November 27, 2004

Retraction

Well, apparently we were using the wrong targets, so according to the proper ones, I was good. WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

BOLO!!!!!!!!!

Usually a term for someone who has completely messed up and failed somehow. That would be me, This morning, 3!! times. eeeeeek. We were out at the range at 0530 this morning (too gd early to be up in my opinion rofl), and by 07 we were firing. We first ensured that our weapons were zeroed (made sure the sight picture was accurate), and then went on to qualification. I have a flawless zero. 9 rounds all in the itty bitty circle, on the black. When it comes to qualifying though.........................yeah, we just aren't there. Bleah. Oh well.
Got our flu shots today, so I have no doubt that in a few days, all of the company is going to be down for the count.

November 26, 2004

Up late

Ladies and gentlemen, I did not arrive back to my room until almost 0500 this morning! But ot was a blast last night watching all 4 Lethal Weapons in a row:-D Of course, today being my day off and all, I wasn't exactly planning on having to be up this morning. But, of course, I was woken up at 0800 this morning to be at formation at 0900, as our BDE CSM was here. Thanks be it was not a long formation, and now I am currently off to go BACK to my nice warm bed that I so did not want to crawl out of this morning:) So I will talk more later, when my brain is functioning a wee bit better.

November 25, 2004

Bo Derek, Thanksgiving, and Turkey (Or lack thereof)

Well, as you all may or may not know today is Thanksgiving Day, the day in which we all give thanks for various things in our lives. So here for your enjoyment, is my list of things for which I am thankful:
1. My Family. Headaches, Heartaches, Joys, and laughter, no matter what, they are always there.
2. No one in my BN has been killed or permanently injured. (The one guy we sent home was drinking beer and partying a week later LOL)
3. Good friends, the kind that you can just beat on when you need to, laugh at things only the two of you understand.
4. My Blog fans. I relish looking at my blog each morning to see what you all have said:-D
5. Funny movies. I do so love laughing. Currently I am in the middle of a Lethal Weapon Marathon with a couple of buddies. Good way to end this day, and thank goodness I have tomorrow off:-D
Last night I had the fun of having one of the other girls braid my hair into neat nice little cornrows, and this morning the Bo Derek jokes were a flying:-D
We started out this morning with a fun little formation, in which I got to look like an absolute fool in front of the entire formation as once again, the CSM had changed the run route and didn't tell me, and then he expected me to inform the formation. Ooooooooook. Then 20 minutes later at the start line he changes it AGAIN to my original route. Arrrgggggh. I was feeling a leeeetle hyper this morning, so I turned the keys to the rear vehicle over to my 1SG, and ran with everyone else. Dumb move, we ran up commo hill, and let me tell you that son of a beeeeyatch HURT. Dat's ok, I finished the run, and propped up in the Humvee and did not walk over to the field where the game was taking place. It was a good game, the enlisted trounced the officers for the 3rd year in a row, this time 22-6 (they got lucky) The rest of the day was rather slow, I went to chow with my usual cohorts, waited in line for quite a while only to get in the door and they had NO turkey. What atrocity! We had roast beef instead, though not as enjoyable wasn't all that bad. They also did NOT have pumpkin pie which was So not cool, as I really like pumpkin pie:-D
So, anyway, here it is almost 2100 (9:00PM) and we are in the middle of Lethal Weapon 1. It promises to be a lively night here in the room, and so, I leave you with this thought.
However bad it may be, it could always be worse. (I know, real original right?)
No, Really, be thankful for everything you have, and learn to be content. Contentedness is the key to happiness.

November 24, 2004

It's a COLD day in Hell

Ladies and Gents, it is now FREAKIN cold here. Yeeehaw, just the way I like it. I am now currently walking around with my NIiiiiiice silky long underwear on underneath my uniform and it's still a wee chilly. Better yet, it's gonna get cooolder:-D

November 23, 2004

Bad things

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/a/2004/11/22/international0732EST0459.DTL
This is why I don't post about the more depressing side of being here. This happened in my sector of the city. I think the news media does a good enough job of that themselves. I prefer to offer the other side, the amusing anecdotes that keep us, the soldiers, entertained. We mock the men shooting at us, firing mortars and rockets at us, we lampoon the kidnappings, because it makes it seem less real. The thought that one day this could be us is evermost in our minds and so, like generations past, we crack jokes. It keeps the fear at bay.

