30 January 2012

Stolen Chairs

Today was just a craptastic day.  I am finally home, 13hrs later, and completely spent!

I stayed up past midnight working on my "homework(aka punishment)" last night.
I woke up this morning at 0700.
I had to be at work at 0730.
Its a 10-15min walk to work.
I had to pee.
Latrines are on the opposite end of the building.
I hurried to the latrine, peed, hurried back, and got dressed.
I rushed out the door at 0716.
I didn't account for last night's rain, and the mud it produced, when gauging my walk time.

Anywho, I ended up walking into the office at 0732.  Immediately, someone is bitching.  About me being late, and a whole bunch of other crap.   I got *maybe* 2 hours of sleep last night (10-yr insomniac, and all), and was in no mood to deal with it.... so I delegated to SGT T.
People came in to complain to any/everyone..... I went and hid in the hallway.
I sat in the hall for an hour, staring at the wall in front of me.
The Doc needed a chair for his patient, I went and got one out of the supply tent.
The SGT needed Augmenton from the tent.... I went and got some
Sgt needed a bigger needle for an injection, I went to the tent and got some.
I was basically just doing my best to avoid people today.
I even went so far as to sweep the hallway (Afghanistan is effing DUSTY!!!!) a couple times, and when people started crowding my space, I went and swept the walkways outside.
For me, sweeping is therapeutic.
But, officers *never* do measly chores like sweeping.  I got some looks.
Especially sweeping an outdoor space in a dusty-ass country!
But: the less dirt on the walkway, the less dirt in the building!

I even reassembled a desk (that had been sitting on a bench since we got here), and made it into a little shelter for the mop buckets, with the strainers on to of the desk, and the mops leaning against it....
Then, I cleaned off the bench, so people could actually use it!!! :O

We will not speak about what happened to the bench afterward.....lets just say: I cleaned it again.

Then, some jackass from upstairs was like "We need to do a police call, and clean around the building, we need one soldier from your section"
All my people were busy, and he was like "Just grab one of the privates, their not doing anything"
I was like "Are you fucking kidding me?????  They are doing our own fucking Doc's anal-retentive cleaning project!  While seeing patients!!!  And learning how to run this damn place!"

I didn't tell him that.... Just said I'd do the detail....a "10 minute" detail took almost 2-hours cause of the anal-retentive fuckwad in charge of it!  And all he did was say "do this, and this, and this" and then went to sit in his fucking office....
The tasking including picking up a bunch of fucking cigarette butts at the smoking area.....
I fucking told that Sgt First Class that if he ever wanted that shit picked up again, he better call all the fucking smoker outside and have them clean up that shit.....because NOBODY on that detail today fucking smokes!  I quit, a year ago!
I am so fucking glad I didn't wear my uniform I got back from the cleaners last night.....I'd have fucking stabbed someone.
It was dusty as shit....and I ate some dust, and got a fair amount in my eyes too..... cleaning up shit that S-4 threw all over the damn place and then just left there!

I at lunch late....and there was a long ass line, that snaked halfway to the middle of nowhere.
And lunch wasn't even that good.
And when I got back, the rest of the day was spent getting hassled because SSG E has a fucking stick up his ass today.  Bitching at me about anything/everything I did!  Like NOTHING I did was safe!  Me, and several others, wanted to kick him in the damn face!

Now, to the chair!
LTC L finally shows up to the office, and walks into her room.  She comes back out and says "Soebody stole my chair!"  Then she goes into Doc's office, grabs the chair I BROUGHT FROM THE DAMN TENT and says "This is my chair, one of you stole it from my office.  Dont do that again!"
I don't EVER call a female a bitch, but I was >< *this* close to saying "bitch, please....nobody stole your fucking chair...... especially since that chair in your damn hands has MY UNITS NAME!  And since we just got here, with our chairs, I highly fucking doubt its yours."
Self Restraint.....

I went and got Doc an EVEN BETTER FUCKING CHAIR!



My Debit card now does not work, because I've used it in 4 different countries in the last 2 weeks, and they locked it out.....and I can't call them from here, so got to get Wife to do it.....
At least dinner was decent....

