29 June 2010

27 June 2010

Stuff.

Okay, so art class was a rousing success. The class is tiny (just me and one other Army wife) and the very sweet teacher. He is quite talented and not nearly as restricting as the previous instructor I had. I totally dig it and can't wait to go back this week. It is really just what I needed and I'm so stoked I found this place!

Also, Saturday we went with some friends to a total stranger's house for a BBQ. This woman and her husband were perfectly nice and had a beautiful home... but she took conservatism to a level I've never seen/heard in person before: She told the folks we were with that they shouldn't let their 3 month old son watch Law & Order because of all the liberal propaganda they sneak in the show... CSI is a way better choice. This made me giggle- regardless of your politics this is just plain silly. Also, she HATES "those stupid new-fangled lightbulbs they are forcing us to buy" (meaning compact fluorescent), because it is a government conspiracy and THEY HAVE MERCURY IN THEM! Again, giggles. But I digress. Just had to share those little gems.

I heart the Argentinian soccer team. Mostly because I've always loved Lionel Messi (in a totally non-sexual way) and secretly think Diego Maradona is awesomesauce. But more than anything? That team gives me a bad, bad case of hair envy. Am I jealous that a team of men have more luscious flowing locks of thick hair than I do? Yep. And I'm not ashamed to admit it.

Lastly, the battle of the lawn has finally won at Casa de Tucker and Swiss. The guilt of having the only crunchy tan yard on the road has finally gotten to Swiss so we bought a soaker hose today. I am not particularly fond of this policy (especially since the acres of mowed lawn beyond our fence are all tan and crunchy too) but so it must be. At least we aren't putting all that H2O airborne and losing some of it to evaporation. Somehow this does make me feel better. In any event, gone will be the days (and weeks) of not having to mow the lawn because it is all mostly dormant and now we enter the grueling dedication of lawn-waterers everywhere.

That is all the news that is fit to print. Perhaps the 4th of July ridiculousness will bring more exciting material? All I know is that we already bought Fletcher his big box of Benadryl because the poor thing might have to be sedated all week long. :(

22 June 2010

Art classes, World Cup, Morons and Onions.

My apologies, I am going to subject you all to more randomness. I'm afraid it can't be helped with the current state of my mind...

First off, I am SUPER geeked because I'm starting oil painting classes here on Thursday. I've been wanting to do this ever since we moved down here and a new studio opened up just minutes from the house. And they give military discounts. So excited I could tinkle. But I won't.

Second, I'm totally entranced by the World Cup. I mean, SO much  more fun than all the other "World Championships" that are really only American teams. Also, I love the Spanish team and have a crush on Lionel Messi. I want to carry him around in my pocket. I know, weird.

Third- WTF General McChrystal? I am sure this topic warrants further delving into, more time and many more words. But I couldn't get past the first 2 pages of the terribly indulgent article. I mean, first off, the man admits that Talladega Nights is his favorite move and that Bud Light Lime is his favorite beer? Double WTF. But more importantly, what the hell does this say about our leadership in this war? Would I be lying if I said it didn't make me cringe that he is leading the troops over there with that massive dick-swinging attitude of his? Yep. I've even heard rumors that the only reason he took that job (he was considering retiring when the President offered him this position) was to eventually f*ck over the administration. Now, that might be way out of line... but then again, after some of the choice quotes from this article? Might not be all that far off. Suffice it to say, I'm dissapointed, disgusted, and my eyes haven't yet rolled forward from the back of my head. Do better man. Do effing better. And... it would serve you right if you got your own ass fired.

Lastly, the hubs has invited some of the guys he works with over for lunch next week. He does this lots. Partly because he wants me to meet these folks, and partly (his own admission) to brag up my cooking skills. Aside from making me feel like a culinary rock star, it poses some challenges when the lunch guests have food-based issues. I, for one, have no food based issues. If it tastes good, I'll eat it. Except baby cows and organ meats. But, one of the guys for next week? No onions. Whaaaaa??? Dude, I put onions in like everything. Really, every lunch recipe I make has onions in it. So now I have to make "special" guacamole and "special" salsa with no onions in it (sacrilegious if you ask me) and chop up extras for the normal folk. I think I am just sort of shocked by the sheer number of weird food issues that are out there... am I hopelessly out of touch thinking that most people will eat generally anything???

Okay, that is all. But really, this weekend you should all consider going to see Get Him to the Greek. I'm still laughing about it two days later...

21 June 2010

A list.

This will be short:

1). I am trying to think outside the box in regards to this career/identity mess I find myself in. I am entirely indebted to one Hilary Fish for giving me some great suggestions and getting me out of my own way. She rocks the casbah. So there is researching going on, and lots of thinking, and I'm feeling a bit better about all of it. Its a good thing.

2). Don't let anyone tell you there are time constraints on reintegration issues. There just aren't. Some crop up right away, some linger, some wait until the honeymoon is over. Just FYI.

3). Stay at home wifery ain't all it is cracked up to be. I'm starting to feel like a caged animal. I need to get out. I need people that I get to talk to face to face. I need goals that aren't a) clean the kitchen, b) do the laundry or c) find a way to not get bored. I'm thinking our retirement date & move cannot come fast enough... and neither can my trip to Hawaii with my best friend.

