August 31, 2006


MSN taglines are so danged catchy that I often find myself following their links. And today I found this hunk of baloney under the heading "Is your husband making you fat?"

When we live with other people, we tend to compromise our behaviors. On “Today’s Woman,” we look at whether your husband is making you fat. If you find yourself plopped down on the couch with chips in your hand at night or look in your cupboard to discover it’s filled with cookies, it might not be all your fault.

I find this paragraph so annoying that I don't even know where to start. First of all, if my husband enjoys chips or cookies and wants to use his hard-earned money to buy those items, I most certainly am not required to eat them just because they're in the house. (If you find your teen plopped down on the couch with a beer, is he free from blame because you were the one who stupidly had alcohol in the house and he couldn't be expected to control himself?) It is not my husband's fault if I choose to eat junk and then get fatter because of it; anything I have done to gain weight over the years is my fault and mine alone. I hate this constant blame-shifting. Suggesting a healty diet for both the husband and wife is a wonderful idea, but it's extremely condescending to target women by saying that it's probably their man's fault they're getting fat.

Posted by Sarah at 09:36 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 30, 2006


Wow. Did anyone just see Keith Olbermann ten minutes ago? He was completely off his rocker. I am taping the repeat at midnight because I missed the beginning of his diatribe, but apparently Donald Rumsfeld's speech got him all in a tizzy. I think he's just ticked because Rumsfeld went after journalism.

Anyway, somehow Olbermann managed to twist history so far into itself that he said Rumsfeld is the new Chamberlain and we're waiting for the new Churchill to step up. Oooh, I know, can Murtha be Churchill? Because that would complete the wacked out reverse analogy. Rumsfeld is Chamberlain? In what universe?

Olbermann made some pretty outlandish claims. While Rumsfeld said:

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

Olbermann sarcastically said, "This country faces a new type of facism indeed." Referring to the Bush administration. Olbermann actually had the gall to say that the United States is a democracy, "sometimes just barely."


Is he joking or insane? Just barely. Keith, if this were a fascist state and barely a democracy, you wouldn't have made it to the end of that rant. And you wouldn't make it to work tomorrow. For all your ridiculous talk about the Bush administration being omnipotent and fascist, I bet you still have your job tomorrow.

Lord, this diatribe was too good to be true. But you know, Fox is the biased one and the other networks are bastions of middleoftheroadhood. Blogging fun like this doesn't come along every day.

Rumsfeld is Chamberlain. Just wow.

I'll be checking OlbermannWatch tomorrow for their response.


I hit refresh one more time after I posted this, and the OlbermannWatch for today is up! Better commentary than mine here.

Posted by Sarah at 09:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


I wonder if any other blog-intense family has arguments where one person says he's Israel and his wife is acting like Hassan Nasrallah? Or where someone admits that her reaction to his not handing her the spices fast enough was "disproportionate"?

Posted by Sarah at 06:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


From now on, any time someone takes a photo of me, I want the Katie Couric treatment!

Posted by Sarah at 12:58 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Den Beste wrote a post on Israel's disproportionate response. What a man.

Posted by Sarah at 12:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 29, 2006


Many people have commented about the episode of Bill Maher's show where Christopher Hitchens gave the audience the finger. But no one has said anything about the other brilliant things Hitchens brought up. Really, I just couldn't get over how danged witty his jabs were; it always took the audience a second to realize they were being ridiculed. You should watch his performance here at The Malcontent.

Maher made joke after joke after joke about how dumb and religious Bush is. Seriously, he beat that horse. And I personally think Hitchens' best bit was getting fed up with it. At about ten minutes into the segment, he said:

I've been on the Jon Stewart show, I've been on your show, I've seen you make about five George Bush IQ jokes per night, there's no one I know who can't do it. You know what I think? This is now the joke that stupid people laugh at. It's a joke that any dumb person can laugh at because they think they're smarter, they can prove they're smarter than the President. Like the people who make booing and mooing noises in your audience.

My husband and I both agree that we will be relieved when Bush leaves office for the simple reason that hopefully we can put an end to the idiot jokes. No matter how many times someone points out that Bush's IQ is in the 90th percentile, probably slightly higher than Kerry's, no matter that Bush has degrees from Harvard and Yale, every yahoo with a computer likes to pretend he's oh so much smarter than Bush. I think Hitchens is right: people like to think Bush is stupid because it makes them feel better about themselves.

But it truly takes a simple man to think himself grand because he can make chimp jokes.

Posted by Sarah at 01:29 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


At least I'm not the only one who did a double take at the Ford Freestyle ad. There's not really anything wrong with it per se, but it was a bit jarring when I realized the family was divorced. A sign of our times?

Posted by Sarah at 11:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


So Saddam is being forced to watch himself on South Park. Perfect. May I remind you that I suggested this almost two years ago. I hope he's had to watch it on a loop for at least that long. Also he should have to watch "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?" and the subsequent episode, "Probably."

Posted by Sarah at 10:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006


More bookblogging, found at Most Certainly Not:

1) A book that changed my life
Atlas Shrugged, of course.

2) A book I've read more than once
Atlas Shrugged, of course (2x). Also Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (4x). Funny story about that one: My Swedish friend heard me go on and on about that book for years, and one day at her friend's house I looked at his bookshelf and nearly fainted. There was Zen och konsten att sköta en motorcykel. My friend immediately borrowed it and started it on the train. And after about an hour, she looked up at me with this exhausted look and said, "Thank god I didn't try to read this in English." And I don't think she ever picked it up again after we got off that train.

3) A book I'd take to a desert island
Maybe I should take Gravity's Rainbow so I have nothing else to do except figure it out! Who am I kidding though; I'd probably take Atlas Shrugged or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

4) A book that made me laugh
I read Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe and Don't Go Europe! when we lived in Germany, and they both cracked me up.

