Saturday, May 31, 2008

Getting in Our Groove

We did a lot of running around yesterday, even though the weather was yuck. It was drizzling, windy and raw, but we had to go out and run some errands. Bob was tasked with opening a mailbox Thursday at the main base, only he's out to sea, so guess who got tasked with it. Yup, yours truly. You military spouses will have a better grasp of this and the torture I went through yesterday. He emailed me the info I needed (orders, family entry approval, etc) for this guy coming to his command, but I did not think it'd fly. I went with my POA too, but it's for Bob, not this new guy. After waiting in line at the post office for 20 minutes, I got up to the counter only to be told I was in the wrong area. Lovely. Keep in mind that I woke Sydney up getting her out of the car, and Keanna was jumping and running in place. She wasn't bothering anyone but me, but I think holding Sydney and her being cranky made me cranky. And no, I didn't register us at this post office, we have one on ou housing base; I had never stepped foot into this one. Getting side tracked, but we did check our mail on the way out yesterday. The girls love to do it, and Keanna's in charge of unlocking and opening the door.

So we're in line, and at the 10 minute point a guy comes in in uniform. Well we know what that means, don't we?! You guess correctly again....just like at the commissary, he got head of line privileges. That's fine, I didn't mind it so much especially because he was carrying a large box that looked to be heavy. Anyway, long story short, I end up in the correct office, and after 45 minutes of explaining my husband isn't this guy's sponsor, I'm not this guy's spouse and no he hasn't checked in yet and is still attached to another command, I've been asked to do this.

Oh, and the best part? This is my favorite part and I can't believe I forgot to mention it until now. Our printer didn't survive the move. Bob was convinced I did something to screw it up when setting up the computer and printer while he was gone last month. Well over the two weeks he was home he fussed with it, and finally on Tuesday, the night before he left, he finally agreed that it's time for a new printer. So I saved the email from Bob, the FEA and orders to a disk and headed to FFSC to print them all out. Without that email I'd look like a crazy person. It was forwarded from LCDR someone to CDR someone, another CDR someone and finally to Bob. Then it had the headers of being forwarded to me. I was hoping with the proof of this email that I didn't look like a complete wacko to the friendly postal worker.

Anyway, getting back to it since I was side-tracked. After 40-45 mins of sitting in this guy's office it all worked out. He had a mustache, so Keanna asked (and didn't whisper), "Mom, why is his lip dirty?" I must have turned redder than red at that point...I think I actually felt my face get hot. He chuckled (thank goodness, because the last thing I wanted to do was get this guy angry), and said, "Well that's one I haven't heard before!" I explained that he has a mustache and that it's hair, it's not dirty! That seemed to keep her quiet for the time being. She insisted on holding my military ID, and since she had a card, Sydney had to have one too. I gave her my Costco card and hoped for the best. Every few minutes he'd ask for my ID and Keanna felt so important handing it to him. He'd enter information in the computer, and being a father himself, asked Sydney for the Costco card too and pretended she was helping too.

So at least that was done, and I could email Bob the story (no, not what I typed above). I emailed him back the info, and tried to sound professional so he could forward it on to whomever he needed to. Bob went out to sea on Wednesday morning at 9 am, so what do you think he did the day before? Aside from giving the printer one final effort, he bought a car. Yeah, bought a car! All the cars here that the Americans drive are beaters for the most part. My car is a 1997 and his is a 1997 Skyline. The picture to the left isn't his exact car, but it looks just like this one. Tuesday he did some paperwork stuff with it and paid the seller, but I was left with the responsibility of organizing the LTO run. You readers in Japan knows what that is. And I'm not even sure exactly what it is. All I know is it involves going to Yokohama with $190 and paying someone approx $25 to do it for you. Fine with me! I called the same woman that did it for us when we bought my car. After the post office I met up with her, gave her the paperwork and the money, and took another deep breath; one more thing off my list. When I get the paperwork back from her on Monday I have to go over to the VRO and get the stickers for his car. Let me tell you this, yesterday that line was literally out the door and down the sidewalk. Yeah, not fun, especially with two kids.

