Saturday, December 23, 2006

Into X'mas....

First of all, to all a merry X'mas and have a happy new year!!

What is going on lately? Well, the GF and I are going to cook X'mas eve dinner by ourselves tomorrow.... if only the turkey will thaw out in time! A collegue at work was really nice to invite the GF and I to have X'mas dinner at his house Monday (hence the two X'mas dinners), of course, we'll bring a desert for him and his family and I hope they'll enjoy it! :-)

Work is unpredictable, as in I'm not doing anything consistent from day to day, since I've got an immediate boss who's a bit of a scatter brain and not even on site. My big bosses are trying to cook up plans to "expand the business" or biting more than they can chew so that the division will look "bigger and better" (except that they don't have the personnel or the $ to do it with.), but guess what, that's the corporate world, right?

It sort of makes me wonder how much longer I will be at this job. I mean, I'm not at all the technical guru, the expert at marketing, and suck even more at kissing ass. Oh, I think I'm doing okay over there right now, but something in the back of my head is telling me that the potential for growth in this company may be somewhat limited. Of course, I could be wrong, since I've only been there for 2 months so far.

We'll see what happens.

Life is just one big adventure after the other, right?

Again, happy holiday! May you eat a lot, laugh a lot, and love a lot!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Jennie's World, my sister Jennifer's blog. I think it's much more interesting than mine, since she's pretty good at posting photos and you do get a better sense of what life is like for her down in Houston, with grandpa, and his helper.

The GF and I have decided not to go back to Texas for the Christmas holidays, since we are a bit short on travelling money, and I am trying to save up some more vacation days so we don't have to travel in rushed fashion. I'd like to also be able to bring at least the dog on travel with us, because he likes to travel, get petted by family, and we'd worry less with him being around us. I am hoping that my grandfather will stay healthy, perhaps get a bit stronger physically, and most of all, maybe not feel as lonely now that my grandmother is gone.

Speaking of my grandmother, they finally got her tombstone made and once again, they got the product wrong. (The first mistake was the miswriting of her name in Chinese) This time, they got the wrong style of tombstone. What does it take to get it right? She has been laying in an unmarked grave since July! I miss her immensely, and even with knowing that she's in heaven already, I can't help it but to wonder where she is right now, and how she's doing.

Work is going okay, we're humming along. Lately, I've been getting an offer or two to go back to active duty assignments, over in the West Coast, where I really had wanted to move us to not so long's tempting, but is it the right thing to do? Or maybe it's time to just buckle down and see where this day job thing will take us?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rest in peace, Piper

This is to Laurence's cat, who unfortunately had passed away from a series of strokes. I never really got to pet you, but nevertheless, I will miss you a lot!

Thanks to doc!

Of "Doc in the Box", whose link you can find in my blogroll. He had a post from two days ago about a army soldier who has returned from Iraq not too long ago called "This is Your War II" , and it has one of the best descriptions of what it is like to be going through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)and basically the aftermath of going through a war. My heart goes out to Mr. Red2Alpha!

Go and check out the blog, and please take time to think about what tolls a war can bring not only to the ones fighting it, as well as to those around the ones fighting the war.

Not to get political here, but I wonder if these consequences ever ran through the powers that be as they made this stupid decision to goto war, if you call that a war. That's the thing, they send others to go so they don't have to go themselves, and that is the way that it always has been.

I hope that Mr. Red2Alpha will somehow find a degree of peace someday.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Into December

I'm happy to report that we've all suvived the long drives, the bad weather during the commute to my aunt's house, and the gamut of emotions running throughout the household during the holiday/birthday dinners. (We had also celebrated my grandfather's 89th. birthday during thanksgiving break.)

Grandpa looked very relaxed and he even looked like he had gained some weight while staying with my aunt. My aunt flew him to live with her and her family shortly after my grandma's passing, partially because they were planning on doing that (with my grandma if she had not passed away), partially for a change of scenery for grandpa, and lastly, my aunt has a lot of misgivings about how my grandparents were treated by my uncle and aunt, the ones living near them in Houston. Let's just say that every family has problems like mine, of people not getting along with each other and misunderstanding so deep that it almost resembles hate. I guess the way that I deal with it is to live far from my family members, but that doesn't make it go away, you know?

I got to hang out with my cousins, who are all in their teens and one is even about to go into college. Technically, I am the oldest of them at 34 and while I don't feel that old yet, but I do wonder if we'll be able to hang out much more like this from now on. The family usually would get together because of the grandparents, but lately, there has been less and less occasions like this.

My aunt's house was grand, it's a million dollars and it felt like it too! It's a huge house, with huge backyard, 3 car garage, plenty of spaces, big windows, 3 fireplaces, and not to mention this jacuzzi that I almost drowned in! I sort of wish that the GF and I had a house like this! Maybe one of these days....getting comfortable sure can cost a bunch!

The GF went to see her family in Tx. and for the most part, she had a good time with the nephew, who is a lady's man now at the age of 5! I wonder if he'll grow up to be the next Hugh Hefner or something! :-)

I think I miss my family, minus the conflicts.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I raised my right hand and took my oath and became a 2nd. Lt. in the army reserves, thanks for the accolades, for those of you who might care. It was done in my office, and this retired admiral read my oath to me, and I was a bit nervous but did not feel any tingling due to excitement. I supposed that I would if I was new to this thing, but I've already been in the military for 10 years now. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the opportunies, no matter how much I'd gripe about things.

To celebrate the occasion, the GF and I went to a local pizza parlor, and of the 5-6 people that I've asked to come along, 2 showed up. Friday nights are so bad when it comes to getting people together sometimes, and it helps that we've only been in town for a month and really don't know other people so well. So far, our only friends in town are this young couple that I've met at work, they're in their early 20's and haven't yet settled into the married with kids thing yet. They're nice people and also not from this part of the country, so it's also like we've got this alliance of out of towners.

The GF is flying to Tx. tomorrow for thanksgiving. We've bled out so much $ during the move and the first round of bills that I doubt that both of us could afford to fly back for thanksgiving or christmas. I'm driving to NJ to my aunt's for thanksgiving with the dog and going to celebrate (or try to) my grandfather's 89th. birthday there. It'll be tough because my grandmother's not here anymore and not everyone who is going to be there likes each other. My aunt doesn't like my uncle, her younger brother, both my dad (the oldest) and my aunt don't really respect my uncle. My uncle doesn't like my aunt (the middle one) because she had been treating him like shit, and on top of all that, both my aunt and my uncle think my dad is a total loser, which he kind of is. There will be a lot of evil eyes staring at each other, to which I hear that it's not all that unusual.

I'm ready to be away from here for a little while though. Good or not, at least I'm not here where nothing ever goes on and everyone stays behind closed doors.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

This Veteran's Day weekend

While I salute all the veterans who have sacrificed their lives and also for those who are still serving, I didn't feel like that the holiday is really mine because I didn't have the roughest of all military careers. That is why I don't expect any free grubs or marching in parades....however, I would have liked some belly rubs, because they're free to give and receive! Yet, as I stood outside my front door, no one came by to give me any belly rubs...sigh!

We went to Pittsburgh on Friday, and ate a good dinner at this place at Station Square, a riverfront shopping complex. It took us forever to drive from here to Pittsburgh, due to highway repairs and general unfamiliarity with the general geography of Western Pa. We will make more trips to Pittsburgh and get to know the place eventually. I especially would like to visit the zoo!

It was also GREAT to have slept a few full nights and then some! I'm not the morning type, but I do get up early to do the work stuff. In this town, a lot of people go to bed early and wake up ass early...and I just don't know if I have it in me to do that. This place is such a clash of the corporate environment, the blue collar community that is the backbone of this town, and the so called emerging middle class. Most of the people here keep to themselves because it's so cold here and pleasantry is interpreted as people keeping to themselves.

I'm not sure yet if this place will ever be "home", and I don't mean that in a bad way at's all part of the new experience of new job. God only knows what's down the road!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The jack

I just don't know how the hell it is possible that while I should be earning more money at the job, I'm actually keeping less because I got bumped to another tax bracket. Just got my first paycheck and they've taken out a good 1/3 of everything! I made more take home pay when I was on active duty in the army.....nope I'm not at the point where I want to go back to active duty....but this just sucks.

Otherwise, the job is going on alright, right here in cubicle city. I still have a lot to learn about how stuff works and hopefully more people to meet. Most of the people there are very serious and I sort of feel like a jokester there, but someone's got to be, right?

Most of the folks in town are kind of old, and they like to stay to themselves. Not that I've never lived in places where people like to keep to themselves, but I guess deep inside I just expected something on the slightly friendlier side when I moved here.

I miss my grandma a lot, and this is the first year that I'll have without her around, and so this will be weird.

The GF is having a bit of a hard time right now getting a gig in phlebotemy, and I hope that it'll change for her soon.

We both need to get ourselves up and moving, get busy and move our duffs around, it'll be good for the winter, generating some much needed body heat!

Friday, October 27, 2006

My Hillbilly Name Is...

Mary Lou Duke

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Friday, October 13, 2006

Settling in.....

Well, yours truly finally found a house to live in! At a moment when I thought that there was really nothing left for me to look at as far as rentals were concerned, this lady called me and told me that she had a house for rent and she'll allow pets!!!!

