Monday, May 28, 2007


gah. I hate that word. There are just too many delays in my life right now- including having internet access long enough to effectively write the Memorial Day post I had in mind. I will get it up, but not until late tonight.

Just know that today is the day we remember, and we honor those who have died in service to our country. Know that I haven't forgotten, and never will, the sacrifices of so many men and women.

I haven't forgotten...just delayed. To my Soldier, Airmen, Marine, and Sailor friends.... my heartfelt thanks and love.

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's all about ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some people say that bloggers are narcissistic, and that may be true to an extent. We write as a way to release tension, frustrations, concerns, and report the occasional funny (like the BM post below). ALa tagged me with a "It's all about ME!" meme.... so here you go: 8 things you may not know about AFSister:

1. I HATE FISH... and I've come to the realization that it is impossible to go to a decent restaurant in Portland without finding Salmon as the "special of the day". That or halibut cheeks. WHO KNEW fish had CHEEKS to begin with? sheesh.

2. I have arthritis in the big toe on my left foot. Weird, eh? I blame the cat I tripped over, causing me to hyper-extend the toe.

3. I've been in Red Cross for 16 years now.

4. I've been in the investment industry since I turned 19.

5. I can't remember the last time I was in a car that had MANUAL LOCKS.. until today. No lie. I rented a car to get up to Olympia to have dinner with Barb and Bad Cat Robot, and the car was B.A.S.I.C. Holy cow. Manual locks on every door! I am so damn spoiled.

6. I find it nearly impossible to sleep on airplanes, no matter how tired I am.

7. I'm a terrible housekeeper; it will never be "Good Housekeeping" quality... but it will ALWAYS be a loving home, and open to anyone who can walk through the door without snubbing their nose at me and my family.

8. I did something really stupid last week- I forgot my ex's birthday... didn't even have the kids so much as call him. I'm pretty sure I shrunk down to about 2 1/2 inches tall when I realized my mistake yesterday. I'm groveling. Yes, he's my EX... but as the mother of his young children, it's my responsibility to make sure the boys celebrate their father's birthday until they're old enough to do it on their own. Suggestions anyone? How can I make this up to him?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Why anyone with the initials "BM" would take a job as a portapotty cleaner, defies logic. Unless, of course, they have an incredible sense of humor, and NO sense of smell.
(and yes, I took the picture myself while visiting the "honey pot" during my son's baseball game last night)



NJANG is taking responsibility for a 20-square-mile fire just north of Atlantic City, saying that a flare dropped from an F-16 on the firing range started the blaze.

Considering CW4(ret)BillT's position in the NJANG... I'm wondering if he'll stop by and comment on this. In the meantime, the NJANG is issuing a big, "um.. OOPS" to the residents of New Jersey.
Bill was NJARNG. Not NJANG.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Did you hear about the LA farmer who died?

*LA = Lower Alabama, btw. Not that gi-normous overpriced city in California. heh.

A South Alabama farmer dies and, being a heathen, goes to Hell.

When he gets there it's 95° with 90% humidity. But Satan notices he's kicked back on the brimstone relaxing comfortably. He asks, "Why aren't you miserable like everyone else here?" The farmer replies, "Oh, this is like a warm spring day in south 'Bama. I like it."

Angry, Satan turns up the thermos until it's 100° and 95% humidity.
Still, the farmer's happy. "This is like a good June day on the farm. Not bad at all."

Furious, Satan turns it up to 105°and 99% humidity.
Everyone is even more miserable, except the south Alabama farmer still laying there resting. "Hey, this is like a good August day on the farm bailing hay. Feels good. The hotter the better."

In a total rage, Satan turns the thermostat down to minus 25°F.
Within seconds, the air becomes chilly and frost appears, soon followed by solid ice everywhere. Satan smirks, watching the farmer.

The confused farmer looks down at the frozen ground for a moment, suddenly jumps up excitedly, looks around everywhere, realizes that Hell has frozen over, and begins to laugh, jump for joy and scream.

"Alabama beat Auburn! Alabama beat Auburn!"

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spidey 3

Kevin has been a Spiderman freak since, well, before he was born, I think. He's gone through more Spiderman costumes than the law should allow, not to mention all of the action figures and webslinging gloves. As soon as I picked the boys up from school Friday night, they started asking "Mommy, can we go see Spiderman!?"

Soooo... I took them to Spiderman 3 for Mother's Day. Kevin decided to wear his costume all day- after sleeping in it, mind you. We stopped at a restaurant for lunch first. The hostess leaned down and asked Kevin if he'd had a hard night fighting crime. Without skipping a beat, Kevin said "Yeah. It was a TOUGH one." lordy.

