Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Best (and Worst) of Bonnaroo

It's been about three days since I got home and I am just now starting to feel somewhat normal again. After doing this for 5 of the last 6 years, I'm not sure if I'm getting better (preparedness!) or worse (old age!) at it, but either way it is truly the best of times and the worst of times. As I described it to a first time Renegade, it's like forget how terrible it actually is and want to do it again once the memory of the pain recedes. Yes, I just compared a music festival to childbirth. Here are the highlights and lowlights...
The Best of Times
Randy's Renegades Reunited!
In our sweet team shirts. Honestly, these kids are effing awesome/ridiculous/hilarious. It pains me that we are all together only once a year.


although Kristin and Eddie would disagree

The Flavor Savers
Honestly, what's not to like about these guys?

Riding the Train
The picture doesn't do this late night, campground traveling C'mon Ride It (The Train) party justice. We literally had strangers join in and horse cops were jealous that they couldn't. 

Fish Tacos
Seriously, they were delicious, healthy, and uber cheap.

Old Crow Medicine Show
We spent this set talking about all of the naughty things we'd do to Ketch if we were single ladies. Fiddle playing has never been sexier!

Drinking beer at 11am
And Eric wearing my shorts.

3am Campsite Dance Parties
Slash Backstreet Boys/Ke$ha sing-alongs

The Worst of Times 
Oh Em Gee, the HEAT
I don't think a photo can accurately convey just how hot it was. Drew likened our tent to sleeping in an easy bake oven. We were using 85-100 SPF sunscreen and still got crazy tanned. Without tent fans and a camp shower, we might have died.

The wait to get in
Us in the Walmart parking lot (about a mile or two from the site) waiting for the others to arrive around midnight.

Our fearless leader

The sun rising as we were STILL waiting in traffic to get in

Drinking too much Red Bull and thus getting so nauseous I had to go back to camp instead of seeing Gogol Bordello. I'll never forgive myself.

The Dirt Boogers
Thanks to the dust, unless you wear a bandana like a bandit the whole time, everything that comes out of your nose is black. Unfortunately, it is too hot to be a full time bandit. Drew:"If I picked my nose as much in real life as I do here, I would have no friends."

The Port-A-Potties
(no picture required)
Pottying atop 1000 strangers' poop is never a pleasant experience. Neither is finding a urinal full of vomit. Or opening an unlocked port-a-potty to find a dude pooping/exposed penis.

The drive home
Though the ride there is equidistant to the ride back, you are far dirtier and drained and sad and ready to die on the way back. This is us after making the 10 hour trek back to Virginia. To quote Drew once more, "I'm glad you can't smell this picture." To top it off, she and I still had 3-4 hours of travel ahead of us.


This was taken roughly 4 hours after the picture above. I twisted my right ankle the night before, but it only hurt all day instead of swelling. Then I took a shower, and, BAM, Cankle City, USA. Don't worry, they're gone now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Merry Bonnaroo Eve!

It's almost here! Tomorrow morning, the husband is driving me to Richmond, where I'll be meeting my friend, Drew, who is taking the train down from DC. From there, James is picking us up and taking us to his dad's house in Charlottesville, where we will meet up with Kristin, load the SUV, and make the journey to Tennessee, converging with three other carloads of friends (including a friend flying in from San Diego) along the way. I was really good this year. Usually I start geeking out long before the festival, but managed to keep it pretty contained until this weekend (most likely due to this crazy PCSing thing  being in the forefront of my brain). But now I have to do this...SQUEEE!!

We packed the car (minus the cooler) this evening and the trunk is full. Though I am not exactly what you would call outdoorsy, I am somehow the one in our car who owns the most camping equipment, so I'm providing the tent, multiple sleeping bags, three air mattresses/sleeping pads, two camp chairs, giant cooler, camping fan, etc. And I must say, our tent is PIMP. It's a nine person tent with a closet and a screen door (you know, like the ones on front porches), and only 3-4 people will be sleeping in it. It shall be luxurious.

I was really hoping to convince the husband to come this year, but, alas, it is not his scene and he has much out-processing going on this week. I'm so excited to be reuniting with the Renegades (partially pictured above) though, as the vast majority of them were unable to attend last year. Also excited to introduce Drew to the madness (she's been talking about coming for years, and my impending move convinced her to actually do it this time). She is not excited to be using port-a-potties, but who ever is? I am mostly hoping to avoid developing the cankles that randomly appeared last year.

Cankle City, USA
I'll be back in a week, sunburnt, tired, (mostly) unwashed, and sad that I'll have to wait at least a year to do it all again. Cheers until then!

Those water bottles on the cooler? Moonshine.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

(Pre) Moving is Hard

Confession: I was (am) a pack rat. In under eight years I have lived in nine different apartment/houses in four different cities (plus a month+ stint of couch crashing circa 2006). Despite these frequent moves, I still have Rubbermaid containers of random stuff (including things I had in high school) that I've hauled across that state of Virginia for the past decade. But I am determined NOT to transport it to the other side of the country. I'm turning brutal. I'm sucking it up and tossing/donating things. I will not let our next guest bedroom turn into a room filled with useless junk.

This weekend, we embarked on the task of getting rid of the stuff we never use. Though I remember making a large deposit at the neighborhood Goodwill at least thrice in the past year, we have entirely too much crap to sort through, including: a notebook of doodles dating back to pre-2004, an overflowing binder of college papers and blue books, multiple 80's prom dresses from college costume parties, a giant pile of ultra scratched up cds, old magazines, books that I haven't read since I was a teenager, countless bits of concert paraphernalia (ticket stubs, posters, shirts), and more. And that's not even counting the husband's own assorted collection of gizmos, doodads, and more power, A/V, and ethernet cords/cables than any one person will ever need in a lifetime. We made two trips to Goodwill, filled multiple garbage bags, took a grocery bag of books to the book swap shelf at the base library, and fed so much paper into the shredder that it filled up twice and overheated.

No, we still aren't done. I still need to talk myself into letting go of my (vintage!) My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bags. I should probably part with a few more pairs of shoes and more clothes. And we need to find a container big enough to hold all of the husband's Legos...I can't tell you how guilty I felt when I asked him to break down all of his giant Star Wars Legos to try to fit them into an 18 gallon container that turned out to be too small to hold them all. It's going to take forever to put those back together again.

Friday, May 27, 2011

MilSpouse Friday Fill-In #42

I'm back! I wasn't able to do last week's fill-in and Blogger disappeared #40, but then it reappeared three days later. This week, I wasn't able to log in to Blogger for the past three days, but it mysteriously started working when I logged in via Google Chrome. Hopefully there will be no more issues. On to the fill-in!

1. Do you think civilians, in general, understand the meaning of Memorial Day?
I know that some of them do. However, there is also a massive chunk of the population who are like, "Wooo!!! Three day weekend, let's drink some Bud Light!" followed by "Of course I can drive, I'm not that drunk!" They just happen to be louder, and thus they are the Memorial Day stereotype.

2. What are your plans for the Memorial Day Weekend?
Well, the husband is very excited about a Sci-Fi yard sale (sponsored by the local Star Trek fan club) that is being held down in Va Beach on Saturday morning. I can only hope there are Comic-Con worthy costumes for sale. Then we are hopefully stopping by my friend's mom's annual Memorial Day Field Party.

3. What skill/talent do you wish you had? submitted by The 3 Turners
I still need to learn how to knit. 

4. Which came first: the chicken or the egg? submitted by I married into the Army
The chicken. Thanks, interwebs.

5. What is the best thing about your base? The worst? submitted by Randomly, Robyn
Are we talking the actual base or are we including the area around the base as well? Best thing for me: location/proximity to family. Best thing base specific: Commissary is large and open every day. Multiple gyms. Best thing including surrounding area: Near the beach. Lots of shopping options. Trader Joe's.
Worst: Traffic. Oh, how I loathe the traffic. And the heat/humidity. It was 90 degrees yesterday and it isn't even summer yet. I'm almost looking forward to the damp and cool of Washington.

As a bonus, here is the mysterious disappearing/reappearing Fill-in #40 that never got published.
1. Which was the best day of your life - Wedding Day or Homecoming Day? submitted by Pink Champagne, Gatorade & MREs
I'm going to have to go with neither. Our wedding day consisted of walking down to the courthouse, and me going to my Rise and Fall of Nazi Germany class a couple of hours afterward. Homecoming Day was exhausting. While both days were happy, we have had many other days that are far more deserving of the title "best day of your life."

2. Were you a part of the joining the military question or did you sign up for the relationship when your man was already in the military? submitted by Cammo Style Love
He was already talking to a recruiter and setting up a MEPS date when we started dating. Prior to that, when we were mere friends/co-workers, I definitely tried to talk him out of it (what can I say, I'm a big hippie). Obviously it worked out, and I realize now that it was a good decision.

3. What is your favorite Disney movie and why? submitted by Raising Roscoe
This is hard. Despite having no children, we immediately buy every (classic) Disney movie as soon as it is released on BluRay. I'll go with The Little Mermaid, solely based on the strength of the song Part of Your World. It is my ultimate sing-along song. 

4. What is your favorite family activity to do on the weekends? submitted by Destination: RN!
We like to geocache.

5. Where do you secretly with you could be stationed with your SO's line of work? submitted by Wookie & Co.
It's no secret, I want to go to Ramstein or Aviano. The husband got to live at both when his dad was in the Air Force, now I want a turn!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Road Trip Deux

The pre-PCS busy season has officially begun. Last weekend, we went with the husband's family (parents, two brothers, a girlfriend) for the husband, brother-in-law #1, and mother-in-law's birthdays (which are all within a week of each other). While we didn't get as crazy as the other people on our floor, who were "Woooooo!!!!!"-ing in the hallways at 5am, it was a good time. At one point I was up $15 (I pretty much only play the penny/nickel slots) and then I had another drink and was broke in under 5 minutes. We squeezed in a lunch visit with the husband's uncle and an IKEA stop on the way home, and, most importantly, I drove a grand total of 4 hours over the entire trip. I love that my husband is afraid of my driving :)

Here is the most important thing I learned during this trip: for the love of God, never see the movie Sucker Punch. Brother-in-law #2 is still in high school, so we tried to do some suitable (aka non-gambling) activities with him. This movie was quite possibly the worst two hours of my life. I've never walked out of a theater before, but I was seriously considering it. I think I'd rather have teeth pulled than have to see it again. The only redeeming qualities were the approximately 3.5 minutes featuring Jon Hamm and the fact that we were able to discuss the horrible qualities of the movie for HOURS on the ride back down south.

So now, just when I think I've finally recovered from Atlantic City (those hotel beds did a number on my back), it's time for another out of town trip. When the husband gets off work this afternoon, we're heading to my hometown for a family reunion, which is probably the last time I'll be able to visit for a good long while. We halfway packed the car yesterday with boxes of my grandma's silver and china. When my mom gave it to me a few years ago, she claimed she didn't have space for it. I asked her not to give me in the first place because I didn't want to have to haul it all over the country/have it shattered by movers. Then she got this weird look and asked what I meant. That was when I had to explain to her that the husband wouldn't be stationed in Virginia forever, most likely no longer than 4 years. She had to have known this deep-down, but I think she was in denial prior to that. But she made me take it anyway, it's been under our bed for two years, and now we have to lug it back.

Today we still have to pack our clothes/toiletries/gadgets. I still have to prep deviled eggs for 40, shower, try to tidy up (there is nothing worse than coming home to a mess) and dose up Sicily with her holistic kitty valium. We bought a new, larger carrier for her this week and set it up in the living room. She seems to like sitting in it/on top of it, there are screens on all four sides that she can see out of, and there is room for a tiny litter box. We can only hope she still likes it when she realizes it's her new traveling home that she will be spending nearly two weeks in come July.

Speaking of, the husband officially got his orders yesterday (woo!). We have to stop by the office before we leave town to see what else we have to give them to get out of the lease. Next Wednesday we have a short PCS briefing to attend, then it's on to deciding when we're actually moving out of the apartment and setting up movers. And a few days ago, I prepared our official 11 day travel itinerary, complete with pet friendly hotels, sightseeing, and Man v. Food approved dining choices. I felt so accomplished. Does anyone know if the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame worth stopping at?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Song Time

Hmmmm, well I originally posted this on Thursday, but Blogger got all weird on us and disappeared some posts...

It is Thursday, which means two things: one, we are leaving for Atlantic City this afternoon for a birthday extravaganza, and two, it is song link up time with Goodnight Moon.

Once upon a time, I was considering having a wedding. The husband and I had already gotten married, but we did it sneakily and didn't tell most people, as at the time we were still planning on getting wedding-ed (side note: while I have never actually frequented, from what I hear, ladies who are already married and then plan on having a wedding are majorly frowned upon in regular wedding planning circles). In the end, we decided not to get wedding-ed, as between me and the husband's shyness, my lack of caring to plan for such an event, and the redonkulous cost of the whole fiasco, getting wedding-ed just didn't seem important, since the legal part was already done. However, before that decision was made, I did plan for little bits of the ceremony that never happened.

This song was going to be the recessional, specifically the song starting at minute 1:21. And I really liked the idea of fake mustaches and fake elephant noses as favors during the reception (which I was thinking of having in a barn, while wearing a not-white dress). I'm sure my dear, sweet, traditional mother thanks Jesus every day that I did not have the wedding-ed event that I wanted in my head.

P.S..... the action post 3:45 looks like an excellent party to me...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sad Face

Tonight was the husband's ALS graduation dinner. We got to dress up and it was fun (at least as fun as these sort of things can be), considering I knew a grand total of two people there. I was excited to wear a pair of shoes I had only worn once before in the five years that I've owned them, and by the end of the night my poor aching feet helped me remember why I never wear them.

Then we came home and I got on The Facebook (yes, that is what I call it, like an old person) and saw that an old friend of mine died today. I was friends with his older sister in high school and we met at a Halloween party she threw, where my Spice Girl costume (it was 1998) roused his amorous intentions. He and I "went out" for roughly three months, at least as much as a barely-14-year-old boy (I guess I've always had cradle robbing tendencies) and 15-year-old girl can date. He introduced me to Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, and, though he was not my first kiss, he was my first real make-out partner, my first spoon, and the first boy I broke up with.

But as of the last nine years, we hadn't been in contact. The last time I remember hanging out with him was when we were 16 and 18 and he unsuccessfully tried to teach me to drive stick shift on his old VW Beetle in an elementary school parking lot. I found out a couple of years ago that he had a brain tumor and a blog about it, but, based on his blog updates, he seemed to be kicking its ass. Eventually, the blog wasn't updated very often and I ended up rarely visiting it. But apparently the last few months were bad ones.

Despite not really knowing him for the past decade, this is giving me a major case of the sads. He was a handsome barely-26-year-old, had a long time girlfriend that he had recently proposed to and had spent the last two years battling a brain tumor, a battle that seemed to be going phenomenally well compared to others with a similar diagnosis. I can't imagine the grief his family, especially his fiance, is feeling right now. It's just effing heartbreaking. Gah.