June 30, 2008


OK, it's the post you've all been waiting for: Liveblogging Rambo III.

Oh snap, he's like an ultimate fighter in Thailand.
Is this guy made of pure muscle or what? Rawr.
Hey, is that Clint Howard? No, wait, it's the dad from That 70's Show. Heh.
Dang, are we going to Afghanistan? To fight the Ruskies? Sweet.
He's a Thai hippie now.
Ehhh, the colonel was taken hostage by some terrible Russian accents! And the US government can't do anything about it! Here comes Rambo!
"If you're captured, or if any of this leaks, we'll deny any participation or even knowledge of your existence." "I'm used to it." Nice.
Bring it on! Rambo's going to The Stan.
Wait, hang on, why is an American colonel the only guy doing a covert mission to Afghanistan? He went alone?
Nice picture of Lenin on the wall.
Safer to travel through the caves? Watch out for the Balrog.
Blah blah blah mujahideen blah blah John Rambo blah blah.
All of these Afghans sure speak good English.
Ha, a kid trying to get Rambo to give him all his stuff. He should be saying Meester, Meester.
"God must love crazy people. He makes so many of them."
John Rambo: buzkashi prodigy
Ack, here comes a...well, it's not a Hind. Some sort of helicopter I couldn't identify. Anyway, Rambo 1, Hollywood "Soviet" helicopter 0. (Imdb says they were French.)
Rambo's knife cuts through barbed wire. Dang.
Oh, nuh uh. He is riding underneath a tank?
Shooting an AK with one arm, carring Short Round with the other.
"Who do you think this man is? God?" "No, God would have mercy; he won't."
Ooooh, ripped his shirt off.
Oh my lord, he just poured gunpower into his wound and lit it. Is that medically sound? Dang. That was hardcore.
Too bad this isn't another fake helicopter crash like in Rambo II.
He just brought down a helicopter with a bow and arrow.
Oh smart, attaching a glow stick to a grenade.
They all have automatic weapons and he has a bow, and he's still whoopin' butt.
He pulled that fat guy's grenade pin and gave him a Leonard Smalls death!
Rambo and the colonel vs the entire Soviet Army. And the Soviets promise them a fair trial. Ha.
Mujahideen to the rescue! Now it's horses vs tanks. Rambo doesn't come with good odds.
OK, Rambo comes charging with a horse and a Molotov cocktail, and the attack helicopter gives up?
The colonel popped the door gunner with a 50-cal! Now it's Rambo in a tank (smarter than the horse) vs a helicopter, playing chicken in the desert.
And why is there enough room for him to lie down in that tank? I've been in a tank; there's barely enough room to sit.
Man, that meester meester kid managed to take the necklace Rambo's Vietnamese booty call gave him right before she died.
The movie was dedicated to "the gallant people of Afghanistan." Well, some of them at least.
And it was filmed in Israel. Heh.

OK, so now we jump from 1988 to 2008. And seriously, I cannot wait to see the newest one. Especially after seeing this exchange on the trailer:

It will help change people's lives.
Are you bringing any weapons?
Of course not.
You're not changing anything.

My husband and his buddy loved that line. Me too. I can't wait.

See also:
Liveblog of Rambo II

Posted by Sarah at 05:58 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I babysat this afternoon for my neighbor's 7 year old daughter. While I was there, I taught her to knit. And the most wonderful words came out of her mouth: "This is more fun than playing with my Nintendo DS!" Ahhh, heavenly.

Posted by Sarah at 03:54 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I heard this Wesley Clark clip on the radio today, and it was so stunning I actually turned to the radio with this face.


Schieffer: How can you say that John McCain is untested and untried? General?

Clark: Because in the matters of national security policy making, it's a matter of understanding risk. It's a matter of gauging your opponents, and it's a matter of being held accountable. John McCain's never done any of that in his official positions. I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, 'I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not. Do you want to take the risk? What about your reputation? How do we handle it publicly.' He hasn't made those calls, Bob.

Seriously. Upside down face.

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June 29, 2008


Yesterday I found a clip of Dennis Miller going off on Obama. I went to YouTube and have been happily watching tons of Dennis Miller clips, including his appearance on Politically Incorrect. I then stumbled upon Penn Jillette's appearance on the same show. That one just twisted my gut into knots. I wanted to jump through the space-time continuum to argue against the moronic things that Nia Long was saying. They're talking about selling donor eggs from models, which apparently people wanted to buy so they could have beautiful children. (My thoughts: It's a waste of your money, but you have a right to waste your money.) It then became a debate on whether we should interfere at all in the reproductive process or if it's all part of God's plan. And Bill Maher says:

Here's a question then: Why does everyone have to spawn? Why can't the people who can't do that just take a hint?

To which Nia Long nods her head and says, "Right." Thankfully, my buddy Penn Jillette counters, saying that if science can help people, it should.

Do I even have to tell you what it does to my heart to hear someone say that if I can't reproduce, I should "take a hint"?

The debate later turns to making a law that people should not be allowed to get married until they're 26. A law. Seriously. The rationale is that people aren't mature enough to be married before that.

To quote AWTM, "Can I just tell you..."

I met my husband when he had just turned 19, and we got married a few months shy of his 22 birthday. By the time he was 24, he was already leading a platoon of men in combat in Iraq. Not mature enough? Please. He's got more maturity now at 27 than some 40 year olds I know.

The whole show was just a train wreck. I imagine Penn Jillette was just shaking his head after it was over, wondering how he ended up in a room of people who want to regulate who can donate eggs, what factors you can use to determine which eggs you want, how much science you can have in your life, and at what age you can get married. I can't believe he stayed as calm as he did.

Dang, that'll teach me to look for funny clips on YouTube. I'm a bundle of horrified nerves after that show!

Posted by Sarah at 01:12 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 28, 2008


I didn't hear this on the radio the other day, but it's worth reading the whole thing before it becomes unavailable. Some excerpts:

RUSH: John Paul Stevens in his dissent on the DC gun ban bill today wrote that the majority, meaning Scalia and the gang, "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons." Folks, that is scary. I know Justice Stevens has been around for a long time, but that kind of interpretation -- there is no way, I don't care how convoluted a way that you read the Second Amendment, there is nothing in it to indicate that the Framers intended to grant the federal government, elected officials, the right to police people.

I too was shocked to hear that statement. It seems like a really jacked-up and backwards way of looking at the Second Amendment. The Framers never envisioned a day when elected officials got to decide whether people could own guns.

And it just gets worse.

Here Jeffrey Toobin, legal expert, CNN, talking to Heidi Collins at CNN. Listen to this question. Memo to Jonathan Klein running CNN: Do you understand how incompetent some of the people you have on your network are? Listen to this question. Heidi Collins to Jeffrey Toobin: "Specifically, Jeffrey, that's really what it's about, isn't it, the Constitution trumping policy?" The Constitution trumping policy? The Constitution trumping policy? (interruption) Yes, of course it is, but for this to be a question to a legal scholar? Here's the answer.

TOOBIN: This is just a big, big event in American constitutional history because the Second Amendment has been a true mystery.


TOOBIN: No one really knew for decades what it meant --

RUSH: Yes, they did.

TOOBIN: -- in practical terms.

RUSH: Yes, they did.

TOOBIN: Now the Supreme Court, by and large just 5-4, has said that there is a constitutional right to own a handgun inside the home.

RUSH: Stop the tape here a second. The only reason, Mr. Toobin, anybody ever debated this is because people like you, liberals years and years ago tried to tell us it didn't mean that, and you've been passing laws throughout these local municipalities and states chipping away at the Second Amendment because you don't like it. Nobody had any question about this 'til you liberals got involved, tried to obfuscate it and confuse everybody about it. And now we have to get to the point where the Constitution, which is plainly clear in this case, has to be affirmed by the US Supreme Court?

