Friday, January 30, 2009

To Befriend...Then Again Maybe Not...

A wise woman (my grandmother) once told me that if you can count five true friends (not including family) in one lifetime then you are truly a wealthy person. I think I'm pretty damn blessed to be able to count four. Yet, there are times when we let people in our lives, that probably should have never gotten an invitation. I'm usually pretty careful when choosing friends, I know quite a few people. I make acquaintances easily, can share a meal or a drink with just about anyone, but actual friends I'm much more choosy about. So what do you do when you let someone in thinking that they could be a great friend and it turns out that that's not the case? Do you say "OH CRAP" and slam the door in their face, slowly pull away and leave them confused and bewildered, or just straight up tell them, "Thank you but I'm not interested at this time"? I don't want to hurt their feelings, but at the same time I'm really being dragged down. Being their friend is emotionally exhausting. I have heard someone once say that there should be an interview process before deciding on establishing a friendship, and frankly I'm beginning to think that that's not a bad idea.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Proper Work Attire

I apologize for my lack of...er...attendance. My creativity gets zapped by two things, stress and...oh what the hell, we all know it, lack of getting laid. Not a whole lot has been going on. Work, school, dogs, that about sums it up.

Although I have gotten some interesting comments on my wardrobe lately. If you don't know me, I like to push the line when it comes to hair, make-up and clothes. My hair is red, black and purple (tastefully of course, I do work in a professional setting), my make-up is usually dark-heavy eyeliner, heavy mascara, dark colors, and my clothes well let's just say I follow the company handbook but I sure as hell am not going to be boring. Chandelier earrings, glittery scarves, knee high boots and satin wherever possible. (I'm convinced I was a rockstar in a previous life.) So today, I've gotten the comments, let's see, 'Go Go Dancer' and oh yes, 'Dominatrix'. I about fell out when I heard that one. "Crap, did I bring my whip to work today, gosh what the heck was I thinking? I thought I left that in the car!?!" I haven't had a comment like that since the "Bad Madonna Day". Have you ever gotten ready for work, looked in the mirror, thought "I don't look half bad day today", get to work and think "Oh dear lord, what was I thinking"? Try a vintage lace top, black satin pants, knee high boots with the pants tucked into the boots, a lacy scarf, and glitter hoop earrings. Yes, yes I know, I looked like a bad version of Madonna from the 1980's. Go ahead laugh it up, get it out of your system.

LOL, reading back over this post, it sounds like I dress like a whore. I don't dress like a whore, I just work with a lot of old ladies who watch Andy Griffith and Hogan's Heroes re-runs. EXCEPT FOR MY BOSS, (crap I forgot my boss reads my blog...I love you *grin*). I cover all body parts that need to be covered, my skirts are no more than three inches above my knee, and the girls are hidden (for the most part, hehehe). Like I said I follow company rules, but I'll be damned if I'm gonna look boring. Now that I think about it, the reviews I have received are mixed and I kinda like to make the old ladies squirm in their seats when I walk in looking like a...what did they call me...oh yes, Dominatrix. Lol.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

On A Happy Note...

I realize that lately my posts have been very doom and gloom. I decided to sing a happy note and bring my faithful readers to a sunny side of Stephanie Land. (Beware of the purple unicorn, unbeknown to many visitors, he's not as friendly as he looks.) Last night the girls and I had girls night out. Our first girls night since Marina's been gone. It was sad, until I started drinking then I pretty much forgot about everything but the incredible flounder I had sitting in front of me. But I'm jumping ahead here...rewind.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans opened in theaters on Friday. Alison and I are die hard vampire fans and were on a mission to see this movie opening weekend. Tiffany digs the whole vampire thing but really, I think she was digging the hot werewolf guys more. Anywho...this weekend is also restaurant week downtown. Restaurant week is when all the fancy schmancy places that normal people can't afford but only once a year, put out a menu and you get a 3-course meal for $30. Not too shabby. The girls and I, well we're poor, so we jump at this opportunity. Last restaurant week was a blast and we've made this a posse tradition. We saw the movie, WHICH was killer by the way, and walked to Todd Jurichs. I had flounder, Alison had chicken, Tiffany had duck. They were all phenomenal. The duck however was by far the most tasty, in my opinion. Tiffany is growing a baby, so she ordered her meat medium well, they had a heck of a time getting it just right for her. I however tasted the duck all three times they brought it out and preferred it medium rare myself. I ordered cobbler for dessert, but what I tasted resembled nothing like cobbler, so in all honesty I'm not really sure what I had for dessert, but it was very good, and I had 2 cocktails in me at that point so I was as happy as goldfish in a sea chest. Our reservations were at 9, and we were one of the last parties to leave, the service was not as good near the end of the night, but seeing how it was after closing and they were shutting the kitchen down I'll give the server some slack. He was very friendly and very polite and professional when Tiffany returned her duck both times. The evening was great and just what we all needed!

