Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The military (Reserve) wife

I read this on a military wives support board today:

Who is the military wife? The military wife is molded by sacrifice. She is a woman who loves her husband. A woman whose contribution to the military is never compensated and whose presence is rarely officially acknowledged. The military wife doesn't deal in hypothetical. She deals in realities. And the reality is that in most countries in the world, life is still about honor. In the military, questions of life and death are not rhetorical. They get answered every single day.

That was the last paragraph of a much longer tribute to the military wife and whenever I read these I think, what about the Reserve and Guard wives? Here's my tribute:

The military reserve wife doesn't know that much about the military and most of us don't care. We're lucky if we know our husband's unit, but we probably have no idea the difference between a battalion and a brigade. We don't choose a career to mold around his career. We don't know what PCS means or how to read an LES. We don't know to stop and put your hand over your heart when taps is played at the end of the day on base. We don't know to tip the bagger at the commissary. We don't know what the chain of command is. We don't know who to call in case of an emergency. We don't know how to use TriCare. We don't know what to do if we don't get paid by the Army. We don't know that spending a couple weeks away from your partner while their on business is NOTHING like a yearlong deployment, as most civilians don't realize.

And one day, your Reserve partner trades in the suit and tie for BDU's and an M16 for a year. You live hours away from a base or the other Reserve wives. You probably have kids, and a job. And you have to learn it all.

We do have more respect for the active duty wives. We do know that mil wives don't get the respect or recognition they deserve for raising kids alone and supporting a soldier. And we leave a piece of our hearts with the active Army when it's all said and done.

p.s. I'm screwing around on the blog because I'm putting off doing my taxes

Monday, March 27, 2006

Taming the tongue

Pyrrhic victory (PIR-ik VIK-tuh-ree) noun

A victory won at too great a cost

No. This is not about the Iraq war. This is about my tongue, my very own personal weapon of mass destruction. I've tamed it a little in the past few years, but my tongue has sliced through the hearts of those I love the most. I win the war by whittling down my opponents self-esteem to pink dust. A pyrrhic victory not ever worth it.

It hasn't happened lately because I keep these words swirling around in my head before I spit them out. Now those words flood through heated blood, swirling and baking in my anger and then return to my brain where they are transformed to eloquence and executed like gold medal winning quadruple axel on Olympic ice. So no one gets hurt. Except my brain of course.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Three years of war, ten months spent missing our soldier

...and 150 days left to go.

I started this blog to document our life while Terry is deployed to Iraq and the messages have strayed a bit because, well, no one, including me, wants to hear me pining away for my man everyday : )

But it's time to share this photo. It's from my friend who took some incredible pictures of us when we said goodbye last time. He was home on leave for two weeks. That was in Feb, but feels like a hundred years ago. This one always makes me catch my breath a little. Asher knows something is up and Gabey didn't really know what to do with his emotions that day I don't think. I went home and slept for four or five hours after that.

We saw him on web cam last night and he looked so good, but said he had a mission coming up. I hate hearing that, but I guess I want to know at the same time. He just looked so good and we all had a good time talking to him, made us remember what we miss the most about having daddy around; fun family times.

I'm missing him alot today on this, the third year anniversary of the war in Iraq.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Live blogging Gonzaga v. Indiana

There are three times that you will find me caring about sports; the Summer Olympics, World Series, and when Gonzaga enters March Madness.

The score is 52-46 Gonzaga and we're just into the second half. I'm so nervous. Oh, did I mention that I'm following on the link provided with this post since I don't have access to the game?

k, moving on.

52-48 Dammit JIM! This is so stressful! Terry couldn't even watch back in the day when we actually lived there, he couldn't handle the pressure.

TV Timeout. This live blogging thing is fun for me, is it for you? It must be a little strange since you can actually follow along with the professionals who know all the stats like, "The Bulldogs have never lost on a sunny day when Coach Few is wearing red socks..."

Whoo hoo. We're back and we scored! 54-48 Bulldogs baby...

58-51 Still GU. I'm getting stressed out here.