IDK if I'll be able to get Wife to unlock my debit card, since we got in a fight this morning.....

I remembered I need to unlock it when I was at the PX with two of my soldiers after dinner (Battle Buddies are mandatory after dark, and none of us felt like going home yet).....and somehow, walking the aisles, I managed to make a sharp pain shoot up from my wrist.  On top of my still-present back pn.

positive not:
Teenager turns 18 tomorrow!!!!


28 January 2012

ROCKET ATTACK procedures

So.... If you are going about your business, doing what you do, and you suddenly hear this:
What do you do?
Well, let me help you out!
I might even save your Life!

When you hear that alarm, you immediately assume this position:

Its called the "If a rocket is gonna land on me, I don't want to save myself" position,
and you just hope its not muddy or gravelly (haha, good luck finding a decent spot),
where you drop.

You stay like that for 

At which time, you move into a bunker (ignore that previous picture was taken inside a bunker.....itd have looked stupid to lay down in the middle of the exposed road, when an attack was not happening, for the sake of a photo op):

You stay in the bunker until you hear the "all clear" which is a mono-toned alarm.  It can take a few minutes to a few hours for the "all clear" depending on how quickly they are able to locate the rocket, whether or not it exploded, and whether its night or day.

Hopefully, someone brought gummi bears (haribo) (like I did for the last two), to share.

now, a round of applause to SPC EK,
 for their willingness to bruise their knee on the gravel for the sake of my blog!

26 January 2012

Deployment, those left behind.

It really starts to sink in that this deployment has gotten underway when the kids start crying about it.  My wife, 2 BILs, and teenager have been doing well to keep the kids distracted, but they have definitely started to notice, and not quite understand, my absence.  Even with regular Skyping, and phone calls, they are missing the hugs, snuggles, and general playing together.  Wife said Boy got all snotty and upset about it a few hours ago, when she was putting them to bed.
Teenager, however, is used to the absence, as she was living East Coast, and we were living at Duty Station.  She still hates that I couldn't be there for her 18th birthday, and that I can't make it home for her high school graduation. (Which, thankfully, the school airs online for troops that are deployed, since its a huge military area). She understands it far better than the twins do, and she is being amazingly helpful with everything, even taking the twins to her soccer practices once or twice a week, and running them out of energy (her coach is a very nice guy).  She is also taking full advantage of mandatory study hall, for the team, and finishing her homework so that when she gets home she can spend time with her siblings.  She is a little sad with the realization that she wont get to see them every day when she starts college in August.  And now, since she is one of the few that know about the pregnancy, she is feeling pangs about missing out on the baby's first couple months.  She is already coordinating rides home for the weekends, homework permitting!

Wife.  My rock.  She is amazing in how she has handled me deploying, her and twins moving back home, still handling FRG from there, Teenager becoming an adult, graduating high school, and going to college soon,  and the pregnancy.  Even having tried as long s we did, and hoping every month would be the month, the final realization that we are going to have a baby definitely still hits hard.  And even though its still like super-duper early (less than 4wks in, cause the meds made everything wonky) she is starting to account for it, and plan things around the pregnancy.  At least it keeps her busy. Shes even told me to pick names already (I get to pick the name, but she has to approve it.....did that with the twins too)....at least I have til Oct to think of a name....
Shes talked about finishing Boy's potty training, and hopes Girl will soon be ready to potty train.... And how, since we have a baby on the way, we need to get the twins into actual beds, because we will need one of the cribs........and I'm like "Babe, chill....we have plenty of time to get everything done, dont stress yourself out, its not good for the two of you"...at which she smirks, and agrees to not worry about it (which lasts about an hour?)
She misses the physical aspects of our relationship (mainly the cuddling, lol) but I am lucky enough to have a wife who understands why I do what I do.

