Wow. I had no idea I was in such a minority:
A Gallup poll found that only 7 percent of Americans do not believe in telepathy, déjà vu, ghosts, past lives or other supernatural phenomena, which may have more than a little to do with the soaring popularity of Halloween.
A few years ago, my husband and I were visiting his parents and sleeping in the guest room. I woke up in the middle of the night to a bone-chilling noise, a wailing, moaning, ghostly noise. The hair on the back of my neck stood up straight and my heart began to race. I still have no explanation whatsoever for what the noise was: the wind? the dog? my father-in-law groaning in his sleep?
I realized the next day that, if I believed in ghosts, I would forever tell that story as an encounter with one. I would swear that I had heard a ghost at my in-laws' house. But I don't believe in them. Instead I see that story as proof of how people say they've encountered ghosts.
But the truly interesting part was how I could not stop my body and mind from being frightened. Even though I absolutely don't think there was anything out there, my body went into panic mode.
Interesting stuff. But only 7%? Wow.
It seems to me, for example, that when anti-war types bemoan Iraq as this generation's Vietnam "quagmire," older folks are thinking of the real Vietnam – the Gulf of Tonkin resolution and whatnot – but most anybody under 50 is thinking of Vietnam movies: some vague video-store mélange of "The Full Metal Deer Apocalypse."
OK, I'm already breaking my promise: one more pregnancy post. I am so weepy. I don't know, these are things that would probably normally make me cry, but now I just can't control myself. Went over to AWTM to watch Life Aquatic clips and couldn't even see the screen through my tears. "In 12 years he'll be 11 and a half..." I lost it.
And the other night, on the way to the party, we passed an accident. I think normally this would've gotten to me anyway, because it became obvious as we passed that a very distraught woman had just hit someone's dog. The poor little white doggy was lying in the road. We had to sit in the car for several minutes before going into the party so I could get my sobs under control.
But this one might not normally have made me cry, except for the fact that it reminded me what lies in my future. My mom and I have a good friendship and talk often, but my dad is much more reserved. He and I get along perfectly, but we rarely talk because he is definitely a Man's Man, and they don't do things like chat on the phone. But I know he loves me, because he shows it in little ways that mean so much.
When we went to my grandparents' house last week, I forgot to pack my glasses. I had my contacts in, of course, but I'm blind as a bat once I take them out. So is my father; we have the same prescription. When I realized that I had forgotten my glasses, my dad immediately handed me his and let me borrow them for the entire week. It might not seem like much, but it is if you're as blind as we are. My dad sacrificed his vision so his daughter could see. Shoot, I can't imagine myself lending my glasses to anyone, much less some dummy who has a perfectly good pair she stupidly left at home. In no way did I ever expect him to hand his glasses over to me. But my dad did it without even thinking.
He sacrificed for his child.
He made a pretty big sacrifice this past weekend as well. Crazy Aunt Purl was going to be in my hometown for a book signing, and I begged my mom to go meet her and get books signed for me and The Girl. My mom assured me she would, but business came up and she needed to be out of town. She got my father to go downtown to the Women's Lifestyle Show and ask a knit-blogger for an autograph.
What a man.
My dad made me cry a lot this week thinking about what it means to be a parent. It means doing a lot of crap you don't really want to do, like braving the estrogen-filled halls of the convention center to make your child happy. It means giving up something you need so your child can have it, like your eyesight.
Even when your child is 30.
In 12 years, my child will almost be 11 and a half. I hope I am as selfless as my father is.
I promised myself that this blog wouldn't turn into Trying to Grok Morning Sickness, but I will make a comment or two. First of all, I have no idea how any woman musters up the strength to continue a full-time job feeling like this. I could barely manage four hours at the Michaels yesterday; while copious amounts of Christmas potpourri and candles is enough to make anyone want to barf, it made me spend a lot of the day dry heaving over the public toilet. In the bathroom that also smelled like air freshener. Ugh. I also have lost all interest in eating. I don't usually get sick, but nothing sounds good either. I feel hungry but then have to force myself to ingest whatever it is we're having. Oh, and salmon was not a good choice the other day; the fish smell lingering in the house the rest of the evening and next morning was about unbearable.
