July 31, 2008

HA

How hilarious is this? (Via CG)
Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet

Posted by Sarah at 08:46 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

ARE WE THERE YET?

Well, I put in a seven-hour workday today. I started crocheting on the wedding afghan at 9 AM, stopping only for lunch and the occasional email. Seven hours and a ton of blurry TV later, I've completed 25 rows. That's eight inches. Man, I kinda figured I'd knock this thing out today, but I still have another four or five inches to go.

That's enough, people. No more weddings or babies for the rest of the year. I can't handle any more of this race-against-the-clock knitting.

Posted by Sarah at 04:34 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

UPDATE

For weeks, people have been asking what happens next fertility-wise. Well, I'm still technically pregnant from the last baby. My levels plummeted and then plateaued; the nurse said she's never seen anyone's levels stay the same from one week to the next. And we all know there's no way I could be pregnant again, so I have no idea what's happening or how to make it stop. I can't make any appointments with the fertility clinic until the levels get back to zero. So I'm stuck in teeny-tiny-bit-pregnant limbo for now.

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July 30, 2008

PLEASE NOTICE ME IF I DISAPPEAR

[Cross posted at SpouseBUZZ]

Today I found a deployment issue I hadn't thought of. For the first four years of our married life, and throughout the first deployment, my husband and I shared one car. Now we have two and he's deployed again. I thought it was a great novelty to drive his car, but I didn't realize how exclusively I was driving it until I went out to get in my car today. Dead battery. I realized it hadn't been driven in about five weeks. Oops. I'll have to do a better job of making sure both cars get driven equally.

So I had to jump one car with the other. That's Homefront Six's area of expertise, not mine.

I am a dufus. I don't even want to tell you how dumb I am about cars and batteries; that little secret will remain between my dad and me. But after I got off the phone with him and realized the proper way to jump a car, I accidentally knocked the positive and negative ends of the jumper cables together and got a nice spark.

That's when the mental gremlins kicked in. All of a sudden, I imagined myself electrocuted to death in my garage. And wondered who would notice.

I had this same thought before a few days ago when I started taking a medicine for the eye surgery that I'd never taken before. If I dropped dead in my house, how long would it take for someone to figure it out? My husband is gone. I have no kids. I don't even have a job I'd be expected at the next morning. I am friendly with my neighbors, but not so close that they'd notice me missing. My friends and my mom would call and get my answering machine, and maybe they'd call back the next day, but how long would it take for one of them to realize it had been a long time since they'd heard from me? And if so, what would they do? It's not like my mom or AWTM can pop in on me from the Midwest to make sure I'm still breathing.

A friend of mine, her neighbor slipped and died in the shower. It took three days for someone to find her, and it only happened that quickly because another insightful neighbor noticed her newspapers piling up.

I don't even get the paper.

I know, I know, completely morbid thoughts. But I'm sure this is something that single people all over the world have to worry about, not just military spouses on deployment. It just really hit me how isolated I am. No one in my city would notice I was missing.

People on the internet would probably notice first.

There's a blogger out there who goes by the name of Green. LAW and I noticed that she hadn't posted in a while, so we left a comment. Then we sent emails. Neither one of us knew her last name or her phone number, and LAW and I sent emails back and forth, hoping that Green was OK. It was a relief when she finally replied and realized how worried about her we were; she was just busy with Real Life and hadn't been online. David Boxenhorn and I did the exact same thing when Amritas hadn't posted in what felt like an eternity. I had half a mind to research his parents' phone number; can you imagine that call? "Hi, I know your son through the internet. He's not dead, is he?" But when someone from your online family doesn't show up for a while, it can be a red flag.

Please, if I don't blog or email, someone check on me.

Oh, and when I called my parents to voice my concerns and to give them the phone numbers of two friends in town who could peek in my windows and make sure I'm still kickin', my dad further cemented my dufus-ness by telling me that I can't really die from a spark on a car battery.

Good thing it's not possible to die from worry either. I'd be long dead.

(And you guys better throw me one of those My Name Is Earl funerals.)

Posted by Sarah at 09:05 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

July 29, 2008

NO WRONG WAY

There is no wrong way to knit. The only rule is to not drop a stitch or do something that will cause the knittery (thanks for the term, CaliValleyDude) to unravel. How you hold the sticks, where you hold the yarn, all of this is irrelevant. I rest my needles on my thighs and move the left one around the right; I think the only other people in the world who do that are the people who learned knitting from me. Which is actually quite a few people, I am happy to say.

I've heard stories from people who've gone into highbrow knitting stores and the ladies there want them to change the way they hold everything. That makes me mad. There's no wrong way to do it.

(This post prompted by this post.)

The only wrong way to knit is to take on making two wedding afghans a month before the weddings. And realizing that you now have a week to finish the remaining thirds of both of them.

Posted by Sarah at 12:34 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

A BAD DAY

It seemed like such a nothing choice, putting that Ray of Light CD in the player. I haven't listened to it in nearly ten years.

It wasn't a nothing choice. I am unable to do anything now but sit immobilized with my thoughts.

This CD takes me back to France. And not in a good way. That year of my life, I wish I could erase it. It is such a deep wound. I spent eight years loving France and waiting to get there, and then I hated it once I was there. After a horrible month of bad experiences with my host family, worse experiences with teachers, and being chased by a pervert until I had to climb under a car to hide from him, I turned numb to France, pretending I wasn't there. I got into a hurtful and bad romantic relationship with another exchange student instead. The year culminated with my near-death. And anything that reminds me of that year makes me sick.

*****

That's how I started a post yesterday. I never finished it because, coincidentally, a friend from that year in France called me while I was writing it.

The post sat as it was; the bad feelings lingered to today.

I remember thinking it was cute that The Girl wrote a post just to remind herself of a day when she was feeling fine. This is my post to document a day when I'm not doing well.

Yeah, it's 0100 and I'm still awake.

It was that France stuff hanging over me today. Thinking about how crappy the year was, what bad choices I made with my life, and how awful I feel in the pit of my stomach whenever I think about it.

But mostly today it was the eyes. I feel like they're getting worse instead of better. I'm back to hating my body. I'm back to feeling the unfairness of having a body that won't accept a baby and eyes that won't accept Lasik. I am discouraged.

And I'm reading a book for a SpouseBUZZ review. I read the entire second half of the book tonight, two hours of feverish reading. It took me right back to the last deployment. It included names that I'll never forget: Kenny, Iwan, Khan, Falkenburg, Sims. (And just now, in looking up how to spell "Falkenburg," I couldn't avoid three names that brought the tears: Prewitt, Rosales, and Becker.)

So here I am, at 0100, not having such a good day.

And I just thought I ought to document it.

