Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How fancy!

It had been a while since I was able to visit my beloved college town, so I made a quick trip this weekend to visit with the bffs (and canine nieces and nephews).
My favorite niece.
Also, after much encouragement, my friend Hillary and I got the bff's boyfriend (pictured below) to finally borrow season one of Battlestar Galactica. The bff has staunchly refused to watch the show, though I have nerdily promoted it, for roughly four years, as she thinks that it is too uncool for her. However, she still wears shirts like this...

There was much wine drinking and dinner partying and bowling and March Madness watching during my visit. Though I typically don't care much for sports, college basketball is the one sport I actually find exciting and, as a Virginian, I must cheer on VCU for bringing it. Even if I wasn't a Virginian, I may have still cheered for them anyway solely based on the way they made the Kansas players cry on Sunday.

Side note: Has anyone ever seen The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia? I saw it at a friend's house this weekend and I OMG!-ed about 300 times in under two hours. It is a train wreck of epic proportions. You just can't turn away. Neither my words nor this trailer can do it justice, so just go stream it on Netflix. You know you want to.

I figured I wouldn't have much time for interneting this weekend, so I didn't bring my laptop with me. I returned home yesterday to find that the lovely Julie from When Your Feet Don't Touch the Ground has bestowed upon me my very first blog award, AND readership has EXPLODED (as in, it's in the double digits)! Awesome sauce.
Thanks, Julie!!!
So now I have to think of 7 random facts about myself.....
  • My hair has been just about every (naturally occurring) color there is, from bleached blonde to black. Red was my favorite, but I'm not sure if I can pull it off anymore. 
  • I am less than six degrees from Kevin Bacon. In high school, I dated Travis, whose dad was an extra in a movie with C. Thomas Howell, who was in The Outsiders with Matt Dillon, who was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon. Bazinga!
  • After watching The Walking Dead, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't last long in the zombie apocalypse. 
  • I'm an only child, and thus solely responsible for satiating my mother's overwhelming and extremely vocal desire to have grandchildren. I tell her she should have thought of that before making me an only child.
  • I've worn glasses since 2nd grade. Technically, I should wear bifocals. Only in the last five years have they become attractive, sexy-librarian glasses.
  • Jon Hamm is at the top of my Freebie Five.
  • I am filled with random, and mostly uninteresting, historical facts.
The rules of the award are as follows...
  1. Thank and link to the person who gave you the award.
  2. Tell 7 random facts about yourself.
  3. Pass on the award
  4. Tell them the rules.
So, here are the people I am passing this on to....

Jessica @ I&J

      Friday, March 25, 2011

      MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #35

      1. What is your must have gadget? submitted by Flying High With My Flyboy
      While I do love my MacBook, if I had to choose just one gadget, I'd go with my iPhone 4. Although the touchscreen keyboard and I still don't get along that well, it is a constant source of entertainment/keeps me connected to everything. I am an addict. Although, if the husband lets me play with his new (older version) iPad anytime soon, this answer may change.

      2. How does you adulthood compare to what you imagined it would be like when you were a little kid? submitted by L to the Third
      Honestly, I don't remember much about what I thought adulthood would be like. I do remember picking out wedding and bridesmaid dresses from my grandma's JCPenney catalog when I was a little kid, then I grew up and went off and eloped sans dresses and attendants. I'm pretty sure I never imagined that I'd marry a military man.  I also remember thinking that if people weren't married with children by, like, age 24 they were WAY too old. That part definitely changed.

      3. What is your favorite chocolate recipe? submitted by Our First Deployment
      A. I'm not terribly into chocolate (crazy, right?)
      B. I'm not much of a cook.
      But I do like to "make" Pillsbury Simply...Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are made with real ingredients (aka no "corn sugar") and always turn out perfectly.

      4. How do you deal with military life when it gets to be too much or too hard? submitted by Combat Boots And Pointe Shoes
      I have no answer because I don't think I've been faced with that yet. I'm pretty lucky in that the most bothersome things about the husband's job and/or my experience with military life in general (thus far) are rather trivial and petty in comparison to the stuff other spouses have to deal with (aka loooong deployments, pseudo-single-parenthood, etc).

      5. What piece of advice would you give a new military spouse facing their first deployment? submitted by The Albrecht Squad
      Once again, stay busy! Don't count the days. Have a pet to keep you company. Go do something fun. Drink lots of wine.

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      What's Your Song?