24 January 2012

The Lunchtime Review

A quick review of some of the meals we have eaten in the last week:
cotton candy....this was actually from the deployment ceremony....good, even if it was green apple
Cookie: Serving size: 1
Taste: Delicious
Texture: a little tough

Cristal Water: Amazing
Serving Size: Amazing
Taste: Amazing
Best bottled water in Afghanistan

Cabbage: Gross
Reportedly: "delicious....but not as good as my daddy's" (SPC BS)

Pepsi: Good
Serving Size: 300mL
Taste: Slightly more cola-ish than American Pepsi

Hardboiled Egg: Smushed
Serving Size: 2
Actual # Acquired: 1
# of Accidents occurring with Egg: 1

Maggi Juice: God's gift to man
Serving Size: however much sodium your heart can handle
Application: Hardboiled egg
Tastes: delicious
You: must try it at least once in your life
(similar to soy sauce, but completely different)

Cheeseburger and fries: Great
Serving Size: ^that^
Taste: Amazing.  Fries salted just right and crispy.  Burger juicy.
Last burger I ate in the US.

Stuff: possibly butter and margarine.
Taste: only had one, but was really good.

Water: Bonaqua, Coca Cola (If I remember right)
Source: A Soviet country
Taste: Good, crisp

Pasta, Bread, Mashed Taters, Mac n Cheese: =D
Pasta: Tasty
Mashed Taters: creamy, hot, perfectly seasoned
Bread: little dry, but good quality
Mac n Cheese: A-Mazing!
Mashed Taters and Mac n Cheese together: Orgasm of the mouth

Strawberry yogurt: Good
Consistency: different.  Idk what is different, but it is just different than US yogurt
Taste: sweet, tasty, but not the best I've ever had.

Chocolate swirl cheesecake: Frozen
Solution: eat cake with knife and spoon....DONT JUDGE ME!
Effect: folks got a good laugh
Secondary Effect: I was able to eat my cheesecake
Consistency: creamy, smooth
Taste: Amazingly delicious!
Rating: Cheesecake Factory level!

Water: don't remember which brand this was
Background: treated water
Effect: slight mineral taste
Decision: I'll drink it, some people were like "no, its gross"

Roast Beef (remnants seen on left of lower plate section): Good
Serving Size: 4oz
Texture: good
Taste: pretty good
Condiments added: HP sauce (kinda like A1)
Overall rating: pretty decent!

Cheese Ravioli (top left, gross looking): ehh
Texture: overcooked
Sauce: too strong
Taste: not really very good
Overall rating: The Ravioli on the plane was better

Mashed Taters (since its a different DFAC) with brown gravy: good
Texture: smooth, creamy
Taste: pretty good
Overall Rating: not as good as the ones above, but WAY better than the ones yesterday

Salad: lettuce, tomato, grated egg, croutons, Creamy Ranch
Taste: good, tomatoes were actually salad worthy today
Texture: crispy, crunchy :)
Rating: great!

Vanilla Softserved: good
Texture: good, was a little melty
Taste: a tad sweet (the theme for dairy here), but good vanilla taste

Vanilla pudding: GROSS
Texture: like gelatinous pudding 
Taste/Overall Rating: Was spit out by two people immediately

Pound Cake: mmmmm
Serving size: 1
My consumption: 1.5 (gave .5 to SPC BS for taste test)
Texture: moist
Taste: perfect blend of sugar and cinnamon, and the frosting was perfect, not overwhelming
Overall Rating: great!

Personal Pizza Half: sausage and pepperoni (pepperoni pictured above)
Taste: delicious
Reason for only small crust in the picture: Rest was eaten
Reason small crust left over: tad burnt

23 January 2012

Medium steak

A quick guide to my people:
Cpt B (me)
Doc M

So, now that we are on the ground, I can shpeel about everything.
Kandahar, Afghanistan is kind of like a muddy version of Busch Gardens.  We have lots of different sections in the "park" for all the different countries here.  And its been raining the last 2 days, so all the dirt roads (just about all the roads are dirt) and the few hardtop roads are all saturated in mud.
Thankfully, this mud is normal mud, not like the mud at Duty Station, that will stain everything you own, and then-some.

