April 27, 2009


Pixy doesn't live in the same time zone as I do, plus he has a crazy sleep schedule, so I am not entirely sure when the switch will be made.

In the meantime, because I have a rant that needs bangin' out, I will begin putting new posts up at my new blog, and eventually you will be automatically directed there.

For now, you must follow the link.

Posted by Sarah at 04:17 PM | Comments (3781) | TrackBack

April 24, 2009


Dear Readers,

Fluffy the Spamhound and I are announcing our irreconcilable differences. I know you will all miss having your comments eaten, sending me screaming emails about how your perfect comment disappeared, and whatnot.

I am leaving for the Milblogs Conference today and will not be taking the computer with me. When I return on Monday, my blog will be new and improved. Not the content, mind you; you get the same drivel as usual, only with a flashier interface.

And no Fluffy.

See you Monday. Hopefully however you normally get here will still get you here. Pixy is handling the details, because he is teh awesome. (And Code Monkey is my back-up brain.)

Posted by Sarah at 08:02 AM | Comments (524) | TrackBack

April 19, 2009


I have been thinking for a while about John McCain.

My blog is about five and a half years old at this point. That's how long he was a prisoner in Hoa Lo.

Every thought I've had since I started blogging, every friend I've made, every article I've read, every lesson I've grokked...

I have been free. I have had the freedom to do all those things.

From Professor Cockroach to Charlie's birthday...

3571 blog posts.

I have lived for five and a half years.

Lived and learned and grokked and loved.

I was not beaten, not locked away, not tortured, not forced to listen to propaganda. The worst I've had to deal with is some name-calling and sleepless nights.

I have never had my spirit broken.

Five and a half years.

Imagine if every blog post were wiped away and replaced by a day in captivity. Everything I have read and learned in this half decade gone, replaced by solitude and madness.

My husband came home from SERE with a newfound respect for John McCain and the men like him. My blog has taught me respect too, respect for the freedom I have had to live and share my life with you for so long.

I cannot imagine not having been here...

Posted by Sarah at 02:54 PM | Comments (840) | TrackBack

March 28, 2009


This blog has been responsible for some of the best experiences of my life. I wouldn't have any of my close friends without this blog. Sometimes it brings me such joy and comfort. But it is also responsible for some of the most stressful moments of my life. It sucks to lose a baby. It sucks even worse to hear that you deserved it, that you talk about it too much, that you're self-absorbed or just plain wrong for your feelings about it. That's hard to take, and I'm starting to wonder if it's really healthy for me. I'm tired of lying in bed at night losing sleep over something that I or someone else said on the blog.

I'm shutting off the computer for a while. Truly off: no email, no Facebook, no blog. I need to quiet the noise in my head for a while.

I'm not doing well and I need to find a way to cope. I'm gonna try silence for a few days.

Posted by Sarah at 11:00 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 26, 2009


Unliberaled Woman got noticed by friends of Michael Yon. Now that's cool.
I wonder if there's such a thing as a Yonalanche?

Posted by Sarah at 11:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 01, 2009


Don't feel bad that no one is stalking you at CPAC, Instapundit. We'll always have Vegas.


Posted by Sarah at 10:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

February 26, 2009


I met my first blogger in 2004 when I took the train to meet Tim. It was such a big deal back then. I wrote:

The butterflies are gathering in my tummy. Will I recognize Tim? When we see each other, will it feel like we've known each other for years instead of five minutes on the phone and seven months of peering into each other's lives from the blog window?

There was nothing to be nervous about in the end, and we've gotten along swimmingly all four times that we've gotten together.

Used to be, I had this mental divide between my Real Life and my Imaginary Life. I thought that meeting a blog friend was different from meeting a regular old friend. Over the past five years, I have gotten to meet so many of you and you've all become such a part of my life that I don't make that mental distinction anymore. Imaginary friends are just my friends, and I have way more of you than of people in my Real Life.

Now you guys are just normal to me. So normal that you're barely blogworthy, heh. I didn't even write about my weekend visiting CaliValleyGirl, or how we went to meet Allison, or how funny it seemed when someone was shocked that CVG and I had met (gasp) on the internet.

I didn't blog about going to SpouseBUZZ Live last November and meeting DeltaSierra (who at the time didn't have a photo of herself on her site and looked WAY younger than I expected), or Sig (who was exactly what I expected), or Leofwende (who was super nice), or seeing Barb again (who is always a joy to see).

And I didn't blog about meeting R1 either, but I should have. Truth is I've been too embarrassed to apologize to him for how goofy our meeting went down. We were both flustered because a girl had just shared some (ahem) personal TMI with the group. I was happy to see him, because he's been reading my site and emailing me for the entire time I've been writing, and in my excitement and flusteredness I hugged him, which is completely out of character and immediately seemed like the weird thing to do. And he was a bit out-of-sorts, being a man in a sea of milwives, so we didn't get to meet each other until optimal conditions. And I hate that, and have felt guilty about it for months. I also never thanked him for the great gift that he brought me.

I ought to have blogged about all these things, but I don't...because they are my Real Life now. They're just normal.

They're just my friends.

Posted by Sarah at 03:44 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 17, 2009


Real life superseded blogging life today and will continue to do so for a few days as I make my way to visit CaliValleyGirl. I will try to throw up a link or two if I can, but I will be out of the loop for a bit.

Posted by Sarah at 08:26 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 29, 2009


Last night my husband and I were talking about Rachel Lucas' post about the morons who are suing over that plane crash. And my husband goes, "That's not even the most ignorant thing I heard today. I read this somewhere, maybe on The Corner?, I can't remember, but apparently 49% of people think the government gets its money from a money tree."

And I just laughed and said that, yes, you read that...on mah blog.

My husband quoted me back to me. It was hilarious.

Posted by Sarah at 11:50 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

January 07, 2009


Yes, I've been MIA. And this time it's not one of those nothing-to-say reasons for not blogging. I have just been busy with work and haven't been on the internet. I haven't even read another blog all week.

No time for love, Dr. Jones.

(You should count that as two quotes.)

Posted by Sarah at 07:53 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 16, 2008


The last time, I had a vivid dream about the welcome home ceremony. Last night I dreamt that the husband and I were back together in our kitchen. I was wearing the outfit I plan to wear to pick him up, and he was drinking a beer. I woke up with a jolt and realized disappointedly that it was just a dream.

Today has been a very long day. Right now was the original time I was supposed to go pick him up.

I thought I'd better get back to Real blogging today instead of this dumb personal stuff I've been doing. But I can't seem to concentrate on anything lately. I just can't get into the news. Even Blagojevich's bleep-laden tirades couldn't compel me to blog. Only to laugh at home and tease my parents about living in Illinois.

I'm just sitting here crocheting and looking at the clock. Maybe I ought to do some things on that list; it seems healthier than this Waiting Game. I thought about going in to work today even though I got the day off, but the only task I have left to do at work is to put together more of those foam structures. That definitely ain't healthy.

And I haven't heard anything else today, no more updates, no new timeline, no hint of things to come.

Just lots of crocheting.

Posted by Sarah at 01:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

December 06, 2008


A couple of you have been freaked out of late by my blog post titles. No, I'm not throwing in the towel anytime soon. You're stuck with me.

By the way, I finally watched The Terminator tonight. And yes, other people on my case, I have gotten the memo that The Wire is good. I plan to watch that with my husband though, not without him. I gotta get my chick flicks in before he gets home...what guy wants to watch Die Hard or The Terminator?

Oh wait...

And while I have your attention: did one of you lovely imaginary people get me one of these fantastic bracelets for Christmas? It came in the mail with no note, and it's not from my mother or husband, so I'm clueless.

Incidentally, my husband said, "Oh, well dang...wish I had thought of it."

Posted by Sarah at 08:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 04, 2008


I used to be bothered that my friends are not from my Real Life. I used to think there was something wrong with me. I used to feel that something was missing.

But this day was a tipping point. Since then, I have felt the Importance Scale tip from real life to imaginary.

And some days I am just overwhelmed by how happy I am.
How much I love you all.
Today is one such day.

Tomorrow night we have an FRG meeting. I don't know anyone in my FRG. I don't even know where my husband's company is located; I had to ask him via chat how to get there.

My real life is the illusion, and you are my world.

I live in a gulch in my mind and I am surrounded by the most wonderful people.

I don't think it's possible for anyone to feel more blessed than I do right now.

Posted by Sarah at 06:06 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 30, 2008


I have hated to see this day come.
The du Toits are done blogging.
“And so, it has come to this.”
Preaching to the Choir
I can't even say any more.
I am crying.

Posted by Sarah at 05:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 28, 2008


I read blogs for the ideas. Some of them stick with me, for a very long time. I refer to them in conversations in my Real Life. I am thankful for all the ideas out there, and I wanted to express my gratitude.

I am thankful for...

Nelson Ascher's Forget The Idiots Today
Lilek's Notes From the Olive Garden
Den Beste's Cultural Cross-Pollination
Marc Miyake's Pariah Against a Prophet
The Dissident Frogman's Consecration
Bill Whittle's Courage
Varifrank's Thank You For Delaying My Flight
Kim du Toit's The Pussification of the Western Male
Mrs du Toit's Fight or Flee
Greyhawk's On Leaving
Tim's Farewell
AWTM's Trick or Treat
Joan d'Arc's I'll Make It Up To You
Rachel Lucas' You're Decent, But Just Confused and Stupid
CaliValleyGirl's Permanent Party
Crazy Aunt Purl's Fat Girl

I know I have forgotten posts and that there are many more that I am thankful for. But I have been working on this for over two hours, and I just have to let it be.

Please leave links in the comments if you have blog posts you are thankful for.

Posted by Sarah at 04:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

November 13, 2008


I am heading out of town to make my way towards SpouseBUZZ Live Tacoma! I will get to see one friend from my real life -- remember LT A, our friend who was severely wounded in that battle that Colby Buzzell immortalized? His wife, whom I haven't seen in over five years -- and several friends from my imaginary life: R1, DeltaSierra, Sig, Leofwende, and Barb. Plus my fellow authors. The hotel will be our gulch this weekend.

Posted by Sarah at 02:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 12, 2008


I was just sitting here thinking about this upcoming weekend and how I will be hanging out with imaginary friends. I remembered a funny story that I have always meant to blog but never did.

In September at the BlogWorldExpo, I was sitting on a sofa at the expo next to Guard Wife. We both had our laptops out and were messing with our blogs. I saw she was posting something, and I peeked over her shoulder and then joked, "I'll wait and read it when you publish it." Once she published, I pulled it up and saw that she had blogged that she had a headache and wished she had some pain meds. I turned to her and said, "I have some Tylenol right here in my bag." And then we cracked up that we had been sitting side by side for a long time and I only knew what she was thinking because she blogged it.

Now THAT is the blogging lifestyle to the extreme.

Of course, I already told you that I love surfing the web side by side with my friends. My husband bought a laptop in Iraq, and I giddily exclaimed that we could sit in the same room on our computers.

It's the little things that tickle me.

Posted by Sarah at 08:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 29, 2008


Lileks writes on Dean Barnett's death. As only Lileks can write.

Posted by Sarah at 10:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 27, 2008


Tim's wife, whom we all know as CPT Patti, was admitted to the hospital. They still aren't entirely sure what's wrong with her. I thought maybe some of you old-schoolers could leave some encouraging comments here for her so she can read them when she gets computer access. Hang in there, Patti. We know you're tough!

Posted by Sarah at 08:40 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 18, 2008


I bought Stranger Than Fiction because AWTM liked it. So much of Palahniuk's stuff in this book reminds me of blogging. Take, for example, You Are Here:

Okay, okay, so maybe we’re headed down a road toward mindless, self-obsessed lives where every event is reduced to words and camera angles. Every moment imagined through the lens of a cinematographer. Every funny or sad remark scribbled down for sale at the first opportunity.

A world Socrates couldn’t imagine, where people would examine their lives, but only in terms of movie and paperback potential.

Where a story no longer follows as the result of an experience.

Now the experience happens in order to generate a story.

Sort of like when you suggest: “Let’s not but say we did.”

The story—the product you can sell—becomes more important than the actual event.

One danger is, we might hurry through life, enduring event after event, in order to build our list of experiences. Our stock of stories. And our hunger for stories might reduce our awareness of the actual experience. In the way we shut down after watching too many action-adventure movies. Our body chemistry can’t tolerate the stimulation. Or we unconsciously defend ourselves by pretending not to be present, by acting as a detached “witness” or reporter to our own life. And by doing that, never feeling an emotion or really participating. Always weighing what the story will be worth in cold cash.

That is how a hardcore blogger lives. Every life experience is seen through the lens of how it's going to be blogged. Everything is a vignette, put out there for all to read. And while you're living the joy or sorrow of a situation, in the back of your mind you're also composing the blog post about it.

It's a way to process. A way, like Palahniuk says, to step outside the situation a little and view it as a "detached 'witness.'"

Because sometimes you need that.

Like today.

I'm not pregnant.

Posted by Sarah at 07:04 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

October 16, 2008


I'm leaving soon to start my journey to SpouseBUZZ Live San Antonio.
More later.

And yes, I am more than freaked out by this.

I can't even talk about it anymore.

I am an emotional, ridiculous mess today. I feel strung out and beaten.
God, I hope that means I'm pregnant.

Posted by Sarah at 01:19 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

October 11, 2008


OK, I just have to say this hilarious thing.

My mom said tonight, "You can't stop blogging. You're doing a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people who read you."


I said, "Um, try like 300 people."

My mom thinks I am way awesomer than I am.

Posted by Sarah at 07:03 PM | Comments (17) | TrackBack


The du Toits are quitting blogging. The Mrs laid out her reason why:

I loved blogging, but what was once a labor of love has become (all too frequently) too much like work. The writing part is still interesting to me, but all that goes with it is not fun anymore. Blogs, I think, are similar to a TV series. They have a lifespan and I sense I’ve either outlived mine or will have very soon. If I feel like writing, I can still do that, but won’t share it with strangers.

What I want, strangely, is my privacy back. I want to be anonymous… to be in a place where no one knows my name, or gives two hoots about anything I might say or write about, and anyone who ever read me forgets that I existed. I want no influence on anyone or anything, except what I’m making for dinner, for my family, or what flowers I want to plant in the Spring. That might seem like a strange thing to say for someone who has blogged about their personal life. I haven’t, however, blogged about all of it…

And I envy them and their commitment to shrug.

I want to try it out. Not permanently, but for about a week. It's my birthday present to myself.

I forgot to tell you guys that I got a job that I start this week. And then I head to SpouseBUZZ Live San Antonio. I will come back to the blog after that, just in time to let you know whether I am pregnant or not. And to tell you about my trip to pay respects to Bunker.

But I need to see what it feels like not to do this anymore. What it feels like to not constantly compose in my head. To not feel guilty about offending someone. To not worry that I've given too much of myself away. To not desire your approval.

(Now I just hope nothing really exciting happens in the debate this week.)

Posted by Sarah at 08:19 AM | Comments (17) | TrackBack

October 06, 2008


My friend Amritas' website is waaay above my level. Both my husband and I have said that if anyone thinks we're smart, they should meet this guy. And it is so flattering that such an intelligent man reads my dopey little blog.

Amritas honors my blogoversary with a Tangut of my name. I think he's my longest-running blog friend.

