Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Signing out of Fort Sam...

So Bill is taking care of his "final out" at Fort Sam today.  He has to sign his last evaluation and then after that, he's done except for his retirement ceremony and getting us new ID cards that reflect his retired status.  It's a little sad, yet exciting.  I think this could be a good time in Bill's life.  Last time he got out of the Army (back in 1995), he was not at all prepared and saddled with the dead weight of his ex wife.  This time, he's a lot more ready, even if the economy is worse.

Tomorrow morning, he flies to New York City and Thursday, he interviews.  Hopefully, it will go well.  I think if this firm offers him a job, he will probably take it.  It will give him valuable experience in a growing and hot field.  It will also mean moving to a part of the country he knows he loves…  or at least, it may mean that.  Of course, he might also be rejected.  I don't think he will be, though.  This company seems very interested in him and they seem to need people.  LOL… what do I know?

Anyway, at the very least, we want to move to a new house.  It could be in San Antonio or elsewhere.  We just don't want to live here.  This house is in poor shape and located in kind of a yucky neighborhood.  I also think it's overpriced.

My mouth is slowly getting back to normal.  I had terrible canker sores last week, but they are slowly going away… I think it was a hormonal thing.  I also took my blood pressure yesterday.  It does seem a bit higher than it was, though it's not yet dangerously high.  I need to take some steps to lower it, though.  Exercise and less beer drinking would help.  When we lived in North Carolina, I had to walk my dogs every day several times a day.  Here, I can just let them go outside.  I think that's had a big effect on me.

I'm trying to relax and enjoy what should be a time that is as exciting as it is scary.  We really could end up anywhere… and I think Bill is going to do well if he manages to get his foot in the door.  So if you have any spare good vibes this week, send 'em his way.  I'd like him to have a better exit from the Army than he did before.  I like the idea of "do-overs"… and if anyone deserves one, it's him.  I know some people who read this blog might disagree, but anyone who actually knows Bill knows he's a great guy.

By the way, I've been reading a book about Betty Broderick, the crazy wife of Daniel Broderick.  You may remember her story from Meredith Baxter's famously over the top portrayal of her in a movie of the week.  The book was supposedly from eldest daughter Kim's perspective.  I think it was poorly ghostwritten though… the woman who wrote the story definitely needed an experienced editor.  In any case, it makes me realize how bad things could have been for Bill.  At least his ex wife leaves us alone.



Monday, April 21, 2014

Kentucky loses prisoner to starvation...

So I just read the sad story of James Embry, a 57 year old former inmate in the Kentucky State Penitentiary who had three years left of a nine year sentence for drug offenses.  Apparently Mr. Embry had issues with anxiety and for some reason, stopped taking medication in May 2013.  By January 2014, he had starved himself to death.

According to the AP, Embry refused 35 of the last 36 meals he was served, though he would occasionally drink tea.  He weighed 138 pounds when he died at six feet tall, having lost over 30 pounds.  This wasn't a hunger strike, per se.  Embry had wanted to get back on his anxiety meds, but for some reason, the so-called medical staff at the penitentiary denied his request.  This was despite his comments that he had "no hope" and had started banging his head against the door of his cell.    

Maybe I shouldn't have been shocked that the doctor who was in charge of Embry's care at the prison had been sued 103 times since 1992 by inmates and their attorneys.  Despite the many lawsuits, the doctor was drawing about $165,000 a year and was supposedly on vacation when Embry met his maker.  Of course, the prison psychologist and head nurse at the prison also royally fucked up by neglecting this man and his legitimate medical needs.

Maybe it shouldn't surprise me that a lot of people have no empathy for Embry, who was "just a criminal", after all, and apparently had better access to healthcare than regular folks do.  By the way, in case you miss it, I'm being facetious.  I have to wonder what led Embry to drugs in the first place.  Could it be that he had no family or friends?  He was buried in a potter's field near the prison because no one claimed his remains.  Obviously, he was functional when he was on the anti-anxiety medications.  He got off of them and became despondent, suicidal, and self-destructive.

