Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Being Touchy Feely

This has been one of the top news stories the past few weeks: Pat downs and full body scans at the airport. I usually stay away from overly hot topics, but since I will be flying next May, I have an opinion on this one.

First of all, I would much rather be scanned than touched by strangers. I don't care that TSA are professionals and they're trained. So are prostitutes. I don't want them touching me either. I am not and never have been a touchy feely type of person. I hug friends and family but not people that I don't know very well or don't like. I don't like shaking hands either when it comes right down to it. I certainly don't want strangers rubbing all over me, and yes, the TSA people do that from what I've seen on the news, especially in full view of lines of other strangers. I can count on one hand how many people have touched my boobs: my husband and my doctors. That's it. The thought of TSA people doing so in public sets my nerves on end. I will definitely opt for the full body scanners when the time comes. I will wear the most simplest clothing that I can find to do my very best that nothing looks suspicious on the scans so that I won't have to have a pat down in addition to the scan.

I've seen lots of people that say that if you don't like the scans and pat downs, then take a bus or drive yourself. That's a very narrow opinion if you ask me. You can't take a bus overseas and I can't imagine taking myself and my kids on a bus from California to Ohio in the case of an emergency or something. The Mister and I are taking a 15th anniversary vacation to Fiji in May. You can't drive to Fiji from the United States. Should I opt to just stay home?

When it comes to my kids, I will definitely avoid flying whenever possible. I really don't like the thought of strangers rubbing their hands over my children. My youngest, who doesn't have "normal" reactions to strangers, this will be a real problem for her and it makes me wonder if parents of other special needs kids have or will have the same sorts of problems when it comes to this issue too.

Something else that bugs me about this is where does it stop? It used to be that we just had to pass through metal detectors and send our carry on luggage through an x-ray machine. 9/11 happened and airport screenings really stepped up. It made it so that getting from your car to boarding your plane takes 2 hours now. We have to take our shoes off (which I find weird but not overly so, btw) and all other manner of things at the gate. Then came along full body scanners and now we have to be subjected to being touched by strangers. What happens when some reporter or someone else trying to make a point, gets past the new security and onto a plane carrying things they shouldn't have been allowed to take on the plane? I see a future of naked people walking around the airport and anal probes. I have to wonder how much I am exaggerating here, if at all...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hello Old Friend

Our Thursday meme brought to you courtesy of Booking Through Thursday

Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend?

(Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?)

And, DO you return books you borrow?

I don't borrow books. I think if I were to borrow books from friends, I would return them...eventually. However, almost every single time I (or anyone in my household) checks out books from the library, they are returned late. The same thing goes if we ever rent a movie or video game. We just have a block when it comes to returning borrowed items on time. I would much rather just buy my books, especially since I consider my books to be a collection, than borrow them from the library only to rack up fines and return them late.

In the same vein, I can only think of one or two people to whom I would loan my books and trust them to return them to me in a timely fashion. I can recall lending books to someone only to have the person return my books to me three years later. I've also loaned books out and NEVER gotten them back. At this point, if I give someone a book from my collection, it is with the understanding that I never want the book back and don't expect to ever see it again. I'm firm about it and not afraid to say no to a loan request, and have, either. ;)

Monday, November 08, 2010

I Knew It Wouldn't Last

So I'm all out of the running for NaBloPoMo. I figured I wouldn't make it to the end, but this year, it was out of my hands. My Internet connection has been spotty to say the least for almost a week now. As a result, I've had to turn in homework late, answer work emails days after I get them, and drop out of NaBloPoMo. I'm completely frustrated. I called Time Warner and they verified that I was having problems with my connection saying that my modem wasn't receiving info (No! Really?!?). I had a tech out on Friday and he blamed the problem on my wireless router. The wireless router tech blamed my Internet connection. I'm inclined to believe the router people because I've never had as many connectivity problems as I've had with Time Warner. We've had several issues with our connection since we moved here. We also have continuous problems with our cable too. For instance, my on screen guide doesn't work on my downstairs DVR box. My DVR also regularly will record only the first 10 minutes or so of a show. My HD channels tile so badly that I can't watch them occasionally too. Thus far, I'm am not impressed with Time Warner.

In other news...

As you may or may not have read in a previous post, the Mister and I are having a weight loss competition. So far, he's beating me by about 2%. We both decided to boost our weight loss with supplements. I don't know if you have had any experience with weight loss supplements but they suck. They work, but with side effects which suck. I'm not promoting them so I'm not giving names and don't ask. Do your own due diligence should you decide to try them out. The ones we both opted to try out have large amounts of caffeine in them. This means that we can't ingest any other forms of caffeine while taking them. No chocolate, no coffee, and certainly no soda. I haven't had any liquid caffeine in over a month. That's the longest I've ever gone probably since I was a toddler, lol. Lucky for me, I don't crave chocolate so that's not a big deal. However, I love my soda and coffee so it's been a challenge to give them up. I know. There's decaf but I don't believe in decaf. It's all or nothing for me.

Another result of our challenge is that I have given up fast food. I admit, I was a fast food junkie. If you've never watched Supersize Me, you should and you will understand how fast food can be an addiction. But you know what? I don't miss it at all. I feel really good about eating healthier. The biggest challenge of giving up fast food is that the kids don't understand it and they constantly ask to eat out. I need to sit them down and make them watch Supersize Me. I actually have it on DVD so I just might do that. The problem with making kids understand why eating bad food is bad for you, is that they are young and thinking about the long term ramifications of eating unhealthy food is beyond them. My dad has had so many procedures for heart disease that I've just about lost count. The Mister's family also has a history of heart disease. My kids have it coming at them from both sides. I need to change their eating habits now while they're still healthy and while I still have any influence in that area, lol.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010

On Having a Good Day and a Quiet Evening

I had a great day today. I sat out on my patio and enjoyed the heat. I only lasted ten minutes before I had to go in though. Highs in the 90's today. I love the heat, especially in November, heheh. I also got caught up on some work today. AND, the Mister called. He's doing well. His biggest complaint is being bored. In a war zone, I would think bored is better than the alternative.

As for my evening, the youngest's mouth got her sent to her room and the oldest is at the high school for band practice. It's just ME in my clean house relaxing with no kids to bug me. Heaven.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Swimming in November

We've been having beautiful weather here in SoCal. Considering the downright chilly summer we had, I'm enjoying the warmth. We're having a mild Santa Ana so our high for today was 88 and the forecasted high for the next two days is 92. I LOVE it. It was so nice that the kids went the neighborhood pool for 2 hours after school today.

Oh. And last night, (for those of you that aren't Facebook friends) the oldest child put regular dish soap in the dishwasher. The dishwasher was so full of bubbles that you couldn't even see the dishes inside and suds were running across the floor. It was pretty funny looking back. At the time, I just couldn't believe that she'd do something so silly. We had dishwasher tabs for pete's sake. Kids.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Should I? Can I?

November is supposed to be National Blog Posting Month. I don't even think I attempted it last year with moving and other stuff. I don't remember. Should I attempt it this year? With the Mister gone, I have even less to say than under normal circumstances, lol. But, whatev.

Today, I wasted a good part of my morning trying to buy passes to Comic Con 2011. They went on sale this morning at 9 am PDT. I was online at 8:30 and had the page open, my credit card standing by, and I watched the clock waiting for 9 am to roll around. It took something like 15 minutes just for the page to refresh. I was on two computers trying to get the website to work. It was so overloaded that it took about 45 minutes just to get to the first registration page. I typed in my info, hit "next" and then the next page wouldn't load. I did this until 10'ish when I checked their FaceBook page and saw the message, "We are aware of the current server issues and are working on a resolution. We apologize for the inconvenience." The comments on their page were quite funny. I certainly wasn't the only person who was frustrated. Anyway, at about 10:30, they posted another message saying they were still trying to fix the problem and to check back on the 8th for more info about when tickets would go back on sale. I was pretty disappointed. 2011 is the first year that I will have a chance to go and I can't even get the tickets, lol. The biggest gathering of geeks and they are brought low by technical issues on their website. Ironic, I think.

So closes my first post of the 2010 NaBloPoMo. ;)


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Handy Tip

I’ve been searching for a solution to a certain problem of mine for the better part of a decade. Researching soap making websites, I finally ran across something that made a lot of sense to me, knowing what I know about how soap is made. What’s my problem?

I’ve had issues with my face breaking out. It’s worse than it ever was when I was a teenager. It first started when the Mister deployed to Japan in 2002. Everyone told me that it was stress. Well, maybe that’s what triggered it, I don’t know, but it never went away. In the years since, I’ve tried everything from face washes, astringents, and scrubs that you buy at Target to the more expensive varieties you can buy at high end department stores. I’ve had prescriptions from doctors. I even tried Proactive and NONE of it made much of a difference. The only thing I didn’t try was a prescription for antibiotics because the side effects I get from them are worse than acne, believe me.

Then, a few months ago, before we moved to California, I ran across a website that had an alternative-type solution. At first I was skeptical until I stopped to think of the soap making process and then it made perfect sense to me and I decided to try it out. I waited a bit to make sure it wasn’t a fluke before posting about my results. I still get the occasional spot here and there especially when my hormone levels are up and down (if you know what I mean) but for the most part, I’m extremely happy. So, what the heck did I try??? Oil. I’ll be more specific.

