Chapters, My

8 10 2013

I’ve noticed in my nearly 30 years on this earth that our lives are made up of chapters, much like a book.

For most of us, it is outlined by major events in our lives.  For the military folk it is broken into their tours, as one tour ends, so begins a new phase in their lives.

I would say that I have had the usual ups and downs and life events in each chapter of my life.  High school and into the Navy was the first chapter, the longest, and maybe one of the most important.  It made me who I am today, and it is what shaped my values and codes.  However, the events since then have transformed me into so much more.

When I joined the Navy I was a completely different person.  I think I had always sought that structure in life, everything having a place and a recognized order.  This is what the Navy provided.  After boot camp, where I learned to just keep your mouth shut and follow directions…sometimes blindly, I went to school in Florida.  This is where I continued to learn how to not always speak my mind while I sometimes learned the hard way and rarely saw the “bigger picture” that everyone always talked about.  I just thought the military would be a four year job, and I could learn about myself, and start my college fund.  This is what I kept in mind for four years.  When I arrived in Hawaii to my first duty station, I was picked up for ceremonial guard where I performed in several burials and retirements.  This is where my sense of history and heritage began, meeting all kinds of people, all with individual stories and deep respect for what the Navy had provided them.  After a few months I headed up to my actual job.  It was not what I had hoped for, and did not prove to be as rewarding as I had hoped.  I was junior ranking, and I was so hungry for responsibility and the chance to lead people that I became discontented with my position and people telling me that some goals were just not possible.  I had some terrible leadership, and it is from them that I learned what not to do with my future Sailors.  I made a few long-lasting friends and got to explore Hawaii’s islands and also see Japan and the Philippines.

My second tour brought me to the middle east; the tiny island of Bahrain in the Arabian Gulf.  Yes, I actually had to google the place before agreeing to take on the orders.  Here I had an extremely rewarding tour and learned many leadership traits from several leaders who were in and out of the command, as it was a one year billet.  Although we worked our asses off and had many a 16-18 hour day, I wouldn’t go back and change a thing.  The work we put in was worth the dividends…but I did learn that when accepting high stress billets you need to be prepared.  I also learned how to live alone and depend on myself, so I came out much stronger on the other end.  I had time to start blogging and also get into fitness. For my next duty station, I knew it had to be a ship, in order to ensure my transition into the next higher paygrade, and also broaden my experience.

My most recent chapter brought me to the mighty sea….where Sailors belong, right?  My very first PCS tour afloat.  By far this has been the most rewarding tour yet.  I have learned so much from my chain of command as they have supported me in every move and decision I have made.  I have found my place in the Navy and they have empowered me to move forward with my career, which is what I will pass on to my Sailors.  The feeling I had when I was in Hawaii and I wanted so much to be the one making things happen and having those Sailors in my charge depending me was finally here.  It is unfortunate, but in the military you have to attain a certain rank to be put into positions of leadership.  Maybe I wasn’t ready in Hawaii, who knows, but I was  able to grow into the shoes that my previous mentors had left for me.

Through my travels in the Navy I have tried to date but never really made it work…some of the relationships bled over from one chapter to the next, but I could never force myself to choose my personal life over the military.  Which sounds pretty sad when saying it out loud.  Many a person has asked me what will be there for me after the Navy……the military or my family?  We all know the answer, however the military has yet to let me down as some of the men boys I have encountered….whether by simple incompatibly or pure self destruction.  Maybe the next chapter in my life will bring prince charming but for now I will stick with my Navy life and travels.  I am definitely open to any suitor that can handle this!


Ode to Janet

12 07 2011

So, today was the day I had set aside to go to the DMV. Conveniently enough, the Blue Angels decided to wake me up in their ever-so-subtle way:

Flying directly over the Navy Gateway. Show-offs! Pretty sure they took some shingles off this time.

I have to say it was a welcomed interruption since I had slept through my first two phone alarms… Damn snooze button.

Anyhow, first thing’s first. Collect any and all paperwork I need, might need, and probably won’t need for this excursion. A trip to the DMV can turn into an event, so it’s good to be prepared. Since my car was “imported” from overseas, unregistered, insured in one state, titled in another state, and I had a Driver’s License from yet another state (thank God for military loopholes)….I knew I had to be in for one hell of an adventure.

2nd task: Find DMV. The facilities in Pensacola are all named “Janet Holley Tax Collector”. Every DMV location is called exactly that. Strange, I thought to myself….but I set my suspicions aside and got directions from a friend of mine to the closest Janet Holley and headed out, to what I expected would be similar to a visit to the 2nd ring of Hell.

During my trip over, I recollected one of Dane Cook’s skits where he was talking about the DMV, how every time you have to go there you just dread it, and expect to wait in the line for three hours, get a rude clerk, and have to pay out the ass for whatever service the State demands you complete. He went on about how with the rate of technology these days, that in the future everything will be so fast. You will be able to travel at the speed of light, there will never be traffic jams, and drive-thrus will take under a minute, but the DMV will still take NINE minutes to get through the line and up to the desk to the lazy old fat lady with a giant hairy mole and three inch fake nails who moves at the speed of a constipated turtle.

