August 31, 2008


A great point from Morgan Freeberg:

I do NOT see any conservatives expressing newfound reluctance now that they have to have to vote for a girl. I have not seen so much of a speck of evidence for that. C'mon guys, we're supposed to be a bunch of d*mned sexists here. Doesn't living up to a reputation mean anything to anyone anymore?? Well, I'll live up to mine -- I'm an equal-opportunity sexist. Palin's a good running mate for McCain, but if somewhere there was a man who would make a better one, I'd say he made the wrong choice. There isn't. She was, as I said before, the best choice he could've made, and being a woman has nothing to do with being a good Vice President. I hope, while the Republicans gulp this intoxicating elixir of identity politics by the gallon, they don't get punch-drunk on it like the democrat party has been since the 1950's. But...they probably will. That's bad for the G.O.P., over the long term, because it diminishes what distinguishes them from the democrats. But good for the country if Palin shows the kind of leadership she's been showing in Alaska. That's a trade I'll take.

I have a dream, that one day our children and our children's children, will judge each other by the content of their character...and not by the configuration of their genitals.

He makes 11 other points in the post worth reading too.

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


I haven't been blogging because I have a friend in town this weekend. I also am unrelatedly kitten-sitting, which has been an interesting experience. Charlie desperately wants to wrestle this 4 lb kitten. And he even more desperately wants to eat her wet food.

For a laugh, read Palin Facts. My favorite was the Tom Brady one; my husband's was the Terminator one.

Posted by Sarah at 09:21 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 29, 2008


The husband logged in to chat to talk about Palin! So exciting to get to share that with him. He kept inserting Jonah Goldberg quotes into the chat. It was fun. And here's how we ended:

Sarah says:
  I love you and I am so excited about Palin and I'm glad you got to see me with brushed hair
Husband says:
  me too
Husband says:
  for both things
Husband says:
  mostly Palin though
Sarah says:
Husband says:
  I don't care what your hair looks like

He's the greatest and I miss him terribly.

Posted by Sarah at 12:40 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack


Sarah Palin?

I'm kinda doing that thing Cartman does where he runs in a circle and says "you guys, you guys, seriously."


Man, I wish I could call my husband.

Posted by Sarah at 11:14 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Watched Obama last night. The various authors at The Corner summed up everything I thought during the speech. VDH even said "Hope and Change Become Gloom and Doom" like I said yesterday. And overall, I thought that the speech was great, as long as you don't know anything else about Obama. But my laugh-out-loud moment came from this Jonah Goldberg gem:

And My Fellow Americans...
If we all work our hardest, we can make this the best yearbook ever!



Another good line from Five Feet of Fury:

I can't be the only one sick of hearing speech after speech out of the DNC, regaling America with cringe-inducing anecdotes about one-armed, one-legged, dying, dirt poor pathetic losers.
I'm getting sarcastic emails (and hearing similar comments on radio and around the web) saying: "Gee, here I thought I was living in America. After listening to the speeches this week, I realized I'm living in Rwanda and didn't even know it! Thank you, Democrats, for telling me what a pathetic failure of a nation I call home!"

Posted by Sarah at 08:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 28, 2008


I got to see my favorite mug in the whole wide world last night, for the first time in 3 1/2 months.


My man can dimple.
And he thinks he's Rick James, which cracks me up.

I told him that, up against that white wall, he looked like he was making a martyrdom video. Which prompted him to tie a sock around his head and start waving a book in the air. The man is hilarious.

Oh, and "show me your dimples" was followed by "show me your boobies." Snort.

Posted by Sarah at 10:15 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

August 27, 2008


I waited all afternoon to watch the DNC tonight. Once it started, I lasted ten minutes before I wondered why I was giving myself an ulcer sitting through this gloom and doom stuff. Hope is out the window; tonight all we've got is change. Tonight it's all about The End of the American Dream.

Bill Clinton said we need to "rebuild the American dream." Joe Biden said "the American dream is slipping away."

Biden talked about people who can't pay their bills and said, "These are common stories among middle-class people who've worked hard their whole life and played by the rules, on the promise that their tomorrows would be better than their yesterdays. That promise is the promise of America."

And I suppose Joe Biden just summed up why I will never be a Democrat.

The greatness of America is not that everyone's tomorrows will be better than their yesterdays. It's simply not; that's not something you can promise. The greatness of America is that everyone has the opportunity for better tomorrows. The chances are there for the taking, but it's not a promise.

The Democrats want to promise you that they will make all 300 million of our lives better. That's absurd. But Barack Obama is all about "the world as it should be." He'll promise you some ideal that can never be lived up to, something that doesn't exist. Some America where no one makes less than twenty bucks an hour and everyone is guaranteed a low interest rate on a McMansion. Where everyone's health care is free but no one's taxes go up except for Exxon executives'. An America of no trade offs, no opportunity costs at all. Flowers and sausages for everyone, once Obama's in power. A full 180 from the gloom and doom we live in now. Come January, life will be perfect.

Audacity, indeed.

Frankly, I'm disappointed that all the Democrats can talk about is changing America. If there's even a whiff of that at the Republican convention next week, I'm afraid I'll cry. The United States of America is already the greatest country on the planet. I'm weary of hearing speech after speech about how we need to change it. How it's "downright mean." How we need to set a better example for the world.

How the American dream is dead.

I don't want to change anything about our country. I don't want the government (spit) to promise me my American dream, to promise me the picket fence and microwave oven. I only want my government to assure me that all the dreams I could ever want are at my fingertips if I work hard enough and make good decisions. And then get the hell out of the way and let me work towards them.

That is the promise of America.

And that is why I'm not a Democrat.

Posted by Sarah at 11:08 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack


We're home, and we're tired.


Posted by Sarah at 03:00 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 25, 2008


The time has come to head back home. Let's hope my windshield survives.
I can't believe I scheduled my three-day drive home for the nights of the DNC. Dumb.

Oh, but there's something fun to look forward to when I get back: my husband just got his new laptop in the mail, which has a *webcam*! I get to see his dimpled face for the first time in three months.

And then it's almost time for SpouseBUZZ Live: Hampton Roads!

Posted by Sarah at 07:29 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

August 24, 2008


Obama vs. Baldilocks: "A blogger's African dad came here on the same airlift as Obama's dad. All similarities end there."

I've read Baldilocks since the beginning, which I guess means I've "known" her for about five years. I'm glad she got the publicity for her project, and I will be making a donation.

She's a cool blogger, and seeing this article just makes me feel bummed that I don't read her more often. There are so many good blogs out there that I simply don't find time for.

Posted by Sarah at 06:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Stuff like this makes me mad:

Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives. The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America. But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to. In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.

OK, let me take this piece by piece.

Many have discoursed on what an Obama victory could mean for America. We would finally be able to see our legacy of slavery, segregation, and racism in the rearview mirror. Our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives.

Hopefully? That would be nice, wouldn't it, to finally put all of that in the rearview mirror. If we could be guaranteed that in writing, I might be able to get behind a 4-year Obama presidency just so "our kids would grow up thinking of prejudice as a nonfactor in their lives." But I really don't think that will happen, even if he is elected. I don't expect that much to change overnight.

