Bek's lab

"Sometimes it's best to get your walls knocked down, lose your most cherished constructs, and be fully swept away." --How to Live at the Beach, by Sandy Gingras

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Location: Kailua, HI, United States

I'm a stay-at-home momma to 2 little ones, military spouse, and distributor for Young Living, cooking up new DIY recipes for house and home.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Which Classic Starlet Are You?

I got this in a forwarded email. I thought it was pretty fun. Sorry, but this one is ladies only! Mine was pretty accurate, I guess. I got Debbie Reynolds.

Number your paper from 1 to 10, then answer each question with the choice that most describes you at this point in your life, and then add up the points that correspond with your answers. Don't look ahead or you will ruin the fun!

1. Which describes your perfect date?
a) Candlelight dinner for two
b) Amusement Park
c) Rollerblading in the park
d) Rock Concert
e) Have dinner & see a movie
f) Dinner at home with a loved one

2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll
b) Alternative
c) Soft Rock
d) Classical
e) Christian
f) Jazz

3. What is your favorite type of movie?
a) Comedy
b) Horror
c) Musical
d) Romance
e) Documentary
f) Mystery

4. Which of the following jobs would you choose if you were given only these choices?
a) Waiter/Waitress
b) Sports Player
c) Teacher
d) Policeman
e) Bartender
f) Business person

5. Which would you rather do if you had an hour to waste?
a) Work out
b) Make out
c) Watch TV
d) Listen to the radio
e) Sleep
f) Read

6. Of the following colors, which do you like best?
a) Yellow
b) White
c) Sky blue
d) Teal
e) Gold
f) Red

7. Which one of the following would you like to eat right now?
a) Ice cream
b) Pizza
c) Sushi
d) Pasta
e) Salad
f) Lobster Tail

8. Which is your favorite holiday?
a) Halloween
b) Christmas
c) New Year's
d) Valentine's Day
e) Thanksgiving
f) Fourth of July

9. If you could go to any of the following places, which would it be?
a) Reno
b) Spain
c) Las Vegas
d) Hawaii
e) Hollywood
f) British Columbia

10. Of the following, who would you rather spend time with?
a) Someone who is smart
b) Someone with good looks
c) Someone who is a party animal
d) Someone who has fun all the time
e) Someone who is very emotional
f) Someone who is fun to be with

Now total up your points on each question:
1. a=4 / b=2 / c=5 / d=1 / e=3 / f=6
2. a=2 / b=1 / c=4 / d=5 / e=3 / f=6
3. a=2 /b=1 /c=3 /d=4 /e=5 /f=6
4. a=4 / b=5 / c=3 / d=2 / e=1 / f=6
5. a=5 / b=4 / c=2 / d=1 / e=3 / f=6
6. a=1 / b=5 / c=3 / d=2 / e=4 / f=6
7. a=3 / b=2 / c=1 / d=4 / e=5 / f=6
8. a=1 / b=3 / c=2 / d=4 / e=5 / f=6
9. a=4 / b=5 / c=1 / d=4 / e=3 / f=6
10. a=5 / b=2 / c=1 / d=3 / e=4 / f=6

NOW, take your total and find out which Movie Star you are:
(10-17 points) You are MADONNA:You are wild and crazy and you know it. You know how to have fun, but you maytake it to extremes. You know what you are doing though, and are much incontrol of your own life. People don't always see things your way, but thatdoesn't mean that you should do away with your beliefs.Try to remember thatyour wild spirit can lead to hurting yourself and others.
(18-26 points) You are DORIS DAY:You are fun, friendly, and popular! You are a real crowd pleaser. You haveprobably been out on the town your share of times,yet you come home with thevalues that your mother taught you. Marriage and children are very important toyou, but only after you have fun. Don't let the people you please influenceyou to stray.
(27-34 points) You are DEBBIE REYNOLDS:You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that no one takesthe chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers, and you are worry-free.
(35-42 points) You are GRACE KELLY:You are a lover. Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to enjoy yourself. You are serious about all commitments and are a family person. You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday. Don't let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.
(43-50 points) You are KATHERINE HEPBURN:You are smart, a real thinker. Every situation is approached with a plan. You are very healthy in mind and body. You don't take crap from anyone. You have only a couple of individuals that you consider "real friends". You teach strong family values. Keep your feet planted in them, but don't overlook a bad situation wh en it does happen.
(51-60 points) You are ELIZABETH TAYLOR:Everyone is in awe of you. You know what you want and how to get it. You have more friends than you know what to do with. Your word is your bond. Everyone knows when you say something it is money in the bank.You attract the opposite sex. Your intelligence overwhelms most. Your memory is the next thing to photographic. Everyone admires you because you are so considerate and lovable. You know how to enjoy life and treat people right.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Go Away Paris Hilton!

