Monday, January 28, 2008

I'll Buy Your Time for a Quarter

So very many things to write about and no time to put them into words.

June Cleaver has definitely taken the reigns now that school has started. If I'm not in class, I'm working. If I'm not studying, I'm cleaning. If I'm not cleaning, I'm cooking. I feel very accomplished yet very drained by the end of the day. Hence the purchase of an espresso machine today. God help us all.

For now it's back to Psychology and correlations and finding standard deviations. This class should come with a warning, "ATTENTION MATH PHOBICS: DANGER!"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Busy Work

Seven am wake up call. Shower, get ready, bundle, bundle, bundle. Go to listening. Go to counseling. Eat lunch on campus WHILE studying for economics. Sit through econ. Practically DIE in relaxation. Come home. Write blog. Change clothes. Go to work. Come home again. Clean, clean, clean. Read two chapters for philosophy about some rabbit and duck. Go to bed. Sleep.


If I have any hair left on my head by the time semester is done it will be a miracle.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

First Day of School

The first day of classes has come and gone. I'm already exhausted.

The alarm went off this morning at 7 am. Well at least I think it did. I very vaguely remembering hitting the snooze button once or twice. It didn't sink in that the alarm was actually going off and it was time to rise and shine until 7:45. Good thing I set three alarms and didn't have class until 9:05.

I ran out the door a short time later and made my way to my first listening class. Last semester I had the same professor for my speech class so I was fairly comfortable with what the first lecture would be like. As he stood in front of the class telling us how listening will make us a better lover I resisted the urge to laugh. I'm well aware that being a married 21 year old student I should be mature enough to not laugh at his concept, but at 9 am it was a struggle. I bit down on my tongue and tried to focus. Although I may have been able to prevent the fit of giggles from exiting my mouth I'm not certain I was able to hide the amusement on my face.

After listening I had a short break and was able to return home and eat lunch. I walked in the door around 11 to find J.R. still sleeping in bed. That must be nice. After a quick bite to eat I once again drove back to school, found a parking space, and began a quest to find my next class. I'm not going to lie, I am terrified of economics and was nervous about walking into class. In high school I was able to avoid taking this class as I was SURE I wanted to go into music education when I grew up and I just couldn't possibly see WHY I had to take this course. Bad idea. I'm probably the only student who has absolutely no background in the topic which leaves me feeling lost. By the end of class I had a thirty page chapter to read and understand by Thursday. I spent a good hour and a half tonight reading, rereading, and still saying "huh?" I'm suddenly faced with graphs and positive correlations and x and y and yuck. Someone remind me why I'm a business major. I haven't seen these terms since the fall of 2004 and I'm rusty. I have a math phobia and to make matters worse there are no calculators allowed in class (Would this be a good time to admit that I can't remember how to do long division? Sad, I know.). I think I'm going to die.

After econ I ran to the other end of campus for my relaxation class. After reading the syllabus I realized we would be writing three papers for the class. That doesn't sound very relaxing to me. I've decided now that all of the PE classes are named incorrectly (ex: aerobic dance=Pilate's on crack). Relaxation should really be called "Stress Management Techniques: A Guide to Time Consuming Crap." I have such a positive attitude.

With my relaxation class done and over I quickly ran home and ate dinner. With dinner being inhaled I once again returned to school and attended my first general psych class. This class is being held in a small auditorium in the library. When you walk into the room you are greeted by the lovely colors of burnt orange carpet and eggshell walls. Watch your step! That's right... the floor is slanted downward. The desks are ghetto fabulous with chairs that are connected to the table. This means you get ten inches to slide your body into the seat and are left smashed against the desk for the entire THREE HOUR LECTURE. Was this some cruel method of keeping students awake back in the day? I could understand the location of this class if it was a lecture with a large number of students. I think there are about fifty of us and there are many more comfortable classrooms available on campus at 5:45 pm. Why they choose this one is a mystery to me. Aside from the uncomfortable room the class is wonderful. I even get to be a guinea pig in an experiment as part of the requirements for the class.

