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July 31, 2004

Update

Interesting update on the HRC not allowing Margaret Cho to speak last week.

Posted by Beth at 01:31 PM
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Bush

I've been up since 7:30 this morning, cooked pancakes and bacon, shaved and bathed the dog, and am now watching Bush's stump speech in Ohio. He looks more energetic and relaxed than I've seen him in a long time. And what strikes me the most is that while John & John can say they're optimist till they're blue in the face, Bush actually IS. And people are smart enough to know the difference. You can bash Bush all you like, but not once has he even insinuated he's anyone other than who he is, unlike the total charade of this weeks democratic convention.

I've written about how much Bush has pissed me off about gay marriage. And I haven't changed my mind on that. But there is just no way I could vote for John & John.

As for the debates, it was agreed in 2000 that Bush beat Gore in the debates, and now he's grown considerably as a leader and a speaker. Kerry the other night looked and sounded like a meth addict. I still say it won't even be close.

Posted by Beth at 10:31 AM
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July 30, 2004

Help

Ok, enough is enough. I've had over 2000 spam comments in the past couple of weeks. I need help either upgrading to a new version of MT or installing some sort of access to comments. Anyone?

I only have MT 2.51, so I don't think I can install MT blacklist (I think it requires 2.6 or higher). I looked at the programs that require typing in a word before being allowed to comment, but didn't understand how to install it.

Posted by Beth at 12:55 PM
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How Cool

Zayed is back and has links to other Iraqi blogs - several by teenagers. The RNC should have a big screen with scrolling screen shots of Iraqi blogs. Wouldn't that be cool?

Posted by Beth at 12:47 PM
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July 29, 2004

Kerry

Strong military.
Strong defense.
Fiscal responsibility.
Tax cuts.
And Faith??

Who the hell is this man? What did the aliens do with the real Kerry?

This speech totally sucked. There are no memorable lines, no coherence, nothing. And he rushed thru it like a scared first timer. Not to mention the complete amnesia about his entire senate career.

I've told this to people, but haven't blogged it - Bush is going to kick Kerry's ass in the debates and win this election by no small margin.

Posted by Beth at 09:55 PM
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If

If I were a true Democrat, I'd be pissed after this convention that my party had been hijacked by the spirit of republicanism! I guess lucky for the DNC no one's watching.

Posted by Beth at 07:59 PM
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Unknown Greats

I have no idea, and will never know, who the camera men/women and editors and producers for C-Span are, but they are the best!! Yes, I'm a geek, I love C-Span. I love the absence of commentary. Just ask Nerdstar, I am more than capable of providing my own running commentary!

A few minutes ago the camera shot on C-Span left whatever drone was speaking to show about ten seconds of P. Diddy, Matt Damon (edited - hmmm must not have been Matt, maybe it was one of the Heinz brothers...) and Ben Afflick sitting somewhere - Matt?? had some papers in his hand and looked more than a little anxious while wiping away the sweat from his forehead. It looked like P. and Ben were there for support. There was no audio from them, just those few seconds of video.

Oohhh... now it was P. Diddy, Ben and John Cusak.

That's why I watch C-Span!! Well, that and all the shots of the old white people trying to get their grove on in their funky hats.

Posted by Beth at 06:52 PM
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How Fun

Kristie has been a fantastic hostess to the delegates from Kentucky in Boston this week. So go read her posts from the convention!

Posted by Beth at 03:14 PM
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July 28, 2004

Let's See It

If John and John and Co. are going to keep talking about helping the poor and taxing the rich - well, let's see all their tax records and all their philanthropic records. If they're so damn big on helping those in need - let's see where and how they've done it. Because don't forgot for one minute they are "the rich". And just because they're democratic senators who like to redistribute other people's money doesn't mean they're personally helping the poor.

More...

Ok, I'm calling bullshit on Edwards saying that Democrats are friends of military wives - pure bullshit. (added about ten minutes later - hmmm, ok, well, the exception to the rule is all of my wonderful friends who have been supportive this past year who are Democrats!!)

When in hell did the Democratic party become so darn pro military?? When they looked at the polls and say Bush kicking their ass on the issue. Pure bullshit.

Poor Kerry won't look and sound half as good tomorrow night.

