Thursday, November 29, 2007

internet

with some fiddling, i've improved my 'net connection. of course we're moving out of these buildings on saturday morning. but hopefully i'll get a post or two in before then.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

well, we're on the way...

I've picked up a lot of new visitors because of Lori at http://toysfortroops.blogspot.com.  She's doing some great things over there and you should visit and check it out.  Normally I'd try to visit everyone's blogs and leave more comments, but my 'net access has been very limited.  I'm okay, my guys are okay, we're all doing well.  We're just going through the painful, painful process of "mobilizing". 

My unit is the most heavily deployed company in the Army Reserves.  To my understanding there hasn't been in a time in the last decade when we haven't had people deployed.  We're at 200% strength because so many people volunteer to come to our unit because they know we train hard, work hard and play hard.  We've got a partial company deployed to Iraq, we're getting ready to go where we're going, and then in the beginning of next year we're pushing more people to Iraq.  I'm going on my third deployment, my roommate is going on his fourth.  Over 90% of the guys going with me have deployed before. 

None of that matters.  We're all being treated like idiots going through this process.  I understand that.  When you're pushing this many bodies through all of these stations you have to talk to the lowest common denominator so that you can get people through quickly.  But then there's the active duty mind set that reservists are a bunch of dumb, lazy fat-asses.  I had the same misconception when I was on active duty.  Not because I had any dealings with reservists, but because that's what everyone said.  We actually were given a lengthy lecture today about how we were all on active duty now, on an active duty post and whatever nonsense we might do at home or on our drill weekends wasn't going to e tolerated here.  That we needed to act like professional soldiers for once.  Not because we'd done anything wrong, simply because of who we are.

The most annoying part about that lecture?  The active duty people giving it weren't wearing any indications on their uniform that they've ever deployed before.  They're not required to, but most people usually will, just to give themselves some instant street-cred.  

Anyways, we're doing well, we're in relatively good spirits and we're eager to get this show on the road. 

Hope everyone is surviving the holiday madness, and sorry for making the rounds.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

happy thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving everyone! hope everyone has a few moments to slow down today and appreciate the things that are going right in your lives, even if there's alot of wrong.

be good! and thanks for all the support.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

turmoil...

today was my last day at work. it was really, really hard to keep from turning cartwheels down the hallway i was so happy. it was equally had to keep from flipping the bird with both hands at the boss. fortunately that professionalism thing kicked in.

this deployment isn't a bad thing. once we get through the stupidity and actually get in country i'll have a good time. i'll be doing hard, challenging work, i'll be working shoulder to shoulder with good people and when i come home i'll be proud of what we did. i know that. but just like the last two deployments, there's all sorts of feelings of dread late at night when i can't sleep. there are some goodbyes i REALLY don't want to say. then all the little things that i don't want to do without for the next year, and all of the nonsense that i know is going to come at us, fast and furious for the next couple months until we're firmly established and well into our routine.

i feel like i'm letting people down. there's so many things i thought i'd have time to do before we left. i always overcommit. there are computers i told people i'd fix for them. lots of unfinished projects at work that my co-workers are going to have to pick up the slack on. i didn't find a degree program to start on and the paperwork for that definately isn't finished. there's tons of projects around the house to do. i didn't get my car donated to a charity. i haven't mailed off any of the letters to creditors to explain my situation and invoke the soldiers and sailors civil relief act. i was going to help the next door neighbor look for a new car. i've been anti-social since i've been back and i've told plenty of people we'd get together for dinner or whatever and haven't seen them since before i left last time.

that back and forth, the ups and downs all compressed into such a short time frame is so hard to deal with. if they could just call me and say "hey, get your kit ready, you're shipping out in 72 hours" it'd be great. the months and months of thinking and explaining and answering questions... it's like standing on a cliff, poised to jump off into the water below. stand there and think about it too long and it gets harder and harder to make the leap. it's better just to walk up to the edge and take a quick second to figure out your approach, then take a step back and do it, without thinking.