5) A book that made me cry
I finished East of Eden recently, and I cried through most of it. I sat there in an empty apartment on a folding chair and wept for a week.

6) A book I wish had been written
I had an idea for a book once. I started it, but I kinda fizzled on it. I still like the idea of it, but I doubt I'll ever go through with it.

7) A book that should never have been written
That's a hard question to answer. Not anything on my shelf, no matter how much I loathe Marcel Proust. Um, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion?

8) A book I'm currently reading
I set down Gravity's Rainbow (I promise I'll come back to it) to read a certain book that arrived in the mail. More on that next week.

9) A book I'm planning to read
I got so many books the other day at Goodwill that it will be a struggle to choose which one comes first. Some on the list are Heart of a Soldier, The Way Things Ought to Be, Airframe, and Flying to the Moon (seriously, Goodwill must've known I was coming to put that one out.) I also still want to tackle Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis and Taking Science to the Moon. Still on the card are South Park Conservatives, The Wisdom of Crowds, and Diffusion of Innovation. My favorite birthday gift ever was when my parents took me to a used bookstore when I was 19 and told me to choose until my arms got full...

Posted by Sarah at 01:58 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


It's usually pretty easy to gripe about the military health care system, so I wanted to write and say that I had the most wonderful visit this morning. My doctor was so helpful and scheduled me for all sorts of follow-ups and treatments for various things. The whole thing -- from appointment to lab work to pharmacy -- took one hour. It was amazing. Yay for the people here at our hospital!

And I've lost ten pounds since I moved here too!

Posted by Sarah at 11:09 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 27, 2006


Angie tagged me to do one of those blog things, so here goes.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your Blog (Please include the book and author) along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.

Well, the nearest book is the husband's textbook, Contemporary Strategy Analysis. Snooze, but here goes:

"The ability to share costs across different segments has been a major factor in automobiles where very few specialist manufacturers survive and most of the world's main car makers offer a full range of vehicles allowing them to share costs through common platforms and components. The analysis of a company's optimal segment range is similar to the analysis of diversification versus specialization. We shall return to this issue in Chapter 15."

Shoot me before I have to read any more. Thank heavens the husband understands this crap. The closest fun book is something on the shelves. The first one on the second shelf is probably more interesting to my blog readers: Culture Shock Germany.

"Attendance at state schools is free, as are some (though not all) teaching materials and resources, such as books. Compared to many other present day state systems, German education offers quality instruction and commendable results. At least as important when considering your child's education is that sending your children to a German state school is also one of the best ways to integrate them into German society."

That wasn't that fun either, was it? Let's try one last book, the first one on the fifth shelf, Another Roadside Attraction.

"[The cockroach] is the most primitive of winged insects and its fossils (found in the rocks of Upper Carboniferous) are the earliest known. No other creature has lived on this Eearth as long as the roach. That's rather an impressive record for the repulsive little geek."

That'll do nicely.

Posted by Sarah at 09:09 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 26, 2006


Yesterday I stopped in at Goodwill to check out their book section. I left with tons of books, including fifty cent copies of What to Expect When You're Expecting and What to Expect the First Year. I've heard these are popular books for pregnancy reading, and I didn't want to pass up such a good deal when I know I'll want them someday. Anyway, they caught the eye of the girls working the checkout counter, who got really excited for me. I realized it's a tad embarrassing to be explain that you're not pregnant but you're buying books about pregnancy.

Of course, anyone who knows me well is probably laughing, because they know there's no way on earth I'll get pregnant until I've read both books cover to cover and used different highlighters to color-code important information within. My husband and I are the ultimate planners. We spent months researching the type of dog we wanted, for pete's sake. My husband did so much research on our Mazda5 that he knew more about it than the salesman (an advantage which helped him get it at invoice). Right now he's been spending all his free time making intricate spreadsheets comparing different mortgages and the time value of our money to see how we can save $300 over the next five years. We're pretty intense people when it comes to Decisions That Affect Our Future, but heck, we even consult Consumer Reports to decide which dishwasher soap to buy. So while it might've seemed funny to the girls at Goodwill, those who know us aren't shocked that I bought pregnancy books for the baby we'll probably have in 2008.

Which is actually starting to freak me out a little. In Germany we always said that we'd wait until our next duty station. That was two PCSes away, so it seemed safe. But now we move in just over three months, and the reality of "we're buying the house where we'll have our first baby" is starting to freak me out. It's not going to be anywhere near Angie, and she's supposed to be my nanny!

I better start reading those books soon...

Posted by Sarah at 09:42 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 23, 2006


I've heard that the best human sense for recall is not sight but smell. I got a new air freshener for the car today that was supposed to smell like "fresh cotton." Either I was misinformed as to what cotton smells like, or this air freshener should've been labeled "old timey bottle of Bayer." I instantly thought of my MuMu. She always kept aspirin and Mentholatum by her bed. What's interesting about the nose is that I didn't really remember that my grandma smelled like aspirin until I smelled that air freshener. And though Bayer is not the best smell for the car, I think I will keep it. And think of her when I drive.

Posted by Sarah at 02:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Did you know that Fox News Channel reporter Steve Centanni and freelance cameraman Olaf Wiig were kidnapped in Gaza? Maybe not, since all we hear about on TV these days is John Mark Karr. But according to some TV critic guy named Bob Lawrence, this may be more than just an oversight:

Fox has deliberately set itself apart from other news media. Starting at the top with Roger Ailes, the Fox sales pitch has been to deride other media, to declare itself the one source of the real truth, the sole source of ‘fair and accurate’ news reporting. As a result, there’s not a reservoir of kinship or good will with Fox on the part of the rest of the news media. You can’t keep insulting people and then expect friendship when you need it.

