Monday, December 31, 2007

Hot Damn!

Know the fireworks that make the big booms? The ones you see at 4th of July celebrations or some New Year's celebrations? The ones that the "pros" get to light? Everyday, normal folks got their hands on them here. We're booming all over the place. It started to snow so there was a bit of fog, but then it lifted and we could see all sorts of fireworks going off. There are also quite a few going off in our backyard. My grandmother said that she liked the fireworks that looked like a spider plant - long tendrils. We have those here. People in the apartments are shooting them off from their apartments! Our apartment smells like smoke and every so often, is illuminated in red, green, or white. If I was a bird, tonight I'd be walking.

Happy New Year Dear Reader!

I'm totally stealing this from Logtar, whom I've never met and just recently started reading. (I figure if you make it to a blogger happy hour, you're good people and I should check out your blog.)

Name 2 things you would like to accomplish in 2008.

Only two? Sheesh. I want to take better photos. So I need to learn patience so I can learn to take better photos!

I would like to be able to find another job where I feel successful - that doesn't mean make a lot of money, that means being good at what I'm doing and enjoying it.

With which cartoon character do you share personality traits?

Garfield - I like naps and hate Mondays (well, not at present) and maybe Space Ghost - sometimes I say off-the-wall things.

What time of day (or night) were you born?

Uh, Auntie Em, Sister, when was I born? I was thinking it was 11:34 am, but I'm not sure.

Main Course
Tell us something special about your hometown.

They have a wonderful trail system so if you're a bike-rider or Roller-blader, you can see a lot of nature and get some exercise.

If you could receive a letter from anyone in the world, who would you want to get one from?

First thought was my mother. Almost 14 years she's been gone, though some days it doesn't feel like it was so long ago.


What is your favorite household appliance?

I currently don't have a dishwasher. I would love to have one right now.

Happy 2008 Dear Reader! Assuming the fireworks and the earthquakes don't get us, look for more scribblings from Sarajevo in the New Year!

A Definite First

Watching The Incredibles. I'm sitting on one couch; Wiley's on the other. All of a sudden, we both start shaking, like a Sumo wrestler is walking across the room. I think that maybe there was a firecracker/M80 that exploded too close to the apartment, or the people we share a wall with are moving something, or perhaps drilling into the floor, but I have to admit that they'd have to be using a Bobcat to get the shaking we experienced.

So, we're convinced we just experienced our first earthquake. Bosnia, in the last 100 years, has had 1000 significant earthquakes - that is, those that could be felt. Sarajevo doesn't seem to be an area of high activity, though we are in the mountains. Back in 1969, an earthquake destroyed Banja (Ban-yah) Luka (I think you get that one), which is a couple hours away.

What an interesting way to end the year.

The Grocery Store

I go to the grocery store to get money from the ATM to pay rent tomorrow. Surprise, the ATM is off-line. So I leave the grocery store and go to the little grocery store to get some milk and OJ. I whip out my card and think everything is going ok, and then they ask for my ID, which I forgot to get out of Wiley's wallet. I don't always carry my wallet, so he puts my ID in his because he always carries his. When I realize they want my ID, I pull out every other card I own that has my name on it - my Hertz card, even my voter ID registration, and I point to all of these things that have my signature on them and tell them the signatures are the same. Not that they can understand me - nobody spoke English and of course, my Bosnian is verrryyy limited. By this time, patrons are lining up and everyone is looking at my cards. In the end, they wrote down my credit card number on the receipt and stuffed it away. Wiley hadn't yet gotten on the tram to go to the post office, so I met him and got my ID, and then I went back and showed them that I was who I said I was. The checker laughed it off, basically saying I didn't have to do that (I think, but who really knows?), but it made me feel better.

Being the paranoid person that I am, I will be checking my card online every single day to make sure it's not being used by someone else. While I know who the checker is - she checks us out every time we go to the little store - I don't know the 20 year-old who told her to write down my number, nor do I know the little old lady or the man behind her checking out my stuff.