The rest of the world would embrace a less fearful and more open post-post-9/11 America.

The rest of the world can stuff it, frankly. This sentence is crap. Having a black president automatically makes us "less fearful and more open"? Gag.

But does it not follow that an Obama defeat would signify the opposite? If Obama loses, our children will grow up thinking of equal opportunity as a myth. His defeat would say that when handed a perfect opportunity to put the worst part of our history behind us, we chose not to.

Let me put this in bold so you don't miss it: No, it does not follow.

There is more to the presidency than healing the wounds of slavery. That's not why we're doing this. Or it freaking shouldn't be. And if your children only think that whites and blacks are equal when there's a black president, you're not doing a very good job of raising your children.

In this event, the world's judgment will be severe and inescapable: The United States had its day but, in the end, couldn't put its own self-interest ahead of its crazy irrationality over race.

Again, the rest of the world can stuff it. And what a ridiculous last sentence that is. The author actually claims that we should get this race stuff out of the way instead of trying to elect the best equipped president. Heaven forbid the US act in "its own self-interest" to elect a good leader for the entire country; instead, we should be setting an example to the rest of the world that we like black people and want to give them a turn at being in charge?

That's what this boils down to: it's the black guy's turn, dangit. He deserves this. If you vote for the white guy, you're mean and you love slavery and wish it were 1860s Georgia again. Now let us have the black guy so other countries don't hate us.

Yeah, other countries don't give a rip. Plus, they're just as racist as we are.

And they're gonna hate us no matter what we do, healing power of ChangeHope or not.

I am so tired of being an insinuated racist. I would've voted for Colin Powell. I would vote for Michael Steele or Larry Elder. I respect the hell out of Thomas Sowell (pbuh). I am absolutely not a racist.

But I ain't voting for Obama. It has nothing to do with his skin color.

My big annoyance is that this presidential race is turning into Halle Berry's Oscar win. It's viewed as Something We Just Have To Do To Make Things Fair.

If Democrats are gung-ho about Obama because of the content of his character, then good for them. And if he wins, he'll be my president and I will marvel at how history was made. But I'm sick and tired of reading articles about how I'm racist for not voting for him. It's condescending to him and it's infuriating for me.

For the last time: It is not racist to vote for the Republican.

Posted by Sarah at 06:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


I had lunch today with the one friend of mine who still lives in my hometown. He's the pinko commie who reads my blog.

We talked a lot about stuff and junk, and I think I have a lot in common with his wife and liked her very much. And we talked about the blog, and how he still reads it, and what we agree on and what we don't.

And most of it we mostly agreed on.

This puzzles me, because he says, "I'm a Democrat and I like X and Y but not Z." And I say, "I also like X and Y but not Z, but I'm a Republican." How does this happen? What is the disconnect that we're experiencing that makes us agree on several things but find ourselves in opposing camps?

Oh, and I totally teased him that I think he has a lot in common with me, a hatemonger right-wing nutjob.

But Sis B and I are like this too. She calls herself tree-hugging and I call myself a crackpot, but when we get down to brass tacks, we agree on a lot of things. Just not whether there's an R or a D next to our names.

And I'm glad to have friends like this, friends whose venn diagrams overlap mine. Friends who still like me even though I run a kooky nutjob website. Friends who can laugh about our differences and shrug at our similarities.

Friends who pop into my mind when I start to hate on Democrats.

But how can we agree on so much and consider ourselves on different sides of the aisle? I find that odd. I also find it makes me think more about Whittle's Theory of Political Reduction.

My pinko commie friend, I think you're actually a Republican. Bwahahaha. Take that!

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

August 23, 2008


I hate meeting new people or catching up with old acquaintances. It's the worst aspect of coming home for a visit.

I, she states emphatically, am not enterprising. My shame is that I would've made a terrible pioneer and probably would've never crossed the Atlantic for the New World. I don't like adventure, and I'm not the least bit entrepreneurial.

I am a born follower.

When our future children start school, I will get a job. Not a career, a job. I have no interest in a career whatsoever. I fancy myself a sort of Renaissance Lady who likes learning new things for the sake of learning, but I am not ambitious. I went to grad school merely to kill time while my husband finished school. I liked school and was good at it, but I can't imagine myself in any sort of career.

I say all of this to set the stage for the question I hate most: "So, what do you do?"

I don't do anything. I don't know how to answer that. I do a monkey's job two weekends a month. I don't make money. I have no job to speak of.

I was voted Most Likely To Be President by my graduating class. I have no idea why. I am certain I am a disappointment to them.

But I am fine with my life. My husband likes me the way I am, though I am sure he will enjoy the extra money once I get a job. I have no regrets at all about where I am in life. (Except if I'd known it would take more than two years to have a baby, I would've gotten some sort of job at this duty station.)

But any time I get the "What do you do?" question, I feel like I need to explain all of this. I feel like I need to prove I'm not a bum. Or I have to explain the two dead babies, so at least I have an excuse for not working.

Yesterday we ran into the mom of a kid I went to school with. "So, what do you do?" I fake laughed and said, "My husband is in the Army, so I follow him around for a living." She looked disappointed. "I just remember you were so successful in school."


I'm just typing this to get it off my chest. I hate that question. I hate not having an answer to it. I hate the look people give me when I don't have an answer for them.

Sometimes I answer "I'm a trophy wife" if I think I can get away with it.

I hate how the question makes me feel inadequate when really I am happy with my life. I shouldn't let it bother me, but it does.

I just need to hurry up and have a kid so I have an excuse for staying at home.

Posted by Sarah at 06:15 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack


I always seem to be on the road when big things happen. A few weeks ago, I got to my destination to find out that Russia had invaded Georgia and John Edwards was in hot water. I was also gone yesterday and came home to find out Obama has a VP.

A comment from Scrapiron over at Flopping Aces:

There goes the ‘D.C.’ insider rants.
There goes the he’s too ‘old’ rants.
There goes the ‘Bush’s’ war rants.

Hooray. I also saw at RWN via Gina Cobb that Biden got an F in ROTC class, so there's no chance for all the John Kerry Reporting For Duty, importance of military service stuff that the Dems trumpeted last time. Hard to out-awesome McCain in that category, even with an A in ROTC (which I got...heh.)

I've been reading everyone's refresher posts on all the dumb stuff Biden's said in the past few years, and I'm feeling pretty good here. Not cocky, but good. Better than I felt in '04, actually. And great once I read this gem:

Crowley's TNR profile concludes with a striking example of Biden's foreign policy sophistication. In the wake of 9/11, in a meeting with his staff, Biden experienced an epiphany:

Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his [Senate Foreign Relations] committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: "I'm groping here." Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. "Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran," Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

Now if McCain can keep himself from doing something asinine like picking Lieberman, we might be good to go.

