August 18, 2008


AirForceWife and I have the same camera, and last time we were together we were lamenting how it sucks batteries. I came into town with a set of batteries in the camera and an extra pair. I cycled through all of those during the Mehndi alone.

So on my way out of town on Friday, I stopped at the Walmart to buy batteries. My husband called while I was in the self-checkout, and I stupidly walked out of the store without my bag of purchases. It didn't even sink in until I got to Chicago that the batteries were nowhere to be found.

Next stop was a corner store near my friend's house the day of the wedding. I bought a four-pack and we headed to the ceremony. I had enough battery power left on the ones from the Mehndi to take one photo of the venue.


Right before the ceremony started, I put the new batteries in the camera: nothing. Not even enough juice to turn the camera on. I bet they'd been sitting in that corner store for years.

So here I am at the most beautiful and colorful and camera-worthy wedding I'll ever attend...with no batteries.

Luckily, Muslim weddings have a break in the middle for evening prayer. During this break, I went to the hotel front desk, asking if they have a gift shop. They do, but it was out of batteries. However, the nice manager went off in search of a pair of batteries owned by the hotel. He brought me two AAs and I handed him some dollar bills and raced back to the wedding.

And thank heavens those batteries lasted through the wedding and the Walima.

More on that later. I'm on my way to Walmart. I called them from Chicago to see if they'd found my forgotten bag, and they said that if I bring my receipt, they will give me another pack of batteries. Three cheers for awesome customer service.

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August 17, 2008


Seems to me out here,
it's all about the sky.
Clouds are pure art,
migrant birds flying by.
   --Allette Brooks

Apparently I'm supposed to be able to dodge flying rocks while driving. What? Phone or no phone, how in the heck was I supposed to do that?

And I was on a bluetooth, people.

But I threw caution to the wind when I noticed what a beautiful day it was. I love the Midwest so much that my heart grows two sizes when I drive here. You can take your mountains and oceans; I'll take my corn and clouds.

So I pulled out my camera and started indiscriminately snapping pictures of the road without looking through the viewfinder or bothering to focus. I took a ton, and a few actually came out great.

I called AWTM and told her I was thinking of her. Apparently she also drives through the Midwest with a camera in hand.

She challenged me to a Plains-Off.





AWTM, I'll see you your barn pic and raise you a farm plus a big honkin' American flag.


Also, you mentioned cows. I managed to snap some.


Man, I love driving in this state. What a view. Horizon as far as the eye can see.

It's home.

Oh, and a photo of the new crack in my windshield, for good measure.


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August 16, 2008


About ten minutes into my trip towards Chicago yesterday, I was on the phone with CaliValleyGirl and winced as a rock hit my windshield. Thirty seconds later, a 10-inch crack made its way across the glass. Son of a. The last time we drove home, we hit a crow. This time I will need a new windshield when I get back. It's too expensive to travel.

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August 13, 2008


SpouseBUZZ post: The Guilt

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A throwaway line from a good article about the bombing of Hiroshima:

Truman, president for less than 3 months and in the dark about the Manhattan Project during his entire vice presidency, was being given advice from every corner on how to end the war.

Wow. The compartmentalization these men must maintain.
I could never be president.

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An observation from my trip: Maybe little girls aren't so bad.

I realized that Guard Wife lives on my route home, so ol' Charlie and I stayed the night with her on the road trip. Our arrival coincided with her daughter's 5th birthday party. I was mentally thinking, "What did I agree to do?", but the party was charming and funny.

And Guard Wife's two daughters never made a bicker or a peep the whole time I was there. No fussing, no whining, no "she's hitting me!" They really upped the bar for me on child behavior. Maybe little girls might be up my alley.

Ha, now I just know Guard Wife will mess up her dynamic by adding a boy to the mix!

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August 12, 2008


I came across an oldy but a goody, an ollld blog post Varifrank wrote during the last election cycle. Still relevant.

This next election is not the last election, just the next one in the line. There will be another in 2 years, and another 2 years after than and so on and so forth. Let's knock this crap off that "this is the most important election in our lifetimes"; they are all important. Just vote. Do a reasonably good job of knowing the issues, accept people who take a different view than you and then go take up rock polishing or go knit sweaters for the other 23 months in between the election season. Let's all go find a hobbies to keep us busy for Gods' sake.

The founding fathers really meant for us to do other things besides talk about tax rates every damn day of the year. You want to change the employment situation, then get a job, if you've got one help someone else. Start with your family and work your way out to friends, and on to acquiantances and then on to strangers. Got too much and feel guilty about it? then give somebody something you dont need. You want to do something about education? then go volunteer for lunchroom duty at the local elementary school.

Stop expecting these half-wit lawyers in Washington to improve your lives. You can improve your life all by yourself, you don't need John Edwards to sue someone for you to get a better life.

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August 11, 2008


I just realized that my husband and I have to do this funny thing when we write emails and letters while he's deployed. We have so many inside jokes and quotes from animated shows, so we have to write in the parenthetical voice clues. Like I have to write: Weak, lame (Cartman voice). Or, as I just wrote in a letter an hour ago: I got this in Parade Magazine (Stewie voice). And my husband just sent me this: I'm from the future! (Reno 911 voice)

I find it hilarious that we both do this so often. It also reminds me of something my French "cousin" said when he lived in the US. My brother asked him what the hardest part about making friends is, and he replied that Americans are constantly quoting things. We drop quotes from songs and movies and The Simpsons into everything. He often had a hard time following conversations because it would take him a while to realize a quote was being made. So my brothers and I tried to take him on a crash course of quotable stuff, which at the time included Friday and Swingers. It was hilarious.

My cousin would have serious trouble hanging out with my husband and me. Our relationship is one big string of quotes.

I'm super serial (Al Gore voice).

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Hilarity, via Chuck.


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The dog and I spent 15 hours in the car over the weekend, so we settled in with a book on tape. Michael Crichton's Next didn't get spectacular reviews, but I found it unabridged at the library and thought that it would be good for the car.

After about eight hours of listening, I was starting to get really uneasy.

What I love about Crichton is that he always takes something we can do scientifically and then extrapolates it into the future to the ethical concerns. And yes, I am seriously nervewracked by some of the issues he raised. How about a woman who tracks down her biological father, a man who donated sperm 30 years prior, and says she's suing him because he knew at the time he donated sperm that he was addicted to cocaine, so he passed on his genes for addiction to her? Or what about a scientist getting sued because the meds he gave a woman didn't work, because he couldn't provide documentation that he gave her a placebo?

I have no problem with the technology. I have no problem with people profiting from creating the technology. I do have a serious problem with out litigious society and the ethics dilemmas this stuff will create. We're already sue-happy; just wait until you can sue your parents for procreating and passing along "faulty" genes.

I still have a couple more hours of listening to do, but as usual, Crichton is making me queasy. He's good at that.

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August 10, 2008


Quote of the day.

There had been reports that Iran would compete against Israel at these Olympic Games for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The Iranian National Olympic Committee (INOC) had said that as there was "no face-to-face situation" in swimming there would be no problem in attending the competition.

"Alirezaei swims in lane one and the representative of the Zionist regime (Israel) in lane seven, so they will not face each other," INOC secretary Ali Kafashian told ISNA news agency prior to the race.

Racists crack me up.

Also, something that would've been so skeezy if the last president had done it is so cute when this one does.

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August 08, 2008


I'm headed out this morning for a trip home. As my dad always says before a road trip, "It's 902 miles to Illinois; we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses." (Hey, that's one of our Dadisms, like we talked about last night with Sherman Baldwin.)

More when I get there. Midwestside til I die, baby!

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August 06, 2008


I finally got around to watching this week's Army Wives. There's the obligatory TV scene where the daughter wants to date a boy, so she has to bring him home to get the third degree from her parents. My parents never behaved this way. Maybe it was because they already knew all my friends from sports and stuff at school, but we never had to have one of those TV dinners that sounds like an interview: "So, what are your plans after high school?" Did you? Is this really what normal families do, or just families on TV?

Oh, and the boyfriend starts talking about Jack Kerouac. Can I just tell you how overrated I think On the Road is? Gag me. Thus I loved the scene in Freaks and Geeks when Kim Kelly said, "I hated the book, alright? I have no idea what it's about, and the writer was clearly on drugs when he wrote it. I mean, it just went on and on and on like it was written in a total hurry. If I handed in something like this, there's no way I'd get a good grade on it, I mean, it's boring and it's unorganized, and I only read 30 pages of it anyway." (Found at 5:47 in this youtube.) Perfect summary of that crappy book.

I don't know how parents keep from rolling their eyes when high schoolers try to act mature. I don't think I'll be very good at it. I have told my mother recently that she was a good mom for not belittling me when I thought something was The Biggest Drama Ever. I'm afraid I'm gonna laugh at my kid someday.

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August 05, 2008


I am having such a hard time getting off the computer. I mean, I just categorically deny that it is already 10:30. It can't be. Where did today go? Oh, right, the car dealership. Where I stood and drank mediocre coffee and then gave them six hundred bucks. Ugh. And the three hours I spent on that long post. I didn't knit a single stitch today. I refuse to go to bed yet, even though I'm exhausted.

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Some good Batman links, via Powerline:
FINALLY Hollywood makes a film that says President George W Bush was right
No Joke: The Dark Knight, Reviewed

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August 03, 2008


When I was visiting my grandparents, my dad's brothers were going on and on about Bruce Dern. I think it's funny when my dad's brothers get a hair up their butts about something. So one uncle lent me The Cowboys to watch. Best John Wayne movie I've ever seen. And my uncles were right: Bruce Dern is the Ultimate Bad Guy. Heaven help the boy who encounters Bruce Dern.

I couldn't help but think about the responsibilities and rewards given to these boys. They were all 12-15 years old and were gone from home all summer to drive cattle 400 miles. How many parents let their sons go four miles from their house these days without knowing exactly where they are? Heck, the first thing John Wayne did to test their courage was to make them all ride an untamed bucking horse. Imagine sending your 13-year-old son off for summer work with your family's best horse and pistol.

I also couldn't help but imagine my uncles watching this movie. They all would've been a little younger than the boys on the cattle drive when the movie came out. I wonder how it shaped them. Goodness knows their family followed the John Wayne School of Parenting.

A long trailer to the movie can be found here. Highly recommended.

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August 01, 2008




After two more hours last night and another hour this morning, it's done. And either I'm the worst crocheter in the world, or something was off on that pattern. I specifically chose it because it sounded quick: 126 rows, piece of cake. I had to actually crochet an extra 50 rows just to get the length right. Not as quick as I'd hoped.

But done.

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Good Jonah Goldberg:

Any number of countries in Africa are vastly richer in baubles and soil than Switzerland. But they are poor because they are impoverished in what they value.

In large measure our wealth isn't the product of capitalism, it is capitalism.

Good Victor Davis Hanson. No dog food for you tonight, Victor. (Gosh, how many Futurama jokes can I make in one day?!):

Instead of a strutting, Bible-quoting Texan, replete with southern accent and ‘smoke-em’ out lingo, they get an athletic, young, JFK-ish metrosexual, whose rhetoric is as empty as it is soothing. The English-only Obama lectures America on its need to emulate polyglot Europe; while a Spanish-speaking George Bush is hopelessly cast as a Texas yokel.

(Links via CG)

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Went back to the eye doctor. I am stuck where I'm at for now; we can't do another Lasik correction until we're certain that this is where my eyes have leveled off, so I have to wait a month and see. Also, I have blocked tear ducts so, to quote the doctor, they should be oozing Wesson oil and instead are blocked with Crisco. Gross. He was doing everything he could to unblock them and make me cry, including digging his fingernail into the base of my eye until I saw stars. It made me giggle on the inside because I felt like Fry on "My Three Suns," when they have to make him cry the emperor out. Good thing the doctor didn't start beating me up or telling me my husband was murdered in a juicer. Heh.

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