May 02, 2011
OK, I haven't blogged in a while, I need to back up.
My husband changed functional areas again. He just left for new training. He'll be TDY for three months. So BabyGrok and I drove with him and stayed a while in his temporary lodging.
And we made a detour for the Milblogs Conference. BabyGrok was a real hit with SecDef Rumsfeld.
So anyway (man, there is a lot of backstory to gloss over when you only blog monthly), the whole family was sharing a hotel room. We tried to be super quiet with BabyGrok in the room, so we'd shut off our cell phones when she went to bed.
This morning my husband left for PT at 4:45. He woke me to say a final goodbye. I looked at my phone to see the clock and noticed I had missed two phonecalls in the middle of the night, one from AWTM and one from my mother.
I can't tell you how my heart plummeted into my stomach. I thought for sure one of the SpouseBUZZ authors was dead. It seemed an eternity until I got to my voicemail. First message was AWTM; all she said was, "Are you sleeping? It's time to bake a cake!" So I knew it was good news; some dictator had just bit the dust! I figured it was Qaddafi. Then my mom's message explained the rest.
And it was 4:45, so I could either 1) jump up and check the news or 2) stay quietly in bed and keep BabyGrok sleeping. I chose the latter.
I missed the jubilation and excitement on Facebook. It was fun to read my friends all wondering why I wasn't partaking in history.
So today was the day to bake the cake in bin Laden's dishonor.
Yes, that cake is made of bacon. Up yours, Osama.
So it was a heck of a weekend: Milblog Conference, saying goodbye to my husband, and then the news of the decade.
Plus there was cake.
February 11, 2011
January 10, 2011
I've been busy chasing after the baby. I've also discovered it's hard to use the computer when she can crawl over and start slapping the keyboard.
Plus I just don't have anything good to say.
I hate posts where bloggers explain why they're not blogging...
October 03, 2010
Sarah Grok wants to keep blogging, but when she realizes she spent the baby's entire morning nap and part of the afternoon one writing the previous post, she kinda wants to throw up.
September 03, 2010
I have been looking into educational books for my kiddo and I was intrigued by the "Who Was" series. They are way above her level for now, but I was investigating them to see if they have a PC agenda or if they're good biographies for her to read someday. And I noticed something funny about the list of books. Here are some of the people they cover:
Leonardo da Vinci
One of these things is not like the other.
What on earth is in the Barack Obama book? I mean really...how does he possibly stack up to Edison and da Vinci? The only presidents in this series are Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy, Reagan, and...Obama? Wow, that's some prestigious company he keeps. Especially since there is no benefit of hindsight whatsoever. The book was published before he'd even finished his first year as president!
I'd really love to know what's in the Obama book. Once upon a time there was a boy who lived in Indonesia and Hawaii and then went to law school and then was a community organizer and then a senator and then president.
The only thing the man has done is get elected. And triple the already-too-awful national debt.
And somehow that stacks up to Mozart and Helen Keller.
September 02, 2010
Motherhood has, in many ways, been exactly what I expected. It's tiring, it's grueling, and it's repetitive. It takes up every minute of your day and every thought in your head. Much of my free time is unfortunately devoted to researching problems: annoyingly short naps, night waking, nursing strikes, etc. Other moments are spent researching more fun things, like baby food recipes and age-appropriate toys. But thankfully, at six months, there is indeed free time. I do get about four or five hours to myself every day.
I just have to prioritize those hours.
Half that time is spent with my husband in the evening. I still get to knit and wind down before bedtime, which these days is 9:30. The other half is during the day, and it gets split between research, housework, and relaxing.
And while blogging used to be one of my favorite hobbies, it's just not at the top of my priority list anymore. I barely make time to follow the news, much less form an opinion on it.
It should come as no shock to you -- seeing as I have written only 30 posts in the past six months -- that this blog is winding to a close. And the thing is, I hate when blogs peter out. I never know if I should keep checking in on Rachel Lucas or if she's done. I hate that.
