March 30, 2008


The husband is busy finishing up his MBA before he deploys, so that's why I'm writing about so many TV shows. Anyway, today I watched that National Geographic show Aftermath: Population Zero. I wanted to watch it after Lileks wrote about it, but I guess I remembered him writing more favorably about it. I checked his post again during the show and realized that it wasn't exactly a glowing report. What he said was this: "If the Aftermath show has any message, it’s how useless the world would be without people." I thought he meant that's what the program showed. Nope, that's just what Lileks himself took away from the story.

I can't get past the absurdity of the claim that all humans disappeared from the face of the earth in the blink of an eye, leaving their cars and microwaves running, but no animals were touched. I can't think of any scenario that would make that happen, so some of the animal scenes seemed pretty dumb. Though I did thoroughly enjoy watching a skunk eat Frankenberry cereal.

I did enjoy watching the physics of crumbling buildings. But overall I spent most of the time rolling my eyes at how evil and awful human beings have been for the poor earth. Yep, we ruined everything.

Lileks again:

I’d love to read an interview with Gaia in which she says that her goal all along was to come up with a species that could produce Beethoven and make rockets to send the music deep into space.

Now there's something to mull over...

Posted by Sarah at 04:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 29, 2008


I just watched a show on the Discovery Channel called "Ocean of Fear" about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. I had never heard this story before: the cruiser was sunk by the Japanese, and the survivors floated in the Phillipine Sea for four days, suffering dehydration, injuries, and shark attacks. Shark attacks. Can you imagine surviving a torpedo in war only to float among sharks for days? And then imagine having your hand bit off by a shark and being shoved off the raft to fend for yourself because your crewmates think you'll attract more sharks.

The wikipedia entry contains this sentence:

While the Indianapolis sent distress calls before sinking, the Navy long claimed that they were never received because the ship was operating under a policy of radio silence; declassified records show that three SOS messages were received separately, but none were acted upon because one commander was drunk, another had ordered his men not to disturb him and a third thought it was a Japanese prank.

Imagine if this happened today. I have never heard of this WWII disaster at all -- and perhaps that's just my ignorance -- but it would be a major scandal if anything remotely like this happened today. People like to blame Bush and Rumsfeld for everything under the sun, but it's not like mistakes haven't been made in previous wars.

And a commander getting too drunk to answer an SOS and letting 500 men die floating in the water, well, the word "mistake" doesn't even begin to describe it.

(And shows like this, this is why I usually watch reruns of cop dramas. At least they're fiction. This just makes my heart shudder. It's excruciating. I will probably fret about this story for the rest of the day.)

Posted by Sarah at 02:57 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack


Charlie thinks that you should read this article about the oppression of his people: Why Do Palestinians Get Much More Attention than Tibetans?

He also thinks the Tibetan people could learn from the Tibetan terriers, such as how to hide.


Posted by Sarah at 11:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Knitters watch a lot of TV. And since I've been cranking out baby gifts and scarves for my mama and squares for HCC, I watch a lot of TV during the day. Oh hooey, I won't even blame it on the knitting; I like watching TV. And I try to watch interesting things on the National Geographic channel, but they take more concentration than reruns of cop dramas, and I need that concentration for the knitting.

But I've discovered a funny side-effect of all this TV: I am starting to dream about TV characters as if they're people in my life, or as if I'm in an episode of their show. About a week ago, I dreamt about Calleigh Duquesne and Eric Delko. I just thought it was funny when I woke up. But two days later, I was solving a murder with Goren and Eames. The next night, I hung out with Wash from Firefly, and then last night I was a high schooler sitting next to Sam Weir. It's starting to creep me out.

I am turning into Mike TV.

Posted by Sarah at 09:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 28, 2008


How do you know you're not in regular Army anymore? The husband gets reprimanded for wearing his hair too short.

Also, my husband said that he has some reading to do before he deploys. I said that it was fine, that we could sit together and read quietly. But he said that my idea wouldn't work because the reading he has to do is classified documents that he cannot take home from work. I replied that there were ways around this, you know. Just stuff the papers in your pants and socks. If it's good enough for Sandy Berger, it's good enough for us, right?

Posted by Sarah at 07:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Sis B left a comment in the last post. Excerpt:

As far as entitlement... I'm always at a loss here. I have been in situations when I desperately needed a hand up. I have friends who have needed that as well. All of us have used what little we could get by with and managed to get back up on our feet. That's the way "the system" should work.

However, I also know people who have lived in public housing for SIXTY years. Without ever trying to leave. People like that ruin things for everyone else who just need a boost.

I totally agree with this. This is what Bill Whittle meant when he said, "we no longer have a safety net; we have created a safety hammock." I agree that there are times when people need help, and there should be someone they can turn to in a pinch. But I fear there just aren't that many "The Pursuit of Happyness" people out there. I think once you get used to getting something for free, it's hard to let it go. Or once you get used to the government taking care of things, why do it yourself?

I have had a battle raging in my head like this for months now, over something so trivial but completely representative of my beliefs. And it's become a value struggle for me. It's over prenatal vitamins. In the military, we get all prescriptions for free, including prenatal vitamins. But only after you get pregnant, not just while you're trying. I've been buying bottle after bottle of these vitamins for over a year now, and every time I buy them, I get a little mad that I have to shell out the eight bucks myself when I think the Army should just let me have them. For the past six years, I haven't asked for hardly anything from Tricare, so I feel entitled to those damned vitamins, especially since they'd give them to me for free if my body would just cooperate and get pregnant. And when I did get pregnant, I got a bottle for free. When I miscarried, I wanted to go in before the pharmacy found out I'd lost the baby and grab more of the danged vitamins.

It's so stupid and trivial that it seems laughable to write about it. But I think about it all the time: why do I feel entitled to those silly vitamins? Why does it make me mad to pay for them? Simple: because in different circumstances, I would get them for free. It makes me feel like I should get them for free all the time.

How I hate to admit that I have had such a thought.

It's really playing mindgames on me. I don't like the realization that I think the government owes me prenatal vitamins. I don't like the fact that I want to get them for free. I am considering punishing myself for my bad behavior by forcing myself to buy them if I get pregnant instead of taking any of them for free; that's how ashamed I am at my entitlement mentality. And I think I have a pretty hefty libertarian streak in me; I can only imagine what other people think the government owes them.

OK, so let's expand out to something less trivial than vitamins. My husband went in the field this past week. He needed certain gear from CIF, but they didn't have everything he needed. So he was in a bind: he had to have it for the field, but he couldn't get it from the Army at that moment. So he had to buy his own gear, stuff he could've gotten for free if the supply sergeant hadn't been on leave when my husband inprocessed. Stuff like a pistol holster, magazine pouches, etc. It was infuriating to spend all that money on stuff he's entitled to. But it made me think about Kim du Toit's Walter-Adam Fund. His readers raised money to buy things that the Army was theoretically supposed to provide for soldiers, like scopes or rangefinders. But the du Toits insisted that soldiers who fought in our Revolutionary War fought with the guns they owned and shirts on their backs. That our nation was founded on people providing for themselves instead of waiting for the government to hand them what they need. And, the du Toits continued, that if some were willing to go fight, we should be willing to back them financially, and not just through our taxes. That we have a duty to go above and beyond what the government does for our troops.

