It’s Gone Viral.

I READ IT. I posted in a community in Reddit about the “Facebook Mom Challenge,” a ridiculous Facebook viral “challenge” where you post five photos of what represents your “lifestyle” as a mom. I don’t have Facebook… for this exact reason. I guess people posted tons of photos of their kids (without proper security settings, too). In response, and as a social commentary, there was a Reddit thread about a “Non-Mom Challenge” and what we enjoyed about choosing a child-free lifestyle. I posted my “Top 5″… although I could have posted a lot more. Lots to be thankful for.

The UK Telegraph got wind of it and posted an article about this “Mom Challenge” and the backlash online. You guessed it, they found me. Thank god they didn’t directly link to Reddit. Blessings. I only hope others can consider that there are many different life paths, and don’t have to be locked into one. It’s what you make of it.

Heading to Pensacola to visit Devin tomorrow! Nothing like some bestie and Florida time to cheer me. Larry’s in Hawaii this week, so I deserve some sunshine and ocean air, too.

Hello (again), world!

I am writing this on a perfect Friday afternoon. 70° and sunny. I have a lot of good things to share with the world.

NEW TITLES. I updated twice last year; that is pathetic. However, with everything going on — you know how it is… the busier you are and the more great things you’re doing, the less you have time or thought to write it all down. Funny how that works. I did change the title of the blog to a “there’s no dress rehearsal” mentality to life. Drafting Present means your only “rough draft” is what we are doing right now, presently. There’s no final, polished result unless you live it that way. So, it changed to Drafting Present from my aviation theme, which I no longer have an active role in…

NEW BEGINNINGS. For big mentions, I have officially changed careers from a B-52H weapons systems officer to a full-time Masters student. As I write this, a B-52 is flying overhead at 1,000 ft over my house. Do I miss it? Nope. It was a good run, folks. I got to travel all over the world, and even land in some awesome places. Most notable were Guam, Alaska, and Las Vegas. If I told you about all the cool places I flew over, well, I’d probably have to kill you. Ha. No, seriously. Ha!

Overall, the military was good to me. I paid off student loans with a great career right out of college, lived in interesting places (San Antonio, TX; North Dakota…), got a husband out of it, earned Veteran’s status, and they pay you to return to school for more education. Speaking of which, I am enrolled in the Masters of Science program at Louisiana State University to gain my certification as a Counselor. I think “Life Coach” or “Life Consultant” would be looking pretty good on a business card once it’s all said and done. I am just a couple weeks into the program and they really like us to “give presentations.” The Air Force helped with that, too. Overall, the military said, “What do you want to do? You can be anything now that you’re done and we will pay for it.” So here I am. Turned in my military ID last week for a “dependent ID”. It’s a transition to deal with no longer having that sweet officer title. Now people assume I have five kids and stay at home eating candy when I am introduced as my husband’s spouse. But one day I will have a P.h.D. and won’t care anymore. Dr. and Major. Feels good.

Next weekend I am heading over to visit Devin in Pensacola, Florida. He teaches brand new Lieutenants how to survive in the aircraft. There were rumblings of a cocktail party at this place: he knows how much I love parties! And, he has a sweet bachelor pad and is just minutes from the beach. And speaking of beach, Larry is heading to Hawaii tomorrow for a business trip. For his birthday. He has all the luck. Didn’t get him a gift. Sorry not sorry.

NEW SKILLS. During my two months of “down time” between separating from the military and beginning school full time, I’ve been working on a few skills. I can bake bread like a professional, and I’m pretty good with beautiful hair creations (up do’s) now, too. I am also taking piano lessons from the best teacher ever! He is helping me with theory. I am still visiting my elderly folks at the rest home on Saturdays. Last week I learned one gentleman was in the Battle of the Bulge. You never know who you are talking to.

I have a feeling these two years will fly by. I hope I can hang on and enjoy the ride, and the impending move that is sure to follow, if not sooner. For now, I’ll drink lots of coffee, sport my white girl yoga pants, and enjoy this opportunity to focus on school. Oh, and the trip to San Francisco/Napa Valley to attend to a Counseling conference. These people have the right idea.

Personal Halloway

Realized my bra and my toenail polish matched today. So that’s something I have going for me.