I met up with the lady at the hotel lobby (I'm staying at a hotel right now) and she was nice enough to take me to see the house. It's a small house, but it had a basement, a garage, attic, covered patio, and a backyard that leads to a walking trail in the woods! When I went into the house, it smelled nice and looked very clean, which was a sharp contrast to the places that I've seen before around town. The rent is a bit expensive, but I think it's worth it. It's only 4 miles away from where I'll be working at, and the neighborhood is quiet.

Another thing about the landlord, right off the bat, she told me that she had two young sons and she's! I appreciate the honesty.

Since I've been here, everyone that I've met has been very nice to me, and I think that's a great sign. I had also met a Schmuck, seriously, that's his last name! He works at the Circuit City across the street from the hotel and he sells sell phones, I got one of his business cards in case I need to switch cell phone carriers. Some of the gas stations around here are called Sheetz, to which you can easily pronounce into something else completely.

The dog has been getting nothing but affection from the hotel staff, and he seems to be adopting to the cooler weather without much problems....I mean, he should, he's full of fur!

I'm a bit nervous about work, I went to the workplace yesterday to hand in some paperwork and I remember walking through a maze of cubicles, tall cubicles. They reminded me of the "Initech" Company featured in the movie, "Office Space". Are there going to be humor at the workplace? I doubt it, but at least I hope it' bearable, you know?

Very relieved about finally finding a place!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In Pennsylvania....

The dog and I finally arrived at our temporary detination in Western Pennsylvania, after a drive that lasted almost 2 days. The weather couldn't be better for driving, but my poor dog got so worned out that he went to bed almost immediately after we checked ourselves into the hotel. In fact, as I am writing this entry, (this is the afternoon following my arrival) the dog is still kind of lazy.

Started looking at possible places to live at, and the first two were nightmares of places to look at! One of the apts. have kitchen that looked completely non-functional, and old. I won't even mention the bathrooms! I also looked at the local newspapers for any more possible places to rent, and because of the pet restrictions, I really don't have a lot of options.

Trying not to get too nervous yet, after all, I just got here, right?

Time to wake the dog up!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Goodbye, Midwest!

I'll try not to shed a tear as I drive away eastward......

Cyndi Lauper rocks!

Last night we had the pleasure of attending a Cyndi Lauper concert in downtown Kansas City. We had purchased the tickets about a month and a half ago and I just thought that it would be a good concert, mostly for nostalgia sake. I was a middle schooler in the mid 80's when Madonna and Cyndi Lauper both became pop stars...ah the good ole' 80's!

I always thought that Cyndi was cooler than Madonna, since Madonna was big on gimmicks and not real talent. However, I was not too familiar with all of Cyndi's songs except for her album, "She's So Unusual", with all the songs like "True Colors", "She Bop", etc. On the other hand, I had once purchased Madonna's "Immaculate Collection", and I think that was enough for me, I think everything after that sort of was shit, and I never had a desire to watch her in concert either.

Most of the concert audience last night were people in their 50's and beyond, with a small pocket of people who are not yet in their 30's. I thought to myself "Man, did I really age that much?" Some of them were already drunk by the time Cindi came out to sing, and they were mildly irritating. Her opening act was this raggae band called "The Rule", and it was made up of 3 white boys and one black guy from Ethiopia. The lead singer had long dreadlocks, and a good voice, but I cannot say their music was something that I'd download on my Ipod.

Cyndi did her familiar songs with different interpretations and arrangement, and it was almost like hearing her songs for the first time. Her band was also great at keeping in sync with her and they looked like they were having a lot of fun doing what they do. The encore performance was longer than any encore performances that I've ever seen at any concerts, and it was fun to watch and listen to. I don't know if I was ever really aware of how powerful her voice can be!

If you can, try and catch her in concert, and I am sure that you will not be disappointed!

Here is where you can find out more about Ms. Lauper.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Tuesday morning

Waiting for the water to boil so I can make my tea, and semi-anxiously looking online for a place to live at once we move up to Pa. I'm having a hard time so far in finding a place that'll accept pets. It seems like if you move to that part of the country, you should buy a house. Yet I don't think I'm quite ready for house buying yet. I have no idea whether or not this job is a long term one, and besides, house buying takes lots of $ and time.

The GF is optimistic about it all, and I am glad that she is.

Right now, there are just a lot of details of packing and moving.

Let me have some tea so I can get started again....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

What a week

I spent a week in Houston so that I can hang out with my sister. My sister and I, although very much different and have been on occations known to bump heads with me, we nevertheless had a pretty good time. We ate Ethiopean, Chinese, and Vietnamese food, talked a lot about our memories of grandma, griped about the rest of the family, and played with her beloved beagle, Woody. We also drove to Galveston beach and hung out for about an hour. Galveston doesn't have the best beach out there, but the weather was so nice that it made everything better.

I found out that on the plane ride over to Houston that the company that I've interviewd with in Pennsylvania has offered me a job. It was in the middle range what I said should be my "starting price" for them, but more than what I was earning before, with an extra sense of the illusion of job security. I feel kinda guilty about it because I really didn't try much to look for jobs or to try and look for another job. Part of the reasons why was because I was not really all that motivated in going through the process of selling myself to other people all over again and again. This job really literally fell out of the sky, and I just hope that I'm at least halfway useful for this company.

Above all, I hope it'll be a better and a friendlier place to be at, for all of us.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Catchy tune of the day


written by Peter Stuart
from the 'Happy Nowhere" CD on Columbia

Don't look now, things just got worse.
I'm drunk again I swear this crescent is just a curse.
Oh, I got here by killin' off all my friends.
I think I've figured it out: my life begins when the fun ends.

I got my wings, I'm free to go as I please.
Yeah, I got my wings now nothing really pleases me

'till everything falls apart
then I get to try to put it back together
yeah, it falls apart you can count on that
you can count on
bad, bad weather again.

Was it good? I don't remember much about it.
When things start to feel right
you can count on me to start to doubt it.
and the devil's not in the details, no the devil is in my pants
And it's shoot first apologize later.
Another quick and new sure shot romance
Well I got what I wanted now I don't want anything
Yeah, I got what I wanted, now my life is just boring.

'till everything falls apart
then I get to try to put it back together
yeah, it falls apart and you can count on that
you can count on that; bad weather this year.

I met God this afternoon ridin' on an uptown train
I said, "Don't you have better things to do?"
He said, "If I do my job what would you complain about?
So I let it go to Hell, now I'll have something to do.
He said, "I'll let it go to hell; does that sound familiar to you?"

Well everything falls apart
then I get to try to put it back together
yeah it falls apart and you can count on that
you can count on bad, bad weather
well, everything that falls apart, baby,
sooner or later gonna come back together
well, everything that comes together, hey,
sooner or later gonna fall apart again
and you can call it anything you want
they're gonna take it all away from you
you're gonna wake up, wake up, wake up,
scarecrow and find yourself lost again...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ode to....

The GF who is out there earning the dough right now while I'm getting reacquainted with the pets and some good old fashioned housework. While I cannot say that I'm the best housewife out there, but it has been good to get to do these things for a change.

I have to also say that my GF need to be commended for putting up with me, my funky job changes, my family, and my many shortcomings. She's the ultimate wife, mother, and the smartest gal that I know and have the pleasure of being with!

I do hope that everything will work out fine with the possible new job, possible new move, and the possible new bouncing baby!

Love you!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Back from the interview

About the job interview:

After 2 seperate legs of flights from here to Charlotte, NC, and finally to Pittsburgh (with a overbooked and rerouted flight), I took the rental car and drove to Johnstown, Pa., this mountaineous town that houses some big name defense contracting firms, and I went to interview with a not so well known company. However unknown, this company owns this campus of buildings of big proportions.

I took a look at the town, it was a small town and I can't say that I got a sense of what people were like in the town. I did think it was kind of funny that two out of two gas station attendants to which I asked driving directions from all had missing upper front teeth, and mullets for haircuts. All the Chinese restaurants from Pittsburgh to Johnstown are called Jade Garden. Overall, the town looked kind of scenic, like the rolling hills featured on a microsoft computer screensaver.

I interviews with a total of 5 people, from the manager (the one who first saw my resume), to his boss (who thought that I had a lot of military intelligence experience.), an analyst (this bald-headed guy who is a Arabic linguist who had spent 20 years in the army.), the human resources lady (this young twenty-something gal who went over their benefits packages with me. When I asked her what people in town did for fun, she was at a loss.), and last but not least, the security guy who took my info. to check up on whether or not I had a security clearances. ( I think all of them were ex-military, with the exception of the human resources lady.)

They were all friendly, but I wasn't sure exactly if I was the person that they were looking for. I got the impression that they wanted someone who has a lot more dealings with the military intelligence community (I'm just an accidental tourist, thanks to my language), and just someone who is a lot more technically aware. (I could be wrong though, I'm not always the best at reading people and what's spinning in their heads.) I do have to thank them for taking the trouble to fly me over, put me up in a hotel, and giving me a chance to interview!

They are supposed to tell me whether or not they wanted me to work for them in about two weeks time. I'm not going to worry about what the result of it will be, not really. I guess since in my mind I got this interview by total accident, if I get this job, it'll be a total accident too! I'll let y'all know when I hear something!

