s some crap about how they miss you and they wish they were where you were and so on. Well, I’m onto you boys in the woodwork. I’m not buyin it!

And, on top of that Mista B gets here in a week. We’re stationed on the same ship…I know what are the odds. So, mixed feelings about that. I haven’t seen him since April and I hope it’s not weird seeing him. I have been thinking about him. It’s not like you date someone and then break up and forget they existed and stop caring. So, it will be nice to catch up.

In that same department, an ex from Hawaii might be moving here for a job. He finds out in January. Weird. It seems like everyone and their mother are moving to California. Specifically San Diego. We don’t really talk much. We used to, but it’s gotten less and less over the years. I don’t really have any romantical feelings for him, but it would be nice to meet up and catch up on what he’s been doing.

AND, W is coming here in January for drill for a couple weeks. I haven’t seen him since summer of 2010 when we broke up for good. But we’ve been talking quite a bit. I still miss him and wonder what he’s doing all the time and wish that he would miss me. I’ve never really gotten a straight answer out of him about anything. I’m the wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve type of person. And his is locked in a deep deep dark cave inside his chest. Maybe he doesn’t even know what he’s thinking or feeling. Guys are never good at that shit. But we basically have been talking for five years now. We dated for about a year when we were in Hawaii. Then we both got out of the military and it became a long-distance relationship. My favorite. Guess what, it didn’t work. I went to Bahrain and he went back to Hawaii and even though we kept talking the relationship thing didn’t pan out. But I’ve always wanted to be with him, regardless. It’s just tough because it’s up in the air where he’ll be for the next several years. I know I still have feelings for him, so maybe we’ll talk while he’s out here and hash some things out.

See what I mean, woodwork.





4th in CO

5 07 2011

Had a wonderful time in Denver over the weekend!

I went to visit Map, one of my bff’s that I’ve known for nearly my entire life. We got very close back about 7 yrs ago, bonding over some things we were both going through and ever since then we have been one in the same. She’s who I turn to for advice, and she’s always been there, especially for the hard times.

She’s the person you could tell anything to, and who would make no judgements. Plus she’s extremely honest and down to earth. In the last two years she has gotten married, had a baby (the cutest little thing ever), added a little pomeranian, Molly Spike, to the family, her and her huz have purchased new cars, and a home. Whew. Talk about a whirlwind!

And, I have been in Bahrain and the Navy for the last two years. Sometimes I think my life could stand to be a tad more exciting…. Nonetheless, we had much to catch up on. I feel like we talked for days. Had to pack it into a three-day stint, unfortunately. Hopefully the next visit will be longer!

Next time, it’s her turn. She has promised to trek out to San Diego and visit sometime. I can’t wait to show her around! After I get acquainted with the lands, of course.

Here’s a couple pics from the trip:

my one. my only. Chipotle

tiramisu from Gaetano's Italian Restaurant

cutest baby room ever

Cutest baby room ever

Driving up to Estes Park

The Stanley Hotel from "The Shining"

a neighborly prairie dog barking hello

I have always loved Denver, and thankfully my friend moved there after college and settled down, so I’ve had the opportunity to visit! Great sights and even better company. Until next time, stay classy D-town!

Speaking of friends….if you live in Denver or surrounding areas, check out this site. Map’s sister Meredith bakes equal parts gorgeous / delicious cakes!

<———————–

meredithsconfections.blogspot.com

There’s a Nintendo cake on her site too. Like, the ORIGINAL Nintendo. As in circa 1984.

Happy belated 4th of July!





Slug Muggin

22 06 2011

Sew, chillens. I’ve been a bit busy these last few days. School is flying, thank goodness. I’m relieved, the B is relieved, and the Sis, excited I’ll be home in Sept (though partially excited I will be once and for all moving all of my boxes and assorted household goods out of her basement, to include the motorcycle taking up her lawnmower space in the garage). Good news all around. Though, I’m hoping this summer will FLY like the wind, Roch is probably praying it will move like a slug. Speaking of which, my first encounter with a real live slug was in Seattle when I was 11. Slug, meet foot. You get the idea. And that slug slime they leave behind, it’s no joke. Back to topic- After summer is over, thus starts Ms. Teacher’s -8th? – year of teaching. She’ll be retired before I am if she keeps that up. I guess she should be anyway since she’s an old lady. (yes, a year and two months is totally way older, gma!) Too bad she looks like she’s 18. Ah well you win some you lose some.