So that's that. The girl who loves cooking and knitting can barely bring herself to enter the kitchen or muster the strength to lift the needles. It's a sad state of affairs in this house.
But it's exactly what I wanted, right? At least I keep reminding myself of that as I run to the bathroom.
Two links found off Instapundit...
I'll jump here, or lurch I suppose, to something I am concerned about that I think I am observing accurately. It has to do with what sometimes seems to me to be the limited lives that have been or are being lived by the rising generation of American professionals in the arts, journalism, academia and business. They have had good lives, happy lives, but there is a sense with some of them that they didn't so much live it as view it. That they learned too much from media and not enough from life's difficulties. That they saw much of what they know in a film or play and picked up all the memes and themes.
Members of the Iraqi Army in Besmaya collected a donation for the San Diego, Calif., fire victims Thursday night at the Besmaya Range Complex in a moving ceremony to support Besmaya's San Diego residents.
Iraqi Army Col. Abbass, the commander of the complex, presented a gift of $1,000 to U.S. Army Col. Darel Maxfield, Besmaya Range Complex officer in charge, Multi-National Security Transition Command Iraq, to send to the fire victims in California.
The husband and I have been invited to a Halloween party tonight. A few days ago, we still didn't have a costume idea. I really wanted to go as Team Zissou, but he insisted that no one would have any idea what we were talking about. So we had to come up with an idea quickly that was cheap, easy, accessible, and something that made it look like we'd put some effort in without looking like we wanted to win a prize or something. We came up with an idea, and I had two days to knit our way to an easy costume. Can you guess who we're going as?
Boortz on what we can expect for the future:
As you undoubtedly have noticed, the 2008 campaign has, for Democrats, been nothing but new entitlement programs, expansions of old entitlement programs, and tax increases. This is the essence of what it means to be a member of the MoveOn Democrat Party. Create more government dependency, and tax those not dependent on government to pay for it.
Here is what I imagine the seven Harry Potter novels are about: I imagine that Harry is an orphan who had a bad relationship with his father (kind of like Tom Cruise in Top Gun or Days of Thunder or A Few Good Men or any of his movies that didn't involve Ireland). He escapes some sort of abstract slavery and decides to become a wizard, so he attends Wizard College and meets a bunch of anachronistic magic-using weirdos and perhaps a love interest that he never has sex with. There is probably a good teacher and a bad teacher at this school and (I'm sure) they eventually fight each other, and then some previously theoretical villain tries to destroy the world, and all the wizard kids have to unite and protect the universe by boiling black cats in a cauldron and throwing lightning bolts at pterodactyls. Harry learns about life and loss and leadership, and then he doesn't die. The end.
Now, I realize I don't have to guess at these details. I'm sure I could read the entire four-thousand-page plot summarized in four hundred words on Wikipedia, or I could simply walk into any high school and ask a few questions of the first kid I find who isn't smoking crystal meth.
No, you can't read the Wikipedia entry. Because if you don't know anything about the books, like I don't, then all you'll read is sentences like "Harry and Frimbleframp travel to the smigglefloop in a wimbdywhop to battle the canterstamp with a shimmelflap." It's utter nonsense if you don't already know what you're reading.
Anyway, the article is an interesting take on how pop culture brings us shared knowledge. And why you can't understand Kevin Smith if you've never seen Star Wars.
Incidentally, I saw the "Trapper Keeper" episode of South Park before Neil made me watch the Terminator movies. And I didn't get the cultural references. Once I saw the movies, I thought the episode was a lot funnier, plus I finally got the line in Family Guy where Adam West asks Meg if she's Sarah Connor.
But I still don't have any plans to read Harry Potter yet.