Ignoring the subjects I am studying this semester, I am very excited to have classes that are full of older students. Last semester I felt very separated from my peers which left a bit of an empty feeling in my college experience. This semester I am surrounded by older students who have a little more life experience and a lot more focus. It's refreshing. I only had to have the "omg you're married?!" conversation once today. It's nice not to feel as secluded from the flock.

As for now I'm off to complete a precourse examination for psychology and then it's time for bed. Tomorrow brings another day of classes.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Recognition. I can't think of a single person who doesn't enjoy being recognized for a job well done. It is such a great feeling when your boss, a teacher, or a family member takes the time to say "wow, I'm really impressed." It's the one time when having your cheeks flush with color is a good feeling. But as with all positive things that we strive to achieve, there is always a negative backlash that is lurking in the wings.

Sometimes you pour your heart and soul into a project only to be squashed afterwards. It's a horrible feeling. Your stomach turns into a bottomless pit and the emotional roller coaster begins. At first you are speechless. Your mind works quickly to attempt to understand what just happened. Finally your voice kicks in and you have to stop and say, "Excuse me? I don't understand..." The next emotion is often anger. Anger towards the party who should be praising a job well done. Then the tears come and bring a wave of frustrating pity for yourself followed by the endless questioning of "What could I possibly have done differently?"

I'm having one of those nights. The night where no matter what I say or do it's just not right. I didn't push myself hard enough. I find myself having more and more of these days lately. I have to stop replaying the situation and shut my head off and sleep, but I'm finding it impossible. I'm frustrated. I'm hurting. I'm tired. I just really wanted to hear "well done" or "thank you" from the person who matters the most in this situation.

Sunday, January 20, 2008


... I don't want to talk about it....



and in case you missed it.... this is pretty entertaining.

*side note: Blogger refuses to publish this as a link even though my html is correct. On my preview it works. I have to get to work but I'll fix this later. It's a story about a prank a local tv station did on Eli Manning. Gotta love it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'm Not Going Outside and You Can't Make Me

Yesterday I made my way to school and picked up my books. I have SIX books for my philosophy class. SIX! It's a very good thing that we rent out books from the university and don't have to purchase them. Add in the huge book for economics and psychology and I was loaded. It's a good thing relaxation and listening don't require any reading materials.

After dragging my bag back to the car I made my way to the gym. As a student I'm paying 25 bucks a month for the membership and an additional 15 for unlimited tanning. I'm only tanning for next month just so I can get some color back on my skin. I'm starting to blend in with the snow a little to perfectly. It's not a bad deal for a gym you can get into 24/7 with a little key. For my first day I did a couple miles on the bike, lifted, and finished with a fast walk on the treadmill. As long as I don't have to raise my arms above my shoulders today... everything will be just fine.

Last night J.R. and I decided to sit down and watch some tv together. This usually just ends up in a big argument as to who picked the last show and who deserves control over the remote for now. After twenty minutes of bickering we settled on Mythbusters. Within five minutes of the show starting J.R. had picked up a book and I had passed out on the couch. Well.. not so much on the couch but sprawled out with one leg hanging out on the top of the couch and one hanging the opposite direction. I was using J.R.'s lap as a pillow and was perfectly content for the time being. So I fell asleep and drooled all over J.R.'s leg. That's hot I know.

It wasn't until three am that J.R. woke me up and dragged me to bed. As I crawled into the much more comfortable queen size paradise I heard the dreaded noise of metal scraping pavement. They were plowing the driveway next door which meant we were next and to my horror I hadn't yet moved the Xterra into the garage.

"J.R. if I don't return in five minutes come find me.... and bring the heat gun."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"I forgot to put the car in the garage and they're coming to plow!"

After a short lecture he just sat there and laughed. He's such a sweetheart.