The night of our first full day here, we made our way to the Boardwalk, which is a nice 15-30min walk through the mud.  The Boardwalk is the entertainment center of the base, and has a bunch of small shops, food stalls, and two sit-down restaurants: TGI Fridays and Mamma Mia Pizza.
Because it was pouring rain, and freezing, we decided to dry off a little, and ate at TGIF. (I've heard lots of good things about MMP, and plan on trying it next venture down there).
Being a warzone, supplies can be sketchy in delivery, so after several failed orders, we were informed that there was no: Ranch, sour cream, guacamole, ribs, hot wings and 2 other things I don't recall.  I ended up getting the chicken fingers and fries, which definitely hit the spot.
The source of the title of this post is actually from my soldier, SPC FM.  She was ordering a New York strip, and was very adamantly explaining to the waiter that she wanted it "Between medium-well and medium-rare.  Only a little pink in the middle"
We were all laughing trying to tell her to just say "medium"....but apparently "medium" isn't specific enough.

We were definitely cracking up all through dinner.  I love the folks I work with, and it definitely makes things fun when it feels like a family.

Review:  The mashed tatos at TGIF are way better than the ones at the dining facility (DFAC), and the fries are amazing!
The sodas here are all made in Arab countries or Europe, so the taste a little different, like Pepsi tastes a little more like cola over here.  But they are good regardless.

I actually got the turtle at one of the shops there.

I just downed a muscle relaxer, so bear with me if my sense stops making! :P

I also got a cell phone there, too, but at $55 for 200min, it is only for calling mom, wife, and my soldiers (after Rocket attacks and such, we have to all check in)
That 24min phone call I had with my wife was essential....if anyone asks!

Last night the defense system kept me up half the night, it being rather loud, its something I will have to get used to again.

We got our orientation at the office today, then got our personal boxes (that we had shipped over, by boat, in Oct), and then got to try the Far East DFAC.  After having eaten only at the Monti and Independence DFACs (both American) it was a nice change of venue, and had amazing food!
running around in the sleet

Sitting in the middle of nowhere cause the buses dropped us off at the wrong place

Trying to hitch hike

waiting for the truck for our boxes

21 January 2012

Contest #1 Stone Turtle

The prize, a stone turtle:
(card is credit card-sized for size orientation)

Photo Contest: "The Biggest Heart"
Left up to you to interpret how you wish.
MUST INCLUDE, IN THE PICTURE: postit/piece of paper with "RLB 3-4-14" written on it.
No cheating!

Winner will be announced Feb 13 (for the US) since I am a day ahead (Feb 14th in afghanistan).  

19 January 2012

100 degrees of separation...

...that is what the temperature difference is between where I was and where I am.  It was 85* when we boarded the buses for the airport, and it was -15* last night when I darted to the potty in a long sleeve t-shirt, shorts, ankle socks and slippers. (Thank GOD ALMIGHTY for heated tents, showers, and latrines)

It is 0*, windchill of -13*, and the sun only went down about an hour ago

the snow here doesn't ball up!!!
The inhumanity!!!!!!

*sobbing* ......i had plans...... D':

That is all.... I need a hot shower and some sleep......after some FB time.....

Real update, part 1

We arrived at our final stop before Afghanistan today. We arrived after nightfall, with the temperature reading already 0*. It got colder. We offloaded everyones bags from the plane and did the the same from the trucks, once we arrived at our compound. My snot froze in my nostrils, reminding me of that episode of sponge bob (which I hate) when he talks about his nose drippings being chopsticks. We had ice crystals on our eyelashes, caps, and hair as we organized hundreds of bags and searched for our own. My hands were definitely hurtin, and still are, though I've been inside a heated building for over an hour. I can still feel the cold in them. And my legs, don't even get me started! They look as though I fell asleep at the beach for 8hrs!

We did work together amazingly, and finished our outside chores quickly, and with frozen grins on our faces! We did very well with our assembly line technique, and even Master Sgts and the Lt Colonels (including the chaplain) got involved to speed the process.
We have some stuff to get done here, but should be leaving soon, thank God! It's about 40* in Afghanistan right now, and that sounds like beach weather to me!!!! Lol!
I should have a shot at internet soon.....would like a phone first, to call home. I believe there are phones at the dining facility.....missing the family, they were all asleep when I was in Germany, so could only leave a message.