I WON MY FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE! Woo hoo!!! I had to really shake things up this week, as my QB, Benny from the Steelers, was out. He'd done very well, but with that darned ankle, he sat out so he could play in the postseason game. So I grabbed Tod Collins, who gave me almost 9 points. I was livid yesterday when I got up because my defense not only didn't score me any points, but took some away! Below are my horses and how they fared. The highlight of my horses? Not that Tomlinson. It was my tight-end, Crumpler. He'd done nothing for me all season, but when the chips were down and I needed to win, he stepped up. Good job, dude.

Obese Delinquents (0)
PosPlayerGame StatusOppFanPts
QBT.Collins WASFinalDAL8.78
22 Comp, 9 Inc, 3 Sckd, 244 Pyds, 2 Rshs, -2 Rshyds, 1 TDs...
WRC.Johnson CINFinal@MIA21.00
1 Rshs, 9 Rshyds, 4 Recs, 131 Recyds, 2 TDs
WRS.Moss WASFinalDAL15.75
8 Recs, 115 Recyds, 1 TDs, 12 Retyds
RBL.Tomlinson SDFinal@OAK9.65
16 Rshs, 56 Rshyds, 1 Recs, 7 Recyds, 1 TDs
RBC.Portis WASFinalDAL18.55
25 Rshs, 104 Rshyds, 4 Recs, 27 Recyds, 2 TDs, 1 Fmb, 1 Lst
TEA.Crumpler ATLFinalSEA16.85
3 Recs, 67 Recyds, 2 TDs
W/TT.Holt STLFinal@ARI8.15
7 Recs, 93 Recyds
W/RC.Taylor MINFinal@DEN2.10
10 Rshs, 83 Rshyds, 3 Recs, 9 Recyds, 2 Fmb, 2 Lst
KN.Kaeding SDFinal@OAK14.00
1 FGG29, 2 FGG39, 3 XPG
98 Retyds, 1 Scks, 1 Int, 35 PtsAllw

Repeat after me: I'm #1!! *does a victory dance*

The funny thing is, I don't really care for football. I'm not a sports person by nature. But my competitive streak is alive and well. And I won!!!

What a GLORIOUS Monday for once!

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Since we're seven hours ahead of the States, we heard about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto just after 5 pm. I can't say I'm surprised - after all, she didn't have a Pope-mobile, and she was a target ever since she returned to Pakistan. But it was surprising that they got to her so soon (who "they" are remains to be seen - I've seen lots o' talk saying al-Queda, Bushies, Musharraf). And it's very sad and unfortunate - there are a lot of problems already in Pakistan - ungovernable mountains, unstable leadership, a possible civil war on the horizon. Normally I try to stay informed on the sidelines, but Dan at Gone Mild posted a blogger background on Pakistan, and for the one or two readers that I have, I thought I should pass it on so people can be more informed. Digby has a nice little post here. And Juan Cole, president of the Global Americana Institute, posts at Informed Comment, which is a blog on the Middle East, history and religion. Not only has he posted on Bhutto, but he gives us a view of what's going on in Pakistan (riots, the cities shutting down), as well as recently commenting on Mike Huckabee's really dumb comments on Pakistan and foreign policy.

Get informed and educated, America. You have the tools. Be ready you must when the time comes to vote.

Enough Already!

You really would think that a city that was under siege for 3 years wouldn't care for the sound of anything sounding like a mortar being shot or a gun being fired. Why people shoot fireworks off here - that go boom very loudly - for Ramadan, for Christmas, and no doubt, for New Year's, is beyond me.

Some Things I've Learned in 2007

I totally copy Spyder because she's my hero. She copies Zhu because she's her hero. Somebody copy me because I want to be your hero.

1. When you try to be funny, you usually aren't. Hence, blog-writing sometimes is a tough thing to do because the main point of my blog is to inform as well as entertain.

2. I can leave the comforts of the US and survive in a foreign country.

3. With a few modifications, I can even cook and bake in said foreign country.

4. Change is a constant process, especially within, and it's easy to get stuck or go back to your old ways that were destructive.

5. I've learned to accept people for what they are willing to give of themselves. I found stronger friendships with some people, and less strong friendships than I would've liked with others, but I've let it go and continue to nurture the friendships that are mutual.