I was so tired when I came home last night, with just myself and not my luggage. Due to the re-routing of flight, I didn't get my luggage until sometimes this morning. (I was supposed to fly from Pittsburgh to Philadelphis, then from Philly back to Kansas City. Yet the flight to Philly was not going to leave until 3 hours after the supposed departure time, so I got the gate agent to put me on a flight to D.C. and then fly back to KC from there. That happened, but the luggage followed the original flight route. I wonder if this is a normal thing when it comes to flying with U.S. Air.....)

Glad to be back with the GF and the pets!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Moving on

I had gotten back in touch with a few people from my job from prior to Japan, went to dinner together this past Friday evening, and through a quick visit, I got to see more of my former colleges face to face.

That was yesterday, I went to the old office on a bad day, I found out. For one thing, one of the person there was just let go and from all accounts, he didn't take it too well. On top of that, due to budgetary concerns, everyone in that office have to now submit written reasons why they should stay in their perspective jobs. My old partner in crime told me that his contract (he's a civilian contractor) has been extended for another year, but he's not even sure what will happen after that. Most of the people there have invested a lot in this particular geographical area, bought houses, cars, and sent their kids to the public schools in the area.

Even though that place wasn't fully staffed when I had visited yesterday, I could sense the uneasiness and the frustration there even though the people that I saw were happy to see me.

I thought about why I chose to leave that place and I thought that even though it wasn't a easy decision to make, I'm glad that I did it. Granted, I am on unemployment right now, but I'm looking around and I like some of the possibilities around me. I don't have that "I'm stuck" kind of feeling.

On a side note, I'm glad that ABC decided to show the "Path to 9/11" movie desptie of complaints from former president Clinton and his posse. Let's play fair here, I don't think President Bush demanded that "Fareneheit 9/11" be pulled from the theaters because the movie had placed him in a negative light. Just to let you know, I don't like either the republicans or the democrats, and when we entrust our lives to the politicians, we might as well become card-carrying members of the masochist party (I made that up, by the way).

Flying out tomorrow to a job interview in the Northeast, and I hope that the interview will go well, regardless or whether or not I get the job. The GF and I are anticipating a move to...?

Here's to that ever-present unknown!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Commitment phobic men take note.....

From Associated Press...

Brad Pitt, ever the social activist, says he won't be marrying
Angelina Jolie until the restrictions on who can marry whom are dropped. "Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able," the 42-year-old actor reveals in Esquire magazine's October issue, on newsstands Sept. 19.

In the article he reflects on "fifteen things I think everyone should know."

Though Shiloh, the world-famous daughter of Pitt and girlfriend/earth mother Angelina Jolie, hogged much attention upon her birth in May, Pitt says he "cannot imagine life" without adopted children, Maddox, 5, and Zahara, 1.

"They're as much of my blood as any natural born, and I'm theirs," says Pitt. "That's all I can say about it. I can't live without them. So: Anyone considering (adoption), that's my vote."

Pitt, who plays a world traveler in the upcoming drama "Babel," subscribes to a laid-back parenting style.

"I try not to stifle them in any way," he says. "If it's not hurting anyone, I want them to be able to explore. Sometimes that means they're quite rambunctious."

Lucky kids.

....I wonder if Angelina turned around and slapped his face...

"I feel it's really important to have that time to sit and talk to them," he continues. "I really like that last minute before they fade off. And always give them a heads-up before you jerk them out of something. You need to tell them, like, `You have three more minutes.'"


Friday, September 08, 2006

American Cities That Best Fit You::
55% Austin
55% Miami
50% Honolulu
50% Los Angeles
50% Washington, DC

Funny....I used to live in Austin!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Rest in peace, Steve Irwin

He was so full of life, one of these people that I envy. He puts out more energy in one day than I do in 10 years!

I hope your legacy will be carried on. My condolences to Terri and the kids.

If you are interested, you can read about him here, I am sure that animal planet is probably going to run all sorts of tributes to him, so we can catch footages of him there too.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The award for favorite guilty pleasures movie of 06'....

goes to "Snakes on A Plane"!

Granted that the movie will probably never win an academy award, but it sure beat about at least 80% of the current movies out there when it comes to guilty pleasures!

I dragged the GF to see it with me, and even though she said that I owed her for this one, I could see that she enjoyed the movie as much as I did! Sure, some parts of the movie were a bit gory, but that was part of the fun part of the movie.

I have to admit that the internet was a big motivating factor for myself wanting to see this movie, and the other motivating factor is the fact that I really like cheesy movies.

So if you are like myself, a fan of cheesy movies with a bit of a gore, I think you'll like this movie!

Friday, September 01, 2006

The week so far....

I've been cleaning the apt. a bit, cooking some, did lots of dishes, filed for unemployment, surfed a lot of net, walked my dog, and made some phone calls to the friendly folks at the Washington army national guard, where some thoughts of me transferring there loomed for a while.

The GF has been great, constantly reminding me that we are on unemployment budget right now so we've got to act as such, reminding me what chores lie ahead for me during the day, and talking to each other at various times during the day and night. Thanks to her, I'm taking it easy for a few weeks!

I might have this job interview coming up in the next two weeks, and I don't really know if I'll get it, much less know what the job is really about... not a good way to go in to an interview. I'll keep you updated when/if anything happens. The GF and I would love to move out of the Midwest, but we realize that it's partly up to us, and partly depending on what job that I get and where that job will be at. We'll see what happens.

I've been talking to the GF a lot about my grandmother's passing and how it feels afterwards. It's like free therapy for me, and I'm really grateful for her for that. My poor sister has been dealing also with the aftermath, and I think for her it has been bittersweet. Bitter because she had looked so forward to be spending time with both of grandparents, (and some more things that come with spending time with them.) and sweet because she's now getting to know my grandfather a lot better. A death in the family can sure bring out a lot of things in us, force us to deal with things that we had avoided for a long time, influence us in both positive and negative ways, and that's just the beginning.

To my nephew Zach, we're going to try really hard to come and see you soon! We've missed you a lot from here! We'll bring down Ramen dog for you to play with, and sneak you some goodies! You got to try and stay the good boy that you are, despite the fact that a lot of the adults around you aren't as good as you are. Adults can be real idiots at times.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This song....

kept running through my head today...

The Fray
Over my head

I never knew
I never knew that everything was falling through
That everyone I knew was waiting on a queue
To turn and run when all I needed was the truth
But that's how it's got to be
It's coming down to nothing more than apathy
I'd rather run the other way than stay and see
The smoke and who's still standing when it clears

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Let's rearrange
I wish you were a stranger I could disengage
Just say that we agree and then never change
Soften a bit until we all just get along
But that's disregard
Find another friend and you discard
As you lose the argument in a cable car
Hanging above as the canyon comes between

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

And suddenly I become a part of your past
I'm becoming the part that don't last
I'm losing you and its effortless
Without a sound we lose sight of the ground
In the throw around
Never thought that you wanted to bring it down
I won't let it go down till we torch it ourselves

And everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Everyone knows
She's on your mind
Everyone knows I'm in over my head
I'm in over my head
I'm in over...

Everyone knows I'm in
Over my head
Over my head
With eight seconds left in overtime
She's on your mind
She's on your mind

Monday, August 28, 2006

Back in the states

After getting stuck in Chicago O'Hare, because of flight cancellations, I finally made it home on early Sat. morning instead of Friday afternoon. The weather was the main factor in flight cancellations, and on that note, let me give a standing ovation to the pilots and crews of UA flight #753, because of their flying skills (I'm not being at all sarcastic!), we made it back to kansas City in one piece!

It was great to see the pets, the apt., and most of all, the GF! We spent to the weekend just eating and relaxing, there were nothing better for us to do. We also went to watch the movie "Little Miss Sunshine", and I highly recommend it! That movie doesn't have the usual fluff of the movies around now, and it was sad, funny, and hopeful at the same time. Take my word for it, I think it's definitely the funny little movie that could of the year!

The pets have been quite forgiving to my 3 months absence. The cats have been affectionate, still recognizing me, and even taking their place next to my pillow for naps! The dog have been following me around the house, easing my worry that he is mad at me.

This week will be all about the apt. cleaning, and preparing meals for the GF and the pets! The rest will follow.

There is no place like home!

*To Jeff and Eric: I'm glad that you guys received the rocks, I'm sorry that I couldn't send anything more exotic, but stay tuned!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Bye bye Japan!

Yes, finally, your truly is about to depart Japan tomorrow afternoon and embark on whatever that's next.

I was not able to say goodbye to everyone that I knew here, but via the power of electronic communications, I hope that task was sufficiently accomplished. This has been the one of the worst military duty experience that I've ever had, but the $ made helped to make this whole thing a bit better.

I don't think I want to travel extensively abroad for a while for now. I need to be with the GF, the pets, my grandfather, my sister, and go visit my grandmother at her gravesite. Even though I have no idea what is coming up next, where I'll be working, and where we'll be living at, I'm not that worried because I know that will not help with things. I hope that things will eventually work out.