      I'm linking up for the first time (for week 5) via Goodnight Moon.

      Since I quit and/or got fired this week (honestly, I'm not sure which happened yet, but either way, I'm not working anymore), I've had much more time to pick up on my hooping, and thus I have listened to this song roughly 25 times. Though my living room is small, I've been able to carve out *just enough* space for it to work. Hooping, by the way, is an excellent source of ab exercise and it is actually fun. Get on it!

      Though the video is tiny bit of scary (White lipstick! Tori Amos-like red hair! Blue ladies with huge bouffants! Balaclavas!), this song is perfect. It's primal. It's mod. It makes you want to move. And you can see her uvula in this video. She's playing at Bonnaroo in June and she is on the top of my MUST SEE list.

      Dog Days Are Over by Florence + the Machine (partial)
      Happiness hit her like a train on a track
      Coming towards her stuck still no turning back
      She hid around corners and she hid under beds
      She killed it with kisses and from it she fled
      With every bubble she sank with her drink
      And washed it away down the kitchen sink

      The dog days are over
      The dog days are done
      The horses are coming
      So you better run

      Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
      Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
      Leave all your love and your longing behind
      You can't carry it with you if you want to survive

      Minutes 2:03 and 2:50 are where is gets amazing.

      Monday, March 21, 2011

      the end of an era (I hope)

      So I have worked at America's favorite Australian themed restaurant for a long, long time. It saw me through my formative young adult years. As in since I was barely legal. As in nearly a decade. I can honestly say, I would not be where I am today without said craptastic workplace. I would not know a great majority of my near and dear friends. I would neither know nor be married to the husband if not for said restaurant. So in that respect, it has rewarded me greatly.

      However, that place has also been the bane of my existence. I have (several times) sworn to never work there again. I was arbitrarily "fired" during college because the boss didn't like me. Seriously.....the reason given for my "firing" was actually something that a co-worker did and freely admitted to doing without punishment....yet I was still "fired." When the other manager (the one who didn't fire me) found this out and offered me my job back, I quit out of principle.

      I worked elsewhere for two years and, after I graduated from college, I hoped to never work at the corporate-whore pseudo-Australian restaurant ever again. And then I was unemployed in a new city for nearly 6 months. I gave in. I went in for the "transfer" hire and have been there for a year and a half. Well, my friends, that might be ending soon. No, not because I have an awesome new opportunity on the horizon. And no, not because I'm moving in the somewhat near future. I may potentially be getting FIRED because of one (rude-ass, redneck asshole) pissed-off-for-a-nonexistent-reason customer. Someone who cursed at me for no reason and lied to me. Then complained to my manager because I reacted in a pseudo-concerned way, that she took as me "trying to be funny."  And now (even though I almost want them to release me from this purgatory of restaurant hell that I seem to be trapped in) my job is in limbo. REALLY? Yes, really.

      Customer service sucks balls. I have played the "the customer is always right" game for like a third of my life and, to tell the truth, I am fucking sick and tired of it, because 75% of the time, the customer is trying to scam you to get free stuff. Hint to anyone trying to scam the system: If you complain about ANYTHING, even stuff that didn't happen, at a corporately owned restaurant, you will get stuff for free. They would rather give you free stuff than have you give bad press to your friends.

      Although I feel kind of bratty for complaining about my job (while I'm still technically employed), while so many people are out of work, I don't know if I can take it anymore. It is literally the most stressful aspect of my life right now (a life that includes an impending cross country move). It sucks that I NEED to be employed until we PCS in July. Even if I don't get fired, I'm considering taking my expensive and unused college degree and working at a grocery store or something just to make a few dollars and escape where I am now.

      In closing, for the love of God, be nice to the people who wait on you - at the post office, in restaurants, in retail, at Jiffy Lube - because they have probably dealt with ten people before you who treated them like shit. Trust me.

      Friday, March 18, 2011

      MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #34

      1. What are some of your ideas for staying connected with know, those people we moved thousands of miles away from? submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write About It.
      Well, I started this little blog here to stay in touch with a few close friends. I don't think that I'm going to out it to the family. There is always Facebook and I'm teaching the parents how to use Skype before we move.

