Real Talk.

I’m ready to check in with some writings of value or importance to me.

A friend and I were discussing how the world as of late can weigh you down, especially during tumultuous times such as the recent US election season and inauguration. It’s easy to become swept up in the huge amounts of negativity that seems to be everywhere. I suggested a simple meditation, a loose form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or “brain retraining.” He remarked he hasn’t the time or money to make this happen. I remarked it cost me no time and $0. Here’s what I said.

I started with small steps… paying attention to what I was thinking and how I tended to react to things. I placed a large focus on keeping unforeseen events and feelings in perspective and organizing them based on real, not perceived, importance. I started cutting out all the extra bullshit from my life.

Once I cut out the distractions, I could concentrate by focusing and meditating (thinking about, relaxing) on what truly matters to me and the person I want to be.

Here is an example:

OK, I am in bad traffic and I am running late for a class (or work or whatever). Instead of my old reaction of some sort of road rage, I tried putting on music or podcasts I liked, breathed deeply, realized others around me were going through the same shit, and tried to think about something positive.

So, let’s plan. What are the consequences of being late? Don’t jump to the worst possible outcome because being locked out of the class and publicly ridiculed will likely not happen today. What is the true, realistic outcome? Being late to class means it will be embarrassing for one class session because I have to walk in late, and quietly shut the door. No one else will remember this in a day. Nobody else cares about someone walking in late. I know I wouldn’t care or judge. Everyone has different things going on in their lives.

And lastly, how can I not be late next time? Let’s be realistic: Being late was nobody’s fault but my own. I have to take responsibility for not sticking to my schedule; acknowledging it is my fault is confirming that I know I have control to change it. If I blame someone else for my problem of being late, I cannot change their actions (only my own), and thus take this mindset of helplessness. Nobody benefits from feeling helpless.

I started small with things like this traffic example, then applied it to other scenarios. Eventually, over time, I changed my entire personality simply by reframing how I reacted to challenges. I became less jaded and angry, depressive bouts disappeared, and my personal resilience increased. I can handle just about anything! So it’s actually a retraining of your brain, in a way. Your immediate reactions change, if you let it. I used to get angry very quickly and hold petty grudges. I no longer get angry and never hold grudges. It is freedom and release to reclaim the power OVER you (outside actions) and changing it to YOUR power (how you let it affect you). And the best part? It costs $0.


Take a Napa & Go to Napa.

PEN&INK. You know, writing is always in the back of my mind. Updating. How could it not be? I’ve been doing it seventeen years. Most of my life. I like to write to explain things. I like to write to understand things. I like to write to have a chronicle of life. “What did I do in 2004? What did I feel? What did I learn?” and I can pull up a digital index of everything. Things I’ve forgotten. Things I maybe wanted to forget, and had… but my digital brain doesn’t forget.

So I am updating when I can, when I want to. So many good things are happening all at once; or maybe my outlook has changed on how I approach everything that happens. I think it’s the latter. I guess most people can recreate the years with a Facebook page, or a Twitter feed. That’s fine, but very limited… you physically can’t type more than 140 characters at a time on Twitter: fragmented thoughts. And who has ultimate control over a Facebook or Twitter? I am proud to own my writings in my own online space and archives.

Pfft, let’s be real. Haven’t updated lately because of Witcher 3 & a replay of Dragon Age: Inquisition. It happens.

Geralt, you magnificent bastard.

MSCP & SANFRAN. Get this: I’m six months into my Masters of Science in Counseling Psychology. When did that happen? I also went to San Francisco last month to attend the Couples Conference, a professional conference for those practicing counseling or psychology. It was also a thinly-veiled excuse to get over to the West Coast and tour Napa Valley. Which we did. Highlights of the trip include a really lovely wine-tasting and tour at ZD Wines, and lunch at Auberge du Soleil. We stayed at the historic Ledson Hotel while in Napa, right in the heart of downtown Sonoma. We spent a few days in San Francisco while I attended the conference, and also hoofed it around the city. FitBit says 20,000+ steps and 90+ floors climbed & I believe it. Good thing I wore a fancy jacket to dinner at Gary Danko so you couldn’t see my armpit sweat stains after a 45-minute hike.

