Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Where I've been...

So, it's been over two weeks since my last post.  That's unusual for me, but I have a good reason for my absence.  My husband and I went on a military hop to Europe.  Our round trip flights to and from Germany cost us a total of about $40.

It was our first trip back to Germany since we moved from there about three years ago.  I had really been missing it.  I seem to feel a lot more comfortable in Europe than I do in the States.  So we spent a lovely week tooling around Germany, Austria, and Luxembourg, drinking lots of beer, eating good food, and burning calories.

Yes, that's right.  I actually lost a little weight.  I really think it's because of all the walking we did.  I even managed to haul my substantial ass up a very tall church tower.  It wasn't easy, but I did it and was rewarded by beautiful views of the city.

Military space A flights require a lot of flexibility and planning... When I say planning, I mean you have to know which air base or airport you're going to have the best chances of getting out of.  But you have to be flexible as to when you will leave and where you will ultimately end up.  My husband and I love spontaneous trips, so this was kind of up our alley.  We took a chance leaving in May, since it's right on the edge of the very busy summer season.  That's when would-be space A seats are filled by families trying to move or active duty families going on vacation.  My husband and I are still active duty right now, but that will change in a couple of years.

The first flight was out of Baltimore, a good stout drive from where we live.  It was like any regular commercial flight, complete with monitors on the seatbacks showing films and TV shows.  The seats were cramped and there wasn't much space.

The flight home was out of Ramstein Air Force Base.  We flew to Charleston on a military airplane.  Even though we were on a cargo plane with fifty other people, I enjoyed it more than the flight to Europe.  There was much more room to move around and even lie on the floor if I wanted to.

Look closely in this picture and you can see that a couple of people did just that...

On our trip, we visited Cologne, Munich, Salzburg, Trier, Luxembourg, and Rodange... not bad for a week.  I wish we'd stayed longer.  I told my husband that I don't think a week in Europe is ever enough.  Luckily, we have plans to go to Scotland later this year to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

Here's a picture of my favorite stained glass window in the Cologne cathedral.  Being in there moved my husband to tears...

I just wrote a long trip report about this... so I'm not going to go too much into the trip on my blog.  Suffice it to say, we had a fantastic time.  I'm ready to do it again soon-- preferably when we're not in the busy season anymore.  Oh, and by the way, I finally did get some Greek food!

Monday, May 14, 2012

My husband's ex wife is now a "public figure"...

Yesterday was Mother's Day.  Given what happened last Mother's Day, I opted not to call my mom.  I sent her some music, though, a CD and a book of piano music she can practice if she feels so inclined.  We talked last week and I'll probably give her a ring later this week because we're planning to take a military hop and who knows where we'll end up.

My husband called his mom and his stepmom to wish them a happy day.  The call with his mom went fine.  Then he talked to his dad and stepmom, both of whom asked if he'd heard from his daughters recently.  Of course he hasn't.  They haven't spoken to him in over seven years.

So my husband's stepmom said that she had seen a picture of my husband's younger daughter at her "prom" (more likely an LDS dance she attended) on the ex's husband's Facebook.  There was a caption on the photo that read that he intended to adopt my husband's daughters "very soon".  Naturally, stepmother-in-law and father-in-law were upset about this development.  Father-in-law was very hurt and confused, not understanding what benefit the girls would get from being adopted.  I think the only benefit they'd get is a hearty "fuck you" to their bio-dad, who used to wipe their asses when they were in diapers and paid their mother generous child support so their loser stepfather didn't have to work a job.

After ringing off, my husband logged out of Facebook and searched for his ex-wife's husband.  He found his profile and there he noticed a clickable link that said "The most inspiring person in my life".  When my husband clicked the link, he was taken to his ex wife's "public figure" page.  Yes, that's right... my husband's delusional ex wife now thinks of herself as a public figure!  I guess she's planning to run for public office or something.

I have noticed over the past year or so, my husband's ex wife has been putting stuff out there on the Internet that is more and more provocative.  It's my guess that she's putting this stuff out there hoping to provoke a response from someone in my husband's family or my husband himself.  Whether or not the stuff she's putting out there is true remains to be seen.  But I do think she puts it out there because she seeks attention and is hoping for some kind of dramatic response that shows that someone still cares about the hateful things she does.

