Archive for the ‘Navy’ Category

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The One About My Interview

Friday, January 16, 2009

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.
~Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

I really need to get back in the game. While I haven’t been posting much, I have been keeping up with everyone else’s blogs (thanks to Google RSS Reader!). So when Ivanhoe at From Ohio With Love asked her readers who wants to get interviewed, I thought it would be a good way to try to jump back into the swing of things. Thanks Ivanhoe!

Here we go! Ivanhoe is asking and I’m answering.

1. What have you been up to these last couple of months while neglecting blogging?

Yeah, I have been kinda neglecting it, haven’t I?  Well, I’ve been busy putting together my package to become a Direct Commissioned Officer (DCO) in the United States Navy Reserve.  More specifically, I’m putting in to become a Public Affairs Officer (PAO). It’s highly selective and usually 1-4 people are selected each year from a group of 2,400 (or so I was told by my recruiter). This year, however, they are selecting 19-24… so odds are 10x better… but they are still a 1 in 240 chance!

Anyway, it’s a long process with lots of paperwork, photos (to make sure I’d look good on camera) and the like. I also had to do interviews. Interviews with current/retired PAOs are the best and with as high-ranking as you can is even better.  I managed to get three interviews (only one was set up by my recruiter) with three PAO Captains. In fact, I was able to score–by myself–an interview with a Captain at the Pentagon. And yes, I flew to D.C. and actually interviewed at the Pentagon.

I’m also trying to lose about 10 pounds before I get weighed in (if I’m selected) and trying to do better physically. See… I can do a total of ONE military-style, proper push-up in two minutes. I need to be able to do at LEAST 15 but 19 would be better. I have to do AT LEAST 47 sit-ups, but 54 would be better.  And here’s the kicker: I have to run a 1.5 mile in less than 15:45… but 14:53 would be better.  I’m not a runner. Even when I was in the best shape of my life with about 7% body fat, I couldn’t run more than 1/2 mile without walking. Running will be the death of me.

So I’ve joined my gym’s “body boot camp” and it’s killing me… in the first week. Heck, we had to run/walk a 5K on Tuesday and I’m still feeling it. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything more than a 1.5 mile run EVER. And it took me 49:36 to complete… definitely needs improvement!

2. Can you give us an update on your three awesome dogs?

Dogs are fine. They are HATING the cold. This morning, we finally found a temperature that ensures Mr. Skah of-the-fuzzy-butt returns inside immediately after doing his duties outside.  That temperature would be -5 with a windchill of -25.  At that temperature, the fuzzy, fluffy puppy ceases to play “catch me if you can,” “I can run faster than you” and the most favored game of all: “I’m not coming in and you can’t make me.” It is at that temperature that we the humans don’t even have to go outside and encourage him in… he runs to the door himself.

Speaking of the fuzzy Great Pyrenees puppy, Skah will be turning ONE YEAR OLD next Wednesday. One year! I can’t believe it. He was 92 pounds back on Thanksgiving when we found out he was deaf (see previous post for that info) but two months later, I’m thinking he’s around 105 or so. We’ll get him weighed on his birthday to see.

Chase and Lulu, the Greyhounds, are hating the cold, too. Lulu is my snow puppy but the last few days of negative temperatures have made BOTH of the Greys hesitate to go outside and painfully limp back to the house immediately after doing what they need to do. The snow is so cold out there that it’s physically painful for them to walk on.

3. What book did you read recently and what it was about?

The most recent book was “Amazing Gracie.” It was written by one of the guys who founded Three Dog Bakery and was about the Great Dane puppy they got… who was deaf. It was because of this deaf puppy’s unique food preferences that they started the bakery. I got the book and read it when I was still trying to find more information about living with a deaf dog.  It’s a great read, though, even if you don’t have a deaf dog.

4. If you won a round-trip ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

Um, right now… anywhere warm. I’d love to take a vacation to a sunny, beachy place. Of course, I’d love to go somewhere where there was some great history and I could tour the area (a WARM area, of course). What’s warm right now? Is southern Spain warm? Really, anywhere where I’ll finally get the feeling back in my feet and my fingernails won’t be perpetutally purple.

