April 30, 2008

WTF?

Hank Dagny (nice name) finds an appalling article called "Is 'early' retirement ... well, unpatriotic?"

When I hear my fellow baby boomers gleefully talk about their plans to retire ASAP, head for the Tuscan hills or otherwise continue their lifelong quest for "self-actualization," I have to bite my tongue.

It's not that I'm all work and no play. But there's just something -- lots of things -- wrong, in general, with retiring at 55, 62 or even 65. I would go so far as to call it profoundly selfish and unpatriotic.

For individuals, working longer can mean more income and savings and something to bequeath to one's children. For the nation, if millions of us worked until 67 instead of 62, Americans' wealth and consumption would increase appreciably, fueling stronger economic growth.

That added income would provide about $800 billion in additional tax revenue and reduce government benefit costs by at least $100 billion in 2045, according to Urban Institute calculations. This alone would cut the projected deficit in 2045 by 159 percent.

Well then, call us unpatriotic, because my husband's goal is to retire from the Army at 42 and be retired. Done. Finito. I don't know if that will stick because he might get bored being at home, but at the rate he's planning now, he will have the option of making it so.

And I dare some communist to say that what he's doing is "unpatriotic." He doesn't have to keep working an additional 25 years so he can fund social welfare programs. It's his responsibility to provide for himself and his family, nothing more. And as much as we've scrimped and saved and done without for the past six years so that we have the financial flexibility to do whatever he wants when he retires, I'll be damned if someone says that he has to work longer to help out deadbeats who didn't scrimp and save and do without.

Yes, we're selfish. I daresay the US would be a better place if everyone were a little more selfish, taking care of their own needs and doing what needs to be done to maximize profits and reach their goals. The Invisible freaking Hand.

Blood. Boiling. Calm. Down.

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DUMB DREAMS

My husband never remembers his dreams (lucky) but I always do. We often laugh at how mundane and stupid my dreams are. For example, last night: The husband and I visited some sort of aquarium museum. In the gift shop, I picked out a quartz that was carved into a turtle and bought it. Afterwards, I realized it was $11, and I panicked. I didn't think it was worth $11, but I was too embarrassed to immediately ask for a refund. And then my husband comes around the corner and sarcastically says, "You could always buy one of these," referring to a little statuette of a mother holding an infant.

Seriously, these are my dreams. Of all the things I could be doing -- flying, commanding a space ship, winning the lottery of free yarn -- I dream about buyer's remorse. And about how mad we are that we don't have a baby yet.

Apparently I'm just as parsimonious and cynical in my dreams as I am in real life.

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April 29, 2008

THAT'S A PEACH OF A HAT!

I made the pumpkin version last fall, so yesterday I tried the peach.

peach.jpg

These preemie hats are too darned cute.

And I got some great suggestions on yesterday's post that if I have too much yarn, I can give it away, either to newbie knitters or to a good cause. While both of these ideas are admirable, well, I don't think I'm that big of a person. You see, I will spend hours and hours and hours making stuff that I just give away. I make tons of preemie caps, squares for HCC afghans, and gifts for friends, but handing over an unknittedup ball of yarn to someone else? Ouch.

At one of my knitting classes, a woman didn't buy her own yarn. She brazenly asked me if she could just use mine. I had this crummy, old, ugly ball of faded brown acrylic junk in my hand, and yet I went, "Um...well...er...uh...o...kay," and slowly handed it to her. It was crap yarn! It was ugly and awful. But giving it away? It hurt my heart. I would've gladly made something out of it and handed it to her for free, but I have a severe selfishness problem with giving away unused yarn.

Sis B, I'd rather hand you ten bucks to go pick out your own yarn! And FbL, we too make blankets for the VA hospital here in town; I was just going to start one soon. The problem is, a lot of the yarn I have is not stuff that is good for these projects. I have used up most of my washable acrylics on HCC squares; what I'm left with is fancy wools and sock yarn and a ton of baby yarn to be made into preemie caps. But I'll dig.

Maybe I can convince myself to be a big enough person to give away yarn.

Maybe.

Doubtful.

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April 28, 2008

DEPLOYMENT, TAKE 2

I kept this Butterfly post in the back of my mind for a long time, knowing I'd reference it later because it mirrors my situation.