November 22, 2004

Tragic Happenings

On 21 November, tragedy struck for a soldier here in Camp Slayer, Iraq. SPC D’s beloved companion has been kidnapped and is now being held for ransom by mujahadeen members. Teddy Bear, or just Teddy, was reported missing at 2000 hours local time. D then discovered a ransom note that had been left, along with a picture of Teddy at an undisclosed location. The not demanded that all teddy’s must leave Iraq immediately or there would be severe consequences. D looked everywhere, but was unable to find a trace of her beloved Teddy. She had this to say about the unfortunate incident “My fucking Teddy’s gone and I want him back.” Today, she received another picture, showing Teddy in the hands of a merciless terrorist holding a knife to his throat (http://www.geocities.com/rhiannonmesa/ Bearknapping.html) As of press time there have been no further developments, but we can only hope and pray that Teddy will be returned soon and safely to his owner.

Note: Yes, Her Teddy was kidnapped, but NO I don't have anything to do with it. I just am finding it an amusing story and will continue coverage. :-D

Nope, not living in a college dorm room.

Last night was interesting, to say the least. I was in my room watching a movie (Ladykillers, w/ Tom Hanks), blissfully in my own little world, when my room mate comes bursting through the door, barely coherant while throwing her gear on. As I tried to figure out what the hell was going on, it suddenly dawned on me that I was hearing gunfire, lots of it, and CLOSE too! She told me to get my gear on, no argument there and we all went into the hallway where the females had all gathered and were rapid fire chattering away. The adrenaline was seriously rushing through everyone present and we were all very ready to lock and load. I didn't really have time to think, I was just trying to ensure accountability and calm things down. After all was calm again though, I have to admit to being a little scared. I have been through some very heavy mortar attacks before, but this was different only in that everyone was ready to swear that they (being the bad guys) were ready to come over the walls. Hell, that's what it sounded like. The towers near us were firing everything they had all out, and it was loud. BUT, everyone is safe this morning, no injuries on post, no damage done. We are all fine, if not a little rattled about last night. We had been so used to the calm that it startled us to hear the noise again. Mind you, no complacency here, we are always alert, but you do get used to certain things.

November 21, 2004

Who are we, and what makes us that way?

I had a conversation last night with one of my few friends here in BN, and we debated what makes up who we are. We differed on two main points, his being that we are who we are because we want to be that way, and mine being that our past affects who we are, and the decisions we make. I think that while we should not allow our pasts to affect us in negative ways, it is none the less going to affect us because it has shaped our view of the world. He argues that our past has no bearing on our future, where I think it does, maybe not in a big way, but it is there, affecting the way we think, or the way we make decisions. I am not who I am Because of my past, I am who I am despite of it, and I have strived to overcome difficulties to be who I am today, but I am foolish if I think I can just toss my past aside like it never happened, because when I least expect it, it will come back to haunt me, and has the potential to destroy whatever it may be that I am working on or towards.
I also had another discussion last night with a few friends around the table outside our little hooch, on decision making. I have a few tough decisions to make and essentially it comes down to, do I go with the known, the steady, the reliable, but where I would be entering another's already established world, or do I go with the unknown, the unproven, but where there is a beginning. There are pro's and cons to both, and I have been giving it a lot of thought. A friend pointed out that I am still young, that there is still much time for me to make my mistakes, that I can recover from them should that be the case. But therein lies my problem, I can't make mistakes, it's just not me. I am afraid of falling down the wrong rabbit hole, so to speak.
Enough drearieness for me LOL. I had the enjoyable opportunity to play cards with the supreme chaplaincy (as they termed it) here in Iraq last night before dinner, and I had a most enjoyable time trying to beat the chaplains hands, as he seemed to have extraordinary luck getting very good hands LOL. No cheating mind you, just good fortune (Thankfully we weren't playing for cash, I'd be broke LOL) I did win one hand though:-D
I slept in a wee bit this morning, 30 minutes past the time my alarm should have gone off. The irony is that 30 minutes before mine went off, my room mates went off and I heard hers, but she didn't wake up and when mine went off, she woke up, but I didn't LOL.