17 January 2012

Another Update

I am probably freezing my ass off right now....
But I'm nice enough to still share the love!

16 January 2012

To keep y'all updated:

I am in pre-deployment mode, so sorry for any periods of absence!  I will hopefully be unbusy enough to blog shortly.

Enjoy these photos:

15 January 2012

Yes, I'm Autistic!

There is a lot of debate these day about Autism, and the spectrum that goes along with it.
Lets start out with a bit, written by Homeslice:
There's this new diagnostic thing going around that will eliminate Asperger's and PDD-NOS and put it all under Autism. As far as the whole services thing, I don't really know if it will help or hurt or exactly what this change means.

What concerns me about this is there will no longer be a difference between Autism and Asperger's. Yes, I know they all fall under the same umbrella and I have no problem with that, I understand they are similar disorders in the way breast cancer and lung cancer both fall under cancer.

What I mean is, when you say, "my child has Asperger's", I can immediately picture the situation without being too far off the reality of it. "You say, my child has Autism" and I'm going to think Alex. According to the new diagnosing, Alex would be Autism level 3. That, to me, sounds as bad as stage 4 cancer. (only because if we're going to start with a cancer comparison because there's a "spectrum" of cancer, we may as well use it through-out)
Already, Autism outside of Asperger's is pretty much invisible. What's going to happen when we lose the distinction between the 2? I understand that Asperger's is not easy and choosing Asperger's over Autism is like choosing skin cancer over pancreatic cancer- you don't really WANT either one of them. Neither one of them are fun to deal with. However, you have a better chance at life with skin cancer over pancreatic cancer the same as you have a better chance of functional living with Asperger's over Autism. and I'm pretty sure that is going to offend someone so I'm going to have to ask here- when is the last time an Asperger's kid ate the corn out of their poop? True story. I've got more but I'll leave it there.

Asperger's may fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder but it's not the exact same thing. There are different levels and if we give up the different levels, give up the distinction, what is going to happen to the kids in the deep end of the spectrum?

I think she is spot on with most of this assertion!  When I say "I have Autism" in the middle of a conversation with a fellow medical officer/soldier, most think I am bullshitting.  I am a functioning adult, serving competently in the Military, and have a wife and kids, etc, etc.  They have even gone so far as to tell me I don't have Autism, (because, for the most part, they know what deep Autism is.)
But I do!  I have Aspergers, which is part of the Autism spectrum, but on the milder end of the spectrum.
Symptoms of Aspergers are:

  • Not pick up on social cues and may lack skills, such as being able to read others' body language, start or maintain a conversation, and take turns talking.
  • Dislike any changes in routines.
  • Appear to lack empathy.
  • Be unable to recognize subtle differences in speech tone, pitch, and accent that alter the meaning of others’ speech. may not understand a joke or may take a sarcastic comment literally. 
  • Have a formal style of speaking that is advanced for his or her age. For example, the child may use the word "beckon" instead of "call" or the word "return" instead of "come back."
  • Avoid eye contact or stare at others.
  • Have unusual facial expressions or postures.
  • Be preoccupied with only one or few interests, which he or she may be very knowledgeable about.
  • Talk a lot, usually about a favorite subject. One-sided conversations are common. Internal thoughts are often verbalized.
  • Have delayed motor development.  may be late in learning to use a fork or spoon, ride a bike, or catch a ball. He or she may have an awkward walk. Handwriting is often poor.
  • Have heightened sensitivity and become overstimulated by loud noises, lights, or strong tastes or textures. For more information about these symptoms, seesensory integration dysfunction.

