February 10, 2006

OVERNIGHT

Well, we got dumped on this morning. We seem to have gotten about seven inches of snow overnight, so the most logical thing to do was to send Charlie out in it.

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He had a blast, but then when we came in we noticed that he wasn't obeying his sit command. Maybe it had something to do with this...

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Poor puppy. But after a quick rinse in the tub, he was good as new.

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February 09, 2006

DOUBT

For the past few years, I've been a steadfast warmonger. I have believed that all people on this planet, given the chance, would choose freedom over chains. I have believed that everyone is worthy of democracy, that my country was doing something Good by opening up Iraq to democracy. I have continued to believe in the fundamental value of democracy, even as my husband began to scratch his head. I've been an idealist, but he's actually been to Iraq. The seven signs of non-competitive states have troubled his mind and made him wonder if Iraq really will be able to pull itself out of the Dark Ages. I have insisted that it must be so, that all people must want to be free. But my heart sank when I saw this today:

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This photo from Pakistan feels like a punch in the gut. It makes me want to cry, just as the al-Sadr photo did two years ago. Why doesn't my ideal chair ever match up to the real chair?

I don't want my husband to be right.

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TWO YEARS

My husband and I had the following conversation last night:

Me: On Tuesday it will be a full year since you left for Iraq.
Him: Two years.
Me: Huh?
Him: Two years.
Me: Oh, right. Dang. (Pause) Daaaang.

I can't believe how time has flown. He's right: he left on Valentine's Day two years ago, and it'll be a full year in March since he's been home. My Swedish friend and I were talking over the weekend about how easy it is to lose track of time when you no longer measure your life in school grades. Once you get out of school, time is a big blur. Even something as monumental as a year of deployment got all mixed up in my head.

I can't believe he left two years ago. I remember it so vividly...

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February 08, 2006

FUNERAL OR RALLY?

My husband and I watched part of the Coretta Scott King funeral last night and were completely shocked at what a political rally it became. We missed what President Bush had said because we tuned in right as Pres. Carter started speaking. We were both disgusted at his references to wiretapping and Hurricane Katrina. And the icing on the cake was when he snubbed President Bush and wouldn't even shake his hand. He came off as a real asshole, pardon my language. Pres. Bush 41 was witty and uplifting. Pres. Clinton naturally was a compelling speaker, but we were both a bit surprised at how overtly religious his speech was. I always have the feeling that Pres. Bush is the same man in public as behind closed doors, but Pres. Clinton seems to be whoever is needed at the moment. I guess that's a normal quality for a politician to have, but I don't necessarily think it's an endearing quality. And then Hillary Clinton spoke: did anyone else think it was a bit creepy that she focused so much on Coretta standing by her man? Somehow I think it's weird to see the Clintons at a podium talking about strength in marriage. Maybe it's just me.

Overall the whole thing was weird and completely un-funeral-like. I did like what Pres. Clinton had to say, reminding us all that Coretta Scott King was a woman and not just a symbol. I thought the whole thing was a bit smarmy, using this poor woman's death as a chance to reach out to the black community, as if every politician there were saying "see, look at me, I care about black people."

And once again, President Bush has to sit there and smile while everyone blames him for war, racism, and poverty. The man is a saint to take so much abuse with such grace. I'd've punched Carter in the flippin' mouth.

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February 07, 2006

A TRUE FRIEND

On Thanksgiving I wrote about how happy I am that I've found my two best friends because part of the reason I started this blog was because none of my old friends agreed with me politically. It wasn't until we got into the Army that I started to make friends who valued the same things I do. In the comments section, Pericles said, "So we can safely assume that you've never distanced yourself from friends because of THEIR politics?" He says he was joking, and I don't think he meant to be rude, but I have thought about that comment for a long time.

