Friday, December 19, 2008

A Holiday Without My Sailor

It's almost Christmas, can you believe it? In a matter of days I leave town to visit my sisters for a week, A WHOLE WEEK! I adore my sisters, we have a blast when we're together, and although they are younger they teach me something new every time I visit. I look up to them, they make me strive to be better, and everyone needs a good kick in the pants sometimes. No matter how much I love and cherish them, there's no way they can fill the gap in my heart that will be bleeding on Christmas day. You know those MySpace icons on people's pages that say, "Part of my heart is in Iraq"? Cheesy as it is, that's exactly how it is. Yes, I'm with my family, yes they'll keep me busy when I need to be busy and let me relax when I need to relax, they'll stuff my face full of Christmas cookies, force me to watch old Christmas movies, and drag me out shopping on Christmas Eve (poor me, hehehe, in all reality I love all those things!). The fact is, Ryan's not here, he's floating in the ocean somewhere, he holds a part of my heart and I will miss him even more on Christmas day.

I remember that during our last deployment, he was gone during Christmas. I went home to see my family. After breakfast was eaten, presents were exchanged and dad started watching Gunsmoke, I went to what used to be my bedroom (now it's more of a crap holding area, which is fancy for storage facility), sat on the cot and cried. One of my sisters came in the room, didn't say a word, she just climbed into the bed with me and held me. Next thing I knew my other sister appeared in the doorway, climbed into the bed and held both of us, all of us were crying. It's tough being away from the most important person to you during the holidays, but it makes it just a little easier when you're with the 2nd most important people in your life. For me it's my sisters, for others it may be friends, or grandparents. To the people attached to the same command as my husband, hang in there and proudly fly your colors. I'll see you guys when I get back, and we can ring in the New Year the Navy wife way!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coming and Going

Part of being military is the coming and going. The coming and going of your significant other, yourself coming and going and friends coming and going. I believe that there are two types of friends in life. The friends that are temporary and the friends that are permanent. I think that some people you meet in life are meant to be there for that time, for that moment, for whatever reason. I have friends that I have moved away from or they have moved and you just loose touch, it's not either parties fault, it just happens. You're not real upset about it, it's something that settles as being ok in your mind. Those are the people that are temporary, you needed them or they needed you for that moment. Then there's the friends that are permanent. Those are the friends that you stay in touch with no matter what, you move, they move, it doesn't matter, you're still just as close emotionally as you were before geography got in the way. My best friend Lisa, moved to Indiana when she and her husband left the military. We obviously don't see each other every day, but we stay in touch and we visit when we can. I know without a shadow of a doubt Lisa is a permanent friend. Another one of my closest friends, Marina, is a permanent friend. She and her husband left today to fulfill their orders in Spain. Spain. Not Indiana, not California, not even Hawaii, but Spain. I have her pets, I've been designated the job of making sure they board and are shipped to Spain in a week. I received a phone call from her right before she boarded the plane, saying goodbye and making sure last minute pet issues were put to bed. She sounded nervous and excited and tired all at the same time. One of my best friends is moving to Spain.

There's 4 of us that are pretty tight, we're all military wives and we realize that we won't all be in VA together forever, Marina's moving to Spain, Ryan's getting out, who knows where we'll go, Alison and Tiffany will get orders or leave the military in a few years. We plan on meeting up every few years for a girls trip, our first girl trip will be in Spain to see Marina. As military spouses you know that this day will come, but there's no way to prepare. You think to yourself, we'll email, we'll call, we'll visit when it's feasible time and money wise, but it's just not the same. I can't call Marina up and say, "Hey let's go to the dog park", or call Lisa up and say, "Hey I got this great new recipe let's test it out tomorrow." And as military you know that the next friend you make could also move, or you could be the one to move next time. My sister really said it the best. It was right after Lisa left and I was pretty sad about it. I'll never forget it, Jackie said, "You know, if anyone would know how to live life to the fullest, it's you military people. Your husbands could get orders or be sent somewhere at a moment's notice for months at a time, you're friends husbands are in the same boat, you never know where you or they might end up or when. The only choice you have is to either become bitter or do the best you can and enjoy as much as you can while it lasts." That pretty much says it all right there. This entry is dedicated to Marina who is probably passed out on a plane right now. If there is anything she has taught me, it's that as messed up as crap may be right now, somehow everything always works out in the end, so chill the heck out and enjoy the ride.

Where's a damn tissue when you need one?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Love Affair

Nothing quite tops a night alone. The dogs are boarded for their trial run before I leave them for a week at Christmas, the cats are hiding in the closet unaware that the dogs are away. It's just me, good movies, a blanket and a can of Reddi Whip. Yes, I'm one of the goofballs that sprays the whip cream directly into my mouth while sprawled out on the couch watching How Harry Met Sally. It's how I roll. I'm watching the part where "Sally" is mimicking an orgasm at the restaurant. I look around the room at my Christmas tree that's upside down (different story, I might get to the later), the pictures of Ryan and I around the room, the dogs toys strewn about the floor, and the can of Reddi Whip in my hands. I think out loud, "You know it's bad when all day, you look forward to making out with a can of Reddi Whip." Ryan you need to come home, this is just sad.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lack of Affection

Have you ever been so in need of affection that you've asked someone for a hug? Now, I am not an affectionate person by any stretch, perhaps if I have too much too drink...but that's another story. I like my space, keep your distance. Ryan's been gone about 3 months and yes...I miss affection. I have 3 close friends here in VA, none of us except for 1 are affectionate people. Marina held me in my kitchen while I sobbed so hard I could barely breath while Orion was in the animal hospital, and I think I hugged Tiffany when she told me she was pregnant, and then there's Alison. Alison is the affectionate member of our group, she doesn't really need a reason to give out hugs, I think she just really likes to snuggle. I'm pretty sure that if I went to Marina, Tiffany or Alison and told them I needed a hug all three would be more than happy to oblige. Maybe it's because growing up my family was most definitely NOT affectionate, perhaps it's my issues with space, I have no idea. We're all Navy wives, all our spouses are gone the same amount of time, we're all lonely as hell, but who wants to be the weirdo that says, "Could one of you like...hug me...for a second? Please?"

During our last deployment, Lisa, my best friend, came to my house on a Saturday afternoon to hang out, she walked through the door and said, "Ok don't freak out, but could you just hug me?" I looked at her and said, "YES, I need one too!" We hugged for a moment, pushed each other away and proceeded to the kitchen to cook lunch, never to speak of such heinous acts again. I did hug Lisa when she moved away and then again when she came to visit, I practically tackled her at the baggage claim. Other than those isolated incidents and a couple other occurrences where liquor was involved, I am not one that is labeled as being "lovey dovey".

You go 6 months or more alone in a bed at night, no kisses, no cuddling, no hugs, your spouse is wherever the heck they are, they can't tell you where they are, they probably have no idea where they are themselves. You could go 6 months without ANY human affection, none. Any people wonder why we're cranky. HELLO!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Numb-Is That Normal?

Ryan got word that the waiver he sent in will not get approved for the time he originally asked for, it will only be approved for him to extend for 3 months, long enough to wait until the next test comes around. By that time the ship will no longer be in a tax free zone and the bonus will be significantly less than we had originally thought. Extending that 3 months will buy us more time in getting the house ready and for finding jobs. Ryan feels confident that he will be able to find a job without extending. At this point, I think it's pretty evident that we will more than likely be leaving the military in the spring, it's not for sure, I'm leaving that decision to Ryan. I know he'll make the best decision for us. I think I have mentally prepared to leave the military and move on as civilians. I am clearing the house of needless things, stashing money for the house remodeling, and polishing my resume in preparation for entering the job market (what little is left of the market anyways). I've turned things over in my mind so many times, it's like I'm numb to any emotion of leaving the military. I'm concerned about job hunting for both of us, but the transition from military to civilian, I have no emotion toward. I've searched myself, am I angry, am I scared, sad, happy, relieved? I'm none of those things, I have no emotion towards this transition. I have no idea if this is normal, I've never done this before. It's so odd, I feel like I'm not even in touch with my feelings on this. Like I should have some sort of emotion, but I don't, so maybe there's something wrong. Maybe it will hit me later? I'm an accountant, maybe I'm over analyzing this.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Poor Me Syndrome At It's Best

I was talking to a girl at work, who is also a Navy wife. She was saying that she feels it's unfair that her husband has to be gone so much. I looked at her and asked her if he was military when they married? She answered yes. She went on to say that no other ship is gone as much as her spouses and there's just no reason why he should have to be gone that much. I asked her how often he's home. From the way she explained it, it sounded like her husband is doing work-ups, and his ship is attached to the surge carrier. (The surge carrier is basically the ship that picks up the slack from all the other ships. If a ship breaks down and can't go out to sea the surge carrier goes in it's place.) I proceeded to ask her how long he has been in, she answered 13 years. After further conversation, I looked at her and said, "Ok, I just want to make sure that I'm understanding correctly." She nodded her head and I continued. "He's been in for 13 years, you've been married 6 years. You've lived overseas for 4 years, you've only done 1 full deployment and this is only the 2nd time you've been through work-ups, because you've been on shore duty the majority of those 6 years." She said yes, that was correct. I looked over at Cyndi (who was once a military wife and is now smirking). I looked back over at this girl, and say, "OK, you need to turn back around and scoot yourself back in your cube. I am most definitely NOT the one you want to be complaining to, about your husbands schedule." She laughed and said, "No one's husband is out more than mine!" I looked at her, "I've been with Ryan for 7 years, married for 4.5, and he's been gone 4 of those 7 years, total sea time. His ship was the surge carrier for the first 3 years of our relationship. We have never been overseas, and we have never had a shore billet, and this is our 3rd deployment." Her jaw dropped and she said "Oh, maybe I should stop. I guess I just didn't think about how others have it in the military." I looked back at her and say, "I honestly don't think we have it that bad, I think our schedule is pretty normal. It sounds like you've had it pretty good, but luck runs out sweet cheeks, and you have to pull your time too." She looked down and said, "Yeah, he is gone a lot, but I guess in comparison to others we don't have it so bad. It's just so hard when he's gone." I know...oh do I know...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goodbye Merchants Tire, Hello Tune Up Plus!

