Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dinner for one

Quick question:

Would you rather go out to eat by yourself or cook for yourself at home?

I hate cooking for myself. I did it by necessity when I was living by myself and broke. Now? Well, I don't technically live by myself. And we are not technically broke.

But I feel that same loathing rising in my heart, nonetheless. I keep making myself eggs, because that is all I can bring myself to cook. Luckily, our house is inconveniently located to nearly all local restaurants, both sit down and fast food, otherwise I would drop a lot of coin on dinners out. Unfortunately, I can also spend a few hours after work shopping and then head to dinner before driving all the way home. Which is also a lot of coin, but at least I got 2 nice sweaters, some curtains and a few candles out of the deal.

When I do this, I generally go to Buffalo Wild Wings (shut up, I like them). By myself. With a book. Because that is how I roll.

I always sit in the same section (the only one with decent lighting, so I can read my book). I always get the same waitress. And she always calls me honey/sweetie/etc which somehow makes me feel even lamer than being in what is essentially a sports bar reading a book.

But I do love their wings.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I frequently greet patron's with a cheery "Hi!" followed by one of two questions:

"What can I help you with?"


"How are you today?" (this second one is especially appropriate when they have a stack of books ready to check out...I know how I can help them, I don't need to ask!)

Today, I asked a patron how she was, and got this answer:

"I'm finer than a frog's hair split three ways and sifted through silk."

I'm not going to lie, I didn't really know what to make of that response. She said it very very cheerfully, and obviously any such hair would have to be very, very, VERY fine, thus making her very happy. Except...frog's don't even have hair, do they? And if that's the case, then maybe she was trying to say that she was really unhappy?

I honestly don't know.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Einstein's take on eye makeup

I don't wear a lot of eye makeup. I mean, I wear it, but not a ton.

So today I was trying out a new look, in preparation for the squadron Christmas party. It is a "nighttime look" complete with eye makeup that could be termed "dramatic". In other words, its a heck of a lot darker than anything I normally wear.

When I walked out to show Einstein, he was on the phone. He made a face like he was sucking on a lemon and made a flapping gesture around his eyes. I took this to mean he didn't like the look. I went back in the bathroom and messed around some more. After he got off the phone I asked him what he didn't like.

"The eyes are too dark. I don't like it. Well, I guess its not too bad if you stand in the shadows."

Yes, dear, that was kind of the point. After I tried to explain this to him, he came out with this little gem:

"Well, you look like a fourteen year old at the New Moon premiere. Or a second lieutenant wife. Or a cougar. Or something."

Considering that not so long ago, I was a 2LT wife, I'm not really sure how to take that comment. But I am going to go crack open a bottle of makeup remover. And find some other eye makeup for the party.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Note to self

Try to remember that when Einstein is gone, you need to get out of the house and spend time with people.

And no, work doesn't count. It's great and all, but its not exactly restful.

One morning out of the house, and see how much better you feel??

It also helps to do dishes/laundry more than once every two weeks. Just saying.

/note to self

Monday, November 9, 2009

Murphy's law of TDY's strikes again

Maybe its because things just seem worse when he's gone, or maybe it really is Murphy out to get me, but as soon as he's TDY something always breaks, or some emergency crops up or whatever.

The worst part is that I then have to make decisions. I am normally a pretty go-to type of person. I don't mind making decisions.

But I also like talking those decisions over before I make them. With, you know, the person who 1) usually lives here and thus has a pretty good read on the situation; 2) is not prone to hysterics and 3) will be most impacted by any property damage/costs incurred/etc by whatever decision I make.

Unfortunately, I'm in the driver's seat with no one to bounce things off of.

If he doesn't like how things turn out, he can complain to the Air Force.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Variety is the spice of life

After pilot training ended and all of our friends scattered to the four winds, it has been interesting hearing how different life is in the different types of airframes. In the Air Force, each aircraft has its own quirks, but in general the lifestyle tends to be pretty similar for similar aircraft within a type (the "types" being heavies, fighters, bombers, special operations, and unmanned aerial systems).

I'm lucky to have friends in lots of different airframes (airframes is the Air Force's fancy way of saying airplanes), so I get to hear about a lot of different things. It is amazing how different the cultures are. At Einstein's pilot training base, pilots and the flying community were presented as a monolithic institution, but nothing could be further from the truth!