Most people associate that with "Autism" because it isn't the easiest thing to get your autistic child out and about for socialization and social awareness.  And up to 40% of people with Autism never speak....they can't advocate for themselves, like most any other cause can.  So, the milder forms of Autism Spectrum Disorder are left holding the torch, trying to enlighten the world to the struggles with Autism, all while the real "victims" of ASD are in the background.
The symptoms of Autism are:

  • Social interactions and relationships. Symptoms may include:
    • Significant problems developing nonverbal communication skills, such as eye-to-eye gazing, facial expressions, and body posture.
    • Failure to establish friendships with children the same age.
    • Lack of interest in sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people.
    • Lack of empathy. People with autism may have difficulty understanding another person's feelings, such as pain or sorrow.
  • Verbal and nonverbal communication. Symptoms may include:
    • Delay in, or lack of, learning to talk. As many as 40% of people with autism never speak.1
    • Problems taking steps to start a conversation. Also, people with autism have difficulties continuing a conversation after it has begun.
    • Stereotyped and repetitive use of language. People with autism often repeat over and over a phrase they have heard previously (echolalia).
    • Difficulty understanding their listener's perspective. For example, a person with autism may not understand that someone is using humor. They may interpret the communication word for word and fail to catch the implied meaning.
  • Limited interests in activities or play. Symptoms may include:
    • An unusual focus on pieces. Younger children with autism often focus on parts of toys, such as the wheels on a car, rather than playing with the entire toy.
    • Preoccupation with certain topics. For example, older children and adults may be fascinated by video games, trading cards, or license plates.
    • A need for sameness and routines. For example, a child with autism may always need to eat bread before salad and insist on driving the same route every day to school.
    • Stereotyped behaviors. These may include body rocking and hand flapping.

I mean really, would you honestly go out and start a conversation with a person who didn't look you in the eyes, rocked back and forth, flapped their hands, and talked about dinosaurs, repeating that "the Brontosaurus  was an herbivore, he didn't eat meat" as if it was the most interesting fact in the world?
You wouldn't, you would probably avoid that person, without taking the time to understand what was going on with them.  You wouldn't have stuck around long enough to notice the caregiver behind them, grooming, feeding, and often times diapering/changing them.

There is a reason they separate kids at daycares.  You've got the shit/eat/sleepers (aka newborns), the mobile diaper dwellers, then you've got the potty trained tots, then you've got the slow and steady big kids, and then the blazing fast, learned preschoolers.
They are separated by their level of function(age), so that they can get what they need.  Each level has teachers specifically trained for their abilities.  That is how the Autism Spectrum is mostly set up.  If the "daycare"(Autism Spectrum) goes under renovations for however long it takes them to smooth things out, there will just be a giant gaggle-f**k!  Because you can't just remake a system overnight!  There will be preschoolers getting kicked out cause they know their alphabet, and there will be newborns mixed in with the potty trained kids and the preschoolers, because it will just be a mess.  Everyone will have to relearn a system, when they barely had/have enough time to learn the old system!

Its like a broken bone that wont fit back together, so they decided to shatter it, to get it back together.  Sure, it might work in the far off distance, but we need a solution now, not 10 years down the road.

They need to focus on getting doctors and schools on the same page about the different levels of ASD, and how to properly diagnose it.  Once that happens, it will begin to ease the strain on the system, and once they work from the top down to streamline everything, it will be a lot less of a headache to get kids the help they need to succeed.

Intelligence vs Smart is like how much money you have in the bank vs how much you have at hand.  And it doesn't matter the total amount in the bank, if you've got a withdrawal limit.

14 January 2012

Sexus Interruptus

I don't know about you, but having kids, and a job, and friends, and relatives can be very trying on a sex life!
Everyone knows we are working on another kid (and fitting a year of sex into 1 month) yet they insist, INSIST, on calling, stopping by, or otherwise interrupting us at the most inopportune times!  I mean really!!!!  Think to yourself "Hmm, he got off at noon today, and hasn't posted his activities, he might be spending 'quality' time with his wife".....and, instead, call me at like 23:00hrs!  That is way more convenient.....just saying....

