Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Rock Boat Addiction

I get ribbed quite often for my Rock Boat enthusiasm. It's a topic I never tire of, and I will bring it up in conversation with just about anyone.

Maybe it's because I work hard, and this is the best vacation for letting loose.

Beer bucket and headgear all in one - what a concept!

Maybe it's because my shipmates are 10 to 20 close friends and I make new friends from across the nation every year.

Some of the folks from KC, Minneapolis and DC

Maybe it's because the rocking goes from noon until sunrise, with 30 different bands to choose from.

Maybe it's because rock stars are so dreamy.

Lead singer from Green River Ordinance performing in the Atrium for the finale.

Whatever the cause, I'm addicted.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Blue and Junior with the Christmas Tree

Monday, October 19, 2009

Halloween - The Holiday of Insecurity (And You Thought the Holiday of Insecurity was Valentines Day)

I spent the last couple of weeks trying to decide what I want to be for Halloween. Actually, I've known what I want to be. A character from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: Alice, the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the Duchess, the Mock Turtle, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar, etc.

At first, I thought I wanted to be Alice. I must have perused hundreds of Alice costumes. Alice is unmistakable: blue dress, white apron and a bow for the hair. Sadly, my internet shopping has nearly corrupted a long-lived memory of one of my favorite childhood characters. The very clever, curious and innocent Alice was found in online costume stores to be a busty and leggy blonde wearing a mini ruffled skirt, a french peasant top, and an apron with a reavealing cut (among other variations). I suppose Alice could still be clever and curious in that attire, but I don't think "innocent" would fit.

In search of a longer skirt (and because I didn't want to totally ruin my image of Alice), I decided to Google for the Queen of Hearts costumes. Same story there, only black and red instead of blue and white. For days, I searched the net, incapable of settling on either an Alice or Queen of Hearts costume. This turmoil was really starting to frustrate me.

So I posted my frustration on facebook: "Jackie wants to know why 90 percent of women's Halloween costumes have really short skirts." I got a few different answers. My aunt suggested, "Because men made them." Someone else commented soon after, "Because men like them."

I got another answer:

"Maybe its because Halloween is all about being naughty, so if ya got it, flaunt it! And if you don't got it, flaunt it anyway."

It was the "if ya got it, flaunt it...if you don't got it, flaunt it anyway" part that struck me - a glib statement with a serious nugget of truth in it. I was looking at my inner turmoil about the costumes as if it was all about innocence lost. But's just my insecurity about the way I think I would look in those short skirts and tight fitting halters. I'm not blond or busty, and I'm certainly not leggy at 4 feet and 11 inches tall.

But there it was in that statement....encouragement to flaunt it even if I don't got it.

I settled on a Queen of Hearts of Costume. She, at least, is a character worthy of corruption.

Update October 21: Received the costume in the mail. Tried it on. Chickened out and sending it back. Skirt so short, may as well be wearing nothing.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Belize 2009 Vacation Book Ready for Purchase

The long awaited photobook is now ready for purchase online.

By Jackie Nugent

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Diving in Belize

We spent three of our days diving in Belize. Below is a video that my friend Rick took of me. You can see a nurse shark in the background following us around. We had chummed the water and several big nurse sharks responded. We also attraced some very large groupers and an overly curious green moray eel (ask me about that sometime!).

More pics and video to come!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On the Topic of Marriage and Divorce

A week ago, I found myself in a conversation with someone who had gone through a divorce. As I listened to my friend discuss her own experiences as a divorcee, working through being a single mom, dealing with the idea of the kids having a new step mom, managing the logistics of dual custody and pondering the dating scene, I couldn't help but contemplate my own situation.

Sometimes people ask me my thoughts about my ex, about divorce and about marrying again. I'm candid about it. I realize the mistakes I made. I recognize it was I who shrank in the face of challenge and failed. Yes, there are things about my ex that I miss - he had many wonderful qualities. I tell people, though, that I'm really glad he has a different with a new wife and a new little boy. I tell them that I'm very happy to see that his career has been successful and continues to show promise. These are all things that I wanted for him....really, really wanted for him. Despite any ill feelings he may harbor, I think he would admit that I strove to help him find happiness and success. Unfortunately, it didn't appear that it would happen with me at his side. Did I love him? Yes. Very much. Did I lose sight of that? Yes.

Not long ago, I watched a movie titled "Seven Pounds." In it, Will Smith plays a man who has made a terrible mistake in his life, and he decides to atone for that mistake by doing things for select individuals (to help them) that ultimately necessitates the taking of his own life by suicide. The movie reminded me of another movie, "Butterfly Effect", which stars Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher's character has the supernatural ability to go back in time, and he uses this skill throughout the movie to try to better the outcome of certain life events. No matter what he does when he goes back in time, he is incapable of altering life's events without resulting in pain or heartbreak. In the end, because he can't make things better, Kutcher's character chooses to go back to his very conception in the womb and not be born at all. Interestingly, the happy ending in these movies is the death or non-birth of the heroes. The message seems to be that the world would be better off if certain individuals would die or would never have been born.

As dangerous an idea as this is (and I do understand the peril of such logic), I recognize it's toehold on my own mind. I've asked myself how the world would be if I didn't exist? In answering that question, I can't help but look at my ex-husband's new life and think that his happy outcome is the result of my exiting his life. That's a problem because it doesn't speak well of the value of my own life. This is where my day to day struggle lies. How can I see any positive value in my own life knowing that someone else's life is better because I'm not in it?

After our divorce, my ex told me that I would probably find new church friends who would assuage my blameworthiness and approve of my moving on. I never found that new group of church friends and, truth be told, while I have moved on to another relationship (which, by the way, we classify as a partnership) I still fight that feeling of being a colossal failure at marriage. This is such a strong sentiment that, even though I want to be married again someday, I'm afraid to make the same mistakes and I'm not even sure I should get a second chance. Moreover, I don't want that pattern of marrying and divorcing, marrying and divorcing. I've seen how that pattern takes a large physical, emotional and financial toll.

The question comes in various forms. Why aren't you married? Don't you want to get married? When will you get married? Do you think you'll ever get married again? Co-workers ask. Friends ask. Relatives ask. I ask myself. How will I know when I can remarry?

When I see that I play an irreplaceable roll in someone's life and that I make his life better by being in it, then I will know I can remarry. Otherwise, I would only be repeating the same actions and expecting a different outcome.