The differences aren't just in deployment length and frequency, either. The amount of institutionalized drinking, the types of mandatory fun, the atmosphere of the spouses groups- its all different. I love hearing stories about super formal spouses meetings at other bases (mostly because I don't have to attend them). I am glad that my husband doesn't have a roll call every single Friday night. I am envious of the exuberant, friendly welcomes that some of my friends have received from their spouses groups.

And mostly, I'm thankful for the chance to see how the rest of the Air Force lives. :-D

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Want a library card?

I think everyone should have a library card.

I'll wait a moment for the shocked murmuring to settle down.

Seriously, though, what's better than free entertainment? Most libraries have books, DVD's, audiobooks, tons of online resources and more available to cardholders.

So go get a library card, but be prepared! Most libraries are going to make you show a photo ID and something else (a current utility bill, rental agreement, a piece of mail, car registration) that shows proof of residence. I have never worked at a public library that didn't require this second type of proof of residency.

I am often frustrated when military folks come in with their military IDs and expect that to be enough to get them a library card. Sorry, its not (at least, not at any library I've ever worked at- not saying it might not be elsewhere!). The military folks often get frustrated with me, too. I understand how they feel, and often feel like commiserating- after all, my brown ID card gets me everything else, from groceries to free legal assistance, so why can't it get me a library card?

So save yourself some hassle: get a library card, but be prepared before you get there; you'll save yourself (and the person behind the desk) some frustration.

**Note: if you're setting up a library account at the base library, be prepared with your ID, your sponsor's duty phone number and unit, and other relevant information!**

Saturday, October 24, 2009

one thing I love about the air force

My husband is okay with making cookies.I'm not saying Navy/Marines/Army aren't...but...

I know that some branches (our friend T who is Navy) think that the AF is a little out there, but Einstein is making cookies for me right now, which is pretty sweet. And I'm with my sis, and talking about a million things. Seriously, though, I love our new location, and our base, and and baby sister is here, which is better than anything.


One is silver, the other is gold

One of my mother's favorite refrains when I was growing up was "Make new friends but keep the old; one is silver, but the other is gold." While I generally prefer silver to gold (and silver vs. gold insignia denotes the higher rank, haha) I definitely agree with the premise of what my mother was trying to say.

The problem is that I'm not sure how to put it into action. I'm fairly decent at making new friends, I think. I'm not like other people I've observed, who seem to make best friends with the first person they meet at a new base, and remain BFF's for the rest of their lives. Nonetheless, I do find it easy to be friendly with people, and from there, to develop real friendships as I get to know them better.

Unfortunately, I am horrible at long distance communication. This is ironic, since Einstein and I maintained a long distance relationship for 4 years, and still have what I would affectionately refer to as a "commuter" marriage. Although I've never struggled with calling/emailing him, I am horrible at it with the rest of the world.

My most frequent email correspondent is my mother-in-law, mostly because I would feel pretty guilty if I ignored her emails, and also because our communication styles mesh: short, to the point, with a little humor thrown in for good measure.

I am horrible at long, chatty emails, and I am even worse at the telephone. I loathe the phone. I prefer email and texting. I often let my phone go to voicemail and rarely return voicemails once I listen to them (which can take an embarrassingly long time). I star blogs in my reader to comment on them, and then never do it. I star emails for later reply, archive them, and forget all about them. I intend to send cards and letters and never do.I remind myself of birthdays and forget to call/text/facebook whatever.

While some friends are fine with this, others clearly hate me for not communicating more efficiently. Also, as more of my friends become long distance friends, it gets harder and harder to keep up. I wonder if my expectation are too high, or if I am just a crappy friend? I don't know. I do try, especially for people I know value certain types of communication, but there are some friends that I have grown apart from and I'm not sure if that is inevitable or if it is my fault.

I guess I just have to do the best I can, and try to find some way to balance the silver and the gold.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I know I shouldn't, but...

It is science fair time in our area.

That means lots and lots of parents coming in to check out science books.

For the most part they seem completely unrepentant that they are doing the research for their child. Some of them are a little more sheepish. No matter which camp they fall into, they feel the need to excuse themselves. I've heard a lot of variations on these refrains:

"Oh, I know I should make her do the research herself, but she is so busy with soccer/cheering/band/blah blah blah..."

"I'm just picking up books for him, he's doing all of the work on this project himself!"

