Wednesday, March 29, 2006

So Many Gadgets, So Little Time

It has come to my attention that my room looks like something out of a Popular Science Article, In my room right now I have My TV/ DVD Player almost two hundred DVD’s two Xboxes (one chipped to play copied games, and one regular) something close to fifty games, at least 15 of which are as of yet unopened, my Sony PSP which is charging, my lap top and my newest toy, get this... I bought a pair of sunglasses at the Haji Shop that have a built in MP3 player in the arms of the glasses, so now I can look cool and Jam with Toby Keith. It doesn’t have a lot of memory (256mb) But it is enough to go through my normal work day at least once. Aren’t I just so High tech with my cool gadgets???? Not so much. I also bought an ASP at the Haji shop. (So very cool.) An ASP is an extending baton that Police use as a non lethal weapon, It has many practical uses not the least of which is it will make a great car defense tool. As opposed to the crowbar that is currently under most of your seats. The bouncers used ASP’s in Germany mainly to knock around drunk Americans. They are very effective. I rationalize this purchase on a number of levels, The first being I am currently working as a reserve MP which means I might have to restrain someone and I would prefer not to point my weapon if I don’t have to. Secondly remember that I want syndrome I was talking about before??? I want. I buy. So I was a good boy today I wrote something like 4 snail mails. I don’t know why but I have the hardest time writing regular letters. I swear my hand starts cramping. Which is funny because I can type for hours at a time. Go figure. Hmmm maybe I should buy a printer..... I’ll have to give it some thought. So I have narrowed my choice of leave down to two choices, Hawaii to meet and spend time with my grandparents, and probably scope a lot of really attractive Hawaiian women. Most of whom will probably ignore me but I can deal with that. My second Choice is the lower east coast, I have a couple friends who live in South Carolina that I haven’t seen since the last time I was in Iraq. Plus I’ll be somewhat close to Florida and I can do the whole Orlando thing. And scope out really attractive Floridian women. What can I say I’m an equal opportunist. At this point I am leaning towards Hawaii but I want to make sure it’s alright with all parties involved. I am super excited about leave. I have a really good feeling about this vacation, no matter where it might lead me. So there was some major rain last night, along with some wicked (yeah that’s right wicked.) Lightning storms. The only thing that sucks about this is as soon as it rains our entire area turns into a giant mud bowl. One of our vehicles (not mine) got stuck because the driver was pulling doughnuts in the deeper mud. He got so stuck that our supervisor had to use a wrecker to pull them out. Because of that little incident our supervisor wasn’t able to pick up dinner chow so my tummy is making funny sounds. And with that fascinating tidbit I’m outie.

This Just In:
P-dale & the Mexican should be back no later than Saturday. I am so excited to get them back. Although one of my new buddies will be going back to his normal job. I am getting two of my favorite people back at work. The rumor mill (or scuttlebutt if you will) is that there might be some newcomers heading our way as well that would be excellent!!!!

Random Fact Of The Blog:
Twinkies originally had a banana-cream filling until WWII when there was a banana shortage.
Yum Twinkies...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Creature Comforts

It is getting harder and harder to whine about my living conditions when I keep falling into little creature comforts. Tonight completely out of the blue one of my neighbors helped me hook up the cable in my room. Before you get the wrong Idea it is only 5 channels and 2 of them are like CNN types but it is one of those little things that are nice to have... In fact my biggest complaint is really directed at an online store. Long story short I was trying to buy an IPOD from Circuit City online and for some unknown reason they wouldn’t accept my credit card. I believe it was a problem with my billing address, sigh. Obviously not the worst thing in the world, but it is enough to make me gripe. Oh and OH MY GAWD! It was so freaking hot today. I seriously wanted to peal off my skin. Unfortunately the rules are very clear, Full battle rattle for the entire shift. I’m pretty sure that this would be considered some kind of inhumane torture in any other circumstance. Stupid Middle Eastern Country and it’s close proximity to the equator. So let’s see, Up Armored Hummv without air conditioning, Check. 100+ degrees temperature and rising, Check. Flak Vest, Front and rear ceramic pates, Check. Four point Kevlar, Check. Full Desert Camouflage Uniform, Check. Thousands of Gnats bathing in the pools of sweat, Check. Unimaginable discomfort. Check. So yeah that is plenty of griping for one day. I have tomorrow off... Which makes me oh so very happy. Sleeping in is by far the best part of my week. So I received two packages today, both were very cool, the first was from a complete stranger, it was neat though it had a St. Pattys Day theme, everything was green, including a t-shirt that says party like a leprechaun. Some shamrock glasses and a ginormic leprechaun. The Package also included like a billion other green things including some Wasabi covered peanuts... those I’m pretty sure will never be touched.. I like spice as much as the next person but Wasabi is just ridiculously hot. The second package was from Jeff, A friend I met thru RFG right before I left for Iraq, I believe I have mentioned him in the past, he sends a lot of jokes and little tid bits that make our days better, one of my favorite little items that he has sent me are the two Playboy magazines from 1988. I don’t know why but there is just something very cool about a magazine that was published when I was 8 years old. And seeing Kim Basinger all naykee at 22 doesn’t hurt the issue at all. Hey what do you want from me I’m a healthy 26 year old male. Good old Hef, the guy is a genius.

