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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Heads gotta roll

Call me an armchair overseas military planner, but I do believe something drastic had better happen in the Israeli military. They rested on their laurels and forgot how to be the amazingly effective fighting force that Israel still needs. Major housecleaning and redirection of energies is indicated. Someone is a lot more likely to call the next bluff, so it had better not be all bluff.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the ones that didn't get away

I've been too sluggish and too busy (not a great combination) to blog, even though I've had a few ideas for a change, and now I can't remember all of them. So here's what I can still dredge up:

--Braces are a whole different critter than when I had them. Elder Daughter is now sporting what I'd call tooth jewelry. It's delicate, rather pretty, and directs attention away from the crookedness of the underlying teeth. What I wore certainly merited the term "metal mouth".

--It is Not Good to start five days out of seven with the bone-deep knowledge that I shouldn't have to be awake yet. This is at the top of my gripes with the school year (my kids', that is). And of course, it is a terrible idea to get my night-owl insomniac teenage daughter out of bed at 6:35 a.m. -- which leaves barely enough time for her to make the bus.

I assure you that those ideas that have gone a-glimmering were more profound. Even.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Moment of Peace Dearly Bought

Is there any way to look at this Israeli-Lebanon ceasefire other than, "Hezbollah wins"? Or less succinctly: "Many Israelis and even more Lebanese died so Hezbollah could win"?

I hope to G-d we didn't pressure Israel into this. That would bode extremely ill for our own future in the war against Islamist jihadism.

I can find a silver lining or two. Israel now knows, though I hope its intelligence forces already knew, how sophisticated and well-prepared Hezbollah has become. The rest of the world knows it too. That's a mixed bag, but may eventually come in handy.

And maybe there's some complex and under-the-table way that this is preparation for some move by somebody against Iran or Syria. But I ain't betting on it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

reaping

Once a year, at least -- rarely, twice -- my daughters and I go to visit my parents and much other family in Los Angeles, CA. And every year, as our date of returning to Indiana bears down on us, I get to explain to one or both daughters just why my husband and I decided to leave Los Angeles and start our family so far away.

This year, my younger daughter's anguished questions focused on just why we didn't fully appreciate how weird and wrong it would seem to spend so little time in a place that feels so like home, full of family we love. She hasn't quite focused yet on the fact that every time we visit, it may be the last time my parents or aunts or uncles are there, or are healthy, or are able to enjoy our visit and their own lives.

I try to remember the reasons and the way we weighed them -- the way I weighed them. My husband had disliked southern CA from the moment he got there (seeking a major change of scene). I didn't see it as the best place to raise a family. Bloomington, IN sounded like it might be a better one. I'd lived away from my parents and the other L.A. relatives for much of my adult life up to that time. I was younger, all the relatives were younger, this part of our lives ws dimmer in the distance. My parents didn't have a slew of doctors they would have to live near, and we knew less about why they wouldn't be comfortable in Indiana -- not that I think we thought about that very much.

If I hadn't been willing to relocate, Paul and I might well have parted -- our bond was still tentative then. And of course, if anything -- even far less major events -- had been different, our children would have been conceived at different moments and they wouldn't be the same children....

It's still not right, even if I can't say (as if it would matter if I said) that I want the alternate never-leaving-L.A. future with all its implications.

two hands

On the one hand, it's frustrating and too bad that this last week of summer vacation, I'm too busy and too jet-lagged to enjoy sleeping late.

On the other hand, it's a good thing I have this last week to recover from jet lag before I have to resume getting up at a ridiculous hour.