"Do you have any good ideas for a fifth-grade level project?"

"I have no idea what type of science they are studying this year...does it matter?"

The winner, though, was a mother who came in this morning:

"I might as well pick the project. I'm going to do all the work anyway."

At least she's honest...

Friday, October 16, 2009

My poor garden

I managed to plant a little garden when we arrived at our new place. I am starting to think that I have a black thumb. Our planters on the balcony of our apartment rarely survived, but I was sure that with a whole backyard and tons more space to work with, I would be able to haul in some serious produce.

So far I have harvested 2 cherry tomatoes, several handfuls of basil and one bell pepper. Bugs, heat, too much rain and a million other things are working to kill my produce. And of course, the farmer's markets are all done for the season. I am ready to tear my hair out. I finally have a chest freezer (amazing!) and so I am thinking about trying to get in on a local organic vegetable delivery thing-a-ma-jig in the hopes that I will be able to freeze some extra produce before winter sets in.

Not that winter is exactly knocking on our door, here in the South, but my Minnesota upbringing is hard to argue with!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Trip down memory lane

The other night, Einstein and I were discussing a system for getting the dishes done.

I like to set up systems to do the dishes so that I can avoid having to actually do them.

I was reminiscing about my system for doing dishes in our old apartment, and Einstein mentioned that he couldn't picture our old apartment. Which surprised me, because I still think of our apartment as home. Based on past experience, it takes me at least six months to start to forget the details about wherever I lived before.

Other than my parents house and my college campus, I've never really gone back to places I've lived before. We have friends who really enjoy visiting old postings, driving past old houses, staying on base, eating in favorite restaurants, etc. I think I would enjoy it, too, but we haven't had a chance yet to go back and visit any of our old haunts.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dancing with the stars

Einstein and I are taking dance lessons. I found a good deal on two months of lessons, and I told him that it was now or never.

When we first started dating, he showed up at closing time at the library where I worked, rolled down the windows on his car, pulled me close and started dancing. Between the streetlights, the fog and Old Blue Eyes on the radio, it was pretty darn romantic. Unfortunately, neither of us know how to dance.

Until now! We are learning, slowly but surely. We're having a really great time. We are going to miss a few of our classes because he is not exactly working what I would call 'regular' hours, but for the most part it has been a fun way to spend one evening a week.

All of this thinking about dancing made me realize how romantic Einstein was when we first got together. I usually end those types of thoughts with "He never does anything like that now!" but today, I was replaying our dance class, thinking about that first dance in the parking lot almost 8 years ago, and all I could think was how much I love him, and how much I appreciate all of the wonderful things he does and has done for me.

The next time I'm frustrated with him, I'm going to try to remember this feeling.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If I laughed out loud, at least I didn't snort

Most libraries put notes on patron records for a variety of different reasons. When you check out your books, the person behind the desk can usually see if you have some books being held behind the counter for you, if you have fines, if you have tried to convince us that you have returned 16 of our books that somehow miraculously are not on our shelves and are still checked out to you even though you turned them in, if you are allowed to check out extra books because you are a homeschooler, if your spouse is authorized to use your card, etc.

Most of these notes are, obviously, administrative in nature. The appropriate library protocol is to end the note with the date it is entered and your initials, so if someone later has a question about the note, they know who to talk to.

Someone at my new library, however, has a more colorful sense of humor. On the accounts of a select number of our regular patrons, they have written notes. Some of them are informative ("Will talk your ear off if you let him"). Some of them are endearing ("Sweetheart!"). My anonymous colleague does not put their initials or a date by these notes. I wish he/she did, because today I saw one that took the prize both for accuracy and for its ability to make me feel better.

I dealt with a particularly trying gentleman for nearly 10 minutes, arguing about due dates, renewal policies and why we don't allow cell phones in the library. He was quite sure that I was the stupidest human being ever to walk the face of the planet, and that he knew much more about libraries ("I've been coming to this library longer than you've been alive!" - which made me think: Why, yes, you have, and I've been working here two months and I know the policies better than you! How'd'ya like them apples?) I scanned his card and discovered this succinct, to the point note on his account:


I couldn't help it, I chuckled a little. Luckily, he didn't ask what I thought was funny.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A glimpse into the life I could have had

I have a new job in a nearby library! This is a very good thing, since it gets me out of the house and gives me another arena to focus on. I needed that, more than I did at the last place we lived. Things have been harder for me to adjust to, here, despite loving the location far more than our old one.