I know it isn't just me, but I can't stand this girl. I've never been a fan. She hasn't done anything for me to be a fan of! I hate that she's famous. I hate that the media wastes time telling us what club she went to last night. I hate that she has added herself to the list of celebrities who should not have attempted a music career (did you know she had to start her own record label just to get it produced? How lame is that?!) I part of me wants to meet her just to I can tell her off. That's not very "Christian" of me, and I know I'd never do it.
In some small way I do pity her. Will she ever be able to trust anyone? Will she ever have a genuine relationship? Will she ever have the satisfaction of earning something? She's pretty pathetic, in that light. I feel sorry for her that her sex tape was leaked out, but she does really put herself out there.
Ultimately, I am tired of seeing her all over everything... TV, magazines, and now, she's invaded the radio! And apparently, I am am not alone. She has actually made it in the Guiness Book of World Records are the most overexposed star. I took a poll on, and apparently 88% of the +11,000 people who voted said they wouldn't miss her if she dropped out of the spotlight. They also had a link to this song, Go Away Paris Hilton by a band who also named themselves after her, "The OK Go Away Paris Hilton Apparatus." I got a kick out of it. I hope you do too.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Spy in America

With 9/11 anniversary approaching, we are analyzing the progress that has been made to fight terror. We are still analyzing how they infiltrated us so deeply and pulled off such a tragedy. My husband and I saw this man on TV twice in 1 day: once on Fox news, once in an entire special on National Geographic Channel special, Triple Cross: Bin Laden's Spy in America. This man may have one of the most terrifying stories of all the terrorists we know of. His own actions are not as terrifying as how easy they have been for him to accomplish. His is an unfamiliar face of terror.
You can read a more thourough bio here.
I just wanted to get to the bottom one really knows where this man is right now. He was arrested and plead guilty in 2000 to his role in terroist bombings in 1998. Sentencing was scheduled for July 2001. As of October, he was still "awaiting sentencing," but has since "vanished from the federal prison system." He has high contacts within Al Qiada, the FBI and the CIA, he is directly and indirectly responsible for many attacks against America. Presumably, he is in witness protection wing of federal prison. He was supposedly consulted after 9/11 and many assume he is still consulted today for his insight into the extremist world and mindset.
Part of the reason this man was so successful was that within our government, the CIA, FBI, and other counter-terrorist units, weren't communicating with each other. The right hand didn't know what the left was doing, so to speak. This allowed him to exploit the system, playing one branch against another. Since 9/11, that has been one thing we are working on.
I don't know about you, but this terrifies me. Someone found holes in our systems, exploited people and things our society values, and used all of these things from within and without, to murder and terrify. AND he's disappeared. How many others like him are out there? How close are we to another domestic attack? Have you seen the movie The Seige? How close are we to that kind of thing?

Friday, August 25, 2006

A Nation Divided?

I have noticed a troubling trend in our country lately. There seems to be divisions of all kinds being made more and more clear, economic, social, racial, and political. In the last week, I have seen several thing on TV regarding the differences between us in this country. I don't know if this is a rolling trend that I am too young to remember, or if this is something new. I have to say, I hope for the former.

I was watching a re-run of an Saturday Night Live episode that originally aired during the 2000 Presidential campaigns. It was practically a race to see which candidate could be more moderate. However, the last 4 years, especially, since 9/11 and the subsequent war, has brought on a political polarization that will be evident in the upcoming mid-term elections. There is also the ongoing immigration debate and terrorist threats, both of which stimulate racial prejudice. Now, I know that in politics, there are ebbs and flows of moderation, and division, but this is just one of many divisions plaguing us right now.

