Inspired

Sometimes you are just inspired. When life has found me sitting, day in and day out, in a mold infested room with fuzzy blobs of people like substance whose brains have long since rotted from neglect, inspiration has been hard pressed to find me. The sheer blood boiling ignorance of having to tell someone to turn the page to find the answers they seek; of having someone so unaware of the basic facts of life that are going on around them– its maddening.

One man’s misfortune is my luck. One of the few people whose light burns brighter than the rest has found himself under the misfortune of being thrust back into our administrative hovel. He is a dreamer, and with his love will soon be off on a world adventure. My bones are green with envy. To be able to throw off the world, dispossess themselves of all the ties that bind, and just go. My heart longs to go on such grand adventures.

Alas, I am bound here by chains stronger. But I am working on our release. Paying off our debts is goal number one. Anyone who has a Master’s Degree worth of student debt knows what I mean. We aren’t over our heads, but we have enough to make freedom out of reach. So, a short time of focused goal tending and then, off to see the world.

I have already freed my son of societal expectations by not forcing him into the government run institution that erodes their self and builds up an artificial, commercial consumer who has more wants than dreams. My goal: to teach him to find passion for something. Anything. As long as it is his passion.

For today, I am playing hooky from work. Taking my son to a concert he picked. And delaying the mind numbing ignorance that makes me angry and anxious.

Until then: out to collect my daily prize!!

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To blog or not to blog….

Dear WordPress,
I still love you, I don’t want you to think I don’t. The problem is this: I found bubblews.com and it pays me for my posts. Yep, that’s what I said. PAY. Like money, for doing, well just this. It’s kinda awesome actually. Well, to be clear, it doesn’t actually pay for the posts, but for the number of views, likes and comments you get.

As a homeschooling mother, I have been looking for a way to supplement my income. Nothing major or huge. No thanks, I don’t want to join your pyramid scheme or sell Avon, as great as those things may be for you. I don’t have time to start another major endeavor. And I am not willing to purchase product that I will then have to move. That just isn’t me.

I’ve done online surveys. For a while, some of them are good. Eventually though, I just get bored with talking about toilet paper and makeup. So I have been looking for it. You know the “it.” The it all of us parents out there with too many bills and not enough time look for. An easy-er way to make money. You know, a way that we can cash in a few extra dollars a month without cashing in our sanity.

Well WordPress, this may be it. After all, I am spending the time writing anyway….

The Mama wars….

“I’m not a parent, but let me tell you something about raising kids…” Haven’t we all heard this one before? Raise your hand if you are sick of know-it-all non-parents adding their two cents in to your parenting disaster.

Yes, I do realize it probably isn’t best for my son to eat sand. But thirty minutes ago he was diving head first off the couch into the floor, so I feel like we’re making progress. Maybe by tomorrow I can encourage him not to stick Legos up his nose, but for today, I am just happy if we make it to supper with all of our limbs still attached and no one bleeding from the head.

Where I work, we have a handful of girls who are pregnant. The first time moms are nervous, apprehensive and getting lots of unsolicited advice. I get to be a fly on the wall for most of it. I am well known at work for not being the most talkative person in the room. I usually sit quietly, staring at my computer screen and working hard to distract myself from the conversations around me. Every once in a while, one gets going that I just can’t ignore. Lately, this has been the “oh, you’re pregnant? Let me tell you what you should/shouldn’t do” talk.

Let me make one thing clear. I work in an extremely male dominated facility. There are only 12 girls out of over 80 workers. Not counting myself, two are mothers and two are pregnant. So you wouldn’t think the two preggos here would have to deal with a whole lot of “you should be…” or “I don’t think you should be…” advice. But they do. Every. Single. Day.

As if it wasn’t annoying enough hearing it from the well-meaning, but seriously misguided dudes who have had wives that have been pregnant, it is ten times more annoying hearing it from the bachelors and bachelorettes who have neither carried children, have children of their own or seen children anywhere but on Rugrats reruns.

Two years ago, I made the difficult decision to homeschool my son. As a veteran mother, I had no trouble shooting down the less than educated concerns of my 18 year old co-workers who proceeded to enlighten me on the necessity of social education and the lack of my ability to possibly know enough to walk a kindergartener through his A, B, Cs. I simply thanked them all for reminding me why I had chosen to homeschool.