November 19, 2004

A new Low at the chow hall.

I went to dinner tonight with a group of people from my company, and as we all sat down with our food, it was generally decided that the food just looked inedible. A few of us were brave enough to try it, but one by one we all got up, and grabbed a pizza from the buffet bar we have. At one point it caused a bit of a fight as someone said that there was only one pizza left and there were 2 who wanted it ROFL. They both scrambled from the table so quickly we were sure one would fall. Now THAT would have been funny. Side note on the chow hall: As with any chow hall across the Army, whether stateside or deployed, breakfast is the best meal of the day. (though sometimes that ain't saying much) We do have real eggs here, and in the mornings when I go in and hand my plate to the person serving, all I have to say is Good Morning, as he already knows what I have every morning, eggs over medium.
It was a slow day here, my day off. I spent part of my afternoon organizing my gear into foot lockers, so that I could quickly decide what needed to be mailed and what needed to be put into a milvan. My books are definitely going in the milvan, that box is HEAVY! Mostly because the books in there are my good hardbacks, and most of them are thick. I got word tonight at dinner that I would be moving to a new room soon, as we have to make room for the rest of my company returning from all over Iraq. I however will be keeping my room mate, which is great, as we have roomed together all year and get along well.
Another of my sisters has her birthday today, she turns 18. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! When did this child I used to play dollies with (She WAS the doll ROFL!) turn into a fully grown adult. Boys, look out, I have a gun and I KNOW how to use it ROFL:-D Nah, no worries there, she is very mature when it comes to the boys and I know I have no worries. Chances are, they mess with her, and she will take them out quicker then I could. This I know, because the child is quite capable of taking me down. Damn, I need to be in better shape.
Turkey day is this Thursday, and as we have celebrated the previous years in this battalion, there will be a turkey trot and a turkey bowl, for which I have been made the coordinator. Yippeeee:) I get to make sure everything falls into place. According to my 1SG (First Sergeant), when the big man above found out that I was the coordinator, he asked "what does she know about football?" 1SG's response: "She doesn't need to know about football, just organizing things" I feel so loved:-D However, my risk assessment will be fun, as I will have to take into account factors such as small arms fire, mortars, and insane drivers. Not exactly normal mind you. But, even though we are over here, we do try to have fun.

November 18, 2004

Change of Command, Ebay, and Breakfasts

This morning was our company change of command ceremony. As it is the first ceremony I have been to in a combat zone, I was amused but unsurprised to hear this during the introduction "In case of a mortar attack, the ceremony will cease and we will seek protection behind the barriers". Well no duh ROFL. A mortar hits, I don't think we will care much about anything else then getting down under cover. The rest of the ceremony went smooth, save for the 11 people having to stand in formation, trying not to twitch with all of the flys flying around and landing on us, in one case on my nose. Ick.
Thanks to a suggestion left on a comment, I am now addicted to browsing ebay. I have found several things that I like, and enjoy my window shopping each day.
I also was asked to tell what a good breakfast to me consists of. There is nothing better on a Saturday or Sunday morning then getting up later, then driving down the the Waffle House right off of exit 94 on I20 (The one on the Fort Gordon side), and enjoying my omlet, grits, and hashbrowns, with what is undeniably the BEST coffee made. Well, all except for the pots I brew. Back in Kuwait last year, if it was known that I had just made a fresh pot, there would be a stampede in my office, and not more then 5 minutes later, "L, make a new pot please". And I don't even drink coffee that much ROFL.