I very rarely catch Oprah. But yesterday, she did a show on class in America. According to statistics, 1% of America controls about 40% of the money. That top 1% makes an average of about $850,000 a year. The rest of the 99% makes an average of $34,000. Tragic, isn't it? And we have such a skewed view of how many rich people there are, and how easy it is to get rich. We are in a celebrity-obsessed culture. After shows like American Idol, everyone thinks they can be rich and famous, but after the hundreds of thousands of people who have auditioned in the last 4 years, only about 8 or so have gone on to successful, money-making careers. This show was initially about stereotypes and people judging strangers: who is in which class based on what they look like. But the point was basically the same: it's harder now to fake what class you are in. They also pointed our how it has become more difficult to move up the social ladder, that the gap between lower and upper classes is broadening, and that the middle class is shrinking. When I was growing up, we were on the lower edge of middle class, but my parents still pulled off private schools for elementray school, and a nice minivan. Each of us kids had a vehicle to drive in high school. I consider my parents to be a respectable, stable, solid, middle class family. But, as this show points out, I doubt my siblings or I will get much higher. We may each get to upper-middle class, but I don't forsee any of us being upper class.

The show that came on right after Oprah was Primetime. I only watched the first few minutes of it, but that was enough. The were talking about HIV. African Amercans make up about 13% of the population (I can't quite come to grips with that number, but whatever they say...) but that over 50% of new HIV cases are in African Americans. The largest growing population of new HIV cases in the US is black women. I also heard about the new season of Survivor. They will be dividing the contestants into 4 groups based on race: white, black, asian, and hispanic. They are catching a lot of flack for this, but I don't know. I think it could be interesting. I think people have become so obsessed with being PC that is is now driving more of a racial wedge amongst us, like social a backlash. What happened to recognizing and embracing our differences? They did the gender thing didn't they? Men vs. Women? I don't really see the difference. They may as well group people together by hair color or people with freckles against those without. There are fundamental, genetic differences in all of us, and that's the truth. I don't know why people are so afraid of that? Did you know that a pathologist can almost always accurately determine sex, ethinicity, and an approximate age base only on bones? Bones is all it takes to identify the most fundamental and recognizable things about each of us.

I hope this is just a rotation in society. If not, it looks like we are poised for even more severe division, which just cannot be good for us. Hopefully it will not take a major tragedy to unite us. 9/11 and Katrina were helpful, and devestating, but we just forget so quickly. We end up blaming each other once the shock wears off. Hopefully society can come full circle and end up more united than ever.

A New Start...eventually

A new path is in our future. My hubby got the final ka-bosh on his piloting career today. He still has the opportunity to pursue a back seat in the plane, which is the first avenue he will approach. We will hopefully have some news on that in 4-5 weeks. If that doesn't pan out, intelligence is backup choice number 2. He seems to be ok. He had some time to prepare himself for the news. He wasn't very hopeful. But he is also excited about the options still available for him. We just have to trust that God has a different plan for us. It's a long road yet, so please pray for patience and stamina. I know God will put us where we need to be.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

TV returns!

As I have said before, I watch WAY too much TV. Even when there's nothing on, I find something to have on. We got into 1 "summer series," Rescue Me on FX, but that's the only one. They only have 1 episode to go and it has definitly been exciting! I don't know how they can do next season with the way this one is shaping up. Tommy says he's leaving FDNY!
Anyway, my re-run days are over! New seasons of TV are back, starting with the season premier of one of my favorite shows, Prison Break last night. This show is so exciting, and stars one of the hottest guys on TV :) It quickly became one of my favorites last season. The guys have escaped from prison, and are now on the run! A manhunt makes for some of the most exciting and suspenseful entertainment out there. Remeber the Fugitive?
Dancing with the Stars is a guilty pleasure that announced their new line up for this season. It's going to be down-right hilarious! Including such "dancers" as Emmitt Smith, Jerry Springer, Joey Lawrence, Mario Lopez, and Vivica A. Fox, they have another winner lined up, I'm sure.
The other show I'm really looking forward to is Gray's Anatomy. I started watching this show right from the beginning. My roommates were into the Desperate Housewives craze. I never cared for it, myself. But I sold my mom on Gray's with their gripping Super Bowl episodes. A man came it with live bazooka ammunition inside him and the crew had to remove it without killing themsleves. If you haven't seen this show, you should check into it. They didn't get all those Emmy nominations for nothing! They are running re-runs on it's new night, breaking people in, I'm sure. It's on Thursdays, now, up against CSI. This disappoints me. I'm a big CSI fan, given my desired career. But I can catch it in syndication, so I think Gray's will win out for me.
The other favorite I share with the Emmy's is 24. Sadly, it will not be back until January, but it's worth the wait! Once they start, they go non-stop until the last episode. No re-runs, no specials, no nothing but 24, Mondays at 9.
A couple of shows I've been watching for some time are undergoing big changes and I'm interested to see how they will pan out. The creators and writers of Gilmore Girls have left the show after a contract dispute with the new network. I have kind of grown up with Rory and I'm really interested to see how different the show will be. I really hope they can maintain that quick, witty repartee the show is famous for. The other show making big changes is SNL. I have been a fan of this show for a long time, catching up with episodes before my time on E! Head writer for the last 7 seasons, Tina Fey, is leaving for her own sitcom. SNL is famous, though, for changes and overhauls. I'm sure they will pull through this, as they have many others. I am just interested in what changes.
It seems last year, I had found something to watch nearly every night. Gray's on Sunday, Monday was Prison Break and 24. Tuesday was American Idol, which is still a ways off, and Gilmore Girls, a holdover from my younger years. I watched American Idol and One Tree Hill, another teenaged hold over, on Wednesdays. I was a Friends and Will and Grace fan on Thursday's "Must See TV," as well as CSI and That 70's Show. But now, Thursdays will be Gray's Anatomy. This season, I'm looking forward to Twenty Good Years, the new John Lithgow comedy series. I loved 3rd Rock and think he is just hysterical.
Hopefully there will be some interesting new TV this year.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