I suppose that if my husband's daughters want to be adopted and that would make them feel better about this whole situation, they have every right to do so.  However, it seems to me that getting adopted, especially when they will almost certainly get married eventually, is a big waste of time and money and they will eventually regret it.  My husband's ex wife has been through three husbands and she has yet to allow any of them to be around for their children's adolescences.

Moreover, if she allows #3 to become the legal father to my husband's daughters, she will burn any hope of ever reconciling with my husband's family.  I have noticed that no one in her sphere ever stays married and she probably assumes my husband and I will eventually split.  If we ever did split, that would potentially clear the way for her to try to reconcile with my husband's family.  But if those girls get adopted, that will never happen.  Of course, I don't intend to divorce my husband, so maybe ex is smart just to cut her losses and glom on to #3's family.

It also would not surprise me if my husband's ex wife put her husband up to posting that link on his page.  When she was married to my husband, she used to try to goad him into doing dramatic and demonstrative things to prove his love for her.  She would play "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman" by Bryan Adams and tell him that he needed to demonstrate his love to her the way Bryan Adams said he should...


To this day, my husband hates the song "Strong Enough To Be My Man" by Sheryl Crow, because his ex wife used to play it for him and compare him to the man Sheryl sings about...

I have been with my husband for going on ten years and I think he's wonderful.  He tells me every day that he loves me.  He shows me more love and affection than I could have ever wished for.  I could not have asked for a better husband and I truly believe that if he couldn't make his ex happy, no one could.  But she is very narcissistic and I'm sure loving her and assuaging her ego is like trying to fill an endless pit.  While I have no love for #3, I do feel slightly sorry for him.  When he stops being useful to her, he'll be cast aside and forgotten too.

So anyway, I think all this is just her trying to show us that she's moving on and thriving.  If that's true, good on her.  And truly, if the girls think being adopted by their mother's THIRD husband will make them happy, then I think they should go ahead and get adopted... and leave us alone once and for all.  

And if she does run for public office, I kind of hope some inquisitive news reporter does some digging into her past...    

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Funny thing happened to me tonight.

I frequent a message board that censors certain words.  Someone posted a link to site selling shirts, but for some reason, a word in the address was edited so it was just a bunch of symbols, a la Patton.  It's been my experience that the word "shit" is the most frequently censored word.  So just out of curiosity, I typed in the address

And I ended up on a site for free Web cam sex.  I wasn't actually interested in free Web cam sex, but I did find myself lingering for just a moment.  There were several panes featuring people online, waiting for a dirty chat.  I saw a couple, a woman who appeared to be a midget, sucking on a Dum Dum lollipop, a black lady with big boobs, and a naked lady in a shower...  You get about 30 seconds to listen to their pitch, then it switches to the next person.

I clicked off, though I have to admit, it was kind of fascinating.  It reminded me of an experience my husband and I had in Poland.  We were watching the little TV in our hotel room and there were several channels devoted to phone sex as well as a couple dedicated to some kind of weird culty religion.  Very bizarre.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gay marriage... and NC voters

So yesterday, the news came down that North Carolina voters voted for a state constitutional amendment that bans same sex marriage and civil unions.  While I happen to think gay marriage should be legal, I'm somewhat indifferent to the news, since I'm not gay and have no friends or family members who are directly affected by this legislation.

I do have a lot of friends who were upset by the news, though.  A couple of them, who live in North Carolina, decided they wished they could move somewhere else.  There were a few moans from people who decried the bigotry of North Carolinians.  George Takei posted a funny about how in North Carolina, one can marry their cousin, but not their gay cousin.  One person even commented that the states that ban gay marriage are mostly the same ones that denied rights to black people, thus implying that southerners are Barbarians who haven't learned anything from their past sins of bigotry.

I had to stop and think about that one for a minute or two.  On the surface, maybe the two situations seem comparable.  But as I pondered that comment comparing gay rights to civil rights denied to people of color, I determined that the two situations really aren't comparable at all!  In fact, it occurred to me that to compare the two situations was more than just ludicrous, it was offensive.

Thirty years ago, we didn't hear a lot about "gay rights".  In fact, the topic of homosexuality was barely even acknowledged by the media.  As a kid, I watched Three's Company,  a sitcom that had the late John Ritter portraying Jack Tripper, a guy who pretends to be gay so he could live with two women.  That was pretty much the extent of what I knew about homosexuality back then.  Back then, I certainly didn't hear about people talking about gay marriage or domestic partnerships or the prospect that one day, they might be legal.  There were no children's books dealing with a kid having two mommies or two daddies.  Nobody seemed to want to "go there".  But I did hear a lot about civil rights for black people, even as I attended integrated schools.  I remember seeing PSAs about affirmative action.  I remember people talking about it and there was (and still is) a lot of anger.