But this is not all that dissimilar to the incident that happened in the fall. Back then, I complained I couldn't cry about it. This time I cried and cried. This difference this time I think has to do with the fact that I do not think of him as being in all that dangerous of place, well, at least compared to where he was. At his last assignment, I think I had an enormous barrier in place to deal with this kind of thing. But once he took the new assignment, and I settled in to the day-to-day officeness of it all, I let that wall down.

Whenever people like my husband's grandma or his friend's wife started to get that worried look as they hugged my husband for the last time, he just smiled at them and reassuringly said, "If I told anyone in the Army where I am going, what I will be doing, and how long I will be there, no one would feel sorry for me. So you don't need to worry about me; I have an enviable deployment!"

His last deployment, not so much.

I wonder how this time will be different. Last time, the only experience I knew was weeks without contact, no phones at his location, two intense trips to Najaf, every third week living off the FOB, and no hot food for the first six months. His deployment was on the rough(er) end of the spectrum, but I don't remember feeling overly scared. It just was what it was; it was the only deployment I knew.

And sometimes now I get worried because this one is even more relaxed. I don't feel nervous or scared at all about his leaving. I don't feel like he's preparing for war this time. But then my mind plays tricks on me and I start to wonder what if something happens like happened to Butterfly Wife, where the husband's "day-to-day officeness" is interrupted by danger? Honestly, I have thought more than once how stupid it would feel if my husband were killed on his "easy" deployment instead of his prior hard one. But stuff like that happens, even to soldiers with the jobbiest jobs.

I hope he spends the entire time bored out of his mind.

And close to a phone.

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STASH

Knitters with a big stash will completely grok this:

So that's where I am today. At least in my head. Remembering how I felt when I bought this stuff. Remembering what I planned on making with it. Remembering all the emotions I was sure I'd feel when the projects were finished. Beating myself up for never getting around to starting the projects. Beating myself up for not even winding the yarn yet. Beating myself up for beating myself up for all the projects I wanted to make but never got around to.

My friend learned to knit and crochet right when her husband left for Iraq. A year later, she had a serious obsession. She made her husband come over to my house to see my stash so that hers would look small by comparison. Her husband was a bit stunned by my skein collection; my husband just shrugged his shoulders and sighed.

I've been making a conscious effort to use up yarn I already own, but somehow the stash keeps growing. Sometimes is grows slowly, as when I find one lonely ball of mustard yellow on sale for 60 cents that can be used to make HCC squares. Other times it grows in leaps and bounds: one of the ladies in my charity group has been ridding her stash of yarns that bother her arthritic hands, and every two weeks she brings me a new big bag of yarn for me. So even though my stash is growing mostly due to free yarn, it's still starting to overwhelm me.

It takes several hours and about 1.5 oz of yarn to make a preemie cap; thus, bags of yarn every two weeks will take me ages to work through. But somehow I have this stupid mental image that I will use up everything I own someday, and then dust my hands off and go buy more.

Working through my stash is like digging in sand.

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April 27, 2008

THE WAR ON PRIME TIME TV

I'm often dismayed and annoyed with TV storylines involving the GWOT; they usually involve soldiers who kill innocents, loot Iraq, and blame it all on the war. Friday's Numb3ers was no exception.

One of the main characters of the show got out of the Army to join the FBI. In this episode, the FBI was searching for a Marine whose family had been kidnapped because he wouldn't give his fellow Marines the whereabouts of $1 million stolen in Iraq. (Yep, it's the Three Kings storyline again.) Here's the conversation they had:

Marine: They're gonna kill my family. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Force recon taught me that.

FBI: Playing the "bad war badass" is not going to get your family back.

Marine: What do you know about bad wars? Chasing bin Laden in '01 don't compare to what's going on now.

FBI: Yeah, I've heard the stories.

Marine: (mocking) You've heard the stories. Talk to me when you've seen woman and children blown up by a 50-cal, or a school after a mortar attack, or a man tortured by your own guys until he begs you to kill him. You fought the bad war when it was good.

This seemed like Hollywood bullcrap to me, so I had a long talk with my husband about it. In his experience, he has never heard conversations like this about Afghanistan being a "good war" but Iraq being a "bad war." And 50-cal bullets work in Afghanistan too; I am sure some soldier in Afghanistan has made a kill that bothers him. This just smelled like projection to me: someone in Hollywood thinks Afghanistan is more justified than Iraq and writes that dialogue into the script.

