Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Three Hundred Dollar Nap

Today I took the best $300 nap in my life. I value this nap at $300 because currently as UW Stout students, that's about what we are paying per credit and nap time happens in my relaxation class.

This afternoon in relaxation we practiced hypnosis. All 40 some students piled into the wrestling room and laid on the mats (all of us trying to convince ourselves that the mats are indeed clean). The tape began to play and a man explained the idea behind hypnosis.

"Hypnosis is done while you are still awake.. blah blah blah.. relax... blah blah blah.... deeper and deeper.. blah blah blah... sleep."

OK. I'll sleep. One second I was listening to the man talk and then bam... the class was moving and Kelsey was laughing at me while she tried to decide who was snoring louder, me or Josh. Lovely.

I will say that I feel incredibly refreshed and have much more focus for the rest of my day that wont be finished until 10:something tonight. As for now it's time for psychology and a test over Chapter 18: Social Psych.

Monday, February 18, 2008

RIP Hoover

I returned home around one pm today. I walked into the bedroom and *Gasp* the third and final fishy was dead. I'm telling you... J.R. sabotaged the fish. Here is my evidence:

1. Every time I left the apartment the fish were happy and swimming around just fine.
2. The fish were in clean, room temperature water and were not experiencing any extreme temperature changes.
3. They were fed the proper amount.
4. They always turned up dead after J.R. had been alone in the apartment with them.
5. J.R. use to decapitate frogs as a small child by putting a "leash" on them and dragging it around. What chance does a goldfish have?! No one ever should have told me that story as I find it highly entertaining and like to use it against J.R. whenever possible. For example...

"Jo, you left the light on in the bedroom again."

"Yeah well.. you use to decapitate frogs."

Oh the maturity that flows through this house.


I woke up this morning at the crack of dawn. OK it was more like 7 am so not exactly the crack of dawn.... work with me here. I took a few minutes to get ready for the day and ran out the door only to be greeted by the -11 temperature and blowing snow. I buckled myself into the car and said a little prayer before turning the key. The car started and off I went.

J.R. gave me strict orders last night to not allow my car to warm up. The coolant light has been coming on and it was once again empty. I was told to go to the shop, go directly to the shop, do not stop for coffee, and do not turn the car off. Yes Sir! Not a problem. After dropping my car off I suddenly realized that it's 8 am. J.R. is toasty warm under the covers of the bed, and I'm ten blocks from campus. With the wind blowing at 20 mph I set off on my walk to campus. I walked around the lake, over the unshovled sidewalks with drifts of snow averaging around 10 inches, and wind blowing the powdered ice into my face. All while J.R. was toasty warm under the covers, the xterra sitting nice and warm in the garage, and my car in the shop.

And just think... I get to do the walk all over again later today to pick my car up. I love living in the arctic.

In other news, I am very sad to report that a second goldfish (Harriet) has died and gone to fishy heaven. I'm blaming her death on heartbreak after Priscilla's sudden passing. I'm sure you're all thinking the same thing as J.R.

"Wow, you should really not be trusted with any living creature."

For the record, the fish have a lovely, ginormous goldfish bowl. The thing is huge and they have two and a half beautiful gallons of room temperature water to swim around in (and they're itty bitty fishies). They are fed the right amount of food, and they are kept in a room that isn't overly warm, or overly cold. They should not be dieing. I still say J.R. is sabotaging my fish. Someday this week I'm going to Eau Claire and buying goldfish from the pet store. Maybe they'll last longer than Wal-Mart fish.

And now for the real news.

The Family and Medical Leave Act has a new policy! Spouses, parents, siblings, next of kin, etc... are now being granted 26 weeks of FMLA to care of a recovering soldier. AMAZING! Though this law is not yet perfect we are looking at a HUGE step in the right direction. I encourage everyone to take a look and read for yourself.

I'm so thankful that caregivers are finally being granted some added protection. It's time our country recognizes the sacrifices being made by families. We still have a long ways to go but I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The battery on my computer is almost dead and I have a load of philosophy homework to review before class starts in 45 minutes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Please Help

If you were in my cell phone, aren't sure you were in my cell phone, want to be in my cell phone, etc.... send me your contact information. This includes, but is not limited to close friends, family (immediate or extended), all soldiers from J.R.'s unit, and everyone else. If you're not sure send it anyway because I will not remember your number from memory... I can't even remember my own mothers cell phone number and I talk to her three times a day. Everything managed to delete itself and I can't locate the backup file (which I KNOW I made). You can send this information to my e-mail Josie@JRSalzman.com . I greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Best Week Ever

I am still alive and kicking. My goldfish... well that's another story. Priscilla kicked the bucket yesterday. I had a very lovely goodbye ceremony as I flushed her down the toilet and whined to J.R. that my very favorite fish didn't live to see a week. I swear he spiked the tank with vodka.

