Saturday, July 23, 2011

The C word

For the third time this week I've heard the C word.

I really wish we could banish it from our vocabulary. Cancer. It is a terrible word - awful word and one that does not seem to want to go away. It does not care who it strikes. My Aunt died from it a few years ago - my other Aunt is fighting for her life. My best friend's mother just passed away this week from cancer and two other folks in my life have been diagnosed.

I do not know what do say. I just am numb.

We have spent so much money on research and we still have been unable to get rid of the disease. We have made great strides in detection and treatment - but we have not eliminated it.

What are we doing in our lives - to our bodies - to our workplaces - to our environment that fosters the cancer to thrive? Have we altered our condition - food with preservatives, cleaning our homes with chemicals or breathing toxins? Have we done this to ourselves?

I wish I were a scientist. I wish I had the ability to cure the disease. I wish I could help those individuals living with cancer. I wish I could do something - anything - to fix these people in my life.....but I can't and that just stinks.

Friday, July 1, 2011

I am just irritated

I read this blog It is about a few women writing about their journey to independence from previous lives. I like it - but some guy completely ruined it for me. I just want to scream at him and I do not even have a friggin' clue who he is.

If I talked to this man in a bar - I have no doubt he would have had a drink poured over his head. I know I would do it - I did it once in college to a real ass of a man at a frat party - yet that is for another post at another time.

I do not even know where to start. He is trying to make himself out to be the victim. He was a great provider - a great husband - took care of his wife and kid - sacrificed everything for them - would not have sex with foreign women when they were brought to him as tokens of appreciation blah, blah, blah. See how I fit that last comment in there...yeah. He is a great guy.

He goes on to say he encouraged his wife to get advanced degrees even though she had a 2.0 GPA, he sacrificed and worked his ass off to give her brand new cars and pay for their kids college. He did this - he did that- it was all about him. What HE did for them.

Then he blames his wife for leaving. Really? You think she left because you were a nice boring husband and she needed excitement and sex outside the marriage. Newsflash buddy. She left you because you are a complete ass. I can tell - because your writing is so friggin egotistical, there is no way on the face of the planet you could possibly bear blame.

I am irritated.

Irritated because my sis dredged up another self centered creep. What the hell.

In the meantime I have a nice guy in mind for her - he is sittin in the friggin sandbox overseas - and he gets it. He understands how to be the best person he can be for himself - he gets it - and it translates, radiates to others. I know this because he made me want to be a better person when I was around him - he made me want to try my best and not give up and he did not have to do it by telling me how awesome he was.

Yet - he is there and she is here and he will always be somewhere she isn't so it doesn't make much sense for me to fantasize about them being a couple. Which totally irritates me even more.

I wish I could say "GOSH" like Napoleon Dynamite.

So - why, why, why does my sister find these guys? She attracts men that seem to want to save her. I know her as a strong woman in mind and spirit but I do not know her as a strong woman to have poured a beer over a guys head. I think she needs to get some balls and tell these asses of men they need to focus on themselves and leave her alone.

She needs to find someone like my Dan - who would go to the ends of the earth for her - without telling her he is. She needs to find a man that is confident in her independence, knowing she is bettering herself - which in turn betters the marriage. She needs to find a man that enjoys doing chores with her - cooking in the kitchen with her - going to church with her. She needs to find a man that is so focused on making himself better.

I think she needs to come visit me here and go for an early morning swim at the pool. She needs to wear goggles and enjoy the underwater sights.....yeah...and that is in and of itself another post...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Basket on My Bike

I have a basket on my bike. It isn't wicker - it is a wire basket I can pull off the bike and take into the market with me. I have a connection with this basket - we are a lot alike. I know it sounds weird - to have a connection with a basket but it says a lot about who I am.

Have you ever heard the phrase "You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes?"

I think someone could tell a lot about me and my bike.

I have a basket. It shows I am comfortable in my skin. Baskets on bikes are not cool - they just aren't.

I have a basket I can take off my bike. I have been told "You do not need to take that basket off the bike, no one is going to steal it." My response is "Yes. Someone will steal it because they think it is funny." I ride for purpose - not for sport.

I have a basket I put my clothes in. I am not above cramming all the stuff into a backpack and wearing the load - but not wearing the back pack demonstrates my brilliance in not having to carry the load on my back. Let the vehicle hold the weight. Thus you can tell - I am smart.

I have a bike with a basket - which means I ride with purpose and I am smart and I don't care who sees me. I must have a reason to ride. I ride to save money. I am frugal.

Comfortable. Driven. Smart. Frugal.

I must also add competitive and clueless.

