Saturday, January 06, 2007

Questions couples should ask before marrying.

The NY Times published a list of questions that couples should ask before marrying. A few of them are sort of 'duh' questions like have we discussed whether or not to have children, do we have the same financial goals, blah blah blah. But some others have got me thinking now, even after many long years of marriage. Questions that I would have thought were totally stupid until I started sharing a house, a bed, and a life with someone who cannot read my mind. And the one that has really got me shook up is the following:

Will there be a television in the bedroom?

Sounds stupid, I know. But you wouldn't believe the number of fights that CPT Dick and I have had over that stupid TV and what, if anything, should be played at bedtime. Who knew?

Friday, January 05, 2007

Can someone please explain to me...

...why the hell Bush thinks a Navy Admiral is the person to run a land war? Anyone? Anyone?

More FRG Crazy.

A new low today. A wife called me today and actually expected me not to laugh when she requested that I inform my husband, her husband's commander, that her husband should be given a week off -- possibly two -- even though he has no leave after taking all of it over the holidays, so that he can stay home to house train their new dog.

You just can't make this shit up.

The sweetest thing.

Today, CPT Dick took Munchkin to school. This is an anomaly, as usually CPT Dick is out of the house way before we are.

But just as they were about to leave, as CPT Dick put on the Munchkin's shoes, my little son looked over at me and said, "Bye, bye, Mama," and blew me the biggest kiss.

It totally made my day. And for a misanthrope to be touched by something so small says a lot.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Military Wife Forward #2854

I can't tell you how many times I've received this. And it's now been suggested that the FRG embroider this on some pillowcases and sell as a fundraiser. Why on earth does this kind of crap make anyone feel better?

Maybe I'm way too cynical for my own good but man, do I hate this kind of crap. And EVERYONE forwards it to me. All the time. STOP!

I wear no uniforms, no blues or army greens,
but I am in the Army of the ranks rarely seen.
I have no rank upon my shoulders- salutes I do not give,
but the military world is the place where I live.
I'm not in the chain of command. Orders I do not give or get.
But my husband is the one who does, and this I can't forget.
I'm not the one who fires the weapon, who puts my life on the line.
But my job is just as tough. I'm the one that's left behind.
My husband is a patriot. A brave and prideful man.
And the call to serve his country not all can understand.
Behind the lines I see things needed to keep this country free.
My husband makes the sacrifice, but so do the kids and me.
I love the man I married, military is his life.
So I pledge to support my hero and stand among the silent ranks
as the Unknown Army Wife.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

NY Times Op-Ed on Don't Ask, Don't Tell

General John M. Shalikashvili, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff -- and a major proponent of the controversial Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy -- has apparently changed his mind in a NY Times Op-Ed that appeared yesterday.

Frankly, I see no issue with gays serving in the military. I wouldn't have a problem with it. And, of course, I know of a service member or two who is gay and does a fine job. But basing this change of heart on a survey and a few conversations is difficult for me.

Scientists are well aware of a phenomenon called self-report bias. Basically, when asked questions, particularly those concerning hot-button issues, people are often going to answer how they think they should reply rather than how they actually feel. In this day and age, it is not politically correct to say you have a problem with gays. As such, I feel that this kind of bias might account for some of the results found by the Zogby study.

It wasn't so long ago that Barry Winchell was killed. Granted, this was one incident. But has the world changed so much? Sure, everyone watches Will & Grace re-runs but the majority of states are fighting hard against gay marriage.

It will be interesting to see, especially with a need now to bulk up the military, how this all plays out. I hate to say it, but I doubt the policy will change anytime soon.

This is news?!

Pat Robertson has announced that the big man himself, Mr. G-O-D, has informed him that there will be a massive terrorist attack in late 2007 that will affect millions of people.

Ummm, why, exactly, is this news? And news that makes the top stories for CNN? I mean, if I wanted to hear about what some religious nutcase had to say about politics and the state of the world, I'd go talk to the bum on the street corner who thinks that armageddon has already started. Or alternatively, I could, say, watch the 700 Club.

CNN, start bringing Britney's divorce proceedings back into the top stories. At least those tales were marginally interesting.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

What do you believe that you cannot prove?

Each year, the Edge World Question Center posts a question to over one hundred eminent scientists and thinkers in the world. This year's question is "What do you believe that you cannot prove?"

