1/25/2006

01/25/06

So I am sure that everyone is wondering why they haven't been e-mailed. Well. I have an excuse. The internet isn't as accessible in IQ as one might think.

"But, you are on the internet now," you're saying to yourself. Well, yes. I am, but I'm at an internet cafe from which I am advised not to check my secure e-mail. Except, of course, from my laptop. My laptop battery, however, is dead. So, no dice.

I am hopeful that in the next 7-10 days, we'll get the satellite internet system set up at our house. (Yes, we have a house! We aren't quite moved in yet - still sleeping in the hotel - but we make progress every day. There was a lot of stuff to move out of Hollywood and our house is filled with junk. But, we just have the office left to set up. I may be sleeping there tomorrow night.

I am having a fine time here. It's all very exciting. The team is getting along well. I'm not just saying that because they read this, either. It's good.

I guess that's all for now. I hope everyone is doing well! Love ya!

01/18/06

So, what I’m doing here is typing these entries when I have time and then waiting for an internet connection to upload them. That’s why they all come up at once.

I still can’t believe that I’m in Iraq. It’s crazy.

Today we’re changing hotels. The one we’re in now is more expensive than others in the area, but nothing special for the money. The heater in our room still doesn’t work, so I’ll move anywhere that has a working heater

Update: New room, new heater!

I found this (lengthy) quote in a book I’m reading. It’s called the E-Myth by Michael Gerber. You may have heard of it. This quote is pretty awesome

“…your comfort zone has been the false mask you put on when you were [little], because it was safe when your spirit was not. Your comfort zone has been the curtain you have placed in front of your face and through which you view the world. Your comfort zone has been the tight cozy planet on which you have lived, knowing all the placed to hide because it’s so small. Your comfort zone has seized you before … and it can seize you again, when you’re least prepared for it, because it knows what it means to you. Because it knows how much you want to be comfortable. Because it knows what price you are willing to pay for the comfort of being in control. The ultimate price, your life.

“So…if this new path, if living with your spirit, means anything to you at all, if you truly care about it, then guard it with your life. Because comfort overtakes us all when we’re least prepared for it. Comfort makes cowards of us all.”


01/17/06

It’s been awhile since I posted last. Well, I guess it’s been only a couple of days, but it feels like a long time – so much has happened! I mean, dude, I’m in Iraq.

There’s so much to say, but I don’t know if I have enough words to say it. I mean, how do I begin to describe this place and all the things we’ve seen and done? I don’t know if I should post here where I am. I know it sounds paranoid but to quote someone (I can’t remember who),”just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be cautious.”

Let’s just say that we’re staying in South Beach instead of going to Hollywood. We have a line on a sweet house here for the ladies on the team (rent=$0), so we are looking for a house for the men in the neighborhood. We looked at one today that might work, but until we find one, we’re staying in a hotel. It’s pretty nice, but cold! The electricity in the city’s only one for about 2 hours at a time with maybe, like, 3 hour breaks between. And I think that our in-room heater is sub par. The guys’ room was like an ice box while the girls’ was like a sauna. I slept in my sweatshirt (red-hooded), my gloves and my hat. I took the scarf off, though. I had a very Vanessa-like moment where I worried that the scarf might get caught and I would choke to death in my sleep.

I ventured into the bazaar today, too. It was pretty cool. I bought soap and shampoo, both items that I left in Houston accidentally. So, I came back to the hotel and took a shower (we had electricity and hot water!). I’ve never seen a bathroom like a Middle-Eastern bathroom before, but everything is in the same place – shower, toilet, sink, everything. This one here has a shower curtain, but it separates the toilet from the rest of the room. The shower is right next to the sink and so water gets everywhere.

Before I can go on with this story, I have to say that the toilet is not “American-style.” It’s basically a fancy hole in the ground. See if you can find a picture on the internet. I means it’s still porcelain and all, but way different from what you’re used to.

Anyway, I’m taking a shower and I drop the soap. It’s pretty cold in there and the water’s hot, so steam makes it pretty hard to see. I’m feeling around with my foot and nothing! So I get down closer to the floor to see. Nothing. The bathroom’s not big; I just don’t know where it could be. The floor around the toilet is raised a little bit (maybe three inches) and it occurs to me that the soap may have bounced up on there.

Not only did it bounce up there, but – as you’ve probably guessed already – it bounced right into the toilet. So my first purchase went right down the drain, literally.

1/09/2006

Not too much to say...

So, I’ve been in Houston for about 5 days.

This is the city that Angie likens to an “armpit,” but I have really enjoyed myself. I went to Hermann Park on Saturday. It was really lovely. In fact, it reminded me of London which, as anyone who knows me knows, this is quite a compliment. I also spent some time in the Galleria area. I didn’t go inside the actual mall, but I did do a little shopping in the region. I was also able to spend time outside. It was about 80┬║ yesterday!

But, don’t be too jealous. There’s a cold front heading through, so highs should drop into the high 60s by Wednesday.

1/06/2006

Houston

We made it safely to Houston yesterday. I tried to text-message everyone, but my phone won't let me. I don't know if it's the network here, or if my phone has acquired a new problem. Hard to tell.

I just wanted to let y'all know what's going on.

1/03/2006

Arizona is Lovely

It's strange to leave January to be dropped directly into June, but I'm not complaining. It's great. People are out in shorts and sandals even.

Because I am a true Columbus native, I have to say "Go Bucks!" I didn't go to the game, in fact, I avoided the Tempe area altogether. I'm just curious to know how many couches burned last night. School's probably not in session yet, so maybe the couches were spared.

No other news, but I will try to be interesting later.