Posted by Sarah at 04:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 22, 2008


Yesterday I had lunch with my best friend from high school. I hadn't seen her in almost nine years; the last time I saw her I wasn't even dating my husband yet. We reconnected via email around the time I started trying to have a baby. She has been a good friend to have in my life over the past two years; she had to undergo monstrous amounts of testing and IVF to have her two children, but the sting of infertility is still fresh with her. She didn't dust her hands off and get over it after her children came along, and she keenly understands my gripes and frustrations. And she lost her first baby, so there's that angle we share too.

In short, she makes me feel normal.

With my husband gone and babymaking out of the question, I haven't given much thought to the babies we lost or the one we'd like to have soon. It's been a non-issue for me as my HCG level steadily declined and there was no chance of getting pregnant again in the meantime. I haven't talked about the issue with anyone in a long time, but my visits with Guard Wife and my friend from high school, two women who've been in my shoes, brought the issue to the forefront for me again.

And this morning, the fertility clinic called me and said they have an opening when I get back, so I scheduled an appointment to see if we can figure out this crazy puzzle.

Time to get back on the horse.

Oh, and Darla and I are totally going to have triplets at the same time and move in together while our husbands are deployed. Take that, Jon and Kate.

Posted by Sarah at 12:35 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


So I made some calls re: the windshield. Naturally there are two hitches: both my sticker to get on post and my state inspection sticker are on the broken windshield. I can only get a new inspection sticker if I get the windshield replaced in my state, and since our vehicle was registered at our old post, I have to go in with umpteen documents to get a new sticker at our current post. Pain in the neck. So I decided to just wait until I get home to get the windshield replaced.

But would you even believe that, while driving today, another rock hit me and made another chip in the glass in a different spot? Thank heavens I hadn't already fixed it; I would've gone through the roof.

Don't ride with me, I'm a rock magnet.

Posted by Sarah at 12:10 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 21, 2008


Also via CG, Rachel Marsden's article on the politics of the Olympics:

Liberals even want to redistribute other people’s Olympic wealth. American swimmer Michael Phelps earned an unprecedented eight gold medals during the games, and is now possibly looking at endorsement deals of up to $100 million – all through years of hard work and sacrifice by him and his single-parent family. But in an interview this week, Ken Sunshine – flack to world class leftist “limousine liberati” luminaries like Michael Moore, Barbra Streisand, and the Dixie Chicks – said to CNN’s Campbell Brown: “I mean, we’re just talking about a lot of money. The Michael Phelps phenomenon is so unique and his story is so great, and he just fits the pattern perfectly that it almost isn’t fair. I think what makes more sense are the people that won one medal or two medals and compare them. And it’s a double standard. We need to make it fairer and it’s not.” In that case, I’d like to use Ken Sunshine’s posh home in New York’s Hamptons for half the year, please - because I don’t have one, and it isn’t fair.

When I read that, I was so shocked I went looking for more info. I found the video clip and also another blog entry at The Four Winds.

Did someone really actually say that we need to make the Olympics fairer? It's not fair that Phelps worked his entire life and devoted himself to being the best? You have to be kidding me. Michael Phelps deserves every dollar he can get out of the years and years of work he put into being the greatest Olympian ever. Good for him. I hope he makes enough money to backstroke in hundred dollar bills. He has to walk around on land looking like a frog stretched straight out; he deserves cash for his effort. Deal with it.

What is wrong with our world is people like this Ken Sunshine who think that it's only appropriate to win one medal. More than that is showing off. It looks bad. But you know what? Our American society is great because it doesn't have a concept of lagom, where you should be content to be mediocre and be happy with "just enough." We don't even have a translation for that Swedish word. And thank heavens we don't. We wouldn't have Michael Phelpses or Lance Armstrongs if we did.

Olympic swimming is about as fair as the world gets: a gun goes off, all the swimmers enter the water, and the person who works hardest and wants it most gets to the finish line first. There's no Olympic affirmative action, where the swimmer from Palestine gets to dive in first because (cue violins) he doesn't even have an Olympic-sized pool in his entire territory. Boo hoo.

More fair? I'd like to slap CNN in the mouth for even running such a ridiculous segment.

Michael Phelps, you rule. Enjoy your 8 medals and come back and win 9 next time.

(And don't even get me started on how they said product endorsements are sexist. The Four Winds answered that one perfectly.)

Posted by Sarah at 12:37 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


A good 2nd Amendment story via CG: Guns in the hands of good people:

I believe that those of us who grew up in the'60s and'70s have been lax in protecting each other and have passed this attitude on to our children. Some of us developed this complacent attitude that someone else, especially the government, is responsible for supporting us or solving our problems. But they are not.

Read the whole article about how the author had to take a life and the responses he's received after his story came out.

Posted by Sarah at 12:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 20, 2008


We were teasing my mother the other day that her eulogy is going to be a laugh riot. We have so much hilarious material on her, including the fact that this week I threw out some canned goods in her pantry that expired in 2001. And how she argues with her GPS: "No I should NOT turn left here!" And how she whistles under her breath all the time. Oh, the whistling, it drives me nuts.

She pouted and said that we can't wait for her to die so we can make fun of her.

But yesterday, I saw a side of my mother that I love. Through her work, she's befriended a family from Tanzania. We stopped by their house because my mother had done some school clothes shopping for their daughters. My mother is so entirely generous that way: she invites this family to Thanksgiving, she bought them a Christmas tree, and she's always popping in on them with new clothes and toys for their kids.

And I just love how these two little African girls climb all over my mother and call her Grandma. And my mom kisses them and reads books to them and loves on them to death. It is such a beautiful sight to see this little black girl throw her arms around my mother and shout, "Grandma!"

Don't worry, Mama. We'll include good stuff like that in your eulogy too.
Just please stop with the whistling.

Posted by Sarah at 03:41 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Absolutely what she said.

Posted by Sarah at 12:39 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


On Sunday, the final wedding event was the Walima, a sort of brunch reception that takes place after the consummation of the marriage. No, seriously, that’s what the speaker said at the thing. This event seems to be the groom’s family’s doing, and it ended up being fairly military. My friend just got out of the Army after being Special Forces, so his Army buddies were in their dress blues, and they performed the saber arch as my friend and his new wife arrived. My friend also wore his blues, and his wife again looked stunning in a bejewelled robin-egg blue dress.

Some of my friend’s cousins and friends got up and spoke a few words, like you would do at a toast during a Western wedding. I made some jokes about high school and what a good friend he’s been over the past 16 years. And then there was Pakistani food and merriment again.

After my little toast, several people came up to me to thank me for my husband’s service, which is always nice but especially nice to hear from the Muslim community. In fact, during the wedding ceremony on Saturday, when the officiant mentioned that my friend had served his country, it got a round of applause during the sermon. Those things just affirmed my good feelings for everyone I met this weekend.

And my friend asked the wedding photographer to take a photo of two of the guests: his cousin, who wears a traditional turban, dishdasha, and long beard, and his SF buddy in his dress blues. Everyone laughed as the two men symbolically shook hands and then threw their arms around each other for a photo.