These were the happy days, the salad days as they say, and Ed felt that having a critter was the next logical step. It was all she thought about. Her point was that there was too much love and beauty for just the two of us and every day we kept a child out of the world was a day he might later regret having missed.
So we worked at it on the days we calculated most likely to be fruitful, and we worked at it most other days just to be sure. Seemed like nothing could stand in our way now. My lawless years were behind me; our child rearin' years lay ahead. But biology and the prejudices of others conspired to keep us childless.
Our love for each other was stronger than ever, but I preminisced no return of the salad days.
I've been itchin' to watch Raising Arizona again, it being one of my favorite movies of all time, but I just didn't think I could bear watching a movie about a couple who can't have a baby. For nine months, I touched it lovingly on the shelf but knew I wouldn't be able to watch it. It makes me cry on regular days; there's no way I could watch it when I too thought my womb might be a rocky place where a seed could find no home.
We've even joked about stealing one of the Dente boys, since they too have more than they can handle.
The past nine months have been a valued experience for me. I thought I'd be going into labor by now, but instead I've been forced to examine why I wanted a baby in the first place and what is really important in this world. Nine months ago, I thought it mattered what month the baby would be born, or what time of year would be best to be pregnant, or whether I wanted a boy or girl. Now...none of those things matter anymore. I've let go of caring about anything, save that a healthy child blesses our household.
I've woken up and taken my temperature 234 times, each time a depressing reminder that I wasn't yet pregnant. I've been forced to watch others around me get pregnant and to learn that life isn't fair and how hard you try really plays no role. I've confronted myself, thrown temper tantrums, and learned to get over myself in the process. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't trade these nine months for anything. I learned a lot about myself and about life in the process.
So when I took that pregnancy test last weekend and saw the little pink plus sign appear, I knew we were ready. And I hollered at my husband to get Raising Arizona out.
We were finally going to watch it.
I'm leaving today to visit my grandparents, whom I haven't seen since before we moved to Germany. It should be a really nice trip, but I can't say how much blogging I will do. I doubt they have wireless access...
Uh, yeah. Dial up. It took me ages to just check my email last night.
John Hawkins found the perfect example of how the media will come up with anything they can to make Iraq look bad. Deaths in Iraq are way down? How can we play this story? Oh, I know, an article on how Iraqi grave diggers are out of a job. Seriously. That's the story they chose to report. The death toll is down, so let's report that cemetery workers are feeling the sting in their wallets.
I hate these people.
Dear Butterfly Wife,
I have no idea what you're talking about with needing to whiten your teeth. I certainly didn't notice that when we met. I was too busy feeling like a fool because I couldn't figure out how to read the menu at the coffee shop. I can never read coffee shop menus, and since I didn't want to look like a dunce, I pretended that I didn't really need to eat any breakfast. So I starved and then made my husband take me to a gas station on the way home and get me some food.
I didn't notice your teeth, I just noticed that my husband, who generally doesn't like conversation with anyone, seemed to be having a good time talking to you about Iraq. That's an awful big compliment in his book.
And you're wearing make up in Vegas? Crap. I am so out of my league here.
Oh and also, the weight thing? Hogwash. From reading your blog, I expected you to weigh 300 lbs when I met you. You look great. Don't be so hard on yourself.
Can't wait to see you again in Vegas!
P.S. You need to copy this post and put it up on your own blog so your readers can hear somebody saying that you have nice teeth and a normal sized butt. They're going to picture you as a freak of nature if they go by your description of yourself.
My Swedish friend was so excited that my husband had organized a birthday surprise. So when I talked to her again last night, I asked what she thought of the surprise trip to the firing range.
She was horrified.
I expected her to think it was weird, or not romantic, but I didn't expect her to react so vehemently. She thought the whole thing was plain awful, and incomprehensible, and that all the commenters were horrifying as well. She even called her sister's American husband to ask him if he knows what the 2nd Amendment is (too cute) and whether he owns a firearm. She was really rattled by this and even started talking about Virginia Tech.