Random Fact of The day,
Superman appeared in every single episode of Seinfeld for the entire run of the series, Apparently Jerry is almost as obsessed the Superman as yours truly is with Spider-Man... Only I am way more obsessed, I mean hello 7 pairs of underwear dedicated to that arachnid.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I Want, I Want Syndrome

Here I sit making my jaw sore chewing on a huge bag of Skittles (Taste the rainbow.)Watching Smallville and racking my brain on where to begin. We had a very interesting day, by interesting I mean we had an emergency/crash landing right outside the perimeter. There weren’t any serious injuries, there were a few with some bumps and bruises, I didn’t get a chance to interview them. Don’t I sound professional? The last few days have been uneventful for the most part I had to work with a couple of people that I would rather not, but in my entire life I don’t think I have ever had a job where I liked everyone. I bought a Sony PSP today. I really don’t have a valid reason for buying it. In fact I claim that I have an infliction that many young children have until they are told no repeatedly. I like to refer to it as “I want, I want” syndrome. Unfortunately for me I have complete and total control over what I am allowed to have and seeing as I very rarely tell myself no. (Unless I happen to be attracted to someone and then all I hear myself say is no, no, no.) The long and short of it is. I want I get. It is really very therapeutic. Hmmm right now I want girlfriend. I just can’t see myself buying a girlfriend. As much as the hopeless romantic in me would like to believe that I would be as lucky as Richard Gere was 15 years ago... I haven’t seen very many Julia Roberts Look-A-Likes roaming around Iraq. Hmmm only Julia Roberts could portray a street walker (the oldest profession in the world) and make it seem glamorous. By the by P.T. is an army acronym for Physical Training, similar to P.E. in school... only it is required and it isnt as much fun, A happy little side note about that, Apparently a lot of people were not doing well during their tests last week, so now we have mandatory PT at 0530 before work every morning..... Oh the Fun!!!!!!!!!!

This Just in:
So it is official “Off Limits” is here at Tallil. I saw her this morning and even spoke with her. Actually I spoke at her. If I am completely honest I yelled in her general direction. Once again I recognized her back before I saw her face. I told everyone around here that I was completely over her... And apparently I am full of crap. I see her and I get flutterbys in my tummy. Yes flutterbys what of it? Ah well matters not she is way out of my league. So for now I shall just admire her from afar.

Random fact of the day:

I haven’t had any facts in a while so I thought I would lay a couple on you today

In 1988, Indiana stripper Cynthia S. Hess -Known professionally as Chesty Love- became the first person to receive a tax deduction for breast implants. ---Hmmm no comment

Top Five most obese countries in the world...
Percentage per capita

1. U.S.A. Obesity Rate 30.6% By 2008 it will be 39%

2 Mexico Obesity Rate 24.2% In the last decade Mexico’s obesity rate has ballooned 158%

3.United Kingdom Obesity Rate 23% Almost 2/3rds of men and half of the women are over weight or obese,

4. Slovak Republic Obesity Rate 22.4 % I don’t even know where this country is. 5. Greece Obesity Rate 21.9% Apparently all the statues of the ripped Greek gods were just

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Prodigal Son

Have you ever found your self singing, not a song you know. A song you were making up as you went along. I do that a lot. I have done it for as long as I can remember. I have more memories walking home from one place or another, singing to myself than I do of ... well other normal memories.
So today was not as bad as it could have been. It was however a very early day, far to early. The PT Test went as well as can be expected. The Man With The Big V-8 gave his interpretation of how to fail a pt test. I say it that way because he did everything he possibly could have to not pass it. His own personal rebellion. Apparently I was not the only one displeased with our early wake up call. I looked into getting a passport today and found out that it is near impossible to do it from here. I say near impossible because there is a way to go about it. It entails two trips to Kuwait, with at least two weeks between the first and second trip. I will also need a certified copy of my birth certificate. Which I have, except I have it in a box in storage somewhere in Washington. I can order another one but it will take about 6 weeks to get it here. Hopefully I can order it tonight. The only item that I needed that I could actually take care of today was the actual passport photos. For some very odd reason we have a Kodak print shop here that also acts as a pseudo photo studio. (That rhymed. Grin)
I started watching Smallville today. I bought seasons one thru four from the hadji shop on my last day off. I had forgotten how great this show is. I am sure it has very little to do with all the amazingly attractive females that fill the majority of the cast. This show like so many WB shows has some kind of allergy when it comes unattractive actors. One day the world will realize that ugly people suffer from teenage drama as well...

