July 31, 2008


How hilarious is this? (Via CG)
Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet

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Well, I put in a seven-hour workday today. I started crocheting on the wedding afghan at 9 AM, stopping only for lunch and the occasional email. Seven hours and a ton of blurry TV later, I've completed 25 rows. That's eight inches. Man, I kinda figured I'd knock this thing out today, but I still have another four or five inches to go.

That's enough, people. No more weddings or babies for the rest of the year. I can't handle any more of this race-against-the-clock knitting.

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For weeks, people have been asking what happens next fertility-wise. Well, I'm still technically pregnant from the last baby. My levels plummeted and then plateaued; the nurse said she's never seen anyone's levels stay the same from one week to the next. And we all know there's no way I could be pregnant again, so I have no idea what's happening or how to make it stop. I can't make any appointments with the fertility clinic until the levels get back to zero. So I'm stuck in teeny-tiny-bit-pregnant limbo for now.

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July 28, 2008


It seemed like such a nothing choice, putting that Ray of Light CD in the player. I haven't listened to it in nearly ten years.

It wasn't a nothing choice. I am unable to do anything now but sit immobilized with my thoughts.

This CD takes me back to France. And not in a good way. That year of my life, I wish I could erase it. It is such a deep wound. I spent eight years loving France and waiting to get there, and then I hated it once I was there. After a horrible month of bad experiences with my host family, worse experiences with teachers, and being chased by a pervert until I had to climb under a car to hide from him, I turned numb to France, pretending I wasn't there. I got into a hurtful and bad romantic relationship with another exchange student instead. The year culminated with my near-death. And anything that reminds me of that year makes me sick.


That's how I started a post yesterday. I never finished it because, coincidentally, a friend from that year in France called me while I was writing it.

The post sat as it was; the bad feelings lingered to today.

I remember thinking it was cute that The Girl wrote a post just to remind herself of a day when she was feeling fine. This is my post to document a day when I'm not doing well.

Yeah, it's 0100 and I'm still awake.

It was that France stuff hanging over me today. Thinking about how crappy the year was, what bad choices I made with my life, and how awful I feel in the pit of my stomach whenever I think about it.

But mostly today it was the eyes. I feel like they're getting worse instead of better. I'm back to hating my body. I'm back to feeling the unfairness of having a body that won't accept a baby and eyes that won't accept Lasik. I am discouraged.

And I'm reading a book for a SpouseBUZZ review. I read the entire second half of the book tonight, two hours of feverish reading. It took me right back to the last deployment. It included names that I'll never forget: Kenny, Iwan, Khan, Falkenburg, Sims. (And just now, in looking up how to spell "Falkenburg," I couldn't avoid three names that brought the tears: Prewitt, Rosales, and Becker.)

So here I am, at 0100, not having such a good day.

And I just thought I ought to document it.

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July 29, 2008


There is no wrong way to knit. The only rule is to not drop a stitch or do something that will cause the knittery (thanks for the term, CaliValleyDude) to unravel. How you hold the sticks, where you hold the yarn, all of this is irrelevant. I rest my needles on my thighs and move the left one around the right; I think the only other people in the world who do that are the people who learned knitting from me. Which is actually quite a few people, I am happy to say.

I've heard stories from people who've gone into highbrow knitting stores and the ladies there want them to change the way they hold everything. That makes me mad. There's no wrong way to do it.

(This post prompted by this post.)

The only wrong way to knit is to take on making two wedding afghans a month before the weddings. And realizing that you now have a week to finish the remaining thirds of both of them.

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July 28, 2008


My husband and I went on a cruise the last time he returned from Iraq. We hated it. Between the awkward mingling with civilians and the Scattergories game from hell, it just really wasn't for us.

But the husband sent me a link today, noting that this cruise might be a bit more up our alley. I swear, when I read the first five names, my heart skipped a beat. Can you imagine getting those guys on a boat? It'd be like stalking Instapundit in Vegas, only there'd be nowhere they could escape from me! Muhwahaha.

No, seriously, I want that cruise. And I don't care one iota about the itinerary; we could circle Lake Michigan for five days for all I care. Hubs, someday can we take a nutjob cruise?

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In order to keep my eyeballs off the computer screen, I have been listening to Hugh Hewitt clips. But that's a bad idea because it just makes me come up with stuff I want to blog about.

I was listening to Dean Barnett and James Lileks talk about Obama's "citizen of the world" line.

I now puff my chest up and say that I was at the vanguard of this line of thought, having blogged about it two and a half years ago. (And getting exactly zero comments on the post, she adds, lest you think she really does hold herself in such esteem.)

Some commenter said yesterday that America's far left is Europe's moderate. I thought of that today in passing while reading Broca's Brain. I think people look at the world quite differently depending on how they classify themselves. If you think of yourself as an American, you see the world differently than if you think of yourself as a Global Citizen, as it seems most Europeans do. And if you think of yourself as a citizen of the universe, as Sagan does, you look at issues completely differently. Thus when Sagan talks of global warming, he thinks all humans should work together to prevent Earth's habitat from being like Mars. When an American talks about it, he typically thinks about what is best for the US first. I think the label you give yourself says a lot about how you deal with The Issues.