Kim du Toit rephrased this very old and lost-in-cyberspace post when he wrote about renewing the Walter-Adam Fund.

I know, I know: the Army should be getting them this stuff, not private individuals. That’s the ideal. But anyone who’s ever been exposed to the .mil knows that this doesn’t always happen—and in fact it can’t always happen. That’s where we step in. It’s not the government’s Army—it’s our Army. The Army is supposed to feed and support these kids at all times, and they do a pretty good job of it. Yet, if they were fighting on our soil, and during a lull in the fighting a soldier came to your door and asked for some food and drink, would you turn him away with the words: “The Army is supposed to give you food and drink”? Of course you wouldn’t. You’d empty out your pantry, or take food off your own plate if you had to.

In keeping with the NoR’s motto of “One Citizen At A Time”, therefore, these funds are run on pretty much the “One Soldier At A Time” philosophy too. I can’t get a regiment new tanks or Bradleys, but I can help improve the lives of a few soldiers, actual breathing individuals to whom I can write and speak, and then share that with all of you.

And if we can get them gear rather than just care packages, stuff which will help them kill enemy bastards, then so much the better. We are the Nation of Riflemen, after all, not the Red Cross.

This has stuck with me for the years, years, since I donated to the original Walter-Adam Fund. The du Toits believe so much in having the government stay out of our affairs that they're willing to put their money where their mouth is and spend their own money -- after they've already provided for our nation's defense via taxes -- to provide gear for the soldiers at war. I am humbled to write on the same internet as such people.

And it's a swift kick in the rear when I think that I've gotten hung up on vitamins.

The thing is, I don't like the feeling that I am entitled to anything, be it vitamins or a pistol holster. In the end, I am responsible for the baby I may have, and my husband is responsible for his own safety. If we waited for the government to do these things for us, they might not get done, even if it's the government's job to do it. They're supposed to give my husband the gear he needs. Well, what if they can't? Ultimately, we need to step up to the plate and assume the cost.

I'm rambling worse than Sis B thought she was. In the end, what I am trying to say is this: If something needs to get done, I need to do it. If my baby didn't get enough folic acid and then had problems, how could I possibly have the nerve to blame the government for not letting me have free vitamins. If my husband doesn't have enough rounds to be safe because he doesn't have magazine pouches on his body armor, we can't blame the supply sergeant for that. It's our lives and we're in control.

So what happens when we move to a society where everyone is getting more and more things for free? What happens when every woman gets free prenatal vitamins? I am certain that most of them won't have the same moral dilemma I have with receiving them. And what happens when the government says that everyone is entitled to affordable college or health care or social security? And then they run out of social security like they ran out of pistol holsters? Few people are gonna suck it up and go out and buy their own like we did. There's only so much social security money to go around, and what happens when people start screaming to get theirs?

Entitlement isn't just about welfare or government housing. It's about expecting the government to do anything for you, including things they're supposed to do (like pistol holsters). The only person you should count on is yourself. Buy your own vitamins, get your own magazine pouches, and plan for your own college or retirement.

If more people lived as if there were no safety net, we sure wouldn't have this safety hammock.

Posted by Sarah at 01:08 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I want to do a knitting update. But I can't. Everything I am making is a present for someone who reads the blog. I can't ruin the surprises. But -- get ready to gasp -- I am getting ready to start making something for myself soon. It's been a long while. I am going to make one of these Magknits shirts for summer. For me. Mine, all mine. Also I am itching to make socks. I plan to give these more-fun-than-cables socks a go while we're in the car heading back to the Midwest for block leave.

Mmmm. Selfish knitting.

Posted by Sarah at 10:27 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 27, 2008


Hillary Clinton was in town today, and they broadcast her speech on the radio. I happened to catch quite a bit of it because I was driving a long distance today. And a lot of it made my skin crawl.

I'll be fair here; it's not just Hillary. John McCain's speech the other day made me want to puke, what with his global warming and closing Gitmo. I don't like listening to politicians in general. I hate how politicians promise everything to everyone. If I'm elected, I'm going to do this and this and this. No details, no actual plans that can be analyzed for efficacy, just feel-good drivel. Ick. I want my politicians to be like my husband or my dad, putting out the vibe that life is hard and you have to make tough choices sometimes. You can't always get everything for free, and government isn't here to grant your every wish. I want Rachel Lucas' news network called "Tough Shit, America."

Instead, politicians promise the moon. Hillary said she's going to create more jobs, make college more affordable, give everyone health care, fix social security without privatizing it, and a host of other stuff. And all of this is supposed to happen without raising taxes on the middle class. Well, the poor don't pay squat, so guess who's footing the bill: people who actually do create jobs.

I don't want politicians doing most of this stuff. Make college more affordable? College should be a privilege, not a right, and newsflash: not everyone should go. Moreover, you don't have the right to borrow money at 2% interest so you can better yourself. Get real. I've been reading Milton Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom, and he advocated no government funding of higher education at all. No state-run universities, nothing. That's hardcore. But education is not the role of the federal government.

And creating more jobs, what an empty promise. She said that the backbone of any economy is "making things" and that we need to stop losing our manufacturing jobs. Why? John Stossel says

Manufacturing jobs are no better for America than other jobs. Some argue that they are worse. How many parents want their children to work in factories rather than offices? Increasing service jobs in medical, financial and computer sectors while importing manufactured goods doesn't hurt America. It helps America.

I think it was Neal Boortz who said a while back that manufacturing jobs are beneath Americans. That thought raised my eyebrows, but I see what he means. Why would we want to increase the sector of the economy with the lowest skilled jobs? Let's work with our brains, not with our fingers.

And during the question period, someone asked Hillary what she'll do to fight racism. Tom tapdancing Cruise. I don't want my president to do anything to fight racism, save not being racist himself. Otherwise, the federal government has no business meddling in race relations. Blech.

Hillary also told a sob story about why we need health care for everyone. Some girl in Ohio got pregnant and couldn't afford the $100 fee to see a doctor. In the end, she had to get taken to the emergency room and she and the baby died. Sad, terrible story. But here's the bitch in me: if you don't have $100, why on earth are you having a baby? Don't get yourself knocked up if you can't afford to protect the baby's health or your own. I don't want the Face Of Health Care Woes to be that rich SCHIP family, but I don't want it to be pregnant unwed girls either. I don't want to foot the bill so some other pregnant girl doesn't have to pay to go to the doctor, when we saved every spare dime we've made for the past six years so we'd be ready for our own baby.