Posted by Sarah at 09:57 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I've never celebrated a blogoversary before, but this one was too big to pass up.

So many people
all the short-fat people
all the nobody people
all the somebody people
I never thought I'd need so many people...

I've spent one-sixth of my life with you people.

When I was a freshman in college, I would type up these rants about things I read or stuff I thought people should be paying attention to, and I would tape them up in public bathroom stalls in the dorms.

I guess I've always been a blogger, even before blogging existed.

Thank you for reading.

Posted by Sarah at 12:10 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

October 04, 2008


AWTM and I always talk about how self-congratulatory blogging is; we blog because we like the sound of our own voice. Which explains why I ended up re-reading an interview of myself today. If that's not a douchebag thing to do, I don't know what is. But Blackfive bestowed me the honor of saying he likes me, and I had forgotten that interview.

Anyway, I had to laugh that things haven't changed much from one deployment to the next:

Sarah: I have more in common with him than with anyone on the planet; I got lucky that he was a guy instead of a girl! More than anything I just miss hanging out with him, watching Futurama and talking about politics. Each day we get to chat online for like 30 minutes.

annikagyrl: first war where that's been possible, i guess. Thank you Yahoo!, lol

Sarah: We're sorta an odd couple, I'm sure. For example, yesterday we spent our entire time talking about why the dollar is so weak against the Euro. Probably most couples don't talk about that stuff!

Chuck Z's wife laughed at me that my husband and I use our deployment conversation time to talk politics. But every chat is full of names like Obama, Palin, Krauthammer, and Steyn. We spend most of our time talking bailout and Biden. Is that abnormal? It seems fun to me.

Posted by Sarah at 11:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 02, 2008


It feels a little narcissistic to blog this, but I have to let people know how touched I am. Long-time reader MaryIndiana started a Trying To Grok fan club on Facebook. And every time I look at it, I kinda want to cry. You can't imagine how honored it makes me feel.

And my little brother found the group and joined too. Sniff.

Posted by Sarah at 06:46 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 25, 2008


I never wrote a wrap-up of the Milblogging Conference this weekend, and I lazily thought I might let it pass by. Until I saw this line on Lileks today:

Heaven is full of neon, at least the American Sector.

So, I like Vegas. It seemed I was the odd man out. I understand that Vegas is not the ideal spot for Milblogs and I support returning the conference to DC next year, but I still enjoy any reason to head to Vegas. I'd rather go there than to most cities in the world.

And I got to arrive at night, which is the best. When I go back, I want to make it a point to arrive at night again and take the shuttle from the airport, stopping at all the hotels along the strip. I stared at the lights and the ads and the glitter, and all I could think of is excess.

But in a good way.

Vegas reminds me of what makes my country great. That we have enough resources to power every square inch of an entire city all night long. That we have enough money to respond to ads for celebrity salons and shows that cost a hundred bucks a pop. That we have enough leisure to while away our hours in casinos and bars.

Vegas is the closest thing we have to Galt's Gulch in this country.
It is capitalism run rampant.
I find it exhilarating.

But in the light of day on Saturday, we were all business at the convention center.

The topic of the first panel was whether milblogs are still relevant. I know bigwigs read Blackfive. They read SpouseBUZZ too. High-level decision makers are peeking in on us. (Not here, for pete's sake. Unless someone at the Pentagon wants to knit a chinook.) In my book, that still makes them relevant. But more important are the non-bigwigs who read the blogs. It's the civilians who begin to understand our lives and can pass on the accurate stories of how we live who are the disseminators of the milblogs' wisdom.

A friend called me a few weeks ago and said that he had seen Generation Kill and was horrified at how the marines were portrayed. I haven't seen the show, but she thought it was very biased and was worried that if this is the only exposure people have to the military... I trust the Pajamas Media review that said that it got better after the first episode, but I recommended watching Gunner Palace or Bad Voodoo's War instead.

And that's how milblogs stay relevant.

The war is different from when Colby Buzzell started writing. It's different from when my husband was there last. I wish he could share stories of the things he's doing these days, because those are the things that are preparing Iraq for her future. But Civil Affairs teams can't talk about any of the good stuff, and the occasional press release can't even name names.

But they're out there and they're working. It's a shame that some of the best stuff out of Iraq can't be blogged. But that's a tradeoff we gladly make.

I spoke on the community panel, which is in many ways the heart of what keeps milblogs relevant. (Not me, for pete's sake. I have done nothing of importance.) When you look at who the attendees are for the conference, it's all community types. It's Soldiers' Angels and wives and our friends like Barb and Code Monkey. The community has grown far beyond the front lines.

I'm a REMF in the milblogging world. Heh.

There was one attendee, and I hate to pick on him, but he kept standing up and asking why there wasn't any top-down organization of veterans' issues. We milbloggers were just kinda bamboozled; who wants top-down structure when you can organize it yourself? When Chuck can say he needs voice-activated software and a charity is born? When Ginger starts sewing for soldiers like she used to sew for her son? That's how it works. Top-down is for suckers.

This community grew because one man wanted to make a tribute to his fallen friend. Another man wanted us to band together. One girl rode a train in Germany to go meet an imaginary friend. Another girl emailed her and said they were soulmates. One of our beloved milbloggers passed away, and three years later this girl cried on the shoulder of another of his biggest fans.

That's how this milblog community grew. It grew up big and bright and strong out of an empty corner of the internet.

Just like Vegas.

Posted by Sarah at 08:50 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

September 21, 2008


Made it home.

Last night was fun, hanging out with my imaginary friends. AWTM and I were the last ones standing. She is a chatty drunk, stopping numerous times along the way home to tell random passersby to beware of the porn peddlers on the strip. And to tell several casino security guards they look like Reno 911.

Also, note to self: never drink rum & coke, wine, beers, amaretto sour, and gin & tonic all in the same night. And then get on a plane the next morning. After four hours of sleep.

But my drinking days are over, and they sure went out with a bang last night! I start fertility treatments in the morning.

Posted by Sarah at 10:09 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

September 20, 2008


AWTM is doing an excellent job of liveblogging the Milblogs Conference. Head to her site and start scrolling...

Posted by Sarah at 06:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Either AWTM has been exaggerating her insomnia, or we've discovered the cure: gin and tonic.

Last night I got into Vegas and, after an annoying mix-up and no one calling me back to let me know where to meet them, I ended up just going to bed. AWTM rolled in in the middle of the night and fell asleep the instant her head hit the pillow.

I, on the other hand, only slept from midnight to 2:00 and then 5:00-7:00. Not good. The time change threw me all off.

As does the fact that I'm in the desert and my lips feel like they're going to shrivel and fall off.

But I'm sitting on a sofa beside Guard Wife, surfing the internet together. Sigh...heaven.

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

September 19, 2008


I'm on my way to Vegas today for the Blog World Expo. Don't worry, there will be plenty of internet connection.

I was joking with Guard Wife the other day that my favorite thing about my internet buddies is that I don't have to pretend I'm not glued to my computer all day long. When I hang out with people in the Real World, I have to pretend I'm not jonesing for a trip around the 'sphere. In contrast, when I went to visit AirForceFamily, all three of us adults sat around the kitchen table with three laptops and surfed the internet together.

Course, when I was a kid I used to play marathon games of solitare alongside my brother as well.

Come to think of it, I used to host BYOB parties: bring your own book. My friends and I would literally sit in a room and read together.

Apparently I really like to do solitary activities in a crowd.

Where was I? Right, Vegas. I'm headed to Vegas to surf the internet alongside some of my favorite people on this planet.

More later.

Posted by Sarah at 07:30 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 30, 2008


[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 (10) | TrackBack

July 28, 2008


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

June 20, 2008


Wow. Just...wow.

When I wrote my 100 Things post, I got a comment from some douche who said that it was the most self-centered thing he'd ever read. The comment is long gone since it was back on Blogspot, but I always thought that was hilarious; isn't the whole point of a 100 Things post to talk about yourself? I thought that was the dumbest comment anyone could leave on someone's blog.

Boy, today that one got topped.

Just to make sure everyone sees the heartfelt comment Sally left today:

I think you need to get over yourself and give your friends a break. There are alot others out there that have these kind of problems. Yes it's sad but how much more do your friends want to hear about it. This is all you blog about anymore. Time to move on and consider others for awhile.

Poor Sally is tired of reading about my miscarriage. Since she pays good money to come here and read quality content, I'd better change my blog to make it more what she wants to read. Oh no, wait, she pays jack squat to read this site, so maybe she doesn't get a say in it.

But apparently I need to consider you guys, my readers. You don't want to hear about dead babies and heartache; you come here to find political commentary that you can find hundreds of other places. I should've spent my time researching current events and writing about that instead of sitting on the toilet bleeding for a week. Gosh, how rude I've been in not thinking of you, my readers and what you want me to say.

Because lord knows you couldn't find commentary on Obama and McCain anywhere else for the past week. How boorish of me to be wrapped up in my dead baby and all. A thousand apologies.

I mean, seriously, are you kidding me with this, Sally? If you don't like my blog content, click fucking elsewhere. Don't leave a snide-ass comment about how you don't like what I have to say.

You're the one who needs to get over yourself, lady.
And learn to spell basic words, like "a lot."

Posted by Sarah at 09:58 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

June 19, 2008


This, to me, is one of the most interesting aspects of blogs.

Obama said that we arrested and tried those responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing. He also compared the Boumediene decision with the Nuremburg trials.

Powerline explains why what Obama said is not factual. It takes a trial lawyer familiar with Nuremburg to point out where Obama is wrong. I am not a trial lawyer; I am glad people like the men at Powerline donate their time to explain these details.

But people like Obama can go on TV and say whatever they want, and most voters don't visit Powerline to get the full story.

Posted by Sarah at 09:17 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

June 17, 2008


I'm trying to get back into the swing of things, writing about politics and junk, but nothing caught my eye this morning. I promise this isn't going to turn into a "feelings blog." At least not exclusively!

Posted by Sarah at 03:04 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 20, 2008


For the longest time, Notes From the Olive Garden was missing in cyberspace. I could read that thing a hundred times and still want to read it again. I missed it. There was a gap in the internet that hurt my heart.

I missed it tonight and went searching again. Found it, reproduced elsewhere.


Posted by Sarah at 09:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 19, 2008


I've had several people from my high school find my site, but that's because they were googling something local that I had written about. But only twice, as far as I know, have people from my real life found me by coincidence via other blogs. The first time was right when I started blogging, when a friend found me via LT Smash (hi, Oda Mae!) And today, my husband's former ROTC instructor found me via FbL's post at Castle Argghhh and realized he just might know this Sarah in real life.

So the first time he comes here, what is there to see? Lots of baby posts, an ode to buttons, an Emily Dickinson poem, and a liveblog of Rambo, for pete's sake. How embarrassing.

I really need to get some higher quality stuff up here pronto.

I promise, I wrote about Machiavelli over at SpouseBUZZ the other day. I'm not a complete mommyblogger moron who looks at shiny buttons all day long.

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

May 09, 2008


This afternoon I went and met up with Sis B. She has the cutest freckled nose and the most perfectly shaped head I've ever seen. (That sounds weird, I know, but it's meant as a compliment. She's lovely.)

We had a wonderful afternoon of talking our heads off. And my favorite part was when we mentioned my car, and she immediately asked me how many miles to the gallon it gets. We compared notes on our cars' gas consumption. In this nutty Army world we live in, surrounded by SUVs and F-150s, it felt so nice for someone to notice and speak appreciatively of our little, efficient cars.

I can't wait to see her again the next time I'm in "Tayhoss." I hope she introduces me to her armadillo friends.

Posted by Sarah at 06:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 14, 2008


I've decided that whoever came up with the expression "misery loves company" has never truly been miserable. Real misery feels worse when you hear someone else is going through it.

I got to go check my email at the local public library while we were on vacation. I found out that two other bloggers had miscarriages this week.

I cried quietly the whole way home from the library.
I do not want to share that misery with other people.

We're home now. I've got some stuff to share, but I'm too exhausted from the 18-hour drive to do it now.

But I did have a laugh the first night we were gone when I heard that Hillary's story of the girl who couldn't raise $100 for a prenatal visit, the story I wrote about when she was campaigning here in town, was baloney.

I missed my blog that night.

Posted by Sarah at 05:39 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 03, 2008


Oda Mae emailed me to say that someone mentioned me on a Rachel Lucas post about people's favorite bloggers. So I just spent ten minutes reading through all the comments looking for my name, cuz I'm a douche like that.

Anyway, thanks to MargeinMI, whose moniker I recognize from years of readership, for mentioning me, especially in the same breath as names like Lileks and Steyn. It was such a compliment.

And she shaved four years off my age, so there's that compliment too!

Posted by Sarah at 03:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 18, 2008


You know, Lileks can make me choke up by saying the simplest of things. Raising kids, watching them grow up, remembering the days gone by, both hers and his. Sniff.

Incidentally, I used to watch Rolie Polie Olie when we lived in Germany. I was 28, I had no kids, but I watched it in the mornings when we had just gotten Charlie and his puppy-ness made him wake up at the crack of dawn. I watched the show just because of Lileks.

I have never met this man, but he has touched my life over the past five years and become a part of who I am. It's amazing that he's so dear to my heart, and yet he has no idea of my existence on this planet.

I dream about Lileks on occasion, and it's probably pretty accurate. He's always nice.


Lileks makes me cry; Frank J makes me wet my pants. Go on, read it.

Posted by Sarah at 08:38 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 16, 2008


Bubba Bo Bob Brain,

You have been reading my site now for at least three years, and I still can't figure you out. I can't remember a single time in all these years that you've ever left a comment saying you agree with me on anything. And I can't help but wonder what keeps you coming back. It can't be that you're trying to constructively offer opposing viewpoints, because you clearly come off as hostile and rude in most of your comments. You said once that you want to "expand my horizon," but don't you realize that when all your comments are negative, it gets so easy to tune you out? Haven't you heard of a compliment sandwich? Surely I must've said a few things over the past few years that you agree with, or think are funny, or seem logical. You never write on those posts; you just wait until you feel like cussing or calling me a liar. Or reminding me of how much smarter/better/wiser you are because you're older and have experienced stuff. It makes it way too easy to roll my eyes and move on.

Surely there is some reason that you've been coming here for years. I can't figure it out. The only way you'd ever make headway with me is to find some common ground to build on, so why do you think ranting about how I'm brainwashed or naive or a liar is going to make me come around to your arguments? You catch flies with honey, Bubba...

Posted by Sarah at 09:55 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

February 18, 2008


It absolutely cracks me up when my husband uses my blog against me. He asked a little while ago if I'd like to take the dog for a walk, and I balked and complained until he said, "Don't cry to me because you're uncultured and hate travel." It cracked me up. He also calls me flippant a lot, and he used to call me clueless f*cktard dumb. Somehow it's endearing when he turns the tables on me.

Also, this is the man who likes to joke that he only wants to travel when he gets to go armed. Uncultured, indeed.

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

February 04, 2008


CaliValleyGirl once said that the reason she started blogging was so I would notice her and be her friend. Now that I am her friend, she sends me enormous emails about her thoughts but doesn't blog anymore.

So I hereby announce that I am no longer certain that I want to be friends with her. Heh. Maybe that'll get her to post again.