6. I learned how to crochet some damned-neat stuff.

7. Wiley and I can live together and we both really enjoy it. Sure as hell beats being in a long-distance relationship for 2.5 years.

8. I can kill houseplants in a matter of days. Flowers, I can keep alive, so long as they're not attached to plants. Outside, flowers and plants are fine. But give me a plant and hope it sticks around awhile, and you're just wishing against destiny.

9. I forgot a lot more than I thought I did. Back at work, there was some training we took that said you forget a lot of shyt in a matter of weeks...of course, now I don't remember, but I think it was something like you forget 75% of what you've learned 3 weeks later. So imagine my surprise when I crack open my GRE book and look at the math section. Factorials? Oh, yeah, I knew about those a long time ago, but I seriously haven't thought about them since 10th grade.

10. I can survive without my cats, but I miss them everyday.

11. When one doesn't own a car, one finds other means of transportation, which usually means walking, and when it's not freezing-your-cajones-off-cold, it's actually pleasant.

12. I really, really, really like the sun and water. Sharks be damned.

To those of you meeting up tonight, have a good one!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Good Things

Name three good things you did today.

1. I went jogging.

2. I booked a photographer for my wedding.

3. I put a smile on my aunt's face by giving her a unique Christmas gift that arrived yesterday.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


While I was reaching for bread, I knocked over a bowl of clementines and the bowl crashed on the floor. And broke into two large pieces and many small pieces. Even if I could glue it back together, I wouldn't even know if super glue was available here. So it got tossed.

Some trams have been nearly empty going into town today. Almost makes me want to go outside in the cold and foggy day. But not quite.

Instead, I've started making the wedding favors. I figure now is when I have the time, so I might as well get as much done as possible.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Not McLovin' It

Today: get on somewhat empty tram, go to police station. Have copies in hand and fill out form. Bureaucrat says, "You need to make this an official document. Go to municipality."

Get back on more crowded tram to go home, get original, and go down the street to have some lady stamp our papers and have help from a man behind us who thinks we don't understand what's being said to us. Has anyone over here ever heard of WAITING IN LINE BEHIND THE LINE ON THE FLOOR instead of crowding around the window? 'Cuz it's been three months and still I'm looking for the pieces of own private bubble that has been shattered numerous times.

So, get back on a REALLY crowded tram and get off at the police station. Bureaucrat #2 says we need documentation this time proving our landlord really is our landlord. "But if it is easier on you, he can bring all your paperwork with him." Right, like I'm going to hand over my passport to a practical stranger. I think not.

Get on yet another tram and while I fume, we head out to a bridal salon. There are approximately six dresses on mannequins that are all way smaller than me. The store owner doesn't speak one ounce of English, so poor Wiley is stuck in the middle translating. Uneasiness abounds. The lady told me since I'm practically a midget, I should stick to A-line/princess cuts. Well, that narrows down the choices.

After that experience, we tried a turkey kebap, which was fine, then found a DVD/computer games/CD shop. We now own an unofficial copy of Superbad. This is a nice end to a rotten day. My big glass of Bailey's should help.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Wonderful Dubrovnik

Wiley and I took a spur of the moment trip to Dubrovnik last weekend. The weather forecast looked good, so off we went. We got to the bus station at 6:30 (because bus is the usual way to travel here) for a 7:15 departure, and after an hour and 15 minutes of waiting in the freezing-my-toes-off cold, the bus finally arrived. The driver said the battery had died and he’d spent all this time charging it up. After another hour on the bus, I could finally wiggle my toes without pain. We called the Begovic Boarding House where we were staying and told them we’d be late and settled in for the ride. About an hour out of Sarajevo, we turned a corner and all of a sudden, sunlight hit us and stayed with us for the entire ride.

And what a ride it was! The scenery was beautiful. Our Lonely Planet book said the view was nicer from the train and that the bus ride was less than great, but I really enjoyed the scenery. I always wondered why people had lots of clementines whenever we walked around. Then I saw the groves of clementine trees. Thousands of them! And lemon and orange too! Not long after spotting those, we saw the Adriatic. All I can say is wow. What a glorious sight.

