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Old 12-15-2009, 12:29 PM
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VC-P.S. Try the baking thing, if you can make it out of the snow drifts. Plus the sharing with others will make you feel good. That I can guarantee!!!
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:35 PM
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LOL......shoebox method????????????? LOL........I was the one who showed the dude the Patriot pantie picture........he best come up with something on his own!!!! I will be wielding that hammer!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:02 PM
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Day 37:

It's another early morning. I woke up on my own around 6:15am. This is very odd for me... I am not a morning person. With the booze I would passout VERY late at night and then wake up late feeling so-so...

Today I feel good... and now I need to shovel snow.

Erg.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:43 PM
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Tytan, Keep up the good work. Hey, snow shoveling can be therapeutic -- I used to do a lot of it growing up. We had a very long driveway. My dad made his own "snow pusher." He nailed/screwed/whatever a hunk of plywood to a long piece of wood. We would use it to push the snow out of the way instead of lift it. It was a lot easier.

Had my therapy appmt today. Not much else going on.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:22 AM
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Asta..hope your therapy session went well. I went to one a couple months back. I didn't love her so I didn't go back, but I'd go again to someone else. She was tryin to get to the WHY I was drinking, which was fine..but practically ignored the fact that I was, if you know what I mean. She blamed boredom and loss of purpose (as my kids aren't needy toddlers anymore), and said AA is probably not for me, cuz there are some really hard core alcoholics there with way worse stories. So I guess drinking a case and a half of beer a week didn't qualify me. Ha. Anyway...I hope your money was better spent!

Tytan..just get out there and shovel.

I'm off to get a couple more Christmas gifts! Target here I come!! Have a great day you guys!!
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:18 AM
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Fortunately my insurance is able to cover the bulk of my counseling since my primary doctor gave a referral. I had an appointment last Wednesday that I missed due to being drunk at the time so I had to pay the full thing out of pocket since I didn't give 24 hour notice. The therapist is OK. This was really only the first full session of "counseling." The first time, we spent a good portion of the time going through paperwork, CYA type of stuff. 8 appointments were approved by insurance. My regular doc said if I didn't get along with her we'd find someone else. Like I said, she seems OK. Hard to tell at this point. It is my first time EVER in therapy/counseling. I have been most of life one of those that thought it was mostly a pile of cr**k.

Mirage, have you hit the month mark yet? Seems like you must have by now. I'm on day 8-at least past a week. :-)

Got ingredients yesterday for baking some holiday cookies to eat & share with neighbors. Going to experiment and try 2 new recipes this year. If they don't turn out, guess we'll have to eat them all ourselves or toss them. We have a little bitty contract post office in our small town and I promised the head guy I would bring him some cookies this year so I better follow thru! My mail might disappear otherwise!!

Tytan, hope you are still on track. So.... proud of you! Keep it up. I know it will be much harder being alone for a while. That's what usually does me in. But I have faith in you. You're a guy, ergo you're much stronger, right?
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:04 PM
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Day 38,
Still on track everyone and my sideway is snow free! Lol. That’s right this southern boy can handle a snow shovel.
Yeah, still on track. I had a small family get together tonight with my carpool. There are five of us who formalized a carpool a while back and we rotate. We get along really well. When five guys share a car 5 days a week during a 45 minute commute (each way) you get to know each other very well… this was our first time hanging out after hours with just the five families. This get together comes with a total of 8 children and 2 prego wives. Lots of fun.
But the night was also about goodbyes. One of our carpool families is leaving post and of course my wife leaves tomorrow. One of the down sides of this kind of overseas live style is the fact that you say goodbye a lot. Everyone is either here for 2 or 3 years and everyone shows up at different times. Someone you really click with might only be here for your 1st month or your last 6 months… and someone you can’t stand could be here most of your tour. Anyway we had a little send off for everyone. It was really nice. Just a cozy get together… very informal which was nice.
Anyway, the host of our carpool get together offered me a beer tonight, I denied, “He man, I haven’t seen you drink in a while, you doing the whole solidarity thing?” Referring to my prego wife… and I love it when people give you an out before you have to make something up. “Yeah… solidarity”… “You are an admirable man”… yeah… right.
Anyway… it sucks to have to dodge and weave all the time… but you know? I think I just want to get through this posting which ends next summer… when I get to my next assignments… I think I’ll establish myself as a non-drinker… if I try and reinvent myself here? I just don’t think I want to deal with answering the questions.
Peace out everyone!
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:15 PM
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Asta..thanks for asking! Yes, I'm on day 33. Dang long time for me. Congrats on day 8! Good luck with those cookies. Can cookies NOT turn out? haha. Not sure I've had a cookie I didn't like...I'm not a baker, tho...so good on ya! Yes, you'd better deliver, or he may not deliver. har har.