SO, my car was a larger mess than I had originally budgeted for. My front brakes were falling apart in the mechanics hands and needed to be completely redone, my back brakes needed some part replaced, my switch for my blinkers was bad and when they replaced it, the new part blew the fuse and the sensor so I had to replace all those. The wiring for my window was a total disaster area and had to be completely rewired, AND to put the icing on the cake, my car is half a 2004 and half a 2003. Apparently it had been in a prior accident and instead of replacing the parts properly, the shop did a make-shift job fixing it. I knew when I bought it that it had been in an accident, had no idea they used all those random parts. It took 2 mechanics a day and a half straight, not working on any other cars and pulling overtime to fix all that crap AND they replaced my serpentine belt for free. I guess they figured since I was dropping $1800, they could thrown that in there for me. In all seriousness, they grossly undercharged me for labor. What they did should have cost me over $2500. (I know this because I've had nothing but lemons for cars and pretty much have a good idea how much crap costs.) Not ever did I think that they would have to rewire my whole door panel for my window, put the fire out in my dash caused by the blown sensor, or try to figure out which parts were 2003's or 2004's. They were very nice, they fixed all my car problems and there were a lot of them, the mechanic came out to talk to me and he didn't give me an attitude when I asked him to please explain to me the wiring in my car and why it was all f'ed up and if I could see my bad brake parts. They fixed my car in just over 24 hours, and gave me a discount.

I have to say that $1800 is a lot in car repairs, and I was upset about spending that much at first, but honestly I have had that car for 5 years, I have taken it from Virginia, to Maine, to South Carolina to Tennessee, I have put over 62,000 miles on that car in 5 years, and I have never had to do anything but change the oil. All that being said I suppose $1800 isn't too bad. Oh and uh, those 20-point car checks that Merchants Tire was supposed to be doing every time I bought the car in for an oil change, I'm gonna take a wild guess that they haven't been doing it. Goodbye Merchants Tire, hello Tune Up Plus!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving popping up tomorrow, I feel inclined to speak of that which I am thankful. Where do I begin...my job, I am thankful for my job, it pays the bills, it's a stepping stone for my career, and with the economy the way it is now, I feel fortunate that I do have a secure job. I'm thankful for my dogs. They drive me insane and they are a lot of work, but nothing says "Mommy I love you" from your pooch more than when you're laying on the floor doing your 3rd set of crunches and your pup lays down next to you and lays his head across your middle. I'm thankful for my car, despite the blinkers not working, the brakes grinding, the left headlight out, and the passenger window not going down, it gets me from point A to point B and I don't have to take the bus. I'm thankful that people read my blog! One step closer to becoming a world famous writer...well, in Stephanie Land anyways. I'm thankful for my friends. My friends that have helped me maintain what little sanity I have left, my friends that have smacked some sense into me when I'm having a panicky moment, my friends that tutored me through that last math class, my friends that have chauffered me around due to my car issues, and my friends that understand me and love me for me. I'm thankful for my family who are supportive no matter what. Most importantly I'm thankful for my husband who not only puts up with me and all my craziness, but who sacrafices part of his life to protect our freedoms. I'm thankful for all our troops, who sacrafice their own "freedoms" so that we can live with ours. (Out of all the troops I'm mostly thankful for my husband though, call me biased, it's true.) Times are tough, but there is something that all of us can be thankful for. Hey I'm pretty thankful that I caught my cell phone from falling in the toilet this morning, and I'm thankful that it only took me an hour to sew the buttons on my coat last night!

SD

Sunday, November 23, 2008

And The Waiting Continues...

We got Ryan's test results back, he didn't make rank. He has the opportunity to route a waiver that could enable him to re-enlist. He's talked to a few people and one of them is saying that he would need to extend, which doesn't make any sense. It's all very confusing. Once this waiver is routed and sent out, it could take months before we get it back, then Ryan will need to get with a detailer on orders. There's a possibility that he could be flown off the ship for terminal leave before he even gets the waiver back. One good thing about this waiver is that if Ryan doesn't like the orders, he doesn't have the obligation to re-enlist, he can decide to just get out. As of right now we're planning on him getting out on his terminal date. He's routing the waiver and if it comes back and he has the orders he wants he'll re-enlist, if not then we've already planned on getting out anyway. As much as I love being a Navy wife, the uncertainty of our futures that are even just 4.5 months away is very frustrating and stressful. I know that this will only continue while being attached to the Navy and Ryan doesn't plan on staying in for retirement, so why not just get out now and not bother with the waiver? Ryan said the bonus money is very large, enough to set us up for quite some time and we'd be able to have kids right away because of the Tricare insurance that the military offers. It's unfortunate that money has such a strong pull in this kind of decision but you can't live without it. Housing, food, insurance, they all cost money. Kids, pets, cars, they all cost money and a lot of it. Ryan has already decided that if the orders send him on another deployment immediately, he won't re-enlist. He's been gone enough. In the meantime, he has contacted a few friends of his that have already left the military and are now civilians working for good companies. He is preparing a resume to send out, and looking for jobs in certain areas. Job hunting in the US, while floating around in the ocean on the other side of the world isn't as fun as it might sound, interviewing will be rather difficult. We'll more than likely only have 30 days from the time Ryan is flown off the ship to when we are no longer attached to the Navy and receiving a paycheck. The country is in recession and jobs aren't exactly plentiful. I have contacted a contractor to get the house repairs and upgrades complete so that we have a better chance of renting the house out quickly. There's so much crap that needs to be done, the house repairs, renting the house out, Ryan finding a job, me finding a job, getting all our ducks in a row so that the Navy can pack us up and move us, moving the pets (a nightmare in itself, I have a dog and a cat that can't stand to be in the car more than 5 minutes). Not to mention that if we don't move to Nashville we'll need to find a place to live that will allow me to bring my zoo of animals. Ryan's overseas so it's just me doing all this. Ryan floating on the ocean somewhere so he can't help even though I know he wants to. I married military I knew that this would be a part of the life I chose, I just didn't think that he would be deployed while we were having to do this, and I'm very overwhelmed, on top of working about 40-50 hours a week, and going to school. I'm a planner, I made a plan, if it works is another story.

SD

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

I will have you know that when I got up this morning it was raining. As I loaded the dogs into my car to take them to doggie daycare (no laughing, I'm trying to get them comfortable with this place before I board them there for Christmas) it was sleeting. During the 15 minute drive from my driveway to Rita's house it started snowing. SNOWING! Not VA snow (flurries that melt when they hit the ground), but NY snow, BIG FLUFFY snowflakes gently floating from the charcoal gray sky. I get the pups out of the car and Thor and Orion are staring up at the sky. Thor turns to me and then looks back at the sky as if to say, "Mom what's it doing?" I'm stoked, I haven't seen real snow since I left NY almost 10 years ago. I get the dogs squared away and pull out of Rita's driveway and continue the drive to work. I'm rummaging through my CD's trying to find Christmas music, no luck, they must be in my trunk. I settle for Hinder, not quite the holiday music I was hoping for, but some dude screaming about his ex-girlfriend works just fine. I get closer to work and it's not snowing big fluffy flakes from heaven anymore, the sky is now spewing VA snow. I park the car and walk the 5 blocks from the garage to the building. I see people with umbrella's, running to their cars or into buildings. Not me! I'm strolling contently on the sidewalk, no umbrella, not a care in the world. It may not be NY snow, but it's snow none the less and it makes me happy. I needed that today.

SD

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If It's Not One Thing, It's Another...

If there is one thing that I despise, it's car repairs. They literally suck your bank account dry. I have been driving my car for quite awhile without blinkers, and my passenger window won't go down. My brakes have now started making this horrible grinding noise. I'm driving 500 miles to visit my sisters for the holidays, I need to get these things fixed. I have always had beaters, it's all I could ever afford. This is the first decent car I've had and this is the first list of repairs we've had to do in 4 years. I consider myself lucky.

When you bring your car in they always run a diagnostic test, depending on the problem they may run more than one diagnostic test. Each test could run you between $50 and $80. Then there's the part, and then there's the labor. It's extremely costly and they jack the price up because they know that we'll pay it. You gotta have your car to get to work. I brought my car into Merchant's Tire last week (I've had pretty decent experiences with them in the past). When I picked up my vehicle, they said that they couldn't fix the blinker/window problem because they aren't certain what the issue is and I should take it to a dealership. They said the grinding noise is from a loose bolt on my windshield wipers. YES, that's exactly what they told me. So I paid $100 to have two diagnostic tests run and be told, "We don't know, go somewhere else, and we tightened your windshield wipers for you." Fantastic. I'm trying to avoid the dealership like the bubonic plague. We all know it, the dealership charges an arm, a leg, and your first born child as payment. You only go to the dealership if you have a warranty through them. So I'm stuck in this dilemma, no blinkers, no passenger window, and my brakes are failing, where the heck am I supposed to go to get this fixed without them cleaning out my bank account. I'm looking at my schedule, and there's no way I can miss time off work, so I need my car during the week, mechanics shops aren't open on Sundays and most only work 1/2 day on Saturday. My friend, Alison was gracious enough to pick me up, and drop me off so I could get things done all day last Saturday, I can't ask her to do that again. I could wait until next weekend, I have nothing going on and my friend Marina said she would go with me to drop off my car, but that's another week and a half from now and I'm not sure if waiting that long is bad for your brakes. This would be so much easier if Ryan was here, he would go with me no problem. Again, the problem we single wives have while our husbands are deployed. Friday and Saturday are crammed with stuff going on and I can't expect my friends to chauffer me around, Alison was already gracious enough to do that for me last Saturday. It's just going to have to wait until next weekend. It's just one week right, how bad could just one week make it? I'm cringing as I think of the bill getting larger because the problem is now worsened due to my not bringing it in right away, but what are you gonna do?