Random insight of the day:

No matter how far you are from home, how long it’s been since you left. You will always be remembered as the one they used to be able to hold in the palm of their hand.
The Prodigal Son

That would be me.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Frustrated And Rebellious

So today has become one of those days that makes me question the decision I made so many years ago. It happens every once in a while, a particularly rough day that for no immediate reason spirals into one headache after another. I worked with the little one with the same name as myself. He is by far one of my least favorite people. Next to Pimp Daddy, Daddy Mack of course. He spent most of the day whining about how everyone in the Army had screwed him over in one way or another. At one point I mentioned that after listening to him vent for a few hours I hadn’t heard him accept blame for even one thing. Everything from the pending divorce to his inability to make rank someone else was at fault entirely. He said that I was just trying to confuse him, apparently that was not his fault either. So after a very long thirteen hours, as I am getting ready to crawl out the back of the truck and into a much needed shower I am told that I will have tomorrow off but at 0530 I am supposed to be in front of my trailer ready to go take yet another PT Test. Apparently they lost the paper work from the one I took last month. So grrr or whatever. Needless to say I was less than pleased. In fact I think irate is a more accurate description of my personal feelings. I told one of the senior NCO’s that I had just taken one last month and he told me flat out he didn’t care. So just incase it isn’t very apparent I’m whining. I honestly wouldn’t mind so much if it wasn’t so ungodly early on my one day off. Sadly even as I write this I know that I will get up and I will take the test again. And I know that I will probably repeat the process agin next month. So, why did I join the Army? The honest answer is that there was not one person that thought I would be able to do it. (Including even myself.) I was never the type people picture as military material. I joined before Sept 11th, so I know it wasn’t out of some kind of need to fight those that had cut my country so deep. Here I am four years and seven months later. This is what the ARMY has taught me. Your strongest moments will be the ones that chose you, not the ones you chose yourself. I read in Angels & Demons, (The prequel to Da Vinci Code) That history is written by the winners. I wonder if that is why I started writing, So that on one level at least I would be a winner. I know that is why I play Solitaire. If I lose I lose to myself which makes me a winner... sort of. Is anyone else confused....

Random act of defiance at work.

For some reason I have an almost clinical aversion to wearing my helmet at work. Even though I have been told repeatedly that I am to wear it, I constantly find myself riding around with it sitting next to me.... Who’d of thunk it .. A. J. James Rebel Without a helmet.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Attack Of The Audio-Virus

This Just In:
I realize today is not a normal blog day but I had to make you all aware while I have the chance. In an effort to better our internet resources our internet access is closing in approximately thirteen hours give or take. The reason for the closure is for the move across the street into the bigger and better equipped area. It is not known how long the facility will be closed but it is believed that it will be between 72 hours and a week, I promise to continue writing my entries and I will just post them at my first opportunity. In other news I have discovered a previously unknown talent. I believe I have spoken previously about the problem I refer to as audio-virus. (The clinical definition of which is if I hear any part of a song I with out fail will have it stuck in my head for an undetermined amount of time.) Apparently I can pass this virus onto other folks with in my vicinity, as I witnessed today. The gentleman that I will hitherto refer to as Big Red (because of his ginger hair color, that means red you wanks*!) suffered all day through my field experiments. To test my theory I started subtly at first singing the beginning to every long and annoying song I could think possibly think of. I first hit pay dirt with the theme song to Hawaii 5-0. And then the theme song to Bonanza (partially because I am an evil man) and then Whitney’s Did you ever know? Along with The Song That Never Ends and a few other favorites. Needles to say Big Red went home more Red in the face than in hair color. Grin I hope to be back in touch soon and I will keep you all as informed as I possibly am able.

Random Act of Stupidity I suffered today:
So as I was going to step out of my vehicle my foot some how managed to get caught up in my weapon sling and I fell flat on my back . The worst of it is I was wearing all of my gear and as hard as this is to admit I very closely resembled a turtle when it is overturned. Sigh... the things I share with you people. Does it every worry any of you that almost every person here carries a semi-automatic weapon including yours truly??? In truth it worries me a tad more than I will readily admit.

* The author would like to ask you to forgive his use of the British slang term for Americans, He has discovered that many women find the British accent sexy and he has decided to pull out all the stops.... grin, can you blame me????