Tytan...nothin wrong with dodging and weaving. Kinda nice you'll get to come in to a new place, fresh without baggage. Heck, to the new people, you can just say you don't like the taste, and that will be that! Kinda wish I could erase my friends' memories, so I won't have to explain. To be honest, I don't see friends that often, tho...so not drinking one night won't really seem like a big deal. I can always use the designated driver for my husband excuse, too.

Glad you guys are doing well. Just wrapped more presents. Big family party on Saturday..always a good time. Lots of little kiddos and good Italian food. We torture the kids and make em sing karaoke. (I never drank at this party in the past, so won't be a big deal.) Anyway..take care gang!
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Old 12-18-2009, 09:59 AM
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Day 39 and I really want to drink... but I won't.
My boss really pissed me off at the close of work today. She warned me that she was instructed to send me an email in regards to everything that went down about my paternity leave. The two month battle for approval. I thought this was over. I assume they want to finally get their last word in. Anyway, I guess I will be receiving the email Monday morning and my boss wanted to warn me so I wasn’t like “what the hell is this” next week. Erg… great… now I get to obsess about it all weekend. The weekend my family is away. I have a quiet house in which to stew.
The bad thing is I know what the email will say. There will be an apology (most likely) for the 30 days they sat on my request before denying it… but they will probably turn the rest around on me. Like when I asked for the denial reason, since my leave was protected under the Family Medical Leave Act… they refused to discuss it and even gave me false information about department regulations. They clearly were uninterested in engaging me further on the subject. But, of course I didn’t let up… what would you do? I’ve agreed to go to Pakistan next year (which will mean a Christmas without my family)… do you really think I would let up for legally protected leave to be with my family for a Christmas that coincides with the birth of my second child? Ridiculous.
Anyway… now I’m going to get this email on Monday that will more than likely be about “chain of command” issues. Hey, I have a chain of command issue… don’t deny employees their legal rights.
<deep breath>
Okay… I’m cool… I just thought I was done having to entertain this idiocy. I want to drink… but I won’t. I’m just going to drink coffee and stay up way to late watching “Dexter”… that should fulfill my “dark passenger”.
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Old 12-18-2009, 11:17 AM
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Did you see that last Dexter???????????????????????????????????? OMG...............never expected that........but won't say anything more in case you haven't seen it.
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Old 12-18-2009, 10:22 PM
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Tytan-You are such a strong person. I really admire that in you. Believe in yourself that you can do, or not do, anything you set your mind to. My curiosity has the best of me (and please tell me to bug off if I am inappropriate) but what type of work do you do? Diplomat? Expat for a co? Tell me it's NOMB (NoneOFMyBusiness) if I'm prying too much.

Mirage, I am Swedish (born in Stockholm & came to the states when I was 4) but I absolutely LOVE Italian food. I have Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cookbook that I've had for over 20 years. I've made the Ragu recipe from that book probably over 100 times. It is so delicious! Have fun at the party. I'll bet seeing the kids sing karaoke is a riot! Hopefully the parents have video cams so they can blackmail in the future. Kiddos are one thing I really miss about the holidays. We have no little ones around here nor in the immediate family far away. So enjoy them for me too!

