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Monthly Archives: April 2012

I’m back!

It was a great, relaxing cruise with lots of sun and water.

But before I start talking about the amazing week that was my cruise (and while I go through the pictures), I wanted to talk about a pretty cool “pen pal” system, called Foodie Pen Pals. Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean puts on this awesome program.

Once a month, you send (and receive) a package from a fellow blogger or reader, full of yummy foods!

My match this month was Kristin over at HerbiFour, and you can check out what I sent her on her blog.

My Foodie Pen Pal was Kathleen from Sweetness Hunter.

And it was a perfect box!

She sent me some great stuff. I am in LOVE with anything coffee and chocolate.

The coffee  and biscuits were used right away.

For two days, I had the Texas Turtle flavored coffee, which was delicious. It was like a chocolate turtle, with the hints of caramel.

The nest  two days were Vanilla Bean, and it was really good.

I have yet to use the coca powder (I’ve been doing a lot of running around lately), but I’m excited to use it and Kathleen gave me a great cookie recipe to use it in.

I won’t be taking part in Foodie Pen Pals this coming month (I’ve got a lot going on!), but I’ll probably do it again in June. It was a great experience (with some great food!)

P.S. I thought I’d throw in this outtake. I am never by myself when I’m at home.

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I have many girl friends that I’m close to.  I consider them some of my best friends (and yes, I believe you can have more than one!).

But one girl rises above them all…mainly because we text, call, tweet and email (or facebook) multiple times every single day. I’m pretty sure I don’t go more than a day without talking to her somehow.

I’m super lucky to have so many different ways to talk to her. Once upon a time, she actually lived in the Midwest, where we met at IU. Sadly, she moved back to Los Angeles. And now I live in the DC area. We could literally not be any further apart and still live in the same country.

So, again, I’m thankful that I have a gazillion different ways to get a hold of her.

Why do I bring all this up (besides the fact that I heart his girl?).

I just finished Dear Exile: A True Story of Two Friends Separated (For a Year) by an Ocean.

It’s a quick read of letters two friends sent each other while one of them was in Africa with the Peace Corps. The letters are funny and candid, with the girls writing about everything from apartment hunting, relationships, sickness and life in Africa. I actually found myself wanting more letters to read.

It got me thinking about my best friend. If there were no cell phones, and the internet was just starting to get big (as in the book), we would more certainly write letters. Even now I like getting actual mail from friends. It made me appreciate the fact that I can text or email her and get a response the same day, as compared to waiting a week or so for mail to arrive (like, you know, in the “olden” days haha).

I will say that this book makes me want to send a post card or even an actual letter!

How do you and your best friend(s) keep in touch?

It’s been a long wait, but it’s finally happening.

I’m going on vacation!

My cruise leaves this Sunday. I’m super excited. I’m looking forward to the sand, seas, beaches and a week full of nothing to do but relax.

There are some things that I wish I could have while on my cruise though:

A gorgeous carry on bag. I love this Girl with Curves bag. Simple and elegant.

An adorably fun dress for the first day.

A great pair of sandals to go with the dress.

And, last but not least, a good book.

I’m totally looking forward to my break before I jump into my new full-time job.

What would you take on a cruise?

I’ve had it.

Facebook, like all social media, should be fun and informative. That’s the point. But for the past couple weeks, all Facebook has been doing is stressing me out.

The first time, a so-called “friend” slammed me in a comment, causing my adrenaline to spike and uncontrolled rage to channel itself into a pissed off rant. Not one of my best moments, but it happens. After that, I weeded out my friends list to those friends I actually wanted to keep, not those hanging around because it was easy. I blocked a few people. I unfriended quite a few. And I thought I was good.

Today, I commented (jokingly to start with) on a friend’s status. Someone I had defriended over a year ago had to put her two cents in (which didn’t surprise me, because that’s the kind of person she is). Because I respect and love my friend (and I’m a grown up who is capable of intelligent conversations), I responded calmly and without accusing anyone of anything. I stated my views and where I was coming from.

The response to that, from Defriended, was basically that I was a bad friend and ignorant.

I am actually proud of myself for keeping it together and NOT flipping out. Again, I commented the evidence that supports my beliefs and did not support hers. Again, she ignorantly tried to claim otherwise. (Scientific studies and experiments are pretty easy to look up and prove or disprove. Claims by crazy celebrities are not.)

I ended up blocking her. And this is someone I wasn’t even friends with to start.

Should I have just ignored it? Probably.

But when someone is ignorantly spewing unscientifically proven facts that can actually hurt someone, I’m not going to just sit back and watch. And I am incapable of ignoring someone who is calling me a bad friend when they themselves are the Pot (calling the kettle black….get it?). Especially when I wasn’t accusatory, cursing, calling anyone names, etc. I was simply stating scientific evidence and my opinion.

I’m all for different opinions. Really. I actually like carrying on conversations with people who disagree with me (my dad and I do it all the time). But when people start personally attacking me and my character because they can’t find a good comeback or evidence (like accusing me of being a bad friend – when I pride myself on being the best friend I can be), all bets are off.

At this point, like everything else in life, the few negatives start to outweigh the positives of Facebook.

I have a busy next couple weeks. I go on vacation (where I would have no internet access anyways). I have make-up drill for a couple days. I get to see my brother come home from Afghanistan. And I start my new job. The last thing I need is for drama-filled nonsense stressing me out.

So I’m taking a Facebook break for a couple of weeks. I still have Twitter, which will probably be my new obsession. I have Pinterest, which will be a close second. And I still have my phone. My friends will just have to text or call me (*gasp*) when they want to talk. And I have this blog. My life is still full of social media.