Sooo.. on to the movie. I was pretty impressed by Thomas's ability to accept his brother's silliness and the costume-in-public thing. I think that deep down he wishes he could be as free and unassuming as his brother, but he just can't let go.

Near the end of the movie, Sandman gets part of his head blown up, thanks to the good guys. Kevin, unable to control himself by now, nearly leaps out of his seat, pumping both fists in the air, and YELLING, "OH YEAH! DID YOU SEE THAT? THEY BLEW UP HIS HEAD! THAT WAS AWESOME, BABY! OHHHH YEAH!"

I was DYING... stifling giggles and "shushing" him at the same time, while listening to dozens of other stifled giggles around the theater.

(move was good, very cool special fx, but LOOOONG... could have used more editing)

Ballad of the Yellow Beret

h/t to Major Pain for this one! HOOAH!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Reason

THAT.... is the reason soldier support groups like AnySoldier and Soldier's Angels (including Valour-IT) exists.
Because we want to help make these soldiers feel "more like a person again", and not just another number for the media to exploit.
Oh. And to pick their noses when needed. heh.

I'm not serving you

If you know anything about horse racing, you know the Kentucky Derby was last weekend. This event draws spectators from all over the world, including Queen Elizabeth (who visited the WWII Memorial in DC on Tuesday, honoring US Veterans). Street Sense won this year, by the way, with Hard Spun in second and Curlin in third. Odd names. But I digress.

"I'm not serving you" is what restauranteur Jeff Ruby told OJ Simpson last Friday in Louisville, prior to the Derby race. Simpson sat down at a table, waiting for a group of a dozen friends, when Ruby walked up to him and said, "I'm not serving you". After a few minutes, OJ shook Jeff's hand, and left without further incident. Ruby used to have a picture of himself with OJ in his restaurant in Cincinnati, which was removed just after the killings as a testiment to Ruby's distaste for serving suspected murderers.

OJ's lawyer, who may sue, has been quoted as saying "He screwed with the wrong guy, he really did." I don't think so. I really don't. ANY business owner has the right to refuse service, as long as it's not based upon a race, religion or country of origin. Refusing service because you're a dickhead doesn't count, since the last time I checked, ASSHAT wasn't a nation, a race, or a religion. Minutes after OJ & Friends left, basketball star Michael Jordan was seated, as was "The View" host, Star Jones. Clearly, this was not a case of racial discrimination. Ruby simply didn't want to "serve murderers", adding that if Robert Blake walked in, he'd refuse to serve him too.

Ruby further stated "It was the first time since 1994 he has ever shown any class. He showed it that night in the restaurant" by leaving quietly. I whole-heartedly agree. The pain OJ has cause the Brown and Goldman families, and his own children, is just unimaginable to me. He disgusts me, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the color of his skin. It has EVERYTHING to do with his actions, lack of compassion, that sick-ass "If I Had Done It" book, and, in my mind, being guilty of committing a double murder.

Lead by example, Jeff... I just hope others follow your lead.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


You know you're tired when.......
you try to say goodnight on the phone, adding "just look for me over here- I'll be sleeping under the dinosaur"



I have to admit, when LL and SK told me that SnogDot would be traveling around DC with us, I had no idea who he was. I vaguely remember the girls telling me about the recent loss of his wife, but that's about it. I can tell you now though, that Snog is a VERY cool guy, full of shit one minute and full of compassion the next. The weekend just wouldn't have been the same without him.


You know that "life comes at you fast" commercial, in which the guy is driving around town, listening to his OnStar system, which tells him to "turn right"... he does, hits a building, and then OnStar says ".... in 500 feet"?? Well, we had a live version of JackStar in DC.

Poor Snog... had *NO* idea what driving around DC with LL driving would be like! Of course, SK and I knew, so we quickly got in the back of the van, leaving him sitting up front, making him the navigator by default. Considering he's an Air Force man, I'm sure this would not have been a problem if we were FLYING around the city. Land Nav is not a zoomie specialty.

So... there we were, driving back to the hotel, watching poor Snog realize the error of his ways. "Are you sure you don't want to sit up front, Sis?", thinking he's being a gentleman, but me realizing I'm just trying to preserve my life and well-being, turns him down.

Snog says "you need to turn right"... and taking him at his word, LL immediately starts to turn. I yell "ONE WAY! ONE WAY! ONE WAY!" and we swerve back on the road, laughing hysterically at Snog's wildly waving arms and cringing face. From the back seat, I say "DAMN... we need to get our JackStar upgraded to that 'IN 500 FEET, turn right' version." I swear, we nearly peed our pants laughing about our own personal "JackStar" system all weekend long.

