Thursday, November 30, 2006

more happy feet

i needed happiness after the other thing. so here's more feet. i love reef sandals. they're absolutely comfy after a long day (or week) in combat boots, a hard run, fighting the crowds in the mall christmas shopping, whatever. a week in shorts and reefs on the beach puts my head back on straight. when i was in iraq i came across another reef lover. the picture HAD to be taken.

show off your happy feet!
i just got a spam for child porn. i reported it to a child abuse hotline but i still feel queasy. i need a shower.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

when the adrenaline dumps...

julie had a post the other day about her drive home and her almost accident. in amazing clarity she rattles off the various thoughts that ran through her head in the instant before her car was almost hit.

i love the "atticus kodiak" series by greg rucka. go. buy this series now. anyways, in the second book he talks about "stupid things that go through your head when the adrenaline dumps". he does a great job writing believeable characters. they're people you know even though they're in fictional, over the top adventures and what goes through their heads is similar to stuff that has usually gone through my head. anything from "oh shit, this is gonna leave a mark" to "lordy, i'm glad i've got a good job with health benefits."

i had JUST read and commented on julie's post and was leaving work to go home. the temperature had dropped and the snow had come in. i was driving down the interstate when a car next to me lost it and started to spin and nudged me and made me spin. just as the spin started i cursed the lack of a good, self cleaning old-school willys jeep treads on my truck. not so great on ice but last night might've worked against the slushy, tread clogging snow. as i continued through my spin i was wondering how much my insurance rate was going to hike and was muttering "son of a BITCH!" as the car that nudged me righted itself and drove off. as i came to the stop of my spin with the nose and cab of the truck in the lane next to the one i started in and saw a huge semi truck coming at me i started laughing of all things... "if i thought i had an unhealthy phobia of being inside a car before..."

oddly enough i got myself righted and out of his way (and he swerved and braked enough) before he flattened me. it still amazes me how many thoughts can go through your head in such a short period of time.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

happy feet...

so they're FINALLY shipping the new lines for my galaxie. hopefully it'll be back up and running soon. however it's supposed to snow off and on all week, so no motorcycle for me. so this morning i was getting dressed for work and was reaching for my boots when i saw my old skools out of the corner of my eye. "why not?" i asked. no reason to wear the boots if i'm not riding the scoot. sure i'm pushing the limits of our dress code, but sometimes you've just gotta be a rebel. that's me. damn the man! me and my badass vans.

i love my vans.

the end.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

so i love visiting my parents. definately a good thing, but i hate leaving. it's weird. much like the weekend ending. the last day or two are still fun, but there's that feeling of the last week of summer vacation. knowing that you've got to go back to school in a couple days, dealing with the jack-ass teachers, bullies, my parents when i wasn't making straight a's... not an anxiety attack, but just feeling the stress pile on again.

so i'm having a great time with them, but the real world starts up again tomorrow...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

i hope everyone is having a great thanksgiving. whether you're with loved ones and doing the whole she-bang, or whether you pulled the covers over your head and slept way late, i hope you had a good time doing whatever recharges your batteries and took a few minutes to appreciate all the good things in your life.

i'm with my parents in arizona. always a wonderful time for me. i don't know why, but this place always puts me at ease and makes me feel relaxed on levels i can't reach anywhere else. i don't know if it's my parents, or the house or arizona and the heat or what. no idea.

i think about where i was last year, sitting in the dining facility in iraq, with all the crew. totally different experience but not a bad time at all. two totally different days but both were days full of reflection and gratitude.

Monday, November 20, 2006

i had a great weekend. i'm exhausted, we worked our asses off at times. but a great weekend.
i frequently am at work until long after sunset. it's great to be outside from dawn til dusk.

