Compared to many people out there, I’m sure my 2008 was a banner year. I know there are families out there who lost jobs, who lost homes, worst yet, who lost children and other loved ones. Compared to them, my 2008 was fantastic, so I won’t pretend to feel sorry for myself. I don’t. I have an amazing job, two incredible kids and wonderful friends.
But let me tell you something… I can’t get rid of 2008 fast enough.
I spent January of this year still readjusting from deployment. It was a weird time. The kids didn’t know what to think or how to act around me, having spent most of 2007 raised by their father and their mentally unstable big sister. Imagine my utter joy at having to instill rules back in their lives! The Redhead and I instituted mommy/Redhead reading time, and we would sit down for about 45 minutes each night (or until my vision blurred and I couldn’t read anymore) reading books he found interesting.
February saw the complete and final demise with my eldest daughter, whom we adopted 8 years ago. Someone got accustomed to being the “woman” of the household while I was away, so when I returned and said, “You will study. You will not stay out until 11:00 on weeknights. You WILL attend school. You WILL find a job and pay for your own car insurance and outrageous phone bill. And you will not dress like a whore,” someone didn’t like that too well. She crashed her car, and blamed me for it, because I apparently didn’t teach her how to drive, because I was deployed. She started failing out of school, and blamed me, because her father and I weren’t getting along. You see where this is going… The situation culminated with police being called one night, and my finally issuing an official eviction notice in the spring after having been lied to for three months about where she was working. Use your imagination, readers. What job would a young adult be deathly afraid to admit to her fairly strict mother? Here’s a clue: it involves poles, body oil and lots of smelly, toothless men tucking dollar bills into places that aren’t usually exposed to the public.
It’s not that I’m morally opposed to that type of employment. Hey… you’re an adult. It’s your body. It’s your life. You should be free to sell it. But as I told her when she came over to pick up the rest of her stuff, “I don’t care if you decide to be a whore. Just be an honest whore.”
In April, the husband got his own place. We tried working things out, went to counseling, etc. I’m convinced we’re better off friends than we would be as two miserable roommates. I don’t ever want the kids thinking that two miserable people living together is a normal marriage. We made a commitment to raise the kids together, and I think we’ve done admirably. He’s welcome at the house as much as he wants, the kids spend alternate weekends with him, and we do things all together on occasion. I check on his place and pick up his mail when he’s out of town, and he house and dog sits for me when I take a trip. There have been no quabbles with money. The civility is nauseating, but absolutely genuine.
In July, I headed to Tennessee for a fun four-day weekend with Oleg, Dave and Frank. Even though Oleg and I had known one another for the better part of 8 years, we never actually met in person. We spent those years getting to know one another by phone and Internet. Dave and Frank just appeared in my life out of the blue during the visit, and I’m lucky to have them in my life. Very lucky. Despite the fact that Dave, on occasion, threatens to roast his dog, and Frank, on occasion, beats me at Scrabble.
At the end of the summer I buried my best friend.
Emotionally, it’s been a gut-wrenching disaster of a year. It took me a while to get accustomed to being a civilian again after a year and a half in uniform. For several moonths I kept having dreams that I was back in Kosovo – not scary bad dreams, but dreams about not being able to leave, because I left my military ID and orders back at Camp Bondsteel type dreams. I would wake up completely confused, not knowing where I was. I took a nosedive up – yes, UP – the stairs in the garage of my old office, because I wasn’t used to wearing heels. I had to scrub all bathrooms spotless at all times, because I still felt kind of dirty.
But there is a bright side. Very much so. I reconnected with more than 100 old friends thanks, in no small part, to Facebook. I have spent hours chatting with people I haven’t seen for more than a decade, catching up and relishing the fact that they’ve grown up to be fascinating adults. Some of my Army buddies from my AFN days have also joined Facebook, and it’s been an absolute joy reconnecting with Herb Glover, Jen, Rachel, Hank and a boatload of others!
I met Frank, who brought my ego down a few notches, as I thought I was Scrabble Goddess of the universe!
I met Dave, who has become my closest confidant and the person on whom I rely for sage advice whenever my head isn’t screwed on straight.
I got my own website, and a few really fantastic new readers who contribute much via comments! Thanks, guys!