4.) Is it just me or are military towns cultural and culinary wastelands (save Fort Lewis)? If it ain't a chain, and it ain't a movie theater- we ain't got it. That makes me sad and doesn't help with the boredom.

5). This insane summer heat at Fort X really takes the fun out of summer. I've never spent more time inside than I have this summer. Not a fan.

6.) Go see Get Him to the Greek. Especially if you liked Forgetting Sarah Marshall (a personal Fave). It is hilarious and awesomesauce and when you leave, you'll be singing along to "Furry Walls". Well worth the price of admission.

Okay, thus endeth my bitching/randomness. I'll try to put on my happy pants tomorrow!

20 June 2010

Dad's Day.

Happy Father's day to the best Dad I could have ever hoped for. I miss you and love you Dad!



16 June 2010

Crisis of Identity

First, let me say this: I realize how lucky, fortunate, privileged and blessed I am that I get to bitch about such topics. I know there are folks without jobs, folks who can only dream of not having to work, folks who are dying a little inside because they can't quit their jobs and do something different. I get all of that full stop. I get that, to some, this post will be whiny and you all will have every right to be entirely unsympathetic. But since it is my blog, I'm gonna whine about it anyway. Mmkay? So read on at your own risk.

Phew. Now that's out of the way... here's what's on my mind: I don't know who I am or what my direction is anymore. I mean, I know who I am. I'm me, not too different than the me from a year ago or the year before that. My morals and ideals and quirks are all still intact. It's just the direction, the drive, the confidence, the sureness that are gone. I used to know what I wanted to be, I used to be sure that I could attain it, be successful, I used to have confidence that what I was doing was good, I used to be at peace with my career choices because I was doing important things, I was good at it, and I was making money. Shallow? Maybe, but it got me through. Those things got me through a job I didn't always love, a job that stuffed my creativity in a box, and a job where I had maxed out the career ladder after 6 years in.

Now? Now I am a housewife, contributing nothing to the family (money-wise at least), nothing to this world of any real value, and not sure where to go next. I find myself no longer excited about the prospect of reinventing my career...  no, now I find myself terrified into inaction. I've been a bundle of excuses, half-efforts and hesitation. Worse yet? I find myself wholly without confidence in my ability to be successful at anything other than my previous career. And that is a horrible feeling.

For the past few months, I've been stumbling and bouncing back and forth between the world of academia, the world of laboratories and cubicles, the likely careers, the dream careers, and the do-it-myself road. I am without a map, without direction. I am familiar with all these places, yet none of them are home... I feel like a stranger in all of them. Like I don't belong... well, I belong just enough to fit it, but not enough to become one with that place. Like I could fake it and squeak along, roll with the punches, just get by... but never really settle in. I know that keeping my old career means a solid income, it means fulfilling the promise of the degrees I worked so hard for, it means doing something important with my days. But I also know leaving that behind would open the doors to new careers, art, design, photography- creative ventures that I have always longed for... but, in turn, that might mean little to no income, it might mean no one would buy my work or services, it might mean failure on a spectacular level. I have a degree in another field, but no matter what I do I can't get a job there... even though that is probably what would make me happiest. I could go back to school... but for what? To what end? Would that piece of paper entice my confidence into coming home? Somehow I doubt it. It feels like all I have in front of me are mediocre compromises and opportunities for failure.

I guess I just wish I either had it all to do over again or that I could get my mojo back. Since I know that former won't happen unless a time machine shows up on our stoop in the morning, I guess the best path is to focus on the things I can change. I just don't know how to find my direction, how to find what the best answer is to a problem that truly has no wrong or right. I could be a money-losing artist and Swiss would be happy if I was happy. But I don't know if never bringing money into the household, not being a success would crush my spirit (I suspect it would) and render me unhappy. I fear (read: know) I need those things to feel like I'm doing something with my life. Maybe that is the issue. Maybe my self-worth is too closely tied to conventional measures of success. Maybe the success is me loving what I do... and maybe me loving what I do will translate into my work and bring the conventional trappings of success along with them. Then again, that is probably a bunch of delusional swill.

But it is late, my mind is already too full of half-thoughts, outlandish ideas, and doomsday scenarios... and I'm keeping the dog awake. Perhaps morning will bring clarity, confidence and mojo back my way (can anyone recommend some sort of fairy/elf/sorceress who deals in these things?). Perhaps not. But maybe, just maybe, talking about this and figuring out what the real crux of the issue is will get me there too. In any event, thanks for listening.

10 June 2010

Entitled?

Cross posted from LeftFace... go check out some of our other writer's takes on this topic!


