+Tuesday, July 12, 2005+
Matt called me this morning before work and as always when he calls, I was exhilerated. My heart literally picks up a few beats just at the sound of my phone ringing; it goes haywire when the caller ID shows the number of the call base that connects our calls - the number that shows up every time Matt calls (I even set a ringer to it on my cell phone). Some things in this deployment have lost their original allure, like writing letters. When he first deployed, I used to write Matt 4 or 5 times week, even when he was just a few hundred miles away in Oklahoma. Slowly my letters have lessened - not because I miss him any less than I did on Day One but because hand writing letters is very time consuming and if you try to write 4 to 5 letters a week for over 4 months, you'll realize just how time consuming it is. I still write him about twice a week but only because I know how much it means to him to receive my letters.

Phone calls are one of the things that have not diminished in importance. Granted our conversations aren't as gut-wrenchingly depressing as they were in the first few months as we've both had 6 months to settle into our "new" lives, but they're still the foundation of the communication I have with Matt and each one is equally important to me - even the bad ones - because just to hear his voice is a little chunk of personal heaven. Before he even left, we both agreed not to talk on the phone every day; we were in complete agreement that it would only make things more difficult and while some wives and fiances revel in the fact that they get to talk on the phone with their husbands every single day, I deeply enjoy getting to talk to Matt about twice a week. The infrequency of our conversations makes it hard to take the time we get to talk to each other for granted. It also ensures we have plenty to talk about - there's a lot less silence preceded by an elongated "so" when it's been a few days since we talked.

We've seemingly mastered the art of a deployment phone conversation as well. Randomly throughout the conversation we'll throw in our "I love you"s and "I miss you"s just incase the call gets dropped (which happens all too often), and I'm so used to the delay now I hardly even notice it. Some days I wonder if I hallucinated there ever being a delay - I remember all too well how annoying it was to have either long periods of silence or just an enomorous jumble of overlapping conversation, and the inconsistency of it now makes me wonder if it's not as big of a delay as it originally was or if I really just am that used to it. And fighting. Thankfully we haven't really "fought" since Matt's been gone though we have had a few conversations that left me feeling like I was toting around an anvil in my stomach, and I think it's important to mention to girls (and guys) just starting off on the Deployment Adventure that being thousands of miles apart doesn't exempt you from the rules of a relationship - you probably will fight. What's important is how you handle it and not to lose your head over it, which is certainly harder said than done; when you get in a fight with someone on the other side of the world and have absolutely no control over the situation, it's an awful helpless feeling, but stressing out over it isn't going to help alleviate the circumstances any - it'll only make it worse for you. Just ask Jennifer who got to handle me after Matt and I had our first "dispute" (which ended up not even being what I thought it was which highlights my point even more not to go bezerk over it!). :-)

Last week was the longest 4 day week of my life. I had to host a baby shower at my house on Saturday that I hadn't really been looking forward to, so I suppose I could partly attribute the slowness of the week to my own subconscious. Thankfully the baby shower was relatively painless, and I have to admit, the house did look awfully cute with green and gold streamers draped over the fence and a pink "It's a Girl" balloon tied to the mailbox. K, the soon-to-be new mommy, had decided a while ago that she wanted to make a mold of her belly; we decided to forego plaster as we'd been told by word of mouth that it gets "really hot" and instead decided to give papier mache a go. Unfortunately no one could seem to remember back to the days of art class and instead of a papier mache mold of an adorably pregnant belly, all we got was a deplorable lump of glue, water, and paper.

On Sunday afternoon I went to see War of the Worlds with my friend H and I hated it. It is my humble opinion that this movie sucked, and if you have never read the book or have yet to see the movie, I'm about to spoil the end for you, so if you actually want to waste 127 minutes of your life to see this train wreck of a Hollywood blockbuster, I don't suggest reading beyond this point (unless, of course, you don't mind having endings ruined for you. You can start again in 2 paragraphs). I've never read the H.G. Wells' book, but undoubtedly it's written much better than it was adapted to the "big screen" by Spielberg. Honestly. This movie was AWFUL. Nevermind that when an EMP knocks the city of New York so hard that cars stop running, everything electric or battery operated is apparently inoperative, and even Tom Cruise's wrist watch stops working, a tourist's video camera still works. Nevermind that when planes start falling out of the sky and one demolishes the entire neighborhood Tom Cruise and his kids are in, it somehow manages to completely miss their mini van. Nevermind that when Tom Cruise's hot-headed rebellious son runs away with the National Guard he manages to survive blasts and laser beams that take out the entire unit. Yes, discrepencies aside, you'll get to sit through 2 hours or so of people running away from tripods that can turn a human to dust with a mere braze of a laser beam and aliens that are oddly cute (don't let their bug-eyes fool you though! These maniacal little fuckers will harvest and eat you) so that you can never reach the climax that all good plots boast and get the movie wrapped up for you in about 5 minutes by the sudden death of all the aliens and a brief explanation of what's going on from the voice of a Twilight Zone-esque narrator.

