The countdown begins

Or it should. It seems the never-ending deployment is drawing to a close. Many are already back. MacGyver, it seems will be home by Halloween. Hopefully sooner. The countdown should be starting.

And yet, I find myself dragging my feet. Not because I'm not looking forward to having my husband home. It's not that. I am. I dream about it. The kids and I talk about it incessantly. Yet I find that I am unable to allow myself to get excited. And I don't know why.

Part of me - the part that knew that he would be extended before the extension was announced - is a pessimist and worries that there will be some kind of last-minute delay. Part of me is nervous/worried/anxious. I've held it together for fifteen months.

Fifteen months.

I've not fallen apart. I've remained strong. WE have remained strong. I've purchased 2 cars, a refrigerator, and a washing machine. I've been a plumber, a carpenter, an electrician, a psychiatrist, a nurse, short-order cook, CFO, COO...you name it and I've done it. I've done it all.

And now I'm scared to let go. To get excited. To start the countdown. Scared.

Why?? What the hell do I have to be scared about? If anything, I should have been scared for the past 15 months and in some ways I have been. But THIS fear is real. Tangible. In my face. And it's barreling down on me. I don't "do" change well. Can you tell? And everything is going to change. I get that the change will be for good for us, for me.

It's just...scary, you know?


- hfs



'Kingdom' A Mixed Success

"Where the pic goes astray is in turning anonymous, indigenous peoples into ducks at a shooting gallery. In "Black Hawk Down," the alleged good guys mowed down hundreds of faceless Africans; here, it's Arabs, in what seem like comparable numbers. The sense of vicarious sport is the same; anyone in a caftan or a kepi is fair game."



Mr. Anderson wouldn't know good guys if they hauled his sorry ass off the 101st floor of the WTC on 9/11.

"Faceless Africans"??? The only reason they were faceless is because they were part of a blood-thirsty mob that was toting AK47s and RPGs and trying to kill each and every soldier sent there to try to help that country get it's shit in one sock and actually be able to feed its own people with the supplies donated by many of those same "alleged good guys" and their countrymen. Instead, we lost 18 wonderful men whose mission was to do what their CinC tells them to do, regardless of assets available to them (thank you Congress and Slick Willie) because the people of that country - those "Faceless Africans" - would rather take up arms against those who seek to help them rather than against those whose only mission in life is to either destroy or dominate them.

Those 18 men had more honor, more integrity, and more courage in their pinkys than Mr. Anderson could probably scrounge up from his entire being. His opinion is not worth the paper it is printed upon.


- hfs

Amusing personal information

Subject: Two things about Me!

1. Two names I go by:
~ Mouse
~ Mommmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

2. Two things I am wearing right now:
~ new T shirt with an owl and cool flowers on it
~ my favorite denim shorts

3. Two things I would want (or have) in a relationship:
~ Love
~ Trust

4. Two of my favorite things to do:
~ sleep
~ hang out with my kids and my husband

5. Two things I want really badly at the moment:
~ MacGyver HOME
~ to eat the slice of Godiva chocolate cheesecake that is in the fridge

6. Two things I did last night
~ avoided doing laundry
~ slept poorly

7. Two things I ate today:
~ Thai lettuce wraps at PF Chang’s
~ venti iced chai

8. Two people you last talked to:
~ Princess Trouble
~ Little Man

9. Two things you're doing tomorrow:
~ laundry (see #6 above)
~ baking cookies

10. Two longest car rides:
~ Alaska to Alabama (with a 1 year old and 2 cats! What the HELL were we thinking?!?)
~ anywhere when I have to pee!

11. Two favorite holidays:
~ Christmas
~ Thanksgiving

12. Two favorite beverages:
~ venti iced chai
~ Coke

13. Two things about me you may not have known:
~ I am afraid of bridges
~ I cannot stand the taste of coffee but I love the smell of freshly ground coffee before it’s brewed.