SD

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Confession

I normally listen to one genre of music, rock. I don't like country, although I did buy the Carrie Underwood CD for that one song. I don't like Gospel, or Techno (unless I'm drunk in a club). I'll listen to some rap, it really just depends on what the song is and who is singing it and what my mood is like. I certainly do not listen to pop. Well...I was cruising through the world wide web the other day and listened to a few songs from the last Britney Spears CD. I was shocked to discover that it really wasn't that bad, I actually kinda liked some of the songs! I took a coupon to FYE and went on the hunt for the CD. Determined that I would find the CD and check-out faster than a speeding bullet. I certainly would not have to deal with the embarrassment of buying a Britney Spears CD. Of course, it was nowhere to be found so I had to ask a clerk. I found a girl stacking CD's on a shelf, walked up to her and in a low whisper said, "Wouldn't Britney Spears be in the pop section?" She hopped off the 2-step ladder and said quite loudly, "Which CD? Her newest one doesn't come out till the end of the year." She then proceeds to yell across the store, "Hey Tom! The new Britney Spears CD isn't out yet right?" I look up and see the people staring. Oh lord this is embarrassing, not that I know any of these people, but I don't want people knowing I'm purchasing a BRITNEY SPEARS CD. I looked back at her completely mortified and say, "Uumm...ya know, if you could just point me in the right direction I'm sure I can find what I'm looking for. I'm buying this for my sister for her birthday." TOTAL LIE, whatev, Jackie will forgive me. She walks me over and points, "She's right here. Let me know if you need anything." I quickly finger through the stack of her countless CD's, and pull out the one I'm looking for. I get to the counter and Tom is smiling at me. He then proceeds to say, "I hear Britney is making a comeback." I look back at him and say, "I have no idea, I don't listen to this crap, this is for my sister." He smirks. I pay for my CD of the paparazzi magnet, pop princess and leave. I get in my car, rip the CD open and drive away with "Gimmee More" playing through my stereo. I guess this makes me a closet Britney Spears fan.

SD

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Agony...DEAR LORD, The Agony

I'm not a very patient person, the waiting game is agonizing to me. Unfortunetly, the waiting game is the military's favorite one to play. We're waiting on the results of a test Ryan took. Depending on this test, and this funky point system the Navy has, Ryan could make rank. If he makes rank, we have decided that it would be best if he re-enlist for three or five years. The bonus would pay off all our debt, remodel our kitchen, take care of all the house repairs that are needed, upgrade his car and provide a small cushion for our emergency savings. If he re-enlists, he'll be up for orders, they won't allow us to stay on the ship due to him being on the ship for six years already. Which means we'll me moving, more than likely to NY or SC. If he doesn't make rank, he'll be out of the Navy this Spring, they more than likely will fly him home early due to his terminal date being before the ship comes home. He wants to move to Nashville, TN right away, which is fine...if he had a job there. In Nashville, neither one of us have jobs. I however, have a job here and I'm pretty sure Ryan could get a job at the shipyard here quite easily. I'm trying not to freak out and just be patient and wait for the test results, but literally we could be moving in less than six months and I have no idea where we'll work, where we'll live, or if we'll be able to rent the house out right away. If we can't rent the house out right away (with the repairs it needs, we more than likely won't) and with no jobs we'll need a large cushion to be able to pay for the mortgage. Honestly, we'll need that cushion regardless. It's all very nerve racking and I would really love if the Navy would just tell us his results so I can figure out what the heck we're doing.

If we didn't have the house none of this would be an issue. We bought the house two years ago with the initial thought of it being an investment. It's a cute house, a nice starter home in a fantastic neighborhood. We have hopes of it being our first rental of four. We live 20 minutes from the largest Naval base in the country, there are military families coming and going all the time, this is a perfect area to have a rental...we hope. Ryan said we should know the results by the end of this month. So until then, I'll do my best to remain calm, minus the twitching and nail biting.

SD

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Drama Begins...

We as Navy wives, live our lives as singles when our sailors are deployed. We take on the role of a single parent, single homeowner, singles in general. Some of us have kids, some have pets, some have both, some work, some go to school, some do both, some volunteer, some don't. Either way, our significant other is gone, floating in the middle of the ocean somewhere for a half a year or more. It's very taxing mentally and emotionally. I try to keep these things in mind in "dealings" with other Navy wives. We're all stressed out, have a BILLION things on our plate and haven't gotten laid in over 2 months, I try to take these things into consideration. Some of these wives, I really would just love to slap. Yes you're a new wife, yes this is your first deployment and yes you're only 20, but this is not junior high, this isn't your playground to spread rumors and gossip about OTHER wives, and there are rules you have to follow for government security reasons. These wives are driving me crazy! YOU married a military man, pull yourself together and deal with it! We all have bad days, we're all stressed out and exhausted, get over yourself. Sheesh. Some have more to deal with than others, I have two friends who are pregnant during this deployment, un-planned, this isn't a cake walk for them. Others are dealing with more serious issues and my heart cringes for them, but seriously, that doesn't mean you can take it out on others. I don't remember this much drama starting so early with our last deployment. This is only month three, lol, we have several more to go! Ok, well that is my venting post for the week. As you can tell by my last few posts, my patience is also wearing thin. Deployments are exhausitng.

SD

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hello! Personal Space People!

I was at the mall, purchasing my sisters birthday gifts. I was in one of those little teeny bopper stores, Charlotte Russe to be exact. If you've ever been in those stores, you know that the check-out counter is about 2ft x 2ft. Not very big at all. I get up to the check-out stand and place my items on the counter. The girl behind the counter says hello and starts ringing up my items. Next thing I know, a woman comes up behind me, so close that I can feel her hot breath on my ear. She then proceeds to reach over my shoulder and place her items directly in front of me on the counter. I'm thinking, "Am I invisible?" I look at the girl behind the counter who is very much in a zombie state (it's getting near Christmas, I'll cut her some slack), and look over my shoulder, and say, "OH, excuse me." The rude woman behind me doesn't look at me, and doesn't say a word, just stands there arms folded. I turn back around and face forward. Hhmm, should I use my invisibility for good or for evil? I gather my items and my receipt and as I'm putting my wallet back into my purse the woman steps up and is literally on top of me. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people? It's not even Christmas shopping time yet. This is the 3rd time this has happened in the last 2 weeks. Maybe it's me. Perhaps I'm just to anal about the whole personal bubble thing. I like my space, don't crowd me! If I can reach my arms out and touch you, you're way too close and you need to back off. Concerts, festivals and the ship's homecoming are the only times when super close is ok, obviously those events are packed and there's nowhere for people to go. These stores weren't packed. Hello, Wal-Mart self check-out-lots of room, back-up off me. Charlotte Russe-like 4 people in the entire store, back-up off me. Customer service at Kmart-dude it's roped off to give people space and even has a sign that asks you to stay behind the red line, BACK-UP OFF ME! I just don't get it, why would you ever CHOOSE to be on top of people like that?!?! I once knew this girl who would get extremely close to you when she talked. Like nose to nose. I would take a step back, she would take a step forward. I tried putting props in between us, such as chairs, tables, and book bags, she would just move them out of the way. It finally came to a point where I said, "Janet, stop it! You're freaking me out when you get that close." She smiled, said "OH!" and proceeded to walk right up to me nose to nose and apologize. Again, I ask, "WTF is wrong with people?"

SD

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Birthday Blues? Not Anymore!

Today is my 26th birthday. Birthdays were always big at my house growing up. Parties, lots of people, you got the special red plate at dinner time, and everyone had to be nice no matter how much of a brat you were (the next day however you got a firm talking to and one year I had all my brand new gifts taken away. I was a testy pain in the butt). I've had birthdays away from family while Ryan's been deployed before, it was a bummer, but no big deal. This year is just different. I'm 26, I still don't have my bachelor's degree, I have four pets that drive me crazy, and a house that won't sell in the market we have. I have a job that sucks my soul dry, and we have no idea if Ryan is getting out or staying in the Navy. So basically, in four years I have accomplished purchasing a house that I cannot sell, collecting two cats and two dogs that drive me insane, and changing companies but not really going up any corporate ladders seeing how I have to start at the bottom each time I change jobs due to my lack of a 4-year degree. I groan as I realize I'm closer to 30 than I am 20. I get to work and open my email, I have an E-card from my friend Denna (a fellow military wife that I used to work with at BlackHawk). I'm watching the green and pink rabbits sing "Happy Birthday" to me and I realize, when I'm 90 years old, shrively and can't walk, pets and houses and jobs aren't going to matter. What matters are the relationships you have with others. I have a good stable marriage, I absolutely adore my husband, I have good relationships with my siblings and I have some incredible friends! Tomorrow my girls are taking me to get the butterfly tattoo I want. I don't know any one other than Ryan who would be willing to get me a $200 gift for my birthday, I have some awesome friends. Next week I'm going to see Denna and Justine (my BlackHawk bitches, hehehe) we're gonna party down, and I'm stoked! So Den, thank you for the E-card that smacked some sense into me. I need a good smack upside the head every now and then.

SD

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote!

Yes, I had to put a post in here about the election. Today is election day, the day we choose our President. Today is a very important day, and every vote counts. Although I have heard stories all day about people standing in the rain for hours in line and people being trampled in the mud and fights breaking out at the polls. I fully intend on driving over to that elementary school as soon as I get out of work to cast my ballot. This election could be a turning point for a lot of things. So go vote people!

