February 28, 2009
Since then there have been more - you know who you are - but Charlotte was the first.
So, my meeting Thursday? With Charlotte's husband.
He even painted the living room, which was an unfortunate shade of yellow that clashed horribly with our terra cotta tiles.
Mind you, he's taking a couple of days off, so he's missing the full experience of being me.
But still, I have to give credit where credit is due.
Although I have to wonder when he emails me pictures and one child seems to be missing:
February 27, 2009
And now I'm out of practice. For my recent trip to California I checked my itinerary about ten times, looking for mistakes. I agonized over my car rental. I shopped for an entire week of food so Ralf wouldn't forget to feed the kids. I smothered my babies with kisses as if they could be rationed during my absence.
I kissed their pillows one last time before I left, in case, God forbid, something should happen to me.
Ralf brings me to the airport. It was a bit like our old dating days when I would visit him in Milan for the weekend and he would bring me to the train station to return to Germany. . . but only almost because now we are partners in this different life that includes children.
He leaves me to go through security and I face a stern security guard who wants to throw away my eye cream because I hadn't put it in a plastic bag.
'Go ahead,' I tell her. She doesn't like this. She wants me to go get a plastic bag.
'I don't have time,' I tell her.
'Then we must throw it away,' she says.
'Go for it,' I say.
'You understand, that's the rule,' she says.
'I understand,' I assure her.
Inexplicably, however, she does not throw it away. She runs it through the machine and I furtively stick it back in my purse on the other side.
The poor Italian guy in front of me loses his shower gel, however. The penalty for having expensive toiletries, I guess.
At the gate I look around and wonder, as I always do before flying, if this will be the end of my journey. I miss my babies and melodramatically wonder if I will see them again. I wonder if my last Facebook status, 'Laura has left the room,' will be my epitaph.
But I am flying with Lufthansa. The Germans may not care about customer service but they take their engineering seriously.
On the plane I wonder how people can afford business class with their kids.
No one is sitting next to me. A small miracle.
I jot down notes for my upcoming meeting.
I read about the octuplets.
I miss my boobies.
I miss Ralf.
I am a free radical. Ten more days before I am the nucleus of my family again.
We take off and the countdown begins.
February 24, 2009
There probably won't be anything much to comment on while I'm traveling but I'm just saying. And you never know. Maybe I'll see Elvis. Or John Stewart.
Just out of curiosity, does anyone ever check back to see if I responded to your comment?
Tomorrow I'm flying back to California for ten days to visit the mother ship and also celebrate my grandma's 90th birthday, so it'll be a pretty packed week. I doubt I'll do much blogging unless I see Elvis or something noteworthy so just FYI.
I'm still here, just in transit.
Ralf will be holding the fort here in Germany, which will be a good opportunity for him to experience my world, which consists of:
1) Making breakfast and packing lunches in the morning (lately he's been getting the kids dressed, which has been a big help since they both wear winter tights);
2) Picking the kids up at 3 PM and playing with them until bedtime;
3) Preparing their dinner and making sure they eat their veggies;
4) Getting teeth brushed, PJs on and lights out by 8PM;
5) Preparing his own dinner (I'm planning to stock up on frozen pizzas today);
6) Shopping for all this dinner preparation;
7) Laundry (although I'm not holding my breath on this one);
8) Doing a full-time job alongside all of this.
I'm totally jealous. I will miss them.
February 22, 2009
February 21, 2009
Germans are known for being (compared to Americans) stern, phlegmatic and practical. Personally I think it's the harsh winters but I can't ignore Ralf's observation that plenty of hyper, unpractical people come from places that also have winter. So my winter theory may not have legs.
Male German bosses in particular are not given to being excited about you or emiting unnecessary compliments like 'nice job'. So if you work for a German, don't expect lots of feedback about how much you rule. Unless you totally screw up, interactions with your German boss are more likely to go something like this:
Boss: How's your project going?
You: I finished Tuesday ahead of schedule and met with Global Dynamics Wednesday to walk them through it. They loved it and want to do a bigger project with us next month.
Boss (nodding): OK. Anything else?
You: Well, I put out a small kitchen fire this morning with my bare hands and skipped lunch to finish a prototype I'm working on that predicts stock prices up to five years out and has so far been completely accurate for a two year sample. I noticed two guys trying to steal our video conferencing equipment and was able to stop them using martial arts. My cancer vaccine is also coming along nicely. Oh, and I baked you some brownies. They're on your desk.
