Sunday, July 24, 2011

Reason #29 to Move to Oakwood FC

Bouncy House!!*

*Forgot to take pictures of the snowcones, but I guess that would make the title of this post #'s 29 and 30 :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

I Be ConGenning

Useful Bits

So it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the bloggio as things progress. As my post title suggests, I am about a week into Basic Consular Training, also known as ConGen. This class is totally rocking my world. I now understand why so many ex-lawyers become consular officers. It is nutso the amount of information you must understand and know how to apply in order to do your job effectively. I can’t go into too many specifics because so much of the info we work with is considered SBU (sensitive but unclassified)* but let’s just say this shit is hard, yo! They are going to grant me god-like powers. No, really! For once this isn’t just a fantasy in my own mind!! Many consular functions are left to the discretion of the individual consular officers working the case. You want your baby born abroad to be a U.S. citizen? BAM, I just made your baby a U.S. citizen…or not. Okay, that last example is sort of not true because citizenship and transmission thereof is written into U.S. law, so it is pretty cut and dry, but there is a lot in Consular World that is not. We have the FAM to guide us (talk about legalese!) and case precedents, but many of the decisions we make are based upon our own personal abilities and judgments.! If you could see me now *nerd alert*, I look just like Galadreil when Frodo tries to give her the ring…Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea for State to send me on a Consular tour, lol.

Okay, obvs the above is somewhat tongue in cheek, but it truly is amazing the types of decisions I’ll be making. These are decisions that can have profound effects on an applicant’s life, regardless of the service they are looking for, and I am in awe that I am being entrusted to carry out such important work.

In totes different news, I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so lemme share what I’m eating now. Because I have so little time to cook anymore I am fixated on creating meals that take about 5min to put together. Besides tons of big ass yummy salads, I am currently obsessed with chunking shit in a bowl and hoping for the best. In general I have pretty good luck with that. Here are a couple of creations that are in the current repertoire:

Berries & Shit:

Equal mix of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries mixed with crumbled goat cheese and about 1 tbsp of sugar-free raspberry syrup (like Da Vinci). Let it sit for at least an hour and mange!!

Nuts & Shit:

Blueberries, sliced bananas, chopped walnuts, raisins, halved dried figs, crumbled goat cheese, and about 1 tbsp sugar-free maple syrup. Mix that shit up and it’s ready to go. Sooo yummy!

PB & Shit:

Chopped roasted peanuts (no salt), sliced bananas, halved grapes (or whole, depends on how much time I have), maybe 1/4cup 0% plain greek yogurt, PB2. Sprinkle a little wheat germ on this one for an added nutrition boost.

Best Dip Evah!

2 parts almond butter, 1 part almond milk, 1 tsp light agave syrup, sprinkle of unsweetened coconut. Whip that shit together and keep adding almond milk until it reaches the consistency you prefer for a dip. This is awesome with either celery and carrots or with any fruit.

Random Shit

So I’m in the bath with J rinsing the soap out of her hair talking about things like the move and camp.** We are casually discussing subjects like how it stinks when Marley (the cat) poops, how candy tastes really good, and the progress we are making potty-training A (fully trained, including pooping – yay – except for the nighttime accidents) when J very nonchalantly says, “Yeah, I always pee and poop in the potty and sometimes I pee in the bath.”

Me: Wait, sometimes you pee in your own bath?

J: Yeah, but it’s okay because it’s just water.

Me: Okay, hold on, did you pee in this bath?

J: *smiles sheepishly* No?

Me: Now I need a shower, too.

*Every time I read that I think SBD and start giggling…because I seriously have the sense of humor of a 12 yr old boy

**J is adjusting well, but there have been a couple of instances where she has asked to “go home” and mentioned that she misses Florida. Sometimes with accompanying tears :(

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Belated 4th of July Wrap Up

Yeah, yeah, I know this is about a week late, but considering I sometimes go months without updating, consider yourselves lucky! ;)

Useful Bits

So we’re living in DC, and I’m determined that we shall take full advantage while we can…you can see where this is headed, right? I decide, in all my brilliance, that since we are living in the nation’s capitol during the celebration of our nation’s birth that we should spend the entire day at the National Mall starting with the 4th of July parade and ending with the fireworks over the Washington Memorial. Well, this would probably be a pretty awesome idea if it were for all those dang kids we have hanging around (where do they come from??). Most of my memories from the 4th will probably be of the great amount of perspiration I exuded, the amount of money I dropped on stale hot pretzels and lunchroom-style pizza, and the smell of the metro as we rode home with 1 million of our closest (and I do mean close) friends. The kids, I’m hoping, will remember the parade and the fireworks and possibly the great amount of time we spent inside the Air & Space Museum trying to cool off.