14. Two jobs you may not have known I've had in my life:
~ working at a hot dog stand
~ doing inventory of computers for the university I attended

15. Two places I have lived in the U.S.
~ Fairbanks, Alaska
~ Fort Rucker, Alabama

16. Two of my favorite foods:
~ mint chip ice cream from Baskin Robbins
~ pumpkin spice muffins from Starbucks

17. Two places I would rather be right now:
~ with MacGyver
~ Colorado

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)

Midnight Pilot

2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)

Mint Chip DoubleStuff Oreo

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)

Green Horse

4. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)

5. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)


6. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)

The Blue Mojito

7. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)

Marion John

8.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )

My dad has no middle name ;~)

9. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)

Spohr Sacramento

10. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)

Fall Lilac (doesn't quite seem like a spy name)

11. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)

Pineapple Shorty

12. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)

Chai Maple

13. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)

The blogging snow tour

Too funny.


Big Island recap

A few months back, one of the airlines ran an awesome inter-island special and offered up tickets between islands for $9 per person each way. I couldn't resist so I jumped on tickets to the Big Island. The Big Island (henceforth referred to as "TBI", not to be confused with traumatic brain injury...) is home to an incredible military camp - Kilauea Military Camp whose rates on lodging cannot be beat, nor can the location. It's up at 4,000 feet which, for this altitude-deprived individual, made this trip soothing for the soul.

TBI is, well...BIG. Hence the name, I suppose. KMC is about 30 miles from the Hilo airport and still 100 miles from Kona. And the roads on TBI are not like the freeways of the mainland where 100 miles would be scoffed at as merely a jaunt down the road. Instead, traveling at 45 mph it will take you a good 2.5 - 3 hours to go from KMC to Kona. Our party was not up for a road trip like that so we stayed relatively close to "home".

Our cabin was wonderful. Not much to speak of on the outside but charming and perfect on the inside.

The fact that it had a fireplace was just icing on the cake! We lit a fire each and every night we were there and, had I known that the couch in the living room was a hide-a-bed, I would have slept in there with the fire. Can you tell I miss mountain living? *sigh*

Our first adventure was to take Crater Rim Road around the Kilauea caldera (a caldera is essentially a big, giant bowl formed when the magma suddenly drops out from underneath the top of a volcano) where we paused to take a partial family photo. Let me tell you, lava rocks are SHARP and hurt, especially when you have a 30-pound Little Man sitting in your lap.

Speaking of Little Man, he thought he was "all that and a bag of chips" because he could pick up these big lava rocks and hurl them with some distance. Never mind that they are full of air bubbles and therefore more like a sponge than a rock. I wasn't going to burst his bubble. He was so proud of his muscles!

We came across a pair of Nene (Hawaiian goose, state bird, endangered species) hanging out at one of the stopping points along the way. They seemed to be completely unperturbed by the scores of tourists snapping their picture and even seemed to be posing. Go figure.

The caldera. The yellow/whitish streaks you see on the wall of the caldera are sulfur. Stinky chemical. The caldera is a very desolate looking place...almost post-apocalyptic.

Princess Trouble loved to investigate the lava rocks. She found all sorts of rocks with iridescent shades on them.

Next it was off to Rainbow Falls. Pretty. Not that exciting but it was beautiful. Would have been nice to have been able to go swimming though I'm not a fan of leptospirosis. Met a nice lady there selling handmade jewelry (among other things) and she was kind enough to let us pet her dog and gave Princess Trouble an anklet. I swear, that child makes friends and gets free stuff no matter where she goes.

After stopping for lunch at Cafe Pesto in Hilo (yummy hot ham and cheese sandwich with mushrooms and grainy mustard!) we went in search of a beach and landed at Onekahakaha Beach Park. Great little beach. Very little sand. Plenty of grass and shade. Shallow water which was perfect for the kids to play around in. We had a great time there.

I did manage to leave a bit of myself on the Big Island though. Needless to say, lava rocks are jagged little buggers and I literally shredded the heel of my foot. Bled like a stuck pig as well. Thankfully, I did not attract any sharks. It will be a while before I am able to get a real shoe on that foot again. Thankfully we live in Hawaii so flip-flops it is.

