Monday, November 24, 2008

Crazy Eights

I was tagged by Nicole, so here goes.

Disclaimer- I'm a free spirited, non conformist Aquarius so my list won't look at neat as everyone elses...

8 Favorite T.V. Shows
(Seriously? I can't even think of one I watch on a regular basis and I couldn't tell you when any of these are actually on. I don't have any fancy TV channels; my cable bill is $14/month. I bet you didn't even know they had a plan that cheap.)

The Sopranos (working my way through the DVD series)
The Amazing Race
America's Toughest Job (now over)
How Weather Changed History
Storm Stories (Kidzilla loves watching this stuff...)
Girls Next Door
Whatever's on the Roku

8 favorite restaurants
The one that serves Panna Cotta
The one where we got married
The one that's not crowded on weekend mornings (does that exist?)
That fondue place in Berkeley
Mom and Dad's house
The one where Kidzilla behaves himself
The one that serves great desserts
The one that serves food quick
The one where I can hang out for hours with my friends and the waiter doesn't care

8 things that happened yesterday (Sunday November 23)
Taught religious education classes to middle schoolers (I know right, who'd a thunk it)
Did 6 loads of laundry
Went to Publix for laundry detergent
Started reading Ralph Nader's Seventeen Traditions
Ordered a Christmas present for Kidzilla
Bossed A around and guilted him into helping clean the house despite being sick
Watched an episode of The Sopranos
Took Kidzilla to the swimming pool to prove that it was too cold to actually go in

8 Things to Look Forward to
Warmer weather
Cooking Thanksgiving dinner
Getting presents for Christmas
12 days of vacation in a row
Getting back in school
Getting a new car
A getting back to work
Getting flight benefits back

8 Things I Love About Fall
Wearing all the winter clothes that have been put away all summer
Baking with Kidzilla
Curling up in the house all day
Seasonal food like Pumpkin Butter and Starbucks coffees
Not having to rake leaves
Less rain (that's just how FL weather works)
Knowing that it's warmer here than where most everyone else is
That my boss takes a lot of vacation

8 Favorite Places to Visit
Whole Foods Market
San Francisco
Folsom, CA
Table Rock Lake, MO
the beach
Anywhere involving an awesome road trip
Capri, Italy

8 Things On My Wish List
Education- complete my Master's and A finish his
Travel- being able to take an actual family vacation
Vehicle- A to get another motorcycle
Friends- feeling like I have a great circle of friends I can count on
Health- A getting a clean bill of health
Money- Our retirement accounts going up in value instead of down
Family- Having a baby

8 People that I tag
I want to tag all those people who read but never post a comment! Leave a comment (anonymously if you want) of 8 things about you.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I will buy or make A rhinestone shoulder bars. Because he is the guy who can carry them off with a straight face. Who wouldn't want to be married to FO Fresh?

And a link A finds hilarious (warning- adult content)-

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Returning to aviation life?

One of the biggest things that bothers me is that there is no end in sight for A's time off. We don't know when or if he'll be able to return to aviation. He's due for an evaluation in March and based on that, we'll be able to make some decisions and have some clarity. But it's so hard to make plans not knowing when/if he'll return to active work, where he might be based, reserve or hard line or if his company will go under and he'll be just another low time guy looking for a job. As a planner, it kills me not to know what to expect.

When he was diagnosed, A was given an approximately 20 year life expectancy. When you are in your thirties, that is a heartbreaking thing to hear. A may not even make it to retirement age. If we have a child, he may not be able to see it graduate from college. I may become a widow in my early 50's, when I am supposed to be hitting the golden years. Yes, I recognize that anyone could die at anytime, but for him, the likelihood is much higher. There is such an urgency to do things and get our life where we want it so that we can just enjoy. It tears me up inside to see A not able to fly and also to know how much time he has left; although I try not to engage in any kind of "count down" mentality, it's always in the back of my mind. Few people seem to really understand all the facets of this diagnosis.

On the bright side, at least we'll have the holidays together. Last year A was gone for Thanksgiving but came home the day after and guarenteed Christmas home when he broke his elbow. I will forever think of Thanksgiving in a negative light, as the precursor of the terrible time to come we had early this year. But I guess this month, we will truely have a lot to be thankful for.

We've got several anniversary type things coming up in the near future as well. I passed another milestone in blogging with 150 posts and two full years of blogging. Shortly after T-day is our anniversary- 4 years since our first date and 2 years of marriage. January brings 3 years in FL and also my birthday. February will mark a year since A left the line and got his diagnosis (and the ALPA LTD $ will finally kick in).

A's new mantra- Life, do it once, do it right

Friday, November 7, 2008

Watery deaths and my affinity for bling

I do not have a good history with cell phone longevity. Or electronics in general. Usually they meet a watery death within months. I've knocked at least three phones off of counters and into sinks or toilets. I lost the earbuds to my Ipod Shuffle when one popped out of my ear and right into my coffee. I promptly stole A's earbuds, which worked out fine because a short time later, I ended up running his Shuffle through the washing machine (in my defense, it was HIM who left it in the cargo pocket of his shorts). I've stepped on or dropped plenty of things too. Once something went into a pot of water I was boiling on the sink. I think something even flew out the window from our moving car one time.

So when A called me yesterday at lunchtime and my phone went straight to voicemail, he knew. Something was up and it probably was going to require a new cell phone. And he was right. 6 hours after taking it's final plunge and spitting out battery error messages as its death throes, it was gone. A did the smart thing though- he gave me his 2 year old LG ENV and got himself the brand new Motorola Krave (promptly exchanged for a LG Voyager). He couldn't get me to consent to carrying one of those idestructable phones though, because it's too heavy and can't be blinged up enough.