SD

Just When You Think You've Got It All Figured Out, You Realize You Want A Baby

I was always the one who didn't want kids. I was the very career-oriented one and knew that kids probably weren't for me. "Maybe someday", is what I always told people. I've been worried that I wouldn't be a good mom, I can't even get my dogs to behave how the heck would I get a human being to behave?? I knew when I married Ryan, that he wanted children. I thought, "Well someday I'll want kids like he does, just not right now." Four years later and I still didn't have that desire. In the meantime Ryan's desire for kids has grown. Being the incredible man he is, he knew I wasn't ready so he patiently waited. Right after Ryan left for deployment I had a bit of a scare. I was late, VERY late. I always thought that if I got pregnant un-planned I would panic. Complete pandemonium and chaos! I thought I would be furious and upset and not know what to do. That is not at all how I reacted. I was excited and happy about the possibility of having a child! I emailed Ryan and told him, he remained calm and said we should just wait, it's still too early. Well, screw that, I was ready to book my sister a flight to VA to paint the baby's mural! I was ready to buy books and call our parents. I was stoked! Which is very odd, because I thought for sure that this would be upsetting, not exciting. It's funny how you think you'll react a certain way to something, but when that situation comes up you react completely different. Well to make a long story short, I'm not pregnant, but now I know I want to be and soon! I think that this was my body's way of telling me, "Hey you're 26, we don't have all day!"

Last week, I bought a book on pregnancy crap. Apparently there's a whole heck of a lot more to this than just getting off birth control. The stars and planets need to be aligned just so, and you have to think about body temperature and all this other crap. There's charts and graphs in the back of this book, maybe they're astronomy charts, to make sure the planets are aligned just right, who the heck knows! I figure Ryan won't be home for several more months, and we have no idea what we're doing, so right now I just need to focus on getting my body ready to house a person. I gave up soda and fast food many many months ago, but being stressed out as made me crave Burger King, and I have fallen into my onion ring fetish once again. So no more Burger King, no more soda, and no more coffee. The soda and fast food will be easy to cut out (even though I absolutlely LOVE Burger King, I can do without). The coffee however will be much more difficult. Every morning I wake up and insert my caffeeine IV into my arm; however I have made progress, I am down to 2 cups a day versus my usual 4 or 5. Once I have my caffeeine addiction under control, the rest should be smooth sailing. I was a personal trainer a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, so I can whip myself in shape pretty quick, so that this pregnancy doesn't take a toll on me. I don't smoke, and rarely drink. So really, it just comes down to my coffee addiction. Baby steps my friends, baby steps.

SD

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween...Beware Of Dog

So today is Halloween. The one night of the year where kids dress up and beg for candy at people's doorsteps. I get off work, run to the store and grab a bag of candy. Get home, let the dogs in, and put the candy in a bowl and leave it on the counter. I leave the room and return 10 minutes later. Thor has this horribly guilty look on his face. I look at him, "What did you do?" He hangs his head further. I scan the room, no shredded pillows, couch cushions or blankets, all electronics are in place, everything looks fine. As I walk into the kitchen, I catch Orion jumping onto the couch and reaching through the window that separates the kitchen and the living room, his entire head is in the candy bowl. "NO!" I grab him and yank him off the couch. "Chocolate will kill you, you big dummy!" I go off on a tirade yelling and pointing at both of them. I look in the bowl and it's half empty, they consumed half a bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, wrappers and all. Lovely. About 2am I'll hear frantic barking and whining from both of them needing to go outside. I put the candy on the fridge and turn the TV on. About half an hour later our first trick-or-treaters show up. I can see them approaching up the driveway, a mom pushing a stroller and a little boy dressed like a skeleton carrying a plastic pumpkin. Humming, I skip into the kitchen and swipe the candy bowl off the fridge. As I approach the front door I can see Thor staring out the window at our visitors. I know that look in his eyes. "Thor! Watch me!" He snaps his head to the right to look at me. "You be nice, no bark." He snaps his head back toward the window. I approach the front door just as the little boy reaches his tiny hand out to knock on the glass door. Thor immediately jumps onto the window sill with his front paws and does his best guard dog bark. The little boy jumps so high, he drops his pumpkin full of candy and starts crying. I open the door, "I am so sorry! He's in guard dog mode right now with all the people everywhere." The mother was extremely nice and made light of it. I felt awful. I get back in the house and scowl at Thor while he sits there in the middle of the living room, big old smile on his face, obvious that he's quite proud of himself. "Alright, you're going outside, ya big bully." I figured that although he would bark at the passers-by, that because we have a 6ft. tall privacy fence people would be fine. As soon as Thor gets outside, he's on patrol. Running from one side of the yard to the other, barking, claiming his property and making sure no one comes into contact with it. I'm standing in the yard, at the back door watching Thor run from one side of the yard to the other. He stops. He stands perfectly still, ears perked up. I hear the children laughing down the street, and the music from the haunted house two streets over. Thor slowly, cautiously walks over to the back gate. I can hear people walking up and down the path behind the gate. Thor lets out his most menacing growl/bark combination, and a lady on the path screams, and then laughs. I should have dressed him up like a rabid dog, he would have played the part well.

SD

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Fine Line Of Sane and Not So Sane

Work sucks right now. It sucks my soul dry. For the last 2 weeks I have been like a lion on a rampage, ready to devour anyone who crosses my path. The two weeks before that I was in hyper panic mode trying to hit deadlines. I think I lost what little sanity I had left, this morning. My friend Cyndi sends me this instant message, she was picking on me because I was little slow this morning. She typed out I WE TAW DID. Well, being in the slow state that I was in, I read it and was like, "Huh?" So I instant messaged her back and asked her what the heck she was talking about. She told me to read the message out loud. So I did...3 times. Still didn't get it. I messaged her again, this time frustrated, "What the hell are you talking about?!" She again told me to read it out loud. So again I did, this time louder. I WE TAW DID. I WE TAW DID. I get up, stomp over to Cyndi's cube, throw my hands in the air and ask, "What the hell are you talking about?!" Cyndi points to each word and sounds them each out, and looks at me with her eyebrows raised, waiting for my reaction. I crinkle my brow, throw my hands on my hips and say, "What?" Cyndi then says it fast and I get it. I burst into a fit of laughs and get told to "SSSSSHHHHHHHH!" by about 4 people walking by. I giggle and run back to my cubicle. My cube buddy then asks me, "Are you ok? I know you're under a lot of stress. Is there something I can help you with?" I look up at her and say, "No I'm ok, why?" She then says, "Well you kept saying, 'I'm retarded' over and over again I was getting concerned." At this point I completely lose it and burst into laughter so hard I can barely breathe. I finally calm down and I can hear the manager on the other side of me, whisper, "I think she's finally lost it." About 10 minutes later, a fly flies into my cubicle and is harrassing me. I'm swatting and flailing about trying to get rid of this fly. He finally leaves, I straighten out my sweater, and sit down. I start giggling because I am totally picturing myself sitting in my cubicle announcing that I'm retarded and then flailing about minutes later. The quiet giggles soon erupt into wild laughter that I'm attempting to hold back, which I am failing miserably at. I am so getting a strait jacket for Christmas.

SD

Monday, October 27, 2008

Freak Out 101

The 8 weeks of dual classes has ended! Freedom is glorious...or so I thought. Upon logging into my universities website I noticed that my next class is already under my name. I look at it, cock my head to the side and say to myself, "Well that's strange classes don't start again until Sunday." I click on the class to see that my new professor is requiring her students post on the discussion boards four times a week starting today, which is October 27th. She's also requiring us to turn in a paper and take a test on the first 4 chapters of the textbook on Sunday. Keep in mind that I JUST took my finals from my previous classes on Saturday and Sunday, as in like yesterday. I don't even have my textbook yet. It should have been here by now, but well it's not. I email Half.com to find out where the heck my book is, it's been almost 2 weeks now since I paid for it. He tells me that it could take another week and a half before I get the book and to have a nice day. So now I'm freaking out because I have no textbook, and we are supposed to have posted at least once on the boards today. I email the professor and explain to her that I was under the impression that classes didn't start until Nov. 2nd, that is the date that the college calendar gives the online classes as a start date, and I have yet to receive my book. Another super fantastic start to a new term! I hate school. I really really do. The good news is I only have to worry about starting out crappy with one class because it's the only class I'm taking this term.

I got my grades back from my prior 2 classes, and I have to say that I won't be getting an honors medal for those 2 classes but I think that with my 50 hours of work every week, school stress, dog stress and other random crap I have going on, I think I did pretty damn good and I will gladly take my average grades for those 2 classes.

SD

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Dad The TV Star

For those of you that don't know, my dad has been dabbling in the acting biz for several years. He's done a lot of community and church type, theatrical productions, but nothing big. He has had several extra roles in the second season of the television drama, Army Wives. They film in Charleston, SC, and my dad's agent was able to get my dad many "extra" type roles. For about the last month he's been in every episode but, if you don't know what my dad looks like you'd never know who he was, he doesn't have speaking roles, and although he's in the majority of the main scenes, you're more than likely watching the main characters, not the peeps in the background. WELL, tonight my dad was front and center, and I'm totally stoked about it! Still no speaking role, but the camera zoomed in on him a few times. The scene in the cafeteria with the other XO (not Joan but the dude XO), talking to Trevor, the guy sitting across from the XO with the super white hair is my dad. He's also the guy who helps break up the fight scene that also occurs in the mess hall. So yay! He's hoping they'll bump him up and use him for more speaking roles next season, I guess we'll see. My dad's a cop so I guess it also depends on what shift they give him this time around. So yeah...my dad's a TV star...sorta. ;)

SD

Friday, October 17, 2008

Someone Stop The World, I Wanna Get Off

For the last week I have been battling a cold. Like I have time to be sick right now. The world doesn't stop just because you're running a fever of 102 and hacking up a lung. At work we're undergoing this MAJOR clean-up project, I have named this project, "Operation Billing Hell Take One." At one point during the day I look over at my manager and she's completely glazed over and I can't tell if she's exhausted or about to burst into tears, at this point it could be both. I get a phone call from a sales rep (and we all know how much I love sales reps) and he wants to know why a certain customer was billed a certain way, "Well dumbass it's because YOU uploaded the wrong data." "Excuse me, you over there, yes you, could you pass me that noose? Thanks." I go home, cringe at my jungle of a lawn, trip over the cats meowing under my feet, see the sticky on the bathroom mirror telling me to make a payment on Ryan's car (crap I forgot to do that!), let the dogs in, yell at Thor for growling Orion, yell at Orion for licking me to death, erase the 4 messages of people telling me, "You just won a new car!", and sit on the couch with the daily mail. Bills, bills, bills. The government wanting a copy of Ryan's LES, the county wanting a copy of Ryan's LES, my 401k statement telling me I lost an extremely large amount of money due to the crash (I just love working my ass off for no reason), flyers, an invitation to a jewelry party (ya know we all have money for random crap that we aren't going to like 3 months later), more flyers. I look over, Orion's having a seizure, Thor's barking and flipping out, the cats are going crazy. Stop the world, I wanna get off. I get everyone cleaned up and calmed down, I sit down with my math book and next thing I know it's 11pm. I fell asleep on my book at the kitchen table. That saying, "Life is what happens when you're planning it", is playing like a sad song in my mind. Whoever decided 24 hours was a good time line for a day, must not have had a whole lot to do. It's the middle of October already, what the hell happened to September! Oh well...at least the deployment is going fast. Now, where's those "That 70's show" and vampire movie re-runs...

