March 01, 2004


Tim graciously emailed me information about how to forward my home phone to my cell phone, and another German friend translated a brochure for me so I could get call-waiting here at home. Now I shouldnÂ’t have to miss a call from Iraq. Friday night I told someone that I wouldnÂ’t miss a call from my husband for anything in the world. And later I started thinking about that hyperbole.

What is my husbandÂ’s call worth?

I know I exaggerate when I say I wouldnÂ’t miss it for the world or for a million dollars, which are common expressions, but something morbid inside of me pushed to find out what I would give to hear his voice. A hundred bucks? Probably not. I know my husband loves me and misses me, and I donÂ’t need to pay a hundred bucks to hear that. Twenty bucks? Perhaps. Definitely ten.

The husband and I have a running gag where we measure money in terms of DVDs. Since weÂ’re movie nuts (well, OK, IÂ’m a bigger nut than he isÂ…), we often measure somethingÂ’s worth by how many DVDs weÂ’d have to give up to have it. (Is a German cellphone worth six DVDs? So far IÂ’d say no.) We measure my overtime at work as an extra DVD. And we even joked that his hazardous duty and separation pay from a year in Iraq would buy a heckuva lot of movies. ItÂ’s a funny increment of measurement, but it sometimes puts money in perspective for us.

I can safely say that IÂ’d give a DVD to talk to him on the phone.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:32 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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I was driving home from the grocery store yesterday thinking about how I should put up a sort of "introductory post" for my new site, just in case I have new readers. And at that same moment, Johnny Cash's "Song of the Patriot" came on. Coincidence? Maybe. But it fit the moment nicely.

IÂ’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man
I love mom and applie pie,
And the freedoms that we all enjoy across this beautiful land
I work hard and I fight hard for the old Red, White, and Blue
And IÂ’ll die a whole lot harder if it comes to where I have to

IÂ’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man
And when I see old Glory waving
I think of all the brave men who have fought and died for what is right and wrong
And when I see old Glory burnin, my blood begins to churnin
And I could do some fightinÂ’ of my own
I donÂ’t believe in violence, IÂ’m a God fearing man
Bul IÂ’ll stand up for my country just as long as I can stand

Cause IÂ’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man
IÂ’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man

And I enjoy the liberty of being what I want to be and achieve any goals that I can
I was taught to turn the other cheeck, but daddy used to say
Walk soft and pack a big stick, but never walk away
IÂ’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man
And When I see old Glory waving
I think of all the brave men who have fought and died for what is right and wrong
And when I see old Glory burnin, my blood begins to churnin
And I could do some fightinÂ’ of my own

Cause I love all my brothers and we're proud of our group
WeÂ’ve got the greenest country here on GodÂ’s green earth
IÂ’m a flag waving, patriotic nephew of my Uncle Sam
A rough riding fighting Yankee man

It fits me like a glove. Well, except that I'm a girl.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:46 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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1. I've never been to heaven
But I've been to Oklahoma
Well, they tell me I was born there
But I really don't rememberÂ…

2. Since the day I was born, I've had 22 addresses. And we've only been in the military for six years.

3. I'm 30 years old. I have a BA in French and an MA in ESL. I don't really use either of them.

4. I speak French. Well, not very often anymore. But I'm saving that skill for the day when we invade. Then I'll enlist as a translator or interrogator or something.

5. I speak Swedish. It's a relatively useless talent, except that I can eavesdrop on people standing in the buffet line in front of me in Las Vegas. But they never say anything interesting anyway.

6. I learned a little German when we lived there. I have a limited vocabulary, but I do in fact know the words for timing belt and pulley. Car trouble.

7. I've been to 16 countries.

8. I've never been to San Francisco or to New York City, but somehow I've spent two weeks in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria.

9. I wish I were in the Army. My dream job is a 19K.

10. I'm a knitter. I've been knitting for ten years. My most exciting project was a DNA scarf for a geneticist friend I like to call "science dorky."