The counseling conference was pretty stellar. Many different workshops and speakers were offered… and because it was San Francisco, it ranged from “Crystals & Auras” to actual Neuroscience. Most of the attendees were older and looked like this. That’s from Meet the Fockers for the uninitiated. They were even selling those kinds of clothes there. I thought I was smart and looked smart in my Hillary-esque pant suit, but I kinda stuck out. Anyway, Esther Perel regulated on modern relationships and not expecting your partner to fulfill every role in your life. Preach. Anyway, it was enlightening to see a West Coast Party. Bet the East Coast Party would include information on Freud, prescribing Dyziplen, and how to embrace being miserable. I jest. I think.

When this masters brouhaha is all said and done, I’m probably going to round robin right into the VA or on-base mental health clinics. B-52 Radar Navigator… instant rapport. I know how the military works, I know what it can put families through, and I know how to sift the story from the chaff. I had a hard time relating to the mental health clinic I went to before my first deployment: The clinician looked no older than 24. What did she know about deployments, or what I was experiencing? She went to college, got her masters, and here she is. What experiences has she had? I was so angry and frustrated that she couldn’t possibly understand. Now I know how to help. Frame that Honorable Discharge on the wall and we good.

ROTARY. I’ve joined my local Rotary Club; I think I’m the youngest member. No shame. It’s a small club, rather than the large Shreveport one. I figure I can make more of a difference and develop closer friends in a smaller club for the time I have left here… about two years (until I finish my degree and can leave this area). Anyway, I noticed the web site needs an update (very circa 2002), and there were no social outlets besides a Facebook that isn’t updated regularly. So, naturally, I took over the social media job. I made a Twitter and Instagram, and the Facebook is connected in to receive updates. Take that, Millenials… I do know how to use Twitter! But I still don’t see the point besides news agencies to distribute news fast. Oh well. We are in the game now.

I am still disappointing my piano teacher, but it’s always great fun going to lessons. Still visiting my elderly friends each Saturday, too. I had an idea to maybe do something like “painting with a twist,” but with a patriotic eagle or something. I asked one of the residents if they would enjoy a painting workshop and she said no. Welp, there’s that. Lastly, I baked “Lavender Honey Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Icing” from this hippie dippy book Larry bought. I almost followed the recipe but I got bored and improvised. My birthday is tomorrow and I’m gonna be 31. Eating this cupcake.


Stay Strong.

PRIDE. My thoughts are with those affected by the act of terror in Orlando at the Pulse club. I was a proud member and supporter of the LGBT community during my years in Orlando and these people were my family; I remember this night club was a diverse place for everyone to feel safe and accepted. I know this amazing, dynamic community will become stronger and closer than ever as a result of this difficult time.


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.


Here Goes: 2014

HOLLY JOLLY. My holidays were mostly relaxing and low-key, and to say that I hosted makes this pretty unbelievable. This year, my sister spent Christmas with her in-laws in Detroit. I hosted anyone who could make it to my new home in Louisiana. My parents, Larry’s father, & his charming new wife made it out to spend a few days in Cajun Christmas fashion. It was the first Christmas without little rugrats running around, which was an odd, but not wholly unwelcome change. There are pro’s and con’s to each, of course. Something about having children around makes the holidays a little more magical, but with adults, the evenings are made magical with a bottle of good brandy or a cup of egg nog. I fashioned the most amazing cocktail ever for Christmas: it was egg nog (in a more festive response to creme de cacao), peppermint Schnapps, Sprite & vodka. DO WANT every year.

Oddly enough, we didn’t really take any photos. Who wants to take photos of a bunch of us old heads huddled around the fire, anyway? Bah. I did receive my Grandmother’s pearl ring, which I wore for my wedding, and my sister wore for hers. It was given to her by my Grandfather in 1949-ish. I’ll have to find out the exact date. It really is one of my favorite pieces of jewelry in my family.

For New Year’s, I was planning on hosting a cocktail party, but as the family cleared out to return home, I asked Larry if he wanted to:

  • Host a party
  • Host a few neighbors
  • Have a quiet New Year’s in

So, I made a nice French dinner and chocolate soufflés for dessert, and we watched Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to ring in 2014.

