Thursday, May 31, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Tiny apartments of China.  These apartments made me feel super claustrophobic, I can't imagine living in one.

Awesome vintage posters for modern products. This site (Lost at E Minor) has some really neat-o websites, some of which I'm sharing here.

Like looking at crazy shoes? Check out the Virtual Shoe Museum.

Brad Pitt eating things.

Need some filler text for your site but don't want to lose hipster cred? Try Hipster Ipsum.

The scale of the universe.

Cringeworthy advertising.  Not all of these are legit but far too many are.

Subway Douchery.

Photoshopped Russian Wedding Photography.

The museum of endangered sounds. Love this, especially the dial-up.

20 Supporting Characters from '90s TV Shows Then & Now.

Brian Hanson's comic about rape jokes on Twitter.

This article "The Tyranny of Pink" about "breast cancer culture," pinkwashing, and the unfortunate actions taken by Susan G. Komen Foundation and various corporations to cash in on women's suffering. There are far better, more helpful ways to support women with breast cancer than buying (or selling) pink buckets of KFC chicken or pink bottles of toxic, carcinogenic perfume.  Thanks ChemoBabe!

Awesome video game cakes.

11 Memorable Images from the 1970s.

Back to the Future: Old & New Photos.

This could probably keep me busy for a long, long time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Perspective & Our Week

I think the main problem I have in dealing with Rob being gone--and with my anxiety in general--is a lack of perspective.

Rob was telling me when he first got home that when his fellow Hotshots complained about losing a day off that was initially promised or something else relatively minor, he'd always remember that at one time he had it a lot worse and how much worse his situation could be.

Specifically he reminded me of what happened to a Stryker unit out of Alaska who was returning home from deployment right around the time he was gone.  After 12 months in Iraq, the decision came down that deployments would begin to last 15 months instead; as a result of some horribly brazen decision made by some fucker sitting in a nice office, soldiers who were literally on the runway getting ready to reunite with the loved ones had to go back to Iraq for an additional 3 months.  Rob told me that no matter what happens, he isn't one of the guys on that plane, and any hardship he confronts now by its nature can't be as horrible as that.

My husband is much better at maintaining perspective in this way.  In contrast, when I'm upset at something minor I'm generally at the same level of anxiety that I would be in a much, much worse situation.  I think this is where the discrepancy comes in our stress levels when one of us is away, and why sometimes it seems (to me) like I'm "missing him more" than he misses me.

Anyway Robbie becomes available and on-call as of Friday, and I'm hoping that with each fire this will get slightly easier.

So here's a recap of our week, which has mostly been Rob's weekend since he's had the last three days off.

Since last year we instituted the tradition of birthday week, I got to pick most of what we did this week.  Rob took me out to lunch at the Coyote Cafe (fucking yummy) and P.F. Chang's (yes, again).  On Thursday, he made me grilled cheese and a margarita, and for dinner made me turkey-feta-onion burgers with corn on the cob and wouldn't let me do any dishes.  I got pretty lucky el department de husbands.

Also, ignore how much I look like a little boy in a dress in the following photos.

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Anyway I hope you're all having a great week so far.  I haven't been myself lately and I'm hoping to get back into blogging slightly more regularly; I just can't imagine that you guys want to hear "sat around the house staring at the TV screen all day"on every post.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Just stopping in to say Happy Memorial Day as it draws to a close.  If you haven't already please take some time to remember the reason for this holiday and those men and women who didn't make it home to barbecue and spend time with family this weekend.

Below are a couple of (unposed) photos I took of Robbie earlier this evening, having a drink in honor of fallen comrades.

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Wishing you all a great start to the week.

A Birthday Recap

I had a pretty awesome (and extended) 26th birthday this year.

On Thursday I drove to Albuquerque to pick up my sisters.  I get really anxious meeting people at the airport (who knows why) but I was super excited to see them walking into the terminal.  We drove home, lounged around, and walked Cypress.  It was really cool to see Santa Fe through their eyes; since I've been here for 3 months I've gotten pretty used to the scenery and sort of take it for granted at this point.  When I came home from a walk they had pretty much conked out with jet lag so we napped, snacked, watched 30 Rock and had some drinks.

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Friday and Saturday were spent hanging out and checking out downtown Santa Fe, along with Netflix and lots of yummy food.  We also visited my dad's alma mater, which Ashleen hadn't seen yet.  My dad's stories about the College of Santa Fe (now the Santa Fe College of Art and Design) were a huge reason why I wanted to come here when Rob decided to be a Hotshot.

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On Saturday my sisters were kind enough to take me to P.F. Chang's for a birthday dinner because, as you all should know by now, I love me some Chang.  We even got all dressed up because we're awesome like that.

In the next photo I'm wearing Ashleen's hair extensions.  I totally think they work.