I went out and bought an empty travel bottle at Target. It cost me $2.99 I think. Then, I made a solution that was 50/50 Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Castor Oil. You can try out different oils and different amounts BUT, the castor oil is a must. The other oil can vary. For instance, you could try sunflower oil. If you have oily skin, try a 30% castor, 70% EVOO mix. If you have dry skin, try a 10% castor, 90% EVOO mix. I’ve been using a 50/50 mix with great results. This is the method:

  1. Put a quarter-sized amount of oil in your palm. Using the fingertips of your other hand, spread a thin layer of oil over your entire face.
  2. Next, put some more oil in your palm (enough to thoroughly cover your hands but not enough that it’s dripping) and rub your hands together. Use your hands to massage the oil into your face. Relax your facial muscles and use upward, circular motions.
  3. Take a washcloth and using the warmest water you can stand, get the washcloth wet, and wring out the excess water. Place the washcloth over your face. Relax and breathe in the steam. When the washcloth has cooled, use it to wipe the oil off, again, in an upward circular motion.
  4. Rinse the washcloth and repeat step #3.

That’s it. You don’t need to wash the oil off with soap. The thin film of oil you leave behind acts as a moisturizer. This is my nighttime routine. In the morning, I cleanse my face with a cotton ball and an astringent. This is basically because some habits die hard and it also makes me feel like my face is totally clean to start the day. I also use the nighttime oil to remove eye makeup. It works just as good as store bought eye makeup remover unless you use waterproof mascara. That’s a little tougher to remove. If you find your skin drying out, use less castor oil or try this method every other day. I can’t say how it works using it more than once a day because I’ve never done that.

Not only is this a great way to relax at the end of the day, it’s all natural, and it’s very inexpensive. I don’t know about you, but I always have EVOO in the house. I think a large bottle of castor oil is 3 or 4 dollars. Use a good extra virgin olive oil. The more yellow and less green that it is, the better the quality. Another tip that I do but isn’t necessary, I wash my washcloth with my favorite scented soap prior to placing it over my face. That way, when I’m relaxing and breathing,  I am inhaling a scent that I also find relaxing and pleasing to me.

If you decide to try it out, I’d love to hear your results, good or bad. As someone who has suffered with adult onset acne, I was thrilled to my toes to finally find something that works and I can feel good about using it because it’s all natural.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bailey's Saga or The Murphy's Law of Deployments

The original surgery


If you’re familiar at all with deployments, you know, if something will go wrong, it’ll go wrong during a deployment. The Mister’s other deployment, I temporarily lost my eyesight in my right eye. That’s real fun when you’re alone with two kids. This deployment, my dog Bailey has been keeping me stressed out.

On September 24th, I took Bailey to the vet for a pre-spay checkup and to have one lump and two bumps checked out. One common health issue of Boxers is that they get skin bumps and lumps, some of which turn out to be cancer. One bump was nothing and the rather large lump under her front armpit was just a fatty cyst. However, the other bump had the vet worried that it was cancer. She recommended that it be removed and biopsied. Not wanting to take chances, I agreed to have this procedure done the same day Bailey got her spay.

September 28th, I dropped Bailey off at the vet bright and early and scheduled to pick her up at 4:30 the same afternoon. Everything went off without a hitch. I was pretty shocked at the size of the incision where the bump was removed. It was the size of a pencil eraser yet the incision was about three inches long. When I picked her up, she was still recovering from the anesthesia and pain meds. She cracked the girls and I up running into things and leaving her tongue poking out of her mouth for several hours. She looked like she had partied hard the night before, lol.


It's hard to tell, but this was right after her 1st surgery. She's loopy here, lol.

On October 2nd, I noticed that Bailey’s bump incision was looking kinda red and it was oozing more than it had been so I took her to the Pet ER to have her checked out. They said the incision actually looked pretty good but that I should make sure and keep her follow up appointment I had scheduled on October 8th. By the time I got her into the vet on the 8th, the incision was infected. Instead of getting her stitches removed, they sent me home with antibiotics and instructions to wash the area with a warm washcloth 2-4 times a day and to bring her back in on the 11th for a recheck. However, I noticed on the 9th that her incision had a gap in it about the size of a penny and whenever I applied pressure to wipe it with a washcloth, fluid flowed out of it to the point it was dripping on the floor (sorry, TMI, I know.) I don’t really consider myself to have a squeamish stomach, but this was pushing my limits. It was all I could do not to puke on the floor. So, I called the Pet ER and described what was going on. They told me to stop washing it and instead apply a warm washcloth inside of a ziplock bag as a warm compress. So I did this and by Sunday afternoon, her incision was almost completely open from end to end. By this point, I’d had enough and I trooped her to the Pet ER. After sitting in the waiting room for almost 2 hours, the vet finally looked at her and said that she needed another procedure. The infection wasn’t allowing her incision to heal and had caused it to gape open instead. So, he had to clean out the infection, create new edges on each side of her incision, and then apply dual-layered sutures to close it back up. Oh. And he put in a drain, which was just lovely. I spent almost the entire day on Sunday at the Pet ER. I am totally thankful that I even have one nearby.

Now, it’s three days after the second procedure.

The incision now, 10/13

I took Bailey into her regular vet for another wound check today. She’s doing so well that they were able to take the drain out. The vet apologized profusely for everything that I’ve had to go through with this ordeal. It’s been over 2 weeks (13 days to be exact) and Bailey still isn’t healed. I have to take her back again on the 18th to hopefully have the stitches removed provided nothing else goes wrong.

This was almost more than I could take. I’ve had Bailey at the vet’s 5 times in the last 20 days, two of which were weekend runs to the Pet ER for a total cost (thus far) of $1500.00 give or take a couple dollars. I guess for three surgeries and three different medications, that’s not so bad. I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed, that this is my deployment “thing”. I’ve paid my dues to the angry deployment gods and will now be left alone in peace to wait for my husband to come home. Sounds fair, right?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

7 Things I Did to Take Back Sunday

Having the Mister gone this past week has been an adjustment. I find myself getting sentimental over the dumbest things. For instance, I can't make myself erase our last Blackberry Messenger conversation off of my phone even though it makes me sad to see the little red "x" next to his name that means "Contact is Unreachable". It's pathetic, I know.

The girls have been really good all week. I don't think anyone believes me when I tell them that all three of us are doing okay, but we are. Every once in a while, I catch the oldest being too quiet or staring off into space and I know she's thinking about her dad and today, the youngest told me she was missing her dad. Still, over all, we're getting in lots of girl time, just the three of us.

Today, Sunday, I decided that I was going to take Sundays just for me. All week long, I work and take care of the house, kids, dogs, and whatnot. I've decided that Saturdays are going to be my commissary days and little shopping excursions for the girls. That's what we did this past Saturday. But Sundays, I've decided that they're going to be days that I get to do whatever it is that I want to do. I think I need a bit of time to ease into this new idea because this is what I did on my first "Me Sunday".

  1. I did my laundry. Again, I got all sentimental because some of the Mister's clothes were still in the hamper.
  2. I changed the sheets on my bed.
  3. I helped the girls with their chores.
  4. I vacuumed the downstairs, the upstairs hallway, and my bedroom.
  5. I cleaned the downstairs half bath.
  6. I hung wall decorations (it only took me 6 months) in the living room, entry way, and downstairs half bath.
  7. I cooked dinner.
Maybe by next Sunday I'll have figured out how to relax. ;)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The Great Sandbox Challenge

The Mister left on his deployment yesterday. When I got home from dropping him off on base, (which, btw, I was up at 1:30 AM!!! because of it.) the first thing I did was go to our room. When I hit the switch to turn on the overhead light, the bulb blew. I really hope that’s not indicative of what this deployment is going to be like for me, lol. I think deployments are what made Murphy’s Law a thing.

Anyway, I was able to talk to him last night from the airport in Bangor, Maine. He was leaving the country from there. :( I’m not sure when I’ll hear from him next. Today is his birthday. I’m sure, while it’s not an ideal situation, it’s one he’ll never forget. ;)

WeighYourself15Web

So, what does my post title have to do with anything? Well, the Mister and I have a bet going on while he’s deployed…The person who loses the most body weight percentage wins a prize. The prize that I have picked out is a new purse and the prize the Mister has picked out is a bicycle. The rules are that I cannot buy a new purse while he’s deployed which really SUCKS! but he won’t have an opportunity to buy a new bicycle so it’s fair. Also, the loser has to wait a minimum of three months to buy the prize that they lost because let’s face it, I will buy a new purse eventually, lmao. Now, he has somewhat of an unfair advantage. While in The Sandbox, he has to wear a bullet proof vest which weighs 35 pounds. Add 100 degree heat to that, and he’ll lose weight just walking around. However, we both want to lose approximately the same amount of weight which means that if we both reach our goal, I will lose the greater body weight percentage because I weigh less than him.