Friday, November 16, 2007

signs that you might not be quite as okay as you'd like to think you are...

so once upon a time a buddy and i were walking down the street in some third world country. he and i were great friends long before we ever got to that little vacation spot, and we'd spent 2 or three months there, sleeping in the same tent. so we were able to have those long, comfortable silences because we already knew all the stories the other had to tell and were sick of the sound of each other's voice. we were armed, and so were the locals. there weren't alot of troops on the ground so we couldn't make people turn their weapons in because they legitimately needed them for protection. so you couldn't tell the good guys from the bad guys until they decided to shoot at you. you could only trust your fellow soldier to your right or your left and after a time, the distrust just made you resent all of the locals on some level.

i don't know why we were walking down the road, i don't remember where we came from or where we were going but we weren't in a hurry, which was good because it was hot as hell. we were happy to just be strolling, thinking our thoughts. a couple hundred meters ahead we saw one of the locals on a rooftop, he and his ak-47 silhouetted against the sun. my buddy cleared his throat and asked "do you know what i'm thinking?" and oddly enough i was certain i did. "that you could shoot that fucker right now and not have any problems sleeping tonight?" "yup."

i pride myself on my professionalism. i can't see myself ever actually doing that. and his professionalism puts me to shame. i strive to be more like him. there is no doubt in my mind that neither of us would ever arbitrarily shoot someone. but would that professionalism be the only thing that would keep me from doing it? or stop others from doing it? or would little things like catholic guilt, conscience, etc... kick in there at some point in time?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

bob seger

i've always loved his music, and i've always taken flak for it. "redneck music", "white trash", etc... usually from people who've never lived in small-town america and don't recognize the goodness that can come from people there. same with johnny cougar music.

i love the sound of the music after the pause. the "i awoke last night to the sound of thunder" bit. alot of my friends consider themselves to be music connoisseurs and don't see these to be complex. personally i think there's alot going on in some of these songs. and they resonate off of me, which is really all that matters. i think i've talked about my love of a certain girl as a youngster and associating "you'll accompany me" with her for so long. we were such good friends, such a good fit, for years it felt like we'd end up together someday. that song was just reaffirmation to me way back when. it was nice knowing i wasn't the only one.

things are okay now. there's alot of little things going on with the deployment. in the past when i've done these trips, i've been on active duty for months before actually leaving the country, which gave us lots of time to get stuff done. we're not going to have as much time this trip, so we're being forced to spend lots of personal time getting things sorted out and ready. so i'm tired. we're all burning the candle at both ends. trying to do the most to wrap up loose ends at the civilian job and around my house and trying to do all the stuff for the unit. i could complain about lots of stuff, but i don't like doing that. but it's necessary and it'll get better. the only way to get past things like this is to go through them.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

if you're bored...

go to 3 wishes.com. if you didn't click on my link, go to "halloween". scroll down to the "ella mental" costume.

am i the only one who finds it a little disturbing that someone might find that costume "hot"?

Friday, November 09, 2007

that's right. more of 'em.



is one that i forgot about the other day when i was talking about slow songs i like.

and then annie stole my thunder. i was going to post this one yesterday:

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

yet ANOTHER music video



i think it was bad that "bitch" was her first big song and was so overplayed. it wasn't her best work, but it overshadowed everything else. i think by the time some of her other songs came out people were sick of the sound of her voice. or i could have NO idea what i'm talking about.

i don't normally go for the slower songs, but i can get lost in this one. kind of the same with some of dianna krall's stuff. it's kinda nice to know that women wonder some of the same things. we may have morals and we may not act on everything, but sometimes your mind does wander...

i hadn't seen the video in ages.

haven't done one of these in awhile...

big peach runner had this on her blog and i stole it:

Things about me that you may or may not have known, in no particular order:
Four Jobs I have had in my life:
1. assistant manager at a retail clothing store
2. department manager at a stationary/gift shop
3. network administrator
4. tech support
Four movies I have watched more than once:
1. star wars
2. running scared
3. the replacements
4. big trouble in little china
Four places I have lived:
1. tucson, az
2. altoona, ia
3. savannah, ga
4. orangeburg, sc
Four TV Shows I Watch:
1. e.r.
2. scrubs
3. life
4. boston legal
Four places I have been:
1. chicago
2. philadelphia
3. orlando
4. salt lake city
Four of my favorite foods:
1. pizza
2. steak
3. sushi
4. ice cream
Four people who email me regularly:
1. my mom
2. brian
3. the other brian
4. my dad
Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. napping
2. running (and enjoying it b/c I'm in such good shape)
3. freaking afghanistan already.  let's get it over with.
4. on the motorcycle
Things I am looking forward to this year:
1. hopefully getting promoted
2. uh...
3.
4.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

airport randoms

-with very, very, very few exceptions you're really not important enough that you need to answer the phone in the bathroom. and it really doesn't impress anyone that you think you do.

-trouble had a post a couple days ago and i made some comments about how some guys who are considered unromantic show love in different ways. (some girls too...) and you just have to learn how to look for those ways. i was watching a woman struggling with a rolling carry on, trying to get it down the steps (the down escalator is stopped). she made it to the bottom and a just as she did, her husband caught up to her. she handed the roller off with a big smile and gave him a kiss and thanked him. said she'd never carried her own luggage in 18 years and didn't realize the hell she'd put him through, and he never complained once.

-alot of people who complain about the escalator being out a) made things tougher by themselves by not going the stairs instead (the height difference from step to step is smaller) and b) should be grateful because they need the exercise.

-more and more higher waisted jeans and less and less hip huggers=good thing. so few women can pull off the hip-hugger look.

-slc isn't the worst little city to visit. not sure that i'd move here, but some beautiful mountains, and a much more manageable size than some other places. i imagine that won't last forever

-i'm really starting to get cranky about the build-up for our deployment. put us on orders and bring us in and have us do everything at once. but quit calling me in the middle of the day and then getting pissy when i can't drop everything to come in and do something trivial. yes, i know we're "going to war", and yes, i know that's important. but so's having a job to come back to.

-there are ALOT of really short, really small waisted girls with no hips yet ginormous breasts in this airport. and it's freaking me out. it really doesn't look natural.

-today at lunch some really snooty chick parked her mercedes in the handicapped spot with no handicapped tags. can you call the cops on that?

-i personally do not tell someone i'm involved with to "go take a shower and think of me while you're in there" on the cell phone in front of a captive audience. if you're really, really unattractive, i'd appreciate it if you'd return the favor. because that's a mental image i don't want to be stuck with. bastard.

-ali larter is hot. and even though she may do a ton of really great things none of them will ever top the whipped cream bikini. which probably is another sterling example of my pigishness.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another six sentence story

Now and then

When he was a kid they played "G.I. Joe" and  "war".  They'd point their toy guns or their fingers at one another and shout "BANG!" and one would fall down and then jump back up again a minute later, laughing like a loon.  Or they'd argue about having super speed or shields or magic powers that made them impervious to bullets.  Then he grew up, joined the army and went to war, where the rounds whizzed by over head and the shells exploded nearby and there was no magical shield and when you were hit you were really dead and he thought he was scared.  That was years ago, and he's home safe now and he just saw his own son running round the corner of the house, chased by the neighbor boy who's screaming "Bang-Bang!  HEY!  NO FAIR!  I GOT YOU, YOU'RE DEAD".  Funny, with no threat present he now knows what fear really is.

 

i'm having fun with trying these.  you guys are forced to suffer through my delusions of grandeur.

Friday, November 02, 2007

actually i lied. not intentionally though...

i got the idea of the six sentence story from jason and billy. jason's is here.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Six Sentence Story...

Only the Good Die Young

"I'm too old for this shit" the NCO thought to himself, shaking his head to try to clear the ringing from his ears and the tunnel vision from his eyes. The i.e.d. had detonated close to the humvee, lifting it and spinning it around. "ptang-tang-tang" he heard, as small caliber rounds impacted with the armor plating on his vehicle. "SKI! Light'em up! " he roared, smacking the thigh of his turret gunner, which was just inches away from his head. Hearing no response, no "Got it Sarge!", feeling no rocking vibrations from the huge M-2 .50cal firing, he leaned over to look up at his gunner. Seeing the lifeless body, the helmet and part of the top his head blown away by the explosion he screamed in his head, the rage building: "FUCK! SKI! NO! NOT SKI! HE'S JUST A FUCKING KID"

i got the idea from: http://sixsentences.blogspot.com/. Give it a try.