Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 277

I miss my girlfriend.

So I'm happy to announce that with today ending, there are only NINE MONTHS LEFT (approximately) until Zee is home! Yippee!

My trip to Knoxville has ended, and I'm once again writing from the warmth of my beautiful purple comforter. It was fun to see my friends and to spend so much time with my wonderful wifey, Heather, after way too much time apart (Darn you, Hawaii).

Speaking of Heather, today is her Two Year Anniversary with her husband! Congratulations on two beautiful years and many more to come!!

Interesting things happened on my trip to Knoxville:

1. I shot a gun for the first time. I did fairly well.

I can't remember if I had eight or ten shots, but, for the sake of my ego, let's assume eight. Also, I wish I'd gotten a shot of my second time shooting, because that time I got a bulls-eye!

2. I had a talk with Heather's father about my gayness, despite much trepidation.

3. I received beautiful presents from Heather and Spargo. Heather's was a GORGEOUS pendant, hand-made in India. And Spargo's catered more towards my geeky side.
Yes, those are printed tin plates of the original Star Wars movie posters. Yes, you should be jealous.

4. I bought more books, and I'm happy that my religion and science fiction sections of my library are growing quite nicely. Heather even showed me her system for cataloging her books, and I'm so excited to do a complete inventory of my collection in April!! (Yes, I had to find and set a specific date, because it will take all day.)

And that's all she wrote, folks.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Day 278

For a moment, I thought I would be lucky enough to avoid the conversation altogether.

But when I was feeling too sick to participate in a walk with the rest of the group, I found myself alone with Heather's father, regretting my poor health.

I delayed it by talking about anything and everything, but then the time came.

"Well, Kindle, you know I've been wanting to talk to you about something..."

I sucked it up and dealt with it as light-heartedly and as intellectually as I possibly could.

I did my best, even, to steer the conversation away from Biblical arguments.

I used the line of "You'll never convince me; I'll never convince you."

I told him that I'm not a heathen living a life of sin, that I'm a women strong in my faith and good with God.

I was happy to educate him on the history behind the verses when he insisted that he wanted to understand how I could interpret the Bible a certain way- not that it changed his opinion any.

And I'm glad to report that I held my own again a man twice my age and twice as studied in the Bible.

That didn't stop it from hurting when he dismissed my relationship with Zee. Without a single question about my personal life, who I am seeing, or how I feel, he insisted that there is a man out there for me that I simply haven't met yet.

And even though I know that's not true, someone I love and respect not listening to me hurts.

I'm glad it's over, but I know it's only temporary. He's already said that he and his wife already plan on talking about this with me in the future. He told me to "be brave and know that it's only because we love you."

I know this. I appreciate this. And I will be so proud and triumphant when I am still in a happy, healthy relationship with Zee every time a conversation of this type takes place.

P.S. - Sunday Skype with Zee has been a success so far! Nothing makes me happier than seeing her!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Day 279

This is the end of Day 279 here in Knoxville, and with any luck I'll soon be having a very quiet Skype date with Zee!

Heather's parents have long been early to bed, early to rise, and, because of their military life, Heather and her husband have grown used to a very similar sleep schedule.

When you mix me in with the bunch, you have a case of "one of these things is not like the others."

So I will be cuddled up close to the microphone, headphones in my ears, and a prayer in my heart that the signal out here in the country will be enough to send Zee my love.

Speaking of prayer, I have not yet had the discussion of my gayness with Heather's parents. However, I was reading, thinking, and eventually praying last night about how I should handle the situation.

I was considering how I resent the fact that I am being judged, especially since we grow up with the verse that goes something like "Let he without sin cast the first stone."

But when I resent them for judging me, I'm also thinking about how I believe they are misled in their beliefs. So I'm judging the judging, and I'm casting stones that I have no right to ever touch.

I realized that I will never convince them that homosexuality is not a sin.

They will never convince me that homosexuality is a sin.

These two fact immediately make any discussion a moot point.

The only discussion that needs to take place is the one where we are both wrong for laying judgement on each other.