I really want to win!! Buying a purse, guilt free, would be a nice change of pace, heheh. I need motivation! Nag/ask me about it. Nag me here, on Facebook, Twitter, on the phone, nag me in the snail mail. I’m really good at getting started with exercise and eating right, but I lose motivation and fall off the wagon after about 3 months. With the holidays coming up, this is going to be a real challenge for me. I want to wiiiiinnnnnn!!!! Can you imagine the trash talk I will get from the Mister if I lose? Plus, that would be 9+ months without a new purse. Ouch!

Wish me luck on both fronts. ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Countdown from Ten

I found this on Lady Banana's blog. You know how I'm a sucker for a meme. If you choose to participate too, leave me a comment so I can read your post.


Ten hows:

  1. How did you get one of your scars? I have a circular scar on my forehead from the chicken pox.
  2. How did you celebrate your last birthday? Jennifer came out and stayed over for my birthday. It was pretty great.
  3. How are you feeling at this moment? Tired. A bit irritated. Anxious.
  4. How did your night go last night? Well, it took me forever to fall asleep. Once I did, I was out until the Mister's alarm went off this morning.
  5. How did you do in high school? Ok. I coulda done better but I was lazy.
  6. How did you get the shirt you’re wearing? I stole it out of the Mister's closet.
  7. How often do you see your best friend(s)? Every day. Until he deploys.
  8. How much money did you spend last month? Geez. Who knows? All my bills were paid so that's all that matters.
  9. How old do you want to be when you get married? I've been married for 14+ years.
  10. How old will you be at your next birthday? 34.

Nine whats:

  1. Your mothers name? Sherry
  2. What did you do last weekend? We had Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah. You read that right.
  3. What is the most important part of your life? My husband and my kids.
  4. What would you rather be doing? Than what? I like my work although one or two of my clients need beat. Still, I could always use a vacation.
  5. What did you last cry over? Don't laugh, but I just bawled watching The Deadliest Catch.
  6. What always makes you feel better when you’re upset? Yelling at someone. Listening to angry music as loud as I can get it.
  7. What’s the most important thing you look for in a significant other? Someone to be my partner in life. I got what I was looking for. ;)
  8. What are you worried about? Right now, school starting for the youngest and the Mister deploying. I'll be alright but I worry about them.
  9. What did you have for breakfast? Nothing

Eight yous:

  1. Have you ever liked someone who had a girlfriend/boyfriend? Not to my recent recollection.
  2. Have you ever had your heartbroken? Yeah
  3. Have you ever been out of the country? I've been to Mexico several times and to the Bahamas. I've been close enough to Canada to see it but have never crossed the border.
  4. Have you ever done something outrageously dumb? Yes. Recently enough that I'm still working on fixing it.
  5. Have you ever been back stabbed by a friend? Yeah
  6. Have you ever had sex on the beach? I've had the shot but I've not done the actual act on a beach.
  7. Have you ever dated someone younger than you? The Mister is 70 days younger than me.
  8. Have you ever read an entire book in one day? Yes. Lots.

Seven whos:

  1. Who was the last person you saw? The Mister. He's sitting next to me.
  2. Who was the last person you texted? The Mister. I BBM'd him though.
  3. Who was the last person you hung out with? The Mister and the kids.
  4. Who was the last person to call you? A client.
  5. Who did you last hug? The Mister
  6. Who is the last person who texted you? The Mister. He BBM'd me though.
  7. Who was the last person you said “I love you” to? The Mister

Six wheres:

  1. Where does your best friend(s) live? With me, in the desert, in Texas, in Ohio. Am I forgetting anyone?
  2. Where did you last go? Gaetano's and Albertsons
  3. Where did you last hang out? My office.
  4. Where do you go to school? UMUC
  5. Where is your favorite place to be? The beach
  6. Where did you sleep last night? In my bed.

Five dos:

  1. Do you think anyone likes you? Sure
  2. Do you ever wish you were someone else? Nah
  3. Do you know the muffin man? Nope
  4. Does the future scare you? Not really. Not anymore.
  5. Do your parents know about your blog? Yeah. I don't know if they read it though.

Four whys:

  1. Why are you best friends with your best friend? I'm married to him.
  2. Why did you get into Blogging? Lots of reasons.
  3. Why did your parents give you the name you have? If I remember correctly, my mom said she got my name off of a soap opera.
  4. Why are you doing this survey? Because it's easy content.

Three ifs:

  1. If you could have one super power what would it be? To fly or be able to transport myself from place to place.
  2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, would you? One thing? It'd be hard to choose.
  3. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could bring 1 thing, what would you bring? One thing? My cell phone. Everywhere has signal nowadays. ;)

Two would-you-evers:

  1. Would you ever get back together with any of your ex’s if they asked you? No
  2. Would you ever shave your head to save someone you love? To save them? Well, yeah. Hair grows back and I could always buy a wig until it did.

One last question:

  1. Are you happy with your life right now? About 75% of it.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Look at Military Life

  1. Military wives are fat, lazy, and dumb.
  2. Military wives cheat on their husbands.
  3. Military wives are gossips.
  4. Military wives have no ambition.

You know what? Those four things are true. They are also false. They can also be applied to military husbands, civilian wives, civilian husbands, and to just about anyone or no one. It’s just something to keep in mind.

One thing that really annoys me about living in base housing (I know, I know. Everything annoys me about living in base housing. I’ve said so before.) is that when I have maintenance come out, they treat me like I’m an idiot and talk down to me. I recently had them out because the igniter went out on my oven and it wouldn’t light. They pull out the stove to replace it and there was a piece of beef pot roast underneath it. Yuck, right? Well the guy hauls it out and makes a production over it. You know what? I’ve only lived here for five months and I haven’t made a pot roast of any variety in that time. It was my understanding that these places were cleaned before we moved in but I guess not.

Also, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, maintenance has knocked on my door wanting to come in to fix an upstairs screen in a window. I didn’t call them but you can see it from the street. We’ve been running the AC so I haven’t been too concerned about it. The thing is, is that they come here unexpectedly and without an appointment and just figure that any old time of the day, I’ll be available to let them in. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m not available. I work during the day and when I’m on the phone with a client, I just can’t tell them to hold on while I answer the door. It’s like they just assume that I’m sitting my lazy butt on the sofa watching soap operas all day waiting for them to come and light up my life. It’s vastly irritating. So, I called maintenance today, put in requests for three different things in addition to the upstairs window and told them to be here after 2 pm tomorrow. One of the things that needs to be fixed are the vertical blinds on the sliding patio doors. They won’t open. When I described the problem, the lady asked me, “Are they all turned in the same direction?” GEEZ! Like that’s not the very first thing I tried!! I also called the main housing office and told them that I want the brush that is outside of my fence in the canyon cleared away because it is within the “100 feet of defensible space” you’re supposed to have cleared around your house for fires but outside of the area we are responsible for keeping mowed.

We’re going to look for someplace else to live when the Mister gets back from his deployment. Oh yeah. For those of you that don’t follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter, the Mister is going on his first combat deployment soon. It’s ok. I’m not freaking out. I have base housing maintenance to take care of things while he’s gone. ::snort:: Seriously though. The girls and I will manage and he’ll be running computers the whole time he’s gone. Deployments are part of the military life and we deal with them. All I ask is that people don’t try and visit me while he’s gone. It’s nothing personal. I just try and keep things as normal as possible for the kids and I can't do that with houseguests. No matter who it is or how long they stay or what the circumstances are, houseguests are stressful for me. Whatever entertaining gene that my grandmother has, it didn’t get passed down to me. I know that there are people who will take this personally but it’s all in your head. I will say no if you ask, so don’t make me be mean.

Now, I’m off to make my will. Who wants the kids?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Everclear Concert

new-band

I’m a huge fan of the band Everclear. I have been since Sparkle and Fade. They are one of the few bands that I never hit “skip” on my iPod or turn the radio station because I’m tired of their music. The song Santa Monica made me feel good after we moved out of California and I was feeling homesick for it. So, when the opportunity came for me to get tickets to a local show, I snapped it up. It’s one of the many ways that Twitter has been good to me. ;)

We went to see them at a club here in San Diego called Anthology. This club is the nicest club I have ever stepped foot in. If I had a league, Anthology would be out of it, lol. They have a dress code for pete’s sake. Just in case you were wondering, I wore Michael Kors and the Mister wore Armani. There. I couldn’t resist saying it out loud. Hehehe. Anthology is also the first place I’ve ever eaten at that had a real chef. The food was pretty amazing. Little works of art on a plate.

The show itself was fantastic. They played all my favorite songs. When the band came out, Art Alexika, scanned the room and said that it was an Everclear dinner theater, lol. He’s a pretty funny guy.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details but I will say that it was a thrill for me to see them live. I wish that my stupid Blackberry would take better pictures so that I could share one but it doesn’t, so I won’t. They started their world tour today so if you have a chance to see them, I highly recommend it. They’re worth it.

Oh. And if you’re ever in San Diego and are looking for a night out, Anthology is fabulous. Good food. Good music. Good drinks. Great atmosphere.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

It’s Nerdtastic

Have you ever been to an Apple Store? Not online but an actual real life, in person store? If you haven’t, you should. It’s an experience.

We have one that’s really rather close to us at the Fashion Valley mall here in San Diego. We stroll in whenever we’re having a meal at the Cheesecake Factory or if we’re at the mall browsing.