Posted by Sarah at 01:20 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 28, 2008

BE STILL MY HEART

My husband and I went on a cruise the last time he returned from Iraq. We hated it. Between the awkward mingling with civilians and the Scattergories game from hell, it just really wasn't for us.

But the husband sent me a link today, noting that this cruise might be a bit more up our alley. I swear, when I read the first five names, my heart skipped a beat. Can you imagine getting those guys on a boat? It'd be like stalking Instapundit in Vegas, only there'd be nowhere they could escape from me! Muhwahaha.

No, seriously, I want that cruise. And I don't care one iota about the itinerary; we could circle Lake Michigan for five days for all I care. Hubs, someday can we take a nutjob cruise?

Posted by Sarah at 03:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

CITIZEN OF THE WORLD

In order to keep my eyeballs off the computer screen, I have been listening to Hugh Hewitt clips. But that's a bad idea because it just makes me come up with stuff I want to blog about.

I was listening to Dean Barnett and James Lileks talk about Obama's "citizen of the world" line.

I now puff my chest up and say that I was at the vanguard of this line of thought, having blogged about it two and a half years ago. (And getting exactly zero comments on the post, she adds, lest you think she really does hold herself in such esteem.)

Some commenter said yesterday that America's far left is Europe's moderate. I thought of that today in passing while reading Broca's Brain. I think people look at the world quite differently depending on how they classify themselves. If you think of yourself as an American, you see the world differently than if you think of yourself as a Global Citizen, as it seems most Europeans do. And if you think of yourself as a citizen of the universe, as Sagan does, you look at issues completely differently. Thus when Sagan talks of global warming, he thinks all humans should work together to prevent Earth's habitat from being like Mars. When an American talks about it, he typically thinks about what is best for the US first. I think the label you give yourself says a lot about how you deal with The Issues.

I agree with Lileks that when Obama calls himself "a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world," the emphasis is on the latter. And that it lacks any real sort of meaning and downplays his Americanness.

Really, there's nothing that turns me off quite as fast as when someone downplays his Americanness.

I am not a Citizen of the World. I live on this planet, but I am an American citizen. I don't really recognize this entity that Obama calls "the world," some sort of collective of human beings who all want the same things: peace, love, and kumbaya. I don't think that exists. I believe that human life patterns the Animal Planet channel, where each species vies for position and does what it takes to stay alive and get ahead. We accept that in the animal kingdom, but for some reason we think humans should all want to share and be humble. I wish we could accurately see human beings the way we accurately see marine life during Shark Week.

I am thankful to be a citizen of the greatest country on this planet. I wish Obama were too, instead of relegating it to second fiddle behind meaningless "We Are the World" tripe.

Posted by Sarah at 11:01 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 27, 2008

HEH

Oh, and I think it's cute that all of you are saying, "But you didn't call meeee." I said non-internet friends, sillies. Also, AWTM, you are PCSing like tomorrow, and, Guard Wife, you are taking the freaking bar exam this week, so I'm not gonna call either of you and waste your time with stories of how my eyes are too blurry to watch an episode of The Dead Zone.

But I did watch Friday's episode of The Soup, and I was laughing so hard I was pounding the coffee table with my fist. I wonder if there's laughing gas in the eye drops I'm taking...

Oh yeah, and my face is still sticky. My hair keeps sticking to my cheeks and forehead, which is not pleasant. I even considered putting Goo Gone on it, but the bottle said to avoid prolonged exposure with your skin.

Vision-wise, I see about the same as I did yesterday.

Posted by Sarah at 01:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

GUESS I FIGURED OUT WHAT TO DO TODAY

You know what you can do with only 20/30 vision? Housework. Bleh.
Scrubbing, sweeping, mopping...so far I've found that none of those take perfect vision.
Just my luck.

Posted by Sarah at 11:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 26, 2008

THE BEST MEDICINE

Lots of laughter today. Lots.
And I haven't laughed at The Daily Show in years, but this recent clip had me in stitches.
No low blows, no gratuitous Bush jokes, just good comedy.

Posted by Sarah at 06:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

HA

So the bio of Benjamin Franklin I've been listening to? Yeah, that's not a sustainable activity. FbL had a good alternate suggestion: listen to stand-up on youtube. I ended up on the most hilarious thing, Dennis Miller interviewing Dana Carvey. The Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart thing was priceless.

P.S.

Sarah Silverman just has the most perfect delivery. I can't listen to any more of her because I can't not watch her. Her face, it is delightful as she makes jokes.

Posted by Sarah at 01:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

RECOVERING

I have to wear metal eye protectors to sleep in. I told my husband they make me look like Spiderman. Just in case he didn't truly believe me...

spidermaneyes.jpg

Incidentally, I took eight of these pictures of myself lying in bed, hoping that one of them would be decent. So today when I was picking out which one to put on the blog, I felt like I was back in the eye doctor's office: Which is better, #1 or #2?

Also, notice that they have to be taped to my face. I cannot for the life of me get the sticky residue off; I've tried soap, exfoliator, and even rubbing alcohol. I am certain that by the end of the week, I will have two tape lines of pimples in an X on my face. Lovely.

So, yesterday was not so great. My friend and I decided that we did this all backwards: we hung out this week and culminated with the surgery, but we should've started with the surgery and then hung out, since I can't do anything but sit. Because my vision is blurry, I can't watch TV and I really ought to limit my computer time (so hard for me). Did I mention that I can't watch TV? Yesterday I sat alone listening to a book on tape. Lame.

Today my vision seems a little better, which is reassuring. But just in the hour I've been on the computer, I swear it's gotten worse, so I'm going to get offline now. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself all day. One thing I can do is gab on the phone, so I think I might catch up with old friends. Like non-internet friends. Yeah, I still have a couple of 'em.

UPDATE:

I just called six people and none of them answered. Lame.

Posted by Sarah at 09:57 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

July 25, 2008

I AM JOE'S NODDING HEAD

Lileks goes to eleven today.

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MY KIND OF MOVIES

CVG sent me an article that she knew I'd like: What Bush and Batman Have in Common

The funny thing is that my husband and I only pay money to go to the theater to see the very movies this article discusses, the superhero genre. The last movie we saw was Spiderman 3. Before that, 300. Before that, X-Men 3. And so on. So I was excited to see the new Batman and sad that I couldn't see it with the husband. His buddy and I tried to go the other night but it was completely sold out. Luckily, I did get to see it with my friend and her two sons this week.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. And Heath Ledger was just...wow. The whole time I kept thinking how tragic it was that the role messed with his head so badly but how unsurprising it was, considering how masterful his performance was.

Those are movies I want to pay to see.

Posted by Sarah at 05:37 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

ON THE VERGE OF PROFANITY

This is so sad it's frightening: Apollo 14 astronaut claims aliens HAVE made contact - but it has been covered up for 60 years

Really? Really?