While I wouldn't call myself one to be soft on crime, I do think that prisoners should be treated humanely and with as much dignity as possible.  It sounds like Embry's last months on earth were just unspeakably horrible, given that he had an untreated mental illness.  Maybe death was a blessing for him.  Still, starvation and dehydration is a terrible way to go.  Kentuckians should be ashamed.

Fascinating look at cowards...

The above video is an experiment that shows how people react when they see people abusing a fat woman.  Apparently, most people will walk on by if they see several teenagers harassing an obese woman near the beach.  In all honesty, I probably wouldn't want to get involved in such a scene, either.  On the other hand, it's really hard to fathom that there are too many people out there who would dare to do this kind of bullying to someone they don't know out in public.  You never know who might be packing heat!

What's really sad are the nasty comments on the YouTube video.  Some people are just plain sick.

Apparently, I'm a home wrecker… (old post from 2010)

I originally posted this on Epinions back on New Year's Eve, 2010.  I'm reposting it, because Bill and I were talking about his planned trip to see his father next month.  I will not be going with him because someone needs to take care of the dogs and because, frankly, I don't really feel that welcome there.  Although my father-in-law and his wife intensely dislike Bill's former wife, they still kind of treat me like an interloper, even though I have been married to Bill longer than she was and I treat him much better than she did.

A lot of people seem to think that if you are a woman who marries a man who has been married before, somehow you've wrecked a "happy home".  This piece is about my thoughts on the subject of home wreckers.  I have never thought I was one… and even if I were a home wrecker, the blame shouldn't be placed entirely on me or any other woman.  Most men are not weak willed idiots.  They have a say in what they do or don't do.

Personally, I'm kind of sick of the idea that men are immature idiots who can't control themselves.  I have a wonderful husband who is good to me.  All he asks from me is that I love and respect him, which I am proud to do.

When I was getting my teeth cleaned the other day, I remembered an incident with a dental hygienist I ran into in Georgia.  She asked me if I was married and had any kids.  I said, "No, I don't have kids."

"Oh, I guess your husband is childish enough for you, huh?" she said with a smile.

"No, actually he's a great husband."  I said, kind of shocked that this woman would say such an unprofessional thing as she was x-raying my teeth.  I'm guessing the lady had a bad experience… as many women do.  But a lot of men have childish partners as well.  Reverse that situation and see how even less appropriate it would have been had the hygienist insinuated that my husband was married to an immature woman.

I told my hygienist in Texas about that and she was shocked… especially when the Georgia hygienist later reprimanded me for saying "Damn" because the x-rays hurt.  Despite popular opinion, I have a small mouth.  ;-)  

Apparently, I'm a homewrecker...

Dec 31, 2010 (Updated Jan 3, 2011)

The Bottom Line Imagine me, a homewrecker... perish the thought!

In my last writer's corner piece, I lamented that the last days of 2010 were shaping up to be very strange indeed. Well, it is now New Year's Eve and I've only been awake for a few hours, and yet some weird things have already happened today.

First of all, I had a very strange dream this morning. I wrote about it in detail on my blog, so I won't describe it in detail here, except to say that the dream had to do with a crowd of people getting the wrong idea about me and treating me with a lot of hostility. All the while, I was trying to call my husband, Bill, on my cell phone for support or maybe an escape route, but I couldn't reach him because my cell phone wasn't getting service. There was only one person in the crowd who seemed to take a neutral, advocate-like role and seemed ready to help me. I woke up just as I was about to face some silly judgment hearing.

I don't know if it was my subconscious preparing me or what, but this morning I got a very strange comment on a champagne review I wrote for Associated Content last June. Bill had bought me a bottle of my favorite bubbly, Taittinger, for my birthday and made me a gourmet breakfast. Right after I posted that review, someone commented that I've got myself a keeper of a man. I commented that I had actually thanked my husband's ex wife for divorcing Bill. After that, not a peep from the peanut gallery, until this morning.

I guess people are looking for champagne reviews for New Year's Eve... Someone, who signed themselves "Bills ex" [sic] left the following comment:

"One woman's trash is another woman's treasure, homewrecker."

Excuse me?

