Thursday, June 10, 2010

To Occupy You While I Finish Up...

Yesterday I finally got around to writing Vol 3 of my PTSD "series." Isn't it clever how I use the terms "volume" and "series" to disguise the fact that I just talk a lot? If I put all of those posts into one, you'd be dozing off before the thi—HEY! Wake up!

Anyway, it was the best post I've ever written in the whole wide world, and when I hit the "publish" button, Blogger got ornery with me, and told me it was unable to perform that particular function at that particular time.

Clever girl, I quickly highlighted all of the copy and "Ctrl + C" so I could paste it into another program and not lose my work. Ooops! I missed the Ctrl button, replaced my copy with a lowercase c. Before I   could Ctrl + Z, Blogger, on it's own, AUTOSAVED my post.

You cannot imagine how stunned I was to have worked for hours, choosing my words carefully for this oh-so-important post, and having only a c to show for it. Not even a capital C, just a little bitty lowercase c. I moved quickly enough from shock to raging lunacy with a side order of Tourette's. Then I searched all of teh Internets for a possible recovery tool, which apparently Blogger doesn't have. Then, of course, back to Tourette's.

So, while I go rework this post, you just sit here and play nice, and here are some pictures for you to look at until I'm done.

I watched Facebook update after update from Iraq a few weeks ago, soldiers talking about the red skies, due to a dust storm. Here a few from Brian's page. A little dusty:

A lot dusty. I lightened this picture up just a tad to show the details, but the red sand and sky in this shot  is the real deal:

He let me know the other day that he wouldn't be in touch for a few; they were going out into the field to do some target practice, or something...I think there was another term for it, but I know it was something shooty or bomby.

He called again last night to tell me that they ended up on guard duty while the other guys got to do the shooty bomby things. It's been 125 degrees in Diwaneyah, and A/C on a humvee will only cool the place off so much. It turned out to be 3 days of sweltering in the sun.

And napping:

And trying to cool off. I'll admit that my first reaction to these two photos is "You put your helmet on, young man!!!" I thought we had an understanding that he's never allowed to take it off until he gets home?
Not a very comfortable napping situation, they finally took turns sleeping on the cots in the ambulance:

True to his last tour in Iraq, these boys have regaled me with plenty of —Brrrrrrrr—spider stories. There's an amusing thread on facebook, a conversation between him and a friend that was doing PT with him:

Brian Christopher Jolley: haha. howd you like your visitor during the run

Anthony Michael Mcfarlane: did i scream like lil girl? i think i did, and you won't hear me admit that very often lol

Brian Christopher Jolley:You know when homer simpson screams? like, a little high, but rough? like that. he doesnt have those moves though.
Me: Are you guys talking about spiders?

Anthony Michael Mcfarlane: im dodging some thing flying through the air, balancing with my arms while running backwards from a huge ::censored:: spider and STILL trying to finish my lap? just to paint a picture

Brian Christopher Jolley: yeah. a camel spider graced mcfarlane with its presence. Moore had passed it already.

Anthony Michael Mcfarlane: I can handle a mortar attack, even the threat of IEDS, but that spider was the scariest thing ive encountered so far
Me: How big was it? I have to plan my nightmares.

Anthony Michael Mcfarlane: as big as a tea cup saucer. which is bigger than any spider ive ever seen. and it chased me quickly, so it FELT like it was the size of a damn house cat

Me: I'm hyperventilating.
That's funny if you're anyone but Mcfarlane. Then, yesterday, Brian told me that while they were on guard duty, they spotted a scorpion, and for some reason, Matt Marlow wants to catch a scorpion. So 3 of them grabbed the pretzel barrell I sent them, snuck up on the scorpion, and trapped it underneath. The barrell began hopping all over the place, and when they put their flashlights on the thing, I hear that Brian started screaming "OMG, it's a spider!!!" and they all ran like little girls. Why the spider is so much scarier than a scorpion, I'm not sure...until I see these photos, of the spider that died during the night:

I cannot believe my kid even got that close to that nasty thing, dead or alive. He and I share the same disdain for spiders, any spider. No matter how much we tried to think of them as cute when he was growing up, we just never got there.

And I KNEW this wasn't his hand, there's no way in heck he'd voluntarily come into direct contact with this thing:

That's Marlow's hand, and from here on out, I'll refer to him as Cray-Mar. That's short for Crazy Marlow.

Speaking of Marlow, we've been running all over the country looking for sweet-tea candy for this one, and for SPC Brandon Bishop. Anyone know where we can get it? We've got one internet source to order from, but if you know of any bulk sources, let us know!

I have to run now, and get back to work on that lost post. You just enjoy yourself flipping through these photos, and I'll be right back!


  1. I have informed Lithus that should we ever end up somewhere with camel spiders, I am to be allowed to carry a loaded gun. Everywhere. And then there will be no problem.

    Oh...was this post not really entirely about camel spiders (and the freaks of nature who are willing to HOLD THEM {and don't tell me it was dead; they never really die. They just lull you into a false sense of security.}) Hmmm...yes, I guess there was some interesting stuff that came before but really, it was about spiders. We both know this.

  2. I will definitely have nightmares about the spider! -Tien

  3. Gah! Those things put the IIEEEeee!!! in heebie-jeebies.

  4. Sweet Tea Candy, they carry it at Cost Plus World Market. I'm still shivering from the spider picture.

  5. I do not have issues with spiders when they are outside. I like them fine, and leave them alone.

    Once they enter my home, all bets are OFF. They must be "deadified" as TallBoy likes to call it. Fiercely. With something heavy. And then burned.

    Those pictures of the dust storm are pretty neat. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Very few people actually like spiders.

  7. OK that is the coolest spider EVAH!

    Yeah, I'm one of the few people who find spiders cool. I'm a geek that way.

  8. Sorry about all your work going down the tubes. You can't trust Blogger. It will work perfectly for weeks, and then one day for no reason it will eat a masterpiece (the lost ones are the masterpieces, aren't they?). Maybe it's some kind of zen exercise, in which you learn that all your words and artifice can vanish in a millisecond and the universe will go on as if nothing had happened. Even so, when I was on Blogger I composed in Notepad, saved frequently and pasted the finished post in only when it was time to publish.

    That said, I'd still like to read that lost post.

  9. I SO should have not read this just before bedtime. I will pray that I do not incorporate that thing into my dreams.

  10. And to think I used to keep the light on when I was younger if I spotted a normal, tiny spider anywhere in my bedroom before going to sleep!

    It is amazing what you can learn to deal with when you have to. Bug-wise and every other way, I guess.


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