Thursday, March 31, 2011

Student Drivers

At this point, JD’s academy class has survived law classes, SCAT (Subject Control and Arrest Techniques), getting pepper sprayed, and shooting.  It seems as though the hard part is over, but there are still some unexpected surprises.  
This week they’re doing driving courses, which is something I’d never stopped to consider that a police officer might need training on.  I mean, driving is something everyone over the age of 16 knows how to do, but I guess most haven’t practiced speeding down alleyways or anything :)
Surprisingly, the driving course is one of the most difficult parts of the academy, and yesterday, the first of their classmates was “let go,” (as opposed the others who’ve quit) because she failed the driving course.  JD took it hard- they’re like a little family now, and to lose someone now that they’re already halfway done was a devastating blow.
Their driving test consisted of a precision course laid out with orange cones.  They had to complete it in a certain time limit without knocking down too many cones, and they had to pass the course at both day and night.  Anyone who didn’t pass the course was out of the academy… and a job, which means 3 months of hellish training for nothing.
Although the driving course marks the first “firing” they’ve seen, it doesn’t mean that they’re not constantly being tested both academically and physically.  They have tests at least once a week, and the pressure of “pass or go home” always lingers.
Yesterday was a reminder that there’s still a lot of work left and it’s not over till they graduate in July, but JD is kicking ass just like I knew he would, so I have no worries that he will be getting his badge in a few months.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Laughing Is Good For You

Had to share because these are hilarious.  I wish I could take credit for writing them, but it wasn't me.  In fact, I don't know who wrote them because they came to me in an email forward.  Enjoy!

1.     I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.
2.     More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.
3.     Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
4.     I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?
5.     Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
6.     I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.
7.     The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.
8.     Do you remember when you were a kid playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.
9.     There is a great need for sarcasm font.
10. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the fck was going on when I first saw it.
11. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.
12. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
13. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
14. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
15. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.
16. A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.
17. Was learning cursive really necessary?
18. Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".
19. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
20. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.
21. Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".
22. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?
23. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)...ummm...Goonies"
24. What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?
25. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.
26. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
27. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
28. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
29. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
30. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
31. Bad decisions make good stories
32. Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!
33. Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every year?
34. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.
35. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....
36. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
37. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.
38. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to fall after leaning your chair back a little too far.
39. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
40. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'
41. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?
42. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
43. When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
44. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
45. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...
46. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
47. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
48. I think that if, years down the road when I'm trying to have a kid, I find out that I'm sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.
49 Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.
50. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...
51. It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.
52. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.
53. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than with Kay.
54 The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimate d that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweet 16

Tonight I'm doing something I very rarely do- watching basketball.

You see, I'm from Ohio.  I was raised on Ohio State Football.  Basketball was just the sport they used to get you through winter while you were waiting for football to come back.  Don't get me wrong, I'll watch pretty much any sport, but basketball just isn't my favorite.

It was quite a shock to move to NC, where they couldn't care less about football.  I'm in ACC territory now; this is a basketball state. They take the NCAA tournament (and their brackets) very seriously.

In an unusual turn of events, Ohio State is the #1 overall seed for this year's tournament, and if UNC and Ohio State both win tonight, we'll play each other in the next round.  I would love a chance to rub an Ohio State victory in the face of the UNC fans in the area (let's be honest, this chance may not present itself again... ever).

I would also like to share that I had to ask JD to sit down and watch the game with me.  Backwards, I know.  JD likes sports, but prefers action sports.  Pretty much, if there's not a huge risk of death, it's just not that interesting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Academy Update

JD's academy class is spending most of this month at the range doing shooting and driving techniques. Because these classes aren't taught by his usual instructors, the atmosphere is much more laid back.  He doesn't have written tests and homework like his other courses, so he's free to actually enjoy his evenings.  He's even been getting out of work early, and I don't just mean earlier than normal.  I mean like 3:30 in the afternoon early.  

We've been given the gift of time.

Last night we took advantage of the beautiful weather (mid 80's and sunny yesterday!) and went for a motorcycle ride, then grabbed dinner on the patio at our favorite local restaurant.  We sat, soaked up the warm spring air, laughed, and talked about things other than the police academy.   

Not that the past 3 months have been horrible, but they haven't been easy either.  The best way to sum up is to say that it's been a lot of work.  JD has the work of the academy.  I have the work around the house.  We both have the work of not neglecting each other when we're focused on so many other things.