I ride as if I am being chased by a bear. I ride hard and fast - yes - even with a basket on my bike. I must look like an idiot - but I am competitive - trying to get to work at a faster time than I did the previous day. On my way home I try and pick a car I want to beat - which is not hard as they wait in a line to leave the base. Yet - I push it hard - on my bike...with a basket.

I've been told I have to work so hard because of the "wind resistance from the basket."

I get grief.

I am clueless because as I ride, I pass Marines who are PTing. Yeah. When they run past they yell "OOOHHHHRAAHHHH" Oh yeah. Scares the shit out of me each time - and I have no friggin clue how to respond. Here I am - with a bike helmet, glo belt, navy shorts on a bike with a basket and the Marine's yelling "OOOOHHHHHHHRAAAHHH" when they run by.

I responded with a "GOOODDDDD MOOORNNNINNG" in a high, holy shit you scared the crap out of me voice.

It didn't happen just once - but a few times - the next time I answered "HELLOOOOO" - again in the high pitched voice, wobbling back and forth on the bike trying to maintain composure.

OOHHHHRAAAHHHHH. I have a basket on my bike. OOOHHHRRAAAAAHHH. I'm riding my bike 4 miles to work and you have probably run a half marathon. OOOHHHRAAAHHH. Does seeing me on my bike really motivate you? Yeah. Run faster - otherwise you might end up like the Sailor gal.

Speaking of which - neighbor goes by in his truck as we are walking up to the kids school. Rolls down the window and asks "Navy out getting their exercise today?"

I should've answered with a hearty OOOOHHHHRAAAHHHH.

Somehow though - I do not feel as if I've earned the right to use the phrase. Hell, I ride with a basket on my bike.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Planes, Trains and New Places

This past week I had a great opportunity from the Navy to attend a class in Pensacola FL. I packed up my bags and decided instead of trying to get to the airport by 0700 I would take the VRE and transfer to the Metro in order to get to the airport. I showed up early to buy my ticket and once I boarded I expected to have someone collect my ticket - only no one came. So I flipped my ticket over and read a disclaimer - basically came in the form of a threat - if you are asked for your ticket and you don't have one - then you have to pay like thousands of dollars in fines for illegally boarding the train. Still made me think I should've boarded the train and taken the risk. Yet, I've never been fortunate to talk my way out of anything and trying to get out of a fine for not buying a ticket would have been next to impossible. I am sure of it. So. I arrive on time and stand in line for the counter. Woman says to go check in on the lower level so I go - presenting my military ID because I am on orders and I am told I need to pay for my bags. I looked at the woman funny and said "I thought being on orders would mean I get my bags free." "Yes. You need a military ID" Then I said "Yes. I just gave you one." Then she said "Oh yeah. You just don't look military." Well - I wasn't sure how to take that - especially since I'm pretty insecure about my military bearing. So, not being sure what to say I simply replied "I guess I'll take that as a compliment." Then off I went - off for a scan and grope - but got neither. Security was a breeze except for the plastic playing cards. Something on the coating of the cards showed up as a suspicious item in my carry on. Hum. Makes me wonder what is on the cards. So - I get on the first flight and sit behind three guys that are all wearing WWE shirts - heads are shaved and they are wearing bracelets. The one guy had a bracelet that read "I love Boobies." I leaned forward and asked "What does your bracelet say?" He only spun it around so I could read it - I had wanted him to say it out loud but he didn't. I love boobies. Seriously. Then I got to thinking - I do not know any woman that would wear a bracelet that said "I love penis." It doesn't even sound good. What is the fascination with boobies anyway. Men pay to look at them. Men dwell on them. Men will pay a woman to get new ones. I need to Google Penis implants. I'm sure they exist but I do not know one woman that would pay for one. Really. Not only that - men are so concerned about their parts I doubt they would go under the knife to actually try and increase the size and stature of their part. Am I right? Now I'm freeking curious about implants for men. Does that mean I'm dwelling? Hum. So. The first flight goes well - the second flight I end up in the last row in the last seat next to the toilet. I only wonder what person I pissed off to get that seat. Really. The only positive image I can muster was the idea I would be the last to hit the ground if we crashed. I also thought I would be able to witness the jet falling off. I tried to close my eyes and sleep but it was difficult smelling the toilet and sitting upright. Then we arrived in Florida and I was happy. The airport is small and made me feel right at home. I also met at the rental car counter a man that was vacationing with his wife Mona - and they were getting a convertible and going to drive up and down the beach - visiting Margaritaville and soaking up the sun. I asked to go with him but his wife told him to stop causing trouble. I instantly fell in love with them and knew they must have a great time together. They were partiers and embracing life - living the moment and truly enjoying each other. I ended up running into them on the way home too! Which leads me to life in general. I enjoyed my time away from home - but I did not feel complete. I missed having Dan next to me - the bed was huge but empty - and I did not sleep well. The food was fantastic and dinner conversation pleasant - but I missed seeing things through my kids eyes. I discovered - while I do enjoy my time away - I am not whole. How is this? Then I wondered what happens when two people in a relationship move apart - how does the hole get filled? Can it be filled? Or when it does get filled - like old coal mine shafts - the dirt is there and fills in the tunnels - but it settles and whatever is on top ends up the hole is ever "really" filled. I know this happens because where my brother-in-law lived - his house was sinking. So - is the hole in the heart sort of filled in and then there is still a gap? How on earth can the hole possibly be filled again? Dan was married before - and with unfortunate circumstances - the marriage failed. He had to have a hole - and while I came in the picture and the kids came in the picture I cannot help but think I am a part of the surface and what is underneath - the original hole - still is there. I cannot fill the hole. No matter how great we are together - it is still there - will always be there and in this case - I think it is a trust issue. We have a deep understanding and trust for each other. I have been able to sit home and know where ever he is in the country - he loves me and no one else. I am confident when he goes out - he goes home alone. I trust him completely. My heart is rock solid for him. But - when I go out and although I know he trusts me - there will always be a gap - like a small air pocket in the ground - of doubt. Not because he doesn't trust me - but because of the hole from the past. No matter how much he says he trusts and believes - he has a reason to have doubt - small gaps of dobut - but none the less. I know it and I try to respect it and I try not to egg him on. Yet, I did - made a comment about finding a nice young pilot in Pensacola. I planted a seed. No matter how far from the truth it would be I went there...I started stomping on the hole. Not very nice of me at all. So why did I do it? Why even say it when I know it would hurt? I do not know. So. I spent a week in Pcola. Hanging out with a female co-worker, shopping and eating. I went home to an empty bed, in a quiet hotel and looked forward to getting home. I love the comfort I have and I know how special and lucky I am. I love that I have a supportive and loving husband. I love the fact we have two beautiful children. I only feel bad for those in my life that are not so fortunate and I wish I could fix it for them. I wish I could fill the holes - but I know - even if I tried - the holes will always be there and there will always be someone that would be ready to stomp in the hole. Those people just plain suck and they probably wear bracelets that say "I love boobies." Shallow bastards. Oh. I Googled Penis Implants - they do not increase size - only the ability to maintain an erection - there is not opportunity to increase size and length. Poor guys. No wonder why they love boobies - we can do something they can't. Make our parts bigger. Hah.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A new life and a new year.

