Thursday, December 20, 2012

Goodbye, cruel world...maybe? it is.

The eve of possible destruction. A day many people have feared and wondered about for a decade.

I realized I am on a potential front-row seat to watch the impending doom, seeing as how I am within death zones for not one, but TWO supervolcanoes. Yellowstone and Long Valley, which is like two hours from me. Yikes. I didn't know THAT when I signed the lease!

I also live in a moderate flood zone, and in amidst multiple active fault lines.

If it's gonna happen, I'm probably screwed. And then my last thought would be irritation that I spend money prepping instead of going to Vegas.

Based on my day, it would be par for the course.

I'm fine meeting my maker. I've done more good than bad in my life.

But I don't think the end will come tonight, rather than a date to signify when the end began.

Every civilization has fallen. And I am a believer that history repeats itself.

Climate change is going to change the shape of our country in the next 50 years. There is already wars that seem unending, droughts, famine, illness.

I am sure there will be people on the planet who believe their world did end tonight. People who lose a loved one in a random act of violence or accident. People in the area of a natural catastrophe.

I've witnessed things happening that I have said never would. Things I would've staked my life on.

Things are not good in this world. Otherwise strong marriages being slowly shredded apart. Loved ones being abused by spouses. Everyone struggling with some kind of issue.

As Motown would ask..."What's goin' on?"

Friday, December 14, 2012

Why are people so sick?

I was feeling pretty good yesterday.

I was thinking about where I am in my life now, when a year ago, I couldn't get out of bed. It's pretty unbelievable what you can recover from, when a life-changing "bomb" is dropped in your lap out of nowhere that changes everything from the way you think, to the path your life takes afterwards.

For as long as I can remember, I felt unfulfilled. I didn't have a chance to focus on my own goals, since so many things came first. Kids, husband, and of course the army. I have held on to so much my husband for always not being there, even though it was his job, at the military for its lack of support for soldiers and their families, and at myself, for largely letting life pass me by in order to wait for "something", not knowing what it was. But I thought that life should be better than it was. That there was more, and I was missing it.

When something shakes the core of your marriage, it shakes the core of who you are. It makes you question everything that came before. It makes you question your sanity. And then you have to decide what to do next. Do you leave, do you stay? Can you afford to make that choice based solely on what you want, or are there barriers, like children and how it affects them, money...can you do it on your own. Then you question moral or religious issues, and finally, test the strength of the vows you spoke. What is the value of a promise?

I've always thought I was a strong person. And then something tore me in to pieces. I was held hostage by emotions that I couldn't reconcile mentally and fear. Lots of fear. I never understood how people could just be so depressed that they literally can't move. Can't make a choice. Can't deal with their reality. But when that happens, you are frozen in grief and confusion. And now, I barely remember that year.

And then, one day...I got up. And I decided I was going to make choices and take back the control I wasn't ready to reassume.

I accomplished many goals this year. I did them. I got us to where we are now. And yesterday, it meant so much self-pride.

Then something in the world happens, and you realize how your daily thoughts and worries mean NOTHING. How your struggles and despair in life MEAN NOTHING. Because it's always insignificant when compared to someone else's life.

There is little worse that I can think of, than losing a child.

I know I joke about my kids, and tell stories of frustration and irritation at them...

But it's very tongue-in-cheek.

If one of them was hurt or died, I think I would die inside. I would sink in to myself and let go.

No matter how mad I've ever been, I've never felt the urge to hurt my children. I really don't even much believe in spanking, mostly because it's often done in anger, and that should never be the case. I spanked if it was a matter of their safety, to enforce that it was dangerous. If I get really angry, I lock myself away, so that I can deal with it when I am level-headed again.

I don't understand why people kill children. No rational person can, because it's unthinkable to a rational person. But these "terrorists" are not rational. They are mentally ill. They aren't wired right. You can't justify it, nor can you explain it.

I feel that way when there is any devastation in the world. And I look around at what I have, and wonder how God will judge me when its my time to go. Did I squander precious time, feeling sorry for myself, when I have never had to go to bed hungry? Never had to truly worry about being homeless?

It seems like the more I get, the more it becomes apparent to me that I have to share it. I think about the wealthy people who control our country, and wonder how they can go buy a car that costs $200k, when people can't eat, can't feed their children, live in shelters, can't find a job?

They say money changes people. Why doesn't it change them for the better? To use that power to help someone else?

I feel ill. I hear about school shootings, public shootings, mass murders, genocide. I hear about a government that opens fire on their own civilians waiting in a breadline. I hear about people using children as soldiers. It makes me sick.

Not everyone should be allowed to have a gun. The 2nd Amendment was created in case we had to protect ourselves from an oppressive government. But if that happened, we wouldn't win. Not in a age of nuclear weaponry, drones and other resources they have. And hiding under the veil of that stupid law, covers everyone who has murdered someone. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." What an idiotic statement. Anti-gun legislation is not about taking away your rights (to kill), but protecting others who have lost their right to live.

Most people say they have them for protection, but if attacked, wouldn't have time to use a gun to protect themselves.

Canadians can have guns for hunting. And their annual murder rate is about 60 people, compared to our 10,000.

How do you reconcile that?

