Thursday, October 12, 2006

That frozen moment...

This post is courtesy of Fearless Husband--though he doesn't know it. Hopefully, he never finds this particular blog. But I got the best laugh I've had in a long time out of it, and just had to share:

The moment of "oh shit."

The moment of "oh shit" is that single spot in time when you realize exactly what you fucked up. I had a moment like that today. Our ship pulled in to Nameless Port for refueling, and of course had to pull out again the same day, so there was no opportunity to go to the base. Since we also had a scheduled downtime with our internet connection, I took the opportunity to sleep after the watch I had last night.

F. , my fellow First Class woke me up at noon to let me know that people were allowed off the ship to get the local facilities on Nameless Beach, including the laundromat. In about three minutes, I was up, dressed in shorts and short sleeved shirt, and had the laundry, detergent, and sheets in the seabag. I then walked over to the laundromat.

On the way out I was scanned and had my bag searched, which seemed odd. The Marine who had to go through my seabag full of dirty laundry was not amused, saying "I'm not getting paid enough for this shit". He also accidentally ripped the side of my laundry detergent box with his weapon. I agreed with him and headed out to the laundry.

There was a sign-up sheet which I filled out, but of course that really didn't matter. There was a virtual herd of people trying to get laundry done in the four hours before the ship pulled out, so politeness was not an option. I managed to get my two machines finally, dumped in the soap and 2 dollars in quarters, cleaned out the lint trap, started the 45 minute cycle then staggered outside, relieved that one task was down.

I then spent the time talking to some of my fellow sailors from the shop, reading a little bit and calling you. About 30 minutes later I headed in to check on the machines. They were running fine, but something seemed off. I couldn't put my finger on it, so I shrugged and opened up the machine. Thats when I saw the white crystals of the detergent in a nice clean pile in the lint trap. That was the "oh shit" moment.

Yep, I put all the dirty laundry in the dryer instead of the washer. I was tired, and hungry so that might have been part of it. As I looked around the laundry room I also saw that it looked pretty similar to the laundry room I had in the apartment in Arizona, and other places I've done laundry. The exception was that this time the front loaded washers were mounted on the walls instead of dryers, and the top loaded dryers were in the front instead of what I was used to.

So anyway, here I am going "oh crap," and grabbing the laundry in one hand and seabag in the other hand to start scooping in the stuff before anyone realizes that I'm already done with laundry even though I came in well after them. A. sees me pulling laundry out and says "Hey can I use that dryer?" I'm nodding and finishing with stuffing all of my laundry into the bag. She then looks at the lint trap, and I see her brow furrowing as she tries to figure out why there is detergent in the dryer. I point at the box on top of the dryer, side torn from where the Marine had earlier broken it, with detergent leaking out. We both nod, her relieved at figuring that the detergent spilled and me that my secret was safe.

It's too late for me to put it in for the next load so I decide to cut my losses and head back. As I start to step away, F. says "oh, giving up for now?" Right as I say "yeah," A. steps out and I see the brow furrow again, because she just saw me pull stuff out of the dryer. Luckily her phone rang right then so I made a run for it.

So now I have a bunch of dirty laundry that smells clean. I guess I'll hold out for two days and do laundry on the ship when they get the water thing fixed, hopefully with the right machines this time.

Fearless Husband

Aunt Argie's Serenity & Owen's Caress

Warning...whining ahead!

Fearless Husband is doing well, and his schedule hasn't changed (yet) due to the theatrics in N. Korea. I hopefully will head for Hong Kong to visit him in a couple of weeks. Then I'm off to Okinawa a couple of weeks later to see FH again and also my cousin...FH will be in port for a couple of days, out to sea for two days, then back in port for two days...then family members can board the ship for the two day cruise back to the home port. I'm not crazy about the idea (I am claustrophobic and get seasick easily) but I think it's important to FH, and it's important as the president of the Family Whining...err Support Group that I go. We should arrive back home on T'giving afternoon. I have an opportunity to go to Kyoto in between Hong Kong and Oki, and the price is fantastic...but I'd be going alone, and I don't think I can fit it all in and stay sane. Guess Kyoto will have to wait.

