Tuesday, January 31, 2006

simple my ass!

i was reading a copy of the newsletter that our unit sends to our friends and family back in the states. and we're getting closer and closer to coming home, so they're writing these articles intended to help everyone re-integrate. i'm not sure if it's original material, or if they're copying it from some army manual or website. but what is irking the hell out of me right now is that one section keeps referring to what we're going through as a "simple life" or "simple way of life" and saying it's going to take some adjustment to get used to the "complicated lifestyle" back home. i know what they are trying to say. they're trying to say that we don't worry about alot of extraneous things, cars, insurance, house payments, work, etc. that we're focused on a specific mission here and our lives revolve around that. eat, sleep and work army. but it's really, really insulting for some reason and i can't let it go.

call it a "focused life" or a "distraction free" life. call it an "army life" or alot of other things but do not call this simple. and to be honest "distraction free" and "focused" aren't accurate. let's go with "different". how about that? guys over here are worrying about the same things as they are back home. their wives (actually, i'm being sexist. girls are over here as well, so add "husbands"), their kids, the future, cars, sex, money, the outcome of whatever pro-sports game... people worry about relationships with their friends and co-workers over here, with their bosses and with their subordinates. but let me tell you what, screw up at most jobs at home and the worst that happens is you get fired. maybe you lose some money for the company. screw up over here and you die, and even worse, people around you might die as well. even worse than that, you live and they die because of your screw-up. that's not simple. there are low ranking people who are new to the army who don't really have alot of responsibilities over here. there are older people who are close to getting out and retiring who avoid responsibilities. but there are plenty of people in between who sweat bullets on a daily if not hourly basis because of the high level of stress over here.

we weren't here too long when my boss decided to stay home one mission. not because he was a lazy ass, but because he had that much confidence in me and the people riding along and he had tons of work to do. of course that was one of the first times we hit an i.e.d. you think the guilt hasn't torn him up since? no one was hurt, but for months after that, he insisted on going on every trip with us. and was burning the candle at both ends. finally we got him to realize that if we got hit or not, it would have very little to do with whether or not he was on the road, and he was needed elsewhere. and while he understands that? if we get hit again, and this time someone gets injured or killed, do you think he'll feel any less guilt? and the ENTIRE time that i'm preaching to him to stay home, i'm insisting that i have to go along, because i think i might be able to help if something goes bad.

i've been a reservist for almost seven years now. that means most of the time i'm home working a civilian job. i tell you, this job is amazingly complicated compared to that. the only complicated part about that, is that alot of those people don't realize how easy they have it (at work that is). they have nothing but what they are going through for perspective and they manufacture stress. the first year that i was back from afghanistan? i was so mellow, and laughed at those guys. they didn't realize how petty so much of the stuff they were arguing and worrying about was. how in the grand scheme of things, it really didn't matter. a printer isn't working today? big freaking deal. you're still alive aren't you? making a good salary? in decent health? not dodging bullets? not trying to stay hydrated in 140 degree weather without an a/c? didn't wake up this morning to see a HUGE spider crawling across your sleeping bag while you were still in it? didn't see a busload of school aged kids hit a land mine and have to help get the wounded to the CASH? didn't have a ten year old walk up to a group less than 100 feet from where you were standing and try and kill them with an RPG round that didn't detonate because he was too short and it didn't go off when he dropped it on softer sand? didn't spend the night trying to figure out how a parent could knowingly send his child on a suicide mission? didn't stand in line to take a cold shower in the dark? didn't have to take a pill the size of a dime and that gives you awful nightmares to try to ward off malaria? aren't going to have to wait 3 weeks to get replacements parts for that printer? can actually walk across the street and buy a new one? yeah. you're doing okay. i came over here to be a communcations guy. sounds simple enough. however, as the year has gone on, i've become the training guy, the operations guy, the supply guy, at times the personnel and the maintenance guy. i've become the contract agent, the local purchase agent, i've had someone hand me an insanely large amount of cash to use for local purchase and been told that my career could be over if i lost any of it, and wasn't given a safe to lock it in. tomorrow i'm going to lead a training session in how to get an injured buddy out of a burning vehicle while under fire. this is WAY more complicated.

anyways, i'm ranting and raving. the person who called this "simple" sure as hell isn't going to be reading this anytime soon. so it's pointess to keep going. and while he/she/it needs a swift kick to the jimmy, i probably won't be the one to administer it. but i do feel marginally better for expressing my pisstivity. thanks.

