Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
More Fun and Games!
4 Jobs I've Had In My Lifetime
1. Concession stand worker at a disco/roller rink. It was a disco on one side, and a roller rink on the other. Yeah. I was *that* cool.
2. Perfume girl for Giorgio. I actually got a LOT of free products doing this, and not just Giorgio. I also got free Clinique makeup, and a few others I can't remember.
3. Stock broker... been licensed since 1987. Damn, I'm old.
4. Waitress at Friendly's. I have to mention this one, because the first job (and the picture) ALa posted was Hostess at Friendly's. What are the chances???? That made me laugh. I wish I had a picture of me in my blue and white checked polyester uniform and white nursing shoes to share, but I couldn't find one. Too funny.
4 Movies I Could Watch Over and Over
1. Pretty Woman. "I'm a safety girl!" "We think you've got a lot of potential, Kit DeLuca", "I want the white horse", "I've never treated you like a hooker"... "You just did." Gah. I love that movie.
2. Napoleon Dynamite. "GOSH" "I'm training to be a cage fighter"
3. Stomp. Just cuz' it's so damn cool how many things they use as percussion instruments.
4. Mary Poppins. "OH... It's Supercalafragalisticexpialidocious... Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious... If you say it loud enough, you'll always sound precocious, it's supercalifragalisticexpialidocious!"
4 Places I Have Lived
1. With my grandparents, in Dayton, Ohio. When I was born, my Dad was in Vietnam, so Mom and I lived with her parents until he came home. I was about 18 months old when we moved out.
2. Centerville, Ohio. Home of the Centerville Elks, the Centerville Jazz Marching Band, and a bunch of other things. I really liked living there.
3. West Chester, Ohio. Dad was transferred to Cincinnati the summer between my junior and senior years in high school. They picked a community called West Chester. I was mortified... they had an FFA Day (Future Farmers of America) within the first few weeks of school: I found myself sharing the halls and classrooms with goats, pigs, lambs, rabbits, and calves. No lie.
4. Milford, Ohio. I just moved there, in anticipation of the divorce being final. I really like Milford. It's a nice town.
4 TV Shows I Love To Watch
1. Any of the "CSI" shows, but the original is my favorite.
2. "Grey's Anatomy". The season finale had me in TEARS... OMG, poor Izzy.
3. "Nip/Tuck" So.Damn.Hawt.
4. "The Unit" So very, very cool... even though it's "Hollywooded" up, it's still a very cool show that highlights the good things our military does.
4 Places I've Been On Vacation
1. The Bahamas... honeymoon #1
2. Barbados... honeymoon #2
3. Denver, Colorado
4 Websites I Visit Daily
2. The Castle
4. Ron's Rants
4 Of My Favorite Foods
1. Thick, ooey, gooey chocolate
2. Crab legs, steamed with garlic and dipped in butter
3. A good steak
4. Caramel- especially Bullseye candy
4 Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
1. At home, trying to finish moving in
2. With someone special, doing anything, anywhere
3. On an African Safari
4. On the set of my fabulously popular tv show
Friday, September 22, 2006
The Minister of Luuuuuuuv
One Preacher's Message: Have Hotter Sex!
Holy smoly... or, well, some other sort of holy. I don't know what I would do if my preacher stood up in front of my Sunday School class and started giving advice on oral sex "... and, using his hand and arm as props, describes it in detail (“…creating suction and warmth with your mouth, your tongue here…”) complete with sound effects."
Um. OK. That's just weird.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I knew, as Gina did, that this was probably the end of this road for her Mom. She even told me so- "I think she's given up. Hell, she even went to Confessional last Thursday for the first time in 40 YEARS." We were not wrong. She passed during the night.
I'm very close to my Mom. She's one of my very best friends. People often confuse us for sisters because she looks so young. I've been watching my Mom suffer from scleroderma for many years now, and every day is a blessing. She amazes me with her strength, determination, and positive attitude. I hope that should I fall ill that I would show the same characteristics. I don't ever want to lose my Mom, but I know that day will come.
When her Mom died several years ago, I was right there with her, helping her pick out flowers and get ready for the funeral. I was right there with her, helping her clean out Grandma's house. I remember how upset she was about the nonchalant way her brother said that he didn't want hardly anything from her house. She jokingly said, "When I die, I want you and Bill to FIGHT over things to remember me by! I know it's just 'stuff', but it's MY stuff, and it means a lot to me." I promised her I would fight, LOL.
