animals, videos, YouTube

Leon the Lobster moves to Georgia…

I wasn’t going to blog today because I’m having one of those “not so fresh” days, and it was kind of foggy and chilly this morning. I thought maybe I might binge watch season five of Cobra Kai on Netflix, and finally make use of my subscription. But three or four episodes in, I got really drowsy and thought I might fall asleep. So I tried to take a nap, but then I had to keep getting up to go to the bathroom, and the sun came out and made it a beautiful day.

I didn’t have a good topic in mind for today, either. I have been reading a book and I suspect it will lead to an interesting review when I’m finished, but I’m not quite halfway through it at this point. I could write about US politics, but I am not in the mood for that, and everyone’s writing about politics, anyway. So I went to YouTube for inspiration, and found that Brady Brandwood had uploaded another video about his pet lobster, Leon.

Leon’s journey has been fascinating!

Brady says Leon has now lived with him in South Carolina for a year. But he and his girlfriend split their time between South Carolina and Georgia, and actually spend more time in Georgia. So Brady bought Leon a new, much larger aquarium, and assembled it in the Georgia house. He decided to move Leon from South Carolina to Georgia, where he can enjoy the much larger digs and get to know Brady’s eight cats.

For those who don’t know, Brady famously rescued Leon from a grocery store and made videos about his progress in captivity. I’ve been watching Leon’s saga the whole time, finding it to be strangely fascinating… and now, I feel guilty about loving to eat lobster as much as I do. I’m also very impressed with Brady’s knowledge about how to take care of creatures of the sea. As I found out in watching this video, there’s a lot that goes into moving a lobster from an aquarium in South Carolina to a new one in Georgia. Brady also seems like a really nice guy. I enjoy his slightly southern accent, too. It reminds me of home.

Speaking of home… Bill and I used to live in Georgia ourselves, courtesy of his Army career, so the footage of driving on the Interstate– looks like it might be I-85– made me a little homesick. I’ve passed the water tower for Gaffney, South Carolina many times. It’s easy to spot, because it’s a giant peach, that always reminds me of a well spanked ass. Sorry, I’m a little kinky sometimes. 😉 I also used to live in South Carolina. I was there for the three years I was in graduate school at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. But I don’t think I ever drove past Gaffney when I lived in South Carolina. I do remember driving through there on my way from Georgia to Virginia and back.

Brady also includes some shots of the Atlantic beaches in South Carolina, which also remind me of home. I grew up about an hour’s drive from Virginia Beach. And some shots from North Georgia and his wooded home in South Carolina also make me homesick, a little. My dad’s side of the family is from Natural Bridge, Virginia, which looks a lot like North Georgia, and our homes in Georgia and in North Carolina were on wooded lots where there was a lot of wildlife. I love Germany, but I miss living in a secluded house with lots of trees around.

Our Georgia house was especially nice, with lots of deer in the woods, including a mama deer who was almost tame. However, I wouldn’t want to be living there now, as energy prices are soaring. It was a huge house and badly needed renovation. But it had an enormous kitchen and deck, which overlooked lots of trees and a creek in the back. Our house in North Carolina was smaller, and didn’t have the great kitchen, but it did have a view of a disused irrigation pond, where wildlife such as turtles and wild ducks lived. I loved watching them. It also had some fish in it. Sometimes, the neighbor would go out there and try to catch one. Those were the idyllic days of the Obama era, when political leaders seemed to have more sense.

Even though I’m totally freaked out by how polarized and violent the United States looks from over here, I do miss home sometimes. I would like to see some of my family members. And I miss American supermarkets, too. But I’m not quite ready to get on a plane for eight hours, even though it’s been eight years since I last set foot in my homeland. Also, I know that once I got back to the States, it would be no time before I’d be ready to leave again. I’m still glad people like Brady are posting content on video that teach new things and make me realize that not everyone in the United States is freaked out about the elections.