5. What is the first thing you do when you come home from work?

The first thing I do is take the dogs outside. They haven’t peed in 8 hours, so they need to go! Then I generally sit on the couch and love on them and calm them down since they act like I’ve been gone an eternity.
Now if you’d like to be interviewed:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Easy, eh?  Get to it!

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The One About Losing Time

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Time is the only thief we can’t get justice against.
~Astrid Alauda

Things are crazy around here. I’m busy getting my Navy Reserve Officer package together. I can’t believe the board meets in only two months. I have been working out but the last two weeks I haven’t… working late, dogs been sick and now I have a nasty sinus infection.

We have decided that Skah, our now 10-month-old Great Pyrenees puppy, might be deaf. B has mentioned it to me before but I just chalked it up to him being not only a typical puppy (puppies don’t listen to you), but also a typical Pyr… Pyrs are insanely smart but also incredibly independent.  They tend to hear you, but decide whether it’s worth it to them to listen to you.

So we will be taking him to a canine hearing specialist soon to do some hearing tests. I hope the tests come back that he’s just being a typical boy, typical puppy and typical Pyr all in one… just not listening. B wanted to get him because he wanted a guard dog. He doesn’t think that a deaf Pyr can guard (I know he can, but it’s convincing B since Skah will sleep though people coming into the house at the moment… but that can be just sacked out puppy, too).

We went to the Navy Recruiting District Michigan’s awards dinner/training this past weekend. I enjoyed the down time (no dogs, could take naps, etc). The dinner/awards was a total disaster. It took several hours just to get seated because they didn’t have a good plan in place.  Not everyone got the dinner they had requested (ran out of steak) and the cake slices that were on the table the whole time had a thin, hard layer on top from being exposed to the air for too long.

I didn’t go to the Spouses’ Meeting because A. I’m not a spouse or even engaged and B. All I’ve been told about it is that the wives rant and b*tch about how many hours their husbands work (yes, I know some recruiters are female and therefore there are male spouses, but I’ve only heard that the wives are the ranters and ravers).

You know what? I do hate how many hours they work and how crazy it is.  But at the end of the day, your boyfriend/husband/spouse is still there with you in bed at night. It might not be until 10 p.m. or even midnight some nights, but he’s still there at night.  So really, what is there to complain about?  These recruiters aren’t being deployed for months at a time… we get cuddle with them in bed every night.  Yeah, I didn’t go because I wouldn’t have been able to listen to all the witching.

Unfortunately, with all that downtime last weekend, I think my immune system took a rest too and let a sinus infection in. I woke up Saturday morning with a slightly sore throat and by the time I sat down at the awards dinner that night, I felt that ominous pressure creeping up my face toward my forehead and back down the other side.

It didn’t help that up-and-coming rap star Big Sean had a music video being shot at my place of work yesterday and I ended up being outside in the sleet/snow/cold for three hours before the shoot moved inside. That and working 14 hours with only a 30 minute break to let the dogs out to potty at night (nope, didn’t get a lunch break… ate while I worked) didn’t help matters any, either.

So now I’m home from work today and am not going to make it in at all. I feel like I could take a drill to my face and drain the sinus crap myself.  Kill. Me. Now.

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The One About Trying to Join the Navy Reserve

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved.  He inspires the power and energy to get it done.
~Ralph Nader

I guess in my last post I mentioned something about Navy standards for the 1.5 mile run, sit-ups and push-ups.  You were probably wondering what I was talking about.

I have decided to pursue a Navy Reserve Officer commission.  I’m trying to get a Public Affairs Officer position, but my second choice is Intelligence.  It’s not going to be easy.  I was told they normally take one or two people out of about 2,400 applicants each year.  This year (FY 2009, which starts Oct 1), they are taking 20-24.  So my chances go from one in 2,400 to one in 100… pretty good odds.  Still hard, but I look at it as though I have 20 times more of a chance this year.

If I was granted this commission, I’d go for two weeks of training to learn military protocol (including how to put on military uniforms and press them).  Of course, there would be PT (physical training) during that time as well.  Afterward, I’d do the one weekend a month and two weeks a year thing.

I have a lot of things to do to get ready for trying to get the commission. I have to find people to give me excellent letters of recommendation and there are tons of forms and papers to fill out.  Then I have to be interviewed by two Navy Officers where they will ask me hard questions, off-the-wall questions, questions about the Navy and definitely questions about current events.