Monday morning the in-laws had to head back to the mainland and our flight wasn't until the late afternoon so we set off in search of a black sand beach. We came upon one but the cliff was too steep for small children. It sure was beautiful though!

We went back up the "bumpy road" a bit and found the most wonderful, secluded (i.e. we were the only ones there) tide pool/beach area. So I threw the rental car in park and we piled out onto our own "private black sand beach". The kids said that the people who made the road must have made it bumpy because they wanted their kids to be happy. They had fun on the "whoopty-dos" and "thank you ma'ams". The lava rocks cut off the tide pools from the ocean but every once in a while, a wave would come crashing over the lava rocks, sending my kids laughing and squealing back up toward dry land.

Because there isn't really and "sand" per se down at the shoreline (just rock), the water is crystal clear and stunningly blue. The contrast that it provides with the black rock is breathtaking. It was hot but with the trade winds blowing, it was just about perfect.

Don't let this picture fool you. After 4 days of "togetherness", they were dancing on one anothers' last nerve.

And some more random pictures:

Hopefully I've not bored you to tears with all of the pictures. We had a great time and we are now looking forward to bringing MacGyver back. I think he will like it - the mountainous environment appeals to him like it appeals to me. And there is a Seahorse farm up in Kona that I think the kids will truly enjoy. But you have to be 4 in order to hold the seahorses so we will wait until Little Man hits 4 in February. There is so much to do that we didn't get to on this trip so I am really looking forward to going again!


- hfs

For Lex

Two F/A-18C Hornet aircraft assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron One Nine Five break the sound barrier during an air power demonstration for friends and family of U.S. Navy Sailors assigned to USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Sept. 23, 2007. The ship brought more than 2,200 guests aboard for a daylong Friends and Family Day cruise. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jimmy C. Pan, U.S. Navy. (Released)

The in-laws were in town for the past week or so and we took the kids down to Waikiki to watch the Air Force Thunderbirds put on a show. A local reporter was there snapping pictures for the paper and passed a few pictures along to me. Little Man was so impressed with the show that he declared he wants to "be a Thunderbird" when he grows up! We spent the next week playing "jets" and he is now addicted to anything and everything having to do with flying on the Military Channel.

The Blue Angels will be in town next month and I'm springing for box seats with some friends. I have a feeling Little Man will change his mind and want to become a Blue Angel when he grows up. Which, I am sure, will please Uncle Lex ;)

We just returned from the Big Island last night. I have a ton of pictures to go through but I'll get them up soon, I promise!


- hfs


Been there, done that

25 Things A Man Should Be Able To Do

I am woman. Hear me ROAR.

1. Patch a radiator hose - YEP
2. Protect your computer - YEP
3. Rescue a boater who has capsized - YEP. I was a lifeguard for 13 years...
4. Frame a wall - NOPE. I can put a frame ON a wall...
5. Retouch digital photos - YEP
6. Back up a trailer - YEP. It's UGLY but I can do it.
7. Build a campfire - YEP
8. Fix a dead outlet - YEP but that's why I have MacGyver and a landlord.
9. Navigate with a map and compass - YEP
10. Use a torque wrench - YEP. I'm married to MacGyver.
11. Sharpen a knife - YEP
12. Perform CPR - YEP. Actually HAD to once.
13. Fillet a fish - YEP but ew.
14. Maneuver a car out of a skid - YEP. I lived in Alaska for 3 years. Maneuvering out of a skid is 2nd nature.
15. Get a car unstuck - YEP. See above.
16. Back up data - YEP
17. Paint a room - YEP
18. Mix concrete - Never have. Probably could, just never had a reason to do so.
19. Clean a bolt-action rifle - NOPE. Not yet, at least.
20. Change oil and filter - YEP
21. Hook up an HDTV - YEP. I'm assuming the darned thing comes with an instruction manual?
22. Bleed brakes - YEP but I usually let MacGyver do that.
23. Paddle a canoe - YEP
24. Fix a bike flat - YEP
25. Extend your wireless network - NOPE. I leave that to MacGyver

Stolen shamelessly from John.