They’ve made it a policy to keep a distance between themselves and the rest of the media, far beyond the usual competitive spirit, so that’s where they are: at a distance.

So you mean I was right to make the snide comment a week ago that no one would care because the journalist was from Fox? I thought I was being overly snarky, but I guess life is stranger than parody.

I'm with Cold Fury:

So howzabout we make a little deal: since you and your liberal-media playmates find yourselves unable to muster enough patriotic spirit — or, for that matter, simple human decency — to bother concerning yourselves about the fate of a couple of fellow American journalists because their politics may not mesh with your own, from here on out, American soldiers (the overwhelming majority of whom violently disagree with your politics, which I think we can safely infer from your snide and heartless comment) will no longer be expected to go out and rescue your sorry, worthless asses when the terrorists you’re so busy propagandizing for get tired of putting up with your ass-kissing sycophancy and decide you’d be more useful as hostages instead.

In other words, if partisan politics means that much to you liberal-media jackholes, and you’re that closed-minded that you can’t even rise above your own petty liberal dogma to scrape up a plugged nickel’s worth of fellow-feeling for your American colleagues no matter who they work (or voted) for, then you have no right to expect any when you find yourself caught in a steel-jawed Islamist trap of your own devising.

If the North Kosanese getcha, don't expect any help from your "countrymen"...

Posted by Sarah at 09:20 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


Our toilet has officially turned into a European toilet. Maintenance has been out twice already to plunge, snake, and grumble, but the water simply won't suck down the hole; it just stirs. Last night I was trying to think of a joke I could make about it, so I tried to come up with something that doesn't belong in a toilet. I laughed out loud and teased my husband, "Honey, you really need to stop shoving Korans down our toilet."

It's funny when the first thing that comes to mind when you think "what could clog a toilet?" is the Koran...

Posted by Sarah at 09:08 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 22, 2006


It's the new "Democracy, Whiskey, Sexy!"

Posted by Sarah at 02:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Oda Mae --
I don't know if my emails aren't reaching you. At least one got kicked back. Anyway, I need your address to send your bear to you. See if you can email it to me.

Posted by Sarah at 02:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Charlie threw up at 0315, and I couldn't go back to sleep after we cleaned it up. I thought some internet would help, but clicking on this Amritas post in the middle of the night just made my head reel even more.

He says, among many other things:

Instead of focusing on over there, we should remember what we can do here. Specifically, tighten the borders. Minimize Muslim immigration.

But noooo. We want more 'security'. More war in East Ameraq. No attention paid to the Muslims that continue to stream into the West. We whine about the jihadists among them when it's too late - when they're already here - often with citizenship. What does that say about us? We want to be warriors, bravely defending our fortress - while we leave the back door wide open. Why? Because we also want to pat ourselves on the back for being free of bigotry. Aren't we wonderful?

I can't find anything there I don't agree with. Amritas has gradually come to see the war in Iraq as the wrong move, which I can respect because I've followed his thought process, and nowhere did it involve ideas like "no blood for oil" or "Bush is Hitler". Common ground goes a long way. And when I read things like the segment of Diana West's article he quoted, I find myself agreeing:

I wanted to make the world - that part of the world from which terrorism mainly springs - democratic, and therefore, safe.

Over the past few years, then, the United States has supported fledgling democracies in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Palestinian Authority ... But the fact is, when these peoples have spoken, what we have heard, or should have been hearing, in the expression of their collective will is that the mechanics of democracy alone (one citizen, one vote) do not automatically manufacture democrats - if by democrats we mean citizens who believe first and foremost in the kind of liberty that guarantees freedom of conscience and equality before the law.

On the contrary, each of these new democracies has produced constitutions that enshrine Islamic law.

This, as I understand it, is a big part of why Amritas feels we made the wrong move by going into Iraq. I can appreciate this argument, since I have fretted about the same thing in recent times. My husband and I worry constantly about the seven signs of non-competitive states, which I think wholly applies to the Middle East problem.

That said, I still see good in our presence in Iraq. Varifrank reminds us this week that Iran could've easily armed Hizbollah if Old Iraq had been in the middle to cooperate.

Even though there's a whole website dedicated to me being the world's biggest war cheerleader (yep, it's still up and running), I have never said that I have all the answers. I, like Amritas, simply fear and even hate Islam. But I don't know the best course of action for defending ourselves from it; I just know I'll support whatever it takes to get them to leave us alone.

Posted by Sarah at 09:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 21, 2006


An ode to grown-ups, by James Lileks.

Posted by Sarah at 07:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2006


Last night we watched Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Meh. It wasn't that great, but it's easy to finish a so-so movie; it's only two hours of my life. However, I am struggling with applying the same concept to the book I'm reading. I've already sunk countless hours into Gravity's Rainbow, and I can't decide if I want to keep going or throw in the towel.

I've never not finished a book (well, except once, but I felt guilty for 15 years). I always think that there's got to be something of value in most books, so I hate to quit them. Maybe the good part is at the end, and I'll never know. But it's bad news when you're on page 140 of a 760 page book and every page feels like a chore.

Has anyone else read this book? Is it worth it? There are whole companion books dedicated to this monster; doesn't it seem like any book that you need two other books and several websites to understand is a bit ridiculous? When the Wikipedia entry starts "The main narrative thread (insofar as there is one)", that's not a good sign. Nor is the fact that the book was suggested for a Pulitzer and rejected by the board because it was "unreadable."

And I thought I'd type out a passage for you to mull over when I googled it and found that Photon Courier has written about the same passage. Because it's his favorite. The one that was practically my breaking point. Sigh. I know he's read my blog once before; maybe he can urge me to keep going in the book.