JOBS JOBS JOBS. Apparently my back is pretty jacked up. This means I haven’t flown since February. This means I get anywhere from two to four hours of sleep each night. This means I’m moving squadrons. This means I’m getting a new job (or two) less than five months before I separate from Active Duty in December. I mean, sure, there are reasons not to keep a brokeass has-been weapons officer around your squadron, I get the numbers issue. It is a lot better to fill that spot I’m hogging with someone capable. But… less than five months? Close to a month of that time I will be out-processing or on leave. I’m going to be a squadron executive officer (secretary) again. When I was an exec previously, I liked making the bosses look good. I liked my bosses. Best bosses I ever had. So that makes a difference. We shall see how things go in the next couple weeks. To train the guy taking over my job (new lieutenant), my shop chief lobbied for me to have two weeks of on-the-job training. I had to fight to get one damn day. This poor guy is not set up for success, and neither is the 94 people whose security clearances and training he has to manage. It’s okay though, because I get two days to learn my new jobs… yes, job with an -s… including executive officer… which is usually two weeks or longer of changeover. I feel like no one has my back right now.

Larry’s gone for a while on his duty overseas. I think it’s perfectly normal to make up songs and sing them to your dog. Or carry on entire conversations with his responses in a Scooby Doo-like voice, debating politics, fashion, and the pro’s and con’s of ingesting questionable culinary choices from the very back of the fridge. I’m okay guys, really! See… I go out and do things with friends. At casinos. Classy.

MUSIC TUNES NOTES. All my gentlemen pals at the Louisiana  War Veteran’s Home are doing really well. I go visit with them each Saturday and play piano. It’s pretty neat how different homes like different genres. The assisted living facility in Minot, North Dakota requested mostly Lutheran hymns. This also goes for the center I was playing for in town here (I’ve since haven’t returned after begging for months to be placed on their entertainment schedule). The War Vets home likes country music, like Hank Williams and Slim Whitman jams (Slim’s my jam, I’m a big collector)… but they also appreciate honky tonky show tunes. Very interesting. Anyway, I get over there once a week or more if I have the time. There’s nothing I’d rather be doing than doling out weekly hugs to handsome elderly vets. ♥

SHAME. Oh man, I’m thirty now, by the way. I like it. The first thing that happened to me when I got up after turning thirty was drive down the highway & get propositioned for freeway exit sex with obscene gestures. Shame on you, Missouri drivers. SHAME. Speaking of which, I can play Rains of Castamere on the piano. Don’t all you brides-to-be be blowin’ up my phone for me to play at your receptions. Well, if I ever answered my phone.

ANSISTERY. Lastly, I did a fancy DNA spit cup test at Ancestry.com to find out my ethnicity. Oh before all you freedom fighters get all crazy, the military already has my DNA on file. So it’s a non-issue. Anyway! I got this eyeopening look at what makes me, ME… from a ’round the world standpoint. I was always told I was “Half Italian (speak it third best), German, and Irish.” Well, I am just as much Irish as I am Middle Eastern! How cool is that? I even have DNA from PAPUA NEW GUINEA! So baller I can’t even handle it! Anyway here are the actual results:


Larry got 100% European. Figures.

Where the Fun Ain’t Got No End…

WE RUN THIS. So. Hafa Adai, Guam. We need to talk! In retrospect, this deployment was a whirlwind of amazing people, truly rewarding flying with top aviators, copious amounts of booze, & more than a few bad decisions… & I mean that in the nicest way possible. A few of us carved out a nice group, adopting each other as a dysfunctional little family. And, oh, a family it was, with everyone watching each others’ backs and taking care of one another. It’s so important when you’re seven thousand miles from home to have friends that care about you. Not to mention awesome wingmen to go to the clubs with, and get in trouble with; that’s the important shit! Here’s our official squadron photo; let me highlight the fact Wrecker is throwing a too-sassy hip, and Lucky & Mike are the only cool guys with their sleeves rolled up. Red Devils, the Air Force’s finest.