Edgar Mitchell studied aeronatical engineering and was fortunate enough to have been one of only 12 men in the history of history who have walked on the moon, and this article just makes me shake my head in shame for him.

Aliens did not crash at Roswell. Anyone who believes in humanoid aliens is just stupid. I am not normally that blunt or rude, but alien visitors is just too much for me.

Here is a gem from the book A Short History of Nearly Everything, which I recommend to anyone who knows how to read:

Space, let me repeat, is enormous. The average distance between stars out there is 20 million million miles. Even at speeds approaching those of light, these are fantastically challenging distances for any traveling individual. Of course, it is possible that alien beings travel billions of miles to amuse themselves by planting crop circles in Wiltshire or frightening the daylights out of some poor guy in a pickup truck on a lonely road in Arizona (they must have teenagers, after all), but it does seem unlikely.

Later in the book, Bryson discusses the miracle that came to be humans, the evolutionary path that life had to take to get from primordial goo to a human being. And there's just no way that some other planet light years away also developed organisms with two legs, two arms, a torso, two eyes, a mouth, and everyfreakingthing exactly like us humans, only the head is slightly bigger and more lightbulb-shaped. No way, no how. Oh, and that those organisms could visit Earth without dying. We can't visit Venus or Mars without dying, but someone from another galaxy is smart enough to figure out how to travel through space but dumb enough to think he could just land in New Mexico and all would be groovy? So freaking unlikely that I am on the verge of typing cuss words in this post.

I am just flabbergasted that Edgar Mitchell gets to be on the wall of fame in my favorite museum in the world, when his view of the cosmos matchs up with any old Bubba who got an anal probe.

Posted by Sarah at 04:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NOW IMAGINE SEEING IT FROM THE OTHER SIDE...

If you're really squeamish, this might freak you out. But there's a youtube of a Lasik surgery, and it's exactly what they did to me. I must say, sitting in the waiting room watching these creeped me out at first, but after I'd watched three people go ahead of me, it wasn't that hard to watch. But still...not for those who get grossed out by eyeballs.

Posted by Sarah at 02:12 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

HE CRACKS ME UP

I posted at SpouseBUZZ: My husband's got jokes:

The other day, I set my purse down in the living room and walked down the hallway. A minute later, I hear the cell phone ringing. I run down the hall, rummage through my purse like a madwoman, and grab the cell phone right as it stops ringing. I recognize the displayed number as my husband calling from Iraq. And I'm standing there with the cell phone in my hand as he's leaving a voice message. No way to call him back or to let him know that I'm stupidly holding the phone.

That's excruciating.

I sent him an email later, saying that I was dying as he left that message, and that if he ever doesn't reach me on the cell phone in the future, he should hang up and try back one more time. Chances are I'm rummaging through my disaster of a purse, which is always what happens when my phone rings.

So a day or two later, he calls again and I miss it, but he calls right back. After we get off the phone, I go to my voicemail and hear what he left after the first call: a sing-songy teasing voice saying, "I'm not calling back -- you shoulda gotten to the phone in time! Just kidding..."

My husband's got jokes.

After I came up with that post, I went outside for a moment and my husband called again and I missed him. This voicemail said sarcastically, "You'd think with your new eyeballs you could find your phone faster."

That man.

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

UNDERWHELMED

I woke up this morning a tad underwhelmed. I didn't feel safe driving myself to my appointment, so my friend took me. The doctor said he likes his patients to be at least 20/25 by the next day, and I'm 20/30. Now, that's WAY better than what I can see without my glasses, but I still feel like I'm in a little bit of a fog. Some of that could go away in time, and I freaking hope so because I certainly won't be happy that I spent thousands of dollars to still need glasses. I go back in a week to see if there's progress. But the pessimist in me thinks that this might just be one more nail in my loss-of-faith coffin.

Posted by Sarah at 10:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

EYEBALL UPDATE

So, the lasik, eh?

I went in and waited and waited; naturally they were behind schedule. There were two other ladies in the waiting room who had done the surgery a few years ago and who were in for a touch-up. They said that, even with having to have a touch-up, they would do it again in a heartbeat. They also said that there's no pain whatsoever.

Hmmm, I am not sure I agree with that.

I went in and they numbed my eye and drew marks on it with a marker. That's because of astigmatism; apparently when you sit up straight, your eyeball is in a different shape than when you lie down, so they have to mark you sitting up before they recline you. Then they took me in and cut the flaps in my cornea. Painful isn't really the right word, but it was uncomfortable as all get out. They put this suction cup thing on your eye and create a vacuum seal and then start cutting. It was blindingly awful. It was so hard to keep my eyes open, and the even had me in this Clockwork Orange contraption so I couldn't shut my eyes. Still, I would've given anything to close them. It was like my brain shut off and the only thought I had was get-it-off get-it-off get-it-off. They did my left eye first, prounounced it a success, and did the right eye. But no pronouncement after that one.

Then they walk me across the hall and put me under another machine. I hear lots of commotion from the doctor and nurses and get the vibe that something is wrong. Panic attack. I am trying not to freak out or cry for what feels like an eternity before some nurse pats me on the arm and assures me that there's nothing wrong with my eyes, just the machine. Turns out the machine was having trouble uploading my info, so someone had to go back downstairs and save my flie to a thumb drive and come back with it. But I seriously thought something had gone horribly wrong. It was entirely unnerving, lying there for interminable minutes thinking that I had just lost my right eye.

Then, by the time they came back with the thumb drive, I had been lying there with my eyes closed for several minutes. So when they turned on the machine and the light flooded my eye, I thought I was going to pass out it was so bright. Nothing like being in complete darkness for five minutes and then having a flashlight shined in your eye from six inches away.

The wild thing about this next part is that it's done on camera and broadcast into the waiting room, so my friend and her son watched them pull back the flap in my cornea, pulse the laser into it, and then replace the flap. She took pictures with her cell phone, heh. And then we were done.

I shut my eyes, got guided out of the office, into the car, into my house, and into bed. My friend then had to figure out how to tape the protective eyewear to my head before I went to sleep. I woke up three hours later and took the goggles off.

I can see...decently. I guess I was expecting this life-altering transformation already, but as of right now I see better than I did naturally but not nearly as good as I did with my glasses. They say the process can take up to 48 hours to really work, so I'm hoping I have better vision in the morning.

Oh, and I would never say the process was easy or painless, but whatever discomfort I experienced -- I spent a lot of the time with my toes curled and my fists clenched, wishing I could be anywhere but with a blinding light in my eyeball -- it will be worth one hour of discomfort if I can see. My eyes are still extremely itchy this evening, maddeningly so. I would give anything to rub them, but that's the biggest no-no. I hope the worst of that goes away by tomorrow.

Wish me luck that I wake up in the morning with better vision.

UPDATE:

As posted above...