I will point out that he cut the passage way down though. Perhaps even he was daunted by a 16 line sentence.

At what point do you cut your losses with a book and move on? Or do you keep trudging through and hope that the end of the book brings enlightenment or at least satisfaction in knowing you didn't give up?

I don't like to quit books. But I also don't like dreading picking it up.

Posted by Sarah at 01:23 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

August 19, 2006


Let me just say that I loathe myself for falling into that age-old trap of trying to lose weight a month before your high school reunion. I can't believe I'm playing that dumb game, but I am. I'd like to consider it Incentive, since I know I need to get better at exercising anyway, but I feel like it's more like Panic than Incentive. So I've been working out, probably my second least favorite thing to do behind getting a sonogram.

Don't you hate when you go to the gym and get on the machine next to SuperWoman? It's happened to me two weekends in a row. I'm not sure men care so much, but the first thing a woman will do is look at her neighbor's screen and compare. And the girl next to me goes harder, longer, and farther than me. By a long shot. I feel like Rocky Balboa if I can do 30 min, but this girl does an hour at a faster pace. And it's all I can think about the whole time I'm exercising: all the excuses for why I haven't decided to deal with the 20 lbs I've gained since high school until a month before it matters.

Plus I'm a liar. It's probably more like 25.
God, I hate exercising.

Posted by Sarah at 10:01 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 18, 2006


Yes, death penalty, please.
Hershel Morgan can rot in hell.
Jessica Curless was my brother's good friend.

Posted by Sarah at 01:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Bring the troops home now!

From Germany.

As if I haven't said this often enough, our posts in Germany are a huge waste of money. I just came up with another reason why.

Remember my heater in Germany? The one that kept our house at 80 degrees, whether we liked it or not? We didn't have to pay for that heater. Nor did we have to pay for electricity, water, gas, garbage, or anything else. Well, now we have to pay for those things, and I am appalled at how expensive they are. And how much we got away with in Germany on the government's dime.

We now have 1100 sq feet and a gas/electric bill of $130. We keep our house a disgusting 80 degrees now too because we don't want to pay for more. And I can't help but cringe when I think of all my neighbors who opened their windows in the winter because it was too hot in our houses in Germany. Think of all the money it cost our government to pump heat into houses where you can't control the thermostat, houses with an additional 500-600 sq feet. Man alive. Think of all the times we had every light blazing and the TV running all day long. We never had to deal with the consequences of our electric habits.

I told my husband last night that we're going to start lighting this house with candles. I'm far too tight to shell out $130 for electricity. And it will only get worse when we buy a house.

Why, oh why, don't they have thermostats in our houses in Germany?

Posted by Sarah at 09:15 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Hooray for the new pension bill!

Posted by Sarah at 07:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


As of today, we're here because we want to be.

Last night, my husband and I realized that today is his four year anniversary of being in the Army. If he had wanted to get out, he would've skipped this course and we would've coasted the rest of our time in Germany until today. And today we would've been civilians.

It's strange to think about, really. But it's also kinda fun to know that we're now here not because of an obligation he made when he was 19, but because he chose to stay. Pretty cool.

And I couldn't help but remember CaliValley's rant...

And the misery we endured when my husband couldn't start the Army right away. How poor we were then! But it makes where we are four years later all the sweeter. The Army's been good to us.

Posted by Sarah at 07:27 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 17, 2006


The joys and headaches of the internet. From Robert McHenry:

[What we have here is] the dissolution of categories, the collapse of hierarchy, that used to help us navigate information in a way that Google cannot. Time was, we understood that what is written in a scholarly monograph is different from what is written in a reference book, which is different from what is written in an informal essay, which is different from what is written in a news bulletin, which is different from what is offhandedly jotted down, which is different from what is scribbled on the bathroom wall. Different in intent, different in style, different in reliability. And not only did we understand that they were different, we could tell which was what, usually at a glance.

When the world wide web took off, I was finishing high school and starting college. We were told we could not use internet sites for research papers because they were unreliable: any old guy could write any old thing on the web. But now I think we've come full circle; I trust Charles Johnson infinitely more than I trust Dan Rather. News reports are full of lies and fake photos. Academic papers insist that Neil Prakash is a dentist. How can any high schooler or college student wade through this mass of bias and nonsense to write a paper for school? And how can any teacher decide which sources fly these days?

Thank goodness I'm done with school.

Posted by Sarah at 11:08 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 16, 2006


Mom and brother are fine, of course.
More tomorrow; we have House to watch.

Posted by Sarah at 08:16 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 15, 2006


My mother and brother are flying between two big American cities tomorrow. I talked to my mom on the phone today and said, "Well, I love you, just in case." And though we were joking about how they're more likely to be hurt on the way to the airport, and how security will be tight tomorrow, I still got a lump in my throat. And it focused my laser beam even more.

I saw Nihad Awad from CAIR on TV last night, talking all that "terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, religion of peace, jihad is a personal struggle" nonsense. I remembered that baloney today when I read these harsh words on Ace's post:

Although I've usually been careful to use the preferred term "Islamofascist" as most "resepctable" commentators do, with the occasional sloppy slip-up, as a means of distinguishing peaceful, loyal Muslims from the terrorists--

I'm dropping that practice, as of today. Until the Muslim community can demonstrate it is, in word and deed, as opposed to the slaughter of its fellow citizens as true citizenship in the UK, US, Australia, etc., demand, I'm not pretending we have an "Islamofascist" problem anymore. What we have is a Muslim problem.

If the Muslim community wanted to eliminate terrorism, it could do so within a month.

As it's not part of the solution, it's part of the problem, and it's time to judge it as such.

I'm mad that my mom can't get on a plane without thinking the worst. I'm mad that terrorism has worked on me, that I'm scared today. I hate that after five years of this junk, I have little but contempt for the Muslim community.