We arrived on time in Dubrovnik, and our driver was waiting for us. When we told him where we were from, he said, “Kansas City is where they had that big chemical explosion last year.” It seems KC makes international news at times. We were shown our apartment, which had one bedroom and a twin bed in the kitchen. Unfortunately, there was no ventilation, so we had to heat each room with the single space heater provided us, and the first night, I was mighty cold. But the apartment was very nice and inexpensive to stay. It’s in a little area called Lapad, which is about 2 miles or so from the old part of Dubrovnik. We walked down to the beach, watched the sun set on the Adriatic, and then headed to a place called Atlantic for dinner.

Dubrovnik is a happening place in the summer. Party, party, party, but in the winter, it’s much quieter. We had the entire restaurant to ourselves for about an hour, and then another couple came in and sat in a different part of the restaurant, so then we had half a restaurant to ourselves. They served great Italian. We actually went there for dinner Saturday night as well.

On Saturday, we went to the old part of Dubrovnik and walked around the walled city. There were lots of shops, places to drink coffee, and a lot of washed stone. I don’t know why, but it seems that every place that has stone streets feels a need to wash them. We had coffee and tea and then walked along the top of the city walls. Talk about neat! The entire old city was laid out before us. Afterward, we stopped at a restaurant right next to the harbor and I had some cheese and olive oil with bread while Wiley had all sorts of crustaceans in rice. He said it was delicious, but to me it looked like rice with ketchup and bad-smelling crustaceans. But then again, I don’t like seafood. At night, we returned to take some pictures since the stone walls were outlined like the Plaza for Christmas. The shots didn’t turn out very well, but it was nice to see.

On Sunday, we took a two hour ferry to an island called Mljet (that’s Mil-yet to you, but really there’s no “I” in between the M and the L), where we walked around the national forest and questioned our sanity while listening to absolute silence. There are two lakes in the national park, known as Greater and Lesser Lake (and no, I’m not kidding). In the middle of Greater Lake is an island with a 12th century monastery on it that you can visit. Of course, being “winter”, no one’s there, so we could only gaze at it. We had lunch at a little restaurant where again we were served cheese with olive oil and bread. I didn’t like this cheese as much, but what was fun was the myriad cats running around. I saw one, and then it would run off, and I’d see another, and it would run off. When we were served our food, not less than 6 cats surrounded our table. Two of them were so small – very petite and under 6 pounds, like my little Dixie, but even smaller. And they weren’t kittens. I was tempted to take them back with me, but Mljet is a nice place for them to live. The temperatures are very mild; not like in Sarajevo. When we got back to Dubrovnik, it was dinnertime, so we had dinner inside the city walls at Mea Culpa, the best pizza place in town. It was very good, and our waiter looked like one of Wiley’s friends.

We left Monday morning to come back to Sarajevo, and the city must’ve been sad to see us go because the sun hid behind clouds all day. I know I was incredibly sad to leave, so I’m scheming to get a vacation home along the coast somewhere before prices get even more outrageous. Anyone interested in going in with me?

So that was our trip, and now we’re back, and you can view some of the pictures here. I took over 700. There’s no way I’m uploading all of them!

Sretan (Sray-tahn) Bozic (Bo, like Bo Duke, z as in “pleasure”, and itch), which means Merry Christmas!

Fantasy Football Highrollers, Listen Up

So, last week, Brian Westbrook of the Philadelphia Eagles smartly held onto the ball and let the clock run out, effectively keeping the ball from Dallas. Good news for the Eagles. Bad news for gamblers.

Wiley reads The Sportsguy on, who said that he's got a friend who's a high-roller, and is in a FF league that costs $100,000 to join.

My head whipped around so quickly that I now have pain.

Exsqueeze me? ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS TO JOIN A FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE? You've got to be kidding me. Seriously??? This ain't right.