The irony of it is beautiful - that all these aliens that have come to Earth to exterminate humans die because they can't handle our pesky Earth bacteria, but you can't simply throw a lot of special effects into a movie and impatiently hold out your hand for that Oscar you "deserve." Perhaps it's not entirely Steven Spielberg's fault that this movie was really really really terrible; it could very well be that it's just one of "those" books that shouldn't be made into a movie. I can see how it would be quite an undertaking to turn the story into a movie, but Spielberg didn't make it the undertaking it should've been - he went for glitz, not quality, and ultimately that is why I hated this movie: it had no substance. I need a movie where I care if a main character dies, but I wouldn't have minded too much, especially if it had been Dakota Fanning who I normally think adorable but only found incredibly annoying in this movie. I did, however, walk out of the theatre commenting to H that I was at least glad Matt wasn't fighting aliens. Who knew that if aliens attacked the National Guard would be the ones called up? Go New York National Guard!

This week is slowly passing through but already seems to be moving more quickly than last. I had to take Freedom to the vet yesterday to get her third set of shots; before sticking a wicked looking needle in my kitten's shoulder, the vet warned me that she might be a "little tired" after getting the shot. To say the least! I'd no sooner gotten home than my little darling plopped down on the floor and slept 12 hours, waking only once to follow me from the living room to the bedroom when it was my bedtime. It was wonderful to have a break from my little hellian for one night, to not be woken up before the sun had even risen because she discovered (and rediscovered) the interesting "dancing light" on my blinds that comes from the combination of my A/C vents and the eerie blue light of dawn. Ah kittens. Truly she is the closest thing to the antidote for deployments.

One of my mom's friends has decided to throw me a bridal shower in a few weeks despite the fact that the actual wedding is a bit over a year away. Well, who am I to turn down an opportunity to be the center of attention and get lots of gifts? Incidentally, the shower is going to be the same weekend the wedding lands on next year so we've decided to make it our "One Year Till" extravaganza. I'm going to register for gifts after work today with my mom (even though TheKnot.com warns, "The two of you should be registering for gifts you'll both enjoy...don't let mom drag you around - in this case, she may not know best."), so hopefully we'll be able to register peacefully without fighting that just because she likes the icky plaid yellow sheets doesn't mean I need to register for them; my mom and I are like the Odd Couple. Don't get me wrong; I adore my mom. She is, after all, my mother, but for both of us to agree on something is a rare occurrence. Hilarity ensues whenever we get together (of course, it's often at the expense of one or both of our feelings). Planning a wedding together will be.....interesting.

Matt's parents will be coming into town this weekend to visit me (their "favorite future-daughter-in-law" as they like to call me and as I like to gloat about regardless that Matt is their only son), and Matt's mom told me she'd like to take me shopping so I can get a new outfit for my bridal shower. Hmmm. Shopping with the MIL. I'm rather looking forward to it, actually. I feel that I've been blessed not only to be marrying the most wonderful man in the world, but that his mom is a) not insane; and b) likes me. Oh, I've heard the MIL horror stories!!

It's hard to believe that it's already been a month since Matt came and left for his R&R, which means I can stop griping about the length of 9 months... and instead move on to 8 (and so on and so forth until finally 1 is the magical number). I felt pretty certain that the first month after Matt left would move at an alarmingly turtle-like pace, but it didn't at all (save for last week). I got right back into my routine and time resumed flying right on by. I hope the next 8 months follow suit - and getting a kitty certainly didn't hurt in making the time more bearable! LOL.


wishing matt was here @ 4:47 PM+
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