For these new mothers, I clench my teeth in aggravation on their behalf. But, I don’t speak of for them. Why? To do so would handicap them. They will be dealing with this for 18 years at least. They need to learn to fight the good fight now. Learning to trust your instincts and stand up for your kids is something that has to come from within. It is not something that can be impressed upon you from an external force. My telling them to stand up for themselves would honestly make me just one more person, giving their two cents.

And who needs that, really?

Snobs, Soccer and other S words…

2014FIFAWorldCupHey look! Two days in a row. I’m on a roll with this keep-the-blog-updated thing. In case you haven’t been watching, Brazil lost to Germany in a big way. The score was 7-1. I haven’t been watching, but everyone I work with has. They come in to my office, put their pretentious noses in the air and remind me that they are cultured and sophisticated because they are watching the world’s biggest soccer match.

Of course, I know the truth. These are the same idiots who asked me last week if London was a city or a country. I don’t even think most of them are watching it. They unlock their iPhones, open their EPSN apps, run through the highlights and then promptly declare, “you mean you haven’t been watching the game?” I’m on to you. I can smell you from a mile away. Your desktop has pictures of Paris, Madrid, Machu Piccchu. But you can’t tell England from Great Brittan from the United Kingdom. Snoot on, but what will you talk about in a month when your precious soccer match is over?

For actual soccer fans, you know, the ones who followed it BEFORE the World Cup made headlines, I’m good with your enthusiasm. Truth is, I don’t mind the World-Cup-Only soccer fan’s enthusiasm. It’s their snootiness I take issue with. Go team USA!! Oh, we’re out? Well, then, whatever.

Why the Boston Marathon Bombings are not a failure of intelligence.

1. Remember the Patriot Act? Remember how much of an uproar was caused by the simple suggestion that the government can monitor your emails, tap your phones, sequester your phone records, and record your banking information?
2. Remember how we balked at the idea that the CIA, NSA, DHS, FBI, ICE, ATF and other government agencies were keeping records about each of us?
3. The 19 year old was an American citizen.
4. Those who travel overseas do not wear ankle bracelets. We don’t always know where they go, who they talk to.
5. Russia is not exactly our BFF.
6. Do you want the FBI monitoring your YouTube channel for signs that you *may* be an insurgent?
7. What if you are a grad student studying terrorism? At what point after numerous searches on bioterrorism, CBRNE, extremist groups, threats against America, ect should the FBI be able to haul you in for questioning.
8. The FBI is a law enforcement agency and must abide by the American Code of Justice, meaning they cannot follow you around like the paparazzi.
9. Would you really want them to do number 8?
10. Lone wolf terrorists act alone. They are by definition secret, discrete and nearly impossible to trace.
11. Intelligence agencies like the CIA are prohibited, via the National Security Act of 1947 from operating on US soil. That means “intelligence agencies” in their truest form could not investigate American citizens.
12. The FBI has an intelligence division which must abide by the same laws as other law enforcement agencies, including getting a search warrant to search your home, records, and computer.
13. Not everyone who buys a pressure cooker has to submit to a background check first. I’d go as far as to say that no one who buys a pressure cooker gets a background check first.
14. Even now with one dead and the other talking, intelligence officials are still struggling to discover why. How could we have had those answers before we even knew who they were?
15. There were approximately 500,000 spectators. Just take a minute for that to sink in.
16. After the bombings, every person with a backpack was a social media suspect.
17. This is AMERICA. We are FREE people. As long as we wish to remain FREE, 100% protection against terrorism is impossible. DEAL WITH IT FOLKS!

Full time Mom, Full time employee, Full time student, Full time teacher?

One of the hardest choices we have to make as parents is where to send our kids to school. That time is upon me. My first hope was to get my son into the local charter school. Unfortunately, when the lottery was drawn, we were not lucky enough to get selected. Sure, we are on the wait list and miracles can happen, but it is unlikely at best. My state is not eager or particularly willing to allow children to go to a school out of their zone, so that really isn’t on the table.