He has a week and a half left at the range, then it's back to regular academy life. Back to long hours, lots of homework, unforgiving instructors, and stress.  There's no denying that the transition back will suck, but by then he'll be halfway done.  I can't wait to watch him get his badge.  I'm so proud of him already.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Catching Up



Sorry if you've missed me this past week.  I feel like a broken record, but it's true- we're busy!
Anyway, here's a recap of what's been going on.
Painting the kitchen has been put on hold for another week.  I know I promised pictures of the completed project this weekend, but JD isn't feeling well today, and I need his help to move the appliances so I can finish up.  I can't say I'm completely disappointed because it means we can actually have a relaxed Sunday.    Hopefully we'll finish up next weekend (for real this time).
My company has instituted a "Social Hour" every Friday at our corporate office (10 minutes away from my office).  The invitation said, "snacks and beverages will be provided, including beer, wine and soda."  I think we were all a little floored when we saw that.  Beer and wine?  At a company event?  For REAL?!  Most people in our office are hesitant.  Not only are people in a hurry to get home on Friday, but the stigma surrounding anything happening at corporate is "stuffy."  I had visions of making small talk with executives in business suits over a very small glass of wine.  But, after a very long work week, a couple friends and I decided to check it out anyway.  We felt a little conspicuous as we walked through the doorway, because almost everyone there was from the corporate office, but any hesitation we had was quickly dissolved when we saw the fridge stocked full of beer and the bottles of wine sitting on the counter.  The NCAA tournament was on, the mood was light, and there wasn't a business suit in sight.  We will definitely be attending again, and spreading the word around our office :)
Yesterday morning around 7am, I was happily snuggled up in bed when JD shot up and announced, "we're late!"
"It's Saturday," I replied, thinking he thought he was late for work.
"No!  The REI sale is today!"
He was right, REI (outdoor store) was having a big sale for their "members" that included huge discounts for camping and hiking gear.
"Do we have to go?" I asked, pulling a pillow over my head.
"Well, we paid for the membership, and there's stuff we need," he reminded me.
So, we dragged ourselves out of bed and got in the long line of people, a lot of whom had camped outside the store.  We sat in line, chatting with the people next to us until about 8:30 when they handed out numbers.  We were 117th in line.  They opened the doors at 10, and we were invited to browse the garage sale area at 10:30.  Most of the bigger items we really needed were already gone, like sleeping bags and a new backpack, but David got some new workout clothes and I got a pair of Five Fingers (also known as "toe shoes") for $40.
A little background on Five Fingers: David has been wearing these for a couple of years and swears by them.  They look goofy, but there have been a lot of studies that say going barefoot is better for you (think about it, at the beginning of time, did we wear shoes?).  He has had 2 major knee reconstructive surgeries, but says that he has little to no pain after running in his Five Fingers whereas regular running shoes do bother him.
After trying them on, I admit that they are super comfortable.  He wears his all the time, but I will probably only wear mine for hiking and walking the dogs.
And my final piece of news is that we finally got rid of our crappy point and shoot camera and upgraded to a Digital SLR.  It was nearly impossible to get a good picture on our old camera, and we've both been wanting a new one for a while.  We're still learning how to use it, but here are some of the pictures we've taken while playing around.

As you can see, we're still having trouble growing grass.  But the tree is pretty!

Sadie is trying to figure out what's going on.
Boyd looking lost.
Love this action shot of Harrier.  He always looks so happy when he's playing in the yard.



Monday, March 14, 2011

What Genius Came Up With This?

Wallpaper is possibly the worst invention ever.  It was most likely created by someone who was too lazy to paint.  This person was probably quite proud of himself until he wanted to change what was on the walls and finally realized what a pain it was going to be to remove it.
The previous owners of my childhood home loved 2 things: 1970’s d├ęcor and… wallpaper.  Seriously, everything in the house was red, orange, and/or brown, and the sunroom, kitchen, bathroom, and third bedroom were all covered in hideous 70’s inspired wallpaper.  In fact, I think the kitchen had 4 layers of it.  I remember watching my parents remove the lovely orange and red wallpaper from our third bedroom.  Even at the age of 7, I thought to myself, that doesn’t look like fun.  I’m never going to buy a house with wallpaper.
And I’ve stuck to that.  Sort of.  When JD and I first started looking at houses, I rejected a house JD liked simply because every single room was covered in wallpaper… and then we found our house.  We loved the layout, the location, the fenced in yard, the size of the kitchen, and although we knew there were a few things we wanted to update, it was exactly what we were looking for… minus the wallpaper border in the 3 bathrooms and the kitchen.  I didn’t like the borders, but I knew I couldn’t pass up a house just because of that.
I recently decided that I wanted to take on the project of painting the kitchen.  Due to JD’s hectic schedule, I knew that this would be a solo project.  Since he had done the border in the half bath downstairs while I was at work one day, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into.
I started last Sunday, thinking I could easily get everything done in one day.  What I soon realized is that I could have easily gotten the painting done in a few hours, but the wallpaper border was on a completely different level.
My first mistake was that I didn’t get a steamer.  I was using that goopy spray stuff and trying to scrape it off.  So I would spray the goop on a section, wait 20 minutes, dig up a corner, and peel back a couple inches (if that).  This had to be done twice, because the top layer and bottom layer needed to be sprayed and peeled separately.  It took me several hours to get a quarter of the room done.  I finally gave up and started painting, which, as expected, I easily finished (minus the part that still had the border) in a few hours.
This weekend, after only a few minutes of the goop and peel technique, I decided it was time to look into a steamer.  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could buy a highly rated one for $50- well worth the investment to finish the kitchen and (eventually) the 2 other bathrooms.  Shortly after lunch on Sunday, I filled up the steamer and crossed my fingers that it would be everything I dreamed.  I carefully steamed the first section, grabbed a corner of the paper and…. ripped an entire section off at once.  I was amazed... and a little angry.  Where was this tool last weekend?!  
I still had to do the top layer and the bottom layer separately, but didn’t really care since I was getting sections off at a time, rather than goopy pieces.  I spent about the same amount of time on the wallpaper border yesterday as I did last weekend, but the difference is that I completely finished the room this weekend.  I even had time to finish painting the section near the ceiling, but decided to hold off till next weekend anyway.
Until then, you’ll have to patiently wait for the before and after pictures :)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Things I Just Don't Get