The speech closed with a question on what Hillary planned to do to prevent heart disease. She actually said the phrase, "We're gonna have to do more to change people's behavior." Gulp. That's not the government's job either.

Bleh, government makes me ill.

Posted by Sarah at 07:12 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 26, 2008


As I was leaving my house tonight to have dinner with friends, I noticed a dog wandering on my street. I started to drive away since I was already a few minutes late, but I changed my mind and called the dog over to me. He had tags, but nothing that indicated where he belonged.

(Incidentally, what is up with that? We get dogs roaming our neighborhood all the time, and none of them ever have a tag with their address or phone number on it. What is wrong with people?)

He did have a tag noting that he was chipped, with a 1-800 number. I took him home -- he followed quite willingly -- and called the people. They tracked him down and called the owners; no answer. They left a message saying I had their dog and to call me. I left this dog in our backyard while I went to dinner.

I should've remembered Mare's warning. He was a beautiful husky mix, just so handsome. He also apparently had the husky's digging fetish. I got home from dinner and he was gone, leaving me with a major hole under the fence. Now I know how he disappeared from his owner's house.

I hope he's OK and found his way home.
I'm kind of sad; Charlie wanted to keep him.

Posted by Sarah at 08:49 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Hilary Clinton's foreign policy experience is that once she went to Bosnia when someone might've had the opportunity to shoot in her general direction. Hmmm. I think that means Jessica Simpson also has the same amount of foreign policy experience. After all, she says she heard mortar rounds in Iraq.

Posted by Sarah at 12:52 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Last night I went to my first political rally, to support Fred Smith for governor. I met him last fall when I was invited with other bloggers to his home. And since our state primary is approaching in about five weeks (lordy loo, we still haven't gotten anywhere near voting here), Fred Smith is out and about, again with his good friend Lee Greenwood.

Now, all I really needed to know about this candidate is that Lorie Byrd is working for him. That's pretty much a good enough endorsement for me, and I probably would've voted for him just based on that knowledge. But I really like Fred Smith's stuff, and I hope he makes it all the way to the top. Most of my friends are internet-based, but if any of you reading this live and vote in the same state as I do, please consider reading about Fred Smith and voting for him in May.

So I got all pumped up on patriotism again last night, my drug of choice. Of course Lee Greenwood sang "God Bless the USA" again, which brings the house down. And I can't get enough of the song he wrote for Fred Smith's campaign:

But honestly, the thing that touched me the most last night was something so small, so unnoticed. The stage in the auditorium had two flags on it, the US flag and the state flag. And before the rally got started, I noticed some men from Fred Smith's staff fussing around the US flag. They left and came back with a cinder block and lifted the flag stand up onto the block. A lady sitting behind me asked her husband why they were bothering with that silly brick.

The American flag was bigger than the state flag and was too big for its stand. It was dragging on the ground, and these men had set to work getting that flag off the floor.

My heart grew three sizes.

That's a heck of a campaign staff. No Che flags in this bunch.

Posted by Sarah at 09:34 AM | Comments (48) | TrackBack

March 25, 2008


The Washington Post put out an article on why the recent crop of Iraq war movies aren't doing so well. What's their take?

For now, Kuntz agrees with Bochco: "We're bombarded by information about [Iraq] 24 hours a day," he says. "We already know plenty about it. We don't need to learn more about it from the movies. Right now, it's something people want to forget and escape from. I speak for the American public when I say, 'What a bummer.' "

I speak for my blog when I say, "What a jackass."

They go through this huge list of anti-war movies and wonder why the public isn't interested. Hmmm, let me take a stab at it: Make a movie like 300, and people will flock to the theater. Make the soldiers the freaking good guys, and you've got yourself a hit; make them rapists or dupes or Tools of the Bushitler Oil Junta, and no one wants to see your damn movie.

Maybe dumb people think the Iraq war is a "bummer" because all your movies present it that way.

You know, Neil tried to shop his blog Armor Geddon around as a book. No one wanted to buy it. They told him it needed more inner-angst. He needed to be more conflicted about his role in the war. He needed to not rejoice when they blew up a house full of terrorists. Eventually he gave up, because they weren't buying what he was selling: a book about a soldier who was proud of his platoon and proud to support the mission.

But I bet people would've bought his book. Regular, average, everyday Americans want patriotism, heroes, and victory. They don't want inner-angst and movies about soldiers who got stop-lossed and don't really want to be there.

Sheesh, any waitress or truck driver could figure this out. But apparently journalists from The Washington Post think it's a mystery.

Posted by Sarah at 02:03 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Must...stop...fingers from typing.

Stop talking about not having a baby.

Just stop.

No one wants to hear it. No one cares. I mean, they do care, but they don't need to hear about it every day.

Just talk about something else. What's Obama doing? Talk about that guy who died and came back to life. Something, anything else.

But all I can do is sit here and think about how it wasn't supposed to be like this. Having a baby was supposed to be happy, fun, natural. I never envisioned this for myself.

Oh lord, I'm Dante Hicks.

Just, bleh. Talk about something else. Don't write about this anymore. The more you write about it, the more people comment and send you emails, which means the more you think about it, which means the more depressed you get.

Duh. Stop it.

Posted by Sarah at 01:46 PM | Comments (24) | TrackBack


Oda Mae sent a touching link: a 5-year-old boy "enlisted" in the Army as part of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Sniff.

Posted by Sarah at 08:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


LauraB asks a pertinent question in the comments section:

So for those people who cannot/have not/may never conceive - isn't there a point at which you just have to surrender to it and live your lives together even if it is childless?

I have thought a lot about this too over the past year.

Look, I am an obsessive type person. I think that if you're going to do something, you do it wholeheartedly. So when we weren't quite ready for children, we were actively preventing the possibility. Every single time, no exceptions, for many years. So when we decided it was time for a family, it just wasn't in our nature to take the whatever-happens-happens approach. I am an all-or-nothing gal; I immediately started maximizing chances for baby to happen. I read books, websites, sought tips, everything. I began charting immediately. It was the exact opposite of the diligence with which we had previously prevented pregnancy.

My ultimate fear isn't necessarily that we might not be able to have kids. It's that I might not be able to "switch off" this diligence. We are trying to have a baby; at what point do we give up? When do you give up hope? Because, really, it's the hope that kills you. It's the hope, every month, that you might've gotten what you wanted.

If a doctor told me tomorrow that I would never have kids, that there was no chance of it happening, I could mourn and then move on. And I would recover and go on to lead a happy and normal life. Because I wouldn't be trying anymore.

And I was never one of those women who loves babies or wanted to be a kindergarten teacher her whole life. This may sound terrible, but there's a part of me that's ready to throw in the towel because the more elusive it gets, the less important it feels. The less emotional it feels. I think human beings ought to procreate, and I think that people with stable, loving homes like ours are a good place for kids. (And Mark Steyn makes me think I need to have ten of them, to shore up our numbers.) I was always fairly matter-of-fact about having a baby anyway, and this year of over-thinking it hasn't helped any. My husband re-convinces me every day to keep trying, because I'd love to abandon hope and forget about it.