- hfs


I am too old

to be at a Nine Inch Nails concert.

But it sure was cool. It was like being in college all over again. Though I was severely disappointed in the lack of contact high. I expected much more. Trent Reznor has gone Hollywood BIG TIME and I almost didn't recognize him.

Guess that's what happens when you grow up, right? *sigh*


- hfs


Happy Birthday baby girl!

Time flies when you're having fun! I love you more than life itself.
Happy birthday bear!


- hfs


Restrictive Regulations and Overkill

So, as I've discussed in previous posts, I'm running into some difficulty in getting our FRG to accept the unconditional donation of money that I raised (please note I am NOT an FRG volunteer...not even a Key Caller) from the Tastefully Simple party. Part of it, I think, is a misunderstanding of the regulations and part of it is that the regulations themselves are entirely too strict.

When we were in Alaska, I was involved in our FRG. This was before the regulations governing every aspect of a Family Readiness Group were put in place. We had a great FRG. Granted, this was pre-9.11 but it functioned well. We had great holiday parties, social events, and support events. We raised enough money to support these activities and really had no problems. Then the new regulations were put in place and everything changed.

We couldn't raise money the way we used to. Bake sales were restricted. Fundraisers were restricted. What the money we DID manage to raise was restricted in it's use. It was like running into a brick wall. Eventually, your head starts to hurt so you stop doing that.

Fort Rucker was even worse. We tried to hold fundraisers on post to support the different activities inherent to flight school but everywhere we turned, we were restricted in what we could sell, where we could sell it, when we could sell it, and to whom we could sell it. You couldn't sell anything that competed with AAFES or DeCA. So that eliminates all food items, flowers, clothing, and toiletries. Lovely. Never mind that DeCA didn't sell See's candy...they sold CHOCOLATE and that was close enough.

And you couldn't sell to people outside of flight school. We couldn't go down to Wal-Mart and host a bake sale to raise money. We could sell to our own people but not to the local people within the community. So basically we had to fund our own activities.

I don't know about you but if that's the case, I'm not going to waste my time holding a bake sale so that my own husband can spend $1 on a cookie that I could easily bake at home for 9 cents and not take 4 hours to sell. Which is pretty much what we're running into here too. Our unit's FRG is holding a 50-50 raffle. The tickets are being sold only to unit members and their families. The winner will get 50% of the money raised through ticket sales and the rest will go to fund the homecoming party.

So we have to pay for a ticket for our OWN raffle that goes to support our OWN homecoming party? Right. But I can't have my Tastefully Simple consultant hand over a check for $300 as a donation. And yet we bitch, incessantly, about the fact that "the public doesn't support us military families".

I wonder if it has ever occurred to the people that design the damn regulations that the public doesn't support military families because they literally cannot. That Army regulation 600-29 literally prevents the public from financially contributing in any manner? The "Army Commander’s Guide to Family Readiness Group Operations" specifically states in paragraph 2-3, "Family Readiness Group External Fund-Raising...FRGs are not established for the purpose of being a fund-raising organization. FRGs may not engage in fundraising activities beyond what was described above at paragraph 2-2, Informal Funds. The FRG has no authority to engage in external fundraising on or off post."

In addition, the regulation goes on to further state the restrictions upon UNSOLICITED donations of any kind. So, not only can FRGs NOT raise money, they can't accept monies offered to them out of the kindness of the hearts' of those offering. Yet FRGs are expected to offer up social activities, homecoming parties, volunteer recognition, hail and farewell gatherings, and other social activities especially in this era of increased OpTempo and high deployment rates.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. Something needs to change. FRGs are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They can't raise funds in order to provide the services expected of them yet the services ARE expected of them. By the families of the men and women who leave them behind to go and fight for their country and to uphold the oath they swore when they joined the military.

Something needs to change.


- hfs



This is not a topic I like to discuss. Not outright. Not in detail. It is the epitome of the Big Giant Elephant in the living room. The big issue that everyone will skirt but rarely confront head on. It has been 6 years. And yet, if I sit quietly and focus, the emotions from that horrible, beautiful day are still there. Not quite as raw. Not quite as fresh.