Indiana timeout.

I never played sports. But a couple of days ago a guy asked me if I ran track in high school. Three things ran through my mind as I paused that lifetime of a pause that actually only lasts a microsecond; Is he going to hit on me and say how great I look for having a kid, which I'll, of course, very coolly add that I also have a seven year old thinking he'll be even more impressed by my strategically hidden flaws, but he'll actually think I was a teen pregnancy case and he'll awkwardly walk away embarrased that he hit on a slut? Does he think I just graduated from high school? He's a lieutenant in the Army, what a perve!

Oh crap I'm falling behind, some free throws yadda yadda...we're still ahead 64-55. Whew.

Back to my story. Then he says, "I ask because your son took off pretty fast there" and chuckles. Asher ran away from my lunch date ( a woman people) while I was taking a call from Iraq. I see her dashing after him a little panicked and I'm laughing my butt off because he does this to me all the time. Asher thinks it's hilarious to see grown-ups panic. The officer had a toothy grin and looked a little old to be an Lt. ( I know these things because my husband's been in for, like 100 years. Ok 12. But it's cool to know this stuff. Hey we all need to feel smart!)

Indiana misses a freethrow, we rebound, time out. Still 64-55.

We're back and Morrison sinks one. It's 65-55. 7:43 left people...let's seal this deal!

72-60 5:31 left
74-63 Does anyone see that they're creeping up on us?
Indiana calls a timeout.

Ok, I need to finish my story. So the Lt walks away and I turn to my friend like, "WTF?" why did he even talk to us? I mean, don't men only talk to women when they want to hit on them or they know them, or both? Do you mean to tell me he just wanted to say something to us for no reason whatsoever? I don't know. It was just weird. It mostly bugged me that he asked about High School. Why didn't he ask if I ran track in college? Do I look THAT young? I don't think so. I mean it's good to look young but as my kids get older I just get -

74-69 Bulldogs

- people doing silent math after I tell them the ages of my kids. Ah well. Better a slut than an old hag I always say. Yup. That's my motto, put it on my tombstone.

Oh we're on timeout btw. Does this actually qualify as live blogging since I'm not actually watching? If a tree falls in the forest....?

GU is 28-3 entering this game and Indiana is 19-11. I'm assuming nothing about this game though. I met Mark Few a couple of times. Both in the gym. Once he shook my hand just a leeetle too long, youknowwhattamean? Nice guy though. I could tell by those two encounters where no more than five words were exchanged. My brush with fame. sigh.

2:47. Almost there...

I feel kinda bad for women's college bball. Does anyone watch that?

Derek Raivio missed Free Throw.
Derek Raivio made Free Throw.

How does that happen?

81-72 1:15. Whooo hhoooooo!


This is taking for-ever.

Count with me 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Bulldogs!

So what happens next? Well, we're either gonna play the Alabama Tide. Wow. They sound about as fiersome as the Syracuse Orangemen (who, btw used to be PINK.) Or, we'll face off with UCLA. Gulp.

Dammit, now I'm live blogging Tide v. Bruins. It's 58-60 Bruins and seconds from the end of the game. 59-60, lordy I wish I was watching this game it must be insane...59-61. So we're playing UCLA. Oh well. I believe in the Bulldogs!!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

A virtual picturecopia

See, even God thinks he's a jerk.

Gabe says piano is easier

They love each other. It warms my heart.

Me in happier days.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


I'm it, thanks to MaryAnn

Four jobs you have had in your life:
1. Pizza store cashier
2. Retail clerk
3. Radio station front desk girl
4. web content manager/marketing writer

Four movies you would watch over and over:
1. Pride and Prejudice
2. A Few Good Men
3. Anne of Green Gables
4. First Wives Club

Four places you have lived:
1. California
2. Washington
3. Pennsylvania
4. Oregon

Four TV shows you love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Desparate Housewives
3. Survivor
4. Project Runway

Four places you have been on vacation:
1. Disneyland
2. Reno
3. Lake Tahoe
4. Canada

Four websites I visit daily:
1. MSN homepage
2. At least one of my blog buddies
3. A celebrity gossip page. I know, I know, but it's right there on MSN, I can't help it.
4. ???

