September 30, 2004
Go check out this post, where he announces his intention to become a big-time blogger, and then start scrolling up.
You know you spend too much time at the computer when you recognize everyone he's mocking.
September 29, 2004
This morning at around 0530, I was walking to breakfast. I noticed the flag raising detail was in place but haven't heard any music so I kept walking. I passed a First Sergeant that was standing at attention and in front of him, a Marine, also at attention. I snapped to attention next to him and remarked that I had not heard any music. The First Sergeant relaxed and said that it hadn't started yet. So we both continued to walk towards the Dining Facility.
I pointed to the Marine still standing there at attention. The First Sergeant called over that it was still going to be a few more minutes if he wanted to keep walking. The Marine looked over and said, "No, I'm going to wait. It's been a long time since I've seen our flag raised."
That stopped me immediately. It has been a long time since I've seen our flag raised as we're prohibited from flying the Stars and Stripes in Iraq. I turned to the First Sergeant and said, "He's right, I'm waiting." A few minutes later the music started. The three of us snapped to attention and saluted.
September 28, 2004
Flirting With Disaster
I just miss him, that's all.
September 26, 2004
You all know that I love my identity as a military wife, but the worst feeling in the world is that split second right after you have to answer the "Why are you living in Germany?" question. You never know what to expect from your European questioner. Most often you get that "oh", that bit of surprise that you're not here to bum around Europe "finding yourself" by getting drunk with Australians. Sometimes you get that recoil, and you feel the mood of the conversation change. Sometimes you get the look of pity, like it must be so miserable living under the thumb of the New Hitler.
And sometimes you get the, "Sure, I know where you live. I used to train in Grafenwoehr when I was in the Italian military."
Mom and I had a wonderful talk with this porcelain artist, and we could find enough common ground to really try to understand each other. He confessed to full support of the war in Iraq -- he likes the flypaper concept -- but admitted that he doesn't always think President Bush is best for the world. He he thought that a president who would kiss France's butt a little would be better for other countries in the EU. I can see where he's coming from: As an American, I don't give a flying leap what France and Germany think, but I can now see better how the smaller EU countries do have to play the cooperation game, even though this Italian man rolled his eyes and agreed that it was farcical. Mom was extremely forthright and asked him many questions to which I feared the answers, but we learned a lot from him, and hopefully he from us.
So I didn't get to meet Serenade, but we met his kindred spirit.
Overall, I found Italy to be quite pleasant. All of the people we met seemed to be genuinely happy to meet us Americans, and one of them even went on and on about how much she loved Wisconsin. Really. I've never heard a foreigner speak of anywhere but NYC, LA, or Vegas. The loving way she spoke about Wisconsin was quite touching.
The Italians also seemed thrilled that I had spent a day teaching myself a bit of Italian. All I did was teach myself a bit of non parlo italiano and quanto questa, but I guess the effort went a long way. I found the language to be quite easy to pick up, albeit on a superficial level. I crutched on my French and guessed by saying the latin root with an Italian accent a couple of times and managed to get along quite well. I also had a not-ugly-American moment when we wanted to ask a shopkeeper a question and my Italian simply wouldn't do: we asked if he spoke any English, and he shrugged apologetically and said, "Non...Deutsch." Well then, I thought, and asked the question auf Deutsch. Heh. And I speak two other languages that didn't even enter into the picture, buddy. Now go tell your friends that there are Americans who aren't monolingual jerks.
The Italians loved pointing and whispering about my American-issued license plate, I ate the same pizza at the same restaurant three nights in a row, it was that good, and I burned a ton of gas driving up and down those mountains. What a week.
I started trying to catch up on everything I've missed this week, but I realized it was futile. If you can think of something that I should read that was posted or was not presented on CNN World this week (heh), then mention it in the comments and I'll check it out.
I painted my fingernails. That may not seem so exciting, but I realized that I hadn't made the time to do that small task in nearly a year. I read 500 pages of my book. I worked obsessively on this puzzle. I went to see this man. I bought a set of these. And when I walked out of our residenza, this is what I saw.
We went to a ski resort in September. There was no snow, there were no people, and there was nothing pressing to do. The resort owner seemed embarrassed and apologetic that we had come at such a boring time, but it was exactly what I wanted. For me, a true vacation is about doing nothing. I did a lot of nothing this week; it was wonderful.
September 20, 2004
September 18, 2004
September 17, 2004
On the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, there are snippets of dialogue from the movie. My French roommate in college borrowed the CD from me and was visibly shocked when she heard the diner dialogue, you know, the one with the "sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie" bit. She made me play it over and over again, repeating the dialogue more slowly so she could understand, and she swore up and down that she had never heard that in the French version she saw. She claims that the exchange never even happened, not even something similar to it. I've always wondered what the French version of Pulp Fiction was like, but I've never seen it myself.
Maybe on the next trip over the border.
IMUS: What is this plan you have?
KERRY: Well, the plan gets more complicated every single day because the president...
IMUS: Try to simplify it for me so I can understand it.
KERRY: Well, Don, I realize that, but the fact is that the president is the president. I mean, what you ought to be doing and what everybody in America ought to be doing today is not asking me; they ought to be asking the president, What is your plan?
He rambles for a bit, and then the interviewer throws him a ba-zing:
IMUS: We're asking you because you want to be president.
Indeed. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas in Cambodia. But what are you going to do about it, Kerry? Stop saying what we should be asking the President and start explaining why we should vote for you. What would you do differently, and don't give me this bullcrap about bringing allies to the table. No single country has agreed to do anything differently, even if you're President. You criticize the President for "not having a plan to win the peace"; explain why you think the world will be more peaceful if you yank all the troops out. Explain it, please. Cuz last year you said
Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein, and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture, don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president.
More stuff from the interview:
IMUS: Did you read "Unfit for Command?"
IMUS: Did anybody on your staff?
KERRY: I have no idea.
IMUS: Why wouldn't you want to know what's in it? It's the No. 1 "New York Times," of course, it says nonfiction bestseller.
KERRY: Because they have right wing people to buy them in bulk, and that's what they're doing.
Can't possibly be individuals who want to search for the truth themselves rather than buying what CBS is peddling? It's gotta be Karl Rove buying books by the crate and turning them into fertilizer for Bush's secret cocaine stash. Please. You can't be president if you believe in a book-buying conspiracy. (By the way, none of these conspiracy nutjobs are mature enough to be president either.)
Here's a zinger of a question:
IMUS: Back in May of 2001 on "Meet the Press," you said you yourself have committed the same kinds of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers in violation of the Geneva Conventions. And my question, Senator Kerry, is, is there a difference between what happened in your case in Vietnam and what happened at Abu Ghraib, in that both were acts in violation of the Geneva Conventions?
KERRY: There is a difference.
IMUS: What is it?
KERRY: There is a difference. What I was referring to in that testimony was the general categorization of free-fire zones in Vietnam and the general categorizations of some of the weapons that were being used, which were in violation of the accords. We didn't learn that until we came home. I didn't know any of that while I was there. I didn't know any of that over there, nor did most soldiers.
That sounds mighty different from what he said before about Jengis Khan. That wasn't just weapons types, that was
They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Why can't we get a straight story out of this man?
IMUS: Do you think there are any circumstances we should have gone to war in Iraq -- any?
KERRY: Not under the current circumstances, no, there are none that I see.
But he just got done saying something that sounds different...
KERRY: Let me explain it to you. I felt in 1998, and I said that Clinton ought to have the power, the authority to use force, in order to force Saddam Hussein to have inspectors, to be able to disarm. The only way to get the inspectors in was to be tough, to have the threat of force and the authority to use force. I was prepared to use the force if he didn't do what he needed to do. But I warned the president, as did many people, take the time to build up the international coalition, don't rush to war, because the most difficult part is not winning the military part of the war; it's winning the peace. [emphasis added]
Kerry would've gone to war if "he didn't do what he needed to do." Who is "he"? Saddam, I guess. What did he "need to do"? "Have inspectors" and "be able to disarm". That's an extremely vague sentence, and it would be nice to know what exactly the last straw would've been for Kerry. What exactly would've made him decide it was time to go to war? What exactly would've made it too imminent for him?
What exactly is his platform?
Kerry supporters make a little girl cry
a good post on the underdog
another Blue 6 (who just moved)
September 16, 2004
And I know that this isn't really fair, because I know you could find some unflattering photos of me, but I loved the photos of the President.
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