Anyway… I hope some of you might watch Leon’s videos. I think they’re fascinating, and I’ve learned a lot about lobsters, and how to keep them, from Brady. I won’t be adopting one anytime soon, but I sure have enjoyed watching Brady take care of Leon. It reminds me of my friend who used to have me “turtle sit” for her, when she took trips. I never realized how much fun turtles can be. The one she had– a red slider whose name was “Little Chicken” (named by her then young daughter, who won him at a fair)– acted kind of like a dog when it was mealtime. He’d see me coming and crawl alongside of the aquarium. He couldn’t wait to eat his turtle food. She told me they eventually set him free in the Potomac River, which makes me think he probably didn’t live much longer… Apparently, he got too big to keep.

I don’t know what else I’m going to do today. We really should go out and do something, but unfortunately, I need easy access to the bathroom today. Maybe I’ll watch some more bodycam footage… or work on my latest jigsaw puzzle, which is 2000 pieces. Or maybe I’ll read more of my book, so I can move on to the next one. I might even be tempted to dream about our next trip, after we go to France for our anniversary. That trip will be to a place we’ve been several times, but not since January 2020. We’re going there because we know the apartment we’re renting; it’s pet friendly; and it will still be a change of scenery. We love going to Alsace, because it’s a beautiful part of France, but since Arran is having chemo, we don’t want to board him. Besides, it’s time Noyzi got to go on a trip with us.

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complaints, mental health, Military, modern problems

Melting down over mission first…

There was a time in my life when I was like Velveeta, melting down at the slightest sign of heat. I’ve always been sensitive, but for the first thirty years of my life, I would get easily overwhelmed. I had problems with anxiety and would hyperventilate in panic attacks. Sometimes the attacks would happen in very embarrassing places. One time, I melted down in front of my boss, who was a nurse. Oddly enough, she thought I needed a trash can because she assumed I was going to vomit. I managed to croak out that I needed a bag to breathe into. She gave me one and I soon calmed down enough to talk to her. You’d think a nurse would know what to do for hyperventilation.

My panic attacks used to happen fairly frequently. For a long time, I didn’t know how to stop them. I’d get so upset that I’d find myself tingly with carbon dioxide overload, panting in a fight or flight reaction to whatever had me so bothered. Many times, it was fighting with my parents or some other authority figure that would get me in those states. For awhile, I even had Klonopin prescribed to me. It did nothing for me. I’m surprised people get hooked on it, to be very honest.

I don’t remember the last time I had a panic attack. It’s been many years. I have had a few meltdowns, but they aren’t like they used to be. Now, I get angry rather than panicky. Sometimes I cry a little bit, but I can’t even muster tears much anymore. In some ways, I’m glad crying is harder for me now. I was embarrassed by public crying jags more times than I’d like to remember. Some people legitimately thought I was crazy when I was younger. Others wondered if I was bipolar (I’m not).

Then there are times when I miss having a good cry. Crying can be very cathartic. I remember the rush of endorphins that would inevitably come after I released my emotions all over the place. I kind of miss being able to do that. Now, when I cry, it doesn’t last long and isn’t very intense. I’m sure some of it has to do with getting older and hormonal changes that come with that. Some of it is because I just don’t physically feel like I used to. I haven’t felt the way I felt as a young person since I started taking antidepressants in 1998.

Good plan.

I took psych meds for about five and a half years– first Prozac, then Wellbutrin, which turned out to be a much better fit for me than Prozac was. I also took Topamax, which is a mood stabilizer/migraine med/anti seizure med. My doctor prescribed it for me because he wanted me to lose weight. It did effectively kill my appetite and made drinking anything carbonated unpleasant. I didn’t lose weight, either, which disappointed my psychiatrist, who seemed to think my weight was the root of my problems. Bill didn’t like me on Topamax, so I got off of it. Beer began being fun to drink again. Looking back on it, I think the shrink was irresponsible to give me Topamax for that purpose. He prescribed it not because I had medical issues due to being overweight, but because I think he preferred thinner women himself and figured that being thinner would make me happier.

