31 December 2007

I "Heart" Yoga

For Christmas, I bought myself the whole set of Yoga Journal's "Step-by-Step" DVD series with Natasha Rizopoulos.

I'm working on Step 1 which is about 20 minutes long but feels like 3 hours and 95 minutes.

But I'm not worried: Pretty soon I'll be saying "Is that all ya got?!" Then I can move on to Step 2 (see left). ~ jewls

30 December 2007

Holiday Military Spouse

This month's theme is: Holiday

Many military spouses will be spending New Year's Eve at home by the phone. Jenny's one of them...

Holiday Military Spouse

Holiday Military Spouse

26 December 2007

What did you get for Christmas?

I received the book/CD set of "Listening is an act of love: A Celebration of American Life" from the StoryCorps Project. I'm excited to get started reading it, as soon as I can find the time.

I already knew of this work but here are some online summaries for you, in case you're not sure what I'm talking about:

Since 2003, the StoryCorps project has recorded 15000 personal conversations between family members and friends."

Dave Isay founded StoryCorps, which has recorded the voices of over 29000 people recounting stories. "Listening Is an Act of Love" tells some of those..."

I started a similar project with my own mother, Lynne Harris, an Air Force spouse for twenty years who lived on three continents in over 20 homes and is a huge inspiration for my Air Force spouse-centric comic strip, Jenny.

Lynne is now is her 70s, has her Doctorate, and travels to
Kuwait on whims. When she suffered a mild stroke a few years ago, I realized it was time to record her story before it was 'too late'.

Even though I currently live in
Okinawa, Japan, I've been calling Mom every Sunday evening for the last year, letting her unravel her memories of life as a military spouse from the mid-1950s through the 1970s, recording every word. Once we've exhausted that subject, she wants to talk about her life growing up in rural northwest Arkansas with four siblings, going to a one-room schoolhouse, how she reacted to the feminist movement, and so on. This project will be gold to our family one day.

Needless to say, "Listening" is right up my alley. If you're interested in other people's stories, this experience is for you.

As Dave Isay says, "I'm inspired by real life. When you talk to the people who are serving you coffee at the local luncheonette or the people who shine your shoes, those are the stories that matter. They are so much more interesting than the stories that we're inundated with all the time."

~ jewls

Grinch documentary and Phil Hartman

Take a couple of minutes to check out this video on DRAWN!...

The great Phil Hartman hosts a mini-documentary on how "The Grinch" animated cartoon was made.

I love Dr. Seuss.

"One fish, two fish, green fish, blue fish" are words of wisdom we should all live by. Just saying it makes you want to skip merrily through the park.

25 December 2007

It’s never too early to start lamenting your New Year’s Resolutions

(I originally posted this blog at My Military Life on December 4th.)

One of my favorite cartoons currently circulating the Internet is from Mike Thompson of the Detroit Free Press. The cartoon depicts a house decorated for the three big Fall/Winter holidays, with a banner that says “Merry Thanksgivoween! Sept 1 thru Jan 1“.

With that scene in mind, I’ve decided it must also be time to start thinking about our new year’s resolutions - and this year we won’t overestimate our capabilities. If you’re anything like me and my husband, you’ve never once lost those fifteen pounds or made huge strides towards becoming ”The Queen of Organizing” like you’ve resolved every single year since you were married.

We’re already trying to do the right thing, healthwise. Our current plan is to be as unhealthy as possible…but only on weekends. We call our plan “Last Call Sundays/Fitness Mondays”.

We don’t drink anything stronger than wine so our “Last Call” involves pizza, donuts, soda, video games, staying up really really late, and never changing out of our pajamas, every Friday thru Sunday.

“Fitness Monday” involves getting up early and jumping on the treadmill, throwing in at least one yoga routine per day, and bringing salad back to the table…for the rest of the week.
It’s torture.

Which is why we’re not going to write any of that stuff down or “resolve” to do it.

Our resolutions will concern practical, everyday things we do that don’t make sense and we should stop doing them in the first place. I’ve only been able to think of one so far. It is as follows:

1. I will not buy the ugly Christmas cards from the clearance table at the BX this January. They are not charming and the reason they were marked down from $18.99 to .75 is clear…they’re ugly.

I bought four boxes last year to save money but, when I saw all of the cute, colorful, beautiful, sparkley, new cards on the shelves this year, I was too embarassed to send out my bargain cards with the weird fuzz and the glitter that was already falling off.

So now I have to go buy new ones and I’ve already wasted $3.00 (do the math) that could have gone into my slush fund for next week’s “Last Call Sunday”.

Resolutions are not for the weak; they’re hard to make and even harder to keep. But when I look at the amount of money I could be saving by staying away from January’s bargain bins in ‘08, I feel energized. I think I can do it. Especially if it means pizza at the end of the week.

~ jewls

24 December 2007

Life on a military base

Life on a military base is always interesting: people walk around in camouflage uniforms and flightsuits, everybody salutes each other, and you have to carry an I.D. card at all times.

Another fact of life is the daily playing of the national anthem. Every afternoon at around 4:30 or 5, the loudspeakers all across the base start to crackle... CRUNCH! BZZT! KRRZSCHHH! Ppht... and traffic stops.

Not a car moves. Pedestrians stand stock still, nobody even scratches.

We all face either the flag or the direction of the popping speakers, place our hands over our hearts, and listen to the national anthem playing above our heads. It is one of the most respectful and patriotic moments of our day, even if it does sometimes come at inopportune moments...


Holiday Shopping Anthem

How to wash a flightsuit

  1. Remove all patches, badges, pins, squadron coins, survival gear, money, pens, pencils, and leftover snacks from all thirty-seven pockets and/or velcro strips.
  2. Wash on gentle cycle to prevent "pilling" -- dry on low heat.
  3. Remove immediately and hang to prevent wrinkling.
  4. Don't forget to check your machines for missed items such as earplugs!