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Take II

So in exciting news, I am leaving Shreveport, Louisiana for a second time. Larry is being sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii for his next assignment. I suppose I’ll go with him. Twist my arm. The notification came down rather quickly to the move date, so I am in a bit of a free fall; like a cat – I’m trying to instinctively go with the flow and land on my feet. It’s working so far. I’m moving after the semester ends at LSUS.

IMG_0875By the way, I finish all my coursework for my MS in Counseling this fall. I’m currently interning at the VA Hospital here in town. It is an absolutely joy to work with these veterans. I’ve been working in the Vocational Rehabilitation program on my first rotation: I have an interest in career counseling and wanted to be involved in a little social work to groom myself for a career at the VA or military bases. The veterans I work with are fabulous and I can’t say enough about how great the people are: just like being in the military. Sure, you don’t always get the funding or first rate resources, but you make do and you’re in it together. It’s the people that make it worth doing. I’ve been leading a group since my second or third week there; the feedback I’ve heard through the grapevine is that the guys say I “treat them as an equal,” “don’t talk down to them,” and “make you forget that your problems may seem hopeless.” They call me “Captain.” That nickname is fine with me! I’m going to really miss these guys when I leave. Man. To finish my last semester of internship in the spring, I’ll be transferring to the Tripler VA Hospital on O’ahu, so it shouldn’t be too much of an upheaval. Then I’m graduating May 2018!

But if I want to move to Hawaii I have to work for it. I’m taking 15 credit hours of master’s work, including internship and finishing my thesis, I will need to take my Comprehensive exam for Counseling, pack up my house and move, and secure the dog’s passage to Hawaii. I’m scared to ask what else might pop up.

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Earlier this month I went to Washington, D.C. and was a student aide for the American Psychological Association’s annual conference. I love networking, and even met a woman attending from O’ahu: she was 74 and just finished her second Ph.D. #Goals. You never know who you will meet! Let’s be real: Larry and I visited D.C. so we could see the Game of Thrones pop up bar. It was crowded, lively, and the drinks were awesome. I’m not sure the Lannister theme song really gets the mood shaking though. A little macabre.

Hey, if nothing else, my Instagram is gonna be fire in Hawaii. Can’t wait to scuba dive and bike and hike and all those things I did in Guam. Larry insists Hawaii is prettier; I insist Guam has its own dirty, yet charming appeal.

There are so many more things I’d like to chirp about, but I am heading out to hang out with my boyfriends at the Veterans Home and play some jazz. Life is good and I have much to be thankful for. People are what make my life worth mentioning.

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Unpacking & Cracking.

FALL. So with Louisiana’s nine month gestation of mosquitoes, humidity, and 95°F oppression drawing to a close, it is almost time to unpack boots, scarves, and everything that makes me a white, upper-middle class coffee-drinking American female. Or whatever stereotype works. And by that I mean boots, scarves, and baller grades in graduate school. This semester is focusing on theoretical approaches to counseling, and we have to basically select our model we will be using… forrrevverrrr. The one I am most interested in is, of course, abstract and scares people. Let’s talk about how you feel about what you’re doing with your life… & death.

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Anyway, it makes the most sense to me, and seems pretty useful for counseling military, veterans, and couples, with an emphasis on remaining respectful. So many therapists seem condescending or frankly, insulting that it frustrates me to no end. Acknowledging independence and encouraging personal responsibility always seems like a fair bet.

tumblr_o8kz2jJAxn1qiuiebo1_1280.jpgPROGRESS. I really believe this dumpster fire of an electoral process should just be summed up by who has the most clever memes…because that’s really all you see around the internet anyway to sway voters. Hills allotted like $125 million to make memes. Trump and Johnson have people doing it for free on Reddit, although Johnson did allot funds to make hilarious viral videos like this one. Dead Abe Lincoln should win a medal. Anyway, I sent my ballot in absentee last week. Pretty sure Hillary will steal it and use it as kindling to light a bomb fuze to kill Syrian civilians. And Trump will try to steal it and somehow write it off his tax return to avoid taxes. I told Larry I want to be a psychologist on Mars; Earth’s problems would seem so tiny when you have to worry about your potato crop getting wiped out by one teensy Mars outpost explosion.