My friends are in love with marriage

My husband and I are at an age where many of our friends are becoming "grown ups." We have graduated college and people are starting to get married. We have 2 friends getting married next month and 2 others recently engaged, with no dates set yet. That's 4 couples, to be clear. My hubby and were talking about all our friends last night, after I bought my plane ticket to the September weddings, and we decided we are genuinly concerned for each of their futures. We have one other friend-couple who married a year before us. Neither ourselves nor that couple worry us. In both cases, we were dating for a few years and known each other longer. All of these couple are young and moving fast for bad reasons.

Couple number 1: P & H
P is probably the smartest, cutest, sweetest, most polite and charming guys I've ever met. He had 1 girlfriend in high school and none in college...too busy with school. He's a military man also. He went to Japan on a summer exchange trip through the military and fell in love with the country. He went back through school the following summer and stayed with a host family. He met one of their friends and fell in love with her. This was last summer. She is 9 years older than he. She is Korean. She is well educated. She is very sweet. She is not a citizen. They are getting married in 4 weeks. Everyone has been thinking the same thing, and you're thinking it too. She came into the country in April, for my wedding, and has stayed on a "fiancee visa." They had 6 months to get married after the visa was issued. My hubby has tried to take the better-friend route but trying to support his friend while everyone else was doubting the woman he loved. He's starting to doubt his position. He's thinking maybe the better friend would have warned his friend if he thinks he's making a mistake. We have no legitmate reason to question their relationship other than it just sounds sketchy. The other thing that concerns us about this couple is that she is in her early 30's and they have discussed poppin out a couple of kids in the near future. Only time will tell.

Couple #2: S & K
K is the friend here. She has been a friend of both dh and I for almost 5 years now. She was in my wedding. She is, once again, a military friend. She is marrying a military man. This guy, we all met together as a friend of a friend, on a New Years trip nearly 3 years ago. They did not start dating until last summer. They have never lived in the same city, ever. They will not be able to live in the same city for months still. They are in the same community in the military and if they are married the military will give them priority on assignments so they can be together. AKA, he probably won't have to Japan while she's training in Florida. So they are going to "go ahead and get married." They have been dating for just over a year and engaged since March. I'm afraid they just don't know each other as well as they think they do. They are marrying next month.

Couple #3: P & J
P was our friend first, nearly 5 years ago. Since he brought his girlfriend into our lives, she's become a friend too. With the other 2 couples, the significant other hasn't been in their lives long enough for us all to be friends! Both P and J were in our wedding. They are both military, but in different branches, which will make life together complicated. They have been dating around 2 years and aren't planning a wedding any time soon. J is a beautiful, sweet, cool "guys' girl" kind of girl. She enjoys havin a beer and watchin the game. She's in an environment with a lot of guys around and she attracts lots of them. He knows it too, and it makes him uneasy to say the least. It is quite obvious, to those of us who know him, that he thinks she's too good for him. She is going overseas for about 2 years with the military in a few months and he surprised her with popping the question for her birthday last month. I think he wanted to slip that ring on her finger before she's on the other side of the world. He is very insecure in their relationship and if doesn't hold up, I bet that will have something to do with it.

