I think I made some progress on the computer over the weekend, but this evening will be the test of Sarah's skills. Hopefully my work will pay off.
I'm still subbing, and it's funny how I view things through the eyes of a teacher now. The husband and I have been watching the series Freaks and Geeks, and I can't help but see pieces of my own 7th graders in the show's characters. I am very sensitive about the geeks and very hateful towards the freaks, simply because I now see those interactions in front of my eyes every day.
I haven't given up on blogging. My mom says she misses me, but it's really because of our computer. I haven't even read a single blog in over a week. I hope to be back in the saddle soon.
Many have reminded me of my love of wifeing. Of course I want to wife my husband; that's why I'm upset. He's doing all the husbanding! I am the one working all day and he has to take care of the house and cheer me up when I get home. That's not what I wanted at all! I wanted to take care of him...
We're doing OK. We've been talking a lot about how we felt during the deployment, all the stuff that went unsaid when we only had the instant messenger to convey our thoughts. Puzzle pieces are falling into place, and we're working through the usch.
The husband has also been feeling a little usch, so we've been trying to joke about it and keep things light. We both are dealing with new feelings: he feels completely without purpose, since he's stopped cold after running himself ragged for a year. Now he has no platoon and no duties, and he's entirely unsure what to do with himself. He has no professional goals for the next 90 days, and it's driving him nuts. I, on the other hand, am trying to keep from constantly talking about how I want to choke some middle schoolers, and I'm having a hard time being cheerful at the end of a long day. So he's super bored, I'm super irritated, and we have a computer virus. We've got a lot of crap on our plates, and we're just trying hard to stay positive. We've been talking a lot lately about the puppies that are gestating now.
Last night I had a dream that my husband made the move to Finance and they deployed him to Spain for six weeks. Nevermind that this makes no sense; I was still devastated. In my dream I kept arguing that we were still under stop-move and he couldn't leave again. I guess even though it's rough reintegrating, I'd rather have him home than in Spain.
I am having a little trouble reintegrating. I debated whether I would even blog about it or not, but I thought that others whose soldiers have just returned (or just left) might be interested to hear how we're handling all of this. I think I'm having issues with sharing. For a whole year, I've had the entire house to myself. I did whatever I wanted and cleaned up only after myself, and so I feel myself getting irritated at stupid little things that I know are only bothering me because I haven't had to deal with them for a year, like my husband's ridiculously loud alarm clock. I actually think it's harder on me right now than it was when we first got married, because at least then I had two roommates in school. I've been completely selfish for a year, and it's making me grumpy that my lifestyle has changed. It also doesn't help that I'm working full time while my husband is not, so he's at home doing nothing and I'm wrestling with seventh graders all day long. Though I must say he's not really doing nothing, because he's being a great house-husband. He's vacuuming and taking care of our car insurance and being helpful. However, it feels weird to me to have him in charge of the household, since that's been my lane for our entire marriage. It's been my job for so long that it feels weird to let go of the responsibility, and I feel a little useless and not in control. My usch level is way up, and I find myself getting irritated with trivial things. I hope the feeling doesn't last for long.
I can't believe spring break is over. Yuck.
Oh, and long live the UN. Snort.
“We’re seeing right now mothers and fathers and school teachers and other influencers that maybe are not talking about service to this nation,” [Gen. Richard] Cody said. “So, when you say, ‘Army, you have a recruiting problem,’ I say, ‘America, you have a recruiting problem.’”
I keep hearing that recruiting and retention are a problem, but of the 60 eligible soldiers in my husband's company, at least 40 reenlisted. In Iraq. But I do agree with General Cody that perhaps not so many of our role models are pushing for military service. They should be, now more than ever.
Today the husband and I took a day trip to Nuernberg. We visited two very polar things: the oldest bratwurst restaurant in the world (dating back to 1419) and the Neues Museum, a museum of modern art. The bratwursts were awesome, and we intend to visit that restaurant again. The museum...well, I often think modern art should be called "weirdo art".