My heart goes out to those parents and children today in the CT shooting. I bet they don't have very supportive thoughts on our lax gun policies right now. And if it were your child, I bet you wouldn't either.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Washington needs to jump off the Fiscal Cliff

I am so sick of hearing about the Fiscal Cliff talks.

We all know about it, and what's at stake.

Blah, blah, blah.

My favorite is how the politicians keep saying how they are prepared to stay up until Christmas Eve. Do they want a cookie for their jobs??? I don't know about y'all, but I have work deadlines all the time that need to be met. I wonder if they forget this is a job they were hired for?

I like listening to NPR, but it gets repetitive in a slow news week.

I am done with all my Christmas shopping. I knock it out online and that way the kids can't peek in any shopping bags they might find. Last year, I told them they had X amount of money each, and they waited until after Christmas to go shopping, so that they had collected their loot from other family members and could buy what they wanted. It saved me twice as much as what I paid this year, but I wanted to hold on a little longer to their youth by buying them gifts and seeing their surprise. It's the last remnant of holiday spirit I get anymore.

Things are so expensive when they reach a certain age. It was much easier when they were still playing with toys. But now, the "toys" cost high dollar prices, since it's mostly electronic. This year, I tried to buy stuff that makes them get outside.

I went to my work Christmas party over the weekend. I really didn't want to, mostly because it was in SF and we had to get a hotel room, because I refuse to drive in to the city, so we take the subway. It was fun, though it left me pretty much exhausted the rest of the weekend. The downside of working so far from my house (about 80 miles), which, an hour and a half is not bad, but with traffic, if I don't get up at 4:30am to leave at 5am, then it takes me up to 3 hours to get there. So on the days I work at home, I get extra sleep, but it throws my whole sleep schedule off. Trying to go to bed at 7pm isn't easy, since I am a night person.

But, when I get to the office, I am there alone for an hour, so it gives me time to get things done.

Other than that, things have been pretty uneventful. Andy had to refile his VA compensation claim, because after 6 months, they still haven't reopened it. And his unemployment ends this month, so it looks like we won't be seeing any money from them for up to another year. The only benefits is a huge lump sum backpay, but we are going to need it to buy our house that we are leasing. In six months, it's already gone up $20k on Zillow, because they are building a lot of new homes in my town.

I guess that's a good thing. I just don't want to pay half a million dollars for my house.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Misery loves children

I had the perfect excuse to not attend my company Christmas party this year. It's not that I hate parties. It's that I would rather not get bedazzled, wear painful heels and tights and stay at home to watch tv.

It's my Saturday, after all.

My dad gets in to town this weekend. He's moving in with us to help out since I am dealing with the commute from hell. So I figured, not having childcare would be an excellent excuse.

However, the company is including free childcare for the duration of the event in an adjacent hotel. Which probably means a hotel room full of miserable little kids, wanting their mom or dad...and to go to bed, since the party is 7-midnight.

All in all, an event my kids would loathe, since they're too old for a babysitter, but too young to stay alone overnight. Most likely, it would consist of hate texts from my kids buzzing my phone every ten minutes, making threats like, "I am going to just walk out the door if you don't come get me NOW!!!"

My boss tried to get me on board by saying his kids aren't too far off in age, but I explained that my kids only agree to pretend to be good kids when they're bribed, and even that can be unreliable, especially at night.

(I don't pretend that my children are truly as good as the image they portray in public. And when they are, it can definitely be traced to some sort of incentive plan.)

Finally, I gave up and booked the $200 hotel room since its in the city.

A friend of mine is considering starting her family this year, but finds myself and her sister detractors from having children. I have mixed feelings on the subject myself, but I've made my bed and now have to lie in it. I feel like there is about 5 years when kids are enjoyable. Once they're old enough to get themselves a bowl of cereal and quietly watch tv on weekends, until they are bubbling voids of evil teenage hormones.

They're really only nice about 15% of the time after that, and mostly when they have an ulterior motive.

But the question of whether or not to have them comes down to the question of whether or not you want to be alone when you get old. My husband will surely die before me, so I would like to have visitors in the nursing home.

I don't think that having kids is bad. It's just another relationship to maintain, while the other person hates you for about 4-6 years until they grow. If you can deal with that, go forth and procreate!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Finger Foods make it all better.

I've been a really lazy mother the past 6 months.

I haven't cooked one meal until this week. Then I got a craving for ham and homemade scalloped potatoes, and another one for my favorite snack/meal which consists of grilling a london broil, slicing it in to thin slices, spreading Boursin Garlic and Herb Spread on baguette slices and putting the meat on top of it.

It's really effing good.

So good, it is making my NYE feast menu. I am going to a friends to play board games and eat. I will also probably take my mother's sherbert punch, which is non-alcoholic, but tastes so good, you don't even care. It's equal parts 7up and Hawaiian Punch, with a container of sherbert scooped in to it. DELISH.

One of my famously loved hors d'oeuvres, are my bacon-wrapped chunks of pineapple. They are coated in a brown sugar glaze and gone in 10 minutes.

I also plan to bring crocks of my homemade macaroni and cheese. I normally make it in a big giant pan, but in the spirit of having some style, I am going to do it in onion soup crocks, which happen to be the perfect serving size.

So, there...sister, who shan't be named, who posted on FB that I can't cook.
I dare you to come up with an equally appetizing menu for NYE.