Heck, everyone in Hollywood is projecting. I can't even list how many episodes of shows like Cold Case, Law & Order, CSI, Without a Trace, etc, have plotlines that seem like stereotypes gone horribly wrong. Everyone has PTSD, and the number of people who return from Iraq and murder their recruiter, journalists, or other soldiers from their platoon who are about to blow the whistle on cover-ups of massive Iraqi murders, well, it's just staggering. If this had happened even once, I think we'd have heard of it in the past seven years. It's all Hollywood exaggeration, and sadly they're exaggerating our soldiers and Marines into killers, thieves, and mental cases.

Later on in the show, thankfully this exchange happens between the two FBI agents:

Colby: What Porter said about me fighting the good war, there's truth to that. When I got pulled out of the field by military intelligence, I left a lot of guys behind.

David: And a lot of them went to Iraq...

Colby: I read the names in the papers, guys I knew, I heard about friends who came home messed up physically and messed up in the head

David: Where I grew up, people were messed up by a lot of things, a lot of it out of their control. It didn't make them any less culpable for their actions.

They're talking about the context of crime, but this point can be extended much further. War is ugly. But so is rape, abuse, incest, drugs, and a host of other things that people are exposed to on a daily basis. Soldiers watch their friends get killed, but sometimes in this messed-up world we live in, children watch their parents get killed. Wives watch their husbands murdered in front of them. Life is not only brutal on the battlefield.

Last night I finished reading The Airman and the Carpenter. The NJ state executioner thought Hauptmann was innocent, but he had to pull the switch anyway. I had never thought about executioners before, but I'm sure on occasion they have to take a life they're not comfortable with taking. But they do it. Does it haunt them? I don't know; we never hear about executioner PTSD. Nor do we hear about doctor PTSD, though I'm certain the ER is a horrifying place to work. I bet they see more people dying in a week than my husband did in an entire year. But they're not portrayed on TV as mental cases who are going to kill their fellow doctors for money.

I've been holding in a complaint for a long time because it is a delicate subject, but I'm going to air it now. There are people out there with PTSD, and they need help. I am glad that there is awareness and that they can get the help they deserve. I know it's real. But there's a nagging part of me that rues the fact that the more emphasis we put on PTSD -- the more we talk about detection and diagnosis and how widespread it is -- the more civilians expect that everyone who's been deployed is messed up in the head. And the more of these storylines we're going to get on movies and TV, which just reinforces civilians' belief that everyone has PTSD.

My husband reminded me of the time we went to The Mariners' Museum and his cousin asked cautiously if he would be OK sitting in on the video presentation of the battle of the USS Monitor because it had simulated cannon fire. It was nice of her to be concerned, but my husband just had to chuckle. He had been jittery for the first few weeks of being home, but by then he had been home for two and a half years. But she knew about PTSD and thought it affected everyone who's been deployed. She was worried about my husband and wouldn't accept his reassurance. She kept asking me if he was OK, no I mean really, is he OK, you can tell me.

Yes, he's OK. Most people are. Some do have PTSD, but most of them won't go on to murder or pillage. They need to see a doctor; what they don't need is Hollywood making them out to be ticking time bombs on every TV show and movie ever made about Iraq.

Why can't we have any storylines where someone comes home from Iraq and then sacrifices to save a life? That's happened, you know. Or where someone survives a murder attempt and helps bring the killer to justice, as Airman King did?

There's heroism among returning servicemembers. But for some reason that never makes it into TV plots.

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April 25, 2008

THE SUCKER TAX

Neal Boortz was talking about the lottery earlier today as I drove home from the commissary, and I couldn't believe my ears. He said he had read a study a while back that said that 50% of respondants said they planned to use lottery winnings to retire. I've been searching and cannot find this study, but I did find this:

Twenty-one percent of those surveyed said a lottery would be the most practical strategy for accumulating several hundred thousand dollars, and that percentage was higher among lower-income people, with 38% of those who earn less than $25,000 pointing to the lottery as a solution.

Some Americans "both greatly overestimate their chances of hitting a lottery jackpot, and greatly underestimate their ability to build six-figure wealth by patiently making regular savings contributions over time," said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of CFA, in a telephone press conference.

Knock me over with a feather.

