“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?

Instagram

In the social media world that we live in, it’s ever evolving. First there was MySpace. Then there was FaceBook for students only. FB eventually opened up to become the world’s largest social network. Now there are offshoots. Twitter, Tumblr, Tout, and now Instagram.

I’m on Instagram. I enjoy it. I find it to be more private than FB so I can share pics of Beanie without the worry of who is seeing them. It’s also a way to document my WLJ and other random pics.

When I take pics of my runs and HRM, I sometimes tag them with odd tags. Friday’s photo looked like this:

(names and comments have been deleted to protect the screen names of others)

(names and comments have been deleted to protect the screen names of others)

And just for shits and giggles, I tapped on the #wanttobeskinny tag and lo and behold, there were several pics of extremely skinny girls. And one, in particular, broke my heart. Her tags were #bulimic, #anorexic, #nomorefood, etc. I can’t wrap my mind around this but this find came on the heels of reading a pretty interesting article.

This blog post has been floated around FB for the past couple of days and it really struck me. Actually, it scared the shit out of me. This is what I’m going to have to potentially deal with, having a daughter of my own. It seems like kids these days (Man I feel old saying that) base their self worth on what happens on social media. How many friends can they have on FB, how many followers they can get on Instagram, what people read their Tumblr pages, etc. This makes it nearly impossible for parents to instill values into their children, and to almost convince them that they are worth so much more than what these media outlets are telling them.

After reading this, I thought “How the hell can I possibly raise this little girl to be an independent, self-made woman who knows what she’s worth and because of that, demand the respect she is entitled to?

Beanie already marches to the beat of her own drum. She likes to do her own thing and while some people judge for that (obviously she’s so independent because she wasn’t breast fed or coddled as an infant BAER), she seems happy.

You wanna wear work boots? You rock them harder than work boots have ever been rocked.

You wanna wear work boots? You rock them harder than work boots have ever been rocked.

You want to pair a leopard print tutu with cupcake pajamas? Do it up, sister!

You want to pair a leopard print tutu with cupcake pajamas? Do it up, sister!

and above all, if you want to sit back and watch the world and observe

do it in a fabulous pair of sunglasses that you chose because you love them

do it in a fabulous pair of sunglasses that you chose because you love them

 

 

What do you do when you’re snowed in?

What do you do when the outside looks like this?

Snow Shacks

We brought this upstairs because we want her to just leave us the f**k alone keep herself occupied and have a blast

Driving

But then this happened

Wreckage

And after hitting it three times, kicking it once, and throwing her cell phone at it, we realized she may have also inherited my anger management issues, in addition to my road rage.

Please let us see spring soon!

Valentine’s Day is Stupid

srsly.

srsly.

Valentine’s Day is the most ridiculous “holiday” (yes, appropriate use of air quotes) ever. Why does Hallmark have to remind you to take ONE day of the year to celebrate the person you love?

I’ve determined I need to start a business of helping men keep their women happy. Send her flowers at random. Write her little notes every so often. Not enough to make her vomit but enough to make her know that she is still wanted.

And sometimes, walk up behind her (after the kids have gone to sleep, you don’t want to scar them), throw her down, and have your way with her. Women are ok with this.

Most men are not romantic. And by “not romantic” I really mean “if water was romance, they couldn’t hit it if they fell out of boat”. I’m being completely serious, walking behind your wife while she’s cooking dinner, slapping her on the ass, and saying “is this seat taken?” is NOT romantic. I don’t care how many of your man friends you ask. And for the love of all that is Holy, please do not go the route of the cheesy pick up lines. You did not lose your number so no, you can’t have hers, she did not hurt myself when she fell from Heaven, and for God’s sake, no, her father is not a thief. He did not steal all the stars in the sky and put them in her eyes.

For me, I’d rather get a single flower on a random wednesday, nowhere close to our anniversary or my birthday.

It’s a known fact that E thinks I’m slight crazy. That’s ok. It’s always good to have your significant other slightly more afraid of you then you of them. It keeps the world peace in good working order.

Even though E isn’t the least bit romantic, there is still no one else I would rather spend this Hallmark Non-holiday with, watching bad TV, eating whatever we manage to wrastle from the fridge.

♥ Love You Bear ♥

♥ Love You Bear ♥

The {New} Weight Saga – Week 6

Total for the week: 0 lbs

Total for the 90-day Challenge: -3.3 lbs

Total for 2013: -3.3 lbs

Total miles logged to date: 32.2 miles

I’m plugging along with C25K and I have to say, I thought I was in for a gain this week. Last week’s big loss was purely due to the plague that I contracted from my asshole awesome coworkers and husband but this week, I was actually able to maintain that loss.

I’ll take it and be happy 🙂

In other news –We got SNOWED IN!

Thursday, we kept getting all these notifications of a winter storm warning. Now, living in Maine is a whole lot different than living in Maryland. Living in Maryland, people hear “SNOW” and immediately the grocery stores, Wal-Marts, Targets, and any gas station become completely void of all milk, toilet paper, and bread. People in Maine hear “SNOW” and they think “hmph, just another day in Maine.” Seriously. It snowed about 3.5′ yesterday and Friday and E still was able to go out and find a store that was not only open but had bread and milk (and Chex mix but that was a nice treat).

Friday was a volunteer day through work. Every year, the town of Camden holds the U.S. National Toboggan Championships.

I know, I didn’t know there was such a thing either.

E and I went to help out and got to go down the Toboggan chute.

I was ready and protected from the elements

I was ready and protected from the elements

Doc on the left, Me on the right, observing (aka doing nothing)

Doc on the left, Me on the right, observing (aka doing nothing)

E came to play with us

E came to play with us

 

Frozen Pond Angel

Frozen Pond Angel

We aren't quite sure how this happened and how the garage door didn't close all the way but this is what we found when we initially went out to snow blow

We aren’t quite sure how this happened and how the garage door didn’t close all the way but this is what we found when we initially went out to snow blow

 

IMG_2863

 

The snow has finally stopped

The snow has finally stopped

IMG_2889

 

We're asking for Florida for my next tour

We’re asking for Florida for my next tour

Of course, Beanie seems to think otherwise —

Beanie thinks it should be beach weather. I tend to agree with her

Beanie thinks it should be beach weather. I tend to agree with her

 

Merry Christmas!

I think my favorite song, this Christmas, has to be “Grown Up Christmas List”, as sung by Kelly Clarkson. With all the bullshit going on with the ongoing war, children being killed while they’re in school, the economy still being shit, I think this is a song to potentially get people thinking about the true meaning of Christmas.

Do you remember me? I sat upon your  knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies
Well, I’m all grown up now and still need help  somehow
I’m not a child but my  heart still can dream

So here’s my lifelong wish
My  grown up Christmas list
Not for  myself
But for a world in  need
No more lives torn  apart
That wars would never  start
And time would heal all  hearts
And everyone would have  a friend
And right would always  win
And love would never end,  no
This is my grown up  Christmas list

And if that was too deep for you:

Beanie and Santa

Merry Christmas to all!

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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