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A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle: November 2009

A Boy, A Girl, and The Marine Corps: A Love Triangle

"I cast my lot with a Marine and where he was, was home to me." ~ Anonymous.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

Well, we pulled an all nighter and stayed up to go shopping.

We hit NEX at 4am and were done with all the other stores by 7. We decided to shop around just in case there was something really good, but there really wasn't.

Kind of a disappointing. In previous years, there have been amazing deals, and I have never done the 4am thing. This year was kinda a bust after the initial early morning deals. But we got some cool stuff, a few really good deals and all of our white elephant gifts for our annual Christmas party.

NEX was dead. Well, kind busy, but not bad. It's out in the middle of no where, so no one even knows it's there. It's not on base, oddly enough. In general, we didn't hit too many huge crowds until we hit the mall around 8am.

We had lunch at 11am, went home and hung out for a while, then headed back out to pick up a video game.

I would love to detail the amazing deals we got... But I'm tired. I will say, I got a new Coach purse, retail $120, NEX price $92, my price $60. Awesome! The hubby got some not so needed, but too good to pass up deals on tools at Lowe's, who gave us the military discount on top of the 50% discount! It was a pretty cool day, and no real crowds!

Probably will never do it again. I'm just too freaking tired! But it was fun to see what happens when you hit all the door buster deals. Totally worth no sleep.

We are done with Christmas shopping and didn't even come close to breaking the bank. Maybe all those crazy, 4am, Black Friday shoppers are on to something. Too bad there was nothing else good on sale. We were hoping for some good deals on appliances like last year. Oh, well.

I'm off to eat pizza and hit the hay. I know it's only 7:10, but I've been up since 11am yesterday! Thank God for strong coffee, without which I would have never made it through my day.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and fun four day weekend!!!

PS. Pretty sure I passed my last final. I may have managed a 4.0 or at least a 3.9. WHOOHOO!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Life sucks sometimes...

1000 note cards (literally, it was actually a little of 1000). 3 consecutive days of studying. A minimum of 6 hours a day. Prepping. Reading. Rereading. Memorizing. And what did it get me?

Well, the class I was least worried about because I had over 100% in the class (pharmacology), I got a B. Not bad, you say? Well, I studied my ass off. I should have gotten an A. But I'm just being nit picky. I still got 108% in the class. I could have failed that final and still gotten an A.

But Dentistry? Well, I had a 99% in the class and a very vague and general "study it all" study guide. And I did. I studied it all. From A to Z. Everything she ever taught us. Too bad none of it was on the final. We all walked out stunned. Did anyone remember being taught any of that? No. But I felt like I had most of it down. I knew a lot of the answers. I made educated guesses. So you would think I did ok... Yeah, you would think that. But no. A 76% is failing in my school. I got a 77% on the final. I'm not kidding. Three days of studying. Memorizing everything she has ever taught us and only about 25% of what she told us to study was on the test.

Her very vague study guide said to study, "instruments and their uses, malocclusions like having a wry bite, the ultrasonic scaler," etc etc. No specifics. What did I need to know about the ultrasonic scaler? I had to guess. So I studied it all. There was not a single question about the ultrasonic scaler, nor home care, nor anything else she told us to study. It was all random facts that we were never taught and were not in our book, because I used that as as study guide, so I know for sure it was not in there.

A 77%. I, literally, barely passed. Because I had a 99% in the class it dropped me down to a 94%, which is still an A. But barely an A. I should have had a higher grade then that.

I cried all the way home. I'm setting up a meeting with me teacher to see what I got wrong on the final. I have never gotten below a 95% on a final. I have never gotten below a 92% on a test. How on earth did I get a 77%?! She told me it was study fatigue. She said I studied too hard and that's why I did so poorly. But, "you still got an A, " she tells me. Yeah, barely. A 93% is an A, and I hung on by a thread.

I shouldn't be upset. But this means I will most likely fail my final tomorrow. That teacher only gave us one day to study for it. She only gave us the study guide on Monday and since I had two finals today, I couldn't study ahead of time for my surgery final. I have to study it all in the 6 hours before class.

If I can study for three days for a final and fail it, how can I possibly hope to pass a final I only have 6 hours to prep for? For that matter, how can I take a class for 7 weeks, get A's on all my tests, ace my homework and know all the material and still fail? So I have no hope of getting an A on my final tomorrow and thus no hope of getting an A in the class (I'm barely hanging onto my A as it is). I'm pretty sure I'm going to fail my final tomorrow. My confidence in life is shaken. My belief in the balance of good and evil is shaken. How can I work so hard and put so much effort into something and fail.

