Friday, June 08, 2007

Is there anything sweeter?

My son is not a morning person. Hell, he's not even an afternoon person if it is the time immediately after nap time. He's just the kind of kid who needs a little time to handle the change from sleep to waking. And that time usually involves a fair bit of whining and demands for juice. I've gotten used to it.

So I guess it's fair to say that my day starts with some pretty cranky yells.

But this morning, I just heard a quiet, "Mama!" from Munchkin's room. And then, when I dawdled a bit, to see if he was really ready to wake up, it came again louder. "MAMA!"

When I went to his room, expecting him a tirade of cries because I cruelly took a full thirty seconds to get to him, instead I got a boy with arms outstretched, waiting to be picked up. And then, the best part, once I got him into my arms, he gave me a smile and a big "Mmmmm-wah!" kiss on my cheek before finding an empty cup to slam on my arm.

Makes that whole waking up at 6:00am thing totally worthwhile.

Still no orders.

CPT Dick starts on Monday. We will still be here. No word on when the orders will come down so we can actually join him.

It is making me a little crazy.

I'm not even thinking about the fact that (a) my husband deploys this fall, (b) prior to that he'll go off twice for at least a month each time to train up for the mission. No, right now I'm totally wringing my hands over (c) the fact that since he has to report before the Army bureaucracy has caught up with him, he'll spend a few weeks away from home until it all gets sorted. Time that will involve moving. Time that will involve a lot of deadlines. Time that will involve a very cranky Munchkin. Time where I will slowly go more and more insane until I have no choice but to take those around me along for the ride.

But the other thing that annoys the crap out of me about all this is my rental agreement. Until we have orders -- or at least assignment instructions -- I can't break our lease. And our lease states that we have to give 30 days notice once we have those orders. So by my count, if CPT Dick is correct that we will move by the end of this month, we will be paying 10 days of rent, but probably more, out of our own pocket. Just because the Army can't figure out a way to print out a sheet of paper on time.

When I think sometimes about how much money the Army has cost us over the years -- between destroyed furniture from moves that they say isn't worth what we paid for it, the uniform changes, the 90 days of training that they mistakenly took as leave and can't seem to fix, all of those painfully overpriced balls and Hails and Farewells, and now, perhaps, a month of rent -- I get angry. I'm grateful that we can afford to take some of these setbacks but what about others? How will they cope? And why doesn't it matter more?

I just want this move done and over with. Complaining about annoying phone calls is much more satisfying and so much less detrimental to my personal self-esteem.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Watch out, Perry. There's a new man about town.

I've already admitted to my serious crush on Dr. Cox. But I've found that, of late, my affections have strayed to a new man.

To Greg House, MD.

Sure, I hear you. What's so different? Another doctor. Another curmudgeon. And most importantly, another fictional television character. I know I have a problem. But he's just so dreamy, I cannot resist.

So, Perry, I know we had something special. We still do. But you know the old saying -- if you love something, let it fantasize about an older British actor for a while. And if it returns to you, be sure to suggest a hypothetical threesome. Or something like that.

Answering questions.

I've gotten a couple of emails asking my thoughts on the new Army Wives TV show as well as the recent GOP debate. I haven't commented because, very simply, I haven't watched either of them.

I know the idea of me missing a debate may seem like a serious dereliction of duty but, honestly, we're still so far away from the election and I can't take anymore of the bullshit. Seriously. I watch and I just get angry at pretty much every candidate for bending like a reed in the wind in hopes of raking in a few more dollars to keep them in the race. So, for my own sanity, I'm going to ignore these first few rounds of posturing and tune in again once some of the hand raisers have been effectively weeded out. Then maybe serious candidates can get the opportunity to talk beyond a 10-second soundbyte and show me why they deserve my vote.

I'll still read the transcripts, of course. But things always seem less dire when read the morning after with bedhead and some caffeine.

As for Army Wives, well, I'm an FRG leader. I get to deal with wives every day. I don't think I'm missing much. But if I'm wrong, let me know. Now that House is over for the season, there may be room in my life for a new television addiction.

Top International Headlines.

Well, I guess headline inflation is an international phenomenon.

I headed to Der Spiegel newspaper today to read German reports about the G8 summit. And they were there. But along with them, in the top headlines, was this story -- "Bigger Than They Think: Scientists Reassure Men Worried About Penis Size."

The gist? Umm, if you think you have a small penis, it's actually probably average-sized. So you don't have to buy one of those Austin Powers-approved Swedish penis pumps or practice imperial domination in your spare time just to feel up to snuff.

On second thought, perhaps the decision to print this story today didn't have something to do with the guys at the G8 after all.

Cover art.

CPT Dick *hates* Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats." It's funny to watch him visibly twitch when it comes on the radio -- which it does quite often. He can't say exactly why he doesn't like it but his feelings are pretty palpable.

So of course, I put it on our shared iPod to make sure it comes on occasionally when he runs. In my defense, I didn't do it just to annoy him. I also kind of like it. What woman can't appreciate the idea of trashing a cheater's pretty little souped-up four-wheel-drive?

When I saw on Yahoo! this morning that Joe had done a male-centric version of the song, I had to take a look-see. I like his take on it though honestly I thought his version would be much more different from the original. But still, I like when artists do unexpected cover songs. You can see the video here.

I hope it comes on iTunes soon so that I can share the magic with CPT Dick.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


My husband will be taking command of a new company in an entirely new unit next month. He will start doing inventories to prepare for this command next week.

(We still don't have orders to actually move us there but that's a whole 'nother story. Gotta love the Army!)

He has asked me to be FRG leader again, saying that he needs someone he can count on with a forthcoming deployment. He played his cards well. He just said that it will make his life easier. And how can I, as his wife, not want to help make his life easier when he's going to spend 15-18 months with sand in his crack and driving roads littered with car bombs? The bastard is damn sneaky, let me tell you.

But since there is already an existing FRG, led by two ladies who will be remaining with the unit even after CPT Dick takes over, I decided I should probably find out what they got going on. After all, no sense in fixing something that ain't broke. So I sent them both a note.

Leader #1 told me she was all too happy to hand over the reins if that was my choice. But Leader #2 basically replied welcome and maybe we can find time to go to lunch one day. Her tone and words made it clear that she has no plans to be usurped so I better not even consider the notion.

So it looks like I will walk straight into an FRG power struggle. Just before a deployment. What fun! And all in the name of making my husband's life easier.

Sneaky bastard better appreciate it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

And just like that...

On weekdays, I drop Munchkin off at the Child Development Center (CDC) for an hour or two while I hit the gym. He enjoys hanging out with the other kids and having a whole new room of toys with which to use for his world domination efforts.

Tuesdays are story mornings. When I drop Munchkin off in the morning, we usually get there just in time to see the kids crowded around his teacher, Miss M., on the library mat, as she reads "I Knew an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly," "The Hungry Caterpillar," and other such perennial favorites.

And every time, I'd put Munchkin down on the rug with his friends and he'd immediately get up and make his way to the trucks, or blocks or any other toy that did not require him to sit still. He just couldn't stomach story time.

Today, however, story time was a little later in the morning, right around the time I came to pick him up to take him home. And when I got to the door of the toddler room, I saw him through the window not only sitting on the library rug but paying attention to the story. He was laughing in all the right places, making "woof" sounds when the teacher did and completely enjoying himself. And as I observed him from outside the door, I realized -- he was listening. He could hear the story and was responding appropriately.

I know that it's early but so far, it seems as if the surgery is doing all that it promised. He's been babbling a lot more, using words more consistently and he helped me to sing the ABC song yesterday. I mean, he just kind of joined in on the eee-sounding letters but, hey, it's more than he's done before.

I'm really excited to see what the next few weeks will bring.

Well, it wasn't far off.

When I got to my Yahoo page this morning and saw that the AP had asked celebrities on the red carpet to give advice to Paris Hilton, I really wondered what people would say. Well, that and what the AP considered "celebrity."

Because, really, what kind of advice can anyone offer? The girl thought she was above the law and is now paying the price. What can you say without sounding like a smartass? Read the Camus you always wish you had time for? Make some new friends? Take this time to reflect on what you want to do with your life? Find out where you can buy some real street drugs at bargain prices?

No one was quite that cavalier but I was tickled to see my girl crush, Mandy Moore, tell her to treat it like a vacation and that we should all be so lucky. Girl has some serious spunk underneath that cutie exterior. I love it!

Hasn't he earned enough to to hire a real publicist?

Time magazine has posted a piece called, "Tongue Tied, Mitt Romney's Top 10 Gaffes." Although my first inclination is to bash Time for printing such a story -- I mean, can we concentrate more on what the man plans to do if elected instead of the fact that he has weird ideas for bumper stickers?

But the more I read, the more I wondered where the heck his publicist was and why he wasn't coaching him on the fact that some Americans might take umbrage at the idea of a world without France or the fact that he actually recommends reading, "Battlefield Earth." I don't want a President that is so political that he never steps away from the party line but by the same token, I do want one who knows how to play the game enough to get things done.

And Mitt? Your staff is right. Your hair is too perfect. Let's get to work on the simple stuff first.

Monday, June 04, 2007


The NY Times has published a very disturbing op-ed called, "Dick Cheney Rules."

An excerpt:

In a similar way, Mr. Cheney seems unconcerned about little things like checks and balances and traditional American notions of judicial process. At one point, he gave himself the power to selectively declassify documents and selectively leak them to reporters. In a recent commencement address, he declaimed against prisoners who had the gall to “demand the protections of the Geneva Convention and the Constitution of the United States.”

It's a good read, if only to wonder if the idea of a "unitary executive" is what our Founding Fathers really had in mind when they drafted our constitution.

Well, Edwards just lost my vote.

CNN has the highlights from the Democrats' debate in New Hampshire. And John Edwards' first priority if he were to become President? You know, besides making sure no hair is out of place?

Traveling and re-establishing "America's moral authority."

Has he learned nothing from his Republican counterparts? Actually, what am I saying? The truth of the matter is that he's probably learned all too much.

McCain is looking better and better.


I hate headlines like this.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What the hell is so frickin' awful about brewing your own coffee?

A year ago, a NY Times money columnist, Damon Darlin, wrote out saving advice for graduates. It was practical advice like make sure to save, learn to cook and don't spend $3-10/day on lattes.

Apparently, those graduates revolted. They wrote in and whined about how hard it was to live on $40K a year in a big city. Wah, fucking wah.

Damon Darlin has now written a follow-up column -- again dispensing very practical advice about how to save money. He reiterates the stupidity of spending so much money on coffee.

The column was forwarded to me by no less than three different people (so far). And in the notes above the hot link, they, too, decried his sentiments about the Starbucks.

I don't get it. What gives, people? Since when did spending $4 on a cup of coffee become such a character defining habit?

What writers read.

The NY Times has a great piece up called "What are you reading?" which asks bestselling authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Elizabeth Gilbert and Nora Ephron what books they haven't been able to put down.

It's a fairly predictable list. These writers, being serious and all, read serious books. I so wish one of them would admit to reading a Barbara Taylor Bradford book or one of the Idiot's Guides. Hell, I'd even settle for them reading Umberto Eco's latest. But that's never going to happen. After all, they are "artistes."