So, the last time we were in, we were actually at the mall because I needed some software for my laptop and the Mister wanted to get a Magic Mouse for his laptop. We pick out our purchases and stand in line behind a computer terminal manned by an Apple employee. While we’re waiting patiently, another employee walks up and asks us if we need help. We told him that we were just waiting to check out. He replies, “Oh. I can help you with that.” Then, he takes out what looks like a modified iPhone, uses it to scan the software and the mouse and tells us our total. I think, at this point, both of our mouths were hanging open we were so impressed with this technology. The Mister, still somewhat stupefied, pulls out his wallet and hands over his credit card. The man from the future, err, the Apple employee, takes the card and swipes it down the side of his iPhone/portable checkout terminal then asks, “Do you want a printed receipt or do you want me to e-mail one to you?” He had been able to get the Mister’s e-mail address because the credit card he used to pay is the one that’s associated with his online Apple account. Sheesh! Being the environmentally conscience people that we are (we really just wanted to continue this futuristic experience) the Mister had him e-mail the receipt. As we walked out of the store, purchses in hand, the Mister’s phone beeped alerting him to an incoming e-mail. It was his Apple receipt.

It was awesome.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

San Diego Comic Con 2010

No. I'm not going. I said this to the Mister, but I feel like a kid who woke up Christmas morning to find nothing under the tree. I really want to go. In the worst way. When we found out we were moving here, one of the very first things that I did was look to see if there were still tickets available. All I could find were tickets for the last day and I didn't really want to see any of the panels scheduled for Sunday. Even though, over the months, the schedule has changed a bit, I still don't care to see any of the Sunday panels so it turned out to be a good decision. Still, I feel left out. I would give my first born (not really but you get my drift) to see the Big Bang Theory, Dexter, True Blood, and Chuck panels. UGH!! I'm sad.

For you haters out there that think Comic Con is for geeks and nerds OR for those of you living under a rock that have never heard of it...

GEEKS WILL RULE THE WORLD ONE DAY!!!! Get with the program.

Monday, May 17, 2010

What the Future Holds

I’ve become a busy person. When I first started this blog in 2004, I think it was to fill something that was missing. I was unhappy and living in Vermont and my blog was an outlet. I say this with complete honesty and no sarcasm whatsoever:  I think I would have fallen into a deep depression had I not had my blog during those dark times. I’m sorry if that sounds dramatic, but it doesn’t make it any less true.

I have since found other ways to round out my life. I’m still going to school (I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever be done with that.), the hubs and I make time to go out alone, and I have my own business. The only thing I can think of to make my life any healthier would be to start interacting with people face to face more. I have real life friends, but I never see them. We text, Twitter, Facebook, and read each other’s blogs. I also have several clients and lots of people that I work with almost on a daily basis. Again, we text, Twitter, Facebook, and talk over the phone. I’ve only met ONE person that I work with/for in person. I took one of those online evaluation things that said I probably have social anxiety and should seek help, lol. I’m actually going to do that because I think I do have social anxiety which is why I’m content to deal with people virtually rather than in person. That’s a whole other topic though.

Anyway, I suppose this is why my blog has been sadly neglected. I’ve even considered calling it quits but I don’t think it’s necessary to be so extreme. Who would’ve guessed that real life would take over my online life? Raising a teenager and a child with ADHD is a job in and of itself. Throw in trying to get my undergraduate and ramping up my online business manager business, and I have a little bit of chaos in each day of my life. I like it though. Other than my daily fight/argument with my teen, it’s a positive chaos. Oh. And base housing still sucks. But whatcha gonna do?

And  hey! I still find time to read.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trying to Connect…Or Not

We’ve been in San Diego over a month now and still haven’t settled in. I don’t know why. I suppose there’s lots of reasons at the top of the list being, laziness.

Our garage is so jam packed full of boxes, both packed and unpacked, both full of packing paper and broken down flat, that you can’t get into it. If you open the door from the house, you can’t step into it. If you open the main, big door to the driveway, you can’t walk into it. It’s spilling into the laundry room which makes it darned difficult to do laundry. It’s terrible.

Another reason is that we’ve been real busy. We’ve been keeping our weekends full of activities. There’s so much that we’ve been wanting to do for the past six years, that it’s hard not to go out and do it all at once, lol.

This past weekend we went to the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA. I’m sorry I didn’t get pictures. My phone died on the way there and  my car charger was in the other car. :( It was soooo busy that it was hard to walk around and see things. I went into the mystery books tent and once I had my purchases in hand, couldn’t figure out how to get to the checkout because it was wall to wall people, lol. Karen Slaughter was there. I almost had her sign a book but changed my mind. What did I get?

Well, I bought two Skippyjon Jones books by Judy Schachner. Everybody in my house is too old for these books but we find them hilarious and read them anyway, heheh. If you haven’t read one, do. I also got a SIGNED copy of Neil Gaiman’s A Game of You  from his The Sandman graphic novel series. I’m a big fan of his novels but have never read one of his graphic novels. The girl in the booth recommended I start with this one. I couldn’t be more thrilled that it’s a signed copy. And that’s it. Honestly, with two kids and my social anxiety, I had a hard time with the crowds and was ready to leave pretty quick. Oh. And the UCLA campus is pretty great. The buildings have some great architectural elements.

Afterwards, we hit Tito’s Tacos for lunch/dinner. It was just as good as I remembered it being when Jennifer and I went there two years ago. If you haven’t been and find yourself in the Los Angeles area, go.

So, tonight is a Twitter event for San Diego moms. I’m sure others can attend (it’s Twitter. Who could stop you??) but it’s geared towards moms and it’s to promote Kids Fest that’s happening here in San Diego this weekend. I don’t think we’re going because we’re trying to do NOTHING this weekend, but Twitter parties are usually fun and I’m trying to connect with other real life people. I think. I always have reservations about making new friends for lots of reasons. Mostly, I get tired of them or me moving away. It blows. Secondly, I’m a pretty terrible judge of people and some of the people I have tried to be friends with in the past ended up being not so nice people. That’s life I suppose.

Anyway, if you want to join in, the hash tag for the party is #KidsFestSDMoms. If you don’t know how to use hash tags with Twitter, let me know and I’ll help you out. They are having pretty neat giveaways to include family 4 packs to Legoland and Sea World as well as other stuff but you have to attend the party to be entered to win.

Thanks for reading to the end! I know I was longwinded.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Celebrate Differences

I have two very beautiful daughters. I know. They’re my daughters so I’m biased but I still say they’re gorgeous, both inside and out. I’ve talked about them often but I’d like to take this blog post to tell you a bit more about them and maybe a little something else as well.

My oldest daughter is 13, going on 21, lol. She’ll actually be 14 in July. She’s tall, thin, pretty, outgoing, and not afraid to try new things (for the most part.) I sometimes wonder if she was switched with someone else’s baby at the  hospital because I possess none of these traits. Then, she opens her mouth and her attitude spills out and then I know…Yep, she’s definitely mine. She has other flaws too. For instance, she’s lazy when it comes to her homework and her chores. She talks back way more than is good for her health. She picks fights with her sister over nothing (in her mind it’s not nothing, but in reality, it’s nothing). Sometimes she can be moody and no fun to be around for no good reason at all.

When she was younger, she had a speech and language delay. It made her different. Having a speech and language delay affects all aspects of your life. If you have a hard time understanding what you read or what is being said to you, you not only have a hard time reading, but you have a hard time with math, science, history, everything. It’s tough being different but she was lucky in that kids never picked on her for her problems. Luckily, she overcame this setback and performs normally in school now. Well, except for when that laziness thing interferes. ;)

My youngest daughter is 11 going on 7. She’s a pretty girl with the best tan you’ve ever seen. She looks like she’s lived in California all her life instead of just one month. She’s sweet beyond all belief yet she has a wicked sense of humor. She has some of the quickest comebacks I have ever heard in a kid or an adult. She hates to see anyone or anything hurt either emotionally or physically. She has the ability to pick up on other people’s emotions around her to the point where they affect how she’s feeling. This can be a good thing or it can be a bad thing. It’s bad when someone else is angry or sad and she ends up crying and upset as a result of picking up on that.

She’s a different kid though. There’s no other way to say it. She was diagnosed with ADHD but she also has developmental delays and learning disabilities. Despite having taken her to several doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists in three different states, we’ve never gotten a specific diagnosis for her. She has a touch of a lot of things but not all of any one thing. Sometimes, she exhibits traits of Asperger’s Syndrome or autism, but all the doctors insist she does not have either. She’s 11 but has the maturity level of a seven year old and that is the age of most of the kids she plays with, with them being as  young as five but no older than eight or nine. All of this has combined to make it so that she struggles in school. A lot. A really lot.

Because of her differences and the tough time she has at school, she gets picked on a lot. Kids call her dumb and stupid and ask her questions that they know are too hard for her to answer just so that they can make more fun of her for not knowing. We homeschooled her for a while in North Carolina but she missed being in a “normal” school with other kids. So, we put her back into public schools here in California. She’s gone to school here all of 4 1/2 days and has already come home crying because of the other kids. Today, something pretty major happened and her dad and I had to go into the school.