Couple #4: M & Z
This couple, in my opinion, has the worst shot of making it down the aisle. M is one of DH's best friends. Since our engagement, he has hopped on the bandwagon. He wants to get married and have a family so badly. He studied abroad and met a girl, who went to school with him in the same program. They started dating that summer and continued into the school year. By the end of the school year, he was looking forward to graduating and leaving her behind with an excuse to break up with her. He complained about her clinginess and constant need for affection. He graduated and broke up with her, but they "stayed friends." Yeah. right. Well, they really did. He left for his military training and got lonely. She went to visit him and they were back together. She visited him again a couple of months ago, and they were sitting around chatting. He said something to the effect that they should get married, ya know, kind of feeling out the water, I guess. Don't most couples discuss marriage before an acutal proposal? Apparently, she took that as a proposal and said "I'd love to marry you!" They don't even have a ring yet. Charming little story, isn't it?

I only want the best for the people I care about and so you can understand my concern. I'm afraid they are all rushing into this for bad reasons. I hope they will not be disappointed. I can only pray that God bless their unions, if they make it that far. I pray for wisdom and courage to do the right thing, even if it is painful or awkward. Sometimes, we get comfortable in our relationships and it's easier to stay in them than to confront demise. We are afraid of losing someone special, of not finding someone else, of being alone. Fear is not a good reason to get married. Another couple-friends of ours were supposed to be married several months ago. They had been together, off and on, for about 5 years. Through their relationship, however, both of them made changes in their life, one of which included a serious redevotion to religion, that changed the dynamic of their relationship. She was wise enough to realize that they were not the same couple they had started out to be, and had the courage to call off their wedding just days before the big day. Now, they may work through things, and they may not, but they did not get married because they thought they should, and for that I applaud them. I hope for everyone to be honest in all of their relationships .

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What government agency would you run?

I was the "smart kid" in my house. My father was especially ambitious for me. When I got to college and expressed an interest in forensic science, he immediatly had me promoted to the "first female head of the CIA." I had to correct him. If I could be in charge of any government department it would have to be the DEA. Somewhere along the line, I developed a fascination with drugs. I find them interesting in their relationship with society. My favorite class in college was called "Drugs, alcohol and crime," which is really a silly title, considering alcohol is a drug. I kept all of my books from that class. I've also enjoyed mini-series on VH-1 and the History Channel about drugs in America. Whatever the drug, they tend to have a similar pattern that they go through, from introduction and legitamacy, to popularity, to stigma, to illegality and persecution. They also have an interesting relationship with wars. Historically, a drug is, somehow or another, made popular among soldiers, then causes social upheaval once the war is over.
What really strikes me today is the intense degree of education we have today about drugs and the effect it seems to have had, or in some way, lack-there-of. I grew up in the 80's and 90's, during and post "Just Say No" era. And each drug has undergone its turn with popularity. I grew up being terrified of crack. Pot was associated with hippys, but was making a comeback when I was in high school. Even though we all know what crack, cocaine, heroin, and pot will do to us, my generation has found a new lesson to learn in methamphetamine. They seem to think it will not undergo the same pattern of its predecessors. I don't understand how, based on all of the education we have had on drugs, that people can still try something like that. I guess as long as rebellious young people and scientists coexist, we will always have a "drug problem."
Usually, society gets at least close to right that drugs are dangerous. With abuse and over use, many things can be dangrous including some "legal drugs." Did you know that after long term use, followed by long term abstinance, a medical professional cannot tell if you ever used heroin, but they can tell if you have abused alcohol? On occassion there is a degree of over reaction, for example, marijuana. It is currently classified as a schedule 1 drug. That means not only is it completely illegal, but has no medical utility, and is intensly addictive. Now, some kids you know may argue that latter point, but, make no mistake, it is only a matter of time before marijuana is rescheduled based on the medical utility point. People sick with HIV/AIDS and cancer patients on chemo will argue that pot stimulates their appetite and eases nausea.
I think the real successed against drugs will come with valid education. In the words of Phil Donahue, "we told our kids that pot and heroin were basically the same thing." You can't just say, "drugs are bad" and be done with it. We have to validate our education and be honest with our kids. Learn for ourselves what the dangers of each drug are. Drugs cycle in their popularity. Watch out for the continued rise of methamphetamine. After that, we should be into an upper, cocaine like drug, probably in the form of a prescription, or even, over the counter pharmaceutical.
But take comfort that the general "war" and regulation and education have had an impact. Statistically, the lowest national use of alcohol was during prohibition--it does work. Overall drug use is down. The idea of other teens harassing you to take drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol just isn't something that I experienced or saw used on other teens. I was offered my first cigarette when I was 14 (we live in smokers capital of the US--North Carolina). I was offered my first drink and my first hit of pot my senior year of high school. "Offered" is the key word here. In none of these situations, or ones that followed through college, did I ever feel pressured to do something I didn't want to. It was more I was around other people using and they were being polite, like offering a guest in your home something to drink. So, educate yourself, educate you kids, and trust them and their friends.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

