Monday, April 3, 2017

So proud!

My daughter has been borrowing my camera and photographing the games of her rugby team. This morning I was in DEEP work avoidance mode, and flipped through the latest batch she had posted online for her teammates to see. This picture of one of her teammates makes me so proud, for many reasons...

First, because my daughter has been sidelined with a significant injury, and there is nothing she hates more than standing on the sidelines. Taking the camera to games is a great way for her to contribute and be involved with her team. I am proud of her for persevering.

Second, because if you look past the fierce expression and mud stains, you can see...mascara. That's why, despite my worries, I love this sport and the girls that play it. They are tough, they tackle, they get knocked down, a lot. But they aren't afraid to also be girly.

Third, because it makes me proud that teenage girls in 2017 can be socially ambidextrous. Being athletic, kicking butt at high level math, and being on the Homecoming Court are not mutually exclusive. It's been a joy to see my girl grow - too fast sometimes - and I can't wait to see where the big wide world will take her.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

It's the Law (or It Should Be)

On the first warm sunny days of Spring, while you are driving, you MUST play music loudly while all your car windows are down.  MUST.

When I was deployed, the only time I was truly alone and in control of volume was on the drive from the main part of base around the airfield to where the control tower/my office was located. I played music as loud as I could stand it, just shy of harmful to my hearing. The drive was about one song long, and the right song could cure a lot -- and reset my attitude to positive. My squadron loved to tease me about it, because it was so loud they could hear the words to the song as I pulled up to the tower.  They even played my favorite (Pink's So What) at my change of command. Bless them.

In the super normal and benign world I live in now, I forgot that blasting the music with the windows open on those first warm sunny days is so awesome. And even more fun when your son is in the passenger seat helping to pick the tunes :-)

It should be the law - do it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Power of Snail Mail

I recently helped a dear. dear friend with her Mom's house after her Mom died suddenly. It was kind of the opposite of a typical girls weekend, but being with her to help and feeling like I could cut down the long list of tasks made me happy.  

I turned my OCD-like sensibilities towards her Mom's desk. And as I sorted through all the paper work that builds up in living a life - bills, receipts, bank statements - I found many letters and cards written from my friend to her Mom. Her Mom had kept them all. We also found many pictures, programs, change of command invites, and other momentos from my friend's Air Force career, all the way back to her graduation from the Academy.

We do so much electronically now that we forget the impact of a card or written note. These pieces of paper formed a bridge between my friend and her mom as her career took her around the world, and in keeping them all her Mom showed the pride and love she had for her daughter.

Other than Christmas cards I can't think of the last time I sent a note or card to anyone. It's time to break out the box of blank cards gathering dust on my desk and let people know I love them lots. :-)

Sunday, March 5, 2017

It's About Choice, Right?

Beloved, wonderful, impossibly well grounded Emma Watson is being called out as a "bad feminist" because of pictures that accompanied her profile in Vanity Fair.  Apparently after this photo was posted to the Vanity Fair Instagram page, the internet went to town "claiming this photo undermined her fight to diminish the gender wage gap and that she was being hypocritical by baring her body while still touting notions of female equality." (source)

I thought feminism was about choice, and making sure that women had the freedom to make choices - what ever they might be - without limitation.  Why does what you wear make a difference? I know this is something that women struggle with all the time - being taken seriously in the work place and in many other aspects of their lives. The last thing we need to do is pick on someone who is actually doing an exceptional amount of good work on women's behalf.

For a really great perspective on femininity and feminism, check out the awesome blog Femme Feminism.  The writing is excellent and covers a gamut of issues, "personal essays about the intersection of femme and feminist with our monthly themes, historical examinations of fashion production and design within a feminist context, and yes, posts that show off our favorite pair of jeans." 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Avoid the Wait

I work in an office building that has a food court on the first floor. I actually have to walk through the food court to get from the metro or parking to my office. This makes getting that much needed second cup of coffee so easy. There are a couple places with coffee, but the busiest spot is naturally the Starbucks. And from 8ish to 10ish there is always a line, at least 10 people deep. Apparently they are all people who commute to work with enough time to linger in line - I do not. I am never early to work. "People!" I want to shout, "there is an app for that!" And it works like a charm.

I wouldn't consider myself a super techie person, but if there is an app or any way to automate any administrative function of my life, I am all over it. Starbucks, Chipotle and anyplace that always has a line and has an app - yes! Papa Johns and other places that let me customize my order to ensure everyone in the family is happy - yes! Automated re-filling of my metro card so I don't have to use the weirdly complicated machines at the station - yes! Pre-paid parking so I don't have to circle endlessly or scare myself in a parking garage with a really low ceiling - yes!

Automate and then you can enjoy one of my favorite activities - walking to the front of the line and collecting the coffee that is ready and waiting for you.

NOTE:  I am not a paid endorser of these companies :-)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Private Isn't Private

This morning I came across an article in the Washington Post, "The New Political Battleground: Your Restaurant Receipt." The topic of the article isn't my point (everything in DC is a "new political battle ground", ugh!)  but this quote from the restaurant owner got my attention:

"...isn't sure who shared the image with the media after his wife posted a photo of the receipt to her private Facebook page. But it's been difficult for his business ever since."

How can anyone possibly think anything posted any where online is private?  Even if something is marked private, anyone with a tiny bit of computer skills can take a screen shot and repost.  If you read any news at all, you often find quotes and pictures pulled off of Facebook and other social media sites.  Journalists don't have to work hard anymore to get a source or an actual quote - it's all out there.

This is not a rant about the state of privacy and the impact of social media.  I like sharing pictures and seeing the adventures and families of my extended network of friends.  I like making connections that can help the world in any small way.  I like having a place to write.

But please, please, please  stop and think before you hit "post."

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Travel Bug

(source - and another great place to visit)

My current obsession is an upcoming trip over my kids' spring break. Like many of our travel adventures, it starts with an idea, something cooked up over dinner or during a long car ride. I say, "Let's just get to (the location) and then we'll figure it out from there" but my family knows me better than that. Before they know it I have made reservations, booked trains and rental cars, and have figured out a "rough" itinerary.  

They tease me about how much I am like my mother, a women who writes out itineraries with meal plans and dress codes, but I don't mind. My mother was born and raised in Ohio in the house that her mother was born and raised in. I am convinced she found my father especially attractive because he was a Navy man, and she would never, ever, live in the same mid-western town. My brother and I saw so much of the US and many other countries because of my Mom and her wanderlust. I wouldn't trade the memories with my Mom, Dad and brother for the world. My Mom still travels tons - she off on a Panama Canal cruise this spring.

This spring break is a perfect confluence of kids off of school, actual vacation for my husband (as an airline pilot you bid for time off and you get what you get) and my desire to cram as much family time as possible into my kids lives before they head off to college and adult life.  I. CAN'T. WAIT. 

If you are thinking of taking a trip to a dream location and work or schedule or other things are holding you back, I implore you to just do it!