Thursday, April 21, 2011

Because I love books ...

According to Adam, I'm a nerd because I read so much. Well, I think he's just jealous and I actually really hate when people who read are branded as "nerds." I love to read. As soon as I learned how to read in first grade, I've always had my nose buried in a book, and for the last two years, in my Kindle. I LOVE my Kindle.

At the beginning of the year, I gave myself a goal of reading 52 books this year. So far, I've read 40. Hey, I don't work and I have one kid who is almost 12. I have the time, especially the hours I spend at the baseball field for his practices and before games.

I've been keeping track of every book I've read. Here's the list:

1. A Shore Thing - Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi
2. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
3. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
4. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
5. The Best Laid Plans - Lynn Schnurnberger
6. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
7. When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
8. Prom and Prejudice - Elizabeth Eulberg
9. Starlit - Lisa Rinna
10. Between Friends - Debbie Macomber
11. The Red Garden - Alice Hoffman
12. The Wolves of Andover - Kathleen Kent
13. Sprinkle With Murder - Jenn McKinlay
14. The Weird Sisters - Eleanor Brown
15. Here Lies Bridget - Paige Harbison
16. I Think I Love You - Allison Pearson
17. Buttercream Bumpoff - Jenn McKinlay
18. Less Than Zero - Bret Easton Ellis
19. The Clique #14 - A Tale of Two Pretties - Lisi Harrison
20. Trapped - Michael Northrop
21. It's Not Really About the Hair - Tabath Coffey
22. These Things Hidden - Heather Gudenkauf
23. Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver
24. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society - Mary Anne Shaffer
25. The Book of Joe - Jonathan Tropper
26. How to Talk to a Widower - Jonathan Tropper
27. Everything Changes - Jonathan Tropper
28. Eighteen Acres - Nicole Wallace
29. Three Stages of Amazement - Carol Edgarian
30. Secrets of My Hollywood Life 6 - Jen Calonita
31. The Peach Keeper - Sarah Addison Allen
32. A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
33. The Boyfriend List- E Lockhart
34. Sweet Valley Confidential - 10 Years Later - Francine Pascal
35. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender
36. Bossypants - Tina Fey
37. Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
38. Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
39. Commencement - J. Courtney Sullivan
40. The Shadow of Your Smile - Mary Higgins Clark

I find that books are a very particular taste. I read a bit of everything, and yes, there's a lot of Young Adult books in the list. It's okay to be an adult and read YA. Hello, Harry Potter? Hunger Games? All written for kids, yet it seems like adults enjoy them the most.

The books I really enjoyed are anything by Jonathan Tropper and Sarah Addison Allen. They are two totally different authors, and the books are not similar at all. Commencement was a great book. A Visit From the Goon Squad was great, and actually, it just won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Bossypants I absolutely loved. Tina Fey is not only hilarious on TV, but on paper too. The two books I really didn't like is Starlit and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Lisa Rinna should stick to making her lips look not so fucked up, and the Lemon Cake book was just weird. I kept waiting for the book to start, and yet it never seemed to.

I'll keep adding to the list as I read more. I guess my goal now is 100 by December 31. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Because Here I Go Again ...

Last week I was pissed off. It happens every now and then. I've gotten better at controlling my anger, and waiting a day or two before I go spouting off, my emotions bubbling over no matter how hard I try to keep the lid on them. I'm not angry right now. I'm not sure how to explain it. I'll try though.

One of the best things in my life is being a military wife. It's such an intense feeling of pride to know my husband serves his country each and every day and has for almost 16 years. I've been right there with him, and although I've complained a LOT (mostly when I was younger and immature), but for the most part, being a wife in the military community has become a large part of who I am. I was angry last week because of the government shutdown that was looming, and the fact that it looked like if it happened, Adam's paycheck would be cut in half. Ouch. I don't care who you are, half a paycheck hurts. It didn't happen, I'm happy to say.

BUT, this week it seems like all of a sudden the White House is pro-military everything. I saw a quote on Twitter by Joe Biden about owing us military families a lot. This is where I will most likely disagree with him, and others will disagree with me. Why are we owed anything? Anyone whose spouse joined after September 11, 2001, knew the word "deployment." Even if you just dated them for awhile, you knew there was always a chance of a deployment, or 10 deployments. They are difficult things, and you might question why in the fuck did you agree to this life when you agreed to marry them. One word, my friends, one word. Love. I love my husband. So I do the deployments, the loneliness, try to help my son understand why Dad is gone yet again. This is what you do for love. I would expect the same thing from Adam if the roles were reversed.

I'd rather see all the effort go toward the men and women who are in the Armed Forces. One thing that really makes my blood boil is seeing the stickers that say, "Army Wife. Toughest job in the Army." REALLY? I mean, really? You deploy to a foreign land and get shot at? You are away from your children for months on end? I don't think so. Get over yourself. A lot of places offer military discounts. Thank you to these businesses. Every little bit helps. We get free passes to Sea World, or Busch Gardens, and Disney World offers (or used to) a discount to military families.

What more do you want? I don't feel we are "owed" anything. You know what satisified me the most? A simple, heartfelt thank you to my husband. He does the hard part. I'm simply here supporting him. And that's enough for me.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Because this is what disappointment looks like ...

I've tried to be positive. I've tried to realize that there are tons of things that I cannot control, and to not worry about these things. I've done well, for me, lately. Until now. I won't hold my tongue. I try to control my temper, I try to hold my tongue, but sometime the Irish temper flares, and there's just no dousing it. The government has not yet shut down, yet the paycheck Adam will be getting next week is ALREADY halved. It's not all about the money, but in reality, a lot of the anger is directed at that. We'll be okay for awhile. We don't live beyond our means, but we enjoy what we can afford after many, many years of living on slim means. We have sacrificed. When we bought our house, we made sure we were several hundred dollars below what we are given for a basic housing allowance to allow for the bills associated with owning a home. But still, each paycheck makes a difference. Today I can honestly say I have never, ever been so disappointed in my country. Adam has given 15 years of blood, sweat, and tears to this country, and Addison and I have been right there along with him. We have endured holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. alone. We have sent him to war 8 times to be blessed enough to have him return to us each time. I have sacrificed, damn it, for this country. I try so incredibly hard each and every single day to not be selfish. But when my government basically tells us that Adam has to work and be paid eventually, it really chaps my ass. I don't have a job or career because I always wanted Addison to know that he had one parent with him, always, that he could depend on so he wouldn't feel alone. No one likes to feel alone. But that's how I feel, because my disappointment is so damn thick today. I can say with all honesty I am crying while I write this. All of the pride I have in Adam and his fellow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines drives me to tears to see what is going to happen to the families who depend on this money, who sacrifice so much every single day. (And this girl is NOT a crier. Only when the Red Sox lose in the ALCS. Goddamn Aaron Boone.) My fellow military families, let's band together. Let's tell our government we're not expendable, that we count too. Make your voices known. Do not rest.