      2. What's the most romantic gift you have GIVEN? submitted by Painting My Canvas
      I'm not really a romantic gift giver. It's just not our style. I give the husband awesomely nerdtastic gifts though. Examples:

      3. Would you encourage your child, if they came to you and wanted to join the military? submitted by Perfectly Imperfect
      Hmmm, well I won't be faced with this possible scenario for at least another twenty years or so, but I'd like to think I'd support their chosen career path (you know, unless they wanted to be a stripper or reality show whore or something). Besides, growing up in a military household, I would think that they'd have a better idea than most as to what they were getting into.

      4. What is your least favorite bill to pay and why? submitted by A Little of This, A Little of That
      Now that the credit cards are paid off, I am responsible for only one bill: the dreaded student loan payment(s). They are paid ahead and one should be done in under six months, but the other one...well, it'll be around for a long, long time. Even though I pay it every month (sometimes twice), it seems like the remaining balance just doesn't shrink enough. Every time it goes down another $1000 is a small victory, but it's still WAYYY too high for my liking. At least I have a fancy piece of paper hanging on my wall to show for it, right? : /

      5. What is the proudest moment you've had as a military spouse? submitted by Our Okinawa Life
      The husband seems to win awards nearly every quarter and got Airman of the Year for his wing last year, so there are ample moments to be proud of him.

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig oraibh! - Let's celebrate a proud Irish tradition by drinking shameful American beers

      I woke up this morning to the Dropkick Murphys blasting in the kitchen and I immediately knew that the husband and his brother were having Irish Car Bombs for breakfast. The jerks didn't even invite me and I am far more Irish than they are! Rude. I'm sure I'll make up for it later today. And don't worry, we have an automatic designated driver in the youngest brother-in-law who is old enough to drive, but not old enough to drink. Perfection.

      Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all! Don't make too many bad decisions.

      ABC's of Me

      I'm linking up with A Little Piece of My World for this one...

      {a} age: 27

      {b} bed size: Queen, but I’m looking to upsize.

      {c} chore you hate: vacuuming. It’s so noisy!

      {d} dogs: I want a Corgi sooooo bad!!!!!!!

      {e} essential start to your day: I MUST brush my teeth before I do anything.

      {f} favorite color: Black

      {g} gold or silver: White Gold

      {h} height: 5’4

      {i} instruments you play: I can play Mary Had A Little Lamb one-handed on a piano and the first few chords of Come As You Are on a guitar.

      {j} job title: Wait Person

      {k} kids: None yet, planning to pop one out by the time I’m thirty (assuming I will ever feel grown-up enough to do so)

      {l} live: In the state of my birth, Virginia.

      {m} mom's name: Betty

      {n} nicknames: Assy Poo (don’t ask), Ash Browns, Memurs

      {o} overnight hospital stays: I’ve only stayed part of a night in a hospital, when I wrecked my car at around 10pm, and was out of the ER by 3am.

      {p} pet peeves: People who drive giant SUVs and think that driving said giant SUV means they don’t have to follow the rules of the road.
      People who are shitty tippers.

      {q} quote from a movie: From the delightful movie Amelie:
      [Mme. Wallace is reading an old letter from her long-deceased husband.]
      Mme. Wallace: "When my sweet little weasel appears at the station…" Did anyone ever write you like that?
      Amélie: No. I'm nobody's little weasel
      Amelie to her indifferent father - “I had two heart attacks, an abortion, did crack... while I was pregnant. Other than that, I'm fine.”

      {r} right- or left-handed: Lefty!

      {s} siblings: I used to pretend that my stuffed animals were my siblings since I have no human ones.

      {t} time you wake up: on average...8-9ish.

      {u} underwear: I wear them. Typically hipsters.

      {v} vegetables you dislike: I hate everything about celery.

      {w} what makes you run late: Stupid traffic.

      {x} x-rays you've had: Teeth and upper body.

      {y} yummy food you make: Chicken casserole with egg noodles.

      {z} zoo - favorite animal: Alpacas! And this camel from the Louisville Zoo....

      Monday, March 14, 2011

      Weekend Getaway

      The pseudo-weekend is about to begin! Since the husband just recently worked two weeks worth of twelve hour days (including weekends, oh the humanity!) he is taking leave beginning at the end of the work day today and we are heading down to the Carolinas when I get off work tonight. It's not really a vacation, as we are just going to the in-laws' so that the husband can fix their computer, but it'll be a nice relaxing few days of hanging out away from home.

