Monday, March 22, 2010

New Address! Bye bye blogspot...

.... but not bye bye to blogging!

NavyGuy has finally prevailed on me to move away from Blogger. He's been working furiously to relocate MarryingtheNavy to Wordpress instead. (Which is better for his techie-ness, and gives me more options in the blogosphere.)

If you follow me on a feed reader (such as Google Reader), you will need to update your subscription. On Tuesday, go to (that URL will take you to the new site no problems), and re-subscribe to the feed. You'll know you've correctly subscribed to the new feed if you do NOT see this post at the new site. Instead, you'll see a welcome post, and all my previous ramblings (oh yes, the archives are moving with me).

If you simply have bookmarked, you should be fine. If you are still using, you will need to bookmark the new site (as Blogger will not transfer you over).

Got all that? Really not as complex as I've made it out to be - basically, just keep checking in at, and you'll be with us. Hopefully there won't be too many bugs or glitches with the changeover happening tonight. NavyGuy should have all the technical difficulties under control.

Can't wait to hear what you think about the new blog design and some of the fun new things coming... :)


Friday, March 19, 2010

Progress in the Garage

NavyGuy and his new shelves. And the mallet. So manly :)

And voila! All of the random garage items that had no home, now neatly organized in one place.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Squeaky Clean

As a bribe / morale booster, the skipper gave NavyGuy's command Friday and Monday off. Which is excellent, because it means we can institute spring cleaning a few weeks early!

NavyGuy is thrilled.

Nope, that's not the word, but we'll go with it.

I am PUMPED! Friday is garage day. We're going to Lowe's to get shelving, so we can stop storing everything on the extra swivel stools stashed in the garage. NavyGuy doesn't know it yet, but I'm also going to find something to bet him over, and when he inevitably loses the bet, he'll have to mow the lawn (which has gotten way out of hand and makes our house look like it should have broken down cars and empty Blatz cans scattered about the grass).

We're also planning to get a medicine cabinet for the master bathroom (because I'm sick of digging through the Xerox paper box in the office to find bandaids or cold medicine). If there's time, the oven needs a good cleaning.

What spring cleaning task would you love to tackle? (or pay someone to deal with while you sit comfortably with a cool drink...)


Disney Mean Girls

Alternative Title: Entertainment until I get a chance to post something real...

Was made aware of this yesterday by one of the Navy wives. As I learned after trying to make NavyGuy watch it, it won't nearly as funny if you haven't seen Mean Girls.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

And Happy Birthday to Mom. (The birthday wishes are from Tally, and you can't possibly get mad at that little sweetie.)


Monday, March 15, 2010

Deployment Update

NavyGuy's deployment has been delayed until May-ish.

Rumors started on Saturday, but we got confirmation today.

On the one hand...
- he won't leave for almost two more months
- he'll be around for his and my birthday
- we'll probably get to bring Tally home from the trainer together

On the other...
- everyone was physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for the separation, and now, we'll have to go through the process all over again
- backing up the leave date means backing up the return date... so now we're bumping into Thanksgiving and possibly Christmas

Bottom line, there's nothing to be done about it - it's not like the Pentagon called for my opinion.

Ah, the needs of the Navy...


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tally Pup Update!!!

NavyGuy was able to check on Tally on Saturday - she's doing GREAT! He watched her do some work with the trainer, and then got to play with her for a bit. Basically, she's kickin' ass. Tally is doing fabulous for her age, and is still a little peanut (she'll look big in the first photos, but check out the relative size in the last photo). She's eating well, making friends, has clean ears and teeth, and is still our little squeaker pup :)

I'm ready guys! I'm ready! Let me run! I wanna run!

Bringing back a bird.

Finally in the water! Apparently, she still isn't a huge fan, but can you blame her? It's still freezing cold!

Awww... spending some quality play time with her papa.
Here's Tally in the front middle (her pink collar has faded drastically). The yellow lab in front of her... is 13 weeks... Tally is 6 months!

Only a few more months to go until Tally comes home!


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Card Inspiration

I had originally pulled out this magazine insert to use as a make-shift bookmark as I read the latest issue of Seattle magazine. But after looking at it for a few days, I realized it was the start of a cool design for a card!
I didn't have the exact same colors, but I think it's a good example of how you can look at something with a different tilt of your head and use it to inspire some crafty goodness.

I used three flower stamps to create the background pattern, and then used Stampin' Up's blender pens to lightly color in the blue and green flowers. I stamped the blue balloon on the card, then masked it to add the green one behind. I wanted to incorporate the balloon strings in with the sentiment, but I'm not loving how it turned out. Maybe a different stamp? Anyway, crafters - have you found inspiration in an unlikely source?


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers... to possibly having our wedding featured in a Madison magazine!!! I don't know all the details yet, but our wedding photographer asked if he could pass our name along to Brava Magazine, and now I'm working on filling out a questionnaire from one of their writers. I've been running around the house for the past two days yelling, "I'M GONNA BE ON THE COVER OF A MAGAZINE!" and NavyGuy's been shaking his head and reminding me that a) the writer said nothing about the cover, and b) it's an article about us, not just the bride. We'll see about that...

Jeers... to having to work on Saturday instead of being able to visit Tally pup. I'm sending NavyGuy down without me, but with our camera (we're still negotiating the video camera, as he's terrified of being that parent), because even if I can't see her, I need reassurance that she's okay. And happy. And at the top of her class. And making friends. And brushing her teeth. (I'll be sending a checklist with him.)

Cheers... to payday today. Thank god.

Jeers... to NavyGuy's squadron. They deploy very soon, and yet they're being completely ridiculous in scheduling the guys, and leaving them absolutely no time to get any pre-deployment stuff done, or even, I don't know - see their families AT ALL. NavyGuy was one watch twice this week (which means 7am - 10pm at the squadron, no leaving), had two days of night flights, and there's no sign it'll be letting up. Way to go squadron - good job building morale before a deployment, and taking care of your own. Total bulls#$%.

Cheers... to getting my craft mojo back. It had flittered away for a bit, but with the arrival of the latest Creating Keepsakes magazine, and an invite to scrap next week with some of the Navy wives, I'm feeling artsy-fartsy-mojo-licious.

And all of you...?


My family is trying to kill me.

Phone conversation with Mom this morning:

Mom: Hey - am I waking you up?

NavyGirl: Nah, I've been up for a bit. What's going on?

Mom: I have an idea.

NavyGirl: Shit.

Mom: Young lady!

NavyGirl: Your idea?

Mom: So, you know how we didn't get a chance to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge when we visited Sister last summer...

NavyGirl: Yes...

Mom: Well, we're going to visit Sister this summer and RUN across the bridge! Won't that be great!

NavyGirl: Are you drunk? Are you drunk at school at 11:30 on a Thursday morning? Did you hit your head on something?

Mom: No! C'mon! We can do it! It's only like two miles. I'm giving you 'til August to get in shape and do this. It'll be like our version of The Amazing Race!

NavyGirl: Yeah, we've talked about this. We'd be kicked off Amazing Race in the first episode for refusing to bungee jump or eat monkey brains or you know, work hard in some way.

Mom: Well, I sort of already committed us to this...

NavyGirl: What do you mean, you "committed" us to this... did you... oh no, you didn't.

Mom: I did.


So, I guess I have until August to get my last will and testament in order. Cuz come this summer, my Sister and Mother are going to Bataan Death RUN me across the Golden Gate bridge.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

De - wait for it- nial

NavyGuy deploys soon. Real soon. I can't give specifics about dates due to security issues (see a great introduction to Operational Security here), but it's within spitting distance.

And I'm waaaaaaaaaaay in denial. Like, "it ain't just a river in Egypt" kind of denial. Yes, I can look at a calendar and I can understand that D-Day (Deployment Day) is coming, but I'm in a weird sort of casual-oh-it'll-be-fine-its-no-big-whoop-worrying-about-getting-the-garbage-taken-out-instead-of-the-fact-that-my-husband-will-be-gone-for-six-months kind of place. I don't know if this is my coping mechanism for the moment, and when it truly sets in that he's leaving soon, I'll have a total melt-down or what. But I'm definitely not feeling what I expected.