I had a slight meltdown last night. It turned out Bill couldn’t leave early and, in fact, probably won’t be home until late. I got pissed off when he sent me an email telling me about his issues getting home. It’s not because he’s not getting off early. It’s because, once again, he got my hopes up and dashed them. It’s not the first time he’s done it and this time, I’m having a particularly hard time dealing with life.

All of the other times he’s had long TDYs, we haven’t been in a pandemic situation. We’ve managed to have some fun somehow… going to a restaurant, taking a short trip, or doing something social. This time, we’ve been locked down for months. Seriously, Germany has been locked down in some way since November 2020. I haven’t been to downtown Wiesbaden in many months. By now, it’s probably been a year. I haven’t had a dental cleaning since May 2019. We did manage to take a trip last summer, but after we picked up Noyzi in early October, we were pretty much relegated to the neighborhood.

Germany was going to open a little bit this month, but the rising COVID-19 infections forced the lockdowns to extend. The AstraZeneca vaccine rollout has stalled, thanks to stories about a few people having rare blood clot reactions to it. We can be vaccinated on post, but we’re low on the priority scale. So while the United States is getting people the shot and things are becoming slightly more open over there, here it’s still isolated and weird. And it pissed me off that my husband had to go on a business trip for three solid weeks, even though travel is highly discouraged right now. I’ve been sitting at home alone, faithfully awaiting his invitation to chat, which always came when I was in the middle of watching a movie.

I don’t know what happened, but when he said he was going to be stuck there until late, I just got pissed. Because, what it comes down to is his job coming before me. I understand that his job will always come first. It’s that military “mission first” mentality that every recruit is indoctrinated with when they join one of the services. Intellectually, I get it. But after three weeks of boredom and loneliness and having my hopes raised, I was not very happy to hear that they were going to be dashed. I got so pissed that I even told Bill I didn’t want to chat with him and didn’t care when he comes home.

I probably should have kept my disappointment to myself. I should have found something to pour myself into, like I usually do. But I wrote on Facebook that I need a boyfriend. I was half kidding. Most people laughed. One person, who also spends a lot of time alone due to her husband’s work, opted to give me advice. To be honest, it kind of pissed me off that this person offered advice. Sometimes, people just want to vent. They aren’t looking for anyone to help them solve their problems. They just want to be heard and validated.

I understand that advice giving usually comes from a place of wanting to help, but she knows I’ve been a military wife for 18 years. This ain’t my first rodeo with being alone. Moreover, I’m not a kid. I don’t need someone to tell me to go out and “join” things. But even if I wanted to join things, I can’t right now. First off, it’s Germany, and not everyone speaks English. But even if I spoke perfect German and they spoke perfect English, the culture is different… and we are not allowed to congregate, anyway. It’s literally against the law right now. And, to be honest, I don’t necessarily want to hang out on post, either. For many reasons, I don’t fit in with most of the military wives. There are some exceptions, of course. Things are closed on post, too, but even if they weren’t, I wouldn’t want to hang out there.

I don’t need to be told to do something creative. I do that already. That’s why we have five guitars in our house when a year ago, we had none. That’s why I write a blog. I would write fiction, but a certain stalker let me know that she doesn’t appreciate my efforts or respect my privacy. So I’ve kind of lost the desire to write fiction for now, because someone might assume that I’ve written about them or get the wrong idea… or offer an uninvited critique. Even if I wrote it offline, I’ve just lost the urge.

I was just feeling low and wanted to express it. I still knew in my heart, someone would try to fix things and offer advice. And I would be put in the position of being a bitch and stating that I don’t want or particularly need any advice. I just want a virtual hug or something… hell, I don’t know what I want. I guess I just feel like I’ve wasted my life. I spend so much time waiting around for Bill. It’s not even so much that I want to join other people. I actually find a lot of people irritating… and they find me irritating and weird. I don’t want to get dressed and get in the car and go somewhere. I don’t need anyone to tell me that I chose this life. I know I did. I love Bill with all my heart, but I often feel like a loser. Just once, I’d like for him to have to wait at home alone for me. Or really, I don’t want either of us to have to wait at home alone. I just feel like I’ve already put in my time with this “mission first” lifestyle. For once, it would be nice not to have to put the mission first.