I feel pretty certain my husband's ex wife did not actually leave that comment. For one thing, it's much too articulate. For another thing, as a "devout Mormon", I doubt she would be looking for champagne reviews on New Year's Eve, and certainly not for a champagne like Taittinger. And finally, even if ten years after their divorce my husband's ex wife were going to leave a nasty comment to me, I think she'd somehow want me to know that she was the one who did it. That's the type of person she is.

In any case, I decided to delete the comment, since I didn't feel it had anything to do with the original article. But then I started to think about the term homewrecker and what it implies. And now I'm not sure if I should feel insulted or gratified. The term "homewrecker" implies that I'm some kind of devious vixen who stole my husband away from his ex wife. Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I'm not very vixenlike at all. I hardly ever dated before I met Bill. I was a virgin until two weeks after our wedding. A sexually adventurous temptress I truly am not.

While the term homewrecker implies that I broke up my husband's marriage, it was already irrevocably broken well before I came along. All I did was marry a man who was legally divorced. Though we did meet online a couple of years before we met in person, Bill had been divorced for almost an entire year before I met him in the flesh. In fact, I talked to him online for months before I even knew anything about his ex wife, who, by the way, was by that time already shacking up with her third husband.

My initial conversations with Bill were entirely platonic and based on our mutual love of travel. I had never asked about his life offline and he never volunteered the information. Didn't think it was any of my business to ask and certainly never thought I'd ever meet him in person, let alone marry him! He eventually told me about his first marriage only when he decided he liked me and wanted to get to know me better. Even after he told me about her, he kept his conversations with me platonic until he was divorced.

One thing I've noticed about the term "homewrecker" is that it lays all the blame on the other woman. Let's face it. Most people don't accuse men of being homewreckers, right? But a woman who comes along after a man has made a commitment to marry is called a homewrecker, ostensibly because she has somehow lured this guy away from the loving arms of his ex wife. It's as if he would have stayed faithful to the marriage if it weren't for her. It paints the marriage as some sacred, idyllic institution, ruined by some trollop who came along and sullied it with her sordid treasure breasts of lust.

Wow... I didn't realize I had that kind of power! Even if, in our situation, I had been a so-called homewrecker, I am not the one who committed to being married to my husband's ex wife. When it comes down to it, single women who hook up with married men (and vice versa), whether they know he's married or not, are ultimately not the ones who strayed. The married party is the one who made the commitment. So why does she automatically get all the heat? Frankly, even if my husband were the type of person to cheat, I would probably be more inclined to feel sorry for the next woman. Because if he'd be willing to cheat on me, he'd likely be willing to cheat on her, too.

Now, if she happens to be a married woman who knowingly cheats with a married man, that may be a different story altogether... But I don't think single women who have affairs with married men, or vice versa, should be the ones who get the lion's share of the blame. People may refer to them as "homewreckers", but I think the reality is that most women who end up the "other woman" don't have that kind of power. Ultimately, the only reason they have any power is because it's somehow been granted to her.

Anyway, I really do think it's laughable that anyone would refer to me as a homewrecker, even in jest. I'm just not very sexy. I'm basically a fat, almost middle-aged, overeducated housewife who walks around in sweats and bare feet and doesn't wear makeup. After eight years together, Bill and I are still in love and get along famously. But it's not because I'm some kind of tawdry tramp who rocks his world in the sack so much that he'd just up and decide to dump his first wife for me. It's because we really do love and respect each other. It would have been a lot easier had I come along first but, probably because I'm eight years younger than he is, I didn't.

Besides, for the record, it was she who dumped him... and, once again, I thank her for it. I don't know why that's inappropriate. I would be grateful to her whether I liked and respected her or not. If she hadn't decided to dump Bill, he might still be married to her. And if she hadn't married him, some other woman would have and likely would have treated him better, meaning I'd probably still be a lonely, single virgin. Whether my husband's ex wife meant to or not, she gave me a gift. Why is it wrong to be thankful for a gift?

I really don't know who left that comment or why they felt it was appropriate. Perhaps, for some reason, they were trying to upset me. Perhaps they're alone and bitter on New Year's Eve and lashing out. Maybe it was just someone looking for a laugh. At least it gave me something different to think about on the last day of 2010.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

My Bill...

reminds me of this dog… right down to making himself a martini.

Dying on Easter...