But still there.

Everyone remembers where they were. So do I. That was the day my life changed along with everyone else's. I became, on that day, a wartime military spouse. I joined my Grandmother in that legion. It is a club that few, if any, long to be a part of yet are proud of their membership.

We were in Alaska. About as far away from New York and the Pentagon as you can get and still be in the United States. MacGyver had come home from PT and was in the shower. I was on 1/2 days leading up to maternity leave and didn't have to be to school until 11am that day. My alarm went off and it was set to the local country station. When it went off, I slapped at the snooze button. About a half second after I hit the snooze button, my brain registered what the DJ had said..."a plane has crashed into the Pentagon. No word on casualties yet. This, in addition to the World Trade Center...".

I remember the words verbatim.

I sat bolt upright in bed and lunged for the radio and turned it back on and sat there for what felt like minutes but was actually more like seconds listening to the DJ go on about the events that had unfolded thousands of miles away while I slept.

MacGyver shut the shower off and I jumped out of bed and ran to the bathroom. I about ran into him as he came out and told him (like millions of other people said that day), "You have to go downstairs and turn on the TV. Planes have hit the Pentagon and the World Trade center." That is all I could get out. I still couldn't wrap my brain around what I had heard and it would be days...weeks, even...before I was able to do so.

We went downstairs - MacGyver still dripping wet in his towel and me, 10 months pregnant - and turned on the television. We just stood there. I can still feel the sensation of my mouth literally hanging open. I kept closing it and it kept falling open. And we just watched.

Finally, MacGyver said something about maybe now not being the best time to bring a child into the world. I said something back to the effect that it was a little too late for that thought. He then started moving very quickly to get dressed and get to work. I remember him grabbing his A and B bags, not knowing if he would be home. We discussed that as well as whether I would even be able to get off post. He suggested I call the MP station and find out and ran through what documents I would need in order to get through the gate should they post guards. I made sure I had my military ID with me.

It's funny, I do not go ANYWHERE without my military ID anymore. In fact, I cannot remember the time when I didn't carry it with me at all times. But before 9.11, I didn't take it with me 9 times out of 10. There was no need unless I was heading to the commissary/PX, the doctor's office, or planning to come back on post after 11pm when they would have guards at the main gate checking for drunk drivers. Now I feel naked without it.

I called the MP station and, at that point, they did not even have guards at the gate. So I headed into work and I remember driving out the main gate thinking that life would not be the same when I drove back through that gate later that afternoon. I arrived at school and walked around, like everyone else, in a daze. Kids were crying. Teachers were crying.

I couldn't cry. I just couldn't. Shock will do that to you.

School ended and we made it through swim practice, barely. No one was able to focus. I headed home and it literally took me 3 hours to get through the gate. We sat on the couch and just stared at the television, trying to wrap our brains around what had happened. Our friends canceled their daughter's birthday party and we all just kind of stood around, not really knowing what to do, what to think, or where to go. Not like we could GO anywhere since all flights were canceled. The skies were eerily quiet and it was odd to think that there wasn't a plane in the sky anywhere over U.S. airspace at that point in time.

My parents know where they were the day JFK was shot. I know where I was on 9.11. The days and months and years prior to that will always be seen, in my mind, with a rose-colored tint. Not because they were perfect or idyllic but because they were the "before".

And I will always, always, always remember.

A part of me died that day. I'm sure many feel the same way. It was the end of something. Innocence? Maybe. Peace? No. Illusion? Possibly. Regardless, it was the end. Have we lost sight of that day? Have we lost sight of the pain, the emotion, the resolve? The unity? Possibly. I don't know and today, I don't care to know. I just remember.

Father Mike, I hope you're still down there, fighting fires, trying to keep us all out of hell. We miss you.


- hfs


"Reunion Nesting"

Expectant mothers do it. About the time labor ensues, a new mother may find herself scrubbing the baseboards with a toothbrush and a bottle of bleach. Or washing and rewashing the baby's clothes. It's called "nesting" and it's a telltale sign that labor is near. I did it with both of my kids.