I too am shocked to hear someone talk about "the Constitution trumping policy." All policy is derived from the Constitution. The Constitution always trumps.

Rush goes on. I mean, he was just on fire that day.

RUSH: One of the problems that we're having here in our culture with all of this is the bastardization of the meaning of the word "right," as in, to have a right. For example, look what the left is saying today. We don't have a right to own guns. I mean, that would be their preference, that there be no Second Amendment. Just get four or five justices to wipe it out. We have no right, even though the Constitution specifically says we do. Yet, they further the notion that we all have a "right" to health care. We do not have a right to health care! That we all have a "right" to a home. We do not have a right to a home! That we all have a "right" to go to college. We do not have a right to go to college, because those are not rights! That we have a "right" to be free of the pollution of oil. That is not a right.

That's good squishy.

Posted by Sarah at 10:05 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 27, 2008


I haven’t been writing about how I’m doing because 1) most of the time I’m doing fine and 2) I feel self-conscious about the hint I've gotten that I need to get over myself. But writing is my way of processing things, so today I could use that therapy.

When I was pregnant, I ordered more contact lenses. I hadn’t been in to pick them up yet. So while I was on my way over there, I was rehearsing in my mind what I’d say. I got a feel for the words before I got to the shop. But when I got up to the counter and the girl asked me why I wanted a refund, the words wouldn’t come out. They were replaced by a lump in the back of my throat.

Just say it. You can do it. Just say, “I ordered these while I was pregnant, but since I lost the pregnancy, my consolation prize is gonna be lasik surgery. Ha ha ha.” Just say it. Ha ha ha.

I think the girl sensed that something was wrong, because she said, “I’ll just check the box for ‘bought too many boxes.’” Yep, one box, that’s too many. Then I felt awkward for making the situation awkward and thought I’d better explain before she thinks I’m a freak. But still the words wouldn’t come.

Most of the time I’m fine, until I have to say the words out loud.

I went to a support group meeting on post the other night, a child loss group. I haven’t been sleeping well since my mom left, and if it worked for Tyler Durden, I thought maybe it might work for me. The ladies in the group were really nice and made me feel entirely welcomed, but I think in some ways it made me feel worse. These are ladies who birthed severely premature babies, but babies nonetheless. They had faces and names and lived for a week on machines. They had funerals and were buried in gowns that people I knit with had made and donated. I just felt stupid mourning the little gummy bear that I lost.

I am Joe’s heaping tablespoon of Perspective.

So most of the time, I’m fine. But every once in a while I get not fine, like when I do something that I wouldn’t be doing if I were pregnant, like mowing the yard…or drinking wine. And I try to resist those feelings inside of me. I try to suppress my inner Dante Hicks, try not to feel like I’m not even supposed to be here, try not to live in this alternate reality where I’m pregnant and happy and shouldn’t be mowing. But it’s hard, because that’s the parallel universe I want to be living in.

I don’t want to be getting lasik, even though I’ve waited two years to do it.

Maybe I'll just start a fight club.

Posted by Sarah at 11:01 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

June 26, 2008


I just wanted to say that if you haven't seen Ania Egland's response to that stupid MoveOn ad where the mom won't "give" John McCain her son, make sure you go check it out.

Posted by Sarah at 12:14 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Tammi has been thinking in the micro about something I often think about in the macro.

Makes me wonder....what makes people feel so strongly about capital punishment? Why do some cling desperately to the sanctity of life while others draw that line so firmly in the sand and say "If you cross this, you no longer deserve to live"?

I don't believe it's something that comes with age. Or that it's a learned belief. Mama and Daddy were liberals. Mama still is. I've been a conservative for as long as I've been aware of politics. Oh, they never talked about this stuff in front of us kids, in fact it was only in the past 10 or so years that I learned about my parents political leanings. No. No influence there at all.
I woke up this morning wondering where does that come from? WHY do I feel so strongly about this? And why do others, those that go and picket executions for people they don't even know, believe just as strongly that they do NOT deserve to die? That there is nothing that one human being can do to another that warrants the loss of life?

I have wondered this and blogged about it before, about where we get our value systems and whether it's nature or nurture:

But where did it originate? Other people endured the hate and garbage in France, yet it didn't have the effect on them that it did on me. I must've already had the seeds of right-leaning ideas before I hit this point. But where did they come from?

I'd say both of my parents are fairly conservative, though we never talked about politics when I was growing up. I can't remember ever having a conversation about voting or foreign policy or anything of the sort. Did they somehow influence me in a subconscious way? Or was I born right of center and just viewed everything through that lens?

We talk about knee-jerk reactions, but isn't that just following your gut? The first blog I ever saw was U.S.S. Clueless and I immediately felt at home. Even before I had studied anything concrete about how the world works, I simply nodded my head in agreement and felt deep in my instincts that what Den Beste writes is true. No one had to teach me that; in fact, much of what we encounter in higher education these days should have persuaded me just the opposite. How was I not convinced?

I don't have any answers for Tammi. As for capital punishment, I said it before and I'll say it again.

I'm reminded again of the absolute horror my Swedish friend felt when she saw me clapping and cheering the day Timothy McVeigh was executed. But I feel the same now about Saddam as I did back then: If someone called me today and said they're short a hangman and could I come give 'em a hand, I'd say, "Give me a second to put my shoes on."

There are a few people out there that I'd have no problem putting my shoes on for. And when we're talking about child rapers, I'll just grab my flip-flops cuz it's faster.

Posted by Sarah at 11:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 25, 2008


Like jokes in dead languages?
This made me giggle.

Posted by Sarah at 02:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2008


I too find myself mesmerized by Bjorn Lomborg and giddy every time I see him on TV. He must just have some quality that makes straight men and housewives hang on his every word. Heh.

His interview in The Spectator: 'Global Warming Is Not Our Most Urgent Priority'

Posted by Sarah at 09:15 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


I ran out of white-white, so I decided to try one that was more Americana looking, and I think I like it the best. We're gonna have some patriotic preemies around here!


Posted by Sarah at 09:05 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 23, 2008


Luckily for me, CaliValleyGirl's husband pilots the most stuffed-animalizable military vehicle that exists.


So it was a no-brainer to try to make one for their new baby.

I wing it all the time in knitting with simple things like bags and scarves and hats, but this is my first knitting invention, so I took notes along the way to write my first pattern. I am sure there will be some sort of mistake in it, but if you're at the point in your knitting where you're trying to make a helicopter, I am sure you can figure it out. Or email me and I'll do my best to help.


grey and black craft yarn, the stiffer and cheaper the better, to hold its shape
size 6 straight and double-pointed knitting needles
blunt sewing needle

Knitting the Chinook consists of three main patterns: the fuselage, the rotors, and the fore and aft pylons, which CaliValleyDude assured me are not called "the sticky-up parts on top."


Using size 6 needles and grey yarn, cast on 14 sts.
Working in stockinette stitch throughout, work two rows.
Row 3: Inc one st into first 2 sts, k (3), inc one st into next 4 sts, k (3) to last 2 sts, inc one st into last 2 sts.
Row 4: purl
Repeat last two rows, with number of sts in brackets 4 more each time, until you have 46 sts total.
Work 66 rows in stockinette stitch.
Next row: ssk, ssk, k (15), k2tog, k2tog, ssk, ssk, k (15), k2tog, k2tog
Next row: purl
Repeat last two rows, with number of sts in brackets 4 less each time, until 14 sts remain.
Work 2 rows. Bind off. Using tail, sew up underseam while filling with stuffing.