Posted by Beth at 09:37 PM
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Seem so strange

While it's really cool, it was also kinda weird today knowing that hundreds of people who had never read my site before would be checking it out today because of the link from Instapundit.

I write for me and then for the twenty or so people I know read on a regular basis. I've emailed or IM'd with them enough to know how they're going to take what I'm saying. I write more like a conversation with old friends on here.

So the Ani quote "You know, taken out of context I must seem so strange" was in my head all day.

Posted by Beth at 08:55 PM
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New Photos

Up on Nerdstar's Fotopage.

Posted by Beth at 04:03 PM
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A Different Review

The other day I wrote a post about not being too thrilled with the previews of The Manchurian Candidate.

Our local weekly liberal rag has been ran by Louis Black for years, he also is responsible for most of SXSW, so he's a rather big dog here in Austin. I've come to admire his writing and give grudging respect to some of his views, which couldn't be further from mine on national or local politics and social issues.

Where these two things come together is in an article Mr. Black wrote about The Manchurian Candidate. It's long and detailed and actually makes me want to see the movie. (See, I can be persuaded.) They premiered it here in Austin Monday night, but I was too tired, maybe I'll catch it this weekend or next week.

This is just a very small exerpt, I really recommend reading the whole thing:

But Demme, in his remake risk, possessed a great equalizer: His film would star Denzel Washington. He asked if I would read and comment on the script. Warning him that I am notorious for totally missing the director's film in the version I saw in my head as I read, I agreed.

During the next 8 months I wrote more than 20,000 words of notes on The Manchurian Candidate. I read three different versions of the script, visited the production, watched dailies as well as a rough assemblage of over an hour of the film. Through it all I kept worrying about the film as a remake and cautioning him again and again about how it had to be a contemporary paranoid thriller and not an overly faithful remake of the original. In April 2004 I attended a screening of the film-in-progress. Slapping myself I realized I had been obsessing over the film I was seeing in my head and not the one Jonathan was making.

Posted by Beth at 01:18 PM
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Howdy

Just a quick howdy to all the Instapundit readers! I'd suggest the category links if you want to read the better posts.

Posted by Beth at 11:39 AM
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July 27, 2004

Impressive

Ok, I've got to say WoW about Mr. Obama. I think Bill Clinton just got out spoken. But, and this is what I always think is the dividing line in politics... Mr. Obama sounded just like a preacher - which is great - but his message should be in a church and not in a political convention. I'll never be convinced it is the business of government to supplant the role of the church and the community. Yes, people should help people - but why the hell does that take the government playing the role of blood sucking middle man?

Ugh. It's a tired rant - what the role of government is and should be.

I just wanted to say that I loved listening to Mr. Obama and hope like hell if he's elected to the Senate it doesn't suck the life out of him.

Posted by Beth at 09:07 PM
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July 26, 2004

For my regular readers

No, I'm not giving in and blogging politics during the convention. But I am curious -

Are you watching the convention?
How much?
On what channel?

Me, yeah, I'm watching until I go hoarse from yelling at the tv. Thank God for C-Span, I couldn't handle the commentary on top of the convention itself.

Posted by Beth at 08:27 PM
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July 25, 2004

Cool

I gotta agree with Wendy, this site is pretty darn cool. But it would be so weird to see someone or someplace you knew just pop up on the screen! Go check it out.

Posted by Beth at 05:39 PM
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Great Minds

Think alike ... I guess.

In the Entertain Me post below ya'll left some good suggestions - except that I'd already read several of them! Nerdstar had How To Be Good a couple of years ago, I couldn't get into it. Pillars of the Earth is one of my all-time favorite books. I've read 1, 2, and 4 of the Harry Potter series, then I lost interest. I got The Time Travelers's Wife from the library a few months ago because Wendy had raved about it. I'd recommend it, too. The other weekend I picked up the new David Sedaris, the first story was amazingly well written, but the rest didn't impress me. Could have been my mood. And I bought and read Surely You Must Be Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman several years ago when I had a fascination with math and read up on different aspects of it.

But I really do appreciate all the suggestions!

Posted by Beth at 01:37 PM
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July 22, 2004

Could It Be?

Crushing of dissent by the left? By The Human Rights Campaign no less? Say it isn't so!

Fearing something of a Whoopi effect, edgy comedian Margaret Cho has been uninvited from headlining a gay and lesbian unity event scheduled to coincide with the Democratic National Convention.