Back in the day, artists were praised for how closely their art could ressemble reality. Art was good if the shading was correct, the proportion was in perspective, and the figures actually looked like human beings. I'm no art connoisseur, but I figure that's the gist. Art was supposed to be beautiful. The Coronation of Napoleon is beautiful. George Washington Crossing the Delaware, though wrong, is beautiful. And I can even get a bit more modern. Some van Gogh is nice. I like La Grande Jatte. One time in college there was a student exhibit and one person had put together this sculpture with all different clear glass cubes filled with things: buttons, cotton, twigs, fireants, flower petals, string, etc. I was fascinated with that piece, and I even went and got my husband from his dorm room and dragged him back to see it. I loved that thing, even if it was weird. But what I saw today took weird to eleven.
If you zip-tie a bunch of old blankets together, is it art? If you spraypaint the body of a VW Bug silver, is it art? If you paint a giant canvas only green, is it art? Is a display of cell phones? When you enter a museum, you're supposed to be able to tell if something is a bench to sit on or a piece of art. But the straw that broke Andy Warhol's back for me was art by Gabrijel Stupica. I just don't understand.
Old timey classic art was art because it took extreme talent and skill. I can't draw a Rembrandt. But this? Who decided that this was art? How did Stupica become famous? I don't understand modern art because I don't understand who decides that it's good. There were perhaps three things that I liked in the Neues Museum, and the rest was just weird or lame. The ones I liked, I wanted to stare at. But I still don't understand why they're art.
And then we went to a restaurant that people have been eating at since they thought the earth was flat...
You mean other countries' flags are flammable? I thought only the American and Israeli flags would burn...
In case you missed it on Powerline, check out the photos of Cuba's free health care.
My husband is on his last day of reintegration. He's adjusting quite well, considering the tempo of his mission for the last year, and he's come away with minor woes, namely his back and feet. He's having trouble sleeping on our bed -- perhaps since he's used to sleeping on a cot or tank -- and he's waking up with a sore back. He also used to have the smoothest, nicest feet I'd seen, but this year in Iraq has just destroyed them. They're cracked and peeling and really awful. I just keep slathering him with Ben Gay and foot lotion, poor guy.
Also last night he and I were talking about all the myths that people throw around: all soldiers are poor, all Republicans are racists, etc. Today, thanks to RWN, I find a good article debunking the men-make-more-than-women myth.
The husband and I watched FahrenHype 9/11 yesterday. I thought it was a very good rebuttal to the Michael Moore movie, and I'm sad that nearly no one in the US will see it. Why can't FahrenHype 9/11 get the theater time that the original did? I personally thought it was better made anyway. The whole time I was watching, I kept wishing that my Swedish friend could see it, since she got treated to Fahrenheit 9/11 on German prime time TV the night before the American election.
I felt the worst for the soldier who lost both of his arms; he had no idea he was in Fahrenheit 9/11. His footage was from an interview conducted with Brian Williams in which he explained what it feels like to lose a limb. His statements had nothing to do with the war or politics, and he certainly wasn't talking to Michael Moore. Moore used the footage without consulting this soldier, which is completely despicable in my eyes. Many of the people in Fahrenheit 9/11 had no idea they were going to be in a Michael Moore movie.
Moore is sneaky and corrupt. I wish more people could see FahrenHype 9/11 so they can get a more balanced view of the truth.
My husband packed my lunch for me today before school, and he put one of those little "I love you" notes in like moms do for their kids. He also packed way too much food for me. He's the best.
When they finally released the soldiers -- and I swear Red 6's ceremony was far shorter than my husband's -- I skipped over to my husband, grabbed his hands, and said, "Hi." And we were back to normal. We stood and talked for a while before I said, "Can I have a kiss?"
Yesterday I wrote how proud I am of my husband, but last night he made me even prouder. He hadn't slept in two days, he hadn't eaten dinner or gotten any lovin', but the first thing he wanted to do was check on his soldiers. We spent our first hour together in the barracks, passing out bottles of beer and introducing me to his guys. I am so proud that he put them first.
And though you told me to stay away, you know I won't resist the blogging temptation for long...
Shaved legs? Check. Perfume? Check. Fancy underpants? Check. Husband's wedding ring? Check. Ready to go.
I also want to thank all of you who have been "deployed" along with me for an entire year. I appreciate all your support and good wishes. It means a lot to me to hear from all of you.
And now, I'm off!!!!
Back in July, Tim wrote me an email in between the time when he learned his wife was back in Germany and the time he would be able to see her. Why me?
If I wondered for a moment "why Sarah?", I knew as quickly it is because you would understand. You are on your own journey. Here is a peek at the end.
At that time, I was five months into my own journey. I know of someone who could use the peek even more, for she is only two weeks into hers.
