26 December 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Lots of stuff going on around here lately. Holiday insanity, end of the quarter late night studying and writing, a freelance assignment and just general chaos.

Christmas was ok at our house this year. Yeah, just ok. The spousal unit had to work, which sucked. Yes, I'm grateful he has a good job to go to, but he's paid his dues for the last twenty years, and worked lots of holidays past. I'm just bummed that he got stuck flying Thanksgiving, Christmas AND New Year's this year. Blah. The older two offspring were both not with us this year....L had to work (welcome to being a responsible grownup but still no fun), B is stationed half a world away and came home for Thanksgiving, so Christmas was out of the question. So it just wasn't the same. But the kiddies were happy with their holidays....they got a two week break from school, and we've been having a good time. We still got to spend Christmas Eve with Dad (he flew out early Christmas morning) and Christmas day with family, and they were happy with their loot. So, all in all, it was still good.

The end of the quarter. I will be so glad to be done with school. I'm a senior now, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I did well in History...I had my favorite professor but I worked hard. I usually get good grades from him but he really makes me work for it. Good teacher :) Econ was a surprise. I didn't think I'd do all that well because it was really hard for me and I don't feel like I learned as much as I would have liked to. But I came away with a B+ so I am thrilled with that.

I had a freelance assignment due this week, and I managed to get it in, mostly on time. My deadline was Friday the 19th, but my editor let me know that she had a bit of "wiggle room," and I took advantage of it this time. I submitted on Monday the 22nd and all is well.

The kiddies are in the other room playing with their new games and watching a movie. It's 2:00 pm and we're all still in our jammies. The day after Christmas is just one of those days when it is wonderful to NOT go anywhere or do anything. We slept late, stayed in our jammies, and didn't even go outside, at least not yet. I suppose I'll probably go out to get the mail but that's it. The husband will be back late tonight, and tomorrow we'll be back to going out doing things, but for today it's nice to just hang out at home. The little dudes got some Christmas money that is burning a hole in their pockets and they can hardly wait to go out and spend it. I'm making them save a bit of it though, mean mom that I am.

As for New Year's....I always make resolutions. It gives me hope. But they're generally pretty open-ended and not specific, so I don't feel like a failure if I haven't dropped 20 pounds by March. I want to: continue to make my faith an ever bigger priority and set a good example for my kids, continue to make my fitness a priority and work towards losing a few pounds and training for a few races, work on getting my impulse spending under control (I am SO BAD), continue educating myself so I can be an advocate for my firstborn and help him cope with his ADHD issue, spend less time futzing around and wasting time online (such a time stealer!) and just generally try to be a better person than I was yesterday. These are the things I work on all the time, but New Year's is as good a time as any to recommit to it.
The little dudes and I will stay up till midnight and probably watch a movie, then watch the ball drop.

Here's hoping and praying that 2009 will be a better year than 2008 was, that our country can begin to turn the downward spiral around (in more ways than one), that our world might become more peaceful and less scary, and that people can treat each other with dignity and respect. Peace, love and prosperity for all. Naive little optimist, aren't I? :)

01 December 2008

Reliving high school

No, maybe I should call it "reliving middle school' because that is about as mature as this stupid mess is.

Somehow, because I chose the wrong person to confide in, and she in turn felt free to share my personal pain with half of the world and I've become neighborhood gossip, I seem to have lost some friends. It's a giant case of "she said, she said," and I'm really only indirectly involved. I confided in someone who I thought was a good friend, and she obviously didn't have those same thoughts about me. So she told two friends, and they told two friends, and they....

So. People know this really private information about me from the worst time of my life, and somehow I'M the bad guy. Without going into excruciatingly boring detail that is too complicated for daytime TV, I have lost the confidence betrayer (not much of a loss, but it still sucked to find out that she was not my friend), the confidence betrayer's sister (who was also a good friend, or so I thought) and the one that is killing me, and confusing me the most, is my neighbor and someone I truly thought of as a dear, dear friend, C. I cannot for the life of me figure out why C is not talking to me. I know how she is involved in the entire mess, but I cannot draw the line from point A (the situation) to point B (being upset enough with me to stop speaking to me).

I've known C for six or seven years. I tried to be a friend and be there for her through different things....when her oldest son wanted to join the military, I talked with him, and drove him to see his recruiter when she couldn't, talked to her, hugged her and cried with her when her husband was diagnosed with cancer, cried with her when he passed, ran interference for her when her younger son flirted with the military and she was afraid he was about to be taken in by an unscrupulous recruiter, encouraged my husband to buy her husband's motorcycle after he died, because she couldn't stand to look at it in her garage and she needed the money......not because I am SuperFriend, but because I love her and I am her friend. And now, because of some mean spirited talk, she isn't returning my emails or my calls.

Girls can be so mean to each other.

09 November 2008

I need a hug today

It's been one of those days.

Took the offspring to church this morning while I taught my preschool age PSR (parish School of Religion) class. Catholic Sunday school. Broke a nail which sounds ridiculous, but it hurt like HELL. I'm trying real hard with PSR, but I'm just not a teacher and I don't think I'm doing all that well. I'm a mom, but frankly I'm not that good with groups of little kids. I'm trying though.

After PSR, took the boys to Blockbuster and rented them two Wii games, plus two movies, and asked for some peace and quiet to get my schoolwork done. Heh. Might as well have asked for the moon and the stars. After about the fifth fight (which they held here, in the computer room, so that I could hear and see every detail) I lost it. Hollered and swore, and then for good measure, the littlest got his butt smacked. Then I felt like crap. And I still didn't understand my econ homework :( I bombed the stuff I tried to do today. I still have to finish the assignment by 11:00 tonight. Ugh.

Meanwhile, the husband is off enjoying sunny shores and scuba diving, visiting the oldest offspring. I don't begrudge him his hobby and his relaxing time, we all need it. And I don't begrudge him time spent with B. I just wish it wasn't so tough to manage the boys by myself. Six days isn't that long, but they've been off from school THE. WHOLE. TIME. When do I get my relaxing time? School is never going to be over. Ever.

I just need a hug. Or a frozen margarita. With a little salt and lime.

06 November 2008

A much better writer than I

summed it up this way. Some foul language follows.

"Watching the Obama supporters last night, with tears streaming down their faces, their screaming, clapping, dancing and fainting, I have to admit I was a bit emotional myself. I appreciate what this means to African Americans, you could see it on their faces. Juan Williams cried through his whole commentary.

And as far as the DNC now controlling all three branches?
Gird your loins my friends, gird your loins.

And, as opposed to an Obama presidency as I am, I still hold dear, and respect and value the Office of the Presidency, the symbolism of that office. These kinds of things make me weepy, as does the National Anthem. I cant help it.

And, although many of you might disagree, I am not bitter, or angry. I am just interested, opinionated, and involved, and I supported and voted for someone else. But as much as I can understand what this means to his supporters, it is unfortunate that what this year meant to those who supported Hillary Clinton or John McCain and Sarah Palin, wasnt understood.

I'd like to say that I think Obama transcended race, and is truly a new kind of Politician. But, then I remember the number of times people who opposed him were called racist. I can't forget the Clintons painted as racists, her supporters, then Palin, and McCain themselves, as well as their supporters. I can't forget the number of times I was called racist on my blog, or online from the very first day.

I'd like to say that as I watched Michelle on stage last night, that I felt pride that she will be our first African American First Lady. But, I can't forget the times she said she was for the first time, proud of her country. A country that afforded her an Ivy League education, a country where her family prospered and excelled. I can't forget her saying that America is a mean country. I can't forget when she said that she would have to think long and hard before she would support Hillary, should she be the nominee. I can't forget when she said that *if you can't run your own house, how can you run the White House*, such an affront to women everywhere.

I'd like to say, as I watched those adorable two girls on the stage last night, the opportunity that lies ahead of them, and all young women. But then I couldn't help think of the attacks on the children of Sarah Palin. I couldn't help think of the attacks on her, her 17 year old daughter, and Hillary Clinton, and her female supporters. I can't forget the public acceptance of the effigy of Sarah Palin, or the Clinton Nutcrackers, or the 'Sarah Palin is a c*nt' t-shirts, or the many, many sexist attacks. I couldn't help remember the nasty comments coming from the left that she should have aborted Trig.

I'd like to say, as I watched the supporters, running through the streets celebrating, that they deserved it, that they worked hard, and put up an honest fair political fight. That they just wanted it more. But then I couldn't help think of the personal attacks on me, from the day I typed *I support Hillary*. I can't forget the anonymous personal attacks, and death threats and worse, left on my blog, for discussing the race. I couldn't help but watch the crowd, and think, are they someone who called me a whore or a racist c*nt? I can't forget the caucus fraud that was witnessed all over the country in the primary. I can't forget the attacks on African Americans who didn't support Obama. I cant forget that someone told Soldier4Hillary that they hoped she died in Iraq, because she supported Hillary. I couldn't help think of the Black Panthers I saw, in Philadelphia standing in front of the polling place, threatening voters. I can't forget the death threats on Tavis Smiley for criticizing Obama. I can't forget the Super Delegates who received death threats for supporting Hillary.

I'd like to say as I watched Hillary and Bill cast their vote yesterday that I believe they supported Obama. But, I can't forget what Hillary said during the primary, questioning Obama on Rezko and Ayers, and Wright. I can't forget the constant insults from Obama about the Clinton presidency, and Hillary personally, and professionally. I can't forget Biden, Edwards, Dodd, and more, tell the American people that Obama is not ready, and not tested. I cant forget his refusal to release his Senate records, his college transcripts, or his passport.

