Saturday, December 30, 2006

What men should read instead of Maxim.

I've found a new site that has captivated me:

It's all photos of women's bodies, pregnant and post-partum. I find myself visiting it quite often. I can't really turn away. I would like to say that it's because it's all empowering and shit, but the truth of the matter is, some of these photos make me feel better. I look at some and think, "Geez Louise, I don't look that bad. Pregnancy was kind to me!" And then I go upstairs and put on the skinny jeans that cut off circulation in my post-pregnancy ass and strut around the house until the lack of oxygen to my brain makes me dizzy.

But still, I think that both men and women should take a look at this site. Men, to realize that it's not helpful to tell your wife that she should get to the gym. Some changes to your body after having a baby are just not fixable. And second, for women, to realize that you are not alone and there are definitely women out there who would kill for your -- yes, your -- body.

It is done.

Saddam Hussein was executed. They sure didn't waste any time.

This is the line that is of particular interest to me:

The execution was videotaped and photographed, state television reported, and those images will be distributed to the media.

Guess we'll be seeing it up on YouTube before we know it.

So now that it's done, how do you feel? Do you think justice has been done?

Friday, December 29, 2006

The making of a martyr.

New reports state that Saddam Hussein, whose appealed death sentence was recently upheld by the Iraqi high court, will hang this weekend. And, of course, Baathists are saying that the U.S. will pay. I don't actually know how many true Baathists are left in Iraq but I'm sure they could do some damage if so inspired.

I do believe that Saddam should be punished for his crimes. He's a bad man -- not sure if he was bad enough to justify a war without weapons of mass destruction but that's a whole 'nother blog post. But I don't think that he should hang. Given the culture of martyrdom pervasive in fanatical Islam, his death serves only to give them another reason to fight. And frankly, I think the worse punishment for Saddam himself would be to sit in a 8x8 cell for the rest of his life, washing his own drawers and having nothing to look forward to but Salisbury steak for Friday's dinner. He should be held in confinement, without the benefit of someone to hear his pontifications, and be allowed to fade from public consciousness. That would be the thing that would truly kill the man.

But he will hang. And perhaps even on television as the world watches.

But I can't help but think that justice will not be achieved.

Merry Christmas, 82nd Airborne!

I'm not surprised. I'm not sure anyone is. Now we'll just have to watch and see what exactly these 3500 guys can add to the mix.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ummmm, no.

I just attended a baby shower where the guest of honor spent over an hour discussing the cosmetic surgery she will have once she finally gives birth. Apparently, she has scheduled a c-section already -- why wait for a medically necessary reason to do so? -- and her doctor is willing to give her a tummy tuck at the same time. After all, why worry about the health of the baby or have a vaginal birth for a quicker recovery time when there might be cellulite and a few extra pounds to contend with?
Anyway, this sparked a conversation about the rumor that the military, wanting to train its doctors on the finer points of plastic surgery (with the idea that it will help with cosmetic surgeries on burn and blast combat casualties), has allotted one free procedure to all military spouses. Every woman in that room went on to say what they would have done -- boobs, liposuction, cheek implants, nose jobs -- you name it, someone wanted it. I was the lone dissenter.
First of all, I've never heard anything to make me believe that this rumor is true and I doubt very much that it is. But more importantly, why on earth would anyone submit to a *free* cosmetic surgery so an inexperienced surgeon can *practice* on them? C'mon now. That's like letting the kid next door take apart the engine of your new Porsche for his freshman auto mechanics class.
In truth, I don't believe in plastic surgery. I think this world does enough to make women feel bad about their bodies. And given that I have a few friends who do indulge in nips and tucks, I've never seen a procedure help with those body phobias. I've only seen it compel them to do more unnecessary and potentially dangerous surgeries to perfectly healthy and beautiful bodies.
I'm not one to blow smoke up your ass and say that any body problem can be solved with diet and exercise. As someone who naturally had a big ass before my kid and then an even larger one after, I know it can only do so much. But it can do enough. Enough to make you feel strong and good inside, which will reflect on the outside. Perfection is unattainable. I don't know why it's so hard for us as women to understand that.
And as for the free plastic surgery, I'm guessing most of the women at that party won't partake. I hope not. But if they do, here's hoping that the military is willing to offer some kind of discount on any follow-on procedures. After all, what's a pair of new boobs without a new ass to match?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The reason why musicians should not be politicians.

Have you seen this stupidity? "Not as seen on TV?" C'mon, now. This is what Bono and Billie Joe think that the military could have done in New Orleans?! And what good is an aid drop like the one at the end of the video that FALLS IN THE WATER?

And don't get me started on the stealth bomber. Complete and utter bullshit.

I changed my mind.

*THIS* is the perfect Christmas gift.

"I thought it would add that extra sparkle to our marriage"?!?! What the hell is she going on about? Why can't she do what the rest of us do for a little more virgin sparkle -- just lie on the bed, eyes closed, missionary position with knees as close together as possible, with a few winces of pain while whispering, "What time did you say your mother was coming home again?"

Stories left untold.

Like many soldiers, CPT Dick didn't really talk much about his deployment in Baghdad. He simply summed it up as, "It sucked ass," and saw no need to elaborate further. I think the most descriptive he ever got was in one letter back home after he had been there for a few months. He wrote, "The city smells like a combination of sewage, diesel exhaust and more sewage...the sand gets everywhere, including behind your balls." Poetical, no?

But being in Cairo did prompt him to tell me a few stories about his Iraq experience, albeit a few years later. Maybe it was all the sand (still getting behind his balls, I'd imagine, given how much I found in Munchkin's diaper), or the pervasive smell of sewage, or perhaps the crazy drivers always asking for a "baksheesh."

But as we were being taxied around Cairo by a particularly insane driver, CPT Dick laughed to himself and finally told a story. He said that while he was in Baghdad, there was a suspicious vehicle that was called in by a patrol. The guys at the base were asking for details about the car: make, model, distinctive characteristics, etc. The soldier calling in described the car in detail and was then asked to provide the license plate number. The soldier paused, sighed dejectedly, and then said, "Squiggle dot, squiggle squiggle dot, circle squiggle dot." He couldn't read the Arabic script and just did the best he could.

As I laughed at the story (because I certainly could do no better in deciphering Arabic script, especially on a dirty, banged up license plate), I thought about how strange it must be for soldiers to be in Iraq. How completely foreign it must all be. Different world, different culture, different language and different alphabet. For us, on a leisurely trip to Egypt (where everyone speaks English, at least to ask for some money), the foreignness was part of the allure. But for someone going on a year tour, I can't even imagine how completely and utterly unsettling a world of squiggle dots must be.

As I prepare for CPT Dick to make a year's return to that foreign land, I hope I remember how strange it all can be and be more patient with him.

A belated Happy Holidays.

My apologies for the lack of contact in the past week. We spent in our Christmas in Egypt -- well, why not? -- and I stupidly thought I'd be able to update from there. Let's just say that "state of the art" wireless Internet access does not mean the same thing here as it does in old Cairo. And sadly, I'm so addicted to the WWW that I found myself actually surprised at that development. What's wrong with me?

But Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope that Santa was good to everyone and wish you all the best in the coming year.