Friday, March 17, 2006

Introducing... Pimp Daddy,Daddy Mack

Everyone plays mind games. Yes even you. Everyone denies that they play these games because they feel it somehow paints an incorrect picture of the type of person they are or the type of person they are trying to become. I am not exempt from this accusation if anything I am a by the book example. As you may have noticed I have a tendency to ramble on. If you think this is bad at all you should try spending twelve hours stuck in a military vehicle with me. I talk a lot. My mother talked a lot while I was growing up, in fact I’m pretty sure that both my Father and my Dad (That sounds much better don’t you think? Although in this sentence it is slightly confusing.) Would say that she continues to talk a lot. Well maybe not my Father as they don’t exactly spend much time talking together or any for that matter. How odd is that? I mean think about it, regardless of whether or not they are still together you would think that sharing the whole we made a child thing would at least encourage two people to stay in some kind of contact with one another. I don’t know if it is the best way to do it but for my birth parents it works. I do know that my Dad, (Ted, for those of you playing the home game.) Would be able to testify that I with out any doubt take after my mother and her loquaciousness (Gee Whiz that was an unnecessarily big word) and I’m sure that has to be one of the things he loves about her. But I digress, as I have made painfully clear I am a very loquacious person. I used to believe that I was this way in front of everyone. That changed today as the new guy that I’m training was such a (enter string of nonsensical bad words here) All he talked about all day was sex. And not in a fun way, he made it seem like a laundry list. Almost as though he had to prove to me that he is a man. (Personal Note: To any guys reading; anytime you feel the need to prove you are a man... You are not.) Back at Ft Lewis I lived next door to this guy and he did constantly have young women over, all this proves is that most young women have very bad taste in men. Hmm I think I am coming off a little cynical so I’m going to move on to the next amusing conversation we had right before the end of shift change. The same new soldier who from this point on I will refer to as Pimp Daddy, Daddy Mack. Or P.D.D.M. (If you can’t see the sarcasm dripping from that nickname you should have your prescription upgraded) Had started ranting about how hard it was to be a young black man in the world today. Now in my defense I agree that there are some places in our own country where this is true and being that he is from the center of one of those places (Georgia) I can see where he would think that. His problem and the reason it started my rant was he couldn’t understand why a sales clerk at a gun store “had a problem selling a pistol holder to a young black man for his pistol” (his words) and then directly afterward he said “I’m not one of those punk kids that carries a gun to look hard”(punk kid slang for tough, grin) And so I asked him because I ask the tough questions: “Why do you carry a pistol?” and I swear if I’m lying I’m dying he said “Because I am hard.” I swear to you I laughed out loud right after he said that, spit my fruit punch Gatorade all over my steering wheel. I’m pretty sure it came out of my nose. He was instantly offended like I didn’t believe he was hard... I haven’t laughed that hard in a long while. I believe you believe you are hard... I just think it’s similar to the man thing. I am pretty sure in any situation if you feel the need to prove something about your self, you probably aren’t what you are trying to prove... After that I decided to see if I could get his feeling on racism in general and so I asked him if he thought the NCAAP Scholarship (Only African/Americans are eligible) was a type of racial bias, or if thought BET (Black Entertainment Television) was a racist network. He said no on both counts, and then I asked him if I started a scholarship for fat white Americans would that be racial bias, and If I opened a network catering to white folk and called it White Entertainment Television (WET, grin) would that be racist. His short answer for both was yes, He did make me laugh again when he said there are white people on BET. I told him I am not trying to turn it into a racial right or wrong but it seems to me that there are some instances when things are taken too far. By the end of the shift we were laughing at how some people take things out of context and make huge noise out of something that is probably a misunderstanding. I don’t want any of you to think I have some sort of racial agenda Just thought I would share some of the things we talk about at work on a daily basis... Life is too short to be caught up in a world fighting itself.

This Just In:
Apparently I will be taking leave this deployment ( I was told previously that I wouldn’t be able to as there were so many people that needed to and I had volunteered to be one of those that could go the whole year with out a vacation.) So here is your mission, I would like your suggestions on where I should go, I don’t know the exact time frame yet, but I believe it will be some time between May and August. How is that for vague? I don’t really want to go home because I plan on spending a month there when we get back from Iraq in October. So please send me some Ideas, I just found out I can get a passport over here so there is no limit where I could go.

Random AMAZON.COM purchase that came in the mail today.

An XBOX Game: Need For Speed: Most Wanted-Black Edition A game where I get to drive fast and out run the police in ridiculous high speed chases. Ahh the simple pleasures of life.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Over Sharing.... Warning Too Much Info!!!

Why is it that we spend our entire work week waiting for the weekend so that we can take time to relax and then cram our weekends with so much crap that we never take the time. Our schedule is sort of screwed up right now, which for some cosmic reason translates to I work more. Today was my day off and I had planned on sleeping in, I didn’t. I had planned on watching movies all day and not leaving my room unless it was to masticate, (It means to chew people, sheesh!) Or use the restroom. I ended up spending most of the day running errands for people. I did find a couple of horror movies at the PX which I have been craving for a couple of days. (As I type this I’m watching the new House of Wax that came out last year.) So a friend of mine writes a blog as well, come to think of it a lot of people I know write blogs. I digress, as I was saying in one of my friends blogs she was writing about some of her most embarrassing moments and it started me thinking about how many of those I had. (Far too many for me to recount in just one posting) so I thought of a couple that were pretty high on the mortal embarrassment scale and decided to share them with all of you kind folk.

