Monday, March 19, 2007

A boy and his dog

Upon my arrival home I was greeted by the newest member of the family. A white Labrador Retriever named "Lacey". Yeah, that's right, "Lacey." My wife named her. There is something there but I just don't know what yet. Last time we got a dog we adopted Bosco and he has been part of the family for 9 years now. I told the Mrs. a bunch of times that our son needed a puppy to grow up with but I never imagined a Lab named "Lacey". I guess I will get used to it.
She is cute but is a pest. I don't remember Bosco chewing or biting toes but maybe its because most of my memories of him are him as an adult dog. He is the epitome of what a lab should be. Calm, good natured, good with everyone, fetches anything and can't stay out of water. Lacey is so bad about chewing that she gets banished to this crate when we leave. It is the newest psychobabble for dog training so I'll just go with it. What I find it handy for is that it will fit my son AND the dog. I told the little woman that we could save a lot on baby sitting if we just got a lock for the cage. I got the laser eyes for that comment!
I leave today for London. Lots of thoughts crawl through my mind and I have a lot of mixed emotion. I don't want to leave but know I have to. One more year and I am done. That is what we have decided on after all. I can make it. I wish it really was going to be "Mission Accomplished" but I have done my share. One more year and then it is back for good.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Mexican Food, BBQ, and Beer

I am just chilling out and enjoying doing "nothing" right now. Getting up late, eating my favorite foods, drinking beer and listening to the constant rain is AOK with me right now. This has been one of those "Nada", "Vache" type R&Rs.
I've run some errands, walked the dogs, put down astro turf on the deck area, and gone to see 300 at the movies but other than that I have done very little. I leave in three days to go to London for a few days and thats OK too. I have tickets for Spamalot in the 6th row and We Will Rock You in the FRONT ROW.
Yeah baby, front rowwwww. Reminds me too, we will be in London for a family R&R come June and I have 4 seats to see The Who at Wembley Arena on June 26th. That will be a concert to remember! I bought these tickets the day they went on sale and they are floor seats, elevated which means you can actually see. Anyone interested in 2 of them?

Monday, March 12, 2007

05:30 CDT

I am wide awake at 05:30. The family is sound asleep except for me and one of the Labrador Retrievers. I am not anywhere near the Middle east, I am in Texas on R&R. It is still really hard to say I am at "home". I was born here, educated here, and spent many of my formative years in it's domain but the vast majority of experiences, events and people that made me who I am all were elsewhere. My immediate family does not really understand it. They, like so many others have never lived anywhere else and have no real concept of life outside these borders. Texas is so damn big that they rarely venture beyond it's territorial lines. When they do they make constant comparisons to Texas which is unfair to both.

It is a great place. It does not have the overwhelming beauty of the greater Western USA, the four true seasons of the NE or the sense of self importance of California but the people are nicer, the food is better, and it is a lot less exepensive than any of those other areas. All in all, I'm glad we moved here. My son is not immersed in "banger" culture or the "Hip Hop" lifestyle influence he would have been bombarded with in SoCal and I can tell that my wife is becoming more and more influenced by the more friendly and welcoming lifestyle that exists here. People still hold open doors and say ,"Thank You" when you do so.

I have been back four days now and it still seems like I just got here. One day as a Jet Lag zombie and then one day to prep for a party. Then the party. In essence a 24 hour bacchanal of booze, food, conversation, and reunion. I spent yesterday recovering from that so today may be the first real day of relaxation I get.

I enjoyed the party but it reinforced my conviction that we have already outgrown this house and need a bigger one. One guest room is not enough when people drive 4 hours plus to visit. You need lots of bedspace and since many of our friends now have children of their own they need some privacy too.

I also know that this house is for my wife and my son. I feel like an interloper when ever I am here. I upset the rythym, space, and general disorder of command that my wife has imposed. I am so used to regimentation that it is a little unnerving at times to realize that there is no real pattern or set of imposed order to fall back on in event of schedule creep or upset. I will need to deprogram when I come back for good.

That is in and of itself a large part of my own personal and career path conunmdrum. When do I give up the ghost, call it quits, and vamoose back here permanently? I used to think it would be when we really had "Mission Accomplished" but that is not going to happen for a long, long time. I was making tentative plans for December but the fact that we may be extended to March has made me rethink that. So many that I have known who came back early are now clammoring to return. I think I will ride it out and see which way the wind blows in Kuwait.

I have done my share in Iraq. With three years under my belt I hold my head high and know why Samuel Johnson said, "Every man who does not go to war always feels meanly of himself for failing to do so." I went to the war. I don't miss it. I miss the comradeship, the knowledge that I have already been with the finest people I will ever know, the rapid growth of myself both personally and professionally, and the sense of honor I have knowing that when I was under fire I did not fail.

It is Kuwait for now. After that maybe a break buying and selling some houses or something else of that nature but in 9 days I go back to that world. In the meantime I continue to try and be a normal person for this all too short period of time
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