A few weeks ago, I fell and tore up both of my knees. Fortunately, I wasn’t badly hurt. My pride was injured and I had bruised, swollen, oozing, itchy knees for two solid weeks. The knees are mostly healed now, save for a bit of scarring and almost healed scabs. It occurred to me that I could have been badly hurt and no one would be any the wiser. When he goes on these trips, I might as well be single. I survived being alone as a single person just fine. I expected to be alone and coped with it. As a married person, it’s harder to cope. Especially when I can’t go hang out in a bar when things get too solitary.

When we lived in Stuttgart, it wasn’t as bad. I knew more people there. Of course, I much prefer where we are now to where we were then, but I don’t know Wiesbaden as well as I do the Stuttgart area. The past year hasn’t allowed for much exploration. I’m not that close to my family, which is probably a blessing, since they’re all thousands of miles away. I have the dogs and they are great company. But they’re dogs… and they require care more than anything else. I did get a kick out of Noyzi this morning, who asked for butt rubs and head scratches and expressed appreciation by rolling on his back with his legs in the air and smiling goofily at me. I wish I’d been able to get a picture. It was adorable.

I miss Zane a lot. He was high maintenance and worried me with his health issues. However, he loved to snuggle with me in bed and would burrow under the covers and curl up next to me. Arran only snuggles with me occasionally. He likes to snuggle, but not like Zane did. He’s more Bill’s dog than mine. And Noyzi isn’t going to snuggle in bed as long as Arran is around, because Arran doesn’t like him.

I miss physical contact and conversation… and I feel like I just wait all the time for something to happen. And I don’t need someone in the United States, who doesn’t understand the reality of life as a childless foreigner during a pandemic, telling me what I should do. I mean, I know she meant well… but she’s got children and grandchildren and a job… and lots of friends. And she lives in the USA in a familiar place. I don’t think things are locked down there like they are here. But in the USA, you can expect that most people can speak your language. Here, I can’t make that assumption, even if it’s often true.

I think I also have PMS. My skin is a mess… and it’s about time for Aunt Flow to show up. Just in time for Bill to get home, too. Wouldn’t you know it?

I do feel somewhat better today. I woke up at 2:15am and couldn’t get back to sleep. By 4:45am, I was chatting with a former co-worker who lives in Washington State. We had a very entertaining chat, not about my problems. He didn’t offer advice or try to fix my issues. He just talked to me and we gossiped about the old days. It was fun, and it made me feel better. He even said he liked me the minute he met me because I’m “authentic”. He’s not the first person to tell me that. Say what you want about my personality… it’s definitely mine and it’s real, even if not everyone likes it. And he told me he likes me the way I am, which was really nice. I probably should have chatted with him last night, but I ended up chatting with Bill, who apologized profusely.

I told Bill that I get it. The job will always come first. He has a “mission first” mentality that he won’t let go of, and frankly, that’s what makes him so employable. And, to be honest, I’m not sure if it would be a good thing for him to change jobs for my sake. I wasn’t asking him to do that. I simply don’t like it when someone raises my hopes and then disappoints me. It’s happened too many times. If he had just let me think he’d be home late tonight and never mentioned leaving early, I probably wouldn’t have gotten so irritated.

Also… people are finding that post I wrote about Adam and Darla and, apparently, want to correct my opinions on that. And those who are regular readers probably know how I feel about people who want to correct other people’s opinions. Right or wrong, I don’t like it when people aren’t allowed to express themselves unmolested and uncensored. Must be part of my “authenticity”. On the other hand, at least they care enough to comment.

Anyway… I will probably be happier later. If I know Bill, he’ll make it up to me. Or maybe he’ll disappoint me again. Either way, I probably won’t melt down, because I expect I’ll finally be ragging. I think I’ll make this morning a vocal morning. It’ll make me feel better.

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