I'd like to say, as I saw Obama standing there last night, in front of a wall of American flags, giving his speech, that he truly loves America, and is a man of his word. But I can't forget his excuse for not wearing the Flag pin, and then his political expediency in wearing it. I can't forget the photo of him not placing his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. I can't forget the photo William Ayers standing on the American flag. I can't forget his refusal to release his birth certificate, something that was demanded of McCain.

I'd like to say, as I watched Obama vote for himself as President yesterday, that I appreciated what an out of body, overwhelming experience that must have been, the pride and excitement he must feel. But, then I saw William Ayers go into the same polling booth, as did Farrakhan. I was reminded of what Obama did early in his career, to get to this point, who he considered appropriate to associate with, to befriend, and to partner with to further his political career. I can't forget how he exposed his opponents in Chicago, and personally attacked them, to get them removed from the ballot. I can't forget how he ran his Chicago Districts and his dealings with Rezko, and the state of despair his districts are in. I can't forget that he didn't leave that church.

I'd like to say that I watched him walk to the podium, to give his acceptance speech that he worked so hard, and that he earned this. But I can't forget what little he has actually accomplished. Yes, he ran a good campaign, he worked harder campaigning then he has ever held a job. I can't forget all the articles I have read, about his start in the Chicago Senate, and how he was handed bills, to further his career, how his mentor carried him, made himself a Senator. I can't forget the articles I read how Obama would catch Dodd or Kennedy in the halls and cling to them as they went to present bills, and adding himself to their accomplishments. I can't forget that he has campaigned longer then he has actually served in the Senate. I can't forget how he himself said, in 2004 that he was not ready.

I'd like to say, as I saw him standing there, that the people have spoken, and the best man won. But, I can't forget the thousands and thousands of fraudulent voters registered, the buses of homeless and drug addicts that were driven to the polls. I cant forget the Obama supporters who have been caught voting twice, the people on the streets saying they voted multiple times, the overseas ballots that have been tossed out. Those four delegates. I cant forget the actions of the DNC and how they treated the Clintons. I cant forget the efforts to shove Hillary Clinton from the race.

I'd like to say that as I saw him standing there, and even as I listened to him, and was moved to tears, that he deserves it. I couldn't help think of the man that did not win. A man who has courageously served his country since he was 17 years old. A man who fought, and almost died for his country. A man who spent five years in a prison in Vietnam, at the same time one of Obama's neighbors and friends was bombing the Pentagon, and Capital. I couldn't help remember that Obama gave a book review to Ayers, whose other book was dedicated to the man that murdered Robert Kennedy.

I'd like to say that, although my candidate lost, I trust that Obama will follow through with his promises. But I can't forget the broken promises he has already made, and the lies that he has told - looking into the eye of the American people. I can't forget the sliding numbers for his tax cuts.

I'd like to say that as I was watching McCain give his concession speech, that he lost after a good fight. But I can't forget that McCain couldn't even fight. His every move, every attempt to put up a good fight was chastised in the media, screams of racism were thrown at him. Even having to fight his own party. As I watched Sarah Palin standing behind him, I couldn't help think how close we were to having a woman in the White House. As I watched her fight back her tears, I couldn't help think of all that she has accomplished in her life, being only two years older then me. I can't forget all the disgusting insulting attacks thrown at her, and how she stayed strong. I can't forget all of the attacks coming from so called feminists, and how far this election has set us back, as women. And apparently, we really have not gone that far. I can't forget members of her own party calling her a cancer. I can't forget the attacks on her and her family, a sitting Governor who has served the people of Alaska, who was asked to join the Republican ticket. The respect I felt for McCain and Palin standing there, moved me to tears. He is a true American Hero, and his service to his country should never be forgotten. I can't forget the attacks I have read, from the left, on his service.

I'd like to say that Obama is truly a man who was supported by the American people. But I can't forget the broken promise to accept campaign finance. I can't forget the millions of dollars of overseas money he has illegally accepted, the millions he has had to return, the unchecked prepaid credit card donations. And his refusal to release the donor list. I can't forget the millions he has raised and spent, and the promise he broke to get there.

I'd like to say that Obama will be for all people. But can't forget the personal attacks on Joe the Plumber and anyone who opposed Obama. I can't forget his pandering to Christian Conservatives in some states, including the gay bashers, his opposition to gay marriage, or his refusal to speak out against the sexist attacks on Clinton and Palin. I can't forget that Obama pays his female employees less than the men. I can't forget his double talk regarding Israel. I can't forget his is associations with Farrakhan, Wright, Khalidi, Meeks, Moss, Dohrn, Ayers, ACORN.

I'd like to say that Obama will help the economy. But I cant forget his share of the responsibility in the collapse of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. I can't forget all of the experts telling us how his spending and proposals are going to add trillions in more debt. I can't forget that he is second only to Dodd, in his two short years in the Senate, for taking money from them.

I'd like to say, as I watched the members of the media praise him, and talk about what a great story this is, that I think it is. But I can't forget the attacks that they launched on Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, their supporters, and Bill Clinton as well. I can't forget their utter failure to do their job, to report the facts, not to create the story. I can't forget their complete and utter bias. I can't forget their cover ups, and failures to vet this candidate. I can't forget their personal attacks on an average citizen.

I'd like to say that this proves that America is not racist. But I can't forget that 95% of the African Americans voted for Obama. For half of the country, their opposition to Obama was not about race. It was his judgment and his character. It was his policies. And for conservatives, it was everything he and his party stands for. White Americans, Democrats, embraced him. He won cross over votes. But those who didn't vote for him didn't do so because of his skin color. But those who did?

Id like to believe that when Obama said that *out of many, we are one* that were true. But for those who did not support him, from the first days of the primary, were told to for example *keep the f*ck out of my country* were treated anything but.

I do understand what this means to his supporters, to African Americans, and to people around the world. I do. As I said, I could see it in their tear streamed faces. And it saddens me that I cant share gleefully in this moment in history.

As much as I want to welcome this idea of change, this new age of politics, this giant step for mankind, this great leap of faith, this huge movement forward in race relations in America, I just can't forget how we got to this day.

Will Obama live up to *the promise*? As they say, time will tell.

05 November 2008

OK, I admit it

I was wrong.

Dead wrong.

That sucked, but now it's over. I didn't want Obama to be the next president, but he is. I wanted (and truly thought) it would be a close race. But it wasn't.

I can't seem to shake the feeling I have of impending doom. The husband thinks I am being a tad dramatic, and maybe I am. But a good friend of mine and I were talking today, and she burst into tears, speaking out loud some of the things I have been thinking. So, I'm not the only one. It's not just disappointment, because frankly, I was never in love with McCain as a candidate, but he represented the best chance to make Obama wait a few more years before moving in to the White House. It goes beyond feeling disappointed because I wasn't backing the winner. I guess I can't put my finger on it, but I feel little like Chicken Little. People bought into the hype and his promises, and I have serious doubts as to whether there is any substance behind his style. I think Joe Biden was absolutely right when he said that Obama will be tested shortly after he takes office. I pray to God that he really does have steel in his spine, because he hasn't shown any yet. You don't get to vote "present" when your country is under attack. And Biden has been consistently wrong, so the VP gives me no warm fuzzy.

I hope he proves me wrong again. Because I don't see much of anything good coming out of an Obama presidency. The world is all excited that we've turned a corner in race relations. Yippie. I'm sick to death of, and offended to the core by, insinuations that I am a racist because I didn't vote for him. Like I can't think or see beyond the color of his skin. Bullshit. I'm some of kind racist, bigoted, neocon, religious zealot, because I believe that life begins at conception, and I believe that we are all responsible for our own bottom line, not waiting in the welfare line for a government handout. Take some responsibility for yourself, and your own choices and your own actions. Don't just stand there and wait for the government to help you out. Bigger government isn't the answer, it's the problem. It's a cliche but I believe it....a government big enough to give you everything you want, is powerful enough to take away everything you have.

I'm furious with Republicans, because they have dropped the ball, but at least they didn't lose all their Congressional seats. Republicans have no one to blame but themselves. They've had their chance to make things better and they haven't but the Democrat controlled Congress has even lower approval ratings than President Bush. People say that this country is already socialist in terms of taking from the rich (taxes) and giving to the poor (welfare). Well, of course I can only speak for myself here, but I don't want one single dime that I haven't earned. I'm in a good place right now, but I haven't always been. I've been dead broke. Totally dependent on my family and friends for a place to sleep sometimes. Did I cry about how awful and unfair the world was? Did I get in line for welfare and food stamps? No. I got off my ass and got a job. And then another one. I worked two and sometimes three crappy jobs to scrape together enough to get by. Then I did the best thing I'd ever done to that point in my life....I signed on the dotted line to put on the uniform. And that was when things started turning around for me. I have zero problem paying my fair share and I have no problem helping those less fortunate than me. Let ME be the one to decide who, how much, and how often.

Winston Churchill said it well : the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent vice of socialism is the equal sharing of misery.

Communism and socialism don't work. Ask the Russians. If those type of systems are so great, why are not more of the most successful, most powerful nations on earth jumping on the bandwagon?

I bet the Second Amendment will be the first to go. The husband was half-jokingly talking about buying a couple more guns before they are outlawed and today I told him he better hurry.

The race for 2012 has just started. Let's hope Conservatives can offer something a little better this time around.