11. I have a cool birthmark on my face. There's no color to it, just texture; it simply looks like I got a smallpox vaccination on my left cheek. Once a doctor told me I could probably get it smoothed over by a dermatologist, and I cringed. I'd never even thought about getting rid of it before. I love it.

12. My best feature is my feet. They're a little big (size 9 ½), but they're nice feet.

13. I wanted to be 5'11" when I was a kid. I drew a mark on the wall at that height and couldn't wait to get there. I only made it to 5'6".

14. Considering that my mom is 4'11" and my dad is 6'3", I didn't do too bad.

15. My first grade teacher reads my blog.

16. When I was six, a neighbor boy dared me to jump off the top of my dad's van for a Showbiz token. I did.

17. I've never had a speeding ticket. My philosophy can be summed up as this: If someone offered you $200 to arrive at your destination ten minutes later than scheduled, you'd be a fool not to take it. But you'll risk a $200 ticket to arrive ten minutes earlier.

18. I've been known to swear like a sailor. But not when I write.

19. I think factories and old stockyards are beautiful. They're classic quality.

20. I can sing all the words to "It's the End of the World As We Know It." Useless.

21. When I went to my brother's 8th grade graduation, some woman asked me if I was excited about graduating that day. I was in college at the time. I'm three years older than my husband, and I'm the one who always gets carded.

22. I've seen an intact dissected human nervous system. It was awesome.

23. My parents are Catholic. My dad's the oldest of thirteen kids. I have 26 cousins.

24. My grandfather was in the Air Force in WWII, in the same squadron as Chuck Yeager.

25. I've never smoked. Anything. Alcohol, pills, I understand all that. But I will never grok why someone would intentionally suck smoke into his lungs.

26. In fact, I once turned down the opportunity to meet Snoop Dogg because I assumed he'd be smoking weed and I didn't want to look like a dork.

27. I was the high school valedictorian.


28. I love the smell of skunk.

29. I'm allergic to water. No one believes me on this one, but whenever I shower, swim, or wash my face before bed, I sneeze uncontrollably. I'm sure it has something to do with my sinuses, but I hate water.

30. Thus I hate swimming. I haven't been swimming in years.

31. I'm mildly claustrophobic. I'm fine in crowded rooms and stuff, but zip up the sleeping bag on me and I'll panic.

32. I'm an obsessive hand-washer. It drives me nuts that my husband isn't.

33. I think all medicine is a placebo. I take Ny-Quil during the day and sleeping pills at night with no effect. One time I tried to recreationally take my friend's Vicadin. I felt nothing. Eminem is a wuss.

34. Since sleeping pills and Ny-Quil never work, I often have trouble sleeping. I have since I was a kid. I used to read whole novels at night when I was in middle school; now I just talk my husband to death.

35. I can't sit in high-backed chairs. I must have very sensitive vestibular nuclei, because any pressure on the base of my skull makes me nauseated. I am extremely uncomfortable sitting in buses or planes or recliners, where the chair back touches the back of my head.

36. I didn't have a security blanket or stuffed animal as a child. I slept with my books. All of them. Under my pillow. Dork.

37. I was paranoid about fire as a kid. My friend's dad was a fireman, another friend's house burned down, and a neighbor's house got struck by lightning. I was convinced that every person's house burned down at least once in their life, so I was just waiting for my family's turn. I planned my escape routes from my house and visualized throwing my dollhouse through the window to break the glass.

38. I also collected crayon shavings when I was a kid. You know, the wax that comes off when you sharpen a crayon. I've gotten rid of nearly everything from my childhood except for the butter tub full of crayon shavings. For some reason, I just can't part with that.

39. Most adult women collect china or teapots or art or Hummels or something classy. I collect buttons, bottlecaps, coasters, and matchbooks.

40. Yes, I know I'm weird.


41. My husband and I met when he injured me during an ROTC soccer match. I couldn't walk for three days; he was somehow oblivious to the fact that the game stopped and they had to carry me off the field. Weeks later when I pointed it out to him, he had no idea what I was talking about.

42. I cut my hair really short (like two inches long) right when my husband and I started dating, and the disappointment on his face was priceless. I didn't cut my hair for five years after that; it was nearly to my waist. We started a joke that by the time Return of the King came out, I would look like an elf. We were right.

43. When I finally told my husband I liked him and asked him if he liked me, his surprised response was, "Well, of course I like you, but I'm not going to marry you or anything."

44. I don't have any sort of engagement story. We just went and bought the ring. I wore it for a day before I demanded my husband at least ask me to marry him. He's not one for ceremony...

45. When we got engaged, I got an engagement ring and my husband got an engagement foosball table. For my husband's Christmas present in 2001 I commissioned a cartoon based on the foosball table from Shachar Meron, creator of the comic strip Blue Rice. He ran the cartoon in the newspaper and gave us the original. It's framed in our home.

46. I nearly died on June 15, 1999 when someone put something in my drink in a bar in Glasgow. Apparently when you're unconscious on the sidewalk in Scotland and your friend calls an ambulance, they'll come to the scene but they won't do anything to help because "just being drunk" does not warrant medical attention. Never mind the fact that I only had two rum and cokes, and that my friend kept slapping me in the face to keep me conscious. Socialized medicine, indeed.

47. I got married three years later to the day. Death and new life, all with one date.

48. My wedding dress cost me $30.

49. And our maid of honor married our groomsman two years later. They met through us.

50. We went to Washington D.C. for our honeymoon. More than anywhere in the world, that was where I wanted to go. I'd never been, and I'm so glad we went.


51. The first movie I remember seeing in the movie theater was Wrath of Khan. I was five years old, and it scared the crap out of me.

52. My favorite quote from Kid Rock: "We got to kill that motherfucker Saddam. Slit his throat. Kill him and the guy in North Korea."

58. No matter how many times I've watched, I still cry at the end of both It's a Wonderful Life and Raising Arizona. I also cry at several episodes of Futurama, any Wes Anderson movie, and the song "A Better Place To Be".

59. I love rappers. As a language buff, I think rappers have the most phenomenal language skills of any English speakers. When Jay-Z can make a rhyme like this "I box leftier often / My pops left me an orphan," you have to admit that's a beautiful use of English.

60. I'd love to be on that MTV show Fanatic and meet Dr. Dre, just to see the look on his face when some white girl starts talking about how much she loves his alliteration.

61. I even went to see Ice T give a lecture on racism at the University of Illinois.

62. So I think I'm the only American in the world who thinks the British accent is ugly. Not sexy, not refined, not sophisticated. Grating.


63. I love chili dogs. There's a hot dog shack in downtown Peoria that has the best chili dogs in the world. In fact, when I lived in MO, my mom once bought me one, wrapped it in foil, and brought it to me in the car. They're that delicious.

64. Before I got to Germany, I only ate big pretzels at baseball games. My German co-worker brought me one every single day for over a year, and now I can't stand the sight of them.

65. I make a really mean brownie and cake, but I can't make chocolate chip cookies to save my life. They always turn out disgusting. My friend makes really good cookies, and I've followed her recipe to the letter, but they still suck. (Update: I've gotten better at this. The key is shortening.)

66. My drink of choice is a Tom Collins. Or bourbon slush.

67. I go out of my way to eat weird foods; I've eaten stomach, tongue, brain, testicles, ostrich, kangaroo, crocodile, and reindeer, to name a few. My husband also thinks I'm a horrible person because I say that if we ever go to Korea, I'd eat dog.

68. But I can't eat anything spicier than mild sauce. I can do weird, but not spicy.

69. Speaking of weird, I believe that applesauce is a condiment. Best eaten on top of macaroni and cheese or pizza.

70. I eat and enjoy salad, but I hate lettuce on top of other foods, like on hamburgers or tacos. I refer to the lettuce at Taco Bell as "shredded paper."

71. I don't enjoy eating in restaurants. I'm too stingy. Usually I sit there calculating how much it would have cost to make the meal myself.

72. I hate all licorice. Red and black.

73. I can't really tell a difference between the different percentages of milk, nor do I care at all about the differences between cheeses.


74. I've met the President of Bulgaria. In St. Louis. In a room, surrounded by Bulgarians. And I spoke Bulgarian to him. Freaked him out.

75. I had a goldfish for three years in college that used to wake me up in the mornings by sucking the little blue rocks into his mouth and then spitting them at the glass bowl. When he got sick for weeks and slowly started to die, I knew I couldn't save him. I cupped him in my hands and took him out of the water until he stopped breathing. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. (Update: Well, until now.)

76. I once stopped my car in the middle of the highway to rescue a turtle who was trying to cross the road.

77. I absolutely hate the expression "it's not a fishy fish." That doesn't make any sense to me at all. All fish taste like fish. Please don't write and try to explain it; my husband's been trying for years.

78. This guy in college tried to date-rape me once, but I verbally humiliated him so badly that he left the room in shame. I rule.

79. I was in Goteborg, Sweden in the summer of 2001 during the riots. I saw President Bush papermache puppets and everything. And cops getting nailed with cobblestones.

80. I'm a fanatic about thank-you cards. They should be sent on every occasion, and a phone call or email does not substitute. My husband thinks I'm brainwashed by my southern upbringing. I think it's just good manners.

81. I was a volunteer scorekeeper for the University of Illinois champion wheelchair basketball team in 2001.

82. I think President Bush is really handsome. With or without the flight suit.

83. I think I'm the only person on earth who feels sorry for Humbert Humbert.

84. I have a dishwasher that I've only used once. On Thanksgiving. I hate the dishwasher. (Update: I have since learned to appreciate this appliance.)

85. Butters is my favorite South Park character too. The husband and I have a goldfish named after him. We also have one named after J. Robert Oppenheimer. I'd love to have a tank full of fish named after physicists. But the next two fish I get will be named Bunker and Mulligan, after my late friend Mike Reed. (Update: It's only one fish, named Bunker Mulligan.)

86. My younger brother is a week older than my husband's older brother. In other words, we have two siblings between us in age.

87. I got bit by a brown recluse in the summer of 2002. I have a cool scar.

88. I love scars; they are great intros into stories. I always ask people about the stories behind their scars. In fact, I'm surprised people don't ask me about the birthmark on my face (they have to notice it), but maybe they think I'm sensitive about it. I haven't had anyone comment on it since high school.

89. I don't tan. When your mother has Lupus and your father has skin cancer, you avoid the sun like the plague. I'm pasty white year round.

90. I taught myself to sew when I lived in Sweden. I sewed the curtains and pillows in our living room. I've also sewn on military insignia when the alterations shop was backed up. I think I did a better job than they do.

91. My brother basically paid his way through college by playing poker. I personally hate playing cards.

92. But video poker is a whole different story. Addictive as crack. When I was in Vegas, I got four aces on one of those. Unfortunately, it was a nickel machine; I think I won four bucks.

93. I've never broken any bones in my body. But I did break someone else's finger once during flag football.

94. When I was a kid, I heard my voice on a tape recorder and vowed never to speak again. I think I went a few days without talking.

95. When I was in France, we had no TV or phone. I had to come up with many things to amuse myself. One was memorizing "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock".

96. I also took lots of photos while I was there. I even won a photography contest with one of them.

97. I used to hate waking up early, but now I really enjoy it. The earlier the better. It gets me to the blogosphere sooner.

98. I dry my hair and eat breakfast in front of the computer. No sense in wasting time.

99. I'm an obsessive list-maker.

100. Last but not least, here's a picture of me.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:00 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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