There is a season, turn, turn, turn

I love all of the seasons. After about 2 or 3 months of one, I'm done and ready to move on to the next. My favorite season is usually the opposite of the one I'm in, which now, would be winter. But, I love them all for different reasons. I have very fond memories of each. Each brings its own excitement and reminiscence.
I was in the craft store today and saw Christmas decor out. At first, I was really excited. I LOVE Christmas year-round. I love the whole holiday season. I love the family-ness. I love the craziness at the mall, when it's all decorated with carols playing. I love shopping. I love baking. I love holiday crafts. I love the music. I love decorating. I just love everything about Christmas. But, I realized it's really quite tragic how they keep extending the holiday season. Now, a craft store is almost tolerable. If you are going to make your own ornaments, or wreath, or whatever, you need a little time. But's AUGUST! And, whoa! What happened to fall? Introducing the holiday season before the Back-to-school madness is over is a bit much. And I'm sure you can imagine the kind of success they must be having here in Texas where it's still 100 degrees everyday! But, they are skipping fall entirely! I like fall. I like the air getting crisp. I like apple pie. I LOVE the smells of fall...burning leaves, the cool air. I like football season (DH and I went to big college football schools). I don't wanna skip fall. I want to wear sweatshirts and spend all day watching football with friends. I want to enjoy my sugar maple air freshener. I want to see leaves change...even if it's only when I visit my parents.

Like I said, I like each season, in its turn. I won't like winter as much if I don't get my fall in first. There is a process here, a natural order to things. So, instead of buying into the corprate abomination of autumn (wow, I'm really not that 'anti-establishment'), I'm going to savour the season...just as soon as we see a day under 90.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Any news is better than "w...a...i...t...i...n...g..."

Ain't he good lookin in at uniform? Now, this is an old picture, but the uniform is still a part of his life. Of our life. We weren't sure for how much longer, though. Still in our early 20's we already owe a lot to the military, including virtually no student-loan debt. The deal he signed, after he selected to be a pilot after graduation, obligated him to be an officer for approximatly 10 years. After a 4-year degree, and nearly a year of training, it looked like we may be on our way out. The grading system in use is pretty screwy. It's very subjective and they use 2 seemingly unrelated systems to determine your fate. One system is the old navy system, one is the new air force system. One grades you on a number of things each flight. The other is an overall sort of average. It would take me forever to try to explain, so just know that dh (dear hubby, as the lingo goes on another site I use) was passing and getting good comments on each individual flight, but somehow, his overall "average" was too low. Dh was then "attrited." Basically, that means he is officially no longer in training to be a pilot. Needless to say, he was devestated. All the other students we know agree that he's been screwed over. They said, "tell them to look at your grades, and look at some of the people who've gone through."

We decided to not go out without a fight. The commadore who attrited him did so, referring to dh's squad CO, on basically his last day of work. Dh called his CO from ROTC in college and told him the whole story. The CO made some phone calls on his behalf, including the chief aviation training office. This office agreed to review his grades and look into it for him. The CO said he didn't want to get our hopes up, but he gave us about a 10% chance of being reinstated. He said he's seen a number of people "rise from the dead" in the military. This was 2 weeks ago. Dh has been calling him weekly since, to check in and see if there's any news. Last week, the CO told him the guy at the training office has a second person reviewing his case also. Positive news...I guess.