Later that afternoon, Hook got to experience JackStar and added his own quote of the day. Oh man.. I wish I had his nervous smile and wide eyes on tape when he realized he was in the grips of a non-DC driver, LOLOLOLOLOL. I told him that if he ended up in my lap before the end of the afternoon, I'd understand. With a slight giggle, he says "The following commercial is a real recording of a JackStar conversation."

OH MY GOD.....
Hook is a very quiet, humble, controlled guy, and totally shocked the hell out of all of us with the JackStar commercial line. Holy crap... what a funny, funny day...

(now for the disclaimer... "no automobiles, animals or humans were injured in the making of this JackStar commercial, and we truly do appreciate LL's NYC taxi driver license")

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

On to Friday....

Friday morning we dragged ass outta bed to make a very emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetary. We were on a mission. LL has been writing emails to a Gold Star Mom for about a year now, and we had promised her we would visit her son's grave. She told us it was in "x" section, near the road, "about 5 or 6 rows back, but I remember when it was the last." doh.

We found the site, mourned the loss of another family's son and brother, for quite some time. Not too far from his site, I stumbled across Taylor Prazynski's grave. Having met Taylor's dad a couple of times, I was brought to tears once more. Taylor's dad had promised to meet his unit upon their return from Iraq. He honored that promise, even though Taylor didn't come home with them. Time and time again, I am humbled by these Gold Star parents.

Other than the sight of those two graves, the thing that made the most impact on me was seeing how "active" the cemetary was. We saw 3 new sites being dug, one set up for a service later that day, and a row of 5 fresh graves from the past week. It was a very personal experience, leaving me raw with emotion.

Oh. Then there was the "Canadian". As we were leaving Arlington, a very well dressed, clean-cut young man stopped us, asking "What should I see here?" The others continued on, but I stopped to answer his question. I figured he just didn't have a lot of time to browse and wanted to see something out of the ordinary at Arlington, so I said that the Women's Memorial is fantastic and has wonderful traveling shows in the lobby. He seemed interested, so I also mentioned the Challenger astronaut memorial. Then I said "Of course, if it's your first trip here, you have to go see the changing of the guard." This is where the conversation took an odd turn.
He said "The what?"
LL, in all of her PC-correctedness, nearly wrecked the car when I told her a few minutes later, and said "WHAT!?!?! I HOPE YOU BITCH-SLAPPED THE BOY!" LOLOL... so subtle, that girl.
After a slight recovery, I said "You know- at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The changing of the guard ceremony." He said, "The Unknown Soldier?"
Trying to remain calm I said "It's a memorial to those we have lost during war but have not recovered their bodies. A few unknown soldiers are buried there, as a reminder of the thousands whose remains are in foreign countries or under the sea, unable to be returned to the States." Then I turned and walked away, adding "Enjoy your visit", stunned beyond believe that ANYONE could POSSIBLE visit Arlington and NOT know about the Tomb.
SK swears he was Mormon. I'm waffling between Canadian (simply because he spoke perfect english but without an accent), Martian, and Moron. Perhaps those "martians stole my body" conspiracy theorists are onto something.. Good Lord.

On to the next stop- Walter Reed.

When raw with emotion, one wouldn't typically follow that up by a visit to Walter Reed, but that's what we did. We picked up Sgt. Hook, in full dcu's, and headed off to Malogne House. Mike Sparling lead us through the hospital, introducing us to about 20 or so patients. I was afraid of how I'd react to seeing these patients, but that fear was quickly cast aside when I realized how strong, courageous, independent, and proud they are.

Without prompting, other than a "Hi, I'm AFSis. Thanks for your service- would you like a cigar, or a t-shirt?"... they opened up to us. They ALL- and I mean EVERY LAST ONE- said that the care they've received at WR is world-class, and wanted to make sure that EVERYONE knows that. They were more upset that Soldiers have allowed themselves to fall through the cracks than they were that Soldiers *have* fallen through the cracks. These men were severely injured- brain trauma and amputees for the most part- and MANY have been at WR for nearly 2 years. Not ONE complained. AT ALL. Not ONE blasted the "BushHalliburton War Monger Machine". Not ONE lamented their new physical form. Not ONE wanted a medical discharge. Not.ONE. They *all* wanted to be reinstated with their prior unit, so they could get back into the fight again.

America, you need to listen to these kids. Listen and LEARN from their young years, which have aged them 20 years or more.

After WR, John Bell picked me up at the hotel and took me back to their house for a wonderful dinner with Leta and Sammy D. We laughed, we shared, we hugged, and we sampled Taco's bed as a threesome. hehe... Virginia will never be the same. Getting to meet some of my favorite Church Ladies (term loosely applied, mind you) was certainly one of the highlights of the weekend!

Friday night brought all of the Conference attendees together in one place for the first time. I met up with, in no particular order, and I know I'll forget someone....
John Donovan
Beth Donovan
Mary Bell
John Bell
Sammy D
American Soldier
Mrs. American Soldier
Baby American Soldier
Matty O'Blackfive
Chuck & Carren Z
Consul at Arms
Mike Sparling
Army Girl
Bill Roggio
JR Salzmann
CENTCOM electronic comm officer
Dept. of Defense Public Affairs Officer
Some Soldier's Mom
Bill Ardolino

and many, MANY more..... I blame my faltering mind on JackStar, who failed to provide me with enough real, recorded conversations to remind me of everyone I met. Of course, it could just be the Yingling.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thursday AAR

First of all, you have to understand that it took about an hour to get from DAY to BWI, and then it took another TWO HOURS to get from BWI to Arlington via Metro. DAMN.. long trip. You should also be reminded that I, as a Mommy, do *NOT* snore. I purrrrrr in my sleep. At least I don't purr and drool at the same time. That would be messy.

When LL, SK and SnogDot finally found their "lost duckling", I was exhausted, hungry, and thirsty for tall, frosty mug. They took me right over to the brewery, where I found out they'd been hanging out with some of my favorite bloggers: John & Beth Donovan, Doc & Heather, Hook, Mr & Mrs Greyhawk, Smash, FbL, and Holly. I was THRILLED! So many kewl peeps in one place, two days BEFORE the conference!

We wanted to stop at a package store on the way back to the hotel, but it was too late. Since we were at a micro-brewery, we asked if they had "beer to go", fully thinking we were asking a stupid question. But oh.. NO! YES! YES... you CAN buy nectar of the GODS to take with you! OHHHH HAPPY DAY! 4 brown gallon jugs of a most delicious wheat beer where brought to the table. So.. off we went to the car, me with my suitcase and laptop case in tow; Snog, LL and SK carrying the jugs of beer. I was highly disappointed we didn't get stopped by any homeless people looking for a swig. I've never looked more like a hobo in my life, LOLOLOLOL.

But the Thursday fun didn't stop there. Oh no it did not. After I jumped into jammies, unfolded my bed, and started what ended up being 3 days worth of uncontrolled laughter, "Bob" showed up. WHOOO HOOO! Haven't seen or even heard from "Bob" in a VERY long time. He ended up crashing on the floor, curled up with his cuddly-wuddly Army backpack. Let me tell you- that boy could give newborns lessons in "sleeping through the night". HOLY SHIT. We threatened to paint his face with makeup and his toes with hot pink polish if he wasn't awake by 10am. Sadly, we did not get to decorate this service-decorated veteran.

"Bob"'s alarm went off at O DARK THIRTY- and did NOT wake up "Bob". SK and I woke up, but couldn't figure out how in the hell to turn off the alarm on a Blackberry. Damn, that thing is LOUD. We tickled his feet, put the Blackberry next to his head, shook the boy. NOTHING. Unreal. As we were trying to shake the cobwebs off of "Bob", SK said "We have BROWNIES? Where in the hell did THOSE come from?" Me, being a chocolate fiend, said "WE HAVE BROWNIES!", and echoed the "where in the HELL did those come from?!?"

Take two drunken blogbuds, (hey- I was sound asleep at 5am, as was SK), a taxi service who refused their request to drive through Taco Bell and deliver some late-night burritos to our room, a sleeping desk clerk, and some unfortunate organization who ordered pastries but hadn't picked them up yet... and you end up with two boxes of brownies and cookies with legs. LMFAO

LL had me in tears from laughing so damn hard, telling us a story about some people she knows, the pastry boxes with legs, and what had transpired at Rock Bottom prior to my arrival. That girl... oh man. Sweet gherkin almighty she makes me laugh!

a VERY quick summary


This list will grow as new "code words" come to me. Some will be apparent to a select group.... some, not so apparent. BUT. Just about EVERY word here is associated with riotous laughter and much fun!

Sweet Gherkin
Walter Reed
Malogne House
Flat Daddy
For the record, I don't snore. I purrrrr in my sleep
Army Girl is to men as bread crumbs are to ants
JP Was Here
Cluebat of ARGGHHH!
Congressional Flag
Sammy D
baby shower
Matty O'Blackfive
Sleep? NEVAH.
DC driving
Chicks In Bed
Riding the short bus to Enterprise
National Aquarium
$8 hot dog
brown jug
brown jug
brown jug
brown jug
(yes, that's 4 brown jugs walking)
The following is a recording of an actual JackStar conversation.....

And... did I mention PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH ????!?!??!?!

(yeah. I know I did, but SHIT. That's worth repeating, dontcha know!?!)