“Thank You”

Two little words. Yet they mean SO much (when used correctly).

I’m in a business that doesn’t let me hear that often. I work solely to make my supervisors look good. They take credit for my work, make it their own, under the guise of making our Commanding Officer look great. I rarely hear “thank you” because I’m told ” you don’t get thanked for doing your job”. Well no, but crap I do on the regular – not my job. I’m a “jack of all trades, master of none”. People think they know how to do my job better than me and then, when they flub it up, it’s my job to fix it. And I may or may not be scolded for allowing them to screw up.

Such is life when you’re in the military.

Except.

There’s a new blogger in town, frtzkrn, and he got me thinking about the fact that we, as military members, get a lot of “thank you”s when we’re out and about. As a matter of fact, I was at Pizza Hut (don’t judge me) the other night and an older gentleman stopped me and said “thank you for your service to our country”. That made my night.

I’ve had run ins with people who don’t feel like that. In Wal-Mart (again, don’t judge me) one afternoon, Beanie and I had to stop and pick up dog food, I had a “gentleman” tell me that I was wasting my time being in the military, that I’d only get screwed in the end, and that if I was smart, I’d get out while I was still young. To be honest, Beanie was the only thing stopping me from handling this guy in the manner I saw fit. Instead, I simply told Beanie (loud enough that this man could hear) that not everyone was grateful for that everything they’ve been given and that, when you throw your life away, you become bitter at others for no reason. He, rightfully so, got irritated and stalked off. I was applauded.

But I didn’t do it to make a fool of him. I didn’t say these things simply because he lacked proper dental care (and teeth). Or that he was wearing pajama pants (at 3:45 in the afternoon) that could only be acquired after purchasing enough cases of Budweiser and earning a signature pair of their logo’ed pants. Or that he didn’t realize he had already heckled myself, E, and Beanie on a different sunday because we were wearing Ravens jerseys (while he was sporting the exact same pants). I did it to teach a life lesson to Beanie. People want to cut you down for the things you do because they’re jealous. Whether it be they’re jealous of the attention or they’re jealous of what you have, they want you to fail because it would make them feel better about themselves.

What did this man have to prove by telling me that I was wasting my time in the military? Did he think I’d immediately quit my job? Does he know I can’t do that? Sure, the military is the last legal form of slavery (it is, for real. Read our contracts). But it’s not a bad gig. The deployments suck. Being away from your family sucks. Missing milestones suck. But you’re a part of a family that will rarely let you down. We just recently had two guys whose wives gave birth. We got two new little Coasties into our family. They were welcomed with open arms. We showered them with gifts. That’s what family does. We celebrate with one another. When someone loses a family member, we send flowers and someone, anyone, will show up to show support. That’s what we do. Nowhere will you make friends that will continue the friendship 8 years down the road, after 3 different duty stations, while you’re each on a different side of the country.

E took me out for Veteran’s Day and we were approached by our waitress who told us how awesome we were for Beanie’s behavior. Normally, when you see a small human being seated near you, you roll your eyes (I do it and I have a kid so don’t act like you don’t). You don’t want to have to shout to your dining partner because some parent wants to allow their child’s self-expression to continue at an extreme decibel or you have to get your food to go because some kid is all up in your face because their parent wants to ignore them for a meal. (We’ve encountered this pre-Beanie). Beanie sat in her chair, watching Mickey Mouse on the iPad and only asked for milk and bites of her dinner. Because we work hard not to raise an asshole.

We were thanked for that.

Hearing the words “Thank You” is probably the most selfless thing a person can do. Making someone feel appreciated is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

NaBloPoMo – Nov 18th

Day 18: Tell us about a blog post that you didn’t publish.

There are several but two, in particular, come to mind. One is about politics and one is about parenting. The two single most irritating topics for anyone to endure. These are two topics that people will literally (figuratively) kill themselves over trying to prove you wrong. You can’t simply “have an opinion”. There has to be a black or white side.

Not for me.

Because, frankly, I don’t give a damn about anyone’s opinions.

I’ll do with the political one though. I usually don’t get political so this might be long. It might make Marney drop dead while cursing but hopefully she’ll still love me in the AM.

Back before this Obamacare bullshit started, I was already pissed. I voted for Bush in 2004, which I freely admit. I have a feeling it cost me a few friends but I just couldn’t bring myself to vote for a man who got himself a purple heart due to a self-inflicted war wound. No, admittedly I have not found any real evidence that supports this theory but he wasn’t exactly forthcoming when the accusations were made. Sorry but if someone were accusing me of something this heinous, I’d copy and print every single piece of documentation I had to prove you wrong. He didn’t do that.

Obviously Bush won. And then went on to make sure Katrina happened. And the Mississippi flooded. And the debt continued to rise. And every other issue that people STILL blame him for, to this day, in 2013.

Next up – McCain vs Obama. I voted for McCain in 2008. My reason: neither of these men had what it took to run this country. We were fighting an uphill war with seemingly no end in sight. But I didn’t feel that Obama could run this country without having served it.

I think I was right. More and more every, single day.

I don’t get wrapped up in this “where is he from” nonsense. Do I think he should have been more forthcoming with his birth certificate and all that? Absolutely. Why not shut everyone down from the start? Don’t you know, in the good ol’ United States of ‘Merica, you are guilty until proven innocent. Duh. That’s why there are investigators who investigate, detectives who detect, and people who pick and dismiss juries basked on the amount of info you already know. People are gonna find this shit out.

Anywho — so Obama has never served in any Armed Force. That bothers me.

The military is comprised of the different branches, this we already know, but to really REALLY understand what happens behind closed doors, you have to serve. You have to experience first hand, in my opinion, to really hold any weight and merit to attempt to run it.

I get it. The POTUS is merely the lightning rod. He will take the fall for the decisions that 150+/- congressmen make. He will receive the praise and the blame. Well to that, I say:

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I mean, really?

If I could speak before congress and the POTUS, I would ask one simple question: Would you want your sons or daughters working for people like you?

They have it so incredibly easy. They sit in their comfy, high-backed chairs and play poker and candy crush all day while we’re struggling. I know it was my choice to be in the military. I chose this life for myself. My husband, bless his heart, is ok with us moving. We understand the issues that can arise. But we weren’t, at all, prepared for the $1600 a month pay cut that we’d take (just from my salary, alone), because we were told to move from Maryland to Maine. Or that we were being sent to a place where it would take almost a year for my husband to find any type of job. We get it. That’s what we signed up for. Now, for the record, I do live in military housing so yes, I have a pretty good set up. I have a roof over my head and the heads of my family, my electricity, heat, and water are provided by the military. What isn’t covered is any means of communication (phone inside the house which I could see both sides of them paying or not paying), and any amenities. I can’t complain about that.

What I didn’t sign up for, however, was to have my pay to be used as a bartering chip.

This is our livelihoods, gentlemen and women. This is how we pay our bills. This is what keeps me from having my car repossessed and what keeps my credit in tact, which is what I need to continue working because I have to be eligible for a security clearance. This is what I use to put food on my table, gas in my car, and diapers and clothes on my child’s back. They have never had to worry one day of their lives about potentially not having enough money to stop and grab milk on the way home, or wondering if we can possibly make the last bit in the bank acct stretch because there are 19 days between pay checks. They don’t have to worry about advancing to a certain rank by a certain date to ensure they get some type of decent retirement.

People say I have no right to complain because I have free healthcare. It’s true. I do. But what people fail to see is that the health insurance that they so publicly cover is nothing more than a glorified HMO. I have to beg and plead with my PCM (PCP to you civilian folks) to go to an ortho to get my knee looked at. And if that PCM doesn’t see the need, I don’t get to go. I can go but I’d be paying out-of-pocket. And really, who can afford that? Sure they paid every last cent of my hospital bill to have my daughter. But I was sent to the lowest bidding OB/GYN and the care reflected it. Only one, ONE, out of NINE of those OB/GYNS didn’t make a comment about it must be nice to get my stuff for free.

Why does my pay, the money I work hard to earn, the money I get paid for being on call 24/7, have to get called into question? No, I don’t think I should have to pay federal taxes because federal taxes pays my salary. SALARY, I don’t get overtime. The days where I miss my daughter’s bedtime, I don’t see my husband for 2-3 days at time, or the missed time with my visiting family, I don’t get compensation. It’s called “doing my job”. I don’t get to just work remotely because it’s more convenient. I can’t rush my workday so I can make it on vacation. I can’t send my family to the Bahamas with the promise of signing a bill over the phone or via email.

My hard-earned paycheck is being brought into question because some grown men can’t relinquish their stubbornness to see the greater good of the country. Everyone said Hilary wouldn’t be a great POTUS because she’s too emotional. I’m willing to bet that bitch can balance a checkbook. Just Sayin’. I was told I’m lucky because we received word that the MIlitary Pay Act was signed. Until when? When is the next time we have to worry about checking our bank accounts and not seeing a deposit on the 15th or last day of the month?