Then again, this has been an issue for a while.....and its a lot trickier with a house full of kids/people....
Some of our favorite interruptions....that need to be dealt with very timely (therefore putting an end to any and all fun):
"pee pee"
"poo boo"
"we have a recall formation in 30min, full uniform"
"fire alarms are going off at the barracks, we need full accountability in 30min"
"Staff meeting in 30min"
"We need you to/to do.............ASAP"
"Sir, what happened was...."
"Sir, ..........probably needs to go to the hospital....."
"Sir, I'm at the ED......"
"I think I'm going to be sick"
asthma attacks
package deliveries
oven timer going off
smoke alarm going off
shooting pain from the knee
shooting pain from the arm
a surprise sneeze
loud thuds
loud crashes
loud thumps
braxton hicks (from way long ago, like 2.5 years)
Someone walking in

And all these are Certified first hand experiences.....and I wish I was kidding.  Some of these are 2x, some 3x, and one or two 4x+.
Any other activity would have been given up on long ago, with this many interruptions!!!!

12 January 2012

I NEED to talk about Teenager!

Teenager.  She came into my life just about 5 years ago, when me and her mother first met.  She had been living with her grandmother in France, as Wife had been going through cancer therapy at the time.  But Wife was in remission, so teenager came to visit the summer we got engaged, and decided she'd like to finish school here in America.  We moved in preparation for my deployment, and bought the house where I had spent a good part of my adult life crashing on the couch, and in a wonderful location that included some of the best schools in the state.
Teenager was accepted into the Visual Arts Academy for the district (11 schools), beating out over 3,000 other applicants for 1 of 100 slots!!!!
She LOVES it there.  And when I got transferred, two of my BILs moved there (one transferred schools....the other took a job he was offered in the area) to be her guardians so that she could continue attending the school. (also, schools at Duty Station suck monkey nuts, because the city can't manage its schools right).
She has thrived at this school, and has shown us how mature, responsible, and dedicated she is, throughout the process.  She is very involved at school, and plays on the Varsity Soccer team, does Cross Country, part of NHS, FBLA, Art club, and Graphic Design club.

I have been very hands-off with her, for the most part, since my wife an I got married.  She was raised by her grandmother and mother for 15 years, and they had done an amazing job....no need for me to screw things up in the 11th hour, lol.   I am just the guy who funds her art endeavors, and supports her team fundraisers.  I have grounded her once.
When she needs a parent, I am here for her, but she and her mom are very close, and she tends to go to her.

She did give me the honor, however, of becoming her legal father, right after the twins were born, which I think was the beginning of our father-daughter relationship.
Its been a slow relationship in building, being that we are 3000mi away, but she has reached out a lot.  Over the summer, she came to stay for 2 months, and she came to me about college.  I was thrilled to have been asked, and we immediately began discussing what she wanted to study, where (in France with grandmother, England with grandfather, or stateside).  Having lots of friends staying in-state, she set her eyes on a Virginia college (Virginia has some of the nations top-notch schools).  She set her eyes on VCU:
"VCUarts is ranked the #1 public university arts & design program in the country (US News & World Report)"
 She aimed for the best!  Only about 3,100 students are in the program, so it was definitely a challenge, but she was ready.  We filled out her application, put together her portfolio, and got all the other paperwork together.
After all of that, I finally got a "Dad" out of her!  (We never said she had to call me anything more than my first name, so definitely was not expected)

Since then, we have had a few talks, but usually after she and her mother have been on the phone for an hour....and I get like 10min.
And if she needs anything (like money for sports stuff) its usually just a text.  And, of course, since I feel bad about her and her mother being apart, and her not getting to be around the twins, I usually approve the expense (though I did put my foot down, and make her pick one indoor soccer team, since she wanted to play for 2).  She has a 3.96, and is an awesome kid, why not let her have some fun most of the time?

