Thursday, March 27, 2008

He knows something's up.

We are trying to get Munchkin ready for the deployment.

We've bought our Daddy doll. We've put photos of CPT Dick everywhere we possibly can. We've been doing a lot of videotaping of CPT Dick reading perennial favorites like "Red Fish, Blue Fish" and "Whopper Cake."

And we've started telling him that Daddy is going away. We've read the advice in books (translation: I have and told my husband what to say) and we've been mentioning it casually over the past few months. A bit more now that D-day is coming right up on us.

It's hard enough with a small child to know how much they really understand. And when your child is speech-delayed, it's even more difficult. Most of the time, when we spoke about Daddy going away, he'd either say, "Bye bye!" as if CPT Dick was leaving that moment for a run to the store or something or just make a request to watch the movie "Cars."

But this week, I think we crossed a line. We were wrapping a present for a birthday party and I started to talk about how Daddy wouldn't be back until after his next birthday. Munchkin looked up at me, somewhat alarmed, and said, "No. No bye-bye. Daddy stay. No bye-bye. Daddy stay here."

And since then, though he still goes to bed on his own, at about 1am he sneaks into our room. And usually, when he has a bad dream, he comes over to my side of the bed to be put back down. But these days, he walks over to the other side and crawls into his father's arms.

I think he is just trying to make sure his Daddy is still there. It is both sweet and heartbreaking all at once. And I must admit, I do worry about the night, the night that will come all too soon, when he finds that his Daddy is no longer there.

Did I say I was voting for Hillary?


Now I have no idea who to vote for. Frankly, I don't feel that any of the candidates right now could have my total support.

It feels just like 2004.

Monday, March 24, 2008

I'm so sick of politics.

Is the election over yet? No? Then can someone tell me to ignore the news until after November? I swear, I'm just sick of it all and we're still 6 months away from V-day. What makes it worse is that some of my stories this month have jumped into the political fray and, really, they just made me more cranky about the process.

Case in point. I was asked to write a story about one of the presidential candidate's policies. I called the campaign to get a staffer to give me a two minute soundbyte for the piece. Just a quote that could go along with the very favorable policy that the hopeful is touting. I spoke to someone in the media department who told me to go ahead and submit a media request on the website. I did so.

Now do you think it got me my two minute phone call with a staffer? No, of course not. And no amount of calling ended up granting me that honor. But what it did do was put me on the mailing list. In the three weeks, I patiently waited for an appointment to ask a sum total of three questions, I received at least two, sometimes more emails per day. Telling me about change, about how voters who say they don't believe in X really don't believe in me. Frankly, it was annoying stuff. And stuff that I thought this candidate was better than. But hey, a person's gotta advertise. I tried to keep patient.

But after a week of that, I tried to unsubscribe. No luck. In fact, I think it might have signed me up again because I started getting even more emails.

And when I asked a press staffer when I might hear back about my interview request, why I hadn't already even, she had the audacity to tell me that they didn't have my email on file.


I never got my quote. I called every day, I pestered, I may have even stalked. But I apparently wasn't important enough to talk to, even when I opened my schedule totally for this person (and I didn't even want to talk to the candidate -- just a random staffer that could speak for the campaign). My story had to be filed without it.

But I'm still receiving those fucking emails.

The importance of being specific with scientific study.

For one of my freelance gigs, I do a lot of summarizing of newly released medical studies. A very recent one has suggested that folate is just as important to viable sperm as it is to healthy fetuses.

But what keeps cracking me up is that in so many of the articles about this finding, the writer finds it necessary to refer to sperm as "male sperm." Ummm, yeah, we know. Who else might the sperm belong to?

So, I fibbed.

I've been busy with all kinds of pre-deployment nonsense. It's as if the Army can't stand to see any void left unfilled. I mean, why would we, as families of soldiers, want to spend any time one-on-one with our husbands when we could be paraded around to endless ceremonies, balls, luncheons and other mandatory fun events? And what's worse, why on earth would we want to be hanging with our men when we could attend spouse-only coffees, dinners and other ridiculousness? I mean, I totally want to see these women, you know, the ones I'll see every damn day for the next 15 months, as much as I can before the deployment clock starts ticking!

It just don't make a damn lick of sense.

I know, I know. I'm cranky. But it doesn't help that being around so many people this time of year has guaranteed me that pre-spring icky flu.