If you're really squeamish, this might freak you out. But there's a youtube of a Lasik surgery, and it's exactly what they did to me. I must say, sitting in the waiting room watching these creeped me out at first, but after I'd watched three people go ahead of me, it wasn't that hard to watch. But still...not for those who get grossed out by eyeballs.

Posted by Sarah at 12:26 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 22, 2008

A SLEEPOVER

Charlie and I will be gone for a few days; we're going on a sleepover to my friend's house. Her husband is out of town this week, so we're going to knit and bake. And then she'll nurse my eyes back to sight. So I may not be around for a few days, but hopefully when I return I'll be 20/20.

Posted by Sarah at 09:44 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 21, 2008

BWAHAHA

So...during primary season, my husband opted for strategery and pulled a Mary Katherine Ham. Therefore, I found it hilarious today that he received a letter in the mail from the RNC asking him why he's abandoned the Republican Party. It called him a "grassroots leader." I am seriously sniggering here.

Posted by Sarah at 09:16 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

HAPPY DAYS

Last night I went on a Mia Wallace date with our buddy. (You know, where he has to take his friend's wife out for a five dollar milkshake. Minus the drug overdose.) Listening to him complain about dating woes just made me miss my husband so much. I am so lucky to have found such a great guy. And his buddy misses him too, so we were going back and forth talking about how awesome my husband is. That was fun. The next time I have to fill out some email forward about my favorite hobbies, I plan to include "swapping stories about my fantastic husband."

And today, I got a phone call with some surprising news. I went back to the eye doctor last Thursday to re-run all the tests, and then he crunched the numbers three different times to triple-check the results, and we're a go flight on the eyeballs. So I get it done this Thursday.

BCG.JPG

On Friday, I will be able to see. If you wear glasses or you've had Lasik, you know how huge this is. I will be able to see. I've worn glasses since the 3rd grade; before that, I thought it was normal that the entire world appeared blurry. But on Friday, I will be able to see. This is so exciting to me that I can barely contain my joy.

I will be able to see.

Posted by Sarah at 03:05 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

July 20, 2008

SPEAK FOR YOURSELF

There's just too much to say about this article, and most of what I want to say will make me sound mean. I'll limit myself to a few points: As wars lengthen, toll on military families mounts

If the burden sounds heavier than what families bore in the longest wars of the 20th century ó World War II and Vietnam ó that's because it is, at least in some ways. What makes today's wars distinctive is the deployment pattern ó two, three, sometimes four overseas stints of 12 or 15 months. In the past, that kind of schedule was virtually unheard of.

Honestly, I'd rather my husband do all the time he's done in Iraq than do one tour in either WWII or Vietnam. I can't help but think of Easy Company from Band of Brothers. They were only deployed for a year, but that year included D-Day, Market Garden, and Bastogne. No way. I'll take two years in Iraq over that one year in Europe anyday.

"Infidelity is huge on both sides ó a wife is lonely, she looks for attention and finds it easier to cheat," she said. "It does make even the most sound marriages second-guess."

Um, no it doesn't. Speak for yourself, honey.

"Deployments don't help in strengthening a marriage, but they do not have to kill marriages," [Col. Ronald Crews, one of several chaplains called from the reserves to help with family counseling] said. "That's a choice a couple has to make."

Again, speak for yourself, Chaplain. I know a few wives who've said that deployment strengthened their relationship; CVG even called deployment "couples therapy." I really disagree that separation can't strengthen you.

When my husband left, I posted "A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning" on my site. To me, that is the perfect deployment poem. My husband is the roaming foot of the compass, and I the fixed foot that hearkens after him. Our love is the "gold to aery thinness beat" and we don't need "eyes, lips, and hands" to remind us that we're still in love. And our relationship is just as strong, even though deployment "doth remove those things which elemented it."

I don't need my husband in my house to know that I love him. I also don't need him here to know that I oughtn't cheat on him, or to strengthen the bond that exists between us.

But then again, we don't have "dull sublunary lovers' love."

[article via LMT]

Posted by Sarah at 02:46 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

A PECK OF PEPPERS

I've never grown anything edible before, so I am fascinated by my new little garden. I go out and look at it constantly, mostly to marvel but also to be on the lookout for hornworms!

So I was tickled pink to come home from DC and find that my little buds and marble-sized peppers had turned into this:

peppersgreen.jpg

Four on one little plant! How is it standing under all that weight? And the little pepper that I took a photo of a month ago?

pepperred.jpg

He's red! He's still only the size of a golfball though. But this farmer thing is addictive.

Posted by Sarah at 07:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 19, 2008

MY ALTERNATE REALITY

The Girl and I have a running motivational speech, wherein we admonish each other not to live in an alternate reality. Hers is that if her husband hadn't deployed and gotten stop-moved, she would be back in the US now instead of still languishing in Germany. Mine is that I would already have a baby instead of still being in not-able-to-be-pregnant hell. We have to constantly remind each other that, even though we don't like it, we have to live in the reality that is.

But this is hard for me today, because my husband just found out his next deployment schedule. He still has six months left on this one, and he already knows tentative dates for the next one. And I can't help but be overwhelmingly disappointed that this baby we were pregnant with a month ago would've worked out so perfectly. Baby would've been born right after the husband got back, and he would've been here for the birth and then maximized his time at home before he left again. Now that we already know when he's leaving again, it's like another sock in the gut that I wish this baby had worked out.

I am still planning on getting fertility testing done, and perhaps heading into Mordor this fall. But if things go perfectly well, and I get pregnant on my own in a doctor's office right away, the baby will be born right as my husband is deploying again. That is not a reality I care to live in. In fact, that was the exact reason that we started trying to have a baby when we did, so we could avoid such a crappy situation. But there it is. Perfect Baby is no longer with us, and now we get Undesirably Timed Baby. That is, if Baby even works out for us at all.

I promise you, The Girl, that I am trying really hard not to dwell on that alternate reality, where my husband actually gets to enjoy the birth and early life of his child. And I swear, I was doing really well and was practically over the fact that I am not pregnant anymore. I was moving on, but this is something that makes me wistful for the alternate reality I almost had.

However, I take some vicarious comfort in this: no matter how we slice it, you will be back living in the US before any sort of baby enters our home! And that is something to definitely look forward to.

Posted by Sarah at 06:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

CUTE

Yay, CaliValleyGirl finally graced us with her presence, and she even included a picture of her baby wearing the sweater I made for him. Um, the sweater that was supposed to fit him this coming winter, at six months, not six weeks. He's a big'un.

Posted by Sarah at 06:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

LINK

Via Beth, a must read: Patton Oswalt's graduation speech

Posted by Sarah at 04:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OH HEAVENS

Dear AirForceGuy,

You know how you were ashamed that my Tibetan terrier kicked your pit bull's butt? I have a piece of news you'll be interested in. Remember how Charlie kept scratching his ears the whole week? We went to the vet yesterday: he has a yeast infection in his ears.