This ties in nicely with a blog post AirForceWife sent to me yesterday. FrugalDad wrote a blog post called Language of the Perpetual Poor, which contained this gem:

If you are ever around a gas station on Friday night you see them lined up at the counter forking over $20 of their hard-earned paycheck for their chance at financial glory. And just try telling them that $20 a week in a mutual fund averaging 8% growth for 30 years adds up to $130,000. Who can afford to invest in mutual funds?

So there you go, there's your six figures. Shoot, you'd be better off putting the money in a coffee can, as one commenter said she started doing instead of going on on the office pool.

In searching for these shocking lottery statistics, I also came across this anecdote to put it all in perspective:

"'Suppose you have one friend in Canada. If you put the names of everyone in Canada in a hat and draw one name at random, you are 2.5 times more likely to draw your friend's name than you are to win the Big Game,' according to Cal State-Hayward statistics professor Michael Orkin."

Heh.

A big problem is that people are so mathematically ignorant that they don't even understand these odds. Here's how bad it is:

The study also identified a strong relation between financial literacy and retirement planning. Persons who understood finances more were more likely to take charge and plan for their retirement. Financial literacy was judged on the basis of being able to answer simple financial questions including:

“If the chances of getting a disease are 10 per cent, how many people out of 1,000 would be expected to get the disease?” Answer: 100. (Percentage of people answering correctly: 84.)

“If 5 people all have the winning number in the lottery and the prize is $2 million, how much will each of them get?” Answer: $400,000. (Percentage of people answering correctly: 56.)

“Let’s say you have $200 in a savings account paying 10% per year interest. How much would you have in the account at the end of two years?” Answer: $242. (Percentage of people answering correctly: 18.)

This is just basic stuff, people. Yikes.

There are only two tricks to investing for long-term financial success: early and often. The lottery doesn't enter into it.

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WELL PUT

An astute observation on how Obama and Clinton are tearing the Democrats in half:

Also, heard from a smart conservative strategist a day or so ago... this is what happens when your party is made up of groups that want government to do things for them (and spend time and resources) vs. when your party is made up of groups that want government to get off their backs and go away.

Government dollars, even with high tax rates, are finite. Sooner or later, a dollar has to be spent on either environmental protection or worker retraining programs, on scholarships or on expanding Social Security, on government-run health care or foreign aid, on infrastructure programs or on open space preservation. Sooner or later, a Democratic leader can only split the difference so much, and more resources will go to one instead of the other. Someone will feel shortchanged, resentments will build. Besides money, there's the finite resource of time, focus, and energy of lawmakers.

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OOOHHHH

Peggy Noonan is good squishy today. I'm not even going to excerpt because you need to read the whole thing.

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THE FARCE OF THE CENTURY

I wrote over at SpouseBUZZ about my pre-deployment stress. With the fertility and my husband leaving, I have not been at peak mental performance lately. So how could I make it worse? How about reading the most stressful and awful book I've ever picked up.

I found the book The Airman and the Carpenter: The Lindbergh Kidnapping and the Framing of Richard Hauptmann for fifty cents at the Goodwill. I thought I'd grab it and learn a little about the Trial of the Century.

I can't read this book for more than a chapter at a time. I cry too much. I get knots in my stomach and shortness of breath. I cry out in anguish and my husband has to ask me what they did this time. When I set the book down at night, I rant endlessly to my husband. I pace the room, I raise my voice, and I can't calm down.

I've even dreamt about Charles Lindbergh.

The Trial of the Century was a joke. It was a farce and a disaster. They executed an innocent man because they had no better suspect. Everyone who took the stand lied. Flat out lied: cops, expert witnesses, Lindbergh himself. God, how this book has made me hate Charles Lindbergh. They planted evidence, coached witnesses, tricked Hauptmann into damning himself, destroyed documents and evidence that exonerated him, and laid out a boatload of perjury as the truth.

And Hauptmann lost his life.

This website does a pretty good job of laying out the absurdities of the case and lining up the questions that Hauptmann's defense lawyer should have asked. Only he didn't, because he too thought Hauptmann was guilty. So throughout the entire trial, he only spent 40 minutes conferring with his client.

This book has gotten me in such a tizzy that I can't stand it. I find the whole thing so disgusting and reprehensible. I can't even recommend the book because it's too painful to read. I'm glad I learned about it, but it literally makes me sick to my stomach to read it.

