Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Rugs a plenty

My spouse finally got the chance to send me the photos of the rugs at the bazaar. We are going to have to save up to get one or two, but I think I can send him back with the money after R&R.
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Below I had to point out that Mr. Man here is missing his wedding ring. I shot him a "neener-neener" note teasing him about it. At least you see he is the discrminating shopper by checking out the back of the rugs!
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ETA - This was a new process for me, I haven't uploaded photos before.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Jane step UNDER the bus why don't you...

Once again Jane Fonda has decided to make her opinions known about war. I think she should step smack dab in front of the bus, not sit on it. I am sorry but my father-in-law served in Vietnam and just that thought of this woman and the stupid things she did makes my blood boil. So will she go hang with Saddam and pass notes to him from his Iraqi tourture victims too? Oh boy lets all join Jane, blech!

Give me a break lady, oh and hey don't forget her new book! You know the one she will be promoting while taking this little protest ride....anything for money, heh?

Vandals burn flags of a fallen service member

I was heartbroken when I read this story. That and it really pissed me off. How can people be so cruel? This poor family just laid to rest and wake up to find their car on fire thanks to the flags from their yard.

I hope they find the people who did this and tar and feather them. Jerks!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Good news for the anal retentive impared

Well the good news is that I am feeling a little better about our prospects should the hubby not get into “finishing” school next June. We talked this weekend about options that we thought of on our own and found about 3 that we would be willing to take together.

My neighbor was kind enough to offer to be a translator should I have to go into genetic testing while over here. She’s not a “certified medical” translator but she is certified for normal correspondence. She also understands where I am coming from due to similar circumstances of her own.

There are a few alternatives he talked about as well that would include him going to the post of his finishing school and doing silly jobs until its time for school a year later. The other one is to volunteer to be some kind of instructor for training that’s at the same post. This requires a ton of TDY but my really good friend in Germany would only be an hour away so it wouldn’t be bad in the event of an emergency.

I hate being so anal retentive but I am so happy that we have found and decided upon plans A through D. At least this way we can meet his career goals and needs for him and our family while still meeting our own family goals of

a) having children
b) not being 60 when they graduate from high school

Cleaning Update

Well I talked to the landlord at the end of last week. This was one of things Miss C and I talked about after the booze went missing from my house. We were working together to figure out what happened on the day Miss C and her assistant came to clean my home. Unfortunately, there were no other people in my house that day, workman or otherwise.

I decided that I would still like Miss C to clean my home. She is a nice lady and my kitchen has never looked better. This was only one mistake and I am pretty sure that it won't happen again. I know they work hard and with the dog hair it's not an easy task. I hope that in the future if something looks interesting that I am asked first, more in likely I will share it.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

What the heck is THAT?

Michael Yon receently reported about a large find of munitions in Mosul, Iraq. Some of the IED's are quite creative and I don't have a clue what the green sphere is other than I don't want to touch it for the life of me! That sphere makes me think of the evil sphere in Heavy Metal. Either one is pretty scary/nasty though.

Finding, removing and destroying such a large munitions pile is a great accomplishment. It’s a small victory in creating a stable Iraq. It helps to cut down on what can be fired at the allied forces as well as giving them the idea of what the insurgents are making so they can keep an eye out.

Michael Yon is a great free lance reporter & is well thought of among the service members he travels with. Unfortunately Michael funds his reporting himself. If you’d like to continue to see real, honest reporting visit his site and make a donation.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hi my name is Bella...and I am a boozehound

Today was a strange day. I came home from work and noticed a few things out of place in my home. The cleaning lady came today but my bedroom wasn’t vacuumed very well. I figured no big deal I will just vacuum where they missed.

After heading downstairs I notice that this little tea set it jutting out from the cubbyhole it’s sitting in. I used my toes and attempted to push it back but it wouldn’t move. So squatting down I take a look and small bottle of plumwine is shoved in there and it’s empty. I go to where the bottle was placed on Sunday/Monday and a bottle of Soju is missing too. I thought the empty bottle was weird but the missing not so much as the cleaning lady likes to rearrange things to make the room appear more tidy.

I called the lady who recommended her and asked if she let them drink or take liquor home. I explained why and she said she thought some things were odd at her home but wanted to physically look and make sure she wasn’t wrong. I called Miss C. and she was stunned. She wanted to come over so she could look around. We talked for a bit, I showed her around, the stuff and we both just sat there and thought. We worked through possibilities aloud and tossing aside those that didn’t apply.