It’s tough being different. Maybe all of this will make her a stronger person as an adult. Maybe being bullied is a part of growing up. Maybe saying that being bullied is a part of growing up is an easy answer to why a child hasn’t been instilled with the knowledge that being mean to others for the sake of being mean is wrong. Maybe more kids need to be taught that their actions have consequences and that making someone cry isn’t funny. Maybe more kids need to realize that words can injure and leave permanent damage in the same way that fists and weapons can.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Good Things

Grumpy and the lesser known dwarf, Bitchy have been my favorite dwarves of late. So, it's nice to have a few things to look forward to that are good.

We're doing something this weekend. I don't know what yet, but it'll be either the beach, Seaport Village, or maybe Old Town. We'll have to wait and see what we're in the mood to do and what the weather is like.

Next Saturday, the 17th, we're going to a Padres game. The Mister bought the tickets weeks ago, lol. He got them online at that website, www.stubhub.com. From what I understand, the tickets are sold by season ticket holders that don't plan on attending the game or event. Which means, they are excellent seats. We're very excited to take the kids to a major league game. We went to a few minor league baseball games in NC and the girls thought that was cool. Just wait until they see a major league game!

The following weekend after the baseball game, we are going to the LA Time Festival of Books!! I'm so excited about this that I could pee myself. I've been reading about Literary Feline's experiences at the festival for the past couple years and I can't believe that I actually get to go this year. It's a two day event and we're not sure if we're going Saturday, Sunday, or both days but we'll be going at least one day. Woot!

That's the next three weekends! Woot! I can't wait. They are all very excellent things to look forward to doing.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Excitement vs. Boredom. Which is Worse?

Things I like about living in San Diego again:

  1. Convenient shopping. There is no shortage of places to shop.
  2. Mexican food.
  3. I like that it's not weird being here. It feels like we never left.
  4. The Pacific time zone. It's dumb, but I like knowing that when everyone else that I know is getting ready for bed, I still have three hours to go, lol.
  5. I like my new living room furniture and my living room.
  6. I like the view from my backyard.
Things I don't like about living in San Diego again:

  1. The neighborhood. My neighbor called animal control on us after only living here for a week. It was completely unfounded and the animal control lady was puzzled why she had been called at all. My answer to her was that the bored Navy wife, neighborhood busybody called her.
  2. I hate that base housing never changes. Why can't military spouses evolve like other homo sapiens?
  3. That we have bugs and our dishwasher is already messed up and the smoke detectors like to go off at random times for no apparent reason.
  4. I have a terrible kitchen. Despite having rearranged it several times, there just isn't enough counter space or cabinets. It's hard to cook harmoniously in it. Oh. And the light in the eating area was burned out when we moved in and we still haven't replaced the bulb. We eat dinner in the semi-dark.
  5. The garage isn't big enough. We have to park both of our cars outside. I watched kids bounce balls off of my car twice yesterday. I'm going to be driving a banged up piece of crap if we have to live here for any length of time. I WILL NOT buy a new car until we live somewhere else.
  6. The office is still full of unpacked boxes one of which contains my desktop computer. I miss it.
  7. The neighborhood. It just sucks.
I don't mind the earthquakes. They liven things up. We already had some sort of brush fire in the neighborhood. I'm willing to bet kids started it. There was also a house fire about 3 houses away. A kid started that one too. It's been pretty exciting living in base housing with all the fires, earthquakes, and nosy neighbors. I don't need to worry about being bored, that's for sure.

Now that I'm done here, I get to add to the excitement that is my life by calling base housing to see if they can send someone out to look at the dishwasher. Can you stand it?

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Grand Scheme of Things

We have finally arrived in San Diego. At the very least, this move has been an adventure.

I last left off when we were in Texas. No offense, but I don't care if I ever see that state again. It's HUGE and the western part is BORING. I liked San Antonio though and would like to go back and actually see some of it. Seeing our friends again would be nice too.

Our next stop was Tucson, AZ. A very good friend of ours lives there so we made dinner plans and met up with him, his girlfriend, and their three daughters for dinner. You know someone is a good friend when you haven't seen them for six years but when you finally do, you pick up right where you left off. We went to this place called Chuy's for dinner. Pretty decent food and they make really good, really cheap margaritas. After dinner, we went back to our friends' apartment for some more visiting. I hadn't laughed so hard in a long time. Josh, our friend, said it was his goal to see me laugh/cry which I did several times. Best of all, we woke up without a hangover, lmao.

We made it to San Diego on Thursday. The very first thing we did was drive around Lakeside and Santee which is our old stomping grounds from when we lived here the first time. Very little has changed in Lakeside. They gated our old base housing and there are some new shops and stuff but other than that, it looked exactly the same. Santee has a lot of new shopping but it's mostly the same too. After that, we drove downtown to our hotel.



I booked us into the Sheraton because the room rate was decent and they were pet friendly, not charging any pet deposit. I had no idea it was such a nice hotel. I didn't look at the pictures online, I just read the reviews. I was a bit intimidated walking in. This is the kind of hotel where they take your luggage to the room for you. We had never stayed in such place before. The hotel lobby is on the 12th floor and our room was on the 24th. Our view was pretty great. The youngest parked herself in a chair in front of the window most of the time and watched planes land at the airport. San Diego's airport has a unique approach route with planes landing over the downtown buildings. It's neat to watch them land.

Thursday night, we walked to a place called Brian's 24 for dinner. The Mister chose it out a magazine because there was a picture of fried chicken and waffles. Fried chicken and waffles was one of the things we laughed about with Josh so the Mister had to try it out. He said it was a unique combination but probably not something he'd want again. I had the meatloaf which was yummy. I also had a Ruby Screwed which is like a Screwdriver but with grapefruit juice. It was GOOD.

After dinner, we walked back to the hotel (I love big city living) and left the girls in the room while we went to the Sky Lobby Lounge in our hotel for a few drinks. I had this:

Ciroc Champagne Cosmo
Ciroc Vodka, Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and
fresh lime juice topped with champagne and gar-
nished with an orange twist.

It was so good. The bartender was really nice and made them really good if you know what I mean. This night resulted in a bit of a rough morning on Friday. Perfect for having to go to the housing office for our lease briefing, lol.

So Friday takes us to signing our lease, picking up our keys, and checking out the new digs. Sounds simple enough but it was a process. First we had to go to 32nd St Naval Base for our lease briefing. This consisted of reading this HUGE binder and then going to a conference room with a bunch of other people so that the binder could be read to us. Something unique to signing a lease for military housing that civilians will probably never encounter is the explosive ordinance addendum. We had to sign a paper acknowledging the fact that our housing was built on the site of a former base and finding unexploded ordinance is a possibility. Fun times. After all that, we had to go to our local housing management office to pick up our keys and a folder with a bunch of info for schools, utilities, a coupon for a free pizza, etc., etc. We drive to our house and the keys wouldn't work. By this time, our movers were waiting in the street to unload our stuff. We had to tell them to wait while we drove back to the housing office to get keys that would actually work.

Finally, we get to see the inside of our new house. What do I think? It's base housing. That's pretty much it. It has walls, ceilings, rooms, blah blah. Oh yeah. And it has bugs. FREAKING BUGS!!! The water pressure is non-existent. The kitchen in miniscule. It says it has four bedrooms but it's more like two bedrooms with two oversized closets. But, it has brand new carpet and the living room/dining room is very nice-sized and we're using it for a living room/reading area. The kitchen is an eat-in kitchen so I have no need for an additional dining area plus it's all carpeted and I don't like eating on carpet. The view from the backyard is nice. It opens into a canyon which overlooks the 163 so we're high up and we don't have any neighbors behind us. Other than the bugs, which someone is going to get an earful when I'm done here, I can live with everything else. It's base housing. IT'S BASE HOUSING!! I expected everything else. I can live with it. That's my mantra.

I hate our cable. Time Warner is confusing. We have so many channels (it goes up to 1000+) that I can't find anything. If there's an organizational schema to how the channels are arranged, I can't figure it out. I've had Cox, Charter, Suddenlink, and now Time Warner and Time Warner is by far the weirdest.

The packers broke the flat screen TV we recently purchased for our bedroom. It turns on but we have no red. Red is black and skin tone is green. They took several screws out of the back of it trying to take the base off to pack it. I don't know if that's what broke it or if it was the actual transporting it 2700 miles, but it's broke. We'll file a claim but it could be years before we're reimbursed if they decide to reimburse us at all. We're only about 1/2 way unpacked and that's the only broken/missing thing so far. I guess I should count myself lucky. We know someone who was moving from Japan to the U.S. and they dropped his entire shipment off the side of a transport ship to the bottom of the ocean. So, things could be worse. They managed to get my Grandma's Italian table here with no problem and that's one of the few things we own that's irreplaceable. Other than that, our movers suck butt and I hope they rot.

My car was delivered after much hassle from the company. NEVER use Car Go Autotransport to ship a car. They suck ass. Suck as in S-U-C-K. I won't go into all the details cuz it's really boring, but in the end, they delivered my car sans the antenna. They swear it's in the car but my car is very clean (at least on the inside) and there is no antenna in there. I have to figure out how to get a new one because only one radio station comes in without it.