P.S. Why didn't anyone tell me that Annika was blogging again? For pete's sake, she's been at it for months and I had no idea. Also she wrote about Tom Petty last month, which brings me full circle today. Also I want to hear more about The Karate Kid. Incidentally, I had to bite my tongue hard not to ask CaliValleyGirl to take me to Reseda or the Golf n Stuff when I was in L.A.

And now I'm full circle within this post.

Posted by Sarah at 09:47 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 15, 2008


You know you're a blogging family when you're faced with an ethical dilemma and your husband's advice is "What would Glenn Reynolds do?"

Posted by Sarah at 09:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2007


These are the times when I'm ashamed for the blog community.

Yes, Jim Henley made a mistake. Yes, someone should've pointed it out to him, and he should correct it. But Jesus on rollerskates, does it really take 629 comments to accomplish this?

The third commenter pointed out the attribution error. A few comments after that are perhaps rude, but a little funny. And then it just gets sad. The section gets uglier and uglier. And more personal. And then comment 20 points out the error again. Do people even read comments or do they just assume they're the first to realize the error? Or the first to come up with some witty way of pointing out what an awful and stupid person the blogger is?

Comment 90 finally starts to admit that they've given Jim a hard enough time. But still the comments continue.

I've been on the receiving end of this form of ugly. It's not fun. It's not fun to have your parents' home address posted just because someone doesn't like your opinion or thinks you're dumb. Frankly, I think it's disgusting behavior, no matter who it's pointed at. And right now, it's "my people" being the rude ones, and I don't like it. I disagree with Jim Henley's viewpoint, but dang, leave the man alone.

I am so happy to be a part of the blogosphere. But today it makes me feel ugly.
It's days like this when I remember why Tim left us.

Posted by Sarah at 11:09 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

December 02, 2007


I dropped my last friend off at the airport this evening, and the ride home was so quiet. I was sad not to have tons of people to talk to and AirForceWife's kids to chase the dog around the house. I miss everyone already.

But I'm exhausted.

Posted by Sarah at 08:24 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 28, 2007


I've been busy getting ready for this...


Andi gets here in a couple of hours, which means I have lasagna to make and a house to keep cleaning. Oh, and a dog to brush. Heather (from Hand-Crafted Comfort) and Ginger (from Sew Much Comfort) show up for dinner tomorrow. Then a friend from Germany and CaliValleyGirl arrive Friday. It's a hen party in the Grok house this weekend!

SpouseBUZZ Live should be great, as always. And if you can't make it to the live event, a very generous and cool company called Syncronicity Live is going to livestream the day. You can watch along from home! What a gift they've given us.

And so I'm off, to finish making the house look presentable and start dinner. Blogging might be limited, since my online friends will all be in my living room this weekend!

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

November 13, 2007


I managed to take exactly zero photos at the Blog World Expo. Luckily AWTM comes prepared with a camera and 45 memory cards to every event.


Look at AWTM, so composed and cool. Look at me, cheesing like a maniac. I can't believe this man talked to me repeatedly over the weekend. I look like a freak.


I'm such a stalker.

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

November 09, 2007


So my deal for this week was to talk to Instapundit. I knew he'd be here, but I also knew he'd be a rock star and quite out of my league.

Thursday night at the Pajamas Media Party, when they gave away the weblog awards, all of a sudden there he was on stage. Too cool. AWTM and I started chasing him down for photos. He was really friendly and laughed at our antics.

This afternoon though, as I chased him around the expo hall, I think I began to get closer and closer to Crazy Town in his eyes. And then when I sat in on his podcasting seminar, and I've never done a podcast in my life, that was the height of silliness.

But I just think that man is so danged cool. I mean, he used the word "swell" and made a Calvin Coolidge joke. It doesn't get any better than that.

So I stalked the Instapundit. I'm such a nerd.


Yay, photo evidence!

Posted by Sarah at 08:40 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 08, 2007


I'm liveblogging the Blog World Expo Milblog panels.

Panel #1: What is a Milblog?
Panel #2: To Blog or Not to Blog: Milbloggers, DoD, and the Media

Panel #3: From the Front
Panel #4: Meanwhile, Back on the Homefront

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


Heh, look who joined the 21st century...

I am sitting in the Blog World Expo keynote speech, liveblogging on a laptop.

More later...

Posted by Sarah at 12:58 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 07, 2007


I leave soon for the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas...

Join Me at Blog World Expo

I will join Andi, Some Soldier's Mom, ArmyWifeToddlerMom and ButterflyWife on Friday's milblogging panel called "Meanwhile, Back on the Homefront." It should be a good time!

I am hoping that I will have good connectivity at something called the "blog world expo," so I might not be out of the loop.

And I haven't gained any pregnancy weight yet, so if I can handle it, my baby and I will be hitting the buffet!

Mmmm, Vegas.

Posted by Sarah at 12:31 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

November 05, 2007


For the very first time since I started blogging, I looked up what people were googling to get to me. I was surprised at how inspirational some of the searches were:

"not because it is easy, but because it is hard" quote

preservation of liberty and justice 300 george bush

Queen Gorgo's speech

Inspirational sayings for a husband who is deployed

donate stairs OR decks for servicemen coming home with an injured leg

"Every generation has its heroes. This one is no different"

always trying to explain to someone who doesn't think it is logical

And my favorite search:

A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself

Of course, I also loved this one:

"is he a terminator from the future"

Posted by Sarah at 12:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 16, 2007


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.

Posted by Sarah at 03:36 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 09, 2007


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.

Posted by Sarah at 10:04 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 03, 2007


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.

Posted by Sarah at 08:11 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 28, 2007


Lorie Byrd invited me and other local bloggers to a gubernatorial campaign event for Fred Smith. We bloggers got free admission to this fundraiser and were treated like bigwigs. In fact, real bigwigs were locked out of Senator Smith's home while he talked to us bloggers. It was a real treat.

By now you know that I usually feel like a kid at the grown-ups' table when it comes to these blog events. I'm just happy to be taken seriously at all, especially since my blog has basically devolved into talking about knitted octopi and...um...other uninteresting crap. I like using my blog to talk about my opinions and values as much as the next person, but I am not so in touch with the actual implementation of policy, especially at the local level. I am rather a dunce at that sort of thing. Plus, with moving around every year or so, I've never really participated in local politics. So Wednesday when I was surrounded by bloggers asking Sen. Smith good questions about his campaign, I sure felt like I didn't belong. But I did what I think one should do in such situations: shut the hell up and let the smart people talk.

After I listened to Sen. Smith talk about his ideas and experience, my mind couldn't help but wander to what a strange thing politics is. I have never met a politician before, so I couldn't help but analyze the situation. Sen. Smith probably can't ever just have a normal conversation with people. He must constantly expect questions about policies and projects. He has to carefully think about every single thing he says. I can look like an inexperienced jackass in his home, but he sure can't. The whole idea seems so weird to me. He's supposed to be prepared and infallible, seven days a week.

And yet, he doesn't have that Bill Clinton vibe. That's what I normally think of when I imagine the archetypical politician, the selling-ice-to-an-Eskimo type of guy. Fred Smith didn't have a toothy grin and a golly-shucks attitude. I personally thought he was intimidating. I didn't feel at ease on that sofa in his living room, and I wondered why I was feeling so stupid sitting there. And then I remembered something: I usually feel stupid in the company of great men.

Likeability is a big factor in politics. As I sat there with Fred Smith, I realized it shouldn't be. Whether or not you like someone has no bearing on how effective he'd be as governor. He doesn't have to be dripping with honey if his ideas are sound. It's better to have a no-nonsense man in charge than a used car salesman type. I'd rather have him have a plan for the state than be able to effectively kiss a baby. And most of his ideas and the vision he lays out on his website seem pretty sound. I like his stuff. I like that he said that the government should be "good stewards of my money." I like that he said he wants to run for office as a businessman, as if he's marketing a product. More things in government should be run like a business, in my opinion, where results count more than intentions do.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about Fred Smith.

Sen. Smith's guest of honor for the evening was Lee Greenwood. I got to meet him and talk to him a little about my husband's service. (More evidence that people still think I'm a teenager: when he heard I was a military family, Lee Greenwood asked me how long my father has been in.) I got to tell him about how we wanted to perform a rendition of his "God Bless the USA" in a talent show when I studied in France but the school wouldn't let us because they said it was jingoistic. Stupid France. Mr. Greenwood was super nice in person and a lot of fun in the concert he gave after the meet and greet. He even made a mention of my husband and me during his concert, which was such a nice thing to do. When he says he supports the troops, he darn sure means it.

It was so nice to be invited to this campaign event. I'm always excited to be surrounded by fellow right-wingers! And I think it's really cool that Sen. Smith reached out to bloggers and gave us the royal treatment. I look forward to following his campaign.

More recaps of the night from the other bloggers:
Inner Banks Eagle covers the Blogger Conference, the reception in Fred Smith's home (complete with photo of me and Mrs. Smith!) and the Lee Greenwood concert
Red Clay Citizen
Spinning the World in the Right Direction
Election Projection

Posted by Sarah at 09:32 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

September 11, 2007


AWTM wants me to post at SpouseBUZZ about 9/11. She said, "I think it is funny how Homefront6 describes the disbelief and sadness, you pride, and me disappointment today." She wanted me to show another perspective.

But I don't think I can do it.

Expressing pride on 9/11 is not the normal feeling, even if it is the pride of knowing that your family is working to make sure it never happens again. And, for me, any expression of pride has to come with an explanation rooted in politics. Because, sadly enough, 9/11 is still highly political. And SpouseBUZZ is not.

So I can tell you here that I feel good that, six years on, my anger is properly channeled and I've settled into a good pace on this marathon we're running. But I don't feel comfortable saying it there.

Posted by Sarah at 04:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 28, 2007


While I'm admittedly over-sensitive, there are some criticisms that are just too laughable to let them bother me. It appears that my "nemesis" has rediscovered all the reasons he fell in hate with me in the first place. Ha. I've never linked to him before because he doesn't really deserve any traffic, but what the heck. Go see how much I get under his skin, for some hilarious reason. You can just feel how much it galls him that I like Walmart.

War Cheerleaders, Laptop Warriors, and Other Everyday Loons

How touching that he hasn't posted since February but took the time today to crank out an entry on me. Gosh, I feel so special.

I guess I'm supposed to feel bad that there's a war on and I'm knitting instead of running to the nearest recruiter's station. Sorry, that's not as unique of a jab as it may seem. Besides, all those squares I crocheted will be assembled into an afghan for wounded servicemembers, so even my yarnwork is doing its part for the war. Plus, saying my husband's service isn't enough and that I need to join too, isn't that the grown-up equivalent of playground logic: "If you love the war so much, why don't you marry it?"

So thanks to No Name Person for coming out of blog retirement to make fun of me again. And thanks a bunch for coming and leaving a comment for me so I would be sure to see the post; it was such a classy move, and otherwise I would never have known that your precious little site was still in operation.

And let me know when you come up with more material for ridiculing me in the future. I can't wait!

Posted by Sarah at 09:40 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

August 13, 2007


Are we still worrying about females blogging? Sheesh. Teresa knocks this one out of the park. Oh, and those Dennis Hopper commercials rankle my husband to no end.

Posted by Sarah at 09:33 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Normally, I blog the minute my temper flares. I don't draft, I don't proofread, I just bang out my emotional diatribe and shove it onto the internet. Sometimes I later wish I'd said something differently, or taken a different angle, or avoided blogging on the topic altogether. But I hardly ever learn and continue to blog without mulling things over. I'm glad that being on vacation prevented me from doing that this week.

On Wednesday, I found out that a very good friend from high school, one I hadn't seen or heard from in ten years, was right under my nose. I walked into his office thinking I'd knock his pants off and was a tad puzzled that he didn't seem to be as surprised to see me as he should have been. The first words out of his mouth: "Hey, Sarah! Good to see you! I read your blog, and I'm one of those dirty liberals you hate." Gulp.

We had a pleasant talk about other stuff for a short while, but on the drive home I was fighting back tears. I figured I may as well have shown up to his office naked. Because of this stupid blog, he already knew everything there was to know about me and had pigeonholed me into nutjobland before I even opened my mouth. And what is with this telephone-tag group of my high school friends reading my blog? Here's a tip for incognito bloggers: when someone from your high school gets murdered, don't blog about it. People googling the story will find you. I hadn't talked to this friend in ten years, but he heard from Billy Bob who heard from Betsy Sue that Sarah has a blog. He's been reading it for lord knows how long but has never commented, emailed or left any hint of his presence.

I tried to imagine if other bloggers ever get that naked feeling when they meet someone new. Surely Glenn Reynolds is surrounded by liberal profs who know more about his blog than they do about him as a person. But my husband unhelpfully pointed out that Reynolds is a lawyer and far better equipped than I to handle shock and exposure.

So anyway, on Wednesday I was done as a blogger. I was ready to shut down this site so I could avoid the horrible feeling of being outed, which seems to happen more and more frequently these days. I don't even know if I have any strangers left reading my blog; it's all my uncle, my parents' next door neighbor, my entire high school physics class, and my neighborhood from Germany. And if I hadn't been on vacation and having to go home and prepare for my husband's birthday party, I would've headed straight to the computer and announced that I was shutting down this infernal blog.

Luckily, I actually had to calm myself down and think as I cooked the creamed corn. I reminded myself of all the wonderful things that have come from blogging. That my blog friends were calling and emailing me during my vacation. That people online took up the slack when my husband was deployed, and people like Toni sent me postcards of encouragement while people from my real life were ignoring me. That I wouldn't be heading to Hawaii next month for a blogger's wedding. Would I fly to Hawaii to see anyone else in my life? Doubtful...

And as I went through all the things blogging has brought into my life, I began to feel much better. I decided it doesn't really matter deep down if people from my high school are reading this thing, because I only talk to them once a decade. I talk to my blog buddies every day. Last week, CaliValleyGirl asked, "At what point does someone from one's blogging life, become someone from one's Real Life?" I think I'm making that shift, or at least realizing that my blogging life matters to me a whole lot more than my real life does. I don't even have any friends in my real life anymore.

And as I stirred that creamed corn, I also realized that I was right to start this blog. I had less like-minded friends around me than I even thought. Four years ago, I wrote:

I care about my friends and I don't want to lose all of them. But I wish I had friends that I could talk to about how I feel about the world. I have my husband and my mother, and that is basically it...and my mother lives an ocean away and my husband will be gone for a year. We're new to our post here in Germany so I don't have any strong relationships yet, and despite my efforts, I don't hear from my old friends that often. When my grandmother died, I called my mom's best friend to talk about it, and I realized how pathetic I am that I don't have anyone I can count on anymore. And the few relationships I've been trying to hang on to really disappointed me this past week.

I'm at a crossroads in my life where I am realizing that people don't stay friends forever (remember, I'm only 26) and that it's OK to grow apart and move on. I'd like to maintain a casual friendship with some of these people, but I'd really like to find someone who understands me and shares some common ground. I'm at a point where I more look forward to an email from Tim or Marc than from any friends back home, and that bothers me. It makes me feel lonely, but not lonely enough that I think I should keep pretending to be something I'm not so that someone will stay my friend.