      In the past week or so, I have read multiple blog and message board posts about awful in-laws, specifically psycho-crazy mother-in-laws. These posts make me feel like a lucky lady. My in-laws are a delight. I've felt totally welcomed by them since the first time we met. They're kind of youngish on the in-law spectrum, barely pushing fifty. The mother-in-law and I share an affinity for white wine, get the occasional pedicure together, and I have rocked her hand-me-downs with no shame. Not to mention, she has 24 years of MilSpouse experience under her belt and still works for the Air Force, so she is filled with lots of useful information for military-illiterate people such as myself.

      We're also using this trip to try out new, less-stress-inducing travel methods for the cat. When we had our old car, she was a roam-free-in-the-car-kitteh, which worked out rather well for us. Then came the "Pooping in the Passenger Seat Incident of 2010"(and YES, she had a litter box in the back seat), which was very closely followed by the purchase of a new car with stainable fabric seats. Now she travels in a kitty carrier, which has turned her into a very unhappy and yowl-y traveler. We went to PetSmart a few days ago and procured some kitty calming spray that we intend to douse the backseat and carrier with, so hopefully she will calm down a bit for our drive this evening.

      I'm seriously praying that this works, as we have decided that instead of flying her to the west coast alone after we drive to Washington in July, we are bringing her with us. I really do not like the idea of an unhappy Sicily in the backseat for 10 days/3000 miles, but I like that possibility a lot more than the idea of her stressing out on a plane without us or an airline losing our cat in transit. We'll have to scale back our stops and find pet-friendly hotels (or sneak her in, shhh) but I don't know that any of us would be happy separated for so long. I welcome any and all cat traveling tips.

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #33

      1. During military separations (whether short or long) how do you keep yourself positive and motivated? submitted by Married/Single Parent
      This probably sounds too simplistic, but by keeping busy. While the husband was at boot camp/tech school, I was in college full-time, bartending/waiting tables 4-6 days a week, and had lots of friends around to keep me occupied. During his lone 4 month deployment, I worked quite a bit and took trips to see friends/family/awesome bands every couple of weeks. I always had something going on/something happening in the near future to look forward to, so I wasn't only focused on how long it was until he was coming back.

      2. What is your favorite concert you have ever been to? submitted by Young but Not (Completely) Dumb
      Oh dear, this is a toughie. For much of my young adult life, I was a concert junkie. The first five concerts I went to involved huge amounts of luck/friends helping me pull off a massive cover up so my mom wouldn't find out I was in another city at a "sinful rock concert." I once saw the same band three days in a row in three different cities. I've driven to both Atlanta and Nashville (from Virginia) for a show, then turned around and driven directly back (not recommended). Then there was the time an ice storm turned what should have been a 45 minute drive to a show into a terrifying and slippery two hour drive with poor visibility, but we didn't turn back. In short, I frequently made very bad decisions in order to see really great concerts.
      But back to the question. I can't choose just one, as there have been so many epic adventures. My third Tori Amos show (February 2003, Charlotte) was pretty cool, we had killer seats and I swear she made eye contact with me (I was literally leaning against the stage) during the encore when she played my then-favorite song. Radiohead at Bonnaroo (June 2006, Manchester) was once described as the best three hours of my life. I'm not sure if I'd still say that, but I will say that it was a masterpiece. The Flaming Lips at The Echo Project (October 2007, Atlanta) was fantastical. From the second row you're in the center of the confetti storm and Wayne Coyne's giant inflatable ball that he walks over the crowd in rolled directly over me. The Foo Fighters at Virgin Festival (August 2008, Baltimore) was awesome because they're the husband's favorite band and we had a nice view of Dave Grohl. The husband hardly ever goes to shows, so it was nice to go to a concert we equally enjoyed together. And last, but certainly not least, The Flavor Savers at Bonnaroo (June 2010, Manchester). There is just something about watching four grown mustachioed men in matching fluorescent pants singing 90s dance hits whilst busting out some smokin hot moves.

      3. What do you miss most about your "hometown"? submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier
      My actual hometown is kind of craptastic, but I do miss being able to see my soulmate (and her new baby) on a regular basis. I miss so much about my adopted hometown (aka college town) wonderful group of friends, my school, my favorite little indie restaurants, my super-winning trivia team, the walkability of where I lived.

      4. If you could run in any race, which charity would you choose to support? submitted by Wookie and Co.
      Either the Alzheimer's Foundation for America (for my Grandma) or the National Childhood Cancer Foundation (because kids with cancer are heartbreaking)

      5. You find out Willy Wonka is your father, what 3 course meal do you INSIST he create in that stick of gum? submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
      Mmmm, because I miss Xenia Kebab Grille so terribly much, I would like their falafel, the Athena traditional Greek gyro, and baklava. Who wouldn't want chickpea and lamb flavored gum? Yum!