So off I went to repark the car.

Maybe I should put on some sweatpants. No, that takes to long. You'll be fine in your nylon workout capris. Just go move the car. -10 is not THAT cold.

I pulled J.R.'s big winter coat over me, put on flip flops (with no socks mind you), and grabbed the keys.

&#!(*@ it's cold. Why the hell didn't you put on pants. Moron.

After parking the car in the garage I begin the walk, well it was more like a fast shuffle, back inside. As I got to the patio I looked over and realized that earlier tonight I had made an attempt to use the grill and had forgotten to place the cover back over the monster.

Are you kidding me? J.R. should be doing this. He grew up here. He's use to this.

It was a five minute struggle but I managed to win the battle. I entered the house, locked the door, and ran back to bed. I crawled under the covers and with an evil laugh I pressed my freezing cold body up to J.R.


I think I know how to get him out of bed from now on. :)

As for today I'm going to spend my time getting a few of those nagging tasks out of the way. For the last two weeks I've had a tooth that has been bugging me on and off. I can't decide if it's a cavity or if I'm starting to do some real damage from grinding my teeth at night. Either way it's really starting to grab my attention and I'm just now realizing that I never completed the paperwork for the Tricare Retiree Dental Program. I can't put off this dentist thing any longer so the paperwork is getting filled out and mailed in TODAY. Hopefully within two weeks I'll be able to get to the dentist and get things checked out. Until then I'm hoping this toothache doesn't get any worse.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


In the past few years there has been a very heated debate about sterilizing children who are severely disabled so that it is easier to care for them as they mature. Recently a UK hospital has denied a mothers request to have her daughters womb removed. Their reason? The hospital "feared negative backlash from charities."

One must wonder if the doctors truly felt that the surgery was unnecessary. The UK case is very similar to that of Ashley X from Seattle. Ashley is unable to walk, talk, keep her head up in bed, or swallow her own food. Both are examples of girls who will be dependent on a caregiver everyday of their lives. They will never understand what it means to be a woman. They will never be able to have a child or feel a maternal instinct. As a woman I can't imagine going through my adult like without breasts or a uterus. It makes me who I am. It is hard to put my feelings about my own body aside and realize that these children will never feel this way.

Why should these girls suffer from the discomforts of a period when they will never benefit from having one?

Is this controversial? Of course. I say give them the surgery. Improve their quality of life and help their families care for them by easing their stress.

If a medical doctor is going to deny a child the opportunity for an increased quality of life the world should be given sound medical reasoning for that decision. Saying no out of fear that one will loose charity donations shows a medical team with no real passion for their jobs. As a patient I will think twice before taking the advice of a physician who is more concerned about money than my health.

For more on this topic please read.

I Almost Forgot...

What is going on with Project Runway?! They boot Kevin and keep Ricky. Ricky has shown time and time again that he's just not that great of a designer. It's time for him to GO! His stay has been way to long. And Rami... lets see something new! Drape, drape, yawn.

I'm pulling for Christian. Egotistical pain-in-the-ass Christian. I'd be happy with Jillian winning as well. The next couple of weeks will certainly be exciting.

The End is Near

Tonight I pulled up the ten day weather forecast for Menomonie, Wi. I did a double take. Saturday's high is -3. Yes.. that's right... I said HIGH followed by NEGATIVE THREE. I think Jeff Dunham's character Walter may be on to something in the following clip.

If you've never heard of Jeff Dunham spend some time on youtube with his clips. His sketches with Achmed the Dead Terrorist are amazing.

Moving on....

Earlier today I was running around the apartment trying to ready myself for work when all of a sudden it dawned on me... school starts on Tuesday and I don't have books. Panic. I ran into the bed room where J.R. was still sleeping (it was noon) and threw myself onto the bed to wake him up.

"J.R.!!! J.R. WAKE UP!!!"

"Huh? What?"




"You woke me up to tell me that?"