I wish for the best of all the soldiers here at the bullshit battalion, I hope they will not have to struggle with a lost and spineless leadership system for too much longer. May each of them find their calling and bliss like we all should be doing. To the nice Japanese folks that I've been associating with, "arigato"!

I'll post some photos from my trip when I come back and will have captions on them, so stay tuned!

Japan is a good place to visit and try new foods, but if you are not into small places and all things expensive, then maybe a visit is all that's really neccessary.

Here's to a safe flight, and a big sayonara!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Rest in peace, Lucky dog

Lucky is this black lab mix that my uncle and his family had for the past 5 or so years, they got him after they got robbed. They adopted him from the local animal shelter and kept him sort of as a guard dog.

Unfortunately, while my uncle and his family did not abuse Lucky, they did keep Lucky on a leash in their backyard most of the time. As their kids grew up, less and less time were devoted to Lucky.

Lucky eventually learned to get out of his leash and run around the neighborhood, and he also ran to my grandparents' house a lot, where he knew that my grandmother would give him treats. The last time I saw and petted him, he showed up after my grandmother's funeral, and he sat in front of the garage door of my grandparents' house, waiting for us to open the door for him. He looked as sad as I felt at that time. I gave him some water and he sat by me in the backyard while I petted him.

Yesterday, as the whole family prepared to attend church, my aunt chained him inside the house with a metal leash instead of a leather or a fabric leash. Lucky tried to escape by jumping out of a window that I guess was partially open. He choked himself to death on his metal leash, and by the time that my uncle had returned him, Lucky's body was already stiff.

I don't know what's going on, but there are some morbid stuff going on in Houston, where my family's living. First was my grandmother's death, now Lucky, and I hope to God that there's no more deaths for a long time! I'm really sad about Lucky's death, and I hope that he's already by my grandmother's side as her pet in heaven.

Rest in peace, Lucky dog, may you never be chained up again!

Friday, August 18, 2006

For my GF

Every Woman In the World

Air Supply

Every night seems dinner and wine
Saturday days
I was never in love, never had the time
In my hustle and hurried world
Laughing my self to sleep, waking up lonely
I needed someone to hold me, oh

It's such a crazy home town
It can drag you down
Till you run out of dreams
So you party all night to the music and lights
But you don't what happiness means
I was dancing in the dark with strangers
No love around me
When suddenly you found me, oh

Girl, you're every woman in the world to me
You're my fantasy, you're my reality
Girl, you're every woman in the world to me
You're everything I need,
You're everything to me
Oh girl

Everything good, everything fine
That's what you are
So put your hand in mine and together we'll climb
As high as the highest star
I'm living the life time in every minute
That we're together
And I'm staying right here forever, oh

a song dedication.... the bullshit battalion who has held me prisoner for the last three months....

"Get Me Outta Here"
By Jet

I went down to the bank
To get me a'pay
I'm gonna get me outta here
I got me some cash
I'm heading back to LA
I'm gonna get me outta here

I'm sacking the man
cause the man is a thief
I'm kicking the plan
before the plan kicks me
I'm gonna get me
Get me out of here
I'm gonna get me
Get me out of here

I went down to the Duke
10 time a day
I'm gonna get me outta here
Drink all night and talking shit all day
I'm gonna get me outta here

I'm sacking the man
Tcause the man is a thief
I'm kicking the plan
before the plan kicks me
I'm gonna get me
Get me out of here
I'm gonna get me
Get me out of here

I don't mind how I live my life
Without the luck you got
I ain't tryin' to keep in time
So just keep off my ride
You won't hang your rusty sign on me

I went down to the bank
Just to get me my pay
Get me outta here
I'm gonna get me
Get me outta here
I'm gonna get me
Get me outta here

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

One of the ultimate bad lucks

I was reading news articles about the Stryker Brigades today, when I noticed that some of the formerly deployed soliders from Alaska have been recalled to active duty, some after they have returned home, and others found out when they were waiting for their states-bound plane from Kuwait.

The article is here is you want to read it.

I was thinking back about my deployment, and how our group almost could not get out of Kuwait because our less than brilliant commander forgot to sign us out of Iraq. Nevertheless, we still managed to get back to the states and promptly got our luggages and gear about 3 weeks after we should have already gotten back to our homes. It was sadly comical, but thank God all of us got back in one piece and healthy, at least physically!

The return to the states is getting closer, and I cannot wait! God forbid if they should extend my order here!!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Turn, turn, turn

Words-adapted from the bible, book of ecclesiastes
Music-pete seeger

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time for every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear its not too late

This song all of a sudden for me this year has a greater meaning, with my grandmother passing away, the few other folks who went before her (famous folks like the guys who made that "90210" show, and the like.), and now, the former Israel prime minister Ariel Sharon, who's slipping away from life as we speak, his slipping away sounds eerily like my grandmother's passing. It feels like an era is about to end and something new will happen. Whether that is a good thing or not, I don't really know. The GF frequents this self-proclaimed Christian prophet's site , and she'd tell me about some of the prophesies that this man has made about world affairs, natural disasters, etc. God supposedly talks to him directly, but for some reasons, God never gives him any timelines or different things to tell him. (He's got a sense of humor, of course!) Anyway, this man said that this was going to be the year that a lot of folks who were in the show and political businesses will pass away, but don't people die just about every year and every day?

Just wanted to mention that this guy will take Visa, Master, checks and money order, and American Express if you're interested in supporting his ministry. I guess the days of surviving just on manna has long since passed.

Anyway, my point is that, I think I might just had a semi-prophetic/knowing moment.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Woke up today to this rush of tummy trouble, I guess the roasted chicken that I had yesterday was not such a good idea at the end. I was finally able to go online and chat with the GF, and with the aid of a borrowed webcam, I also got to see her and the pets! It was good to see that they're all good and running around, being themselves.

I went back to sleep after our chat, and slept for like 2 hours or so. Lately, I just feel so sleepy all the time. Not having a lot to do here helps a lot. Yes, there are all these places that I can goto in Japan, but some places that I wanted to go take a lot of yens that I don't have and if I do get to a place that I really liked, I might risk missing Japan a bit.

There are so many things that I've got to do after I come back to the States, not counting looking for another job, or filing for unemployment for a while, and also fussing with military stuff, part of it being getting this experience out of my way.

There was this festival called the "Bon Odori" festival that was held right outside of the barracks that I live in. There really was nothing overtly Japanese about it, rather, a chance for local and contracted vendors to sell their stuff. I found out that the Japanese people LOVES American pizza (there were a lot of locals who were granted access to this post.), Budweiser beer, and hot dogs, boy do they like them! It rained really hard during part of the festival, it rained so much that I thought that a typhoon was blowing by!

Two highlights of yesterday were that I won this digital camera at this drawing, and it was one of those $300+ models of digital cameras too! (Now I've just got to figure out how to take it back with me, without having it shattered to pieces, thanks, terrorit assholes!) The other highlight was that I got to talk to some of the pilots and the crew chiefs who fly one of the Blackhawk helicopters on display there, even took some photos of parts of myself in the cockpit...I wanted to stay away from these goofily posed tourist photos! Of course I asked about about their nightmarish moments in flight, and whether or not some of these urban myths that I've heard about helicopter decapitations were true...c'mon, I can't resist!

Next week, more mailing out stuff back home, and getting myself ready to get outta here! I've got to clean the room, and give it back to the powers that be cleaner than when I first came in, how fair is that!

I miss everyone from home!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A few thing to say....

To the terrorists who are trying to blow up everything and everyone: Cut the crap, if you think that your rewards are 77 virgins, you're in for some shocks!

To the government workers who got their jobs because they've married someone important or was once has-beens: You're slowing down progress.

To domestic based airlines: Keep trying...

To the battalion/brigade who are keeping me here in Japan right now: I am getting on that flight home, and you can't stop me.

To Doritos chips: I love you!

To the major news channels: I don't really want to know how to make a bomb from hair gels or breast milk, so spare me the details.

To Floyd Landis: I believe ya!

To my sister: Good luck with the business lunch, I hope good things will happen to you in Texas!

To the GF: Love and miss ya!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Cheese workers win Powerball dough
Dozens of Sargento employees say they'll split $208.6 million

Tuesday, August 8, 2006; Posted: 4:27 a.m. EDT (08:27 GMT)

Lori Breske, left, greets Powerball winner Jill Wilkens as she arrives at work Monday.

PLYMOUTH, Wisconsin (AP) -- Dozens of cheese company workers returned to their jobs Monday after they reported being among about 100 workers who won a Powerball jackpot worth $208.6 million.

Andrea Fink, 26, of Sheboygan, said she arrived early for her second shift in the afternoon at Sargento Foods to meet with the other winners. The group said it held the only winning ticket for Saturday's Powerball drawing.

"I don't know what to say. I can't believe it. It just seems unreal," said Fink, who planned to buy a house with her winnings.

Sargento Chief Executive Officer Lou Gentine said he met with most of the winners and some other employees Monday afternoon before they started work, and the gathering often burst into applause.

The ticket has been turned over to an attorney, he said, though he was not sure when it would be submitted to the lottery. The group estimates each person will receive between $500,000 and $700,000, after taxes, if they choose to take a lump sum, he said.

"To see the joy on their faces, it's just incredible," Gentine said. "We're really happy for them."