03 November 2008

You know....

tomorrow is election day. I m optimistic but I am also a realist. I believe the race is going to be closer than people think, in the end, but I am hopeful that Barack Obama is not our next president. I don't really put too much stock in polls. People say one thing and do another all the time. People don't want to be seen as racist so they will pretend to support Obama when they are really undecided or if they just don't like him for whatever reason.

I can admit when I am wrong. It's difficult but I can do it. If Obama gets elected, and proves me wrong in what I believe he is all about, in what his plans are for this country, I will be the first to admit it. I am well aware that there is a very good chance he may be the next President, but it's not a done deal yet. I am, however, a little afraid of the reaction of some groups of people if their candidate is not the winner. Passions have run really high in this election, and people are less inhibited about letting their passions rule their actions.

Speaking of being able to admit when I am wrong, I'll admit that I was starstruck by Sarah Palin. I am less excited about her than I was when she first burst onto the political scene, but I still think she is a damn sight better than Joe Biden. Joe Biden needs to go back to high-school sophomore year History class, and learn a few things before he spouts off. Yeah, he's got all this experience and is considered a subject matter expert on foreign policy but he's been wrong on most of it. Sarah Palin is a politician. I got so excited about her because she is someone who could be your kid's best friend's mom. She might be in the next pew at your church. She might be the woman you struck up a conversation with in line at Target. She seems very down to earth, very accessible, and it's a nice change from elitist politicians who don't drive themselves to Starbucks, let alone drive themselves to work every day. Yes, of course the leader of the free world needs to be more sophisticated and educated and experienced than the average mom at Target. But that is the beauty of being VICE President. Yeah, in theory, she needs to be able to step up to the plate at any given moment. But it hasn't happened that often in history that the VP had to take over, and in the meantime, she has the invaluable opportunity to learn at the President's right hand.

Like her or not, you have to admit she is a politician, a good one, and a quick study. She may not have the years of experience (neither does Obama) but she does have the intestinal fortitude to step up and get things done. And neocon rightwing nutjob that I am, I agree with many of her conservative ideals.

Anyway, I would MUCH rather have John McCain as my Commander in Chief than Barack Obama. If Obama becomes the President, I will watch and listen carefully, and I will respect the office just like I did when Bill Clinton was President and I was wearing the uniform. It isn't wise to be a one-issue voter, and I don't think I am, but it's tough not to view politics through the lens of military service. It's part of who I am, and I can't separate it.

A note about third party candidates. I like Bob Barr, and I agree with much of what he says he stands for. But he, frankly, hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell of winning. I've been wrestling with the question of whether I vote my conscience or do I vote against Obama. Sadly, for me, this election has come down to the choice of who I dislike the least. I have a healthy dislike for Obama, so I guess I'm not voting for him. I like McCain better, but I don't love him. I like Bob Barr the best, I think, but until third parties get a better foothold in this country, to vote for one is purely symbolic, since there's so little chance of a third party victory. I dislike Obama enough that I am not willing to simply make a statement this time around. I want my vote to mean something, and what I want it to say is, I don't want Barack Obama to be President.

20 October 2008

Still feeling down, different reasons

I'm still feeling kind of down...a few days ago, it was over the loss, or more accurately, the realization of the loss of what I thought were two good friendships. Today I'm feeling down over our decision to put the oldest offspring on meds for ADHD. I have really mixed feelings about it. I feel certain that he needs something to help him but I thought if we worked hard enough at it, we wouldn't need to take meds. I am feeling like it is a result of things I've done, or failed to do, as a parent. Logically, I know that isn't true but it sure feels like I failed him somehow, that he needs meds.

I hit the wall last week, when he had gotten in trouble at school and lost recess time for not only that day, but next day as well. I asked him what happened, and when the story came out, I sort of lost it. He was behaving totally inappropriately, and doing things that will not be tolerated, nor should they be. When I asked him why he made the choice to do things he knew he shouldn't do, he couldn't answer me. Now, in all fairness, he was probably at least a little scared by that point because the volume was seriously raised in our conversation. Maybe I overreacted and maybe I didn't, but the fact remains that he did some things that could end up in him getting in a lot of trouble, and I don't want to diminish that reality for him. I WANT him to be a little scared of getting in trouble, and scared of crossing the line.

So, I have a call in to the pediatrician, who will prescribe the meds. We'll go for a consult as soon as we can get in. On the one hand, I feel resigned and maybe a little relieved. On the other hand, I feel like I failed. But I'm not really conflicted about whether to start the meds. I feel now, that if I don't do it, I'd be withholding treatment for him. I've been feeling like maybe I'm just too lax with him, and haven't been as good at guiding him and setting up structure as I should have been. But maybe, even if I'd been a drill sergeant with him, it wouldn't have mattered. Parenting, good or bad, doesn't really change brain chemistry does it?

What I need to do it stop feeling sorry for myself and for him and get on with doing what needs to be done. It could be so much worse....I'm not taking him to dialysis or chemo twice a week, for crying out loud. The poor kid is already something of a square peg. I know too well what it feels like to be the oddball in a given group, and I so don't want my kids to have to feel like that. As a parent it is difficult to see your child struggle, and although you know that challenges and struggles build character and make us who we are, you also know it sucks to struggle and you want to make things easier for your kid.

He'll come out ok....he'll learn to cope and maybe he'll always need meds and maybe he won't. But he will be just fine, and he'll be stronger for the challenge. I've always viewed him a little sensitive and not as tough as his brothers. But he's always surprised me too, with how well he adapts and handles things. This is so totally my issue and not his. Come on, Mom, put on your big girl pants and deal.

15 October 2008

Letting go

It's hard to let go.

After much hemming and hawing, and hoping for a different outcome, I have come to the decision (or maybe I have just seen that the decision is already made for me) that I have to let go of what I thought were two good friendships. I've written about this situation here before, but like a high school girl with her first heartbreak, I kept looking for crumbs of hope. I saw a returned email as evidence that the friendship didn't have to be over.

But, alas, I got my heart broken in high school, and in the end, I had to let go. Just as I have to now. I am really going to miss her. I already do. We haven't spoken in person since July, and I last got an email from her a month or so ago. In the email she was chatty, almost sounding like normal. I responded to that email and never heard back. I sent one a week or so ago, and nothing. The other good friendship that I seem to have lost, is with this girl's sister. The three of us were friends and I don't know if it is collateral damage but the sister isn't talking to me either.

I've been debating about whether to cut one last tie, a group that they invited me to join. I think I am going to bow out. There is nothing to be gained from forcing myself where I am not wanted, and making everyone else in the group uncomfortable too. I can only hope that the acquaintances I've made through them won't fall by the wayside too.

I've done what I can do repair the friendship but I have no control over her response, or lack thereof.

I"m just really sad about it.

09 October 2008

Found on a message board

I found this on a message board/forum today and thought it was fabulous. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who feels this way. I am in a very good place now, but I have been totally broke, totally jobless and had to depend on the kindness of my family and friends (who eventually got sick of it, and rightfully so) to have a place to sleep at night. And this was in the early 90's!! You remember, the good years. You know what? I had to quit whining, get off my butt and get a job. And then another job. Yeah, it sucked. But whose job is it to take care of you? YOURS. Not the government's. Home ownership isn't a right. A college education isn't a right. I'm no Constitutional scholar, but I am pretty certain there relatively few things guaranteed therein, among them "life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness." You have to go get it. It isn't issued by the government.

My admiration to the author (whose screen name and email have been removed) :

"I do love my country--I love the principles it was founded upon and I love being a woman in these days here. I don't necessarily love all aspects of my government nor all the citizens of this country. I heard a local DJ say yesterday that there was a poll in the Wall Street Journal that said 59% of Americans said if they could, they'd throw out all members of Congress. Maybe I misunderstood where the poll was, as I didn't find it online. However, I have to say that I agree with the sentiment. Both parties sold us down the river on this bailout and as Alec Baldwin said, they should be ashamed.

As far as Americans go--they want a candidate of any party that will pat them on the head and say "those lenders were predatory, it's not your fault". The hell it's not! I don't disagree there was predatory lending, nor do I disagree that Congress forced banks years ago to lend to people that weren't credit-worthy so that everybody got to realize their dream of home ownership. That was stupid and yes, Congress is again accountable--but so are the individuals! I have never heard of a bank president forcing somebody to sign a loan document at gunpoint. If you earned $30k and got a loan for $400k, that's on you. If you're living paycheck to paycheck (at best) and charging restaurants and vacations, that's on you, too. I am sick of fiscally irresponsible individuals that want and want and want because they're "entitled to it". They are greedy consumers whose wants are greater than their income.

Many of America's citizens have turned into a bunch of lazy whiners and pussies with a mantra of "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme". There was a somewhat long emailed question in the debate last night from a woman that lived through the depression. Her final question was something like "What does the government think we should give up?" I have a great deal of admiration for the people of my grandmother's era that lived through the depression. They had the intestinal fortitude and the ambition to do what needed to be done in order to survive and have necessities. America's current couch potatoes couldn't hold a candle to those folks--they're too worried where their next Whopper is going to come from. We have candidates whom are being judged by these people on who will give them the best "gimmes". We have the modern day Robin Hood who wants to steal from the most productive and redistribute income to the least productive. Keep your "change" and your "fairness" and kiss my a$$! I will happily pay my share of taxes, obviously the expensive war included, but I don't feel like paying somebody else's share just because I can. And to Sen. McCain, who wants to buy bad homeowner mortgages, a special "salute" to you too, for not only rewarding fiscal stupidity, but laying it on the backs of the responsible taxpayers that didn't cause the problem.