This is about to become the shittiest sequence I have ever had in school, and it's only my first one of the tech program. I'm watching me dreams of a 4.0 go down the drain... and rapidly. I'm not falling slowing, I'm plummeting to the ground with no parachute.

So much for my dream of the good externship... So much for my site that depends on a good grade to get in... I can kiss animal research goodbye.

Life pretty much blows right now. And I still have one final to go.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Finals

Dear Finals:

I have made 1000 note cards of questions. I have studied for two straight days. I have lost sleep. I have had panic attacks in anticipation of you. I have worried, and complained. I have stressed over what will be on you. I have wondered about your tricky true/false questions.

I have questioned my sanity. I have questioned my abilities. I have questioned my intelligence. I have questions my fortitude.

But today, the day before you begin your reign of terror, I am standing here to tell you one thing:

Tomorrow, I will make you my bitch!

Bring it on!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

National Military Family Month

I received a letter at the end of October from my husbands command. It was a letter from the President announcing that November is National Military Family Month. It was a well written and thoughtful letter thanking the families that serve along side our husbands (and wives). I posted this fact on my facebook and emailed the letter to those who I thought would appreciate it and got a fairly nice response. Most people were happy that we were being recognized.

Today, (this evening, in the middle of the night because I can't sleep because I'm stressing about finals) I opened up my Military Spouse magazine. It has a lovely little article about a speech the First Lady gave.

She attended a homecoming ceremony for the USS Eisenhower Carrier and had this to say about our military families (I'm only posting parts of the speech):

"Providing our military and their families with the support they deserve requires more than a good government, it requires active citizens. And this is why I've made it a personal priority to ask all Americans to join the cause of supporting our military families. We must remember that when our troops deployed their families are left behind and faced with an entirely different set of duties...
I have seen the sacrifices of our military families up close. They are quiet heros who represent the best in our country...
Let us make a pledge right here today to honor their service by doing more to serve them in our own communities. Let's do simple things, like offer to help with a carpool. Simple things, like bringing over dinner. Simple things, like being a shoulder to cry on or a friend to talk to, be a neighbor, be a friend...
If you have an opportunity, just reach out and simply say thank you- sometimes that goes a long way- say thank you to the spouses and children or our military members and thank them for their sacrifice because it is real and it is powerful...
Every single time I meet someone in uniform I am more proud of my country, because people are sacrificing and serving with a level of dignity and honor that we should all be proud of. So I will us every ounce of my power in this position to highlight the sacrifices you make and to rally our country around you. And it won't stop today."

I may not always agree with our president or first lady.... I don't alway love our government... But it is so nice to hear a woman in Michelle Obama's position acknowledging those of us who stand by our service men/women. We make a lot of sacrifices. We go through a lot alone. We hide our fears, we stand strong (even when we don't want to), we smile when we are crying inside, we love under the best and worst conditions, we are faithful under the toughest conditions, we suffer, we laugh, we love, and most of all we share our husbands with the rest of our country. We know a loyalty that most never will. We know the importance of midnight phone calls. We understand that sometimes they don't come home, but we love them and support them anyway. We know worry like most will never understand. But we also have an appreciation for all the little things you miss during a deployment. I never thought I would miss arguing with my husband or him coming home late from work (which I missed when he couldn't come home at all). I never thought I would miss him eating all the good snacks behind my back, or endless hours of video games. But I missed all the little things that I have when I know he is home safe.

Military wives are some of the best people I know. They are definitely the strongest. And someone out there is rooting for us. Someone out there is trying to show the country that when our men leave for war, we are left behind. Let's hope this translates into better support for spouses and families. If the First Lady keeps her promise and really does raise awareness, maybe the rest of the country will finally see us and recognize all we go through... And will stop saying stupid, insensitive things to us while our husbands are gone. LOL Then I wouldn't need to email people the 14 things you should never say to a military wife (look up previous post if you haven't read it).

Yeah for Military Family month and yeah for Michelle Obama...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Outrageous!

Did you hear? The University of California is raising tuition 32%! You heard right! 32 freaking percent!

The first hike kicks in in January and will cost the students an extra $585 a semester. The second hike will be an extra $1344!