Anyway, there were so many fun nights out, and a pilot in our squadron actually brought his DJ gear and played some gigs in the clubs downtown. How baller is that? Get deployed and DJ, which is his favorite thing in the world to do. It made me super happy to see him in his chill zone, especially when resident DJs recognized him at other events, like a huge New Year’s Eve party we went to at the Sheraton hotel in Tumon. Speaking of NYE, it was pretty much the best ever. Rustic, Wrecker, and I were on a serious mission the day after Christmas to scour Guam for the party dresses and shoes this bitch had to offer. Not passing up an opportunity to hang out with the squadron’s most fun ladies, Mike tagged along to give second opinions on party attire. He even got a dress shirt and red tie to wear to the party. A TIE. So fucking baller; looked more swank than any of the dudes there. Anyway, the ladies were successful and we all got “personality dresses”. I saw Wrecker’s in the window at Guess? and it just screamed “Red Devil”. I strong armed her into trying it on, and it looked like it was made for her. Rustic found a pinup style retro dress, and I found a short dress that was completely covered in gold sequins. I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again. For me personally, it takes a lot of money to look this cheap. My sister said our lives were like a Ke$ha song. I’m not totally sure whether to be really flattered or really ashamed. The fact I’m not sure which says it all… Lost ten pounds on Guam due to me & Wrecker’s um, liquid diet. This is how we do.

NYE2014. The New Year’s Eve started with our very handsome, very pilot-y, very platonic dates coming by a little early to pregame. And what did these courteous and polite young Air Force officers bring? Why, a bigass bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, of course. After pouring the ladies each a glass, we continued getting our fancy on, departing the base in an eight passenger van (which was aptly named the Vomit Comet. I don’t know who could have bestowed such a name on it). Super baller. So we ate at Ban Thai, my last dinner out on the island before heading to the hotel party. The party itself was full of well-dressed ladies, which made me really happy that somewhere, sometime people get fancy. Really, it can be related to a party rocker prom with booze. In keeping with the circus theme, there were open bar little tents set up with different libations, a dance floor in the middle, and couches to lounge on. Wrecker and I, who are always joined at the hip when we go out, pinged back and forth all over the place, managing a couple Fireball shots before they were completely out. The guys were running to catch up with us; they said they just looked for the super tall hair to track us down. They also were running super stealthy creeper interference; it was a thing of legend. It was such a good time with good drinks, dancing, music, with fireworks at midnight. Including the release of the film The Interview, it’s safe to say fireworks were the theme of the night. Helluva sendoff. Red Devils closed that place down.

GOING HOME. The morning of my departure to return to The States, Wrecker, Mike and Rustic went with me to the airport, which was so kind of them since we had to leave the house at 0500. Mike was a total gentleman & hefted all my bags for me (they each weighed more than fifty pounds. Think I need to pack lighter next time) into the Vomit Comet. Rustic kept her music going because it’s always the best. I hugged everyone goodbye, which just about the worst thing ever. I just pushed it out of my mind and got through the airport schlock as soon as I could. It was my first time flying in first class; I upgraded my ticket because I actually saved a lot of money while on Guam. The Japanese businessman sitting next to me was also getting hammered at 0830, so my rife and unabashed alcoholism was swept under the rug. I felt so out of place at first, being that I didn’t even know how the seats worked! They’re super complicated for someone who’s kind of a bubblehead like me. Go figure, I can use an ejection seat and parachute, but this shit perplexes me. So I was totally creepin’ on Japanesey dude, to see how he did his seat, then I did mine. Demo/Do. The flights were nice, and I was able to chat with friends online the whole time, when I wasn’t passed out on Ambient. They were so good to keep me company when I needed a friend most.

It’s been kind of a difficult transition for me back here, honestly. It’s been raining almost constantly since I arrived, and the highs are about 38F. The time change has been brutal (Guam’s time zone is 16 hours ahead). I still have been only sleeping 4 hours a night (Guam party standard). I’m trying to stay busy at home, working out and eating right. And by eating right, I mean forgetting to eat. I miss all my friends so much; it’s really hard. It’s super difficult to go from having good conversations, scuba diving, flying exciting missions all over the world, partying constantly at your house & at the Guam clubs with your best friends, talking about everything and anything all the time, shopping, beautiful beach-going in Tumon every weekend… I told everyone to enjoy their last couple months there. Since this was my last deployment, ever, I spent the last day at the beach with everyone I care about most.