We still have a not teeny-tiny list of things to do, and yet, I'm sitting watching Gilmore Girls reruns. And thinking of going to bed early.

It sure is nice vacationing in Denial - wish you were here!


The Latest From Your Friendly Neighborhood Starbucks

Tuesday was a big launch for Starbucks, with a new drink, lots of new merchandise, and a renewed focus on coffee (even a new way to brew coffee!). It's a lot to take in and as your unofficial Sbux guide, I thought I should highlight a few things so you're not completely bowled over the next time you wander into a sea of green aprons...

*Dark Cherry Mocha
The new drink, which is essentially a mocha (espresso, chocolate syrup, steamed milk), except it includes an additional cherry flavored syrup. I was terrified to try it as I don't like cherries and feared it would taste like cough syrup. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The cherry flavor is subtle (and you could always ask for fewer pumps of the syrup if you're really leery). It comes topped with whip cream and chocolate curls as well.

*Fun New Stuff
Tons of new mugs, tumblers, and cups in fun spring patterns and colors.

Sbux Spring 2010 New

The spring themed cherry blossom gift card is a personal favorite (makes me harken back to our cherry blossom themed wedding!), but you'll have to check it out for yourself in a store because I can't find a photo yet online. UPDATE: Click here to see what the card looks like.

*New Coffee
The featured coffee at the moment is Peru Chanchamayo (rhymes with "on the bayou). I'm a fan because the acidity of the coffee is really low (so it's less bitter than others). In fact, NavyGuy and I busted open our bag this morning (the renegade Starbucks in the Safeway in Anacortes had it on the stands already on Sunday night... they never follow the rules and tick me off every time I'm in there... but I'm not above taking advantage of their rule-breaking).

*Bold Picks Coffee
Starbucks is highlighting a different coffee each week for the next eight weeks. They're obviously trying to get people to try different varieties, so every Starbucks should be brewing the standard Pike Place coffee as well as the Bold Pick of the Week. This week it's Organic Yukon Blend. If you're a plain 'ole coffee drinker and you frequent Starbucks, there's actually a deal to be had here - if you buy at least one 12oz cup of each bold coffee (so one cup each week for the next eight weeks), you can get a free pound of any of the Bold coffees. Just ask for a coffee passport at your Starbucks and be sure to get the coffee stamps each time you try one of the Bold Picks. Obviously, if you're strictly a white mocha kinda person, this isn't a deal for you, but, if you're a brewed coffee drinker who often goes to Starbucks, this is a great way to get free coffee (assuming you're going into Starbucks at least once a week to begin with).

The last bit of news is that Starbucks introduced a "pour-over" brewing method. The idea is that you should always be able to get a freshly brewed cup of coffee no matter when you walk into a Starbucks. So, let's say, you're at my Bucks - all we brew on a daily basis is regular Pike Place. We're not a very busy store, and it's silly for us to be brewing more than one kind of coffee every 25 minutes (which is how often Starbucks makes a new pot of brew coffee). So, using the pour-over method, we have ground Decaf Pike Place ready to go, and if you come in wanting a Decaf cup 'o joe, we'll make you your own individual cup of coffee. The ground coffee goes in a small filter, and then we pour the hot water over the grounds and the coffee brews (drips) right into your own cup. (Essentially, the baristas have become human coffee pots, because we're doing by hand, what a normal coffee pot does, automatically.) We'll see how it works out. Right now people are way confused and think we're making them instant coffee (it's not), or charging them more (we're not).

Whew! This post ended up being a heck of a lot longer than I expected. As always, I'm not trying to convince any of you to buy Starbucks. I just know that before I worked there, Starbucks intimidated me. I never knew what to order, I didn't know the lingo, I didn't know what I might like, and I'd usually just end up getting a hot chocolate. So hopefully these little updates shed some light on the 'Bux, and help those of you who may also share my weird fears.

Also - feel free to ask any other questions you may have about Starbucks! Either post them in the comments, or ask anonymously on Formspring.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Reader Question, Answered

Keep your questions coming here!

BeeHive asked:

Do you ever miss Pensacola?

Great question! The answer is yes, and no. There are tons of things I definitely don't miss, including (but not limited to), sweet tea, Southern accents, the oppressive heat and humidity, bugs, fear of hurricanes, and more sweet tea.

Yet, I've realized there are several things that I do miss about Pensacola:

1) That it was a big city. Pensacola had tons of restaurants, stores, bars, and other important city components. Even though the geography of the city could make traveling from one part to another a bit of a challenge, it was still all there. And Anacortes just can't compete there.

2) That it had a fairly substantial sized airport. Traveling home (or anywhere) was vastly simpler when we lived in Pensacola. Drive twenty minutes to the airport, and hop a flight. Now, it's a two hour drive to the aiport in Seattle. Additionally, the Pensacola airport had lots of flights to Wisconsin, which was great for us.

3) That it was relatively closer to home than where we are now. Traveling from Wisconsin to Northern Florida is totally do-able. NavyGuy and I drove it in two days. Flights were a simple jump to Atlanta, then a short connecting flight to Milwaukee. Pensacola is also in the Central Time Zone, so it was easy to keep in touch with friends and family back home - no irritating math to try and figure out if I'm going to wake someone up or interrupt someone's workday. Northwest Washington to the Midwest is a different ball of wax - basically, you have to allot an entire day just for the trip, which cramps my jet-setting style.

4) That it had beaches. Lots of beaches. If you're going to get technical, Washington has beaches. But if I have to wear a wet suit and winter coat to go swimming, it ain't really a beach.

5) That Pensacola meant I could see lots of NavyGuy. Let me explain. When NavyGuy and I were in Pensacola together, he was still in flight school, so he'd go several days without having to do much of anything. Maybe show up for muster at 8am and then back home for the rest of the day. One or two flights a week. So, I got used to having him around. And I'll always associate Pensacola with us. It's where we started our Navy journey, and despite all the struggles, sweat (literally), and sweet tea - I'll always miss Pensacola just a little bit.

Where have you previously lived that you can now look back on fondly?


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Deployment Prep: Driving Lessons

NavyGuy is teaching me to drive stick-shift.

Let's discuss why this is complete and utter nonsense:

1) I don't like driving to begin with. As a teenager, I wasn't clamoring to get my license like all my friends. I didn't count down the days until I turned sixteen. I didn't beg for my own car. I don't actually enjoy the act of driving. I find it tedious. Obviously I do it, but if I could simply blink and go from point A to point B, eliminating all that starting and turning and braking and whatnot, I'd be giddy. (Or if beaming me from one place to another instantaneously isn't in the cards, then a chauffeur would be nice.)

2) So when I do have to drive, I like to be as comfortable as possible. With a refreshment in the cup holder next to me. A good song on the radio. Perhaps a snack. The ability to dislocate my shoulder and randomly reach into the seat behind me to reach my coat, or errant box of Cheerios that I want to snack on.

Stick-shift takes driving to an exponentially more complicated level and eliminates any of the possible comfortableness of driving. You can't eat! You can't drink! You can't change the CD! You need both hands, and both FEET to drive a stick shift. One hand on the wheel, one hand on the shifter thingy (I'm still learning the lingo), one foot on the gas, one foot on the clutch, one foot on the brake... it's humanly impossible! You have to watch like six different gauges on the dashboard, which means au revoir to being able to look at your lipstick in the rearview mirror, let alone being able to look at the road. You have to be in peak physical condition to balance the tricky "let the clutch out and push the accelerator down" at the same time (I'm sorry - if I wanted to do leg presses and work my quads, I'd go to the gym... not drive a car!).