Wake up, people! Make your OWN life. If your expenses are greater than your income, you either need to cut expenses or increase income (i.e., another job). Our parents and/or grandparents weren't too proud, nor did they feel it was beneath them to have 2nd or 3rd jobs for their necessities. They didn't go on vacations c/o Uncle Mastercard or Aunt Visa. In addition, maybe it's not the right time for you to have that new baby, puppy, or new car as they're not cheap. Honestly, what right do you have to suck off the tit of the most productive? You aren't entitled to health insurance or a living wage. The first is a commodity that you purchase through an employer or on your own and the second is something you earn. Hint: McDonald's is for teenagers to learn responsibility unless you are on a management track. If you love flipping burgers, that is wonderful--but don't expect to live on Park Avenue. That's the way it is. Have some pride, pull yourself up, and stop expecting a damned handout on the tab of other Americans. Signed, Sick and Tired"

Daddy's boy

My youngest son was leaving with my husband today, to go run a couple of errands. He's a total Daddy's boy. Total.

He gave me a hug and a kiss goodbye, and I asked him, "Hey little man, why don't you want to stay home with Mom while Daddy goes?" and he responded, "I love you Mommy, but I like Daddy better."

Little creep. I wonder why it is that your child can break your heart like no one else can?

I'll get over it, though. In fact, I already have. Because I have the whole house to myself, peace and quiet all afternoon :)

29 September 2008

In the company of heroes

Wow. There's just no other word for it.

I just got back last night from the coolest TDY (temporary duty) in the history of the world. I went to the final organized reunion of the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots). Their membership is down since many of them have passed on, or have simply gotten too old or too sick to attend reunions. The youngest WASP is 83 years old and receiving chemo treatments and is in a wheel chair. She was there this weekend, by the way.

What's that? You don't know who the WASP are? I'm so glad you asked. You know, women fly airplanes. They are perfectly capable and some women can do it a lot better than men. This is really not ground breaking news, but it used to be. In the early months of World War II, there was a massive shortage of military combat pilots. In time, the most well known American female pilot, Jackie Cochran, along with another accomplished female aviator, Nancy Harkness Love, was able to convince General Hap Arnold to train women to fly military aircraft. They argued that women were already licensed to fly, and if they got the same military training as men, they could fly military aircraft just as well. And since there was such a dearth of pilots, well, it just made sense. In 1942, their proposal was approved and in November of that same year the first class of WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) entered training in Houston, Texas. The training eventually moved to Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. The last class of WASP graduated in December of 1944 and the WASP were disbanded 13 days after that last class graduated.

These women did everything but fly into combat. They towed targets for gunnery practice, they ferried aircraft, they flight-tested all the aircraft types in the inventory, instrument instructed, transported personnel and cargo, laid smoke, trained navigators and bombardiers, they flew drones, and the B26 and B29 to prove to the men that the aircraft were safe to fly.

Here's the thing, they were never considered military members. They were civilians. They didn't get any military benefits, or recognition, and their parents were denied a gold star in their windows. They weren't entitled to drape an American flag on their coffin. 38 of them died while serving their country and the government wouldn't even bring their bodies home. Their classmates took up collections to pay for bringing their bodies home and for their funerals and tombstones. Some still don't have headstones. That is just criminal. These women just wanted to fly, and they wanted to serve their country, and they didn't take "No" for an answer. General Arnold petitioned Congress to militarize the WASP but they denied his request. That's alright, though, the story gets better. Remember, these ladies wouldn't take "No" for an answer.

Finally in the late 1970's when the military aviation world was opened up to women again, lawmakers saw the contradiction in that situation....women were going to fly again, how could they deny veterans' status to those who paved the way? From 1944 until 1977, no woman set foot in a military cockpit. When the boys came home from war, they wanted their jobs back. To add insult to injury, when the WASP were granted military status, they were not invited to the signing ceremony. After that, it took seven years for their medals to arrive. They arrived in the mail. No recognition, no fanfare, no ceremony.

These women shared, and still share, a sisterhood that transcended time and distance. The bond of sisters (and brothers) in uniform is a strong one, and one you may not completely understand if you've never been in uniform yourself. It's even stronger for these ladies, for the challenges that they faced, and overcame, together. They get together every two years, and they come from all over the country. They hug and kiss, call each other sweetheart and they remember the details of their flights as if they happened last week instead of over 60 years ago. They love to talk with the female flyers of today and if you've ever listened to pilots talk, it's like they are in their own world.

I'm not a pilot. I don't really want to be one. I've tried learning to fly and I just do not have it in me. But I am a woman in uniform, and I used to wear the flight suit. I don't know what it was like for these ladies in the 1940's as they showed the guys, at every turn, that they had the right stuff. But I do know what it's like to be a girl in a flight suit, and to have the guys think you aren't as good as they are, on account of missing a Y chromosome. I met and had a chance to spend time with some of these awesome, awesome ladies and listen to some of their stories. It is truly inspiring to just sit at the same table as someone who did what they did, and the great thing about them is they don't want to be seen as heroes or pioneers. They were just some girls who loved to fly, wanted to serve their country, and wouldn't take "No" for an answer. Being with them made me want to go out and conquer the world, and it made think that I could.

And I have a couple of new friends, one a great gal who is nearly 90 years old and flew the B17 and the B24, among many others, in WWII. She invited me along with a good friend of mine, to visit her in the Pacific Northwest, anytime. My other new friend is this lady's loyal friend and companion. They said they'd take us for a walk around the lake by their house, and then we'd go to flight museum nearby. How cool is that?

Better late than never, they are finally getting some attention and some recognition. Some other women who won't take "No" for an answer are making sure that the legacy of the WASP does not just disappear. So many people still don't even know who they are or what they did. Hopefully that is changing, and will continue to change. There is a fabulous WASP archive at Texas Women University in Denton, Texas, and a traveling WASP exhibit will debut in November of this year, at the WIMSA (Women in Military Service for America) memorial in Washington DC.

Check out WASP on the Web and Wings Across America at www.wingsacrossamerica.org

I'm humbled and I'm awed by the things that they did, to open the door for me and millions of women like me, so that we too could wear the uniform, and fly in the service of our country. I was honored to stand up and salute them. My husband says I sound like a kid with a bad case of hero worship.

Yeah, I guess I do.

23 September 2008

And another thing....

...go read All Da King's Men. There is a link to this blog on the left side of the screen. Informative, yet entertaining too.

I did it!

I ran my first half marathon. It's a huge deal for me, because I am the queen of starting things and not finishing. I told anyone and everyone who would listen, that I had signed up for the race and I was running a half marathon. That way, I'd HAVE to do it, or else I'd have to explain to umpteen people why I wussed out.

I got pretty nervous in the week leading up to it, and began thinking of lame excuses. Then I went for a 7.5 mile run, and honestly it wasn't that hard, and I thought, "Hey I can do this. Don't be such a skirt, put on your big girl running shorts and do it." So I did :)

I found a few people I knew at the start line and I ran the first three miles or so with a guy who works in the chaplain's office across the hall from me. He was a good running partner, we just chit chatted about this and that and before I knew it we were already at the first water station. But he was running the 10K and that route split from the half marathon route at about mile 3, so we high fived and wished each other well. I didn't need to walk until about mile 8. I took a short walking break, only a couple of minutes and got back into my pace.

I stopped to use the bathroom more than I should have needed to but with my stomach issues I didn't want to take chances. I drank water and gatorade at nearly every station, and they had some fruit just past my halfway point. Plus I had those jelly beans that are really candy but masquerade as energy food.

It got really hard at mile 10. I struggled for the last three miles and my legs felt like they weighed about a hundred pound each. I held my tension in my shoulders and I could feel like getting really, really heavy. But then with less than a quarter mile to go, I saw Matt and the kids and the boys were so cute....they had those silly cowbells that the race sponsors gave out and they were ringing those things and cheering for all they were worth. That was what I needed to haul my tired ass across the finish line, and down the chute to have a colonel who looked way too young to be a full bird colonel put a medal around my neck and congratulate me. I gave the medal to Lucas and he said he wanted to run with me next year. Seth....not so much.

But, I set a goal. I worked toward it (although, in the spirit of full disclosure, not nearly as hard as I should have) and I did it. It felt so good, once I got past the ache in my legs. Seriously from the top of my hip, all the way down to my ankle, the backs of my legs felt like rubber bands that were stretched too far. It hurt. Bad. But after a massage, a long hot bath, and a good night's sleep, I felt a lot better. I ran on Saturday, today is Tuesday and I still feel it just the tiniest bit in my calves.

I don't think I am aspiring to 26.2. Not yet at least. Maybe after I have a couple more halves under my belt.

OK, time to go and get my nails done. I'm going on the coolest TDY ever on Thursday, and it will go much better if I am within regs for not only my uniform but hair and nails and silly things like that.

16 September 2008

Feeling very grateful

Who'd have thought that you could get hurricane effects in the midwest? Not me, that's fur sure. When the weather report predicted high winds, I p'shawed them and went about my day.

Until I got home with the boys from the middle boy's baseball clinic. The flag that flies from the post on my front step was standing out straight and the pole was bowing a little bit. My hanging plants were lucky to be alive...all the blooms were blown completely off and the pots were flying around, barely staying on the hooks. I took down the flag and the pots and thought, a good day to fly a kite. Silly me.

Then I began to take it seriously when the glass top table on the deck flipped over and shattered.

We got so incredibly lucky, because that is as bad as it got. Much of the whole city is still without power and that was two days ago. My kids missed school yesterday and today, and they will be delayed tomorrow. Our power never flickered, thank the Lord. On our street there are at least two or three houses that have significant damage but we only lost a couple of shingles. A mile down the road, a giant evergreen tree is literally ripped up by the roots and is casually leaning against the light pole it fell on.

They say that four people were killed on Sunday because of the winds.

It's not anywhere near the devastation that is going on in Texas right now. But it's worse than we've seen around these parts in a long, long time. We just don't see that much extreme weather, of any kind. One of the reasons I like it here :) I'm praying for the residents of Texas that were so hard hit by Hurricane Ike, and I'm counting my blessings that all we lost was a table, and an umbrella.

And I'm still procrastinating finishing the article I'm writing. I promised my editor she'd have it in the morning and she will.....but that is hours away yet :)

11 September 2008


I just heard a fantastic sound clip today...some idiot in Congress comparing Barack Obama to Jesus Christ and Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilate.

He said that Barack Obama was a community organizer, just like Jesus Christ was, and that Pontius Pilate was a governor (the listener is left to draw their own conclusion about who he meant by that).

I laughed out loud. Come on.....Jesus Christ? And they say that conservatives are being snarky when they refer to Obama as "messianic." No, apparently they are just reporting how some people truly feel about Barack Obama. THAT, I find frightening, for real. Can they really not see him for what he is.....a man, human and fallible, just like any other man?

In other funny news, reading the local paper today, I could not help but notice these two headlines right next to each other in the Community Calendar : "W_______ County Young Republicans welcome Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Stratton" and then one column over "Jerry Springer to speak at W_____ County Democratic Party Meeting."

You can't make this stuff up!

08 September 2008

Coming down

I'm coming down off my Palin high a little. I don't like her any less, but I am looking at her more objectively and I still want to know more. From her. Not from political analysts, or pollsters, or bloggers. I'm anxious to watch her interview on TV this week. AND! AND! I am going to see her speak in my small town tomorrow!!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it. Full report to follow.

She gave an absolutely smashing speech at the convention but Obama gives great speeches too. Off the cuff, he sounds like he isn't sure what he is talking about. He hedges and uses vague terminology that can be bent to fit whatever perspective anyone wants to use it in. McCain is much better at "town hall" type exchanges where he can speak a little more off-the-cuff and depend less on a scripted speech and a teleprompter...he sounds passionless and robotic sometimes when he's more scripted.

Anyway, I digress. I'm anxious to hear a reporter ask her the tough questions and hear how she responds.

And I've been thinking a lot more about her conservative stances.....people don't like her because she advocates for abstinence only sex education in school (frankly I don't think that is very smart) and opposes abortion (I do too, but I have some fuzzy edges where it isn't all black and white to me). But seriously, think about this. How, as VP, would she get any of that actually legislated? She can't just cruise into the White House and start rewriting the law books. Ain't gonna happen, even if she wanted it to. I honestly don't believe Roe V. Wade will ever be overturned and even if it was, wouldn't that only turn the issue back over to each state to decide? It wouldn't shut down all the abortion clinics overnight, that's for sure.

I'm really perplexed at why people are slamming her so hard for her personal life decisions though. Lots of people (mostly women! Go figure) saying that she should have put off running for national office till her baby is older, till her daughter has her baby, till some other time in the future. They say that she was selfish to put her own ambition above the needs of her family. They say that her daughter would not be getting dragged through the media mudpile and wouldn't be the new poster child for teen pregnancy if not for her nomination, and that it was mean and uncaring for her to accept the nomination now. It isn't as if Bristol won't have the support of her family. She will still be living with her parents until she marries her fiance. If she doesn't end up marrying him then she will be a young single mother....lots of those around, doing a pretty decent job raising their kids. No, it isn't ideal, but real life seldom is. The First Dude has taken an indefinite leave from his job and is taking on the primary caregiver role at home. Yeah, it's unusual, but you know what? It's what feminists have been screaming about for years. And now that the dream has come true in a big way, they don't like it....because the woman holds conservative beliefs. They wanted to redefine what a "typical" American family looks like, and it sure has been. If a family can take care of their own needs, everyone is happy and healthy and reasonably well-adjusted, what does it matter whether mom or dad stays home? Who are we to judge how other people make their families work?

Why is no one asking if Obama can be a good father to his children if he is in the White House? His children are young and need their daddy too. He said it himself, that candidates' children are off limits and shouldn't be a part of our politics. Why did no one take Hillary to task for leaving Chelsea with nannies and sitters while she and Bill pursued their careers? I read a bio on Hillary, and it talked about Chelsea being at a young age, young enough to not pronounce all her words properly, and she was asked about her mom and what her mom did. She responded, "Mommy go make a 'peech." A little double standardish, in my humble opinion.

Why do people assume that a dad can't take just as good care of his children as mom does? It's "just not the same" for the husband to be at home with a special needs child? Oh please.

I am fine with how she takes care of her family. Now what I want to know is how are she and Mr. McCain going to help me take care of mine?

02 September 2008

Can't we all just get along?


I never thought I would see the day when liberals and feminists would not like a particular candidate because she is a working mother and a successful professional woman. Seriously. They think she should be at home, taking care of her babies. Can't hack it in the workplace. And they're not subtle or even particularly civil about it. WTF?

And her husband, the First Dude, is getting slammed for being Mr. Mom. And here I thought we had made so much progress as a country with equalizing gender roles......

So, her 17 year old daughter is pregnant. Not such a good thing. But she's not taking the easy way out and "getting rid of the problem," and she plans to marry the father. I think that is a good thing, Neanderthal that I am. By media standards I am an ultraconservative, religious fanatic nutjob, because I am prolife, support Second Amendment rights and I practice my faith. So, I guess I'm embracing my inner nutjob! LIberals are going crazy in their blogs, and in the news, and on message boards about what a hypocrite, idiot and bad mother Sarah Palin is, because her daughter got pregnant.

Maybe the marriage will work out, maybe it won't. Maybe this will sink the campaign, maybe it won't. Maybe McCain would keel over his first week in office, maybe he wouldn't. Blah blah blahbeddy blah.

But what I really need to know is, why is this relevant? What does this pregnancy have to do with Palin is capable of? Even Obama came out and told the media to back off and that people's children are off limits. I have to say that I thought that showed a lot of class, and my respect for him as a person went up a notch or two. Won't vote for him but I still think he showed class.

Why are so many people foaming at the mouth over Sarah Palin? I really can't understand why so much unvarnished hatred. Conservative radio says it's because they are scared of her. Could be, I don't know. I was excited to learn more about her. I like most of what I read, some of it not so much. But she's human and therefore not perfect. Who among us is? I still like her better than anyone else on the ticket. You'd think, if she was such a bad choice, liberals would be high fiving all over the world, laughing and celebrating because McCain just sunk his campaign. Instead they are slamming her and her family in personal insults and generally spewing venom and hate.

Go figure.

In other news, I got an "A" in Philosophy and now have a month off till fall quarter starts. Go me! My spousal unit is going to see some changes at work, and I'm anxious to see how those changes affect us here on the home front. We've got some talking to do and he needs to figure out what he wants to do.

Leaning toward medicating the oldest offspring, because of a lot of different factors. We agreed to give it till the end of the first quarter of school and talk to Mrs. H, and see if we need to make a decision and take some action.

Guess that is about it for tonight.

30 August 2008

I heart Sarah Palin (so far)

Like most people, I spent much of yesterday listening to the news or watching when I could and I am floored by John McCain's VP pick. What I know of Sarah Palin, I really like and am very impressed with. There's just so much to say about it!

I think she was a good choice. The obvious fact of her gender is a definitely a nod to women voters but if McCain thinks people will vote for him because he chose a woman, any woman, I think he is wrong. However, THIS woman deserves a closer look, and I don't think it's fair to dismiss her out of hand as simply a token. She does have other things going for her. She may be new to the national political arena, but people have been saying that she is a rising star in the Republican party, even before the world exploded yesterday. I thought one quote was funny, I can't remember who said it, but they said it referring to her ability to be tough and go toe-to-toe with opponents. Someone said, "The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah." Now, to take it literally is a little frightening, but I think it's clear that it was meant metaphorically. I'm glad she's not afraid to stand up for what's important to her.

Choosing someone like Mitt Romney, while I've no doubt that he would be a good VP also, would just perpetuate the idea that the Republican Party is full of rich white men, who have no connection to life outside the Beltway. THAT ticket would have been more "same old, same old." At the very least, people are sitting up and taking notice.

I spent some time googling and looking up what I could about her, and what I found, I really liked. She is a staunch conservative who isn't afraid to take a stand on something she believes in (GOT to love that), she has showed she isn't afraid to buck the status quo when she took on her own political party and exposed corruption, she walks the talk and seems to show the courage of her convictions. People will say, "Oh but she has no experience! How can McCain pick on Obama for lack of experience and then choose someone like Palin who also has a fairly short political resume?" But there are a couple of differences I see, right off the bat.

First of all, she is running for VICE President....the #2 guy. Joe Biden himself said that the Presidency isn't something that lends itself to on the job training. But to be VP is a valuable opportunity to learn a lot in a pretty short time, not in the top spot. Yeah, McCain is older and has had health scares and maybe her chances of having to step up to the plate are higher. But Obama, with his 167 days in the Senate, most of which have been spent campaigning for higher office, is running for the #1 spot! With a resume that has at least as many holes in the experience column as Palin's! His VP would have to do a lot of the heavy lifting (or, on the job training) for him. So which is worse? Or to put a more positive spin, which is better? From some of the reading I've been doing, people in Illinois aren't all that impressed with his programs there and some of them seem to be failing, like the universal health care for kids. Which in theory is admirable, no one should have to watch sick kids suffer, but practice seems to be falling short.

And the time that she does have on her resume has been spent actually running an administration, making decisions, making things happen. She has an approval rating well into the 80% range. That's amazing, frankly. Not all that many politicians have ratings like that, especially in a short time. She must be doing something right in Alaska. I find it ironic that the Obama campaign has made nothing but snarky comments about her since the announcement broke. They made fun of her being a mayor of a small town. Never once gave a nod to the fact that she RUNS A STATE. She is the commander of the Alaska National Guard. Instead, Obama stood there and stuttered, "Uh, she, uh seems nice and uh, and smart enough..." and had his hitman spokespeople jab at her for him.

And MSNBC is an asshole. Under a "BREAKING NEWS" banner, they ran the headline,"How many houses does Palin add to McCain's total?" Are they for real? Breaking News, just to be snotty? The way things have gone at the Democratic convention, between things like this, the cops practically throwing a news reporter under a moving bus and demonstrators getting violent with Fox news crews, the Democrats are coming off looking like a bunch of thugs who only want free speech when they are the ones speaking.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I've never been a HUGE McCain fan. I'm impressed with his record and his heroism. As a 16-years-and-counting military member, I have an inkling of the dedication that goes along with service. But what he endured is unimaginable. That said, I'm not convinced that that experience qualifies one to be the president. His volatile temper is concerning and I am not with him on some of his ideas. As I have said, not 100% behind him. But I do think Sarah Palin can balance his campaign out in a positive way and if yesterday is any indication, she has the ability to really light people up. Maybe she can be a driving force to get people behind McCain.

She comes across like someone who could be your neighbor. Down to earth, raising kids in a wide range of ages (one of them being a special needs child), has some of the same concerns and worries that you and I do, accessible. She seems to be more "one of us" than McCain ever has. I don't dislike him or his wife at all, but I have a hard time imagining that they really know what it is like to wonder how you are going to put food on the table once the rent is paid. I think they are pretty far removed from that kind of reality. I know nothing about Sarah Palin's financial standing but it was reported yesterday that her husband (First Dude) earned a little less than $50,000 last year working for an oil company. That's not exactly riches beyond imagination. I don't know what a state governor makes to add to that, but if the President only makes around $400-450K, something like that, I'd guess a state governor makes significantly less. I say "only $400K" because I know that Bush, Obama, McCain and most of the rest of the suits have incomes (or had before entering the White House) that exceeded that $400K by A LOT. Triple it or quadruple it, at least.

Much remains to be seen, and I want to know more about Sarah Palin and exactly where she stands on more issues. She's clearly and unequivocally pro-life, she cuts taxes and wasteful spending, she supports Second Amendment rights, plus she is hot ;) But I want to know where she stands on things like immigration, military and national defense, and social programs like welfare reform. Just because I'm conservative doesn't mean I'm against welfare but we have to be reasonable about it. Make it more attractive and easier to get OFF of welfare than to have more babies to stay ON it.

She'll shake the race up for sure, no matter which way it goes. I was feeling quite cynical about politics in general lately and I hated that feeling. But now I'm more excited about the election.

27 August 2008

The power of prayer

I have always believed in the power of prayer, but the lesson was really brought home to me today.

I've been having some friend trouble lately. Someone who I thought was a dear friend, who was there for me and loved me without judging is showing herself to be someone other than that. And another so-called friend has been talking about me and betraying my confidences and it's really upsetting me. Last night I was really mad about it, and just feeling resentful and bitter, and just angry.

It was the first thing I thought of when I opened my eyes this morning. And I thought, I don't want to spend all day being pissed off about this. There isn't anything I can do to change it and stewing over it isn't going to make it go away. So, I just said, "God please help me to forgive and not hold such anger in my heart. I don't want to be that person, holding a grudge. Please help me today." That was it....no long, drawn out strings of fancy words or anything, just a couple of simple sentences. Then I went on about my day.

I went to the office for a half day today, and on my way I stopped at the gas station to buy a cup of coffee. I MUST have coffee....I need it like an addict needs crack. So I'm in line to pay (in my uniform) and as the man in front of me is walking away, he says over his shoulder, "You're doing good things. It isn't much but your coffee is paid for. Have a nice day." I stood there dumbfounded for a second....that sort of thing has only ever happened once or twice when someone has thanked me for my service. So I put my hat on, grabbed my purse and chased him to his car. I just said, "That was a very kind thing you did and I appreciate it. Thank you." And I noticed on his car was a Vietnam veteran magnet. That made me feel so good. Good thing number one.

When I got to the office, it was just one of those days where everything you are working on falls into place perfectly and all my questions were answered, and everything I touched worked out beautifully. Good thing number two. I got a good amount of work done, and headed home. When I got to the house, I saw a box on the front porch, from FTD floral delivery. ??? What could it be? As it turns out, my friend and coworker Cathy and I were TDY (temporary duty) together last month and we happened to see this particular kind of plant, a Lucky Bamboo plant, and I commented on how cool I thought it was. Out of the blue, for no apparent reason, Cathy sent me a Lucky Bamboo, with the most awesome gift card that read, "If I had a flower for every time you made me smile and laugh, I'd have a garden to walk in forever. I hope this makes you smile." Good thing number three.

Then, after I left her a tear-stained voice mail, I opened my email to find several "I love you" notes from a couple of other friends. Good thing number four. Telling me that, although some people in my life don't seem to value me and my friendship, there are others who do.

Could I ask for any more confirmation that prayer works? No, God didn't stop a building from falling on me, but that isn't how He does things. But with these things that happened to me today, I feel like He set up surround-sound in my world to make sure I heard the message loud and clear.

Roger that.

22 August 2008

Busy busy busy

The older two offspring are now back in school and the little one starts on Monday. We went on our trip to Disney and had a great time. It's fun to go on vacation and always nice to get back home. People warned us about the weather in Florida, and I've been there many times before, but man that humidity will kill a person! Temps were about what you'd expect....mid to high 80's, but I seriously thought I might melt in the humidity. You would start sweating the moment you walked outside....oy.

But it was fun and well worth it. We ran into a family we know from church and school and had dinner with them one night which was fun, and when we got home we had a surprise waiting for us at the airport. My stepson, my oldest son that I did not give birth to, was waiting for us! We knew he'd be in town, and we just thought he'd be at the house, but he met us at the airport. We were all thrilled to see him. He's off to sunny skies and beaches for his next duty assignment. Jerk. Just kidding, it's pure envy speaking.

Today, as I happened to be out and about running around, I bumped into a dear friend of mine....who had the uncomfortable job of informing me that someone who I thought was a good friend that could be trusted, is telling other people very personal and private information about me. What a disappointment. I've had some trouble with some of my friendships lately and it has me wondering a couple of different things....A) am I that bad a judge of someone's character? and B) what am I doing wrong?

Sure, have your opinion of me and have your opinion of decisions I make and things I do, and even tell me about them, good or bad. But don't go telling other people who hardly know me intimate details of my personal life. REALLY personal. And don't sit in judgment on me, when you are just as human as I am. If I wanted my whole neighborhood to know every single personal detail of my life, I'd tell them myself. I'm upset and disappointed and feel betrayed. And I know that it's going to be tough to not say anything to the person who's talking about me, because telling them would open a whole other can of worms. Then she would know who told me and I'd get her in trouble. So very juvenile. But I'm not about to throw my friend under the bus, when she at least had the decency to tell me the truth. I trust her more than anyone else in the 'who-is-talking-about whom' game.

We're all human and we all have secrets and private regrets, things we wouldn't want everyone in the world knowing. Please, if someone trusts you with theirs, don't make it idle chit-chat with other people.

I should just be a hermit.

05 August 2008

Considering a BIG change

I had another drill this past weekend and I came away feeling no better than I did last week. My office (all two of us who work in it) is becoming rather drama-filled as of late. Drama that I didn't create, that has nothing to do with me and that I want no part of. I support my cohort and I know the truth of what happened but beyond that I want no part of it. There is a major power play going on and neither of us needs to be, nor deserves to be, taken down in it. And I found out that a good deal trip that I was supposed to be going on, I may not be able to go after all. I was supposed to be going to a historic event that is a truly once in a lifetime thing. I may still be able to go, but now I've been made aware that I'm on the B team.


With all that going on and the whole promotion issue I whined about in my last post, I got to thinking about what Chief M said to me last weekend....about the possibility of me going back to a previous career field in order to have a little upward mobility. I talked to the husband about it, and while it would definitely create some challenges, it's inside the realm of possibility. The likelihood is VERY small, but now that the idea is in my head, I catch myself thinking about it more and more. I'm considering going back to, or at least asking the question to see if I could go back to, flying. Several things would have to happen in order for it to be likely or possible, and there is no way to know now if those things are going to happen. And it would be a major challenge to work out the logistics of my going to school (months at a time) and my training time (at least a year). It's doable but as the husband pointed out, we'd have to hire a nanny for sure. And I'm not at all convinced I'd want to be away that much. Once I got further into the flying thing, I would have more control over when I was away, but at the beginning I'd be at the scheduler's mercy.

I have missed flying since the day I hung up my flight suit. I didn't really think that once the kids were here, that it was remotely possible to go back to it. Just the thought of being able to get on an airplane and do something fun and cool and useful and worthwhile.....is very exciting. I love what I do now, but frankly I am beginning to feel like, why bother trying so hard to do good work? No one really notices and no one really cares. I know, I know, there's more to work and a career than getting accolades and promotions, but come on people, throw me a bone! A little positive feedback, a little reward for a job well done. I don't need to be publicly petted and praised every time I show up for work, nor do I want that. But is there nothing in between?