With size 6 dpns, cast on 42 sts. Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist the sts. Knit 12 rounds. Purl one turning row. [Thanks to Susan for providing me with more precise language here.]

Shape top:
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *Sl 1, k 1, psso, k 2, k2tog; rep from * to end of round – 28 sts remain
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: *Sl 1, k1, psso, k2tog; rep from * to end of round – 14 sts remain
Round 7: Knit
Round 8: *k2tog; rep from * to end of round – 7 sts remain

Cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Thread tail on a tapestry needle, draw through rem sts, pull tight, and fasten off to wrong side.


[Same as fore pylon, only a little taller.]

With size 6 dpns, cast on 42 sts. Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist the sts. Knit 20 rounds. Purl one turning row.

Shape top:
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *Sl 1, k 1, psso, k 2, k2tog; rep from * to end of round – 28 sts remain
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: *Sl 1, k1, psso, k2tog; rep from * to end of round – 14 sts remain
Round 7: Knit
Round 8: *k2tog; rep from * to end of round – 7 sts remain

Cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Thread tail on a tapestry needle, draw through rem sts, pull tight, and fasten off to wrong side.

Stuff pylons and sew to fuselage.


[This section is a little confusing, but essentially you're making three i-cords and then decreasing them all together at the end to attach them to each other and make them radiate out from the center.]

With size 6 dpns and two strands of black held together, cast on 5 sts. Work i-cord for 33 rows. Leave stitches live on the dpn and use a new dpn for next rotor blade.
Make 3.
On the last row of the third rotor blade, knit to last stitch.
K2tog with first stitch of another rotor blade.
Slip next stitch, k2tog, psso.
Knit last stitch together with first stitch of remaining rotor blade.
Slip next stitch, k2tog, psso.
K2tog with last stitch of the first rotor blade, joining around.
Slip next stitch, k2tog, psso.
7 sts remain.
Cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Thread tail on a tapestry needle, draw through rem sts, pull tight, thread through the underside of the rotor and tighten on that side too. Use tail to fasten the rotor to the top of the rotor cap. Weave in ends of i-cords.

Repeat for second set of three blades.


With size 6 needles and black yarn, cast on 18 sts. Work 12 rows in stockinette stitch. Cast off.
With grey yarn, make a dividing line down the middle of the window. Sew to front of Chinook.


This picture cracks me up, because CaliValleyBaby is looking at the Chinook like, "Clearly this is not an age-appropriate toy." You'll grow into it, son.

Now watch, he'll want to be a tanker!

Posted by Sarah at 12:45 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack

June 22, 2008


I bought the ingredients before I knew I was pregnant, but hadn't gotten around to making it yet. Then I was pregnant and couldn't but now I can. So I'm doing two things tonight that I couldn't do two weeks ago: drinking wine and eating Chuck Z's tuna casserole.

Posted by Sarah at 05:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I've been thinking about Heidi a lot lately, about how she never blogs about feeling bitter or jealous, or about feeling lonely that people's lives have moved on while hers hasn't. She must feel this way at times, but she doesn't express it publicly. I emailed her and urged her to write about it, because I thought it would help her.

I think I'm retracting that advice.

Writing about how I felt lonely over the weekend I miscarried has backfired a little, I think. I meant every word I said, and it felt good to write about it and get it out. I felt such loneliness that, even having my mother there, even if 75 people had called me and I'd gotten 20 bouquets of flowers, it still wouldn't have been enough to fill the emptiness.

And it was hard because it was Scheduled Sadness. It didn't spring up on me unexpectedly; I had to make a conscious choice to make it happen. And so I scheduled my day for sadness, and sat at home waiting for sadness to arrive. I sat all day and clicked around on blogs, and no one was posting...because they were out living their lives and being happy, while I sat with my thoughts, waiting for sadness.

In some ways, this time was harder than the first. And the support was so overwhelming the first time that it was hard not to make this time look underwhelming. Everyone did too good of a job comforting me last December.

But my blog post, the feelings I thought were important to write, made some people feel bad, which has made me feel worse than the original loneliness. It actually makes me feel worse than losing the baby.

Which is kind of stupid, but that's my personality. I worry more about how other people will react than I worry about how I feel. Sometimes I get over that and blog about my honest thoughts, but it makes me feel like absolute crap when I learn that something I blogged hurt people's feelings.

It makes me not want to be a blogger anymore.

And even though there are lots of comments about how people understand and have been through the same, if I hurt just one person, I feel like a failure.

I thought that writing honestly and openly was a good thing, but I am not always prepared to deal with the consequences of doing so.

Posted by Sarah at 01:14 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

June 21, 2008


I forgot our wedding anniversary.

Or, more specifically, I forgot how long it takes stuff to get mailed to Iraq. And I missed my window.

Now, my husband? He blows it every holiday. Christmas, birthday, anniversary: I usually get a story. A story about why he couldn't get me the present he was going to get me. I am used to it; it's part of my husband's charm. Now it's just a running joke.

But this year he came through. He ordered something from Amazon, and it arrived plenty early. And wrapped! Amazing.

And I had nothing for him.

And then the day of our anniversary came, and I didn't even have hope and love to share with him. I had bad news and sadness.

He should've gotten a lovey-dovey anniversary post, like Mrs Hubs wrote. So I'll try now.

My husband is so absolutely exactly like me that it's scary. Specifically, we both grieve the same way. And he's been a big help, sending me sarcastic one-line emails that express our frustration and sorrow while helping put a smile on my face. For example, the email he sent when I told him his MBA diploma finally arrived in the mail.

Good thing the diploma didn't die in the mail causing me to have to start my degree all over again. You never know these days.

He's just the right amount of sarcastic and irreverent for me. But he also wrote a long, emotional letter too, about watching the other soldiers share the stuff their kids had sent them for Father's Day.

He's just perfect, and I feel so bad that he's so far from home right now.

But you know, he and I are also exactly alike in one other way. He said the other day that, even if our family is only ever me, him, and the pup, that's good enough for him. I feel the same way. I feel so absolutely lucky and awed every day that I found him. And he's enough to keep my heart happy for the rest of my life.

Husband, I'm sorry you got gyped out of an anniversary.
I love you.

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


Rachel Lucas says it so I don't have to.

Posted by Sarah at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Last Saturday was world-wide Knit In Public Day. AWTM caught sight of some ladies participating. I was supposed to join in with a friend here in town, but, well, last Saturday turned out to be a little busy.

I plan to celebrate Knit In Public Day (Observed).

Here's what I've been working on. I have been commissioned to make a blanket for a dear reader, and Charlie has taken a shine to it. Any time I leave the room, he curls up with it. Happy Baby Shower; hope you like dog hair!


Also, I've only made one, so I need to get a move on. The 4th is coming up, and preemies need to be swathed in red, white, and blue.


I have also been working on super-secret projects for a couple of you barefoot and pregnant bloggers. You know who you are. And no, I won't say what you're getting. But the best thing about getting to know people via blogging is that you learn all these little tidbits about them that come in handy later, like when you want to make something special that only they will truly grok.

Posted by Sarah at 08:35 AM | Comments (2) | 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


So apparently there's a new Obama ad by MoveOn where a woman holding a new baby tells John McCain that he can't "have" her child for his 100 years in Iraq.

Oh, puh-lease.

You know what, John McCain? We don't have a baby yet, but when we do, you can definitely have him or her. That is, if our child wants to join the military; you and I don't get much say in coercing the kid, neither to get in or stay out. But I have no problem with it. And I'm pretty sure you can have Erin's Tucker too. He's already got the camo thing nailed.

So the selfish blond lady can keep her baby at home. We've got at least two others you can "have."

What a dumb ad.

Posted by Sarah at 08:54 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 19, 2008


I've been quoting John Prine a lot these days, haven't I?