It's the trying, the hope, that's beating me down.

Posted by Sarah at 08:30 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 23, 2008


Ask and ye shall receive. Nope, not a baby, a deployment.

He's now leaving, and relatively quickly. Not on that perfect assignment I wrote about, but on a different one. (Months ago my husband warned me that I wasn't going to like leaving "regular Army" because I wouldn't be able to blog about anything he's doing. I am starting to see that this is true. I am a blabbermouth at heart, and his top secret clearance is killing me.)

You know, I sat on that Rear D info for weeks. I couldn't bring myself to write about it because we didn't want to accept it as our fate. Finally, I decided that I had to put it in print and make it real. Ha. Two days later, the whole thing was moot. I can't help but think about one of my mom's friends. It seems that my mom bumps into her every time our story changes. First my husband was leaving right away, then his timeline got bumped way back, then it was Rear D, and now we're back to leaving. I bet my mom's civilian friend can't believe that we get jerked around like this, but it's true. This is how the military operates. When my husband asked me if I was OK with finding out so suddenly, I just waved him off with a hand. I am really quite used to this, actually. And when another solder looked at me with care and concern at the ball the other day and asked how I was dealing with my husband's sudden departure, I think I freaked him out with my nonchalance. His eyes got big when I waved him off too. But seriously, this is his job, this is what he's in the Army to do, and we wouldn't be here if it bothered me. A soldier's job is to soldier.

So he goes in the field this week, comes back, we have some block leave, and he's outta here. Lickety split. And he's an "operator" now (I think that is the squirrelliest label ever, so I use it all the time, like White irony), so it's not one of those 15-month deployments. He'll be home in early 2009.

This deployment junkie is getting her fix.

Posted by Sarah at 09:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


OK, AirForceWife made me cry the other day, and today it was AWTM's turn. Her Being a Mother on Easter post is so sweet.

I am so grateful to still have my mom. And I hope someday I have a little boy whose brain gets crazy at times.

Posted by Sarah at 03:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 22, 2008


Man, my husband's friend has some sweet toys. Look what we got to do today.


We did some pistol shooting first. I was no good with the .357 Sig, but I did better with the 9mm Beretta. I think I improved a little from my first trip to the range back in October, especially after I tried a different placement for my left hand. It made the kick a lot more manageable. But the real fun was the AR-15.


I look awkward as all get-out in this picture, I think, but I actually was pretty darned proud of myself here. (I want to submit this to the Army and see if they'll let me deploy. Not bad for my very first try.)


But I don't look nearly as good as my smokin' hot husband.


Overall, I was a lot more comfortable this time around. I had fun and improved my meager skills. And the rifle was a lot of fun, though my shoulder is already feeling it.

I'm looking forward to going back. Good thing my husband has a single buddy who's happy to exchange ammo for a home-cooked meal.

Posted by Sarah at 11:06 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


I came across a link on MSN to an article called We Can't Get Pregnant and It's Driving Us Apart. I read it with fascination because I can relate to many parts of it. And while our troubles aren't necessarily driving us apart, I can absolutely see how they might for some people. It is stressful, it is all-consuming, and it is heartwrenching. And if you deal with your emotions differently, it can be an awful process. My husband was strong and optimistic all last year, but lately he's been the one who's getting hit the hardest every month. We're trying to be a comfort to each other, but we're both stressed and disheartened. It's really rough.

And this paragraph, this just resonates.

Throughout this three-year ordeal I've felt perpetually sad. I've become a hermit because I don't want to hear friends who got pregnant easily say, 'Just adopt.' I want to watch my belly grow, feel my baby kick and give birth. Normally, my mom would be my support, but she keeps telling me supposedly inspiring stories about women who went through multiple IVF tries before conceiving naturally.

Everyone has a story to tell you. Everyone knows someone who had that Miracle Baby™, and they think that will make you feel more optimistic. It doesn't. And everyone says "just relax and it will happen." Everyone thinks they're being helpful, when really they sometimes cause more pain.

Two weeks ago I was at work when a young mother apologized for her two year old's behavior. I said it was no big deal, and I laughed and said that I like watching parenting styles in action. This girl asked if I have kids, and then followed with, "Well, why not? You have a wedding ring on; why don't you have a kid?"


And even the people who are a lot less boorish than this chick, even they can punch me in the gut. My husband and I have finally taken the steps needed to start getting fertility testing done, to see if we can figure out what's going on. We don't mind telling people that we are taking this step, though we have decided that we are not going to discuss the details or results of the tests with anyone. But when I gingerly told a friend the other day that we have an appointment to get tested, she said, "Oh, I bet there is nothing wrong with you." Funny, I didn't realize you have a medical degree. Thank heavens you have determined that there's nothing wrong with us.

Other people have said that we just need to get drunk and have fun. To which I replied that if all we needed to get pregnant was booze, we'd be the fricking Von Trapp family by now. Also not helpful.

There's really nothing you can say to a couple who is disheartened and discouraged. But for starters, don't say things like, "You're lucky; I get pregnant every time my husband and I are in the same room!" For couples trying desperately to have a baby, being told they're lucky is a slap in the face. They don't want to hear about your husband's super-sperm and how fertile you are, because even though you don't intend it this way, it comes off sounding like you think you're a better human specimen than they are. For already fragile egos, hearing you talk about your hardy genetic material is painful. And they sure don't want to hear you refer to your fertility as a curse.

My two-cents is to never speak in declarative sentences. Don't tell them what you did as if it's the surefire way to get pregnant (got drunk, stood on your head, waited for the full moon, went to Hawaii). If it's worth a darn, they've already tried it by now. Don't say that you're sure it will happen for them soon, because you are not at all sure of that. There's nothing worse than having someone tell you they are sure you will have a baby; there are no guarantees in this process. And don't ever ever ever tell them to "just relax." I am ready to kick the next person who says that to me in the crotch.

Instead, play Obama and tell them you "hope" everything works out for them. Tell them you hope the testing brings them more understanding, that you hope that they don't obsess about it too much, and that you hope that they know that you care about them and are wishing them the best.

And then just be a friend. The couples going through this, they are miserable. They think about it constantly, and it is right in their face every two weeks. Their entire outlook on life -- what it means to be a parent, what one's role is on this earth, etc -- has changed because of this process, and it's a very vulnerable time. Please don't make it worse by telling them your best friend's sister's neighbor got pregnant unexpectedly and so of course they will too.

But these are just my thoughts; your mileage may vary. I am ultra-sensitive to anything that smacks of criticism or ignorance these days, and hearing that I should try to time the baby for winter because I'm a knitter just makes me want to slap someone.

Though I did get a big laugh when one friend said that we have too much money and education to get pregnant, and that our best bet is to start doing heroin and attending local high school proms.