Yeah, I'm still whining. And I'm still sort of mad at the husband. Nothing is going to change the thing I'm mad about, but I am feeling like he's kind of saying (without using these words) "I'm going to do what I want to do, and you need to just deal with it."

It's going to rain again tonight.

28 July 2008

Ever have one of those days...

...where you feel like you just can't do anything right? Yesterday was like that for me. I went to work and after a mercifully short and not terribly boring Commander's Call, I talked to the Command Chief who is the highest ranking enlisted person in my unit. He had given this lovely speech about how the enlisted ranks need to take care of their own, and look out for each other. He also talked a lot about doing what you need to do to get promoted, and how no one is looking out for your career as much as you are, that you are responsible for your own career. So I went to talk to him after the meeting and said, "Look, here's my situation." And I laid it all out for him. I've known him for a long time so I felt comfortable to sort of speak freely. I'm doing everything you are supposed to do, everything the leadership tells you to do, in order to get promoted. I'm WAY qualified and eligible for my next stripe. But because of the way manning is authorized for my office, I'm stuck in a place where I simply can't get promoted, unless someone (that would have to be the Commander) was seriously motivated to get me promoted. There would be some paperwork (OK, a ton of it) involved and perhaps a slight bending of the rules. Not outright illegal, just a slight bending.

A word on bending the rules, in a situation like this. Just about anything, and I do mean anything, is waiverable or negotiable. Anything. AND, I've seen situations where someone should have just been out on their ass, they broke the rules (BIGTIME) and got caught red-handed, and yet they not only stay in, they get promoted. So, tell me why someone who is doing everything right, going above and beyond and generally being well known as 'a good shit,' can't get promoted to save their life?

I digress. I have a whole list of accomplishments I can rattle off, and it seems to count for nothing in this instance. So I asked Chief, plain and simple, "Is there nothing that can be done to get me promoted? I'm doing everything you are supposed to do. Col G has said, 'Do A, B and C, and I will promote you.' Well, I've done A, B, C, D, and E, and I still can't get a stripe. Is there nothing? Seriously?" And he kind of shrugged and said that sometimes sacrifices had to be made. I then asked, "So am I correct in stating, my choices are to stay in the job I love and I'm really good at and never get promoted, or cross train (again) into some other career field that I don't like and am not as good at, to get the stripe?" He said he'd talk to the Commander but we'll see. He's a nice guy and he means well but I don't think he cares that much about whether I can get promoted.

It's just incredibly frustrating. I deserve the promotion. I've worked hard and done everything they said I had to do, and more. But at least I will be back in the office next weekend and hopefully seeing my face will remind him that he promised to talk to the Commander on my behalf. Oh, and on the heels of telling me there really isn't anything anyone can do, he told me, "Please don't leave the unit and go somewhere else." I wanted to say, "Don't put me in a position where I have no choice but to leave, in order to get a deserved promotion," but I felt like I had pushed him enough. There will be another opportunity to make that threat if I feel like I need to.

Then I found out that the math classes that I busted my ass to pass.....don't count toward an associate's degree granted through the military. When you originally come in, they tell you about this degree. It's SO EASY! It's FREE! All you need to do is have a pulse and fog a mirror and you will get a degree! Yeah. I talked to two people this weekend, griping about the unfair application of outside credits....one woman I work with is has a Masters degree, plus 15 hours of a doctoral program and that isn't good enough for the piddly military associate's. Another guy has an MBA and they said that his math credits don't count for the stupid military associate's. I mean, there are ways I can still get the degree and it is in fact free. But still! Math classes that count toward a degree from a nationally accredited college aren't good enough for this? BS! On the positive side of this is knowing, in general, how highly educated and motivated the enlisted force of today is :)

Then when I got home, the husband was in a bad mood...the ghosts of recent 'trouble in paradise' had come back to haunt him. My fault, because it was my mistakes that caused the trouble in paradise. Not to discount or belittle it. It's just that I thought maybe we were past the worst. And then he said he didn't want to talk about it, which is like waving a red flag in front of a bull, for me. Not talking about it is what got us to the low point in the first place. In fairness he later said that he just didn't want to talk about it right then. OK. Fair enough. But still. After the day I'd had, the last thing I felt like doing was going over all that again and apologizing again and just generally reliving it.

So it really was one of those days. I just couldn't find my butt with both hands. But today is a new day and I hope it's better. It's my last day before my second summer class begins. And it looks rainy.

24 July 2008

What to do, what to do?

You know what really bothers me? When someone wants to tell you their side of a story but won't let you have own perspective. I've been having a falling-out with someone I thought was a really good friend, and she has her side of what happened, but when I wanted to talk about my side, she was all, "I just need some space from this whole thing." Meaning, I don't want to listen to what you have to say.

I'm afraid she really means to end a friendship over what started out as a relatively small incident. Something happened a few months back, it bothered the both of us but neither of us said anything about it. I, of course, can only speak for myself, but I got over it. Yeah, I was hurt, irritated, upset, whatever....and then, I got over it. But it felt to me, like my friend was beginning to avoid me, end phone calls a little quicker, things just didn't feel the same. We got together less and less, but we did get together a few times, and when we hung out I thought we were ok. I don't know what happened. She says she felt a "hurt vibe" from me on the phone and it was just heavy and hard to get past, so she stopped returning my calls. Well, I don't know that it is unreasonable to be hurt when your friend just stops talking to you....is it? So I'm hurt, she's uncomfortable with it and doesn't want to or can't address it so she deals by avoiding me, leading to more hurt....see where I'm going with this?

You can't make someone be friends with you, or talk about something they don't want to or can't deal with. But come on. Let's put on our big-girl panties and get it on the table. Is one uncomfortable conversation just too high a price to pay for a friendship? I love her, I truly do....but I'm not the only one who bears responsibility for the health of the relationship. I've done what I can do. I've apologized for my part, I've told her how I feel, I've accepted my share of the blame.....and I did it without anger, or bitterness, or nastiness. I calmly spoke my piece. She asked for space and I'll give it to her, but I am worried that we've already had our last conversation. We live near each other and will likely cross paths again at some point. But how sad, really.

So last night, I went out with some other friends, drank too many beers, and hooted and hollered at karaoke night at a local sports bar. It helped to laugh and relax, and realize that even if she doesn't want to be friends with me anymore, there are still people who do. I'll be sad and I'll miss her, but it is her choice. I have to let her make it.

15 July 2008

Pot, meet kettle

I've been reading a little bit about this political cartoon/satire that was recently on the cover of The New Yorker magazine, that depicts Barack and Michelle Obama fist-bumping in the Oval Office, with the American flag burning in the fireplace under a picture of Osama bin Laden. Barack is dressed in what looks like a turban and Middle-Eastern/Islamic looking robes (or something like that) and Michelle looks all radical with a giant Afro and a machine gun slung over her shoulder. People are FURIOUS about it. Or at least pretending to furious and offended by it.

Personally, I think it's kind of funny and it obviously reflects what some people's perceptions might be. I think it's closer to the truth to say that it is obviously overdone and exaggerated.

But here's my question : why is it OK to make fun of (by way of vicious bumper stickers, tshirts, cartoons, a countdown calendar for pete's sake) George Bush or John McCain or Dick Cheney or Karl Rove or whoever the right-wing target might be, and it's NOT OK to poke a little fun at the other side? Who can dish it out but can't take it? Come on, put on your big boy pants and deal with it.

This is why I am really beginning to despise American politics. It's all about posturing and pandering and not at all about doing anything useful.

06 July 2008

Feeling kind of down today

And I'm not sure why. Not that it really matters why, but I've been in a funk all day. The husband got home this morning (flew a red-eye home) and we haven't done much today. I was in such a mood that I didn't feel like going to church today, and that is sort of saying something.

This sounds terribly vain and I guess it is, but I think maybe part of the reason for feeling down is that I have been gaining weight and I know it. Whether they will admit it or not, most people have a 'magic' number in their heads that, if they see it on the scale, they go,"Good Lord, that's HUGE.' Or, in my case, I said to myself, "Good Lord, I'm getting FAT.' The magic number is like the upper limit of acceptable. This morning when I weighed myself, I weighed in at thismuch under the weight I was when I joined Weight Watchers. It's my magic number. NOT pleased at all to see it.

So I went for a run today, partly because I felt fat and knew I needed it even though I didn't feel like it, and partly because I paid good money to register for races later in the fall and I have to train for them sometime. It did make me feel a little better. Then we went out and bought shoes and swimsuits for the boys and got some fruit at a local fruit farm that I love. I actually made dinner tonight which is kind of unusual. I've been very anti-cooking lately, for some reason. I will do it when I have to, but only under protest. Tonight I felt like it so I did. And miracle of miracles, there was no whining, wailing or gnashing of teeth from the peanut gallery.

Right now, I am procrastinating (AGAIN!) on taking my anthropology midterm. And this week I have to get ready to go TDY (temporary duty) to California. I'm looking forward to it...it will be fun to work with the guy from that base again, and I'm going with a good friend of mine who shares my office. But for some reason, I'm not super excited to go. Traveling is going to be hectic, and I already feel like I'm late for the flight, and I don't leave for three more days. I have to miss two and a half lectures at school, and while I"m certain the professor doesn't care and may not notice I'm missing, I am worried that it will make the final hard. Even though Holly is going to copy her notes for me. Wuss. I'm getting so whiny in my old age, I swear. I complain and say that I want to work more, and get to travel like I used to, and when I get the chance, I'm all namby-pamby about it.

Foul mood. Blah.

30 June 2008

No rest for the weary

Spring quarter is over, summer has started. I managed to pull out a "D" in math, which is awful, but it's passing. And I was seriously worried I might not pass. I'm not happy about getting my first "D" in college, but I am happy that I am done paying to take math, which is among the things I hate to do most in the world.

Now I'm taking anthropology, and this particular course focuses on evolution and genetics. If I had known that there is a lot of math in genetics, I might not have taken this class. But it finished my natural science requirement, I'll be done in two more weeks and it's interesting.

I should be finishing the article that I have a deadline for TOMORROW but for some dumb reason, I can't seem to concentrate on something until I am seriously up against the wall. I'm procrastinating. Again. I've had several weeks to work on this article for the magazine I occasionally freelance for, and I kept putting it off and saying, as soon as exams are over. As soon as I get the checkbook balanced. As soon as the kids are in bed. Well, it's due tomorrow and it's not finished yet. Because I've been piddling around shopping for shoes, or reading my friends' profiles on Facebook, or reading political arguments on message boards. Or blogging.

Making an observation about politics and political arguments here. I just read a great op-ed piece in Newsweek....it might have been a couple weeks old but it really rang true. I paraphrase here...Washington sucks. I don't think it matters who we elect in November; the partisanship and the hatred runs so deep that I don't think anyone can get anything done anymore. Politicians aren't concerned anymore with doing what is right for America, they are worried about their reputation, their own constituents, their paycheck, and making sure that the other side can't get their way. It seems to have become a juvenile game of thumbing your nose across the aisle and saying, "Oh yeah? You don't want to cooperate on this issue? Well, just see if you EVER get any cooperation from me when you need it." And it becomes about getting people back for previous slights or disagreements and being more concerned with BEING right than DOING right. Earth-shattering, right? Insightful and profound, right? Not hardly. But disappointing and disheartening, for sure. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we're a bunch of self-absorbed crybabies.

OK, my cynical rant of the day is over. I do hope that whoever is the next President can make, or at least start making, some changes for the better. I believe that all the things we are complaining about....the economy, the environment, gas prices, the war, our place on the world stage....all go in cycles. We have good years, when the economy is strong and people have jobs and worry less about the bottom line, when we aren't at war, or considering war or recovering from war. They can't ALL be good years, and yeah, we have bad times too. Like now. But this too shall pass, and things will begin to get better.

I'm such a cynic and such an idealist, all at the same time.

11 June 2008

It's over

Spring quarter, that is.

In history class, I think I did really well. Our final project was a 15 page paper, and the professor said he was going to ask for extra copies from four students, that he would submit in for consideration for an undergrad award that the history department gives every year. I was "drafted" (read "told") to present my paper to the class....he asked for volunteers first and I tried hard not to make eye contact. But he picked me anyway, and he asked for the extra copy of my paper. As far as I know, I did not win, because the winner was supposed to be announced yesterday and I didn't get any notice. But it was still a compliment to be considered competitive.

Math, on the other hand, is horrible. Just horrible. I don't understand what I've done wrong. I thought I had the concepts, worked through the problems, and the answer I came up with was one of the multiple choices. I don't know. Anyway, I will extraordinarily lucky if I can pull out a "C". I'm not counting on it though....I did really, really badly. I'm just hoping to pass, honestly. If I have to take math again, I'm going to be very very unhappy.

Kids are out of school and happy to be on summer break. I'm glad for a break in the routine too...it's nice to just sleep a little later, and not have to rush in the mornings. When it's time for school to start again, I'm always ready for that change too, though. Seth and Lucas started baseball and teeball last weekend, and Seth had his first tennis lesson last night and Lucas has his first golf lesson tomorrow night. next week is a basketball camp....three days for an hour and a half. Then they have another basketball camp in July, and zoo day camp. We go to Disney in August. It is a rather busy summer I guess. But I don't like sitting around the house too much and they end up getting bored and antsy and into trouble when they sit around too much.

Little man is on way to being potty trained and I think I have bought my last case of diapers, ever! He's been wearing pull-ups/underpants this week and last week, and it's going pretty well. He got off to a bit of a rough start, but yesterday was a great day, and today is looking pretty good too so far.

You know how you can just tell when someone you are close to has something bothering them, even if they say they are fine? The husband really seems like he is preoccupied with something....very short tempered, especially with the kids. Just sort of....somewhere else. He of course says nothing is wrong, but I don't believe it, completely. I have been wrong before, of course, but I am wondering what is going on with him. He doesn't seem to have any interest at all in doing anything social with other people....he gets irritated so easily.....one friend said maybe he's having a hard time adjusting to being retired from the military. He's the guy who always says nothing is wrong, nothing bothers him, so if that was it, he wouldn't say so anyway.

Just saying.

Nothing earth shattering or thought provoking going on lately, just real life. Pretty mundane, really.

25 May 2008


I hate math. I can understand how it's useful and all, but I don't get it and I hate it. I am going to be lucky to pass this quarter.

I hate math. That is all.

24 May 2008

Memorial Day

It is Memorial Day weekend, and everyone asks, "What are your plans? Having some people over or going to a barbecue?"

We're going to a friend-of-a-friend's house for a barbecue and to listen to my friend's husband's band play, at least for a little while. The spousal unit is away till tomorrow morning and it gets tough taking all three of them out by myself, especially to an outdoor party. They all run off in different directions, but it's a kid friendly event so I am hoping to run into other people that I know, with kids that my kids can play with, so I can relax a little and have a beer. Or two.

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, the "official" beginning of garage sale season, and the end of the school year. Which are all good things to celebrate, yes? I guess it depends on how you feel about garage sales....I have a love hate relationship with them. It's like eBay in person. I have found some great things for a steal, but at the same time, it feels a little like trolling in the trash. I digress; I do that a lot.

I have to admit that it does make me a little sad to see how few American flags I see flying. There really aren't that many most of the time, but especially on Memorial Day, Flag Day, and 4th of July, it makes me a little sad that people don't fly flags. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I have to say that ours is not up right now, because we have the kind that you screw into a post on the front porch, and the bracket broke. But as soon as the new bracket arrives, it will go back up.

Last night at Scouts, I gave a little mini-lecture to my kid and his friend, but I know some of the other boys were listening...I could see them watching, and I hope that it did not fall on deaf ears. At the end of the pack meeting, the scouts retire the flag while everyone salutes, and my kid and his buddy were horsing around, chasing the boy who was carrying the flag and generally being dorks. So I told him that I didn't like to see them goofing around with the flag and that it was very disrespectful to the flag. I just said that they needed to behave with respect when they were handling the flag and to show it courtesy, and I mentioned all their family members that were in the military at that moment....between the two of them, there were a lot. I asked them if they knew what the flag stood for and they had a hard time coming up with an answer, any answer.

So I helped them out a little and told them: it stands for our country, and everything about our country. The good and the bad, because there is both. It stands for freedom. It stands for opportunity and it stands for sacrifice. It stands for people who willingly leave their families, their own safety and security to fight and shed blood to defend our right to live in a country that gives so much to its people, and asks so little in return. It stands for people who would rather die trying, than to settle for less than. People who want a better life for those who come after them, and get up and do something about it. No, America isn't perfect, and we have made big mistakes. But there isn't anywhere I'd rather call my home, to live and raise my family.

OK, so maybe I didn't make that big of a speech to a bunch of eight-year-olds who don't get it yet. Not all of it, anyway. But it is how I feel, and what I want to think about, and reflect on this weekend.

So we'll go to our party tonight, and grill hot dogs and hamburgers, and listen to a band play while the kids get eaten up with mosquito bites. Well, maybe not, it's pretty chilly here still. And we'll go to church tomorrow and thank God for all the blessings we have. I will also thank those who came before, who gave their lives so that you and I could live and raise our families, in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

14 May 2008


I feel better about the events of the weekend. I don't know if it is a character flaw, a mom thing, a woman thing, who knows why but when I've been offended (and not in the way you might get offended by an dirty joke...not that I get offended by them, but some people do...but I mean getting really wounded) I feel this need to just stew over it for a ridiculously long time.

I cannot stand for people to think badly of me. Let me rephrase that, because I know that there are people who do. I cannot stand KNOWING that someone thinks badly of me. It makes me want to turn myself inside out to make them like me. Which, yes, I know, is ridiculous and juvenile and, well, human.

So, I stewed for a couple of days, and dropped a lot of money in a matter of less than an hour, thanks to the magic of Internet shopping, hoping to make myself feel better. The shopping didn't help me feel better, but now all the stuff has started rolling in, and getting packages from the UPS guy always makes me happy :)

What did make me feel better is the knowledge (it's always there, but sometimes hard to remember where I put it last time) that that person's issues are not about me, they belong to that person. NOTHING I could ever do would change the way they see me. I will never convince that person that I am not the anti-Christ, that I am a decent person deserving of respect and at the very least civility.

And I think the thing that bothered me the most about it is this: you don't have to speak every thought that you have. Think whatever kinds of evil thoughts you wish, but have the manners, the decency, the class to KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. Turn the filter on. I absolutely despise bad manners, rudeness, thoughtlessness, inconsideration. Whatever you call it, I cannot tolerate it. I'll never change her mind about me, but she will not change anything either by continuing to be rude and inconsiderate, except making herself look rude and inconsiderate.

There is a very good reason for the old saw, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Or, better yet, 'Silence is golden."