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As we were getting on the highway to go to Albuquerque, a cop pulled up next to us and told us we were getting a flat tire.  To my (happy) surprise, I didn't freak out or cry at all but very calmly called our 24/7 roadside assistance program through our insurance (thank goodness we sprang for that).  I think we definitely looked like stereotypes when the guy finally came because we were all three in dresses, standing on the side of the road completely oblivious as to what to do with a flat tire.

Apparently I had driven over a bolt at some point because it was firmly lodged into my tire.  

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In accordance with our stereotyped selves, Ashleen and I totally asked the mechanic, and the bolt was not supposed to be there.

Anyway we got the donut on the car, rented a car from the airport, and made our way to Albuquerque to ride the Chang.  It was a lot of fun and the food was delish, as always.

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They left early in the morning on my birthday to head back home and I miss them already.  I had a lot of fun having fun and bullshitting with each other and it was a welcome distraction from the stress of fire season.

Later that day I ran errands and got the house ready for Robbie to come home. Natalie came over and took me to a yummy lunch at the Coyote Cafe to keep ourselves busy.  While there we found out that though the boys were home by 1 or 2, they had to work until 6, which was a bummer but a few hours doesn't really make that much of a difference when you've waited 14 days.  

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Finally at around 6:15pm Robbie came home.  And it was awesome.  I had missed him so much, and the last few days before he got home had been rough on me in a few ways.  Mostly my stomach was in absolute turmoil from Wednesday until this morning and I couldn't eat without feeling crazy nausea.  What can I say, things are just easier when he's home.

Anyway Rob has 3 days off, so we're having an abbreviated birthday week.  I'm sad that he'll have to go back out so soon (most likely as soon as they go back to work) but I'm really thinking and hoping that it'll get easier each time. 

I hope you all had a good weekend, and thanks for the sweet birthday messages you left on my last post.  You're all amazing!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Day of Birth!

Today I am 26!

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I'm spending the day driving my sisters to the airport (sad) and then snuggling the absolute shit out of my husband when he comes home (happy).

I hope you're all having a great Memorial Day weekend.  Along with my birthday we will of course be celebrating Rob's comrades that were lost.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Lately.

Man, I've really let my blog slide in terms of regular posting.  These last two weeks I pretty much gave up everything extraneous (including Jillian Michaels, shame face) to focus on my mental health while Rob was away.  Call it excuses but I'm doing a lot better, and dammit you gotta do what works.

I had a real turning point last weekend where I stopped worrying about Rob leaving me or preferring to be working with fire than home with me.  There was nothing specific that initiated it but rather a combination of things--more time with fire wives, therapy, Rob calling and texting more often, etc. One of the biggest factors was that the fire wives and I made a sort of unofficial agreement according to which we can't talk about whose husband called and whose didn't (unless there is some news that all of us should know).  We realized that talking about it was just making each of us resentful and there really was no need for it.  I still fall into the pit of worry every now and then but for the most part I keep reminding myself that he loves me, and if he didn't love me he probably wouldn't have been stupid enough to marry me, and that's all I can go on.

Anyway just like the first breakthrough at the beginning of this fire call I know that my mind could easily slip back into old ways if Rob doesn't call, or if he does call and is exhausted, or for any number of reasons.  All I can do is take it a day at a time, I suppose.

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This week all in all has been pretty mellow.  On Thursday my sisters arrived in Albuquerque and will be here until Sunday (which, coincidentally, is my birthday and the day that Rob's due home) and it's been so awesome showing them around.  My little sister in particular hasn't spent much time out west, so it's fun to see everything as new and exciting all over again.  The timing of their visit couldn't have been more perfect, quite frankly!

Today we're going to check out downtown, visit my dad's alma mater, and eat some yummy food.  I think tomorrow they're taking me to Albuquerque to ride the Chang, about which I am pretty damn excited.  I'm even going to wear my new dress because I'm awesome like that.

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Anyway I believe that's all the news that's fit to print.  I'm feeling really awesome and lucky this week and I hope you are too.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Ever Has or Will.

25 Everyday Things You Didn't Know Had Names.

48 Things that will Make You Feel Old.  This was trippy as hell, especially the one about Heath Ledger.

Sarah writes about the one (and in my mind, only) rule of blogging that matters.

What happened in your birth year?  (Thanks Jess!)

20 Shocking Consequences of Massachusetts Legalizing Gay Marriage.

Will Smith raps "Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire." So awesome.

Rob and I go back and forth on the subject of kids and sometimes entertain the possibility of being totally childfree.  I really enjoyed this blog post about one couple's choice to not have children.

Check out these neat race/ethnicity maps by city (I think it's just the US but still very interesting). Thanks Meg!

This gif of music format usage from 1980-2010.

Pencil vs. Camera by Ben Heine.

Garfield minus Garfield.  I've shared this before, but it's one of the funnier websites I've seen so here it is again.

An edible candy bowl?! YES PLEASE.

Off the Grid: Photos of People Living Outside Mainstream Society in the USA.

Cool conceptual photography.