One of my friends is debating purchasing an investment home in FL. Which got me thinking again about my future living arrangement in California. Said friend had a house in HI and then turned around and sold it….I think he ended up losing a little money on it since it was when the market started the downspiral, but he was able to successfully keep some tenants in there and bank some military housing allowance, thus making money. He’s a bit of a handyman, and was able to do some upgrades and whatnot, but I am sadly not a handy lady, at all. There is always google…and youtube. But anyway, having an investment home is a great idea. I have been wondering when exactly is the right time for me to “settle down”, so they say. I’m pretty sure in the normal non-military world you are supposed to wait till you’re married and all that stuff, but what if you’re just a chick who wants a house? I think it could be possible.

Do I want to own, do I want to rent? I just don’t know. Basically right after I arrive, I’m going to have to leave again to go meet my ship…in another state…so I won’t even be there for a good 6 months…which would point me towards a solid decision to rent, at least until I am permanently back in CA. That would make SENSE. But i just have a huge moral conflict with paying in the upwards of $2000/mo for a rental. In reality, I’m losing that much a month, and in turn I’m paying someone ELSE’s mortgage. Why not just get my own house and at least have the mortgage going towards owning my own home. Even if I do have to leave it in 3 yrs, it could always be an investment company. There are realtors that you pay a small price and they will manage the property and the occupants. Worth the monies if you ask me. Buying a home is a HUGE step. I mean huge. Not just the price, but the responsibility, the panic that ensues when something breaks. I am a woman after all, and not to play out the whole, I need a man around thing, but in all truths, I don’t know how to fix everything. Well, as long as we’re getting real real, I don’t know how to fix most things. Now, my grandma, she’s a fix-it extraordinaire. And Sister Roch is well on her way down that path since she owns and has gone through several trials and tribulations with her own chunk of property. It’s all the price you pay (literally!) to have your own home. But I think ultimately, the good outweighs the bad, but get back to me in a couple of years after I get my starter-home.

I think we all watch tv (any other HGTV fanatics out there?) and have these high hopes and dreams about the first-home thing. And then you finally get your first home -whether it was intended to be one of those “project” homes or not- and come to understand the growing pains of responsibility. But, I am after all an adult. I came to terms with it a year ago. And I think i can handle a little added pressure. We’ll see what happens. Real estate isn’t exactly cheap right now-esp in Cali.

The other day a friend of mine brought up scrapbooking. Well, the exact words were, “Have you ever scrapbooked?” Um, “Sista, HaaaaVE I ever?” Haha, it’s only like my second favorite pastime! SO, we made a joint decision that we need to get to scrapbooking, ASAP. A trip to Hobby Lobby was obviously a must. A MUST. If you are unaware what Hobby Lobby is, then you must be a very very sad individual, OR you grew up in a location free of HL establishments. The franchise originated in Oklahoma, so if you are far far from the midwest, I doubt there is a Hobby near your town. BUT, a Michaels is second best, so you get the idea. It’s impossible, for any woman to go in this store and not make at least one purchase. There’s fabric galore, home decorations, wooden trunks, framing services, throw pillows, xmas decorations, fake flowers, scrapbook stuff, oh the list goes on and on and on. AND, the best part, is that they have mega-sales every week. This particular week, the scrapbooking stuff was 40% off, that is a DEAL of a lifetime. We had to take advantage. So, off we went into the glorious beyond, and we came out with scrapbooks, the big 12×12 ones, paper galore, and assorted vacation/summer stickers. Now, it is time to pick just the right photos and get started! Oh, the excitement abounds. It has been quite some time since I have scrapped. My dear college roommate got me started, shoutout to her (she also has a blog; lefthandbook.wordpress.com), she is a scrapbook/craft/arts genius. Seriously, her scrapbooks are borderline perfection. I wonder if she ever does it anymore, I imagine her lil baby keeps her busy. But those are the best things to scrapbook about. There are so many cute decorations/stickers/etc for baby milestones.

However, this weekend I will be going to New Orleans picking up my beloved Ru. She’s been in transit since the beginning of April, from that country formerly known as my homeplace; Bahrain. Can someone please explain to me what exactly justifies an 85-day shipping time? That is a little on the crazy side if you ask me. But, she is here, finally, and I will be reunited once again. And, as long as we are in New Orleans, me and the new scrapbook friend are going to stay over and explore the city a bit. Last time I was there it was Mardi Gras 2005 on Bourbon street; inhibitions were low, livers were unscathed, and parties were to be had.Then again, I was definitely underage and most certainly not drinking because of said age drinking was more fun back then.