Military spouses go through something similar when a reunion is imminent. The house must be immaculate. Everything on the "TO DO" list must be done. All home improvement projects must be accomplished. The baseboards must be scrubbed with a bleach solution.

Why, you ask? It's not like MacGyver will even think to look at the baseboard. Heck, I don't even know if he knows we HAVE baseboards. Keep in mind, we moved into the house we currently live in less than 3 weeks before he deployed. He caught a glimpse of it during the 15 days he was home for R&R but that was 9 months ago. I doubt he remembers what color the walls were, let alone what the baseboards looked like.

Nor is he truly going to care. He WILL care about how much the kids have grown and whether there is beer in the fridge and possibly what I am wearing. But the baseboards...? Not so much.

BUT I CARE. And they will be scrubbed. And the carpet will be steam cleaned. And the windows will all be cleaned - inside and out. And the kitchen and bathroom floors will be scrubbed and waxed.


The appliances will all be spotless. The car will have been detailed. The garage floor will be swept and there might even be a CAR parked in it. Though I doubt that because MacGyver has already been told that the garage is where he will unload and unpack (and wash) all of his gear that he brings home. My living room has been free of all things Army for 15 months. I plan to keep it that way thankyouverymuch.

The yard will be tidy. All bags for donation will be taken to the Thrift Shop and donated. All pictures will be hung (again, we moved into the house 3 weeks before he left. I never got around to wrapping up the decorating until now). There will be nary a dust bunny in sight. The TV screen will not have fingerprints on it nor will the fridge. Or the sliding mirrored doors on the kids' closet.

And the list goes on and on. The nesting has already begun. Part of that is due to the upcoming visit of the in-laws. But a large part of that is due to the fact that I can finally see the light at the end of this long deployment tunnel and I'm pretty sure it's not an on-coming train.

What are your "reunion nesting" habits?


- hfs


Reading my mind

Cassandra over at Villainous Company reaches in and pulls out my thoughts.

You have to read this. It's incredible.

As time passed and I stretched my wings, I became more confident. Free of the necessity to accommodate another adult, I reordered my life to suit me. I had time to do things I couldn't do when he was home. There were advantages to being alone, as well as drawbacks.

And I counted the days, and as I grew and changed, I tried not to grow too far apart from the woman I had been before my husband left. Because that is the danger; when you put your feelings on the shelf, when you try to cope well, there is always the risk of overcompensating, of forgetting how very much you need that person on the other side of the world.

Just...wow. Thanks, Cassandra.


- hfs


A piece of my childhood died

'Wrinkle in Time' Author Madeline L'Engle Dies

I was in a 3rd/4th combination class. Miss Lowe was my teacher. I remember that she had a big glass bottle (looked like a gallon wine bottle, if I'm not mistaken) that she would put marbles into if we behaved well. She read us 'A Wrinkle in Time' and I was fascinated. I own a copy of it now and cannot wait to read it to my children.

There was a boy named Frankie in our class. Heather had a crush on him, or so we thought. Joelle wore clothes her mom made and always looked really cute. We would sit on the rug in class and, even though we could all read on our own, Miss Lowe would read us a chapter of the book at a time. I loved when she read to us. I looked forward to it each and every day.

It is such a wonderful book. So rich and vibrant with so many layers. She didn't write just for children but children seemed to have the right mindset and level of imagination to fall completely in love with her books.

Thank you Ms. L'Engle. God bless.

Some people have entirely too much time on their hands

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

More here.

It's called "Latte Art". I guess everyone has to be good at something, right?


- hfs


And so, it is Friday

And the question that I'm itching to have answered is whether Lex is going to do another video-based "Friday's Musings".

Because last week's was a great way to end the week.

And how many of you went and Googled "Dana Perino" to find out if she's as cute as Lex made it sound? C'mon...admit it! I thought so.


- hfs


A Movie Meme

Shamelessly swiped from John who swiped it from Cassandra...