So I was all ready to write this post last night and close up shop...and I checked my email first. And there was an email from a lurker who said she misses me...
And I took pause.
The only thing keeping me here anymore is all of you. All the people I've met and the sharing of ideas I've made a tiny contribution to over the years. I hate to not share anymore.
It's quite painful for me to quit.
Even moreso after I went back and read this post and its comments.
I was very ready to hang up my hat yesterday. At peace with it even. But now that it comes time to do it, I can't quite bring myself to it.
But I also hate to leave this blog hanging too...
I have to sleep on it.
March 29, 2010
For the first time in a month.
I thought my life of watching TV, knitting, and reading blogs would integrate easily with a baby. It's not like I'm some big-shot career woman, right? I could still do my hobbies while she naps.
It's proving far harder to do that than I ever imagined.
She's developed a bit of a projectile vomiting issue. The cure is to be upright all the time. That is not conducive to setting her down.
I am currently typing with her over my shoulder. I have learned to do many things one-handed.
It's a lot of work. A LOT. I am in awe of the mothers who've gone before me.
But I read a blog today. Maybe I can learn to squeeze my old life in between my new life at times.
March 06, 2010
And it was a post about how every minute in the day is precious and can't be wasted because there's too much to do.
Seriously, I could just cry.
February 13, 2010
And here's Ol' Dirty Charles, exhausted after playing in the snow...
February 10, 2010
Anyway, a link about what a bag Obama is: Turnabout Is (Hilarious) Fair Play
January 17, 2010
The Girl has always liked the post I wrote where I said my life is like one of the characters in an episode of My Name Is Earl:
Earl goes to do right by the guy he locked in a truck and finds the guy dead in his apartment. Earl decides the way to make amends is to throw the man a funeral since he can't seem to find anyone else to do it. This guy doesn't seem to have had any friends at all. No one knows anything about him. Earl throws a lame funeral and goes to clean the man's apartment out. He bumps the computer and finds dozens of IM screens from the man's online friends.
Turns out the guy's Real Life was all online. He didn't have any close friends in Camden County, but he had a vibrant social life in online poker, blogs, and chat rooms. All his online friends came to his second funeral and sent the man off in style.
My husband turned to me and said, "Oh, honey, he's just like you!" I just nodded because of the lump in my throat.Only instead of a funeral, she said she'd like to throw me a baby shower this way. Sniff.
If you'd be interested in participating, The Girl set up an email account to organize the virtual shindig. Email her at babygrokshower -at- yahoo.com and she'll fill you in on the details.
January 03, 2010
How would I have gotten any homework done if there had been blogs when I was in school?
December 21, 2009
And it may portend a bigger change down the road.
I started blogging six years ago, when I was feeling very alone and alienated from my college friend group. I needed an outlet to speak my own mind and work through what I believed. I needed somewhere to cash those chips. Along the way, I met many wonderful people who shared my worldview, or at least enough of it that we had common ground. My Real Life and my Blog Life started to blend and then tip, and now I'm at the point where I have a mere handful of real life friends and the majority of my connections are with other bloggers or readers.
And I am happy and fulfilled.
And now my blog just doesn't serve as the outlet I once needed it for. If I want to gripe about taxes or guns or health care, I can pick up the phone and call my blog friends. Or I can bang out an email to the person I think will grok. I am no longer alone, and I no longer feel the driving urge to add my two cents to the news, at least not like I did back in 2003.
Being on the internet is my #1 hobby. I spend more time here than I do knitting each day. And while I loathe when people act like having a baby will never again allow them to have a moment to themselves, I am not naive enough to think that once I have a newborn in the house, my hobby time won't be drastically reduced. And frankly, I can't see myself devoting an hour and a half to writing a blog post about Afghanistan, especially not when it only garners two comments from readers. I feel like I will get more satisfaction out of using that time to call a friend and talk about it instead. Or just reading to keep up on current events, instead of writing. Blogging has begun to feel very one-sided to me in recent months, like I'm shouting into a canyon, and it's just probably not going to be at the top of my hobby list anymore.