SD

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Last 2 Weeks of Hell

You know those crazy wind-up toys, that you pull back until they click and you let them go and they go speeding off until they run out of "gas"? Well for the next 2 weeks that will be me. My two classes come to an end in 2 weeks, in the meantime I have weekly assignments, papers and projects due, on top of studying for both finals. Yay me, I can hardly contain myself. Six weeks ago I had high hopes of obtaining an MBA and a CPA license, screeeeeewwwww that. My AA degree in Theatre and Literature and my BS in Business Finance are just going to half to do it for me. I would have to seriously hate myself and want to punish myself brutally to continue on with school any further than obtaining my Bachelor's. You go to school from 5 years old to 18 years old, then you have the option of continuing, but if you would like to make more than $10/hr., a bachelor's is a necessity, so then you do that for another 4 years. That's 22 YEARS of turning in homework assignments, and taking tests, all so that you can enter a field and make a reasonable amount of money. Dude, all I can say is that in 2 years, this had better be worth it.

SD

Saturday, October 11, 2008

TGIF and Saturday Morning Cartoons

Remember when we were kids that series of shows on ABC, Friday nights at 8pm? They called it TGIF. Shows like Family Matters, Step By Step, and Boy Meets World. Whatever happened to shows like those? I can remember growing up with those shows, Full House was my favorite and yes, I cried during the final episode. One of my fondest memories growing up was all of us, me, my sisters, mom and dad sitting down with popcorn to watch those shows on Friday night. That was something we looked forward to every week. You're lucky to find any kind of wholesome show on Friday nights that both kids and parents will want to watch together. Last night I'm flipping through the channels (all 112 of them) and it was a coin toss between the movie Underworld (which I've seen about 5 times) and re-runs of That 70's Show (which I've also seen about 5 times). Why in the world did ABC cancel those shows? As much as I love a good battle between Vampires and Werewolves, it's not exactly suitable for a 7 year old kid, and neither is trying to explain why Kelsoe is wearing a green dress and parading around Jackie's room.

This morning, I wake up, make my coffee and bagel and sit down on the couch. I think to myself, I'm going to watch Saturday morning cartoons. I turn on the TV, and start flipping. Come to find out the only thing that hasn't changed since I was a kid is that Bob Ross, that painter dude, still paints on Saturday mornings. I didn't find one cartoon that made sense! There was some strange cartoon with PowderPuff girls mutilating broccoli, another cartoon with fairy's floating around some kid trying to be his subconscious or something, I totally didn't get it. Might I add, the cartoons have changed a bit since I was a kid, I don't think I've ever seen as much blood as I did this morning. What happened to Tom and Jerry?! Where the heck did Road Runner and Wiley Coyote scamper off too? Even the Cartoon Channel had some cockamame crappy version of the original Transformers cartoon and that was all screwed up. The kids nowadays are missing out. They have no idea how great cartoons can really be. What about Popeye? I was talking to a lady at Petsmart today about my cartoon predicament and her child responded with, "Oh, Popeye's Chicken?" Popeye's Chicken! No dude, Popeye the Sailor Man! He looked at me like I had lobster's crawling out of my ears, his mom was doubled over laughing. What kind of a world are we raising our children in, that they don't even know who Popeye is? THIS, my friends, is a travesty. Screw healthcare and the economy, we have a cartoon crisis in our midst! Shall we just stand by while the great legends of the cartoon era are buried under our noses? NO! I refuse to raise my future children in a world where there is no Popeye, or She-Ra, or Tazmanian Devil! We the people must ban together and bring back the ghosts of cartoon land! OR, you could hop on Ebay and purchase the DVD's, which are very reasonably priced I might add.

SD

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thou Shalt Not Covet...YEAH, So Much For That

I don’t normally envy people or their situations. I want the same things that most people want - to be out of debt, to have a successful career, to backpack across Europe and those cute new Paolo shoes at Nordstrom’s. The one thing I wish I desperately had is self-confidence in my work. I envy those women who reek with self confidence. I grew up with a father that pushed me to the limits, he said that he was pushing me to be better; I say it was verbal abuse. I grew up constantly feeling like I wasn’t good enough and I never would be, no matter how hard I tried. I wasn’t who he wanted me to be and I was a disappointment to him. Since then, I’ve learned that my father really meant no harm he just didn’t know how to express what he meant to say. Although my father meant well it scarred me, I constantly seek the approval from the men in my life. No matter how many times Ryan has told me he loves me no matter what, I worry about disappointing him and not being the wife he needs and deserves.

This mentality has spilled over into other aspects of my life, my career mostly. I make mistakes, just like everyone makes mistakes, but I worry that I will be disappointing my boss, and I’ll be an embarrassment to myself and my department because of the mistakes I’ve made, whether big or small. The fact is, I made that mistake, it was a stupid mistake, I should have known better and if I would have just tried harder I probably wouldn’t have made that mistake. An incident that happened 1 year ago at a company I worked for scarred me even deeper. I had worked with that company for 2 years, I loved that company, I had a great job, I liked my job, and the people I worked with. I received a promotion, and I made a few errors. After 5 months in my new position they let me go, I forgot to order enough envelopes for that month and that along with the 4 errors I made, left my boss to feel that I wasn’t cut out for that department. I was beyond crushed. I work for a new company now, I’m still in accounting and I like my job and love my boss. Every time I make a mistake I worry that I am just 1 mistake closer to losing my job. For years I thought that I was using what my father said when I was a teenager as an excuse for being too hard on myself. I have no idea if it just scarred me more than I thought, or if I am indeed just emotionally weak. Either way, I worry myself into a frenzy about my career, and it’s really quite needless. My boss tells me I have nothing to worry about, but that’s also what my last boss said, and look what happened. I need self-confidence in myself, and I need to let go of the past. For cripe’s sake it’s the past and it haunting me this long is really ridiculous. Since I’ve gotten married, my father and I have a much better relationship, but it’s been difficult just canning the past and moving forward. So the question is, how do you forget what happened in the past, move forward, and gain self-confidence so that when a mistake IS made, instead of losing sleep at night you can go to your boss and say, “Hey I found another one, no biggie, it’s fixed”?

Sorry to pee on everyone’s happy cloud. This post was actually much more “soul bearing” than I had intended it to be, perhaps my subconscious mind is telling me I need to get it off my chest. Wah wah wah, poor me! Eh whatever, my neighbors already think I’m crazy why not add a few more into the mix! Besides the important people already know I’m insane.

SD

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Me And My Bright Ideas

I work about 8-9.5 hours a day at my job Mon.-Fri. I'm also fast-tracking my bachelor's degree full time, I'm also on the FRG board, have 2 dogs and 2 cats to take care of and we own our own house so there's that maintenance and repairs, and normal everyday life crap to take care of. My husband is deployed so it's just me doing all these things. I am not one to admit defeat. I like setting unrealistic goals, I like the challenge, but THIS...is insane. I haven't written in my journal in a month, I've kept a personal journal since I was in 5th grade, and I enjoy writing in it. I haven't read a book in over a month which is not like me at all, I normally have about 2 or 3 books I'm reading at a time. I feel guilty watching my favorite TV shows, because I SHOULD be studying not watching Army Wives or Heroes. Thor stepped on my foot the other day and regardless of him being about 90 pounds, it was an accident and I shouldn't have gone ballistic on him. My friend Marina called me last Sunday to see if I wanted to take the pups to the dog park and I just lost it. That was my clue that perhaps I've taken on too much. I have always prided myself on being able to handle a lot, so for me to admit that I can't do all this, really and truly means that I've hit my breaking point. SO, I'm dropping school down to half time instead of full time. It will take me longer to finish but at least I will have my sanity. I am not a loser for dropping down to half time I am a person concerned about her mental health, and if I continue going the rate I'm going you all will be visiting me in my padded white room with me strapped to a table thrashing uncontrollably.

SD

Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 Elections-Let The Confusion Begin

I am not one to talk about politics. A political discussion, to me, is a lot like a religious discussion, I would rather stab myself in the eye with a pencil than engage in either. This upcoming election is a crucial one, one I believe is blog worthy (and I'm sure my 3 loyal readers could use a break from the usual, "my dog is psycho" post). I am 25, the last election (2004) was my first time voting, I registered independent, I watched the debates, I kept up with the candidates and did plenty of research, I knew exactly who I was voting for from the get go and why. This election is not as clean cut, for me. I go back and forth a lot. I'm honestly not sure who I'm voting for. With the war is Iraq, the economy the way it is and the global climate sliding, among others, there is a lot to consider.