Friday, November 17, 2006

i was talking to someone the other day and they told me that i was the most closed off person they'd ever met and that they don't understand how i got to be this way and that it must just hurt to be me. i had no response, still don't really. i'm just me. it doesn't hurt. i don't know anything else. i normally don't spend much time thinking about it. then a few days later i was telling someone about applying for the antartica trip. they looked at me funny and said that most people they'd blow off when they said that, but that they thought it'd actually be a pretty good fit for me. that i was very internalized, that i could work well with a team or a group and not screw up group dynamics but that they'd known me for years and still didn't feel like they knew me.

i still have no idea what to think of either of those comments. when i was a kid we moved around alot. my parents were very careful with their money and i spent time in a private catholic school and a private college prep school with kids from wealthy families. i was a part asian kid in really small towns that hadn't seen alot of other asian kids. not a terribly traumatic childhood, but early on i found it was much more comfortable inside my own head, be it just watching movies that i wrote, directed and produced on the insides of my eyelids or reading books. in my early teen/before the driver's license years my parents moved into a house in the middle of nowhere. not a farm, just a house with the nearest neighbors a ways down the road. that lead to tons of time spent walking around in the woods doing whatever.

i was always one of the "doesn't meet full potential" kids. always in advanced classes, but never getting a's. this bothered my dad, so i would spend the time in between reports cards on restriction. restriction meant no t.v./radio/computer. just me'n'the books.

i can remember coming home in the third or fourth grade and being frustrated by social interactions at school. no sad or hurt, but just frustrated, so much so that while trying to explain it to my dad i started crying. he was really great and comforting to me. then he went out and talked to mom and said stuff about me. i don't remember what, and as an adult with an adult's comprehension, it was probably nothing bad. probably just called me "sensitive" or something. but at the time i took it as betrayal and his compassion as acting. i tried hard to never cry again.

in dating i frequently attracted the broken birds. people who'd been raped/abused/molested. i still don't know why. i'm sure the first couple people i dated i was just giddy and open and like any other goofy teen. but handling some of those bigger problems really made me careful of what i say. definately minefield walking. i came to not rely on relationships for happiness or fulfillment.

do all of those things and a little genetic makeup come together to make me "closed off"? who knows. do these people give me a little too much credit for being "complex" or 3-d? i think i'm a fairly flat, 2-d guy. are they looking for something that just isn't there?

the weird part is that i think i'm a little too open. i frequently feel like i bore people at work or wherever with my stories. i do this blogging thing, but it's really written for me to just sort stuff out and get it down. i love the feedback, and kinda like to ham it up for an audience which i normally wouldn't do as much in person. are "shy" and "closed off" the same thing?

i think people adapt to situations. i'm not talking about faking or lying or anything, but i think most people have different sides that come out depending on who they're with and what kind of environment they are in. is that what happens? a little more open with some people you trust and a little reserved with some you don't on some level?

who knows. it was just something interesting to think about for several hours this weekend when i couldn't sleep. there's probably a... not quite a sequel to this but a tangent post in future.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

i've got to go play g.i. joe for the next three days. being the super geek i am, i actually will be carrying my internet access along with me, but i might not have the time to use it. or i might. who knows. just in case, no one do anything exciting or entertaining until i get back.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

i love reading and i love sharing good books. so. if anyone wants any of the books from my list of books i read in october let me know and i'll be happy to send it to you. the only caveat is once you're done, you need to attempt to pass it along to someone else. doesn't have to be through your blog. lemme know.

in addition, i'll go through my stack of books at home and try to add more to the list. i saw this going on on someone else's blog for another book and thought it was a good idea.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

real men...

a couple days ago i was reading someone's blog and they had their list of what constituted a "real man". one of the bullets was "real men don't bake". i was running errands today and it made me think about that. i had to get 9mm and .308 ammo to go shooting with a friend, i stopped at the dealer to talk about upgrades to my motorcycle, i bought some stuff to finally finish off my desk project and i stopped and bought a new stand-up mixer because i was tired of using a hand mixer to make frosting for a cake decorating class i'm taking. why am i taking a cake decorating class? because everytime i saw a cake i kept wondering how the hell they make the flowers and stuff and because for the life of me i could never ice a cake and make it look normal. most of mine looked like they'd dropped on the floor or something. so i took the first class and had fun and am now taking the second. it's interesting to learn how they do all the intricate stuff, the teacher is an absolute hoot and so are the students. they're a pretty wide mix of people. the added responsibilities kinda help keep me focused as well. i have to spend a couple hours every sunday getting ready for the class and it actually pries me away from the office one night a week. and it's just completely different from everything else i normally do.

frequently when i pull into a place with other bikers around i get razzed for riding a sportster. "hey, you know what real men say about sportsters?" "uh, i'm not gay. i don't try to pick up men with my motorcycle. so no, i don't know and i really don't give a shit. hey. wait a minute. why do YOU care so much?"

doing a search on the internet i find that apparently real men:

-wear kilts
-have depression
-are tax deductible
-do yoga
-are not media representations
-love flowers
-don't cheat
-are promise keepers
-point and laugh at promise keepers
-wear pinstripes
-are real
-want bush
-don't click
-don't play GURPS
-wear flannel

just to name a few... who knows what a "real man" is? anyways. it's funny, i'm 33. i couldn't call myself a man until recently. like, in the last couple of years. when i thought of a "man" it was my dad or my uncles or a couple other people i really respect. calling myself a man was an insult to them. it wasn't me, i was still a kid. i don't know what changed, when i decided things changed, when i could take myself seriously to call myself that. or maybe i never could, but everyone else did and i finally stopped fighting it. but i don't remember ever wearing a kilt...

Friday, November 10, 2006

this is how i'm going to celebrate veteran's day. you know, there are alot of solid movies that portray different aspects of war realistically, but alot of them skip over the boredom and the downtime. alot of them fail to acknowledge that for every soldier out there doing the gung-ho stuff there are a ton of airmen, sailors and soldiers who have a very unexciting, monotonous life far away from home supporting those few guys who are doing the normal rambo stuff.

i have a friend who i went to high school with who got back from iraq just as i was headed over. unlike me, he was stuck in a support role on the same base and hated his entire year deployment. he had an awful chain of command that didn't instill a sense of purpose in the troops. they didn't give them a "big picture" view of what they were doing over there and how they were supporting other guys and so to him, that was a year wasted.

i was largely support as well, but i was supporting tactical teams at the company level and i farmed myself out to other units as well, so i did get to go outside the wire and meet and greet locals and dodge bad stuff and lead some combat patrols. i was plugged in enough to get the big picture as well, how what we were doing affected what was going on in our region of the country.

this movie does a great job catching that boredom and the despair of wanting to contribute and feel important. and it's as true for thousands of soldiers fulfilling logistical roles in iraq and afghanistant and kuwait and other places around the world today as it was after WWII.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

i got nothing...

i wanna have stuff to write about, but it's the same 'ole, same 'ole...

trying to go to korea next month, but because some jackass couldn't be bothered to do his job properly while i was in iraq my security clearance has lapsed. i'm not sure that i can get it going again in time before the trip.

i'd love to apply for a 4 month job in the antartic but i'm probably going to wuss out of it because of the uncertainty of life after the job. i'll try to line up a job and i'll check it out, but i can't go down there and then come back here without something to slide into. that's okay though, it's nice to play "what if" about some stuff sometimes without actually going all the way through with it.

so my world traveling plans aren't working out quite as well as i'd like. but other things are going well.

the heated jacket liner kicks ass. if any of you are struggling for a christmas present for a motorcycle rider, let me highly recommend the warm'n'safe products. i was doing 70 mph when it was 22 degrees the other day and arrived to work in a non-seansicle format. it was great.

i finally got a new radiator that fits in my galaxie. apparently it was an oddball and was one of a very small number that was built with a certain type of radiator. it was such a rarity that it took the girl about a week to find the right part and then it had to be custom built. the bad part is that in the process of taking the old radiator out i had to shear off the automatic transmission lines. so now i'm waiting for replacements to get shipped here.

that's it. all the news that is fit to print.

Friday, November 03, 2006

books i enjoyed in october:

"school days" by robert b. parker
"shopgirl" by steve martin
"not a good day to die: the untold story of operation anaconda" by sean naylor
"delta force" by col. charlie beckwith (retired)
"inside delta force: the story of america's elite counterterrorist unit" by csm. eric haney (retired)
"never have your dog stuffed: and other things i've learned" by alan alda
"about a boy" by nick hornby

not as many as i would've liked, but it was a busy month and i was actually trying to knock out some homework...