So that was the wedding. As I bid my friend and his wife goodbye, I got tears in my eyes. I was overwhelmed by the emotions of the weekend, and I sadly don’t know when I’ll get to see them again. His entire family made me feel so welcome this week, and I hate to say goodbye to them.

But he’s kept in touch over the past 12 years, so I’m sure we can manage in the future.

What an awesome experience this whole event was. I am so glad that I came home for it and that I got an inside glimpse at the local Muslim community and their customs. It really gave me a perspective on some things I’ve only considered in the theoretical before.

(See also the Mehndi and the wedding posts.)

Posted by Sarah at 10:09 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Instapundit: Those Sadly Ill-Informed Foreigners

Posted by Sarah at 09:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 19, 2008


Until this weekend, I never really thought much about how bride-centric a Western wedding is. The Seinfeld joke -- "A wedding is like the joining together of a beautiful, glowing bride and some guy. The tuxedo is a wedding safety device, created by women because they know that men are undependable. So in case the groom chickens out, everybody just takes one step over, and the ceremony continues." -- is basically pretty true. The groom just stands there and all eyes are on the bride.

My first thought was that this Muslim wedding was going to be overly groom-centric. But it ended up being pretty egalitarian.

To kick off the ceremony, there's a groom entrance. I think I rate this as one of the all-time most awesome things I've ever seen. My friend came in to so much fanfare and jubilation, you'd think the King of Zamunda just showed up. There was great triumphant music, there was a man leading the procession playing the drum, there was clapping and ululating, and every family member and male friend invitee esorted my friend down the aisle.


Once he got to the stage, it was time for the bride's entrance. Her procession was beautiful and solemn, with sweet bridal music. She was escorted by her female relatives with rose petals and candles. You could tell the immensity of it all was getting to her, for she trembled as she walked. It was so emotional.

And she looked so beautiful I can't even do her justice. She wore a dress of deep purples and magenta with gold embroidery. She was covered head to toe with flowers, in a bouquet and leis and such, and had henna decorations from her elbows to her fingertips. And she's a beautiful girl on a regular day, so she was breathtaking on the most beautiful day of her life.

The ceremony began, and the officiant was the same man who married my friend's parents so many years ago. He spoke at length about marriage, "for the benefit of those attendees who are at their first Muslim wedding." My friend whispered, "Table 13," and we giggled; we were the non-Muslim table: friends from school and the Army.

I was frankly surprised by the short "sermon" he gave about marriage. The whole thing was about equality, about how men and women are equal in the marriage and how important this is. I tried very hard to remember what was said so I could look it up later. I almost wish I'd taken notes! But I know these ayah were quoted:

  • Fear Allah regarding women. Verily you have married them with the trust of Allah, and made their bodies lawful with the word of Allah. You have got (rights) over them, and they have got (rights) over you in respect of their food and clothing according to your means.
  • They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them.

And he also explained the mahr, the monetary gift my friend has to give to his new wife. Table 13 was again giggling that she's a doctor and he's a new law student right out of the Army, so she caught him at a poor time in his life for giving her money.

The officiant then recited the oath with my friend and then with his new wife, and they were pronounced married. And I cried, of course.

Then they broke for evening prayer, at which point I bought batteries, and returned to cut the cake and serve dinner. I was again surprised that there was dancing after dinner; I didn't expect booty-shaking at a Muslim wedding. But there was, and my friend is a huge ham, so he was out there dragging everyone on to the dance floor.

Around midnight, the couple proceeded to their limo. My friend's new wife ceremoniously and tearily said goodbye to her parents, and then my grinning friend picked her up, tossed her into the back of the car, and whisked her away.


I already mentioned that I was surprised at how egalitarian the ceremony was. I guess I expected the bride to be "given" to the groom, but I didn't feel that's what happened. And, no joke, the bride is a doctor, for heaven's sake, so it's not like she's expected to be barefoot and pregnant. Shoot, my own marriage is probably more chauvinistic than theirs will be. So that was something I noted.

Another thing that struck me, that I'm not sure how to put into words, was the concept of chastity. Both my friend and his new wife are devoted Muslims. They never dated as teens, I am certain they'd never kissed anyone before, and when the DJ announced "their first dance," it was literally their first dance. There's no kissing at a Muslim wedding, so when they were pronounced man and wife, they just stood and smiled. But when they left the stage, my friend took his new wife's hand, probably for the first time. It was such a loving and sweet entwining of the fingers.

I've always thought the concept of chastity to be outdated and overrated. But at this wedding, I definitely developed an appreciation for what that means. What it means to give yourself entirely to your spouse. How electric their first dance must've been. And how, when the officiant spoke of marital fidelity, I know that there is not a chance on this green earth that my friend will ever disrespect his new wife.

A few days before the wedding when I stopped by their house to pick up my clothes, my friend's father asked what advice I would give as a seasoned wife of six years. My friend griped, "Dad, you're making it sound like we need advice, like we're going to have problems." I laughed and said that I have no doubts that my friend will be as happily married as I am. I said my only advice is to love your spouse more than you love yourself. If you put her feelings first, and she does the same for you, you'll never have problems. It's worked for my marriage. But my friend doesn't really need that advice; he's the type of man who is such a kind and caring friend that I am sure he will blow us all out of the water with the kind of husband he will be.

His wife is a very lucky girl. And I couldn't be happier for both of them.

(See also the Mehndi and the Walima posts.)

Posted by Sarah at 11:12 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 18, 2008


Oh how I wish this were made up. I really do.

I don't know that I can come up with one that's that bad. I once met a Canadian my age who'd never heard of the Berlin Wall. I said, "Did you not watch any TV in 1989?"

Shoot, I was embarrassed during the Olympics opening ceremony when I didn't know where to find countries like Benin or Comoros. I felt like a dunce.

Every time I feel like I'm on the lower half of the intelligence bell curve, something reminds me that maybe I'm a little too hard on myself.

Posted by Sarah at 12:07 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


AirForceWife and I have the same camera, and last time we were together we were lamenting how it sucks batteries. I came into town with a set of batteries in the camera and an extra pair. I cycled through all of those during the Mehndi alone.

So on my way out of town on Friday, I stopped at the Walmart to buy batteries. My husband called while I was in the self-checkout, and I stupidly walked out of the store without my bag of purchases. It didn't even sink in until I got to Chicago that the batteries were nowhere to be found.

Next stop was a corner store near my friend's house the day of the wedding. I bought a four-pack and we headed to the ceremony. I had enough battery power left on the ones from the Mehndi to take one photo of the venue.


Right before the ceremony started, I put the new batteries in the camera: nothing. Not even enough juice to turn the camera on. I bet they'd been sitting in that corner store for years.

So here I am at the most beautiful and colorful and camera-worthy wedding I'll ever attend...with no batteries.

Luckily, Muslim weddings have a break in the middle for evening prayer. During this break, I went to the hotel front desk, asking if they have a gift shop. They do, but it was out of batteries. However, the nice manager went off in search of a pair of batteries owned by the hotel. He brought me two AAs and I handed him some dollar bills and raced back to the wedding.