So I am in a bit of a predicament. Should I send my son to his zoned school or homesechool? Some background information, the school my son is zoned for is not a great school. It isn’t failing, but it does have a D-. 75% of the kids have free or reduced lunch (statistically proven to increase the chances of behavior problems) and all of the test scores are WAYYYY below average. But it’s just kindergarten. How bad can it really be, right? Well, it could be pretty bad if my son starts with bad classroom management and thinks that is the standard. Plus, my son already has accomplished half of the kindergarten goals for the year.

So, would it be better to homeschool him and keep him moving forward? I worry that he would miss out on that “school” experience. But he does play T-ball 3 days a week, we go to the library on a regular basis and attend storytime, he does gymnastics once a week, we go to the park regularly and other social experiences. He is very outgoing, very social. I am not sure he will be missing out on much.

On top of everything else I do, am I ready to be a full-time teacher too?

Not YOUR Momma

I know it is sometimes confusing for the people I work with. I am a Mom. They are barely past the stage of living in their mother’s basement. Sometimes, they aren’t past it at all. Just because I am a Mom doesn’t mean I am your Mom.

That is the part they have trouble with you see.

So when a guy I work with sent me a message on facebook yesterday saying “I might need a ride in to work tomorrow” it infuriated me. We aren’t married. We aren’t friends. We don’t hang out after work. And I’m not your Momma!

Perhaps his mother failed to teach him manners. Your coworkers aren’t your personal limo drivers. Nor are they people whom you can simply summon to your door. If you need a ride into work, you should ask.

I know. Crazy concept.

I suppose this is the consequence of working with a bunch of people who either just graduated college or high school last week. They are very young with zero responsibilities. They live in bachelor pads, with cars in their parents name, insurance they don’t pay themselves with no children or girlfriend to speak of. So, they summon up their equally irresponsible friends when they want them to appear at their service. Unfortunately, this does not work with a 30 year old single mom who has grocery shopping to do, library books to return and a house to clean.

Sorry bucko, but if you need something from me, you’ll have to stand in line. Oh, and try a “please” on for size. Like I tell my five year old, its amazing what those magic words will get ya!

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Suspiciously quiet

When my four year old is quiet, I know something is up. He is either in trouble, or he is about to be. I on the other hand, tend to be suspiciously quiet when I have been ridiculously busy. Well, I wouldn’t say ridiculously maybe, but busy none the less.

The rest of the work week consisted of tyrants who said that, despite freezing temperatures and falling snow, the heat was to remain in the locked and off position. So, I wore my coat inside all day. It was strangely reminiscent of high school.

The week has also included two wonderful trips to our local public library. My son loves to read and I love to read to him. We’ve read 14 books since Wednesday, quite the accomplishment for a child of four. I am struggling to teach him to read. Though he excels in math and science (he can tell you all about an exoskeleton) he has not yet mastered reading. He knows his alphabet and the sounds each letter makes. He can even write most of them and makes them out of legos and play-dough. Reading, however, has eluded us. I feel confident however, that if we just keep reading a few books a day, he’ll catch on in his own time.

I have made a budget for the entire year. Quite a skill, I know. I so far have stuck to it pretty well for the last two months. I am paying off pretty much all my bills (except my truck and student loans) and getting out of debt as much as possible. I also have a two year plan (starting next year) which will pay off my truck a few years early and save me thousands. All without sacrificing family vacations! I plan to tuck a little more money into savings, my 401K and my son’s college savings plan after April (the date on which I pay off all my other debts).

So here is to continuing to make 2013 a healthy year. I’m bringing lunch/dinner to work every day, saving both money and my health. Paying off my debts and becoming more financially healthy. And focusing on my son’s educational and social well being, making my home healthier. Who else has healthy goals they believe they will actually accomplish this year?

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Work and other Mundane Tasks

I’ve had many jobs over the years. I’ve worked at a Bed and Breakfast, a sit down restaurant, a clothing store, a rental car agency, I’ve done autopsies at the morgue and now I am a civilian contractor with the military. I work with air traffic control (ATC) and I work nights, 1400-2200. Generally work is slow, I have a few trainees to attempt to impart some wisdom on and then we sit and wait for something to happen. There is the occasional aircraft emergency or some other problem to make things interesting, but for the most part I spend my time reading.