I invite Congress and the POTUS to walk in our shoes. Some of Congress has. But I invite them to do it again. Let go of your fancy sports cars and your 6+ figure pay checks. Forget that you’ll continue to earn that much money when you’re retired. How well will you work when you don’t know if you’re going to make it home that night because you might be on a SAR case or you have duty or, God forbid, you’re deployed to an undisclosed area of the middle east?

We all signed an oath, to protect this country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic. However, sometimes I have to wonder, how “domestic” are the domestic enemies? We signed up for this life. We signed up for the trials and tribulations. We signed up to defend and honor the Constitution. But I find myself wondering, is there going to be anything left to fight for and defend when you all are finished fighting?

I find it amusing, I was watching an episode of “10 Things You Didn’t Know” on Discovery and it was about the White House. I, personally, learned the First Family is charged for their meals and anything that they need, personal wise. I find that fascinating. I find it even more fascinating that some of our former First Ladies were “appalled”. Why? Why should you get a free ride? Some of your husbands weren’t all that great. Why should we foot the bill for you to live completely free?

Now we’re onto Obamacare.

This was a brilliant idea, he said. This will change America, he said. This will be what America needs, he said.

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I don’t think he knows what he wants. But he refuses to admit he might have been wrong.

Instead, Obamacare is causing insurance companies to drive up the cost of premiums, kick people off plans that they were completely ok with being on, employers are having to drop people back to PT work so they won’t have to pay for their insurance because it’s too dang high.

Yet, I’m still sitting here, asking myself: Would Congress and the POTUS be ok with their children living in this kind of world, trying to make it on their own?

Gay Marriage – why not just “marriage”?

pardon me while I laugh my ass off

pardon me while I laugh my ass off

1) show me an American (that doesn’t live in Alaska) that doesn’t appreciate A/C. Your suit jacket probably is a blend. And eyeglasses — have you been to Starbucks lately with their selection of hipsters?

2) I’ve been trying to get tall for quite some time. And I work with all men but I have yet to grow a penis. What the hell is up with that?? I’ve heard they’re fun.

3) Three words: My Strange Addiction. A man had relationships with blow up animals and pool floats. I’m more concerns about his intentions than that of a gay man.

4) Statistics have shown that the new trend is to remove “honor and obey” from wedding vows. I, personally, did not say “obey” to E, nor he to me. If divorce is illegal, I should be thrown in jail.

5) Britney Spears is your example?! Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, and dare I say Kim Kardashian.

6) So you’re saying adopted kids aren’t legit kids?

7) I really do know someone (a couple people, actually) who was raised by gay parents. They are securely heterosexual.

8) Religion is the sole reason shit like this is posted.

9) Single Moms and Single Dads, death of one or the other. Enough Said.

10) God forbid America be adaptable.

FTR, I know this is a satire but these are all reasons that I’ve heard why people are opposed to gay marriage. And the most maddening argument: It’s against the Bible.

Ok, let’s break this down. The Bible, like the Quran/Koran, the Torah, and all other religious books were written by man.

the-religion-that-your-parents-taught-you-as-a-child-is-the-one-true-religion-what-a-coincidence

Everyone thinks they’re right. Do you think gay people wake up one day and say “hmm, think I’ll become gay and throw myself into a downward spiral of social awkwardness and take the chance on everyone hating me”? Doubt it.

Does the Bible not say “Love Thy Neighbor”?

Does the Bible not say “Only God Can Judge”?

Does the Bible not say “God Forgives Us For Our Sins”?

Pretty sure it does.

Not to mention having sex before married. Having sex during your period (gross but it happens). Lying – that’s a HUGE one.

One statement cracks me up. “Gay Marriage threatens the existence of straight marriage”. Really? How?

In the words of Mr. Belevedere on American Wedding “Not everyone wants to sleep with you, breeder”.

I don’t think people are scared of gay people (homophobia). I think it’s that they’re scared of what thoughts it might invoke in their heads.

Religion is taught. You are taught the readings of these books and you take from that what you want. Gotcha. But there is a reason there are two versions of the Bible. Someone felt that it needed to be revised. If you’ve ever sat down and read the Old Testament, it’s rough and rugged and very Old-School-Wyatt-Earp. The New Testament is much gentler and doesn’t include things like stoning your children to death.

I get that the Biblical sense of a marriage is for the man to be the head of the house and for the woman to submit. I understand that but here’s where the Christian upbringing and Feminist in me clash. I’m no one’s property (less the USCG’s). My husband and I are equals. Sure, he might pee standing up and can lift a little more than me but I can give birth and walk in high heels. The differences are what makes us unique. Love is what brings us, and keeps us together.

What is so wrong with two people loving one another, regardless of what’s between their legs?

Personally, I’d rather two women and two men love each other than to have this stupid ass war continue on and on.

gay marriage

I think this about covers it

I think this about covers it

Priorities, people. This country is $17 trillion dollars in debt and teetering closer and closer to bankruptcy. N. Korea is threatening us with rocket strikes. Homelessness is climbing. Unemployment is still high. Military benefits are getting cut.

And THIS is what you choose to fight about.

I’m pretty sure Jesus and God are shaking their heads.

Are you kidding me?

Warning — if cursing offends you, try another blog today.

I rarely get political. Like here or in real life. Mainly because I don’t give a shit nearly as much as anyone else does but because, regardless of who the POTUS is, I still work for him. I still have to get up, put on my lovely blue uniform and get my ass to work and earn my paycheck. I don’t get to bitch about him because it could get my fired.

My beef isn’t with the POTUS. My beef is with his minions.

Congress is 150 +/-  people how are full of hot air and bullshit. The POTUS is merely their lightning rod. But come the fuck on. Seriously.

Every four years, I get transferred with virtually zero regard for my family status. “If they weren’t issued to you in your seabag, we don’t care”. I had a detailer tell me “deal with what you’re given. I could make it worse”. So I moved. My husband still doesn’t have a stable job that provides any type of income because we’re in this small ass, rinky-dink town that has a (non-super) Wal-Mart, an Applebees, 3 Dunkin Donuts, a Home Depot, and a Lowes. None of which are hiring. We’re at least 45 miles away from a military base that has a commissary to which will make our pay checks stretch when it comes to buying groceries.

But we manage. We have to. We’re making it work with pretty much one salary.

Congress — 6 figure PLUS monthly salary and those morons only have to serve ONE term before they are eligible for a pension. I have to serve at least TWENTY before I receive ONE HALF of my base pay. That means, even after dedicating 20 yrs to my country, dragging my family around the country, living in shithole towns that were selected by some asshole that was throwing darts at a map, I still only get roughly $1500 a month. Pretty soon, if these shitbags have their way, that won’t include insurance.

I get it, I chose this life and I’m thankful that my husband is extremely supportive of this life. It does pay the bills but please, don’t slap me in the face with a 1.4% pay raise and tell me this is “to bring me more in line with the private sector”. The chick down that street that pays does the bills for the local marina makes twice as much as I do.

Now we have to hear about this sequestration. Fortunately military pay is exempt. For now.

But what slays me is that we’re still giving aid to these foreign countries. I feel very bad for the poor and the starving. I really do. My heart breaks every time I see Sally Struthers asking for money to help a child. Kid, if I had an extra 19 cents per day, I would. I’d also send money to the polar bears, the meerkats, and the Right Whales. I really would. But when are we going to start taking care of our own. Let’s face it, the “aid” that we’re sending to these foreign countries is not making it to those poor and starving people. Instead we’re still fighting this pointless fucking war that WILL NEVER END. We’re deploying people while being told “you may or may not be getting paid”. You know, the government has to give 30 days before shutting down your pay. 30 days to become aware that you won’t be able to pay your bills. Imagine being in Afghanistan or Iraq while your spouse is hoping and praying not only for their loved one to come home in one piece but also for their pay check to be deposited.

All the while the POTUS enjoys his family vacation and his minions calls Congress get to go home and be comfy without a financial worry in the world.

Tell you what:

Cut Congresses pay. Let’s see these fuckers live on $55,000 per year. And while we’re cutting their pay, let’s make them pay back the federal student loans that their darling children have received as a benefit to paying for their education. Let Sally Mae call their house during the dinner hour (and sometimes at 6:30am, according to my ma).

They don’t fix this debt shit, kick them out. If I don’t work, I get kicked out. If I don’t earn my paycheck, I have consequences. Make it the same for them. Same with the POTUS. You can’t get your shit together, get out. I’ve seen people processed from the military for “unsuitability”. I’m thinking Congress is “unsuitable” to get their jobs done.

Stop spending money needlessly. Stop sending aid to these countries WHO WANT TO KILL US. Duh.

I can’t help but be angry because I love my job. I really and truly do but I almost can’t afford to stay in. Of course I can’t afford to get out either. I need the insurance and the pension.

I hope these people get their shit together and soon. Unemployment rates are up, this recession is still very real. Unless you’re going to pardon everyone’s bills for one month, we need the money that we’re owed.

I cannot understard a word you are saying

Reblogged from Foul Mouthed Hooligans

It started not too long ago. A message or a text. Then I saw it more on the face page. A response to something that I said, which clearly was brilliant: “Totes.”

Totes? What does this mean, I wondered. Like, Isotoners? Umbrellas? A cute little bag that you carry your lunch inside? Totes. Huh. I dismissed it as an autocorrect or typo and forgot about it.

Then it happened again. Someone declared, “this is totes random but….”

I have no idea what was so random, I was stuck on the word “totes.” What the hell does this mean? So I decided I would use my highly trained investigative journalist mind to unravel this mystery.

I googled it.

Totes, it seems, is shortened speak for the word “totally.” As in, the English language is being totes destroyed by the totes laziness of this totes embarrassing usage of the word totes.

This desperate need to shorten and clip words blows my mind. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I didn’t spend hours at St. James diagramming sentences just so that I could LOL and WTF at them later. Incidentally, how in the hell did LOL come to use anyway? I realize it is the shortened way to say “laugh out loud,” but back in my 7th grade note-writing days, we did that by writing “ha” which is actually shorter. What genius came up with LOL? And then took it a step further to ROFLMAO. Has anyone ever rolled on the floor laughing, or laughed their ass off? Couldn’t the same effect be achieved if you simply wrote, HA HA!

Now it appears WTF has been replaced by WTAF, which adds the word “actual” in it (which also makes my friend Lara irrationally ragey — also not a word but I like that one). But it appears that WTAF is just the modern version of “huh” which is also a letter shorter. Don’t even get me started on how www is the shortened version of world wide web, but when you SAY www, you are saying six additional syllables than if you had just gone ahead and said “world wide web.”

Remember when acronyms were used for good, and not evil? KISS — keep it simple stupid. HOMES — Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior, the Great lakes. NASA — need another seven astronauts (too soon?).

Anyway, I felt the need to get to the bottom of this totes ridiculous phenomenon. Turns out I am saying that wrong, too. Because it is not totes ridiculous. It’s totes ridic. It’s cray-cray. Ima say it prolly so cray-cray it for realz could turn my brain to mush. Which would be the exact opposite of totes adorbs. If that happened — FML. Obvi, I’m jelly of ppl who can avoid this sitch.

(somewhere there is someone who understood all that)

This makes me sad. It makes me so sad. I wonder if this is what Shakespeare would think if we plopped him down in front of an episode of any television show ever made. WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE SAYING? I want to say that this is just the evolution of like, grody to the max and gag me with a spoon, but NO. Because that was fun. And also, words. Full on words. “Gag me with a spoon” is extremely descriptive, you know EXACTLY what I am saying.

Naturally (natch?) I decided this matter needed immediate attention from my husband. It took a fairly long, somewhat slow conversation in order to explain to him what is happening here, what people are saying, how to understand it. The result? The next day, Jim sent me a text in the morning. “Are you awake?” “Yes,” I replied.

“I totes knew you were.”

And it has begun.

These words that are making us crazy, we’ve now spent so much time ripping on them, they are becoming part of our daily conversations. We’re officially cray-cray on the reggae (I have no idea what that means).

Case in point — dinner. There we were, sitting at family dinner (we have family values) and Jim and I were discussing something. I can officially say I have no idea what we were talking about. But the words “totes” and “ridic” were fluid. I def don’t know what was said. It’s possible he said he had to go to the libes (that one came from a friend of mine). We spoke of our besties and Christmas prezzies and the deets on what we had for breks.

Hank was watching us, slowing putting his food to his mouth (and missing half of it — for hell’s sake, he’s 10, when is he going to learn to eat without half the food falling onto his shirt?), watching us back and forth like the world’s slowest ping-pong match. He finally cleared his throat and said, “uh, why are you two talking like teenagers?”

I don’t know, kid. It’s like a virus. A ridic, awk, presh, gorg, cray-cray, and bee-tee-dubs adorbs virus. Whatevs. I need a vacay.

Somebody, gag me with a spoon.

Totes.

************************************************************************************

This little Gem was posted by my beloved Marney (who is still pissed that I didn’t name my kid after her, but I digress). This shit is getting serious. It’s getting to the point where people are making themselves look foolish.

It’s bad enough we live in a country full of different languages, like New Englandese, which is where people drop their Rs, taking a simple phrase such as “I parked my car in Harvard Yard” and making it sound like “I paaaahhhk my caaaah in Haaaaavaaad Yaaaaaad”. It’s to the point where I have asked people to “say again please?”. Then you have people (like me) that say “Warshington” or “Warsh” or “Oooolll” (oil). I get it, I do. That’s Marylandese. We also say Baldimore, Hon, and everything gets Old Bay put on it.

But that’s a post for a different time.

And she’s totally correct, WTAF does make me ragey because it makes no damn sense whatsoever. At all.

rachelkern152

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