+Monday, June 27, 2005+
I don't have too terribly much to post about, so I apologize in advance for this "posting for the joy of posting" post. Matt called early Friday morning and were it not for the fact that I was going to be late to work that morning anyway for a doctor's appointment, his call would've made me late. But I don't care. Matt's phone calls take priority to absolutely everything, no exception. He'd called to let me know he was going to be flying on Saturday (and also that it's 120 degrees and undoubtedly miserable because of it). I hate it when Matt flies. The fact that his is a CH-47 Chinook unit is mostly coincidence as his MOS has nothing to do with the helicopters, but as the commander so generously pointed out in his last letter to the families, "We are going to start to give moral flights to different sections within the Company. This will be an opportunity for all in the Company to go outside the wire and see the landscape of Afghanistan." As if, first of all, the families would be thrilled to know that their loved ones are flying more, and second of all, as if there's a whole hell of a lot of landscape to see in Afghanistan. I've seen the pictures - mudhuts, barren landscape, dirty rivers surrounded by surprisingly green crops. It looks like Nevada (except of course for the mudhuts. Here in Nevada we live in clay shacks).

I told Matt to call me on Saturday as soon as he was done flying. And he did, but it wasn't until then that he let me know he hadn't been flying in the company's Chinooks - he'd been out and about in a Black Hawk. Of course as soon as I hear the words "black hawk," I start thinking Black Hawk Down, and despite my vow to steer clear of any movies pertaining to war or the military (with the exception of Top Gun because I honestly don't think I could go a year without watching that movie), my mind automatically starts playing the worst scenes from the movie like a reel straight from the film: "We got a black hawk down...." UGH. Worrying seemed entirely irrelevant seeing as it was after the fact, but I did get a little whining in that he didn't tell me he was flying in a black hawk. And alright, I'll admit it, I really was glad he didn't tell me otherwise I probably would've spent the entire night staring at the ceiling, doing everything in my power to prevent my heart from leaping right out of my chest. I'm a worry wart by nature...he knows me so well. LOL.

I got my car back on Friday. Much to my dismay my warranty wasn't going to cover all the costs of repair. I nearly had a conniption on Thursday when I found out it was going to cost me over $600, and I was about ready to write off my warranty company as the biggest $#@ !#$%*& ever until I found out on Friday that it would've been over $1200 without the help of the warranty. There was a lot wrong with it, a lot more than I had even fathomed, so much so, in fact, I was actually embarrassed standing at the counter while the mechanic listed it all off to me (who takes such poor care of their car they have all these problems they don't know about??): one of my cylinders was misfiring, my coolant was leaking, the Serpentine belt was cracked and on the verge of breaking, my wheel bearings were all sorts of messed up and stripping away tread on my rear tires like it was its business to do so, the list goes on (I say this like I actually know what I'm talking about...). But I can't complain too much - the car runs like an absolute dream now, and I'm reminded why I bought it in the first place.

My friend H came into town on Friday; I had been planning to go visit her this weekend, but after tossing $600 into the apparent reconstruction of my car, I simply couldn't afford the trip (albeit a short one) - gas is just too expensive!! Since I couldn't go see her, she said she'd come to me, and we had a fun weekend mixing lounging around during the day with a fun nightlife. On Sunday we took our dogs to the park, and I was so happy to discover that mine and Matt's dog DOES swim. He hasn't for as long as we've owned him - he's always been perfectly happy frolicking in the water near the shore, causing ripples and barking at and biting said ripples. At the park he was having a ball swimming; I couldn't throw the damn tennis ball far enough out into the lake, and he'd be right back at my feet, sopping wet with his muddy, wet, and slobbery tennis ball in mouth, waiting for me to throw it again. I'm going to have to take him back to the park soon with the video camera so I can send Matt footage of what an avid little swimmer our pup has become!

We got an earthquake yesterday morning just before noon, and it took me a second to realize what exactly it was. I was still in bed (yes, I sleep late on the weekends) and couldn't understand right off the bat why my bed was shaking and my closet doors rattling (hey, what can I say, I'm not a morning person, "morning" being whatever time I wake up). It was somewhat exciting in a weird "the ground is shaking" kind of way. I grew up in Lake Tahoe which happens to be sitting on a few big ass faults so an earthquake was nothing out of the ordinary for me, but more often than not, any tremors we got came at night and I'm one of those people who could sleep through a freight train crashing into the side of the house, so needless to say, no measely earthquake would've ever jarred me awake. Up until yesterday, it must've been about 11 years since I'd last felt an earthquake, so I suppose in some ways it was like reliving a childhood memory.

It must've been a good-sized earthquake where it occurred on the north shore of Lake Tahoe, measured between a 4.8 and 5.0 on the Richter scale, and though I haven't a clue what that means or how to gauge a "big" earthquake (a lá San Francisco circa 1989), the fact that we felt it in Reno and it was felt as far as Sacramento (about 120 miles away) makes it seem pretty damn decent to me.

I started a new book on Friday after finishing "The Notebook." After seeing the movie, I absolutely had to read the book, and since I wouldn't shut up about it while we were visiting with Matt's family during his leave, his mom went ahead and bought the book for me. It was a good book, but personally I prefer a little more challenging read; I was turned off by the simplicity of it, but beyond that, it was good. It ends differently than the movie, though; at the end of the book they get a little kinky (though it didn't say so in so many words, it was most certainly implied).

The book I started on Friday is called "The House of the Spirits" and comes highly recommended from my brother's very quirky (and very intelligent) wife. I'm only a couple pages into the second chapter (the book is by no means lacking in looong chapters), and already I'm having separation anxiety from the damn thing. I used to read all the time; given the choice between picking up a TV remote and a book, I'd always choose the book. I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember, and a good writer is a good reader, but lately, since Matt left, the TV has given itself the facade of being "easier." One doesn't have to think much when they're watching television. When I saw Matt for his leave, I was actually a little envious when he told me how many books he's gotten through in his time there - the book I'd started before he left was sitting on my nightstand collecting dust, marked where I'd last stopped, but the pages before my bookmark were long since forgotten. What a waste! :-( I've since decided to get back into reading - I'm sure it'll especially benefit me when school starts again in August. Reading nothing but school material can become so overwhelming, it's helpful to have something to read for the sheer joy of reading (am I starting to sound like the host of "Reading Rainbow" yet?).

If I don't post again before then, Happy 4th of July to my fellow patriots! Please remember our troops especially on this holiday that marks our independence and freedom and everything our men and women of the military are fighting for at this very moment. :-)

wishing matt was here @ 4:40 PM+

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