The winners are of different ages and do a variety of jobs, such as cutting and shredding cheese, loading trucks and performing maintenance, Gentine said. He said their salaries range between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.

Colleen Sumner, 51, of Crystal Lake, said she was not sure whether she would keep working at Sargento, where she has been employed for nearly 19 years.

"It's going to help how many different families. It's super. It's a lot better than one person winning," she said.

The winning ticket was sold at Ma and Pa's Grocery Express in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, along the so-called "Miracle Mile," a stretch of South Main Street where several stores sold multimillion-dollar tickets during the 1990s.

Ma and Pa's sold a winning Megabucks ticket worth $6.5 million in 1994 and has sold tickets that won $500,000, $250,000 and $100,000.

Powerball is played in 29 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

Cool Monday evening

After about a week's of 95 degree plus weather, it finally rained today and the temperature got down to about 77 degrees. It was the kind of rain that didn't come down very hard, and there was even a breeze!

Tomorrow is the Chinese father's day, and I'd like to wish my grandfather as happy of a father's day as can be. They say that the loss of of a loved one is felt most acutely when holidays or birthdays come around.

I finally got net hookup in my room, and stupid ole me could have gotten the connection when I first came here, but it's my fault that I didn't try hard enough to try to find a net provider. I downloaded Skype and now I can talk for FREE to the GF and the family back in Texas... technology is simply grand!

I went through the first step of getting out of this small military post in Japan by getting a full physical. It's required so the army will not be liable for any illnesses that happens after us reservists leave an active duty tour. So to get constant military provided healthcare, basically someone like myself would have to be on constant active duty. Not me though, the beauty of being a weekend warrior is that I could be on active duty as I'd like, unless I'm called up to war again. I do sort of long for a more normal life though, whatever that might mean.

I can't wait to fly back home, even if I don't really know what is coming later. Really looking forward to peting the pets, wearing things which are not uniforms, being a housewife, havinge a mini-me, and just basically not really looking back.

A shoutout to Jeff at Phidoux, I've got your Mt. Fuji rocks and photos, and I'll be sending the rocks to you soon, but you might have to wait for a bit for the photos. I've got another shoutout to my grandma in heaven, I hope that she's having a blast in the company of God, her family from back in Mainland China (most of them had passed on before she did), and a bunch of friends as they party up there. ( I hope they're are!)

To the GF, I miss you!

Monday, August 07, 2006


By Vertical Horizon

Take these roses off of me
Let me live, let me be
For a little while
Let my eyes,
See everything and nothing in their time
I do not mind

Who've guess I'd learn
To let the walls around me burn
Light up the hillside
My words, I ate them for so long and nothing changed
It was just the same

And I don't know if you see me here
But I can tell you your face is clear
I will see you...

I will see you

Call me close once again
Call me teacher, call me friend
Just like the first time
Call my name, it echos around me in this room
Its all you

I don't know if you hear me there
But it's dark so no one cares
I will hear you...

I will hear you

I wanted you to be everything to me
Now I've got to learn to carry on
I know I cannot hide this emptiness inside
But nothing is the same since you've gone

Send me letters from above
Send me strength, send me love
Such sweet love
Sing me songs that echo in my head and in my heart
That's where you are

And I don't know if you feel me here
I can tell you one thing that's clear
I will feel you...

I will feel you
I will hear you
I will see you

Take these roses off of me
Let me live, let me be

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Long time no see!

I came back from emergency about almost 2 weeks ago, and now I am just trying to finish out this duty tour from hell. I didn't exactly get to do what I came here to do, instead, my life was filled with a lot of really senseless duties, like driving around the military housing area on a golf cart, for patrol purpose, staff duty (the military version of the 24 hour custodial duty), and worst of all, being caught between power struggles of this battalion and the division that I work for. I will be SO GLAD once I board that plane back to the States!

I miss my grandma immensely still, but I just don't burst into tears everytime that I think about her now. Maybe it's because somewhere in the back of my mind, I know that I'll see her again. I thought that it might look something like these scenes from that show "Six Feet Under", in the final episode, where they showed how all the characters died. Right before some of the characters would pass away, they see their loved ones who have passed away before them, as if to welcome them into the afterlife. Of course, there is always a possibility that all the things that I've ever heard or read about the afterlife could be wrong, but for now, I think I'll stick to my uneducated gut feelings about this. Without some blind faith, I think this life would be very hard to live out.

I finally got the net hooked my in the barracks that I live in now, yes, it has been like almost 3 months too late, but better late than never, right? I hooked up Skype and can talk to the GF and folks from home at just about anytime now. Provided that neither of us are asleep, there are 14 hours time difference between us. No more wasting $ on phone cards!

My heart goes out to these three people:

*My GF, who is going through a hard time at work because one of her co-worker is something of a schizophrenic, and the GF was the victim of a lot her co-wroker's outbursts. The GF has been handling everything with a lot of control and grace, but I know that it must not be easy.

*My grandfather, and that's for how hard it is to have lost his companion of 74 years and having to cope with the aftermath. On the outside, he has shed the least amount of tears, but I can tell that's not a reflection of what is going on on the inside. He has not been sleeping to well lately, and for obvious reasons. I hope that eventually, he'll be able to feel more of that sense of peace in knowing that he and grandma had a great life together, and that it can be continued in heaven.

*My sister, she had a lot of hopes of being able to look out for our grandparents, and also finding a new life in Texas. Now she's living in their house and also missing grandma immensely, and sort of submerged for regretting not having moved down sooner. I feel for her.

On top of all that, I have no idea where my next job will be next, but I hope that it will all work out in its due time. It's really time to move on to the next phase of life, the kind of growing up that has to do with a lot more communications, more stable job, a house, and most importantly, kids so we can participate in the ruining of the next generation!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Going on emergency leave

I'm at the airport in Tokyo, waiting to get on a plane so I can go see my grandma for the last time. It'll be a whirlwind trip, by that I mean very quickly we will have the memorial service, and then proceed to bury her on Monday.

Tomorrow, after I touch down, I will go and see her at the funeral home, and in some ways, my feelings are mixed. The feelings are part creeped, part sad, and part anticipatory I'm sure that those of you who have been through the death of a loved one will identify with me.

From talking with my sister last night, it seems like I was the last one to have talked to grandma just before she fully stopped breathing and died. As soon as I told her I loved her and not to worry, I'll see her later, her breathing just stopped. That's grandma, considerate and kind until the very end. I got forwarded some pictures of her taken by my sister on grandma's last birthday, two weeks ago, and I all of a sudden got a a sense of how old and frail grandma looked in these photos. At last, she's getting some rest.

The GF is very sympathetic and wishes that she could be there. I don't exactly have a very understanding family, despite of all the good intentions, so she will sit this one out. I will not have a chance to see her but will finish my assignment in Japan and go back to see her, and stay with grandpa for a while.

I will try to post some photos when I get back, of grandma, Japan, and stuff when I get back, but in the meanwhile, I will try my best to fill you in on things.

Wish me luck and lots of strength, I am going to need them!

Monday, July 17, 2006

A very sad event

I'm so sorry that I've not posted lately, computer unavailability made it really diffucult to post.

The GF has travelled to Japan and we spent a blissful but tired week together. She has gotten so much more stronger and resilient physicall and mentall, and I'm very proud of her!

The sad event that just happened yesterday was the death of my grandmother, who had just turned 90 about two weeks before. She had a stroke, and even though she was rushed to the hospital in time, old body and age still caught up with her in the end. I am and have been so immensely sad that I've not been able to sleep or eat properly. My sister has been very diligent in texting me information about my grandmother's condition. All her kids have also been standing by her bedside when she passed on. I called and spoke to my grandmother, even though by then she was in a coma and probably could not hear me at all. I broke down but told her not to worry about me and my sister,I love her, and that I will see her on the other side when my time comes. Grandmother died about less than an hour after that, as her breathing stopped and heart failed. It's so hard to believe, because part of me, a large part of me thinks that she'll always be there.

I am due to fly back on emergency leave so I can make it to her funeral on Sunday. I heard that it will be an open-casket funeral, for some, it helps because it supposedly would give the survivors closure. I don't really know, I guess I'll find out.

I'm so sad that the mind just gravitates from not believing that her death has happened, to lots of regrets for not having spent enough time with her, or have called her enough.

I know that I'll see her again, even though that knowledge is not really shrouded in any sort of religious context. In some ways that makes death not such a final thing to expect, at least I will know someone there when it's my time to go....I just wonder how long that will be.

I am worried about my grandfather, even though by all accounts that he has been putting on a strong front. My sister will be moving down to live with him for a while. She did not tell my grandmother about her move just so that she could suprise her, no one expected this.

I am sure that my sadness will become lighter in time, I justs don't know when....

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Another week.....

Brought about some changes. First of all, instead of this translation job that I'm doing, the powers that be have decided to transfer me to their counter intelligence division to do work there. What they'll have me do, I have no idea, but they assured me that it'll have something to do with language training. We'll see. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. Either way, I'm just trying to make time go by faster here so I can get back home to the GF and everyone!

The weather here has been getting warmer and warmer, and the monsoon season came and went with a few big episodes of rain, not as bad as the everyday rainstorm that everyone said that would happen, so that's a good thing!