And thank heavens those batteries lasted through the wedding and the Walima.

More on that later. I'm on my way to Walmart. I called them from Chicago to see if they'd found my forgotten bag, and they said that if I bring my receipt, they will give me another pack of batteries. Three cheers for awesome customer service.

Posted by Sarah at 10:20 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 17, 2008


Seems to me out here,
it's all about the sky.
Clouds are pure art,
migrant birds flying by.
   --Allette Brooks

Apparently I'm supposed to be able to dodge flying rocks while driving. What? Phone or no phone, how in the heck was I supposed to do that?

And I was on a bluetooth, people.

But I threw caution to the wind when I noticed what a beautiful day it was. I love the Midwest so much that my heart grows two sizes when I drive here. You can take your mountains and oceans; I'll take my corn and clouds.

So I pulled out my camera and started indiscriminately snapping pictures of the road without looking through the viewfinder or bothering to focus. I took a ton, and a few actually came out great.

I called AWTM and told her I was thinking of her. Apparently she also drives through the Midwest with a camera in hand.

She challenged me to a Plains-Off.





AWTM, I'll see you your barn pic and raise you a farm plus a big honkin' American flag.


Also, you mentioned cows. I managed to snap some.


Man, I love driving in this state. What a view. Horizon as far as the eye can see.

It's home.

Oh, and a photo of the new crack in my windshield, for good measure.


Posted by Sarah at 10:55 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 16, 2008


About ten minutes into my trip towards Chicago yesterday, I was on the phone with CaliValleyGirl and winced as a rock hit my windshield. Thirty seconds later, a 10-inch crack made its way across the glass. Son of a. The last time we drove home, we hit a crow. This time I will need a new windshield when I get back. It's too expensive to travel.

Posted by Sarah at 11:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 15, 2008


So the reason I came home now, and the reason I've been furiously making this afghan, is because a good friend of mine from high school is getting married this weekend.

And it's not just any wedding, from a blogger's standpoint: it's a Muslim wedding. A chance for learning. And pictures!

At the beginning of the week, I went to my friend's house to borrow some of his mother's clothing for the events. We had a little fashion show in her bedroom, and my friend's father said that I looked beautiful and then joked to his son, "How did you not marry this one?" My friend's mother then quipped, "You know he can have four..." We all cracked up. I thought it was an honor that they even joked about it; later when I told my husband, he grumped, "He can't have four in this country!" He didn't think the scheming to steal his wife was as funny as I did.

Last night I went to the first of the events, the Mehndi celebration. It's a party where the bride shows up in her bridal henna, and after dinner the men get kicked out and the women dance the night away.

But no one told me about keeping "Pakistani time." The invitation said 6 PM, so I showed up at 5:50. Yeah, no one was there yet. In fact, the thing didn't kick off until about 7:30. Wow.

After all of the traditions for the bride and groom, one of the ladies asked if I'd like some henna. But she didn't have the special henna tools, so she did the best she could with a toothpick. Later someone else showed up with the tool, but by that point my ink was already setting, so they did what they could to encorporate the first design into the second. Which turned into a funny spiderwebish design. I've been laughing that they made me into Pakistani Spiderman.


I loved looking at all the different traditional clothing last night, and the get-up I had on was actually pretty comfortable. Except for the scarf, which I was wrestling like a python all night. One woman actually thought I was Pakistani, but I joked that a real Pakistani wouldn't be choking on her scarf.

I also found the celebration fascinating when the men left and the women let their hair down...literally. I realized that all I'd ever seen of my friend's sister was her face and hands; I'd never even seen her ears before! I thought a lot about the headscarf last night, and I think in the end I gained a better appreciation for it and simultaneously came up with more puzzling questions about it. I was fascinated to see the most demure and covered woman pull off her scarf and shake her Shakira hips as soon as the men left. The juxtaposition was something to behold. And after all the shaking and the dancing, they wrapped their hair back up and said goodnight.

I know the headscarf is supposed to keep the woman's beauty for her husband alone, but I found it just made me insanely curious. Perhaps men in that culture are just used to it, but every woman I looked at, I was just dying to know what she looked like under all that cloth. It made me more curious about the women, not less. And I'm a 30 year old woman, not a teenage boy; it must drive them batty. Is that a good thing?

Of course, last night I was having a bad hair day, so I would've given anything for a headscarf.

The Mehndi was a lot of fun and very interesting. I am looking forward to the wedding this weekend. I am leaving for Chicago in about an hour, so more when I return.

(See also the wedding and the Walima posts.)

Posted by Sarah at 10:04 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack

August 13, 2008


SpouseBUZZ post: The Guilt

Posted by Sarah at 10:22 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


A throwaway line from a good article about the bombing of Hiroshima:

Truman, president for less than 3 months and in the dark about the Manhattan Project during his entire vice presidency, was being given advice from every corner on how to end the war.

Wow. The compartmentalization these men must maintain.
I could never be president.

Posted by Sarah at 04:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


An observation from my trip: Maybe little girls aren't so bad.

I realized that Guard Wife lives on my route home, so ol' Charlie and I stayed the night with her on the road trip. Our arrival coincided with her daughter's 5th birthday party. I was mentally thinking, "What did I agree to do?", but the party was charming and funny.

And Guard Wife's two daughters never made a bicker or a peep the whole time I was there. No fussing, no whining, no "she's hitting me!" They really upped the bar for me on child behavior. Maybe little girls might be up my alley.

Ha, now I just know Guard Wife will mess up her dynamic by adding a boy to the mix!

Posted by Sarah at 09:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 12, 2008


I came across an oldy but a goody, an ollld blog post Varifrank wrote during the last election cycle. Still relevant.

This next election is not the last election, just the next one in the line. There will be another in 2 years, and another 2 years after than and so on and so forth. Let's knock this crap off that "this is the most important election in our lifetimes"; they are all important. Just vote. Do a reasonably good job of knowing the issues, accept people who take a different view than you and then go take up rock polishing or go knit sweaters for the other 23 months in between the election season. Let's all go find a hobbies to keep us busy for Gods' sake.

The founding fathers really meant for us to do other things besides talk about tax rates every damn day of the year. You want to change the employment situation, then get a job, if you've got one help someone else. Start with your family and work your way out to friends, and on to acquiantances and then on to strangers. Got too much and feel guilty about it? then give somebody something you dont need. You want to do something about education? then go volunteer for lunchroom duty at the local elementary school.

Stop expecting these half-wit lawyers in Washington to improve your lives. You can improve your life all by yourself, you don't need John Edwards to sue someone for you to get a better life.

Posted by Sarah at 07:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 11, 2008


I just realized that my husband and I have to do this funny thing when we write emails and letters while he's deployed. We have so many inside jokes and quotes from animated shows, so we have to write in the parenthetical voice clues. Like I have to write: Weak, lame (Cartman voice). Or, as I just wrote in a letter an hour ago: I got this in Parade Magazine (Stewie voice). And my husband just sent me this: I'm from the future! (Reno 911 voice)

I find it hilarious that we both do this so often. It also reminds me of something my French "cousin" said when he lived in the US. My brother asked him what the hardest part about making friends is, and he replied that Americans are constantly quoting things. We drop quotes from songs and movies and The Simpsons into everything. He often had a hard time following conversations because it would take him a while to realize a quote was being made. So my brothers and I tried to take him on a crash course of quotable stuff, which at the time included Friday and Swingers. It was hilarious.