So I arrive at said DMV, and there are only about five people in the waiting room – what luck-, and I make it up to the counter in record time. The lady asks for my paperwork and Driver’s License and I explain the sitch about my car. She accepts my story and begins furiously typing and about 5 mins into the process she looks over and says, “There’s a lot of paperwork for this one”, to which I say “Ah, you picked a winner this time!” We both politely chuckle and she continues with her 30 wpm’s as I go back to staring into space. This is a great start, polite small talk, she’s processing my shit, so I must have the exact paperwork I need, though she’s being coy and hasn’t said exactly what she’s doing… Women.

Anywho, the DMV Goddess clerk prints two pages, I sign both, she tells me I need to pay her monies and then casually slides my new license plate and registration over the table and makes a Viola! type of gesture. I wanted to hug her, or toss her a piece of candy.

That’s it!? Easy Peasy! Especially on my part, all I had to do was sign a couple things, sit and try not to look at anyone the wrong way…especially the select individuals that were present on this particular day (trying not to stare at DMV patrons is a difficult task for me).

No joke, the whole process took about 15 mins, tops. My clerk was polite, efficient, knowledgeable, and it was in record time. Expeditious and DMV are never in the same sentence, or paragraph for that matter.

So, we parted ways, with my encyclopedia of paperwork in one hand, and my new FL plates in the other. When I got to the parking lot, I screwed in my new plate and went my way.

I should really go back there and fill out a Customer Comment card. When’s the last time they got good feedback? Maybe never.

Oh my Gomer

2 06 2011

I just finished watching Modern Family. That show is hilarious.

Alex: “Daaad, we haven’t had lunch yet.”

Phil: “Neither have half the kids in Africa. Stop yappin’ and get back to work.”

It’s amazing how much easier it is to type whilst on a computer with a legit keyboard and human sized keys.

So, upon my return from la escuela ayer, mi novio called me and told me about how his dad was in an accident on their ranch yesterday. He is in the hospital with a couple broken ribs and such, and is doing well, considering. The accident was involving their bully of a gomer bull. Which, is an entirely separate story/explanation. What’s a “gomer bull” you say? You’re going to have to google that shit. It’s nuts (no pun intended). Mista B explained it to me in an oh-so-matter-of-fact way what exactly this sort of bull was, which was followed by some facial movements from me that are not the most attractive, but well warranted.

So, for now we are praying for Papa B, but I know if I had some broken ribs I would be in bad baaaad condition. Pass the morphine please? But, I don’t handle pain too well..unless it’s in the form of tattoos. But that’s incomparable to accidental floating ribs. Don’t women have a spare rib? Or is it the other way around.

I just popped in the Billboard Music Awards, which took place in Vegas. It opened with Brit Brit and Robyn Rihanna Fenty performing her S&M superhit together. And, you guessed it, complete with stripper poles and handcuffs. Typical Ri Ri. It twas a good performance though, don’t get me wrong. I have a feeling Justin Beiber is going to sweep this joint. We will see what happens. I’m rooting for my girl Taylor. Snoopity Snoop and Far East Movement are presenting the best new artist award…J-B ended up getting it, but the more important thing here….I think the boys of Far East Movement are midgets. Or, they are all very very short. OR, Snoop is 7 feet tall. Who knows. Thankfully Hollywood awards shows have listened to the viewers and started putting more and more performances on the show. That’s what the fans REALLY want to see. And, might I add, Beyonce’s performance blew my mind. Blew. My. Mind. I suggest youtubing it if you get the chance.

Now Kesha is performing. Dancing unicorns, ay? I think someone just took the cake on creativity and innovation. What’s better than a unicorn? DANCING unicorns!

School is…eh…school. Regarding our instructors, who were especially moody and dickish today, I was reminded of an Oscar Wilde quote I once heard: “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they leave.” I can’t help but breathe in a deep sigh of relief at the end of the day that our personality-challenged instructors will no longer have time to breathe over our shoulders or talk down to us. Seriously, it’s like being attacked on a daily basis. Mentally and even physical drainage is what it does to me. But hey, no one likes to be in uncomfortable positions, and I’m sure this will make me a better person…I read it in a book once.

Got to talk to my sis today, twas good to hear her voice and a couple stories from home. Her pups were at the groomers, so I didn’t get to shout a hello to them, but I’m sure she’ll pass along my salutations. The initial topic of conversation was regarding my household goods, of which I have FOUR shipments in total. The military must get way more complicated when you are married and have children. Don’t worry, all was settled, and my goods should be arriving to their individual destinations as planned. Once upon a time in 2009 I had some goods packed out at my sister’s and we got the brilliant idea to get a couple things out of her basement for a while. So, we had the movers pack them up with my belongings, and I left behind my bed, a dresser, and a motorcycle….of which I will need yet another packout for. I am going to be so good at moving by the time I retire. Let me tell you. Anyway, so currently my sister’s things are packed away with my stuff in Kansas aaaand my stuff is still at her house. Had to get that all sorted out today. Thankfully the Fort Leavenworth Househould Goods office was able to lend a girl a hand, and they were quite personable and friendly as well.