November 16, 2004

Shakespeare over dinner anyone?

Last night, as I was washing my hands outside the chow hall, I encountered one of the newbies for our infantry company, who after complaining that the soap was wicked hard to wash off, promptly turned and poured quite a bit out over my hands. Cute. I walked inside, and while standing in line, informed him to watch out, that I usually exact revenge. He later came and sat down with me, along with a passing acquaintance of mine, "Ken" with who I quickly started a needling contest. ( See who could get each others goat the quickest.) The newbie and I introduced ourselves, as I had no clue who he was, just knew he was infantry, and he then asked me if I had a language to go with my job. Ken spoke up and said I was tri-lingual: English, slang, and pure blonde. I told him that I would cop to the pure blonde but that I do not speak in slang. I turned to the newbie and made the remark that at times my English is more Shakespearean then anything else. ( I do have to point out that what I meant was that I tend to speak in full sentances rather then cut my words short) To this he began quoting Romeo and Juliet at the dinner table as me and Ken put our heads in our hands, and I about fell out of my chair laughing. The rest of the dinner was just as amusing, and I haven't laughed so hard in quite awhile.
Today is a gloomy, overcast, windy day, and I love it here.

November 15, 2004

Days gone by

It's been pretty darned quiet here, both at work and outside. Work these last two days has been nothing more then us sitting around on the computers, my team mate looking at cars, and me doing some extra curricular course work. (Always helps to study stuff relating to my job) Yesterday we mailed off a few packages for another team, and that was the extent of our excitment ROFL.
I think right now we are just very focused on going home. Now that we are so close we almost have tunnel vision, just looking at that light that is just ahead of us. Don't fret, we aren't losing sight of the fact that we still need to keep our heads down:)
I went to breakfast with a friend this morning, well actually I headed to breakfast alone, and happened on him while he was walking to the chow hall. As he climbed into the truck he remarked that he had always wanted to have breakfast with me, but this just wasn't the way he meant for it to happen. Cuuuuuuuuuuuuuute ROFL:) Of course he was just joking around with me, and not serious in the least.

November 13, 2004

Explainations

Ok, I confused people with the customs visit. We have been packing up some of our Milvans to leave early, and so before they are sealed to go, they have to be inspected by a customs crew. That was what took place yesterday. I suspect that there will be multiple visits before we leave Iraq, and that most likely the only thing that will have to be inspected before we finally leave to go home will be our personal luggage.
I had this morning off, so I slept in, a whole 2 hours ROFL. I woke up around 0800, and then made myself breakfast and watched CSI Miami, season 2. Yes, I know it isn't out on DVD yet, but I was able to pick it up from one of the local shops. The DVD's themselves were taped from television, but they are good quality. I enjoy the CSI's greatly, and can't wait to get back home and watch NY. I might even buy my first TV and get cable just so I can. For the longest time I have resisted buying a TV and getting cable as I prefer to spend my time reading and being on the internet. People think that I am weird for this, but I grew up most of my life without TV, and thus am well accustomed to using my imagination. But, there are a few shows out there that I do appreciate.

November 12, 2004

Customs

This morning's excitment began at 0630 this morning, in the biting wind. We had to unload a number of items from our Milvans and lay them out for inventory and then customs inspections. Lot's and lots of fun, hauling generators around, pulling tents out...... so on and so forth. Lot of getting wicked dirty. The best part came when the heavens opened up midway through the morning and started to soak us ROFL. Customs finally arrived around 1000, and to my pleasant surprise one of the MP's was an old friend of mine I have not seen in some months. So in between inspections and cleaning things off, we caught up with each other and had a few laughs over the situation. Of course, after lunch when I said that I was going back to the motor pool as I wanted to show my friend some pictures, there were a few cracks at my expense about going to see my buddy. Naturally if I am seen talking to an unknown man, I must be hitting on him ROFL.
But now as I have the rest of the afternoon off, I think I will go do my laundry and watch more CSI:-D

November 11, 2004

Nothing, No really NOTHING!