So as I fell asleep last night with these thoughts on my mind, I did pray. I prayed that when the time comes, I will set my pride and indignation to the side. I prayed that the love and the truth I feel from God will be self-evident when I speak, and that Heather's parents will recognize that I live my life with God in my heart, in a continuing search for the truth, and with an unshakable faith.

And then I prayed that that would be enough.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Day 280

Well, we knew Zee wouldn't be in trouble for long. Especially when I'm more amused than angry.

And it didn't hurt that after a long and terrible day at work, I came home to a handwritten letter from her. Also in the letter was a bracelet she braided for me.

From her wrist... mine.

And I've had the deployment blues so badly this past week, that I read her letter over and over again in my car and just cried. I cried because it felt so good to know that, at the end of a terrible, horrible, unbearable day, I can rely on her to love me and be there for me, no matter the distance.

In other news, I'm heading to Knoxville today! I'm excited! Knoxville is where I went to college and where I made my best friends and where I did most of my growing up. So I'm happy to be going back for a visit and for the chance to see the most wonderful Heather!

There is only one thing I'm not excited about....

Heather's Parents.

They now know that I am gay.

I am gay, and they are Southern Baptists.

I will be lectured.

And even though I know I am strong in my faith and my beliefs, and even though I know I can stand up for myself and who I am without shame...

I'm afraid I'll cow in the face of parental disapproval.

Uuuuugh. I haven't had this talk with a parent since I was 19. It wasn't fun then, and it won't be fun now.

Because it sucks losing the respect of people you love for something you can't control and something you know isn't wrong.

In any case, it's time to take a deep breath, grab my soap box, and get ready for this "discussion."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Day 281


Zee is in trouble.

BIG trouble.

Haha, and she probably doesn't even realize it.

She's in the kind of trouble she will be hearing about for years to come.

Last night, I got a midnight call from her. In the course of our chatting, I mentioned how my Korean lessons are progressing. Since Zee speaks Korean, it's really awesome that I have her to pose questions to.

I starting talking about how a lot of the Asian sounds are difficult for my American-Romantic mouth. (Think about how difficult it is for Asians to pronounce "L" and you'll have the perfect picture of me struggling with Korean words.)

Now, keep in mind that while I haven't studied several languages, I have taken a million years of French and a good amount of Spanish. I know how to learn a language. I've even taken courses in linguistics. Courses that I aced, I might add.

When hearing that I am having difficulty with some sounds, Zee, with all the languages in her arsenal, offers this advice:

"I find that it really helps to repeat back everything you hear."



...Really, brainiac??

Any toddler will repeat back what they hear! It's Language Learning 101!

How condescending! How insulting!

Oooooooooooooh, she's in such trouble.

I gave her a little shit while we were on the phone, but I was too sleepy to really lay into her.

But she should know that from now on, whenever I see her struggling with anything, I will go up and whisper in her ear, "You know, I find that it really helps to repeat it back..."

I'm excited for you to read this post, Zee. I wonder if you already knew that you were in big trouble.

Because You Are!!!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 283

Ugh. I was going to try to do my first blog meme thing, but I still have to wrap presents, finish my Korean lesson of the day, and write Zee.

A girl can only do SO much.

And by "write Zee," I mean really write Zee. I have sent off a hand-written letter almost every day since she left. I usually don't write Saturday night to give myself a little bit of a break, and because the mail doesn't run on Sunday anyways. But Sunday through Monday, like clockwork, I get into bed, pull out my stationary, and get to penning. I tell stories, recount some of our memories, write about dreams and the future, complain, love, vent, comfort, and generally just put down whatever is on my mind.

I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep it up, but she enjoys them so much I feel inspired every night as I sit down to write.

Heather says she tried to write her husband while he was deployed, but he never got her letters. So she stopped.

Did anybody else have trouble sending their letters? Is it pretty normal to write and send letters by hand, especially in this day and age?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Day 284

I think I might need to start doing one of those blog memes, like Wordless Wednesday or What The Fuck Tuesday or Happy Hour Friday or Shut Up Sunday... *ahem*

If I'm to keep up with writing every single day for an entire year, I need to find something meaningful and somewhat interesting to keep this going.

And sometimes that's very difficult to do.