The GF is going to come next week to see me, I can't wait! We will take some pics. of our trips around Tokyo and the surrounding area and post them after she comes back. I am really hoping that she'll have a good time and get as much out of this trip as possible. I'm looking around to see if there are places that we can go eat at, and be entertained.

I will write more later, as the changes continue.....

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The biggest place I've ever seen in Japan

Yesterday I took the simple yet convuluted Japanese train to their Chinatown in the city of Yokohoma. The plan was to meet up with someone from the unit that I am working at and then we'll go around Chinatown, but because of some really bad direction, it took me forever to get there. (at least I got there, right?)

When I finally met up with my co-tourist in the gigantic train station (most of Japanese train stations have these shopping malls in them so the commuters can shop after they get off of work.), he lost motivation to go further because it was approaching rush hour (even though it was Saturday, most Japanese people work 6 days a week.). So we took another train to this city called Ebina.

That's where I saw the biggest place that I've ever seen in Japan. The Vinawalk Shopping center. It's acres and acres of shopping and food court, followed by 3 floors of arcade and movie theaters. I think Japan will continue to face land shortages for their people with more shopping complexes like this. I had a feeling that I was in Colorado as I looked outside of the mega-mall, it was surrounded by mountains. Even though I know that Japan is 80% mountaineous, it's still sort of surreal to see all these mountains. I wonder if anyone live on them, and how much thinner the air is up there.

Ended the evening by having some nasty Japanese food. When I said nasty I meant a fusion of Japanese and American styled food. Why would you put mayonnaise on fries? (The Japanese LOVES mayonnaise, they'll put in on just about everything.) I'm paying for that now still, even into the next morning.

On the bright side, I'll get to see my GF soon! She'll spend a week with me where we'll visit Tokyo and I'll hide her in the barracks so we can snuggle up and stuff! ;-)

After she leaves, it'll mark the halfway mark of my time in Japan. I can't wait to go home! Hopefully get a semi-real job, and concentrate on the task of moving and spawning!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

More from here

I went to the Marine base at Mt. Fuji yesterday for my annual rifle qualification. The base was really plain, overtly symmetrical in its architecture (which is only half-true, since when did military buildings become "architecture"?), and the air was also colder because of the higher altitude.

They stuffed about 30 of us, with all of our equipment, into this small bus and I think we slept most of the way to and back from where we are. We supposedly fired our weapons at the base of Mt.Fuji, and the rocks and soils there were all black, indication of the volcanic soil in the area. There were too much mists and clouds to make the mountain visible, and that was kind of disappointing. I hope to really be able to see the mountain up close before I leave.

Speaking of leaving, I kind of can't wait to leave here. I don't think I've yet met anyone here on this base who is happy with their jobs or with their lives or the conditions that they have found themselves in. My issues here are mainly pay issues, not being able to eat enough fruits and veggies, missing the GF,not knowing the Japanese language, and having to deal with some real dickheads from time to time. I don't think it's anything all that existential, but still, it makes me sad to see other people feeling stuck in it all.

I think I'm talking to the GF more now that I'm away. I go through 1-2 phone cards each week at $20.00 a pop, but she's worth it. I've got to apologize to my dear dog Ramen for petting other dogs while I'm not around him, they were just so cute!

I'm kinda tired today, somehow I didn't sleep enough last night to recover from the rifle range, so I'm going to hit the sack for a bit.

Sorry for not having posted much lately, I'll explain why in my next entry.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Putting the $ where their mounths are.....

Fort Lewis Soldier Says He'll Refuse To Go To Iraq

June 6, 2006

By Keith Eldridge

SEATTLE - As thousands of Fort Lewis Army troops prepare to head back to Iraq, one of their officers is making a stand.

A lieutenant says he is going to refuse to go, saying it's an unjust war. Anti-war groups are rallying to his defense.

Lt. Ehren Watada of the Stryker Brigade writes, "I refuse to be silent any longer. I refuse to watch families torn apart, while the President tells us to ‘stay the course.’ I refuse to be party to an illegal and immoral war against people who did nothing to deserve our aggression.

"I wanted to be there for my fellow troops. But the best way was not to help drop artillery and cause more death and destruction. It is to help oppose this war and end it so that all soldiers can come home." - signed LT.....

*You can read the entire story on the Komo news website.

Lt. Watada just happened to be a member of the brigade that I had deployed with to Iraq about two years ago.

By signing up as a member of the military, you've sworn to defend your country by participating in war, regardless of whether or not you think your country was in the right. While I admire Lt. Watada for boldly expressing his opinion, I'm afraid that the army will either put him in jail or succeed in shipping him to Iraq.

I realize that he did try to resign his commission, but the army with their shortage of people, is not likely going to let him go unless he has some kind of catastrophic injuries.

However, it makes me think about how the politicians who govern us are big on talks and not action. GW Bush's children are not contributing to the war effort, nor are his relatives, to my understanding, in fact, he did not even complete his duty tour with the nationl guard. I find it very hard to fathom that people who have never been in the military claim to know what is best for the military, and I think you see where I am getting to.

I'm not wholly opposed to this current administration, in fact, I am sure that the powers that be are probably made up of many good people. I just think that they've somehow lost their ways, keeping their focus on non-sensical issues, and not being specific about how to resolve some really serious domestic issues, plus how to take better care of soldiers currently serving.

And that's my two cents.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

I'm Ernie!

You Are Ernie

Playful and childlike, you are everyone's favorite friend - even if your goofy antics get annoying at times.

You are usually feeling: Amused - you are very easily entertained

You are famous for: Always making people smile. From your silly songs to your wild pranks, you keep things fun.

How you life your life: With ease. Life is only difficult when your friends won't play with you!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Japan, week 2

I've settled in just a bit more here in Japan, the highlight of the week was when the air conditioning finally got turned on in the barracks that I live in! Summer is coming on fast here, and I take whatever comfort that they can hand over to me!

For the amount of exercise that I've been doing, I've not lost an single ounce! A bit bummed about that but otherwise alright.

The people here really tend to stay to themselves, but some are friendly if you seek them out. The key is to know when they're not feeling social.

Speaking of social, I've got a loaned t.v. in my room now, as well as a dvd player courtesy of some nice people in the army unit that I now am attached to. This unit attachment thing is like being a foster child at a foster parent's place.

Miss the GF and the kids immensely. Even though I've only been here for two weeks, it really felt like I've already been here for two months!

Went to an amusement park situated near Mt. Fuji called the Fujikue Highland. It was like a smaller version of Six Flag theme parks. It was fun getting out of this military post and getting to hang out with some of the other soldiers here. I don't know if activities like that happens often, but it can be kind of fun if you go with the right people.

Had my first sushi meal yesterday, my army bosses took me out to one of the local sushi restaurants and I had about 7 small dishes of different things. The neat thing about fresh sushi is that they don't taste or even small fishy at all, and the full feeling that you get is not an uncomfortable one.

I'm now blgging once a week because the computer at work doesn't allow me to do much else aside from work and e-mail, but I will try to update as much as I can in my weekly posting.

Sorry if I don't yet have a lot of adventures to report, but I assure you that if I do, I will do my best to post them!

Friday, May 26, 2006

What else can I say?...

But that the GF is definitely right about Japan! She's getting way too underpaid for her golden advises to me!

I was talking with her this morning about how messed up the situation is with how active duty is when it came to dealing with their "temps", yes, people like myself. It's just another long story that illustrates how the military reserve system is falling apart. I do believe that this is going to be my last active duty tour, if I can help it, you know?

I just wanted to make a halfway decent living, taking on this tour. It's not quite what I've expected. There are some really nice people here who have helped me out by taking me to places, and I am trying to go out and see things more, I just can't go out and see things as much because everything is so expensive in Japan.

Yesterday, I went to the supposedly better commissary on this neighboring military housing area, and it was still kind of sad. There are limited supplies of just about everything, and don't even get me started on the produce section! I can just envision myself walking into one of these "real" grocery stores in the States and bursting into tears from the sight of it all!

This s a long weekend for me, due to Memorial day. It started last night with me watching "Deal or No Deal" on the AFN channel (that's all you've got when you're stationed abroad.) while eating a t.v. dinner when I heard this woman scream! I thought that it was part of the t.v. show, then I realized that there were people having sex in the barracks, and that woman was a screamer. There is life in the barracks after all! Most people just tend to stay to themselves around here. It was kind of funny, desperate times, desperate settings.

The moral of the story is, that I will always listen to the GF from now on, because she's just about always right!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Japan entries

Hello everyone! I'm in Japan now, and have been for the past week. It has been quite an adventure so far, and let me count to you the the reasons why this trip has been a big adventure.

First of all, when my plane landed in Chicago, I had no idea that my connecting flight to Tokyo would be overbooked by 20 people. I was bumped off of the passenger list, plus a few other really pissed off people. I wasn't completely bummed, since I've got a sister in the Chicago area. I called her and we hung out for a day at her place. It was nice and we ate well.

The flight there was uneventful. Most of the passengers slept, but I for some reasons, couldn't sleep for more than 20 or so minutes at a time.