So if you had dreams of attending UCLA or Berkley, you might want to think twice. Who knows what out of state tuition is going to be. I'm so shocked. In these hard economic times, most people are barely making tuition as it is. And what will that mean to all those people who don't qualify for financial aid, but don't make enough to fully cover tuition? I'm one of those people... I have never qualified for financial aid. Instead, I struggled for years, often working two jobs to pay tuition at college because my parents couldn't afford to help me, but made too much money for me to get financial assistance. In all fairness, I don't attend the University of California, but I am outraged on behalf of all of those students struggling to make ends meet.

What will happen to the single moms, the people supporting siblings or parents. The kids who's parents can't afford to help them with tuition, though the parents income is factored into their ability to qualify for financial aid? What will happen to those who already work two jobs to make ends meet? In a country that has a growing unemployment rate... In a state that is bankrupt... At a school that is public and supposed to be for those middle class and low income students...

When my former college raised tuition 9% one year, I had a heart attack. I barely made tuition that year. That is the year I finally had to drop out because I could no longer afford tuition at a school that was canceling all of my classes as it was. I feel so bad for all the students at U of C.

They said they are doing this to cover budget cuts. They have already cut teachers salaries. But how do they expect to pay for all their expenses if no one can afford to attend their school? What are they going to do when student begin dropping out and fewer applications come in? What are they going to do when no one can afford to attend, so they go somewhere else?

The students protested. They had sit ins. They picketed. They did not take this laying down, but it did no good. The school held their meeting and voted the tuition hike in to being anyway. Good for the students (and a few teachers), it's just too bad that their voice wasn't heard.

I can't believe it. I'm shocked. I'm in disbelief. 32%. That is a ton of money. It's an outrageous tuition increase. It's a big, damn shame.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Week

One week, as of today, until my husband is home on leave!

A full month of him sitting on the couch, hogging the TV, bugging the dog, eating all the good snack food, distracting me so I can't study for finals, and playing on the computer/xbox. I can't wait!!! It will so good to be able to see him every day. It will have been almost a year to the day since I have had him home for more than a few days at a time... Man am I glad this deployment is finally over!

I wish it were any other week than finals week. I won't have any time to spend with him. On the bright side, we finally bought a desk for our spare bedroom, so I can study in peace now.

I have a four day weekend for Thanksgiving before heading back to school to start my new classes. I'm so excited for it!

So far, I'm passing all of my practical lab finals, so that is a huge relief and I'm feeling pretty good about studying for my finals (except pharmacology, but I have such a high grade that I'm not worried about failing my final).

On a bummer note, I found out that my national licensing exam is going to be computerized by the time I take it next summer. That would be good if it didn't mean they were raising the cost of taking it by $100. So it will be $300 to take my national test. Another couple hundred to take my state exam and that doesn't even include the price of all the study aids I will need to buy. Those test prep books are so expensive! But I do get to take the test prior to my graduating from school. So hopefully I will be licensed in June and graduate in August. YEAH! I know it's 8 months and one week and two days away, but I'm so ready to be done with school, I can't help but get excited and count down the days.

One week and counting for my hubby! One week and one day and counting for my classes to be done! 8 months, two weeks and two days and counting till I graduate! Holy Crap! That's a lot of counting!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

PS.

The military finally got our pay corrected and we got paid today! So I now have enough money to pay bills, pay my parents back and buy groceries.

Damn it was a good day.

OH DEAR LORD!!!!

Ok, I haven't had more than 5 hours of sleep a night since I started school (including weekends). I lay in bed and stress about all the things I still need to study. I wake up early to study all day long. I'm stressed, I'm anxious, I'm exhausted.

But here is my ray of light in an otherwise cloudy set of seven weeks:

We received our midterm grades. I have 104% in pharmacology, the hardest class. I have a 98% in dentistry, should be 100%, but it is right after pharmacology and my brain is so fried that I make stupid mistakes on my tests. And... drum roll please.... 95% in surgery. I was pretty sure I was failing this class, literally. She gave us that really unfair test that we all thought we failed. She, however, graded it extremely liberally. My friend had a wrong answer. I'm talking, couldn't be farther from correct if you tried and she got full credit. I didn't read a question fully and only gave a partial answer and got full credit. She was extremely lenient. So, good homework grades, 100% on my first exam and 92% (which is a B at my school) on my other two, translates into a 95%. All I have to do is get low A's on my finals and not mess up on my lab skills and I may manage to come out of the hardest sequence with a 4.0.

This week has been particularly hard. No sleep and two wicked hard tests has been making me crazy. I actually thought I was going to fail my pharmacology test today. I studied for 6 hours, never managed to get the behavior medications down and couldn't keep all the drugs and what they do straight. Add in some chemistry and "physical properties" of inhaled anesthetics, and I couldn't think straight. I went to a study session with some friends and didn't know a single answer.