I really didn't want this to be a blog about just my daily life. What I had for breakfast isn't particularly interesting - unless you're a raving maple syrup oatmeal fan - so I want to stay away from that.

I'd rather give tips on things like exercising that I'm learning through experience.

I'd rather complain about how it's taking the military foreeeeeeeever to get the repeal rolling on Don't Ask Don't Tell.

I'd rather give an account of surviving deployment from the point of view of a gay partner for all the other gay partners of soldiers. Not that any of them read this blog. Not that experiencing loss and separation during a deployment is any different across sexuality. Soooo... I'm not really sure if this is a valid goal for my blog.

I'd rather recap news stories for the day.

I'd rather review books I'm reading.

I'd rather talk about spiritual subjects.

....I am currently reading a really awesome book of an interview with a Persian spiritual leader from the early 1900's. His faith is called Baha-i (with a bunch of interesting puncuation), which is essentially the bridge between Christianity and Islam. And in the books, he answers general questions about faith, spirituality, and religion from the point of view of Baha-i. You end up feeling like you have a greater understanding of both Christianity and Islam by studying these subjects through the eyes of a third.


Today I will make my blog a complaint.

My complaint is against Blogger and it's automatic HTML. Because even after I edit it manually, it likes to go in after me and change it back. I literally have to wrestle with it to get the font size I want.

And even though it's pretty much only the font size that I have issues with, it happens SO DAMN MUCH that I can't help but be strongly irritated.

Damn you, Blogger.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day 285

I can feel the days trickling by. It seems just yesterday that I was on Day 365. Now Zee and I are 80 days into her deployment. And those are 80 days of misery I never have to endure again.

I was able to chat with Zee on Skype for almost two hours last night! We were able to work on some issues we've been having, and now we are both feeling happier. It's amazing how just seeing her improves my mood. It's like the sight of her makes my brain immediately release happy hormones that make my world better.

I'm going to bug her into making Sunday Skype Dates a regular thing. I know she's super busy (hasn't had a full day off in 80 days...), but I also know that our relationship is a priority. We need that face-time. Even though we've only had two Skype dates, I can confidently say that we have our best conversations, our longest conversations, and the happiest feelings when we Skype.

So that's worth pursuing.

In other news...

It's once again Football Sunday in my house! My mom's biggest passions are music and football, so she satisfies both in Nashville. And on Sundays, she has the monopoly on the TV to watch her games. So if you live here, you have to learn to love it! And every year, football grows on me a little more.

Today it's Jets v. Steelers and Packers v. Bears. We're sad that our favorite teams are out of the running, but we still have to watch the games!

I'm rooting for the Jets. I support them because they're trash-talkers who's bite is as good as their bark!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 286

This is also known as the day Kindle went to the circus for the first time.

We saw Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, and it was AWESOME!

My favorite parts were the kitties (also known as tigers - Zee, I. Want. One.) and the bendy, gymnast people who show such control over their bodies.

Oh, and I loved the elephants. In Korean, one is called a "KOOK-ee-ree." (At least that's how it sounds to me...)

To summarize my night, I will list my tweets from the evening:

Wish I could go to the circus every day. These people can best Olympic gymnasts any day of the week!
Tigers started mating in the middle of the act. Too funny!
Asians are sexy. Always.
Circus Time! (@ Bridgestone Arena w/ 9 others) [pic]:

I suppose I should explain the Asian tweet... See, there were several Asian gymnasts running around doing cool tricks, and I just have this thing about Asians....

The only other thing to mention is that the crowd was awful. They barely clapped, ooh'ed, aah'ed, gasped - nothing.

We figure it's because the crowd was 75% children, and it was way past their bedtime...

Last, but not least, just a couple pictures...

This was the opening, when people were allowed to mill around the main floor. They had gymnasts jumping through hoops, some clowns acting up, vendors selling clothes and gadgets, and an elephant doing tricks.

A man on a motorcycle, on a tightrope, with a woman hanging off it. Pretty awesome.

Continuing with the motorcycle motif, this little sphere held seven bikers. There were a few heart-stopping moments, and this trick was definitely one of my favorites of the night.