Anyway, my new job! I like it, its cool, and now that I'm settled in, hopefully I can get back to posting on a regular basis.

Yesterday I had a chance to really talk with one of my coworkers. She's about my age, and we have really similar dispositions, etc. And after talking with her for awhile, I realized that she is a lot like the person I would have been if I hadn't married Einstein. She's attached to her extended family, and after some exploring moved home to be near them. She loves her work and derives most of her satisfaction from it.

I could have been like that. If things had turned out differently. Instead, I am living this nomadic lifestyle, far from my family (and right now, from my friends, too, until I make new ones!). I don't mind it, because Einstein is worth it. But it was interesting to spend a conversation seeing what might have been, and seeing that despite all the draws (my coworker has a pretty sweet life!) I would still rather have Einstein's and my life, with all its hassles and inconveniences, than live a life that didn't include him.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Flexibility is the key to milspouse power

Tonight is not the first time that I have had to back out of plans at the last minute because Einstein's schedule changed.

It is not even the first time that I have had to call people to cancel an event that we were supposed to host.

So when he called to tell me to cancel our plans for tonight, I did. I didn't ask why, I merely said "No problem" and asked if he would be home tonight at all. While I wouldn't say that I'm a pro, I definitely know that his "work schedule" is a fluid thing, subject to change without notice. I've learned not to ask "why" because honestly, even when I can decode the acronyms, I rarely understand the reasoning. And, frankly, they "why" doesn't matter.

After I had called our guests to reschedule, stored the food, pulled out the wine I had started to chill, I stopped for a moment. I looked around the house, which while not exactly up to Martha Stewart standards, was clearly ready for a dinner party and I thought to myself: Taco Bell or McDonald's?

And then it struck me that maybe, just maybe, despite all the aspects of military life that I struggle with, I might be starting to get a handle on that key ingredient in the life of a military spouse: flexibility. Because honestly, despite a moments irritation at having to call my guests, I am fine with postponing our party. I'm fine with going to get some fast food, curling up on the couch to watch a chick flick, and going to bed alone. Not exactly what I had planned for the evening, but I'm actually okay with it. Two years ago, I definitely would have been way more put out by all of this.

So yeah. I'm going to co-opt one of the Air Force's favorite tag lines, and say (with some authority) that just as (or even more than) "flexibility is the key to airpower" , flexibility is the key to maintaining sanity in a military household.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I love having time to read

I read a lot.

I know, you are all shocked. Me, too.

When I am working, I spend approximately 70% of my reading time on professional stuff: professional journals like School Library Journal, American Libraries, Booklist and Publisher's Weekly; advanced reader's copies, review copies, picture books for storytimes, novels and nonfiction books for book talks, books that are challenged by patrons or that a coworker asks me to read.

Another 20% of my reading is what I like to call "practical" non-fiction: cookbooks, gardening books, self-help books (I'm a sucker for books on "Making Your Marriage work" or similar topics, sad I know!), religious books, etc.

Those of you who are good with math already know that means I have 10% of my reading time left to devote to: fiction and "not very practical" non-fiction (like this amazing book I once read on the history of string! Fascinating!). The amount of fiction versus non-fiction that makes up this 10% fluctuates pretty wildly from month to month.

Not having a job right now, I find that my ratios have changed pretty significantly. While I still read some of my professional journals, not having to make purchasing decisions cuts down on the amount of time I spend looking at reviews. I haven't read a picture book since the move. I've read some young adult stuff, but that was for fun, not for "work". I've gone from 70% professional stuff to about 10% professional stuff. And I've been making up for it in fun reading. I'm finally making a significant dent in my depressingly long list of books to read "someday". Well, someday is now, and I'm trying to plow through as much as I can.

I haven't read anything that has made me say "Oh, wow! This is my new favorite book!" but I have read quite a few books that are fun, interesting, and well written. This morning I finished The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz, a novel narrated by the fictional Empress of Japan. It tells the story of her movement from commoner to Crown Princess. It has a smooth pace and clean details. Another winner: Keep your mouth shut and wear beige by Kathleen Gilles Seidel, which is a mother-of-the-groom story. My own wedding was an act of theater that played out around me, so I always find wedding stories cathartic, and this one had a great angle: the problem is not the bride, or the mother-of-the-bride, but rather the new girlfriend of the groom's father. It had a unique perspective, and best of all, it dealt with blogging! The Martha Stewart-esque girlfriend is an avid blogger, and the narrator's reaction to reading the blog was the exact same one I would have if I were to meet some too-perfect-to-be-true Big Name Blogger in real life.