Nowadays, racism still exists, but people of color have their civil rights.  And people are still talking about racism and accusing people of it at the slightest provocation.  People are still discriminated against for any number of reasons, but I'm not sure most of those reasons are on the same level as racism.

The gay marriage thing seems a lot newer to me than racial discrimination.  It's been a political issue for maybe ten years or so... or at least that's when I started noticing it.  Of course it's a hot topic in this country.  A lot of people in the United States are very religious.  They take God very seriously.  And yet, it seems that in the past ten years or so, we've seen a lot of people coming out as atheists and thinking the whole concept of God is ridiculous.  The religious people tend to think homosexuality is a sin.  Consequently, when they are asked to vote on the issue of gay marriage, of course they will vote against it.  And those who are pro gay rights will vote for it.

This is Amendment One, which was proposed to North Carolina voters...

"The measure defines marriage in the state constitution as between one man and one woman, and bans any other type of "domestic legal union" such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.[1][2]

Same-sex marriage is already illegal in the state of North Carolina. The measure, however, added the ban to the state constitution.[3]"

This proposal was approved, gathering 61% of the vote.  That means close to 40% of voters voted against the measure.  In my book, that hardly means that North Carolinians are ignorant, bigoted Barbarians.  It's not like the measure succeeded by a huge landslide.  Plenty of people in North Carolina and elsewhere in the South are in favor of gay marriage.  And those who are against it, while I happen to disagree with them, are certainly entitled to their opinions and their votes.  It's the American way!

It's going to take some time before people fully accept the concept of gay marriage.  It's taken many years for  many people to change their attitudes toward people of color.  Some people are still struggling to change and some never will.  The fact that gay rights has even become a political issue is a sign that Americans are becoming more forward thinking and open minded.  This issue will be revisited again and again and voters will have the chance to vote the way they want to.  I have a strong feeling eventually, gay marriage will be legal in the United States.  But until then, we have to let people have their votes and allow majority to rule.  And if you really expect an area to change laws you don't agree with, the answer isn't to move away, it's to stay and convince people that you're right and then vote your conscience.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cheesy 80s made for TV movie...

I figure that instead of ranting today, I'd post about a funny movie I saw on YouTube last night.  The 1980s was a strange time for television.  Back then, it wasn't uncommon for one of the three big networks to make movies of the week.  Sometimes those movies were somewhat fluffy and ridiculous... dripping with Velveeta cheese.

In 1981, I was nine years old and very much a television fan.  At some point in 1981, a movie called Twirl was the movie of the week.  It was about two friends competing to become "Miss Twirl" in a contest that seemed to be a mix of Miss America and a baton twirling competition.  I don't remember the last time I saw someone twirl a baton... it might have been in high school.  I don't know how popular the activity is today.  And in fact, when I watched this film last night, I had to admit, baton twirling looked physically challenging.  I still find it amazing that someone decided to make a made for TV movie about baton twirling, even if it was the early 80s!

Twirl boasts a cornucopia of 80s era TV stars... Lisa Whelchel, Erin Moran, Missy Gold, and a young and nubile Heather Locklear, who doesn't seem to be wearing a bra in a couple of scenes.  More amazing is the fact that Donna McKechnie was in it... a well known Broadway performer.  Of course, McKechnie also appeared on a couple of episodes of the old 80s show, Fame.  

Anyway, just to prove there really is a movie about baton twirling, I give you Twirl.  

This is too cheesy for words.  I can't believe I watched the whole thing!

Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd like to bitch slap Judge Judy...

I know I usually complain about Dr. Phil, but today I think I'll whinge about Judge Judy.  I think she's a massive cunt who bullies people and refuses to listen.  I don't often watch her show because I think she's rude and abusive, not to mention a very poor listener.

Today, I was watching a re-run from 2009.  She was raking some guy and his second wife over the coals because they were suing his ex girlfriend for an unpaid cable bill and furniture.  Granted, the guy was a loser, paying $266 a month in child support.  That is a shameful pittance.  But they were not there to talk about child support.