Posted by Sarah at 10:37 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

March 21, 2008


I read an article in The Australian the other day that begins like this:

A few years ago I joined some colleagues on an academic conference jaunt to a large private university in the American northeast. The approved conference itinerary was to take us directly from our swish Chicago hotel to the campus gates, in the hygienic manner of the modern business traveller.

For reasons too complicated to retell, on the return trip we found ourselves becalmed in a village in the backwaters of rural Indiana, in the old American heartland. The streets we strolled down were lined with wooden bungalows, and there was a flagstaff with the Stars and Stripes in every other front yard. We ate in rural diners by the highway with orange-tinted windows, stained wooden cubicles and waitresses with chequered aprons.

Much like Columbus, we had voyaged in search of streets paved with gold, and instead we had accidentally discovered America.

I remembered this article this morning as my husband and I ate breakfast at the Waffle House. If I knew a foreign visitor who needed to see a slice of the USA, I'd seriously make a stop at the greasy spoon. All walks of life, all races, all ages at the Waffle House, crammed into a smokey, loud, friendly place. And the work ethic at the Waffle House! Those cooks and waitresses move fast. None of this we'll-cook-your-schnitzel-when-we-damn-well-get-around-to-it business at the Waffle House, nosiree. The manager's washing dishes, six waffle irons are going, and waitresses are waiting in line to bark words like "scattered" and "smothered."

At the Waffle House, America is a spectator sport.

Posted by Sarah at 10:45 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 20, 2008


I didn't forget today's anniversary; I just didn't really know what to say. But at our brigade ball tonight, I bowed my head and thought of Heidi and Debey when we toasted our fallen comrades.

Posted by Sarah at 10:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I just finished that previous post about being happy for the things I have and not dwelling on what I don't have, and then I went over to SpouseBUZZ and read AirForceWife's latest post.

I am just weeping.

I think I am pretty good at keeping life in perspective, at trying to see the positive in things. But I am not drinking-wine-off-the-floor good.

I love that story and I won't soon forget it.

Posted by Sarah at 01:23 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Oh look, another chance to rave about my husband!

I already wrote about how my husband and I ended up together:

When I realized that my friendship with my husband was turning into something more than friendship, I knew I didn't want to make the same mistake twice. So I flat out told him one night, told him that I really liked him and that I was starting to think about him all the time, and asked him how he felt. He was quite taken aback, and that's when he gave his famous "well, I like you, but I'm not going to marry you or anything" line. He wasn't quite sure what to think, but he slept on it (for two weeks!) and finally told me that he wanted to be with me too.

Dr. Melissa Clouthier did a follow-up post and wrote about dating rules for men. One of the things that so impressed me about my husband was that, while he was taking his time deciding whether he wanted us to be together, he never abused his position in the relationship. He could've used the info to try to get me to go home with him, or strung me along, or whatever. But he was a perfect gentleman. Just perfect.

And I complimented his mother on his behavior later on.

I really liked this part of Melissa's post:

Another aside: I think men are more romantic than women, not less. A man will fall in love and be in love and stay in love with a woman and he just knows. It's often very cut and dried for him. Women are often more needing of proof and evidence. Now, I realize this is a generalization, but I believe it to be true.

My husband is very cut and dried. He just fell in love with me and never stopped, and never considered not being in love with me. It's so simple and so wonderful. Granted, sometimes he could work on his delivery: for example, we are attending a military ball tonight, and when I tried on my new dress to show him the other day, he barely looked up from playing with the dog. He takes it for granted that I know he thinks I'm pretty, which is actually quite cute. He also thinks the height of romance is funding my IRA. He says things like, "See how much I love you; I put money in an account that I would never be able to touch if you divorced me." That's true love for my husband.

And I've been meaning to tell this story for a while now. We were watching highlights of a slam-dunk contest on ESPN a few weeks back, and I asked my husband if he can dunk. He got the cutest look on his face and said, "No, absolutely not, but I think it is such a compliment that you even remotely thought I might be able to."

One of my cherished readers reminded me in an email that, despite the fact that we have encountered roadblocks trying to get pregnant, I have many things to be thankful for. She said that many people would give anything to have the marriage I have, let alone kids. And she's right. Since then, I tell my husband often that I'd rather have zero babies with him than five babies with anyone else.

I am lucky and happy, and I know it.

Posted by Sarah at 12:59 PM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

March 19, 2008


What happened yesterday was an Obamination. (Sorry, I just really wanted to find a way to make that joke.)


Madonna is "controversial," champ. Changing the opening theme to Monk was "controversial." The Patriots' SpyGate was "controversial."

This was vicious and vile anti-Americanism and racism and anti-semitism. If those things are, to you, merely "controversial," it seems you need a teachable moment or two, rather than presuming to fill us with "understanding."

Stanley Kurtz:

No, Obama does not fully agree with Jeremiah Wright, but the Democratic Party under Obama will be complacent about its Michael Moore wing. That’s why the MoveOn types are so excited about Obama. There will be plenty of the most left-leaning appointees staffing the federal bureaucracy and set into judgeships under Obama, and all of it will be smoothed over by speeches about national healing and understanding pain. Under Obama, the Michael Moore-MoveOn wing, far from being purged, will be in the catbird seat, and all because they’ve found the perfect spokesman.

Newt Gingrich:

So, here's question; if you knew a year ago that (Wright) was saying things so anti-American, so dishonest, so hateful, that you were going to have to disown him, then...why did you only disown him when it became such a big political issue? And if you thought what he was saying was false and wrong and to be condemned, why didn't you care enough for him to try to teach him the truth? I don't think he can have it both ways...

...if he can't give a different opinion to Reverend Wright, who he has known for 20 years, I sure don't want him visiting the dictator, Ahmadinejad, or visiting the younger Castro brother. ...This is a core question of character. How can you ask me to believe that this guy who has said he wants to visit Kim Jung-Il...(he thinks) the President of the United States ought to talk to anybody. He can't even talk to his own pastor?

Here's something really obvious that I haven't yet heard someone ask. Obama says that he wasn't in the pews when these things were being said. But he was friends with this pastor for 20 years. In all their personal talks after church or in their homes, these ideas never came up? Wright cares enough to get fired up on Sunday but not to mention his beef with the US when he's got a Senator's ear? I seriously doubt that. I mean, seriously. He screams and rants and shouts from the pulpit but never once brings his views up outside of church? Right. Obama knew his pastor was an angry racist and continued to be friends with him. Period.

Has Obama jumped the shark yet?

Posted by Sarah at 08:51 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


This is so tangential to her post that I almost feel bad leaping off from it, but after Dr. Melissa Clouthier gives dating rules for women, she ends with this

This is a lot of rules, but what it comes down to, to me, is treating someone else the way you'd like to be treated. Men might be from Mars, but they're still humans. All the male-bashing that goes on is offensive. One of my least favorite commercials features a guy ordering a pizza which will come in 30 minutes. He asks his wife for sex and she bats her eyes and asks, "What are we going to do for the other 28 minutes?" It's meant to be funny, but it just seems like more of the same disparaging of men.