I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to un-red the eyes in these pictures. I promise Tiff and I are not possessed...for the most part.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Posse

If there is one thing I have stressed a lot over this blog, it's having friends. I would be an absolute train wreck if it wasn't for my girls. The Navy can make you so vulnerable sometimes, your spouse comes and goes, you can never really "plan" for the future, you're always on hold or everything is up in the air. As much as I love this life, it can be very taxing emotionally and mentally, because of this, friends are an absolute necessity; and it is because of this that you have to truly choose your friends wisely. I am one that feels you are who you hang out with. When spending a decent amount of time with someone you can take on certain traits of their personality. Marina for example, she taught me to chill. Marina pretty much flies by the seat of her pants and I plan everything down to the last second, and like to line up the pencils. Enough time spent with Marina and you learn to calm down. Lisa taught me to be less judgmental and more open-minded. A great friend will teach you life long lessons, intentionally or not. Below is a picture of the 4 of us, me, Marina, Tiffany and Alison.

Halfway Party! Yeah so the Charlies Angels thing didn't work out too well. We all just kinda did our own thing and yes, I was a slacker and wore normal clothes.
Below is Alison, me and Tiffany.

Friday, January 16, 2009

And the Axe Comes Down

Ryan got his waiver back yesterday, it's been denied. We are officially civilians as of April 29, 2009. Ryan will be flown home early, which is a relief since he'll be home in about one-two months. I'm starting to realize all the crap I haven't gotten done yet that I was supposed to get done while he was underway...yeah, well, I haven't gotten it done yet. He sent me his resume yesterday to look over. This whole thing is starting to become real, it is what it is. Is it strange that I feel like I'm in mourning? People keep telling me that this is just a new chapter in our book. Well that's fine and dandy, but I'm really kinda liking the chapter we're in now. Oh well. I've talked to both civilians and military about this. Civilians look at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears. Military look at me and tell me that they completely understand. The military is safe and secure. You become accustomed to it, and Ryan and I are about to completely revamp our lives. It's a military thing, I guess not everyone will understand. Am I ready to jump out of the airplane without a parachute? More like being pushed out of the airplane...

Oh well what are you gonna do? One day at a time right? Ryan will be home soon and my stress level will go back down to normal levels. At least now we KNOW something, the waiting game is over.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Is Anyone Really Safe?

Lay-offs have hit the company I work for. No raises this year, and it's mandatory to now take 5 unpaid holidays in 2009. The first wave of lay-offs happened last summer, we're seeing the 2nd wave now. It's scary as hell. I think to myself, "Surely I won't be one of the ones cut, I'm the only internal auditor in the receivables department," but in all honesty I truly wonder if ANYONE is safe. Times are tough, no one has money, budget cuts are happening everywhere. Right after Ryan was deployed I went over our budget with a fine tooth comb and cut expenses, including my beloved Netflixs. It's scary to think that both Ryan and I could be entering this job market. I was looking online for accounting positions in a few key areas, Charlotte, North Carolina; Nashville, Tennessee; Norfolk, Virginia. There's just nothing, unless you want to make $8/hr. or you have your CPA certification. It's slim pickins people, SLIM PICKINS. All we can do is keep our fingers crossed I guess.

On a happier note, our Halfway Party is this weekend. Roughly halfway through any given deployment (and I say roughly because the party could be set for anytime within 2-3 months of the actual halfway date) the FRG plans a party for the spouses of the deployed active duty members. It's a celebration for us, we've made it half way, it's all down hill from here! We have a blast. We have a decades theme this party, 1950's-1990's I believe. Alison, Tiffany and I are going as Charlies Angels. Keep in mind that Tiff is 6 months pregnant, lol, should be interesting. We're pretty stoked about the party, it's one of the few things that we wives know we can look forward to when the husband comes home and says "The ship's being deployed, I leave in a few months."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Next Stop...Transition

Back to reality for me, Christmas is gone, New Years is gone, next stop, transition.