I have now moved into the, "I'm sick of moving, unpacking, living out of boxes, being so sore I can barely move at the end of the day, being so tired that I fall into bed exhausted but can't sleep because my back hurts so bad, sick of eating out constantly because I can't find enough kitchen stuff to cook with" phase of life. I'm irritable and I want moving, school, and work to go the hell away. AWAY! I've missed several assignments in both my classes so that a good grade is now an unattainable goal. I'm so far behind with work that the light at the end of the tunnel is no longer visible. And I don't think we'll ever be done unpacking. CRY, WHINE, COMPLAIN!!!

To get some perspective, we're back in San Diego after longing to be here for the last six years. The only complaint our old landlord had was that we didn't pooper scoop the backyard. (Go cry to someone else about that because we paid almost $1000 getting YOUR house ready to rent to SOMEBODY else and if dog crap is your only complaint, count yourself damned lucky dude.) All the boxes will eventually go away. Logically, I know this. Base housing isn't choice, but it's in a pretty perfect location, it's free (basically) and we don't pay utilities. As long as they get an exterminator here to kill the bugs, I can be happy here. In the grand scheme of things, life is pretty good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Don't Mess with Texas

We’re a little over halfway done with our trip. We really spread it out so that the driving wouldn’t suck and so that we could see people along the way.

We spent our first night on the road in Atlanta. I’m sorry to say it, but we didn’t take the time to be tourists in Atlanta. We considered stopping by the Olympic park Saturday morning but decided not to because we wanted more time in Pensacola, which was our next destination.

In 1998, the Mister was in Pensacola for his MOS training. I moved down there, even though the Marine Corps frowns on family living with you while you’re in school, with the oldest child into a tiny apartment with nothing but what I could fit into two suitcases, my purse, and a diaper bag. Still, it was the best time. We made awesome friends there and despite being broke all the time, it was all fun and we have only good memories. I really wanted the kids to see PCola and where we used to live.

We drove by our old apartment first. Neither the Mister nor I remember it being so rundown, lol. The whole town seemed run down. I don’t know if it’s life experiences that changed our perspective or if the town really has gone downhill over the last 11 years, but if I had the choice of moving there, I wouldn’t.

Anyway, next we took them on base to NAS Pensacola. After driving around looking desperately for the NEX (Navy Exchange) cuz I had to pee baaaad, we drove to a sandy/grassy area so the dogs could stretch their legs. The base didn’t seem like it had changed all that much.

After the base, we drove out to PCola Beach. This has always been my favorite beach. Real, sugar-white sand beaches, warm, blue-green water, and a really nice boardwalk. I’ve always measured other beaches to Pensacola Beach. Not much had changed there either despite the hurricanes that have passed through since we lived there. It was collllld though. Some fool was laying out on the sand in a sleeping bag of all things. It was also really windy. Even so, it was packed with people on Spring Break.

After the beach, we drove to Gulfport, MS which is where I had made us a hotel reservation. FYI, we stayed at the Residence Inn at the airport. We had a king studio and it was NICE. Very nice. If you’re ever in need of a hotel there, I’d recommend that hotel. Anyway, we got in early enough that we had time to go shopping at the outlet mall. SO MUCH FUN!! We all made out pretty good. Lots of good loot.

The next day, we headed out to our next destination which was San Antonio. Somewhere between the Texas border and Houston, we got a flat tire on the I-10. Changing a tire on the side of the Interstate was very much NOT FUN. You hear news stories all the time of people getting hit on the side of the highway. In our family, we have a long line of bad luck when it comes to carjacks and I was pretty scared. Nevertheless, we got the tire changed and we were back on the road in about an hour. Luckily enough, I got the warranty on those tires so we’ll get reimbursed for the cost of a new tire.

We arrived in San Antonio late and exhausted but really glad to be there. Our very good friends that we’ve known since Vermont now live in San Antonio and we were very excited to see them again. We spent all of Monday at their house visiting. Again, we didn’t get to sight see in San Antonio. The only things we saw were a Super Target, Jack in the Box, Discount Tire, and an Italian restaurant that I can’t remember its name. No Alamo, no River Walk. And I could really care less. Catching up with old friends was wonderful. Now if only I could talk them into transferring out to San Diego…

Today, we drove to Van Horn, TX for the night. Um. Scary town. The only reason we decided to stay in this town is because San Antonio is too far from Tucson to drive in one day. This is a hole in the wall town. We’re staying at the Ramada, which is the nicest place in town…unfortunately. The water is cloudy. We bought bottled water to give to the dogs and to brush our teeth with and we’ll have to take showers in Tucson. Yeah.

We went for dinner at the Wendy’s which is inside of a truck stop. Some old, greasy-haired, truck driver was checking out the oldest. I pushed her behind me and he freaking leaned over to see her around me. The Mister had to give the guy the stink-eye so he would knock it off. I was close to making a scene. The pervert was old enough to be her grandfather. Sick. I can’t wait to leave in the morning.

Our next stop is Tucson. We’re going to meet up and have dinner with an old friend there. We’ve known him since PCola but haven’t seen him since our very last day in San Diego when we moved away six years ago. We’re all very excited to see him again.

Despite the hotel room, this part of Texas is very pretty. The view out of our hotel is a mountain. West of San Antonio though, it’s very desolate. At one point, we could only get in one radio station, lol. I bow down to Steve Jobs. If it weren’t for my iPod, we would have gone insane.

Now, since there is nothing better to do in this no horse town, I’m going to catch up on some work and schoolwork and read a book. We're going to bed early so that we can get up and leave early, lol.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Finally...Some Down Time

After not getting to sleep until after 2 am last night, I finally have nothing to do. I figured I would take this time to update properly.

Monday, the packers were here, on time, bright and early. They seemed to be doing a good job. The Mister, Youngest, dogs, and I sat out back on our patio furniture while they were packing and they kept coming out constantly to ask questions. "Do you want this packed?" "Should we leave this out?" They told us to leave whatever we didn't want packed on the beds so we did. This is so that we can sleep on the beds one last night and then the actual movers box up the mattresses and linens the next day. Well, they left my bed alone but packed up the girls' and we didn't discover this until that night when we were trying to go to bed. The Mister had to run out and buy a blanket for the kids. Oh well.

Tuesday, the movers arrived, on time, bright and early. They very efficiently started moving boxes to the driveway and furniture onto the semi-truck. The company I hired to ship my car was supposed to be there around 9'ish in the morning but they got held up at a truck inspection site and were pretty late. What is irritating about that is that they weren't supposed to come until yesterday but asked if they could come early. Then, they told me that because they picked up the car early, they would be delivering it early, on the 16th, which is 2 days before we get there. I had to ask a "friend" to accept the delivery and this person made me feel pretty bad for asking. Thanks.

As the movers were loading the truck, I started noticing a LOT of stuff the packers didn't pack. I walked through the house the day before but I guess this stuff was behind boxes or something. They were also very "by the book" and didn't pack ANY of my candles which really pissed me off. Sorry, but it did. They also packed half-full bottles of some oils (for soap making) and left some of the others which I have no explanation for. They packed half-full bottles of lotions and body sprays, but left others. It was just very strange what they would pack and what they wouldn't pack. They packed four bottles of sodium hydroxide with no problem though. Explain that one to me. OH! And then this. I have this old toolbox that my dad gave me when I was 15 or 16. I used it to lock up letters from boyfriends, my diary, and other things that I didn't want my sister reading, lol. I haven't taken anything out of this toolbox since I got it. I mean, I would take out a letter or two to reread, but overall, it's never been emptied. The packing lady took everything out and dumped it into another box. I was pretty upset by this. It may seem dumb, but I felt really violated. They did that with a lot of stuff; unpacked boxes to put them into their own boxes. Whatever. They also wouldn't pack jewelry, savings bonds, or loose change. Whatever again. I think in the end, I don't like them very much. And to be totally bitchy, one guy spelled "board" "borad" on all our boxes. Like keyborad.

Wednesday, we spent most of the day picking up odds and ends in the house, touching up the paint (which I said I wouldn't do but did anyway) taking apart furniture that we threw away this morning, and stuff like that. Nothing too exciting. Well, I guess I had a bit of excitement turning in our cable boxes to the cable company. When we get there, the woman (who is ALWAYS rude) made us stand there while she chattered to herself, then asked what we wanted. I told her we needed to cancel our cable and she asked me for our address. I told her, "**** Sweet Briar Ct" then started to spell it for her. Since we've lived here, NOBODY has ever been able to spell our street name and always ask if it's one word or two. Well, she looks up at me with this disgusted, holier than thou look on her face not bothering to type as I spell, waits till I'm done then types our address in her computer. Sooorrry lady. I was just trying to be helpful. After that, I was all short answered with her just waiting for her to ask for our forwarding address. I so was not going to spell our street name for her. I was practically dancing waiting for her to ask. Finally, she asks where she can send our final bill and I say, "**** Bordelon St." She's like, "Say that again." And I do and she's like, "Borderlon?" And I'm like, "No. Bordelon." And she's like, "Okay. Borderlon." Like she's all correct and I just don't know how to talk. I didn't correct her. We'll see if we get our final bill in the mail or not. Regardless, I'll pay it online, but we'll see. Bitch, hehehe.