Ladies and Men, the weekend is upon us. Just a Friday to shove out of the way and Sat/Sun will be made for relaxing. Sweet relief. Might there be a Sonic drink in my future?

30 before 40

13 05 2011

So, one of my friends posted on her blog “Twentysomething”;, a 30 x 30 list.

I came up with a similar list, but adapted it to 30 x 40. Getting to 30 is right around the corner, 3.5 years around that corner to be exact…but as they say, age is relative and I’m a firm believer in that.

Anyhow, these are the goals I am actively pursuing to accomplish before year 40:

  1. Visit Greece
  2. Visit India
  3. Visit Ireland
  4. Visit Russia
  5. Visit S. America
  6. Travel to all 50 states
  7. Road trip from the east coast to the west coast
  8. See the Grand Canyon
  9. Graduate from Law School
  10. Go to Cosmetology School
  11. Get my pilot’s license
  12. Complete my MBA
  13. Become a commissioned Naval Officer
  14. Become a mother
  15. Marry the man of my dreams
  16. Own a home
  17. Be free of all debt
  18. Become a productive member of a church
  19. Read the bible in its entirety (who doesn’t have this goal?)
  20. Go on a mission trip
  21. Take the lead on a local volunteer program
  22. Shave my head
  23. Bungee jump (think Mista B would be down for this one?)
  24. Drive a tractor
  25. Own a farm dog
  26. Live a healthier lifestyle and pass on my knowledge
  27. Complete a half marathon
  28. TBD
  29. TBD
  30. TBD
  31. See Big Ben (2000)
  32. Travel to HI (2001)
  33. Visit the Black Forest (2000)
  34. Bachelor’s degree (2007)
  35. Solo Backpacking trip (2008)
  36. Travel Eastern Europe (2011)
  37. Military overseas service (2006 & 2009)
  38. Skydive (2007)
  39. Learn to ride a motorcycle (2007)
  40. Try sake (2006)
  41. Visit Asia (2006)

I’m no office bitch

9 01 2011

Well, I might have been one in a previous life, but that does NOT mean it is okay to throw your trash in our trash can and leak shred all over our hallway. Nope, I’m not cleaning it. You can bring your 40-yr-old-holier-than-thou ass back here and do it yourself. How it did show initiative that this man was taking the shred out, which brought a shrug to my shoulders and a raise to my brow, come to find out this joker abandoned it at the end of the hallway. Sure, there are military guys and gals here that can take it out, but the fact of the matter is, this is YOUR trash, and who or what you work for and how high-ranking you are  in the civilian world does not come into play when it comes to the human condition. Man up and take your GD trash out! This, on top of the fact they put A&W, old drinks, etc in our trash can. Either get your own trash can, or take our trash out when it’s full. I’m all about equal opportunity here. Whew, I feel better now. But I’m not touching that bag of shred. It will just sit there and stare at him in the eye when he walks by it. Believe you me.

Now, back to my original post. If I did perchance land in a career as an office director/organizer extraordinaire, it would please me very much. I love to organize, straighten, staple papers, sort papers, order supplies, do the shred (and take out my garbage after), and make copies (preferably with this fine fine specimen to the right). This may have descended down from my family of teachers. It could very well run in the blood. I know my sister has the organizational bug (with a slight twitch of OCD..but we love her for it).]

Okay, so there I was, making copies. I had forgotten that copier machines make double sided copies and I had previously resorted to just printing it twice from the word file.  Print: odds. Print: evens. Jumping up and flip the pages over. Which turns into a cluster, and I know we have alllll done it. However our copy machine is B&W, so if you want it in color, we resort to this method. Documents are more fun when they are in color and we have an unlimited supply of wax color we use and abuse. Don’t tell the gov’t pls and ty.

SO, I was at the copier machine, making two double-sided copies of a 19 page document (office biotches, i can see your mouths drooling). I put my numbers in, placed my papers in the tray, and pushed GO! It has been a very long time since I’ve made copies, so I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Now, our copier machine is circa 1992-jurasic era, stained with coffee and the like, small, old and decrepid, but she does the trick. If you pet her right. So whilst my copies were being pushed through this obnoxiously loud machine, I began to stare at it, and ponder about the future. What kind of machines will be invented in the future? I bet there will be a way to get copies without even leaving your desk. The thought of faxes and copier machines still amaze me to tell you the truth. After the humming of the copier came to a lull, I reached down to find out that three of my pages stuck together and there were two lines down every piece of paper that shot out of that GD machine. On both sides. After all, I did want 2-sided copies. If it weren’t for that comforting humming sound it made I would have kicked it right then and there. But then you run the risk of someone thinking you are crazy. However, the crazies do get better treatment…more attention, people periodically ask if they are about to commit suicide ask them how they are doing, bring them a snickers every now and then to keep them happy and smiling.

Anyhow, back to my desk I went and printed out odds…got up fliiiped the papers, reinserted….and printed evens. Ugh. My life is beyond exciting.