Then she reminded me of something that I hadn't thought of in a long time. When I lived in France, I was walking home late at night one night when a man on a moped drove up onto the sidewalk, pinned me between a van and a wall, and tried to grope me. Needless to say, it was a frightening experience, and for weeks after that, I walked around the city with my Swiss Army knife in my hand. I have no idea what I actually would've done with it if someone else had tried to attack me, but it made me feel a sliver of control over the situation and it helped me get over my fear. What I had forgotten was how crazy my Swedish friend thought I was for walking with a knife. Or at least, I didn't realize just how crazy she thought I was until she brought it up again last night, that thinking about me with a gun brought back memories of me walking the streets with a one and a half inch blade. Apparently something that barely registered in my brain today was seared, seared in hers.
I told my husband about this last night, and he said, "Wait, let me get this straight, she thought you were dangerous and crazy because you wanted to protect yourself from being raped?"
I explained to my friend that while we disagree on lots of issues -- death penalty, health care, etc -- the Gun Issue is so cultural that we typical Americans and Europeans will never begin to understand each other. We can't even talk about the issue because we're coming at it with completely different cultural baggage. She says that guns create violence; I say they deter it. No common ground.
After we got off the phone, I thought for a long time about our conversation. She can't read my blog; it makes her sick to her stomach. She's against everything I stand for, and vice versa. I'm not mad about that: if she had a blog, I wouldn't want to read it either! But I started to think about the fact that we are friends with each other despite our value systems. That we set aside everything we think about the world and everything we believe to be right in order to remain friends.
She thinks blogging is weird, that it's odd I would bare my soul to strangers on the internet. I kinda think it's weird that I've been friends for nine years with someone I have no common ground with.
Oda Mae is right: This is a friend who would drop everything to take me to a hospital. She even said that she would fly to the US to meet my future baby. She is a good friend. Maybe that's equally important to the equation as our values.
OK, this MSNBC article has to be a joke:
Sex and marriage with robots? It could happen
They already did this joke on Futurama, with the public service announcement called I Dated a Robot. (I love that clip...hilarious.) "All civilization was just an effort to impress the opposite sex."
Don't Date Robots!
RagingMom berates us as a country for not having any patience:
Some years ago, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, a World War II veteran, in which he described his decision to put the cow-milking business on hiatus to enlist in the Marine Corps. He would leave town on the train to Chicago and not come home for over three years.
Can you imagine that? Better yet, can you imagine being his mother, never once getting to even speak to him in three years? Three years, waiting day to day for casualty lists to be published, for the awful sight of two uniformed men on your porch, never knowing where your child is or if he is alive, or whole.
The headlines wouldn’t have helped.
WAR CABINET READY FOR LONG WAR: WILL WIN AT ALL COSTS
And yet, people endured this. Even when MacArthur abandoned the Philippines, the failure of Operation Market Garden, the horrible casualties in the Ardennes and Iwo Jima, even when it was not clear at all that we were winning this war, one thing had to be clear: that we could not afford to lose it, either.
And this perspective from someone who will soon have all three of her sons in Iraq.
We are indeed an instant gratification culture. I want a baby right now. People want to graduate from college and have the house of their dreams and two new cars right away. We want the war to be over right now. I find it to be one of the worst American habits. We all need to get over this feeling; not everything can be fast-food style.
I have been working on it myself a lot lately. Patience. Long term perspective.
Kudos to RagingMom; she has perspective in spades.
Butterfly Wife is the queen of sending cards to the wounded at Landstuhl. She has already contributed 457 cards. I completely lay myself at her feet. She says writing the cards is like chanting a mantra. I too have found a troop-related activity that makes me feel this way.
All these squares will be sent along to Hand-Crafted Comfort to be made into afghans for the wounded. I am on a roll. I made all the blue ones on the plane to Hawaii, and my goal is to make a whole afghan's worth of the autumn-themed ones: 70 total. I'm a tenth of the way there.