When my Mom does pass, I hope that I am comforted by her memory. I'll remember the funny things she has said and done, and I'll laugh. Like I did after her Mom died, I'll pick up the phone and dial her number to tell her something... but she won't be there. We relied heavily upon each other for support when Grandma died. I wonder who I will rely upon when she goes? I'm not very close to my Dad. I love him, but I don't have the bond with him that I do with my Mom.
Gina, this is for you.
I hope that you can also find comfort in the good memories of your Mom, and you can laugh at the funny things she's said and done over the years. I hope the bad stuff melts away, letting you remember the good times you've had with her. I hope you can look through old picture albums, and touch her precious belongings, and remember her fondly. I know you'll lean on your brothers and sisters and others close to you for support... but when you're all alone with your thoughts, remember this:
YOUR MOTHER IS ALWAYS WITH YOU...
Your mother is always with you...
She's the whisper of the leaves
as you walk down the street.
She's the smell of bleach
in your freshly laundered socks.
She's the cool hand on your brow
when you're not well.
Your mother lives inside your laughter.
She's crystallized in every tear drop.
She's the place you came from,
your first home...
She's the map you follow
with every step that you take.
She's your first love
and your first heart break...
and nothing on earth can separate you.
Not time, Not space...
Not even death...
will ever separate you
from your mother...
You carry her inside of you...
Godspeed, Mrs. Boeing. I hope you're catching up with the Angels who have gone on before you.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Well, shivver me timbers!
Find out your Pirate Name, by taking this short quiz.
Monday, September 18, 2006
Games Bloggers Play
Were you born before the end of the first Gulf war? Yep! Hell, I was born before the end of the Vietnam War.
Childhood nickname? Pukey Anna (I got carsick... A LOT)
Historical person you have the biggest crush on? Does Vin count as a 'historical person'??
Favorite type of candybar? Bullseyes... OMG... I love caramel.
Favorite foreign country? Does Puerto Rico count? I mean... it's a province, but not a state, and it's GORGEOUS. Just ask Boq- he'll tell you. Get out of San Juan and enjoy this island!
Fish or chicken? Fish? Me? NEVER. PUKE.GAG.COUGH. Chicken (or beef, please), but NEVER, EVER try to get me to eat fish. blech.
Do you have your own perfume line? BUWAHAHAHAHAHA...If I did though, it would be spicy white flowers, like Burberry Brit.
Have you ever written a children's book? I've thought about it, but no, I've never done it.
Have you been in a movie based on a book? Again, no... but I have gone to open casting calls for "Rainman" and "Seabiscuit". I love the theater- both watching and performing. Being in a movie would be such a trip!
Ever posed nude for a photo? Trek said "Um...." hehe! As for me? I'm pleading the 5th also.
Guiltiest pleasure? Aren't all pleasures "guilty" in some way? I love whirlpool baths accompanied by a glass of wine, deep tissue and hot stone massages, and whirlpool pedicures. I guess you could say I'm guilty of spa time, which I don't get very often.
What are you allergic to? DAIRY PRODUCTS... They can seriously kill me. I swell up and die. It's not pretty, and not very fun either. No, I am not lactose intolerant- I'm very allergic to milk products and have had numerous anaphalactic allergic reactions to them.
Worst pickup line you've heard? Are you tired? Cuz you've been running through my mind ALL DAY, Baby.
Were you bas mitzvahed? That would be a NO. But I was confirmed and baptised in the Lutheran church.
Have you ever cried during a TV interview? While watching, or giving? I've cried during interviews I've watched, but I've never cried during any I've given.
If they made a movie of your life, who would play you? With my luck, the only person available would be Ru Paul.
Pet peeve? Rude eating habits- chewing with your mouth open, talking with your mouth full, making loud eating noises, smacking gum- that sort of thing.
If you weren't doing what you do, what job would you like to have? If I could have, I would have gone to school to be a physical or occupational therapist.
Place you will never be found? Haunted houses or scary movies. OMG... I do NOT like to be scared that way.