Of course each candidate is going to promise each and every American, rainbows with pots full of gold on their doorsteps, they want votes! All I ask is for a little consistency. During the vice presidential debate, Biden stated that he and Barack are against gay marriage, yet Barack opposes the bill to ban gay marriage. So, are you for it or are you against it? In the case of Iran, Barack stated he would meet with Iran's leaders without preconditions, now he says he's not sure, http://news.yahoo.com/election/2008. During the presidential debate he stated that he wanted to pull troops out of Iraq, then it was stated that he wanted to put troops in Afghanistan. So what are we doing, are we pulling them out, or sending them there, or are we leaving some in Iraq and sending some to Afghanistan? McCain bounces back and forth about taxes, first we do want tax cuts, then we don't want tax cuts, then we only want them for the wealthy and now we want them for everyone. GAH! I pull up their past voting records, http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/issues/abortion.html, and they've both gone back and forth on how they vote on certain topics. I know that on certain things I have very strong opinions, but on other things, I am very open to hear what others say. Two of my best friends have very different opinions than I, and if I am looking for an opinion I always go to them. They see things from a different perspective and nine times out of ten they open my eyes to something that I may not have thought about before. If I vote a certain way one time and the next time I vote a different way, perhaps it was because someone had a better idea or what that person said made a whole lot of sense for the economy at that time. Senators and governors are human too, they're not perfect, but a voting record shows how they have voted over their time in office not the last 6 months, and there’s a whole lot of flipping back and forth in the last 6 months. I look at each one of their plans and I take into consideration the issues that are the most important to me. On some things I side with Obama and some things I side with McCain, at this point it’s about even. I think Obama has a lot of good ideas and I think that America might need a new approach to things, such as the war in Iraq and energy needs, but McCain has experience that Obama doesn’t, such as military experience, BUT just because you have experience that doesn’t mean you’ll do a great job. I guess it just comes down to who you believe has the best approach for our country, OR who you think is the lesser of the 2 evils (I’ve heard that expression used a lot.) Unfortunately, for me, I have no idea, so I’ll continue watching the debates and collecting facts. I’ll be the girl surfing the internet the night before the polls open, trying to decide who I want to be our “commander-in-chief.” Then after I vote I’ll probably think, “Well crap maybe I should have voted for the other guy.”

SD

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Update

I just realized that I only had 4 posts for September. No wonder people have been sending me hate mail! Sorry guys! With work and school and the dogs and lord knows the other things I'm involved in, things get pushed to the back burner. I know, I know, that's a terrible excuse, but it's all I got so you're gonna have to deal. And honestly, how much more do you want to hear about my crazy dogs? I could start posting about my douche bag professor...

SD

Doggie Daycare

Doggie daycare is the best thing since microwave popcorn! I’m planning on visiting my family during Christmas, it’s about a 6 hour drive. Thor can barely handle the 3 minutes to the dog park let alone 6 hours to South Carolina. We’ve taken him on road trips before and it’s absolutely miserable. The car ride makes him nervous, and being in a new place makes him on edge and he doesn’t listen well. It’s not much of a vacation for Ryan and I, because we’re constantly dealing with Thor. Ryan’s deployed so it would just be me. I can only picture me driving with a howling Ridgeback in the back and a Golden in the front licking my face for 6 hours. How bout no, so I’ve been looking at places to board them. I’m super picky and I didn’t want them to be cooped up in cages the entire time. I found this great place, Family Dog Club, and it’s only 15 minutes from my house! The owner lives on the premises and she owns tons of land! She teaches agility, so she has all these agility courses and doggie playgrounds, and they get to play in her yard all day with the other dogs! PERFECT! She requires that the pups go through 1 day of doggie day care so she can see how they do with other dogs and in a strange place. I dropped them off Monday morning; they went running all over the place, they were so excited. After I finished filling out the paperwork I looked for them to say goodbye and they were scampering about playing with the beagles, (the owner recues beagles also). I left there whispering a prayer, “Please God, let them be exhausted when I pick them up after work!” Picked them up after work that same day, and Rita, the owner, said they were a joy to have and she’s looking forward to boarding them for Christmas. Great! I think I’m going to take them to the daycare once a month until Christmas just to make sure Thor is comfortable. Rita said that he wouldn’t go in her garage to eat, she said he looked really nervous when she was herding them all in. The pups fell asleep on the ride home and slept from 5:45pm-5am the next morning. “THANK YOU GOD!” I have never seen Thor so exhausted, it was heaven! Gizmo, one of my cats, even jumped the gate and was sitting in the kitchen, Thor just laid there staring at him as if to say, “Whatever, I’m pooped, I’ll get you later.” Orion fell asleep with his paw in his food dish, poor baby was pooped! I was able to leave the living room without having Thor cry, I could get things done around the house without tripping over doggie paws, I could study without having toys dropped in my lap or on my head. (Thor likes to get my attention by dropping his HUGE rope toys on my lap or on my head while I’m studying on the floor. I look up and there’s Thor hanging his head over me, ears flopping in his face, head cocked, looked at me like he’s saying, “Play with me woman!”) It was nice not to have any rope/head injuries that night! Unfortunately doggie daycare is expensive, $15 a day. You may say, well that’s not much, but $15 a day for 5 days a week for 52 weeks a year, adds up to just under $4000.00 a year for doggie daycare. We aren’t wealthy people, and I’m trying to convince Ryan that we should have a child in the next 2 years, that $4000 needs to go towards paying off debt or savings. So in the meantime, I found a great place to board them for the holidays!

SD

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What My Neighbors Must Think

We live on a corner lot and for some reason people think that it's a good idea to drop their trash on our side lawn. I've found cups, fast food bags, take out boxes, beer bottles and the like on our side lawn. Today, I get home from work, do my mile jog/walk thing, and come back around to see a Styrofoam cup in our lawn. Bastards! Now, there are a lot of chores I hate, but mowing the lawn is at the top of the list and it's blatantly obvious when you look at our front and side lawns, it looks like we're attempting to grow our own Amazon. Maybe that's why people dump their garbage there, they think no one will see it, who the heck knows. Anyways, our lawn is riddled with these thorny weed brier things, and if you don't keep the lawn mowed they get out of control and they're all along the curb, right where the blasted cup is. I'm not thinking about thorny weeds, I'm thinking about how rude people are and how much I would love to catch the next person dropping their crap on my lawn. Suddenly, "Ouch!" I look down and I have thorny briers all over my shoes, shoelaces, and in my skin. "CRAP, I forgot about the blasted thorns." So there I was, hopping and diving around these thorny weeds trying to get to this cup, hissing profanities between my teeth. I'm pressed up against the house skimming the brick trying to avoid the weeds, hop over a swarm of them, swipe the cup, hop over the patch again, skimming the side of the house, then I get that weird feeling like someone's watching me. I look up, my back still against the side of the house, arms splayed out against the brick, to see my neighbors staring at me like I had lobsters crawling out of my ears. My first thought is, "What the heck is their problem?" Then I suddenly realize it looks like I'm impersonating James Bond the way my back is pressed up flat against the house and I'm skimming the bricks, I'm hopping all over the place like I'm trying to avoid a mine. I hold up the cup and say, "Cup, and there's weeds, and...." They're both looking at me like I'm insane, "Well have a nice night", and continue my hop scotch game across the front lawn. I swear between my chaotic dog walks, random rocks being hurled at the birds in my yard, and me constantly throwing out mangled kiddie pools, and outdoor furniture and other random thing my dogs have decided to go ballistic on, I'm convinced my neighbors think I escaped from the looney bin. Yesterday a bee attacked me at my mailbox, the little old lady across the street was outside with her dog and they were both looking at me horrified as I beat the crap out of my mailbox with the flyer I had recieved that day, I turned around and said, "Oh there was a bee." She looked at me, still horrified and just nodded her head. Eh, whatever Ryan and I weren't planning on living here for forever anyways, lol. At least the neighbors know who I am!

SD

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pet Insurance

I have spent over $1300 for Orion (my Golden Retriever puppy) to be seen by specialists and neurologists and to have testing done for his seizures. I have said this ENTIRE time, thank goodness I have pet ins. I recieved my claim back today, after the 20% and the deductible that I paid, I received $535 which is not even half, I called and spoke with a lady who said she would call me back, she needed to look into it. I received a call back later today stating that due to Orion being a Golden Retriever and Golden retreivers having a history of Epilepsy they cannot pay me the full amount. Well Orion was never diagnosed with epilepsy, the doctors still don't know what caused the seizures and unless I am willing to pay $1700 to run more tests with the possibility that they may all come back negative they won't pay me any more, AND if Orion is diagnosed with epilepsy they will only pay out $100. The supervisor I spoke with told me that I should be happy with the money I recieved because it's more than their initial payout would have been, since technically his condition is not diagnosed. SO, I pay $50 a month for my dogs to be covered, for peace of mind for instances like Orion's seizures, so that if these instances occur I don't have to worry about money, and when these instances do happen my ins. company turns around and tells me that I should be happy with what I recieved because it's more than I should have gotten due to Orion being a Golden Retriever and his condition not being diagnosed. I understand there are stipulations to everything, but the more and more I look at insurance companies-car, pet, health, life, whatever, the more and more I'm seeing that they are just out to take your money. Yes yes, I probably should just be happy with the money I did recive back, but that's not the point. The point is, exactly what my father has been saying all along, insurance is a waste of money, but the minute you don't have it is when you wished you did, and then when you try to utilize it you get your wrist slapped. That's $600 a year that I spend JUST IN CASE, and now Orion has this "condition" on his record they won't pay out anymore if he were to have another series of seizures, I might as well cancel because now I'm just wasting $50 a month!

