Sunday, October 30, 2005

The weekend

The first thing that I did on Sat. morning was to go on a 25 mile bike ride with the group of people that I used to go biking with. I dropped out of that group several months ago because I just wasn't enjoying the fact that many of them were amateur cyclists/triathletes who were riding as if they were mad at the world. I'd ended up getting dropped on rides, but the worst thing was that there were very few people who were friendly enough to even say hello back to you.

But I thought that I'd give it a try again to see if things were better, because with the change of class at the military grad. school (on the post where I work at), you've got a different set of people. As expected, I was way the heck in the back of the back, but there was this lady who was nice enough to make sure that I didn't just fall into the oblivion. When we can, we chatted about our backgrounds (she was a fmr. air force officer who married another office, got out of the military, and is now doing the housewife/mother/triathlete thing.) That made the ride a lot more bearable, with a few people dropping out of the ride early, I didn't feel like a loser at all.

I don't think everyone rides their bikes because they wanted to be the next Lance Armstrong, I just wanted to have a less painful way of exercise and to enjoy the scenery.

Later in the afternoon, the GF and I went to the rodeo/Terri Clark concert. I'm a fan of the rodeo, even oftentimes, I'm the only Asian there. This time though, the performances were dulled by the annoying voices of the announcers, or maybe I'm just getting old. The volume of the speakers were just a tad bit too loud. The highlight of the whole thing were probably the rodeo clown performance, and the little sheep riding kids, they were adorable!

Terri Clark went through her songs like that of a medly, and I felt like that she really had somewhere else better to be (the arena wasn't packed, some people left before the concernt even started.), and the GF and I got really tired so we left midway of the concert. (at the rate that she was going through the songs, the concert was probably near its end anyways.)

Now it's Sunday morning, and a lot colder today than it was yesterday, time to stay in the house and bundle up! I think we should buy a whole bunch of candies, even if there aren't going to be kids trick o' treating around here, and just eat them until we go into diabetic shock!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Went to dinner at one of the local chain restaurants with two friends from work. The two friends brought two guys from this conference that our workplace has been hosting. One of the guys is a physical therapist who is in a national guard unit in Arizona, doing intel. work, and another guy is a army intel. guy, living and working in San Antonio. The PT guy looked like a taller, thinner and older version of Chris Klein, and the other guy is a slightly chubby white guy who's just kinda pasty looking.

Not really having been in the conference, I had no clues about what went on, and sensing that was what they were talking about, the GF and I just sat and ate our food. I INHALED my food, maybe it was because the weather, I have been feeling hungry all the time and nothing could fill my stomach up.

My friends were just chatting along and laughing at these jokes that I didn't quite get, yet the topics never stayed away from military related matters. It goes with the territory, since most of the people at the table are military or have been. (Even the GF spent a few minutes herself in the naval reserves.)

It also could be from the fact that I didn't know much about the two guests from the conference, but all of a sudden I thought to myself, how boring, will all my friends from now on be from the military? I've been able to make friends at just about everywhere that I've been to, whether or not I was a private or a call center slave, but overall, my track record for making friends has been better in the military. I'm not talking about lifelong friends, that's a whole other blog altogether!

Maybe I'm being picky about people and I will suffer the consequences for it. I guess I miss having friends who are multi-dimensional and not talk about everything in military acronyms. By gosh, I can't even let them know that my GF is more than just a roommate!

I'm kind of worried too that the GF will say something to those military people that'll make them wonder just a little bit more about me than I'd like. I can't not include her in this part of my social life, but it must not feel too good for her either.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

Sometimes, it sort of all comes down to this...

Hey, don't write yourself off yet
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything
(everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, you know they're all the same.
You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else.
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything
(everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything
(everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, don't write yourself off yet.
It's only in your head you feel left out or
looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don't you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything
(everything) will be alright (alright).
It just takes some time, little girl you're in the middle of the
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything
(everything) will be alright (alright).

Saturday, October 22, 2005

The latest

We finally had to put socks on the rear paws of the dog, he has been suffering this bout of allergy/obsessive-conpulsive paw licking syndrome. I think he'd be better off with the right medication, but we live in a small town where vets are not on call all the time, I mean, we are talking about vets who take two days off a week and take long lunch breaks, and that's both on the military and civilian sides.

I've been talking with some of the local reserve units, one was in psychological operations and another was in civil affairs. I almost immediately got put off by the higher than thou attitude displayed by those in charge of the psyop. company. C'mon, I've been in for almost a decade, that whole gung-ho and we're better than everyone else attitude is getting really, really old.

I got a better impression from the civil affairs company, those in charge seem to have a sense of humor, and seem to be able to get their jobs done but not take themselves too seriously in the same light. One of the guys from where I work is from that unit, and he's a extraordinary guy. He was a former marine who juggled work and school, got his master's degree, and while on deployment in Iraq, got his right arm blown off from an IED. He learned to do everything with his left arm (he was a rightie), fought to stay in the service, and now he's an officer. I think that if you are strong enough and open-minded enough, you can actually become a better person through horrible experiences. (Or find out, in the same light, that you are a pretty strong person already.) I don't know if we have that quality in all of us, but he sure did.

If I stay in the service, I'll be sure to get deployed at least once or twice more, whether or not it's Iraq or Afghnistan, and the GF will NOT be happy with that.