Boss (nodding and making a few notes): OK. Do you have any vacation planned this quarter?
To be fair, German bosses are also sensitive to the ingrained suspicion all Germans have of insincere compliments. I once managed a German project team and early on (before I really got the Germans) I sent a short 'nice job' email to one of the consultants. He responded, 'What is the meaning of this?' I took the hint and immediately desisted with unwanted personal observations and everyone was much happier.
Having said that, one thing is guaranteed to excite any German man: grilled calf hearts!
I mean, what's not to like? Calf, heart, grill. . . all good things, right? This morning we went to breakfast with German friends Albrecht and Andrea and I had to laugh when Albrecht's eyes lit up like a small boy at Christmas when he saw grilled calf heart on the menu.
It is little things like this that remind me I'm not in Los Angeles any more.
February 20, 2009
Oh, and a quick plug for Blog 200, where PattyP has posted her responses to the interview questions I sent her.
February 19, 2009
February 18, 2009
Is it just me or do you LOVE Obama for bitch slapping the Republican members of Congress when they protested the high price tag of the economic stimulus bill? I think the price tag is pretty high, too, but after eight years of shameful waste on war and looking the other way while business leaders gambled away our economic viability I don't want to hear it from any lame ass Republicans. No offense.
Is it just me or should the bank and financial house executives that screwed everything up and retired with big fat bonuses have to pay some of that money back?
And finally, is it just me or are those weanies in Congress ever going to pass any global warming laws? I'm afraid they may be exhausted from voting on the economic stimulus package and need to take expensive lakeside vacations before they can vote on anything else and the clock is ticking.
February 17, 2009
February 16, 2009
It was kind of like a combination of an American Halloween party and a Russian Communist Youth exhibition from the middle-80s.
But there is no doubt that the kids had fun. You can't tell from the pictures below because they have taken a vow of photogenic unhappiness but they did.
We dressed up, of course. K had a cheap princess gown I bought at Tengelmann and L had a cheap fairy costume I bought at Tengelmann. Pretty much everyone had a Tengelmann princess costume except one little girl in a dress with hand-sewn patches and braids (Pippi Longstocking) who clearly wished she had a Tengelmann princess costume.
When the announcer at the ball asked if anyone had lost a princess crown and held up a Tengelmann crown everyone laughed because it could have belonged to anyone.
Ralf wanted to go as a pirate but he looked more like a British hooligan so I referred to him as 'Nigel' all day:
My plan was to go as Death, or the 'Boandlkramer,' from the celebrated Bavarian theater piece 'Brandner Kasper, ' which is about a propserous Bavarian farmer who gets Death drunk and beats him at cards. To achieve this end I put on a black opera cloak my grandmother made for my mom years ago, but between the jaunty silk lining and the cat hair from our first cat Barnaby I confess I didn't look very deathlike.
L was embarassed to be seen with me:
Ralf put it best: 'You look stupid.'
Note to self: I think he's still pissed about The Women.
Maybe it was more like a black Snuggie:
I know, I totally rock the Death Snuggie.
You may be wondering what happened to my bangs. The truth is, I always ask for bangs when I get my hair cut then scupulously brush them out of my face while my hair's still wet so it's like not having bangs at all. Sorry, I'm creature of habit but if you look closely you can still see a few hopeful strands.
February 15, 2009
'I thought I'd work on my article,' I responded, distracted by all my cutting edge thoughts about talent management.
Yes, I write real articles sometimes for HCM trade journals. Occassionally they are even published.
Ralf: 'It's Valentine's Day. You shouldn't work tonight. How about you cook us a delicious dinner and we watch a movie?'
Not a bad opening bid - after nearly 7 years of marriage it's finally sunk in that inviting a bunch of friends over to watch an FC Bayern game isn't romantic.
Me (upping the ante): 'OK but I want to watch The Women.'
I had no expectation of The Women being any good - and it wasn't - but I still wanted to see it.
Ralf (hasty counter offer): 'I was thinking we could watch 'Die Maenner.'
Translation: 'The Men.' Some classic German movie about men. A half-hearted counter bid he knew had no chance.