You can gaze out the window get mad and get madder,
throw your hands in the air, say "What does it matter?"
but it don't do no good to get angry,
so help me I know

For a heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter.
You become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there
wrapped up in a trap of your very own
chain of sorrow.

Last miscarriage, I was angry. This time I just feel numb. And defeated. Reality is starting to sink in, and I'm sad. My husband said it best: Now we're just that much further from meeting our son or daughter, the child whose name we picked out during the Clinton administration and who won't be born until well into the next administration. So much time, wasted.

I feel like the last year and a half has been an hourglass, and I keep watching the sand slip through but there's nothing I can do to stop it.

I am Joe's ticking biological clock.

Last week when I dropped my mother off at the airport, I felt sad that she might not get to spend enough time with her grandchild. This week, I choked up because there is no grandchild anymore. What a difference a week makes.

Another week I can't put back into the hourglass.

And you carry those bruises
to remind you wherever you go.

Posted by Sarah at 03:55 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Every once in a while, I read something that makes my heart stop. Usually it's not a big-time story. Often it's a science story. Instapundit had this one today, which brought wonderment and awe to my morning: Bacteria make major evolutionary shift in the lab

Posted by Sarah at 09:28 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


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 18, 2008


I saw an ad the other day: 50% all buttons. So I went, of course, my first trip out of the house in days. I was standing there with about ten cards of buttons in my hands when a mother and probably 3-year-old daughter walked up. The mother told her daughter that she could pick out one card of buttons. The little girl ooohed and aaahed, asked "Ich unn you like, Mommy?" and got super-excited about picking out her buttons. I watched with a big smile, and finally said to the mother, "You know, someday she's going to be like me, doing the same thing when she's 30."

And I thought, maybe having a little girl wouldn't be so bad. Maybe she'd love buttons too.

I'm doing OK. I have one hang-up though: I don't want to stop wearing maternity clothes. I picked out so many nice things, and comfortable things. I want to wear them. I want to grow into them. But I won't. And I don't want to take them off. Like my heart panics when I think about going back to wearing regular clothes.

I'm starting a trend: non-pregnant crazy ladies who wear maternity shirts.

Posted by Sarah at 08:03 PM | 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

June 16, 2008


I wanted to give a shout-out to my poor in-laws too. Last December, my Christmas present was supposed to be maternity clothes and baby stuff. My poor mother-in-law had to go out at the last minute and re-shop for me after the miscarriage. And this week, she sent a big box to me for our wedding anniversary...of maternity clothes and baby stuff. She put it in the mail before we got the bad news, so she felt terrible that that's what she had sent.

At least she didn't send a dead bird!

I taught my mother-in-law to knit about the same time we started trying to have a baby, so she has been making little baby things all along. She started a blanket for Baby #1 and then stopped abruptly and put it away. When Baby #2 had a heartbeat, she pulled it back out and finished it. And mailed it to me this week. I know she probably thinks it's a burden to me, but it really is quite lovely and I'm happy to have it.

And we'll put a baby in it someday, I promise.

Posted by Sarah at 05:59 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Remember when I thought I was looking back at infertility with hindsight? Go ahead and take a moment to laugh at me. I'm shaking my head too.

Anyway, I went and read A Little Pregnant again today because, well, because I'm part of the club again. And I read something very funny:

Let me say at the outset that nothing would make me happier than a good nursing experience. But nothing would make me sadder than the kind of experience I had with Charlie. (Note to universe: I am saying that in a rhetorical sense. I know there are worse things than ending up with a healthy, thriving baby who enjoyed the benefit of expressed breast milk for the first six months of his life. I'll thank you not to kick my ass in new and unexpected ways just to show me who's in charge here because, hey, you know what? I get it.)

Ha. There's someone who is on a first-name basis with Perspective. And I read something so uplifting, a little note from another former infertile-blogger who just had a baby:

I truly hope all my other blogging friends from the past have realized their dreams, as well. Being a mother is the most amazing thing I've ever experienced. I didn't think I'd EVER say this, but all the IF treatments and miscarriages that I've been through were sooooooo worth the end result - my beautiful boy. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat if it meant it would result in him.

And that's just very cool. And very good to read today.

Posted by Sarah at 04:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


OK, I knew my previous post was gonna make everyone feel guilty for not checking on me. But I wrote it anyway, because I'm a sucker for a brutally honest post. So don't feel guilty. And don't feel like you have to hurry up and email me, or get a post up on your blog about me (sniff, though it is quite touching), or call me from Middle of Nowhere, Nebraska, where your cell phone keeps cutting out (hi, AWTM!) just so I feel loved. I know I'm loved. It's OK. Call me after Thursday, when my mom leaves and it's just me.

Just me and that old pup. He can be our baby.


Maybe I could put those little girl scrunchies on his head. Heh.

(My apologies to Homefront 6, who gave me a darling bathrobe as a gift for my baby. Which I just put on my dog.)

Posted by Sarah at 12:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


The house has been eerily quiet all weekend. During the last miscarriage, I couldn't tear my ear away from the phone. Everyone called constantly to check on me, to cry with me, and to reassure me that everything was going to work out next time.

Maybe they're embarrassed that they were so confident. Because they're not calling this time.

At first I was grouchy. I thought about how last December, neither Erin nor CaliValleyGirl had their babies yet. They had more time for me. But then I realized I was just being dumb. That wasn't the reason they weren't calling, though feeling sorry for myself that way helped for a few minutes.

My mother told me that I had made it clear that I think people always say the wrong thing, so I'd probably scared my friends away. Ha, my mother never shies away from telling me when I've been too honest! But I hope she's not right; I hope people aren't avoiding me because I've pushed them away.

I sat down and penned The Wrong Thing Is Better Than Nothing At All, just in case.

Andi said that she was just afraid of calling me right in the grossest and most horrific moment of the miscarriage. That's understandable. I hope that's why people haven't called. I also understand that it's easy to comfort someone after the first miscarriage and reassure her that everything will be OK, that many people have miscarriages, and that she will go on to have a slew of babies in the future. That's a little harder to do after miscarriage #2. I bet my friends feel about as much optimism as I do right now, and they're afraid of being a downer when they call.

So anyway, I spent the weekend feeling a little lonely. But I knew one person was there in presence, one person I felt was sitting holding her breath for me. One person kept emailing me and commenting here, reminding me that she was with me all day long. The most unlikely person of all.

If you've been reading for a while, you might remember the falling out I had with Allicadem. If you don't, it's not worth digging back up. We reconciled. But this weekend pulled the scab off for her.

I feel like it's my fault for her suffering. I am the reason that her pregnancies aren't working -- because I was bitter and wished her anguish. She was too care-free about pregnancy and I wanted her to feel how horrible it can be. And now I suffer, again, because I am re-living all of the fucking shit that she's going through.
And even as I post this, I am sobbing and holding my head. I can't believe that ... I wished you would know how bad it felt. To have problems getting pregnant. I couldn't be a bigger asshole.

Her blog post was so raw and so honest that I don't even know what to say.

In the beginning of our pregnancies, CaliValleyGirl and I had very different approaches. I had waited so long to get pregnant that I wanted to dive right in on the first day and tell everyone I'd ever met: my co-workers, random people at the grocery store, my high school track coach. CVG was more cautious, waiting the full 12 weeks before she told anyone but her parents. Heck, she didn't even blog about being pregnant until after the baby was born! But even with my optimistic attitude, it was I, not she, who feared that something might happen to one of us. I thought it was just too good to be true, both of us being pregnant at the exact same time. I had a horrible feeling that it wasn't destined to last, and I remember vividly one day thinking how guilty I would feel if something happened to her baby. I also remember later almost being relieved that my baby died instead of hers, because I had been jealous of her and had thought she didn't deserve to be happy so quickly. I thought she should've had to have taken at least one negative pregnancy test in her life, to be able to understand that I had taken nine of them.