of course...

yesterday i couldn't think of anything to write about that anyone would find interesting. today ideas kept popping in my head. but i'm not going to write 20 different posts and i'm not going to write a novel. so i'm going with what i was thinking about last night when i fell asleep. which is funny, because it's much less exciting than some of the stuff that happened today.

last night i read yet ANOTHER article about how emails/text messaging/caffeine are ruining the english language. someone was bitching about how students are turning in papers to schools with text messaging abbreviations. initially i agreed with them. thought it was a travesty. felt that there was a place for one thing and a place for the other. when you're trying to text quickly, blap out a message on the phone. but when you're writing a paper for english class, use proper grammar and spelling and punctuation. and i do still believe that in a school environment part of the object is to instill knowledge. and i also believe part of the object is also to give the students a familiarity with what it's like to have to follow rules and give them some discipline. to prepare them for life if you will. at the same time the purpose of the written word it so convey ideas and feelings. so i'm not feeling guilty about my screwed up ways of typing when i'm emailing or blogging or doing whatever. not that i was missing sleep or anything before, but there were times when i'd cringe a little when looking at something i'd written. "well, at least most of the words are spelled correctly!"

i used to think of teachers as standards bearers. they force us to toe a line and i used to think that was good. but now i'm wondering if they're not stifling us some. but i guess one of the distinctions between me and a 15 year old kid is that while i know how to properly use the english language in its written form, i just knowingly decide not to at times. when you read this, you're getting a window into how i think. not just what i'm thinking, but how i'm actually processing things in my noggin. i do very little editing before i publish (i know, it shows...). and i think that's what the point of a language is. so i think there needs to be a middle ground. not all of the slang and emoticons are bad, especially given the new technologies. but there is still something to be said for having a common basis so that you have a better chance of being understood by your target audience. i think it'd be interesting to see a teacher who would let students turn in assignments with different objectives. if you're turning in a creative writing assignment you should get graded on content and presentation. while your grammar and spelling might not be according to the MLA standards, were they used in a way that helped to convey your message? and then have papers that are an exercise in the proper use of certain formats.

although it's funny to think of what "MLA" stands for. the Modern Language Association. if you're going to call yourself "Modern" shouldn't you reflect uhm... current use of the language? or else aren't you just the Historic Language Association? "Founded in 1883 by teachers and scholars, the Modern Language Association" (from their website www.mla.org )

see? i told you it wasn't very exciting. this is the kind of stuff that knocks me right out...

Monday, January 30, 2006

writer's block, kinda...

it's not really writer's block. but when you're over here there is a mild "ground hog day" effect. so i personally have this fear of repeating myself and boring anyone who might be reading. then i remember that i haven't told anyone about this except for one or two close friends and it's all better. they're close friends, if they're not bored by now... well, okay. my close friends are WAY too easily amused. and might be slightly slow. hmmm. but it works for me, so...

possible topics that i've discarded for the day:

-my disappointment in myself for buying my first pair of boxer-briefs. and paying alot of money for them.

-the oddity that is army guys. there is one guy here who was caught naked in his room with another guy. or something, i don't know the full story. but no one gives him crap about it, because he's one of those guys that everyone wants to get to like them. but anyone else? there would be so much bashing going on, and i'd be totally ashamed to know any of them for how much they were making fun of him. or maybe they're much better than i give them credit for.

-my hate of all things that are considered "exercise". this topic popped into my head several times while running four miles today. oddly enough, those times coincided with the times that my shins felt like someone was hitting them with a 2x4.

-my hate of waking up early. this was prompted by the fact that i have guard duty tomorrow and have to get up about 2 hrs earlier for it. blah. and of course i won't be able to make myself go to bed 2 hrs earlier tonight.

-my love of old cars.

anyways. nothing has popped to mind, so i'm off.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

alibi fire...

i forgot something for my list. i frickin can't believe that this is the second year in a row i've missed snowboarding! damnit! not that i'm even that good, but i'm still missing it. the closest fob speicher has come to snow has been rain, rain and more rain the last couple of weeks.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

i'm not lying!

i'm not sure why, but whenever i tell someone i'm having a good time over here, or that i like what i'm doing, they never believe me or they automatically assume i've taken a couple blows too many to the head. i'm not saying i LOVE everything about this place. nor am i saying that i don't miss things back home. so here's a list of the bad so people realize that i'm not making it up...