TMI. Last week, I went to drop off my medical records at the Flight Medicine clinic, and they had an appointment available for a ladies’ annual ob/gyn checkup. So, I go into the exam room in flight med, and the 20th Bomb Squadron’s Flight Doc talks to me about my request for a Nexplanon implant birth control startup, suuuuper awkwardly. The guy’s the same age as me, for reference, sporting a flight suit. Both Captains. Okay, so after this excruciatingly odd conversation about my sexual health and the obligatory question, “Do you feel safe at home?”… He does the breast exam and the lady parts exam. Side story: Every damn time I get this done, there’s always an entourage of trainees in the room. I had FIVE extra people in the room once, taking notes. Baller lady parts, for real.

During the whole thing, especially the exam, he seemed super nervous (should have maybe bought him a drink first?). Turns out afterwards, he said they typically send us flyer ladies up to the Women’s Clinic, and asked why I requested to stay in Flight Medicine for it, instead of seeing a specialist. I hadn’t been told about the choice when I checked in at the front desk. The Flight Doc, surprised, said it was “Good to do one of these once in a while.” (For training). Lucky SOB. Got a good one to re-hack on. So, yeah, it was a day of firsts. Not that I care that much, but first male doctor for this type of exam (and he was kinda cute too, damn) and first time a general Flight Doc did a women’s exam for me. So awkward! But at least I get that birth control, son.

THE END. When I got back to the squadron last week, I wanted to hug everyone, including the newbs. I am so used to being around amazing people all the time that I just miss everyone, including the constant people being around my house, roosting in my living room, and the constant din of people having a good time or talking enthusiastically. But I AM happy I am back to my Steinway piano. My numba one playa. Get it? Play… Yep. For you Oglaf fans, BEST AT PUNS!

Hocus Pocus! Abracadbra.

BACK TO BACK. Adventure around every corner. Adventure being a tropical storm swirled towards Guam, so I got to spend a few days in Alaska (again) to escape from its forty knot wind speed clutches. When I first saw the satellite imagery of tropical storm Vongfong, I remarked it was not very well organized and lacked a central eye for the clouds to form around, so it shouldn’t be a big deal. Being from Florida, I am somewhat of a friggin’ expert on storms and hurricanes, since I lived through twenty-three years of them. Anyway, they made us get out and what a letdown that storm was for the island. Let down meaning we get more rolling brownouts from the shitty infrastructure here than any power outages during this “deadly typhoon”. Now, don’t get me wrong, it turned into a super typhoon a few days later as it became much more formed up and gained that central eye. Some pilot who is chronically full of shit (standard) tried to tell me it was super deadly and destructive because it wasn’t compact and its eye was off-center to the north, asymmetric and shit. Yeah, right. So I spent a couple nights in Alaska. Sadly enough, they hardly let us go anywhere out, so the highlight was catching the “good parts” of Magic Mike on TV. So. lame. as is driving to bars forty minutes away in blizzards.

BA BC. This past few weekend I’ve been scuba diving with my new gear. FYI, I purchased an Aqua Lung setup, with the new travel Zuma BC & mikron regulator. It weighs four pounds, so it’s good for packing for trips (and for me & Larry’s upcoming Caribbean cruise). It has integrated weights, and I added ten (although I needed eleven with my rental gear before, which was also heavier). Definitely not enough weight. Luckily, I was only about fifty feet down (bad visibility anyway) before shooting to the surface. The chicks out here only need like, seven pounds. Guess I’m full of hot air, it’s official. Or that thing about being an airhead. One of those. Need 13 lbs. Lucky 13. But the awesome thing is, one dive was an hour long and I still had 1200psi left in my tank. The next was an hour, with 1600psi left. Lastly, a shallow dive (39 feet) left me with 1400psi after 88 minutes. Comatose diver FTW… and snorkeler. You can’t see my lobster-like sunburn in this photo, mostly because I found it after coming home from a couple days in a row of roasting. Skin cancer pain train. Anyway, saw the sea turtle, lion fish, barracuda, star fish, and clown fish in an anemone.