When I was in like junior high or high school. I wore sweat pants to school, I don’t remember the reason why but for some reason I had decided that it would be cool to go commando. (That’s sans underwear for those of you not in the know) That whole morning I was having a hard time keeping my pants up, some how that managed to slip my mind at lunch as I was carrying my food tray heading towards one of the tables my pants fell down around my ankles. My first reaction was to cover as much of myself as possible which entailed using the tray as a semi shield. Well unfortunately this made quite the ruckus. (When was the last time some one dropped plates at a restaurant or diner and you didn’t turn to look right away?) So everyone turned to look and there I was trying to make myself as small as possible. And of course I didn’t do that all to well. So then I was faced with the problem how do I pull up my pants and not show the world NC-17 parts... after a few second deliberation I just chose to drop the tray and pull up my sweats as fast as I possibly could. Needless to say I head about that for a very long time after it happened. And now that I think about it I had a lot more girl friends after that point as well... Go me! And now that I think about it I haven’t felt the urge to go commando either... hmmm... Coincidence I think not!
So I am a little afraid that this embarrassing moment has a little too much information, but it really is far too funny to pass up. Back in Ft Lewis we have to be at formation every morning at 6:30 in our P.T's (work out clothes) About two months after I arrived at Ft Lewis I was in one of these formations and not really paying attention to much of what is going on. (Mind you its 6:15 am on a Monday, hardly anyone is aware of what is going on) Any way my platoon Sgt is standing in front of us and giving us the information that we'll need for the day. In mid sentence he stops looks directly at me and says "Everything alright Brooks?" I was like "uh yeah, why do I have tooth paste on my face?" he said no and then very obviously looks down... (This would be the too much info part) Apparently I was more awake then I had thought. (Now mind you I am wearing shorts made out of wind breaker like material and they don't do anything to disguise certain protrusions.) For no apparent reason I had an erection that had no intention of going away... despite the now beat red face that I was sporting. To make matters worse There are two females that stand on either side of me, the one to my right made a very obvious attempt to getter a better look and started laughing hysterically (along with the other 63 people in my platoon.) On top of that for the rest of the day I was getting remarks about how I was going to be giving a class on how to "pitch a tent". I have many more, and actually a lot of them deal with embarrassing uncontrolled reactions... ah life. Hope this cheered you up

I’m a little bummed because P-Dale and Brownie went on leave this week so I wont see their smiling faces for a couple of weeks, on the bright side The Man With The Big V-8 just got back from leave today. So at least there is something to be happy about... As I was waiting to get a computer just now I came across a book by an author that I have a sort of odd friendship with. The last time I was here in Iraq he wrote an article about me and how I was spending christmas. How wild is that. so I snagged the book and I will be reading it while at work tomorrow. Smile it is a small world after all... Does this mean that Walt Disney is being cryogenically frozen under disney land???? The world may never know...

Random Movie that was way to close to my life:
So the other day one of the movies (Just Friends) I ordered from came in the mail, and as I was watching it I realized it was pretty much the movie version of my life. Accept for the guy playing me is way better looking than I will ever be. It is really a very funny movie about a guy and a girl that are best friends in high school and how once you enter that friend zone there is no crozzing over into the boyfriend zone. Which could really and truly be the story of my life. Except of course due to the fact that it’s a movie the guy gets the girl in the end. And in real life I get emails from exes who spend romantic four day weekends with their new beaus in Hawaii. Pout!

Monday, March 13, 2006

525,600 Minutes In A Year...

I find myself caught between a rock and a hard place. In more ways than one. A couple of my female soldier friends are making choices that not only do I think are unwise, I pretty much think that nothing good can come from these choices. Now I don’t for one second think that I am better than any of these girls. It just seems to me that it is easier to fight temptations and avoid the unnecessary drama that will undoubtedly follow these choices, than say give into these carnal desires and deal with all the what ifs that are sure to surface. I think that is all I have to say on that subject, I fear if I allow myself to rant any further I might start spouting Bible verses. And trust me we don’t want that. Another example of my precarious position, is my issue with certain leaders and rules or guidelines they enforce. For example every day (I will get to that particular gripe in a moment) We are out in the hot sun in hotter military vehicles (only one of which has air-conditioning) Wearing all of our protective armor. I have decided in my great wisdom. (Absorb the sarcasm) That my kevlar helmet is not necessary. I do however continue to wear the other armor that I was issued. Now here is the rub the other soldiers I work with have decided they don’t need to wear any of the armor. My problem is how do I correct the others when I myself am in the wrong as well??? What ever, I am kind of excited my neighbor gave me a word processor program today. It isn’t the one I would have preferred but I can manipulate it to do what I need which is very handy indeed. So the everyday gripe that I eluded to earlier is this, due to certain soldiers taking leave and the fact that we have recently taken over our entire section of my new detail, there have been some scheduling problems and some how true to form I have found the short end of the proverbial stick. Tomorrow will be my fourth day straight (keep in mind these are 13 hour days) and I am on the schedule for the day after as well. In all honesty I really don’t mind having to work. I think my biggest complaint is that this whole schedule setup could be very simple, but one particular Staff Sgt. Is doing his very best to make it as complicated as possible. He has a My Way is the only way attitude. With no highway option. And he refuses to listen to reason. As I tried explaining to someone earlier today, if we were back in Ft Lewis we would be working 5 days straight (granted it would be considerably less hours but that really isn’t the point.) Anyway I’m whining so I’m gonna cut this short... I do want to mention the fact that I walked from the shower to my trailer in nothing but my very bright SPIDER-MAN boxers this morning. I don’t really know why I did it (The shower is about a football field length from my trailer) I do know it was very liberating... I am going to choose my following words carefully, does anyone see the irony in Spider-Man boxers? Let me put it this way most men choose boxers over briefs because of a certain freedom they afford the wearer, to be cheeky I would say the ability to SWING free.. Puns are fun.... If you haven’t at least cracked a smile by this point you might want to see a doctor about upping the prescription on your uppers...grin

Random Broadway Musical Turned Feature Film That You Must See:
RENT! Stop what ever you are doing right now and go rent it or buy it or download it illegally ( No wait don’t do that last one.) How ever you acquire it you must watch it. It is very good... I watched it last night and have had most of the songs stuck in my head for most of the day. ....... Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes..... Five Hundred twenty Five thousand moments ... Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure a year in the life????