Ol' Judy immediately blasts the guy, telling him to get his wife to back off.  She brings up the guy's 12 year old daughter and tells stepmom that the kid is none of her business.  Guess what, Judy.  The kid IS her business...  unless, of course, stepmom doesn't have to have anything at all to do with the kid and isn't expected to do anything for her.  Is the guy a loser?  Yes.  But he's not the only loser in that situation.  He sure was taking all the heat, though.  And they were there to talk about an unpaid cable bill and furniture that wasn't returned, not unpaid child support.  That is a separate matter.

I don't like Judge Judy anyway, because she's so incredibly rude and offensive to the people who come before her.  She acts like someone who needs a mental enema and a long vacation, in that order.

People love Judge Judy, though.  They think it's funny to watch her verbally abuse people.  And I suppose anyone who would be on her show deserves what they're going to get.  She's never nice to anyone.  She's entertaining, only because people love to watch a fight.  But when you are a judge, there is an imbalance of power.  And the poor saps who show up on Judge Judy end up on the receiving end of her bullying.

Judge Judy may be smart and accomplished, but she's a terrible role model. Fuck her.  Really.  Maybe that would be the best way to solve her problems.

An example of Judy's charm...

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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hangover Heaven

This morning, my cousin's girlfriend alerted me to the existence of a special service for drunks in Las Vegas.  Dubbed Hangover Heaven, this service is owned and operated by Dr. Jason Burke, a Duke University trained anesthesiologist.  Starting at $130 a pop, payable in cash or by credit card, you can be treated for your hangover by Dr. Burke's staff, who will administer an IV that consists of fluids, pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, and antacids.  After 45 minutes, you should be ready to party again.

Having endured my share of nasty hangovers, I can understand why a person would want to pay for a cure like this, especially if they are on vacation and looking for a good time.  On the other hand, I kind of wonder why a highly trained doctor would get into the business of curing hangovers...  I'm sure the business is lucrative and less stressful than anesthesiology is.  It probably affords a nicer lifestyle, too.  But wow... he went through college, med school, and the rest of the training required to become a doctor only to become a businessman dedicated to taking care of drunks.

Ah well... I guess it's the American way!  I've never been to Vegas, but if I ever go, I'd almost be tempted to try the Hangover Heaven cure...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I'm so sick of people who are snobs about military service...

If you read my blog on a regular basis, you may know that my husband is in the Army.  I am the daughter of a retired Air Force officer.  I have been around military folks my whole life and I've seen firsthand how it changes lives.  Sometimes military service changes lives for the better and sometimes for the worse.  The one thing I do know is that it is a legitimate and honorable profession.  I get so tired of hearing people, especially those who have no knowledge or experience with the military, disparage it.

Yesterday, I was hanging out on my favorite forum when someone posted about a friend who was an athlete and was being pursued by two colleges to play football.  One college was a religious institution.  The other was West Point.  This guy referred to people at West Point as "douchebag warmongers", which immediately got a lot of peoples' backs up.  He later clarified, explaining that he worried that there would be some people like that at West Point.  And my response to that is "duh"... because there are people like that everywhere, in and out of the military.

Anyway, I wasn't so annoyed about the "douchebag warmonger" comment, mainly because I was more upset by the people who made comments like "I wouldn't want the military for my kids" or "The military isn't a good choice" or "Doesn't he have other options"?  It's as if joining the military is a fate worse than death!

I personally know several fine people who have made better lives and good careers for themselves courtesy of the military.  I have a good friend whose parents all but disowned her.  She had dreams of going to college and had no way of attending.  She joined the Air Force and is now a very successful Lieutenant Colonel who will probably never have any issues finding a job.  She's lived in at least three foreign countries, aside from places she has deployed.  She has visited places all over the world.

My husband grew up somewhat poor, but thanks to the Army, he managed to attend a top notch private university with minimal debts.  He has a master's degree and will retire before too long with a full pension that he will collect for the rest of his life.  He has job security.

The military is not for everyone.  However, at least in the United States, it is entirely voluntary and staffed by legal adults.  It makes no sense to me when people knock military service and try to talk others out of joining.  People who volunteer for the service make it possible to keep our military voluntary.  After all, this country must have a functioning military.  It's better if it's staffed with people who want to do the job, rather than people who are doing a duty because they are compelled to through conscription.  Moreover, I think parents should allow their kids to live their own lives and make their own career choices, so long as their choices aren't illegal.

I don't have kids of my own, but if I did, I would be very proud if one of them chose to serve.  I think it's sad that so many people think the military is for chumps.  They should be glad there are "chumps" out there who are willing to do their part so they don't have to.