French Quarter

These days, my eyes are wide open and my priorities have changed. This trip I will be soaking in the culture and peeping the views. Views of which will be more than just that one street where the craziness happens. And I am praying that my jalopy arrives in one piece, free of scrapes, scratches, and dents. So, cheers to two more days of the week left, and I will see you on the flip side folks.





Chuck’d

20 05 2011

It needs to be said again…Charlie Hunnam is kiiiiiind of a hottie…but nevermind that stocking cap.

Exhibit A:

Before I get into my daily rant…check out my friends’ blog, ———>    it’s over there to the right under BLOGS. Holly writes about their adoption journey, and it’s heart wrenching and heartwarming both at the same time. It’s an amazing story, you got to read about it sometime when you have a couple mins to kick back with some hot tea and read about their lives. On the 18th of May, they FINALLY got a baby, after years and years of trying. They are the sweetest people and I am so happy for them. One. Lucky. Baby.

Tomorrow is Cultural awareness day here in Pensacola for the Navy. So, naturally I’m expecting all kinds of awesomeness. When there’s booters involved you can count on a whole different level of special… Let the fun & games begin! Luckily, our morning muster begins at 0615, thank god, up to see the sun rise. Who needs to sleep in anyway? For the birds if you ask me. Thank you Navy. Also I have duty this weekend. Thank you again, Navy. I’m feeling extra cynical today, can you tell?

On a lighter and more smiling note, I did decide to rent a jalopy this weekend. I hope to sputter around and visit a few of my old stomping grounds. Well, last time I was here I visited a couple of strip clubs, just about every restaurant, the malls, and about five of the popular bars. Hey, I was 19 what do you expect? So when I say old stomping grounds, I really mean that I’ll prob go check out Pensacola beach, and maybe drive over to Milton. We had some family that used to live there, and if I’m correct, I think we still have a distant cousin that resides in Milton. It’s about 45 mins from Pcola if memory serves me correctly. This is the first time in two–ish years that I’ve been able to drive around my country, so it’s happening. Oh I can’t WAIT for the stoplights and retarded drivers. If Bahrain prepared me for anything, it’s crazy drivers. Praying there’s no accident…I better splurge that $20 and get full coverage. Oh rental vehicle, you don’t even know what’s comin..

Speaking of cars…every time I get home I search my “whereismypov.com” and my car is nowhere to be found. It gives me some cop-out excuse for a location, “vehicle is with carrier in the trans-oceanic”…wtf does that even mean? It could still be at the port of Bahrain for all I know. I keep joking with the Mista that the container ship probably got pirated. Who knows, maybe it did. “Thank you for inquiring about your vehicle. It is currently being held hostage by Somali Pirates, please check again tomorrow.”





Weight, what?

15 05 2011

So I did something really stupid.

I haven’t had a thorough workout, like holy shit this is a good workout that touches all the muscles in a long long while. Yeh, I’ve been getting my cardio in, but it’s been at least four months I would say since I’ve been around weights. Which. Is. A. Long. Time. And also pretty sad considering I am in the military and I should theoretically be in shape. Theoretically being one of the keywords here. There are so many people in the military that are out of standards. Whether it be fat and sloppy, a little overweight, or just plain out of shape.

And I am currently on that shit list.

I’ve been eating well, thanks to my bodybugg I’ve been able to see how many calories I’m afforded based on how many I’m able to burn a day. Pretty cool technology actually. The Mista has a wrist monitor for his. It’s a digital display that has the time, your heart rate, current calories burned, and it’s all conveniently located on your wrist.

Anyway, despite these gadgets, and my keen sense of how many calories are going in and out of my body, on Friday it was time to put some gym back in my life.

So, off to the gym it was. The Radford Gym on NAS Pensacola is…a decent gym. It’s a fairly new one, it’s probably been built since I was here last. But it’s a poor set-up. (Although now that I’ve googled to find a pic of this joint it looks pretty nice..) I miss the Bahrain gym, everything is set up nicely. Free weights on one side, the weight machines on the other side, and split right in the middle were the treadmills and bikes. Simple. Organized. Now, this gym is all sorts of messed up. To make things difficult, the room is a half moon shape. So the treadmills and bikes are lined up along the bending window on the rounded side. And then behind it is the free weights clustered in with the weight machines. It will take a few times to get the layout down like I had the gym in Bahrain. All mapped out in my head n shit. The gym here closes at 9pm too, so that’s lame.

