October 21, 2006


I just want to be a jerk for a minute and point something out.


Go Cardinals!


Tigers in three? Not so much.

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Today rivals our 4th of July for Americanness. We voted (absentee), went to the State Fair and ate our weight in okra and deep fried Snickers, and now we're drinking beer and watching the World Series. Take that, Mellencamp: this is our country.

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October 20, 2006


John Hawkins has a great interview with Larry Elder on race, health care, free trade, and blogging.

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October 19, 2006


Whew, my heart can't handle being a baseball fan. I thought for a while that it might be my duty-Judy to be a Tigers fan next week, but now the Tigers can eat it.
All hail Yadier Molina.

And my sleep cycle can't handle Eastern time zone. Look at me, up until midnight. I'm so off schedule from all these late night games that Charlie and I slept until 0945 this morning. I haven't slept that late since college.

And I sure can't sleep right now; I have to wait for all those butterflies to calm down.

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October 18, 2006


Iowahawk makes an appeal to Conservative America. I got such a kick out of this paragraph that I can't stop giggling. Republican stereotypes crack me up.

Despite what you may have heard on Fox News, we Democrats know what issues are on the minds of heartland conservatives like you. We know that your number one concern of is the safety of your children -- whether they are plucking their banjos on the back porch, speaking tongues to snakes at Jesus Camp, or torching crosses at your local Nascar racing contest. We also know that the number one threat to your children's safety is the scourge of international homo-ism. That's why we at the DNC have created "The Contract With American Hillbillies," a new multipoint investigation program to identify and root out conservative stealth homoism before it threatens you or your precious little inbreeds.

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October 17, 2006


Saw this on MSNBC today: A new study finds that even top undergraduates are woefully ignorant of history and civic government

I can't say I'm surprised at all. My college GPA was a 3.92 and I missed a couple on the sample test. Embarrassing. And my college did a pretty good job of forcing us to take a variety of courses. Still, even with all those requirements I never had to take economics, statistics, or anything like geography. I think we do a disservice to students by filling their schedules with stuff like "Environmental Global Warming" or "Gender and the Law". I took a class on serial killers, so now I know more than the average person about Ted Bundy but cringed when I got asked a question about the Revolutionary War. That's sad, but I have no one to blame but myself. I just wasn't mature enough from age 18 to 22 to take anything that wasn't fun. Fat lot of good my Russian literature and Japanese classes have done me since.

By the way, I've been looking for a good US history book because I think I could really use a refresher. Anyone out there have any suggestions?

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Good thing we didn't bet on black.

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October 16, 2006


They've been beating us over the head with that new Chevy commercial during the postseason, and my husband hates it too. He flies off the handle every time it's on. He's mad that someone would proudly boil the US down to Hurricane Katrina and Vietnam protesters. I'll have to point out this quote from Slate: "I wonder if they could squeeze in the Rodney King beating and the Abu Ghraib photos, too."

There was a much better commercial on AFN that tried for the same concept. I have been looking online for 15 minutes but can't find any trace of it. Those of you in USAREUR will remember the Navy Reserves commercial that laid out things worth fighting for: hot dogs, Route 66, baseball, etc. This Chevy commercial really misses that mark.

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All alone for a week; husband's out in the field. Heh, the field, for Finance. They sit around and pretend to pay people.

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October 15, 2006


I've got a story that might freak you out -- it's certainly a bit more intense than what you'll find in "Humor in Uniform" -- but someone somewhere out there will understand this story and think it's funny.

I ordered some photos online from our digital camera before I realized I forgot to order one that I wanted. I decided to take the one photo to Walmart with me and just print it off of that Kodak machine. So I grabbed my husband's thumb drive and saved the photo. Piece of cake, right? Well, those photo machines work by searching the thumb drive for all photo files. So there I am at the store and the Kodak machine is asking me which photo I want. It's afternoon on a Sunday, so the Walmart is swarming with people, and I'm about to have a heart attack.

Because, you see, I had saved it to my husband's thumb drive from Iraq.

So there I was in Walmart, on the very big, very public Kodak machine, frantically scrolling through photos of dead insurgents trying to find the stinkin' picture of our dog.

Could've died of embarrassment.

[Disclaimer: Before anyone gets too freaked out by this story, I must point out that these weren't "trophy photos." One of my husband's tasks in Iraq was to document anything that happened to his platoon while they were out on patrol. He had to take these photos back to battalion so they could cross-reference them against high-value targets and known troublemakers.]