I agree with Lileks that when Obama calls himself "a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world," the emphasis is on the latter. And that it lacks any real sort of meaning and downplays his Americanness.

Really, there's nothing that turns me off quite as fast as when someone downplays his Americanness.

I am not a Citizen of the World. I live on this planet, but I am an American citizen. I don't really recognize this entity that Obama calls "the world," some sort of collective of human beings who all want the same things: peace, love, and kumbaya. I don't think that exists. I believe that human life patterns the Animal Planet channel, where each species vies for position and does what it takes to stay alive and get ahead. We accept that in the animal kingdom, but for some reason we think humans should all want to share and be humble. I wish we could accurately see human beings the way we accurately see marine life during Shark Week.

I am thankful to be a citizen of the greatest country on this planet. I wish Obama were too, instead of relegating it to second fiddle behind meaningless "We Are the World" tripe.

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July 27, 2008


Oh, and I think it's cute that all of you are saying, "But you didn't call meeee." I said non-internet friends, sillies. Also, AWTM, you are PCSing like tomorrow, and, Guard Wife, you are taking the freaking bar exam this week, so I'm not gonna call either of you and waste your time with stories of how my eyes are too blurry to watch an episode of The Dead Zone.

But I did watch Friday's episode of The Soup, and I was laughing so hard I was pounding the coffee table with my fist. I wonder if there's laughing gas in the eye drops I'm taking...

Oh yeah, and my face is still sticky. My hair keeps sticking to my cheeks and forehead, which is not pleasant. I even considered putting Goo Gone on it, but the bottle said to avoid prolonged exposure with your skin.

Vision-wise, I see about the same as I did yesterday.

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You know what you can do with only 20/30 vision? Housework. Bleh.
Scrubbing, sweeping, mopping...so far I've found that none of those take perfect vision.
Just my luck.

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July 26, 2008


Lots of laughter today. Lots.
And I haven't laughed at The Daily Show in years, but this recent clip had me in stitches.
No low blows, no gratuitous Bush jokes, just good comedy.

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So the bio of Benjamin Franklin I've been listening to? Yeah, that's not a sustainable activity. FbL had a good alternate suggestion: listen to stand-up on youtube. I ended up on the most hilarious thing, Dennis Miller interviewing Dana Carvey. The Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart thing was priceless.


Sarah Silverman just has the most perfect delivery. I can't listen to any more of her because I can't not watch her. Her face, it is delightful as she makes jokes.

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I have to wear metal eye protectors to sleep in. I told my husband they make me look like Spiderman. Just in case he didn't truly believe me...


Incidentally, I took eight of these pictures of myself lying in bed, hoping that one of them would be decent. So today when I was picking out which one to put on the blog, I felt like I was back in the eye doctor's office: Which is better, #1 or #2?

Also, notice that they have to be taped to my face. I cannot for the life of me get the sticky residue off; I've tried soap, exfoliator, and even rubbing alcohol. I am certain that by the end of the week, I will have two tape lines of pimples in an X on my face. Lovely.

So, yesterday was not so great. My friend and I decided that we did this all backwards: we hung out this week and culminated with the surgery, but we should've started with the surgery and then hung out, since I can't do anything but sit. Because my vision is blurry, I can't watch TV and I really ought to limit my computer time (so hard for me). Did I mention that I can't watch TV? Yesterday I sat alone listening to a book on tape. Lame.

Today my vision seems a little better, which is reassuring. But just in the hour I've been on the computer, I swear it's gotten worse, so I'm going to get offline now. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with myself all day. One thing I can do is gab on the phone, so I think I might catch up with old friends. Like non-internet friends. Yeah, I still have a couple of 'em.


I just called six people and none of them answered. Lame.

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July 25, 2008


Lileks goes to eleven today.

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CVG sent me an article that she knew I'd like: What Bush and Batman Have in Common

The funny thing is that my husband and I only pay money to go to the theater to see the very movies this article discusses, the superhero genre. The last movie we saw was Spiderman 3. Before that, 300. Before that, X-Men 3. And so on. So I was excited to see the new Batman and sad that I couldn't see it with the husband. His buddy and I tried to go the other night but it was completely sold out. Luckily, I did get to see it with my friend and her two sons this week.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. And Heath Ledger was just...wow. The whole time I kept thinking how tragic it was that the role messed with his head so badly but how unsurprising it was, considering how masterful his performance was.

Those are movies I want to pay to see.

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If you're really squeamish, this might freak you out. But there's a youtube of a Lasik surgery, and it's exactly what they did to me. I must say, sitting in the waiting room watching these creeped me out at first, but after I'd watched three people go ahead of me, it wasn't that hard to watch. But still...not for those who get grossed out by eyeballs.

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I posted at SpouseBUZZ: My husband's got jokes:

The other day, I set my purse down in the living room and walked down the hallway. A minute later, I hear the cell phone ringing. I run down the hall, rummage through my purse like a madwoman, and grab the cell phone right as it stops ringing. I recognize the displayed number as my husband calling from Iraq. And I'm standing there with the cell phone in my hand as he's leaving a voice message. No way to call him back or to let him know that I'm stupidly holding the phone.

That's excruciating.

I sent him an email later, saying that I was dying as he left that message, and that if he ever doesn't reach me on the cell phone in the future, he should hang up and try back one more time. Chances are I'm rummaging through my disaster of a purse, which is always what happens when my phone rings.

So a day or two later, he calls again and I miss it, but he calls right back. After we get off the phone, I go to my voicemail and hear what he left after the first call: a sing-songy teasing voice saying, "I'm not calling back -- you shoulda gotten to the phone in time! Just kidding..."

My husband's got jokes.

After I came up with that post, I went outside for a moment and my husband called again and I missed him. This voicemail said sarcastically, "You'd think with your new eyeballs you could find your phone faster."

That man.

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I woke up this morning a tad underwhelmed. I didn't feel safe driving myself to my appointment, so my friend took me. The doctor said he likes his patients to be at least 20/25 by the next day, and I'm 20/30. Now, that's WAY better than what I can see without my glasses, but I still feel like I'm in a little bit of a fog. Some of that could go away in time, and I freaking hope so because I certainly won't be happy that I spent thousands of dollars to still need glasses. I go back in a week to see if there's progress. But the pessimist in me thinks that this might just be one more nail in my loss-of-faith coffin.

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July 24, 2008


So, the lasik, eh?

I went in and waited and waited; naturally they were behind schedule. There were two other ladies in the waiting room who had done the surgery a few years ago and who were in for a touch-up. They said that, even with having to have a touch-up, they would do it again in a heartbeat. They also said that there's no pain whatsoever.

Hmmm, I am not sure I agree with that.

I went in and they numbed my eye and drew marks on it with a marker. That's because of astigmatism; apparently when you sit up straight, your eyeball is in a different shape than when you lie down, so they have to mark you sitting up before they recline you. Then they took me in and cut the flaps in my cornea. Painful isn't really the right word, but it was uncomfortable as all get out. They put this suction cup thing on your eye and create a vacuum seal and then start cutting. It was blindingly awful. It was so hard to keep my eyes open, and the even had me in this Clockwork Orange contraption so I couldn't shut my eyes. Still, I would've given anything to close them. It was like my brain shut off and the only thought I had was get-it-off get-it-off get-it-off. They did my left eye first, prounounced it a success, and did the right eye. But no pronouncement after that one.

Then they walk me across the hall and put me under another machine. I hear lots of commotion from the doctor and nurses and get the vibe that something is wrong. Panic attack. I am trying not to freak out or cry for what feels like an eternity before some nurse pats me on the arm and assures me that there's nothing wrong with my eyes, just the machine. Turns out the machine was having trouble uploading my info, so someone had to go back downstairs and save my flie to a thumb drive and come back with it. But I seriously thought something had gone horribly wrong. It was entirely unnerving, lying there for interminable minutes thinking that I had just lost my right eye.

Then, by the time they came back with the thumb drive, I had been lying there with my eyes closed for several minutes. So when they turned on the machine and the light flooded my eye, I thought I was going to pass out it was so bright. Nothing like being in complete darkness for five minutes and then having a flashlight shined in your eye from six inches away.

The wild thing about this next part is that it's done on camera and broadcast into the waiting room, so my friend and her son watched them pull back the flap in my cornea, pulse the laser into it, and then replace the flap. She took pictures with her cell phone, heh. And then we were done.

I shut my eyes, got guided out of the office, into the car, into my house, and into bed. My friend then had to figure out how to tape the protective eyewear to my head before I went to sleep. I woke up three hours later and took the goggles off.

I can see...decently. I guess I was expecting this life-altering transformation already, but as of right now I see better than I did naturally but not nearly as good as I did with my glasses. They say the process can take up to 48 hours to really work, so I'm hoping I have better vision in the morning.

Oh, and I would never say the process was easy or painless, but whatever discomfort I experienced -- I spent a lot of the time with my toes curled and my fists clenched, wishing I could be anywhere but with a blinding light in my eyeball -- it will be worth one hour of discomfort if I can see. My eyes are still extremely itchy this evening, maddeningly so. I would give anything to rub them, but that's the biggest no-no. I hope the worst of that goes away by tomorrow.

Wish me luck that I wake up in the morning with better vision.


As posted above...

If you're really squeamish, this might freak you out. But there's a youtube of a Lasik surgery, and it's exactly what they did to me. I must say, sitting in the waiting room watching these creeped me out at first, but after I'd watched three people go ahead of me, it wasn't that hard to watch. But still...not for those who get grossed out by eyeballs.

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July 22, 2008


Charlie and I will be gone for a few days; we're going on a sleepover to my friend's house. Her husband is out of town this week, so we're going to knit and bake. And then she'll nurse my eyes back to sight. So I may not be around for a few days, but hopefully when I return I'll be 20/20.

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July 21, 2008


So...during primary season, my husband opted for strategery and pulled a Mary Katherine Ham. Therefore, I found it hilarious today that he received a letter in the mail from the RNC asking him why he's abandoned the Republican Party. It called him a "grassroots leader." I am seriously sniggering here.

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