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it's 2010 already and i'm wondering what happened to 2009. this year i moved from germany to georgia, witnessed a black man step into the oval office, watched a hero from my childhood pass away and become appreciated again, got an infected wisdom tooth pulled out of my mouth that nearly put me in the hospital, went to disney five times, saw my kid start sixth grade, finished the longest novel i've ever written, started the best novel i've ever written, bought a new car, was a soccer mom twice, got my first speeding ticket (pretty good considering i started driving at 15), turned 29, got two dogs, had an upper respiratory infection, thought seriously about having another kid, worried about my ex walking back into my kid's life, nursed my puppy back to health for 13 weeks after she broke her leg, went to a styx/reo speedwagon concert that rocked my socks off, procrastinated more than i would have liked to where important things were concerned, bought lots of stuff off of ebay and amazon.com, narrowly escaped moving to alaska in the dead of winter, got a new nephew named after a character in a computer game, received a kickass new camera for christmas, finally got my childhood wish granted in the form of a kindle for my birthday (i wanted to somehow be able to carry around a library on a car trip without getting yelled at by my dad), watched many movies and read many books, took things for granted, did not become a published author. there were many other wonderful, dreadful, and mundane things that happened. i look forward to another year not unlike this last one.

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some words of wisdom

whilst reading online, these tickled my fancy:


until lion's have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters. --an african proverb

if you believe everything you read, better not read. --a japanese proverb

the world came first and the gods came later. --an ancient indian proverb

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THIS.

i wish this was real

word.

to be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.  --e.e. cummings

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it's a grand illusion

so october is over with.  it's a bit scary that the chrismas season apparently starts about the time you begin looking forward to halloween.  i was looking for a halloween costume for my rat terrier (yeah, i'm one of those people) while christmas music played softly but insidiously overhead.  don't get me wrong, i like christmas--love it in fact--but i want it to stay where it belongs.  it belongs in late november at the earliest.  it does not belong in august, september, or october.  but i digress...

halloween was good fun.  stella dressed as history era michael jackson.  my mom (who was up for three weeks visiting during october, which was also good fun--i love my mommy) and i made the costume ourselves and it was kick ass.  i would post pics, but i don't feel comfortable putting pictures of my kid on the internet for any pervert to see.  you'll just have to take my word for it.  oh, and incase you were wondering, my dog was dressed up as a witch.  i just might post pics of her if i ever get around to putting them on my computer.

november 1st was also good fun.  william and i went to the 'can't stop rocking' tour starring styx and reo speedwagon.  the concert was amazing.  i've loved styx since i first heard 'mr. roboto' as a three or four year old (i still have the tape) and reo speedwagon was one of my mom's favs, so i listened to them a lot too.  man, it's been a long time since i've seen a show that awesome...or that long.  doors opened at 7 and we didn't leave the venue until after 11.  unfortunately for william, he had to be up the next morning at 4:45.  unfortunately for me, i had to be up at 6.  still, it was worth it.  i got a couple of pretty good pictures.  the arena was surprisingly small (the concert area was cut in half, if that makes sense), and we had really good seats.  the lights during the entire show were pretty impressive.  there was a screen behind the stage that had different images playing for different songs.  i'm used to punk shows where the most impressive thing on stage besides the band itself is a banner/flag behind the drummer with the band's name or newest album cover on it.  yeah, this blew that away.  there were two lights on opposite ends of the stage during the styx part of the show and the one on stage left kept shining right in our eyes, which sucked because you could barely stand to look at the band.  luckily it wasn't always shining right at us and it wasn't on at all during reo speedwagon.  styx did an awesome cover of 'i am the walrus.'  it sounded really great.  you don't often get to hear beatles songs live for obvious reasons, so it was cool.  they did not play 'mr. roboto' but they did play 'renegade' and a bunch of other great songs.  i wanted to get a t-shirt, but they were 35 bucks and my cheapness just wouldn't allow it.

that was it

last night i went with mom and stella to see 'this is it.'  the movie was amazing.  i can only imagine what the actual show would have been like had he lived to perform it in london.  i never got the chance to see him in concert.  when he was touring during the thriller era i was still in nursery school.  i was well under ten while the touring was going on for the bad album.  he toured for dangerous while we lived in guam (pretty much the middle of nowhere).  and the history album came out when i was a teenager but the tours were overseas...not to mention i was flat broke and couldn't have purchased tickets anyway (although i think my mom would have tried her best to get us tickets).  the concerts in london were sold out, so it's not like i could have seen one of those either, but still.

the movie made a lot of things clear.  he was perfectly healthy, for one.  his voice was amazing.  the songs from the thriller and bad era sounded the same as they do on the record/tape/cd.  that's quite a feat to accomplish considering these were just rehearsals and not even final rehearsals at that.  he was just trying to get the sound of the music right.  he was thinner than he had been in the past, but he was rehearsing for well over twelve hours a day, every day.  also, his moves had the same cat-like, otherworldly appeal (nearly preternatural) that they always have.  after a dance number he was out of breath, but he was a fifty year old man.  the twenty year old dancers he had around him were out of breath too.