As I sit and know that my husband is in Germany and that I will see him in three and a half hours, I can't get the silly grin off my face. He's back. He's safe. And he's almost here.
But other than goofy, what am I feeling?
I feel excited. I can't wait to have a conversation with him that doesn't include typing or static or time limits. We can talk. All night if we want. And there won't be any soldiers from the Republic of Georgia shouting in the background. He won't have to stand in line to get to me, and I won't have to worry about stepping outside to take out the trash and missing him online. We can talk.
We can also hug. In a way I envy the mothers because at least they have children to hug. I've been quite snuggle-less for a year, and I am looking forward to one of our little rituals: my husband sits on the recliner and I sit knitting on the sofa, and during commercials he leans over and we give each other this little high-five hand squeeze thing. It's just a little moment of touch, but I miss it.
I also feel pride. I am proud of us for making it through this year. I am proud of him for working so hard to help Iraq. Platoon leader is the hardest job a lieutenant can have in Iraq, and he did it the entire deployment. I am proud of the fact that I met one of his soldiers today who said, "Thank god I moved into 3rd platoon." I'm proud that my husband's commander keeps raving about him; his wife says he even does it when they're home just the two of them! My husband says it's funny that I have this grandmotherly thing with him, where I think everything he does is perfect, but it's not just me. He's done well this year, and I couldn't be prouder.
I also feel proud to have been a part of such a moment in history. I found a comment on my blog yesterday, the "if you think the war's so great, then why don't you join", and I am proud that my family has. We put our money where our proverbial mouth is and took part in the spread of democracy. He moreso than I, but we did it together, and I'm proud to say that we've helped make history.
So above anything else, I feel excitement and pride. I can't wait to walk into the gym and see the cheering masses of families and soldiers. And this time I won't wake up from the dream before I can grab him in my arms.
So what does this mean for you, CaliValleyGirl? You're probably ready to sock me for being so happy when you're just starting. You wanted to know how long a year is...it's not that long when you have love and pride to keep you company. This year has gone fast for me, and in many ways I can't believe it's already over. You may feel overwhelmed right now, but time will pass and hopefully you'll carry on this tradition next year by writing to another wife who's just starting her journey. We all need a peek at the end, and I promise you it will be here before you know it.
May your journey be joyful...
A few days ago, the Boy and Girl called with a funny story. They were in the food court and saw someone they thought for sure had to be my husband. They'd only ever seen one photo of him, so they weren't positive, but they stared for a while until they caught sight of the name tape (Keller) and quickly looked away. They were embarrassed that they had been staring at some stranger.
Today I walked into the food court and caught sight of a soldier. My first thought was, "That has to be LT Keller!" The resemblance is really uncanny. I ran into Red 6 a minute later and dragged him over to take a look; he agreed.
But it wasn't my soldier. Mine should be landing in Germany any minute now...
This article on Iraqi checkpoints is very informative. I urge anyone in Iraq to read it.
I'm not a crusader for or against abortion, but this article made me a little spooked. I had to read it many times, and I'm still not sure what it's saying. The UN considers abortion a human right? UN delegates oppose teaching adolescents both abstinence and proper condom use? I'm really weirded out.
(thanks to RWN for both articles)
If everything goes according to plan, this should be my 387th and last night of sleeping in an empty bed...
Wanna know how naive I am? I had to attend a faculty meeting today, and one of the counselors was talking about how it's not uncommon for kids this age to participate in "cutting". I thought she meant hopping into the lunch line; she meant self-mutilation. What is up with kids these days?
So, at what point do we get to stop hearing the myth that it's all our nation's black kids getting sent to die?
If you live anywhere near New York City, DC, Los Angeles or San Francisco, please go see Gunner Palace. I need you to make it a hit so that it can come here to AAFES so I can see it. Either that or I have to track down Michael Tucker and make him give me a personal screening!
Read the story of the birth of this movie. Incredible...
MORE TO GROK:
Please read Tim's words here in the comment section. And read the whole story at Mudville.
Our extra two and a half weeks of deployment have gone fairly quickly. I was sick for the first week and then I was getting emotionally beaten by 7th graders for the second, so I haven't really had time to feel lonely. I am, however, a tad disgruntled that my husband's tardy arrival will make us unable to attend Red 6's wedding as we had originally planned: reintegration activities are a poor substitute for being by our best friend's side as he marries, but I just have to let that disappointment go.