I have sunk to the level of having nothing to write about. No interesting topics today, no frustrations to beat out (Well, sexual frustration, but we will leave that one WAY alone), nothingness.
As of late I have been doing some serious reading. (and how is that different from any other time you ask? I dunno) I finished reading Peter S. Kindsvatter's "American Soldiers" which is an interesting look at the psychology of being a soldier in the draft era (WW1-Vietnam). I found that much of what he discusses is applicable even to today's volunteer soldier. Currently I am reading Peter Wright's "Spy Catcher", his autobiography of being MI5 during the cold war. Intriguing stuff I find. Particularily when he deals with Counterintelligence, as that is my field of work.
Time ticks by here slowly, frequently can be heard someone saying "only X days left". It seems so close, yet so far. I am ready to leave this bubble world, where one feels as though they are under a microscope. It is impossible to do anything and NOT have someone know about it.
The fighting in Fallujah continues, we can hear the sounds of the artillery from where we are, a constant reminder that we are still at war. This may not be a conventional war, but it is still war.

November 09, 2004

Movie Night

I watched "Van Helsing" last night finally (I have had it for a while). It was pretty good, although, I think, unintentionally hilariously funny at points. I have to say though it has the BEST bloopers reel I have seen. I was ready to roll off the bed laughing at points.

November 08, 2004

288

Playing around today with my little deployment countdown spreadsheet (not my creation, I stole it from someone else LOL), I have been in Iraq 288 days out of my 306 days of deployment. No real purpose here, just me being, well, me:)
I spent my morning doing maintainance on an obnxious LMTV (big truck fyi) getting all nice and greased up. ICK. Then this afternoon, my team leader, another SGT, and myself lifted a 3K generator that is labeled a 6 man lift into the back of our humvee for transport to the motor pool. Once there I took a look around at all the slackers not doing anything and promptly pressed them into service:-D One of the guys, a civilian I had taunted with the remark of "care to get your pretty hands dirty", decided afterwards to threaten to wipe his hands on my shirt. I very evenly looked at him and cooly said "try it, and find out what will happen to you" Of course, this was all in good fun, no harm or foul was intended:-D
Over lunch I window shopped for winter clothing, as all I have back home are a few essentials I left out last winter, and of course my summer wardrobe picked up for R&R in July. Loads of fun. I love GAP clothing, but it is so ridiculously priced. It is fun though to get ideas for styles, and see what I can do with just a few articles. I love dressing well, and thanks to my personal stylist (aka Mummy) growing up, I think I do pretty darned good at it these days:) Hell, I even dress her up sometimes before we hit the town together. That is one thing I am looking forward to, going out at least once in awhile with Mummy. We have a ball, as most people who see us together assume that we are either best friends, or sisters (We look an awful lot alike). A few years back one guy came up to me and started hitting on me, and talking to Mum, and when he realized that the woman across from me was indeed my Mum, you should have seen the look in his eyes. For a few seconds there I think he was worried he was hitting on someone underage. ok clueless, sitting at a bar, drinking, yeah I think that I am old enough ROFL. He did get over it and we went out a few times.
Well, enough is enough, and I will talk to you all laters:)

November 07, 2004

I have no ingenuous title for today's blog

I had the opportunity to play catch up with a good friend of mine this morning for a logn while sitting outside my office:) It's little things that break up the boredom that mean all the world to us over here.
I watched the season 1 finale of "Without a Trace" last night. That show is awesome, and I can't wait for season 2 now. It was a very emotional finale, I was about ready to cry when it was over LOL. I also watched a movie called "Woman in Red" with Gene Wilder. Stupidly funny!!!
Ok so my day has been really not that exciting. Wait, that is my life these days:) Last time I checked, over here, that wasn't a bad thing ROFL.