VC & Tytan-I didn't think Dexter was on anymore?

Baked most of today. Will bake more tomorrow. Actually got back on the treadmill yesterday AND today. Not at my normal speeds but I did go decent distances. I'm getting back to normal. Yeah!
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Old 12-19-2009, 06:11 AM
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Day 40!!!!
Can you believe it! 40 Days… crazy. I made it through last night without breaking down. Alone in the house, pissed off about my boss planting that dirty seed… erg! Still a little ticked off… but I’ve been keeping myself busy today… writing on my blog… organizing family photos… posting a ton of content on my facebook page… you know…
So, yeah last night was okay. I stayed up until almost 2am though (which is normal when the family is away. I really don’t like sleeping in an empty house… I’m too used to have the presence of my family around. Although I long for this kind of time alone to do some of the things that I like to do: geek out on the computer without interruption and watch TV my wife refuses to watch… I really don’t enjoy it… it’s more like passing the time until they get back. So, yeah… I made it through episode 9 out of 12 for Dexter last night when I realize I never downloaded episode 10… so I went to bed watching the first 2 episodes of the new season of Weeds. (New to me is months old). Oddly enough I woke up naturally just before 8am. This is new for me. Before, all boozed-up I would pass out around 2 or 3am and then wake up at 1 or 2 in the afternoon and feel terrible about losing the whole day. Today I have gotten so much done! I’ve been working on the stuff I want to work on for about 8 hours straight (I need to eat something)… so as a reward I am going to watch the last three episodes of Dexter. (Then we can talk VC!!!)
On another not with my Wife… we were skypeing earlier today… and she is so beautiful on screen. She’s really glowing more now that the pregnancy is winding down… but what I’m meaning to say is how wonderful it is to hear her say that she loves me. We’ve been saying it to each other more often these days… but it feels so sincere. You know how couples throw the words around too much at the beginning… and then it gets habitual and starts to lose meaning… and then they stop saying it all together… and then you might even question if you really love each other anymore?... Well, we had been at that last stage for well over a year or two… and now? Now, it’s just so wonderful. We are saying it and we are meaning it… but on a much deeper level than in previous stages of our relationship. When I say it and I hear it, I can feel it. And I am pretty sure my wife feels it too… when I say it she smiles a sincere smile. This is marriage I’ve been looking for.
Anyway, sappiness over.
Asta, yes, I am a Diplomat… as strange is a word that is to describe one’s self. The only Diplomatic experience I had before this job was playing Sid Meyers “Civilization”. Lol. It’s not as glamorous as it sounds though… although I’m not going to down play travel and sightseeing. Before this job I had never been out of the States, so I am still dumbfounded and grateful everyday when I wake up and realize I am waking up in Belgrade. But, the lifestyle is hard, being away from friends and family… the travel is long and tiring… you constantly wonder if you are doing the right thing for your kids and family… and the people in this line of work are very full of themselves (which is what annoys me the most). And many of them show open distain for our host countries and/or have superiority complexes over the locals. Sometimes people talk so bad about where they are that you wonder why they are doing this job in the first place.
Anyway, I’m not a fan of taking myself too seriously… and I don’t believe that I have to try to be or appear “upwardly mobile” for promotions. I believe in my quality of work and my skill set will take me where I need to be next. Some of these latter climbers are tremendously difficult to work with. Everyone wants to be an ambassador, right? Not “I” said the fly. I just want to experience as much as possible before it’s time to move onto my third career… which I hope is novelist or college professor… who knows.
Man… I am totally rambling today. Sorry guys! Happy Saturday! And I hope everyone has a worderful rest of their day!
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:38 PM
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It was 4 pm by the time I finished my last batch of cookies. They'll cool/set overnight and I'll pack them up in my Dollar Tree tins tomorrow for the neighbors. Keep some for ourselves of course.
Tytan-Ramble away. We'll always be here to "listen." Congrats on making it through last night. Good job! I looked up Merry Christmas translation in Serbian. Hristos se rodi. Is that right? Is it pronounced like it's spelled? In Swedish it's God Jul.

Mirage - Hope you had/still having fun at your party. Wish you could send some of that food my way!!

Another sober day almost down. :-)
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Old 12-20-2009, 03:14 AM
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Day 41.
Asta: You officially know more Serbian than I do. My favorite phrase is “da li govorite Engleski, molim vas?”… “Please, do you speak English?”
So how is everyone doing?
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:30 AM
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Hi guys! Yep Asta..the party was really fun. My family is great..aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins' kids, etc. The kids were really cute..sang songs and put on a little Christmas play. The food was outstanding and plentiful. Hey..we're Italians.

Glad to hear you guys are doing well. I'm good here, too. 36 days today. Tonight is the finale of Survivor. I don't think I've watched it sober before.

My hub still drops comments about drinking, like yesterday he said "when was the last time we went to a bar and just got loaded?" ugh. It's my fault for playing this whole thing kinda light heartedly, like I'm just cutting the frequency down. I think he'd be a little disappointed if I said point blank..I will not be drinking again. And truth be told, I don't want to say that out loud, cuz I'm trying to think about it on a day to day basis, and I'd feel foolish if I said that and then drank a week later, ya know? Anyway..that sort of bugs me, but at the same time I know it's my own fault. By the way, when he said that I replied, "is this conversation helpful?" Lol! I just got a little frustrated, cuz really, part of me would really like to go out to the bar with him and tie one on. I don't spend time thinking/fantasizing about that..it's not helpful, and there's no point. sigh. Not sure where I'm going with this, but I needed to get it out there.
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Old 12-20-2009, 05:12 PM
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Tytan, I just googled Merry Christmas in multi languages. Thought you would have picked up some Serbian on your assignment there. Slept in this AM till about 9:15, took my time with the paper and Xwrd puzzle, did some treadmill & other workout stuff, then packed up my fantabulous! holiday treats for the neighbors in metal tins. Went out to deliver but hardly anyone was home, but I had the foresight to put the labels on the top covered with clear packing tape and left them at the door. A raccoon would have to be mightly clever to get it open.

Going to do some personal bookkeeping after I finish here.

Mirage, please describe some of the food you had, so I can enjoy it vicariously. Like I said, I LOVE Italian food. I will eat my way thru Italy before I die!! (Just like Elizabeth in Eat, Pray,Love.)
Obsessing/planning my "slip" when my husband left town earlier this month was my downfall. He was a pretty heavy beer drinker but when he realized what a serious issue I had he stopped (as far as I know -- maybe he's hiding just like I used to do!). He's basically a "normie" where booze is concerned. I so envy "normies."
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:30 AM
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Asta..mine is a normal drinker, too. I've only seen him drink a couple times since I quit. We would drink 2 or 3 beers together..he'd go to bed, and I'd have 5 more. Blech. (I'm an at home mom, so it was easier.) I just don't think he can wrap his mind around "never again"..well I can't, so why would HE? haha.

I LOVED that book. I finished reading it in Green Bay in a real authentic like Irish Pub. I sat there for hours to save us a seat for that night which was New Years Eve. Anyway..it was cool place and I sat in this wooden booth lit up w/ Christmas lights, and ordered a pot of tea and just read and read. It was so freakin perfect.

Let's see...it wasn't all Italian, but I'll give you the rundown.

Appetizers...dried fruit, veggy tray, cheese and crackers, olives/cheese/pickles tray (Greek tradition). One of my cousins also brought his home-made wine. I've no idea if it was any good.

Main dishes: ham, ravioli, mostacolli, meatballs, sausage, kielbasa

Sides: green bean casserole, broccoli and cheese thingy, pasta salad, sweet potatoes, creamed corn casserole type deal, salad.

Dessert: Cheese cake, apple pie, pizzelas (Italian cookie you make in something like a waffle maker..flat circles), nuts and dried apricots dipped in chocolate.

I think that's it. Now I'm hungry.
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Old 12-21-2009, 09:53 AM
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Day 42… and it’s my wife birthday, but we are apart until Christmas Eve. She seems to be in good spirits though.
I received my dreaded email this morning… it was pretty much what I thought it was going to be. May boss was basically documenting a disciplinary reprimand. She still refuses to admit she did anything wrong. That’s fine. If having the last word and taking back the “power” in our work relationship is that important to her… she can have it. I’m just going to keep my mouth shut and move on with my life… which is kind of hard to do… but I’m doing it. Because I know one very specific truth. If I was actually in the wrong, she would never have approved my additional leave on sheer principle. So, fine, mouth off like you know what you are talking about and let me move on with my life.
Mirage: Interesting story about your husband. A number of years ago my wife started dabbling around with recovery. She has a drinking problem as well. I was completely and totally unsupportive. Why should I suffer? It’s her problem… not mine, right? I was very resentful about not being able to enjoy a beer in my own house. Obviously my wife recovery never progressed very far… and over the next couple years our relationship completely disintegrated. It’s interesting how finally seeing the need for my own recovery is what finally initiated out healing as a couple. I really feel for your situation.
Asta: Believe it or not… I took 8 weeks of Serbian language training for about 5 hours a day before arriving. And well… it did nothing for me. It’s a really tough language. Languages are tiered by difficulty in the Service. Latin and Germanic based languages are tier one… they are pretty similar structurally to English and pretty easy to pick up. In the kind of intense training we do people can get fluent in about 10 weeks. BUT, Serbian is a tier three language. And it is messed up. Grammatically, it makes no sense whatsoever. And to give you some perspective… tier four is Arabic and Chinese… there are only four tiers. Anyway… Every tier pretty much doubles in training time to be a functional speaker. Tier one is 8 to 10 weeks, Tier two is about four to six months, Tier three about ten to eleven months… and tier four is almost two years… it’s all crazy. And I only got eight weeks. Erg.
Asta: On another note, My wife adores Eat, Pray, Love. She’s also
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Old 12-21-2009, 01:54 PM
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Tytan left us hangin there..lol.

Thanks for the input on the hubby. I've not asked him not to drink around me..our garage fridge is freakin full of beer..I just recently asked him to put it all somewhere else to make room in there...like outside. It's cold enough. I'd prefer the fridge to be empty, but I've been fine so far, and again...then I'd be makin it a big deal. I'm not sure what my problem is regarding that. I don't wanna put him out..don't want our lives to drastically change..don't want him to think he can't enjoy a few..don't wanna rock the boat. Sheesh..I sound like a wimp.

I wonder what tier English is... I know it's very hard to learn. Is it included in the ranking system? Just curious.
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Old 12-21-2009, 03:13 PM
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English is probably like tier 1001. But most of the western world is taught it in schools, as a requirement. We Americans are somewhat vain to think that everyone should speak English where ever we go. I took 2 years of Russian in high school. Wonder what tier that is? It has a whole different alphabet -- not as bad as Arabic or Chinese but still different. There weren't many students in the classes so we got a lot of individual attention. Fond memories of that class.

Yeah Tytan, you left us hanging. What's the rest of your last sentence?

Mirage-I don't think I'd be as strong as you. If the beer was available I'd probably drink a few. Husb really doesn't have a problem with the concept of my drinking, but the excesses I've carried it to the past year have had him really worried. I started worrying too-- of course, a lot later than he did. We went on an Alaska cruise last May and had a blast. Drinks by the pool, wine with dinner, after dinner drinks at the shows. You didn't pay cash for anything -- they just added it to your tab, but you knew the price they were getting and that curtailed the consumption probably. Plus, we wanted to feel good enough to exercise around the deck and do some walking sight seeing.

Mirage-Were the ravioli's homemade???? What I wouldn't give for real homemade meat stuffed ravioli. It all sounds wonderful. I'm very jealous!
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