So the countdown for Return of the Husband is small enough to be counted on one hand. Hmm.
In a way, I feel a tiny bit nervous, to be honest. I can't quite put my finger on why. It will be a big change for both of us to be living together again after 13 months apart. He's gotten used to an enormous amount of sharing; I have shared virtually nothing for a year. He's been sleeping on a cot; I've been taking up the whole bed. He's been eating sub-standard food; I've been eating water chestnuts and carrot cake and all the delicious things that make him yak. My life has been so easy, and his has not.
I talked to The Girl the other night, and she told me how sorry she was that I had to wait so much longer than everyone else to get my husband home. I said that the real pity lies with the soldiers, that they have not done a single thing since 18 February and that I feel just awful that they're stuck so far from home. She laughed and said it was nice that I was thinking of the soldiers and not of myself, but how on earth can I complain about my feelings in comparison? Though I have complained this year about grading too many papers and getting paid too little, my life is a walk in the park. I know this. I couldn't possibly live with myself if I didn't acknowledge and respect how difficult my husband's life has been this year.
My husband is my favorite person in the whole world, so I can't figure out where the nerves are coming from. Perhaps I'm worried about wifeing him to death. Perhaps it just seems to good to be true that he'll be home in a few days. I don't know what it is that is making me so freaked out that this week has finally come.
Actually, I know what it is. It's the thought that I will have to leave him the day after he gets home and go wrestle with a bunch of 12 year olds. That's enough to make me sick to my stomach.
VDH is good this week:
Our cousins abroad cannot figure out why a crass nation of former European rejects, led by a cowboy from Texas, is wealthier, stronger, and more willing to sacrifice for principle than a more venerated, cultured, and aristocratic civilization.
The gym was packed with anxious families for the welcome home ceremony. I helped my friend's kid onto my shoulders so he could see better as the soldiers entered the gym. They got released and ran to their wives, and I realized that mine wasn't there. I thought there must have been some misunderstanding about which day he was arriving, when I saw a second group of soldiers enter the gym. There he was. As I ran to him, I got so excited that I woke myself up before I ever touched him.
I've not been sleeping well lately. My dreams are a mess of 7th graders and welcome home ceremonies. I have been told an arrival day for my husband next week, and I keep fretting about whether he's going to arrive during the school day. I managed to put myself in an extremely stressful situation a week before my husband returns from war. What a stupid move.
I've been at the school for three days, and I officially hate my students. But that's fine, because since I hate them, I don't care if they hate me. So we stayed an excruciatingly silent three minutes after the final bell rang, and I think they got the message. But we'll see tomorrow.
I don't really hate them, but you know what I mean. I have a problem with wanting to be liked. I want my blog readers to like me. I want the students to like me. I want my husband's soldiers to like me. It's my character flaw that I want to be liked, because sometimes it's not good to be liked. Sometimes you have to be a jerk. My husband learned that lesson in Iraq, and I am learning it this week.
The students' grades are suffering too. They're talking instead of working, and therefore their work is sloppy and incomplete. Most of them got F's on their in-class assignment today. I don't know if the bad grades will force them to take notice, but I've certainly noticed when I look in the grade book.
Thank heavens their regular teacher is having twins: she is procreating double to make up for the child I'm rethinking wanting to have!
Reason # I-lost-count why I hate our so-called allies.
My job with the college might've paid peanuts, but I never came home exhausted. I'm ready for bed when school ends at 1500.
And I think I can finally report that my husband is in Kuwait. I don't have any firsthand knowledge of his whereabouts, but his commander says that he's in Kuwait. So we're gonna assume he's finally there.
Time to pack my lunch...
You know how they say that one bad apple can spoil the bunch? Well, one bad class period can make you feel like you've been run over by a truck. The 7th graders were doing very well until last period. Last period was out of control. I'm still not 100% from being sick last week, and I was going hoarse trying to shout over them. They were insane, and they kinda ruined the whole day for me.
But really, other than that last class, it was fine. Except what is up with kids' names these days? The spellings are killing me: four girls named Kaitlyn, Caitlin, Katelynn, and Kaitland. My goodness. And how do you pronounce Mireya and Aryal? I thought I had it bad when most of my ESL students were Korean and Chinese!
I'm beat. Time for a little Simpsons with Red 6.