The last “debates” were a snark fest. If I wanted to watch two people hurl clever jabs at each other, I’d watch an instructional video on marriage counseling. There was absolutely no debating, just insane claims and the so much fact checking that it’ll be completed by next election cycle. The New York prisoners’ debate team that defeated Harvard’s would be great coaches for Trump and Hills. Maybe they can both be sent there for charity fraud and improper handling of classified, respectively.

This Sarah’s Scribbles comic makes me sad. So much progress was made, and a year later, so many steps back… into the burning inferno of uncounted 2016 Presidential Election absentee ballots.

Continue reading “Unpacking & Cracking.”

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It’s Thursday.

GALA. I am getting pretty pumped for this 1940’s fundraising gala next weekend. It’s all for a good cause to support the local Shreveport Symphony. There’s going to be live entertainment from the ladies of the New Orleans WWII museum and era music. I talked to the event coordinator yesterday and she wants to put together a slideshow tribute to those who have served in the military, and/or their family members. I also sent her some links on YouTube to the fabulous Parov Stelar in case she hadn’t heard of him; the music is great for “retro parties” when you don’t always want all period music. Even as a huge collector of vintage music, I get weary of back to back Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey at “theme parties”. Plus, as I stress to people who ask me about how to obtain that perfect party atmosphere, I share that you and your guests are really only going to hear the bass and beat, and just snippets of the brass or vocals every now and then. So, the Parov Stelar does the trick, for sure.

Larry’s wearing his Air Force blue service dress, and I’m wearing 1940’s styling: dress, shoes, makeup, hair, back-seam stockings. It should be a blast and we get to meet new people who also love & support the arts in our community. I still have to dig out the shoes (I wore ’em for prom! The linked photos are out of the archives to show you. An ancient blog has its perks; any photo you can think of is stored somewhere on my server. Nice.

SKILLS. A big goal of mine since having a little more time on my hands has been to work on my updo game. In the past few months, I’ve taught myself how to French Braid, work with foam hair “rats” to create serious volume, finagle a sock bun, and tweak/clean up styles I’ve previously rocked. I’ve been taking some photos to share; I apologize that the quality isn’t top notch. Anyway, here are my styles: I am pretty proud of my handiwork! Which do you like best?

The new season of House of Cards premiers on Netflix this weekend. We already watch Vikings, so I’m glad that’s back again. Lagertha is my life inspiration.

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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.

“An imgur user showed off her pristine white sofa…” Fuck yes I did. I love me some pristine white sofa. I’m 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.

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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!

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Florida Party!

SUNSKI. I am outside right now, under a clear sky and scads of sunshine. Although things have been difficult at work; with the dark cloud of two months of temporary duty in Alabama followed by a deployment thereafter, I am trying to take time to relax and work on this here tan. Eight months away from a spouse with base exercises before you leave (further separating your time together) needs doing peaceful things to help you manage it. Did I mention there’s a bustling bird feeder six feet from where I am sitting?

Anyway, as mentioned, I will be heading to my old haunt of Montgomery, Alabama in June and July. I spent June, July, and August there in 2008 to receive my commission in the Air Force. It’s where I had my first experience (albeit contrived) with military life, including meeting Larry. It seems like the worst time of the year to go, weather-wise, & I’ve been chosen to go pay a visit during the hot summer months twice. However, a silver lining is on the horizon, as Devin is also assigned to attend this class for these two months, so I will have my best friend in tow, whom I haven’t seen since November of last year. Following my two months of 5k’s, 10k’s, and constant working out, I am shipping out to Guam for six months. Luckily, those 5k’s and 10k’s will exorcise the flab (see that pun there?) and be awesome for beach times overseas. Too bad Larry won’t be around to appreciate it. Lame.