Trust me, our dogs are equally emasculated.

charlierug.jpg

Poor Charlie, that's just not cool at all.

Posted by Sarah at 09:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

SLEEP

One of the bad things about having a deployed husband and no job is that I don't have to do anything. Time is just one big fluid thing, and the distinction between separate days becomes arbitrary.

I have always been an insomniac, but having a husband with a set schedule helps keep me on a system. Now that he's gone, there's no reason to go get in bed. I end up promising myself 'just one more episode' or 'just one more chapter.' My bedtime creeps ever so later: 1AM, 2AM. Same with when I get out of bed; if there's no job to go to, and I stayed up until 2AM, why not sleep until 9:00? It's a bad cycle.

But last night, I found myself exhausted. I felt like I was drugged, I was so tired. Maybe it was the midnight drive home from DC catching up to me, I don't know. But I shut the lights out last night at 8:45, before it was even dark outside. And I woke up this morning at 7:45. That's a heck of a slumber.

Oh, and trust me, I am enjoying it while it lasts. There's my silver lining to not having kids yet; I can sleep for 11 hours if I need to.

Posted by Sarah at 08:14 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 18, 2008

DERP

The husband sent me a good link today, under the simple email subject line of "Krauthammer rules": Who Does Obama Think He Is?

Incidentally, I watched North By Northwest last night -- such a good movie and can I point out how Cary Grant makes me melt? -- and I had a good chuckle when I remembered Obama's bonehead question of how they had filmed the movie on top of Mount Rushmore. I hope he hadn't seen that movie in a long time, because the Rushmore they used was comically fake-looking. It is entirely obvious it wasn't the real deal.

But hey, at least Obama didn't ask to see the entrance where Nicolas Cage found the city of gold.

Posted by Sarah at 04:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2008

THE REJUVENATING SURPRISE

He was rejuvenated. You hear that? Rejuvenated. He was juvenated before, lost it... and got juvinated again. Rejuvenated!
    -- Pootie Tang

AirForceCouple was teasing me that 1) I wildly overstated the secrecy of the event and 2) I'm a moron because I didn't recognize that they asked for the same info that I'd been asked for two months ago. But I'm not the type of person who shakes her Christmas presents; I don't analyze surprises too much. I figured it could've been anything.

The AirForceKids got invited to t-ball on the White House lawn. And, heartwarmingly, AirForceGuy came up with the idea to invite me up and include me in the event. I thought it was very touching that he even remembers my name, much less that he wanted to share a family invitation with me.

This t-ball game was more fun than I could have hoped. It was relaxed, darned cute, and quite funny; Mike and Mike were the announcers, and they said hilarious things like, "Next up to bat is Betty Sue. She loves Dora the Explorer, and her favorite food is cake!" We couldn't stop giggling.

And I spent the whole time compulsively taking photos of this man, because he just gets to me.

t-ball 023.jpg

Throughout the game, while I was snapping photos, I was reminded of something a friend wrote to me the last time I went to the White House:

I campaigned vehemently for GW and I love Texas and I love him and Laura, but The World has made this last couple of years feel so foreign, distraught, and the necessity of always being on the defensive or offensive has left me weary.

Living in Texas, I had such pride and hope for a future with GW and I don't mean to say that he has disappointed me, really, he hasn't. The world has. I feel frustrated and weak and that even if you're a good man (or woman) with a strong heart and a strong mind, LIFE can lead you looking stupid, immobile, reactionary, and all the while impotent. Maybe that's just growing up, but darn it, I don't think it has to be so.

That said, your picture of GW brought warmth to my heart. The same warmth that had me jumping on the couches of the Stephen F Austin Hotel during election night of 2000. That hotel hosted the Republican Party headquarters that year that I somehow snuck into, as well as two years later, my wedding reception. A lot has happened in my life in the last eight years, but I would like to thank you for reminding me of why I loved him in the first place.

This is a man who routinely gets called a liar, a criminal, and a murderer. Half the world would rejoice if he died; some people even make movies about it. He is saddled with having the blood of the entire GWOT on his hands. He is blamed for everything, can do nothing right, and daily gets equated with Hitler. And he still gets out of bed in the morning, and still smiles. One-tenth of what this man deals with would make me slit my wrists, and he can still smile.

This week of vacation made me forget my woes for a while, but as I drove home, nagging thoughts about lasik and fertility treatments started to creep in again. So instead I made the conscious decision to feel rejuvenated. At Heather's house we watched The Darjeeling Limited, and I chuckled at how simple yet profound Sister Whitman's plan is:

Alright, let's make an agreement.
A) We'll get an early start tomorrow morning and try to enjoy each others' company in this beautiful place.
B) We'll stop feeling sorry for ourselves; it's not very attractive.
C) We'll make our plans for the future.
Can we agree to that?

I'm feeling rejuvenated, and I am going to do my best to hang on to that feeling for as long as I can. And smile.

t-ball 062.jpg

Posted by Sarah at 06:22 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

I'M HOME

Thomas Sowell is so smart.

One of the most naive notions is that politicians are trying to solve the country's problems, just because they say so-- or say so loudly or inspiringly.

Politicians' top priority is to solve their own problem, which is how to get elected and then re-elected. Barack Obama is a politician through and through, even though pretending that he is not is his special strategy to get elected.
[...]
Perhaps a defining moment in showing Senator Obama's priorities was his declaring, in answer to a question from Charles Gibson, that he was for raising the capital gains tax rate. When Gibson reminded him of the well-documented fact that lower tax rates on capital gains had produced more actual revenue collected from that tax than the higher tax rates had, Obama was unmoved.

The question of how to raise more revenue may be the economic issue but the political issue is whether socking it to "the rich" in the name of "fairness" gains more votes.

Posted by Sarah at 01:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 15, 2008

QUOTE

Ralph Peters on "the audacity of hope":

Audacity is for innovators, risk-takers and crusaders - for those willing to stand in the fire of public opinion and tell a million people they're wrong and here's why. Audacity's not for the passive mob hoping government will fix everything (while blaming government for everything).

Hope is the opposite of audacity. It's passive, an excuse for inaction.

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

July 14, 2008

LOVELY VACATION

My time at Heather's house was so nice; we just sat and crocheted together for three days. I joked to her husband that we were going to get bedsores! It was so relaxing and nice to just talk. And her husband used to be Civil Affairs, so we compared notes.

I'm here at AirForceHouse now. There was an "incident" tonight: Charlie was wrestling with their dog and their dog's foot got caught and it ripped his toenail completely out by the root. Ouch! AirForceGuy is mortified that our Tibetan terrier managed to take down his pit bull. Heh.

More later.