Hand me my needles; I need to do some serious aggression knitting.

Posted by Sarah at 03:36 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

August 14, 2006


I clicked on a link to Uncle Sam Ate My Baby blog because of the hilarious name. What I found was a wonderful thing called 2996. It is a project to honor those who died on 9/11; participants research a victim and post their tribute on the fifth anniversary. I signed up for a person immediately. They still need about 1200 people to participate, so if you have any interest in this project, please go to 2996 and sign up.

Posted by Sarah at 09:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Every knitter has stuff in her closet that she hates. Lots of people rip those garments out and start over or move on to something else, but I just leave the loathed garment in my closet and wish a magic fairy would come make it all better for me. So far no luck.

Inspired by a Knitty Gritty episode, I have decided to fix some problem knits. The highest priority was the first cable sweater I ever did. I blindly followed the pattern and completed the entire sweater, only to find that the torso was about 5 inches too long for my liking. If it were the 80s, I could've thrown on a belt and made a mini-dress out of it. Sigh. I wore the sweater a couple of times out of obligation, but I never liked it.

So this past week I did the scariest knitting thing I've ever done: I cut the bottom off with scissors and knitted new ribbing on, eliminating several unwanted inches. Which meant picking up stitches out of cables. Yikes.


I don't know if you can really tell from this before and after photo how much length I lost, but it was quite a bit. I lost a little blood, sweat, and tears in the process too. But now I have a sweater that I will actually wear, instead of one that looks nice from a distance but never leaves the closet.

I told myself that I don't want to move on to new projects until I am happy with the ones I have. That means I've got about four or five sweaters to either rip out completely and salvage the yarn for something else, or to fix somehow. Probably rip out, in all honesty, for they're such a waste of yarn.

Off to tackle another monstrous garment...

Posted by Sarah at 03:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Instapundit is organizing the debate over whether people would prefer a McCain/Lieberman ticket or a Giuliani/Romney. Personally, I think that's just wishful thinking. I think a lot of the right wing of the blogosphere (certainly the sites I frequent) are more libertarian than most Republicans are. I personally don't think we're going to get any of these people on the ticket. And I guess I'm fine with that, because I keep thinking about what Hugh Hewitt said in his book If It's Not Close, They Can't Cheat: "If you walk away from politics because you can't have everything your way, you are helping the people win who are least like you and most opposed to your views."

Many people in the comments section at The Wide Awake Cafe said they'd sooner sit at home than vote for either McCain or Guliani. I hope they're exaggerating, because staying at home is the same thing as voting for Hillary (or whomever). Please don't stay home. For god's sake, think about it. If you're such a serious social conservative that you can't vote for Guliani because of his abortion stance, or you're such a fiscal conservative that McCain-Feingold makes you sick, think of the alternative. Would you rather have Guliani or McCain in office and disagree with some of the stuff they do, or have Hillary in office and disagree with all of it?

Again, I really don't think this will be an issue because I (sadly) don't think these men can make it out of the primary. But for heaven's sake, just cowboy up and vote Republican, no matter who the guy is. Don't stay home and be a martyr.

Posted by Sarah at 10:36 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 13, 2006


So two nights ago, I had the strange realization that my husband could deploy again in the near future. When he returned from Iraq in March 2005, the thought of the next deployment seemed far off. He moved to Finance, where there was no chance of him deploying with that particular unit. Then we were coming here for two courses, with obviously no deployments either. We still don't know where we're moving in December, but the other night as we were getting ready for bed, I suddenly had the thought that he could go to a deploying unit. Oh yeah, deployment. It was a strange realization that's hard to put into words: it wasn't fear, sadness, or anxiety; it was just a feeling of "oh yeah, I forgot that was a possibility." So, yeah, I forgot that was a possibility. We've been extremely lucky so far that he's only gone once, so we'll just have to wait and see what's in store for us at the next duty station. Wherever that is. Seriously, can we find out soon? The movers will be back before we know it.

Posted by Sarah at 03:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Does anyone else think it's mildly offensive that Comedy Central is running "Red State Weekend" with a lineup of Blue Collar Comedy shows and movies like Joe Dirt? They're billing it as a "weekend's worth of movies for 50.7% of the country's population." Yeah, because red states like Ohio and Alaska are so into mullets.

Posted by Sarah at 09:40 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Found this via Hud and CaliValley:
Gore isn't quite as green as he's led the world to believe

Kinda reminds me of the time Ben Affleck said he was thinking of running for Congress, and it turned out he had only voted once in the past 10 years, and not even in 2000 when he rode around with Gore trying to rock the vote. Sheesh.

Posted by Sarah at 09:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 12, 2006


Are there any nutritionists out there who can answer a real question for me? How do you get dehydrated when you're on a liquid diet? That seems oxymoronic to me, but naturally I have no medical knowledge whatsoever. This is a real, actual, honest-to-god question. With only the tiniest pinch of smartaleckness because that woman makes me sick.

Posted by Sarah at 10:45 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 11, 2006


Far be it for me to start talking about polls again, but let me throw a smidgen of perspective out there. The news shows are constantly talking about polls. There seems to be a poll for everything, from presidential approval to whether we should support Israel. And everyone acts like opinion polls mean something. Well, I got your poll right here:

Some 30 percent of Americans cannot say in what year the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington took place, according to a poll published in the Washington Post newspaper.

While the country is preparing to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the attacks that claimed nearly 3,000 lives and shocked the world, 95 percent of Americans questioned in the poll were able to remember the month and the day of the attacks, according to Wednesday's edition of the newspaper.

But when asked what year, 30 percent could not give a correct answer.