Unusual view of an unusual house.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I just want to say how awesome it is that I found a way to worm Bonnie Tyler's smash '80s hit into a blog post title.  I mean who knows when that chance will come around again?

I was pretty damn excited when I found out that being in Santa Fe, we were in a great position to observe the most recent solar eclipse.  I even spent some time researching how on earth I was going to see it because frankly those box projector things make absolutely no sense to me.  All the websites told me "YOU WILL GO BLIND IF YOU LOOK AT THE ECLIPSE FOR HALF A SECOND," which seemed excessive but who am I to argue with WikiAnswers?

Anyway at around 6, Natalie and I met up to go to Lindsey's house for yummy chicken tacos.  On Sunday the boys were officially gone for 7 days, meaning we only have to get through another 7 (hopefully) before they're home.  We've been trying to fill our days as much as possible with work and hanging out together to keep from going too insane because seriously, the last 7 days have felt like months.

We ate quickly and made some strawberry daiquiris which we then took outside because we're rebels like that.  Then we decided to watch the eclipse on the bleachers at the nearby high school.  Unfortunately because the gates were locked, this meant we had to scale them. With open alcohol containers.  See? Rebels.

I know this will shock--well, no one, but I'm terrified of getting yelled at or being in trouble in any way.  And the high school was directly across from a fucking police academy, so I was definitely being the "Piggy" of the group for a little bit. I had flashes of being arrested and I don't know, being convicted and shot or something.  I'm seriously no fun.

Somehow, though, I finally grew a pair and awkwardly climbed the fence (almost falling) and made it to the other side unarrested.

The eclipse itself was brief, and though we tried in vain to look at it using an empty six-pack box and a piece of paper, we finally had to risk instant blindness and resort to "glancing at the sun for a second" so we could see it.  I took a photo but (obviously) you can't see the actual eclipse because it's too damn bright.  I assure you, it was there, and we did a lot of cheering and made quite a few excited exclamations.

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Once the eclipse was over, we then had to re-scale the fence, this time in full view of all of the people who were standing outside their apartments watching the end of the eclipse.  And my climb out was just as awkward as my climb in, I assure you.

I don't think I saw the 1994 eclipse since I can't imagine Maine sees things like that all that often, so it was a pretty awesome experience to see my first eclipse and have a really awesome experience doing it.  I feel so fortunate to get the opportunity to live here, though sadly it just isn't as bright and awesome without my Robbie here too.

So for the next 6 days or so I'm buckling down and hoping the time goes by.  My sisters are coming to visit on Thursday and my birthday is on Sunday, so happily I have lots of things to look forward to.

Happy Monday, all!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bad News/Good News

Bad news: I talked to Rob and he definitively nixed the second dog idea and I didn't want to argue about it while he's still in the middle of the woods. So for now, we're just a one-dog home.
Good news: Rob called last night after not calling for a week.

Bad news: When I went to put my socks back on after taking my TOMS off at home there was a fucking spider on the inside of them.  Thank Christ I checked first.
Good news: It's been warm enough that I can wear my TOMS everywhere I go.

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Bad News: I made George Michael Bluth on The Sims 3, and I gave him the "neurotic" trait since it seemed to fit.  Now he stresses about things like the faucet.  I can relate, buddy.
Good News: The Sims is a great way to keep my mind occupied.

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Bad News: Robbie is still gone and it's kind of a struggle to get through the day without worrying about him.
Good News: I have great friends who text me just when I need it.

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Bad News: Since Rob is gone (and working 16 hour days) we can't talk much.
Good News: Every so often he sends me a really sweet text message that totally turns my mood around.

I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend so far.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Things I Love Thursday...on a Friday.

YEAH DON'T JUDGE.

Meet the real-life Robinson Crusoe, an 86-year-old man living alone on an island with huge tortoises.

Thomas Wilson (who played Biff in the Back to the Future films) carries a text postcard with answers to the most common questions he gets about the movies.

This video of children with cancer at the Seattle Children's Hospital singing "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson  totally made me sob.  Thanks to my ma for sharing this with me.

This article sums up how I feel about the recent controversial Time Magazine cover.

Photoshop in the 1950s - Pin-Up Girls Before and After.

I'm not a huge makeup person but how neat is this Make-Up Magnet Board?

15 Current Technologies a Child Born Today will Never Use.

Yayyy Word Trivia!

The face of a boy hearing sounds for the first time.  I know there are tons of videos showing the same thing, but for some reason I like the picture even better.

24 Shocking Photographs from Fictional Characters' Pasts.

Is it just me or does David Duchovny look like this guy?

Waterproof your canvas shoes!

25 Clever Ideas to Make Life Easier.

10 Things You'll See in Almost Every Tim Burton Movie.

I haven't read the book and probably won't, but this review of "50 Shades of Grey" made me laugh out loud.