Remote controls for car stereos.  What car is so big that you can’t reach the stereo from the driver’s seat?
Co-workers who don’t answer emails… ever.  How are you still employed?!  And what is it that you do all day?
Customer Service reps who are rude to me.  Ummm, I’m YOUR PAYING customer; aren’t you supposed to kiss my a**?!
Why the cutest shoes have to hurt so bad.
How my office can be an igloo one day and a sauna the next.
People who drive their convertibles around with the windows down, but don’t bother to put the top down.  What a waste!
Why people assume that everyone out at the bar is single.  I may be married, but I still like to go out with my girls and dance.  On two separate occasions, a guy has hit on me and exclaimed, “What are you doing out?!” after I reply that I’m married.  My husband let me off my leash for the evening.  Get over it.
Why some of our most important workers (military, teachers, and public safety) aren’t paid more.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What I'm Not Giving Up For Lent

As I was scanning my Facebook news feed yesterday, I came across a friend’s status that horrified me.  “Giving up Facebook for Lent.  See you all in a few months!”
Um, what?!  This is FACEBOOK we’re talking about.  Who gives up FACEBOOK?!  How would you stalk the people that you kinda sorta remember from way back when and only have on your friends list now so you can keep up with their ridiculous statuses?!
I actually respect her decision a lot.  I immediately texted her about it (because she’s one of my best friends and I needed to make sure she wasn’t giving up her phone too!) and she told me that she feels she wastes too much time on Facebook and she wants to use the time when her daughters are napping to do a Bible study.  So, good for her, but I’m definitely not tempted to try it :)

I admit that I’m a Facebook addict.  I have a smartphone so I login a couple times a day to peruse my news feed and make sure I wasn’t tagged in any embarrassing pictures (I mean, really, now that they’re appearing right at the top of your profile page, you have to be careful :) ).
Still, there are quite a few things about Facebook that I could do without.  Thanks to the internet and social network sites, we are a generation of over-sharers.  I’m guilty of it too (obviously, since I regularly blog about the walking adventure that is my husband), but there are some things that just go overboard for me.  Here are my biggest FB status pet peeves:
1.       TMI.  I don’t need to know every detail about your day.  I don’t need to read about the nasty details of your recent breakup.  I don’t need to hear about your family drama.  There are such things as “personal” and “private”... even when it comes to Facebook.
2.       Leaving vague, cryptic messages that demand attention and comments from a zillion people.  Whether you're trying to attract the attention of a specific person or a bunch of people, there’s no need to be all “sneaky” about it and post it to Facebook.  Grow up, people.  
3.       Leaving a status where you attack someone indirectly, hoping they’ll see it. If you’re that mad at someone, why are you still friends with them on FB in the first place?  And why would you want your personal drama out there for the world to see?  There’s a private message feature for a reason.  Please use it.
Thanks, and let's use Facebook responsibly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

If You Experience Shortness of Breath...

It happened. 
My desk phone rang at work.  The caller ID displayed JD’s cell number.  He NEVER calls me during the day because they’re so busy, so I immediately knew something wasn’t right.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, alarmed.
“I’m having trouble breathing, so they’re sending me home.  I have a doctor’s appointment later,” he replied.
“Do you want me to come pick you up?” I asked, worried about him driving himself.
“No, they’re having someone drive me.”
So, I talked to my supervisor (who, luckily, is very understanding) and left to meet JD at home.  I didn’t want him to be alone at the house if he was having trouble breathing, and I wanted to be home in time to drive him to his appointment.
He told the doctor that he’d been coughing the past few days, and that he’d starting feeling a tightness in his chest that morning, along with some nausea.  The chest tightness got worse when they were doing something active or when he was stressed, which made it difficult to breathe.
“Well, we want to rule out an angina attack,” she said.
I felt my body tense.  His HEART?!  I’d considered many scenarios throughout the afternoon, but that was certainly not one of them.
However, once she listened to his lungs, she quickly diagnosed him with bronchitis, saying he “wasn’t moving air properly.”  She prescribed 2 inhalers and told him he didn’t have to take any time off since he probably wasn’t even contagious anymore.
What JD didn’t tell me till later was that his instructors had sent him to the nearby fire station earlier in the day so they could check him over and make sure it didn’t have to do with his heart.  I’m glad he didn’t tell me that earlier because that would have sent me into a panic for the rest of the afternoon.
So all is well and he’s back at work... just in time for pepper spray day....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

All By Myself

Sigh.

I miss JD, almost as if he wasn’t around at all.  Whether he’s prepping his uniform, studying, or passed out in recovery mode, his life is all academy, all the time.  I’m not mad at him (I mean, he can’t help how much is required of him), but I am a little mad as his instructors- not because I think the work is unreasonable or unexpected, but because I just want to be mad at someone.
Yesterday was the first day of redman, and thanks to his USMC training, his first battle was a success, minus a few rookie mistakes, which left him vulnerable to a few shots to the face.  There was no visible bruising, but when I looked closely, I could see his right eye was slightly puffy.
He was drained both physically and mentally, and he waddled around the house like a severely arthritic 80 year old.  “I’m not studying tonight,” he announced.  “I want to go to bed early.”  I was thrilled as visions of us lying in bed with a movie entered my mind.  I even let him pick the movie.
After dinner, prepping his uniform, and a shower, we got in bed.  As I set my alarm, I told him he could start the movie.  “You can watch what you want,” he replied.  “I’m just going to pass out anyway.”  I looked at the clock.  It was 9:11.  As promised, it was only a few minutes into the movie before he was sound asleep next to me, so I turned off the movie and watched HGTV instead… by myself… in the darkness.
So I guess the academy wins again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Turn Around and Put Your Hands Behind Your Back

JD's academy class has started S.C.A.T. training (Subject Control and Arrest Techniques).  Much like the nights I've helped quiz him for written tests, I'm helping him practice his arrest and cuffing techniques.  There's a lot more to it than slapping cuffs on someone and calling it a day.  They have to ensure the suspect is standing in a way that won't allow them to escape or fight back, while being prepared to cuff quickly and fight back themselves.  I can now tell you from personal experience that getting arrested isn't fun.  It's awkward, intimidating, and the cuffs actually kind of hurt (we even cut up old socks to protect my wrists since he had to take them on and off so many times). 

The handcuffing procedures are on not-so-physically-demanding end of the spectrum when it comes to S.C.A.T.  On Friday, JD is getting pepper sprayed, which he is understandably dreading.  They do this so that the recruits fully understand what they're putting someone through before they choose to use their pepper spray on someone, which makes sense, but doesn't make it fun.  He's been told that they will feel the pepper spray react more than just when they're initially sprayed- including when they shower later.  I feel really bad for him- all of them really- but am not dreading that as much as the infamous "redman," which is when their instructor dresses up in one of those big, full body, foam suits and essentially beats the crap outta them.  And no, the recruits don't get any protective gear.

This is another "I understand the point but it doesn't make it suck any less" moment.  Police officers have to be prepared to fight for their life, no matter the circumstances they're faced with, which is why their training is so intense.  Of course the instructors don't WANT to hurt them, but they don't want to go easy on them either, so injuries do happen.  Apparently, the last academy class saw several broken bones, including broken ribs, and one guy was injured so badly that he wasn't able to complete the academy and had to start over with the next class.  Given JD's history of injuries, I have a bad feeling that I will be one of the lucky spouses receiving a call that my recruit is in the hospital.

I have 3 major fears.  1.  He will get injured.  2.  He will get injured so badly that he will have to start the academy over again (the second time around would be a little easier, I'm sure, but I really miss my husband and would hate losing an extra 2 months of our marriage to the academy).  3.  He will get injured so badly (say, if they go for his bad knee) that he can't be a police officer at all.  As much as starting the academy over would suck, I know how upsetting it would be if he had to give up his dream completely- especially at this point.

So, for the next few weeks, I will consider no news good news, and my first question when he calls me at the end of the day will be, "Are you in one piece?"  I will hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and be thankful of every day that brings us closer to the end :)