Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Carole, Don, and me. My in-laws!

Well, I thought I would be in DC for a week or less, but, after 13 days, I AM STILL HERE! Phooey! Those who have been in the military themselves, and those who have been around the military, in any capacity, know all about "hurry up and wait." I'm not complaining, but I do feel there is relevance to at least explaining what I mean by this. You see, the way it seems to work is, the government will decide it needs something, like, yesterday, and they will light a fire under someone's (SYColeman's, in this case) a$$ to make what they need to happen, well, happen. So the group with the fire under their a$$es will jump through hoops and ready everything for action. AND THEN what happens is, the government will realize that they need to check a couple more boxes before they can "pull the trigger", as it were. So the one with the fire under his/her butt enters into a holding pattern. And then the government figures things out (writes orders, in this case), pulls the trigger, and expects action. But the thing is, by that time, the contractor (whose butt is still on fire) misses the last exit in the holding pattern and is forced to circle around again (because, for example, another gov't group runs out of school seats in the compulsory, weeklong course that all those whose butts are on fire must attend before deploying to Iraq). So, that is basically the story in a nutshell (help, help, I'm in a great big bloody nutshell!). Confused? Join the club. But, seriously, this sort of thing is totally expected, and we always just go with the flow, and it's no big deal, but we will complain about it anyway, albeit mildly, because we are former military, and soldiers and Marines are not happy if they are not complaining, and vice versa. Don't believe me? Ask any commander. The moment Marines stop complaining is the moment you know something is actually wrong.

Baby Meghan Alexis

SO, I have been hanging out in Alexandria and working in Crystal City, and it's kind of fun being back in my old "neighborhood." I am sad my buddy Meghan, who recently moved to LA, isn't still living here so I can hang out with her, but no worries. I did enjoy seeing my (recently engaged!) friend Ellen, and I even had an opportunity, because of the contract delay, to go up to Princeton to see my best girlfriend, her husband, and their BRAND NEW baby girl. I rented a car and drove up in order to save $100 on a train ticket, and after 7.5 hours into a 3.5 hour trip, I was severely regreting that poor decision. But seeing them was just awesome, and well worth the trip, and I have to state here publicly that their little monkey is the cutest newborn baby I've ever seen in my life. She was delivered by C-section, so I guess the reason she is so cute is she didn't get all squinched thanks to having avoided the bowling-ball-through-a-garden-hose ordeal of birth canal birthing. Yuck.

I also got to spend a weekend with my in-laws, and that was really cool, because I am lucky enough to have in-laws whom I actually really enjoy visiting. I flew out to Baltimore from LA, after visiting my best girlfriend in Burbank. Jennifer and Sean are also expecting, and it was wonderful being able to see them before flying east. I arrived in Baltimore and was greeted at the airport by my sister-in-law, Evanthe, and I was just blown away by the cuteness of my new little nephew, David James. I stayed with Evanthe and Steve, and, as luck would have it, I arrived on the exact weekend of Steve's 40th birthday party. I got to see the entire family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was awesome. To top it all off, we discovered that one of Dave's cousins is moving to San Diego and needs a place to stay for a few months, so now we have someone to house sit! Talk about perfect!

Me and my nephew, David James.

Today is Wednesday, and I leave here Friday for Georgia. I'll spend about a week in Georgia (the state, not the country), and then I'll fly out to Iraq. The week will be a painful one (more hurry up and wait...Army style...), but it will bring me closer to Iraq, and the sooner I get to Iraq, the sooner I can come home. !


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