I found out this morning that my sister-in-law's wife died this morning.  I did not know her well.  We met once in early 2010, when Bill and I visited his father and stepmother in Tennessee.  Bill's sister had recently married her wife, Michele, and the two of them came over and showed us their wedding video.  Unfortunately, we were not able to attend their ceremony, because it took place right after we got back to the States from Germany and we were in the middle of moving.

After seeing the photos, I wished I was able to attend the wedding.  It looked like a really nice ceremony.

Beyond that, I didn't know Angela and Michele very well as a couple.  I only knew what I saw on Facebook.  Back in October, Michele got very sick and landed in the hospital.  It turned out she had pancreatic cancer.  

A few days ago, Michele got very sick again and went to the emergency room.  She died early this morning.  I told Bill as he was waking up and he said "What a symbolic day to die."  

I'm not a particularly religious person and won't be doing anything special today.  I have noticed, though, that a lot of my friends are posting about Easter and how we should be rejoicing because it's the day Christ rose from the dead.  Given that, maybe it's special to die on Easter.

Easter is also important to Bill and me because his ex wife asked for a divorce on Easter fourteen years ago.  I like to think of it as the day Bill's life rose from the dead.  

I visited the eye doctor yesterday and she said that based on the condition of the blood vessels in my eyes, it looked like maybe my blood pressure is up.  That means I probably need to visit a doctor soon.  



Saturday, April 19, 2014

The boys!

Look what just came via FedEx!

I had this custom made…  all five of our rescues are in it.

I was not expecting this to show up today.  They told me 4-6 weeks and the session with the artist was three weeks ago.  Needless to say, I am absolutely delighted by how this turned out!  Sticks is awesome!  I might have to have another one made.

Going to get my eyes checked today...

I was due to have an eye exam in January, but still had contacts available and wasn't too keen on finding a new eye doctor.  But now I have one pair of lenses left and need new ones.  We found an optometrist that is open seven days a week, so we're going to go pay a visit today and get my eyes checked and new lenses ordered.  I know this is a pretty mundane thing, but I'm excited.  I like getting new contacts. Of course, I'd rather get my eyes lazered and be done with it.  Damn nearsightedness.

We went to bed early last night because I was feeling bored and wanted to read.  I got tired of watching old episodes of Fear Factor, even though one of last night's episodes involved naked people.  I took a couple of Advil PMs because I wanted to sleep well.  The canker sores in my mouth have made oral hygiene and eating rather painful, but they seem to be healing now, thank God.  Aunt Flow also seems to be making a hasty retreat.  I think Aunt Flow is what caused my canker sores in the first place.  I managed to arrest a cold sore before it became a problem.  Thank God for Abreva.

Once today's business is taken care of, I'll be all set… and ready to think about what's coming next.  I'm trying not to get too excited about the prospect of another move to another city, because it could turn out we don't.  However, it looks like it could happen, and it would probably behoove us to start making plans…  but it's hard to make plans when you don't know where the hell you'll be in a few months.

I think it's a pretty fair bet that the guy in San Francisco who is meeting Bill in New York in a few days will like him fine.  I have a feeling that if all goes well, he will have a job offer.  But then, nothing is a done deal until it's a done deal.  It could also turn out that Bill will meet another manager at this event who will also want him.  Or it could turn out that nobody likes Bill and I'll be back to stressing.

The next couple of years could be exciting, but intense.  Because if Bill gets this job and moves us to Seattle, it could mean he launches an entirely new career in a place where techie stuff is really cutting edge.  And if he does well, it could mean a pretty good life after the initial breaking in period.  The skills he's going to develop are always going to be useful and this career track will only get more challenging.

On the other hand, things could also fall apart.  I don't think they will.  But it's always a possibility.

A year ago, I was so sure we'd be staying in San Antonio.  It seemed like the perfect place for us, since it's military friendly and Bill's mom lives here.  We wanted to move to the Pacific Northwest, but I never thought there was a chance it would actually happen.  I've often thought about how beautiful it is out there, even though the traffic is insane and the housing is expensive.  I guess it's safe to say that I hope this works out… and I hope we are prepared to deal with what's coming up.

This seems appropriate.