About an hour ago I was getting my eyes lazered. (How often do you get to say that?) They numbed my eyes, and then took out a scrub brush and cleaned off the epithelium (outer skin cells) and then the laser did its job. The only discomfort was when the brush was working... the laser wasn't painful and was very interesting.... after a while it seemed I was looking down a tunnel at a blinking red light, and I imagined I was going through a space warp. After the procedure, I could read the clock on the wall, although everything was a bit fuzzy. (For instance, I can hardly see what I'm typing right now, but before the surgery, I wouldn't have been able to see this at all without lenses.) They put a healing-contact lens over my eyes, and I go back tomorrow for a check up. The packet of meds they gave... oh my. Steroid drops, antibiotic drops, numbing drops, rewetting drops, Motrin, percocet, etc. Crazy. I'm going to try to just deal with the pain and just take the motrin for now. The last time I took a narcotic pain-killer I got flown to the International Zone's C*A*S*H in Baghdad (after just a wisdom tooth removal), so I don't want to push it. Of course I'll drink lots of water. So, after my PRK, I am looking forward to great vision.

This evening my friend from England is flying in (Brit #9) and then tomorrow, a friend from South Dakota, and then on Friday a friend from New Mexico. Then we'll head out to the Coachella Music Festival. I am praying I won't be miserable due to the surgery while they're all here.

Now... I'm going take advantage of my convalescent leave and take a nap. Too bad I can't read; that's what I would love to do right now.... sit down and relax with a book.



Last Saturday I bought a new computer... an iMac. It's fantastic and will be the computer I write my first novel on. Isn't that exciting?

Next Wednesday the Navy is going to give me the PRK surgery -- lazer eye surgery. (For free.) It'll be painful, they say, but worth it. The thought of going from 20/400 to 20/20 is just plain exhilerating. :-) I won't have to think about contacts or glasses ever again, unless I need them when I'm old and can't naturally read a book in hand.

Today I had to present a block of instruction on writing to the staff where I work. I wasn't too nervous and it went better than I had expected, which is good. I have to do it again, this time to the big boss, on Tuesday. After that, I won't go back to work until I fly out to Seattle on the following Monday because of the eye surgery.

Next Saturday (the 29th) I'm going to the Coachella concert to see Snow Patrol, Keane, Wilco, and others. It'll be the best concert ever -- especially since some of my best friends are coming with me. One is flying in from England, one from South Dakota, one from New Mexico, and two from here. We'll be camping out in the desert there, as well. (Not that big-group camping is my ideal.... backpacking is better, of course, but in this case...)

Now I'm off... have a good week!
~ Amber


In LAX....at one of those internet kiosks....watching a man scrub the floor with a long stick that has a towel tied to the end, like an upside-down staff. Merlin the Janitor.

I just wrote six pages for my new book. Of course...I must remind myself..."there is no poor writing; only poor re-writing." That means I can write and write for now, without worrying too much about clarity/perfection. I'll do the revision later.

Hawaii was nice, but am glad to be on my way to San Diego. I'm tired of travelling, but I'll be doing it again in two weeks. Yay.

I watched Dark Star on the airplane with the DVD player the Easter Bunny gave me in Charleston. Never having seen it before, I thought it disturbing yet funny. Dark Humor.


Things were a little different today.... starting at 4:15am when he called... he asked if I wanted to go sailing on Saturday, which was his little way of saying things will get better. Then I rolled over and went. I was nearly late to class...arriving one minute before 8. (It's my style.)

After work I drove back to the hotel, changed into my swimsuit and laid out next to the pool to read some more of my darling and distressed Hemingway novel. The trade winds lapped over me, making it just a little cooler than I had wanted. I listened to the Features and Modest Mouse, with a bit of Keane to wrap it up.

After that, I walked to the Waikiki 24hr Fitness club to take the spinning class. *Sigh*....there cannot be a more beautiful place to tire yourself out. The class was on an open balcony across the street from the beach. Yes, as I was riding, I gazed out into the Pacific, watching the surfers floating in the water and the cruise ships gliding by. Oh -- and since the class started at 6pm, I got to watch the sunset as well. After the class, I crossed the street to the beach, took off my shoes and walked calf-deep in the cool seawater. Refreshing. Ahhh. At that point, the water was colored in strips of blue, pink, purple, and orange. The sun, just dipping into the horizon, glared orange, and the clouds streamed out from the sun like long, fluffy sunbeams of peach and orange-creamsicle. I felt as glorious as the view...

I walked until it was dark, then went back to the hotel to shower off. Hunger hadn't quite set in, so I walked about, window shopping along Gucci, Prada, Burberry, and Chanel Lane... I saw a $5,000 Chanel suit. If I had the money.... it was Quality!

I decided I should eat something...found a Japanese-style Korean BBQ (don't ask) and paid a rediculous amount of money (not really) to grill fatty beef strips and eat kimchee. If you're ever in the situation where you're eating alone in Honeymooners-R-Us, a Korean BBQ is the way to go. Grilling keeps you occupied so you don't end up twirling your chopsticks and looking pathetic. As an extrovert....I've found eating alone is an exercise in silence. I was just dying for someone to talk to, so I kept calling the waitress over to ask for napkins, more water, to turn the grill up.... she didn't speak English very well and didn't want to acknowledge my Japanese, so the conversation stopped at "water please." (mizu okudasai)

Well, I and my piece of Godiva's Dark Chocolate Mint will now retire to the bedroom. Hope I kept you entertained for 5 mintues...

~ Amber


do you ever see photos of yourself of happier days and wonder...how was i ever so joyful? do you ever scorn your previous self for being happy because the darkness of the world is embalming you? i am having one of those days. or rather, years.

just a pointer: don't go on a business trip to Hawaii, alone, unless you're really happy in your relationship status, be it single or happily committed. after work today i sat on Waikiki beach, trying to read A Farewell to Arms, but was distracted by the happy Honeymooners and Vow Renewers strolling by, hand in hand. it reminded me of the mess of my life, and how i was alone, and suddenly my date with the sunset wasn't nearly as appealing. just when it would be at its orange peak, i stood up. i walked back to the hotel talking on my cell to the man my heart is wrapped around. (the man who's not sure if he loves me -- my own fault, believe me.) "wow," you say? yes, i know, i've never mentioned him before. well, i try not to bother the general public about my darker side and the hurricane of a love-life i've woken up to. it's funny; just when i say it couldn't get any worse, i am once again unpleasantly surprised.

so i cried, took a bath, stared at my sandwich, and decided to come downstairs to the "business center" of the Radisson Hotel and purge. purge till my fingers bled.

on a more positive note, i started my novel last night on the flight over here. it's amazing how much easier it is to write something when your emotions are on a rampage.


Back at work... It's amazing how little work I do here compared to what I did in Iraq. So far I've worked on a PowerPoint presentation and planned next week's business trip to Oahu. The pace will pick up when I get back from Hawaii because I'll only have two weeks before my next business trip to Seattle and I have a lot of things I'll need to get done before I leave for that.

A movie commentary (a short one): "Robots" -- it was great! Ewan and Robin did a great job, but whoever wrote the dialogue and planned the story-line deserves much recognition. I'd love to write scripts for movies like that...but I'm not nearly ingenious or funny enough.

Alright--- gotta get out of here and go to an appointment. Today in San Diego the weather is - PERFECT - and I've got my Cabrio top down so I can enjoy it while I drive over to Coronado. Ciao~~