I know from gut instinct that she did not do it herself. She was too visibly upset and extremely concerned at resolving the issue. So as part of our solutions I am going call the landlord and make sure no workmen came over today and she is going to talk to the other woman that helps her. If that doesn’t come to anything then I will have the landlord change the locks and Miss C will have to pick up the key each time.

I feel crushed having to even ask Miss C what might have happened. She looked so upset and was so very concerned. It hurts just thinking about this woman’s angst. She stated quite clearly that she knows that any mistake could cost her all of her clients. She even tests her assistants to make sure they are truly honest. Since her references are all word of mouth she as a great reputation. That’s why I chose her. She is so highly recommended & there was nothing in her mannerisms that lead me to believe that she would have taken the liquor.

What I am hoping is that the other lady dropped it and it cracked or tried it and didn’t like it but since she didn’t ask permission tried to hide it and get it next week. I mean everything and I mean EVERYTHING else in the house that has a much greater value is still here, it doesn’t make sense to take two small bottles of liquor and not the more expensive items. If you were planning on stealing and losing your job would you really take something so small in value and cost? Why risk getting fired over a bottle of liquor? I think I’d rather take all the expensive stuff if I was going to risk being fired.

There has to be a simple solution to this and hopefully between the two of us we will find it. Hopefully Bella isn't secretly drinking on the job while guarding the house - LOL.

Bless Miss C., she is kindhearted person and I am sure we will figure this all out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Online Chatting & Epiphanies

Last night while chatting online with three people at once, I was hit with an epiphany. (Don't even ask how I kept three conversations straight, because I don't know myself). I came to the realization that I have a pretty diverse group of friends. I find spending time with people who aren’t a cookie-cutter cutout of you allows you to see things differently and to be exposed to a perspective you may never have known. My friends are from all over both Europe and the states (including Canada). Hearing and reading what they think about global issues is always very entertaining!

So last night, a close friend (I’d say eight years or so) and I were talking of issues of late. We were discussing change, changes you can make and changes that you must wait on the others to make or be willing to make. We both remarked about a mutual friend who we have watched grow and develop into a very pleasant person. I’ve known this woman for twelve years. Like any friend we’ve butted heads a few times and swore up and down that we would never speak to each other again. What was nice about our friendship is that even after it all we still touch base with each other every now and again. Granted we aren’t the friends we once were, but the genuine care and love for each other is still there. In fact I just sent a package off to her with some items that I have owed her for like a year now.

I am glad that people and friends grow and change. I am glad that I have grown and changed from where I was say fifteen years ago. If I hadn’t become who I am today I don’t think I would have had the courage to meet and engage in conversation my friends from London and Germany. I would have never had the opportunity to learn German before coming here, taught by a German and I would have never learned the subtle differences between piss off, sod off, and buggar off.

It’s a wonderful world we live in (when it comes to diversity) and I for damn sure am glad to be here.

ETA I just checked my e-mail and behold a great link today about change and personal change.

Bad blog...bad, bad blog

I blog as a way to vent frustrations. It's my way of looking and going through a situation and seeing it again in my mind. It's a way to let out what I am thinking without causing any real harm. I am anonymous, only my spouse and two other people know who I am. I kept it that way on purpose. It allows me to think and speak freely without causing to many issues. This blog is for me, to help me while I am waiting for my spouse, my "go to" guy to return.

Unfortunately, my venting what I thought and was feeling hurt someone's feelings, because my feelings of hurt and disappointment. Out of respect of their feelings, I removed the aforementioned entry. I still need a place to vent and writing is the best form compared to what I could be doing (drugs, alcohol, destructive behavior, etc). I just need to more cautious in how I word my venting in the future.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

You just had to ruin my day didn't you...

And that’s an understatement. Normally receiving a call from the Hubby is a great thing. I miss hearing his voice and enjoy our short conversations once or twice a week. Today though his news was less than pleasant, in fact it sucked. Thank you for ruining a perfectly good day and for making my unit’s Org Day not something I care to attend anymore.

We have been in Germany over five years now, extending for reasons that were beneficial for his career. That’s not a problem we always talk things over and go over the pros and cons of any decision that’s made for our family. We are currently set to hit the states summer 2006, for a grand total of six years in Germany. Unfortunately, he told me today that after his deployment there is a chance we would be extended again until summertime 2007 or face him not taking this school until summertime 2008 and redeploy with a new unit.