And if her baby had died, I would've felt like I caused it too.

I know what it's like to struggle with your dark side. I have another friend who wants to start trying to have a baby in the near future. And I want her to be successful. I really do. But I also can't help but think that, if she is quickly successful, she will have a baby before I do, when I started trying two full years before she did. The unfairness of that is overwhelming at times. I can't bear the thought of her being successful before I am, even though I don't want her to suffer the way I have.

I'm just tired of watching everyone else get to the finish line before I do. Especially people who weren't even in the race until long after I starting running.

I did start out as carefree about pregnancy. I thought that it would happen for me relatively quickly, as it had for most of the people I knew. And carefree is a good way to be. I don't ever want to take that away from people. I don't want my friend to be bogged down with fear and pessimism when she starts trying to have a baby because she sees how crappy my experience has been. I absolutely want her to be carefree. Because the alternative -- where I'm at right now, where the next baby could have a heart stronger than Lance Armstrong's and I'll still expect it to die -- is no fun at all.

And I was carefree during this pregnancy too, more carefree than someone with a history of miscarriage probably should be. But when we saw that strong heartbeat and I learned that our odds were better than 95%, I dove right in. And yes, I bought baby clothes and a bouncy seat, and even a backpack carrier at a garage sale. Maybe that was a stupid thing to do when baby was only 8 weeks along, but I felt confident and happy. I wanted to celebrate.

So now I have a set of summer maternity clothes from the first baby and a set of winter maternity from the second. I have all the seasons covered for next time, so third baby is set no matter when he shows up.

And I don't want to lose that confidence. So yesterday when I went out with my mom, I bought a baby outfit. And my mom looked at me with tears in her eyes like she was so proud, so proud that I haven't given up hope, that I still know that somehow, someway, somefreakingday, we will have a baby in the house. A baby who will wear little shorts with funny monkeys all over them, shorts that were bought when hope seemed at its ebb and the future seemed so far away.

Allicadem, you didn't cause anything bad to happen to me. Remember this?

All that we are is determined by our thoughts. It begins where our thoughts begin, it moves where our thoughts move, it ends where our thoughts end. If we think thoughts like he hurt me, he stole from me, he is my enemy, our life and our destiny will follow that thought as the wheel follows the axle. And if we think thoughts like he cannot hurt me, only I can hurt myself, he cannot steal from me, he cannot be my enemy, only I can be my enemy, then our life and our destiny will follow those thoughts.

You and I just both need to write that down and read it often.

I have forgiven you for everything. I feel no ill-will or negative waves. I felt you worrying and waiting with me all day Sunday, and I appreciate it.

As Pete Townshend beautifully sings in my favorite line from "A Quick One While He's Away"...you are forgiven.

Tink's right; it's time for you to forgive yourself too.

Posted by Sarah at 08:31 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack

June 15, 2008



I look all squinty and goofy in this picture, but my dad looks great.

My dad is not the most emotional guy, but he's been very sweet these past few days. My mom has kept him updated on what's going on, and he's been loving and nice. When I talked to him today, I ended the conversation by saying, "OK, well have a good day!" and he made sure to interject with an "I love you" before I hung up the phone. That's not my dad's normal instinct, so it was very sweet. I know he loves me; he just doesn't say it all the time. But it was nice to hear today.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. Sorry I kept Mom away from home today.

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


When I woke up, I had in mind all these reasons that today would suck. But today is half over, and it's not turning out half bad. I don't feel that sucky. I feel at peace.

The miscarriage is over. I took the medicine yesterday morning after I wrote that blog post, and I miscarried the baby in the early afternoon. Stacy, who's been through this before, warned me that I might not want to look. But as soon as he came out (yes, I took to calling him a "he," even though it was far too early to tell), I knew that wasn't the right choice for me. I held my little baby in my hand and was able to look at him and love him. I marveled over the little buds where his arms would grow and the tiny umbilical cord, as thin as thread. And I didn't want to let him go. But I had to say goodbye, and so I did.

It was the closure I needed; it was the closure I didn't get with the D&C. It was a little funeral, a ritual, a passage I needed to go through. I am very glad I had to do it this way.

And so he's gone. And I'm OK.

What I mourn right now is my future. My deployment was going to be filled with baby milestones and a growing belly to mark time. Now it seems empty. There will be no joy to fill the next seven months, no baby to keep me company, and no new definition of family to look forward to when my husband returns.

It's just me, in the house, alone. And that's part of the reason that, even though the baby was dead, I didn't want to let him go. I didn't want to be left alone.

I didn't want to give up my future. Because now the future is uncertain again.

Posted by Sarah at 11:42 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


Today is our sixth wedding anniversary.
Today is the original due date for our first lost baby.
Today would've been my husband's first Father's Day.
Today kinda sucks.

And, Marc, know that I am thinking of you today too...

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

June 14, 2008


Overall, today was not as painful as I thought it would be. I am sure the percocet makes the difference though. The pain is manageable.

When my mother went to extend her plane ticket, the only choice was a week later. I didn't really think I wanted or needed her here another full week. I thought I could do this on my own. I don't like when people see me in pain, or see me cry, or see me struggle. But my mother insisted that she was staying a week.

I am really glad she did.

She was a big help today, especially when the going got tough. And it got pretty tough a couple of times. But she was here, and she was right on the same wavelength as I was. It was nice.

I am glad I didn't go this alone.

Posted by Sarah at 08:57 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


Let's celebrate life.


These are growing in my backyard.


We can have a miniature dinner.

Posted by Sarah at 04:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I wrote over at SpouseBUZZ about the headache of trying to reach my doctor yesterday. One thing I forgot to mention was that, when the doctor was advising me on whether to have another D&C or to use the medicine, he said something to the effect of, "One thing is that surgeries are expensive, not to you but to the taxpayer, if that's of any concern to you." Now there's a man after my own heart!

As I sit here in agony today, I will keep reminding myself that I am saving the taxpayers money. I know that probably sounds like sarcasm, but I mean it in all seriousness. Every little bit helps.

And to call this "medicine" seems odd to me. It's more like poison. You put it in your body, and your body says, "Oh no no no, we need to get this out." It twists and contorts and ravages you.

Abortions are D&Cs and not this medicine, right? I wager we'd see less abortions if people were forced to go through this.

And I've only just begun.

Posted by Sarah at 12:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


When I was in college, I had a pet goldfish that I loved. And the inevitable happened, as it always does. One day he started doing that dance with death: float to the top, sink to the bottom, turrrrn slowly onto his back, right himself forcefully, over and over. I couldn't watch it anymore, and I knew I needed to put him out of his misery. I took him out of the water and held him in my hands as he lived his last few minutes. And it took all my willpower, everything I had, not to put him right back in the water.

This is the stupidest analogy in the world, but it's all I can think of this morning. That poor fish, struggling in my hands as I sobbed. And the awful, frightening feeling I had knowing that I wielded so much power. And that I also had the power not to do it. I could put him back in the water and wait for nature to take its course, or lightning to strike him, or anything that would take the decision out of my hands.

My baby is already dead, but this morning I have to take a pill that will make the baby come out of me. I have to do it. My power. The D&C was passive -- the doctors did all the work -- but this time, I have to make a conscious choice to begin the process. And I'm immobilized.

I don't want to do this.

I want to throw the fish back in the water, save the decision for another day.

But I can't.

Posted by Sarah at 08:33 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 13, 2008


Oh, and my husband said that we probably better vote for Obama, because we both could use some Hope and Change. Heh.

Posted by Sarah at 12:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


My husband and I should play the lottery.

  • In general, with no past history of miscarriage, your odds of having one are about 12%.
  • More than 90% of women who miscarry once will go on to have successful pregnancies.
  • The American Pregnancy Association claims that 1% of all couples have multiple losses.

And remember this lovely statistic?

  • A visible heartbeat could be seen and detectable by pulsed doppler ultrasound by about 6 weeks and is usually clearly depictable by 7 weeks. If this is observed, the probability of a continued pregnancy is better than 95 percent.

1% and 5%. I seriously need to go out and buy a jackpot ticket.

I feel sorry for my husband. He is all alone 6000 miles away, with no friends, no roommate, no one to distract him from his thoughts.

Though the loneliness strikes like an enemy shell
I pray for my home but still sit here in hell.

And I sent him his first Father's Day card, complete with the happy ultrasound picture. He got it yesterday. Maybe in the next package I could send him a razor blade, a lemon, and some salt.

Go to the grind it's all that I have
Work on and on with nothing to show
But a graying face in this dying place
That's a lock in my solitude

I went in yesterday because I saw the tiniest tinge of pinkish mucus. I felt foolish for wasting everyone's time. The only reason I even considered calling the advice nurse was because we had been sick. The resident I saw thought that the food poisoning and the mucus were unrelated and no harm to the baby. I practically stood up to leave, but he wanted to confer with the doctor. The doctor thought we might as well do an ultrasound.

Last December, when we sat in the emergency room for three hours, the only thing that kept me there was the thought that we would get to see our baby for the first time. Yesterday I had the same thought, that I'll never turn down a chance to see the little tiny baby again. If you want to do an ultrasound, who am I to say no? How exciting; he should look like a gummy bear by now, you say?

And then it was the same song and dance: no movement, no heartbeat, and a doctor in agony, asking again "how far along did you say you're supposed to be?"

The baby showed us a nice strong heartbeat two weeks ago, and then died a couple days later.

And since multiple D&C procedures can hinder your chances of getting pregnant in the future, we don't get to go the nice, tidy route this time. We get to go the horrific, painful, in-your-face route. Fantastic.

Yeah, life sucks.

But you know what else happened yesterday? My brother called my mother's cell phone, saying he had really bad news: his friend's wife, a girl I went to high school with died of cancer at 29. My mom replied that she also had bad news.

And you know what? My brother's news was worse.

So that is how I choose to deal with this. It can always be worse.

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

June 12, 2008


Well, shit.
This baby died too.

Posted by Sarah at 03:10 PM | Comments (43) | TrackBack


Last night I dreamt I was learning to nurse. I sat on the sofa next to my husband, with a baby boy in my arms, and we watched David Spade's Showbiz Show on TV. Now that's the life! (Also, I told you my dreams were boring.)

My mom and I decided we weren't going to do anything this morning, just stay in our jammies until she has to go back to the airport. But nature had other plans for me. I have a little bit of bleeding this morning, and what with being sick and all, I thought it best to get checked out. So we're headed to the hospital again.

The nurse asked me all sorts of questions on the phone, including whether I'd had intercourse in the last 24 hours. "Not even in the last 24 days!" I joked.

Off to get checked out. I'm not too nervous, but then again, I wasn't nervous the last time I sat for three hours in the emergency room, and that one didn't turn out so great.

We'll see. I'll update you later, hopefully before I drive the 164 miles again this evening.

Posted by Sarah at 09:14 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 11, 2008


As my mother and I drove to the airport tonight, we made a joke about an annoying thing my grandma used to do. My mom chuckled and then said, "You know, I wish I hadn't let little things like that bug me so much. I don't know, maybe that doesn't make sense." But it does make sense to me. My mom and I haven't always had the easiest time getting along. We have different personalities and lifestyles, and I have my dad's impatience. But in recent years we've learned to do OK together and get along on our trips.

I said goodbye to her at the security gate and then started to walk away. And by the time I got to the car, I was crying. My mom is getting older, and I get nervous sometimes that when we say goodbye, it could be the last time. Her health isn't the best, and our trips are infrequent.

My neighbor in Germany, her mother died while she was pregnant. That bothers me. I think about it often and worry, worry that my parents are old and might not have as much time as I'd like with their grandchildren. And we live 900 miles away from them.

It weighs on me at times. And I cried when I said goodbye.

I cried when I dropped my mother off at the airport but not when I dropped my husband off for deployment. How's that for a special kind of crazy?


I drove 82 miles to drop her off and composed this blog post in my mind on the 82 miles back. And as I pulled into the driveway, I got a call on my phone that her flight has been cancelled due to weather and she can't leave until tomorrow night. I'm headed back out to the car for another 160 miles. Ick.

I mean, gosh, I didn't hate to say goodbye THAT much!


Recommended reading: Val's post

Posted by Sarah at 07:52 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Unhappy, Unhappy...
You have no complaint
You are what you are and you ain't what you ain't
So listen up, Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood
   ---John Prine

This has been such a huge part of my emotional well-being for a very long time, but I couldn't say anything out of respect for my friend's privacy. But now that CaliValleyGirl has given birth, I can write about it.

Back in January 2007, I told her that we'd decided to start a family. She said, "Hey, maybe we can be pregnant together!" I laughed appreciatively, but in my head I was thinking, "What on earth is she talking about? She doesn't get married for another eight months; I'll practically be finished by then!"

Little did I know that she would beat me to every single punch.

When she told me that she had gotten pregnant on her wedding night -- on her very first day of ever trying, when I'd been trying for nine months -- she destroyed my heart. Destroyed it. It took a lot of self-convincing to let go of my bitterness and to decide to be happy for her. It took every last drop of my might to even talk to her.

About a week later, I found out I was pregnant too.

We spent three months having so much fun: comparing notes, discussing morning sickness, and being pregnant together. So when I had the miscarriage, I lost more than just the baby; I lost my battle buddy. My world stopped but hers kept going. The day they took my dead baby out of me, she had her first ultrasound and found out the sex. Every additional day of her pregnancy was a reminder of where I would've been if my baby had lived.

And for a long time, I hated her again.

Eventally I learned to be apathetic about her pregnancy. I could listen to her stories of the baby kicking and the ultrasounds and how her clothes didn't fit, but always with detachment. I had to shut my heart off in order to do the normal things that friends do, like be excited for a pregnancy.

But apathy is not the same thing as happiness. It took me a long time to be genuinely happy for her. Until I ended up pregnant again, with a thankfully-still-alive baby, I still had a very hard time with it.

And don't freak out: she knows all of this. She's been wonderful in letting me be honest.

I'm glad they had a baby; if a baby has to be born in this world and it can't be mine, hers is an excellent household to join. But it's also a horrifying reminder that I would be giving birth right now too. And I can't help but be jealous that something I worked so hard for, for so long, came so easily to her. I've tried hard to stamp out that jealousy, but it never quite extinguishes.

I tried hard to choose to be happy for her. I knitted for her baby and tried to trick myself into being happy. But the trick didn't seem to be working very well.

Then one day, I had this revelation about myself. I recognized what I wanted to feel when I was listening to a lecture on the history of ethics, in a discussion of the Socratic revolution. (Yes, I'm a dork; I listen to lectures on ethics for fun. Stick with me here.)

Socrates answer to Apollo's question "know thyself" is that the self is the soul, the inner self, the personality, the character. That's why no evil can ever happen to you, why bad people can't harm good people. Evil that happens to you comes from outside and can harm only your body. The only evil that can harm your very self comes from you: folly and vice. No one else can make you foolish or vicious, and no one else can make you wise or virtuous. Not society but you are the master of your fate; you are the captain of your soul.
So "know thyself" is the key that explains the paradox of evil. Evil cannot just happen to the true self; it can only be freely chosen by the self. And if happiness comes from goodness, from having a good self, then happiness cannot just happen either. It is chosen. We are responsible for our own happiness. And that's why no evil, or good for that matter, can just happen to a good man. Because the man equals the soul.

