June 13, 2006


The blog is due for a pupdate! I haven't written about Charlie's experiences in the US yet...

I was concerned that Charlie might be overwhelmed by flying alone and staying at my in-laws' house without us. We thought he'd be overjoyed to see us, but when we got there, he gave us a cursory lick and then ran back outside. He loved their doggie door and playing with their dog and two cats. He wrestled one cat constantly, which was hilarious. And he learned about chasing birds and squirrels too.

He then made the trip from Kansas City to Illinois via the new Busch stadium, which he christened with a big fat dump on the sidewalk. He did fine at my parents' house too, except for the fact that my parents' dog didn't really want to have anything to do with him. He spent the two weeks baiting their dog, pushing him with his nose and pouncing, hoping he'd want to play back.

Moving appeared to be a maturing process; we were able to leave him out of the crate most of the time because he had other animals to occupy him. He had one ridiculous lapse in judgement that nearly got him strangled though: on the last night at my parents' house he ate my brand new $27 hank of beautiful wool. It was sitting next to a $2 skein that I had gotten on sale, but naturally he didn't want that one. Other than that near-fatal mistake, he was very good on his vacation.

He made the 15-hour car ride with us out to our new post. He did surprisingly well in his crate the whole way, until we got about two hours out. At that point, he completely wigged out and started banging his head on the bars and yelping. I let him sit in my lap the rest of the way.

He did fine in the Army hotel, considering we were in the "pet section" and there were barking dogs all around us. He didn't like the constant come-and-go of the cleaning crew, but overall he did OK. He's been pretty good in the new apartment as well. It's funny that none of our furniture is here, and we have tan carpet and walls; I can never find him because he camouflages so well into his surroundings! He took up a fascination last night with those springy door stop things: he constantly boings it, and he's already eaten the rubber stopper off.

But most of the time he's content right here at the patio door.


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Oh no...

Bryan Singer, the film's gay director and responsible for The Usual Suspects and the first two X-Men movies, compounded the anxiety last week by describing Superman Returns as a "chick flick about a superhero seen from a woman's perspective, with qualities you'd want in a husband". The woman is Lois Lane, played by Kate Bosworth.

I've avoided commercials and previews for Superman Returns because I want to go in fresh. But this article about how metrosexual Superman is certainly has me nervous. They better not have messed with my Man of Steel.

And look at all the money wasted! Man. Nicolas Cage got $27 million for nothing? Ugh.

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This is a very touchy subject right now, but Big Lizards has a lengthy post on the Ann Coulter deal. Ann Coulter is always good for a guffaw, and I'm often shocked at the things she's comfortable saying, but I agree with Dafydd when he lays out his argument as this:

Ask yourself this question: what reason is offered for us to accept the analysis of the Jersey Girls about what's wrong with our response to 9/11? Why listen to them, instead of (for a wild example) Big Lizards?
The only reason put forward is that 9/11 "tore our families apart and destroyed our former lives."

I recommend reading the whole post to understand Dafydd's argument.

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June 12, 2006


And I hope every second of those 52 minutes was agony...

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June 09, 2006


And I thought we had been around the Army for a "long time" because new privates have ACUs! That's nothing compared to R1's time in...

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So far my favorite reaction to Zarqawi's death was from my friend Heidi: "May he rot in hell because I know that Sean and all the other soldiers did not let him in heaven."

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It's hard to put into words how I've been feeling for the last six weeks. My friends from Germany keep wondering if the magic has worn off yet, and I can honestly say that I'm thrilled it hasn't. I still bounce out of my seat when we pass a Dairy Queen or an Arby's. I walk slowly through every aisle in Walmart, trying to take it all in. And I laugh every time I notice something that is different from the way my life was for the past three years.

The biggest joke I've noticed is that my husband and I are complete suckers for advertising right now. Since we went for three years without commercials, we find ourselves buying into the hype. Sonic runs a commercial for a junior banana split, and I immediately want to go out and get one. Quizno's runs a new sandwich, and we go get it for dinner. We even saw some dumb commercial for a Crunch bar, and my husband and I turned to each other and said, "Heck, I don't even really like Crunch, but I sure want one now!" I find myself wanting the Nicer Dicer and the Total Gym and everything else I see on TV. I hope this wears off soon!

Another thing I've noticed is that I talk to everyone. Waiters, strangers, people in line...I just have this overwhelming urge to chat. I spent three years avoiding small talk and praying that salesclerks would not ask me any hard questions, so I can't stop jabbering at everyone. I love talking to people!

I'm also not used to air conditioning, so I'm freezing my butt off. I had forgotten how shocking it is to go in and out of buildings in the US, to constantly go from 60 degrees to 95.

And cruise control is heaven.

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Via CaliValleyGirl via Smink, I heard about this academic paper on milblogs. I haven't read the whole thing yet, only the part that Cali pointed out to me on pg 13.

Neil Prackish is an Army reserve officer and Silver Star awardee for valor; a dentist in civilian life, Prackish recently stopped blogging on his popular site, Armor Geddon, because of his own concerns for operational security.

Um, no, no, and no.

Neil Prakash is an active duty soldier. He is not a dentist, nor does he have any plans to be one (but his parents both are). I would even quibble about the reason he stopped blogging, but since I only know because we've sat in my living room and talked about it, I can hardly fault the authors that one. But otherwise, at least please spell his name right. Neil was hardly secretive or incognito on his blog, so these are things that should've been easy to fact check.

See, I typed "Neil Prakash" into google and immediately found better info on him than this academic paper provides. Of course, I spelled his name correctly, so maybe that's how I found it so fast. Hardy har.

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The first time we moved together, away from our college town and to our first duty station, the first move of many to come, my husband surprised me by bringing along our Tom Petty CD and playing "Time to Move On" as we headed off. We've continued to do this every time we drive to our new post, and every time I cry as we leave the old. That is, every time until now. I honestly can't say that I was sad to leave Germany; the only thing I miss so far is Erin, Kelly, and The Girl, and I've talked to one of them on the phone about every three days anyway! (Also, can I just say how wonderful it feels to have three friends who seem to miss me as much as I miss them?)

It was time to move on, and I'm so glad we did.

I love our new post. I realized that I've never been around basic trainees before. It wasn't so obvious at Knox, and there were none in Germany, but since this post is almost exclusively a training post, I've found it seems everyone is a private. And I love it. I drive around with this stupid grin on my face because I'm constantly passing formation, duffel packing, pugil sticks, bayonet training, and other extremely cute things. I love when a pack of trainees is standing in formation outside the Shopette, all clutching their AAFES bags of goodies. I even love the way the gate guards welcome us to the post every day: "Victory starts here."

But I realized yesterday as I was moving stuff out of our hotel that living off post will be a completely different experience for me. This is the first time I won't constantly be surrounded by Army. I realized I won't wake to the sound of PT, and I will have to make a special effort to drive onto post to ogle at basic trainees. For many wives, moving off post comes as a relief, but it saddens me. I love on post.

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Over the weekend, we caught Markos Zuniga on Tim Russert. Overall I thought he did a good job of presenting his side without making me want to smash the TV, but there was one thing he said that really didn't sit right with me. Russert asked Kos about his military service, and he had this to say (clip here):

I think one of the tragedies of the war right now is that so many people like me, people who came from lower socioeconomic status, from the barrios or the ghettos or the trailer parks or low income areas use the military, which is a very colorblind society, very meritocratic, use the military as a way to build their self esteem, to grow as a human being, and to learn very valuable life skills, and come out of it with money for college. And this is what I did, and it was very effective in helping me get to where I am today. I would not be the person I am today without my military service -- I'm extremely proud of it -- and it just pains me to see how many lower income people now do not view the military as an option because, clearly, join the military, get shipped to Iraq: it's not a very attractive proposition.

Our nation has a military in order to defend the US and fight her wars. That's the whole point of a military. I hate when people act like the military should be a place where they can get free college or some extra cash for one weekend a month and not have to do any of the hard work. The military is not a summer camp where you get to know yourself and then get free college. Kos should've known that back when he joined right before the first Gulf War. The military is serious business, and anyone who joins thinking he can reap all the benefits without any of the risks is a jerk. The US doesn't front millions of dollars so some kid from the barrio can find himself. He has to fight when called to, so if he doesn't want to fight, he needs to find someone else to finance his maturation process. Period. It irks me that Kos acts like the US is oppressing low income kids because they can't have their college and eat it too. If you're not prepared to fight, the military is not for you ever, even in peacetime.

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I've been thinking a lot about Bunker lately. It's been a year since he passed away, and I still miss him very much. I think about him often when something exciting happens in the news, so he was one of my first thoughts yesterday. He would've been so excited about Zarqawi's death. I just wish I had baking utensils or flour and eggs, for I surely would relish a "Suck it, Zarqawi" cake right about now. Maybe I can make a belated one...

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June 08, 2006


We got internet access last night, and I have a million things to say but no time to say them in. I was going to sit and blog this afternoon, but the husband got done with class early, so I'll go back to the hotel to be with him and the pup. Tomorrow we are officially moving into our apartment though, so there will be no reason why I can't blog.

Stay tuned...

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June 04, 2006


I took this photo before we left my parents' house. My collection of cookbooks doubled when I hit the ground a month ago...


It's a wonder we fit everything in the car...now we just have to fit it all in 500 less square feet!

We made it. The place is nice, if just a tad small. But we'll live for six months. We're still getting settled; our unaccompanied baggage gets delivered on Tuesday, so we should be on the internet within a day or two. Can't wait to be connected again.

And can't wait to start cooking!

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