March 09, 2008


I watched Casablanca recently and apparently had the same thoughts that Roger L. Simon did. I just scoffed that the movie could ever exist today, but he's (at least as an intellectual exercise) working on the script. It's a great post; thanks for the link, David.

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My husband has been home from Iraq for three years. Three years. It's embarrassing to type that. I've had him to myself for three years. Not by choice, of course, but what can you say? "I promise he volunteered to go and traded orders with a guy for a case of beer, but it fell through. I swear we haven't been ducking it; he even changed branches so he'd be able to go back." But it still sounds incredible that he's been home so long.

I wrote today at SpouseBUZZ that I can't remember my husband's homecoming day. I was camped out in my archives, trying desperately to remember what I was doing before he got home, but I have no idea. I do know what I was feeling though, since I carried on Tim's tradition and gave a peek at the end to CaliValleyGirl.

Reading that hurts a little though, because I miss that feeling.

I love having my husband home. I need to have my husband home if we're ever going to successfully have a baby. But three years on, I miss the deployment feelings. I miss the sense of connectedness, of purpose, of conviction. It probably sounds strange, but I miss the feeling of sacrifice, of knowing that I've given up being with someone I love for the good of our country. Honestly, for me, the deployment feeling hurts, but it's a good hurt, a deep and satisfying pain. And I haven't felt it in three years. I feel ashamed that I've lived too ordinary of a life for three years.

I'm ready to do it again. I knew it was coming, and I was ready for it, waiting for it, starting to yearn for it. My husband finished his language class and was waiting for his assignment. He was worried that he might get sent to Iraq even though he'd studied Farsi and wanted to go to Afghanistan.

So we never imagined the assignment he got: Rear D.

For civilian readers, the Rear Detachment is the one guy the unit leaves behind to man the phones and take care of the homefront. He's the liason between the deployed unit and the families. He works his butt off back at home to take care of unit affairs.

My husband is being left behind while his unit deploys.

One would think that this would be welcomed news for the Rear D family. If my husband had only been home 12 months since his deployment, I might enjoy this assignment a little too. But three years later, I can't believe this is what we'll be doing. I can't believe my husband doesn't get to do what he's longed to do since the day he came home -- go back and help some more -- and I can't believe I don't get to satisfy my unnatural craving for deployment feelings.

We're just so stunned that this is the hand we've been dealt.

Some guys have already spent enough time in Iraq to last them a lifetime. When it's all said and done, my husband will have been home for more than four years before he finally gets his chance to go again and do what he loves.

Despite our best efforts, we're watching history pass us by.

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March 08, 2008


My husband encouraged me to watch the new McCain campaign video this morning. I hadn't watched it because, well, I already know I'm voting for him. But I did watch it, and I loved it. It was beautiful and inspiring. Ann Althouse dissects the commercial here.

Also, what is the deal about this McCain "flipping out" thing? Seriously, talking forcefully to a reporter is called losing your cool? These oversensitive people should have a conversation with my husband; just yesterday he said that a certain Army wife author should be "set on fire and pushed down the stairs." And that's a gentle insult coming from him. We were laughing that we wish McCain would flip out, really let someone have it. He said he wants a president who doesn't suffer fools.

We watched Annie Hall last night and kept pausing it and trying to put it in it's social context. My husband noted that it came out four years after McCain was released from Hanoi. While it's a decent enough and quirky movie, can you imagine seeing it after being tortured for five years? These are people's problems? This won Best Picture, a show about people who are unhappy dating each other? I don't know how you go back to being a normal person after being a POW. How long does it take before the little things in life start bugging you again? I wonder when you feel normal enough again to complain about the pseudo-intellectual talking loudly in line at the movies. When does the just-happy-to-be-alive feeling wear off?

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March 07, 2008


Angie posted a link about large families (4+ kids). I knew I shouldn't read it, I just knew it. But I went anyway. Ouch, does it hurt to read comment after comment from people who had all of these accidental kids. Pregnant while on birth control, pregnant after having tubes tied (!), etc. It's so hard to hear about all these surprises when we'd give anything to get the one mega-planned-for baby we've been working on for 13 months.

I have begun to feel discouraged again. It's been three months since the miscarriage and, despite the fact that friends and family all assured me I'd be pregnant again by now, no such luck. And I'm starting to wish that I just had someone to go through this with me. I know several people who had trouble getting pregnant, but, happily for them, they have all gone on to start families. They completely understand what I'm going through, but since they're all past that stage of their lives, it's not the same thing; they know that life eventually works out for them, but I don't have that guarantee yet. So while it's reassuring to me that everyone has gone on to have a baby, either by adoption or IVF, I don't know anyone in the same situation as I am right now: trying unsuccessfully to have her first child. Do any of you readers know of someone currently going through this stage of her life? I'd really like to find a comrade in this struggle.

Because it's rough knowing that people who got pregnant five months after I started trying are getting ready to give birth...

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Betsy Newmark quotes Michael Gerson today about anti-Americanism and how it's not all Bush's fault. It certainly is not. I lived in France in 1998-99, and lots of people hated Americans; French, Swiss, Croatian, Norwegian, Canadian, Swedish, and Russian students hated us alike. The Croatian student hated us because of Bill Clinton, because his family was in danger during the air strikes in 1999. And that wasn't unilateral cowboy tactics; that was NATO. I also lived in Sweden in the summer of 2001, before 9/11. People hated Americans, namely for Kyoto that summer. I blogged about the riots in Goteborg during the EU summit, in which protesters carried paper mache Bush puppets and chanted "Go home, Bush." This was before 9/11, before Iraq, before any of these lame excuses that we hear these days about why Europe hates us. They just do. They have for a very long time. Iraq was just the frosting on the cake.

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March 06, 2008


My husband found this perfect video. This Cake song came out in 2001, but I swear it looks like it could've been written for the Obama movement.

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March 05, 2008


I've been busy hanging out with Heather and trying to distract her in the last few days before her husband returns, so I haven't been on the computer much.

But read these uplifting thoughts from Subsunk about young people in Iraq rejecting terrorism...

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March 01, 2008


I actually managed to sneak in a little bit of knitting for myself lately. I am working on another DNA scarf.


And my buddy Heather shows up this week for her husband's homecoming ceremony (hooray!), so I have 110 squares for her Hand-Crafted Comfort.

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My apologies to LGF for stealing his flying pig, but dang...


Angelina Jolie wrote approvingly about the progress in Iraq:

Today's humanitarian crisis in Iraq -- and the potential consequences for our national security -- are great. Can the United States afford to gamble that 4 million or more poor and displaced people, in the heart of Middle East, won't explode in violent desperation, sending the whole region into further disorder?
As for the question of whether the surge is working, I can only state what I witnessed: U.N. staff and those of non-governmental organizations seem to feel they have the right set of circumstances to attempt to scale up their programs. And when I asked the troops if they wanted to go home as soon as possible, they said that they miss home but feel invested in Iraq. They have lost many friends and want to be a part of the humanitarian progress they now feel is possible.

(Via Insty, via Taranto)

Frank J wrote a funny post the other day about Obama called "My Solution to Iraq Is to Never Have Gone There." It was funny because it felt all too true; many people talk about fixing Iraq in the past tense, as if "we shouldn't be there in the first place" is an actual solution. So -- and I can't believe I'm typing this -- kudos to Angelina Jolie for dealing with the actual situation as it stands today and not wishing for some utopian non-invasion that doesn't exist. And kudos to her for reporting what she saw on the ground, despite the fact that (I'm guessing) it doesn't jibe with her preconceptions.

So, yeah, pigs fly.

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