I got the test and remembered enough to wiz through the true/false and multiple choice. I drew a 100% blank on the short answer. But damn it, I knew the answers to the extra credit questions. I did all the pharmacy math and double checked all the questions I had answered and went on to tackle those short answers. A few I managed to remember. But two, I was dumbfounded on.

Question 1: What is another name for dissociative drugs? I had no clue. None, zip, zero. Here's what saved me... Before class my teacher told us we had to know what NmDa stood for and how to spell it (she was clarifying it for a fellow student). Well, I didn't see anything else on the test that related to NmDa. So I wrote in N-methyl-D-aspertate, since that is what is stands for and I didn't see anywhere else it fit on the test. And it was right! Lucky guess and good use of logic. :)

Question 2: What is the definition of MAC? Well, it's one of those damn physical properties and I had no idea. However, I did know the definition of all of the other physical properties. So I listed off things I remembered that sounded like definitions until I recalled one that sounded like it could be right. It's "the lowest concentration of anesthesia needed to produce no pain response in 50% of patients subjected to painful stimuli" by the way. I was one of only two people in the class to get it right.

I got partial credit on a few questions, but got all the extra credit, so I came out of it plus 2, which translated into a 104%!!!!!!!!!

Pardon my french, but HOLY SHIT!!!! It was pure luck and good use of logic, but I'm not going to argue how I got there, because I did.

I don't get to sleep in tomorrow, but I have very little homework since we are mostly prepping for finals next week. I do have two tests next week, but I think I'll be ok, and at this point, I would really have to F*** up to fail any classes.

Who says hard work, no sleep and 7 hours of studying a day doesn't pay off?

And to make it an even better time, my hubby is home for the weekend tomorrow and Monday marks the start of the last two weeks until he is home for good.

All I have to do is not drive myself crazy over finals. I'm stressed and freaked out that we aren't reviewing in pharmacology and worried that if I don't get some sleep soon, I'm going to have a nervous break down. But damn it, I will still have passed all my classes. It's all about priorities right?

AAAHHHH!

I can't sleep. I close my eyes and picture all the things I need to learn. All the practical skills I don't have down. All the things that might be on my final. I'm stressed out and anxious.

Next week I'm being tested on all my practical skills and not a single teacher has actually shown us how to do them. We have read about them, but never been shown. So I'm pretty much screwed. My pharmacology teacher told us that we will not be reviewing for the final. She said to just review everything we have learned and study our previous tests. Our 80 questions tests, of which we have had 5, plus 300 hundred pages of drug information. That is a lot of information.

As of right now, I have good enough grades, but what if I bomb my finals? Finals are 35% of our grade. I have A's right now, but if I fail a final, it won't be an A for long. Hopefully, if I fail, it the worst I will get is a B. I can handle a B.

I just wish I could sleep. I haven't had a good nights sleep since I started school. I lay awake in bed until 2:30am and I have to get up at 8am to start studying and to do homework.

It's only two more weeks. Then I have Thanksgiving weekend off. My only four day break between classes. Normally we only get Sat and Sun off. Man am I looking forward to that four day weekend.

I wish there was a pill you could take to decrease stress. There are pills in this world for everything else. There should be a pill that takes the stress away. Maybe I'll go to my doctor and ask for some Xanax. It's for anxiety, of which I have plenty, but maybe it will help the stress too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Disappointed

My school works with rescue groups. We spay and neuter the animals for free so the students can practice on live animals.

We had a Miniature Pinscher in the a few weeks ago who was adorable and perfect in every way. I contacted the rescue group about adopting her as a companion for our Min Pin. They took our application and put us at the top of the list to take her. The catch was that her owners had until Dec 10th to reclaim her.

I just got word today that the owners are coming back for her at the end of the month. I know it is what is best for Katie. I didn't pray, even one time, that we would get her because I knew it was selfish. I have been torn these past few weeks because I knew it would be best for her to go back to her owners, but I really wanted her. I knew we could give her a good home and that we would love her a lot.

I'm so disappointed. In my heart, I knew what was best, but I really wanted her. I was feeling very selfish. I tried not to get my hopes up, but I also had to make plans incase she came home with us. Now, I'm sad. I'm trying to be happy, because she is going home, but I'm sad that it's not with me.