Thank you for listening to my book recommendations. When I'm working, I talk about books all day. I miss recommending them and discussing them, but it is nice to have more time to read them!

Also, any My Sister's Keeper fans out there? I love that book, and I enjoyed the movie, but...well. If you've read the book and seen the movie, you'll know why I felt betrayed. BETRAYED. And I am extremely non-judgemental about movie adaptations of books. Luckily, I have Harry Potter to look forward to this week.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

PCS...kind of rhymes with depressed, doesn't it?

I am an extrovert. It's taken me a LONG time to come to grips with that. After all, I love to read! I would spend all day curled up with a book if I could. That must mean that I'm an introvert, right? Wrong. Other than the year before Einstein and I married, I've never lived alone. I had my family, then roommates (I was always lucky in having fantastic ones). I didn't so much as go to the grocery store alone.

I hate being alone. Being around people energizes me. Strangers, friends, whatever, I love the interaction. I do need quiet time by myself, don't get me wrong, but nothing makes me happier than spending time talking and just being with other people.

Our new locale is great. I love the weather, the scenery, the whole nine yards. What I don't love is not knowing anyone. The great irony of all of this is that we've had a ton of visitors since we arrived; more than we ever had at our last base. But now that our stream of visitors has started to dry up, I find myself feeling depressed.

I haven't made any friends here yet. We know quite a few people here (it's a small Air Force, after all) but all of them are single dudes, or active duty ladies. Now, some of my best friends fall into these two qualities, but I would really like to be able to take a break from a morning of cold calling libraries to ask about job/volunteer opportunities to have coffee with someone who is in the same boat. The spouse's group is currently non-existent, and not in a "if you want to start one, go for it!" kind of way. What I've been able to piece together leads me to believe that the lack of spouse support has to do with a personality conflict amongst some commander's wives. Nice.

Alright, I'm sick of my own whining.

Things I am happy about:

1) Lots of time to read!
2) Having a backyard to garden in. Mmmmm, tomatoes!
3) Finally having my house all set up.
4) Being able to experiment with cooking new things.
5) I found a place to get my hair cut!

I think the key is to get out of the house more: go to the gym, go to the coffee shop to read, go hang out at the library and read magazines. I'm not going to meet new people sitting in my house.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Things I wish that they covered at spouse orientations

Before I begin this post, I want to clarify: I am extremely thankful that our new base has an orientation especially for spouses. I learned a lot, and it was definitely a valuable use of my time.

That said, here are the top 5 things I wish they covered at spouse orientations! (In reverse order, ala Letterman)

5) Telling us all about our key spouses and then not having the info to contact them was a little, ah, misleading. I want an email address, at least!

4) Which local grocery store has the best produce? I know its not the commissary! (The commissary here ROCKS- awesome 'deli, etc, but the produce, not so much).

3) How do you shut people up when they won't take no for an answer? You told my husband at his briefing that he should just say that he "works for the Air Force" and leave it at that...but my crazy uncle, friends from college and others are really bothersome with their "but what does he DO? where does he GO?" questions. The good old "it's classified" response goes over like a lead balloon. I'm obviously not going to tell them what he really does (since, quite frankly, I don't know) but it would be nice if you could teach me some stock responses to give them that would make them cease their endless questioning.

2) Where are the best places to eat? I am in desperate need of a good Mexican restaurant.

And finally:

1) Where should I go to get my hair done? Seriously, people. I scheduled my last trim and color for two days before the movers came, and my roots are, well...not pretty.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

An excerpt from For The Fallen by Laurence Bunyon.

Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Today I hope that all Americans will take the time to remember. I'm thankful that my parents raised me with a healthy respect for the solemnity of this holiday, and not just excitement at the three day weekend. I'm thankful to my grandfathers, for their service. And I'm thankful for the three friends closest to my heart today. You are remembered, and will never be forgotten.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trying to tie up work projects

I thought I would be sooooo happy to be done with work...I am literally counting the days.

