Sunday, May 23, 2010

hi! remember me?

I don't blog much because my life is pretty boring when translated into written word. After... how long has it been now? Almost 8 years? ...of blogging, I refuse to devolve into the kind of mind-numbing schlock that I wouldn't read myself. I went grocery shopping today. Potty training is frustrating. x days until DH comes home. Boring. And there's OPSEC (operational security) to consider, anyway.

I started a cake blog. Not much of a blog, really, but an online portfolio that I can direct people to. I did this when I competed in a cake decorating contest here on base. I came in 3rd, almost by default. I could have placed higher had I done something flashier rather than trying to showcase my own personal style, my technique, and, you know, the theme of the contest. I made some contacts, though, so it wasn't a total loss. I also won a $25 gift card and everyone who participated got a 1 qt non-stick Emerilware pot (with pouring spout), which I can actually use. So, you know, all for the best.

We've been in Japan for a year now, but it seems like a lot longer. We're finally adjusted, I think. It almost kind of feels like home. I'm a lot more comfortable driving off base now, and we have lots of friends. That's really the only thing that's making it bearable - the community. It just doesn't exist at this level at stateside duty stations. You have to stick together. You deal with crap when you live overseas that just isn't an issue when you're stationed in, say, Chicago.

For instance: I recently read a packet of information about how to prepare for the possibility of an evacuation. Living on an overseas base, we all have to have an evacuation kit ready in case of acts of nature, or war - evacuating is a much more complicated prospect when you're in a foreign country. I evacuated from New Orleans once (Hurricane Ivan, 2004); it involved packing up the car and driving to Dallas. (Basically a fully reimbursed vacation.) Here? You have to have a bag packed at all times with your passports, a full inventory of all of your belongings, and 3 days worth of food, water and clothes. Because presumably, it may take them up to three days to get you on a plane out of the country.

Being an imaginative person with documented anxiety issues, I can think of at least 3 action-movie-caliber reasons why we might have to leave our home in a hurry. One would be a Roland Emmerich movie (tsunami), one would be Michael Bay (war with China or North Korea), and the third (and to my deranged mind, most likely) would be directed by whoever did the Bourne movies. I'm not at liberty to explain further. OPSEC, ya know. (Wink wink, I'M KIDDING. Or am I?)

Unrealistic movie plots aside, time is measured in seasons again. Not so much spring/summer/fall/winter, as "steam heating season"/"air conditioning season"/the hellish month or so in between at either end. The weather here truly is such that, if I had the option, I would have the heat turned on one day and the air conditioning the next. But I don't have the option. I have units that can be set to "Off/Lo/Med/Hi". In the winter, they put out hot air (too hot, and dry). In the summer, they put out cold air (too cold, and not dry enough). In between, we have a space heater, a steam humidifier, windows. And complaining. Lots of complaining.

But, hey - less than 3 months until our trip to Tokyo Disney! ZOMG!