CO called today. He said the training office has decided to refer his case back to the new commadore. This is postive news. Dh was a duty driver for him a couple of weeks ago, which means they've met. Any face time is good. This is such positive news, we are trying hard to not get too excited. At this point we want some resolution. We've just been waiting. When I moved here, we were planning on being here for about a month. It's been almost 5. We don't even know if he was going to stay in the navy after this. If the re-instatement doesn't work out, he can redesignate to another job within the navy, or be out altogether. We've been waiting, for only God knows what. Waiting to see not only to see what my husbands job will be for the next 5+ years, but if he will have a job at all!

So, we're still waiting. But, at least we know there is progress being made. Something is being done. Someone who knows something agrees that this is worth looking into further. That's comforting. We could know by the end of the week! That is exciting! Then again, if the commadore decides not to reinstate, we will be back to the waiting. Waiting to see if a redesignation pans out. So, pray for us as we wait. Pray for patience. Pray for resolution. Pray for strength to handle what is thrown our way, so early in our marriage.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

"Dear sweet, 8lb 6 oz, tiny, infant Jesus..."

You may not have seen the movie, but you surely know the man...Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Starring Will Ferrell. This man is one of the silliest stars in Hollywood today. If you are familiar with him at all, you know not to take any of his projects seriously. I was watching Fox News this week and saw clip of a film critic from talking with an anchor about this movei. The topic was so absurd I had to stay and hear the man out: the critic was saying that not only is Will Ferrell a racist, but the film is anti-Christian. He said Ferrell should apologize for the film, like Ron Howard should apologize for the DaVinci Code and Mel Gibson for his drunken tirade (which, may I point out, he has.) The anchor pointed out that this is comedy, it is satire. The critic rebutted with the point that Jewish persecution in Germany began wth satire. This man actually likened Will Ferrell to Hitler! He continued, saying anti-Christian messages are permeating our entertainment and corrupting our children. Now, the latter point I am not totally against. I don't know if it's there is an active anti-Christian message in entertainment today, or just an apathetic one. But the idea that a white man is racist against white males is just silly. The idea of a Will Ferrell comedy being taken seriously is just ridiculous. This film makes fun of a slice of the population. What comedy doesn't? Remember the movie Friday? No one accused Ice Cube of being racist against black people. A great gift in life is the ability to laugh at yourself. But this movie makes fun of Southerners, not Christians. Being raised not only Christian, but southern also, I was not offended. On the contrary, I was quite entertained. I may have gotten more of the jokes than many of my friends. I think rednecks are funny. Many Americans do. Heck, Jeff Foxworthy, a self-proclaimed redneck, has made a career out of making fun of rednecks! The news anchor conducting the interview referenced Ferrell's previous hit, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, saying it made fun of news people. He said it did not offend him, as a news anchor, nor did he believe it made people dislike news people any more than they already do. He wasn't buyin this any more than I am.
During the first part of the movie, Will's character, Ricky, is obsessed with winning. He loves making money, having a "red hot smokin' wife" and disrespectful children. He claims he's "raising winners." Their names are Walker and Texas Ranger, for goodness sake! That should prove to anyone the silliness of the film! This character also prays before dinner...just before listing to his 10-year-old tell him he "made that prayer his b****." I don't know if the paradox is intentional or not. Knowing the wit of Ferrell, it probably is. I guess people don't realize that praying before dinner is not just something "good Christians" do. In the south especially, being any kind of "Christian" at all can be social or just habit. I'm not saying Southerners are not devout, sincere Christians. If you've read my mother's blog you know that the 2 often coexist. But, the movie mocks southerners, not Christians. And, yes there is some overlapping of sorts, but the message is hardly 'anti'-Christian. If the critic had bothered to pay attention to the second half of the movie, he would have noticed that Ricky's mother uses church and Sunday school to reform her wild and disrespectful grandchildren.
Now, I will contend there was some irreverence, but again, that is to be expected of Ferrell. When Ricky prays, he insists on praying to the "baby Jesus." In the middle of his dinner prayer, after he has made a number of references to the baby Jesus, he wife interrupts, "baby, you do know Jesus grew up? He's not a baby anymore," to which Ricky replies, he likes the Christmas Jesus the best and he will pray to whichever Jesus he wants. I think it is totally valid to think of Christ in different forms. He embodies all forms. I don't see why it is unreasonable to think a man cannot talk to Jesus in the manner that makes him most comfortable. I find it offensive that this critic implies there is a right and wrong way to talk to God. His prayer may be mildly irreverent, but he is heartfelt, and thanks Jesus for each member of his family, for his friends, for his successful career.
Bottom line, as a Christian, or more appropraite to this film, as a Southerner, I was not offended. I think by now we are all familiar enough with Will Ferrell to expect nothing less and nothing more than silliness and entertainment. He's no master of social commentary but of social scrutiny. Honesty is sometimes the funniest and hardest pill to swallow.