And to this day, I just have to keep reminding myself that I am what I am and I ain't what I ain't. Happiness is a conscious choice. But it's a hard thing to choose every day when you feel like your happiness is so fragile and other people's happiness is coming more easily to them than it comes to you.

But I just need to keep remembering another part of the lecture:

The first line of the most popular book in Buddhism, The Dhammapata, goes something like this: All that we are is determined by our thoughts. It begins where our thoughts begin, it moves where our thoughts move, it ends where our thoughts end. If we think thoughts like he hurt me, he stole from me, he is my enemy, our life and our destiny will follow that thought as the wheel follows the axle. And if we think thoughts like he cannot hurt me, only I can hurt myself, he cannot steal from me, he cannot be my enemy, only I can be my enemy, then our life and our destiny will follow those thoughts.

It's hard not to envy others' happiness. I have to work on it every day. It's gotten easier since I got pregnant, but that's not entirely satisfying. I don't want to be happy for her only because I now too am happy. That's crap.

Frankly, I'd say that the worst thing about it taking me a year and a half to get pregnant was that I had to confront all these horrible parts of my personality that had been hidden. I had to see how ugly I could get. I hate that, I hate that I had to see it. And I hate that I couldn't ever 100% make it go away. I worked hard on it, but I don't think I ever conquered it. I just got pregnant in the meantime and the thoughts went away. That's not satisfying.

Most people say that life's challenges made them a better person, that if they had to do it all over again, they would. I wouldn't. I have honestly hated the last year and a half of my life and would never choose to do it again. I think it made me a worse person. I was already judgmental about pregnancy and motherhood; this has made me ten times worse. I had strong opinions about who was fit to be parents two years ago, but now...watch out. You got pregnant accidentally? Get out of my face. You don't want to be pregnant? Shut up. You can't provide for your child? You're a disgrace.

And yes, even You got pregnant on your first night of marriage, after I'd been trying everything I could think of for nine months? And you get to keep your easy-as-pie baby while mine has to die? Go away for a while, please.

I'm a bitter, judgmental jerk. I had to learn this because I couldn't get pregnant.

I am my own worst enemy.

Conversely, I must sing the praises of my dear friend CaliValleyGirl. She missed out on a good part of pregnancy: sharing it with your friend. She was protective of my feelings and guarded with her stories because she didn't want to put any salt on my wounds. And she let me bitch and moan and say that I deserved to have a baby more than she did.

She was perfect, and if she's half as patient and understanding with this kid as she was with me, she's going to be an awesome mother.

So that's my 9-month learning experience. I would be giving birth this week if our original baby had stuck around, and CaliValleyGirl and I would be embarking on a new journey together. But now, instead, she goes before me.

I had to learn the pregnancy lessons the hard way. But at least CaliValleyGirl can learn the parenting lessons the hard way and then have good advice for me once I finally get to motherhood too.

Congrats to my friends, the new parents.

Posted by Sarah at 08:10 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack

June 10, 2008


Yesterday my mom, my friend, and I went on an outing and we stopped at a mom-and-pop restaurant that was a bit of a dive. I jokingly referred to it as a Choke and Puke, one of my favorite Smokey and the Bandit lines. We all three got the same thing, and the food was pretty good.

Yeah, we're all paying for it today. Choke and Puke, indeed.

I thought it was morning sickness at first, that karma had come around and hit me good for writing a blog post about how great I felt. But then my mom got sick. And a call to my friend revealed that she was no better off than we were.

Food-related sickness is no fun. And really no fun when you're pregnant and can't take anything for it.

I just hope it clears up by the time we have to drive to the airport tomorrow.

Posted by Sarah at 03:56 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

June 08, 2008


I can't sleep.
Which is a bad thing, because I have to get up early tomorrow.

Um, question: How are you supposed to remember how pregnant you are? I keep forgetting. People ask me what week I'm in, and I stutter. I have to keep looking at the calendar and counting. This is a helpful site.

Apparently tomorrow I start Week 9. Somebody help me remember that.

I think I can't sleep because I have a hundred things I want to talk about with my husband. I wrote him a long email about it all, but that's not the same thing as lying in bed griping and laughing together. I miss that tonight.

Also I have no morning sickness whatsoever. Last time it was mild, but it was something: food aversion and queasiness due to smells. This time, I wouldn't know I was pregnant if I didn't have the ultrasound pic on the fridge. No symptoms at all. That would make me nervous if I hadn't been morning sick while carrying a dead baby last year. Maybe my body reacts in the opposite way. Or the logical way, depending on how you look at it: dead baby = sick, live baby = fine.

Please, brain, knock it off. It's bedtime.

My husband sent a photo of his room in Iraq the other day. He's fast asleep right now, and I love that I can picture where he's sleeping. CaliValleyGirl told a story the other day about a guy getting his chest waxed (it's funny), and all of a sudden I thought, "Awww, my husband's chest..." and I missed him. I hadn't really taken the time yet to miss his physical presence, but just like that, I wanted to lay my head on his chest.

He's my Rushmore.

Oh geez, I feel like I'm channelling Sis B.
And now I seriously need to try to sleep.

Posted by Sarah at 11:21 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


My mom and I went to my FRG picnic this weekend. One of the young wives cheerily asked my mom which soldier she was married to. We laughed and said that it wasn't entirely possible. The girl referenced Demi Moore.

Holy crap, she thought my mom was a cougar.
I nearly hyperventilated.

Posted by Sarah at 07:28 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


I didn't read the full text of The McCain Doctrines when it came out, so I read it this morning. And this part just struck me:

A LOT OF McCAIN’S fellow veterans in Washington seem confounded by what they see as his obvious failure to absorb the lessons of Vietnam. Jack Murtha, the Pennsylvania congressman and decorated Vietnam vet who became an early and outspoken critic of the war, told me that watching Iraq unfold convinced him, for the first time, that American troops could never have prevailed in Vietnam, no matter how long they stayed. “These kinds of wars cannot be won militarily,” he said flatly. Another Democratic congressman with a Purple Heart, Mike Thompson of California, told me that promises of victory in Iraq sounded painfully familiar. “When I was in Vietnam, the members of Congress knew that we weren’t going to be there forever, that we would have to redeploy, and in the time between when they knew that and when we redeployed, a lot of boys were injured and killed,” Thompson said. “I think Senator McCain has been an outstanding public servant, but I think he’s wrong on this.”

In McCain’s mind, however, there is a different kind of symmetry linking Vietnam and Iraq. Talking to him about it, you come to understand that he has, indeed, applied lessons from the first war to the second — but they are the lessons that he learned not in combat or in the Hanoi Hilton but in the pages of the books he read at the National War College in the 1970s. To McCain, the first four years of the Iraq war, as prosecuted by the Bush administration, seem strikingly similar to the years in Vietnam before Creighton Abrams arrived on the scene.

I think it's pretty darned amazing that he can set aside his emotional attachment to Vietnam and look at it scholarly and theoretically. And after I read this segment, I did notice that it seems people like Kerry,Murtha, etc. still feel the emotions of Vietnam while John McCain has tried to study it, like one would study ancient military battles.

I just thought that was really interesting.

Posted by Sarah at 09:28 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


My mother and I have been jam-packing our days. Last night we were up late, so as I was lying in bed to go to sleep, I had a thought. I looked at the clock: 12:58. One month ago exactly, I was dropping my husband off to leave for deployment.

I can't believe it's been a month.