To end on a much happier note, I’m post funny animal pictures I have of the animals in my family. That’s what the internet was made for, right?

One of my aunt’s pugs

My cat Tommy “helping” with a sewing project

Timmy sleeps in the weirdest ways

This is how he normally sleeps. Seriously.

My mom’s cat Sweetie. I used her as a guinea pig for my new iPhone app that add’s mustaches to people. Or cats. I personally think she looks dashing with a mustache.

I hope that helps end this post on a high note. Or a cute note. Whichever.

As I very briefly mentioned in my post yesterday, Saturday night I got very little sleep. Like, maybe topping off at 4 hours. Why, you ask?

Because some women snore like lumberjacks.

One of the girls in my unit snores. And it’s not a breathing-a-little-heavier-sometimes kind of snoring. It’s like a lawn mower going off in the bed across from me.

Friday night I was able to fall asleep before she started and missed most of it. Saturday night, however, I was not so lucky. She fell asleep around 9pm and had already started. Luckily, she was somewhat quite. But by 10pm, when the lights went out and everyone else went to bed, she was on a roll.

I tried everything. I put in my headphones and listened to my iPod (at an ear-splitting volume). I tried to ignore it. I played solitaire until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any more. But I STILL couldn’t sleep or drown out the lawn mower across from me.

Now, if you know me or have spent any good amount of time with me, you’ll know that I love my sleep. I’m not one of those people who believes in sleeping when you’re dead. I fully appreciate my 8 hours and get pretty pissy if they’re interrupted for no good reason.

So by 11:30pm, all I could think of were different ways of suffocating or strangling this girl.

Now, I know what everyone is thinking. Many people who snore can’t help it. They don’t do it on purpose. This girl has tried a whole bunch of different things to stop snoring. So, yes, I know. It’s not her fault and she’s not doing it to mess with me personally.

But at 11:30 at night, when I should be sound asleep, that doesn’t really matter. And I was not the only one who couldn’t get any sleep.

At midnight, she had increased in volume to where my iPod was blowing out my ears and I could STILL hear her. So I got up, walked over to her bed, and hit the bed frame really hard. No, I didn’t hit her (because I kept telling myself she couldn’t help it).

And she stopped. For a minute. Max.

And because it was a wide open bay of beds, even moving to the opposite side wasn’t going to work. Remember the photo of the horror movie showers from yesterday? I actually contemplated sleeping on the wooden bench in order to get some sleep. I thought about sleeping outside. I thought about sleeping on top of my truck.

By 1:30am, my body was tired enough that I fell asleep for about an hour. I woke up at 2:30am with her still sawing a giant pile of logs. Loudly.

So I switched to the white noise machine on my phone, again at a ridiculously loud volume. By 3:30am, I fell asleep. I woke up at 5:30 and checked to see how loud she was. And it was silent. It was amazing. So I took out my headphones and got another half hour of sleep until the lights were turned on at 6am. I could have killed someone.

My friend who was sleeping next to her looked as bad as I did. She also got like, 2 or 3 hours of sleep. And I had to drive more than 4 total hours the next day. Coffee was my friend.

I fully believe that, if someone is snoring, you have a right and a duty to hit them until they stop and/or wake up. It doesn’t matter if they get mad or complain about getting no sleep, because they’re the only ones getting any sleep in the first place. And this is exactly what will happen if she snores during our 2 week annual training. I will wake her up every single time she starts to snore. Just so she can be as sleep deprived as me.

This weekend, I had drill.

My cat has the uncanny ability to know when I need to leave.

I was able to pack up and head to my unit down South. Only to hit major traffic. Apparently, closer to Fredericksburg, some idiot decided to jump off a bridge on the I-95N side of the road. That was all but closed to traffic. My side had traffic almost 20 miles back because people SLOWED DOWN to see what was going on. For no reason whatsoever. I sat in stop and go traffic for 20 miles until I hit that bridge and then -BAM- no traffic and back up to 65mph. Which just goes to show that this area is surrounded by idiot drivers.

I made it to drill with only a half hour to spare. Lots of other people were stuck in the idiot-prone side of traffic heading South. I got some new gear, most of which I already have. But I did get a new helmet, which is great (and so much more comfortable than what I was wearing).

We headed down to Ft. Pickett (South of Richmond, VA) and got in pretty late. And this is what I was greeted with in my barracks: a horror movie bathroom.

This is what tax payer money goes to in the 1940s?

The next day was an uneventful day of driver’s training.

We (the other Sergeants and I) did some training on the load handling system and the flat racks that many of the trucks use. It’s how we can carry ammo, other small trucks, and other supplies. It’s pretty easy once you learn how, and that was the focus of our day.

The best part of the day? Lunch. I got Skittles in my MRE (Meals Ready to Eat – military food at it’s finest *cue sarcasm*).

I also got to rest for a bit while we ate.

After we finished our driver’s training, we took a little drive out to one of the lakes where the water people (those whose job it is to provide potable drinking water for us) were set up and filtering water. It was really nice out and the lake would have been a perfect place to be. We got a quick water course and headed back to our barracks for dinner.

After dinner and bed (where I got almost no sleep, but that’s for tomorrow’s post), we woke up and headed out on Sunday morning.

I managed to avoid any truly bad traffic on the way home. Just the normal, no-one-knows-how-to-marge-so-everyone-stops-and-causes-a-backup traffic.

I’m still counting down my days (299!) but, as far as drills go, this one wasn’t too bad.

P.S. I got this picture from a friend of mine. He didn’t stage it. He said that his cat just stepped into the dog bed as his dog was sleeping and curled up with her. Probably the most adorable picture ever.

Had to share that!

Hope everyone had a good weekend and has a great Monday!