He’s set to go to what I call a ‘finishing’ school, but there is a chance that some other folks will have to go to the school before him because they couldn’t go when they were supposed to. It’s all this annoying career progression issue. If he doesn’t go to finishing school next year and we PCS he would now be committed to two years at the that duty station. It used to be only one but I guess since the Army stabilization program came about they’ve made it two (hazarding a guess here). That hurts his chances of getting the required jobs needed in order to be promoted to the next rank, because he can’t hold those jobs until he finishes this school (okay most commands won’t give them to you without the school).

So there are our choices; stay for seven years in Germany and continue NOT having children because of medical reasons/concerns (meaning that the first child probably only child would arrive when I am 37) OR move back to the US, pushing off his career positions where it could possibly mean he doesn’t get promoted the next time around as well as face redeployment within 90 days of moving back to the US.

So that’s how I get to spend the rest of my day - Thinking about this crap instead of finishing my work quickly and going out and enjoying Organizational Day for my office. Just frickin’ peachy dear, thanks a bunch.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Feeling a little snarky

There is no love lost when it comes to my feeling towards the FRG and the rear detachment. Continuously I see a breakdown in communication and no matter how many times I mention that there's a problem no one is seeing it (That's my main beef). The FRG leader isn't doing a bad job per se, but I have noticed that it seems like the rear D kind of pushes their desires on her. I don't like that much and I don't think she will fight hard because she works full time, has a 4 year old and is a spouse of an enlisted service member. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with being enlisted or being an officer. Personally I think a co-leadership with one person from each side of the ranks works the best - that way no one feels intimidated. Unfortunately, I think she may and that's why she doesn't say "no" soon or loud enough. I am just crass and a real pain in the arse who says what she wants, when she wants (fear of rank has never been a problem).

Anyways, I am ruminating over how to respond to an email I received asking for my physical address. There is a social roster already that has it, the S1 (personnel folks) have it, and well frankly in an emergency it's also on the DD93. So why should I give it for like the twentieth time? I know that sounds so snarky but they are making the key caller jump through hoops in order get information that they already have if they weren't so lazy.

So lets take a vote (mine counts for about 6 votes here), do I give it or do I tell them the S1 has it already at least 10 times over? *SNARK*

Monday, July 11, 2005

Car update

Well thanks to a friend who was a automechanic back in the states before becoming a military mechanic I used Goo Gone to remove all the rubber markings from the bumper of the car I decided to sideswipe. The damage is minimal just like I thought. There is no paint damage (scratches, chips, etc). All it really needs is an attempt at pounding out the dent on the front passenger door. I will get the esitmate but if its not worth it I will use the car as a trade in as is.

There's no sense in wasting a ton of money pounding a dent, increase my insurance and then just trade the darn thing in.

A few observations from the weekend

Being that I am a people watcher, I love to make observations, not make some prolific statement to the world but just notice something of human nature and get a kick out of it. So here are a few I was thinking of today that caught my attention:

  • Have you ever thought in another language? I mean like random musings in something other than what you were raised with? I studied and speak Spanish for several more years than German but I caught myself rambling (to myself) in German today. I put my food in the microwave and walked down the hall to the bathroom and caught myself saying…Ok, heute Ich muss 4 referrals machen…und dann spaeter Ich muss meinen Bruder anrufen und Ich muss Bild wire finden. I have never made random thoughts in Spanish and I haven’t a clue why I decided to do it in German today.

  • So my second observation is how long does it take an image seen by the eye to register? Or is it that people are feeling a little manner less in the office today? While eating my lunch someone came in my office and started asking work related questions. Here I sit, mouse in my right hand, fork in the left, with the forkful of food about an inch from my open mouth, but they kept asking their questions. I asked if we could finish after I was done eating my lunch and the response was, “Oh, I didn’t know you were eating your lunch.”

  • When a person takes a risk while driving the car are they aggressive or just not all that bright? Germany does require aggressive driving, that’s for sure and I have noted that German’s will take advantage if they think you don’t know any better, but to what extent if it risks damaging you or your car? Back to the right of way rules, over the weekend I was at an intersection that was a four way but not. The priority road veered to the left, or you could go straight or make a right. So with the priority road all other directions must wait until it’s clear before proceeding into the intersection. So while going down the priority road and following it to the left I was challenged by this guy at my 12 o’clock. He figured that since I was American I would stop for him and let him go because I don’t get priority roads.

