Day 18 of 365

In writing the title I feel like I’m writing my own prison sentence. I imagine that actual prison time would drag by, while this is flying by. Last year when I was here I felt as if every moment dragged by. No matter how busy I was, I felt like each day, each month and finally the year would never end and I would be stuck here in Iraq forever.

So why the change. What has changed my mindset so completely that I no longer notice the passing of time. I barely notice as the days flow in and out. Is it Curtis being here? Is it me being a civilian? Is it this sense of feeling less obligated to my country for some reason, even if I still work hard?

When I was here as a soldier last year I took so much pride in serving my country. I wore the uniform and served with all my heart and soul. But now it’s different. I’m not here in uniform. While mine and Curtis’s job are important (more his than mine), its somehow different. Last year I would have laid down my life in an instant, but I no longer feel that way.

I’m sure as I spend the next 347 days grappling with these thoughts and feelings I will eventually come to some kind of conclusion. Until then I remain as ever, confused and learning.

V-Day and Hot Toppings

Today is V-Day. Not only is it V-Day, but its also my co-workers B-day. So in celebration of these two occasions, we all cram into an SUV and jaunt over to the next base and eat chow at a bigger and better DFAC (Dinning Facility). And we eat alot. We eat all kinds of things that we can’t get at our chow hall. Like toppings on our Ice Cream. Not only do they have nuts and snickers bits, but they also have melted caramel and chocolate and maraschino cherries.

Life can be stressful, so its things like hot toppings on our ice cream every once in a while, that can make it all worth it. I hope your V-Day was filled with such things as moments like hot toppings.

Do the dew

Curtis has an addiction. It comes in a green can. Yes, it is Mountain Dew. He averages (so he says) 4 to 8 cans a day. But I swear it seems like we’ve purchased a case every other day. Which would equal to about 12 cans a day. And he wonders why hes constantly pinging off the walls!

Day 8

We live in a trailer, that we share with other married couples. But its all good b/c there are walls between us. Thank goodness! So we get quite a bit of privacy. Especially since we work off hours. Noon to midnight.

The hardest part is living so far away from the bathrooms. So for all those late night potty breaks, it can be a little frightening and is quite a distance away.

The connectivity is horrible right now! Or at least it has been for the past week. Thing are rumored to improve, but we’ll see. I miss my internet. You get so dependent on it, its almost impossible to go without. Errr.

Car Craziness and Shiny Dime

This picture was taken yesterday after someone drove the car forward, right into the lake. How does this happen you might ask. Not paying attention! While funny to see, probably not so funny to be the person behind the wheel. Don’t worry, thankfully, it wasn’t Curtis or I!

In other news, the office has started to call me ‘Shiny Dime’. Everyone has a nickname and this is now mine. I am only called this because of Curtis. But nonetheless, its kind of funny.

The Shiny Quarter

As I haven’t been here the last couple of months, I get to hear all the back stories of the daily Curtis activities. We all know that Curtis can sometimes be ADD (attention deficient disorder) ish. His attention span is that of a gnat. I’ve always thought it was bad, but I never knew just how bad. His co-workers have given him a few nicknames, including ‘Genius Boy of Destruction’ (because he brought down the database… twice), ‘Doc’ (because hes scary smart), and my personal favourite ‘Shiny Quarter’.

They call him Shiny Quarter because he’ll be sitting there working and like a young child will suddenly bounce – randomly – to another topic/issue/thought. This habit is apparently not predicable and can come upon him quite suddenly. I’ve decided that its probably due to the MASSIVE wall of mountain dew cans that gets built up daily at his desk, but hey, who knows.

Arrival

I have arrived. Curtis was waiting at the plane when I stepped off. He brought me home and we stayed up all night bullshitting. Its now 7am and his 12 hour shift doesn’t even start till noon, so I might be feeling a little guilty for keeping him up all night. But only a little.

Its strange being back here. So much has changed and yet so much remains the same. Most of the differences are in the fact that I’m no longer in the military. I haven’t been here 24hrs and its already blaringly apparent that I’m a contractor and will be treated as such. More on this later though.

Just wanted to let everyone know I arrived safely. Will be posting some pics in the next few days.

The beginning of another adventure – Iraq..um..again

I leave within the next 24 hrs. I’m packed up . . . for the most part. 😉 This will be my last post till after I arrive in Baghdad. I’m not sure how good the connectivity is over there. If Curtis is anything to go by, then its not very good!

I have our new address so if you’d like it just ask and I’ll send it to you. I’m going to try my hardest to keep up with the blog, as its a good link to the rest of the world and will let you’ll know we’re still alive and kicking.

I will miss everybody! I haven’t left yet and I already do. Write when you can; as will I.

Love ya’ll. Later, juls

Its official, I’m deploying.

I’m back in D.C. now. Talked to the boss this afternoon, and its official, I’m finally deploying. This weekend! I’m packing up the apartment and getting everything ready to go. I can’t believe that within a week I’ll being seeing Curtis. OMG!

Unfortunately during all this packing and excitement over seeing Curtis, I remain pretty sick. While I love winter, the whole coughy, runny nose thing just sucks.

That being said I am so ready to go. I have said goodbye to my family and friends. And I’m ready to rock n roll it to Iraq.

Always there for me

Today I woke up, horribly sick. I stumbled around the house, coughing up a lung, trying to put some clothes on for work. It was one of those mornings where you know you should probably stay home, but you refuse to for whatever reason (usually pressing work and the whole guilt thing over missing it).

So I finally get to the car and am sitting there crying because things just couldn’t be crappier. Suddenly, my phone starts to ring . . . its Curtis. I answer and in a matter of minutes, I’m calm and becoming increasingly rational. Curtis explains how I don’t need to go get everybody sick and I wouldn’t be productive anyway. He convinces me to take some medicine, lay down for a few hours and if I feel better around lunch, go in.

Hes right of course. I was a wreck and would have just made everyone around me miserable. Hes half away around the world and yet is still able to be there for me in my most dire moments.