Saturday, January 20, 2007

Things that brought tears to my eyes today.

1. Slipping on a children's book on the floor and slamming my shin into the coffee table.
2. Tweezing my eyebrows.
3. Munchkin running over to me and giving me a kiss.
4. "You've Got Mail."

What he really means.

"I think we should stop buying frozen stuff. You know, pizzas and stuff like that."


"I think we need to eat healthier. Let's cut back on the frozen stuff. We should cook more."

"How do you see that working, exactly?"

"What do you mean? What I said. We should cook more. What's not to understand?"

"But what you're really saying is that I should cook more."

Sheepish look. "Ummm...I refuse to answer that on the grounds that it might incriminate me."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Do you know "Guy Love"?

Scrubs is hilarious. 'Nuff said.

(If the link doesn't work, check out:

It would be funny if it weren't so damn sad.

Who thinks that "french polymer" is going to firm up their ass? Honestly, people!

Our generation's "Fatal Attraction."

Thanks to my beloved Netflix, I recently saw "Hard Candy." And man, if it didn't scare the bejesus out of me.

In a day and age where parents are more interested in suing MySpace than finding out that their little girls are posting nudie shots on the Web, this movie is a must-see. And for those guys who take the adage "if the field has grass, play ball" as a personal motto, I have one thing to say to you: be afraid, be very afraid.

Taking bets now.

Reality TV takes an interesting sociological twist. Forget shows where Mom takes off for the weekend and they film Dad trying to figure out how to manage his home and children (and usually gets some help from a nice female relative or neighbor). Paperny Films is scouting locations for its show "A Week Without Women," which will remove every single last woman from a town and see how fast it takes for domestic (and public) anarchy to take hold.

It's going to be broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and I may have to find a way to tune in. I think we could take a pool to see how long before one of the men cries like a little girl when he can't figure out how to nuke himself a frozen burrito.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Always one more thing.

Many have opinions about the various military agencies. It would be easy to say that they all suck, but the truth is they are only as good as the people that work at them. And those employees -- often civilian contractors, often military spouses -- vary in their abilities, their knowledge, and most importantly, their compassion.

But the one thing that drives me nuts about all of them is the fact that they can't get their damn story straight. I had a small errand to run today. I just had to re-enroll my son in the daycare program. You have to do this once a year. And so before I went down there, I called and asked what I should bring. I was told I needed two, and only two, things: a shot record and a check. But of course, once I get up, wrestle my son into the car seat, drive us, kicking and screaming, to the office, wait for 45 minutes until they can see me, I find that they do not just need those simple things. Oh no. They need those and at least three others.

I'd like to say that this is a one thing kind of thing. But it's not. It seems that every agency I must interact with is always giving misinformation over the phone. I suppose I should just get used to it. I do know some ladies who just bring every piece of paper the military has ever stamped with them on every visit to any agency. They all are growing humps on their back from the effort but it's not a stupid strategy. I just can't seem to let myself get to that point yet. I mean, hello, these are agencies that are supposed to be providing me with services. How hard can it be?

And here are where those good employees come in. The ones I dealt with today realized their error and did their best to help me remedy it without having to go home and come back again. I was grateful. That doesn't happen all that often. If only more could be like them.

And if only some more of those people could answer the damn phone.

Maybe simple math isn't so simple.

I don't doubt that more boots on the ground will help in Afghanistan, but where does Gates think they are going to find more soldiers, exactly?

My favorite headline of the week.

Castro Reportedly Did Not Want Colostomy

Ummm, not to be totally insensitive, but does anyone really want a colostomy? But whatever. I'm just amazed that total conjecture on this man's health remains news. I think Castro died a few years ago and his PR machine has managed not to let the news leak yet.

Back in the day.

Do you know:

Who spent a summer in the United States taking classes at Harvard and working for Anheuser-Busch?

Who worked as a formally trained hair stylist prior to his big break?

Who worked as a clown at kids' parties?

You can find out on A good way to procrastinate.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Is this what feminists comment on nowadays?

Why concentrate on Iraq at all when we can make any conversation into a slight on women?

A funny thing happened on the way to the delivery room.

Generally, the most often used adjective to describe my personality is "intimidating." I think people think that this is a nice way of saying "aggressive," "stand-offish," or "complete bitchface." Truth be told, I'm not that mean -- at least, not as mean as some people would like to believe. I just am rather straightforward which can put people off -- especially military wives. But in any case, my title as scariest woman in the unit is currently wavering. And it's all my fault.

I've never been an overly emotional girl -- except maybe for anger. I didn't get worked up over photos of cute kittens. I thought calendars with photos of babies on them were stupid (my best friend had the whole Anne Geddes collection and I thought she had lost her damn mind). And I usually laughed my way through the end of sappy movies (except "Pretty in Pink" which just made me mad -- why did she not have the sense to pick Duckie? Why,God, why?!)

But then, something happened. I got pregnant with my son. My hormones ran wild and, all of a sudden, it became apparent that not only was I living in an emotional world, but that, yes, I, too, was an emotional girl.

My life changed overnight. I started to cry during the happy endings of movies. I was completely thrown by AT&T commercials. And I'd see some dude playing with his kid in the park and be overwhelmed by the sweetness of a father's love. It was pathetic. And yet, I could not stop.

I thought that the roller coaster ride would be over once I gave birth. But, like most of the shit I expected once I actually popped the kid out, I was dead wrong. If anything, I'm even more emotional these days. I have an empathy for other mothers that causes me to tear up when I hear stories about a child's horrible, bleeding diaper rash. I still cry at just about anything on television. And if you even put a Nicholas Sparks book near me -- the books that I scorned just a few years earlier as pointless, overdone tripe -- I will start to cry with such a ferocity that I might never stop. This affliction may well kill me one day.

But I hit an all new low while watching the Golden Globes the other night. I watch awards shows to feel superior. To make fun of the funny hair and dresses (thanks, Vanessa Williams!) and, of course, to feel personally robbed when my favorite shows and movies don't win any awards. But this time around, they had a surprise for me. When America Ferrera won her award for best actress, and started to genuinely cry with the surprise and happiness, I started to cry right along with her. I was so damn happy for her! And then when she thanked her Mommy, I just lost my shit. I was literally sobbing. I mean, she thanked her Mommy! What a wonderful daughter! So talented, and yet, so grounded.

As I realized what I had just succumbed to, after I filled my fifth tissue with teary snot and the other wives were looking at me like I'd just grown horns, I made my excuses and headed home for the evening. I'd like to think I'm meant to have this new gift for a reason, to love on my kid like he deserves and to forgive my husband for being a dork, stuff like that. But if I'm to keep it up, I'm going to have to stop watching television with the other wives. Otherwise, I'm totally going to ruin my rep.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Love, thy name is Netflix.

Back in the 90's, I had quite a video habit. I was single, working all the time, and spent way too much time watching rented John Huston flicks and wondering why Molly Ringwald didn't go off with Duckie instead of that stupid appliance-head, Blane. I mean, seriously, people -- the guy was not only a total shit to Molly but was wearing a terrible hairpiece at the end. What girl in their right mind would fall for the "I'm sorry, I love you" crap when the Duckman was right there for the taking?

But I digress. Because I had such a Blockbuster habit, I also had a fairly big accrual of late fees. Over time, I'm guessing we're talking about hundreds of dollars. It was just such a pain in the ass to get movies back on time. I mean, not only did I have to rewind the movie (this was back in those walking-up-hill-both-ways-VHS days), but then I had to drive to the store *in traffic* and drop it in the box before the official late time. It was just too much to ask of one girl.

But then Netflix came into my life. Not only are movies *never* late -- I can watch "A Walk to Remember" over and over again over a period of months and keep it until my husband says either the movie goes or he goes -- but they mail them directly to me and I return them by simply putting them in a provided envelope and then putting the flag up on my personal mailbox. They know how we lazy movie-watchers like it done.

And now, they've realized that with advances in technology, we may even be too lazy to walk to the end of the driveway:

Netflix, if you were a person, I'd kiss you. But since you are not, I just promise to never let you go.

Unless Blockbuster finally figures out your business model and starts offering the same services for cheaper. Then all bets are off.

There's nothing in the manual about this.

I know I'm guilty of going on and on about the preponderance of FRG crazy but today rocked me to the core. One of the wives in our company lost her child this past weekend and I am at a loss at what to do. I've done all the things I'm supposed to, all the things that are listed in a simple, FRG-provided checklist -- visited the hospital, helped with arrangements where I could, sat down with her a bit, arranged casseroles out the wazoo. But I still feel completely helpless. I don't know this woman very well, nor did I know her child, but as a mother, I can emphathize with her loss. But by the same token, I can't help but feel that all this stuff that I can do, these services I can provide, are completely meaningless in the grand scheme of things. That I'm not offering any real support but a reminder of how far she is from her family, how little she has left after this devastating loss.

I am completely unprepared for the realities of this job, I would imagine. I just hope that as I go forward I can find something, even in the smallest sense, to offer as comfort.

Bring on the FRG Crazy.

Last week, we had our first FRG meeting in a few months. Yes, I know, I'm a lazy, crappy FRG leader for letting so much time pass in between meetings but there just weren't enough nights in the week between the holidays, leave and all that mandatory fun. But in a serious karma kind of way, it ended up biting me in the ass.

Our unit is the subject of many rumors right now. That we'll go to Iraq as part of Bush's new-but-pretty-much-like-the-current war strategy. That our unit will be absorbed into another one as part of ARFORGEN. That there will be another training exercise this year that will require the guys to be away from home during a major holiday. That commissary produce prices are going to go up by a significant amount. That a certain wife is selling herself to the single guys -- and a few married ones who still wish they were single -- for a low, low price. You get the picture.

And so, at our meeting, CPT Dick and I got to field each and every tired one (well, except the wife prostitution one -- that one was brought up privately during the potluck after, you know, just so I'd *know*). And we got to tell them the same thing we always do. "We have no orders to such effect." You'd think such a non-answer would have a calming effect. But no, it just causes more consternation, more rumors and more phone calls.

Oh, the next few weeks are going to be fun! Guess there's no way I can get out of a February meeting. *sigh*

The "more dignified" death that Bush was hoping for?

How exactly does a head just snap off? I mean, that requires some serious force.

Or a seriously scrawny chicken neck. Either one.

Tom Hanks as Bond?

I can't figure out whether I find this funny or just deeply, deeply wrong.

The new 007 is...Tom Hanks

Monday, January 15, 2007

An interesting look at the American Muslim. recently wrote a review of Paul Barrett's
"American Islam: The Struggle for the Soul of a Religion." I'm going to be picking up the book this week. I think it's important to realize that Muslims, particularly, American Muslims aren't the fanatical idiots we see on television.

A good friend of mine, M., is Muslim and she does, by choice, wear the veil. It's amazing to see how the world perceives her and this choice of hers, especially after 9/11. Would we make the same judgments about a woman who chooses to wear a mini-skirt? Who chooses to wear a cross around her neck? Who wears an African-style hat? But M. gets crap wherever she goes. Why is that, do you think?

The problem with routine...

Since we decided to road trip for the long weekend, we did the unthinkable. We messed with the Munchkin's schedule. He was up too late, skipped naps, ate sporadically and when he finally crashed, he often did so in bed with us. What can I say? It worked at the time.

But now. Oh, God. Revenge is his. The kid will not sleep. I put him in his crib and he just screams and screams. Which means that I do not sleep. You'll be happy to know that CPT Dick, trained as he is to sleep among mortar fire, has not missed one wink and wakes up each morning saying, "Munchkin had a good night last night, huh? I slept like a rock!"

So now, I'm stuck. If I take Munchkin out of the crib, I perpetuate the sin. If I leave him in, I risk my own screaming fit. I'm starting to realize why more people don't travel with small children.