My sister and I next to the trailers outside in the cold. Aren't we pretty? ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 287

Today has been a bad day.

One of those days where nothing went wrong, but it all felt so wrong because she's not here.

Deployment sucks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Day 288

I have given myself so many projects, that, even as I leave work, I feel like I have to keep to a strict schedule to get done with everything I want. I've fallen behind today on what I caught up with yesterday because I decided to watch a movie with my sister. I suppose I can double up on studying Korean tomorrow and hang up my clothes then...

While the hectic schedule can stress me out, it also makes the days go by faster. So I've decided to add another activity to my list.


But I don't like regular soup-kitchen style volunteering, so it's not often that I sign myself up for stuff like that. However, I've heard a story play on NPR twice now that really caught my attention. And this second time I actually remembered to follow up on it!

What is this volunteering then?

The Society of St. Andrew has put together a movement to end hunger through gleaning. And while I don't know if it's actually possible to end hunger, this is seriously the closest you can get to it.

What is "gleaning"?
glean (gln)
v. gleaned, glean·ing, gleans
To gather grain left behind by reapers.
According to the story on NPR, over 96 billion pounds of food go to waste before they ever have the chance to see a market. They just rot in the fields.

So the Society of St. Andrews gathers up what volunteers they can to go out into the fields, after the main harvesting is done, to collect what is left. Last year they were able to save 18 million pounds, and the food was taken straight to shelters and police stations for storage.

But there is so much more food that could be gleaned, and for that they need more volunteers.

The movement is still small, but one of the states they operate in is Tennessee. What luck! So I sent off an email today saying I would be glad to volunteer, and I've received a reply back already!

The actual work probably won't start until fall, but I'm excited nonetheless!

Photo courtesy of the Society of St. Andrews

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 289

I couldn't go work out today.

I had blisters on my toesies.

I think I was ok with it.

But I still scheduled an extra day at my apartment's gym to make up for it.

Zee is insisting I buy new shoes.

I insist that I have too many.

I also insist that I cannot wear brown shoes with black pants.

Not even to the gym.

Can I Get A Witness!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Day 290

Once upon a time, Kindle had HORRIBLE acne. Just imagine the most HORRIBLE thing ever and put it on someone's face - and that's exactly what Kindle had.

Ok, maybe not that horrible...

Still, it was atrocious. I couldn't see that I was pretty girl. I couldn't see me. All I could see were the break-outs and rashes on my face.

In fact, I still have nightmares on occasion about having acne again.

Worst of all, nothing worked. There was no wash, no astringent, no dermatologist that could fight my acne. Proactive was Proworthless.

Then on one of my routine dermatologist visits (cuz you know I still went and had my face brutally poked every few months), Mr. Doctor Man says, "Hey, we have this new medicine called Accutane..."

Have you heard of Accutane? They have commercials about it on TV now, telling you to contact a lawyer if you ever took it.

Because at best it would make your baby ridiculously retarded.

Oh, and it can kill your liver too. So about seven years after the drug's debut, people are complaining.


I took Accutane, and damn that shit worked. I felt clear skin on my face in two weeks, and I nearly cried. On a list of moments that changed my life, that would definitely be in the top five.

Call me superficial. I don't care.

Anyhow, there was just oooone minor side-effect.

You know, besides not really being allowed to get pregnant for seven years. I don't care about that one.

No, the side effect I care about is the dry skin. That is pretty much how Accutane works. It literally sucks all the moisture and oil out of you. Not just your face. Every inch of your skin is painfully dry.

And this is something that I've lived with ever since my six-month prescription ended about seven years ago.

I've tried lotion after body butter after aloe after oatmeal bath after your mom.

But I think I might have finally found a solution!

I remember that when my Accutane was at its worst, I would take to rubbing olive oil on my skin for relief. I figured that Italians have great skin because it's all they eat (does that assumption make me a stereotypist or a racist?), so it should work for me right?

Well, instead of lathering up, I simply drew a hot bath and poured half a cup or so of olive oil into the bath.

You feel a little gross at first, but ooooh it feels good afterwards to actually have soft, moisturized, and non-painful skin.
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