?

Log in

No account? Create an account

wanderbohemian

Recent Entries · Archive · Friends · Profile

* * *
You know when you're walking down the street and you walk over a grate. And looking down, you can see your feet, the grate, and then some twenty-odd feet below.

Now, for my job, I look down as I'm sitting at my "desk" and I see my feet. And pedals. And the ground approximately 700-1000 feet below.

Awesome.

* * *
One of the things I dislike most about Virginia is the sameness. Each of these little towns along I-95 is the same, the same stores, the same layouts (for the most part) and very little individual culture. They're cookie cutter and corporate. While that means there is some consistency and you know you're going to get a decent meal when you step into Outback, you know you're not going to get a great meal. It's the comfort of mediocracy.

One night a roommate introduced me to a tiny cafe, hidden between a pawn shop and a used car lot (great company, right?). I haven't really explored the shops along Highway 1 as I only use it to get from point A to point B, which is completely my fault. This particular cafe took up residence in a house, not a business park or corporate building. There's a fireplace in one corner, a stage on the other side of the building and a back room for parties/meetings. Several times a week there is live music (a fantastic musician named Corey is going to do great things one day, he's so adorable) and Tues/Thurs are chess nights, as every table has a chess board in the center of it. My favorite part is the communal bookshelf, home to Harry Potter, The Life of Pi and various Calvin and Hobbes collections.

I don't know quite how it happened, but this has become my refuge from all things Marine Corps/life. When I need to get away, study, sit somewhere quiet, or just read a book, this is where I come. The owner is now a good friend of mine and invited me in for Easter when I didn't have time to travel to family events. The community is relaxed and supportive, just happy to be here and with good people. And the food is fantastic! I love curling up in the corner with my journal and just purging on life and indulging in the safe atmosphere created here. When Corey is playing, a group of supporters come out and cheer him on. He and Will duel it out with their guitars and the air fills with the joy of life.

The unique and soulful do exist, even in the corporate wasteland. You just have to get out there and look for them. That was my great downfall of this area, I allowed myself to become jaded (I still don't like Virginia) and gave up on the whole of the area. Thus, I didn't take the time to seek out the independent stores/restaurants after I had been burned a few times (there is a TERRIBLE Italian restaurant just outside the base).

My large regret is not finding the Bella Cafe until this late. Granted, I had a month or two here, but I'm moving on tomorrow. My first point of business, after finding a place to live, is to find a privately owned coffee house. It won't be the same, but it will hopefully lead to other good things.
Current Location:
The Bella Cafe
Current Mood:
peaceful peaceful
Current Music:
a little this, a little that
* * *
There are few times in life when you can eat 2000 calories each meal, snack in between, and still lose weight.

Last week was one of those times...

* * *
I just got a care package with a mini marshmallow gun, a bow-n-mallow (bow and arrow mini marshmallow style) and 4 mini NERF dart guns.

This room is SO wreaking havoc on the BOQ!!!

* * *
In no particular order, the top ten things I think about as I "snuggle down" in my sleep system at night in sub zero temperatures out in the field...

10) Warm, fuzzy, clean socks
9) The beaches of Florida
8) Coffee, steaming and in a mug I can wrap my hands around (maybe even a biscotti to dunk)
7) Snuggly, enveloping blankets
6) Huge, fluffy, soft pillows and how a plastic bag stuffed with a sweatshirt is not a good substitute
5) Sex
4) Hot enough to burn your skin showers
3) The king-sized bed I'll be occupying the following weekend
2) Indoor plumbing
1) FOOD!!!

Current Location:
BOQ
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
Current Music:
Lover, You Should Have Come Over ~ Jeff Buckley
* * *
* * *
Association Meme:
Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given. Tall, Hugs, Animaniacs, Burning Man and the MarinesCollapse )
Current Location:
BOQ
Current Mood:
busy busy
Current Music:
Smack ~ 3 Doors Down
* * *
So Christmas came and went. This was a whole new dynamic as my time is far more structured and my schedule rigid. Toss in new family members and mix with a healthy dose of poverty and you have two weeks of ridiculous. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn't exactly the best Christmas ever. Cookies failed to go out this year to the majority of my recipients, which I feel bad about but couldn't get it together to fix.

Upon return to the FREEZING East Coast, we hit the ground hard and took off sprinting. Classes and tests have been coming fast and furious and we're spending almost half our time out in the field. I am a California girl. Flat out, no question, undeniable. The cold here is taking some getting used to. As long as we're running through the woods and keeping busy, it's generally ok, but night time is difficult. Sleeping in my bag is rough. My metabolism drops naturally as it is, so when my body won't warm itself, I have difficulty keeping my bag warm. Hand warmers are my saving grace. The other issue is, when I wrap up in my waterproof sack (the outer bag in my sleep system) the flap goes over my face and I eventually deplete the oxygen available. Then I make a little opening to breathe through and my lungs freeze. So I pull the flap over my face and deplete more oxygen. It's a vicious cycle and I'm amazed I get any sleep at all. All the guys complain about are the snore-ers. I've slept in tent villages where you tell who is where by the level of snore and around guys who shake the walls with their snore. That's not a problem.

I spent this past weekend in NYC for a friend's birthday. That was awesome! It was cool over Thanksgiving with my Marine buddies, but it was wonderful and necessary to catch up with some old friends I haven't seen in a long while (between one and six years, crazy right?). We had birthday margaritas and guacamole at Mama Mexico, nibbled scones and sipped tea at Alice's Tea Cup and had dessert at Cafe Lalo (the one from You've Got Mail). Good times, good times.