HOBBIT. I saw “The Hobbit” take two. Although she’s not a canon character, I am going to craft a Tauriel costume for Dallas ComicCon. What a badass. Larry’s working on a Teutonic Knight costume. I’ll bring him over to the dark side yet. Need to drop twenty for my elvish costume. Elves are supposed to be the epitome of grace and athleticism. How fortunate this coincides with my Air Force Physical Fitness test that I’m due for in March. I’d more motivated by looking fabulous in costume than passing the damn thing. Oh well, Mazlo’s Hierarchy, amirite?

FRIENDSHIPS, MAN. The odd thing about being female in today’s military is, well, among lots of things, the glass ceiling you find yourself looking up into when it comes to making friendships. Now, we all know the military is generally, mostly male, as it is to be expected. However, no matter how modern we claim to be as a military machine and the U.S. Government as an employer, if you are close friends with someone of the male persuasion, it is guaranteed to get tongues wagging. I am no stranger to having males as best friends, in fact, I’ve always had males as my select few best friends. My no-nonsense attitude and “one and you’re done” mentality seems to emblazon my friendships with males (“one and you’re done” refers to anyone who double-crosses me, even once, is cut from my life).

I’ve always been too busy in life for drama or similar foolishness; the precious time I have off from work is spent with those I care most about. So, in the military, I’ve noticed, people still adhere to the scapegoat mentality; they want someone to judge and shred to pieces. I’ve seen it on multiple occasions, and I’ve been a victim to it on multiple occasions. No matter how “modern” we claim to be as a military or a society, this fact will, so it seems, always remain, and usually the woman is the topic of conversations. People just can’t handle it. I have a home to run; I have wine glasses to polish, cocktail parties to host, Elven Cosplay to craft, & lots of Game of Thrones episodes to catch up on. Moreover, I hardly have time of all of this and a military job, much less time to go husband or boyfriend-stealing. Ain’t nobody got time (or patience) for that. By the way, thanks to the lovely Ms. Stephy Dee for the badass silver belt she sent me for Christmas. With friends like these…!

FRIGID. Yeah yeah, everyone’s talking. Talkin’ bout people… or the extreme weather that’s moving across the U.S. I am practically Bad Luck Brian here.


Been Busy!

MINOT PRIDE. This past Saturday was a semi-impromptu gathering for Minot’s LBGT community at Sweet and Flour Bakery downtown. I say impromptu because the organizer, a co-worker of mine, thought it up just a week earlier when we saw him at 10 North Main. In just a week’s time, the word spread and there was well over one hundred attendees packed into a tiny pastry shop! Now, if you remember waaaay back to a year ago, about this time, said Sweet and Flour of Minot had a pre-opening gala until midnight. Luckily for me, it was my birthday and I headed over there to try a bakery selection in lieu of a birthday cake. It was so terrible, I didn’t have a desire to go back. Until now — because of the good reason! Anyway, the cupcake was still dry and sawdust-like, but the pastries were pretty legit. There were guests from all styles and walks of life, including straight couples from work, straight singles from work, pseudo-crossdressing teenage boys, an older man in drag, hot scenester lesbians, and of course, everything in-between. It was a really nice time and Larry was a very good sport about it all. We wanted to support our friend from work, and I think he was thrilled with the success & popularity of his get together!

TOO MANY TWINKIES. The Saturday last week that I volunteered to help out with the Wounded Warrior 5K Race, I wasn’t able to visit and play the piano for the elderly folks at Trinity Homes like I usually do that day. I figured nobody would really notice too much, anyway.

Totally wrong.

“How come you didn’t come by last weekend?”
“I missed that beautiful piano playing.”
“You weren’t here last week; I thought you might be doing an exercise On-Base.”

This week, Trinity Homes was short their usual volunteers, so I hit a double dose of piano-and-help-out action on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday morning, I helped out with the “Hope Floats Minot 5K”, which is for a park to be rebuilt due to our flood of 2011, and was able to go help out with my elderly entourage. Anyway, the Trinity Homes church service there was surprisingly legit — the pastor reminded me of the one back home, at the where church I’d go with my Gramma. The dude plays organ and sings. He’s like a one man church service. Dem skillz.