It's true that once I started to meet people who agreed with me, it was easier to prefer their company to the company of others. I'd much rather nod in agreement than argue! But before that, back in college, more often than not I'd find myself talking down a road less traveled and then backing off when I realized the other person wasn't following me. I usually changed the subject or tried to find ways to agree. I began to feel more isolated, especially after my Dinesh D'Souza experience. But the war really tipped the scales; I have very little contact with anyone I was friends with before OIF. Heck, my maid of honor hasn't spoken to me in about two years. I have no problem with people growing apart, but it's sad to me that we could be friends when I knew others' political views but not when they knew mine.

However, there's one friend who has shown me that two people can be respectful of each other and put aside their differences. I met my friend from Sweden back in 1998, and we're still as close today as we were then. She's a Swede through and through; I don't think we agree on a single thing politically! However, we always manage to talk civilly and explain our positions in peace. Maybe it's easier because we come from two different worlds: we can easily shrug and say, "What else would she think, she's Swedish/American?" But we manage to make the friendship work even when we have fundamental differences in thinking: she about had a heart attack when I whooped after Timothy McVeigh was executed, and I nearly keeled over when she told me that Swedish parents receive School Supply Money from the government! She's been nothing but supportive about my husband's deployment, even though I know she's not such a fan of the military in general.

She visited over the weekend, and we had a wonderful time. She was interested in my husband's photos from Iraq and learning about the new functional area he's applying for. She even met my two best friends here; I wonder what it's like for her to listen to my right wing friends' conversations about re-enlistment and school bullies! Erin even thought later she should apologize for sounding so American, but I think it's good for my Swedish friend to hear us as we really are. She's tolerant enough to hear the truth!

So in response to Pericles' joke, I have indeed distanced myself from many people in my life who have expressed hostility towards my husband's career or towards my views. But it doesn't have to be that way. I am completely capable of accepting my Swedish friend just the way she is because she's willing to do the same. We have a wonderful friendship, despite the fact that we're ridiculously different. She's a true friend.

Plus she uses me for my commissary privileges to stay stocked in Starbursts. I can live with that...

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February 06, 2006

EXHAUSTED

The Superbowl didn't start here until after midnight, but my husband and Charlie stayed up for the whole thing. And now Charlie has been a complete wreck: he hasn't eaten a single thing all day and he didn't even pee until 1900! His system is a mess. Apparently our pup needs a strict bedtime...

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(Our exhausted pup, snuggling with his stuffed moose)

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February 05, 2006

HEH

Heh. Apparently concentrating on knitting can be deadly...

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DREAMS

Since September 11, I've had a handful of war dreams. Sometimes I'm a soldier, sometimes I'm a civilian, and last night I was a frightened wife being escorted through a battle by her husband's soldiers. Whenever I have one of these dreams, I jolt awake in a panic. It always takes me a while to calm down enough to go back to sleep. I can't help but wonder how real soldiers are affected by these dreams: I dream of a war I've never been in; they dream of real situations they've faced. I hope their dreams don't haunt them like mine do...but I think that's too much to hope for.

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February 03, 2006

NOT TAGGED

Nobody tagged me, but I'm gonna do this one anyway...

4 Jobs You Have Had in Your Life
1. paperboy
2. jewelry salesperson
3. English teacher
4. The Girl's secretary

4 Movies You Would Watch Over and Over
1. The Royal Tenenbaums
2. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
3. True Romance
4. Raising Arizona

4 Places You Have Lived
1. Germany
2. France
3. Sweden
4. Texas

4 TV Shows You Love to Watch
1. Smallville
2. Alias
3. Futurama
4. Numbers

4 Places You Have Been on Vacation
1. Wyatt Earp's house
2. The Alamo
3. Bolzano, Italy to visit the Iceman
4. Cuba, NY

4 Web- sites You Visit Daily
1. LGF
2. After that I bounce around a lot
3.
4.

4 Favorite Foods
1. steak
2. peas
3. turkey cutlets with rosemary-tomato sauce
4. broccoli-rice-cheese casserole

4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now
1. Las Vegas
2. In my husband's office
3. Talking with Bunker
4. Anywhere in the USA

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February 01, 2006

LIP GLOSS

Reader Glen pointed out a blog post that really made me smile. It's a wonderful story of a husband's love for his wife, a love that keeps them strong deployment after deployment.

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