1. Name a movie you've seen more than 10 times.

Anything in the kids' DVD file, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Dirty Dancing, Matrix, LA Confidential, The Saint, A Christmas Story, Friday, any of the original Star Wars movies

2. Name a movie you've seen multiple times in the theater.

Dirty Dancing (I was 15 and had a job with money burning a hole in my pocket)

3. Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie.

Men: Daniel Craig, Mike Meyers, Russell Crowe, Val Kilmer

Women: Charlieze Theron, Sandra Bullock, Jodie Foster, Jennifer Garner...

I couldn't keep it to one single actor/actress either.

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie.

Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Danny Glover, Jane Fonda. (I'll just ditto John on this one)

5. Name a movie that you can and do quote from.

Star Wars (any of the 3 original), So I Married an Axe Murderer, Top Gun (can't everyone quote something from this movie?), Friday, A Christmas Story (funny how the answers to this question mimic the answers to the first question)

6. Name a movie musical, to which you know all the lyrics to all of the songs.

The Sound of Music. Does Mary Poppins count? Because I know those too.

7. Name a movie with which you've been known to sing along.

See #6

8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.

Letters from Iwo Jima, Blackhawk Down

9. Name a movie you own.

Oh, good lord. Everything mentioned thus far plus many, many, more. (DITTO)

10. Name an actor that launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

No clue. Dennis Leary is the only name coming to mind but I'm getting tired of quoting John's answers.

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in? If so, what?

Yep. I can't remember what it was though. I was about 6 or 7 at the time. We all piled in the camper of a friend of my mom's and went to the Pickwick Drive In theatre. Funfunfun!

12. Ever made out in a movie?

My mother reads this blog!

13. Name a movie that you keep meaning to see but just haven’t yet gotten around to it.


14. Ever walked out of a movie?


15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

Shoot, what movie doesn't?

16. Popcorn?

Please. Easy butter, easy salt.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

I have a 6 year old and a 3 year old and my husband is in Iraq. I don't go to the movies. Netflix is a lifesaver! Besides, I can pause it when someone has to pee.

18. What’s the last movie you saw in the theater?


19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

Drama. Because there isn't enough of it in my life already *snerk*

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

Empire Strikes Back.

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?

Natural Born Killers, Jarhead

22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...no idea.

23. What is the scariest movie you've seen?

Children of the Corn

24. What is the funniest movie you've seen?

So I Married an Axe Murderer

And it looks like I should have followed the links backward because Cassandra added a few of her own:

What was the last movie you saw at home?

The Sound of Music. Actually I'm watching it right now. My kids LOVE it and so do I. I had never seen it before and two of my friends were raving about it so I moved it to the top of my Netflix queue and the kids and I made a "Movie Night" out of it. I fell in love. I love that my kids love it.

If you had to name your top ten favorite movies of all time, what would they be? And why are they your favorites?

Ooh, this is a toughie. I'm not going to rank them but I'll give it my best shot.

* Star Wars. The first one. It came out when I was 5. I endured endless amounts of teasing because my name is close to that of one of the major characters. But I loved the movie nonetheless. I reveled in being one of the best fighters with a lightsaber. When I was a kid, our neighbor (who was about 6'5" tall) dressed up as Chewbacca and came over on Halloween night. Scared the BeeJesus out of my poor mother because he was SO lifelike. It's a movie I can watch over and over and over and never tire of. I love learning new lines, finding new bits of trivia, seeing new things.

* LA Confidential. It's a smart movie. The plot is intelligent. The characters are multi-dimensional. The fact that it is set in my old hometown helps. I've always been fascinated by recent history of the Los Angeles area and this movie just captures my fascination. It stars Russell Crowe before he became big, famous, and an ass. And it's about the only thing I can tolerate Kim Bassinger in.

* LA Story. For many of the same reasons as LA Confidential. Steve Martin is hilarious in this movie and it spoofs all of the absurdities of life in Los Angeles.

* The Sound of Music. Just a classic. I could add Mary Poppins in here too but I like SoM better.

* So I Married An Axe Murderer. Mike Meyers kills me. The characters he plays in this movie crack me up.