Me: 'So. . . I cook dinner and we watch your movie? Where's my diamond tennis bracelet?'
Let the backpedaling begin.
Ralf (magnanimously): 'Tell you what - since Valentine's Day's a chick holiday you can choose the movie.'
I couldn't resist a determined romantic overture like that so that's what we did.
It was nice, especially the loud, expressive snorting sounds Ralf kept making during the movie.
Think about it - would you want to be married to a man who enjoyed The Women? The whole point is that he hated it but watched it for me.
He loves me. :-)
Anyway, Happy Valentine's Day!
February 14, 2009
Yesterday I got my monthly Grandma Says newsletter and instead of the usual common sense about childraising there was a book review for Mars Needs Moms, which I've copied below. It sounded pretty fun so I ordered it and it came this morning.
Now that's what I call a good morning, hot coffee and instant service!
The book is pretty good and I think some of you other harassed mommies would enjoy it but what really made me laugh my ass off was the picture of the Martians trying to bait a pregnant, baby-and-purse-and-grocery-bag-toting mommy in curlers with a Starbuck's latte.
Anyway, here's the review:
BOOK OF THE MONTH: MARS NEEDS MOMS!
By Berkeley Breathed Philomel Books, 2007
If your family is anything like most these days, there are times when you wonder what on earth you are all doing, and why you are doing it.
With all the rushing about--off to work, to school or childcare, to meetings, play dates and lessons, and then back to laundry, shopping and all the other house stuff--life can get pretty frantic.
Nerves get frayed, and sometimes kids and parents just look at each other, imagining that there must be better places. Both parents and kids are not immune from snapping at each other, and going to bed feeling badly.
This book is the one to pull out and read at the most harried of times, putting it all back into perspective.
The little boy in this book has his times of wondering what is so special about mothers-the illustrations perfectly capture his weariness of mothers who are "bellowing broccoli bullies," or "slave-driving ogres", or "thundering, humorless tyrants" who miss what is funny about "sister-tinting."
When Milo is put to bed with no supper, he gets off a parting shot of "I sure don't see what is so special about mothers!" His mother pauses and then closes the door very slowly.
I won't spoil this delightfully illustrated story (Berkeley Breathed won a Pulitzer Prize for the cartooning of Bloom County) by telling you what he discovers when the Martian raiders come for his mother.
But the message is clear for parents and kids alike--we are bound together by something far more meaningful than "driving to soccer! And to ballet! And to play dates, parks, and pizzas! Plus cooking and cleaning and dressing and packing lunches and bandaging boo-boos!"
Like the Martians and Milo, sometimes we miss the best part about the ties that bind us. There is not a parent or a child who has not rebelled in frustration at what those ties sometimes mean.
Rather than getting mired in guilt at those feelings, it is better to recognize the wonderful that comes along with the mundane.
No, your little ones won't recognize this for some time, nor will your older children, trudging their way through middle school and tugging away during adolescence.
But the family and personal moments we create that tell children, as Milo's mom did, that we will love them to the ends of the universe, are what will sustain them through all those tough times of growing up, and hopefully, beyond that for life. And the knowledge that this is so will get us through the anti-broccoli storms and the tirades about how mean we are, without having to argue back and state our case. We know that we are doing our best, and doing the most important thing we can do.
Beyond that, there is not much we can do but laugh and realize how much more we might be appreciated on Mars.
© Growing Child 2009 Please feel free to forward this article to a friend.
February 13, 2009
February 11, 2009
Three Cups of Tea is the story of Greg Mortenson’s life work to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The schools are primarily (but not exlusively) for girls, who have fewer educational opportunities than boys but more positive impact on poor communities when educated.
I've been avoiding this book. I thought it would be tedious or depressing and I’m a bit of a book wimp – I usually only like happy books or at least books with happy endings. Endless toil in the Pakistini backwater to build schools the Pakistanian government has failed to build while being shot at by terrorists and drug lords didn’t feel like my thing.
Not that I’m against it, I think it’s great - go girl schools! - but I would have been good with an article or a brochure.
How wrong I was.
The book got off to a slow start, with more details about mountain climbing than I strictly wanted but well written. And somewhere along the line I bought into the vision of schools for girls in Pakistan and got genuinely interested in the people portrayed in the book.