HELL YES. Yes, we are entitled. Period. End of sentence.
Then again, maybe deserving is the better term. Certainly sounds less undeserving and snooty, don’t you think???
When I hear stories like the one posted here about the Marine’s family (the one Tom Rick’s re-posted on his blog and raised the ire of some commenters) having to beg to get home with their fallen soldier, when I hear stories about families falling through the cracks because of too few services, spouses giving up hard-earned careers to PCS from installation to installation every 3-ish years with no real help on the horizon, when I hear about programs getting yanked (Hello MyCAA!) without proper notice and without regard for those affected… I get angry. Not because I am a MilSpouse and those issues affect me too. Not because I think any of these programs are The Best Ever. Not because I think that we are better than our civilian counterparts. And not because my family or I use any of these programs. (Which, for the record, do not.) But because someone made a promise to us… someone said what you do, what you endure, what you experience as a MilSpouse warrants a bit of help, warrants a helping hand when your spouse’s career and the Greater Good stacks the deck against you in nearly every way (home life, marriage, parenting, friendships, career, sanity), warrants programs that help you because you are stationed 1,200 miles away from the family & friends that would normally lend a hand, warrants the respect and compassion of the civilian world who really have NO idea what it is like to be one of us. And they were right.
I think we (Military Families) have earned these programs and the respect of the American Public and I don’t think for one minute that we are out of line when we expect these things to be there for us. I think we are justified in our rage over the indifference of the American Public, I think we are right to expect a little bit of help when we put our spouse’s career (and, again the Greater Good) ahead of all else, I think we are even, sometimes, warranted in our isolation from the civilian world (really, how many times can you suffer through a conversation where someone just doesn’t get it and refuses to try?), and, in case you were wondering, also think that sometimes we are wrong. But I digress.
Saying we ‘deserve’ all this or that we have earned it may reek of entitlement but it’s the honest truth. Why? Because we are different, our lives are different. No matter which way you slice it, we are different from our civilian spouse counterparts. What we do, what our families do, what our spouses do is more dangerous, more treacherous, more risky, more honorable than any (okay, most) of the civilian families out there. What we sacrifice, what we deal with (on a nearly annual basis, not to mention training), what our spouses do is just plain different. We don’t have the choices they do, we don’t have the latitude, we don’t have the control over our lives like they do. We are servants of the DoD. By choice. So they don’t have to be. So yeah, we deserve it. And we earned it.
Of course, we volunteered for this, yes, we chose this life. BUT. That is the point. We did what no one wanted to do. We stood up and said, WE will bear this burden for you. We said its okay for you to stay home in your safe and cozy subdivision with your picket fence and American Dream, we’ll do annual deployments, sustain a marriage over the phone, run a household alone, miss holidays, miss births, cram in weddings on R&R, all while living in fear of a dark sedan, a knock on the door and a future as a Gold Star family.
Did I know what I was getting into? Hell no. I had no idea what I was in for. I just knew I loved a man who happened to be in the Army. But this whole ‘choosing’ business really sticks in my craw. The American Public should be grateful, relieved and revere those who CHOSE to do this so they wouldn’t have to. And for the record, if choosing means I loose my right to whine about it, then I don’t want to hear you whine about your kids or your husband or your job, because after all, you choose them. But, again, I digress.
In light of all this, it is so sad that we get grief over the programs that are out there to support us. When we (rightfully) complain about programs that are either not in place and should be or are taken away, we get called entitled and chided for asking for handouts. To that I say BACK THE TRUCK UP. After all our families sacrifice, it shouldn’t kill anyone to give us a few extra dollars to go back to school and scrape out a new career that may travel with us on our next PCS (which makes the communities we live in better and stronger). It seems perfectly reasonable to have programs or volunteers who offer actual help to our families, from marriage counseling, therapy, childcare, house/yardwork, and some tax-free income. It seems downright silly to question a year of tax-free salaries when the trade-off is bullets, IEDs, suicide bombers, overflowing Port-A-Potties, dead birds in your dining hall, MRE’s, sand in places sand has no business being in and missing out on a year in the life you built for yourself. I’d say we even deserve a bit more. And, it wouldn’t hurt if more than 3 people would stand up on a flight of over 100 and say, here, have my seat, your loved one gave his life for our country and for the betterment of the lives of others (so I didn’t have to), I can change my plans so that you can accompany his body home for his funeral.
If that makes us entitled… then fine, I’m okay with it. Last time I checked no one was asking for free vacations to Hawaii, 80” flat screen TVs and sports cars in every car port (because our “free” housing doesn’t come with garages or basements and they always share walls)… we are asking for support, we are asking for help when the cards are against us, we are asking for the respect that has been earned. And I don’t think that’s asking too much. Period.
*Caveat: Of COURSE there are soldiers/familes/spouses that maybe aren’t on the up-and-up, of course there are some that are despicable and unreasonable, but they aren’t the norm (thankfully).

08 June 2010

Be awesome.


A little NPH wisdom for your Tuesday morning. Things are still insane-o here, but I have a few rants in my head prepping for blog-posts once company leaves and things get back to normal. In the meantime? Be Awesome, Not Sad.

06 June 2010

Funny, but also awesome.

Tongue in cheek? Absolutely. But also? Secretly true. I hope you all feel this way about yourselves deep down inside! :)

I promise to post more soon, we have family in town and a wedding and some hospital drama and yeah, not enough time for blogging. Have a stellar start to your week and always remember how brilliant and amazing you are.