I am a Naval Officer. I continue to pinch myself knowing I finally accomplished my goal. Now what. What do I do now?

I had a classmate that hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and the end was bittersweet because he had spent months wondering what the moment would be like and then when he reaches the end of the trail - his journey came to an end.

I'm at that point. I've spent all this time in school, worked hard to get here and I ask myself now what. My high is gone. I need a new goal.

I have a brochure from Northern Virgina Community College sitting next to me and they offer a basic EMT course. Hummm - I think that would be cool to learn. I fancy learning the guitar - maybe I should find someone that will teach me. I think about karate and the gym - but I do not have enough FIRE to drive me. What is it I seek?

I am hungry to learn. I am hungry to do my job and do it well. I want to be a leader but still unsure how I can lead in a system I hardly know. Should my passion now to be learn everything I can about my service corp and the organization I work in?

I found a blog today and I think I'm stuck in the mud too and I know I am easily distracted by shiny - all over the place with my ideas. I feel like I'm at that point where I met with the career adviser and I was all over the place and left him speechless - who does that? Leaves a career adviser speechless? Me.

I know I am where I belong because I am. But I also know I cannot be satisfied - there is more - I just need to pause and figure my path.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nobody can fail at West Potomac

I'm getting settled in my new environment here in Quantico, VA. Most of my free time I'm in the car, driving around so I can find all the "necessities" in life. WalMart, Sam's, Target, Aldi, Bed Bath & Beyond, Goodwill, gas stations, coin laundry and various eateries the clan likes to frequent. While I drive, I channel surf the radio and today I stopped on a station offering the local news.

This station was giving a traffic update and I'm quickly learning traffic updates and road closures are a huge heads up around here. I only know two routes US1 and I95 I need to pay attention to a few of the local runs. I listen for roads I have seen during my travels so I can get a mental image how often they have troubles. I95 is not really an exception but there are enough lanes that if something happens one lane can move.

