November 14, 2007


We have a lot of wounded from this war, which I've sometimes heard mentioned as a bad thing. But we have the wounded because we don't have as many who are dead.

Like SPC Channing Moss, who got impaled by a live RPG and lived.


I don't think you'll hear him complain that we have too many wounded from this war. He's just happy not to be one of the other statistics.

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November 13, 2007


I managed to take exactly zero photos at the Blog World Expo. Luckily AWTM comes prepared with a camera and 45 memory cards to every event.


Look at AWTM, so composed and cool. Look at me, cheesing like a maniac. I can't believe this man talked to me repeatedly over the weekend. I look like a freak.


I'm such a stalker.

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My life is so awesome.

Last night I had a dream I was invited to a potluck dinner. I showed up and didn't have any plastic cups. I had to go find some, and ended up at a gas station where the man wanted to sell me cups at a dollar apiece plus a 33% tax rate. I was so mad. I woke up from the dream and was still grumpy as all get-out that I had gotten ripped off. And I went back to sleep and kept dreaming about those stupid cups, trying to find a better deal from someone else.

My real life is so devoid of stress that I spend my dreams arguing over $1.33. I am such a lucky person.

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November 11, 2007


Do I have some sort of sign on my forehead that says "Tell Me How Much You Hate Bush"? It happened to me again in the airport last night, where some man wanted to rant about "those maniacs in the White House." What makes strangers think I want to talk about this crap with them?

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November 09, 2007


So my deal for this week was to talk to Instapundit. I knew he'd be here, but I also knew he'd be a rock star and quite out of my league.

Thursday night at the Pajamas Media Party, when they gave away the weblog awards, all of a sudden there he was on stage. Too cool. AWTM and I started chasing him down for photos. He was really friendly and laughed at our antics.

This afternoon though, as I chased him around the expo hall, I think I began to get closer and closer to Crazy Town in his eyes. And then when I sat in on his podcasting seminar, and I've never done a podcast in my life, that was the height of silliness.

But I just think that man is so danged cool. I mean, he used the word "swell" and made a Calvin Coolidge joke. It doesn't get any better than that.

So I stalked the Instapundit. I'm such a nerd.


Yay, photo evidence!

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On the monorail on the way home from the Pajamas Media party last night, I ran into a large family from England. The grandfather was left without a seat near the family, so he came and sat by me. We chatted and joked about Las Vegas and differences he had noted between the US and England and also Canada, where he lives now. And then he said something that he thought the US was a nice country, and then he did that speaking-out-of-the-side-of-his-mouth fake whisper thing and said something like, "We aren't really so fond of that president of yours, but other than that it's a good country." Then he went on to say how the rest of his family was happy to get rid of Blair since he was in bed with Bush.

I was immediately reminded of the boorish German that Tim met while waiting for me at the train station.

I mean, really, who does this? Who thinks it's appropriate to insult the leader of a country in the first five minutes of meeting someone from that nation? I would never dream of doing this if I met a foreigner, and especially not in his country! I hated every aspect of living in France, and still I would never start bashing the country to a Frenchman I just met. It took me three years to tell my French relatives that I had a horrible experience in their country. Telling someone you just me is just so rude it's beyond my understanding.

I didn't even bother saying anything back to this man. Overall he was nice and I didn't want to make the conversation any more uncomfortable than it already felt. Plus, if you hate Bush so much that you have to mention it during a discussion of how interesting it is that you get free drinks in American casinos, then you're beyond hope for anything I could say.

But honestly, all I could think about was, who does this?

Sadly, lots of people. I told my husband this story this morning and rhetorically asked who does this, and he said, "Well, Americans have taught this man that this is acceptable behavior." When Kirstin Dunst says she'd kill Bush and Michael Moore says our country is the worst, then foreigners think that all Americans talk like this. We have taught the world that it's OK to bash us.

What idiots we are.

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November 08, 2007


I'm liveblogging the Blog World Expo Milblog panels.

Panel #1: What is a Milblog?
Panel #2: To Blog or Not to Blog: Milbloggers, DoD, and the Media

Panel #3: From the Front
Panel #4: Meanwhile, Back on the Homefront

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This is the most heartwarming chuckle I've gotten in a long time. Check out JR's new prosthetic.

(Can you tell I'm the first milblogger on the scene? All the others partied like rock stars last night while the pregnant lady was sleeping. So now I have plenty of time to screw around on the internet while waiting for them.)

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I wanted to make sure to post this. I heard clips from Sarkozy's speech yesterday during my travels, and I admit I got choked up. What an amazing turn of events.

And I liked What Broken Fences? a lot. (Via Insty, whom I hope to meet tomorrow...)

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Heh, look who joined the 21st century...

I am sitting in the Blog World Expo keynote speech, liveblogging on a laptop.

More later...

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November 07, 2007


I leave soon for the Blog World Expo in Las Vegas...

Join Me at Blog World Expo

I will join Andi, Some Soldier's Mom, ArmyWifeToddlerMom and ButterflyWife on Friday's milblogging panel called "Meanwhile, Back on the Homefront." It should be a good time!

I am hoping that I will have good connectivity at something called the "blog world expo," so I might not be out of the loop.

And I haven't gained any pregnancy weight yet, so if I can handle it, my baby and I will be hitting the buffet!

Mmmm, Vegas.

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November 06, 2007


Last night I had a dream that Mrs. Chuck Z and I were on a car trip to go meet the president. I woke up before I ever saw him, which was disappointing because I wonder what my subconscious would've cooked up to say to him.

So this morning, I was thinking about what I'd say if I had a few seconds to meet the president.

I think what I would like to say is to assure him that we're not a military family in distress. He gets all his info from the media too, so I'm sure he's heard that families are falling apart and that everyone blames him. But my husband and I feel very supported, very appreciated, and very in control of our destiny. We're not blaming anyone for where we are in life.

When we left the hospital the other day, my husband commented on how many resources there were for expecting families: classes, exercise groups, brochures, tours of the birthing unit, and all of it is free. The Army does so much for us and has so much to provide. We consider ourselves lucky to have such a support system behind us in everything we do.

So if I had a few seconds to greet the president, I would want him to know that we're happy, that we love this life, and that he doesn't need to attribute any of his grey hairs to us!

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November 05, 2007


For the very first time since I started blogging, I looked up what people were googling to get to me. I was surprised at how inspirational some of the searches were:

"not because it is easy, but because it is hard" quote

preservation of liberty and justice 300 george bush

Queen Gorgo's speech

Inspirational sayings for a husband who is deployed

donate stairs OR decks for servicemen coming home with an injured leg

"Every generation has its heroes. This one is no different"

always trying to explain to someone who doesn't think it is logical

And my favorite search:

A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself

Of course, I also loved this one:

"is he a terminator from the future"

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November 04, 2007


My Swedish friend just called; she saw what I wrote about her a few weeks ago.
I really hurt her feelings.

This post is about our resulting conversation. It is written to vindicate her. I am writing for the sole purpose of showing what a bonehead I am, because I want you readers to know that I screwed up, that I learned from it, and that the original post was never meant to be rude towards her.

She's a far better person than I am.

She was really hurt that I would use the word "superficial" in describing our friendship. She thought our friendship was fine, that it was deep, and that we've always managed to get along swimmingly. Sure, I like guns and she doesn't always get me, but she likes sports and doesn't feel like we have less of a friendship because I don't care about sports.

She then laughed and said that probably sports isn't the same thing as the Constitution.

It was really hard for me to explain why I wrote that post in the first place. I blog to work through things in my mind. To grok, literally. I needed to get this feeling off my chest and see what advice commenters would give to me. It wasn't a major problem; I didn't think it was something I needed to sit down and discuss with her. It was just a feeling I wanted to throw out there and see what you readers would say. And you came through for me with flying colors, giving me good advice and helping me realize that I was focusing on one small aspect of what it means to be a friend.

But my friend didn't have two weeks to work through things in her head; it was fresh to her and I needed to give her answers fast. I tried to explain why I wrote about it in the first place. If we had had a disagreement over health care or even Iraq, I am not sure that would've prompted me to write. But the right to bear arms is so fundamental, so important, so illustrative of someone's entire mindset. It's the 2nd Amendment that backs up the 1st. It's that important. That's why a discussion of firearms was a reminder to me of fundamental differences my Swedish friend and I have in our worldviews. It's not just that we don't see eye to eye on violence.

I am not even sure that I did a good job of explaining it to her again. I don't think I will ever be able to explain just how fundamental this right is in my opinion.

But she tried to grok. And that's what I had left out of the original post.

My Swedish friend may be European to the core. We may never really truly understand each other's values. But she always tries. She always listens and she always tries to see things from my point of view. She never judges me based on her own value system but tries to put herself in my shoes and offer whatever advice she can.

Like I said, she's a better person than I am.

What I conveniently forgot a few weeks ago when I got wound up over how deep (or not deep) our friendship is is that it's easy for CaliValleyGirl or Erin or AWTM to see eye to eye with me because they're almost always coming at the problem from the same worldview as I am. Shoot, it's easy for us to be friends. It's a far more impressive thing for my Swedish friend to have stayed friends with me for nine years, despite our differences, despite the fact that I couldn't care less about sports and she thinks knitting a gun for a baby is atrocious.

And what I realized through the course of our conversation is that our discussions are not superficial at all. I talk to her about other issues in my life, things I don't ever blog about. She made me realize that different friends fill different needs. If I want to talk to someone about linguistics, I would probably call Amritas over Erin, for the obvious reasons. If I want to talk to someone about the Army, Erin would make a better choice than Amritas. They're both my friends, but they have different expertise to fill different roles.

My Swedish friend definitely has a role to fill. And while she may not be the first person I'd call to say my husband wants to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, I would never feel like I had to hide that part of my life or values from her, and she would never make me feel weird about it either.

But she already knew this. She acted like it was the most obvious thing in the world, that it was bizarre that I'd even need to work through this sort of thing. All I could do is apologize and say that no one's ever accused me of being a genius. I hadn't fully thought it through when I blogged about it; that's why I blogged it. I wanted other people to point out the pieces of the puzzle that I had missed.

And I'm glad my Swedish friend gave me even more insight into what I was feeling. I'm just sorry that I had to hurt her feelings in the process. It was never my intention.

So the answer to my original post is that, yes, we can be friends despite our differences. Good friends. Or, at least we can if she still wants to be friends with me. I really screwed up.

All I can do is say I'm sorry for hurting her. Again and again.

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You know, I don't think you could pay me to go back to a college campus these days. I found some events on campus baffling enough back then, and I never paid attention to international news or current events. I just simply don't think I could stomach it these days.

Josie is at college, afraid of how she'll be treated when people learn about her husband and his OIF injuries. What a great post.

I feel for you, Josie, I really do. I wouldn't want to be in your shoes.

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November 03, 2007


We're all posting flowers for Butterfly Wife. Everyone has found lovely flowers. No one has found knitted flowers.


Enjoy your short break, BFW. Can't wait to see you in Vegas this week!

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November 02, 2007


I've been meaning to write my post on Valour-IT for a few days now. I've also been meaning to wash my hair and eat something other than breakfast cereal. Alas, I have failed at a lot of things lately.

Read here about the Valour-IT fundraiser.

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November 01, 2007


I am really looking forward to feeling better because I miss knitting. I just generally feel too crappy to lift my arms. But I really really really want to knit this gun for my baby.

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