I don't really have to stay in the reserves if I don't want to do it anymore, my contract with them will be up officially in March.

Yet there are some things that you just cannot do otherwise in this ordinary life that you could do in a uniform.

We'll see, I don't have to decide right away on this.

The GF is not having any fun at work, there seem to be much confusion and some levels of incompetence. She had to get up around 5-ish in the morning, get out before 6, and not coming back home until at least 6 in the evening. She has been tired and craving sleep. (I remember feeling like that when I first got into Iraq, you're on duty all the time and wasn't a big fan of sleeping on cots.) I hope it'll get better for her soon, like I've said before, we can't both be pooped out and tired at the same time!

A friend from work is due to leave her job at the end of next week, she had gotten a job offer from a very prestigious federal agency and I'm really happy for her, because that was what she wanted. I congratulated her and wished that I can make my break soon too someday soon.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lazy, hazy weekend.

Weekends are great times to catch up on sleep, when you are not feeling quite like that you haven't slept enough during the week. To tell you the truth, I'm probably just really lazy and don't time-manage well. I could have worked out, showered, changed, worked, ate, probably gotten a second work out, and have gotten home before the day is over, and I probably could also have done my work at work at 2x the amount in 1/2 of the time, but let's get real here!

The GF is not used to the early hours of her current job, and is actually feeling physical pain of the toll of the early mornings. I'd feel that way from time to time. There are a lot of people at my workplace, sensing my lack of educational background, are urging me to go back to school. I'm sure that there are ways to achieve that endeavor, but if I'm already feeling as pooped as I do now, over the mid to low physical and mental output, I sure as heck can't imagine getting my ass back to school and trying not to flunk out of it!

We, counting the pets, are just trying our best to live our lives here in the great void called the American Mid-West, and hoping for some kind of betterness or excitement in the future....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

From Colby Buzzell

I purchased "My War, Killing Time in Iraq" and read it in a few days. I then e-mailed the book's author about how I appreciated his recollection and storytelling. Here are the excerpts:

Hey CB!
Just finished reading your book, and you've just about put me right back there! Keep up the good work! I remembered how cold it was when we were at Pacesetter, I think I was with 1 2/3 infantry, A. Co. (I was supposed to be searching females and make sure that they were not armed) when Saddam was caught.
Your honesty about the whole experience is hard to find, any words on a book tour yet?
Are you also back with the Mrs.? (that was something that I didn't know at all, that you were betrothed!)
I've told the folks that I'm working with to go out and get your book (some of the are Iraqi war vets), hope all is well with you, thanks and take care!

His reply:

you rule bro, i hope the book does us justice man, I tried. Yea,
Pacesetter fucking sucked man, no word on a book tour, i told them I
didnt want to do one, guys are still over there and I'd feel fuct
signing and shit while the war still went on. i just wanted to tell
our story, thats it, you know? I hope I accompished that. Yea, me and
da wife are happily married and I'm looking forward to spending the
rest of my life with her. things are cool. Thank again man for
spreading the word about the book, I tried to tell our story, fuck it,
if the media wont, i might as well and try, you know. I hope you enjoy
the rest of the book, and thank you for the support and kind words of
thank you

I think Colby thinks that I'm a dude, and in this case, it's totally alright!

I can totally understand where he's coming from as far as his refusal to do the book tour is concerned, however, I don't think that he'll be doing anyone any disservice by doing a book tour, instead, it'll only highten other peoples' senses about what really went on over there, and I think anyone who's over there right now would have liked that. He has done his time there and played his part, so there should be no guilt about any of it, you know?

Friday, October 07, 2005

Iraq war blogs

I am listening to a NPR audio segment about blogs and book deals which results from OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom). I was really glad to hear Colby Buzzell's voice! His book "My War, Killing Time in Iraq" has just been published and for those of you who are interested in the personal experiences of US soldiers in Iraq, please go and pick youself up a copy! A lot of places that he had been to were also the places that I've been to myself.

Granted that opinions of bloggers can be somewhat biased, depends on who you're reading, but that's the beauty of war accounts, individual experiences were never meant to be agreed upon by all anyways.

Of some of the folks who have been deployed with me or with other groups, they chose not to read any of the blogs or watch any films about the war experience, I think it's their way of moving on. I've been lucky so far that none of the accounts of war has bothered me because it touched a sore spot. I think it's a great way of comparing and contrasting experiences and perspectives, and by keeping records of these experiences, you also give your kids or their kids stories to keep.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The GF had written a post about how she felt guilty for not carrying her weight financially for the last two years.

I have to admit that even though it felt diffcult at times, not have both incomes to keep up financially afloat, it was never my intention to make her feel guilty. I know that the job market is a murky place nowadays, I'm pretty lucky to be working at this point in time.

I just hated seeing her so bored and depressed sometimes because there's not much to do during the day.

If had earned enough $ to live on, save, get a house, have kids, then I don't think we'd even be talking about any of this, you know? I'm not at that point yet in my earning.

I'll have more later on this, got to get to the monthly meeting at work!

*By the way, D.K., you've got a very interesting way of expressing your friendship to me and GF, you could still have been across the pond and we'd never knew that you've left! (That's just my view, the GF is much more understanding than myself, I just don't think that life's long enough to try to befriend someone who doesn't even want to talk to you.)