it was awesome to see the monumental effort that goes into making a show like this.  just hearing michael talk to people around him about the music or the dance numbers was so revealing as to the type of artist he was and how much he truly knew about his craft.  he's also really funny and playful, which was great to see.

seeing the movie was a good experience.  it showed another side of michael jackson that not many people get to see.  we all know just the one side, the one that's been on display for the public for the last forty years.  seeing him in this different light was refreshing, but it was also crushing.  to see him on stage dancing and singing, so alive and full of good-natured fun made the sense of loss i felt over the summer surge up and wash over me again.  he's gone and we'll never have another person like him again.  a superstar who cared more about giving than taking, even to his own detriment.  that's rare.  a person on his professional level and with his history who is down-to-earth is even rarer.  in short: it sucks and it sucks because it could have and should have been avoided.

i'm glad i went to the movie and got the chance to see michael in this rare light, even if it did make me all depressed again.

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i have to post pictures of my lovely dogs.  they are so very cute.  here is zoey, the english mastiff:



and amelie, the rat terrier:



zoey is about four thousand times bigger than she is in the photo, but that was taken the first day she was at home with us back in april.  the one of amelie was taken in my parents' backyard in may before we brought her home to georgia.  she was three pounds in the picture and is now about eight.  i love my little babies...

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if all else fails, put it in a list

i know, two in one day and neither one about mj. i'm on a roll. i haven't updated in a long while, so i thought i'd do that the only way i know how: by list! here are the new developments. they are not in order of importance:

1. i have two dogs now. my parents have a rat terrier named carly and we've been planning to breed her for the last year or so and each keep a puppy and sell the rest. well, she only had three, so i took one and named her amelie after a fav. french movie and my parents kept the other two, a boy named stitch and a girl named lilly. this was supposed to be our only dog. we went home over spring break and william was left here in georgia alone. this is dangerous to do because he becomes bored and buys things. well, he found a mastiff puppy he wanted and didn't shut up about it until i agreed he could get it. her name is zoey (it keeps with our french theme). i'll post pics later.
2. we know what our follow on assignment is after we leave ft. benning. we will be moving to ft. wainwright alaska. yeah, not excited about it at all. i've been to the airport in alaska (i was three and we were on our way from las vegas to okinawa japan) and i don't really feel the need to expand my northern experience any further than that.
3. stella started middle school about a month ago. i feel old as all hell.
4. william turned 35 two days ago. he really is old as all hell. we went to outback for his bday and ordered drinks and appetizers and dessert and were on our way to a pretty decent bill. it took about 15 minutes (maybe more; i honestly wasn't noticing) to get our meals after we finished our appetizers (we ordered three) and that was just fine with us because we needed a break from eating. the manager came out and apologized profusely and told us that for the inconvenience he would take 50% off the total bill and comp our dessert. i was like: what inconvenience? it was several shades of awesome.
5. my grandmother died two sundays ago. my mom was in ohio for about three weeks and was able to spend a few good days with her before she went. i wasn't super close to her, but it would have been nice to say goodbye if i could have made it work to go up there with stella's school schedule.
6. william hurt his back and is not going to ranger school next monday. he's bummed out.
7. i have about 90 thousand words written on the new story. it's completely different than anything i have ever written in the past. it will take more than one book to get the story out. i'm thinking maybe three or four. we'll see how it goes.
8. last wednesday, amelie broke her leg while stella and i were at her taekwondo practice and william was at home. that was a fun little adventure i will write about later.
9. stella started taekwondo in february and is now a senior green belt.
10. we saw inglorious basterds the other day and i thought it was pretty great. i love quentin tarantino and this movie was so great, mostly because it had all the french and german. the heavy subtitles are probably most of the reason why the majority of people in this country didn't like the movie. what? we have to read?! i come to the movies to avoid all the readin' and writin! i'd have stayed in school if i wanted to read a book! fucking americans.

i think that's about it. i lead a very interesting life as you can plainly see by the ten points above.

i'm not getting this

why is there such an uproar over the president's planned speech to school children? i'm not understanding it. past presidents have directed speeches at school aged children and no one has had any problem with it. i hate to pull the race card, but i'm going to. is that it? i'd like to think it can't be, but why else would people have a problem with the president discussing personal responsibility for one's own education with children? someone should be discussing personal responsibility with children because most parents sure aren't. this current generation as well as the last one have absolutely no ability to take responsibility for anything they do. everything is always someone else's fault. it's pure shit. you know what else is pure shit? fox news. william watches it all the time and i am sick to death of their 'witty' banter and personal opinions/discussions about every single news item.