90 LUFTBALLONS. Last weekend was my Granny’s ninetieth birthday celebration. Nonagenarian. She’s embarking on the wonderful journey of her tenth decade. Tenth, people. She is still as sharp as ever, completing the newspaper crossword each day, in pen. She can do the Cryptoquip (which I’ve never been able to do, which is ironic, given my career field). She works out regularly and attends the Lutheran church on Sundays. So the key to a long life is family and a healthful mind, body, and spirit. And paella. Let’s not forget that.

For her party, we surprised her with an eighteen-passenger limo bus. We were unable to secure a classy limousine because it was prom weekend (of course), but this party bus had a TV, bumping stereo system, leather seats, party lights, and built-in bar and ice chest. We all BYOB’d and set off to dine at the world-class rated “Christini’s” Italian restaurant in Orlando. I made an awesome playlist for the bus, including electroswing remixes of Louis Armstrong, Lawrence Welk, and of course, more Xavier Cugat than you can shake a maraca at. The restaurant was amazon, and we were all seated at a long table, tended to by a half-dozen extremely handsome Italian waiters. The accordion player came around, and I requested all of my Gramma’s favorite songs, including “The Anniversary Waltz”, “The Third Man Theme”, and “La Dolce Vita” (which stumped the player like it did last year. Fellini, people. Fellini… only the most memorable movie to date about Rome besides “Roman Holiday”). It was amazing to see all of my family together, including all my aunts and uncles. What was not amazing was arriving at the hotel in Daytona Beach at 1130pm, then checking out at 4am to catch a plane home to Louisiana.

While I was visiting beautiful Cocoa Beach, Florida, I stayed with my Aunt Vonni and Uncle Steve. She has a beautiful resort-style swimming pool and lounge area; somehow coffee by the pool in your ‘jams each morning brings a special sort of zen to your life. She is extremely zen, and we have that in common. My family can be hectic, so it’s nice to have someone “get it” & help you unwind on your vacation. That’s what Florida’s all about. Relaxation and the beach. And Rum Runner’s at Coconuts Bar on the Beach. Can’t forget that, too. I really love the Florida lifestyle and wish I could move back to the beach, or a houseboat on the water. Because I have the military to thank for helping me move out of Florida to begin my life, I have enough personal success to move back of my own decision. My cousin Marjorie, whose husband left her one day out of the blue with no warning months ago, is looking to sell her house in Tallahassee and move to Tampa. I would give anything to be stationed at McDill Air Force Base — to be one hour from Orlando and two from Cocoa Beach! Just gotta convince Larry…

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This & That.

4DAPUNX. There’s something oddly ironic about walking your dog in Suburbia sporting a Rancid …And Out Come the Wolves t-shirt. Yeah get some. Starting a riot, but not outlandishly enough for the police to be called. Since like, five of them actually live in my neighborhood.

España. Larry and I went to see the Shreveport Symphony this weekend, with special guest Jason Vieaux; he plays classical guitar.

The program consisted of the following:

LUIGI BOCCHERINI:    Symphony in D minor (“La Casa del Diavolo”)
JOAQUÍN RODRIGO:    Concierto de Aranjuez
SILVESTRE REVUELTAS:    Suite from Redes
MANUEL DE FALLA:  Three-Cornered Hat Suite No. 1, Ritual Fire Dance

He has long hair and looks every bit the tortured musician. And by tortured I mean a semi-famous and extremely talented wearer of scarves. I saw the guy who sold me my piano’s dad at the event; I think he was trying to figure out where he knew me from. A few hours later, Larry realized he had food poisoning from an ill-fated office meal outing at Fuddrucker’s. Does anyone eat at Fuddrucker’s? If you do, why do/would you eat at Fuddrucker’s? Obviously, Larry wanted to lose a few pounds by sitting on the toilet with a trash can in his lap, brought to you by Carl’s Jr Fuddrucker’s. Gets that extra weight loss edge.