I started this blog because I thought that all my friends were too liberal for me and I wanted an outlet for my true beliefs. It bothered me when all those friends found this blog and learned the shocking truth about Sarah. And in reading this old blog post, I see I haven't come as far in the past four years as I wish I had. I still worry that people won't like the real me, when in fact I should just focus on the fact that I have made friends like Tim and Marc who do like me for who I am today, not for who I was in physics lab a decade ago.

And again, if I had banged this out in typical blogging fashion, I wouldn't have been able to include a postscript: I got an email from this friend I chatted with in my hometown, an email in which he mused that it must be really hard to have a blog where everyone assumes they know everything about you, and that there's nothing I could write that would stop the two of us from being friends. And he signed it from "your pinko commie friend." And in the end, I feel better that he knows the real me than if I'd gone into his shop and chitchatted about inanities for half an hour.

For those of you who missed me while I was on vacation, be thankful you didn't hear from me on Wednesday; I would've quit. It's amazing what a few deep breaths can do.

And for those of you from my physics class, this is the real Sarah. I hope you like it, or at least tolerate it. And that it doesn't detract at all from your memories of the girl who nearly set both her partners on fire during the experiment on angular momentum.


I'm afraid after rereading my post -- dang, and I drafted this one too! -- maybe my friend came off sounding mean or rude, which was not the case. He has been nothing but nice over the past week; this post was about my reaction to feeling exposed, not anything he did or said that bothered me. Please don't think I was mad at him. But if there are others out there from ol' RHS, I'd love to hear from you before I walk into your place of business and feel like a jackass.

Oh, and this is the friend who handed me The Fountainhead. I have him to thank for that, no matter how dirty and pinko he is. And the physics experiment: that falling pendulum making sparks on the paper around the pulley fell a little too fast and made a nice fire instead of a little hole in the paper. And Sarah stood there stuttering while her friend got singed fingers and the teacher barked at her to stop being a moron and put the fire out.

Posted by Sarah at 07:54 AM | Comments (21) | TrackBack

August 08, 2007


It's been more than three years since I made that eight-hour day trip to meet my first blogger in person. And now I think I'm addicted to meeting bloggers. I get as excited (if not more) about meeting them as I do seeing people from my Real Life.

Thus it happens that, on one of our many car trips circling the Midwest this month, we ate breakfast with Butterfly Wife. And Butterfly Wife is one of the few bloggers who's yet to meet my husband, so there's a milestone. She was gracious enough to meet us at the crack of dawn for a coffee before we headed out of town. I'm so glad she squeezed us into her schedule.

So who's next?

Posted by Sarah at 10:59 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

July 27, 2007


We are leaving Army Early tomorrow morning for our trip westward. My husband's parents don't have a computer, so I will be completely out of the loop for a week. If you see something really good online that I shouldn't miss, leave me the link in the comments so I can catch up next weekend.

Posted by Sarah at 01:45 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 03, 2007


Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.
-- "Remember" by Christina Rosetti

Most days I do forget and smile, but there are still plenty of days when I remember and am sad. And June 3rd will always be one of those days.

R.I.P. Bunker Mulligan

A tribute over at SpouseBUZZ to his legacy

Posted by Sarah at 02:44 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 18, 2007


A couple of really kind people came up to me at the Milblogs Conference to tell me I was articulate. (Sadly, no one thought to comment on how clean I am.) But I just watched the video interview Mary Katherine Ham put together, and I must say I don't see it. I seriously think I need some botox to stop the horrible contortions my face makes when I speak. Ugh, I look ridiculous. Do I look like that all the time when I talk?

Posted by Sarah at 11:04 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Over the weekend at SpouseBUZZ Live, I sat in on a seminar on how to start your own blog. One of the wives asked if it was possible to set her new blog to private so only her friends and family could see it. We bloggers all paused: of course it's possible to do that, but as I sat in the audience surrounded by ArmyWifeToddlerMom, airforcewife and her husband, and with CaliValleyGirl glued to my hip, we all wondered why on earth you'd want to.

When I have childrearing questions, do you think I call people from my real life? Nope, I call ArmyWifeToddlerMom. When I had military questions during deployment, Bunker Mulligan was my man. Amritas helps with linguistics, Deskmerc helps with physics, and Annika is the go-to for all things Goldie Hawn.

It is so strange, this my need of you.

CaliValleyGirl told this wife in the audience that setting her blog to private would effectively cut off her chances of finding a best friend. The thing is, we know more about our blog friends than we usually do about people in our real lives. I follow ArmyWifeToddlerMom's parenting life far more closely than even my neighbors'. I know my blog friends' likes and dislikes before we've ever met in person. When The Girl showed up in Germany, she knew everything about me before I ever picked her up at her hotel. When I asked CaliValleyGirl at the Milblogs Conference if she was surprised we were getting along so well, she shrugged and replied that she was not surprised at all because she already knew she liked me.

I thought about this weekend's conversation a lot this week as I read about the Lileks family's trip to Disneyworld. I have read The Bleat nearly every single day since Jan. 23, 2004. I know everything that's happened to him over the past three years, and I know far more about his life than any of my real world friends' lives. He is my friend, whether he knows it or not, and if he ever set his blog to private I would weep like a baby.

Posted by Sarah at 08:59 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 08, 2007


This was so awesome. AWTM pointed out that there's footage online from last year's Milblogs Conference. I loved watching this: Talking to Somebody Without Talking to Anybody

Posted by Sarah at 03:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2007


I wasn't exactly sure what we should expect as panel speakers, so in typical plan-ahead fashion, I wrote up something to say in case I needed to explain why family blogging is important. I didn't give this speech per se, but I did manage to work most of these points into my time on the panel. I thought I'd share my planned speech with you in case you're interested.

Hi, my name is Sarah and I write at trying to grok. I have a hate site dedicated to me, a guy who pokes fun at me for being the #1 War Cheerleader. At first I was not so pleased about this site, but eventually I realized that my role here is indeed war cheerleader, so I may as well be #1, right?

I think in some ways a being a war cheerleader is harder than being a soldier. The military wife faces her husband’s mortality on a daily basis. I came to terms with the thought of my own death long ago, and it’s far easier to face than the death of my husband. I’d rather go to war myself than send my husband, even though I can’t run 2 miles in under 6 days and about the most discomfort I can handle is banging my funny bone.

A few weeks ago, a buddy of mine from high school returned from a Special Forces deployment. Once he was safely home, I breathed a sigh of relief and mentioned to my husband that every time I emailed my buddy in the final days of his deployment to make plans for dinner when he returned, I felt a tinge of dread, that feeling of “what if he doesn’t come home to eat this chicken parmesan”, as if the mere act of making plans for his return would invoke The Power of the Jinx, as milblogger Tim elegantly described when CPT Patti was in Baghdad. My husband looked at me incredulously and said, “Did you really worry he might not come home?” as if the thought had never occurred to him.

I pointed out to my husband something that every servicemember needs to remember when he thinks of his family back home. We’ve never been to Iraq or Afghanistan. We don’t know what it’s like. We imagine the worst, and our mental war zone would probably seem cartoonish to you. But we simply can’t fully grasp what war is like. And while you know when you’re safe or bored or having a slow day, we don’t. Many times you can see danger coming if you have to go on a mission and you can emotionally prepare yourself to let slip the dogs of war; we have to stay emotionally prepared for the entire deployment, never sure of when your mortality is on the line. Your deployment is filled with the ebb and flow of adrenaline; your life is monotonous days punctuated by moments of anxiety or excitement; our adrenaline is always half-on, since every moment that we’re not on the phone with you is a moment when you’re possibly in danger. Such is the life for those on the homefront, those who stand and wait. Such is the life my husband can’t begin to understand, any more than I can really understand his.

So I’ve decided I’m taking the insult back. I wear the title of #1 War Cheerleader with pride, for it’s one of the toughest jobs in the Army.

Posted by Sarah at 11:00 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


In case mine is the only milblog you read, I too will sum up the Milblogs Conference. We started with a very special guest speaker to address the gathering of milbloggers. Yep, President Bush sent a pre-recorded statement for us. The crowd went wild and everyone was snapping photos of the big screen. You can see W's speech to milbloggers here. Next we got to VTC with Admiral Fox in Iraq, Blackfive read an email from General Petraeus and a letter from Senators Coleman, Coburn, and DeMint, and the conference was underway. Never let it be said that bloggers don't matter.

I can't even begin to sum up all that was said on the panels. RedState has a great liveblog you should read to get the gist. I did try to make mental notes of topics I'd like to address further, and I plan to work on those posts over the next few days. I also plan to work on tidying up a few things I said on my panel. As I joked over the weekend, we bloggers deal in print, and there were a few times on the panel that I really wished I had my backspace key. I think I flubbed some points along the way, so I'd like to write a few posts clearing up some things I said when my mouth was moving faster than my brain.

The highlight of the weekend was meeting people I've known for years. SGT Hook was nothing like I expected, but I'll be darned if he's not better than I could've hoped for. I am trying to figure out how to arrange a play-date for Hook and Tim, since I think they'd get along swimmingly. It was so exciting to meet people like Teresa and Tammi, two awesome ladies who definitely ate their veggies growing up. And I think I've developed a major blog crush on Mary Katherine Ham. Chuck Z is nuts, Patti Patton-Bader is the warmest person on the planet, and Blackfive is more than just the talking head who's constantly on my TV these days. I also loved meeting the Lurkers, and it was jawdropping that a non-blogger would fly from Arizona just to meet all us buffoons.

And I have to say a little something about my darling bunkmate. I had met CaliValleyGirl in person before, but only briefly. Nonetheless, we settled in like we'd been friends for years. And hell, I guess we have. But she's even more perfect in person than she is on the phone, and I marveled at my Alabama Worley feeling all weekend, "that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: 'You're so cool. You're so cool. You're so cool.'"

Posted by Sarah at 09:59 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

May 06, 2007


I'm home from DC, exhausted and full of stuff to say. I promise to say it all tomorrow.

One of my awesome Lurkers (thanks for breakfast!) suggested that I put up a sort of "Best Of" list with some links to typical grok posts in case I have any new readers after the conference. I invite anyone who's here for the first time to check out my In a Nutshell post on the sidebar to learn more about me. If you want more, may I suggest scrolling down the sidebar to my "Tooting My Own Horn" list for a handful of older posts.

Oh, and if you're still confused about the title of my blog, see here.

Posted by Sarah at 06:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 15, 2007


It's called SpouseBUZZ Live. Here are just a few of the key ingredients: dynamite, pole vaulting, laughing gas, choppers -- can you see how incredible this is going to be? -- hang gliding, come on!


Bottle Rocket quotes aside, if you're anywhere near California in mid-May and want to come to a fun event, SpouseBUZZ Live is the place to be! Click on the logo for more info.

Posted by Sarah at 05:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 10, 2007


I'm sorry, did I read that correctly? Markos Moulitsas charges $9000 per week for ads on his blog? Holy cow, that's major scratch. And what a sweet gig: he barely writes anything and has minions who do all the work. Niiice.

Let the record show that I've never made any money from this blog, save the cut I got from The Blog of War. Unless you count the Iraqi dinar that R1 sent me while he was deployed...

Posted by Sarah at 04:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

December 28, 2006


This was a long read, but it was definitely worth my time. Hugh Hewitt interviews Joe Rago, the young journalist who said that blogs are crap.

Posted by Sarah at 09:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2006


I recorded CSI last week and we just watched it last night. I guess no one else in the blogosphere watches that show, because someone would've mentioned that the episode "Happenstance" was about "fake but accurate"! The killer was a photographer who had gone to Iraq and then photoshopped a couple of photos together to make a more poignant visual. And his boss found out and was going to bust him so he killed her. I'm quoting from memory here, but at the end in his confession, he said something to the effect of

There's nothing worth photographing in Iraq. Insurgents shoot their AKs and run away. We raid houses at night and all they say is "Ali Baba not here." And the soldiers just get pumped up on caffeine and rock music waiting for something to happen. You end up praying for a roadside bomb, but even then you can't photograph the smell of gasoline. All you get is a photo of smoke. So I started playing around with the photos, and some soldiers saw me and said, "Yeah, yeah, that's exactly what it's like." So yes, I told a lie, to tell the truth.

The motive for his murder was "fake but accurate"! This CSI was ripped straight from blogs.

Moreover, that's probably the most accurate description of life in Iraq that's ever been uttered on TV. My husband said that's exactly what it's like. There's usually not something to photograph.


I was just going to go email Charles Johnson to let him know, but someone beat me to it yesterday: Art imitates life. So much for my big scoop.


Actually, HeatherRadish liveblogged it during the episode, so nevermind. I'll just go play last week's game.

Posted by Sarah at 08:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

November 05, 2006



We sold a few books, we signed 'em, but mostly we talked. Non-stop.

If you read his blog way back when, you know what kind of man Tim is. But all you know about Patti is that she is the Sweetest Woman on the Planet. That makes it funny to hear the sweetest woman on the planet say she wants to smack John Kerry! Patti has "rounded out" in my mind since the days of reading Tim's blog, and I just can't get enough of this couple.

My husband and I talked a lot on the way home about what kind of woman Patti is, for she said something we won't soon forget. I asked her in the bookstore how it feels to be a civilian now. And she got a bittersweet look on her face as she glanced towards the Iraq photos she'd brought to display. She's torn up inside that this War on Terror is still going on and she's no longer a part of it. It pains her to know she left the Army while something is still undone.

My husband was touched by her response. We talked about how rare it is to find someone who takes personal responsibility for the fate of our nation. Patti feels guilt that she is not fighting this war, in stark contrast to most people we know who want as little role as possible. Patti feels herself to be part of something much larger than she is, and it was refreshing to hear someone express remorse at not doing more for her country.

We talked on the way home about all the stars that had to be aligned in order for us to have this wonderful afternoon with Tim and Patti. Patti had to be adopted by an American soldier in Korea. She had to come to the US and meet Tim in the Army. We both had to be stationed in Germany, even though Germany was nowhere to be found in our top ten choices of duty stations! We both had to start blogging. And Tim and I both had to overcome cries of Jody to meet each other face to face. Life came a long way to put the four of us in the same room, and my husband, not usually one to enjoy meeting new people, said how nice it felt to sit and talk to adults. Adult is the greatest compliment my husband can bestow.

Luckily, it looks like Tim and Patti might be headed our way in a few weeks. I am anxious to spend more time with them; four hours wasn't nearly enough.

I also wanted to talk to Tim about blogging. I've been at a crossroads lately, and I wanted to talk to someone who'd walked away. He misses it. Maybe we'll get him back...

Posted by Sarah at 08:53 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 25, 2006


The first thing two of my best high school friends said when I walked up to them at the reunion was "Hey, we found your blog!" Gulp. All of a sudden I was completely self-conscious, and I still can't shake the feeling. Neither of them said anything to lead me to believe they agree (or disagree) with anything I say here. They just read it. And I don't like it.

Again, I can't help but think about what Tim said about Polite Company. (I swear, this is probably the post that I think about more than any other blog post that's ever been written.) My blog thoughts are never anything I would every want to discuss during a five minute conversation at my reunion. All of a sudden I felt naked, like everything controversial I've ever said was right there in the open. I was embarrassed, and the more I think about it, the stranger I feel.

I have a friend from high school who's Muslim. Devout Muslim. And we're most certainly still friends...because we both believe in Polite Company. What if he were to find my blog? Even though everything I write here is how I honestly feel, I still can't stand the thought of him finding it and learning everything all at once. What if he were hit with the full force of this blog instead of gradually discussing issues face to face, the way people used to get to know each other before blogs?

I can't stop wondering what these two friends are thinking. Do they talk about how crazy I am? These are two people I really look up to and admire, two of the smartest men I've ever known; what do they think of me now that they know every intimate detail about the inside of my brain?

Right now I feel so uneasy that I can't even stand to blog. It's not normal for your old friends to know the entirety of your personal and political beliefs when you don't know a single thing about theirs. It's a consequence of blogging that I wasn't quite prepared for, and to be honest it makes me feel ill.

Posted by Sarah at 08:33 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

September 20, 2006


James Lileks hosted an open house this weekend. All I could think about these past few days -- and even moreso this morning when I read today's bleat/screed -- was how lucky some people are to be neighbors with James Lileks. People get to hang out with this man. My husband and I got this little fantasy going yesterday, that we could move in next to Jasperwood and time starting a family just right so that Gnat could be our babysitter. Do his real neighbors know how lucky they are?

Posted by Sarah at 07:58 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 02, 2006


The other day the doorbell rang, and UPS handed me my copy of The Blog of War.


Blackfive did a wonderful job of pulling this anthology together, and the finished product is a wonderful slice of history. The best part of the book, in my opinion, is how no one knew he would be published. We wrote our entries for our blogs, not for a book, so the writing is spontaneous and honest. We expected our friends and blog family to read our words, not the whole world; there's no pretension or feeling of "this is literature" in The Blog of War. It's just servicemembers and spouses describing deployment.

I've been reading it this week, and I must say I can only handle its intensity in small doses. Reading this book brings back deployment feelings that I honestly had forgotten about, and I find myself reliving the anguish, the anxiety, the loneliness, and the fear. I've been laughing, and lord, I've been crying, and with every page turn I've been wishing that every person I know would read this book.

But whatever you do, don't try to read the chapter on The Fallen all in one night. You won't sleep, trust me.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a glimpse into OIF and OEF. At a mere ten bucks, it's a steal on Amazon. My mom bought six! So far, I know our friends from Poland and Sweden have also bought copies, and I'm anxious to hear their responses. But it's a no-brainer if you're reading blogs and if you've ever visited MilBlogs; this book is definitely for you.

Buy the book. You won't be sorry.

My only regret is that this story didn't make it in. I didn't think to suggest it until I started reading the book and knew how perfectly it would've fit.

Posted by Sarah at 07:37 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

September 01, 2006


In college I was friends with several Bulgarians. They used to constantly bring new things home from the grocery store that they'd never seen before. You should've seen their excitement when they discovered frozen juice concentrate...and watching them try to open it with a can opener was priceless. One day they brought home a tub of sour cream and asked me what it was. As I was trying to describe it, they opened the tub and ate a huge spoonful. Now, I'm the first person to enjoy a dollop of Daisy, but watching them eat plain sour cream directly from the tub kinda grossed me out.

I remembered that story today when I read the comments from yesterday. I've taken a lot of crap here on my blog for politics, and I fully understand that this comes with the territory, as much as I hate it. I'm prepared to hear people insult my intelligence and worldview, but I'm always amazed to find someone take insults to a place I never imagined.

Lest we forget what an ugly, ugly place the internet can be, here's the comment for all to read:

Yeah, look at you. You're fat because you sit around knitting, watching tv, reading, and eating sour cream by the gallon. You can't expect your husband to come home from a hard day at the government teat and drag your big butt away from the computer to do some exercise!

I guess I should just be relieved that he just called me fat and lazy; another blogger got a death threats directed at his toddler. When I read stuff like this, I am reminded of why Tim left blogging: the death of civility. And I'm reminded of how nice it would be in many ways to just quit.

Incidentally, the Bulgarians decided that sour cream made a good spread for toast. I don't get it either.

Posted by Sarah at 10:53 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 28, 2006


More bookblogging, found at Most Certainly Not:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 27, 2006


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That'll do nicely.

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

August 05, 2006


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

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

July 28, 2006


Saw this a couple of places.

Five things in my purse
1. coupons
2. chapstick
3. Big Red One pen
4. Charlie's old dog tag
5. the wallet Angie Dente tossed out when she moved

Five things in my refrigerator
1. box of wine :)
2. pre-sliced mushrooms (I don't even have to cut them myself in this country!)
3. Big K Diet Cherry Soda (yep, we're such misers that we drink generic cola)
4. string cheese
5. Reeses Cup cheesecake bites

Five things in my car
1. air freshener
2. a towel to cover the steering wheel so it's not in direct sunlight
3. jumper cables
4. Really, that's it; I hate extra stuff in the car

Five things in my closet
Five? Just FIVE? We lost about 700 sq feet in this move, and we're moving again in less than five months so nearly everything we own is in a closet. I just sent Erin a photo of our two hilarious closets. I don't know if you can properly tell from the photo, but these are huge walk-in closets. Or at least they're meant to be, unless you cram them to the brim.


Yes, that's right, look at all that yarn. And that's not even the stuff I was whittling away for the bears...

Posted by Sarah at 05:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 30, 2006


I've kinda gotten away from the blogosphere. I didn't read any blogs while we were moving, and it's been hard to get back in the habit, to be honest. When you're gone for a while, I think you forget what you're missing, that is until I read The Bleat today. I missed Lileks. I had forgotten how...comforting it is to read his bleat. Sometimes I wonder what Gnat will think in fifteen years, how she'll feel about growing up in front of everyone's eyes. It's like being a child celebrity in a small circle. The Bleat is the most intimate blog out there; it's easy for us to rant about politics, but Lileks bares his soul. And gets hate mail, go figure.

Posted by Sarah at 10:19 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 27, 2006


Rob of Gut Rumbles passed away yesterday. That man had a scathing personality and I sure wouldn't want to get on his bad side, but his blog always had something original to say. He often made me laugh, usually at something that no one else would ever say. His voice will be missed.

Posted by Sarah at 11:57 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 08, 2006


We got internet access last night, and I have a million things to say but no time to say them in. I was going to sit and blog this afternoon, but the husband got done with class early, so I'll go back to the hotel to be with him and the pup. Tomorrow we are officially moving into our apartment though, so there will be no reason why I can't blog.

Stay tuned...

Posted by Sarah at 02:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 23, 2006


Tammi is so freaking awesome. She wrote and told me what needed to be done to get Insight to read mu.nu blogs. She rules. And now I can blog. But first...Olive Garden.

Posted by Sarah at 11:22 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

April 21, 2006


Pixy saved the day again, it appears. I guess he changed servers for mu.nu and I didn't know to redirect my site. But now it appears to be working! If we ever have this trouble again, know that my site also appears at its home in Munuviana: http://tryingtogrok.mu.nu

Posted by Sarah at 09:20 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2006


My mom was having a hard time getting into my website over the weekend for some reason, so she googled my site to try to access it that way. If you've been following my site for a few years, you may remember the day I got Lefty-lanched, when hundreds of people came to my website to tell me how dumb I am. My mom ended up back in the middle of that mess via google, and what she found really surprised me when she told me today.

Someone didn't like a blog post I wrote. They thought it was dumb and mathematically unsound. So he wrote a post about what an idiot I am. I personally think that's in very poor taste, but whatever, it was his choice for his hate-filled website. But his comments section went too far. Apparently some commenter published my name, address, and phone number, and the contact info for my parents as well. Thankfully, other commenters thought that was a low blow and the owner of the site took the info down. But, man: I just realized that two years ago I was personally attacked for something I said online. People who disagreed with me seriously meant to hurt me. And I didn't even know it until today.

It's funny because at that time, I got some really hateful comments. This site had nasty comments too -- including the ones that said that my husband left his wedding ring home from Iraq so he could get laid -- but this other blog owner also got a handful of comments defending me. It was nice to read this comment:

I saw all of this via cruel.com, and really don't get why everyone piled on. It didn't seem to me that she was doing a stat analysis so much as making a (not very carefully worded) point about reporting bias highlighting certain aspects of a poll already suffering from several questions that presented insufficient response choices to options that begged other questions.

I was not under the impression that she literally thought that only 615 people in the entire United States responded in a certain way to question quoted above. In fact, it was obvious to me that she wasn't. To think that's what she meant, you'd have to assume an almost non-functional level of stupidity. I guess the assumption of simple-mindedness was in place because of the general trend for lefties to view righties as intellectually inferior, for the simple thought crime of not being lefties.

Coming from cruel.com, I'm used to good quality links of people making asses of themselves. I'm still waiting for the punchline on this one, and I can't tell if the intended stupidity was supposed to be the original blog entry on tryingtogrok or all of this odd, over-the-top follow up.

Now that's some common ground I can enjoy! (emphasis mine)

I've been thinking a lot about comments these days. Lots of the big right-leaning sites don't even have comments sections, and I can completely understand why. Charles Johnson has to answer for everything that's written on his blog, when he himself only posts links and pithy snippets. But he's a "racist" and a "fascist" because of his comments section. I've often wondered how Markos Zuniga lets people post the crazy things they say under the umbrella of his site. No one takes note of the diarist; they just attribute the whole thing to Zuniga.

So what's our relationship to our comments? The other day I somehow managed to get a comment from a White Power site. I don't know how they found me or what they thought they read in my words, but there they were. Does it make me a white supremacist because someone thought he had identified me as one? Am I a religious fundamentalist just because Will Sommerset called me one?

A lot of times I've just considered shutting my comments section down. But I guess I've grown accustomed to the noise.

Posted by Sarah at 03:53 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006


One of my friends is thinking of starting a blog. This friend is quite shy and introverted, so we were talking about the pros and cons of blogging. She doesn't know if she wants to be anonymous or open, if she wants a family-centered blog or one where she talks about deeper stuff. And she's very concerned about who might read her blog. Because you never know.

I told her that sometimes you'd be surprised who reads your stuff: your first grade teacher, your husband's old commander, or your parents' next door neighbor (yikes to all of those). And I told her that even if she has an anonymous blog, someone might still find her: both a friend from high school and our local lawyer recognized me.

The funny thing about blogging is that even if you never say who you are, strangers will read about the best and worst days of your life. I've been enjoying reading knitting blogs lately, and I've been privy to some very personal stories. I gasped when the Etherknitter's husband's tibia popped through his leg. I choked up when Debi gave Augie his sweater. My heart leapt back on the train with Squeeky's mom. And I cried with Jeanie when her son lost his best friend. I don't know these people from Adam, but I am in on their lives. I am thinking about them. I am cheering on their intarsia. And for moments, when I am engrossed in a particular post, I feel like I am a friend.

For all the headaches and heartaches, blogging has been very rewarding for me. I never would've known Bunker if it hadn't been for blogging. I never would've gotten an email from Ben Stein or gotten published in a book without blogging. And I never would've found so many people who cheer me on.

So even though I think about quitting every single day, I'm still here.

Posted by Sarah at 06:42 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006


The problem here, Mr Silly, is that you put yourself on a pedestal that I simply don't put myself on. I have never claimed to be intelligent or all-knowing. I don't think I'm very smart at all, which is the whole reason I named my blog what I did. If I already had all the answers, I wouldn't be trying to grok. I really meant my post to be a question: why aren't these Saddam tapes important? If someone has a real answer to that question, I'm willing to listen to it and learn from it. But your condescension is completely unwarranted. All is does is turn me off and make me skip over your comments. If you really have something to add to the conversation, or something you think I can learn from Your Almighty And Infinite Wisdom, then stop writing like a complete douche. I don't care about your List Of People Who Are Smarter Than Sarah. What does memorizing Homer have to do with understanding foreign relations and WMDs? I can play that game too: I can speak Swedish, which obviously makes me much more intelligent in all realms than Mr Silly, who can't speak Swedish. And you say I have faulty reasoning? I'm sorry, but all the degrees in classics in the world don't make you an expert on Iraq, any more than I am an expert! So if you have an argument to lay out *pertaining to the blog post at hand* please present it in a respectful way. Otherwise, you've done nothing to build up my intelligence or illuminate other points of view. All your present attitude does is make me roll my eyes and ignore your comments.

Jesus Tapdancing Christ, I still can't believe you gave me a lecture on how "we educated people" use something called the scientific method blah blah blah. Get over yourself.

Posted by Sarah at 08:34 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

February 16, 2006


I've been scouring the internet for something to say, anything that would give me inspiration to blog. Nothing's coming. Anything I want to say someone else has said better.

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

December 08, 2005


Thanks to JCK for pointing out that I am in the running for the worth-a-chuckle category Best of the Top 3501 - 5000 Blogs, found here. And a hearty thanks to the 50 people who have voted for me and whoever it was who nominated me in the first place. You made my day.

(P.S. I noticed the competition is ecosystem-based. Can anyone explain to me how to merge my two blogs there? I have tried and tried, but I can't get tryingtogrok.com and tryingtogrok.mu.nu to be reflected as the same blog. Not that I want to move higher in the ecosystem...that would probably put me up against much stiffer competition!)

Posted by Sarah at 09:00 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 24, 2005


On Friday, Charlie started getting a runny nose and red, itchy eyes. Then he passed it on to me Saturday afternoon. We're both a little under the weather today, so it looks like I'll be lounging on the couch watching Dallas for the afternoon. Read Varifrank if you need something to pass the time...

Posted by Sarah at 01:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005


When Red6 got home from Iraq, the furthest thing from his mind was his blog. He had been home a few days before I gently suggested to him that he put up a post saying that he was home safe. I knew, given my own nature, that many people were worried about him and just wanted reassurance that he was safe and sound. He thought it was funny that people might get that attached to him, but he put up a short post anyway (about how he couldn't wait to hang out with Bogg -- I'm chopped liver, apparently!)

I was reminded of that today when we finally heard from Jack Army, evacuated because of Hurricane Rita. I'm sure he was busy and blogging was far from his priorities, but for those of us who waited 11 days to hear from him, his safety was definitely a priority. His life may have kept moving, but his silent blog kept us at a standstill.

Glad to see you're safe, Jack.

Posted by Sarah at 03:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I started a blog in the first place because I was tired of emailing link after link to my mother. I needed a place where I could compile all of the articles I wanted her to read. Over time, I realized that I'm not that original and that better thinking and analysis was being done elsewhere. I gradually stopped posting things that I knew all the other blogs were already talking about.

The thing is, I have two types of readers. I suspect the majority are blog-heads, those who read several other blogs in addition to mine and know exactly what I'm talking about when I say Turkeygate, superscript th, and "screw 'em". But I'm slowly realizing that I have a growing faction of readers who only read my blog, usually because they know me personally (my neighbor loves to recruit readers for me!) And those readers don't read LGF or RWN and thus miss out on some big stories because I figure no one wants to read another comment about how ridiculous it is that some Kos writer said that we need "streets running awash in rivers of blood" of right-wingers. But if this is the only blog you read, as it is for some of my friends, then I suppose it's my duty again, as it was with my mother, to expose you to a sampler plate from the blogosphere. Thus begins a rejuvenation here, a renewed reason to blog.

So, to start it all off, here's the latest Mark Steyn article. Did you hear that they're banning pigs in the UK (I heard it first via Hud)? The PC-meter just went to eleven. Since pigs are offensive to Muslims, you can't display any pigs in your cubicle at Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, not even Piglet. And Burger King bent over backwards because someone complained that their new ice cream logo looked like the word jihad. I wish I were making these things up. Mark Steyn tackles the hypocrisy nicely in his article, saying:

Likewise, Piglet is deeply offensive and so's your chocolate ice-cream, but if a West End play opens with a gay Jesus, Christians just need to stop being so doctrinaire and uptight.

Some may say that the pig thing is only one officeplace in the UK, that we're blowing this all out of proportion. But this general pandering to Muslims has got to stop. When the villian in movies is the flight attendant instead of the Muslim passengers, when the memorial for Flight 93 is made to look like a red crescent, and when you can't have a Piglet kleenex box without someone crapping a brick, we're headed for serious trouble.

Posted by Sarah at 02:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 25, 2005


Now that everyone and his dog has a blog, I do so understand this feeling.

Posted by Sarah at 08:19 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Pixy Misa, he's our man
if he can't do it, no one can!

I got quite a shock yesterday to find that my website was gone. Naturally I haven't saved anything I've written, so I dealt with the imaginary trauma that everything was gone. I guess I'd better begin backing things up.

Posted by Sarah at 06:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 04, 2005


5. Getting an email from Den Beste about cargo cult science.

4. Musing that I missed The Genius I Was and then finding out he reads my blog.

3. Getting an email from Ben Stein.

2. Hearing that Blackfive and Michael Tucker were talking about me.

1. Getting to meet Tim, CaliValleyGirl, and The Girl in person. I hope there are many more blog meetings for me in the future.

Posted by Sarah at 10:14 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 03, 2005


I felt bad that Grey Eagle took what I said so personally. I certainly never meant that every single female soldier acts like a slut, and I thought I was as tactful as possible in clarifying my position twice. Everyone keeps pointing out to me that it takes two to tango, completely missing the irony: that's what I was saying in the first place. At times you'd think that the only sex that happens in the Army is rape; I just wanted to point out that men don't have a monopoly on bad behavior.

So I felt bad about Grey Eagle, but then I went over to her website and saw what she has to say about me...

I am a soldier and a combat medic, and the person your husband will turn to to save his life, treat his wounds, and evac him out, so he can bring his cheating ass home to you.

Real classy. She even finds time to make fun of the name of my blog too. And then she flat out lies about me:

There were comments where people actually wrote supporting these posts (I noticed that my comments were removed from the post on "Trying to Grok, but the comments supporting her post were left on).

I never deleted anything she wrote. I don't know what on earth she's talking about, since she filled up most of the comments sections.

I know that this issue is very personal for her, more personal than it is for me because 1) my husband was on an all-male FOB in Iraq and 2) if you knew my husband, you'd know that SPC Waterstraw is just not his type (wink). But I am more than a little disappointed that while I was merely trying to bring up an issue that we all tiptoe around, just to put it out there on the table, Grey Eagle has to personally insult me and belittle me as just an "uninformed spouse".

Cattiness and bitchitude is not exactly the best way to raise my opinion of female soldiers, is it?

[By the way, neither is implying that it's OK for married soldiers to have occasional sex downrange because they're stressed out. I don't buy that BS from the slutty wives either. But that's what Grey Eagle appears to say here:

I have seen and understand where soldiers return from patrols or convoys shaken from IED's, ambushes, being shot at, and all the other incidents that take place, where sleep is mixed with motar attacks, explosions, sucide bombers, and living in conditions that create hardship, depression, and fear to name a few. This causes the soldiers, ALL SOLDIERS regardless of gender to behave differently than when we are home. The sex, which is mostly consentual is a reflection of escape and our own mortality, and becomes living for the moment, and NOT a endless orgy of sex. What the hell do you think we do over there. It does not take away from home, spouses, the love we have, or that we wish we were home with them every moment of every day that we deployed

Please tell me I'm reading this wrong. You can't insist that females are not a sex problem for the military and then shrug off "occasional FOB sex" as normal.]

Posted by Sarah at 10:40 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

July 28, 2005


We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it.

Happy Birthday, Amritas...

Posted by Sarah at 04:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 09, 2005


I've gotten really lazy about posting lately because I assume you can all find the stuff I want to say on other blogs. I see stuff all the time that I want to point out, but I don't have much to add to the conversation; you'd be better off checking out Conservative Grapevine every morning instead of my blog. Hawkins has done a great job of compiling links.

I've also gotten lazy about reading blogs, which is why I missed this bait from Annika. I heard about Ulf Hjertstrom and immediately wanted to meet him and shake his hand. A Swede who wanted to take the fight to the enemy...wow.

And in reading Annika again, I remembered what I've been missing for so long. I love reading Annika. I love reading many blogs, but I've pushed it all aside because lately I just don't have the time or energy to get that involved. Bunker's absence drove me from the blogosphere, and at times it feels useless to return. However, I spent a long time catching up with Annika, laughing at this spot-on assessment of Jack Kerouac and nodding at this discussion of chickenhawks. I need to spend some time getting caught up with everyone; hell, I've even started skipping Bleats.

But first I need to get the dog to stop whining every time I take him upstairs.

I've been apathetic lately, about everything. London shook me up though, and I hope it helps me start feeling again, start thinking bigger thoughts than "indeed" when I read others' posts. I feel myself turning into an instapundit, and I don't like it.

I've been thinking about a project that I'd like to start. Bunker wrote so many posts that I indeed-ed, and I have been thinking of going back and revisiting some of the things that I wish I'd said. I'd like to work on that soon.

If the dog cooperates, that is.

Posted by Sarah at 03:03 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 05, 2005


Dear Bunker,

Last night I had the chance to go out to dinner with CaliValleyGirl and The Girl. We talked about how much blogs have affected our lives, and I commented on how close you can get to someone you've never met. You were definitely one of the people I meant, because you've left a big footprint in my life. Just before dinner, I picked up that copy of The Federalist Papers that you inspired me to buy, and I thought that I'd like to start reading it but that I'd probably need your help wading through its density. You are still registered as a user on my blog. I just blogged about you on Friday, and I was waiting to talk about what I've finally grokked about medals with you.

It took me an hour just to stop crying after I read Slice's post. Well, that's not true, because I haven't even stopped crying yet, but at least I've calmed down enough to gather myself. I'd give anything to have you back for one more day so I could tell you everything else I want to say, but at least I know that I've already told you the most important things. Last Father's Day, I emailed you and told you that you felt like a second father to me, that I learned from you every day and that I cherished our blog-friendship. This Father's Day you won't be here to hear it again, but I promise I will be thinking of you again on that day. I'm glad I told you once how important you were to me.

There are bloggers like Den Beste or Whittle that I wouldn't even have the guts to talk to. But I would've easily walked up to you and given you a hug. You were a real person in my life, not just somebody I read on the internet.

There's but a handful of people in my life it could hurt this much to lose.

You know, the email you sent me this week meant so much to me, when you told me that it was cool that I was staying home and not worrying about building a career. But you know what? I deleted it. I don't know why I did that. I guess I thought there'd be plenty more emails where that one came from.

I just wish I could write you one more email to tell you how sad I am that we don't have any future together. I was going to make you the chicken lasagna alfredo you were drooling over the other day, maybe in exchange for helping me with The Federalist Papers. I was going to move to Texas and join the Texas Blog Ring you started, and you were going to teach me to enjoy golf. I hate golf, but I was really looking forward to playing with you.

I never met you, but I am going to miss you so much. I cringe at the fact that I had your phone number at the bottom of every email you ever sent to me, yet I never picked up the phone. Luckily though, I have the CD you sent me of your radio spot on the Lago show, so your voice can bring a smile to my face. And the next time I'm in Texas, I'm still going to visit you, even if there won't be any golfing that day.

I love you, Bunker. I'm glad you knew it; I just wish I could've said it before it was too late.

Posted by Sarah at 10:35 AM | Comments (8)

June 04, 2005


The Girl did this book thing, and I wanted to participate too...

1) Total # of books I own:
It took me forever to count: 528, not including field manuals.

2) Last book I bought:
The French Betrayal of America. It's not even here yet.

3) Last book I read:
Last book I completed was the highly practical How To Raise a Puppy You Can Live With.

4) Books I'm reading now:
I take 'em one at a time; still reading Once An Eagle (it's 1291 pages.)

5) Books that have been important to me:
Hmm, "important", not just "good"...To Kill a Mockingbird, The Fountainhead, Skinny Legs and All, Alas Babylon, Cosmos, Stranger in a Strange Land, This Is My Beloved, and not to forget Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (the book my husband was reading when I met him, the spark for our first conversation) and Lila (the first gift I gave to my husband, for which I received my first kiss from him.)

Posted by Sarah at 05:52 PM | Comments (3)

June 01, 2005


It's brand new, but I already am a big fan of John Hawkins' new blog Conservative Grapevine. The links are succinct and interesting; it gives me a sample of many different blogs. Thanks, John!

Posted by Sarah at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2005


I found this dialect quiz via Amritas, and my results were just as I would expect:

Your Linguistic Profile:

70% General American English
25% Dixie
5% Midwestern
0% Upper Midwestern
0% Yankee
What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

This makes perfect sense, since I basically spent the first half my life in Texas and the other half in Illinois/Missouri.

Posted by Sarah at 01:02 PM | Comments (5)

April 18, 2005


So how shocked was I today when one of the 7th graders quoted my blog to me?

Apparently at least one of my students' parents reads my blog. And may I say, Mr. H, that your son is a dear. He's one of my favorites, and I actually joke with my husband that I want to "keep" him when I leave the school because he looks enough like my husband to be his child. If my son is as polite and cool as yours, I will have done well. One bad apple may spoil the bunch, but all I cling to at the end of the day is the memory of the good ones.

But it never ceases to weird me out when people in my real life cite my online life.

Like I've had much of an online life lately anyway. I just don't have much to say, and I find that the more I write, the more I get uncomfortable in my real life. I find myself wanting to comment on stuff like releasing illegal aliens, but all I can think to say is "that's messed up", which doesn't make for a very interesting blog entry. I just don't spend any time online anymore. (Part of the reason is that my chore load has gone through the roof: I'm back to doing triple the laundry! If I had the time, I would love to talk about this Amritas post too.) But my last day of 7th grade is next Tuesday, so I'll be back on Wednesday.

And can I take your kid with me, Mr. H?

Posted by Sarah at 03:53 PM | Comments (4)

April 12, 2005


Oda Mae has been a long-time commenter and a good friend to me here in our community. Her husband leaves for Iraq today with the British Army, so drop her a line in the comments section and say hi...

Posted by Sarah at 07:18 AM | Comments (12)

April 07, 2005


Dear Deskmerc,

I know, I know. I'm sorry I haven't been around much. I now have a job where I can't blog. Hell, I can't even stop talking for more than 10 seconds before the whole room erupts into roars and highlighter fights. And I don't get paid for a second after 1500, so I try to get everything done during lunch and my planning period so I don't have to take anything home. Because when I get home, I tear my husband away from his GMAT studies to just sit on the sofa and, well, sit. That's all I want to do. And we get in bed at 2100. The days are flying by, and I find myself further and further from the computer. Dang, Mitch Hedberg died a week ago and I just found out. I'm out of touch, what can I say. The only thing I really have to blog about is something that happened at school, something big, but it's really too sensitive to blog about. I wish I could though. God help the state of our public schools.

So I haven't been around. But I still think of you guys all the time. And instead of missing me, go ahead and read Notes from the Olive Garden again: even after the tenth reading, it's still better than anything I could say.

Talk to you soon,

Posted by Sarah at 01:13 PM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2005


I can't get into my email, but I wanted to wish Tim (of CPT Patti fame) a happy birthday. I hope he reads this...

Posted by Sarah at 05:29 PM | Comments (2)

April 02, 2005


Virus be damned, I'm blogging anyway. I spent two weeks with the computer offline, trying to get rid of this stupid virus, when I finally gave up. I'll get it worked out eventually, but I plugged the ethernet cable back in.

My life is about the same as I left it two weeks ago. I'm still subbing, and while things are getting a little better, I was sort of disheartened to find that I likely will be teaching this class for another month. I yell at the kids all day long in school, and then I yell at them all night long in my dreams. I can't seem to get away from them, which is doing a number on my sanity.

The husband is doing great. He's back on a normal sleeping schedule, his feet are healing, and he's studying his tail off to take the GMAT at the end of the month. He's amazing: he attacks everything in his life with the dedication and gusto I only reserve for knitting.

I haven't read any blogs in about two weeks, and I'm not even sure where to start. However, I did feel the blogging pull when I read this nauseating tidbit via Instapundit:

List of Schiavo Donors To Be Sold

If you expressed your support to Terri Schiavo and her parents fight to keep her alive, you may begin to receive a steady stream of solicitations, according to a Local 6 News report.

Terri Schiavo's parents have agreed to sell their list of supporters to a direct-mailing firm, Local 6 News reported.

The company, "Response Unlimited" pays about $150 a month for 6,000 names and $500 a month for 6,000 e-mail addresses.

A spokesperson for the Schindlers confirmed that they had agreed to sell the information, but won't say for how much.

I really could see both sides of the Schiavo dilemma. I can imagine not wanting to let go of a loved one, but I can also imagine hating living that way myself. I thought the husband was a rather despicable man, that he kinda gave up his claims to act in Terry's best interest when he started knocking someone else up. But now I think the parents are pretty shameful too, if this story about selling donor names is true.

What a crazy world we live in.

Posted by Sarah at 09:49 AM | Comments (1)

February 28, 2005


When I first started this blog, I flew off the handle a lot. I used to get so fired up and would write about every article I read. I've noticed that the world doesn't shock me like it used to. I'm getting very ho-hum about the 'sphere. I figure if I've seen it on four blogs, you've seen it too. LGF doesn't shock me anymore. I'm used to jihad, war, and terrorism. It's a strange feeling, and it makes my blog suck.

I just haven't been feeling very screedy lately. I hope it's not permanent.

I start subbing tomorrow; I'll be teaching 7th grade math for a friend who is on maternity leave. Fractions. Lord help us all.

And the husband still isn't in Kuwait.

Posted by Sarah at 04:35 PM | Comments (10)

December 29, 2004


The other day, Ken of RebelRouser emailed me and said that he wanted to blogroll me but that he didn't know my story and didn't know if he should file me under military or civilian. I explained my story to him and said that I was therefore a civilian. He then emailed back with something that has had me glowing for a week:

Make no bones, you're in the military and you are not a Civilian. As far as
I'm concerned, you're a Soldier. I think this is something Americans need to
realize, and I think you are just the person let them know.

And then he invited me to join his new blog.

Now writing under the name Nasty Dawg, Ken has started a group blog called Don't Thank Me, Thank My Recruiter. He has gathered active duty and veterans from all branches and ranks to blog together, and he wanted to fill the dependent angle as well. That's where I come in.

Everything is up and running, virtually overnight, so I was the last one to report for duty. Please check out Thank My Recruiter; I think it will be an interesting exchange.

Posted by Sarah at 09:55 AM | Comments (6)

December 20, 2004


I had a thought the other night that would probably make Den Beste cringe, but I realized that I'm glad that he shrugged. He started writing because it made him happy. He got noticed, and more and more people tried to control him. Write about what I want to hear. Make sure you include this angle. No, you're wrong about this minor detail. Maybe if you read Ayn Rand you'd understand. And so on and so on. He started carrying the world on his shoulders, getting more and more burdened by pedantic mail and impossible demands. And finally he shrugged.

Who is John Galt? Den Beste is.

And all of a sudden, now that I think of it that way, it's easier to bear his absence. I'm happy for him, now that the weight has been lifted from his shoulders. I'm happy that he's let go and stopped letting the looters rule his blog. I'm happy for him, and it makes missing him easier.

But now I'm worried about him because he's sick.

(And, yes, I'm relating everything in my life to this book right now. Sue me.)

Posted by Sarah at 10:00 PM | Comments (7)

December 19, 2004


I remember reading some blogger note how ironic it is that Americans write comments on Iraqi blogs trying to tell Iraqis what Iraq is like. Apparently it's gotten the best of Ali, and he's hanging it up. Thanks a lot, folks.

Posted by Sarah at 09:18 AM | Comments (3)

December 17, 2004


Reader mjseabee on Smash's blog pointed out a wild coincidence. I followed the story of a blogger named SGT Lizzie, who recently ran over an IED and got her "happy ass blown up", as she said. It turns out that Red 6, my husband's best friend, recovered her vehicle. Here's her account of the story, and here's his. Thanks to mjseabee for noticing that two bloggers' lives crossed for a moment.

(Update: Looks like they've figured it out.)

Posted by Sarah at 08:14 AM | Comments (1)

December 04, 2004


Red 6, the husband's best friend, has caught the blogging bug. Here's the email he sent out (in its entirety):

after some discussion, i have decided to start a weblog. it will probably rule or suck based on my internet connection and time available. we'll see. also...i'm not funny.

Well, that was enough to crack me up, so I'm looking forward to reading Armor Geddon as often as he can post. If you're interested in getting in on the action, he's beginning his blog with a day-by-day of his time in Fallujah. I have only gotten to hear snippets of these stories so far, so I'm anxious to get the details.

Posted by Sarah at 09:20 PM | Comments (1)

November 20, 2004


I had dinner last night with one of those newly-discovered friends in my real life who also reads my blog. We discussed many issues, and I had a good time getting to know her point of view a little better. It's a bit strange: she said that she and another friend discuss new stuff on my blog at work in the morning. But it seems like nobody else thinks it's weird, so I guess I'll go on being whispered about on post.

Some things that we talked about last night that I wanted to give her links to:
Fallujah Marine in Trouble for Pulling a Kerry
You're Not in 'Jesusland' Anymore
Ethics in America (the one you want to watch is Under Orders, Under Fire I & II)

And here's something else we kinda hit on last night:

Americans don’t hate Europeans. We don’t even hate French people. Well, most of us don’t. In fact, by and large, we love Europeans. We find them fascinating and mysterious. We buy European wines and foods and brag about how many American dollars we had to spend on it. We think that Europeans are somehow more sophisticated than we are, and we seek to emulate their sophistication, at least in gesture if not in spirit. But, when you get right down to it, many Europeans simply aren’t individualist enough for us, and so we kind of lose them at some point, usually when we start talking about how much we love our country and our freedoms. It isn’t that we don’t understand that Europeans love their country, too, or that we don’t appreciate European culture. It’s just that we are American and that means more to us than having a cool accent.

Posted by Sarah at 07:18 AM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2004


I didn't blog very much while my husband was here, but I also know that I haven't been putting out very high quality stuff for quite a while now. I just don't have anything good to say. I'm also dealing with some feelings of weirdness that word has gotten out around here about my blog, so all sorts of people who are in my real life are also reading my blog. I therefore keep second-guessing what I want to say. I heard an Iraq anecdote yesterday I'd like to talk about, but I'm not sure it's OK for distribution. I overheard a bizarre statement at the memorial service, but I don't want people to recognize who said it. All of a sudden I want to pull a fad, to disappear and start a new blog elsewhere under a new name.

But let's face reality, even if I resurfaced, I still wouldn't have anything good to say.

Posted by Sarah at 08:18 AM | Comments (8)

October 06, 2004


Faithful readers know that I live with conflicted feelings of not being in the military myself. Maybe it's rationalization, but I found comfort in these new words from Whittle:

So here I am: feeling useless. But President Bush warned that this was going to be a different war – something unlike anything we had ever seen. The front line now, at this critical time, is in the hearts and minds of our own people. That’s where the real battle is now. That is our weakest point, our breach, our point of failure. We have not made the case to enough people and time is running out.

So maybe now, at this absurd point in this new kind of war, we’re the crack troops, we old and useless pajama patriots reduced to printing up pamphlets to sell war bonds to the weary, to make the case for holding on to an unglamorous, uninspiring, relentless grind because that – not Normandy and Midway – is the face of war in this gilded age of luxury and safety and plenty.

Maybe that’s our job. Maybe we can help cover some small gap in the lines.

If it's "Duty First", then my duty must be to blog.

I spoke of rejuvenation earlier this week. Whittle can always get me fired up. (He gets Blue 6 and Red 6 fired up too.) And he makes me feel good that I stand with him.

Posted by Sarah at 09:51 PM | Comments (1)

September 28, 2004


I know he's not coming back. I know. But it seemed so final when I read this post that I actually began to cry. His was the first blog I ever read. His was the first blog I checked every morning. He was the one who catapulted me into blogging about a year ago. And he has given me something for which I will always be grateful: the slow, painful journey of learning how to think.

I just miss him, that's all.

Posted by Sarah at 10:43 PM | Comments (7)

September 26, 2004


We had access to CNN World on our TV, so we watched it periodically to get an idea of what was going on in the world. I never watch the news, so the whole thing was quite infuriating. There were several times I wanted to throw something at the news anchors for the obvious way they were leading their interviewees (One guy badgered the Nigerian president with the same question asked four different ways because he wasn't getting the answer he wanted to hear. And then he shrugged and basically accused the president of lying!) I wanted to rip the larynx out of Richard Quest.

I started trying to catch up on everything I've missed this week, but I realized it was futile. If you can think of something that I should read that was posted or was not presented on CNN World this week (heh), then mention it in the comments and I'll check it out.

Posted by Sarah at 09:12 AM | Comments (3)

September 20, 2004



Posted by Sarah at 05:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004


If we don't help out, Mudville Gazette will be gone in a few weeks...

Posted by Sarah at 09:30 PM | Comments (1)

September 03, 2004


OK, I need help. I've been looking for over an hour for an article I read the other day on someone's blog. It was a study of how the economy does not have a significant effect on crime. I'm getting really frustrated that I can't retrace my steps; does anyone else know which article I'm talking about?

Posted by Sarah at 02:35 PM | Comments (3)

August 29, 2004


I don't have the patience to go look it up, but a long time ago I wondered if we'd all still be blogging in ten years. I wondered if the fad would die or people would get burned out. I thought we might all hit a point where we just lost interest, but I never wanted to see it happen to The Best.

Posted by Sarah at 07:25 AM | Comments (3)

August 16, 2004


Tim mis-labeled his blog when he called CPT Patti the "sweetest woman on the planet"; he should have called her the sweetest and best smelling woman on the planet. I don't know if she's taken a billion showers after leaving Iraq, but the first thing I noticed about her was how downright delicious she smelled. And then it was her radiant smile.


Tim and CPT Patti stopped here on their way home from leave in Italy. I originally thought nothing could've been nicer than my trip to Frankfurt to meet Tim, but the addition of Patti was nothing short of heavenly. She was personable and interesting and genuine and just plain great. And of course Tim was the Tim we know and love. They were just excellent together, and it was the best lunch I've had in a long time. I could've talked to them for two days instead of two hours, and I'm humbled that they drove out of the way just to see me.

And I told Tim that if he ever gets the itch, he's welcome to write a guest post here whenever he wants.

Posted by Sarah at 05:31 PM | Comments (8)

August 13, 2004


When I blog, I blog off the cuff. I type, I finish, I post. Which is why the fact that I've started several posts in the past few days and just erased them or saved them as drafts because I know they're garbage is startling. I don't have anything good to say. I'm stumped and I'm down on myself because I feel worthless.

And then the phone rang and I found out LT A will likely be in the hospital for up to six months. And I lost it.

There I was, carrying on because my blogging is not up to par, and then people with actual problems called and reminded me that "gaping shrapnel wounds" are more important than "feelings of inadequacy due to insufficient blog material". I don't think I've ever felt like a bigger idiot.

I'm not blogging anymore for a while, at least not until I have something to say.

Posted by Sarah at 08:08 AM | Comments (10)

August 12, 2004


I was just trying to find something back on my old Blogspot site.
I had a realization:
I think I was a better blogger back in November than I am now.
Hmmm...that's not good.

Posted by Sarah at 02:46 PM | Comments (2)

July 29, 2004


I just posted this over on Vodkapundit's fisking of Andrew Sullivan.

"I have no real beef with Sullivan, but I don't visit his site as often as I used to. I was curious to hear that he had added a donkey to the header on his blog, so I went over there and just read this:

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "As few as five people in black robes can look at a particular issue and determine for the rest of us, insinuate for the rest of us that they are speaking as the majority will. They are not." - Rep. John Hostettler, the Republican who authored the bill that would strip federal courts of the right to consider the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. But, of course, it could also be said about the five Supreme Court Justices who made George W. Bush the president of the United States. The Republicans love courts when they reach the right decision; they just despise them when they don't.

Wow. Has he really gotten that far out of hand that he's playing the Bush-stole-the-election game? Geez."

If the man wants to vote for Kerry, then so be it. But please don't all of a sudden start claiming that the election was rigged and other such nonsense. I have always respected Sullivan for his research and insight, so this recent Quote of the Day made my jaw drop.

Posted by Sarah at 11:20 AM | Comments (3)

July 28, 2004


Several people have written me to point out that I made it all the way up to #17 on John Hawkins' Top 40 Blogs. When I saw that, I was as flabbergasted as you! Oda Mae wrote in my comments section recently that I should be proud of the things I say on my blog, but I don't really think I'm all that interesting. I still can't believe anyone reads my stuff, much less people like SGT Hook who are deployed and should have much higher priorities.

But anyway, people do come here, and I certainly appreciate it. Thanks for helping me try to grok.

Posted by Sarah at 07:38 AM | Comments (5)

July 05, 2004


I have a relatively small blog. I won't kid myself that I can make a big difference, but I'd like to try something, with your help of course.

I just recently got a currency adjustment for my salary. Since the dollar is so weak and many people live on the German economy, we got an extra 4% of what we made last year. I didn't make that much -- since I only started working in September and I'm woefully underpaid -- and I don't spend much money on the economy. Thus the money is waiting for a good cause, and I think I've found it. I want to buy one of these:


When I read at Spirit of America that the 1st Marine Division is trying to raise money to buy sewing machines for women in Ramadi, I thought that this would be a good cause. I enjoy my sewing machine and have been learning to quilt, so it seemed fitting that I could use my currency adjustment check to help Iraqi women start earning money and making clothes.

However, I don't have the full amount. One industrial sewing machine costs $475, so I was thinking that maybe my readers could help make up the difference? I get about 100 page views each day, which means if everyone kicked in five bucks we'd have a whole machine. I know many of you have already donated to Spirit of America, and I'm already amazed at how giving you all are, but maybe you could spare another $5? Like I said, I don't have any illusions that I can generate thousands of dollars like other bloggers did, but I'd be thrilled to get anything I could.

If you would like to donate, visit the Spirit of America site. You can use PayPal, VeriSign, or personal checks. And if you do donate something, comment on this post and let us know how much you've given, so we can all see when we've made it to a full sewing machine. I'll make up the difference.

I hope I generate at least some interest with this project. I'll donate regardless, but I thought it would be cool to say that we here at trying to grok bought a sewing machine for the sewing center in Ramadi.


Yay for the participation! I just got an email from a reader who suggested that some might feel funny about putting an amount in the comments section. Feel free to email me and I'll put an "anonymous" comment like I did for the first person. And like I said, $5 is plenty...and no one has to feel bad if they already gave at the office!

Posted by Sarah at 10:49 AM | Comments (5)

June 30, 2004


My comments section has been growing and taking on a life of its own since the Atrios incident. Yes, I still read all of the comments. No, I don't eagerly look forward to them the way I did six months ago. I've got arguments and insults -- plus headaches and sleepless nights, believe it or not -- because of the comments section. Reader cjstevens wrote a long and interesting comment here, and Sander wondered why I even bother to have a comments section.

Sometimes I wonder myself.

I read this post on Instapundit today about comments, and I certainly understood. When I first started my blog and all those readers came over from USS Clueless, I couldn't keep my eyes off the comments section. When I started playing with my templates and thought I had deleted my first week's comments, I broke into tears (ask my husband; he thought I was nuts). I thought I needed to cherish every comment I had, because I certainly didn't think anyone would want to read my blog once the novelty of Den Beste's link wore off.

Eight months and 55,000 hits later, the comments section has begun to weigh on my heart. What was once a spot for Carla or Mike or Tammi to shoot me an encouraging word has turned into gnawing dread in my stomach whenever I see the numbers climb higher. Every time someone comments, I feel the need to think about his words for hours. I try to understand where he's coming from, what he's thinking, why he thinks I might agree with him, and what I could possibly say to get my point across and make him see what I see.

A friend advised me to blog for myself alone, not for the adoring (or loathing) public. But every challenge that I leave unanswered haunts me. Every comment I disagree with is hours of my thoughts diverted elsewhere, when I'm sure someone else has already had the same argument elsewhere.

I've thought about shutting the comments off and just doing this for myself. I've thought about leaving them and letting them take on a life of their own without my involvement. I've thought about giving blogging up altogether because sleepless nights and stinging wounds are really the last thing I need when half of my heart is in Iraq.

I'm just stressed. And beaten down. I'm struggling to remember what the point of all of this is...


cjstevens, it appears the director of Gunner Palace will be on CNN News Night with Aaron Brown tonight (30 Jun). See if you can check it out.


Please keep in mind that I'm not necessarily talking about "abuse" here. Yeah, the comments were pretty nasty there for a while, but mostly now it's civil. It's just so much for one brain to handle.

My alarm goes off at 0630. Lately I've been dragging it out until 0700. I read for an hour, get ready, go to work until 1600, come home, shovel some food in my mouth, and go to the neighboring post to teach for three hours. (On nights that I don't teach, I'm watching Band of Brothers, which isn't exactly light entertainment.) I return around 2145 and then read and blog some more. I rarely make it into bed by 2300 and I'm lying there thinking about Michael Moore and Iraq and elections until midnight or 0100. I just can't shut it off.

Writing my own posts keeps me occupied; thinking of how I would respond to five different people who all have different ideas about Moore and Iraq and elections is making me insane.

So I apologize if you're a commenter and I don't give you a direct answer to your comment. It doesn't mean I'm not losing sleep over it.

Posted by Sarah at 03:35 PM | Comments (13)

June 19, 2004


10 Things I Love About Others' Weblogs

1. the rotating photos of the universe at U.S.S. Clueless

2. The Dissident Frogman's movies

3. the disclaimer that pops up when you comment over at Bunker Mulligan

4. Kim du Toit's skin pics

5. Allah's t-shirt

6. the picture of the ever-cheerful CPT Patti

7. The Gobbler Motel

8. South Park Pixy

9. Amritas' blogroll

10. The propaganda posters on The Mudville Gazette

Posted by Sarah at 09:38 PM | Comments (4)

June 15, 2004


I read Sanders' comment here and then sat down to write and saw that Lyana had beat me to my point. But I'll say it anyway. I appreciate Sanders' point, but I think it's sad:

Nah, you worry too much. What's more, you take things said on the internet personal, which is kind of cute in a very naive sort of way.