* Dirty Dancing. Mmmmm...Patrick Swayze in his younger days. In tight pants. Getting wet. Mmmm...

* Casino Royale. Daniel Craig. 'Nuff said. Yum.

* Friday. Hilarious for many of the same reasons LA Story is funny. Nice to see Deebo get his arse kicked too.

* A Christmas Story. Best movie to quote from! The day after Thanksgiving isn't the same without it.
"Ralphie: [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid. "
Funny every single time.

* Christmas Vacation. The other 1/2 of our Day-After-Thanksgiving movie marathon. Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid are priceless in this one. And the "Mele Kalikimaka" scene makes me giggle now that we're here.

So there ya have it! Feel free to add your own in the comments (below) or do it up on your own blog and send me the link and I'll add it!


- hfs


Trying not to pull my hair out

Ok, I understand I might be a bit cranky, given the fact that I feel (and look, according to one of the little jewels that Princess Trouble goes to school with) like roadkill. But this just about sent me over the edge today.

I bought a new car. Well, new to me. The Accord just wasn't cutting it. We need more room and the clutch on the Accord was not being kind to my sciatica. So I found a helluva deal on a used Honda Pilot and bought it Friday. By the time I got home after buying the car, running errands, and picking Princess Trouble up at school, it was past normal business hours at USAA. And Monday was a holiday. I added the car to my insurance policy but it would be Wednesday, at the earliest, that USAA could email me the insurance cards.

No big deal, right?

Yeah, no.

I needed to drop Little Man off at preschool on post and had to go through the commercial gate since I don't have post stickers yet (the office that issues said stickers conveniently does not open until 9am on weekdays and is not open on weekends at all which, I am sure, is oh so convenient for soldiers who actually WORK during the day. But that's a different rant altogether.).

So I get to the gate, they wave me through to the place where they issue temporary tags. No big deal, right? Wrong. I give the gentleman my paperwork (registration, safety inspection, and proof that *I* am insured) and hand it to him. He looks it over and informs me that the VIN on the insurance card does not match the VIN on the registration.

No kidding.

I explain the situation to him. He blinks. I explain it again. He blinks twice and then proceeds to tell me he can't issue me a pass because I don't have proof of insurance.


I point to the card and tell him that *I* am insured as is the car I am currently driving but that USAA can't email me a new card until Wednesday. But I AM insured and that is all that is required by Army regs. He definitely did not like the fact that I was quoting Army regs to him and bluntly tells me that he will not be issuing me a pass without proper proof of insurance.

I ask him how I am supposed to get my son to preschool, go to the commissary, etc. If the card in my possession is good enough for the state of Hawaii and good enough for rental car companies, why is it not good enough to get a 24 hour temporary pass so that I have access to the post until I get my new insurance cards?

He tells me that I am allowed access on post, just that he is not going to give me a temporary pass.

Oh, that makes a whole heckuva lot more sense...? Whatever. Just let me go. I'm already 15 minutes late to drop my son off.

Coming back through the same gate 7 hours later to pick my son up was a lot like the old "Who's on first?" routine. Similar to what was described above only without the animosity. I swear, this place is going to make me go BALD before we make it off this island.

Hopefully the new insurance cards will come through tomorrow and I can get new stickers for my car. If not, I might just be bald by the time I have to run Little Man to preschool again.

Really? WHY do things like this have to be so freaking difficult??? Ugh. The Air Force has found a clue and dicontinued the use of base decals because they realize the limitations and holes within the program. How long until the Army gets a clue? Maybe they could borrow John's cluebat? Nah...


- hfs


Because once was not enough

I have strep.


And just to add to the fun, I have pink eye on top of that. And it's a holiday so the clinic isn't open and I don't feel rotten enough to go sit for 5 hours at the Acute Care Clinic.

So the kids are watching more television today than they have all week and I'm just praying that tomorrow morning gets here quickly so that I can make an appointment and get some more antibiotics.

My immune system hates me. Ugh.


- hfs


Wrote this six years ago. Nothing's changed.  One of my favorite movies is 'Bull Durham'. And one of my favorite scenes in ...