I too hate that commercial. I have also been meaning to say for a long time how much I hate that tax commercial where the husband is trying to use Turbo Tax or whatever and he's frustrated. And the wife comes up and says, "Maybe you could ask for help? Oh, that's right, you used a box." It is so condescending it makes my teeth grit just to write about it. Maybe you could sit down and figure out an insanely complicated tax code, you nagging cow. How dare you condescend your husband as he tries to save money for your family.

Nowadays I look at these commercials and wonder What Would Kim Do? ever since I read his masterpiece blog post on the issue. His least favorite commercial?

The scene opens at the morning breakfast table, where the two kids are sitting with Dad at the table, while Mom prepares stuff on the kitchen counter. The dialogue goes something like this:

Little girl (note, not little boy): Daddy, why do we eat Cheerios?
Dad: Because they contain fiber, and all sorts of stuff that’s good for the heart. I eat it now, because of that.
LG: Did you always eat stuff that was bad for your heart, Daddy?
Dad (humorously): I did, until I met your mother.
Mother (not humorously): Daddy did a lot of stupid things before he met your mother.

Now, every time I see that TV ad, I have to be restrained from shooting the TV with a .45 Colt. If you want a microcosm of how men have become less than men, this is the perfect example.

What Dad should have replied to Mommy’s little dig: Yes, Sally, that’s true: I did do a lot of stupid things before I met your mother. I even slept with your Aunt Ruth a few times, before I met your mother.

That’s what I would have said, anyway, if my wife had ever attempted to castrate me in front of the kids like that.

Commercials where the husband sucks abound, but one year Budweiser tried to turn the tables and made this as a Superbowl commercial:

Hmmm, apparently it wasn't too popular with the ladies. You mean you don't like being made to look a fool on TV commercials? That's funny, men take the abuse every day.

I will say that there is one husband/wife commercial that I do love: the Sonic ice cream mustache one. It makes me die laughing every time I see it. (Maybe you can only appreciate it if you have a lady mustache...)

Posted by Sarah at 07:48 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

March 18, 2008


I heard this in the car yesterday. Rush makes a good point:

Obama, by the way, is purposely campaigning on character, his character. He is a uniter, we need to get past the old visions, politics of the past, blah, blah, blah, blah, without ever providing evidence of that character. We haven't seen any evidence of the character. We've heard flowery speeches of nothing, delivered greatly. We don't see any evidence of the character. What we see is that this guy is surrounded by people who are constantly enraged, ticked off about everything, mostly their country. Now we see evidence of his character as exemplified by his choice of church, by his choice of reverend, and we're supposed to await proof of him being in the pews, when the worst of these things were spewed to the pews?

The double standard here is Mitt Romney. Here's a guy whose religion was trashed as a cult. The Drive-By Media did everything they could, there were some on the Republican side -- ahem -- no need to mention names now because they're no longer in the race, but they were out there trying to undermine Romney on the base of religion. Romney went out and gave a great speech in Texas about it. We're supposed to just look past this because Obama wasn't in the pews when the Reverend J. Wright was spewing this stuff to the people in the pews.

You remember that I read countless comment threads about Romney and people who wouldn't vote for him because he's Mormon. And there were always many comments about how Romney is racist because offical Mormon doctrine was racist up until 1978. And because he didn't denounce his church's policy or renounce his faith when blacks couldn't be members, they would not be able to vote for him.

So Romney was held personally responsible for church doctrine from 1978, but Obama doesn't have to answer for what his minister says last month if he wasn't actually in church that day.


Posted by Sarah at 10:13 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


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


The Girl sent me a link to the new issue of Stars and Stripes, marking the 5 year point in Iraq. I can't recommend enough that you go to the site and poke around.

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

March 17, 2008

AT 19

Ever since Bubba said that I'd be lying if I thought I wasn't self-absorbed when I was 19, I have been trying to remember my life at 19. I managed to come up with a few things that I did that year as a freshman in college taking 34 credit hours. I belonged to a Big Sisters program and mentored a little girl. I took high schoolers on a mission trip to rebuild houses. I volunteered for a gay rights group. I ate lunch once a month with the Kiwanis Club. I raised money for the Crop Walk. I loaned a boy in my dorm $600 when he needed to get his car repaired. And I began knitting, starting with a baby blanket for a nice couple who'd struggled to have their first baby.

Was I less mature then than I am now? Of course. But would I have had the sense and common decency to know how to behave and grieve if someone got shot? Get real.

There are 19 year olds out there who have far more responsibility and maturity than I did at that age. Many of them are serving in the military. Some of them are even parents. Those young men and women don't deserve condescension.

Gunnar Becker gave his life for his country at 19. Self-absorbed? Not even close.

Posted by Sarah at 04:53 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


I donated these preemie hats to the hospital last week. Isn't the "kiss me" one cute? That was my mother-in-law's idea.

st patty.jpg

And happy birthday, Oda Mae!

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

March 16, 2008


You know what sucks? When you start a baby cardigan and then set it aside for about a month while you work on other things. Then you return to the cardigan and make the second front panel, only to find you used the wrong needle size. So you have a whole section made with size 3s instead of 4s. Oh, and despite the fact that you double-checked, you don't have enough yarn to finish the sleeves. Grrr.

Posted by Sarah at 10:29 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


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

March 15, 2008


An overwhelming piece on Obama by the Instapunk.

Posted by Sarah at 08:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2008


I just watched a National Geographic special about the shooting of Ronald Reagan, and I got curious and started reading about Hinckley and Jodie Foster. I guess she doesn't like to talk about Hinckley, but she wrote a piece in 1982 called Why Me? about the event and its effect on her life.

Funny how she barely even mentions the people who got shot.

I mean, it's her story and she has every right to tell it in her way, freaking self-absorbed. No, she shouldn't feel any real guilt that what happened to Reagan was her fault, because it certainly wasn't, but in a 5000-word article, she never once mentions how she feels that these men got shot? That's just freaking weird to me. It was all about her and how the media took away her privacy and how having her picture taken feels like being shot. Um, you know what feels like being shot? Being shot. Ask Reagan, Hinckley, Delahanty, and McCarthy.

Look, what happened to Foster is really scary. Some nut thought he was in love with her and decided to reenact Taxi Driver. That's spooky, and I can see how she'd be freaked out. But if some nut who loved me shot the president, I would be wringing my hands about the president, not about myself. Or I would at least mention him in the huge article I wrote about myself.

Posted by Sarah at 05:07 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 12, 2008


I've been checking Angie's website every day waiting for the news, and it's finally come. Baby Boy #4 was born. Camo teddy #4 needs to get finished asap so he can join his teddy tank crew.

Congrats to Angie and family.

