Friday, December 28, 2007

a long over-due post

For ease of story-telling, I've decided to sub-divide my post into different sections. To pick up where I left off in my last post, I'll start with the Christmas party.

The NSWU2 Christmas Party
The Peguy and Neil Part of the Story

Sarah had been planning to go with us right on along. The first time that I mentioned it, she's like, ooh, can I come too? I love Christmas parties! And a Christmas party with a bunch of SEALs? Even better." So, Bran got a ticket for her when he bought ours. For whatever reason, though, it didn't occur to me to invite Peguy and Neil. It should have, but it didn't. So, the day of the party rolls around, and Sarah, Peguy and I all made appointments to get our nails done at the same time. Girl time, you know? Well, it came out in the course of the conversation that Sarah was going to the party with us, and of course...

"Oh! That sounds like fun! I want to go!"

And I'm thinking, oh crap. I don't want to tell her that they can't go, but it's was an RSVP thing and they didn't have tickets. Oh well, it's not like they would turn them away at the door, right? It'll be fine. So I say,

"Sure! you guys can come! It'll be fun!"

While I'm thinking, Oh crap, Brandon's going to kill me.

So I go home, and head upstairs to find Brandon. He was sitting at the TV, playing Mass Effect on the 360, but he paused it when I walked in.

"Hey, baby, uhm, funny story," I say, sitting on his lap. I put my arms around his neck and look into his eyes beseechingly.

"Why do I get the feeling that I'm not going to find this story funny at all?"

I had the grace to look sheepish as I told the story, and he finished it for me before I got even half way through it. Personally, I wanted to go with the 'it's better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission' angle, but Brandon wouldn't hear of it. So he spent the next I-have-no-idea-how-long calling everyone that he could think of to make sure that it was ok for them to go, while I went downstairs to paint my nails.

He walked in while I was on my second coat, and said "You have to call and tell them that they can't go."

But I couldn't do that, and I told him so. Peguy was so excited! How could I tell her that she couldn't go? How?

So he says ok, and pulls out his phone and disappears again. Five minutes later, he comes back and says, "It's cool baby, I fixed it." And just like that, the problem of my own making disappeared.

The "Adrienne's Wardrobe" Part of the Story

Ok, back to the nail salon. I'd made my appointment to get my nails done a full week before the party, but I guess one of their techs was sick, so they were short handed. You'd think that they would have called to let me know, but noooo. I knew that they wouldn't have time to get to me before I had to be next door to get my hair done (I'd made an appointment for that too) so I decided to make a new appointment with the nail salon for after getting my hair done.

It took an hour and 45 minutes for her to do my hair... It's getting to be rather long, and I had her curl it all and pile it on the back of my head. It looked great! She even stuck little pearls in it. It was well worth the time, and the money I spent on it. (Pictures coming later.) But, back at the nail salon, they still weren't ready for me. Even though I'd moved my appointment with the from 1:30 to 4:00, but they had been taking walk-ins. So I said, screw you and your poor management, I'm out of here. Grr....

But it's ok, because I had a good time even if my nails looked like crap because I had to do them myself, and I didn't really have time to let them dry all the way and they got fuxed up. And, I had a good time even if the dress that I'd intended to wear was too small, and I had to substitute my red dress that I wore to Alanna's wedding. Not that there's anything wrong with that's gorgeous, but the neck line does plunge scandalously, and it isn't full length. It was very well suited to an autumn wedding in Florida, but not so great for a December party in Germany. Have I mentioned that it's cold here? It worked, though, and I looked good, even if I do say so myself. :)

The "Brandon's Wardrobe" Part of the Story

I'd been eagerly looking forward to this party for weeks, but as I;'m sure you all know, Brandon is: a) not all that fond of getting all dressed up, and, b) very fond of procrastinating. So we ended up looking at suits at the Exchange a mere two days before the party. We found a great black-on-black pinstripe suit that was on sale, but it definitely needed to be altered. Brandon has such wide shoulders, and such a narrow waist, that any suit jacket that fit him across the shoulders was way too big around the chest and stomach. But, when the old man came over to help us, we learned that it would takle at least a week to get the suit back from the tailors. So, no black-on-black pinstripe.

After chiding us for waiting until the last minute, he helped us to find a jacket and a pair of pants that fit him reasonably well from among the selection of separates. After that, it was only a matter of finding a shirt and tie. But again, in order to find a shirt that was larger enough around the neck and through the shoulders, we had to get one that was huge around the middle. So, $300 later, Brandon had a suit that didn't quite fit, and a tailor's ticket to have it done after the party.

And finally, The Christmas Party Part of the Story

It wasn't hard at all to find the hotel hosting the party. There was champagne and socializing before we sat down to dinner, and we took the opportunity to take some pictures. (Again, I will be posting these later.) For dinner, we ended up at the table front and center, in front of the podium, which was great for picture-taking purposes. Especially, since Brandon ended up being one of those selected to do the toast. The tradition is that the youngest and the oldest at the party each come up to give a toast, and not surprisingly, Brandon was the youngest. (The oldest was a visiting admiral that was there as a guest of the Unit.) i was disappointed, though, because the admiral led with a very simple toast, so Brandon could only follow suit with an equally simple toast: "Here's to the Navy." BOO! I know how eloquent he can be, and I felt cheated that he didn't get to give a real toast. But seriously, how could he show up the admiral? He couldn't.

Dinner was good; they served a Mediterranean buffet. We all ate our fill, and either sat or wandered to socialize. I met some of the other wives, which was cool, but none of them are in my age group. They're all very nice women, but I can't see that I'll have much in common with them, except that we have husbands at the Unit. The best part of the evening, was, without a doubt, the "Boblingen Idol" contest. It was funny as hell, though it would have been nice if more people had participated. And if more of the participants had taken it seriously. But what should I expect, from a bunch of sailors? They hammed it up, and it was quite entertaining. The only two who took it seriously were the women, and they were both awesome. Needless to say, it was one of the women who won.

We didn't stay late, only 'till about midnight. It was, as always, nice to get home and get comfy.

And, that will have to be it for now. You'll just have to wait until next time for tales of my snowboarding misadventure. :) TTFN!

Friday, December 7, 2007

a little bit like home

Aside from the fact that it's about 50° out there, today's weather reminded me a lot of Florida. The morning was overcast, and it started pouring just before noon. Then, all of a sudden, it went from raining like crazy to...nothing. Five minutes later even the clouds were gone, leaving only the puddles to indicate that it had rained. Now, in Florida, there would have been steam rising from the wet ground, but I'll take what I can get. And man oh man, does that sunshine look good!

Anyway, I have quite a bit to catch up on, starting with last Saturday (12-1). Bran came home on Wednesday and told me that one of the guys from the unit, Eli, was throwing a party Saturday, starting around 1 and going until the last one was ready to quit. Awesome! Except...I had already made plans with the girls to watch the second half of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. So, we were faced with a conundrum. What to do? How to make it work, with the two of us needing to go two different places at the same time, but with only one car. Brandon provided the solution: we go together to Eli's party, then I just leave when I need to, to get to my thing. When that's over, i rejoin party number one, and we stay until we're ready to go home.

It worked out really well, actually, except that I was actually in the mood to drink but I was obviously the DD so I couldn't (for the second night in a row, I might add) and the rare opportunity passed without use. Oh well. I did have a really great time. I got to meet some of the other unit 2 wives, which was cool, though most of them were enough older that it was hard to fund much in common with them (beyond the obvious military connection). One though, Eli's wife, Brandy, can't be more than a few years older than me. Nothing much happened at this point, because it was only an hour or two before I had to leave for Peguy's. There were two things of note: Eli's kick-ass brisket, and Brandy's kitten. The first was delicious. The second was adorable.

I was the first to arrive at Peguy's, aside from Sarah, who was staying there for the weekend. We were joined by Maria and Leah, two of their friends from EUCOMM, and then we had all the frozen pizza, banana fondue, and Colin Firth-as-MR.-Darcy that we could handle. It might sound like an odd combination, but it was AWESOME!!! The BBC version really is better than the Kiera Knightly version. That one is ok, particularly for those who are not Jane Austen fans and are satisfied with just the basics. But this one covers every aspect of the book, is perfectly cast, and overall just very well done.

We were having a great time, but I wasn't sure when the other party was going to wind down, and I didn't want Bran to be stuck there alone, feeling awkward after everyone else had left, so I took my leave (to many protests) and headed back to Eli's. The party was still in full swing. I ended up sitting on the kitchen counters with Brandy, discussing all manner of things, but mostly we ended up talking about religion. It was an interesting discussion, and one that I enjoyed thoroughly. It was punctuated by visits from Gill, who was floating from little group to little group, trying to find one that was talking about something a little more down to earth (apparently, the group outside was talking about quantum physics), but I think it was probably kind of like scrolling though the radio stations and finding nothing but commercials. You know when that happens? You can't reach your CD's and there's nothing on so you just keep scanning through the same stations until you find one playing something you like? Yeah, I'm sure it was like that.

We ended up staying there until about 11. For those of you who know me well, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Knowing Adrienne, she probably got tired and wanted to go home and get to bed. She is, after all, a morning person and not a night owl." But, if that is indeed what you were thinking, then you would be wrong. I was having a great time, and not even thinking about heading home, when I wandered out into the dining room and found Bran sitting at the table with his head down. Apparently, he had been drinking non-stop since we'd gotten there that afternoon, and was definitely feeling it. I guess even juggernauts have their limits. So it was amid jeering taunts questioning his masculinity, to which I readily contributed, that I gathered him up and herded him toward the car.

Apparently, joining the guys in teasing him was exactly the right thing for me to do. When I told Sarah about the whole thing, she told me that it was a good thing that I hadn't tried to defend him. In the course of her job, she's spent a lot of time around military guys, and more specifically SEALs. She said that had I told them to back off, that they would have just ribbed him all the harder at work the next week. Which made me feel better, because I had been feeling a little guilty.

So....that was Saturday.

Monday I went to Stuttgart with Sarah to help her get moved in to her apartment. That is definitely a story in itself, but I really don't want to be here all night, so we'll just say that it was a comedy of errors and leave it at that.

Tuesday I stayed home, and did a whole lot of nothing. By which I mean, I spent my day alternating between working on the cross-stitch, and playing the 360 RPG that Bran recently bought for himself. Not that he has a problem with me playing, he just didn't expect me to like the game. But I love it! And Bran has found himself competing with me for game time.

Wednesday, I'd intended to go to the gym, hit up the USO and get some shopping done, but when we got to the gate on base so that I could drop Bran off at work, I discovered that I didn't have my wallet. Turns out, I'd left it in Sarah's Xterra on Monday. So, I went home and did nothing (see above definition of 'nothing') until time to go back for Brandon.

Yesterday, I just stayed home since I was without my ID and such. But Bran got off early, so we headed back to Panzer to get him a suit for tomorrow, then over to Patch to get a Christmas tree. Hopefully, we'll be decorating the tree tonight. :)

The Christmas party is tomorrow night...Yay! I'm super excited about it. I'm even going in to get my hair and nails done...I didn't even go to get my hair professionally done when I got married! But, this is my first formal party in Europe, so i want to do it right. I will definitely be taking pictures, and I won't waste any time putting them up. I still have more from before to post....

And finally, speaking of posting: we will have phone and internet AT HOME as of December 17. Unless something goes wrong, which is always possible. But, keep your fingers crossed!