"Jo... you are over reacting. Shut up. I'm going back to bed."

Maybe there was a small over reaction on my part, but I hate feeling unprepared. I'm going tomorrow to pick up all of my needed materials. I rather enjoyed last semester when I had a whopping two books. I have a feeling this semester I wont be as fortunate. Eastern philosophy.... there's some heavy reading. And economics? We all know that's going to be the biggest, driest, most depressing book of them all. Thank goodness for my relaxation class. Yes, that's right.. I said relaxation CLASS (it counts as a PE credit).

The end of break is near and with classes starting on Tuesday I am trying to squeeze the most out of my remaining break time that's left. I have permanently glued myself to the couch. Is this the most productive use of my time? Of course not. But when one considers starting Tuesday I will be once again living in the library with my nose in a book, I'm not concerned.

*sigh* Tuesday. For the next semester Tuesday shall be known as the Everlasting Chalk Talk. Whatever moron picked my classes decided it would be just peachy to attend lectures from nine am to nine pm with an hour break in the morning and one in the afternoon. Some days I wonder if I suffer from multiple personality disorder. If this is true then my June Clever "life is swell" personality needs to be hit in the head with a shovel and have some sense knocked into her. I barely have the attention span to sit through an hour of class. This is going to be a very interesting challenge.

On top of picking up my books tomorrow, I'm biting the bullet and buying a membership to a gym. I feel a little silly buying a membership when I own an elliptical. It's great to have the equipment but I'm so burnt out on this machine. It's time for some variation and lets face it, my upper body could benefit from some weights.

As for now I've let myself slip into J.R.'s nasty nocturnal schedule. It's time to go lay in bed and attempt to get some shut eye. Maybe if I'm lucky J.R. will make it to bed before eight am. One can hope.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Men... whether they have one arm or eight they are all equally confusing.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Nick and Krystle

Tonight I spoke with a very good friend of mine from Fisher House for the first time since early December. I was excited to answer the phone when her name came through on caller id. Unfortunately tonight she did not have good news.

Over a year ago Krystle's husband Nick sustained an injury to his foot/ankle while serving overseas. He made it state side with all of his limbs still in tact (a rare scene for a soldier at Walter Reed). They welcomed their first child, Cameron, shortly after Nick was injured. Within months of having Cameron, the newlyweds found out that they would be expecting a second child. As time went on, Doctors preformed surgery after surgery on the injured limb in hopes of saving the appendage. Unfortunately even the miracle workers at Walter Reed were unable to save the leg. On Monday, January 7th, 2008 Nick became a below the knee amputee.

I talked with Krystle for a long time tonight. Hearing her tell me about her first reaction to her husband's new appearance took me back to the first time I saw J.R. after he had lost his arm. I practically ran to find J.R.'s room when I first arrived at WRAMC. After finding his door I felt as though I was walking through wet cement. I was scared to see him. I didn't want to look at his arm for seeing the bandaged limb meant that it was real. No matter how I try to forget that feeling I can't erase the memory from my mind. I remember trying to control my emotions and my facial expressions as I finally gazed at his missing arm. I remember how surreal the moment felt. I remember how hard it was to smile and be strong for him.

As hard as it was to accept that J.R. had lost his arm, the amputation of his ring finger was a much more emotional procedure. The days leading up to the surgery I spent staring at his hand. When the hour finally came and he was prepped and ready to be put under it was painful to walk away from him. As long as his finger was attached to his body there was hope. Hope for improvement. Hope for a miracle. Even if the chance was small and the hope was buried somewhere deep inside, it was still there. As I walked out of the prep area my hope for him to have a normal hand was shattered. I was broken and I wasn't sure how to glue myself back together.

Nick and Krystle knew this day was coming for months. I can only begin to imagine how painful it was to wake up every morning knowing that you were one day closer to loosing part of your body and continuing this pattern for days on end.