Today has been an adventure. We got up bright and early to finish picking up inside the house and moving all of our luggage into the garage. I had Merry Maids scheduled to come at 8:30 am which would give them plenty of time to clean and be gone before the carpet cleaners come at 4 pm. We also scheduled the dogs to go to the groomers from 9-11:30 so that they would be gone for at least some of the time. Well, 9:30 rolls around and there's no sign of the cleaners so I call to make sure I got the time right. The lady tells me that they had a scheduling issue and that they wouldn't be there until between 1 & 2. And they hadn't even bothered to call and tell me this!!! WTF?!?! I tell her that that won't work for me at all because of the carpet cleaners. She puts me on hold and calls an outside contractor to come and clean the house. This lady finally arrives at 10 BY HERSELF and says that there is no way she can be done by 4. I tell her either she's done by 4 or she's going to have to dance with the carpet cleaners because everything has to be done today. UGH!! So, she calls the Merry Maids people, explains the situation, and they agree to send her some help. On top of all that, because this lady wasn't scheduled to come, I had to walk her through the house and show/tell her what needs to be cleaned which is something I had already done with the other lady prior. The lady that is cleaning the house is real nice but I hate Merry Maids. I will never call them again. It's one thing to need to reschedule but it's another to not even bother to call. They can bite me. And it's not as if they didn't know this was a move out clean ahead of time either. Grr!

Anyway, right now we're sitting in the car while the house is being cleaned. I still have my cable internet and my wireless reaches the driveway, heheh. The dogs have been groomed and they're all pretty and smell good. I just hope there are no issues with the carpet cleaners. They've been here before so I think it should be all good, knock on wood. After all the cleaning is done, we're checking into a hotel for the night. Then we'll meet our landlord at the house in the morning, turn over our keys, and hit the road. First stop, Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm Still Alive

We're still in NC. Our stuff is not. We are sleeping on air mattresses but will be checking into a hotel tomorrow night. I'm having Merry Maids and the carpet cleaners come tomorrow. We still have some work to do around this house with taking stuff to the recycling center and to Goodwill. We're also taking the dogs to the dog groomers tomorrow in hopes that they won't stink up the car too bad.

Umm..We've been watching lots of Hulu on the laptop. It's just too darn quiet without the TV on in the house. We bought some pretty awesome air mattresses though.

We're exhausted but hanging in there. We'll be hitting the road first thing Friday morning.

I have lots more that I want to write about but I have to work now. Yep. 10:11 PM but this is the first opportunity that I've had all day to work. At least I can do so from my "bed".

Tomorrow is going to be a really hard day for the oldest child since it's her last day of school here. I'm dreading it. She could use some positive thoughts if you have any to spare. ;)

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thursday Meme

Brought to you by Booking Through Thursday

In honor of National Grammar Day … it IS “March Fourth” after all … do you have any grammar books? Punctuation? Writing guidelines? Style books?

More importantly, have you read them?

How do you feel about grammar in general? Important? Vital? Unnecessary? Fussy?


I'm an English major. I have TONS of grammar and style books scattered throughout my house. Have I read them? Not cover to cover but I refer to them constantly. Loads. All the time.

I feel that grammar is very important. It is a foundation. However, I also think that it can be fussy at times. In particular, I think using whom in everyday language sounds pretentious, lol. Yeah, yeah. You're a grammar whiz that knows when to use who and whom, but is it really necessary to make the distinction all the time?

I also think, being the parent of a texting teenager, that we are raising a generation of grammatically impaired kids. IKR, IDK, OMG, thx, kk, sup, ur, and tons of other shortened and abbreviated words are becoming everyday terminology. I use them myself which makes me a bad example, lol. My daughter purposely misspells words in texts that she knows how to spell otherwise but does so because it's cool. I worry that it will become a habit. This generation of kids will be leading our country someday.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Me and My Nook

I mentioned yesterday that the Mister and I got ourselves Nooks. If you read my blog at all, you know how long and how much I have debated on getting an electronic book reader. When it comes to books, I'm very much a traditionalist. I love browsing in book stores. I enjoy the quiet atmosphere of being surrounded by books. I love buying books. I consider my books to be a collection. They reflect who I am and my interests. I enjoy displaying them on bookshelves in my house. My favorite pastime is curling up with a good page turner and losing myself in a story. I really could go on and on.


I have another obsession: electronic gadgets. It gives me a little thrill to have the latest, greatest, most technologically advanced gadget in my hot little hand. If you ever see me without at least one of my beloved gadgets, my Blackberry, my iPod, or a laptop (usually I have all of them within reach), then something is probably seriously wrong with me. Now, I get to combine my two favorite obsessions in my Nook. I LOVE IT!


What I love about it:



  • The size is pretty perfect. It's about the size of a DVD case which is slightly bigger than a paperback but smaller than most hardcover books. It's also lightweight.


  • Aesthetically it also appeals to me. It looks very "now" which is to say it's sleek and with its two screens, it looks technologically advanced.


  • I like that you can download newspapers and magazines (choices are currently limited, but more will be along eventually) as well as books.


  • You can pre-order unreleased books and you will get a notification as soon as your book is ready to download. This is a nice feature for those of us lacking patience.


  • You can lend your books to other Nook users. This, to me, is a truly great feature.


  • You can use either cell phone towers or Wifi to access online features. This means that you can browse and purchase books virtually anywhere.


  • The main display has NO glare at all, even in direct sunlight. When I try to read books on my iPod, I sometimes have a hard time seeing the screen when I am outside. The display on the Nook actually looks like a page out of a book.


  • The touch screen navigation makes it super easy to add bookmarks. It's also simple to navigate your way around the Nook. This screen is backlit.


  • You can upload MP3's to your Nook so that you can listen to music while you read. It has built in speakers as well as a headphone jack.


  • You have several choices of fonts and font sizes. There should be something in there to please everyone.


  • The Nook has a built in dictionary so that you can look up words that you don't recognize.


  • The Nook has a sleep timer, screensavers, wallpapers, and other features which allow you to personalize your device.


  • It comes with 1.28 GB of internal memory as well as a slot for a microSD memory card.


  • I haven't timed it, but the battery lasts a good long time. I think I'm going on day 4 or 5 and still have 27% of my battery left since I've last plugged it in.


  • You can download daily free content and you also get special free content if you take your Nook into a Barnes and Noble.


What I don't like about the Nook:



  • While books are lendable, not all of them are.


  • The main reading screen isn't backlit. HOWEVER, if it were, the battery wouldn't last as long. Not having the screen backlit is something that I can live with.


That's about it. I pretty much love everything about the Nook. I believe that it was money well spent. I wish I had had it for my trip to Ohio but I'll definitely have it for our trip to California, heheh. If you've been thinking about getting yourself an eBook reader, troop your little self into the nearest Barnes and Noble and play with their display model. I think it's a safe bet for me to say you'll like it. It's fun, it's versatile, it saves trees, it saves space (I don't know about you, but I don't have enough bookshelves.) it's convenient, and it encourages reading. What more could you want??



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Curling at the Olympics

We've been joking about how curling is addicting to watch even though we don't really understand what's going on. What's more, we can't decide if enjoying curling makes us nerds, old, or old nerds. Check this link out. It's funny.

http://www.savagechickens.com/2010/02/curling.html

Keep Reading

I have lots to say. I’m thinking bullet points would be the best approach to how I’m feeling today, heheh.

  • The Mister and I got a Nook. I LOVE it. He loves his. We’re responsible for the sale of four more Nooks. :D I think I’ll have a post on our Nook to go over what I like and dislike about it later.
  • I’m sick. I just have a cold but I feel like I’ve swallowed razor blades. My throat is so sore it hurts to breathe. I’ve given up on getting a good night’s sleep.
  • I have taken both my dogs to the vet this week. They’re both very healthy thank goodness. The vet was impressed with Hannah’s lean, muscular physique. We always worry that she’s too skinny but the vet said he’d rather see a lean, muscular dog rather than a tubby dog. Which brings us to Bailey. She gained EIGHT pounds since her last vet visit in March. She weighs 69 pounds to Hannah’s 53 pounds. Bailey needs to pass a few of her excess pounds to Hannah. Then they’d be perfect.
  • We had the handyman out on Monday. He took care of a few household projects that the Mister and I didn’t want to do. Now, aside from cleaning, the house is ready to turn over to the new people.
  • I have Merry Maids coming today to give me an estimate on how much it will cost to clean our empty house. I’ve never hired professional cleaners before but I don’t want to do it so here we go. I really don’t know why I’m bothering with an estimate. I have no idea what a good price would be to clean a house.
  • I also have an appointment to take the Mister’s car into the dealer for a regular maintenance checkup. This is the car we’ll be driving to California so we want to make sure all its fluids and filters are good to go. I was worried about being able to get it in with all the recalls (it’s a Toyota) but I had no problem at all making the appointment yesterday. And as a side note, if I were in the market today for a car, I’d still buy Toyota. Just saying.
  • I have both the carpet cleaners scheduled and the pickup for the Scion scheduled. The only thing left on my “To Do” moving list is to get the girls into the dentist before we leave. I’m calling today for an appointment.
  • Our movers will be here 3/5, 3/8, and 3/9. That, people, is a week from tomorrow. Yikes!!
  • Classes are going good so far. Even with my sudden trip to Ohio, I’m still on track. I’m totally loving my forensic anthropology class. I have no opinion of my E-commerce class. We haven’t really done anything in that class yet.