For now, I'm off for a southern jaunt to sleep in a real bed this weekend. I have a greater appreciation for snuggly blankets and pillows than before, and I had a healthy appreciation before.
Current Location:
all your base are belong to us
Current Mood:
energetic energetic
Current Music:
typing
* * *
2008 was quite a year. My world is upside down and backwards...

I no longer work in theatre.
I am no longer the middle child but the eldest sister.
I am a Marine.
I bought a brand, spanking new car.
I drink coffee.
I can shoot weapons, tactically and accurately.
I live on the East Coast...again.
I have another parent.
I didn't go to a single TKD class in all 2008.
I learned how to fly a plane.
I had a ridiculous summer of the most fun I never want to have again.
I have short, STRAIGHT hair.
I was offered my dream job and turned it down.
I ran afoul of Code Pink.
I had a relationship and not had a relationship with the same guy, at the same time.
I had an ear infection for two weeks that fixed my former ear problems.

And yet I'm still here, as I am and happily so. 2009 will see me living in a new state, with a new job, and hopefully, with new adventures.

Current Location:
VA
Current Mood:
accomplished accomplished
* * *
We've been out at the range all week shooting pistols and rifles (finally!). We started before Thanksgiving for our intro and then this week we had practice Mon/Tues/Wed, pre-qualifications on Thurs and quals on Fri. They gave us a little log book to remind us of the fundamentals and keep track of scores and how we're shooting. Good times.

The quals go unqualified, Marksman, Sharpshooter and Expert.

So I'm doing pretty well. I plot my shots like I'm supposed to, but I haven't been tallying my score, it's just a number and I didn't really want to know. The goal is to shoot as well as I can, but, of course, I really want to hit Expert. Who doesn't, right? The pistol is my favorite, when you do the speed reload, drop a magazine, slam in another, send the slide forward and fire off another three rounds...you feel like such a badass!

The guys started noticing, especially the one on my right and left on the line (go figure, as they're standing next to me). Right says he's never seen a female shoot Double Expert before and if I pull it off, he's buying me a shot of Jack. My response is, "If I'm shooting Double Ex, shouldn't it be a double shot?" He laughs, agrees, and it's on.

So I have a pseudo bet going. Competition is good, it can be healthy, keep the pressure on all week so qual day isn't all ramped up and overbearing. But I suck at trash talking, I manage to turn a friendly challenge into, "I don't have to shoot expert, I just have to shoot better than you."

Pre-Quals come quickly, the day is gorgeous and I'm ON it for the pistol. The minimum for Expert is 345 and I hit a 372, which the other girl in my group quickly told EVERYONE. Rifle wasn't as good as pistol, but I still hit Expert. But Right beat me by ONE point!

Okay, so no pressure, right? I'm going into quals with nowhere to go but down. And now, EVERYBODY knows not only about my pistol score but also about the bet. Even the coaches...Friday morning: not as cold as I thought it was going to be, but not as warm as Thurs. We get in line for ammo issue and my Captain comes over. "If you don't get the pistol high score for the company, I'm sending you to a board." Yeah, no pressure at all.

I have very high standards, both for me and the people around me. Always strive for the best, and even if you don't get it, you're probably going to land among them. High expectations, on the other hand, I hate. It's one of the reasons I didn't do well in middle/high school. If other people don't have high expectations of you, you won't disappoint and you are free to do as you wish. And I can beat myself up for not hitting my standards FAR better than anyone else can.

Going into quals, high standards and expectations. I dropped 20 points on the pistol and 3 on the rifle. Thus, Right beat me by 2 points on the pistol and 1 on the rifle. Now I'm a smuck because I'm miffed about not beating him, but still qualed Double Ex (thus, still win my shots of Jack) while there are guys who would kill for my score...

No more trash talking for me. I'm going to indulge in friendly banter, but my standards are my own, I don't need any more high expectations contributing to my stupid mistakes.
Current Location:
BOQ
Current Mood:
good good
Current Music:
Elf
* * *
The culmination of this program is a two hour flight to another airport. One hour one out and one hour back, approximately. I can't wait, I love flying by myself, it's simply awesome. Unfortunately, the weather conditions have to be pretty damn near perfect. The day I was originally scheduled the fog mist and rain moved in. The next day the winds kicked up. Now it's cold and beautiful outside, the sun is shining and it's gorgeous. But the wind is still too high. So I'm spending another day sitting around the airport waiting for the wind to die.

On the other hand, I have Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict keeping me company, so it's not all bad.

On the third hand, I pick up on Monday with the next class to continue my "real" training. If I don't get this flight in today my weekends are shot until I do.

As I sit here, looking around, there are four of us ready to fly and one on standby for when we get back or if someone else cancels a flight. Two are asleep (one in the lounge, one on the couch next to me), one is working on paperwork and the last is watching videos on his laptop too. But if/when the head instructor says "go" we'll all jump up and run out to the planes. We'll all be leaving at roughly the same time and flying to the same place, so it'll be a little bit race, little bit "stay on your side!" Of course we'll go through the checklists and be safe, but it'll be a rush to fly before the weather turns cruddy again (and, of course, to beat the other guy to the runway and take off first).

In slightly more surreal news, the President is summiting this weekend. The restricted area over the camp has expanded and we have been warned about what would happen if we get lost on our flights and accidentally violate that airspace. It's crazy, I never expected my life/work would be directly affected by whether or not the President is hanging out at Camp David...
* * *
* * *

Previous