Anywho, I was at work all day today, taking care of stuff.  We were standing gaggle-fucked (army word) around, kinda in a semi-formation.  My phone started ringing.... *looks around guiltily* I pull it out of my pocket as I'm stepping back, and see "*insert her name*" on the screen.  I panic, did something bad happen? Are the twins okay??? (since they are staying there while I'm gone)  I answer:
Me: Iseverythingokay?  *gets strange looks*
Her: *excited* yeah, everything is awesome!
Me: *sigh of relief*  whats up?
Her: I GOT IN, DAD, I GOT IN!!!!
Me: huh?
Me: OH MY....OH MY GOSH, CONGRATS TEENAGER!!!!!  I'm so happy for you *crowd all looking at me like "wtf?"*
Me: So, what'd your mother say?
Her: You are the first person I told!  You helped me with everything, I couldn't have done it without you!
Me: *eyes getting watery* It was all you, kiddo!  Now go call your mom, this will make her day!  We are so proud of you!
Her: Love you, Dad.

At that point, I had to step back and take a few deep breaths.  Top (my 1st Sergeant) came over and checked up on me.  He ended up announcing the news to my entire company!

I'm not sure who knew first....my wife, or my entire unit!

10 January 2012

My education

I was just thinking about this, after posting "marriage is a school you never graduate from"....

I graduated secondary school at 15.  I went to a boarding school from 9-15 (my choice) and was able to test out of some classes and double up on others.
In case you don't know: I am medically classified as a genius.  My IQ is something like 160.
Now, something you should understand: IQ DONT MEAN SH*T!
I suck, ENORMOUSLY, at advanced level math and science (more specifically: Calculus and Chemistry).  I can do the experiments in Chemistry, but I can not translate it to/on paper.
Calculus is like a foreign language to me.
Now, give me Algebra, and I am happy like a pig in feces!

My inability to get a decent grade in college Chemistry (took it twice, after failing it the first time), even with 2 tutors, is the reason I didn't go to medical school.
I figured law school would be a fun experience.
I did well....especially on the practicals (I love arguing).....but never really liked doing that stuff.
In the middle of law school, I took a sabbatical, joined the Army as a medic, and hippity-hopped off to Iraq.  Worked on my schooling a bit, while over there.  Finished school when I got back.  Passed the Bar, even (no clue how I managed that)
Went to work in a corporate office reading really, really boring contracts and such.
Then I decided that I wanted to go back to school (give me something to do at work that was a tad interesting), cause who doesn't wanna be paid to take classes?
Got a something-or-other in Business Administration......about the same time I decided I hated my job (they were about to downsize my section, and fire two of my people, anyway....so I saved those jobs), and finally let the Army man-handle me like its little b*tch.
Working legal in the military was a little interesting.....but made me realize what a waste of an education.
I HATE LAWYERS/LAWYERING/LEGAL BULLSHIT (except my wife....cause shes a lawyer)

My education is pretty much useless, now.  Except what I learned in kindergarten.....and 7th year.

Not saying everyones education is useless..... just mine.

I personally can't stay in a career I hate.  And law brings me absolutely no pleasure.
Now, Wife LOVES being a lawyer, and I can totally support that.

10 years of schooling....down the drain.  what a FAIL.
Hopefully the Army doesn't downsize me after deployment....or else I'ma go be a stay-at-home dad (my second choice career, since wife wanted to stay at home first)

I think I have learned more, and valued more of my education, that I learned through life.
When I went into foster care and ended up with my now-parents, they lived (still do) on a small farm in the middle of the country.  Its wasn't more than a few acres, easily manageable for one or two people, since my parents both had regular jobs. (my mom's a teacher, and my dad does government work).
I grew up milking the 2 cows, grooming the 5 horses, and helping tend the vegetables and such.  And I've since learned that that is the type of stuff I love to do.  My current job, with my staff, allows me to do hands-on things, including patient care, teaching classes, and developing training.  I can't wait till I can do that, back home, and continue with my own garden (much smaller than my parents).  I need to be involved in stuff.  I suffocate sitting behind a desk.
My garden, 3 or so years ago:







Acapulco Sunset Rose

Some of the 3000+ tomatoes we picked

I am slightly intoxicated, and therefore cannot be liable for anything in the post you wanna bitch about.
Excuse the ADDness of this... I am ADHD....and drinking....an writing.....and packing all at once.
I'm a flippin genius at multitasking