I have to show that I’m a leader, that I can inspire people and guide them to do great things.  I know I am a leader… I just have to prove it.  Wish me luck!

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The One About Orders

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happiness pulses with every beat of my heart.
~Emily Logan Decens

Guess what!!!!!!!!!!

I’m smiling so much I’m afraid I’m going to get permanent wrinkles… but I DON’T CARE!!

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The One about Being Unsuccessful

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Weird… I posted this a week ago and it never showed up…

Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.
~Woody Allen

Remember me? Probably not. If Woody is correct, I guess I haven’t really succeeded lately in the blogging world. It’s been way too long since I wrote anything. Summertime is just so busy because there is always something to do outside or someplace you want to go on the weekend so the week is full of catch-up on housework.

See, in Michigan, we get something like a month or two of nice weather before winter hits again. And we try to take advantage of it as much as we can. We have to soak up the heat whenever we can just so we keep ourselves warm for the next winter. I’m exaggerating… but just a bit. It’s been in the 90s the last few days with yesterday being 94 and HUMID—and of course, that was the day that I had to be outside for several hours. Word to the wise: the new sunscreen that sprays at any angle and is a “dry sunscreen” that is waterproof and sand resistant DOES NOT WORK if there is the slightest breeze. I have a randomly-patterned sunburn to prove it. I’m nice and tan where it went on and red and lobster-y where the wind blew it away from my skin.

Since my last post, B has completely moved in. I thought him helping share expenses would ease the burden of the rising cost of everything and help me relax a bit about bills. But so far it hasn’t because everything is still rising. I’m at the point where if an opportunity I’m looking into doesn’t work out, I’m going to have to find a part-time job waitressing or something on top of my 40-50 hour a week work schedule just to get some padding in the bank. Right now I have none… and that’s scary.

B and I also took two weeks of much-needed vacation. I’ve never had two weeks off before (well, since summer vacation when I was in middle school). Because of gas prices, we were unable to do the road trip we had planned (Texas to see B’s mom and St. Louis area to see his dad, brother, grandma and nieces). We ended up staying around here for a week and then going to see his family in the St. Louis area for a week. It was fine, but I think six days with anyone’s family (even mine) would be enough to drive anyone insane.

The window has opened for B’s chance to look for orders for next April. Apparently, the information is only available two weeks every so often and this week the person that he has to work with (forgive me for not knowing the proper terminology yet) to get the information/approval/website/code/something is on leave until Monday. We’re hoping at least one position in Washington is open next week but if it’s not, we’ll wait until the next time the orders are opened to look again… it’d probably be another month before it is. He has until October to choose orders. If he doesn’t, he’ll be given them and we both know what that means: Southern Georgia—because it’s closer by nearly 1,200 miles (so the Navy doesn’t have to pay to move him as far).

Keep your fingers crossed for Washington.

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The One About Winter and Leap Year Musings

Friday, February 29, 2008

February, when the days of winter seem endless and no amount of wistful recollecting can bring back any air of summer.
~Shirley Jackson

Why is it that people never cry, “Global Freezing!”? This has been the snowiest February on record and one of the coldest.  Yesterday, we got up to a high of 21… and our normal high is 20 degrees warmer than that!  I am really tired of this.  I keep telling myself that I only have one more winter left and since tomorrow is March, this winter is nearly done (though we can still get whollaped with a huge snow storm one week… but we usually have at least one 60 or 70 degree day in March).

Speaking of tomorrow being March, today is February 29, Leap Day and we won’t have another one for another four years.  Though I won’t be doing any leaping or hopping or jumping to celebrate it, it does make me think.

Four years ago, I was applying to a job at the nature center.  I’d start in the middle of March that year.  I had justcalendar-page.jpg graduated from college in December (3 1/2 years, yay!).  I would be moving down to Kalamazoo in April, where I am now. Now I’m working an world-renown aviation museum and I love my job.
Four years ago, my brother was a senior in high school.  Now he’s finished with his college education and has been scouted by Audi for their auto repair program.  He’ll be leaving for who knows where in the country (wherever they send him) in the next couple months.

Four years ago, my dad still had a year to live, though we didn’t know his heart was bad until days before he died.  Now, it’s been three years since he died and it seems both so far away and yet feels just like yesterday.