I connected with my kids on a much deeper level. When you go through family upheaval together, you either get stronger, or you fall apart. We got stronger. We spend a lot more time together. We have family movie nights. We have dinner together nightly. We have ice cream together nearly every night as a way to spend some more time together at the table catching up with the events of the day. We read together. We have honest, emotional and intellectual conversations. And if you think that talks with an 11 and a 13 year old can’t be intellectual, you really should check what you’re doing with your own kids. Kids aren’t stupid. They’re attentive and sharp. They listen and learn. So if you treat them like idiots, that’s what they’ll learn. Think about that.
And I still have my close buddies, with whom I grew a lot closer this year thanks to a marked decline in negative influences in my life. My Sgt. Major… or Ed – a name I will NEVER get used to, because he’ll always be Sergeant Major – is a wonderful, dedicated and intelligent man, whose judgment I trust implicitly. Will, Tara, Bridget, the Sniper and Mrs. Sniper, AJ, Sue, Angel, David Codrea, Rachel and Misha and my new friends Jen and Brian have been absolutely vital in ensuring that this year didn’t turn into a complete disaster.
Overall, while I think the good things outweigh the bad in sheer volume, I’m ready to leave 2008 far behind. I’m also ready to face 2009 with a positive attitude, so I wish all of you a very happy New Year!
He’d be a professional douchebag or an attention whore. Michael Newdow makes it his own personal mission to remove any reference of God or religion from any public occasion. He’s the same douchebag who filed suit to get the words “Under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance, even though there’s nothing stopping people from simply not saying the words. Well this time, the douchebag has set his sights a little higher.
A California physician and attorney whose legal fight against the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance has drawn national attention now says he will join a lawsuit seeking the removal of all references to God and religion from President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration ceremony.Honestly. This is the type of scrotal douchebaggitude that makes me want to find religion! This guy has nothing better to do with his life than try to impose his particular brand of douchiness on others. HE doesn’t believe in God, so it somehow offends him to see any reference to a deity anywhere in public, and therefore, since the right not to be offended is specifically listed in the Constitution (or at least according to every whining victim-of-the-month who thinks that his widdle hurt feewings entitle them to special dispensation under the law).
Michael Newdow believes references to God or religion are unconstitutional. He wants to remove the phrase “so help me God” from the oath of office and block the invocation prayer from Rick Warren.
How does the pledge infringe on his right not to worship or believe in a God?
How does Obama’s swearing on the Bible, which is a personal thing for him, and probably means a lot to him, infringe on Newdow’s right to not practice a religion? Many people’s religions mean a lot to them, which is why I’m so adamantly against religious zealots pushing their faith on others. Much like I’m against this particular zealot pushing his lack of faith on others.
Fact of the matter is freedom of religion doesn’t imply freedom to impose a lack of religion on others. Individuals have the freedom to worship and take oaths as they see fit. It’s a personal thing – something that this particular douchebag wants to infringe upon.
He doesn’t give a shit about the Constitution. He cares about getting attention.
Incidentally, this is the same douchebag who tried to avoid child support by claiming he was date raped. This tells you everything you need to know about the caliber of person Michael Newdow is.
The Hill newspaper notes that “Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and gun control groups are concerned that some visitors attending President-elect Obama’s inauguration may try to pack heat because of a rule allowing concealed weapons in national parks.” The handwringing started because of a regulation change allowing we the People to carry our tools of self defense concealed on national park land if the park falls within a state or district that allows concealed weapons.
Washington D.C. does not allow concealed weapons, but Norton and other think confusion over the rule could lead visitors to bring guns to Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which will be held on two miles of National Park land the National Mall.
“It is truly frightening to think of what this could mean coming just a couple of weeks before the inauguration,” said Norton, who has long supported strict gun laws in D.C.
Translation: gun owners now have an excuse to carry their scary firearms and shoot at our first black president! Someone’s bound to try and assasinate him!
As Larry Pratt astutely noted, “People know enough to check on what the rules are… It’s not been a problem in the past and I can’t imagine why all of a sudden it’s going to be a problem on that particular day. It may be a problem for people who don’t like guns, but they have that problem every day.”