First off, Christmas was fantastic. Of course you can't go on vacation without a few set backs, such as Thor attacking some dog at the boarders and my fantastic friend Tiffany going out on Christmas Eve night to pick them up and she and Alison taking care of them the rest of the time I was gone. Orion having an upset stomach resulting in a horrible mess all over the living room, and then deciding to take the Christmas tree down himself. Gotta love pets.

New Years...well I hate New Years. I always have. For me, New Years is a reminder of all the things I didn't accomplish in that previous year, and oh guess what, you're now out of time. Curses to Father Time.

I'm looking at the calendar, Ryan will be home in a matter of months. Once he gets home we have 30 days to find a job before the Navy cuts us off. In this economy jobs aren't plentiful, and it's rather difficult for Ryan to interview when he's floating on the ocean somewhere. He could get a job anywhere, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Idaho, who the heck knows. SO, to be prepared for a potential move I need to get the house ready to rent, which means a little remodeling (our kitchen looks like you've stepped into the 80's). Then of course there's moving and anyone who has had the Navy move them knows how many hoops you have to jump through and the filing cabinet of paperwork you have to submit four different times. If Ryan does find a job other than where we are now, I'll need to find a place to live that will allow 2 large dogs. All of these things are running through my mind, not to mention, I'll need to leave my job and find something else. I was procrastinating in all of this, saying "After the holidays, I'll get started on this." It's after the holidays, I have no excuse now...bummer.

I've been a Navy wife for about 4.5 years, I've gotten used to Ryan's job security, I've grown accustomed to Tricare and it's loop holes. Ryan's gone a lot, but Ryan and I truly feel that time apart from your spouse is good for a marriage. Six to eight months is a too long, but Ryan has duty days and work-ups where they are gone a few days to a week or two at a time. There is no greater feeling than seeing your spouse after being apart. You appreciate them more, and it sparks the electricity that can drift away over time (let's get real no marriage is like the 4th of July all the time, especially if you've been married longer than a year).

When Ryan gets out, there won't be that job security. Do I think Ryan will get fired? Absolutely not, but people are getting laid off left and right and nuclear lay-offs just don't happen in the military. We'll need to pay for insurance. I didn't have insurance until I got married, so this insurance thing is very new to me. I've only ever had Tricare insurance. I was looking at the insurance through my job, and it's really lousy. Maybe I'm used to Tricare, you can have anything done and you don't pay a dime except for dental stuff, but the insurance through my job now, is really horrible. You pay an arm and a leg for practically no coverage, and you still pay a co-pay when you see the doctor, AND you pay extra for things like cancer insurance. I was talking to a friend and she said that it cost her sister almost $2000 with insurance to have her baby! You don't pay a dime with Tricare! $2000! At that rate, we'll never afford to have a kid! My brother-in-law works for an insurance company and even his insurance is lousy! I have no idea if all insurance is like this, I'm hoping this is worst case scenario, but I have no idea. No more military discounts. You can get a military discount on anything, movie tickets, concert tickets, fast food, clothing, just about every store in the mall offers a military discount. No more Nex, no more commissary. At the Nex you can find high end designer things for a Target price, it's incredible, and you pay no tax at either the Nex or the commissary. These may all seem like little things but when you have had them for almost five years, you've made them a part of your lifestyle. I've never ever had to worry about Ryan getting laid-off. I've never ever even THOUGHT about a medical bill. How in the world do these people who have been in 15 years make the transition? Are they scared like I am? Maybe I'm going off the deep end. The FRG, what the hell am I going to do without the FRG? Three of my closest friends I found through the FRG. I've been on the board of the FRG here for almost three years now. I had lunch with Kimberlee over Christmas, one of our FRG board members that was stationed in South Carolina. She misses the FRG a lot. She was so involved here and she really loved it, and it's just not that way at this new base.

Perhaps it's just really overwhelming and that's why I feel like I might drown during this transition. It can only get better from here, and if we move to Tennessee we have family there so it's not like we will be alone. I keep telling myself that this is an adventure. An adventure that is scary as hell. There's no doubt in my mind that we'll be just fine, it's just nerve-wracking while you're going through it. It's like Marina says, things may seem super crappy and all jacked up right now, but in the end everything works out for the best.