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.