My cousin would have serious trouble hanging out with my husband and me. Our relationship is one big string of quotes.

I'm super serial (Al Gore voice).

Posted by Sarah at 06:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Hilarity, via Chuck.


Posted by Sarah at 03:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The dog and I spent 15 hours in the car over the weekend, so we settled in with a book on tape. Michael Crichton's Next didn't get spectacular reviews, but I found it unabridged at the library and thought that it would be good for the car.

After about eight hours of listening, I was starting to get really uneasy.

What I love about Crichton is that he always takes something we can do scientifically and then extrapolates it into the future to the ethical concerns. And yes, I am seriously nervewracked by some of the issues he raised. How about a woman who tracks down her biological father, a man who donated sperm 30 years prior, and says she's suing him because he knew at the time he donated sperm that he was addicted to cocaine, so he passed on his genes for addiction to her? Or what about a scientist getting sued because the meds he gave a woman didn't work, because he couldn't provide documentation that he gave her a placebo?

I have no problem with the technology. I have no problem with people profiting from creating the technology. I do have a serious problem with out litigious society and the ethics dilemmas this stuff will create. We're already sue-happy; just wait until you can sue your parents for procreating and passing along "faulty" genes.

I still have a couple more hours of listening to do, but as usual, Crichton is making me queasy. He's good at that.

Posted by Sarah at 03:00 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

August 10, 2008


Quote of the day.

There had been reports that Iran would compete against Israel at these Olympic Games for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The Iranian National Olympic Committee (INOC) had said that as there was "no face-to-face situation" in swimming there would be no problem in attending the competition.

"Alirezaei swims in lane one and the representative of the Zionist regime (Israel) in lane seven, so they will not face each other," INOC secretary Ali Kafashian told ISNA news agency prior to the race.

Racists crack me up.

Also, something that would've been so skeezy if the last president had done it is so cute when this one does.

Posted by Sarah at 08:25 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

August 08, 2008


I'm headed out this morning for a trip home. As my dad always says before a road trip, "It's 902 miles to Illinois; we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." (Hey, that's one of our Dadisms, like we talked about last night with Sherman Baldwin.)

More when I get there. Midwestside til I die, baby!

Posted by Sarah at 07:26 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack

August 07, 2008


Elena did try to offer constructive advice in her comment on this post: "What are the positive things that Republicans are doing? Do you have any that you can keep on hand to turn a conversation around?" It's not a terrible idea.

But I agree with Blueshift (awww, a reader who's been with me since the beginning, and whose rare comment always makes me smile) that it might not exactly work:

What I would consider to be a positive thing like reducing the size of government, most liberals would consider a bad thing, so its not a matter of talking about positives of each party.

A bare positive for republicans is that they have staunchly defended the 2nd amendment as an individual right, and that has paid off in the SCOTUS Heller decision. This would also not be viewed as a positive to most liberals.

The problem is trying to come at things with Common Ground. I've written about this before.

I have no problem disagreeing on the details with someone as long as our basic assumptions are similar. Maybe you don't think we should stay in Iraq for longer than necessary, or maybe you think heath care issues are just as important as national security, or maybe you think that WMDs are a big deal and shouldn't have been overemphasized in the context for war, but as long as we're on the same page that 1) Bush is not Hitler and 2) we are engaged in a world war against terrorism, then I feel perfectly happy hashing out the details with you. I need what Lileks calls middle ground.

The problem is that, where's the middle ground in saying that Republicans are against interracial marriage? We could go back and forth with yes-they-are, no-they're-not all day, but when we're approaching life with such different basic assumptions, it's hard to have a real conversation.

And, this seems to keep coming up, this strawman that I think liberals are a caricature. I don't really think so. I hate hippies with a Cartman passion, but in my life, hippies are not the face of liberalism. I don't even know any hippies anymore; this is the Army, for pete's sake. Every liberal I meet wears the same uniform as my husband, so they're not easily identifiable by patchouli or a Che shirt. Honestly, I think they're just regular people who happen to hold vastly different underlying assumptions than I do. I feel like Republicans end up as the caricature in society: The rich fat white man stuff. The racist stuff. The Bible-thumping stuff. I am none of those things. And I get sick and tired of hearing that everyone like me hates gays and minorities.

Deskmerc (also a long-timer, also a smile-inducer) commented:

Elena: Ah! I see what you are saying. "Keep a mental list of good Republican accomplishments and things they stand for in case of political discussion".

That wouldn't work too well, in my cynical opinion. (I'm neither Republican or Democrat, I'm told my political stances are "confused", even by libertarians)

The problem, as I see it, is too many people operate their daily lives with preconceptions and assumptions about themselves, other people, and the world in general, and view things through a rather rigid lens, all the time, except in very narrow instances. (These instances are usually within their profession or area of expertise) In my opinion, this rigidity of thought limits discourse greatly, because something that challenges these preconceptions would require that they set aside something they cherish, and the first reflex is to disregard the conflicting information and just move on. You can't have a coherent conversation that way.

If you're talking to someone who already thinks that all Republicans are racists, I'm not sure you're going to make much headway. Or if, like Emily, someone tells you that "there are 'only a few countries in the 20th century that have invaded unilaterally; Nazi Germany and us in Iraq, twice,'" well, where do you go with that?

Lileks always says it better than anyone:

we live in an era of non-contiguous information streams. I believe one thing; someone else believes another – and the bedrock assumptions are utterly contradictory. This is what drives me nuts about discussing current events with some people. It’s like discussing the Apollo program with people who think it was all faked, or discussing archeology with those who believe the world is six thousand years old. I think the Iraq Campaign was part of a broad war against Islamicist fascism and the states that enable it; others think it’s all about oil and Halliburton jerking the strings of a Jeebus puppet. No. Middle. Ground.

Which brings me meandering back to Elena. It's a good idea, to have Talking Points about why I'm a Republican, but I'm afraid it would be useless. (And, for the record, like Deskmerc and others, I don't really squarely fit into the Republican Party. I mostly fall Libertarian too. I agree far more often with Neal Boortz and Penn Jillette than I do with Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly. But, I choose to label myself Republican because I refuse to let it remain the dirty word that it is. I self-identify so I can try to help rub the stink off, what little effect I may have. Also, I get annoyed when people try too hard to pretend that we don't have a two-party system. I scoff at douchy Dems who must point out that they're actually Independents™, and I often feel the same way about people who doth protest too much that they're not Republicans.)

