Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm Still Here!

Sorry I’ve been MIA the past week.  I’ve been really busy, but not in the typical OMG the police academy has taken over my life kind of way, in a fun, productive, social kind of way :)

Over the weekend, I had a nice lunch out with JD, got a new CD player installed in my car, got a haircut, attended a Pampered Chef party, and got a massage.  We also hung out with some of the RPD recruits and one of their girlfriends.  I’d briefly met several of the recruits at the orientation a month ago, but hadn’t really had a chance to get to know any of them.  We went downtown to enjoy a few drinks, delicious sushi, gourmet cupcakes and lots of laughs.  I’m glad to see JD is making friends within the academy, because he hasn’t had any time to hang out with any of his other friends since the academy started. 

It will probably be at least a few more days before I post again because I will be remaining busy over the next few days.  Tonight is an Irish Pub with some co-workers, Saturday will be catching up with some scrapbooking at a friend’s house, then Saturday night is girls’ night out downtown!

 Sorry my social awesomeness has led to my blogging lameness :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Noise... Part 2

Boyd has been having some skin allergy issues, so I called yesterday to make a vet appointment.  They had time for a walk-in appointment that afternoon, so I decided I could take him myself before JD got home.

We take the dogs to a Banfield clinic located in PetSmart.  Given Boyd’s social behavior, this is usually something JD and I will schedule for the weekend and do together, so JD can hide Boyd behind aisles while I check him in and pay afterwards.  I figured I could handle him by myself this one time, and hoped that I could get there early enough that it wouldn’t be super busy.

At first, all was going well (besides the slobbery mess he left all over my car).  As we were standing at the reception desk checking in, a couple came up behind us with their dog, but when they noticed Boyd’s ears perk up, they waited with their dog behind a display.  I was incredibly grateful.  Boyd stared at the display intently, knowing there was something behind it, but was soon distracted by the assistant who came to take him to the back room.  He gladly followed, and I thanked the couple, explaining his extreme excitement around other dogs and the wailing noise he makes.

We weren’t so lucky as we checked out.  They have convenient leash latches you can hook your pet to while you check in and out, and luckily Boyd was already latched up before the next dog came around the corner.  He immediately yelped and lunged forward.

He certainly looked and sounded vicious as he wailed and scratched at the floor, trying desperately to break free.  His claws couldn’t grip the slick tile, and his paws kept slipping out from underneath him.  He went face first into the floor several times, but this didn’t deter him.  The wailing and clawing continued as the other dog stood calmly watching.  The dog’s owners stared at me, horrified.

Other shoppers started to peer out from behind aisles, trying to figure out what was going on.  Some looked terrified.  I think some even left the store.  I felt like an embarrassed mother being judged for having a screaming toddler in public.

 “This is why my husband usually comes to the vet with us,” I told the front desk assistant apologetically.

She laughed, tossing 2 treats in front of him, “Baby, you don’t even sound like a dog.  Are you trying to be a seal?”

Boyd didn’t flinch, and continued his tantrum of wailing, floor scratching, and falling on his face.

The other assistant looked up from the computer.

“Is that a dog?!” she exclaimed.

“Um, yeah.  He gets a little excited,” I replied, realizing I was stating (or understating) the obvious.

“I’ve never heard anything like that in my life.  It doesn’t even sound like a dog.”

I finished paying while the other dog was taken into a room, then un-clipped Boyd’s leash so we could go.  During his antics, he had twisted his harness around and it was pulling on his front leg.  He limped awkwardly, but I ignored it, trying to get out of the store as quickly as possible.  Besides, the limping was nice; it meant he couldn’t yank his leash so much.

We finally reached the car and I opened the door, instructing him to get in.  He stared at me blankly.

“Boyd, sometimes I don’t like you,” I grumbled as I put his front paws on the seat.  Then I grabbed his back legs and found the strength to shove all 75 pounds of him in the car.