And on the topic of bling- I'm looking for the most gaudy, blinged out, tacky piece of airplane jewlery I can find. Like a gold/rhinestone plane the size of my fist with real spinning propellers on a giant gold chain. Along the lines of this, but with more ooommph. Post a link if you find something that fits the bill.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

In honor of Election Day

I shy away from posting about politics. Although I do have my own views, I hate getting into political discussions, so I avoid them. But in honor of Election Day, here are a few political topics that came to me while staring into space, waiting for the phone to ring, while covering for the receptionist at work.

  • The greatest gift to lazy people like myself is Permanent Absentee Voting. It true, you can vote right from your armchair, on your own time, at 3am if you want to. As long as you get the ballot turned in on time. And it comes with free postage. No longer do I have to stand in line and show 5 forms of ID. I can't extoll the awesomeness enough! Google it and find out how to do it in your state.

  • I would totally move to Sweden if I could. Yeah, they pay tons in taxes, but their social policies rock- months of paid maternity leave, state sponsored child care and well paid teachers, nationalized health care, paid vacations even for Stay At Home Mom's, EU grade regulation of chemicals, pesticides, GMO's. But it's so damn cold there.

  • Republicans- they want less government regulation and government out of our personal life and family life. But yet they are OK with the government regulating what we can personally do with our bodies (ie abortion and right to die issues)? What about allowing big business (ie health care organizations) determine health care policies instead of letting us make our own care choices*. How can they be OK with regulation in some areas but not in others? Isn't that kind of hypocritical?

  • A's workplace union just had a vote on whether to agree to concessions on their contract to keep the company afloat. There was much debate about this on the pilot's forum and in pilot conference calls. It passed with something like 60% of the vote. I wonder, did people vote along traditional party lines for this vote? Did the democrats vote in favor of taking less money for the good of the company and the republicans vote against it with the rationale of "full pay to the final day. no one is taking away the pay raises we earned"? Have votes historically gone this way?

  • If I could have my way, I'd change two things. One, disallowing bill riders that have nothing to do with the bill they are attached to. So much crap is hidden in those that the public has no idea about. And two, paid lobbyists. Politicians should listen to their constituants and vote based on how things will effect their area of representation, not based on the nice dinner they got on behalf of the XYZ industry who has views opposite of what the populace wants.

*Interesting info on how insurance companies are influencing hospital policy and the health care we receive related to some of my favorite topics in this book, this book, this film, this book and the whole mandatory HPV vaccine mess.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Great moments in Parenting

Awards I should receive based on my some of my finest hours:

Meanest Mom/Parenting with Balls Award- For a week we were after Kidzilla to clean up his room. All week we told him that if his room wasn't clean by thursday night, he would not be trick or treating on friday and that we would take care of his toys for him if he wouldn't do it himself. Of course it came down to thursday evening and he flat out refused to do it. Was yelling "you can't make me" and all that other classic stuff. So we said "ok, you have made your decision. You understand what is going to happen tomorrow right". "I don't care".

So friday (which I happened to have off work), Kidzilla came home to a completely barren room. He had several books, a few math/puzzle workbooks, two pencils, a stuffed puppy and a foam headrest thing that A brought home from the hospital this spring. He cried and carried on, but accepted his decision. We stayed home and handed out candy to the 4 trick or treaters that came by and he even told A- "I made a bad decision".

I was pleasantly suprised that he did not end up pestering us to play with him all weekend, but managed to entertain himself with the meager offerings in his room. At one point he was wearing rain boots and playing soccer with the foam headrest- creativity at it's finest! I'm inspired to get rid of a bunch of toys, except that when I add up how much money was spent on them, I can't bring myself to do it. He's earning the toys back slowly, but really hasn't asked for too much yet. And he did get to do a bit of trick or treating at the Zoo the next evening.

The Oh No She Didn't Award- Kidzilla lost a tooth on friday afternoon. Of course I was completely unprepared and didn't have anything to leave as the tooth fairy. I don't know why I didn't plan ahead, it was obvious that the tooth was going to come out soon... So that evening, we told him that the Tooth Fairy probably already had her route planned out and that all orders had to be in by noon for pick up that day. She'd probably pick up his tooth on Saturday night instead of friday. It worked, he believed it and wasn't too heartbroken when she didn't come. Saturday was a busy day and neither A or I had an opportunity to stop by the bank or post office to pick up a gold dollar coin. So I put Kidzilla in the tub and while he was splashing around A raided his piggy bank for the gold dollar from the last time he lost a tooth. We found it and it did it's job. Kidzilla was happy and all was good. It's all about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at our house...

Naming Genitalia Award- A and Kidzilla are quite creative in naming their boy parts. I swear, every day they've got some new term. Bazonga, beziner, walnuts 'n almonds, lollypop and jellybeans... Everytime I think I've heard them all, I hear a new one. I think it's a boy thing, because I don't remember being like this.

Identifying Hypocrisy Award (AKA pointing out things they don't want to hear award)- I gave A a deadline of Nov. 1 to get his Xmas list to me. I don't like waiting until the last minute and usually have all shopping done by Dec. 1. Today is the 3rd and I don't have it yet. I told him I was going to cancel his Christmas since he didn't meet the deadline, much like we had canceled trick or treating. What's good for the goose is good for the gander right?