I'm a sucker for awesome animal photography.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Week's Bits and Pieces

Is it just me or does anyone else notice "Blog Time?" I haven't posted in like two days but it feels like weeks.

1. Rob's been gone since Sunday and all in all, I have been doing well in light of my breakthrough I talked about in my other post. It still hasn't been easy though.  He texted me one day saying that he couldn't get a call through and the emotional floodgates burst open.  It actually felt good, though, since I'd spent all day trying to keep my mind from sliding into its normal emotional ways and a sudden rush of emotion was cathartic.  Even though it's only been 4 days (2 1/2 days of actual fire-time, fucking awesome) it feels like he's been gone for months at this point, and we still have 12-14 days (if not more). I miss him a lot and I really hope he misses me at least as much as I do.  I'm pretty much over this summer.

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How I spend my time.

2.  I'll probably regret this, but I'm seriously considering getting a second dog.  Rob and I have discussed it ad nauseum, but he always comes back to (1) the fact that we have jobs requiring travel and (2) the fact that he doesn't want to walk two dogs.  I thought about these and realized that (1) I should be working from home for the next few months at least which should provide plenty of time with a new beast and (2) who the fuck is walking the dogs all summer, exactly? TAKE THAT ROB IN MY HEAD. I've decided on a small beast since our house is small and another dog of Cypress's size would make it so much smaller.  At some point this week I'm planning on checking out a couple of shelters and seeing if anything clicks.  Wish me luck! And wish me more luck for when Rob gets home, because he might not be super thrilled at first.

3. The fire-wives and I have been going on various adventures this past week since the husbands are away.  We went hiking up the mountain behind our house, had drinks and dinner, and spent some time relaxing by the Rio Grande.  I honestly don't know what I'd do without these ladies; they are making this situation so much more bearable.

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4. If I don't find a dog, I'm planning a trip to Arizona to visit some awesome friends.  Weird thing is, I'll only be about 2 hours from Robbie.  So close, yet so far away.  The other funny thing is that if the lack of communication continues as it has, Rob will have no idea that I'm that close to him.  Hilarious.

I hope you're all having an amazing week so far!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Something of a Breakthrough

Well friends, since I share with you quite frequently when I fuck shit up or utterly fail at managing my anxiety I share it with you, I figured I might as well share when I do something right too.

Yesterday I was napping because that's what you do on stormy Sundays, and when I woke up I went straight to my phone to check out the fire situation.  We've been planning on Rob getting called out soon since Arizona is lighting the F up, so I've been checking even more often than usual. Anyway I noticed a fire had started within the last hour and a half or so and that two crews of Rob's designation had been called.  I immediately figured he'd be called out, and within 10 minutes he texted me with extreme verbosity, "going to az."

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Dids upon hearing her Robbie wasn't coming home.

Now, the last time this happened, I totally fucking dissolved at this point.  I was more or less non-functional for the entire 3.5 days he was gone and I'm sad to say that isn't an exaggeration.  When I walked into my therapy appointment that week I literally couldn't hold it together long enough to make it to the chair without crying.

This time I was somewhat prepared because I'd been steeling myself for it for weeks and because I've been researching non-stop.  It hit me and it sucked, but I didn't cry.  Instead, building off of what my therapist and I have been working on the last few weeks, I acknowledged the emotion and acknowledged that it was just that--an emotion.  Valid, of course, but it doesn't by definition come from a rational place.  I reminded myself that I am loved, that Rob would be home eventually, and that 2 weeks (the maximum amount of time he can be gone) isn't fucking forever no matter how much it feels like that.

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The problem I normally have in these situations is that I lack the ability to regulate my emotions.  When I feel a strong emotion--like sadness or fear--it hits me full-force straight in the gut.  In that way, being sad that Rob is gone for 14 days--decidedly not the end of the world--feels like, well, the end of the world.  Once I get too deeply mired in the "emotional mind" as my therapist calls it, I can't claw my way out and end up just running on autopilot. This time was totally different.  I felt sad, but it didn't feel like my whole day (or week, or weeks) was/were about to be affected adversely.

At first I felt terrified to move from my bed, afraid I'd jar the newfound peace and end up wallowing in tears again.  But I jumped up, half-surprised at how easily I did so, and took the dog for a walk.  I texted the fire-wives and made plans for dinner at a new restaurant, and took the dog for yet another walk beforehand to help stem the tide of her excitement while I was gone.  I had a great time with the ladies and I feel really fucking good about these next few weeks.

My footing on my emotional peace feels tenuous at best at this point - I'm afraid that if one day I don't get a phone call or if he seems distant (usually I read "exhausted" as "distant") I'll dissolve all over again.  But for now I'm allowing myself to be proud that I seem to be handling this better than I ever could've imagined, and without even realizing I was doing it.  Since you guys are always there to hear my nonsense I wanted to share it with you.  Have a wonderful week!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Books and Literature Q&A

I was not tagged to do this by anyone, but I saw it on Sarah's blog and despite (or because of?) its great length I thought it'd be a fun thing to do for a Sunday post.