The Dog Whisperer would be so unimpressed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

I never jumped on the bandwagon of people who hate Valentine’s Day because “it’s so commercial.”  The truth is, I think love is great, and deserves to be celebrated.  Why NOT take a day every year to tell your friends and family how much they mean to you?  Why NOT have an excuse to go out to a nice dinner and eat too much chocolate?  True, these are things we should be doing year round (especially the chocolate part), but we get so caught up in everyday life that we often don’t.  Maybe Valentine’s Day is overly-commercial, but so is every other holiday.  I mean, I don’t hear those Valentine’s Day haters whining when they have a house full of expensive Christmas presents.  

JD and I usually keep it low key.  I hate trying to go out to dinner when the restaurants are so crowded.  He treated me to dinner over the weekend, so that was kind of like a pre V-day date.  It’s warm (70!) and sunny here today, so we might take the dogs for a walk.  Of course that depends on when he gets out of the academy.  It wouldn’t surprise me if they found a way to ruin Valentine’s Day too :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Drop and Give Me 141

If we learned anything from running together, it's that JD and I do not make great exercise buddies.  Yet, he somehow talked me into doing one of their academy workouts with him yesterday.

It's called PT Poker.  He dealt out six poker hands, we rotated between 5 exercises, and the card drawn represented the number of reps you had to do for each exercise.  

I consider myself to be in pretty good shape.  In fact, 2 of the exercises were easy for me (air squats and flutter kicks).  But the other 3 exercises involved some form of pushup, since JD picked the exercises and he can do a million of them without any problems.  I can do a decent number of pushups, but let's not forget that I'm not the one in the police academy here.  There's a reason for that.  

I think it was the third round when he mysteriously drew another face card for pushups (4 count pushups, which means you're really doing twice as many as the card tells you) that I accused him of stacking the deck.  

"You can do this!" he said excitedly.  "You just have to have the right mindset!"

I gave him my best cheesy cheerleader spirit fingers.

"See?  It's fun!" he said, bouncing around.

I grumbled as I got down in the pushup position.  I made it about a third of the way through before I stopped.

"C'mon, don't stop!" he practically ordered, falling into the police officer mindset.

"I can't do any more," I said.

"Sure you can; just get your mind in the right place."

I contemplated slapping him, then realized that may be considered assaulting a police officer.

This continued for the final 3 rounds.  I told him I couldn't do any more, and he told me that I just had to change my mindset.

Right mindset or not, my body is not happy with me today.  At about 7am, I was half awake and tried to move my arms so I could roll over.  Nothing happened.  Hmmm, well that's not okay, I thought.

I sent every ounce of strength I could find into moving my arms.  After quite a bit of struggling, I managed to roll over to my other side.  I faced a similar struggle later when trying to get out of bed.  Everything today has been a challenge- even pouring a bowl of cereal.

When I shared this with JD, I figured he would take that as a sign that he'd pushed me too hard.  He simply said, "Nah, it's good for you."

Lesson learned.  No more police academy workouts with JD.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

These Are My Confessions

In the beginning, I threw myself into the role of police academy wife enthusiastically.  I got up early to make him breakfast, took over household chores, and did anything I could to make his life outside of the police academy as easy as possible.  I knew it was going to be stressful and I knew there wouldn’t be a lot of time for other things; I was managing that stress with patience and optimism.

Now that the second month has rolled around, JD seems to be comfortable in the academy routine.  He’s less physically and emotionally drained at the end of each day, and seems to enjoy academy life more.  In theory, that would make my life easier as well.  Let’s be honest, it’s not easy to face a miserable husband every evening.  But, I’m starting to wear down a bit.  The academy has completely taken over our lives, and I can’t believe we have nearly 5 months left.

As much as I try to be, I am not Superwife.  I can’t work full time, take care of the house and the dogs, spend practically no time with my husband, and be happy all the time.  We make time for a date night on the weekends, but other than that, there are very few moments that are spent as a couple, doing non-academy or non-household things.

I think we were both pretty well-informed about what academy life would be like, but it doesn’t make the emotional toll any easier.  It’s a strange feeling to have your spouse sitting next to you and still feel lonely.