It's too much work. NavyGuy and I have had two lessons so far, and I hate it. Don't get me wrong- NavyGuy was a shockingly good teacher. (Shockingly good - like, I didn't want to kill him at all. And we're still married). I just have no interest in stick shift driving. It feels like I have no control over the car. It jumps into gear and takes way too much work to slow down. And don't get me STARTED on trying to deal with all the hills around here; every freaking stop sign is on a hill. NavyGuy is constantly telling me "more gas, more gas" as I'm trying to get into first gear, and it took me two hours to discover that you can brake when you're in second, and it's just too much work. Give me my nice automatic, please.

Who's with me!! Why, if we've advanced to the point of automatic cars, are there still manual transmission vehicles? (NavyGuy, I'm not actually looking for an answer here, k?) Am I the only 27 year old who is just now learning to stick it?

Oh, P.S. - we're doing this because NavyGuy has a stick shift car, and he wants me to drive it while he's deployed... cuz apparently you can't just leave the car in the garage for six months. (You should have seen how red his face got at that suggestion! Like a tomato!)


Friday, March 5, 2010

Got Questions?

BeeHive asked me a great question yesterday (which I'm working on answering), but it inspired me to finally jump on the FormSpring bandwagon. If you haven't seen this floating around the blogworld yet, it's basically a website that lets you create a profile, and then people can ask you questions anonymously. Vain? Sure. A good way to waste time? Obviously.

So...itching to delve even deeper into the insanity that is MarryingtheNavy? Click here and ask away. Crafts, wedding, cooking, Navy life, teaching, books, movies, Starbucks, or anything else you're curious about. You can submit your question anonymously, so no need to be shy! Please remember that I am a person though, and rude or inappropriate questions probably won't be answered (but probably will be shared and heckled on the blog).


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Seriously - this is why so little gets done around here...

My Thursday morning...

7:00am - Alarm goes off.
7:09am - Snooze.
7:18am - Snooze.
7:27am - Snooze.
7:36am - Finally get up.
7:37am - Watch a little Today Show.
7:52am - Turn it off when Ann Curry is allowed to speak.
8:00am - Remember that I wanted to make a card for the Poppy Seed Challenge.
8:02am - Rummage through already-made cards and see if anything can be used as a starting point.
8:10am - Realize I'm woefully short on birthday cards.
8:11am - Peruse stamps to see what birthday stamps I have.
8:15am - Remember original purpose for being in the craft room before 9am in my pajamas.
8:16am - Refocus.
8:17am - Work on Poppy Seed card.
8:38am - Set up area to take photograph of card.
8:39am - Search through the house for NavyGuy's good camera.
8:42am - Realize he probably has it in his car, or has just hidden it from me because I tend to forget to put the memory card back in it, and then when he wants to use the camera, he has to retrieve the memory card from my laptop...
8:43am - Finally take a photo of my card using my camera
8:45am - Upload card to computer.
8:46am - Futz with lighting in the photo.
8:50am - Decide that in the photograph, the yellow on my card looks orange, and therefore, I have to make a new card so there's no doubt I have yellow on my card.
9:15am - Finally finish making second card for the challenge.
9:16am - Do another hunt for the good camera just in case I missed it during my first sweep of the house.
9:20am - Admit camera defeat.
9:21am - Reconfigure set-up for photograph so there's no lighting issues this go-round.
9:23am - Upload card to computer.
9:26am - Edit photo and decide lighting is satsifactory.
9:27am - Write blog post for photo.
9:36am - Debate whether blog post makes me sound like a crazy person.
9:38am - Realize that's a moot point.
9:40am - Publish blog post.

There you have it. Almost three hours. And that was a three hours that actually produced some sort of tangible results!


Poppy Seed Challenge

Guess what happens when you spend much of your free time diddling online?

You stumble upon crazy things! Crazy like a craft blogger whom I've been following for some time... who I only this week discovered also lives in Anacortes!!!!


Oh, that's right. Many (most) of you are not paper crafting nutties and this is probably where you're going, oh great, no good story today, just a dumb artsy fartsy post... wonder if Dooce has anything new up...

But stick with me! Lisa Johnson, of Poppy Paperie, made a random reference to the "nice weather in Anacortes" a few days back and I though, huh, that's funny. I wonder what other state has a city named Anacortes. Cuz there's no way that this fabulous crafter, who DESIGNS stamps for a major rubber stamp company, lives in the same Anacortes that I do. Well Google me this and Google me that - lo and behold - Lisa lives in MY ANACORTES! (Wow, all of a sudden the town in which I cried when I first arrived has become MY town.) CRAZY! I mean, as if she wasn't cool enough already with her amazing cards, now I find out she has been stamping and crafting in the same zip code as me! (Whoa, I am not worthy.)

Disclaimer: I am not stalking this woman. I mean she does have a photo up on her blog, so should I happen to see her and recognize her at Safeway, I would in no way go up to her screaming, "OH MY GOD you're the Poppy crafty lady with the awesome designs who lives in MY TOWN!"

Anyway, this story had a point. Oh - so Lisa Johnson, of Poppy Paperie, has started some challenges on her blog. Obviously, being "neighbors" and all, I wanted to participate. The idea behind the challenges is that she gives you a few "seeds" of inspiration. The first week was to use crystals, a flower stamp, and a hint of yellow on a card.Here's my humble attempt (finished just under the wire, as they're due to be posted by 10am PST!):

I couldn't decide which flower stamp to use, but then I remembered this cherry blossom. I had originally purchased it from JoAnn's intending to use it for wedding invitations, but after a few practice runs, I realized it was a wee bit too complicated to use on 125 invitations (my invite helpers were troopers but asking them to color in 125 large cherry blossom branches may have ended the friendships). I still love this stamp though, and as we've basically officially entered spring here in Anacortes, with the dogwood/cherry blossom trees in full bloom, I was inspired.

Here's a close up shot of the stamped image. I used blender pens to lightly watercolor the flowers and branch. (Sorry for the sketchy photo quality - NavyGuy has absconded with the good camera. Grrr.) The hint of yellow required is the card base, and I was sadly out of crystals, so I substituted small crystal-like pearls to add a little bling to the flowers. So there's my first Poppy Seed Challenge. Hopefully Lisa doesn't read this and a) take out a restraining order, b) put her children into a witness protection program, or worst of all, c) disqualify my card for lacking appropriate crystals!

Thanks non-crafters for sticking this out - I'll try to post something NOT involving paper later on in the day. :)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


First off, whoa people. Whoa. It's just a pig. Can the pig-lovers and bacon-eaters find a way to get along? P.S. I love when posts about tea-cup pigs get more comments than an entire week's worth of posts about my actual life. I should really stick to the inane more often. :)

Moving on, I had my first day back at Starbucks. I'd been gone two weeks. Not two months, not two years. And yet, I felt useless. Oh I wasn't rusty making the drinks, and I could still run the cash register, but I wasn't on top of things. My boss had done some rearranging of our supplies, so every time I tried to restock something, I had to root around for a while or just give up and ask her where we kept it now. And there's new paperwork for our cleaning tasks. And next week Starbucks is launching a whole new way to brew coffee (a topic for a later discussion), which all the other baristas have known about for two weeks. And I'm just finding out today. I'd left at the top of my field - the employee everyone else came to with questions, and who everyone counted on - and now, not.

How much more of a transition is it going to be when / if I get back in the classroom full-time? I left teaching at the top of my field. I was teaching an advanced placement class. I was well-respected by my students, my department, my administrators. People came to me for advice, wanted my opinion on lesson plans and classroom management. I, and excuse my blatant lack of humility, was a really freaking awesome teacher. I knew how to change the toner in the copy machine for God's sake - do you know how high that will rank you in teacher world!?!?