I know they have been dealt a tough hand. I know their first year of marriage has been tough. Their path through the choppy waters of Walter Reed has been a rough ride. They've hit icebergs along the way but they're still floating. I'm proud of them and I am honored to call them friends. Heal quickly both of you.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tofu Anyone?

I woke this morning feeling as though someone kicked me in the head a couple of times while I was sleeping. My head is pounding. After the initial shock of waking up in pain, I rolled over to the empty side of the bed that is normally reserved for my husband. Once again he slept on the couch. Not because of an argument, but because he is obsessed with sleeping on the couch lately. Seriously... do I smell bad or something?

I walked out to the living room and made an attempt to curl up with him on the leather sofa. I slide off in the first minute. The sound of me hitting the floor made him open his eyes long enough to look at me and say, "Jo, give it up... your booty is to big to fit on the couch with me." Feel the love.

With my head still pounding I made my way to the kitchen. Whenever I have a headache J.R.'s first words are "you're dehydrated.. drink some water." Sometimes he is so predictable. Well today I've downed three large glasses of water so this time he can't say it. Oh.. and my head still hurts. It's time to find the tylenol.

Moving on...

For Christmas this year I was fortunate to receive a whole bunch of cookbooks as well as a subscription to Rachel Ray's magazine. For the last week or so I've been combing through recipes, marking things I'd like to try. Being on break I have more time than usual to make a mess in the kitchen so I've been determined to try new meals. The week started off with sweet potato, black bean, tortilla things. It sounded a lot better then it actually tasted or looked. It was not a hit. Next came the beer beef stew. Big hit. Even the leftovers are gone. Then last night... I made my first attempt at polenta.

"What the hell are you doing Jo?! This is a kitchen... not a science lab. I'm not eating that. That's disgusting. No. No No No."

Mental note.. no polenta for J.R.

After dinner we sat on the couch watching Cops (I happen to be obsessed with the show... I'm letting the redneck in me shine through). While watching the officer arrest the cross dresser with a warrant I flipped through the pages on my new Martha Everyday Cookbook (it has pictures!). I sat there with my post it notes marking all the pages that had recipes to try.

"J.R. how do you feel about tofu?"

"If God wanted us to eat tofu he wouldn't have made animals so tasty."

"So you're saying no tofu is that correct."

"Jo... kitchen.. not science lab."

"J.R. it might be really good. Look at the picture. The picture looks good. I'd eat the picture if I could."

"Jo..... GIVE IT UP."

*page turn*

"Ok if tofu is out how about parsnip soup?"

*long pause*

"Can't you just make the normal stuff?"

After giving J.R. a big speech about trying new things I had to listen to his speech about how long he had been drinking red powerade. If red powerade is still working for him then so is mac and cheese out of the box. This must be a man thing.

As for now the time is slowly creeping closer towards noon and sleeping beauty is still dominating my couch. I think it's time to go wake him up.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Adventures of J.R. and Jo

The holiday season has been very busy this year in the Salzman house. It feels as if the month of December was two days long. Looking back I'm sure I slept but I can't figure out when I actually curled up into bed and closed my eyes. Between finals, alive day, Christmas, the Packers game, and New Years Eve.... I'm exhausted.

After finals wrapped up J.R. and I made our way up to Hayward for Christmas with his family. We arrived late on Christmas Eve. Having worked all day prior to driving up north I was exhausted and it didn't take me long to find a bed. We awoke the next morning and continued with Christmas traditions. We opened presents, ate food, and then the fight for the shower began. As normal we were all late to get out of the house and we arrived at Grandma Mary's house half an hour late. After eating more and laying around for a few hours we once again packed up the car and headed back to Hayward. J.R. and I stayed the night only to rise early the next morning and head to Michigan.