KABOOM. I dropped twenty-seven M117s (750 lbs. bombs) last week, shacking target practice. This Friday is my check ride. My crew is full of very senior people, including my “nav”, who has over nine-thousand hours in the B-52. In case you’re confused, that’s 375 days in a B-52. That’s 54 weeks; over a year. So, he’s pretty good at what he does. Pretty nifty.

“Wednesday, do you think that maybe someday you might want to get married and have kids?”
“No.”
“But what if you met the right man, who worshiped and adored you? Who’d do anything for you? Who’d be your devoted slave? Then what would you do?”
“I’d pity him.”

Welcome to Paradise

BACK TO BACK.

After three times as many flights as first thought, I have arrived in Guam. I happened to be trapped on a crew with one of the more aggravating and boorish navigators to babysit in the squadron, so it was over thirty hours of fun (with an overnight stay in Alaska). We sit two feet from each other. And rarely leave the seat. I am a generous god. However, the same aforementioned moron threw my computer bag on the ground too hard out of the aircraft when we were unloading bags and broke the screen. $815 bucks and three weeks later, I have my computer back. & I bought an iPad Mini. Don’t judge.

We had a 7.1 magnitude earthquake off the coast of the island, 25 miles away. I was just chillin’ on the couch watching Louis C.K., relating more than usual, and feeling quite foul… & the house started shaking. I darted over the couch and into an interior closet. Dope. Earlier that day I had been in the control tower by the runway, 15 stories up. Thank god my shift was over just a couple hours prior. Heard it swayed pretty good, pants-shittingly awesome. There was no damage here: one of my tiki torches fell over. No tsunami threat either because Guam is surrounded by a big coral reef that acts as a wave breaker. Sucks for surfing. And if you lose your footing you end up with a sexy as hell black bruise on your butt, like me. Get some.

I got totally fried at the beach last Saturday, then went out to a beach-front bar with a bunch of bubbas. It reminds me of Coconuts in Cocoa Beach. Got shit haused on gin and tonics and was totally the “woo! Girl” at the bar. The live band was really good and had a really cute drummer, so as I left I gave him a big ol kiss on the cheek. The burns here turn into a super great tan. Guam is good, man. Hafa adai. I’ve also flown a few times. But mostly pulling duties up in the control tower.

So, five or so months to go. Overall, I’ve honestly never seen so many people act so ridiculously. From heinously inappropriate, sexist sing along songs (that were supposed to be taken out of Air Force functions), to blatant disregard for someone’s personal things… let’s just say I am NOT okay with waking up at 0500 on a Saturday to clean up my trashed yard because a mob decided to take everything off my porch and set it up in my front yard and party… when I wasn’t even home. (If I didn’t do this, the Commander would have been called and chewed out, and we would have been restricted in some fashion). I guess beer cans stuffed in my window sills & trash littered across the lawn is okay with these people because their wives usually clean up after them like babies. & I’ve never seen so many men who are angry drunks. I can’t grasp the concept of angry drunk. One guy even pisses the bed when he drinks. So instead of cutting out drinking, he actually bought a plastic bed liner. This shit’s eyebrow-raising. I didn’t have to deal with a lot of it on my last deployment with my previous squadron. Just saying. It’s a three-ring circus.

Que Syrah Syrah. Despite my personal pissed off vendetta against a few of the fratboy members, this weekend is Guam’s Wine Fest 2014. The entire squadron is headed out for a good time. I’m happy to report the ladies will be dressing to impress; it seems tough to get BUFF CHICKS to give it the ol’ freshman try. I helped one lady pick out a smart-looking party dress. Hopefully she will wear it, though! Better (underwater) photos coming soon, and stay tuned for SCUBA!

Ready, Steady, Go!

