Freaking Out

I have a paper due this weekend, or Monday, whichever. It’s supposed to be twenty pages. It’s eight. I could make it twenty pages. I’ve done the hard part. But I’m not working on it. I’m freaking out about it.

“I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it. It’s too hard.”

What the heck?

Update on Current Situation

R is really missing E. He said it’s probably about control, but he is thinking about him more now that he’s gone than he did when he was here. Of course, when he was home if he thought about him they were interacting and they’d be debating politics or religion. Now he can’t talk to him, so the thoughts continue.

He’s a bit frustrated. He keeps telling me to call him and check on him, since he knows I want to. (Projection anyone?)

I do need to call him and find out if he paid for school because he has to pay at the cashier’s today if he can’t pay online. Guess I better do that. (Did I wait till Ron was gone to figure that out?)


A student asked about a racially charged question and I noted that the student was black in order to avoid charges of racism. It was the student’s race he was talking about. However, an editor asked me to take it out because referring to him by race was jarring since I didn’t refer to anyone else by race. Yes. I will. But I did it because I didn’t want to be jarring in another way. Oh well.

One way or another we’re going to get you.

The editor also didn’t like my citations because they didn’t have the URL. URL’s are no longer required by MLA. That’s why I took them out.

I really have other things I need to be doing rather than getting frustrated with this.

What’s Been Going On?

Mom went into the hospital Thursday and had two units of blood transfused.

I spent the night there Friday night.

Dad had a ministroke Friday morning while I was with him for Elijah’s birthday.

Mom had another transfusion Saturday.

I spent the night there Sunday night.

Then Monday I went to lunch with Edward from ACU and fb. We talked about our jobs and kids.

After lunch, I went home and Elijah and I headed for Austin for advising, orientation, and registration.

Quote for the Year

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” -Christopher Morley

From Katie, via Facebook.

Government involvement: a different picture

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

I then took a shower in the clean water provided by a municipal water utility.

After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC-regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like, using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

I watched this while eating my breakfast of U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time, as regulated by the U.S. Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration-approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank.

On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and Fire Marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

And then I log on to the internet — which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration — and post on and Fox News forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right.

from Curmudgeon

While I do think the government does some things well, we have seen what happens with socialist medicine. We have seen what happens with socialized businesses.

I am opposed to those EVEN IF the government could do a good job with them. I think that the private sector does better. Look at charter schools versus public schools, if you disagree.

These are the things we should remember.

Taken entirely from Blackfive
From Gold Star Dad, Robert Stokely, on an anniversary:

August 8, 2005 at 11:30 a.m. I received a call from Mike and we talked for 30 minutes or so. He was due home September 1 for leave and we talked about that, but then the talked turned to how dangerous it was in the Triangle of Death and the near misses he had, including one that day. Mike was killed by a road side bomb a week later and I never got to talk to him again. Each year on August 8 since, at 11:30 I stop what I am doing and I remember that call and what I shared with Mike in those last 30 minutes of conversation.

And I remembered today, August 8 at 11:30 a.m. while I was at the post office mailing one of Mike’s best growing up / high school friends, SGT Charles “Chuck” Crowder, a package. When he called a few weeks ago from Afghanistan I asked if there was something I could send him, he said he wanted a white Georgia Bulldog ball cap – he had left his back home. Georgia Bulldog Head Coach Mark Richt autographed two for him. I figured in Afghanistan a white hat doesn’t have a great chance of staying white long, so he can keep one put up for a keepsake. I wouldn’t know Chuck but for Mike and Mike’s death has brought us much closer, and he is not afraid to tell me he loves me. And it is the same with their mutual “best friend” Alden Williams who took the last known picture of Mike when responding to an IED incident, the one which Mike told me about as a near miss during that “last call”. Alden called me recently from Afghanistan but I missed his call. I was so mad at myself, but I saved his message, and the ending warms my heart when he said to tell the family hello and I love all of you.

I thought about Justin Oulton, another of Mike’s “best friends” (Mike couldn’t just be an ordinary friend). They played high school soccer together and later shared an old farmhouse living on their own, dogs included. Justin keeps in regular touch with us and even helped for several weeks with hauling water to keep the new sod I planted on Mike’s grave watered last September.