After meeting up with this woman I headed over the NEX to buy a printer. Bob wanted me to wait until they went on sale, and I could understand that, but no was worth $20 for me to have it NOW versus a couple of weeks from now. They had two Epsons, four HPs and two Canons. And do you think they sold the ink for the Epson printers they carry? You guessed correctly again, nope! I wanted an Epson, we had good luck with our Epson of four years and a horrible experience with our HPs, so I went with the Epson 9400 something or other. It's got a fax machine, so I went for it. For the difference of $28 I went with the higher end Epson. On the way out of the NEX I grabbed the sales flyer for next week, and don't ya know it, it's going on sale for $30 off! I did a U-turn with both girls riding on either side of the cart, walked back in and asked what the deal was with that, and they do price adjustments for 14 days, so on the 11th I'm going in there with my receipt and getting credited the difference.

The girls were behaving so well considering the circumstances, so I told them we would treat ourselves to McDonalds. They could even get a chocolate shake which is their ultimate favorite. And speaking of that, I think I'm going to bring the nice guy at the post office a shake next week as a thank you. He did go out of his way and probably shouldn't have. So I want to show my appreciation. He also said my husband owes me big time. I told him that's why I call myself the Admiral and Bob's the LT of the house. Getting back to it, McDonalds. We went in and the girls got Happy Meals. This isn't the first time, but it is the first time I've taken a picture. The toys are Japanese, the bag is Japanese, and the instructions for the toy are in Japanese. Thank goodness they're not complicated, huh?! Keanna was so happy, and in between slurping her shake she said, "Mom, I love you." I told her I love her too, and told them both that dad loves them too. Even though he's out on the ship, he thinks about us all the time, and he knows we think about him too. And just because dad isn't here it doesn't mean we can't do things and accomplish stuff. I used yesterday as the example. We're perfectly capable of taking care of ourselves and figuring out the post office, paperwork for the car, etc. I'm not sure if they fully understood me or not, but they were nodding their hands and Keanna then said, "Yeah, dad didn't help me put my socks on today, I did it by myself." Needless to say, I think she got my point!

We made a pit stop before heading home, and low and behold, McDonalds on base has the fancy toilets! Japanese toilets often have four or five buttons ... One button, labeled with a music note, creates a flushing sound when pushed to cover any embarrassing bathroom noises, which, from what I've heard, is any bathroom noise. The others mostly relate to the integrated bidet, which both sprays clean water and blow dries, right from the toilet. I tried the spray button as well, and until then thought it was the same thing as the bidet button. Needless to say I discovered that the bidet button and the squirt button hit two different areas. Right there in the stall I laughed out loud snorted too! It was even funnier because of the echo too. Anyway if you ever come to visit here, don't say I haven't warned you! But beware, the shock of pressing a strange button and suddenly feeling a jet of water "down there" can lead to jumping and soaked pants. Well, maybe not soaked pants, but a few drips or dribbles!

They even have the fancy hand dryer. I'm not talking about the one where you push the button and hot air comes out. I'm talking about the Dyson one that was
advertised on TV. I don't think this was the actual Dyson model, but same concept. Anyway, The air is pushed out at hundreds of mph and it's like a squeegee on your hands. Those suckers are awesome!!

So that was our Friday. It's Saturday afternoon now and I'm thinking about what to make for dinner. It's raining again, so maybe some soup or even Cream of Wheat. I love oatmeal on rainy days. At least tomorrow's going to be nice. We have a picnic on the main base and it's outdoors, so it'll be nice to sit in the sun! That just reminded me, I need to make two batches of brownies!


Anonymous said...

WOW what a day! So amazing how running errans can develop into a journey. Well have a great weekend Elyse says HI and misses you all. -A

David & Mayumi said...

Katie, I have done that LTO run. It is definitely better to have someone else do it for you. Do you have enough room at Ikego to park two cars? My place in Uraga only had a garage for one car. It definetly brings back good memories of Japan to read your blog. Mayumi says hello as well. - Dave

Katie said...

Dave, we've got one assigned spot here and then other spots are for guests, etc, so that's where Bob's car is parked right now. So you've done the LTO run? I'm imagining it wouldn't be fun, then add in a 4 year old and 2 year old into the mix! HI MAYUMI!!! Oh, the night before Bob left we ate with the chopsticks from your wedding...the favors I mean. :)

Terri said...

Katie, you are having too much fun there!!
I have done those bathrooms and hit those mystery buttons. Gotta push the button! hehe
It hit places I wouldn't have dreamed water would hit like that! ;)

Andrew-Josiah said...

Katie, you crack me up! I love reading your posts!