October 09, 2007


Dude, this is so cool. I am the #1 hit on Google and Google Images for "knit rhinoceros."

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The husband and I were talking about the concept of The Only Child the other day and decided it need not be a bad thing. They usually have a rep for being spoiled, but I pointed out plenty of people in this world with siblings who are self-centered beyond belief. I held up Gnat as a shining example of a seemingly well-rounded only child. And then I laughed: "If Gnat ends up with any neuroses, it won't be from being on only child; it will be from the fact that her life has been shared with the world in Being John Malkovitch style!"

It was a bit coincidental, this conversation we had.
Today Gnat learned that the world knows her as Gnat.

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October 08, 2007


A very good explanation of why "dissent is the highest form of patriotism" doesn't really work.

Oh yeah, and Thomas Jefferson never said that. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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October 07, 2007


I wasn't going to waste time writing about this because if I wrote about every time something on TV made me mad, well, this would become a TV blog. But I saw this link on Conservative Grapevine and immediately thought, "I saw that piece of crap episode."

The latest episode of the CBS crime show "Cold Case" depicted presumably devout Christian teens in an abstinence club as sexually active hypocrites who literally stone a member to keep their sins secret.

OK, look, I get that most of Hollywood is going to scoff at abstinence programs in schools. Fine. But there was something just so wrong about some of the scenes in this show. The cops kept rolling their eyes at the witnesses they interviewed from the abstinence club. Smirking and making smartass comments about how weird their beliefs are. And we're talking about the murder of a fifteen year old. The 40-year-old virgin might bring in some laughs, but seriously? Cops are sneering at 15 year olds who aren't gettin' any? It was just offensive. Who in their right mind looks down on abstinent 15 year olds?

So the show had the repressed Christian kids who kill the slut with the heart of gold. Now I'm rolling my eyes...

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October 06, 2007


And now I'm back down to knowing ten people who are pregnant: one of the girls I know had a miscarriage.

Nothing like a healthy dose of perspective.

That's the harsh truth and crappy part about this process: no one is safe. Nothing says that once we finally get pregnant, we're in the clear. Nothing says that once you give birth, you get more than a day with your baby, as this story over at Fiberlicious always reminds me. And nothing guarantees that the precious child you've raised and loved won't die when he's 17, and then your heart won't be broken by the pregnant women around you but by the flood of his peers' high school graduation announcements.

If I've learned anything in the past nine months, it's that this whole process sucks. Opening your heart up to having a child means opening your heart to a world of pain like you've never known.

And I'm far from the only person who's ever been hurt by the process, so I think I'll stop talking about it.

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From an article discussing how Katie Couric is uncomfortable "saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States.” (via Photon Courier)

I’ve come around to the view that the culture war can best be understood as a conflict between two different kinds of patriotism. On the one hand, there are people who believe being an American is all about dissent and change, that the American idea is inseparable from “progress.” America is certainly an idea, but it is not merely an idea. It is also a nation with a culture as real as France’s or Mexico’s. That’s where the other patriots come in; they think patriotism is about preserving Americanness.

Yet the strangest and most ironic aspect of our national culture is that we have an aversion to talking about a national culture.

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Oda Mae sent me a cute link that combines two of my favorite things: yarnwork and cooking.

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October 05, 2007


Make that eleven. Eleven people I know who are pregnant.

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More Halloween preemie hats. These are sure fun!


The black one is with candy corns; it's a little easier to see in person.
The tan one...I should've used black for the jack o lantern mouths but I didn't want to do three-stranded colorwork. And duplicate stitch looked like crap when I tried it here. Come to think of it, I think duplicate stitch usually looks like crap. Not a fan.

My next idea: designing a turkey for some November hats.

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Mistakes were made in Iraq. No, not our mistakes, theirs.
Mission Accomplished
I can't say enough how interesting this article was. It addresses all the common complaints about OIF, from the Iraqi side. It breaks down Sunni worries and Shia strategies. It is crucial reading. I plan to read it again.

Oh, and like the der Spiegel article, this one wasn't written in the US either. Why can't our press come up with stuff like this?

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October 04, 2007


Here we go again!


The first of December probably won't be covered with snow in North Carolina, but it will be full of milspouses as we converge on Fayetteville.

And we'll have a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower from our venue. No, seriously.

If you're anywhere near Fort Bragg, I encourage you to come out for this event. You can read all the details about registering at SpouseBUZZ.

I already have two attendees staying at my house...

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So, do you have any kids?

I used to know how to answer that question, with an assured and confident negative. When pressed, I was able to justify our childless marriage by saying that there was no way on earth I was going to have a baby in Germany and that we needed to wait until we were stationed in one place for longer than nine months before we even considered it.

Now that we've been trying to have a baby, I no longer know how to answer this question. I've been asked it frequently lately, and a simple No doesn't really seem to capture our situation.

But it's not really appropriate to launch into a sob story of how long we've been trying and that we would be having a baby next month if my body had worked properly from the beginning. Or that I'm not almost 30 and childless on purpose. My husband said that if he's learned anything from this process, it's that he'll never again assume that people are childless by design.

I know eight women who are pregnant right now, eight women who've all gotten pregnant after we started trying. A few of them didn't even want their pregnancies.

I hate the word "unfair," but I find myself thinking it more and more often.

Is that an answer to the question?
"Do you have any kids?"
"Life's unfair."

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October 03, 2007


Awww, man. I just heard that Jim Michaels passed away last night. I'm going to miss him on Forbes on Fox. What a lovable, crusty old man...

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The husband and I have been hesitant to see Flags of our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima. If Lileks' reaction is any indication, then we were right to be leery.