I don't know if we will ever find such a perfect Min Pin again. She was sweet, and loving. She accepted strangers readily. She was not fearful or barky. She hardly whined. She was not as dominant as most Min Pins. And I know our little one would have gotten along with her very well.

I'm so disappointed. I know it's selfish, but I am.

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day!

Thanks to all those who serve or have served in the past. Without you, I would not have my freedoms.


"If there be war, let it be in my day, so that my children may live in peace." - Thomas Paine

Applebee's is giving a way free meals to servicemen/women who have valid military ID's. The Outback Steakhouse is giving away free bloomin' onions, and the Seattle local Dick's Burgers is giving away free burgers.

Be sure to thank someone in uniform today. They keep us safe and defend our freedoms. They fight for the freedoms of others.

Freedom isn't free, and they pay the price, so we civilians don't have to.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I hate Mondays

I hate Mondays. I hate not sleeping. I hate studying for tests. I hate forgetting to eat all day. I hate that my husband is not home. I hate drivers who forget how to drive in the rain (it's freaking Seattle for goodness sakes!) I hate having tension headaches. I hate low back pain.

Mostly, I hate Mondays.

Only two weeks and three days left of this sequence of school and I will be on my four day break! Only 8 months, three weeks and three days left of school in general... Not that I'm counting.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ball 2009

This is picture of my dress. I absolutely loved it and got a lot of compliments on it last night.

My husband has requested that I not post pictures. He doesn't want his face on my blog and I'm sure most of our friends would find it embarrassing to have strangers see their random drunkenness.

We had drinks at the hotel bar from 2 to 3:30pm. I had three stiff bloody mary's. Then I had two drinks while getting ready and another two before dinner (during the ceremony). I didn't even have a buzz going at that point. I had at least three more drinks before finally starting to get drunk and lost count after my fourth or fifth one after dinner. We ran a $200 tab at the bar, so I must have had up wards are 15 or so drinks last night. Damn my high alcohol tolerance!

We danced and partied until they kicked us out at 12:45am. I went back to our room and had a snack and stayed up watching movies until 4 or so. We got up around 9 and packed and hung out waiting for friends to get up to meet up for breakfast, but they took too long, so we headed out. It was alright. We ended up bumping into some friends at the restaurant and having breakfast with them.

I had so much fun last night. I did the Macarena, and country danced to Johnny Cash. I met up with some old friends and made some new ones. I had a really good talk with our CO's (commanding officer) wife. We've been buddies since before he took over the company, but I never get to see her! She only lives an hour away and we vowed to get together more often. And she promised to make it to our Christmas party this year, he will probably have to work.

I have wicked blisters on both my feet from my shoes. I could hardly walk back to the hotel last night. I stole a cake and brought it home and some how we ended up with a coffee mug that belongs to the convention center. Don't ask how, I'm not sure.

Last year ball sucked. I got dragged into some drama with someone I didn't even know. It was one of my husbands subordinates and his wife. So my husband spent a good chunk of the night taking care of that. Then we ended up getting in a huge fight and going back to our room early and missing out on all of the after parties. Then I got the flu and was sick all night long. I know it wasn't the alcohol because I only had like three drinks. I had to wake my husband up at 5am to take me to the local Wal-Mart to get medicine. While I was there, I got sick again and ended up puking all over the bathroom there. It was horrible. This year really made up for it. We drank all night. We partied till we dropped. We never made it any after parties because they had all busted up by the time we left the actual ball, but it was worth it. I can't wait for next year. Three good balls out of four ain't bad.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ball!

Yeah for Marine Corps ball!

I'm four drinks into the night. Almost buzzed but not quite. ;)

Will be sure to post pictures soon... But now, I gotta head out to the actual ball. Yeah for cocktail hour! LOL!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween


We went to a Halloween Party this year... I was a school girl and my husband was Oscar the Grouch. It was pretty awesome.




Our pup went trick or treating on Friday in our little downtown area. She was a monkey. We saw some hilarious costumes, but only managed to get pictures of a few.



A blurry shot of a Lizard.


An unhappy skunk.


And a hotdog!

There were two dachsund dogs dressed up as school buses. The pictures didn't turn out, so I didn't post them, but it was hilarious. The local pet store does a Halloween activity every year. This year it was a treasure hunt. We got a stack of clues that all corresponded with a shop in the downtown area. Each stop had various types of dog treats to give out. The last clue was a vacant store front that had donuts and cider inside and hotdogs with cheese for the pups. It was so much fun and we have enough dog treats to last a year now. Too bad pups is still on a diet.