The Human Rights Campaign, one of 10 gay and lesbian organizations hosting the Unity 2004 event in Boston on Monday, rescinded its invitation to Cho after officials there decided her material might take the focus off gay issues.

"We didn't feel that after speaking with Margaret's publicist that her material was in that spirit, so we decided to make another plan," said spokesman Mark Shields.

Cho was preparing to use material from her new "State of Emergency" tour as part of the unpaid benefit performance. The material is a no-holds-barred interpretation of current events. At a recent performance, her comments on the Iraq prison scandal prompted her to be escorted from a show in San Diego.

"They got scared, obviously, for whatever reason," Cho spokesman Ken Phillips said of the Unity 2004 organizers. "They're aware of Margaret's material for years. So why did they hire her?"

Whoopi Goldberg sparked a firestorm recently after she was criticized for using President Bush's surname to make a sexual remark at a Democratic fund-raiser. Slim-Fast fired her as spokeswoman.

Posted by Beth at 05:37 PM
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July 21, 2004

This and That

The temp job is going well enough. It's a very quiet place, and that's just what I need.

Once again I didn't sleep worth shit last night and I'm exhausted. I'm so tired it physically hurts. I don't know what it is about my brain that it likes to torture me so. Even when I'd fall asleep last night it was like my thoughts were so loud it was like someone waking me up by talking to me. If I don't sleep well enough to feel rested tonight, I'm coming home from work tomorrow and taking a tylenol pm and going straight to bed.

Did Lance kick some ass today or what? Today it was just the riders, their bikes, and one hell of a mountain. No teams, no strategy, no nothing but pure determination. And he kicked ass. He crushed his closest competition by actually busting the 2 minute lead the guy had and passed him. He's simply amazing.

Well, it hasn't been as hard as I thought to give up writing about politics and such. There are plenty of people who cover it all much better than I do. And honestly, I just don't care enough about any of it anymore. All I can think about is Nerdstar coming home, how much longer, making plans, making lists so I don't have those plans running amok with all the other mucky thoughts in my head, and trying to balance hope and caution.

Now if I can just get some sleep.

Posted by Beth at 10:17 PM
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July 20, 2004

Amazing

Could Lance Armstong be any more amazing? I've been recording the race every morning and watching it when I get home from work, even though i usually catch a headline saying what happened, it's cool to watch how it happened and listen to the commentators explain the strategy and such. I'm as impressed with his tactical skills and his putting together a great team and using them efficiently as I am his riding skills and pure determination.

Posted by Beth at 10:47 PM
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July 19, 2004

Tired and Grumpy

That pretty much sums up my weekend. Thankfully this temp job is the least stressful ever. (And here's hoping it stays that way!) Unfortunately, my sleep patterns and habits of the past few months are making it extremely difficult to get a good nights sleep before having to get up to go to work. I literally got four hours of sleep Wed. and Thurs. before work Thurs. and Fri. It took me until yesterday to finally get caught up and feel rested. Then again, last night I didn't fall fully asleep until at least 2 a.m. My body is tired, and it's not that my mind is racing, it just won't totally turn off and let me sleep.

I could handle feeling physically tired if it didn't make me so damn grumpy. Why do things like pms and being tired have to affect emotions so strongly? Because there's no other reason to be grumpy. It was a nice weekend. I got to chat with Nerdstar, got laundry done, walked the dog, ate well, and even conducted another fun interview for the Habitat oral history project.

I'm tempted to take a whole tylenol pm now (6 p.m.) and just go to bed and if I wake up ass early then I'll just go get a nice breakfast before work. But now the only time Nerdstar and I might get to chat is between 10 and 11 p.m. my time. Which unfortunately for her means she has to get up early. UGH.

This deployment just can't end soon enough. I'm sick to death of it.

Posted by Beth at 06:09 PM
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July 18, 2004

Entertain Me

I spent some time at Barns and Noble last weekend and couldn't find a book that really caught my attention. And other than the Julie Roberts cd that I absolutely love, haven't bought a new cd in I don't know how long.

So dear readers - what's the best book or cd you've bought in the past six months?

Posted by Beth at 06:13 PM
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You'd Never Know It

by reading this blog...


My life is rated NC-17.
What is your life rated?

Posted by Beth at 01:29 PM
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July 16, 2004

Unhealthy

I told Nerdstar the other day that I've developed a totally unhealthy attachment to this laptop because it's my lifeline to her.

Posted by Beth at 10:04 PM
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July 15, 2004

Day one at work

Seems like it's going to be a decent temp job. It's a branch office of a manufacturing company, so there are five male employees in a small office and warehouse. That's it. I'll be doing filing and data entry and probably answering the phones when the guys all wander off. Two of the guys said the boss is a little nuts, but he's nice enough and not demanding, so that's all that matters. It's a twenty minute drive in bearable traffic. Ten bucks an hour in a very quiet office and no stress. Not a bad deal. Hopefully I'll make enough to buy us a tempurpedic or sleep number bed when Nerdstar comes home!

Ramen and Silly practically attacked me when I walked in the door, I told them to get used to me not being home. Little Man only knows I exist when I go to bed at night and he comes to snuggle, so I don't think he even knows I was gone all day.

Posted by Beth at 06:06 PM
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Manchurian Candidate

I watched the original a couple of months ago - what a great movie! But from what I've seen of the previews they have totally screwed up the remake. Instead of being brain-washed by the communists, apparently the mind control is now done by chips implanted by a giant corporation. Right, because in our current world situation those giant corporations are a much larger threat than any foreign groups.

Posted by Beth at 05:48 PM
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July 14, 2004

Absence

The Questing Cat writes a powerful post on his personal thoughts and fears about being separated from his fiancee for so long.

My friend in Germany lives on base over there and some of the soldiers are starting to return home. So the stories of spending sprees, spousal abuse and too high divorce rates start.

Nerdstar and I were talking the other day and agreed war zones really should be reserved for single male soldiers. The toll of year deployments in war zones on relationships and families is just too high. Now, true, maybe the relationships that fail during deployment would have failed anyway, it's hard to say. Almost all of the few women Nerdstar knows over there are getting divorced when they get home.

This year has been hard for Nerdstar and I, but we've pressed thru and look to have an even stronger relationship when she comes home. I think the one thing that really helped us was the four years we were together before she was called up. But I know we both have our worries, just like Questing Cat does. Our saving grace has been our luck in being able to chat and email so very often, and even then communication is hard.

Posted by Beth at 08:47 PM
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Heh

Nerdstar loves the Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles cartoons - and today's is a good one!

Posted by Beth at 03:29 PM
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July 13, 2004

Great Idea

The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to present Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, a program for U.S. military personnel and their families. This unique literary program is aimed at preserving the stories and reflections of American troops who have served our nation on the frontlines –– as in Afghanistan and Iraq –– and stateside defending the homeland.

In coordination with all four branches of the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense, the Arts Endowment is sponsoring writing workshops for returning troops and their families at military installations from Alaska to Florida, New York to California, and numerous sites in between. The workshops also will be held at overseas bases. Taught by some of America’s most distinguished novelists, poets, historians, and journalists, these workshops will provide service men and women with the opportunity to write about their wartime experiences in a variety of forms — from fiction, verse, and letters to essay, memoir, and personal journal. The visiting writers, many of whom are war veterans themselves, will help the troops share their stories with current and future generations.

Read the rest - there's a link with info on submissions as well which I'll certainly keep and see about submitting something once Nerdstar is home.

Posted by Beth at 08:31 PM
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If

If the Bush administraion had any brains at all they would do whatever it took to get the brothers who write Iraq the Model to the RNC convention. Seriously. Then they'd use them in every campaign ad possible.

(I'm not saying the brothers would be willing to be used in such a way.)

Posted by Beth at 08:27 PM
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Must Read

Here's another fantastic post by Mohammed over at Iraq the Model. I laughed when I got to the end and read that he wrote the same exact thoughts I'd had while reading along.

Then I told myself: if some Iraqis, living in Iraq, watching the changes being done under their noses fail to see the truth and still depend on the media to tell them what’s going on in their own country then how can we blame people who live thousands of miles away for thinking similarly!?

Now go read all the good things happening in his neighborhood alone.

Posted by Beth at 05:45 PM
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Work

Well, go figure. The temp agency finally called today. I have a temp job starting Thursday morning. It's just normal 8 to 5 office stuff. It'll be so weird to go to work again.

The only downside is it's going to mess up my daily chats with Nerdstar. She's usually able to be online around 1 or 2 pm my time. But I'm sure we'll work something out.

The job isn't temp to hire but it should last several weeks. I'll know more Thursday.

Posted by Beth at 04:42 PM
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Countdown

Ok, I'm not replacing the counter of how long Nerdstar's been gone, but I decided to add the countdown counter until she comes home.

Well, the one I tried didn't work. Let me see what else I can come up with.

Ok... finally got it with help from Wendy! Thanks!!

Posted by Beth at 02:38 PM
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July 12, 2004

Hard

Most of the time I do pretty well. Then sometimes it all just crashes in. The totality of the hard things. It's not just being separated for over a year, it's not just worrying about her safety 24/7, it's not just not working (which I can debate endlessly with myself whether that was the smartest choice or not), it's not just spending 6 and 3/4 out of every 7 days alone, it's when the reality of all of those things crashes in and overwhelms me all at once.

And while I can do ok most of the time, my brain needs an outlet for all the millions of thoughts that wander around in it constantly. And the best outlet for that used to be long conversations with good friends. It hit me the other night just how long it's been since I've had that. And talking to the pets just doesn't cut it.

Nerdstar and I talk all the time about how hard it is to make new friends, good friends. So one of the things that's made me the most hurt and angry while she's been gone is that people who I used to be friends with, like the few people I would talk with at my last job, or people I used to be closer to be sort of drifted because of theological differences, that in spite of knowing I'm going thru this hard time haven't reached out. That's something I'll just never understand. People that I only know thru this blog have been more supportive than people I've know in "real" life.

Posted by Beth at 11:15 PM
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Anybody's Guess

In the comments David kindly suggests that I start a countdown of days until Nerdstar comes home. I would if I could.

I crunched some numbers this morning, Nerdstar's been in Iraq for 240 days. Assuming she's gone for a year, that means we've got 125 left - 2/3 of the way done. But as of today we just can't really say when she'll be home. Could be as early as early October, could be as late as early December.

The best indication we'll get is when the replacement brigade for the brigade she's with starts moving over there. I've read reports that could start as early as September, or that they have orders for October, so even that isn't a definite yet. And she doesn't get to start flying home the minute they touch ground - the rotation in and out takes several weeks.

I'm hoping we have a better idea in September. But even that is still six weeks away.

Posted by Beth at 03:05 PM
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July 11, 2004

I'm just sayin'

I've been rollin' along doin' pretty well, them bam, loneliness built up like a fortress around me today.

Maybe people think I'm stronger than I am. Maybe they think that because I crank shit out on here I'm just fine. Maybe they just don't give a fuck. But an empty email box and a silent phone just never make my day or night any better.

Posted by Beth at 10:32 PM
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July 10, 2004

Sums it up

This is part of my IM with Nerdstar.

cinchsack: a mortar round just exploded
cinchsack: third time today
cinchsack: looks like we are back to the way things were
bethlyn327: yuck
cinchsack: two of them went off during lunch
cinchsack: we saw all these people running out of the chow hall
cinchsack: i stood up, looked around, and then sat back down to eat
bethlyn327: lol
bethlyn327: did they hit the chow hall or just close?
cinchsack: i don't know where they hit exactly
cinchsack: but sounded close
cinchsack: they've always been trying to hit the chow hall
bethlyn327: that's so rude !
cinchsack: yeah, but they are doing it all for Allah
bethlyn327: i'm sure he's thrilled
cinchsack: yeah

bethlyn327: thank god when this deployment is over we're done
bethlyn327: i couldn't do this even another year
cinchsack: i can't either
cinchsack: and they're wondering why i won't reenlist?
bethlyn327: i hate not having any control over such big things like being 8 million miles apart
cinchsack: it's like, they'll tap you every 6 months or so
cinchsack: yeah
bethlyn327: it might be tollerable if you were stateside all the time
bethlyn327: but even then, i don't know
bethlyn327: or if we weren't gay maybe
cinchsack: yeah
bethlyn327: so far they say they've kept up enlistment numbers
bethlyn327: but i can't imagine that in another year or two they will
cinchsack: the only reason why the enlistment # is up is because of stop loss
bethlyn327: they've said they're hitting new recruit #s too
cinchsack: it's like, you try to get out, but they pull you back in
cinchsack: most of them are gay
bethlyn327: huh?
cinchsack: heheeheheh
cinchsack: gay documentary filmmakers, looking for the next bright idea
bethlyn327: freak
bethlyn327: let's just move to a little island and have kids and pets
cinchsack: yeah!
cinchsack: or minnesota
bethlyn327: minnesota is damn cold baby
cinchsack: yeah, but I've got body heat!!!!
bethlyn327: but that doesn't help when we have to leave the house
cinchsack: we'll shop for groceries on the net
cinchsack: and only go out to dump trash or play in the snow
cinchsack: ramen's fur is going to be so plush
cinchsack: and little man and silly's fluffy!
bethlyn327: and money will just fall from the sky?
cinchsack: yeah!
bethlyn327: woohoo!
cinchsack: we'll live off of welfare
bethlyn327: lmao
bethlyn327: ok
cinchsack: at least we won't use it to buy beer
cinchsack: and cheap cheese
cinchsack: or butter
cinchsack: or cigarettes
bethlyn327: you crack me up
bethlyn327: what a pair we are
cinchsack: heheehehe
bethlyn327: if either of us had any ambition we might actually be dangerous
cinchsack: yeah
bethlyn327: kind of like Pinky and the Brain hehehe

cinchsack: i had a little talk with my nco about promotion
cinchsack: i stated that how come he's giving me such a hard time when, before, he promoted all those numbnuts that eventually got into trouble
bethlyn327: yeah
cinchsack: of course, he gave me a bunch of bull
cinchsack: asked me why i wanted to get promoted so fast
cinchsack: fast?
bethlyn327: LOL
bethlyn327: what an ass
cinchsack: I said to him that I will be getting out in may
cinchsack: I'd like for this to be the last thing that I do
bethlyn327: heh
cinchsack: whatever
cinchsack: he's just trying to save army $
bethlyn327: can you take it over his head?
cinchsack: the company commander, fat bastard, was there too, he heard everything
cinchsack: but knowing him, he won't do shit
bethlyn327: can't hurt to ask
cinchsack: he was there, in fact, I asked him to join in
cinchsack: he didnt' say a word
bethlyn327: what a bunch of pricks
cinchsack: yeah
bethlyn327: i wish you were over there with better people
cinchsack: well, my sanity is on the top prioirity right now
cinchsack: screw these numbnuts
bethlyn327: yeah
bethlyn327: just come home safe and get out
cinchsack: yeah
cinchsack: that's on top of the list
bethlyn327: in the long run none of this will matter
cinchsack: yeah
cinchsack: that's true
bethlyn327: i know it's hard to keep perspective
bethlyn327: especially when this year seems more like ten
bethlyn327: but a year or two from when you get home it'll all be a bad dream
cinchsack: yeah

Posted by Beth at 03:28 PM
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July 09, 2004

Chillin'

I used to joke that I gave up religion for Lent. And while it's not Lent season, I'm going to try to avoid politics for at least a few weeks. I can't avoid it entirely, but I'm going to do my best.

Yesterday I got season one of Invader Zim dvd. Doom Doom Doom - let's all sing the Doom song! The episodes definitely got funnier later in the season, so I'm really looking forward to season two. One bad thing though, the commentaries sucked beyond belief. They had everyone in the world in the room, so they were trying to be slyly funny instead of telling me about the cartoon. Bad, very bad. I sent the dvds on to Nerdstar this morning. You know, her being an invader and all. (And don't tell her I told y'all, but she's also quite evil.) There's also more than a trace of Gir in her, you know, her being all about food! (Love you, baby!)

I actually woke up at 7:30 this morning and decided to stay awake. I got up about 8 and by 11 a.m. had had breakfast, mailed Nerdstar her package, taken Ramen to the park to run around like an idiot, and bought a new cd. I was surprised there wasn't anyone else at the park this morning. But it was nice to be out there before it was too hot and while it was nice and quiet.

The cd I got is the debut by Julie Roberts. I had watched her show on CMT a few times about her trying to get airplay on radio stations and such. She seemed really nice. She has a great voice, and after seeing the video for Break Down Here a few times, I was sold. It was only $10 at Best Buy. I wish she had more happy tunes on it, but oh well.

The last year has had me listening to more country music. It used to annoy me to no end that a lot of country artists don't write their own lyrics, but maybe that's the way to go. I think they have the best love songs, best story songs, some damn funny stuff, and songs that make my cry every time. And they're usually the most fun to sing along to. Sometimes it bothers me that country music is so damn straight. But then again, most entertainment is.

Posted by Beth at 01:11 PM
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July 08, 2004

One More

One more new photo and a short blurb from Nerdstar on her fotopage. Isn't she cute??

Posted by Beth at 03:18 PM
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Long, hot, slow days

Sigh. Just another slow, boring week around here. I think that's a good thing. Nerdstar and I have gotten to IM quite a bit this week, and she even got to call yesterday morning. We're both just trying to get thru these long, hot days of summer.

It's still not clear on whether the Army is sending their replacements in October or November. This frustrates me to no end. They should start sending them in late September and get the soldiers she's over there with home earlier rather than later. If the rotation goes slowly enough, I guess there's a chance she'd be home early December instead of November. I can't even think about that here in July. It's just too damn far off.

The good thing is that their base hasn't had any mortar attacks since just before the handover. But are you hearing this is the news, no. They had been mortared two or three times a day almost every day until then. So that's a big, positive change.

Posted by Beth at 01:38 PM
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July 07, 2004

Bits and Pieces

I didn't get enough sleep last night to write anything really coherent. But, here are some topics wandering around my brain...

I'm enjoying the Tour de France. I record the first showing of the day's events every morning and watch it when I get up. So far Lance and his team are beyond amazing once again.

Relationships are hard work, but exponentially worth it.

There's all this talk about how divided this nation is, and that the divide is just getting wider. Add that to the various ways in which issues, like gay marriage, are being decided state by state, and we could see even more polarization by state and region. I don't think it's an immediate problem, but it is a disturbing trend. Hope that's not too vague.

And the constant thought in my head - I miss my Nerdstar!!

Posted by Beth at 12:38 PM
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July 06, 2004

More Pics

Nerdstar got a chance this afternoon to put captions on that first set of photos. Then I got to add several more. Hopefully she can put captions on them in the next day or two.

Posted by Beth at 06:13 PM
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Interesting

I went to the post office this morning to send Nerdstar a package. I knew it would be busy there today, it always is after a three day weekend.

What was interesting was that one of the local news channels had a reporter and cameraman out front asking people their reaction to the Kerry/Edwards ticket. I always wondered where they got their "man on the street" interviews. What stuck me was that this post office is in a neighborhood that is 95% white and 70% over 60. I didn't think to ask what other locations they were going to do interviews at.

No, I didn't give them a statement. I couldn't think of anything clever and insightful enough to make the cut.

Posted by Beth at 12:00 PM
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July 05, 2004

Pics

Thanks to Sean and his really wonderful fotopage, I decided to check it out how easy it would be to do the same. I have a few photos that Nerdstar had brought with her when she was here in March, and today I'm going to pick up the pics from two disposable cameras she mailed me. Thankfully fotopages is the easiest thing to use. Setting up the account and adding the first pics only took about ten minutes. And, Nerdstar has the login so eventually she can go in and put captions. I was too impatient to wait for her to do these first few.

So, here it is - Nerdstar's fotopage.

Posted by Beth at 11:53 AM
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July 04, 2004

Bleh

I miss my girl. A lot.

Last July 4th we were in Seattle, touring the harbour, eating seafood, watching the fireworks from the docks.

Today, well, it just sucks.

I miss my girl. A lot.

Posted by Beth at 10:05 PM
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July 03, 2004

Tour de France

I'm pretty excited about the Tour this year. It's hard not to be, being from Austin, being a Lance fan, waiting to see if history is made. Joe has a great preview of the race.

I was telling a friend of mine last night why I like to watch sports. Sometimes it's because I follow certain teams, like the Rangers and Mavs (who I can't believe let Nash go) but sometimes it's because there's nothing better on. With a game at least the outcome is unpredictable, and that's rare in today's entertainment realm.

Yes, I'm feeling better this morning, not great, but better.

Posted by Beth at 09:11 AM
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July 02, 2004

Still Sick

Man I hate being sick!! I think I have a slight sinus infection. I'm going with my preferred route of thinking it will get better simply because I really, really wish it will! I took some cold/sinus meds last night and they had me wired until 7:30 a.m. That was one damn long night with a racing, unfocused mind. Then I could only sleep until about 10:30 a.m. I have every intention of taking a whole tylenol pm and sleeping until I wake up, which might very well be this time tomorrow night.

One bad thing was I had to reschedule an interview I had scheduled for the Habitat project. I felt bad. But, it also reminded me of the times at my last job when I just couldn't get out of bed and go to work a few times. It's hard to say now if it was because of insomnia, depression, or just plain hating my job so much I couldn't stand to be there. I'm sure it was a combination of the three.

One good thing about every day feeling like a week and every week feeling like a month while Nerdstar's gone is that everything that came before it will feel like a different lifetime. That will help greatly in her homecoming feeling like a true fresh start.

Posted by Beth at 09:06 PM
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July 01, 2004

Head Cold

Yep, my head is all stuffy and achy and I hate it. I have no energy for formulating coherent thoughts. Thankfully, with a blogsphere full of better writers, I don't have to.

Kristie writes:

I loved yesterday's issue of Salon with the advice from Cary Tennis on how to respond civilly to right-wingers you may socialize with but whose opinions you don't share. His answer was, in a nut-shell, to just say:

"I respectfully disagree."

Which appears to be so obvious as to be almost absurd. Maybe because it's hard to really remain respectful when you disagree about what can be such fundamental, and at times, very personal things. It's really easy to just want to knee-jerk and yell "HOW THE HELL CAN YOU THINK THAT AND BE HUMAN, WHAT ARE YOU? AN IDIOT???"

It's also sometimes hard for me to not start doubting myself. To doubt my own opinion. To wonder if somehow I got something wrong, or misunderstood or was stupid. Or. Something.

There aren't a whole lot of things in life I hate more than arguing. No, really. 99% of the time it's a total waste of time. Poor Nerdstar got tired of being the only unfortunate soul who had to hear my tv yelling and endless ponderings, so I started blogging. What's cool about my site is I know I'm not in danger of preaching to the choir. I don't have a ton of readers, but the ones I have are very diverse. Knowing that helps me try to keep what I write in balance and unoffensive. But there are many days I read something someone writes and think exactly what Kristie does, "WTF? How can you possibly believe such utter bullshit??"

So here's to civil disagreements!

Posted by Beth at 08:01 PM
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Interesting

Newsweek has an interesting article online today about answers to the Carlyle Group and Saudi connections issues raised in Moore's movie.

In fact, the one major Bush administration decision that most directly affected the company’s interest was the cancellation of a $11 billion program for the Crusader rocket artillery system that had been developed for the U.S. Army (during the Clinton administration)—a move that had been foreshadowed by Bush’s own statements during the 2000 campaign saying he wanted a lighter and more mobile military. The Crusader was manufactured by United Defense, which had been wholly owned by Carlyle until it spun the company off in a public offering in October, 2001 (and profited to the tune of $237 million). Carlyle still owned 47 percent of the shares in the defense company at the time that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—in the face of stiff congressional resistance—canceled the Crusader program the following year. These developments, like much else relevant to Carlyle, goes unmentioned in Moore’s movie.

As for Unocal - interesting stuff:

Whatever the motive, the Unocal pipeline project was entirely a Clinton-era proposal: By 1998, as the Taliban hardened its positions, the U.S. oil company pulled out of the deal. By the time George W. Bush took office, it was a dead issue—and no longer the subject of any lobbying in Washington. (Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force report in May, 2001, makes no reference to it.) There is no evidence that the Taliban envoy who visited Washington in March, 2001—and met with State Department and National Security Council officials—ever brought up the pipeline. Nor is there any evidence anybody in the Bush administration raised it with him. The envoy brought a letter to Bush offering negotiations to resolve the issue of what should be done with bin Laden. (A few weeks earlier, Taliban leader Mullah Omar had floated the idea of convening a tribunal of Islamic religious scholars to review the evidence against the Al Qaeda leader.) The Taliban offer was promptly shot down. “We have not seen from the Taliban a proposal that would meet the requirements of the U.N. resolution to hand over Osama bin Laden to a country where he can be brought to justice,” State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said at the time.

It's a long article, go read the whole thing.

Posted by Beth at 10:58 AM
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