Finally arrived at the airport, did not see my sponsor. For those of you who don't know what a sponsor is. A sponsor is someone who is assigned to you when you first arrive for assignment on a military post, it doesn't have to be a foreign post. I knew that my original sponsor was supposed to be on leave, he told me that his boss will instead be there to greet me. That did not happen. I just followed some other service members and took the shuttle bus to this post. It was a long ride, and by then, my jetlag was catching up with me.

After being dropped off at the barracks, I was sort of shocked at how shitty it is. The room is bare, there is no linens on the bed, no shower curtains, and a non-functioning fridge. I'm sure that it could have gotten a lot worse, at least that was what I was told anyways. Later on, I was told that my barracks has been referred to as the "ghetto barracks". Such is my luck, but I'll get used to it.

The food in the chow hall? Only the breakfast is edible.

I don't have any mode of transportation here. So I have to walk everywhere. My supervisor is an okay guy, another one of those retired military folks who made the transition to (I don't know if you call that much of a transition) government service life. He'll tell you where to go, but will never give you a lift. So far, the nicest people that I've met are people that I don't work with. Mostly, the people here tend to stay to themselves. There is also some age difference. Most of the single soldiers are in their 20's, while most of the soldiers around my age are married, or have a whole other life while they're off of work. (Kind of like myself)

Japan is an expensive place to live in. It's also a small place to live in. I think since it is fairly Westernized in terms of technology and customs, more Westerners live here than other countries in the Pacific, correct me if I am wrong.

I miss the GF, the kids, and everyone from the Stateside immensely. I am glad that I've only signed up for 100 days and no more!

I will write more as event warrants!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Getting back in touch

I just finished talking to one of my college roommates, after about 10 years of not seeing each other, and 5 years between our last phone call to each other. She's now a mother of 3 kids, mother and housewife extraordinary.

I've pretty much lost touch with the majority of the people I knew from high school and college. Even though I'm not the most nostalgic person that I know, I do try not to go to websites like, so I wouldn't feel old and ask myself that question of "where did all that time go"? Most importantly, "what have I done with myself"?

Now, Em and I got along really well from the start, she was from the St. Louis area, and I was from the East Coast. Our shared dorm room was a royal mess, but at least we knew where everything was! She met Andy and they started dating, then got married while I was in basic training.

Em and I kept sporadic communications between each other. Her kids came along and I hopped from one job to another, then Iraq, and now Kansas City. About a week ago, I got a e-mail from her announcing the birth of her third child! I thought that was a good time to get back in touch, I mean, it has been 10 years!

I was really glad to have talked to her, with the sound of screaming kids in the background. It's true that we've all aged some since we've last met, but it's good that we are still who we were back in college, to a degree.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Grace Lee Project

I just saw the trailer of this documentary online, and it seems really interesting! Let me know what you think if you've gone to see this film!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thursday night geekdom

Like the geek that I am, I am watching the C-Span coverage of the Chinese president's visit to the U.S. I saw the footage where a woman reporter/protester was shouting at the Chinese president, then taken away by secret service agents. Poor gal, just when she thought that there was freedom of expression, she got the experience the effect firsthand. I heard that she's still sitting in secret service detention as of right now.

The GF is working a late shift tonight, to be able to pay our slightly higher bill (new motorcycle fees, credit card bills, and of course, the money for snacks.). I really appreciate her trying so hard!

I am going to goto Japan for three months, working as a linguist, I hopefully will be able to make a little more $ than I am now, so that we'll be closer to being debt-free, and get ready for kids.

Speaking of kids, one of my supervisors brought his 11 week old grandson to work for a while. We were taking turns feeding and burping the baby. When I held that baby, it was almost like second nature! The baby settled with me pretty well, drank his formula with gusto and gave me a deep belch! I've always been good with kids and babies, but hesitated because of past uncertainties and worries about $. As I approach my mid-30's, I think this is the best time to either: a. conceive b. adopt, or c. do the Angelina Jolie thing. (buy the babies!)

Found out recently that I've got osteoarthritis, and had it for a long time, just didn't know it. I was kind of bummed about it, but not extremely, now I just feel ordinary, complete with common aches and pains.

As if blogging couldn't get any lighter, over the next few weeks, I will not be able to blog much. I need the time to see my folks, walk the dog some more, pet my cats, spend time with the GF, her family, and my family. I will be sure to update to y'all my journey in Japan though!

With some anticipation, excitement, knots in the stomach, I'll be off to the Orient!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Tom Cruise's spectacular sex life

From ....

TOM CRUISE enjoys a "spectacular" sex life with his pregnant fiancee KATIE HOLMES, because they have such good communications skills. The Hollywood actor reveals his sex secrets in the May (06) issue of GQ magazine, declaring the physical act is a "by-product" of a successful pairing. Cruise enthuses, "Sex is about the connection. "Great sex is a by-product, for me, of a great relationship, where you have communication and it's an extension of that. Where it's just free. And that's how it should be. It's spectacular. If you're not in good communication with your partner, it sucks. "(Meaningless sex outside of a relationship) is really horrible and pathetic and lonely."

....Funny....I never knew that he even had a penis!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Here comes the sun

Literally, it seems like the weird weather that we've been having for the last few weeks have gave way to sunny days with temps in the low 80's! Mind you, there is still a chance that we could be hit with another bout of freaky weather, but that's the Midwest for you!

Let me just say how proud I am of the GF, she has worked for 5 weeks straight so far, and I think she's doing really well, despite of what she may be thinking. I'm just sorry that her co-workers can be such asses! I think they're just a bunch of small-minded and burned-out phlebotemists.

Made banana bread last night, and it has won great accolades from the GF, the only audience that counts. I doubt that it could have been better than the ones that she has made though!.

The job situation is still a blur, but I'm used to everything happening at the last minutes anyways. Yes, it does get old, but that's the way my life is going right now. Still want to move Westward later on in the year, we'll see what happens!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Words of wisdom

How often do we all seem to forget these words?

Something for everyone
Baz Luhrman

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97, wear sunscreen. If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh never mind, you will never understand the power and the beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in twenty years, you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. Don't worry about the future or worry that know that worrying is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind. The kind that blindsides you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday. Do one thing every day that scares you.
Don't be reckless with other peoples' hearts; don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. Floss .Don't waste your time on jealously, sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and in the end, it's only with your self. Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters; throw away your old bank statements.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't. Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to knees, you'll miss them when they're gone. Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the "Funky Chicken" on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can, don't be afraid of it or what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room. Read the directions even if you don't follow them. Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go. But a precious few, who should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, for as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young .Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain alienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old and when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders. Respect your elders. Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse but you'll never know when either one will run out. Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're forty, it will look eighty-five. Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it's worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.

What kind of food am I ?

You Are Chinese Food

Exotic yet ordinary.
People think they've had enough of you, but they're back for more in an hour.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


I can't pretend anymore to tolerate life in the Midwest. I'm not trying to convince those who already like the place not to like it anymore. The semi-rural, small military post with nothing in it, and a city that is desperately trying to be what other cities were like 10 years ago (the yuppie wanna-be's and all), are not for me.

We've got very little as far as arts and entertainments are concerned, and I suppose that if I was a bit more of a bookworm, this place would probably be a better fit for me. I see a lot of what life could be like after one retires, after one gets fed up with all the stimulations of life. I don't think that's quite where I am at yet.

I'm bored, and have no sex drive whatsoever. My dog's favorite past time has become laying on the floor, and if I ever do retire, I pray to God that we'll never come back here....Amen!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Instead of going on TDY to China, my happy behind will be staying at home, going to work, and finally able to take the dog for a much-deserved bath! I have to say that I was slightly disappointed about not being able to go to China, but not too much. We were basically going to go into some academic conference without knowing much anyways.

As much as I like the people to which I work with, I'm not sure if they're the ideal folks to go and sightsee with. (As I am sure that they'd rather travel with their own sets of family and friends.) The thought of spending a lot of time in a Chinese military bookstore (because of my job) kind of makes me cringe a bit.

The Japan thing is still up in the air, I don't really want to leave the families so far behind, but why do I have to go so far in order to gain an experience like that?

I'm feeling under the weather right now. It started last night as I was walking my dog. During the walk, I got really short-breathed and my heart started beating really hard, and I hate that feeling that you can't catch your breath, even if I'm getting a good workout. There was no heating at work (long story), so I had been freezing during the day, and coming back to the apt., it's warmer. These two factors combine to make me vulnerable to colds.

The GF is really doing a great job at her work, not only will the income help, but I'm glad that she has found something that she's enjoying and is good at doing.

I still hope that one of these days, we won't have to worry about this income thing so much anymore, and we can just concentrate on screwing up the next generation! (I mean raising kids!)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I turned 34 today

Looking forward to menopause, gray hair (which I already have), and brittle bones!

Woke up with the GF around mid-morning, showered and headed straight to Barry Road (the "hip" strip mall place in the North Kansas City area. Had a big breakfast, then window shopped all day at the bookstore, sporting goods store, funiiture store, and fianlly at best buy/circuit city. We almost got a set of iPod speakers but couldn't test the sound qualities of some of the speaker models at the store because, get this, they were broken!

Ended the day with dinner at this Japanese hibachi-styled steakhouse, and the dinner was good.

Now we are settled down back home, I walked the dog, at last, the day is over.