SO, there I was, on friday ready to do my thing. I have a Women’s Muscle Fitness book, so I picked out a routine in the back of the book, and got going. This specific workout involved supersets. So, it was a legs/upper body day. Did some work on the smith machine, some squats, some calf raises, and some upper body shit. Easy day. Well, some of those reps were a bit of a struggle, but I stopped after my form was being compromised… like only a good gymlet (that’s like a piglet, but a gym nerd) would. The walk home from the gym was interesting. I felt like I was walking like a 90 yr old woman with a missing spinal cord. My legs were not moving properly and my back was a little wobbly. Alright, maybe I pushed too hard this first day back. Then it was time to go to class. Throughout the day I was fine. A bit sore. But nothing I couldn’t shake off.

The next morning was a whole nother story. Oh deer. I have never felt so much pain. After mustering the courage to roll out of bed, I moseyed to the bathroom and had to literally lower myself to the toilet like someone who had been in a terrible accident and lost their legs altogether. Seriously, I am not exaggerating. My. entire. body. hurt.

Despite my poor lame body, I did get out and see the city a bit yesterday. And when I say city I mean the seaside town of Pensacola, Florida. It’s a bit more ghetto than I recall from my 8 month stint back in the early 2000’s. Regardless, me and a fellow service member from class went out to find a tattoo shop. We first ate at Olive Garden, and YUM! Salad, soup, and bread sticks oh my!

Then, we typed in tattoo shop into the trusty Garmin (speaking of, I learned that my Sidekick 4G Andriod has a Garmin feature; awesome!), and the first place we stumbled upon was “All About Ink”. It’s a pretty decent shop, for tattoo places. Usually they are a tad shady, naturally. This one had a pool table, foosball table, two flat screen tvs and a lounge. Also some vending machines. The tattoo booths were set up on the edges of the room, about six in total. Brilliant idea for any Navy town. There’s something for kids to do while waiting to get their first “I heart Navy” globe and anchor tattoo. Or whatever tacky lettering they are lingering around to lay on a table for.

We signed our names, and waited. The chick that came in, her name was Leah, is a huge fan of peacocks, what luck! AND, her favorite colors are the teal, purple, and pink colors, juuust what I was planning on adding to my peacock anyway. Twas fate I decided, and took a seat to get about three hours of work done. The finished prod is a little blurry as you can see, but it turned out quite nicely, and my half sleeve is now complete. She also added some anchors and stars around the pinup. The guy who went with me got some curlie que stuff on his lower ribs. OUCH! Mine took a while, but the arm is probably the least painful spot on the body, until you get to the inner arm, then yikes!

After the tattage, we went to the all too familiar Cordova Mall. A large mall, for the town anyway. It’s no Mall of America, but it is decent. And it had some stores I wanted to visit anyhow. Tmobile, Foot Locker, Old Navy, etc. I don’t think I spotted an American Eagle but then again I wasn’t looking too hard. In one of the hallway kiosks they had a stand advertising sugar gliders. I think they’re also called “pocket pets”, but they are these little squirrels that kind of glide through the air. They are so cute and tiny!

http://my-pet-medicine.com/birds-and-other-pets/sugar-glider.html

The guy who was selling them who should have started out his speech with “Hi, my name is Bob and I know 7000 useless facts about these ten fingered-marsupials,” threw so many facts at us, it was like a used car salesman, for reals. But the little guys were in his pockets just waiting to be taken out and pet. he had five sugar gliders on him at the time, he would pull one out and call it by name and give it a little pet pet, and then let a guest hold the thing while he sputtered off in animal talk. Then, he would call the glider back, and say “Here, Charlotte!,” and she would jump/glide from the other person’s hand through the air back into the sales guy’s pocket. Pretty cool stuff. I feel like I might lose the little guy around the house somewheres tho.

Well, it’s time for some bengay and some healthy shit for supper. Since I had my dose of sexiness via skype this morning, I leave you with a little eye candy of your own (Men, read no further.):

The perfect summer satchel. Mista, are you reading this? =)