Anyway -when the traffic report was finished the announcer indicated that an Alexandria High School has done away with F as a letter grade. Instead, the school is going to offer an I for incomplete. Needless to say I am appalled. I didn't get introduced to an Incomplete until college and I think that is where the I needs to stay.

Why is it we have become such a society that rewards bad behavior? Why is it we continue down this road of not facing truth? If a student is a failure we are not doing them a favor of offering them a way to avoid the fact. We instead make it acceptable to not rise up and meet the challenge of being a quality student.

What I cannot understand is we have a "free" system of education. In this country each and every person is given the right to an education. Yet, what I've come to determine is when something is given and not earned the value is diminished. There is no value placed on the "free" education we offer and we have created a system where students do not even care enough to show up to class. We have created a system where students deface and destroy school property simply because they are not held responsible for their actions.

Where there is no pride there is no honor.

I am ashamed a school system finds it easier to offer an incomplete rather than to face the fact students are failing. Why are students failing? What is the root cause? If we take a closer look I can almost bet there is not a parent in the home that is actively involved in the child's education. Parents fail their children because the emphasis is placed elsewhere - sports, fashion are just two - we can also blame our own system for perpetuating bad behavior. Yet, are we doing enough as citizens to change the system?

If I had a child at West Potomac, I'd pull my child out of the system and let another district get the tax dollars. If my child does not perform he should fail. How else will my child learn there are consequences for actions? We have to hold our children responsible for their behavior in and out of the classroom. We are not doing this country any favors - these students - the same ones that are taught failure is ok are the same individuals that will need to run this country. I often consider the fall of Rome - one such argument for its fall was incompetent leadership. Need I say more?

We have a responsibility to our youth, we have a responsibility to teach them about success and failure and how to handle each with dignity.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So it begins.

I left our home on Friday, September 10 2010 to begin a new journey and adventure. When I left, I left a supportive and loving husband at home and two fantastic children. The night before I cried wondering if I was doing the right thing. Sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing.

Think about it - everything we do that matters does not come easy. We have our challenges to overcome and we work at things. Just as we work at our relationships and our marriages or raising our kids to the best of our ability - we must work for results and it is not easy. I want to be able to provide for my family as well as satisfy a goal - it is not easy.

The first day of driving ended with me at a Holiday Inn near Syracuse. The parking lot of the place was packed and I could not believe the number of cars in the lot. Turned out there was an MMA fight. Huge following for that I guess. The hotel was really nice and I marveled at the fact I had an entire bed to myself and the remote to the television - but I was quite tired so I didn't really have the chance to enjoy the time. In the morning I wanted to get an early start so I simply got up and hit the road.

I ended up in Newport just after 4 PM and wanted to make sure that I stopped downtown to see the area before I headed to base. I also wanted to make sure I shopped for something for Janis for her birthday, which now that I did I'm really glad because I found out this week they won't let us leave the building and that made me feel a bit bad - knowing I can't run out and drop a nice package in the mail to the kids when I feel it necessary.

Yet - it is what it is and here I am. ODS.

I learned how to make a bed. The linens are flat sheets and the bottom sheet, you need to line up exactly with the foot of the mattress, hold taught while someone else pulls the other end of the sheet to the headboard and tucks it in while swooping arms to the side. Then you have to make a 45 degree angle for the tuck. Repeat for both ends of the bed. Bed cover - has to have the 45s too BUT you have a fold down of 12 in. -split the difference and that is a roll down point. Pillow is tucked and taught and centered on the bed.

We will learn teamwork and uniformity - if one person does it, everyone has too. With EVERYTHING - (well not everything) - but - the windows, if one person wants the windows open, they are all open and they are open to the same height. Crazy.

Walking to the bathroom (head) your bath towel is to be draped over your left arm - you walk on the right side of the hall, close to the wall. I can't even begin to think about everything we will have to do - it is crazy. Yet, here I am.

We have to weight & measure tonight so I'm a bit apprehensive - not sure how it will go, hopefully in will be fine.

I have a great roommate - she is a nurse from Phoenix heading to Portsmouth, VA. I've met a number of people but I cannot recall all the names. Shane, a prior service corpsman has been extremely helpful.

Oh - and for the record - living near the water leaves for a horn to blow it seems every min. or two - I think it will soon be like living near the gun club - after a while you don't hear the noise.

I know we do not have it as bad as the OCS guys - I wish I could walk in with a camera to the mess hall because these guys MUST chew so many times - set their cups in the same place, look straight ahead, and then drop the head. It is almost robotic and droan looking - pretty scary- but amazing all at the same time.

Needless to say - this will be an adventure. I am looking forward to the challenge and making many, many friendships along the way.

I'll write again when I can!