Time probably doesn't seem to have passed so quickly for him, but with finding out I was pregnant, learning the baby might not make it, driving to western New York and back, having an ultrasound, and gardening and nesting with my mother...I've been pretty preoccupied.

My mother leaves this week, so I am sure life will slow down to a snail's pace and I will start to get lonely. But I sure went full-steam-ahead through this first month. Pretty cool.

Posted by Sarah at 08:18 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

June 05, 2008


My husband will probably be mighty glad when my mom leaves because we've been spending money like a pimp with a week to live. In addition to gardening stuff, we've been buying baby things and maternity clothes.

And boy howdy, did I pick the right era to get pregnant in. Maternity clearance rack: $14.95. OK, let me just walk across the aisle to the juniors section. Shirts that look exactly like maternity: $4.97. This wacky style right now is perfect for chicks who want cheap maternity shirts. They're everywhere these days.

And we walked through the dresses section; man, I wish I'd had a camera on me. What in the holy heck is going on with dresses? It looked like the costume rack from Laugh In. Funky psychedelic nightmares on empire-waisted dresses that would barely cover your butt. Seriously, Twiggy's clothes are back in style. And half the patterns looked like something Mrs. Roper would wear.

My mom joked that I've bought more clothes for myself this week than I have since I got married. And she's probably right, considering the shirt I wore out to the store was something I got in 1998.

Husband, don't look at the credit card this week. Between the emergency trip to the vet and my shopping spree...well, it's a good thing you get your deployment benefits this month.

Posted by Sarah at 07:03 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


I read a comment from someone over at RWN that frustrated me. The commenter was very civil and tried to be constructive, but what he/she said just doesn't hold water.

In my humble opinion, it hurts our country when we group ourselves and others into groups of "conservatives" and "liberals." In my experience I have met a lot of liberals, and a lot of conservatives, and I seem to get along fine with all of them. So, instead of listening to some "study" that suggests liberals are Satan's army of darkness, why don't you just try to remember that they are people LIKE YOU who only believe what they believe because they think it is what is best for their country. Instead of attacking their character, attack their ideas, debate with them on why they believe war is bad, or why we should spend tax dollars on certain things. Attack their ideas of big government, but make sure you don't advocate a different form of big government (sorry, if you don't want to spend money on health care, education, and welfare, then you can't want to spend a lot of money on war, it's called hypocrisy, besides, anyone who wants to spend lots of money and have a big government is a lefty, not a righty, so you may be at the wrong page.)

He/she lost me right there at the end.

The Constitution of the United States of America "provides for the common defense" of the American people. And (if my understanding is correct) Article I Section 8 allows the federal government to raise money for a standing Army and Navy.

Again, if my understanding is correct, there is nowhere in the Constitution that allows the federal government to raise money for health care, education, and welfare. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

So this is where that commenter lost me. Those two things are not equal. Liberals wanting federal health care, education, and welfare is absolutely not the same thing as conservatives wanting military defense.

One is specifically laid out in the Constitution and even mentioned in the preamble. The other is not. There is no hypocrisy here.

It seems like a quibble with this comment, but I think it's actually a huge deal. This commenter thinks that this is comparing apples to apples, which I think shows a gross misunderstanding of the original intent of the federal government and our Constitution. It's disingenuous to say we want health care, you want missles; see, we all want to spend money.

And this, I think, is what causes a huge disconnect between the right and left. Those of us who try hard to conduct ourselves as Constitutionalists have a big problem with things that go beyond the scope of the original document. People like this commenter don't even seem to have any historical grounding in what the federal government can or should do. So anything goes, and funding war is the trade off for not funding education. (Which doesn't even hold water either, because, for example, the US spends more on education than defense.)

National defense is not even on the same plane as all these other extras that people think the government should fund. To paraphrase Jules, it ain't the same ballpark; it ain't even the same sport. It's a shame the commenter has no grasp of that.

Posted by Sarah at 10:43 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

June 04, 2008


I haven't been blogging because I've been so busy. My mother and I have been gardening like crazy. Or, I should say she has, because I am not allowed to lift anything heavier than 20 lbs. She is a stickler about this. So my poor 61-year-old mama has been dragging around bags of mulch and soil all week.

But I did carry something today that was a little heavier than 20 lbs. Charlie Pup had to go to the doggy emergency room. We think he got bit by a spider or bee or something, because his paw was all swollen and he was limping all day. They knocked him out and gave him meds and an IV. The vet was awesome, but our poor pup is still woozy and melancholy. Luckily he just got shaved down the other day, so checking his paws was a little easier.


I had a doctor visit this morning, and I told my husband about it in an email. Then I emailed about the dog. He immediately called home and wanted to know all about the pup's health. You see where the priorities lie, right? Heh.

Husband, the pup is doing fine. Watching a dog wake up from anesthesia is hilarious too.

Posted by Sarah at 07:57 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

June 03, 2008


Dear Bunker,

I can't believe it's been three years. I still miss your voice and wisdom, miss seeing you as my first comment of the day.

I was going to come see you for a round of golf. You let me off the hook golf-wise, but I am still coming. I plan to visit you this fall when SpouseBUZZ Live comes to San Antonio. I will be there to finally meet you for the first time.

I think you'd get a big kick out of my being pregnant. I know you'd be my biggest fan.

I miss you. None of us have forgotten you.


Posted by Sarah at 08:42 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

June 02, 2008


John Hawkins found a study about honesty among liberals and conservatives. Excerpt:

When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didn't deserve.

The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car.

This reminded me of someone from my past. My husband and I were friends with a guy in college who is a staunch Democrat. He got a job at Walmart while we were in school, and he routinely stole from the store while working there. He said it was OK to steal from corporations but not from mom-and-pop stores. He took all kinds of things while working there, from a winter hat to a beautiful pipe. It was pretty appalling.

The fact that he made a distinction -- that stealing from Walmart specifically was OK -- makes me think that his stealing was related to his worldview and political affiliation. I found the whole thing shocking and toyed with the idea of calling his boss and reporting him. Luckily, he quit the job before I had to make that hard decision.


CaliValleyGirl writes about her opposite experience.

For the record, I agree with John Hawkins that it's a slippery slope to saying that all liberals are less honest. But in this one situation with the person I knew, he really thought it was OK to steal from Walmart because they were a big corporation. That's a messed up relativistic attitude: the act of "stealing" doesn't change depending on who you're stealing from.

Posted by Sarah at 03:30 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

June 01, 2008


Now this, this I will buy if I have a girl.

Also, I don't like those scrunchie things either, but I thought that was the socially acceptable thing to do. I'm glad you guys all say otherwise.

Posted by Sarah at 11:39 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Dear Husband,

As you know, Charlie and I spent Memorial weekend with my father's family. In attendance were ten children under the age of ten. They were all dog owners, so they know how to behave around dogs, but they all own big dogs. So Charlie was a novelty to them; here was a dog they could pick up and carry everywhere. They dragged him all over the place, pulling him into the recliner with them and carrying him around the yard. And he took it, with no fussing whatsoever.

Not even when the girls dressed him up.


Yes, that's right: little girls put humiliating clothes and hats on your dog. And treated him like a baby doll.

This picture just screams "You gotta be kidding me."


But he took it like a man all weekend. I was so proud of him. A few times he tried to hide from the kids under the end table, but they grabbed him and dragged him back out.

And my one cousin brought her new 6-week-old baby to the house. She set his seat up in a room off the living room. Whenever the new baby would fuss, Charlie would get up and go over to him to make sure everything was OK. He'd come back to the middle of the living room like Lassie, as if to tell us, "Didn't you hear that baby? He needs help!"

I think he's going to do just fine with a new baby in our house.


Posted by Sarah at 10:06 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack