September 30, 2007

RED 6 ON THE WAY

A certain Silver Star recipient former tanker Indian type is in the car headed our direction. It's been two years since we've seen him, so it should be a good day. Too cool.

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September 28, 2007

THE OBAMA HOOK-UP SCENE

My husband and I had a roaring good laugh at this article on Drudge: Singles will check out eligible candidates at Obama rally. It's not really that funny -- if I were single, I too would rather meet someone at a political rally than a bar -- but some of the quotes were just hilarious.

Even the invite for the event reads like a singles bash:

"Hope hits the Big Apple! Join us at Jay-Z's 4-0/40 Club on Thursday as we ride the winds of change from the hottest rally in New York. Move to the music, socialize with friends, and let your voice be heard as we celebrate with audacity."

Lindsay Schaeffer, 25, may even skip the rally for the nighttime bash.

That cracks me up. Why would someone waste time on the silly politics when she can just skip ahead for the hook-up scene? I want to date an Obama supporter, without all that pesky Obama stuff killing my buzz.

One ardent Obama supporter (who declined to give his name because he works in politics) says he'll attend both the rally and the after-party, and he doesn't expect to be going home alone.

He's confident for a reason.

"Let's face it: Leftie girls are easy," he says.

Bwahahaha. Nice.

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MEETING FRED SMITH

Lorie Byrd invited me and other local bloggers to a gubernatorial campaign event for Fred Smith. We bloggers got free admission to this fundraiser and were treated like bigwigs. In fact, real bigwigs were locked out of Senator Smith's home while he talked to us bloggers. It was a real treat.

By now you know that I usually feel like a kid at the grown-ups' table when it comes to these blog events. I'm just happy to be taken seriously at all, especially since my blog has basically devolved into talking about knitted octopi and...um...other uninteresting crap. I like using my blog to talk about my opinions and values as much as the next person, but I am not so in touch with the actual implementation of policy, especially at the local level. I am rather a dunce at that sort of thing. Plus, with moving around every year or so, I've never really participated in local politics. So Wednesday when I was surrounded by bloggers asking Sen. Smith good questions about his campaign, I sure felt like I didn't belong. But I did what I think one should do in such situations: shut the hell up and let the smart people talk.

After I listened to Sen. Smith talk about his ideas and experience, my mind couldn't help but wander to what a strange thing politics is. I have never met a politician before, so I couldn't help but analyze the situation. Sen. Smith probably can't ever just have a normal conversation with people. He must constantly expect questions about policies and projects. He has to carefully think about every single thing he says. I can look like an inexperienced jackass in his home, but he sure can't. The whole idea seems so weird to me. He's supposed to be prepared and infallible, seven days a week.

And yet, he doesn't have that Bill Clinton vibe. That's what I normally think of when I imagine the archetypical politician, the selling-ice-to-an-Eskimo type of guy. Fred Smith didn't have a toothy grin and a golly-shucks attitude. I personally thought he was intimidating. I didn't feel at ease on that sofa in his living room, and I wondered why I was feeling so stupid sitting there. And then I remembered something: I usually feel stupid in the company of great men.

Likeability is a big factor in politics. As I sat there with Fred Smith, I realized it shouldn't be. Whether or not you like someone has no bearing on how effective he'd be as governor. He doesn't have to be dripping with honey if his ideas are sound. It's better to have a no-nonsense man in charge than a used car salesman type. I'd rather have him have a plan for the state than be able to effectively kiss a baby. And most of his ideas and the vision he lays out on his website seem pretty sound. I like his stuff. I like that he said that the government should be "good stewards of my money." I like that he said he wants to run for office as a businessman, as if he's marketing a product. More things in government should be run like a business, in my opinion, where results count more than intentions do.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about Fred Smith.

Sen. Smith's guest of honor for the evening was Lee Greenwood. I got to meet him and talk to him a little about my husband's service. (More evidence that people still think I'm a teenager: when he heard I was a military family, Lee Greenwood asked me how long my father has been in.) I got to tell him about how we wanted to perform a rendition of his "God Bless the USA" in a talent show when I studied in France but the school wouldn't let us because they said it was jingoistic. Stupid France. Mr. Greenwood was super nice in person and a lot of fun in the concert he gave after the meet and greet. He even made a mention of my husband and me during his concert, which was such a nice thing to do. When he says he supports the troops, he darn sure means it.

It was so nice to be invited to this campaign event. I'm always excited to be surrounded by fellow right-wingers! And I think it's really cool that Sen. Smith reached out to bloggers and gave us the royal treatment. I look forward to following his campaign.

More recaps of the night from the other bloggers:
Inner Banks Eagle covers the Blogger Conference, the reception in Fred Smith's home (complete with photo of me and Mrs. Smith!) and the Lee Greenwood concert
Red Clay Citizen
Spinning the World in the Right Direction
Election Projection

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September 27, 2007

HEH

You have to check out this seagull thief.

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WOMEN DRIVE ME NUTS

John Hawkins posts that Katie Couric is still blaming her failure on the fact that the world can't handle her being a woman. Puh-lease.

Look, you can't have it both ways. You can't say that the country is progressive enough to hire you for the biggest news job ever but not progressive enough to watch you do it. CBS is in it to make money, and Hawkins is right: they wouldn't have hired you if they thought you couldn't pull in ratings. They were wrong. But it's not because they're sexist.

God, that's what I hate about women. They want to be thought of as completely equal, able to do any job that men can and bristling when anyone even suggests they can't. And then when they fail, they say it's because they're a woman and it's different. Either it's different or it's not. It can't be that you are just as good as a man when you're successful and then held back by your gender when you fail.

Male anchormen have come and gone, and none of them get to whine that they failed because they were men. Stop blaming your problems on the viewing audience. And stop viewing everything in the entire world through the lens of your gender. No one cares that you have a vagina; they only care that they don't like to watch you reading the news.

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WE DON'T HEAR THIS ENOUGH

Jay Tea wins quote of the day:

People who rejoice in their tax refunds are fools for thinking that "the government gave me money" instead of "the government borrowed all this money from me, then returned it with no interest."

Read the whole post.

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THE BEACH

Why do I hate the beach, you ask. Well, it combines three things I hate independently: water, sand, and sun. I like to look at the beach, and an hour there would be nice, but after several hours I was ready to get the heck out. I'd rather spend time in a salvage yard. And I just really hate the feeling of baking in the sun. You could put a chicken breast in the oven at 100 degrees, and in a couple of hours it'd be cooked. That's what you're doing to your skin, people! The thought of it entirely creeps me out; I feel myself baking like a chicken in the oven. Gives me the willies.

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September 25, 2007

MY TRIP TO HAWAII

I got up at 0300 on Wednesday and left the house late. So I sped the hour and a half to the airport, and by "sped" I mean "drove three miles over the speed limit." I was so freaked out that I would miss my plane, but I'm even more scared of getting a ticket.

I made it in time.

On my second flight, some girl in front of me tattled to the stewardess that she didn't like the way I stowed my bag in the overhead compartment. Instead of asking me to shuffle some stuff around, she went and told on me. So they made me check my bag through. So silly.

I crocheted the entire way to Honolulu, much to the hilarity of my rowmates. They looked at me like I was the biggest dork ever, but I got six more squares made for charity. I crocheted for six hours straight.

Honolulu made me laugh. The entire place looks like a joke, like someone set up a movie set for me to walk through. It's so Hawaii that it looks absurd. Also I love that these are the restroom signs:

restroom_hawaii.jpg

Both my bag and I made it to Kauai, where CaliValleyGirl picked me up and took me around to meet people until I couldn't keep my eyes open. The next morning, I awoke to what can only be described as screams from zombie victims. I later learned it was roosters. I have never heard such a sound in my life. That island is filled with roosters, gangs of them roaming the streets and howling at 0430 every morning. Unreal. Roosters are to Kauai what squirrels are to normal cities.

Thursday was the rehearsal and dinner. We did the shopping for food and booze in the morning; I had never seen $1200 worth of groceries before! I put together shish kebabs while CaliValleyGirl and company were at the church. We crashed after a fun night and I promised not to keep her awake. Because really, the best part of the trip was that Cali let me share a room with her while I was there. I was the last person to share a bed with single Cali. It was like giving her away! I thought that was a pretty good honor, and I told anyone who would listen. They probably all think I'm a lesbian now.

Friday was wedding day. While the wedding party was getting hair and makeup done, a nice German boy escorted me around the island so I could actually get some photos of Hawaii.

kilauea.jpg

I returned to the house to do one more chore before the wedding: refill the lighter fluid in the tiki torches around the reception tent. Yeah, the problem is that used tiki torches are covered in soot. Thirty minutes before the wedding, I was black up to my elbows. I looked like a car mechanic the whole rest of the day.

I made it to the wedding ceremony only to sit behind the tallest guest in the joint. I barely saw anything of the ceremony, but I was so glad to snap this photo as the happy couple made their way to the limo.

weddinghawaii.jpg

We went back to the reception tent, where Cali's good decorating taste really shined through:

tent.jpg

Another huge thrill was that I got to sit at the head table! Imaginary friend, my butt; I rated tip top! Too cool. Dinner was delicious, the entertainment was awesome -- I learned I really, really like traditional Hawaiian music -- and the evening passed into night. Everyone became really surprised that Sarah can actually dance. We lingering few put the happy couple in the limo again and went to crash.

Saturday I spent my last day in Hawaii at the beach. I don't care how beautiful it is, I still hate the beach. I can't stand it. But luckily neither can one of Cali's cousins, so he and I sat and chatted while I knitted. I took a lot of crap for sitting under a tree in Hawaii knitting, but I coined a new saying: "I'd rather go home with a sock than a sunburn." After the beach, I said my goodbyes and made my way to the airport for my 2340 red-eye flight.

The way home was uneventful, save the incident at dinner. I bought a hamburger and fries at some airport fast food place, and a pilot in line behind me bought two burgers and fries. The cooks called his number first, so he took the bag and offered me a fry while I waited. He munched on some fries and then started digging in the bag and realized there was only one burger in there. Um, oops. The dumb cooks had handed him my order. So this pilot, who was super nice and really not to blame, manhandled my burger and fries...and the cooks said, "Oh, sir, we're so sorry for the mix-up." They apologized to him! I couldn't decide if I was really ticked off or just too awestruck by the gall of it to be mad.

My last flight was two hours late in taking off, which is never fun at the end of a 22-hour journey. But I made it home in one piece and slept in late with no roosters to disturb me.

Hawaii was lovely. I didn't think I'd care one way or the other, but I did think it was beautiful. However, now that I'm home, I'm back to thinking that the grass is greener in my own backyard.

And we don't even have grass. Just weeds and dirt.

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WAITING

I know some of you are anxiously waiting for a long post on Hawaii, but I just haven't found the time yet. I have had knitting classes and trips to the grocery store and toilets to clean and my little brother passing through town tonight. And tomorrow I will be gone all day too, which will be a future blog post. I just wanted to let you know why you're still waiting.

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September 24, 2007

I'M BACK

palmtree.jpg

More later...

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September 20, 2007

HI FROM HI

I had really forgotten how nervewracking one's own wedding is.

CaliValleyGirl and fiance are hanging in there, both a tad frazzled about the whole event tomorrow. Most of their friends here are single, so I don't quite think anyone understands why they're so stressed. But I remember it well: wanting to puke for two days and feeling like nothing was going to get done on time. But it all magically does.

Hawaii is beautiful. But I sure didn't expect to wake up to a cacophony of roosters this morning. So odd.

More later...

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September 18, 2007

LEAVING ON FOUR JET PLANES

My neighbor told me that all she had to do to finally get pregnant was take a nice, relaxing trip to Hawaii.

Plane ticket to awe-inspiring places like this? Check.
Romantic weekend of nuptials? Check.
Husband? Oh wait, crap.

Somehow I don't think this is going to work out for me...

Anyway, I'll be gone for a while, but I'll return with stories and photos and tales of changing planes four times in one day.

And here's a little tidbit for people in the travel-size industry: Will you please consider making products that one can actually take on an airplane? It's been over a year, so you'd think the market would've dictated 1.7 oz bottles. But no. Apparently I don't get to take contact solution or sunscreen to Hawaii. Thanks a ton. Big pointy metal knitting needles are fine, but not my sunscreen.

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WELL DONE

Rachel Lucas rips Sally Field a new one.
Breathtaking.
Via Oda Mae, who always finds the good stuff.

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September 17, 2007

TRICK OR TREAT

I've been working on some new preemie hats for next month...

halloweenhats.JPG

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MOST OF MY LIFE IS GONE

You know how you're supposed to back up your files in case something ever happens to your computer? I have always been pretty good about this. A few years ago when we had to wipe out the desktop and start over, I burned everything to CDs. We didn't lose anything. But a few weeks ago, my mom asked me about a paper I wrote in college. I went to my back-up CDs to get the paper.

What happens when your back-up CD turns up broken?

I have no idea how this happened. It broke from the center hole outward, three inch-long cracks. And it was in a jewel case too. I just have no idea how it could've broken like that.

Everything's gone. All the papers I wrote in college and grad school. The poem I wrote that won a national contest. The 40,000 word journal I kept from my year in France. And probably many other things that I will gradually come to remember and mourn.

Is there any way to save data from a cracked CD? I doubt it, but some of you are more computer savvy than I.

Sniff.

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September 16, 2007

TEAMWORK

I just really loved this article: Soldier Loses 160 Pounds in Order to Meet Weight Requirement

Especially this part:

Pfc. Trippany's father, an infantryman with 24 years of active-duty service, had a solution. She moved back home, started a special diet and began her body transformation.

"I did Jenny Craig for the diet and then for exercise I would walk four miles per day. My dad wanted me to keep a 3.6 mile-per-hour pace in order to keep my cardio up, so every day, for 17 months, my dad drove behind me in his truck while I walked," said Pfc. Trippany.

"My dad even moved the family refrigerator out to the garage and bought another refrigerator for the food I was allowed to eat and put that one in the kitchen. There was no way for me to sneak food as the family fridge had a key lock on it and I didn't have the code. So, I was really on lockdown."

I think that parents often need to let their adult children face their own challenges and tackle their own demons. The helicopter parent phenomenon is a little creepy. But I love the fact that, once she came to her father for help, he took her seriously and really helped her. He spent money for a new fridge and countless hours trailing her in the car because he loves her and wanted to help her reach her goal. She said she wanted to lose the weight, and dad busted her butt to help her do it.

I just think that's really good teamwork.

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September 14, 2007

FORGIVENESS

I started thinking about forgiveness the other day when I was in Blockbuster and happened to walk by a movie called Forgiving Dr. Mengele. It's about an Auschwitz survivor who learns to forgive the Nazis for the genetic experiments they did on her. Ouch.

And I come back to forgiveness today with this headline: Amish donate cash to school gunman’s widow

I'm thinking about the virtue of forgiveness. I would imagine that, in those circumstances, one might feel the need to forgive in order to move on. But as an outsider, I don't really forgive any of those bastards.

But no one's ever accused me of being nice.

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September 13, 2007

TOGETHERNESS

I've organized a knit-along. Anyone want to join us?

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September 12, 2007

NO MAN IS A FAILURE WHO HAS FRIENDS

Something wonderful happened today. Someone who barely knows me did something very kind for me. And tonight, I feel like this.

To Sarah, the richest woman on the internet...
It really is a wonderful life.

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HA

Oda Mae sent me a link to a hilarious political cartoon.

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