Within an hour or so of this posting, FbL saddled me with ANOTHER meme! I *really* need to have that target removed from my blogger-ass. LOL.
What 7 songs are your current favs?
First of all, let me say that I am not much of a "toonie". I like music, but I really don't have many recurring favorites. I also have a terrible time matching up the artist to the song. I may know the name of the artist, and I may know the name of a song, but chances are, I can't put them together to save my life.
That being said.... my #1 favorite song of all time is "Lean on me" (and no, I do NOT know who sings it). I love the give/take friendship theme. Lean on me when you're not strong, I'll be your strength- I'll help you carry on.... We all need somebody to lean on. Damn straight!
2. I'm getting tired of hearing it on the radio, but I LOVE the lyrics to "I don't want to miss a thing", by Aerosmith. (Yay me! I knew that one!) How could you not love this sentiment?
I don't want to miss one smile,
I don't want to miss one kiss,
I just want to be with you right here with you,
Just like this, I just want to hold you close,
I feel your heart so close to mine
And just stay here in this moment,
For all of the rest of time
3. I'm a sucker for many love songs, this one included. I'm not even going to post the title, because I'm pretty sure you will all recognize the lyrics:
We go to a party
and everyone turns to see
This beautiful lady
that's walking around with me.
And then she asks me,
"Do you feel all right?"
And I say, "Yes,
I feel wonderful tonight."
I feel wonderful because I see
The love light in your eyes.
And the wonder of it all
Is that you just don't realize
how much I love you.
4. This song tears me up, because I remember hearing it again and again after 9/11/01. I cannot get through it without remembering, without crying, and without an intense feeling of American pride. I am, "Proud to be an American."
And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.
5. Jeez... this is getting hard! The next song is one you've probably never heard. Our church sings it during baptisms, as the pastor and parents walk the baby around the church, so we can all see the new little member of God's family. There's just something about this song that makes me cry every time I try to sing it.
I was there to hear your newborn cry,
I'll be there as you grow old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptised,
To see your life unfold.
6. Two more... two more... come on, you can do this! Let's see. How about "Piano Man", by Billy Joel?
Its a pretty good crowd for a saturday
And the manager gives me a smile
cause he knows that its me theyve been comin to see
To forget about life for a while
And the piano, it sounds like a carnival
And the microphone smells like a beer
And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
And say, man, what are you doin here?
7. OK. Last song. One that I used to LOVE to dance to, and still do actually. "Gonna make you sweat" BUT... no one does it quite like the Dancing AF Cadet:
buwahahahahahahah!!!! I love that vid.
Explaining Princesses to my Little Prince
Saturday, McDonald's was deemed worthy of a lunchtime visit because of their Mario Brothers toys.
I do NOT like McDonald's.
I started Weight Watchers on Saturday morning. McDonald's is *not* a "core food".
But, I caved. We went to McDonald's. During the ride back home, Kevin started asking me questions about Mario.
"Who's his little friend?"
"Is the green guy a good guy, or a bad guy?"
"Why is there a monkey?"
"Is it a good monkey, or a bad monkey?"
You see, Kevin has never played Mario Brothers, so I explained it to him thusly:
"The monkey is a bad monkey- he kidnapped Mario's girlfriend, so Mario spends the rest of the game chasing them down and trying to get her back."
Kevin was somewhat satisfied by this answer, but he still had one more question: "Is Mario's girlfriend a Princess?"
To which I replied, "Of course she is honey... EVERY girlfriend is a Princess. Never forget that, OK?"
Yep. I think he'll make a good boyfriend someday.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
IT'S MY BROTHER'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! And since he doesn't read my blog, I can tell you he's getting a South Park t-shirt, a cozy flannel-lined shirt (which, in all reality, Leann will probably lurv and end up wearing also, hehe), and some really cute antique mugs from Wright Patterson AFB that I found at a flea market. He's TDY right now, so I don't know when I'll get to give it to him.
It's also my friend Karen's birthday, and Alix's Lil' Bit's birthday. Oh, and a couple of my Dad's cousins were born this day too. Pretty weird, eh? A bunch of professional and Olympic athletes were born on 9/14, actress Faith Ford, and the artist who drew The Gibson Girl (I'm sure he had me in mind while creating that picture), Just goes to show ya that ALL of the *really* cool kids were born on Sept. 14!