Rules
1. Post these rules.
2. Post a photo of your favorite book cover. - I'm cheating and sharing my favorite title page, as it's signed by one of my favorite authors.

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3. Answer the questions below.
4. Tag a few people to pass the Q&A on to:  I tag Nova, Rochelle, Jessica, Deanna, Erin, and Michelle.


What are you reading right now?
"Nicholas and Alexandra" by Robert K. Massie.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?
Probably a book on Death's Acre that I bought some time ago, and maybe One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest again.

What 5 books have you always wanted to read but haven’t got round to? 
Good question. I guess I'm one of those people who haven't read a ton of classics but in theory would like to.  Not sure if I do just because I like classics or I just want to be able to say I've read them.  One would definitely be "War and Peace" in the original Russian, but I think that'd take me years.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?
We have a really old People magazine that our landlords gave us when they went to Mexico along with some others, a really old Week magazine that was delivered to us by mistake, and a lot of random books.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?
The Twilight novels were pretty horrific (though admittedly made for good airplane reading because they were a quick read).  I also hated both of the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" books that I read.

What book seems really popular but you actually hated? 
Same as the two above.  Especially the Stieg Larsson books.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? 
"In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote and "Skinny Legs and All" by Tom Robbins. It's funny because that last one is definitely not for everybody, but I love it.

What are your 3 favourite poems? 
I'm not a big poetry reader, though I do like Pablo Neruda. I also still have a soft spot in my heart for "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service because a friend (hi Katie!) recited it in high school and I always loved it.

Where do you usually get your books?
A real book, Amazon. If it's an eBook, I buy it on Barnes and Noble for my iPad nook app. By the way, maybe I'm the only person that thinks about these things, but isn't it funny that if you showed that previous sentence to someone from, say, 1970, they'd have absolutely no idea what the hell you were talking about?

Where do you usually read your books?
eBooks I read in bed or on the couch, real books I read in the bath.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits? 
Hmm, I don't think so. I did read a lot though as I recall, since we were a big literature house.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down?
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" when it came out, and I stayed up the entire night reading it.  Started at 10pm, ended at 6am.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book? 
Once I read an Ann Coulter book (not because I agree with her, mostly because I wanted to have some frame of reference when arguing with idiots) and took the jacket off in the airport so people wouldn't think I was reading it seriously.

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?
Yep, I think I did that with "Absurdistan." Wasn't a huge fan of the book in the end, though.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
I loved The Babysitters' Club series, Matilda by Roald Dahl, Harry Potter (they came out when I was 12 or so), and that's all I can remember.

What book changed your life? 
It didn't change my life but it cemented a lot of my beliefs - "Skinny Legs and All" by Tom Robbins. It totally blew my mind, seriously.

What is your favourite passage from a book?
A few:

“When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.” - Tom Robbins, "Still Life with Woodpecker"

“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” - Tom Robbins, "Still Life with Woodpecker." I included this quote in my wedding vows!

"...to emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on Heaven is to create hell. In their desperate longing to transcend the disorderliness, friction, and unpredictability that pesters life; in their desire for a fresh start in a tidy habitat, germ-free and secured by angels, religious multitudes are gambling the only life they may ever have on a dark horse in a race that has no finish line." - Tom Robbins, "Skinny Legs and All." See? Not for everyone, haha.

Who are your top five favourite authors? 
Tom Robbins obviously, Christopher Moore, J.K. Rowling (yeah don't judge, Harry Potter is awesome), Dostoyevsky (yeah I'm cerebral), Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov.

What book has no one heard about but should read? 
I guess most books by Tom Robbins if you like his style, and other Russian literature aside from "War and Peace."

What are your favourite books by a first-time author? 
I don't know that I know any books I've read by first-time authors.  I guess "Bossypants" by Tina Fey?

What 3 books are you an “evangelist” for? 
See any of the questions above, haha. Along with Tom Robbins, I love "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote and "Under the Banner of Heaven" by Jon Krakauer. I've read those books over and over.

What is your favourite classic book? 
Probably "Anna Karenina" by Leo Tolstoy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Things I Don't Want You to Know

I'm sure you guys have seen this meme out and about, Things I Don't Want you to Know. I probably don't have to explain that it's just another type of confession post, so let's get right to the good stuff.

1. I talk to myself to drown out thoughts.  Sometimes I'm reminded of something really stupid I said or did, and it sits in my head torturing me until I can find a way to drown it out.  So I might hum or say something loudly to kind of "jar" it out of my head.  I'm not crazy, I swear.

2. When I get scared I instinctively grab my boobs.  Pretty self explanatory.  The "scared" I'm talking about mostly refers to the "surprised" form of scared, for example, if a spider or lizard runs in front of me.  I always go straight for the boobs.

3. I'm an emotional cryer.  When I get angry, sad, scared, etc. I cry.  It's just what I do.  Especially if someone yells at me.