-i miss privacy. i've got a door to close, and it's so much better than it was at the other place, or than living in a tent, but my walls stop three feet from the ceiling. i still hear everything going on around me, and from time to time, a head will pop over the wall when someone next door wants to talk to me. real privacy is something i can't wait to have again.
-i miss being able to drive in a car and crank the tunes. roadtrip.
-motorcycles.
-beer. when i'm at home, a sixpack is safe from me. it'll take a month to kill one. but now that i can't drink, i want it.
-indoor plumbing. a porta-potty is just a glorified one-hole outhouse. and having to walk 1/3 mile to take a shower is for the birds. and getting out of the shower and watching steam come off of you because it is so freaking cold? not my idea of fun.
-enjoying food. the food here isn't bad. but it's the SAME thing, week after week. variety is good.
-bright colors. we're army. we try not to stand out.
-girls who look like girls. not saying every girl in the army is butch. but she's wearing the exact same stuff as me and all the guys. girls, you wear things that celebrate the female form, boys, we'll keep doing our jeans and tees thing. shut up. it's my list.
-dsl.
-going to see a movie in a movie theater by myself.
-family and friends. but not as much as you'd think. in today's technological world it's so easy to stay in close touch with people.

all in all, not a very long list. if i were home, sitting in a rut at work at a civilian job? the list would be much, much longer i'm sure. life is stripped down to alot of the bare necessities here. and i like it.

Friday, January 27, 2006

steinbeck days...

about 7 years ago i started reading "east of eden" by john steinbeck. i'd always been a steinbeck fan, but for some reason had always avoided this particular novel. as i read it, it was kind of painful. for years i'd discussed my actions towards my father as being similar to our dog's. mom and us kids were the ones who fed and took care of the mutt, but the slightest bit of attention from dad made him ecstatic. dad hardly saw the dog, didn't really like him, was the one who set the rules that restricted the animal, but it was dad that the dog loved. not us, the ones who ran and chased him, played games with him, snuck him treats... and at that point in time in my life, when i was looking back over my childhood and realizing that i'd made alot of my plans for adulthood based on a need to win my father's attention and affection i thought of that dog alot. odd that at that same point, i started reading "east of eden". basically it discusses alot of the same themes. and while it was hitting close to home and causing some discomfort, i couldn't put it down. it took me forever to read it, i'd read ten or twenty pages sometimes and have to walk away from it, but eventually i got through it. and in the ended, it ended up being a huge source of comfort. it didn't necessarily make me feel like less of an idiot, or tell me how to stop seeking out that constant fraternal approval, or even give me a root cause of the behavior, but it at least showed me that it was pretty common across the human scene, i was far from the first to behave in this manner, and wouldn't be the last.

(getting sidetracked here) i used to find myself driving in different parts of the country late at night for some reason, and i used to love to listen to lovelines. basically for the same reason. a) you always felt better when you heard the really screwed up people calling in and b) it was just amazing how so many people just fell into basic groups and had similar problems. we're nowhere near as individual as we like to think we are...

anyways, back to the story. we got a new individual on the ground today. he came and started talking to me. "okay, i'm going to want to know how many of this and this and this we have, and where they're distributed and what's going on with this and this and this. i like being the go-to guy. when the boss has a question, i like being able to answer it immediately and i like being able to make sound suggestions to solve problems"... and the steinbeck feeling came back. "huh, gee jackass, do you think maybe OTHER people like that feeling as well? maybe we like the little pats on the head and the 'good job' from the boss?" it was just kind of funny, because it really came out of nowhere. jealousy is just a weird, weird thing. who knows what is going to trigger it and why?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

apology...

someone who knows me and was enlisted, then got sent to OCS read my earlier post and took offense at it. he made the rank of e-5 or sergeant and didn't like the way i said "serious non commissioned officer mark". e-5 is definately an nco rank, and it's alot of work to make that mark and alot of work as a sergeant. but i noticed a huge difference between e-5 and e-6, much bigger than i expected, and in today's army the distinction between e-4 and e-5 isn't as big as it used to be. it's really hard to explain, i can't do it here, but if you read that other post and you're someone i was talking about before, please don't take it personally. instead buy me a beer and we'll hash it out that way.

i'm not a knife freak...