Exactly. This is just another underhanded excuse for gun banners to foment hysteria over a non-existent problem. Why is it that all of a sudden, otherwise law-abiding gun owners will misbehave and wreak havoc now that a black President has been elected? Norton has never been too proud to scream “RACISM!” whenever it suited her political goals. And the gun grabbers have never had a problem exploiting minorities when it suited their agenda. So why should we take this latest attempt to scare the crap out of the ignorant masses as anything but more opportunism from authoritarian swine?
Additionally, I always find it amusing when politicians tremble with fear at the thought of an armed populace. After all, the original intent of the Second Amendment is to provide the populace with the means to take back power from a tyrannical government. The destroyers of freedom always tell us that we shouldn’t fear increased powers of the police state if we’ve done nothing wrong. If you’re innocent, you have nothing to worry about, right?
I would give politicians similar advice vis-a-vis an armed populace. Remember that, Ms. Norton. If you’re not prone to abuses of power, you shouldn’t be scared of an armed populace.
I’d like to know something. Should a self-entitled little rich girl, who has had everything handed to her from birth, and brings no real qualifications to the table, be appointed a United States Senator merely her last name is Kennedy? Apparently Caroline Kennedy thinks she deserves the Senate seat, and goshdarnit, if she doesn’t get it, she’ll take her toys and go home. After all, actually running and campaigning would mean that she’d have to associate with those plebeians in New York! “‘Well, if he doesn’t select me, I would support the person that he does select,’ she said.”
Well, isn’t that just mighty big of her! You know… she DESERVES to be appointed, but no way she’d actually RUN! That would require her to actually talk to the Great Unwashed, right? She’s a KENNEDY, after all! And by virtue of being a Kennedy, she should automatically be appointed, you see…
…I think, I would be an unconventional choice – I haven’t followed a
traditional path, but I think I bring a lifetime of experience to this.
In my family public service is really the greatest honor anyone can
have it’s a legacy I cherish and that I’ve tried to live up to my whole
life. I come at this as a mother, I’ve raised three kids, I’m a lawyer,
I’ve written books on the constitution, I’ve written books on the
constitution and our fundamental rights that are used in colleges and
high schools across this country. I’ve written other books about
political courage, American history for families so people can really
pass these values on to their families and I think that’s something we
really don’t do. We talk about sports and politics, but we don’t really
talking about what’s inside every one of us that’s gotten us here.
Those are the kind of books and those are the issues that I’ve worked
on for the past six years. I’ve worked in the New York City public
schools. I have a sense of what families are going through. I would
like to bring that energy and visibility.
Translation: I’m a Kennedy! Who needs REAL experience when I’m a Kennedy!
And you’ll just LOVE this bit, where Caroline claims she has had to *sniff* work twice as hard as others, being born a Kennedy and all…
Dominic Carter: Caroline when we talk to New Yorkers many of them have
a lot of good things to say about you. Some of the criticism we’ve
heard, and you heard over the past couple of days, some people may have
a sense of feeling that there’s a sense of entitlement as it relates to
you possibly going to the senate. How do you respond to that criticism?
Caroline Kennedy: It’s not a way I’ve ever lived my life I know people
have a lot opinions about our family, good opinions, bad opinions, in
our family, my family. I can tell you in our family in particular there
is a sense we have to work twice as hard – people have this perception
– and we are fortunate but I think it’s a question what you do with
And gets called on that particular pile of bullshit.
Dominic Carter: So wait a minute, are you telling me that Caroline
Kennedy has felt that she had to work twice as hard her entire life?
Caroline Kennedy: Not twice as hard as people as people who are
struggling to put food on the table for their families who don’t have
any healthcare, or come to this country ya know with nothing and have
to support their family. But in terms of ya know satisfying the
perception this is just ya know all you have to do is pick up the phone
you get everything you want. I would have a lot to prove. I think
Hillary Clinton showed she came into this and worked unbelievably hard
and she delivered for New York and people saw that and you have to earn
their trust and respect and I think that would be my job as well.
Poor little rich, entitled girl! She has to work hard to earn respect! WAH! Being a Kennedy is soooo HAAAAARD! Having zero practical experience other than shopping and attending society parties apparently makes it more difficult for one to become Senator, and that’s not acceptable! She’s a Kennedy, dammit!
I have learned one important lesson this Christmas: Do not ever pound vodka shots with my father!
Merry Christmas all!