GUAM. In a couple weeks (or less, or more… I can’t put exact dates here) I will be flying a B-52H to Andersen AFB, Guam to begin my second deployment, but my third trip to the beautiful Pacific island. It’ll be a couple months longer than the last, but nothing I can’t handle. My crew is pretty solid, and what I’d like to refer to as the “Chill Crew”. We are all laid back and let things roll, like water off a duck’s feathers. I will be working on my Sniper Pod qualification, so I can drop LGBs using the onboard sensor. Unfortunately, we have the house with the most black mold in it. Toxic, poisonous air. No big deal, right? I had to drop $100 on an air purifier last time, so here we go again. I may even get Civil Engineering to come out and do an air quality test. You don’t want to mess around with black mold. I’m more worried about this than any other aspect of my deployment. Not flying fifteen hours literally across the world. Not leaving home for six months. Not having my hair color stylist on the island with me and being at the mercy of non-English speaking stylists. Nope. I’m concerned about my health and the toxic black mold. Last deployment I was sick from it, but my boss said he would not hear any more about it. But I digress.

In addition to flying and learning the Sniper sensor, I am looking forward to zenning out with many SCUBA trips and snorkeling. I have all my own dive gear, and I hope to build my dive log book so I may think about becoming an instructor if Larry gets sent to a seaside locale for our next move. That would be after I separate from the Air Force in a year or so. I really do need an active job, a desk job may pay the bills, but there’s more to life than paying bills. Priorities, right?

GOTG. Earlier in the week, I went with a friend to see “Guardians of the Galaxy”. What a fun film. I really enjoyed it and, as usual, was laughing the loudest and silliest of anyone in the theater. Standard. Although I am not usually a fan of CG animation, I found the effects in the film to be phenomenal. Plus, the acting was legit and the script was fun. Now, when they were talking about orbs and stones, I couldn’t help but think of my favorite sci-fi villain, Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. If I was a dude, I’d cosplay the shit out of that. EVERY CONVENTION.Well, I suppose I could as a lady…

Today I went to lunch with fellow B-52 aviatrix Wrecker, who will also be my roommate for the impending deployment. We hit up Carrabba’s for their most excellent lunch specials (1/2 panini and soup anyone?) upon my frantic pointing and suggestion in the truck. Anyway, some amazing person paid for our lunches, anonymously. This hasn’t happened to me before, and I got all embarrassed. I don’t like people making a fuss over me. But I am so thankful for their kindness and thoughtfulness. So hot right now.

MUSIQUE! MUSIQUE! MUSIQUE!. Whilst I was volunteering at the War Veteran’s Home last weekend, one of the gentlemen said, “It’s kind of a.. let down when you leave each week. It’s kind of sad, you know?” and, taken aback, I asked, “Don’t you have a radio or CDs you like to listen to in the mean time?” His response? “No.” I asked why his son hadn’t brought a radio for him, but he didn’t seem to want to talk much about his son. So this week on Amazon, I bought two $20 CD/FM boomboxes, and I am in the process of making a six to eight CD collection of songs to build him a collection. “Two Boomboxes,” you ask? There is also a gentleman who is getting throat surgery, and loves to sing. So I’m giving him the gift of music, even when he can’t make his own anymore. I’m also including a booklet with the lyrics so he can sing along, as he rehabilitates from surgery. At least this might help them not to forget about me while I am deployed.

DADJOKE. Unleashed a real groaner on the flight the other day…

Pilot: I see a minivan taxiing this way. Wait, what am I saying? A minivan doesn’t taxi.
Me: But does a Cab Taxi? Or does a taxi cab?

Awards n’ Schlock

MASTERS OF EVERYTHING. So, Larry received his Masters and I requalified in the Beretta M9. There happened to be photos of both events. I look super tough in my flak jacket without plates and super cool Air Force issued flight suit pajamas. Sweaty. Once again, Larry, Harry Potter lookin’ em eff. I think I would die happy today if someone photoshopped a lightsaber instead of a diploma. But a serious, badass intricate one from the Old Republic that you had to risk your life and prove you weren’t crap. Like venturing into hella dangerous hidden crystal caves on Dantooine and fight Kinraths n’ shit and BUILD yourself your OWN lightsaber that responded to your personal traits and skills, not the crappy gold and purple lightsaber someone just machined at some crap Toydarian junkyard and gave to you. But, I digress.

LADIES! I am so pleased to see such a fantastic array of nominees for this year’s Emmy awards. Larry and I have made a real effort to plug back into high-quality television, via DVDs, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. We don’t subscribe to cable, but we use the internet to keep our monthly entertainment overhead low. Plus, signing contracts in the 2010s is so retro. For reference, here are the nominated shows we are up to speed with:

Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange is the New Black
Saturday Night Live

The first nominees are Outstanding Lead Actress in the Drama category — I have been an avid Downton Abbey fan since its inception, and Michelle Dockery is a master in portraying a hard, difficult woman of high breeding, yet you can connect with her soft heart that’s hidden under all the layers of ice. I really can relate, and I appreciate her ability to do so in a believable way. Additionally, Robin Wright as an equally icy Claire in House of Cards is so beautiful and talented (and her wardrobe is to die for)… and it’s so refreshing to see women in their forties and beyond recognized with relevant dramatic roles on television (well, Netflix). Claire and Francis are the ultimate power couple, and I am a fan of a high-speed, functioning, realistic child-free couple. I don’t mean “We can’t have a child”, but child-free by choice. This is so refreshing.

For Outstanding Actress in the Comedy category — I will have to cater to Taylor Schilling’s amazing performance in Orange Is the New Black. The nomination is for a comedy, but the show skates mostly in the drama category. Taylor’s role is certainly more drama than funny lady, evidenced by the first episode of season 2. Let’s hope those deciding the outcome of awards can recognize her talent to dance along the line of drama and comedy, giving her character depth not seen in the other ladies’ performances. One episode you feel so terrible for her character, the next you are screaming at the television for her character’s blatant idiocy. For supporting, I haven’t seen enough of these shows to make a judgment call, but Red is quite a strong force to be reckoned with, and the viewer is left wanting to know all about this mysterious russkie. I also appreciate half the guest actresses nominations are from Orange, and I really, really appreciate Laverne Cox being the first transgender actress nominated. Did you know she has a twin brother who plays her male counterpart, pre-operation role? Holler! And lastly, Natasha Lyonne’s character makes me want to be best friends with her. I love her hair.

For supporting actresses, Downton Abbey has a competition between the Dowager Countess and Anna Bates (two more strong female characters… awesome!). However, my vote goes to Game of Thrones for Cersei Lannister. Her rollercoaster antics and legendary manipulation seem effortless. Additionally, I feel that Game of Thrones also deserves to scoop up the Guest Actress in a Drama with Lady Olenna’s performance definitely winning out over Kate Mara’s very short-lived portrayal of Zoe Barnes in House of Cards (and the fact that I find that character infuriating, disappointing, and ridiculous on the whole).

WHO, WHAT? The strangest thing to me a couple days ago while catching up with my neighbor. She mentioned I was “outdoorsy”. I can honestly say that’s never been used to describe me. At all. But I supposed living here in Louisiana, it could be true. I bought a new beach cruiser bike and ride every day, and walk my dog every day, too. I do every 5K that I can, and for some weird reason, I’m trying to incorporate more fitness into my life. I hate team sports with a passion, but running, cycling, swimming, yoga, are things that suit me. The “leave me alone” workouts.

EYEROLL. When I am searching for recipes online, I cringe whenever I see “kid-approved eats”. Since when do kids get to decide what they eat and don’t eat? There’s no such thing as “kid-approved eats”. Kids need to eat whatever their parents want to eat. You’re five. You don’t do anything for anybody or pay rent or pay for groceries or further current society in any way, shape, or form. STFU and eat.

Prom & Graduation Take Two.

29. So, I had one of those birthdays last weekend. My friend Amie was in town with her husband from Whiteman Air Force Base. We went to the Margaritaville casino’s seafood and steak place, called “Jimmy’s”. I like it for their scallops, and not just that the decor looks like how my bedroom is set up. Anyway, it was nice to see her and catch up with everyone. She says she is “twenty nine, on my third touch and go”. Clever girl.

MASTADON DEGREE. Today was Larry’s master’s graduation from Norwich University in Vermont. He has spent the last week there, doing a residency course. I was unable to obtain leave but luckily, the graduation was streaming online. Yesterday he was able to see Condoleezza Rice speak. He said she handled the protesters “with class”. I always have to muffle giggles when I attend or watch higher academic graduations. Doctorate garb (excuse me, Doctoral Regalia) is looking like Harry Potter motherfuckers. “Why are you grinning so stupidly?” “Totally Harry Potter. I live for this shit.” Love love love the Italian Renaissance looking berets, too. Hardcore academics.