At the same time, I find that I'm really very attached to my various projects and responsibilities. The more I think about letting someone else take them over, the less I like the idea. Although I've done it before, its harder this time around. I think because I let myself get complacent, get attached.

I read a book this week that quoted some historical sources regarding military wives. It is amazing how much their letters match up with my contemporary emails. Finding a place to live, worrying about our husbands, in some ways it is still just like the 1800's. At the same time, I'm thankful for all of the advantages we have...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Mrs. has a great giveaway going!

So I'm pretty sure y'all have already seen this, but The Mrs. is giving away an awesome, awesome Military Wives Cookbook at her site. Things I like about this: cooking, military wives, history and (bonus!) its a book! What more could you want??

Check it out!

Also, I would like to note that Einstein and I are in the midst of house hunting at his new duty station. We LOVE the area...lots to do, beautiful weather, great restaurants. And we've put in an offer (and a counteroffer and a counteroffer and a counteroffer) on a house that I am completely smitten with.

That said, looking at houses all day? Not my forte. I know why they call it house hunting: because by the end of the day, you want to shoot someone.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The PCS that ate my life

When Einstein and I moved here, we did a DITY move.

I made him swear to me that we would never, ever do one again as long as we lived.
(In case you're worried, we're not. He tried to talk me into it and I told him that he could use the money we made on the DITY to pay for a divorce lawyer. Like I said, NEVER AGAIN.)

I was so excited about this PCS. I had all of these dreams, filled with soft, muted light and sappy music, where the movers came, packed all of our stuff and we blissfully set off for our next adventure. Stress free. Full of happiness and joy. Everything easy, simple and care-free.

Just thinking about my naivete makes me want to laugh hysterically. Or maybe just have hysterics, screw the laughter.

Our last move, despite being a DITY move, had a TON of lead time. We have plenty of lead time for this one as well, but working right up until we move is stressing me out. Between trying to convince Einstein to rent, looking at houses, researching mortgage options, separating out the stuff we're packing with us, saying goodbye to friends, etc etc etc I feel like I am losing my mind.

Don't even get me started on job hunting. Once I have my feet under me again, I have a whole series of posts fleshed out on why librarian is the best milspouse job ever, milspouse jobs in general and other related topics. But I'm too busy trying to find a job to post it! I feel a little crazy...when we moved here, I allowed myself to wait until we were moved in to start looking, but this time around I feel like I need to find a job BEFORE we get there. Which is nearly impossible, honestly. Although I may die trying.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Preparing to PCS

I've been busy trying to get ready for the big move. In some ways this move is much simpler than our move here, but in other ways, it has been really complicated.

Simply put, we're buying a house.

At least, I think we are.

Maybe we're crazy. I don't want a house. Houses are expensive, they require mortgages (I am debt phobic), you are responsible for them, etc. I would much rather live in an apartment or rent a house. Really.

I'm also enough of a dyed in the wool rebel that the idea of buying a house because "everyone says we should! Look at the housing market!" makes me want to avoid home ownership like the plague.

I don't have a job there, yet. I don't know if I will be able to find a job there.

But Einstein really wants to buy a house. After weeks of listening to his arguments and viewing all of the pretty pictures our realtor (we have a REALTOR) has been sending us, I'm starting to go over to the dark side.

I mean, honestly. Einstein refuses to live on base (we all have our quirks). Rental houses there are ridiculously overpriced (compared to mortgages) and apartments are overpriced, small, and in undesirable areas.

Home ownership was on my mental list for "Things we will do when Einstein retires from the Air Force". I was not, am not, prepared for it right now. I know some of you rent and some of you own, and frankly, right now I am willing to hear ANY thoughts or advice you might have.

I'm not a fence-sitter by nature, but I am totally on the fence on this one!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

lame lame lame

That's how I feel right now.

I miss Einstein. He's TDY. This wouldn't be so bad, but for two things:

1) Two of our most wonderful friends got married this weekend. Weddings make me sappy...especially now.

2) The upcoming assignment-of-deployements...I keep thinking: this is my life now. My very alone life.


Wow, I'm pathetic. I apologize in advance to those who have it worse than I. Any tips for coping with short (relatively), VERY frequent deployments? Anyone????

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Uniform confusion

Einstein's brother is in the Army.

