clip_image002.jpgAfter another roadside bombing in Iraq, CEXC responded to the call.

CEXC (pronounced “sexy”), the Combined Explosive Exploitation Cell, is comprised of approximately forty men and women, ten of whom are part of response teams, broken down into two teams of five, consisting of Federal law enforcement agents, branches of the military and members of the coalition.

One of the men in the unit was Special Agent Mitchell Wido, a 20-year veteran with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“Anytime our phone’s ringing, it’s going to be bad,” said Wido. “Almost all of our calls involved multiple KIAs. We constantly saw death and destruction.”

On this day, it would be no different.

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fort_collins.jpgI wish I could say my priorities are straight at this point in my life. I thought they were when I recently cashed out of  Hollywood and moved to a smaller, simpler existence in Fort Collins, Colorado so my daughter could be closer to our family.

Among the multitude of things I had on my endless “to do” list once we arrived, was to register as a democrat so my vote would count in what was clearly looking like a history-making primary.  But, if I am truly honest, what consumed me way more than politics or extended family time was where to get my roots done to my exacting standard.  After all, I had exactly one month before I would look scary, but several months to register, and the rest of our lives to spend family time.  

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corn ears.jpgNashville, as you know, is the capitol city of Tennessee, which became a full fledged state in l796.  Tennessee is a Cherokee word by which the native inhabitants referred to their big river.  Ours is one of the pioneer states into which disgruntled settlers from the original thirteen pushed if they were not awarded land grants for heroic behavior during the Revolution.  Those hardheaded people who struck out into Tennessee territories mythologized themselves in story and song as the first frontiersmen.

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From the Huffington Post

Primary season is upon us, and if you were trying to keep out of it until there were only two people running for president, then you've recently realized that that just isn't in the cards. Democrats! Republicans! Bloomberg?

election_2008.jpg You can't escape from any of them on MSNBC or CNN, and if you live in a primary state that counts, then you can't even escape from them on your doorstep. New Hampshire residents are still recovering from candidates handing them their morning paper. Would you like to open your door and find Rudy Giuliani standing there? "Good morning! 9/11!"

South Carolina, Nevada, Super Tuesday... It's like a Dave Matthews Band Tour, but the roadies are wearing Bluetooth ear things, and I care about it. Election is in the air, and it's on people's tongues. (War, what war? Didn't you hear what Obama said? The gloves are coming off!)

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julia_fowler.jpg Each Christmas, Dana throws this party as a sort of reunion for our high school clique. This year Dana opened her front door and she was not dressed in party attire.  Instead, she was wearing a Barack Obama sweatshirt. Needless to say, I was stunned. 

gre11052f.jpg Part of the evening was spent listening to the comedy routine of a drag queen named “Shirley Q. Liquor.”  Apparently, Dana and her husband have recently become huge fans and there was even discussion of the group taking a road trip to a gay bar in Tennessee to see him perform.  The rest of the evening was spent discussing the lunacy of George W. Bush, the regret of those who voted for him, the horrific state of our nation’s health care system, the insanity of the Iraq war and the absolute necessity of getting a Democrat in the White House.  I thought to myself, “Where am I?  Who are these people?  They are fabulous!”

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