I also have become increasingly self-aware that I am, as Mary Katharine Ham once said, trying to "avoid being crushed under the weight of [my] own narcissism, banality, and plain old stupidity." The more time I invest in writing posts and get no or little feedback, the more jaded I become. And I don't like feeling like my banal little opinions and ideas are worth anyone else's time. To me, there's nothing more embarrassing than writing a long and time-consuming blog post that I think will set the internet on fire, only to have it sit there with no comments at all. Except, of course, the embarrassment of realizing that I have put myself on this pedestal where I expect people to actually care what my opinions are.
It is a narcissistic hobby, and I don't like the person I am when I inwardly grouse that my post on foreign policy obviously deserves more comments than that other blogger's post on her weekend trip to the beach.
I'm starting to feel that I've gotten all the good things out of blogging already and that all that's left for me is the narcissism and crushing banality.
But I hate when bloggers just drift away. If I'm in, I'm in, and if I'm out, there will be fanfare and a set date and you'll know it. And I would be out for good, not letting the site sit here so I can randomly post every few months. I am not making any decisions today, just letting you know that I feel like blogging is bringing me diminishing returns. And that I am considering ending my run here on this site after baby arrives, for a variety of reasons.
November 30, 2009
(Slow news week, eh? A short list of things I don't care about: Tiger Woods, White House party crashers, the recordings from Flight 188, Christmas shopping tips, and everything else that's been on the news since Thanksgiving.)
November 24, 2009
When the book tour stop was announced in my town, Lorie Byrd contacted me and asked if I planned to go see Sarah Palin. I really hadn't considered it at all: standing in line for hours didn't seem like a fun idea while six months pregnant. And I'm not really an "autograph person"; I'd rather hear someone's ideas than just shake her hand. They had said Palin would not give a speech, and I didn't see much point in just getting her to scribble in a book with a sharpie. (Sorry, that's how I see autographs.) But I thought it could be fun to see Lorie, and we were on the same page that if it was too much of a zoo, we wouldn't wait all day in line.
Lorie decided that maybe one of her friends in high places could get us a better deal. She contacted a big-time blogger who checked into it. I had no illusions whatsoever that we would get special treatment, and we just headed to the signing like everyone else. But on the drive there, we got a call from Andrew, one of the organizers for the event. Amazingly enough, he gave us the VIP treatment. We got special seats within the inner circle of velvet ropes to watch the preparations and festivities. The staff was working hard and really efficiently. And Andrew even brought fatty fat me donuts.
When Sarah Palin arrived, we were the first people she greeted: me, Lorie, and another blogger from Conservatives4Palin. Yay for the perks of new media!
They got the ball rolling right away and she started signing books. The staffers moved everyone through efficiently and briskly, yet Sarah Palin had this amazing way of making you feel like you weren't rushed. She shook everyone's hands, asked people their names, held babies, and really made each person feel like the most special person in line. All while the staff moved like clockwork around her to hustle as many people through the line as possible. It was impressive.
We sat for a bit from our VIP chairs, trying to catch a photo of Palin in between fans. It wasn't easy. Lorie and I laughed and showed each other all of our blurry and bad photos. I only had one that was even remotely OK.
The staff then put Lorie and me into the line. They told Palin we were bloggers and that my husband is in Afghanistan. She said to tell him that she loves him for what he does, and then she pointed at my belly and asked how I was doing. She was as charming as can be.
Lorie's motto is "it doesn't hurt to ask," so she had asked if there was someone else from Palin's entourage we could briefly interview for our blogs. After we got our books signed, the staff showed up with Sarah Palin's father for us to chat with. Lorie asked him how the tour was going so far, but he had just flown in to join the tour the night before. He was super nice. I asked how his grandson was doing after his deployment, and we chatted a bit about how hot it gets in Iraq and about my husband being in Afghanistan. It was so nice of Mr. Heath to spend a few minutes with us. He was delightful as well.
I still can't believe Lorie had the guts to get us access. I am an absolute nobody, but we got treated so well and like real VIPs. And Sarah Palin is an genius at making everyone around her feel special and appreciated. She really made it feel like she was the one who was lucky to meet all 4,000 of us, and not the other way around. Now that's charisma.
I had a good time, and I'm glad Lorie is the type of gal who's a go-getter, otherwise I never would've had the day I had. And a special thanks to Andrew for treating a couple of bloggers like VIPs.
Further reading: Lorie's post
October 03, 2009
I plan to ask my grandmother umpteen more questions about birthing and raising 13 children in the 1950s and 60s.
(Rats, I can't embed this.)
September 27, 2009
I also got a very touching gift this weekend. FbL attended the event to represent Soldiers' Angels, and she brought me a blogging inside joke gift, one that first puzzled me but then sunk in.
She brought be a big bag of cookies...
And it made me sniffle a little.
Leaving for home soon. Tomorrow is my last day of work.
August 29, 2009
I have been trying to log in here since I got back from Nebraska with no luck. I have no idea why it didn't work or why all of a sudden it worked again, but if I disappear for another long chunk of time, at least you'll know why.
So Charlie and I loaded up and headed west again with my mother, across the plains to Nebraska to visit AWTM. I love this part of the country; it makes my heart sing. From Ohio to Nebraska, there isn't a piece of highway that isn't beautiful. AWTM is right: it's the sky. It's seeing sky and clouds and corn as far as your eyes can take you. It's seeing clearly where you've been and where you're going.
Sadly, western Iowa won the Plains Off this year, because it was the only stretch of the drive where we didn't have rain. My plains were dismal this week.
We arrived and picked up the kids from school. They are both charming as can be. Pink Ninja decided she was in love with Charlie and wanted to become a tibetan terrier and marry him.
Sir Rowland was very cute too, and spent most of his time asking me about Rokenbok, which I know nothing about. He built an elevator while I was visiting, complete with shaft and pulley system. And while he had no intentions of proposing marriage, he seemed to warm to Charlie too.
The next day, AWTM and I tried to do the entire city in a day. We went to the International Quilt Study Center and Museum. We didn't realize that rotating exhibits means that only a fraction of the quilts are on show at any given time. There just wasn't much to see. So we moved on to the National Roller Skating Museum. AWTM wrote about it here.
We also decided to take one photo of ourselves everywhere and just run with what we got. No do-overs.
We could've used a couple do-overs.
Next was lunch at a down-home ma and pa restaurant. Taters and gravy and rolls and, at the end, pie. Er, wait, this is a Hillbilly Travelogue. I meant to say we ate pah. Peach cream pah, to be exact.
Then we headed to the Capitol. The only unicameral one in the 50 states, you know. And perhaps the only one built without incurring any debt. Good for them; I already want to move to Nebraska just for that reason. You will too, once you read this article:
Nebraska shuns all long-term financial commitments, not just for retirement benefits. The state has no debt. Its Constitution forbids it.
One thing Nebraska does have: A balanced $3.5 billion budget and a $563 million cash reserve.
That should be in the String Beans song.
The entrance to the Capitol is nothing to get excited about, so I wondered why exactly AWTM was making such a big deal of taking me there for a tour. I found out once we rode the elevator up to the main level.
It was the art.
So many types of art in so many styles. All of it depicting the plains and Nebraska. It was beautiful.
And this series reminded me of Objectivism. Can't you just see this one, depicting the 'labors of the mind' on the cover of an Ayn Rand book?
Beautiful. The Capitol was totally worth it.
AWTM wore me out and felt terrible about it. But it was a lot of fun, and I slept like a log when I got home.
Oh, and because this is a Hillbilly Travelogue, I have to end with random pictures of a dog.
Charlie didn't really know where to sit in AWTM's car...
And he did such a good job tolerating Pink Ninja's hugs and tugs the whole time. I grow more confident that he will be a good doggy to our little girl too.
Thank you, AWTM, for sharing your home and your state with me. I traveled 1300 miles in a car to get to you...and it was worth every backache and pain.
August 25, 2009
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