We're headed up to visit him, and while we are there, he'll be graduating from the training he is at right now. This has led to some confusion as to what uniform to wear. Since we rarely get a chance to talk with Einstein's brother, I asked his folks if the invitation they had received had a note about the uniform. They had no clue. Einstein finally got a chance to talk to his brother this weekend, and was told that the UOD was "greens".

Since there is no green Air Force uniform (except his flight suit, which I'm fairly sure is inappropriate for the ceremony we're attending) I set out on the internet to find out whether "greens" meant Einstein should wear his blue service dress or his mess dress.

The answer (which is what I assumed anyway) is service dress.

But in the process I discovered reason number 472 why I love the Air Force. When Einstein is trying to decipher the appropriate uniform for the occassion, here are his choices: mess dress, service dress, blues, ACU's/flight suit. That's it. The comparison chart I found is INSANE. Class A, B, C, D; green, blue, white, summer, winter, etc etc. How do you keep it straight? Do you have an entire other closet for all of those uniforms? I feel like the four we have to deal with (blues and service dress are basically the same) take over my closets as it is!

**Einstein is demanding that I include the fact that he wishes the AF would hurry up and do the uniform switch over they've been talking about for the past five years, because he thinks the current service dress makes them look like airline pilots. I think the "new" proposed service dress makes them look like they are going to take orders from Emperor Palpatine. If you want to see the proposed change, look here.

Are all of those different uniforms confusing? How often do people mess up and wear the wrong thing?

Since Einstein's brother is in the Army and his two best friends are in the Navy and the Marines...I saved this for future reference.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is being a Mil-Spouse enough of a job?

We are getting ready to PCS.

This, of course, means that I have had to quit my job. Although I will be working right up until the PCS, I've already given notice. I have also started to look for jobs in our next location. Doing all of this has led me to think about several different things.

1) How do people cope when they know they will be working at a job for the "rest of their lives"? When I've had a bad day (or a bad week!) I often remind myself: this is only for here, for now! The next base will be different. New places, new chances. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like starting over every few years. It gives me a chance to try new things (being a Children's Librarian, instead of a Teen Librarian!) and meet new people, and I love it.

2) At the same time that I feel crazy for quitting a job in this economy, I know I don't have much of a choice. Einstein's new job is deployment intensive, but even if he is only home a few weeks a year, I want to be with him for those weeks. I am, however, pretty concerned that another professional position in my field will be a long time in coming.

3) Is being a mil-spouse enough of a job? Very few of my friends at this base work outside the home. They seem to enjoy their lives more. There have been weeks when Einstein and I have felt like two ships passing in the night, because our work schedules allowed us little time together. I would imagine that feeling can only be worse when he will be home so infrequently. So I find myself wondering: if I can't find a job (due to the economy or due to my own inclination not to take a non-library position), will it be enough just to be a mil-spouse? I look back at my old post about not enjoying the time I had as an "unemployed" person and think, yes! That's right! Remember how I said I would appreciate it more next time?? I should appreciate it!

Einstein and I were discussing the other evening regarding the fact that military spouses frequently pick up the slack. Whether it is his schedule or the social obligations (and I don't care what they say about the new enlightened Air Force, if a spouse volunteers for squadron stuff, it is noticed) there is plenty that needs to get done. It is hard enough right now to get things done with his schedule and mine...I can't imagine how impossible it will be when we have kids (not any time soon, with apologies to my mother and mother-in-law).

I do think it is enough of a job. In fact, I would argue that it is more than a full-time job, so anyone who does any work (at home or outside of it) besides just being a mil-spouse is doing double duty.

That said, I'm applying for everything I can find, because if he's only home a couple of weeks a year, I'm going to need something.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day

Einstein and I don't really...celebrate...Valentine's day. Our first February 14th as a couple, we ate at McDonald's. I had a gift for him, but he had forgotten that it was after that, we just sort of forgot about it as a holiday. He does enough sweet stuff other days...although last year, he did bring me breakfast in bed!!! (I love breakfast in bed. It is my favorite thing EVER!)

Today, however, I got the sweetest Valentine ever!

One of my storytime regulars presented me with a Valentine (and Hershey's Kisses, yum!). It was ADORABLE, especially since she also had one for each of our "regular" puppets. I nearly died from the cuteness. Now my assistant and I just have to remember to give her a thank you from the puppets during the next puppet show.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


How do you decide between the assignment you don't want and the assignment you REALLY don't want? I mean, when there are a total of, say, seven possible assignments. And you don't really want any of them, because there are other assignments ranked "above" them, but NO ONE is getting those.