I may not be officially working full-time anymore, but I feel like I can't breathe sometimes, and have never been so busy, between a lovely plethora of paying work (yay paying work!), pro bono work, the Family Bitchfest...err Support Group, the volunteer work for the base newspaper and website, being an unofficial "sponsor" for new folks here (picking them up at the airport, making lodging reservations, taking them out to eat and to the grocery, etc., to find a car, whatever--I love it, but it takes time) and a woman from the OSC, for whom I am designing several pieces! The doc has finally decided that my swollen legs must be due to stress (my legs, feet and ankles are so swollen the skin hurts all the time, it's stretched so tight, and I can't wear any shoes except my beat up sandals). I've been on diuretics for three months, drinking water like crazy, walking, and watching my salt, but the swelling won't go away.

And of course, a client (and dear friend) whose been fighting brain and breast cancer is suddenly back at work, and doesn't understand why I can't drop EVERYTHING RIGHT THIS MINUTE and do her least twenty hours of work and she wants it done within 48 hours, and it's only twenty hours of work if I guess right as to what she wants, so I have to read her mind while I am at it...and thanks for pulling that ad out of my ass for her for free while she was in the hospital, but why did I choose such ugly colors...and she'll consider sending me the money she owes me but not right now, could I please just hush and do what she wants me to do, which is to be creative and colorful and she doesn't know exactly what, but she will know when she sees it...? But can I say any of this to her? NO! She just got out of the hospital. With BRAIN cancer. And BREAST cancer. For the SECOND TIME. And I'm evil and bad and selfish and horrible for even considering being mad at her!

Jeez...I can't stop whining! Maybe the other Navy wives have rubbed off! The Family Stupidity...err Support Group is another issue entirely, with women completely and totally misunderstanding (or making shit up!) but not telling me, oh no, instead e-mailing their officer husbands who then e-mail the Command Master Chief, who e-mails me to ask if I really said that and if so, why? Luckily, I got two e-mails from kind women who praised me for all the tapdancing I've done so far, and so I put away the gun ( that is totally in my imagination folks...I don't have a gun!) and poured a drink instead (which is currently sitting, undrunk and sweating, beside the book I've meant to read for a week....)

And although I absolutely love Japan, I'd really counted on coming back to the US this fall, and now it really is out of the question, financially and time-wise. And I discovered that my annual storytelling festival will NOT have its seventh year if I am not there to headline it, which makes me very, very sad. And all my friends who came to my wedding are going to Homecoming at our college in November, and I will be the only one of the gang not there.

And my Great Aunt Argie has brain cancer, and is going very, very fast. She's quite elderly, and she's serene and happy about it all, but I really would like to see her and say goodbye. She's a tiny, bright-eyed bird of a woman, still driving a land yacht around, and giggling with "Suh-stah", which is southern for "sister", and what she calls her sister Evelyn, my step-grandmother, who everyone thought woud be the first to go by years and years. And I don't want either of them to go anywhere.


I can't tell you how grateful I am for my friends, and their presence, even if most are half a world away, and the glimpses I get of their spectacular children--my brother's daughters and the children of my friends. Today I held a woman's chubby, grinning, GORGEOUS, smiley baby boy. He reached out one fat little fist, but instead of grabbing my earrings or my glasses, he gently stroked the back of his little hand across my cheek, back and forth, as he grinned into my face...and even though I want a GIRL, I suddenly was seized with the desire to run away with him forever! Lucky for me, Owen's mommy, and little Owen, I gave him back before I fell apart! events, selfish people, PMS, and the fact that I ran out of OCD meds a week ago? Could be...could be...

A couple of rays of light...Mom and my brother have bought their tickets to visit me next spring. The Public Affairs Officer at the base thinks they might be able to find a small chunk of money to pay me for coming in 10 hours a week or so for the next few months and helping them with the website (which I am doing already for free, but if they will pay me, YAY!) And, it looks as if FH will be home for T'giving, and then for Christmas, with two weeks to spend alone with me the first two weeks of January...we might even come to the US to visit his grandparents during that timeframe!

I want to visit Mom, of course, but his grandparents are amazing people, they are in their 80s. I want to make sure we spend whatever time we can with them while they are still on the planet. Watching his Grandpa Conrad beat the hell out of everyone in Whist from his wheelchair, shouting happily in Norwegian when he gets excited, or seeing his Grandma Betty grab the spoon and giggle like an eight-year-old, her eyes alight when we play's an episode of Prairie Home Companion come to life! And Grandma Betty has a need to teach me as many Lutheran "hot dishes" and Norwegian cookie recipes as she can..and I have a need to learn! I LOVE it!

Hmmm...good thoughts to end this on. Aunt Argie's serenity and anticipation for whatever is next, Grandma Betty's gentle joy and culinary skills, Grandpa Conrad's competitive spirit and camaraderie, and little Owen's fat-fisted caress.

Thanks for listening.