Four years ago, I only had one animal: Sadie, but was about to meet 4-week-old Jake and pick him out and take him home in April. Today, with my boyfriend, we have two Greyhounds, two cats, two Betta fish and one rat… and in three weeks, we’ll have a Great Pyrenees puppy.

Speaking of my boyfriend, four years ago I wasn’t dating anyone and now I’m in a relationship that I fully believe will go the distance.  Though I’ve dated here and there in four years, I really haven’t had a “serious” relationship since I was 20 and in college.

So much has happened in four years.  Makes me wonder where I will be in four years.

Four years ago, I was still only 21… four years from now, I’ll be a few months away from becoming 30.  Thirty?  I know it’s not old, but wow, my 20s have gone by so quickly.

In four years, B and I will be either in Georgia or Washington state… two completely different areas that will take our lives in opposite directions.  By the next Leap Year, we’ll have nearly completed his three year submarine duty rotation and will be getting ready for his three years of shore duty.  I doubt he’ll be a recruiter again, though.  Right now, he’s thinking of becoming an instructor for that shore rotation.

In four years, Chase will be 12 1/2… if he’s still around and Lulu will be 6 years old… just a few years away from being considered a “senior.”  And the Pyr puppy who is right now approaching 6 weeks old will be just over 4 years old… a solid adult at that time.  Sadie will be 11 and Jake will be a senior cat at 8.  Both the Bettas and the rat will be long gone by then.  But will there be any other animals?  Will I finally get back to my roots and have a horse once again?

In four years, there is a better-than-average chance that I’ll be a mom.  Will I be a mom who works outside the home, or a stay-at-home mom?  Honestly, if finances can work it, I’d love to either work from home or only work part-time.  But who knows… that’s four years from now.

Four years seems like such a long ways off… yet, the previous four years has flown by so quickly, so it can’t be as far off as it seems.  That’s one of the wonders and the best things about life… it’s constantly changing and you just never know where you will be or what will be happening from one year to the next.

So what about you?  What has happened in the last four years?  Where do you see yourself in the next four? I challenge each of you who are reading this to post your own Leap Year Musing and leave a link to it in my comment section.

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The One About Mom’s Visit

Monday, February 25, 2008

My mom is a neverending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being. I may sometimes forget the words but I always remember the tune.
~Graycie Harmon

So B went to Bangor Naval Base in Washington to study for his next rank exam. It’s a good thing he was able to go, too, because he just texted me and told me there was going to be some new material on the test that is completely alien to him. It’s too bad he can’t take some more time off (he was going to but they “lost” his request… twice).

I’m also disappointed (read: really disappointed) that they lost his extra time request because I was going to go out there and see him. I have never been to Washington and haven’t had a vacation now in almost two years. Oh, I’ve had days off… six weeks last year for illness, including my tonsillitis/strep throat and subsequent tonsillectomy. Plus the two times I’ve been sick already this year (5 days total… stupid steroids they put me on last June are still lowering my already-compromised immune system). Can’t wait to get done with the 12 months after steroids… only two more months to go. So yeah, lots of time off… but no vacation.

*sigh* So I’ve told B that we are going to have to set a date for going on an actual vacation and get his chit in months ahead of time… and GO. I just really need something to look forward to. I think I’m going to suggest to him that we go see his mom in Texas (whom I haven’t met and he hasn’t seen in a while) and just do a long roadtrip and do some sightseeing along the way. We’d just have to decide if we wanted to take the dogs or not (two Greyhounds and a Great Pyrenees puppy). Hmm… not sure about that one!

Anyway, my mom decided to come over and visit me.  Actually, I think she was very lonely because even after I moved away to college, my brother was 4 years behind in school and then spent three years at school in Ohio… but he’d come home virtually every weekend.  He’s been in an Audi training school since October and has only been home once at Christmas.  I hadn’t seen her since Christmas, either, so I’m pretty sure she was missing her kids.  So I said sure, come on over!

We ended up doing a lot of cleaning and stuff, so that was good.  I still have a lot more to do, but the kitchen is out of the way… and that’s what has been holding me up.

But it was good to see her… I want to see her as much as I can before B and I move.  I’m very close to her and it’ll be hard being away.