Here is a picture of me and Rachel, on a BUFF training mission. The ladies have it! She was the Radar Navigator, and I was kicking it old school as Navigator. Since I upgraded, I rarely get to sit in the Navigator seat (and do flight timing control). Usually the brand new navigators I fly with are more comfortable in the navigator seat, because that’s what they’re used to.

MUSTY PAGES. Holy crap, Mitch Clem’s My Stupid Life and Nothing Nice to Say comics. Blast from the past. It makes me kinda sad, though; nostalgic I suppose, but not a place I’d like to revisit readily. That compartment of my brain has a lot of nerd knowledge packed into it (like a friggin’ space bag), but has been set to mothballs. Like I tell people I meet in the military, I had an entire life before I joined the Air Force. I wasn’t one of those “live with your parents, move out to college to live in a dorm and do ROTC or the academy, then move into the dorms at flight school, then move into an apartment near base (or on base). I moved thirteen times total in college. I couch surfed when I didn’t have anywhere to stay between moves. I worked some pretty neat jobs while putting myself through college. Like I said, an entire life. It’s like a new chapter is being written, and the previous ones have been closed and printed. This comic illustrates it nicely.

TUROK, TRASH HUNTER. So in the evenings, when Larry and I take Otto for his walk, I bring a plastic bag along to go trash hunting. And trash hunting is just a more brutal way to say “pick up garbage”. The census is in: people who smoke Marlboros (or any cigarettes, really), eat Taco John’s, and drink beer or Arizona Iced Tea are the biggest litterbugs. Oh yeah, Monster drinks, too. Keep it classy, Minotians. Combine all of those and you might get a super righteous kidney stone.

JUST PALS AROUND. Yesterday, Otto went a new pal’s house. A new lieutenant in my squadron just moved here, with his small beagle and miniature dachshund (she is 8 lbs.! If you remember, I had a miniature dachshund that was 7.5 lbs.). Anyway, they are moving into their lovely new home, complete with a big, grassy fenced backyard. Otto immediately started playing with the beagle, as the mini each just barked. I guess I’d be scared of someone twice my size, too! Yes, it’s a “play date” for dogs — we people who don’t have kids have play dates, too. Toddler not required.

FASHION. And here is your obligatory fashion photo. Usually I post outfit ideas, but I wanted to show off my new shoes I got on Ebay. I saw them in Guam while deployed, but the store’s clientele is mostly tiny Japanese people, who don’t stock anything over a women’s 9 for their tiny feet. Because of the short toe box of these shoes, I needed a 9.5, when I am regularly an 8.5. Chanel and Louboutin, get your toe box/sizing under control, for real! So thanks, Ebay, for not selling me a fake pair of Chanel shoes, and at an amazingly low price. The dress is by Stop Staring! and is universally flattering on everyone. Sneaky stripes… This is from my birthday dinner with Larry last weekend.


Call Me Crazy?

SNOOP. I knew it! I knew it, people! Everyone calls me paranoid to think that the gubm’nt has been listening to phone calls and tracking emails … I first called it out in 2009 when they built huge warehouses with storage servers, and hired a slew of people for “data management specialists”. I’d imagine processing billions of terabytes of phone and e-mail information would get a little looney to organize, amirite? Additionally, I asked a Captain at work the other day what he thought about these NSA shenanigans. His reply (get ready for this)? “I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t have anything to hide, so I don’t really care.” Besides taking an OATH to protect and defend the Constitution with our life, I “shouldn’t really care.” If you didn’t catch it, our Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. (thanks, wikipedia). Just another example of lawmakers wiping their ass with what I swore a life oath to protect and defend. Talk about a slap in the face.

I am just so sick of the “let them eat cake” mentality (whether or not Marie Antoinette said it or not, the First Lady is the perfect embodiment). African Safaris? Hawaiian vacations? Martha’s Vineyard? Do you think this is a fair representation of the average American, or the 1%? “Do as I say, not as I do.” America, YOU voted this in. Twice.