I'm really happy that this birthday passed quietly, and I'm even more glad not to have spent this birthday alone. My GF is the cake, the icing, and the cherry on top! Her birthday is coming up in two days, but we are going to go ahead and celebrate it tomorrow! Maybe we'll go and play some of her beloved poker game, or whatever she wanted. I'm just glad to spend time with them (GF and the pets).!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

What to do?

I think I'm going to end my current job around May or June timeframe, and one of my many job searches was with this military intelligence detachment in Japan. I just happened to have kept in touch with some of the people that I've met when I went over there for this present job.

Got a reply from one of the guys in charge of that military detachment place in Japan and he has expressed an interest in me working there on assignment for 6 months. Not only would I get to use my Chinese skills for something more practical (translation), but I'll also get a chance to pick up some Japanese! (Not chicks, the language.)

But....I can't stand to not be around my GF and the pets for that long of a time again. This is a great opportunity for a new cultural and job experience though.

The GF and I are still mulling over this....stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

And just when you think stuff like this don't happen anymore....

Comes a story like this....

Wad of Cash Found in New Orleans Home
March 21st, 2006 @ 7:48am

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Trista Wright was spending her spring break cleaning out hurricane-damaged homes when she discovered some unusual papers among the moldy plaster board and debris.

"I started raking it out of the air conditioner vent. I thought it was garbage and I was going to shovel it up, but I bent down to pick it up, and it was a stack of $100 bills, and then more and more kept coming," the 19-year-old said Tuesday on CNN.

By an unofficial count, it was more than $30,000.

Wright and fellow students notified the organizers of their church mission, who told the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office.

The woman who owned the house, who has asked that she not be identified, was as shocked as Wright.

"She was speechless," said Wright, an Armstrong Atlantic State University student was among 175 Georgia college students spending their week off volunteering in the city's Arabi area.

Deputy Gary Adams verified the identity of the woman who owned the home.

Adams said it's not uncommon to find weapons or medications behind the walls of homes, but this was the biggest sum of hidden money he had heard of. "It's good to see someone find something like that and turn it over to proper authorities and the rightful owner," he said.

The homeowner said she suspects the money belonged to her father, who was wary of banks. The home had been in the family for generations, she said.

"I had my suspicions about the money at first, but once I met the family and talked to the woman, I have no doubt she's telling the truth," said Aaron Arledge, one of the organizers of the mission. "She said her father grew up during the Depression and must not have told anyone in the family about it before he died."

The one-story house was flooded to the eaves by Katrina and, aside from the hidden money, none of its contents could be saved, church officials said.

"To see that woman's face when we told her about the money, that's the kind of positive story that makes all the hard work worthwhile," said the Rev. Warren Jones Jr. of New Salem Baptist Church in the Ninth Ward, which has served as a base for church missions. "She said it was a miracle. And when you think about it, it was."

Haley Barton, a fellow student who was in the house with Wright, said there was never a question of keeping the money.

"I think that it's expected of us as young people, or people of any age this day, to go in and take it and not be faithful or trustworthy in turning it in, but that wasn't even an option for us," she said.

Courtesy of

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Random, Sunday post

My pillow makes me snore if I lay on the back of my head, the GF noticed. If I was really asleep, I would not really notice that I was snoring.

I was up for a while around 7 AM, with my mind so infused with how I'd hate to go back to work, the prospect of talking to my boss while holding my own positions. I was at a birthday party last night for a collegue of mine, and I could tell that my other supervisors have no clue of what has been going on in our little team. Oh heck, I just wanted to get this little part of my life over, done with and not look back!

Rest In Peace, Whisky the dog.

I've also got the greatest GF ever! 8 years and counting!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

What's happening

I recently took a four day visit to my folks in Houston and it was a good visit. My folks looked healthy, although they still do get tired a lot. My sister was there too, and there was a lot less tension between us this time, partly taken over with her PMS. You know how PMS is, when you have it, nothing would seem right.

We'd take the folks out to eat traditional Chinese breakfast, and some grocery shopping, then take them back home so they can nap, eat dinner, and ending their day with a 8 PM mahjong game. Grandpa is religious about his mahjong games.

I also took my seventeen year old cousin to the museum to see "Bodyworld 3". It was a exhibit of naked and dead people....really naked, as in skin stripped, then muscle, and some internal organs stripped. There was some controversies about the corpses purchased for the exhibition, and the allegation was that the exhibition sponsors used corpses of executed Chinese political prisoners, and purchased wholesale. To tell you the truth, I really couldn't tell whether or not the corpses were Asian, Caucasian,etc. I think once you get that stripped, it's really hard to tell the race. This German guy decided to take corpses, preserved them in some special way that the body will be "plasticized". He'd pose these bodies in different poses and display them to the public, supposedly to educate and inspire people about the wonders of the human body. I really suggest that everyone go and see the exhibit, should it come to your city.

I felt bad for the gf, who, while I was gone, was having a cold, her period, and all kinds of boredom all packed into 4 day. Yet she managed to make her work orientation and worked the rest of this week, and I highly commend her for that! Soon she'll have some $ for poker playing, and other fun things.

About work, let's just say that I'm now looking for something else. I think I've had about up to here. The folks that I work with are cool, for the most part, but it just feels harder for me to keep on staying there. My boss is becoming unclear in his intent and starting to become overbearing too. I have all the respect in the world for him, but I'm just not sure if continuing to work for him is a good idea. So wish me luck in finding my next gig!

I also am going to try to make this blog more exciting than it has been. It's a bad sign when I am thinking that way! My apologies to all and please stay tuned!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Long weekend

A brief update of what has been happening....

I flew to S.F. for a test/interview with U.S. postal inspection service. I didn't make it, but I did get a day of free tour of the city on the postal inspection service! I walked to Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, parts in-between, and ate some good dim-sums. I used to want that job a lot, but not as much as I thought I had. There were 5 people there taking the test, including myself, and they were all people in their late 20's, early 30's, and really bright, achievement orientated, and dull as can be. There was a guy who is a ATF agent who wouldn't stop talking about the details of getting a federal job, and to a point, it got a kind of irritating. He meant well, but cared a tad bit too much about the job. There was a woman prosecutor from NYC who just about walked out of the test after she found out that she would actually be making less as a postal inspector. I had no idea whether or not they had all gotten the job, but even if they did, it would probably be at least 4-6 months before they'd hear from the postal inspectors again. I hope that they got that job, and I hope that there'll be something better for me somewhere down the line.

This weekend is a long weekend, the cool thing about being a soldier is that there are some holidays that only soldiers and federal employees get off on, and for soldiers, they're called training holidays. Soliders who are not fighting are supposedly always in training for when they will be going to war. The GF and I went to Harrah's casino, and donated some $ for the state of Missouri, ate a complimentary buffet, and I cursed at our bad luck so far at winning. The weekend wasn't all lost, we did the laundry and put in some time on the stationery bikes.

Now to go back just a bit in time, about the night after I got back from S.F.... We went to dinner at this upper-medium scaled steak place to celebrate the end of a promotion exam for someone from my office. For starters, her and I sort of get along, but that's about it. I mean, she's a nice person and all, but her personality is so strong that I simply choose not to bother any further than the minor details of life. The GF is not that keen on her, both of them have strong opinions on things and for that reason, discussions can be a bit peppered. Last but not least, the friend who, for a while, was working out with me, but not any more. Either I... a. Gave her strange vibes, or b. She got sick of me. c. She just got lazy, or d. Who really knows? Recently, a string of brush-offs to the GF by her has given both me and the GF strange vibes about her. Even though we all are still friends, it's not like either of us felt comfortable enough with asking her what's going on. She might not feel that anything strange is going on, so if you ask her, you might get one of these "making issues out of nothing" responses, and you'll end up feeling a kind of stupid as a result.

Anyway, at dinner, I was tired and not participating much in any of the 3 conversations going on at the table, and the GF was feeling and showing the weirdness of not liking the gal who had just taken her promotion exam, and how the friend didn't even really say hi to her. Feeling tired and all, I wonder why I even bothered coming to that particular dinner gathering.

Later on the next day, I caught a friend of mine from college online and chatted with her for a little while. While it was great to have chatted with her, I felt that we've drifted so far apart in the last 10 years and that, for some reasons, was making me feel old, dull, and somewhat of a loser. In my 33 years of life so far, I've met a lot of people, but no matter how I've tried, rarely made lasting friendships.

Then a few days later, on Sat. morning, I got a call from someone that I did not expect to hear from. When I first arrived at the place I am now working at, this short, balding sgt. helped me get settled here and introduced me to everyone in the office. He was a little bit weird but only in a geeky kind of way. Anyway, he got deployed to go to Iraq about 6 months ago, and I got a call from him on the 1st. day of his mid-tour leave. We chatted for a while, about what his life was like at his camp in Iraq, how many times did they get mortared, and I told him about some of the personnel happenings at the office. We're not the best of friends but we do get along. The point is that, just when you think all is lost, then you get a little sign of assurance that you just might not be as bad as you once thought you were.

I don't think that I'm one of those self-assured person, can't even pretend to look that way. As much as I enjoy friendships, I can't stand to interact with large crowds. I don't even know if I am moving on some kind of right direction in life... and if I'll be good for my GF...

...but I'm trying.