    Well hells bells, I wasn’t stopping, I had the right away and couldn’t figure out what the heck he was doing. So of course one arm flings up in the car, with an open hand (yes all my fingers were out) in a gesture of “what’erya thinking buddy?” Then he apologizes as he reverses out of the intersection. So is tempting fate that the American won’t know right away rules worth the chance of being broadsided? So is this aggressive or reckless driving?

  • Oh and seriously I am the reincarnate of my mother. I had a friend’s 16 son stay at my home for the weekend while she went out of town. Since he can’t drive over here I carted him about for different things over the weekend. In exchange he helped me with a video game I was stuck on. While tidying up a bit I found the towel wadded up in a ball on the bed and all the lights on everywhere. Without a second thought out comes the voice of my mother, “Hey you want a smelly moldy towel then leave it wadded on the floor of your own home not mine….Oh and by the way – light goes on, light goes off, light goes on, light goes off. Turn the lights off when you are finished in that area.” I walked out of the room and came back in a minute later laughing telling him how scary it was to channel my mother while bitching at him. We both found it totally hilarious.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Calling...

Hearing the news about the bombings in London yesterday gave me quite a fright. I have been in Kings Cross station as well as a few of the others while traveling about London. I resisted as long as I could but finally had to call my friends to make sure they were all okay. I tied up the line long enough to ask are you okay get a response and then tell them that I better free the line. Luckily, my co-worker's family and my own friends in London have all checked in and are okay.

I sat and watched the BBC special reports for about an hour last night up until the point that there really was no new news. There is one report that an eighth bomb was found and control detonated so it appears that the attacks are being tied in with the G8 summit at this time. Seeing these types of events really makes me introspective and fires up the Irish temper in me. I am of English decent as well, so I feel like London is a second home to me. The English even with their complaints are still standing by the US as a major ally in Iraq and for that I am grateful.

I would love to go on some eloquently written diatribe but I am having a problem focusing my angered thoughts. I think MJ has best expressed what I can't seem to say here.

God bless the families of those in London who were not as fortunate as my co-worker and I. As for the terrorists “Póg mo thóin.” You will not stop the world from turning, not if I can help it.

What rock did he crawl out from?

And how soon can he go back? Over at the Grass isn't Greener , Katy has a media clip of Michael Crook on Hannity and Colmes on FOX. He apparently had his own website where he promotes the defamation, belittlement of service members as well as celebrating their deaths. This guy is a complete and utter nut - he's a sick person really.

What I loved about this clip was watching the commentator drill his Jane Fonda wannabe butt into the ground. He couldn't really even understand the concept that all those soldiers he's spitting on happens to be one of the main reasons he can even make the comments and websites like that in the first place.

In the really bad, evil, vengeful part of me, I hope people like this end up with the same fate as inmates convicted of crimes against children - the prison population creates their own justice system and pounds them to smithereens. I told you it was the evil part or me thinking aloud.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Planes, trains & the evil automobile

Oh the joys of being an American in Germany. There are positive and negative attributes to living in any foreign country, just as there are nice and not so nice people. In general I enjoy living here with the few minor exceptions of homesickness where I long to go into Wal-Mart at 0200 just to buy cereal or wish that Taco Bell was open later than 2100. Yesterday was a trial of my patients resulting in a costly charge to me, my auto insurance and of course just adds fuel to the fire about why I can’t wait to get rid of my car – properly labeled – The Lemon!

German right of way laws aren’t hard but are not the same as American ones. This is often a point of contention between other Americans and Germans as well. There are some Germans that are quite quick to point out how Americans are incapable of driving and that we (meaning every single one of us) would fail the right of way if tested on it. Now I studied for that test and quite like the right of way rules. I think that I am pretty good at understanding and following them to keep me and The Lemon out of harms way. So when I scraped the doors of my car down a parked car last night to avoid being hit head on by a SUV barreling in my direction I was not a happy camper at how the Polizei and the owner of the parked car decided to treat and talk about me while I stood there.

I had rounded the corner and verified that there was no oncoming traffic before I started to pull around this old white VW Polo. About the time my front wheels had cleared the front bumper of the Polo I see this Mercedes Benz SUV coming barreling towards me, at least twice the speed limit. In an effort to finish passing and yield the right of way I started to pull over. I cut the corner of the car too tight and scraped the bumper down my doors and knocked the mirror into the collapsed position. I got out of the car took a look at the damage and called the Polizei. While waiting for them to arrive a little old lady stuck her head out the window and looked around. I asked her if it was her car and said let me know it was the neighbor’s and what building.