With my upcoming trip to Paris, my current reads are usually in French or about the French. When I have classes I study. I have just finished my courses for my first Master’s Degree and will soon be starting up for a second. Yes, I do love school. I also like to read for pleasure. Mostly stuff about crime, history, and other things that most people find boring. I love to read about sociology and psychology specifically about the criminal mind, the political mind or how to “read” people. It is fascinating to discover what makes people tick. Most of what I read is non-fiction, but I do read a small bit of fiction now and again.

While my work may sound easy going, it has its setbacks. Working with, but not for, the military has its challenges. The rules that apply to civilians are different from the rules that the military or the government guys follow. So are the perks. In my office, the contractors do 99% of the work and often run our office without the military at all. We have a military person overall in charge of our office and sort-of in charge of us.They are in charge of what we do when we are signed onto position, but that is it. They don’t do our time cards, evals, leave, they can’t make us do anything, they can’t hire or fire us. So, if we have a problem at work, we take it up with our contractor who has never even seen our office. It can make things a little complicated and the military folks really don’ t like being told that they aren’t in charge of us, especially when they are responsible for what we do.

Luckily, right now we have a pretty good group of people, especially in our office. Our direct military-non-supervisor-supervisor is especially sensitive to our awkward part of the team but not part of the team position and we work well together. Needless to say, not everyone is so easy to work with and things have been downright awful from time to time. But everyone does their best and we get through it.

No matter what, all jobs can be sometimes irritating. As those things go, this one is pretty good. The irritations are minor and short lived. And, I get to read…. a LOT!!

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Work Funny

Funniest things I’ve heard at work:

*”Do we have military flights here?” (asked a trainee. BTW, we work on a military base…)

*We have E28 bisexual gear, right? (It’s bidirectional).

*”I put a comma between email addresses, right?” “No, you put a semicolon.” “Ok, so that the two dots thing, right?” “No, that’s a colon. Semicolon has a dot on top, comma on the bottom.”

*”Which military branches have Generals?” “Uh, Army… Marines…” “Who else?” “Well, Navy.” (SMH!! These guys are in the Navy!!)

*”Hey, did A.  just leave there?” “Yes, he did.” “Can I speak to him?” “Noooo, he just left here…”

*”What do these two flight plans have in common?” “Well, one is IFR one is VFR.” “What is the thing they have in common, not what is different.” “Oh, I thought you might be asking to find the differences.” (Now you see what I’m working with)

*”I might go for my Master’s but not my Doctorate. I don’t want to have to write a disorientation.” (Yeah, he’s already confused)

*”When do you hit 60% of your total training hours?” “Well, you get 120 total so that’s half.” “No, what is 60%?” “HALF!”

*”Do you know what TC7’s are?” “Does it have something to do with the arresting gear?” “No, it is steam catapults.” “Oh yeah, it does say TC7 Catapults.” “Winning.”

*”I can’t figure out what the Department of Agriculture would need to be on the base access list.” “Well, you know J. the BASH guy is Department of Ag.” “I thought he was USDA”

*”Do we have mowers on the airfield?” “Yes.” “Where?” “…in the grass…”

*”A male sheep is still called an Elk, right?”

*”Hey, does that copier scan things?”

*”Is London a city or a country?”

*”What is a follow-me truck?” “A truck that you follow, has a big sign on the back that says “FOLLOW ME!”

*While pulling on a door that says “push” the frustrated military girl screams “WHY?!”

*”What I learned today is not to think. I just sit here and reconsider. Because I know if I say it, it is going to be out loud.”

*”I didn’t know Navy Fort Worth was called Fort Campbell.” “I didn’t know the Navy had forts, I thought that was just the Army.” “That’s because it is in Fort Worth, Texas.”

*One of our sailors honestly believes that the two sides of Twix are made in seperate factories and put together during packaging.

*”Is that Texas Zulu time or our Zulu time?” (For those that don’t know, Zulu is universal time)

*”Well, first you said you had 25 minutes left and then you said you had 6 minutes.” “Holy shit, it is almost like I was counting down to zero!”

*”I didn’t even think about going to a ship when I joined the Navy.”

*”The 2nd is on the 3rd this year.”

It’s a good thing these guys are out there, controlling airplanes and keeping the skies safe for us…

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