The trip to Michigan was long. We were fortunate to hit very little snow on the way (thank God). With a quick detour in Indiana to pick up my Grandmother we finally made it to my parents house around 12:30 am eastern time. During the whole bijillion hour trip we managed to have only one small argument (a miracle if you've ever spent time in a car with J.R. and I) and we were able to stay in the same room without wanting to strangle each other. YAY!
Now when you only go home a few times a year, you have to really make the few hours you have count. It seems as if we were constantly on the go while home. The busy schedule was exhausting but worth it as we now have some great memories to look back on. I even managed to fit in lots of quality time with my best friend Becca!

On the 29th we packed up the car. Packing the car was not easy. While in Michigan, J.R. had a dry kiln delivered to my parents house. Try loading a dry kiln, one large suitcase, one large duffel bag, a laundry basket, a box about the size of a laundry basket and various other objects into the back of an Xterra. It's not easy. With the Xterra loaded to the cieling we pulled out of the driveway and plugged Green Bay, Wi into the GPS. We were off to watch the Packers beat the Lions. We spent the night in a really ritzy hotel room in GB... complete with kitchen AND fireplace. I wanted to light the log in the fireplace so bad but J.R. told me not to touch it as it probably would cost us another twenty bucks (party pooper). We were both exhausted and the bed was surprisingly comfy. Sleep was amazing.

The alarm went off early in the morning and we jumped out of bed. After quickly showering and drying my hair I began the process of getting dressed for the game. For years I've watched the Packer/Lion games on my tv and my thought had always been "Wow.. look at those morons. It's 10 below and they're watching a stupid football game. Idiots." I thought of this as I began the layering process and realized that I was officially a moron. On my bottom half I had one pair of long johns and my toasty snow-pants. Two pairs of socks, foot warmers, and my winter boots finished off my feet. On my upper body.. well.. that's a different story. Two layers of underarmor, two tank tops, one long sleeved shirt, one fleece, and my winter jacket. I could move... kinda. I finished myself off with my ski gloves, carhart hat, and a Packers Santa hat on top of that. After the half hour of dressing was completed we once again loaded the car and were off to tailgate with J.R.'s siblings that also came to the game.

9:30 am and the sound of the first beer of the day could be heard. We fired up the grill and cooked steak and potatoes. What a great breakfast. After freezing for a few hours we left the cars and went into the stadium. Once inside we were surprisingly warm. By warm I mean I could almost feel my toes. We made sure to call my Dad a couple times throughout the game and rub it in that we were kicking their asses. He's a good ol' Michigander who still has faith in the Lions. After all.. you never know when they may have an off day and win... as Dad would say "That's why they play the game."

The game wrapped up and Packer fans rejoiced. We made our way back to the car to meet up with the family and off we went to find a bite to eat. As we left the stadium area we were sitting at a stop light watching fans celebrate the win. I laughed as I watched a slightly intoxicated woman in a Brett Favre jersey run around with a football on the side of the road. Then I noticed the group of men on the opposite side of the street encouraging the Favre wanna be to throw the football across the road to score the winning touchdown. Her arm went back and the ball was released, I watched in what seem to be slow motion as the ball came closer and closer to our shiney new car. Realizing it was going to hit the Xterra I announced the obvious to J.R. only to hear *THUMP* a moment later as the pigskin collided with the hood of our truck. Seconds later a young man appeared at our window asking if we wanted a name and number in case there was damage. There wasn't any.. but this does bring me to a very good point.


After dinner we returned once again to the car and drove back to Menomonie. For once J.R. didn't mind that the heat was cranked up the whole way home. I still don't think I've thawed out from the game but it was worth the freeze.

The following day was New Years Eve. We had big plans to go into the cities and celebrate with a bunch of J.R.'s friends. Exhausted we cancelled. We curled up on the couch and brought in the New Year watching movies. It may not be as exciting as a big party, but it was the perfect way to end a year full of adventures.

Tomorrow I return back to the real world. I start back at work again after my wonderful week off. I'll probably spend most of the day saying "huh?" as I get my brain churning again. At least I still have a few more weeks before school starts back up.