4. I read Get off My Internets.  For those of you who don't know, Get off My Internets (shortened to GOMI) is a website mostly based around calling bloggers out on shit. There are two parts to the site, the main blog and the forum.  The forum is often--though not always--just a place for cranky people to be anonymously mean. Let me be clear that I neither endorse nor condone the body snark, personal comments about someone's religion or parenting, or really anything that's outside the realm of blogging, but like any free place in the internet you're going to get some hop-ons.  However, I will say that the writers on the main blog (and a select few of the people that write in the forum) often make some very valid points about blogging and I think their voice deserves to be heard.  I think in the blogging community we've created a very insular, sanitized environment where bloggers are free from criticism, even in the case of blatant deception, cruelty, racism, classism, failure to cop to privilege, taking themselves far too seriously, or just totally lacking self-awareness.  Sometimes bloggers say and do some really shitty things, and anyone who comes close to calling them out on their own blogs often gets dismissed or censored. I think that in this way GOMI can a valuable voice and counter-balance through which bloggers to learn what not to do or what can leave a bad impression with some readers.  That isn't to say it's gospel, or that everyone there is always correct or fair, just that I do not believe it is not something that is universally negative or that should be completely suppressed.  Phew, did that make sense? I'm aware of the potential of losing readers by posting this, but I've been trying to be as real as possible with you guys and there it is.

So what don't you want your readers to know? If you do this go ahead and leave me the link in a comment.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our Week...with Gratuitous Sunset Photos

As usual I am sensitive to the plight of many blog readers and am breaking up the blocks of text with photos I have taken.  These sunset pictures were taken last night from our driveway and our patio.

Well it's Friday, I guess, huh? My weeks are all jacked up thanks to Rob's schedule, and the fact that he refers to his "weekend" (Wednesday-Thursday) as Friday and Saturday even though those aren't the right days.  I woke up this morning thinking it was Monday, seriously.

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This week was rough, guys.  I didn't write a lot about it because I was trying my damnedest to ignore it, which, news flash, doesn't really work.  I didn't do any of my therapy worksheets or even really look at them and I half-assed all the mind exercises I was supposed to do.  I also didn't do any Jillian Michaels workouts after Monday which I paid for today when I finally got off my ass.

We did go out with some of Rob's crew on Wednesday ("Saturday"), which was a total blast, but my night was still tinged with anxiety and self-doubt as so many of my nights often are.  As an aside, we ended up at a bar called Molly's, which was somewhat surprisingly full of Latin-Americans singing Spanish karaoke.  Yay melting pot!

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Anyway I won't get into the details of my emotionally insane week except to say that it was all turned around by a visit to my therapist and some hardcore validating snuggles from my sick husband.  I don't know where that man finds the patience to deal with the same issues over and over again but let's just say I want stock in that mine.

So let's move onward and upward.  Today I sat in on a class that ended up getting cancelled, then went to the dog park with Natalie and her beasties.  The weather was beautiful albeit a little chilly for my taste (as it's been for the last week and a half or so).  New Mexico is hardly in any danger of wildfires because of weather--excluding the idiots starting campfires they can't control--and it's too early for most other states to begin having fires so Rob has yet to be called out for the big kahuna.  Arizona seems to be lighting up a bit so who knows.

My sisters come in less than two weeks (yay!) so I'm starting to become positive that he won't be around by the time they fly in.  It's a bummer, but as I told Rob, I need to get used to the idea of him not being around so it doesn't blindside me as it did last time, and part of me is happy that they'll most likely be here when I'm already alone. I even made a list of things to do during fire time (yes, I just put "fire" in front of everything Rob does and giggle) so I'll be ready with an arsenal of activities.  Gotta do what you can right? All in the pursuit of SANITY I suppose.

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On a completely unrelated note, has anyone else heard any music by Hank Williams III? I always thought Junior did such a horrific job of carrying on his father's legacy, but III seems to be totally fucking rocking it.  One of Rob's superiors let him borrow a CD and we love it so far.  

Well friends, I hope you're all doing well and I hope your weekend is magical.  I plan on laying around a lot as usual and maybe taking a bath or two.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Things I Love Thursday

Bitches gotta eat is officially one of my favorite blogs.  If you like frank, foul-mouthed talk about sex, dating, men, women, penises, vaginas, and more (and I do), please check Sam out.

Hello? It's the 80s Calling and We're Here for Your iPhone.

285 Reasons why being a 90s Girl Rocked our Jellies Off. Thanks Meg!

In honor of Maurice Sendak and in light of his recent passing, I give you this amazing and hilarious interview between him and Stephen Colbert - Part 1 and Part 2.

14 Photographs that Shatter your Image of Famous People.

Awesome People Hanging Out Together.

In that same vein, 30 Must-See Tumblr Blogs from Time Magazine.

If you don't feel like looking through all 30 of those, at least check out Old Ads.