Miss you babe.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


It's been 2 1/2 years since JD signed the DD-214, the form that ended his active duty with the Marine Corps.  For someone who'd planned on the military being his one and only career path, it was a tough decision to make and left him feeling a little lost once he got home.  Although I always held on to the idea that everything happens for a reason, I was always worried that nothing would fulfill him the way the Marine Corps did.
He originally applied for a firefighting position, which we were both confident he would get.  He'd spent his 4 years in the Marine Corps with Crash, Fire, and Rescue, so he certainly had experience.  Similar to the police department, the application process was lengthy and involved several rounds of testing and interviews.  He made it all the way to the final interview but wasn't offered a position.  It was a devastating blow.
Soon after, he got a job as a 911 operator/dispatcher with the city.  It was a good job, but he didn't love it.  Between his ADHD and his previous experience with the Marine Corps, it was hard for him to just sit and take 911 calls or dispatch someone else to an emergency.  He wanted to get out there and do something.  He was helping people, but not in the hands-on way he wanted to be.
This is how he decided he wanted to be a police officer.  After another lengthy application process and a difficult first month in the academy, things finally feel like they're falling into place.  Last night at dinner, he told me that he was starting to feel the same kind of brotherhood he felt with the USMC.  I could have cried right there at the dinner table, because I knew he'd finally found the missing piece.  The academy isn't always fun or easy, but he finally feels like he's where he needs to be.  He's finally found something that fulfills the void the Marine Corps left.
So, it's true that everything happens for a reason.  We both thought he was meant to be a firefighter, but the truth is, that wasn't his life path.  As unhappy as he was with 911, it's what he needed to point him in the right direction.
As long as he can stay healthy and injury-free, we'll be all set :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

There’s nothing quite like life’s guilty pleasures.  Here are a few of my most recent obsessions:
*Microwave popcorn:  I’ve been eating a ton of it lately, and not just any microwave popcorn- movie theater butter.  And because it’s so salty, it needs to be followed with something sweet.  Even better!
*HGTV:  I feel old, but I friggin’ love HGTV.  I’m desperate to get on Curb Appeal, but they’re only looking for people in San Francisco :(  I’m obsessed… shows about buying houses, selling houses, staging houses, remodeling houses.  I can’t explain it.  I own a home, but it’s not like I watch these shows and get super good ideas.  I’m not that handy.  But I do watch the shows and think, Can they come to MY house and do that?
*Sex and the City: With things so stressful during of the academy, I spend a lot of my alone time curled up in bed with the pups, getting lost in one of the seasons.  This is my happy place.  This is the thing I do for myself, to recharge, and to think of something besides work and the academy.  
*Fuggs: I refuse to spend money on real Uggs, and luckily there a lot of knockoffs to choose from these days.  My current obsession is the cable knit pair I got at Old Navy for $30.  They look exactly like a pair of real Uggs I’d been eyeing for a while.  True, they’re kind of goofy-looking and I feel like I’m wearing slippers to work, but they are SO warm and cozy that it’s worth it.
*Ke$ha: I used to hate her songs, especially because they’re so overplayed.  Then, one day, JD did a little dance to one of her tunes while we were in the car, and ever since then, I actually enjoy listening to some of her stuff.  It reminds me of my super-masculine husband bouncing around singing in a high-pitched voice.  Good times.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Letter to Citibank

Dear Citibank,

I. Hate. You.

Over the past few months, you have harassed me over 1 missed student loan payment and 2 payments made ON TIME.  Let’s put this in perspective.  The government gave you a 300 BILLION dollar bailout.  My student loan payment is $70 a month.  Um, really?

Let’s review the facts:

Two months ago I forgot to hit the submit button, so my payment didn’t go through.  It was an honest mistake, and it was the only late payment I’ve made in the 4 years I’ve had this loan.  Still, you felt the need to call me multiple times a day for 3 days until the payment went through.