But I seem to be in the minority in my reaction. IÂ’m sure Eastwood intended the movie to be respectful, but sometimes it seems like the second half of his career has been spent apologizing for the first half.

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The husband and I have been catching up on TV series that came out while we were in Germany. We've been watching My Name is Earl lately and loving every minute. Last night we saw the most touching episode...

(Spoiler alert: If you want to watch the show and haven't made it through half of season two, you might not want me to ruin a wonderful episode surprise.)

Earl goes to do right by the guy he locked in a truck and finds the guy dead in his apartment. Earl decides the way to make amends is to throw the man a funeral since he can't seem to find anyone else to do it. This guy doesn't seem to have had any friends at all. No one knows anything about him. Earl throws a lame funeral and goes to clean the man's apartment out. He bumps the computer and finds dozens of IM screens from the man's online friends.

Turns out the guy's Real Life was all online. He didn't have any close friends in Camden County, but he had a vibrant social life in online poker, blogs, and chat rooms. All his online friends came to his second funeral and sent the man off in style.

My husband turned to me and said, "Oh, honey, he's just like you!" I just nodded because of the lump in my throat.

Best TV funeral since the 21 Pin Salute on Ed.

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October 02, 2007


When I make socks, I always make them too short. I get anxious to start the heel and shave rows off the leg. Thus I always end up with short socks and a ball of leftover yarn.

This time I decided I was going the full length on the socks. I didn't want that ball of leftover yarn. Success! Definitely no leftovers here.



Looks like I'll be begging my German connection for another trip to the yarn shop. And then I'll be stuck with a whopping big ball of leftovers.

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From the article Inconvenient Youths:

In households across the country, kids are going after their parents for environmental offenses, from using plastic cups to serving non-grass-fed beef at the dinner table. Many of these kids are getting more explicit messages about becoming eco-warriors at school and from popular books and movies.

This year’s global-warming documentary “Arctic Tale,” for instance, closes with a child actor telling kids, “If your mom and dad buy a hybrid car, you’ll make it easier for polar bears to get around.”

From the comments section at Hot Air:

And I’m telling my kids, “If we buy a big enough SUV, we can fit a couple polar bears inside it and make it really easy for them to get around!”

Seriously though, that article was annoying as all get-out.

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The 5 Things I Saw that Make Me Support the War

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October 01, 2007


I thought John Kerry's "Service for College" program was pretty silly. I thought John Edwards' "Get Ahead Accounts" were stepping over the line. But Hillary Clinton's Throwing Money Around Like We Can Just Print More plan is really infuriating.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that every child born in the United States should get a $5,000 "baby bond" from the government to help pay for future costs of college or buying a home.

Clinton, her party's front-runner in the 2008 race, made the suggestion during a forum hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus.

"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that downpayment on their first home," she said.

Obviously it would be irresponsible to suggest this to voters before she's had a chance to sit down and crunch the numbers, right?

The New York senator did not offer any estimate of the total cost of such a program or how she would pay for it. Approximately 4 million babies are born each year in the United States.

Oh. She's just speaking out of her ass then.

Clinton said such an account program would help people get back to the tradition of savings that she remembers as a child, and has become harder to accomplish in the face of rising college and housing costs.

One way of building a stronger economy, she said, is "more savings, starting with the so-called baby bonds idea where every person born in this country would be given that kind of account because we want to make an investment in America's young people."

The savings you remember as a child? Yeah, your parents did that. Not the government. Your parents made do without new SUVs and plasma TVs until they had a plan for their children's future. My parents put aside a little bit of money for us to have when we grew up -- heck, not nearly as much as Clinton suggests the government should give -- and never touched it, even when they desperately could've used it. They sacrificed so their children could have a good start as adults. All Hillary's crappy plan would do is prevent parents from doing any saving for their kids because the government would just do it for them. Why forego that ATV for the kids when the government's got their future covered?

There's nothin' like a Democrat plan to keep people hooked on government.

But there's really no point in getting worked up over this. Just like all those other stupid plans, this one will disappear. It just really irks me that she brings this up in public to get votes, knowing full well it will never happen.

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I've been following the Hollywood debate articles between Ehrenstein and Breitbart. Breitbart's last hurrah:

I would argue the entertainment industry does matter — because it is the way we send out the message to the world that we take our freedoms seriously. And with freedom comes deep responsibility and I don't think Hollywood quite gets that.


For one it's our second largest export behind aero-space. Surely if China has a responsibility not to send us toxic toys, we have a responsibility not to send them toxic entertainment.

Heh. Indeed.

When I read Ehrenstein's submission on Day 2, I had to read the beginning twice, and then out loud to my husband, just to make sure I was actually seeing straight.

A fortiori I'm not so sure about the "love my country" bit as I'm markedly disenchanted with the entire concept of all nation-states. Move an inch beyond language and culture and their meaning and purpose almost invariably mirrors that of the Crips and the Bloods.

I don't know how you can debate any details of our national image with someone who doesn't believe there should even be countries. This goes back to the idea of common ground. Lileks, in one of those Bleats I return to often:

My point? Simple: we live in an era of non-contiguous information streams. I believe one thing; someone else believes another – and the bedrock assumptions are utterly contradictory. This is what drives me nuts about discussing current events with some people. It’s like discussing the Apollo program with people who think it was all faked, or discussing archeology with those who believe the world is six thousand years old. I think the Iraq Campaign was part of a broad war against Islamicist fascism and the states that enable it; others think it’s all about oil and Halliburton jerking the strings of a Jeebus puppet. No. Middle. Ground.

We can debate Hollywood's message and we can debate whether she projects a favorable image of the US around the world, but if we can't even agree on the validity of the concept of the nation-state, well, what's the point of debating anything after that?

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