Of that group, six percent gave an earlier year, eight percent gave a later year, and 16 percent admitted they had no idea whatsoever.

These aren't 17-year-old morons; these are grown-ups, people my parents' age, who have no idea when 9/11 happened. And we're supposed to care what people say in polls? Are they polling the same 300 dimwits who think 9/11 was an inside job?

I'd wager a lot of Americans still can't find Iraq, Israel, or Lebanon on a map. They don't know a Sunni or a Shi'ite from Shinola. Yet we call them and ask what they think about world events. Whatever.

(Poll link found via Hud)

Posted by Sarah at 11:12 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


My family wasn't a big TV family. The only show I remember watching regularly with my parents was The Greatest American Hero. When I was six. I didn't really have time to watch TV in high school because I spent too much time on the phone. Man, I spent a whole lotta time on that phone. I didn't own a TV in college and was too busy there to care either.

When I got to grad school, I didn't know the difference between the networks, and I couldn't name a single thing that was on TV. But my roommate got cable. Her family was a TV family. And slowly, she began to teach me the joys of television. I was hooked. I used to walk around pointing out all of the things that I now know about the world because I saw them on TV. It was entertainment plus learning, and I soaked it up like a sponge.

Three years in Germany with a mere 8 channels of AFN was enough to get by on, but since we've been back, I've been feeding my love with a vengeance. What else am I gonna do while I knit teddy bears? (Oh yeah, remember when I said I was burnt out on knitting bears? I lied. I put the stuff away for two hours and then got it all back out. I've made like 5 more since.) Right now, I am completely obsessed with the National Geographic channel. And digital cable DVR. I record programs all the time, and every meal with my husband begins with me telling him everything I learned on TV.

But I have to stop taping the nature shows. I can't take it anymore. Why do they always have to write the narration from the point of view of the prey? Look at me, I'm a helpless sea lion pup, mere weeks old. Oops, I strayed too far from the group and I'm not strong enough to swim back. La di da. Crunch. That's the sound of a great white shark eating the pup whole. It's also the sound of my heart breaking. I've watched elephants killing men, the killer crocs of Uganda, black widow and funnel-web spiders, male dolphins enslaving females and killing their offspring on "Dolphins: The Dark Side", and the Mexican staring frog of Southern Sri Lanka. OK, not that last one. All of these animal shows are really starting to stress me out; I swear anyone who idolizes animals must not really know that much about them. I need to stick to taping shows about escape from Alcatraz and counterfeit money.

Anyway, TV rules. It can be a great learning tool and a source of hours of enjoyment. I also had a roommate who hated TV with a passion and thought that it sucked intelligence away from viewers. Unless of course they were watching a program about Ireland, in which case it was brilliant. For some reason, she had an Ireland fetish, and she even stooped so low as to watch Days of our Lives when they were in "Ireland", i.e. a different backdrop on the set. But no one ever accused her of being reasonable. I agree with Aunt Purl that folks who pretend that they're better than you because they don't watch TV need their chops busted.

A few weeks ago, I made a Kitty Carlisle reference when I was out on a first date. The guy I was with proudly told me that he does not own a television and (insert snotty tone of voice here) had not watched TV in over a year. Looked at me with one eyebrow arched.

Good grief. I mean it's fine if you don't watch TV, in fact I'd probably have a much smaller ass if I myself got out more, but I have about a real short fuse for people puffing up on Holier Than Thou, especially on a first date.

I guess I was supposed to recognize his utter superiority over those of us too weak and shallow to abstain from the TV, but all I just drawled out my best hillbilly accent to inform him, "You know they have them thar TV sets real cheap at The WalMart!"

Needless to say, he was not amused.
Needless to add, it was our first and last date.

P.S. Even though there was no National Geographic channel on AFN, I still learned a lot from TV in Germany:

1. Reading a book can make you a better pilot, especially if you want to be good at what you do.

2. You can't concentrate on raquetball if you're being sexually harrassed.

3. White frat boys who ask you for directions could be terrorists, and you'd never see it coming.

4. Even though OIF rotations are published in Stars and Stripes six months before they happen, you should never ever mention dad's impending deployment on a cell phone or IM.

5. Hamsters can park cars better than most humans in the Amberg parking garage.

Posted by Sarah at 10:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I heard a lot on the news yesterday about how Americans have forgotten about 9/11, and how this recently foiled terror plot should help us all focus. But apparently some people seem to have forgotten on purpose, because they don't believe we're fighting a war.


Hawkins is right that if this plot had been successful, if hundreds more people had been killed in planes this year, these would've been the first people to blame Bush and Blair. You can't win.

So everyone's mad. The Democratic Underground is mad that Bush is elevating the terror level for political gain. And the Council on American Islamic Relations is mad that Bush blamed the terror plot on, um, Muslims:

U.S. Muslim groups criticized President George W. Bush on Thursday for calling a foiled plot to blow up airplanes part of a “war with Islamic fascists,” saying the term could inflame anti-Muslim tensions.

U.S. officials have said the plot, thwarted by Britain, to blow up several aircraft over the Atlantic bore many of the hallmarks of al Qaeda.

“We believe this is an ill-advised term and we believe that it is counter-productive to associate Islam or Muslims with fascism,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group.

“We ought to take advantage of these incidents to make sure that we do not start a religious war against Islam and Muslims,” he told a news conference in Washington.

“We urge him (Bush) and we urge other public officials to restrain themselves.”

Yes, because you know that after 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, etc, white people went bonkers and started rioting in the street and sawing off Muslims' heads with dull knives. We really need to prevent this from happening again. I mean, it's just be a coincidence that all these terror attacks over the past five years have been perpetrated by Muslims. We can't really blame Islam for any of this. It's obviously "counter productive" to say that there's causation here; I guess it's just correlation. So we owe you guys a big apology, Hasan Akbar, John Walker Lindh, Richard Reid, Muhammad and Malvo, Mohammed Reza Taheriazar, and Naveed Haq. The fact that you are all Muslims is just a big ol' coincidence, and any attempt to associate you with Islamic facism would be a grave injustice. We beg your forgiveness that while you were killing people, we might've offended you with a label.