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Mexican Food
2. Godiva Key Lime Truffle
3. Poody snacks
4. A good filet and merlot

Four places I would rather be right now:
1. On a beach
2. With my family, Terry
3. Touring Europe
4. Disneyworld

Four friends I am tagging that I think will respond.....
Everyone linked to my blog

Oh and one more thing...

The latest results of my political beliefs put to test...
Looks like the end of the world as we know it. Don't tell my mom. She'll cry.

You are a

Social Liberal
(65% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(30% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid Free Online Dating
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


I'm standing a foot away from a watercolor version of Cezanne's bathers. I turn to my friend and say, "If one my kids painted that, I'd probably throw it away."

I appreciate art of all kinds. Well, let me be more specific, I appreciate the the mind of an artist. Someone who takes a word, a vision, a note, a piece of cloth and makes it come alive. It all takes talent that I can only meagerly relate to. And while it's subjective there's got to be a line somewhere that we all agree - is crap. And in American that line looks like the heart monitor readings of a schizophrenic crackhead. We're all over the place.

Yes, it shows how diverse we are but don't you think a lot of times we pretend to "get it" just because everyone else is? The emperor and all that? I think the gum that kid stuck on the $1.5 million painting looks better than the actual work of art. Mostly what I find to be mathematically impossible are the odds that millions of people will see the artist's vision in any piece of art.

Now I'm not saying Cezanne crap, but among the Cezanne in Provence works currently on display in DC the only painting I liked was the huge bathers oil on canvas one. (Those bathers impressed me because I couldn't believe those women had boobs so perfect back in the day, without Dr. 90210. Clearly they knew something we don't.) Let me repeat: it's good. I can barely draw a straight line so I'm not one to judge really, but my lack of emotion to the work reminded me of a trip I took to the Met in DC NYC where I wandered through the modern art section with a WTF look frozen on my face. The Father of Modern Art sure did spawn some simple and freaky minds.

Although, all the bad writing out there does give me maybe there is a purpose in crap art after all, to inspire attention whores pimping themselves out on a blog. Like me!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Donald would date his daughter

You may be knocked unconscious by plummeting Apprentice ratings...
Please, someone come up with the joke that I can't without being vulgar. I know it's out there somewhere. Jess Riley? Anyone?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Monique's Oscar highlights

The Oscars. I watched all 25 hours of the ego fest because, let's be honest, we all like to criticize celebs. It makes us feel better about ourselves to know that they may be filthy, stinking rich, gorgeous, and never have to scrub a toilet bowl, but us average Americans have something they don't - anonymity. I can piss off the clerk at the bank, cut someone off in traffic or go out in public having not showered for two days, wearing a baseball cap and a mumu and no one will think it acceptable to subject me to brutal truth like, "Hey MONIQUE. I loved you in [insert film here]. You look like crap!" But if anyone would like to pay me 25 million a year to be verbally abused, I accept.

Ok let's get started.

John Stewart.
I was nervous for John, I gotta say. His political humor would surely clash with Team-America-Is-Not-Funny George Clooney who was up for two awards. John did the best he could at making jabs at them without pissing them off, but it just wasn't as funny. His scripted jokes received barely a chuckle or golf clap, but his off the cuff quips were hilarious! Let me back up - the "Good Night and Good Luck. That's what George Clooney says to his dates the morning after" joke was pretty funny. I laughed out loud after the Hustle and Flow song, "It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" (Yup, folks, that's a title I would have predicted to win an Oscar) won: "For all of you keeping score. Martin Scorsese - 0. Three 6 Mafia - 1." Someone had to say it.

Reese Witherspoon
I love her. I want to adopt her, make her my new BFF, drink mochas, swap tips on how to outpower and outearn your husband without forcing him into the arms of the young, air-headed nanny to make him feel like a man again, (er, did I write that outloud?) and watch her re-enact Election. So, I was glad when she won. But I was holding my breath (along with her husband) to see if she would forget to thank him. (::Choking back tears:: They've been to marriage counseling you know. ) And she remembered. Sigh.

