Sunday, September 23, 2007

Still Here

I've lost all concept of time. It's not that the days fly by here in any way, but since they all seem basically the same, it's hard to tell one day from another or have any idea of how long it's been since doing anything - translation: that's the excuse for not updating; I didn't realize it had already been more than a week. Of course, there's not really much to talk about either.

I got a package from Amazon with the second seasons of Weeds and The 4400, so I put my reading on hold while I finished those up. I also watched most of the 2nd season of The Office (I borrowed it from someone but he hasn't given me the last disc yet). Now I'm waiting on Heroes to come out on DVD so I can check that out, and see if it's as good as everyone says.

We had our first officer's call this past week. I don't think I'm ever going to be able to enjoy karaoke again - it's one thing to go to a bar and do it voluntarily, and an entirely different thing to watch people be forced to sing. Also, at a karaoke bar, the people singing are really more background noise since you're hanging out with your friends, while at the officer's call, the performers were basically the center of attention. I guess alcohol usually helps as well, and non-alcoholic beer just doesn't have the same effect. I have also determined that I'm never going to go to salsa - they offer it once a week at the MWR, and every single time I've had a meeting or something else going on - this week I thought I'd actually be able to go, and that's the time we had the officer's call.

Speaking of alcohol, I got a letter from my grandfather today with some rather interesting and useful advice - avoid alcohol so it won't affect any decisions I might have to make while under pressure. Considering that alcohol is kind of, well, ILLEGAL, I shouldn't have too much of a problem doing that. I guess being German, he doesn't quite realize the rules the US military has, but it's still kind of funny. Also, since his letter started saying, "I hope you're doing well considering," I'm kind of surprised he'd think there'd be bars in the area.

Other than that, my bad luck/klutziness streak continues:

Remember my horrible door that I discussed earlier? Well, the saga continues. I lost my key while walking (I knew I didn't trust the PT short pockets!), and had to have the RNU guy break me into my room. He put in an emergency work order for me to get a new lock or door, which means they are supposed to come in two to four hours to fix it. They didn't. Of course, considering how badly the door was sticking, I'm pretty sure anyone unfamiliar with my door, just would have assumed it was locked if they'd tried to open it. I finally got a new lock yesterday, and I'm not sure if they did anything else, but it hasn't been sticking as badly lately.

I also lost my glasses. I had an extra set, but I really liked my other ones.

And yesterday, my computer screen basically went out. If I try really hard, I can see what's on it, but as one of the computer whizzes in the company explained, the lamp or something went out, so I need either a S-Video screen to hook it up to the TV, a monitor, a new screen or a new computer. As if I know where to get any of that stuff. He said something about tigerdirect, so maybe I'll look there - it's just online shopping really doesn't do it for me when I have the computer for half hour blocks, and the connection's slow.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Just Another Day

As you may have noticed, my blog has been hijacked by spam. Whenever I end up on a computer that actually lets me log into blogger, I usually spend most of my time deleting the entries rather than updating. For some reason, only half the computers at the MWR let me get in the blog; the others say something about cookies being disabled. I also can only sign into amazon from one or two computers, so as long as I don't want to order anything or update my wishlist, it works but as soon as I get to the sign on page, the internet page shuts itself down. I'm going to try disabling the ability to email myself entries and see if that will cut down on the advertisements for weight loss and stronger libidos even though that will limit my options for updating.

We had our first OPD (officer professional development), and the topic was OPSEC, so naturally blogging came up. I guess my blog will now be reviewed quarterly to make sure I'm complying with all the rules and not giving away vital information. Of course, I think I already learned my lesson about that.

I finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife a few days ago. I'd seen in the bookstores but never really been interested until I saw it on a list of recommended books on Pajiba. I actually liked it even though at first, I had some misgivings. It was well-written and interesting from the beginning, don't get me wrong, but the idea that the woman had met her future husband when she was six and he was forty bugged me, especially since he repeatedly visited her in the past and taught her things. It seemed too much like he was shaping her to fit into his idea of the perfect woman and who she should be. I still liked the novel, though, but it got slow towards the end. I think this might just reflect on me, though: I still tend to prefer the protagonists when they are younger and starting their lives rather than once they have established families, grown older and so forth. It's just a matter of what I can relate to more at the moment.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Only Me

Since I still feel weird talking about the actual FOB online, I thought I’d just write about some of my own stupidities of the past week. As it turns out, I’m a klutz – well, okay I already knew I had tendencies towards that with the whole lack of coordination (probably why I never really got into sports), but I definitely seem to have a talent for doing ridiculous stuff – never anything extreme enough to win an award like the Bent Coin*, just a series of lots of little incidents.

For example, at the beginning of this week, it must have been Sunday night, I woke up in the middle of the night for no discernible reason (it happens on occasion), so I rolled over to go back to sleep. In the process, I rolled straight into the wall, and hit my lip on the electrical siding (or whatever it is). After a silent curse, I went back to sleep, and then woke the next morning with a busted lip and dried blood on my teeth. At least I didn’t fall off the bed. I got a package from my parents in the mail the next day with a big Illini pillow – I’m using it as padding to prevent this from happening again.

Last night, I was leaving my room when the door handle broke off in my hand. The door sticks, so I’ve had to pull and rattle quite a bit in the past, and apparently the door just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to call my platoon sergeant on the radio to let me out of my room so I could use the bathroom. Luckily, our RNU (no clue what that stands for, but he’s in charge of handling all the work orders and repairs for the company) had a few extra door handles in the connex – looks like maybe this has occurred before.

* The Bent Coin: My Battalion back in Germany had monthly (give or take a few weeks) Hail and Farewells. This is an opportunity to greet the new leadership coming to the battalion, say goodbye to the ones leaving, and generally socialize with each other (/make fun of/ put on the spot – before my first Hail and Farewell, I was told I had to memorize the Transportation Corps Creed as part of being hailed – it was my initiation). At the end of the evening, the Bent Coin would be awarded, and people would tell funny, ridiculous, partially true stories about their friends. After a vote, whoever had the best story and behaved the most foolishly, would receive the Bent Coin for safekeeping for the month. One of the LTs in my company won it when his car got stuck in the snow and the Company Commander and First Sergeant had to push him out, for example. Other units have similar traditions – a guy I knew in 2ID had to been awarded the Broken Tomahawk right before they deployed and had to pack it with all his other stuff.