21 Albums They Don't Want You to Know About.

How neat is this idea, an Instagram Camera!

Nova and Suzy's link posts are always better than mine, so go check them out.

I don't follow the Cubs or the White Sox, but watching Darryl from "The Office" and Ron Swanson argue about them is just awesome.

For those of you still struggling with gay marriage, here are 14 Steps that Will Evolve Your Views on Gay Marriage.

6 Pet Products that Prove Rich People have Gone Insane.

Face Symmetry of Celebrities.

This Siri commercial parody made me laugh out loud.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Things that Make Me Angry

I've done a few of these posts (things that make me happy, jealous, annoyed, etc.) but we haven't really touched on righteous anger.  Since it's Wednesday, and you know, fuck Wednesday, here are some things that make me angry.

1. Anti-gay marriage laws.  I was infuriated that North Carolina passed a ban on same-sex marriage, even though as we all know it's only a matter of time before this happens nationwide.  I spent a portion of my morning arguing with people about it on Facebook (totally a worthwhile use of time, by the way) and honestly, I've yet to hear a coherent argument for why we should make it illegal for gays to marry. It's fucking unconscionable to me that this is still a goddamn issue in my country. 

2. That stupid commercial where the family sings an a cappella version of "Crazy Train." This commercial makes my skin crawl.  Every time I hear that kid go "bom bom" I want to throw the television across the room.  And honestly I had to look up what the hell the commercial was even for because I'm so blinded with rage when it comes on I change the channel.

3. People who don't use blinkers when turning.  It's so simple, and how on earth is this not just a reflex for people? I put my blinkers on in rotaries just because I can't not do it.

4. Cranky dog park people. You're at an off-leash dog park. Dogs are going to run up and bark at you, and if you're walking in the main area sometimes dogs are going to wrestle or try to play with yours. My dog didn't attack you or your dog and if she was likely to I wouldn't bring her anyway. If you're not a fan of other people's dogs, I suggest you find a more private place to walk your beast instead of getting butthurt every time my dog acts like a fucking dog.

5. When commercials are 80db louder than the television show you're watching. Was this always the case? I don't remember being deafened with Super Soaker commercials as a kid.

So there you have it friends. What makes you angry?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Around Here

The stress of all the changes up in hurr have left me with absolutely no blogging energy or inspiration.  I have the desire to write but can't seem to form anything coherent or interesting.  The gas is flowing but the pilot light won't turn on, if you will.  What I do have to write about I worry just comes out as whiny, and I don't want to be all Debbie Nancy Negative Downer on you guys. In that vein here is yet another update post.

On Saturday I met up with a few fire wives to romp around the dog park and check out the farmer's market.  I drank a lot of coffee, which I usually don't do, and by midday I was reminded why.  The whole rest of the day I felt on edge and my heart would pound out of my chest at the slightest provocation, plus my stomach rumbled and felt queasy on and off all day.  I shouldn't be totally surprised by this, seeing as how drinking a 5 Hour Energy Extreme once gave me a full-on meltdown (seriously, it was not pretty) and a regular 5 Hour Energy made me more depressed than I've been in years. Couple the coffee issues with the fact that the Santa Fe Farmer's Market is located in a place called the Railyard (which poses predictable concerns for a person with a train phobia) and I was pretty anxious.

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Aside from the coffee and train issues, though, Saturday was awesome.  I'm so glad to have friends here now with whom I have a lot in common, because I know it'll make the inevitable departures so much easier.  Also, the Farmer's Market here in Santa Fe is totally bananas! I bought some local farm-fresh butter and chèvre which has prompted Rob to ask me, "is it local?" every time he pulls it out of the fridge.

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On Sunday two of the girls came over to our place and went hiking up the mountain (which Rob calls a hill) behind our house.  Afterward we hung out in the house for hours, eating slutty brownies and looking at wedding photos (so much estrogen, I love it).

While they were here, one girl, Natalie, found out that the photographer she had booked for an engagement session with her fiance had cancelled. Since we knew the boys would be off that night and it would be hard to find another perfectly-timed day to do it, I offered to take the photos for her. As you guys know, usually I don't like taking photos in a "professional" capacity, but I really like Natalie and her fiance Keith so I knew it'd be a lot more relaxed than most shoots I've done.  We had a lot of fun frolicking around the dog park and I think (slash hope) that their photos really capture who they are as a couple, as totally schmaltzy as that sounds. Hopefully I can share a few of the final ones here.

Also, I think I earned a massive amount of wife points, since I made dinner hours before Rob came home knowing he'd come home before I did.  He didn't go hungry OR have to make himself dinner.  DOMESTIC WIN.

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The greatest thing about the last few days, though, is that Rob hasn't yet been called out to a fire. His crew is at the top of the list nationally and could go any day, so every morning I tell him I love him and to be safe just in case he can't come home for awhile.  I'm not looking forward to the next six months at least in the context of Rob being gone, but hopefully I can get through it with my sanity.