November 05, 2004

Internet issues

Sorry about yesterday all, I did try to post. Internet was just NOT wanting to cooperate LOL.
Spent most of yesterday curled in bed watching "Without a Trace". Really cool show I picked up in the PX the other day. For some reason lately I have gotten into all these crime shows, CSI, Profiler, so on and so forth.
It is really boring here, the most excitement I have had was coming back from chow the other night, the lights on my Humvee didn't want to work, so I had to drive the 1/2 mile back at about 5 MPH, with blackouts (Small, itty bitty light). Lots of fun ROFL:)
We shall see how the day pans out.

November 03, 2004

Back in the Tower

So much for hoping to stay off of tower guard duty for the rest of my deployment LOL. Oh well:) Yesterday we had an increase in security due to certain events, and thus my BN was tasked to help man a tower. As I was available, I was pulled to man the first shift, which involved getting everything up into the tower and set up. As it was the middle of the day, there was no excitement, and I spent the 4 hours joking and BSing with my cohort, who also is a friend of mine. We used to pull tower guard while we were stationed out at the prison, before they brought in other forces to man the towers, and those were some of the most incredibly boring 4 hours shifts ever. However, thank goodness, they are only 4 hours shifts, vs the 8 that the guys here pull, or the 12 that the forces at AG pulled. I can stand 4 hours of constant alertness:)
The elections are now over, and my President has again taken the vote, so we can sleep at peace at nights (Or as peacefully as one can get in a country where you are very likely to get mortared at any given time LOL)
I recently received in the mail my registration check for my cars, with a note stateing that since I was deployed, I couldn't register my cars in GA. HUH???? So I made the phone call yesterday to my county, explained the situation, and discovered that I had only to include my deployment orders to get them registered, and even though it will be way late, I still only have to pay the tag fees. Sometimes it is good to do a bit of arguing:)
Today promises to be warm, and HUMID, it has been cool and rainy the last few days, and yes for those wondering, we have noticed that insurgents don't like to be in the rain any more then we do, so hopefully things will settle for a time. The mud is another story though, walking to my office is walking through a mud pit and by the time you reach the sidewalk, your boots are covered with a pound of mud! Ick. Fun Fun Fun. Home sooon is all I think these days.

November 02, 2004

Sad days

Whenever someone you love has to go somewhere, whether it be a close friend, or otherwise, it always is a bit sad. My best friend had to leave today, for another assignment, and I don't know when I will see him next, although I do know that I will. I'll just miss him badly. It is always one of the things that I have disliked over my entire life of moving around, is leaving friend behind, or having to watch them go. But life goes on, and I know that no matter what, thanks to the internet, he is always on the other end of the line:)
This morning is quite wet and rainy, and so I spent my morning creating a sidewalk for u s to walk over the mud with out of some bricks we have in our front yard. The person who suggested the idea had only intended for me to create little stepping stones, but I got creative and now we have our own little cobblestone sidewalk to walk on. Won't prevent all of the mud, but it might help keeping some of it off of our boots and out of our office. It is quiet here these days, just starting to prepare to return to Kuwait before we head back to the states. We have less then 50 days left in country, and there is a slight lift in unit morale. Not much, but it is there LOL.

November 01, 2004

A beautiful day in the neighbourhood

It is drizzly, overcast, dreary, and all together my type of day. I have been on my own much of the day due to 90% of the company being out, including my 2 team mates.
I haven't had much to do, but I have been keeping busy, performing weekly maintainance on both of our team trucks, dispatching one, and driving places.
Usually when you ask a person what they plan on doing first thing upon arrival back home, the answer goes something like "get drunk, get laid, get to sleep, not neccessarily in that order. For me, I have determined that I am just going to fill the gas tank to my little 91 Accord, get behind the wheel, let my hair down, turn the radio up, and just drive. I don't care where, I just want to go anywhere that isn't here LOL. I enjoy driving around the Suburban, as it has a radio, but it just isn't the same when going 25 Mph is the fastest you can go. And I am tired of tying my hair up into a bun everyday, I get headaches these days. But there is no way in hell I am cutting my hair again. It is currently the longest it has been in 4 1/2 years, and also all natural. (I used to have a slight addiction to a bottle of red hair dye LOL)