For some reason, this is also a "good" day for nuclear weapons tests, since the US and the Soviets have each done it 4 times on this day, and England conducted one 9/14 test. In 1965, the show "F-Troop" premiered, and in 1960, OPEC was formed by Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuala. The first frontal lobotomy was performed in 1956 (BEFORE I was born, so no, I wasn't the patient, ya bunch o weenies), and back in 1716, the first American lighthouse was lit, in Boston Harbor. One of the most significant things to ever happen on September 14 was the first lunar landing, a task performed by the Soviet's Luna-2, in 1959.
Lil' bro is a mere 36, compared to my wise(ass) 39... cuz it's MY BIRTHDAY too!
And since it's MY BIRTHDAY, I thought I'd share a picture from this morning of me with my favorite gifts in the whole wide world, my boys.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Healing the Haumesser and Wolford families
Emma Haumesser, with a picture of her mother, Katie.
Back in February, a terrible thing happened in Cincinnati. A 19 year old kid got drunk, went the wrong way on the highway, and hit another car, killing the driver and severely injuring the driver's young daughter. It was very early in the morning- Emma, the daughter, had an asthma attack, and had been in the emergency room for a few hours. They were on their way home. Jacob had been drinking at a co-worker's house some 20 miles away... and their meeting ended tragically. I've written about this several times, generating TONS of Google hits and comments. Some of those comments (and emails) were from family and friends of the two drivers, Jacob Wolford (the 19 year old), and Katie Haumesser (who was killed).
No story I've ever written has affected me so much because of the personal involvement of the friends and family members on both sides of this story. I've never pulled a post before, but after Jacob's friends became increasingly aggressive toward Katie's friends and family, I removed the posts at the request of the Haumesser family.
When I first sat down to write this story, I was going to include a lot of excerpts from the original posts and comments, but I changed my mind. This isn't about rehashing the past- it's about the future for both families. Jacob's friends and family have told me he is kind, compassionate, caring, of good moral character, and extremely remorseful for Katie's death and Emma's injuries. Katie's friends and family have described her as loving, dedicated, beautiful, friendly, nice, and caring. Notice the similarities? The difference is that one of those people made a horrible decision that ended the life of the other person, and drastically changed the lives of many.
The life most changed? Emma's. Katie's daughter. This was never more apparent than at Jacob's sentencing. Danielle Toft, Katie's best friend, said that "Emma... will go over the accident in her head and say how it must have been her fault. She just says, 'I shouldn't have gone to the hospital.' Or 'I wish I would have died in the accident.' Everyone around her assures her that it wasn't her fault, but she still feels guilty." Emma's Aunt Amy read a letter that Emma wrote about her mother: "Every day I think about her, and I wonder what Jacob thinks about every day. Does he think about my mom and me? Does he think about how he has ruined our lives?"
Wolford, in return, said "I'm truly sorry. There's not a day that goes by when I don't wish I could give my life for the life of Katie's... Emma, I do think about this every day."
Just before handing down the sentence, Emma's grandma spoke up and told the Assistant Prosecutor that Emma has something she wanted to say. "Judge, Emma wants the court and Mr. Wolford to know that she forgives him, but she does not forgive what he did for killing her mother."
Just this weekend I got an email from Jacob's father. In it he tells me that he imagines I'm raising my boys with the same hopes and dreams they had for Jacob, but that 19 year olds don't always make the best decisions. He also told me that if my boys should make such a terrible decision, that he would be there.... offering up prayers of healing for me, my family, and the victim's family, just as they did for the Haumesser's.
In my reply back to Mr. Wolford, I told him that I want the best for my boys too, just like he said, and that I also hoped they wouldn't ever make such a bad decision like Jacob did. I told him that if they did... like him, I would still love my boys, but I would expect them to be punished and publicly admonished for their actions.
The comments most of us have made on this situation center around the facts- not around the emotion or the people involved. I wouldn't feel any differently about this if Katie had been the drunk driver who killed Jacob. Now, if Jacob had a record of drunk driving or other similar offenses, then yes, my thoughts about him would be altered, but he doesn't. However, just because he's "normally" a good guy doesn't excuse killing Katie Haumesser. I'm glad Jacob is Christian, because he will rely heavily upon his faith to forgive himself for his actions. Without forgiveness, there can be no healing. Emma started it... it's up to Jacob to carry it on.