Posted by Sarah at 10:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

July 11, 2008

NO PRIZES FOR ME

I don't feel so great today. Unsettled, disappointed, depressed. Getting lasik surgery was supposed to be my consolation prize for losing the baby; now it looks like I don't get First Place or the consolation prize. No prizes for me. No silver lining, no green grass, no happy ending. They told me to come back in a week and they'll re-run the eye tests to be certain.

Thank goodness I already had something good planned for this week.

I leave tomorrow to go visit friends. My first stop is Heather, the recipient of all those squares I've been crocheting. We will have a nice couple of days of pure crafting, and I can have some precious company while I get some more work done on my afghans. My next stop is AirForceFamily. AirForceGuy has even arranged a Top Secret excursion, something that even required some sort of security clearance. I am so curious to see what it is. (And so is my husband, apparently!)

You know, I was supposed to take this trip in May, but a dead baby threw a monkey wrench in it. I am really glad that I happened to reschedule for right now, because I could use the distraction and the joy in my life.

Today will go down as a really bad day in my life: the day I felt extra salt in my wounds. But if this is the worst day I ever have to face, then I will have lived a very good life.

It just sucks today.
But my vacation will help boost my spirits.

And I'm taking the laptop, so I hope to stick around the 'sphere...


Posted by Sarah at 05:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

TEH FUNNY

Well, this cheers me up today. I clicked on Instapundit and my heart literally skipped a beat when I saw that Mark Steyn was hosting the Rush Limbaugh show today. I ran to the radio.

Also, this sent me into fits too.

I am not what you would call outdoorsy. If I wanted anything that was outdoors, I'd hire someone to bring it inside where civilization lives. [...]

Anyway, on my recent trip to Branson, we were staying at a hotel with both an indoor and an outdoor pool and spa. You already know which one I used. As I sat in the hot tub, inside the air conditioned building, I realized I was a full two layers away from nature, and I liked it. The air conditioning protected me from the heat outside, and the warm water of the hot tub protected me from the air conditioning. In time, the hot tub became too hot, and I wished I had some sort of thermos suit I could wear to take the edge off.

UPDATE:

I guess I ought to specify: they were fits of laughter. Maybe I have a weird sense of humor, but I thought that was darned funny. Take that, Al Gore.

Posted by Sarah at 12:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

TOO MUCH REJECTION

I can't carry a baby.
And my corneas are too thin for lasik.
I hate my body.

Posted by Sarah at 10:45 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

July 10, 2008

I STILL HEART VARIFRANK (I JUST HAD FORGOTTEN HOW MUCH)

When I first started blogging, I read every single blog on my blogroll every single day. I was fastidious. Nowadays, I am so blog-scatterbrained; I don't think there's one blog I read every day. Thus I haven't read Varifrank in a while, so forgive me that these links are old.

I wasn't the biggest fan in the world of There Will Be Blood, but God how I love that "I drink your milkshake" line. I love how you can use it now and it sums up a whole concept in one little silly line. I just get tickled pink every time I see it. (Not to mention that you can also explain the concept using the names J.R. Ewing and Monty Burns.)

Varifrank, from a month ago: Canada to US: I Drink Your Milkshake! And you know exactly what the post will be about. I just love that line.

(Of course, my very favorite use of There Will Be Blood is this blog post from iSteve. Oh my, that was clever. I mean, that deserves an award or something.)

Oh, and Varifrank wrote a doozie two weeks ago when Wesley Clark opened his yapper. Priceless.

Posted by Sarah at 10:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

LINK

I thought this was an interesting article: When The Man is One of Us

Posted by Sarah at 09:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

NIIICE

File under "I wish I had thought to say that." Lileks on Obama's "merci beaucoup" inanity yesterday:

In the context of English-as-a-national-tongue laws, itís an interesting assertion: Apparently it is right to expect people who visit Paris to speak French the day they get there, but it is cultural chauvinism to expect people who want to live and work in America to understand English well enough to navigate a ballot.

Posted by Sarah at 07:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 09, 2008

NO MORE TOMATOES

My mother and I planted a vegetable garden while she was here, and I had four thriving, big tomato plants on the back fence. I go out there tonight and find this.

tomatoes.jpg

Every second plant was stripped completely bare. No leaves. Huh? I move in for a closer look.

caterpillar.jpg

Two of the fattest, grossest caterpillars took up residence in my garden. Both totally engorged with an entire tomato plant. They were about four inches long and as thick around as a Tootsie Roll.

Blech.

Naturally, I pried them off with a spatula and dumped them over the fence into the neighbor's yard. They don't have anything planted in their yard anyway.

I'm bad.

Posted by Sarah at 08:39 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

HAHAHA

I talked to ArmyWifeToddlerMom this evening. She is unable to get online at her father's house, so she has been in non-internet limbo for a long time now. She's itching to get back. And I'm itching to hear from her again, because she always kills me.

One of AWTM's charms is her filthy mouth. Sadly, she's now going to have to curb her enthusiasm, especially for her favorite insult. Her son, Sir Rowland, is apparently cut from the same cloth as she is, and his inner-AWTM is starting to shine through. They were eating in a restaurant the other day and the waiter took a really long time to bring the kids their plates. As the waiter handed her son his dish and turned to go, Sir Rowland muttered under his breath, "Thanks, douchebag."

Ha. He's exactly like his mama.

We miss you, AWTM.

Posted by Sarah at 06:30 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

OW

Oh yeah, I forgot how this works.
First time at the gym after a hiatus = fun
Second time at the gym = ouch

Posted by Sarah at 02:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 08, 2008

THE CORNER I'VE KNITTED MYSELF INTO

OK, panic set in last night.

I should be working on that mess of an afghan, but it seems like such a pain in the neck to pick it up, untangle all the baggies, and start doing row after row of single crochets. My hands kept reaching for these instead.

preemieblankets.jpg

Someone gave me a ton of that Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn, you know the stuff with the shiny string wrapped around it? I personally find it kind of a pain in the neck to work with, so I thought I'd use it all up by making simple granny square blankets to donate. And I really like how they turned out.

I am not one to get attached to my donated projects; I have never looked back after giving away the little caps. (OK, I did get a little wistful that I had already donated the American flag hat and then Sis B goes and has a preemie on July 3rd.) But I am really attached to these little blankets, like I don't want to give them away. I could just keep them around to have on hand when one of my umpteen friends has a baby. But that's not in the spirit of charity. Still, it will take a lot of willpower to drop them off on Wednesday.

Anyway, I've been wrapped up in the ease of just picking them up and going to town that I forgot that I only have less than a month to finish two adult sized afghans! Mercy me. I worked another four inches on the intarsia mess yesterday and today, but I really need to get my behind in gear.

I hid all other projects from myself.

Posted by Sarah at 02:09 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

YUP

Via CG is a post by the American Princess about libertarians that ends with this:

That would be why I would consider voting for John McCain when given the choice between John McCain and Barack Obama. Or at least, thats one of the reasons why. The other is that I just hate Barack Obama so darn much that I would would stoop so low as to vote for (ugh) John McCain who is several thousand years old and lacks total respect for the First Amendment over him.

And that is saying something.

Read the whole thing.

Posted by Sarah at 11:48 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

LOSS OF FAITH

So I just wrote this morning about how safe and easy this deployment is. Now I'm going to write something mildly contradictory.

CaliValleyGirl just pointed me in the direction of the I Should Be Folding Laundry blog. This blogger, Beth, sounds like the kind of woman I'd like to be. Everyone speaks glowingly of her. She lost her pregnancy (twins) back in February, and this is what haunts her now:

So, on February 25th, 2008, when the nurse could not find their heart beats, I was fearful and faithful, I had faith as I took the elevator down to ultrasound, faith that these babies would soon be kicking me in my ribs. I had faith.

But then I watched the words "no cardiac movement" being typed slowly with one hand onto the screen. A piece of me died at the moment. And sometimes? I think that piece of me was my faith.

Because now I tread through life cautiously, I fear cars running into our's and injuring my children, I don't get my hopes up for our new house because I'm certain the deal will fall through, even with the closing being less than a week away. I fear another pregnancy, I fear I'll never see Brian again when he leaves for a business trip, I fear for Be Design, I have lost faith in myself and people and my surroundings.

I fear the rug being pulled out from beneath me in every situation.

I understand this "loss of faith" completely. I was carefree going into this second pregnancy, but when it too ended, a part of me worries that this will always be my fate. I actually plan to lose the next baby, figuring out who I'll call and what I'll do. I imagine giving all my baby stuff away in the future because I've never used it and the tags are still on.

And the worst of this is the nagging feeling that the loss of this pregnancy means the loss of bigger things. I've imagined my parents dying before they get to become grandparents. I've imagined losing a brother. I imagine someone breaking into the house and killing Charlie. Or me. And I often have the ridiculously morbid thought that "at least I won't be pregnant when the Army comes to the door and tell me my husband is dead." Because the only reason I can see for denying me the joy of a baby is to spare me the agony of raising the baby alone.

So I worry about my husband, not because there's anything to worry about but because I too fear the rug being pulled out from under me.

And then last night in my book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, I read about the likelihood of an asteroid hitting earth and killing us all. So there's that rug to worry about too.

Posted by Sarah at 11:01 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

DEPLOYMENT UPDATE

My husband's been gone for two months now. I asked him yesterday how this deployment compares to the last one. I wondered if, even though this one is shorter, it might drag because the adrenaline level isn't nearly as high. But he said that it's definitely not dragging; there's always something hanging over his head, and 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, isn't long enough to get it all done. We joke that this is his life,

roz.jpg

because all he does is remind people to turn their paperwork in. Heh.

I told him that from my end, this time feels really different. Last time we had 18 phonecalls in 13 months, and during one of them, at the height of Najaf, he was so overworked that he fell asleep on the phone! But now we get to talk quite frequently. I don't worry about him being in danger at all; I only worry that he's bored or lonely. It just feels like a really long business trip this time, or like he's gone alone to an Army school. It's almost embarrassing how easy and safe it feels this time. Other wives will see what I mean when I reveal that I don't even take my cell phone with me a lot of the time. It's just too easy this time.

However, the husband seems to be impressing his unit so much that they've remarked that they want to make much better use of him next time. He may even get to go on that super awesome deployment that he wanted to go on this time. So I guess this deployment can be easy and embarrassing, and next fall he can do more exciting stuff again.

Ours is definitely a Donut of Hope this time around.

Posted by Sarah at 09:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 07, 2008

TIME IS TIGHT

[Cross-posted at SpouseBUZZ]

I asked AirForceWife if I could write this week's SpouseBUZZ Fit Club post because I just exercised for the first time in over a year. Seriously. I hate exercising.

For me, it's not a matter of finding the time to do it; it's the motivation. I could either go to the gym or sit on my behind and knit. That's a no-brainer. But when the husband and I decided to start a family, I found the motivation to go on a health kick. I cut all kinds of things out of my diet and started working out. After a few months with no baby, discouraged and disheartened, I said screw it.

When I had the first miscarriage, I figured there was no reason why I couldn't drown my sorrows in chocolate and wine. By the time I was pregnant again, I was six pounds heavier and not too keen on adding another 25 or 30 to that. So when I lost the second baby, I figured I needed to take advantage of that do-over and get myself in a little better shape while I had the chance.

But now we were back to motivation. I was even using gas prices as a cop-out; it's too far to drive to the gym. But today I had to go on post anyway, and I forced myself to go to the gym while I was there.

The girl at the front desk was really nice and explained to me how the system worked and what they had available. She also apologized that the air conditioning was broken in the building today. But I didn't really mind that too much, because it meant I would sweat more, and more sweat makes me feel like I'm working harder.

I didn't do anything phenomenal, just 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. But I had forgotten how good it feels to get moving. I had planned on only doing 20 minutes, since it was my first workout in a year, but I felt good enough to keep going. And I learned that Booker T's "Time Is Tight" is a great song to help me keep my pace steady, so I plan to run that on a loop on the MP3 player next time.

I also learned that the National Geographic channel is a terrible thing to have on the TV in the gym. One screen had ESPN and the other had baby seals getting eaten and bloodied. That's a workout buzzkill.

While I was driving home, my husband called me from Iraq. I proudly announced that I was driving home from the gym. His reaction: "Woah." I said, "Feel free to expound on how awesome I am." Heh.

I plan to keep this up a couple times a week. I know it's good for me.

Maybe next time the air conditioning will work.

Posted by Sarah at 02:39 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

COOL

This is a huge deal, right?

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.
[...]
The deal culminated more than a year of intense diplomatic and military initiatives - kept hushed in fear of ambushes or attacks once the convoys were under way: first carrying 3,500 barrels by road to Baghdad, then on 37 military flights to the Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia and finally aboard a U.S.-flagged ship for a 8,500-mile trip to Montreal.

It's not the Joe Wilson/Bush Lied yellowcake, but it's still a big deal that it was there and that they secreted it out, right? I mean, what a feat! I love hearing about these secret missions after the fact.

(Via Instapundit via Conservative Grapevine)

Posted by Sarah at 08:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2008

MUST READ

(Via Insty) Timothy Sandefur discusses what the 4th of July is all about.