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October 14, 2006


I started feeling antsy and came in to check blogs. I found a great post on the supposed 654,965 dead Iraqis over at Annika's. And I was so engrossed in reading it that I missed Suppan's homerun. Dangit.

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October 13, 2006


Lileks has a good bleat today and a link to an article called "Imagine Earth Without People". Take a deep breath and dive in. Now, I'm no biologist, but you know what else earth probably wouldn't have if it didn't have people? Pandas.

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October 12, 2006


Found: a den Beste post

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October 11, 2006


Wow, Victor remembered something that I completely forgot: I posted my birthday in a comments section three months ago. It was in reference to a poem he posted that I really liked and that's appropriate for me today...

Eighteen years old, October eleventh

Drunk for the first time in her life,
she tossed her head in a horsey laugh
and that new opal gift sailed off her sore earlobe,
in a graceful parabola,
pinged twice on the stone porch floor,
and rolled off to hide behind the rose bushes.

click to keep reading

Thanks, Victor, for having such a good memory and remembering to swing by here today. Some of my best friends didn't even remember it's my birthday!

Man, I love the blogosphere.

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I actually watched Rolie Polie Olie a few times in the mornings in Germany, simply because I knew Lileks liked it. It wasn't a bad show, as far as kids' stuff is concerned, and that's saying a lot because I didn't even have a kid sitting next to me while I watched it. Too bad my future kids won't get to see it.

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Finally the countdown to 30 can begin; today I'm officially only one year away.

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October 10, 2006


Bunker used to wake up at the crack of dawn, so he was almost always the first person to read my posts and comment on them. He was always very encouraging in my quest to grok, and I wish he were here today to help me grapple with this post.

For you see, I just finished reading Flyboys.

I agree with nearly every review I've read that Bradley was a bit clumsy in trying to make the US and Japan equals in barbarity. At least I know I'm not the only one who ruffled at the fact that the first chapter of the book lays out America's "government policy of ethnic cleansing." But in his attempt to be fair and balanced with the war in the Pacific, Bradley did manage to do one thing: make me feel utterly and completely anti-war.

I cried myself to sleep every night I was reading this book. Bradley managed to bring the horrors of war to life in a way I've never quite experienced. Maybe it was the cannibalism that put me over the top. Maybe it was Jimmy Dye's white scarf. Maybe it was the fact that I personally think we're currently fighting an enemy that's more ruthless than the Japanese. But something in this book hit me in the gut, and I can't stop thinking about it.

My husband warned me about writing a post wherein I call myself anti-war. But I said that, if a blog named Trying to Grok isn't a place where I can be honest about my thoughts, then what's the point of writing on it? And so I confess that I see myself as anti-war. Except that anti-war doesn't really mean what the plain-faced words would seem.

I don't mean anti-war in the Sheryl Crow's Sequined T-Shirt way that most people mean when they call themselves anti-war. Most of those people actually mean anti-Bush. And I certainly haven't lost all my brain cells and begun to think that there actually ever could be a world without war either. I know there's no such thing as NO WAR, regardless of how many bumper stickers are printed.

But when you read about POWs having their heads chopped off and then being eaten by the enemy, when you read about the napalm that fell on Tokyo, when you read about the absolutely ghastly things that went on in the Pacific, you all of a sudden can grok a sentence you've heard over and over but never really gave much thought.

War is hell.

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October 09, 2006


We haven't seen the movie Jarhead in our household, but we do gleefully work the phrase "I hear their bombs and I'm afraid" into conversation as often as we can. I've had zero interest in seeing the movie, until I read this review at Cold Fury. If you've already seen the movie, definitely go over and read both the review and the comments.

Oh, and how ridiculous was it when I saw a soldier on Law and Order call another soldier a "jarhead"? Sheesh, google could've helped them avoid that bonehead script gaff.

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October 06, 2006


I don't know if my friend from Sweden still checks in on my blog anymore, but if you do, don't look! The rest of you can check out the extended entry... more...

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October 03, 2006


Is it just me, or is TV going a bit too far with snarky social commentary? I was watching Cold Case the other day, and one of the suspects was a former crackhead who'd turned his life around. So Scotty snidely quips, "Yeah, you overcame drugs and had a stint in the Guard; you could be president." Hardy har har. Shut up and solve the damn mystery. It's no wonder I find myself spending more and more time on the Food Network.

Speaking of which, look who I nearly had a heart attack to meet today...


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