And now I've been gone for almost two years. I keep working to get myself back in the classroom, but truthfully, it's absolutely terrifying. For as much as schools haven't changed in two years (hell, two hundred years), I feel vastly behind. I love hearing stories from HistoryGirlie about what's going on at the school I used to be a part of, but it also makes me panic. She talks about technology I'm barely familiar with, being used as an integral part of instruction (using a flip camera to teach geography? say whu?). She tells tales of enlightened discussions and debates over grading and best practices and assessments, and the concepts that are becoming common place in many classrooms. And I don't have insights to add to those discussions anymore. Nor do I even know what the "right answer" is for when a future principal interviews me for a job and asks me my views on grading or best practices or assessments.

Am I going off my nutty here? Who else is currently "not working in their field" (the oh-so-clever euphemism we use to hide the unpleasant truth that we're currently stocking shelves / waiting tables / making coffee or doing anything but what we majored in in college)? Are you worried about the knowledge gap between what you knew then, and what you're expected to know to hold the same job now? Is this just a worry of mine because I'm an anal-retentive (yes, hyphenated) perfectionist who can't bear the thought of completing a job to less than stellar reviews? (Or this is just a worry because I stood around all day searching for the extra coffee filters and using my mind for little else but random worries?)


Monday, March 1, 2010

Debate of the Day

Cute or not?These teacup pigs were featured on last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother. I cooed, NavyGuy gagged. Which led to a serious debate. And many cries of "I want a teacup pig!"

Even now as I type this...

NavyGuy: You are NOT putting up a post about those god damn pigs!

NavyWife: Oh hell yes I am! I have to prove they're cute!

So? Vote early and often.



*Met with a new babysitting client today. Apparently, I seemed trustworthy so she and her husband went out for lunch and left me to read a book on their couch while the 15 month old napped. Little one slept soundly for two hours, and I went home a few dollars richer.

*NavyGuy's pox arm is still not right. He checked with the Doc today and Doc thinks perhaps the shot "didn't take." And the conspiracy deepens...

*Tomorrow I go back to Starbucks after a glorious two week vacation. My barista life continues. For how long I don't know - I'm still waiting to get my permanent teaching license so I can go back to subbing, but it's in the hands of the bureaucrats at the moment, so who knows how long it will take. The Starbucks income is dwindling as of late (not only because of my frequent vacationing), but also because now that the holiday season is over, Target has drastically cut back on hours for its employees. So my 30 hours weeks are down to 18, maybe 20 hours if I'm lucky. Which means I'm half excited to go back to work tomorrow to make some moola, half bummed that I have to don the khakis and green apron again.

*The bad news continues - we couldn't go see Tally pup this past weekend. The trainer was hosting an event and didn't think he'd have time to show us around and show off what Tally had learned so far. I almost burst into tears over the whole thing - I miss that dog so much! How is that possible? She's a dog. And I've known her for all of five months. But the house is so quiet without her, and everyday I come up with some new completely irrational legitimate concern. Is Tally adjusting to the new food alright? What if she's not sleeping well at night? What if they aren't cleaning her ears? Lab ears can get very waxy, and what if Tally's ears are getting too waxy? And then she can't hear the lessons they're trying to teach her, and they think she's untrainable, but really, she just can't hear well? NavyGuy is starting to wonder if ten years of an unruly dog would have been less painful than three months of me, without the dog...

What up with all of you? Any news to report? Stories to share? Complaints to lodge?


Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Pox on Your Arm

Thursday night, our conversation before bed...

NavyGuy: I got my smallpox vaccine today.

NavyWife: Oh yeah, in which arm?

NG: My left - see right here (pointing).

NW: (Reaching to touch it) Does it hurt?

NG: No! Don't touch it.

NW: Jeez big baby, I wasn't going to jab my fingernail into it.

NG: No, it's that there's live virus on it.

NW: Huh?

NG: They stick a needle with live cow pox virus into your arm several times, and that's how the vaccination works. It's like any other vaccine, you know, so there's a little bit of the virus on my arm. Hence the bandaid.

NW: WHAT! Agh! Pox on my hand! Pox on my hand!

NG: Oh dear God.

NW: So wait, does that mean you're gonna have small pox on your arm?

NG: Well, a scar from it.

NW: OH MY GOD! I'm gonna get the pox!!! You let me touch your pox arm! You're like a human smallpox blanket! Shouldn't you be quarantined?!? My GOD!

NG: This is why I don't tell you things.

I'll spare you the rest of the conversation, but it went on with me making irrational claims and predictions for some time. (For instance, I may have suggested that all NavyGuy needed was a vaccine against dysentery and he'd be set to travel the Oregon Trail for life!)

But now, three days later, his small pox arm doesn't look right. There's no pox scar. And there should be. So now I'm a little worried that the U.S. government is testing some crazy drugs on naive junior lieutenants in the Navy. I shared my theory with NavyGuy, that perhaps much like how the U.S. Public Health System tested syphilis on unsuspecting African-Americans in Tuskegee, Alabama, now the government is using the guise of smallpox vaccinations to test god-knows-what on Navy officers who just get told, "show up here, at this time, for a medical thing."

Now NavyGuy says I'm not allowed to answer the phone if a FBI agent calls to do NavyGuy's background check for his security clearance. Which must mean I'm on to something...


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Well that was a lot of thinking...

I spent this morning in Bellingham, taking Washington state content tests in order to get a teaching license.

And in other news, I'll probably be working at Starbucks for a good long while...

No, well, maybe, but those tests were tough. I took the history test and the general social studies test, so that I can get certifications in each and ostensibly be more marketable as an educator. But I'm really not confident that I passed either test. Each was 110 multiple choice questions; the social studies one actually had repeat questions from the history exam - so I either got a whole bunch right twice, or a whole bunch wrong twice. Some of the questions seemed legitimate, but too many of them were poorly worded, or had such vague answer choices that arguments could be made for almost any of the answers.

But the bigger question is, what do the tests really tell the state of Washington about my potential in a classroom? No one can argue that we don't want our teachers to have some content knowledge in the subject they're teaching - I mean, duh, you need to know something about what you're teaching in order to create appropriate lessons, activities, and assessments for students. But the tests I took today don't measure any of those skills. Whether or not I can rattle off the main causes of the Russian Revolution has little correlation to whether I can adequately describe those causes in language appropriate to a 15 year old. Or help that 15 year compare the causes of Russian Revolution with the causes of the French Revolution. Or (even more tricky) persuade a 15 year old that the Russian Revolution is a) something he needs to learn or b) something that has any importance, relevance, or usefulness nearly 100 years after the fact.

Perhaps I'm just bitter at the possibility that my college degree in history and four years of teaching history, may count for nothing compared to 220 random social studies questions administered on a random February morning.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Photos from Wisconsin - Part 3

Heavens to betsy! I'm beat from my late night skating excursion. (But how good did they all skate?!?!? Personally, I think Rachael Flatt got screwed somehow - 7th place? - but I love that the Canadian skater got the bronze, and Kim Yu Na was awesome... and actually showed emotion after she finished! Unlike that poor Japanese girl who took the silver and as NavyGuy would say, "You have dishonored the fatherland!!")

Anyway, let's just look at a few more cute baby photos, shall we?

NavyGuy and I spent a few days in St. Paul during our Midwest tour, visiting high school friends, college friends, and friends from my days of blue plastic glasses. (Yep, that's how I rolled in the 4th grade.) TWP and her hubby and daughter FG were kind enough to put us up for the duration.

In return, I spoiled FG...

Lots of play time

New monkey pajamas from Old Navy

The random purple ball she became obsessed with at Old Navy (which kept her entertained long enough for her mom to find a couple maternity tops)

And chocolate pudding. Cuz FG gets whatever FG wants when Auntie M comes to town :)


Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Glimpse Into My Friendship with HistoryGirlie

I found photos of HistoryGirlie and I!