My mother thinks that my new-found gun love is because of the Army. It's not. All things being equal, if my husband weren't in the Army and I had found Bill Whittle's essay on Freedom, I would still feel the same way. It just resonated with me, as a Self-Evident Truth. But if you don't feel that way, if you don't believe that the Second Amendment is in many ways more important than the First, then you're never going to come to Middle Ground on a discussion of gun laws. And you'll get the discord and disconnect I got with my friend on this very issue. While I feel my heart soar when I talk about the Second Amendment, if someone else's reaction is the idea that, as my college Political Science professor said, the Second Amendment was a huge mistake, then all the Talking Points in the world about the great things I think the Republicans have done and stand for are useless.

And that's reciprocal, mind you. Democrat Talking Points leave me scratching my head too. But I feel like they get a fairer shake because they get to have all the "nice" positions. Free health care for everyone and a helping hand for minorities and the right to choose and all sorts of things that sound good and friendly. Despite the fact that they often don't actually work. But who needs results when you can sound "nice"? Republican positions of personal responsibility and a level playing field for everyone and trickle-down economics, those don't have the "nice" ring to them. The life-ain't-fair and suck-it-up stuff may be true, but people seem to like "nice" over "true." Which is why no Democrat I'm talking to will ever get warm and fuzzy to hear me say that affirmative action is outdated, that it's not doing minorities any favors to rig the system, and that the world should be every man for himself based on the content of his character. Even though that's Martin Luther freaking King's position. It still doesn't come off sounding nice.

But just exactly how is it that the party that does sound most like MLK on the issue -- that jobs should be given based on content of character instead of the color of skin -- is the party always labeled as racist?

So what does the Right have going for itself? Responsibility. Personal responsibility is probably the defining feature of why I find myself on the Right and the most important compass for my life. But, you know, Whittle said, "Freedom is the Platinum Visa card. We all want one. Responsibility is the credit rating." I just don't know if that Talking Point is going to win me any converts.

Posted by Sarah at 01:41 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 06, 2008


I finally got around to watching this week's Army Wives. There's the obligatory TV scene where the daughter wants to date a boy, so she has to bring him home to get the third degree from her parents. My parents never behaved this way. Maybe it was because they already knew all my friends from sports and stuff at school, but we never had to have one of those TV dinners that sounds like an interview: "So, what are your plans after high school?" Did you? Is this really what normal families do, or just families on TV?

Oh, and the boyfriend starts talking about Jack Kerouac. Can I just tell you how overrated I think On the Road is? Gag me. Thus I loved the scene in Freaks and Geeks when Kim Kelly said, "I hated the book, alright? I have no idea what it's about, and the writer was clearly on drugs when he wrote it. I mean, it just went on and on and on like it was written in a total hurry. If I handed in something like this, there's no way I'd get a good grade on it, I mean, it's boring and it's unorganized, and I only read 30 pages of it anyway." (Found at 5:47 in this youtube.) Perfect summary of that crappy book.

I don't know how parents keep from rolling their eyes when high schoolers try to act mature. I don't think I'll be very good at it. I have told my mother recently that she was a good mom for not belittling me when I thought something was The Biggest Drama Ever. I'm afraid I'm gonna laugh at my kid someday.

Posted by Sarah at 05:18 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 05, 2008


I am having such a hard time getting off the computer. I mean, I just categorically deny that it is already 10:30. It can't be. Where did today go? Oh, right, the car dealership. Where I stood and drank mediocre coffee and then gave them six hundred bucks. Ugh. And the three hours I spent on that long post. I didn't knit a single stitch today. I refuse to go to bed yet, even though I'm exhausted.

Posted by Sarah at 10:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Where on earth to start this post? I guess I'll start here:

I've also managed to confirm through talking to a few other conservative women I know who also live in liberal communities that they too keep their mouths shut about their politics. All of us share stories about listening to anti-Bush tirades at parties without rebutting them, or of smiling wanly at yet another laugh-a-minute comparison between Bush and a puppet, or Bush and a chimpanzee, or Bush and a Southern slave master, etc. We all feel that, while it's important that we vote conservatively so that larger issues are resolved in a conservative way, it's equally important that, to the extent we live in a community, we espouse those community norms.

When Mary Katherine Ham wanted to videoblog me at the last Milblogs conference, I made her laugh by saying that I blog so I don't have to talk. I don't do well in face-to-face discussion of current events and politics. I am not quick-witted or easily able to recall facts I've read. I avoid it. I also, like Tim, think that religion and politics are not for polite company. So I never ever ever ever bring up things that I think might be controversial. Never.

So I'm always amazed when other people do it.

Recently I was introduced to a friend of a friend. The conversation twisted and turned (unimportantly, so I won't relay all the details) until I said something about a diluted gene pool until we're all related to each other. This person, whom I'd known for all of 20 minutes, said, "Not if the right-wing Republicans have anything to say about it."

Yep, upside-down face.

I asked him to explain what he meant, because I really didn't know what he was saying. He went on to explain that, since Republicans oppose immigration and interracial marriage, if they remain in power, we certainly won't all end up related to each other.

And I'm not quick-witted, so I sat there with my mouth hanging open for a second, before I finally said, "I don't believe that's true; do you really believe that?" The other people in the room nodded in agreement, and the conversation moved on to other topics before my brain could even process what had just happened.

If I hadn't just felt like I'd been blindsided, I might've pointed out that I had two best friends in Germany, one who has a black husband and the other just adopted a mixed-race baby. And they're both Republicans. We're not exactly in sync with this guy's view of our party.

I couldn't shake the feeling for a long time of how utterly offended I felt at that moment. This person didn't know me, knew nothing about my values or voting habits, and yet chose to completely smear an entire 50% of the public. What on earth possessed him to do that? What made him so darned certain that I belonged on the same side as he does?

Or did he just not care?

I know the military is supposed to be overwhelmingly conservative, and still I would never dream of assuming that the people around me share my worldview. In fact, there were only two other captains in my husband's language class: one was a limousine liberal who lectures anyone who will sit still for five minutes on Pastafarianism, and the other gave a report on how the US should go through with nuclear disarmament in order to get Iran to. So I don't even think that my experiences in the Army have been that drastically conservative. Once I had to argue with an officer that Cuba was not in fact paradise on earth, for pete's sake.

So even though I now have all of you -- and how I heart you all -- and I'm no longer as lonely as I was five years ago when I wrote A Long Time Coming and The Meaning of a Word, and certainly not as lonely as I felt listening to a college audience sneer at Dinesh D'Souza, I'm still kind of a closet conservative when it comes to public life.

Well, maybe that's not really a true statement. I'd like to think it's just that I possess a little thing called Tact, and that it makes me a good person to not go around Proclaiming Things, you know, like all Republicans are racists who want to preserve white bloodlines.

But this brings us full circle to something I blog about regularly as The Dilemma. It boils down to me to a short passage from Carl Sagan:

Imagine that you enter a big-city taxicab and the moment you get settled in, the driver begins a harangue about the supposed inequities and inferiorities of another ethnic group. Is your best course to keep quiet, bearing in mind that silence conveys assent? Or is it your moral responsibility to argue with him, to express outrage, even to leave the cab -- because you know that every silent assent will encourage him next time, and every vigorous dissent will cause him next time to think twice?