Charlize Theron - my friend said, "Charlize Theron looks mad." Pause. "At her dress." I couldn't have said it better. It looked like a Georgia O'Keeffe painting had sprung to life and implanted itself on her shoulder and she couldn't get it off in time for the show. Or she was thinking, "I knew I shouldn't have played ugly for an Oscar again. Stupid, stupid, stupid!!!" [Banging head on dress]


George Clooney - After reading a review of Syriana in the Post which read in part,

"The most pernicious element in the movie is the character at the moral
heart of the film: the beautiful, modest, caring, generous Pakistani who
becomes a beautiful, modest, caring, generous . . . suicide bomber. In his
final act, the Pure One, dressed in the purest white robes, takes
his explosives-laden little motorboat headfirst into his target. It
is a replay of the real-life boat that plunged into the USS Cole in
2000, killing 17 American sailors, except that in
the "Syriana" version, the target is another symbol of American imperialism in the
Persian Gulf: a newly opened liquefied natural gas terminal."

And summarized the op-ed with this chilling line, "Osama bin Laden could not have scripted this film with more conviction," I'm not into Sexiest Man in the World George. I guess having a soldier at war kinda jaded me against him. He won for best supporting anyway.

I want to grab George, pet his head and say, "Shhhhh, just stand there, make romantic comedies and look pretty. There now." Instead, lest he make an acceptance speech without a political overtone and throw the world into chaos, I get something like: "Yes, I know I am the enlightened one and I'm damn proud of it. We [the movies] have changed the world for the better."

And when he mentioned civil rights being one of the causes Hollywood championed when no one else would (I guess he forgot about MLK, nameless faceless students at sit-ins, and old women walking to work during the bus boycott) I couldn't help but think um, wasn't 2002 the year a black woman first won for leading actress? Yeah. Progressive. Yes, yes, Hattie McDaniel won a best supporting for Gone With the Wind, but she played a mammy in the slave south! It WAS 1939, and she was amazing (I actually love that movie) so that's pretty huge but talk about typecasting! (John Stewart made funny after a montage of clips from movies about the issues of their respective eras saying, "And there are no more problems in the world.") Ahmen.

I much preferred Crash's producer's thanks to all those who stand up for injustice when the cameras aren't rolling. I confess I did not see Syriana. I save my $10 for art that doesn't piss me off, but I did see Crash and that touched the same general issues of racism and intolerance that George rams downs our throats. Humility can also get you an Oscar, Clooney.
Crash - 3.
Clooney - 1.

And just to show that I have a sense of humor, the Dick Cheney joke topped my favorites too. "Bjork couldn't make the show because Dick Cheney shot her when she was trying on her dress."

Next year I hope to see Paul Giamatti, Selma Hayek just because she's freaking gorgeous (I'm an equal opportunity oogler), Kiera Knightly, Terrence Howard, and I'm sure Tom Hanks will be in there somewhere with Spielberg. Again. Could we just give them their lifetime achievement awards and call it a night?

I guess I should stop complaining and be content with Jamie Foxx not breaking into a Ray Charles song. And now that I'm all out of snarky comments, until next year, folks!

Saturday, March 04, 2006


Since this weekend is a wash due to perpetually sick children, this is what I have to hold on to until Terry gets home, because lord knows I won't get out again for another five months, give or take. I will be reliving last weekend......

My sister in law (SIL) was here, visiting from the Netherlands and recovering from taking the Bar exam (in the States). I was looking forward to having family around and chomping at the bit to get out and have some fun.

We prefunked at this place where you can get THE BEST Thai food, mixed drinks and a view in a hip and cozy atmosphere for about $30 and then we went to a popular Irish pub where two old men tried to charm us with their stories of 23-year old girlfriends and Navy days. SIL and I just accepted the free drinks and played along until they realized I was married and she wasn't interested. Apparently these guys thought they were an older, but just as hip, Sex and the City type. They weren't.

The Irish singer/guitar player made my night by telling some guys standing near me that he saw me in a Victoria's Secret catalogue, the point at which we needed to leave because it wasn't going to get any better than that. But it kinda did...

I mistook a woman for a gay man.

SIL broke the heart of a young Marine for whom we created a Sliding Doors scenario about the what ifs surrounding SIL's possible responses to his attention, all of which involved him dying of syphilis from either a broken heart or unmet expectations. I guess you would have to be there to get that one....

My tolerance level is rising. After one of these

a beer and one mixed drink, I was stone sober. Seriously. That's a bad thing right? Well, I guess it was spread out over six hours. But I let SIL think I was drunk to explain why I was videotaping her laughing her ass off on the loo.

My swimming lessons (yes, swimming LESSONS) were frustrating enough without my discovery later that evening. I could not master the underwater flip. Every time I bubbled up for air I was on my side and water was filling my ear and draining into my nose and mouth. I was determined to get it (the flip, not a brain) but ran out of time because we had to get to our overpriced facials at Aveda. After 75 minutes of having a stranger rub my face and extract blackheads I didn't know I had (all wonderfully relaxing of course) we ate underwhelming food at La Creperie and went home to relax for the evening out.

We met up with friends of hers in DC who took us to this new Italian place on U street. When snapping photos of each other, I discovered video. Of Me. On SIL's camera. Failing to perform the underwater flip. I holler and berate her to the annoyance of the snobby patrons while she fails to deliver a believable apology through her laughing. It's ok, someone wine spilled on her new shirt. Karma baby :) (Love you KO!)

Skipped church and slept in. SIL took Gabe too see a movie and Asher and I grocery shopped. Great weekend.

Earlier today:

The scene: A stretch of road, recently finished, that leads directly to my neighborhood. Once cops figure out that everyone goes about 20 over the 35 MPH speed limit, they'll be able to pay off the national deficit.

The crime: My car could swallow this sweet Corolla in front of me so, like a schoolyard bully, I ride it's butt, urging it on. "C'mon Dude! You're going like," I glance at the speedometer, "35." Oh.

The punishment: I have to pay my sitter an extra dime. Jerk Corolla.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Black actors who should be A lister's but aren't

This should liven things up. Hehehe.

I've noticed that those I'm going to list are people I've seen many times mostly in "black" movies. They've worked, we've seen them, but for some reason they don't get into movies that are mass marketed. I don't know much about Hollywood, but, in honor of the Academy Awards, these are the actors I would like to see in more major motion pictures. In no particular order...

1. Sanaa Lathan - Maybe you caught her in the recently released Something New. I had a civic duty to see it, being in an interracial relationship, and I was wary after watching Guess Who with one eye open and one finger on the stop (and destroy) button on my remote control. I love Bernie Mac, but if you've seen the original with Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, Guess Who is an embarrasing piece of crap. (OK, there were two funny moments. One being when they thought they were being audited when they saw the white guy.) Sanaa was also in Love and Basketball, one I loved that no one saw of course.

2. Jamie Foxx - Now, you're all going to say, "Hey he won an Oscar, it doesn't get more mass market than that!" I beg to differ. Oscars are awarded to the most obscure movies (or the blockbusters you can't ingore, like Titanic and Lord of the Rings) just so the enlightened ones can continue to feel enlightened and proclaim, "Oh my GAWWD. You didn't see blah blah blah?" Yes, he won an Oscar for pretending to be Ray Charles. And he's never stopped. He's incredible, versatile(Collateral) and yet all we see is Ray Freaking Charles. If he goes on Oprah one more time and sings, Georgia on my mind I'm going to throw a brick at the TV. I look forward to seeing him in Miami Vice, although I admit, I'm more looking forward to Colin Farrell, rrrraawwwwwrrrr.

3. Laurence Fishburne - (Matrix) He may play serious better than anything else due to his looks, but still he's amazing. We need to see him outside of the sinister/serious role.

4. Kerry Washington - Just gorgeous. Google her. And then watch her again in Ray. Lovely.

5. Golden Brooks - I love Girlfriends and I've seen her in other movies (Beauty Shop, Something New) and she's really good. She pulls off intelligent, urban, funny perfectly. And she's beautiful. What's not to like?

6. Terrence Howard - Nominated for an Oscar this year for a movie I'm not really interested in seeing, Hustle and Flow, but I CRIED my eyes out at Crash. What an amazing, gripping film. So, so good. And it doesn't hurt that he's easy on the eyes.

7.Cuba Gooding, Jr. - This is probably his fault for making movies that don't appeal to all of us (Snow Dogs, Boat Trip anyone?), but damn he was good in Jerry MacGuire, Men of Honor and stole scenes in Pearl Harbor. Hell, he was probably the ONLY thing some people liked about that movie. PLEASE someone cast him in a movie we can like, I mean, he's half the show, give us a good story.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Rabid dogs

Yeaaaaaahhhh! One of the Few *wink, wink* things I liked about being forced to transfer to GU to finsh my BA was their celebrated basketball team. I was always intimidated by the walking, talking Abercrombie ad students. Not. (And then I was introduced to the fervor of Syracuse Orangemen.) Whatever, this headline on MSN made me laugh...

Gonzaga Fans intimidate refs

"Jessie Evans, coach of San Francisco, complained Tuesday about the home court
advantage the Zags will have in this weekend's conference tournament. He also
complained that referees are intimidated by the raucous sellout crowds at

He thought the tournament should be held at a "neutral" site, which Evans defined as San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego, where six of the eight WCC teams are based."

You're in the Kennel, what the hell do you expect? What a sore loser...


Stress; does it ever go away?

What I read this morning over breakfast

One third of Iraqi war vets report distress

"Iraq veterans are far more likely to have witnessed people getting wounded or
killed, to have experienced combat, and to have had aggressive or suicidal
thoughts, the Army report said. Nearly twice as many of those returning from
Iraq reported having a mental health problem -- or were hospitalized for a
psychiatric disorder -- compared with troops returning from Afghanistan."

My thoughts: It's not that I want to take away from what other troops experience in other parts of the world, but you can't help the comparison. Those who live in Kuwait have a hell of a better life than those in Iraq. As Terry exclaimed when he was on his way home for leave, "They get to have SEX for god's sake!" (I had to laugh at that being the barometer for the difficulty of a tour).

"The war in Iraq has also set off a debate over how to define trauma itself, and whether it is appropriate to distinguish those who see combat firsthand from those who do not. The traditional definition of post-traumatic stress disorder, a diagnosis developed in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, involved directly experiencing or witnessing a horrifying event, but some experts are asking whether the constant fear of being killed in places such as Iraq might create problems both for people restricted to bases as well as for those who head outside."

My thoughts: Duh. There is a difference between a constant fear of death, nearly dying, and dying. Each deserves a diferrent response.

"There is no front line in Iraq," said Col. Charles W. Hoge of the division of psychiatry and neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, the lead author of the report published yesterday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Individuals who are patrolling the streets will be at higher risk of being involved in combat, but folks who are largely located at one base are also targets of mortar and artillery, and everyone in convoys is a target."

"Upwards of 80 to 85 percent of people serving there have witnessed or
been a part of a traumatic event, including engaging the enemy, killing people,
or friends or themselves being involved in IED attacks," he said, referring to
improvised explosive devices. "In Vietnam, there were safe areas where people
could go to rest and recuperate. That doesn't happen in Iraq; every place is a
war zone."

And this guy (Steve Robinson, who heads the National Gulf War Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that advocates for veterans) was talking about the Gulf War.

This is something Terry and I discuss often. He never feels "safe." I suppose he isn't. I can't wait until he comes home, but I wonder if in five, ten, twenty years, the memory of all this will be any less salient than it is now. If it is, will we pay less attention to our troops, or those home still suffering from the stress of that part of their lives?