February 28, 2009


I'm going to post short reviews of all the books I'm reading for my George Bush 2009 Reading Challenge. I thought I'd break it up and do ten books at a time. And I've just finished my tenth.


10) Economics In One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt)
I got this book because it was mentioned in the article Why The New Deal Failed. It was originally written in 1946, which makes its lesson even more frustrating than when I read Milton Friedman. 63 years ago he warned us of everything that President Obama and Congress are doing right now. And the most depressing part was the last page, when he talks about hope for the future:

In addition, there are marked signs of a shift in the intellectual winds of doctrine. Keynesians and New Dealers seem to be in slow retreat.

Thank heavens Henry Hazlitt has passed away, for I would hate for him to see what has become of his Hope.

9) Animal Farm (George Orwell)
I told you I was gonna read this book! And it only took one day. I hadn't read it since high school, so it was nice to revisit it.

Good Omens (Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett)
AirForceWife lent this book to me, and it was pretty funny. I read I, Lucifer last year, and it was funny to read another book of the same genre. My absolute favorite part was when four bikers wanted to be additional Horsemen of the Apocalypse. That part had me laughing out loud.

7) The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery (Massad Ayoob)
A Christmas present from CaliValleyGirl, in lieu of another knitting book. I learned a lot of interesting facts from this book, such as why most policemen carry Glocks, and I was reminded of other things, like the racist origin of gun control laws. My only complaint is that it's not exactly written for true beginners. Ayoob doesn't define his terms at all. For example, in the chapter Point Shooting vs Aimed Fire, I didn't know the difference between the two and had to read the entire chapter and use a little deductive reasoning to figure out what the heck each one of those terms means based on how they were contrasted with each other. A one-line definition at the beginning of the chapter would've been much appreciated. But overall it was an interesting and helpful book.

6) The Bookseller of Kabul (Åsne Seierstad)
My husband gave me this book for Christmas. I recommend this book and also The Places In Between for a look at Afghanistan. But it's bleak. I just found myself so thankful throughout this book that I was not born a woman in the Middle East.


4) A Personal Odyssey (Thomas Sowell)
I got this book as a Christmas present from Amritas. I had no idea Sowell was so old! It was fascinating to read about his life in the 30s and 40s. And you'd never know by reading him today that he used to be a Marxist! Very good autobiography. I basically read the whole book while waiting at the emergency room.

3) You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation (Deborah Tannen)
I always enjoy Tannen's books, and when I saw this one, I bought it for my mother but wanted to read it before I gave it to her. I really enjoyed it and learned two things: 1) My mother and I get along better than I thought we did and 2) maybe having a girl wouldn't be so bad...

2) The Night of the Hunter (Davis Grubb)
Everyone knows the image of the prisoner with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his hands, but I never knew where this image came from. Boy, that Preacher was one scary villain! Worse than Bruce Dern in The Cowboys.

1) Liberal Fascism (Jonah Goldberg)
I learned a lot about WWI-era politics. I also knew very little about Mussolini and Woodrow Wilson before this book. Quite worthwhile.

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February 27, 2009


Last night I dreamt I ran into my husband on post. Not very likely or realistic during SERE school, but OK. We stood there and talked for a few moments before we had to say goodbye. And a voice in my head was saying, "Tell him you're pregnant! Tell him!"

I didn't.

As I walked away from him, I had the urge to turn around and blurt the news to him. It would be so easy, to just tell him. But I held myself back for two very practical reasons: 1) he needs to focus on SERE and not be distracted and 2) I am not at all confident that the pregnancy will last and I hate to get his hopes up.

As bad as it got last night -- and it was bad, and painful, and confidence-shattering -- I know it's not nearly as bad as my husband has it right now. I can bear this burden alone while he bears his. I wouldn't tell him right now even if I could.

That's how much I love my husband.

I wonder how he's doing...he should be heading into the nasty part...

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February 26, 2009


In dog news, Charlie has decided that he wants to be Charlie Bronson and make a Great Escape.

Our backyard is a disaster, with dirt on one side and sand on the other. It's like a spectrum running from Mildly Crappy to Completely Worthless. Charlie recently discovered that sand is easy to dig and wriggle through. Thus, he keeps escaping. I bought those cheapy wire garden dividers, and I even strategically placed an old flowerpot so he couldn't get out again.

He still managed to escape.

To put things in Rachel Lucas terms:


He can still manage to squeeze out of that space. This means he can't have unsupervised backyard time, which is a real pain in the neck.


Very annoying. I will have to go steal some dirt from the construction site in our neighborhood to put on top of that sand to keep the danged dog in the yard.


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I figured I should give you a small update re: baby.

So here's the deal: You take women who are extremely freaked out about miscarriage and you give them a medicine which prevents miscarriage but which also has the absurd side effect of irritating your cervix and making you bleed.

(I'm reminded of the scene in Futurama when Fry says he can't swallow a pill that size, and the professor says "Well then good news!" because you don't swallow it. Ahem. Oh, and they're refrigerated.)


So basically now it's just a waiting game until I go for my ultrasound in two weeks. I won't know anything until then, but even then I won't feel great: the last time, you'll remember, we managed to become one of the 5% of people whose baby has a heartbeat and then subsequently dies.

I may be a while before I feel confident. Please don't try to convince me I should get that way right now. I won't breathe easily until I make it to a milestone that I haven't reached in the past. Like seeing a doctor. I've never even done that yet.

So we wait it out.

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February 22, 2009


I had a little bleeding today, which sufficiently destroyed my enthusiasm and optimism.
I won't be blogging about it anymore for quite a while, at least not until I know something one way or the other.
I am OK, but I would prefer not to talk about it, so no need to phone.

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February 14, 2009


I can't believe it's been five years since my husband left for Iraq the first time. What a Valentine's Day that was.

We're not much for celebrating the 14th, but there are two things we do every year.

One, we sing this.
Two, we watch this.

Happy Valentine's Day, husband. I still choo-choo-choose you.


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February 13, 2009


You know that 1% retail gain in January? I think that was my husband and I. Since my husband is having two deployment years in a row, and since the stock market is in the toilet, there's no sense in hiding money in Roths or TSP. So we've been spending it like it's going out of style. My husband got a bunch of stuff that he needs for SERE and for the next deployment (He's an "operator" now, which apparently means he needs a bunch of stuff that the Army won't provide.) I decided to live in the now by doing two things I've wanted to do for a while: I bought an elliptical machine to make good on my promise to start exercising, and I bought a plane ticket to go visit CaliValleyGirl and finally meet her baby.

Spending is kinda fun; no wonder other people do it so often.


I said to my husband, "Oh, I also should've put that we paid off our car." And he joked in a cartoonish announcer voice, "Freeing up capital for someone else!" Heh. We're doing what we can to help the ecominy.

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February 12, 2009


Yes, the timestamp on this entry is correct. I've developed a terrible new habit: I wake up every night around 4 AM to fret. I have been awake for an hour now, so stressed out that I don't know whether to cry or throw up.

My husband leaves for SERE school on Monday. A few days later, I will find out whether I am pregnant. If I am, I won't be able to tell him for two and a half weeks. But the more likely scenario, obviously, is that I am not, in which case I will have to do the next fertility round by myself a day or two before he gets home. Thus, I will have to pick up my husband from SERE and drive him straight home for babymaking. The thought of forcing the situation the day he finishes being beaten and starved makes me sick to my stomach...but so does the thought of skipping a cycle when we have precious few left.

So I lie in bed fretting and stressing every single night. I'm back at the Choose Your Own Adventure stage.

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February 05, 2009


I was joking with Amritas and David the other day that I have found the secret to workplace productivity: Hire people who don't need the money and then tell them that they can go home when they finish all their work.

My managers wanted me to stay on at the store so badly that they offered me whatever I want...except money. I said I would stay on if I could work one day a week and only do things that are fun. Amazingly, they agreed.

There were some parts of my job that I really liked, like organizing the yarn section. I love doing that; I would do it for free. I like to see how quickly I can do it. On Monday, I shelved all the new yarn in 24 minutes. I was sweating and puffing by the end.

And, absurdly enough, I have grown fond of making those foam houses. Now that I have several of them under my belt, I automatically know what will and won't work, and I just glue-gun the hell out of it and go to town. (I made an Easter castle today, and I was just thrilled that it didn't have any butterflies on it. They are the worst.)

So I am staying on to work one day a week, sorting yarn and doing crafts. And I go home when I'm done with my tasks. I'm cool with that.

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February 01, 2009


I'm on track to beat Bush's 2008 and 2007 scores in my George Bush 2009 Reading Challenge: I've read four books in four weeks. I'm gonna make sure I keep up the pace, which I think will be easy once my husband starts leaving town all the time. Heck, maybe I could even beat Rove.

I have plenty of things on my bookshelves to keep me occupied, but I always enjoy asking people to recommend books. What are your favorites? Maybe I will add some of them to my list this year.

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