Saturday, March 11, 2006

So Few Thoughts, So Many Words

So truthfully I have little to talk about tonight. I didn't work yesterday and today I did work but nothing of substance happened. (Aside from a lot of meaningless banter that tends to be the common filler in our thirteen hour day.) I corrupted a new guy on our shift today, so that’s fun. That sounds worse than it is; I just showed him that some of our rules are open for interpretation. Other wise all I really have to say is my life has become very boring. I work thirteen hour days three days straight, and then on my day off I sleep ridiculously late into the afternoon, head towards the dfac, and maybe stop by the MWR tent to browse the internet and play board games, rinse, and repeat if needed. So I think I have come up with a title for the novel I am attempting to write (read writing very slowly). I have just been referring to it as the untitled mess. After watching The Ice Harvest (another John Cusack film, I'm a huge fan.) I heard a quote that would make an amusing and catchy title. Billy Bob Thorton said "Pay no attention to the man in the trunk” And out of context I think it really sort of grabs at you. What do you think? You want to hear it in context? Well go watch the movie silly spoiled people. I can't give you everything on a silver platter you would never learn your manners... grin... Sometimes I wonder if anything I say makes any sense what so ever. And then I realize that it really doesn't matter as long as someone reads it...

Random uplifting news...

I don't know if I mentioned it but after I left Duke, I was under the impression that someone had appropriated my little game boy system (long story, but the long and short of it is I bought a Nintendo DS right before we left for Iraq and it turned up missing a week before I moved to Scania) well anyway, Some how one of my soldiers (who wasn't at Duke, ended up with it and gave it back to me the other day... This was very good news as now I can play video games at work instead of doing boring things like scanning the perimeter. Grin... I went to the PX yesterday and bought four new games for it. So the Joy....

PS. Smile Darn It... Life is too short to be so preoccupied with the things you can't change.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


I do not understand how sitting in a vehicle, talking or not talking (usually the latter.) and riding around all day can be as tiring as it is. Although if you take into account that I am wearing at the very least 45 lbs of gear, averaging about four hours of sleep a night and enduring the stupid Iraqi Sun. Because for some reason the sun feels different here, which could be due to the fact that after spending almost a year and a half here, I am pretty sure it is out to fricassee me alive. And then if the day’s events unfold similar to today it all seems very clear. I went to bed around 0130 this morning after watching Walk the Line (The Johnny Cash Bio flick) and woke up at about 0545 to start the morning routine... Shower, shave and brushing my teeth. I sort of over slept yesterday and so I had to make sure I was ready extra early this morning.

Every morning we go through the same routine: be at the pick up spot at this time, meet the rest of the crew at shot gun at this time. And move out to our designated positions at this time. (Forgive me for being so vague, but I realized that some of that information could be dangerous in the wrong hands) This morning the routine changed slightly when my hometown friend threw a kink in the works. The long and short of it is she didn't want to be stuck in a vehicle with a rather annoying individual and she used her feminine wiles to get what she wanted. (Basically she said she had girly reasons to be somewhere with closer access to the restrooms.) So we ended up working the shift together in our little Hummv. As I have mentioned she is from my home town. That would be Palmdale, Ca. for those of you playing the home game.

For simplicity sake we are going to nick name her "P-Dale", it is also how we refer to each other when ever we are with in the same vicinity so she might find it amusing. Because no day is uneventful while she is present I was pretty sure today would be very entertaining. And man was I right. After responding to a perimeter sensor alert (part of the normal humdrum of my new job, it usually means a cat or dog brushed against something.) "P-Dale" Intended to turn around and head back to the half way mark, but much like most intentions this one did not pan out as planned. We got stuck... really, really stuck... I don't mean that we pulled into a little mud and spun the tires. We sunk into swamp/quicksand mud all the way down to the axle. and there was no spinning what so ever the tires were locked, luckily we have radios and were able to get some help, after a lot of grunting and a nice cold mud bath, (As if it's some kind of surprise, I managed to fall in the swamp mud.) We were able to be pulled out. Other wise we had a great day. I think we both got to know each other a lot better. We talked about her boyfriend (here in Iraq with her) and our memories of back home. And we talked about how insane we both are, and how well we hid it. I hide it well don't you think?

Random Must Buy Book of the Day.

Dean Koontz's Velocity. Great book... I finished it today while doing Laundry and really just thought it was a great book kept right on the edge of a very uncomfortable bench, At least I think it was the book that had me that way it could just be how uncomfortable I was on that bench. Shrug ... Just read it people... Man I am just Zonked

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Lost In A Sea Of Indifference

Please excuse my tardiness I had some technical difficulties with a wordperfect program last night. Did you all know Don Knotts died the day before yesterday, ( He was the deputy on the Andy Griffith Show, as well as Mr. Roeper on Three's Company and many other parts that I can't list off the top of my head.) And now back to regularly scheduled program.
I find myself lost in a sea of indifference. I am working with so many people who just don’t care. Aside from that rather unsettling information, I learned a new way to play the Golf card game yesterday, it rapidly became much more difficult. So many more rules. So of course I lost. That is putting it in a way where I keep my dignity intact. In truth I crashed and burned. I truly do not understand how I can enjoy a game so much that I am so very, very bad at. We played with four people, the three other players scores combined was still considerably lower than mine. Thankfully I redeemed myself today by whomping everyone. I think I finally found my groove. Is there such a thing as a Golf groove? the two words seem like an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp or military intelligence.
A couple of posts ago I received a comment asking which grandparents I was eluding to. Just to clear the confusion I was referring to The same grandparents that read and comment on my blog each and every day. My step-dad’s parents. (Is it me or does step-dad seem cold and uncaring?) I managed to sleep till a little past noon on my day off. Although R.F.G. did try to roust me into consciousness around 08:15 or so. To which I groggily replied “I have no intention of moving from this spot for at least another 4 hours.” That was actually the first of two interruptions. The second was to sign some form saying I received a class on suicide prevention or something. (Signed the paper, though I had not taken said class recently.) Ahhh the pencil whipped ARMY (or pen as it were)
I wonder if the aforementioned people realize how much more difficult they make their lives with their me first attitudes. I had a discussion yesterday with someone who is so annoyed by his lack of promotion that he has decided he is going to stop doing anything and everything until they promote him. I myself fail to see the logic in this particular line of thought, but as it is the ARMY, logic is rarely the front runner as far as thoughts are concerned. A common rule of thumb is if it makes sense to do something in a different way to reject that path as the army is against that kind of thinking. When did we become so cynical?

This Just In:
This is going to be the first installment of many on my new developments category of the Sand Box Files.. I am sure that it will normally be a space for me to do my own version of Cheers & Jeers for which ever movie I have recently viewed (on the schedule for tonight is the Johnny Cash Bio-flick Walk the line.)Today however it is something completely different and the reason for the new category. As I was driving to fill up my HUMMV, I believe I drove past “Off Limits” ( For those who don’t remember “Off Limits was the very attractive M.W.R. employee that had me smitten for longer than I will readily admit.) I am not completely sure it was her, but if I had to place a percentage on my recollection of what she looked like from behind I would say a cool 90%. Does that sound as degrading as it looks? I hope not.

Random Question of the Blog:
I know that according to the Bible all of God’s creatures serve a purpose. So could someone please explain to me what purpose gnats and flies serve. They are so completely annoying. Sheesh!!! And now that I think about it why is the “G” silent in Gnat? If a letter is silent why have it there, it encourages the masses to over pronounce it. Like knife for example. I often pronounce the heck out of the K just to bug people.... The things I do to amuse myself....

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Laundry Day!

I have worked so much the past couple of days I have hardly been able to do anything other than sleep. and to be honest I haven't even been doing that altogether well. I don't think I have watched a movie in three days. (As I write that I am starting The Motorcycle Diaries) I have managed to read an entire book Angels & Demons(the prequel to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code) And have read half of Dean Koontz's Velocity. Tomorrow is as of right now supposed to be my day off. This being the case I have decided to do laundry tonight. I can not even begin to tell you how many months it has been since I have done my own laundry. Apparently there is some type of system that I am as of yet unaware. Apparently it doesn't matter if you stand next to your laundry the entire time it's in the machine, or if you are waiting for either a washer or a dryer if someone else beats you to the punch, they win. I am under the personal belief that this is nothing short of malarkey. (I am pretty sure that while I have heard that word before it is not actually a word recognized by Webster.) I plan to do very little on my day off tomorrow. My inner Idealist has sincere hope that I will be able to sleep in a little, but the realist in me is far to practical to give into such a mundane request. Today was I think the best day i have worked since I have started this detail. I had the pleasure of working with a couple of people that I can actually hold an intelligent conversation with, and I managed to get them completely hooked on that Golf card game I mentioned a few posts back. ( How I managed to lose a game where I was the only one that went into it knowing the rules is beyond me.) It truly is a great game, and Ideal for a guard duty mission as it takes very little to learn how to play (and destroy the person teaching you) I think from now on when ever I teach anyone a new game I am going to inform them that the rules are subject to change in the event that I begin to lose. Ahhh the "I'm a loser" disclaimer.... I should have thought of this weeks ago. So it turns out that the afore mentioned Motorcycle Diaries is an excellent film. It is a foreign film (Argentinean, which means it was in heavily accented Spanish.) This means subtitles, subtitles, subtitles. But it truly is a very funny and heart warming film. I laughed out loud in the laundry room on many occasions... Which now that I think about it explains some of the odd looks that I have been another day another person thinking I'm a tool.

Random Word of the Day:
So the random word of the day was chosen because I have come across it in three of the last four books I have read and although i understood what it meant I could not figure out how to pronounce it.... Thank you

Er-u-dite... adj : having or showing profound knowledge; "a learned jurist"; "an erudite professor"

Friday, March 03, 2006

Odds Are, You Are Just Plain Lucky!

You know that old adage the squeaky wheel gets the oil? Turns out I must squeak like a mouse that accidentally fell into a batch of catnip. Hmmm that would make more sense if it wasn't completely retarded. Long story short I must be prettier than I thought. They decided (last night) to move me to days. They didn't tell me this until I finished todays shift. (I was supposedly covering for someone who had to go to a briefing in Cedar.) At the end of my shift the NCO in charge (read bane of my existence) Oh by the way Brooks your on Days permanently your next day off will be Monday. So I went from working once every two days to working four days straight. This really and truly isn’t all that bad. But I really prefer nights... I am usually up anyway and the people are less annoying. Although I did meet someone today that I have decided to mention here. His Name is Jeff Scariff (Some of you will note that it is very rare for me to use a real name in my blog. But I feel this person deserves it.) He seems like a nice enough guy. He is thirty seven years old, the same rank as me and in the Army reserves. He has been here in Iraq since sometime in late August of 2003 he returned home in December of 2004 (Reserves can be deployed upwards of 18 months, where as active soldiers like myself are normally only deployed for a year.) apparently four months later he was given orders to come back, Talk about a trooper. I had almost 16 months between when I returned home and received my current orders. All of this is sad but not the reason I am writing about him. Apparently while he was home He was struck by Lightning. I swear to God above I told him that was a horrible thing to lie about and he showed me an entry wound in his shoulder and exit an exit wound on the sole of his foot. (Remind me to never call a mans bluff. On the off hand he ends up in the buff) apparently it caused a few medical problems... (Too many to list here, not to mention the fact that it seemed a little heartless to take notes while he was telling me his story.) Apparently even though it was a direct hit he remained conscious and coherent and was even mobile. He said he doesn’t remember about two hours of that day the last thing he remembers is walking out side his front door. The next thing he knew he was in a hospital two hours later. I knew pretty much right away that he would be the subject of my blog tonight. Not only because of his unique experience (I have survived a lot of crazy situations but I haven't yet been struck by lightning. I say yet because with my luck, I would be the guy to get three lucky sevens on a slot machine about thirty seconds before I suffered a severe heart attack.) Another thing that I find slightly unsettling about Jeff is that we have a lot in common, our beliefs in how women should be respected. And on being everyone’s hero, I sort of caught a glimpse of myself ten years from now. This was both interesting and slightly scary. The thing that made me the happiest about this little comparison was the fact that he didn't meet his current wife until he was my age. (There was a first wife but they were married and separated early) All he talked about the whole day (13 inhumanly long hours) was how much he and his wife loved each other it was real sweet and gave me hope that I might find my wife yet. And on that Happy note. Not too much else is going on. I am having issues with our new mail system; to say it is unreliable implies that it is actually working in some fashion. I have received one letter so far so I am thinking not so much.

Random fact of the day:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Two Thumbs Up!

The things I find myself doing at work amazes me to no end. It really isn't a secret that I laugh like a girl. A more appropriate word would be giggle. Although you might like to know that, if properly motivated, RFG does giggle as well. Last night was our first official day with our new duties and as I have mentioned I am working nights once again. (I have decided that I must be more appealing at night.) It turns out that our new little duties our not nearly as severe as we were made to believe. Which trust me is a good thing. RFG and I (along with two other soldiers that were on our shift) primarily played cards all night long... We played so many different card games that I couldn't begin to mention them all... Although there are a couple that are worth mentioning. For example after a very long and drawn out game of war. (Where RFG tried cheating and in complete duress I lunged over the table more than once to steal the necessary cards...) That guy always wins... As I was saying after our epic game of war we played Go Fish. And it sent us into hysterics. We also played this game called Golf. It was tons of fun... Aren't card games fun? I also had the chance to work with our new senior NCO. Whom I have decided loves to hear himself talk, about anything and everything. Although I am starting to think that that is more common ailment with the more rank that one acquires. I have noticed that outside of my shifts at work and the punishment I take at the gym. I have become a sort of hermit. All I do is sit in my trailer (my personal trailer, he he he) and watch movies. One day I am going to realize my dream of becoming a movie critic. How awesome would that job be... Maybe after Ebert starts reviewing movies with Siskel again (Siskel is dead folks) I can sit next to Roeper on the balcony. Maybe I will one day have a famous thumb... Infact I just finished watching a Show called Firefly. It was unfortunately cancelled after the first season but it was a great show. It even spawned the movie Serenity which sort of served as a goodbye for fans of the show. It was truly a great show that just didn't find its fan base until it was already too late. As of right now I am watching Herbie Fully Loaded. Because I don't mind watching Lindsay Lohan run around for two hours... But then who does?

Random bits of information about yours truly:

I own seven, count them seven different pairs of Spider-Man boxers.

A select group of people refer to me as Captain Save-A-Ho. Due to my constant and never ending drive to save and or help every girl I know.

This blog was started for a lot of reasons, but the Idea came from a Hilary Duff movie. Her character narrated the movie through her blog. (The Perfect Man)

At last count I have bought over one hundred and thirty movies since I arrived in the Middle East.

My secrets are fewer than most, but tend to be larger than many.

In the last eight years since I have graduated high school. I have spent more time in Iraq than anywhere else I have called home.

And last but definitely not least I have two of the nicest, kindest grandparents that anyone could ask for. And I have never even met them face to face. A mistake I plan to rectify in the near future.