The responses are a series of essays, written by such greats as author Ian McEwan, Jared Diamond, neuroscientist Steven Pinker, and biologist Lynn Margulis, and they run the gamut in terms of content. Some of the things these great minds believe but cannot prove:
  • "I believe in the creative power of boredom."
  • "I believe, first, that all people have the same fundamental concepts, values, concerns, and commitments, despite our diverse languages, religions, social practices, and expressed beliefs."
  • "We will find ways to circumvent the speed of light as a limit on the communication of information."
  • "I'm convinced, but can't yet prove, that humans first reached the continents of North America, South America, and Australia only very recently, at or near the end of the last Ice Age. Specifically, I'm convinced that they reached North America around 14,000 years ago, South America around 13,500 years ago, and Australia and New Guinea around 46,000 years ago; and that humans were then responsible for the extinctions of most of the big animals of those continents within a few centuries of those dates; and that scientists will accept this conclusion sooner and less reluctantly for Australia and New Guinea than for North and South America."
  • "It is possible to live happily and morally without believing in free will."
Definitely some stuff in there worth considering. And definitely an excellent way to kill some time. I highly recommend a read.

But once you are done, I pose the same question to you. What do you believe that you can't prove?

Ruminations on a number.

An interesting look at hitting 3000 deaths in Iraq, in Time magazine:,8599,1573263,00.html?cnn=yes

A friend -- staunchly against the war -- sent me this link and asked for my reaction. I replied that it was the same as when we lost 1000 and 2000. It's heartbreaking, especially since we have personally known more than our fair share of soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. But it's impossible to know whether the sacrifice is worth it until this thing plays out. My friend called my response a cop-out. Maybe it is. But it's also the truth. After all, how can you ever really quantify the correct amount of sacrifice for an endeavor? Whether the ends justify the means?

I wish I had a better answer. I just don't. And so I'll continue to mourn each and every one of those soldiers and pray for an outcome to the war that brings at least some satisfaction.


Back in college, I dated a fairly touchy-feely guy. When he drank, his need for PDAs bordered on obsessive. Of course, sometimes it was hard to know whether he kept his arms deadlocked around my neck as a sign of affection or just to maintain balance.

But in any case, one evening he became a little too friendly with Herr Jaegermeister. And like many who fall under the evil Jaegermeister's spell, he drank way too much of it. So much, in fact, that he booted all over my dorm room.

As he hung his head over the toilet, still periodically ralphing up bits and pieces of his dinner, I started to clean up the mess around him. He turned to look at me, smiled and said, "You are so beautiful. I'm sorry about this. Thank you for cleaning it up."

Then he somehow summoned the strength to throw his arms, covered in bits of bile and Jaegermeister puke, and try to hug me. He did make contact -- just enough to get even more vomit on me -- but as he sort of fell forward with the effort, I realized that his mouth was puckered. The guy had been going in for a kiss! A pukey, nasty, Jaegermeister-y kiss! I was horrified. And I'm not ashamed to say that the visual of him coming at me from the toilet, thinking a big, dribbly kiss was in order, might have had something to do with why our relationship didn't last.

But fast forward a few years to the birth of my son. On New Year's Eve, the little guy overdid it a bit himself. He was having so much fun running around with a bunch of bigger kids -- and stuffing his face with salsa dip -- that he seemed completely surprised when in the middle of running around the living room, it all came up on him. He stood still as he vomited, totally channeling the Exorcist in the force of his pukage, and looked over at me. And while he was still heaving, he walked over to me with his arms open wide. Not only did I pull him close to me and let him finish barfing all over my new silk top bought especially for the evening, but when he was done, I told him it was all right and kissed his still dripping lips. It didn't occur to me to do anything different.

It's funny all the ways that motherhood can change you.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Averting disaster.

"Do we have a lighter?"

"Ummm, there's one in the junk drawer, I think."

He rummages through the drawer. "Where? I can't find it."

I come over to look and am startled by his hands, which are sooty black and marking up my clean, white kitchen. "What the hell is that all over your hands?!"


And he looked at me with the biggest "duh" expression ever. Because why wouldn't my husband be covered in gunpowder and looking for a source of fire?

Hope everyone had a wild, woolly, injury-free New Year's celebration!

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Well, that didn't take long.

An amateur video (from a cel phone) was taken of Saddam Hussein's execution. And of course, it's already up on LiveLeak, among other sites.

Aside from being astounded at how quickly this has gotten up on the web (and of course, that they allowed cel phones in the room as well as let this dude obviously film it), it's got me thinking. It's really rather Orwellian, isn't it? I mean, Big Brother is watching in a sense, whether it be Saddam's hanging, Britney Spears' coochie-pop, or Paris Hilton bending over some sick kid in Australia. It's just that Big Brother is us and we are all too happy to record every moment, any moment to be used against the subject (and potentially us) in the future.

It's kind of scary, really.