So the Tauriel costume is going along nicely. Too bad the Air Force will probably send me out of town the weekend of Dallas ComicCon. FML. I won’t be able to attend any conventions in the summer because I’ll be out of town on Air Force training, and deploying in the fall, so no cons there.

Lastly, guess who made the international news. Good ol’ B-52, H model. Even made InfoWars, and you know it’s not news nor conspiracy fodder until Mister Alex Jones gets a hold of it:


Go BUFFs!

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Miracle of Miracles

[ Well, folks, this is a huge announcement. Please continue to read if you’d like to see me geek out a little. ]

I have installed WordPress on my server.

What does this mean, praytell? It means that I could transfer all my journal entries from across the web… across the Livejournal… across the Blogger… so as of now, I have all my entries dating clear back to March 2003. Additionally, it’s hosted server side, so I have total control of the content from anywhere.

Big deal: I will be adding my entries from my journal that I used to host right here at Grrlstar.net, dating back to 1999. This is a huge project; I think there are about 150+ entries to input by hand. But gradually, my teenage saga will be showing up here in the archives. Additionally, I will need to hand-correct each imported Livejournal entry that contained any HTML (each tag imported incorrectly); this is about 600 entries.

I am proud to be one of the internet’s most historic daily journal-style bloggers (back before it was called blogging) and I am so excited to have this project underway. You have no idea. Being able to access all these memories from one place is just beyond words for me.

Thanks for listening, interwebz. Bear with me on these changes. See you again soon, and tell your friends. /geekout.

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“Be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do
I am he and she is she but you’re the only you
No one else has got your eyes to see the things you see
It’s up to you to change your life and my life’s up to me.

The problems that you suffer from are problems that you make.
The shit we have to climb through is the shit we choose to take.
If you don’t like the life you live, change it now it’s yours.
Nothing has effects if you don’t recognise the cause.

If the programme’s not the one you want, get up, turn off the set!
It’s only you that can decide what life you’re gonna get.
If you don’t like religion you can be the antichrist
If you’re tired of politics you can be an anarchist

But no one ever changed the church by pulling down a steeple
And you’ll never change the system by bombing number ten
Systems just aren’t made of bricks they’re mostly made of people
You may send them into hiding, but they’ll be back again

If you don’t like the rules they make, refuse to play their game.
If you don’t want to be a number, don’t give them your name.
If you don’t want to be called out, refuse to hear their question.
Silence is a virtue, use it for your own protection.

They’ll try to make you play their game, refuse to show your face
If you don’t want to be beaten down, refuse to join their race
Be exactly who you want to be, do what you want to do
I am he and she is she but you’re they only you”

Crass, Big A Little a

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What February?

Well, it seems that I have not updated at all this month. This is quite disheartening, as I love to document day to day happenings. It’s like a time capsule, buried in the earth of internet. February in a nutshell has, of course, been awfully busy for me. I’ve been flying twice a week, working on my home, getting wedding plans finalized, arranging for the cruise and honeymoon in Germany, and taking dance lessons.

In the flying world, a couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to drop twenty-seven M-117 bombs. They’re fat little guys & quite silly looking, but certainly make an impact. Yes, that’s a pun. My days have each been over twelve hours lately, leaving little time to come home, cook a meal for Larry and I, and unwind. I’m counting the days until my wedding in May and grand vacation in June!

With all these goings on, I haven’t had much time to devote to the house. I finished painting the terrible beige trim and started whitewashing the fireplace hearth. Scores better, I must say!

And lastly, my 1930s glamourous wedding gown is fully underway; I had to decide on the train length. Larry and I are taking waltz lessons in preparation for the reception. Let’s just say – and I confess – that I am much more proficient at East Coast swing than waltzing! It’s almost laughable. Larry has some experience in the waltz department, and has a most handsome and proper stature while dancing.

My beau is leaving again for a month this Wednesday… & by Wednesday I will have flown twice already in the week. Can’t say I don’t stay busy! Pictures to come, and I’ve received new clothing for the cruise and tour of Berlin. They’ll be along shortly…