While at the post office I was also mailing out nine scholarship checks from the Mike Stokely Foundation, Inc. which brings to 29 scholarships for graduating high school seniors headed to their first year of college. While they are not full rides, they do carry out the mission of the Mike Stokely Foundation – giving a lot of kids a little help to go a long way in life. I thought about the kids in Yusufiyah who were so happy last year to get school supplies from the Mike Stokely Foundation, and the student at Georgia Military College who was the first recipient of the Mike Stokely Memorial Scholarship endowed by funds raised in the “Ride to Remember….” two years ago, and the one for this coming year. I thought about young children in need who got a book a month this past year to help them get a boost in life with reading skills, and wondered about a group of children whose socio-economic situation was pretty grim and were elated to get a book from the Mike Stokely Foundation for a birthday present (some the only present they got that day). I thought about several hundred inner-city kids who come to an annual Christmas Party called Flight to the North Pole and their gift bags contain a book from the Mike Stokely Foundation. I thought back to 1983 when I first got involved with the Flight to the North Pole and the many times Mike came to help with that annual party, even after he was grown.

I thought about the MilBlog community and friends I have come to know through Mike’s death. I thought about all my Soldier’s Angels including head Angel, Patti Bader. I thought about all of Mike’s former unit, E 108 CAV 48th Brigade GAARNG, many who now continue to serve and are deployed to Afghanistan and a good number of those are with Bravo 2 / 121 INF 48th Brigade GAARNG in Afghanistan. I thought about the opportunity I was given to serve as Co-Chair of Bravo 2 / 121 Family Readiness Group. I thought about how this came about because of Mike. And there are so many other things that Mikes sacrifice has brought my way.

It has been four years since Mike last called me and the last time I heard his voice while he was alive. I remember every word, but I especially remember how re-assuring he was in the calmness of his voice even though he faced great danger in the Triangle of Death. Today, even though I can’t actually hear him speak as he did in that last phone call four years ago, I can still hear him through all the things I describe above in the same re-assuring, calm way he sounded that day four years ago. You know, now that I think about it, August 8, 2005 really was not he last time I heard Mike’s voice, for he continues to speak through so many blessings in our life, and that of many others. His voice is still calm and re-assuring.


Robert Stokely
proud dad SGT Mike Stokely
KIA 16 AUG 05 near Yusufiyah Iraq

God bless all our military.


We had a GREAT party tonight.

We had our neighbors from across the street, nice looking young couple whom we met during the hurricane in September, but haven’t really conversed with.

We had a partner from the photography studio and his artist wife.

We had a bookmaker who is tech support at my husband’s work and his avant garde girlfriend.

We had a painter/art historian friend from my work and his wife.

We had a model and her fiance.

It was good fun. I enjoyed it immensely. We had too much food and not enough punch, but I think it was okay anyway. We now have three bottles of gifted wine. Guess we’ll have to have a party for those!

Not Fighting Words

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “The End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.


I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

from The New York Times

A story of love in the face of rejection.

via Happy Catholic

Soldiers and the Star Spangled Banner

For those who are unaware, at a military theater the National Anthem is played before every movie.

From a Chaplain in Iraq :
I recently attended a showing of ‘Superman 3’ here at LSA Anaconda (Balad Airport in Iraq, north of Bagdad ). We have a large auditorium we use for movies, as well as memorial services and other large gatherings.

As is the custom back in the States, we stood and snapped to attention when the National Anthem began before the main feature. All was going as planned until about three-quarters of the way through when the National Anthem music stopped. Now, what would happen if this occurred with 1,000 18-22 year-olds back in the States? I imagine there would be hoots, catcalls, laughter, a few rude comments, and everyone would sit down and call for a movie. Of course, that is, if they had stood for the National Anthem in the first place.

Here, the 1,000 Marines continued to stand at attention, eyes fixed forward. The music started again. The Marines continued to quietly stand at attention. And again, at the same point, the music stopped. What would you expect to happen? Even here I would imagine laughter, as everyone finally sat down and expected the movie to start. But here, you could have heard a pin drop . Every soldier continued to stand at attention.

Suddenly there was a lone voice, then a dozen, and quickly the room was filled with the voices of a thousand soldiers, finishing where the recording left off: ‘And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave’. It was the most inspiring moment I have had here in Iraq .

I wanted you to know what kind of soldiers are serving you here. Remember them as they fight for you! Pass this along as a reminder to others to be ever in prayer for all our soldiers serving us here, at home and abroad. For many have already paid the ultimate price.

Written by: Chaplain Jim Higgins