Sorry, my sarcasm-meter just hit amaravatian levels.

Maybe Malkin is right: it doesn't even do any good to call them "Islamic fascists", because that assumes that it's an outlying fringe. Check out her scary graphs.

Laser beam. Laser beam. Laser beam.
Deep breath.

Posted by Sarah at 08:04 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I had a dream the other night that I met James Lileks and I didn't like him. When I woke up, I wanted to beat up my subconscious. How could you not like this man, even in a dream? What was I thinking?

Posted by Sarah at 07:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 10, 2006


This article via Hud reminds me of my thoughts a few weeks ago: What's Wrong With This Outfit, Mom? I always joke that my mom was lucky that baggy was in when I was young. Umbro soccer shorts and big t-shirts were all the rage; my only form of rebellion was an Avril Lavigne-ish phase where I wore my dad's pants when I was 18. Everything I wore was XL, to the point where a guy in college lifted me up and remarked that I was a lot lighter than I looked! My mom hated the sight of me in my dad's pants, but I daresay she was lucky I didn't dress like kids today (i.e. like a whore). There was a large group of high schoolers at the ballgame last week, and the husband and I kept pointing out things we'll never let our kids wear. He's adamantly against writing on the butt of girls' shorts; I stand firm against t-shirts with suggestive and/or snotnosed punk sayings, like the "I may not be on time, but I'm worth the wait" shirt we saw on a pre-teen at the game. Kids today are a mess.

Posted by Sarah at 08:00 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 09, 2006


My husband's family's cat passed away today. I am not a cat person at all, but I loved this little critter. She had spunk and major personality. They named her Wheezie because of the funny way she breathed, but no animal could ever have acted more of Wheezie Jefferson. This cat had attitude.


We'll miss you, Wheezie.
Best. Cat. Ever.

Posted by Sarah at 02:50 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 08, 2006


Every once in a while you read a line on a blog that's just so good that you want everyone you know to see it. This is one of those lines:

The NYT confused what people read and email each other, with what they will pay for. If those two things were the same, poems about Jesus and pictures of animals dressed up in costumes would have displaced porn and gambling as the internet's biggest industries.

Posted by Sarah at 04:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I've been thinking about what happened on The View for days now, and I can't seem to let it go. I heard that Barbara was mean to Elisabeth and Elisabeth was mean to Joy, so I decided to go watch it for myself. I really don't think anyone was mean to anyone. It was a discussion of the morning-after pill; these things can get heated. (I thought the things that commenters said about Elisabeth Hasselbeck on blogs were far worse, but most comment sections are a nightmare anyway.)

What I can't stop thinking about is the Hypothetical Situation that Joy posed to Elisabeth. When we debate abortion, why is it that someone always has to bring up the "12 year old girl who's been raped by her father or uncle"? As if this is the norm and these are the only girls who really need the morning-after pill. I thought Elisabeth was completely right to point out that if we're talking about offering this pill over-the-counter, then the target consumer is not really the rape and incest victim. But abortion is always framed around rape and incest. That's the Rocky Marciano of the abortion debate: "That's they one!" But less than 2% of women who have abortions say they do so because of rape or incest. So why do we always frame the debate around these 2%?

If you're pro-choice, you can't keep trying to trip up pro-life people by throwing in the rape and incest red herring. It's disingenuous. I think being pro-choice is a valid opinion, provided you state frankly that when you say everyone has the right to choose, that means Everyone: the girl who gets knocked up at prom, the married lady who forgets her diaphragm, and even the uppity lady who aborts two of her triplets because buying the big jar of mayonnaise is so middle class. If you have the right to choose and a right to your own body, then you get to choose all the time. Limiting the debate to rape and incest absolutely skews what is actually going on in abortion clinics.

Posted by Sarah at 09:15 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 07, 2006


The internet is ablaze trying to find Adnan Hajj fake photos, and everyone wants to be the next Charles Johnson busting the media's chops. I too am shocked at some of the photos that have been taken at face value, but the one howler to rule them all, in my opinion, has to be the photo of the burning Koran.


Ace busts some chops too:

Well! I guess a foreign Muslim photographer just got lucky again to find the inciting, dramatic picture of a burning Koran after an Israeli air strike, huh? It's the perfect visual metaphor for the Islamist cause -- the Jews destroying the Koran itself -- and I just suppose he happened to luck upon a bomb site where one was conveniently still aflame. I would imagine a book would either stop burning, or be completely burned (and hence not burning) 99% of the time you visited a scene two hours after an attack, but this phographer just got lucky once again, right?

Seriously, do people in newsrooms even think anymore? Someone runs to them with a National Guard memo or a photo of a burning Koran and they're so eager to run the presses that they don't even stop to think. Why is a book still on fire in a pile of burned building? The book burned slower than the wood and metal? Please. And a wedding dress would stay white in the midst of bombing too...oh wait, that also supposedly happened.

When the same man and woman keep popping up in photos all over Lebanon, maybe it's time to question these photographers' motives.

P.S. The comment that made me laugh out loud at Ace's post:

That mannequin has clearly been manipulated to look like Rachel Corrie.
Posted by: Kat R. Pillar on August 6, 2006 10:07 PM

Posted by Sarah at 12:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 06, 2006


My husband read this article in Forbes, and we immediately became 50 Cent fans. We listened to his album in the car this weekend, which is a completely different experience when you know more about him. He wasn't just whistlin' dixie with that "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" slogan. It's extremely amusing to listen to the song "High All the Time" and know that 50 Cent doesn't even smoke weed; he's just a shrewd businessman who knows what sells. He made $50 million dollars in 2004 without even making an album. We can't help but be a tad impressed.

Posted by Sarah at 06:30 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


When Kevin Spacey was on The Daily Show, he went on and on about how much better the news situation was in London than in the US. I couldn't help but remember that segment when I read Stressed out and anxious in Beirut. (I found this link in another article called Israeli war deaths go largely unnoticed.) It really is a piece of work: the journalist is sitting with the people of Beriut, musing over where Israel will bomb next and trying to explain his understanding of Israel's motives to the Lebanese people. Hey, newsguy, you wanna understand Israel? How 'bout, you know, going to Israel and talking to them instead of reporting your speculations as news. What a bunch of baloney, which is what passes for "articles" these days:

People keep saying to me, "We are not Hezbollah - why are they bombing our homes?"

The Israelis say that these renewed attacks on Beirut are justified because they are targeting Hezbollah. But for the hundreds of thousands of people in this city who don't support Hezbollah it feels like collective punishment.

Hezbollah's primitive, unguided Katyusha rockets hit civilians too - although far fewer have died in Israel than have been killed in Lebanon by the massive Israeli munitions.

Many Lebanese readily agree that Hezbollah gravely miscalculated when they captured those two Israeli soldiers on 12 July - but now they go on to say: "We were never Hezbollah. But we are all Hezbollah now. The Israeli response is completely unjustified."

I have met some who curse Hezbollah, and who say the Israeli bombardment is understandable. Some, but not many.

And I don't think "But we are all Hezbollah now" is just talk. The more Israel destroys, the more supporters Hezbollah will be able to recruit.

How fair and balanced. Kevin Spacey must be so proud. The article ends with:

Smoking hubble-bubble at a cafe one evening, I heard the sound of a fighter-bomber overhead.

A young man at the next table leaned over to me, gestured in the direction of the menacing rumble, and said: "This - this also is terrorism!"

What a gross misstatement of the definition of terrorism. Provided as the final punch in this craptastic article. Looks like someone at the BBC has been studying his "New Rules" For Mideast Reporting.

Posted by Sarah at 09:51 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 05, 2006


I thought that this blog would help me understand the world, but sometimes I think the more I read, the less I grok. The Left accuses the Right of being delusional. The Right accuses the Left of being delusional. And which accusation you believe hinges on which worldview you brought to the table in the first place. Neither will convince anyone who doesn't already agree with him. Our world is a sad and fragmented place.

Posted by Sarah at 08:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 03, 2006


I just finished reading Mario Pei's The Story of Language. Because I've taken so many linguistics and ESL courses, the basic ideas of the book were not new to me, though it was fun to read a book written in 1948 and see how things have already changed. French was still considered a much bigger player than Russian, Chinese, or Spanish, and 60 years ago, "corny" and "gimmick" were apparently too slangy to be accepted. The most fascinating part of the book by far was the last chapter. After a discussion in the preceding chapter of constructed languages like Esperanto, Pei sets the stage for an international tongue. He argues that "people now alive will be completely replaced, within less than a century, by other people whose habits, linguistic and otherwise, are not yet formed because the people are not yet born, and who can be given, with proper planning, any set of linguistic or other habits that it pleases their enlightened elders to impart to them." And so he goes on to say

What is needed for the solution of the world's language problem is simply a language, any one of the world's 2796 natural languages or of the five hundred or so constructed ones that have at various times been proposed; with, however, two qualifications: the langauge selected must have absolute correspondence of written symbols for spoken sounds, and it must be adopted, by international agreement, in all countries at the same time, not in the high schools or colleges or universities, but in the lowest grade of the elementary schools, side by side with the national tongue, so that it may be learned easily, naturally, and painlessly by the oncoming generations.

Thus within a century, we'd all speak a common native language.

Anyone who's studied a foreign language beyond school requirements knows that the longer you study, the more you realize how tricky communication is. The more familiar you are with the lexicon, the more you see it doesn't match up one-to-one with your native tongue. And true and exact comprehension between two cultures seems hopelessly naive.

Language buffs like me will get excited by Pei's concept. Economists like my husband will say, "That's stupid. The free market already decided on a language and it's English, baby. Lucky for us." But set aside the diplomatic nightmare of implementing a universal language -- and I'm certain that's the reason that it's never been done in the 60 years since Pei suggested it -- and imagine for a moment what such a world would be like. A world where virtually everyone is bilingual and they all have one language in common.

The thought makes my heart skip a beat.

Posted by Sarah at 08:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 02, 2006


Conversation heard in our house this morning:

Husband: I'm gonna sip Bacardi like it's my birthday. Hey, do we have any Bacardi?
Me: I don't give a f*k; it's not my birthday.
[Much laughter]

The husband's now officially closer to 30 than to 20. We're celebrating at Dollar Hot Dog Night at the ballgame.

He's still as cute as he was at 19. Still fits in the same pants too. Jerk.

Posted by Sarah at 09:59 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 01, 2006


John Kerry Proposes Universal Coverage by 2012. Cold Fury calls it "health care with all the compassion of the IRS, all the efficiency of the Post Office, and all the competence of the DMV." We here in the Army have some of that good ol' free health care. I called the health clinic because I need one of those yearly woman appointments; it's not life-or-death, but it's a health care need. I called in the beginning of July and they said they could make me an appointment for 4 August. Then they called me today and said that the doctor won't be there on Friday and we'll have to reschedule for 28 August. Yep, it's free, but it's taking me two months to get seen. I'm just sayin'.

Posted by Sarah at 04:06 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack