Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Mud, total loss, and Pimp Day

It stopped raining and warmed up very quickly in Northern Maryland today. The result of that was the biggest mud puddles I've seen in a long time. To honor that, we played outside....for hours. I ended up with two mud covered kids, and ofcourse that was expected. It was really fun.

In other Magnolia news, did anyone know that the people from insurance company's total loss department are really out to screw you? If so, why was I never told? Lucky for me, my leinholder (I just learned this term today, it's another way of saying financing company) came up with a great plan, with possibly a great result. I may come out of this with a gain. I was shocked.

So I will call and spend more wasted hours trying to put said plan into place tomorrow. Until then, I am content.

Since I cannot think of anything interesting to write, I will leave you with some other people who may catch your interest on this first of many coming 'Pimp Days'.

STARLIGHTER writes a story about Boston way back before I was born. I am addicted.

Arwen/Elizabeth makes me happy, and is extremely introspective and intellegent.

Reflections of the romantically hopeless aggrivates the shit out of me because he doesn't update as much as I'd like. If you go back and read it like a book, it's highly entertaining and very well written. Don't read too much in one day, though, because you will be stuck waiting for more....for a looonnng time.




Monday, March 28, 2005
Not a very good day

The appraiser called to say my car is totaled. This is what we expected to happen. Unfortunately, he couldn't tell me the value of my car.

---Isn't that his job?---

I called At Fault's insurance company. They said wait a few days. I asked if I could start repairs and they said no. I'm aggrivated. I do not want to end up paying for this rental until my car is fixed. Once they cut a check, the rental is our responsibility.

I paid ten thousand dollars on this car in the last year and a half. I'm sure the value will be under five thousand. I'm angry with myself for paying off the car loan as fast as possible. I never knew that could possibly be a bad thing.

Other reasons today is not a good day:

I have a headache left over from last night

I cannot seem to sleep

My house isn't very clean

Hero surely will fail his PT test tomorrow, as he has been eating like a cow

My hair won't seem to stay frizz-free because of the rain

All these things seem meaningless, I'm sure. So then, why can't I get over it? I'm hoping tomorrow will be better.

On a happier note: I'm sure spring is here. The spring peepers were peeping all night last night, and it is supposed to be sixty-six degrees on Wednesday.




Saturday, March 26, 2005
100 Things

Since almost everyone else has them, here they are: (Updated)

1. I married my high school sweetheart
2. Niether of us actually finished high school
3. We both got GEDs instead
4. At the time it seemed like a good idea because we could go to college and be half way through before our classmates graduated
5. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out as planned
6. I rented my first apartment when I was 16
7. I am 100% pro-choice
8. I am a Christian
9. I have over 50 fish, 2 cats, 4 toads, and a worm bin full of worms
10. I love to read
11. I get kinda depressed if my house isn't clean
12. I LOVE when my girls ask me "Why?" about everything, even if it is 1000 times a day
13. I have an anxiety disorder that used to limit my social interactions greatly, but now (with meds) is only occasionally noticable
14. I am still working in therapy on some family-related issues, and figuring out crazy sleep issues on the side.
15. I love to crochet! LOVE. TO. CROCHET. It is sooooo relaxing, and it's an awesome feeling to finish a project.
16. My grandma raised me until I was ten
17. Then I lived with my dad for about two years
18. At twelve, I was 'taken away' from my dad and lived in many residentials and foster homes until running away at 16
19. Being self-supporting at 16 is an awesome feeling
20. Being husband-reliant from 18 on is sometimes unsatisfying
21. Some people can decide who they love more (husband or kids), I don't think love comes in specific amounts
22. My favorite book is 1984.
23. I have undeniable cravings for the following series of mindless entertainment: Queer as Folk, House, the OC, and Lost.
24. We rent Queer as Folk and Lost in seasons on dvd, and will make a whole week worth of watching them. So we try not to ever notice magazine articles, etc. about those shows.
25. I love the Red Sox
26. I don't like going to the movie theater to see movies
27. I had a nervous breakdown last year (March 2004)
28. Hero was away for fourteen months (Sep. 03-Nov.04), so I've had experience in taking care of my girls alone for a little while
29. I lived in Maryland at the time, and didn't know anyone, so some days I would literally go without seeing another adult.....It was difficult.
30. I only have three friends that I consider really close friends
31. I lived in Italy with my husband for 3 months. He lived there for 9 months.
32. Since my husband got stationed in Maryland I am happier than I have ever been
33. My husband got tuberculosis while he was in Italy
34. He also got tendonitis and gout, and had a seizure
35. That may be part of the reason why I don't like Italy
36. I "experimented" with drugs for quite a few years, (before kids) and mastered "escapism".
37. I am healthy, but overweight
38. I smoke, and have tried to quit several times this year
39. I have been pregnant three times
40. All of my pregnancies were accidents, but only one of them was because I was careless.
41. I got pregnant on the pill with my oldest
42. I got pregnant with my second while breastfeeding (after my doctor told me there was no chance of me getting pregnant while breastfeeding until I got a period)
43. My girls are a year and 3 days apart
44. I miscarried my third pregnancy
45. I was only 5 weeks and 6 days along
46. My favorite food is anything spicy, esp. romaine and spinach salad with spicy turkey chunks and jalepenos! And quesadillas with cheese, extra thin tomato and jalepenos, and "spicy sauce"--similar to buffalo sauce. Yum.
47. I don't usually drink water and I hate fruit juice
48. I LOVE COFFEE
49. When my husband left for basic training I lost 40 lbs (in 11 weeks)
50. When we were finally living together again I gained it all back
51. I am afraid of doctors, and recently got brave enough to make an appointment
52. But hadn't gone in five years before that
53. I have a Boston accent
54. I was supposed to get my tonsils removed seven years ago but keep blowing it off
55. I have one best-friend who knows me better than I know myself. And vice-versa.
56. If I had my choice, I would continue to live on the east coast for the rest of my life
57. I like to garden. It is a wonderful excuse to play in the dirt
58. I never made more than two ounces of milk a day in the twelve weeks I breastfed
59. Which is why I get mad when I hear statements such as "Every woman can breastfeed"
60. If that were true, couldn't every woman get pregnant? Carry a child to term?
61. I am very happy in my marriage
62. And very happy with my 'career' (stay-at-home-mom)
63. I don't think being a working mother means your children are raised by someone else
64. And I don't think one is harder than the other
65. I often rush to judge people
66. And often feel like an ass because of it
67. I've had three jobs: Assistant manager of a video store, telemarketer, and CNA
68. I did the assistant manager thing the longest-- two years, and the telemarketing only lasted a month
69. I found out I was pregnant with my second when I felt her kicking
70. I love being outside in the summer
71. I am not very fond of snow or cold weather
72. I got my license when I was 18
73. But I drove without a license for about four years before that, and now realize how dangerous that could've been to everyone else on the road
74. For the short time I dated, I dated older guys
75. Except my husband, who is two months younger than me
76. I've lived in Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vicenza, Italy.
77. I never cared what other people thought of me
78. Because I always knew I was the best ;)
79. Little things amaze me, like the postal service, the sky at night, and the things that come out of my children's mouths
80. Like when I said "You don't have any C-A-N-D-Y out where they can get it, do you?" to my neighbor....and Sky said "I want C-F-D-A-for apple-CANDY!"
81. Or when Moon, with her mind waaaayyyy out there, unknowingly scratching her ankles, finally snaps back into reality and sings "Scratchy no scratching, scratchy no scratching" to herself, yells at her hand "Bad hand....time out", and then kisses it better.
82. Or when they sing songs together...."Rosey, Rosey, Rosey, Rosey, Rosey, Rosey, ashes, ashes, rosandweey all fall down!" Thats what it sounds like to me, anyway.
83. My favorite movie of all time is Clockwork Orange
84. The runners up are: Magnolia, Dark City, Flatliners, American History X, Clerks, Brainscan, The life of David Gale, and Crash (the new one, not at all related to the earlier movie with the same title)
85. I still love both dark blue and black nail polish, even though they went out roughly ten years ago.
86. My husband is a video gamer
87. I have a brother and a half sister. My half sister is 13 and we just established contact.
88. My husband has a brother, a sister, and a half sister
89. His half sister is only eighteen months old, which means that my girls have an aunt who is younger than them
90. My husband's mother and my father are in a relationship
91. Which isn't technically insest. And we were married for years before they even met
92. But it still is disgusting, and even more so since they are the two most selfish people in the world
93. I second guess myself all the time and want to stop
94. I can't get into country music even if I try to force myself to like it
95. I have six holes in each ear and a labret hole
96. I got promoted twice (from sophmore to senior) before I dropped out
97. So I like to blame the stress
98. I used to be smart, what the hell happened?
99. I love tattoos and stories about what they represent to the people who wear them
100. I love life

So there you have it, 100 useless facts about me




Friday, March 25, 2005
A lot calmer now

Thanks to advice that was given, I called At Fault's insurance company and they said they would take care of everything. Everything includes our rental minus insurance. I am so relieved.

To the commenter worried about my language:

Don't worry, my kids don't read (as it shows in my sidebar they are 2 and 3), don't use the internet, or hear what's in my head. Thank you for being polite about it, and also thank you for giving me my next topic.

Should you make judgments about people based on the content of their blog?

Well, honestly I don't care if people do or don't. I know it's safe to assume if I have a bad day and post about how I want to throw my kids out the window, some will realize I am venting to get out stress and others will think I'm a bad mom for even thinking like that. The fact of it is, I have never thought about actually throwing my kids out the window, that statement will only used be used as an expression (if it is ever used, which it probably won't be). I do admit to judging some people by the content of their blogs. Though I would never comment on their blog about it, I may do so in my space.

If I swear a lot in my blog is it safe to assume I swear a lot when not typing?

Not really. I do swear occasionally, usually when in deep conversation. Lucky for me these conversations don't happen while trying to change diapers, feed, dress, clean my house, do laundry, teach my kids, or run errands. I am happy the person who commented was hoping my kids aren't exposed to my filthy mouth instead of just assuming they are.

Why do I blog?

As I said before, I use it as a method to vent and if I find people who can relate along the way, fine. If not, that's fine also. Besides, we all know stay at hom moms have way to much time on their hands, right?;)


So why use blog explosion?

It is the easiest way to find blogs I like to read. I do have my surf settings changed most of the time so family blogs or personal diaries are my preference, but I know that has no control over who surfs to my blog. And I don't care. Like it? Great. Don't? Great. And what else is there to do all night? It's certainly not a cure for insomnia, but a method to deal with it that doesn't involve meds or therapy.

There are groups of people I might make generalizations about in the future, so if you don't want to hear it, or any swearing that may or may not go along with it, please add this blog to your 'do not view' list.

Groups of people I might make generalizations about:

Breastfeeding Enforcers
Mothers who put down other mothers
The military (the people/experiences that have effected us negatively)
Massholes (but in a good way)
Drivers with a cellphone stuck to their ear while smoking, playing with the radio, and driving with their knees

The fine print: The 'Groups of people I might make generalizations about' is subject to change at any time, with or without prior notice. All thoughts or opinions about this blog that are posted in the comments section are subject to be removed at the discretion of the blog owner. The owner of the blog holds no responsibility for confrontations that may occur between two or more commenters.




Thursday, March 24, 2005
Officially Stupid (Why do I do this to myself?)

Some fucker smashed up my car today.

Guess who was driving? (It wasn't me....this is important.)

Tip for useless asshole who doesn't know enough to SLOW DOWN, PUT ON A BLINKER, OR EVEN LOOK TO SEE IF ANYTHING IS COMING while making a left turn across another lane of traffic: Learn to fucking drive.

What if my kids had been in the car? I am seething with rage.

And the kicker? I'm the stupid fuck who let an uninsured driver drive my car. Guess who that was????? MY HUSBAND!!

Many of you are thinking 'And?'...In Massachusetts (where my car is still registered and insured), everyone who will drive your car must be on the policy.

See it goes back many years. My husband is not very good with cars, he buys shitboxes and drives them into the ground. We've had six cars. That might not seem like much, but it's too embarrassing to mention in how few years they've come and gone. It's enough to say less than six years. Yup, six cars in less than six years.

I bought this last car MYSELF. It was the only one of our cars we've financed. I bought it when my neon started to go right after Hero left for basic training. Since he was not living with me, and I knew it would be at least six months until we were together again I decided to wait on adding him to my policy. Why pay the extra money, right?

Well, fourteen months ended up going by before Hero and I ended up being together again (Basic, AIT, Italy...he came home in November). So what's my excuse? I'm fucking stupid. I have no other excuse than that.

I NEED ANYONE WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT INSURANCE TO HELP!!

This fuck was declared 100% at fault by the police, and charged with failing to yield at an intersection....or something like that (we don't get the actual police report for 10 days, but the cop said he was being charged). They have this on tape, as the intersection is monitored. Yay.

I called my insurance company, who told me I was an idiot, and to say bye-bye to a huge chunk of our savings.

So here is my question for you: Can I file a claim with the At Fault driver's insurance company? Or does my insurance company need to be the one's to do that (and they can't)? If it helps, my insurance is from Mass, and covers the person driving, his is from Virginia.

If so, who would call his insurance company, me or hubby? (Seems pretty obvious it would be me, as it is my car, but I wasn't actually involved in the accident.?.)

And: If I can do this, what do I say? I have never been in an accident before.

And: Should I report this to my insurance company? When I called, I might have said it was a hypothetical situation....because I knew my husband wasn't covered.

PLEASE HELP!!

My car isn't completely totaled, but pretty close to it.

My numbers:

Estimate of repairs: $2000- $3000 depending on if we want parts that actually go to my make and model of car or not (?WHAT?)

Rental car: $421 per week (from debit card, in other words...NO RENT NOW PAY LATER.)

The importance of not blowing that big chunk of savings on this hunk of tin/plastic/styrofoam rental: Priceless.

**Side notes:

--Hero was not hurt (thank God).

--My car got near-totaled, as I said. His car? A blown tire, and a dent in his fender. Fucker.

--At fault driver was not hurt either (thank God again).




Tuesday, March 22, 2005
What I miss the most

My family. I don't have a big family and neither does Hero. We both come from 'messed up' families, but the little family we do have is what I miss the most.

I miss the way my Grandma lets my kids get away with anything they want, and scolds me when I tell them no. She is from the 'Old Country' (which to her is Austria), and to this day believes that breast cancer is caused by playing sports. She is very old, and it is very difficult not to laugh when she gets all serious and tells her stories about the 'long-term effects of having a Jew in her family' (her words). It is a hilarious set of stories, especially considering that the 'Jew in her family' was her father. Her thinking is so outdated, sometimes I even get a little mad, but what can you do?

I miss Hero's Grandma too. She is still fairly young (considering she is a great grandma to my kids). She helped me a lot when we came back from Italy. I had a really hard time seeing Hero get sick over there and she reached out to me big time. We used to do fun things with the kids together, and she even babysat sometimes. She works still, as a hospice worker, and she is one of the most caring people I know. It broke my heart when we heard that Hero was finally coming back to the states, and she cried because we would be moving.

I miss my brother because I'm never sure when I'll see him again. He has been in and out of jail for the last three years, and can't seem to get his act together. He seems to be doing a little better the past few months. I hope he keeps it up. He's a good kid, he makes bad choices, blah, blah.....

This is not all of our family, ofcourse, just the biggest part. These people are home to me, anywhere they are is where I want to be (minus jail ofcourse).




I made a friend

I made a friend today. It is unusual how many things we have in common.

--We both have two daughters

--Our daughters are the same age

--Our husbands were both stationed in Italy before we came here

--Our husbands both have the same job

--She has neighbors that recently moved, and they didn't have kids (although she says they were young)

--Her other two neighbors don't have kids either

--They are from Massachusetts also!!!!!!!!! (Though not Boston.)

--Her neighbor told her husband that she was having trouble having kids--get this--the day they moved in, during there first meeting (Although, she herself has never met the neighbor, and didn't think it was that unusual for them to be sharing the personal info with her husband.)

--They are both young

So is this all coincidence? I think not. I believe it's Fate.

Ofcourse there are some differences

--She has dyed red-black-purple looking hair (which looks great on her), and I have never-ever-in-my-life-been-touched-with-chemicals black

--Their neighbors have a ton of dogs (she said between the two neighbors there are four), and ours have one.

--They live on the same installment (it has the same name), but in a different town, further from Baltimore than we are (slightly closer to Massachusetts, two exits closer, I believe ;~)

We hit it of really well! I think this will be a good thing.




Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hero and I no longer fight about the Big Stuff. In my experience, only the first few years of marriage are spent fighting about the Big Stuff (Thank God). Now, the Big Stuff presents itself as an opportunity for us to discuss what needs to be discussed and work together to find an appropriate resolution.

Our fights are now only occasional, and usually involve me trying to Show him "the natural consequences" of his actions." I can't help it, I'm a bitch.

When he gets pulled over for driving without a valid lisence (it expired almost a year ago), I tell him to get on the phone, call the MVA (in Mass. it's 'the registry'), and see if he needs an appointment to get a Maryland lisence. When he decides his plan is better and he can wait, I don't fight about it.

When his chain of command tells him he has exactly one day to get a lisence I say "Well you'd better get on that." When he once again decides to blow it off and wait until the last minute, I don't fight about it.

When his one day is now limited to exactly four hours, in which he has to make an appointment, go to the registry, and fufill all their requirements so he won't get in trouble by his command, what does he do? He calls ME up and asks me to call the registry for him.

I say "When do you need this done by?" And he says "Right Now." Then I say "Sorry, you're going to have to do it yourself, I'm simply too busy."

Like I said I'm a bitch, but he ended up doing it himself. Not only that, he got it all done within the four hours he needed it done in. I am proud of him.

What would have happened if I fought with him the whole time? What would have happened if I made a big deal out of something like that by repeatedly reminding him or checking on his progress several times?

Two things: First, he would start fighting about how he knows what he has to do and always manages to get it done (which is true). Second, I would have ended up doing it for him (the calling part, anyway) because I would have been so stressed out about him possibly getting in trouble for not getting it done.

I've learned to care a lot less since I've been married. And it's not neccesarily a bad thing.




Saturday, March 19, 2005
The good weather is here

Since Thursday it has been nice enough to play outside. Today I'm giving in. I'm washing and putting away the winter coats. In Massachusetts I would never do such a thing, but the weather is a little bit more stable here. And, if I'm wrong about it being warm, and it snows three feet, I can always pull the coats back out, right?

Yesterday I took the girls to the park. One thing I love about every military installation (that we've lived on, anyway)-- you're always within walking distance from a park. I'm not very "outdoorsy" in the sense that I don't like camping or bugs or excersizing for fun, but when it gets warm out we aren't indoors much. It's too cold for the pool still, but when it gets warm it will be set up in the back yard. Much of the day will be spent there, and also at the park, and any beach I can find nearby. I love the beach.

I don't think I have found the "things to do" here yet. Driving for forty-five minutes here is a lot different than driving forty-five minutes in Massachusetts. I still do it every day to get coffee, but it is much more boring (a lot of open space). The town we live in (not the installation itself, but the town right outside of it) is so tiny. I've never been to a town this small. I don't know the area yet, but I am hoping to find some interesting kid-friendly things to do for the time we're here.

I'm getting used to it here. That's a big step for me. If I stop being so negative about the differences here it will be easier for me to adjust.




Friday, March 18, 2005
What color eyes is your baby going to have?

I just thought these were interesting. The eye calculator can predict what color eyes your child will have. Our results were: 50% brown, 31.2% green, and 18.7% blue. I have a green eyed child and a blue eyed child. Feel free to use it and let me know if it was accurate for you or not.


This is a baby name 'Name Voyager'. If you type in any baby name it will tell you how common it is, and how common it has been in the past. My girls both have less-common names, but still common enough to be on the list. C's name is in about 150th place, and B's name is in about 2ooth.




Thursday, March 17, 2005
Deployed Again

Today I visited the website of my husband's last duty station. They are deployed again, this time to Afghanistan.

“Each one of these paratroopers is the equivalent of 10 to 15 normal humans.”Colonel William C. Mayville

My husband only stayed in Italy for eight months due to a condition that Moon has which is aggrivated by the climate. Thank God he missed deploying while he was there. The schedule of this Brigade is horrible. They are "on a year off a year", which means they will deploy to combat for a year, have a year off (which two months will be training), then deploy to combat again. That means only ten out of twenty-four months are spent at the actual duty station. This is really hard on some of the families. Three of my husband's buddies were in the process of being divorced. All three of those divorces were initiated by the wives. Two Sergents told stories about how their wives left them when they were deployed. **Please note** A lot of this may have to do with the "Family never comes first" attitude. Those words were told to both my husband and I several times during our stay.

The soldiers (and families) who manage to stay there and function within that kind of a unit are amazing. We would never have been able to do it. Some even re-enlist to stay there.

The other half, the people who hate it and can't leave (because once you sign that contract, there's not many ways around it.), are really in a bad position. I know there aren't many who want to be deployed over and over again, but it really sucks for the married soldiers who have to amend their contract to stay for three years (instead of a single soldier who stays two). I think they should throw away that policy even though financially it makes sense.

I always have trouble writing about these kinds of things because I've seen how it effects the soldiers and their families. I can never gather all my thoughts or put together anything really intellegent, but I just have to get it out somehow.




Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Motherhood and blogging

Most of my friends do not have children yet. Often because of this I get the "What do you do all day?" comments. I always ask "Do you really want to know?", because most of the time the comments aren't actually curiosity, but rather a statement that I have a lot of "time off".

At this stage in the game, being a stay at home mom isn't the hardest job in the world. It still is the most rewarding, and the lowest paying job. Now it is more like a schedule. There aren't many surprises, and I can easily adjust when those surprises come up. Now when I hear "What do you do all day?", I think 'I clean and play with my kids, it's wonderful'. I can still remember when it wasn't wonderful though. It used to be really hard.

I was reading a random blog the other day about a new mom with twins. The writer is having a very hard time adjusting to the lack of sleep and the constant demands of being a mother. She feels unappreciated.

Haven't we all felt that way?

Ofcourse people had commented on this blog, most offering support and understanding such as: "I know how you feel, we all feel that way at first. Don't worry it gets better." etc. There was a comment that bothered me though. It was "What did you expect? If you're not prepared to make sacrifices you're not prepared to be a mother."

Did a mother really write that?

That is quite disturbing. I can understand if someone never went through that phase, you know the parent whose kid slept through the night from birth and never cried. It bothers me that someone would comment like that on another's blog. Why would anyone want to make a mother who is already having a hard time feel worse about what she's going through, and even imply that she is not deserving of her kids?

We all blog for a reason. Some bloggers (like me) just blog to get the things in their head out because they type faster than they write and maybe they'll find people who share opinions along the way. Some writers blog to vent or get support or just simply share. Some write stories, some write about politics, some write about what they did yesterday. There is one thing all bloggers have in common. We use our blog, OUR SPACE, to write.

Obviously if the writer enables comments, they welcome opinions on what was written. Therefore, they should expect to get comments that disagree as well as those that agree with what they write. I believe there is a proper way to disagree. Respectfully. Just like you should never walk into someone else's home and start insulting them, in my opinion, the same goes for blogs.

Let's take the comment I mentioned above, and explore different ways of respectfully disagreeing. "What did you expect? If you're not prepared to make sacrifices, you're not prepared to be a mother.", could easily be changed to the less hostile "I can tell you're having a hard time right now. None of us are really prepared for motherhood until we bring our babies home." Another: "I've never felt this way, so I really can't relate, but best wishes." Yet another: "There are many good support systems for mothers of twins. If you want me to help you find some good links, let me know."

And finally: Write NOTHING. Like the saying goes, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. Remember, no one makes you comment. If you can't find a polite way to disagree, click the X, or the arrow pointing towards the left of your screen.

Lastly: As mothers, we should be supporting other mothers. We all know it isn't easy all the time whether the experience is fresh in our memory or not. This fact is not going to change. It helps to hear the occasional "You're doing a great job." If you ever come across a blog of a mother who is having a tough time, I encourage you to leave some good words.




Saturday, March 12, 2005
General Bitching

Hero is in the Army. I love the Army. He loves the Army.

The previous was kind of like a disclaimer, except mostly false. It is so much more complex than seeing how the Army--as a whole--works, and saying "I like it" or "I don't." What I'm particularly angered about today is the article in the Army Times about blogging. I understand about operation security, but come on! I mean is the following a violation of operation security, or a harmless post that simply tells a story about what happened?

Spc. Nick Cademartori offered just that, posting to his blog, The Questing Cat, throughout a yearlong tour in Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division.
“Dozens of houses raided, no arrests, only one weapon confiscated — same old story, ‘holding it for a friend’ — which led to that house being trashed for a more thorough search,” he wrote, describing a mission he conducted in January.
“No permanent harm done, especially for how terrified the family
was at being caught in the wrong, but it still will take a day to clean up and the daughters will probably curse me under their breath as they pick through the pile of their stuff I made in the middle of their room.”
Well it's more than operation security! Read on:

.....Within seconds of posting, that text is available to every Internet user everywhere.
But that speed — and the uncontrollability — are raising concerns and eyebrows among the brass.


A question of security


Operational security is a natural worry for all combatants, said Lt. Col. Paul Hastings, public affairs officer for Task Force Olympia in Iraq.
“In WWII it was a written diary and only compromised if physically taken from soldiers,” he said. “Now, it is near real-time and accessible to all, including the enemy.”
The Army is still trying to come to grips with this communication medium. The service didn’t have policies regulating e-mail and Internet usage when it first became accessible to soldiers, and it doesn’t have policies specifically tailored to blogging, said Lt. Col. Pamela L. Hart, a spokeswoman for the Army’s Personnel and Human
Resources division.
Existing regulations address operational security and government computer usage issues, but blogging raises issues less black and
white than divulging convoy routes or unit capabilities.
A commander has “the authority and duty to avert danger to his unit’s and troops’ morale, welfare and discipline,” said a DefenseDepartment spokesman after speaking with Pentagon lawyers. The Defense Department and the Army both put the responsibility of setting and enforcing rules for blogging on unit and post commanders, said Capt. Chris Karns, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, which
overseas operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So actually, under the heading 'A question of security' they were actually writing about a question of how much more they can possibly limit freedom of speech and call it any other excuse. Hell, I wouldn't want any 'civilians' to know the real story about what was going on if I was in charge and made a bad choice. And, it lowers morale, right? Right?

Please also take a second to notice that the article points out that the army "didn't have policies regulating e-mail and Internet usage when it first became accessible to soldiers" In other words they do now, and if you search around a little you will be able to find out that "policies" consist of someone reading what you write and giving you permission before you email it.

Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, a spokesman for coalition forces in Iraq, said blogging is allowed in Iraq “so long as authors do not disrupt discipline in their units, make statements on behalf of commanders or the Army as a whole or reveal operational details that could aid attackers.”
“Sometimes a blog might contain subtle nuances from which you can put together a complete picture of our operations, which insurgents can use to attack us,” Boylan said. “We definitely don’t want to impinge upon somebody’s free speech. We’re out here defending
that. But it can cross a line.”

That guy has put reasonable limitations on blogging. Below is more of the article so you can judge for yourself.

Matt of Blackfive said that as of early January, some 40 soldiers had contacted him claiming they had been told by their command to stop blogging.
Several military blogs from Mosul, Iraq, vanished from the Internet soon after the Dec. 21 suicide bombing at the dining facility in Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul. One that went offline had been run by Maj. Michael Cohen, a doctor working in the FOB’s emergency room.
“No one had any idea what was about to take place,” Cohen wrote about the attack in his blog. “We asked one of the newly arrived soldiers how many people were injured, and he said, ‘A lot. There
are bodies everywhere.’ ... As I stepped outside, I couldn’t believe what was going on.”
A few days later, Cohen posted a final entry on his blog, 67th Combat Support Hospital Docs.
“Levels above me have ordered, yes ORDERED, me to shut down this Web site. They cite that the information contained in these pages violates several Army regulations,” he wrote, adding that he disagreed
with the move.
While Cohen stopped writing when told, another soldier lost
rank and pay when he blogged against his commander’s wishes.

Ok, it's one thing to say "you can blog, but you can't say this, that, or anything about those." It's another to say "You can't tell anyone anyting, ever." Or that's how I feel. Read on:

Spc. Jason Hartley of the New York National Guard called his
blog Just Another Soldier and wrote bluntly about everything, from
conditions on the base to his comrades’ high jinks.
When his company commander found out about the site, according to Hartley, the captain wanted it taken offline. Hartley wrote in an e-mail exchange that he agreed “as a favor” to his first sergeant and platoon commander.
However, Hartley continued to write from the Sunni Triangle. He didn’t post online, but e-mailed a list of some 1,200 people who asked to be allowed to continue reading his reflections.
With about two months left in his deployment, seven months after removing his site from the Web, he put his blog back online, including all of those e-mails.
It took less than two weeks for his commander to discover this.
“He flipped out,” Hartley said. “He told me that I had betrayed his trust in the way I portrayed the company. He took it very personally.”
Hartley’s company commander, Capt. Vincent Heintz, declined to be
interviewed for this article, but Hartley said Heintz told him the battalion S-2 had conducted an investigation and concluded that he had compromised operational security and violated the Geneva Conventions for posting photos of detainees. He was also told that he was guilty of conduct unbecoming a noncommissioned officer.

Buzzell, of the blog My War, had a run in with the brass, as well.
Initially, he blogged anonymously, using CBFTW as a pseudonym. He wrote about harrowing moments on raids, getting mortared on a regular basis and life in the first Stryker brigade. Media outlets started quoting his posts, and it didn’t take long for his command to figure out who CBFTW was. He was taken off missions for five days and told to stop blogging while an investigation was conducted.
“I was stuck in my room while the rest of the platoon was out there stopping insurgents from dropping mortars on civilians,” he said. “I realized then that blogging should never interfere with the soldier’s primary job.”
Buzzell was told he could begin posting again on the condition that he
let someone in his chain of command read it first. Instead of submitting his work to review, he stopped posting his words altogether. He began only posting things that he came across on the
Internet or were e-mailed to him.
On Sept. 28, he posted his last entry until he was discharged from active duty in December.
Buzzell won’t comment on why he stopped posting but recommends that other military bloggers “don’t post e-mails from members of the Dead Kennedys — the Army is not a big fan.”
Buzzell does not see his situation as a First Amendment issue, stating
he understands that service members’ freedom of speech is restricted because of the unique nature of a soldier’s job.

The article goes on to other issues, which you can find and read if you want, but I stop here. I agree that maybe some blogs aren't appropriate for the time and the place, especially if it's a violation of any rules or regulations.

I also believe that freedom of speech is extremely important for all Americans, even those in combat. When you are thousands of miles away from your civilian-family and friends and possibly feeling a bit depressed, writing to real people who can respond to your thoughts and stories is a great way to know your still part of the "real world". It's also a great way to find support. On the other side it is great for us 'civilians' to see what's going on through the eyes of the person who is going through it. It's a good way to enable us to show our support to the people who sacrifice so much to protect America and all its freedoms.

I'd write more, or even revise what I wrote to make it a little more entertaining, or at least reader-friendly, but I cannot. I am too sad and angry right now.




Thursday, March 10, 2005
And the answer is....

Undeterminable. But here is what everyone had to say:

Jon Langdon, who is from Connecticut, wrote "Once you're from New England you'll never get that deep down inside asshole out of you", which I agree with completely. While visiting his blog I found some other quotes which I think describe a New Englander's perspective very well. First, "Here's a little secret about the word 'seasons': it's a code word meaning that we have shitty weather for half the year". And, "Listen, whatever you do in your culture is fine with me. In my culture we make fun of things that aren't part of our own culture."

Jason, who has a blog filled with beautiful photos, is from Massachusetts and now lives in Florida. He is amused when people tell him how cold it is going to be, to say the least. He didn't say whether anyone has commented on his accent or not, but I'm going to assume at least one native Floridian made him say "Park the car in Harvard yard".

Kate, who moved from New York to North Carolina, wrote "There's one thing that Southerner's don't understand about Northerner's. We value formality." I think she got it exactly right. On a post on her blog she wrote: (note this version has been shortened)

"....while Northerners are time-oriented, southerners are event-oriented.... We ordered coffee, and the dish of creamers was empty. My mother asked the waitress to please bring us some cream. The waitress replied, "I'll go and get it" and then she disappeared....it wasn't until she had our lunches that she brought the cream....a northerner, when they say, "I'll go get it", is implying both an event (getting the creamer) and a time frame (RIGHT NOW), whereas a southerner, when saying "I'll go get it", is only referring to the event, because to them, well, when they go and get the cream, they'll have gotten it, won't they?"

Julie, who has a blog with links to her pictures and poetry (which is really good), is from New Hampshire and now lives in Arizona. Julie thinks I'm homesick. I think she's right.

Maggie responded to my whoring with several facts about Colorado, the state in which she lives. Unfortunately I cannot link her, because she left a bad link.

Opforsoldier moved from Long Island to the midwest. His biggest complaint is "Left lane is for passing, not doing driving in." He also makes a very good point that you can be relaxed no matter where you live. Opforsoldier has a blog about his family and living with a spinal cord injury. His son is sick right now. Send get well wishes.

Dr. Forbush, who has a political blog that can really get you thinking (and got 'Looney Liberal of the Week' award lol), grew up in Ohio, moved to Texas, went to Germany for three years and is now in California. He makes a good point that everyone is rude, some just more up front about it than others.

Kris, who lives in a suburb of St. Louis and blogs about homeschooling her two youngest children wrote"Your post made it pretty obvious you don't like conversation with people you don't know." I have to say that is a slightly distorted version of the truth. It is simply that in New Englanders have a specific way of doing things. It goes something like this:

The First Meeting- There are two steps involved in the first meeting. They can happen in any order, but both have to happen before any intimate life details are exchanged. They are:

The introduction- "Hi my name is dmagnoliad" "Hi dmagnoliad my name is OtherPerson, nice to meet you"and,

The small talk- "We just moved here from Massachusetts" "Oh, we live in Smalltown, it's pretty nice once you get used to it around here"

Then depending on how well the small talk goes, you may decide to move on to

The Invitation- "Let's exchange numbers" or "Do you want to get together for coffee sometime?" etc. If the invitation is accepted, there is

The Second Meeting- Now it is okay to start going in to personal details, but slowly. For instance you SHOULD NOT start talking about your sex life immediately, or your trouble concieving. Also you should not tell the person how they should be more like your local friends or neighbors (like our neighbors did).

Thank you all for commenting and helping me analyze this.




Monday, March 07, 2005
Whoring for comments

Yesterday I wrote a post about what I think a few differences are being in the state I am now from the state I grew up in. I was sure that I'd get a response from that. Hasn't everyone been in a place that is a lot different from what they are used to? Or met someone with different ways of going about things anyway? I got 130 hits yesterday......and only one comment. (Thank you commenter.)

Apparently not. So I had my husband read my post and asked him what he thought. He said it was simply because I come off as an ignorant bitch. My apologies to all whom I might have offended (except my neighbors).

So today I want to hear from you. Under this I will post the part I wrote yesterday. I want you ALL to leave a comment. Please answer one of the following three questions in your comment:

1. What is unique where you are from? You can answer things like "We are the loudest city", "We have a funny-kind of accent", etc.

2. What place do you think you wouldn't like to live and why?

OR

3. Did I indeed come off as an ignorant bitch?

Here is part of yesterday's post:

The most obvious difference between living in Massachusetts and Maryland is the fact that life is so much slower here. Everyone is overly friendly. In Boston people are rude, but that's the way we like it. We don't want to talk about your kids while waiting to get through the drive thru line, we just want our god-damned coffee!

And by the way, regular is: Large- 4 cream 4 sugar, Medium- 3 cream 3 sugar, Small- 2 cream 2 sugar. How hard is that? It should be universal.
Here's an example of me ordering at my local Dunkin Donuts (which is 45 mins away)

"Can I have a medium regular iced?"

"HUH?"

"Can I have a medium regular iced coffee?"

"Do you want cream or sugar in that?"

"Yes"

"Which one?"

"What? Both."

"You're kids are so cute, I have two daughters too. They're a little older than yours. The oldest will be in middle school next year, and we don't know what we're going to do....

**Now two cars in line behind me.

"We want to have another baby, but it was so hard for us to get pregnant with the youngest that we don't know if it will even be worth it. You know, it's so draining driving for all those appointments. And we're even older now than we were last time, so I'm sure it will take longer to conceive.

**NOW HAS MY COFFEE IN HAND

"With my oldest, it just took once, I came off the pill and she popped out nine months later. My sister-in-law has two boys. I love her boys, except she hasn't even started to potty train them yet. They are three and four years old now. Are your girls potty trained? I know I started with mine when they were 18 months old. OH, here's you're coffee. That will be $1.50."

**I hand here a $5. She gets my change, I stick my hand out the window.

"I didn't mean to offend you if your girls aren't trained yet, they are trained, aren't they?"

"The oldest one is"...Arm still waiting for change

"Yeah, some parents just don't get around to training until later and that's fine too. I worry with my sister-in-law though, because her kids can't even get into daycare and she's upset about it. Are your girls in daycare?"

"I'm really running late"

"Oh, sorry Sugar, here you go hon."

Now again, but in Massachusetts.

"Can I have a medium regular iced"

"That'll be $1.94 please pull up"

I'm sure we'd get along fine if we met somewhere, and I'm sorry about your problems, but believe me, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORY, I DON'T WANT TO HAVE ANY CONVERSATION, I JUST WANT MY COFFEE!! And I'm sorry if I seem rude, I'm from Boston.

And the same goes for my neighbors. If you need something, please knock on our door. If we can help you, we'd be glad to.

On the other hand, DO NOT knock on my door to remind me that trash goes out Friday, I know.

DO NOT knock to tell me you know the secret to parking your car in the snow so you'll be able to plow through a foot of it in the morning, I've seen forty inches of snow in less than a week, and you're going to have to tough up and shovel. Sure, you can try to plow over it, but you WILL get stuck. I'm not going to take you're advice because I did this every winter for many, many years.

Oh, and just one more:

DO NOT push us to be your friends the second time we meet you in said snow situation. You are old enough to be our parents, and if we do end up being friends, that's great. Pushing us to be your friends isn't going to work though, and it's not socially acceptable where we're from to invite strangers to family gatherings just to be nice. To a cookout in the summer? Maybe. To an intimate adult family gathering in your apartment with our kids being the only kids there? I think not.

I miss Boston.




Sunday, March 06, 2005
You Know You're From Massachusetts When...

You Know You're From Massachusetts When...

These are so funny because they're true!! The most obvious difference between living in Massachusetts and Maryland is the fact that life is so much slower here. Everyone is overly friendly. In Boston people are rude, but that's the way we like it. We don't want to talk about your kids while waiting to get through the drive thru line, we just want our god-damned coffee!

And by the way, regular is: Large- 4 cream 4 sugar, Medium- 3 cream 3 sugar, Small- 2 cream 2 sugar. How hard is that? It should be universal.

Here's an example of me ordering at my local Dunkin Donuts (which is 45 mins away)

"Can I have a medium regular iced?"

"HUH?"

"Can I have a medium regular iced coffee?"

"Do you want cream or sugar in that?"

"Yes"

"Which one?"

"What? Both."

"You're kids are so cute, I have two daughters too. They're a little older than yours. The oldest will be in middle school next year, and we don't know what we're going to do....

**Now two cars in line behind me.

"We want to have another baby, but it was so hard for us to get pregnant with the youngest that we don't know if it will even be worth it. You know, it's so draining driving for all those appointments. And we're even older now than we were last time, so I'm sure it will take longer to conceive.

**NOW HAS MY COFFEE IN HAND

"With my oldest, it just took once, I came off the pill and she popped out nine months later. My sister-in-law has two boys. I love her boys, except she hasn't even started to potty train them yet. They are three and four years old now. Are your girls potty trained? I know I started with mine when they were 18 months old. OH, here's you're coffee. That will be $1.50."

**I hand here a $5. She gets my change, I stick my hand out the window.

"I didn't mean to offend you if your girls aren't trained yet, they are trained, aren't they?"

"The oldest one is"...Arm still waiting for change

"Yeah, some parents just don't get around to training until later and that's fine too. I worry with my sister-in-law though, because her kids can't even get into daycare and she's upset about it. Are your girls in daycare?"

"I'm really running late"

"Oh, sorry Sugar, here you go hon."

Now again, but in Massachusetts.

"Can I have a medium regular iced"

"That'll be $1.94 please pull up"

I'm sure we'd get along fine if we met somewhere, and I'm sorry about your problems, but believe me, I DON'T WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORY, I DON'T WANT TO HAVE ANY CONVERSATION, I JUST WANT MY COFFEE!! And I'm sorry if I seem rude, I'm from Boston.

And the same goes for my neighbors. If you need something, please knock on our door. If we can help you, we'd be glad to.

On the other hand, DO NOT knock on my door to remind me that trash goes out Friday, I know.

DO NOT knock to tell me you know the secret to parking your car in the snow so you'll be able to plow through a foot of it in the morning, I've seen forty inches of snow in less than a week, and you're going to have to tough up and shovel. Sure, you can try to plow over it, but you WILL get stuck. I'm not going to take you're advice because I did this every winter for many, many years.

Oh, and just one more:

DO NOT push us to be your friends the second time we meet you in said snow situation. You are old enough to be our parents, and if we do end up being friends, that's great. Pushing us to be your friends isn't going to work though, and it's not socially acceptable where we're from to invite strangers to family gatherings just to be nice. To a cookout in the summer? Maybe. To an intimate adult family gathering in your apartment with our kids being the only kids there? I think not.

I miss Boston.




Friday, March 04, 2005
Freaking hectic around here

As I've mentioned previously, Hero goes to fat PT. It usually lasts about an hour and a half, and he is home again to get ready for work by 7am. Usually in the fifty minutes that he is home, I wake up or he wakes me up. Today I didn't wake up.

I woke up at 8:30 to my girls jumping on me.

"YAY, they slept late" I thought.

I went out to the kitchen to make them breakfast, but instead of walking into my kitchen I walked into a catastrophic mess of water, fish food, toys, envelopes, pens, a pair of scissors, and the ice-cream scooper-thing. It seems they didn't get up late after all. Instead they dumped two things of food into my female guppy tank, colored on the kitchen table, and cut up a box of envelopes. I'm glad no one got hurt. I spent a good hour and a half cleaning the fish tank and another half hour cleaning the kitchen. And that was just how I woke up.

The Damage (besides the kitchen):

Today just sucked. Hero is--being the excellent husband he is--food shopping with the girls right now to give me a break. After bed-time we will be watching Hide and Seek (thanks to lovely LimeWire).

Oh, by the way:

Gangsta Bitch!
You're Gangsta Bitch Barbie. You're tough and you
like it rough, and of course you like to pop a
cap in any wiggers ass.

If You Were A Barbie, Which Messed Up Version Would You Be?
brought to you by

**Not a very good judge of charecter. I was expecting "Coolest-stay-at-home-mom-ever-barbie".**






Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Lets talk about sex.

Sex is not an everyday occurrence in this household. I'll admit, at lows I keep our 'stats' to at least twice a week so I don't feel like an old woman. I even keep them at twice a week when I don't feel like doing it. Or when I'm tired. Or when I have a headache. I feel it's my obligation to our once very, very active sex life to at least try.

This past week has been amazing. I think my sex drive shot through the roof. I feel like I'm in high school again. Once a day enough? Not this week. I crave it. I'm constantly ready. It creeps into my mind during the day, and I count hours down until bedtime. Call me a bad mom, but we even did it while the kids were watching a movie the other day. (SILENTLY ofcourse, and with the door locked, and no, they didn't even notice we were gone, and for about three minutes, but that's all either of us needed.)

I don't want this to ever end.

In other news, Hero gave up on his diet after what has been the worst four days of his life. He did lose five pounds! He is under his max. Weight. I didn't give up yet, and have lost ten pounds, but with the unfortunate side effect of getting really, really sick for a brief period of today. So I cheated and ate three delicious carb filled crackers to settle my stomach. I will resume disgusting diet tomorrow.




Where we've been

I thought this would be fun.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Also, we've lived in Vicenza, Italy. The girls and I visited Germany very shortly, Hero visited for a bit longer.




Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Crushes (my kids and more)

I have such a crush on Sky. She is the sweetest little thing.

When I do a major floor scrubbing (on hands and knees with bucket and sponge, tile by tile), I always put on a little-too-uncensored-a-little-too-loud music to keep me motivated the whole way through. Today my picks were AFI followed by New Found Glory. Sky comes into the kitchen from watching Elmo in Grouchland in the living room and says "Mama, dance with me!" and shakes her butt.

She is soooooooo freakin cute sometimes. How many other three year olds want to dance to AFI?

In other news, this disgusting diet is, well, disgusting. I have officially lost...

SEVEN pounds!! In three days! I guess I can't complain too much. Hero lost three pounds, so he is now at his maximum weight for Army standard. He starts fat-PT tomorrow.

Lastly, let us talk about my friend for a while. I have known J for about eight years, give or take. J has never been in a "relationship". She says she doesn't like guys, or girls for that matter, and just does the one night stand/one week fling for attention. Last week J started dating. She says she is not sure about how she feels, or whether she wants a relationship, but she's going with the flow right now. J isn't on birth control herself, and usually uses condoms. Today J called me asking how soon into pregnancy she would most likely start to have morning sickness........

J's not pregnant, but she WANTS TO BE!!

I think this is insane. I said

"Slow down, you just met him"

"Are you sure you want to get pregnant with all the medications you are on?"

"Are you sure you want to get pregnant with all the unperscribed medications you are on?"

"Are you sure you want to get pregnant with all the illegal drugs you take 'recreationally'?"

J said she didn't really know, but she wasn't going to use any protection because if G*d wanted her to become pregnant, she would become pregnant.

I think it's crazy. Any ideas on what to say to her? Anyone (besides conservative Catholics) feel like birth control isn't science that G*d intended us to use? Any other thoughts?




Stores!