Aside from the fish dieing and my car torturing me with needed repairs, this week has been amazing. To sum it up very shortly Soldiers Angels made my year, J.R. is finally getting treated for TBI, and I got an A on both my psychology and my economics exams. It just doesn't get any better then that.

Someday when I have more time and I don't have to be awake in seven hours I will explain the above in more depth. Tonight however I have a very nice date with my pillow. Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My Cup is Empty

Yes that's right.. my coffee cup is empty again.

If I fall asleep tonight it will be a miracle.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Tonight has not been a good night. There is a constant inner struggle with trying to sort out time to be a wife, a student, an employee, a housekeeper, and be a sane person. Tuesday brings two massive exams. One in psychology and one in economics. I've been trying to study all week little by little but between work and classes it's been tough. I'm down to the final crunch. I was so looking forward to auditioning for the school play tomorrow night, but an unexpected bill pulled out of my checking account and sent my numbers into the red. With my day booked solid tomorrow and the bank needing an hour and ten minutes of my time, I have to cut something from the plan. My options are simple... class, study time, or auditions. The auditions are gone.

I'm tired. I feel as though I have no help. I'm suppose to sort all of this out on my own and even my husband has no idea what I need most days. Most days he doesn't know what he needs so I can't expect him to understand my needs.

I know what the counselor will say this week. I'll tell him my stresses and he will turn to me and say "What can you cut out? What can you do for you?"

My options are simple. Cut school and work dead end jobs at minimum wage for the rest of my life. Cut out my husband and be a bitter old woman with a million goldfish. Cut out my job and freeze to death in the -40 weather. Cut the housework and hire a maid who will accept warm fuzzies for payments.

You figure it out.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Here Fishy Fishy!!!

Yesterday I made a trip to Wal-Mart and saved three little fishes from their sure death in the tanks at the super center. After making my way home I proudly entered the apartment to show J.R. my new pets.

"J.R. look... FISHES!!!!"

"Jo, why on earth did you buy goldfish. You know this is just going to be a repeat of last time and they're going to end up dead in a week and I'm going to find them in the freezer...."

He has no faith in me after one stupid little fish died. I barely had the thing for six hours and it was floating belly up. Infuriated I put the fish in a ziplock bag and put it in the freezer. I had every intention of returning the fish and getting a new one. By the end of the week I still hadn't gone for the new fish and the frozen goldie was long forgotten in the back of the freezer. Well, it was forgotten until J.R. came home on R&R and discovered the fish in the very back corner of the freezer. I tried to explain to him what happened but he's never believed one word of the story and from that day on he's been determined to keep anything living away from me.

"...Seriously Jo, why did you buy goldfish?"

"Well, we don't have a dog, or a cat, and you're never home at night anymore. Somebody has to keep me company and protect me and sense you can't seem to manage the job I'm going to have to depend on Hoover, Harriet, and Priscilla."

"OMG, you named them."

"Of course I named them. You can't have a pet without a name. It just doesn't work."


"No shit Sherlock. And they still deserve names. So here they are... Hoover the food mover, Priscilla the pest, and Harriet the hider (she's a little shy)."

"You've lost it Jo."

He may think I'm nuts but at least I'm entertained. Now if I can just keep them alive.

Moving on...

It's been another crazy week at school. I've managed to become completely confused with a great understanding of Hinduism (figure that one out), aced a quiz in Psychology, and made a new promise to never buy any clothing made in China ever again after watching the documentary China Blue.

Tuesday night J.R. returned to the VA for a psychology appointment. Although he may be just fine with how these go I'm a little disgusted. They usually last about 15 minutes. That's just enough time to say "Hey how ya doing? Great. Here's some Prozac take it everyday." How is that true counseling? I go once a week and it's an hour long drill session of "How does that make you feel? If you get angry what do you do about it? Why do you do that? Try this..." It's a never ending war.