And yes, they're crochet. Don't judge me.
Oh, and by the way, this is hilarious. Butterfly Wife was asking for suggestions for songs to listen to during deployment. Someone mentioned "Right Here Waiting For You." Then BW's husband shows up in the comments section and says
No Richard Marx sweetie. We both don't need PTSD.
My husband organized a surprise for my birthday. He'd been cooking it up since July, and although I was really curious about what he was planning, I didn't really try to guess it. And he managed to make it a real surprise in the end.
He took me to exercise my rights.
We have been talking about purchasing a firearm since we got back from Germany. So when we drove up to the place, I figured we were going shopping. That's when he told me that this place had its own firing range. I'm sure my face looked like most women would look if they were offered a shoe shopping spree. Better, in fact.
I had never fired a weapon before. I'd never even been around firearms before; the first time I ever saw one up close was the day my husband deployed. (Seriously, I was so retarded that when my husband gave me tips, a few times I thought "Hey, I know that from CSI:Miami.") I must admit it was a bit intimidating. I had to keep reminding myself that bullets can't just explode on their own, and a revolver with the cylinder open can't really hurt you. That may sound silly to experienced marksmen, but it's an unsettling feeling for a novice. Someone who's accomplished with firearms handles them with confidence and ease, while an idiot like me wanted to hold it like it was an egg and hide behind the partition while my husband was loading it.
We rented a Smith & Wesson revolver and an XD 9mm. My husband gave me some pointers and showed me how to handle the revolver first. As I aimed for the target's chest, I savored the moment of taking my first shot. And didn't really hit the chest. I am not very good at aiming yet, and I wasn't expecting the spark of flame that accompanies the shot. And the noise. But I improved a little as we made our way through the box of ammo and became a bit more confident.
The 9mm was a different story though. My husband originally said that we might want to consider buying a revolver. In my stupid mind, I thought that a revolver wasn't sexy enough. Who wants a revolver when they could have a 9mm? Um, I do. Holy crap, the kick on that thing was absurd. Apparently knitting muscles are not the same ones as firearm muscles! I had the hardest time keeping the danged thing from jumping four inches every time I fired it. I could barely even aim the thing, just hope for the best that I was at least hitting the silhouette somewhere.
We didin't buy anything tonight, but I think I'm leaning towards a revolver. Maybe I'll graduate to that 9mm once I have more practice.
So my husband, who barely remembers to get me a birthday card most years, came through with flying colors. It was a genuine surprise, and one that made me feel giddy inside to be an American. Especially since I just read Bill Whittle's Freedom again the other day:
Once the Second Amendment goes, the First will soon follow, because if some unelected elite determines that the people can't be trusted with dangerous guns, then it's just a matter of time until they decide they can't be trusted with dangerous ideas, either. Dangerous ideas have killed many millions more people than dangerous handguns -- listen to the voices from the Gulag, the death camps, and all the blood-soaked killing fields through history.
The Framers, in their wisdom, put the 2nd Amendment there to give teeth to the revolutionary, unheard-of idea that the power rests with We The People. They did not depend on good will or promises. They made sure that when push came to shove, we'd be the ones doing the pushing and shoving, not the folks in Washington.
However, as we arrived and walked towards the range, I got a funny smile on my face. I told a lot of people that my husband had a surprise for me today. My friend from Sweden. My aunt. The little old ladies from my knitting circle. Are they going to all freak out if I tell them the truth about what my husband organized for my birthday? It's even more intense than that year he introduced me to his tank.
So I made the leap to Grown Up today. And I also made the leap to 2nd Amendment practitioner. Big day.
I swear, the older I get, the less I look my age.
The most vivid birthday I remember from my past was turning 13. I was so excited, because I was going to be a Teenager, by golly. I had made it to another stage of my life.
Today I also feel like I'm hitting a new stage. I'm a Grown Up today.
Somebody needs to tell my hair...
There's too much going on in this Winds of Change post to even excerpt. Suffice it to say that I've kept it open on my desktop all day and followed all of his links. It's chock full of stuff to grok.
Dude, this is so cool. I am the #1 hit on Google and Google Images for "knit rhinoceros."
The husband and I were talking about the concept of The Only Child the other day and decided it need not be a bad thing. They usually have a rep for being spoiled, but I pointed out plenty of people in this world with siblings who are self-centered beyond belief. I held up Gnat as a shining example of a seemingly well-rounded only child. And then I laughed: "If Gnat ends up with any neuroses, it won't be from being on only child; it will be from the fact that her life has been shared with the world in Being John Malkovitch style!"
It was a bit coincidental, this conversation we had.
Today Gnat learned that the world knows her as Gnat.
A very good explanation of why "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" doesn't really work.
Oh yeah, and Thomas Jefferson never said that. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
I wasn't going to waste time writing about this because if I wrote about every time something on TV made me mad, well, this would become a TV blog. But I saw this link on Conservative Grapevine and immediately thought, "I saw that piece of crap episode."
The latest episode of the CBS crime show "Cold Case" depicted presumably devout Christian teens in an abstinence club as sexually active hypocrites who literally stone a member to keep their sins secret.
OK, look, I get that most of Hollywood is going to scoff at abstinence programs in schools. Fine. But there was something just so wrong about some of the scenes in this show. The cops kept rolling their eyes at the witnesses they interviewed from the abstinence club. Smirking and making smartass comments about how weird their beliefs are. And we're talking about the murder of a fifteen year old. The 40-year-old virgin might bring in some laughs, but seriously? Cops are sneering at 15 year olds who aren't gettin' any? It was just offensive. Who in their right mind looks down on abstinent 15 year olds?
So the show had the repressed Christian kids who kill the slut with the heart of gold. Now I'm rolling my eyes...
And now I'm back down to knowing ten people who are pregnant: one of the girls I know had a miscarriage.
Nothing like a healthy dose of perspective.
That's the harsh truth and crappy part about this process: no one is safe. Nothing says that once we finally get pregnant, we're in the clear. Nothing says that once you give birth, you get more than a day with your baby, as this story over at Fiberlicious always reminds me. And nothing guarantees that the precious child you've raised and loved won't die when he's 17, and then your heart won't be broken by the pregnant women around you but by the flood of his peers' high school graduation announcements.
If I've learned anything in the past nine months, it's that this whole process sucks. Opening your heart up to having a child means opening your heart to a world of pain like you've never known.
And I'm far from the only person who's ever been hurt by the process, so I think I'll stop talking about it.
I’ve come around to the view that the culture war can best be understood as a conflict between two different kinds of patriotism. On the one hand, there are people who believe being an American is all about dissent and change, that the American idea is inseparable from “progress.” America is certainly an idea, but it is not merely an idea. It is also a nation with a culture as real as France’s or Mexico’s. That’s where the other patriots come in; they think patriotism is about preserving Americanness.
Yet the strangest and most ironic aspect of our national culture is that we have an aversion to talking about a national culture.
Oda Mae sent me a cute link that combines two of my favorite things: yarnwork and cooking.
Make that eleven. Eleven people I know who are pregnant.
More Halloween preemie hats. These are sure fun!
The black one is with candy corns; it's a little easier to see in person.
The tan one...I should've used black for the jack o lantern mouths but I didn't want to do three-stranded colorwork. And duplicate stitch looked like crap when I tried it here. Come to think of it, I think duplicate stitch usually looks like crap. Not a fan.
My next idea: designing a turkey for some November hats.
Mistakes were made in Iraq. No, not our mistakes, theirs.
I can't say enough how interesting this article was. It addresses all the common complaints about OIF, from the Iraqi side. It breaks down Sunni worries and Shia strategies. It is crucial reading. I plan to read it again.
Oh, and like the der Spiegel article, this one wasn't written in the US either. Why can't our press come up with stuff like this?
Here we go again!
The first of December probably won't be covered with snow in North Carolina, but it will be full of milspouses as we converge on Fayetteville.
And we'll have a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower from our venue. No, seriously.
If you're anywhere near Fort Bragg, I encourage you to come out for this event. You can read all the details about registering at SpouseBUZZ.
I already have two attendees staying at my house...
So, do you have any kids?
I used to know how to answer that question, with an assured and confident negative. When pressed, I was able to justify our childless marriage by saying that there was no way on earth I was going to have a baby in Germany and that we needed to wait until we were stationed in one place for longer than nine months before we even considered it.
Now that we've been trying to have a baby, I no longer know how to answer this question. I've been asked it frequently lately, and a simple No doesn't really seem to capture our situation.
But it's not really appropriate to launch into a sob story of how long we've been trying and that we would be having a baby next month if my body had worked properly from the beginning. Or that I'm not almost 30 and childless on purpose. My husband said that if he's learned anything from this process, it's that he'll never again assume that people are childless by design.
I know eight women who are pregnant right now, eight women who've all gotten pregnant after we started trying. A few of them didn't even want their pregnancies.
I hate the word "unfair," but I find myself thinking it more and more often.
Is that an answer to the question?
"Do you have any kids?"
Awww, man. I just heard that Jim Michaels passed away last night. I'm going to miss him on Forbes on Fox. What a lovable, crusty old man...
The husband and I have been hesitant to see Flags of our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. If Lileks' reaction is any indication, then we were right to be leery.
But I seem to be in the minority in my reaction. I’m sure Eastwood intended the movie to be respectful, but sometimes it seems like the second half of his career has been spent apologizing for the first half.
The husband and I have been catching up on TV series that came out while we were in Germany. We've been watching My Name is Earl lately and loving every minute. Last night we saw the most touching episode...
(Spoiler alert: If you want to watch the show and haven't made it through half of season two, you might not want me to ruin a wonderful episode surprise.)
Earl goes to do right by the guy he locked in a truck and finds the guy dead in his apartment. Earl decides the way to make amends is to throw the man a funeral since he can't seem to find anyone else to do it. This guy doesn't seem to have had any friends at all. No one knows anything about him. Earl throws a lame funeral and goes to clean the man's apartment out. He bumps the computer and finds dozens of IM screens from the man's online friends.
Turns out the guy's Real Life was all online. He didn't have any close friends in Camden County, but he had a vibrant social life in online poker, blogs, and chat rooms. All his online friends came to his second funeral and sent the man off in style.
My husband turned to me and said, "Oh, honey, he's just like you!" I just nodded because of the lump in my throat.
Best TV funeral since the 21 Pin Salute on Ed.
When I make socks, I always make them too short. I get anxious to start the heel and shave rows off the leg. Thus I always end up with short socks and a ball of leftover yarn.
This time I decided I was going the full length on the socks. I didn't want that ball of leftover yarn. Success! Definitely no leftovers here.
Looks like I'll be begging my German connection for another trip to the yarn shop. And then I'll be stuck with a whopping big ball of leftovers.
From the article Inconvenient Youths:
In households across the country, kids are going after their parents for environmental offenses, from using plastic cups to serving non-grass-fed beef at the dinner table. Many of these kids are getting more explicit messages about becoming eco-warriors at school and from popular books and movies.
This year’s global-warming documentary “Arctic Tale,” for instance, closes with a child actor telling kids, “If your mom and dad buy a hybrid car, you’ll make it easier for polar bears to get around.”
From the comments section at Hot Air:
And I’m telling my kids, “If we buy a big enough SUV, we can fit a couple polar bears inside it and make it really easy for them to get around!”
Seriously though, that article was annoying as all get-out.
I thought John Kerry's "Service for College" program was pretty silly. I thought John Edwards' "Get Ahead Accounts" were stepping over the line. But Hillary Clinton's Throwing Money Around Like We Can Just Print More plan is really infuriating.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.
Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.
"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.
Obviously it would be irresponsible to suggest this to voters before she's had a chance to sit down and crunch the numbers, right?
The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.
Oh. She's just speaking out of her ass then.
Clinton said such an account program would help people get back to the tradition of savings that she remembers as a child, and has become harder to accomplish in the face of rising college and housing costs.
One way of building a stronger economy, she said, is "more savings, starting with the so-called baby bonds idea where every person born in this country would be given that kind of account because we want to make an investment in America's young people."
The savings you remember as a child? Yeah, your parents did that. Not the government. Your parents made do without new SUVs and plasma TVs until they had a plan for their children's future. My parents put aside a little bit of money for us to have when we grew up -- heck, not nearly as much as Clinton suggests the government should give -- and never touched it, even when they desperately could've used it. They sacrificed so their children could have a good start as adults. All Hillary's crappy plan would do is prevent parents from doing any saving for their kids because the government would just do it for them. Why forego that ATV for the kids when the government's got their future covered?
There's nothin' like a Democrat plan to keep people hooked on government.
But there's really no point in getting worked up over this. Just like all those other stupid plans, this one will disappear. It just really irks me that she brings this up in public to get votes, knowing full well it will never happen.
I've been following the Hollywood debate articles between Ehrenstein and Breitbart. Breitbart's last hurrah:
I would argue the entertainment industry does matter — because it is the way we send out the message to the world that we take our freedoms seriously. And with freedom comes deep responsibility and I don't think Hollywood quite gets that.
For one it's our second largest export behind aero-space. Surely if China has a responsibility not to send us toxic toys, we have a responsibility not to send them toxic entertainment.
When I read Ehrenstein's submission on Day 2, I had to read the beginning twice, and then out loud to my husband, just to make sure I was actually seeing straight.
A fortiori I'm not so sure about the "love my country" bit as I'm markedly disenchanted with the entire concept of all nation-states. Move an inch beyond language and culture and their meaning and purpose almost invariably mirrors that of the Crips and the Bloods.
I don't know how you can debate any details of our national image with someone who doesn't believe there should even be countries. This goes back to the idea of common ground. Lileks, in one of those Bleats I return to often:
My point? Simple: we live in an era of non-contiguous information streams. I believe one thing; someone else believes another – and the bedrock assumptions are utterly contradictory. This is what drives me nuts about discussing current events with some people. It’s like discussing the Apollo program with people who think it was all faked, or discussing archeology with those who believe the world is six thousand years old. I think the Iraq Campaign was part of a broad war against Islamicist fascism and the states that enable it; others think it’s all about oil and Halliburton jerking the strings of a Jeebus puppet. No. Middle. Ground.
We can debate Hollywood's message and we can debate whether she projects a favorable image of the US around the world, but if we can't even agree on the validity of the concept of the nation-state, well, what's the point of debating anything after that?
So here's something that happened over the weekend.
A man was in custody Sunday after police said he ripped the head off a tame duck that lived in a hotel lobby’s ornamental pond.
Scott D. Clark, a guest at the Embassy Suites Hotel in St. Paul, cornered the duck early Saturday morning, grabbed the bird and ripped its head from its body while a hotel security guard and others watched, police said.
And let's look at the conclusion the article gives us.
If convicted, he could face up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine, said Tim Shields, general counsel with the Minnesota Federated Humane Societies. Shields said the incident was “unconscionable,” and that having live ducks in a hotel lobby puts them at risk of being stepped on or run over by suitcases.
“I think Embassy Suites needs to take another look at this and review how they keep ducks safe, or use fish like most hotels would use,” Shields said.
So it's the hotel's fault for keeping ducks in the first place. They should've protected their ducks from every sort of harm that could possibly befall them, including having their heads ripped off. Oh, I get it, it was a failure of imagination.
What is wrong with our priorities when we feel blame has to be shared between the psycho and the hotel?