One month ago, I made my online payment on the due date.  The following day, a pleasant woman called to say my payment was late and asked if I could make a payment over the phone.  When I pointed out that I had made a payment the day before, she checked my account and confirmed that the payment was pending.  (By the way, glad to see that you’re up to speed on technology; it’s 2011- your system doesn’t recognize pending payments before you start calling people?!)

Your representative then proceeded to insult me by asking “Is there any reason your payment was late this month?”

Excuse me?!  Last I checked, payments made ON THE DUE DATE, aren’t “late.”  I told her that, as politely as possible, and she informed me that online payments take 3 days to process.  Okaaaay.  If payments take 3 days to process and it’s so important to you that payments post by the due date, why wouldn’t you mention that somewhere on the website, BEFORE I schedule my payment?  

For fun, I made this month’s payment the day before the due date.  You didn’t disappoint.  You called me the day after the due date and left a voicemail urging me to call you back.  I did not.  I knew what it was about, I knew my payment was pending, and I knew our conversation would entail the same BS as last month.  

Check your system, quit calling me, and if you really need my $70 that badly, ask one of your executives.  I hear they have a couple million lying around.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Idiot Veto

If there’s one thing you can count on in America, it’s that we’re gonna to sue the crap outta each other.
That’s why my company makes you jump through hoops if you want to use a desk chair other than the one they provide.  I’ve been dealing with neck and shoulder tension for over 2 years, undoubtedly because I’m sitting in front of a computer all day.  After trying everything from chiropractors to massage therapy to switching desk chairs, I finally decided to request permission to use an exercise ball as a desk chair in an effort to help my posture and relieve my tension.  Luckily for me, my HR rep was totally cool with it.
After a week, I already noticed a drastic improvement (as in, completely pain free... the massages were helping, but I only felt relief for a week or 2 at a time), and my friend Rachel decided she wanted to convert as well.
Rachel and I don’t have the same HR rep, and unfortunately, she isn’t having the same kind of luck I did.  She submitted a request several weeks ago, and found out today that her request was escalated to someone else, then sent to legal.
It’s completely ridiculous to me that something as simple as a desk chair has to be a LEGAL ISSUE, but I assume they’re afraid if they “let” someone use a chair other than the expensive ergonomic one they provide, that person might hurt him or herself and sue them (side note: my current desk chair cost $10 and is the best thing I’ve ever used).
I can’t really blame them.  The sad thing is, I’m sure there are people out there who would fall off the exercise ball, decide it’s somehow the company’s fault, file a lawsuit, and due to some ridiculous legal loophole, win their case.
I suggest we pass some kind of “idiot veto law” that allows judges to throw out any lawsuit that they decide is a waste of time.  This would save the rest of us a lot of time and stress over things that shouldn't be a big deal (like desk chairs).  I would love to be a judge then.  I’d be all, “Get out of my court room and quit wasting my time.  Idiot veto.”
Note to my employer: If I fall off my chair/ball, I promise I’ll only blame myself.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Grass Is Always Greener...

Every year, I go through the same cycle.  I go home to Ohio sometime in the summer, enjoy the warm sunny days and cool evenings, remember how much I miss my family, and think, I could move home; it’s nice here.

Then winter comes, and something like this happens 

and my mom sends a text to say that it’s -9 or something ridiculous like that, and I remember why I moved here in the first place.  And, sorry to all you Midwesterners who are currently dealing with the crazy blizzard, but it’s going to be almost 70 here tomorrow.

True, our winters aren’t perfect.  We get a bit of snow and ice each year- it’s not 60 and sunny all the time or anything, but unlike Ohio, I don’t ever have to feel my own breath freezing to my nostrils.  For those of you who haven't experienced it- yes, it actually happens, and it's definitely NOT fun.

To me, NC weather is perfect.  True, the people around here go a little crazy when it snows (or really when the temps dip below freezing in general), but I've experienced enough nostril freezing to know that the climate here is just lovely.  

Only a few more weeks till I expect to be driving around with my windows down.  Don't be jealous :)