As the Polizei arrive, they ask if I speak German which I replied, a little. So I explained auf Deutsch what happened. I explained where the guy lived and waited. So he took all my info, the neighbor arrived and gave his info. This is when it started to get ugly. He brushed off the mirror like it was no big deal to me but told him how he had to turn it around. While they were talking they spoke about how I must have been speeding, where the Polo owner answered that it was normal – meaning that I was American of course I was speeding. This was while I was standing there, listening even after he spoke to me in German! Then they dropped into local dialect and started to talk softer. I couldn’t hear what was said but they had a laugh afterwards.

This whole thing was turning into a witch hunt. I asked where I could get a copy of the Polizei report and was informed that there wouldn’t be one and I could call the stationhouse and ask him anything I needed to know. I was also told I was being cited with a moving violation (this is a point on my driver's record). So I asked when the American MPs were arriving only to be told they weren’t. So I told them they needed to call them and that I wasn’t given my info to the other driver until they arrived.

When they did arrive the Polizei proceeded to relay the story as that I was speeding and tried to fit where my car didn’t belong. I corrected him auf Deutsch which got me a nasty glare and the English remark that if it wasn’t right I could tell them myself. I did too. I had the TSgt walk around my car showing the damage, basically arguing my case that I was not speeding due to the amount of damage and was clearly in the process of passing when the other car came. Guess what? Come to find out, I should have let the SUV hit me HEADON, instead of attempting to pull over. Because I was in the process of passing when the accident happened the SUV would have been at fault. Okay well lesson learned on that.

The other sneaky trick they tried was to insist that I pay for my citation right on the spot. I said no the first time I was asked and the TSgt told them no as well. I found out later that if I had, it was an admission of guilt – of course he wasn’t going to tell me that. So after all this mess dies down, my friend whom I had called to arrive as a witness to the damage on the vehicles and I were talking. We decided that since the car was worth maybe 1200 euro I should take pictures. See it can be common practice to hit up American insurance companies for all they can – come on man it’s the rubber portion of your bumper, get serious buddy I could fix that by going to the junk yard and pay less than 50 euro.

So before I finish this woman, either the Polo owner’s wife or mom comes out and starts inspecting the vehicle. She walks round, circling slowly as if the vehicle were some 90,000 euro sports car, looking for every ding or dust flake. She even spent a long time looking at the side of the car that faces the sidewalk. So what lady, do you think I pulled up onto the sidewalk scraped down that side of the car then back up so I could scrape the street side of the car? No they just heard the “Cha-Ching” of the thought that they could claim all this other damage to my insurance company.

This car is bad luck man! I am going home today and stopping at the car wash. I need to see how much real damage is there and how much of it is just the rubber from the bumper. Hopefully it looks like the only real damage is the front passenger door. That would be great if the other door isn’t really damaged – popping out the dent on the front door, buffing and painting the door won’t cost all that much…oh wait this is Germany where the paint will probably have to be special ordered and delivered out of the butt of some special paint fairy costing me 1,000 euro of course. *sigh*

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Freedom Day!

Thank you to all of you, to every American and to every person that fights for our freedom here there and every where!

This is a great nation, even with it's faults we still have the freedom to speak out on those issues that they may disagree with. It is here where you can protest without being beaten to death, or for fear of reprisal in the dead of the night. It is this nation where their sons and daughters fight for the right of other nations to choose for themselves.

So thank you, my thoughts and prayers go out to all of you!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Missing Idaho Girl Found

Click on the title for the article.

This is great news! I am really happy to have this little girl returned to her family. It's nice to get some good news as this week has been rather maudlin in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Tummy Troubles

Yes, just like the title reads I am having "issues" this weekend. In fact I had to leave the Altstadt fest because I was doubled over in pain. The poor boy's of Miss A had to walk me to the car. Here I am this little badger (I bet there's another B word they were thinking), growling everytime they asked if I needed help. When they stopped to talk to someone I kept going. I knew that if I stopped they would be carrying my behind to the car.

It's mellowed some but there's still a problem. Looks like I get to make a doc appointment on Tuesday. Now that's fun especially after a four day weekened!