Here were are doing the commentary on a History Channel documentary. We feel our insights are best shared when wearing authentic clothing from the time period. For our first special on the anniversary of women getting the right to vote, we opted for patriotic regalia from 1920. She made me wear the hat.
Oh, so many hours spent at the copy machine in the break room at school. HG always wears her best heels to work.
We didn't know each other as little girls, but I picture us as fast friends, who would have spent many an hour reading books, doing needlepoint, and retying our hair bows just so (or trying to tight-roll our jeans just so).
HG and I chaperoned Prom at the high school several years in a row. It was quite the scandal when we arrived in nearly identical dresses - with matching umbrellas! I swore I told her I was going to be working my parasol...
A casual afternoon at the bookstore. You NEVER go to the bookstore without your gloves. It's unheard of. And our Catholic mothers would have had us excommunicated. They were already horrified when they saw the great heights we'd achieved with our hairstyles.
A photo of our future. Scrunchy sunken apple faces and sensible clothing. Possibly living in some sort of craft commune on the East Coast, so we can take advantage of all the nearby historical sites for our afternoon outings.

Miss ya HG! We have to remember to take some actual photos of us the next time I'm home :)


Best Part of the Games

It's finally here!!! The women's figure skating is on tonight, which is awesome. The ladies did their short programs on Tuesday night, and tonight's free skate is going to be even better. I've watched the recaps, slow-mo replays, analysis, Kristi Yamaguchi's predictions, and pretty much everything NBC has shoved down my throat since Tuesday. My thoughts?

1. The female commentator for the skating events irritates the crap nuggets out of me. The two guys (Scott Hamilton and the other one who's name I've forgotten) are awesome. They tell it like it is, but also root for people and act like normal humans. The female y>akker though is a WENCH! Everything she says is negative or pessimistic. Listen to her tonight - a skater can have the best performance of her life, no falls, no mistakes, and this chickee-poo will snootily remark, "well, the skating was good, but I'm just not sure her essence was up to par." Seriously?!?! Half the stuff she adds doesn't even make sense! Argh.

2. The South Korea girl (Kim Yu Na) is supposedly unbeatable, and while I would be happy if she won (cuz she seems fun in her interviews, and oh yeah, she's pretty good at the skating stuff), it would also be fun to see an underdog give her a run for her money. At least have everyone do really well so Kim has to actually pull an amazing performance and not just stay upright for four minutes.3. Joannie Rochette (Canada) is currently in third place, and is the sentimental favorite. Her mother passed away Saturday of a heart attack, and the 24 year old opted to go ahead with her performance because that's what her mother would have wanted. I saw an interview with Dan Janssen yesterday (who competed in the Olympics hours after learning his sister had died), and he was amazed at how well she performed. Rochette would have been a big story merely for being from the home country, but her courage, determination, and humanity make her even more exciting to watch (if you didn't tear up watching her finish her performance on Tuesday, when she finally allowed herself to break down, you should see a cardiologist to figure out how blood is pumping through your body without the benefit of A HEART!).4. Apparently, we are to focus on the edges of the skates and the amount of turning once a skater lands her jump. Kristi Yamaguchi brought her skates on the Today Show this morning and attempted to explain the nuances to Meredith Viera (who really keeps getting sassier and sassier, no?). Anyway, according to Kristi, watch to make sure the girls land on the outer edge of their skate; that's what all the jumps have in common. Also, they can't rotate more than 1/4 of a turn when they're landing, or they lose points. I think. Basically, I'll still be watching to see if they land upright, and then let Scotty Ham tell me what's really going on. (Thought - why can't Kristi do the commentating instead of cranky wench?)

5. Found this awesome 2010 Olympic Figure Skating Drinking Game. Might be the only way I can get NavyGuy to participate in my Olympic madness.

Seriously, I'm so excited. Because we live on the stupid West Coast though, the TV coverage of the skating doesn't start until 8pm. Which I don't understand. The events are happening literally two hours north of us (presumably in the same time zone). Yet my mom, in the Central Time zone, will get to start watching her evening Olympic coverage at 7pm. So are the events actually starting at 5pm my time? I don't get it. All I know is that I have to stay up until midnight to see the finish, so I'm preparing to nap this afternoon and hog the tv all night (I have no clue what NavyGuy plans to do but he's been warned that the tv will not be available... and that his snarky comments about skaters or random exclamations of "It's Johnny Weird!" will not be tolerated).

Are you as excited as I am? Or are you anxious to return to regularly scheduled programming? (Whoa - Jim and Pam have their baby on The Office next week!!!)


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photos from Wisconsin - Part 2

For 27 years I have tried to get my mother to take photographs. Aside from a 24 hour window surrounding my wedding in which she agreed to leave her camera-phobia at home, she has always refused all paparazzi attempts, using physical means if necessary. However, all NavyGuy has to do is hold a camera and ask nicely once. Mom'll plaster a grin on her face without so much as a single complaint. God damn him and his magical powers.

HistoryGirlie's daughter Kitty. Not typically so solemn, she was playing shy when NavyGuy and I arrived at their house to get ready for a Valentine's Day dinner. (Kitty finally started opening up later in the evening, pointing at NavyGuy and saying "Guy!" "Guy!" to which all of us were eternally amused.) I'll have to get some better photos from HistoryGirlie, because I swear Kitty normally looks more like a happy-go-lucky-toddler. (P.S. She's totally drinking from an UNCOVERED big girl cup now! Such a sophisticated lady.)

I realized that HistoryGirlie and I have almost no photos together (probably because our favorite activity - sitting in her basement talking and watching Grey's Anatomy - isn't conducive to photo shoots). I'm doing some searching though - stay tuned.


Photos from Wisconsin - Part 1

MOH's baby, Lily, at a family dinner our first night home. She's 8 months now, and still a little peanut size-wise (excluding her 90th percentile noggin').

Lily's obsessed with pulling herself up on things, a skill she mastered since I'd last seen her two weeks prior. Her older "cousin," Shea-Lynn, checks up on her at day care every day once Shea arrives afterschool, so they're old buds.

I hadn't been drinking. That's just my "dear-god-take-the-photo-before-the-baby-blinks-or-cries-again" look.

Awwww. I'll spare you all the instructions, hints, directions, rules, and admonitions MOH and I were blasting NavyGuy with while he tried to peacefully give Lily her bottle.


Technology Coup

Guest Post from NavyGuy...

Well, folks, seeing as our dear NavyGirl is taken with a deathly illness, I'm writing one of my sporadic guest posts. When NavyGirl gets sick, her resolve weakens, and this is when I spring my "New Technology" traps on her. This time, there were two!

First off, I got her using the PS3 as a media client. She can now watch all of our saved DVD's on the TV, including the first 4 seasons of our new favorite comedy, How I Met Your Mother. But I digress. The reason for this post was to primarily talk about a new avenue through which you can read this blog.

For Christmas, I got a Kindle, which is awesome, I love it, but it allows you to subscribe to blogs and then have them automatically delivered wirelessly to the Kindle. The nice thing is, the blog author gets a bit of money for each subscription. The only issue was getting NavyGirl to set up. After weeks of pestering and pleading, I took advantage of her momentary weakness from illness to ninja her blog into Kindle. After shouting for her to bring her checkbook down (she had no idea why) and rummaging around her wallet to get the info I needed to set up the account, is now available to all you lucky Kindle readers out there.

So, the lesson to take away from this is: don't allow your husband to set up new electronic things while you're sick, I guess.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

God I hate being sick!

Seriously, that's all I have to say. I can't even form other coherent thoughts to share with you.

NavyGuy had a cold for two days while we were traveling, and I thought I was in the clear. But then on Thursday I woke up with a sore throat, by Friday it had traveled to my nose and head, and now it's taken over my entire upper half. Coughing and schnerking and generally feeling miserable. I'm not terribly grown-up even when I'm feeling 100%, so imagine how pleasant I am when I'm less than tip-top shape... (NavyGuy has to physically restrain himself once I start the dramatic thrashing and moaning and chants of "I'mmmmm dyyyyyyyiiiiiiiing...").

My entire head feels like it could tip slightly one way or another and fall completely off my neck. Each day I've tried a different cocktail of cold medicines, chased with buckets of orange juice. Apparently, moving out West has depleted my once hearty immune system, and I'm cursed to suffer week-long colds. Ugh. Blarghy.

And worst of all is the remaining Catholic guilt in my body that's exploding with the worry that I've gotten others sick while I was home. Like my opera singing Sister-in-Law who depends on her health. Or my two-year old goddaughter who (if she's ill) will most certainly wring the remaining life out of her exhausted mother.

Anyone else suffering from any maladies or ailments?


Monday, February 22, 2010

Home Again Home Again, Jiggity Jig

Is there anything more comfortable than your own bed after an extended vacation? (Typing from said location, I'll simply say, ahhhhhhhh)

NavyGuy and I arrived back in Washington Monday night, many pounds heavier from all the wonderful eating, revived by all our family and friends, and one of us nursing a vicious cold (apparently my immune system has lost its previously powerful Midwest winter strength and made me susceptible to anything and everything). NavyGuy has to go back to work right away tomorrow morning, but I'm looking forward to slowly easing back into regular life. Aside from tackling the vacation laundry, I have little on the schedule. Rest, catching up on my Google Reader (151 unread posts!), and savoring the comfortableness of home.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Starbucks Shenanigans

I warned you that the blogging would be light while we're home in Wisconsin... and I'm nothing if not good on my word. Today is our last full day in the cheese state, so hopefully this week, things will be back to normal around here, with lots of my postings and rantings.

To finish up our air travel here, I promised a Starbucks story. We all know I've become a bit of a coffee snob. I like my tall, non-fat, no whip mocha from Starbucks, and other mochas just don't cut it. They don't have the same dark chocolate flavor that I've come to crave, and frankly, I can't observe non-Bux baristas and know if they're making my drink up to standards (whereas I now torture Sbux employees by hovering near the handoff counter to make certain that they add the milk to the espresso shots within the required 10 seconds - so the shots don't burn and taste bitter). Anyway, NavyGuy and I had arrived at the Minneapolis airport after our first leg of the trip from Seattle. It was 5:30am central time, which meant it felt like 3:30 in the morning to me. And I hadn't slept. And I was cranky.

We exit the airplane, and immediately see a 'Bux. Our next flight boards in about thirty minutes, and is conveniently in a different far-away terminal. So what would you do in this instance?

Let's pretend this is a Choose Your Own Adventure Book - I loved those as a kid. So you've come to the bottom of the page, and you have two options:

Option A: Get your mocha from the Starbucks directly in front of you. It could be a stressful rush to your next flight, but you'd be assured of your caffeine.

Option B: Go directly to the next terminal where your flight is, and then search for a 'Bux. This option guarantees you'll be on time for boarding, but there's a slight risk the other terminal may be Sbux-less.

As you can probably guess from the title, NavyGuy encouraged Option B, while I pleaded (to no avail) for Option A.

We chose the wrong option, and like an adventure book, came to the last page in the story very quickly. The entire walk over to our next terminal I whined, moaned, threatened NavyGuy with certain death, and generally played the obnoxious wife, should we arrive at our next gate without nary a Starbucks in sight. And of course, our terminal had none. There was a Caribou Coffee, but by this point, I had gotten worked up enough that nothing - NOTHING - short of my Starbucks mocha was going to satisfy me. And it wouldn't have been such an issue had we NOT PASSED RIGHT BY ONE AND HAD SOMEONE LISTENED TO HIS WIFE WHO'S ALWAYS RIGHT!!!!!

NavyGuy offered to go get me anything in the current terminal, but by now I had joined the Hall of Fame of passive aggressive women and was playing the martyr as if I were up for an Oscar. The "no, I'm fine" game, wherein I'm anything but fine. Finally he gave up and let me sit there stewing in my crankiness.

With about twenty minutes until boarding, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Glaringly, I grabbed my purse, stared down NavyGuy, and said, "I'm going for coffee." He looked bewildered but knew better than to try and reason with me at this point.

I started off, having decided on secret Option C - find a different 'Sbux somewhere and get my mocha! Well, by the time I power-walked through half the Minneapolis airport and found a random 'Bux, I was sweating so profusely I had to settle for an iced mocha, and do a walk-sprint back to the gate so we could board the plane. NavyGuy thought I had run all the way back to the original store, and merely shook his head at my pigheadedness determination as we boarded our flight to Milwaukee.

All's well that end's well, but an important lesson was learned that early morning in Minnesota - do not tangle or cross a sleep-deprived NavyWife... and go to the first Starbucks you come across!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting there is half the battle...

Our journey to Wisconsin this past weekend was one long list of debacles. I'll say that in the end, everything worked out fine, but along the way...

~ I didn't have a seat when we tried to check in for our red-eye flight, so we had to wait for the gate agent to assign me one

~ NavyGuy set off the security alarms several times because he failed to remove his belt, and he became ThatGuy slowing up the entire security line

~ the gate agent decided not to show up until twenty minutes before the flight

~ and the computers wouldn't work at the gate, so the cranky passengers without seat assignments had to wait even longer

The whole situation was full of heightened drama because it was midnight, and everyone was exhausted and dreading a night flight. I got assigned a seat several rows behind NavyGuy, and was counting on sitting next to him (as he was going to serve as my makeshift pillow so I could sleep during the red-eye). Well, that plan fell through with the overbooked flight mess. So we boarded, NavyGuy strolled to his exit row seat (with ample leg room), while I headed back twelve rows and squeezed between two giant guys into my deadly middle seat. Well, a girl has to take matters into her own hands...

I loudly announced to my seatmates, "Hey! My husband has an exit row seat several rows up - either of you want to switch and get the extra leg room?!?!" Yes, I will throw NavyGuy under the bus for my own comfort on a long flight.

The aisle guy jumped at my offer and scurried up to tell NavyGuy he'd been boosted. By the time NavyGuy got back to my row, I was doing that cowering girl thing in my seat, like, aren't I cute, don't hate me, you love me, remember? He was cranky, and truth be told, I couldn't sleep for most of the flight, so the whole debacle was moot anyway.

Coming up - NavyWife is always right about Starbucks, and arriving in the wonderful cold of Wisconsin...


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

May your day be filled with lots and LOTS of chocolate :)

A kitty cat valentine (which NavyGuy thought looked like a mouse, so I had to label it for the recipient)
And a little puppy dog!


Friday, February 12, 2010

Inbound Hot!

And we're off! Wisconsin here we come. 10 days of running around like fools trying to see anyone and everyone that we love. NavyGuy and I are on the red-eye out of Seattle tonight, and are due into Wisconsin early Saturday morning. Who knows when I'll be able to post again amidst all the running around like fools, but I'll do my best.

Can't wait to see many of you!!!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Deployment Prep: The Big Meeting

NavyGuy's squadron had a big meeting for all of the sailors, chiefs, aircrew, and officers, and everyone's spouses and/or families were welcome as well. Oh, sorry, NavyGuy would want to correct me and say it was not a meeting, it was a "brief." The word brief in Navy aviation can mean many things and can be used as several parts of speech.

"I have to go plan for the brief." (Noun, meaning, I have to go prepare to give a big speech.)

"I brief at 1600." (Verb, meaning, I will be the one doing the talking during the big speech... at 4pm.)

"The brief was brief." (Adjective, but completely untrue statement. Briefs are never brief in the Navy. But the boys do wear briefs... okay, tangent is running a little amuck.)