Friday, August 11, 2006

America, will you see it?

In the wake of yesterday's reiteration of global terrorism, Paramount Pictures considered scaling back promotion for the new Oliver Stone movie, World Trade Center. They have decided to proceed as planned, with the film opening this weekend. After the depressing reviews of United 93, many are skeptical. With the 5-year anniversary of 9/11 right around the corner, as heart-wrenching as the memories are, the last thing we want is to be brought down any more than necessary over the tragedy of that day. I know I still cry over it. But all reviews and trailers for WTC tell us a different story. This is supposed to be an uplifting tale of the last 2 survivors pulled from the rubble after the collapse of the towers. Oliver Stone has left out everything that happened after that fateful day and just tells the story of these 2 men. The film is being described as "a story of hope, survival and selflessness," and about "heroism and the best in all of us."

So, as with all other films that come out, do we listen to the critics? Do we see it in spite of them? Or because of them? Do we take the chance? This is not like other films, however. It is a special circumstance. It reopens a wound that, hopefully, to some degree, is not fully healed. Reminds us of a painful reality. Maybe you lost someone that day. Maybe you merely sat glued to your television that day. Undoubtedly, you remember, if you only pause and take the time. That is what I challenge you to do. Pause, and take the time to remember.

My opinion? This is film is important. Anything that reminds us of the dangers that haunted us and still plague us is important. We are niave if we thing this fight is over. As yesterday proves, we cannot afford to forget. Americans have a habit of forgiving and forgetting. Maybe that's not always a bad thing. But in cases such as these, our memories are the most important thing we have. It is important for us to be reminded of how we all felt that day. So, whether you like Oliver Stone, or hate Nicholas Cage, see the movie. Talk about the movie. And, most importantly, remember that Day.

I waste my life on TV!

I really watch WAY too much TV, and I'm sure many posts to follow will have to do with things I see. It's how I retain information really. My best learning style is a combination of auditory and visual information. Therefore, TV is the perfect teacher for me. I don't waste it all on useless things. I watch my share of the History channel, the Travel channel, and Food Network (boy, do I LOVE food network!) I keep up, usually, with the news too. I just enjoy TV and I'm not afraid to admit it! I pride myself on knowing what movies are coming out, TV schedules, which celeb is pregnant and who's dating who. My hubby and I were watching the World Series of Pop Culture on VH-1 the other day, and we kicked butt! I have become a wealth of random information, mostly due to TV. My husband says I could write a "Did You Know?" book with all the randomness in my head. When put on the spot, though, I can never think of a good one. It has to be stimulated. I will try to comment on others with my Did-you-knows.
What leads me down this path now is a commercial I just saw. It's a new cingular commercial with a mother and daughter. It sounds like they are fighting, but the words they are using are so agreeable. Cingular boasts, they are "changing the conversation about cell phones." It's really very funny. Once in a while, something very clever shows up amidst the plethera of commercials taking up our time. With my apparent expertise, I just thought this was something new and different.


Ok, so I'm going to give this a shot. I created this thing over a month ago and have yet to write anything. I realized there isn't much going on in my life right now worth reporting. Oh well. It will be a place to vent. I can talk, that's for sure. I found this page though my mother. She is a great writer and this has been a good outlet for her. My aunt has joined her now so I check in on their blogs regularly.
I'm a newlywed and my husband are stranded far away from pretty much everyone we know thanks to the US Navy. I mean, I knew what I was getting myself into when I married him, but things have gotten, well, turbulant latelty. It's a long story that I'm sure I will get into later. But I thought, in the meantime, while I have so few people around to talk to, I could use this forum to spill to. If you're interested in my various ramblings, tune in. There may be some substance amidst the chatter. I look forward to getting things off my chest!