In other news, It’s my birthday today. Yep. Larry’s taking me out.


Sew, so.

UNPLUGGED. — I am wondering when so-called hipsters will shun cell phones, or at least smart phones. I am the queen of hipsters! I do not use cell phones or text messaging; I am so 1995 it hurts! Take that, you faux hipsters! Read and weep!

WAR STORIES. — Today a Vietnam Veteran came to speak to our squadron. He drove F-4’s, and was the only Lieutenant Aircraft Commander. While on a bombing run (750 lb. bombs to be exact), he and his backseater ejected from the aircraft approximately two seconds before ground impact. They both survived, and spent six years as Prisoners of War at multiple camps across Vietnam. He endured those years and returned with honor to share his stories with us.

Additionally, he mentioned just how important it is to learn from war veterans; to ensure these stories are not forgotten. It made me think of the tome I read, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, the autobiography by T.E. Lawrence (aka the Lawrence of Arabia). I have a 1933 (second) edition. I would give anything for the 1922 first edition. They are extremely rare and only a few copies were produced, before reworking (and heavily editing) the latter. It was further edited after the 1933 edition.

HERO. — Anyway, I think about that story almost daily. The amazing bravery, wisdom, and character he had, and all the impossible goals and outcomes set for him to achieve. When I watch the news and see what a sty Damascus, Jeddah, Medina, Aqaba, and Petra have become after everything Lawrence did to help free them from Turkish rule and all while treating their culture with the utmost respect… It seems like such a waste.

It is a waste. It frustrates me that more people don’t know about the extensive inner workings that the British crafted to create the Arab Revolt during World War I. People today barely know about European World War I history. In contrast, the Brits do teach about T.E. Lawrence in their history classes; in America, we do not. I could go on and on about this, but I wish I could talk about this topic with someone else who loves and respects this man as much as I do.

“Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars…”

In other news, here’s a photo of me & Larry at the International Military Ball.
HEARTBREAK. — I heard some extremely disappointing and disheartening news today, something very oddly out of the ordinary. Sometimes one has to consider what may affect innocent people outside their tiny sphere. Dragging others through the mud after they have done nothing is heartbreaking. It really makes me melancholy thinking about it.

JUMPING LINUX PENGUINS. — I signed up for a summer class, a programming refresher. Just your usual fare. When you are out of coding and all that schlock for as long as I have been… well, my brain booted the programming and filled it with bombs, B-52H systems knowledge, and aviation nerd noise. Honestly, I believe more brain bytes were lost than replaced. That’s life.


Athletic Supporter

SHAPING UP. — I re-accomplished my Air Force Physical Training test this week. This is a comparison of my score from just a month ago with last Wednesday’s test results:

In 60 Seconds:
Pushups: 31 / 26 (I didn’t want to fatigue my core for the sit-ups a minute later)
Sit-ups: 31 / 44

1.5 Mile Run: 12’30” / 12’10”
Waist: 28″ / 28″
Weight (lbs): 146/136 (height: 5’9″)

With these statistics, I scored a 92.6%. Just to further drive home how flawed the Air Force fitness tests are, you can still “fail” the test by not meeting the set minimums (even with my score of 86.2% from a month ago). Also, you start the 1.5 mile run from a dead stop. Super healthy…

And speaking of super healthy, I attended the fatbody’s “people who failed their PT test class”, which is mandatory, to learn about how to eat right, exercise and goal-setting (sigh). When going around the room, with the question posed of “What things have you heard about healthy eating?”, I replied curtly “Don’t eat food with labels.”

It took everyone a minute

LEAVE JOBS. — Lots of changes at work lately. After a year as the squadron executive officer, I have moved to working in Standards and Evaluations. I help organize all the folder that contain check rides and tests for air crew. Honestly, it’s a step down in a way. Usually you get hooked up, as a former executive officer, with a more “unique” job, but I have a feeling I was just stuck in a dark corner to get rid of me until I (supposedly) move this fall/winter. I also didn’t get the opportunity to deploy overseas with my squadron; with no real reason why. The new job is super easy, and way less stressful than the exec job. I likened the new office to a library; it’s super quiet, and there’s fake, dusty trees in the office. Luckily, I have my iPod.

I put all my effort into my former job. It seems so strange to me they’d put me in a box and shove me upstairs, away from the rest of the squadron, when I love people and helping people so much. Nobody ever comes upstairs (especially now that the whole squadron is deployed). People need help with all sorts of things and they come ask me. Makes you feel purposeful; now, not so much. But hopefully it’ll only be six months or so before I move South… and get shoved into a dark, dusty corner again.

In good news at work, I took my flight to become considered experienced as a Radar Navigator in the B-52. This means I get to call all the shots downstairs in the offensive (weapons) compartment. People look to me on the crew to be the authority on all the combat systems management and weapons. When shit happens, I’m supposed to know how to fix it. Next stop is instructor. Woof. Wonder how much I’ll have to pay someone off for that certification… ha!

It did make me feel pretty swell to hear the big squadron bosses talking hush-hush about who should be an alternate for deployment (it’s a long haul out to the deployment location), and I just got signed off as experienced on Friday. One major said “I evaluated her and she can definitely take charge and run things accordingly.” Well, shit. I was asked to be an alternate. Doesn’t mean I get to go along with my squadron overseas, but finally, a glimmer of an “attaboy”. Those are extremely rare and far-between in this line of work, and rightfully so. No blowing smoke up your butt… at least I wouldn’t want it that way.

SO LONG. — Here is a photo of one of the last times I’ll see ol’ Devin and Amie for a while. & last night, I took Amie out for dinner on me. Lots of ladies take out their best gal pal for dinner or coffee. But it’s not because you won’t see them for half a year or so. I suppose this is one of the reasons I joined the military — for all the experiences. Civilians can’t always understand saying farewell to your spouse for a year or more. Wondering if you can get time away to see your family this year due to the MAJCOM schedule, and feeling guilty taking the time off because you don’t want to let your squadron down during inspections or exercises. Continuous credit and background checks, monitored personal e-mails. And let me tell ya: nail art is totally out.

Here is a summer look I just invested in. Yes, it’s still 23°F here in Minot, North Dakota, but I feel like if I lighten my hair, stock up on shorts and self-tanner, the six feet of snow piled on my front lawn might dissipate more quickly. Sure thing.


Food Matters

INTROSPECTION. — I am always thinking of good things to write; writing things I won’t say, in my head. Things in the world are crazy right now, and sometimes you feel helpless about it, you know? Especially because if I want to keep track of all my thoughts and make sense of things, they cannot be published online. It’s difficult to not receive that extra leg up or insight about the busyness going through your mind, dozens of times per day through the sanity of the online community. Not sure if sanity and online community has ever been used in the same sentence to date, but I’m all for shaking things up. But enough boring crap: onward…

Being out of an artistic community or circle makes it extremely difficult to stay connected and motivated. If anyone would like to send an “inspiration care package”, I’d love to exchange one with you. Comment and we’ll make it happen.

BAA. — I’ve been watching a few good food documentaries lately. One was called Forks Over Knives and the other, Veganomics. I liked the latter best; it addresses the innumerable health benefits of a plant-based diet with scientific facts. I eat chicken or fish very rarely, about once in a couple weeks. Otherwise, I’m considered pescetarian. Recently, I’ve picked up a couple good cookbooks for plant-based eating.

  • Forks Over Knives: The Cookbook – Also a pushy, yet informative, vegan documentary of the same name featuring your usual roll of slaughterhouse footage. Can’t stomach it? Then don’t eat it.


  • Vegan With A Vengeance – Marketed as a punk title, it claims it was born in a “post-punk kitchen.” Whatever that means. Is she not punk anymore? Is she just over punk in general? I would hope any kitchen would be “post-punk”. Nobody likes unwashed kitchen towels and fleas in their gluten-free pudding. But hey, you know they have a good supply of bleach, whether for cleaning, hair, or clothing.



  • Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian – It’s unmistakable: I’m keeping it classy up in this bitch. When I need some plant-based crumpets or sawdust-textured biscotti, I know what to reach for.


… and now, for no real reason, a photo of my dogs and Larry looking like a greasy hipster who is both a user and abuser of the above cookbooks.