I've thought a lot about this case. It is tragic for everyone involved. Great losses have been felt by everyone involved, from Jacob and Emma, to their family and friends, and the children Katie taught. Throughout the past 6 months, there has been a lot of anger, hurt, frustration, sadness, depression, guilt, name-calling, and regret. Jacob was facing a possible 13 years behind bars, but was sentenced to only 7. He'll be 26 when he gets out of jail but faces a lifetime of regret for one simple decision: the decision to drink and drive.
It's just not worth it, folks. It's just not. There's a saying, Live and Learn, but sometimes someone has to die to teach the hardest lessons of all.
Jacob Wolford, in happier days.
(thanks to John for letting me post a link to this story)
Monday, September 11, 2006
Never Forget.... ALWAYS Remember the 2,996
*Many thanks to Dale for making The 2,996 Project more than just a great idea- you made it reality.*
It was a normal day all over America. I was running a little late- as usual (hey- I said it was a normal day, didn't I?), and dropped Kevin off at the babysitter's house just before 9am. Jennifer was watching "Good Morning America", and as I ran out the door, I paused to look at the smoking tower on tv. Smoke was pouring out of a skyscraper in New York, and the newscaster was saying something about a commuter plane hitting the World Trade Center. I jokingly said, "How ironic- it's September 11- get it? 9-11, and there's a HUGE emergency in New York. Scary... OK, I gotta jet. See you later!", and I left.
In New York, I'm sure the morning was going about the same for many people. Some running late, dropping off kids at school and the babysitter's, grumbling over the breakfast mess left in the kitchen, thinking about the sales calls later in the day, and so many other "normal" things. Normal was redefined before noon that day. Normal wasn't so "normal" anymore.
Somewhere in Manhattan, a young trader for Cantor Fitzgerald got ready for another day at work. He slipped on his size 16 shoes and headed for the North Tower. His name... Davin Peterson. He was only 25 years old, funny, outgoing, loved to travel, and at 6'6", bigger than life. He prided himself on being the first one in, and the last one out every day. But today, September 11, 2001- he wouldn't ever leave work again. This day, 9-11-01, was his day to die.
After I got in the car and was listening to the radio on my way to my first appointment of the day, I heard the news. A second plane hit the other tower. I knew. Right away- I knew. This was no 'accident', and my mind wandered to concerns for national security. I wondered if planes were being grounded, or "escorted" by US fighters. I wondered if this was the end, or if there would be additional attacks. I wondered if my client knew, or if I was going to be the one to break the news.
When I arrived at her office, I found the workers and students gathered around the big screen tv in the lobby (I was at the University of Cincinnati that day). There they were, 5 feet tall, smoking, flaming, right in front of me. We were all in shock. We tried to focus on our meeting, but then *it* happened: the first Tower fell. We cried. We gasped, and we moaned. The meeting- long forgotten- we were glued to the screen.
I imagine Davin, at work, preparing for the US markets to open. He took the elevator upstairs, and in my mind, he grabs a soda from the vending machine in lieu of coffee, and heads to his desk. He reads international market news on his favorite websites and flips through his favorite publication, The Economist. Others start filing in, casually offering up a "Hey Davin" as they passed his desk.
At approximately 0846, the terrorists aboard United Flight 11 slammed the Boeing 767 into the North Tower. Cantor Fitzgerald employees scrambled for safety, but hardly any made it out of the building. Davin died with 684 co-workers. I wonder about his last minutes- I wonder if he was cracking one of his infamous jokes, or telling everyone how he was going to make fajitas again for Thanksgiving this year instead of the traditional turkey. I wonder if he saw anyone jumping out of the windows, rather than stay in the burning building. I wonder if he knew what was coming.
The remains of the North Tower, on September 13, 2001.
Most of all, I wonder if he knows how much he is missed by his family and friends. I hope you know, Davin, that we are all outraged by the events on 9/11, and have vowed to avenge your deaths by destroying governments who harbor and fund terrorists. As tragic as your death was, Davin, it was not in vain. We are at war, and we will win. Just you wait and see, hon. We will not let your death go unnoticed or unpunished. We will not forget.