SD

Yoga

I have been rather stressed lately, with Ryan being deployed, work stress, fast-tracking my bachelor’s degree (which, by the way, is WAY more intense than I thought it was), the on-going “adventures” with my dogs and other random things, STRESSED is putting it lightly. I’m cranky, exhausted, and starving, like all the time. I’ve been stressed before but good lord this takes the cake. So in an effort to alleviate some of my stress I’ve taken up yoga…again. I have been trying to get into yoga for about 5 years now, I’ve taken classes, I’ve bought books, I’ve bought DVD’s, I’ve bought CD’s, I’ve bought yoga clothing, I’ve bought yoga equipment, all in an effort to try to enjoy this ever popular “exercise”. I really want to like yoga, but I can’t. I’ve tried so many different times and I will continue to try because I have not given up on the hope that one day I will like yoga (I know, it makes no sense why I continue to try, just roll with it). Yesterday I got out my mat, my blocks, and my straps and pop in my Yoga Relaxing Waters CD, and begin my 20 minute yoga sequence. Between pushing the cat off my mat, and having the dogs cock their head looking extremely confused as I contort myself into Crazy Monkey Pose (or whatever the heck it was), I FINALLY get to the end of the sequence, the last 5 minutes are for meditation. I sit Indian style on my mat and silently begin focusing on my breathing. In my head, it sounded something like this, “In…out…in…out…in…did I let Orion back in?” I open my eyes there he is practically nose to nose with me, “Yep he’s in.” I scoot back on my mat and go back to focusing on my breathing, “In…out…in…out…man, I am HUNGRY, should I eat leftovers or make spaghetti? I need to stay focused here. In…out…in…out…in…oh lord, choking, breathed too much in! Arms up! Mom? How’d you get in my head?" So yeah yoga isn’t so much for me. So how the heck am I going to deal with 7 months of insane stress you ask? Liquor and Netflix people. Liquor…and Netflix.

SD

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back To School

In this day and age a Bachelor's is a must if you want to make the money you're worth. Months ago I told Ryan I wanted to go back and finish my degree, he of course was supportive. I found Southern New Hampshire University, not only is it completely affordable but they offer a Business Finance degree solely online. They are a major university with a kick ass distance program, I feel VERY blessed that I found them and was accepted. All my credits transferred over from my Associate's degree. My AA degree is in English Lit and Theater, no idea how, but they were able to transfer over ALL those classes, including my stage make-up and poetry of the romantic era classes.

It was explained to me that their distance program is a fast track program designed to push a student through to finish their degree quicker than normal. They only allow students in this program to take 2 classes at a time and a "semester" is actually only 6-8 weeks long. GREAT! Bring it on! I'm a few years behind on this degree thing, I'm down! Well, when they said fast track they weren't kidding. I THOUGHT that the professors would pull key areas out of the textbooks and focus on them. Nope not so much, they go over the ENTIRE text, there's weekly quizzes and assignments and if you want a grade higher than a D, you have to be involved in ALL discussion boards. Meaning I'll be checking the boards several times EVERYDAY. "Good lord, this is supposed to be flexible for us working people....right?" NOPE! I completely mis-understood. When I got home this evening and told Ryan, he looked at me and said, "Babe, I thought you realized." "NO BABE, definitely didn't know!" That's ok, at this rate I'll have my degree in about a year and a half, and Ryan's about to go out to sea, I'll need to stay busy anyways *rolls eyes*.

SD

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pre Or Post?

A recent comment from a girl I know stated that pre-deployment is a pretty awful time. The anticipation, the waiting of the inevitable, preparing for the active duty spouse to be gone while they're still here, and so on and so forth. For Ryan and I, pre-deployment really isn't so bad. I always get a little overly sensitive, and because of this, everything is dramatic and enhanced ten fold, but other than that it's really no big deal. Post-deployment however is a bit more tricky. Ryan's been gone for 1/2 a year, I have new routines, new viewpoints on things, and have become more independent. Within those 6 months with him being elsewhere I have overcome work issues, home issues, pet issues, and friends and family issues without him. I'm used to a certain routine, which includes handling myself and only myself. Ryan comes home and has to not only adjust to life on land at home again, but me and the pets and our new routines. He has to find his place again. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't fight him on this, this is just something that comes with the territory of being gone for so long. The first few days are hunky dory, then the bickering starts. We basically learn to live with each other all over again. After a couple weeks everything is fine again, but for US, post-deployment is a little rough.

Whether you and your spouse have a more difficult time with pre or post-deployment, I think perhaps is a couple thing. Each person is different and handles things differently, emotions are different, situations are different. But I wonder, do more couples have a hard time during pre or post-deployment? Or perhaps the majority of couples have a harder time during deployment. I honestly have no idea. It makes me wonder what measures can be taken to avoid the pre or post-deployment blues. Could you just not think of the upcoming deployment and just spend as much time as you can with your soon-to-be deployed sailor? Could you try not to change while they're gone. I know that I could not just turn my mind off to the upcoming deployment, I would certainly spend as much time with Ryan as possible, but I am a planner and simply turning my mind off to a major event isn't going to happen. I can try, but it will be with little success. I feel that change in a person, during a deployment is inevitable. Both people become more independent. Views and perceptions can change while the couple is together, who's to say they won't change while apart? People grow whether they are with their significant other or not, I guess the best way to overcome that is to roll with the punches. Lucky for us, neither one of us have changed TOO drastically in the 2 deployments we have done. Views have changed, perceptions have changed, personalities have changed, some changes we've sailed through, others we fumbled a bit. When it comes to pre-deployment, Ryan pretty much just puts up with my over-sensitivity and occasionally he'll tell me when I'm getting carried away. I stop, apologize and try to keep it down a notch, with about a 50% success rate.

SD

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pre-deployment

After finding out that there's about a 2.5% chance that Ryan will be getting out of the Navy on his higher tenure date, I have been preparing for the upcoming deployment. Emergency contacts in place, make sure certain people have keys to my house, make sure insurances are in place, ect., ect. Besides being a tad overly sensitive, emotionally speaking I'm ok.

Our first deployment was the hardest, Ryan said "I'll be back in a couple weeks", SURPRISE, "babe, there's a lot going on, I can't explain, I won't be home for 5 months." That was when Bush first sent troops to Iraq. I was living with my parents and I just busied myself with college and wedding plans, but I was so lost and confused and had no idea what was going on, I had all these questions and had no idea who to ask. The 2nd deployment I buried myself in career stuff and kept plugged into the FRG, but I had all these emotions, I don't think I gave myself enough alone time. I didn't really give myself time to think or feel, I was intent on making the 2nd deployment fly by as quickly as possible, especially since he was going to be missing every major holiday. When Ryan came home from the 2nd deployment, I had no idea how exhausted I was, I slept for 14 hours straight! "Welcome home babe", *snore*.

I have a lot going on this deployment too, I'm finishing my bachelor's, working full time, taking part of the FRG, and other random things. But I'm going to give myself time to relax too, time to breath. I set a list of goals like I always do but instead of it being 2 pages long, it's only 1/2 a page.

My friend Alison just called and said that the deployment was pushed up, I hang up the phone and it hits me, deployment is here. You know how you know something is coming, it's in the back of your mind and even though you're preparing for it, you still can't quite grasp it, then all the sudden it hits you like a ton of bricks? Well that's me right now. Eh, we'll be fine, like I said this will be our 3rd and you learn more about yourself and your significant other each time, and you grow from that, you find things that work and you find things that you should try differently next time. But just because you've done these before doesn't mean they're any easier than the first one. Each one is just....different. And I think that depends on how to deal with it yourself. Now I know who to go to when I want questions answered, lol doesn't mean they WILL be answered. And I know to give myself time for me and that I shouldn't fight my emotions so much. Emotions are ok, you just have to be aware of how you act on them. Anyways, sounds like I'm approaching a soap box here, so I'm gonna make a left and recap. Deployment, here and now, stay busy, but not too busy, get involved in your military community, emotions are ok.

SD

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Friday

Everyone wishes everyone else a "Happy Friday" here at the office, the weekend is here, everyone has 2 days off, blah blah blah. WELL, today is truly a HAPPY Friday. Last week, my boss sent me an email asking me to please look into a dealers account, they are disputing a very large amount of money. This dealer has 4 company wide accounts, locals, TOL, and co-op. Yes I know, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, just know that each account is billed differently and in a different computer system by a completely different department, which makes doing an audit extremely difficult and time consuming. My boss needed this taken care of like 2 weeks ago, so this is top priotiry, and is coming from the top. For those of you that don't know me very well, I am extremely competitive, set over the top goals for myself, and nothing but excellence goes into my job, because for me it's all about climbing the corporate ladder, and being the best of the best. I see this audit project as a challenge, after days of gleaning files for back-up paperwork, shifting through boxes of cobwebby files, burning out 2 highlighters and going through 2 packs of sticky notes, I complete the audit. It's glorious, and I saved the company LARGE dollar signs. I give myself a gold star for the day. I get the thumbs up from my boss and call it a day. Yesterday I met with the big wig sales people on this account. I.....don't care for our sales reps for multiple reasons, and I get super nervous around them. So I go into the meeting, palms itching, I'm shaking, I can feel the face turning red, it's not pretty. I go in, talk, get out. Thumbs up from the boss again. Today I finished the audit report, and I'm stressing big time because the sales team still has to go to the customer and tell them, "No we don't owe you this much and this is why." My boss and I took the report to her boss, he looked shocked. So here I am thinking, "Oh god, what did I miss, crap, maybe I should have looked over it one more time, maybe one of the numbers is wrong, I probably just made a complete FOOL of myself. Maybe if I slowly sneak out of the room he won't notice, I can pack my desk and be gone faster than a speeding bullet!" He looks at me and says, "A LOT of work went into this, GREAT job. It looks fantastic." I stop wincing and stand up straight, "Oh, thanks. A lot of work did go into that. Thank you very much." A and I leave P's office and she grins at me. Today is an excellent day.