The Pakistani people, that is. I'm afraid the American policy makers don't fare quite as well. The US military elite comes across as a bunch of rich old guys wearing rediculously expensive and shiny shoes surrounded by mindless laptop-toting minions. And Congress is portrayed as a mob of well-intentioned (for the most part) but mentally sluggish, overweight, ill-informed bureacrats.
Except the late Sonny Bono's wife Mary, who is totally cool.
For those of you who haven’t read the book I want to share a couple of passages that struck me as important. I will leave you to interpret them as you think best.
Passage 1, in which Mortenson responds to a Republican congressman who asked (right after 9/11) why schools matter when national security is at stake:
“I don’t do what I’m doing to fight terror. I do it because I care about kids. Fighting terror is maybe seventh or eighth on my of priorities. But working over there, I’ve learned a few things. I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death.”
Passage 2, in which Brigadier General Bashir Baz speaks after watching wailing Iraqui women carrying children’s bodies out of a bombed building on CNN:
“People like me are American’s best friends in the region. I’m a moderate Muslim, an educated man. But watching this, even I could become a jihadi. How can Americans say they are making themselves safer? Your President Bush has done a wonderful job of uniting one billion Muslims against American for the next two hundred years.”
He also talks about Osama: “As a military man, I know you can never fight and win against someone who can shoot at you once and then run off and hide while you have to remain eternally on guard. You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In American’s case, that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business.”
OK, I lied, I'm going to offer my thoughts about these remarks.
On the one hand, I think it's a bit rich of the Arabic world to do nothing to help the poor in their own and neighboring countries and then point their fingers at the US for not showering aid on them. If you're a government you have enough money to offer rudimentary education and the whole sitting around waiting for aid theme got a bit old by the end of the book.
And to Brigidier General Baz I might inquire if the US is supposed to finance the education of one billion Muslims so they don't bomb New York any more?
On the other hand, I remember sitting in social studies class as a pre-teen and being struck by how the teacher stressed the importance of American generosity to Japan and Germany after WWII. This generosity re-shaped the world dramatically by creating allies out of enemies, although some of that good will has understandably eroded over the last eight years, and was good for the US economy, too.
Since that brief time of enlightenment we seem to have lost our path. What the book showed was that there are mostly good, decent people in that part of the world who will move mountains to help themselves if just a little bit of support is extended. And for whatever reason, their own government isn't willing or able to extend that helping hand.
So Greg does it.
And just a thought here, that may do more for national security than dropping bombs on people.
February 10, 2009
As for the surgery itself, I survived but if I could only use one word to describe it, it would be: Eeew. No one should have to listen to those kinds of scraping and sawing sounds in their own mouths. The whole time I was praying the dental surgeon wouldn’t have a heart attack before finishing the job because I could just imagine the state of my gums after he'd been at it for a half hour.
But enough said about that.
When it was over I was reeling from the one of the most invasive surgeries I’ve ever had while the doctor was remarking about how trivial it was as dental surgeries go while removing his blood-soaked gloves. Another reminder that everyone has a different yet valid perspective.
One day later, I’m remarkably free of pain or swelling and am permitted to eat whatever I want, although the smooth plastic protector snapped in the roof of my mouth kind of kills the love on that. I have pain medication, anti-swelling medication and an antiseptic gargle.
This is way better than the time I had my wisdom teeth removed and couldn’t go to Disneyland with the (then) love of my life who was visiting LA with his parents during college break because my entire head swelled up to the size of a basketball. It turned out later he was gay so it probably wouldn't have worked out anyway but I had no way of knowing that then and was really bummed. Not to mention deformed for a whole week.
The worst part is that I AM NOT ALLOWED TO DRINK COFFEE FOR FIVE DAYS. They told me this after the operation. Good thing, too, because that would have been a deal breaker.
The reason is that it gets your circulations moving and that can make the stitches bleed, which can interfere with healing. They did give reluctant permission for me to have a cuppa in the morning but I don't want to take any unnecessary chances because I certainly don’t want to do this again, at least not on the same side.
It sucks. All I can think about is coffee, coffee, coffee… lovely, milky, hot, strong COFFEE.
So my day today is all about not drinking coffee. And counting the minutes until the coffee embargo is lifted. And wondering if the graft will be successful when they take out the stitches next week.
OK, time to gargle. Wishing all of you good dental health.
February 8, 2009
I have straight teeth, no cavities and healthy gums. Unfortunately my gum tissue is on the thin side and has receeded almost to the bifurcated nerve on 2 molars so they're going to patch it up with some tissue harvested from the roof of my mouth.
Yep, I expect this to be about as fun as it sounds.
I was supposed to get a gum graft before we left California but it was scheduled so that I'd be getting the stitches out right before we left and what with packing and everything I chickened out.
The American dentist, who was very excited about healthy gums and taking proactive steps to keep them healthy, wanted to graft across 8 teeth instead of just 2. He said over time more gum tissue will probably receed so why not take care of it while he's already under the hood?
On the plus side, he was going to give me a happy pill to make the surgery fly by.
There are no happy pills in Germany.
Between you and me, I'm a bit worried about tomorrow. Here are a few things I'm worried about:
1. I will lose my mind sitting with my mouth wide open for 90 minutes listinging to various surgical sounds inside my head.
2. A sloppy medical assistant will neglect to steralize the surgical instraments because she was out drinking and I will get AIDS or blood poisoning.
3. I will cough at the wrong moment during the surgery and the dentist wil cut through a nerve and one side of my mouth will be frozen forever like the Joker.
4. The graft will not take and I'll have an exposed nerve or a chunk of dead skin stuck to my gum for 6 months before we can try again.
5. It will hurt.
I fear other things as well but this is the core list. I haven't had dental surgery since my wisdom teeth were removed and that was pretty awful.
Oh, and I should probably mention that they're going to inject some protein complex extracted from pigs to hopefully thicken the gum tissue a bit and help it heal. What the hell?? The American dentist never mentioned this.
I don't think I'm totally on board with the pig protein.
There was no pre-op with the German dentist to discuss my concerns but I tried to wring some sops of reassurance out of the stern receptionist while getting my teeth cleaned last week. She heard me out as I recited my list while her eyebrows climbed steadily higher up into her hairline until finally they disappeared altogether.
She didn't deign to respond to most of my concerns but I did manage to extract a neutral promise that any dead skin would be removed if the graft isn't successful. And she grudgingly allowed that it will in fact hurt.
At which point her missing eyebrows settled complacently back into place.
So that's something.
I suppose I can take comfort from her complete lack of concern that something will go wrong.
Or I could worry even more because I'm in the hands of people who don't care what happens to me.
What do you think?
(All advice welcome except 'don't do it' because it's too late for that now. . .)
February 7, 2009
February 6, 2009
You can also insert the word 'doch' to add emphasis, i.e., 'Leck mich doch am Arsch!'
A mechanic said this to me today. Well, technically he was speaking to Ralf but I was there.
You see, our Volvo finally arrived from California about 2 weeks ago and has been in the shop ever since. It's a gas guzzler but it’s also a turbo all-weather family tank and an old friend. Driving it reminds me of my convenient, manicured, blond life as a California mom.
And we buy carbon offsets from Terrapass to assuage our Earth guilt.
The company that moved our Volvo to Germany, Navitrans (I won't bother adding a link), took so long to deliver the car that the battery died and some valve that holds the power steering fluid in rusted and started leaking. They also stole our GPS and our California license plates, although that’s not really germane to this story.
We took it to a Volvo dealer to investigate the blood-curdling sounds it was making when we drove it. Where the stocky, taciturn Bavarian mechanic apparently got the surprise of his life when the car switched on by itself and would not allow itself to be switched off.
This came as no surprise to us because the same thing had happened a few times in California when the locking and unlocking buttons were inadvertantly pushed in some sequence that we never figured out. The Californian Volvo mechanics could tell us nothing but we assumed it was a 'feature' to warm up the car before getting in because we bought it used from someone on the chilly East Coast.
The annoying part is that once the car switches itself on it can only be turned off manually, i.e., by getting into the car, actually starting the engine with the key, then turning it off again.
Fortunately, the only time it ever really caused a problem was one time in a parking lot when I had just gotten the kids out of the car and into the stroller. Other than that, it was an infrequent and relatively benign feature of the car.
Naturally, we named the car ‘Christine’ and thought no more about it.
But the mechanic didn’t like it. Volvos are not supposed to turn themselves on and it disturbed him. He dug around a bit in the engine then called us to complain that someone had installed some mystery cables in the engine that definitely didn’t belong there. Would we like him to remove them?
For 60 EUR an hour?? NFW.
When we picked up the car we were presented with a hefty bill (more of a William) by our Bavarian mechanic, who was unexpectedly smiling. Then, after we had a chance to silently register all the zeros, he explained that they had also stripped out that cables that didn’t belong.
Two pairs of eyes snapped automatically from the bill to his face when he said this, then back to the bill to scan for this additional charge. Ralf’s mouth opened to protest but the mechanic held up one hand and continued: They didn’t charge us for this, he explained, because it needed to be done.
Yes. Really. He said that.
It was while he was recounting his amazing tale of the spooky self-starting car and the unforgettable moment when he first discovered the crazy amateurish wiring in the engine that he used the phrase: ‘Leck mich am Arsch!’ and shook his head feelingly.
Poor guy. I mean, I ask you, who ever heard of a Volvo dealer doing free work? It must have really bugged him.
Ralf was blown away as well. Shaking his head as we walked out to the Volvo he, too, felt the need to say, 'Leck mich doch am Arsch!'
This post has been brought to you by Very Funny Friday.
February 5, 2009
February 4, 2009
February 3, 2009
(Disclaimer: I don't actually know these things but I believe them to be true.)
1. When you think you're at the top of your game the learning is just beginning. If not, you're cheating yourself.
2. A little bit of chocolate does a body good. It really does.
3. People don’t really change but they can evolve.
4. The ego is just a tool that helps you get things done – don’t let it call all the shots.
5. It’s essential to make time for yourself.
6. If your children have healthy souls and loving hearts you're doing a fabulous job. Everything else is just noise.
7. No one cares about your hair except you. It's a tough one to come to grips with but I'm totally here for you if you need to talk about it.
8. Bad things happen for a reason only in a very general sense. That is to say, bad things need to happen to give us growth opportunties but you can drive yourself crazy wondering why they happened to John instead of Jane.
9. Everyone has a different point of view but there is still a common truth. You can feel it in your gut. If you're paying attention, that is.
10. We should always be our kids' biggest fan. For example, my mom actually follows this blog.
Thanks for your support, Mom! Don't think I don't appreciate it.
And now I tag Kristina, R, Debbie, Suzie, Emily and Bebe. But only if you want to...
February 2, 2009
February 1, 2009
So, I will try to post a picture of the new do as soon as I can. If, that is, I can get a good one because only about 2 out of 100 pictures of me turn out well. So it could take a while. . .
In the meantime, here is my all-time favorite picture from HS, apparently before there were color pictures. This self-portrait depicts the expression I had on my face in government class as well as from 2000-2008. It is also the expression I had on my face while watching Burn After Reading last night. Or was it Burn Before Watching?
To set the scene: Last night Ralf and I had our SECOND date night in two weeks, probably the last one for a while since his parents are going to Vietnam for a month. Just enjoying it while we can.
We wanted to go for dinner and then catch Benjamin Button in the English Theater but he movie started at 7 and I didn’t want to give up my nice dinner out. So we opted for dinner out (Ethiopian, my favorite) followed by Apple TV at home.
We watched Burn After Reading, which was OK but not great. It had a fairly messy plot involving a disgruntled ex-CIA agent, his unpleasant wife, her shifty married lover, his cheating wife and a couple of unbelievably stupid health club employees who stumble across a disk of somewhat classified information and think it would be a good idea to sell it to the Russians.
Why would they commit blatant treason, you ask? Well, you see, one of the stupid health club employees wanted plastic surgery and thought the Russians would give her money to pay for it. I kind of lost interest in the movie at this point because no one could possibly be so stupid - in fact, I spent the rest of the movie wondering if she should be shot for treason or stupidity.
Brad Pitt played the other stupid health club employee and when he unexpected gets his head blown off the movie loses what little spark it had until that point.
The best part was the final deadpan conversation between two CIA agents about the major screw up caused by all these idiots.
In the end, the treasonously stupid woman gets her plastic surgery paid for by the CIA to shut her up so there’s no poetic justice, either – believe me, you’re NOT routing for this moron, especially since she gets all her friends killed too in her single-minded quest for surgically enhanced beauty.