Neo-neocon (which incidentally is where I began this link journey I've been on all day long) believes we must give these cab drivers "vigorous dissent":

The temptation to “pass” for liberal is very great. I understand; I do. I even feel your pain.

But I have come to believe that the costs of keeping silent are much greater than the costs of speaking up—both for Bookworm and her fellow closet Republicans, and for our country. And yes, even for her liberal friends.

The Bookworm she speaks of is the author of the quote that began this post, as well as this:

I know I should be speaking out when I hear statements such as these, but the sad fact is that I like these people. Barring their monomaniacal animosity towards Bush and the Republicans, they’re otherwise very nice: they’re hard workers, loving parents, good neighbors and helpful and reliable friends. Being the social creature that I am, I don’t want with one word (”Republican”) to turn these friendships upside down and inside out.

Sigh. I understand. And that's why, four years after reading The Demon-Haunted World, I am still struggling with The Dilemma. And why I had nothing ready as a comeback when I heard someone completely tar and feather me as a racist by association.

I've talked to CaliValleyGirl about this concept before, that someone has to be the vanguard, someone has to put a positive face on Republicans. Maybe it should be me? Maybe it should be the girl who once got told that she couldn't possibly be a Republican because she's so open-minded and curious about the world. Funny, I don't seem like a hatemonger.

But I still don't want to come out of the closet. On the internet is bad enough.


By the way, when CaliValleyGirl first read my blog, she said it was like she could've written it herself. Cali, can we invite Lissa to our club? Because I absolutely could've written this post.

Which begs the question . . . why am I doing it in this blog???

Because I’m tired of reading all sorts of things I agree with and then not being able to form my own, coherent opinion on it. Because I need to be more honest, instead of relying on assumptions. Because I need help figuring out what I believe in, and why, and then articulating it. Because as things go right now, I assume that my friends and family wouldn’t agree with any of my viewpoints, so I keep them to myself — where they do not get developed OR challenged. And that’s not useful.

Finally, because I need to grow a thicker skin. When I said in my “About” page that I’m a professional middle child, I meant it. I pride myself on my “schmoozing” skills, in that I can get along with and entertain just about anybody. But, conversely, I quake when writing things that I *know* my nearest and dearest think are wrong, wrong, wrong. I don’t like rocking the boat, and I’m pretty thin-skinned when it comes to their approval.

Read the whole thing, and then bookmark her.

And after all this time, and *hours* of reading and writing, I am absolutely no closer to solving The Dilemma.

But I got a big blog post out of it.

Posted by Sarah at 08:24 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack

August 03, 2008


When I was visiting my grandparents, my dad's brothers were going on and on about Bruce Dern. I think it's funny when my dad's brothers get a hair up their butts about something. So one uncle lent me The Cowboys to watch. Best John Wayne movie I've ever seen. And my uncles were right: Bruce Dern is the Ultimate Bad Guy. Heaven help the boy who encounters Bruce Dern.

I couldn't help but think about the responsibilities and rewards given to these boys. They were all 12-15 years old and were gone from home all summer to drive cattle 400 miles. How many parents let their sons go four miles from their house these days without knowing exactly where they are? Heck, the first thing John Wayne did to test their courage was to make them all ride an untamed bucking horse. Imagine sending your 13-year-old son off for summer work with your family's best horse and pistol.

I also couldn't help but imagine my uncles watching this movie. They all would've been a little younger than the boys on the cattle drive when the movie came out. I wonder how it shaped them. Goodness knows their family followed the John Wayne School of Parenting.

A long trailer to the movie can be found here. Highly recommended.

Posted by Sarah at 09:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 02, 2008


AirForceWife left a comment yesterday that reminded me that I haven't even told you the worst part of the wedding afghan knitting. My husband and I are ridiculous cheapskates. It's 90-95° around here most days, and we keep the thermostat at 80°. Yep, if you can't take the heat, don't come to my house. And I'm proud to say that our July electric bill was a mere $92. But...I do my knitting in the room above the garage, so when the rest of the house is 80°, the room I knit in is about 83°. Thus I sit, with an afghan on my lap, knitting in my own little sweatshop.

How I just long to work on a sock in this weather...

Oh, and here's something that absolutely none of you will be interested in hearing. Last night I had a dream I was playing beach volleyball against Dick Cheney. Nice, huh? Also, I was pregnant, but instead of carrying the fetus in my stomach, I opted to carry it in a backpack. No, I am not making that up; in my dream, I pushed aside a forming baby to try to find my cell phone in my bag. And then I went to the hospital with the woman who taught me to knit and Erin. Erin and I shared lunch: a loaf of italian bread filled with a footlong hotdog and chili mac. (Happy birthday, Erin; hope you like crap.) And the Soldiers Angels were there in the cafeteria -- I know I recognized MaryAnn -- playing cards and waiting to be summoned like Batman.

And that was totally pointless for me to type, but it made me laugh. Dick Cheney...a backpack baby...snort.

Anyway, can you tell I'm in a better mood today than I usually am?'s my husband's birthday today. As long as I'm in a silly mood, I thought I'd share a picture of me from the year my husband turned 22.


Happy birthday, husband. I hope your day started out as giggly as mine did.

Posted by Sarah at 10:08 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

August 01, 2008




After two more hours last night and another hour this morning, it's done. And either I'm the worst crocheter in the world, or something was off on that pattern. I specifically chose it because it sounded quick: 126 rows, piece of cake. I had to actually crochet an extra 50 rows just to get the length right. Not as quick as I'd hoped.

But done.

Posted by Sarah at 11:58 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack


Good Jonah Goldberg:

Any number of countries in Africa are vastly richer in baubles and soil than Switzerland. But they are poor because they are impoverished in what they value.

In large measure our wealth isn't the product of capitalism, it is capitalism.

Good Victor Davis Hanson. No dog food for you tonight, Victor. (Gosh, how many Futurama jokes can I make in one day?!):

Instead of a strutting, Bible-quoting Texan, replete with southern accent and ‘smoke-em’ out lingo, they get an athletic, young, JFK-ish metrosexual, whose rhetoric is as empty as it is soothing. The English-only Obama lectures America on its need to emulate polyglot Europe; while a Spanish-speaking George Bush is hopelessly cast as a Texas yokel.

(Links via CG)

Posted by Sarah at 10:00 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Went back to the eye doctor. I am stuck where I'm at for now; we can't do another Lasik correction until we're certain that this is where my eyes have leveled off, so I have to wait a month and see. Also, I have blocked tear ducts so, to quote the doctor, they should be oozing Wesson oil and instead are blocked with Crisco. Gross. He was doing everything he could to unblock them and make me cry, including digging his fingernail into the base of my eye until I saw stars. It made me giggle on the inside because I felt like Fry on "My Three Suns," when they have to make him cry the emperor out. Good thing the doctor didn't start beating me up or telling me my husband was murdered in a juicer. Heh.

Posted by Sarah at 09:36 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack