December 31, 2007

UPDATE

The more I look at that other post, the more whiny it seems.

We have many things to be thankful for this year: the husband being home and with a regular work schedule, lots of fun trips with my blog friends, and, as Butterfly Wife said, a knit octopus...and rhinoceros, lion, and wombat.

Life could be a lot worse.

Here's a good New Year's resolution: a sunnier outlook.

My other resolution is to buy less stationery. I'm not sure which one will be harder for me!

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IS IT 2010 YET?

Well, it's the end of what feels like the most emotionally draining year of my life. Way harder than deployment. Way harder.

And hey, in 2008 we have both conception and deployment to look forward to. Whoopity doo. Should be an especially fun year.

Who me, grumpy?

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December 30, 2007

I WANT FRED

My husband told me this morning about the speech Fred Thompson gave on why he wants to be president. I am trying really hard not to get too emotionally invested in this man, because I'm not sure the rest of the country wants the same type of president that I do. And if I want it too badly, I will be too disappointed if it doesn't work out. But I want a president who says things like this:

I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage really has to be talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a good deal. But if you mutually decide it’s going to be a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then we have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability and concern to do this and do it for the right reasons. I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.

Nowadays, the process has become much more important than it used to be.

I don’t know that they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I don’t know that they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. But nowadays, it’s all about fire in the belly. I’m not sure in the world we live in today it’s a good thing if a president has too much fire in the belly.

I mean, I just want to quote the whole danged thing, it's that good. He goes on later to say:

If what people really want in their president is a super type A personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about, for years how they can be president of the United States… someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they’ve enjoyed every minute of campaigning… (laughter) I ain’t that guy. (more laughter) [To questioner] So I hope I’ve discussed that, or I haven’t talked you out of anything. I honestly want… I can’t imagine a worse set of circumstances than achieving the presidency under a false pretenses, especially if you feel the way I do. I’ve gone out of my way to be myself, because I don’t want anybody to think they’re getting something they’re not getting. I’m not consumed by this process, I’m not consumed with the notion of being president. I’m simply saying I’m willing to do what’s necessary to achieve it if I’m in sync with the people. And if the people want me, or somebody like me, I will do what I’ve always done with everything else in my life. I will take it on and do a good job. You’ll have the disadvantage of having someone who probably can’t jump up and click their heels three times, but will tell you the truth. And you’ll know where the president stands at all times.

(Hat tip to my husband and Instapundit.)

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RELIGIOUS GARMENTS

The other day, AWTM and I did indeed start talking about Jim Gaffigan. It was a good way to break the mood when we both got riled up talking about anti-Mormon bias. I made an offhanded comment about people not voting for Romney because of his underpants, which brought us to a serious discussion of temple garments and how offensive it is that people make a mockery of this religious tradition. Is it OK to mock someone for wearing a yamulke? Our Hindu friend from college wears the sacred thread; is that fair game? Or are we really so immature as a society that we have to snicker because we're talking about underwear? I don't get it. My husband insists that people get away with anti-Mormon bigotry because Mormons are "white." He's probably right: Sikhs have special underwear too, but you never hear anyone mocking Sikhs as being religious weirdos.

Sigh. Off the soapbox again...

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December 29, 2007

SCROOGE McGROK

My husband's miserly ways are notorious. AirForceWife even bought us a baby bib that says IRS Deduction. It's so true. When I asked him what he wanted for Christmas this year, he suggested I find some things around the house to sell for cash. He wants less stuff, not more; I can't remember the last time my husband has wanted to buy something for himself.

We came across these conversation cards this morning, little cards with questions to get conversations started. I flipped through them and realized I know my husband well enough to answer most of the questions for him. But I came to one that I wasn't sure of, so I asked him, "Given a choice, would you choose a mountain view, lake view, or ocean view?" He promptly answered, "Ocean view. Higher property values, I could sell it for more." My husband doesn't have a dream house, only a house he can sell.

That man cracks me up.

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December 28, 2007

BUSY AS A...LADY KNITTING FOR TOO MANY BABIES (WAIT, THAT'S NOT CATCHY)

The other night, I couldn't fall asleep because I have too much knitting stress. For pete's sake, Erin's baby gets here in a month and I haven't even started! Not to mention the other babies popping on the scene in early 2008. I have knit myself into a corner and need to get out fast.

So I got out of bed and worked from midnight to 0200 to finish the project I had so selfishly started for myself.

nakiska.jpg

(It's Nakiska from Knitty, unblocked of course because blocking takes time.)

Now that that's out of the way, I'm on a strict baby knitting schedule, five or six hours a day. My husband looked at me today and said, "I think maybe you shouldn't knit so much." He means well, really he does, but I don't know what he was thinking when he said that. He says he only meant that it's a hobby and I shouldn't get so stressed out about an activity that's supposed to be fun and doesn't even bring us any income.

But Erin's baby can't knit for himself.

Back to work.

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December 26, 2007

232

232 years ago this morning, George Washington and his Continental army won the Battle of Trenton, effectively turning the tide of the American Revolution and putting us on the road to independence.

From the last week of August to the last week of December, the year 1776 had been as dark a time as those devoted to the American cause had ever known -- indeed, as dark a time as any in the history of the country. And suddenly, miraculously it seemed, that had changed because of a small band of determined men and their leader.

A century later, Sir George Otto Trevelyan would write in a classic study of the American Revolution, "It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world."

(from pg 291 in 1776)

I couldn't be prouder to think that 232 years ago, bedraggled and freezing men were fighting to establish the wonderful country I now live in. And were paid $6 per month for the pleasure.

We owe them so much.

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December 25, 2007

SELFLESS

Erin was the first person to call me this Christmas morning.
She is still making my Christmases special.

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HOPE

I was able to find joy in the smallest things on Christmases past, be it not having a tree (2006), having a husband in the same room (2005), hitting a milestone during the deployment (2004), or not being able to even write because we had no computer access (2003). So let's see if I can muster that joy this year.

Admittedly, it's been a pretty crappy month in our household. On the day I planned to put up the tree, we instead went to the emergency room and had our hopes and dreams crash down on our heads. Not a great way to start the season.

But we have hope.

Shoot, we don't have anything else to show for the past year. Except a sliver of hope that by next Christmas we will have the prospect of spending future Christmases surrounded by children and grandchildren.

But we have that hope to hang on to, and that's what keeps us smiling through the Christmas season this year.

Maybe we just need to move to Utah.

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December 24, 2007

NICE SCENERY, BUT...

Last night we watched Easy Rider. I sat there with a confused look on my face the whole time. Spoiler alert, but what in the holy heck was that? Someone's head gets chopped up with a machete and the hippies are like, "Man, whatever, let's go get some whores and drop acid in a cemetery"? And then get killed by rednecks for no reason whatsoever.

I do not grok that movie at all.

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CUTE

A neat blog post. Teaser quote: "I love It's a Wonderful Life because it's the greatest financial services movie ever made."

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December 23, 2007

1820 STITCHES TO GO

I'm a mere 13 rows away from finishing my huge knitting project so I can gift it. Thank heavens. It was meant to be 30,100 stitches made with love and appreciation, but at this point I just can't wait to put it in the mail.

And then I have to make this spider monkey, which someone is paying me to make.

And then I can concentrate on the other five projects I have sitting on my sofa...

The other day I got this ridiculous idea that I still had time before Christmas to make everyone I know a pair of these little mitten ornaments. Thank heavens I talked myself out of that before I even got started. I still want to make them, but everyone can get them next year.

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December 22, 2007

SNIFF

I'm a few days late in noticing this very touching post, ironically entitled Why I Hate Christmas.
Stupid pregnancy hormones, good for nothing anymore except making me weepy.

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December 21, 2007

PASS ME THE YARN AND NOBODY GETS HURT

OK, someone needs to submit me for that show Intervention. I couldn't go 24 hours without knitting. I was sitting there in the recliner all jittery and fidgety, like a crackhead in withdrawal. And I finally lost it and made my husband pass me the dpn's. Ahhh, endorphins.

Thank heavens I never channeled this compulsive behavior into cigarettes or slot machines.

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METAMESSAGE

I think the secret to a good marriage is meta-knowledge.

During a class on cross-cultural communication, we read the book That's Not What I Meant! How Conversational Style Makes or Breaks Relationships. That book was probably the most useful thing I ever read in college; it changed my life. (And people say that all the time, that books changed their life, but usually they're being hyperbolic. I am super serial here.) What this book teaches you is how your metamessage -- the tone of your voice, the way you're standing -- conveys a stronger message than your words, and how men and women typically employ different metamessage strategies. Once you're able as a couple to talk about your metamessages and not just the words you've said, it opens up a whole different level of communication.

This meta-knowledge -- for example, that men listen to complaining to find solutions, while women complain to create a social bond -- is a crucial part of getting along. My husband and I hardly ever argue anymore after reading this book because we are able to step back and actually say nerdy things like, "Right now I am acting like a stupid woman. I know what I am saying is unreasonable, and that you want to try to fix the problem for me, but I don't need you to fix it, I just need you to listen and nod along with me as if you understand what in the hell I'm upset about. It's OK if you just pretend you understand, that works too." Understanding that your emotional systems work differently is a blessing for a relationship.

I am so glad I had to read this book.

Anyway, I thought about this today when I read SarahJ's description of dropping the bookcase on her foot. Now there's a couple with meta-knowledge! If you can fight with this sort of self-awareness, you have a great relationship, in my opinion. You still have a busted toe because you were being a damned woman, but at least you don't have a busted toe and a divorce, right?

Heh.

(Todays links, as usual, found via Conservative Grapevine, the coolest round-up on the internet.)

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TEH REAL MONEY

AWTM, this link's for you. It has a teh in it! I'm still giggling.
You Might Be a Fredhead If...

I had a friend in high school (Hi, T!) who used to make a hilarious distinction between "money" and "real money": Money was what his mom gave him; real money was the stuff he had to go out and earn.

I would pay Real Money to see Fred Thompson beat up teh bin Laden.

And how bad do I want one of these shirts?

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December 20, 2007

MSN HITS A NEW LOW

MSN published their most influential men and women of 2007. The list of men was predictable, the women laughable. I was heartened to read comments about the list, specifically

Appalled in St. Louis:

Your criteria or the people evaluating your criteria must be very warped. It is amazing to me that so many of your most influential women are from the entertainment industry. The real world is not populated by entertainers and they have much less influence with real people than you think. Why didn't you look to the world of business, education, law, charitable foundations and science where real changes are made that impact all of our lives? Quit being so incredibly shallow.

JaninaB

Stop for a minute and compare the list of influential men and women. Most of the men were politicians, businessmen, or social activists. Most of the women were in the entertainment industry. Some of them had done nothing more than be successful entertainers and attract gossip. Couldn't you recognize people who actually make a difference in the world??? Two thumbs down, MSN!!!

I couldn't have said it any better. Putting Benazir Bhutto on the same list as Hannah Montana is just insulting. I'm glad other MSN readers agreed. MSN could've come up with this list by polling people at a mall; shouldn't they instead use their resouces and reach to educate their readers about influential people they might not have heard of before, people in science or politics who are making a difference?

This comment said it all:

Hannah Montana? Really? There was a woman who came to the high school where I live and spoke to the students of her life. She works for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and she has survived two car bombings. She has survived attempted assassinations and has finally been able to flee to the U.S. Her brother and sister haven't gone to school in months because there were terrorist threats upon their lives. Members of her family have been killed off. She recounted her tale of her frightening trip here, and proceeded to write words in Arabic that were projected onto a screen "hope, faith, save us". I think people like this that come to save their country and help our own are much more influential that "the Obama Girl"

What I also found amusing was MSN's article on how they picked their influential people.

When the editors of MSN Lifestyle gathered for their annual assessment of the year's most influential people, a few names—mostly from the world of politics—immediately bubbled to the surface. But as we discussed the election cycle omnipresence of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the prescient environmentalism of Al Gore, and the continuing emergence of Hugo Chavez, the conversation changed.

It started when the addition of George W. Bush to the list was proposed. The president, by any objective estimation, has had a rough year. Yet the difficulties of his presidency have emboldened the more liberal end of America's political spectrum to such a degree that an African-American and a woman are currently the frontrunners to become the next president of the United States. In this way, President Bush is more influential than either Obama or Clinton by themselves. Call it “influence through anti-influence.”

Let me get this straight. Bush is so bad that we have to resort to a black guy or a woman? Am I reading that right? We hate Bush so much that we're even willing to hand the reins over to minorities? And I thought Republicans were supposed to be the prejudiced ones. Sheesh.

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KNITTING ACHES, PART II

So since I'm not knitting, I'm writing about knitting. And thinking about knitting. And scouring the internet for knitting (holy cow, a Super Mario bag!) The Girl suggested that I take a nice, hot bath to rest my muscles and relax, but when I got there I remembered I hate water, and all I could think about was what I could be knitting.

It seems I'm not the only one with knitting on the brain: AirForceWife has taught herself to knit. Sweet. The husband and I are planning a trip to visit the AirForceFamily in January, so I can't wait to knit together. Hang on, AirForceWife, I'll teach you to knit socks soon!

I made a knitting joke the other day over at AWTM's place. Commenters told me that I should stop forcing my oppressive knitting agenda down AWTM's throat (I'm wildly exaggerating for humor here.) I don't care that AWTM doesn't want to knit; it was just a joke because Emma Peel was knitting. Actually, I have decided I am thrilled that people now have to pay me to learn my hobby. If they're forking over cash, they must really want to learn it. I've taught enough people in my life who didn't end up becoming Knitters™; I like to teach enthusiastic learners.

And AirForceWife seems enthusiastic. Heck, even her husband is enthusiastic about her knitting; after seven years together, I still don't think my husband quite groks my interest in the pointy sticks.

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KNITTING ACHES

I have a knitting project that I have been working on for a seriously long time. It's a big project, and it's a boring project. I have become desperate to get it finished, so desperate that I have been knitting on it for about six hours a day all week long. And I've developed a horrible crick in my neck. I have put myself on the disabled list for a day or so to see if the pain goes away.

So what's a girl to do when she can't knit? Shop for yarn, of course. My husband is gonna kill me...

Speaking of knitting, I read an article yesterday that blew my mind. It was about Althea Merback, a knitter who makes clothes in miniature. Her stuff is incredible. 80 stitches to the inch! Stop and think about that for a second. She uses medical wire for knitting needles. I am just floored. She has a website, but I'm sure photos don't do the work justice. I read that some of her work is in a museum in Kansas City, so the next time we head home to the Midwest, I definitely want to check it out.

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December 19, 2007

SUCH A SERIOUS VOICE

My husband was taking a turn around the internet in the computer room last night while I was already snuggled into a warm bed. Normally he has this nickname that he calls me around the house, so when I heard him call out "Sarah...," I felt something was funny. It seemed serious. Apparently it was serious enough that he used my real name to call out to me. What could he have found on the internet to make his voice sound like that?

Jamie Lynn Spears Says She's Pregnant

Yeah, you really don't want to know what I have to say about that.

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