Okay, so the pre-deployment brief ended up clocking in at just over two hours, plus a twenty minute pizza break. I took copious notes, which I'll share below, as well as my snarky opinions on each of the speakers and agencies that presented:

1. Chaplain - Emotional Cycle of Deployment
Oh good, let's start with the awkward stuff. Actually, the chaplain was concise and gave useful information that basically amounted to - "you are not going crazy, you are going to act weird for the next month until your spouse leaves, and then it's going to be hard while they're gone. Oh, and it's going to be hard when they finally do come back cuz you'll have just gotten used to living your life without their daily presence. Call the church to talk about anything - we're a confidential service so we can't tell your spouses' commanding officer that your family is stressed about finances." He showed a great emotional cycle graphic (I'll talk more about this in a later post), and offered a deep question for us to tackle: how will you grow your relationship during the deployment?

2. Fleet and Family Support Center - Paperwork and Resources
The representative from this base group was also an excellent speaker. She highlighted a lot of the paperwork that we'll have to address before deployment (everything from wills and power of attorneys, to budgets and military ID cards). She also highlighted several useful websites, and stressed the end-all-be-all word of deployment: communication.

3. MWR (Morale, Wellness, and Recreation) - Keep Busy
MWR is the activities and events office - everything from base bowling leagues to cheap tickets to DisneyWorld. Their rep missed the meeting, but the office is closely associated with the Fleet and Family Support Center, so that lady talked for them. Basically, her message was: this group is great at helping you keep busy, become a fan of them on Facebook because their own website is down at the moment, and keep busy. Did you get that? Keep busy. Cuz that will make everything okay...

4. Education Services Facilitator - women's brains are like spaghetti...
I have no clue what this guy was supposed to be. I think he's part of the Fleet and Family office, and is some sort of unlicensed psychologist, but I think he thought he was auditioning for Second City, because his whole 15 minute schpiel resembled a really uncomfortable stand-up comedy routine. He was ostensibly focusing on couples communication, but somehow he used an analogy that women's brains are like spaghetti (in that every various topic in life touches another, and therefore we jump from subject to subject confusing the hell out of men), whereas men's brains are like storage containers (in that various topics in life are separated into individual boxes, and they only deal with one box at a time). Baloney Sausage! Let's just start with the fact that spaghetti is a terrible food to use as the metaphor - it only involves noodles and sauce! That's not a cacophony of different things touching - that's two things! And I'm sorry, but NavyGuy is just as random during conversations as I am, jumping from topic to topic as ideas pop into his head. The whole spaghetti vs. storage thing lost my interest, and luckily the speaker wrapped things up fairly quickly (while also explaining his lack of using a microphone by saying it was too complicated... sure - he can handle my emotional well-being, but a microphone with one button is just too much...)

5. Family Readiness Group (FRG) - Sassy Wife Zings the Navy
The FRG is sort of a spouses' group for the enlisted and officer spouses (who do not traditionally interact much). The speaker for this portion of the brief was an officer wife who felt perfectly comfortable telling it like it is. But not in a good way. She started off the presentation poorly by announcing that the Navy is the enemy, our husbands are the enemy, and basically some days "we all hate you." AWKWARD! Of course some days I hate the Navy, but that's not something you tend to want to scream in front of 200 people... who are IN THE NAVY! It's one thing to be honest, but it's another to be condescending and sarcastic in front of people who don't really know you. Anyway, she wasn't even really prepared - she only had a few packets printed up, so most of us didn't get any of the handouts, and truthfully, I have no clue what the FRG can really do for me.

6. Legal Department - she said NCIS!
What a doozy. Obviously, talking about wills and legal matters is never going to be riveting for a group of non-lawyers, but the woman sent by the legal office on base had absolutely no public-speaking skills, couldn't keep a coherent thought in her head for two seconds, focused on the most inappropriate aspects of their job (spending ten minutes talking about divorce one month before a deployment is not inspiring...), and merely managed to confuse many of us who thought we understood the process for getting a Power of Attorney. The only fun moment was when she said "NCIS" and the Navy wife I was sitting next to turned to me and was all, why couldn't they have gotten DiNozzo do give the brief? Word.

At this point we took a break for pizza, and many of the younger enlisted guys snuck out the back. I think the legal brief was the last straw for them.

7. Naval Hospital - Pregnancy Rocks
The hospital rep basically reminded us of the important phone numbers and hours of the hospital and urgent care on base. Then she went on to list like 4000 free programs, benefits, and giveaways that pregnant ladies can get... I wonder if I can crash the "Budgeting for Baby" class to get the free tote bag... maybe I could claim I'm not very far along, not showing yet? (Or just eat a huge lunch and call myself 5 months...)

8. Navy Marine Corps Relief Society - ????
I must have blanked out during this guy. My notes literally say "Red Cross card" and "Thrift Shop 10-2, Tues, Wed." Hmmmm.... maybe NavyGuy was listening during this part...

9. Lt. LoveBug - General Overview of what the guys do
LoveBug, one of the other guys in the admin office that NavyGuy works in, got up to give a basic overview of what the deployment is like for those deploying. We got a five minute blast of where they're going, what they'll spend their day doing, how much they fly, and the calendar of dates when they'll be leaving... which is subject to change at any point in time (up to and including six seconds before they board the planes). I have to clarify with NavyGuy what information I'm allowed to share with the world at this point, so I'm going to err on the side of caution and leave this topic vague.

To wrap things up, the Command Master Chief (head of the enlisted guys), and the XO (executive officer... second in command for the squadron), each got up, said nice things about the spouses, encouraged communication, and thanked us all for coming. I helped NavyGuy clean up pizza boxes, we dropped some things off at the squadron, and then stopped for ice cream at the McDonald's on base.

I'm not sure if this pre-deployment brief is common for other squadrons or areas of the Navy - any other spouses out there who have gone through a similar meeting?


Almost Meeting Time!

Tidy every room in the house? Check.

Make cranberry bliss bars? Check.

Force NavyGuy to vacuum? Check.

Make mini cookies? Check.

Make chocolate covered strawberries? Check.

Hide all remaining junk in closets and under the bed? Check.

Display fancy flower arrangement to impress fellow Navy wives with my style, grace, and flower-arranging abilities at our meeting tonight?

BlaZOW. Check.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Even the stupid customers can teach you something...

Did you know why people sometimes drink their hot coffee drinks with a straw? To keep the coffee from staining their teeth!

I know! I always thought they were dumb-asses who were just out to burn the back of their mouth instead of the front. I mean, how ridonkulous does it look to stick a giant green straw in your tall-sized mocha? But, thanks to my most moronic customer to date, I actually learned something.

Wait, I haven't told you about Ms. AnnoyingWench? Ms-I-bring-my-tiny-dog-that-looks-like-a-hairless-cat-into-Target-because-I-have-no-real-friends-who-will-shop-with-me? Ms-Over-nourished-and-under-showered-jerky-jerk? Ms-lets-see-if-I-can-blame-all-of-my-problems-and-issues-on-the-innocent-Starbucks-employee-today?

Yeah, so Ms. AnnoyingWench strolls in, with her scary hairless dog in the seat part of the cart, and her chip firmly attached to her shoulder. First up, she wants to know if we have any more tumblers. Well, there's lots on the shelves there, or gosh, see all those baskets right in front of you? With the cups inside? Those'd be tumblers too.

Well, then she was upset that all the Starbucks tumblers cost more than $10. (Ma'am, you're buying snobby coffee cups... if you want to spend $3.99 for a tumbler, head to Walmart.) She finally picks out one she wants. Then, Ms. AnnoyingWench proceeds to tell me her coffee order, which she prefaces by saying she's on a diet (good idea Ma'am). She orders a white mocha (one of the highest calorie drinks on the menu), made with half-n-half milk (more fat), with real caramel sauce mixed in (definitely encouraged on all diets), and then topped with more real caramel. But no whipped cream. Cuz, ya know, she's "on a diet." (I had to physically freeze my eyeballs in place to keep them from rolling back into my skull permanently.)

So, my boss is on the espresso bar, so she makes her drink for her (after Ms. AnnoyingWench yelled at me four times to rinse out her new tumbler, and "no, I don't want the stupid paper inside the cup, I don't care if it has the washing and usage instructions"...). So, we serve her her drink, she heads to the condiment bar to futz with it, and I think the hell is over. Ha!

Ms. AnnoyingWench starts pitching a high holy fit because she purchased a tumbler that has a lid without space for a straw. And she "never ever EVER drinks her coffee without a straw because you know, it STAINS your teeth"... (and I'm standing there trying not to think about the fact that stained teeth are the least of her worries). So what does she do? She violently slides the tumbler back across the counter at me and wants to exchange it for a different one. Which of course is more expensive than the original one she picked out, so I have to re-ring the whole transaction, my boss has to remake the "diet" drink, and she continues to stand there glaring at me, and bitching about how anyone would make a tumbler without a straw hole, and what kind of operation are you running here that you can't even do a return in three seconds or less, and...

At this point I had literally stepped out of my body and was simply going through the motions, lest I lose my shiznit and throw her goddamn tumbler at her ugly hairless dog. Ms. AnnoyingWench had now cost us an extra drink, a $15 tumbler (cuz we couldn't sell the original one she'd bought now that there had been a drink in it), and most of my sanity. Oh, and did I mention that the original ruined tumbler was our last Valentine's one? Wench.

When she FINALLY left the area, I gave my boss one look and walked into the back storage room to breath and blow for a second. My boss applauded my stunningly calm performance... and luckily, I've never seen Ms. AnnoyingWench at work since.

But the best part? Besides the fact that Ms. AnnoyingWench finally explained to me why some people use a straw to drink their hot coffee? My boss called her boss, and sent me home at the end of my shift with the ruined Valentine's Day tumbler!!!! (Washed, sanitized, bleached, and exorcised, of course.) And justice is done :)


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Guest Bathroom After...

You can refresh your memory of the before photos here, and then check out the new and improved version below!

First up is the new shower curtain (the axis around which the rest of the bathroom revolves). I opted for a clearance Kohls number in pear green. According to HGTV, you should always leave your shower curtain halfway open, to make the bathroom feel larger. :)

A matching hand towel (mixed with one of our basic white towels to shake things up). The framed "art" above is three retro Seattle postcards.

More Kohls finds. The three square blocks have been up for a while (and worked extremely well to showcase Christmas knick-knacks), but I haven't completely finished decorating.

Mom provided the cute brown basket in the corner, which works well to hold the other new hand towel. I still need to add some art work on that wall by the door, but I'm torn. Should I go with a photograph? Stick with the Seattle/Washington theme? Make something with paper in the green color scheme? For now, it's going to remain blank.

The only thing not pictured is the new bath mat on the floor by the shower. (It's light brown.) Overall, I'm quite pleased with the results. And think - I got it done with NavyGuy gone for just two weeks! Imagine what I can accomplish throughout the whole house with NavyGuy gone for at least six months... :)


Deployment Prep: Learn How to Change a Tire

NavyGuy will be deploying in March. Tonight, we have an extensive pre-deployment meeting with the entire squadron (officers, enlisted sailors, spouses, families), where we'll get tons of information. I expect it to be long, informative, overwhelming, half-boring, half-terrifying. As part of his job working in the administration department of the squadron, NavyGuy has been in charge of organizing and executing this huge meeting; he's a wee bit stressed. But because he's in charge, I got a sneak peek at the booklet we're going to get tonight, and it does have a lot of useful information...

...such as, "teach your spouse how to change a tire."

(Because the process will result in one of you killing the other, and then the whole deployment issue will be moot?)We got the "opportunity" to check this off the pre-deployment list unexpectedly on Sunday night, when someone drove over a bolt. (Not my fault.) NavyGuy was a shockingly good teacher, and now I could TOTALLY change a tire if the situation arose. And if the car was on concrete. And it was daytime. And the weather was nice. And there was adequate lighting. And I had a ponytail holder. And if someone strong came along to lift the tires, and break the tension on the lugnuts. Hmmm...

Pre-Deployment Advice #1: Get AAA.

Wow... those lugnuts are really on there good and tight...

Maybe a new angle... oooo... not a good look...


Monday, February 8, 2010

Oscar Watch

NavyGuy and I typically aim to see all of the Best Picture nominees before the Academy Awards. Even as movie freaks fans, we consider this a challenging task. And the now the bar has been raised, because instead of five movies, there's 10 Best Picture nominees to see!!

Here's where we are so far - the movies in bold are ones we've both seen:

1. Avatar
2. The Blind Side
3. District 9 (available on DVD)
4. An Education
5. The Hurt Locker (available on DVD)
6. Inglorious Basterds (available on DVD)
7. Precious
8. A Serious Man (out on DVD on Feb. 9)
9. Up (available on DVD)
10. Up in the Air

Halfway there. Technically speaking, NavyGuy has seen Inglorious Basterds already, so I just need to watch it some day while he's at work (we own it), and then we'll be batting 60%. I think we can do it. The Oscars are on March 7th, so we've got just less than a month. We have several factors going in our favor (one film we can rent, two of the three left are still in wide distribution), but it's going to be a challenge. However, I'm way determined. We will see all 10 movies. Bring it Academy. Bring. It. On.

Has anyone seen any of the ones we haven't? Are we going to be irked at wasting money, or happy with our use of two hours?


Weekend Update

*NavyGuy's back from Red Flag! He returned on Friday night, so we went out to dinner, and then he promptly crashed. Two weeks of night flights and the Vegas lights had taken their toll, and poor NavyGuy was worn out.

*With Tally pup off at training, we could spend Saturday out and about (without having to rush home to let puppy out). Thus, we planned to go to Lynnwood and do some shopping at the big mall, catch a movie, have dinner, and generally relax. Well, we made it as far as the highway when NavyGuy got a call that he had to head down to Oak Harbor and take care of some admin business for the squadron, since all of the higher ups were still in Vegas. 90 minutes after we'd planned to leave, we finally hit the road and made it down to the big city. All in all it was a fun Saturday - some scrapbook store time, a movie, dinner at Macaroni Grill, and some quality time with my NavyGuy :)

*SuperBowl Sunday! NavyGuy and I headed over to a friend's house for a low-key super bowl afternoon. I brought chocolate chip cookies (which I made with slight supervision by NavyGuy... I neglected to soften the butter initially, so then I wanted to microwave the metal bowl it was in to make the mixture a little easier to stir... that's when he got all nervous and felt compelled to babysit my cookie project), and we snacked on wings, taco dip, cookies, and beer. Not even a little bit healthy, but oh-so-footbally. Hooray for the Saints (and Betty White's awesome commercial). Our trip home was more eventful than expected though... we got a bolt in the rear passenger tire. So, I got a tire-changing lesson in the garage at 8:00 at night...

(photos and NavyGuy's commentary to come...)

What's on tap for this week? Tuesday night is a massive pre-deployment meeting for the entire squadron, Thursday is our wives' club meeting (at our house!), and Friday night we jet back to Wisconsin for a week of visiting friends and family! Lots of excitement to come...


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Not to make the rest of you feel bad on a Monday...

... but Sister definitely spent her Super Bowl Sunday running a half-marathon.

And finishing.

In two hours, twelve minutes.

(I know, we'd all hate her if we didn't love her so much.)

Here she is minutes before the race, when disaster - her iPod (with her specially designed running mix) stopped working! AGH!!!!

(This is Sister's I will kill look... I was occasionally on the receiving end of it when we were younger and it still haunts my nightmares...)

Luckily, her hubby managed to fix it before race time, so she was off and running (pun INTENDED)...


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Guest Bathroom Before...

Wanna know the secret? I don't have the after part done yet.


My thinking is, if I put the before pics up on the blog, enough of you will bother me/guilt me into getting the project done quickly, instead of leaving all the supplies in the Kohls' bag on the bathroom floor... for another four days... at least.


So, that's where we're at right now. An old shower curtain that (while cool in its day) has seen better. Lots of potential, but it's all too white and blah.


Stay tuned!

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