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April 24, 2008

HOVERING

Just this morning, I was thinking about that mom who got arrested for leaving her child in the car while she put money in the Salvation Army bin. I watched a mom strap her kid into the car at Walmart, take her groceries out of her cart, and then leave the cart right in the middle of the parking lot instead of pushing it to one of the cart corrals. I hate when people do this! But I got to thinking, would she get in trouble for leaving her child unattended as she put her cart away? That's the same distance as it was to the Salvation Army bin.

I seriously thought about this all day, about moms who don't stray from child's side. I thought a lot about my own childhood, and about CaliValleyGirl's (she should regale you with tales of her childhood independence), and about leaving a child alone in the car for a few moments.

So I was fascinated to find this article this evening:

Would you let your fourth-grader ride public transportation without an adult? Probably not. Still, when Lenore Skenazy, a columnist for the New York Sun, wrote about letting her son take the subway alone to get back to her Manhattan home from a department store on the Upper East Side, she didn't expect to get hit with a tsunami of criticism from readers.

"Long story short: My son got home, ecstatic with independence," Skenazy wrote on April 4 in the New York Sun. "Long story longer: Half the people I've told this episode to now want to turn me in for child abuse. As if keeping kids under lock and key and helmet and cell phone and nanny and surveillance is the right way to rear kids. It's not. It's debilitating—for us and for them."

I honestly think it's cool that she let her kid ride the subway. I was only a little older than he when I rode my bike to school, an event which I immortalized when I previously wrote about letting kids have freedom:

On my last day of fifth grade, my mom let me ride my bike to school. Some of my friends who lived closer to the school got to ride their bikes often, but we lived in a neighborhood that was further away and so I was a bus-riding kid. (Oh, and every day my brother and I walked down the street to the bus stop and waited alone.) But finally my mom said I was old enough to earn the right to ride my bike to school. I just google mapped it, and it seems I rode roughly two miles. And I felt SO COOL. I was one of the big kids now. I was independent. I had Done Something Awesome. And without a helmet.

My mom and I talked about that not too long ago. She says looking back she can't believe all the parents let their kids ride bikes to school. And she's not sure she'd let me do it today. Even she has a hard time remembering when cartoon characters didn't need helmets.

I needed to ride that bike to school. Heck, I still remember it. As a crowning achievement, as a milestone, as a step on the way to Growing Up. The thing that scares me is wondering if I will be able to let my kids take those steps too.

The Newsweek article says this:

Back in 1972, when many of today's parents were kids, 87 percent of children who lived within a mile of school walked or biked every day. But today, the Centers for Disease Control report that only 13 percent of children bike, walk or otherwise get themselves to school.

My husband is pretty adamant that we won't be driving our kid to his bus stop. And likely we won't have to; the local bus stop seems to stop every 100 feet to let a new kid out right in front of his house. We want to have a relaxed and groovy approach to parenting. (Ha, the last thing Sarah is is relaxed and groovy.)

Of course, these feelings are all theoretical. I want to be a cool, independence-fostering mom. But I've also been plagued by hovering thoughts.

I know a couple, they tried for eight years to have their daughter. She was born dangerously premature, and she ended up being their only child. She's now 30, and when I think about how hard it was for them to have this child, I wonder how they ever let her leave the house. How did they let her ride a bike or start driving or go to college? How did they ever let her out of their sight? She was irreplaceable. Literally.

Since having a baby has proven so hard, I can imagine it will be even harder to let my kid become independent. I will have to really work at not smothering the kid.

I will have to remind myself how I felt when I rode that bike to school. My kid needs to feel that too.

UPDATE:

Oh good heavens: I Left My Son in San Francisco.

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TORTILLA REALIZATION

The last time my husband left, it was buying shampoo that made me realize he was leaving. This time it was tortillas.

I pack lunches for my husband to eat at work, and usually I make him wraps. As I bought a ten-pack of tortillas today, I realized that that's all he'll need. There are about ten more work days until he's gone.

Boy, that hit me like a ton of bricks. It snuck up on me fast. The shampoo realization came four months ahead of time. This time I've been a lot more distracted.