Personally, I thought the parade was a really good event for the kids, but the fireworks? Well, the great mass of people is fun to be in if it’s just you, but it was not a pleasant experience trying to shepherd all five kids through the metro (it was worse than the NY subway after a Yankees game). Plus, I didn’t even think the show was that great. The fireworks only lasted about 20min and there was a lot of condensation in the air that held the smoke in so it kind of obscured the subsequent fireworks. IDK, I was a little let down :( Also, I would recommend either picking only one event to attend or leaving the National Mall area between events because 12 hours downtown was waaaay overkill.

I mentioned to my parents that my greatest memories of the 4th of July were the numerous summers we spent watching fireworks over the lake in MD, walking the jogging paths to get there, eating homemade popcorn, and playing with sparklers while we waited for the fireworks show. My parents’ greatest memories? Trying to get out of the parking lot and fight traffic on the way home, then having to stop and let my little sister pee in someone’s yard because the traffic was so bad and she was too little to hold it. Amazing how the same event triggers different memories depending on the generation, lol! Anyway, we did get some kick-ass pics out of the deal:

Random Shit
A friend shared this on Facebook, and I thought it was hilarious. Personally, for many years I was confused as to why CCR was so obsessed with the “bathroom on the right.”

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Officially Sworn In

So Friday was graduation day, at least for the 161st A-100 class it was. I'm excited and a little sad to see it all end, although I have to admit I was ready to be done with the 8hr lecture days! Most of my classmates had their entire families come out for the big day to see them get sworn in, it very much reminded me of the excitement surrounding my commissioning day as an AF officer* I wish I could have been more enthused, but I generally hate these types of events (I even skipped my own college graduation!). It does feel really good to be an official FSO, though. Now I just need to get my paws on that little black passport and I'll be on my way to ruling the world, mwah hah hah, I mean I'll be on my way to Manila. Same thing.

Anyway, since I enjoy imposing some type of order on this incredibly eclectic and nonsensical blog, I've decided to try and use this forum to actually provide some useful information in addition to my bits of random and useless info. Thus I bring you:

Useful Bits

This whole experience of joining the FS with a special needs kid has been quite the adventure. It is not as simple as having just a Class 2 Med EFM (eligible family member), which you can get cleared through Med itself. For a special needs kid you have to get substantiating info from the schools at Post that they have the appropriate curriculum for whatever it is your particular child needs (in our case A needs speech and occupational therapists and has an IEP that lays out specific goals in each of these areas). You also have to get verification from Post that they have the specialists needed to support the child’s IEP. Originally I had not planned to contact Post until I was much closer to my ETA since my TM1 (the travel message that lets Post know I’m coming) hasn’t even been issued yet, and I hadn’t even begun to think about choosing a school for the kids yet since I still have to enroll them for this school year here in VA! Ah, well, this long-term planning is generally right up my alley. I have sent the CLO (Community Liaison Officer) an e-mail to see if they can help me out since I don’t even know where to start to gather all this info! There is also yet another yahoo group dedicated to FS parents with special needs kids that I am hoping will be another good resource of information for us as we try to figure all this out. Oh, and State does have a lot of guidance out there both on the internet and the intranet, but every situation with a special needs child is unique so each case must be handled individually. Will keep you posted on how this progresses regardless of interest, lol.
Random Shit
On the way home from mandatory fun last week, some friends and I were discussing the blogosphere, and they were stymied by the fact that they couldn’t come up with a clever name for their blogs. First I had to explain that my blog name is actually sort of clever, or at least not insulting (Pu is my Chinese name – pronounced Pooh, not Pee Yew as so many people seem to think. My blog name is a play on Pooh’s Corner, not a reference to my BO). So, anyway, my girlfriend from A-100, M, came up with the awesome idea for a blog named, “I Would Rub My Face All Over That.” She was referring to the rotating gold statue of ex-president of Turkmenistan

but she was also open to the idea of rubbing her face all over the Neutrality Arch

Personally, I think this is a fucking fantastic idea for a blog. Imagine all the things you’d like to rub your face all over like:
Giant Pandas

Pilipino Rice Terraces
Giant piles of pink feathers
Hugh Jackman

A big bowl of pho
Okay that last one might not be such a good idea depending on how hot the soup was, but, still, that’s a lot of shit to rub your face all over. The possibilities are endless!

*Fun Fact - The FS oath of office and the military officer oath of office are exactly the same! :)