SD

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dennis The Menace In Dog Form

Our Rhodesian Rigdeback, Thor, has some behavior problems. We've done Petsmart training, we've taken training ideas from friends, the internet, books, and finally we called Bark Busters. Bark Busters is the largest dog training company in the world, their people are trained dog behaviorists and trainers and we paid a pretty penny but it has helped TREMENDOUSLY. It's been 3 months and we've seen a big difference in Thor. Right now he's at that age where he's in between the puppy and adult stages, and constantly seeking dominance. He only tests Ryan when he's been gone awhile and then comes back home, but he's constantly testing me, it's exhausitng trying to keep my mind set to that of a pack leader. I find myself at work getting upset and wanting to growl at my co-workers! I refrain from this of course but the thought of a choke collar around a certain someone's neck does pop in my mind. One of the things that we struggle the most with Thor is going for a walk. Thor's idea of a walk is me yelling his name and profanities, while he's gagging and choking trying to pull me like I'm skiing on water. We've FINALLY gotten to the point where he walks by our side but we have to continue to keep him in check. Yesterday I decided to leave Orion (our Golden Retriever) home and take Thor, just he and I. It started out great, I was so impressed! We get about 1/2 way through and we came to a fence with a little black dog in the yard, the little black dog starts barking. Apparently in doggie world the little black dog was saying, "Hey come jump the fence and play with me!", because that's exactly what Thor tried to do, with me still hanging on to the other end. After about 10 minutes of tugging, yelling, growling and jumping, I was finally able to get a good enough grip on his collar and wrestle him to the ground. (Keep in mind I weigh about 115-120 and I'm pretty sure that most of that is water, blood and bone. Thor weighs close to 90 and is nothing but muscle.) A young man walks by to see us laying on the pavement, I have Thor in a scissor lock and a head lock, we're both huffing and puffing and I'm growling through my teeth, I can only imagine what was going through his mind. I look up, "Hey how's it going?" He looks at the mess of me and Thor, and says "Uuhh...good" and quickens his pace. Tripping over Thor's legs and my own we stumble to our feet and I drag Thor away from the yapping little black dog. We trudge back to the house me muttering under my breath. Out of the corner of my eye I can see Thor looking at me out of the corner of his eye. We're walking up the path back to the house and up ahead I can see a little old man, a little old woman and a baby stroller. "Great." I pull Thor over to the grass and have him lie down. I straddle him, with my knees in his rib cage and wait for the couple with the baby stroller to pass. I can feel Thor's body tighten under mine and I dig my knees into his ribs and choke up on his collar. Thor begins to jerk away, I dig harder and try to get in between the incoming couple and my menace to society dog. Thor jerks away hard enough that I lose my grip and grab the leash just as I fall on the grass. I'm yelling at Thor, "NO THOR NO, STAY, LEAVE IT!" The little old lady starts yelling, "laydown, laydown!" I'm being dragged across the pavement by my dog struggling to get a peak at the innocent baby in the stroller. I get my footing together and grab his collar just as his nose swipes the baby's blanket. The little old man gives me a dirty look, I yell back to them, "I'm so sorry!" I turn to Thor who is now sitting as cute as can be in the grass with a butterfly twirling around his head. "Damn mutt." Now today when Ryan goes on a walk with us, there will be no little black dogs in yards, no little old ladies or baby strollers, there won't even be a duck in the river next to the path, and Ryan will look at me and say, "I don't know why you get so upset, Thor is doing great! I don't have a problem with him." Thor will look at me with the big ol' puppy smile and I'll lower my eyes at him.

SD

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lunchtime Dilema

I'm at work, I'm hungry, I look at the clock, "Oh, it's lunch time, sweet." Normally I don't take a lunch, Lord knows I have enough work to do that I usually eat my sandwich while I'm working, but today is different. To avoid burn-out, I've decided to take lunches more often. Last night I packed my lunch, not just a sandwich, but fruit and pretzels too, and put my book on the table. I started a new book yesterday called The Black Unicorn by Terri Brooks, it's a fantasy book and I LOVE fantasy and sci-fi books, I can't get enough of them, and this one is pretty good so far. So, I look at the clock and see it's lunch time, I happily unpack my lunch, and start looking for my book. "Where's my book? PLEASE tell me I didn't leave it on the table????.....Crap, I left it on the table." GAH! So, I've checked my email, checked myspace, checked facebook, checked my email again, read a friends blog, and it's been about 15 minutes. *Sigh* I look around my desk, I look around my cubie mates desk, I stare out the window. "Well, this is ridiculous, I'm gonna drive myself mad." Back to audits.

SD

Friday, August 15, 2008

Inspire Me Thursday

Lately I've been visiting the site inspiremethursday.com. The inspiration for this week is your wardrobe, to paint, sketch, write, ect., about your wardrobe. Well I have to tell you that when it comes to fashion and clothing I have no idea what I'm doing. I typically pick an actress that has the same body shape as me and copy whatever they do, or I steal my sister's clothes when I go home for the holidays. What can I say, I'm a jeans, t-shirt, flip flops kinda girl. I have a pair of Calvin Klein jeans that I absolutely love, but other than that, the majority of my clothes come from Forever 21 or Target.

OK, so you look in your closet and what do you see? "Hhhmm...dirty laundry, shoes, a couple of Ryan's uniforms, a cat." Nothing eye catching or inspiring unless "inspiring" me to do laundry counts. "Surely, I must have something exciting in here." I start rummaging through my wardrobe and I see a whole lot of black and a whole lot of vintage lace tops. So then I get thinking, what is MY style, T-shirts.....vintage lace? Can random and sporadic be a style? I have flowery skirts and black satin skirts, vintage lace tops and leather halters. It sounds very dominatrix, I know. I promise I wear normal things, jeans and T-shirt girl remember? Then I find a dress I wore at my wedding, not my wedding dress but the dress you change into as you're leaving to go on your honeymoon, before I know it I'm trying things on, there's clothes everywhere, it looks like my closet threw up. Ryan walks in the room and asks, "Hey babe, whatcha doing?" "Uuumm...I have no idea, what was I doing?" OH yes, inspiration. Well so far I've been "inspired" to do laundry, "inspired" to lose 10 pounds, "inspired" to dig the cat out of the mound of clothes on the floor, and "inspired" to clean up the mound of fabric I've created and named "I have no idea what I was thinking when I bought that". I've decided that my vintage lace tops are my favorite. I feel classic when I wear them, sexy yet covered, classy and sophisticated. Now, the real question is, do I LOOK classy and sophisticated as I run the 5 blocks from the parking garage to work in the morning in heels because I'm running late, dodging around people, applying my lipgloss, and catching my sunglasses that are falling off of my face? Maybe I should work on being "inspired" to leave the house earlier in the morning. Well, let's face it, in the morning I'll be doing laundry, digging out a cat, and hanging up clothes. Besides the brisk run in the morning can help me lose that 10 pounds. :)

SD

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It Just Gets Better and Better

In the on going battle of trying to get to the bottom of my puppies seizure issues, I have stumbled across some interesting information. One of the girls I work with was bored one night and decided to do some internet surfing on pet neurology. She discovered that a pet neurologist is nothing but a glorified veterinarian. They go through the same type of schooling, and graduate with a bachelor's in veterinary medicine, they go on to take boards just as every other vet does. They then go through 1 year of clinical practice, which a "regular" vet may not go through. A "regular" vet will then move on to working at a hospital or in an office setting, so basically they are going to do clinical practice also they just aren't paying for it and don't get a shiny new certificate for it. Regular vets can treat a pet the same as a neurologist, run the same tests, and provide the same treatment (as long as they have the equipment available to them, I would think MRI's are pricey so not every vet may have one chillin in the office). But of course, I don't know this, I've never done this before, I'm worried and panicky, so when the hospital says to take him to a neurologist, I think "Oh good a SPECIALIST, SURELY she will know what to do!" Well she doesn't and I could have taken my pup to any vet and they would have told me the same thing for 1/2 the price. (Quite literally, to talk to the neurologist was $105, to talk to my family vet is $45.) Well that's great.

So now I am no longer, Stephanie Denton, Accounts Receivable Clerk, I am, Stephanie Denton, Dealer Accounting Specialist. I do the exact same thing as a clerk, but I have 8 years of experience and shiny certificates so I obviously can't be grouped with the other clerks. Oopps, sorry, my sarcasm is showing.

SD

Monday, August 11, 2008

Money Money Money

Ryan's and my typical trend is that as soon as we save up a decent comfortable amount, something always comes up and it brings our savings back to not so decent. Last time it was car repairs, this month it's vet bills. I realize that the whole point of savings is to cover your butt for these emergencies that come out of nowhere that way you don't have to use credit cards. But honestly we're getting nowhere here. We save up, we pay, we save up, we pay, in the end we always just break even and I'm getting a little tired of just breaking even. Maybe it's just the way of the middle class, perhaps I'm not so good at budgeting, maybe our luck is just plain bad. Who the heck knows, all I know is that even though we save and save and save and work hard to pay off debt, in the end we end up clearing out our bank account b/c of cars or pets or whatever or we end up using our credit cards, which I am trying desperatley to pay off. *Sigh* Where's my winning lottery numbers or my big publishing break, huh? That's what I want to know.

Orion is still having seizures, the hospital has no idea what's wrong and they seem unconcerned. They told me that dogs have seizures all the time and I shouldn't be worried. The neurologist wants $1700 to run more tests to determine the problem. She also said that he might be epileptic which they cannot test for or treat. So basically she wants me to dish out close to $2000 to run a bunch of tests that may not tell us anything so then she can say, "Oh well I guess he's epileptic after all." How bout no. I called our regular vet and set up an appointment to have Orion looked at. I think a lot of our vet, I think he will be able to tell us if we should go ahead with the testing or if he can get Orion on medicine for epilepsy. SO, we'll see how that goes.

Ya know, with the amount we have spent on Orion's medical bills, Thor's behavior training, and just regular routine shots, neuters, ect., we could probably buy a small yacht. For pete's sake they consume a 35lb. bag of dog food every week and a half/2 weeks. That's $200 a month just on dog food. Good grief, that's a lot. Little heffers.

SD