But for some reason people keep giving them to me. i mean, i'm an a.d.d. kid who is easily distracted by shiny, pointy objects and i have an appreciation for well-made, well-designed things and i have a professional appreciation for them, but i am not a freak. there's one kid here who spends HOURS every night sharpening them. "dude. seriously you NEED to be spending that time working on your pistol and your rifle and practicing your magazine changes reflexive firing skills and actions on misfires. killing the bad guy when he's far away or keeping his head down so he never gets close to you is a GOOD thing. letting him get close enough to you and having your weapons fail so you HAVE to use a knife is a BAD thing. got it? good... and bad..." sometimes you have to break it down like a barney song for them.

anyways, if you pop the lid up on my footlocker, you'd swear i was a serial killer waiting to happen. there are knives galore in that thing. and not little kitchen knives either. mean looking things. a couple i brought with me but they must be mating like bunny rabbits in there when i close the lid or something. it's scary. but today one came in that i'm guilty for. i actually bought it. a new spyderco endura4. i hated spydercos at first, back when i saw sgt r's police model (which i know own, having bought it off of him for 15 bucks almost ten years ago). but they grew on me, and became less ugly and funny looking and more and more intelligently thought out the more i looked at them. i didn't need a new one, but someone stole the other endura that i brought down range with me. i'd had that one for years, since my last trip actually. but apparently someone felt they needed it more than me. and i got a flyer for this knife in my email and it was a sale price (www.knifecenter.com- they're awesome, and if you're deployed, they ship FAST. usually within 7 days you'll be holding whatever you ordered in your grubby little....). this thing is awesome. everything i hated about earlier models they fixed. screwed construction instead of rivets so that i can adjust the tension on the blade. 4 positions for the pocket clip. steel liners in the handle so it doesn't flex so much when i'm gripping it. the blade looks a little funny to me now, because they put a weird angle on the point, but they did that to strengthen the point so i can't fault them. ridges on the back of the knife near the thumb for positive control. just a solid, solid knife. i love a company that actually goes for function over form. while i haven't seriously used it yet, i'm giving it 2 thumbs up. i'm sure it'll perform at LEAST as well as any other spyderco and i'm expecting it to do much better. and they're a colorado company!

okay, enough of that. i'm not a paid shill. but i'm stoked. it's the little things sometimes, you know? it wasn't a bad day by any stretch of the imagination, but getting new toys always makes it better.

saw two movies today while i was building comms parts. "2010" which i thought was amazingly stupid and "what's eating gilbert grape". the jury is out on that one. normally i dislike juliette lewis though, and i thought she was kind of cute in this movie (possibly because she didn't talk much, so she didn't sound stupid) so it's got that going for it. it was kind of awesome. i NEVER get a chance to sit in one spot for that long. i've been wanting to assemble those kits for months now and haven't had the time.

got word from the smart tuition assistance lady. we like her. she's taking care of the mix-up. so hopefully they'll mail my books this week yet and i might get them sometime in february. this is good.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

damn the man! save the empire!

one of my favorite pastimes is dreaming of kicking people in the kneecaps. i would love to go on a spree right now. one of the dirty little secrets about the reserves is that life is great until you're mobilized. i'm not talking about going to a combat zone, leaving job/family, stuff like that. that stuff is all expected. the little problems with pay and things like that are what kill you. the army being the huge, inflexible bureaucracy that it is, it's full of really, really stupid things that contradict one another. and this is coming from someone who LOVES the army.

anyways, this is all because i'm trying to get tuition assistance approved for my next two classes. i'm FOUR classes away from graduation, trying to get enrolled for two, and it's just turning into a major hairball. first i get all the emails that say "go to this website, fill out this form, email it to so and so", easy. done. then weeks go by. "oh, wait. even though you're a reservist, you're not a reservist. you have to go through the active duty education center". no problem. active duty says "you're a reservist. we can't help you". rinse, lather repeat. finally someone who knows what they're talking about takes my paperwork, approves it and sends it to the school. then the school says "oh, the paperwork is filled out wrong. you'll have to redo the form and send it in again". well, it was wrong because they told me to put the wrong number on the form. which prompted this response:

Ms. So and So,
I really believe that _insert-school-name-here_ needs to find a way to address and correct this problem on your end. I specifically asked whether the number should be MA111 and was sent the attached file to use to get the TA form signed. Because I'm deployed in Iraq, it took extreme effort and an extended period of time to get the form that you have signed and in your hands. I cannot afford additional delays caused by errors on the part of _you-guessed-it_.

Please address and resolve this situation.

Sincerely,


anyways, this process that would take 2 days in the states is going on 3, almost 4 weeks here. and then there will be the wait for the books. so much for finishing the last four classes before redeploying back to the states...

anyways, even though she'll never read this? cute girl living in the house with my sister's coffee table? your shins are safe. there are more attractive ones to kick right now.

random im transcript


i just told someone in an im exchange that i was half tempted to voluteer for a longer tour over here:

not me: really? I mean, your e-mails always sounded positive, but for some reason I got the impression that you were kinda ready to come home

me: alot of that is because the entire reason for those emails is so that (company i work for) doesn't forget me.

not me: gotcha

me: "i miss (company name) and can't WAIT to come home"

me: heh

me: i BLEED green. i'm an e-6. i love being right. i love listening to myself talk. i'm surrounded by young idiots who've been in the army less than a year... it's heaven!

not me: hehe

me: they're good kids. but they require much, much training. and i enjoy that.

not me: that's cool...sometimes I wish I wasn't the only one here to train new help desk people

me: well, if we wouldn't disappoint them so and make them leave... they could train one another...

not me: heh, indeed

me: i need "big trouble in little china" so bad...

me: that and "army of darkness"

not me: oh yeah, two movies I never get tired of watching

me: there are so many times over here when i break out "well, as ole jack burton says"

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

i love being an nco...

i absolutely love being an nco. which is weird and difficult. alot of the people i was a lowly specialist with on active duty and who loved the army and stuck with it have gone on to pursue a commission. and of course they want to pressure me to join them. they all jumped shipped before they hit the serious non commissioned officer mark and got to have fun with it. there are TONS of headaches and hassles. it is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. and i don't want to go too much further with it, because i'm going to start getting pulled away from the troops and put more into staff functions. but for the moment it is awesome. it is great to see immediate effects from your actions.

i got put in charge of the p.t. and some additional training programs for the joes here. p.t. scores are steadily improving and now some of the very same people who fought me tooth and nail about having to do the extra p.t. are now starting to come to me with ideas to push themselves harder. today i dropped mandatory crew drills on the section. we'll be doing them for 2 hrs at a time, twice a week, longer if necessary. at first they were REALLY unhappy with me. yesterday they were shooting me glares when i mentioned it in the evening meeting. today, they admitted they had fun with it and could definately see the value. that's actually one of the biggest downsides of the job. dealing with the ncos who don't take their responsibilities seriously. i shouldn't have to argue with these guys as much as i have to to get them to do the right thing. they KNOW they are an example to the younger troops. a couple of them are retiring shortly after we return stateside, and as much as i like them as individuals, i'll be cheering them on their way. there is hope though. the folks next door reduced someone 2 pay grades for bad stuff.

i'll finish my degree soon (hopefully). i'll probably seek a commission shortly there after. but until it happens, i'm going to enjoy the hell out of this!
anyways, i'm just rambling to ramble.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

a range day is almost always a great day...

went shooting today with a bunch of.... uh. i dunno what you call them. mercenaries? hired guns? they all sound less than flattering. anyways, a group of former military men who work for a contracting firm. it was kind of nice to just try and kill paper targets. i got a new flip up rear sight for my weapon awhile ago and needed to re-confirm my zero with it. almost dead on. and today was a super windy day, so it made for rough shooting. just gives you a little more confidence in yourself and your equipment. it was also nice because we took a youngster with us, and he did all the right things that he's been trained to do over the last year without being told. it's muscle memory to him now. which means we're doing our job right as nco's, teaching and training him.

it was great to watch the other guys work though. they were doing alot of team drills. we're just months away from going home, but it's NEVER too late to learn new ways of doing things. these guys have been in country for a long time now, so they must be doing something right. we watched them, had some good discussions with them about why they're doing what they're doing and will probably adopt some of their actions. just a good day all around. i like going into "sponge mode" and soaking up as much as i can. personally i view the army as a buffet line. it's full of ideas. i take the ones i like and make them mine and leave the ones i don't.

Friday, January 20, 2006

"i'm the luckiest son of a bitch in the world"

i stole the quote above from the final episode of "cheers", of which i'm a huge fan. yesterday was a weird day. i had guard duty, which everyone hates because we're such a small unit that we end up with it every two weeks or so. and we're pretty busy, so it just really kills your schedule for a couple of days. while on guard duty they broke my brand new truck, i lost a glove right after i finally got the thing to fit right, blah-blah-blah. nothing really bad. but it was cold, i was cranky and i was just about to start bitching, when i realized we're coming up on our 9th month in country and i'm still alive. definately a lucky guy and i've got nothing to complain about.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

take off, eh? great white north!


so i just got back from a three day trip up to northern iraq. just what the doctor ordered. risky as it is, sometimes you've just got to go out on the roads around here. i got invited by one of our... not quite sister. maybe ugly cousin units to go on a trip with them. they were taking their big boss and i have a piece of electronic equipment that helps make things a tiny bit safer and they wanted the extra trigger pullers along on the ride. and apparently they trust me enough to assume that my weapon will be pointed in the right direction (actually, it was a great professional compliment). so anyways, we left on sunday, drove up to a base a couple hours from here where we've got a team. so we left them for the night and hung out with our team. great time. some of those guys i've only seen a total of 4 or 5 hours in the last 8 months that we've been here in country. nice to just sit and chill with no agenda. and then one of the old headquarters guys got sent up there a couple months ago. so it was great to catch up with him. for alooooooong time there we were one another's safety valve. we'd take off to lunch or dinner and bitch and moan about how stupid everyone else was. that venting kept us sane and kept us from being unprofessional. well. kept us from being MORE unprofessional. he wasn't prepared for the move and it was rough on him (long story and i'm not going to go into the details because it's his story to tell, not mine), so it was just great to see that he's okay and fitting in well up there. and as much as i miss having him around down here, it really is a better environment up there for him. so i'm happy for him.

the next day we drove up to AS Suleymaniyah. that was awesome. there was snow on the mountains and slush on the roads. reminded me so much of colorado or utah. it felt great to feel the temperature drop as we drove. and when we got there, we got to drop our guard a little. interact with the locals, eat in a local restaurant, shop in the bazaars. really gave us hope for the future of the country. it's kind of sad though. so many of the factions here go around acting like they are special and don't need to do any work to improve their lot in life. but that someone owes them something. that the u.s. or the world or someone should come in and make things better for them. up north they aren't waiting. they're taking their future in their own hands and building something that they are proud of. the different factions there are putting differences aside, and improving life for everyone. it's awesome. if only the rest of the country would get it.

after a couple hours of that, we had to go back to the base where our team was. great to spend another night with the guys. the next morning we saddled up and came home. about the only downside was i broke my electronic gizmo. still have to figured out what i did. i thought i had it fixed today but it was only a partial solution.

today was pretty uneventful. slept awful, woke up aching in 100 different spots. just got back into the swing of things. ran my normal errands around the base, tried to get my gizmo fixed, put out a couple fires, went for a run this afternoon. THAT was definately not something to write about. but we're getting better. shaved 30 seconds off of our 3 mile time from last week. we're getting back into shape.

well, that's all the news that is fit to print.

Friday, January 13, 2006

my blog.

okay. so. i'm a soldier serving in iraq. well, i'm a reservist who volunteered to be here. so alot of this will probably be about things going on here. which means there will be spots where i'm vague, because i can't give away specifics out of consideration for security. i'm also a paranoid freak, so i'm not going to talk specifically about family or friends. they didn't ask to be talked about here, i didn't ask them for permission so no specifics there. nothing new there, that's just good net street smarts i think. so if you know me, please respect this and don't babble on about family or friends here either. if you know me, you've got my email or my number or my im address or something. that's the proper forum for that. and then i've been in the military for 11 years. i speak army-speak. i'm not trying to confuse anyone (like how i assume people will actually find and read this?), i'm just making a mistake in assuming everyone knows what i'm talking about.

should i stay or should i go?

i've been toying with the blog idea for a long, long time. i send out these mass emails to everyone once a month or so, just to let them know i'm still alive and kicking, but i'm not sure that any of them really care. so it kind of seems like doing this, and just giving people the link to come to might be easier. finally a mix of boredom and whatever else made me think that i should create the account and if i use it, cool. if i don't? still cool.