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April 23, 2008

MAGKNITS

I finished my Magknits t-shirt yesterday, and I am loving it. I already have plans to make another.

magknits.jpg

It's not easy to take a photo of yourself with the camera timer and try to get the dog to look cute, your new sweater to look cute, and to not look like you have a bald spot. Two outta three ain't bad, right?

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KNOCK IT OFF, GOVERNMENT

John Stossel echoes a point I was trying to make via email to Sis B:

Politicians love a "crisis." John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama all think that the government should bail out homeowners who can't pay their mortgages. When they say the government should do this, they mean the taxpayers, including those who are paying their mortgages. They also think the government should regulate the lending and investment industries further.

Why?

Because "crisis" justifies making government bigger.

It's why we now have a global warming "crisis" and in previous years we had "crises" over avian flu, the Y2K threat to computers, imaginary cancer spikes caused by pesticides, killer bees flying up from Mexico, and uncontrolled population growth leading to a "Population Bomb" that will bring "riots and mass starvation" by the year 2000.

In my email, I mentioned the HBO series John Adams and remarked how deeply it struck me when John Adams told Congress that it wasn't his place to give his opinion when they were deadlocked. Imagine any politician today saying it's not his place to give his opinion! Nowadays, politicans tie millions of dollars to their opinions and give both out freely. And imagine telling our early presidents that they need to help people pay for their homes or stop the spread of disease. No way that was the government's job back then. But it sure is now. Hurricane hit your city? Free trailers for everyone. And here's a voucher to go buy a new Gucci purse.

The term "predatory lending" just gets my goat. Forced lending? Ha. You can't make someone borrow money from you. If you make $30,000 a year and bought a $400,000 house, it's no one's fault but your own. I wish John Adams could be here today to stare incredulously at those people's faces and tell them to get real.

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April 22, 2008

NICE

Lileks is a gem:

You know, it may be hard to find a candidate who doesn’t belong to a church whose leader delivers eyebrow-singing speeches on the evils of America and also built a house Jim Bakker would approve, and it may be hard to find a candidate who doesn’t move with ease in the same social circles as some people who bombed the Pentagon, but it can’t be that hard to find one who doesn’t do both.

Speaking of gems, my husband's ego grew about two sizes after the previous post. Now he's walking around the house talking about how great he is.

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April 21, 2008

ONE LUCKY WIFE

Once again, I have the perfect set-up to rave about my husband. The internet makes it too easy, I swear.

John Hawkins found the most horrific article about why men don't do housework. Now there's room for complaining about my husband and his violent toothbrushing (the man brushes his teeth so hard that he sprays everywhere, showering the bathroom in white spots), which I have been known to gripe about on the phone with certain valley girls from Cali. But this article, it's just too much.

And yet everyone acts as if Jeremy deserves some kind of medal just for making a run to the supermarket. No one has ever suggested that I’m a heroine for doing the things every mother is expected to do. I admit that my husband helps out more than many men, but here’s another news flash: It isn’t because he’s such a fabulously enlightened being. Left to his own devices, he would doubtless park himself in front of the TV like some sitcom male-chauvinist couch potato while I did all the work. The reason Jeremy “helps” as much as he does (an offensive terminology that itself suggests who’s really being held responsible) is simple: He doesn’t have a choice.

Wow.

OK, I'll say it. My husband does deserve a medal for helping me around the house. I do most of the housework, and I'm darned lazy at it. Right now I am blogging in the middle of the day with election coverage on the TV, and I just set down my crochet project to pick up the laptop. La-zy. I did do several loads of laundry earlier, cleaned out my husband's dresser drawers, took out the trash, weeded the front flowerbeds, and unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. But really, I still had time to watch two Laws & Orders, make a preemie hat, talk on the phone with Erin, my mom, and my mother-in-law, and eat several pieces of candy on the sofa. The fact that my husband helps make dinner, change the sheets, and load the dishwasher is indeed a sign of his sainthood. Because he woke up at 0430 this morning to spend more than 12 hours at work and then will come home to study for an economics final.

I'm the one who would doubtless park myself on the sofa all day, watching cop dramas and knitting to my heart's content. I clean up the house because I don't have a choice. It's my job since I don't have a job. And once he deploys, I won't have anyone around to shame me into doing housework. The house will probably be a disaster. Charlie sure ain't gonna pull his weight.

I'm lucky my husband puts up with piles of yarn, laundry, and dirty dishes at all. He could easily chew my butt for not working harder around the house while he's at work all week and getting his MBA on the weekends. But he doesn't care, as long as food's on the table and his socks are clean. And he'd have every right to ask me to do more. The oven needs cleaning, as do the windowsills.

I am the one who counts my blessings around here.

My husband is a dream.

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NO GOOD MEDDLERS

I don't understand stuff like this at all.

Officials with Marriott International have agreed to meet with pro-family leaders to discuss the hotel giant's policy of selling in-room pornographic movies to consumers at some of its properties.
...
The letter stressed that pulling the plug on pornography would be in keeping with Marriott's public statement of "promoting the well-being of children and families."

What a bunch of meddling busybodies. If a businessman alone in his hotel room wants to pay outrageous sums of money to watch a dirty movie, why is it anybody else's business?

I mean, don't get me wrong, buying those movies at a hotel is dumb. They're expensive! Shoot, all in-room movies are expensive. Last week the Red Roof Inn wanted to charge us $5.95 to watch an episode of Dexter. Uh, no. But people have the right to spend their money however stupidly they choose. And if they want to spend it on certain types of movies, that's their business.

I just don't get how offering these movies, for a fee, harms children and families who stay in the hotel. This is like the easiest way to prevent your kid from watching dirty movies. If you share a room, there's no way the kid will see it. If the kids have their own room, you'll know about it immediately the next morning when you settle your bill. That's easier control over your kids than you have at home, where any kid at school can hand your precious baby a DVD to take home and hide.

And they're the easiest thing in the world to avoid. Don't want to watch them? Don't buy them! What a novel idea. Just skip that selection on the menu. It's not like the dirty movies are on every channel for free. That will only happen when you take your kids to Europe on vacation.

This kind of stuff drives me nuts. If you don't like sex/violence/nudity/Nip Tuck on TV, don't watch. Change the channel. But seriously, don't try to pressure advertisers and hotel chains to make it so no one can watch. That's manipulative and pathetic.

Incidentally, one time when I was in like high school or something, my family was at a hotel and tried to order an in-room movie. We hit the button, and the movie started, but something wasn't right: it was grainy, and the music was...funny. And then the name of the movie showed up, and gosh I wish I could remember what it was. Something erotic. Obviously the wrong movie had shown up on the screen. So my mom calls the front desk, but she's left the movie playing while she's dialing. My dad was like, "Uh, I think you might want to stop this from playing," while my younger brothers are shushing him and staring intently at the screen. Ha.

Posted by: Sarah at 07:19 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
Post contains 481 words, total size 3 kb.

SICK

So apparently that miscarriage art, it was a hoax. I don't know what is sicker: really inducing your own miscarriage for art, or just pretending you did to get attention.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:37 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 20, 2008

YEP

Via Insty, an excellent comment on taxes:

Clearly the government wants us to spend ourselves broke and throw ourselves on welfare. Then they will stop fining us every year. They fine us for speeding, for spitting in the streets, for doing things they don't want us to do: they also fine us for improving our property, investing money to grow the economy, saving money; the implications are pretty clear?

Posted by: Sarah at 03:14 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 19, 2008

VACATION KNITTING

I knitted two socks last week on vacation.

KCsocks.jpg

Yeah, I never said they matched.

The red one has the StL Cardinals logo on the heel. The black one is made with that fun Tofutsies yarn made out of crab shells. I just really wanted socks made from seafood.

And I imagine someday I will make the partner for each of these socks. But right now, there's work to do. I thought my baby knitting was winding down. Both my cousins had their babies last week, so that only left one more preg lady to knit for. And then I got two wedding invitiations in the mail. And found out someone else is pregnant.

It never ends.

Also in knitting news, while on vacation I went to the Toy and Miniature Museum. I knew that some of Althea Merback's work was there, so I dragged my husband's family to see tiny knitted gloves. This was the sweater we got to see, but there was so much more. It was The.Best.Museum.Evah. (My husband laughed when I said that; "You've been to the Louvre," he joked.) But some statue with no arms has nothing on a six-inch-tall working printing press. Or tiny working musical instruments and cameras. My in-laws are lucky we showed up two hours before closing because I could've spent all day there. And the whole time, I kept wishing I had the AirForceKids or Sir Rowland there with me; they would've loved it.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:12 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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