Highrollers, let me make this request of you. If you have nothing better to do than to join a FF league for $100,000, how about you give me your money and I will spend it very wisely? I would like to get a graduate edumacation, and as you well know, edumacation these days is much pricier than it used to be. If there's anything left over from said edumacation, then I would use that money to buy a home. Or, I could give some of that money to Sarajevo, who could use it to build more than 2 km of road each year. Please, I implore you, it's time to let somebody else be in charge of your money, because you spend it stupidly.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Upcoming Review of Weekend

Wiley and I went to Dubrovnik for the weekend. I need time to formulate everything so I tell it just right, and I have to upload the pictures. I took well over 700, but don't worry, I'll only post the best ones. Let me just say this: if I ever own a vacation home, or vacation apartment, it will be here.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What a Role Model!

Apparently the little sister of Britney Spears wants to be more in the spotlight, too. The star of Zoey 101, a Nickelodeon show, is pregnant. 12 weeks. By her 18-year old boyfriend.

And she's 16.

Look, kids are going to do what they're going to do, and hopefully they're counseled on at least knowing how to wrap the salami, but for crying out loud, if you are a child star and kids look up to you, perhaps getting knocked up at 16 isn't the best thing.

Then again, this is a Spears, and with her big sister as a role model, should we expect any better from this one?

Monday, December 17, 2007

This Week's Fun

This week, we will be making our way to the police station again to renew our residency permits. There's just one small snag: we don't have stamps from the Bosnians proving we got into the country. Clearly, we did, but apparently on the overnight buses, they don't see a need to stamp your passport. We have stamps from Croatia and Slovenia, so hopefully that will suffice; if not, we'll be taking a quickie trip to Dubrovnik to get our stamps before the end of the month!

The weather is clear today - no snow - but of course, it's wet. And cold. And I'm still in shorts.


I've done a bad job of keeping up with the blogs I read. With my internet cutting in and out last week, I didn't do much of anything online. So Spyder nudged me to her site and lo and behold, she's given me a Citizen of the World award! Originally, it comes from Zhu from the My New Life in Canada blog, and this is the post talking about it. My award goes to our friend who's currently in Romania. I can't find his blog - Hey, Romanian Man, if you're reading this, help me out!

The Eyes Have It

The other day, I noticed these tiny little wrinkles under my eyes. I remember when I first saw them on a friend of mine about six years ago. I thought, I hope I don't get those, and how do I stop them from appearing?

Normally I don't give much thought to wrinkles and fine lines. But in light of upcoming nuptials and meeting people for the first time, I thought perhaps I should try to impede their deepening crevices. So I went online and looked at eye creams. is the first site I usually go to because I like their workout ideas, and while I was looking around, I found a site for this creme called Deception. It was endorsed by Oprah, and as the world knows, once you've been touched by Oprah, you're set for life. No use doing any of your own research; just believe some talk-show host who's a little full of herself. So I look at it and the ingredients, and see that emu oil is listed. Emu oil??? While I am not a vegetarian, or a vegan, I'm not sure I want to try emu oil, though I have to admit that the testimonials were pretty convincing. I move on and try to find some other creams, and now my head is spinning. So Dear Reader, if you have any eye creams that you think have worked wonders for those little crows' feet and lines, I'm all eyes. Do tell.

Then I decided to look at makeup tricks, specifically for the eyes. I like my eyes. I think they're pretty. But I think I could dress them up more, especially for a shindig. And anytime I look for makeup tricks for the eyes, I'm always looking at someone's eye and brow that look nothing like mine. My eyebrows are really far away from my eye - we're talking about an inch away from my eye. Most others' that are teaching you tricks are maybe 1/4 of an inch from their eye. It's easy to make eyes look dramatic when you don't have that much skin to cover. Where are the faces that look like mine? Bah.

Now I'm going back to Facebook to play TV trivia and get myself more points.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Here Birdy Birdy Birdy

Well, we're trying it again, if not a little early. Wiley and I went to Mercator on Thursday to get some groceries, and we found a real, honest-to-goodness turkey breast - 4 pounds. It was frozen stiff. After two days, it's finally thawed out enough that we can attempt to roast it. I'm really wishing we had one of those turkey bags...those work great, and no basting required.

Last night we went out for Indian with some friends, and it was so, so tasty. I have enough left over for lunch. It's been a little jewel for us - it's a popular place for take-out, but not a lot actually stay in and eat. It was us and another table last night, which is just fine with me! Afterward, we went out for cake. My cake was ok, but it had that darned marmalade in it. Marmalade's ok, but I'm not sure I like it with my chocolate cake. But my friends got the Havana cake. I don't know what's in it other than whipped cream and cinnamon, but that's the next cake I'll get. We even got a dollop of hazlenut ice cream.

It's colder here now. Currently, it's snowing. Again. This time, it snowed and I didn't have to go to the doctor like all the other times it's snowed. I only had to go out last night to the Indian joint, but we walked very very quickly. You see, the wind howls here. Our friends told us it was -5 Celsius last night. In other words, damn cold. Had I known it was going to be that cold, I would've worn my hat. Live and learn. And in the apartment, I can wear shorts.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cut Off

One thing I've absolutely hated about yesterday and today is how fickle my internet connection has been. So I'm going to make this entry short and sweet.

One thing I love about living over here is the fact that I get really crisp granny smith apples. They are sooooo tasty, and bigger than they are at home. It also seems that apples are now in season. Today, we saw two men carrying two large bags apiece of apples...not granny smiths, though.

Another thing I love love love about living here is the fact that they don't really have commercials that I can understand. So I don't see any "You must get this to be cool" or "You have to do that to feel good about yourself". I just flipped through the channels, and stopped on MTV, where I saw a video of Mariah Carey blingin' it with Snoop Dogg. The woman is a whore, plain and simple. She's hardly dressed, she got new twins from the looks of it (trust me when I tell you I could see the entire left one without the nipple), and she's wiggling around in front of the camera. I am sooooooooooooo glad I don't have to deal with Hollywood and "the glam". Sure, there are idols here, but I don't know who they are, so it doesn't matter. Their endorsements mean nothing to me!

This is one thing I hope to remember every single day when I'm back in the States. Like Grandpa, I will mute the commercials. They're bad for you.

Missing Home

My sister sent me some pictures of Lil B's trip to Hartman Reserve, which is a nice place to be outside, among the leaves, trees and cardinals. I remember going there a lot when I was a kid. Looking at all those sixth-graders, and my niece, made me miss home. It's been fun living abroad, and especially fun living with Wiley, and home is where you are, blah blah blah, but it's not home. People don't wear sweatshirts here. We don't have clean air here, or fluoridated water. We don't have ice storms and idiot drivers of the same caliber here. It's the little things you notice and miss the most.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Every so often, I look for a flight home when it's time to go, since I came on a one-way ticket. Today's flight took me from Munich to Memphis in the middle of May. The first time at the site, I went with a roundtrip ticket. Total price: $808.00. Then, just for giggles, I clicked on one-way. The price for the same flight? $4200.00. What a ripoff!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bakin Business

More packages arrived, and with them, good ol' American goodness: Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Goldfish, Reece's PB trees, even some Doritos! I also got cream of tartar and baking powder. So, once I got my baking ingredients, I set to work. As you can see, I made mini sugar cookies. The first batch that came out of the oven were pretty good, though burned a bit on the bottom. The next two sheets' full were complete bummers, as I broke over half of them getting them off the not-quite-a-cookie-sheet. Then I realized that flouring the sheet would be a good idea, so the last batch came out quite well. I wasn't able to find food coloring, so all the cookies were iced white with little balls on top. After all, sugar is sugar and the tastebuds don't care what the sugar looks like.

In addition to these, I made carrot cupcakes, which turned out pretty well, though just a bit flat. I winged the cream cheese icing, but Wiley didn't complain, and he's still alive, so I must've done all right.

I've also been decorating the apartment. While not exactly construction paper, it does the job and the apartment is festive. Now, time to watch The Grinch!

Saturday, December 8, 2007


How is it possible that I feel crunched for time when I have hardly anything to do but plan a small wedding that's not taking place for at least another 10 months?

I blame The Knot. I just get engaged, sign up on the site so I can start looking at wedding dresses, and already, I have a list of 180 things to do, and 17 of them are overdue. And some of them, I might add, are completely ridiculous.

But what has me up in arms at this present time is that when I clicked on the photo gallery of bridal hairstyles, all of these brides have something in common with each other that they don't share with me: they all have long hair.

Is it a sin to be a bride with short hair? Could you be just a little less homogenized and give me some pictures with short-haired brides, please, Knot? Sheesh.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

This pretty much sums up what I think about American politics

I used to read Tom Friedman all of the time, and I even gave a copy of the book to my Dad and assigned almost the whole thing in one of my classes, but I've gotten away from reading him because it just gets me irritated that he's been saying the same things for years and no progress has been made on solving any of the big problems our country faces. His opinion article in today's New York Times pretty much sum up my feelings.

After 9/11 I remember hoping that the energy and unity that resulted from the attacks would be used to break the deadlock and go about solving the big problems facing our country and not spent engaging in knee jerk reactions to the attacks. At the time, I was just worried that we would get bogged down in Afghanistan. I couldn't have fathomed that we'd be sinking a trillion dollars, all of our international goodwill (not to mention the tremendous human cost) into Iraq. Instead of uniting the country behind energy and international policies that could have dramatically improved the future of the US in world politics and the world economy, we've used up the Army and Marine Corps, spent the surplus and then some, and turned our backs on the values that make the US a place that the whole world (still) admires.

Instead, we have a political climate defined entirely by that horrible sickness in our stomachs that we all felt when we saw those towers fall. I don't only blame the Neanderthal Republicans, because there has been no real alternative from the Democrats. No one of any standing has stood up like Huckabee did to Romney at the debate and said "We are better than this." There are real enemies out there (like Saddam and certain members of the Iranian government); but our best weapons are not bullets and bombs. The best we can do is to actually behave better than they do.... to lead the world by our own example instead of wasting our waning power to use force to get what we want.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Does anybody else ever have the lyrics to "Ring of Fire" going through their heads when they eat something spicy?

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down,down,down
and the flames went higher.
And it burns,burns,burns
the ring of fire
the ring of fire.

Noses are Not for Me

Went to the doctor. This time, instead of a long silver tube stuck up my nose, he stuck in a huge Q-tip-type sponge into each nostril to figure out how bad my septum is deviated. He told me surgery would give me the ability to take in 20% more oxygen. "Very important if you're pregnant," he told me. But it looks like if I don't fix it, I'm going to have this stuffy problem the entire time I'm here. Advantages to fixing it here: cheap - maybe $450. I'd need 10 days off work - not a problem since I'm not working. Disadvantage: I don't have a problem in the US, so if I fix it here, who's to say I won't screw it up when I'm home?

This feels like a Monday.

Really Pissed.

Why must everything be so difficult in this country??????? Wiley took a Christmas package to be mailed to the post office, and we can't send over silver or gold. I have some jewels to send abroad, and I have no idea if they're made of silver or stainless steel. The post office informed Wiley that not only do we get the privilege of having them open our carefully wrapped package and root through our gifts, but we also have to pay for it, and if they open up our stuff and determine that it is indeed silver, then THEY JUST TAKE IT!!!!! Are you kidding me??????????

Vienna Pictures

As promised, we've uploaded the pictures from Vienna. Melinda did a wonderful job and we have tons of great pictures. This picture is the view from the horse drawn carriage where I proposed. You can see the rest of the pictures here.

Monday, December 3, 2007


More on Vienna to come when I've gone through the pictures, but imagine a chilly, windy night. Wiley and I walk around the center of Vienna, taking in the stores and the lights, killing time. Finally, when it's dark enough, we approach a fiaker (fee-ah-ker), otherwise known as the guy who drives the horse-drawn carriage. We hop into a carriage that has a bit of a hood on it (good thing, since it was quite chilly), and the two white horses gallop into action. We see the Jewish museum, three of the many places Mozart lived, the Hofburg, city hall from a distance all lit up, the glockenspiel, and lots of buildings. And as we viewed the sights, Wiley asked me to marry him.

Do you think I said yes?

Well, I did. And just as I said I would, my nose started running, so I gave him an abbreviated kiss so I could take care of it and really kiss him. Damn noses. No plans as of yet...maybe get married in Sarajevo, maybe wait until we're back on US idea what will happen. But what a romantic evening!