Davin Peterson, age 25
Friday, September 08, 2006
For instance, the stupid-ass "Caution: HOT" label now found on coffee cups all over the world following the lawsuit against McDonald's. You know the one- Stella Liebeck spilled a cup of McDonald's coffe on her lap, burned herself, and was awarded $2.7 MILLION? (it was reduced to $60,000 at a later date, btw)
Here are some more funnies for ya:
Found on a Batman costume package: PARENTS: Cape does NOT enable wearer to fly.
That's IT... I'm buying the Superman costume instead. bah.
Found on a computer mouse: Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw mouse at co-workers.
Apparently it's ok to fling your mouse at family members though. Unless you work with them, that is.
On a box of Glad drawstring liter box liners: WARNING: Not recommended for food storage.
Found in the safety booklet on a Cayman Airlines plane: If you are seated in an exit aisle, and are unable to read this, please ask the stewardess to reseat you.
Isn't that like having to call the phone company to tell them your phone won't work?
On a Murray snow blower: Do not use snow thrower on surfaces above ground level, such as roofs.
LMAO.... sounds like something a MAN would try!
Found on a urinal at a rest stop in Wisconsin: Do not eat the urinal cakes.
DAD! DAD! Check it out! This is the biggest Certs I've EVER seen! Too bad it tastes like piss and bleach...
There are many more... but I thought I'd give you all a little something to giggle about tonight!
Thursday, September 07, 2006
The Dhilbert Bhlohhhhg
The silent h is very flexible. When I’m talking, I’ll toss in a silent h every third syllable, and no one seems to mind. I’m not trying to show off by doing it. I just like the way it doesn’t sound.
Little known fact: The original name for the stealth bomber was Hhhhhhh, where every h but the fourth one is silent.
Hheeee chracks me uhhhp.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I remember the first time I read many of these posts, and how emotional I was at the time. It's no less emotional now, and in some cases more emotional because of recent events that relate to the original posts. For instance, Matt included Smink's post about his last day in the Army, and saying goodbye to his good friend, Sammy:
"Take care, Sammy. I love you, man."
He didn't respond. "Hey, aren't you going to say something?"
"The last time I said something like that, you called me a faggot."
"I was joking then; I'm serious now."
"OK, I love you too." He dropped his salute and proceeded on.
As he left, I yelled, "Faggot. I can't believe you said you love a man."
You can feel the brotherly love shared by these two men again, a year later, when Smink wrote of the death of Sammy's son in Iraq. You can read all of Smink's writing by clicking on the link to his blog, "In Iraq for 365" on my sidebar.
Another favorite is Currie's "Journey's End" post. I miss his raw writing, full of emotion. His MI unit went through hell in Iraq, and it changed all of them. His closing line, "What will I miss about Iraq? Nothing... everything." has always stuck with me. I don't really know why, except that every man and woman who has been over there seems to be so torn between home and war. They want to be home, but they want to finish the mission in Iraq and Afghanistan too. Nothing and Everything sums up what they all seem to miss. (I'm also mentioned in this post very briefly, but that's really not why I like it. Read it and you'll see why) Again, you'll find a link on my sidebar to Currie's blog if you want to read the archives.
Perhaps my favorite post of all time though is the last post in the book, by ArmyWifeToddlerMom, about the return of Dear Husband from the war. She writes about crying while he sleeps, feeling his heart beating, his hands on your back, and being able to smell him for the first time in months. I cry every time I read this post. It's short, sweet, and deeply emotional. I have to agree with her- hearing the heartbeat of the ones you love is indeed the best sound in the world.
I haven't read all of the posts in the book, so I'm sure I'll be pleasantly surprised by many of them. I've met some of the authors at the 2006 Milblog Conference- including Matt, Smink and AWTM mentioned above. They are all so passionate, and fun, and dedicated, and wonderful writers. I love the way Matt laid out the book, with bits of commentary about the authors and their situations, the follow-up stories to let us know what many of the authors are doing now, the mil-lingo glossary, and the detailed index. You did an AWESOME job narrowing down the posts and putting the book together, Matt. Thank you SO much for doing this.
Go buy the book, and a box of Puffs. The soft kind, but not with lotion because when you want to wipe the tears off of your glasses, they leave a slimy film on the lenses.