Well, I think that’s it for now. I need to clean my house before Merry Maids gets here, lmao. I could really use a nap too. :/

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Real Quick

I’m in Ohio. I had to fly here Wednesday I think it was. My dad had to have open heart surgery. For the fourth time. He was told after his second surgery that they wouldn’t be able to do any more for him so for doctors to be willing to do a fourth was really scary. I booked my flight and was in the air less than 24 hours later. He made it through the surgery with flying colors though. They didn’t have to put him on the heart/lung machine which made such a difference. His surgery consisted of a bypass using a cadaver blood vessel (he has none left that can be used) and they also shot holes through his heart with a laser. About 11 of them. It’s amazing what they can do these days. But he should be coming home on Monday and I fly back to North Carolina tomorrow morning, which would be Sunday morning.

I’m tired and exhausted and wore out. I can’t keep track of the time of day or the days of the week. It’s pretty crazy. Anyway, I have to get up pretty early to go to the airport and it’s pretty late so I’m going to bed. See you all on the other side.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What I’m Watching Part…

Remember way back when premium channels only had movies on them? I can still hum the song that HBO used to play in the 80’s before a movie. Nowadays, my favorite shows are on HBO, Showtime, and I’m getting to like a new show on Starz. I can also remember a time when series’ were only on the main networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX. Again, these days I rarely watch the old networks anymore. For lots of reasons I suppose. A big one is that those networks show A LOT of cheesy reality shows (sorry if you don’t find them cheesy) like Survivor, The Bachelor, SYTYCD, and American Idol just to name a few. There isn’t a single reality show on the main networks that I like. Not one. Not even one that would make me feel silly to admit. And I’m not saying that baaaaad reality shows are limited to the big Four, just that all their reality shows suck, lol.

My favorite networks these days are Discovery, TLC, A&E, Bravo, TNT, and AMC. One reason that I like these channels are that they seem to give shows more of a chance to gain an audience than do ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX. Or maybe the shows I like on the other channels are actually better. I dunno. I just know that they tend to get cancelled less.

My top favorite shows lately are and in no specific order:

  • The Tudors (so sad this is to be the last season!!)
  • Weeds
  • Big Love
  • Hung
  • Secret Diary of a Call Girl
  • True Blood
  • United States of Tara
  • Nurse Jackie
  • Mad Men
  • The Closer
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • Two and a Half Men
  • The Little Couple
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • Private Practice
  • Spartacus:  Blood and Sand (the new show I mentioned on Starz)
  • Bones
  • Flipping Out
  • Raising the Bar
  • Dirty Jobs
  • Myth Busters
  • Medium

I would put cooking shows on this list, reality and otherwise, but I can’t watch them anymore. They make me hungry, lol. It’s probably a good thing. My DVR gets quite a workout as it is.

Do you wanna know what my monthly cable bill is? Well, too bad. It’s embarrassing to admit it out loud. You can take a guess if you’d like. We have digital cable with HD service, all the premium channels to include HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, TMC, Starz, and Encore, three DVRs and one regular cable box (which has never been used, lol). Needless to say, we will be downsizing in California. I’m going to have to wait with the common folk for my favorite shows that are on the premium channels to come out on DVD. Which, in my opinion is totally unfair. This is the concession that I am making. The Mister and the kids (of course) don’t watch those shows. The HD service, however, I could do without. I really don’t care nor do I notice much difference between an HD channel and a regular channel. HD is the Mister’s indulgence but we’ll probably subscribe to it out in California. I may have to do some negotiating, hehehe.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wild and Crazy?

Just crazed. I have moved into the crazed portion of the program. And before you tell me it will all work out, see the following post:  STFU It’s really not what I need or want to hear right now.

House hunting isn’t going well. Our number one favorite pick is a house that’s 4 miles from the Mister’s new base, it’s HUGE, the dogs aren’t a problem, and the rent is right. HOWever, they have someone that has already put a deposit down, sight unseen last I heard, so we probably won’t be getting that house. BIG BUMMER!

Our number two pick house is in San Marcos which is a bit of a commute from the Mister’s base but not terrible. It’s also a really big house but it’s nice and allows dogs. Couple issues:  It doesn’t have a refrigerator and the owner wants us to provide our own or raise the rent to buy one for the house. Really?!?!

Another house is the right rent, right distance, allows dogs, but wants us to start paying rent on it beginning on March 1 even though we won’t be moving in until March 19 and will still be paying rent on this house until March 12. I really don’t think that’s reasonable at all.

Other houses that we are considering are either too far for too much rent or too small. What I mean is that we would consider a longer commute for less rent and will take a small house if that’s our only choice. This really sucks out loud.

As for base housing, they won’t put us on the waiting list until March 10th. This means that we would have NINE days to get into base housing. Last time I checked, waiting lists were much longer than NINE freaking days especially for housing that allows dogs.

On top of house hunting for ourselves, our house we currently live in is listed for rent so I have to field calls from potential tenants and have our house ready to show at any time. That effing sucks out loud. On top of that, my semester starts on Monday, I still have work, and I still have homeschooling the youngest. You really gonna tell me not to worry? I wouldn’t risk it if I were you. Cuz on top of all that, I’m dieting and exercising again. Probably a bad time to start but at the same time, the exercise is good for my mind. I’m still sleeping at night and I haven’t killed anyone. Yet. However, denying myself chocolate and other comfort, fat-filled foods at this time is probably a risk to others, lmao. But, I've already lost five pounds in one week. Yay me!

 

Ugh.

Also, I need some sort of program that will sync between my laptop, my desktop, my iPod touch, and my Blackberry. I really don’t think such a wondrous thing exists but if you know of something I could use that would keep all my tasks, to do’s, calendar items, and e-mails up to date on all my devices, I would appreciate a point in the right direction. I need something that will work with MS Outlook.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Don’t Wanna Hear It

These are things my kids, and I’m sure tons of others, say that drive me up a wall.

  • “I AM!!!!”  Said in response to me telling them to something I’ve already told them to do at least once before. UGH!!
  • I’m up!” Said in response to me telling them to get out of bed in the morning for the umpteenth time.
  • I didn’t do it.” Sure you didn’t.
  • She’s bothering me.” Shut up before I bother you.
  • Do I have to?” or “I don’t want to.”
  • Responses to bad grades:  “I didn’t know it was due.” or “My teacher hates me.”
  • I’m doing it!” or “I did it/I”m done.” Again, in response to me telling them to do something, usually their chores or school work, after I’ve already told them to get going at least once or when they think they’re done but I can still see dirty dishes or counters that need cleaned.
  • It’s not fair.” Whine, whine, whine.

 

I’m sure I’ll be back to update this post, lol. Leave a comment with  your kid complaints and I’ll add them too.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Home is Where I Hide My Gun

We’ve started looking for a house in earnest this week. We have a line on four different houses that we like and I’m working with a “relocation specialist” (their term, not mine) in San Diego to help us find a house. Even so, we haven’t totally decided whether or not we want to live in base housing. Pros and cons of base housing:

Pros:

  • It’s free. We don’t pay rent or utilities except for phone, cable, and internet.
  • It’s safe. Unless we do something majorly drastic, we can live in base housing as long as the Mister is stationed out there.
  • There will be no end to the kids that my kids will be able to hang out/play with.
  • The housing area we are considering has it’s own Popeye’s (this could actually be a con, heheh), gas station, and convenience store.
  • The commute is very minimal.
  • It’s easy.

Cons:

  • Most of the units are duplexes so we would have neighbors sharing walls.
  • In my experience, people that live in base housing are gossips, busy bodies, and look for any reason to be in your business and to complain about you. Not all of them, to be sure, but a goodly portion of them.
  • The square footage is small.
  • We haven’t had to live in multi-family housing in six+ years. It will be a big adjustment.
  • You’re not allowed to paint. Anything. At all.
  • I hate base housing.

Three of the houses we are considering are in San Marcos which is about a 45 minute commute from the Mister’s base. But they are really nice. BIG. Of these three houses, one is really affordable and the other two, we can afford but we’ll have less money left over at the end of the month than we would if we lived in base housing. The fourth house is 4 miles from the gate to Miramar, it’s HUGE (5 br, 3 ba), and the owner is military. But it’s at the top of our price range being the most expensive rent of the four. Our biggest issues with these four houses are the rent and for the other three, the commute. The biggest “pro” of all though, is that they aren’t base housing. UGH! Not for the first time I wish that someone could tell me the future, lol.

No matter where we live, I have to have office space. I work from home and need an area where I can shut the door and work. No matter how disciplined I am, it is impossible to balance the books for an organization with kids and dogs pestering me. I need quiet for that and for the many other tasks I do. This could be a potentially big challenge in base housing. More often than not, you are given a unit based on how many kids you have. We have two so we rate a three bedroom. This doesn’t leave space for an office.

What to do???