I haven't been particularly proud of how I've been acting lately with Rob, to be honest.  I know myself and am very aware of how feelings of hurt get translated into anger or neediness or cranky negativity.  It's really gross and immature and lame.  I'm figuring it out slowly but far too slowly for my impatient self.

Other than all of that life just goes on.  I hope I get the blogging spark back soon.

Also, this my 400th post! Yay for even numbers ending in zero.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dog Talk

Since Rob started work Cypress and I have spent most of our time together without other humans around.  As a result I've found myself becoming a bit starved for interaction, and without really intending for this to happen, I've begun having increasingly complex conversations with Cypress.

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Heart-to-heart.

Can you really call them conversations?  I mean doesn't the "co" imply that it's two-sided?  Would it be universations? Monoversations? What do you call it when you're blathering incoherently to an animal who doesn't understand your language outside of "walk," "outside," or "food"?

Anyway, if you had found yourself as a fly on my life the last few days, here are quite honestly some of the "co"nversations you would've heard. Sadly I am not exaggerating these even a little bit.

Note: if you see any names you don't recognize, they are just Cypress's nicknames, of which she has many.

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"Alright Dids, how about this: I'll take you for a walk now and then we can both take a nap! That way I don't have to worry for the next hour that Rob's going to get called out.*"


"Oh, let's check the website and their Twitter first to see if any fires have been reported."


"Scrandles, you're such a good dog.  Well, sometimes.  Not always, but sometimes."


"Yay! Leash time! It's leash time!"


"Why do you eat shit?! You eat shit, you feel like shit, how have you not grasped that concept?"


"Did you have fun playing with Rusty and Treya** today? I bet you didn't like when they ran into the house and started sniffing your things and drinking your water."


"Wow, you haven't moved since I left! Someone's a lazy Maisie today."


"Cypress, don't watch me when I pee. It's weird."


"You better watch out, I'm about to move the coffee table."


"Hey, I have an idea, let's go to the dog park!"


"Man Dids, I really hope your Ruby doesn't get called out today. I think I'll end up eating cheese for dinner."

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Anyone want to come over now? Please?


*Fun fact: most wildfires begin right around 4-6pm.  Because of that, this is prime Rob-getting-called-out time, so I jump at every text or phone call. If it's a weekend I try to nap so I can sleep through it without worrying too much.

**Rusty and Treya are two beasties that belong to one of my new fire-wife-friends.  It's rare for another dog to come into our house so Cypress was nothing if not perturbed (don't worry, she quickly got over it). 

Vlog: Dueling Care Packages with Rochelle of Lucky Lucille



So if you missed it on the Twitters, the lovely Rochelle and I recently swapped care packages!  We decided to do vlogs and/or blog posts showcasing what we received from each other and here is mine!  Please make sure go check out Rochelle and see what she got from me! :)

Also, I'm sorry about the glare on my glasses. It's really annoying me.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Days Off and Brownie Sluts

As I foreshadowed in my MD post, Wednesday was a wonderful day because as you know, Rob was totally off and wasn't on call.  He hadn't had a day off in close to two weeks and I'd totally forgotten how awesome it is to have him home with me all day.  I only wish it could've lasted longer.

In the morning I did some work (and 20 minutes of Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 Week #2, what what?) while Rob went to the gym 'n things. As a side note, only my husband works out on his days off from a job that has him hiking all the hell around New Mexico, but whatever, he's cute and muscley.

We took Cypress to her new dog park, a huge, sprawling 30-acre piece of land that used to be a dump (interesting fact).  There are so many trails and lots of beasties off-leash, and so far she just loves it.  I think I'll be taking her there a lot when Rob's gone.

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When we came home I finally decided to try my hand at making "slutty brownies," which I found on this site.  Basically you take prepared chocolate chip cookie mix, put it at the bottom of a pan, top it with Oreos (or in my case GFreos...I used the Glutino ones) and top that with prepared brownie mix.  Pop it in the oven and you have fuckingamazingholyshit dessert time.  At least that's the technical term.  Seriously, we adore these.  Every time we eat them you can actually hear us moaning around the house. And they're pretty easy so, you know, win win.

Note: These may look a little uncooked, but actually I just added a little more butter to the brownies to keep them moist and gooey.  That's what she said.

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Yeah friends.  For real. Make these now. You shan't regret it.

And if you're a gluten-freer, I used Betty Crocker's chocolate chip and brownie mixes with an extra teaspoon of butter each. They're messy but they're amazing.

That night we watched Star Wars Episode V (nerdlers) and snuggled a lot.  My favorite!

As of yesterday (Thursday) Rob can get called out for two weeks, and since his crew is at the top of the list nationwide this is more likely than not to happen soon.  I feel like I'm in a better place all in all, but still a little anxious and insecure. I'm hoping with each successive trip out I'll get better at it.

Are you all having a good week?