Posted by Sarah at 09:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 04, 2008

CRUSH'S HAT

Last night I set aside the afghan, plunked myself down to listen to SpouseBUZZ Talk Radio, and grabbed my needles. Normally at this time of the week I would already have several preemie hats sitting around, but this past week I've been straying from my norm and making preemie blankets. So I only had one hat, and not a very cute one at that. I whipped up a hat for little Crush last night.

crush.jpg

Now I just need to track Sis B down to send it to her; she was traveling away from home when she gave birth! As if deployment three days ago, a custody battle, and a cancer scare weren't enough excitement in her life...she decides she needs to c-section out a preemie in another state. Silly girl.

Posted by Sarah at 09:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

SO BEAUTIFUL IT NEEDS NO COMMENTARY

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Reading this makes my heart soar. It marked the birth of my country, the beginning of a beautiful idea, and the start of that "shining city on a hill."

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

That last line, that brings tears to my eyes. These men knew they could be killed for what they were doing. They did it anyway.

My husband is not here this 4th; he is off doing his best to help the Iraqi people gain independence from tyranny. And I know how to make his heart soar today.

Mike Eruzione! Winthrop, Massachusetts!
Who do you play for?
I play for the United States of America!

Happy Independence Day, readers. And Happy Birthday, America.

Posted by Sarah at 09:22 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

July 03, 2008

INTARSIA NIGHTMARE

I just watched the final Rambo. It was good. It was also a lot more gory than the other ones, but I guess that's the norm 20 years later. No liveblog of this one though; I just wanted to enjoy watching it. Also, it's hard to crochet, watch, and liveblog. Especially this mess.

intarsia.jpg

Now, if it had been a knitting pattern, I would've seen this coming. But I'm new to crochet, and I didn't recognize this for what it was: one big intarsia afghan. Yes, that's a photo of not quite 12 inches of single crochets...and 11 balls of yarn hanging from the edge. The sandwich baggies are helping, and I've worked out a pretty decent system of working on the thing, but I'm not sure I'll ever do one of these again. It's just not at all portable, so you gotta have a bathroom break, and a drink and the phone nearby, before you put that puppy on your lap and get started.

That's 1/5th of the afghan. I have probably spent nine hours on it so far.

Posted by Sarah at 07:59 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

WORRY AND CRUSH

When my mom was here, I was on and on about something. I can't even remember what. She looked at me incredulously and said, "And I thought I worried about stuff."

Today has been a day of worrying.

I got an email from a friend; her sister just lost a pregnancy and had to have a D&C. They couldn't stop the bleeding afterwards, and she nearly died. Four hours of surgery and many transfusions later, she is OK.

A D&C did that. I just had one of those.

I know there are risks in everything. Hell, I am planning on having someone shine laser beams into my eyeballs soon. But this got to me, this scared me. This thing I've been trying to do for a year and a half, this having a baby, it can kill you.

So I've been a little freaked out today. And I started thinking about Sis B and her Scheduled Worry Time. So I popped on over to her site to check on things, since she'd been having some early contractions.

Baby Crush was born. Early. And little.

Wait...a 4 lb baby? A little preemie? Who needs a hat? Hot dog, I'm on it.

I'm glad Sis B and Crush are OK. One less thing to worry about today.

Posted by Sarah at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 02, 2008

GOOD CATCH

Powerline critiques Obama's speech the other day.

Then there's this:

I remember, when living for four years in Indonesia as a child, I listened to my mother reading me the first lines of the Declaration of Independence, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they're endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

I would have thought that pretty much everyone--certainly every Presidential speechwriter, and every Harvard Law School graduate!--knows that these are not the "first lines" of the Declaration, which begins, "When in the course of human events...." What, exactly, accounts for the fact that Obama is not a laughingstock?

Finally, this:

As we begin our fourth century as a nation, it is easy to take the extraordinary nature of America for granted.

"Fourth century?" The United States of America came into being in 1789. We have just recently begun our third century. I suppose Obama would say that the 21st century is America's fourth, just as Minnie Minoso played major league baseball in five decades. As always with Obama's howlers, you should ask yourself: would the press have bought it if it came from Dan Quayle?

Posted by Sarah at 08:13 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

July 01, 2008

KNITTING UPDATE

It seems I've got myself a full-time job now. A friend of mine is getting married in August. I had too many babies to knit for up until now, so I am just getting started on an afghan (View image). I spent the entire afternoon making 2376 single crochet stitches. And this is the first thing I've made in a long time that isn't for someone who reads my site, so I can actually talk about it!

Other projects, not so much.

Posted by Sarah at 08:16 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

REWORKING MY MIND

I've been feeling pretty mopey they last few days. No real reason, just bummed. I had this exchange with my husband yesterday:

Sarah: I'm feeling kinda down. I've been listening to The Cure a lot lately.
Husband: Oh God! Don't do that!

His exclamation was too funny; he knew right away what listening to too much Robert Smith can do to your head.

I also had a dream last night where I was trying to find a date for prom. Every boy I ever had the hots for in my life made an appearance in the dream, and every single one of them rejected me for a date. I think that says a lot about what's going on somewhere in my subconscious too.

My bio of George Washington wasn't doing much for me either way, so I left him right as the Revolution was starting and switched books. I was given a book called Stolen Angels at the miscarriage support meeting, so I thought I'd give that a try. And while I was heartened to find that many of the stories had elements that were similar to mine, I found myself coming away from the book armed with knowledge I didn't want to have. I found myself daydreaming stuff like, "When the next baby dies, I will do X differently." Not exactly positive thinking. So I set that book aside for a while too.

I picked up A Short History of Nearly Everything, and a wave of peace rushed over me. I had forgotten how calming it is to read about the universe. How much it puts my hill of beans in perspective. How much comfort Sagan's cosmic calendar brings to me.

I read this paragraph with wonderment:

Not only have you been lucky enough to be attached since time immemorial to a favored evolutionary line, but you you have also been extremely - make that miraculously - fortunate in your personal ancestry. Consider the fact that for 3.8 billion years, a period of time older than the Earth's mountains and rivers and oceans, every one of your forebears on both sides has been attractive enough to find a mate, healthy enough to reproduce, and sufficiently blessed by fate and circumstances to live long enough to do so. Not one of your pertinent ancestors was squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, or otherwise deflected from its life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material to the right partner at the right moment in order to perpetuate the only possible sequence of hereditary combinations that could result - eventually, astoundingly, and all too briefly - in you.

I want to participate in "life's quest of delivering a tiny charge of genetic material" too. But today I'm centered enough to realize that it's miracle enough that I'm even here, and that my desires are tiny on the scale of the cosmos.

And no more The Cure for a while.

Posted by Sarah at 10:24 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

MY TV CRUSH WILL KEEP ME COMPANY

Wait, is it July yet?
It's July?
Sweeeeeet.

Two words for how I'm gonna get through the rest of the deployment:
Michael
Westin

Be still my heart.

Mmmm. Just ten more days.

Posted by Sarah at 12:15 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack