Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to 100%

Woke up Monday morning and actually felt GOOD. I could breathe just fine without sniffling, I could sing along with the radio on the way to work, I wasn't worn out halfway through one class. It's soooo nice to be back to normal.

We started a new schedule at the dojahng this week. Two classes on Monday, one Tuesday, two Wednesday, two Thursday, one Friday now. The only problem I have with it is that it combines the adults and younger teens (12-15 year olds) again on Wednesdays and Fridays. Tonight was our first combined class and it was so crowded. It felt like there was barely room to move, and I'm not particularly excited about standing in lines to do drills instead of just hitting partners with pads. That might have been just a today thing, though. I understand the instructors wanting to get done a little earlier at night and making sure class sizes are decent, but it was soooo nice to not have to worry about kids in the class. They're just so breakable.

Got almost my whole package put together for my swap buddy. Just waiting on one more thing to get here and then I can send it off. Still working on the Twizzle scarf (almost done) and the afghan (almost have the second strip done). Haven't had a whole lot of motivation to knit lately, though.

Oh, and there seem to be a good chance that my temporary civ job at the 216th might turn into a semi-permanent one, at least until I go to whatever training I end up going to. Not sure yet, but at least Recruiter's back and I don't have to pretend to know anything anymore. Apparently I didn't let too many things go wrong while he was gone, though, which is nice to know. I also finally got all my finances organized (yay for paychecks that come on a regular basis!), I think, which is a huge relief.

Anyway, out for the night. Class this weekend, yay! (Although not looking forward to being on base at 9:00a or earlier for two weeks straight, but oh well.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thrown into the deep end, but still breathing

Which is still kind of hard, but easier than even a few days ago (although I'm constantly starving and thirsty, which sucks). I only did four classes this week, and didn't make it to haganah at all, which is really sad. (Although, in all fairness, I will point out that I got partnered up with Sir for kickboxing on Thursday AND did the outside run in the smoke, which didn't help.) I did, however, end up floor conducting the belt test on Friday. I wasn't supposed to - I had told Sir earlier in the week that I'd help out with the test because I knew one of my classmates was testing for his third degree and they would need board holders and adult sparring partners - but the kid who was supposed to floor conduct had something come up at the last minute. I found out I was doing it when Sir introduced me to the testers. Nothing like surprises. I'd assisted Mr. R with it before, but never done it on my own. Sir told me afterwards that I'd done a good job, and he didn't think until halfway through that I had never done it before and he hadn't had to teach me like the kids who usually do it. All in all, it was fun, though.

Work was okay this week. Recruiter was gone almost all week, so I got a crash course in how to deal with (or, more commonly, find) a bunch of different kinds of files. I also found out that the 148th won't let me go to the November tech school (and therefore Basic next month) because of the followup tech school we have to go to. The February Basic date means that I will have to get separated (honorably) and then re-enlist because it will be more than a year since my date of enlistment. I can't get any of my benefits (enlistment bonus or GI Bill for school) until I've completed the initial training, and if I have to re-enlist, there is a chance that the bonus won't be available again.So I'm kind of ticked at them right now. Yay for more paperwork and more time wasted. And, my application for the commission got kicked back because I'm not ALREADY an officer (gotta love website applications), so I'm going to talk to the recruiter and maybe some of the officers at the 216th this week and find out what some options are. There might not be any - like I said, I know they're really wanting someone they don't really have to spend much time training - but it would be good to know that I've done everything I can to get it. Between that and the 148th right now....well, if the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I'm gonna be squeaking pretty loudly. What are they going to do? Kick me out? Oh wait, they're going to have to do that ANYWAY!

In knitting news, I'm in a hockey/knitting swap with some other members of the Puck This! group on Ravelry. My swappee is a Canadiens fan, which of course, is almost impossible to find stuff for around here. It's been challenging to hunt for stuff and come up with ideas. I think I have about half the package done now. I'm waiting/trying to find a few more things, and then I'll get it sent out.

New ERAU class next weekend with the general again. Can't wait!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Weekend update

I am REALLY over these fires. The smoke is creating havoc with my allergies and the whole breathing thing - you know, sort of important - is honestly quite painful right now. My nose is stopped up, so I have to breathe through my mouth, but I've been coughing so much that my throat hurts and so air down my throat isn't fun either. I would kill for a full night of easy-breathing sleep right now! Halls cough drops are a livesaver right now, but unfortunately, not smart to sleep with.

I finished most of the presentations I was working on last week. I don't know if they're any good or not - the only other person who has seen them that I know of is the recruiter, although I've asked a few others who know about the project to look them over if they get the time. I'm pretty pleased with two of them, on the fence about a third, and not really sure what else I can do with the fourth. I also got stuck doing a fifth one now, which the recruiter had told me not to worry about because he thinks it would be too difficult for me, but a couple other people have asked me to start and given me some ideas. It's not that it's difficult, it's just another of those "I'm not really sure what information they're looking for" situations, so I'm just going through all of the questions I had on that topic and trying to answer them. We'll see, I guess. It's not like they can kick me out for bad work - they technically aren't even my unit!

On that note, I'm also getting a LOT of "face time" with the unit command. Granted, it's a relatively small group, and with so few full-timers, it's hard to not see them, but it seems like any time the recruiter has any reason to talk to anyone, he drags me along. The DO (director of operations, the major who would be considered second in command, I guess. He's the one who actually took my Oath of Enlistment, so I knew he knew me by face but didn't realize he actually remembered my name) asked why I wasn't working up at the 148th yet. I explained what was going on with the temp job and training, and he wanted to know if I wanted to stay with the 216th after the temp job was over. I said I'd love to, but knew that the 216th doesn't take non-prior service 1C6s, so it sounded like I was stuck with the 148th for the time being. I did mention that I'd applied for the officer slot, even though I felt I was only barely qualified, but he said that working with the unit for a couple months would help that out a lot. (I'm idly wondering if that's also one of the reasons that I'm getting stuck doing all these briefings - the 216th IS a ultimately a training unit, after all) Now he's been telling people that "she's with the 148th, but we're going to steal her."

I'm REALLY trying not to get my hopes up for the commission - I KNOW the odds of getting it are not good, since they would really like to get someone they don't have to train so much - but it would be awfully nice. They're also still working on trying to get the ANG Space 100 class going for November, and it sounds like it might actually be a real possibility, which would send me to Basic really soon and therefore pretty much cut the odds of getting the commission for at least a year or two. Either way, it will be nice to get at least SOME training in so people would quit asking me why I'm not in uniform =P

On the other hand, for a "it'll just be answering phones and filing some papers" job, it's been kind of a steep learning curve. Nothing major, and it's not like I've been super busy or stressed, but it IS a little frustrating because the recruiter is gone a LOT and I don't really feel like I know enough to be able to really deal with things when he isn't there yet. Mostly, it's the fact that I don't know where to find a lot of the information that people are calling and asking for yet, or who to direct them to, so I take a lot of messages and cross my fingers that he'll be in soon enough not to frustrate them. I'm afraid to go too far because I'm NOT the recruiter and I don't have any authority (or clearance or contacts) to ask for certain things, but I don't like leaving people hanging either. He'll be gone most of next week, though, so I'm going to have to figure something out.

Anyway, in real life, I really like the new stuff in kickboxing and have learned that I am scared of tackles. It's the idea of falling, I think. And I landed wrong on my knee the other night - didn't hurt the knee itself, but landed right on the nerve and my whole leg sang for the next hour or so, and it's all sorts of bruised now. Helping out with testing next weekend, but just holding boards, I think.

Oh, and go see Music Man in Solvang!! I saw it last night and it is SO MUCH FUN!! Definitely worth the drive. They close next weekend, though, so hurry!!

Off to run errands. Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fast note

Getting up at 7:00a, working from 8:30a-4:30p (with a lot of flexibility, I'm really done when the recruiter gets bored for the day, which varies a lot), driving back to Santa Maria, changing clothes, and doing two martial arts classes that are at least 45m long each (we're the last class of the night, so our end time gets a little, um, flexible sometimes) will really wear you out. I am more exhausted, and oddly, hungrier at the weirdest times. I'm eating breakfast, then am starving by lunch, which is usually around 11:00a, but sometimes not until 1:00p, usually have a small snack like a baggie of trail mix or a granola bar around 2:30p or 3:00p, am starving again by 5:00p, so I grab a small meal (pb&j, string cheese, fruit cup, usually), then hit class. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I'll also grab something small in between classes, but either way, I'm very rarely actually hungry when I get home afterwards. Not like I used to be. I'm thinking about maybe even eating a real dinner around 5ish on Tuesdays/Thursdays, but not sure how well that will sit in my stomach with class starting at 6:30p. I'll try it and see.

On top of the new work schedule, there's a new kickboxing workout with a lot of MMA-style floor work, we sparred in tkd last night, worked tackles in FIGHT and did pretty close to 100 lunges in various angles, and worked kicks tonight in tkd. It's so odd to say it, but it's 11:00p and I'm tired (and walking tomorrow should be interesting)!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Anything But Ordinary

If you look, you will see
That this world is a beautiful accident
Turbulent, succulent, opulent, permanent, no way
I wanna taste it
Don't wanna waste it away
Is it enough to love?
Is it enough to breathe?
Somebody rip my heart out
And leave me here to bleed.
Is it enough to die?
Somebody save my life!
I'd rather be anything but ordinary, please!
-Avril Lavigne, "Anything But Ordinary"

One of my friends:'re a magic ninja who works with top-secret space stuff?! You know that makes you sound like a Bond girl or something out of a bad action script, right?

The end of the week was nice. You forget how nice it is to occasionally share actual real meals with people. Yesterday, I had lunch with MSgt. P who was working days down on main base while she took some class or other for her master stripe (she doesn't read this, but belated congrats anyway!). Then today was the major I met at my first drill's birthday, and Chief invited me along to lunch with them. It ended up being about seven of us total at this burger place in Lompoc, and it was fun to get to know some of the girls a little better. Another girl and I rode with Chief and Major on the way back and we got talking about how Major used to work the range (launches) and VAFB was intended to be an alternate launch site for the shuttle and he ended up taking us on an impromtu tour of some interesting places on the base. For instance, a canyon road where the rock sides actually got cut down and all of the road signs are seriously short so the shuttles' wings could fit as it was transported to SLC (space launch complex, pronounced "slick") 6 on South Base and another place on North Base where a Titan II missile had exploded in its silo back in the 60's (the damage is still pretty impressive!). I thought it was pretty cool, anyway (one of my friends just told me it sounds like it was a "nice nerd moment". It was!). I even got to prove I knew at least something about space when he was explaining something about the dynamic pressure affecting the rockets and I could speak almost intelligently about q-limits and knew what max-q was. Major was really encouraging about the fact that I'd applied for the officer slot, which made me feel slightly less stupid for even considering it much less doing it. Chief just groaned and muttered something about how the commander at the 148th was going to have his head on pike. I didn't quite catch all of it ;-)

The recruiter was actually out all day yesterday and most of the day today, so I got stuck with starting to create some briefings for the student flight (does it bother anyone else that I am IN the student flight??). I have absolutely NO idea what kind of information they want on some of them or even what format they want, though, so I'm just doing "information shells", making them look readable and at least somewhat interesting to look at, and letting the higher-ups fill in the blanks. Apparently there are advantages to having to do presentations constantly in ERAU classes - creating BS presentations is a breeze, assuming you can find the info, of course =P (Recruiter threatened to have me give the briefings, too, but I'm 99% sure he was joking. He'd better be, anyway...)

Went to kickboxing but skipped FIGHT last night. I was just too bloody tired and my arm started bugging me again. I did get to see F before I left, though, and got a hug from him. He hasn't been in class for a while. This weekend is going to be about cleaning, though. I cleaned the bathroom and most of the kitchen this evening, so I'm proud of myself. I also hit the halfway mark with the final strawberry recipe today:
the strawberry vodka. The (really quite scary looking - apparently vodka leeches color) berry/vodka mixture got squished within an inch of its life, resulting in this (much tastier looking) liquid which then got mixed with about a cup of a thin sugar syrup. The whole thing fit quite nicely into the original (clean!) vodka bottle - although I don't have a narrow-spout funnel. I have a turkey baster, though, and it worked, albeit more slowly. (WHY I have a turkey baster is beyond me, as I've never prepared or cooked any whole fowl in my life, and I'm always looking for a funnel. Weird.) Anyway, it has three more weeks of sitting there looking pretty and then it's "done." I don't know if it will get stronger or weaker with the sitting, but I'm hoping weaker, because right now one shot could knock out an elephant, and just the fumes would probably at least get one pulled over for a DUI.

Tomorrow is vacuuming and laundry, even though my dresser has decided it no longer wants to hold its drawers, so I'm not quite sure what to do about that or what to do with the laundry once it's clean. Hrm. After that, I'm planning on a Leverage mini-marathon and either some cross-stitch or (I hope!) some knitting!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Honest Hours

Sorry, no pics or anything fun this week. I've been slowly readjusting to working days again. Getting up hasn't really been too bad, but going to sleep at a reasonable hour has been. I'm just hardwired to be sleepy around 2:00a, which doesn't work out so well when you have to get up at 7:00a. (Okay, so I usually don't get out of bed until 7:15a or 7:20a, because I take my showers at night after class. That way all I have to do in the morning is wash the face, brush the teeth, put on makeup, get dressed, and eat breakfast. The hair mostly sort of complies.) The work itself has been interesting. I'm learning far more about enlistment and retention paperwork than I ever really wanted to know, frankly, but it's always cool to be able to help out and feel useful again.

It's also been nice to get to work more with the full-timers down at the 216th. They're going to TRY to get a special Space 100 class (my first tech school) set up that is entirely ANG members (both 216th and 148th). IF they can get it set up for November, like they really want to, the 216th is going put as much pressure as they can on the 148th to ship us two non-priors to Basic around the end of this month. On top of THAT, being in the know with the recruiter means that I found out that there was an officer slot that opened up in the 216th and I was encouraged (and did) apply for it. I don't have any real hope of getting it (although the recruiter really wants me to, and a couple of the officers have already asked if I can stay at the 216th), but I know the two officers that, should I get that far, I would interview with, which is nice.

And I really thought this was amusing. Recruiter is out of the office tomorrow and so we made up a to-do list of things that I could handle while he was gone. One of the big things? Creating briefings for the student flight for drill weekends. I'm creating the presentations that I'm going to be sitting through!

Not a lot of knitting this week - just haven't been home or awake long enough! On base for nine hours, either come home and change or go straight to the dojahng, double classes, light dinner, and then trying to relax enough to crash (which I should be doing now). I now understand weekends a little more, ha!