So how do you choose? How much input do you (the spouse) have? Do you base it on his happiness or your probability of getting a decent job?

Honestly, for all the difference it will probably make (since it is, technically, needs of the Air Force that decide it) we might as well rank it by the restaurants each possible station has. At least then I could have some decent food.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A public library without internet

Yesterday was "my" Saturday to work (the staff rotates, I usually only have to do it once a month or so). I got to work, logged in, started doing work, and then I noticed:

No internet. Unfortunately, the problem was NOT at our end, and thus we had to wait on our provider to fix the issue.

They promised to have it fixed on by Monday afternoon.

That means that we were without internet the ENTIRE DAY. While some people do in fact visit the library to check out books, the vast majority of our patrons come for one reason and one reason only: to access the internet. Most Saturdays we have anywhere from a half an hour to an hour wait for the computers all day. Since our main draw was down, I settled in for a long, quiet day.

Oh, how wrong I was! We were ridiculously busy all day. And not just busy telling people "No, the internet is down. No, it won't be back up today" although I said that plenty. You see, while some of the people who would normally come in just for the computers turned around and left, the majority (or so it seemed) actually checked out books! And asked questions not related to computers!

I also noticed another telling fact: normally on Saturdays, I am hoarse by about 2:30. This is from yelling things like "No running in the library! We walk in the library! No, please don't spin that! That chair is meant for sitting! Gentle, please! Please don't throw books!" over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over over and over and over and over.

You get the idea.

Yesterday, I didn't yell at a single child. Not once! Which is not to say that I didn't have kids running or tossing books; there were a few. But an interesting thing happened: their parents told them to stop. This doesn't normally happen because their parents are usually in the computer lab, looking at email/MySpace/whatever. Instead, they were with their kids, watching them, and, dare I say it, parenting.

Maybe I will try to convince my boss to get rid of the internet permanently...

JUST KIDDING. Not having internet sort of feels like having one of my limbs chopped off, and free internet access is a vital part of our service to the community. But still, not losing my voice was nice.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Really, really good friends

I know that people in the milspouse blogsphere talk a lot about how civilians don't get it. And sometimes, they just don't, like LAW's coworkers. I've blogged before about friends who don't understand the basics of military life and family members who are truly oblivious.

But there are some friends who, while they may not "get" it, are always willing to offer a listening ear. I have one friend, in particular, who is fantastic about this. She truly wants to understand what is going on in my life (and Einstein's). She asks intelligent questions, remembers acronyms (!!!!), and is always willing to lend a sympathetic ear.

I don't know what I would do without her.

Although she lives 1,000+ miles away right now, I've been relying on her a lot lately. I love my military friends, but it can be difficult to support each other when we are all dealing with the same frustrations. I feel petty complaining about my own apprehension over not knowing what Einstein will fly in the future and when and where we are moving next when all of my friends here are in the same boat.

I just spent 5 minutes trying to think of a way of expressing that thought without using the word "boat", since it sounds so Navy... ;)

So my far-away friend has been a godsend lately. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her sympathetic ear and understanding emails. They mean the world to me!

I hate waiting to find out what is coming next. It is driving me CRAZY. I'm a planner, and not being able to plan out the rest of this year is driving me up the wall. I guess I'd better get used to it, though, huh?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I could pretend it hasn't been nearly 2 months since I updated...

Or I could allude to it in the title and then post about something else entirely!!

Two things, tonight!

One: It cracks me up how many ways the military is like middle school. This might just be pilot training, with its over abundance of barely out of college, testosterone laden heavy drinking idiots. Not that a lot of people drank in my middle school. It grew up in the sticks, but we weren't that weird!

At any rate, the gossip around here astounds me! It is so crazy. He said, she said, then this, then that. I don't believe anything I hear about anyone anymore. In fact, I don't even believe my own husband when he tells me something. I always ask for his source, and how they supposedly know what they "know". Even then, I don't really trust it.

Two: I love knowing how to make Google divulge more than it would with a simple keyword search. For all of you who love all things library related (or just want to find what you're looking for), check out this link:

Some of it is a little arcane, but wow. I used this a billion times today. Literally.

OOooooh, and 3, even though I only said 2 things!

Three: My husband looks awfully good in a flight suit. That is all.