The laundry is beeping at me and I have piles of school work calling my name. I'd love to keep writing as there is so much to say, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. Words will just have to wait.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Definitely a Possum

Last night my sleep was shallow and interrupted. J.R. spent the entire night working at the shop leaving me home alone. Some days I wonder how I lived by myself while J.R. was in Iraq. Now that he is home again I'm the biggest chicken in the world. Every little noise has me on alert. It's pathetic really. I fell asleep on the couch around 1:30 watching Father of the Bride II. One minute Steve Martin was finding out he was going to be a father and the next some cowboy was riding around on a horse shooting who knows what. Realizing the J.R. was still not home I closed my eyes and drifted back off to never never land. 5:45 rolled around and I was wide awake. Where was J.R.? Why isn't he home sleeping yet? Why is his phone sitting on the coffee table and not in his pocket where is belongs? Thoroughly annoyed and worried I dragged myself to the bed. Trying to sleep was pointless. I just kept imagining J.R. laying on the floor of his shop hurt and unable to call for help because he phone was sitting on the coffee table. I got myself so worked up that I almost drove to the shop to find him and yell at him to come home and sleep. Luckily the rational person hidden somewhere deep inside me told my imagination to shut up and remember that J.R. has possum blood in him and never sleeps at night. He came home eventually only to crawl in bed and steal the covers. I gave up on sleep after that.

I rolled out of bed and made the strongest mocha I could. I then dragged myself to the shower and got myself ready for the day. Feeling awake and refreshed I began the process of my new obsessive ritual... bleaching the kitchen counters. Yesterday I wiped them down three times. Today it was four. Maybe it is because for the first time in months I can actually SEE the counter. Or maybe it's just a great way to take out any built up anger. Either way my counters are so clean you could eat off them.

As for now I'm going to go sink into the tub and reread my philosophy chapters. I have a feeling I'm still not going to comprehend the written words, but all I can do is try.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

June Cleaver Meet D.J. Tanner

The first full week of school is over and what a week it has been. I already feel as if I have been back in class for months. I will admit it's nice to be back in some kind of a routine and I am feeling much more productive than I was over all of Christmas break.

I was really dreading my Economics class. After thinking about this for some time this weekend I've come to the conclusion that part of why I was dreading the subject was because I had no background in econ and my first experience was going to be a college class. I was very afraid that this would end up a lot like my experience at MSU where the professors were so amazing at their own subjects that they were unable to break it down to an elementary level. I can remember sitting through music theory classes just staring at the professor and thinking huh?! Half of the students came from high schools that didn't offer music theory as a class and therefore had very little background in the subject. It was incredibly hard to play catch up.


My econ professor is amazing. She is very easy to listen to and has a wonderful way of explaining theory in terms we all understand. The other wonderful part of this class is I am not the only "non-traditional student." Two of the students are in their early 40's and another man is around J.R.'s age, married, and has two daughters. It is refreshing to take a course with fellow students who have been there, done that.

This whole "non-traditional student" label can be very frustrating. I do not regret marrying at a young age. I would not take back J.R.'s injuries. These major events make me and J.R. who we are. As frustrating as it can be to overcome what life has thrown at us I do feel that we have grown in a very positive way from what has happened. Because of the choices I have made, the places I have gone, and the life lessons I have learned, I carry an advantage in the classroom. I am able to look at theories on life and apply them in a very different way than most students fresh out of high school. However, when it comes to making friends, a casual acquaintance, or speaking to a professor on a one on one basis outside of class, the life I've lead can make things a little muddy. Lets face it, most 21 year old students are going to find it a little odd that a peer their age is married. Tell them you've been to the playboy mansion, your husband has an ESPY, and that he has his arm blown off and they'll laugh at you in disbelief as they walk away. One has to become very selective about what details you can and cannot reveal which is exhausting. Some days I feel as if I have multiple personalities... June Cleaver (always perfect house wife) meets D.J. Tanner (young, hip, teenage girl that hangs with the cool crowd). Maybe someday I'll find a balance and I'll go back to being one person. Until then, I'm just non-traditional.

Aside from school I have been a cleaning machine. The bedroom is officially spotless. The kitchen is sparkling. The laundry bins are empty. It is wonderful. This week I made it my goal to find the kitchen table. It took a while but I found it. With my homework completed and the table exposed it was time to get a few projects done that I've been dieing to finish. Last night I pulled out my sewing machine and hemmed my bedroom curtains. I love any excuse I can find to pull out my machine. I am very fortunate to have a sewing machine that my Grandmother purchased after she graduated high school. As the years went on the machine was given to my Mother. As a small child I can remember begging my Mom to let me use the machine. I can't remember any specific projects that I actually sewed with the machine, but I'm sure I made a lot of pillows. When I moved out on my own my Mom passed the machine on to me. It still works just as well as the day my Grandmother bought it. Someday I'll upgrade and have a fancy new machine, but until then I'm going to enjoy my featherweight.

For the rest of my night I'm going to go bury myself in Hinduism and make an attempt at understanding the complex philosophy.