I will obtain a Doctorate one day just so I can wear the outfit for Halloweens, carrying a wand. Just look at this guy. He just got his diploma from Hogwarts. I feel like when Larry’s not here, I get overwhelmed with stuff to do. He doesn’t do much housework or anything like that, but he keeps me on a schedule of sorts, accountability if you will. Otto has though, ensuring he gets his daily walks.

STELLAR STELAR. A “new” Parov Stelar album is due out in August 19th… I am pretty excited about the track Clap Your Hands. However, I have most of the songs anyway, I wonder why they chose to release it again on one album. Very odd in the age of iTunes and selective song purchasing. Anyway, it’s Electroswing at its finest… & the album is aptly named. Go on now, buy that song. I just got around to listening to Pink Martini’s 2013 release (shame shame on me). Some tracks are fascinating, but I sure took a shining to “Heliotrope Bouquet”, but it’s only a minute long. Damn. It’s another trip around the world with Pink Martini, but it’s no “Hang on Little Tomato.” I want to hear Timothy Nishimoto’s crispy, clear voice singing in Spanish, thanks.

SENIORS PROM. Yesterday I helped out with the local Veteran’s Affairs Retirement Center’s “Senior Prom”. Get it, seniors? I suited up, Betty Draper style and helped out. The airman that was running it said that no one dances, they didn’t last year (because of all the wheel chairs). I took that as a challenge, grabbed another volunteer, and swing danced a little bit. While I was dancing, an older gentleman asked if I wanted to Jitterbug. He stood up on wobbly legs, but was actually a very good dancer once he got going! I was very impressed. After we crowned a prom queen and king, I stuck around to talk with them for a bit, and the queen said she liked jazz music. I brought my piano music with me, and she showed me where the piano was. This place has a really nice Yamaha upright (brand new), and rumored to have a Steinway, too. I played for about an hour and attracted a very exuberant crowd. One lady even asked, “Do you play at Pilgrim Manor?” (the place I volunteer on the weekends). Ha, a groupie! Just kiddin’. I promised to come back Saturday afternoon. & so I will.

“You are a fascinating woman.” I received that very stunning compliment today.

Dallas Comic Con 2014

DEF-CON. Dallas Comiccon 2014 was a blast! Larry and I stayed at our usual stomping grounds, the historic Hotel Adolphus in downtown Dallas Leeloo Multipass. Oddly enough, this particular hotel was also on the recommended list for Con attendees put out by the event organizers. So, upon arrival, valet took our awesome PT cruiser ride, and I got a high-five for carrying Tauriel’s bow up the stairs in the lobby. Plenty of other neckbeards and geeks, one senior-aged one in an honest-to-goodness three wolf moon-like shirt.

When we arrived in Dallas on Friday, only a 2.5 hour drive from home, Larry and I had dinner at a French restaurant in the hotel. The decor had gilded accents and amazing murals painted on the ceiling. It was certainly an experience!

The con itself was crowded, with a lot of cosplayers. This one in particular lacked two categories of the usual fare, though, which I found to be quite surprising. I know Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII, and IX are slated for release eventually, but it’s been years since a new film came out; this explains the obvious lack of interesting Star Wars cosplayers, although I did find a pretty sweet Darth Revan (my favorite Star Wars character, ever). There was a Jedi here or there, but nothing of note. And the other ComicCon staple is Lord of the Rings. Hello, there were no Frodos, Bilbos, Legolas’, or Galadriels. This is odd because of the new Hobbit films out, literally, right now. Usually, convention-goers have their eye on the latest characters in films… Not sure what happened this time. Maybe I’ve been out of it too long since going to cons (I’ve been to two already this year after a six-year hiatus).

This was Larry’s second convention; we attended the Dallas Sci-Fi Expo in March, his first experience with this sort of thing! This time he put together a costume to wear. He was a Teutonic Knight, super historically accurate with real steel chain mail. Yes, he wore chain mail around all day. It weighs a metric shit ton! Lots of con goers wanted his photo because he looked pretty badass. I debuted my Tauriel costume, from the second Hobbit film. What an Elven badass. Anyway, on to the photos!