      Thursday, March 10, 2011

      Hopped Up on Goofballs

      That pretty much describes me right now. I had a bit of surgery yesterday to remove several cysts and I'm not allowed to drive while taking the painkillers I was prescribed. So today I'm hanging out on the folded out couch-bed, eating antibiotics (one of which feels like it is semi-lodged in my throat regardless of how much water I drink) and tylenol with codeine while watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother. Fun times!

      I've had similar cysts removed before (they're tricky little recurring bastards), which in the past meant going to the doctor's office for no more than thirty minutes, getting a teeny-tiny injection of local anesthesia, having it cut out and stitched up, then driving away when it was over with. That was before I was seen by military doctors. Imagine my surprise when I was told that to remove them this time, I had to go to the hospital, put on one of those awful open back gowns, get all hooked up to IVs and heart monitors, get sedated and ride a gurney into the OR. This little production took around six hours. I just don't understand why they have to make everything so dang complicated!

      Friday, March 4, 2011

      I'm an Auntie!

      Meet Baby P. He's the brand new baby of my closest, bestest friend of almost 22 years, my hetero-soulmate Becky. You know how some people say they can remember the moment they laid eyes on his/or her significant other  and knew they were "the one"? Well, I remember when, at age 6, I was sitting in a new church my mother and I were visiting. I saw a little girl with big, plastic framed glasses and braids walking down the aisle and I thought, "I bet I can be friends with her." Luckily, my mom decided she liked the church and has gone there ever since. Becky and I became joined at the hip, bound together by our mutual love of Sweet Valley Twins and Baby-Sitters Club books. Together we survived our exceedingly awkward years (we had a longer awkward period than most), high school, terrible boyfriends, and living together for a year in college with an awful third roommate. Now we're old married ladies and she is a mommy.

      The picture above is more significant than you may think. See me, holding a baby who isn't crying? That never happens. Babies can smell my fear of them and like to make me as uncomfortable as possible when I attempt to hold them. This dates back to when I was 7 and was forced to hold my giant baby cousin at a family gathering. He immediately started crying and no one would take him from me. Traumatized? You could say that. But while I was back home this week, I got to visit with/hold Baby P on three separate occasions, the first time being when he was a mere 12 hours old. I even helped put on his first non-hospital-issued outfit. He never freaked out once. It was like some sort of miracle. I'm not saying I have baby fever now or anything, but I don't think I'm utterly terrified of them anymore. I am totally excited about getting to be the cool auntie who spoils him (which already started when he was in utero).

      MilSpouse Friday Fill-in #32

      1. Do you or your {spouse} ever wish your {spouse} was in a different branch of the military? submitted by The Turner Family
      I think we are both pleased with the Air Force. He likes his job and I like that the only place he can deploy to with his job is not in harm's way. It's a win-win.

      2. What duty station(s) are on your "No Way, Hell No, Not Going, Have Fun Unaccompanied" list and why? submitted by Every Branch
      I touched on this one last week. I dread being sent to BFE. Europe? Sounds awesome. Japan and Korea, while not at the top of my list, would at least be something completely different. Anywhere on the East Coast is not too bad because the family/friends would be a drivable distance away. Montana/Idaho/Dakotas? Sounds like torture to me. But I'd still go.

      3. If you could be one age forever, what age would you choose and why? submitted by Three Krakens
      23 was a good year. My life got on track that year. I went back to school, stopped being ridiculous (for the most part), got to travel, was surrounded by really good friends, and started dating the husband. Plus, I had a hot little body back then, sigh. [edited to add: Also, my 23rd birthday was EPIC. Pictures from that night will never cease to be embarrassing.]

      4. If you were a breakfast cereal, which one would you be? submitted by the C.W.
      I'll go with Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It's sweet, but not saccharine, with a hint of savory and a delightful crunch. Plus, everyone in our household likes it (yes, including the cat - she stalks people while they're eating it and dives in to drink the milk from the bowl when you're done).

      5. What is your morning beverage of choice and why? submitted by NH Girl Displaced
      Other than the rare occasion when I just NEED orange juice in the morning, I typically stick with water. It is the perfect thirst quencher for that super parched just woke up feeling. I save my Starbucks fix for early afternoon.