Posted by Sarah at 12:59 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


ButterflyWife found a CNN article called Troops, families changed by 5 years of war. All of the stories are about changes for the worse: death, divorce, injury, depression. I thought I would like to add how my family's life has changed for the better.

I've been thinking about this ever since they were talking on the radio about how 9/11 changed people's lives. I blogged:

Today I started thinking that if 9/11 hadn't happened, my life would be quite different. My husband was slated to join the Army for four years of Finance. My guess is that he would've completed his commitment and taken his business mind elsewhere for more money. Certainly he wouldn't have stayed in and chosen to learn Farsi. We'd probably be somewhere in the Midwest, working and living like most of our peers.

I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't be in the Army today if it weren't for Iraq. We also wouldn't be reading so many books on Iran and Arabs, there probably wouldn't be a SpouseBUZZ, and I never would've met any of my best friends.

Andi wrote a good post on the fifth anniversary of the Operation Iraqi Freedom. The story is a story of strength, of resolve, of commitment. That is what has changed in my life, for the better. Without Iraq, my husband's job would just be a job. Instead, it is more like a calling. In the CNN article, they talk about a chaplain:

When Etter himself returned on leave to Pennsylvania to officiate at the funeral of a close friend, he turned to his wife and said he wanted to go home.

"I said, `OK, get in the car. Let's go home,"' said Jodi Etter. "And you said, 'No, my home in Iraq. I just want to go home."'

When his tour was over, and he went with his wife to buy furniture for their new house in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, he had to remind himself that it was important to her -- even if it seemed trivial to him after the war.

I think they mean for this story to be a bad thing, but I don't see it that way. Our troops are invested in Iraq. They live their lives for a serious purpose, so yes, furniture is going to seem trivial. That's called Perspective. And my husband says all the time that he wants to return to Iraq to see this thing through. As an Army wife, you make a choice: when your husband says he'd rather be in Iraq on Valentine's Day, you can either be selfish and resent him, or you can be proud that your husband has such convictions and deeply cares about both the future of the US and the future of Iraq. I'm impressed that my husband would rather be "stuck hear n Irak" than safe and snug at home, and I'm proud of him for putting his country ahead of his family.

That's how we've changed in the past five years. If you'd asked me as a teen what the height of romance is, never in a million years would I have come up with the answer "having your husband wish he were in Iraq every Valentine's Day." But it is. Iraq has matured us, as a couple and as individuals. We read more, we think more, and we love more.

The chaplain goes on to say:

Now executive director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Veterans Affairs, Etter says a deployment is like a magnifying glass.

"Personalities that are strong become stronger," he says. "Personalities which are weaker are made to become weaker."

We are better for having been to war.

Posted by Sarah at 08:25 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

March 11, 2008


In college I did something called a Crop Walk, where we walked 20 miles to raise money for hunger. It sucked. I will never forget how badly my feet hurt after walking 20 miles.

These guys from Resolve to Win are walking from SC to DC to show support for the troops. Hot dog, that's a long walk. I hope their feet fare better than mine did!

If you're in the DC area, these walkers deserve a hearty welcome when they arrive.

Posted by Sarah at 08:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I have never hated the Army as much as I hate them right now.

The time my husband got turned down for Civil Affairs because Finance wouldn't release him comes close, but even then I was more sad than mad.

I can't explain many of the details, but Civil Affairs units go to more places than Iraq and Afghanistan. And one of the places they're going, it would be the perfect assignment for my husband. He is more qualified to go there than anyone else who is going there. But the Army is so fracking stupid that they don't consider merit in placing people. They just deal 'em out like a deck of cards and let the chips fall where they may. So they end up with Arabic speakers going to Afghanistan, French speakers going to Iraq, and Farsi speakers staying home on Rear fricking D.

Today was already a really disappointing day, but this just sealed the deal. I don't know whether I want to scream or cry. Or puke.

Posted by Sarah at 06:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


If you've read my 100 Things post, you know that I am one of the, oh, ten women in the United States who doesn't like the British accent. That said, I can't get enough of listening to Pat Condell, accent and all. Most of you have probably seen his youtube rant called The Trouble With Islam. His new video, Appeasing Islam, is good as well. And I just love the line "If only they'd had a table tennis club": perfect delivery.

Posted by Sarah at 10:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 10, 2008


I was laughing out loud at Mark Steyn's article today. I'm copying a big chunk of it in case it disappears, because it is too good not to have archived:

As Ali Gallagher, a white female (sorry, this identity-politics labeling is contagious) from Texas, told the Washington Post: "A friend of mine, a black man, said to me, 'My ancestors came to this country in chains; I'm voting for Barack.' I told him, 'Well, my sisters came here in chains and on their periods; I'm voting for Hillary.'"

When everybody's a victim, nobody's a victim. Poor Ms. Gallagher can't appreciate the distinction between purely metaphorical chains and real ones, or even how offensive it might be to assume blithely that there's no difference whatsoever.

On the other hand, Barack's ancestors didn't come here in chains, either: His mother was a white Kansan, so was presumably undergoing menstrual hell with the Gallagher gals, and his dad was a black man a long way away in colonial Kenya. Indeed, Obama would be the first son of a British subject to serve as president since those slaveholding types elected in the early days of the republic. As some aggrieved black activist sniffed snootily on TV, Barack isn't really an "African American" – unless by "African American," you mean somebody whose parentage is half-American and half-African, and let's face it, no one would come up with so cockamamie a definition as that.

As for victims, you have to feel sorry for John Edwards. He was born in a mill. He weighed 1.6 pounds and what did his dad get? Another day older and deeper in debt. John spent most of the 19th century as a spindly 7-year-old sweep with rickets, cleaning chimneys in Dickensian London until Fagin spotted him and trained him up as a trial lawyer. And it worked swell in the 2004 primary but it counted for nothing this time round because, even with all that soot on his face, he's still a white boy.

Bill Richardson was the first Hispanic candidate but nobody needs a Hispanic called "Bill Richardson." Hillary assumed she'd be the last identity-politician standing in a field of bouffant poseurs like Joe Biden, only to discover that by the time she got to the final round the Democratic primary process had descended to near-parody – or, as The New York Times headline put it, a "Duel Of Historical Guilts."

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

March 09, 2008


I watched Casablanca recently and apparently had the same thoughts that Roger L. Simon did. I just scoffed that the movie could ever exist today, but he's (at least as an intellectual exercise) working on the script. It's a great post; thanks for the link, David.

Posted by Sarah at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


My husband has been home from Iraq for three years. Three years. It's embarrassing to type that. I've had him to myself for three years. Not by choice, of course, but what can you say? "I promise he volunteered to go and traded orders with a guy for a case of beer, but it fell through. I swear we haven't been ducking it; he even changed branches so he'd be able to go back." But it still sounds incredible that he's been home so long.