Internet is just not comparable to everyday life, it's more anonymous, sharper and sometimes uglier. No one in the comments would ever call you clueless fucktard dumb to your face, even more so if they have any personal knowledge of you, but on the internet discussion often end with rude ad hominems. On the other hand, by dispensing with courteousness the arguments are more direct and perhaps more honest.

It may be scary at first, but you get used to it, after realizing they're not talking to you personally, but some anonymous schmoe saying silly things. Live and learn.

If the attacks are not meant to be personal, then what are they? They're not constructive. They're not educational. They're just insults, and insults are personal. Yes, I do take these things personally because I believe in decency and manners. I'm absolutely appalled that those 90 people don't.

I have never called anyone a name in a comments section. Only very rarely have I argued back with someone, and it's only ever been with another commenter and never with the blog host. I have never linked to what someone else has written and made fun of them or pointed out how wrong I think they are, even though the blogger who started this atrios-lanche has done this to me repeatedly. Once I wrote about some silly posts I read elsewhere, but I didn't provide a link to the site because I didn't want to send hateful comments his way. I don't think that's right. I can discuss the other person's ideas without linking because it's the ideas that need discussing, not whether the person is dumb as a hammer.

Yes, the internet allows us to be more open. I talk about things here on my blog that I can't talk about with many of my peers because they either vehemently disagree with me or they don't read the news very often. I'm very grateful that the internet has given me that opportunity, but it's come at a price. If we're losing all sense of courtesy and respect for other people's views and "space" (as in it's my blog and you've come to my space to call me names), then I think that's sad.

Many of those commenters from the weekend probably have kids. What if I printed out their comments and showed them to their kids. Look, Timmy, your daddy called me clueless fucktard dumb. And then I explained to little Timmy that his daddy called me that simply because he disagreed with what I had to say. That's a bad lesson to teach your kids.

My mother reads my blog. So does my first grade teacher. I try to conduct myself in a way that would make both of them proud because they taught me that showing others respect is important. It's a shame others weren't taught the same.

Posted by Sarah at 04:28 PM | Comments (16)

June 01, 2004


I don't know how Andrew Sullivan takes a break every year; the hardest thing for me to do is not to blog. Everything I read, every encounter I have in the day, everything turns into a post; for the past eight months I've looked at everything in my life through the lens of a blogger. However, I think I need to take a couple of days off. I have a lot of thinking to do. I'll be back in a few days with a long post about my thoughts. In the meantime, read about The Soldiers You Never Hear About.

Posted by Sarah at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2004


My congrats to Bunker, who just got denbestelanched. When I first started reading his stuff, I thought for sure he must have a popular blog; I was shocked to find out he was just starting out and still had low traffic. He has such an interesting perspective -- prior service, both enlisted and officer, well-read, the golf angle, deployed sons, etc -- that I think he has something for everyone. I hope that Den Beste's readers agree and stick around for more than one post to hear what Bunker has to say.

And if you haven't read it, read Den Beste's post on heroes and Bunker's addendum.

Posted by Sarah at 08:53 AM | Comments (1)

May 18, 2004


Thanks, John. But how in the hell did I beat Belmont Club?

Oh, and I totally agree. Those who say we shouldn't wave the American flag at the Olympics can ___________________ (fill in the blank with your favorite expletive). Lonsberry has lots of expletives he's deleted as well.

And your rebuttals to complaints on the war are spot on.

Posted by Sarah at 10:33 AM | Comments (1)

May 15, 2004


In addition to Tenacious D, I have found another soothing balm for my anger at the world. Two of my married students just got a new puppy, and they sent me a photo of him. I opened it this morning, and then left the window open -- that way I can read stuff like this, and when steam starts to come out of my ears, I quickly switch over to the puppy window and look at this little piece of heaven.


He works wonders for bringing my rage to a manageable level.

Posted by Sarah at 07:26 AM | Comments (5)

May 14, 2004


Sorry, I ran out of time this morning. I was too busy responding to grokless comments on Anders' and Bunker's posts.

Posted by Sarah at 08:10 AM | Comments (1)

May 13, 2004


There's a funny meme starting where you make a Geek List. It's the top ten things you know way too much about to be considered cool. Rocket Jones did one, so now it's my turn. For whatever reason, I know a fair amount about these oddball topics.

10. LDS
9. Alias
8. statistics (the fun stuff like the Monty Hall problem or the Birthday problem)
7. Yukio Mishima
6. Armyspeak
5. Swedish language
4. rap music
3. Chief Illiniwek
2. knitting
1. the Karate Kid Trilogy

Posted by Sarah at 04:15 PM | Comments (7)

May 10, 2004


Tim from CPT Patti in Baghdad is experiencing technical difficulties today.
You'll just have to wait until he's back up and running to read his gems.

Posted by Sarah at 05:01 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2004


I've never explored my hits from google searches before.
It's hilarious.
How did I get a hit for "taco bell complaints" and "headband store in Russia"?

Posted by Sarah at 05:29 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2004


I think this morning I'm going to limit myself to writing about uplifting things. And, man, have I found something that makes my heart sing: the running totals for money donated by bloggers to Spirit of America. Three groups of bloggers, headed by Castle Argghhh!, Dean Esmay, and A Small Victory, are raising money for alternate media sources in Iraq. So far they've raised over $30,000! And bloggers are starting to auction things: an original Cox & Forkum, a picture from Saddam's palace that Chief Wiggles took, plane tickets, bayonets, everything!

I didn't join up with any specific "team" for the competition, and it's probably too late to join in since it ends Thursday. If I had been paying more attention to getting in on this, I would've knitted a sweater for the reader who pledged the most. Instead I will just have to encourage you to go pledge through someone else...

And now that I see how much money everyone else is giving, I have to go donate more! $30,000! Look at the impact we bloggers can have.

Posted by Sarah at 07:58 AM | Comments (1)

April 26, 2004


The only blog I read where I can remember precisely the first entry I ever read is Lileks'. It was his post on Ed Harris. Ed Harris, you say, Mr. Link on Andrew Sullivan? I like him. Let's go see what this so-called Lileks character has to say about him. How's that, Harris said something moronic? And this Lileks guy writes about this kind of stuff every day? I'm hooked.

That was January 2003. I've followed Lileks ever since; he holds a sweet spot in my heart, though he'll never know it. I listen to all the crappy music he makes. I look at all his regrettable food. And I feel a certain connection with him today when he apologizes for not making more time for his readers. And he means it, you can tell he really means it.

He makes me smile.

Posted by Sarah at 08:15 AM | Comments (3)

April 25, 2004


The moment you've all been waiting for: the before and after of my trip to visit Tim.
You can also read Tim's infuriating before on his blog.

I've had some extra thoughts since I got home. The funniest one is that my mother encouraged me to go meet a total stranger from the internet. I think we look at blogging in a different way than we look at internet dating...

Posted by Sarah at 01:39 PM | Comments (3)

April 23, 2004


Remember when Roger Simon went to Paris and met The Dissident Frogman, Merde in France, and Nelson Ascher? Man was I jealous. I wanted to make a blog trip too. I want to meet these people whose lives I follow every day, more closely than I follow any of my friends' lives.

So I bought a train ticket yesterday.

That scenario could lead me off in a whole different direction, by the way. I could talk about how I tried to put to use the German I've been studying and say Ich möchte am Samstag nach Frankfurt fahren bitte, and how the girl behind the counter gave me this exasperated look when my German wasn't as fast as she would've liked, and how finally I just gave up and let her do it all in English, and how I walked out of the train station fuming and wondering why I even bother to study German in the first place. But that's a diatribe for another day; we need to stay on track.

Last week I decided that I needed some support. When my friend remarked that my house is entirely too quiet and that she doesn't know how I can stand to be alone like this, I started to think that I'd like to spend some time with someone who knows exactly what I've been thinking since day one.

So the grokkingest girl on the planet is going to Frankfurt...to meet Tim.

We had planned to meet once CPT Patti returned, but after last week's extension and missions, I figured there was no time like the present to just make it happen. So I'm going tomorrow to meet my first fellow blogger.

I'm a little nervous, to be honest. First of all, I have no idea what Tim looks like! I referred him back to my sweater photo and told him to be on the lookout for me at the train station. He also promised me a big hug -- something I have not had in two months -- and I'm honestly afraid that I might break down weeping there in the Hauptbahnhof. But it might be the best thing for me.

The hardest part about making this trip is explaining to people around here where I'm going. Do you want to come over on Saturday? Actually, I'm going to Frankfurt. What are you doing there? Visiting a friend. Are you staying the night? No, just a day trip. That's eight hours on the train -- why not spend the night? Because it's probably not appropriate to get a hotel with someone else's husband and a man I've never met before. Wait, who are you going to visit?

Just joking on that last part; I haven't said that because I know how odd it sounds. I've circumvented the whole thing really, just saying that I'm going to visit a friend. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Blogging resumes on Sunday, starting with what Tim looks like...

Posted by Sarah at 07:39 AM | Comments (8)

April 05, 2004


I didn't check my email until it was too late, so I didn't get to participate in the Right-Of-Center Bloggers Select Their Favorite Contemporary Dinner Guests over at RWN. The list sounds pretty good to me -- I wouldn't mind eating dinner with most of these people -- though my list would have leaned more towards bloggers. I can safely say I'd feel more honored to meet Victor Davis Hanson than Condoleezza Rice, more excited to eat dinner with James Lileks than Mel Gibson, and more nervous to meet Steven Den Beste than just about anyone in the world.

Posted by Sarah at 09:48 PM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2004


Only on the internet could a blogger come up with a great product idea and have it made, marketed, and sold in less than two weeks.

(Thanks, Overtaken By Events.)

Posted by Sarah at 12:33 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2004


Michele questions blogging. I can relate.

(Thanks, Beth.)

Posted by Sarah at 09:25 PM | Comments (1)

March 27, 2004


Pixy Misa from Ambient Irony helped me move over from my old Blogspot blog to my new mu.nu one. I simply mentioned in a blog post that I wanted to explore other options, and abracadabra he set everything up for me and welcomed me on over. Mu.nu has been great, and it's been easier for me than Blogger (e.g. comments included, search engine for site, uploading photos, etc). So if anyone is interested in moving his blog or starting up a brand new blog, Pixy has made an open invitation to mu.nu! There's always room for one more, and then maybe you can see your name in lights!

Posted by Sarah at 12:19 PM | Comments (5)

March 26, 2004


We made it to 30,000 hits folks; thanks! Of course, according to my referrals, 572 of those hits were looking for dirty photos, but oh well. Maybe one of those people tried to grok.

Posted by Sarah at 07:06 AM | Comments (6)

March 20, 2004


Holy crap, I'm a jerk. I just got an email from a reader who said that my comments section thought he was spam and started swearing at him! And he's an Italian anti-idiotarian; I certainly have no intention of chasing him away! Come back, please!

So he gets his own plug here on my blog for being a good sport, reporting the error message, and saying "It is truly inspiring to read about how you cope with your husband's absence. I can only tell you that my heartfelt best wishes are with both of you. At least some of us old Europeans appreciate what you and he are doing!"

Go visit serenade...the coolest European ever.

Posted by Sarah at 01:39 PM | Comments (8)


DGCI explores why we blog.

I think I'd add another reason as to why I personally blog. It's because I have the same weakness as our President. Remember when Peggy Noonan wrote that article about why Bush is bad at interviews? She praised him for his scripted speeches but admits that he's bad at "talking points." I'm the same way. I blog because I'm horrible at extemporaneous debate. Someone like the conflicted Reservist or my co-worker catches me off guard and I stutter and grasp for an argument. It's one of the reasons I don't enjoy talking about politics in public: I never say things the way I want to and I always come away knowing I didn't represent my side very well. I spend hours every day reading the news, but when someone confronts me, I am absolutely horrible at defending my cause.

But blogging is sort of a "rough draft" for these moments. If I blog about something and get my thoughts in order, then when someone catches me off guard, perhaps I will remember my post on the subject and hopefully make a good showing. Cavalier X told me the other day that he's converted his officemates to the Right simply by discussing politics with them. I envy him, for this is simply not one of my talents. I hope that in time the blogging will help me improve on this weakness.

By the way, the conflicted Reservist will be joining me in my German class this term. Oh whoopie.

Posted by Sarah at 08:33 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2004


Oh yeah, recently others have posted photos of where they blog. Here's where the magic happens, folks.


Posted by Sarah at 10:41 AM | Comments (4)

March 10, 2004


Victor Davis Hanson has his own blog site now! Excellent. Thanks, LGF. Sorry about stealing your pig.

Posted by Sarah at 07:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 02, 2004


A while back I wrote a post about how bloggers are like gods to me but most people would star at you blankly if you said the name Glenn Reynolds. Tim pointed out to me today just how elite we bloggers are: Between 2 and 7 percent of American adults blogging.

What the heck does everyone else do while blow drying their hair?

Posted by Sarah at 01:46 PM | Comments (8)

March 01, 2004


My name is Sarah, and I am a 32-yr-old military wife currently stationed where the kudzu is lovely and the soldiers wear the kind of beret you'd find in a secondhand store. My husband deployed to Iraq with the 1ID as an armor platoon leader in OIF II (2004-2005). He then made the interesting switch to his basic branch (Finance) and quickly decided that he wanted a more direct involvement in the War on Terror. He finished Civil Affairs training and a Farsi language course, after which he got deployed to...Iraq. Heh. The Army makes wonderful sense. He returned in Dec 2008 and then spent the second half of 2009 in Afghanistan.

I have written a lot over the past two years about trying (unsuccessfully) to have a baby. We got pregnant with our first child last year but had a miscarriage in December. Our hope was to get pregnant again before my husband deployed. Happily, I found out I was pregnant four days after he left for Iraq. Sadly, we lost that baby too. And for us, the third time was not the charm either. We got pregnant again via IUI when he came home, but that baby also didn't make it. That's when I found out that I have a balanced translocation of chromosomes. We were all set to do IVF with PGD when we got pregnant right before my husband deployed. I spent his nine-month deployment pregnant and he returned ten days before our daughter was born. She has put a real cramp in my blogging style.

I'm also an avid knitter -- see my knitting archive -- and I belong to a group that makes and donates preemie caps to the local hospital. Here are a few of my favorites.

I wrote a few posts in my early blogging years that explain who I am. I'm a military wife but I secretly wish I were in the Army (Something I Can Relate To and Still Thinking). I support the War on Terror (Pacing). I lean to the right politically, which is something I came to on my own (D'Souza and Nature or Nurture?) and which I hid from my friends for a long time (A Long Time Coming). I have lived in both France and Sweden before, and we just got back from living in Germany for three years, but I'm a diehard American through and through (Freedom, American and Homelandsick). I also constantly have to keep myself on track and remind myself of what's important, which I refer to as the laser beam (Anger).

Thank you for checking out my blog. The only thing I ask is that if you disagree with me, do so in a polite way (Manners).

[This post updated 1 June 2010]

Posted by Sarah at 07:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack