Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update #2: Military Realities

Oh the military...
sometimes you're happy...

and sometimes they make you go to Iraq.
Signal Graduation

I know that's not a very good story, but I just wanted to give a brief update that Andrew has officially been deployed. We had known this was a possibility for a while, but because things with the military can change so quickly, we hesitated to openly share the information. The good news is this deployment should only last a few months. The unit Andrew was assigned to has already been stationed in Iraq for the past 9 months, so he should just finish off the rest of their year long deployment.

I'm hoping he'll be home around Christmas time.

This will be the second year in a row Andrew has missed Thanksgiving.

Does that make anyone feel bad enough to come visit me in Georgia? Just kidding...but seriously, I will make cheesecake.

While the military has required Andrew and me to be apart for long periods of time before, this is the first time I've really had to worry about his safety. It probably doesn't help that in the few weeks leading up to Andrew's deployment we had conversations like this:

Andrew: Can you take my picture?
Me: Why?
Andrew: Because I need a head shot and pictures of both sides of my profile.
Me: Why?
Andrew: In case I get captured and they need to identify me.

Andrew: Don't touch my arm.
Me: Why?
Andrew: Because I have small pox on my arm because of a vaccine and if it gets in your eye you'll go blind.

Andrew: Lyndsey, you can't tell people when I'm being deployed.
Me: Why?
Andrew: Because that information could get into the wrong hands...
Me: What if I've already told some people?
Andrew: Then we'll have to kill them.

Ok so he was joking about having to kill people...or maybe I don't understand military humor.

All that is to say, in light of Andrew's deployment (the worry, the loneliness, the uncertainty), I'm reminded that every day, there are people setting aside their lives for the lives of others. And specifically, I know of one very valuable life that has a small pox patch on his arm and is currently without the modern comforts of cheesecake, who is trying to do what he thinks his best for his family and his country.

 And as a member of both, I'm grateful.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Update #1: Street Smarts

Somewhere along the way in blog world, I forgot to mention a reason for my recent lack of posting: I started graduate school about six weeks ago. I officially attend Georgia Southern University as a "scholar" of English literature. I also have an assistantship in the University Writing Center where I work twenty hours a week editing papers.

Graduate school has been way more work (read: harder...lots harder) than I had anticipated. If anything, the more I learn, the dumber I feel. While I may read five new books for a given class, I'm also introduced to about 25 more books -- all of which I will likely never read. It's a never ending cycle of amassed knowledge of what I'm not knowledgeable about. Awesome. 

While I was feeling particularly unscholarly last week, Andrew and I took a four hour road trip to IKEA in Orlando. To pass the time, I decided to read aloud a book from one of my courses. The story was entitled "The Missionary," and featured a Portugese Monk en route to India. Intermingled in the text is a whole lot of Spanish-Portugese slash British-Irish politics. Apparently, I had no idea who Philip the Second of Spain was (in fact, I just wrote Philip the Fourth...but fact-checked it -- obviously I meant Philip the Second) and Andrew kindly explained a lot of things to me about Spanish history and colonization. I was grateful for his knowledge. While he was explaining this vital information to me, we happened to pass a series of travel advertisement billboards that read: "FUN. Fun-fun-bo-bun-banana-fana-fo-fun-fe-fi-mo-un. FUN." Andrew had no idea what this jargon meant (being from Spain and all) so I kindly explained to him the delicate inner-workings of the Name Game song and went on to sing it using his name, my name and many other inanimate objects I saw along the way. He didn't say it (in fact our conversation basically ended after that), but I'm pretty sure he was grateful for my knowledge as well. I guess some people are just smart in different ways. But all are equally valuable. Or so I like to tell myself.

More updates to come soon.
(P.S. I apologize if as a result of reading this blog post, the Name Game song attacks your psyche and doesn't let go for several hours)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Augusta Recap

I meant to post these pictures a month ago. We haven't lived in Augusta since the beginning of August so the timing of this post seems a bit overdue.

I must preface these pictures by admitting that Augusta is not the most beautiful place in the world. In fact, it's downright ghetto, dirty and a bit unsafe (no one from Augusta reads this blog right? If so, you have a lovely town). It wasn't until we had lived in Augusta for several months that we discovered the town's nickname: Disgusta. It seems times. However, much like blogging, I would like to share only the pretty-put-together parts of Augusta slash my life. It's much more glamorous to post pictures of cathedrals and riverwalks than it is to post pictures of decay and homeless people sleeping on your porch (seriously) -- or maybe I'm just not skilled enough artistically to make those things seem mod and cool.

These were the sites and events that I enjoyed most about living in Augusta (beware of the photo party that ensues):

The church with the red door:

Every time I walked past this Episcopal church, I mentally complimented their artistic use of color and the attention paid to the overall look of their building. Then it occurred to me that maybe the red door was actually some Passover related statement and not a fashion-forward religious move. I like to think it's both.

The church with the blue stairs:

Maybe this is some type of flood statement? I'm not sure. This church also has a graveyard with all their former pastors buried in the front yard. Again, I suppose I'm just not talented enough to make that seem cool (and not weird) in pictures.

First Friday:

Apparently lots of places in The South hold a First Friday -- which is essentially what it sounds like. On the first Friday of every month, a downtown festival is held and lots of artists, musicians and street vendors are out and about until an ungodly hour of the night. The above picture shows my favorite performers: the Gothic Firedancers. These people hula-hooped with fire, ate fire, breathed fire and interpretive danced with fire all to the lovely accompaniment of heavy metal music. It was really weird. But I think I always returned to their show because of their weirdness. And the fact that I thought somebody might get burned.

Kids Getting Owned by the Water Fountain at the Farmer's Market:

Children would seriously try to sit on this geyser. Enough said.

Abandoned Sites:


Augusta is something of an abandoned city. Many shops are closed down and a large number of the buildings are uninhabited. At night, that's really scary, but during the day, it gives an artistic vibe to many of the streets and shops. Andrew would always say, "nature is eating this town alive." It just might be.

Social Events:
Thunder Over Augusta



The city of Augusta must be run by a woman because every weekend the city boasts some type of social gathering. The event pictured above was called "Thunder Over Augusta," which was a military-like celebration where people mostly watched motorcyclists perform lots of flips and turns dangerously high in the air. Obviously you can see how the military and motorcycles are related. And how closely thunder is also related to the military and motorcycles. Right?

Thus, I have picturesquely summed up my experiences in Augusta -- in a phrase: brightly painted fire-dancing kids at abandoned motorcycle festivals.

The end.