I wrote today at SpouseBUZZ that I can't remember my husband's homecoming day. I was camped out in my archives, trying desperately to remember what I was doing before he got home, but I have no idea. I do know what I was feeling though, since I carried on Tim's tradition and gave a peek at the end to CaliValleyGirl.

Reading that hurts a little though, because I miss that feeling.

I love having my husband home. I need to have my husband home if we're ever going to successfully have a baby. But three years on, I miss the deployment feelings. I miss the sense of connectedness, of purpose, of conviction. It probably sounds strange, but I miss the feeling of sacrifice, of knowing that I've given up being with someone I love for the good of our country. Honestly, for me, the deployment feeling hurts, but it's a good hurt, a deep and satisfying pain. And I haven't felt it in three years. I feel ashamed that I've lived too ordinary of a life for three years.

I'm ready to do it again. I knew it was coming, and I was ready for it, waiting for it, starting to yearn for it. My husband finished his language class and was waiting for his assignment. He was worried that he might get sent to Iraq even though he'd studied Farsi and wanted to go to Afghanistan.

So we never imagined the assignment he got: Rear D.

For civilian readers, the Rear Detachment is the one guy the unit leaves behind to man the phones and take care of the homefront. He's the liason between the deployed unit and the families. He works his butt off back at home to take care of unit affairs.

My husband is being left behind while his unit deploys.

One would think that this would be welcomed news for the Rear D family. If my husband had only been home 12 months since his deployment, I might enjoy this assignment a little too. But three years later, I can't believe this is what we'll be doing. I can't believe my husband doesn't get to do what he's longed to do since the day he came home -- go back and help some more -- and I can't believe I don't get to satisfy my unnatural craving for deployment feelings.

We're just so stunned that this is the hand we've been dealt.

Some guys have already spent enough time in Iraq to last them a lifetime. When it's all said and done, my husband will have been home for more than four years before he finally gets his chance to go again and do what he loves.

Despite our best efforts, we're watching history pass us by.

Posted by Sarah at 11:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 08, 2008


My husband encouraged me to watch the new McCain campaign video this morning. I hadn't watched it because, well, I already know I'm voting for him. But I did watch it, and I loved it. It was beautiful and inspiring. Ann Althouse dissects the commercial here.

Also, what is the deal about this McCain "flipping out" thing? Seriously, talking forcefully to a reporter is called losing your cool? These oversensitive people should have a conversation with my husband; just yesterday he said that a certain Army wife author should be "set on fire and pushed down the stairs." And that's a gentle insult coming from him. We were laughing that we wish McCain would flip out, really let someone have it. He said he wants a president who doesn't suffer fools.

We watched Annie Hall last night and kept pausing it and trying to put it in it's social context. My husband noted that it came out four years after McCain was released from Hanoi. While it's a decent enough and quirky movie, can you imagine seeing it after being tortured for five years? These are people's problems? This won Best Picture, a show about people who are unhappy dating each other? I don't know how you go back to being a normal person after being a POW. How long does it take before the little things in life start bugging you again? I wonder when you feel normal enough again to complain about the pseudo-intellectual talking loudly in line at the movies. When does the just-happy-to-be-alive feeling wear off?

Posted by Sarah at 08:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 07, 2008


Angie posted a link about large families (4+ kids). I knew I shouldn't read it, I just knew it. But I went anyway. Ouch, does it hurt to read comment after comment from people who had all of these accidental kids. Pregnant while on birth control, pregnant after having tubes tied (!), etc. It's so hard to hear about all these surprises when we'd give anything to get the one mega-planned-for baby we've been working on for 13 months.

I have begun to feel discouraged again. It's been three months since the miscarriage and, despite the fact that friends and family all assured me I'd be pregnant again by now, no such luck. And I'm starting to wish that I just had someone to go through this with me. I know several people who had trouble getting pregnant, but, happily for them, they have all gone on to start families. They completely understand what I'm going through, but since they're all past that stage of their lives, it's not the same thing; they know that life eventually works out for them, but I don't have that guarantee yet. So while it's reassuring to me that everyone has gone on to have a baby, either by adoption or IVF, I don't know anyone in the same situation as I am right now: trying unsuccessfully to have her first child. Do any of you readers know of someone currently going through this stage of her life? I'd really like to find a comrade in this struggle.

Because it's rough knowing that people who got pregnant five months after I started trying are getting ready to give birth...

Posted by Sarah at 06:20 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Betsy Newmark quotes Michael Gerson today about anti-Americanism and how it's not all Bush's fault. It certainly is not. I lived in France in 1998-99, and lots of people hated Americans; French, Swiss, Croatian, Norwegian, Canadian, Swedish, and Russian students hated us alike. The Croatian student hated us because of Bill Clinton, because his family was in danger during the air strikes in 1999. And that wasn't unilateral cowboy tactics; that was NATO. I also lived in Sweden in the summer of 2001, before 9/11. People hated Americans, namely for Kyoto that summer. I blogged about the riots in Goteborg during the EU summit, in which protesters carried paper mache Bush puppets and chanted "Go home, Bush." This was before 9/11, before Iraq, before any of these lame excuses that we hear these days about why Europe hates us. They just do. They have for a very long time. Iraq was just the frosting on the cake.

Posted by Sarah at 04:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 06, 2008


My husband found this perfect video. This Cake song came out in 2001, but I swear it looks like it could've been written for the Obama movement.

Posted by Sarah at 10:27 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

March 05, 2008


I've been busy hanging out with Heather and trying to distract her in the last few days before her husband returns, so I haven't been on the computer much.

But read these uplifting thoughts from Subsunk about young people in Iraq rejecting terrorism...

Posted by Sarah at 07:39 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 01, 2008


I actually managed to sneak in a little bit of knitting for myself lately. I am working on another DNA scarf.


And my buddy Heather shows up this week for her husband's homecoming ceremony (hooray!), so I have 110 squares for her Hand-Crafted Comfort.

Posted by Sarah at 03:57 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


My apologies to LGF for stealing his flying pig, but dang...


Angelina Jolie wrote approvingly about the progress in Iraq:

Today's humanitarian crisis in Iraq -- and the potential consequences for our national security -- are great. Can the United States afford to gamble that 4 million or more poor and displaced people, in the heart of Middle East, won't explode in violent desperation, sending the whole region into further disorder?
As for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible.

(Via Insty, via Taranto)

Frank J wrote a funny post the other day about Obama called "My Solution to Iraq Is to Never Have Gone There." It was funny because it felt all too true; many people talk about fixing Iraq in the past tense, as if "we shouldn't be there in the first place" is an actual solution. So -- and I can't believe I'm typing this -- kudos to Angelina Jolie for dealing with the actual situation as it stands today and not wishing for some utopian non-invasion that doesn't exist. And kudos to her for reporting what she saw on the ground, despite the fact that (I'm guessing) it doesn't jibe with her preconceptions.

So, yeah, pigs fly.

Posted by Sarah at 02:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack